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Siege, Wall, Checkpoints

TitleDescriptionDate
Half of Iraq `in absolute poverty` Aljazeera - "Up to eight million Iraqis require immediate emergency aid, with nearly half of the population living in "absolute poverty", according to a report by Oxfam and a coalition of Iraqi groups. "31/7/2007
Weekly Digest: Reports from Checkpoints, 22.7.07--28.7.07MachsomWatch -- Wallaje (Bethlehem area), Monday, 23.7.07: “Our friend A had been prevented by the Police to enter Israel; we devoted our shift to visit him. A is 40 years old, the father of 4, and worked in Israel over 20 years, [… he] has a work permit and valid magnetic card. 6 weeks ago he was held up in Bethlehem CP 300, with about 20 other Palestinians, and told he can no longer enter Israel, by police order. He was advised to consult a lawyer to find the cause for the prevention. All the lawyer could tell him was that the prevention is for 96 months (8 years)! No reason was given”30/7/2007
Three years after ICJ wall ruling, access to land still deniedIRIN -- EI -- "In the Qalqilya district of the northern West Bank, many Palestinians were separated from their agricultural land and livelihood, because the barrier did not always follow the internationally recognized "green line" between Israel and the Palestinian area. Others found themselves divided from the rest of the West Bank. Overall, about 15 villages remain in the ‘seam zone’ between the serpentine path of the barrier and the border. According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), 50,000 Palestinians will be located in that zone when the barrier is complete"30/7/2007
Leftist arrested for `crossing line marked on floor`Yoav Friedman - Ynet - Police officers dispatched to the checkpoint told the activist, Yifat Doron, that the checkpoint commander had complained she was getting in the way and must therefore accompany them for questioning at the Ariel police station. After the woman was questioned, the police agreed to release her if she promised not to arrive at the checkpoint for 15 days. Doron, however, refused to do so and was arrested. She spent the night at the Neve Tirza Prison for Women.28/7/2007
The everyday of the Occupation, at the checkpointsNina Mayorek - MachsomWatch - reporting Saturday checkpoint observations - "Each man has to take off his trousers belt, present his ID and open all belongings. One should do it in a relaxed manner with a pleasant expression on one`s face. Otherwise, as we witnessed, a young man is taken to a closed cabin and a soldier performs a body search. One could imagine [the above as] checking before getting into an airplane, but no, this is "normal" checking on the way to a visit to an auntie, to work, or to some other daily arrangements."`24/7/2007
Weekly Digest: Reports from Checkpoints, 15.7.07--21.7.07MachsomWatch -- Ezyon DCL (Bethlehem area), Wednesday, 18.7.07, 15:55: “A man is married to a blue ID holding wife, due to give birth soon. She plans to do so in Jerusalem, and he has received permission to accompany her for 8 days. [But] since the actual date of birth is uncertain, he cannot receive the permit today and take it with him, but must come for it again at the relevant time. A man from a village near Bethlehem has been coming to the DCL for the past few weeks to take care of a magnetic card that went bad. Every week he has been told to come the following week (as we reported 3 weeks ago). The same happened again today: his complaint was heard, and he was promised a solution ‘by next week...’"23/7/2007
Nahr al-Bared refugees yearn to return home, rebuildAFP -- The Daily Star -- Beddawi residents welcoming despite lack of resources23/7/2007
Blair holds first meeting with Quartet/Zahhar: sidestepping Hamas will destroy his credibilityIMEMC/PIC - Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair met with the diplomatic Quartet in Lisbon for the first time yesterday, in his new role as the special envoy on the Middle East. Senior Hamas political leader Dr. Mahmoud Al-Zahhar belittled hopes attached to the mission of Tony Blair, warning the new envoy that any attempt to marginalize Hamas Movement will cost him his credibility. 21/7/2007
Rattling the Cage: How to lose hearts and mindsLARRY DERFNER - J-lem Post - "IF WE SENT the Thai workers back to Thailand, the Chinese workers back to China, or the Romanian workers back to Romania, they`d suffer economically. But if we send the Sudanese refugees back to Egypt - after they`ve sought asylum in Israel and complained to the UN and the international media about how the Egyptians treated them - then God help them." 19/7/2007
Urbanisation has negative side effects, Bedouins in southern Israel say IRIN - MAAN NEWS - ""The social frameworks were destroyed in many cases by urbanisation," said Kher al-Baz, a Bedouin social worker and social planning expert. "This process brought about negative phenomena, such as crime, vandalism, drugs and high unemployment," he said." 18/7/2007
Red Rag - Prosecuting Mordechai Vanunu Gideon Spiro - Hagada Hasmalit - "Your verdict is yet another smelly fart in a string of stinky and disgraceful rulings, in which judges acted as the government`s loyal dog."18/7/2007
T.E. Lawrence had it right about Iraq: "Rebellions can be made by 2 per cent active and 98 per cent passively sympathetic"Robert Fisk - The Independent/Commondreams - Hands up those readers who know that Canada’s Defence Minister, Gordon O’Connor, actually sent a letter to Rumsfeld two days before his departure in disgrace from the Pentagon, praising this disreputable man’s “leadership”. Yes, O’Connor wanted “to take this opportunity to congratulate you on your many achievements (sic) as Secretary of Defence, and to recognise the significant contribution you have made in the fight against terrorism”. The world, gushed the ridiculous O’Connor, had benefited from Rumsfeld’s “leadership in addressing the complex issues in play”.15/7/2007
`The carnage, the blown-up bodies I saw ... Why? What was this for?`Chris Hedges and Lailia al-Arian - The Nation/Guardian Unlimited - Terrifying house raids; random checkpoint shootings; speeding convoys that wipe out anyone in their path. Interviews with 50 US war veterans back from Iraq reveal the terrible daily brutality they inflicted on innocent civilians. A unique investigation by Chris Hedges and Lailia al-Arian13/7/2007
Weekly Digest: Reports from Checkpoints, 1.7.07– 6.7.07MachsomWatch – Qalandiya, Sunday, 1.7.07, 16:50: “The two young men dropped off at the Qalandiya CP by a BP jeep told us that they had been arrested at 11AM in Palestinian territory near an opening in the wall surrounding Bir Nabala and had been held by the BP until 16:30. They were taken in to the BP Station at Atarot and were beaten on the way. (We saw marks on the neck of one man and the broken glasses of the other.) They said they had been held for hours in a room together with many others (including a 70 years old woman who had been detained on her way to the hospital). They were not given anything to eat or drink. After 5.5 hours of detention they were brought to Qalandiya”12/7/2007
Excuses keep on comingCharley Reese - Antiwar - The last time Iraq was stable was when Saddam was in power. Iraq is unstable because we made it unstable. We destroyed Iraq`s infrastructure, its economy and its government. We did. One of the most shameful lies peddled by the Bush administration has been to blame the poor state of Iraq`s infrastructure on Saddam. We destroyed that infrastructure with wars, bombings and medieval sanctions. The miracle is that with all we were doing, Saddam managed to produce more electricity and more oil than our occupation has been able to produce.15/7/2007
Checkpoints in May Monthly report by MachsomWatch - an Israeli women`s organization that deals with the restriction of the Palestinians freedom of movement. "In our times as well, the person in uniform is king and with the power granted to him by his uniform and the weapon he bears, he can make any decision concerning the life of the "invisible prisoners"- people caged inside enclaves that are surrounded by roadblocks. "11/7/2007
UN report: “Annexation Wall will isolated Jerusalem from the West Bank”Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies. Also, "PLO demands the Wall case to be discussed at the Security Council" - Amin Abuwardeh- IMEMC 9/7/2007
Obituary - Major Derek Cooper - He did much to help Palestinian refugees Derek Brown - The Guardian - "One of Cooper`s last duties before the British left Palestine in May 1948 was to defend the Palestinian residents of the port of Jaffa against a determined attempt by Jewish fighters to inflict what is now called ethnic cleansing."18/7/2007
Bilin and south Bethlehem: Anti-Wall Update1) ISM - At Bil`in, the 70 peaceful protesters included Palestinian members of the community, Israelis, and international observers from the International Solidarity Movement and the Scottish Palestinian Solidarity Campaign. 2) Ilan Shalif - The 126th Friday demonstration in Bil`in (...) the only difference from the demos of the last few Fridays was the less friendly wind. 7/7/2007
Iraqi deaths estimatorJust Foreign Policy - Link to a website that estimates how many Iraqis have been murdered by the Washington-London axis since March 20036/7/2007
...
Killing 10,000 Iraqis every monthMichael Schwartz - Counterpunch - The Merriam Webster dictionary defines terror as "violent or destructive acts (as bombing) committed by groups in order to intimidate a population." The incident at Haditha was just such a violent act, and was one of about 100 that day that Lt. Mathes hoped would intimidate the population of Haditha and other towns in Iraq from continuing to support insurgents. 6/7/2007
Israel starts to build illegal wall near Beit Jalla town in Bethlehem areaNajeep Faraaj -- IMEMC -- "Samiah Ziet, the engineer of the Beit Jalla municipality, said that completing this section of the illegal wall will mean that the town will have no land to expand on, and will also lead to the total destruction of the farming industry in the town since all farming lands will be on the Israeli side of the wall" 5/7/2007
MachsomWatch -- Invisible Prisoners. Palestinians Blacklisted by the General Security Services, April 2007MachsomWatch -- "As many as an estimated 180,000 residents of the Occupied Territories are `security blacklisted` or Shabak [General Security Services - GSS] blacklisted. Freedom of movement – the basic right of all, wherever they may be, and especially in occupied territory – is even more restricted for those who are blacklisted than it is for all other residents"5/7/2007
...
Weekly Digest: Reports from Checkpoints, 24.607--30.6.2007MachsomWatch -- Olives Terminal (Abu Dis Area), Monday, 24.6.07, 08:40: “The general feeling is of resignation. Abu Dis residents who want magnetic cards now have to go to Jericho, because the printer here ‘gets tired ‘ after 30-35 magnetic cards...”2/7/2007
Envoy for the Quartet: when Tony Blair meets the real worldMohammad Kamaali - Looking at the realities of the Middle East today and reviewing Blair`s contribution to the current mayhem, one is left wondering whether this decision is born out of delusional thinking, sheer cynicism, or is there any possible constructive utility in this appointment?1/7/2007
Iraq by the numbersTom Engelhardt - Znet/TomDispatch - "[T]he full market value may be paid for a Toyota run over by a tank in the course of a non-combat related accident, but only $2,500 may be paid for the death of a child shot in the crossfire."1/7/2007
Machsom Watch Summary – June 2007 Machsom Watch- an Israeli women`s organization that deals with one of the most severe aspects of the occupation- restrictions on the Palestinians` freedom of movement - "From east to Elon Moreh, several hundred meters away from the gate of the settlement, is a spring of water called "Kabir". It belongs to Deir Al Hatab village. There is a tube that leads the water from the spring to the village, where it is gathered in a small pool, this amount of water is sufficient (more or less) for the needs of the residents. Recently, the Elon Moreh settlers dug a pool of their own by the tube, they cut the tube so that the water ran to their pool, that way their kids have something to do during their vacation. After the intervention of some Kibutz volunteers, the tube was fixed and the water was directed to Deir Al Hatab again, but not for long… Not long ago the tube was cut once again and now the water runs to the amusement pool of Elon Moreh"22/7/2007
Bordering on desperation Serene Assir - Al-Ahram - "There is no end in sight to the plight of the Palestinians trapped in Sinai. Caught between the occupation and the hardships of the Rafah crossing, Palestinians have nowhere to go" ...A prisoner knows when his term is due to end -- we don`t!"`22/7/2007
In Princes’ PocketsTariq Ali -- London Review of Books -- "Faisal believed that the only way to defeat Nasser and the godless Communists was by making religion the central pillar of the Saudi social order and using it ruthlessly against the enemy. It was Islam that was under threat and had to be defended on all fronts. This pleased his allies in Washington, who were tolerant even of his decision to impose an oil embargo against the West after the 1973 war, something that has never been attempted since"16/7/2007
Weekly Digest: Reports from Checkpoints, 8.7.07–14.7.07MachsomWatch -- Ar-Ras (Tulkarm area), Sunday, 8.7.07, 14:05: “A large open truck, with its oxygen balloons clearly visible for all to see, on its way to the hospital in Qalqilya, stands at the side of the road, delayed, in spite of the fact that the drivers have a permit and a humanitarian pass, and although the two drivers pass the checkpoint frequently, one suffers from the mortal sin of being only 27 years old. That wonderful invention of the occupation, quarantine, is once again in force, so that any young man between the ages of 15 and 35 cannot go between the main towns within the Palestinian Authority in this area“ 16/7/2007
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