120 Palestinians abducted since Israel's
decision to release Fatah inmates
GAZA, (PIC)-- The ministry of prisoner affairs said that the Israel
had kidnapped more than 120 Palestinians including a number of
children from occupied Jerusalem since outgoing Israeli premier Ehud
Olmert announced his intention to release 250 Palestinian prisoners
affiliated with Fatah.
Riyadh Al-Ashkar, the director of the information office in the
ministry, added that there are still 16 Palestinian fishermen and
three international activists who were kidnapped by the Israel navy
in the Ramla prison.
Ashqar underlined that Israel's intent to release Palestinian
prisoners as a goodwill gesture towards PA chief Mahmoud Abbas was an
attempt to beautify its ugly face and to cover for its crimes against
The Palestinian official underscored that the Israeli media had
unveiled a serious confidential document prepared by the Israeli
intelligence and encouraged by the courts legalizing the use of
internationally-banned psychological and physical torture means
against Palestinian prisoners.
The Palestinian official noted that Israel issued a number of illegal
sentences against democratically-elected Palestinian lawmakers
imprisoned without guilt in Israeli jails flouting the diplomatic
immunity they enjoy.
Israel keeps all Gaza borders closed
Sun, 30 Nov 2008
Palestinian children are seen through holes made by Israeli rockets
and bullets during an incursion on Khan Yunis
Israel has vowed to keep Gaza border crossings closed after an
earlier threat to launch a major incursion into the costal strip.
On November 4, Israel intensified the Gaza blockade, closing all the
crossings into the populated territory and blocking all food and fuel
supplies into the region "in response to rocket attacks by
"Following mortar and rocket fire, the border crossings we had
expected to open will remain closed," AFP quoted defense ministry
spokesman Shlomo Dror as saying on Sunday.
The warnings came after a rocket fired by Palestinians landed in
south of the town of Ashkelon Saturday afternoon, causing "No
injuries or damages."
Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai also threatened to
launch a wide-scale operation into the territory to stop the rocket
attacks from Gaza.
Palestinian groups, however, say their rocket attacks are retaliatory
measures against Israeli incursions and air raids which kill
Palestinians in the Gaza Strip on a regular basis.
According to the Palestinian Popular Resistance Committees, the
Israeli military forces wounded three of its fighters in an incursion
into central Gaza in the early hours of Sunday.
The group said the Israeli attack east of the Maghazi refugee camp
provoked an exchange of fire between the two sides.
Medical sources confirmed that they were treating three wounded
Palestinians. But the Israeli military made no immediate comment on
Turkish boat to set sail to Gaza within days
GAZA, (PIC)-- The government committee to break the siege on Gaza
announced on Sunday that a Turkish vessel would soon set sail to the
Gaza Strip to contribute in breaking the tightened siege imposed on
The committee's spokesman, Alaa Al-Batta, said in a statement that
the Turkish boat would carry medicine and solidarity activists.
He hailed Arab and international efforts to alleviate the siege on
Gaza, thanking in this regard Libya, Qatar, Kuwait and Turkey for
sending ships carrying food and medicine to Gaza.
Batta called for continuation of such sea voyages until the siege is
completely broken, stressing that Gaza was in need of a courageous
and strong stand on the part of the freedom loving peoples in the
For his part, Dr. Mohammed Awad, the head of the committee and
secretary of the PA caretaker government, said in a press release
that the Israeli occupation authority had tightened the siege on Gaza
in a bid to weaken the Palestinian people's determination.
He said that the IOA and those supporting it would not fulfill their
target, adding that Palestinian steadfastness and challenge would
foil those attempts.
Gaza: Moving Beyond Political Activism
by Joe Mowrey
November 24th, 2008
As conditions in the Gaza strip approach a catastrophic level of
deprivation, the world media, and in particular the U.S. media,
remain largely silent. The United Nations, whose truckloads of food
and medical supplies continue to be denied entry into Gaza by Israel,
appears to be one of the few international voices of dissent
concerning the collective punishment of 1.5 million human beings.
This, despite the fact that more than 50% of the population in Gaza
is comprised of children under the age of 15.
Israel claims to be defending itself against the crude, often
homemade rockets which militant factions in Gaza fire randomly into
southern Israel. Though it may be considered politically incorrect,
this writer refuses to precede his remarks with the requisite, "It's
wrong for militant Palestinians to be firing rockets into Israel."
The ethics of Palestinian resistance to the Zionist colonization of
Palestine and the dispossession of the Palestinian people is a
subject for another article. The issue at hand is one of collective
punishment. Regardless of the actions of certain factions in Gaza,
the fact remains that Israel (with the approval of the U.S.and the
world community) is depriving an entire civilian population of food,
medicine and clean drinking water in response to the violent actions
of a few among that population. By any civilized standard this
behavior is wrong and should be condemned vociferously. To paraphrase
the words of an alien from another planet in a not-so-great Hollywood
movie of some years ago, every sentient being knows the difference
between right and wrong.
Apparently not. Israel's Foreign Minister and likely future Prime
Minister, Tzipi Livni, recently dismissed the notion that Israel's
actions in Gaza amount to collective punishment and claimed those
actions were a justifiable response to the rocket attacks on Israel.
She stated, "The international community must be more decisive in
making itself heard and in using its influence in the face of these
To suggest that the international community should condemn "these
attacks" by militant Palestinian factions, yet ignore the
humanitarian disaster being imposed on Gaza by the government of
Israel demonstrates a nearly incomprehensible level of hypocrisy. But
more importantly, the fact that Jews are the ones perpetrating these
unconscionable actions in Gaza is a tragedy of historic proportions.
The Geneva Conventions, particularly those articles addressing the
collective punishment of civilian populations, were largely crafted
in response to the treatment of Jews by the Nazis during World War
II. Has the sense of exclusivity and entitlement created by the
Zionist experiment in Israel become so great that people there no
longer see themselves in the mirror of their own history? The irony
of Jews, among the most egregiously persecuted and maligned people in
history, denying food to hundreds of thousands of children in order,
allegedly, to insure their own security, is breathtaking. Who could
ever have imagined such a thing?
As people of Gaza suffer, here in the U.S., the vast majority of so-
called progressives continue to revel in the recent election of the
first Black man to the Presidency. While Obama has garnered a great
deal of political and financial support by pledging his unconditional
support for the Zionist regime in Israel, he remains completely
silent on the plight of the children of Gaza. Our first Black
President not only refuses to speak out against the collective
punishment of an oppressed people, he actively supports and
encourages the regime responsible for this behavior. This too is a
tragedy of historic proportions. Have we come this far in the
struggle against racism in our country only to see Barack Obama put a
minority face on U.S. support for violations of international law and
essential human dignity by Israel? Again, one has to say, who could
ever have imagined such a thing?
Each morning I peruse the alternative media online and hope to see at
least some minor degree of outrage at the situation in Gaza. A small
but courageous handful of progressive web sites dare to criticize
Israel and speak out against the abuse of the Palestinian people. But
for the most part, the glorious and powerful "NetRoots" movement is
too busy congratulating itself on the so-called victory it has
achieved in the recent elections, too busy celebrating the illusion
of change which Barack Obama represents, to admit the absence of any
indication of substantive change in U.S. foreign policy in Palestine
or the Middle East under his coming administration.
Does it ever occur to those who so blindly and passionately
rallied `round their candidate for the Presidency that they might now
use their voices to encourage him to oppose the human rights abuses
being orchestrated in Gaza? The sad reality is, not even a chorus of
such voices is likely to alter the course Obama appears to have
taken. He has surrounded himself with a familiar cast of armchair
militarists, corporatists and hard core pro-Zionist zealots who will
continue to give their unconditional support to Israel regardless of
what barbaric tactics the government there uses to advance the
colonization of Palestine. He is choosing to turn his back on the
men, women and children in Gaza and the West Bank who suffer chronic
malnutrition, desperate poverty, dispossession and daily humiliation
at the hands of the Israeli military.
We should stand up in opposition to instances of human rights abuses
whenever and wherever they occur. The situation in Gaza is only one
on an unfortunately long list, locally, nationally and
internationally. And U.S. government (that means you and me) support
for and complicity in many such instances is no secret. If each of us
were to do just one thing per week to address these issues, the
result might surprise us all. Take a minute out from the long and
endless chatter of day to day living and speak to a friend about the
idea of social equality. Write one letter to the editor of your local
paper in support of human rights. Spend just one percent of your
online hours learning the truth about our complicity as U.S. citizens
in the exploitation and degradation of other people and their
cultures. Turn off your television. Go stand on a corner with a sign
to protest war. Wear a button promoting peace and justice. One small
thing at a time.
To those who became politically active, possibly for the first time,
and expended their valuable enthusiasm and energy in order to see
Barack Obama elected: thank you for being a part of history. Now why
not try on the mantel of social activism? Write our President-elect a
letter and suggest that he at least acknowledge the suffering of the
people in Gaza. It is doubtful it will change him or his policies,
but it may change you. And that truly is "change we can believe in."
Every sentient being knows the difference between right and wrong.
The question is, why do so few of us act on that knowledge?
Joe Mowrey is a Palestinian rights and antiwar activist. He lives in
Santa Fe, New Mexico with his equally traitorous spouse and their
four canine co-conspirators. He can be contacted at:
jmowrey@.... Read other articles by Joe.
This article was posted on Monday, November 24th, 2008 at 8:00am and
is filed under Human Rights, Israel/Palestine, Prejudice, War Crimes,
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