Mountains of garbage, billowing smoke, have been concentrated across the streets of Gaza the past few days. However, the uncollected garbage heaps are not cannot be attributed to a lack of municipalities or labor force in the coastal region. One third of the 1.4 million-strong Gaza population is in the labor force that may be more aptly described as an “idle” labor force, and there are 25 municipalities tasked with sanitation. Also, there are high-tech electricity, water and telecommunications networks in the Gaza Strip, believed to be the most advanced in the region. Read more about Mounting garbage and frustration in Gaza
The latest back and forth between Israel and the Palestinian unity government (and its regional interlocutors) will not bring peace to fruition. Many respected commentators in the Middle East have accused Israel of rejecting peace, primarily due to its refusal to fully embrace the Arab peace initiative. Yet this initiative, when entered into the international community’s trash compactor of “pragmatism,” will leave the Palestinian people with nothing more than an old, albeit neatly packaged, version of the Oslo Accords. Read more about The Perils of Pragmatism
In the midst of the relentless daily hardship that they endure, a Palestinian sports commentator says of his own people that they will drop everything they are doing to watch their beloved national soccer team play. He describes the Palestinian national team’s bid to qualify for the World Cup in 2006 as “one of our most beautiful dreams.” The commentator’s words set the tone for the documentary film Goal Dreams (directed by Maya Sanbar and Jeffrey Saunders). Read more about Film Review: "Goal Dreams"
Israel arrests, detains, interrogates, prosecutes and sentences Palestinian children pursuant to a set of Military Orders issued by commanding officers of the Israeli occupying forces, a system which has existed since Israel ‘s occupation of the Palestinian territories in 1967. alestinian children are subjected to the same arrest, interrogation, trial and imprisonment procedures as adults, by the Israeli State . Palestinian children, when under the arrest of Israeli soldiers, are not advised of their rights, are not given immediate access to a lawyer or contact with a parent. Palestinian children are assaulted, beaten and tortured during the interrogation process. Read more about Palestinian children do not have the right to a fair trial
On Tuesday afternoon, 17 April 2007, Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) extra-judicially executed a member of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades (an armed wing of Fatah movement) near Jenin town in the northern West Bank. IOF shot him dead after having arrested him. According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 12:30 on Tuesday, an IOF undercover unit moved arrived at al-Shuhada intersection on Jenin-Nablus road, traveling in a civilian vehicle with a Palestinian registration plate. The vehicle stopped near a stone treatment compound belonging to Fayez ‘Alawna. Read more about Israeli forces execute Palestinian after arresting him in Jenin
In a time of political upheaval and economic crisis following the July-August 2006 Israeli war on Lebanon, we constantly think of the young Lebanese who have lost hope in their mother country, resorting to what they believe is their only solution: deserting Lebanon. It would be foolish to pretend we cannot understand, as we also feel disheartened and find ourselves temporarily drawn to the thesis of a chaotic Lebanon struck by brain drain. Read more about The emigration of Lebanese youth: National hemorrhage or national treasure?
Reporters Without Borders condemned the use of violence by parliamentary security guards in Gaza to disperse a demonstration today by Palestinian journalists demanding the release of BBC correspondent Alan Johnston, who has been held hostage since 12 March. Three journalists were injured in the course of scuffles. “We are outraged by this violence against journalists who had gone to express their fears and emotion about Johnston’s fate,” the press freedom organisation said. Read more about Journalists injured during Gaza demonstration in support of Johnston
On the occasion of Palestinian Prisoners’ Day, 17 April 2007, we, the mothers and families of Palestinian and Arab prisoners detained in Israeli jails, continue to miss our beloved ones and hope that they will be immediately released. It is we who each day miss our beloved ones, who have been cut off from their sons, daughters and relatives by Israeli Occupation Forces, and have been detained in jails that lack the minimum internationally acceptable detention standards. Read more about Mothers of prisoners call for their release and condemn Johnston kidnapping
6 April 2007: Al-Masiih Qaam! Haqaan Qaam! (Christ Is Risen! He Is Risen Indeed!). This Arabic greeting has been commonly heard this week as Christians from across the world traveled to Jerusalem to experience Easter. It is truly an exciting experience. Yet at the same time, we witness with sadness the realities that our Palestinian sisters and brothers continue to face. The week before Easter had already been quite a full week, here in the “holy land.” The Sunday before Easter, Palm Sunday, was marked by a huge procession from the historical town of Bethphage, where Jesus began his donkey ride 2000 years ago, up and over the Mount of Olives, and then back down again up to the Old City of Jerusalem. Read more about Living Stones: Easter 2007
Once again the play My Name is Rachel Corrie has been cancelled, this time in South Florida. In New York and Toronto the play was cancelled due to pressure from the Jewish community or those that claim to speak for the Jewish Community. The play was successfully staged in NYC at the Minetta Lane theater. It is currently enjoying an extraordinary run at the Seattle Repertory Theater and many more are planned. Wherever it has been staged, there has been support from the Jewish community as well as criticism. The Jewish community is not monolithic and no one speaks for “it,” though many claim to. Read more about Rachel's Words Silenced Again