Archive for Gandhi

Israel threatens new Gaza offensive

Posted in Everyday life in Gaza, Gaza, Hamas, IDF, Israeli occupation, Operation Cast Lead, Pictures, Siege with tags , , , , , , , , on 02/04/2010 by 3071km
Date published: 2nd April 2010

Source: Al Jazeera English

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Israel has warned that it could launch a fresh military assault on the Gaza Strip if Hamas does not stop rocket and mortar attacks from its territory.

The threat on Friday came just hours after a series of air raids across Gaza, which Israel said were in response to rocket fire the previous day, injured at least three Palestinian children.

The Israeli military has said that almost 20 rockets have been fired into Israel in the past month, including one that killed a Thai farm worker.

“If this rocket fire against Israel does not stop, it seems we will have to raise the level of our activity and step up our actions against Hamas,” Silvan Shalom, Israel’s deputy prime minister, told public radio on Friday.

“We won’t allow frightened children to again be raised in bomb shelters and so, in the end, it will force us to launch another military operation.

“I hope we can avoid it, but it is one of the options we have, and if we don’t have a choice, we will use it in the near future.”

in depth

About 1,400 Palestinians were killed when Israel launched its last offensive on the Gaza Strip in December 2008.

Ten Israeli soldiers and three civilians also died over the 22-day period of the assault.

“Twenty rockets in the space of one month might not sound a huge amount compared to the intensive rocket fire preceeding and during the Gaza war of just over a year ago,” Al Jazeera’s Jacky Rowland, reporting from Jerusalem, said.

“Nevertheless, in comparison to recent months it did mark an escalation.”

There was no claim of responsibility for Thursday’s lone rocket, which caused no casualties.

Gaza targets

The Israeli military said Friday’s air raids had targeted weapons manufacturing and storage facilities in the central Gaza Strip, in Gaza City in the north and the southern part of the Palestinian enclave, all in response to rockets fired from the territory.

“The IDF [Israeli military] will not tolerate any attempt to harm the citizens of the State of Israel and will continue to operate firmly against anyone who uses terror against it,” the Israeli army said in a statement.

“The IDF holds Hamas as solely responsible for maintaining peace and quiet in the Gaza Strip.”

But witnesses and Hamas officials said that Israeli missiles hit two caravans near the town of Khan Younis and a cheese factory, while helicopters attacked a metal foundry in the Nusseirat refugee camp.

The children injured in the air raids were hit by flying glass, Palestinian medics said.

Fawzi Barhoum, a Hamas spokesman, told Al Jazeera that Hamas held the Israeli government led by Binyamin Netanyahu responsible for the “escalation”, but said air raids had been expected because of threats by Ehud Barak, the defence minister, and other ministers.

He also blamed “the international community and the Arabs” for failing “to do anything about the situation in Gaza”.

“The absence of the international community and the Arabs has allowed the Israelis to escalate the situation,” he said.

There have been increasing tensions between Palestinians and Israeli security forces in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem in recent weeks.

On Tuesday, a Palestinian teenager was killed and several others wounded as Israeli troops fired on protesters near the border between Gaza and Israel and last weekend two Israeli soldiers and two Palestinian fighters died during clashes.

Clashes have also broken out in the West Bank and Jerusalem over Israeli settlement plans, the reconsecration of a synagogue in East Jerusalem and other issues.

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Activists plan March to break Gaza siege

Posted in Gaza, Gaza reconstruction, International community, Israeli occupation, Non-violent resistance, Palestine, Siege with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 01/07/2009 by 3071km

Written by Richard Hall

Date published: 1st july 2009

Source: Daily Star

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Activists plan March to break Gaza siege
July 1, 2009
Daily Star – Lebanon – Beirut, Lebanon
By Richard Hall
Daily Star staff
BEIRUT: A coalition of activists belonging to various Palestinian solidarity organizations are planning an international march in Gaza aimed at ending the blockade of the territory. The event will aim to bring thousands of demonstrators from around the world to march alongside Gazans as they breach the blockade imposed upon the population since the election of Hamas in 2006.

“This march draws inspiration from Mahatma Gandhi,” said a draft statement of purposes and principles written by the “Coalition to End the Illegal Siege of Gaza,” obtained by The Daily Star. “Those of us residing in the United States also draw inspiration from the civil rights movement,” it added.

The statement also outlines plans for the march, which will take place on January 1, 2010. “We will march the Long Mile across Erez checkpoint alongside the people of Gaza in nonviolent demonstration that breaches the illegal blockade,” it said, adding that “We conceive this march as the first step in a protracted nonviolent campaign … If we bring thousands to Gaza and millions more around the world watch the march on the internet, we can end the siege without a drop of blood being shed.”

Professor Norman Finkelstein, a political analyst and author of several books on the Israel-Palestine conflict, is one of the organizers of the march. “We want to send over several thousand people from around the world to march alongside several hundred thousand Gazans,” he told The Daily Star.

Finkelstein hopes that large numbers of international activists and world leaders will attend the march, and as a result, prohibit a violent response from Israeli authorities. “If the likes of Jimmy Carter, Noam Chomsky, Bishop Tutu and Nelson Mandela are at the head of the march; if behind them are students holding high signs of the schools from which they hail – Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Oxford, Cambridge; if behind them are the ill and the lame, the young and the innocent of Gaza; if behind them are hundreds of thousands of others, unarmed and unafraid, wanting only to enforce the law; if around the world hundreds of thousands are watching the internet to see what happens – Israel can’t shoot,” he said.

“The first formal organizational meeting of the coalition is set for July 13,” said Finkelstein. “We hope then to create an umbrella steering committee. Right now the working group consists of individuals who belong to organizations that have been active on the Israel-Palestine conflict such as CodePink.”

Members of the coalition are now contacting Palestinian solidarity groups around the world in preparation for the march.