Palestine coverage through 23 Feb 08

February 24, 2008

Today’s news roundup begins with the grim tally of Palestinians killed and injured by the most recent rounds of Israeli strikes within their territories. The story of the Japanese translator shot in the eye by the IDF as he observed a nonviolent protest of the Wall at Bilin is especially typical of the senseless brutality of life day-in, day-out under Israeli occupation. It is also representative of the stories that are never picked up from the wires in the mainstream press because they might suggest to English-speaking audiences that Palestinians are engaging in nonviolent resistance.

Additional pieces that reflect the daily struggle to survive under occupation include news of the extension of the Israeli closure of all Palestinian representation in East Jerusalem as well as the denial of 94% of all requested permits to build in the West Bank and East Jerusalem submitted by Palestinians even as settlement activity to create Israeli facts on the ground in occupied Jerusalem and the West Bank goes forward. Read the rest of this entry »

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Palestine coverage through 16 Feb 08

February 20, 2008

This selection (longer than usual, but covering more days) brings together the interesting and/or noteworthy (for better or worse) news and commentary of the last 3 or 4 days. I include a few articles that provide an overview of the current tension in Lebanon where the anniversary of the Hariri assassination coincided with the assasination –being attributed throughout the region to Israel — of senior Hezbollah official Imad Mughniyeh. The ongoing destabilization of Lebanon serves the interests of many of the same players that are only too happy to extend the status quo in Israel-Palestine at the expense of the Palestinians.

Imad Mughneyah

In terms of news, it is a case of plus ca change — Israel looks for international support for a massive operation in Gaza while simultaneously proceeding with a tender for expanding its illegal settlements in East Jerusalem with over 1000 new units. A Palestinian woman is deprived of medical care by the IDF and dies while 8 are killed in a blast in Gaza (part of the “relative quiet” enjoyed by Israel, no doubt). The UN notes that the situation in Gaza is grim, while Gazan produce rots under Israeli sanctions. The last piece in the selection is Olmert’s claim that borders are not an important stumbling block in the “peace process.” Not entirely plausible, but few such claims ever end up mattering in any case.

In terms of commentary the NY Times reporter covers with great sympathy Israel’s “quandary” in Gaza — Israeli suffering at the hands of the rudimentary “rockets” lobbed over from Gaza is the focus, with military strategy being the “solution” considered at greatest length by the interviews undertaken by Erlanger, published first in the Herald Tribune and then picked up for the domestic audience in the NYT. Read the rest of this entry »


Palestine coverage through 7 Feb 08

February 10, 2008

Today’s selection reprises what I think have been some of the better (or sometimes simply noteworthy) pieces since the end of last week. I begin with Darryl Li’s assessment of the situation in Gaza following his own visit there in January. Li was stuck in Gaza during one of the more severe of Israel’s closures, preventing even humanitarian deliveries or entry/exit by internationals from the area. His account of what he witnessed, written for the Israeli organization Adalah, is well worth the read.

The next couple of articles detail the ongoing killing of Gazans by Israeli air strikes and Israeli plans to ensure the total isolation of Gaza by establishing their own fence at the Egyptian-Gaza border. The Christian Science Monitor covers the Dimona suicide bombing as a renewed basis for Israeli construction of the Wall through annexation of Palestinian lands. Princeton’s Dan Kurtzer has a piece about negotiations in the “peace process” in the Lebanese Daily Star, which I
have included. Then there is the Israeli effort to externalize costs of occupation through a call for an international body to be made responsible for “resettlement” of Palestinian refugees. Read the rest of this entry »