hostile environments

on the anniversary of the u.s. invasion of afghanistan, afghan refugees being expelled. refoulement anyone?

Pakistan ordered the deportation of about 50,000 Afghan refugees in an insurgency-wracked tribal region amid a major military offensive against al-Qaida and Taliban fighters.

The government said it was expelling all Afghan refugees in the Bajur tribal region, alleging many of them have links to militant groups. Police in the town of Khar in Bajur arrested 25 Afghans and said they would soon be deported.

“The orders have been issued to the tribal police to push all of them (refugees) out,” said local government official Abdul Haseeb, adding that their homes would be bulldozed to keep them from returning.

and as olive harvest gets under way here in palestine, palestinians cannot access their lands.

According to estimates by residents, some 5,000 olive trees sit on 270 hectares between the path of the Barrier and the border of the West Bank with Israel, known as the Green Line.

“People depend on this land, especially because they have already lost so much,” said Hindi Misleh, an activist in the village.

The village, Misleh said, lost over 4,000 hectares of land to Israel in the 1948 war and then another 800 to Israeli settlements which started to pop up around Ni’lin in the 1980s.

“Every year the settlers took more land,” he said.

and the land that can be farmed, or used, is often polluted by illegal israeli settlements surrounding palestine:

“Israeli colonies discharge their untreated wastewater into Palestinian land, causing serious pollution threat to water resources,” says Rabi. An engineer by profession, Rabi has worked on several projects funded by the European Commission and NGOs in Europe.

The report found that industrial Israeli colonies in the West Bank are causing serious damage to groundwater sources and polluting land. It underlines the inequalities of water allocation that plague the region.

“The inequalities are so obvious, but unfortunately the media hardly ever take note of these,” Rabi told IPS. “The unequal allocation of a rightful share for Palestinians from their groundwater resources has kept them underdeveloped over the past 60 years.

“In arid environments such as the Middle East, water is considered a major factor for stability and prosperity for all people. For this stability to happen people who live under similar climate and hydrologic conditions must be treated equally in terms of their rights and needs for water.”

Palestinians are allocated no more than 8.2 percent of the total available water resources in the region, while Israel is using 57.1 percent and Jordan 34.7 percent. The amount allocated to Palestinians does not reflect needs, says Rabi.

but there is a hopeful sign today. there is an egyptian lawyer who is challenging egypt’s sales of gas to the zionist regime.

A lawyer in Egypt has demanded that the government halt its gas exports to Israel, Al Jazeera reports.

Ibrahim Yossri, 65, arrived at the court on Tuesday to call on the Egyptian government to stop exporting natural gas to its Middle East neighbour.

Yossri, who used to work as director of international treaties in the Egyptian foreign ministry, said the deal was illegal and costing the Egyptian taxpayer $9 million a day.

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