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Posts Tagged ‘Wissam Nassar

In Gaza, Bicycles Are a Battleground for Women Who Dare to Ride

SALAHUDDIN ROAD, Gaza Strip — The four women pedaling bicycles with jammed gears and wobbly chains up Salahuddin Road, Gaza’s bumpy main highway, on a recent morning caused quite a stir.

The driver of a three-wheeled tuk-tuk slowed down and a teenager on a horse-drawn cart sped up to match the women’s pace.

A jeep filled with Hamas gunmen beeped and cheered as it passed, and a pack of men on motorbikes left a wake of catcalls.

The sight of women on two wheels was so unusual that Alaa, 11, who was grazing sheep on the grassy median, assumed they were foreigners and shouted out his limited English vocabulary: “Hello! One, two, three!”

Ms. Suleiman, center, and other women with their bikes in Gaza on Friday. Credit Wissam Nassar for The New York Times

The women ignored the hubbub as they pedaled from Jabalia, a crammed cinder-block town in Gaza’s north, to the Hamas checkpoint before the heavily restricted border crossing into Israel. They dumped their bikes in a nearby olive grove and sat down for a picnic of cheese sandwiches.

 

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Pause from killing children? What for?

For how long? 24 hours?

It’s more fun shooting at sitting duck kids

SLIDE SHOW|13 Photos

Surveying the Damage in Gaza

Surveying the Damage in Gaza

Credit Wissam Nassar for The New York Times

JERUSALEM — When a temporary cease-fire began on Saturday morning, Akram Qassim joined the throngs of Palestinians who emerged from their homes and temporary shelters. But when he reached his extended family’s three-story building, he found only a crater left by an Israeli airstrike.

“I expected that maybe a shell had hit it and caused some damage,” Mr. Qassim said. “But this is an earthquake.

Saturday’s cease-fire provided the first daylong relief from violence for civilians on both sides of the conflict since the start of the 19-day war between Israel and Palestinian militants.

The 12-hour lull granted people an ability to move (except to a Palestinian village in Gaza) that is still under attack) with Israelis visiting their troops and Palestinians discovering damaged neighborhoods and dead bodies.

More than 140 bodies were recovered across Gaza on Saturday — including 21 members of one family — raising the Palestinian death toll to 1,139, most of them civilians, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry. On the Israeli side, 42 soldiers and three civilians have been killed.

Graphic: The Toll in Gaza and Israel, Day by Day

On Saturday evening, Israel’s top ministers decided to extend the lull for 24 hours, but said Israeli troops would continue their efforts to destroy tunnels. Palestinian fighters renewed their rocket fire at Israel, and Hamas, the militant group that controls Gaza, said it rejected any cease-fire that did not include the withdrawal of Israeli troops.

The vast destruction in communities across Gaza shocked residents who had fled their homes, and reactions to it could play a role in negotiations over the terms of a longer cease-fire.

Israel has said its offensive is intended to halt rocket fire by Palestinian fighters and to destroy the extensive network of tunnels — some of them concrete-reinforced — that militants use for combat, smuggling, and sneaking fighters into Israel.

This is likely to mean that the Israelis will insist on continuing strict border controls on materials that could be used to build more tunnels.

But Hamas is seeking an agreement that would ease the movement of goods into Gaza from Israel and Egypt — a goal it seeks desperately and may fight to obtain.

“If there is an agreement for a cease-fire, that’s great,” said Mohammed Abu Jama in Al Zanna, an area of central Gaza where power lines had been blown down, an abandoned Israeli military trailer stood in the street and dozens of houses bore the scars of intense clashes.

But Mr. Abu Jama, whose own house was damaged, said any agreement had to include an opening of the crossings that tightly control all movement in and out of Gaza.

And if there is no agreement, we want the resistance to continue fighting,” he said.

Visits to Al Zanna and two other front-line neighborhoods on Saturday revealed destruction that in places stretched for blocks, with walls punctured by artillery shells, buildings reduced to rubble and streets erased by yawning craters.

The destruction in the Shujaiya neighborhood of eastern Gaza City, site of some of the worst fighting, was so extensive that in some places it was impossible to spot an undamaged building.

Scores of buildings, including a hospital and a mosque, had also been damaged or destroyed here in the northern town of Beit Hanoun.

As news of the pause spread though Gaza on Saturday morning, Mariam Fayyad joined the crowds rushing to the area. Many spoke on cellphones with relatives elsewhere, wailing when they received reports of their destroyed homes.

At one point, two men in black face masks who were carrying assault rifles approached from the opposite direction, suggesting that fighters were using the pause to change positions.

Entering her white, three-bedroom house surrounded by fruit trees, Ms. Fayyad let out a wail and ran from room to room, inspecting the damage. Artillery shells had punched holes in the walls and ceiling, doors had been blown from their hinges and rubble covered the floor.

The metal bathtub, crumpled like a tin can, sat in the kitchen.

Photo

Israeli civilians and soldiers used a bathroom as  a bomb shelter during a rocket attack near the border with Gaza on Saturday. Credit Uriel Sinai for The New York Times

“All the money we had went to this, everything we tired ourselves out for,” said her husband, Ibrahim. Both are teachers and had built the house from scratch, moving in two years ago, they said.

Tragedy also struck the al-Najjar family, whose house in central Gaza was struck by an Israeli airstrike before dawn on Saturday, killing 21 people.

“I was on the balcony when the hit came, and I don’t remember anything after that until I woke up in the hospital,” said Hussein al-Najjar, who lost his father, mother, one brother, two sisters and two sons, ages 1 and 6, in the strike.

Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, a spokesman for the Israeli military, could not explain the airstrike some 19 hours after it happened.

“We’ve been unable to determine the target at this time,” he said late Saturday, adding that militants in the area could have fired antitank missiles, drawing an Israeli response.

Israel says that it strives to avoid killing civilians and blames Hamas for putting them in danger by fighting from residential areas and storing weapons there.

Israeli troops remained in place across Gaza during the lull and continued to search for tunnels but did not advance or engage with Palestinian fighters.

The Israeli authorities said that they coordinated with international organizations to evacuate wounded Palestinians, distribute food and repair utilities?

By Saturday morning, Israeli forces had found 31 tunnels and destroyed 15, Colonel Lerner said. (Why unable to destroy all found tunnels?)

In southern Israel, where most of the rockets fired by Gaza militants have fallen during the war, the lull allowed residents who had spent recent weeks rushing to shelters to venture out.

People visited beaches in Ashdod and Ashkelon, Israel Radio reported, and television news contrasted video footage of crowded cafes on Saturday with that from last week when the establishments were empty.

“I was very hesitant, because we know who we’re dealing with; in the end I decided to go out and see if people were around,” a beach-goer identified only as Sigalit said in a radio interview. “It’s fun, but there is still some fear. Let’s hope it continues so that we can enjoy ourselves a bit more.

At Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon, a barber gave haircuts to wounded soldiers. In Maslul, a small community not far from a staging area for the Gaza operation, residents set up 10 barbecue grills to serve the troops, along with showers and a karaoke corner, Israel Radio reported.

Back in Gaza, a group of men and a bulldozer worked to remove bodies from a house that had been flattened in an overnight airstrike.

“We have pulled out six so far and there are three left,” said Mohammed Nasser, who had relatives among the dead.

As the bulldozer dug, one of the dead was found with a Kalashnikov rifle at his side. Cries of “God is great!” erupted from the crowd as the body was carried to an ambulance.

 

 

Assault on Gaza continues: Devastation In pictures

1,200 air strikes on Gaza left 160 dead and way over 1,ooo Palestinian injured

for the 6th day of bombing.

Half these victims are women and children.

Hospitals and institutions for the handicapped have been targeted.

Five Mosques were targeted just as the worshipers were crowding the place.

Fares Gemayel shared this picture:

خبر وتعليق
اجتماع عاجل لوزراء الخارجية العرب حول الوضع في غزة الاثنينnslation

‎خبر وتعليق
اجتماع عاجل لوزراء الخارجية العرب حول الوضع في غزة الاثنين
تعليق: بكير لشو مستعجلين؟ كنتو نطروا ليخلص المجرم عملتو وما يخلي بشر ولا حجر فوق حجر.  الله يعين شعبنا عليكن‎

 posted this 11 Jul 2014 

Gaza City – The barrage of Israeli air strikes has continued over the Gaza Strip as efforts to end the upsurge of violence have so far proven unsuccessful.

Palestinians across the besieged territory have struggled to find a safe place, as the United Nations estimates that at least 342 housing units have been destroyed, and at least 2,000 Palestinians displaced, in the bombardment.

Scores of Palestinian women and children have been injured in the bombings. Local hospitals are struggling to attend to the wounded, while most people are blocked from leaving Gaza through the Rafah border crossing with Egypt.

/Wissam Nassar/Al Jazeera

Israel has continued its bombardment of Gaza but has failed to stop Palestinian rocket fire, as the US offered to help negotiate a truce.

/Wissam Nassar/Al Jazeera

On Friday morning, Avichay Adraee, spokesman for the Israeli military to Arab media, said that Israel had hit 1,100 targets since launching its campaign earlier this week.

/Wissam Nassar/Al Jazeera

Palestinian officials said that more than 100 Palestinians were killed, most of them civilians.

/Wissam Nassar/Al Jazeera

As Israel continues to pound Gaza with air strikes, there is concern about the capacity of the territory’s hospitals to attend to the more than 700 injured.

/Wissam Nassar/Al Jazeera

After nearly a month of closure, Egypt opened Gaza’s main gate to the outside world – the Rafah border crossing – but travel was restricted to medical patients and people seriously wounded by Israeli air strikes.

/Wissam Nassar/Al Jazeera

Gaza’s Interior Ministry announced that Palestinians holding Egyptian passports would also be eligible to leave through Rafah.

/Wissam Nassar/Al Jazeera
Israel estimates more than 500 rockets have been fired from Gaza since Monday.
/Wissam Nassar/Al Jazeera
Palestinians try to salvage what they can of their belongings from the rubble of a house destroyed by an overnight Israeli airstrike.
/Wissam Nassar/Al Jazeera
In a statement, the Israeli army said it had hit a number of houses that were being used for military purposes.
/Wissam Nassar/Al Jazeera
The Israeli offensive began after a build up of violence following the killing of three young Israeli settlers last month and the murder of a Palestinian teenager in a suspected revenge attack.
/Wissam Nassar/Al Jazeera

The bombings and exchange of rocket fire between Palestinian fighters and the Israeli military has drawn strong reactions from leaders across the globe.

/Wissam Nassar/Al Jazeera

Ban Ki Moon, the UN secretary general, condemned the rocket attacks and urged Israel to show restraint.

Naqab desert, transfer of Palestinian Bedouins… And the “Prawer plan law”?   

Israel’s Prawer plan, which passed a first reading in parliament in June, aims to expropriate over 800,000 dunams of land in the Naqab desert (a dunam is the equivalent of 1,000 square meters) and expel about 50,000 Palestinian Bedouins.

35 unrecognized villages would also be demolished, culminating in unnervingly a blatant ethnic cleansing campaign that will occur under the nose of the international community. These Palestinian Bedouins will be expelled to one percent of the land.

Linah Alsaafin posted This July 15, 2013 on The Electronic Intifada: “Palestinian national strike to stop Israel’s “Prawer plan” ethnic cleansing”

blog-BDS-WISSAM-NASSAR-MaanImages.jpg posted:

Prawer plan”?  Ethnic cleansing plan of Palestinians?

 

(Wissam Nassar / Maan Images)

On Twitter and Facebook, the hashtags #StopPrawerPlan and #برافر_لن_يمر have been used to mobilize and create awareness.

Monday, July 15, 2013 has been designated as a national day of rage and “Anger Strike” by Palestinians from the river to the sea. Gaza and the West Bank have also planned for protests to take place on Monday.

Unsurprisingly, the PLO has denied (Arabic) issuing a statement that supported the Anger Strike.

The main protest took off from Ben Gurion University in Bir al-Saba at 10am on Monday and marched to the building of the Bedouins Settlement Authority. So far, 14 Palestinians have been arrested, including two minors.

Cities, towns, and villages inside the 1948 occupied territories including the Galilee in the north, the Triangle in the center, and the coast have organized their protests at busy street junctions, squares and roundabouts.

Abir Kopty has put together a schedule of the protests that will happen today throughout Palestine.

Why now?

Why carry out the largest demolition, land confiscation and forced displacement campaign now?

Anas Abu Daabas, president of the Academics Association in Rahat, explained at a 20 April seminar held by the al-Bireh Municipality I attended.

In recent years the largest economic hardship Israel has faced is the housing crisis, he said. Israel seeks to take advantage of the vast lands of the Naqab by building towns and cities for soldiers who will be closer to the military training camps, which Israel has transferred to the south of the country. This plan comes at the expense of the indigenous, who they mis-characterize as “invaders” and “nomads.”

“The embodiment of racial discrimination”

Amir Qweider, a student at Ben Gurion University who lives in the unrecognized village of Zarnouq, spoke at the same seminar about the reality of Bedouin villages in the Naqab. They are forbidden to house any permanent structures and risk immediate demolition if they do so.

There are no paved roads, no schools, no electricity or water grids, no telephone lines, and no sewage system,” he said. “The difference between the Jewish settlements and Arab villages is the embodiment of racial discrimination, even though we both are Israeli citizens.”

“Using the term ‘nomads’ to classify us is a way for Israel to justify the colonizing and settling of the Naqab, saying that since we roam the lands we do not own them,” Abu Daabas said, “but that is an outright lie. Our forefathers and tribes lived in villages, and [the Israeli lie] doesn’t explain why we still have structures of buildings like schools and homes dating to before the Nakba.”

On 30 March 1976, thousands of Palestinian citizens of Israel protested at the state’s announcement it would confiscate 60,000 dunums of Palestinian land. A general strike was organized from the Naqab desert to the Galilee, and the Israeli army killed six Palestinians as protests ensued. This became known as Land Day and is commemorated every year.

Palestinians should all take to the streets today and protest Israel’s land grab of 800,000dunams in the Naqab. Just as Land Day, in the words of Arjan El Fassed, “reaffirmed the Palestinian minority in Israel as an inseparable part of the Palestinian and Arab nation,” the Anger Strike of 15 July asserts that despite political division, non-representative and collaborative leadership, Palestine remains from the river to the sea, with the Bedouins in the Naqab an integral component of the Palestinian population.

Jerusalem, Sakhnin, Yafa, Umm al-Fahem, Shifa Amro, Gaza, Nablus, Hebron, Jenin, Upper Galilee, Ramallah, Kufr Kanna, Nazareth, Haifa. Israel can’t win on this.

History of Israeli land grab

The Naqab desert, historically neglected in Palestinian discourse, makes up 60 percent of Palestine, and its importance was not lost on David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister. In a letter to his son Amos written in 1937, Ben Gurion emphasized how total colonization of the Naqab is essential for Israel’s settler colonial concept:

We must expel Arabs and take their place … and if we have to use force, we have force at our disposal not in order to dispossess the Arabs of the Negev, and transfer them, but in order to guarantee our own right to settle in those places.

The ethnic cleansing campaign of 1948 affected 90 percent of the Naqab’s population, who were forcibly displaced to Jordan, Gaza and the Sinai desert.

About 11,000 Bedouins remained in the desert, and between the years 1948-1965 were forced to live under an Israeli military regime. Internal displacement forced many of these Bedouins around the Bir al-SabaJaffa road to an area called Siyaj, on the border close to Hebron.

Under the occupation policy of confining the biggest number of Palestinians on the smallest percentage of land, Israel used a number of laws like the Land Ordinance Law, the Land Acquisition Law, and the Absentee Property Law to consolidate their land grabbing of the Naqab and legalizing the dispossession of the indigenous population. In 2004, the Expulsion of Invaders law was put into effect, demonizing Bedouins as trespassing attackers in their own land.

Between the years of 1993-2007, Israel increased demolitions of Bedouin homes, buildings, and other structures. On 11 September 2011, the Netanyahu government approved the Prawer plan, named after Ehud Prawer, the former deputy chair of national security. In that year alone, 1,000 houses were demolished and 2012 continued in the same vein.

In 1969 and throughout the 1970s, Israel planned seven townships to push the Bedouins in, as part of its grandiose scheme of settling one million Jews in the desert. The largest of these townships today is called Rahat, ranked two out of ten on the Israeli socio-economic ladder, and has 60,000 Palestinian Bedouins living there.

There are 46 Bedouin villages (which have existed since before 1948), with 35 of them unrecognized by the Israeli state. The remaining ten are supposedly recognized but they are not offered even the most basic of government services.


adonis49

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