some news from Palestine

Gaza’s Dream[VIDEO]:


Press TV, Israel ignoring health conditions of Palestinian inmates:

“The Tel Aviv regime is turning a blind eye to the deteriorating health conditions of about 1,500 sick Palestinians behind bars in Israeli prisons.

Figures show around 100 of the Palestinian inmates with health problems have been diagnosed with cancer and chronic diseases and are in need of immediate care.

Human rights organizations have called on Israel to immediately release the Palestinian inmates diagnosed with serious illnesses.

“Any one visiting the Israeli hospitals, where sick Palestinian prisoners are kept, discovers that the jails might be better. We have always believed that the appropriate solution to treat the prisoners is through releasing them,” said Tayseer al-Ali, with the Palestinian Center for Defense of Liberties and Civil Rights.

Reports say over 7,000 Palestinians are being held in Israeli jails. Approximately 2,000 of the Palestinian prisoners have been arrested over the past few months.

On September 26, the Ahrar Center for Prisoners Studies said Israel was holding 540 Palestinians without trial, showing an increase in the number of these cases over the past six years.”


Sam Bahour, Why must Gaza wait in the dark?:

“When I asked my colleague in Gaza about her biggest dream, her answer made an impression on me: “I dream of what life would be like with 24-hour electricity.”

This was the answer of a single, mid-career, Western-educated, professional woman who lives in the more affluent part of Gaza City. Her response suggests the depth of despair among Palestinians throughout Gaza.

Day-to-day life in Gaza between Israeli attacks is unworthy news for Western mainstream media. As a result, few people are aware that electricity in Gaza is a luxury, with blackouts lasting 16-18 hours — every day.

This bitter reality has warped people’s lives for years now, as they must plan their daily activities around the 4-6 hours when they anticipate electricity, even if that means waking up to put laundry in the washing machine in the middle of the night.

Contrary to common belief, the severe under-supply of electricity in Gaza is not new, and not a result of the latest military aggression.

Gaza has not had uninterrupted electricity since the establishment of the Palestinian Authority in 1994. In an attempt to compensate for the Israeli disruption of Gaza’s power supply, the Palestinians established their first power generation plant in 2004.

Ever since, Israel has regularly limited the supply of electricity and industrial fuel needed to operate this only power plant in Gaza. Israel’s ability to deny families in Gaza the energy they need is nothing less than collective punishment of Palestinians — punishment whereby an entire community is made to pay for the acts of a few.

Separating Gaza’s electricity supply from the political conflict is a step long overdue. Access to electricity — a basic necessity that much of the world, including Israeli citizens can take for granted — should not be conditional upon outcomes of future negotiations.

Continued darkness in Gaza serves no one.

During Israel’s military aggression on Gaza this past summer, Israel again bombed the sole power plant in Gaza. (Israel bombed the same plant on June 28, 2006.)

…If Turkey were serious about helping, their floating power station would already be in Gaza’s territorial waters even if they had to face down the Israeli navy and risk an international incident to bring electricity to Gaza. If the Palestinian Authority were serious, we would not have to witness the CEO of a Palestinian power plant begging for the funds needed to get the power plant running.

And most importantly, Israel has the capacity to provide Gaza with continuous electricity immediately. According to international law, as the occupying power, Israel has sole responsibility to remedy this issue immediately.

To the governments and leaders who just returned to Cairo for another round of ceasefire negotiations with no timeline or end in sight, I challenge them to first focus on this basic and humane step: Give the people of Gaza access to electricity.

It would be a basic step in easing the stresses of life in Gaza where loved ones can’t check in with one another when cell phones can’t get charged, email and Skype calls are not predictable, and having back-up generators for hospitals is literally a matter of life and death.

…Israel has the capacity to stop power interruptions today. Sympathetic nations have the influence to insist that Israel does this. If international leadership cannot agree that providing electricity to the people of Gaza — a very achievable goal — should be an immediate priority, how can we possibly imagine that the larger political issues can be resolved anytime soon?”


Israeli settlers beat young Palestinian woman picking olives:

“A large group of Israeli settlers on Saturday morning violently beat a young Palestinian woman while she was picking olives from trees in an orchard in the village of Yasuf in the Salfit district in the central West Bank, a Palestinian official said.

The assault is the third such attack on Palestinian olive pickers in three days, creating concern about unchecked settler violence as the olive harvest kicks off across the West Bank.

Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian Authority official who monitors settlement-related activities in the northern West Bank, told Ma’an that 25-year-old Alaa Fathi Atiyani and her children were picking olives in a field in the al-Masamic area outside of Yasuf village at the time of the alleged assault.

He said that ten settlers arrived from the nearby Kfar Tappuah settlement and assaulted Atiyani, beating her “brutally.”

Daghlas said Atiyani sustained serious bruises all over her body as a result of the attack.

Daghlas added that Israeli troops arrived later and claimed to have arrested the assailants.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said that “clashes” took place “between settlers and Palestinians” in the area and Israeli police arrested four people.

The assault is the third such attack on Palestinian olive pickers in three days, including the second on the village of Yasuf.

On Friday, settlers from Kfar Tappuah attacked the village and burned down several olive trees belonging to a villager. None of the assailants were reportedly detained by Israeli authorities after that assault.

Because the attacks occur outside of the village, they largely fall in Area C, which is under complete Israeli military control and thus beyond the purview of Palestinian security forces, who rarely intervene.

Villagers are thus subject to the whims of Israeli authorities, who rarely intervene in the violent attacks or prosecute the perpetrators. Arrests, meanwhile, are largely symbolic, and assailants are rarely charged.

The spate of attacks come as the 2014 olive harvest, a major source of income for Palestinian farmers, begins across the northern West Bank, and just weeks before harvesting begins across the south.

Attacks on the fall harvest are a key way that Palestinians are forced out of their homes and their lands confiscated for settlement construction, as the loss of a year’s crop can signal destitution for farmers with no other way to support themselves.

According to a 2012 report on Israeli settler violence released by the Palestine Center, a Washington-based nonprofit, every year the olive harvest period sees the highest peak in attacks on Palestinian civilians and property.

Over 7,500 olive trees were damaged or destroyed by settlers between January and mid-October in 2012, according to OCHA.

In 2013, there were 399 incidents of settler violence against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.”

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