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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
11 April, 2009
News

Army kidnaps two international peace activists in Hebron
12 Apr 2009 - Israeli soldiers kidnapped on Saturday afternoon twenty international peace activists in the southern West Bank City of Hebron, and released them later on keeping two in custody. 

Army detonates an “explosives factory” in Qalqilia
12 Apr 2009 - Israeli media sources reported that Israeli army explosives experts detonated on Friday a building in Qalqilia, in the northern part of the West Bank, after claiming that the building was used as a factory for manufacturing explosives. 

Palestinian prisoner dies in Israeli detention center
12 Apr 2009 - The Israeli Radio reported that a Palestinian prisoner died in an Israeli detention facility on Saturday afternoon. 

Five injured as an underground tunnel caught fire in Gaza
11 Apr 2009 - Five Palestinian were reported injured as an underground tunnel in the southern Gaza strip city of Rafah caught fire on Saturday. 

Israeli settlers attack a Palestine Ambulance in Hebron old city
11 Apr 2009 - A group of Israeli settlers attacked on Saturday afternoon a Palestine Ambulance in Hebron old city in the southern part of the West Bank. 

Navy opens fire at Palestinian fishing boats
11 Apr 2009 - Once again, the Israeli Navy opened fire on Friday at Palestinian fishing boats near the Gaza shore and Rafah. 

US president signs waiver for PLO office in Washington
11 Apr 2009 - US president, Barack Obama, on Thursday signed a waiver allowing the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) to keep its office in Washington D.C for an additional six months. 

Israel says Obama did not favor Annapolis in speech in Turkey
11 Apr 2009 - Daniel Ayalon, Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister, of the extremist Yisrael Beiteinu party, stated that in his speech in Turkey earlier this week, US president, Barack Obama, did not say anything which indicated his support for the Annapolis agreement of 2007. 

Report: “437 children killed, 1872 injured in Israel’s offensive”
11 Apr 2009 -  The Ministry of Social Affairs in the Gaza Strip reported that the Israeli offensive against the Gaza Strip left 1346 children orphaned, 437 dead and 1872 wounded. 

Galloway: “Oslo deals are dead, will not lead us anywhere”
11 Apr 2009 - British Legislator, George Galloway, stated on Friday that the Oslo agreements between the Palestinians and the Israelis are dead and will not lead the area to any peace. 

Twenty-two patients make it back to Gaza
11 Apr 2009 - Adel Zo’rob, spokesperson of the Border Crossings Department, in Gaza on Friday said that 22 Palestinian patients made it back into Gaza after receiving medical treatment in Egypt. 

Hamas insists on its demands for prisoner-swap deal
11 Apr 2009 - Osama Al Mazeeny, a senior leader of the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, stated that his movement insists that its demands on a prisoner-swap deal be met but welcomes any mediation which could lead to a deal based on the just demands of the resistance. 

Ha'aretz Defense page

Egypt: We thwarted $2 million transfer to Hamas
11 Apr 2009 - Also Saturday, Egyptian police killed a man driving a truck laden with munitions en route to Gaza. 

Delta flight gets IAF fighter jet escort after false hijack alarm
11 Apr 2009 - Plane lands at Ben-Gurion Airport after being delayed in air; Transportation Ministry to investigate incident. 

Report: Russia to buy Israeli-made surveillance drones
10 Apr 2009 - Deal is the first time Moscow has publicly announced the purchase of arms from Israel. 

Report: Egypt arrests 15 for building rockets
10 Apr 2009 - Security sources says parts of dozens of rockets meant to be smuggled to Hamas in Gaza uncovered. 

'Iran behind Hezbollah bid to strike Egypt targets'
8 Apr 2009 - Egyptian paper: Nasrallah relayed code for attacks in speech; Egypt holds 49 suspected Hezbollah men. 

'Iron Dome rocket defense system will be operational by 2010'
9 Apr 2009 - Rafael plans to begin industrial production of system once first battery proves it has met requirements. 

Shalit friends hold protest seder outside Netanyahu home
8 Apr 2009 - None of 120 Knesset MKs invited came to Seder; IDF Chief: Israel doing all it can to return Shalit. 

Palestinian lightly wounded after trying to snatch IDF soldier's gun
8 Apr 2009 - 16 Palestinians, one settler wounded in clashes near settlement where terrorist killed Israeli teen Thurs. 

Ma'an News

Militant groups say they detonated landmine near Israeli troops 
4/11/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – The militant wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), the Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, and of Fatah’s Al-Aqsa Brigades, claimed to have carried out an attack Saturday morning. According to a statement they detonated a landmine as an Israeli infantry unit passed by in Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip. The two militant groups claimed the explosion occured near the Abu Samra Gate, and caused casualties among the Israeli troops. The statement said that the operation came in retaliation for ongoing Israeli assaults in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, asserting that resistance will continue. [end] 

Anti-siege committee in Gaza applauds aid attempts 
4/11/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – The official anti-siege committee in Gaza applauded all sea and ground convoys of support to the Gaza Strip aimed at ending the crippling siege imposed on the coastal region. Two solidarity convoys will arrive in besieged Gaza Strip via Egypt in the coming three weeks, a Palestinian official in Gaza reported on Saturday. According to Adel Zu’rub, the spokesperson of the official anti-siege committee in Gaza, the first convoy led by Scottish lawmaker Pauline McNeill will arrive next Tuesday via the Rafah border crossing. The convoy is carrying medical supplies. A second 100-vehicle convoy will set out from Milan, Italy, travelling to Alexandria, Egypt, by boat and then continue to Gaza, aiming to arrive on 3 May. The Italian effort is also carrying medical supplies. Zu’rub also thanked British MP George Galloway and US peace activist Ron Kovic for their intention to send a new aid convoy to the Gaza Strip. 

Israel to deport female West Bank prisoner to Gaza Strip 
4/11/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – Israeli forces have refused to let Palestinian female prisoner Shirin Ash-Sheikh return to her family home in Ramallah after she completed her prison term in an Israeli facility;instead officials insisted on deporting her to the Gaza Strip. According to Abd An-Nasser Farawnah, a researcher in detainees’ affairs, Ash-Sheikh was born in Gaza in 1985 and moved with her family to Ramallah in 1998. She was apprehended in 2003 and was sentenced to six years in jail, which she will complete on Sunday, 12 April. Farwana telephoned Shirin’s sister in Ramallah, who told him that Israeli authorities insisted on sending Shirin to Gaza instead of joining her family in Ramallah. Farwana asserted that Israel has deliberately been deporting some detainees to the Gaza Strip and to Jordan under different pretexts, such as not having a West Bank ID card or family reunification rules. 

Obama signs PLO office waiver 
4/11/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - US President Barack Obama signed a waiver on Thursday that allows the Palestine Liberation Organization to retain its office in the American capital city of Washington, DC. According to a law passed in 1987, the PLO is barred from operating such an office, but the law contains a rule that allows presidents to waive the requirements for six months at a time. Former US President Bill Clinton allowed the PLO mission to open in 1994, and presidential waivers have been issued regularly since then. "I hereby determine and certify that it is important to the national security interests of the United States to waive" the restriction, Obama wrote on Thursday in a notice to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. 

Amnesty Int'l urges Obama to halt further exports to Israel 
4/11/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The United States sent a massive new shipment of arms to Israel despite evidence that US weapons were misused against civilians in the Gaza attacks, Amnesty International revealed on 1 April. The human rights organization said about 14,000 tons worth of arms and munitions sent to Israel on the Wher Elbe, a German cargo ship chartered and controlled by the US Military Sealift Command, docked and unloaded its cargo on 22 March at the Israeli port of Ashdod, about 25 miles north of Gaza. Amnesty called on US President Obama to suspend future arms shipments to Israel until there is no longer substantial risk of human rights violations. The Pentagon confirmed the successful unloading of the ship, which left the United States for Israel on 20 December, a week before the start of Israel's attacks on Gaza.

Palestinian journalists to Abbas: Release detained colleagues 
4/11/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – A Palestinian journalists’ forum appealed to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday to give orders to release journalists detained by thePalestinian Authority’s security services in the West Bank. The forum noted in a statement that “While Palestinian national dialogue sessions continuemaking progress in Cairo,” in hopes of reaching conciliation, there are “journalists detained in the West Bank [who] must be released. ”. Those journalists detained in the West Bank were named as:Ahmad Bikawi, reporter for Al-Quds satellite TV,Farid Hammad from Al-Ayyam newspaper,Iyad Srour, director of Jaffa journalist office, andBassam As-SayihThe forum also stressed that several other writers and journalists are being summoned by security services for questioning and being harassed on a regular basis. 

Egyptian security: Weapons smuggling attempt thwarted; officers kill one smuggler, arrest three 
4/11/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma’an/Agencies - Egyptian security forces reported the death of one man attempting to smuggle weapons into the Gaza Strip Saturday, as well as the arrest of three others involved in the operation. Israeli sources reported an exchange of fire in the northern Sinai between Bedouins and Egyptian police. On Friday Egypt arrested fifteen in connection to what they said was weapons being prepared for transport to Gaza, press sources reported. Sources said 60 rockets were confiscated from a metal workshop in the Sinai. [end] 

Arab leaders meet to discuss stance on Israeli government, peace initiative 
4/11/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – A dozen Arab leaders and politicians met in Amman Saturday to discuss a unified stance on the Arab Peace Initiative and the Middle East peace process in light of Israel’s new government. Seven Foreign Ministers from Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Qatar, Syria, and Lebanon as well as Secretary General of the Arab League Amr Mousa were among the attendees. “We will discuss how to deal with the new Israeli government, and whether Arab foreign ministers will adopt the Palestinian Authority’s stance and preconditions for dealing it,” said Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki. “We will also discuss how to deal with the Arab Peace Initiative, how to address the new US administration, how to address the European Union, and what message to send to the international Quartet,” he explained. Jordanian foreign minister Nasser Judah said the main goal of the. . . 

Police seize Qalqiliya man accused of forging ATM cards 
4/11/2009 - Ramallah – Ma’an – Palestinian police in the West Bank city of Ramallah seized a village resident over suspicions he was forging ATM cards, it was announced on Saturday. The man, a resident of Qalqiliya, was allegedly forging ATM cards of clients at a bank where he worked, police said. Ramallah police said that the bank, which the department did not name, had filed a complaint to the intelligence department over suspicions one of its employees was forging ATM cards and removing sums of money from client accounts. The department summoned the suspect, who worked at a teller in the bank, who admitted that in November he filled in two applications for cards with the details of two clients, forging their signatures. Ten days after issuing the first card he allegedly took 500 Jordanian dinars from the client's account, and periodically removed other sums of money from both clients' accounts, police said. 

Israel to open one Gaza crossing, close another 
4/11/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – Israel will open the Kerem Shalom crossing into the Gaza Strip on Sunday, but not Karni, said Crossings Authority spokesperson Raed Fattuh on Saturday. He added that “the Israeli side will allow around 130 trucks loded with aid and goods into Gaza through the Karem Shalom crossing, keeping [Karni] closed. ”The Israeli military had previously shut down crossings due to Jewish holidays. [end] 

50-year-old Palestinian prisoner dies in Israeli prison 
4/11/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - A 50-year-old Palestinian prisoner collapsed and died at the Israeli Sharon Prison on Saturday, according to Israeli news reports. Ahmad Ismail Samara, of Ramallah, had been sentenced to a 21. 5-year sentence in jail for a variety of offenses, including illegal residency in Israel, indecent acts, robbery and assault. He had been in prison since 1989. The Israeli Prison Service has reportedly launched an investigation into the man's death. [end] 

Hamas: We never received the Egyptian joint committee proposal 
4/11/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – Hamas members denied reports Egypt sent them a proposal outlining the creation of a joint committee to break the deadlock of Hamas-Fatah negotiations. Senior Hamas official Ismail Radawan told Ma’an Saturday that “at Cairo many proposals were presented to get points of view closer,” and Hamas is “ready to study any proposal that might contribute to bridging the gap and reaching to a comprehensive conciliation. ”The rumored Egyptian joint committee proposal, however, would “deepen the internal division and give legitimacy to the illegitimate Fayyad government. ”Reports said an Egyptian proposal was circulated under which a Fatah- Hamas committee under the control of the Palestinian Authority would take over the reconstruction efforts in Gaza while Hamas would provide logistic support. Radwan expressed hope that “the two movements [Fatah and Hamas] will. . . 

Israeli settlers attack Palestinian Red Crescent ambulance in Hebron's Old City 
4/11/2009 - Hebron- Ma’an - A group of Israeli settlers attacked a Palestinian Red Crescent ambulance in the old city of Hebron Saturday afternoon, causing damage to the vehicle. The ambulance was moving a patient from the Hebron governmental hospital to her home in Ash-Shuhada Street when the attack occurred, Head of Ambulance and Emergency Services for the Red Crescent Abed Al-Haleem Al-Ja’afra said. The Israeli army was aware that the ambulance would be crossing the normally closed area, and had okayed the move. As the ambulance arrived to the Al- Qarantina area, the soldiers opened the checkpoint allowing the vehicle into the area where it was attacked by settlers who pelted stones on the vehicle. “The vehicle was ambushed, and the soldiers turned a blind eye to the incident, making no move to stop the settlers from throwing stones,” Al-Ja’afra said. 

CPT: Masked settlers attack three Palestinian women in south Hebron hills 
4/11/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma’an - The Christian Peacemaker Teams in Hebron reported that three women were attacked by masked Israeli settlers Friday near their Bedouin village of Umm Al Kher, south of Yatta. According to the report, the women were tending their sheep, grazing in a nearby valley, when masked men attacked them with wooden sticks. When the women began to flee, the men threw rocks at them until they were out of reach. CPT said one woman was hospitalized following the incident. Members of CPT maintain a constant presence in Hebron and the neighboring village of At-Tuwani where they observe and provide international protection to Palestinians. [end] 

Gazan children to be screened for long-term effects of white phosphorus smoke 
4/11/2009 - Gaza - Ma’an - The Union of Health Care Committees (UHCC) in Gaza and in cooperation with the Campaign for the Children of Palestine (CCP) will begin a program offering medical check-ups and screening for 1,000 children in the Strip. The children, 300 from the Afaluna Society for Deaf Children and 700 associated with the Culture and Free Thought Association in Gaza will be screened with particular attention to the long-term effects of the use of white phosphorus weapons by Israel during its war against the Gaza Strip. Children requiring follow-up treatment and medications will be seen by both Japanese and Jordanian doctors, who are supporting the initiative. The Japanese government are financially supporting the program, as well as sending experienced doctors into the region to assist in the medical treatment. 

Open letter from South African scholar to be written over 2km of Israeli seperation wall 
4/11/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma’an - Sendamessage. nl will spray a nearly 2,000 word “Open letter to Israel” on an expected 2,625 meters of concrete separation wall near Ramallah in the coming weeks, organizers say. The letter, from South African scholar and human rights activist Farid Esack, will be spray-painted by local members of the Send a Message campaign, and the cost of equipment, paint and documentation, estimated at 12,000 euros, will be covered by donations of 20 euros by hundreds of supporters of the campaign. Organizers said any surplus in donations would go to small social projects in Palestine. According to Send a Message founder Justus van Oel, Esack’s letter testifies “that the situation for Palestinians is far worse than what was experienced in South Africa under apartheid. ”A documentary on the project will be filmed by Federico Campanale and Iona Hoogendoorn on the writing and painting of the letter. 

Abu Mujahid: Resistance cannot be blackmailed by Israeli siege 
4/11/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an - “The Palestinian resistance cannot be blackmailed by imposing a new economic siege against the Palestinians as a pressure for the release of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit” said Abu Mujahid, spokesperson of the Popular Resistance Committees in Gaza on Saturday. The comments came in response to comments by Israeli Knesset Member Yisrael Katz,who said earlier this week that “ food supplies should not be allowed into Gaza until Shalit is released. ”“Shalit should be released through a swap deal that sees Israel release 1,400 Palestinian prisoners including the 450 specified by Hamas who are the core of the deal,” Abu Mujahid told Ma’an. He assured that there had been no progress on the prisoner swap deal with the new Israeli government, noting that the “Israeli rhetoric on this issue over this issue is not true. ”

Red Crescent, World Volunteers for Peace condemn settler attack on ambulance 
4/11/2009 - Ramallah – Ma’an – The Palestinian Red Crescent society denounced Saturday’s settler attack that targeted medical staff, a frail patient and an emergency vehicle in the Old City of Hebron. The society said one ambulance worker was bruised by the rock-throwing settlers and that damage was caused to the vehicle. Mu’tasem A’wad, an international and human rights lawyer for the Red Crescent said there was evidence of “a clear Israeli policy of targeting medical staff,” in the incident, and added that it corresponded with attacks of medical personnel at the weekly anti wall protestsgein Bil’in and Ni’lin. He noted that several elements of the Geneva Convention require the safe passage of medical workers in occupied areas and urged Israel to allow international and Palestinian Red Cross and Red Crescent workers to operate unharmed. 

Nablus teachers strike after colleague arrested for beating pupil 
4/11/2009 - Nablus - Ma’an - Following the arrest of a Nablus teacher for beating one of his pupils, teachers at the Al-Kendi school have announced a strike starting Sunday as an act of protest. On Monday following the fifth class period all Nablus schools will observe a comprehensive strike in an expression of collective disapproval of the arrest, announced General Secretary of the Teachers Union Bassam Na’eem on Saturday. Palestinian police under the Palestinian Authority reportedly arrested one of the teachers of the Al-Kendi school on charges that he beat one of his pupils on Thursday. “The teacher shouldn’t have been arrested and put in the same place with the criminals,” Na’eem said. He also noted that another teacher had been summoned for questioning on similar charges. “The union demands the immediate release of the teacher without conditions,” he said. 

Israeli army assaults three from Al-Khader, near Bethlehem, arrests one 
4/11/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – Israeli soldiers assaulted three Palestinians and arrested one in Al-Khader south of Bethlehem on Saturday. Israeli forces had invaded the old town of the Al-Khader and beat 38-year-old Jamil Mahmoud Sa’eed, his brother 49-year-old Khalid, and Murad Sa’ada before arresting Kahled Sa’id and taking him to unknown location. [end] 

Hamas: Egypt suggested temporary Palestinian committee to take control 
4/12/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – Egyptian mediators have suggested a temporary Palestinian committee in order to end a two-year-long political crisis, said Hamas leader Salah Bardaweel on Sunday. He explained in a statement sent to media that after Hamas and Fatah realized during their last meeting in Cairo on 2 April that it would be difficult to reach consensus on the political platform of a transitional government, Egyptian intelligence director Umar Sulaiman suggested formation of a temporary Hamas-Fatah committee instead of a government. Meanwhile, Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas will form a new transitional government to create the conditions for the suggested committee to be formed. The committee is supposed to operate in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip only, and will be in charge of implementing what is being agreed on in Cairo, especially regarding the reconstruction of Gaza. 

Israel re-opens two Gaza crossings after four-day closure 
4/12/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – Israel opened two key crossing points with the Gaza Strip on Sunday that have been closed since Wednesday for the Jewish holiday of Passover. According to Palestinian border official Raed Fattouh, the Nahal Oz fuel terminal and the Kerem Shalom shipping terminal were open on Sunday. The Karni crossing was remained closed. Fattouh said 131 trucks entered Gaza through Kerem Shalom. Three of these trucks were loaded with humanitarian aid for the UN refugee relief agency UNRWA and other international organizations. Some 116 truckloads for the commercial-private sector were also allowed in loaded with shampoo, washing powder, cleaning liquids, soap,flour, sugar, pasta, toilet paper and cooking oil, Fattouh said. Another 12 truckloads of fruit went to the agricultural private sector. Cooking gas and diesel fuel for the Gaza power plant were allowed through the Nahal Oz crossing. 

Haniyeh aide urges Arab ministers to take stand against Israel 
4/12/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – The Hamas-led de facto Palestinian government in Gaza urged Arab foreign ministers on Sunday to declare Western-backed peace negotiations with Israel a failure and back “resistance” to Israeli occupation. Yousif Rizqa, a political advisor to de facto Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said a “clear Arab stance is needed to counter the extremist Israeli government, not an incidental meeting, because meetings express powerlessness and hesitation. ”The foreign ministers of most Arab states met in the Jordanian capital, Amman, on Saturday to discuss the future of the Saudi-proposed Arab Peace Initiative, which offers Israel full diplomatic relations with Arab states in exchange for a withdrawal from all territory it occupied in 1967. Rizqa called on the ministers to declare to that resistance to occupation is legal under international law. 

Israel reverses decision to banish woman prisoner to Gaza 
4/12/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – Israeli authorities agreed on Sunday to allow a Palestinian woman to return home to the West Bank after she was released from prison and deported to the Gaza Strip. Shirin Ash-Sheikh was released from an Israeli prison and sent to Gaza earlier on Sunday. The decision to banish her to Gaza was announced on Saturday. Qaddura Faris, head of the Palestinian Prisoner Society, said Palestinian Minister of Civil affairs Hussein Ash-Sheikh managed to obtain a permit from Israel to allow Ash-Sheikh to travel to the West Bank on Monday. Ash-Sheikh was born in Gaza in 1985 and moved with her family to Ramallah in 1998. She was apprehended in 2003 and was sentenced to six years in jail. 

DFLP leader in Gaza dies at 42 
4/12/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) announced on Sunday the death of one of its leaders in the Gaza Strip, 42-year-old Jabir Al-Qreinawi who passed away after a heart attack. “The DFLP has lost a prominent leader and struggler who spent his lifetime sacrificing for Palestinian people’s rights of freedom, return of refugees, and independence,” a DFLP statement said. Al-Qreinawi was born in Al-Bureij refugee camp in the Gaza Stripon 19 April 1967 to a family originally from Beir As-Sab (Be’er Sheva). He held a master’s degree in business administration from Birzeit University. He was a lecturer in the Al-Quds Open University in the central Gaza Strip, and an official in the Ministry of Youth and Sports. He joined the DFLP in 1984. In 1989, he was jailed by Israel for political activity for two and a half years. 

Palestine Telegraph

Military Court in Gaza Sentences 4 Palestinians to death
11 Apr 2009 - 12.00 Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE AR-SA MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable { line-height:115%; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; } Palestine, April 12th, 2009 (Pal...

Wherever you are remember Palestine!
11 Apr 2009 - Palestine, April 12th, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) - NGOs and communities across world, and people from Latin America to Pacific restarted to pay attention to history of Palestine and pain of the people who lives with fright of being attacked and killed anytime...

Sumud: Voluntary service and resistance
11 Apr 2009 - Lebanon, April 11th, 2009 - (Pal Telegraph) - An economic disaster is hitting the wealthy West, which is bound to change our way of life. It was about time! Indeed, we were sick and tired of this opulence. It is not religion...

Muzaini: Hamas will not ease conditions for swapping Shalit
10 Apr 2009 - Gaza, April 10 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - The prominent political leader in Hamas Movement, Osama Al-Muzaini, has underlined Friday that his Movement won't ease the conditions it tabled in exchange to for releasing captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, stressing that the soldier...

Commemorating Deir Yassin, Palestine 61 Years Later
10 Apr 2009 - My father, Fakhri Quasim Hamideh was a survivor of the Massacre at Deir Yassin on April 9th 1948. Like most Palestinian refugees, his greatest wish since his forced expulsion in 1948 was to one day be able to return to his village...

Aljazeera

Israel 'must back two-state future'
11 Apr 2009 - Palestinian official calls for pressure on Israel to abide by peace agreements.

Iran claims nuclear advances
11 Apr 2009 - Energy needs will be met through domestically produced nuclear power, president says. 

Hezbollah denies Egypt accusations
10 Apr 2009 - Nasrallah says arrests in Egypt are aimed at turning people against the movement.

Iran charges US 'spy' journalist
8 Apr 2009 - Washington "concerned" as Tehran puts US citizen on trial for espionage.

Settlers attack West Bank village
8 Apr 2009 - At least eight people hurt as Bat Ayin settlers rampage through Arab village.

IRIN

OPT: Hamas-Fatah rift leaves Gaza patients stranded 
GAZA CITY Thursday, April 09, 2009 (IRIN) - The rift between the two main Palestinian movements - Fatah which controls the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank and Hamas which controls Gaza - has impeded the availability of health care in Gaza, say officials. 

ISRAEL-OPT: Over 150,000 Gazans still without tap water 
GAZA CITY Tuesday, April 07, 2009 (IRIN) - Over 150,000 Palestinians in Gaza (around 10 percent of the population) are struggling without tap water as a result of the damage caused to wells, pipes and waste water facilities during the recent 23-day Israeli offensive which ended on 18 January. 

Inter Press Service

U.S.: Early Friction with New Israeli Govt 
WASHINGTON, Apr 11 (IPS) - If the past week was any indication, the U.S.-Israeli relationship, which could scarcely have been smoother during the eight-year presidency of George W. Bush, appears headed for choppy waters.

IRAQ: Virtual Therapy Treats Real Agony 
BERLIN, Apr 10 (IPS) - "Oh, dear Lord, what I am going through," 'N', a 25-year-old Iraqi from Baghdad wrote several months ago. "Am I going to see my family again? Sometimes, I even see my own dead body, lying somewhere. And I imagine the pain my death would cause...

ISRAEL-PALESTINE: One-State Supporters Make a Comeback 
WASHINGTON, Apr 10 (IPS) - President Barack Obama has spoken out forcefully - including this week, in Ankara, Turkey - in favour of building an independent Palestinian state alongside a still robust Israel. However, many Palestinians have noted that President George W. Bush also, in recent years, expressed a commitment...

MIDEAST: Gaza Needs More Aid 
RAMALLAH, Apr 10 (IPS) - John Ging, head of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in Gaza, has urged Israel to ease aid flow restrictions that are having a devastating effect on the 1.5 million inhabitants.

Stop The Wall

Two shot and hospitalized on Friday
11 Apr 2009 - Two young men were hospitalized after being shot at the weekly demonstration against the Wall in Ni’lin. People were also wounded at protests in Bi’lin, when soldiers fired on a crowd with a considerable number of children, and Ma’sara. In Jayyus soldiers clashed with youth and occupied the village until after midnight. [

‘Azzun fence destroys trees, isolates land
11 Apr 2009 - Occupation forces began constructing a fence on the northern side of ‘Azzun, east of Qalqilya. Soldiers sealed the area, where they began destroying trees for the path of the fence. The projected route cuts across agricultural roads and will block beleaguered farmers from utilizing their land. [

PCHR Latest

PCHR Condemns Attack by Israeli Settlers and Soldiers on Kherbat Safa and Warns of Potential Increase in Attacks under New Israeli Government
PCHR

Military Court in Gaza Sentences 4 Palestinians to death
PCHR

PCHR Weekly Report

(02 -08 April  2008)
11 Apr 2009 - During the reporting period, IOF killed two activists of the Palestinian resistance in the Gaza Strip and one civilian in the West Bank. They also wounded 16 Palestinian civilians, including two children and two journalists,

International Solidarity Movement

Urgent action for Palestinian school children from Tuba and Maghaer-al-Abeed
ISM - 4/11/2009 - 11 April 2009 - Of utmost concern for CPT and Operation Dove is the safe travel of Palestinian school children who walk from the nearby villages of Tuba and Magaher-al-Abeedto At-Tuwani's elementary school. These school children face a treacherous daily walk past the illegal Israeli settlement of Ma'on and the illegal outpost of Havat Ma'on. For years, armed adult settlers have attacked, threatened and harassed the children along the path from Tuba to Tuwani. In 2004 the Knesset recommended that the Israeli military provide the children with an armed escort. However, since settlers constructed a gate across the road one year ago, the escort soldiers have refused to walk with the children far enough to ensure their safety. In the past two weeks internationals working with Operation Dove and Christian Peacemaker Teams have twice witnessed settlers grazing sheep directly in the path of the children at the time they walk home from school. 

Israeli forces demolish family home of Hussam Dwayat and kill 20 year old Palestinian
ISM - 4/8/2009 - 8 April 2009 - The Israeli army shot dead a young Palestinian in the Sur Bahir village centre in East Jerusalem, while the house of the family of Hussam Dwayat was being demolished in a nearby neighbourhood. The demolition has been carried out as a form of collective punishment to the family of Hussam Dwayat, who killed 3 people in an alleged buldozer attack on Jerusalem's Jaffa Road in July 2008. Although Hussam has been shot dead at the scene of the accident, the occupation forces proceeded onto demolishing the house of his family, despite of the 2005 military commission ruling out this controversial policy as ineffective in deterring future attacks. According to the residents, the army arrived at 6am and proceeded onto forcing 20 family members out of the house. There was a heavy police and army presence, including tear-gas armed riot police, in the adjacent area and several access roads have been blocked. 

Palestinian kidnapped by Israeli forces in Tell, Nablus
ISM - 4/11/2009 - 9 April 2009 - Yassir Shteieh, 29, was kidnapped from his home in Tell, Nablus region by the Israeli army in the middle of the night. Property in his home was destroyed by soldiers and no explanation for his arrest was given. After 3 years in Israeli jail, Yassir Abdullah Teef Hussein Shteieh was recently married and had spent 14 months out of jail. At 2 am on the 8th of April, his wife got woken up by someone knocking at the door. As normally when the Israeli occupation forces is raiding a house they used the company of a downstairs neighbor to enter the apartment, and so also this night. The flat was raided for two hours and the soldiers, constantly shouting, said they were searching for weapons. Some property was destroyed, such as the family photo album and the Koran where pages were torn out. The couples' cellphones were also confiscated. 

Palestinian prisoners families protest at Red Cross
ISM - 4/11/2009 - 8 April 2009 - Every Monday for years the families of the Palestinian prisoners are protesting at the offices of the Red Cross in Gaza City. These families  have not been allowed to visit their relatives imprisoned in Israeli jails for almost 2 years. According to human rights organizations (including Israeli organizations), Palestinian prisoners are submitted to torture and ill-treatment, permitted by the Israeli High Court of Justice. Israeli Prison Service admits that there are about 8,000 Palestinians in Israeli jails, but according to Palestinian Authorities the number exceeds 11,600. Updated on April 11, 2009 [end] 

Protest ROM decision to display stolen antiquities
ISM - 4/11/2009 - 11 April 2009 - The Dead Sea scrolls, confiscated from East Jerusalem during Israel's 1967 military invasion and occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, are coming to Toronto. The move is part of Israel consul general Amir Gissin's official "Brand Israel" campaign that attempts to ‘rebrand' apartheid Israel beyond its systematic repression of the Palestinian people. Since 1967, hundreds of thousands of precious artifacts have been illegally removed by the Israeli Antiquities Authority (IAA), Israeli soldiers, and illegally operating antiquities dealers from the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. These removals of the joint cultural heritage of the region are in direct contravention of at least four international conventions or protocols on the treatment of illegally obtained cultural goods. Please stand up and let the ROM [Royal Ontario Museum] know that you do not accept the right of museums to display illegally obtained artifacts stolen from occupied territories. 

Four injured and dozens suffered teargas inhalation during International Children's Day demonstration in Bil'in
ISM - 4/11/2009 - 10 April 2009 - Following Friday prayers in Bil'in today, residents held a protest against the wall and settlement building. A group of children from the village were at the front of the protest holding Palestinian flags and banners remarking International Children's Day. Some banners said "It's our right to live safely", "The wall kills our hopes and dreams", "Settlements and the wall leave us with no future". There were also pictures of children with the caption "Wanted by the Israeli occupation for resisting the wall". The protest began in the center of the village and was joined by international and Israeli activists. The demonstration headed towards the Apartheid Wall, which is built on Bil'in's land. An Israeli army unit had been stationed behind the wall since early morning and prevented the crowd from going through the gate. 

Amnesty International urges Obama to halt further exports to Israel
ISM - 4/11/2009 - 11 April 2009 - The United States sent a massive new shipment of arms to Israel despite evidence that US weapons were misused against civilians in the Gaza attacks, Amnesty International revealed on 1 April. The human rights organization said about 14,000 tons worth of arms and munitions sent to Israel on the Wher Elbe, a German cargo ship chartered and controlled by the US Military Sealift Command, docked and unloaded its cargo on 22 March at the Israeli port of Ashdod, about 25 miles north of Gaza. Amnesty called on US President Obama to suspend future arms shipments to Israel until there is no longer substantial risk of human rights violations. The Pentagon confirmed the successful unloading of the ship, which left the United States for Israel on 20 December, a week before the start of Israel's attacks on Gaza.

Israeli forces arrest a German national and an Italian national in At-Tuwani
ISM - 4/12/2009 - 11 April 2009 - A German national and an Italian national were taken by Israeli forces while accompanying farmers at 11am. Both individuals have been taken to the police station at Kyrat Arba. Palestinian farmers in At-Tuwani rely on the presence of International and Israeli human rights workers to mitigate violence from settlers. As soldiers in the area frequently ignore settler violence and rarely interfere to protect the farmers, international volunteers provide support for the Palestinians. The grazing action began around 8. 30 am, and the German and Italian nationals were arrested at 11am. At-Tuwani is a village of 300 Palestinians located in South Hebron Hills. Residents make their living through farming, primarily wheat, barley, olives and grazing sheep. At-Tuwani is also one of several villages under daily threat from extremist settlers living in the area. 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

Obama to meet Jordanian king ahead of Netanyahu
11 Apr 2009 - King Abdullah of Jordan is to visit the White House at the end of the month to urge U.S. President Barack Obama to move ahead with the Arab peace initiative. Abdullah would be the first Middle East leader to meet with Obama in Washington, ahead of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. ... 

ANALYSIS / Israel is profiting from Egypt-Hezbollah quarrel
11 Apr 2009 - In what was apparently one of Hezbollah Secretary-General Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah's most important speeches since taking office in 1992, on Friday he admitted for the first time in the organization's history that it was operating on Egyptian soil. Nasrallah mentioned the swearing-in of Benjamin Netanyahu's cabinet, but it was clear that, in the context of Friday's speech, the real enemy was the Egyptian regime. ... 

Iranian blogger jailed for criticizing regime dies in prison
11 Apr 2009 - The first line of his first blog from Tehran in September 2006 asks: What is freedom? ...

Egyptian official: Talks on Shalit swap deal resume 
11 Apr 2009 - An Egyptian security official told Haaretz over the weekend that talks on the release of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit were ongoing. "We have invested great effort in the past, we're investing in the present, and we will invest in the future so as to secure a deal," the official said. ... 

Ahmadinejad: Iran now has the ability to produce nuclear fuel
11 Apr 2009 - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Saturday that Iran now controls the entire cycle for producing nuclear fuel with the opening of a new facility to produce uranium pellets. ...

The Guardian

Mohanad Hage Ali: Hezbollah's political evolution
10 Apr 2009 - The democratisation of the party and its engagement in public life should be an example to other militant Islamic groups Hezbollah – the party of God, in Arabic – was notorious throughout the 1980s for being...

Tesco criticised for Israeli goods boycott hotline
9 Apr 2009 - Tesco has come under fire from the pro-Israel lobby after setting up a customer helpline option for people to complain about it stocking Israeli products. A recorded message told callers ringing its general customer services number: "...

Manuel Hassassian on Avigdor Lieberman, Israel, Palestine and the Middle East peace process
9 Apr 2009 - Unless Israel's new leaders change tack, they offer Palestinians no partner for peace Warning against the dangers of totalitarianism in his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell famously summed up its perverse logic in three words: "War...

Seth Freedman: The removal of Israeli ministers from images in ultra-orthodox newspapers is part of a tide of extremism
9 Apr 2009 - The removal of Israeli ministers from images in ultra-orthodox newspapers is part of a tide of extremism that swamps women When John Barnes scored against Brazil in 1984 , a core of racist England fans refused to...

Ha'aretz National page

Court charges Border Policemen with beating, robbing Palestinians
11 Apr 2009 - Three members of the Border Police have been charged in the Be'er Sheva District Court with beating and robbing four Palestinians at gunpoint in 2006. ... 

Israeli man succumbs to wounds sustained in 2002 Hamas suicide bombing
11 Apr 2009 - Shimon Shiran, 57, of Haifa, succumbed on Saturday to the wounds he sustained in a suicide bombing exactly seven years ago. ...

Grandson of Herzl's close friend brings rare photos to Israel
11 Apr 2009 - In June 1904 the disease Binyamin Ze'ev Herzl, the father of Zionism, was suffering from worsened. The 44-year-old was greatly weakened and had trouble walking and breathing. His wife Julie decided to take him to the spa resort of Edlach in lower Austria to recover. Soon the place drew many Zionist followers who crowded around his bed and made it difficult for him to rest. In July, Herzl began to cough blood, and only his wife, mother, a doctor and his friend Johan Jonah Kreminski remained by his side when he died on July 3. ... 

Where is the real Via Dolorosa? 
11 Apr 2009 - In 29 C.E., the first year of Pontius Pilate as Roman procurator in Jerusalem, a young Jewish man from the Galilee, who had come to Jerusalem shortly before, was brought before him. According to the New Testament, the man, Jesus of Nazareth, had aroused the ire of the city's Sanhedrin because of his messianic declarations, and they turned him over to the Roman authorities on charges of subversion. Jesus' trial, which took place around Passover, was short: when he stood before Pilate, the Roman asked him "Are you the king of the Jews?" Jesus responded: "It is as you say." According to the Gospel accounts, after an exchange with the Jews who had gathered outside the place of Jesus' judgment, Pilate ordered Jesus crucified. ... 

The new unemployed: younger and more educated
11 Apr 2009 - The large waiting room at Tel Aviv branch of the Employment Service may have been packed with people early last week, but it was surprisingly quiet and calm. The unemployed, who have come to sign on so they can receive their unemployment benefits - or if they are very, very lucky find a lead for an appropriate job - sit quietly without speaking to one another. They simply sit in their seats quietly waiting for their turn to see a clerk. ... 

Relief Web

Arab foreign ministers discuss Mideast peace process
11 Apr 2009 - Source: Deutsche Presse Agentur

IPU concerned about the plight of legislators in 32 countries
11 Apr 2009 - Source: Inter-Parliamentary Union

OPT: A brighter tomorrow for Gaza's children!
11 Apr 2009 - Source: Mercy-USA for Aid and Development

Egypt offers Palestinian rivals new unity ideas 
10 Apr 2009 - Source: Reuters

New Al Mezan report on the use of Palestinian civilians as human shields by the Israeli occupation forces
10 Apr 2009 - Source: Al Mezan Center for Human Rights

The Palestinian refugee issue: A Palestinian perspective
9 Apr 2009 - Source: Chatham House

OPT: WHO takes lead on health as UN tackles crises
9 Apr 2009 - Source: World Health Organization

OPT: Agricultural Projects in the West Bank and Gaza Strip - APIS report, Jan-Dec 2008
9 Apr 2009 - Source: Food and Agriculture Organization, Palestinian National Authority

YNet News

Egypt: Another terror cell may be operating in Sinai 
12 Apr 2009 - Following arrest of Hizbullah men involved in smuggling arms into Gaza, Egyptians suspect another smugglers' cell operating in tunnel area. Official source says Nasrallah's name to be included in indictment filed with Cairo court due to his direct involvement in affair 

Terror victim dies 7 years after attack
11 Apr 2009 - Shimon Shiran, who was gravely wounded in Haifa bombing, dies after long battle with injuries

Palestinians: Israel must adopt 2-state solution
11 Apr 2009 - Chief Palestinian negotiator says Israel must declare support for Palestinian statehood 

Egypt detains man transporting $2M for Hamas
11 Apr 2009 - Man detained along with driver, eight-year-old son about week ago, security sources said

Russia: We won't press Iran
11 Apr 2009 - Foreign Minister Lavrov says Tehran can play significant role in solving 'number of acute international issues such as situation in Afghanistan, Iraq and different aspects of Mideast peace settlement.'

Egypt police kill Bedouin 'arms smuggler'
11 Apr 2009 - Driver believed to be concealing weapons aboard truck destined for Gaza shot dead by Cairo border patrol after attempting to flee

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

IRIN

OPT: Hamas-Fatah rift leaves Gaza patients stranded 
GAZA CITY Thursday, April 09, 2009 (IRIN) - The rift between the two main Palestinian movements - Fatah which controls the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank and Hamas which controls Gaza - has impeded the availability of health care in Gaza, say officials. 

ISRAEL-OPT: Over 150,000 Gazans still without tap water 
GAZA CITY Tuesday, April 07, 2009 (IRIN) - Over 150,000 Palestinians in Gaza (around 10 percent of the population) are struggling without tap water as a result of the damage caused to wells, pipes and waste water facilities during the recent 23-day Israeli offensive which ended on 18 January. 

Daily Star

US skeptical about Ahmadinejad's nuclear-advances claim 
10 Apr 2009 - Washington on Thursday met with "skepticism" an announcement by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that major advances have been achieved in Iran's nuclear program. "I think we certainly could view it with skepticism," said State Department spokesman Robert Wood, commenting on reports that there are some 7,000 centrifuges installed in Iran to enrich uranium.

Egyptian mediators offer Palestinian rivals new ideas on forming unity government 
10 Apr 2009 - Egyptian mediators trying to break the deadlock in talks on a Palestinian government of national unity have told rival groups Fatah and Hamas to cooperate on reconstructing Gaza as a first step, officials said. Palestinian groups have been talking in Cairo for months but have so far failed to agree on a unity government which would prepare for elections.

Russia in unprecedented Israeli drones purchase - reports 
10 Apr 2009 - Russia is buying pilotless spy aircraft from Israel in hopes of improving its own unmanned drones after a poor performance in the war against Georgia last August, Russian news agencies quoted a top military official as saying Friday. Deputy Defense Minister Vladimir Popovkin said.

Thousands pour into Jerusalem for Good Friday 
10 Apr 2009 - Thousands of Christian pilgrims from around the world poured into the holy city of Jerusalem under sunny skies on Friday to pray along the traditional route Jesus took to his crucifixion. As part of the Good Friday ceremonies, the Christian faithful descend onto the twisted cobblestoned streets of Jerusalem's Old City to walk along the Via Dolorosa, or Way of Suffering.

Israel hopes pope will bring in more tourism, boost image 
10 Apr 2009 - The din of earthmovers and a cloud of dust rise over Mount Precipice as workers scramble to get ready for a papal visit that Israel hopes will bring in tourist dollars and rave reviews. The Jewish state is pumping some $10 million into preparations for Pope Benedict XVI's May 11-15 visit to the Holy Land that will bring tens of thousands of pilgrims to Israel.

Palestinian Information Center

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12 Apr 2009 - Due to server load we cannot process your request at this time. Please try again a few minutes.

Los Angeles Times

Iran alleges foreign-funded plot to undermine government 
12 Apr 2009 - Revolutionary Guard says 'Dutch project' aims to undermine the government by 'exaggerating the enemies' threats . . . and depicting Iran's current administration as incompetent.' The cyber-crimes unit of Iran's Revolutionary Guard announced Saturday that it had uncovered a Dutch-funded plot to use the Internet to undermine the Islamic Republic, Iranian news media reported. 

Iran touts nuclear technology gains 
10 Apr 2009 - On a day marking its first enrichment of uranium, Iran announces two new types of centrifuges and a nuclear fuel production plant. Iran announced fresh advances Thursday in its steady drive to master nuclear technology, trumpeting two new devices to enrich uranium and inaugurating a plant to produce fuel pellets for a heavy-water reactor. 

New York Times

New Bid to Find Missing Ex-F.B.I. Agent
11 Apr 2009 - At a time when the United States is seeking greater engagement with Iran, it is intensifying efforts to resolve the case of a former agent who disappeared there two years ago. 

Iran Claims Gains in Nuclear Program
10 Apr 2009 - Iran inaugurated its first nuclear fuel manufacturing plant and said it had increased its ability to enrich uranium. 

U.S. to Join Iran Talks Over Nuclear Program
8 Apr 2009 - The announcement marked a significant step toward the direct engagement with Iran that President Obama has promised. 


Articles


Israel’s Master Plan for Transfer 
Ellen Cantarow, CounterPunch 4/9/2009
      The Problem Isn’t Avigdor Lieberman
     No one doubts that Avigdor Lieberman is a thug. His ultimata (“Those who think that through concessions they will gain respect and peace are wrong,” etc, New York Times Thursday, April 2, 2009) were designed to shock. On this site Neve Gordon’s revelations of Lieberman’s many corruptions, his beating of a 12-year-old child, his exhortation to bomb Gaza as the US bombed Hiroshima, supply further ugly evidence against the man, and fuel the flash-fires burning through the Internet in the wake of his appointment as Israel’s foreign minister.
     So he should be denounced by all means, but it is certain that the problems attaching to his name are not going away. On the contrary -- particularly given President Obama’s repudiation of Lieberman during the President’s speech in Ankara, Turkey, and his avowed loyalty to a ‘two-state solution’ – these problems will appear in a different form, specifically in regard to the nature of the “two states” under the guidance of Obama, Netanyahu & Co. 
     If the Lieberman appointment wasn’t specifically designed to have him play bad cop to everyone else’s good cop, it’s certainly turning out that way. A recent J Street petition urges me and thousands of on-line others to denounce Lieberman as a threat to “our community’s values,” and also to endorse J Street’s offer of “our best wishes and congratulations . . . pledging to help Benjamin Netanyahu’s government where possible, and push when necessary, to achieve the goal of real peace and security for Israel, the Palestinians, and the whole Middle East.”

Olmert’s Nightmare 
Nadia Hijab, CounterPunch 4/9/2009
      The Growing Belief in a One-State Solution
     Ehud Olmert’s nightmare is at hand. Not only does the former Israeli prime minister now really have to fight those corruption charges. He also faces the realization of his fears that the Palestinians might give up on a two-state solution in favor of a struggle for equal rights that would mean, as he put it, the "end of the Jewish state."
     Yo, Ehud, that struggle is a growing movement, and it isn’t a threat to Jews -- on the contrary, Jews are very much a part of it.
     Just last weekend in Boston, American and/or Israeli Jews accounted for nearly a third of the 29 speakers at a conference organized by TARI (Trans Arab Research Institute) with the William Joiner Center at the University of Massachusetts.
     This is the second major public conference on how to achieve a single democratic state for Palestinians and Israelis. The first was held in London in November, and a third is slated for Toronto in June.
     In a sign of the one-state movement’s persistence, the conference was over-subscribed weeks before it was held; dozens were turned away because the hall only seated 500 people. Those who got in remained glued to their seats as one intense presenter followed another, in spite of limited time for questions and, on day two, no lunch.
     For my part, I remain agnostic. As I said in my remarks at the conference, both states must provide equality for all their citizens -- Muslim, Jewish, or Christian, women or men, whatever their ethnicity. And, by the way, this isn’t currently the case in either the established Israeli state or the putative Palestinian state.


Electronic Intifada
Israel's Arab students cross to Jordan
9 Apr 2009 - Obstacles to Israel's Arab minority (Palestinian citizens of Israel) participating in higher education have resulted in a record number of Arab students taking up places at universities in neighboring Jordan, a new report reveals. Jonathan Cook reports. 

More than 150,000 Gazans still without tap water
8 Apr 2009 - GAZA CITY, occupied Gaza Strip (IRIN) - Over 150,000 Palestinians in Gaza (around 10 percent of the population) are struggling without tap water as a result of the damage caused to wells, pipes and waste water facilities during the recent 22-day Israeli offensive that ended on 18 January. 

Palestinian governments responsible for lives of Gaza patients 
8 Apr 2009 - The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights calls upon the ministries of health in Ramallah and Gaza to take immediate steps, including the cancellation of all decisions that have led to halting the transfer of Gazan patients to hospitals outside the Gaza Strip, to ensure access of those patients to medical treatment. 

In Gaza, farming under fire
7 Apr 2009 - KHAN YOUNIS, occupied Gaza Strip (IPS) - "They're always shooting at us. Every day they shoot at us," says Alaa Samour, 19, pulling aside his shirt to show a scar on his shoulder. Samour said he was shot on 28 December last year by Israeli soldiers positioned along the border fence near New Abassan village, east of Khan Younis in the south of the Gaza Strip. 

In Gaza
“One Of…”
11 Apr 2009 - * Emad Badwan’s award-winning film “One Of… “ * funeral procession for martyred medical worker, killed by Israeli targeting during the war on Gaza. [image on display in the Al Quds hospital] “I have never seen anything like what happened … Never in all my years have I seen this many health workers and facilities targeted in this way.” – Dr. Mo’awiah Hassanin, the director of the Emergency and Ambulance department in the Ministry of Health in Gaza. [ Under attack: how medics died trying to help Gaza's casualties ] Tuesday April 7 was World Health Day, an annual recognition of global health issues, sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO). In honour...

Palestine Chronicle
'Rest has Come to the Weary..'
11 Apr 2009 - By Uri Avnery – Israel Passover week is a time for outings. News programs on radio and television start with words like: "The masses of the House of Israel spent the day in the national parks.." It is also a feast of homeland songs. On television one sees groups of white-haired oldsters surrounded by their children and grandchildren fervently singing the songs of their youth, the words of which they know by heart. “Rest has come to the weary / And repose to the toiler / A pale night spreads / Over the fields of the Valley of Jezreel / Dew below and the moon above / From Beit-Alfa to Nahalal…” The camera focuses on the furrowed face of a grandmother with wet eyes, and it is not hard to imagine her as the beautiful girl she once was. It is easy to see her in a Jezreel kibbutz, with short pants and a long braid swinging behind her, smiling, bowed over tomato plants in the communal vegetable garden. Nostalgia is having a field-day. I admit that I am not free from this nostalgia. Something happens to me, too, when I hear the songs, and I join in them involuntarily. Like many others, I am suffering from “cognitive dissonance”. The heart and the head are not coordinated. They operate on different wavelengths. In other words: my head knows that the Zionist enterprise has imposed a historic injustice on the people who lived in this land. But my heart remembers what we felt in those days....

Rotten Orchard: Israeli Soldiers Testify to War Crimes
11 Apr 2009 - By Nima Shirazi On March 19th, two months after the 22-day devastation of Gaza and the slaughtering of over 1,400 Palestinians, the Israeli daily newspaper Ha'aretz published harrowing testimonies by numerous Israeli soldiers who had participated in "Operation Cast Lead." The soldiers, all recent graduates of the Yitzhak Rabin pre-military preparatory program, were speaking at an open academic forum about their recent military experiences and, as Sarah Anne Minkin of Jewish Peace News reports, "confessed that they'd knowingly shot civilians to death in Gaza, that they'd intentionally vandalized Palestinian homes, and that the rules of engagement in the war - rules handed down from above - were exceptionally permissive." In response to these testimonies, the Israeli military denied the claims made by their own personnel, stating that even if some of the allegations and anecdotes were true (since the troops had "no reason to lie"), they were isolated incidents and did not represent the IDF as a whole. Nonetheless, the IDF promised to conduct "intensive and comprehensive inquiries" and an investigation was launched. Eleven days later, on March 30th - half the time it took the Israeli air force, navy, and army to murder 313 children, 116 women, 497 civilian men, and 255 non-combatant police officers, wound over 6,000 more, and leave tens of thousands homeless - the Israeli military concluded that the soldiers' stories of gross misconduct and war crimes were baseless, that they were "based in hearsay" and "rumors," and declared an end to the probe. Even though...

Marching to Israel's Drummer
11 Apr 2009 - By William A. Cook Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's new Prime Minister, in an interview with Jeffrey Goldberg (Atlantic Monthly, March 2009), ordered the new President of the United States to complete two “great missions” on behalf of Israel: “fix the economy” lest Israel not be able to collect its annual alimony of 3 billion plus the 30 billion promised by the Bush administration, and “prevent Iran from gaining nuclear weapons” lest Israel’s monopoly on such weapons be challenged in the Mid-East. The interview is a primer into the mentality of Israel’s new government. As always with any utterances from Israeli officials, one has to translate the assertions from the reality. Let’s consider his pronouncements in their order of utterance. First, he asserts, “the Iranian nuclear challenge represents a ‘hinge of history’ adding that ‘Western civilization’ will have failed if Iran is allowed to develop nuclear weapons.” Now the reality. The true “hinge of history” was the clandestine development of nuclear weapons, in the plural, by Israel against the better judgment of then President John F. Kennedy, a development that the deceptive state continues to deny despite having placed Mordechai Venunu into solitary confinement for 18 years and continues him under house arrest for exposing that development. But truth to Israel is only what words it officially utters, not what is known and documented or corroborated by an eye witness found guilty by Israel of a traitorous act. Say it is not so enough times and it morphs into truth. Why is...

Zionist Colonial Enterprise Superseded Judaism
11 Apr 2009 - By Hasan Afif El-Hasan Jewish people are observing the Passover tradition of escaping slavery in Egypt and enjoying freedom. While they celebrate their ancient struggle against slavery and claim having Jewish moral superiority, they at the same time accept terrorizing, starving, strangulating, detaining and humiliating another people on a daily basis and occupying and colonizing their lands under false narratives. Last time I read the Ten Commandments that were given to Moses by God in the form of two stone tablets, according to Judaism, the sixth and eighth commandments prohibit murder and stealing. Murdering a human being is a capital sin according to God, but the Israelis murder Palestinians and steal their lands and properties every day. I wonder how the Jewish people, despite their achievements and contributions to science, philosophy, music and art, could have descended into the madness of suppressing a people and denying them free life in only one fifth of the land that they owned for centuries. Where is the morality in calling the indigenous Palestinians only as “Arabs” to deny their linkage to their home land? It is sad that some Jewish intellectuals routinely use the tragedy of the Holocaust to vindicate the obliteration of the Palestinians’ society and human rights. Have they accepted the fiction that their occupation of the Palestinian lands is part of their “enlightenment”? Even some Israelis here and there question the morality of their fellow countrymen who abuse the indigenous Palestinians. The respected Israeli novelist, Yizhar Smilansky expressed his feeling...

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