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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
2 April, 2009

International Middle East Media Center

Settlers take over a Palestinian-owned house and authorities demolish a shop in Jerusalem
2 Apr 2009 - A group of Israeli settlers took over a Palestinian-Owned house located in Jerusalem's old city on Thursday morning. ... 

The Israeli army kidnaps 27 Palestinian civilian from the West Bank
2 Apr 2009 - The Israeli military kidnapped 27 civilians during pre-dawn invasions targeting a number of Palestinian communities in the west Bank on Thursday. ... 

A Palestinian man attack settlers near Bethlehem; kills one, troops attack nearby village
2 Apr 2009 - One settler was killed and another injured when a Palestinian man attacked Israeli settlers in the illegal settlement of Bat Ayin located near the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem on Thursday afternoon. ... 

Israel decides to annex 1000 Dunams near Nablus
2 Apr 2009 - Ghassan Daghlas, in charge of the Affairs of villages and city council in the Nablus district, in the northern part of the West Bank, stated Friday that the Israeli authorities decided to annex more than 1000 Dunams of orchards belonging to the village of Qaryout, south of Nablus. ... 

UK official says his country would talk to Hamas if its changes its stances
2 Apr 2009 - Bill Rammell, minister of state at the British Foreign office, stated that his country would hold talks with the Hamas movement if it changes its stances and accepts the preconditions of the Quartet committee. ...

Fateh, Hamas, resume talks in Cairo
2 Apr 2009 - Delegates of Fateh and Hamas continued internal talks in Cairo in an attempt to achieve a unity deal that would bring the two rival factions closer. On the ground, the two factions remain far from reaching a deal. ... 

Fateh and Hamas: “Netanyahu’s government lacks international acceptance”
2 Apr 2009 - The rival Fateh and Hamas movements, in separate statements, said that the new Israeli government of Benjamin Netanyahu lacks international legitimacy as it is a government which wants to continue the occupation rather than enter a genuine peace process. ... 

Soldiers kidnap security officer in Tulkarem, three residents in Bethlehem
2 Apr 2009 - Palestinian security sources in Tulkarem city, in the northern part of the West Bank, reported that on Thursday morningIsraeli soldiers kidnapped a member of Palestinian Intelligence. Three residents were also kidnapped in Bethlehem. ...

Ghada dies 10 weeks after Israeli attack - her testimony
2 Apr 2009 - On 29 March, ten weeks after giving her testimony to B'Tselem, Ghada Abu Halima died in an Egyptian hospital from injuries she suffered when struck by white phosphorous.Below is what she told B'Tselem. ...

Lieberman - “Government will not recognize Annapolis deal”
2 Apr 2009 - The new Israeli Foreign Minister, extremist right-winger of the Yisrael Beiteinu party, Avigdor Lieberman, said on Wednesday that the new Israeli government rejects the outcome of the Annapolis summit of 2007as the talks were never approved by the government and the Knesset. ...

Ha'aretz Defense page

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

'He tried to stab me. I kicked him, he kicked me.'
2 Apr 2009 - Avinoam, the passerby who confronted the axe-wielding terrorist after the attack, describes their struggle.

Israel seizes load of handguns and rifles en route to West Bank
2 Apr 2009 - Suspicious cargo of cloths held up at Eilat border for three weeks, until sawed open by customs agents.

IDF raps soldiers for images of dead Palestinian babies on t-shirts
2 Apr 2009 - In wake of Haaretz expose, Brig. Gen. Shermeister says soldiers' civilian clothes should match IDF values.

Sharp rise in number of reports of soldiers harming Palestinian civilians
2 Apr 2009 - IDF's Criminal Investigation Division investigated 47 cases in 2008 in which soldiers allegedly harmed West Bank civilians.

In Sderot, nighttime is wartime
2 Apr 2009 - Two months have passed since the Gaza op, but one family still struggles to return to a normal routine.

Barak welcomes IDF decision to end Gaza misconduct probe
2 Apr 2009 - Military Advocate General says testimonies based on hearsay; Barak: Yet another proof IDF is moral.

Noam Shalit: Netanyahu must outdo Olmert's attempts to release Gilad
2 Apr 2009 - Gilad Shalit's mother, Aviva , will be present at inauguration ceremony for the incoming government.

'Dozens of Israeli jets and drones attacked in Sudan'
2 Apr 2009 - TIME Magazine cited Israeli sources as saying U.S. was notified of the attack but was not directly involved.

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

At least 20 killed in attack on Pakistan police academy
2 Apr 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
2 Apr 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
2 Apr 2009 - Defense establishment coordinated jailed Hamas militants' meet in hopes it would relax group's demands.

Netanyahu tells IDF: Make every effort to catch Bat Ayin murderer
2 Apr 2009 - 13-year-old killed and 7-year-old wounded in West Bank after being attacked by axeman who fled.

Ma'an News

Israeli prison dentist blinds Palestinian; family calls for his release
1 Apr 2009 - 

Beit Furiq police sweep village; arrest 42 misdemeanor criminals
1 Apr 2009 - 

Hebron police thwart robbery during sweep of arrests targeting troublemakers
1 Apr 2009 - 

Poll: Palestinians lack confidence in leadership, yearn for unity
1 Apr 2009 - 

Fatah leader in Beita village sentenced to 19 years in Israeli prison
1 Apr 2009 - 

Palestinian MK applauded for attending Arab Summit
1 Apr 2009 - 

Allenby Bridge to close early on Thursday
1 Apr 2009 - 

Hamas: Netanyahu government an example of Israeli racism
1 Apr 2009 - 

Abbas: Netanyahu "does not believe in peace"
1 Apr 2009 - 

Israeli court rejects Palestinian petition to save Jerusalem land from settlers
1 Apr 2009 - 

Israeli forces seize university student near Tulkarem
1 Apr 2009 - 

Fatah, Hamas meet ahead of committees in Cairo
1 Apr 2009 - 

US civil rights group challenges tax-exempt status of pro-settler organizations
1 Apr 2009 - 

Gaza crossings open for minimum aid deliveries
1 Apr 2009 - 

Palestine Telegraph

Hamas Gov. to rub out war ruin in Gaza 
2 Apr 2009 - Gaza Strip, April 2, (Pal Telegraph) - The Hamas government in Gaza announced the start of an intensive debirs removal project today. The desructions a result of Iraels' war on Gaza. Hamas worked to bring Gazans relief. Millions of dollars as well...

Palestinian unity talks suspended
2 Apr 2009 - The rival Palestinian Hamas and Fatah faction have suspended unity talks in Cairo after they were unable to reach an agreement, sources say. The Egyptian-mediated process will resume in three weeks, Nabil Shaath, a senior Fatah official, said on Thursday. "There are...

Israeli settler killed in Hebron 
2 Apr 2009 - West Bank, 02 April (The Pal Telegraph) - Israeli occupation forces imposed a curfew on the village of Beit Umar, north of the occupied West Bank city of Hebron on Thursday afternoon. The curfew started shortly after an Israeli settler was killed...

Jewish settlers take over a house of a Palestinian family in Jerusalem.
1 Apr 2009 - Occupied Jerusalem, 02 April (The Pal Telegraph)- Jewish settlers seized a house belonging to a Palestinian citizen at Al-Sa’diya quarter in the old city of occupied Jerusalem claiming its ownership.

Occupation killed 17 Palestinians in the last month
1 Apr 2009 - Gaza, April 1, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) - International solidarity for human rights said that 17 Palestinians including three children and a woman were killed by the occupation; in addition to 280 citizens arrested during the last month. In a press releases dispatched...

Siege gets harsher as crossings closed
1 Apr 2009 - Gaza, April 1, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) – Israeli authorities reopened  Kerem Shalom, Nahel Oz , and Al Muntar commerical crossing points on Wednesday. The crossings expected to operate on low capacity that will never bridge the gap of the needs of 1.5 million...

IOA kidnaps jurist in charge of female prisoners 
31 Mar 2009 - Ramallah - Al-Ahrar center for prisoners' studies strongly denounced the IOA for arresting Raja'a Al-Ghoul, who works for the center as a jurist in charge of female prisoners files.  The center holds Israel fully responsible for her life since she is in...

Israel drops Gaza war crimes probe
31 Mar 2009 - The Israeli military has closed an investigation into claims that Israeli troops shot unarmed Palestinian women and children during its 22-day war on Gaza.

A Rafah Border Crossing Story
31 Mar 2009 - Gaza, March 31, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) - Recently at the Rafah Border Crossing, out of the 600 patients that reached the border, only 50 were allowed to pass through.

Shalit’s father criticized Olmert’s performance concerning releasing his son
31 Mar 2009 - Gaza, 31 March (The Pal Telegraph)- Noam shalit, the father of the Israeli soldier captured by the Palestinian resistance during a military action in Gaza Strip nearly three years ago, criticized the efforts of resigning Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to secure his...


Palestinian unity talks suspended
2 Apr 2009 - Fatah and Hamas halt negotiations with the two sides unable to reach an agreement.

Israeli FM questioned over graft
2 Apr 2009 - Police keep Avigdor Lieberman under caution for several hours, a day after he becomes FM.

Israeli boy killed in axe attack
2 Apr 2009 - Fatal assault in Jewish settlement south of Jerusalem prompts Israeli police manhunt.

UN agency warns Palestinian staff
1 Apr 2009 - Relief agency warns employees in the Gaza Strip to avoid politics, reports say.

Bashir in S Arabia despite warrant
1 Apr 2009 - Sudanese president makes fifth visit to a foreign country since war crimes charges.

Dutch couple kidnapped in Yemen
31 Mar 2009 - Couple seized by armed men but claim being treated well.

Arab-Latin American ties hailed
31 Mar 2009 - Second summit of the two blocs in Qatari capital discusses trade and investment flows.

Suicide bomber targets Mosul police
31 Mar 2009 - Bomber hits security checkpoint with explosives-laden lorry.

Former Chechen rebel 'assassinated'
31 Mar 2009 - Dubai police detain Russian suspected in killing of Chechen military leader.

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


OPT: Access to buffer zone key to agricultural recovery - FAO 
2 Apr 2009 - GAZA CITY Thursday, April 02, 2009 (IRIN) - Gaza’s battered agricultural sector has the capacity to recover but only if there is access to the buffer zone, and only if Gaza’s commercial crossings are fully opened, according to a recent UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) report on Gaza. 

OPT: Gaza orphans in the spotlight 
2 Apr 2009 - GAZA CITY Wednesday, April 01, 2009 (IRIN) - An estimated 1,346 children were left without one or more of their parents as a result of the recent 23-day Israeli assault on Gaza, according to Islamic Relief in Gaza.

In Brief: GPS and malaria 
2 Apr 2009 - DAKAR Wednesday, April 01, 2009 (IRIN) - Malaria control has long depended on incomplete infection mapping or “spatial medical intelligence”. But in recent years the Malaria Atlas Project (MAP) has used GPS (Global Positioning System) to plot malaria infections based on community surveys in 84 endemic countries.

Stop The Wall

Friday anti-Wall protests commemorate Land Day
2 Apr 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
2 Apr 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

Israel Closes Investigation into Alleged War Crimes Committed in the Gaza Strip
2 Apr 2009 - 

PCHR Contests Distortion of Gaza Strip Death Toll
2 Apr 2009 - 

PCHR Appeals for Action to Save Lives of Gaza Strip Patients
2 Apr 2009 - 

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

PCHR Weekly Report

(19- 25 March  2008)
2 Apr 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
1 Apr 2009 - Some 600 Passover kits will be shipped to Jewish soldiers serving in United States military units in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Persian Gulf next week. ...

WATCH: U.S. pro-Israel lobby wages anti-Lieberman campaign 
1 Apr 2009 - J Street, a pro-Israel lobby in the U.S., has launched a campaign expressing the organization's concern over the appointment of Yisrael Beiteinu Chairman Avigdor Lieberman to head Israel's Foreign Ministry and his party's strong representation in the Knesset. ...

Arab League: Lieberman changes Israel`s tone, not policy 
1 Apr 2009 - The head of the Arab League on Thursday said the appointment of Avigdor Lieberman as foreign minister changed Israel's tone rather than its policy toward the Palestinians and the peace process. ...

Spanish prosecution: Freeze war crimes probe against Israeli officials
1 Apr 2009 - Spanish prosecutors have asked a Madrid judge to suspend an investigation of seven Israeli officials over a 2002 bombing in Gaza that killed Hamas militant Salah Shehadeh and 14 others, including nine children. ...

UN human rights chief: Jewish, Muslim lobbying may undermine 'Durban II'
1 Apr 2009 - The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on Thursday said that lobbying from Jewish and Muslim advocacy groups could undermine the upcoming 'Durban II' world anti-racism conference. ...

The Guardian

Michael Tomasky: Why no Palestinian Gandhi?
2 Apr 2009 - Many weeks ago on this blog, I asked rhetorically what we all thought might have happened in the occupied territories if the Palestinian resistance had been, since 1967, nonviolent. I ventured a guess that they might...

Seth Freedman: Israel's new foreign minister raises fears for peace
2 Apr 2009 - If Israelis think their foreign minister's ascent is an aberration, they're being disingenuous about the nation's rightwing forces Yesterday's tub-thumping tirade by Israel's new foreign minister and deputy prime minister sent tremors through political circles, both...

Doctors to reopen Yasser Arafat death investigation
2 Apr 2009 - Arab doctors to review information about 'strange death' of former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat Arab doctors are to investigate the death of the former Palestinian president, Yasser Arafat, re-opening a four-year-old case which is still the...

Antony Lerman: Is Oliphant's cartoon antisemitic, or just offensive?
2 Apr 2009 - Complaints of antisemitism made against a recent cartoon simply confuse the issue and devalue the term Pat Oliphant, the most widely syndicated political cartoonist in the world, has been fiercely attacked by major American Jewish groups...

Avigdor Lieberman rules out 'concessions' to Palestinians
1 Apr 2009 - Israel never ratified 2007 Annapolis Middle East peace talks, new foreign minister says in debut speech Israel's new foreign minister dismayed the international community today with a rancorous analysis of the peace process and an announcement...

Rachel Shabi: Israel prefers to regard army malpractice as deviation, not the norm
1 Apr 2009 - Some may be shocked as the Gaza war crimes inquiry is closed, but Israel prefers to regard malpractice as deviation, not the norm You could all but hear the leftwing jaws thudding to the ground. Shortly...

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...

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...

David Goldberg: I wanted to be among the few civilian Jews to visit Gaza since the invasion. It wasn't to be
2 Apr 2009 - I wanted to be among the few civilian Jews to visit Gaza since the invasion. It wasn't to be It all began promisingly. A former congregant of mine works for an international crisis agency in Jerusalem,...

Khaled Diab: Like the Palestinians, Middle Eastern Jews have fallen victim to political forces beyond their control
2 Apr 2009 - Like the Palestinians, Middle Eastern Jews have fallen victim to political forces beyond their control To the outside world, Israel is either (depending on your political perspective) a proud outpost of the west or a humiliating...

Gaza offensive: Israeli military says no war crimes committed
31 Mar 2009 - Investigation declares Israeli soldiers' confessions exaggerated stories of civilian casualties in Gaza The Israeli military has concluded that no war crimes were committed during its recent offensive in the Gaza Strip, dismissing as "hearsay" the testimonies...

Israel: horse trading in the Knesset
31 Mar 2009 - Who's who in the Israeli parliament

Binyamin Netanyahu ready to take charge of new Israeli government
30 Mar 2009 - After weeks of late-night negotiations, power-broking and patronage politics, the new Israeli government will be sworn in today, with Binyamin Netanyahu, leader of the rightwing Likud party, presiding over a motley coalition of the left, the...

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...

Ha'aretz National page

Settlers: Ehud Barak, left-wing policies to blame for attack
1 Apr 2009 - Residents of the West Bank settlement of Bat Ayin, where an axe-wielding terrorist had killed a 13-year-old boy and wounded a 7-year-old, voiced rage on Thursday over the government's "left-wing policies" which they argued had made the attack possible. ...

Terror victim was son of Bat Ayin settlement founders
1 Apr 2009 - The 13-year-old killed in Thursday's terror attack in Bat Ayin has been identified as Shlomo Nativ, the son of Haim and Ravital Nativ, one of the original settlers who founded Bat Ayin, a community of secular-cum-religious Jews. ...

Livni to Netanyahu: Disavow Lieberman remarks on Annapolis
1 Apr 2009 - Opposition leader Tzipi Livni on Thursday called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to disavow Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman's remarks that Israel was not bound by commitments it made at a U.S.-sponsored conference to pursue creation of a Palestinian state. ...

Barcodes the latest weapon in the fight to keep Passover kosher
1 Apr 2009 - The Chief Rabbinate is introducing barcodes this Passover as its latest weapon in the fight to ensure grocery stores meet kosher-for-Pesach standards. ...

'Lack of minister may seriously damage healthcare in Israel'
1 Apr 2009 - The decision not to appoint a health minister and make do with a deputy minister may seriously damage the quality and availability of healthcare services in Israel, senior Health Ministry officials told Haaretz on Wednesday. ... 

Relief Web

Activities of Secretary-General in Netherlands, 30 March - 1 April
1 Apr 2009 - Source: UN Secretary-General

Secretary-General welcomes formation of new Government in Israel
1 Apr 2009 - Source: UN Secretary-General

OPT: Clarification by the Toronto Globe and Mail correcting false information about UNRWA
1 Apr 2009 - Source: UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East

OPT: Estimate made for Swedish-funded projects damaged in Gaza
1 Apr 2009 - Source: Deutsche Presse Agentur

OPT: Gaza orphans in the spotlight
1 Apr 2009 - Source: Integrated Regional Information Networks

OPT: Field update on Gaza from the Humanitarian Coordinator, 24 - 30 Mar 2009
1 Apr 2009 - Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

OPT: UN voices concern over rift preventing patients leaving Gaza for treatment
1 Apr 2009 - Source: UN News Service

Activities of Secretary-General in Qatar, 28-30 March
31 Mar 2009 - Source: UN Secretary-General

YNet News

'Chastity squad' man charged with attacking computer store clerks
2 Apr 2009 - Shmuel Weisfish accused of threatening to murder employees of Jerusalem computer store for selling 'non-kosher' MP4 players

Deputy FM: Annapolis conference caused damage
2 Apr 2009 - Day after Lieberman said Israel not obligated by Annapolis conference, Danny Ayalon tells Washington Times Netanyahu government supports two-state solution; Saban Center: Tensions between Obama administration, new Israeli regime are already brewing

Lieberman questioned by police
2 Apr 2009 - Fraud Unit interrogates new foreign minister for over seven hours on suspicion of bribery, fraud

Israel's Fischer says to keep expansionary policies
2 Apr 2009 - Bank of Israel governor tells The Wall Street Journal he's awaiting program from Netanyahu's new government, adds ''we're not going to take off rapidly until the rest of world's economy starts making comeback' 

Arab League sees little change in new Israeli gov't 
2 Apr 2009 - Amr Moussa says appointment of Avigdor Lieberman as Israeli foreign minister changes Israel's tone, not policy towards Palestinians, peace agreement. Speaking at Cairo press conference, Moussa says, 'We know Israeli position on peace initiatives is negative'

Spanish judge asked to suspend Israel probe
2 Apr 2009 - Prosecutors say Israel investigating 2002 bombing in Gaza that killed Hamas commander Shehada, 14 others 

Bat Ayin: Why should we live behind a fence?
2 Apr 2009 - Despite murderous terror attack that took place there Thursday noon, residents of Bat Ayin settlement say refuse to admit absence of fence around community contributed to attack's success 

Teen killed in West Bank terror attack 
2 Apr 2009 - Terrorist carrying axe attacks and kills 16-year-old youth in settlement of Bat Ayin in Gush Etzion Thursday noon; seven-year-old child sustains moderate injuries. Terrorist flees scene, IDF launches manhunt. Palestinian Authority security official tells Ynet terrorist apparently working on his own

Hamas: We won't stop arms smuggling
2 Apr 2009 - According to Hamas' military wing's spokesman: 'The arms that reach the pure hands of the resistance fighters who fight the Zionist occupation are a human necessity'


Punishment of policeman who killed Palestinian increased
31 Mar 2009 - The Israeli Supreme Court has increased the prison sentence of border policeman Yanai Lazla for the killing of 18-year-old ‘Imran Abu Hamdiya in 2002. Lazla and three other policemen threw Abu Hamdiya from a jeep moving at high speed after they had abduct

Gaza and Sderot: Life in spite of everything
30 Mar 2009 - B'Tselem has joined ARTE to continue the award-winning internet documentary series on the lives of civilians in the Gaza Strip and southern Israel. B'Tselem injected into the project attention to International Humanitarian Law.

Daily Star

When it comes economic solutions, one size does not fit all 
1 Apr 2009 - There is on the face of it a fairness in the language hanging over the G20 summit that is quite seductive. "A global crisis requires a global solution," everyone who matters seems to be saying, at least towards the richer end of the G20 spectrum. Such talk is getting louder by the day as heads of state.

Obama, Medvedev to slash nuclear weapons 
1 Apr 2009 - US President Barack Obama and Russia's Dmitry Medvedev launched a milestone quest Wednesday to slash their nuclear arsenals, hoping to reverse the worst slump in the former foes' ties since the Cold War. In their first face-to-face talks, Obama and Medvedev also upped pressure on Iran over its nuclear program.

Fayyad to remain premier until unity talks conclude 
1 Apr 2009 - Palestinian Premier Salam Fayyad, who stepped down in March, said on Wednesday he would remain in office until the end of unity talks between Hamas and Fatah in Egypt."My staying in office comes from a desire not to create a constitutional void," Fayyad told AFP.

Libya calls off body search as death toll tops 200 for drowned migrants 
1 Apr 2009 - Libya has called off efforts to retrieve bodies of over 200 illegal migrants who drowned when their overcrowded boat capsized last week in stormy waters of the Mediterranean as they set off for a better life in Europe. Laurence Hart, an official with the International Organization for Migration in Libya.

France and Germany demand regulation while US and UK prioritize stimulus spending 
1 Apr 2009 - President Nicolas Sarkozy insisted Wednesday that G20 leaders must use their London summit to crack down on tax havens, warning Paris and Berlin are not happy with current drafts for an accord. France has thrown down the gauntlet ahead of Thursday's summit of leading world economies.

Lieberman discards Annapolis declaration 
1 Apr 2009 - Israel's new foreign minister angered Palestinians and raised the prospect of tensions with Washington by saying Wednesday that Israel was not bound by a deal to start negotiations on establishing a Palestinian state.On his first day at the Foreign Ministry.

Scores of demonstrators break into Bank of England on eve of summit 
1 Apr 2009 - Angry protesters smashed through police lines and broke into a bank in London's financial district Wednesday, amid ugly scenes on the eve of a major economic summit. Riot police on horseback were deployed to push back demonstrators who attacked a branch of the state-controlled lender Royal Bank of Scotland in central London.

Conflicting reports emerge on death of Russian in Dubai 
1 Apr 2009 - A former Russian Army commander from Chechnya shot in Dubai is "dead and buried," a Russian senator said Wednesday, after uncertainty over whether he had been killed."Unfortunately, he is dead and has been buried in Dubai," said Ziad Spassibi who represents Chechnya in Russia's upper house of Parliament.

Palestinian Information Center

Sources: The third round of dialog will address remaining points of disagreement
2 Apr 2009 - Palestinian sources said that the third round of the national dialog which kicked off Wednesday in Cairo is aimed to resolve contentious points especially the file of the transitional government.

Studies center: IOA adds two more Palestinian prisoners to the list of deportees
2 Apr 2009 - The IOA has informed two Palestinian brothers detained in its jails of the decision to deport them to Jordan after concluding their sentences, the prisoners studies center said on Wednesday.

Radwan: Israel is still in a state of unrest after its defeat in Gaza war
2 Apr 2009 - Dr. Ismail Radwan stated that Israel is still in a state of turmoil after its failure in its aggression on Gaza and is trying to market an alleged victory to raise the battered morale of its troops.

Rezka: PA leadership should stop negotiations with IOA
2 Apr 2009 - The Palestinian government in Gaza has called on the PA leadership in Ramallah to halt all forms of negotiations with the IOA following the statements of Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman.

Let the world see Israel’s true, ugly face
2 Apr 2009 - There is no doubt that the new Israeli government, led by Benyamin Netanyahu, honestly reflects the collective mindset of the Israeli Jewish Zionist society.

Tadamun: IOF troops killed 17 Palestinians last month
2 Apr 2009 - The international Tadamun society for human rights reported that the IOF troops killed last March 17 Palestinians including three children and one woman and kidnapped more than 280 others.

Israeli gunboats fire at Palestinian fishing boats
2 Apr 2009 - Israeli gunboats on Wednesday opened machinegun fire at Palestinian fishing boats off the coasts of Gaza city causing material damage but no casualties were reported.

Hamas: Netanyahu gov't is the most transparent in denying the Palestinian rights
2 Apr 2009 - Hamas said that there is no difference between the Israeli governments except that the new government of Netanyahu is the most transparent in its racist agenda which denies the Palestinian rights.

Farwana: 95 Palestinian prisoners served more than 20 years in captivity
2 Apr 2009 - Four new Palestinian prisoners have joined the list of those who completed more than 20 years in Israeli occupation jails, Abdul Nasser Farwana, a researcher in prisoners' affairs said on Tuesday.

Palestinian prisoners to take escalatory moves in protest at Israeli measures
2 Apr 2009 - MP Khaleda Jarrar said that the Palestinian prisoners intend to take escalatory moves inside Israeli jails including a general hunger strike in protest at the restrictive measures taken against them.

Los Angeles Times

Foreign minister says Israel not bound to follow two-state path 
2 Apr 2009 - Avigdor Lieberman's remarks draw criticism from Palestinians and show sharp disagreement between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government and the Obama administration. Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman declared Wednesday that his nation's new government would not be bound by a U.S.-backed understanding to work toward establishing a Palestinian state. 

In Israel, Netanyahu and super-sized Cabinet sworn in 
1 Apr 2009 - The new Israeli government of Benjamin Netanyahu wins confirmation in parliament, but the new prime minister is heckled and there are signs the political road may be rocky. Benjamin Netanyahu, taking office as Israeli prime minister amid heckling by leftist and Arab lawmakers, offered Tuesday to seek a "permanent arrangement" for limited Palestinian self-rule. 

New York Times

Israeli Minister Dismisses Peace Effort
1 Apr 2009 - On his first day as s foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman said that “those who want peace should prepare for war.” 

Damascus Journal: Syria Finds Right Ingredients to Start a Stock Market From Scratch
2 Apr 2009 - For many Syrians, a newly opened stock exchange represents a long-deferred dream of economic liberalization and prosperity after decades of socialism and isolation. 

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. 

World Briefing | Middle East: Jordan: Inquiry Into Arafat’s Death
2 Apr 2009 - More than four years after Yasir Arafat died, Arab doctors will meet in Jordan this week to look into lingering suspicions that he was poisoned. 

Iraqi Militants Show a New Boldness in Cities
31 Mar 2009 - Security officials say that jihadi and Baath militants are regrouping as a smaller but still lethal insurgency. 

In a Desolate Iraqi Village, War Is Far From Over
31 Mar 2009 - American forces are withdrawing from cities, but in a corner of Diyala Province where the insurgency persists, war rages on much as it did two years ago. 

Obama Administration Has First Face-to-Face Contact With Iran
31 Mar 2009 - A brief meeting with an Iranian official and an unsigned letter marked another step in the Obama administration’s policy of engagement. 

Netanyahu Offers Conciliation, but Not Concessions
31 Mar 2009 - Israel’s incoming prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, reached out to Palestinians in an address to Parliament, promising negotiations but stopping short of endorsing a two-state solution. 


Electronic Intifada
Israeli military cloaks abuses
2 Apr 2009 - JERUSALEM (IPS) - The Israeli army's Advocate General has summarily closed an internal investigation into allegations stemming from accounts by soldiers of abuses against Palestinian civilians committed during Israel's recent war on Hamas in Gaza. It took the military investigators just half the duration of the 22-day war in Gaza to bulldoze the accounts and to dismiss completely the serious allegations made by soldiers who had themselves taken part in the fighting. 

Changing the rules of war
2 Apr 2009 - The extent of Israel's brutality against Palestinian civilians in its 22-day pounding of the Gaza Strip is gradually surfacing. Israeli soldiers are testifying to lax rules of engagement tantamount to a license to kill. One soldier commented: "That's what is so nice, supposedly, about Gaza: You see a person on a road, walking along a path. He doesn't have to be with a weapon, you don't have to identify him with anything and you can just shoot him." George Bisharat comments. 

UNESCO should join cultural boycott
1 Apr 2009 - When schools under the United Nations flag are targeted, when children are targeted, when a whole population is systematically deprived of food and water, sanitation and electricity, the various UN agencies affected should not be content with protest alone -- they should live up to their responsibility by taking action. Rahela Mizrani comments. 

Olmert will be remembered for little but scandal
1 Apr 2009 - Ehud Olmert, who has handed over the Israeli premiership to Benjamin Netanyahu after three years heading the government, suffered a slow and public political demise. The eight lame-duck months since his resignation have been spent energetically refashioning his image as a successful leader -- the "Olmert myth," as one commentator recently called it. Jonathan Cook analyzes. 

In Gaza
dancing in the lentils
2 Apr 2009 - * calm farming for a change! A thankfully relatively calm day of farming on Tuesday in the border region near southeastern Khoza’a village, east of Khan Younis.  The last time we’d been in Khoza’a, the Israeli soldiers patrolling the border area had opened fire on us within minutes of our arrival, shooting closer than previous times, although it was obvious we were a mixture of elderly farmers and internationals, all unarmed. Hours later, Israeli soldiers shot a young woman , Wafa, from Khoza’a in the kneecap as she surveyed the land where her the ruins of her house –destroyed in Israel’s war on Gaza –lay. With those memories in mind, we’d...

Palestine Chronicle
Readers' Pitch for Palestine Chronicle: Essential, Invaluable, Level-Headed
1 Apr 2009 - Dear Friends, Readers and Supporters of the Palestine Chronicle, We believe that peace and justice in Palestine is key to peace and stability in the entire Middle East - even the world - thus the nature of our content. We take great pride in the fact that the Chronicle has never accepted (nor sought) funding from any governmental, political or factional group or organization. We are adamant regarding our independence. But this also presents the challenge of supporting ourselves, and that’s why we come to you, twice a year, to ask for your financial support to back us for another six months. Our goal is to raise $12,000 in the month of April. We set out to write an exhaustive promotional blurb to get your attention, but then we thought that it might be even more impressive to hear what our readers have to say about us. So, as you ponder what you might give, consider what a few have said about our work and our mission: (To add your voice to that of our readers below, please email us at info(at) Please Click Here to Help. Essential Coverage "The mainstream media more-or-less ignores what is happening in Palestine, unless it is Israelis who have suffered, so Palestine Chronicle is essential for getting a Palestinian perspective on the realities of life in Palestine. Palestine Chronicle vividly portrays the horrors and the desperation of the Palestinians but also serves to express their solidarity and determination that justice will prevail." -- Robert...

Olmert Will Be Remembered for Little but Scandal
1 Apr 2009 - By Jonathan Cook - Nazareth Ehud Olmert, who handed over the Israeli premiership to Benjamin Netanyahu after three years heading the government, suffered a slow and public political demise. The eight lame-duck months since his resignation have been spent energetically refashioning his image as a successful leader – the “Olmert myth”, as one commentator recently called it. Humiliated in a war in Lebanon and buffeted by corruption scandals at home, Mr Olmert is reported to believe he will one day make a political comeback like Mr Netanyahu, who led the government in the late 1990s. Certainly, Mr Olmert was once known as the great survivor. Of the three figures who pushed the country into the disastrous Lebanon war in the summer of 2006, only he walked out of the wreckage still standing. But this time even his talents may be overwhelmed by the task of salvaging his reputation. Mr Olmert’s rapid rise in Israeli national politics -- after a decade spent making his name as the hardline mayor of Jerusalem -- took rivals in the Likud Party by surprise. Joining the Knesset in 2003, he quickly gained the ear of Ariel Sharon, who was then prime minister. Once a vocal opponent of concessions to the Palestinians, Mr Olmert underwent a political transformation that closely mirrored Mr Sharon’s. Some analysts suggest that, in fact, it was Mr Olmert who guided and shaped the prime minister’s thinking, reflected in his designation as Mr Sharon’s heir in the new centrist party Kadima they...

Israel's Illegal Annexation of East Jerusalem
1 Apr 2009 - By Stephen Lendman – Chicago So says a confidential EU report revealed on March 7 by The London Guardian's Rory McCarthy. It accuses Israel "of using settlement expansion, house demolitions, discriminatory housing policies and the West Bank (Separation) barrier as a way of 'actively pursuing the illegal annexation' of East Jerusalem." More still, including restrictive permits, "closure of Palestinian institutions," and various other ways to "increase Jewish presence in" the city, "impede Palestinian urban development, and separate East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank" incrementally to annex it. It says plans are now accelerated and have undermined the Palestinian Authority's (PA) credibility as well as weakened support for peace. It calls "Israel's actions in and around of the most acute challenges to Israeli-Palestinian peace-making (yet) have limited security justifications." In addition, they're illegal. Israel dismissed the criticisms as "a disinformation campaign" and claimed that "mayor Nir Barkat continues to promote investments in infrastructure, construction and education in East Jerusalem, while at the same time upholding the law throughout West and East Jerusalem equally without bias." Those comments, of course, have no basis in fact nor do any from Israeli officials with regard to Palestinians. The EU report cites Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention that prohibits "Individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory...." Neither shall "The Occupying Power....deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies." In addition, numerous UN resolutions established "no...

Procuring Academics for Empire
1 Apr 2009 - By James Petras The Pentagon’s military strategists have recognized that they have suffered political losses, with strategic consequences in their recent military invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. US military support for the Israeli invasions of Lebanon and Gaza, the US-sponsored Ethiopian occupation of Somali, the coup attempts in Venezuela (2002) and Bolivia (2008), have also failed to defeat popular incumbent regimes. Worse still, civilian, family, community and national networks have reinforced the anti-colonial movements providing essential logistical support, intelligence, recruits and legitimacy. Pentagon strategists, recognizing the socio-political bases of their failures, have turned to willing accomplices in the academic world to provide intelligence, in the form of ethnographic accounts of targeted peoples, tactics and strategies in order to divide and destroy local and national loyalties. The Pentagon is contracting social scientists to develop ‘social maps’ to identify leaders and groups, susceptible to recruitment in the service of the empire. For example, Pentagon-contracted academic ‘field research’ is designed to demonstrate ways in which traditional religious practices and rituals can be harnessed to facilitate imperial conquest through cultural warfare discouraging subjugated peoples from giving their support to national liberation movements. Rather than confront the imperial occupier with a goal of re-establishing national sovereignty, ‘cultural warfare’ strategies direct people to focus on ‘local concerns’. These are a few of the Pentagon funded “research projects” taken up by the ‘academics in uniform.’ The Pentagon is seriously engaged in this military-academic empire building strategy, allocating almost 100 million dollars to contracting academic collaborators and funding...