Israel

Air France demanded to know the religion of a passenger on an April 15 flight from Nice to Tel Aviv and removed her because she was not Jewish.

The incident, confirmed by an Air France official, may violate international and European law by subjecting prospective passengers to illegal religious discrimination.

In recent days, Israeli authorities reacted to an effort by hundreds of European travellers to visit the occupied West Bank at the invitation of Palestinians by stationing hundreds of armed police and soldiers at the main international airport at Lydd.

Literature Nobel laureate and Germany's most famous living author Gunter Grass labelled Israel a threat to "already fragile world peace" in his poem “Was gesagt werden muss” (“What must be said”).

The work, published by German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung on April 4, accuses "the West" of hypocrisy in relation to the arming of Israel. In publishing the poem, Grass, who regards himself as "irrevocably connected to the country of Israel” has made a big contribution to breaking a long standing German taboo about publicly criticising Israel's warmongering.

Hamza has memories that no 17-year-old should have.

Last year, he was arrested in the middle of the night on suspicion that he threw stones at Israeli settlers near his school in the West Bank. He was handcuffed, blindfolded and beaten on the way to interrogation.

“They asked me when did I throw stones, and how, what time exactly, at night or in the morning, and who was there with me,” he said.

“When they took me to the prison they put me in a small cell. They used to throw the food through the space between the door and the floor.

A month after a Japanese distributor decided to stop carrying Ahava cosmetic products because of the company’s fraudulent practices and its profiteering from Israel's occupation, a major Norwegian retail chain announced it would also stop sales of Ahava products.

Ahava products are made in the illegal West Bank settlement of Mitzpe Shalem, with resources taken from the Dead Sea in the West Bank. The cosmetics line profits that settlement and the settlement of Kalia, both of which are co-owners of Ahava.

The general membership of Carleton University’s Graduate Students’ Association voted overwhelmingly on March 21 and 22 in support of the Ottawa university divesting, via its pension fund, from companies complicit in the illegal military occupation of Palestine.

The plebiscite question, which has provisionally passed by 72.6%, marks the first time in Canada, and what is believed to be the second time globally, that a student union has taken a position via a direct vote in support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israeli violations of international law.

The latest wave of murderous Israeli air strikes on Gaza, which began on March 9, appeared aimed at raising pressure for war on Iran and undermining Palestinian group Hamas.

Al Jazeera said on March 13 that 25 Palestinians had been killed by Israeli forces in the first four days of air strikes. It said 18 of the dead had been identified as resistance fighters.

A Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) report on March 12 said 73 Palestinians, mostly civilians, were wounded in the strikes.

The parents of hunger-striking political prisoner Hana al-Shalabi issued a call on March 14 to all Palestinians to protest in support of their daughter, who was on her 28th continuous day without food in protest at her detention without charge or trial by Israel.

The statement said: “We call upon the Palestinian National Authority, the Palestinian national factions, and all Palestinians to take to the streets on Saturday, March 17 and to demonstrate in support of our daughter Hana Shalabi and all administrative detainees.

Addameer is a Palestinian human rights organisation that works to support political prisoners held in Israeli and Palestinian jails. It offers free legal aid and works to end torture and other abuses of prisoners' rights.

The group’s 10 lawyers visit more than 500 prisoners inside Israeli jails each year. They also represent prisoners held by the Palestinian Authority (PA), representing more than 400 Palestinian prisoners arrested by PA security forces in 2009-10.

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