Monday, 27 September 2010
Netanyahu Intent on Squeezing Palestinians
As of midnight on Sunday [September 26], the 10-month, partial moratorium on zionist settlement construction in the occupied West Bank is at an end. The land grab is now, officially, back on.
As he allowed the deadline for any extension to what was, at best, a patchy moratorium to pass last night, Israeli prime minister Benyamin Netanyahu had the audacity to place the onus for the continuation of any talks on the president of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas.
“I call on president Abbas to continue with the good and honest talks we have just embarked upon, in an attempt to reach a historic peace agreement between our two peoples,” Netanyahu said.
As he was speaking, members of Netanyahu’s own party, Likud, joined 2,000 zionist settlers and christian fundamentalists in a triumphalist demonstration in the Revava settlement in the northern West Bank. There are currently around 500,000 zionist settlers living in 120 illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank and east Jerusalem.
Al Jazeera’s correspondent in the West Bank Nour Odeh has reported the feeling on the ground is that talks with the Israeli government are not worth pursuing in the present circumstances.
“Palestinians of all political persuasions have been very clear and quite united in saying that no negotiations can happen while settlement construction is eating up Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank including East Jerusalem,” Odeh said.
“Settlements are built mostly on privately owned Palestinian land. So this is not just a political issue but a very personal issue for thousands of Palestinians across the divide.”
Meanwhile, the two opposing attitudes of the outside world towards the Palestinian struggle were also witnessed over the weekend.
On Friday [September 24], the International Atomic Energy Association, the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog, rejected an Arab-proposed resolution calling on Israel to join the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.
Despite the fact that Israel is believed to be only nuclear-armed state in the region, the general assembly of the 151-member IAEA blocked the resolution at its meeting in Vienna. Fifty-one member states voted against the resolution while 46 voted in favour and 23 abstained.
Israel, with the support of the USA, attempted to intimidate the assembly by warning that any vote in favour of the resolution would prove to be a “fatal blow” to “regional security”.
The boat is manned by activists from the Jews for Justice for Palestinians group and includes an 82-year-old survivor of the Nazi holocaust, Reuven Moskovitz.
“It is a sacred duty for me, as a survivor, to protest against the persecution, the oppression and the imprisonment of so many people in Gaza, including more than 800,000 children,” Moskovitz said.
The boat’s cargo includes symbolic aid in the form of children's toys and musical instruments, textbooks, fishing nets for Gaza's fishing communities and prosthetic limbs for orthopaedic medical care in Gaza's hospitals.
The ongoing resistance of the Palestinian people, combined with consistent acts of international solidarity, offers the best chance for freedom and peace in the region, not talks in the White House.