Mel Frykberg

Israel stripping West Bank quarries

RAMALLAH, occupied West Bank (IPS) - Israeli human rights organization Yesh Din is taking the Israeli military, the Israeli civil administration and a number of Israeli mining companies to court. The rights group alleges they are illegally stripping Palestinian West Bank quarries of raw construction material for the benefit of the Israeli construction industry and the building of illegal Israeli settlements. 

Animal Farm finds a Palestinian stage

RAMALLAH, occupied West Bank (IPS) - “Intifada,” scream the animals as they chase Jones from the farm. Strobe lights flash and loud music blares as the packed audience sits captivated, eyes trained on the stage below. “We are exhausted not because we are hungry. We are exhausted because of human oppression, and we can’t work out how to resolve our problems,” shouts Old Major, one of the senior pig revolutionaries. 

Gaza needs more aid

RAMALLAH, occupied West Bank (IPS) - John Ging, head of the UN agency for Palestine refugees (UNRWA) in Gaza, has urged Israel to ease aid flow restrictions that are having a devastating effect on the 1.5 million inhabitants. Ging says the amount of aid being allowed into Gaza at present is “wholly and totally inadequate. It’s having a very devastating impact on the physical circumstances and also the mindset of people on the ground,” Ging told IPS

Israel using excessive force against protesters

RAMALLAH, occupied West Bank (IPS) - The critical wounding of a US activist has highlighted the excessive use of force by Israeli forces. The activist, Tristan Anderson, 38, was shot in the head by Israeli soldiers during a protest against Israel’s separation barrier in the occupied Palestinian West Bank last week. He remains in intensive care in Tel Hashomer Hospital in Tel Aviv. 

Gazans struggle for clean drinking water

RAMALLAH, occupied West Bank (IPS) - As environmental experts, non-governmental organizations and government officials gather in Istanbul this week to attend the Fifth World Water Forum, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has drawn attention to the critical water situation in Gaza. “ICRC teams are repairing water and sewage systems in Gaza that were badly damaged during the three-week Israeli military operation in January,” the ICRC says in a media release. 

Israeli settlers terrorize Palestinian villagers

AL-TUWANI, occupied West Bank (IPS) - “I couldn’t run. My pregnancy was too far advanced and there was nowhere to hide,” said Amna Salman Rabaye, 31, as she recalled the terrifying incident several months ago. Rabaye from the Palestinian Bedouin village of al-Tuwani in the southern West Bank was grazing her sheep when she was assaulted by a security guard from the adjacent illegal Israeli settlement of Ma’on. 

Israel boycott movement gains momentum

RAMALLAH (IPS) - “Standing United with the People of Gaza” is the theme of this week’s Israel Apartheid Week, which kicked off in Toronto and another 39 cities across the globe Sunday. A movement to boycott Israeli goods, culture and academic institutions is gaining momentum as Geneva prepares to host the UN’s Anti-Racism Conference, Durban II next month amidst swirling controversy. 

Rice is aid, pasta not

RAMALLAH (IPS) - Red-faced and unusually tongue-tied Israeli officials were forced to try and explain to United States Senator John Kerry during his visit to Israel last week why truckloads of pasta waiting to enter the besieged Gaza Strip were not considered humanitarian aid while rice was. Kerry, chairman of the US Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, visited the coastal territory on a fact-finding mission. 

Jayyus, a village trapped

RAMALLAH, occupied West Bank (IPS) - “They started smashing down doors at 2am last Wednesday before moving through homes and destroying property,” says the mayor of Jayyus, Muhammed Taher Shamasni. “Residents were assaulted, money was stolen, computers confiscated, over 60 young men arrested and the village placed under curfew. The Israeli soldiers came into my home and threw the contents of cupboards and closets on to the floor,” Shamasni told IPS

Interview: "Hamas won't give in to blackmail"

RAMALLAH (IPS) - At the eleventh hour, just as a permanent ceasefire painfully mediated by the Egyptians after weeks of intensive shuttle diplomacy was about to take effect, Israel suddenly changed its preconditions for a settlement with Hamas. This has left the Palestinians, the Egyptians, and even some Israeli analysts wondering just what will happen next. IPS spoke to Hamas senior official Dr. Ahmed Yousef, based in Gaza about the stalemate.