Archive for June, 2013

Palestine: Popular Discontent Could Result In Violence

Occupied Territories: “Popular Discontent Could Result In Another Round of Violence” – UN Special Committee On Israeli Practices

CAIRO (27 June 2013) – The United Nations Special Committee* to investigate Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people and other Arabs of the occupied territories today warned that popular discontent could result in another round of violence in the occupied territories.

At the end of its latest fact-finding visit to Amman and Cairo (22-27 June 2013), the Committee also expressed serious concern at the wide range of Israeli practices that violate its obligations as the Occupying Power of the Palestinian and other Arab territories. It was concerned.  Read more »

Israel Subjecting Palestinian Prisoners to Abusive Detention

Israel Subjecting Palestinian Prisoners to ‘Abusive’ Detention, Interrogation — UN Committee

New York, Jun 27 2013 – A United Nations committee today voiced concern at a wide range of practices that violate Israel’s obligations as an occupying Power and infringe on the human rights of the Palestinians, and warned that popular discontent could result in another round of violence.

The Israeli detention of an estimated 5,000 Palestinians, the “systematically abusive” detention of Palestinian children, the impact of the ongoing Israeli blockade of Gaza and the continued demolition of Palestinian homes were among the concerns cited by the UN Special Committee to investigate Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people and other Arabs of the occupied territories, as it concluded its latest fact-finding visit to Amman and Cairo.  Read more »

Unattainable peace…

Unattainable peace…

by Jamal Kanj
June 27, 2013

But for the chap from Khan Younis refugee camp in Gaza who emerged earlier this week as the winner of the “Arab Idol,” the news from Palestine is grim.

The newly appointed Palestinian Prime Minister resigned and Israel still insists it should be able to negotiate over dividing the pie while it continues to eat it.

By the end of April, US Secretary of State John Kerry succeeded in tailoring another peace plan to entice Israel. Arab ministers supposedly agreed to amend a decade-old peace plan to satisfy Israeli demand for legalising major illegal Jewish colonies in the West Bank.  Read more »

All Must Help Reverse Negative Dynamic in Middle East

All Parties Must Help Reverse ‘Negative Dynamic’ At Play in Middle East – UN Official

New York, Jun 25 2013 – With the Middle East once again suffering through “dangerous and tragic days,” a senior United Nations political official today urged the Security Council and the wider international community to maintain steadfast in support of peace and help reverse “negative dynamics” that have seen the crisis in Syria deepen and the Israeli-Palestinian peace process come to a standstill.

“The scourge of war is, once again, destroying lives and burying hopes,” said Assistant Secretary-General Oscar Fernandez-Taranco in his briefing to the Council on the situation in the Middle East, where he said the current raft of challenges is putting the principles and values of the UN Charter “to a hard test.”

“But however difficult the task, this Council and the United Nations at large cannot give up and cannot let a sense of collective impotence erode our sense of responsibility,” he declared.

Mr. Taranco noted that the settlement restraint in the West Bank “has seen signs of unravelling,” with Israel releasing data that during the first quarter of 2013 there was a 176 per cent increase in the start of housing units in settlements, which violates international law and undermines the two-State solution.

In addition, violence between Palestinians and settlers continue in the West Bank, rocket attacks from Gaza to Israel, clashes during Palestinian protests in the occupied West Bank, and the encroachment of human operations in Gaza, all have contributed to mounting tensions in the region, Mr. Taranco said.

He also drew attention to a joint UN survey that says food security affects some 1.6 million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, and has increased to include 24 per cent of households in 2012.

“The only possible way forward is the full implementation of the ceasefire understanding reached on 21 November under Egyptian auspices,” he said, adding that the international community must work on a substantive framework to bring the parties back to the table.

“There is also a need for a conducive environment on the ground, including confidence building steps. However, while substantive progress is urgently needed, rushing the parties back to the table without having the necessary framework in place and buy-in from both sides would be counterproductive,” Mr. Taranco said, calling on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to “recognize a partner on each other and finally negotiate and achieve the two-State solution.”

Regarding Syria, Mr. Taranco warned the situation continues to deteriorate due to violent military confrontation. He expressed concern over the direct involvement of Hizbollah fighters inside of Syria, and underlined that increased military support to both sides only promises further escalation of the conflict.

“The Secretary-General has repeatedly stressed his opposition to the transfer of arms and fighters to either side inside Syria,” he said. “Only a political solution can bring the violence and the suffering of the Syrian people to an end.”

Since the conflict began in 2011, more than 93,000 people have been killed, some 1.7 million displaced, and more than 6.8 million are in need of humanitarian assistance, including more than 3 million children.

Mr. Taranco noted that the negative impact of the conflict on neighbouring Lebanon has been more sharply evident in recent weeks, and reiterated the importance of Lebanon adhering to the Baabda Declaration – which seeks to keep Lebanon neutral from regional developments – and the commitment of Lebanese leaders to prevent a dangerous spillover of the conflict.

Addressing these pressing challenges will require courageous and mutual compromises at a national, regional and international level, Mr. Taranco told the Security Council, emphasizing that it should be done through peaceful means and not violence.

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Stamping Impunity on Israel’s War Crimes

Stamping Impunity on Israel’s War Crimes

by Vacy Vlazna
June 25, 2013

Click for big version.

Israel and Australia’s joint projects normalising Israel’s war crimes and crimes against humanity has sunk deeper in the degenerate mire of hasbara (propaganda & lies);

“So projects that constitute normalization are not about freedom, justice or liberation, but about numbing our minds to the horror of the occupation, so we accept it as normal, as permanent, as an unchangeable fixed reality”!
(From more »

Arab Idol Winner Assaf Youth Envoy for Palestine Refugees

UN Agency Picks ‘Arab Idol’ Winner Assaf as First Youth Envoy for Palestine Refugees

New York, Jun 24 2013 – Mohammad Assaf – a resident of a refugee camp in the Gaza Strip and the first Palestinian to win the singing contest “Arab Idol” – has been named a regional youth ambassador by the United Nations agency tasked with assisting Palestinian refugees across the Middle East.

The head of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) said the 23-year-old shows a personal commitment to Palestinian refugees and the UN agency.  Read more »

Hezbollah’s Palestinian Problem… and Vice Versa

Hezbollah’s Palestinian Problem… and Vice Versa 

Franklin Lamb


Many Lebanese and Syrian supporters of the region’s Resistance culture, increasingly led by Hezbollah, are chastising, for a number of reasons, their former Islamist ally Hamas. Pillorying them with accusations that the latter are ingrates who are creating a host of problems for Hezbollah and its support for the Syrian regime, during the continuing crisis. Unnecessary problems, it is frequently asserted, that inure to the benefit of their mutual arch enemies, the Zionist colonizers of Palestine and their American and Arab enablers.  Read more »

Auckland Conference Calls For Boycotts & Sanctions Against Israel

Auckland Conference Calls For Boycotts & Sanctions Against Israel

By Alastair Reith

Activists are travelling from around New Zealand to attend a pro-Palestine conference in Ponsonby this weekend.

The two day event, starting Saturday morning in Leys Institute Hall, features speakers from Israel and Gaza who are calling for New Zealand to break all ties with the Israeli state.

Event co-organiser Nadia Rhiannon says a growing number of New Zealanders support the Palestinian cause.  Read more »

Israel’s Water Crimes

Israel’s Water Crimes

By Leslie Bravery, Palestine Human Rights Campaign – 18 June 2013

The International Women’s Peace Service (IWPS) Deir Istiya Human Rights Report No. 479 [1] contains a vivid account of a typical Israeli war crime in Occupied Palestine. On Sunday, 16 June in the village of Asira, settler militants, accompanied by about 30 Israeli soldiers, stoned Palestinian workers who were building a reservoir and reticulation to connect surrounding villages and ordered the workers out of the area. They were aided by the Israeli Army which opened fire with stun and tear gas grenades on both the workers and other villagers who had gathered to support them. Criminal behaviour such as this is an almost daily occurrence in Asira with illegal Occupation settlers and the Israeli Army having already destroyed around 100 of the pipes originally purchased for the project.  Read more »

Palestinian Refugee Camps In Syria Now ‘Theatres of War’

Palestinian Refugee Camps In Syria Now ‘Theatres of War’ – UN Agency Chief

New York, Jun 17 2013 – Warning that the centrifugal force of the Syria crisis continues to imperil the region, a senior United Nations agency official today said that more than half of the Palestinian refugee camps in Syria have become “theatres of war,” where killings and kidnappings have become the norm.

According to the Commissioner-General of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), Filippo Grandi, seven out of 12 of the agency’s camps are now virtually inaccessible.

“Killings, kidnappings, poverty, destruction and fear have become part of daily life,” he said at the bi-annual meeting of UNRWA’s Advisory Commission in Amman, Jordan.  Read more »

Israel’s Continuing West Bank Settlement Expansion

UN Chief ‘Deeply Concerned’ By Israel’s Continuing West Bank Settlement Expansion

New York, Jun 14 2013 – Calling reported ongoing settlement construction in the West Bank “unhelpful” and a “deeply worrisome trend,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today renewed his calls on Israel to heed the global community to freeze settlement activity and abide by its commitments under international law.

In a statement from his spokesperson, Secretary-General Ban said he “is deeply concerned by the continuing expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank in violation of international law.”  Read more »

Final Statement of 11th Palestinians in Europe Conference

Press Release – Palestinian Return Centre

The 11th Palestinians in Europe Conference ended in Brussels, on Saturday, 18th May 2013. The conference was convened under the title, Signs of Return is blossoming. Thousands of Palestinians participated in the annual event, which was attended by … Read more »

Negotiations: a gift of stolen Palestinian land to Israel

Press Release – Palestine Human Rights Campaign

On 6 June 2013 the UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Minister, William Hague, told the House of Commons: “There is a long and proud history of this House asserting itself on the errors that have been made during our imperial rule … Read more »

Palestine: “There’s No Distorting the Facts On the Ground”

Press Release – United Nations Human Rights Commissioner

In Occupied Palestine, Theres No Distorting the Facts On the Ground UN Special Rapporteur Read more »

Human Rights Violations in Occupied Palestinian Territory

Press Release – UN News

A United Nations independent expert today drew attention to the human rights violations in the occupied Palestinian territory and stressed that attempts to distort the facts cannot mask the reality that Israels actions are endangering Palestinians lives … Read more »

Ongoing Israeli Restrictions Hamper Palestinian Employment

Press Release – UN News

The United Nations labour agency is calling for lifting restrictions on movement, employment and economic activity in the occupied Arab territories to boost opportunities for decent work and to enable the Palestinian economy to grow. Read more »

No More Tunnels Please: Gaza Held Hostage to Egypt’s Turmoil

Column – Ramzy Baroud

Air of uncertainty is engulfing most matters related to Egypt. Since the Egyptian revolt started over two years ago, the country remains hostage to a barefaced power struggle with many destructive implications that have polarized society in unprecedented … Read more »

Third Anniversary of Mavi Marmara Massacre Marked in Gaza

Article – Julie Webb-Pullman

The Israeli massacre on board the Mavi Marmara on 31 May 2010 in which nine Turkish men lost their lives was commemorated for the third year beneath the memorial statue at the Gaza fishing port. Read more »