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Monday, September 28, 2009

Al-Aqsa Mosque Raid Left Palestinian Worshippers Wounded

From Al Jazeera

Arab officials condemn Aqsa raid

Israeli forces fired rubber bullets and stun grenades, wounding many Palestinian worshippers [AFP]

Jordanian and Palestinian officials have condemned the Israeli security forces for storming Jerusalem's al-Aqsa mosque on Sunday during clashes that left many Palestinian worshippers wounded.

Deploring the Israeli action, the officials said it amounted to a "violation of the mosque's sanctity".

Trouble had broken out after a group of about 150 Israelis turned up and entered the mosque compound, reportedly under the guard of local authorities, on the occasion of Yom Kippur, the Jewish holy day.

Speaking to the JNA state news agency on Monday, Nabil al-Sharif, the Jordanian media affairs minister, said Amman viewed the Israeli action as a "provocative act".

"Both international law and relevant conventions and resolutions call for protection of places of worship against any violations", he said.

"We decry the repeated storming of the mosque by extremist Jewish groups and Israeli forces as a provocation that would exacerbate tension and ignite further violence that threatens regional security and stability."

Jordan's foreign ministry summoned the Israeli charge d'affaires in Amman to denounce the raid, saying that it came at "a time of concerted international efforts for resumption of peace talks" to find a solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Palestinian condemnation

Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, said the Israeli security forces' action was a deliberate provocation in support of unwelcome settler hardliners who opposed an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Noting that riots during Yom Kippur were becoming an annual event, Erekat compared Sunday's scuffles to the violence that followed the trip to the site in the year 2000 by the ex-Israeli PM Ariel Sharon.

"We've seen this before, and we know what the consequences are," Erekat said in a statement. "

"Providing a police escort for settlers who are against peace at all costs, and whose presence is deliberately designed to provoke a reaction, are not the actions of someone who is committed to peace, but of someone who will go to extraordinary lengths to scuttle all hopes of peace," Erekat said.

Raid details

Sunday's clashes between Israeli settlers and Palestinian worshippers saw the Israeli forces intervening and firing rubber bullets and stun grenades.

The Al-Aqsa Foundation had warned a few days earlier that Israeli authorities were planning to permit settlers entrance to the area. Officials in East Jerusalem predicted that the break-in would occur on Sunday under the pretext of marking Yom Kippur.

Jews refer to sections of the mosque complex as historically part of their Temple Mount.

Many Palestinians sustained serious eye and head injuries. Nine Palestinians were also detained following the scuffles, Israeli sources said.

Clashes also erupted near Majlis Gate, one of the main entrances to the mosque, after police prevented worshippers from entering the area, according to witnesses. More clashes followed noon prayers near the Lions' Gate entrance to Al-Aqsa.

Last year, a similar incident on the Yom Kippur holiday resulted in damage to dozens of cars and shops.

Israel captured the Old City of Jerusalem during the 1967 Six-Day War and later annexed it along with the rest of mostly Arab East Jerusalem in a move not recognised by the international community.


Here is an excerpt from a statement made by American Muslims for Palestine condemning the attacks:


(PALOS HILLS, IL 09/28/2009) – On Sunday, the eve of the Jewish holiday of atonement and repentance, a group of Israeli settlers – people living illegally on Palestinian land – stormed the al Aqsa mosque compound under the protection of Israeli police.

At least 40 worshippers were injured when Israeli police fired high-velocity tear gas canisters and used their batons against the crowd, which protested the settlers' attack.

The American Muslims for Palestine strongly condemns the attacks by settlers and police in what has become a nearly annual occurrence at Yom Kippur.

“The attack on worshipers at al Aqsa is entirely unacceptable. It is just another tactic employed by Zionists and religious zealots intent on ethnically cleansing Jerusalem of its Palestinian population," said Dr. Hatem Bazian, AMP chairman and professor of Near East and Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

First Event of the Semester!! - Faces of Occupation

Radical Rush Week: Faces of Occupation

Looking at the Human Impact of the Conflicts in Israel/Palestine, Afghanistan, and Iraq


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

7:00pm - 9:00pm

Jimenez 0105


How many Palestinian civilians were killed in the recent Israeli offensive, Operation Cast Lead, against Gaza in January?

How many Iraqi civilians have been killed since the Iraq War started in 2003?

What types of roles, if any, does civilian suffering and humanitarian suffering play in these types of conflicts?

Is this imperialism? Is this colonialism?

Come out for an event with Students for Justice in Palestine and Students for a Democratic Society that will look at how civilian populations, especially women and children, suffer the greatest from these brutal conflicts. Ongoing offensives in countries like Israel, Palestine, Afghanistan, and Iraq will be presented and discussed as a group.

It's going to be an interesting presentation and discussion!!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

It's Official.

From BBc

Israel 'understated' Gaza deaths

Israeli air strike in Rafah, Gaza, on 13 January 2009
A new report says more civilians were killed in Gaza than Israel admits

An Israeli human rights group says many more Palestinian civilians were killed in the Israeli military's campaign in Gaza than the army admits.

B'Tselem said detailed research with careful cross-checking showed 1,387 Palestinians died, over half of them civilians and 252 of them children.

This contradicts an Israeli army report stating fewer than 300 civilians died in fighting in December and January.

Israel launched the assault to halt rocket attacks from Hamas-run Gaza.

The overall B'Tselem total broadly tallies with the official Palestinian death toll and the findings of other non-governmental organisations, although the proportion of civilians it identifies is lower.

Graphs showing Gaza casualties

The group says the extent of civilian deaths does not prove, in itself, that Israel violated the laws of war.

However, it says it raises grave concerns about the military's behaviour when taken in the context of "numerous testimonies" from troops and Palestinians.

Amnesty International has already accused Israel of committing war crimes during its offensive.

The Israeli army has admitted "rare mishaps" during the campaign but denies troops violated international humanitarian law.

'Serious introspection'

B'Tselem said the findings had been compiled during months of research, including visits to the families of those killed.

It said it was unable to compare its figures with the official Israeli ones because the military refused to provide its list of fatalities.

The group said the results should compel the Israeli government to launch an independent investigation into its three-week offensive.

The complexity of combat in a densely populated area against armed groups that use illegal means and find refuge within the civilian population... cannot legitimise such extensive harm to civilians by a state committed to the rule of law
B'Tselem statement

Earlier this year the Israeli army said that 1,166 Gazans were killed in the conflict, a quarter of whom were civilians.

Its figures indicated that the toll included 709 militants from Hamas and other groups, and 295 non-combatants.

According to B'Tselem, 1,387 Palestinians were killed by the Israeli military, including 773 civilians, 330 combatants and 248 civilian police - whom Israeli officials classify as militants.

B'Tselem has counted 252 children under the age of 16 who were killed - the military puts that figure at 89 - and 109 women over 18.

"The extremely heavy civilian casualties and the massive damage to civilian property require serious introspection on the part of Israeli society," B'Tselem said, adding that it considered the army's internal probe insufficient.

The group acknowledged the challenges of combat in the densely crowded Gaza Strip, and criticised the "illegal and immoral actions" by Palestinian militants accused of hiding among the civilian population.

But this "cannot legitimise such extensive harm to civilians by a state committed to the rule of law", B'Tselem added.

The Israeli military had no immediate comment on the report, but has previously rejected such criticism.

It has said the aim of the campaign "was target the Hamas terror organisation and not citizens of the Gaza Strip".

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Uri Gordan speaking at St. Stephen's Church in Washington DC

Hey Everyone,

Here is a heads up about an event that seems pretty interesting!


Timezone: America/New York

Uri Gordon speaking about Anarchists against the Wall, and the joint struggle in Israel/Palestine
Come hear Israeli anarchist Uri Gordon talk about Anarchist Against the Wall and the practice of anarchist organizing in Israel.

Plus, his new book Anarchy Alive! will be available for %20 off the cover price!

Tuesday, September 8
@7 pmSt.
Stephen's Church1525 Newton NW
Washington, DC

Free admission (donations appreciated to cover tour costs)

From IAS