The Electronic Intifada

Photostory: Palestinian refugees, Rashidieh

Arjan El Fassed
28 October 2004

In October 2004, EI’s Arjan El Fassed traveled to Jordan and Lebanon. He visited a number of refugee camps and offices of the Palestine Red Crescent Society in Lebanon and Syria. In Lebanon he visited Rashidieh, Ein al-Hilwa, and Wavel camp. Rashidieh camp lies on the Lebanese seashore, 10 km from the northern part of Palestine and 5 km from the southern port of Tyre or Sour. Rashidieh camp was heavily affected by the war in Lebanon and the Israeli invasion of 1982. The camp’s inhabitants are only able to find work in seasonal agriculture and construction. There is no sewerage network and sewage flows into open ditches along roads and pathways.

Photostory: Palestinian refugees, Wihdat

Arjan El Fassed
28 October 2004

In October 2004, EI’s Arjan El Fassed traveled to Jordan and Lebanon. He visited a number of refugee camps and offices of the Palestine Red Crescent Society in Lebanon and Syria. In Jordan, he visited Wihdat, or Amman New Camp, south east of the Jordanian capital. Wihdat, Jordan’s second largest Palestinian refugee camp is one of the four refugee camps established after 1948 in Jordan. The camp was set up in 1955 to host some 5,000 refugees on an area of 488,000 square meters. Currently, more than 50,000 registered refugees are living in Wihdat. Jordan has the largest concentration of Palestinian refugees, with nearly two million in 13 camps.

Iman: Executing another child in Rafah

Omar Barghouti
29 October 2004

Iman al-Hams was a 13-year old refugee schoolgirl who was executed — after being wounded — by an Israeli platoon commander on the sad sands of Rafah. In a flash, Israel proved to the world — yet again — that it is not only intransigent in its patent and consistent violation of international law, but also incapable of adhering to the most fundamental principles of moral behavior. Omar Barghouti comments.

Peace with Jordan: Another opportunity missed by Israel

Hasan Abu Nimah
27 October 2004

Regular EI contributor Hasan Abu Nimah was a member of the joint Jordanian-Palestinian delegation at the Washington peace talks in the early 1990s, and he was present when the Jordan-Israel peace treaty was signed ten years ago. He argues that Israel views this treaty, like other agreements, as a tool to strengthen itself at the expense of its neighbours, and has squandered the chance for genuine peace. On the sombre 10th anniversary of the treaty, Israelis should ask their leaders why they never missed an opportunity to miss all the opportunities for peace that their neighbours have repeatedly offered them.

Palestine takes centre stage at the European Social Forum

Victor Kattan
21 October 2004

”End the oppression, end the occupation” was the rallying cry at the European Social Forum in London last weekend, where thousands of delegates from all walks of life descended on Alexandra Palace united in the belief that “another world is possible.” Dennis Brutus, a poet, professor and former political prisoner who spent time on Robin Island with Nelson Mandela “breaking stones”, said it was “encouraging to see the crowds that have attended on each occasion to discuss the issue of the Palestinian people and their struggle for social justice.” He urged the audience to build a “global movement in support of the Palestinian people” just like was done in South Africa. “We can do this by boycotts, divestments, embargoes and sanctions” he said.

Palestine: the assault on health and other war crimes

Derek Summerfield
20 October 2004

Does the death of an Arab weigh the same as that of a US or Israeli citizen? The Israeli army, with utter impunity, has killed more unarmed Palestinian civilians since September 2000 than the number of people who died on September 11, 2001. In conducting 238 extrajudicial executions the army has also killed 186 bystanders (including 26 women and 39 children). Two thirds of the 621 children (two thirds under 15 years) killed at checkpoints, in the street, on the way to school, in their homes, died from small arms fire, directed in over half of cases to the head, neck and chest—the sniper’s wound. Clearly, soldiers are routinely authorised to shoot to kill children in situations of minimal or no threat. These statistics attract far less publicity than suicide bombings, atrocious though these are too. Derek Summerfield comments.

The New York Times' coverage of Operation "Days of Penitence" in Gaza

Zachary Wales
15 October 2004

One need not look further than the present, Gaza’s “Red October”. To date, Israeli forces have killed over 140 Palestinians, while some ten-times that number are homeless and starving. For the most part, the Times has its snake oils out again. A few exceptions stand out, like the vaguely balanced and grimly titled feature by Steven Erlanger, “Intifada’s Legacy at Year 4: A Morass of Faded Hopes”; or the October 4 op-ed by Michael Tarazi, which, unlike other Times op-eds, was pulled from the Web site the following day. Zachary Wales reports.

Documentary film review: "Checkpoint"

Maureen Clare Murphy
15 October 2004

”When the Palestinians come we put on our show,” says a youthful Israeli soldier manning a checkpoint at Nablus’ Jericho road. This “show,” as it is richly documented in the new Israeli film Checkpoint, serves a seemingly dual purpose. First and foremost, it is intended to remind Palestinians just who is in power; and secondly, it serves as a form of entertainment to the young Israelis whose compulsory military service finds them wasting their time and talents at these roadblocks in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Making sense of our times: Excerpts from "Is There an Islamic Problem?"

M. Shahid Alam
14 October 2004

September 11 brings into the open, forcing into the daylight of consciousness, the legacies of history - of racial hubris, of disequilibria imposed by wars, of messianism, of reincarnated fossils, of tribalism sanctified by religion, of racial hubris, of social science in the service of power, of naked greed disguised in the rhetoric of the civilizing mission, of citizens fed on lies and sedated by amusements, of cruelty cultivated as a racial virtue, of injustices that cannot be allowed to stand. September 11 establishes beyond reasonable doubt that the United States is deeply, irrevocably connected to the Arab world, the Islamicate world, in ways it cannot ignore or deny.

EU launches new initiative as deportation of Palestinians is extended

Arjan El Fassed
3 November 2004

The European Union is on the verge of introducing a major new policy designed to bring member states closer to their neighbors. Launching a new initiative towards Israel and the Palestinian Authority and concluding negotiations on a new bilateral agreement with Israel, the EU this week also adopted a common position to extend the permits of Palestinians deported from Bethlehem in May 2002 for a further period of twelve months. EI co-founder Arjan El Fassed argues that the EU has never taken concrete steps to enforce international law in Occupied Palestine. A serious EU step towards enforcing international law should start with respecting the law itself.

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