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UN expert urges Israel to stop destruction in Gaza, calls for military sanctions

“As Special Rapporteur on adequate housing, I condemn in the strongest possible terms the artillery shelling of Palestinian homes by the Israeli defence force in Beit Hanoun that killed 19 innocent civilians and injured 60, including women and children. The explanation by Israeli authorities that this wantonly criminal act was a mistake is unacceptable. […] I urgently call for an international independent investigation of the events and the deployment of international forces in the region. I also urge the international community, in view of their human rights and humanitarian law obligations, to reconsider the continuation of military cooperation with Israel.” 

US vetoes Security Council draft resolution on Israeli operations in Gaza

Exercising its veto in the Security Council today, the United States blocked a draft resolution that won the endorsement of 10 other members and would have called for a United Nations fact-finding mission in response to a recent Israeli operation in Gaza resulting in at least 18 civilian deaths. Sponsored by Qatar, the draft would have condemned Israeli military operations in Gaza as well as Palestinian rocket fire into Israel, while calling for an immediate withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Gaza Strip and a cessation of violence by both parties. Four countries – the United Kingdom, Denmark, Japan and Slovakia – abstained on the text. 

Montreal in Solidarity with Beit Hanoun

MONTREAL: As Israeli continues its brutal assault on the Gaza Strip, Montrealers took the streets to voice solidarity with the Palestinian people. Hundreds of demonstrators marched through the heart of Montreal reflecting growing international outrage toward the latest attack on Gaza. “Intifada! Intifada! Long Live the Intifada!” shouted demonstrators marching under rainy skies, in contrast to the silence of Canadian politicians in response to Israeli war crimes committed in the Gaza town of Beit Hanoun. 

Pinochet in Palestine

Before the United States government subcontracted the Chilean military to overthrow the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende in 1973, it carried out a number of important missions in the country in preparation for the coup of 11 September. These included major strikes, especially by truck owners, which crippled the economy, massive demonstrations that included middle-class housewives and children carrying pots and pans demanding food, purging the Chilean military of officers who would oppose the suspension of democracy and the introduction of US-supported fascist rule, and a major media campaign against the regime with the CIA planting stories in newspapers like El Mercurio and others. 

R2P could prove solution for protection failure in Gaza

The emergent doctrine of the “responsibility to protect” locates primary responsibility squarely with the government of the state in question. But it also stresses the collective responsibility of other states for protecting civilians of any state facing genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing or crimes against humanity. This response should be the exercise of first peaceful and then, if necessary, coercive (including forceful) steps to protect civilians. Considering the inability of the Israel to protect Palestinian civilians, the international community shares a collective responsibility to protect civilians by getting Israel - through persuasion or otherwise - to abide by the Geneva Conventions. 

Immersion Crash Course In Medical Arabic

I am now working with a different medical crew, this time in the Salfit district. This Mobile Health Unit is also sponsored by Medical Relief Society. We started at our base in the town of Salfit and had to drive around the huge settlement of Ariel, the second largest settlement, (after Ma’ale Addumin) in the West Bank. We passed through the major Israeli military checkpoint of Zatara, which controls and stifles the flow of traffic between Ramallah and Nablus. I am getting used to all this oppression which now has a strange sort of normalcy. Going out through this checkpoint was uneventful; coming back in to Salfit will be another story. 

Fenced in From All Around: The Story of Hani Amr and His Family

Today the Mobile Clinic is working in Al Mas-ha, which is west of the Ariel settlement, and just north of the main Israeli highway from Ariel, before it dives down the hill toward Tel Aviv. West Bank Palestinians are only allowed to this point west, but no further. Again we set up in the village municipality, which happens to be located right next to the kindergarten. Today, we will a different strategy to utilize my skills and stay out of the way of Dr. Hasam, who must move along at lightening speed, in order to survive the day. I am sent with a nurse to the local kindergarten to screen about 50 children for dental disease, anemia, malnutrition, cardiac murmurs, and neuro-developmental delay. 

Chicago Palestine Film Festival seeks new Palestinian films

The Chicago Palestine Film Festival committee is issuing a call for films by Palestinian filmmakers and for films about Palestine for our sixth annual 2007 festival as well as subsequent festivals. The committee accepts films and videos of all genres and of any duration. For films with non-English dialogue, English subtitles are required. Film selection criteria include artistry, technical skill and content. We are especially interested in work by Palestinian filmmakers, but nationality is not a selection criteria. The deadline for submission for the 2007 festival is January 15, 2007. 

Weekly Report of Human Rights Violations

IOF have escalated attacks on Palestinian civilians and their property in the OPT. Israeli political and military officials have implemented their threats to launch a wide scale military campaign on the Gaza Strip. IOF invaded the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanoun and committed a series of crimes. During the reported period, IOF killed 86 Palestinians, 52 of whom including 16 children, 10 women and two paramedics , are civilians. This increase in the number of casualties has followed orders by Israeli political and military officials to expand military operations in the Gaza Strip. In the Gaza Strip, IOF killed 77 Palestinians, 48 of them, including 16 children, 10 women and two paramedics, are civilians. 

Gaza violence, mounting death toll, provoke grave concern in Security Council

In a day-long meeting of the Security Council today, called jointly by the Arab League, the Organization of the Islamic Conference and the Non-Aligned Movement in light of intensifying Israeli military operations in Gaza, fuelled yesterday by the deaths of at least 18 civilians in Beit Hanoun, more than 40 speakers expressed grave concern at the mounting humanitarian toll, with many demanding an immediate ceasefire and deployment of United Nations observers. “The incident that occurred in Beit Hanoun on Wednesday is shocking,” Angela Kane, Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, said as she opened the meeting. “Men, women and children, who posed no threat, were killed as they slept in their home.”