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Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel
www.vtjp.org/
For those interested in keeping up with events in Palestine/Israel, there is no better digest than VTJP.

VTJP Archives | VTJP 2009
29 March, 2009

News

International Middle East Media Center

Erekat: “Olmert verbally offered joint control over East Jerusalem”
29 Mar 2009 - Palestinian Chief Negotiator, Dr. Saeb Erekat, stated on Saturday that outgoing Israel Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, offered President Mahmoud Abbas, joint control over East Jerusalem, in addition to annexing 6.5% from the West Bank and giving the Palestinian 5.8% from “Israeli lands”. ...

Three residents injured, two international activists detained in Hebron
28 Mar 2009 - Palestinian sources in Hebron, in the southern part of the West Bank, reported Sunday that Israeli soldiers attacked a peaceful protest against Israeli settlements in the Old City of Hebron, and demanding the army to reopen Al Shuhada Street in the city; three residents were wounded, and two international activists were detained. ... 

Arabs, Jewish activists, protest home demolitions in Jerusalem
28 Mar 2009 - Israeli sources reported on Saturday that approximately 150 Jews and international peace activists joined Arab residents in their protest against Israel’s demolition of Palestinian homes in Silwan neighborhood in East Jerusalem. ... 

Dekel back in Cairo for swap talks, Olmert’s office denies
28 Mar 2009 - Israeli sources reported on Saturday that Ofir Dekel, special negotiator for prisoner affairs assigned by outgoing Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, arrived in Cairo for continued indirect prisoner-swap talks between Israel and Hamas. ...

Hamas releases detained Fateh members in Gaza
28 Mar 2009 - Khalid Al Batsh, one of the leaders of the Islamic Jihad, reported on Saturday that the Hamas-controlled security devices in the Gaza Strip, released Fateh supporters who were detained earlier on Saturday for planning a political activity at Al Azhar University in Gaza City. ...

Erekat: “Olmert obstructed a peace deal with the Palestinians”
28 Mar 2009 - Dr. Saeb Erekat, head of the Negotiations Department at the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), denied the statements of Israel’s outgoing Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, in which he claimed that he offered president Palestinian Mahmoud Abbas a full peace settlement and that he still awaits a response. ...

Hamas denies it agreed on the deportation of detainees
27 Mar 2009 - In an interview with the Arabs48 news website, Fawzi Barhoum, media spokesperson of the Hamas movement, said that Hamas did not agree on the Israeli condition to deport some of the detainees who would be freed in the framework of a prisoner exchange deal. ... 

EU presses Netanyahu to commit to a two-state solution
27 Mar 2009 - The European Union told the Israeli Prime Minister-designate, Benjamin Netanyahu, on Friday that relations between the European Union and Israel could be at odds if he does not accept a two-state solution. ...

Bardaweel: “Hamas will not be committed to previously signed peace dealsâ€
27 Mar 2009 - Salah Bardaweel, one of the political leaders of Hamas movement, stated on Friday that the movement will not recognize peace agreements signed between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO). ...

Settlers who attacked Israeli policemen freed
27 Mar 2009 - Five violent Israeli settlers of an illegal settlement outpost in the West Bank were released by a court decision on Friday after they were remanded for attacking under-cover Israeli policemen and vandalizing their vehicle. ... 

Ha'aretz Defense page

Shin Bet: Nearly 70 tons of explosives smuggled into Gaza since IDF op
29 Mar 2009 - Yuval Diskin: Groups other than Hamas still pursuing plans to kidnap Israeli soldiers, carry out terror attacks.

Media allege corruption in massive Israel-India arms deal
29 Mar 2009 - Indian press raise questions over $1.5 billion deal between IAI and the Indian defense ministry.

Report: Israel used unmanned drones to attack Sudan convoys
29 Mar 2009 - Defense officials quoted as saying trucks carried missiles to Gaza capable of hitting Tel Aviv.

Report: Israel carried out 3 attacks on Sudan arms smugglers
29 Mar 2009 - U.S. broadcaster ABC: U.S. official confirms attack on two truck convoys, sinking of ship in Red Sea.

Arab MK: IDF soldiers attacked me in Hebron
29 Mar 2009 - IDF says according to video of West Bank incident, it is clear MK Mohammad Barakeh was not attacked.

Hamas frees Fatah's Gaza officials hours after arrest
29 Mar 2009 - Fatah spokesman: Hamas launches new crackdown on Abbas loyalists in bid to prevent regrouping.

Sudan strike targeted weapons believed capable of hitting Tel Aviv
29 Mar 2009 - Air attack in January reportedly hit Iran arms convoy en route to Gaza; Olmert: Israel can operate everywhere.

Israel denies compromise with Hamas in Shalit deal
29 Mar 2009 - PMO counters Hamas claim that Israel had rescinded from initial demands and made new offer for prisoner swap.

Cast Lead expose / What did the IDF think would happen in Gaza?
29 Mar 2009 - Soldiers' testimonies about improper behavior forces IDF Spokeman's Office to confront a new reality.

Gaza witness: IDF troops told us 'Go south or you'll get shot'
29 Mar 2009 - Palestinian accounts given to AP support allegations of IDF misconduct during the war in Gaza.

Sudan says Israel 'most probably' behind attack
29 Mar 2009 - Official says struck convoy transported goods, not weapons smuggled from Iran as claimed by U.S.

Can Egypt-Israel peace survive after Mubarak leaves office?
29 Mar 2009 - Israel fears rise of Islamic regime which would transform Egypt from tranquil neighbor to threatening monster.

'Egypt boosts Sudan border troops over Gaza smuggling'
29 Mar 2009 - Egyptian reinforcement comes amid international pressure in wake of Gaza offensive, intelligences sources say.

Ex-pilots split on what Sudan strike means for Iran
29 Mar 2009 - Ex-Defense Ministry weapons chief: Operation proves Israel can hit moving targets from great distance.

Ma'an News

New Palestinian passports available beginning Sunday
29 Mar 2009 - 

Israel seizes, deports 208 Palestinian workers
29 Mar 2009 - 

Israeli authorities open Kerem Shalom and Nahal Oz crossings
29 Mar 2009 - 

Egyptian smuggler arrested after scaling Gaza border wall
29 Mar 2009 - 

Israel sentences PFLP leader to life for planning suicide attack
29 Mar 2009 - 

Fatah denies reports that sixth conference postponed
29 Mar 2009 - 

Al-Quds claim attack on Israeli Special Forces in Khan Younis
29 Mar 2009 - 

Soldiers detain teenager at Nablus checkpoint
29 Mar 2009 - 

Four Palestinians seized near Ramallah
29 Mar 2009 - 

Newspaper: Israel used aerial drones in Sudan attacks
29 Mar 2009 - 

Hamas threatens to capture more Israeli soldiers
29 Mar 2009 - 

Human rights group offers course for lawyers
28 Mar 2009 - 

Morocco to reconstruct agronomy faculty, hospital in Gaza
28 Mar 2009 - 

Report: Israel has bombed Sudan three times since January
28 Mar 2009 - 

Palestine Telegraph

Hamas says restrictions on prisoners not to change demands 
28 Mar 2009 - GAZA, March 29- The military wing of Islamic Hamas movement on Sunday said expected harassment against its prisoners in Israeli jails will not succeed changing Hamas' conditions for a prisoner exchange deal. An Israeli committee would present a list of new restrictions...

Rain of Fire
28 Mar 2009 - Jerusalem - Human Rights Watch released a damning report this week that the Israeli military had “deliberately or recklessly used white phosphorus munitions in violation of the laws of war” during the 22-day Operation Cast Lead in Gaza.

Israeli blockade sinks fish industry
28 Mar 2009 - Gaza City: Marwan Abu Juma, a 43-year-old father of 10, hasn't made enough money from fishing since 2000, but his life has been particularly difficult for the past several months. "I can barely cover the expenses of fishing and save some money...

Report: IOF troops carried out 36 incursions in W. Bank during one week
28 Mar 2009 - NABLUS - The Palestinian center for human rights revealed in its weekly report that the IOF troops carried out during a one-week period at least 36 incursions in most of the West Bank cities, villages and refugee camps during which they kidnapped...

Did Israel use white phosphorous in Gaza?
28 Mar 2009 - Jerusalem, March 28, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) – Did Israel use white phosphorous in Gaza not as a smokescreen but as an incendiary weapon? Israel's recent use of white phosphorus bombs in densely populated areas of Gaza violated the  rules of war, according...

PA Welcomes EU Strong Stance on Two-State Solution
28 Mar 2009 - Rammalh, March 28, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) – The Palestinian Presidency welcomed on Saturday the EU stance not to upgrade ties with Israel if Israel abandoned the two-state solution. Nabil Abu Rudeina, the Palestinian Presidency spokesman, said that linking the development of the EU-Israeli...

Students of Gaza: Suffering like others 
28 Mar 2009 - Many university students who lost relatives or whose homes were destroyed during the recent 23-day Israeli offensive are finding it difficult to cope, according to university officials and students. Some have been unable to register for the new semester due to lack...

PLO: Olmert Sabotages Peace Process with Palestinians
27 Mar 2009 - Gaza, March 26, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) – Chief negotiator for the Palestine Liberation Organization, denied the Israeli Prime Minister-designate Netanyahu statements about presenting a new proposal to the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to compromise all the final status issues.

Fatah Official: Syria to involve inter-Arab conciliation, dialogue next Tuesday
27 Mar 2009 - Gaza, March 27, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) – A senior official of Fatah movement said that an Egyptian delegation headed by Omer El Qenawi, deputy head of Egypt's intelligence, had been to Damascus for conversations with Syrian officials over the inter-Arab conciliation and...

EU Urges Israel not to Abandon Two-State Solution
27 Mar 2009 - Reuters - Gaza, March 27, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) – European Union officials urged the Israeli Prime Minister-designate Netanyahu on Friday to accept the two-state solution, as the goal of the Middle East peace process. German Foreign Minister Frank Steinmeier said: "We Europeans...

Aljazeera

Sudan's al-Bashir attends Arab meet
29 Mar 2009 - Sudan president ignores international arrest warrant for war crimes by travelling to Qatar.

Israeli military in anthrax row
27 Mar 2009 - Experts find "grave ethical failures" in 1990s' experimental anthrax tests on soldiers.

Sudan suspects Israel of attacks
27 Mar 2009 - Two separate attacks in remote desert area killed up to 40 people, officials say.

Israel phosphorus inquiry demanded
26 Mar 2009 - Human rights group says munition was used "deliberately or recklessly" in Gaza.

IRIN

OPT: Tough times for university students in Gaza 
26 Mar 2009 - GAZA CITY Thursday, March 26, 2009 (IRIN) - Many university students who lost relatives or whose homes were destroyed during the recent 23-day Israeli offensive are finding it difficult to cope, according to university officials and students. 

OPT: UN tracks rising violence against women in Gaza 
26 Mar 2009 - GAZA CITY Tuesday, March 24, 2009 (IRIN) - The UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) in Gaza, local Palestinian NGOs and mental health professionals are reporting increased incidents of domestic violence and sexual assault against women in Gaza since the beginning of 2009. 

MIDDLE EAST: Water treatment kit for household grey water 
26 Mar 2009 - ISTANBUL Monday, March 23, 2009 (IRIN) - A kit designed to treat household waste water for reuse could be one of the ways to tackle water scarcity in rural areas of the Middle East and North Africa, according to a Canadian organisation. 

Stop The Wall

Friday anti-Wall protests commemorate Land Day
29 Mar 2009 - March 29th, 2009 --, Large numbers of participants was a feature of this Friday’s actions, which were held in commemoration of Land Day. Protests against the Wall were held in the usual locations of Jayyous, Ni’lin, al-Ma’sra and Bi’lin. After a brief hiatus last week, violence is escalating again in Ni’lin, where a local youth was shot with live ammunition. [

List of Actions in Palestine for March 30 - Land Day and Global BDS Day
29 Mar 2009 - March 28th, 2009 --, The people in Palestine are mobilizing for the 32nd annual commemoration of Land Day, March 30. Land Day marks the date of the Palestinian demonstration in the Galilee against a wide-scale land confiscation, when Israeli forces killed 6 Palestinians, injured 96 and arrested 300. See the full list of actions here. [

PCHR Latest

PCHR Contests Distortion of Gaza Strip Death Toll
29 Mar 2009 - 

PCHR Appeals for Action to Save Lives of Gaza Strip Patients
29 Mar 2009 - 

PCHR Demands Investigation into Death of a Civilian Tortured by Members of the Intelligence Services in Gaza
29 Mar 2009 - 

PCHR Warns of Gaza Patients’ Being Denied Treatment Abroad
29 Mar 2009 - 

PCHR Weekly Report

(19- 25 March  2008)
29 Mar 2009 - During the reporting period, IOF wounded 10 Palestinian civilians, including one child and two journalists, in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

U.S. rights groups urge Obama to send Durban II delegation
29 Mar 2009 - Dozens of human rights groups and activists in the United States have petitioned President Barack Obama to rethink his decision to boycott a United Nations anti-racism conference, expected by many countries to be used as a forum for criticizing Israel. ...

Open Letter to President Barack Obama
29 Mar 2009 - This is a letter written by dozens of human rights groups and activists in the United States, urging President Barack Obama to rethink his decision to boycott the United Nations-sponsored anti-racism conference. ...

Hamas: Shalit deal won't remain on table forever
28 Mar 2009 - Hamas official Ayman Taha on Sunday warned that negotiations over a prisoner swap in exchange for abducted Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit "would remain open forever." ...

Why is this haggadah different from others? Well, it's got Jesus
28 Mar 2009 - Here's a Passover riddle: When is a Haggadah not Jewish? ...

Pentagon chief: Economic sanctions on Iran better than diplomacy
28 Mar 2009 - U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Sunday that economic sanctions would be more effective than diplomatic overtures in bringing Iran to the negotiating table over its nuclear program. ...

The Guardian

Richard Silverstein: A new survey shows Jews support a strong Israel policy that encourages negotiation
29 Mar 2009 - A new survey shows that American Jews support a muscular US policy toward Israel and Palestine that encourages negotiation J Street has just released its latest poll ( full results , analysis ) about American Jewish attitudes toward the...

Seth Freedman: Bayit Echad's campaign for settlers to return to Israel proper could be the start of peace in the West Bank
27 Mar 2009 - Bayit Echad's risky campaign for settlers to return to Israel proper could be the start of peace in the West Bank Benny Raz is a formidable man, both in appearance and in attitude: an ex- Mossad...

Letters: I did not advocate attacks on Jews
26 Mar 2009 - Hazel Blears, secretary of state for communities and local government, claims I signed a declaration "advocating attacks on Jewish communities all around the world" and attacks on British military forces (Letters, 26 March). Both of these...

Pope Benedict to visit Ramallah during first trip to Israel
26 Mar 2009 - Pope Benedict XVI will travel to Ramallah during his inaugural trip to Jerusalem, where he will meet the president of the Palestinian National Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, and pay a visit to the Aida refugee camp. The...

Daphna Baram: The Knesset has many parties, but they are all of one mind
26 Mar 2009 - Intransigence, expansionism, racism and warmongering now seem to be the consensus across Israeli politics Ehud Barak's move to join Binyamin Netanyahu's coalition and rub shoulders around the cabinet table with arch racist Avigdor Lieberman should not...

Rory McCarthy on a Human Rights Watch report accusing Israel of war crime
27 Mar 2009 - Rory McCarthy on a Human Rights Watch report accusing Israel of war crime

Binyamin Netanyahu says his government will talk peace
25 Mar 2009 - Israel's incoming prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, offered a more moderate tone yesterday, promising he would negotiate with the Palestinians and saying he represented a "partner for peace." His comments, in a speech at an economic conference...

Seumas Milne: This counter-terror plan is in ruins. Try one that works
27 Mar 2009 - Ministers want Muslims to accept shared values. Luckily they already do, including opposition to wars of aggression The British government's brand new counter-terrorism strategy is already in disarray - and ministers have only themselves to blame....

Letters: The aftermath of Gaza
25 Mar 2009 - Thank you for your extensive investigation of the horrendous facts of the Israeli attack on Gaza (Reports, 24 March). No doubt these facts will be disputed once again by apologists for Israel. However, the most chilling...

Steve Bell on Israel's war on Gaza
27 Mar 2009 - The landmark deal Egypt and Israel signed 30 years ago offers lessons for today's peacemakers

Attack that killed arms smugglers in Sudan 'carried out by Israel'
26 Mar 2009 - US report on January strike neither confirmed nor denied by Olmert Accounts emerged today of an attack on a convoy which killed dozens of suspected arms smugglers in Sudan by foreign aircraft, which one report said...

Clarissa Sebag-Montefiore: Just because I'm a British Jew doesn't mean I am answerable for Israel's actions
27 Mar 2009 - Just because I'm a British Jew doesn't mean I am answerable for – or even associated with – Israel's actions A Jewish friend of mine, now in her 20s, recently told me about a shocking incident...

Editorial: Israeli power politics in the new coalition government
26 Mar 2009 - The shape of the government that Binyamin Netanyahu is going to form in Israel has become clear, after Ehud Barak narrowly won the Labour party's backing to enter the coalition. The benefits of a centre-left partner...

Jonathan Freedland: The Israeli Labour party is finished as a force for peace in the middle east
26 Mar 2009 - By joining Netanyahu's coalition, Ehud Barak and his party colleagues are shown to be unprincipled mercenaries and hacks It is surely time to perform the last rites on the Israeli Labour party as a force for...

Ha'aretz National page

Western Wall gets Passover spring clean 
28 Mar 2009 - As masses of Jews begin intensive preparations for the upcoming Passover holiday, employees at Jerusalem's holy site, the Western Wall, have embarked on a spring cleaning of their own. ...

B-G Airport holiday traffic expected to be lower this Passover
28 Mar 2009 - Passenger traffic at Ben-Gurion Airport is expected to be 10% lower during the Passover holiday period than it was the same time last year, Haaretz has learned. ... 

Olmert: I hope Netanyahu will continue path my government set
28 Mar 2009 - In his last weekly cabinet meeting this term, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert addressed the issues facing the incoming government of Benjamin Netanyahu, voicing hope that the new government will continue the path set out by his own administration. ...

Israel to strip Hamas prisoners' rights as pressure over Shalit
28 Mar 2009 - The cabinet on Sunday voted in favor of imposing sanctions on Hamas prisoners held in Israel, in efforts to pressure the Islamist organization to release Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, held captive in Gaza since June 2006. ...

Olmert allocates NIS 10 million to tackle organized crime
28 Mar 2009 - Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Sunday ordered the government allocate NIS 10 million to aid the Tax Authority's plan to tackle organized crime. ...

Relief Web

OPT: Aftermath (6) The only BMW shop in Gaza. 
29 Mar 2009 - Source: Palestinian Centre for Human Rights

OPT: Israel's new govt will continue peace process - Peres
29 Mar 2009 - Source: Agence France-Presse

Human Rights Council concludes tenth regular session
28 Mar 2009 - Source: UN Human Rights Council

Palestinians say Olmert offered land swap for peace
28 Mar 2009 - Source: Agence France-Presse

Activities of Secretary-General, Washington, D.C., 10-11 Mar
28 Mar 2009 - Source: UN Secretary-General

OPT: Gaza's children need your help
27 Mar 2009 - Source: Save the Children

ACTED newsletter No 53 - Mar 2009
27 Mar 2009 - Source: Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development

OPT: Morocco to reconstruct agronomy faculty, Al Quds hospital in Gaza
27 Mar 2009 - Source: Government of Morocco

YNet News

Olmert to Netanyahu: Maintain continuity
29 Mar 2009 - Kadima-led government's last cabinet meeting held in lighter atmosphere, as, (12:47 , 03.29.09 )

Palestinians: Ramallah bank robbery planned in Israel
29 Mar 2009 - First armed robbery in history of Palestinian Authority planned by Israeli Jew,, (12:18 , 03.29.09 )

Report: Mashaal, Barak may be called to Cairo
29 Mar 2009 - Palestinian sources tell Egyptian daily al-Ahram that coming days 'crucial' for, (12:04 , 03.29.09 )

Foreign worker's body stranded in Israel
29 Mar 2009 - Filipino woman works in Israel for five years before being diagnosed with acute, (11:41 , 03.29.09 )

King Abdullah's dog dies in Israel
29 Mar 2009 - After falling seriously ill during IDF offensive in Gaza, Jordanian royal, (10:05 , 03.29.09 )

State official: Shalit talks with Hamas frozen
29 Mar 2009 - Top Israeli sources reiterate negotiations towards prisoner exchange deal aimed, (08:10 , 03.29.09 )

Settlers urge police to probe outpost incident
29 Mar 2009 - After court criticizes police over arrest of six settlers in Havat Gilad, head, (07:58 , 03.29.09 )

Report: Israel used drones in Sudan
29 Mar 2009 - Sunday Times quotes defense officials as saying Hermes 450 UAVs attacked convoys, (07:16 , 03.29.09 )

Terrorist to compensate victims' family
29 Mar 2009 - Kamil Hneish, responsible for murderous attack in Itamar, ordered to pay, (23:06 , 03.28.09 )

Iranian ex-minister slams Germany's dealings with Tehran
29 Mar 2009 - Expatriate says Germany chooses business deals over stopping nuclear threat, (23:00 , 03.28.09 )

Hizbullah MP to visit Britain
29 Mar 2009 - Member of Lebanon's parliament to hold rare meeting with British, (22:09 , 03.28.09 )

Likud tense ahead of portfolio distribution
29 Mar 2009 - Prime minister-designate to announce which members of his party will be assigned, (21:16 , 03.28.09 )

Livni: It's hard to say goodbye
29 Mar 2009 - With just two days left in office, Kadima Chairwoman Tzipi Livni gathered close to 30 party officials at her private residence in Tel Aviv for a determined pep-talk. "It was important for me to bring you all ... 

Discontent over Barak ministerial picks
29 Mar 2009 - Labor Chairman Ehud Barak finished manning the various ministerial positions reserved for his party in the Likud-led coalition on Sunday evening. Barak made his decisions after a round of talks and inter-party ... 

B'tselem

Sharp rise in beating of Palestinians by security forces
23 Mar 2009 - The 3 months since Operation “Cast Lead” have seen a sharp rise in reports of violence by security forces toward Palestinians in the West Bank. B'Tselem has documented 24 cases in which Palestinians reported that police and soldiers had beaten them.

Daily Star

Sudan's wanted president welcomed at Arab summit 
29 Mar 2009 - Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir defied an international arrest warrant by traveling to Doha on Sunday for an Arab summit, where the decision of Egypt's leader to stay away dimmed unity hopes. United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon, who has also flown in to the Qatari capital, will still attend the summit, which opens on Monday.

Israel says Egypt better at halting Gaza arms smuggling 
29 Mar 2009 - Egypt has stepped up efforts to halt arms smuggling into Gaza since the end of the 22-day war on the strip's Islamist Hamas rulers, the head of Israeli domestic intelligence said on Sunday. "There has been a gradual improvement in Egypt's activity to halt smuggling into Gaza," a senior government official quoted Yuval Diskin as telling the cabinet meeting.

Saudi Interior Minister moves step closer to throne after promotion to deputy premier 
29 Mar 2009 - Powerful Interior Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdel-Aziz has moved one step closer to the throne of the world's biggest oil exporter with his promotion to Saudi deputy premier, analysts said on Saturday. Nayef, who for more than 33 years has run the key ministry's crucial internal security and anti-terror operations.

Early results show Turkey's AKP leading local polls 
29 Mar 2009 - Turkey's Islamist-rooted ruling party appeared headed for victory Sunday in local elections marred by violence, but which many see as a test of popularity for a party that narrowly escaped a ban last year. Partial results broadcast on television gave Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Justice and Development Party (AKP) 41.3 percent of the votes.

Diplomats say Israeli drones hit Sudan convoys - paper 
29 Mar 2009 - Israel used unmanned drones to attack clandestine Iranian convoys in Sudan that were attempting to smuggle rockets into Gaza, Britain's Sunday Times newspaper reported.The paper said that Western diplomats confirmed that Israel attacked the Iranian truck convoys in late January and the first week of February in the remote Sudan desert.

Yemeni authorities arrest 10 suspects in offensive to root out wanted jihadis 
29 Mar 2009 - Yemeni authorities said they arrested 10 Islamic militants in a major offensive Saturday in the south of the country and witnesses said four policemen were killed in the fighting. Clashes erupted in Jaar, northeast of the port city of Aden, where police had been hunting for wanted members of violent Islamist groups.

Israel imposes tougher conditions on Hamas inmates 
29 Mar 2009 - A prisoner swap deal with Hamas is all but impossible before Prime Minister Ehud Olmert leaves office this week and will have to wait for the new government to be sworn in, a top aide to the Israeli leader said Sunday. Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu plans to present his new coalition for parliamentary approval on Tuesday, clearing the way for him to take office.

Peres says incoming Israeli government will continue peace process 
29 Mar 2009 - President Shimon Peres on Sunday gave assurances that Israel's new government would keep up peace talks, following EU warnings of "consequences" if it failed to commit to the creation of a Palestinian state. "The new government is bound by the decisions of the preceding one," Peres told public radio.

Palestinian Information Center

Shame on us!
29 Mar 2009 - Last week, a few innocent kids from the Jenin refugee camp were surreptiously taken to Tel Aviv to “cheer up and take part in peace-promoting activities.”

IOA transfers female Palestinian prisoner to section of Israeli criminals
29 Mar 2009 - Lawyer of the prisoners' foundation Muhjat Al-Quds stated that detainee Siham Al-Heih was transferred from section 12 in the Telmond prison to other section dedicated to Israeli female criminals.

Mansi calls for making siege and rebuilding issues high on Doha summit's agenda
29 Mar 2009 - Yousef Al-Mansi, the minister of public works, called on the Arab leaders participating in the Doha summit to put the issues of breaking the siege and reconstructing Gaza at the top of their agenda.

Forum of Islamist parliamentarians deplores Israeli kidnapping of MPs
29 Mar 2009 - The international forum of Islamist parliamentarians deplored Israel for kidnapping Palestinian lawmakers who enjoy parliamentary immunity, calling for their immediate release from Israeli jails.

Interior ministry denies allegations of arresting Fatah leaders in Gaza
29 Mar 2009 - The Palestinian interior ministry in Gaza categorically denied it issued arrest warrants against any citizen affiliated with Fatah.

Hebrew press: Gov't to impose stricter measures against Palestinian prisoners
29 Mar 2009 - The Israeli government is expected to endorse a new set of penal measures against the Palestinian prisoners especially those affiliated with Hamas following failure of the prisoners' exchange deal.

Hamas: Obama will be judged through his deeds
29 Mar 2009 - Hamas stated that the judgment on the new American administration led by president Barack Obama depends on the concrete steps it will take to restore the usurped rights of the Palestinian people.

Baraka: Qinawi's meeting with Mishaal to discuss pending dialog issues
29 Mar 2009 - Egyptian intelligence official Omar Al-Qinawi's meeting with Khaled Mishaal, the political bureau chairman of Hamas, comes in the context of following up the file of the inter-Palestinian dialog.

Rizqa: The least that can be done by the Arab summit is to break the siege
29 Mar 2009 - Dr. Yousef Rizqa, the political advisor to premier Ismail Haneyya, stated Saturday that the least that the Arab summit can do for the Palestinian people is to break the siege on the Gaza Strip.

IOF troops assault Palestinian lawmakers
29 Mar 2009 - Israeli occupation forcers on Saturday assaulted Mohammed Baraka, the Arab member of the Israeli parliament, and Sahar Al-Qawasme, a member of the Palestinian parliament.

Los Angeles Times

Spanish judge considers trying U.S. officials over Guantanamo 
29 Mar 2009 - A complaint has been filed against former Atty. Gen. Alberto Gonzales and other Bush administration figures, citing harsh interrogation tactics at the prison. A high-profile Spanish judge has initiated a possible investigation of alleged torture and war crimes by half a dozen U.S. officials who created the legal framework for interrogations at Guantanamo, a senior Spanish official said Saturday. 

New York Times

Sectarian Tension Takes Volatile Form in Bahrain
27 Mar 2009 - Protesters’ clashes with the police reflect the Shiite majority’s resentment of Sunni rule.

Israel Disputes Soldiers’ Accounts of Gaza Abuses
27 Mar 2009 - Officers are stepping forward, some at the urging of the top command, others on their own, to dispute accusations.

Britons, Held for 2 Years, May Be Freed in Exchange
27 Mar 2009 - Five British men would be traded for detainees held in U.S. military detention, an Arabic news site reported.

Memo From Damascus: With Isolation Over, Syria Is Happy to Talk
27 Mar 2009 - Diplomatic openings have raised hopes in the West and in the region, but it remains difficult to say where this new dialogue will lead.

U.S. Officials Say Israel Struck in Sudan
26 Mar 2009 - Israeli warplanes bombed a convoy of trucks in Sudan in January that was believed to be carrying arms to be smuggled into Gaza, according to American officials.

World Briefing | Europe: The Vatican: Pope’s Mideast Plans
27 Mar 2009 - Pope Benedict XVI will visit the Western Wall and the Dome of the Rock mosque in Jerusalem and a Palestinian refugee camp in Bethlehem in May. 

World Briefing | Middle East: Israel: One Fewer Olmert Inquiry
27 Mar 2009 - The Israeli police said Thursday that they had dropped a criminal investigation into a real estate deal by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, citing lack of evidence. 

Holon Journal: Palestinians Serenade Survivors in Israel
25 Mar 2009 - A group of Palestinian musicians 12 to 17 years old from the Jenin refugee camp performed at a Tel Aviv club for elderly Holocaust survivors.


Articles


Electronic Intifada
Tough times for university students in Gaza
27 Mar 2009 - GAZA CITY (IRIN) - Many university students who lost relatives or whose homes were destroyed during the recent 22-day Israeli offensive are finding it difficult to cope, according to university officials and students. Some have been unable to register for the new semester due to lack of funds; others are still traumatized. 

Rights orgs: Infighting jeopardizes our cause and our rights
27 Mar 2009 - Based on our faith in our national, moral, and legal responsibility and recognizing our duty to work towards building and strengthening the democratic edifice of the prospective Palestinian state, we, the undersigned Palestinian human rights organizations, hereby and articulate our demands of the Palestinian political authorities for measures to be taken in order to overcome the pains and agonies of the crisis generated by internal fragmentation and conflict. 

Australian academics call for boycott of Israel
26 Mar 2009 - As educators and scholars of conscience in Australia, we fully support this call. We urge our colleagues, nationally, regionally, and internationally, to stand up against Israel's ongoing attacks on the rights of Palestinians to education, land, and human dignity, and to support the nonviolent call for academic boycott, disinvestment, and sanctions. 

Demand Israel release child held without charge or trial
26 Mar 2009 - Hamdi al-Ta'mari was arrested for the first time from the family home in Bethlehem at 4:00am, on 25 July 2008. He was woken by the sound of Israeli soldiers banging on the front door. Hamdi's hands and feet were immediately tied and he was ordered to lie on the floor, as soldiers pointed their assault rifles and flashlights at him. While on the ground, a number of soldiers slapped, kicked and beat him with their assault rifles. His hands were tied so tightly that they began to swell. After 15 minutes, Hamdi was blindfolded and placed on the floor of a military vehicle. 

Tales To Tell
March 29: Happy birthday K!
29 Mar 2009 - K shows birthday rabbit to baby brother, You might recall we visited K and her family once already, via the lovely Atfaluna School for the Deaf. J from 14 Friends of Palestine, who sponsor K, asked me to go back again for her birthday; I’d been meaning to go anyway as I had the rest of the money J had sent over to deliver to them. J suggested I buy some food and toys for the family with a little of the money. In the end, I decided that my blog readers might like to share in celebrating with K too, so I put in some of the money you’ve sent; this meant that K’s mum S received all the original cash from 14 Friends and the food and toys were an extra bonus. Read the rest of this post », You might recall we visited, K and her family , once already, via the lovely Atfaluna School for the Deaf. J from, 14 Friends of Palestine , , who sponsor K, asked me to go back again for her birthday; I’d been meaning to go anyway as I had the rest of the money J had sent over to deliver to them. J suggested I buy some food and toys for the family with a little of the money. In the end, I decided that my blog readers might like to share in celebrating with K too, so I put in some of the money you’ve sent; this meant that K’s mum S received all the original cash from 14 Friends and the food and toys were an extra bonus., Read the rest of this post » 

Palestine Chronicle
Biberman & Co.
29 Mar 2009 - By Uri Avnery – Israel Is this the government of Biberman (Bibi Netanyahu and Avigdor Liberman) or perhaps of Bibarak (Bibi and Ehud Barak)? Neither. It is the government of Bibiyahu. Binyamin Netanyahu has proven that he is a consummate politician. He has realized the dream of every politician (and theatergoer): a good place in the middle. In his new government he can play off the fascists on the right against the socialists on the left, Liberman’s secularists against the orthodox of Shas. An ideal situation. The coalition is large enough to be immune from blackmail by any of its component parties. If some Labor members break coalition discipline, Netanyahu will still command a majority. Or if the rightists make trouble. Or if the orthodox try to stick a knife in his back. This government is committed to nothing. Its written “Basic Guidelines” – a document signed by all partners of a new Israeli government – are completely nebulous. (And anyhow, Basic Guidelines are worthless. All Israeli governments have broken their agreed Basic Guidelines without batting an eyelid. They always prove to be rubber checks.) All this was acquired by Netanyahu on the cheap – a few billions of economic promises that he would not dream of fulfilling. The treasury is empty. As one of his predecessors in the Prime Minister’s office, Levy Eshkol, famously said: “I promised, but I did not promise to keep my promises.” He also bestowed ministries on all and sundry. This little country will have...

Banning Galloway Mocks Canada's Criminal Code
29 Mar 2009 - By William A. Cook Canada's border security officials and Jason Kenny, the immigration minister, banned George Galloway, MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, from Canada where he was scheduled to speak in Toronto on the 30th. “A spokesman for Citizenship and Immigration Canada said the decision … was based on a ‘number of factors’ in accordance with section 34 (1) of the country’s immigration act” (Guardian.co.uk 3/20/09). This action denies Galloway entrance as a foreign national on security grounds for one or more of 6 reasons including “engaging in terrorism,” and “engaging in acts of violence that would or might endanger the lives or safety of persons in Canada.” The CJC, the Canadian Jewish Congress, supporting the decision, noted that it should be seen as an “issue of security law, not a dispute over free speech” (Mar. 27, 2009, Montreal Gazette). Indeed, other Jewish organizations like the League of Human Rights of B’nai B’rith, not only supported the action but took some credit for the banning of Galloway. Galloway’s talk, “Resisting War from Gaza to Kandahar,” sponsored by the Toronto Coalition to Stop the War, would have provided Canadians with a first hand account of conditions in Gaza following Israel’s invasion and destruction of that walled in strip of Palestinian land during the three week war from December 27 to January 18, 2009. Galloway is one of a handful of foreigners to see the devastation that others could glimpse only from You Tube videos made available through Al Jazeera news...

Arabesque: More Significant than Apparent
29 Mar 2009 - By Dan Lieberman The Kennedy Center's festival of Arab culture, which brought to Washington's principal cultural center the music, voices and heritage of the 22 Arab nations, proved to be a political breakthrough. Within artistic displays, theatrical expressions, and a panorama of contributions from Arab civilization, were statements that ordinarily don’t appear at Washington’s Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. This is the same Kennedy Center, which despite being partially funded by the U.S. taxpayer, hosted several anniversary celebrations for the foreign nation of Israel, the only nation of the tens of nations created since World War II whose birthday the Center has observed. Another puzzling aspect is that the Concert Hall lounge is named the Israeli lounge. Partially self-restrictive; the lounge attracts those who side with Israel in the Middle East conflict and is shunned by those who vehemently disagree with Israel’s polices. The Kennedy Center departed from previous presentations with unique commentary in an exhibit of traditional Arab wedding dresses, with staging of a controversial play from Ramallah, and with depiction of Arab accomplishments during the Golden Age that influenced the European Renaissance. In one exhibit, a Kennedy Center entrance hall featured traditional wedding gowns. The descriptions of the bridal gowns and their history reveal what is usually hidden from American audiences; that the traditions, cultural expressions and heritage of the Palestinian people mingled with adjacent Arab lands and dated back to the time of the Roman Empire. Unfortunately, many of these traditions and cultural aspects from early...

Boycott, Surrender or War
29 Mar 2009 - By Jeremy Salt - Ankara The spate of reports coming out of the Middle East in the past two weeks are signs of a coming danger greater than the region has known in its modern history. The Israeli onslaught on Gaza; the massacre of civilians; the strafing of hospitals, ambulances and medical staff; the vandalisation of Palestinian homes; the violent, racist graffiti scrawled on walls; the soldiers’ t-shirts patterned with graphics showing a pregnant Palestinian woman in the cross hairs of a rifle; the support by 85 per cent of the Israeli population for an attack on civilians which killed hundreds of children; the evidence of Israeli soldiers themselves of how civilians were murdered in cold blood; the march on Umm al Fahm by the followers of Meir Kahane, at the same time as Palestinian cultural festivals in Jerusalem were being prohibited; the choice of a settler racist as Israel’s Foreign Minister; the two-tier colonial society established on the West Bank, reminiscent of Algeria in the 19th century; the wall, the checkpoints, the closures, the daily humiliation, the seizure of land and demolition of homes; the continuing demographic war against the Palestinians in Jerusalem; the recent attack on Sudan by unknown planes said to have been Israeli; the wars of the past and now the preparations for an attack on Iran - what more evidence could anyone need of how utterly dangerous the state of Israel is to regional and global stability? The misdeeds of soldiers are not an aberration....