Friday, October 31, 2008

Israel bars visit to father’s grave

by Jonathan Cook

Salwa Salam Qupty clutches a fading sepia photograph of a young Palestinian man wearing a traditional white headscarf. It is the sole memento that survives of her father, killed by a Jewish militia during the 1948 war that established Israel.

"He was killed 60 years ago as he was traveling to work," she said, struggling to hold back the tears. "My mother was four months pregnant with me at the time. This photograph is the closest I've ever got to him."

Six decades on from his death, she has never been allowed to visit his grave in Galilee and lay a wreath for the father she never met.

This month, after more than 10 years of requests to the Israeli authorities, she learnt that officials are unlikely ever to grant such a visit, even though Mrs. Qupty is an Israeli citizen and lives only a few miles from the cemetery....

Flood ordeal for Palestinians stuck on Iraq-Syria border

AL TANF, Iraq-Syria Border, October 30 (UNHCR)

The UN refugee agency has rushed assistance to hundreds of Palestinian refugees stuck in camps on the Iraq-Syria border after heavy rain and flooding caused chaos and misery.

Rainstorms on Tuesday night left tents inundated with water and sewage, possessions soaked and electricity supplies cut at Al Tanf, a settlement housing almost 800 people in the narrow no man's land between Iraq and Syria. The small mosque was damaged by fire, but there were no human casualties.....

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Oct. 29th in history: Massacres in Palestine

Today in history is another black day in the Palestinian history.

1. On October 29, 1948, when Israeli brigades captured the village of Safsaf. The known details of the massacre come to us via several contemporary second-hand Zionist reports and via Arab oral history. Yosef Nachmani, a senior officer in the Haganah (and later the director of the Jewish National Fund in Eastern Galilee), recorded in his diary what he was told by Immanuel Friedman, a representative of the Minority Affairs ministry:

In Safsaf, after … the inhabitants had raised a white flag, the [soldiers] collected and separated the men and women, tied the hands of fifty-sixty fellahin [peasants] and shot and killed them and buried them in a pit. Also, they raped several women…

Settler Violence Leads to the Arrest of Peace Activists

Here is one peace activists account of his encounter with violent settlers, check out the video footage:

At dawn the activists arrived. Around thirty Ta'ayush (Arab-Jewish Partnership) and international volunteers came to the Palestinian groves adjacent to the Jewish settlement in Tel-Rumeida, Hebron, to help the landowners pick their olives. Previous attempts by the Palestinian farmers -- who live behind fences and are subjected to daily violence -- to reach their olive trees had been blocked by the residents of Tel Rumeida, a stronghold of the most militant and extremist Jewish settlers. Even the Israeli police are afraid of these settlers while the military routinely bows down to their commands.

A few days earlier, the activists had been informed that the settlers had entered the groves and had stolen olives from their rightful owners. Complaints to the police were ignored, while the military decided to deny Palestinians all access to the trees.