This week …

News Highlights:

  • A new attack on Rafah refugee camp in Gaza kills 8 Palestinians and injures 32, including children.
  • Three Palestinians wounded during Dec. 22nd Israeli invasion of Jenin
    Meanwhile, the 7-day invasion of Balata refugee camp near Nablus continues; has already resulted in the death of two Palestinian children, one 5 years old and another 13.
  • A dozen reservists from the Israeli military’s elite commando unit refuse to serve in the Palestinian territories, saying, “We cannot continue to stand silent.
  • On Dec. 19th, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said Palestinians had only a few months to “make peace” or Israel would take unilateral steps to impose its own border.
  • Palestinian Christians in Bethlehem and Gaza prepare for a bleak Christmas due to a devastated economy, roadblocks and curfews.
  • Egyptian Foreign Minister confronted by Palestinian protestors in Jerusalem, some threw shoes at him.
  • Two Israeli human rights groups report that more than half of Palestinian moms are giving birth at home, because of the Israeli roadblocks and travel restrictions; three and a half years ago, 95% of Palestinian babies were born in hospitals.

Feature:

An interview with a Canadian humanitarian aid worker, Keith Reynolds, who was in Manger Square in Bethlehem. Keith spoke about the lack of festivities for Christmas this year in Bethlehem and how somber was the mood of the Palestinians there. He detailed his other experiences in the West Bank, specifically in Jenin and Ramallah. He also explained how difficult it has become for Palestinians in their day-to-day life, especially with the economic obstacles and many people living at or below the poverty line.

Focus on Zionism:

Excerpts from an article in an Israeli newspaper, quoting several Israeli cabinet ministers at a recent conference on “security”. Justice Minister Lapid called the settlers “barbaric”. Finance Minister Netanyahu¬Āfs comments were also revisited, wherein he stated that the Israeli Palestinian population is a demographic threat to Israel.