israeli defense forces
This scrapes the bottom of the barrel!
You’d have thought that the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) would have had their hands full already – maintaining the Occupation, making night-time raids, detaining people without trail, demolishing houses, etc., etc. But this just goes way to far! How can anybody attack a puppet show?!
In truth, it’s only a tiny incident when seen in the context of the greater Occupation, Even so, let’s not let this one pass without comment! It simply isn’t right to target a harmless children’s show!
Israel orders Palestinian puppet show closed
For the first time in twenty years, Israel’s public security ministry temporarily shut down the theater.
Everything is in place for the opening of its annual puppet festival today — except the El-Hakawati theater has been ordered closed by Israeli authorities.
For the first time in twenty years, Israel’s public security ministry temporarily shut down the theater. Police spokesman Luba Samri told AFP the puppet festival’s activities “were being organized under the auspices of the Palestinian Authority.”
The venue’s director Mohammed Halayiqa has filed an appeal that will be heard at Israel’s Supreme Court on Thursday, arguing that an event cannot be cancelled because the PA funds it.
He says Norway, a longtime supporter of Palestinian cultural events, actually provided the resources for the puppet festival, through the offices of a local cultural fund.
“I am completely shocked,” Halayiqa told GlobalPost, after the ministry summoned him to receive the closure notice.
El-Hakawati is a central cultural venue in East Jerusalem, where the majority of the city’s Palestinian population lives.
Two months ago, it hosted the Ramallah Contemporary Dance Festival, funded by French, Swiss, British, and Palestinian donors.
Israeli and Palestinian activists say they are planning a protest Thursday.
“It just breaks your heart,” Tzaphira Stern-Assal, an Israeli activist with the left wing Meretz party, said in front of the theater today. She is helping organizing the protests tomorrow.
Apparently the authorities decided “too many people gathering here would pose a risk to the state,” she sarcastically quipped.
Here’s a solid example of the sort of daily violations that take place every day at the hands of the Israeli Defense Forces.
This story wouldn’t be considered newsworthy in a major publication but appeared in the ‘Lancashire Evening Post’ because it concerned a local.
Peace activist refused entry to Palestine
A Preston man who was arrested while working as a peace activist in Israel has been denied entry into Palestine.
Gordon Bennett, 43, said he was kicked, punched and strangled by Israeli troops while recording human rights violations against Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian Territories last September.
He was arrested with two other British citizens, an American and two Palestinian men, in the village of Kufr Qaddoum.
The Amnesty International worker said he was threatened by his captors that he would be raped in prison during a 36-hour ordeal, before being taken to a midnight court hearing where he was accused of throwing stones at soldiers.
He was placed under house arrest in Tel Aviv for a week, before being released without charge in October.
The ex-Preston College student, who vowed to continue his work after the ordeal, left Israel and travelled to Thailand via Egypt at the end of last year.
On Sunday, February 3, he tried to re-enter Palestine via the Allenby Bridge crossing from Jordan, but was turned away by security officials and has his British Passport endorsed so he cannot go back to Israel or Palestine.
He said: “After lengthy questioning by Israeli Immigration, who control the border, I was refused entry.
“I was then sent immediately back to Jordan. The Jordanian officials had clearly seen this happen many times before.
“Israel does not want people to see what it is doing in the West Bank, and puts a lot of effort into trying to keep out international observers.
“As the bus driver who took me back to Jordan said, ‘Israel doesn’t like Palestinians, and doesn’t like people who like Palestinians’.”
read the rest of this article here: www.lep.co.uk/news/local/peace-activist-refused-entry-to-palestine-1-5404144…
Al-Aqsa Mosque (‘the Farthest Mosque’) is the third holiest site in Islam and is located in the Old City of Jerusalem. Having Jewish settlers, backed by the Israeli Defense Forces, violating this holy sanctuary is an act of brazen aggression that was surely calculated to raise the ire of Palestinian Muslims and the entire Muslim world!
What is Israel playing at? Are they trying to start another open conflagration? How would the State of Israel react if Palestinian Muslims stormed the ‘Wailing Wall’ and tried to defile it?
I expect that we will hear cries of outrage reverberating around the Muslim world. I fear that all we will hear from ‘the West’ is a deafening silence. This is surely the perfect opportunity for the US President to make a strong statement that shows he is genuinely concerned for the people of Palestine and for Muslim religious sensitivities, but what would it take to make this happen?
Illegal Settlers Storm Al-Aqsa Sanctuary, Attacks Escalate
A group of illegal Israeli settlers trespassed into Al-Aqsa Sanctuary again on Sunday, flanked by Israeli soldiers. The extremist settlers stormed the sanctified area in small groups, some practicing Talmudic rituals in the courtyard of the Al-Aqsa Sanctuary.
This latest incident reflects the escalation of attacks which violate Palestinian legal rights over the holy Sanctuary. Since the beginning of the year, there has been an alarming rise in the number of occasions Israeli forces, settlers and politicians have stormed the Al-Aqsa Sanctuary.
Following the public call by main stream Israeli Politician like Moshe Feiglin and Jeremy Gimpel, for the destruction of al-Aqsa Sanctuary, Israeli trespassers have become bolder and more audacious. A recent parade by over a hundred female Israeli soldiers at the Sanctuary was an unspoken threat to Palestinians. In continuing acts of aggression, scores of settlers accompanied by over a hundred soldiers have entered the Al-Aqsa Sanctuary. The Israeli state appears to be aiding and abetting extreme elements from Israeli society in violating the Palestinian rights over the land.
Sheikh Raed Salah, the leader of the Islamic movement from the pre-1948 Palestine, warned that Israel is trying to isolate Al-Aqsa Sanctuary from the Palestinians. Other steps have included demolishing the facades of a number of historical buildings in the Buraq Square adjoining the Aqsa Sanctuary. The Palestinians are calling for solidarity from the international community in defending the holy sanctuary.
Friends of Al-Aqsa is deeply concerned about these reports and this latest incident is a reminder of the clear and present danger the Al-Aqsa sanctuary faces. Being mindful of this aggression is the first step to preventing further trespasses and graver dangers posed to Al-Aqsa sanctuary by Israelis intent on its destruction. Now is the time for action – by lobbying your local MP and encouraging him/her to raise the issue of attacks on the Al-Aqsa sanctuary in Parliament.
read the rest of this article here: www.foa.org…
More news from Fighting Father Bob – an Australian making a difference in the West Bank.
Thought I might just share a few photos from Beit Ommar, the village south of Bethlehem where I am now staying.
The first (above) is the Abu Maria family house. We (the internationals) have the ground floor. Above us are the quarters for several generations of the family – including the patriarch, Abu Youssef, who, at 75, has a new(ish) wife and a three year old son, Hamza!
The house sits among orchards and vegetable gardens, right in the middle of the village. Tractors chug past and share the road with flocks of sheep and goats being driven out to graze. At 4.30 a.m. the call to prayer is broadcast from the village mosque, at volume, and also for the four other obligatory prayers of the day.
We spend the mornings at the village’s Popular Committee centre, writing up reports and hanging out. The second photo shows the view from one of the windows (complete with bullet hole, courtesy of the nice Israeli army).