THE HANDSTAND

JULY 2007

 NEWS FROM PALESTINE
NO WATER IN GAZA OR PARTS OF WEST BANK FOR A WEEK
NO EUROPEAN, ENGLISH,IRISH, OR USA NEWSPAPERS HAVE REPORTED THIS
HA'ARETZ HAS RUN AN OPINION COLUMN.
There may be an alternative, water independence.

After the disengagement, there were stories about a desalinization plant purchased by the EU and sitting in warehouses in Italy awaiting delivery.

Apparently there had been a disallowance by Israel during the time before the disengagement about whether it should be sited in Gaza or further north.

After the disengagement, Israel wanted to tax the import of the plant.

Is it still sitting in warehouses waiting for delivery? Can it be run on natural gas?

Can it make enough potable water to recharge the aquifer?

Is the EU still willing to deliver?
............................................................................................Most of Israel`s water is stolen from the Palestinians...........................................In international law Israel is still the "Occupying Power" in Gaza and is obliged to maintain essential supplies and services.
Not to do so would constitute a major war crime.
This discussion is therefore totally academic...........................................Israel controls the sea off Gaza, and the sky above it and, through its deal with Egypt, uses their troops to control the Western border.Israel is therefore still viewed in international law as the "Occupying Power". - this means that any move on Israel`s part to cut off essential supplies and services is a grave war crime...................................I don`t think DESERVE is the proper term. I think that as long as Israel maintains its blockade of Gaza it has an OBLIGATION to provide the water. Until Israels blockade of Gazas airport, ports and land crossings is lifted "bottled water" or "water from Egypt" are simply not options. Of course if you don`t mind seeing children dying of thirst and dehydration on TV, then by all means go ahead and cut off the water, you noble, generous people, who are respected around the world for your high ethical and moral standards.....................................................................Israel should completely stop taking any and all water out of the GAZA aquifur. The Palestinians can then use their own water without having to buy it from the people who stole it in the first place. The Aquifer is in Palestinian territories. Actually, Israel should quit using any and all water which originates under Palestinian territories. Israel wastes water, and has almost completely deleted the reserves that existed in Palestine....................................To deny water to the Palestinians in GAZA, while controlling their borders and prohibiting them from taking the water from their own aquifers, would be genocide plain and simple. Supporters of this or any similar option demonstrate clearly how the Germans could have done the things they did. Fortunately, I truly do not believe that Israelis or their government would do such a thing. Truly. If ever they did, however, their close relationship with the US, whose citizens mistakingly believe Israel is the only victim of the conflict, would come to a crashing brutal end. 



Citizens Marooned at Egypy/Palestine crossing:


On Monday, the government of PA Prime Minister Salam Fayad in the West Bank said it supported the idea of allowing the travelers to enter Gaza through Kerem Shalom, as a one-time solution to a humanitarian crisis.

Information Minister Riyad Malki said the vast majority of the travelers were willing to undergo the Israeli security checks at the crossing, just to be able to go home. Malki said about 280 of those near the border had fled Gaza during the Hamas takeover and did not want to return.

Ismail Haniyeh, the Hamas leader of Gaza, said Monday that Hamas would not agree to the rerouting the travelers through Kerem Shalom.

"We will not give the Israeli occupation this card to increase the pressure on our people," he said.

"The border must remain Palestinian-Egyptian only."

Tony Blair's first favour to Israel?
BG plan to pump gas to Israel an ‘act of theft’
http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/natural_resources/article1832315.ece
From The Times May 24, 2007
by Sonia Verma in Jerusalem and Steve Hawkes

The militant Hamas movement has launched a stinging attack on BG Group and vowed to block a potential 2 billion deal being brokered by the company to supply Palestinian gas to Israel.

The Islamist group told The Times that any agreement would be equivalent to a modern-day “Balfour Declaration” – the British Government statement that formally approved the creation of an Israeli homeland in 1917.

Ziad Thatha, the Hamas economic minister in the Palestinian Government, said: “BG Group is an embarrassment to the Palestinian people.

“When a company sells Palestinian gas to the Zionist occupation, it is similar to acts of theft the Israelis are practising against our land every day.”

The comments threaten to overshadow key negotiations BG Group hoped would lead to the development of the Gaza Marine gas field it discovered seven years ago. Talks over a 15-year contract are due to begin next week and the Israeli Foreign Ministry said it was keen to conclude a deal “as soon as possible”.

The Gaza Marine field is Palestine’s only sovereign natural resource and its development could generate 500 million for the Palestinian economy in royalties from BG Group. The gas would meet 10 per cent of Israel’s annual energy requirements. BG Group said that its priority was thrashing out a deal acceptable to the Israeli and Palestinian authorities. “We need a bilateral agreement for this project to get across the line,” a spokesman said.

However, Hamas controls a majority of the seats in the Palestinian Government. The more moderate Fatah Party reiterated yesterday that it wanted guarantees over how cash payments would be made before signing off any deal.

Mohammad Mustafa, the economic adviser to Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian President, said: “We hope that we will reach an understanding and remaining obstacles will be overcome.”

BG Group had been negotiating to pump gas from the field, which holds 1 trillion cubic feet of reserves, to Egypt before Tony Blair urged the company to give Israel a second chance last summer {...} (COMMENT: British Gas likely to resume talks on Gaza coast reserves.
BG has a joint franchise in the Gaza Marine gas field off the Gaza coast, which contains some 37 billion cubic meters of gas, with the Palestinian Authority, which has a 10 percent stake, and CCC (3" percent), which is owned by the Lebanese Khoury family.
Arik Silverman, Milwaukee, USA
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Open letter to Ismael Haniyeh
By Robert Thompson
Jun 19, 2007, 11:59

Dear Prime Minister,
  You and your colleagues have had to suffer greatly since you, together with your Muslim and Christian allies, won the elections last year, even though they were held under enemy occupation by invaders who have come from all around the world to steal your homes and lands.  

It is sad that Mahmoud Abbas and the Fatah ever fell into the trap of accepting the confidence trick known as the "Oslo Agreement", and they have never recovered their freedom ever since that terrible failure to recognise how this craftily continued all the evil intentions of the invaders.   The enemies who have occupied your lands still want no more nor less than to complete the ethnic cleansing of all the territories which they have conquered, whether in 1948 or in 1967.  

I, like many others here in Europe, hope that one day (although we recognise that it will probably not be very soon) justice will return to the Holy Land as a first step towards a fair and durable peace, whereby all the people of Palestine and of the rest of the Near and Middle East will be able to return to their ancestral homes.   Your enemies are already saying that you will, if you manage durably to take control of the Gaza Strip, go against the teachings of the Qur'an by discriminating against those of the inhabitants who are non-Muslim.   However, your personal history appears to make it more likely that you will follow the precedents set by Islamic traditions, and it seems only fair to give you the benefit of any doubt unless and until you should disappoint us.  

Please do not forget the support which so many of us are willing to give you and your allies in your constant and unceasing struggle against the illegal occupation of Palestine, and continue to act with justice and humanity towards every single inhabitant of the territories which you can control.
  In the meantime, please be reassured that you and all your people will remain in the thoughts and prayers of every decent person around the world, even as the forces of evil under the leadership of the Neocons / Zionists continue to do everything that they can to destroy you all.  
Yours sincerely,   Robert Thompson  
Copyright 2007 by AxisofLogic.com

CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS:
More Druze refuseniks despite Israeli threats

author Friday July 06, 2007 23:45author by IMEMC Staffauthor email saed at imemc dot org Report this post to the editors

Despite the repeated threats and actual punishments against Arab Druze refuseniks in Israel, more Druze youngmen are rejecting military service in the Israel army and confirmed their belonging to their Arab nationality, and to the Palestinian people.


The youth are rejecting to be part of an army which is occupying Palestine and Arab territories, and reject to be part of the killings and assaults carried by this army.

Waleed Ja’far, one of the Druze refuseniks said that the youth do not want to be related to this army “which is killing and conducting terrorist attacks against the Palestinian people in the occupied territories”, and added that he was arrested and imprisoned two times for rejecting the military service.

“Even if I spend my whole life in prison, I will not be a soldier who carries a gun against his own people”, Ja’far said, “We are part of the Palestinian nation; we will not be part of the army’s killing machine”.

A report prepared and published by the Free Druze Movement, which is one of the movements against compulsory military service, stated that it held several meetings with Druze people in the country, and in Jordan, and decided that they will not be part of the Israeli army.

The report also revealed that there is an increasing number of Druze young men, aged 18-25, who are rejecting the military service, and that currently there are 40 young men in Israeli prisons for rejecting to serve in the army.

Sami Mhanna, member of the Free Druze Movement, said that Israel always tried to separate the Druze people from the Arabs and the Palestinians, and added that Israel always tried to make the Druze sector isolated from the rest of the Arabs and tried to give the impression that the Druze people are supporting Israel and its policies.

Saqer Naffa’, 19, spent 80 days in prison for rejecting the military service. He said that when he was in the 11 grade at school, he started received forms from the army in order to fill them and join the military.  

When he was in his twelfth grade, he received direct order to be recruited but he refused and went to an Israeli police station where he told them that he will not join the army, and that he will not be part of the military which occupies his own nation.

He added that he is an Arab, and will not fight against the Arabs, and will not be part of this army which occupied Palestine, and kills the people.

One of the officers tried to talk him out of his decision, and told him that the “Druze are not Arabs, and that they should serve Israel”.

Naffa’ stated that his imprisonment made him more determined to reject the military service and that now there are more than fifty young Druze men who are rejecting this service.

He added that it is true that the number of young Druze men who are rejecting the military service it’s relatively small, but more are becoming aware of this issue.  

Another resident, Suleiman Daghmash, spent four years in prison for rejecting the military service, and now his two sons Faleh and Najd are also rejecting the military service, and Najd was imprisoned for three months.

Daghmash, a senior member of the Druze Movement, said that “it is a crime to force a person to kill his own people”, and added that this is a considered “an Israeli conspiracy against the Druze”.  

Several groups in the Druze sector are currently active against the compulsory military service, and are conducting social events in order to strengthen the cultural and historical roots of the Druze nation.

Lawyer, Sa’id Naffa’, one of the main activists in this field, stated that the compulsory service must be revoked, especially since it is forcing a nation to fight against its own people.

Translated & Edited by Saed bannoura - IMEMC