Today in Palestine! ~ Headlines ~

Amnesty: Siege on Gaza gravest humanitarian crisis yet
While Israel marks lowest number of casualties caused by terror attacks in 2007 since beginning of second intifada, Amnesty International reports 370 Palestinians killed in territories, deems siege imposed by Israel on Gaza 'unprecedented'.,7340,L-3548730,00.html

Amnesty: Israel harms Palestinian civilians, exploits foreigners
An Amnesty International report released on Wednesday finds that Israel attacks innocent Palestinian civilians, exploits foreigners and subverts the general right to freedom of employment.

OPT: Physicians for Human Rights - Israel update

OCHA special focus: "Lack of Permit" demolitions and resultant displacement in Area C

Israeli air strike kills two Gaza militant
An Israeli air strike on Wednesday killed two Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip, Palestinian medical workers said.

The Israeli army kidnaps four civilians from Hebron
The Israeli army invaded the southern West Bank city of Hebron and nearby villages on Wednesday morning and kidnapped four civilians.

30 injured as Israeli army attacks protest in Ni'lin
On Tuesday, 27th May, approximately 500 residents from the village of Ni'lin and Al Midya in the Ramallah governorate, as well as international and Israeli activists, converged in Al Midya to protest against the construction of Israel's illegal apartheid wall (also commonly referred to as the annexation wall), which will steal yet more of the villages' lands and effectively turn their villages into a prison.

Settlers steal a Palestinian car and the army kidnaps a civilian in northern W.B
A group of Israeli settlers attacked a Palestinian man and then stole his car near the northern West Bank city of Nablus on Wednesday.

The Israeli army kidnaps two civilians from villages near Bethlehem
The Israeli army attacked Al Shawurah and Beit Fajjar villages located near the city Bethlehem of in the northern part of the West Bank and kidnapped two civilians on Wednesday early morning.

Arab resident of Nazareth to be imprisoned for defending the Basilica of Annunciation Church
Arab member of Knesset, Wasel Taha, slammed an Israeli court decision to imprison an Arab resident of Nazareth for defending the Basilica of Annunciation Church in the city after in came under attack by an extremist Israeli couple.

During pre dawn invasion: the Israeli army kidnaps six civilians from Nablus
The Israeli army invaded the northern West Bank city of Nablus, and nearby Balata refugee camp, during that attack the invading forces kidnapped six civilians on Wednesday at dawn.

Israeli military court sentences Palestinian to 15 years for brigades affiliation
The Israeli Military Court in Salem on Monday sentenced 23-year-old Ahmad 'Ezzat Abu Tabeekh from Tulkarem to fifteen years in prison on charges of being affiliated to the Al-Aqsa brigades, Fatah's military wing. Abu Tabeekh was arrested on 3 Novemeber 2006 in Tulkarem. He is currently being held in Majiddo prison.

Israeli forces ransack home of Palestinian journalist in Hebron
Hebron – Ma'an – Israeli forces raided the home of Palestinian journalist Nayifin the southern West Bank city of Hebron on Tuesday morning. Hashlamoun was not at home when the raid happened but the Israeli troops handed a letter to his son demanding that Hashlamoun turn himself over to Israeli intelligence for interrogation. Hashlamoun told Ma'an that Israeli soldiers broke down the front door before ransacking his house.

Israeli military court extends detention of Palestinian prisoners
Jenin – Ma'an – The Salem Israeli military court has extended the detention period of six prisoners from Jenin, Qalqilia and Tulkarem districts on charges of affiliation to Islamic Jihad, a lawyer from the Jenin office for following up on prisoners affairs said on Tuesday. The office said in a statement that the detention of Abdullah 'Ubaid from Jenin was extended to July 16 2008; that of Luay Sati from Tulkarem was extended to July 29 2008. The detention of Qusay Wishahi from Jenin, Tal'at Shawahna from Silat Al-Harithiyy and Majd Hourani from Qalqilia was extended to July 12 2008. The detention of Muhammad Abu 'Uda from Qabatia was extended to July 21 2008.

Jerusalem camera catches brutal attack by Jewish teens on Arab youths
Dozens of Jewish teens were caught on camera outside a Jerusalem mall carrying out a brutal attack on two Arab youths on Holocaust Remembrance Day earlier this month.

Twelve Gazan patients sent to Israeli hospitals, 24 return from Egypt
Israel allowed 12 Gazan patients to exit to Israel for medical treatment, Palestinian medical sources in the de facto health ministry in the Gaza Strip said on Tuesday. Twenty four others were also permitted to re-enter the Gaza Strip after receiving medical treatment in Egyptian hospitals. Muawiyya Hassanain, the director of ambulance and emergency services in the Palestinian health ministry affirmed that the 12 patients left Gazathrough the Erez crossing at Beit Hanoun along with their 12 attendants. Hassanain also said that the Egyptian authorities allowed 24 Gazan patients to return to the Gaza Strip after being hospitalized in Egypt.

One third of those banned from travel for treatment are children
The popular committee against the siege stated Monday that 31 percent of Gaza patients whose travel for medical treatment abroad was not approved by the IOA for flimsy security pretexts are children under age 15.   In a press conference, Rami Abdo, the spokesman for the committee, said that this percentage does not include hundreds of patients who did not apply for medical treatment outside Gaza because they already know that Israel would reject their requests. Abdo cited the suffering of a two-year-old Palestinian girl called Farah Al-Sawwaf who has a tumor in her right kidney and her application for treatment abroad was not approved yet by the IOA. The spokesman also pointed to the suffering of another two-year-old child called Mohamed Bulbul who had the same serious disease of Farah, but he now urgently needs to receive radiotherapy within 10 days after he underwent surgery days ago or else he will die.

Avoidable Tragedies: The Continuing Deaths of Gazan Patients
Ramallah, 27-05-08: Seven patients "" including three newborn children - have died in Gaza in less than a week as a direct result of Israel's ongoing, devastating siege on the Strip. Twenty-two-year-old leukaemia sufferer, Mohammad Amawi, became the 167th Gazan patient to die today. Mohammad's father spent nearly US$ 80,000 dollars on treatment for his son in hospitals inside Israel since Mohammad was diagnosed with cancer of the blood.

"Now we have nothing left"
"They came at four in the morning with two bulldozers, and they left before 8:00am. I own this chicken farm with my three brothers, and we worked day and night for 18 years to build up our business. The Israelis destroyed everything in less than four hours." Nasser Jaber's chicken farm was bulldozed by the Israeli Occupation Forces 10 days ago, in the early morning hours of 16 May, while he was sleeping at home in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip.

UN team 'devastated' by Gaza stories: Tutu
UN human rights observers led by Desmond Tutu on Wednesday met survivors of a 2006 Israeli bombing that killed 19 Palestinian civilians in Gaza, leading the South African cleric to say the group was "devastated" by what they learned. The UN team travelled to the town of Beit Hanun in northern Gaza where residents told of the Israeli shelling on the night of November 8, 2006, that killed the civilians, including five women and eight children, in their homes.

Egypt to supply Gaza power plant with gas
Egyptian Minister of Petroleum Amin Sameh Samir Fahmi said on Tuesday that Egypt would supply gas to the Palestinian Gaza power plant, the Egyptian MENA news agency reported. Fahmi made the remarks at a meeting with visiting head of the Palestinian energy and natural resources department Omar Kattana, the report said.

Egyptian police uncover 500 kg TNT near Rafah
TNT was hidden in 10 bags near border crossing. Egyptian police also discover various weapons from around 30 years ago hidden in central Sinai village.,7340,L-3548630,00.html

Hamas hails Egyptian gas supply to Gaza
The government of the Islamic Hamas movement in Gaza welcomed on Wednesday a proposal for supplying Gaza Strip main power plant with Egyptian gas.

Hamas calls on Palestinian masses to participate in Friday march towards Sufa
In the context of its anti-siege activities, Hamas called on the Palestinian masses in Gaza to participate in the march heading at noon Friday towards the Sufa border crossing, east of Rafah.

Palestinian President meets with Hamas government leaders
In a meeting that could re-start stalled national unity talks between the two main Palestinian political parties, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (with the Fateh party) met with leaders from the rival Hamas party on Monday.

Life and Death at Gaza's Al Shifa Hospital: A Tale of Two Mothers and Their Sons
ONLY A FEW DAYS earlier, his family believed 16-year-old Ahmed Abu Salamah to be dead. They had erected a mourning tent and buried what they thought were what was left of his body. Two weeks after the funeral, however, Ahmed's friends contacted his mother to tell her that her son was still alive and in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. Neither she nor her husband could believe it, but they rushed there anyway—to discover that their son was indeed alive.

West Bank Palestinians live in horror of losing their homes
Salim Hamed Jaber, 85, shook his head angrily as he recounted how an Israeli soldier drove up to his impoverished household in the occupied West Bank to deliver a demolition order. "Living under the occupation is like having a piece of glass in your throat," said Jaber.

IDF uncovers 2 pipe bombs near Hebron
IDF forces operating southeast of the West Bank city of Hebron uncovered two pipe bombs and military gear.  Sappers dispatched to the scene detonated the bombs in a controlled manner. No injuries were reported.,7340,L-3548723,00.html

Palestinian police get training in riot control
Palestinian police officers in riot gear trained under the desert sun Tuesday as part of a European Union-sponsored public order course begun after a deadly clash between police and demonstrators last fall.

Tutu meets Hamas leader in Gaza
Nobel peace laureate Desmond Tutu on Tuesday held talks with a senior Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip where he led a UN fact-finding mission into the killing of 19 Palestinian civilians in an 2006 Israeli artillery attack.

Tutu tells Haniyeh fire on Sderot must stop
South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who heads the UN delegation investigating the death of a Palestinian family from IDF fire in 2006, met with Hamas prime minister in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh and told him that "the firing of rockets on Sderot must stop.",7340,L-3548669,00.html

Rights group says human rights abuses up in Gaza and West Bank
Human rights conditions have worsened in both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank since Hamas ousted Fatah in Gaza last year, a Palestinian rights group said on Tuesday.

Human rights organization condemns detention of 2 journalists in Gaza City
PNN - The Palestinian Center for Human Rights with offices in Gaza City and Jabaliya Refugee Camp issued a condemnation of the continual targeting of journalists, not just by Israeli forces, but by the Hamas government and the Palestinian Authority.

Hamas revises prisoner list for Shalit exchange
Hamas is preparing a revised list of prisoners that it wants Israel to release, in a bid to reach a deal with Israel on freeing abducted Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit, as well as an agreement on a cease-fire and the reopening of the Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza. The list of prisoners will be sent to Israel for perusal via Egyptian mediators.

Palestinian religious affairs minister says Hajj registration only permitted through caretaker government
Ramallah – Ma'an – Palestinian Minister of Awqaf (Religious Endowments) Jamal Bawatna announced on Tuesday that his ministry would not recognise any announcement by the Minister of Awqaf in the Hamas-run de facto government in the Gaza Strip relating to arrangements for Hajj pilgrims from the Strip. At a press conference today in Ramallah, Bawatna stated that the announcement in Gaza that registration for the Hajj would begin on May 25th had not been coordinated with the Ramallah-based government and that his ministry would not deal with those registering in Gaza.

Ex-detainee calls on Abbas to respond to Hamas efforts to restore unity
Newly released prisoner Sa'eed Al-Dahbur, 33, called on PA chief Mahmoud Abbas to extend his hand to Hamas and respond to its efforts to restore national unity.

Jailed Palestinian lawmakers urge Arab League and Qatar to press for Palestinian national reconciliation
Palestinian lawmakers detained in Israeli jails on Tuesday released a message from their prison cells calling on the Arab League and Qatar to increase their efforts for national reconciliation between rival factions Hamas and Fatah. The lawmakers, imprisoned in Megiddo, Ofer, and Nitsan Prisons, stressed that reconciliation between the two factions should be based on the higher interests and principles of the Palestinian people.

Hamas calls on Arab states to pressure Abbas to agree to national dialog
DAMASCUS, (PIC)-- The Hamas Movement has called on the Arab countries to exercise their role in pressuring PA chief Mahmoud Abbas to accept comprehensive national dialog away from the Zio-American dictates and his impracticable preconditions. Mohamed Nasr, a member of the Hamas political bureau, stressed the importance of the Arab role in ending the inter-Palestinian division, underlining that the Palestinian file seems to be more complicated than the Lebanese file because there is a party which refuses dialog and imposes unattainable conditions, so this requires more pressures on the PA to respond to national dialog.

Lawmakers slam Jordan's foreign policy towards Syria, Palestinians
Amman - Members of Jordan's parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee have blasted what they called the 'failure' of the country's foreign policy to improve ties with Syria and to adopt an even-handed policy towards the feuding Palestinian factions of Hamas and Fatah, the daily Alarab Alyawm reported Tuesday.

MKs demand Olmert's resignation
Following Talansky's testimony, right, left-wing MKs call on prime minister to step down. Livnat: Olmert must go, elections must be held. Orlev: PM has lost moral authority.,7340,L-3548659,00.html

Fayyad expected to shuffle cabinet soon
Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad is expected to reshuffle the cabinet of the Palestinian caretaker government soon, political sources in Ramallah told Ma'an on Monday. Fayyad will meet with Azzam Al-Ahmad, the head of the Fatah bloc in the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) to discuss the changes. There is said to be controversy within the Fatah movement about the performance of Fayyad's government, especially at this weekend's meeting of the Fatah Revolutionary Council.

Eitam: MK Tibi 'Dr. Blood'
Knesset Ethics Committee reprimands lawmakers Tibi, Eitam for two-sided verbal assault. Tibi: Eitam is heinous civilian murderer; Eitam: Tibi betraying country on regular basis.,7340,L-3548590,00.html

Talansky: Olmert got $150,000 from me, introduced me to tycoons

U.S. businessman tells court he gave Olmert money for hotels, vacation as well as campaigns, never asked for anything in return.

"Le petit soldat" dancing on Palestinian graves?
The following is a 25 May 2008 open letter to filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard endorsed by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel and a list of Palestinian and Arab filmmakers: Palestinian artists were devastated to learn that you shall visit Israel soon to participate in a film festival in Tel Aviv, despite Israel's decades-old colonial and racist policies against the indigenous people of Palestine.

Are You A Coward Like Me?
From time to time I receive from my friends in the Middle East, horrific photographs of the atrocities perpetrated on the Palestinians by the IDF. (Israel Defence Force) Apparently these photographs are never ever distributed in the western media; they are in fact, censored.

Reham Alhelsi - The Unforgotten City and its Forgotten Suffering
Jerusalem, the holy city, a city once the religious, social and economic center of the Palestinians for thousands of years, has turned into a ghost city under Israeli occupation. Moslems, Christians and Jews lived peacefully here until the Zionists started implementing their plans of establishing a Zionist state in Palestine. A city that was open throughout the centuries has become a closed city under the rule of what Bush and others call "the only democracy in the Middle East"! In what other country in the world is the original Moslem and Christian population prevented from living in their own city and reaching their holy places?

Israelis and Arabs Walk Into a Film...In "You Don't Mess With the Zohan" (opening June 6), Mr. Sandler plays an Israeli assassin who flees to the United States to become a hairdresser. Trailers for the film promise plenty of broad farce, physical comedy and at least one lewd dance routine. What the ad campaign for "Zohan" does not emphasize is that the film also attempts to satirize the continuing tensions between Israel and its Arab neighbors, and provide humorous commentary on one of the least funny topics of modern times with a comedian who is not exactly known for incisive political wit.

Under-fire Egypt minister 'dreams' of normal ties with Israel
Egypt's Culture Minister Faruq Hosni, a candidate to head UNESCO but under fire from the Jewish state, said on Tuesday he "dreams" of normal ties with Israel once it has made peace with the Palestinians.

US academic deported and banned for criticising Israel
Norman Finkelstein, the controversial Jewish American academic and fierce critic of Israel, has been deported from the country and banned from the Jewish state for 10 years, it emerged yesterday.

Construction of Wall in Ni'lin ''Deepening Israel's Apartheid System in Palestine''
Ramallah, 26-05-08: "The further expansion and consolidation of Israel's Apartheid system in Palestine," is how Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi, Secretary General of the PNI, today described the confiscation of Palestinian land for the construction of the Apartheid Wall in the village of Ni'lin, some 5 kilometres inside the Green Line. A peaceful demonstration by Palestinians, internationals and Israelis against construction of the Wall on village lands is currently underway in Ni'lin, and has been met with heavy violence by the Israeli military. Some 50 soldiers, 10 military jeeps, and a special jeep to launch up to 24 tear gas canisters at one time have been deployed in the area, and soldiers are shooting tear gas, sound bombs and rubber-coated bullets at the peaceful and unarmed demonstrators. A number of people have been injured, including a Canadian woman who experienced breathing problems after being caught in a fog of tear gas.

FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, May 27

At Least 16 Iraqis Killed As Bloody US Occupation Continues
In Baghdad, an Awakening Council (Sahwa) member was killed and three others were wounded in Adhamiya. Also, 290 detainees were released.

Six killed and 44 wounded in north Iraq blast
Six people died and 44 were wounded in a blast Tuesday west of the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, an official said.

Roadside bombs kill 2 U. S. occupation force soldiers in Iraq:
Two U. S. soldiers were killed in a pair of roadside bombings over the weekend, the U. S. military announced Monday.

UNHCR faces difficulty helping neediest Iraqis in Jordan
Amid rising food and energy prices, exacerbated by the withdrawal of state fuel subsidies, the UN refugee agency will find it increasingly difficult to help the growing numbers of Iraqi refugees in need of assistance in Jordan.

Sweden PM: US, EU must admit more Iraq refugees
Sweden's prime minister urged the United States and European countries to step up and admit more Iraqi refugees and said Tuesday that his Scandinavian country has shouldered too much of the burden.

Al-Sadr calls for protests against US occupation and security deal
Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr Tuesday called on followers to hold weekly protests against a long-term security deal that the Iraqi and US governments are negotiating. A statement from al-Sadr said Iraqis should hold demonstrations every week after Friday prayers in every part of the country "until further notice or until the agreement is cancelled.",extra-al-sadr-calls-for-protests-

US 'close' to Iraq military deal
Pact to seal details of long term US presence but official denies seeking permanent bases.

Blackwater grand jury hears from Iraqi witnesses
Three Iraqis, including the father of a slain 9-year-old boy, appeared Tuesday before a federal grand jury investigating a deadly Sept. 16 shooting in Baghdad involving Blackwater Worldwide contractors.

Iraq's main Sunni bloc suspends government talks
Iraq's main Sunni Arab political bloc said on Wednesday it had suspended talks to rejoin the Shi'ite-led government after a disagreement with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki over a cabinet post.

Shiite Leader al-Sadr Seeks To Be Iraq Icon Like His Father
When the revered head of Iraq's largest Shiite opposition group was assassinated in 1999, the mantle of leadership passed to an unexpected heir: Moqtada al-Sadr, then a 25-year-old video game aficionado who oversaw the movement's security forces.

Al-Sadr getting ready to lead Iraq?
When the revered head of Iraq's largest Shiite opposition group was assassinated in 1999, the mantle of leadership passed to an unexpected heir: Muqtada al-Sadr, then a 25-year-old video-game aficionado who oversaw the movement's security forces.

Iraq reopens bombed bridge, vows to defeat militants
Iraqi officials reopened a landmark Baghdad bridge on Tuesday after it was destroyed by a truck bomb last year, vowing to defeat terrorists and unite a country ravaged by sectarian strife.

Activists and UN: Iraqi women need more security
Stockholm_(dpa) _ Increased security for women and other vulnerable groups needs to be further strengthened in Iraq, Iraqi women organizations and UN representatives said Wednesday.

Iraq alcohol sellers pray bombers won't return
After living in fear for months, liquor store owners in Baghdad are proudly displaying everything from Iraqi Asriya Arak to Johnnie Walker Blue Label whisky, a sign that peace and stability may return.

Former anti-terror czar Clarke: Staying in Iraq 'helps Al-Qaeda'
Maintaining US combat troops in Iraq "helps Al-Qaeda" and Washington should pull them from the ravaged country if it wants to see progress in the war on terror, former US anti-terror czar Richard Clarke said Tuesday.

Rally's veterans, activists seek to avoid glorifying war
The night before he hanged himself with a garden hose in the basement of his parents' home, Jeffrey Lucey asked if he could sit on his father's lap. For the better part of an hour, Kevin Lucey quietly held his 23-year-old son, an Iraq war veteran who had returned depressed and deeply ashamed of what he said was his brutal treatment of Iraqis. When Kevin Lucey discovered his son's body the next night, there was a suicide note: "I am totally embarrassed at the man I have become and I hope you can remember me only as a child."

War disabled the most marginalised in Iraq
According to a recent study, more than a million people have been disabled on account of the war. The government and civil society are not taking care of them, with serious psychological consequences and tensions within families.

Bush wants $600 million for Iraq police; but cuts aid to U.S. cops
WASHINGTON — At the same time the Bush administration has been pushing for deep cuts in a popular crime-fighting program for states and cities, the White House has been fighting for approval of $603 million for the Iraqi police.

Tony Benn: A Million or More Dead
The destruction of Iraq continues; its people killed amidst bombings and atrocities, a million or more dead, many more than two million driven from their homes, the social and economic infrastructure shattered. In Afghanistan the US military is spending $65,000 a minute and there are four times as many air strikes than in Iraq.

Bush misled U.S. on Iraq, former aide says in new book
WASHINGTON — In a book due out Monday, former White House press secretary Scott McClellan offers a blistering review of the administration and concludes that his longtime boss misled the nation into an unnecessary war in Iraq.

Bush's Iraq wrangles alarm lawmakers
Legislators in both Baghdad and Washington are concerned over talks between Iraq and the United States over a deal to determine the relationship between the countries. Iraqis feel they are being rail-roaded, while US Democrats fear President George W Bush's attempts to set the Iraq framework will tie the hands of the next president - whom Democrats strongly hope will come from their ranks.

12-Part Doc Series Looks At U.S. Through Lens Of 4 Young Arabs During 10-Week Cross-Country Journey.

Another Milestone for Dr. Al-Arian Spent in Prison
VIRGINIA-- This past week, Dr. Sami Al-Arian marked the 33rd anniversary of his arrival to the United States. Dr. Al-Arian, who is currently being held at the Hampton Roads Regional Jail in Portsmouth, Virginia, awaits deportation by immigration officials while a Virginia prosecutor attempts to keep Dr. Al-Arian imprisoned indefinitely. On April 11, Dr. Al-Arian completed his sentence, following an additional year spent in civil contempt for his refusal to testify before a grand jury. A plea agreement reached with the government in 2006 called for Dr. Al-Arian's immediate release and deportation and promised to protect him from cooperation. After spending more than five years in prison, much of it in solitary confinement, Dr. Al- Arian has spent the last six weeks in legal limbo -not serving a sentence and not charged, but not allowed to leave the country.

John Bolton to be target of citizen's arrest at Hay Festival
John Bolton, the former US ambassador to the United Nations, faces a citizen's arrest when he addresses an audience at the Hay Festival in Wales this evening.

For further information contact Shadi Fadda

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