It is no longer possible to redress the issue of the blockage of the horizon of the peace talks with the same means and methods that have been repeatedly tried and proven unsuccessful over the past years. The crisis is far too deep to be neglected, and what is more dangerous are attempts to simply circumvent it or postpone its explosion. It is neither possible, nor practical, nor acceptable to return to conducting business as usual, as if everything is fine. It is futile to go into negotiations without clear parameters and in the absence of credibility and a specific timetable. Negotiations will be meaningless as long as the occupation army on the ground continues to entrench its occupation, instead of rolling it back, and continues to change the demography of our country in order to create a new basis on which to alter the borders.
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On 31 May 2010 at 4.26 a.m. a flotilla of six vessels was boarded and taken over by Israeli Defense Forces 72 nautical miles from land. The vessels were carrying people and humanitarian supplies. The flotilla had been directed to change course by the Israeli forces who stated that the coast of Gaza was under a naval blockade. Nine passengers lost their lives and many others were wounded as a result of the use of force during the take-over operation by Israeli forces.
July 1, 2011 in News
Irish activists planning to sail in a flotilla to Gaza have accused Israel of sabotaging their ship. It is the second vessel due to participate that has had its propeller damaged while moored in a Mediterranean port this week. The Israeli military is under orders to prevent an international convoy of ships carrying pro-Palestinian activists and aid from reaching Gaza. Organisers want to challenge Israel’s naval blockade of the territory.
June 11, 2011 in Headline
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June 4, 2011 in Israel Defense Forces
August 17, 2010 in News
There’s nothing wrong with the picture I uploaded to Facebook depicting handcuffed Palestinian detainees, a former Israel Defense Forces soldier told Army Radio on Tuesday, after causing a media storm over the controversial images. Photographs uploaded by Eden Abergil from Ashdod and labeled “IDF – the best time of my life,” and made public earlier in the week depicted her smiling next to Palestinian prisoners with their hands bound and their eyes covered. A comment attached to one of the photos of the soldier smiling in front of two blindfold men and posted by one of Abergil’s friends read “That looks really sexy for you,” with Abergil’s response reading: “I wonder if he is on Facebook too – I’ll have to tag him in the photo.”
July 7, 2010 in News
The White House is rolling out the red carpet ahead of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Tuesday visit to Washington as President Obama tries to smooth over tensions and move forward on Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. The prime minister is expected to get a very different welcome than the one he received back in March.
June 26, 2010 in News
Israel confiscated seven oxygen machines en route to hospitals in the West Bank and Gaza based on the claim that there was a chance the generators attached to the machines would not be used for medical purposes, Palestinian news agency Ma’an reported Saturday. According to Ma’an, the Ramallah-based health ministry said that the generators, which were donated to the Palestinian Authority by a Norwegian development agency, were seized by Israeli officials despite the fact that only one machine was bound for Gaza.
June 13, 2010 in News
June 7, 2010 in Israel
The Erez Crossing (מעבר ארז) is a civilian entry point into the Gaza Strip. It consists of a series of large concrete building and caged corridors which function as a pedestrian/cargo terminal on the Israeli Gaza Strip barrier, located in the northern end of the Gaza Strip. It is part of a complex formerly including the Erez Industrial Park. The crossing is currently restricted to Arab residents under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority and to Egyptian nationals or international aid officials only. The complex reportedly cost more than $35 million to construct.
June 7, 2010 in News
The UN secretary general called today for a multinational investigation of Israel’s raid on the Gaza-bound aid flotilla that left nine dead but the proposal was swiftly rejected by the Israelis. Ban Ki-moon proposed that the inquiry be headed by the former New Zealand prime minister Geoffrey Palmer and include representatives from Turkey – under whose flag many of the ships in the aid convoy sailed – Israel and the US, an official from Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s office said.
The following list is approximate and partial, and it changes from time to time. It is based on information from Palestinian traders and businesspersons, international organizations, and the Palestinian Coordination Committee, all of whom “deduce” what is permitted and what is banned based on their experience requesting permission to bring goods into Gaza and the answers they receive from the Israeli authorities (approved or denied). It is not possible to verify this list with the Israeli authorities because they refuse to disclose information regarding the restrictions on transferring goods into Gaza. It should be noted that Israel permits some of the “prohibited” items into Gaza (for example: paper, biscuits, and chocolate), on the condition that they are for the use of international organizations, while requests from private merchants to purchase them are denied.
June 4, 2010 in Israel Defense Forces
On April 28th, the Free Gaza Movement and the Turkish IHH organization, announced that it intended to sail a flotilla to the Gaza Strip on May 24th. This date was later delayed until the end of May. The stated goal of the flotilla, dubbed “The Freedom Flotilla”, is to bypass existing humanitarian aid channels and to make port in the Gaza Strip, despite Israeli maritime restrictions which exist in the region. This is the fourth flotilla launched by the organization.
June 4, 2010 in News
The Knesset witnessed a rare eruption of violence on Wednesday when MK Haneen Zoabi (Balad) was cursed and shoved after relating her experience as a passenger on the Mavi Marmara. Knesset members from coalition and opposition parties alike sought to shout down the freshman MK, but the furor reached a climax when Anastasia Michaeli (Israel Beiteinu) charged the podium in an attempt to physically block Zoabi from continuing her speech. It took a battery of ushers to remove MK Eli Aflalo (Kadima), who was called to order three times but remained standing in an aisle yelling and gesticulating until he was forcibly removed.
June 4, 2010 in World Health Organization
June 4, 2010 in United Nations
The main driver of Palestinian food insecurity is of a political nature, as key elements of vulnerability are rooted in the military and administrative measures imposed by the Israeli occupation – closure regime, permits, destruction of assets – as well as settlement expansion and derived infrastructure multiplication – access to land and water, bypass roads, etc. Soaring food prices, falling incomes and growing unemployment are jeopardizing the livelihoods of Palestinians, leading to heavy debt and changes in family eating habits. Previously self-reliant families are progressively falling into the poverty trap and are unable to escape from their situation in the absence of job opportunities. Furthermore those with work are facing increasing difficulties to manage due to unadjusted salaries, a degrading economic environment and high dependency ratios.
Take a moment to imagine yourself in a day in the life of a Palestinian woman. A life in which she lives in constant terror, fearing for not only her own safety but that of her loved ones, as fighter planes and tanks shell and bomb civilian areas, bringing more death, destruction and trauma to her people and community. A life in which she has been displaced and made homeless because her home- the symbol of safety for her and her family- and all of her life’s belongings are callously demolished to make room for another illegal Israeli settlement built on her land. A life in which she must stand for hours at one of the racist, humiliating checkpoints, waiting for a young Israeli occupying force to decide whether or not to allow her to pass through one of the more than 600 checkpoints as she tries to accomplish the simple task of going food shopping or going to an appointment at the doctor, or even for something more urgent such as the delivery of a newborn. Or a life in which she must watch her children wither from malnutrition, anemia and disease and her family sink deeper into poverty, becoming totally dependent on food aid because of the deliberate and systematic practices and polices of the occupying Power.
The continuing crisis in the occupied Palestinian territory, the growing restrictions on the movement of people and goods and the worsening violence continue to affect the social and economic life of Palestinians, with consequences for their health status and access to health services. Deaths and injuries resulting from the occupation and the internal conflict increased during 2007 and continued to rise in the first months of 2008.
June 1, 2010 in Israel
Early this morning, IDF Naval Forces boarded six ships attempting to break the maritime closure of the Gaza Strip. This happened after numerous warnings from Israel and the Israeli Navy that were issued prior to the action. The Israel Navy requested the ships to redirect toward Ashdod where they would be able to unload their aid supplies which would then be transferred over land after undergoing security inspections.
May 31, 2010 in News
Israeli forces have attacked a flotilla of aid-carrying ships aiming to break the country’s siege on Gaza. At least 15 people were killed and dozens injured when troops intercepted the convoy of ships dubbed the Freedom Flotilla early on Monday, the Israeli military said. The flotilla was attacked in international waters, 65km off the Gaza coast. Footage from the flotilla’s lead vessel, the Mavi Marmara, showed armed Israeli soldiers boarding the ship and helicopters flying overhead.
April 5, 2010 in News
In a busy internet cafe in the centre of Gaza City, lots of people, mostly young, are typing and clicking away. Some of them are engrossed in the world of Facebook. “I use it 10 hours a day,” says Mohammed who owns the shop. “I have over 200 Facebook friends.” But Hamas, the Islamist movement that controls the Gaza Strip, believes the population’s love of social networking websites is making it easier for Israel to recruit spies.
March 10, 2010 in News
Israel apologised to Joe Biden today for announcing a plan to build 1,600 homes on occupied Palestinian land during his visit, after the US vice-president launched a strongly worded attack on the planned construction in an East Jerusalem settlement. An Israeli cabinet minister apologised for the timing of the announcement but not for its substance. “This should not have happened during a visit by the US vice-president,” the welfare minister, Isaac Herzog, told Army Radio. “This is a real embarrassment and now we have to express our apologies for this serious blunder.”
December 24, 2009 in News
West Bank Palestinian officials say they have been blocked from benefiting from a record 1.4 million foreign visitors to the occupied West Bank’s most important tourist attraction. They claim Israeli tour guides play on the fear of the tourists by warning them they face danger as soon as they enter the area. Thousands of foreign tourists and pilgrims visit each day to see the Church of the Nativity, held by some Christians to mark the exact spot where Christ was born.