US Journalist Fired for Criticizing Israel

March 25th, 2012 - by admin

Muslim News & Al-Akhbar – 2012-03-25 00:54:16

US: Journalist Fired after Calling Israeli Occupation ‘Brutal’
Muslim News

LONDON (March 23, 2012) — A veteran American journalist has been fired after referring to Israel’s occupation of Palestinian and Syrian land as “brutal.” Sunni Khalid, managing news editor at WYPR-FM in Baltimore, was dropped by the public radio station on Thursday after more than nine years on the job. He had been on probation following criticism of comments he made on Facebook about Israel’s continued illegal occupation of Palestine.

“I, for one, have had enough of this pandering before the Israeli regime,” he wrote. “The war-mongering toward Iran has, once again, distracted the world from Israel’s brutal military occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights.” Khalid, who previously worked for National Public Radio, has also written for Time Magazine, The Washington Times, and USA Today.

Israel maintains economic control over Gaza and the West Bank, with devastating consequences for the Palestinian civilian population. Rights groups including Amnesty International have repeatedly condemned rights abuses against Palestinians.

Palestinian Man Shot by Invading Israeli Settlers

(March 24, 2012) — A Palestinian man was shot and injured on Saturday during clashes with Israeli settlers who attacked his village in the central West Bank, a local news agency reported. Hassan Muatan, 40, was shot in the abdomen after armed settlers stormed the Burqa village east of Ramallah and attempted to vandalize property, the Maan News agency said. Muatan was evacuated to the Palestine Medical Compound with moderate wounds.

Residents of the village said the attack was being confronted by the locals, when the settlers opened fire. Israeli soldiers were called to the scene but fired on the villagers as well, they said. The Israeli army did not respond to a request for comment.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported that attacks by settlers on the local Palestinian population in 2011 had increased by 50 percent from the previous year. In a separate development Saturday, settlers uprooted about 85 olive trees in the Bethlehem village of al-Khader, local officials reported.

Israel continues to encourage the building of Jewish-only settlements in occupied Palestinian land, despite the UN declaring such constructions illegal. Attempts to condemn the practice at the level of the UN Security Council have been prevented by Israel’s closest ally the United States, which has repeatedly promised to use its veto power to stop such moves.

UN: Jewish Settlers Stealing Palestinian Water Springs:

(March 19, 2012) — Illegal Israeli settlers have taken over dozens of natural springs in the West Bank, preventing Palestinian access to much-needed water sources, a United Nations report said on Monday. The report produced by the UN’s Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said at least 30 springs across the West Bank had been completely taken over by settlers, with Palestinians unable to access them at all.

In most instances, the report said, “Palestinians have been deterred from accessing the springs by acts of intimidation, threats and violence perpetrated by Israeli settlers.” The report said an OCHA survey carried out in 2011 identified a total of 56 springs that were under total or partial control of Israeli settlers, most in the part of the West Bank known as Area C, which is under full Israeli civil and military control.

“Springs have remained the single largest water source for irrigation and a significant source for watering livestock” for Palestinians, OCHA said, noting that some springs also provide water for domestic consumption. The loss of access to springs and adjacent land reduced the income of affected farmers, who either stop cultivating the land or face a reduction in the productivity of their crops.”

The report said in most cases where settlers were trying to limit Palestinian access to springs, they have undertaken to turn the area into a tourist attraction, constructing pools, picnic areas and signs carrying a Hebrew name for the spring. “Such works were carried out without building permits,” the report said.

Israel maintains an economic blockade of Gaza and control over the economy of the West Bank through checkpoints and sanctions. The country has continued to endorse the growth of Jewish-only settlements in occupied Palestine, which are illegal under international law, despite condemnation from the international community.

The OCHA report added that settler actions including “trespass, intimidation and physical assault, stealing of private property, and construction without a building permit,” are also violations of Israeli law. “Yet, the Israel authorities have systematically failed to enforce the law on those responsible for these acts and to provide Palestinians with any effective remedy,” it said. OCHA called on Israel to stop the expansion of settlements, “restore Palestinian access to the water springs taken over by settlers,” and to “conduct effective investigations into cases of settler violence and trespass.”

Israel’s Civil Administration, the Israeli military body that administers parts of the West Bank, rejected the OCHA report. “The report is distorted, biased and full of inaccuracies,” spokesman Guy Inbar told AFP.

“As a general rule, it has been made clear that everyone has the right to access the local natural springs in the public spaces,” he said. “In case there is a complaint that any party is preventing, threatening or interfering with access to such sites, it must be reported to the nearest police station.”

Israel rarely convicts Jewish settlers for crimes against the indigenous Palestinian population.

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