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Kidnapped Spanish AP photographer freed

Kidnappers released an Associated Press photographer late Tuesday, hours after he was seized at gunpoint in the Gaza Strip, the AP reported. Spanish photojournalist Emilio Morenatti, 37, was seen by an AP reporter at the office of a Fatah official after he was freed. The AP said no group claimed responsibility for the kidnapping. Morenatti was abducted by unidentified Palestinian gunmen as he walked out of his apartment in Gaza City towards his driver and interpreter Majed Hamdan, the AP reported. Hamdan said four gunmen grabbed his keys and phone and told him to turn away, pressing a gun to his head, and threatening to harm him. 

Keepers of the Peace

A few days ago on the first day of the holiday Eid al Fiter, a mother with children in tow, all in their Eid best, gave the border a try against all odds, hesitantly showing her West Bank ID to the Israeli police squinting behind his bullet-proof glass window, only to be promptly turned back. That she should even be trying at this point is in itself incredible. In her mind, the reality of this pop-up border is so unfair, so grossly callous, it is simply hard to accept. Or perhaps, she thought, innocently, that the Israeli border police would let her in just this once. After all, it was Eid al Fiter, wasn’t it? This is how little she understood the political dynamic all around her. 

No right to health: Abu Musa Jahalin's story

Abu Musa had to go back to his shack, under threat of demolition and ethnic transfer by the Wall and army (the very un-Civil Administration!), to find 20,000 shekels for treatment. If he does, he can go back and try to save his leg and life. Then he can start saving $15,000 for a back operation he hasn’t been able to afford for the past two years, without which he won’t get back on his legs — if one hasn’t had to be amputated by then. He’s only 52. His heart is starting to go. Abu Musa was told long ago by an Israeli professor that he needed an operation on his back. He was badly beaten by Israeli Border Police, when homes - tin and cardboard shacks — were bulldozed on his hillside. 

Only its name remains: Eid this year in Gaza

The Eid ul-Fitr, typically a time of great celebration, literally means ‘the feast of the breaking of the fast;’ it marks the end of Ramadan, a month of daily fasting for Muslims. Traditionally, Eid is a joyful occasion; families and friends meet, gifts are exchanged, news clothes are bought and a great feast is eaten. The wearing of new clothes symbolizes the new beginning to which a month of fasting leads - the shedding of sins and the asking of forgiveness. This year, however, due to economic siege, there are few new clothes being given as Eid presents. 

Spanish AP photographer kidnapped by gunmen in Gaza

Reporters Without Borders said it was extremely worried by the kidnapping of Emilio Morenatti, a Spanish photographer with the US news agency Associated Press, in the Gaza Strip this morning. “We firmly condemn Morenatti’s abduction and we call on the Palestinian authorities to do everything possible to get him released quickly,” the press freedom organisation said. “He is the eighth journalist to be kidnapped in the Gaza Strip since the start of the year. All were freed safe and sound but no investigation has ever been concluded and none of the kidnappers has been punished.” 

Suspending my signature from the cultural boycott petition

To whom it may concern, I hereby suspend my signature from the petition of Palestinian and Lebanese artists, which calls for a boycott of, what was supposed to have been, all cultural activities participated in and sponsored by the state of Israel. I signed and vehemently supported this petition against the barbaric Israeli war of destruction of Lebanon and its continuing ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people. My suspension comes in protest of the practices of certain artist petitioners who recently participated in cultural activities around the world. 

PCHR Condemns Attack on Palestine Workers Radio

According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 23:10 on
Thursday, 12 October 2006, dozens of gunmen, including a number of masked ones, broke into the headquarters of the Union of Palestinian Workers Radio in al-Saftawi neighborhood to the west of Jabalya town. The gunmen held the guard of the offices, 70-year-old ‘Abdul Karim al-Hindi, in the car park. A number of the gunmen entered the 4-stotey building, and the other ones deployed in it yard. According to Rezeq al-Bayari, Director of Palestine Workers Radio, which is based on the fourth floor of the building, he and the other staff members of the radio closed the door of the office when they saw the attack on the building through windows. 

Two Palestinian journalists attacked by Israeli security personnel

Reporters Without Borders has condemned the detention of Reuters cameraman Imad Mohammad Bornat by the Israeli authorities over the past two weeks and his possible mistreatment at the time of his arrest on 6 October 2006 in the West Bank village of Bil’in. The organisation also condemned the severe beating, which Agence France Presse photographer Jaafar Ashtiyeh and two of his assistants received on 1 October at a checkpoint at Hawara, near the city of Nablus. Bornat, who is accused of throwing stones at a border policeman while filming him, had a head wound that needed several stitches by the time he arrived under escort at the nearest police station. 

EI's Ali Abunimah discusses "One Country" on Flashpoints

On October 20, EI co-founder Ali Abunimah appeared on Flashpoints Radio to discuss his new book: One Country, a Bold Proposal to the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse. The program also features excerpts from his recent speech in Oakland, California. Listen to Ali discuss the need to break through the current impasse of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and hear his proposal for a better future for all concerned parties. “Flashpoints” is KPFA’s newsmagazine, regularly featuring voices of resistance, education and information from around the world. It airs every weekday at 5 PM PST on KPFK

Report: The impact of the economic strangulation on human rights in the OPT

A mission of FIDH visited Israel and the OPT between 25 June and 2 July 2006. The mission was in close coordination with Medecins du Monde, which in parallel conducted an evaluation of the evolution of the health situation in the Gaza Strip on the basis of a large inquiry among the medical and health care personnel of hospitals and clinics. The mission was set up in order to examine the situation of economic and social rights in Gaza and the West Bank almost a year after Israel ‘disengaged’ from the Gaza strip and three months after Israel and the international community decided to suspend all contact with the Palestinian Authority government and to interrupt all aid channelled to and via that government.