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Who does the Israeli Prime Minister consider to be a terrorist?


On October 30, Israel’s Prime Minister Ehud Olmert reportedly told the Knesset Security and Foreign Affairs Committee that in the past three months, the Israeli military has killed 300 “terrorists” in the Gaza Strip in its war against terror groups. According to B’Tselem’s investigation, the IDF did indeed kill 294 Palestinians in Gaza since the abduction of Cpl. Gilad Shalit on June 26 and until October 27. However, over half of those killed - 155 people, including 61 children - did not participate in the fighting when they were killed. This in addition to the 137 who were killed while taking part in hostilities, and another two who were the targets of a targeted killing. 

Open Letter to the U.S. Ambassador to Israel on the Israeli Incursion into Gaza


As a Palestinian organisation dedicated to the protection and promotion of human rights, Al-Haq is extremely alarmed by the current intensification of Israeli military operations in Gaza. This operation, codenamed “Autumn Clouds”, which is exerting a heavy toll on the civilian population of Gaza, is disturbingly reminiscent of operation “Defensive Shield” of 2002. Further, the ongoing military assault is effectively contributing to the destabilisation of the entire region. We hereby call upon you and the international community as a whole to take immediate and concrete steps to halt the indiscriminate attacks being carried out in Gaza. 

Where childhood games are dangerous


Thirteen-year old Khodor will be discharged from the hospital in Marjayoun soon when his aunt comes to pick him up. Khodor’s 11-year-old brother was killed in the same incident when the boys were collecting firewood and a cluster submunition exploded next to them. Unfortunately, the story of Khodor and his brother is a familiar one today in the southern part of Lebanon. Every week the UN’s Mine Action Coordination Centre publishes new figures of civilians injured and wounded by unexploded ordnance. Since the beginning of the ceasefire on August 12 more than 140 casualties, including 20 deaths, have been reported. 

Palestinian journalist covering Gaza incursion shot in back by Israeli troops


Reporters Without Borders accused the Israeli government of indifference to repeated acts of violence by its troops against journalists after a young Palestinian cameraman sustained serious gunshot wounds on 3 November 2006, in Beit Hanun, in the north of the Gaza Strip.”We again urge Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s government to call the Israeli Defence Force to order,” the press freedom organisation said. “Journalists working in the Gaza Strip are often the victims of what appear to be targeted shootings. Such behaviour towards media personnel will continue until transparent investigations are carried out and those responsible are punished.” 

An incursion happening right now in Tulkarem


Dr. Imad was right! There is an Israeli military incursion happening right here right now, just as he said it would: in the refugee camp adjacent to the town of Tulkarem. And now they are in the main part of town right in front of us! On the way to Qalqilya this morning, we drive right past three Israeli APVs in our mobile health van. Through our van’s front window, we see two soldiers crouched behind their APV with their semiautomatic rifles cocked; now they are running around the vehicle counterclockwise, and right into an apartment building. 

The olive harvest in the West Bank and Gaza


Olives, a centuries-old mainstay of the Palestinian economy, are in peak season for harvest from the middle of October to the beginning of November. Forty-five percent of Palestinian agricultural land (228,560 acres/914,235 dunums) is planted with olive trees. This year’s olive harvest is a source of hope for a community with over 2/3 of its population living in poverty (less than $2.7/day). As a bumper crop year, the olive industry promises to contribute over 118 million USD (based on 2003/4 figures) to the fragile West Bank economy - 22 percent of total agricultural production. 

Death toll hits 34 in Beit Hanoun; 5 killed in assassinations elsewhere in Gaza


For the fourth consecutive day, Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) continue their land incursion on the town of Beit Hanoun in the north of the Gaza Strip. This attack comes as part of an IOF operation codenamed “Autumn Clouds.” The number of victims has increased to 34 killed, including 21 civilians that include seven children, two women, and two paramedics. The injured number 150, most of them unarmed civilians, including approximately 40 women, 40 children, one paramedic, and one journalist. 

Dutch hiphop artists visit Israel and Palestine


Traditional ways of spreading information about the occupied Palestinian territories and Israel did not bring about fundamental changes in public opinion for decades. In order to explore new ways of conveying information, Dutch development organization ICCO invited the Dutch rappers Lange Frans and Bass B. to visit the occupied Palestinian territories and Israel. During the visit the rappers did not need their bodyguards to protect them from pushy behaviour of crowds of Dutch fans. They met their colleagues of D.A.M from Lod, the Refugee Rappers from Dheisheh refugee camp near Bethlehem and the G-Town rappers from Kalandia refugee camp. 

Annan 'deeply concerned' at escalating violence in Gaza


Voicing deep concern at the rising death toll from Israeli operations in northern Gaza, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today urged Israel to refrain from “further escalating an already grave situation” and called on Palestinian militants to stop firing rockets at Israeli civilian targets. The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) said between 30 and 40 women today were collected inside two of its elementary schools, where their mobile phones were taken from them by Israeli soldiers. It confirmed that two of the women subsequently suffered gunshot wounds. 

On the Road with the Palestine Medical Relief Society


Our mobile health van, sponsored by Palestinian Medical Relief Society, climbs steep switchbacks through narrow alleyways to the top of the hill. We arrive at the town meeting hall in the village of Far’ata (population 700) and start unpacking our boxes of pharmaceuticals and other equipment. It is here that we set up our makeshift clinic and start seeing patients. Graffiti supporting Hamas fills the walls of the village, and green flags with Islamic inscriptions fly from the roof of the mosque. The meeting hall itself sports a poster supporting Fateh, the party of Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) and the late Yasser Arafat.