(Rome) ISTAT, Italy’s Statistical Office, has announced that for the first time the nation’s population has passed 60,000,000. The disconcerting reality behind the statistic is that while Italy ages and Italians produce less children, immigration is providing the growth of the nation that until a few decades ago was an emigration country and Italian workers spread over north Europe. Today, as usual, immigrants do what Italians don’t. Over 1,000,000 Romanians are in Italy today, followed closely by Albanians and Moroccans. immigrants make front page news. Usually negative news. Not a day passes that foreigners (until the crisis immigrants were the manpower necessary for Italian industry), are not accused of nefarious crimes.
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Peace Now: Israel planning to construct 73,300 (illegal) housing units in the West Bank

Ministry of Housing’s Plans for the West Bank – March 2009

Web link:

Full Report:

Settlement Watch Team

The Ministry of Construction and Housing is planning to construct at least 73,300 housing units in the West Bank

An examination of the data available on the Israeli government Website ( that contains maps and information from the Ministry of Housing, reveals that in plans for the West Bank at least 15,000 housing units have already been approved, and plans for an additional 58,000 housing units are yet to be approved.

This Peace Now report is based on this data published on the official government website.

However the plans published are only a small part of the overall housing plans for the Occupied Territories, there are other thousands of housing units in plans of the local authorities, private initiators and other public authorities, all of which we are in the process of collating.
Main findings:

  • Total number of housing units in the published plans – 73,302, out of which, 5,722 are in East Jerusalem
  • Total number of housing units in approved plans – 15,156, approx. 8,950 of which have already been built.
  • Total number of housing units in planning stages – 58,146.
  • If all the plans are realized, the number of settlers in the Territories will be doubled (an addition of approx. 300,000 persons, based upon an average of 4 persons in each housing unit).
  • In Gush Etzion (Bethlehem area) 17,000 housing units are planned in areas outside the existing settlements.
  • At least six (6) outposts are included in the Ministry of Housing plans (Magen Dan, Givat Hadagan, Givat Hatamar, Bnei Adam, Bat Ayin West, Hill 26).
  • There are plans for huge construction to double the size of some settlements, including: Beitar Illit, Ariel, Givat Ze’ev, Maaleh Adumim, Efrat and Geva Binyamin.
  • Approx. 19,000 housing units are planned in settlements that are beyond the constructed path of the Fence (Kiryat Arba, Karnei Shomron, Ariel, Geva Binyamin, Immanuel, Revava).
  • The plans in the settlements constitute 22% of the total housing units that are in planning stages in the Ministry of Housing.

See for Gaza reporting from OCHA and other agencies.

See for Logistics Cluster home page for Gaza

James Weatherill
Humanitarian Affairs Officer
UN OCHA, Occupied Palestinian Territory
mobile: +972 (0) 54-331-1820
office phone: +972 (0) 2-582-9962
fax: +972 (0) 2-582-5841

Conference, London 5 March, 2009: Palestine – Health under Occupation, Health under Fire

Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP)

Thursday, 05 March
9am -1pm
Westminster Central Hall
Storey’s Gate

Building on this week’s launch of The Lancet series on health in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) by the Birzeit University Institute of Community and Public Health, this meeting will highlight the key findings of the series, the culmination of over two years of work and research. We will be joined by the authors of the series, a spectrum of the best researchers and epidemiologists from the occupied Palestinian territory, and their international counterparts.

Registration and Coffee
Official Welcome
Baroness Helena Kennedy QC
Dr.Graham Watt
Panel One: Health in the occupied Palestinian territory
Sir Iain Chalmers, chair
Rita Giacaman
Health Status and Services in the occupied Palestinian territory
Hanan Abdul Rahim
Maternal and Child Health
Abdullatif Husseini
Chronic Disease in the occupied Palestinian territory
Rajaie Batniji
Health as Human Security
Awad Mataria
Health Care System: Assessment and Reform Agenda
– Coffee and Tea –
Panel Two: Gaza Crisis and the Politics of Health
Professor Graham Watt, chair
Tony Laurance – World Health Organisation, West Bank and Gaza Strip
Initial Health Needs Assessment
Swee Chai Ang
Gaza’s Hospitals: Wounds of War
Miri Weingarten – Physicians for Human Rights Israel
Medical and Humanitarian Violations, and Accountability in Gaza
Kathy al Jubeh – Medical Aid for Palestinians
The Politics of Health: Claiming Humanitarian Space

Please confirm your attendance by emailing or by contacting Sophie Charman-Blower at Medical Aid for Palestinians on +44 (0) 207 226 4114.
Westminster Central Hallis located on Storey’s Gate, across the road from Westminster Abbey and Houses of Parliament. The closest underground stations are Westminster (Jubilee, Circle and District Lines) and St.James’ Park (Circle, District Lines).

Location map:

Police State: Liberty groups unite to defend UK rights

Writers, pop stars, lawyers and politicians from across the party spectrum yesterday issued a call to arms. They joined the largest ever campaign across Britain to warn of the erosion of freedoms and the emergence of surveillance techniques.

by Tracy McVeigh, chief reporter
(The Guardian)

The government and the courts are collaborating in slicing away freedoms and pushing Britain to the brink of becoming a ‘database’ police state, a series of sold-out conferences in eight British cities heard yesterday.

In a day of speeches and discussions, academics, politicians, lawyers, writers, journalists and pop stars joined civil liberty campaigners yesterday to issue a call to arms for Britons to defend their democratic rights.
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Video: Birth of the New Anti-Capitalist Party in France: A Report-Back From Participants

18 February, 2009 – Toronto

The founding conference of the Nouveau Parti Anticapitaliste (NPA) was held just outside Paris over the weekend of February 6th to 8th.The conference marks the conclusion of a process initiated following the encouraging election results (1.5 million votes) of the Ligue communiste révolutionnaire’s (LCR) candidate in the 2007 presidential elections, 34 year-old postal worker Olivier Besancenot. This process has involved thousands of activists and interested individuals organized in hundreds of committees across France. The new party begins its life with some 10,000 members and in a context of deepening economic crisis and a big wave of strikes and protests against the hard-Right government of president Nicolas Sarkozy.

A report-back from two Toronto-based socialists who attended the founding conference and a Paris-based NPA member and teacher’s union activist.

Background reading:

French postman delivers far left message, by Lizzy Davies

France: A Sea Change on the Left, by Yann Remy

From the LCR to the NPA, by LCR veterans


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