Palestine

As Palestinians continue to face economic hardships and services and housing shortages after the Israeli bombardments last year, dozens of Gazans joined a rally on March 21 in solidarity with Venezuela.

TeleSUR’s correspondent in Gaza, Noor Harazeen, reported from the rally that attendees were calling for the US to keep its hands off Venezuela.

The event was organised by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), and several Palestinian officials attended, including Sami Abu Zuhri from Hamas.

Let me be clear: I am not happy, as such, that Likud Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu won Israel's March 17 elections.

Netanyahu is a blood-soaked killer. He should be put on trial for his many crimes, from the relentless theft of Palestinian land to last summer’s massacre in Gaza — and I yearn to see that day.

Palestinian student Lina Khattab, 18, a first-year media student at Birzeit University, was sentenced by an Israeli military court to six months imprisonment, a NIS6000 (US$1500) fine and three years probation on February 17.

She is also a folkloric dancer with the world-renowned El-Funoun Popular Palestinian Dance Troupe and is active in other cultural and political student activities at the university.

Instro Precision, a factory in Kent, England, owned by Israeli arms manufacturer Elbit Systems was shut down on February 17 by four activists occupying the roof while others blockaded the entrance.

Instro Precision is a manufacturer of military targeting systems. Its optical equipment is used in drones such as those Israel used to bombard Gaza during the summer of 2014, say the activists. Such surveillance equipment has also been installed in Israel’s apartheid wall in the West Bank.

More than 700 creative professionals living in the Britain — including writers, visual artists, actors, musicians and many others — have signed up to a pledge to boycott collaboration with Israeli state-funded projects.

The announcement marks a significant step for the British cultural boycott campaign. There have been many open letters and other statements of support for Palestine from British artists, but the pledge brings together a huge number of creatives in one coordinated effort.

Early each morning, Um Atiya makes toast on a mud stove. She has become reliant on the stove since Israel’s 51-day attack on Gaza in July and August last year. Electricity and cooking gas are scarce throughout the Gaza Strip.

The situation has been particularly difficult in recent weeks. Gaza’s power plant was shut down on December 28, its fuel reserves exhausted due to lack of funds. Um Atiya only has six hours of electricity a day.

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine released this statement on October 13.

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The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine expresses its solidarity with the Kurdish resistance in Kobane struggling to defend themselves and their community from the reactionary armed group, ISIS, whose entry into our region has been facilitated and supported by imperialist powers and their lackeys.

Israel uses cinema to shore up its carefully manufactured international image as an enlightened “beacon of democracy in the Middle East” – a world away from the fanaticism of the settlements, the separation wall, the checkpoints, and the siege and butchery of Gaza.

Film festivals like the Israeli Film Festival are an attempt to culture-wash Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people. The goal is for the international public to see Israel as a civilised country committed to peaceful, artistic pursuits – not as the warmongering power oppressing an entire people, that it really is.

One petition I saw circulating recently called for both Israel and Hamas to put down their weapons. I dispute this approach that blames both sides equally. Israel is the aggressor. Not only is Israel bombing indiscriminately with a view to maximising civilian casualties, it continues to maintain its inhumane and illegal siege of Gaza.

The kidnapping and murder of the Israeli teenagers was simply a pretext. There is no evidence that it was a Palestinian or a Hamas member who killed the teenagers.

Israel has set itself as judge, jury and executioner. 

The Abbott government has sunk to a new diplomatic low, with Foreign Minister Julie Bishop suggesting Israeli settlements should not be considered illegal.

Bishop made the comments during a visit to Israel. In a January 15 interview with the Times of Israel, she argued “the issue of settlements is absolutely and utterly fundamental to the negotiations that are under way and I think it’s appropriate that we give those negotiations every chance of succeeding”.

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