July 12, 2011

Rachel Corrie’s family claim Israel hid evidence of Rachel’s death

Posted in General Gaza Updates tagged , , , , , , , at 10:54 am by Alexia

The Guardian has a piece of the latest information coming from the civil suit that the Corrie family are pursuing in Israel.  The family claim that evidence has been withheld and misleading information was provided to the US officials at the time of her death.  The hearing has been taking place since March 2010 and finally completed last weekend.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jul/11/corries-accuse-israelis-death

In March last year the Corrie family launched a civil case, accusing the military of either unlawfully or intentionally killing Rachel or of gross negligence. Hearings in the case ended on Sunday and a verdict is due to be delivered next April.

“After more than a year of hearings, we are at this moment in much the same place as we were when they began – up against a wall of Israeli officials determined to protect the state at all costs, including at the expense of truth,” said Cindy Corrie, Rachel’s mother.

“We came seeking accountability. We demand justice,” said Craig Corrie

 Right up to the end of the hearings, the Israeli military sought to discredit the work of the volunteers there trying to prevent the human rights abuses being perpetrated by the Israeli military. 

 The final witness in the case, Colonel Pinhas Zuaretz, told the court in Haifa that Rafah was a war zone in 2003 and “reasonable people would not be there unless they had aims of attacking our forces”. Members of the International Solidarity Movement, such as Rachel Corrie, were aiding “Palestinian terrorists”, he said.

because of course an unarmed civillian with nothing more than a finger to wag or a camera to document the attacks on civillians is obviously a grievous threat to those heavily armoured tanks the military were permanently ensconced in and those “Palestinian terrorists” who were actually the unarmed homeowners who suffered sustained attacks on their homes by members of the military which usually led to the household abandoning the home and becoming refugees, then the military subsequently demolishing it were also grievous threats.

As the Israeli government has recently shown with its open pressuring of foreign governments to stop the flotilla and tacitly supporting at least one group that behaved in criminal behaviour to try to stop some of the flotilla boats leaving in Greece, it is unlikely that this will cause them to display integrity and admit responsibility for the behaviour of its armed forces.  Will the courts see it differently and judge that the military did distort the truth to hide its culpability in the death of Rachel?  We’ll know next April.

 

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April 2, 2011

ISM calling for experienced activists to come to Gaza

Posted in ISM Updates tagged , , , , , at 12:12 am by Alexia

**please circulate widely**

The International Solidarity Movement is appealing for activists to join our team in the besieged Gaza Strip.

In recent months numerous people have managed to cross into Gaza through Egypt, so at present, there is a small window of opportunity to enter. ISM Gaza was reinstated in August 2008, when volunteers traveled aboard the historic, siege-breaking voyage of the first FreeGaza Movement boat. ISM has maintained a constant presence in Gaza since that time, for over two years of Israel’s crippling siege. ISM volunteers refused to leave when Israel began bombing Gaza in December 2009. During the devastating 23-day assault, activists accompanied ambulances and provided vital testimony to the international media.

Daily life in Gaza is a harrowing struggle. Israel’s siege has made rebuilding bombed structures virtually impossible, and thousands of Gazans continue to live in tents. The siege deeply restricts Gaza’s food supply, but Israel also prohibits Gazans from producing their own food. In stark violation of international law, Israel enforces a three-nautical-mile fishing blockade. The Israeli-imposed ‘buffer zone’ swallows up a third of Gaza’s farmland, which lies along the Israeli border. Farmers are routinely shot and killed simply for working their land well inside Gaza’s borders.

ISM Gaza volunteers accompany farmers and demonstrators in the ‘buffer zone’, as well as working to strengthen the link between Gazan students and the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. Visit http://www.palsolidarity.org/main/category/gaza/  to watch videos and read reports by ISM Gaza. As the international community becomes more critical of Israel’s policies, it is vital to have individuals on the ground that can attest to the conditions inside the open-air prison of Gaza. Their voices lend strength to efforts abroad, as BDS campaigns gain momentum and freedom flotillas become pandemic.

Those interested in joining the ISM Gaza team are required to attend a preliminary training in their home country and have communicate with the volunteers in Gaza prior to arrival. Entering Gaza is an arduous process that requires some time to be spent in Egypt.

Also recommended:

– Previous experience with organizing/ activism, preferably in the Middle-East

– A historical understanding of the Palestine and some knowledge of the current political situation

– Arabic language skills – respect for Palestinian traditions and values

– Ability to stay in Gaza for an extended period of time (over a month)

For more information about where to attend a preliminary training or other questions, please email gazaism@gmail.com

PLEASE FORWARD THIS UPDATE WIDELY

DONATE @ http://palsolidarity.org/donate

WEBSITE: http://palsolidarity.org

YOUTUBE: http://youtube.com/user/ISMPalestine

TWITTER: http://twitter.com/ismpalestine

FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/pages/International-Solidarity-Movement/56674479144

April 29, 2009

Remember Gaza… End the Siege now! – Free Palestine! National Demo May 16 2009

Posted in demonstration information tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 10:15 pm by Alexia

Remember Gaza… End the Siege now! – Free Palestine! National Demonstration 16 May London

With a growing number of supporting organisations, listed in the e-flyer below, we want to ask all members and supporters to help mobilise for the national demonstration on May 16.

Please make sure to circulate the e-flyer below to all you friends, colleagues and other contacts asking them to circulate it…

We have plenty more material available in the PSC office: stickers, leaflets and posters.. contact us to receive some more..

Volunteers needed We are looking for volunteers on the day, to make sure the demonstration will be safe and successful. Please contact us if you are able to help stewarding the demonstration: email info@palestinecampaign.org or call 02077006192.

Thank you for helping us making this demonstration a massive show of support for the Palestinian people.

Free Palestine! National Demonstration Saturday 16 May 2009

Assembling 12 noon in Malet Street, London WC1

Rally in Trafalgar Square

Free Palestine — End Israeli Occupation — End the Arms trade

JOIN US TO MAKE THIS THE BIGGEST DEMONSTRATION FOR PALESTINE IN THE UK

Called by: Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Stop the War Coalition, British Muslim Initiative, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Palestinian Forum in Britain

Supported by: Action Palestine, Amos Trust, Arab Media Watch, Association of Palestinian Communities UK, Britain-Palestine Twinning Network, The Council for Arab-British Understanding, Campaign Against the Arms Trade, Christian Peacemaker Teams UK, Friends of Al-Aqsa, Friends of Lebanon, Friends of Birzeit University, Friends of Sabeel UK, The Green Party, Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions UK, Jewish Socialists’ Group, Jews for Justice for Palestinians, Labour Friends of Palestine, Liberation, Midlands Palestinian Community Association, Muslim Association of Britain, Muslim Council for Britain, NUS Black Students Campaign, Palestinian Forum in Britain, UNISON, UNITE, Pax Christi, Public and Commercial Services Union, Rail Maritime and Transport Union, Viva Palestina, War on Want, Zaytoun Ltd

Leaflets are available from the PSC office

Please save the date and start organising transport now!

Please contact the PSC office for more information:

Tel: 020 7700 6192

Email: info@palestinecampaign.org

Web: www.palestinecampaign.org

Designed by Mulberry Design

March 27, 2009

[ISM Updates] Digest March 22, 2009

Posted in ISM Updates tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 11:59 am by Alexia

Digest March 22, 2009
1) The Nation: Palestinian Revolution?
2) Speaking Truth to Power
3) IPS: Israelis Using ‘Excessive’ Force Against Protesters
4) Human rights workers to accompany farmers in Gaza
5) Six years without Rachel ­ We still demand justice
6) Boycott Israel Action
7) Streets remain closed as army continues demolition attempts in Beit Safafa
8 ) Israeli soldiers reoccupy ‘House of Contention’ in Hebron
9) Israeli army attack non-violent demonstration and steal cameras in Burin, Nablus region

 

1. The Nation: Palestinian Revolution?

Roane Carey | The Nation

On Friday [March 20, 2009] I went to the anti-separation wall demo in Ni’lin in the West Bank, the same village where International Solidarity Movement activist Tristan Anderson was critically wounded last week. Several hundred villagers were accompanied by Jewish Israeli activists (most with Anarchists Against the Wall) and ISMers, plus a few journalists like me. The IDF started firing tear gas at us even before we got close to the wall. The shebab (Palestinian youth) responded with stones, and the game was on: back and forth street battles, with the soldiers alternating between tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets and occasional live ammunition, often fired by snipers, and the shebab hurling their stones by slingshot against the Israeli Goliath.

 The IDF often fires tear gas now with a high-velocity rifle that can be lethal, especially when they fire it straight at you rather than pointed up in the air. Pointed straight, it comes at you like a bullet. That’s what seriously wounded Anderson. I saw these projectiles coming very near us, and saw how dangerous they could be. Not to mention the live ammo they occasionally fired­but they fired live rounds only at the shebab, never at the Jews or internationals. After a few hours, the clashes died down. Six were injured, one critically. Me, I just coughed and teared up from the gas on occasion. (In simultaneous demos in the nearby village of Bi’lin, three were injured, including two Americans.)

 I mistakenly thought the army would be less aggressive on Friday, and not only because of the negative publicity surrounding the shooting of Anderson (the killing of Palestinians is of course routinely ignored in Western media; in Ni’lin alone, four villagers have been killed in the past eight months, with hundreds injured). The day before Friday’s march, revelations from Israeli veterans about war crimes they’d committed in the recent Gaza campaign made world headlines .

 As villagers prepared yesterday’s march, Jonathan Pollock, a veteran activist with AATW, showed me where Anderson was standing when he was shot and where the IDF soldier was standing who shot him, just up the hill. The soldier had fired a high-velocity tear-gas canister at close range­what looked to me like about fifty or sixty meters­directly at Anderson, hitting him in the head. It was hard to imagine the intention could have been anything other than to seriously maim or kill.

 The courage and steadfast resistance of the people of Ni’lin, and many other West Bank villages just like it that are fighting the wall’s illegal annexation of their land, is truly remarkable. Every week, for years now, West Bank Palestinians have stood up against the world’s fourth-most-powerful military machine, which shows no compunction about shooting unarmed demonstrators. This grassroots resistance­ organized by the villagers themselves, not Fatah or Hamas­has gotten little publicity from the world media , which seem to prefer stories about Hamas rockets and the image of Palestinians as terrorists.

 The village protests against the wall are inspiring, and not just because they’ve continued for so long, against such daunting odds. The villagers recognize the power and revolutionary potential of mass, unarmed resistance, and the shebab with their slingshots hearken back to the first intifada of the late 1980s and the “children of the stones,” when hundreds of thousands of men, women and children were directly involved in the struggle against the occupation. The Israeli government knows how difficult it is to suppress that kind of mass resistance, which is why it has used such brutality and provocation against the villagers. The army wants to shut this uprising down before it spreads, and would like nothing more than for the villagers to start using guns, as the IDF is certain to win a purely military confrontation. The other inspiration of this struggle is the courage and solidarity of the Israeli and ISM activists. They risk their lives day after day, and the villagers appreciate it. I saw signs in Ni’lin praising Tristan Anderson, who, just like Rachel Corrie six years ago, was willing to sacrifice his life for Palestinian justice.

 http://palsolidarity.org/2009/03/5512

 2. Speaking Truth to Power

 By Sharon Lock  (See blog: http:talestotell.wordpress.com)

 We were back at Faraheen this morning accompanying farmers again, eying the jeeps driving along the Israeli border while our farmers removed the irrigation pipes from one of the fields we have visited regularly. Since Mohammed was shot in the leg, the farmer here has decided to give up on this field, its convenient well, and its half- grown parsley crop – 200,000 shekels worth – in case of further injury or death of harvesters. It was a quiet morning, thank goodness.

 Tristan is conscious and was breathing on his own until he caught pneumonia. He has a long way to go and it’s not known what will be ahead – for sure, more surgery, including on his damaged right eye.

 A second time this week we spotted an Israeli gun boat traveling at 3 miles from the shoreline, all the way from near Deir al Balah to Gaza city (it kept pace with our shared taxi) as fishermen were out trying to get in a catch in, and inevitably the next day we heard that a fisherman had been shot; Deeb Al Ankaa who we understand to now be in Kamal Odwan hospital.

 I met a great Manchester guy this week, Dr Sohail of Medical International Surgical Team (MIST) who has come here to do good work with peoples’ bones, for example working with amputees who have had limbs removed at a high point, to enable the otherwise impossible attachment of prosthetic limbs (if Israel lets the prosthetics through the border, which apparently is another problem of the siege…).

 Thinking about bones, I immediately thought of Wafa. After wincing at the picture of her in hospital the day after soldiers shot out her kneecap, Dr Sohail said “I’m a kneecap man!” and told me a series of incomprehensible surgical things he might be able to do to give her back some movement. We rang her family today while standing in the Faraheen field (it’s a good time to get your phone-calling done) to say that Dr Sohail will see her in June if I go and take a photo of her medical records for him beforehand.

 Dr Sohail spoke of the several limitations medical people are under here – mostly no access to the latest equipment – if any gets in, no access to training on how to use it – and of course very little of the ongoing training amongst their international peers that people doing tricky surgical things need to have.

 In the last days there have been renewed calls for an International Criminal Court investigation into war crimes in Gaza, including for example “white flag killings” by Israeli soldiers. One of the big problems in the way is that during the attacks there were no forensic pathologists in Gaza trained to a level that would meet the requirements. (They are trying to send some people outside for training now, ready for the next time…) A second big problem is that when the International Criminal Court representatives tried to get in through Rafah to investigate the situation, Egypt refused to let them through, so they missed the February 8 deadline for submitting evidence.

 And it was never going to be easy. Here is an example. One of the Al Quds Red Crescent medics talked about getting through to some of the surviving Samouni kids trapped with dead adults, on the first Red Cross/Red Crescent evacuation permitted by Israel. He said the kids (who they found in circumstances that left some of the medics who reached them, traumatised themselves) said the adults had been shot, and they had covered over the bodies themselves.

 The medics knew it was important to try to take the adults’ bodies out, but the children were starving, dehydrated, and in a state of collapse. Since Israel had not permitted the medics to take ambulances, and several miles had to be covered, the medics found a donkey cart for the children. The Red Cross asked Israel to be allowed to take a donkey to pull the cart, but Israel said no.

 My medic friend says: “We put the children on the donkey cart and pulled it ourselves, hurrying to get out before 4pm which was the deadline for the evacuation. And there was no room for the bodies. So a lot of time passed before those bodies could be retrieved, and while we have the verbal testimony of the children, we don’t have an early medical assessment of the adults bodies.”

 I was called in to PressTV to give an interview today about what I witnessed myself, and it turned out this is because Israeli soldiers have themselves started to admit some of what went on, in the Israeli press today. This has been covered by the TimesOnline, and the International Middle East Media Centre. It includes an anonymous solider who ’says that he was told “we should kill everyone there (Gaza). Everyone there is a terrorist.”

 Photo: http://palsolidarity.org/2009/03/5499

 3) IPS: Israelis Using ‘Excessive’ Force Against Protesters

 Posted on: March 20, 2009

 By Mel Frykberg | Inter-Press Service

 The critical wounding of a U.S. 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 Palestinian West Bank last week. He remains in intensive care in Tel Hashomer Hospital in Tel Aviv.

 Anderson was one of approximately 400 international, Palestinian and Israeli protestors taking part in a demonstration in the village of Ni’ilin, near the central West Bank city Ramallah, when he was hit by a teargas canister.

 Since Israel’s devastating three-week war on Gaza, human rights organisations and activists have accused the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) of using indiscriminate violence and testing new weapons on unarmed protestors.

 The teargas canister which hit Anderson is a new variety being used by the IDF, and is particularly lethal if fired directly at protestors.

 The gas canister can travel over 400 metres. It does not make a noise when fired, or emit a smoke tail, and has a propeller for mid-air acceleration. A combination of velocity and silence increases the danger it poses.

 Witnesses gave testimonies to the media and to human rights organisations that they saw Israeli soldiers aiming at Anderson before they shot the canister from a distance of about 60 metres. It hit him directly on the forehead. The impact of the canister caused severe damage to the right eye, and Anderson has had to undergo critical brain surgery. Israeli soldiers continued to fire teargas canisters towards the wounded man and the people surrounding him as he lay critically injured on the ground and Palestinian medics tried to give him first aid.

 Later, a Palestinian ambulance trying to rush Anderson to hospital was blocked at least five minutes by Israeli soldiers. Only after other foreigners engaged the soldiers in heated debate did they allow the ambulance to pass.

 Anderson was then delayed another 15 minutes while an Israel ambulance was called, because Palestinian ambulances are not allowed to cross into Israeli territory without special permit. Jonathan Pollack, an Israeli activist who witnessed the event said that the soldiers had fired unnecessarily. “There was no way that their lives were even remotely in danger or that they might have been injured,” Pollack told IPS.

 Even if the IDF (Israeli defence forces) argument was true that they had been the targets of stones before they shot him, no stone could travel uphill for 60 metres and threaten them, and Anderson had definitely not been involved in any violent activity.”

 Pollack said the demonstration had finished and most of the demonstrators had left when the teargas was fired. “At the time of the shooting there were no confrontations, and Anderson was standing amongst about 10 remaining protestors just milling about.”

 Sarit Michaeli, spokeswoman for the Israeli rights group B’Tselem says that the IDF has at times used crowd control measures indiscriminately. “The teargas canister is not meant to be used as a weapon or fired directly at protestors but in an arc or at an angle,” she told IPS.

 We have many credible witnesses, and I myself have seen soldiers fire at people who are nowhere near and have nothing to do with any stone- throwing. And even when the soldiers have the right to shoot on grounds of self-defence, they are obliged to use the minimum of force and in a strictly proportionate way.”

 B’Tselem is concerned about the even more severe crowd control methods being employed by the IDF.

 An Israeli journalist was recently shot in the chest with a rubber- coated steel bullet (marble-sized metal ball covered in 0.5mm of rubber) when the soldiers knew full well the target was a journalist. Towards the end of last year the IDF began once again to use Ruger rifles, which use .22 calibre ammunition, against unarmed protestors.

 We have written a letter to the judge advocate general (JAG) protesting and questioning the use of Ruger rifles,” said Michaeli.

 According to B’Tselem, back in 2001 then JAG Major-General Menachem Finkelstein had ordered that use of the Ruger rifle be stopped. The decision followed the killing of several children in the Gaza Strip by Ruger rifle fire, and an order by the Central Command to cease using the rifle. The order came after it was found that soldiers often used the rifle against demonstrators without justification.

 Furthermore, Israeli soldiers are using live ammunition against protestors, contrary to IDF laws of engagement.

 Although Anderson’s case made international headlines because of his status as a foreigner, four Palestinians were killed by the IDF in the village of Ni’ilin last year.

 Ahmed Mousa, 10, was shot dead with live ammunition in July last year. The following day Yousef Amira, 17, was left brain-dead, and died a week later after he too had been shot in the head with rubber-coated steel bullets.

 Arafat Rateb Khawaje, 22, was shot in the back with live ammunition in December. The same day Mohammed Khawaje, 20, was also shot in the head with live ammunition. He died three days later.

 The villagers of Ni’ilin and their supporters have been protesting weekly against the confiscation of their land by Israeli authorities for expansion of nearby Israeli settlements, and against the separation barrier.

 The separation barrier, which slices through the village, divides Palestinian farmers from their land. It was deemed illegal by the International Court of Justice in 2004.

 http://palsolidarity.org/2009/03/5486

 4) Human rights workers to accompany farmers in Gaza

 8am, Thursday 19th March 2009: Seven international Human Rights Workers (HRWs) will be accompanying Palestinian farmers in Al Basan Kabira, Al Faraheen, East of Khan Younis in the Gaza Strip.

 HRWs from Britain, Australia and Canada will be accompanying farmers on their lands 500m from the ‘Green Line’ as they attempt to retrieve irrigation pipes.

 Palestinian farmers have been repeatedly been shot at by Israeli forces while working on their agricultural lands within 1km from the Green Line’.

 On the 18th February 2009 international HRWs witnessed the shooting of 20 year old Mohammad Il Ibrahim by Israeli forces. Mohammad was shot in the leg as he was loading parsley onto a truck approximately 550m from the Green Line. The farmers and internationals had been working for two hours in full view of the Israeli forces and were leaving the area at the time of shooting.

 Mohammed al-Buraim is the fourth Palestinian farmer to be shot by Israeli forces in the ‘buffer zone’ in the last two months. Two of the four farmers shot died from their wounds. On the 18th January 2009, 24 year old Maher Abu Rajileh from the village of Khoza’a was killed by Israeli forces while working his agricultural lands 400m from the Green Line. On the 27th January, Anwar al Buraim was shot in the neck by Israeli forces.

 On 20 January, Israeli soldiers shot Waleed al-Astal (42) of Al Qarara (near Khan Younis) in his right foot.

 http://palsolidarity.org/2009/03/5482

 5) Six years without Rachel ­ We still demand justice

 16th March, 2009 | ISM Gaza Strip

 Every year we remember 16th March. We remember a kind, insightful, talented person committed to the plight of the Palestinian people, who genuinely had the courage of her convictions. Her name was Rachel Corrie. This year, the anniversary of her death comes in the wake of Israel’s massive assault on the Gaza Strip. We believe Rachel would want the world to remember the 1,400 Palestinians killed before she is remembered herself. Now, six long years after her death, the situation in Gaza is even more desperate than when Rachel bore witness to it. Six years on we still demand justice. We still demand that the international community hold the Israeli military and government responsible for the murder of Rachel and so many

 Palestinian civilians. We also demand that the US justice system holds responsible the Caterpillar company which continues to provide the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) with the military D-9 bulldozers, which killed not only Rachel but a number of Palestinians and have demolished thousands of Palestinian homes.

 It wasn’t possible for ISM volunteers to enter the Gaza Strip for several years due to the clampdown of the Erez crossing, so today was the first time ISM activists managed to commemorate the anniversary in Gaza itself. Some of the activists who volunteered with ISM Rafah in 2003 were able to compare the situation then and now. Different facets of occupation are manifest in 2009 – the oppressive wall along the Rafah border with Egypt has been cut down but has been replaced by siege and blockade; the brutality endured by the residents of Rafah’s border areas has now touched every single person throughout the Gaza Strip. From 2002 to 2005 over 3,000 Palestinian homes were bulldozed in Rafah. Now, in just 22 days, thousands more were destroyed throughout the entire Gaza Strip. 100,000 Palestinians have been left homeless by air missile strikes and shelling with many families now living in tents on the rubble of their homes.

 This is a highly poignant day for us, so to mark it in a positive and inspiring way, we joined five young Palestinian artists to create a mural on one of the few remaining sections of the Israeli wall on the Rafah-Egypt border strip. The same wall whose construction saw the creation of a buffer zone hundreds of metres deep, which gnawed away at vast swathes of residential neighbourhoods, including the one Rachel died trying to safeguard. The same wall from where fellow ISM activist, Tom Hurndall, was shot in the head by an Israeli soldier from a watchtower less than a month after Rachel was killed. The same wall that for years was intended to imprison Palestinian people. The same wall that was finally destroyed by the Palestinian people.

 As the artists began painting the wall, enlivening it with colourful symbols of defiance, Israeli F-16 fighter jets were heard flying over Rafah. Despite Israel’s announcement of a “unilateral ceasefire” on 18th January, the Israeli Air Force continues to unilaterally bomb Rafah and other areas in the Gaza Strip almost daily.. Most of the international journalists have left and the international community considers the war as being over, but Palestinian civilians are still being killed and injured by Israeli attacks on a regular basis. Fortunately, today we weren’t bombed by Israeli aircraft. Maybe because we were protected by the “Palestinian Air Force”. Palestinian children from the Lifemakers Center along with kids from the nearby al- Barazil refugee camp responded to the Israeli military flying F-16s by flying kites! 14 kites were flown in memory of the 14 hundred Palestinians killed recently in Gaza. Another kite sent our love to Rachel.

 This was also a symbolic action against the crippling Israeli-Egyptian blockade. Gaza has been under siege for nearly two years now and can aptly be described as the world’s largest open-air prison with over 1.5 million people locked in by land, sea and air. After the Free Gaza Movement voyages challenged the blockade by sea last year, followed by the Viva Palestina convoy challenging the siege by land last week, Palestinian children symbolically broke the control of Gazan airspace today.

 A delegation from Code Pink also succeeded to gain entry recently and celebrated International Women’s Day with the courageous women of Gaza on 8th March. Rachel’s parents, Cindy and Craig Corrie joined them, commenting on their visit, “Despite the pain, we have once again felt privileged to enter briefly into the lives of Rachel’s Palestinian friends in Gaza. We are moved by their resilience and heartened by their song, dance, and laughter amidst the tears.”

 Maybe the soaring kites were seen by some of the internationals protesting today on the Egyptian side of the Rafah crossing, against the Egyptian authorities’ denial to allow them access to Gaza. They included Jordanian parliamentarians and Greek engineers aiming to assist reconstruction efforts in Gaza. However, all of this is not enough. We must call again on the international community to mobilise against the genocidal siege on Gaza.

 The Israeli Occupation Forces attempted to kill another American ISM activist, Tristan Anderson, three days ago in the stalwart West Bank village of Ni’lin. Tristan, our thoughts and prayers are with you. Just as today we stood at the destroyed wall of Rafah, commemorating the sacrifice of Rachel, one day we will stand together with Tristan at the destroyed wall of Ni’lin to commemorate the sacrifice of Ahmed Mousa (10), Yousef Amira (17), Arafat Rateb Khawaje (22) and Mohammed Khawaje (20), the four civilian martyrs of Ni’lin. Despite the murders of Rachel Corrie and Tom Hurndall, despite the attempted assassinations of Brian Avery and Tristan Anderson, despite the injuries, abductions, illegal deportations and denials of entry that we suffered, we are back. ISM is still here, and will continue to support Palestinian non-violent resistance.

 Today, six years after the martyrdom of Rachel; three days after the shooting of Tristan; two months after the Palestinians ousted the IOF from the Gaza Strip; 42 years after the occupation of West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip; 61 years after the Naqba; we still say free Palestine! End the occupation! Peace with justice and dignity! We should remember Rachel and all that she stood for. Similarly we must never let the world forget all the innocent Palestinian souls who perished without mercy. Their fate is already slipping from the collective memory of the international community, fading from the headlines of a fickle corporate media. It is time this manufactured catastrophe ends so that Rachel’s death and the deaths of countless Palestinians were not in vain.

 Photos: http://palsolidarity.org/2009/03/5457

 6) Boycott Israel Action

 Posted on: March 18, 2009

 Palestine solidarity activists go boycott shopping in France and hold a teach-in on Israeli-made products. (Euro Palestine)

 Video: http://palsolidarity.org/2009/03/5458

 7) Streets remain closed as army continues demolition attempts in Beit Safafa

 Ma’an News

 17 March 2009

 Israeli forces blocked off the Gilo road beside Bait Safafa Tuesday as soldiers prepared to destroy the sixth floor of a multi-family home in East Jerusalem.

 Demolition began in the late hours of the morning, with crews removing the tile roof of the building and knocking down walls on the Ar-Rakhma street building. The demolition stalled when demolition workers attempted to dismantle the elevator to the top floor. Eyewitnesses said several methods of destruction were attempted, but none have yet been successful.

 Earlier in the day armed soldiers blocked the entrances to both the Gilo and Beit Safafa streets, prohibiting press from entering the area and warning residents that if they leave with their cars they will not be permitted to re-enter the area. Others are able to enter the area but only on foot.

 Soldiers have prevented those who live in the building from coming within 200 meters of the site.

 Those who wish to remove personal items from their homes in advance of the demolition are being removed from the area.

 The six-story building belongs to Mahfoudh Abu Khalaf, who is reportedly refusing to leave the building, which houses 50 people, from several different families. Some were seen taking suitcases and furniture out of the building.

 The first three floors of the building were built with permits, but the fourth, fifth and sixth were denied permits and are considered illegal. The sixth floor is home to seven people.

 Israeli soldiers told locals that only the sixth floor will be destroyed Tuesday, though the other two have demolition orders pending. They have been assured that special equipment will be used to ensure that only the top floor of the building will be destroyed.

 Witnesses said it was likely the demolition would damage the other floors of the home.

 http://palsolidarity.org/2009/03/5446

 8 ) Israeli soldiers reoccupy ‘House of Contention’ in Hebron

 17th March 2009 | Ma’an News Agency

 Hebron ­ Ma’an ­ Three months after Israel’s army evacuated settlers from the Ar-Rajabi building that was confiscated two years earlier, soldiers have returned to reoccupy it.

 Dubbed the Hebron-area House of Contention, the building is owned by a Palestinian family before it was taken over by Jewish settlers. Enforcing a court order, the Israeli military evacuated the settlers by force in early December.

 But on Sunday, the home returned to the spotlight when Israel’s army announced it would turn the building into a military post rather than return it to its original Palestinian owners.

 Hebron Mayor Khaled Al-U’seili, said the Ar-Rajabi building “is owned by the family and should be returned to it.”

 Having a military post in the area would make the situation worse,” he said, “adding that Israel’s military presence in the area should be lessened.”

 Al-U’seili also noted that a recent agreement signed between the Palestinian Authority and Israel stipulated that Ash-Shuhada Street should be reopened for Palestinians and their vehicles in both directions.

 We previously had a decision from the Israeli High Court to open the street, yet a military decision was taken to close the street for the Palestinians,” he said.

 Israeli army commanders should consider opening the street in two directions, rather than what they are planning,” he said, adding restoring normal life to the Old City will not happen but by lifting all kinds of closures on the area.”

 He noted that there are currently 101 military checkpoints in the Hebron area alone. Imad Hamdan the administrative and financial manager for the Hebron Rehabilitation Committe said his organization petitioned the Israeli Supreme Court to prevent Israeli soldiers from using the Rajabi house.

 http://palsolidarity.org/2009/03/5444

 9) Israeli army attack non-violent demonstration and steal cameras in Burin, Nablus region

 On the 13th of March 2009, in Burin village (Nablus district), the Israeli army repressed a peaceful and non violent demonstration by shooting live ammunition and teargas canister aimed directly at protesters.

 The protesters decided to hold ground, before a group of twenty Israeli soldiers started to chase the demonstrators down to the village, beating up the Palestinians demonstrators, including a journalist, and international activists. They also set about illegally confiscating all the cameras and a video recorder that previously where being used to document the soldiers’ actions.

 Between seventy and a hundred people took part in the demonstration against the expansion of the illegal settlement in the village, who will result in the confiscation of much of the village’s lands.

 This is again a blatant example that Israel still refuse any kind of freedom of expression to the Palestinian people and try to prevent journalists or internationals to report and document about the illegal Israeli occupation.

 http://palsolidarity.org/2009/03/5442

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January 24, 2009

23 January 2009 ISM Update

Posted in ISM Updates tagged , , , , , , at 12:52 am by Alexia

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Ground Zero
Tuesday 20th January, 2009
Earlier this week, following the withdrawal of Israeli troops from the Gaza Strip, residents returned to some of the areas which had become no-go zones during the attacks, such as Jabalia just outside Gaza City. On Tuesday 20th January, ISM Gaza Strip volunteers joined a university professor as he visited his house in the east of Jabalia. We were shown from room to room around the bombed-out shell of what had once been a beautiful home. When asked if he and his family would continue to live there, he replied calmly that it was their right to and that they would never leave their land.
As we made our way up the hill through the orange grove beyond the professor’s house, we encountered evidence of where tanks had been positioned – churned up ground, tank tracks, uprooted olive trees. At the top of the hill, from where the Green Line was clearly visible, we began to see homes which had been totally destroyed, several stories concertinaed. Families sat together on the rubble of their homes. Children collected firewood from the dismembered limbs of fruit trees.
At first it seemed as though it was ‘just’ a cluster of ten or fifteen destroyed houses, which would have been bad enough in its own right. However, as we continued walking it became apparent that the devastation extended into the next street and the next, more and more destroyed and damaged homes following one another. This entire neighbourhood on this easternmost edge of Jabalia had been virtually wiped off the face of the earth. It resembled the site of some massive natural disaster. However this ground zero was entirely man-made.
The gouged-out windows of some of the homes still standing were filled with dark green sand bags. This was a sign these houses had been used by the Israelis as sniper positions. One could barely imagine how the situation must have been in this neighbourhood when it was under attack.
We met a blind woman who had been held prisoner for 11 days in one room of her home, along with a paralysed man, whilst Israeli soldiers used it as a base. Terrified and expecting to be killed at any time, they were given water twice during their ordeal. When the Red Crescent evacuated them, the woman said she could finally breathe for the first time since the soldiers arrived. The walls had been daubed with Hebrew graffiti, empty plastic food trays were strewn around and the stairway stank of urine.
In the wake of a Gazan holocaust, thousands of people are finding themselves in truly desperate situations. A traumatized but resilient population is somehow beginning to pick up the pieces. Merely continuing to exist is a form of resistance.
Footage from Jabalia
Photos from Jabalia

23 January 09 BBC Blocks Aid to Gaza Appeal Update. The Government complains to the BBC and you should too

Posted in demonstration information, PSC Updates tagged , , , , , , , , , at 12:45 am by Alexia

URGENT REQUEST TO ALL STOP THE WAR’S SUPPORTERS

GOVERNMENT COMPLAINS TO BBC FOR BLOCKING GAZA APPEAL

JOIN THE GOVERNMENT’S PROTEST: COMPLAIN NOW TO THE BBC

Stop the War understands that the government has contacted the  BBC to complain about its decision to refuse the broadcasting  of a humanitarian appeal for Gaza.

The BBC’s decision will prevent the raising of millions of   pounds in emergency aid being sent to Gaza. Stop the War is  demanding that the exchange between the government and the BBC  be made public immediately. The BBC says it is blocking the emergency appeal “to avoid any risk of compromising public confidence in the BBC’s   “impartiality”, as if this has anything to do with   humanitarian aid for a devastated people.

Either they need the aid or they do not. This is the first time in the 48 years of similar national appeals for humanitarian aid that a broadcast has been refused. It is estimated that £10 million of urgently required  aid will not now be sent to help Palestinians in Gaza, living in catastrophic conditions.

“This is a betrayal of the BBC’s obligation to be a public service,” said Tony Benn, President of Stop the War. “To deny the help that the aid agencies and the UN need is incomprehensible.”

It is imperative that the BBC responds to the government’s   complaint and reverses its decision to refuse this broadcast.    If it does not, we will see people in Gaza continue to suffer   due to being denied emergency relief because of BBC   “impartiality” .

Stop the War urges all its supporters to complain to the BBC.

We must mobilise all the pressure we can to get the BBC to   reverse its decision.

TO COMPLAIN TO THE BBC

PHONE: 03700 100 222

TEXT: 03700 100 212

ONLINE: http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/

BRING CHILDREN’S DOLLS TO THE BBC

If you are coming to demonstration on Saturday 24 January,   which assembles outside Broadcasting House, we are asking   protestors to bring children’s dolls, wrapped if possible in   white shrouds, to be laid on the steps of the BBC, as a   memorial to the hundreds of children who died in Israel’s   attacks and as an act of solidarity with the Palestinians in   Gaza, now denied urgently needed aid by the BBC.

DEMONSTRATE FOR GAZA: SATURDAY 24 JANUARY

END THE BLOCKADE: STOP ALL ARMS SALES  BRING THE WAR CRIMINALS TO JUSTICE

Assemble 2.00pm BBC Broadcasting House for rally   Portland Place, London W1A 1AA

Nearest tubes: Great Portland Street or Regents park.

March starts at 3.00 pm. Ends with rally in Trafalgar Square   4.30 pm.

BRING CHILDEN’S DOLLS WRAPPED IN WHITE SHROUDS TO LAY ON THE   STEPS OF THE BBC BRING SHOES WITH MESSAGES TO GORDON BROWN INSIDE TO DELIVER AS  WE MARCH PAST DOWNING STREET

Instead of banning all arms trade with Israel and breaking all  diplomatic relations, Brown has offered to send the British navy to help Israel tighten its blockade on Gaza.

MARCH ROUTE:   Assemble and rally Portland Place, March to Regent Street,   Piccadilly, Lower Regent Street, Trafalgar Square,   Northumberland Avenue, Embankment, Parliament, Downing Street,   Trafalgar Square (End rally)

STOP THE WAR COALITION   NEWSLETTER   No. 1078  23 January 2009   Email office@stopwar.org.uk   Tel: 020 7278 6694   Web: http://www.stopwar.org.uk

23 January 2009 BBC Blocks Aid to Gaza Appeal

Posted in demonstration information, PSC Updates tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 12:38 am by Alexia

BBC BLOCKS AID TO GAZA: PROTEST 24 JANUARY

**********************************************

BBC BLOCKS AID TO GAZA: PROTEST

24 JANUARY BRING DOLLS TO LAY OUTSIDE THE BBC BRING SHOES WITH A MESSAGE FOR GORDON BROWN

If the BBC was not tarnished enough by its coverage of Israel’s attack on Gaza — in the words of Tony Benn, “often looking like a propaganda wing of the Zionist lobby” — its decision yesterday to block an appeal for emergency aid to Gaza would be reason enough for making the BBC a focus of our demonstration on Saturday 24 January.

While the media is now saturated with reports showing the scale of Israel’s barbarism over the past three weeks and the humanitarian disaster it has created, and while the United Nations, the Red Cross and all the other aid organisations involved are saying that immediate emergency aid must be rushed to Gaza, the BBC has blocked a joint appeal by a wide range of organisations from being broadcast after all the main news programmes on every TV channel.

These emergency appeals to populations in desperate need of aid have been organised frequently in the past 48 years and not once in that time has one been blocked. It is agreed by all the channels that a decision to support an aid appeal must be unanimous among the broadcasters and so the BBC’s decision not to agree scuppered the whole aid appeal, which it is estimated would have raised at least £10 million — aid which would have been used immediately to help Palestinians in Gaza, now barely surviving in catastrophic conditions.

One in six buildings have been destroyed or badly damaged by Israel’s bombs and missiles, many dead are buried underneath and still being dug out, the country’s infrastructure has been destroyed, one million people have no electricity, half a million people have no access to clean running water, the hospitals are crammed with people who have suffered horrific injuries without enough basic medical supplies for them to get the treatment they need.

A spokesperson for the organisations which wanted to broadcast the prime time appeal, said, “Agencies are already providing food, drugs and blankets as well as delivering clean water. But we will soon reach the limit of what we can do, without more money.”

And the BBC’s response? “The decision was made because of question marks about the delivery of aid in a volatile situation and also to avoid any risk of compromising public confidence in the BBC’s impartiality in the context of news story.” This has nothing to do with “impartiality” – the appeal was for humanitarian aid to a devastated people. How can you be “impartial” about that? Either these people need the aid or they don’t.

We have seen throughout these weeks of barbarism how Israel’s spin machine has been indulged by the BBC in particular. We know, as the Guardian reported two weeks ago, that the BBC management instructed its journalists to enable this to happen. The result was Israeli spokespersons given frequent opportunity to justify mass slaughter, including the deaths of over 400 children.

Our demonstration on Saturday assembles outside BBC Broadcasting House.

To register our disgust at the BBC’s capitulation to Israel’s manipulation and intimidation of the media, we are asking protestors to bring children’s dolls, wrapped if possible in white shrouds, to be laid on the steps of the BBC, as a memorial to the hundreds of children who died and as an act of solidarity with the Paletinians in Gaza denied urgently needed aid because of BBC “impartiality”.

DEMONSTRATE FOR GAZA: SATURDAY 24 JANUARY END THE BLOCKADE: STOP ALL ARMS SALES BRING THE WAR CRIMINALS TO JUSTICE Assemble 2.00pm BBC Broadcasting House for rally Portland Place, London W1A 1AA Nearest tubes: Great Portland Street or Regents park. March starts at 3.00 pm. Ends with rally in Trafalgar Square 4.30 pm.

BRING CHILDEN’S DOLLS WRAPPED IN WHITE SHROUDS TO LAY ON THE STEPS OF THE BBC BRING SHOES WITH MESSAGES TO GORDON BROWN INSIDE TO DELIVER AS WE MARCH PAST DOWNING STREET

Instead of banning all arms trade with Israel and breaking all diplomatic relations, Brown has offered to send the British navy to help Israel tighten its blockade on Gaza.

MARCH ROUTE: Assemble and rally Portland Place, March to Regent Street, Piccadilly, Lower Regent Street, Trafalgar Square, Northumberland Avenue, Embankment, Parliament, Downing Street, Trafalgar Square (End rally)

Email office@stopwar.org.uk Tel: 020 7278 6694 Web: http://www.stopwar.org.uk

January 20, 2009

National Demonstration SATURDAY 24 JANUARY (note the change of start venue) and other things

Posted in demonstration information tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 11:57 pm by Alexia

DEMONSTRATE FOR GAZA   END THE BLOCKADE: STOP ARMS SALES TO ISRAEL: FREE PALESTINE   BRING THE WAR CRIMINALS TO JUSTICE  

SATURDAY 24 JANUARY

 ASSEMBLE 2.00PM  

There will be a rally with speakers in Portland Place from 2pm before the demonstration sets off.
The demonstration will leave for Downing Street at 3pm.
Details will be posted on the Stop the War website as we   receive them.
Coach drop off point on Saturday will be in  Marylebone Road at the top of Portland Place. The pickup point  after the demonstration will be Victoria Embankment.

BBC BROADCASTING HOUSE, PORTLAND PLACE, LONDON W1A 1AA   

MARCH TO DOWNING STREET  

Nearest tubes: Great Portland Street, Regents park.

**********************************************        

GORDON BROWN’S DINNER WITH WAR CRIMINALS

The demonstration this Saturday 24 January will march to   Downing Street, calling for the lifting of the Gaza blockade, an end to all arms sales to Israel and for Israel to be made   to pay for its war crimes. We will also be registering our disgust over Gordon Brown’s   support for Israel following its barbaric attack.

The day after the massacre was ended – so as not to spoil Barack   Obama’s inauguration with pictures of phosphorous bombs dropping on UN schools in Gaza – Brown rushed off to join five other heads of government for a celebratory gala dinner at the  Jerusalem home of Israel’s prime minister Ehud Olmert,  alongside Olmert’s compatriots in mass murder, defence minister Ehud Barak and foreign minister Tzipi Livni.

“Thank you for demonstrating your impressive support for the State of Israel”, said Olmert, “This is in the supreme  interest of all those who fight the forces of evil,” among whom he no doubt meant the 450 children in Gaza killed by Israel over the past three weeks.

To which Brown replied, without a sliver of irony, “The task  before us is…an end to arms trafficking.” Not of course the arms trafficking which makes Israel the fourth most powerful military in the world, able to use the most advanced weapons of mass slaughter to kill 1400 Palestinians and injure 6000 more.

“Through the anguish and the suffering, we can see the road toward peace,” Brown added, as if all the mass death, injuries and destruction, which left Gaza looking like it had been hit  by an earthquake, would in some way benefit the cause of   peace.

The demonstration this Saturday will assemble at 2.00 pm at   Broadcasting House in Portland Place, in protest at the BBC’s capitulation to Israel’s propaganda machine during the attack on Gaza.

This will be the fourth Gaza demonstration in as many weeks,  all of them bringing unprecedented numbers to voice their   outrage over the carnage we have witnessed and to show our  support for the people of Gaza, subjected to horrific crimes against humanity.

Please help publicise Saturday’s demonstration as widely as you can and encourage everyone you  know to join us.

A leaflet for downloading will be available  shortly on our website.

**********************************************  

NATIONAL STOP THE WAR ACTIVISTS MEETING

Stop the War Activist Meeting 11am – 1pm   St Pancras Church Hall    Lancing Street, London NW1 1NA        

100 metres east of Euston Station The Stop the War Coalition has called this important meeting   to discuss the situation in Gaza, the wider “war on terror”   and how to take the campaign forward. We will also be discussing the campaign to bring the troops   out of Afghanistan and the preparations for the mass protests  at the G20 meeting in London on April 2nd.

This will be Barack  Obama’s first visit to London. We are asking for delegations from every Stop the War group   round the country.

January 19, 2009

Israel Claims It Has Met It’s War Aims And The Result Is…

Posted in ! My Articles, General Gaza Updates tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 4:37 pm by Alexia

Israel called a ceasefire on Saturday, saying it had met its war aims

Anonymous Israeli officials, quoted by AP news agency, said the withdrawal would be completed before US President-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration on Tuesday.

UN official John Ging said half a million people had been without water since the conflict began, and huge numbers of people were without power.

Four thousand homes are ruined and tens of thousands of people are homeless.

Unrwa was keen to reopen its schools, Mr Ging said, where 50,000 people were sheltering. Tens of thousands have been made homeless by the bombardment.

At least 1,300 Palestinians, according to Palestinian sources, and 13 Israelis have been killed since Israel launched its offensive on 27 December. Palestinian medical sources say at least 95 bodies have been pulled from the rubble since Israel halted its assault.

Some 400,000 Gazans still do not have running water.

During the Israeli attacks, about two-thirds of Gaza’s 1.5m people were without power, the UN says.

Gaza’s only power plant shut down on 30 December because it ran out of fuel.

On 18 January the plant received 90,000 litres of fuel from the filling depot at Nahal Oz in southern Israel, says the UN.

Since then most Gazans have had intermittent electricity, although some households are still without power due to damage to the grid.

However, the plant is still short of fuel. It needs 450,000 litres of industrial fuel per day to produce its full capacity.

Although most main power lines have been repaired, two lines are still damaged in northern Gaza.

Since 18 January an extra 100,000 people received running water when the electricity supply was reconnected.

Some wells have been refilled and several NGOs, including Save the Children, have distributed drinking water in the Gaza Strip. The UN says supplies could be improved if workers are given safe passage to repair three damaged water mains.

One water main east of Khan Younis has been damaged, cutting supplies to 25,000 people.

Officials have confirmed that all two million litres of wastewater at Gaza City’s treatment plant, bombed on 10 January, leaked into surrounding agricultural land. Pumps at the plant are out of action due to lack of fuel.

A pump that sends sewage from Beit Hanoun to the Beit Lahia wastewater treatment plant is still damaged. According to officials, 30 cubic metres of sewage are flowing into the streets of Beit Hanoun every hour.

Unrwa says it is operating 50 emergency shelters for 50,896 displaced people in Gaza.

The shelters, many of them schools, are overcrowded with only basic levels of support, including food and water.

The shelters, especially those in the north, are in urgent need of non-food items and there is a shortage of more than 23,000 blankets and mattresses.

The UN says construction materials needed to repair and rebuild homes also need to be brought into Gaza.

So what were it’s aims?  To destroy the civillian infrastructure?  To make yet more people homeless, some for the fourth or more time?  To terrorise a population already under stress from the siege of the last 18 months?

Certainly to make all the people in the suburbs of Brazil and Yibna homeless and finally complete the sterile area they wanted between the people of Rafah and the wall they have built around them.

from:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/7812295.stm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/7836869.stm

here’s the current position of the Red Cross on the use of phosphorous weapons:  http://www.icrc.org/web/eng/siteeng0.nsf/html/weapons-interview-170109

If you wish to help, these are some of the aid agencies running appeals:

Save the Children Fund: http://www.savethechildren.org.uk/en/32_7306.htm

Red Cross/Red Crescent: http://www.icrc.org/web/eng/siteeng0.nsf/html/palestine-update-180109?opendocument

Médecins Sans Frontières: http://www.msf.org.uk/articledetail.aspx?fId=a_paltry_response_20090108&gclid=COnu8qKGm5gCFQtOQgodOwlImg

Oxfam: http://www.oxfam.org.uk/oxfam_in_action/emergencies/gaza_crisis.html

UNICEF: https://www.unicef.org.uk/common/wp_donate/donform.asp?appealid=5E3782A9-F998-4B14-B49E-14CDC50C1710&thesource=palweb&google=palestine&gclid=CIXTx5-Gm5gCFQHilAod912TmA

19 Jan 09. PSC Update: Day 22 + 23 Gaza weekend Update and Write to your MP

Posted in PSC Updates tagged , , , , , , at 1:39 pm by Alexia

Reading the front pages and watching the news you’d think that the conflict in Gaza is over. Well Israel may have stopped their onslaught against the Gazan people but their war against them is still ongoing.

Israel’s so called ceasefire simply means that they will have presently agreed to stop bombing United Nations buildings where thousands of innocent people are have been sheltering from the daily bombardment.

It means in the short term that they will stop using illegal weapons like phosphorus and DIME bobs to kill and maim the people of Gaza. And it means their slaughter of 1200 people, the majority of them women and children, will come to a temporary halt.

Yet what Israel’s ceasefire fails to address is the occupation. Israel has invaded Gaza with tens of thousands of regular and reserve troops – Those troops are going to stay, so the day to day lives of the people of Gaza will conditional on the Israeli forces. And we know for the past that the Israeli occupying forces are brutal. In the history of Israel’s aggression and occupation of Palestine, innocent people have been forced to live under barbaric military rule, treated like third class citizens, totally unable to live a free life.

Israel is refusing to open the Gaza boarders – That means after destroying the infrastructure of Gaza including hospitals and UN food and medical supply centres, the much needed supplies to treat and feed the victims of Israel’s illegal war still will not have access to life saving equipment and material.

The fact is that this is not a ceasefire this is Israel simply saying we’ve stopped the massacre for the time being. We will continue to punish you, the people of Gaza until we have destroyed the Government you democratically elected.

According to the Israeli PM Ehud Olmert, he is sorry for the ‘discomfort’ suffered by the people of Gaza. And according to Mark Regev, the Israeli Government Spokesman the children who have been killed and injured in Gaza were shot by Hamas.

That is why PSC and all our supporters must continue to keep the pressure on the UK government and the international community to get Israel’s troops out of Gaza. They must be forced to open the boarders of Gaza to let in urgently needed supplies. We will must also be at the forefront of the campaign to bring justice for the war crimes Israel has committed.

That is why we applaud the Israeli academics who called publicly in a letter to the Guardian on Saturday for a boycott of Israel and urge all our supporters to actively take up the call for a boycott of all Israeli goods in British stores.

National Day of Action

Across the UK PSC groups held days of action in support of the people of Palestine and Gaza; East, west, north and south, small towns and big cities, everywhere there public demonstrations against Israel.

If you have any pictures of the events you organised on Saturday then you can upload them on to our newly created site www.gazaprotest.org

Tuesday Protest – US Embassy

On Tuesday night we will be holding a demonstration at the US Embassy, Grosvenor Square London,  to mark the arrival of President Obama. President Obama throughout his campaign gave many speeches where he pledged to make America part of the dialogue of the international community not dictating to the world. We must make him live up to those campaign pledges by starting first with the creation of a free and democratic Palestinian homeland.

PSC AGM

The PSC AGM will take place on Saturday 24th January at the
University of Westminster, Fyvie Hall, 309 Regent Street, London, Nearest tube: Oxford Circus
from 10.00am.   Following the AGM we are asking delegates and observers to join  a demonstration that will be taking place in central London, starting at the BBC in Portland Place.

Write to Your MP – 93 MPs sign EDM on Gaza
It is critically important that everyone who opposes the war Israel is waging against the people of Gaza writes to their MP given today’s latest casualty figures that show that over 1000 people have been killed.
So please, if you’ve not done so, click on the link below and fill out the letter – it takes just a couple of minutes to complete and it is vital that we keep the pressure on Gordon Brown and the British Government.
If you have already completed it, then please pass the link on to friends and family.
http://www.palestinecampaign.org/Index7b.asp?m_id=1&l1_id=6&l2_id=57&Content_ID=346
So far, 93 MPs have signed Richard Burden MP’s Early Day Motion number 408 on Gaza – check whether your MP has signed and if not, urge them to do so: http://edmi.parliament.uk/EDMi/EDMDetails.aspx?EDMID=37423&SESSION=899
If they have signed EDM 408, they may be prepared to sign further EDMs including:
EDM 400 tabled by Bob Russell on British arms sales to Israel : http://edmi.parliament.uk/EDMi/EDMDetails.aspx?EDMID=37415&SESSION=899
EDM 423 on Terror in Gaza , tabled by Mark Durkan: http://edmi.parliament.uk/EDMi/EDMDetails.aspx?EDMID=37443&SESSION=899
And 72 MPs have signed Martin Linton’s EDM on the launch of the Labour Friends of Palestine and the Middle East :  http://edmi.parliament.uk/EDMi/EDMDetails.aspx?EDMID=37408&SESSION=899

 
To find out more about getting involved please visit www.palestinecampaign.org

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