Tag Archives: Palestine

Was Gaza Gassed?

” A Pale Green Mermaid Blog”

Reports of a white poisinous gas beung fired at civilians in Gaza that causes symptoms of suffocation in people who are sprayed with it are very disturbing.

The questions are,

Who produced this new gas?

Who sold it to the Israelis?

and isn’t using gas against civilans not allowed by international law?

The United Nations should look into this matter as soon as possible.

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Medical sources: Israel using unfamiliar toxic gas against Palestinians in Gaza

– See more at: http://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/middle-east/12881-medical-sources-israel-using-unfamiliar-toxic-gas-against-palestinians-in-gaza#sthash.ScuO7KH3.dpuf

Dozens of Palestinians, including children, suffered from suffocation on Thursday due to inhaling what is being described as a “strange toxic gas” launched by the Israeli army during its ground incursion in the north and south of the Gaza Strip, Anadolu news agency reported.

Anadolu quoted Dr. Ashraf Al-Qidra, a spokesperson for the Health Ministry in Gaza, as saying that: “Dozens of Palestinians, including children, arrived at hospitals suffering from suffocation after inhaling a white poisonous gas fired by the Israeli army in the northern Gaza Strip and in the Shawkah neighbourhood near Rafah, to the south.”

Al-Qidra urged the Palestinians in Gaza “not to panic when they inhale the strange gas, to protect themselves using tarpaulin coats or nylon clothes and to cover the doors, windows and vents with a moist cloth to prevent air from leaking inside.”

– See more at: http://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/middle-east/12881-medical-sources-israel-using-unfamiliar-toxic-gas-against-palestinians-in-gaza#sthash.ScuO7KH3.dpuf

Dozens of Palestinians, including children, suffered from suffocation on Thursday due to inhaling what is being described as a “strange toxic gas” launched by the Israeli army during its ground incursion in the north and south of the Gaza Strip, Anadolu news agency reported.

Anadolu quoted Dr. Ashraf Al-Qidra, a spokesperson for the Health Ministry in Gaza, as saying that: “Dozens of Palestinians, including children, arrived at hospitals suffering from suffocation after inhaling a white poisonous gas fired by the Israeli army in the northern Gaza Strip and in the Shawkah neighbourhood near Rafah, to the south.”

Al-Qidra urged the Palestinians in Gaza “not to panic when they inhale the strange gas, to protect themselves using tarpaulin coats or nylon clothes and to cover the doors, windows and vents with a moist cloth to prevent air from leaking inside.”

– See more at: http://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/middle-east/12881-medical-sources-israel-using-unfamiliar-toxic-gas-against-palestinians-in-gaza#sthash.ScuO7KH3.dpuf

Tens of Palestinians, including children, suffered temporary asphyxiation late Thursday after inhaling “poisonous gases” released by Israeli troops during incursions into the Gaza Strip, according to a Palestinian health …worldbulletin.net · 1 day ago
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Israeli Ground Invasion Kills 28 More Palestinians, Forces Fire Unknown ‘White Poisonous Gas’

Dozens of Palestinians, including children, suffered from suffocation on Thursday due to inhaling what is being described as a “strange toxic gas” launched by the Israeli army during its ground incursion in the north and south of the Gaza Strip, Anadolu news agency reported.

Anadolu quoted Dr. Ashraf Al-Qidra, a spokesperson for the Health Ministry in Gaza, as saying that: “Dozens of Palestinians, including children, arrived at hospitals suffering from suffocation after inhaling a white poisonous gas fired by the Israeli army in the northern Gaza Strip and in the Shawkah neighbourhood near Rafah, to the south.”

Al-Qidra urged the Palestinians in Gaza “not to panic when they inhale the strange gas, to protect themselves using tarpaulin coats or nylon clothes and to cover the doors, windows and vents with a moist cloth to prevent air from leaking inside.”

– See more at: http://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/middle-east/12881-medical-sources-israel-using-unfamiliar-toxic-gas-against-palestinians-in-gaza#sthash.ScuO7KH3.dpuf

Dozens of Palestinians, including children, suffered from suffocation on Thursday due to inhaling what is being described as a “strange toxic gas” launched by the Israeli army during its ground incursion in the north and south of the Gaza Strip, Anadolu news agency reported.

Anadolu quoted Dr. Ashraf Al-Qidra, a spokesperson for the Health Ministry in Gaza, as saying that: “Dozens of Palestinians, including children, arrived at hospitals suffering from suffocation after inhaling a white poisonous gas fired by the Israeli army in the northern Gaza Strip and in the Shawkah neighbourhood near Rafah, to the south.”

Al-Qidra urged the Palestinians in Gaza “not to panic when they inhale the strange gas, to protect themselves using tarpaulin coats or nylon clothes and to cover the doors, windows and vents with a moist cloth to prevent air from leaking inside.”

– See more at: http://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/middle-east/12881-medical-sources-israel-using-unfamiliar-toxic-gas-against-palestinians-in-gaza#sthash.ScuO7KH3.dpuf

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PEACE

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Poem – DANCE – For All people in Israel and Palestine

At the center is chaos

around the edges sprouts safety,

unity,

peace-

they want you to fight…

take flight-

from your quiet civil unrest

but these actions are simply the best…

peace is looming on the horizon— — —

the status quo rants and raves

hoping to get you to cave –

and once again become a slave

 to fighting, to war ,

take a chance and dance your way to peace!!!

____________________________________________________

Americans For Peace Now

 

www.peacenow.org

Peace

 

 

Thanks To Google For Images

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Poem – A Piece Of Peace

‘ A Pale Green Mermaid Blog “

 

Peace takes time

as long as there is talking

and walking,

peace will chime

across the Middle East—

bringing the sublime

Two peoples with one goal,

PEACE.

_____________________________

PEACE

 

www.peacenow.org

___Image Courtesy Of Google

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Friday Photo / Painting Combo

” A Pale Green Mermaid Blog “

  

 

 

It takes a woman’s help to get the job done…

______________________

PEACE

 

Images Courtesy of Google

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Flash Poem – Mid-East

” A Pale Green Mermaid Blog “

 

A just peace

A fair peace

for the middle east—

 

2010,

the beginning of the end. (of war)

 

____________________________________

 

Peace

www.peacenow.org

 

 

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Join Demonstration In Tel Aviv This Saturday !

” A Pale Green Mermaid Blog “

  

On Saturday Night Peace Now is planning a demonstration to allow Israelis express their opinions about:

 

” their government’s actions vis-a-vis the Gaza flotilla as being the latest in a series of blunders that are driving Israel towards disaster.”

 

Americans for Peace Now’s list of reasons to look again at the Gaza Blockade,

 

Top 10 Reasons for Reassessing the Gaza Blockade Strategy

|
 
 In June 2007, as part of an effort to pressure Hamas and force it out of power, Israel clamped a tight blockade on Gaza.  The blockade blocks the free movement of all goods and people into and out of the Gaza Strip.  This blockade is carried out by Israel along its border with the Gaza Strip and along the shores of Gaza, and by Egypt, along its border with the Strip. The blockade has continued through the past three years, condoned and supported by the United States and the international community.
 
(1) The blockade is ineffective as a security measure.The blockade, however, is not an appropriate answer to these concerns, and the maintenance of the blockade has become a burden and a liability for Israel.  Today Israeli military might is being used – whether in the context of the Gaza War or in the context of efforts to stop ships at sea  – to preserve a blockade that itself has proven to be ineffective and increasingly difficult to defend morally.The primary rationale for the blockade has always been Israeli security – the legitimate Israeli desire to stop Gaza militants getting their hands on more weapons.  But it hasn’t worked. The blockade didn’t bring about an end to rocket attacks. To the contrary, rocket attacks escalated following the implementation of this policy, culminating in the 2008-2009 Gaza War.  And even if it can be argued that the blockade is hindering the flow of weapons into Gaza, it is clearly is not stopping this flow: with the flourishing tunnel traffic between Gaza and Egypt that has developed since the blockade was established, today Israel military experts believe that Hamas continues to obtain weapons with little difficulty.

(2) The blockade is ineffective as an anti-Hamas tactic.

The other rationale for the blockade was Israel’s goal of ousting Hamas from power.  Here again, the blockade hasn’t worked.  To the contrary, it has played into Hamas’s hands.  Rather than the hoped-for groundswell of popular Palestinian action against Hamas’ government, the blockade has helped Hamas strengthen its hold on Gaza.  Gaza has turned into a society that is almost entirely dependent on foreign aid, with poverty rates are so high that the UN estimates that more than 60% of households are now food insecure. And because of the blockade, the local population blames Israel, not Hamas, for this.  

(3) The blockade is ineffective as a means of freeing captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

The government of Israel has the right – indeed, the obligation – to take measures to free its captured soldier Gilad Shalit. However, the blockade has clearly failed to achieve this goal.  Worse yet, the blockade has more likely undermined the effort to free Shalit.  Hamas used Israeli unwillingness to end the blockade as a pretext for refusing to free Shalit, after adding lifting the blockade to its list of demands – in addition to the release of hundreds of prisoners held by Israel – in exchange for releasing him.  Meanwhile international support for Israel’s legitimate grievance over the imprisonment of Shalit diluted by ever-growing concerns over the blockade’s impact on the population of Gaza, including children, women, the sick, and the elderly.

(4) The blockade is hurting the entire population of Gaza.

While Gazans are not dying of starvation or epidemics, there is a humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip. For the past three years, Israel has prevented the entry of all but a trickle of humanitarian goods into Gaza. Additional goods enter via hundreds of tunnels under the Gaza-Egypt border. While it is true that there are additional quantities of food entering Gaza, residents don’t have money to buy it, because Israel blocks the passage of goods that could be used for economic activity, including raw materials, construction materials, and export of finished products. More than 80% of Gaza residents are dependent on cash assistance from international and/or Islamic charities in order to survive, and a similar percentage are dependent on food assistance.

Ninety-percent of Gaza’s factories have closed or are operating at 10% or less capacity. Construction projects, including those designed to repair the damage from the 2008-2009 military operation, are halted, except for private actors who use construction materials purchased from the tunnels and taxed by Hamas. Unemployment in Gaza hovers at around 40%. A combination of supply restrictions imposed by Israel and financial disputes between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority have restricted the supply of fuel needed to produce electricity, forcing power outages of approximately 8 hours per day throughout the Gaza Strip.

More than 90% of the water is unsuitable for drinking by World Heath Organization standards and must be treated. Patients requiring medical care not available in Gaza face delays and sometimes refusals to permit the referral to hospitals in Israel, the West Bank, or third countries. Medical students are not permitted to leave Gaza to obtain training or studies in the West Bank, and medical personnel are often prevented from attending training opportunities abroad, making it difficult to improve the standard of care.

The situation in Gaza has been called a crisis of dignity. One and a half million people are being kept on “life support” – prevented from engaging in dignified, productive work via a policy Israel characterizes as “economic warfare” designed to pressure the Hamas regime. Human rights organizations characterize it as collective punishment, because civilians are being punished for acts they did not commit.

Such a policy is fundamentally wrong and ultimately counterproductive. It is equally wrong and counterproductive for the U.S. to condone such actions.  The dramatic deterioration in the health and welfare of civilians in Gaza in recent years represents an entirely man-made, and entirely avoidable, humanitarian nightmare.  This nightmare must end and the situation must be reversed – not as a concession to Hamas, but because it is the right thing to do, both morally and strategically.

(5) The blockade is actually strengthening Hamas.

 As a result of the blockade, Gaza’s civilians are suffering and its independent merchant class has been wiped out, while Hamas’ hold over Gaza has been strengthened through the control of the smuggling tunnels.  Outside of UN aid and the limited aid that Israel permits to pass through its crossing points, nearly all regular goods for Gaza must pass through Hamas-controlled tunnels, which today are the backbone of Gaza’s pseudo-economy.   Today Hamas is even taxing the goods that come through these routes, meaning that the blockade has indirectly become a source of income for the Hamas government.

(6) The blockade has helped wipe out moderate opposition to Hamas within Gaza.

As a result of the blockade, Gaza’s moderate middle class – the people who in the past traded with Israel and had regular relations with Israelis – has been wiped out politically and economically.  While one rationale for the blockade was that it would cause the people to rise up against Hamas and in favor of the kind of more moderate leadership that exists in the West Bank, instead today the only real opposition to Hamas comes from foreign-inspired and foreign-funded Islamists who oppose Hamas for being too moderate.

(7) The blockade undermines the domestic legitimacy of Palestinian President Abbas and Prime Minister Fayyad.

Some argue that lifting the blockade would deal a blow to the Fatah-run PA and its leaders, President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.  This argument is facile.  

Abbas and Fayyad continue to call for an end to the blockade.  For the sake of their own credibility as well as for their claim to lead all the Palestinian people (not just the West Bank) Abbas and Fayyad cannot sit by quietly and acquiesce to a situation in which more than a million Palestinians suffer.  Similarly, they know that the Gaza blockade is actually strengthening Hamas’ hold on Gaza, while diminishing the influence of those Gazans who would traditionally have represented their own power base.  

(8) The blockade is a strategic liability for Israel.

The blockade is generating friction between Israel and its allies who are finding it difficult to defend the policy to their own citizens.  Some of these allies have assisted Israel by financing UN aid to keep Gaza afloat.  

Israel’s relations with Egypt are also being strained. The Israel-Egypt peace treaty is a cornerstone of Israeli security policy. But Egypt has its own vital security interests in the Sinai-Gaza border – interests that it sees being trampled by Israel as the blockade continues.

The blockade negatively impacts the image of Israel internationally, providing ready ammunition for anti-Israel sentiment and campaigns and fueling efforts to charge Israeli officials in foreign courts with violating the Geneva Convention.  Every student who cannot exit Gaza to study, every patient who cannot exit Gaza for medical care, every bride in the West Bank who is separated from her groom in Gaza due to Israel’s refusal to permit travel between the West Bank and Gaza, every West Bank resident who is pointlessly deported to Gaza for having failed to change his or her address to the West Bank before 2000, when Israel stopped accepting changes to the Palestinian registry – each of these is one more self-inflicted Israeli wound in the propaganda battle over Israel’s legitimacy.

Speaking a week before the Gaza flotilla debacle, Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor reportedly said: “We can’t win on this one in terms of PR.  If we let them throw egg at us, we appear stupid with egg on our face. If we try to prevent them by force, we appear as brutes.”

(9) The blockade undermines Israel’s legitimate claims to self-defense.

Hamas is a terrorist organization that has carried out horrific attacks on Israel. It refuses to clearly and unequivocally accept Israel’s right to exist.   Israel has serious and understandable concerns about the dangers posed by Hamas in Gaza, including the danger posed by the importation of weapons to Gaza and the firing of weapons from Gaza into Israel.   

Maintaining a blockade that is ineffective, and presenting it as an existential matter of self-defense, undermines Israel’s claim that it is acting in self-defense. The international reaction to the recent Gaza flotilla debacle underscores this point, with few – even among defenders of Israel – viewing Israel’s actions as a response to a credible threat to the homefront.  The international backlash to the 2008-2009 Gaza War offers a further example: while it was true that Israel attacked after facing months of rocket attacks from Gaza, the war was almost universally understood in the context of the years of misery imposed on Gaza by Israel’s blockade.

Israel lives in a tough neighborhood and there is a very real possibility that Israel will have to act in its legitimate self-defense in the future.  Unfortunately, conflating self-defense with defense of a blockade that is increasingly ineffective and morally indefensible risks undermining Israel’s position on the international arena.  Israel can’t afford to be perceived as not being credible in what it asserts as self-defense.  

(10) The continued maintenance of the blockade makes tragedies inevitable.

The roots of this week’s disaster lie not in the actions of the flotilla’s participants or the actions of the Israeli government. The roots of this disaster lie in the failure of the policy, initiated by Israel after Hamas took over Gaza in 2007 (and supported by the international community), to block the free movement of goods and people in and out of Gaza.

The Gaza blockade is untenable and increasingly indefensible given the humanitarian crisis that it has created, and given its contribution to Israel’s increasing international isolation. An effective ban on imports and smuggling of arms into Gaza – both by land and by sea – can be established and sustained through an international regime without subjecting the entire population to misery, and without Israel adopting policies that are clear strategic liabilities.  

The roots of this crisis – the blockade – cry out for serious attention, even before considering the tremendous public relations nightmare that the current situation poses for Israel.  Because if we don’t deal with the roots of this crisis, it is only a matter of time before Israel will face another challenge to the blockade, and will be faced with another set of bad choices dictated by what is at heart a misguided and faulty strategy.

Further details and specifics about demonstration can be found at www.peacenow.org

 

PEACE

 

And Good Luck To All Who Participate!

 

 
 
Images Courtesy Of Google

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Americans For Peace Now Comments On Gaza Flotilla Incident

” A Pale Green Mermaid Blog “

  

Below is a statement from Americans For Peace Now,

 

APN Deeply Dismayed by Israeli Raid on Gaza Flotilla

http://capwiz.com/peacenow/utr/1/OVMAMQDGRT/GMRGMQDHJD/5295181466

APN mourns the loss of life on board the Marmara, and wishes full recovery to the injured, both IDF soldiers and the international activists.

Commenting on the Gaza ship disaster, APN President and CEO Debra DeLee said: “The fact that Israel finds itself in this difficult situation today underscores the extent to which Israel’s continued policy of blockading Gaza is untenable and increasingly indefensible…this policy does not serve Israel’s interests

  

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said yesterday,

“The situation in Gaza is unsustainable and unacceptable.”

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
June 1, 2010

——————————————————————————————————

We as a global society cannot let the Middle East Peace process fail this time, we need to redouble our efforts to bring about a true and lasting peace for all in the region.

 There are times when you have to obey a call which is the highest of all, i.e., the voice of conscience even though such obedience may cost many a bitter tear, and even more, separation from friends, from family, from the state to which you may belong, from all that you have held as dear as life itself. For this obedience is the law of our being.

 Gandhi

PEACE

 

 

 www.peacenow.org

 

 Image Courtesy of Google

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Palestinian Investment Council Meeting June 2-3

” A Pale Green Mermaid Blog “

 

Over 1,000 businessmen from abroad will meet to review investment opportunities in Palestine.

 

FROM,      Khaleej Times Online

 

Abbas to meet US envoy on June 2: Palestinians (AFP)

30 May 2010, RAMALLAH, West Bank –

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas will hold talks with US Middle East envoy George Mitchell next week, a senior Palestinian official told AFP on Sunday.

“They will meet in Bethlehem at 6:00 pm (1500 GMT),” on June 2, he said on condition of anonymity.  

 

The two will meet on the sidelines of the 2010 Palestine Investment Conference which is taking place in the southern West Bank town from June 2-3.  

The conference, which will take place at the Convention Palace in Bethlehem, will host Palestinian delegates from the Israeli-occupied West Bank and the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip alongside 1,000 businessmen from abroad.  

Mitchell is visiting the region every few weeks to meet with Israeli and Palestinian leaders as part of the indirect peace talks which were launched on May 9.  

  

PEACE

 

 

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UN Meeting To Discuss Attack of Civilians On Aid Convoy Headed To Gaza

” A Pale Green Mermaid Blog “

  

The technique of collective punishment such as the blockade on Gaza that the Israeli government is currently using against the citizenry of Gaza, serves no purpose other than to exacerbate the crisis.

Collective punishment is the punishment of a group of people as a result of the behavior of one or more other individuals or groups. The punished group may often have no direct association with the other individuals or groups, or direct control over their actions. In times of war and armed conflict, collective punishment has resulted in atrocities, and is a violation of the laws of war and the Geneva Conventions. Historically, occupying powers have used collective punishment to retaliate against and deter attacks on their forces by resistance movements (e.g. destroying whole towns and villages where attacks have taken place).  FROM WIKIPEDIA

  

The United Nations is currently meeting to discuss the incident.

 

FROM www.voanews.com – Voice Of America

Middle East Raid on Aid Flotilla

VOA News 31 May 2010

Israeli Navy soldiers intercept one of several boats headed towards the Gaza Strip, in international waters in the Mediterranean Sea, 31 May 2010
Photo: AP

In this image reviewed by the Israeli military and taken aboard an Israeli Naval vessel, Israeli Navy soldiers intercept one of several boats headed towards the Gaza Strip, in international waters in the Mediterranean Sea, 31 May 2010

The United Nations Security Council is holding an emergency meeting to discuss an Israeli naval raid on an aid flotilla.At least nine passengers were killed, and dozens of others were injured, when Israeli commandos stormed ships bringing aid to the Gaza Strip early Monday.  The flotilla, led by a Turkish ship, was in international waters about 60 kilometers off the coast of Israel when it was intercepted.Israel says seven soldiers also were wounded in the violence.Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed regret at the loss of life, but said Israeli troops acted in self-defense.

Israeli Government Spokesman Mark Regev says the activists had weapons and were prepared to attack the commandos when they came aboard the ship.  But representatives of the Free Gaza Movement, which organized the flotilla, described the raid as an attack on civilians, saying the activists did not have violent intentions.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan called the raid an act of “state terrorism.”  Turkey has recalled its ambassador from Israel and canceled three planned military exercises with Israel to protest the incident.  

The aid ships, carrying more than 600 pro-Palestinian activists and 10,000 tons of supplies, left for Gaza Sunday and defied a radio warning from the Israeli navy not to approach the region.

Organizers from the Free Gaza Movement and a Turkish human rights group said the convoy was carrying medical supplies as well as cement and other building materials, which Israel has banned from entering Gaza because of what it says are security concerns.

Israel has taken the ships to a nearby port to begin deportation procedures for the activists.  It says that after inspection, the humanitarian aid will be transferred to Gaza by land.

 From Voice Of America

  

PEACE

 

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Saturday Night Peace Demonstration in Jerusalem!

” A Pale Green Mermaid Blog “

  

Last saturday night thousands of activists  expressed their hope for peace between Israel and Palestine.  Speeches were given and dreams for peace planted in the city of Jerusalem.

Peace now organized the demonstration – the message they sent out was,

 

” Peace is more pro-Israel than continued settlement activity .”

 

 “In the words of former Knesset Member Tzvia Greenfield: “Zionism cannot be subordination and land theft. Zionsim cannot be control over the weak. Judaism is not theft and conquering the weak. That is not Zionism. That is not Jewish.”

 

“This demonstration is an important milestone in our effort for peace. Israelis are increasingly vocal in their desire to see their government pursue policies that will end the occupation and bring about a two-state solution.”

www.peacenow.org

  

This is a very important time in the peace movement and those seeking peace in the middle east need all the support we can give.

So, if you care about peace – contact congress and tell them so!

 

PEACE

 

www.congress.org

 
 Image Courtesy Of Google

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Middle East Peace Update: ” Serious And Wide Ranging Compromises On Both Sides.” Says Special Envoy George Mitchell.

” A Pale Green Mermaid Blog “

 

 

Planning to return to the middle east for further talks this week, Special Envoy George Mitchell sees promise in initial negotiations,

 

FROM Earth Times Below,       www.earthtimes.org

Ramallah – United States peace envoy George Mitchell is to return to Israel and the Palestinian territories this week, most likely Wednesday or Thursday, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said Sunday.

 

Mitchell will meet separately with President Mahmoud Abbas and with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as the sides continue their indirect peace talks, launched earlier this month.

 

The first round of talks ended one week ago, with what the US government described as “serious and wide-ranging” compromises from both sides.

 

Direct Israeli-Palestinian peace talks were suspended in late 2008, as Israel headed for elections. They were not renewed after the poll saw a new government, headed by Netanyahu, installed, despite pressure from the Obama administration.

 

The indirect talks got under way after Abbas sought, and received, Arab League backing for negotiations with Israel.

 

From Earth Times

 

PEACE

 

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Jerusalem – A Sticking Point In The Middle East Peace Process

” A Pale Green Mermaid Blog “

 

Researching the long history of Jerusalem it is hard to see a solution with the many shifts in ownership, perhaps it is time for a group of concerned citizens and experts to have a conference on how to resolve the Jerusalem issue,

Internationalize the city? and Holy sites ?

I don’t know…but if the citizens of Israel and Palestine who actually live there and experts from around the world with the best ideas sit down to discuss it in a formal  setting -perhaps a solution acceptable and fair to all could be agreed upon.

Anyone?

PEACE

 

FROM WIKIPEDIA

Part of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict
and Arab–Israeli conflict series
Israeli–Palestinian
Peace Process
Israel with the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Golan Heights

      Israel
      West Bank, Gaza Strip, Golan Heights a
Negotiating Parties
Palestinian territories
Palestinians
Israel
Israel
History
Camp David Accords · Madrid Conference
Oslo Accords / Oslo II · Hebron Protocol
Wye River / Sharm el-Sheikh Memoranda
2000 Camp David Summit · Taba Summit
Road Map · Annapolis Conference
Primary Negotiation Concerns
Final borders  · Compensation for Jewish refugees from Arab countries  · Israeli settlements
Palestinian refugees  · Security concerns
Status of Jerusalem  · Water
Secondary Negotiation Concerns
Antisemitic incitements
Israeli West Bank barrier · Jewish state
Palestinian political violence
Places of worship
Palestinian territories  Current Leaders  Israel
Mahmoud Abbas
Salam Fayyad
Benjamin Netanyahu
Shimon Peres
International Brokers
Diplomatic Quartet · Arab League
United Nations United States European Union United Kingdom France Russia Arab League Egypt Jordan
Other Proposals
Arab Peace Initiative · Elon Peace Plan
Lieberman Plan · Geneva Accord · Hudna
Israel’s unilateral disengagement plan
Israel’s realignment plan
Peace-orientated projects · Peace Valley  · Isratin · One-state solution · Two-state solution · Three-state solution · Middle East economic integration
Major projects, groups and NGOs
Peace-orientated projects · Peace Valley  · Alliance for Middle East Peace · Aix Group · Peres Center for Peace

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” Quote Of The Day “

” A Pale Green Mermaid Blog “

 

http://capwiz.com/peacenow/utr/1/HPLXMNAHBY/BGKIMNAHKN/5178877011
Americans for Peace Now: May 11, 2010

 “Despite the inevitable difficulties, so long as I am president, the United States will never waver in our pursuit of a two-state solution that ensures the rights and security of both Israelis and Palestinians.”

President Barak ObamaPresident Barack Obama
April 26,

 

FROM Americans For Peace Now,  www.peacenow.org

PEACE

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Peace In The Middle East Begins / Special Envoy George Mitchell Ends First Round

” A Pale Green Mermaid Blog “

 

Special envoy for the Middle East, George Mitchell, has ended the first section of renewed peace talks between Israel and Palestine.

 

See Below –  From www.haaretz.com,

 

  • Published 10:49 09.05.10
  • U.S.: First round of Israel-PA proximity talks complete

    U.S. State Dept.: Israel pledged to halt building in East Jerusalem’s Ramat Shlomo neighborhood, PA vowed to block incitement of any kind.

    By Natasha Mozgovaya, The Associated Press, Barak Ravid and Jack Khoury

    The U.S. State Department announced on Sunday that the first round of indirect peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority has been completed.

    U.S. envoy George Mitchell and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas U.S. envoy George Mitchell and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas meeting in Ramallah, May 8, 2010
    Photo by: Reuters

    State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said in a statement that U.S. special envoy George Mitchell has left the Middle East after concluding talks characterized as “serious and wide-ranging.”

    Crowley said both sides have taken some steps to create an atmosphere conducive to successful talks, including an Israeli pledge of no construction in the Ramat Shlomo neighborhood of East Jerusalem for two years and a statement by PA President Mahmoud Abbas that he would work against incitement of any sort.

    Mitchell told the parties that progress is important so they can move to direct negotiations resulting in a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

    The State Department statement also said that both Israel and the Palestinians would be held “accountable” for actions that “undermine trust” during the course of the proximity talks.

    Mitchell will return to the region next week to continue the talks.

    Earlier on Sunday, the PA responded to U.S. and Israeli calls for eventual direct peace negotiations by reiterating that it would engage only in proximity talks until Israel halted all settlement construction.

    Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat clarified the PA’s stance as he officially announced the start of indirect peace negotiations mediated by Mitchell. The Palestinian Liberation Organization’s executive committee approved the four-month process on Saturday.

    “I can officially declare today that the proximity talks have begun,” Erekat said, after a meeting between Mitchell and Abbas.

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, meanwhile, told his cabinet on Sunday that Israel expected the upcoming indirect negotiations to lead to direct talks, declaring: “It is impossible to make peace at a distance.”

    But Erekat told Voice of Palestine radio in response: “If he [Netanyahu] announces a complete halt to settlement building, there will be direct talks.”

     In his remarks to the cabinet on talks with the Palestinians, Netanyahu said no-one should expect that “we will arrive at decisions and agreements on matters that are critical … without sitting together in the same room.”

    Senior U.S. officials have told their Palestinian counterparts that Washington also believes direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians must begin as soon as possible.

    The Obama administration has informed Abbas that it will not unveil mediation proposals or a Middle East peace plan before the start of direct, substantive talks between the two sides on final-status issues, a high-level Israeli official said.

    On Saturday, the PLO Executive Committee announced that it had given the green light to Abbas to begin indirect negotiations with Israel. Abbas also met with Mitchell to discuss the manner in which the so-called proximity talks would be conducted.

    The United States welcomed the PLO’s decision as an important step in the peace process. “It is an important and welcome step,” Crowley said.

    Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said Saturday after a meeting in Ramallah between Abbas and Mitchell that the discussions would be held over the four months allotted to address final-status issues such as borders and security arrangements. “The issues of Jerusalem and the settlements are part of the 1967 borders, so they will be discussed and negotiated,” Erekat said.

    Erekat said that during their meeting, Abbas gave Mitchell a letter outlining the Palestinian Authority’s position on proximity talks and the issues it wants to discuss. Abbas would head the Palestinian negotiating team himself, Erekat said, adding that the Palestinians view the talks as aimed at “The end of the occupation and creation of a Palestinian state alongside the State of Israel along the 1967 borders.”

    The talks appear to represent a U.S.-brokered compromise that meets both the Palestinian demand to address the issue of borders, and Israel’s condition to discuss security arrangements. Both Palestinian and Israeli negotiators recognize that the two issues are intimately linked, and that any proposal or statement on either matter is likely to significantly influence any resolution on the other.

    Israel welcomes PLO decision.

    Prime Minister Netanyahu welcomed the decision to resume peace talks, urging that they be held unconditionally and lead swiftly to direct negotiations between the two sides.

    A statement from Netanyahu spokesman Nir Hefetz said the prime minister “welcomes the resumption of peace talks.”

    Quoting Netanyahu, Hefetz added that “Israel’s position was and remains that the talks ought to be conducted without preconditions and should quickly lead to direct negotiations.”

    Defense Minister Ehud Barak said that the U.S. administration expects Israel to do its part in facilitating U.S. efforts to advance the stalled peace process. “An essential condition for improving relations with the U.S. is taking steps that prove Israel is seriously committed to making decisions on the Palestinian issue once they reach the negotiating table,” Barak said at a conference at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot.

    “That will be judged by deeds, not by how much we smile at the White House. A comprehensive peace plan is needed, one that Israel stands behind. I’m not sure that that is possible with the current government,” Barak said.

    “Without an agreement, we will be subject to international isolation, and we will suffer a fate similar to that of Belfast or Bosnia, or a gradual transition from a paradigm of two states for two peoples to one of one state for two peoples, and some people will try to label us as similar to South Africa. That’s why we must act,” Barak said. If both sides are willing to make brave decisions, he said, “it will be possible to get to direct negotiations and a breakthrough toward an agreement.”

    In talks last week with Netanyahu and Barak, Mitchell asked that Israel make confidence-building measures over the next few weeks, both to build up PA institutions and encourage the Palestinians to shift more quickly to direct talks.

    A senior official in Jerusalem said Israel would take such steps in the coming weeks, probably including the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners, the removal of additional checkpoints and the transfer of certain West Bank areas to PA security control.

    Yasser Abed Rabbo, a member of the PLO Executive Committee and veteran peace negotiator, said the Palestinians had received assurances from the U.S. concerning “settlement activities and the necessity to halt them.” He said the Obama administration had also promised to be tough in the event of “any provocations,” and guaranteed that all core issues would be put on the table.

    The PLO decision came despite warnings from the rival Palestinian group Hamas, which said Friday that the move would only legitimize Israel’s occupation, Palestinian media reported.

    “Absurd proximity talks” would only “give the Israeli occupation an umbrella to commit more crimes against the Palestinians,” Hamas reportedly said. “Hamas calls on the PLO to stop selling illusions to the Palestinian people and announce the failure of their gambling on absurd talks.”

    Above from, Haaretz.com

     

    PEACE

     

     

    www.peacenow.org        Americans for Peace Now

     

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    Cool Heads Should Prevail, Mosque Fire Last Gasp Attempt To Keep Status Quo In Middle East

     

    ” A Pale Green Mermaid Blog “

     

    As peace draws near the small element in any society that hopes to  retain the status quo will try desperately to antagonize the other side – it is common…don’t give in to the manipulation, see the acts of sporadic violence for what they are,

    a last-ditch attempt to stop peace  –

    To all Israeli and Palestinian people, Keep calm cool and collected and watch as PEACE takes over your lives. 

     

    It’s only a matter of time .

     

    PEACE

     

    NOTE: 

    FROM Rueters below,

    Jewish settlers blamed for West Bank mosque fire

    LIBBAN AL-SHARQIA, West Bank
    Tue May 4, 2010 9:03am EDT 

    A Palestinian reacts in a mosque after it was gutted by a fire in the West Bank village of Libban al-Sharqia near Nablus May 4, 2010. REUTERS\/Abed Omar Qusini”}

    LIBBAN AL-SHARQIA, West Bank (Reuters) – Palestinians accused Jewish settlers of setting fire to a mosque in the occupied West Bank Tuesday, an incident that raised tensions as a U.S. envoy began a mission to get peace talks going.

    World

    Israeli security officers were at the scene investigating the fire but have not determined its cause. Evidence was taken for forensic examination, an Israeli police spokesman said.

    The mosque in the village of Libban al-Sharqia, near the Palestinian city of Nablus, was gutted overnight by the blaze that also burned holy books.

    There were no witnesses to what Palestinian locals and officials assumed was another attack by Jewish settlers in the Nablus area. Settlers have also been suspected of vandalizing two other mosques and a cemetery in the last six months.

    “We condemn this criminal act perpetrated by settlers,” Nabil Abu Rdainah, an aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, told Reuters. “This is a threat to all the efforts aimed at reviving the peace process.”

    U.S. special envoy George Mitchell arrived in Israel on Monday to try to get indirect peace talks under way. The Arab League approved the U.S.-mediated talks Saturday and they are expected to begin soon.

    The Hamas movement, which rules the Gaza Strip and is opposed to peace talks with Israel, said the mosque attack was “the first fruit of the pointless negotiations.”

    BIBLICAL CLAIM

    Jewish settlers in the Nablus area, some of the 500,000 who have settled in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, are mainly driven by ideology.

    They claim a biblical link to West Bank land occupied by Israel since the 1967 Middle East war — territory upon which the Palestinians aim to establish their state. Major world powers view the settlements as illegal and an obstacle to peace.

    Mahmoud al-Habbash, the Palestinian minister of religious endowments, dismissed an Israeli suggestion that the blaze could have been started by an electrical fault.

    “I say to the Israelis that the settlers are a danger to yourselves and us,” he told Reuters while assessing the damage.

    An Israeli government minister assumed it was arson and said those responsible would be caught.

    “I have no shadow of doubt their aim was to ignite fire in the region and this is lamentable,” Industry and Trade Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer told Israel’s army radio.

    Attacks on Palestinian villages and farmland tend to rise whenever the Israeli government takes action or proposes taking steps deemed by settlers as a threat to their West Bank enclaves. Palestinian officials say the rate of attacks increased in the first quarter of this year compared with 2009.

    Jibreen al-Bakri, the governor of Nablus, said Israeli officials warned him Monday of an increased threat of settler violence because of plans by Israeli authorities to demolish some homes in a West Bank settlement built without Israeli government authorization.

    Israeli authorities have launched investigations into attacks on at least three other Muslim sites in the Nablus area since December. Nobody has been charged.

    (Additional reporting by Ori Lewis in Jerusalem, Ali Sawafta in Ramallah and Nidal al-Mughrabi in Gaza; Writing by Tom Perry)

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