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The Little Mermaid on Highway Six: Rooting for ordinary Israelis to wake up

These are the thoughts that give me no rest, so that when a holiday comes around, as Passover did recently, I am unable to celebrate lightheartedly in the ordinary way. Occasionally, as I did this time, I go through the motions, but it seems obscene, somehow. I haven’t had a normal sort of holiday feeling in years. Lately, I finally figured out why. Going about your business as usual, insofar as possible, is an act of defiance when you’re being oppressed; but when you’re the oppressor, it’s an act of indifference. 

The West's strategy in Palestine will weaken civil society

The Palestinian group Hamas lost no time in approving Monday’s terrible suicide bombing in Tel Aviv, thus confirming the worst suspicions of the international community. But Western governments have still taken a huge gamble in withholding aid from the Hamas-controlled Palestinian National Authority. If past experience is any guide, the decision will fuel extremism, create a humanitarian crisis and also undermine Palestinian civil society, which has long been a voice for the rule of law in the Middle East. 

Punishing the Victim: Donors cutting aid to the PA

Canada and the US, followed by the EU and Japan, have suspended their financial aid to the Palestinian Authority. This came in the wake of the Palestinian legislative council elections that were held last January, the resulting victory of Hamas that secured the movement a parliamentary majority, and the subsequent formation of the Palestinian government. These parties, in an attempt to compensate for their decision to cut aid to the PA, have decided to continue to provide humanitarian assistance through the United Nations and through NGO’s. The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights outlines its position. 

Weekly report on human rights violations

This week, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian child in Beit Lahia. A Palestinian activist died from previous wounds. At least 40 Palestinians, including 19 children were wounded by Israeli gunfire. Israel continued to shell Palestinian areas in the Gaza Strip. Israeli forces conducted 35 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, particularly in Nablus. In these military raids, Israeli forces arrested 74 Palestinians, including 11 children. Israeli forces arrested wives and mothers of allegedly wanted Palestinians. Israeli forces turned ten Palestinian homes into military posts. Israel continues to impose a total siege on the occupied Palestinian territories. Settlers continue to attack Palestinian civilians and property. 

UN warns of humanitarian crisis in Palestine

The current humanitarian emergency followed the outbreak of violence in September 2000 and is a result of restrictions on Palestinian freedom of movement, military operations, land confiscation and levelling and the construction of the Barrier. A serious intensification of this situation is now possible following the victory of the Hamas party in the Palestinian Legislative Council elections held in January 2006. has stopped handing over to the PA VAT and customs taxes that it collects on Palestinian goods on its behalf. Recently however, the GoI has announced that it would use a proportion of this money to pay for electricity, water and fuel costs owed to Israeli companies. At the same time, Western donors signalled their intention to review their funding support to the PA

In the footsteps of his father

8 April 2006—Last Saturday, crowds estimated at tens of thousands marched in the funeral procession of Eyad Abulineen, a Palestinian resistance fighter of Rafah, his 7-year old son Belal and four other people, who were all killed by Israeli missiles on Friday. Prior to heading to the Rafah cemetery east of the city, the crowd said a last farewell to their martyrs in a local mosque. Chanting angry slogans, with resistance fighters firing into the air, the crowd marched toward the cemetery, where the martyrs were laid to rest. 

Roger Waters Refuses to be Another Brick in Israel's Wall

Ramallah — Reiterating his opposition to the Israeli occupation and expressing his support for the Palestinian people in “their struggle to be free,” the internationally renowned rock star Roger Waters has announced that he is relocating his Israel performance in recognition of the problematic nature of the previously planned Tel Aviv venue, particularly at a time when Israel is escalating its repression and apartheid designs to further dispossess, ghettoize and ultimately ethnically cleanse Palestinians from their homeland. 

Last chance for two states

Monday’s suicide bombing in Tel Aviv rightly drew international condemnation, yet criticism of Israel’s relentless shelling of civilian population centres in the occupied Gaza Strip has been blocked by the US at the UN Security Council. This month alone, Israeli forces have killed more than 30 Palestinians, including at least six children, and injured 130 others, while about 200 shells have been fired into the Gaza Strip every day. As Israel’s illegal settlement and wall construction on occupied Palestinian land continues, the possibility of establishing a viable, territorially contiguous Palestinian state is being destroyed. “Permanent borders cannot be drawn by one party alone,” writes Manuel Hassassian. 

DCI/PS call to action on Palestinian Prisoners' Day

17 April 2006 — It is a sad irony that Palestinian Prisoners’ Day comes this year as massive numbers of Palestinian children are being arrested and detained by Israeli forces. In the first quarter of 2006 alone, some 350 children were arrested — compared to around 700 child arrests in the whole of 2005. The vast increase in arrests is in turn leading to overcrowding in prisons as record numbers of juveniles are being held in unsuitable and unhygienic conditions. 

Palestinian refugees remain stranded on Jordan border

About 150 Palestinians refugees fleeing from Iraq, including some 50 children, remain stranded near the Jordan-Iraq border, say aid officials. “The children are suffering due to a lack of protection and food,” said Ahmed Barak, a volunteer for the Iraqi Aid Association. “Medical provision in the area is very poor.” The refugees, many of whom fled their homes in Iraq in the wake of a recent spate of anti-Palestinian violence, have been waiting for Amman’s permission to enter the kingdom since 4 April. According to Barak, the International Committee for the Red Cross and the Iraq Red Crescent Society have been providing refugees with food, blankets and tents. Barak added, however, that their situation could worsen if no action is taken by the Jordanian or Iraqi governments.