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.

Associate Professor Jake Lynch, a member of Sydney Staff for Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), was assaulted by an elderly Zionist woman during a demonstration in support of Palestine on March 11.

The assault occurred at Sydney University, during a pro-Israel talk given by Colonel Richard Kemp, a former commander of the British forces in Afghanistan and supporter of Israel.

Demonstrators interrupted Kemp’s talk, targeting his support for the Israeli occupation in Palestine, chanting “Richard Kemp, you can’t hide, you support genocide.”

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.

Around 60 people attended a public forum in Sydney on February 9 to commemorate the 33rd anniversary of the re-establishment of the Palestinian People's Party (PPP). The party was retitled from its original name of Palestinian Communist Party, which was founded 96 years ago.

Shamikh Badra outlined the history of the PPP, from its early days in 1920s Palestine, to its re-founding in 1982. He explained the role of the PPP after it joined the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) in 1987 and fought for militant policies within the Palestinian liberation movement.

KENYAN POLICE FIRE TEAR GAS AT CHILDREN'S PLAYGROUND

The ABC reported that Kenyan police fired tear gas into a crowd of schoolchildren in Nairobi as the children protested against what they call an illegal confiscation of a playground.

Around 40 armed police, accompanied by dogs, confronted the children, most of whom were aged between eight and 13.

Venezuelan assistance to Palestine has played an important role in helping Palestine achieve domestic development goals, said Palestine's ambassador to venezuela, Linda Sabeh Ali.

Sabeh Ali said her people hope to achieve some of the same freedoms the Venezuelan people have enjoyed in recent years. “Venezuela is a free land of liberators. We dream of a free country like this [Venezuela],” Sabeh Ali said in a January 21 interview to Venezuelan state media.

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.

Sami Ziadna, who died as a result of excessive tear gas inhalation on Jaunary 18, was the 50th Palestinian citizen of Israel to be killed by Israeli police since October 2000.

Then, as protests spread throughout Palestinian communities in Israel, 13 unarmed demonstrators were shot and killed by police officers in northern Galilee.

About 1.7 million Palestinians carry Israeli citizenship, but dozens of discriminatory laws stifle their political expression and limit their access to state resources, including land and education.

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