This film, produced by the Union of Agricultural Work Committees in Palestine, explores through interviews, film of fishers working, and commentary, the experience of Gaza’s fishers under siege, confronted by Israeli warships, sharp restrictions on their areas for fishing, and the political, military and economic siege on Gaza. Participants in the film include Vittorio Arrigoni, the martyred international solidarity activist murdered in Gaza in April 2011.
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Hundreds of Palestinians whose families were displaced from their villages in 1948 when Israel was created, have taken part in a rally to demand the right to return to their properties. The people of Iqrat and Kafr Bara’m villages were joined by Arab members of the Knesset and representatives of the different Arab political parties at the rally in Haifa on Saturday.
The protesters hope to force the implementation of an Israeli Supreme Court decision of 1952 to allow them to return to their villages. The Israeli government has refused consistently to allow this, citing “security reasons”. The families have been refugees in their own country since 1948.
Dr. Ibrahim Atallah, the head of the committee of Iqrat villages, said that the objectives of the demonstration are “to get justice for Iqrat and Kafr Bara’m, and to let everyone with ears hear our cry”.
The village of Iqrat is located to the north-east of the city of Acre. Armed Zionist groups displaced its people and demolished the village 31 October 1948 as part of the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians from their land which took place before and after the founding of the state of Israel. The village lands were annexed to settlements in 1951. Today, the only ruins left of the original villages are the Roman Catholic Church and rubble from farm buildings.
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The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt stated that Sunday’s attack against an Egyptian military base in the Sinai, “could be attributed to the Israeli Mossad”, adding that this attack aimed to foil efforts of newly-elected Islamist President Mohammad Morsi.
In an online statement, the Brotherhood said that Israel is trying to foil the achievements of the Egyptian revolution that removed former President Hosni Mubarak from power. The Brotherhood added, “this attack pushes all related sides into reconsidering the articles of the Egyptian-Israeli peace agreement”.
The Brotherhood stated that after the Egyptian revolution several groups tried to sabotage popular achievements and began plotting against the country and its people.
“Yesterday, a group of criminals attacked our policemen, killed nearly twenty soldiers, brothers, in an ugly crime, before the criminals managed to hijack two armored vehicles and drove them towards the border”, the Brotherhood said. “Immediately after the attack, Zionist media agencies accused fighters in Gaza of being behind the criminal attack; the timing of the attack comes to create a rift between Gaza and Egypt”.
The Brotherhood also said that the attack aims to prove the failure of the new Egyptian government, formed just three days ago, “to foil the reform agenda of the newly elected Islamic president”.
“This crime carries the signature of the Israeli Mossad as Israel has been trying to sabotage the achievements of the revolution, especially when taking into consideration that just a few days before this attack was carried out, Israel called on its tourists to leave Sinai”, the Brotherhood added.
The Muslim Brotherhood further called on the Egyptian people to counter the criminal activities collaborators, and to stand with the newly elected president in his efforts to restore law and order, and to maintain a strong security situation.
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In Hebron on the evening of July 29, almost 100 Israeli settlers from the illegal settlements occupying the centre of the city crossed into the Palestinian-controlled area H1. The settlers illegally entered H1 supported by a heavy Israeli military presence.
Earlier that evening, 4 Israeli military vehicles were witnessed driving through H1 area. At the same time, some 60 Israeli settlers gathered at Checkpoint 56 which marks the border between H1and H2 (the Israeli-controlled areas of Hebron). Several of the settlers, besides being armed with assault rifles, were also carrying compact tables and large bags of food.
Shortly before 7 p.m., Checkpoint 56 was closed to all Palestinians. Soon after, the Israeli military escorted the settlers through the checkpoint into the Bab al-Zawiyeh neighbourhood of area H1.
After the group of settlers passed through, Checkpoint 56 was reopened to Palestinians but the streets of Bab al-Zawiyeh were closed to Palestinian pedestrians and cars who were told to use a parallel street. The 4 military vehicles seen earlier were now parked and soldiers forced Palestinian shops to close down. Thus the otherwise lively Bab al-Zawiyeh was almost deserted.
The Israeli brigade commander declared that the street was a Closed Military Zone (CMZ), and when asked for the CMZ paper permit he replied,“this is a Closed Military Zone because I say so.” The same commander pushed several International Solidarity Movement volunteers in the chest for their inquiries.
Several Palestinians attempted to enter to their homes in H2, as they regularly would, but were aggressively refused at the checkpoint and directed to a lengthy detour. The detour is made kilometres longer by the fact that Palestinians are denied access to Shuhada street.
At 7:30 p.m., just before eftar when most Palestinians would be breaking the day’s fast, a group of about 30 settlers gathered at Checkpoint 56. A short while later, this group was escorted down the closed-off street to join the other settlers now numbering almost 100.
Twenty minutes later, a group of 20 settlers returned back towards H2. As they passed the empty square of Bab al-Zawiyeh they clapped their hands and started chanting in Hebrew, celebrating the empty Palestinian streets. Several pointed, laughed, and made rude gestures at the few Palestinians remaining on the edges of the street.
At around 8:30 p.m., the settlers returned to H2 in smaller groups and escorted by soldiers. Again they pointed, laughed, and took photos of Palestinians they passed. At 9 p.m., the last soldiers packed up and left the area. Immediately, shops reopened and Palestinians returned to the streets. Slowly, Bab al-Zawiyeh began to look like itself again.
More than 50 soldiers and almost 100 illegal Israeli settlers were participating in what is a yearly event. Annually, dinner is had at a site in Bab al-Zawiyeh which they consider a sacred place in Judaism. In practice, this dinner serves as an aggressive reminder of who is in charge. That Israel with more than 4000 soldiers stationed in Hebron, can do as they please despite what the lawful agreements may dictate.
It is noteworthy that this occurred in a week that has been rampant with military night raids, harassment and abuse against Palestinian residents of Hebron who are celebrating the month of Ramadan.
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