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Newsletter38 complete 4web


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Newsletter38 complete 4web

  1. 1. In late August, the Israeli army stormed through the Al- Aqsa Foundation in Umm al- historic documents stored there Mayorofthetown,SheikhRaed Salah. Thousands of historic documents which preserve the heritage of the Islamic and Christian sanctuaries in Jerusalem were removed, and valuable historically, culturally and academically. The actions of Israel have been condemned internationally, and the Palestinians are calling for intervention and pressure to be brought on Israel to return all of the documents. Friends of Al-Aqsa has called on the government to intervene and ensure the documents are returned to their rightful owners. Many fear that this is another attempt by Israel to erase the historic rights of all non-Jews to Jerusalem. Reports have also emerged that Israeli Raabis have called for the murder of prominent Palestinian leader Shaykh Raed Salah and for attacks against the Al-Aqsa mosque. Shaykh Raed is a well-known and popular Palestinian peace activist and has been arrested by Israel previously for his activism. Setting Gaza Free Israel makes journalists a legitimate target British diplomats attacked by violent Israeli settler Aqsa Palestinian gives birth to quadruplets Peace Activists Sail to Gaza’s Shore Condemnation as Israel Closes Al-Aqsa Foundation The plight of the 1.5 million people in Gaza has been in the forefront of people’s minds throughout the world. As the blockade tightened, and the humanitarian situation turned catastrophic, a group of peace activists decided to take action and break the siege themselves and help bring relief to the suffering people. Months of planning culminated in August with the sailing of two boats from Greece to Gaza, with 46 international activists from 14 countries around the world on board. With them, they carried vital medicines and supplies which the people of Gaza have been denied for many months. These included hearing aids for the hundreds of children in Gaza whose hearing has been impaired by Israel’s loud bombs, explosions and sonic booms. The SS Free Gaza and the SS Liberty were by no means luxurious liners, but rather, there was doubt about their seaworthiness from many quarters. However, these 46 heroes and heroines braved the tides and made the perilous journey on a rough sea, even with the threat of Israeli guns targeting them. Those on board included journalist and presenterYvonne Ridley, who alluded to many threats made against the peace activists and their family’s during the planning of this voyage and while it was under way. Israel initially responded by stating that the boats would not be allowed to reach Gaza. This position later changed following intense international media interest in the voyage. mission was humanitarian and did not intervene as the boats approached Gaza. Thousands of Palestinians meet the peace activists, and boats were in the waters to escort them in. The peace activistsdescribedtheir mission as perilous but absolutely necessary. While in Gaza, they their territorial waters safely. All too often, the lives of these Israeli gun-boats. Most of the peace activists left Gaza on August 28th, having achieved their mission of bringing the world’s attention to the humanitarian situation there. However, Israel has closed all of Gaza’s borders ‘until further notice,’
  2. 2. I N B R I E F 2 Israel makes journalists legitimate targets Palestinian woman gives quadruplets Jeff Halper Arrested Extra-judicial Israel constructing 2600 in the area. Israeli petition against attacking Iran website Shana by an Israeli tank crew journalist crew. The Palestinian Centre for part of the ‘chronic failure The failure of Israel to international prosecution of the alists no area. a tour of the city of Hebron. the area. the Palestinian town of Hebron police. the situation in Hebron for This project has been Palestinian prisoner at close City in July. The healthy birth care for ill babies.
  3. 3. I N B R I E F 3 Siege of Gaza continues despite truce Friends of Al-Aqsa Sponsored Walk 2008 Award winning Palestinian journalist tortured by Israeli soldiers Paul McCartney to Perform in Israel the Palestinian people. Israeli troops continue incursions in West Bank incursions into West Bank towns to cause fear in the local population. Palestinians fear attack on Al-Aqsa Mosque Campaigns to Boycott Israeli Dates in Ramadan treat patients with acute illnesses for nearly 2 years. but there has been little action success. 100 people took part sponsorship. Look out for to take place in May 2009. The Martha Gellhorn Prize is to a journalist whose work be a father. the National Court of Spain the warrants so that these
  4. 4. 4 Truth and consequences under the Israeli occupation BOOK REVIEW Mohammed Omer 5 August 2008 I am a Palestinian journalist from Gaza. At the age of 17, I armed myself with a camera and a pen, committed to report accurately on events in Gaza. I have interviewed mothers as they watched their children die in hospitals unequipped recognized for my reporting, even in the United States and United Kingdom, where I have won two international awards. This summer, at age 24, I was honored to learn that journalist to receive the Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism, named for the famed American war reporter and awarded to journalists who counter propaganda with the truth. Although Israel has sealed Gaza’s 1.5 million Palestinians in what many now call the world’s largest open-air prison, Dutch MP Hans Van Baalen to let me leave Gaza to receive my award in person. Upon my return from London, I was hours.AtonepointIfaintedand pinching me, laughing all the my feet, sweeping my head through my own vomit. I lost consciousness. I was told later that they transferred me to a hospital only when they thought I might die. and scratches on my chest and doctor informed me that due to nerve damage from one children and will need to have an operation. are not new; nor are they rare. In April, Reuters cameraman press. According to Amnesty International, “Fadel Shana Reporters Without Borders has condemned the Israeli to Protect Journalists reports that journalists covering Israeli military actions in the West alone, Israeli soldiers shot photographers from Agence France-Presse, Al-Ayyam newspaper and Al-Aqsa TV. The television cameraman, Imad Ghanem, fell to the ground when wounded. Israeli forces then shot him twice more in the legs. Both of his our cameras and computers, which give the world access to images and information of Palestinians? Indeed, this an Israeli soldier shooting outlets. Although Palestinians face this violence daily, the images and our stories rarely Israel seems intent on hiding its oppression of Palestinians under its rule -- including its dual system of laws, one giving civil, political and social rights to Israelis, and the other denying those rights to Palestinians living under occupation. This system allows to enjoy freedom of movement and access to healthcare and education, while Palestinian have run out of medicine. to light atrocities committed in World War II and in the Vietnam War. In her tradition, I remain committed to accurate reporting from Gaza today. For this I may suffer lifelong consequences. But I hold on to the hope that Americans -- as well as journalists worldwide -- will impress upon Israel the need to respect the rights of reporters. Freedom of speech of any democracy. I am proud to call myself a Palestinian and a journalist. The might of the Israeli military will not silence lens. Mohammed Omer is an award- winning photographer and journalist based in Rafah Refugee Camp in the southern Gaza Strip. . Making Israel By Benny Morris (ed) 2007, University of Michigan Press, ISBN 978 0 472 03216 7, pp 384, £17.50. Benny Morris is a history and historiography of Palestine and Israel. One of the had challenged the propagandist tendencies of much Israeli history and helped to reveal the Morris’ later career, however, challenger to hard-line Zionist schools of scholarship, does not necessarily correlate with a concern for modern-day Palesti- nian rights or experiences, or rejection of the theory and Palestinians from the current a neat (though not necessarily complete) potted history of the movement, such as it was, and out, an interesting account of this phase in Israeli historiography. Morrishighlightsthe‘outsider’ Historians, such as Tom Segev or Avi Shlaim – as journalists rather than conventional academics, or as scholars who had studied overseas and had the opportunity to acquire new perspectives. He is also realistic that they did play an important narratives and challenging some of the founding myths of Israeli that they had a particularly major role in political shifts towards contact with the PLO leadership and the genesis of the Oslo peace accords. These, he insists, political, economic and security Morris also contextualises some of the developments in Historians were a part. Rather they were in part responding to which allowed them access to which provided documentary evidence of expulsions and of the commanders of the Israeli troops who carried them out. As such, he to an extent defends the Old Historians’ tradition, censored academic and political atmosphere. While Morris may of the opening of Israeli archives, some of the Palestinian writers chapter, including famous names and Edward Said, point out that to question and explore history and identity is often easier to do Israeli writers, particularly those As with some manifestations of the Israeli peace movement and its US and European sympathisers, most of the are concerned with cleaning up the inside of Jewish Israel’s own house, not with restoring justice to Palestinians, whether citizens of Israel, living under Occupation or in the diaspora. Mordechai Bar-On’s attempt to illustrate how dominant developed in Israeli society, accounts to his own experiences with the political or ethical implications of admitting that Palestinian villagers were forced or of conceding that the ‘David vs Goliath’ story of the tiny, valiant Jewish resistance might enlist historiography in the cause of peace is morally praiseworthy, State of Israel was, he asserts, the act of a people “regaining its and views of history in Israeli an education in the wider events such as the account in Morris’ hand account of military service soldier turned peace activist). Palestinian position, some of the language used and assumptions Reviewed by Sarah Irving, Freelance writer and researcher. .
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  6. 6. 6 Message from Friends of Al-Aqsa Bo CCCooooo lloooo uuu rr iiiii nnnggggggggg Palestine BookBookBookBook Palestine h Word-searches Colouring Crosswordsr Spot the differenference he diffdiffer And much more… AAAAAccccccccccttttt iiivvviiii tttttttttty We wish all the readers of Aqsa News a blessed Ramadan. In this month of we ask you all to take a moment to imagine life in Palestine. Gaza is a prison and everyday life is full of hardships and misery. Palestinians living there are being nothing to look forward to and no end in sight to the misery. Palestinians need two things from the to get through to them in Gaza and the and every one of us. Governments around the world have failed to bring Palestinians Friends of Al-Aqsa works hard to bring media and work in solidarity with other Palestinians from oppression. Until to live freely and build their lives up independently. Help them to do this by supporting solidarity groups like Friends of Al-Aqsa to spread knowledge and What does Friends of Al-Aqsa do? Friends ofAl-Aqsa is a non-government defend the human rights of Palestinians. We do this by highlighting the abuses and oppression. As more and more information about far, Israel has barely been rebuked over its end. pressured into doing so. Many movements, mounting this pressure. the pressure on Israel. on our web-site a few thousand were able to return to their Palestinian refugees living in refugee for a prosperous future without the right to return to their homes and live in what is now Israel shoulder the harsh burden of Israel; they are denied employment and denigration, they are still required to pay Palestinian land through its settlements wall has also led to the isolation of East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank Palestinians in East Jerusalem, the Holy Al-Aqsa. Membership Form on page 5. Leicester Radio Ramadan Friends of Al-Aqsa Pledge Day Sunday 14 September 2008 Collection point: 200 Melbourne Road, Leicester Tune in to 87.7FM and support us!!
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  8. 8. 8 Library Images of Olive trees planted in 2007. Thank you for the Olive TreesDuring the Friends of Al- Aqsa Pledge Day in Ramadan 2007, many of you donated towards the campaign to raise funds for Olive trees in Palestine. Your kind donations amounted to thousands of pounds. These funds were sent to Palestinian organisations in Tulkarem, Nablus and Jenin. The funds were used to plant olive trees and adopt pre- existing olive tree orchards. Palestinians have grown and harvestedolivesforgenerations, and your donations will bring much needed income to the people of these areas for many years to come. The need to plant new olive trees and protect existing ones in order to give Palestinian farmerssomehopeforthefuture remains pressing. The Israeli army has been responsible for uprooting thousands of olive and fruit trees in the Occupied Territories, and has used this as a tactic to force Palestinian farmers to leave their land. Friends of Al-Aqsa asks all supporters to Please continue to donate towards the planting of olive trees to help Palestinians regain sustainable futures. . . f Advert
  9. 9. 9 The passing of Mahmoud Darwish Yvonne Ridley was one of the 46 Peace Activists who participated in the Free Gaza Campaign. She reported the events which unfolded in a daily column. There were times when it was clear that Yvonne and her fellow activists did not think they wouldeverreachGaza.Below their mission. Setting Gaza FreeBy Yvonne Ridley I still cannot believe I am writingtoyoufromGaza.Since the Free Gaza Movement sailed its two boats into Palestinian waters the celebrations have not stopped and our groups have been very busy. Today I joined some women whose husbands, fathers and brothers are Israeli-held detainees; in a protest rally as a sign of solidarity in the hope that the Zionist State might show a little bit of humanity and release these political prisoners. And yes, many, if not all of them are political prisoners. This was reinforced today at the Gazan legislative council where we were told how 40 democratically elected MPs from Gaza are being held in Israeli jails having been kidnapped by the Zionist State for nothing more than being chosen to represent their people. It is unbelievable, No wonder the Israelis like to shut out Western journalists from Gaza, they really do not want the world to know what is happening here. While I was doing this some 20 of the other international peace activists were up at 4am Gaza, with six Palestinian 8-miles off the coast of Gaza as I write. I hear that they are being circled by three Israeli Dabur naval vessels. No shots boats are continuing to exercise turned round. The Oslo Accords allow Palestinian Gazans a 20-mile limit off the coast of the Gaza Strip. Currently the Navy is enforcing a 6 mile limit, so the Free Gaza Movement has broken that naval blockade, too. And tomorrow we all intend to go to the Rafah crossing to demand the Egyptians open the border so we can get sick Palestinians out to receive urgent medical aid and make sure humanitarian aid can get in from the other side. Egypt - you have been put on notice - we are a determined group of peace activists who will stop at nothing ... especially brutal man-made barriers, blockades, walls and borders. It is about time you and the rest of the Arab world started to show some solidarity with your Palestinian brothers and sisters. Do you really need to take lessons from a bunch of westerners in solidarity? Mr Hosni Mubarak - time to rip down the borders. You have been warned! Celebrated Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish passed away on Saturday 9 August 2008 after 67 years of a life jumping from one peak to another, rising higher every time, transcending his own successes. Mahmoud Darwish was considered to be the most important contemporary Arab poet. He was born in 1942 in the village of Barweh in the Galilee, which was razed to the ground by Israelis in 1948. As a result of his political activism he faced house arrest and imprisonment. Darwish was the editor of Ittihad Newspaper before leaving in 1971 to study for a year in the USSR. He then travelled to Egypt where he worked in Cairo for Al-Ahram Newspaper and in Beirut, Lebanon as an editor of the Journal “Palestinian Issues”. He was also the director of the Palestinian Research Center. Darwish was a member of the Executive Committee of the PLO and lived in exile between Beirut and Paris until his return in 1996 to Palestine. His poems are known throughout the Arab world, and several of them wereputtomusic.Hepublished 30 poetry and prose collections, which were translated into 35 languages. In 2001, Muhamoud Darwish won the Lannan Prize for Cultural Freedom. The prize recognizes people whose extraordinary and courageous work celebrates the human righttofreedomofimagination, inquiry, and expression. As cultural freedom is the right of individuals and communities to diverse ways of life currently threatened by globalization.
  10. 10. NNOOI OI OT ITI TIT ITE TEPPMMMOOC OC O MMMMOOC O MC O M P IITTIITTEE OE T I T I O NNNN En chhance to win a £20 Argos voucher and a Friends of Al-Aqsa goody bag!!! There will be one winner per competition. 13 years old or under??? following words in this word search and send us your entries! 14-18 years old??? Can you rearrange these letters to make words from the story of Musa (as) above? ilhcdren eaiisr Deadline for both competitions: 31st October 2008 Send your answers with your name, age and address to: Friends of Al-Aqsa, PO Box 5127, Leicester, LE2 0WU. Or email us on Winners of the last competition: Ammaarah Usmani, age 9 from Birmingham. Khushbana Jan, age 14 from Bradford. aaphroh iramucllyous esa fatfs rrhuied taph didmle ootrps Order your free copies of these posters from Friends of Al- Aqsa today. These handy posters can be displayed anywhere includ- ing at home or in the office. The Shrinking Map tells the story of Palestine; the Wall poster shows how Palestin- ians are being caged in; and the Boycott poster is a great reminder of which companies to boycott. To order your copies, email us at with your details and specify how many posters you require. Fun & Games 10 Is Hunger For People In Gaza And West Bank The Children Of Palestine Will Have Little Food This Ramadan There
  11. 11. The story of Ahmed Hisham Abu Shawish. August 2008 ‘I have been sick for more than a year now. Five months University here in Gaza city, northern Gaza city. suffers from serious hematuria, from their home. uncertainty. The ongoing siege of the to see restrictions on Gazans, Gaza patients continue painful wait for urgent medical treatment get there before the stock ran been scouring every corner of he insists. “Those men are income. After more than a month into of gas every two weeks, but the case with most car owners crisis in Gaza. in Gaza, which is sensitive to but to break it. Digging tunnels between Gaza and Egypt is the only option for Gazans starved of medicine, fuel and basic supplies 11
  12. 12. The number of medical patients who have died of treatable illnesses in the Gaza Strip since the siege began rose to 239 on 21 August 2008. The Gaza Health Ministry called on Egypt to defy Israel and open up the border crossing at Rafah so that patients who cannot be treated in Gaza can safely pass without relying on Israeli issued permits. Israel issues permits on an ad hoc basis and many desperate patients have been denied the right of passage. There are at least 10 patients in ICU’s in Gaza waiting to be transferred to hospitals where they can be treated. The situation is also exacerbated by the refusal of the Ramallah based Palestinian Authority to issue new PA passports to Palestinians in Gaza who cannot travel internationally without them. Israeli human rights groups have also revealed that they have received reports from some patients stating that Israeli soldiers have been exerting pressure on them to become collaborators in return for passage abroad for medical treatment. This has been condemned. Earlier on this year, Palestinians held protests in to symbolise the number of patients who have died due to lack of medical treatment in Gaza. These Palestinians continue to call on the international community to bring an end to the suffering of medical patients in the besieged strip. Gaza Health Ministry appeals for Rafah Border opening The Swiss Bank Sarasin has heeded the calls of local activists to divest from Veolia Environnement, a company involved in the building of a tramway running through occupied East Jerusalem. The tramway is intended to make movement in East Jerusalem easier for the hundreds of thousands of illegal Israeli settlers living in the settlement belt built around the Palestinian side of the city. Bank Sarasin has entered into talks with Veolia about the Jerusalem contract and it is expected that they will either convinceVeolia to withdraw from it, or sell their shares in the company. Building of the tramway is illegal under international law, and is another step being taken by Israel to consolidate its control over East Jerusalem. The tram line cuts through Palestinian neighbourhoods already cut off from the rest of theWestBankbytheseparation wall. Swiss Bank heeds divestment calls