- Hamas accepts a conditional Israeli offer to free 450 Palestinian political prisoners, as well as most women and child prisoners, in exchange for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.
- Tensions increase between Fateh and Hamas, squashing hopes of an end to internal Palestinian clashes.
- Israeli forces kidnap 9 Palestinians from Bethlehem and Jenin, taking them to an unknown location; 3 Palestinian fishermen were also grabbed off the coast of Gaza.
- U.S. military deaths hit 3,000 to end the year, just after the “colonial hanging” of Saddam Hussein; U.S. reportedly might send more troops to try and stabilize the situation.
Voice of Palestine did its annual year-in-review for 2006 and looked at the significant events in the region, specifically in Palestine, Lebanon and Iraq. Human rights groups have called 2006 the year of “hunger and blockade” for the Palestinians and our collective discussed the economic siege on the Palestinian people, led by the U.S. and Israel, as well as the repercussions of the dangerous internal clashes that have flared recently. The war against Lebanon was talked about, and it was noted that despite the horrible devastation and civilian casualties in Lebanon, Israel did not achieve its goals and even Israeli analysts were debating the long-term impact of that defeat. The collective closed by talking about Iraq and the policy of the U.S., which seems to have turned more to inciting civil war since it can’t gain a military victory (a region-wide policy). The discussion ended with comments by various analysts about what Tariq Ali has referred to as the “colonial hanging” of Saddam Hussein, and excerpts of a Jan. 2nd, 2007 Guardian article by Ghada Karmi were read.
Focus on Zionism:
Highlights of a Dec. 31st, 2006 dispatch from the International Solidarity Movement – Palestine about the abusive treatment of human rights volunteers in Hebron, by both settlers and Israeli soldiers.
Here is an audio file of this show: