Palestine

Eleven Palestinians were killed and 20 others were wounded on September 27 when Israel resumed bombing the Gaza Strip. The bombings are widely seen as a precursor to a wide-scale invasion of the Gaza Strip promised by Israeli defence minister Ehud Barak earlier in September and came in the wake of Israel declaring the Gaza Strip an “enemy entity” on September 19.

Twenty-five years ago this September — after its 1982 invasion of Lebanon had achieved its military objectives by forcing an evacuation of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) to Tunisia — Israel unleashed the Lebanese Christian Phalangist militia on the defenceless civilians of Beirut refugee camps Sabra and Shatila. Under the Israeli occupation of West Beirut, the Phalangists, armed by and in liaison with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), carried out a three-day spree of killing and rape, massacring an estimated 3000 Palestinian and Lebanese civilians.

On September 7, the weekly demonstration in the Palestinian West Bank village of Bilin against Israel’s apartheid wall became a celebration. Protesters danced and sang as they marched to the wall. Three days earlier, the Israeli Supreme Court had ordered the Israeli defence ministry to re-route 1.7 kilometres of the 703-km wall, which has been declared illegal by the International Court of Justice.

On August 28, the Palestinian Authority (PA) “caretaker” government headed by Salam Fayyad announced that it would outlaw 103 charitable societies in the Israeli occupied West Bank. Fayyad, who was appointed on June 15 as PA prime minister by PA President Mahmoud Abbas of the Fatah party after Abbas dismissed the elected government of PM Ismail Haniyeh of the Hamas party, told Palestinian media these charities, most of them are affiliated with Hamas, had committed administrative and financial irregularities.

Now that the dust has settled from the US-backed coup carried out by Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas of the Fatah party against the Hamas-led “national unity” government, Abbas and unelected PA Prime Minister Salaam Fayyad have revealed that they’ve nothing to offer the Palestinian people except a rerun of the failed post-1993 “Oslo peace process”.

On July 27-28, 200 trade unionists from the higher education, electricity, telecommunications, finance, municipal services, pharmaceutical and health-care sectors in the Israeli-occupied West Bank attended a conference to set up the Coalition of Independent and Democratic Trade Unions and Workers’ Committees.

In an attempt to bolster the regime of Fatah leader and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Israel and the US have proposed a plan to “kick start” the “peace” process by rehashing the Olso Accords and the “Road Map to Peace”.

According to a report issued by the Palestinian National Information Centre (PNIC), during the month of June, Israel occupation forces killed 49 Palestinians and wounded a further 147. During the same period, Israel abducted and arrested 383 Palestinians and carried out 765 invasions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and committed a total of 2380 human rights violations against the civilian Palestinian population.

In the two weeks following the Sharm el Sheikh Summit on June 25, at which Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert promised to release 250 Fatah-affiliated prisoners from Israeli jails, Israel abducted more than 300 members of Fatah in the West Bank.

Renewed Israeli airstrikes and ground incursion into the densely populated Gaza Strip have resulted in at least 13 Palestinians, including three children, being killed and more than 44 injured.

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