Source: BBC - May 25, 2011
Egypt is to open the Rafah border crossing into Gaza permanently to most Palestinians from Saturday, Egyptian state news agency Mena has said.
Gaza has been under blockade since 2007, when the Islamist Hamas movement took control of the territory.
Under ex-President Hosni Mubarak - ousted in February - Egypt opposed the Hamas administration and helped Israel to enforce the blockade.
Israel says the blockade is needed to stop weapons being smuggled into Gaza.
The Rafah crossing will be opened permanently from 0900 to 2100 every day except Fridays and holidays, beginning Saturday 28 May, Mena said.
"Palestinian women of all ages will be exempted from visas as will men under 18 or over 40," Mena reported.
Rafah is the only crossing into Gaza which bypasses Israel.
The BBC's Jon Leyne, in Cairo, says it is unlikely Israel will welcome the move, although it has been easing its own restrictions on its crossings with Gaza.
The transitional military government said last month that it intended to open the crossing permanently.
Our correspondent says the announcement illustrates the more independent-minded foreign policy likely to be adopted by Egypt's new rulers.
Egypt's co-operation in blockading Gaza was one of the most unpopular policies of former President Mubarak, he adds.
Last year, Israel eased restrictions on goods entering Gaza, but significant shortages in the territory remain.
Mena said the decision to open Rafah was part of efforts "to end the status of the Palestinian division and achieve national reconciliation".
Egypt's post-Mubarak government has already helped broker a reconciliation agreement between Hamas and the Fatah faction, which governs the Palestinian West Bank. Israel has condemned the deal.
Under Mr Mubarak, Egypt upheld its unpopular peace treaty with Israel and opposed Hamas in the internal Palestinian power-struggle.
Hundreds of smuggling tunnels run under the Egyptian border with Gaza.
The blockade has been condemned as a form of collective punishment of the population of the Gaza Strip because of the hardships it causes.
In 2010, the International Committee of the Red Cross said the blockade was a clear violation of international humanitarian law.
Source: Future Fast Forward - May 24, 2011
MORE food supplies were delivered to The Spirit of Rachel Corrie by a small boat at 5.30pm (Egyptian time) on Sunday.
Like before, The Spirit of Rachel Corrie -- MV Finch is its official name -- was not allowed to enter port and had to come close to the port entrance to receive the goods.
The food supplies are enough to last for two days.
Also delivered were 75 containers of fresh water, just in time to replenish the ship's water tank, which was at zero level early Sunday. The water is enough for only two days as it is used for washing, cooking and ship's operations.
It is essential for the people onboard to maintain hygiene as diseases can spread easily in cramped spaces like in the ship.
The water in the tank ran out on Sunday and the people onboard had to use bottled water to flush toilets, bathe and wash hands.
The first supply of food was delivered to the ship last Thursday.
Yesterday was exactly a week since The Spirit of Rachel Corrie was turned into a "prison ship" by the Egyptian authorities, thus hampering its humanitarian mission to deliver aid to the needy Palestinians.
The Malaysian-owned cargo ship is sponsored by the Perdana Global Peace Foundation (PGPF) in its mission to break the Israeli siege of Gaza and deliver PVC pipes for rehabilitation of the damaged sewerage system in Gaza.
The mission achieved its first objective last Monday when it managed to surprise the Israeli navy and entered Palestinian waters, but was forced to turn back after an Israeli navy patrol vessel fired several warning shots over its bow.
The cargo ship has yet to achieve its second objective of delivering the 30 tonnes of 7.5km-long PVC pipes to the Palestinian Environment Ministry.
Meanwhile, yesterday was the first week anniversary of the success of The Spirit of Rachel Corrie mission to break the siege of Gaza.
In a classic case of David versus Goliath, the small general cargo ship managed to penetrate the cordon of the mighty Israel Defence Forces (IDF).
It was a historic event as no cargo vessel carrying humanitarian aid had come so close to the Palestinian waters before.
Even the previous ship MV Rachel Corrie, which PGPF had participated in last year, had failed to break the siege.
Last Monday morning, The Spirit of Rachel Corrie bypassed the Egyptian El Arish port authority and the country's navy to come close to its shores.
Cruising slowly and as close as 750m from the shore, the ship was only detected by IDF patrol vessels when it entered the security zone.
By the time the IDF vessels approached and started firing its first warning shot around 6.05am, The Spirit of Rachel Corrie had already entered Palestinian waters about a kilometre from its shore.
Several more warning shots were fired which forced the ship to stop and turnaround into Egyptian waters and anchor at the El Arish port.
The mission's earlier victory was shortlived as it has now been turned into a "prison ship" by the Egyptian authorities.
Presidential hopefuls must show fealty to Israel, and the Jewish money elite in America if they wish to succeed, it's not a secret, however Palin takes this 'rite of passage' to a frightening level. Perhaps it's her vacant stare, or the total contradiction of her statements measured only days (sometimes minutes) apart, but empty shells of ambition like Palin frighten me. I can only imagine how the real complexity of the world - it's various cultures, tensions, and opportunities would be homogenized in the mind of Palin into a mass of distorted and colorless moralistic computations, which all too often would churn out the thought, 'well......lets KILL'em!', as a solution to any external matter that proved difficult or challenging. Check out the last four paragraphs below, Palin's not even president and she's already attempting to provoke China, pure insanity.
Source: The Daily Mail - March 22, 2011
Sarah Palin thinks Israel should 'stop apologising'.
The former Alaska governor, currently in Israel on a two-day private tour, made the remark as she and husband Todd toured the Western Wall and its adjacent tunnels.
'Why are you apologising all the time,' Palin asked guides Israeli lawmaker, Danny Danon and Western Wall Rabbi, Shmuel Rabinowitz, after they told her Jews were not allowed to pray openly in the Temple Mount and about the riots following Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's decision to create an exit from the tunnels in the 90s.
The trip has raised speculation Palin is honing her foreign policy credentials ahead of a run for the U.S. presidency next year.
She arrived in Israel yesterday after a stop in India, wearing a large Star of David.
She went on to tell Danon that she had flags of Israel 'on my desk, in my home, all over the place'.
'She didn't go into diplomatic issues, but I can clearly say from the questions she asked in relation to our conflict here with the Muslims in these holy sites that she knows that we are right and that the Muslims are just claiming things for provocation and they're not right,' Danon told the Jerusalem Post.
Palin has tried to keep a low profile during what is her first trip to Israel. She dodged waiting paparazzi who were staking out hotels and holy sites in hopes of getting a glimpse of the former governor.
She rarely travels abroad and has been criticised for her weak foreign policy record.
Famously Palin didn't even own a passport until 2006 and once said ‘you can actually see Russia from Alaska’ when she asked about her insights into Russian politics.
A visit to Israel, a key U.S. ally, has become almost a rite of passage for potential Republican candidates at a time of strained relations between the U.S. and Israeli governments.
Israel is a key American ally in a volatile region and a top concern for Jewish voters and pro-Israel Christian groups in the U.S.
Palin's two-day private visit follows similar stops by former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, all potential candidates for president in 2012.
David Ricci, an expert in U.S.-Israel relations at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, said the steady stream of Republican visitors sends a message to Mr Obama that Israel is of interest to the other party 'and he shouldn't push them around too much.'
As well as visiting holy sites in Jerusalem's Old City and elsewhere Palin also had dinner with Netanyahu planned before she heads home tomorrow.
During Sunday's visit to the Western Wall - a retaining wall of the compound where the biblical Jewish Temples stood 2,000 years ago - she said: 'Israel is absolutely beautiful, and it is overwhelming to see and touch the cornerstone of our faith, and I am so grateful to get to be here.
'I'm very thankful to know that the Israeli and American link will grow in strength as we seek peace along with you,' she added
While in India at the weekend Palin suggested China is preparing itself to launch a military offensive.
She questioned why the Far East country was stockpiling ballistic missiles, submarines and ‘new-age, ultramodern aircraft’ seemed unjustified when it did not face an outside threat.
‘What’s with the military buildup?’ She said. ‘China’s military growth can’t just be for defensive purposes.’
Speaking to an audience of business leaders and socialites on a rare foreign trip to India, she added she has not ruled out a Presidential run in 2012 and stressed the importance of shared free-market values.
In her New Delhi appearance she warned: ‘We’re going to need each other, especially as these other regions rise’ in an apparent reference to China.
Posted by Harvest Dream on Friday, March 4. 2011 in Children, Corruption, Infrastructure, Injustice, Israel, Middle East , Music, Palestine, Perception, Philosophy, Politics, Resistance Movements, Social Evolution, Social Insights
Pink Floyd's Roger Waters adds his voice to the calls for Israel to remove its separation wall. - Aljazeera
Why is Israel still bombing Gaza? Because they can?
Posted by Harvest Dream on Wednesday, January 26. 2011 in Corruption, Dark Arts, History , Injustice, Israel, Military, Palestine, Perception, Resistance Movements, Social Evolution, Social Insights, USA0 Comments More...
He who trapped in chains, of a culture run morbid
never having wanted but a little piece of joy, now found
living in prison, a cast away onboard what seems an empty vessel
when he asks out, in a solemn angry voice
where are they, when here I am?
I hear voices distant, but their world is only a ghost
in the face of my pain, as ever I would wish away
we never did err with you, but were born on a wrong way road
in a land no one knows, to a people without a home
I raise my voice to the on high, I'm even reaching to the sky
I'm looking for you there, and if not there,
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