News and opinions on situation in Iraq



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31 January 2005


EI co-founder Ali Abunimah and Norman Finkelstein, professor of Political Science at DePaul University in Chicago discuss and debate the latest developments in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. What is the significance of the election of Mahmoud Abbas and of Israel’s plan to “disengage” from Gaza? What are the latest developments on the ground in the occupied territories? Has the two-state solution failed and should we be seeking a single state as a way to fulfil the rights and aspirations of Israelis and Palestinians? The discussion, moderated by Martha Reese, was recorded at a forum held at Oak Park River Forest High School on 30 January 2005, an event organized by the Committee for a Just Peace in Israel and Palestine.


Israeli forces opened fire at an UNRWA elementary school in Rafah, killing an 11-year-old schoolgirl and wounding a second girl when the two were in the school yard. The school in the Brazil neighborhood in Rafah is located 600 meters away from the border. Nouran Eyad Deeb was seriously wounded by a live bullet in the head and 8-year-old ‘Aaesha ‘Essam al-Khatib was wounded by live ammunition in her right hand. The two girls were about to enter their classrooms. They were evacuated to Abu Yousef al-Najjar Hospital in Rafah. Nouran died a few minutes later. According to a schoolteacher, the area was completely quiet when Israeli forces opened fire. Children in the school were terrified.

Diaries FEAST OF THE TREE Toine van Teeffelen, Live from Palestine, 31 January 2005

It happens that Dutch books emit a political message that I do not wish to repeat to the kids. Many years ago a well-intentioned lady gave me a book about “Donald goes to Israel.” For her, Palestine was Israel, and she did not realize that Israel is not the name which Palestinians use for their country. But the book became one of Jara’s favorites after I changed the name of Israel into Palestine, the kibbutz into a Palestinian village, and Moshe into Musa. The book was about Donald and grandma Duck visiting the Israeli feast of trees [Tu Bishevat, in Hebrew]. The Ducks, of course, came to help the pioneers in planting trees so as to make the desert bloom. In fact, we do have a feast of the tree here too.

Human Rights NO EASY ROUTE FROM EGYPT TO PALESTINE Laila El-Haddad, Al Jazeera, 30 January 2005

Unlike areas of the West Bank, the soldiers in Gaza are unseen. They remain cocooned deep within lookout towers behind ever extending military fortifications, including sandbags, electric fences, pill boxes and tanks. One can barely make out a megaphone, a tip of a machine gun, and occasionally, when all else fails to catch the attention of the hundreds of cars awaiting orders to move forward or back away, a distant wave of a hand. “Living in Gaza has become somewhat like being trapped inside a snow globe, except there is no colourful confetti to cloud the stark reality of occupation.” Laila El-Haddad reports from Gaza.

Human Rights PA: ISRAEL PROVOKING PALESTINIANS Khalid Amayreh, Al Jazeera, 30 January 2005

The Palestinian Authority has accused Israel of seeking to frustrate Palestinian efforts to achieve a ceasefire ahead of the possible resumption of the Middle East peace process. Seeking to appease his Likud hardliners opposed to the planned withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, Israeli Prime Minister Sharon has apparently endorsed a new route for the wall that would take tens of thousands of acres of Palestinian land and convert a number of small Arab towns and villages in the Hebron region into virtual ghettos. The new route will reduce Palestinian towns such as Surif and Nahalin and several other surrounding villages into virtual detention camps. Khalid Amayreh reports.


This week, Israeli forces killed 20 Palestinians, 14 of whom were civilians, including 5 children and one woman. Two of the children were killed on the first day of Eid al-Adha. One of the victims was extra-judicially killed by Israeli forces. Israeli forces conducted a series of invasions into Palestinian areas. Israeli forces demolished three homes in Khan Yunis and razed at least 120 donums of agricultural land throughout the Gaza Strip. Israeli forces raided homes and arrested dozens of Palestinian civilians. Israeli forces destroyed a home and an apartment building in the context of retaliatory measures against Palestinian civilians. Israeli forces used two Palestinian civilians as human shields during military operations in the Gaza Strip.

EI in the Press CLARITY MEDIA GROUP PULLS AD OF PALESTINIAN GIRL Tom McGhee, The Denver Post, 29 January 2005

Denver financier Philip Anschutz’s Clarity Media Group has yanked an ad promoting its Washington, D.C., and San Francisco newspapers amid criticism the advertisement demonized Palestinian children. The advertisement in the Jan. 24 edition of the media trade publication MediaWeek showed a girl playing a violin on one side and a Palestinian girl carrying an assault rifle on the other. Superimposed over the two pictures were the words “PTA to PLO.” The Electronic Intifada asked its readers to contact Examiner vice president of advertising Mark Wurzer and San Francisco Examiner managing editor Jim Pimentel to request that they pull the ad.

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