Palestine

Al-Jazeera shut down in West Bank

By Jessica Elgot, July 17, 2009

The West Bank offices of the TV channel, Al-Jazeera, have been shut down by the Palestinian Authority because, it has been claimed, the station portrays the Palestinian leadership in a negative light.

Al-Jazeera, which has offices in Ramallah, said it had been “stunned” by the allegations, which it fiercely contested.

The shut-down appears to be a direct result of what the majority PA party, Fatah, calls “false news” which it said the channel broadcast on Tuesday night.

More..

Israelis deny Palestinians are a nation - but will give them a state

By Nathan Jeffay, July 16, 2009

Almost a third of Jewish Israelis claim that there is no such thing as a Palestinian people, according to a new opinion survey.

The figure is “very surprising”, said Ephraim Yaar, co-director of the research, which was carried out under the auspices of Tel Aviv University.

There has not been any polling on this subject until now and it was widely presumed that denial of Palestinian peoplehood, once standard among Israelis, had become a fringe position.

More..

Anger over West Bank football advert

By Jessica Elgot, July 13, 2009

An advert for an Israeli mobile phone company which shows soldiers playing football across the West Bank barrier has been slammed by Palestinian leaders.

The advert for Cellcom shows a ball falling on an Israeli army jeep from behind the controversial barrier in the West Bank but a match between the Israelis and unseen Palestinians ensues, including a call for reinforcements and ending with the slogan "After all, what are we all after? Just a little fun".

More..

Israeli navy seizes pro-Palestine boat

By Jessica Elgot, June 30, 2009

A boat carrying pro-Palestinian activists, who were attempting to break the blockade of Gaza has been seized by the Israeli navy who have forced it to sail to the southern port city of Ashdod, the army said.

The boat is said to include at least six activists from the UK.

The navy surrounded the vessel, which was said to be carrying humanitarian supplies to Gaza, and demanded the protesters turn back because of the security risks in breaking the blockade.

More..

Palestinian support for Hamas sliding, poll shows

By Jessica Elgot and Reuters, June 29, 2009

Support for Hamas has dropped by almost ten per cent, an opinion poll has shown.

The survey of 1,199 people, by the Jerusalem Media and Communications Centre (JMCC), put public support for Hamas in the West Bank and Gaza Strip at 18.8 per cent, compared with 27.7 per cent in its previous poll in January.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah faction is now more popular than Hamas with a 34.9 per cent rating, up from 26 percent in January, indicating the group could take the next election in Gaza.

More..

Gazans are trapped ‘in despair’- Red Cross

By Jessica Elgot, June 29, 2009

The Red Cross has released a report today on the effects of the two-year Israeli blockade of the Gaza strip, which it says has trapped 1.5 million Gaza residents ‘in despair.’

The humanitarian organisation said the blockade, which has been in place since Hamas took control of Gaza two years ago, was ‘strangling’ the local economy and that local people were unable to rebuild their homes and their lives six months after the Israeli offensive in Gaza.

More..

IDF in 'astonishing' co-operation with PA

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 11, 2009

While the diplomatic process between Israel and the Palestinians is at a standstill, the security ties between the IDF and the armed forces of the Palestinian Authority have never been closer.

The steep decline in organised terror attacks originating in the West Bank over the past four years has been attributed mainly to more forceful operations by the IDF and successful penetration into the Palestinian organisations by the General Security Service. The IDF now admits it has another partner.

More..

Bibi bows to US as settlers removed

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 27, 2009

London became the venue this week for discussions between the Israeli and American leaderships over a new co-ordinated policy towards Iran and the Palestinians.

A team headed by Intelligence Services Minister Dan Meridor has been meeting a White House team to discuss President Barack Obama’s plans to talk to Iran about its nuclear programme.

The Israelis hope to receive a definite time limit to American talks.

More..

Pro-Palestine threat to picket film festival

By Keren David, May 14, 2009

Pro-Palestinian campaigners have threatened to picket the Edinburgh International Film Festival in June unless it hands back sponsorship money from Israeli sources.

A letter from the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign accuses the festival directors of accepting money from the Israeli Embassy “while people in Gaza are still living in the rubble of their homes, and Gaza victims of Israel’s white phosphorous attacks are still in critical care.”

It calls on supporters to lobby the festival directors to refuse “Israel’s tainted money”.

More..

Tesco denies labels shift but ‘will meet’ Palestine group

By Paul Gallagher, May 14, 2009

Tesco executives have agreed to meet members of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign to discuss labelling on produce from West Bank settlements, despite insisting that there will be no change in their policy.

The long-challenged voluntary labelling guidelines, whereby supermarkets are encouraged by the government to state explicitly on packaging whether the produce comes from Jewish settlements or not, may be in place by the end of the month.

More..