While PM Ehud Olmert is wallowing in his legal problems because of his love of good living and millionaires who can feather his nest of influence, there are certain injustices happening in the south of
Archbishop Desmond Tutu (a Nobel Prize Laureate and ex Archbishop of Cape Town) was appointed to head the special committee by the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva to investigate the deaths of 19 Palestinians in Bet Hanun in November 2006 killed by Israel fire. The Israeli authorities refused to grant him a visa for this purpose. In the end he arrived with his team via the Rafah crossing from
According to an Agence France Press Report, a tearful Palestinian family recounted losing loved ones in an Israeli attack and the ruling Hamas movement expounded its hard-line stance.
Archbishop Tutu listened to members of the Assamna family tell of a 2006 Israeli shelling of their village that killed 19 civilians, including eight children, while they were sleeping.
"I was here with my son. I was holding his hand when he died. Can you imagine a mother holding the intestines of her own son," said Tahini al-Assamna through her tears, describing the scene after the attack.
Tutu commented that the purpose of the visit was to gather information to write a report for the UN Human Rights Council, "but we wanted to say that we are quite devastated."
The Palestinian woman told Tutu and his UN team that she also lost three brothers-in-law in the attack. And her husband was killed two days before the bombing during an Israeli army operation against rocket firings from
Imad Okal, a UN representative in northern
Leaning against a scorched wall of the house, Saad Abdallah Assamna, 52, said he only hoped that "there will be an inquiry and those responsible will be judged before an international tribunal.
It appears that what happened on that fateful day, was conveniently swept under the carpet like many other incidents that should not have occurred. After an internal investigation,
Another incident disconnected with the UN Human Rights Council investigation under Archbishop Tutu, is
It is unjustifiable to prevent
According to a report in Haaretz 30th May 2008, The U.S. State Department said Friday it was pressing
"We are trying to revisit this issue with the Israeli government," State Department spokesman Tom Casey told reporters, referring to
"Frankly, a decision to let people that have been vetted for what is perhaps the most prestigious foreign educational program run by the United States ... it ought to be [as easy as] falling off a log for them to be able to do this."
Earlier Friday, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said she would investigate a report that the State Department had withdrawn Fulbright Scholarship grants to the Palestinian students because they were denied exit visas by
Hadeel Abu Kawik, 23, a computer engineering student, received her scholarship after a lengthy process that included interviews, exams and an English test.
"I was building my hope on this scholarship," she said Friday.
"If we are talking about peace and mutual understanding, it means investing in people who will later contribute to Palestinian society," he said. "I am against Hamas. Their acts and policies are wrong.
Some Israeli lawmakers, who held a hearing Wednesday on the issue of student movement out of
"This could be interpreted as collective punishment," said Rabbi Michael Melchior, chairman of the Education Committee in Parliament, during the hearing. "This policy is not in keeping with international standards or with the moral standards of Jews, who have been subjected to the deprivation of higher education in the past. Even in war, there are rules." Melchior is a member of Meimad, a small party allied to the Labor Party.