Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
News, September 2014
Members of European Parliament Call for Stepping Up Boycott of Israel Campaigns in Reaction to Israeli War Crimes in Gaza
September 10, 2014
MEPs call for stepping up boycott of Israel campaigns
[ 10/09/2014 - 02:30 PM ]
A group of members of the European Parliament (MEPs) called for taking legal action against the Israeli occupation for having perpetrated war crimes in the besieged Gaza Strip, calling, at the same time, for a wider boycott of Israeli-made products.
“Israel must pay for its crimes,” Martina Anderson, Member of the Confederal Group of the European United Left, said as she pushed for prosecuting Israeli war criminals.
Anderson spoke out in a joint press conference against Israel’s refusal to let the European delegation enter Gaza, declaring: “Aggressions on Gaza should neither re-occur nor be forgotten.”
She further drew attention to the 2,200 persons, mostly children and women, killed in the Israeli 51-day long offensive.
Anderson called for freezing of the EU-Israel Association Agreement in case Israel continues to violate Palestinians’ human rights.
“Has the EU failed to see the genocides committed against little kids and the violations of human rights?” she wonders, adding: “The UE condemns Israeli illegal settlements as breaches to international law, yet the partnership agreement is still going on.”
For her part, Portuguese parliamentarian Marisa Matias found the calls for freezing the EU-Israel partnership convention an insufficient step, and called for the need to ban restocking Israel with weapons and to start seriously working on boycotting Israeli products manufactured in occupied Palestinian territories.
“Palestine has been subjected to a colonization process that goes against international laws,” French MEP Younos Omarjee said. “This is never a peace process. We all know what has been going on; yet we have all been turning blind eyes.”
According to MEP Takin Hadjigeorgiou, Hamas has emerged as a result of the occupation. Thus the bulk of efforts have to move against the occupation and strive for wider boycott-of-Israel campaigns.
Injuries, arbitrary arrests in W. Bank, O. Jerusalem
[ 10/09/2014 - 06:13 PM ]
A number of Palestinian citizens sustained injuries while others were rounded up by the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Tuesday and Wednesday during the clashes that burst out across the West Bank and Occupied Jerusalem.
A round of violent clashes flared up in Sair, east of al-Khalil, after the IOF stormed Palestinians’ family homes and nabbed Palestinian citizen Thaer Shalalda.
Scores of Palestinian civilians were treated for breathing problems after they inhaled tear gas heavily discharged by the IOF throughout the assault, local sources told a PIC correspondent.
The IOF also nabbed Salah Hasniya after storming al-Aroub refugee camp, to the north of al-Khalil, and ransacked Palestinians’ homes.
The IOF raided other neighborhoods in al-Samou village, south of al-Khalil, and erected a number of flying checkpoints, where Palestinian vehicles and personal IDs were provocatively inspected.
In an earlier incident on Tuesday evening, the IOF stormed Ourif and Asira al-Qibliya villages, south of Nablus, triggering a round of violent confrontations between the occupation soldiers and a group of Palestinian unarmed youths.
The IOF unleashed rubber bullets and sound bombs and interrogated a number of youngsters after having held them in custody.
Along the same line, dozens of injuries were reported on Tuesday night in the violent clashes that burst out in occupied Jerusalem after the IOF sealed off the main entrance to al-Ram town.
A series of mass rallies have recently been staged in the town in protest at the killing of Palestinian child Muhammad Sunkrat, from Wadi al-Jouz, by Israeli gunshots.
Local sources said the IOF soldiers heavily discharged sound bombs, incendiary and toxic tear gas, and rubber bullets. Dozens of Palestinian civilians sustained gas suffocation and bullet injuries in the process.
Palestinian natives spoke out against the traffic congestion generated by the Israeli closure of the entrance to al-Ram town.
Israel destroyed the sole drug factory in Gaza
[ 10/09/2014 - 03:37 PM ]
While inspecting the ruins resulting from the Israeli shelling on his drug factory, Marwan al-Astal was wondering about the international conventions that prohibit targeting everything related to the medical sector.
Disapprovingly, al-Astal looks at the medicine bottles and the damaged raw materials and the remains of Israeli artillery shells that hit his factory, and tells Anadolu Turkish news Agency: "Israel purposely ignores the international conventions, and targets everything in Gaza, even a drug factory and the hospitals”.
And according to al-Astal, the owner of the Middle East Company for Pharmaceutical and Cosmetics Industry, the Israeli tanks targeted, for many days during the 51-day war on Gaza, the drugs company, which meets 15% of Gaza needs where about 1.8 million Palestinians reside.
He continued: "two days before the war, we brought an 80-thousand-dollar shipment of supplies and raw materials, but couldn't get it inside the stores due to the outbreak of the war. The missiles hit the shipment and it was completely destroyed”.
He added: "I couldn't come to check on the place during the war; since no one dared to enter the industrial area here, in northern Beit Hanoun, because of the intensive shelling.
Al-Astal estimates the loss value of his factory to be a million dollars, noting that 50 employees will become unemployed as a result of destroying his factory.
He clarifies that the “Intensity of the Zionist shelling on the factory and the area around it caused a failure in the electronic panels responsible for programming the drugs manufacturing machines; the price of one panel of these is more than ten thousand dollars".
He added: "A huge amount of raw materials whose value is about 120 thousand dollars were damaged because we were unable to provide the appropriate temperature because of the power outages for long times; in addition; we haven't been able to reach the factory for 51 days."
“And because the company stopped working, the shortage in medicines, which the Strip already suffers from due to the Israeli blockade, will increase”, according to al-Astal.
The Palestinian Ministry of Health declared last Thursday that 27% of the essential medicines are not available any more in the Strip, and about 48% of the basic medical consumables ran out.
Yousuf Abu Al-Reish, the Palestinian Ministry of Health undersecretary, said in an earlier press conference held by the Ministry in Gaza that the hospitals in the Strip suffer a severe shortage in the essential drugs and medical consumables.
IOF soldiers raze five Palestinian homes in al-Khalil
[ 10/09/2014 - 02:59 PM ]
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) razed five Palestinian homes for Hadhalin tribe to the east of al-Khalil province.
SAFA news agency quoted activist Ibrahim al-Hadhalin as saying that IOF soldiers escorted bulldozers that demolished the houses without any consideration to the people living in them.
He added that owners of the houses had recently received demolition notifications, noting that the owners are Bedouins.
PNGO pushes for launch of Gaza’s reconstruction committee
[ 10/09/2014 - 08:34 AM ]
The Palestinian Non-Governmental Organizations Network (PNGO) has called for the launch of an all-inclusive Palestinian national committee to outline bids for the reconstruction of the besieged Gaza Strip.
PNGO called attention, in a press release on Tuesday, to the need to embark on a comprehensive reconstruction project for the rehabilitation of what has been wrecked by former Israeli offensives.
The Network called on the civil society and structures’ owners, who have been affected by the offensive, to partake in the projected planning and supervision processes.
PNGO pushed for the need to urgently sort out the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and ensure swift shelters to the hundreds of displaced civilians, a process to be carried out under Arab and international shields.
The statement called for boycotting all of the Israeli-made products and transactions as opposed to the need to multiply the purchase of local and Arab reconstruction materials and establish long-term business deals with Palestinian companies.
According to PNGO the increase in unemployment and poverty rates, along with the damages wrought on Gaza’s infrastructure, public facilities, and housing units have all to be incorporated in the reconstruction project.
PNGO statement raised concerns over the agricultural and fishing sectors affected by the debris mounds stockpiled in the Strip, calling on for an emergency plan to cover shortages in water resources and sort out the power crisis.
The group drew attention to the importance of holding long-term contacts between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank as one single geo-political entity to be working together on enhancing Palestine’s economic growth.
PNGO urged Palestinians to hold on to their rights to establish an airport and a seaport along with restoring their freedom of navigation from and into Gaza shore, taking full advantage of natural gas, and establishing a national museum to commemorate the history of Palestinian struggle, particularly during Israeli wars. The network called for the participation of representatives of various social societies and the private sector in the donors’ conference for the reconstruction of Gaza to be held in Cairo and to work on establishing a fruitful partnership with all Arab, international, UN and civil institutions so as to boost up the reconstruction project.
Israeli intelligence agents, settlers desecrate Aqsa Mosque
[ 10/09/2014 - 03:08 PM ]
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)-- Israeli intelligence agents and settlers broke into the holy Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem on Wednesday morning under police protection.
Eyewitnesses said that Israeli policemen at the gates of the Aqsa restricted entry of Muslim worshipers into their holy site while allowing free access for the Israeli intelligence elements and settlers.
The Israeli occupation authorities have recently introduced new measures by which only elderly Palestinians are allowed into the Aqsa Mosque during the tours of Israeli settlers.
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