There is a war going on in the Middle East - the least we can do is stay well informed. Here are some messages we received recently and want to share with you: testimonies from the civilian front line, arab news updates and links for action and protest.

this page brings posts of July 5-18.
most recent posts are here

From : info@ashkalalwan.org
Date : Jul 18, 2006 8:55 PM
Subject : Urgent - Refugee Support

URGENT ANNOUNCEMENT

Al Huda Society for Social Care is a civic non profit organization based and active in Beirut. The Society was established in 1987 during the Lebanese civil war. It has been active in providing social care for underprivileged families in Beirut, responding to the needs of each era. Its activities included launching a sponsorship program for children, who were orphaned during the 1975-1990 war; providing a day care services center for children; organizing summer camps for children of the occupied zone in South Lebanon (before 2000); providing assistance and relief for internally displaced families during the Israeli attack on Lebanon in April 2006; and establishing Nasma Learning and Resource Centre for students in public schools in the Ras Beirut area.

In light of the Israeli attack on Lebanon at this time, thousands of families have fled the most afflicted areas to become refugees in other parts of their country, including Beirut . Al-Huda Society has redirected its resources to cater to the needs of as many families as possible. Currently it is responsible for the welfare of around 200 displaced families in the Ras Beirut area. It is distributing daily rations to each family with the cost of each ration being 15 USD. The Society aspires to increase the number of families in its care, as the number of families fleeing the Israeli bombardment is continuously increasing. The essential condition for achieving this goal is increasing resources, namely financial.

In this respect all assistance is a need.

Please send your donations to:
Account Name: Al Houda Society
Account No. 02 43020 047465
Bank: Bankmed
Branch: Makdessi Branch
Via: Bank of New York , New York
A/C No. 8900057343
UID: CH035040
SWIFT: MEDLLBBX

__________________________________________________________________

From : Azza El-Hassan
Date : Tuesday 18 July 2006 23:26
Subject : no comment

Begin forwarded message:

From: Enas Muthaffar
Date: Tue Jul 18, 2006 09:55:46 PM Asia/Amman
Subject: From-To.no comment
Reply-To: enasmuthaffar@gmail.com

I couldn't believe my eyes when I received the photos of the girls? I even thought that they are not real and decided to check them online>I am shocked and speechless.

http://news.search.yahoo.com/news/search?p=Israeli+girls&c=news_photos

Israeli Girls write messages on a shell at a heavy artillery position near Kiryat Shmona, in northern Israel , next to the Lebanese border, Monday, July 17, 2006.



(AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)
AP - Jul 17 12:12 PM

_________________________________________________________________

From : info@BoycottIsrael.ps
Date : Tuesday 18 July 2006 17:35
Subject : Boycott Israel to Stop its War Crimes in Lebanon and Gaza ! -- Palestinian BDS Campaign Press Release

For immediate release:

Boycott Israel to Stop its War Crimes in Lebanon and Gaza !

Palestinian Civil Society Campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel --  Acting Steering Committee

18 July 2006

Over the past six days since it launched its devastating military aggression against Lebanon, ostensibly in retaliation for Hizbullah's capture of two of its soldiers, Israel has committed war crimes that should be more than sufficient to invite at least unequivocal condemnation from the United Nations and world powers and their stern backing for an immediate cease-fire. Instead, the UN Security Council, toeing the US line, decided to give Israel ample time to ‘finish the job' destroying Lebanon's infrastructure and killing and maiming its civilians to a degree that would turn the Lebanese public against the resistance movement and bolster Israel's designs for pushing this resistance outside of southern Lebanon. Even Israel 's reported use of the internationally-proscribed phosphorous bombs and its massacre of at least 23 fleeing civilians in Marwaheen on Saturday failed to shake the world's conscience or to break its deadly silence.

In the meanwhile, Israel 's almost forgotten attack on Gaza continues unabated, with total impunity, leaving behind a trail of death, an imminent health disaster, and widespread destruction of vital infrastructure. Again, the pretext that all this criminal devastation, which already caused the death and injury of hundreds of innocent Palestinians, was intended to win
the release of one Israeli soldier captured by the Palestinian resistance, does not stand the test of reality or logic. The truth is Israel is premeditatedly and systematically trying to bring Palestinians under its occupation to their knees, to punish them for democratically electing the ‘wrong' government and to bring about their acquiescence to Israel 's plans for further dispossessing them and forestalling any prospects for a sovereign Palestinian state emerging in the occupied territory.

This new double-failure by the international political system to hold Israel to account for its grave violations of international law on both fronts is the most recent indicator of the urgent need for international social movements and civil society organizations to take the lead in applying a comprehensive regime of boycott, divestment and sanctions on Israel, similar to that successfully used to end apartheid in South Africa. Specifically, people of conscience everywhere are called upon to:
- boycott all Israeli products and services;
- boycott Israeli academic, cultural, athletic and economic institutions;
- pressure unions, professional associations and civil society organizations to divest from Israel; 
- pressure governments to stop all military trade with Israel, as a first step towards adopting total sanctions against it. 

All these measures should be maintained until Israel fully complies with international law and respects fundamental human rights of Arabs, whether in Lebanon or Palestine . 

Israel 's criminal dehumanization of its Arab victims, whether in Lebanon or Palestine , should not go unpunished. Only boycott, of all sorts, against Israel has any chance of fostering hope for a just peace in the Middle East .

Contact: On behalf of the Palestinian BDS Campaign:  info@BoycottIsrael.ps , Ittijah@Ittijah.org  

_______________________________________________

From : Emily Jacir
Date : Tuesday 18 July 2006 3:29
Subject
: SOS from Lebanon / Day 5 from Rasha/ Petition from Paris

--Original Message Follows----
From: "cedrus_libanus"
Date: Mon, 17 Jul 2006 23:52:27 -0000
Please spread the word.

We are fighting back and need your help.
We are coordinating our activities and all of this is being managed at:

www.saveleb.org

Please visit, see protest list, sign the petition, see pictures, spread the word, and most
importantly, FIGHT BACK!
In addition, there will be a vigil in solidarity with the Lebanese people tomorrow from 4-6 pm in front of the UN building.
Again, please spread the word.
Thank you,

George


From Rasha Salti:


It's 3:30 am. Perhaps past that time, I don't know. I could not sleep from the shelling. It's not the intense quantity of shells falling, no, it's 10 to 12 shells every hour or hour and the half. They augment the nerve-wrecking aspect: they don't focus shelling on one zone, with one objective. It's wounds inflicted over time and time, the length of a week...
It's been a really, really rough night. Where do I begin with what you will not hear? With what you will not know and what will be hidden from your ears?

The air raids over the Beqaa did not really stop all day today. The raids and shelling over Tyre were also really bad. Saida was shelled and bridges and roads leading to the south. The mountains were shelled as well, specifically bridges.
There seemed to be a lull of sorts in the late afternoon. But as soon as the sun set, the air raids over the southern suburbs returned. By now the IDF knows that there are only civilians, that the Hezbollah leadership is elsewhere in hiding. But they have express missive from the US to kill Hassan Nasrallah (according the largest circulating Israeli daily, Maariv).
At night, the Jamhour area was targetted. It is where the Lebanese Ministry of Defense is located, the Military School , and the power station feeding Beirut and its surrounding mountains. The power station was targetted and hit, but there was a "mistake" and the shells reached the Military School and barracks surrounding it. 100 soldiers are now injured, a dozen are dead. The power station was hit and the larger share of Beirut is under the cover of darkness.

Air raids are also shelling the Beqaa valley. However, the most horrific news is that the inhabitants of 'Ayta el-Shaab (the first village where the IDF tried to make a land incursion but was swiftly defeated by Hezbollah) are being told by loudspeakers and other means that they should evacuate their village by dawn or else they will all be crushed by airplanes, tanks and shelling. It's like 1948 again... They want everyone out. The village has now 3,000 people still left. The elderly and the wounded have been evacuated to another village. It's the "buffer zone" they want to "clear". Most don't have cars to evacuate.
If you want to see a replay of the 1948 expulsion of peasants under fire, tune in to Lebanon . If you don't scream your outrage and make sure some things are NOT acceptable.

Love, Rasha.



Le 17 juil. 06, à 12:57, Rania Samara a écrit :

La pétition préparée par l'Association E-ARABESQUE en solidarité avec les peuples libanais et palestinien est en ligne.

http://libangaza.free.fr/

Si vous êtes d'accord avec son contenu, prière de la signer et de la diffuser largement auprès de vos contacts, afin de pouvoir recueillir le plus grand nombre de signatures.
Quand une liste conséquente de signataires sera réunie, nous l'adresserons aux instances officielles, en France et ailleurs, en vue d'obtenir leur intervention pour faire cesser l'agression israélienne. Nous ferons publier la pétition dans la presse et nous vous en informerons.
C'est pourquoi, nous nous demandons de réagir assez rapidement.

Rania SAMARA
Présidente de l'Association


________________________________________________________________

From : Emily Jacir
Date : Tuesday 18 July 2006 2:56
Subject: Beirut Update 3

from my friend zena in beirut
love to you all
emily


Today I drove through downtown on my way to visit my parents. I was driving alone and was a bit nervous. First time in a car alone since this whole thing started... But I had to see my parents.

I came across a red light and stopped. The streets were empty, and I caught myself wondering why I stopped and didn't just go through. Streets were totally empty; no other cars, no traffic police. Then I remembered my latest policy that is helping to keep me sane; that even under attack, we should not lose our manners. That even under attack, there are still some regulations we should abide by. Somehow, by not crossing the red light, I was able to maintain some dignity.

Then I looked into my rearview mirror and saw other cars approaching. I closed my eyes and in a fit of prayer wished that they would stop too. That somehow, if they didn't cross the light, it would indicate that somehow we are all thinking the same. I know most of you have heard about Lebanese drivers.. They never stop at red lights! Ladies and Gentlemen, today, they stopped.

I opened my eyes and and then burst into tears. All the cars had stopped.
Everyone was behaving. It was a ray of hope today. Haha, the little things that make you happy. I turned and smiled and nodded my head to the other drivers. Maybe they thought this bleached blond was flirting with them.

I don't want to write about all the miserable moments I had today. They were too many. And how can I find the words to really express my despair?

I don't want to write about the tears that fell when I heard about how the Israeli army bombed food storages today. They bombed wheat silos and vegetable storages. Now they want to starve us to death? About how they are now targeting Lebanese army outposts. Lebanese army who are not even fighting them. About the planes that are flying so low. About how my
house starts to shake every time a bomb drops. About my worries now about food and water shortages. About the refugees who have lost so much, who are now living on the streets.

The biggest threat today has been to bomb our main electrical plant. The very same one they blew up a few years ago. If that one goes, we are without electricity. I remember that summer... It was long and hot. I don't know what I would do without internet. Dear friends, if you don't hear from me after this email it is only because I no longer have access.

I don't want to write about the cramp in my heart every time I hear the death toll rising. So many children!! I don't want to write about how everything I have spent my whole life working for has disappeared in a matter of days. A matter of days..my whole life has changed.

My whole life has changed and I did not ask for it. My whole life has changed without my consent. My whole life has changed because someone, not me, decided they were going to change it. Who said they could? Why didn't they ask me? I was supposed to be camping in the mountains (Chouf) this week. I was supposed to be working on a proposal to bring a New York artist out here next summer. It was supposed to be a surprise; I was going to set the whole thing up, get the funding and surprise him with it. People bought artwork from me, I am supposed to cash my checks. I am supposed to deliver art to people.

Two bombs just went off. My windows are shaking. Stupid me, I closed them to stop the mosquitoes from coming in. thank God they didn't just shatter. My heart, my heart is another story.

We are doing the best we can to help those in need. We are all playing our respective roles... Finding roles to play. My sister has been working with the Zicco House/ Helem rescue point. They have gotten a bank account open to accept donations so they can buy food, medicine, water, blankets, and mattresses. The ministries of heath and social affairs have proven to be
ineffective. It is up to the civil society now to help out.

Two temporary bank accounts are now dedicated for donations:

Credit Libanais S.A.L Beyrouth
Agence Sassine
SWIFT CODE: CLIBLBX
Client Name: Al Azzi Georges
Account number: 043.001.208.0006817.35.6

SGBL Hamra Branch
SWIFT CODE: SGLILBBX
Client Name: CHIT Bassem
Account: 007.004.367.092.875.014

I can not thank you all enough for all your wonderful emails. They are filling me with life. Please forward the news... I am so tired. But as long as I have electricity and internet, I will continue to write. Until I lose my mind... Maybe by then I can get back into my studio again and paint.

To any Israelis who may read this. I have not learned to hate. I still believe in humanity. Violence begets violence. I know there are some of you protesting this. Thank you.

With love,
Zena el-Khalil

____________________________________________________________________

From : Raed Andoni
Date : Monday 17 July 2006 20:39
Subject : petition

Please sign & forward this petition:

" Israel attacks Lebanon "

http://www.PetitionOnline.com/50600/

_____________________________________________________________________

From : Emily Jacir
Date : Monday 17 July 2006 3:48
Subject : an email from Zena in Beirut

this is one of many emails from friends in beirut
this one from my friend zena.

Begin forwarded message:

From: zena
Date: July 16, 2006 8:23:40 PM EDT
To: beautiful beirut <dude@ziggydoodle.com>
Subject: Another Beirut update

I have started coughing, but I don't know why. I am not sick. I don't have a cold. I think it's a reaction I'm having to stress. My body feels weak. My mouth is always dry, no matter how much water I drink. And I'm afraid to drink too much water because I don't want it to run out!

Last night was probably the most frightful night I have ever experienced in my whole entire life. I was so tired and exhausted... have not slept in days. When there is finally a quiet moment, the tension in my stomach and heart prevents me from falling asleep.

Last night we counted at least 15 bombs falling into Dahiyeh (Beirut Suburbs).. and these were just the ones we heard. At some point during the night, I said to myself that if I didn't at least try to get some sleep that I was going to go crazy from fatigue; and that that was what as going to kill me. Haven't been able to eat either, so am losing physical strength. It's all psychological at this point. I know I have to be strong, and I will be, but I can't deny what I'm going through. And I think it's important that people hear about the downside as well as the bravery. So many of us are already working hard to fix things, we are running around Beirut trying to get food and water and medicine to people, we are doing things online, etc, but it doesn't mean we are not scared, sick or tired.

So, last night amidst the worst shelling we've had so far, I realized that I was not afraid of the noise anymore; how quickly you get used to it. I realized what was hurting the most was the "UNKNOWN". What is going to happen tomorrow? When will this all end? How are we going to start re-building again? Are the refugees going to be ok? How are the people in the south? And why punish a whole country? What is the real plan behind all of this? How much worse is it going to get?

My husband and I have been housing foreign "refugees" helping them to find their way out of the country. Two managed to leave this morning, a German and Swiss. The other two are British and American. The craziest thing is that out of all people, the American embassy has been the LEAST helpful to its citizens here. The phone line to the embassy has been practically out of service. My friend, Amanda, (whom I just met a few days ago, by the way) had to hire a cab to take her to the embassy (which is a ride out of Beirut) and all they could tell her was that they didn't know what they were going to do and to keep checking the website. Only thing she has gotten on the website is that she now knows that there is going to be an evacuation (5 days later), but when it happens, she is going to have to pay for it! Yes, they are saying to their citizens that they are going to bill them for their ride out! Can you believe that?!

Trying to evacuate people has put me under stress. The question is what am I to do if I had the opportunity to leave? Would I leave? What do I do with my friends? My family? My art studio? I have a British passport; I could be evacuated with my husband. But what would happen to my best friend Maya? She has a very rare and bad case of CANCER! I have been taking care of her since she was diagnosed a few months ago and I know that my care for her is what has helped her do so well. Her type of cancer is "untreatable", but ironically, the day the shelling started, her doctor told us her tumors had shrunk! Unbelievable- a true miracle. I can't leave Maya!

What about art work in my studio? What about all my brushes and paints and glitter and books! All my books! Again- the crazy things that cross your mind.

What about our photo albums? All our family pictures? The memories...

What about the doodles I drew on my balcony a few summers ago when I was suffering from a bad break up?

What about all the love letters I have saved? Letters that document my youth that I wanted to some day give to my daughter.

What about my other best friend? My dog, Tampopo? My beautiful Jack Russel Terrier who has never let me down. Who has always been a source of purity and compassion... Who has eyes of an angle... Dogs are not allowed to evacuate. My American friend Christine is going to have to leave her dog with me; a black pug named Baousi (means Kiss in Arabic). She is
heartbroken! She almost didn't want to evacuate. She went to so many embassies to try and register with them and see if they would take her dog. Don't worry Christine, I will take great care of Baousi.

My sister has been volunteering to help the refugees who are being sheltered in public schools. Right now they are calling on Lebanese citizens to help out with money, medicine, food, water, blankets and mattresses. She has been going to people and asking for money and then going out to buy medicines for refugees- her own initiative! My mom has joined in too. a friend has put together a website for accepting donations:

http://atrissi.com/helplebanon/

Biggest cynical statement of the day:
Israel has told people to evacuate from the south because they are going to annihilate the south of Lebanon . However, the people can not leave because all the roads have been destroyed/blocked. And yesterday when people did try and leave, the Israelis opened fire on them! A massacre is happening!

Update on the attacks, as of yesterday:
- Israelis have been bombing the south of Lebanon with phosphorus and other chemical bombs.
- Israelis have bombed all ports along the coastline of Lebanon .
- Israelis have bombed all our local army radars and some outposts
- Israelis have bombed/attacked the fire fighting brigade and the Search and Rescue Brigade in the South. Innocent civilian lives were lost. It was a massacre- the buildings were also housing refugees.
- Israelis have continued to bomb the suburb of Beirut, Dahiyeh & Haret Hreik
- Israelis have now killed over 100 civilians and there are several hundreds wounded
- … and they continue to bomb the south
- Israelis have started hitting roads that lead to the mountains. They hit a main one leading to the Shouf.
-Israelis have hit a gas plant in the mountains

... I can't keep up with what they have hit.

*** Israel has begun to target Lebanese army outposts. They have killed Lebanese soldiers. They are no longer just targeting Hizuballah. They mean to kill all of Lebanon .


The reality:

Israel is trying to bring Lebanon to its knees. Israel is trying to destroy Lebanon and the Lebanese spirit. Israel is trying to turn Lebanese against each other. Israel is trying to turn us into animals scrounging for food, water and shelter. Israel and the United States of America are trying to drag Syria and Iran into this too. They are using Lebanon as bait. Lebanon is stuck in the middle. The Americans and Israelis are trying to launch a regional war!!

Please help in any way you can. Please pass on the message, this email- reprint if you wish. Please tell people what is going on. Please put pressure on your respective governments to step in and do something.

Lebanon is a peaceful country. We are the only country in the region in which people of all religions co-exist peacefully.

It is unbelievable how biased the news is. They are not reporting the real damage being caused. They don't report that the Israelis are killing innocent civilians. It seems from this end that all they are focusing on is G8!

Are the Israeli & US government really just trying to wipe us all out?? Well, you can tell them that I'm not leaving. And there are many of us who are not leaving. We love Lebanon . We love what we have spent our lives building.

Tell them about people like me.. who build culture and tolerance. Who work for peace and understanding. Who work to educate. Who work to promote love and compassion. There are thousands like me here. What about us?

Tell them about people like me, that despite all of this, I have still not learnt to hate. They can take everything from me, but not my dignity. Not my morals and beliefs. They will never never break my spirit.

Tell the Israeli citizens what their government is doing to us. Tell them that violence begets violence. Remind them that Lebanon is their neighbour and that co-existence is possible. How are we going to ever reach an understanding through violence? We were so close... We were so close...

Please stop this brutality!

Still with love,
Zena el-Khalil

By the way, did I mention Maya's tumors are getting smaller?
Did I mention there was a wedding across the street yesterday?

Don't know how much longer this email will still be up for, but in case of
an emergency, there is always ziggydoodle@yahoo.com

___________________________________________________________________________

From : Emily Jacir
Date : Sunday 16 July 2006 20:18
Subject : Updates on Lebanon - DONT FORGET GAZA

friends....
Here are some links to the situation in Lebanon and Gaza and some articles.
it was shocking to see how many people have not really mentioned Gaza or have only mentioned it after the Israeli bombing of Lebanon started.
I guess everyone has gone numb to us being bombed.
Sadly having all the electricity cut in Gaza and daily massacres is something not as newsworthy or dramatic...the world doesn't expect anything better for us. Its become normal.

If you live outside of Lebanon and Palestine and you know people around you who have loved ones in either place, please recognize that they are in a lot of pain, are not sleeping, and are trying to contact their loved ones on an hourly basis. Life is very much abnormal and it is important to acknowledge that. It is not business as usual for many of us and it hurts when people contact you as if nothing is happening. For some this is not the "news".

I am confused and tired and am not even sure if this is a coherent list of links so please forgive me. I have tons of dispatches and personal accounts I could forward...

To quote my friend Bilal who is in Lebanon :
"Like the Palestinians, the Lebanese are all alone, abandoned to be taught a lesson by the regional and global powers"
like the Iraqis too....


Firstly, please check out this new site. There are constant updates on the situation in Lebanon as well as dispatches and diaries:
http://electronicLebanon.net

For Palestine go to:
www.electronicintifada.net

Report: 92 Palestinians killed, 326 injured, in last ten days of Israeli attacks on Gaza
http://www.imemc.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=20062&Itemid=1

In Lebanon There are horrifying pictures of children burned to death by the Israeli attack on Lebanon, DO NOT GO TO THIS SITE IF YOU CAN NOT STOMACH IT posted at:
http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2006/07/i-have-just-received-these-pictures.html

Last week I sent you Mohammed's blog from Rafah - he was hit by shrapnel since then taking pictures : see his blog:
http://rafah.virtualactivism.net/news/todaymain.htm

Israel's "Operation Summer Rains" Offensive Includes Internationally Banned Toxic Weapons
This is not new for Israel. Many of you remember the crazy gas that they were using in Gaza and the West Bank and the beginning of this Intifada. (James Longley captured footage of this in his film Gaza Strip) Also my latest email from a friend in Beirut says that they are now using phosphorous bombs in the south...
http://www.imemc.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=20020&Itemid=1

Family of nine killed as they slept
http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,,1819128,00.html

Also regarding the bullshit fake resolution that two american members are trying to pass in the house regarding the so-called persecution of christians by the Palestinian Authortity.
Here is one story (from thousands) of who is really persecuting the Palestinians
Tina, the Palestinian American women beaten this week with her 17 year old son by an Israeli soldier on the border had a compelling story to tell us (see the images and read the details at:
http://www.thecornerreport.com/index.php?p=638&more=1&c=1&tb=1&pb=1#more638

and from Mazin, a reminder of the murder of another brave feminist and peace activist in Nablus:
http://www.remembershaden.org/

_______________________________________________________________


From: marya kazoun
Date: Saturday, July 15, 2006 5:25 PM
Subject: Marya Kazoun- Not a show invitation but I am FW:An Update from beirut


Dear Friends,

Unfortunatly this not an email for a show invite I am sending out, but sad sad news from Lebanon .

I had left Beirut 2 days before Israel bombards Beirut International airport. I am in Italy now supposedly working on a piece for a group show in Albania . I am in touch with my family every hour, they have no electricity and in some parts the phone lines have been hit. They are ok but not moving out of the house I am anxiously glued to the Tv watching europeen and the US media.

I am forwarding the email I received from my friend Zena al Khalil who graduated from SVA in 2002 and moved back to Beirut . I just felt the need to share her email with you.

With the hope that this barbaric attack on the whole country stops as soon as possible, Lebanon had just finished rebuilding its infrastructure and was starting to be on the map again...

marya kazoun


From :  zena
Date :   Fri, 14 Jul 2006 05:43:43 +0300
Subject :  Update from Beirut

For the last half hour or so, I have been watching the skyline outside my balcony. It is on fire. It's 4:14am.

At 3:28am this morning, I woke up to the sound of Israeli jets flying low over our skies in Beirut . I was just beginning to finally fall asleep, had racing thoughts in my mind all night, cramps in my stomach, fear... Just as I thought I was going to fall asleep, I heard the sound of jets, followed by one explosion after another.

It has calmed down now. I hear morning prayers in the distance.

I am at home with some friends who have taken refugee with us. A lot of them foreigners. We are trying to explain... Who, what, why.. But, we're also trying to be normal. Because being normal is what got Lebanese through 20 some years of war. We are joking about how the airport is on fire because of all the alcohol in the duty free. We are trying to be normal.

Up until now, Israel has done the following:

-blown up our international airport, run ways, gas reserves for planes (no one can leave or enter the country.)
-blown up small military domestic airports (both in the north and south)
-blown up all bridges and roads linking beirut to the south
-blown up areas/villages of the south, everything from the deep south to saida
-blown up ... As I type this now, another jet is flying by, it is so loud
-... Continue... Blown up the suburbs (Dahiye).. Three missiles
-blown up the beirut-damascus road at several points
-we are surrounded at sea as well, there are military ships launching attacks ... Not watching tv anymore, but I know there is so much more going on.

Thousands evacuated their homes from the south today. They had to walk for miles because their cars could not cross the highway.

Another jet and another explosion. This is all going into Dahiyeh. I can see the red anti aircraft "bullets" being shot in retaliation.  Pointless. The weapons Hizbullah have are so old and out dated (World War II left overs from Russia ).. No match for Israeli technology.

Newest update, it's 4:26am, Israelis are attacking the city, "Saida" from sea. They are targeting the bridge that connects to Saida.

Another really loud bomb. My heart is racing. I can only pretend to be brave.

Everything that is happening now is because Israel is trying to wipe out any trace of Hizuballah in Lebanon . In the process of doing all this, they have wiped out our infrastructures. Our roads, bridges, etc. civilian homes, innocent lives.

It's 4:32am and I have a knot in my stomach. I am praying they don't hit the electricity. I want my internet. I think it's the only thing that will help me stay normal.

Latest update; 9 missile raids into Dahiyeh in the last hour. There are now several parts of Beirut without electricity. The sky is glowing red.

I am praying for the people in Dahiyeh .. Another really really loud bomb. I guess that makes it 10 now.

I am angry now. the things that cross your mind... I just set up a new installation last week, now, no one will get to see it. I was just about ready to launch an international residency program here.. Not going to happen now. was just planning to start a family, who wants to get pregnant now?

Ladies and gentlemen, I did not want to burden you with the troubles of war, but I think it is really important that the world knows what is going on. We are under attack by israel . It is unjust and unfair. I wonder what the media coverage is like out there. All this must end. Israel must be stopped. This is so unjust and unfair. Everything we've worked on for the past 10 years is gone now. so, so  so, unjust and unfair. We had so many cultural events planned for the summer... Exhibits... Concerts... Plays..  Etc. all gone.

Israel can not keep going into where ever they choose to go to and blow it up!

Lebanon can not be occupied again by Israel .

Dear friends, pray for us. For this madness to end. Pray for the Lebanese people to stick through this together and not lose their cool.

With love,
Zena el-Khalil 5:02am

Believe it or not, the sun is beginning to rise and I actually hear birds chirping.

__________________________________________________________________________

From : Emily Jacir
Date : Tuesday 11 july 2006 19:52
Subject : more updates


Four Palestinians die at Rafah border awaiting entry into Gaza
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/736802.html


Israel bars Palestinian Americans for first time since 1967
(actually this is off it is FAR from the first time since 1967)

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/ShArtVty.jhtml?sw=amira+hass&itemNo=736349
http://electronicintifada.net/bytopic/443.shtml
http://www.aaiusa.org/press-room/2224/pr071006

Journalists in Danger Ma'an news agency Gaza photographer shot and seriously injured
http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article4927.shtml
http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article4955.shtml

 

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From : Emily Jacir
Date : Saturday 8 july 2006 18:06
Subject : Ethnic cleansing of Palestinians

friends...

the Israeli war machine has stepped up it's ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people on every front including incursions and shelling in Gaza, land confiscations throughout the West Bank, incursions in the West Bank, arrests and detentions and kidnappings throughout the territories, and the denial of entry of Palestinians returning home at all border crossings, destruction of farmland, property.......
there is so much to report on (and as you know whenever there is a war spectacle for the media to focus on that is when they really go full force with crimes against humanity in all other areas as well because nobody is "watching") so I compiled a small list of what the media is not telling you.

1. Israeli Attack on Gaza
30 dead and over 90 injured and counting....

http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article4926.shtml
http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/4EBC6739-C909-45FF-827A-7AC49447D68E.htm
http://www.imemc.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=19821&Itemid=1

Israel's Appalling Bombing in Gaza
Starving in the Dark

And what says noble Europe, proud font of human rights conventions, architects of the misi ? n civilizatrice? "The EU remains deeply concerned," mumbles the mighty defenders of humanitarian law, "about the worsening security and humanitarian developments." Seemingly soggy phrases like "deeply concerned" are diplomatic code for "We are seriously unhappy." But under these circumstances, "remains deeply concerned" suggests that this staggering crime is just one more sobering moment in the failed "road map."
Diplomatic bubbles of unreality in the Middle East are the norm rather than the exception, but at some point the international community must face the very unwelcome fact that it needs to change gear. A country that claims kinship among the western democracies of Europe is behaving like a murderous rogue regime, using any excuse to reduce over a million people to utter human misery and even mass death.

http://www.palestinemonitor.org/nueva_web/updates_news/news/Israel's_Appalling_Bombing_in_Gaza.htm

3. Land confiscation in Bayt Jalla/Bethlehem area
Cremisan area has the only remaining forest in the city, and the most fertilized agricultural land, which is the main source of income to many farmers in the city. Cremisan area is also one of the very few recreational sites in the city where many citizens used to go during weekends or holidays. In addition, the area hosts the only winery in Palestine , two monasteries and a kindergarten.
http://www.openbethlehem.org/pages/content/index.asp?PageID=62

4. Israeli Army Closes Down Northern West Bank
International Womens' Peace Service 7/5/2006
About 20 Palestinian men were handcuffed and detained, and many made to strip down to their underwear, for more than two hours at a flying checkpoint near the roadblock at Brukin while Israeli soldiers threatened to blow up a taxi cab they thought might contain a bomb. The explosion did not materialize, however. Checkpoints across the northern West Bank were closed this morning, as was confirmed to IWPS by members of Israeli human rights group Machsom Watch. The checkpoints were subsequently reopened. A soldier told an IWPS member at Huwara checkpoint, where people were being allowed through by around 11 a . m. , that someone wearing a bomb belt had been apprehended in the West Bank . Villages in the Salfit area were closed down by the Israeli army throughout the morning.
http://www.iwps-pal.org/en/articles/article.php?id=922

5. Palestinians with East Jerusalem I.D. cards and are now forbidden entry into the Bethlehem area
For years, Bethlehem 's residents have been forbidden from accessing Jerusalem without special permission from the Israeli army.  The communities of the two towns are intimately connected through family, work, education and religion, but are forced to live divided by a wall, unable to visit their friends and families, or go to their universities and places of worship. 
http://www.openbethlehem.org/pages/content/index.asp?PageID=64

6. Israeli forces invade northwestern West Bank village, arrest 9 including 5 brothers
Palestine News Network 7/6/2006
Before dawn today Israeli forces stormed ‘ Atil Village , north of Tulkarem in the northwestern West Bank District. Reports indicate that some 17 Israeli military vehicles invaded the town while opening heavy random fire. Israeli soldiers broke into several homes, conducting lengthy and invasive searches. Residents told PNN that soldiers destroyed a great deal of their personal belongings in the process. Israeli soldiers began arresting Palestinians, including five brothers. Four other people were blindfolded and handcuffed before being put in the back of military jeeps. Israeli forces imposed barriers at the entrances of the village during the invasion, which did not end until after 5:00 am Thursday.
http://www.pnn.ps/english/archive2006/jul/week1/060706/report3.htm

7. Gaza: "They are killing us inside our homes"
Rafah Today 7/6/2006
Photos: Gaza civilians targeted by Israeli shelling / Gaza under attack / Palestinians carrying the body of a wounded civilian / A wounded civilian in Northern Gaza / A child crying at the funeral of Rami Abu Hashem in Northern Gaza / Palestinian woman running away from her home as shelling began / Survivors of the Israeli attack -- On Thursday, Israeli Bulldozers devastated vast areas of arable lands in Beit Lahia and Khan Younis in the Gaza Strip. The war is still going on, and the Israeli Army is bombing everywhere in the Gaza Strip. This aims only to terrify the children, women and old men sleeping in their houses. A Palestinian woman, 56, told me "I don't know why the world is still silent. Until when?... For the sake of God and all our children, please intervene and stop killing us in Gaza . "
http://rafah.virtualactivism.net/news/todaymain.htm

8. Army invade Jenin, kills one, wounds 11 arrests 11 Palestinians
http://www.imemc.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=19825&Itemid=1
International Middle East Media Center 7/6/2006
One Palestinian was killed and at least 11 were wounded, six of them were arrested in an Israeli invasion to the West Bank city of Jenin, following a failed assassination attempt by an Israeli undercover army unit. The unit stormed a mourning house, in the city, in an attempt to assassinate leaders of Al-Aqsa brigade in the city. Israeli sources said that Zakaria Al-Zubeidi, leader of the Aqsa Brigade in Jenin area, was killed in the attack, however local sources said that Zubeidi, who was at the mourning house, noticed some foreign people entering the mourning house, who turned to be an Israeli under cover special unit. According to Maan news agency, al-Zubeidi started to shoot in the air which distracted the under cover soldiers allowing him to escape.


9. DENIED ENTRY - Palestinians not allowed into their own country
There are many thousands of Palestinians, or their spouses and members of their families, who hold foreign passports. The Israeli authorities would of course know their numbers exactly.This policy especially targets Palestinian Americans as well as well as foreign spouses of Palestinian ID holders alike. Many were denied obtaining ‘Palestinian' IDs which are actually issued by the Israeli Occupation authorities. The latter control birth, death, marriage, visits, visas, permits and all personal and civil matters in the Occupied Territories , even in Gaza after the ‘disengagement'. And since the Netanyahu government in the late nineties, no new ‘Palestinian' IDs were issued to all those who applied for them, in spite of the formal agreements with the Palestinians. It is not only military occupation of the land, but of the people also.
This policy of denying people visas, visits and return has accelerated in the last few weeks and it is affecting wives, daughters, sons, husbands, grandchildren and, in short, tearing up families. It also affects lecturers at universities, students, researchers and peace and solidarity activists, and sometimes even plain tourists. Upon arrival at Tel Aviv airport they are forced to return and pay the fare back to where they took off from.

http://www.inbaa.com/modules.php?name=News&file=print&sid=13663

http://www.aljazeerah.info/Opinion%20editorials/2006%20Opinion%20Editorials/June/21%20o/Denial%20of%20Entry%20by%20Israel%20to%20Foreign%20Nationals%20into%20Palestinian%20Territory%20By%20Noura%20Khouri.htm

10. Women calling for steadfastness as conditions worsen under Israeli attacks and closures
Palestine News Network 7/6/2006
Women's groups in the Nablus District are speaking out against the Israeli military actions that continue to suffocate the citizens of Nablus and the Palestinian people as a whole. Condemnations against the forced closure of a health center in the city and an aluminium factory in Askar Refugee Camp came Thursday. The women are pointing out that these closures will affect hundreds of working families and the overall access to healthcare by the people of Nablus . The groups further noted that as the health center and the factory are large service providers and as such integral parts of the community, the closures will negatively impact the northern West Bank . In addition, the groups are denouncing the recent Israeli storming of a television station in the city, accusing the Israeli government of violating freedoms of both opinion and of the press.
http://www.pnn.ps/english/archive2006/jul/week1/060706/report7.htm

11. Israeli incursion in Al Farahein region destroys agricultural land
Ma'an News 7/6/2006
Khan Younis --Israeli tanks and bulldozers penetrated the Al Farahein region east of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip Thursday morning. The incursion took place under heavy cover by Israeli artillery bombardment and helicopter strikes using heavy machine guns. No casualties were reported. Palestinian security sources said that seven Israeli bulldozer penetrated at least 600m and razed the land causing great losses to Palestinian agriculture in the area. This area of Al Farahein was consistently targeted by the Israeli forces in the past. Civilians in the region are worried that the Israeli forces are going to expand their operation to resemble developments in the north of the Strip; they called for the international community to intervene and put an end to the Israeli attack.
http://www.maannews.net/en/index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID=12820

12. Hamas calls Gaza to arms
AlJazeera 7/7/2006
Thursday was the bloodiest day in Gaza in nearly a year -- The Palestinian government has urged security forces to fight Israeli troops in Gaza after the most violent day since Israel withdrew from the territory last year. Saeed Seyam, the interior minister, declared a state of emergency on Thursday, according to a spokesman after fighting killed 19 Palestinians and one Israeli soldier. Khalid Abu Hilal, a Hamas minister, told a news conference: "Because of the continuation of bloodshed and Israel 's crimes, the minister of interior a few hours ago declared a full state of emergency in the homeland. "He (Seyam) called on all Palestinian security and military services to participate in the moral, national and religious duty to defend our people... and to confront this incursion and cowardly Zionist aggression. "
http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/0B494E13-13C7-4FCD-BD51-016CC8F896AD.htm

13. Israeli forces raid Nablus arrest policemen and others
Ma'an News 7/6/2006
Nablus --Dozens of Israeli military vehicles raided the city of Nablus early on Thursday morning. Israeli forces arrested five Palestinian citizens including two Palestinian policemen, during the raid. Palestinian security sources reported that the Israeli Forcse arrested the Palestinian policemen, Farouq Eishah, 27, and Muhammad Qa'ais, 26, while they were guarding the correction of diploma examinations in a school in the east of the city of Nablus. Another three citizens were arrested after the Israeli forces broke into several homes. Israeli bulldozers razed the tomb of the Raed Tbilah in the Sufyan Street in the city.
http://www.maannews.net/en/index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID=12811

14. Army vehicles bulldoze farmlands in Khan Younis area
International Middle East Media Center 7/6/2006
Israeli military bulldozers started to level wide areas of lands owned by the residents of Al faraheen area east of Khan Younis south of Gaza Strip on Thursday. Local eyewitnesses reported that three military bulldozers backed by seven tanks and an air cover intercepted in the area for 600 meters away from the eastern borders of the Strip and started bulldozing farmlands planted with olive trees. According to Jaber Abu Rajeelah, a resident from the area, these farmlands belong the Gazan families of Abu A'nza and Abu Rajeelah families. Al Faraheen area had been invaded repeatedly by the army during the years of the Intefada during which several houses were demolished and farmlands were bulldozed.
http://www.imemc.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=19804&Itemid=1

15. Army invades an NGO headquarters in Tubass and confiscates its belongings
International Middle East Media Center 7/6/2006
The Israeli forces broke into the headquarters of Juthour Culture and Arts center in the West Bank city of Tubass , Thursday morning. More than 8 army vehicles surrounded the building. Troops broke the door and soldiers went in the center ransacked the place the confiscated files and computers and left, no arrests were made, local sources reported.
http://www.imemc.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=19808&Itemid=1

16. Army invades Al Nabi Elias and Azon villages east of Qalqilia and arrests several residents
International Middle East Media Center 7/6/2006
Several residents were injured after Israeli army troops invaded Al Nabi Elias and Azon villages east of the West Bank city Qalqilia and searched several houses, Thursday at dawn. Troops also arrested several residents, including Nimer Hanon, 29, Ghareeb Hanon, 27, Theeb Hanon, 25, Ameen Abu Halema, 26, Yasser Saleem, 22, all were taken to unknown locations, local sources reported.
http://www.imemc.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=19805&Itemid=1

17. Professionals, students and trade unions in Nablus call for release and nonviolent resistance against arrest of government officials
Palestine News Network 7/6/2006
Professional associations, trade unions, and students in Nablus City in the northern West Bank are calling for the release of Palestinian Legislative Council members and Palestinian Authority Ministers from Israeli jails. Last Israeli forces arrested 38 Palestinian elected officials in the West Bank for belonging to the democratically elected Hamas party. The groups are also publicly condemning the continued Israeli military aggression against unarmed civilians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank . The unions, students and professionals released a statement condemning arresting Palestinian elected officials, noting that these officials are political representatives of the Palestinian people.
http://www.pnn.ps/english/archive2006/jul/week1/060706/report5.htm

18. 5 more senior Hamas members arrested in J'lem
YNet News 7/6/2006
According to police, helped Hamas parliament members carry out activities in the capital. Additionally, extended remand for 35 Hamas members arrested last week -- Security forces' battle with Hamas continues: Wednesday night, five senior members of the organization were arrested for questioning by the Police Investigations Unit of the Jerusalem district, in conjunction with Border Guard Police. According to the police, the five new arrestees worked from their north Jerusalem-based offices to help Hamas parliament members carry out operations in the capital. The arrests are part of the effort to combat Hamas activities in Jerusalem , and follows on the heels of the citizenship revocation for the Minister of Jerusalem Affairs and other members of the legislative council, who live in Jerusalem and are currently being held.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3272117,00.html


19. Palestinians use World Cup to reclaim their occupied house
Ma'an News 7/6/2006
Ramallah -- Palestinian citizens Abdullah Rahmah, Muhammad Al Kateeb and Abdulfattah Burnat from Bil'in, a village west of Ramallah in the West Bank, returned to their home on Thursday after their house was occupied by Israeli settlers who claimed that it was theirs. Their house is located at the edge of the illegal Israeli settlement of Modi'in Illit, west of Ramallah. While the Israeli settlers were busy watching the World Cup, the Palestinians took the opportunity to return to their house. However, a huge contingent of police and border guards soon arrived on the scene and attempted to forcibly evict the Palestinians. The Palestinians presented their property papers and the Israelis are now investigating if these papers are genuine or not. In the meantime, the Palestinians have been forced out of their house until the investigation is completed.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3272117,00.html


20. Two farmers were prevented from working on their land by Israeli army
International Womens' Peace Service 7/5/2006
On Tuesday, July 4th, two farmers from Deir Istiya were prevented from working on their land by the Israeli army. A farmer irrigating his olive trees was ordered off his property by four soldiers in an army jeep, who told him he was not allowed to be there. The soldiers insisted he leave immediately and waited until he left. This was the first time that soldiers had ordered him off his land. Two winters ago settlers from nearby Ravava uprooted some of his trees, which he had planted about 15 years ago. The olive harvest is coming up in October and this is an important time for caring for the trees and ploughing the land. On the same day a goat herder, while grazing his goats on common Deir Istiya land, was also ordered off by the Israeli army.
http://www.iwps-pal.org/en/articles/article.php?id=923

21. Look who's been kidnapped!
Hundreds of Palestinian 'suspects' have been kidnapped from their homes and will never stand trial

Arik Diamant
It's the wee hours of the morning, still dark outside. A guerilla force comes out of nowhere to kidnap a soldier. After hours of careful movement, the force reaches its target, and the ambush is on! In seconds, the soldier finds himself looking down the barrel of a rifle.
A smash in the face with the butt of the gun and the soldier falls to the ground, bleeding. The kidnappers pick him up, quickly tie his hands and blindfold him, and disappear into the night.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3271505,00.html

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From : Emily Jacir
Date : Thursday 6 July 2006 6:09
Subject : Must see video: Where the US media dare not go: UK Channel 4 nails Israel over Gaza

***MUST SEE VIDEO***

UK Channel 4's John Snow nails deputy Israeli ambassador over Gaza
http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article4906.shtml

Bottom of page links to the original Channel 4 page with a slightly
higher quality version of the video that plays in WMP.

_________________________________________________________________________

From : Emily Jacir
Date : Wednesday 5 July 2006 4:41
Subject : only European Country to make a stand against Israel 's Gaza campaign

Switzerland decries Gaza campaign

By Imogen Foulkes
BBC News, Geneva

Switzerland says Israel has clearly violated international law by imposing collective punishment on Palestinians over the capture of an Israeli soldier.

Switzerland is the "depository" state of the Geneva Conventions.
They prohibit the deliberate targeting of services essential to the civilian population, like water and electricity.
The statement from Switzerland comes amid growing concern among aid agencies at the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Gaza .
Neutral Switzerland does not often venture into political controversy. But this statement is likely to cause some irritation in Israel and the United States .
There is no doubt that Israel has not taken the precautions required of it in international law to protect the civilian population and infrastructure

Swiss foreign ministry statement

A spokesman for the Swiss foreign ministry said that, as the depository country for the Geneva Conventions, encouraging respect for international law was a declared aim of Switzerland's foreign policy and the statement should be read in that context.
It says there is "no doubt Israel has not taken the precautions required of it in international law to protect the civilian population and infrastructure.
"The destruction of a power station, the attack on the offices of the Palestinian prime minister, the arbitrary arrests of a large number of democratically-elected representatives of the people and ministers... cannot be justified."

Angry reaction

It is not the first time Switzerland has strayed into the tricky field of Middle East politics.
Earlier this year, the Swiss President Moritz Leuenberger caused anger in Israel when he said the international block on funding to the Palestinian authority was a mistake.
He said the newly elected Hamas government should have been given the chance to prove it could function.
But this latest statement will strike a chord with aid agencies.
They are increasingly concerned about the worsening humanitarian situation in Gaza .
Unicef has seen increased levels of stress and trauma in young children.
The World Health Organization says vital medical supplies are running short and doctors and nurses are having great difficulty even getting to work because of the restrictions on movement.
Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/europe/5145654.stm

Published: 2006/07/04 13:34:12 GMT

© BBC MMVI

 

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