IN PHOTOS ~~ REMEMBERING THE ‘OTHER’ SIX MILLION

Image by Carlos Latuff

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Umm Akram and Amena are among six million Palestinians not living in Palestine. They are citizens of no country.

VOICES FROM THE NAKBA

Monday, May 2
6:00PM
NYU School of Law

On May 14, 1948, 18-year-old Mariam Fathallah, her family, and the rest of the Palestinian town of Al-Zeeb were forced out of their homes and into Lebanon. By the end of the year, their 4,000 year-old community was leveled and half of all Palestinians in Palestine had been killed or expelled. Palestinians know this event as the Nakba (“the catastrophe”). Mariam, now 86 years old and respectfully known as Umm Akram, has spent the last 68 years in crowded, makeshift refugee camps, where she has raised three generations of children who are waiting to return to their homes in Palestine. She has lived through 5 Israeli invasions of Lebanon and the 1976 Tel Al-Zaatar camp massacre which killed 2,000 refugees.

Amena El-Ashkar, 23, is the granddaughter and great granddaughter of Nakba survivors and has known no home other than a refugee camp.

Umm Akram and Amena are among six million Palestinians not living in Palestine. They are citizens of no country.

Photos © Bud Korotzer

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NEW VIDEO ~~ MEET THE CHILDREN OF THE CAMP

BETHLEHEM, West Bank — Children from Bethlehem’s Aida and Beit Jibrin refugee camps talk to Mondoweiss about their life in the camps. Filmmakers Sheren Khalel and Abed al Qaisi wanted to know exactly how much the children understood about the military occupation going on around them, and how normal they believed their lives were. With their parents permission, Khalel and al Qaisi asked five children from the streets of the two camps what they thought. All of the answers were spontaneous and unrehearsed, and as it turned out, the kids understood — and have experienced — quite a lot.

Many of the children talked about tear gas, soldiers, and being scared of going outside. All of the children have seen family members killed, injured and detained by Israeli forces — as is the life in the occupied West Bank’s many refugee camps. Still, the children have high hopes, telling Mondoweiss they want to be doctors, lawyers and engineers when they grow up.

IN PHOTOS ~~ NEW YORK SOLIDARITY WITH YARMOUK REFUGEE CAMP

March from Bryant Park to United Nations Headquarters

Photos © by Bud Korotzer

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See THIS recent post  (Click on link)

WORLD TURNS A BLIND EYE TO ISIS’ MASSACRE OF PALESTINIANS

THE PALESTINIAN DREAM IS STILL WAITING TO HAPPEN

Martin Luther King’s dream has turned into a nightmare …. but the Palestinian dream is still waiting to happen.

51 YEARS AGO TODAY

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AP PHOTOS ~~ PALESTINIAN EXILES DREAM OF RETURN
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In this Sunday, June 15, 2014 photo, Palestinian refugee Sabhah Abu Latifah, 85, poses for a picture in front of a wall painted with a mural depicting prisoners jailed in Israel in Kalandia refugee camp between Jerusalem and the West Bank city of Ramallah, were she has lived with her family since they fled during the war over Israel’s 1948 creation. She was 19 years old.(AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)

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In this Wednesday, June 18, 2014 photo, Palestinian refugee Layla Afaneh, 67, poses for a picture in front of a wall painted with a mural in the Kalandia refugee camp between Jerusalem and the West Bank city of Ramallah. Layla was a year and a half old when she and seven other members of her family were forced to leave their village of Barfeelia, near the central Israeli town of Ramla, when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled or were forced out their homes in the Mideast war over Israel’s 1948 creation.(AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)

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In this Wednesday, June 18, 2014 photo, Palestinian refugee Mohammed Emtair, 85, poses for a picture in front of a mural depicting the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in the Kalandia refugee camp between Jerusalem and the West Bank city of Ramallah. The United Nations refugee agency says that at the end of last year, more than 50 million people have been forced from their homes worldwide, the highest figure of displaced since World War II. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)

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In this Tuesday, June 17, 2014 photo, Palestinian refugee Jamilah Shalabi, 70, poses for a picture in front of a wall painted with a mural in the West Bank refugee camp of Jenin, where she has lived since she was 4 years old when she and her parents were forced to leave their home in Zarin village, near the in the northern Israeli town of Beit Shean. More than 700,000 Palestinians fled or were driven out in the 1948 Mideast war, according to U.N. figures. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)

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More photos and AP Report can be seen HERE

 

AS ISRAEL CELEBRATES ITS INDEPENDENCE, MOTHER PALESTINE RELIVES 66 YEARS OF THE NAKBA

During this tragic period of remembrance, just a reminder that NEVER AGAIN means something, TODAY!
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Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff
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Sam Bahour سام بحّور – Refugees Waiting

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Sam Bahour is a Palestinian-American based in Al-Bireh/Ramallah, Palestine. He is a freelance business consultant operating as Applied Information Management (AIM), specializing in business development with a niche focus on the information technology sector and start-ups. Sam was instrumental in the establishment of the Palestine Telecommunications Company and the PLAZA Shopping Center and until recently served as a Board of Trustees member at Birzeit University. He is a Director at the Arab Islamic Bank and serves in various capacities in several community organizations. Sam writes frequently on Palestinian affairs and has been widely published. He is co-editor of HOMELAND: Oral History of Palestine and Palestinians.
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يحمل رجل الأعمال الفلسطيني سام بحور الجنسية الأميركية وهو يسكن في مدينة البيرة في رام الله، فلسطين. ويعمل بشكل مستقل كمستشار ومنسق مشاريع كما يملك شركة لإدارة المعلومات التطبيقية (إيم) وهي تختص في تطوير الأعمال والمشاريع مع تركيز على الشركات الناشئة. ولعب سام دوراً أساسياً في تأسيس شركة الإتصالات الفلسطينية (بالتل)، ومركز بلازا للتسوق. وأصبح مؤخراً عضو فاعل في مجلس الأمناء في جامعة بيرزيت. ويشغل حالياً منصب عضو مجلس إدارة في البنك الإسلامي العربي، كما يشغل عدة مناصب أخرى في منظمات المجتمع المدني. ويركز سام كثيراً في كتاباته على الشؤون الفلسطينية، فتنشر مقالاته على نطاق واسع. ساهم سام في تحرير كتاب “الوطن: التاريخ الشفوي لفلسطين والفلسطينيين” ويمكن معرفة المزيد عنه والاطلاع على مقالاته من خلال تصفح مدونته على الموقع الالكتروني التالي: www.epalestine.com
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How quickly it was forgotten that the Jews were also victims of a Nakba …
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Fiddler on the Nakba

A scene from Fiddler on the Roof

Yesterday I listened to Terry Gross interviewing Sheldon Harnick, the lyricist for “Fiddler on the Roof.” As they talked about Russian villages in which Jews were persecuted, and which they fled to come to America– “forced out,” Gross said repeatedly — Gross and Harnick became emotional. Gross is a private person; but she spoke of her parents openly. She and Harnick were telling an ancestral Jewish story, and a moving one.

I could not help thinking about Palestinian remembrances of their villages that they were forced out of during the creation of Israel. “Their only home,” to use Gross’s phrase. They speak with similar attachment about a lost world. They cherish photos and keys and memories. Just look at the movie “When I Saw You.”

And of course I wondered when American culture will commemorate and honor the Nakba, the Palestinian catastrophe, in which 750,000 Palestinians lost their homes.

Excerpts of the interview:

Gross: And “Fiddler on the Roof” is set in 1905 in a Jewish village in Czarist Russia, where the Jews are under attack and eventually forced out. ..

So in the show “Fiddler on the Roof,” there’s a song called “Anatevka,” which the Jews in this small town sing when they are forced out of their village, Anatevka. And it’s a very – the song that’s used in the show is both about well, it’s just a place, it’s not an important place, but it’s also very nostalgic song for the place that they are being forced to leave, the place that is their only home….

You know, when I hear some of the songs from “Fiddler on the Roof,” I get tears in my eyes, in part because my parents had very few albums when I was growing up but they had “Fiddler on the Roof” and they played it over and over and over and over. And it really started to drive me crazy.

But when I hear it now, you know, my parents passed, you know, like several years ago and when I hear it now I think about my parents and I think not only about how good the songs are but I think what those songs meant to them and what it was like for them in the 1960s to go to Broadway and see a show about Jews on a shtetl in Eastern Europe because their parents had been Jews in shtetls in Eastern Europe.

And I’m sure you know how much this musical meant, you know, has meant to so many people.

HARNICK: Yes. One of the things – when Jerome Robbins became our director he told us this story. He said when he was six his parents took him to that part of Poland where their ancestors came from and even at the age of six he remembers it as being a very emotional experience.

Then during World War II as he read about the extermination of these little village by the Nazis he was certain that the village that he had visited when he was six was one of those villages that had been obliterated. So when we gave him the opportunity to direct “Fiddler” he said I want to put that culture back on stage. I want to give it a theatrical life of another 25 years. He was being modest because now it’s almost 50 years and it’s still going strong.

But he was like a man obsessed with restoring that culture.

Some day Palestinian culture will be similarly honored. But it’s a ways off…

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Palestinians can NOW find their village … thanks to Zochrot

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Since 2002 Zochrot has been promoting Israeli Jewish society’s acknowledgement of, and accountability for, the ongoing injustices of the Nakba and the reconceptualization of Return as the imperative redress of the Nakba, and a chance for a better life for the entire country’s inhabitants. Zochrot challenges the Israeli Jewish public’s preconceptions, and promotes awareness, political, and cultural change within it to create the conditions for the Return of Palestinian Refugees and a shared life in this country.

iNakba is a trilingual mobile app (Arabic, Hebrew and English) based on GPS Navigation technology. This app allows users to locate and learn about Palestinian localities destroyed during, and as a result of, the Nakba since 1948.

The application provides coordinates and maps of Palestinian localities that were completely ruined, destroyed, obliterated after their capture, partially demolished, or remained standing but were depopulated and their residents expelled. The app also provides historical information and includes video clips and photographs of these localities. The app is interactive; it allows users to add pictures of the destroyed localities, as well as share their comments and follow updates about selected localities.

We Need Your Help!

Not all the destroyed or depopulated localities are represented by video clips or photographs. Some of the coordinates provided may be inaccurate or incomplete. Zochrot is constantly augmenting the information about all the demolished localities, and we invite users to help us by adding photographs, video clips, updates, and/or corrections. Please send comments and audio-visual corrections and additions to: inakba@zochrot.org, or via the app’s “Contact Us” link.

Further Development

The iNakba app is currently only available for iPhones, but we are developing versions for additional devices while updating and expanding the information with the help of iNakba users.

Zochrot is grateful to Netaj company in Nazareth for their professionalism in developing iNakba.

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YARMOUK REVISITED ~~ SHARON’S LEGACY DID NOT END WITH HIS COMA OR HIS DEATH

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff
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This is the first anniversary of the Yarmouk massacre …. the original report is below.
Ariel Sharon’s legacy did not end with his coma or his death …
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At least 21 killed in shelling on Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp in Syria: NGO

More than 20,000 people have been killed in Syria since the anti-Assad revolt began in March 2011, according to the Observatory. (Reuters)

More than 20,000 people have been killed in Syria since the anti-Assad revolt began in March 2011, according to the Observatory. (Reuters)
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At least 21 civilians have been killed on Friday in shelling by the Syrian regime forces on the Yarmuk Palestinian refugee camp in the Syrian capital, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Friday.

“The number of people killed by the mortar attack on the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp has risen to 21, two of those killed were children. four bodies remain unidentified,” the watchdog reported.

 

The watchdog said the mortar shells slammed into the camp, on the southern outskirts of Damascus, on Thursday night, as President Bashar al-Assad’s regime pressed its bid to crush an uprising that erupted almost 17 months ago.

Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman said the shelling occurred as clashes flared between government troops and opposition fighters in the nearby Damascus neighborhood of Tadamun.

 

“We demand an international investigation. We do not know the origin of the shelling,” Abdel Rahman told AFP in Beirut on the telephone.

The Observatory also reported heavy shelling overnight around Houla, a town in the central province of Homs where at least 108 people were massacred at the end of May, triggering international outrage.

In the town of Hama, more than 60 people have been killed in what activists described as a new massacre, the Syrian Coordination Committees.

Abu al-Qassim, of the Union of Hama revolutionaries, said the victims included dozens of children, women and members of the opposition Free Army.

“From Yesterday today, more than 60 people have been killed in a real massacre. The city is a ghost town,” he told Al Arabiya by phone.

More than 20,000 people have been killed in Syria since the anti-Assad revolt began in March 2011, according to the Observatory. There is no way to independently verify this figure, while the UN has stopped keeping count.

The Observatory also reported that the Salaheddin neighborhood of Aleppo was bombarded on Friday morning, with clashes continuing in the Zebdiya neighborhood.

NEW YORK TIMES ACKNOWLEDGES THAT THERE IS A PALESTINE // IN PHOTOS

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Tis the season of celebrating miracles in the Holy Land. Chanukah commemorates one of the best known sagas of the Jewish people …. but still another miracle occurred just this week when the zio New York Times actually admitted to its readers that there is a Palestine.
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Palestinian refugees arriving in east Jordan in 1968.
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Photographs Tell a History of Palestinians Unmoored

By ISABEL KERSHNER

JERUSALEM — There is one picture of Palestinian children studying around a small table by the dim light of gas lamps in the Beach Camp in Gaza, and another of children peeking over a sandy dune, with rows of small, uniform shacks of a desolate refugee camp in the background. In a third, a family walks across the Allenby Bridge, the father carrying two bulging suitcases, a young son clutching a white ball, heading east over the Jordan River.

These are a few of the black and white images, many of them powerful and haunting, that will eventually constitute a digital archive compiled by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, the first part of which was unveiled Thursday at a gallery in the Old City here. Together, they capture the Palestinian refugee experience from the 1948 war onward, giving form to a seminal chapter in Palestinian history, identity and collective memory.

For decades, about half a million negatives, prints, slides and various forms of film footage have been hidden away in the archive of UNRWA, the organization that assists Palestinian refugees. Stored in buildings in Gaza and Amman, Jordan, the materials had begun to grow moldy.

So officials started a preservation mission, digitizing the archive, which also documents the work of the agency. The exhibit that opened Thursday, called “The Long Journey,” will soon go on tour to large cities in the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon and possibly Syria, and will also be shown at cultural and political centers in Europe and North America. The images will also be made accessible to the general public on a special website.

“This is an important piece of work,” Filippo Grandi, the agency’s commissioner-general, told reporters at the opening in the Old City. “It is a contribution to building a national heritage for the Palestinians.”

Palestinians refer to the events of 1948 as al-Nakba, Arabic for “the catastrophe.” About 700,000 Arabs fled or were expelled from their homes during the Arab-Israeli war over the foundation of Israel. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were later displaced by the Arab-Israeli war of 1967, some becoming refugees twice over. Tens of thousands have recently been displaced again, reliving the trauma, because of the civil war raging in Syria.

But the refugee issue remains one of the most delicate and complex elements of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, at the core of the two sides’ clashing historical narratives. So it was perhaps inevitable that some Israelis would view the new memorialization of the refugee experience through a prism of politics and contention.

“When was the last time that any United Nations agency raised so much money and invested so much effort in organizing and circulating around the world the documentation of a specific plight like that of the Palestinian refugees? Never,” said Yigal Palmor, the spokesman for Israel’s Foreign Ministry.

“This only emphasizes the strident anomaly of the dedication of a disproportionate part of the United Nations budget, staff, time and resources to the Palestinian issue exclusively at the expense of, and to the detriment of, all other similar issues,” he added.

Israel vehemently rejects the Palestinian demand for a right of return for the refugees who, by the agency’s count, now number around five million, including the descendants. It says that any mass influx would spell the end of Israel as a predominantly Jewish state. Israelis often blame the very existence of the agency — which was set up in 1949 to deal with the Palestinian refugees and which provides relief, education and health services — for prolonging their sense of impermanence.

The world’s other refugees are handled by a single agency that was set up later, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Mr. Palmor said that while the agency mostly did good work on the ground, it was “dedicated to preserving the refugees’ status rather than encouraging their resettlement or integration in their current or alternative locations, contributing to the perpetuation of the Palestinian refugee problem.”

At the exhibit, Mr. Grandi said he was aware that the refugee issue had its political aspects. But, he added, “Remember, this is also about people, about individuals with their own plights and achievements.”

Christopher Gunness, an agency spokesman, said its mandate was to help the refugees and to advocate for their rights until all sides to the conflict negotiated a just and durable solution.

“What is perpetuating the refugee problem,” he said, “is the failure of the political parties to resolve it.”

Mr. Gunness added that the Palestinian refugees would have the same rights and status under any United Nations agency.

“Everyone has a right to understand, to study and feel a part of their history,” he said. “Are we supposed to engage in denial of the events of 1948? The refugee experience is an essential part of Palestinian identity.”

Funding for the project, about $1 million so far, has come from the Danish and French governments and from the Palestinian private sector. It comes as the agency is struggling with a budget deficit and appealing for emergency funds to cover its needs in the West Bank and Gaza and to contend with the crisis in Syria.

Mr. Gunness said that the money raised for the archive project had nothing to do with the budgets for staff salaries or refugee welfare.

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The exhibit captures the Palestinian refugee experience since 1948.

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Children in a camp in east Jordan received vaccinations.

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A medical team examined children near Amman, Jordan.

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Palestinians refer to the events of 1948 as “the catastrophe.”

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Hundreds of thousands were displaced during the 1967 war.

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Children being taught at a refugee camp in east Jordan.

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The exhibition will appear in cities across the Middle East.

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Nahr el Bared camp, near Lebanon, shown in 1952.

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PALESTINIAN REFUGEES ~~ BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE

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Half of the almost 500,000 registered Palestine refugees have now been displaced from their homes as shelling and fighting continue to encroach on their areas in Syria, and 44,000 refugee homes have been damaged, UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestine refugees, said this week.
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“We have become refugees again,” say Palestinians from Syria now in Gaza

 Ali Abunimah
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As Palestine refugees face an increasingly dire situation in Syria, some have made their way to the Gaza Strip, as Yousef Al-Helou finds in this video report for The Real News.

This route to safety is closed off, at least for now, amid the turmoil in Egypt.

Half of the almost 500,000 registered Palestine refugees have now been displaced from their homes as shelling and fighting continue to encroach on their areas in Syria, and 44,000 refugee homes have been damaged, UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestine refugees, said this week.

Hundreds of Palestinians have been killed, including six in Yarmouk camp near Damascus over the last week, one of whom was the son of an UNRWA staff member.

From Damascus to Gaza, via Egypt

The number of Palestinians who have made it to Gaza is unknown, but Al-Helou cites estimates of around 800 persons.

“We Palestinian refugees have become refugees another time,” Muhammad al-Sheikh, a Palestinian who lived in Syria for 41 years, told Al-Helou. “We were forced to leave our homes due to the destruction and killing in Syria.”

“We know that Gaza often comes under Israeli attacks, so we know that for us the danger is not yet over. But at least we are in our homeland,” al-Sheikh added.

Though all facing the same dangers and dire situation that caused them to flee, Palestinians have strongly divergent views on the situation in Syria, with some opposing and others supporting the uprising against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Al-Helou reported.

Route to Gaza closed off by Egypt upheaval

Al-Sheikh said that refugees typically fly from Damascus to Cairo and then travel by taxi to the Rafah crossing border with Gaza.

But this route appears to be closed off at least for the time being amid the political turmoil in Egypt following the army’s removal of President Muhammad Morsi last week.

The Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza has been closed since the military takeover.

Egypt deports Palestinians

Egyptian authorities have begun deporting and denying entry to even long-time Palestinian residents of Gaza.

Contributor to The Electronic Intifada Yousef Aljamaldeported to the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur, is among dozens of Palestinians refused entry to Egypt as they tried to return home.

Egypt has also instructed international airlines not to allow Palestinian Authority passport holders to board flights for Cairo leaving many Palestinians stranded abroad.

Dozens more Palestinians are reported stranded at Cairo airport in deplorable conditions as efforts are made to persuade Egypt to reopen Rafah.

New measures restricting entry of Syrians

Today, Egypt expanded the tough restrictions to include Syrians, announcing that Syrian citizens would require advance visas in order to enter Egypt.

The measures came to light last night when Egyptian authorities deported 276 Syrians who had arrived at Cairo airport on scheduled flights from Beirut and Damascus, according to Egypt’s Ahram Online.

Rumors targeting Palestinians and Syrians

These measures come amid rumors and unsubstantiated accusations by Egyptian military brassin the media and on social media, that Hamas specifically and Palestinians generally – and now Syrians – are interfering in Egypt or assisting the Muslim Brotherhood movement of the deposed president.

In recent days, Egyptian officials have again claimed, without evidence, that Palestinians are responsible for attacks on Egyptian security forces in Sinai attributed to militant groups in the area.

Palestinians and Syrians in Egypt are particularly vulnerable populations who need safety and protection. Instead, in this atmosphere, many will now be feeling a heightened sense of danger.

Report: Rafah crossing may partially re-open on Wednesday

Breaking reports say that Egypt has agreed to partially re-open on the Rafah crossing on Wednesday. The main land exit from Gaza has been closed by Egyptian authorities for five days.

Gaza residents will be allowed to return, but only those with medical permits will be allowed by Egypt to leave Gaza, Palestinian authorities in Gaza have said.

Ban on entry remains for Palestinians

Notwithstanding the news about Rafah, Egyptian authorities issued a decree on 9 July announcing that no holders of Palestinian Authority passports or Jordanian passports that lack a national number will be allowed to enter Egypt without prior clearance from the security services. This means that Egypt remains effectively closed to Palestinians who fit those categories.

 

 

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MOTHER PALESTINE MARKS 65 YEARS OF THE NAKBA

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff
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Sam Bahour سام بحّور – Refugees Waiting

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Sam Bahour is a Palestinian-American based in Al-Bireh/Ramallah, Palestine. He is a freelance business consultant operating as Applied Information Management (AIM), specializing in business development with a niche focus on the information technology sector and start-ups. Sam was instrumental in the establishment of the Palestine Telecommunications Company and the PLAZA Shopping Center and until recently served as a Board of Trustees member at Birzeit University. He is a Director at the Arab Islamic Bank and serves in various capacities in several community organizations. Sam writes frequently on Palestinian affairs and has been widely published. He is co-editor of HOMELAND: Oral History of Palestine and Palestinians. He blogs at http://www.epalestine.com. 

يحمل رجل الأعمال الفلسطيني سام بحور الجنسية الأميركية وهو يسكن في مدينة البيرة في رام الله، فلسطين. ويعمل بشكل مستقل كمستشار ومنسق مشاريع كما يملك شركة لإدارة المعلومات التطبيقية (إيم) وهي تختص في تطوير الأعمال والمشاريع مع تركيز على الشركات الناشئة. ولعب سام دوراً أساسياً في تأسيس شركة الإتصالات الفلسطينية (بالتل)، ومركز بلازا للتسوق. وأصبح مؤخراً عضو فاعل في مجلس الأمناء في جامعة بيرزيت. ويشغل حالياً منصب عضو مجلس إدارة في البنك الإسلامي العربي، كما يشغل عدة مناصب أخرى في منظمات المجتمع المدني. ويركز سام كثيراً في كتاباته على الشؤون الفلسطينية، فتنشر مقالاته على نطاق واسع. ساهم سام في تحرير كتاب “الوطن: التاريخ الشفوي لفلسطين والفلسطينيين” ويمكن معرفة المزيد عنه والاطلاع على مقالاته من خلال تصفح مدونته على الموقع الالكتروني التالي: www.epalestine.com

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During this tragic period of remembrance, just a reminder that NEVER AGAIN means something, TODAY!

CARLOS LATUFF ~~ ‘OFF THE WALL’

Carlos has been on a solidarity visit to Beirut the past few weeks…
Here you can see a mural he painted at Burg el- Baragneh Camp in Beirut…
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The mural was written up in an article of the Lebanese newspaper Al-Safir.
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Meanwhile, in Cairo….
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Husein Aziz, photographer for the Egypt’s 6 April Youth Movement, made this shot of activists painting some of my cartoons in the walls of the Egyptian Parliament today.

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CITIZENS OF NOWHERE

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REVISITING SABRA AND SHATILLA 30 YEARS LATER
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This past Monday evening the Hunter College branch of Students for Justice in Palestine held a commemorative gathering, to recall the horrors of the massacre at Sabra and Shatilla. The meeting was addressed by Hunter College student volunteers who spoke about their experiences with Palestinian children in Shatilla. They took part in a Leap Programme, Summer 2011. They are planning on returning this coming summer and hope other students will join them.
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Commentary by Chippy Dee, Photos © by Bud Korotzer
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The speakers…
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A view of the audience…
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We were shown a film with one of the young men living at Shatila giving a guided tour.  It is a horrible, ugly, dirty place with many problems, social and physical.  However people there, including the very young, are dedicated to moving back to Palestine, “home”.  The kids are like all kids, they laugh and play.  The young Americans participating in the program as teachers are very enthusiastic and dedicated.
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In the video that was shown, the sense of Palestine was displayed when the oldest of the young people explained that even though they had never lived in Palestine, but born in Lebanon, the sense of being Palestinian was passed on through the generations, directly from the grandparents and parents. As one participant said; “Lebanon was a second home, but Palestine was the first home”.
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There was a scene in the video: on Nakba Day, various generations of the refugees went to the border of Lebanon/Palestine and looked across the fields towards Palestine while an older person explained the lay of the land where Palestine began.
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They made it perfectly clear that ‘The Right of Return’ was not being abandoned, rather it was the hope that keeps them going.
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From the video …
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Letters from the child refugees…
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Infrastructure of the camps…
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Organised by…
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ISRAEL BLAMING THE VICTIM FOR ITS OWN CRIMES

 

 

“Refugee camps in Israel gave birth to thriving towns and cities. Refugee camps in Arab Countries gave birth to more Palestinian refugees.”

One two part question, even unanswered gives the reason why… WHO ‘gave birth’ to the Palestinian refugees in the first place, and WHO has refused to let them return to their land and homes, forcing them to remain in Refugee camps???

When Israeli officials speak, they present lie after lie. Palestinian officials have no opportunity to counter those lies as they are not recognised as a member State YET.
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Israel’s UN envoy slams Arabs over refugees 

Speaking on Partition Plan’s 64th anniversary, Ambassador Prosor says Israel absorbed its own refugees into society, ‘our neighbors did not’

 WASHINGTON – Speaking at the United Nations on the occasion of the Partition Plan’s 64th anniversary, Israel’s UN Ambassador Ron Prosor said: “The difference between the two distinct populations was – and still is – that Israel absorbed the refugees into our society. Our neighbors didnot.”

“Refugee camps in Israel gave birth to thriving towns and cities. Refugee camps in Arab Countries gave birth to more Palestinian refugees,” he said.

“We unlocked our new immigrants’ vast potential. The Arab world knowingly and intentionally kept their Palestinian populations in the second class status of permanent refugees,” Israel’s envoy added.

Prosor stressed that in the overwhelming majority of Arab state, Palestinians have no citizenship rights.

‘Has Arab world accepted Israel?’ 

Addressing the 1947 Partition Plan, which called for the establishment of a Jewish state alongside an Arab state in the area known as Palestinian, Prosor said that “Arab inhabitants rejected the plan and launched a war of annihilation against the new Jewish state, joined by the armies of five Arab members of the United Nations.”“One percent of Israel’s population died in combat during this assault by five armies. Think about that price,” the ambassador said. “It would be the equivalent of 850,000 soldiers dying in France today, or 3 million soldiers dying in the United States, or 13 million soldiers dying in China.”

Prosor added that the basic question underlying the Arab-Israeli conflict has not changed for 64 years: “Has the Arab World – and particularly the Palestinians – internalized that Israel is here to stay and will remain the nation-state of the Jewish People? It is still unclear whether they are inspired by the promise of building a new state, or the goal of destroying an existing one.”Israel’s UN envoy ended his remarks by calling on the UN Assembly to “finally glean truth from this historic day, nourishing the seeds of peace in our region that can blossom into a brighter future.”

 

Source

SABRA AND SHATILA ~~ ZIONISTS CHANGING HISTORY BY ERASING IT

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The Jewish Internet Defence Force does not want you to see the following video.
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BUT…
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We do! You must not forget the horrors of Sabra and Shatila. You must not forgive the zionists for what they did there 29 years ago today. You must not allow them to make us forget.
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History cannot be changed, but the future can be!
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Here are some eywitness accounts of the massacre…
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VIDEO ~~ PALESTINIAN REFUGEES ~~ THEN, NOW, FOR HOW MUCH LONGER

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Sam Bahour is a frequent contributor to this Blog. Below is a short description of who he is, followed by a talk he gave a few days ago in Ramallah. Watch it to get a good insight of what it means to be a Palestinian refugee today.
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Sam Bahour is a Palestinian-American based in Al-Bireh/Ramallah, Palestine. He is a freelance business consultant operating as Applied Information Management (AIM), specializing in business development with a niche focus on the information technology sector and start-ups. Sam was instrumental in the establishment of the Palestine Telecommunications Company and the PLAZA Shopping Center and until recently served as a Board of Trustees member at Birzeit University. He is a Director at the Arab Islamic Bank and serves in various capacities in several community organizations. Sam writes frequently on Palestinian affairs and has been widely published. He is co-editor of HOMELAND: Oral History of Palestine and Palestinians. He blogs at http://www.epalestine.com.
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Who organised the above speaking event?
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TEDx,
x = independently organized event
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)

PALESTINIANS // BY AND ABOUT

 

ABOUT PALESTINIANS

There are approximately 10 million Palestinians in the world today, but there is no Palestinian State. The following provides information on the dispersion of Palestinians since 1948, and the resulting humanitarian consequences.
Historic Palestine (prior to 1948)
In 1948 the Palestinian population was approximately 1,300,000. Palestinians lived in their historic homeland for generations until the war of 1948 and the creation of Israel. As a result they were expelled or fled and became refugees numbering over half of the total Palestinian population (estimated at 714,150 to 744,150).
Palestinians Citizens of Israel
The remaining 156,000 Palestinians (25-35% of whom were internally displaced refugees) received “citizenship” of Israel yet lived under military administration until 1966. To date they make up the 1.3 million Palestinians in Israel, 20% of the total population. They still live in their own homeland, but now under a foreign power .Although they have access to many services there is often a deficiency in provision and they experience structural discrimination in every aspect of life. As Muslims and Christians in a self-proclaimed Jewish state, Palestinians in Israel are citizens without citizenship.They live in three main areas—The Galilee in the north, the Triangle in the centre of the country, and the Naqab in the south. Approximately 29% live in ten Arab “cities,” 55% in more than 100 Arab villages, 8% in six mixed Jewish-Arab cities, and 8% in over 40 unrecognized villages (Mada undated). About 276,000 are classified as internally displaced (CIA undated) meaning that they left or were expelled from their original villages during/after the 1948 war and although they remain in the
country, they have never been allowed to return to their original villages, which in most cases have since been destroyed or Judaized.  

Palestinians citizens of Israel receive substantially less than their fair share of municipal budget allocations, have much higher unemployment rates than Jewish citizens, and experience higher poverty—particularly in the 46 Bedouin villages that Israel refuses to recognize (Kamm 2003). There is systematic, legalized discrimination in all aspects of the social, economic, political system of Israel (Cook 2006, National Committee for the Heads of the Arab Local Authorities in Israel 2006, Kamm 2003).

The West Bank
There are approximately 2.5 million Palestinians living under Israeli military occupation in the West Bank. These Palestinians have suffered for generations from violence, poverty, lack of human rights, lack of access to basic services, and so many indescribable indignities.The West Bank has been further subdivided by Israel’s “closure regime,” which includes closures, curfews, permanent and flying checkpoints, other physical obstacles, and the Wall—all of which chop up Palestinian territory into cantons and ghettos,inaccessible to one other and with varying levels of accessibility to labor and goods markets, health and education facilities, and other basic services (OCHA Barrier Reports various dates, World Bank 2004 and World Bank Technical Team 2006).
Approximately 60% of the Palestinians in the West Bank live in 615 rural villages. Rural areas suffer from proximity to settlements (and resulting settler attacks on people and property),checkpoints, and lack of access to jobs in Israel or Palestinian cities. Villages suffer from
underdeveloped infrastructure. They lack sewage systems, reliable electricity, etc. In the West Bank, there are an estimated 670,030 Palestinian refugees (Salem 2005), most of whom live in overcrowded UNRWA camps with poor water access and sanitary infrastructure, and only limited basic social services.  

East Jerusalem

East Jerusalem—with an estimated population of between 168,000 Palestinians (Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics July 2005) and 238,000 Palestinians (US Department of State 2005)—is part of the West Bank according to international law. East Jerusalem remains a major religious, cultural and economic centre for Palestinians, despite Israel’s illegal annexation of East Jerusalem through a series of laws and acts of expropriation and expulsion starting in 1967. Most Palestinian residents of Jerusalem do not enjoy Israeli citizenship, they only have “residency” and access to some municipal benefits, and these “rights” are under constant threat. Active building of the Wall, illegal settlements, demolition of homes, denial of building and working permits, discriminatory taxation (European Union 2004) combined with an intensive campaign to revoke residency rights of Palestinians (see B’tselem) makes life in Jerusalem increasingly stressful and expensive.

The Gaza Strip
Another approximately 1.5 million Palestinians have lived for generations under Israeli military occupation in the Gaza Strip. Israel prevents free movement of people and goods into and out of Gaza. Essentially, Gazans are locked in one of the world’s most densely populated prisons. The Gaza Strip, with a projected population of 1,389,789 (Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics July 2005), including approximately 910,194 refugees (Salem 2005) is one of the most densely populated areas of the world. Gaza is virtually closed since Israel’s “disengagement”in August 2005 (Gisha 2007). In August 2006, Israel’s extensive bombing campaign damaged much of Gaza’s infrastructure, knocking out electricity, access to water, bridges and roads. The entry into and exit out of Gaza for work, to access health care, or to move goods is extremely restricted (World Bank Technical Team 2006), exacerbating unemployment, poverty, food insecurity (FAO and WFP 2007 forthcoming), and socio-emotional problems.
Palestinian Refugees in Arab Countries
Jordan & Lebanon & Syria
Outside of historic Palestine, there are an estimated 2,839,639 Palestinians in Jordan, an estimated 442,699 in Syria, and an estimated 421,292 in Lebanon (Palestine Central Bureau of Statistics November 2005)—most of whom are refugees living in 32 registered refugee camps (UNRWA undated). Elsewhere in the Arab World there are an estimated 667,055 Palestinians (Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics November 2005); and elsewhere in the Diaspora there are an estimated 542,708 Palestinians, more than half of whom are in the United States (Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics November 2005). Palestinians in the Diaspora live in a wide range of circumstances: some hold foreign citizenship and enjoy a high standard of living while many others have no legal status and live without any protections. The Palestinian Diaspora continues to organize around its Right of Return, which is guaranteed in international law (UNGA 194 of 11 December 1948).
 

Please see our Concept Paper for more information.
References
B’Tselem: The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories. “Revocation of Residency in East Jerusalem” at http://www.btselem.org/english/Jerusalem/Revocation_of_Residency.asp accessed 18 January 2007.
CIA (Undated). World Factbook—Israel. Accessed from https://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/is.html#People on 25 January 2007.
Cook, Jonathan. Blood and Religion: The Unmasking of the Jewish and Democratic State. London: Pluto Press, 2006.
European Union. “Jerusalem and Ramallah Heads of Mission, Report on East Jerusalem, Summary.” Unpublished document, 2004.
FAO and WFP. Comprehensive Food Security and Vulnerability Assessment, West Bank and Gaza Strip. Rome, 2007 forthcoming.
Gisha. Disengaged Occupiers: The Legal Status of Gaza, January 2007. Available at http://www.gisha.org/english/index_eng.htm.
Kamm, Shira. The Arab Citizens of Israel: Status and Implications for the Middle East Conflict. Haifa: Mossawa Center, 2003.
Mada al-Carmel. “The Palestinians in Israel,” undated. Accessed from http://www.mada-research.org/about/palsinisrael.shtml on 25 January 2007.
OCHA. Barrier Reports, Costs of Closure, various dates. Available at http://www.humanitarianinfo.org/WBGS/.
Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics. Statistical Abstract of Palestine, No. 6 (1196), November 2005. Available at http://www.pcbs.gov.ps/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabID=3354&lang=en
Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics. “Projected Population,” July 2005. Available at http://www.pcbs.gov.ps/
Salem, Walid. The Palestinian Refugee Guide. Ramallah: Panorama Center, 2005. Available in Arabic at www.PanoramaCenter.org.
UNRWA. (undated). Publications/Statistics. Accessed from http://www.un.org/unrwa/publications/index.html on 18 January 2007
US Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. “Israel and the Occupied Territories.” Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, 8 March 2005. Accessed from http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2005/61690.htm#ot on January 15, 2007.
World Bank Technical Team Report. “An Update on Palestinian Movement, Access and Trade in the West Bank and Gaza,” 15 August 2006.
World Bank. Four Years—Intifada, Closures and Palestinian Economic Crisis: An Assessment. Washington, DC, October 2004.

 

Source

THE ONGOING NAKBA ~~ THE MAKING OF A REFUGEE

West Bankers Made Refugees in Their Own Country
By Mel Frykberg

RAMALLAH,  Several Palestinians have set up a protest tent in no-man’s land in the northern Gaza Strip, near the Erez border crossing into Israel, as they protest their deportation from the Israeli occupied West Bank into Gaza where Hamas authorities have refused them entry.

Tens of thousands of other Palestinians face a possibly similar predicament in the near future. This follows a sweeping new Israeli military order which allows for the expulsion of Palestinians or foreigners whom Israel considers to be in the West Bank illegally as “infiltrators”.

Fadi Azameh, 19, from Hebron in the southern West Bank, was arrested at his place of employment by the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) last week, held briefly at a military base before he was expelled to Gaza.

Azameh was born in Gaza but his family left the coastal territory and settled in the West Bank 12 years ago. He had not been back since.

Ahmed Sabah, a 40-year-old prisoner from the northern West Bank town of Tulkarem was also deported to Gaza after serving a lengthy prison sentence in an Israeli jail.

His wife and son, whom he had not seen since the boy was a baby, were informed that Sabah would not be attending a joyful reunion they had planned after he had already been released in Gaza.

The two Palestinians are refusing to leave the tent and have pleaded for international intervention in their case.

The Hamas authorities for their part have stated that they would not allow them into Gaza as this will encourage Israel to proceed with its policy.

The “infiltrator” order could affect thousands of Palestinians in the West Bank who were born in Gaza – or those who had their ID documents issued in Gaza – but moved years ago to live in the West Bank where they now have families and where their employment and educational facilities are based.

Palestinian identification papers in both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip are formally issued by the Palestinian Authority (PA), but Israel controls the population registry and must approve most changes, including relocation from Gaza to the West Bank.

Thousands of other Palestinians from Jordan and abroad who have reunited with family members in the Israeli controlled territory could also be effected.

Many of those originating in Jordan married West Bank spouses and moved to the Palestinian territory where they subsequently started families.

Other Palestinians with foreign passports who have opened up businesses, creating work opportunities in an area where unemployment remains high, also risk deportation.

Foreign nationals not of Palestinian descent and without Israeli visas could also be targeted.

Israel has been trying to crack down on pro-Palestinian foreign activists and those working with NGOS. Several were deported earlier in the year when heavily armed Israeli troops raided their apartments at night.

Foreign NGO workers based in the Palestinian territories have complained of difficulties in getting their work permits and residence visas renewed by the Israeli authorities.

Israel’s new military order applies even to Area C of the West Bank which under the 1993 Oslo Accords falls under the full civil and military control of the PA.

Critics have argued that Israel is trying to solidify the geographical and political divide between the PA controlled West Bank and the Hamas controlled Gaza Strip. Others say this could be a precedent for ethnic cleansing of the West Bank.

Israeli extremists and right-wingers have long supported the expulsion of Palestinians from the West Bank to Jordan which they argue is the “real Palestinian State”.

A number of Israeli and Palestinian human rights organisatons have written to the Israeli defence minister, Ehud Barak, demanding the postponement of the order’s implementation pending “a serious and comprehensive discussion on the matter”.

The Israeli rights group HaMoked states that the new order is intended to serve as a “High Court bypass” mechanism, facilitating deportation in similar cases in the future.

“The army must bring candidates for deportation before the committee within eight days, while they can be deported without judicial review within 72 hours. At the same time, the candidates for deportation are not allowed to appeal to the committee, or to any court, during these eight days,” says the organisation.

The Fourth Geneva Convention imposes an absolute prohibition on the forced removal of civilians from their homes, the violation of which is deemed an especially grave breach of the Convention.

Meanwhile, in a continuing development Gazans challenging Israel’s “no-go security zones” along Gaza’s borders with Israel continue to be wounded and killed as they try to access their agricultural land, much of it situated in the fertile areas along the border.

Last week Ahmed Deeb, 21, from Gaza bled to death after Israeli soldiers shot him in the leg, rupturing his femoral artery, with a “dum dum” bullet which fragments inside the targeted area upon impact.

The week before, Maltese national Bianca Zammit, 28, was also shot in the leg as she filmed one of the growingly frequent non-violent protests against Israel’s self-declared buffer zones.

In another incident of Gazans dying to live, four tunnel workers were killed, and several hospitalised in a serious condition, in southern Gaza after Egyptian security forces threw explosives into several smuggling tunnels linking Gaza with the Sinai Peninsula.

Due to Israel’s crippling economic blockade of the coastal territory – in conjunction with the Egyptians – the tunnels represent a vital supply line for desperately needed daily goods for the impoverished territory.

Working in the tunnels also provides Gaza’s poor with a means of income in an area where unemployment is rife.

Source

ISRAELI EXPULSION ORDERS MEETING WITH OPPOSITION

Yesterday I posted an article by Amira Hass dealing with new military rulings which will permit the expulsion of thousands of Palestinians from the occupied West Bank. Today she wrote an update on this situation, which is followed by an editorial from HaAretz speaking out against this new move on the part of the government…..

There are millions of Palestinians living in refugee camps outside of their country today, don’t allow Israel to increase their numbers. SPEAK OUT NOW AGAINST THIS INJUSTICE.

Include in your demands the RIGHT OF RETURN for ALL Palestinian refugees.



Annul order allowing expulsions of Arabs, groups urge Barak
By Amira Hass

Ten Israeli human rights organizations sent a letter to Defense Minister Ehud Barak yesterday, asking him to rescind two military orders permitting the immediate expulsion from the West Bank of thousands of Palestinians and others defined as “infiltrators” from the West Bank.

The orders are supposed to take effect on Wednesday.


The organizations, including the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, Rabbis for Human Rights and Adalah – the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, called the orders illegal, and said they permit arbitrary, extreme harm to a huge number of people.

As Haaretz reported yesterday, six months ago then-Israel Defense Forces West Bank commander Gadi Shamni signed one order designed to prevent infiltration, and another regarding security directives.

The letter to Barak states that under the orders, “any Palestinian in the West Bank is at risk of facing criminal charges as well as expulsion, and could be be expelled without [recourse] to appeal or oversight, as required by law.”

It notes that in March, the Moked Center for the Defense of the Individual sent a letter to GOC Central Commander Maj. Gen. Avi Mizrahi, stating the orders had grave implications. That letter did not receive a response.

The organizations sent copies of yesterday’s letter to Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein and to military justice officials as well.

Publication of the matter has aroused major concern among those whom the orders would affect: People with Gaza addresses who live in the West Bank, and foreigners with family in the West Bank whom Israel has not allowed to obtain residency through family unification. As a result of the media interest, the IDF spokesman issued a clarification stating: “The law in Judea and Samaria [the West Bank] permitted the expulsion of illegal residents in the past, too. The aim of the amendment to the order on infiltration is to enable a judicial review process for the expulsion proceedings … by a committee headed by a judge, and therefore to provide additional oversight.”

Lawyers Elad Kahana and Ido Blum of the Moked Center said the IDF response fails to address the primary order regarding infiltrators, which does address judicial oversight at all. They told Haaretz that the change now permits almost anyone in the West Bank to be defined as an illegal infiltrator and be subject to expulsion. They say the other order actually thwarts judicial oversight, because it allows for expulsion within three days or less, while judicial oversight would apply only after eight days.

Urgent meetings were convened in Ramallah yesterday, and social activists and people at risk from the orders are planning an urgent meeting today, to demand that the Palestinian Authority and the diplomatic community take action.

The international media also has taken great interest in the story.

The head of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s negotiating team, Saeb Erekat, issued an official statement of condemnation, saying the military orders come from an apartheid state and turn Palestinians into criminals in their own homes, directly harming the Palestinians’ ability to manage their internal affairs.

Officials in Ramallah said they will report on the matter to Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, who will be in Germany today on his way a Madrid conference of donor countries.


Source

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IDF bid to expel West Bank Palestinians is a step too far
Haaretz Editorial

A new military order will take effect this week, enabling the army to deport tens of thousands of Palestinians from the West Bank and prosecute them on infiltration charges, which carry long prison terms. The order, uncovered by Amira Hass in Haaretz yesterday, bears the signature of Maj. Gen. Gadi Shamni in his previous capacity as commander of the Israel Defense Forces in Judea and Samaria.

The order’s vague language will allow army officers to exploit it arbitrarily to carry out mass expulsions, in accordance with military orders which were issued under unclear circumstances. The first candidates for expulsion will be people whose ID cards bear addresses in the Gaza Strip, including children born in the West Bank and Palestinians living in the West Bank who have lost their residency status for various reasons.

This would be a grave and dangerous move, unprecedented during the Israeli occupation. For years, Israel has used a heavy hand against the Palestinian population registry, trampling basic human rights such as the freedom to move one’s residence within the occupied territories. Many Palestinians’ lives have thus been made very difficult because they have been cut off from their previous places of residence without being able to return or legally register their new addresses.

The right of all Palestinians to choose where to live in the West Bank or Gaza marks a very low threshold for defining their human rights. Israel, which justifiably prevents Palestinians from returning to where they lived before 1948 and does not offer them fair compensation for their property (while enabling Jews to recover property from the same period, as has happened in Sheikh Jarrah), cannot expel Palestinians from the occupied territories on the basis of dubious bureaucratic claims.

Implementing this new military order is not only likely to spark a new conflagration in the territories, it is liable to give the world clear-cut proof that Israel’s aim is a mass deportation of Palestinians from the West Bank. While all Jews can settle wherever they wish, in Israel or in the territories, Israel is trying to deprive the Palestinians of even the minimal right to choose where to live in the West Bank or Gaza. The prime minister and defense minister should immediately shelve this military order before the IDF feels free to begin carrying out expulsions.


Source

ISRAEL IN 3D

Deceit — Destruction — Denial

THE ONGOING HOLOCAUST

What is referred to as ‘The Holocaust‘, lasted 12 years from beginning to end. This does not include the number of years of the ongoing holocaust against the people of Palestine. Next month it will have reached the 62 year mark…. and continuing as I write this.

It started on the day that Israel’s Independence was declared by the United Nations, the 14th of May, 1948. On that day, the nation of Palestine ceased to exist. The Day of the Nakba is what that day is commonly called by Palestinians as well as by Progressive Israelis. It is the day that millions of Palestinians faced forced expulsions from homes, their towns and villages in the face of Jewish and later Israeli troop advances. Millions of these refugees eventually wound up living in refugee camps built by the very world body that was responsible for their displacement. Sixty two years later, millions still languish in those very camps. They are the lucky ones in a way, those that remained behind have systematically been slaughtered by the State of Israel. Sixty two years later Palestinians are still forced from their homes and properties as illegal settlements are built on lands belonging to them.

In many European countries. including Germany, it is illegal to deny that the holocaust took place. Violators of these laws have served prison terms for as long as seven years.

In Israel, it will soon be illegal to admit that the Nakba took place. The Israeli Parliament is in the process of passing a Bill which would outlaw the teaching of these events in Israeli classrooms, including those in the Arab sector.
Among the activities forbidden by the “Nakba Law” are marking Independence Day and the founding of Israel with mourning ceremonies and vandalizing or physical disdain towards the flag and State symbols. As in the case of the holocaust deniers, there are many Israelis that are prepared to risk all by publicly mourning with the people of Palestine.

Denials of FACTS does not negate them. THIS photo essay shows the similarities of both holocausts. The resemblances of the horrors are frightening, the only difference is the ones of the ‘holocaust’ came to light after the fact…. the ones in Israel are presented while the atrocities are still being carried out.

In many Eastern European cities the Jewish areas were walled off to keep them from being a part of society. In Israel today most Arab areas are walled off, the excuse being to prevent terrorist attacks. Yet those attacks continue on a daily basis and hundreds of thousands of innocent Palestinians have been murdered by the Israeli terrorists I speak of. When the Jews resisted these measures in Europe they were referred to as resistance fighters. The Palestinians are simply called terrorists. If you looked at the photos presented in the link above you can see a contradiction to this terminology. Palestinians are fighting for their very lives as well as their homeland just as the Jews did years earlier.
Three years after the holocaust ended Israel was declared a state. Many say this was a direct result of the holocaust itself. Does Palestine have to wait till their dead reach the total of six million to get the same homeland they deserve, a homeland that belonged to them in the first place. Why is it that after 62 years the scales of justice are still tilted  against the victims of the ongoing holocaust?

Recent events have brought the struggles of the Palestinian people to the front pages of the mass media. The UN sponsored Goldstone Report put on display the horrors suffered by the Gazan population at the hands of the zionist oppressors. The last few months of continued settler expansion has brought angry responses from officials in the Obama Administration as well as from the leadership of the European Union. BUT, nothing is being done about this. Again I ask, do the fatalities have to reach the six million mark before anything is actually done about this?

As of this writing the proceedings at AIPAC’s convention are making news on all American airwaves and media outlets. Israel is rejoicing at the US governments position that ….
” America’s support for Israel was “rock solid, unwavering, enduring, and forever.” That position, along with the 3 BILLION dollars a year they give to Israel is the go ahead for Israel to continue it’s aggressive policies against the Palestinians.

That same US government is doing everything in its power to insure that the Palestinian position not even be heard. Are they convinced that the truth will set the Palestinians free?

The valiant people of Palestine are putting up a brave fight against the oppression, but they must not struggle alone. ALL people of conscience throughout the world must stand up in their defense. Their struggle is a just one, their struggle is ours. Despite efforts by the US and other European governments, the facts will not remain hidden from the public eye. We, at this site, as well as on others, will continue to bring you those facts until the day Palestine is free.

WE SHALL OVERCOME!

HASTA LA VICTORIA SIEMPRE!!

On the 14th of May please light a candle for the people of Palestine…



8 YEARS LATER ~~ LIFE IN JENIN

Jenin Camp

Then and Now

Walking through the streets of Jenin Camp, one would hardly know that it has been a refugee camp for almost sixty years. To the outsider, it looks like a typical Palestinian village. But it doesn’t take too much digging to uncover the truth that the aesthetic appeal hides.
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View down a street of the camp

In 1953, these refugees were forced from their homes in villages near Haifa and settled on a plot of land about one square kilometer near the West Bank city of Jenin (several of these villages can be seen from rooftops of the camp). The first refugees had only tents to live in but as the years passed they gradually built more permanent structures as they saw their return becoming less and less likely. The camp is now “home” to nearly 13, 000 people.

The Occupation has devastated the Palestinian economy and the refugees have experienced this more than any other group. Poverty levels among Jenin refugees are three times higher than refugees from other West Bank districts. Refugees do not own their own land or their houses; therefore, they have paid to have the houses built, but they have no deed for the land or the structure. Furthermore, in the past the only income for some families was low paying work in Israel, but now even that is not an option.

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Kids in the streets of Jenin

The Jenin camp was dealt its greatest blow in an attack in April 2002. On 3 April Israeli forces moved into the camp and began attacking. After several days of fighting on the tiny battleground, Israeli forces were frustrated by the resistance they met. They changed their tactics and began demolishing 400 homes in the center of the camp, along with collateral damage from tanks, helicopters, jets, ground forces and combat bulldozers. In the 12 day campaign, Israeli forces killed 59—half of whom were civilians— and left 2,000 homeless and arrested many more.

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The cemetery in Jenin camp. Most of the graves are the remains of those killed in the attack.

“We were terrified,” said one mother. “On the first day our house was hit with a rocket. The explosion threw my sister six meters away, but, thanks to God, she survived. We ran to another house with seven families in it. That house was also hit with a rocket and the debris injured us and covered others. We kept moving from house to house because they kept getting hit, until there were thirty families in one house ( 300 people, men, women and children). They [the Israeli military] didn’t give us warning. How can helicopters warn people to leave? Houses were pushed over on top of families. Bullets destroyed all the water tanks so there was no water. I was injured but we weren’t allowed to leave the camp and ambulances weren’t allowed to come inside.”

“At 2:30 am, the Israeli military surrounded our house,” said the son of a store owner. “They made us come out with our hands up and they arrested me and my brothers. They gave us no charges but they told us to wait in prison six months and they would tell us what we were accused of. They kept telling us to wait. I was kept for four years without trial or even accusations and my brother was kept for five years without trial or accusations.”

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Statue of a large horse on the edge of the camp made out of scraps of cars destroyed in the attack

A teenager who was ten years old at the time recounts: “I couldn’t sleep the whole time. The rockets kept me awake. Even when I did sleep I could hear the rockets in my dreams.” Some families were homeless for three years during the cleaning and rebuilding. But, six years after the attack, Jenin camp has experienced a considerable lift. A total project of $27 million was given by the Red Crescent Society to rebuild infrastructure, homes, and a school. Sheikh Zayed of the United Arab Emirates personally funded the reconstruction of the homes in the center of the camp where the most destruction took place.

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Poster of one of the youth killed in the attack. Posters like these are on many of the walls of the camp

Six years after the attack, the walls along the streets are covered with the pictures of those killed during the attack. The cemetery in the camp has 50+ graves marked “martyr,” many of them from the same family. The members of the camp are still beset by all the problems that go along with being refugees, but life has returned to relative normalcy.


Source

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Israel cannot kill the resistance, Israel cannot kill the hunger for freedom. For each generation will rise to the struggle until they are free of oppression and occupation. I found a “must see” video of the most incredible outspoken resisting little Palestinian girl below. This little girl could become an elected representative of her country Palestine, inshallah.


Taken FROM

OBLIVIOUS TO THE EVILS OF ZIONISM

When I was a child one of my favourite games was closing my eyes and making you disappear…..

That is exactly what Israelis are doing today.
For example…. just down the hill from where I live the following is taking place; yet life goes on in the area as if everything is alright…..

Israeli border guards and police continued operating in the Shu’fat Refugee Camp on Wednesday, following clashes which began on Monday, in the northern quarter of East Jerusalem.

On Tuesday evening two teenagers and three journalists were injured in clashes between Shu’fat Refugee Camp residents and Israeli forces.

Medics at the scene said Ahmad Al-Hawas, 14, was shot in the leg and Naser Abu Asab, 15, was moderately injured after being assaulted by Israeli soldiers.

Three journalists were injured while covering the confrontations, medics identified them as Ata Oeisat, Mahmoud Elian of the Al-Quds newspaper and Ahmad Gharabli from the French News Agency.

These latest injuries followed confrontations between school children and border guards at the Shu’fat military checkpoint earlier on Tuesday, leading to the detention of 15-year-old Ahmad Jamil Abu Hamda and the injury of a soldier, witnesses said.

Locals said soldiers used tear gas to disperse the crowds.

Overnight a series of overnight raids saw border guards hand out dozens of notices for residents to turn themselves in for questioning at Israeli intelligence compounds in Jerusalem. The raids came directly on the heels of an arrest campaign targeting dozens of Palestinian residents of the camp on Monday.

Taken FROM

Twenty minutes to the south of my home this is happening…..

Hebron – International and Palestinian tree planters were dispersed with tear gas and sound bombs as they attempted to work land belonging to local farmers on Wednesday, the Palestinian solidarity project said.

Media spokesman for the project Mohammad Awad said the volunteers, participating in the “voluntary day to protect lands under threat of confiscation” brought 500 olive tree seedlings to lands registered to Hasan Awad, Husam Ahmad Bahar and Ibrahim Abed Al-Hamid Abu Maria.

Shortly after the group started planting, Israeli soldiers descended on the area from near the Karmi Zur settlement, 19% of which is built on Palestinian owned land, according to Peace Now, and residents say much of the rest of the land belonged to the village of Beit Ummar.

Awad said soldiers attacked the group and fired teargas as well as sound bombs at them until they retreated from the area. When the smoke cleared and the volunteers returned to the land, Awad said they were prevented from doing so.

An Israeli army spokesman said accounts from officials in the military differed from Awad’s version. He said forces ordered planters to leave the area near Karmi Zur because they were tree planting where “such an activity is not permitted.” According to the army the volunteers left the area without incident.


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The above, plus the ongoing struggles in Shiekh Jarrah (just ten minutes from my home) prove my point….. Israelis have their eyes closed to these evils. The wall of separation has succeeded in making them oblivious to the evils of zionism.

All of what is mentioned here is just in the vicinity of Jerusalem itself…… Gaza is a foreign country as far as they are concerned.

In a day and age where ignorance is no longer considered bliss…… those with their eyes closed are guilty of the crimes being committed by the zionist state.

Silence is complicity! Silence kills!!

Image ‘Copyleft by Carlos Latuff




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