Sunday, September 30, 2007
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
In August 2004, at age 28, Dabah and his fiancee decided to realize that dream and buy a home in Carmiel. The housing crunch in his village only reinforced his decision and persuaded his parents. He found an apartment on He'asif Street in Carmiel's Givat Ram neighborhood.
"Within a week, I had reached an agreement with the owner on the price and signed a contract with him. I worked on the bank, and they approved a mortgage for me. I thought I was at long last making the dream come true," Dabah said. But the Jewish National Fund had other plans.
"A month before the wedding, after I had signed the contract and made a down payment of NIS 40,000 to the apartment's owner, the lawyer called me and told me to come see him as soon as possible," he continued. When Dabah arrived for a meeting, the lawyer informed him that the land on which the apartment building stands belongs to the JNF.
"The lawyer said to me: 'I'll give it to you straight: The JNF doesn't sell to Arabs and you can't buy the apartment.' I felt my world cave in," Dabah said.
Monday, September 24, 2007
Secretary of State Rice has acknowledged a communique from Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Levni which requests that all foreign aid payments and loans from the United States be made in Euros rather than in Dollars. Foreign Minister Levni cited the rapidly declining dollar and it's disfavor as a world currency as reasons for the request.
"In the spirit of Yom Kippur, the United States will not hold Israel to any agreements obligating them to accept Dollars as payment for their foreign aid. We will translate our obligations into Euros or whatever currency that best fits Israel's needs.
We need to place our Israeli obligations at the top of our national prioriy list. Israel should not suffer any inconvenience due to currency fluctuations," said Rice before heading off to Camp David.
A similar request from Egypt was declined last week.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Wednesday that
In a statement Ban called on the Israeli government to reconsider its decision, which also includes a declaration that the Gaza Strip is an “enemy entity.”
“There are 1.4 million people in
The statement noted that the United Nations has broad humanitarian responsibilities and is mandated to provide assistance to and meet the humanitarian needs of civilians in
Despite repeated promises to reduce the number of roadblocks in the West Bank, Israel has in fact added dozens of new ones, according to the United Nations.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak promised U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice this week to remove 24 roadblocks and consider additional alleviations of movement restrictions on the Palestinians. This followed a similar promise to alleviate movement restrictions that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert made to Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
However, the number of roadblocks has now reached 572, an increase of 52 percent compared to 376 in August 2005, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). In the past two months alone, Israel put up 40 new roadblocks, OCHA said.
It is one of the most scandalous instances of collective punishment anywhere in the world in recent times. And what is the response of the high-minded "international community"? It's the standard "three monkeys" - willfully deaf, dumb and blind.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
A 16-year-old Palestinian boy was killed on Thursday after being run over by an Israeli army bulldozer during a military incursion in the Gaza Strip, medics and witnesses said.
Mahmud Kayed was run over by the bulldozer when it lurched towards a group of youths throwing rocks at the vehicle during the army incursion in the Al-Bureij refugee camp, they said.
Monday, September 17, 2007
Palestinian sources reported that the youth, Mohammed Jabbarin, was not armed and was shot after he hurled rocks at Israeli troops. The IDF had been carrying out a routine operation in the West Bank town when the clash erupted.
According to hospital officials in the city, three bullets were found in Muhammad Jabrin's body.
Both eyewitnesses and medical sources reported that the Israeli army prevented ambulances from entering the area and dispensing first aid to the gravely injured teenager. The boy subsequently bled to death.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
Sunday, September 9, 2007
Since September 28, 2000, there have been 892 such accidents.
In a challenge to one of the most powerful lobbying tactics used by the Jewish community, a county in Maryland decided last week that local legislators could no longer go on sponsored trips to Israel.
Thursday, September 6, 2007
The Norwegian state radio network NRK reported Thursday it had obtained a secret diplomatic document from the embassy urging action by "expressing our concern that torture is still practiced in Israel." According to NRK, the embassy's concern stemmed from a report by the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel claiming that prisoners were sometimes beaten during interrogation, held in painfully tight handcuffs and suffered isolation, threats, humiliation and sleep deprivation.
"I can't believe that children who were born in Lakeland could have their American citizenship ignored by a country so friendly to the U.S," said Wedad.
CHICAGO (Reuters) - Young U.S. non-Orthodox Jews are becoming increasingly lukewarm if not alienated in their support for Israel in a trend that is not likely to be reversed, according to a study released on Thursday.
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Sarah Abu Ghazal's school uniform still lay on her mattress, untouched as she had left it before running out after her cousins Mahmoud and Yehya Abu Ghazal on Wednesday, 29 August. She was to begin the fourth grade on 2 September, but her friend Amani, who has accompanied her to school since the first grade, would walk alone this year. Sarah's mother had bought her the blue school uniform, blue jeans and the black shoes just the day before she was killed by Israel tank fire. Her mother waited until the last minute to buy Sarah's school supplies because she was waiting for her husband's salary which he had not received since June. Still full of life, Sarah was readying her new clothes for the start of the school year when Yehya called for her to come out and play.
Ten-year-old Mahmoud looked up to Yehya and followed him wherever he went, as he did not have any brothers of his own. On the day he died he had just finished telling his mother not to buy him anything for school until Yehya had acquired his things. He made her promise only to buy the same things that Yehya had. Mahmoud was killed alongside Yehya and now lies buried right beside him.
"Israel just wants to shed our blood," said Yehya's mother, choking on her words. "They didn't do anything wrong ... they had no rockets, no tanks ... they were just playing," added Mahmoud's mother. They were all sitting on the mattress Yehya shared with Mahmoud. Mahmoud would sneak out of his mother's bedroom at night to go and sleep by Yehya. "They were meant to go together," said Yehya's mother, "Mahmoud would not have lived without Yehya. May God rest their souls together."
The Israeli army stated it had "identified and fired at several rocket launchers aimed at Israel." According to the Abu Ghazal family, rockets had not been fired from that area for the past nine months and the Israeli army knew this. However, the tanks were close enough for the soldiers manning them to see the children and they could have also relied on their large white reconnaissance balloon that constantly hovers over Beit Hanoun.
Where's the justice for 12-year-old Yehya and his childhood, or 10-year-old Mahmoud who wanted nothing more than to have the same things as his friend, or 10-year-old Sarah who never got to wear her new school clothes?
Monday, September 3, 2007
Again children. Five children killed in Gaza in eight days. The public indifference to their killing - the last three, for example, were accorded only a short item on the margins of page 11 in Yedioth Ahronoth, a sickening matter in itself - cannot blur the fact that the IDF is waging a war against children. A year ago, a fifth of those killed in the "Summer Rain" operation in Gaza were children; during the past two weeks, they comprised a quarter of the 21 killed. If, heaven forbid, children are hurt in Sderot, we will have to remember this before we begin raising hell.
The IDF explains that the Palestinians make a practice of sending children to collect the Qassam launchers. However, in this case, the children killed were not collecting launchers. The first two were killed while collecting carob fruit and the next three - according to the IDF's own investigation - were playing tag. But even if we accept the IDF's claim that there is a general trend of sending children to collect launchers (which has not been proven), that should have brought about an immediate halt to firing at launcher collectors.