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Israeli forces launched military attack on Nablus

The city of Nablus and Balata refugee camp have been subject to a large-scale Israeli military operation for the past three days. Three Palestinians, including 2 children, have already been killed during these operations. Another 30 have been injured, some seriously. Severe restrictions on the movement of civilians have also been imposed. On Sunday, February 19th, Israeli forces, supported by armoured vehicles and helicopter gunships, moved into the city of Nablus and the nearby Balata refugee camp. Israeli forces went from house to house in the refugee camp. Over the course of the following two days, Israeli forces sent reinforcements into the city. 

"This House believes that Zionism is a danger to the Jewish people"

In a full chamber, the Cambridge Union last Thursday hosted the motion ‘This House believes that Zionism is a danger to the Jewish people”, an event labelled a “Jewish blood sport” by participant Ned Temko. The motion, which was carried by a small margin, was a good chance for Zionist apologists and their critics to showcase the best of their arguments. Brian Klug, speaking in favour of the motion alongside Israeli journalist Daphna Baram and Chair of Jews for Justice for Palestinians Richard Kuper, opened the proceedings. One of the recurrent themes of the evening were the repeated attempts to specify what this debate was not, with Klug pointing out that specific historical narratives, or potential future solutions, were not on the agenda. 

First Museum-quality Exhibition of Contemporary Palestinian Art to open in New York City on March 14th, 2006

Made in Palestine is the first museum-quality exhibition devoted to the contemporary art of Palestine to be held in the United States. It is a survey of work spanning three generations of Palestinian artists who live in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, parts of Israel, Syria, Jordan, and the United States. “A rare opportunity to view contemporary art from Palestine… What these artists add to our minds’ images of destruction and despair from this troubled region is an underlying sense of consciousness,strength and hope, both in themselves and their people.” - ArtvsHouston Gallery Review 

Freedom Theatre to open in Jenin refugee camp

Final preparations are under way for the opening of the Jenin refugee camp Freedom Theatre. The Freedom Theatre, inspired by activities initiated by Arna Mer-Khamis during the first Intifada, was established by residents of the Jenin refugee camp in cooperation with Palestinian activists and artists from Haifa and the Galilee, as well as activists from Sweden and Britain. The Freedom Theatre, a registered non-governmental organization, is planning on establishing within the near future a community-based cultural center that will house a large theatre, rehearsal rooms, a music studio, and a library. 

EI on WBEZ: Israel Should Recognize Moderate Hamas Rhetoric

EI’s Ali Abunimah was a guest on today’s Worldview program on WBEZ, Chicago Public Radio to discuss Israel’s relationship with the newly democratically-elected Palestinian Authority, headed by Hamas. WBEZ is a community-supported, non-commercial public service broadcasting institution, broadcasting throughout Chicago and surrounding regions, reaching 600,000 listeners each week. 

British architects and planners boycott Israeli construction companies

Last week, a group of sixty prominent British architects and planners has threatened to boycott the Israeli construction industry over the erection of the security fence and practices in the occupied territories. Following a meeting hosted at the offices of Lord Rogers, the architect behind the Millenium Dome and the Pompidou Centre in Paris, Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine announced its plan to take action against Israel. The Foundation for Achieving Seamless Territory (F.A.S.T.) welcomes this call and sees it as a personal and professional responsibility to fully support this call and welcomes the discussion on the role of Israeli architects and planners in sustaining the Israeli colonization of Palestinian land. 

Final session of outgoing Palestinian legislators criticized

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights followed with great interest and concern the proceedings of the final session of the outgoing PLC, held on 13 February 2006. This session was held 5 days before the scheduled constitutional oath taking of the new PLC, and 18 days following the election of a new PLC, signaling the transfer of delegation by voters from the old to the new PLC. PCHR expresses astonishment by the passing of new laws and taking new decisions at this time, which raises doubts over the true motives behind the session. The timing of the session contradicts with customary traditions in democratic systems. 

Weekly report on human rights violations

This week Israeli forces killed two Palestinian civilians, a woman and a disabled young man, in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Israeli forces wounded 13 Palestinians, including seven children. Israeli forces conducted incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. Houses were raided and 83 Palestinian civilians were arrested by Israeli forces. Ten Palestinian homes were turned into military posts. Israeli forces shelled an apartment building in the northern part of the Gaza Strip. Israel continues to impose a total siege on the occupied Palestinian territories. The eastern part of the West Bank was cut off from the rest. Israeli forces arrested 11 Palestinians, including four children at checkpoints in the West Bank. 

Local NGO's: "Respect of election results is the only way forward"

International reactions to Hamas’ election victory in the occupied Palestinian territories, in particular statements issued by the United States, the EU and the Quartet, have been very disappointing. Palestinian NGO’s issued a statement in which they expressed concern about “”preparations by the Israeli government to disconnect ties with the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority” which, according to Israeli media reports, may include measures that constitute collective punishment of the Palestinian people. They call on donor governments to abstain from conditioning support of the PA with recognition of Israel by Hamas in light of the fact that mutual recognition and agreements are the mandate of the PLO and not the PA

Research shows that Israel has effectively annexed the Jordan Valley

Israel imposes severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinians in the Jordan Valley, the eastern strip of the West Bank, which it has in effect annexed. This is the finding of B’Tselem’s recent research. As a rule, the army forbids the entry of Palestinians to the Jordan Valley, and only allows entry of those Palestinians listed as residents of this area. Severing the Jordan Valley from the rest of the West Bank severely violates the human rights of the Palestinian population. These measures were taken without any government decision or notice to the public. Testimonies given to B’Tselem indicate that the IDF forbids the movement of Palestinians along Route 90, which runs the length of the Jordan Valley.