Israeli riot police entered the grounds of Islam’s third-holiest shrine Sunday and fired tear gas and stun grenades to disperse rock-throwing Palestinians who had gathered to prevent Jews from praying at the contested site in Jerusalem’s Old City.
The 45-minute clash outside the Al Aqsa mosque underscored the volatility of Jerusalem’s holy places in the decades-old Middle East conflict. It sparked protests by Jordan, the 22-member Arab League and the Palestinian Authority, which is engaged in U.S.-mediated efforts to revive peace talks with Israel.
Palestinian leaders called the Israeli police action a deliberate provocation. Police officials said Palestinians started the fight. [continued…]
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Haaretz on Wednesday that he would not agree to a Palestinian demand that Israel accept the 1967 borders as a condition for renewing peace negotiations.
Netanyahu also gave a condition of his own, saying Thursday that he would never drop his demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state. [continued…]
Te Obama administration should fully endorse the report of the United Nations fact-finding mission on the Gaza conflict led by Justice Richard Goldstone and demand justice for the victims of serious laws-of-war violations in the conflict, Human Rights Watch said today.
Dismissal of all or parts of the Goldstone report would contradict President Barack Obama’s stated commitment to human rights in the Middle East and reveal an ill-timed double-standard in Washington’s approach to international justice, Human Rights Watch said. It would also undermine efforts to revive the peace process. [continued…]
The European Union and its member states should fully endorse the report of the United Nations fact-finding mission on the Gaza conflict led by South African judge Richard Goldstone and demand justice for the victims of serious violations of international humanitarian law, Human Rights Watch said today.
In a letter to EU foreign ministers made public today, Human Rights Watch called on the European Union and its 27 member states to “promote an international order where no state is above the law.” [continued…]
Sometime in 1846, Henry David Thoreau spent a night in jail because he refused to pay his taxes. This was his way of opposing the Mexican-American War as well as the institution of slavery. A few years later he published the essay “Civil Disobedience,” which has since been read by millions of people, including many Israelis and Palestinians.
Kobi Snitz read the book. He is an Israeli anarchist who is currently serving a 20-day sentence for refusing to pay a 2,000 shekel fine.
The 38-year-old Snitz was arrested with other activists in the small Palestinian village of Kharbatha back in 2004 while trying to prevent the demolition of the home of a prominent member of the local popular committee. The demolition, so it seems, was carried out both to intimidate and punish the local leader who had, just a couple of weeks earlier, begun organizing weekly demonstrations against the annexation wall. Both the demonstrations and the attempt to stop the demolition were acts of civil disobedience. [continued…]