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News updates over the past year


Electronic Lebanon, however, is more of an electronic newspaper/magazine that combines editorial pieces, blog entries, news, and analysis. It is a project from the Electronic Intifada (EI), a nonprofit electronic publication devoted to the topic of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. EI was created 5 years ago by two Palestinians, an American, and a Scot, each with their own biases. But if you need a better analysis of the situation (other than comments from President George W. Bush when he was unknowingly recorded at the recent G8 Summit), they make much better reading. 

Reaching out to worried families in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley


Local and international attention has focused on rebuilding southern Lebanon and parts of Beirut since the end of Israel’s military incursion, but this area in the north was also badly hit during the summer conflict. Israeli air strikes caused substantial damage to houses, farmland, industrial plants and infrastructure, while thousands of traumatised and scared civilians fled from the Bekaa Valley to neighbouring Syria. They started flooding back across the border right after the August 14 ceasefire was announced, but many returned to scenes of devastation in their home areas. 

Major violations on both sides in Israel-Lebanon conflict, say UN experts


A detailed study presented by four UN experts to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Wednesday concludes that serious violations of human rights and humanitarian law were committed by Israel during the recent conflict in Lebanon. In many instances, Israel failed to distinguish between military and civilian objectives; to fully apply the principle of proportionality; and to take all feasible precautions to minimize civilian injury and damage. The experts also concluded that Hezbollah violated humanitarian law in many instances by targeting civilian populations and by disregarding the principle of distinction. 

Factions Must Stop Endangering Civilians


Human Rights Watch called today on the leaders of Palestinian factions and Palestinian government officials to bring an immediate end to the lawlessness and vigilante violence that has plagued the Occupied Palestinian Territories and to hold the perpetrators of this violence accountable. Eleven Palestinians were killed and more than 100 injured, mostly civilians, in the unrest on Sunday and Monday. Sporadic clashes and attacks on government institutions have continued during the week, with reports that three masked men shot dead a local Hamas leader as he left a mosque in Qalqilya on Wednesday. 

Arab-Americans denied entry into Israel and Palestine


The Arab American Institute (AAI) is encouraging Arab Americans who have encountered problems or been turned away when entering Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories to report details to the State Department and AAI. AAI believes that firsthand accounts from Arab Americans about difficulties in entering the region - believed to be as many as 120,000 - will help prompt the State Department to recognize the widespread, discriminatory and adverse effects of the policy and advocate for its change. AAI is also actively working with the Consulate General in order to assist Arab Americans who have been detained, turned away or harassed upon entry. 

Pregnant Palestinians give birth at Israeli checkpoints


A report by the Palestinian Ministry of Health says that pregnant Palestinian women are often prevented by Israeli forces from reaching hospitals to receive appropriate medical attention, causing many miscarriages and the deaths of some women. Since the beginning of the second Intifada, a Palestinian uprising against Israeli military occupation, in September 2000, 68 pregnant Palestinian women gave birth at Israeli checkpoints, leading to 34 miscarriages and the deaths of four women, according to the Health Ministry’s September report. Thoraya Obaid, Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), said these figures underline the need to put an end to the agony of pregnant Palestinian women held at Israeli checkpoints. 

Palestinian Refugees Targeted With Death Threats in Iraq


Shi’a armed groups have threatened to kill Palestinian refugees living in Baghdad if they do not leave Iraq within 72 hours, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch urged the Iraqi government and the Multi-National Forces to investigate these threats and provide greater security to Palestinians in Iraq. A new leaflet obtained by Human Rights Watch and bearing the name of the Al-Bayt Revenge Brigade Rapid Response Units states that “there is no place for Palestinians in the Iraq of Ali, Hassan, and Hussain.” The names refer to three revered Shi’a imams; in contrast, virtually all Palestinians are Sunni Muslim. 

Weekly report on rights violations: Nine Palestinians killed


On 29 September 2006, IOF fired a missile at two Palestinian children, who passed near an abandoned rack used in launching home-made rockets at Israeli targets. The two children, who are brothers, were killed. On 30 September 2006, IOF extra-judicially executed two members of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, an armed wing of Fatah movement, in Rafah. The attacks also wounded two civilian bystanders, including a child. On 2 October 2006, IOF shot dead a Palestinian fisherman opposite to Deir al-Balah seashore in the central Gaza Strip. On 3 October 2006, a Palestinian child was killed and his brother was wounded, when IOF bombarded a workshops adjacent to their house in Khan Yunis. 

Israeli forces kill three Palestinians, injure five and destroy property


The Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) continue to target Palestinians and their property in the Gaza Strip. In the past three days IOF’s attacks resulted in the killing of three, injury of five and destruction of one home, four cars and one textile factory around the Strip. Al Mezan views that the international silence towards these violations, and many other violations of human rights in OPT, has encouraged Israel to continue and escalate them. Thus, the Centre calls on the international community, especially the High Contracting Parties to the Convention, to act with the view to bring to an immediate end the IOF’s breaches and provide effective protection to Palestinian civilians in OPT

ICG: "Now is the time to launch an Arab-Israeli peace initiative"


Now is the time for a serious international push to launch an Arab-Israeli peace initiative. Catastrophic as the recent series of developments in the Middle East have been, they can give new impetus to the search for a comprehensive settlement. The Arab-Israeli Conflict: To Reach a Lasting Peace,* the latest report from the International Crisis Group, is a realistic analysis of all the obstacles to peace in the current climate. But it also charts a way forward that could succeed. “The Lebanon war must serve as a wake-up call”, says Robert Malley, Crisis Group’s Middle East Program Director.