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News from Palestine


Yeah I think I’m just going to do this every day now. Put all the news from different sources in one spot XP

  1. Boycott Movement: Major Norwegian retail shop stops selling Ahava products


    Norwegian retail chain VITA made public on Friday their decision to stop all sales of products originating from settlements in occupied Palestine. VITA will therefore stop selling products from the cosmetics brand Ahava. VITA has been the main retailer of Ahava products in Norway, and this decision will be a serious blow to the sales of Ahava products in Norway.

    The principled decision by VITA not to buy products from Israeli settlements in the West Bank is based on a position of not wanting to contribute to violations of international law. This is also the position of Norgesgruppen, a company holding 49% of the shares in VITA. BAMA, another Norgesgruppen company has implemented the same policy regarding Israeli fruit and vegetables for several years already.

    The VITA decision comes after a period of active lobbying from Norwegian People’s Aid and the Norwegian Union of Municipal and General Employees (Fagforbundet), providing VITA and VITA’s owners with information about Ahava and their production in the Mitzpe Shalem settlement. Activists in Norway have also focused on Ahava and will now launch a new campaign to have other stores follow VITA’s example.

  2. Israeli plans to expel 30,000 Bedouin from Negev moves forward


    has reported today that a steering committee in Israel’s Prime Minister’s Office has approved “a five-year economic development plan for Israeli Bedouin”.

    This is another step along the road to the implementation of the Prawer recommendations, which are presented as a “development plan” for the “improvement of living conditions” for all citizens of the Negev – but with the mass expulsion of the Bedouin Palestinian citizens at the heart of the proposal.

    The exact number of ‘unrecognised villages’ to be destroyed is unclear. While a commonly cited estimate for the anticipated number of displaced is 30,000, an advisor to Shimon Peres told US officials in 2005 that the “development of the Negev” would mean “relocation of some 65,000 Bedouin living in unrecognized villages” (which, taking into account natural population growth, is roughly the total number of Bedouin citizens living in all unrecognized villages).

    The person that Netanyahu’s government has appointed as “chief of staff in charge of implementing the relocation” is Doron Almog, a Major General (res.) in the Israel Defence Forces. The name may be familiar, as in 2005, Almog escaped arrest on war crimes charges by staying on his plane at Heathrow following a tip-off.

    Giving responsibility for the “relocation” to a military man is consistent with the way in which the non-Jewish population is viewed as a ‘threat’ – particularly when it comes to territorial control and contiguous settlement.

    It’s the kind of systematic racism recently denounced by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), who commented specifically on the Prawer plan, saying:

    the State party should withdraw the 2012 discriminatory proposed Law for the Regulation of the Bedouin Settlement in the Negev, which would legalize the ongoing policy of home demolitions and forced displacement of the indigenous Bedouin communities.

    Objections can be heard until April 1, but after that, MK Benny Begin has the task of finalising the draft law before it moves down the normal route for enactment. The clock is ticking on another wave of ethnic cleansing by the Middle East’s ‘only democracy’.

  3. Red Cross: Gaza fuel shortage putting more lives at risk


    The International Committee of the Red Cross said a shortage of fuel in the Gaza Strip is putting the lives of thousands of hospital patients in the Palestinian territory at risk.

    The Red Cross said Thursday it is preparing to deliver 150,000 liters of diesel to the Ministry of Health in Hamas-controlled Gaza so that hospital generators can keep running. But the aid group said the supply will only last for 10 days.

    This is after one baby has already died as a result of the power shortage.