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  • Palestinian Authority (PA) leader Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) stated, “Israel should be ashamed, imprisoning hundreds of Palestinian children when their only crime is yearning to live honorably like Israeli children and all the children of the world.” The PA leader made his remarks during a Ramallah assembly marking Palestinian Child Day.

    “We are turning to the world that has committed injustices and degraded us, ignoring our rights, saying all we desire is to live in an independent nation without settlements and without a fence. Is that too much to ask?” concluded the PA leader.

    Abbas accuses Israel of imprisoning hundreds of children

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    • Tom Hurndall died nine months after falling into a coma

      A Briton shot dead by an Israeli soldier in Gaza was "intentionally killed", an inquest has ruled.
      Tom Hurndall, 22, from Tufnell Park, north London, was shot in April 2003 as he moved children away from the Israeli army in the Palestinian town of Rafah.

      A soldier has already been jailed for his manslaughter, but Mr Hurndall's family believe blame goes higher up.

      The coroner is to write to the Attorney General about the case and the death of James Miller, shot three weeks later.....

      'Unlawful killing' of Gaza Briton

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      • In July 1999 a new Israeli government, led by Prime Minister Ehud Barak of the Labor Party, came to power. Barak had opposed the 1993 Oslo Declaration of Principles between Israel and the PLO and had voted against its sequel, the 1995 Oslo II accords, in the Cabinet. Nonetheless, his election raised hopes that after three years of stalemate induced by the administration of Likud Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, there would be renewed momentum toward a Palestinian-Israeli peace agreement and resolution of the "final status" issues left open by the Oslo accords--settlements, the status of East Jerusalem, refugees, borders and the nature of the Palestinian entity.

        Those hopes were dashed by the failure of the July 2000 summit at Camp David convened by President Clinton at Barak's request and against the wishes of Palestinian Authority President Yasir Arafat, who thought the parties were not close enough to conclude an agreement. Israel's proposals at Camp David, while more generous than any previous public position, fell far short of what any Palestinian leader could accept. Barak proposed a barely contiguous Palestinian state on 90 percent of the West Bank (with an additional 10 percent, the Jordan Valley, leased back to Israel for decades) entirely surrounded by Israeli-controlled territory. The Palestinians would have sovereignty over a few suburbs of East Jerusalem, but only a quasi-autonomous civil administration for Arab neighborhoods of the city proper. Barak's refusal to withdraw to the 1967 borders reflected not only his commitment to a limited form of Palestinian sovereignty but his constricted negotiating room. Having lost his parliamentary majority just before the summit, he was terrified of appearing too dovish.

        Following Ariel Sharon's provocative visit, flanked by 1,000 Israeli soldiers and police officers, to the Temple Mount/Noble Sanctuary in Jerusalem on September 28, 2000, the second (or al-Aqsa) intifada erupted. Israeli forces immediately deployed extreme violence, firing more than 1 million live bullets in the first three weeks of the uprising, largely against stone-throwing youth and before any act of Palestinian terrorism occurred. Nonetheless, negotiations continued throughout the fall in the hope that a deal could be struck before Clinton and Barak left office......

        When Doves Cry

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        • The Israeli government said yesterday it would continue its bombardment of northern Gaza with an estimated 300 shells a day despite international criticism over the death of a young girl.

          Shaul Mofaz, the defence minister who is touring Israel's borders with Gaza, said: "As long as it's not quiet here [in Israel], it won't be quiet there [in Gaza]."

          Israeli forces have been firing shells close to Palestinian communities to stop militants from firing rockets at Israeli communities. The army continued to bombard the outskirts of Beit Lahiya yesterday, but Palestinian militants fired their homemade missiles from different residential areas, which they believe are safe from Israeli reprisals......

          Gaza families watch in awe and fear as Israelis pour in 300 shells a day

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          • Algiers: An Algerian journalist wrote in this country's Al-Shorouq daily's Wednesday edition that Arab leaders' silent on Palestine issue would serve that nation's interests more than the Arab League's phony support.

            Sa'd bou-Aqaba wrote, "O Arab nation! The Arab League at the end of its important extraordinary session summit issued a significant communique announcing that Palestine, Iraq, Sudan and Afghanistan would soon be liberated!

            "The AL has considered as 'unacceptable' the EU's halting of its financial assistance to the Palestinian Authority. By God that is a righteous stand!

            "The AL has denounced the EU's unjust measure, but it is the first time in world history that the receivers of alms are negotiating with alms' donators after being deprived of it!

            "If the AL was after revival of its lost prestige - if anything still remains of it - it would have in its communique asked the multi-millionaire Arabs to stop wasting money in beaches of Europe, East Asian and even America; but the AL instead challenged the alms donators!

            "The AL could not even challenge its own members for rejecting to receive Hamas delegations, or for congratulating the successor of Ariel Sharon for assuming responsibility in occupied Palestine, but they never congratulated Hamas after its victory in democratic Palestinian elections.

            "Such nasty adopting of stands is no less harmful than EU's halting of its alms to Palestine, and is by no means in line with the seized rights of the oppressed Palestinians.

            "It means that the AL believes they - the cheap Arab leaders - and the EU are the real guardians of the Palestinians, and not their worthy elected current leaders, Hamas.

            "The AL had better remained silent and advised the Arab leaders, too, to follow suit, because the alms that the West has ceased paying to the Palestinians is not even equal to a tenth of the money stolen from the Arab nations each year by their leaders, or the money spent by such and such Emir, or minister in vacation resorts of Bangkok, Cannes, etc."

            Algerian Journalist: Arab League had better remain silent on Palestine!

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            • Palestinians living under the Israeli occupation are imprisoned in a thicket of physical, corporeal barriers of all types and sizes (checkpoints, roadblocks, blockades, fences, walls, steel gates, roads prohibited to traffic, dirt embankments, concrete cubes) and by a frequently updated assortment of bans and limitations:

              The uber-wardens

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              • this is just pure cowardice... they fear us like hell...

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                • The new Hamas government, broke and increasingly isolated, has turned to ordinary people for financial help, launching a fundraising drive on websites and Arab satellite TV stations, a spokesman said Thursday.

                  The appeal, which is sponsored by the Arab League, comes at a time when the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority is not only being shunned by the West, but Hamas leaders are also getting the cold shoulder in some Arab capitals.

                  Arab governments have been reluctant to make good on pledges of financial aid to the Palestinian Authority, apparently in part because they see Hamas as part of a global Islamic movement that is challenging autocratic Arab regimes. In addition, some Arab countries are reluctant to cross the United States......

                  ......Arab League official Mohammad Sobeih said earlier this week that no new funds have been sent to the Palestinians since Hamas assumed power at the end of March, though some nations are paying off previous pledges. He said Algeria sent USD 37 million to PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, bypassing the Hamas government.

                  Hamas launches fundraising campaign

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                  • Relatives mourn the death on Tuesday of an 8-year-old Palestinian girl killed in IDF shelling in Gaza the day before.

                    Arab ambassadors to the UN dropped a plan Tuesday to seek a Security Council condemnation of Israeli military actions in the Gaza Strip......

                    Arab bloc drops plan to seek UN censure of IDF actions in Gaza

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                    • In an interview published Wednesday in the Wall Street Journal, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said his “convergence plan” will cost up to USD 10 billion.

                      Olmert said he plans to visit Washington in May to seek U.S. political and financial backing for his plan.

                      The newly appointed prime minister said he intends on withdrawing 70,000 Jewish settlers from the West Bank, less than a third of the 250,000 currently living beyond the Green Line.

                      In return, Israel will keep hold of large West Bank settlement blocks, where most of the evacuees will be relocated.

                      Olmert will ask for Washington to help him gather international support for plans to draw up final borders with the Palestinians to ensure a Jewish majority in Israel for decades to come......

                      Olmert: Convergence to cost USD 10 billion

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                      • According to a Thursday report on Al-Jazeera, the Hamas government will recognize Israel if Israel withdraws to the 1967 borders.

                        Hamas officials close to Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh expect Haniyeh to announce the change in the organization's platform in the next few days, Army Radio reported.....

                        Report: Hamas will recognize Israel within 1967 borders

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                        • dang khiyal... are u reporting live?!

                          *keep an eye out in the music section for some juice*

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                          • United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, said Wednesday Israel has an obligation to take "meaningful steps" to alleviate Palestinian suffering.

                            In a message delivered by Mohamed Sahnoun, his Special Adviser on Africa, to the meeting of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) in Istanbul, Annan added Israel must end blockades, stop house demolitions, end extra-judicial killings, curtail arbitrary arrests and halt all colonization activities......

                            Annan: Israel has to take meaningful steps to alleviate Palestinian suffering

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                            • Originally posted by Bent_Bladi
                              dang khiyal... are u reporting live?!
                              salam ya Bent Bladi

                              lol, you could say that, in a manner of speaking, I am in touch with people in Palestine and like to keep up to date with developments.

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                              • wow, my family there is there no more... we're dispersed around the world...

                                all our property there was stolen and my family *as in my dad's family* had to escape yafa in an ambulance...

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