For the fourth consecutive night the Isaeli Occupation Forces (IOF) invaded Balata Refugee Camp on the outskirts of the West Bank city of Nablus. Israeli jeeps, bulldozers and other vehicles drove around the streets of the camp. Soldiers threw percussion grenades and fired randomly at residents’ homes. During recent years IOF invasions into Balata are a near-nightly occurence. Read more about Video: Nightlife in Balata refugee camp
Today, on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the world comes together to reaffirm that racial discrimination is an assault on the foundation of the human rights system - the principle of equality. On this occasion, Louise Arbour, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights stated, “a society that tolerates discrimination holds itself back, foregoing the contribution of whole parts of its population, and potentially sowing the seeds of violent conflict.” She added that despite the fact that many states have accepted to fight racial discrimination “a reality check demonstrates that formal commitments are not enough.” Read more about Anti-Racism Day: "Israel is guilty of apartheid and colonization"
On 18 March 2007, the District Court in Nazareth decided to permit the continued appropriation of approximately 200 dunams of land through an order of the Minister of Finance from 1953. Adalah states, “The Court’s decision is erroneous and dangerous as it legitimizes the illegal and unjustified seizure of land. This land was confiscated in 1953 for alleged ‘essential settlement and development needs,’ but it has not been used for such reasons at all. The Court agreed to delay the implementation of the decision, and we will investigate the possibility of lodging an appeal to the Supreme Court.” Read more about Israeli court upholds order to confiscate hundreds of Palestinian citizens' land
EAST JERUSALEM, 20 March 2007 (IRIN) - Two months ago, the 12 members of the Abdullah family awoke at 7.30am to find their home in East Jerusalem surrounded by 2,000 Israeli soldiers. They were hustled out as two bulldozers from the Jerusalem Municipality tore it down — leaving them to face the winter cold with just a canvas Red Cross tent for shelter. “We have no money to rent a flat here and no relatives who can take us in. Years of saving money and work disappeared in 30 minutes,” said Milouk Abdullah, a 55-year-old scrap-metal dealer. Read more about Evictions and demolitions continue in East Jerusalem
There is talk once again of a one-state bi-national solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Oslo peace process failed to bring Palestinians their independence and the withdrawal from Gaza has not created a basis for a democratic Palestinian state as President George Bush had imagined: the Palestinians are watching their territory being fragmented into South African-style bantustans with poverty levels of over 75 percent. The area is heading to the abyss of an apartheid state system rather than to a viable two-state solution, let alone peace. Read more about Israel-Palestine: Time for a bi-national state
The Chicago Palestine Film Festival (CPFF) is proud to present its 6th annual festival which will take place at the Gene Siskel Film Center from April 14-April 26. Our shortlist for 2007 includes fifteen films by twenty-one Palestinian and eight other filmmakers. We value the opportunity to engage in discussions with experts and artists, so this year’s festival also includes several distinguished special guests. Read more about Chicago Palestine Film Festival 2007 starts April 14
On Saturday, 17 March 2007, Israeli linguist and activist Tanya Reinhart passed away in New York at the age of 63. Tanya’s was a vital and rare Israeli voice that never wavered when it came to criticizing Israel’s systematic violations of Palestinians’ rights, including making a professional sacrifice by contributing to the discourse over the academic boycott of Israel. The following article, penned by Tanya and published by EI on 25 May 2005, reminds us what a void she leaves behind. Read more about In Memoriam: Tanya Reinhart
Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition, calls on all people of conscience to demand that Dr. Sami Al-Arian is immediately freed from his political imprisonment. Dr. Al-Arian is a Palestinian former University of Florida professor who is currently on his 58th day of a water-only hunger strike. He is protesting his maltreatment by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) which violated an earlier plea agreement that absolved Dr. Al-Arian from any further cooperation with the government. Read more about Save Sami Al-Arian's life; demand his immediate release
The Israeli army should immediately cease deliberately endangering Palestinian civilians by forcing them to assist military operations, Human Rights Watch said today. During recent military operations in the Old City of Nablus, Israeli soldiers forced at least three Palestinians at gun point, two of them children, to assist in searching apartments for suspects. International humanitarian law prohibits a party to a conflict from using the civilian population or individual civilians in order to attempt to shield military operations. “The soldiers’ actions fly in the face of the Geneva Conventions, an Israeli high court decision, and the IDF’s own prior commitments,”said Joe Saunders. Read more about HRW: "Israel: Stop forcing civilians to assist military operations"
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon held a conference call today with his key international partners in efforts to broker a Middle East peace to discuss a joint approach to the new Palestinian unity government between the Fatah and Hamas movements. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier of Germany, current president of the European Union (EU), High Representative for European Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana and European Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner took part in the consultations of the Quartet, which come ahead of Mr. Ban’s own visit to the region. Read more about Ban Ki-moon confers with key Middle East peace brokers on Palestinian unity cabinet