to be focus of Israeli Arab protest on 32nd Land Day
For the first time in the
event's 32-year history, Jaffa is
to be one of the main centers of Land Day, which will be marked on Friday. According to leaders of Jaffa's Popular Committee, in the past two years the Israel
Lands Administration and the Amidar Public Housing Authority have issued
eviction requests to 500 Arab families in Jaffa, mainly in the Ajami neighborhood, on the grounds
that they invaded the properties and engaged in illegal construction. The first
Land Day took place on March 30, 1976, when the Arab public held a protest strike against
the expropriation of lands in the Galilee "for
purposes of security and settlement."
Defense minister likely
to approve 80 housing units in settlement
Defense Minister Ehud Barak
is expected to approve construction of 80 housing units in the settlement of
Elazar in the northern Etzion Bloc. The Derech Ha'avot outpost, which has
approximately 10 permanent houses and a few dozen mobile homes, is located near
Elazar, west of the Jerusalem-Hebron highway (road 60). Derech Ha'avot was
established in 2001 on private Palestinian land. The new neighborhood, which
has already received the approval of the Civil Administration in the West Bank, is slated to be built between Elazar and the outpost, and will serve
as a link between the two.
With friends like these
– by Gideon Levy
To judge by the declarations
of our foreign guests and our hosts abroad, no other state in the world is more
loved than we. A state that imposes a siege that is almost unprecedented in the
world today in terms of its cruelty, that adopts an official policy of
assassination, is embraced by the family of nations, if we are to judge by the
words of the many statesmen who cross our doorstep. This blind friendship
enables Israel to do whatever it wants. The days have passed in
which every mobile home erected in the territories and every targeted
assassination were carefully considered out of fear of international criticism.
That time no longer exists. Israel has a carte blanche to kill, destroy and settle.
years on, Israel maintaining unequal distribution of water
While more spectacular forms
of violence grab the headlines, water has emerged as a paradigmatic example of
those effects of occupation that take place over the slow course of
bureaucratic time, denying, each day, the human rights of Palestinians living
under occupation. On the occasion of United Nations World Water Day, Ma'an
compiled this report about the water situation in the occupied territories.
four years since Sheikh Yassin's assassination
Hamas supporters marched
through the streets of Gaza City Saturday to mark four years since the assassination
of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the wheelchair-bound spiritual leader of the Islamist
movement who was killed during an Israeli air strike on March 22, 2004. Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh paid a visit to Yassin's
family home to meet with the slain sheikh's relatives. Israel confirmed at the
time that its helicopters fired several rockets at Yassin and his bodyguards as
they were heading to a local mosque at 5:30 am. The sheikh was killed on the
and Fatah agree to resume dialogue
Hamas and Fatah have signed a
Yemeni proposal to resume dialogue aimed at restoring Palestinian national
unity. "Hamas and the PLO's delegations signed the following: We agree on
the Yemeni initiative as a framework for resuming dialogue between the two
movements in order to restore the Palestinian situation as it was before the
events in Gaza," said Hamas' spokesperson Isma'il Radwan. He explained
that the signed agreement meant resuming talks rather than accepting any
demands by either side. According to Radwan, talks will begin in April.
Jihad leader: Israel rejected comprehensive ceasefire proposal
"The meeting with the
Egyptians tackled the issues of the Rafah crossing, comprehensive ceasefire and
the crippling siege on the Gaza Strip, and the Egyptians gave their own
comments as well as the Israeli stance," leader Khalid Al-Batsh told
Ma'an. He affirmed that the Israelis rejected a ceasefire in both the Gaza
Strip and the West Bank, calling for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip only.
Hamas and the Islamic Jihad insist that any ceasefire must be comprehensive,
involving both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Al-Batsh
thanked the Egyptian government for their efforts towards lifting the blockade
of the Gaza Strip and reaching a comprehensive ceasefire.
denies reported truce offer to Hamas, Jihad
An official in Prime Minister
Ehud Olmert's bureau on Sunday denied a report that Israel has offered Hamas and Islamic Jihad a year-long
cease-fire in return for an end to Qassam rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip on
its southern communities. "There are no direct or indirect contacts with
Hamas. Our position is that if they don't shoot at us from Gaza, we won't shoot back," the source said. Earlier
Sunday, the London-based Arabic daily Al-Hayat reported that Egyptian
intermediaries on Saturday told representatives of Hamas and Islamic Jihad thatIsrael would agree to a year-long truce if they would halt
the rocket attacks from Gaza.
Cheney faces criticism ahead of West Bank visit
Cheney met with Palestinian
President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad in Ramallah on Sunday.
Abbas reportedly asked Cheney to pressure Israel to stop illegal settlement activity and military
attacks in Palestinian territory. After the meeting, Cheney said, "The US
remains strongly committed to the establishment of a Palestinian state. Achieving
that will require tremendous effort at the negotiating table and painful
concessions on both sides . . ." The
vice president had on Saturday called Israel "one of history's great miracles."
group: Palestinians died awaiting treatment
Five Palestinians, including
a one-year-old baby, have died in Gaza over the past two months after Israel rejected on security grounds or delayed their
requests to cross the border for treatment in Israel or elsewhere, Physicians for Human Rights announced
'tortured' in Egypt – by Mohamed el-Sawwaf in Gaza
Palestinians who were
detained in Egypt after crossing from the Gaza Strip accused Egyptian
security forces of torturing and abusing them to get tips on the resistance
movement Hamas and its armed wing. "We were beaten, kicked and
electrified, to mention but a few examples," Saber Al-Dremli told
IslamOnline.net. Only 10 years of age, Jamil Obeid was the youngest Palestinian
to be detained by Egyptian security forces after crossing into Egypt with his father. The Gazan child was thrown into a
dingy cell with eight people for ten days in freezing temperature. Jamil
himself was neither tortured nor interrogated but he says he used to hear the
deafening cries and screams of fellow Palestinians being tortured next door.
Photos of Jamil prostrating himself when he returned to Gaza to thank God have become widely circulated on blogs
and the Web.
frees 34 Palestinians who entered Egypt through breached border
"Freeing those detainees
was a result of ongoing contacts between the Egyptian and Hamas officials. The
Egyptian side pledged to release them two days ago during a meeting between
Egyptian officials and delegations from Hamas and the Islamic Jihad," said
Hamas leader Ayman Taha. Only two Palestinian detainees remain in Egyptian
custody. In a different regard, Taha denied news reports that Egypt has refused to meet with former Palestinian Interior
Minister Sa'id Siyam.
footballers denied entry to Gaza
Israeli troops have blocked
101 Italian amateur footballers and sports fans from passing to the Gaza Strip
on Sunday morning. The annual visit is part of a campaign of 'sport solidarity'
with the Gaza Strip. Three previous delegations have been allowed into the
Strip in recent years. The delegation represents several Italian organizations,
and it was scheduled to be visit Al-Aqsa University, Jabalia club and the Al-Karama sports centre in Khan
fighters fire two projectiles from Gaza Saturday evening
The military wing of Islamic
Jihad, the Al-Quds Brigades, claimed to have launched a projectile towards the
Israeli city of Ashkelon. Three other groups said they fired a projectile at
the Israeli town of Sderot, in the western Negev.
mark Easter in Jerusalem
The outgoing Roman Catholic
leader in the Holy Land, Patriarch Michel Sabbah, criticized both Israelis
and Palestinians responsible for the recent bloodshed, including Israeli
military operations in Gaza, rocket fire from Palestinian militants and a deadly
shooting attack on a Jewish religious seminary. "Despite this, there are
hundreds of thousands in both the Palestinian and Israeli societies who send an
outcry: peace, peace," Sabbah, a Palestinian, said in a sermon. "We
need leaders who are ready to offer their lives for the sake of peace, not
leaders who issue orders to kill and assassinate and send others to kill or to
Israelisettlers abduct two Palestinian
teenagers near Nablus
Settlers from Eli colony,
near the Palestinian city of Nablus, abducted on Sunday two Palestinian teenagers from
the village of Al-Lubban, located between Nablus
and Ramallah, Palestinian security sources said. The sources explained that
Israeli settlers attacked a group of Palestinian shepherds who were tending
their sheep and abducted two of them, 17-year-old Bilal Al-Hunaidi and
16-year-old Iyad Al-Hunaidi. They were taken to an unknown destination
Hamas members detained in the West Bank, Hamas says
Hamas released a statement
saying that security forces stormed Beit Awwa near Hebron amidst heavy gunfire before arresting four members of
Hamas. Hamas also claimed that one of the movement's members was arrested in
the city of Hebron, and one in Bethlehem.
The curse of the
Nablus dream house
Six years ago, Abdul-Latif
Nasif and his two brothers built their family home on one of the hills
over-looking the West Bank city of Nablus. It has spectacular views over the city and
surrounding area - but that has been its curse. "This just isn't my home
any more," says the 47-year-old Palestinian bank manager, "it might
as well belong to the Israeli army."
teenager shot by invading troops in Azzun Saturday evening
Swaidan was shot in the torso and hospitalized in Qalqilia. Medical sources
called his injury serious. At the time of writing, Israeli troops continue to
sweep the town, raiding Palestinian houses on the pretext of searching for
"wanted" Palestinian activists.
soldiers ransack house of PA security officer
More than fifty Israeli
soldiers ransacked the home of 44-year-old Palestinian security officer Badran
Hamayil on Sunday morning, breaking doors, windows, and furniture, Hamayil
said. The raid, in the town of Beita, south of the city of Nablus, came just two days after Israeli soldiers broke into
the same house and arrested Hamayil's 16-year-old son Assaf, Hamayil said. They
brought police dogs which wandered inside the house scaring my children for
more than an hour and a half, while the soldiers were laughing at my scared
children," he added. After the soldiers left, Hamayil claimed that 550
Jordanian Dinars were missing from his wife's handbag. His own briefcase was
stolen along with some of his documents including his ATM card.
Defense Forces to teach personal responsibility to high school students
Thousands of IDF soldiers and
officers plan to sweep through some 450 Israeli schools on Wednesday, toting
manuals and maps as part of a new IDF initiative aimed at strengthening the
students' pride in Israel's achievements, and to enforce a sense of personal
responsibility for change and growth in the country. IDF officials hope the
initiative will also tighten the bond between it and the school system. The
11th grade students are scheduled to hear about values and personal
responsibility straight from the mouths of the officers. [No comment]
expired medicines seized near Nablus
The Palestinian Preventive
Security Service seized large quantities of expired medicines near the village of Asira Ash-Shamaliya on Sunday. A source within the Preventive Security
Service added, "A Hamas affiliate was apprehended for involvement in the
issue." The source refused to give more details before an investigation is
minister again calls for releasing Fatah minister Marwan Barghouthi
Infrastructure Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer reiterated his call on Sunday to
release charismatic Fatah leader Marwan Barghouthi from prison. Ben-Eliezer
told Voice of Israel radio that he believes that Barghouthi, who has been held
in an Israeli prison since 2002, is strong enough to push forward with the
Palestinian-Israeli peace process.
court extends detention of six Palestinian prisoners
Jenin's office for prisoners'
affairs listed the names of the detainees: Muhammad Nur Ismael Abu Ar-Rab from
Qabatiya, Raed Sa'id As'ad from Tulkarem, Hussam Yahya Abu Ar-Rab from Qabatiya
and Naji Wahsh Barjis from Jenin refugee camp. Israel currently holds more than 11,000 Palestinians in
prisons and detention centers.
of foiled 2004 railway attack given lengthy jail terms
Tel Aviv District Court
sentences three residents of Tayibe to seven, nine, 15 years in prison for
planning attacks on Tel Aviv, Netanya in 2004 – The three were convicted of
planning the attacks some two-and-a-half years ago and were convicted, by their
own admission, as part of a plea agreement.
The Right to Self-Determination - A Fake Exercise in Universalism
In this picture, maps show a visual explanation of Jewish Self-Determination –
Palestinian loss of land 1946-2000.
warns against returning Golan
Israel will not agree to a deal with Syria involving the return of the Golan Heights, President Shimon Peres said Sunday. "If the
Golan is given back, it will boost Iran's influence in Lebanon and the territory will effectively be under
Iranian-Syrian control," said Peres.
end at Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon
SIDON, Lebanon (AFP) - Quiet
returned to Lebanon's largest Palestinian refugee camp on Saturday after a
ceasefire between Islamic militants and fighters of the mainstream Fatah
faction ended heavy clashes. The hundreds of civilians who had fled the
fighting in the densely populated Ain al-Helweh camp outside the southern port
city of Sidon began returning to their homes after the truce took
hold, an AFP correspondent witnessed. The army had blocked entry to the camp,
which is home to some 45,000 people, but allowed civilians to leave.
Hezbollah deputy chief
says he has proof Israel killed Mughniyah
Naim Qassem said there is no
basis for the claim that others were behind the assassination. "Know that Israel is responsible and it must bear the whole
responsibility." According to Arab media reports, Hezbollah secretary
general Hassan Nasrallah is to give an address Monday to mark to 40th day since
Mughniyah's death. Last week, security forces were on high alert as Israel's intelligence community has gained possession of
fragments of information hinting at plans for a Hezbollah revenge attack in
coordination with Iran and Syria.
BOOK REVIEW and
interview: Shattering a 'national mythology'
If the [Jewish] people was not exiled, are you saying
that in fact the real descendants of the inhabitants of the Kingdom of Judah are the
Palestinians? Professor Shlomo Sand: "No population remains pure over a
period of thousands of years. But the chances that the Palestinians are
descendants of the ancient Judaic people are much greater than the chances that
you or I are its descendants. The first Zionists, up until the Arab Revolt
[1936-9], knew that there had been no exiling, and that the Palestinians were
descended from the inhabitants of the land. They knew that farmers don't leave
until they are expelled. Even Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, the second president of the
State of Israel, wrote in 1929 that, 'the vast majority of the peasant farmers
do not have their origins in the Arab conquerors, but rather, before then, in
the Jewish farmers who were numerous and a majority in the building of the
land.'" [his book is written in Hebrew,
and not translated]
REVIEWS: Faceless fighters – by Ian Black
Israelis and Lebanese are
invisible enemies in two acclaimed new films [Under the Bombs and Beaufort]
about the wars they have fought – It is late July 2006, towards the end of the
last Lebanon war, and Israeli aircraft - invisible to naked eye or camera - are
pounding targets in an unidentified hilltop town, sending children screaming
for cover and great clouds of smoke and dust billowing into the summer skies.
The terrifying opening scene of Under the Bombs contains the only overt
violence in this powerful film - what follows shows the destruction, human
misery and loss caused by the most unusual conflict the Middle East has yet seen. In 33 days, Lebanon counted 1190 dead, less than half of them Hizbullah
Americas – by Uri Avnery
American presidential elections are much too serious to be left to the
Americans. Unfortunately, the citizens of the world have no part in these
elections. But they may, at least, voice an opinion. Availing myself of this
right I say: I am for Barack Obama. The
great message of Obama is Obama himself. A person who has roots in three
continents (and another half: Hawaii). A person whose education spans the wide world. A
person who can see reality from the viewpoints of America, Africa and Asia. A person who is both black and white. A new kind of
American, an American of the 21st Century.
- The Betrayal: Must-Watch Video Report From UK: Channel 4
Peter Oborne accompanies the UK Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, as he
travels across Iraq, meeting the main players who will determine the future of
the country; from the US Commanding General David Petraeus, to militiamen
fighting to protect their homes, to parliamentarians holed up in Baghdad's
Green Zone, Oborne discovers that Iraq seems to have reverted to a violent
Who Nearly Stopped The War
Of all the stories told on the fifth anniversary of the Iraq War, there is one
important episode that took place during the build-up to the conflict that has
gone largely unreported.
Must Watch 4-Minute Video: 100
Reuters correspondents, photographers, cameramen and support staff, bearing
witness through half a decade of conflict which has taken the lives of 127
journalists, including seven Reuters staff. -
Warning- Video contains disturbing images. Iraq has been the most dangerous war in history for
80,000 Angry Men. Is the US Surge collapsing?
Video report: We uncover how thousands of Iraqis employed at $10 a day by the US to take on al-Qaida are threatening to go on strike
because they say they have been used by the 'Americans to do their dirty work'
and haven't been paid.
VP slams US-led invasion of Iraq
He added that the Iraqi nation is paying for damages which have been created byAmerica.
the cradle of civilization, five years later
Five years after the sacking
of Iraq, we decided to ask the experts how bad it really was, how many
priceless antiquities have come back to their homeland, and what, if anything,
has changed about the Bush administration's approach to protecting Iraq's
Zone hit by barrage of blasts
(Reuters) Baghdad's heavily
fortified Green Zone, which houses the Iraqi parliament and U.S. embassy, was
hit by a sustained barrage of rocket or mortar bomb fire early on Sunday,
witnesses and officials said. It was not immediately clear where most of the
missiles landed or if there were any casualties after an apparent attack
lasting about 15 minutes, Reuters witnesses said.