Israeli Naval vessels are currently firing on unamrmed Palestinian fishing boats and international human rights workers off the coast of the Gaza Strip. The fishing boats are several miles off the coast of Gaza City, in Palestinian territorial waters. As of 11am (4am EST) no one had been injured, but live ammunition is still being fired in the direction of the civilian boats.
Human Rights Workers to Accompany Gaza Fishermen on Monday
Human Rights Observers from the Free Gaza Movement and the International Solidarity Movement launch campaign to monitor Israeli naval aggression against Gazan fishermen. According to a recent article in The Guardian, "Under the Oslo accords, which in 1993 were supposed to herald the coming of an independent Palestinian state, Gazan fishermen were to be allowed 20 nautical miles out to sea, where they could catch sardine as they migrated from the Nile delta up towards Turkey during the spring.
Health ministry: Two children die due to the siege and the politicized strike
The health ministry in Gaza stated Sunday that the ongoing Israeli siege and the PA politicized strikes claimed the lives of two Palestinian children.
Israel-OPT: Settler violence against Palestinians on the rise
Violence by settlers perpetrated against Palestinians has been on the rise in recent weeks in Hebron and the surrounding areas, residents and international observers said. "These areas are hot spots for violence and are priority areas for us," said Matteo Benatti, head of the International Committee of the Red Cross’s (ICRC’s) delegation in the city.
Rafah terminal opens on Sunday for patients, stranded students
The Egyptian authorities on Sunday opened the Rafah border terminal with Gaza and allowed entry of Palestinian patients and stranded students into its territory for the first time in several months.
Report: Palestinian critically injured by IDF
Violent clashes in West Bank village of Naalin continue to claim victims: According to Palestinians, mentally ill man sustains wounded by four metal-coated rubber bullets fired at him point blank by Israeli soldiers during his brother’s arrest.
IOF troops kidnap four Palestinians
Israeli occupation forces on Sunday kidnapped four Palestinian young men at a roadblock south of Nablus city after ordering them out of their car and searching them, eyewitnesses reported.
Gazan woman slain by father over family honor; father and brothers arrested
A 24-year-old Palestinian woman found dead with her hands and feet bound was taken to Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip on Sunday. A report from the Palestine Center for Human Rights said that the father of the woman, 67-year-old Hussein Mustafa Kaware from the Jourat Al-Lout area in the southern Gaza Strip town of Khan Yunis, went to the Gaza police station and confessed to killing his daughter, Hala. Police went to the man’s home and dug up the body of the young woman, which was found with hands and feet bound, and her mouth muzzled. Hala’s father is reported to have confessed to the crime, saying that he "did it to protect the family honor." Mustafa and his four sons were arrested by police.
Violence, attacks and threats? Not here
Does the latest indictment mean that the modesty patrols have finally been caught? The attack in question came to light due to a complaint by a 31-year-old woman who lives in Jerusalem’s Ma’alot Dafna neighborhood. Until her divorce three years ago, she led a Haredi lifestyle, and after she abandoned this way of life, she continued to live in the Haredi neighborhood. According to the indictment, the modesty patrols suspected that she "was carrying on improper relationships with married men," and therefore planned to attack her in order to cause her to leave and to "pay her back" for her deeds. ..Many people interviewed for the current article, however, believe that the recent attack in Ma’alot Dafna was a local operation "related to family honor," and had no connection to the modesty patrols or the Committee for Preserving Our Camp’s Purity.
Haredi chastity squad methods exposed
Following arrest of chastity squad members, riots erupt in religious neighborhoods. Former members reveal how squads operate – The arrests of two alleged chastity squads members, Elhanan Buzaglo and Binyamin Meirovich, have sparked a new wave of violence in Jerusalem’s ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods. Following the arrests, garbage bins in the neighborhood of Geula were set on fire. Police officers who arrived were greeted with rocks being thrown at them. A store selling MP4 devices was attacked last week. Buzaglo, 29, was indicted over an incident which took place two months ago. The District Prosecutor’s Office believes that Buzaglo, along with six other chastity squad members, broke into a divorced woman’s home located in the Jerusalem neighborhood of, Maalot Dafna, beat her and threatened her.
Haniyeh’s nephew released from Israeli prison after 15 years
Gaza Ma’an After serving 15 years in Israeli prisons, the nephew of Palestinian Prime Minister of the de facto government Ismail Haniyeh was released. Abel Mo’ti Haniyeh was released on Sunday afternoon, and is not at Erez crossing on his way to the Gaza Strip.
The announcement came Sunday from the media spokesperson for senior prisoners Mahmoud Abu Hasirah. According to Abu Hasirah, Haniyeh served his sentence in different prisons including Ashkelon, Nafha, Hadarim and Megedo. He also spent time in solitary confinement.
Caretaker gov’t decides to flatten Saraya compound
Dr. Yousef Al-Mansi, the minister of public works, stated that the caretaker government decided to demolish, during the coming three months, the governmental Saraya compound.
Demonstrations in Ni’lin continue after a 4 month old baby is injured and a 9 year old shot in the head
On Thursday morning Occupation forces stormed the town in an attempt to suppress protests and intimidate the people of Ni’lin. The military gathered close to the girls’ secondary school and fired tear gas and sound bombs, terrifying the the children. They fired on various homes and directly into the home of Said Salim Khawaje, whose 4 month old baby suffered from the suffocating gas. They later attacked a Bedouin family who lives close to the path of the Apartheid Wall outside the village.
New Israeli Medical Association boycott website
The Medical Committee for Boycott of the Israeli Medical Association (IMA) has launched a new website. The site contains information, articles and analysis on the Occupation’s use of torture as well as the acceptance by Israeli doctors of this practice. The boycott targets the IMA because it has consistently refused to condemn or issue advise doctors who are involved with torture. As an institution, the role of the IMA is to insure that international medical standards are met.
Egypt closes Gaza border after thousands cross
AFP – Egypt on Monday closed the border crossing between Sinai and the Hamas-run Gaza Strip after a brief opening allowed thousands in and out of the besieged territory, a security official said.
Hamas rejects Egypt’s suggestion to send troops to Gaza
Gaza Ma’an Hamas slammed Egypt’s suggestion that troops be sent into Gaza to stabilize the situation. The statements of Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmad Abu Al-Gheit were published in the Egyptian daily newspaper Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat on Saturday. He commented that he believed Arab forces would help end internal clashes, and make Israel paus e before braking the truce in Gaza.
Hamas angered by Egypt’s statement of deploying Arab forces in Gaza
In what appeared as an angry objection letter from Hamas against the statements of Egypt’s Foreign Minister Ahmad Abu Al Gheit who spoke of the possibility of sending Arab b forces to Gaza in order to end the tension and internal unrest, Hamas said that it totally rejects this idea and will fight any Arab or foreign forces that tries to deploy in Gaza.
As a Palestinian state recedes, Jordan contacts Hamas
Jordan’s move to thaw relations with the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) following nine years of estrangement has raised eyebrows as to the timing and the motives behind this tactic. Internal and external factors dictated the rapprochement amid growing Jordanian dismay at American and Israeli behavior – the kingdom’s main strategic allies since the turn of the century. Hence, the timing bears significance considering the last months of President George W. Bush’s tenure and Israel’s political paralysis. On the other side, the Palestinian Authority (PA) led by Mahmoud Abbas looks headed toward failure in light of Hamas’ pounding and US-Israeli indifference.
Hamas and Fatah agree to form committee to end political arrests
Rival Palestinian factions of Hamas and Fatah have finally reached a deal on forming a committee to end politically-motivated arrests.
The committee will be divided into one based in the Hamas-controlled Gaza and the other one based in the West Bank where the Fatah-dominated Palestinian National Authority (PNA) rules, said Kayed al-Ghoul, an official from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
Arab League vows not to accept continuation of Palestinian split
The Cairo-based Arab League (AL) vowed here Sunday not to accept the continuation of Palestinian division and bloodletting. AL Secretary General Amr Moussa reiterated the Arab stance in press statements at a ceremony to honor Hussein Abdel-Khaleq, permanent Palestinian delegate to the AL, on the occasion of the end of his tour of duty, according to Egypt’s official MENA news agency.
Olmert to Abbas: You’re not supposed to meet killers
Prime Minister Olmert reprimands Palestinian leader over his meeting with released murderer Samir Kuntar; Abbas requests another prisoner release but Olmert’s associates say PM made no such pledge.
Diskin: PA heading for tumultuous times
Shin Bet chief briefs cabinet on current security, political situation in Palestinian Authority, says end of Abbas’ presidency may plunge PA into political turmoil.
Shin Bet chief: Abbas’ time as PA President is running out
Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin on Sunday told the cabinet that Mahmoud Abbas’ time as Palestinian President was nearing its end as elections in the Palestinian Authority approach.
Free Gaza Boat’s members condemn being denied access through the Rafah terminal
Members of the Free Gaza Boat, who opted to leave Gaza through the Rafah crossing terminal, in solidarity with the Palestinian people, condemned on Monday the Egyptian authorities denial of their access through the terminal.
Ynet: Gaza activists say will run Israel blockade again
‘Free-Gaza’ activists plan return to Strip within a month. ‘This might be the beginning of a simple delivery service, if we can set up the mechanisms here in Cyprus,’ member says.
Statistics: West Bank population above 2 million
An official Palestinian population census published on Monday by the Palestinian Statistic Center (PSC) showed that the Palestinian population in the West Bank has grown up to 2,350,000. Lo’ai Shabana, director in chief of PSC said in a statement that the latest results of the population census held in the West Bank in 2007 showed that the population grew from 1,873,000 people in 1997 to 2,350,000 people in 2007.
Growth in the land of contradictions
Today’s West Bank is a land of shocking contrasts of one set of rules and rights for Palestinians and another for Jewish settlers. Palestinian lives are under the absolute control of the Israeli army, which can either seal off communities with roadblocks or invade them at will. The Palestinian economy is being slowly strangled by the separation barrier. Few Palestinians are allowed any longer to seek work inside Israel, and their freedom to move around the West Bank is severely curtailed by hundreds of checkpoints and almost unattainable travel permits.
Fuel prices to rise 0.50 percent Sunday at midnight
Bethlehem Ma’an Fuel prices will increase 0.50 percent at midnight on Sunday, according to Israeli sources. Benzene with 95 octane will reach 6.69 shekels per liter in self-service, and 96 octane benzene prices will reach 6.71 shekels per liter in self-service.
Full service prices will be 0.12 shekels higher per liter.
Israel opens Al Aqsa mosque to some Palestinians for Ramadan
Israel said Sunday it will allow some, but not all Palestinians to go to the Al Aqsa mosque in East Jerusalem during the holy month of Ramadan that begins Monday. In a statement, the Israeli military said Palestinian men aged 45 to 50 and married could join Friday prayers at the mosque, the third most sacred venue in Islam.
IOA bans entry of Palestinians less than 45 years old into Aqsa Mosque
A spokesman for the IOF has said that all Palestinians under 45 years living in the West Bank would be barred from entering the Aqsa Mosque during Friday congregations in the holy month of Ramadan.
Shadow over Mideast Ramadan mood
Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, West Bank and Arab East Jerusalem stock up ahead of the holy month of Ramadan.
Palestinians in the West Bank and Jerusalem stock up ahead of the holy month of Ramadan. In Gaza, the crippled economy of a territory under siege overshadows the atmosphere.
Ex-Ambassador to U.S.: Arabs in Galilee are secessionist threat
Will the Arabs of the Galilee declare independence one day like Kosovo, Abkhazia or South Ossetia? According to Danny Ayalon, Israel’s former ambassador to the United States, the answer is definitely yes. In Ayalon’s first public appearance since he joined the right-wing Yisrael Beiteinu party on Saturday, he warned on Sunday: "If the government of Israel does not act to have a Jewish majority in the North, then the Arab majority in the Galilee will declare independence and [demand] international recognition on the basis of the precedents of Kosovo, Abkhazia and [South Ossetia].
Med-Enec backed West Bank geothermal pilot project presented at Ramallah conference
The pilot project is one unit in a complex of 62 ‘conventional’ semi-detached villas built on an area of 24,000 square metres. The 390 square metres demonstration villa includes three floors, a walk-out basement and a garage. The main elements of the energy concept for the building are good insulation of the basement floor, walls and windows, and the use of geothermal energy. 10 vertical boreholes, each 70 metres deep, deliver enough energy to the 23 KW heating and cooling system with two heat pumps in order to reduce annual heating and cooling costs from $3,300 to merely $850 per year. This produces energy cost savings of over 70%, which means that, with the high energy prices in Palestine, the pay-back period is less than five years.
Hamas Seeking to Come in from Cold
Chances of coming in from the cold are looking better for Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist movement ruling the Gaza Strip, as the world braces itself for crucial changes in political leaderships and power shifts that might also bring strategic policy turns in the Middle East.
The U.S. George W. Bush administration, which has led a fierce campaign against Hamas and is widely seen as the friendliest U.S. government yet to Israel, has fewer than 150 days left in office, with no sign that the peace talks it is sponsoring between the Palestinian Authority (PA), led by President Mahmoud Abbas, and Israel are getting anywhere.
‘Orchestra against ignorance’ plays on
Tales are swapped of checkpoints and roadblocks, of persecution and circumscription, of inconceivable tragedy and duress. Whichever war-afflicted Middle East country they happen to be from, these youngsters have probably experienced horrors their Western counterparts could never dream of. "Suffering is the monopoly of no one," Said once observed: of course there are political and religious backgrounds in conflict here, but the moment the musicians are on stage, "the personal stories drop away, become irrelevant".
To Carry a Camera in Gaza
Anybody carrying a camera in the Gaza Strip is a potential target. This is the simple conclusion that can be reached following the Israeli military prosecutor’s report that was issued a few days ago. The report cleared Israeli soldiers who shot dead Palestinian cameraman Fadel Shana who died on April 16, 2008 along with eight unarmed youths under 16 years of age. Why did Israeli soldiers venture upon launching two missiles towards a group of unarmed youths and the Reuters cameraman who was holding his camera and whose clothes and equipment were clearly marked ‘press’?
Israeli PR Fails the Test
When Ron Prosor arrived in London last year to take up his post as Israeli ambassador he was eager to step up public relations. He told the Israeli newspaper Haaretz: "I’m not afraid to appear anywhere, and there is no platform that I will not utilize for PR work."
Boy meets girl – it’s a Middle Eastern EastEnders with checkpoints
There’s a small but telltale moment in the first episode of Matabb, the new – indeed, first – Palestinian soap opera, when the camera shows a flashy, cherry-red BMW with the yellow licence plate starting to fall off. It is meant to tell you everything you need to know about its slick-haired driver, Abdallah – glossy on the outside, but really a thieving braggart not to be trusted with young ladies.
Seth Freedman: Giving, across the divide
Seth Freedman: The Jerusalem interest-free microfinance fund has been set up to benefit both poor Muslims and Jews in the holy city.
Israel ready to mull leaving part of northern border town of Ghajar
Israel told the United States on Sunday it was prepared to withdraw from the northern part of Ghajar on the Lebanese border, a change in its policy for the past year and a half of not wanting to discuss the issue. A government source in Jerusalem said the decision was made after the Lebanese government delivered written assurances that UNIFIL would be given security and civilian control over the northern part of the village, which is in Lebanese territory.
Sheikh Kassem: Hezbollah Will Avenge Imad Moghniyeh
Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Kassem told Al-Manar TV Friday that revenge for the assassination of top resistance commander martyr Imad Moghniyeh (Hajj Redwan) was a legitimate right of the resistance and "will come as a surprise to the Israelis when it happens." "Revenge is the legitimate right. For everything there is a time, God willing," Sheikh Kassem continued. "We won’t get into details, but the Israelis will be surprised."
Strategies of Resistance in Palestine
In a recent article on Palestinian political economy we are given a lucid and comprehensive account of neo liberal economic policy and the US-Israeli and European involvement in the process of integrating the Palestinian economy into a source of profiteering for the former colonial powers (and Pax Americana). (1). This should not surprise anyone familiar with the historical trajectory of colonialism and neo-colonialism. However, it is incumbent on all who support the liberation of Palestine to understand the economic realities that are propelling the strategies of resistance to continued colonial and neo-colonial exploitation of the people of Palestine. It would also assist in identifying and forwarding these strategies if the big picture of the Palestinian Authority’s fraudulent claims of settling final status issues with Israel are seen for what they are, a surrender of Palestinian national rights. In this article I shall draw out the implications of the above-mentioned article for political struggle in Palestine.
"If he steals my cow, that is bad. If I steal his cow, that is good" – this moral rule was attributed by European racists to the Hottentots, an ancient tribe in Southern Africa. It’s hard not to be reminded of this when the United States and the European countries cry out against Russia’s recognition of the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, the two provinces which seceded from the Republic of Sakartvelo, known in the West as Georgia.
U.N. troops offer lessons in peace in Lebanon
EBEL AL SAQI, LEBANON — The yoga instructor chuckles, and the three dozen or so women follow along, giggling nervously before bursting through some invisible layer of restraint or sorrow and laughing with abandon. Grins widen into smiles, tentative squeals bloom into full-bore howls. The yoga instructor is teaching inner peace, but he’s also trying to keep the peace: He’s Warrant Officer Mal Singh of the Indian army, part of a 30-year-old United Nations force stationed in southern Lebanon.
http://www.latimes.com/video/?slug=la-fg-peacekeeper-vids (both videos)
Sunday: 13 Iraqis Killed, 8 Wounded
Excerpt: Updated at 6:45 p.m. EDT, Aug. 31, 2008 At least 13 Iraqis were killed and 8 more were wounded in the latest attacks. Meanwhile, the tense situation between central government forces and Peshmerga forces continues in Khanaqin. Also, Ramadan begins tomorrow for Sunni Muslims and the day after for Shi’ites.
Iraq: At least 7 killed as US occupation grinds on
A member of a U.S.-backed neighbourhood patrol and three of his relatives were killed.
US to hand over Anbar as Iraqi Sunnis begin Ramadan
AFP – The US military will hand over security control of Anbar, once the most explosive battlefield in Iraq, to local forces on Monday as Iraqi Sunnis begin observing the holy month of Ramadan.
Qaeda defectors claw way back into Iraq mainstream
AFP – Last month Al-Qaeda fighters Abdul Rahman Mohammed and Ahmed Ali laid down their arms after nearly four years of fighting US soldiers in Iraq.
Relations sour between Kurds and central government
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has asked Kurdish militias known locally as peshmerqa to evacuate areas south of the "green line" demarcating the autonomous Kurdish enclave in northern Iraq. Maliki has went as far as sending Iraqi troops to flush out the Kurdish militias from villages, towns and cities officially not part of the Kurdish region. Iraqi troops have reportedly spread their control in the string of towns and villages in the restive Province of Diyala which the Kurds claimed as their.
Immunity a sticking point in US-Iraq security pact: report
AFP – Iraq and the United States are still far apart on the issue of immunity for American troops, according to a draft security agreement between the two countries published by an Iraqi paper on Monday.
Maliki’s growing defiance of U.S. worries allies and critics
BAGHDAD Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki has been on a roll, and American officials are getting worried.
Iraq largely free of foreign fighters: police
AFP – Counter-offensives by the security forces over the past year have largely rid Iraq of foreign fighters recruited by insurgent groups such as Al-Qaeda, a top police commander said on Monday.
Iraqi unable to shake the feeling of homelessness
Reporter is able to get back his Baghdad home from squatters, but the plundered house and the state of the country leave him feeling bereft. My family’s home was taken over by insurgents 19 months ago. On Sunday, we got it back.
ME Arabs ‘reject’ idea of Iran strike
By and large, Arabs in the Middle East "absolutely reject" an Israeli or American strike on Iran or its nuclear facilities and believe the Islamic Republic is being "targeted" for reasons other than its nuclear program, an Egyptian expert on Iran has told The Jerusalem Post. Slideshow:Unlike the US-led Iraq War of 2003, an attack on Iran would likely fail to garner any Arab support and any country that chooses to participate in such a strike would be branded a traitor, said Mohammed Said Idris, head of the Gulf Studies department at the Cairo-based Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies and editor of Iran Digest.
Evangelicals in Israel back McCain
Evangelical Christians living in Jerusalem on Sunday voiced unflinching support for presumptive Republican nominee John McCain, and heaped praise on his surprise selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate. "McCain has a depth of understanding of foreign policy – including in the Middle East – which makes him the best choice for Israel," said Michael Mott, a native of Colorado who has lived in Israel for the past 12 years. McCain’s choice of Palin was a "strategic move" that "blew away" last week’s Democratic National Convention, he said, adding that it was certain to win him more votes in the November election. The selection of Palin, who is anti-abortion and pro-gun rights, electrified social conservatives, including Evangelicals, who had previously been tepid about McCain’s candidacy.