Saturday, June 30, 2007
Friday, June 29, 2007
Lebanese Army Fires Live Ammunition at Peaceful Protest in Solidarity with Nahr el Bared Refugee Camp
2 killed, *35* wounded, 7 critical cases shot above their waist
Today, during the second day of a three-day peaceful protest in the Palestinian refugee camp of Badaoui in solidarity with Palestinian refugees from Nahr el Bared, the Lebanese Army opened fire on the protestors in Badawi refugee camp, killing two people and injuring 3 5, 7 critically.
A peaceful protest began within the Badawi Palestinian Refugee Camp in north Lebanon. The protestors had signs reading “Nahr el Bared is in our soul” and “Nahr el Bared, we won’t forget you.” The protestors were calling for an end to the violence.
Energetic male youth continued the protest outside the camp, against the wishes and attempts of the organizers.
As they proceeded towards the Lebanese army's checkpoint, the army issued verbal warnings telling the protestors to stay away. At this point, women and children raced to the front to try to prevent the army from firing upon the crowd. The Lebanese army shot two warning shots into the air and then immediately responded with machine gun fire at the crowd of approximately 300 peaceful protesters. The army continued firing on people as they were attempting to retrieve the wounded.
A senior official in the Lebanese Army stated that the Army responded in this way to defend itself, and that its response was the minimal response it could have undertaken.
Caoimhe Butterly, an activist and organizer, reported on what she had personally witnessed. “The army first opened fire with 2 to 3 minutes of sustained fire. When there was a lull in the shooting, we rushed in with our hands above our heads. At this stage, the Army started firing on the road again. Thus, people retrieving the wounded were wounded.”
In response to the Lebanese Army’s claim that a “significant number” of the protestors had clubs, Butterly said, “the protestors did not have clubs. Nobody had clubs. We saw the whole demonstration. They weren’t carrying anything. We went from the beginning to the end of the demonstration. We saw it all, and no one was carrying clubs.”
Furthermore, she continued, “the protest was never out of hand. They weren’t throwing stones. At the time the Army opened fire, women were sitting on the ground at the front, and a number of people even had their backs to the soldiers. At the time the Army opened fire, people were getting quieter and had stopped shouting, as if shouting is enough to legitimize open fire.”
In response to the Lebanese Army’s claim that the protestors were 10 meters away from the checkpoint, Butterly said, “We were at a distance where we couldn’t distinguish their faces; we could only distinguish their figures. We were possibly at a distance of a few hundred meters, and definitely not 10 meters. We were far away from the checkpoint.”
Two civilians were killed, and 35 wounded, including 5 women, one elderly sheikh, and 7 children below the age of 15 – including one 3-year-old child. Seven of the wounded are critically wounded, having been shot above the waist.
The protest was held in a response to the ongoing siege of Nahr al Bared refugee camp in an attempt to highlight the worsening humanitarian situation and indiscriminate shelling endured by the up to 3,000 civilians still remaining in the camp. The protest began yesterday by initiating a three-day water-only symbolic hunger strike in solidarity with family and friends in Nahr al Bared who are presently experiencing the hunger, fear and vulnerability of facing a second month under siege. The protest included a silent procession and die-in to highlight the to-date 36 civilian casualties earlier this afternoon and an open mike and opportunity for the press to interview people throughout the day who have recently evacuated Nahr al Bared." (thanks Rania)
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Initiative (PNI) also left its position vague and unclear." (thanks Regan)
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
"The Gaza events were not a war between Fatah and Hamas; but between Hamas and Fatah collaborators who served the Americans and the Israelis, said a senior Fatah advisor on Wednesday. Hani al-Hassan, the Palestinian president's senior political advisor and member of Fatah's central committee said in a TV interview that what was happening in the Gaza Strip was the defeat of to plans of American Major General Keith Dayton and his Fatah followers. Al-Hassan's words severely discredit Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and other Arab leaders' claims that the Gaza takeover was a coup against Palestinian democracy."
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Monday, June 25, 2007
Sunday, June 24, 2007
"NIR ROSEN, JOURNALIST: Well, it already did. We created a civil war. This is actually outrageous. Outgoing U.N. envoy to the Middle East peace process, Alvaro De Soto, himself accused the U.S. of fomenting a civil war by training, funding and arming Fatah thugs and inserting them into Gaza to destabilize the Hamas government. We never gave them a chance. They were democratically elected in an election that was widely recognized as free and fair, even by former President Jimmy Carter. And then the U.S., along with Israel, Jordan and Egypt trained these gangs and actually put them in Gaza to overthrow the Hamas government. And, of course, it's actually backfired and Fatah was overthrown. But all you're going to do is isolate and further radicalize Hamas. And so when you say that the U.S. is seeking to ease tensions in the Middle East, I disagree with you. These are tensions that the U.S. actually created in the Middle East.
ROBERTS: Nir, I mean what are you talking about, we have Fatah thugs being sent into the country to wage war with Hamas?
ROSEN: Well, they were trained by the U.S. General Dayton (ph), our envoy to the peace process, was responsible for a program, along with Elliot Abrams (ph), the deputy national security adviser for the Middle East, and they actually trained Fatah in the West Banks. The Jordanian special forces created the Fatah Badr brigade. The Egyptians, as well, trained Fatah in Egypt. The United Arab Emirates actually sent money and arms. And then they were allowed to enter Gaza and then began to attack Hamas. I mean this was an existential threat to a democratically elected government. What we've done is overthrow a government that was elected. The U.S. . . ."
Saturday, June 23, 2007
Friday, June 22, 2007
Thursday, June 21, 2007
"New York, Thursday. Sen. William King, President of the American Palestine Committee, has issued a firm statement on reports that Jewish immigration into Palestine may be suspended. Speaking to a representative of the Zionist Organization of America, he said: "The report that a suspension of immigration into Palestine has been contemplated is incredible. That has been the prime objective of the Arab terrorists, and surely England will not disclose her weakness by yielding."
a wrong decision. I have heard that many staff are considering to resign as it has been nearly a month and they feel that they cannot work in this new hostile environment." (thanks anonymous)
"Extinguished days have passed
We have not met,
we have not been united
not even by a shadow of a mirage
And I am alone,
feeding on the sound of
steps of darkness
Behind the rough glass
of the window,
behind the door
And I am alone...
Days have passed
Cold, crawling, dragging
my suspicious boredom
crawling lazily behind the door
And I listen and count its
Did time pass by us?
Or have we plunged into
and drowned in the tide of illusions
Days have passed
Days burdened by my longing.
Where am I?
I am still stairing at the stairs
And the stairs start, but where
is the end?
It starts in my heart, where
there is wilderness and its darkness
It starts. Where is the vague door?
Door of the stairs?
Days have passed.
We have not met, you are there
behind the zone of dreams
in a horizon surrounded by unknown
And I walk, and see, and sleep
I expire my days, and drag
my honey-laced future
So it flees to a missing past
My days are consumed with sighs,
when will they return?
Days have passed, and you have not
remembered that there is there
in a corner of your heart
is deserted love
Bitten in its feet by thorns
Love bowing, frightened
Assume it is light
Return. Part of a meeting
giving us wings to travel through night
there is space
behind the surrounding forests
there are seas...
Return, or will it die?
My voice in your hearing
behind the despised crooked alley
And I remain distracted in the heart
Nothing but extended silence
Nothing but sleepy echo
whispering in my ear
he will not return
No. Will not return."
The Thieves by Iraqi poet Nazik Al-Mala'ikah (my translation):
It is the night; all the borders
sank in its pitch-darkness
and it wrapped the existence
Oh, Arab beware
The desolate open ranges
are filled with the steps of enemies
from behind the banks of
the Euphrates and the Gulf,
And numerous thieves,
all are greedy and deceptive
They came from behind the seas
stealing the food of the hungry
They descended upon the dark-skinned
stealing fruits and dates
taking away the ground and air
capturing dew and light
They will deprive you, if they can
the green of the smiling trees
suffocating the tender songs
preventing sleep and dream
They are blocking the road,
obstructing all paths
Wake up, Ye noble Arab"
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
So you read the headline, and then you read the end of the story: "Hours later, Bush released a statement pledging to reinforce Israel's military posture with a new 10-year agreement "that will give Israel the increased assistance it requires to meet the new threats and challenges it faces." Bush said he will send Undersecretary of State R. Nicholas Burns to Israel next month to lead talks aimed at concluding such an agreement."