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The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil,    but because of the people who don't do anything about it    
Life under occupation

The forgotten faithful Timothy Seidel - THe Electronic Intifada - For Christians living in the United States, it is sometimes difficult to think about the church as the new multi-ethnic, multi-racial people of God. Many Christians have a hard time seeing and relating to Christianity in the Arab world as living, vibrant communities of faith with rich spiritual and theological traditions. This may be partly due to our lack of understanding about the shape of Christianity in other parts of the world, and may also be partly due to our often racist and ethnocentric notions of what a Christian should look like.30/9/2007
For Gaza’s Young at Play, Fields Can Be DeadlySTEVEN ERLANGER-NY Times-"..the day was “quiet, like now,” except for the buzzing drone. It was around 5:30 p.m., and there was no warning, he said. “There were no rockets at that time, but suddenly there was a whoosh, and an explosion. And we were sitting here and watching them die.”28/9/2007
Israel kills 11 Palestinians in GazaAdel Zaanoun - Middle East Times - "Despite regular limited incursions and airstrikes into Gaza - with 1.5 million residents of the world`s most densely populated places - Israel has been unable to stamp out rocket fire from the territory. "27/9/2007
High Court orders state to reconsider freeze on family unification in the West Bank and Gaza B`Tselem - "The State of Israel will inform its High Court of Justice within sixty days if it will change its policy on family unification in the West Bank and Gaza . Currently, the authorities do not consider any requests made by Palestinians in these areas to live with their foreign spouses. In the hearing held yesterday [24 September], Justices Beinisch, Rubinstein, and Fogelman strongly criticized the policy, which has been in force for seven years, and ordered the state to submit an additional response, which may include a change in the policy." 27/9/2007
For Gaza’s Young at Play, Fields Can Be Deadly STEVEN ERLANGER - NT Times - "Ghassan explained that the border fence was electronic, but that he had learned to wire two parts of the fence together to maintain the electrical connection while cutting the fence to get into Israel." 26/9/2007
Israeli Bank Severs Ties With Gaza Banks ISABEL KERSHNER - NT Times - "The Tel Aviv-based bank said in a statement that its decision came in light of the Israeli government’s decision last week to declare the Gaza Strip hostile territory."26/9/2007
Court presses state over status of Palestinians` foreign spousesDAN IZENBERG - J-lem Post - "Dorit Beinisch urged the state`s representative to get the government`s consent to consider the requests of almost 50 Palestinian families."26/9/2007
Occupation Diaries"Ramadan woes" - Saleh Al-Naami - Al-Ahram Weekly; "Israeli Occupation Forces Violate Palestinians’ Right of Worship and Religious Practice during Ramadan" - Palestinian Centre for Human Rights; "Don`t say we did not know 74" - Amos Gvirtz - Israeli Committee against House Demolitions; "Political consideration in the Military Appeals Committee - The Committee allowed the settlers in Hebron to remain in the Palestinian shops" - Hagit Ofran - Peace Now; "You will respect my authority" - Interational Solidarity Movement25/9/2007
Two medics beaten, child stabbed in West Bank settler violenceSaturday, when this settler violence took place, was Yom Kippur -- Day of Atonement – when religious Jews fast in order to atone for their sins and ask for forgiveness. A good day as any for hitting Palestinians24/9/2007
The war on Gaza`s childrenSaree Makdisi - Los Angeles Times - An entire generation of Palestinians in Gaza is growing up stunted: physically and nutritionally stunted because they are not getting enough to eat; emotionally stunted because of the pressures of living in a virtual prison and facing the constant threat of destruction and displacement; intellectually and academically stunted because they cannot concentrate -- or, even if they can, because they are trying to study and learn in circumstances that no child should have to endure. ... It is a violation of international law to collectively punish more than a million people for something they did not do. According to the Geneva Convention, to which it is a signatory, Israel actually has the obligation to ensure the well-being of the people on whom it has chosen to impose a military occupation for more than four decades. [OM editorial comment: As the author points out, "Israel says that its policies in Gaza are designed to put pressure on the Palestinian population to in turn put pressure on those who fire crude home-made rockets from Gaza into the Israeli town of Sderot." That is terrorism by definition. The Islamic Jihad could say with just as much justice that its policy of firing rockets at Sderot is designed to put pressure on the Israeli population to in turn put pressure on those who occupy the West Bank and Gaza Strip, steal Palestinian land and kill Palestinians]23/9/2007
`Staying here is my Jihad” (interview with Hani Abu Haikel, Hebron)Palestine Monitor - “The settlers first moved here in the mid seventies. Slowly they expanded, until they surrounded our home. Many times they have offered us vast money to leave here. You know the last time they offered me $20 million. Yes – twenty million. These settlers told me they would take my family to Haifa, then we would fly to Argentina and they would pay for our villa and new luxury car. The offer was genuine, they very much want to get rid of us. When we didn`t go, they have burnt out five different cars that I bought. They have destroyed half my olive trees, poured paint over my grape vines, and threatened my children. We can never leave the house empty, becuase they will immedieatly take it over. But I will not leave. Staying here in Tel Rumeida, in Hebron, this is my Jihad". 22/9/2007
Israeli military operation in Nablus ends; 49 Palestinians abductedAmeen Abu Warda Translated by Nisreen Qumsieh-IMEMC News-"The operation caused huge damage in the area, and led to the murder of two Palestinian civilians, among them one disabled man."21/9/2007
Olmert cuts energy to Gaza Strip in reply to rocket fire Donald Macintyre - The Independent -"The decision, which was publicly condemned as "oppressive" by Mr Abbas and as "collective punishment" by the aid group Oxfam, was taken as the US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, arrived in Israel to encourage the government of the Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, and Mr Abbas`s Ramallah-based administration to agree a document outlining the basis of a two-state peace settlement." 20/9/2007
Gaza economic collapse puts businessmen, legal and illicit, in a bindSteven Erlanger - IHT - ""I can`t sleep at night," he said. "I can`t go on like this! I have more than 140,000 pieces I can`t deliver! More than $25 million, and it sits here in Gaza City! Our products have seasons, and all these goods are for summer, and summer is over!" he said, starting to shout, then banged the table. "Summer is over!"" 19/9/2007
Letter From the Middle East: Palestinians build a Political Prisoners MuseumDaniel Williams - IHT - ""It`s our destiny to negotiate with Israel, but the Israelis say we have blood on our hands," Abu Haj says. "Well, these are the only hands with which to make peace."" 19/9/2007
`Soldiers came out of nowhere and abused us`Ali Waked - Ynet - ""They focused on me first, slapped me a couple of times and then punching me. They took me into the jeep for a few seconds and then threw me out.""19/9/2007
Girls! Music! Palestine!Ellen Cantarow - Counterpunch - In Salfit district in the northern West Bank, the women’s educational organization Women for Life with its girls’ spin-off, Flowers Against the Occupation, in 2005 conceived the idea of a girls’ summer music camp. Music camps for girls were unheard of in this rural, deeply-Muslim area where girls don’t usually learn musical instruments. Getting to concerts in Ramallah is made impossible by Israel’s curfews and sieges; its maze of checkpoints; its draconian internal closures (sealing off villages from each other) and external closures (sealing off the West Bank and Gaza from Israel.)16/9/2007
PPS: release the sick prisonersIMEMC - Palestinian Prisoners Society reports neglect of seriously ill detainees and lacking day care for those arriving injured - urging through Red Cross and Physicians for Human Rights to release the sick; calling upon Palestinian negotiators to give priority to plight of 11000 prisoners. 15/9/2007
A Palestinian Legislator Speaks Out: : An Interview with Jihad Abu ZneidAliza Becker - Brit Tzedek - "Brit Tzedek`s Deputy Director Aliza Becker spoke with Palestinian Legislative Council member Jihad Abu Zneid about her assessment of the present situation. Abu Zneid is a Fatah council member from East Jerusalem and the founder and director of the Women`s Center of the Shuafat Refugee Camp in East Jerusalem. We discussed the critical issues facing the Palestinians including the political separation of Gaza from the West Bank and the economy in addition to the role of women." 13/9/2007
Solving the puzzle: Israeli air incursion in Syria Ami Isseroff - MidEastWeb _ If Russian technicians or military personnel were at risk in the strike, then for obvious reasons Israel would have no interest in advertising the nature of the target, the Russians would have no interest in admitting their presence, and the United States would be quite happy with the result. If not Russians, then the target had to be some other nationality that is not supposed to be in the Middle East, and which Israel would be reluctant to reveal." 13/9/2007
Israel Takes Aim At Palestinian FamiliesIda Audeh - Countercurrents - " Israel`s practice of denying family reunification permits and denying entry to foreign passport holders (many of whom are of Palestinian origin) is part of a campaign of ridding the occupied territories (including East Jerusalem) of Palestinians and controlling those it is obliged to retain. The practice takes aim at Palestinian families under occupation: it splits families apart, denies Palestinian communities access to foreign and expatriate talent, deprives the economically hard-hit territories of foreign currency, and further isolates the Palestinians under occupation." 12/9/2007
Boost for West Bank farmers Agencies - Al Jazeera - "The law stipulates that all Jewish-owned fields be left fallow every seven years and that none of their crop be used for the duration of the year." 12/9/2007
Gaza Strip braces for IDF responseKHALED ABU TOAMEH - J-lem Post - ""There is a feeling that war will erupt any moment," said one journalist. "Most people are expecting a harsh Israeli response to the rocket attack."" 12/9/2007
Heightened state of alert announced over Rosh HashanaEfrat Weiss - Ynet - "The closure will take effect early Wednesday morning, and will be in place until the end of Rosh Hashana, when it is to be reassessed." 12/9/2007
Palestine since Gaza `disengagement` - What`s changed?Jake Hess - Znet - "The purpose of this article is to outline, briefly, the long-term objectives of the `disengagement`, to show how they`ve been implemented in the West Bank during last couple of years, and to describe current conditions in Gaza. Doing so can help provide a framework for interpreting the recent and upcoming diplomatic summits in the region, including the renewed talk of moving toward a final settlement." 11/9/2007
Family finally reunitedMeg Laughlin -- St. Petersburg Times -- Six siblings come home from Israel. A brother stays behind10/9/2007
Gaza fishermen risk becoming quarryMartin Chulov -- The Australian -- "Frustrating the fishermen is the fact that the area currently enforced by the Israelis is a sliver of the territory sanctioned under territorial agreements signed after the Oslo accords in the mid-1990s. It is a triangle within a triangle -- less than one-third of the waters they once legally fished"10/9/2007
Palestinian headlines (IMEMC) - Israeli raids & Gaza internal strifeToday`s IMEMC news include items referring to the routine of the Israeli occupation forces activities: Palestinian militant killed in army raid on the Gaza Strip, a Hamas Public Relations official kidnapped ("arrested" in the official Israeli terminology), raids and invasions of Jenin and Qabatiya and clashes with local militias,invasion of Nablus targeting two charitable societies, Palestinian woman gives birth at Israeli checkpoint. There is also much about the internal Palestinian strife, especially the Fatah demonstrative open-air prayers in the Gaza Strip and the Hamas crack-down on them. 8/9/2007
CPT Hebron Update: 25-31 August 2007CPT - Activities in this period included a visit to the new Public Relations officer of Hebron; psycho-drama enjoyment at the Al Mahawer Center; meeting with the mayor of Qilqis to do advance planning for the olive harvest; strategic planning committee work with local groups to boost the economy of the Old City; area visit to the beleagured village of Saeir; information on the diversion of water in the area; wedding parties; and much more. 8/9/2007
Living in Hebron. DetailTamar Goldschmidt, Vivi Sury and Aya Kaniuk-Mahsanmilim- "It is no secret that Marzel regularly gives the army orders, and the troops arrive and obey. They don`t even need to see for themselves. Suffice it for them to hear Marzel. Suffice it for A. to be a non-Jew. So it seems. So the soldiers indeed arrested A., the sheep were left to their own devices and got lost. A. was dragged to the army post, shackled, blindfolded with a greasy rag used to clean rifles, and taken out of sweaty fatigue pockets. "7/9/2007
Palestinian Youth Orchestra in Germany: Do they deny us the right of playing music?Juhaina Khalidiah (Translated by: Adib S. Kawar )-Assafir-"..but now he doesn`t think of emigrating from Palestine. As he says he is one of three "counter bass" players there. His music is not his source of income: "But it is a mean to prove my existence as a human being… I chose to speak music". "7/9/2007
Easing of restrictions on entering Jerusalem for some Palestinians Ma`an News - "The easing of restrictions on Palestinians entering Jerusalem may happen during the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan and the Christian holidays, the head of the Palestinian department of civil affairs, Hussein Ash Sheikh revealed on Thursday." 6/9/2007
Detainees in Ofer Subjected to escalated attacksIMEMC Staff - "A report prepared and published by the Mandela Institute which defends the rights of Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons revealed that the prison administration of Ofer detention facility had escalated its attacks against the detainees over the last two days." 6/9/2007
Water supply to Hirbet Tuba – emergency call Ehud Krinis - "As rain session still about three month ahead, the shepherds` communities in south Mt. Hebron is suffering hard from lack of water supply – a result of the combination between the gross discrimination of the Israeli water policy, the efforts of the near-by settlers to make their life unbearable and the near-desert climate conditions." 6/9/2007
Reflections on Palestine - Final ReportKeren Batiyov - "Uri Davis, Israeli academic, writer, and speaker, noted at the conference that I attended that Israel learned a great deal from the mistakes of the South African Afrikaners and their conduct of apartheid. When tourists stepped off the plane in South Africa people were immediately aware of the apartheid system; it hit them in the face. Conversely, Israel has constructed a veil that obfuscates the realities to tourists, and even to Israeli Jews. Only travel into the West Bank (and I don’t mean to the illegal Israeli settlements) rips this veil from the eyes."6/9/2007
Women`s Organization for Political Prisoners (WOFPP) Newsletter August 2007..Amneh Muna, 29 years old, from Jerusalem, is being held in separation for over eleven months. Recently the prison authorities imposed on her a fine of 300 NIS, claiming that she sent a letter to another prisoner. She is still held in a very small cell infested with a large number of cockroaches and insects...4/9/2007
Occupation diaries: on oppression and dispossession of Palestinians by Israeli authorities and settlersReports by anti-occupation activists: On the impossible situation of farmers in the South Hebron hills and elsewhere in the West Bank- by Ehud Krinis; " Don`t say we did not know 68-71" - reports by the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions - on home demolitions and deprivation of water supply, in the Jordan Valley; a bride harrassed at the Tiyasir checkpoint; harvest runed by settlers in Sinjil4/9/2007
The Sorrows of OccupationGEORGE LONGSTETH and KAREN LONGSTETH - Counterpunch - "Among the most deleterious Israeli policies is restriction of mobility. About 40 percent of the West Bank is off-limits to Palestinians. There are more than 120 settlements built on confiscated land and separate roads for the 250,000 Israeli settlers. More than 600 vehicle checkpoints and obstacles slow travel in the West Bank, an area slightly smaller than Delaware. Therefore, the former 10-minute drive between Jerusalem and Bethlehem took us one hour by a circuitous route. At checkpoints, soldiers pointed guns at us and other travelers while sluggishly checking IDs."3/9/2007
West Bank boys survive on Israeli settlers` garbageSteven Erlanger - International Harald Tribune - "This dump has become a lifeline and informal workplace for them and for the children helping to support poor families in the southern West Bank. The scene is reminiscent of the poverty of the Third World, of places like Manila`s notorious garbage mountain, but this desperate place is next door to Israel, the country with the highest per capita income in the Middle East." 3/9/2007
Families speak upRobi Damelin - Common Ground News Service - "The main thrust of the work is to foster understanding of both the Israeli and the Palestinian narrative, believing it is impossible to have empathy for a future partner when one does not understand the culture or personal story of the `other`. To this end, the Parents Circle spends many hours in classroom dialogues. In 2006 more than 1,000 of these meetings were held with 16 and 17 year old Israeli and Palestinian students." 3/9/2007
West Bank policy `not aiding peace`SHARMILA DEVI - Financial Times - "Almost 40 per cent of the West Bank is off-limits to Palestinians because of Israeli settlements, military infrastructure and a system of roads designed to ease access for Jewish settlers, justified by Israel as protection from terrorism."3/9/2007
Life in the West Bank: the sorrows of occupationGeorge Longstreth, Karen Longstreth - Counterpunch - The Palestinians we met react to this life of deprivation, fear and humiliation with quiet resignation, saying, "The situation is very bad, and this is how we must live." Many seem clinically depressed. Were it not for strong family ties and support, they could not manage. Despite their hardship, they treated us with overwhelming kindness and generosity. We never felt threatened or afraid. 2/9/2007
Today`s Palestinian headlinesIMEMC - If not attacked by Israeli soldiers, journalists are attacked by Palestinian security forces // PLO body to discuss Gaza clashes // Palestinian government initiates development program // DFLP media office slams attacks carried by the Executive Force in Gaza // UK Zionist Federation cancels appearance of Israeli journalist // Journalists Union slams attacks against reporters, residents in Gaza // Israeli army kidnaps 7 Israeli peace activists // Four injured in Wall protest south of Bethlehem // Sheikh Salah: “Israel is planning to divide the Al Aqsa mosque” // WAFA:” Hamas attacks protesters, reporters and media offices in Gaza”, Hamas denies // Seven injured at Bil`in protest // 11 Palestinians injured by Hamas fire1/9/2007
Palestinian trade stifled by Israeli control-UNCTADLaura MacInnis - Reuters/ - The UNCTAD report estimated that Israel accounts for 92 percent of the value of Palestinian trade, neighbouring Jordan 2 percent and Egypt a fraction of one percent. It said unemployment in Palestinian territory reached 30 percent in 2006, a year when exports fell 3 percent and imports rose 20 percent, stretching the trade deficit to 73 percent of gross domestic product. 1/9/2007
Abu Omar`s troublesBy Aya Kaniuk - link to, Reports from the West Bank - "abu omar, a friend, a gentle man with light in his eyes, a man who had gone through everything, that his life it a path of loses, of anxieties, a good man. abu omar lost his livelihood."18/9/2007
Prospects for Israeli military intervention in Gaza Two articles from Ed. 35 of (1) "Gaza expects an onslaught" - an interview with Abu Mohammad, a leader of Hamas` military wing, the Izzeddin al-Qassam Brigades, northern forces; (2) Yaakov Amidror, head of the Assessment and Production Division of IDF Intelligence, military secretary to the minister of defense, and head of the National Defense College.17/9/2007
At prison gatesThe number of Palestinians stranded in North Sinai is beginning to grow once again, reports Serene Assir - Al Ahram Weekly17/9/2007
Israeli forces kill Palestinian boy in RamallahMa`an -- "Palestinian medical sources informed Ma`an that the Israeli soldiers watched [16-year-old Muhammad] Jabareen bleed to death and denied him medical aid"17/9/2007
‘Border Guards abused Palestinians’Buki Naeh -- YNET -- Police Investigation Unit files indictment against four Ofir Brigade officers suspected of abusing innocent Palestinians last year17/9/2007
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