Space porn: These images are (quite literally) out of this world
The Israeli right has long favored “transfer” (i.e. ethnic cleansing) as a means of dealing both with Palestinian-Israelis and with Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. Given the extreme-right character of the government of Binyamin Netanyahu, it is no cause for wonder that practical steps are now being taken toward expulsions and deportations of anyone who even peacefully opposes the government’s systematic colonization of the West Bank.
The Guardian summarizes objections of Israeli peace groups who complain that “Palestinians, and any foreigners living in the West Bank,” would be liable to deportation within 72 hours if they lack the right permit. “Valid permit” is not defined by the Israelis.
Rory McCarthy writes,
The orders … are worded so broadly such as theoretically allowing the military to empty the West Bank of almost all its Palestinian inhabitants,” said the 10 rights groups, which include Ha-Moked, B’Tselem, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, and Rabbis for Human Rights. Until now the vast majority of Palestinians in the West Bank have not been required to hold a permit just to be present in their homes, the groups say.
The Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 requires two things of Israel, the occupying power in the Palestinian West Bank:
Art. 49. Individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power or to that of any other country, occupied or not, are prohibited, regardless of their motive . . . The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.
Al-Jazeera English has a video report:
Meanwhile, Palestinians have begun a petition drive to collect a million signatures asking President Obama to end their occupation. There is an increasing push among Palestinians to simply declare statehood within the next year or two, in hopes of forestalling the complete destruction by the Israelis of Palestinian nationhood.
NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins
On December 28, 2013, Expedition 38 crew member Mike Hopkins participating in the second of two space walks to replace a degraded pump module on the International Space Station. (NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio is reflected in his helmet!)
The Soyuz TMA-10M
The Soyuz TMA-10M headed towards the International Space Station with crew members from Expedition 37 onboard.
40 years ago the Apollo 8 mission flew up to the moon, orbited it ten times and then returned to Earth. This picture was taken from that flight and shows the Earth as it seemingly rises in similar fashion to a sunrise.
Sunrise from Expedition 36
NASA Flight Engineer Karen L. Nyberg of Expedition 36 took this photo of the sun rising -- a sight they saw nearly 16 times per day due to the speed of the International Space Station's orbit around the earth.
A pair of NanoRacks CubeSats -- nanosattelite spacecrafts carrying experiments -- were launched by Expedition 38.