palestine

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The following article appeared on the Press TV website but is largely a commentary on one that appeared in the Jerusalem Post on Friday.

It appears that the Israeli government is getting increasingly frustrated with the shift towards Palestine that is being exhibited across Europe.

The Israeli government’s concerns are not without foundation. This week two more countries have made moves to upgrade Palestine’s official status:

  • Tuesday, March 5, Ma’an News Agency broke the news on that Sakir Ozkan Torunlar, Turkey’s consul general in Jerusalem, will be accredited as Turkey’s ambassador to the Palestinian Authority (full story here).

  • Thursday March 7, 2013; with an overwhelming vote of 299 to 20, the Swedish Parliament upgraded the status of the Palestinian representative office in the country to a full status, granting the mission the title of ’embassy’ (full story here).

The international isolation of Israel is progressing steadily. How long will the USA be willing to stand against the tide?

Father Dave

source: http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/03/08/292472/eus-propalestine-tilt-irks-israel/

Tel Aviv frustrated by EU’s pro-Palestine slant: Israeli official

An Israeli official says the Tel Tel Aviv frustrated by EU’s pro-Palestine slant: Israeli officiaviv regime has been increasingly frustrated over what it considers as the European Union’s pro-Palestinian tilt, a report says.

According to a report published by the Jerusalem Post on Friday, an unnamed Israeli official criticized the EU over its “negative” policy toward Tel Aviv.

The Israeli official said there was “no positive agenda between Israel and Brussels, only negative.”

“There are only sticks, no carrots,” the official stated, criticizing the EU foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, for certain issues such as pushing the EU members on February 22 to enforce restrictions on products from the illegal Israeli settlements built in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Even the Netherlands, which is one of the strongest allies of Israel, followed Ashton’s advice and recommended that the business owners effectively label products from the Israeli settlements, the official said.

“When it comes to Israel they are very vocal. When it comes to the Palestinians, they are very timid.”

The Israeli official also pointed to the internal report by the EU heads of mission in al-Quds (Jerusalem) and Ramallah on February 27 which was leaked to the media.

The report said the EU programs should not be “used to support settlements and settlement-related activity, including funding for research, education or technological cooperation.” 

“Every year they put out a report that is critical of Israel, even though their mandate is to strengthen ties with the PA (Palestinian Authority),” the official stated. 

The Tel Aviv regime has increased its illegal settlement expansion following an upgrade of Palestine’s status at the UN to a non-member observer state on November 29, 2012. 

Many countries, including some of Tel Aviv’s allies, have condemned the Israeli plans to construct illegal settler units in the occupied Palestinian territories. 

On December 10, 2012, the 27-nation European nation said it was “deeply dismayed by and strongly opposes Israeli” plans to expand illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank, including in East al-Quds (Jerusalem).

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According to this report from the Tehran Times, we’ve had yet another statement from the Iranian President in support of Palestine! It seems that the man is trying to position himself as a bridge-builder  between Shiite and Sunni Muslims through his open support of Hamas.

It would be interesting to know exactly what transpired between Ahmadinejad and Marzook on the subject of Syria. Syria is Iran’s main ally in the region and does not want to see the current regime overthrown. Hamas, on the other hand, have been channeling military personnel into Syria to help topple the Assad government!

Even so, however we understand Syria’s place in the equation, the basic picture for Israel is clear. Muslim countries are uniting more openly around Palestine and Israel is experiencing ever-greater international isolation. And already their last remaining ally – the USA – is starting to waver!

Father Dave

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

source: tehrantimes.com…

Liberation of Palestine, the goal of Muslims, freedom-loving nations: Ahmadinejad

TEHRAN – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said that the liberation of Al-Quds (Jerusalem) has become a common goal of all Muslims and freedom-loving nations.

He made the remark during a meeting with Mousa Mohammed Abu Marzook, a senior member of Hamas, in Tehran on Monday.

A glance at Zionists’ decades-long presence in the region proves that they are in a state of collapse, Ahmadinejad noted.

He added that the Palestinian question is a crucial issue for the whole world, and its liberation is tied with the destiny of the entire region.

The president also reiterated Tehran’s support for the oppressed people of Palestine until they achieve victory.

Commenting on the Syrian crisis, Ahmadinejad noted that it is a high time that all sides in Syria make efforts to settle the conflict through dialogue.

For his part, Marzook said Palestinians can achieve victory over the Zionists only through resistance, emphasizing the need to promote unity between the Islamic Ummah.

The Palestinian official also called for making efforts to resolve the Syrian crisis through mutual understanding.

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The following article appeared today on the website of the Kuwait News Agency. Palestinian negotiators are attempting to use their enhanced status to leverage some response from the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

But what sort of response can they expect when the United States holds veto power in the UNSC? It’s not as if the UN is ever going to institute a campaign of sanctions against Israel as it does with Iran. It all looks like an exercise in futility. Perhaps I’m missing something?

Father Dave 

source: http://www.kuna.net.kw/ArticleDetails.aspx?id=2296363&language=en

Palestine urges UNSC to advance achievement of two-State solution this year

Palestine urges UNSC to advance achievement of two-State solution this year

UNITED NATIONS, March 4 (KUNA) — Palestine on Monday urged the Security Council to advance the achievement of the two-State solution this year and to put an end to Israel’s “war crimes, acts of State terrorism.”

Palestinian Charge d’Affaires Feda Abdulhady Nasser said in a letter to Council President Vitaly Churkin of Russia “serious efforts are required, foremost by the Security Council, to uphold the law and to hold Israel accountable for its violations.

The immediate aim must be to defuse the current volatile situation and to foster a proper environment for advancing this year the achievement of the two-State solution.” This, she added, should be based on the relevant United Nations resolutions, the Madrid principles, the Arab Peace Initiative, and Quartet  Roadmap, “before the viability of that solution is completely destroyed by the occupying Power.”

She complained that the number of Palestinians imprisoned by Israel “regrettably continues to grow as the occupying Power has persisted with its arrest campaign, including of children and civilians partaking in protests against the occupation.” During the month of February alone, she noted, Israel arrested at least 382 Palestinians, including 10 women.

The Palestinian official also complained about the Israeli treatment of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, which pushed thousands to go on hunger strike.

“All these illegal Israeli practices are exacerbating tensions and casting grave doubts on Israel’s claims of commitment to achieving a peace that brings an end to this grotesque military occupation and ensures justice and freedom for the Palestinian people and peace and security between Palestine and Israel,” she said.

“For all of these war crimes, acts of State terrorism” and systematic human rights violations being committed against the Palestinian people, she stressed, Israel, the occupying Power, must be held accountable and the perpetrators must be brought to justice.

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This story from China’s ‘Global Times‘ seems to encapsulate everything that is wrong in Israel/Palestine!

Non-violent protests are erupting across the West Bank for all the most understandable of reasons: Israel continues its settlement expansion, the arrests of Palestinians without charge or trial continue unabated, and most recently a young father of two – Arafat Jaradat- seems to have been tortured to death in an Israeli prison! But the Israeli government seems to see none of this, or at least takes none of it into account when it points the finger at the Palestinian authority for failing to quell the unrest!

What will it take for the Netanyahu government to see that the real problem here is not the hunger-strikes or the protest marches but the acts of violence, robbery and intimidation that inspire them? A strong push from the US might awaken Mr Netanyahu, but none is likely to come.

Father Dave

Protesters crowd the streets after the death of Arafat Jaradat

Protesters crowd the streets of Seir after the death of Arafat Jaradat (pic – Palestinian Solidarity Project)

source: www.globaltimes.cn/content/763831.shtml…

Israel demands Palestine reduce tensions

Israel said on Sunday it sent “an unequivocal demand” to Palestinian leaders to quell unrest, as thousands of detainees staged hunger strikes in Israeli prisons and their supporters clashed with security forces in the occupied West Bank.Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the same time ordered the transfer of January arrears of tax revenues that Israel collects on the behalf of the Palestinians but has been withholding, the government said in a statement.”Israel passed an unequivocal demand to the Palestinian Authority to calm down the territory,” the statement said.”In order that the non-payment of taxes that Israel collects for the Palestinians should not serve as an excuse for the Palestinian Authority not to calm the territory, Netanyahu instructed the money for January to be transferred,” it added.

A senior aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas gave no indication the Authority, which exercises limited self-rule in the occupied West Bank, would issue any call for calm, and blamed Israel for the spike in unrest.

Protests in the West Bank have been mounting, both in support of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel, 11 of whom are on open-ended hunger strike, and against settlement expansion.

An official said almost all Palestinians in Israeli prisons were on a one-day hunger strike Sunday in protest at the sudden death of an inmate due to what authorities said appeared to have been cardiac arrest.

“It’s 4,500, nearly everyone in fact,” Israel Prisons Service spokeswoman Sivan Weizman told AFP.

Arafat Jaradat, a 30-year-old father of two, from Sair near Hebron in the southern West Bank, died on Saturday in an Israeli jail from what prison authorities said appeared to have been cardiac arrest.

Protesters in his village and around Hebron city on Sunday stoned Israeli security forces who responded with tear gas and stun grenades, Palestinian witnesses said. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

“In Hebron there are 100 Palestinians hurling rocks and rolling burning tyres at security forces,” an Israeli army spokeswoman told AFP, adding that a smaller group clashed with Israeli forces in the Halhul area, on the city’s outskirts.

She said the army responded with “riot disposal means,” without elaborating.

Palestinians in the Gaza Strip marched in solidarity.

Israeli media link the unrest and Israel’s concerns about possible escalation to next month’s visit by US President Barack Obama to the Jewish state and to the Palestinians.

“Officials in Jerusalem will begin to look for all kinds of ways to appease the Palestinians and to cool tempers on the ground,” the Yediot Aharonot newspaper said on Sunday.

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I’ve extracted this list from the ‘This Week in Palestine’ report on the San Francisco Bay Area Independent Media Center website for the week ending February 22nd, 2013.

The list reminds us that each week and every week in Palestine concerned citizens hold non-violent protests and, each week and every week, these non-violent protests are met with intimidation and violence on the part of the IDF.

Father Dave

source: www.indybay.org…

The Nonviolence Report

Protests this week were organized at the villages of Bil’in Ni’lin and al Nabi Saleh in central West Bank, as well as Al Ma’ssara village and Hebron old city in southern West Bank in addition to Kufur Kadum, in the north. IMEMC’s Salam Qumsiyeh with the story:

Protests this week were organized in solidarity with hunger-striking Palestinian political prisoners held by Israel.

In southern West Bank Israeli troops attacked the protesters in Hebron old city and in al Ma’ssara protesters near Bethlehem with tear gas and rubber coated steel bullets. Palestinians were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.

In al Ma’ssara village troops attacked the protest before it even left the village. In Hebron the prostest were organized in Al Shuhada’ Street in the old city part.

The Israeli army closed the street and cased Palestinians working there to shot their shops to provide what they call security for settlers living in illegal settlement near the street.

In central West Bank, Israeli soldiers also attacked the anti wall protesters organized on Friday at the villages of Bil’in Ni’lin and al Nabi Saleh. Israeli troops used tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets to suppress the three protests as well.

The villagers and their international and Israeli supporters managed to reach the wall in Bil’in and Ni’lin villages. But al Nabi Saleh protesters were attacked by Israeli soldiers at the village entrance.

Elsewhere, in the northern West Bank village of Kufer Kadum, Israeli soldiers attacked the anti wall and settlements protesters with tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets. According to residents many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.