Palestine coverage through 17 July 08

Today’s selection of articles largely skips over the coverage of the Israeli prisoner swap with Hezbollah while searching elsewhere for news of Israel’s continued practice of abducting Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza and using them as bargaining chips of various kinds to pressure the PA, or Hamas, or to appease its own right-wing public. These abductions and kidnappings happen day-in, day-out, week after week, month after month, year after year, and are never called by their proper name: hostage-taking. So today, a day when the news is dominated by the Israel-Hezbollah hostage-exchange, let’s think about these everyday Israeli practices in the Palestinian Territories. We know the international outrage that ensues when a single Israeli is captured by Palestinians — imagine if we lived in a world where Palestinian forces engaged in routine raids in Israeli cities and towns and detained Israeli civilians, politicians, family members of suspected Israeli militants. We will have to consign that scenario to science-fiction, but the outrage it would provoke is not hard to conjure. Now see how much outrage can be conjured by the 2 stories compiled below (that are so below the radar, they do not even get reported in the mainstream western press) of this week’s abductions.

The first article in the selection and the last are on the same subject — the last (#12 below) by Gideon Levy captures all of the astonishing cruelty that the inert language of the first article (about the targeting of philanthropic endeavors) misses while reporting the same facts. Other pieces cover Israeli raids and abductions of Palestinians from their towns, the disparate impact of the Gaza siege on women, Blair’s decision to skip a visit to Gaza on the grounds of security concerns, various ways in which Israel has downgraded consideration of a Hamas prisoner exchange for Gilad Shalit, and EU criticism of Israeli settlements in the recent Mediterranean summit. Many of you might not realize it, but a delegation of Palestinian officials is currently visiting DC about the “peace process.” Coverage of their visit highlights the low low expectations for any head way on peace.

Finally, on a slightly more upbeat note one article speaks of Ramallah’s preparations for Obama’s impending visit, while another traces the Palestinian-Israeli conflict through Facebook.

1. ISRAEL TARGETS HAMAS PHILANTHROPY
By Peter Hirschberg
Inter Press Service (IPS)
July 16, 2008

2. GAZA SIEGE BATTERS WOMEN
By Mel Fryberg
Inter Press Service (IPS)
July 16, 2008

3. ISRAELI TROOPS ABDUCT 12 HAMAS MEMBERS IN WEST BANK
Agence France Presse (AFP) (France)
July 16, 2008

4. BLAIR NIXES GAZA VISIT ON SECURITY CONCERNS
Arab News (Saudi Arabia)
July 16, 2008

5. HAMAS-ISRAEL PRISONER SWAP REMAINS ELUSIVE
By Adam Morrown and Khaled Moussa Al-Omrani
Inter Press Service (IPS)
July 15, 2008

6. EU RAPS ISRAELI SETTLEMENTS AFTER MED UNION SUMMIT
By Jeffrey Heller
Reuters
July 15, 2008

7. PALESTINIAN OFFICIALS TO WASHINGTON AMID LOW EXPECTATIONS FOR PEACE
Kuwait News Agency (Kuwait)
July 15, 2008

8. ISRAELI ARMY ARRESTS 8 PALESTINIANS IN NABLUS
Kuwait News Agency (Kuwait)
July 15, 2008

9. RAMALLAH READIES FOR OBAMA VISIT
By Khaled Abu Toameh
The Jerusalem Post (Israel)
July 15, 2008

10. PALESTINIAN CONFLICT HITS CYBERSPACE
By Omar Karmi
The National (United Arab Emirates)
July 14, 2008

11. REPORT: ISRAEL RENEGING ON SHALIT AGREEMENTS
By Roee Nahmias
Ynetnews (Israel)
July 14, 2008

12. THE GENERAL OF ONIONS AND GARLIC
By Gideon Levy
Haaretz (Israel)
July 13, 2008

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One Response to Palestine coverage through 17 July 08

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