and other news from Today in Palestine:
Land Theft / Destruction / Ethnic Cleansing / Restriction of Entry and Movement in Palestine
Israel is even stealing land in Lebanon: Israel halts construction of wall after UN complaint
Israeli forces on Saturday paused the construction of a wall being built near the Lebanese village of Kfar Kila, after the Lebanese army claimed the wall was inside Lebanese territory, the National News Agency reported.
link to english.al-akhbar.com
Turkish foreign ministry has expressed concern at the Israeli government’s endorsement of the building of 1100 new housing units in occupied Jerusalem.
Jewish settlers poison Palestinian grapevines
A group of Jewish settlers from Karmi Tzur settlement attacked Palestinian grapevines in Beit Ummar village, north of Al-Khalil, on Saturday.
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) blocked on Friday the entry of a Norwegian solidarity delegation into Jenin and deported its members to Jordan.
'I don't want to open all my wounds…,' says Maher Daoud, a descendent of Iqrit refugees, as we drive to the site where the village of his parents once stood. I wince and apologize, aware of how difficult the subject must be for him. Iqrit is one of the 350 or so Palestinian villages that were completely destroyed and ethnically cleansed in 1948, its residents barred from returning but turned, overnight, into internal refugees in their own country.
Surveillance zeppelin deployed as part of IDF's counterterrorism efforts in southern sector crashes after crop duster hits its cable. IDF launches inquiry.
Bee-keepers in the Gaza Strip began their 2012 harvest under the auspices of the Ministry of Agriculture. The ceremony took place in the only apiary in the territory, located north of Gaza city. The Minister confirmed that while there is a demand for 400 tons of honey annually, only 200 tons are produced locally. Farmers attributed the shortfall to the dire economic situation caused by the on-going Israeli blockade, their constant military incursions, and uprooting of the trees upon which the bees depend. The bee-keepers also pointed to the difficulties in gaining access to their farms located close to the border with Israel. At the same time, the Israeli occupation continues to prevent the import of vital equipment needed for testing the quality of honey.
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) opened their machinegun fire at Palestinian homes in Juhr Al-Deek area to the south east of Gaza city on Saturday, local sources said.
Israeli Soldiers Shoot Teargas and Rubber-Coated Bullets Following Funeral in Beit Ommar
Israeli soldiers invaded, on Thursday evening, al-Arroub refuge camp, north of the southern West Bank city of Hebron, leading to clashes between the soldiers and dozens of youths who hurled stones and empty bottles at the invading forces.
In its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the week of 26 April – 02 May 2012, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) found that 10 Palestinian civilians were wounded and 34 abducted in 69 separate invasions of the Palestinian Territories this week.
Palestinian sources say former al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades commander among detainees in major PA operation in Jenin.
Palestinian workers from the West Bank arrested for working in 1948 occupied Palestine without permit have been sentenced in summary trials over the past couple of days.
IOA holds detainee in administrative detention, renews that of Saadi
The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) ordered the administration detention for six months of detainee Ayman Al-Darabee from Dura town, south of Al-Khalil.
Mahmoud Issa is a Palestinian political prisoner who has been in prison since 1993 and in solitary confinement for the last 10 years. He is allowed only half-hour visits from his family while in February a judge denied Issa’s 75-year-old mother the right to visit him. Israel claims she is a “security risk”
Amnesty International today issued a call for Urgent Action from individuals around the world to contact Israeli authorities about Bilal Diab and Thaer Halahleh, two Palestinians men who are at immediate risk of death on their 67th day of hunger strike.
Ten prisoners placed under medical supervision in prison clinic as hunger strike continues.
Israel says 10 Palestinian prisoners participating in mass hunger strike have been placed under medical supervision.
Liberated Hamas leader Ruhi Mushtaha was transferred to Shifa hospital in Gaza city on Saturday for the second time in less than 12 hours after his health worsened again.
Al-Ahrar center for prisoners' studies and human rights said the Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails are determined not to end their hunger strike until all their demands are met.
link to www.palestine-info.co.uk
Heija: Detainees isolated in Gilboa jail suffer from medical neglect
As many as half of the Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails have followed the example of Khader Adnan, whose 66-day hunger strike became something of a cause célèbre earlier this year.
An ex-detainee Loai Odeh has taken writing as a way to express himself as one who has had enough of Israel’s brutality. This is my translation of Loai’s diaries of hunger strike that he wrote as Facebook status updates recalling his experience in Israel’s jails.
Read about Oppression, Act for Prisoners, Abir Kopty
Last Thursday, another layer from Israel’s democratic mask, was removed. On that day, a demonstration took place in support of Palestinian prisoners in Ramleh prison, especially Bilal Diab,Thaer Halahleh, Hassan Safadi, Omar Abu Shalal, Jaafar Izz al-Din, and Mahmoud Sarsak, they have been on hunger strike since one\2 months, and hospitalized in Ramleh prison’s hospital, in critical condition. The protestors were surrounded by police fences, we were far away of the main street, almost invisible to the public and I doubt the prisoners could hear our chants.
link to abirkopty.wordpress.com
Dozens of Palestinians and foreign activists sustained injuries on Friday afternoon when the Israeli occupation forces attacked the marches that were held in solidarity with prisoners.
link to www.palestine-info.co.uk
link to www.palestine-info.co.uk
Today, May 5th, 2012, Palestinian, Israeli and international activists joined together for the weekly demonstration in Beit Ommar. The demonstration took place by the fence separating Beit Ommar from the illegal settlement Karmei Tsur. The settlement is illegal under international law according to the 4th Geneva Convention, and is built on stolen Palestinian land. The fence prevents farmers from entering and working on their land.
A lot of marches and sit-ins happened in Jerusalem in different parts of the city, the Friday’s prayer and speech happened in front of the building of the Red Cross in Sheikh Jarrah area, a solidarity tent was sit up in the area as well. The Silwan solidarity tent leaders asked the people to pray in front of the Red Cross and they asked them to spread the word as well, it was important to have a crowded tent so the world knows what is happening with the hunger strike, it is the 18th day in the strike, and some prisoners haven’t ate for more than two months and still nobody treated their requests, they are demanding to end the isolated cells, and to stop the so called detention administrative. The March started from Bab al Amoud (Damascus Gate ) and continues to Sheikh Jarrah area that is threatened to be taken by Settler’s organizations, and the march stopped in front of the Red Cross’s building. Same day confrontations happened in Qalandia, North of Jerusalem, after the Israeli forces blocked the peaceful solidarity march with the hunger strike prisoners.
Tens of people, from the prisoner’s families, from Jerusalem and Palestinian 48 and activists gathered in front of Ramleh’s prison to demonstrate and show their support with the hunger strike prisoners. The Israeli forces arrested almost 20 demonstrators and used violence against them. A lot of known names attended, Hatem Abd al Kader the responsible of Jerusalem’s file by the Fatah, The Sheikh Raed Salah, and the deputy of the main secretary of the Tajamoa party Moustafa Taha, also Abla Sa’adat the wife of Ahmad Sa’adat the secretary of the PLFP who was transferred to the hospital in Ramleh’s prison after his long hunger strike. The two prisoners, Raed Shaheen and the prisoner Muhammad al Jayusi were released from prison the same day, Raed spent 6 years in prison and Muhammad spent 4 years, they got out of prison and immediately joined the demonstration outside. Groups of activists from different areas decided to organize the demonstration in front of Ramleh’s prison since a few of the prisoners are staying at the prison’s hospital, they needed treatment after they join the hunger strike, prisoners like Bilal Deyab and T’aer Halahleh who haven’t eat for 65 days and now their lives is in danger. The court discussed their both cases but still haven’t made in to a decision.
Solidarity activities for the hunger strike prisoners have gathered pace with the establishment of camps in cities across the occupied West Bank. Several prisoners have now passed 60 days on hunger strike in protest against the policies of the Israeli prison authorities, particularly that of solitary confinement. The camps are frequented around the clock by relatives and leading national figures of all political persuasion. Observers point out that the prisoner issue has united Palestinians in the West Bank in manner not witnessed for many years.
A student’s march starts from the Central Bus Station (Nablus Road)
After studying hours the students met at the Central Bus Station in Nablus road , the students gathered to start a march as a part of the many protest activities that are taking a place in Jerusalem,the activities are happening as a solidarity with the hunger strike prisoners in Israeli prisons.
Palestinians waves the Palestinian flag high on an Israeli Justice ministry and district court in Salah Eddin street . The march started in Damascus Gate and continued to the Red Cross building in Sheikh Jarrah, the march is another solidarity move to support the prisoner’s hunger strike that’s been going on for the last 18 days.The Waving flag phenomenon against the occupation symbols in Jerusalem such as Police stations and the entrance of the settlements is increasing lately; yesterday Palestinians waved the flag in front of the notorious,Shalim police station in Salah Eddin street.
Hundreds of Lebanese citizens and representatives of political parties and NGOs gathered on Thursday in front of the ICRC headquarters in Tyre, southern Lebanon, in support of prisoners.
The freed captives in the last (Wafa Al Ahrar) deal organized a broad media campaign in Istanbul in solidarity with the Palestinian prisoners in occupation prisons.
The Russian Youth Movement for Palestine called on the UN to press on occupation to fulfill prisoners' demands that they had declared since the start of the strike three weeks ago.
“A Letter From a Prison Cell” tells the stories of three prisoners who refuse to be ignored and become another statistic. They have written letters to the outside world and the song voices those words. Link to the song and translated lyrics to English.
Other Solidarity / Activism / BDS
Palestinian activists in the Netherlands intend to organize a sit-in outside the parliament to commemorate the Nakba anniversary and to highlight the cause of hunger strikers in Israeli jails.
In a statement and video published on the Gender and Sexuality Law Blog of Columbia Law School, Professor Katherine Franke has made a very public declaration of solidarity with Palestinians and support for the Palestinian call for Boycott Divestment and Sanctions on Israel.
Raed Salah: Visiting Jerusalem while occupied serves only Israel’s interests
Sheikh Raed Salah said that Arab officials’ visits to Jerusalem under the occupation, "serves only the occupation’s interests" and the Zionist program and not a program supporting Al-Aqsa.
The head of Israel's Labour party on Saturday slammed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for presenting a potential nuclear Iran as the Jewish state's greatest threat.
link to news.yahoo.com
This week, amidst the incredible ongoing mass hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners, some of them on the brink of starvation, the Methodist Church failed to pass a resolution to divest from three major beneficiaries of the most incendiary human rights abuses and colonial crimes of our time.
UK newspaper The Jewish Chronicle, a publication well known for its attacks on pro-Palestinian solidarity activists, has published a blog mocking a former hostage.
A few months ago, I shared on this blog a video by UK writer Jon Ronson investigating the marc3pax hoax that The Electronic Intifada exposed in June 2011. This week, Ronson published his interview with Omer Gershon who evades serious questioning about the hoax video.
At this year's 2012 Equality Forum on advancing the rights of international LGTBQ communities, the "featured nation," Israel, will pinkwash itself, exploiting Tel Aviv's gay culture in order to make conference goers into hasbara-ites. Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren and drag performer Osher Sabag will take the lead in molding a new crop of "cheerleaders for Israel," with Oren as the summit's keynote speakers.
Nabeel Rajab has been arrested on the eve of his court appearance.
4 police wounded in Bahrain blast: ministry
Four Bahraini policemen were wounded in a "terrorist" attack in a Shiite village, one of them critically, the kingdom's interior ministry said on Saturday.
A Gulf source sent me this: "Looks like Saudi Arabia will swallow up Bahrain after all (see FP article below). For some time and despite the turmoil, I thought that the government will probably not reinstate the state of emergency law because sustained repression on such a scale is very expensive. Capital flight from Bahrain is taking place as it is. But if 1) a contingency plan to restructure Bahrain's economy is in the works alongside the "unity" project; and 2) Saudi Arabia decides to absorb the high cost of sustained repression -- for which it has the motivation as well as the resources -- the nightmare scenario is not far-fetched at all. It's a truly frightening prospect."
Arabic article: Jordanian torturers in Bahrain
King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa has ratified amendments to Bahrain's constitution, with the monarch-led government hoping the new measures will defuse turmoil in the strategic Gulf state. Opposition groups dismissed the extra powers given to parliament on Thursday as not enough, describing the moves as merely symbolic. Maryam al-Khawaja from the Bahrain Human Rights Society criticises the speech.
Saudi Envoy Returns to Cairo
The ambassador had been recalled and missions were closed after a wave of protests by Egyptians against the detention of an Egyptian lawyer in Saudi Arabia.
Presidential hopeful Amr Moussa criticized attempts by some protesters to cross the barbed wire in front of the Defense Ministry to reach the ministry’s building during the clashes that broke out on Friday in Abbasseya. State-run MENA news service quoted Moussa as saying during his visit to the industrial zone in Qoweisna, Monufiya, “I do not understand how some are attempting to break into the ministry. Where’s the state and what is the point of this invasion? What do those people want? Why enter the ministry? And in whose name? Everyone is starting to think that there is complete chaos in Egypt.”
Ten people have died since Wednesday in clashes between civilians, the army and supporters of the military. The clashes came to a head-on Friday with the army scaling up their attacks on protesters, firing tear gas, water cannons and rubber bullets at protesters in Cairo.
link to english.al-akhbar.com
I remember in 2008 sitting in the office of Abdel Monem Said Aly who at the time was the director of the Al Ahram Center for Strategic Studies when the subject of the Sinai came up. It was a few months' time after Hamas had blown a hole in the wall that separates Gaza from the Egyptian frontier, resulting in thousands of Palestinians rushing into the Sinai to buy supplies and seek medical care. Abdel Monem was not unmoved by the plight of the Palestinians, but he was clearly worried about Egyptian security. He asked me what I thought would happen if a Palestinian extremist group were able to infiltrate Israel from the Sinai and carry out some sort of deadly attack. "How would Israel respond?" Abdel Monem asked rhetorically. He knew that the Israelis would respond, but how, where, and to what extent were unknowns that clearly unsettled him. At one end of the escalation ladder, the Israelis military might try to push into the Sinai much like the Israel Defense Force's periodic advances in Lebanon or the Turkish military's incursions into northern Iraq. This would no doubt put the Egypt-Israel peace treaty and thus Egyptian security in jeopardy. Perhaps the Israelis would use some other tactic, but either way this would create a terrible security dilemma for Egypt's leaders. The Egyptians could absorb the blow and be forced to confront additional opprobrium of their people or they could respond and risk a conflict with Israel that they would likely lose.
A bomb struck a car wash Saturday in Aleppo, killing at least five people, a day after government troops opened fire to break up large protests against a violent university raid in Syria's largest city.
link to news.yahoo.com
Syrian forces kill teenager in another Aleppo attack, reports say
One day after a raid on a local college campus resulted in four deaths, Syrian forces fired on a large group of protesters in Aleppo Friday.
Syrian regime troops used tear gas on Saturday to try to disperse a mass funeral attended by thousands of people who took to the streets of Damascus to mourn slain protesters, a rights group said.
Syrians mourn slain protesters
Thousands of people took to the streets of Damascus on Saturday for funerals to mourn slain protesters, according to video streamed online, despite two explosions that rocked the Syrian capital.
link to news.yahoo.com
An explosive planted under an army vehicle exploded in the Syrian capital Saturday, damaging nine cars, while activists said Syrian forces were combing nearby areas for opponents of the regime.
link to news.yahoo.com
Bloodshed alienates the silent majority, activists say. The truce, while not perfect, has eased violence and provided peaceful protesters a chance to be heard.
Algeria's prime minister called Saturday for his country's stability to be preserved in upcoming polls, arguing he could see no Arab Spring but rather a "plague" wrecking the region.
Saudi Arabia's top religious official has blamed Muslim sinfulness for instability in the Middle East, where pro-democracy unrest has toppled four heads of state. The schism, instability, the malfunctioning of security and the breakdown of unity that Islamic countries are facing these days is a result of the sins of the public and their transgressions," Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Al al-Sheikh was quoted as saying by al-Watan newspaper.