The economic destruction of Gaza

17 Apr

Video: Author Ali Abunimah discusses his book, “The Battle for Justice in Palestine” at the Palestine Centre in Washington, DC recently.
Efforts to achieve a “two-state solution” have finally collapsed; the struggle for justice in Palestine is at a crossroads. As Israel and its advocates lurch toward greater extremism, many ask where the struggle is headed. Ali Abunimah offers a clear analysis of this crossroads moment and looks forward with urgency down the path to a more hopeful future.

Except from ‘The Battle for Justice in Palestine‘: In an incisive analysis of the plight of Palestinians, journalist Ali Abunimah offers lucid insight into a people denied a national identity. Get this book from Truthout now by clicking here.

The following excerpt focuses on how the Gaza Strip, decimated by attacks and a collective punishment imposed boycott by Israel, is becoming increasingly an economic appendage of Israel. In the process, the independent business and farming structure of Gaza is collapsing:

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Jerusalem: Israeli police clash with Al-Aqsa worshippers

17 Apr

Israeli forces break into Al-Aqsa and attack worshippers (Video: ‘TodayWorldNews’)

Middle East Monitor report, 16 April 2014

Palestinians were wounded in clashes with Israeli police that erupted when Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound which was opened to Jewish visitors.

Tens of worshippers were wounded yesterday when the Israeli army and police broke into Al-Aqsa Mosque and attacked Palestinians inside, eyewitnesses reported.

According to locals “many worshipers suffocated from inhaling tear gas and others were bruised after the Israeli forces beat them up with batons.”

The injured are being treated inside Al-Aqsa Mosque and the medical centre.

The Israeli forces tried to break into the mosque yesterday morning angering Muslim worshippers and prompting clashes.

An official in the Islamic Waqf who spoke on the condition of anonymity said: “The Israeli army seems to be trying to evacuate Muslim worshippers from the mosque to allow Jewish settlers to storm the mosque.”

The Israeli forces and settlers gathered outside the Maghrabi Gate in the western wall which the settlers use to storm the mosque.

Hundreds of Palestinian Jerusalemites and Palestinian citizens of Israel gathered in the mosque to prevent the settlers from storming it.

Extremist Israeli groups called to break into Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Jewish holiday of Passover which began on Monday and lasts a week.


Israel warned against attacking Gaza

17 Apr

Ashraf Shannon reports for PressTV, Gaza, 16 April 2014.

Palestinian Islamic Jihad says its military wing is ready to confront any Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip. The group made the statement as it marked the 40th anniversary of Palestinian Prisoner Day.

Earlier this week, Israeli army Chief of Staff Benny Gantz said his forces are preparing for future combat both in Gaza and in Lebanon. Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s military wing the Qods Brigades fired nearly two hundred rockets towards Israeli targets last month following the assassination of three of its members. The retaliatory move by the Islamic Jihad forced Israel to ask Egypt to renew the 2012 ceasefire in Gaza.

As Gazans marked Palestinian Prisoner Day, nearly five thousand Palestinian prisoners including women and children continue to languish inside Israeli prisons and detention centers. Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s military wing the Qods Brigades used the occasion to renew its commitment to capture Israeli soldiers for future prisoner swap deals. The Palestinian Islamic Jihad has become a military force that has been reckoned with in the Gaza Strip in recent years.

Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s popularity has been on the rise because of its refusal to recognize the Israeli regime, its adherence to resistance and its determination to free Palestinian prisoners.

‘Miles of Smiles 26′ convoy to break siege on Gaza

16 Apr


This video shows the ‘Miles Of Smiles 13′ international siege-busting convoy, including the Kia Ora Gaza delegation, as it arrived in Gaza in June 2012.

By Chris Carlson, International Middle East Media Centre, 16 April 2014

A Gazan governmental committee to break the siege in Gaza said that human right solidarity convoy ”Miles of Smiles 26” is to reach Gaza next Sunday, via Rafah crossing, in the southern Gaza Strip.

Deputy Chairman of the Committee, Aladdin al-Battah pointed out that the convoy will be charged with humanitarian aid and medical materials for the hospitals in besieged Gaza, and will include more than 30 activists from Arab and European countries.

He appreciated the Egyptian authorities’ decision to allow the convoy to pass through its territories, calling to facilitate the passage of convoys to the Gaza Strip.

The Commission indicated in its statistical report, last January, that the percentage of visiting delegations to Gaza had declined in the second half of last year by up to 95%, in comparison to the first half of the same year.

Israel has subjected the Gaza Strip to a policy of closure since 1991. However, the current, most extreme form, of closure has been applied continuously since 2007.

Apart from depriving the 1.8 million inhabitants of Gaza of basic goods and crippling the economy by preventing trade with the outside world, the closure regime has prolonged the suffering caused by the Israeli attacks on Gaza in December 2008 and January 2009.

Tragedy & Resistance: This is Israel’s Apartheid in Hebron

16 Apr

On Tragedy & Resistance: Israel’s Apartheid System in al Khalil / Hebron

Published 10 April, 2014

The 2013 Palestine Festival of Literature took place across historical Palestine, with events in Jerusalem, Gaza, Nablus, Ramallah and Haifa. In this video, one group of the festival’s international participants are shown around al Khalil / Hebron, where Israel’s apartheid system is at its most explicit.

Because of the siege of Gaza two festivals were essentially run simultaneously.

The international participants spent their days taking political and historical tours, meeting artists and activists, and working with students.

Thank you to Issa Amro from Youth Against Settlements and Walid Abu Alhalaweh from the Hebron Rehabilitation Committee for spending the day with us.

Film/Murat Gökmen

Red Cross: Gaza’s essential services face collapse

15 Apr


International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) report, 14 April 2014.

The head of ICRC’s office in Gaza, Christian Cardon describes the current situation in Gaza, and calls for sustainable solutions,  now needed more than ever. Here is Cardon’s full report:

How would you describe life in Gaza today?

Over the last 14 years we’ve continued to see a gradual impoverishment of the average Gazan household, combined with a steady loss of coping mechanisms. What is also striking in Gaza is the permanent uncertainty about what might happen tomorrow, and how this continues to deepen in so many ways.

The daily lives of Gazans are marked by unemployment, poverty, chronic fuel shortages and a scarcity of materials and equipment, which adversely affects health, water, sanitation, and electricity infrastructures. Medical items are also lacking or unaffordable, while basic construction materials essential to local industries are in short supply.

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Water crisis in Gaza

15 Apr


Thirsting for Justice, April, 2014

This film highlights the deteriorated situation of Gaza’s only source of fresh water, the Coastal Aquifer, Israel’s policy of denying Palestinians access to rightful shares of their water resources in the occupied Palestinian territory and the implications of water contamination and shortages.


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