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

VTJP Archives | VTJP 2009
30 March, 2009


International Middle East Media Center

Israeli army completes internal probe; declares "no misconduct in Gaza"
30 Mar 2009 - The Israeli military on Monday concluded their internal investigation of alleged misconduct by soldiers in their invasion of the Gaza Strip in January, finding that there was no misconduct by soldiers. This report comes despite thousands of eyewitness testimonies attesting to the misconduct, and video and photographic evidence documenting the crimes. ... 

In bid for unity, Hamas government in Gaza releases 38 Fateh prisoners
30 Mar 2009 - The Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip, which serves as the elected government of the Palestinian people, has agreed to release 38 prisoners of the rival Fateh party as a measure of good will, and to promote efforts for a national unity government. ...

Eight Palestinians wounded as Israeli troops disperse nonviolent protest in Hebron
30 Mar 2009 - Eight Palestinian civilians were injured on Monday midday when Israeli troops attacked a nonviolent protest in Ithna village near Hebron city, in the southern West Bank. The protest was organized on village lands where Israel is building the Wall. The protest was in commemoration of the 33rd anniversary of 'Land Day'. ...

Settlers attack a Palestinian in East Jerusalem
30 Mar 2009 - The Palestine News and Information Center (WAFA) reported on Monday morning that a group of extremist Israeli settlers attacked a Palestinian youth in Silwan town, south of the Old City of Jerusalem. ...

Israeli Railways fire Arab workers who did not serve in the military
30 Mar 2009 - The Hashmira Israeli Railways project sent on Sunday letters to some 100 Arab workers informing them that their contracts with the company would be terminated because they did not serve in the Israeli military. ... 

Israeli poll indicates 21% of exporters have felt effects of boycott
30 Mar 2009 - A report published Sunday in the Hebrew-language business paper 'The Marker', 21% of Israeli exporters say that they have been directly impacted by a boycott of Israeli products since the beginning of 2009. ...

Arab Summit to call on Israel to accept Arab Peace Initiative
30 Mar 2009 - The Arab Summit will be kicked off Today, Monday, in Doha – Qatar, with several topics including Iraq, Sudan, Somalia, and Palestine. The leaders are also planning to call on Israel to accept the Arab Peace Initiative. ... 

Land Day March 30th: Palestinian and worldwide actions planned
30 Mar 2009 - Palestinians and their supporters around the world are organizing protests, demonstrations, teach-ins and actions on Palestinian Land Day, which has also been declared the 'Global Day for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions of Israel'. ...

Haniyya demands Arab leaders to break the siege
30 Mar 2009 - Ismail Haniyya, Prime Minister of the dissolved government in Gaza, demanding on Sunday evening the Arab leaders to implement the decisions of previous Arab summits in order to break the siege on the Gaza Strip and support the Palestinian people. ...

Arabs to commemorate Land Day, demand end to apartheid
30 Mar 2009 - Arab residents of Dir Hanna village, inside the Green Line, are planning to commemorate Land Day on Monday, to demand an end to apartheid and racism. The Protests will sweep through villages in the Galilee, and a number of Arab villages and cities. ...

Ha'aretz Defense page

Gaza probe / Either troops are liars, or the IDF is pure as snow
30 Mar 2009 - Speed at which army closed investigation into accounts of misconduct raises questions.

At least 20 killed in attack on Pakistan police academy
30 Mar 2009 - Another 20 wounded, less than a month after the deadly ambush of Sri Lanka's cricket team in the same area.

Report: U.S. warned Sudan before attack on Gaza convoy
30 Mar 2009 - Al-Sharq al-Awsat: U.S. informed Sudan gov't that arms were being smuggled to Gaza through its territory.

Israel okayed Hamas prisoners' meet on Shalit deal
30 Mar 2009 - Defense establishment coordinated jailed Hamas militants' meet in hopes it would relax group's demands.

Shin Bet: Nearly 70 tons of explosives smuggled into Gaza since IDF op
30 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
30 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
30 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
30 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
30 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
30 Mar 2009 - Fatah spokesman: Hamas launches new crackdown on Abbas loyalists in bid to prevent regrouping.

Israel denies compromise with Hamas in Shalit deal
30 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?
30 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'
30 Mar 2009 - Palestinian accounts given to AP support allegations of IDF misconduct during the war in Gaza.

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

Ma'an News

Red Crescent marks land day in Salfit
30 Mar 2009 - 

Israeli MPs close investigation into soldier atrocities in Gaza
30 Mar 2009 - 

Health workers opt to suspend strike scheduled for Tuesday
30 Mar 2009 - 

Israeli troops detain PFLP fighter near Ramallah
30 Mar 2009 - 

Fatah congratulates Palestinians marking Land Day
30 Mar 2009 - 

Young man dead, six others injured in family clash
30 Mar 2009 - 

Palestinian deportee returns to Ramallah after five-year exile
30 Mar 2009 - 

MK Barakah calls Beit Hanoun on Land Day; urges continued struggle
30 Mar 2009 - 

Palestinian fighter wounded by Israeli fire in Gaza
30 Mar 2009 - 

Two Palestinians seized in Qalqiliya-area village
30 Mar 2009 - 

Netanyahu prepares coalition cabinet; Likud underrepresented
30 Mar 2009 - 

Sudan eclipses Palestine at Arab League Summit
30 Mar 2009 - 

Israeli blockade prevents EU cash from reaching Gazans
30 Mar 2009 - 

Israel to open Jewish-only Hebron road to Palestinians
30 Mar 2009 - 

Palestine Telegraph

Jewish Settlers to Build Road on Palestinians’ Lands
30 Mar 2009 - Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} West Bank, March 30, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) - Jewish settlers are preparing...

Occupation expels Palestinian families from Hebron
30 Mar 2009 - Hebron, 30 March (Pal Telegraph)- The Israeli army has expelled several Palestinian families living behind the apartheid wall in the south-eastern part of Hebron governorate in the occupied west bank. The Israeli Army claims they permission to reside there.

Gaza: a medical team performs 4 medical critical surgeries.
29 Mar 2009 - Gaza, 30 March (Pal Telegraph)- Palestinian medical team working in the Department of Medical Surgery, at Al-Shifa’ medical complex in Gaza, has succeeded in performing 4 critical surgeries to eradicate cancerous tumors in only one week. In a press release, the ministry...

Palestinian refugees in Lebanon Commemorate Land Day
29 Mar 2009 - Lebanon, 30 March (The Pal Telegraph) - Palestinian refugees of Sabra and Sahtila Refugee Camp commemorated Palestinian Land Day (Yawm Al-Ard) on Sunday. Every year on March 30 th , Palestinians around the world commemorate Land day as a protest against Israeli appropriation...

Hamas says restrictions on prisoners not to change demands 
28 Mar 2009 - GAZA, March 29 - The military wing of Hamas 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 on...

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 - Israel's recent use of white phosphorus bombs in densely populated areas of Gaza violated the rules of war, according to a leading human rights organization.

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 EU-Israeli...


Arab leaders snub al-Bashir warrant
30 Mar 2009 - Doha summit rejects bid to arrest Sudan's president over alleged Darfur war crimes.

Israel drops Gaza war crimes probe
30 Mar 2009 - Military judge dismisses soldiers' accounts of civilians being shot as "hearsay".

Netanyahu 'to present new cabinet'
30 Mar 2009 - Israeli PM-designate will reportedly present his cabinet to parliament on Tuesday.

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.


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
30 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
30 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
30 Mar 2009 - 

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

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

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

PCHR Weekly Report

(19- 25 March  2008)
30 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

Jewish U.S. troops to get gefilte fish and matzot for an Iraq Pesach
30 Mar 2009 - Some 600 Passover kits will be shipped to Jewish soldiers serving in United Stated military units in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Persian Gulf next week. ...

ADL slams Louis Farrakhan for 'bigoted' comments on Israel lobby
30 Mar 2009 - The Anti-Defamation League lashed out at Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan on Monday for remarks he made earlier this month in which he accused "the Israeli lobby" of controlling the government. ...

Spanish Holocaust survivors testify in U.S. Nazi extradition case 
29 Mar 2009 - MADRID - A Spanish court official says two Spaniards who survived a Nazi ... 

In Prague, Peres calls for regional peace in Middle East
29 Mar 2009 - PRAGUE - President Shimon Peres expressed optimism Monday that Israel's next government can achieve Mideast peace, even though the coalition will contain parties traditionally opposed to making concessions to the Palestinians. ...

Gadhafi bolts Arab summit, declares himself 'dean of Arab rulers'
29 Mar 2009 - Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi stormed out of an Arab summit on Monday after denouncing the Saudi king and declaring himself "the dean of Arab rulers." ...

The Guardian

Antony Lerman: Israel-Palestine media monitors are trapped in a sterile tit-for-tat that tells us little about the real suffering in Gaza
30 Mar 2009 - Israel-Palestine media monitors are trapped in a sterile tit-for-tat that yields little information about the real suffering in Gaza Should the exchange about media bias in the coverage of the Gaza war between Sharif Nashashibi of...

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

Palestinian youth orchestra disbanded after Israel concert
29 Mar 2009 - Palestinian authorities have disbanded a youth orchestra from a West Bank refugee camp and barred the conductor from the camp after she directed a concert for a group of Holocaust survivors in Israel, a local official...

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...

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....

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...

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...

Seth Freedman: The brutality of police in Jaffa helps to keep its residents divided
30 Mar 2009 - How can the residents of this Israeli town find harmony when those employed to keep the peace are comfortable with abuse? Jaffa , which borders the southern edge of Tel Aviv , is a mixed city in more...

The Office is to be remade for Israeli TV
30 Mar 2009 - Ricky Gervais's hit comedy The Office is to be remade for Israeli audiences Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant's critically lauded comedy The Office is to be remade for an Israeli audience - the sixth foreign version...

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...

Roy Greenslade: Egypt releases blogger who was beaten
30 Mar 2009 - Egyptian authorities have released Diaa Eddin Gad , a 22-year-old Egyptian blogger, after nearly seven weeks in detention, during which he was beaten, kicked and threatened with torture, being forced to witness people being electrocuted. Gad's blog...

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

Shiraz Maher: Hazel Blears has taken an admirable stand against Daud Abdullah
28 Mar 2009 - Hazel Blears has taken an admirable stand against a man whose views overstep the mark It is not a popular thing to speak in support of politicians these days – particularly when many do themselves and...

Ha'aretz National page

In surprise move, Netanyahu names MK Steinitz finance minister
30 Mar 2009 - Incoming Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu unexpectedly named ministerial ...

IDF ends Gaza probe, says misconduct claims are 'rumors'
29 Mar 2009 - Military Advocate General Brig. Gen. Avichai Mendelblit on Monday instructed the Military Police Investigation unit to close the inquiry into soldiers' accounts of alleged misconduct and serious violations of the army's rules of engagement during Operation Cast Lead. ...

Netanyahu vows 'every effort to reach viable peace'
29 Mar 2009 - Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu says his government will make every effort to reach "a viable peace with all of Israel's Arab neighbors." ...

40 Arabs laid off as Israel Rail saves posts for army veterans
29 Mar 2009 - At least 40 Arab Israel Railways workers received pink slips on Sunday, effective the beginning of April. They are losing their jobs after Israel Railways changed its employment terms, and said it would employ only army veterans in the positions these workers held. ... 

Livni: Kadima won't hesitate to criticize Netanyahu government 
29 Mar 2009 - Kadima chairman and outgoing Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said Monday that Kadima will serve the nation from the opposition. "This is the service we have decided to give. The government that will be formed tomorrow will be large and bloated, with portfolios and ministries divided into fractions and sub-fractions. Tomorrow will also see the rise of a large opposition headed by the largest party," said Livni during a Kadima meeting held in the Knesset. ... 

Relief Web

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon: Remarks to the Summit of the League of Arab States
30 Mar 2009 - Source: UN News Service

Gaza response continues
30 Mar 2009 - Source: Presbyterian Disaster Assistance

OPT: Concern over halting of Gaza medical patient referrals
30 Mar 2009 - Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, World Health Organization

OPT: Calls for independent investigation into military's conduct during Operation Cast Lead
30 Mar 2009 - Source: Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories

OPT: UAE to send 13 ambulances to Gaza
30 Mar 2009 - Source: Emirates News Agency

Gaza conflict: Three-months on
30 Mar 2009 - Source: CARE

EU €1 billion "Food Facility" for developing countries – Commission adopts overall plan and first implementation decision
30 Mar 2009 - Source: European Commission - Humanitarian Aid Office

OPT: Al Mezan calls for investigation into the causes of wastewater basin collapse near Bedouin Village and calls on international community to intervene to stop the Israeli siege on Gaza
30 Mar 2009 - Source: Al Mezan Center for Human Rights

YNet News

Chavez: No plan to restore ties with Israel 
30 Mar 2009 - Venezuelan president tells Al-Jazeera would consider matter if Israel's leaders 'stop being a genocidal elite subordinated to US' 

Concern on Left: Govt of settlers under way
30 Mar 2009 - Left camp looking on anxiously as Netanyahu's cabinet takes shape. Peace Now launches campaign under slogan – 'This isn't unity, it's extreme Right.' Former MKs also being recruited to fight. Gal-On: I will let you govern, but will voice different stance. Beilin: Can't fool world

Palestinian students say beaten at checkpoint
30 Mar 2009 - Ramallah residents say assaulted by Border Guard officers while making their way to Abu Dis University; officers deny accusations 

Arab leaders on Land Day: We're not afraid of Right
30 Mar 2009 - Thousands of Israeli Arabs marched in commemoration of the 33rd Land Day. MKs warned against Israel's Judaization of Galilee, Negev and vow to propose bill to acknowledge day as national holiday for Arab public. Two youths arrested for throwing stones during Kfar Kanna rally

Abbas to Arab summit: Israel chose settlement instead of peace 
30 Mar 2009 - Palestinian president says Authority closely following 'rise of extremist forces' in Israel, adding 'construction of racist wall turned the lives of West Bank's residents into living hell' 

Netanyahu: We'll seek lasting, just peace
30 Mar 2009 - Day before he enters office, prime minister-designate tells Knesset 'any Arab state that truly wants to make peace will find our hand outstretched'; Olmert urges his replacement to adopt two-state solution 

Military: Case on soldiers' testimonies closed
30 Mar 2009 - Military Police rule soldiers who testified that innocent people were targeted during Operation Cast Lead relied on hearsay, exaggerated descriptions of events. 'It seems that it will be difficult to measure damage these statements incurred on IDF's image in Israel and world,' says head military prosecutor. Rights groups suspicious of speed at which case closed

Peres: Next gov't will be committed to seeking peace
30 Mar 2009 - During press conference in Prague, Israeli president tries to allay EU, American concerns that Netanyahu-led government may abandon two-state solution; urges Europeans to make sure funds aimed at reconstructing Gaza don't end up in Hamas' hands 

UTJ gets rabbi's approval to join Netanyahu's government 
30 Mar 2009 - During Jerusalem meeting, Rabbi Yosef Sholom Elyashiv gives ultra-Orthodox party's Knesset members green light to join Likud-led coalition after committee approves more flexibility on civil marriage 


Calls for independent investigation into Operation Cast Lead
29 Mar 2009 - Israeli Human Rights Organizations: The speedy closing of the investigation immediately raises suspicions that the very opening of this investigation was merely the army's attempt to wipe its hands of all blame for illegal activity during Operation Cast L

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

Talk of change - and nothing changes - in the Middle East 
30 Mar 2009 - In the Middle East this week it's all change. In fact, it's all diplomatic stasis. Neither Monday's Arab League summit in Doha nor Tuesday's induction of a new Israeli government in Jerusalem is likely to break or even ease the conflict deadlock that grips the region.

Netanyahu vows to pursue peace, stays silent on Palestinian state 
30 Mar 2009 - Incoming Premier Benjamin Netanyahu pledged on Monday to make every effort to achieve peace with Israel's neighbors and the Arab world, but again made no mention of Palestinian aspirations to statehood. "The government I am forming will do its utmost to achieve a just and lasting peace with all our neighbors and the Arab world in general," Netanyahu said.

Arab summit rejects charges against Bashir 
30 Mar 2009 - Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir won strong support against his international arrest warrant over Darfur from an Arab summit on Monday that also warned Israel that an Arab peace offer was not open-ended. While Sudan emerged with the most gains, a surprise tirade by Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi against Saudi King Abdullah.

Egypt's opposition wants Camp David shelved 
30 Mar 2009 - Egyptian and Israeli officials celebrated the anniversary of the Camp David peace agreement last week. The agreement normalized relations between the two former adversaries 30 years earlier on March 26. Opposition leaders, however, are calling for a suspension of the treaty, which they say fails to serve Egyptian interests.

Arabs-Israelis protest against Jewish state's 'racism' 
30 Mar 2009 - Thousands of Arab-Israelis on Monday demonstrated against what they called Israel's "racism" at a rally commemorating the killing of six people in a 1976 protest against land grabs. Arab-Israeli MPs, mayors and other dignitaries were among the demonstrators in the annual Land Day protest at Deir Hanna village in Israel's Galilee region.

Kenyan police abused scores of Somali refugees - Human Rights Watch 
30 Mar 2009 - Kenyan officials have deported hundreds of thousands of Somalis fleeing violence, demanding bribes and inflicting sexual abuse on them, Human Rights Watch said Monday. The refugees' plight has been aggravated by the 2007 closure of the Kenya-Somalia border and authorities are turning a blind eye to police corruption and abuses.

Think tank urges US to adopt more pragmatic approach toward Hamas 
30 Mar 2009 - A new report from a New York-based think tank and delivered to US President Barack Obama by a signatory who is also an adviser recommends that Washington forcefully reinsert itself into the Palestinian-Israeli peace process, calling for "a more pragmatic approach to Hamas."

Khmer Rouge torture chief faces trial for 'Killing Fields' atrocities 
30 Mar 2009 - The Khmer Rouge regime's prison chief Monday finally stood trial for Cambodia's "Killing Fields" atrocities, accused of overseeing the torture and execution of 15,000 people three decades ago. Former teacher Kaing Guek Eav - better known as Duch - appeared before a UN-backed war crimes court set up to deal with senior members of the 1975-1979.

Palestinian Information Center

Ghoul: Israeli measures against prisoners "cheap blackmail"
30 Mar 2009 - Mohammed Al-Ghoul, the minister of prisoners' affairs in the PA government in Gaza, has described the Israeli penal measures against Palestinian prisoners in occupation jails as "cheap blackmail".

Awad: The Palestinian rivals agreed on the next government's functions and name
30 Mar 2009 - Dr. Mohamed Awad, the secretary-general of the Palestinian cabinet, stated that the committee on government agreed to identify the functions and the name of the next Palestinian government.

Hamas: Arab leaders are tested again regarding the Arab issues
30 Mar 2009 - The Hamas Movement stated Monday that the Arab leaders face a new test regarding the Arab issues in general and the Palestinian cause in particular.

Islamic-Christian front calls on Doha summit to discuss Zionist schemes in J'lem
30 Mar 2009 - The Islamic-Christian front for the defense of Jerusalem called on the Arab summit held in Doha to take firm and urgent positions to confront the Zionist schemes in Jerusalem.

Palestinian farmer wounded in IOF shooting
30 Mar 2009 - Israeli occupation forces on Monday fired at a group of Palestinian farmers who were tending to their farms near the northern Gaza Strip city of Beit Hanun wounding one of them.

Masri: Israel's attempts to force Hamas to release its soldier would not succeed
30 Mar 2009 - MP Mushir Al-Masri, the secretary-general of Hamas parliamentary bloc, said that all Israeli attempts to intimidate Hamas would not force it to make concessions on the prisoners' swap deal.

Hamas: The Palestinians became closer than ever to restore their usurped rights
30 Mar 2009 - Hamas stated that the Palestinian people on the 33rd anniversary of Land Day have become closer than ever to restore their usurped rights especially the right of return.

Haneyya asks Arab leaders to implement previous summit resolutions on Gaza siege
30 Mar 2009 - Palestinian premier Ismail Haneyya has asked the Arab rulers to implement former summit resolutions concerning the siege on Gaza and to demand the trial of Israeli war criminals.

Shame on us!
30 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
30 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.

Los Angeles Times

Israel says arms flow into Gaza 
30 Mar 2009 - Official says 70 tons of bomb-making supplies have been smuggled. Palestinian militants have smuggled nearly 70 tons of explosives and bomb-making materials and other weapons into Gaza since Israel ended an offensive meant to end rocket fire and choke off the arms flow, a senior Israeli defense official said Sunday. 

New York Times

Israel Ends Inquiry Into Abuse in Gaza
30 Mar 2009 - The military police found that the accusations against soldiers were based on hearsay.

U.S. Soldier Guilty in Killing of 4 Iraqis in 2007
30 Mar 2009 - A U.S. Army court-martial has found a soldier guilty of murder in the execution-style slayings of four bound and blindfolded Iraqi detainees in the spring of 2007.

Tiny Island Surrounded by Tension in the Gulf
29 Mar 2009 - Bahrain has become a flashpoint in a regional conflict after an Iranian official said the desert kingdom was historically a province of Iran.

Concert for Holocaust Survivors Is Condemned
29 Mar 2009 - Palestinian activists from the Jenin refugee camp condemned a camp youth orchestra’s performance for Holocaust survivors in Israel.

Court Favors Karzai Term Until Election
29 Mar 2009 - The opinion, which is not binding, is the latest step in a constitutional wrangle between President Hamid Karzai and his political rivals.

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.


Electronic Intifada
BMW garage among the targets of Israel's attacks
30 Mar 2009 - Nasser al-Amoudi, with his biker's jacket and sunglasses, embodies the essence of a car enthusiast. For years he has been the proud owner of the only BMW spare parts shop in the Gaza Strip. People would travel from every corner to purchase second hand parts from his shop. Now Nasser's workshop and garage, which were worth $300,000 before the Israeli army destroyed them during its latest offensive, lie in tatters, and his financial security has gone. 

Palestinians remember Land Day
30 Mar 2009 - Palestinians across the Middle East were due to commemorate Land Day today, marking the anniversary of clashes in 1976 in which six unarmed Palestinians were shot dead by the Israeli army as it tried to break up a general strike. Although Land Day is one of the most important anniversaries in the Palestinian calendar, sometimes referred to as the Palestinians' national day, the historical event it marks is little spoken of and rarely studied. Jonathan Cook reports. 

Academics in Lebanon call for Israel boycott
30 Mar 2009 - We stand, as academics in Lebanon, in urging our colleagues, regionally and internationally, to oppose Israel's ongoing scholasticide and to support the just demand for academic boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel. 

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. 

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
Remembering Land Day
30 Mar 2009 - By Jonathan Cook - Arrabeh Palestinians across the Middle East were due to commemorate Land Day today, marking the anniversary of clashes in 1976 in which six unarmed Palestinians were shot dead by the Israeli army as it tried to break up a general strike. Although Land Day is one of the most important anniversaries in the Palestinian calendar, sometimes referred to as the Palestinians’ national day, the historical event it marks is little spoken of and rarely studied. “Maybe its significance is surprising given the magnitude of other events in Palestinian history,” said Hatim Kanaaneh, 71, a doctor, who witnessed the military invasion of his village. “But what makes Land Day resonate with Palestinians everywhere is that it was the first time Palestinians inside Israel stood together and successfully resisted Israel’s goal of confiscating their land.” The confrontation took place between the army and a group usually referred to as “Israeli Arabs”, the small minority of Palestinians who managed to remain in their homes during the 1948 war that led to the founding of Israel. Today they number 1.2 million, or nearly one-fifth of Israel’s population. “We were given citizenship by Israel, but have always been treated as an enemy, perceived of as a threat to the state’s Jewishness,” said Dr Kanaaneh, who last year published his memoir, A Doctor in Galilee, which offers a rare account in English of Palestinian life inside Israel during the Land Day period. In 1976, Dr Kanaaneh, having completed his medical studies at...

Defending Zionism: Defending the Indefensible
30 Mar 2009 - By Stephen Lendman – Chicago This article responds to a March 15 Los Angeles Times Judea Pearl one headlined: "Is anti-Zionism hate?" Pearl teaches computer science at UCLA, is the father of slain journalist Daniel Pearl, and president of the Daniel Pearl Foundation. It was " continue Danny's mission and to address the root causes of this tragedy in the spirit" of the man it represents, including "uncompromised objectivity and integrity....and respect for people of all cultures...." Pearl calls anti-Zionism "hate more dangerous than anti-Semitism, threatening lives and peace in the Middle East." Zionism is precisely the opposite as numerous Jewish writers, including this one, have addressed. In his book "Overcoming Zionism," Joel Kovel explained how it fosters "imperialist expansion and militarism (with) signs of the fascist malignancy;" that it turned Israel "into a machine for the manufacture of human rights abuses" led by terrorists posing as democrats. Kovel's book and his work got him fired from the Bard College faculty effective July 1 when his current contract expires - for daring to criticize Israel, its Zionist ideology, state-sponsored terror, and decades of lawlessness and egregious behavior. Kovel expressed outrage that institutions like Bard aren't bothered; that they grant Israel impunity, suppress dissent, then marginalize, punish, and remove the "heretics," ones like Kovel who honorably and courageously write truths. Pearl railed about a UCLA Center for Near East Studies symposium invitation to "four longtime Israel bashers" so they could attack Zionism's legitimacy and "its vision of a two-state solution...." -...

Tristan Anderson Deserves Medal of Freedom
30 Mar 2009 - By Mahmoud El-Yousseph Tristan Anderson is a young American fighting for his life 5000 miles away in a hospital after being shot in the face. Upon learning of what happened, his parents rushed to Tel Aviv. The family is holding hope and a vigil at his bedside. Mom is holding one of his hand while his girl friend, Gaby Silverman holding the other hand. Tristan–38 years old and of Oakland, California–was shot by Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) on March 13th while peacefully protesting against the “separation wall” deemed illegal by the International Court of Justice in the Palestinian West Bank village of Bi’ilin. Israel was ordered to halt building the wall and compensate Palestinians for land illegally annexed. The wall–longer and taller than the infamous Berlin wall–zigzagged into Palestinian lands, thus preventing farmers and villagers from reaching their farms, hospitals, and schools. Tristan was among 400 Palestinian villagers and international peace activists. He was shot directly by tear gas canister fired by an Israeli soldier at the end of the protest. Contrary to Israel’s claim, Tristan was not shot “during clashes” with the soldiers and was not in a closed military zone either. The Israeli claim was refuted by an Israeli peace activist, Jonathan Pollock in an interview with Israeli press. IOF has a history of targeting medics, children, journalists, and peace activists. Only one day prior to this attempted murder, six unnamed Israeli soldiers admitted to Israeli Daily Haaretz that they were involved in indiscriminate killing of civilian during...

It Was Never about Democracy
30 Mar 2009 - By Mamoon Alabbasi – London "Those dirty A-rabs don't deserve democracy. We give them freedom and they kill our troops. We should nuke them all in their shit-hole." "Bring our troops home. What are they doing dying in some far away land trying to bring democracy to people who don't want it?" "We Arabs are not yet ready for democracy. We need strong authoritarian governments to keep the peace and ensure economic growth." "We should be grateful to the Americans. They got rid of our dictator and brought us democracy." "Is this democracy? Is this freedom? The Americans killed all my family and destroyed my house. If this democracy, I tell you my brother, we don't want it!" Such comments and their likes are unfortunately not uncommon among some Americans and Iraqis regarding the US-led invasion of Iraq. Whether American or Iraqi, pro-war or anti-war, one fallacy lies at the bottom of their reasoning: that somehow 'democracy' had anything to do with the Iraq war. Not that possessing WMDs was ever - objectively - enough reason to subject the whole of Iraq to so much senseless destruction; but since it became clear that the only real threat Iraq posed was to itself, the rhetoric had shifted into saving Iraqis from their themselves by bringing onto them good old democracy. But the fact is, that was never the case. Not in Iraq and certainly not in the region. Not in 2003 and most definitely not before that. After the fall of...