News this week: Updates re Israel-Palestine

US opposition to Palestinian Statehood

As September draws closer, so does Palestine’s bid to join the UN. However, the US has made it clear that although Palestine has the backing of over 120 countries, it plans to veto the bid in the Security Council. Aljazeera Reports that many Palestinians feel as though recognition would not result in any concrete change in the realities under occupation.



Fuel shortage in Gaza Hospitals

The Director of Public Medical Supplies in the Gaza Strip, Bassam Barhum, has warned of an impending disaster, due to a shortage of Fuel. Operation rooms in some hospitals have already had to close due to the shortage and Barhum warned that electricity generators will stop running if fuel is not delivered soon. Meanwhile, Israel continues to claim that there is no Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza.


NGO to bring tourists to settlements

‘Mishkefet’, a new Non-Profit Organization formed by Israeli Settlers has announced it will invest $2 million to pay for subsidized tours of the illegal West Bank settlements. The tours will be open to the Israeli Public and are aimed at changing public sentiment about the settlements. The UN has ruled that the Settlements are violating International Law in the sense that they violate the 4th Geneva Convention (Article 49), which prohibits an occupying power to transfer their civilian population to an occupied territory. Like in the case of the Apartheid Wall, the UN’s ruling on the illegality of the settlements has been ignored by Israel. Following a brief freeze on settlement construction in 2009-2010, settlements have continued to be constructed. As of 2010 the settler population in the West Bank stood at 271,400.



Attack on Freedom Theatre

Israeli Special Forces attacked the Jenin Freedom Theatre in the Jenin Refugee Camp in the Northern West Bank according to members of the theater. According to the press release from the freedom theatre:

‘Ahmad Nasser Matahen, a night guard and technician student at the theatre woke up by heavy blocks of stone being hurled at the entrance of the theatre. As he opened the door he found masked and heavily armed Israeli Special Forces around the theatre. Ahmed says that the army threw heavy blocks of stone at the theatre, “they told me to open the door to the theatre.  They told me to raise my hands and forced me to take my pants down. I thought my time had come, that they would kill me. My brother that was with me was handcuffed.

The location manager of The Freedom Theatre, Adnan Naghnaghiye was arrested and taken away to an unknown location together with Bilal Saadi, a member of the board of The Freedom Theatre. When the general manager of the theatre Jacob Gough from UK and the co-founder of the theatre Jonatan Stanczak from Sweden arrived to the scene they were forced to squat next to a family with four small children surrounded by about 50 heavily armed Israeli soldiers.’


Palestinian Youths abducted by Israeli Police in Silwan, East Jerusalem

In a sad way, this isn’t news. However, although it is not an uncommon occurrence, there is a video of this abduction. You can clearly see the youths playing soccer, when masked men jump out of an undercover vehicle and drag them inside. This follows a recent spate of arrests and interrogations of children by the Israeli Authorities. It is unclear whether or not the youths had been throwing rocks or not, but ask yourself: ‘Is this the way justice should be carried out in a democracy?’