Animator tackles Gaza

March 6, 2009  

gaza-1One of the creators of the successful Israeli movie Waltz with Bashir has produced a new animated film to highlight the continued blockade of the Gaza Strip and its 1.5 million Palestinian residents.

Yoni Goodman, who was director of animation for the Golden Globe-winning movie, said he was motivated to take part in the project by the recent war in Gaza. His 90-second animation, Closed Zone, follows a young boy chasing a bird through the Gaza Strip who finds his way out blocked at every turn. Read more

Iran holds conference to support Hamas

March 5, 2009  

iran_confIran and Hamas spent two days probing ways to provide assistance to the militant Palestinian group and promote “resistance against Israel” at a gathering in Tehran, an Iranian lawmaker said today.

The conference in the Iranian capital meant to counter an international meeting in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheik on Monday that gave a powerful boost to Hamas’ rival, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

The gathering in Egypt also raised $5.2bn in pledges to rebuild Gaza after Israel’s recent offensive but the funds will bypass the coastal strip’s Hamas rulers.

Hamas wasn’t invited to the Egyptian meeting and is considered a terrorist group by the Unites States, Europe and Israel. Iran, like Hamas, doesn’t recognize Israel and is the militant group’s chief political and financial backer.

Read more

Israel may face war crimes trials over Gaza

March 2, 2009  

? Court looks at whether Palestinians can bring case
? International pressure grows over conflict

Peter Beaumont and agencies

1-icj1The international criminal court is considering whether the Palestinian Authority is “enough like a state” for it to bring a case alleging that Israeli troops committed war crimes in the recent assault on Gaza.

The deliberations would potentially open the way to putting Israeli military commanders in the dock at The Hague over the campaign, which claimed more than 1,300 lives, and set an important precedent for the court over what cases it can hear.

As part of the process the court’s head of jurisdictions, part of the office of the prosecutor, is examining every international agreement signed by the PA to decide whether it behaves – and is regarded by others – as operating like a state.

Following talks with the Arab League’s head, Amr Moussa, and senior PA officials, moves have accelerated inside the court to deliver a ruling on whether it may be able to insist on jurisdiction over alleged war crimes perpetrated in Gaza, with a decision from the prosecutor’s office expected within “months, not years”. Read more

Life line convoy reaches Tunisia

February 28, 2009  

300_0TUNIS, (PIC)–Tunisian officials have announced Thursday the arrival of convoy “life line” led by British politician George Galloway to Tunisia en route to the besieged coastal Gaza Strip via Libya and Egypt.

The humanitarian caravan, which is loaded with medicine and basic human needs to the besieged Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip, has crossed the Bou Shabka crossing point between Tunisia and Algeria amidst overwhelming popular reception as thousands of Tunisian citizens there seeking justice for palestine, stood along the two sides of the road to welcome the activists, local sources revealed.

The convoy comprises around 300 activists from different countries led by Galloway, and 120 vehicles and trucks, and succeeded to open the sealed off Moroccan-Algerian borders for the first time in 50 years.

It started a couple of weeks ago from London, crossing Belgium, France, Spain, Morocco, Algeria, and now in Tunisia before they continue the trip to Gaza Strip through Libya and Egypt, and then to Rafah crossing point that separates the Strip from Egypt.

Tunisian Prime Minister Mohammed Al-Ghannoshi welcomed the convoy, who underlined, “We were shocked with what had happened to the Palestinian people [at the hand of the Israelis], and here we are now coming to extend a helping hand to those oppressed people”.

“The convoy reflects the feelings of the people of the countries it passes through as we are always warmly welcomed in every place we pass”, Galloway stressed.

Since 2006, the Israeli occupation government with full support from the former US administration of George W. Bush imposed a crippling economic, political, and financial embargo on the Palestinian people as punishment for democratically electing Hamas to Govern the territories.

Miliband faces high court battle in UK over Gaza rights

February 27, 2009  

Palestinians inspect the different rooms of a building that was badly damaged by an Israeli air strike in Rafah, southern Gaza.

UK foreign secretary David Miliband has acted “in flagrant and continuing breach of international law” by failing to suspend arms exports to Israel, the High Court will hear after a case commenced yesterday .

In what is believed to be the first legal challenge to arise from Israel’s ‘Operation Cast Lead’ in Gaza, lawyers representing over 30 Palestinian families have accused the foreign secretary, along with the ministers for defence and business, of acting illegally by failing to suspend arms trading and government assistance in response to alleged human rights violations by the Israeli government.

Lawyers acting on behalf of Palestinian charity Al-Haq said that the case would be the first of several legal actions brought against Israel, as activity steps up to examine the humanitarian and financial cost of recent events.

“The UK has urgent international obligations that it must fulfill immediately”, Phil Shiner, the lawyer representing Al-Haq said yesterday. Read the full article..

Suspend military aid to Israel, Amnesty urges

February 23, 2009  

White phosphorus shells traced back to America
Activists call for arms embargoes on both sides

pal-heliDetailed evidence has emerged of Israel’s extensive use of US-made weaponry during its war in Gaza last month, including white phosphorus artillery shells, 500lb bombs and Hellfire missiles.

In a report released today, Amnesty International detailed the weapons used and called for an immediate arms embargo on Israel and all Palestinian armed groups. It called on the Obama administration to suspend military aid to Israel.

The human rights group said that those arming both sides in the conflict “will have been well aware of a pattern of repeated misuse of weapons by both parties and must therefore take responsibility for the violations perpetrated”.

The US has long been the largest arms supplier to Israel; under a current 10-year agreement negotiated by the Bush administration the US will provide $30bn (?21bn) in military aid to Israel.

“As the major supplier of weapons to Israel, the USA has a particular obligation to stop any supply that contributes to gross violations of the laws of war and of human rights,” said Malcolm Smart, Amnesty’s Middle East and North Africa programme director. “To a large extent, Israel’s military offensive in Gaza was carried out with weapons, munitions and military equipment supplied by the USA and paid for with US taxpayers’ money.” Read full article

source: The Guardian

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