Shaba'a Farms is a small area occupied by Israel adjacent to the Golan Heights, which is part of Syria and occupied by Israel since 1967. Hezbollah claims the Farms are part of Lebanon, and uses this claim to justify its continued armed resistance, and confrontational posture with Israel, as it points out all of Lebanon is not liberated as long as Shaba'a is occupied. The UN believes the area is part of Syria, and in resolution 1559 calls for the disarmament of all Lebanese factions.
Thousands of protesters defied a ban on public gatherings in downtown Beirut as Lebanon's pariliament began a firey debate on who was responsibile for the Feb. 14 car-bomb assassination of former prime minister Rafik Hariri. Demanding the government resign, protesters chanted "Syria get out!" and "Freedom, sovereignty, independence!" Violence was feared as pro-Syria demonstrators converged nearby to protest the visit by US deputy decretary of state David Satterfield.
Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon implicated Syria in the Feb. 25 suicide bombing of a Tel Aviv nightclub that left four dead, after the group Islamic Jihad, which maintains a Damascus office, claimed responsibility. "The terrorist attack was perpetrated by members of Islamic Jihad. Thre orders came from Islamic Jihad elements in Syria," he said.
An article in Ha'aretz Jan. 30 says that Israeli Attorney General Menachem Mazuz has approved the government's application of its 1950 Absentee Property Law to confiscate about one half of Palestinian-owned land in East Jerusalem. Thousands of Palestinians who live elsewhere in the West Bank and are cut off from their lands by the Separation Wall are having their lands and property seized on the grounds that they don't live in Israel. Israel plans to redistribute the confiscated land to Jews only. The decision was made secretly by the government in July. The Absentee law stipulates that those whose land is confiscated have no right to appeal the action, nor any right to compensation. According to the lawyer representing some of those who are losing property, Israel plans to colonize E. Jerusalem's Muslim Quarter as well.
Jayyous, a town of 3,400 in the West Bank, is being cleansed quickly through illegal Israeli settlement expansion, funded indirectly with US tax dollars. The Rhode Island Qalqilya Alliance has background information, and says what you can do to take action.