and other news from Today in Palestine:
Land and resources theft and destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Settlers
B’Tselem: New map of the West Bank, settlements, and the separation barrier, June 2011
12 June — B’Tselem today launches its new and updated map of the Israeli settlements in the West Bank. for the first time, B’Tselem’s map also includes the “unauthorised outposts” which are illegal even under Israeli law, built around some settlements. This map of the West Bank includes the most up to date route of the Separation Barrier, including recent changes in the wall near the Palestinian communities in Wadi Rasha near Qalkiliya, the route south of Jayyus, and route in Bil‘in. More on the topic
Bethlehem resident in 30-year fight to defend land
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 13 June — Maher Mohammed Seb‘a says he will stay on his land despite 30 years of harassment, intimidation and bribery by Israeli forces seeking to displace him. On June 2, Maher said he woke up to find more than 250 of his olive trees destroyed by settlers. He said he was shocked, but not surprised. An area of agricultural land south of Al-Khader, the Bethlehem-area land known as Khirbet A’liya next to the Jewish-only settlement of Efrata. Built more than seven kilometers inside the West Bank, the illegal settlement has annexed more than 2,000 dunums of private Palestinian land, and thousands more of village lands.
Detention of Rajabi men extended
Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 13 June — The detention of Silwan natives Zuhair Rajabi, Fwad Rajabi and Fares Rajabi was extended by the Israeli Magistrates Court on Sunday. Zuhair (36), Fwad (30) and Fares (23) of Baten al-Hawa district face legal action for attempting to block the Israeli raid on their family home on Friday 3-6-2011 ,Authorities claim that the three men’s actions threatened the lives of Israeli troops.
Mosque, school handed demolition orders
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 13 Jun — Israel handed out demolition orders for a mosque and public school in the village of Bruqin on Sunday, prompting immediate condemnation from Palestinian leaders. Palestinian political leader Mustafa Barghouthi described the Israeli actions as “criminal” on a visit to the village. “Mosques that survive the arson attempts of settlers only stand to be demolished by the bulldozers of Israel’s military,” the leader of the Palestinian National Initiative party said.
American group seeks to assure survival of Palestinian village
SAN MATEO, CALIFORNIA (WAFA) 13 June — San Mateo, California-based nonprofit Rebuilding Alliance is seeking to keep a Palestinian village in the West Bank Jordan Valley from disappearing, according to a press release published Monday. The organization is working with the village of Al-Aqaba, one of the 149 Palestinian villages in the West Bank Jordan Valley now facing demolition orders, to organize a design collaborative over three weeks in July so that villagers can return home. The organization plans to take architects and planners to the village during these three weeks.
UNICEF monitors escalation in Israeli attacks on Palestinian children
RAMALLAH (PIC) 12 June — An international report published on Sunday monitored a noticeable escalation in Israeli targeting of Palestinian children over a period of two months. UNICEF said in its report that the Israeli occupation forces killed ten Palestinian children including a girl while 117 were wounded including 4 girls in March and April of 2011. It pointed out that the figures reflected acute rise compared to the months of January and February 2011 when 3 children were killed and 64 were injured. The report said that six children were killed in Gaza Strip including three who were killed in the buffer zone. It said that 44% of the casualties occurred in occupied Jerusalem with 88% of those in Silwan and 12% in Sheikh Jarrah.
Seven-year-old boy summoned for police investigation
Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 13 June — A 7-year-old boy has been summoned by Israeli police for investigation, Silwanic has learnt. Saed Rajaby from Silwan was summoned by telephone to the police station for interrogation. Police offered no reason as to his summoning. The act comes in direct contradiction to international conventions on child protection.
Israeli settler violence report: March and April 2011
AIC 12 June — Settlers announced their “price tag” plan after the Israeli army dismantled mobile homes in some West Bank outposts and settlements. This “price tag” strategy is carried out through land confiscations, physical attacks using stones, guns and knives, the uprooting of olive trees and attacks on homes. In most of the settler attacks in March and April 2011, the connection between settlers and Israeli soldiers is evident. The army collaborates with the violent settler aggression against Palestinian residents; proof of this link includes military harassments against Palestinian farmers and residents who are trying to defend their villages and lands against settler attacks. Both in the northern and southern West Bank, the army intervenes to facilitate settler violence, instead of stopping it. Soldiers are involved in cruel episodes of violence, arresting Palestinians who denounce settler aggressions or even pushing them out of their own lands. Police officers and military officials often deny Palestinian complaints against settlers: As commander of the Israeli military police, Meir Ohana, admitted last month, only 6-9% of complaints by Palestinian residents are taken into consideration. The rest are totally ignored, and hundreds of cases of abuse and attacks are closed. [Following is a list of settler attacks according to region].
South Hebron Hills residents commence campaign against flowing settlement sewage
AIC 12 June — Residents and organizations in the South Hebron Hills region have initiated a campaign against the grim problem of Israeli settlement sewage that flows freely in area villages.The Palestinians are also targeting international human rights organisations and media to sensitise them to this issue and demand solutions after over 20 years of Israeli neglect. The sewage runs into the valleys from the South of the city of Hebron to the northwest of the town of Yatta, negatively impacting several Palestinian villages: Dahiriyya, Al-Rihiyya, Fawwar Camp, Abo Asaja, Abo Ghozlan and other small villages in the area. The effects on the life of the residents are serious; the sewage flows close to their homes, and many suffer from the resultant pollution and dangerous insects, especially Palestinian children … The insects, particularly the mosquitoes, also affect the plantations and orchards, mainly grapes and vegetable cultivations, in the agricultural lands of the villages on both sides of the valley … The overpowering stench of the sewage is terrible and during the night it’s difficult to leave the windows open because of it.
Settler torching of Ramallah area mosque part of wider Israeli strategy
AIC 12 June – According to the Imam of the mosque, Darwish Haj Mohammed, the settlers came into the mosque at approximately 1.30 a.m. and were inside thirty minutes. Breaking a window in order to enter, the settlers brought gasoline and other inflammable substances and poured them throughout the mosque. Settlers also covered the ground and the area around the mosque with straw in order to ensure total destruction. The settlers’ attack destroyed Qurans, carpets, prayer mats and blackened the coloured plaster of the walls. They also scrawled graffiti in Hebrew against the Arabs and wrote the name of nearby outpost of Alei Ayin, ostensibly from where they came. When the village residents learned that their mosque had been attacked, they took to the streets clashed with Israeli settlers. Villagers and settlers threw stones at each other until the Israeli army reached the area. The soldiers shot rubber coated steel bullets and tear gas canisters against the Palestinians, ordering them to go home. Several local organizations, both Muslim and Christian, issued a statement condemning the arson attack carried out by Israeli settlers. Religion is a human right and this kind of violation against holy sites must be severely punished.
British delegation to assess West Bank barrier, settlement construction.
QALQILYA (PIC) 12 June — A delegation including members of British parliament and civil society organizations landed Sunday in Qalqilya province in the West Bank to gather facts on the effects the separation barrier and settlement construction have had on local Palestinians. The task was launched after France, Germany, and the UK voted in favor of a decision against West Bank settlement activity. Since its arrival, the mission has said it has discovered previously unknown information.
Paramedic arrested and accused of stone-throwing
Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 13 June — Twenty-three year old paramedic Walid Farawy was arrested yesterday, June 11 by Israeli forces in Bab al-Majlis. He was then subjected to interrogation and accused to stone-throwing during the Israeli raid on Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Friday. The Magistrates Court extended Farawy’s arrest until today, 12 June, allowing the prosecution more time to build their case against him
Breaches of international law lay behind unrest on Israeli-occupied Syrian Golan Heights / Richard Lightbown
11 June — …The long-standing Zionist greed for the Golan has been realized through the establishment of 33 settlements in the region, and a programme is ongoing to extend this process of colonization (in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions and the Fourth Geneva Convention). Only these settlements are allowed to irrigate their crops, giving the colonizers a major competitive advantage over the Arab farmers. Israel also extracts more than its fair share of water from the Jordan River System. Studies published in 2006 indicate that while Israeli territory contributed 11.4 per cent of the total water to the system, the Israeli state extracted 50 per cent of the total. (Syria contributed 31 per cent and extracted 18.5 per cent. Palestine, Jordan and Lebanon all extracted less than their contributions.) The study found Israeli abstraction to be inequitable and unreasonable, and in contravention of international water law.
Government allows development of gas field near Gaza
Ynet 13 June – The Ministry of National Infrastructures has permitted Nobel Energy to begin developing the natural gas field called Noa North, which is located near the Gaza Strip’s coast. The ministry has instructed the company to submit its drilling and development plans before the middle of July. According to ministry officials, the decision was reached in response to a natural gas shortage expected for the end of 2012. Elements in the energy market claim that the permit was delayed so far because of the field’s proximity to Gaza’s territorial waters.
Israeli High Court freezes construction in Ofra settlement
Jerusalem (PNN) 13 June — …The Ofra settlement was the first settlement to be built in the West Bank under the orders of former Minister of Security, Shimon Peres, currently the president of Israel. The Israeli court has frozen the construction of 48 new houses after being petitioned by the residents of Silwad and Ein Yabrud, two Palestinian villages on whose land the settlements are being built. The court did not say how long the freeze will last.
Palestinian dies of wounds suffered during the Israeli assault on Gaza
IMEMC 13 June — Palestinian medical sources reported that a Palestinian man died on Saturday of wounds suffered during the Israeli war on the Gaza Strip between December 28 and January 2009. Six members of his family, including two of his children, were killed when the army bombarded their home … The sources said that Mohammad Shaban Islayyim, in his forties, was injured in January 2009 when the Israeli forces bombarded a home where the Minister of Interior, Sa’id Siyam, was located in Gaza city.
Medicine delivered to Gaza amid hospital crisis
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 13 June — Israeli Civil Administration officials said Monday that 19 trucks of medicine were transferred to the Gaza Strip as doctors warned that the enclave’s health sector was on the verge of collapse. Palestinian Authority Health Minister Fathi Abu Moghli said Sunday that it had coordinated with Israel to transfer medicine and medical equipment from its warehouses in the West Bank to the Gaza Strip. The Ramallah ministry said the shipment would include over 130 types of medical and surgical items, worth more than 2.5 million shekels ($732,280), as well as 81 different medicines valued at six million shekels ($1.76 million). Ministry spokesman Omar An-Naser said medicine would also be delivered to Gaza through Egypt via the Rafah crossing, following coordination between the Ramallah health minister and Palestine’s ambassador to Egypt Barakat Al-Farra. An-Naser said Egypt’s union of doctors had provided 19 types of vital medications to be sent to Gaza hospitals.
Report: Gaza blockade counterproductive
Ynet 13 June — UNRWA report reviewing financial vise on Strip suggests Israel’s policy ineffective against Hamas — …”Our research shows that since 2007 Hamas has managed to increase public sector employment by about 20%,” [UNRWA Spokesman Chris Gunness] added, noting that many private sector jobs have disappeared at the same time. The report concluded that overall, Hamas has become the Strip’s No.1 employer, supplying population with over 70% of available jobs. “If the purpose of the embargo policy was to weaken the Hamas administration, the public employment figures indicate that it has failed,” he sai
Gaza: As civilians leave for Egypt, limited goods enter via Israel
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 13 June — The two access points to the Gaza Strip operated Monday, with 230 truckloads of goods expected to enter via Israel and limited civilians crossing the border to Egypt. Egyptian officials at the Rafah crossing told their Palestinian counterparts that the civilian border terminal would open Monday with priority given to passengers who were delayed from the day before.
Gaza lawyers strike over arrests
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 13 June — Lawyers in the Gaza Strip went on strike Monday in protest over the practices of the attorney-general of the Hamas-led government, the lawyers’ union said. In a statement, the union said the attorney-general Muhammad Abed repeatedly summoned lawyers and in many cases detained them for no offense. “Lawyers also have been questioned about matters that do not relate to their professions, and are not identified as criminal acts by law,” the statement added.
Citizens deprived of passports in Gaza stage sit-in
GAZA, (PIC) 13 June — Palestinian citizens in the Gaza Strip denied new passports by the authorities in Ramallah staged a protest sit-in on Monday in front of the UN offices in Gaza city. They carried placards denouncing the decision, which they said, was based on political affiliation. They asked the UN to intervene and end their plight especially when some of them are sick and need to travel for treatment. A committee of those citizens said that it organized this sit-in as part of a series of rallies to protest their condition and to assert the right of each and every citizen to acquire a passport. Committee statistics indicate that more than 30,000 Palestinian citizens in the Strip are deprived of obtaining passports.
European Parliament president visits the Gaza Strip
MEMO 13 June — The president of the European parliament, Jerzy Buzek crossed into the Gaza Strip today, via the Israeli Eretz crossing. He visited the Society for Deaf Children and a food distribution center for Palestinian refugees, located in the west of Gaza City. Buzek also visited the Tel al-Hawa district to follow up on the construction work undertaken by the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), who are building two schools for Palestinian refugee children in the area … When asked to comment on the recent letter (10th June) written by a group of prominent former politicians to US state secretary Hillary Clinton and EU high representative Catherine, urging them to support the reconciliation process between rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas, Buzek said that Hamas should be included in any dialogue. And yet he did not make time to meet with elected Hamas officials during his visit.
IOF soldiers round up 8 citizens in Bethlehem, Golan
BETHLEHEM (PIC) 13 June — Israeli occupation forces (IOF) detained three Palestinians in the Doheisha refugee camp in Bethlehem on Monday and five others in Majdal Shams in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights. Local sources said that the soldiers arrested three young men in the refugee camp after raiding homes and searching them. In Majdal Shams, IOF soldiers arrested five citizens after ransacking their homes, saying that the campaign fell in line with arrests in lines of those who took part in the Nakba and Naksa day events.
Family of Jenin prisoner appeal for urgent medical treatment
JENIN (PIC) 12 June — Family members of Palestinian prisoner Ahmed Abul Rub have said that their son held in the Israeli jail of Askalan was in very poor health condition and could die any moment. Sabria Abul Rub, the prisoner’s mother, said in a press release that her son, 33, could no longer walk on his feet and that he was walking with the help of crutches while he was in very good health when he was first detained and did not complain of any disease. She said that his condition started with pain that developed after the Israeli prison service refused to offer him proper treatment until he reached the stage of semi paralysis.
Hebron detainee starts hunger strike in Israeli prison
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 12 June — A Palestinian detainee on Sunday went on hunger strike to protest his treatment by Israeli prison guards, a rights group said. Israeli forces detained Atif Wureidat in 2002. Prison authorities have transferred him more than 30 times, Hebron prisoners’ association director Amjad Najjar said. Wureidat has heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure, Najjar added. He was first detained at the age of 16, and spent 11 years in prison between 1982 and 1993.
4 arrested in Yitzhar settlement
Ynet 13 June — Settlers claim police, Border Guard forces raided offices of ‘Jewish Voice’ website which exposed IDF commander’s order to identify soldiers who may cooperate with settlers
Activism / Solidarity
Watch: Video of the unarmed resistance in Qalandia
A new video, shot by ActiveStills photographer Anne Paq, has been posted on YouTube from the Naksa Day protests at the Qalandia checkpoint separating Jerusalem and Ramallah … The video embedded here is a simple testament to the unarmed resistance spirit of the demonstrators on that day. Social media sites like YouTube and Twitter are allowing Palestinians, so often portrayed as violent in the mainstream media, the opportunity to show their points of view. No matter what political side you are on, this video speaks to the human desire for freedom from domination.
Interviews from Al Ma‘sara Resistance
13 June — Interview with Hasan Brijia, a member of the Popular Struggle Committee: I am Hasan, 43 years old and father of 7 children. I currently work in the Ministry against settlements and the Wall, which was established a few years ago. I, Mahmoud and Juma started to organize some resistance activities in Al-Ma‘sara in 2006. The popular committee is really a grassroots organization. When we started we had a lot of different actions during the weekly protests; we planted trees, acted out the crucifixion of Jesus and had a Santa Claus (“Baba Noël”) in the demonstration. The Santa Claus was a big success: 63 magazines published pictures of the demonstration! What makes Al-Ma‘sara different from other villages though is that it was the first one where children participated in the marches. We achieved this by going to schools and universities, talking about our case.
Video shows police violently arresting Jewish man in Jerusalem
Haaretz 13 June — 19-year old ‘Lucas’ from Philadelphia was detained on Jerusalem Day earlier this month for ‘attacking and biting a police officer’.
Israeli-Palestinian conflict threatens to take over Milan’s Central Piazza
MILAN (La Stampa) — “Unexpected Israel,” an exhibition celebrating Israel, will go ahead as planned in Milan’s central Duomo piazza, despite protests from pro-Palestinian activists. Milan authorities have confirmed the location of the biggest Israeli cultural event ever organized abroad, set to take place June 13-23. Pro-Palestinian activists have posted an online plea against the event, and have threatened to organize a rally against it on June 18. “We do not want Milan to become the stage for Zionist imperialism’s propaganda,” they wrote.
Shareholders to Caterpillar: Our product has become Israel’s weapon of choice for ethnic cleansing / Russ Greenleaf
Mondo 13 June — This speech was given to the Caterpillar Corporation’s CEO, their board of directors, and top management at the annual Caterpillar shareholder’s meeting in Little Rock, Arkansas on June 8, 2011. The speech was given on behalf of Jewish Voice for Peace, which had purchased shares of Caterpillar stock so we could offer a shareholder proposal and make a speech in support of it.
Racism / Discrimination / Repression
Looking for a business that’s Arab-free? Try Yellow Pages! / Dimi Reider
972mag 13 June — The Israeli licensees of the Yellow Pages trademark are allowing businesses to advertise themselves as Arab-free, using an old Zionist codeword — It turns out that certain businesses advertising in the Yellow Pages in Israel use the term “Avoda Ivrit” (Hebrew Labor) in their adverts, to reassure readers that they won’t be interacting with any Arabs should they decide to take their business there. Happy days … Since 1995, thankfully, employment discrimination by nationality has been illegal. The businesses that state they guarantee their customers will not have to interact with Arabs are violating the law. But since enforcing these laws against the businesses is likely to prove difficult if not futile, a campaign has now been launched to at least get the Yellow Pages to stop facilitating their discriminatory practice.
MK: Infiltrators will comprise 10% of TA’s population
Ynet 13 June — During Knesset committee meeting on decision to set up fence along Israel-Egypt border, Yaakov Katz warns some 50,000 infiltrators will reside in Israel by end of 2012
Protesters against foreigners in south Tel Aviv break up mayor’s meeting
Haaretz 13 June — Protesters break into Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai’s meeting carrying signs reading ‘Huldai supports infiltrators’ and ‘Foreigners – a national time bomb.’
Rightist MKs push new laws to crack down on NGOs deemed hostile to Israel
Haaretz 13 June — Two bills sponsored by MKs Uri Ariel and Zeev Elkin were submitted to Knesset last week; New initiatives would enable registrars to reject organizations that do not recognize ‘Israel’s Jewish and democratic character.’
Political / Diplomatic / International news
Abbas says prefers talks with Israel over UN vote on Palestinian state
Haaretz 13 June — Abbas tells a meeting with delegation of the Socialist International that his ‘first, third and second priorities’ are negotiations, but that all attempts to talk to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have failed.
US pressuring Netanyahu to accept Obama’s peace plan
Haaretz 13 June — Israeli source says Americans frustrated with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for hampering U.S. efforts to stop Palestinians trying UN route to statehood in September.
Hamas delegation arrives in Cairo for decisive talks with Fatah
DAMASCUS (PIC) 13 June — A delegation of the Hamas movement arrives in Cairo on Monday on the eve of crucial talks with Fatah delegates on Tuesday to decide names of premier and ministers of the national unity government. Political bureau member of Hamas Ezzet Al-Resheq said on his Twitter page that both delegations would agree on the names without any party imposing certain names on the other. He added that no one should link fate of the reconciliation to the nomination of a certain name, in apparent reference to his movement’s rejection of Fatah’s nomination of Salam Fayyad as premier of the unity government.
Ahrar demands priority for release of political detainees
NABLUS (PIC) 13 June — The Ahrar center for prisoners’ studies and human rights has called on both Hamas and Fatah to give priority to the issue of political detainees rather than formation of the unity government. Fuad Al-Khafsh, the director of the center, said in a statement on Monday that the issue of those detainees was much more important than the unity government. He said that those detainees were held because of the internal division and now that the reconciliation agreement was signed there was no pretext for retaining them in custody.
PA forces shut down Hamas sit-in
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 13 June — Palestinian Authority security forces on Monday shut down a sit-in demonstration organized by Hamas affiliates in the West Bank city of Nablus. The demonstration was called to protest the Fatah-led PA’s ongoing detentions of Hamas members, and to demand the release of political detainees.
Ousted Dahlan speaks out on Facebook page
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 13 June — Ousted Fatah leader Muhammad Dahlan has dismissed “the charges against him” on his Facebook page. In a series of three videos posted days before Fatah’s Sunday night decision to expel the official from the party, Dahlan revealed information about the charges against him, which party officials have refused to speak about publicly. “A coup against whom? Do we have an authority in Ramallah to coup against? We are under occupation, one female soldier rules over the West Bank; the Civil Administration governs the West Bank,” he said.
Qassem: Dahlan is not the only thief
NABLUS (PIC) 13 June — Prof. Abdusattar Qassem, Najah university lecturer and former candidate for PA presidency, has said that those trying Fatah former strongman Mohammed Dahlan were not better than him. Qassem, who was commenting on the Fatah central committee’s decision to expel Dahlan from its membership and charging him with corruption and murder, said in a TV interview on Sunday night that the Palestinian people have to put on trial all those who betray them. “Dahlan is not unique and there are many other thieves,” Qassem said
Lebanon PM: New government to liberate land under occupation of Israeli enemy
Reuters 13 June — Lebanon’s Prime Minister Najib Mikati announces long-delayed new government dominated by allies of Iran-backed Hezbollah, which is likely to cause alarm among Western powers.
Israel hails Italy’s opposition to Palestinian state bid
ROME (AFP) 13 June — Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi on Monday declared his opposition to a bid by the Palestinians for UN membership, earning thanks from his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu.
Alleged Israeli spy a US citizen
Ynet 13 June — Ilan Grapel, American-Israeli national, arrested in Egypt on alleged espionage charges. Father says son has no ties to Israeli intelligence agencies, adds family is ‘very concerned'; US consul to Cairo visits Grapel in jail — …”There is no such thing, no Israeli agent has been arrested in Egypt,” foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor told the BBC on Monday.
Video: ANERA renovates school in Jenin
ANERA, under the Emergency Water and Sanitation and Other Infrastructure Program (EWAS II) funded by USAID, completely renovated Fatmeh Khatoun Basic Girls’ School in Jenin. The school building was hundreds of years old, so special care was taken to restore and preserve its historic architecture.
Jewish Agency struggles to make ends meet
Ynet 13 June — Management sends employees on mandatory leave after weak dollar, financial crisis lead to major fall in donations from US
Analysis / Opinion
Palestinians march, Israeli repress / Merav Michaeli
Haaretz 13 June — The Israeli public has been repressing the big drama of the Nakba and Naksa day marches and the arrival of the Palestinians at the fences on the border with Israel, no one is arguing about it or complaining about it, the public is simply not saying a word … On Nakba Day, I wrote here that the citizens of Israel were suffering from schizophrenia. How am I? “Personally, excellent.” Personally it can’t be anything less than excellent because collectively we are a-f-r-a-i-d (as Netanyahu once said about his critics in the media ). But the truth is that personally, we are afraid too. So we don’t speak about it, about how the mass marches by Palestinians to the border are a watershed event that have suddenly created a new option, and a very concrete one at that. It has also created a new level of repression because in addition to being terribly frightening, there is no answer to it.
Ask Hamas: Hamas answers readers’ questions
12 June — The Globe and Mail asked readers to pose question for Hamas. The best were selected and posed to senior Hamas official Ahmed Yousef, an adviser to Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas’s prime minister for the Gaza Strip. Here are his answers: Question: Do you believe that there exists a Jewish people with roots in the Holy Land? Shouldn’t they be allowed a state? — Mark Surchin of Toronto, Eric Beckerman, Jon Kerner Answer: Historically speaking, the Holy Land has been inhabited by members of the three Abrahamic faiths (Islam, Christianity and Judaism). However, the Zionist project usurped this land in order to establish a Jewish state. The indigenous people who were living on the land were forcibly removed from their homes in 1948 and they remain as refugees waiting to return as set out by UN resolution 194. We as Palestinians cannot comprehend why Israel insists that there must be a Jewish state when the land has been home to all three religions over the long course of history.
The Toronto Globe&Mail’s rather surprising series on Hamas — “Over the past several months, The Globe and Mail conducted extensive interviews with more than 30 Hamas figures in both the Gaza Strip, where the group has ruled since 2006, and the West Bank, where Hamas MPs have to be careful to refer to themselves as belonging to the ‘Reform and Change Party’ in order to avoid arrest by Israeli forces.” There are video interviews with nine Hamas figures, Mahmoud Zahar, Ahmed Yousef, Naser Abdul Jawad… Hard to imagine a U.S. newspaper doing anything like this