Saturday, 2 January 2010

Baroud: The steel wall will cause environmental disasters for Gaza and Egypt

[ 02/01/2010 - 10:02 AM ]

GAZA, (PIC)-- Dr. Naim Baroud, a Palestinian professor of geography, warned that the building of the steel wall would cause environmental and health disasters for both the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip and the Egyptian people in Sinai.

In a press statement published Friday by Palestine newspaper, Dr. Baroud noted that Egypt’s underground aquifer in Sinai is shared with Gaza and fed by rainwater which flow from south to north and vice versa to feed all this inter-aquifer, adding that the steel wall would affect the flow of water into this basin.

The professor also said that Egypt’s intention to pump large amounts of very salty water, which is unfit for human use and contains pollutants, from the Mediterranean sea into the Palestinian-Egyptian borders will change the chemical properties of the inter-aquifer and turn its sweet water into highly saline water.

He warned if this happens, the Egyptian and Palestinian citizens in the area of this aquifer will be no longer able to use water wells.

The professor stressed that the danger of this steel wall are not confined to the contamination of groundwater, but also it will affect the soil, where the iron pipes planted in the ground and the drilling rigs that operate on a daily basis will lead to the disintegration of this soil, which is already loose, and to landslides in the areas surrounding the wall.

The professor also touched on other ecological impacts of this wall and criticized Egypt for not conducting environmental, hydrological and economical studies to determine the hazards of this wall.

As for the ability of Gaza people to find alternative solutions to the problem of the steel wall, the professor expressed his optimism that Gazans could invent creative ways to beat and resist this wall.

In a related context, Palestinian minister of interior Fathi Hammad stated Friday that any concrete or steel walls would not deter the Palestinian people in Gaza from obtaining freedom.

During a cultural meeting held in Gaza, Hammad noted that the Gaza people would be able to penetrate all walls.

Saudi scholar Youssef Al-Ahmed, a professor at the university of Imam Mohamed Ibn Saud in Riyadh, issued a fatwa (religious edict) forbidding the construction of Egypt’s steel wall.

The fatwa, which was posted Friday on Noor Al-Islam network website, says that this wall is religiously prohibited and one of the greatest sins in Islam.

For his part, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri, said, during a ceremony held Friday to honor families of martyrs in the neighborhood of Al-Daraj, east of Gaza city, that the Gaza people, who remained steadfast in the Israeli war, will never fail to beat any walls besieging them.

River to Sea
 Uprooted Palestinian


Via Desertpeace

Gaza in crisis
By Sonja Karkar

Emphasis in ‘Red’ is mine (DP)

‘Gaza’ (Hatem Omar, Maan Images)

They came one cold December day. Not fearless warriors but fearsome hoardes hell-bent on destruction of the genocidal kind that leaves no room for regeneration. That was one year ago in Gaza.

The attack shocked a complacent world into finally seeing Israel’s merciless ferocity against the Palestinians already hounded, herded and imprisoned in compounds throughout their land, if not actually driven out. More than sixty years of Western devotion to Israel’s security was blown wide open as truth shattered spin in three weeks of carnage and devastation.

Dead bodies do not lie and neither do the maimed and the disfigured. Thousands have been left to make sense of the horrors they saw and the hollow aftermath to which they have been abandoned. Landscapes of rubble as far as the eye can see are still testament to the homes once standing in villages and towns, the homeless now huddled in tents while they wait one year on for materials to re-build. Little food, contaminated water, rationed fuel and electricity and the barest of medical supplies are just more of many cruel and wanton deprivations pushing Palestinian society to the limits of endurance.

This is Gaza: a population of 1.5 million people kept in formaldehyde by Israel’s crippling siege. It is a human catastrophe that has many enablers. World leaders have shut their eyes to the crimes witnessed and documented countless times over by human rights groups. World media continuously sidesteps the truth and deliberately ignores international efforts to highlight the humanitarian crisis. Together they are complicit in Israel’s dehumanisation of a people.
We are also complicit if we remain silent and do nothing. It is not enough to know and empathise. Change can only come from people being engaged – learning, thinking, communicating, and being prepared to act.

Almost 2000 internationals have taken action. Some 200 are in Jordan after a three-week trek through Europe in the Viva Palestina convoy of trucks filled with humanitarian aid while another 300 joined them from Greece, Turkey and Jordan; and then, there are the 1400 who have landed in Egypt from all over the world for the scheduled Gaza Freedom March on 31 December. Neither group has been given clearance to enter Gaza. This is where the rest of us who were unable to join these brave souls can bring some power to bear.

There simply is no time to waste. Letters, faxes, emails must be written to governments, embassies and media outlets. Not one letter, not one time, but a constant stream. We have to urge friends and families to write as well.

We have to urge governments to put pressure on Egypt to open the Rafah crossing and pressure on Israel to lift the siege. We have to hound the media like they hound us when they sniff a story. And Gaza is a story that needs to be told. The marchers and the convoy bringing aid to a besieged Gaza are only a part of that story. The real story is Israel’s ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians from their homeland.

Israel must be held to account because it is the instigator of all this misery. Israel has acted with impunity for far too long. It is a bully in world affairs and our leaders and media are all shamefully intimidated. Only people coming together collectively can change that dynamic – and we must come together, before we too become craven hostages to Israel’s criminal enterprise.

Standing up for Palestinian human rights is not anti-Semitic because the Palestinians are also a Semitic people. Nor is it anti-Israel, but rather a protest against Israel’s Zionist policies and practices designed to permanently fragment and dissipate Palestinian society. So brutal is its Zionist agenda and so contrary to Judaic teachings that many Jews are already speaking out in shame at what is being done in their name.

As decent and honourable citizens of the world, we too need to speak out in shame at what we have allowed to occur for far too long. Terrible crimes have been committed and some predict that even more terrible ones are to come. The reality is that all along we have been witnessing a slow genocide and we have allowed guilt, pragmatism and self-interest to stand in the way of our common humanity. The world needs to say “enough” and refuse to indulge Israel’s Zionist leaders and advocates whose free ride has taken them to the heady heights of arrogance. That universal effort needs to begin before the bitter winter freezes any kind of hope in Gaza and it needs to be sustained for as long as it takes to free all of Palestine. Anything less, will hasten a 21st century genocide.

Sonja Karkar is the founder of Women for Palestine and co-founder of Australians for Palestine in Melbourne, Australia.

River to Sea
 Uprooted Palestinian

Wall of Shame, Viva Palestinia, and some Free minds for .....

As I expected Mary, the "defender of free speech";didn't pass my reply to here comment,

Hopefully, I kept a copy.

Most likely, she will claim like last. I is a technical issue.

To close the account, and save my energy for my site, I am posting here her comment, my reply, and samples of her readers reactions on Haitham's "Bombshell"

Out of all commenter's she selected me, because I have a site, and she thinks that I am after her site.

Check the full debate here

Mary Rizzo on December 30th, 2009 at 21:03

UP, what's Haitham's "real agenda"?

I know what it is: to liberate Palestine and be liberated himself as a Palestinian.
You, being Palestinian must understand what that means. That the lack of unity of Palestinians has NEVER helped them and this means to stop fighting on the one side Fatah and on the other side Hamas but to all together FIGHT THE ZIONISTS. To get every zionist out of their land and to get every Palestinian who will sell them to Zionists out of office.

He did indeed show his support of the International Freedom Fighters, please read carefully. He does NOT want them to be USED to promote anything but what they are supposed to do; in this case, bring awareness of the siege and of the occupation of Gaza.

They certainly should and MUST complain to Egypt and about what Egyptian regime is doing, but if this becomes the entire campaign, I personally, as an activist, would have asked where did Israel fit in all of this? Did the purpose of the campaign shift?
Does that question not cross through your mind?

WHY did Galloway's group even go if they knew they would not be able to set the conditions themselves? Unless making that the central story was it? I don't know, but when we get answers, we will be glad about it, and so should you.
anyone who does not show accountability for their actions is doing wrong. Moreso if they do it using your people.

Many know things that they are not saying, so what can I say other than the truth will come out sooner or later. No one, Haitham included, calls for the return of Dahlan! It is easy to insert insinuations.

The PA does NOT want Hamas to have full authority, and so, there are deals being made in ways none of us know all about. Of this you can be sure. But, who is supposed to control the border? Who do you recommend to do it? Not a rhetorical question, but think of what you want to answer.

Haitham did NOT defend the iron wall, he said why EGYPT would decide to make it, that is how i read it. He is not the creature you are attempting to depict him as, and what precisely good does it do to attack him in this way?
I personally don't believe in the Al Qaeda stuff, if they even exist, but I don't hear the Arab radio, I don't know what anyone there is saying if it's not in English, and I can assure you, there is every kind of propaganda and information one may want. There are many factions that are divided. All of this exists and it is wrong. I can guess that things are never quite as they seem. I can also guess that the Wall would never need to exist of Egypt would open the crossings. Why don't they do it? I still believe it has to do with the Israel/US/Arab Powers factions and for once, it would be important to really fight all who are in these powers instead of ONE ANOTHER.

Though outraged, I spend one night thinking whether I should comment on Haithem's post or not. I was sure you would Jump to attack me like you did last time.

You wrote at my site:
So your job is smearing Haitham and his sites and work?

You may read my answer there.

Here I would comment on what you wrote here.

I personally, as an activist, would have asked where did Israel fit in all of this? Did the purpose of the campaign shift? Does that question not cross through your mind?

That question was always in my mind, until Pharaoh decided to play his last Card: THE WALL OF TRAESON, Built according to Haitham, to protect Pharaoh's citizens, stop Drug business, Smuggling Al-Qaeda likes….

You claimed that

Haitham did NOT defend the iron wall, he said why EGYPT would decide to make it, that is how I read it. Go read it again, and read the comments of many readers, in particular Jeff Blankfort ,
who read it rightfully as I did.

December 30th, 2009 at 13:56:

"We all know that Hamas is not a government anymore, …..Why do we ignore the fact that the PA asked Egypt to close Rafah border and blame Egypt (not to forget Israel)? …. and we saw evidences of this during many occasions such as pilgrimage this year and last year.……

We all know who controls the tunnels, and what they are used for. Who can dig a tunnel and who can't…… And we all know that the tunnels are not used ONLY for food. ….. If this is not enough reason for Egypt to construct this iron wall, I don't know what can be a good reason. …..Guess who is doing the trading and were the money goes. definitely not to buy food for the palestinians in Gaza."

Ladies and Gentlemen.

Is Hiatham telling his opinion or telling you what Egypt say??

As far as I know, smuggling business exists on every border worldwide. As far as Hamas is concerned, the main smuggling business is not only food, it’s the weapons used to stop the Invasion money, and men to get trained in Lebanon Syria, and Iran. It's also money, because no penny can cross Rafah crossing, even if it's within Haneya's pocket.

"He is not the creature you are attempting to depict him as, and what precisely good does it do to attack him in this way?"

I confess I find myself astounded, confounded and disgusted by Haitham's defense of Egypt in its responses to both the Gaza Freedom March and Viva Palestina. Had the Egyptian government not demonstrated for some years that is a tool both of the US and Israel (with the former being the tool of the latter), he might have had a leg to stand on. But he doesn't.

Egypt, not Israel, has to bear FULL responsibility for keeping its border with Gaza sealed. The police state of Egypt is simply an accessory to Israel's crimes out of fear of loss of aid at the hands of the US Congress which is constantly threatening to cut Egypt's billion plus annual funding.

While there may have been organizational problems with Viva Palestina, if Egypt was not a lickspittle for the US and Israel they would have let the convoy pass through, and while the Gaza Freedom March also had its problems, not surprising, given the size and nature of the march, again Egypt should have not cracked down on it the way it has and should have let the marchers and the aid into Gaza without hesitation. In fact, had Egypt not long ago betrayed the Palestinian struggle, neither Viva Palestina or the Gaza Freedom March would have been necessary.

Jeff Blankfort on
December 31st, 2009 at 23:01
He depicted himself, On PTT Anniversary, I remember you saying to Gilad: We Make the Media. Because he is partially making the alternative media, I called spade, spade. I am outraged when some Palestinian Generals, and Admirals who despite their intentions, serve directly or indirectly the Agendas of our Enemy, in creating despair, instead of creating hope, creating enemies, instead of creating friends, dividing instead of uniting. And the worst thing is putting International Activists on the Wrong Track instead of the right one.

"No one, Haitham included, calls for the return of Dahlan! It is easy to insert insinuations."

You know he called for the return of PA to control the crossing. And you know that Dahlan is the heart of that PA. While Gaza under attack, his thugs were there in Arish waiting the fall of the last fort.

I am almost on the same with the majority of the commenter's, and I salute the "astounded, confounded and disgusted" Jeff

I second every word he wrote. He hit the nail in saying: "Haitham, your undisguised hatred of Hamas has obviously clouded your thinking. A first time PTT reader might be forgiven for thinking your words were written by the Jerusalem Post's Khalid Abu Toameh"

Most likely, the statement may apply on his Biased Lawyer.

Jeff Blankfort on
December 31st, 2009 at 6:23:


I entered this conversation soemtime after you had initiated it and have just gone back to see if what others had criticized you for writing you had actually said and it turns out that they were correct: For example, you wrote:

"…Why do we ignore the fact that the PA asked Egypt to close Rafah border and blame Egypt (not to forget Israel)? Why in the world any country open its borders without any regulations? …"
I find all of those statements of your mind boggling.First, do you really think that Egypt would close the Rafah border because the PA asked them to? If you do, you are totally out of touch with reality. If the PA hardly has any credibility or power within the West Bank, do you really think that Mubarak would listen to anything that Abbas would have to say?

You go on:

"Let's assume the border is open, wont you have to pass through passport regulations at your country? That's the case everywhere. So, who decide if you or me can leave Gaza or not? What if I was a criminal running away from my country, how would Egyptians know? This is the responsibility of PA and national boarder police, which is NOT Hamas and which Hamas refusing to install back."

You write about the responsibility of the PA and the border police to monitor the borders. That you can do so when the PA forces do absolutely nothing to prevent the Israeli occupation forces from entering Palestinian towns and villages and assassinating or arresting whatever Palestinians they choose, do nothing to guard the non-violent demonstrators against the wall, but who were there to suppress demonstrations by West Bank Palestinians in support of their brothers and sisters in Gaza during Cast Lead, is equally unbelievable, but that, sadly, is not the end of it.

You write:

"So, keeping just the above example in mind, why would Egypt open the boarders? At the end of the day they have the right to protect their citizens…"

Do you believe that the dictator Mubarak gives a damn about protecting Egypt's citizens?. Are you serious?

And then, finally, after making a series of assumptions about the tunnels, you write, "If this is not enough reason for Egypt to construct this iron wall, I don't know what can be a good reason." It seems to me, after reading this several times, that you are justifying the building of the wall and blocking the tunnels. I am sure the Gazans will appreciate that sign of your support for them.
Haitham, your undisguised hatred of Hamas has obviously clouded your thinking. A first time PTT reader might be forgiven for thinking your words were written by the Jerusalem Post's Khalid Abu Toameh.

Richard Edmondson on January 1st, 2010 at 0:55:

Haitham writes

"I think this is a lesson for the activists to learn from. Viva Palestina and Gaza Freedom March made a mess and they involved everyone in it. It is embarrassing to act in such a way."

This seems overly harsh and critical. I'm not suggesting the leadership of either group should be regarded as above criticism. Constructive criticism is a good thing in any movement. But there's a proper time and place for it. Leveling such criticism now, at a time when people are on hunger strike to try and open the border, seems extraordinarily bad timing.

Don't get me wrong, I think Palestine Think Tank is a very good web site, extremely useful and informative. I take my hat off to Haitham, Mary, and others who contribute to it. I just think this one article has missed the mark.

nahida on January 1st, 2010 at 18:17

.Serious proclamations, accusations and indictments by Haitham:FIRST:
• Haitham claims: Hamas smuggles drugs
The "Wall of shame" as you call it is a different story. tell Hamas to stop smuggling drugs (one of many reasons) in and out from Gaza then we can speak about it. Keeping in mind that if Egypt wants to cut aid to Gaza, all what they need to do is close the road that leads to Egyptian Rafah.”SECOND:
• Haitham claims: Hamas smuggles terrorists groups
We all know who controls the tunnels, and what they are used for. Who can dig a tunnel and who can't. What can be brought from Egyptian Rafah and what should not. And we all know that the tunnels are not used ONLY for food. In fact food is just a cover to many other businesses and even worse a passage for terrorist groups such as Al-Qaedaa and their likes which Gaza are full with these days. If this is not enough reason for Egypt to construct this iron wall, I don't know what can be a good reason. That not to mention the drugs business. Guess who is doing the trading and were the money goes. definitely not to buy food for the palestinians in Gaza. ”THIRD:
• Haitham claims: Hamas are financially corrupt:
Hamas leaders are not living in tents and their kids don't miss a meal!
And we all know that the tunnels are not used ONLY for food. In fact food is just a cover to many other businesses
That not to mention the drugs business. Guess who is doing the trading and were the money goes. definitely not to buy food for the palestinians in Gaza. ”FORTH:
• Haitham Defends Egypt:
Egypt can do more and better, but they are not responsible for what we are in now, but the occupation and our PA and Hamas.”
“this turned to no more than smearing Egyptians, which have done to Gaza more than any other Arabian or Western country did.”
why would Egypt open the boarders? At the end of the day they have the right to protect their citizens
Why in the world any country open its borders without any regulations?
As for the passport thing, well, we should be thankful for egypt then that they take this risk.”
Are the Egyptians closing Rafah crossing by their own? No, the Palestinian Authority asked them to do that. ”FIFTH:
• Then he denies it:
no one is defending Egypt. I don't defend the Egyptian regime nor have sympathy with what they do. It's never happened”SIXTH:
• Haitham does not acknowledge the democratically elected Government of Hamas and blames them for what’s happening to Palestinians :
So if Galloway want to blame anyone and not the Israeli occupation, then it is the PA and Hamas”
“Egypt can do more and better, but they are not responsible for what we are in now, but the occupation and our PA and Hamas.”
“What if I was a criminal running away from my country, how would Egyptians know? This is the responsibility of PA and national boarder police, which is NOT Hamas and which Hamas refusing to install back.
“We all know that Hamas is not a government anymore”

“Hamas is not official regulationSEVENTH:
• Haitham Defends the WALL OF SHAME:
The "Wall of shame" as you call it is a different story”
“If this is not enough reason for Egypt to construct this iron wall, I don't know what can be a good reason”EIGHTH:
• Haitham doesn’t mind corrupted PA:

“That's what I'm saying. put the blame and the pressure on US, Western Power and the occupation, Israel. Then they will allow PA to run Rafah border, which in turn will make Egyptians opens it.
if the only way to ease the situation in Gaza is to put hand with corrupted PA, I don't mind.”
The question that begs an answer now:
where is your evidence Haitham??? And whose interest does all this proclamations, indictments and allegations serve other than the zionist occupiers??

nahida on January 1st, 2010 at 19:30:

This is the home of the Palestinian Prime Minister and Hamas member Ismail Haniyeh:
I would love to see how it compares to the palaces of other world leaders and Arab tyrants including that of PA leaders and of Mubarak of Egypt !!
"…. Unlike Fatah leaders, Haniyeh moves without escort, and mixes freely with people on the streets. He has turned down the offer of 4,000 dollars a month as salary, and accepts only 1,500 dollars, which is what he needs, he says, for his family that includes 13 children. And he still lives in his old house in Shati Camp, one of the poorest refugee camps in the east of Gaza City."

exilem on January 1st, 2010 at 20:18:

As Uprooted Palestinian, Jeff Blankfort, Nahida and a few others eloquently stated, Haitham's article and subsequent comments above, are unsubstantiated allegations.
Such allegations against Palestinians, Gazans and their supporters, are the very same hateful soundbites we hear and see everywhere in Judeo-Zionist run smear campaigns.
They don't hold water, not even to the most elementary scrutiny.
For example the ludicrous accusations that "Hamas and Hezbollah collaborate with Mexican drug cartels", comes… straight from the US government propaganda kitchens:
…and to use Haitham's own vernacular "we all know who controls these" poison kitchens.
Wherever the USA introduces wars and CIA, the drug business suddenly explodes, and that has one good reason: the CIA and the USA finance their covert operations with drug money. The CIA's narco-colonialism is dubbed by some "Cocaine Importing Agency". Contrary to US-America's propaganda kitchens, Afghanistan's <b<Muslim Pashtuns had been successful in eradicating the opium trafficking. It is only after the US invasion, that Afghanistan became the epicenter of opiate production, under the input of the CIA peddlers.
But what is Haitham trying to say? That Gazans are so bored, wealthy and well-fed, that there is place for a large drug consumption, i.e. trafficking in Gaza? Does it occur to him how ridiculous such statement is ?
Just like the Muslim Aghanis, the Muslim Hamas government is severely sanctioning drug trafficking
November 30, 2009 15:24h
The Islamist Hamas-run government ruling Gaza has approved a legal change that will allow for the execution of convicted drug dealers, its attorney general said on Monday.
- The Zionist law included light punishments that encouraged rather than deterred those who take and trade in drugs, and there is no objective, national or moral justification for continuing to apply it – Abed said.
Hamas, meanwhile, has cracked down on drugs, saying it has arrested more than 100 alleged drug dealers and users, with dozens of kilos of contraband, mostly marijuana, seized.


on January 1st, 2010 at 20:25:
Hamas leaders are not living in tents”; says Haitham
Many of Hamas leaders indeed are not living in tents -or homes for that matter- anymore, because many of those heroic people are NOT LIVING anymore; period.
They have been assassinated and martyred, many with their families and loved ones:
• Yahya Ayyash, (1996), Hamas' military wing
• Salah Shahade, (2002), leader of Hamas' military wing
• Ibrahim al-Makadmeh, (2003), co-founder of Hamas
• Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, (2004), leader and founder of Hamas
• Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi, (2004), leader of Hamas
• Izz El-Deen Sheikh Khalil, (2004), leader of Hamas' military wing
• Adnan al-Ghoul, (2004), leader of Hamas
• Nabil Abu Salmiya (2006), leader of Hamas
• Salah Abu Sharkh. (2009), leader of Hamas
• Mahmoud Abu Watfah (2009), leader of Hamas
• Ayad Siam (2009), leader of Hamas
• Said Siam (2009), leader of Hamas
• Nizar Rayyan (2009), leader of Hamas
To name but a few of the many THOUSANDS of those noble selfless souls

Is Congress Planning to Destroy Every Middle East TV Channel that Criticizes Israel?


Part II

By Franklin Lamb

As Hezbollah has ‘Lebanonized’ following its 1992 entrance into politics and its expulsion of Israel in 2000, its dramatic changes are reflected in Al Manar TV programing.

- Al Manar demonstrates Hezbollah’s evolution over the past quarter century and the parties desire to reach out to its former adversaries by its integration with the multi-religious community that is Lebanon, particularly with programming for youth and women;
- The bulk of Al Manar programs have nothing to do with Hezbollah, the resistance to Israel’s occupation of Palestine or Shia religious beliefs.
- Women without veils dominate much of the programming with only about 90 minutes per day having to do with praying or religious subjects;
- Christians are frequently invited as experts and audience members including priests, bishops and non-believers from the west without regard to personal beliefs;
- Al Manar’s programming regularly promotes values considered western such as individual and human rights, and non-violence.
- Al Manar programs frequently discuss subjects critical of some aspects of a patriarchal system including examining domestic violence, rights of women, shared household chores, violent videos games etc.
- Al Manar programs generally feature more of an Oprah style of discussion rather than a Pat Robertson or Fox TV approach. A common theme is encouraging civil society to volunteer and help those in society who need assistance;
- Al Manar is viewed by a broad array of broadcasting analysts in Lebanon and abroad, as progressive in the sense that it focuses attention on women, youth, and civil society with multi-communal aspects of programming that is in contrast to the Lebanese norm of media promoting the sponsor’s particular confession. (please see Baylouny cite above)
- Al Manar programming involves the participation all of Lebanon’s sects and the acceptance of diverse lifestyles and ideas beyond the communities with which Hezbollah is politically allied;
- Programming eschews the affirmation of violence In daily lives, and tend to avoid religious preaching or proselytizing found on many western evangelical channels;
- For the past decade there is no evidence in any Al Manar programming, as claimed by MEMRi and AIPAC of “bomb making classes.
- Foreign soap operas, including unveiled and scantily-clad women, and men’s and women’s personal problems are shown uncut and uncensored.

- Al Manar is said by Haaretz to be the most popular TV Channel in Israel as it is in Jordan and much of the region during conflicts and for news of the Palestinian resistance. The reason is because of its trusted coverage and up to the minute reports, often with reporters embedded close to fighters at the front and resisters on the West Bank and in Gaza. It is also the most popular channel in Lebanon’s 12 Palestinian Refugee camps.

- Several of Al Manar’s programs parallel US and western public broadcasting such as PBS, featuring “Discovery” type features on animals, agriculture, the environment, nature and children’s programs including puppet shows warning about bad habits such as smoking, drugs, and alcohol.
The MEMRI claim that Al Manar program showed puppets of children stabbing US President George W. Bush turned out to fake and part of its disinformation project named ‘Sampson’, according to a former MEMRI employee.

Islamic-Arab model of broadcast quality or mouthpiece for anti-American incitement?

Al Manar has won more International Awards for its programming than any other International Channels in its category, including more than 76 Awards for excellence in broadcasting between 1998 and November of 2009. One internationally coveted award was received from the 8th Cairo Television and Radio Festival where Al Manar won the most awards. In 2008 it was awarded the prestigious Thompson Prize from the BBC for the best documentary. Al Manar’s subject was Lebanon’s Pollution crisis.

A random sampling of Al Manar broadcasting awards during a 48 month period is illustrative of the scope and variety of reorganization the Channel received for its programming: Cairo Festival for Radio and Television Supreme Committee Award – the documentary film “Observatory” 1998, Beirut Documentary Film Festival prize for the documentary film “victors” 1999, United Nations Prize in Beirut-the first prize for “sustainable development” 1999 ,The first exhibition of the media Beirut Award “the best television station from” 200l, The first exhibition of the media Beirut Award “the best sports program GOAL” 2001, The first exhibition of the media Beirut Award “the best cultural program and pen N” 2001, Arab States Broadcasting Union Gold Award program “evidence of time” 2002, Ebona Festival – France award for a news report “Donkey stuck in the minefield,” 2002.

A typical broadcast day at Al Manar starts with Prayers just like the other religiously oriented stations in Lebanon. Then the News, followed by Manar’s Morning show, a talk show, program for youth, travel, soap opera, and often five hours per day of live programs on issues of interest to the Lebanese such as social or family problems. The public is involved with with guests and callers urged to participate. Most Al Manar programming is all about participation, dialogue, and discussion.

A teaching assistant at Harvard’s school of communications, studying Al Manar programming, offered her opinion: “Frankly, the same agility and competence Hezbollah exhibits on the battlefield its TV channel replicates on the TV screen. Al Manar is deliberative, analytical, state of the art, dedicated, and innovative. Both Hezbollah’s military wing and its TV Channel come from the same culture and if channeled, no pun intended, they will to continue to lead the way to remarkable achievements.”

Many Americans and Westerners in Beirut choose Al Manar TV News in English on the internet ( for the latest news on Lebanon, Palestine, and the region because it is usually first in presenting details with accuracy as well as sound analysis.

Time for the State and Treasury departments of show their cards?

To say that there is no justification for the Al Manar TV Channel to be on the US Terrorism is an understatement. That any TV station is on the list is a disgrace and humiliation for fair minded Americans everywhere and makes a mockery of the First Amendment to our Constitution. It undermines cherished American principles which we hope could someday make us, to embellish a bit John Winthrop’s 1630 description of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, “a shining beacon on a hill.” Admittedly we have lost ground the past few decades but the objective remains valid.

Al Manar will survive and likely its audience will continue to grow despite being targeted by H.R. 2278 and other efforts to silence its quality programming and to prevent the American public from judging for themselves the worth Al Manar’s programming. Denied the right to view certain TV channels, the American people may someday judge harshly those who facilitated US-Israel lobby efforts at destroying free speech, and undermining the American public’s national interest in protecting and preserving it.
Its remains for the US Embassy in Lebanon to publicly and thoroughly explain this latest Israel-US project and for the Lebanese government to take measures to protect its communications from Israeli initiated attacks such as H.R. 2278.

Just as every time a ‘dud’ US cluster bomb or land mine in South Lebanon or the Bekaa detonates and kills or injures someone and that explosion constitutes another aggression by Israel against Lebanon, so it is that H.R. 2278 targeting of Al Manar Television and more than 400 other Middle East Television channels is an aggression against all of these countries.

Presumably Lebanon’s President and Parliament will make known their views of projects like H.R. 2278 to the White House and Congress and encourage the 22 member League of Arab States and the 57 member International Organization of the Islamic Conference to raise this issue publicly and demand that the US government drop this assault on free speech in the Middle East.

Now that Lebanon has a two year tenured seat on the UN Security Council, which has the responsibility under the UN Charter to address “all threats to International Peace and Security”, the effort to intimidate Middle East satellite providers and hundreds of TV Channels in the region will no doubt be placed on the Security Council’s agenda.

* Franklin Lamb is working in Lebanon for the enactment of Civil Rights Legislation for Lebanon’s Palestinian Refugees in the new Parliament. He can be reached at
Part II: Israel and H.R. 2278 vs. Lebanon’s Al Manar TV et al. (Part I here!)
“Al Manar is being singled out by the US Israel lobby precisely because it excels as a responsible TV channel that demands and applies the highest industry standards and because Israeli and Western viewers trust its news broadcasts more than they do much of their own media”
An Advisor to the Dean, Columbia University School of Broadcast Journalism, New York City 12/26/09

Having inherited the Bush administrations rising stack of terrorism lists, President Obama’s team had expressed interest in culling them “so they are more accurate and manageable and Americans experience less stress”, according to Homeland Security director Janet Napolitano. These lists, plus the reported existence of others that have not been made public, are supposed to reduce the fear and stress on Americans just knowing there are such lists and that someone is ‘watching out’.

In many cases travelers experience more stress because they never know when Transportation Security Authority (TSA) agents at airports might eye a ‘hit’ on a computer screen, lung into action and ruin a trip. Duplicate names on various lists plus the difficulty of getting oneself off the lists have led to increasing pressure on The Obama administration to refine the concept of who really is a terrorist. The various “T” and watch lists are swelling annually by thousands of names-some quite similar leading to confusion and uncertainly who really is and isn’t on and who is on but shouldn’t be and vice versa.

As of Christmas Eve, the ‘Terrorism Watch List’ reportedly included some 900,000 names with a “selectee” list with somewhere close to 30,000 people within the higher-risk category, and a “no-fly” list with an estimated 10,000 names of people who are not allowed to board planes. Today it’s anyone’s guess who is on but shouldn’t be and who is off but should be on. All passengers departing the US may face more delays and physical’ pat downs’ of any part of their bodies and possibly being watched in bathrooms, according to the TSA. Calls are increasing for full body scanning devices to be installed and used on anyone who wants to fly. Meanwhile, on 12/26/09, President Obama issued instructions to his administration “that all appropriate measures be taken to increase security for air travel”.

As Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab is interviewed to find out how he got on a US bound flight, since he was known to be in contact with Al Qaeda in Yemen, the US ‘T’ lists remain a riddle inside a mystery, wrapped in an enigma, as Winston Churchill once described both Russia and Jane Austen.

Updating the ‘T’ lists: How a Lebanese TV Station got included

Professor Noam Chomski, among others has noted that no person or organization should be placed or kept on a US Terrorism list unless there is compelling evidence that they pose a clear and present danger to America, and certainly not news organizations.
One such media outlet is Lebanon’s Al Manar TV Channel, affiliated with Hezbollah, leader of the Lebanese National Resistance.

The “case” against Al Manar has never been convincingly explained since the Bush administration, on 17 December 2004 added Al Manar to a post 9/11 terrorist list at the behest of Israel’s then Prime Ministry Ehud Olmert.

According to Reporters without Borders, a press freedom organization, the listing appeared unjustified given no offered evidence of Al Manar being involved in terrorism. In addition, there was the fact that the Al Manar Channel was the first media anywhere to carry Hezbollah’s condemnation of the 9/11 attacks on New York’s World Trade Center. Reporters Without Borders, urged the US authorities to “take care not to lump the fight against unproven anti-Semitism with the fight against terrorism and putting this TV station in the same category as terrorist groups worries us and does not strike us as the best solution.” As if RWB foresaw H.R. 2278, the NGO warned, “We fear that this measure could be just the first of many others, and that all news media that have been accused of helping terrorist organizations in their coverage could end up on this list, in which case there will definitely be abuses.”

The three other air terrorism attempts against the US were also denounced on Al Manar, including the latest one claimed by Al Qaeda, Hezbollah’s mortal enemy which on 12/28/09 called on “the people of the Arabian peninsula to attack American military installations, ships and “spying embassies.” The U.S. Embassy in Yemen was attacked by Al Qaeda-affiliated terrorists in September 2008, and the U.S.S. Cole, a U.S. Navy destroyer, was hit by Al Qaeda in 2000. All these attacks were condemned on Al Manar. Beirut’s US Embassy and its personnel have been protected more by Hezbollah, from Al Qaeda and its affiliates, than the State Department would likely care to admit or may actually know about.

The main ‘evidence’ offered by the US State and Treasury departments was that Al Manar was “anti-Semitic” for criticizing Israel was its showing the Syrian produced 29 Part television series, The Diaspora. Al Manar aired this series during October-November 2003.

The popular series, surveys the history of the founding of the Zionist movement until the creation of the state of Israel. It includes discussions of some subjects sensitive to the Zionist movement including claimed Zionist-Nazi cooperation, alleged Zionist involvement in plotting the Russian Revolution, claims of Zionist pressure on US President Harry Truman to use Atomic bombs against Japan and later to recognize the establishment of the State of Israel on Arab land, ignoring the rights of the Arab population.

One example of claimed “Diaspora” anti-Semitism was the challenged statement of an alleged Zionist leader talking to Adolf Eichmann and telling the SS official, “Mr. Eichmann, believe me that if we Zionists were not Jewish, we would have been Nazis. You Nazis consider the Aryan race to belong to the perfect people and the German people as the most perfect. We also consider ourselves a perfect people, and Zionists, the most perfect ones.”

According to the US based Anti-Defamation League, this statement is not accurate but rather was based on the 1982 comment of Ariel Sharon in which he was reported to have said to Menachem Begin, while arguing in favor of invading Lebanon, “The Nazi’s of course were correct Prime Minister, they just chose the wrong people to persecute”, implying that killing of the Roma gypsies, homosexuals, the disabled, French and Russian prisoners, and Polish citizens was acceptable as was the likely 20,000 deaths estimated to occur during Israel’s invasion of Lebanon.

Stereotypical myths about Jews do appear in the documentary, as clichés.. Specifically in the form of repeating the unproven 1840 accusation that the Damascus Jewish community murdered a priest and his assistant to obtain their blood for making Passover matzo, unleavened bread. The Diaspora series also includes some unproven accusations from the discredited 1891 Russian Protocols of the Elders of Zion about Rabbi’s sanctioning the killing of Christian children.

Al Manar management apologized for airing the series, dropped it and explained that the Station had purchased it without first viewing the entire series. Al Manar’s lawyer at the time, Frenchman, Dinis Garreau added that the broadcast of the series had been “unfortunate” and asked for a chance to demonstrate that such airings would not be repeated, while adding that Al Manar’s management was in agreement that showing the series was a mistake, and that it violated Al Manar’s Professional Values and Principles for verifying information before it is aired. He explained that Hezbollah is well known for its frequent differentiation between Judaism and Zionism, believing Jews, as ‘people of the book’ are to accorded the same respect as Christian and Muslims (see “The Professional Values & Principles of Al Manar Channel,, paragraph 19 and Al Manar’s Values and Principles pages, 6, 7.and 12, published by the Lebanese Communication Group, Beirut, 2009). On the other hand, as with most people in the Middle East, and increasing beyond, Hezbollah believes that Zionism is a 19th Century racist colonial enterprise which must be expelled from Palestine, and is committed to the Right of Return of those ethnically cleansed during the Nakba and their offspring-now living in 59 camps in Palestine, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon.
In 2004, the Diaspora series was shown in Iran. And then in Jordan during October 2005 on Al-Mamnou, a Jordanian satellite network. Not a murmur from the Bush administration was heard in either case about anti-Semitism and millions have since viewed the Diaspora series without apparent complications.

On 12/16/04, US State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said the decision to put Al Manar on the Terrorist Exclusion List (T list # 2 in Department of Homeland Security lingo) was taken because of “Al Manar’s incitement of terrorist activity.” Al-Manar’s Foreign Editor Ibrahim Mousawi replied to BBC News, that the proposed ban resulted from “political pressure by the Jewish lobby”. “We are not anti-Semites and we do not incite hatred,” he insisted.

The Bush administration did not acknowledge Al Manar’s explanation and the TV channel remains on the ‘T” list. The standard of “incitement of terrorism” has been recently change, one reason being that for the past five years no evidence of “incitement of terrorism” involving Al Manar (or Hezbollah) has been documented by the CIA despite requests for proof from the US Senate Intelligence Committee. This failure of the CIA to support the Israel lobby case disappointed Tel Aviv and led AIPAC to craft a new standard which is now being used in H.R. 2278. The new applicable standard is “incitement of violence against American citizens.” This new language is believed by many lawyers and the Center for Constitutional Rights, based in New York, to be too broad to constitute a legal basis for prosecution. This view is not of concern to the US Israel lobby since its goal are not judicial prosecutions but rather intimidation–of more than 400 channels operating in 19 Middle East countries.

Lest other Middle East countries than Lebanon think they can escape the wide net of H.R. 2278, according to a 12/16/09 report in the Egyptian daily Al-Mesryoon, “The American administration intends to threaten the blocking or reduction of American aid offered to Egypt each year in order to pressure the Egyptian government into discontinuing the broadcasting of a number of satellite channels ( reportedly at least ten in number) airing from Egypt via the Egyptian NileSat, under claims that they are violating the new ‘incitement’ standard and are attacking American policies in the region.”

Al Manar as “inciter of violence against American citizens”

Concerning the claim that Al Manar is anti-American, the channel regularly invites American and western guests to discuss all manner of subjects. Indeed, American and western achievements and beliefs in human rights, scientific achievements, protection for women, are featured and openly admired.

The evidence from scholars, including years of Al Manar program monitoring by Professor Anne Marie Baylouny, Assistant Professor of Comparative politic at the Naval Postgraduate School in California suggests that H.R. 228 is not even applicable to Al Manar and its programming, but rather that the Lebanese station is being scapegoated for purely political motives.( please see: “Not Your Father’s Islamist TV: Changing Programming on Hizbullah’s al-Manar (PDF),” Arab Media & Society (Issue 9, Fall 2009).

The claimed xenophobia of Hezbollah to the West is nowhere to be found in Al Manar programming and while political programs are critical of US Middle East policy, no more so than some programs aired in all 50 States in America. Often, on these programs, American scientific studies are used to support a debate thesis. Guests are international with many being from America, often with Lebanese expatriates.

Al Manar’s Professional Values & Principles as outlined in its publication by the Lebanese Communication Group, noted above, has been described as being as rigorous as any in the industry. And they are applied with respect to fairness, admitting mistakes, respects for women and youth, encouragement of dialogue, sensitivity for the public’s distaste for offensive materials and profanity, and working to achieve transparency, independence, and objectivity.

Al Manar strictly applies its rules relating to completion with other channels as well as its standards for interviewing, respect for all religions, privacy, prohibition on secret recording, and ‘gotcha’ or ‘ambush’ interviews, disclosing sources and exhibiting respect for the audience.

Some examples of its rigorous application of these rules can be found in recent programs where: a hostess disconnected a caller who refused to an Israeli leader as “a dog”, a hostess ignoring a caller who insisted that Lebanon should look only to Islamic solutions for domestic problems, such as spousal abuse and not Western ideas, and Al Manar hosts or hostesses often correcting a guest for repeating stereotypes.
Some facts about Al Manar that American and French citizens can’t learn by watching their TV sets at home given that this Lebanese Channel is banned in both countries in violation of international customary law and numerous conventions requiring protection for journalists, free access to the airwaves, and freedom of speech. Only via Internet free steaming can these viewers watch Al Manar live. Something it is sure those who voted for H.R. 2278 did not do before they rushed to judgement.

Franklin Lamb
Franklin Lamb is Director of the Sabra Shatila Foundation. Contact him at:
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January 2, 2010 Posted by Elias | Israel, Lebanon, NEWS & POLITICS, Palestine | , , , , , , , | No Comments Yet

Geagea's Predictions for New Year: Israeli War in Six Months!

Readers Number : 611

01/01/2010 It's the predictions' season in Lebanon!

Just like every year, Lebanese were preoccupied during the New Year's Eve with listening to the "predictions" of what "might" happen during the upcoming year.

Thus, and while Lebanese seem to be "divided" over these psychics, their shows turn to be "the most watched." Perhaps, the main reason is "entertainment" and "curiosity." Indeed, when a poll is conducted over the "phenomenon," most watchers say that they listen to the predictions "out of curiosity," given that no one can "guess" what could happen in the upcoming hours.

Yet, "psychics" are not alone in the "predictions" game…

Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea seems to be an "expert" in this domain. Two years ago, he predicted a number of explosions and assassinations in Lebanon and they actually took place.

And for the New Year, Geagea has "good news" for the Lebanese: an Israeli war within six months!

Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar quoted Geagea as telling Al-Jazeera TV crew that Israel will launch a fierce war against Lebanon in the upcoming six months.

According to the daily, Geagea said that the Israeli war would aim at "ending Hezbollah and its weapons."

Geagea claimed during the interview that Hezbollah is the reason of any potential war against Lebanon.

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January 2, 2010 at 8:59 am (Activism, Gaza, Humanitarian Aid, International Solidarity, Palestine)

The following was coordinated by the folks at Irish 4 Palestine

Two of our favourite blogs;  Desertpeace and Silverlining have submitted questions to our Derry to Gaza boys on the Viva Palestina convoy. I have forwarded them and received their reply. Here are the questions followed by the response:

1. It is a wonderful thing that you are doing. If entry is denied to Gaza , would you consider coming back again?
2. How were you received in the countries you passed through by the people and the government officials or representatives?

3. Why did the convoy decided to go through the Nuwbia port this time and not Al Arish like last time? Does it have to do with how the life line was treated last time?

4. The turnaround of the convoy costs money, did anyone, country, person, etc. contribute to the costs or it is going to be taken from the Viva Palestinian budget?

Reply from the Derry to Gaza team on the Viva Palestina Convoy:

I saw the questions you sent, and I will try to answer them as best we can.

Since leaving Derry we have been blessed by warm, abundant welcomes in most cities. I think we live in an age where the visible effects of power people, has been diverted into different channels.

Governments are much less effected by the people on the street. For instance, when One million or so people marched on the streets of London against the war on Iraq, the government nevertheless continued the war. From this point of view, I have always felt that there was little to be had from shows of solidarity by people against big governments. This trip has changed that outlook absolutely.

Whilst we travelled through Europe, there was some great responses from people in Belgium, Greece and Turkey, however, by and large, in contrast to its Arab neighbours, most European countries were indifferent. Since entering into Greece and down through Turkey into Arabia, the response has been amazing…I have seen people standing in groups, couples and even on their own at 4 am on a rainy street corner waving Palestinian flags.

They throw food and water in our ambulance and reach out to shake our hands, shouting Salam. Without doubt, they feel a deep connection with their brothers in Palestine, and it is through us that they wish to express this. I feel very privileged to be in such a position.

As for the other side of the coin: those who oppose us and don’t want medical aid to enter Gaza, I see them not as a threat but people who will change in time. Their position is one grown from corruption and insecurity. Clearly in their minds, they know that as humans, the people of Gaza do not deserve to be treated like they are by another people. Surely they see that they are in the wrong in their treatment of their fellow man. I think if they do not know this now, then it will dawn on them, the more pressure the world puts on them. I’ve always thought that there were three objectives behind this trip

1. Deliver the ambulance and medical aid to the people of Gaza as practical help
2. in doing so, bring a positive and broad awareness to the plight of people in Palestine, and thus forcing a change
3. Force the Israelis to question their position by stretching out your hand to find their own humanity.

I think at this moment in time, only the second objective has been reached, and very successfully reached thanks to people like yourselves who support our convoy and cause.
Hopefully, within the next week or so, we will move to fulfil our two remaining objectives. If we do not get in, then we will feel gutted, disappointed and demoralised.

But it is a long struggle for justice and we must know that. Without doubt, this struggle for the Palestinian people is worth fighting, by anybody’s standards. But if we do fail, then I will know that through our efforts and the support we have sustained throughout the last 4 weeks, we have contributed to an already emerging groundswell against the Israeli Zionist regime and its treatment of Palestinians. Let us not forget, that the Palestinians have been the very misfortunate victim of a twisted dream.

They did not deserve for the Zionists to come and take their land, they had not committed a crime that forced the vengeance of history upon them, rather they were in a land that a very deluded people wanted and have taken by force. Any person born into this world could have been Palestinian by chance, and would have lived under the harsh, inhumane conditions imposed upon them, without reason or explanation. So it is for this reason, that we must be united with the people of Palestine. People just like ourselves.

Sorry i cannot write more buts its tough when we are on the move..
thanks a lot for your support

“JJ”  from the Derry to Gaza Five, on the Viva Palestina Convoy

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Rabbi Tantawi and Leading Egypt Rabbies Back Gaza Tunnel Barrier

Readers Number : 521

01/01/2010 A council of leading Muslim clerics has supported the Egyptian government's construction of an underground barrier along the border with Gaza to impede tunneling by smugglers, a report said on Friday.

The Islamic Research Council of Al-Azhar University, Sunni Islam's highest seat of learning, said that the tunnels were used to smuggle drugs and threatened Egypt's security, the Al-Masri Al-Yawm newspaper reported.

"It is one of Egypt's legitimate rights to place a barrier that prevents the harm from the tunnels under Rafah, which are used to smuggle drugs and other (contraband) that threaten Egypt's stability," the paper quoted the clerics as saying.

"Those who oppose building this wall are violating the commands of Islamic law," they added, after a meeting attended by Egypt's top cleric Sheikh Mohammed Said Tantawi, who is a government appointee.

Hamdi Hassan, an Islamic member of the Egyptian parliament, has filed a lawsuit against President Hosni Mubarak demanding a halt to construction of the barrier, the newspaper reported.

Earlier this week, the chairman of the International Union for Muslim Scholars Sheikh Yousuf al-Qaradawi slammed the barrier as an "unjustified crime" and as such was banned by Islam.

Sheikh Qaradawi said, in a statement, that the barrier Egypt had begun constructing was meant to "pressure the Palestinians in Gaza to surrender to Israel."

"What Egypt is building these days on its border with Gaza is a prohibited act from the Islamic perspective," the prominent Islamic scholar said. "It aims to close off Gaza and tighten the siege imposed on it people so that they give in to the Israeli demands," Sheikh Qaradawi added.

Sheikh Qaradawi also called on the Egyptian government to open its Rafah border crossing point with Gaza, noting that opening the border point was a "religious and legal duty" of Egypt toward the Gazan people. "Rafah is the only lifeline for the people of Gaza. Egypt should open it rather than suffocating the Palestinians and collaborating with others to kill them."

The scholar also appealed to both the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) to pressure Egypt to stop the construction of the Wall. "The Wall is one hundred percent against the Palestinians and playing into the hands of the Israeli enemy one hundred percent," he concluded.

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Sit-ins in Europe today in protest at Egypt’s participation in Gaza siege

[ 02/01/2010 - 07:51 AM ]

BRUSSELS, (PIC)-- Massive rallies and sit-ins will be organized Saturday outside Egyptian embassies throughout the European continent in protest at Egypt for building a steel wall on its borders with the Gaza Strip and its participation in the Israeli siege.

The coalition of pro-Palestine associations in Europe said Friday that these protests will take place in a number of European states including Britain, Netherlands, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland and Denmark.

The coalition added that the protests are aimed to pressure the Egyptian authorities to end the blockade on Gaza through opening the Rafah border crossing and stopping the building of the steel wall.

The coalition stressed that these sit-ins will send a message to the Egyptian authorities that it will not be able to silence the free voices of the world and prevent them from stating their positions in solidarity with Gaza people.

In a related context, dozens of multinational pro-Palestine activists, who were denied access to Gaza by Egypt, on Friday staged protests in front of the Egyptian press syndicate and the Israeli embassy in Cairo.

The activists called for ending the blockade on Gaza and stopping the ongoing Israeli aggression on the Palestinian people, while 30 of them went on a hunger strike in protest at the Egyptian decision not to allow them to enter Gaza.

The Egyptian authorities refused to allow those European activists to enter Gaza to express their solidarity with Gaza people on the first anniversary of the Israeli war, and instructed travel companies not to provide them with buses to Al-Arish area.

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Happy New Year

Happy New Year

Friday, January 1, 2010 at 7:22PM Gilad Atzmon

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Viva Palestina convoy in struggle to find new ships

Contibuted by lu from Spain

Companies, that earlier agreed to go to the port of Al-Arish from Latakia, canceled the agreement, afraid of possible Israeli attacks."

A group of international lawyers and human rights activists accuse Israel of committing "genocide" through its crippling blockade of the Strip.

Thanks, Yesterday, I heard from Hamas TV Al-Aqsa that a Giant Libian ship is on the way to Latakia Port. I hope its true.

Viva Palestina

Turkish humanitarian aid foundation said, Viva Palestina convoy will try to find new ship firms that will take them to Egyptian port to reach the besieged Gaza.

Friday, 01 January 2010 14:04

 World Bulletin / News Desk

Turkish humanitarian aid foundation said, Viva Palestina convoy will try to find new ship firms that will take them to Egyptian port to reach the besieged Gaza.

But the international humanitarian aid convoy that was forced to make a detour to Syria after almost five days stranded in Jordanian port city, Aqaba, faces Egypt's deadline.

The Viva Palestina convoy which started its journey on December 16, spent 16 days on its way to Gaza.
The 450 members-Viva Palestina convoy that has 220 trucks and ambulances left Jordan for Syria on Tuesday in hopes of reaching Gaza before January 3 after the Egyptian government refused to let them enter the country through the Red Sea port of Nuweiba, the most direct route, to reach Israel-besiged Gaza land.

Egyptian government said it would close the Rafah border crossing at this date, in a curb that the convoy will overcome on the road to Gaza.

Hovewer, the ship companies that agreed to carry the convoy from Syria to Egypt abandoned the deal, claiming fear of possible Israeli attacks. The convoy teams had to spend another night at Latakia Port, trying to find new ship companies to finish the long journey.

Bulent Yildirim, the President of the IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation, made a statement after the recent developments, said in a statement, "because we have changed our route, the journey quite prolonged. Companies, that earlier agreed to go to the port of Al-Arish from Latakia, canceled the agreement, afraid of possible Israeli attacks."

"We are currently trying to find new ships. If necessary, we will send people with planes to Al-Arish. We still wait in Latakia, if we can find ships, a 20 hours- sea voyage is ahead of us. We'd like to enter Gaza in January 3 and deliver all tools, medical equipment and drugs, " he said in the statement.

Israel and Egypt imposes siege into the occupied land home to 1.5 million people since June 2007.

Israel controls all but one of Gaza's border crossings, the Rafah terminal with Egypt, which Cairo keeps closed, drawing anger with people.

A group of international lawyers and human rights activists accuse Israel of committing "genocide" through its crippling blockade of the Strip.

Viva Palestina Convoy in Lattakia - Press TV Report Jan 1 2010

Viva Palestina Convoy in Lattakia - Press TV Report Jan 1 2010

Viva Palestina waits at Syrian port of Lattakia.

Get News & Follow the convoy:

The Viva Palestina aid convoy to Gaza which left London on December 6th has been blocked from entering Egypt then held at the Jordanian port of Aqaba. The convoy, which is made up of more than 200+ vehicles, planned to reach Rafah on December 27th.

Palestine Video - A Palestine Vlog
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