Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Palestinian group condemns Israeli land theft in West Bank as contributing to conflict

Press Release

Annexing more of the Palestinian Lands to expand Israeli Settlements

The Department of Arab and International Relations condemns the Israeli recent decision to annex 12000 Dunums (1200 Hectares) of the Palestinian lands in order to expand Maaleh Adumim Jewish settlement by building another 6000 settling houses, east of Occupied Jerusalem.

A special Israeli ministerial committee approved a plan that aims at annexing Kidar settlement to be part of Maaleh Adumim settlement. Kidar is 3 kilometers east of Maaleh Adumim. The plan is one of a number of illegal Israeli measures that aim to expand Jewish settlements and connect them to each other on the expense of privately-owned Palestinian lands. By doing this Israel will be blocking the geographical contiguity of the anticipated Palestinian state.

Maaleh Adumim is the second Israeli settlement in space; the settlement is built on 62000 dunums of land (1% of the West bank area).

By the time Israel expands its settlements, the Palestinian Jerusalemite houses will be demolished; the Israeli authorities issued demolition warnings of 30 Palestinian Jerusalemite houses. Total number of Israeli demolition warnings escalated to 1052, since the beginning of 2009.

DAIR appeals to the International Community to practice pressure on Israel in order to stop its unilateral measures. The Israeli stealing of the Palestinian lands to build and expand Israeli settlements must be stopped; such actions violates the International law and the principles of the Road map for peace.

Department of Arab & International Relations /PLO
Ramallah- Palestine
April 28th, 2009

Monday, April 27, 2009

Bilin stands in face of Israeli carnage and war crimes

One Week After the Murder of Bassem Abu Rahmah, 25 Injured in Bil’in Demonstration to Build his Memorial

Twenty five protesters were injured today following the end of the 4th Annual International Conference of Popular Resistance in Bil’in. Injuries ranged from light to moderate and most were caused by rubber coated steel bullets. Fadi Al-Arori from Routers news agency, Mohib Barghouti from Al-Haya newspaper and Israeli activist and filmmaker, Shai Pollack, all had their cameras broken by the Israeli army. The rest of the wounded are all from the village: Fadil Al Khatib, brothers Ahmed and Awada Abu Rahmah, brothers Riyad and Iyad Burnat, Khalid Al Khatib, Abdullah Abu Rahmah, Mohammed Al Khatib, Wael Fahmi, Basel Mansour, Tariq Al Khatib, Abdullah Yasin, Tamir Al Khatib, Nizar Abu Rahmah, Husam Al Khatib, Mohammed Nabil Abu Rahmah, Nour Yasin, Ibrahim Burant, Ahmad Abu Rahmah (Bassem’s Brother) and Adeeb Abu Rahmah who was detained by the army for three hours.

The Bil’in conference this week was attended by a large number of international, Israeli and Palestinian activists. Also at the conference were Luisa Morgantini, vice president of the EU Parliament; Mairead Maguire, a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate; Mustafa Al Barghouti, head of the Palestinian Initiative; Khalidah Jarrar, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council. The demonstrators began their marched after closing the conference. They carried pictures of the martyr Bassem Ab Rahmah and succeeded in building a memorial for Bassem Abu Rahmah near the gate, despite a constant barrage of tear gas and rubber bullets fired by the Israeli army.
Luisa Morgantini stated, “We succeeded to build the memorial for Bassem Abu Rahmah, as respect for his spirit. We will never forget him; he was a friend of everyone. We have to continue the popular resistance which has begun to expand to the Jordan valley, Al Ma’asarah, Ni’lin, and Jayyous”.

Mairead Maguire said “We came to Bil’in more than five times and we went to Gaza also, we are going to continue our struggle to end the occupation and the siege. What happened in Bil’in and losing Bassem is a tragedy to everyone. Let’s all work together for peace and end the oppression and occupation”. Maguire and Morgantini expressed their condolences to Bassem’s family.

Thank you for you continued support,Iyad Burnat- Head of Popular Commitee in Bilinco-founder of Friends of Freedom and Justice - BilinEmail- bel3in@yahoo.comMobile- (00972) (0) 547847942Office- (00972) (2) 2489129Mobile- (00972) (0) 598403676www.bilin-ffj.org

Sunday, April 26, 2009

ADALAH to file challenge to Israeli Apartheid policies favoring settlers

April 2009

Dear Colleagues,

Greetings to you from Adalah. Below please find a press release concerning a hearing tomorrow, Monday 27 April 2009 at 9 am before a Jerusalem planning committee on an objection filed by Adalah against the Eastern Ring Road. A short briefing paper on the objection is attached for your information.

26 April 2009

Tomorrow, Monday 27 April 2009 at 9 a.m at Shlomzion Hamalka Street 1, Jerusalem:

Jerusalem Planning Committee to Hear Objection Filed by Adalah to the Eastern Ring Road

(Haifa, Israel) Tomorrow, Monday 27 April 2009 at 9 a.m., an investigator nominated by the Jerusalem District Planning and Building Committee, which is part of the Israeli Interior Ministry, will hear objections submitted by Adalah as well as other groups against the plan for The Eastern Ring Road ? Central Section. Following these arguments, a member of the Jerusalem Municipality will then respond to the objections. Adalah Attorney Suhad Bishara will represent the objectors before the investigator and set forth the main arguments against the plan.

The objection submitted by Adalah on 2 March 2008 demanded the cancellation of the plan, which is essentially intended to create an apartheid road that, if implemented, would confiscate vast amounts of Palestinian private property, isolate Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem from one other, and sever East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank.

Adalah filed the objection on behalf of Palestinian human rights and community organizations which are members of the Civic Coalition for Defending the Palestinians' Rights in Jerusalem (CCDPRJ); the mayors of Abu Dis, Izzariya, Suahara; and a group of Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem. The objection was filed by Adalah Attorneys Fatmeh El-?Ajou and Suhad Bishara and Adalah?s Urban and Regional Planner, Hana Hamdan.

The plan is part of a broad project that encompasses East and West Jerusalem and contains two main sections, an Eastern and Western ring road. The ring road is planned on vast stretches of land (amounting to approximately 1,200 dunams), most of which would be expropriated from its private Palestinian owners. The planned route runs alongside the following Palestinian neighborhoods, to the west of the route: Sala, Jabis, Bashir, Sakriyat, Al-Qunbar, Hai al-Madaris, Umm Lison and Zur Bahar; and to the east the following Palestinian towns and neighborhoods: Abu Dis, Surhai, Sawahri Sharqiya and Sheikh Sa?ad. The Eastern Ring Road is the only remaining part of the project yet to be completed.
Adalah expects that the sub-committee for objections, which is comprised of representatives from the Ministries of Transportation and Justice, planners, and the head of the Mateh Yehuda Regional Council, will decide in the coming months on whether to accept or deny the objections or to make changes to the plan.

For more information including a short briefing paper on the objection, see: http://www.adalah.org/eng/pressreleases/pr.php?file=08_03_17.

Phone contact: Salah Mohsen, Adalah Media Coordinator, Mobile: 052-595-0922
Adalah ? The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel is an independent human rights organization. It works to promote and defend the rights of Palestinians in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT). Visit our website at http://www.adalah.org/eng/index.php

Friday, April 17, 2009

International Olympic Committee mourns loss of member Abdel Mohamed Halim

Death of Abdel Mohamed Halim, IOC Honorary Member since 1988

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is greatly saddened to learn of the death of Abdel Mohamed Halim, IOC Honorary Member in Sudan, at the age of 99.

Elected to the IOC in 1968, he remained a member until 1982. He was a founder member of the African Football Confederation (1956), then its Vice-President (1976-1978) and President (1987-1988). He was a member of the IOC Eligibility Commission (1972-1976) and Olympic Solidarity Commission (1973-1980).

Abdel Mohamed Halim organised the first African Nations Cup in 1957, as well as the third session of the Arab Olympic Committee in 1958. Halim was a member of the FIFA Executive Committee; Vice-Chairman of the FIFA Medical Committee (1966-1980); a member of the FIFA Technical Committee (1972-1980); and an Honorary Member of FIFA since 1980.

A physician by profession, he was Director of Omdurman Civil Hospital (1950-1953), and then Senior Physician at Khartoum Teaching Hospital (1954-1964). Halim was also a member of the Supreme Council of State of the Republic of Sudan (1964-1965); Chairman of the Council of the University of Khartoum (1956-1963); President of the Sudan Medical Association (1949-1964); Consultant Physician to the Ministry of Health; and Mayor of Khartoum (1953-1960).

In all his activities, he promoted the Olympic values. Abel Mohamed Halim also made significant contributions to publications including Congress newspapers as well as medical articles, and co-authored “Death of a World” (in Arabic).

The IOC expresses its deepest sympathy to Abdel Mohamed Halim’s family.


For further information, please contact the IOC Communications Department, Tel: +41 21 621 60 00

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Palestinian American Congress Conference May 22-23


For Immediate Release Contact: Amani Ghouleh
April 6, 2009 708.601.3713

Palestinian American National Conference
Palestine …The Key To Peace
Chicago - The Palestinian American National Conference (PANC) is an educational cultural conference about the history of the Palestinian struggle in the Middle East. The community will be holding its second annual conference hosted this May in Chicago, Illinois.

This year’s speakers include, Abdel Bari Atwan, the Editor of Al-Quds Newspaper in London, and Dr. Mahmoud Al-Habbash, Palestinian Minister of Agriculture and Social Affairs. Both are dedicated, strong voices for the peace process and justice in the Middle East.

Organizers state “The convening of a Palestinian American National Conference inclusive of every Palestinian living in America will be an annual event. The American Palestinian people are an important and integral part of American Society and as such should be empowered to become an effective force in US policy towards Palestine. Therefore, as responsible American citizens we have a duty and a right to convince our government that there will be no peace in the Middle East without a free Palestine. On May 22nd and 23rd, of 2009, we are holding this conference in Chicago at the Rosemont Crowne Plaza Hotel, with recognized International and American speakers, panel discussions and a full range of activities. This conference will be held to appeal to a wide audience to help rescue our people from the slums of the refugee camps and the brutality of the Israeli Military Occupation “.

Conference details:
Friday and Saturday, May 22 & 23, 2009
Crowne Plaza, 5440 N. River Road
Rosemont, IL 60018


A Press Conference will be held on Friday May 22nd, 2009 at 4:30 PM
Scheduled Press Conference Speakers include:
Abdel Bari Atwan, Editor of Al-Quds Al-Arabi Newspaper of London, United Kingdom.
Dr. Mahmoud Al-Habbash, Palestinian Minister of Agriculture and Social Affairs.
Anna Baltzer, International Women’s Peace Service.
Adam Shapiro, Documentary Producer.
Dr. Gada Talhami, Professor of Third World Politics and Women Studies, Lake Forest College, IL
Rev. Dr. Don Wagner, Director of Center of Middle Eastern Studies, North Park University, IL.
Dr. Joel Kovel, Former Professor of Social Studies at Bard College.
Dennis Kucinich, Ohio Congressman (D). (Video Conference)

Obama to meet with Jordanian King Abdullah II


Office of the Press Secretary
For immediate release
April 15, 2009

Upcoming Working Visit by His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan to Washington

President Obama will meet with His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan at the White House on Tuesday, April 21. Jordan is a close ally and partner of the United States and the President looks forward to discussing ways in which the two countries can strengthen cooperation on regional affairs, military and security issues, and reform efforts. The President looks forward to consulting with King Abdullah on the pursuit of a comprehensive peace in the Middle East, including moving forward with the Arab Peace Initiative, and on ways to deepen cooperation on other issues in the bilateral relationship.