Israeli Raids Target Children By Nora Barrows-Friedman

16 March, 2010 — IPS

SILWAN, EAST JERUSALEM, Mar 16, 2010 (IPS) – Three thousand heavily armed Israeli security service forces locked down large parts of the Old City of Jerusalem on Tuesday, as battalions of police fired rounds of tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets at Palestinian protesters in the occupied eastern part of the city. Nearly 40 Palestinians were wounded and treated at nearby hospitals, as 25 were arrested during intense clashes.

Protests were aimed at the Netanyahu administration’s announcement of expanded illegal settlement construction in East Jerusalem and the five-day closure of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and Palestinian institutions within the Old City. Fundamentalist settler groups held an opening ceremony for a synagogue constructed against the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, which was seen as a provocation to the Palestinian community in the area.

Clashes took place in several areas of East Jerusalem, including Shu’afat refugee camp, Wadi Joz and Silwan. This comes on the heels of accelerated attacks by Israeli forces and Jewish settlers inside Silwan in particular, directed towards the community’s youngest and most vulnerable population. Since January, at least 33 children from the area have been arrested, detained and interrogated by Israeli forces as home demolitions and settler takeovers continue apace.

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URGENT ACTION ALERT: No reward for war crimes – No upgrade for Israel in the EU

15 March, 2010 — Palestine Campaign

One of Europe’s decision making body, the Council of the EU, will be discussing upgrading the EU-Israel association agreement next Tuesday 23rd March 2010. The agreement had been due for an upgrade in December 2008, but was suspended following Israel’s massacre in Gaza.

Since 2000, the EU Israel Association Agreement (EUIAA) has promoted strong trade, business and cultural ties between Israel and the EU. An upgrade to ‘special status’ will cement even stronger relations– allowing greater scope for collaboration (e.g. academic exchanges), input in a number of key EU policies and increased access to EU funding. Israel is also in gross breach of Article 2 of the EUIAA, which requires countries to ‘respect human rights and democratic principles’.   
 
Britain will be represented at the meeting by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Israel must not be rewarded for violating international law and continuing its illegal occupation.

We urge you to contact the following and ask them to reject an upgrade for Israel.
Email:

1. David Miliband, Foreign Secretary: msu.correspondence@fco.gov.uk
2. Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council: ec.president@consilium.europa.eu
3. Commissioner Cathy Ashton, HR for the union of Foreign Affairs: catherine.ashton@ec.europa.eu  
 
Please copy your letters to your MEP’s.
 
– Useful information for writing to the above:
http://www.palestinecampaign.org/Index7b.asp?m_id=1&l1_id=4&l2_id=99&Content_ID=1180