Palestinian performance poet Rafeef Ziadah to visit NZ

20 Feb


The NZ Palestine Solidarity Network is pleased to announce that renowned Palestinian performance poet and human rights activist, Rafeef Ziadah, will present her poetry at a special event in Auckland on Sunday 9 April.

The above video shows Rafeef at a London concert, presenting her acclaimed work “We Teach Life, Sir.”

Please set aside this date, share this message, and bring your friends and family, for an evening with Rafeef Ziadah and her accompanist, Phil Monsour: 6pm – 8pm on Sunday 9 April at the Dorothy Winstone Centre auditorium, Auckland Girls Grammar School, Howe St, Freemans Bay, Auckland.

Rafeef’s performance will be supported by local poets. Free off-street parking. Seats: $30 waged, $20 unwaged.

Supported by Kia Ora Gaza and NZ Palestine Human Rights Campaign.

“Rafeef’s poetry demands to be heard. She is powerful, emotional and political. Please read her work and see her perform. You cannot then be indifferent to the Palestinian cause” says UK playwright Ken Loach.


Time for a one-state solution for Palestine

18 Feb


On Thursday I spoke to The Real News about the meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Donald Trump at the White House this week, in particular the US president’s statement that he is open to a one-state solution.

Host Sharmini Peries and I discussed what abandoning the two-state solution means, and what a one-state solution might look like.

Watch the video above.

Trump’s statement is, at least, generating discussion. On Friday, The Forward ran a story on renewed interest in the concept of a single democratic state, quoting me, former Palestinian negotiator Diana Buttu and Israeli historian Ilan Pappe.

Also, read my analysis on the Trump-Netanyahu meeting.

Israel’s vision for the future is terrifying

15 Feb

israeli_checkpoint-2-e1483044943803Palestinians wait to cross the Hawara checkpoint near occupied West Bank city of Nablus [APA Images]

By Ramzy Baroud, Middle East Monitor, 13 February 2017

Israel’s vision for the future is terrifying

Empirical historical evidence combined with little common-sense are enough to tell us the type of future options that Israel has in store for the Palestinian people: perpetual apartheid or ethnic cleansing, or a mix of both.

The passing of the “Regularisation Bill” on 6 February is all we need to imagine the Israeli-envisaged future. The new law allows the Israeli government to retroactively recognise Jewish outposts built without official permission on privately-owned Palestinian land.

All settlements – officially recognised settlements and unauthorised outposts – are illegal under international law. The verdict has been passed numerous times by the United Nations and, more recently, pronounced with unmistakable clarity in UN Security Council Resolution 2334.

Israel’s response was the announcement of the construction of over 6,000 new housing units to be built throughout the Occupied Palestinian territories, the construction of a brand new settlement (the first in 20 years), and the new law that paves the way for the annexation of large swathes of the occupied West Bank.

Undoubtedly, the law is the “last nail in the coffin of the two-state solution”, but that is not important. It never mattered to Israel, anyway. The talk of a solution was mere smoke and mirrors as far as Israel was concerned. All the “peace talks” and the entirety of “peace process”, even when it was in its zenith, rarely slowed down the Israeli bulldozers, the construction of more “Jewish homes” or ended the unceasing ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians.

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‘The Idol’: A special film evening Sunday 19 February

13 Feb


Two Palestinians killed in Israeli airstrikes on Gaza

10 Feb


In this file photo, an explosion is seen following an Israeli airstrike in Rafah town in the southern Gaza Strip.

PressTV report, 9 February 2017

At least two Palestinians have lost their lives when the Israeli military carried out an airstrike against an area on the border between Egypt’s troubled Sinai Peninsula and the besieged Gaza Strip.

Palestinian sources said the attack targeted a tunnel which Gazans use to bring basic needs into the coastal enclave in the border town of Rafah early on Thursday, leaving two Palestinians dead and five others injured.

The sources identified the deceased as 24-year-old Hessam Hamid al-Soufi and 38-year-old Mohammad Anwar al-Aqra’, both residents of Gaza City. Two of the injured are in critical condition.

The victims have reportedly been taken to the Youssef al-Najjar hospital in Rafah to receive treatment, Arabic-language Palestine al-Yawm news agency reported.

The airstrike came shortly after the Israeli military claimed that it had intercepted several rockets fired from Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula at the southern resort town of Eilat. The projectiles did not cause any casualties.

On Monday, two Palestinians were injured when Israeli warplanes struck a farming land in the centre of Khan Yunis city, located about 25 kilometers south of Gaza City.

A Palestinian fisherman was also injured after two Israeli airstrikes struck an open area and a Hamas position west of the city of Beit Lahia, located about five kilometers north of Gaza City.

The Israeli military frequently bombs the Gaza Strip, with civilians being the main target of such attacks. In July 2014, Israel waged a war on the Gaza Strip which killed nearly 2,200 Palestinians, including 577 children.

The Gaza Strip has been under an Israeli siege since June 2007. The blockade has caused a decline in living standards as well as unprecedented unemployment and poverty.16602685_1434934906519612_2362610815420158902_n-660x330

Two killed during Israeli attack on Rafah, Gaza. [Photo: Palestine News Network]

100-year-old woman left homeless as Israel continues Negev demolitions

10 Feb


Ma’an News Agency report, Negev, West Bank, 9 February 2017

In the latest instance of Israel’s demolition campaign in the Negev region of southern Israel, homes were demolished in two unrecognized Bedouin villages on Wednesday, while Israeli police surrounded the village of Umm al-Hiran.

Israeli bulldozers, escorted by Israeli police, demolished a house in the village of Wadi al-Naam in the western part of the Negev in southern Israel.

Locals told Ma’an that the demolished house was owned by an elderly woman and her daughter. A member of the local committee, Yousif Ziyadin, said that an emergency session would be held to discuss the Israeli demolition.

A relative of the elderly homeowner, Ahmad Zanoun, told Ma’an that 100-year-old Ghaytha Zanoun and her 60-year-old daughter Hilala were living in the house, both of whom suffer from various health issues.

Zanoun said that both Ghaytha and Hilala were unable to walk, and noted that the family had renovated the home in accordance with their doctor’s suggestions due to their health conditions.

He added that Ghaytha and her daughter now were homeless following the demolition.


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Israel bans entry of anesthetic gas into Gaza

10 Feb


Operating room at Al-Shifa Hospital, Gaza City. (Photo via Ma’an News file)

The Palestinian Information Centre report, 10 February 2017

Health ministry: Israel prevents entry of anesthetic gas into Gaza

The Ministry of Health in Gaza said on Tuesday that the Israeli occupation authorities deliberately prevented passage of nitrous gas, which is used as an anesthetic, for the third time in one month.

Ashraf al-Qidra, spokesman of  the Ministry of Health in Gaza, said that during January 2017, the Israeli occupation forces prevented entry of nitrous gas into the Gaza Strip three times in a row infringing Gazan patients’ rights of receiving decent treatment, and this comes in conjunction with an Israeli escalation against the Strip.

According to al-Quds Press news agency, al-Qidra stated that the hospitals of the Gaza Strip need more than 4000 kg of nitrous gas with a rate of over than 200 surgeries a day, which requires a continuous availability of this gas especially after the latest Israeli escalation on the Gaza Strip.

Al-Qidra pointed out that the quantities entering Gaza are restricted according to specific policies set by Israel to ensure that the Ministry of Health doesn’t have additional supplies.

He warned that the lack of nitrous gas will affect the health status of patients who have to undergo surgeries on a daily basis, calling at the same time on the international institutions to immediately act to allow entry of the anesthetic gas to the hospitals of Gaza.

Israel has been imposing a blockade on the Gaza Strip for ten years ago and closed all borders and crossings linking Gaza with the outside world while opening them partially and in exceptional cases for the passage of goods and people.


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