Settlers sabotage water spring of Palestinian village
NABLUS, (PIC)– Jewish settlers attacked the village of Madma on Tuesday and polluted and damaged its water spring, local sources said.
They said that settlers from Yitzhar settlement attacked their almost only water well and deprived citizens from making use of it.
Villages south and east of Nablus are the target of semi daily attacks by those settlers.
OIC will continue to back Goldstone report
JEDDAH, (PIC)– The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) based in Jeddah has said it will continue to support the Goldstone report that condemned Israel for committing war crimes during the last war on Gaza after Goldstone, who headed the probe leading to the UN report, has retracted accusations against Israel.
The OIC said that the report was rife with ”facts on the field” and that Goldstone’s recent statements cannot change the fact that Israeli leaders are guilty of committing war crimes against Gazan civilians, as laid out in the report.
”[The OIC] will continue to adhere to the report’s contents that were adopted by the Human Rights Council in Geneva,” the OIC said on its official website.
The OIC had already pushed the UNHRC to adopt the report and played a key role in having the report referred to the UN Security Council.
The OIC which enjoys a permanent delegation in the UN, also started the emergency meeting in the executive committee gathering ministers of its member states in the wake of the 2008 Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip and called for the fact-finding mission that produced the report to be formed.
Goldstone refutes UN report retraction
Head of the UN probe into the Gaza war Richard Goldstone has rejected claims by the Israeli interior minister that he intends to reconsider his final report on the 2008-2009 Gaza war.
Goldstone, who held Israel accountable for war crimes against Palestinian civilians, says he has not been planning to retract the report.
In an interview with AP, Goldstone rejected Eli Yishai’s claim that he is reconsidering the charges against Tel Aviv.
The South African judge said Yishai had called to thank him for his Washington Post op-ed piece and had never discussed the report.
Earlier on Friday, reports began circulating about Goldstone’s plan to retract his findings on Israeli war crimes in the three-week long Gaza war.
In April 2009, Goldstone led an independent fact-finding mission mandated by the UN Human Rights Council to investigate reports of the international human rights and humanitarian law violations during the December 2008-2009 offensive, which left more than 1,400 Palestinians — mostly civilians — dead.
The 2009 report, which concluded that Israeli forces had intentionally fired at Palestinian civilians, triggered outrage in Israel against Goldstone, who himself is Jewish.
The report alleged that the Israeli operations “were carefully planned in all their phases as a deliberately disproportionate attack designed to punish, humiliate and terrorize a civilian population.”
It also recommended that the case should be handed over to an international tribunal if Israel fails to investigate the war crimes committed by its soldiers.
The Israeli interior minister confirmed telling Goldstone to review the key findings of his report and to officially retract it. Yishai, however, did not disclose whether Goldstone had agreed to do so.
Special committee to expedite settlement plans in east Jerusalem
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– The Israeli interior ministry’s district committee for planning and building decided to form an ad hoc committee to work on expediting the implementation of settlement plans which the government adopted in occupied Jerusalem.
According to lawyer Qais Naser, this new committee will meet weekly in order to finish the ratification of structural maps issued by the Israeli government, noting that every map contains at least 200 housing units aimed at expanding existent settlements or building new ones.
The lawyer affirmed that the Israeli government last month ordered the interior ministry to assign his district committee in Jerusalem to form immediately an ad hoc committee to activate all plans to be set by the minister of housing.
He warned that Israel’s settlement activities would rise unprecedentedly in east Jerusalem if this committee was formed and handled the government’s settlement plans.
Four civilians including women injured during brutal air raids on Gaza
GAZA, (PIC)– Four Palestinians, including two women, were wounded during Israeli aerial attacks on east of the Gaza after midnight on Wednesday amid ongoing intensive overflights, according to the Palestinian information center (PIC).
The PIC reporter said Israeli warplanes bombed at dawn Sha’af area east of Al-Tuffah neighborhood in the east of Gaza city, and Izbet Abed Rabbo area, east of Jabaliya to the north of Gaza.
He added that a factory for plastics industry owned by the family of Riyadh Hassanein was destroyed during the air raid on Sha’af area in the east.
Spokesman for emergency and ambulance service Adham Abu Salmiya said two Palestinian women, one of them was pregnant, and two men were moderately wounded during the bombing of eastern Gaza and taken to Shifa hospital for treatment.
Pilotless reconnaissance warplanes or drones are still seen overflying Gaza at low altitudes, a security official told the PIC reporter.
He noted these drones seem to be on offensive missions, warning civilians and resistance fighters in Gaza to be more alert to any attack.
Israeli leaders have been threatening for days to wage a new all-out war soon on Gaza as the Palestinian resistance declared their readiness to defend their people and repel any Israeli aggression against the Strip.
Lieberman heads to Germany in bid to block Gaza flotilla
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman headed out to Germany on Wednesday for an official visit calling for European action to thwart the Gaza-bound Freedom Flotilla 2 due to travel to the Gaza Strip mid-May to break Israel’s economic siege on the region.
Lieberman is set to meet with his German and Italian counterparts Guido Westerwelle and Franco Frattini, respectively, as they are both present in the capital Berlin, and would like to emphasize the need for western countries to stop naval rescue missions to the Gaza Strip, Israeli Radio reported.
The move comes as Israel has increased contacts with high-profile officials with intent to thwart the new convoy.
Israeli military attacked the first convoy during an effort to bust the siege last May and killed nine activists and injuring scores more. The attack drew heavy criticism against Israel.
Israeli President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have planned to tour Europe to hold talks with officials about ways to hamper the convoy.
According to Israeli Radio, Netanyahu is set to travel Wednesday to talk with officials in Germany and the Czech Republic to urge officials to help block the ship, claiming its organizers were motivated by political and not humanitarian purposes.
Peres will also resume his tour of Europe, as he landed last week in Switzerland and the UK before going to the US, where he currently stays.
IOF soldiers detain 3 West Bankers, detainee rushed to hospital
WEST BANK, (PIC)– Israeli occupation forces (IOF) rounded up three Palestinians in the West Bank districts of Ramallah and Jenin at dawn Wednesday, Hebrew paper Yediot Ahronot reported.
It quoted military sources on its website as saying that two “wanted” Palestinians were arrested in Ramallah.
Local sources said that IOF troops stormed the Hashemiya village west of Jenin and arrested a Palestinian youth after searching his family home and questioning his relatives.
Meanwhile, family of Mohammed Samara said that the IOF carried their son from Megiddo jail to Ramle prison hospital after his health condition seriously deteriorated.
They said that Samara could no longer stand on his feet, adding that his relatives are deprived of visiting him.
Samara from Brukin village, Salfit, has been held in Israeli custody for four years.
UFree network lauds Cairo for releasing 13 Palestinians from its jails
GAZA, (PIC)– The European network to support rights of Palestinian prisoners, UFree, hailed the Egyptian authorities for releasing 13 Palestinian prisoners from local jails, calling for taking further step by closing this file once and for all.
“We bless this positive step which contributes to strengthening relations between the Palestinian and Egyptian peoples on the road to stability and security,” Mohamed Hamdan, head of UFree network, stated in a press release on Tuesday.
Hamdan noted that UFree had raised the issue of Palestinians imprisoned in Egyptian jails with the Egyptian government in cooperation with some European lawmakers who visited Egypt lately.
19 Palestinians are still in Egyptian prisons, the UFree official said, but there are continuous efforts to have all Palestinians released and close this file forever.
He also appealed to the ruling military council and the new government in Egypt to develop new policies protecting the Palestinians’ dignity during their stay or travel through Egyptian territories and ending the blockade imposed on them in Gaza.
In this regard, spokesman for the families of Palestinian prisoners in Egyptian jails Imad Assayed affirmed the arrival of 12 Palestinians in Gaza after their release on Tuesday from local prisons in Egypt.
“We confirm the arrival of 12 Palestinian detainees at the Palestinian side coming from Egypt, while one prisoner was deported to the United Arab Emirates by the Egyptian authorities,” spokesman Assayed told the Palestinian information center (PIC).