Egypt negotiates ceasefire in Gaza; Mursi vows to ‘stand by Palestinians’
Al Arabiya/AFP 25 Oct — A ceasefire between Israel and armed Palestinian groups in Gaza, negotiated with the help of Egypt, came into force early on Thursday, a Palestinian source told AFP. “The Egyptians negotiated a ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian armed groups,” the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity, without giving further details … The negotiated ceasefire came into effect after Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi said during his first Eid al-Adha speech on Wednesday that “without declaring war against anyone,” Egypt would do its best to support Palestinian in their struggle against Israeli occupation.
“We will never accept any assault or siege on the Palestinian people. Egypt provides Palestine with all its needs such as food and clothing,” the Cairo-based Ahram Online quoted Mursi as saying.
Israel and Hamas hold fire under informal Egypt-brokered truce
Haaretz 25 Oct — Israel will never have agreement with Hamas’, says Israeli official, after two days of cross-border violence leaves four Palestinians dead, three workers in Israel wounded – Palestinian militants held fire overnight on Thursday and Israel refrained from air strikes as an informal truce brokered by Egypt appeared to take hold following two days of violence along the Israel-Gaza border. Palestinians had launched dozens of rockets into Israel over the preceding two days and Israel conducted a number of air raids on the coastal enclave, raising fears of a prolonged, bloody confrontation between the two sides. An Israeli military spokeswoman said the last known rocket was fired from Gaza on Wednesday at 8.00 p.m.
Israeli airstrikes kill 4, injure 8 in Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 24 Oct — Multiple Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip have killed four people and injured eight since late Tuesday, medics said. Israeli warplanes struck a target in Rafah early Wednesday, killing Muhammad al-Sheikh, 32, a member of the PRC’s military wing the Nasser Saladin Brigades. One other person was also injured in the attack. Israel’s army said it was targeting a launching squad which moments earlier had fired a rocket at southern Israel.
At midnight, an airstrike on Beit Lahiya in Gaza’s north killed Ismail al-Tille, a member of Hamas’ al-Qassam Brigades, and injured three others, Gaza Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra told Ma‘an.
Another overnight strike in an area northwest of Beit Lahiya killed Loai Abed al-Hakeen Abu Jarad, 24, and Yousef Abu Jalhoum, al-Qidra said. One other person was seriously wounded.
Two casualties including old woman in Gaza shelling
KHAN YOUNIS (PIC) 24 Oct — Two Palestinian citizens including a 72-year-old woman were wounded in the Israeli artillery shelling to the east of Khan Younis on Wednesday. Local and medical sources told the PIC reporter that Hadiya Qudaih, 72, was injured in her back in the Israeli occupation forces’ shelling. They said that Qudaih was in her land near Huda mosque in Khuza‘a town to the east of Khan Younis, south of the Gaza Strip, when the shelling took place.
Medical sources told the PIC reporter that another woman, Huda Al-Sameiri, suffered shrapnel wounds in her face and limbs while inside her home in Qarara town also due to the IOF ongoing shelling.
Militants join forces as Israel warns of ‘extensive’ operations in Gaza
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 24 Oct — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday warned of “extensive and deeper action” in Gaza as militant groups announced a joint operation room in the enclave. “We neither chose nor initiated this escalation but if it continues we are prepared for much more extensive and deeper action,” Netanyahu said during a tour in Ashkelon, near the Gaza border.
Hamas accused Israel of stepping up its air strikes in the Gaza Strip to vent its anger over Qatar’s Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani’s visit to Gaza on Tuesday and pledged to “continue to hold a gun … until Palestine is liberated”.
Israel has killed four Palestinians, including three Hamas militants, in a series of airstrikes since Tuesday evening. Militants in Gaza have fired 76 rockets into Israel since midnight, an Israeli military spokeswoman told Ma’an.
PRC militants: No truce reached yet
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 24 Oct — The armed wing of the Popular Resistance Committees said Wednesday that no truce had been reached yet with Israel after days of intensified cross-border violence. Al-Nasser Salah al-Din brigades spokesman Abu Mujahed told Ma‘an the group had not been informed of a ceasefire and would respond immediately to any Israeli attack. A Palestinian official told Reuters that Egypt was trying to mediate a truce.
PLO officials condemn Israeli escalation in Gaza
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 24 Oct — Top PLO officials condemned Israel’s escalation in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, after four Palestinians died in airstrikes and rockets pounded southern Israel. Hanan Ashrawi called the attacks on Gaza premeditated, criminal and politically motivated ahead of Israeli elections in January. “The Israeli government is trying to gain votes by killing and attacking people in Gaza; all this is to serve (Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu,” Ashrawi said. “Israel is trying to fully control Gaza and take over its airspace, water and land borders to show that it controls the region … Israel uses Gaza as a testing ground,” she said.
Hamas to complain to UN about Israeli airstrikes
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 24 Oct — The government in Gaza will file a complaint with the United Nations over Israel’s airstrikes, ministers said Wednesday, after a week of bombing left at least six Palestinians dead.
Hamas: Israel aims to kill Palestinian joy for Qatari support
GAZA (PIC) 24 Oct — The Hamas Movement said the new spate of Israel’s military attacks is aimed to kill the Palestinian joy for the landmark visit of his highness Sheikh Hamad Al Thani to the Gaza Strip and his generous support. “The Zionist enemy did not like this joy, this wedding-like visit and this Qatari empathy with Gaza people who want to live without bombing and aggression,” its spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said in a press statement today to Al-Aqsa radio.
Israeli MP calls for liquidating Hamas leaders in Gaza
NAZARETH (PIC) 24 Oct — An Israeli parliament member from the ruling Likud party has called for liquidating Hamas leaders in the Gaza Strip. The Hebrew radio on Wednesday quoted MP Danny Danon as saying that Israel should target the Hamas leaders if it wished to restore its “deterrence”.
Israel closes Gaza crossings
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 24 Oct — Israel on Wednesday closed two crossings on its border with the Gaza Strip, Israeli and Palestinian officials said. Officials in the Palestinian liaison office told Ma‘an the Kerem Shalom and the Erez crossings were closed in both directions. An Israeli liaison official told Ma‘an the crossings were closed because of the “security situation” and did not know when they would reopen.
A Palestinian rights group said the Erez closure followed an airstrike that damaged a nearby facility … The Palestinian Center for Human Rights on Wednesday condemned what it termed Israel’s targeting of the Palestinian customs checkpoint, injuring a policeman. The group said a Palestinian policeman sustained serious wounds, and damage was caused to surrounding facilities in the area. PCHR also denounced the army’s closure of the crossing during which certain categories of Palestinians were denied travel, including patients who have obtained medical referrals. The group said the attack left Hassan Abu Jabal, 25, who was on duty, critically injured. Damage to the electricity network also resulted in power outages in the area.
‘No reason’ to shoot Gaza fisherman, family says
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 24 Oct — The family of a 22-year-old fisherman killed by Israeli forces says soldiers had no reason to kill him. Fahmi Abu Riash, father of a one-year-old son, was fatally shot by Israeli soldiers while fishing at the beach in Beit Lahiya in northern Gaza in late September. His brother Youssef was shot and wounded. Their mother, Mariam, told the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) that the family frequently fished in the area, and she usually accompanied them to make them lunch at the beach. “We used to go to that same place all the time and the soldiers used to watch us. My whole family used to swim, cook and have fun there over the weekends. They knew who we were…”
Photos: Palestinians smuggle sheep to Gaza through tunnel under Egypt border / Abed Rahim Khatib, Rafah
23 Oct — Palestinians smuggled sheep to Gaza in a tunnel under Egypt’s border for the Muslim celebration of Eid Al-Adha, where goats, sheep and camels are slaughtered commemorating Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail on God’s command.
Miles of Smiles convoy heads to Gaza
El-ARISH, Egypt (Ma‘an) 24 Oct — A Gaza-bound Miles of Smiles aid convoy arrived in Egypt late Tuesday, Egyptian authorities said. The convoy is due to arrive in Gaza on Wednesday carrying 23 cars adapted for people with disabilities. Over 80 solidarity activists are traveling with the convoy from Jordan, Indonesia, Turkey, Algeria, Qatar, Egypt, Kuwait, Holland, and the UK, Egyptian security officials said.
Islamic University of Gaza awards honorary doctorate to Chomsky
MEMO 22 Oct — EXCLUSIVE PICTURES –The Islamic University of Gaza yesterday awarded an honorary doctorate to the American linguist and thinker Noam Chomsky. The world renowned figure has been attending a linguistic conference in the Gaza.
Land, property theft & destruction / Intolerance of non-Jewish religions
Catholic leaders in the Holy Land call on Israel to restrain from its plan to separate Cremisan Valley from Bethlehem
PNN 24 Oct — The Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land condemns the planned route of the separation wall in Cremisan valley. The issued seizure orders affect Al Walaja village and 58 Christian families from Beit Jala whose livelihood depends on this land. Furthermore, the two local Salesian congregations located there would be negatively affected in their Mission work towards the local community. Separated from Cremisan valley, the local community will lose one of its last big agricultural and recreational areas as well as a crucial water sources for farmers. In fact, Cremisan green area is the main lung through which the population of Bethlehem can breathe. Besides, the 450 children attending the Salesian Sisters School will have to go to a prison-like school, surrounded by military barriers and check-points.
‘Al-Aqsa': Occupation to destroy Islamic symbols in Al-Wad street in Jerusalem
IMEMC Jerusalem – Al-Quds 24 Oct — The “Al-Aqsa Foundation for Waqf and Heritage” assured that the Israeli occupation and all its executive organizations and companies are striving to destroy the historical Islamic sites located in ancient Al-Wad Street. According to restoration, development and maintenance reasons they are changing the façade of houses and shops along the road that goes between Damascus Gate — one of the most important gates of Jerusalem — and all the several doors of the Holy Al-Aqsa Mosque, from the west side to Al-Buraq.
Mosque damaged in violent Israeli pounding of southern Gaza
KHAN YOUNIS (PIC) 24 Oct — A mosque in Khuza‘a town to the east of Khan Younis was partially damaged in Israeli violent artillery pounding on Wednesday, local sources said. They told the PIC reporter that Israeli army tanks fired dozens of shells at the area to the east of Khan Younis, which is located south of the Gaza Strip. The sources explained that at least one bomb hit the mosque’s minaret while two others hit a water tank also in Khuza‘a while dozens slammed into cultivated land lots near to the border fence.
IOA confiscates Palestinian land in Bethlehem village
BETHLEHEM (PIC) 24 Oct — The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) has expropriated 200 dunums of Palestinian land in Al-Khader village, south of Bethlehem. The popular committee in the village told the PIC on Wednesday that the IOA said that the land, south of Al-Khader, was now “state property”. It charged that the land would be distributed to Jewish settlers, adding that it would be most probably added to the nearby Efrat settlement.
Israel cut deal with Ulpana settlers to ensure peaceful evacuation
Haaretz 24 Oct — State promised to build 90 new homes in nearby Beit El under agreement approved by Defense Minister Ehud Barak in August. It is currently being processed by the Civil Administration.
Israeli forces destroy 5 wells near Jenin
JENIN 24 Oct (WAFA) – Israeli forces Wednesday destroyed five artesian wells and a water spring in the village of Kufr Dan, east of Jenin under the pretext of being built without permit, according to local sources … They said the village of Kufr Dan is considered the main source of water in west of Jenin area, providing many residents with drinking water … Israeli forces demolished around 20 water wells in the village during the last year, causing severe financial loss.
Settlers pump waste water into Palestinian land
BETHLEHEM 24 Oct (WAFA) – Jewish settlers from the illegal settlement of Betar Illit Wednesday pumped waste water coming out from the settlement into Palestinian-owned agricultural land in the village of Nahalin, west of Bethlehem, according to a local source. Head of Nahalin village council Osama Shakareen said that the waste water stemming from the nearby settlement of Beitar Illit, built illegally on confiscated land from the Palestinian villages of Wadi Fukin, Husan and Nahalin, flooded large areas of the village land planted with olives, grapes, and almond trees, causing severe damage to the crops.
Israeli forces demolish agricultural facilities, well near Hebron
HEBRON 24 Oct (WAFA) – Israeli forces Wednesday demolished agricultural facilities, wells, and sheds in an area in the town of Idna, west of Hebron without any prior notice, according to local sources
Israeli forces seize tractor in Jordan Valley
TUBAS 23 Oct (WAFA) — Israeli forces Tuesday seized an agricultural tractor at Bardala village checkpoint, in the northern Jordan Valley, according to Palestinian security sources. They told WAFA that Israeli forces seized a tractor belonging to Iyad Sawafteh while he was crossing the checkpoint.
Israeli Violence / Raids / Arrests
Soldiers invade several areas near Jenin
IMEMC 24 Oct — Israeli soldiers invaded, overnight, several areas near the northern West Bank city of Jenin, and conducted military training in a number of villages while military helicopters flew overhead, local sources reported. Dozens of Israeli soldiers and paratroopers were deployed in and around the villages of Al-Kafeer and Aqaaba, south of Jenin, and fired rounds of live ammunition while military helicopters fired flares as the army conducted its training.
Israeli forces round up three Jerusalemites of one family
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 24 Oct — Israeli occupation soldiers rounded up three Palestinians in Silwan town, south of the Aqsa mosque, at dawn Wednesday, Wadi Halwa information center said. It said that the soldiers broke into the home of Harbi Abbasi, 45, at dawn and locked up the entire family in one room. The center quoted Harbi’s wife as saying that the soldiers arrested her son Salem, 17, then dragged her husband into one of the rooms and beat him up before arresting him as well. She said that the soldiers also beat her brother Ahmed with their rifle butts when he tried to inquire why the soldiers were beating her husband, adding that the soldiers searched the room of Salem … The center said that the Israeli soldiers also arrested Emaddudin Abbasi, 24, of the same family.
IOF kidnap two university students at behest of PA
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 24 Oct — The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) kidnapped on Tuesday evening two students of Al-Khalil university in the context of its security cooperation with the Palestinian Authority. A force of Israeli troops raided and ransacked the house of student Muhannad Halayka in Al-Khalil before taking him in chains to an unknown destination, his family said. The family noted that Halayka was detained many times by the Palestinian Authority security forces because of his participation in protests against the arbitrary arrest of students. The IOF also kidnapped student Mohamed Abu Arqoub in an ambush near Deir Samit village southwest of Al-Khalil.
Photos: Three arrested as settlers, soldiers disrupt Hebron olive harvest
972mag 23 Oct — It was the first time Hashem Al Azzeh could harvest his olives in five years. Living directly next door to the Tel Rumeida settlement, which like all West Bank settlements is illegal under international law, he has faced years of harassment and violence from some of Israel’s most ideological settlers. But this year, having coordinated with the proper authorities, he planned to quickly and quietly harvest the few trees standing between his house and the caravans stacked on top of each other to form the Jewish enclave just up the hill.
Activism / Solidarity
More than 100 Palestinians hold anti-occupation protest in settlement supermarket
Popular Struggle Coordination Committee 24 Oct — This morning, more than 100 Palestinians, joined by number of international activists staged an action protest at the entrance of Rami Levi’s supermarket in Sha’ar Benjamin settlement north of Ramallah, to protest occupation and settler terror. They entered the market and walked up and down the aisles chanting for freedom and waving Palestinians flags. As activists exited the building, about forty policemen and soldiers were waiting outside, they attacked physically the demonstrators and fired stun grenades at them, causing several injuries, two of which were taken by ambulance to the hospital. Four people, including Basim Tamimi, the head of the Popular Committee of Nabi Saleh, were beaten and arrested by Israeli police. Tamimi’s ribs were broken and several Palestinians were injured. Protesters called for the boycott of occupation and all its products, and stressed that “as long as there is no justice to Palestinians, Israeli and settler daily life can’t continue on as normal.”
Bassem Tamimi injured and arrested with 3 others at Boycott Israel protest
ISM West Bank 24 Oct — Four people, including Bassem Tamimi, the head of the Popular Committee of Nabi Saleh, were arrested by Israeli police today as Palestinians staged a peaceful direct action in an Israeli supermarket near the illegal settlement of Shaar Binyamin, north of Ramallah, calling for a boycott of Israeli goods. Two Palestinians were injured and removed in ambulances. Before he was arrested, Tamimi’s ribs were reportedly broken. Two of those arrested were international human rights activists. One is an American and the other is from Poland. The American activist was dragged away by four Israeli officers …
Even though the demonstrators remained non-violent, soldiers punched, dragged and choked them. As one Palestinian man was pulled away from the soldiers by other demonstrators, to prevent his arrest, his walking stick was taken away as he lay on the ground — following this, he could not walk without assistance. A sound bomb was thrown just metres from the head of another Palestinian man who was already unconscious following attacks from the authorities.
IOF breaks up a sit-in in solidarity with prisoners in Ramallah
RAMALLAH (PIC) 24 Oct — Tens of Palestinian citizens participated on Tuesday in a sit-in outside Ofer prison in solidarity with the Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike and the liberated prisoners who were re-arrested in recent months by the Israeli occupation forces (IOF). Violent clashes broke out between the demonstrators and IOF soldiers while trying to break up the sit-in, where the soldiers fired tear and toxic gas and rubber bullets, causing injuries to protesters and dozens of cases of suffocation.
Canada’s representative joins farmers in picking olives
JENIN 23 Oct (WAFA) — Canada’s representative to the Palestinian Authority Chris Greenshields and his staff Tuesday joined farmers in the Jenin area town of Zababdeh in picking olives, according to an official at the town council. Zababdeh acting mayor Issam Ibrahim welcomed the delegation before accompanying them to a lot on the outskirts of town where Greenshields and staff helped a local farmer pick olives.
Prison guards ‘abused hunger striker’ in Nafha jail
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 24 Oct — Israeli prison guards physically and verbally abused a long-term hunger striker at Nafha jail on Monday, witnesses said. Samer al-Issawi, who has been on hunger strike for 85 days, was attacked, pushed to the ground and insulted by guards on his return to Nafha jail from Ofer military court Monday, prisoners who witnessed the attack told their lawyer Ibtisam al-Anati on Wednesday … Issawi was one of eight prisoners rearrested after their release in the Oct. 2011 prisoner exchange between Israel and Hamas. The Hurriyat rights group said its lawyer was prevented from seeing Issawi even though she had a permit.
Israel court reduces prison sentence of Fatah detainee
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 24 Oct — Israel’s Ofer military court on Wednesday reduced the prison sentence of a Fatah detainee, the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Prisoners said. Iyad Mousa al-Froukh, a member of Fatah’s Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, was originally charged with four life sentences but his term was reduced to 10 years imprisonment. Al-Froukh was arrested in 2006 and has already served six years in jail.
Political developments, other news
Abbas: Palestinians ready for peace talks with Israel if UN bid succeeds
Reuters 24 Oct — PA president says his campaign for status change at UN is not a substitute for negotiations with Israel — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Wednesday he would be ready for negotiations with Israel “straightaway” if the UN recognized Palestine as a non-member state.
PLO briefs Europe on UN upgrade plans
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 24 Oct — The PLO began distributing a position paper to European governments on Wednesday, detailing plans to seek an upgrade of Palestine’s status at the United Nations in November … it says Palestine’s right to self-determination does not require Israeli approval. The text underscores concerns about how the United States and Israel will respond if the UN bid succeeds, and it asks European countries not to go along with possible sanctions against the Palestinian Authority.
Prince of Qatar: ‘Gaza steadfastness helped launch the Arab Spring’
IMEMC/Agencies 24 Oct — Talking from Gaza, the Prince of Qatar, Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, stated that the Palestinians need to end all internal divisions and achieve comprehensive unity, adding that the steadfastness of the Palestinian people in Gaza, living under constant Israeli attacks and siege, helped launch the Arab Spring. Speaking at the Islamic University in Gaza, Al-Thani stated that the Palestinians need to implement the Unity Agreement signed in Doha-Qatar and Cairo-Egypt, adding that internal unrest is more harmful than the Israeli escalation. He also said that “the wind of change is blowing in the Arab World”, and that this might have marginalized political and media attention to the Palestinian cause, an issue, according to Hamad, “that requires the Palestinians to unite”.
Erekat hopes emir of Qatar’s visit will aid reconciliation
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 24 Oct — PLO official Saeb Erekat said Wednesday that he hopes the emir of Qatar’s Gaza visit will help efforts for reconciliation between the rival political factions. “We support helping the people of Gaza and providing humanitarian aid. We appreciate Qatari help in lifting the blockade on the Gaza people,” Erekat told Ma‘an.The emir’s visit does not delegitimize the PLO, he said, adding that Hamas must realize that legitimacy comes through the ballot box, not international visits. [as if Hamas hadn’t won the last (2006) election, with 74 seats to Fatah’s 45, not that they were allowed to form a government]
University staff call off strike in West Bank
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 24 Oct — University workers will return to work on Wednesday but Palestinian Authority employees will strike for a second day, union officials said Tuesday.
Mifdal starts election campaign with the slogan ‘Jordan Is Palestine’
NAZARETH (PIC) 24 Oct — The Israeli National Union party or the Mifdal has kicked off its election campaign for the general elections with the slogan “Jordan is Palestine”. Aryeh Eldad, the leader of the party, said on Tuesday that the campaign would be the most appropriate Israeli policy at this stage especially regarding the issue of Palestinian refugees. He said that the campaign “Jordan is Palestine” would serve as the best alternative for the Israeli “suicide” plan of allowing a Palestinian state in the West Bank. A number of Israeli parties were adopting a similar approach in a bid to dissolve the Palestinian refugees issue.
Swiss experts want guarantees before joining Arafat probe
Vienna/Lausanne, Switzerland (dpa) 24 Oct — Swiss scientists are planning to join French experts to probe whether Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was poisoned, but the conditions for their work have yet to be ironed out, the Lausanne university hospital said Wednesday … The Swiss experts want their results to be made available to scientific peers; they want to play an active part in the analysis; and they do not want to be drawn into political or legal conflicts. “Prospects look rather good” that such an agreement can be made in time so that a joint French-Swiss investigation can start by the end of November, Christen said. After the end of next month, the polonium traces will have disintegrated.
Israel sabotages Sudanese weapons factory / Richard Silverstein
[with video] Tikun Olam 24 Oct — Israel’s Mossad continued its campaign of sabotage through the Arab world with a bombing at one of Sudan’s national weapons factories in the national capital, Kharthoum. Though Sudan said only two workers were killed in the explosion and several wounded, given the stories told by eyewitnesses on the ground of live ammunition sailing through the air into homes neighboring the factory, I’m guessing the death count is higher … While it’s true that local residents were angry at the government for placing a weapons factory in their midst, someone should be equally angry that the Mossad thought it appropriate to destroy an ammunition depot surrounded by a densely built civilian neighborhood.
Arabs grudgingly favor Obama in US election
Cairo (Reuters) 24 Oct — Many in the Middle East believe Barack Obama failed to deliver on promises of a new U.S. approach in the region but still prefer him to presidential rival Mitt Romney, who they see as too close to Israel and too keen to project U.S. military might.
Analysis / Opinion
Palestinian cause gains ground in American mainstream / Ahmed Moor
Al Jazeera 24 Oct — On Palestine, change is underway. Despite the best efforts of Binyamin Netanyahu, Barack Obama and John Boehner, the Palestinian cause is gaining ground in the American mainstream – a necessary step for changing the reality on the ground. Just how much we have gained was evident in downtown Manhattan in the first week of October … Not surprisingly, some of the most committed social justice work takes place at universities. Activism at universities is particularly notable for its self-propulsion and reliance on forward movement. In an environment where membership in organisations is subject to high levels of turnover, new ideas and energy are elemental parts of building an on-campus movement. Today, that energy and focus on growth means that the national Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) movement is flourishing at an unprecedented rate. Young Americans of all races are taking a stand against apartheid in Palestine. If Palestine is anything like Vietnam, civil rights, or South Africa – and I believe it is – then their movement on this issue portends a policy change in the future.
Union of Muslim Scholars calls Qatari visit to Gaza ‘bold and historic move’
MEMO 24 Oct — The International Union of Muslim Scholars has expressed its appreciation of the Emir of Qatar’s visit to the Gaza Strip on Tuesday. Describing the visit as “a bold and historic move”, the Union called upon the other leaders of the Arab and Islamic world to follow the lead taken by Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani in breaking the illegal and immoral siege imposed on Gaza. A statement from the Union expressed regret at Egypt’s role in sustaining the siege under the ousted regime of Hosni Mubarak which resulted in many deaths and great hardship for the Palestinians.
Sheikh Hamad: Ahlan wasahlan (welcome to Palestine) / Khalid Amayreh
PIC 22 Oct — It is very difficult to underestimate or downplay the visit of the Qatari Emir, his highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani to the Gaza Strip. The visit, short in its duration, will be proven monumental in its symbolism as well as its practical ramifications. The fact that an Arab statesman has decided to fly in the face of Israeli hegemony and the so-called “international consensus” by visiting the thoroughly abandoned, thoroughly blockaded, thoroughly starved and thoroughly tormented Gaza is a badge of honor for Qatar and its gallant and generous Emir … Qatar is not a super power, neither in the political nor in the economic sense. However, Qatar is a moral super power in its own right. One may not agree with everything the Emir of Qatar and state of Qatar have done, including hosting American military bases on the small island. None the less, whatever one’s objections about this dimension of Qatar’s internal policies, one should never forget or ignore the positive role the small emirate has carried out in the Arab world,