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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
6 April, 2009

News

International Middle East Media Center

Israel demolishes a home in Jerusalem
6 Apr 2009 - The Jerusalem municipality demolished on Monday a home which belongs to a resident of East Jerusalem without even giving the family a chance to appeal an order to demolish the property. ... 

P.A welcomes Obam's statements on a two-state solution
6 Apr 2009 - The Palestinian Authority welcomed on Monday the statements of the U.S president, Barack Obama, on a two-state solution to end the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and his statements regarding the Annapolis agreement and the Road Map Peace plan. ...

Israel bans medical equipments and supplies imported by the PA to enter Jerusalem
6 Apr 2009 - The Israeli military barred all equipments and supplies imported by the Palestinian Authority from entering Jerusalem on Monday. ... 

Patients and medicine reach Gaza via Rafah crossing
6 Apr 2009 - At least 15 patients were allowed back into Gaza through the Rafah border crossing on Monday. Trucks carrying medical aid were also allowed through. ... 

Israeli army kidnaps seven civilians from several parts of West Bank 
6 Apr 2009 - At least seven Palestinian civilians were kidnapped by the Israeli military during morning invasions which targeted a number of West Bank communities on Monday. ... 

Settlers attack homes, residents in East Jerusalem
5 Apr 2009 - A group of extremist Israeli settlers attacked several residents and homes in Al Sa’diyya neighborhood, in East Jerusalem on Sunday evening, and occupied the home of Nasser Jaber for the second time, claiming they have purchased it. ...

Court extends remand of father and uncle of dead girl
5 Apr 2009 - On Sunday the Israeli Central Court in Be’er Sheva extended remand periods for the father and uncle of Basma Al Nibary, 16. Basma was shot and killed on Saturday after allegedly attempting to open fire at Israeli soldiers at the entrance to a military base in the Negev. ... 

Settlers attack homes in Hebron
5 Apr 2009 - Local sources in Hebron, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank, reported on Sunday that about 150 armed settlers attacked dozens of Palestinian homes in the Jaber, Wadi Al Nasarah, Wadi Al Hasseen, and Al Ras neighborhoods. They also attacked a number of homes near the Kiryat Arba settlement, northeast of Hebron. ...

Israeli high court rules in favor of further home demolitions in Jerusalem
5 Apr 2009 - Just a few days after ruling to force Palestinian homeowner Darwish Hijazi off his land to allow Israeli expansion in his home and property, the Israeli high court has issued a ruling on the cases of two more families who challenged the Israeli demolition orders placed on their homes. ...

Palestinian teen in critical condition after being shot in head by Israeli forces
5 Apr 2009 - A 14-year old Palestinian boy from Qalqilia was shot by a rubber-coated steel bullet during an Israeli invasion of the town on Saturday, and is in critical condition at a United Nations hospital. ...

Ha'aretz Defense page

Iran may seek compensation for seizure of suspected arms cargo
6 Apr 2009 - UN panel: Ship detained by Cyrpus carried explosives and weaponry; Iran: No legal basis for stopping vessel. 

IDF commandos cited for not wounding innocents in battle
5 Apr 2009 - Four soldiers from Duvdevan unit given award after clashes with Palestinian fugitives in Nablus casbah. 

Abbas lays down terms for peace talks with Netanyahu
5 Apr 2009 - PA leader: No talks without Netanyahu backing 2-state solution; Barak: Israel committed to signed accords. 

IDF chief: Troops' Gaza testimonies are completely unfounded
5 Apr 2009 - Army chief Ashkenazi says military police have checked accounts that soldiers targeted civilians. 

Court extends remand of family of Bedouin gunwoman
4 Apr 2009 - Basma Awad al-Nabari, 16, shot dead after opening fire at Border Police at Shoket Junction base in Negev. 

Was Israel's reported strike in Sudan an exercise in propaganda?
4 Apr 2009 - Nobody knows for sure what was bombed, how much and why; Sudan, after all, is far away. 

Security sources: Fatah has resumed terrorist activities
5 Apr 2009 - Renewed activity could be result of assumption Israel-PA relations will deteriorate under Netanyahu. 

Shoket Junction gunwoman identified as 15-year-old Bedouin
4 Apr 2009 - Border police kill teen after she opens fire at barracks; IDF, Palestinian gunmen clash along Gaza fence. 

Israel fears Jewish extremists will avenge settlement murder
3 Apr 2009 - 13-year-old killed and 7-year-old wounded in West Bank after being attacked by axeman who fled. 

India Defense Minister: No corruption in Israel arms deal
4 Apr 2009 - AK Antony calls $1.4b deal 'clean;' reports: Middleman received huge kickbacks in Israel arms deals. 

UN to Israel: Ease 'devastating' Gaza blockade
4 Apr 2009 - UNRWA chief says move necessary despite 'real security challenges' to the operation of crossing points. 

Father of Bat Ayin terror victim, 7, gets prison furlough to visit son
3 Apr 2009 - Ofer Gamliel, father of injured seven-year-old Yair, is imprisoned for planning to attack a Jerusalem Arab girls' school. 

U.S. green light for Israeli attack on Iran will have to wait
3 Apr 2009 - Obama's policy on a nuclear Iran differs from that of the Bush administration only in style. 

Haaretz exclusive: The man who bribed Indians for Israeli arms sales
3 Apr 2009 - Sudhir Choudrie is investigated for allegedly bribing Indian officials on behalf of Israeli firms. 

Ma'an News

Soldiers assault Palestinian ambulance en route to Hebron
6 Apr 2009 - Ma’an News Agency, 4/5/2009, Hebron – Ma’an – Israeli soldiers on Sunday morning assaulted Palestinian medics affiliated to the Palestinian Red Crescent. The medics were traveling through the Beit Ummar junction in the southern West Bank while they were heading...

Israeli high court upholds eviction of Palestinians from Jerusalem homes
6 Apr 2009 - Ma’an News Agency, 4/5/2009, Jerusalem – Ma’an – The Israeli Supreme Court rejected a petition by two Palestinian families challenging their eviction from their houses in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem on Sunday. The Hanoun and Al-Ghawi families...

Anti-siege fleet scheduled to arrive in Gaza in May
6 Apr 2009 - Ma’an News Agency, 4/5/2009, Gaza – Ma’an – Activists are planning a “Freedom Fleet” to break the Israeli siege of the Gaza Strip in early may. The flotilla is part of an “uprising” that is being prepared by the official...

Two Palestinian leaders jailed by Israel begin hunger strike
6 Apr 2009 - Ma’an News Agency, 4/5/2009, Salfit – Ma’an – Jailed former Palestinian Deputy Prime Minister Nasser Addin Ash-Sha’er and Hamas leader Rafat Nasif started a hunger strike on Sunday protesting conditions in an Israeli prison, said Faris Abu Hasan, a lawyer...

Alleged attacker’s relatives say slain teenage girl was innocent
6 Apr 2009 - Ma’an News Agency, 4/5/2009, Bethlehem - Ma’an - Relatives of a 15-year-old Bedouin girl shot dead by Israeli forces on Saturday denied reports she opened fire on a military post before she was killed, according to Israeli newspaper Haaretz. "It...

Israeli military patrols storm Tulkarem ’to buy a hookah’
6 Apr 2009 - Ma’an News Agency, 4/5/2009, Tulkarem – Ma’an – Israeli soldiers stormed the northern West Bank city of Tulkarem in three vehicles on Sunday, firing gunshots and tear gas before they besieged a café and forced everybody inside to lie on...

UN: World must uphold rule of law in postwar Gaza Strip
6 Apr 2009 - Ma’an News Agency, 4/4/2009, Bethlehem - Ma’an - Upholding the rule of law and protection are essential to prevent further civilian deaths in the wake of the recent hostilities in Gaza, a senior United Nations official said on Saturday. The...

Egyptian authorities demolish 10 tunnels into Gaza
6 Apr 2009 - Ma’an News Agency, 4/5/2009, Bethlehem – Ma’an – Egyptian authorities on Saturday demolished 10 tunnels under the country’s border with the Gaza Strip. They were apparently being used for smuggling fuel from Egypt into Gaza, Egyptian sources said. Large quantities...

King of Morocco: Israeli policies in Jerusalem are illegal
6 Apr 2009 - Ma’an News Agency, 4/5/2009, Bethlehem – Ma’an – Moroccan King Muhammad VI on Saturday called the Jerusalem Committee, which he heads, to a meeting on 1 and 2 May in order to work out the means to counter what he...

Egypt: Abbas should head transitional government
6 Apr 2009 - Ma’an News Agency, 4/5/2009, Cairo/Bethlehem – Ma’an – Director of Egyptian Intelligence Umar Sulaiman has suggested that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas head the Palestinian national consensus government as a compromise between Fatah and Hamas, said a Palestinian official on Sunday....

US envoy Mitchell: Obama backs Arab Peace Initiative
6 Apr 2009 - Ma’an News Agency, 4/5/2009, Bethlehem - Ma’an - The Saudi-backed Arab Peace Initiative has US President Barack Obama’s support, according to US envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell. Several weeks ago, Mitchell reportedly told a meeting with Israeli, Arab-American...

Abbas: Israel must accept two-state solution if it wants peace talks
6 Apr 2009 - Ma’an News Agency, 4/5/2009, Bethlehem – Ma’an – Israel must accept the creation of a Palestinian state and halt the construction of settlements in the West Bank if peace negotiations are to be resumed, said Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on...

Gaza official: Backchannel Shalit talks ongoing
6 Apr 2009 - Ma’an News Agency, 4/5/2009, Gaza – Ma’an – Backchannel negotiations on a prisoner swap between Hamas and Israel are ongoing, a senior official in the de facto government in Gaza said on Sunday. Deputy Prime Minister Ziad Dhadha said in...

Abbas pressured to reinstate ambassador to Russia
6 Apr 2009 - Ma’an News Agency, 4/5/2009, Jerusalem – Ma’an – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is coming under pressure to reinstate the Palestinian ambassador to Russia, Afif Safieh, who he fired in March. The Coalition of Jerusalem Organizations and the Coalition of Christian...

Palestine Telegraph

Israel on a piracy mission 
6 Apr 2009 - Gaza , April 6, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) - In a new piracy mission the Israeli Occupation arrested eight fishermen and confiscated their boats off the Gaza shore.

Israeli MANIACS Attack Palestinian Civilians
5 Apr 2009 - Jerusalem, April 6, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) - As part of the ongoing Israeli measures in Jerusalem, hundreds of Israeli settlers attacked Al-Sadya neighborhood in east Jerusalem. The attackers tried to storm houses of the Al Jabir family. Bloody clashes erupted in the...

Institution: IOF destroyed archaeological buildings during the aggression on Gaza
5 Apr 2009 - Gaza strip, April 5 (The Pal Telegraph) - The Jerusalem institution stated the Israeli offensive army devastated four historic buildings belonging to the Islamic, Ottoman, British and Egyptian historical periods during the recent aggression on Gaza. In a press release issued Wednesday...

UN judge pick for Gaza shocks, awes
4 Apr 2009 - Gaza City, April 4, 2009 - (Pal Telegraph) - Following global concern about Israel's conduct in Gaza, the UN decision to appoint a Jewish judge to head the war crimes probe raises eyebrows Richard Goldstone, a South African Jewish judge, was appointed...

OCHA: Israel Intensifies its Appalling Policies in Gaza & WB
4 Apr 2009 - Gaza, April 4, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) - A report by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) states the Israeli military apprehended about 48 Palestinian citizens and carried out 107 search operations in the West Bank on March 15th,...

IF Troops Kill Palestinian Gunwoman in Israel
4 Apr 2009 - Gaza, April 4, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) - The IF troops shot a Palestinian woman dead after she opened fire on an Israeli Border Guard barracks stationed at the Shoket Junction in southern Israel on Saturday afternoon. According to the Israeli police the...

UNRWA demands Israel to lighten its restriction on crossings
4 Apr 2009 - Gaza, April 4, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) - Director of operations in Gaza for the UN Refugee and Works Agency on Saturday demanded Israel to ease its restrictions on the entry of Goods into the Gaza Strip. Mr. Ging pointed out that what...

European Campaign to PA: Keep Gaza Patients away from Political Conflict
4 Apr 2009 - Gaza, April 4, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) – The European Campaign to End the Blockade stated its surpris that the Palestinian Authority prevented Patients from leaving Gaza to seek medical treatment abroad.

Two Palestinians killed by Israeli army
3 Apr 2009 - North Gaza, April 4, 2009 - (Pal Telegraph) Muawiya Hassanein, head of the ambulance and emergency service in Gaza announced two Palestinians were killed in armed clashes between Palestinian resistance fighters and Israeli forces east of Jabaliya, northern Gaza.

Students for Palestine put their mark on Australian campuses 
3 Apr 2009 - Australia, April 4, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) - University campuses across Australia have seen a new and vibrant student movement for Palestine taking shape in the wake of Israel’s destruction of Gaza at the beginning of the year. These past two weeks have...

Aljazeera

Israeli army faces fresh criticism
6 Apr 2009 - Codes of ethics and international law violated during Gaza offensive, physicians' group says.

Netanyahu's new cabinet meets
5 Apr 2009 - Israel's prime minister highlights security and economic challenges facing the country.

UN appoints Gaza war investigator
3 Apr 2009 - Former war crimes prosecutor to focus on Palestinian victims of Israel's war.

IRIN

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
6 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
6 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

PCHR Weekly Report

(26 March -01 April  2008)
6 Apr 2009 - During the reporting period, IOF killed two members of the Palestinian resistance and injured two others in the Gaza Strip. A Palestinian woman also died of injuries she had sustained during the IOF offensive on the Gaza Strip.

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

Iran reform candidate condemns killing of Jews in the Holocaust
5 Apr 2009 - The leading reformist candidate in upcoming Iranian presidential elections on Monday condemned the killing of Jews in the Holocaust, a much different stance than current President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who in 2005 called the Holocaust a myth. ...

Israel pledges to work with U.S. for Mideast peace
5 Apr 2009 - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's administration pledged on Monday to work with the United States for Middle East peace shortly after U.S. President Barack Obama said he would push for Palestinian state. ...

'Grave concern' over Israeli missing in Italy quake
5 Apr 2009 - The Foreign Ministry on Monday said it still has not made contact with an Israeli national believed to be in central Italy, after the area was hit by a powerful earthquake that left at least 150 people dead and 1,500 injured. ...

Blair urges Netanyahu not to abandon peace talks
5 Apr 2009 - Middle East envoy Tony Blair urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday to resume Palestinian statehood talks in parallel with a push to boost the West Bank economy and to let Palestinians control more of their territory. ...

U.S. judge allows deportation of accused Nazi Demjanjuk
5 Apr 2009 - A U.S. immigration judge on Monday lifted the stay of deportation for accused Nazi death camp guard John Demjanjuk, who faces charges in Germany in the deaths of 29,000 Jews, but ruled he still could pursue his bid to reopen his case. ...

The Guardian

Norman Stone: Obama brokers rapprochement in US-Turkish relations
6 Apr 2009 - Despite the sticky issue of secularity, Obama's parliamentary address today was the first step in US-Turkish rapprochement In the era of George W, taking a taxi in Turkey could be a bit of a bore: the...

Letter: Britain and the 'smuggling' of weapons to Gaza
2 Apr 2009 - I am puzzled by the lack of scrutiny afforded to the questions raised by Hazel Blears's assertion that "the prime minister has offered British naval support to stop the smuggling of weapons to Gaza" ( Letters , 26...

Sounds Jewish: Heavy metal Jews
6 Apr 2009 - Welcome to the April edition of Sounds Jewish. Joining me in the studio this month are Middle East analyst Hagai Segal and journalist Daniella Peled . As Bibi Netanyahu launches his new administration, what kind of prime...

Israeli papers brush women out of cabinet
3 Apr 2009 - Two female ministers within a 30-strong cabinet may not sound like such a big deal to most. However, it was two women too many for Israeli ultra-orthodox newspapers, so they simply airbrushed the offending female figures...

Israeli exports hit by European boycotts after attacks on Gaza
3 Apr 2009 - A fifth of Israeli exporters report drop in demand as footage of Gaza attacks changes behaviour of consumers and investors Israeli companies are feeling the impact of boycott moves in Europe, according to surveys, amid growing...

Lyn Julius: The term 'Jewish Arabs' ignores the truth of Middle Eastern Jews' unhappy history in Arab lands
3 Apr 2009 - The term 'Jewish Arabs' ignores the truth of Middle Eastern Jews' unhappy history in Arab lands There is no denying that in Israel there is discrimination and an ethnic divide. Choice quotes from Israel's leaders in...

Jewish Chronicle pays £30,000 libel damages to peace activist
3 Apr 2009 - Peace activist accepts damages over false claims he harboured two suicide bombers A peace activist today accepted £30,000 libel damages and an apology at the high court over false claims made in the Jewish Chronicle that...

Ha'aretz National page

Officials: Kinneret to suffer irrevocably if water not conserved
5 Apr 2009 - The Israel Water Authority on Monday warned that if extreme water conservation measures are not adopted Lake Kinneret will turn into a "dead lake," from an ecological perspective. ...

Ashdod pedophile gets record 45 years in jail
5 Apr 2009 - An Ashdod man was sentenced to 45 years in prison on Monday for raping five girls, aged 5 to 9. The sentence from the Be'er Sheva District Court is the harshest ever handed down in Israel for sex offenses. ...

Have the first Israelite sites built after Exodus been found?
5 Apr 2009 - A Haifa University archaeologist on Monday said he has unearthed structures in the shape of human feet believed to have been erected by the Israelites upon their initial entry to the Land of Canaan. ...

Livni blasts Netanyahu as being 'easily blackmailed'
5 Apr 2009 - Opposition leader Tzipi Livni blasted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as being "easily blackmailed" in light of the many cabinet posts he handed out while putting his government together. ...

Gaza doctor who lost three kids in IDF op tapped for Nobel Prize
5 Apr 2009 - Palestinian Dr. Ezzeldeen Abu al-Aish, whose three daughters were killed during Israel's offensive on the Gaza Strip earlier this year, has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, Army Radio reported on Monday. ...

Relief Web

Regional Humanitarian Update, Mar 2009
6 Apr 2009 - Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

OPT: Independent fact-finding mission of medical experts commissioned by Physicians for Human Rights-Israel and the Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS) published today its special report on the Israel in the Gaza Strip, 27 Dec 2008 – 18 Jan 2009 
6 Apr 2009 - Source: Physicians for Human Rights

OPT: Independent fact-finding mission into violations of human rights in the Gaza Strip during the period 27 Dec 2008 – 18 Jan 2009 - Final Report
6 Apr 2009 - Source: Physicians for Human Rights

OPT: The Arab Summit Meeting: Speech by Minister of Foreign Affairs Jonas Gahr Støre
6 Apr 2009 - Source: Government of Norway

OPT: Israeli soldiers physically abused a PRCS medical team during its humanitarian mission
5 Apr 2009 - Source: Palestine Red Crescent Society

OPT: Bena'a project empowering Palestinian women–transforming communities 
5 Apr 2009 - Source: CARE

OPT: DCI shocked by Bat Ayin attack, urges respect for lives of all children
5 Apr 2009 - Source: Defence for Children International/Palestine Section

European Union supports regular payment of salaries and pensions through PEGASE for nearly 78,000 Palestinian beneficiaries
5 Apr 2009 - Source: European Union

YNet News

US Envoy Mitchell to travel to Mideast next week
6 Apr 2009 - Special US envoy to visit Jerusalem, Ramallah, Cairo, will hold first official meetings with PM Netanyahu, FM Lieberman; State Department says Mitchell will aim to 'advance goal of two-state solution, comprehensive peace in region' 

A tale of broken promises
6 Apr 2009 - Expatriates lured back to Israel by Absorption Ministry's campaign hit bureaucratic snags

Iran may seek compensation for held cargo
6 Apr 2009 - Tehran reserves right to seek compensation for cargo seized by Cyprus, UN envoy says

Correction: King Abdullah's dog wasn't treated in Israel
6 Apr 2009 - 

Blair skeptical on peace prospects
6 Apr 2009 - Former British prime minister says skepticism a result of Israel's new rightist government

Obama: US strongly supports 2-state solution
6 Apr 2009 - American president tells Turkish parliament US committed to Israel, Palestine living side by side in peace, security; Both Israelis, Palestinians must adhere to Roadmap, Annapolis understandings, Obama says

B'tselem

Israel and the Palestinians must assist the UN mission
5 Apr 2009 - B'Tselem welcomes the appointment of the jurist Richard Goldstone to head the fact-finding mission, called for by the UN Human Rights Council, to investigate the recent fighting in Gaza. Particularly welcome is the delegation’s mandate, which covers viola

Palestinian kills a 16 year-old boy and injures a 7 year-old boy
1 Apr 2009 - B'Tselem strongly condemnss the killing of a 16 year-old boy and the injuring of a 7 year-old boy by a Palestinian in the settlement of Bat Ayin in the Bethlehem district. Deliberate attacks against civilians are immoral and illegal. Wilful killing of civ

Daily Star

Former Saudi envoy to US says Arab divisions helped Tehran's regional rise 
5 Apr 2009 - Saudi Arabia's former ambassador to Washington has described Iran as a paper tiger with claws of steel and cited differences among Arabs as the main reason for its increased regional role. Prince Turki al-Faisal's remarks came at a closed-door meeting Saturday at the University of Jordan's Strategic Studies Center.

Dubai says ally of Chechen leader killed Yamadayev 
5 Apr 2009 - Dubai authorities accused a close ally of Chechnya's Kremlin-backed President Ramzan Kadyrov on Sunday of masterminding the brazen midday assassination of a decorated Chechen war veteran. The allegation could have broad implications for Kadyrov, a former rebel now closely allied with Moscow and its campaign to quell a 14-year insurrection in Chechnya.

Obama outlines sweeping goal of nuclear-free world 
5 Apr 2009 - Declaring the future of mankind at stake, President Barack Obama on Sunday said all nations must strive to rid the world of nuclear arms and that the US had a "moral responsibility" to lead because no other country has used one. A North Korean rocket launch upstaged Obama's idealistic call to action.

A letter from an Armenian to President Obama 
5 Apr 2009 - Dear Mr. President,Indeed, I am as happy as those millions around the world who had great expectations of your presidency, from a man known for this bravery, wisdom, and more importantly, as a remarkable president.

Netanyahu pledges to produce 'peace policy' soon 
5 Apr 2009 - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chaired his first Cabinet meeting on Sunday, after less than a week in power dominated by his top diplomat sparking concern over the fate of peace talks. Vowing to "pull up our sleeves and get to work," Netanyahu said his government will set its peace and defense policies within weeks.

Obama throws weight behind Turkey's EU aspirations 
5 Apr 2009 - US President Barack Obama endorsed Turkey's troubled bid for European Union membership Sunday, exposing a rift with France and Germany. Obama, who flew to Turkey on Sunday night after attending an EU-US summit in Prague, said Turkey's membership of the 27-nation bloc would firmly wrap the mainly Muslim nation into the Western fold.

Israeli forces kill pistol-wielding teenage bedouin girl 
5 Apr 2009 - Israeli forces on Saturday shot and killed a 16-year-old bedouin girl who opened fire at a police base in southern Israel and two Palestinian fighters in the Gaza Strip, security officials and medics said. In the rare incident in southern Israel, the teenager opened fire at a guard post at the base and was gunned down by border police, said police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld.

Threat to shut Boston Globe shows no paper is safe 
5 Apr 2009 - When it bought the Boston Globe for a record $1.1 billion in 1993, the New York Times Co. added one of the nation's most acclaimed and profitable newspapers to its empire. But analysts say the 137-year-old Globe has been a money-loser in recent years, and the Times, now $1.1 billion in debt.

Palestinian Information Center

Israeli settlers attack neighborhood in occupied Jerusalem
6 Apr 2009 - Three Palestinians were wounded when dozens of Israeli settlers attacked their Saadiya neighborhood in occupied Jerusalem on Sunday evening, local sources reported.

Baraka: Fatah insistence on abiding by the quartet's terms an obstacle to dialog
6 Apr 2009 - Hamas leader Ali Baraka stated that Fatah's insistence that the next government should abide by the international quartet's terms is a major obstacle to reaching a reconciliation agreement.

Saadat calls for reactivating the PLO
6 Apr 2009 - Ahmed Saadat, the secretary general of pflp, has called for reactivating the PLO and for insisting on conditions for the release of Israeli captured soldier Gilad Shalit.

Anti-siege national initiative committee to send aid fleet to Gaza next month
6 Apr 2009 - The government committee against the siege stated that the national initiative committee to break the siege intends to send an aid convoy by sea called the "fleet of freedom" to Gaza in next month.

Mousa: Israeli interior minister's threats prove impossibility of coexistence
6 Apr 2009 - Hamas MP Dr. Yehya Mousa on Sunday said that the threats of the new Israeli interior minister revealed that coexistence with such "criminals" was impossible.

Zaza: The swap deal is frozen but under indirect negotiations
6 Apr 2009 - Deputy premier Ziad Al-Zaza stated that the prisoner swap deal is frozen but still under indirect negotiations, adding that the Palestinian people need a truce away from the foreign dictates.

Naim: IOF used 10 new weapons in its war on Gaza
6 Apr 2009 - Dr. Basem Naim, the PA health minister, has affirmed that the Israeli occupation forces had used ten new kinds of weapons in the war on Gaza along with internationally banned arms.

Gov't committee against siege initiates int'l campaign for human rights respect
6 Apr 2009 - The government committee to break the siege announced the launch of an international media campaign to demand respect for human rights especially the Palestinian people's right to travel and movement.

IOF troops isolate Palestinian village from the outside world
6 Apr 2009 - The IOF on Sunday continued to isolate the Palestinian village of Safa for the fourth consecutive day from the outside world and persisted in large-scale search operations in all village homes.

Israel isolates Hamas and Islamic Jihad detainees in Nafha prison
6 Apr 2009 - The Israeli Nafha prison administration started recently to isolate Hamas and Islamic Jihad prisoners from others as a prelude to taking punitive measures against them.

Los Angeles Times

Shoemakers know Egypt's down at heel 
5 Apr 2009 - It used to be that customers at a shop in a Cairo bazaar would forget to pick up the shoes they left off, but now they often wait in their socks for their only pair to be fixed. Two shoemakers, one with white hair, the other much younger, hammer and sew beneath the torn awning of their shop in a downtown bazaar. 

New York Times

Memo From Cairo: For Egypt, Promise of 1979 Peace Still Unfulfilled
4 Apr 2009 - Public sentiment in Egypt points to the treaty with Israel, signed 30 years ago, as the start of Egypt’s decline and diplomatic impotence. 

Israeli Nonprofits, Shaken by Madoff Scandal, Regroup
4 Apr 2009 - Bernard L. Madoff’s Ponzi scheme created losses in Israel amounting to at least hundreds of millions of dollars. 

Police Continue Questioning of Israeli Foreign Minister
3 Apr 2009 - The questioning of Avigdor Lieberman, the new foreign minister of Israel, continued into Friday, as part of a longstanding investigation into suspicions of bribery, money laundering and breach of trust. 

World Briefing | Middle East: Israel: U.N. Picks Gaza Investigator
4 Apr 2009 - The United Nations Human Rights Council appointed a Jewish South African judge to lead a mission to investigate allegations of war crimes committed by Israel. 

Radio Review | 'Israel's Barrier': The Two Sides of One Wall: NPR Reports on the Mideast
5 Apr 2009 - This four-part report is everything you would expect from NPR: intelligent, informative and polished to a high, somewhat narcoticizing sheen. 


Articles


Electronic Intifada
"Hebrew labor" lives on as Israel Railways fires Arab guards
6 Apr 2009 - A decision by Israel's state-owned railway company to sack 150 Arab workers because they have not served in the army has been denounced as "unlawful" and "racist" this week by Arab legal and workers' rights groups. Jonathan Cook reports. 

Jayyus farmers at the mercy of the occupation
6 Apr 2009 - The wall Israel has constructed on occupied Palestinian land since 2003 has had a devastating effect on the 4,000 residents of Jayyus, a village northeast of the West Bank town of Qalqiliya. The wall near Jayyus separates the farmers from 75 percent of their agricultural land. Ida Audeh interviews affected farmers for The Electronic Intifada. 

Israeli settlement produce may be enjoying EU privileges
6 Apr 2009 - BRUSSELS (IPS) - European Union officials are seeking evidence to support claims that fruit and vegetables from Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territories are being exported under false pretense. In a note circulated to its fellow EU governments in late 2008, Britain expressed concern that goods from Israeli settlements in the West Bank may be entering the Union without paying the legally required duties. 

Creative resistance in fair trade conferencing
6 Apr 2009 - The Palestinian people's unique determination and resistance to Israel's military occupation was most recently exhibited during the very successful and well-attended second national fair trade conference in Palestine, which coincided with the inauguration of the Palestinian Fair Trade Network. Gen Sander comments for The Electronic Intifada. 

In Gaza
warmth and support
4 Apr 2009 - * newly-bought mattresses, blankets and pillows to replace those destroyed by Israel’s attacks on Gaza. I met Ramadan and Sabrine Shamali at a Sheyjayee market a couple of days ago. They were going to buy new blankets, mattresses, and other essentials, including clothing, to replace what was lost when their house was attacked by the invading Israeli army during Israel’s war on Gaza.  They were using money sent from those outside of Gaza in solidarity with Palestinians. Ramadan knew the best place for blankets, a small store in the district, with blankets mostly brought in through sporadically-opened borders or, more likely, the tunnels. I was told that immediately after the...

Palestine Chronicle
Israel on Trial
4 Apr 2009 - By George Bisharat – San Francisco Chilling testimony by Israeli soldiers substantiates charges that Israel's Gaza Strip assault entailed grave violations of international law. The emergence of a predominantly right-wing, nationalist government in Israel suggests that there may be more violations to come. Hamas’s indiscriminate rocket attacks on Israeli civilians also constituted war crimes, but do not excuse Israel’s transgressions. While Israel disputes some of the soldiers’ accounts, the evidence suggests that Israel committed the following six offenses: • Violating its duty to protect the civilian population of the Gaza Strip. Despite Israel’s 2005 “disengagement” from Gaza, the territory remains occupied. Israel unleashed military firepower against a people it is legally bound to protect. • Imposing collective punishment in the form of a blockade, in violation of Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. In June 2007, after Hamas took power in the Gaza Strip, Israel imposed suffocating restrictions on trade and movement. The blockade — an act of war in customary international law — has helped plunge families into poverty, children into malnutrition, and patients denied access to medical treatment into their graves. People in Gaza thus faced Israel’s winter onslaught in particularly weakened conditions. • Deliberately attacking civilian targets. The laws of war permit attacking a civilian object only when it is making an effective contribution to military action and a definite military advantage is gained by its destruction. Yet an Israeli general, Dan Harel, said, “We are hitting not only terrorists and launchers, but also the whole...

Student Foils Israeli Bid to Wreck Family's Hopes
4 Apr 2009 - By Stuart Littlewood – London Bethlehem University has been closed a dozen times by Israeli storm-troopers and shelled by their tanks, but it remains one of those magical places in the Holy Land where you always feels good 'vibes'. Meeting the students is a continual source of inspiration, as so many apply themselves to their studies with cheerful determination in spite of difficult family circumstances and almost insurmountable obstacles put in their way by the occupation. So I enjoy the newsletters the Brothers regularly send me. Their latest includes the heart-rending story of a young girl, Merna, an honors student in her final year majoring in English. For most people studying for a degree is tough enough, but this youngster also has to battle against armed intruders who invade her home and have systematically destroyed her family life. Merna is described by the Brothers as "a joyful and engaging person, full of life and love". The tragedy is that Israeli soldiers frequently rampage through her refugee camp in the middle of the night and have taken away her loved ones, one by one. From childhood Merna remembers the constant night raids and soldiers randomly searching Palestinian homes, ransacking their contents and arbitrarily arresting residents. She remembers, too, her home being bombarded with missiles fired from Gilo, an illegal Israeli settlement outside Bethlehem. Merna's family, like thousands of others, became refugees when their village was attacked by Jewish terrorist forces in 1948. The villagers were forced to flee to a camp...

It's a Lieberman Government
4 Apr 2009 - By Uri Avnery – Israel On the first day of the new Israeli government, the fog cleared: it's a Lieberman government. The day started with a celebration at the President’s office. All the members of this bloated government – 30 ministers and 8 deputy ministers – were dressed up in their best finery and posed for a group photo. Binyamin Netanyahu read an uninspired speech, which included the worn-out clichés that are necessary to set the world at ease: the government is committed to peace, it will negotiate with the Palestinian Authority, bla-bla-bla. Avigdor Lieberman hurried from there to the foreign Office, for the ceremonial change of ministers. He, too, made a speech – but it was not a routine speech at all. “Si vis pacem, para bellum – if you want peace, prepare for war,” declared the new Foreign Minister. When a diplomat quotes this ancient Roman saying, the world pays no attention to the first part, but only to the second. Coming from the mouth of the already infamous Lieberman, it was a clear threat: the new government is entering upon a path of war, not of peace. With this sentence, Lieberman negated Netanyahu’s speech and made headlines around the world. He confirmed the worst apprehensions connected with the creation of this government. Not content with quoting the Romans, he explained specifically why he used this motto. Concessions, he said, do not bring peace, but quite the reverse. The world respected and admired Israel when it won the...

Arab 'Reconciliation' Summit a Bust
3 Apr 2009 - By Rannie Amiri The 21st Arab League summit held this week in Doha, Qatar ended up being little more than a summit of egos. Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir – just indicted for war crimes in Darfur by the International Criminal Court (ICC) – arrived to a red-carpet and hero’s welcome; Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak boycotted the entire gathering; Libyan President Muammar Qaddafi walked out during the opening session; King Abdullah II of Jordan left early, apparently for not having been greeted by the Emir of Qatar but by another member of the royal family; and Hamas was not even invited. Having accomplished little, the summit adjourned one day early. Overshadowing the gathering of Arab leaders and the League’s stated agenda of ‘reconciliation’ between the decidedly pro-American, anti-Iranian camp of nations (represented by Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia) and those more willing to recognize Iran as an important regional power (namely Syria and Qatar), was the presence of al-Bashir. In embracing al-Bashir and “rejecting” his indictment, the Arab League thumbed their noses at the West and the ICC, who called for his arrest but ignored the war crimes committed by Israel in Gaza. It may have been an understandable move by the League (which no doubt involved a bit of collective self-preservation), but certainly was not good public relations. Next, attention was focused on the volatile and unpredictable Libyan leader. In the morning session, he railed against Saudi King Abdullah who he said was “made by Britain and protected by the...