DERRY- September 13th “To Move a Wall and Free a Village” Iyad Burnat Speaking on Bil’in’s Struggle

Friday, August 28, 2015 Posted by
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Iyad Burnat arrested 28/8/15 at Weekly Protest in Bil'in

Iyad Burnat arrested 28/8/15 at Weekly Protest in Bil’in

Photos by Hamdi AbuRahma-Palestine

Organised by Irish Friends of Palestine “To Move a Wall and Free a Village”Iyad Burnat’s Firsthand Report of Bil’in’s Non-Violent Struggle to Exist and Resist Israeli Apartheid Occupation

EVERYONE WELCOME to an evening with our main speaker from Palestine, Iyad Burnat, leader of the “Bil’in Popular Committee against the Wall” which has held weekly non-violent demonstrations since 2005. Burnat is also the head of “Friends of Freedom and Justice in Bil’in” an organisation that hopes to build links with people around the world. Iyad is the brother of Emad Burnat who co-produced the film “5 Broken Cameras.” Iyad played the central character in the documentary. The film was nominated for an Academy Award in Hollywood and also won the Sundance Film Festival Award in 2012. Iyad himself has won several awards for his non-violent resistance, the most recent being the James Lawson Award for Achievement in the Practice of Nonviolent Conflict June of 2015.

Iyad says “The belief in one’s rights is more important than anything else. If I am confident about my rights, nothing will make me despair…When you resist an Israeli soldier by peaceful means, their weapons become irrelevant.”

Bil’in is a Palestinian village that is literally struggling to exist.

The village is surrounded by illegal settlements built on land that belongs to Bil’in and it’s people. The Matityahu settlement, the Kiryat Sefer settlement, and the most recent Matityahu East settlement. Then in 2004 construction of the Apartheid wall began on the Western side of Bil’in. This caused 2300 dunums of Bil’in’s land to be stolen to construct the wall in order to “protect the illegal settlers.” The Apartheid Wall cuts off and suffocates the village of Bil’in.

This is the story of a village that refuses to quietly disappear, this is the story of people who peacefully resist the illegal occupation alongside Israeli Peace activists and International Palestinian Solidarity Activists from around the world. Bil’in residents peacefully demonstrate every Friday in front of the “work-site of shame” AKA the Apartheid Wall. The Israeli army responds to these peaceful protests with physical and psychological violence. Iyad’s oldest son Majd, was shot and seriously injured by Israeli Occupation Forces in 2014, he is still suffering from that injury and will need rehabilitation for some time. In 2009 Iyad himself was seriously injured on the march along with several others and in 2011 he was shot and injured by rubber-coated steel bullets.

The Friday protests by the people of Bil’in, and widespread international support, have managed to achieve the recognition of the Israel High Court, which recently ruled that the route of the Apartheid Wall in the village is illegal and must be changed.

Nevertheless, every day Israel destroys a bit more of Bil’in. But the people of Bil’in will not surrender the struggle for their land, their homes, and their very lives. Come and learn what we can all do to help. Iyad will tell the first hand account of Bil’in’s continuing struggle, the land lost, the lives lost and injured, and the weekly Friday protests to move a wall, and save a village.

Supporting Speakers:

REPORT: Martina Anderson MEP who is the current Chair of the the European Union’s Delegation for relations with the Palestinian Legislative Council. She will give an update on what’s taking place within the EU on Palestine and the preferential trade agreement with Israel. What work the GUE/NGL are doing to help recognise a Palestinian state.

REPORT: Liam Gallagher Chair of (DTUC) Derry Trade Union Council will speak on behalf of DTUC and (TUFP) Trade Union Friends of Palestine about the work they and their members are doing in support of Palestine and the BDS movement.

EVENT PROGRAM

7:00PM – 8:00PM Speakers

8:00PM – Audience Question and Answer Session

The evening ends with a Screening of “5 Broken Cameras”

BANNER EVENT 600

1,000 Black Activists, Artists, and Scholars Demand Justice for Palestine

Wednesday, August 26, 2015 Posted by
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Full-text of statement from Angela Davis, Cornel West, Talib Kweli, the Dream Defenders, Hands Up United and other prominent organizations and leaders

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Over 1,000 Black activists, artists, scholars, students, and organizations have launched a statement expressing their solidarity and commitment to ensuring justice for Palestinians. Signatories to the statement span a wide cross-section of Black activists and scholars, including Angela Davis, Boots Riley, Cornel West, dream hampton, Emory Douglas, Mumia Abu-Jamal, Pam Africa, Patrisse Cullors, Phil Hutchings, Ramona Africa, Robin DG Kelley, Rosa Clemente, Talib Kweli, and Tef Poe. 38 organizations signed on, including The Dream Defenders, Hands Up United, Institute of the Black World 21st Century, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, and Organization for Black Struggle.
The statement is printed in full below:

“The past year has been one of high-profile growth for Black-Palestinian solidarity. Out of the terror directed against us—from numerous attacks on Black life to Israel’s brutal war on Gaza and chokehold on the West Bank—strengthened resilience and joint-struggle have emerged between our movements. Palestinians on Twitter were among the first to provide international support for protesters in Ferguson, where St. Louis-based Palestinians gave support on the ground. Last November, a delegation of Palestinian students visited Black organizers in St. Louis, Atlanta, Detroit and more, just months before the Dream Defenders took representatives of Black Lives Matter, Ferguson, and other racial justice groups to Palestine. Throughout the year, Palestinians sent multiple letters of solidarity to us throughout protests in Ferguson, New York, and Baltimore. We offer this statement to continue the conversation between our movements:

On the anniversary of last summer’s Gaza massacre, in the 48th year of Israeli occupation, the 67th year of Palestinians’ ongoing Nakba (the Arabic word for Israel’s ethnic cleansing)—and in the fourth century of Black oppression in the present-day United States—we, the undersigned Black activists, artists, scholars, writers, and political prisoners offer this letter of reaffirmed solidarity with the Palestinian struggle and commitment to the liberation of Palestine’s land and people.

We can neither forgive nor forget last summer’s violence. We remain outraged at the brutality Israel unleashed on Gaza through its siege by land, sea and air, and three military offensives in six years. We remain sickened by Israel’s targeting of homes, schools, UN shelters, mosques, ambulances, and hospitals. We remain heartbroken and repulsed by the number of children Israel killed in an operation it called “defensive.” We reject Israel’s framing of itself as a victim. Anyone who takes an honest look at the destruction to life and property in Gaza can see Israel committed a one-sided slaughter. With 100,000 people still homeless in Gaza, the massacre’s effects continue to devastate Gaza today and will for years to come.

Israel’s injustice and cruelty toward Palestinians is not limited to Gaza and its problem is not with any particular Palestinian party. The oppression of Palestinians extends throughout the occupied territories, within Israel’s 1948 borders, and into neighboring countries. The Israeli Occupation Forces continue to kill protesters—including children—conduct night raids on civilians, hold hundreds of people under indefinite detention, and demolish homes while expanding illegal Jewish-only settlements. Israeli politicians, including Benjamin Netanyahu, incite against Palestinian citizens within Israel’s recognized borders, where over 50 laws discriminate against non-Jewish people.

Our support extends to those living under occupation and siege, Palestinian citizens of Israel, and the 7 million Palestinian refugees exiled in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Palestine. The refugees’ right to return to their homeland in present-day Israel is the most important aspect of justice for Palestinians.

Palestinian liberation represents an inherent threat to Israeli settler colonialism and apartheid, an apparatus built and sustained on ethnic cleansing, land theft, and the denial of Palestinian humanity and sovereignty. While we acknowledge that the apartheid configuration in Israel/Palestine is unique from the United States (and South Africa), we continue to see connections between the situation of Palestinians and Black people.

Israel’s widespread use of detention and imprisonment against Palestinians evokes the mass incarceration of Black people in the US, including the political imprisonment of our own revolutionaries. Soldiers, police, and courts justify lethal force against us and our children who pose no imminent threat. And while the US and Israel would continue to oppress us without collaborating with each other, we have witnessed police and soldiers from the two countries train side-by-side.

US and Israeli officials and media criminalize our existence, portray violence against us as “isolated incidents,” and call our resistance “illegitimate” or “terrorism.” These narratives ignore decades and centuries of anti-Palestinian and anti-Black violence that have always been at the core of Israel and the US. We recognize the racism that characterizes Israel’s treatment of Palestinians is also directed against others in the region, including intolerance, police brutality, and violence against Israel’s African population. Israeli officials call asylum seekers from Sudan and Eritrea “infiltrators” and detain them in the desert, while the state has sterilized Ethiopian Israelis without their knowledge or consent. These issues call for unified action against anti-Blackness, white supremacy, and Zionism.

We know Israel’s violence toward Palestinians would be impossible without the US defending Israel on the world stage and funding its violence with over $3 billion annually. We call on the US government to end economic and diplomatic aid to Israel. We wholeheartedly endorse Palestinian civil society’s 2005 call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel and call on Black and US institutions and organizations to do the same. We urge people of conscience to recognize the struggle for Palestinian liberation as a key matter of our time.

As the BDS movement grows, we offer G4S, the world’s largest private security company, as a target for further joint struggle. G4S harms thousands of Palestinian political prisoners illegally held in Israel and hundreds of Black and brown youth held in its privatized juvenile prisons in the US. The corporation profits from incarceration and deportation from the US and Palestine, to the UK, South Africa, and Australia. We reject notions of “security” that make any of our groups unsafe and insist no one is free until all of us are.

We offer this statement first and foremost to Palestinians, whose suffering does not go unnoticed and whose resistance and resilience under racism and colonialism inspires us. It is to Palestinians, as well as the Israeli and US governments, that we declare our commitment to working through cultural, economic, and political means to ensure Palestinian liberation at the same time as we work towards our own. We encourage activists to use this statement to advance solidarity with Palestine and we also pressure our own Black political figures to finally take action on this issue. As we continue these transnational conversations and interactions, we aim to sharpen our practice of joint struggle against capitalism, colonialism, imperialism, and the various racisms embedded in and around our societies.”

Visit www.blackforpalestine.com for the full list of signatories and more information. You can also follow the statement on Facebook and Twitter. Kristian Bailey is a co-author of the statement along with Khury Petersen-Smith.

Palestinian Boycott Activists Salute 1,000+ Black Activists, Scholars and Artists for Endorsing BDS for Palestinian Rights

Tuesday, August 25, 2015 Posted by
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“Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.” – Rev Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Occupied Palestine, August 25, 2015 — Palestinian boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) activists have today welcomed the statement issued by more than 1,000 African American activists, artists and scholars in solidarity with the struggle of the Palestinian people for freedom, justice and equality and in support of BDS.

The statement unequivocally calls for BDS and places an emphasis on the right of Palestinian refugees to “return to their homeland in present-day Israel” as “the most important aspect of justice for Palestinians.”

Mahmoud Nawajaa, the general coordinator of the Palestinian BDS National Committee, the broad Palestinian civil society coalition that leads the BDS movement, welcomed the declaration by saying, “The statement’s support for BDS against Israel’s regime of occupation, settler colonialism and apartheid is particularly inspiring as it translates principled positions into morally-consistent actions that are capable of righting injustices.”

“The US civil rights movement has always been a key inspiration for us in the BDS movement. We are deeply moved by this powerful proclamation that evokes the spirit of that heroic civil rights struggle and the inspirational Black Lives Matter movement and epitomises speaking truth to power,” Nawajaa added.

Omar Barghouti, co-founder of the BDS movement, reacted to the statement, “This deeply moving and noble declaration by our Black brothers and sisters in the US and elsewhere is not just a genuine expression of effective, altruistic international solidarity. It is a poignant testament to the organic links that connect the Palestinian struggle for self-determination with the struggle of the oppressed around the world, including ongoing struggles for racial and economic justice by black people in the US and across the world.”

Barghouti added, “Despite the obvious differences, there are compelling similarities between the forms of oppression that both Palestinians and African-Americans live under. Dehumanization, dispossession, racial injustice and discrimination, state violence, criminalization of entire communities and impunity are all key characteristics are of the oppression faced by black Americans and Palestinians.”

The leading Black activists, scholars and artists’ call for boycotts and divestment against the private security company G4S is especially noteworthy. “G4S harms thousands of Palestinian political prisoners illegally held in Israel and hundreds of Black and brown youth held in its privatized juvenile prisons in the US,” their statement said. It profits from “incarceration and deportation from the US and Palestine, to the UK, South Africa, and Australia,” the statement added, rejecting notions of “security” that “make any of our groups unsafe” and insisting that “no one is free until all of us are.”

In 2012, the BNC was one of several Palestinian human rights and civil society organisations that launched a large international BDS campaign against G4S, the British-Danish private security company that is deeply involved in Israel’s violations of prisoners’ rights and international law.

The boycott campaign has cost G4S many contracts around the world, including in the US, Ireland, Norway, South Africa, among others.

Under this intense pressure from the BDS movement, G4S has announced that it will not renew its contract with the Israeli Prison Service when it lapses in 2017. However, G4S has not yet made any written confirmation of this decision or ended any of its contracts supporting Israeli settlements, prisons, checkpoints and military bases, so Palestinian organisations are calling for the G4S campaign to continue.

BNC secretariat member Rafeef Ziadah said, “The BDS movement joins hands with the 1,000 Black activists that have issued this statement and with communities across the world in calling for the intensification of campaigns against G4S. Let us resist the role the company plays in human rights violations across the world, from Florida to Jerusalem and everywhere in between.”

“The current surge of mass Black activism for justice rekindles the whole world’s hope for a more peaceful, just and dignified world,” Ziadah added.

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EU delegation ‘extremely concerned’ about Israel’s plan to raze Palestinian village-Martina Anderson MEP

Thursday, July 23, 2015 Posted by
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Israel’s plan to destroy a Palestinian village and leave about 350 people homeless has sent a wave of outcry beyond Middle East. European MP Martina Anderson has expressed “extreme concern” about the destiny of the village.

“The situation is unacceptable,” said Martina Anderson, President of the European Parliament Delegation for Relations with the Palestinian Legislative Council in a state on Wednesday, Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) reports. “The villagers face expulsion from their own lands and they have nowhere to go,” she added.

“Such ongoing violations of Palestinians’ Human rights are contrary to Article 2 of the EU-Israel Association Agreement which states that the relationship is based on mutual respect for human rights and democratic principles,” Anderson said.
“The EU cannot continue to tolerate persistent violations of the agreement by Israel,” she concluded.

In June, diplomats from all 28 EU member states visited Susya to protest the Israeli decision.
Last week the US also criticized Israeli intent to demolish the village. “We strongly urge the Israeli authorities to refrain from carrying out any demolitions in the village,” said State Department spokesperson John Kirby in a press briefing on July, 16.

Along with international reaction the problem of Susya causes an outcry of the Palestinian authorities.

“The Israel occupation has systematically pursued a policy of forcible transfer of civilian Palestinian populations, which is a crime against humanity under International law, and in the process has replaced the indigenous Palestinian population with foreign settlers throughout Occupied Palestine,” said Saeb Eraekat, PLO Executive Committee Member and Chief Negotiator, Palestine News Network reports.

“Some of the most dramatic examples of such policies can be seen in the villages of Abu Nawar and Susya, in Jerusalem and Hebron respectively,” he added.

The Palestinian village of Susya, which is situated near the southern border between Israel and the West Bank on a site of an ancient Jewish settlement, has existed since the 1830s. In the early 1980s, Israel established a Jewish settlement near the village and in June, 1986 expropriated the residential ground for creating an “archeological park.”

After that several waves of expulsions and demolitions took place – in 1990, 2001 and 2011. As a result, the most Palestinian settlement was destroyed and many people were forced to live in tents and lean-tos. Palestinian attempts to rebuild their demolished houses were deemed illegal.

In May, 2015 the Supreme Court of Israel approved destruction of the rest of the settlement. 37 buildings are to be demolished immediately. 22 of the buildings that are set to be destroyed are EU funded and one of them is a medical clinic which is financially supported by the Italian government. Solar panels, greenhouses and water wells are also set for demolition.

“Every morning we wake up frightened this might be the day that our village is destroyed. We won’t leave though, this is our land,” villager Iyam Nawajah told ITV News.

Israel does not recognize right of Palestinians to live in Susya. “The question is was there ever a village here or in the location that they’ve set up between this ancient town of Susya and the Jewish community of Susya?” Ari Briggs, a Jewish land rights advocate said as cited by ITV News. “That’s never been proven, it can’t be proven,” he added.

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One Year Anniversary of Operation Protective Edge Genocide On Gaza- Derry Protest and Solidarity Rally

Tuesday, July 7, 2015 Posted by
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protest gerry speaking POSTER

Photos by Sean Mc Monagle

Irish Friends of Palestine Coordinator Gerry MacLochlainn Speaking

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Daisy Mules-Derry Trade Union Council-Speaking

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Catherine Hutton Palestine Solidarity Activist-Speaking

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Jo Bird Jewish Voice for Peace Ireland-Speaker

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Folks Attending Rally

Caolin McGinley OSF Event Organiser

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crowd at protest best

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#BDS VICTORY-Carey Academy Cancels Apartheid Feis

Monday, June 8, 2015 Posted by
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BDS WORKS

A collective effort was made by activists across Ireland and Irish Activists in England, operating under the collective name of The Ireland Palestine Activists Collective (IPAC) an umbrella group of Activists. Our Carey Academy “Dont Dance for Apartheid” Facebook page can be found HERE. Irish Friends of Palestine was proud to have participated in this collective action and ultimate victory!!

Speaking today Sinead MacLochlainn, Chairperson, Irish Friends of Palestine said “It was great to see such solidarity among Irish activists who worked together online to help stop the abuse of our Irish Culture being used as Hasbara by Israelis. And here in Derry it was an honor to work on this campaign alongside a fellow Derry woman and Activist, Catherine Hutton” Ms.MacLlochlainn continued “We cannot “Greenwash” Apartheid and indeed we have been asked directly by Palestinians who are at the forefront of resisting this illegal Occupation to do what we can to support them. So it is with great pleasure we can all announce today that the Feis has now been cancelled!!”

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Activists in England organised a protest outside the Carey Academy on 6th June, you can see that video here:

The Politics of Reconstruction: Gaza, the EU, and Palestinian Governance

Wednesday, May 27, 2015 Posted by
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Chaired by the EU DPLC Chair Martina Anderson MEP Sinn Fein Brussels EU Parliament meeting organised by EUROPAL and Irish Friends of Palestine

The Politics of Reconstruction: Gaza, the EU, and Palestinian Governance facilitated and Chaired by the EU DPLC Chair Martina Anderson MEP Sinn Fein, co-organised by Europal and Irish Friends of Palestine

The Politics of Reconstruction: Gaza, the EU, and Palestinian Governance facilitated and Chaired by the EU DPLC Chair Martina Anderson MEP Sinn Fein, co-organised by Europal and Irish Friends of Palestine :

Martina Anderson MEP  chairs meeting

Martina Anderson MEP chairs meeting

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson, current EU Chairperson of the DPLC Delegation for relations with the Palestinian Legislative Council, has said her party will continue to support wider recognition of Palestinian statehood.

Speaking at the EuroPal Forum seminar on The Politics of Reconstruction: Gaza, the EU, and Palestinian Governance, which took place at the European parliament this Tuesday 26th May, along with the chairman of ECCP Mr Pierre Galand and Hamas lawyer in the European court Ms Liliane Glock.

in attendance Mohammed Hamdan of EUROPAL and Gerry MacLochlainn Irish Friends of Palestine

in attendance Mohammed Hamdan of EUROPAL and Gerry MacLochlainn Irish Friends of Palestine

Ms Anderson said; “In November 2014 the European Parliament debated the recognition of Palestine and then passed a joint motion the following month.

“That was part of a broader worldwide trend towards the recognition of Palestine which saw similar motions in Ireland, Britain, Sweden, Spain, France, Portugal and elsewhere.

“These motions are hugely important as the EU itself cannot recognise Palestine, it can only express support.

“The European Parliament motion was, however, a disappointment in our view, as it made recognition of Palestine conditional on a successful agreement with Israel.

“Recognition should not be conditional on anything. In fact, recognition would give Palestine additional leverage in any negotiations with the Israelis.

“We will continue to call on all member states to recognise Palestinian statehood to give further support to the Palestinian people and assist the peace process in the region.”

The Politics of Reconstruction: Gaza, the EU, and Palestinian Governance facilitated by, and Chaired by Martina Anderson MEP co-organised by Europal and Irish Friends of Palestine

The Politics of Reconstruction: Gaza, the EU, and Palestinian Governance facilitated by, and Chaired by Martina Anderson MEP co-organised by Europal and Irish Friends of Palestine

Others in attendance were Irish Friends of Palestine Coordinator and event co-organiser Gerry MacLochlainn, Mohammed Hamdan of EuroPal, Khaled Walid of Europal.

EU Conference – Recognition of the Palestinian State

Thursday, January 29, 2015 Posted by
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RECOGNITION OF THE PALESTINIAN STATE

TUESDAY 29.1.2013, 10.00 – 12.30, room ASP 1G2 – EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT -BRUSSELS

INTERPRETATION FROM & INTO ARABIC/EN/FR/DE/EL/PT

SPEAKERS
1. Bassam SALHI, General Secretary of the Palestinian People’s Party, Member of the Palestinian Legislative Council
2. Mohammad BARAKEH, President of HADASH, Member of the Knesset
3. Leila SHAHID, General Delegate of Palestine
4. Patrick LE HYARIC, MEP GUE/NGL FRANCE

CHAIRED BY Gabi ZIMMER, President GUE/NGL

Issues to be debated:
1. End the occupation of Palestine
2. Recognition of an independent and viable state of Palestine
3. End impunity of the state of Israel
4. Stop the “upgrading” of EU-Israel relations
5. The impact of the result of the 22.1.2013 Israeli elections on the prospects for negotiations and a solution to the Palestinian problem

“Banning the Arms Trade with Israel?” GUE/NGL European Parliament

Saturday, November 29, 2014 Posted by
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banning israel

Hearing dedicated to the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people

Introduction

14.30 Martina Anderson, Chair DPLC (Chair)

Gabi Zimmer, President GUE/NGL (opening remarks)

Who Profits? How does the industry work and what EU programmes are involved?

14.40 Frank Slijper – PAX Dutch Campaign Against the Arms Trade

14.55 Ghassan Khatib, Vice-President Birzeit University, former minister

Impact and aftermath

chaired by Neoklis Sylikiotis, MEP GUE/NGL, Cyprus

15.10 Video link from from Gaza with Raji Sourani – Director Palestinian Committee for human rights, Vice-President International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)

15.20 Video link from East Jerusalem with Dr Haitham Al Hassan, head of General and Vascular Surgery at Al Makassed Hospital, Hospital Director Islamic Charitable Hospital 2004-2006

15.30 Dr Ruchama Marton – President Physicians for Human Rights – NGO from Israel

Media blackout

15.45 chaired by Patrick Le Hyaric, MEP GUE/NGL, France

15.50 David Cronin, journalist, via Skype connection

Action

chaired by Martina Anderson, MEP GUE/NGL, Ireland

16.05 Michael Deas – BDS campaign

Conclusions

16.20 Ghassan Khatib – Vice-President Birzeit University, former minister

16.35 Martina Anderson

Reiteration of petition and appeal

17.00 End

GUE/NGL press contact: Gianfranco Battistini

+ 32 475 646628

gianfranco.battistini@europarl.europa.eu

For information:

vera.polycarpou@europarl.europa.eu;

myriam.losa@europarl.europa.eu;

katie.murphy@europarl.europa.eu

Russell Tribunal on Palestine-GUE/NGL

Saturday, September 27, 2014 Posted by
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RUSSELL TRIBVUNAL

GUE/NGL MEP Marisa Matias will host the Russell Tribunal on Palestine in the European Parliament on the 25th of September, from 2 to 4pm.

RUSSELL TRIBUNAL ON PALESTINE – SPECIAL HEARING 25/9/14

Next Thursday, September 25th, in the European Parliament, GUE/NGL MEP Marisa Matias will welcome Ken Loach, Roger Waters, Vandana Shiva, David Sheen, Richard Falk, Max Blumenthal, Mohamed Omer and Michael Mansfield, members of the jury of the Tribunal Russell on Palestine, to present the conclusions of the extraordinary session.

The special hearing in the European Parliament will take place from 2 to 4pm in room ASP5G3. Director Ken Loach will open the session and the musician and founder of Pink Floyd, Roger Waters, will close it.

According to a press release issued by the Russell Tribunal:

“The Russell Tribunal’s extraordinary session on Gaza will examine Israeli attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure during ‘Operation Protective Edge’ in July and August of this year.

Human Rights Watch recently accused Israel of committing war crimes in a report analysing three attacks on schools in Jabalya, Beit Hanoun and Rafah. The attacks killed 45 people, including 17 children.

This is not the first time that a human rights probe has made such claims. United Nations and Amnesty International investigations have also found evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

According to the United Nations, 2,131 Palestinians were killed during Israel’s latest 50-day offensive. Of those 501 were children, about 70 per cent of them aged under 12 according to UNICEF.

In the same period, the Ministry of Health in Gaza recorded 10,918 people injured including 3,312 children and 2,120 women. According to the United Nations, 244 schools were shelled and one used as a military base. Al Mezan, a human rights organisation, reported at least 10,920 houses damaged or destroyed of which 2,853 were completely destroyed. Furthermore 161 mosques, eight hospitals – resulting in six being taken out of service, 46 NGO 50 fishing boats, and 244 vehicles were also hit.

The Tribunal will hear evidence from experts and witnesses who were on the ground during the attack including British Channel 4 News journalist Paul Mason on the targeting of school shelters, PCHR Director Raji Sourani on the targeting of civilians, surgeons Mads Gilbert and Mohammed Abou-Arab on the attacks on medical facilities and workers, journalist Martin LeJeune on the targeting of industrial zones and factories, and Ashraf Mashharawi on attacks on government energy and waste infrastructure.”

GUE/NGL press contacts:

Gay Kavanagh + 32 473 842320 gabrielle.kavanagh@europarl.europa.eu
Gianfranco Battistini + 32 475 646628 gianfranco.battistini@europarl.europa.eu

http://www.guengl.eu/news/article/events/russell-tribunal-on-palestine