The Palestine Brief (16)
Israel launches offensive on Gaza
PLC delegation led by Bahar arrives in SA
Amnesty warns of Palestinian hunger strikers’ condition
Breaking the Silence details soldiers torturing Palestinian children
A weekly report published by the Center for Political and Development Studies (CPDS), Gaza on the latest developments in Palestine.
September 2nd ,2012
- Israel launches offensive on Gaza
A Palestinian woman was hospitalized with moderate injuries after Israeli warplanes fired a number of missiles at a training field for the armed wing of Hamas south of Gaza city on Tuesday night.
Dr. Ashraf Al-Qudra, a spokesman for the health ministry, said that the woman was injured with flying glass when windows of her home shattered as a result of the powerful explosions.
He said that no injuries were reported in the other Israeli air strikes that targeted another position in northern Gaza and an agricultural field in Gaza valley.
Palestinian interior ministry spokesman, Ihab al-Ghussein, said that the Israeli aggression yesterday evening on Gaza Strip confirms the continuation of Israel’s “organized terrorism” against civilians.
Ghussein said in a press statement on Tuesday: “This escalation has taken place shortly after the threats of the Zionist Deputy Prime Minister, Shaul Mofaz, which reflected the profound crisis experienced by the Zionist entity.”
- PLC delegation led by Bahar arrives in SA
A Palestinian parliamentary delegation led by first deputy speaker Dr. Ahmed Bahar arrived in Cape Town on Monday at the onset of an official visit to South Africa.
Bahar’s office said that the visit was at the invitation of the chairmanship of the South African parliament, adding that the Palestinian legislative council delegation would have several meetings with government and parliamentary officials.
The chairman of foreign and international relations in the South African parliament received the PLC delegation at the airport.
The delegation includes MPs Marwan Abu Ras and Jamila Al-Shanti in addition to the PLC secretary Nafedh Al-Madhoun.
- Amnesty warns of Palestinian hunger strikers’ condition
Two Palestinians detained by Israel without trial who have been on hunger strike in protest are “in grave danger,” Amnesty International warned on Friday. It said Hassan Safdi and Samer al-Barq have been transferred from Ramle prison, near Tel Aviv, to Assaf Harofeh medical center.
Amnesty said Safi and Barq have refused food since May 22 and June 21 respectively in protest at their administrative detention, under which a military court can order an individual held without charge for renewable periods of six months.
Barq has not been receiving the “specialized medical treatment he requires,” it said, adding that the two men had been beaten by Israeli wardens on August 13 “for refusing to move to a cell” holding inmates who were not on hunger strike.
The men “are in grave danger as their health deteriorates,” Amnesty warned.
- Breaking the Silence details soldiers torturing Palestinian children
The Israeli veterans’ organization Breaking the Silence released a shocking new report this morning on the abuse of Palestinian children in the occupied territories.
- Corrie’s Parents: Israel intentionally killed our daughter
An Israeli court has ruled that the driver of the bulldozer who crushed Rachel Corrie to death in 2003 in the Palestinian city of Rafah, was not at fault. The judge said the 23-year-old’s death was a “regrettable accident” and that the state “was not responsible.”
She had been trying to stop Palestinian homes being pulled down in Gaza.
Rachel Corrie’s parents, Cindy and Craig, looked dejected after the verdict was read out. Friends and supporters in court offered hugs and handshakes.
They regarded their daughter as a peace activist, passionately behind the Palestinian cause and trying to protect civilians.
They had accused Israel of intentionally and unlawfully killing their daughter, and failing to conduct a full and credible investigation.
“From the beginning it was clear to us that there was… a well-heeled system to protect the Israeli military, the soldiers who conduct actions in that military, to provide them with impunity at the cost of all the civilians who are impacted by what they do,” she said.
- Egypt-donated diesel to enter Gaza
The Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation has received instructions from President Mursi to provide Gaza with fuel for its sole power station, Al-Watan newspaper reported Wednesday.
Amro Mustafa, vice president of EGPC, made the comments to Al-Watan during an interview with the Egyptian newspaper.
The Egyptian company will provide 30,000 tons of fuel to Gaza’s sole power station, as well as petroleum donated by Qatar. The fuel will arrive through the Al-Ouja crossing in Egypt’s northern Sinai and will then be transported to Gaza via the Kerem Shalom crossing within the next few days. 
The power plant operates at less than half capacity due to the limited diesel shipments. As a result, severe electricity shortage plagues Gaza.
- Gaza: Land set aside for free trade zone in
The Palestinian government in Gaza has allocated some land to develop a free trade zone on the border with Egypt in Rafah. The move is seen as a contribution to the lifting of the Israeli-imposed blockade of the territory.
The Director of Public Relations in the Land Authority, Amal Shamali, told the media that the Palestinian Authority in Gaza has set aside more than 50 acres for the establishment of the commercial zone between Egypt and the Gaza Strip. “The commercial crossing,” she said, “will take up to 10 acres of land, while the balance will be allocated to the market zone itself.” Ms. Shamali was at pains to point out that all of the land involved is government-owned. “We are now waiting for Egyptian approval and the relevant agreements to be signed,” she added.
Economy Minister Dr. Aladdin El-Rafati said that the project serves the interests of Palestinian and Egyptians alike. “It will promote trade and be a focus for attracting Palestinian and Arab investment,” he said. “This will break the siege of Gaza and allow Gazan produce to go all over the world.”
- Israeli: It’s a good thing that they beat the Arabs
Just days after a mob of Jewish Israelis beat and injured three Palestinian youth, one nearly to death, Israel’s Ynet news website conducted interviews in central Jerusalem’s Kikar Hahatulot [Cat Square], just a few hundred feet from the site of what was dubbed by Israeli police a “lynching.” A roughly translated English-captioned version of the original video report is embedded below, along with a transcript courtesy of Shunra Media and the IMEU.
- France opens Arafat murder inquiry
A French court has opened a murder inquiry into the 2004 death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, prosecutors said on Tuesday, following claims by his wife that he may have been poisoned. An investigating magistrate, yet to be named, will lead the French probe into possible premeditated murder, a legal source said.
A lawyer for Suha Arafat told Europe 1 radio that the French court was correct in recognizing its jurisdiction to investigate the case, since Arafat died in France.
“The tests done in Switzerland showed that Mr. Arafat, in all likelihood, died through poisoning,” lawyer Marc Bonnant said. “This hypothesis must be proved, and if that’s the case, then it’s premeditated murder.”