Julie Webb-Pullman reports

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Gone

by Enas F Ghannam

She closes her eyes, holding his photo between her hands, his voice and laugh in her memory. She falls asleep hoping to dream of him alive coming to visit her with a gift in his hands, saying “I chose it for you.” Or preparing for their impending wedding with her. If he wanted something that she didn’t like he would change his mind, and say “I didn’t like it anyway.” He might have bought her something she had admired, without telling her. He might have done something he knows will irritate her just to tease her and see her angry. Or he might yell loudly at her to go and change her clothes into full Hejab, and after she nervously obeys he takes her to a beautiful place and says or does silly things until she finds herself laughing, forgetting that she was mad at him. She knows that this is his way of saying sorry as well as she knows that he screamed at her from jealousy. Read the rest of this page »

UN Rights Council appoints members of commission to investigate purported Gaza violations

Source: UN News Centre

On 19 July 2014 in the State of Palestine, passing the rubble of homes destroyed in an Israeli air strike, a girl uses a hand truck to transport jerrycans filled with water, in the town of Rafah in southern Gaza. Photo: UNICEF/NYHQ2014-0978/El Baba

On 19 July 2014 in the State of Palestine, passing the rubble of homes destroyed in an Israeli air strike, a girl uses a hand truck to transport jerrycans filled with water, in the town of Rafah in southern Gaza. Photo: UNICEF/NYHQ2014-0978/El Baba

The United Nations Human Rights Council announced today the appointment of three members to its independent Commission of Inquiry to investigate purported violations of international humanitarian and human rights laws in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and particularly in the Gaza Strip since the conflict began on 13 June.

In a statement released this afternoon, the Council’s President, Ambassador Baudelaire Ndong Ella (Gabon), announced that the human rights body appointed Amal Alamuddin (United Kingdom), Doudou Diène (Senegal) and William Schabas (Canada) to serve as members on the international Commission. Mr. Schabas will also serve as the Commission’s Chair.

The Commission aims to establish the facts and circumstances of violations and crimes perpetrated and to identify those responsible. It will also make recommendations, in particular on accountability measures, all with a view to avoiding and ending impunity and ensuring that those responsible are held accountable, and on ways to protect civilians against any further assaults. Read the rest of this page »

Time to ‘Do Business’ With Hamas

by Alaa Tartir, Program Director, Al-Shabaka:The Palestinian Policy Network
Source: Huffington Post

Destroyed houses in Rafah

Destroyed houses in Rafah

Sadly, once again, the post-war recovery experts, their international consultancy firms, an international aid industry, and the donor community are ramping up for another Gaza reconstruction exercise. Another war, and another salvage effort for the besieged coastal strip. An international donors’ conference, a carbon copy of the 2009 Sharm El-Sheikh donor conference, is due to take place in Norway this September. There seems little doubt that conference participants will pledge another $5 billion (which may or may not be paid), in an effort that seems destined only to cover up the failure of the international community to stop the destruction before it started.

The donor conference does present an opportunity, however, to forge a new paradigm of aid politics. As a first step, Hamas must be invited to attend this round. Exclusion would only lead to repeated mistakes. It is time to re-evaluate the decision to exclude the party. Read the rest of this page »

Euro-Mid Documents Israel’s Use of Human Shields in Gaza

Press Release
Euro-Mid Observer for Human Rights
Geneva 10th Aug, 2014

Kuza'a (400 x 300)

The Israeli military uses Palestinian civilians as human shields, a new report from the Euro-Mid Observer for Human Rights soon will reveal. An investigative team from the non-governmental organization, based in both Geneva and the Gaza Strip, has obtained first-person testimony from several families in various locations describing their capture and use as “shields” for Israeli soldiers for hours at a time. Read the rest of this page »

Another 72-hour ceasefire in Gaza to commence at midnight

Palestinian resistance and Israeli delegations in Cairo have agreed to a new 72-hour ceasefire in Gaza, slated to begin at midnight.

An official announcement for the timing of the start of the ceasefire is expected soon.

The ceasefire will provide an opportunity for further discussion, including with the Arab League, who will convene in Cairo on Monday to discuss the situation in Gaza.

A Severely Dashed Hope

A Severely Dashed Hope.

by Saleh Orouq

saleh (400 x 399)

After I was chosen for a week summer school in New York from among more than 15,000 applicants -yes, more than 15,000 applicants-, I got jubilant to the extent that I couldn’t study for my final exams. I got so happy that I unvoluntarily kissed my brother before even telling him that I was chosen; I rushed and kissed my parents and my little brother as well. I promised my little brother to buy him the best gift I could get from the U.S.

My friends, my true ones, were so happy that I got such an opportunity of lifetime. I planned to have sheets on which my friends’ names to be written and to picture these sheets in front of the Statue of Freedom- I don’t know why I just smiled mockingly while typing “Freedom”. Read the rest of this page »

Taher: Disarming the resistance is a pipe dream of the occupier

Press Release
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine
August 06, 2014

Maher Taher

Maher Taher

“Disarming the resistance is out of the question, and all factions hold tight to their weapons as long as their is occupation anywhere on the land of Palestine,” said Comrade Dr. Maher al-Taher, a member of the political bureau of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

“There are various media reports that Israel will not accept the reconstruction of Gaza except after the removal of the weapons of the resistance, and it is demanding to supervise everything that enters the Strip. We have affirmed very clearly that the idea of disarming the resistance is a pipe dream and an illusion that is unacceptable to all. It is unacceptable to even discuss this issue in principle or see it as a debatable question. It is our inalienable right to resist this occupation,” said Taher. Read the rest of this page »

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