Archive for category GUE/NGL

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

Posted by on Friday, 28 August, 2015
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

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

Posted by on Thursday, 23 July, 2015

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

Posted by on Wednesday, 27 May, 2015
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.