18 August 2005 Edition
News in Brief 2
Israel's Gaza pullout
Israel began withdrawing settlers from the Gaza Strip this week. The withdrawal was agreed as part of the Oslo Accord of 1993 but Israel constantly blocked progress until now.
Gaza was invaded along with the West Bank, the Golan Heights and the Sinai, during the Six Day War of 1967. Massive repression was visited upon the Palestinian residents of Gaza over the years of occupation.
Some Israeli settlers in Gaza were defying the evacuation on Wednesday 17 August and there were confrontations with troops sent to enforce the pull-out.
Despite the Gaza evacuation, the issue of Palestinian nationhood is far from being resolved. A renewed landgrab is taking place in the West Bank with the building of a huge apartheid wall intended to sunder the territorial integrity of a future Palestinian state.
Many Palestinian commentators have said the Gaza evacuation is merely a smokescreen to distract attention from the West Bank which Palestinians feel the Israei's will turn into a huge 'prison' and make a Palestinian state non-viable.
Shock revelations on London shooting
A leaked report on the killing of Brazilian national Jean Charles de Menezes in London on 22 July has thrown new light on the initial police claims. It states that a police surveillance unit mistakenly identified the victim as an Ethiopian and suspected suicide bomber. Instead of attempting an arrest, the operation was passed onto a specialist police unit called CO19 who followed Jean Charles on a train, dragged him to the ground and shot him at point blank five times in the head in an execution style as witnessed by horrified onlookers.
This completely contradicts initial police claims that Menezes was wearing a large heavy coat, was confronted by a specialist police unit whereupon he ran away, jumped over the barrier of Stockwell Tube Station and ran into a waiting train where police officers pursued him, then instructed him to hold his hands up and then shot him.
Ógra responds to IRA move
Ógra Shinn Féin, has responded to the recent historic IRA statement, detailing its future intentions. According to Ógra National Organiser Mickey Bravender "a consultation within Ógra has shown a wealth of support for the recent announcement by the Army to embrace peaceful and democratic means. Republicans are now in a new phase of the Irish freedom struggle."
"Within Ógra concerns have been raised on a number of outstanding matters, which need to be addressed by others. There is a grave concern that the IRA announcement of its intention to use peaceful and democratic means will not be followed by a similar statement from the British establishment who are evidently still at war with Irish republicanism.
"Many Ógra activists were concerned at the stance of rejectionists at the present time. The onus is now firmly on the London and Dublin Governments to move on with the Peace Process and change with or without rejectionists."
"The republican youth of today are the leaders of the future and will carry on the struggle for the 32-County democratic socialist republic for which so many of our family, friends and comrades have given their lives. The armed campaign may be over but the revolution continues, the struggle goes on."