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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
12 April, 2009

News

International Middle East Media Center

During Gaza offensive, soldier steals ATM card from Gaza resident, withdraws money in Israel
13 Apr 2009 - The Palestinian Center for Human Right (PCHR) based in Gaza, is preparing to file a complaint to the Israeli military prosecution to investigate an incident in which it is believed that an Israeli soldier stole an ATM card during the military offensive in Gaza, and withdrew money in Israel. 

Abbas phones Netanyahu, wishes him a happy Pesach holiday
13 Apr 2009 - Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, phoned on Sunday the new Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, wishing him a happy Pesach Jewish holiday. This is the first conversation between the two leaders since Netanyahu came to power. 

Arab leaders in Jerusalem demand a probe into the death of youth shot by the border police
12 Apr 2009 - Public figures and representatives of the residents of Jabal Al Mukabbir area in east Jerusalem, demanded the Israel Authorities to form a neutral investigation committee to probe the death of Eyad Azmi Oweisat, 18, who was shot and killed by Israeli border policemen last Tuesday. 

Egyptian border police kills Bedouin 'arms smuggler'
12 Apr 2009 - The Egyptian border police shot and killed a Bedouin man who was said to be concealing weapons loaded on a truck heading to Gaza. 

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. 

Ha'aretz Defense page

On jumpy Lebanon-Israel frontier, a quiet drug war
12 Apr 2009 - Israeli police say Hezbollah uses drug trade to fund operations and recruit agents inside Israel. 

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. 

'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. 

Ma'an News

100 European lawmakers, governors, mayors visit West Bank refugee camps 
4/12/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – Some 100 European parliamentarians, mayors and governors arrived in the West Bank on Sunday under the auspices of a program that “twins” French cities with Palestinian refugee camps. The leaders, who are primarily French, visited their counterparts on Sunday in the twinning project in Deheisha Refugee Camp in the West Bank city of Bethlehem. The delegation is led by Fernand Tuil, the head of the French twinning committee (Association des Villes Françaises Jumelées avec des Camps de Réfugiés Palestiniens). The delegation is scheduled to visit several Palestinian refugee camps in the West Bank and Jerusalem to show solidarity with the Palestinian people, and demonstrate support for Palestinian refugees’ right to return to their homes from which they and their ancestors were expelled in 1948. 

Union leader: Hamas fired PLO, Jihad officials over loyalty 
4/12/2009 - Ramallah – Ma’an – The leader of the Palestinian union of civil servants, Bassam Zakarna, accused the de facto government in Gaza on Sunday of hiring Hamas members for high-level posts in the Education Ministry while firing members of PLO factions and Islamic Jihad. Zakarna denounced what he called “unprofessional appointments. ” He said that Muhammad Shallah, the brother Islamic Jihad Secretary General Ramadan Shallah one of those who was fired only to be replaced by a Hamas-affiliated employee. In a statement released on Sunday Zakarna listed those who had lost their jobs for political reasons. Zakarna explained that the union of civil servants and the teachers union would support those who were fired, and called on Hamas to reverse these decisions, which he said would only “harm the education process. 

Abbas phones Netanyahu with Passover wishes 
4/12/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas telephoned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday and offered him warm wishes on the Jewish holiday of Passover, according to reports in the Israeli media. The reports, some citing sources in the prime minister’s office, others citing a statement circulated by Netanyahu’s staff, indicated that Abbas’ call was meant to signal the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) willingness to deal with Netanyahu’s new right-wing government. The Israeli news agency Ynet quoted one source close to Netanyahu who said the conversation was "warm and friendly. " In their first conversation since the Israeli leader took office, Netanyahu reportedly spoke “about the two leaders' past cooperation,” and called for future cooperation. According to Ynet, Abbas replied by saying both people must strive for peace. 

Despite closures, Palestinians celebrate Easter in Jerusalem 
4/12/2009 - Jerusalem - Ma'an - Thousands of Palestinian Christians prayed and sang in and aroundEast Jerusalem's Church of the Holy Sepulcher on Sunday, where Catholics marked Easter at the spot they believe Jesus was crucified and resurrected. Due to the coinciding Jewish holiday of Passover, however, Israel sealed off the West Bank, preventing the entry of Palestinians who would typically be given special permits for the occasion. Others in Gaza were unable to attend due to the ongoing blockade of the besieged coastal strip. Nevertheless, Palestinians living in Jerusalem and inside Israel did not face similar difficulties, and celebrated late into Sunday afternoon. Hundreds of Orthodox Christians, who celebrate Easter next Sunday, marked Palm Sunday hours later, accompanied by the sounds of drums and chanting throughout Jerusalem's Old City. 

Israeli soldiers occupy house, imprison family near Tulkarem 
4/12/2009 - Tulkarem – Ma’an – Israeli forces took control of a Palestinian house near the separation wall in the West Bank town of Shweika, near the city of Tulkarem, on Sunday afternoon. According to Ma’an’s reporter in Tulkarem, Israeli soldiers ransacked the twos-story house owned by Abu Aysha, detaining his family in their bedrooms and ordering them to remain silent. Israeli soldiers are stationed on the roof of the house, and are using it as a watchtower. [end] 

50 Israeli settlers enter Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Compound 
4/12/2009 - Jerusalem – Ma’an – Israeli police allowed 50 right-wing settlers to tour the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Sunday afternoon without a police escort. Ma’an’s correspondent in Jerusalem reports that the settlers entered the compound during a time slot reserved for foreign tourists. Palestinians who were in the compound at the time said that they found the settlers’ tour “provocative. ” They said that Israeli police stationed at the entrance refused to remove the settlers when this was requested by Palestinians. The third holiest site in Islam, the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound is also the location of the iconic Dome of the Rock and a major symbol of Palestinian nationalism. The area on which it rests is also claimed by Jews who believe it to be the location where the ancient Second Temple. 

Jerusalem lawmaker seeking return of Palestinian motorist shot dead at house demolition 
4/12/2009 - Jerusalem – Ma’an – A Palestinian lawmaker from East Jerusalem is pressing Israeli authorities to the return the body of a young Palestinian man who was shot by Israeli forces last week during a house demolition. The office of lawmaker Hatim Abdul-Qadir, who is also a presidential aide on Jerusalem Affairs, said they are seeking the return of the corpse of Iyad Uweisat, from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabal Mukabbir. Abdul-Qadir’s office said Israeli police are delaying the handover of the corpse despite the fact that they have completed the autopsy. In a statement the office said that the delay was an “additional punishment for the family. ”Israeli authorities claimed that Uweisdat attempted to run down Israeli border guards who were manning a military checkpoint at the entrance to the town ofSur Bahir during demolition of the house of Husam Dwayyat, another Palestinian. . . 

PA ministry: Dead Sea Scrolls were stolen, should be returned 
4/12/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - The Palestinian Authority's Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities called on Canada to cancel an exhibition of Dead Sea Scrolls, which an official said were stolen by Israel from the West Bank, AFP reported on Sunday. "The exhibition would entail exhibiting or displaying artifacts removed from the Palestinian territories," said Hamdan Taha of the ministry's archaeological department, according to the Toronto Star Newspaper. Taha called on Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harmer to cancel the exhibition, which is scheduled to open at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto in June. "I think it is important that Canadian institutions would be responsible and act in accordance with Canada's obligations," Taha wrote in a letter to the prime minister. The scrolls, some of which are as old as the third century BC, were discovered by a Palestinian Bedouin. . . 

Pope calls for Palestinian-Israeli peace in Easter message 
4/12/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an/Agencies – Pope Benedict called for a renewed effort toward Palestinian-Israeli peace in his Easter message on Sunday weeks before he travels to the Middle East. Speaking at Easter Mass St Peter's Square in the Vatican City, Benedict said "Reconciliation - difficult, but indispensable - is a precondition for a future of overall security and peaceful coexistence," according to Reuters. "It can only be achieved through renewed, persevering and sincere efforts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict," he said. The pope is visiting the Holy Land from 8 to 15 May, visiting Jordan, the West Bank including Bethlehem and Jerusalem, and Nazareth, in northern Israel. It will be the first papal visit since Pope John Paul II came in 2000. 

Fatah: Committee has not yet set date for sixth conference 
4/12/2009 - Ramallah – Ma’an – Fatah spokesperson Fahmi Az-Za’arir confirmed on Sunday that a date has not yet been set for the movement's sixth conference. He said that a date cannot be decided on until the central committee meets to approve memberships and define a place for the conference. Az-Za’arir added in statement that the preparatory and the membership committees have not yet finished meetings that have been ongoing all day. Standards for the conference's membership were set up on a representative basis within the organizational movement’s framework, and that its popular, professional and republican departments and final list of members has not been approved. He explained that as soon as the membership nominations are approved, the central committee will meet to approve the members and set the date and place officially. 

PA Interior Ministry: Explosives seized at Qalqiliya mosque 
4/12/2009 - Qalqiliya – Ma’an – The Palestinian Interior Ministry said that PA security services seized an amount of explosives inside a mosque in the northern West Bank city of Qalqiliya on Sunday. The ministry said in a statement that the explosives were assembled inside the mosque, citing discovered materials used in production. The ministry explained that when a recent fire unexpectedly ignited inside the mosque, police became suspicious, eventually realizing that it was used for producing explosives. Sources added that security services will follow up with the cause and look for suspects using mosques for such purposes. [end] 

Palestine Telegraph

Israel allows 130 trucks of food out of 500 to Gaza
12 Apr 2009 - 12.00 Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE AR-SA MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"???? ????"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0cm; mso-para-margin-right:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0cm; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} Gaza,...

Military Court in Gaza Sentences 4 Palestinians to death
11 Apr 2009 - Palestine, April 12th, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) – On Tuesday, 7 April 2009, the Military Court in Gaza sentenced four Palestinians, two from al-Sheja’eya neighborhood and two from al-Tufah neighborhood in the east of Gaza City, to death. The four Palestinians were convicted...

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...

Aljazeera

Hezbollah 'plotted to attack Egypt'
12 Apr 2009 - Lebanese group's operatives planned to hit targets in Sinai, Egyptian minister says.

Netanyahu pledges Palestinian talks
12 Apr 2009 - Israel's new PM says he 'intends to resume' negotiations with Palestinians.

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.

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)
12 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

Israeli forces reintroduce use of high velocity tear gas projectile against demonstrators in Ni'lin
ISM - 4/12/2009 - 10 April 2009 - The villagers of Ni'lin continued their struggle against the construction of the Apartheid Wall on their land with another weekly Friday demonstration on the 10th of April.  After the mid-day prayer, around 100 villagers carried signs against the occupation and marched towards the construction site of the Wall.   The nonviolent demonstrators  split into two groups, but both groups were stopped by the Israeli army, who had already taken up position on the outskirts of the village.   After villagers confronted the soldiers with speeches and chanting,  Israeli forces opened fire with tear gas and sound bombs from about 20 meters away.   Some of the village youth responded by throwing stones. Due to the large amount of weaponry fired by the soldiers, the demonstrators were forced to return to the village.   The army placed snipers on the roof of a Palestinian residence inside the. . . 

Key Dutch party: sanctions against Israel if it thwarts peace
ISM - 4/12/2009 - 12 April 2009 - The Netherlands must impose economic sanctions against Israel if the new government in Jerusalem thwarts the peace process with the Palestinians, the Dutch Labor party said last week. Members of Labor, which is a member of government as the country's second largest party, said they intended to write a manifesto on the matter to the foreign minister, Maxime Verhagen, from the centrist ruling CDA party, who is largely seen as a staunch supporter of Israel. In an interview for Radio 1, Labor's Martijn van Dam said his party insisted that Verhagen and the European Union take "concrete" action that demands Israel accept Hamas as a partner for dialog. Van Dam also lamented the Netherlands and the European Union's decision to blacklist Hamas. Van Dam went on to call Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman "an extremist who is on the brink of racism,". . . 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

An Israeli in Thailand / Thai riots? What Thai riots?
12 Apr 2009 - KO PHANGAN, THAILAND - The day after a state of emergency was declared in Bangkok, the fishing village of Sari-Tano on the island of Ko Phangan is full of life. The day after tomorrow is the Water Festival, and preparations are in full swing. Riots? Demonstrations? Rescue of international leaders with helicopters? No one has heard about that here. ... 

Egypt vs. Hezbollah / A matter of national security 
12 Apr 2009 - The open confrontation between Egypt and Hezbollah intensified a bit more on Sunday after the general prosecutor in Cairo said he is considering indicting Hassan Nasrallah for running terrorist cells in Egypt and inciting against the state. The idea is to try Nasrallah in absentia and turn him into a wanted terrorist whose extradition can be demanded if he is convicted. Or Egypt will be able to go after him itself. But it would be unusual for charges to be brought against Nasrallah; an Arab state would be indicting the head of an organization that is part of another Arab state's leadership. ... 

Netanyahu tells Abbas: I will cooperate for peace
12 Apr 2009 - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday that he planned to cooperate with him in order to advance mutual peace efforts. ...

Egypt: Hezbollah targeted Israeli tourists in Sinai
12 Apr 2009 - Hezbollah agents operating in Egypt were plotting to attack Israeli tourists at resorts in the Sinai Peninsula, Egyptian and Israeli officials said Sunday. ...

U.S. leaning toward taking part in Durban 2 summit
11 Apr 2009 - Senior U.S. officials in Washington and New York are leaning in favor of participating in the "Durban 2" UN-sponsored anti-racism conference scheduled to take place on April 20 in Geneva, diplomatic sources said on Sunday. ...

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...

Organisers of Cricket for Change initiative hope sport can bring people together close to Gaza border
12 Apr 2009 - The seductive magic of cover drives and leg spin has won cricket fans around the world and now organisers behind a new initiative close to the Gaza border hope the sport could transcend the boundaries on...

Ha'aretz National page

Judge orders release of rightists arrested in Sderot
11 Apr 2009 - A Kiryat Gat magistrates court ordered the immediate release of right-wing protestors arrested in Sderot on Sunday. ...

Hiker dies after 40-meter fall from Mitzpeh Ramon 
11 Apr 2009 - An Israeli tourist was killed on Friday as a result of a 40-meter fall suffered during a hike in the Mount Gamal nature reserve, near Mitzpeh Ramon in southern Israel. ...

Gideon Levy / The dark religious side of Israel
11 Apr 2009 - A few days after tens of thousands of Israelis raised their eyes to the heavens at dawn to honor "the return of the sun to the place it stood at creation," and millions of Israelis joyfully read out praise in the Passover Hagaddah for genocide - jihad by means of horrific plagues and drowning infants - it's time to admit it: We live in a religious country. ... 

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. ... 

Truck crushes car carrying family of 4, killing grandmother
11 Apr 2009 - A family of four was trapped inside of their vehicle on Sunday afternoon, after a semi-trailer slammed into them as they drove down Route 9 in Jerusalem. ...

Relief Web

OPT: Child and Family Care Center in Khan Younis set alight by unknown persons
12 Apr 2009 - Source: Palestinian Centre for Human Rights

Israel's Netanyahu vows to talk peace with Abbas
12 Apr 2009 - Source: Agence France-Presse

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

YNet News

Egypt: Hizbullah cell plotted against Israelis 
12 Apr 2009 - Cairo officials confirm terror operatives linked to Lebanese Shiite group had been plotting to target Israeli tourists vacationing at Sinai resorts, destabilize Egyptian regime; Nasrallah denies accusations but acknowledges Hizbullah dispatched representative to area

Syria's US ambassador: Lieberman better than Livni
12 Apr 2009 - Syrian envoy: Lieberman is candid, Livni spoke about peace while committing Gaza atrocity

Court frees rightist detainees
12 Apr 2009 - Judge orders immediate release of seven rightist activists arrested at Sderot march, slams police conduct during protest; utilization of detention powers at march indication of 'dark times' in Israel, judge says

'Nasrallah a monkey sheikh'
12 Apr 2009 - Egyptian paper slams Hizbullah chief, says he 'will burn' should he threaten Egypt's sovereignty 

Police stop rightist march to Gush Katif 
12 Apr 2009 - Some 400 people arrive at right-wing rally in Sderot ahead of banned march on former settlement bloc. 'I hope IDF retakes Gaza and brings settlers back to the Strip,' says National Union chairman

Christians celebrate Easter in Jerusalem
12 Apr 2009 - Capital buzzes with religious activity as Roman Catholics hold Mass at Church of Holy Sepulcher, Orthodox Christians mark Palm Sunday, and thousands of Jewish worshippers celebrating Passover throng plaza opposite Western Wall for traditional blessing

Netanyahu, Abbas speak for 1st time since induction 
12 Apr 2009 - Palestinian president offers Israeli premier holiday wishes in conversation described as 'warm, friendly.' State officials say call may indicate PA willing to negotiate with new government despite previous contrasting statements 

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

Palestinian gov't condemns settlers' attacks on Palestinians in WB and J'lem
12 Apr 2009 - The Palestinian government on Sunday strongly denounced the escalations on the political and field levels that are carried out by extremist Israeli settlers in occupied Jerusalem.

Hamas dismayed at Abbas's contact with Netanyahu
12 Apr 2009 - Hamas on Sunday castigated former PA chief Mahmoud Abbas for rushing to congratulate Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu on the Jewish Passover feast.

Baraka: Egypt tabled ambiguous proposal on mending rift
12 Apr 2009 - Ali Baraka stated that Egypt ambiguously suggested the formation of a Palestinian government in the West Bank and a committee in Gaza assigned to coordinate between the two governments.

IOA closes Ibrahimi Mosque to celebrate Passover
12 Apr 2009 - The Israeli occupation authority on Sunday closed down the Ibrahimi Mosque in Al-Khalil city for two days to celebrate Jewish Passover, Hebrew media reported.

MP Tawil: The roadmap plan deepens the rift in the Palestinian arena
12 Apr 2009 - Independent MP Hossam Al-Tawil stated Saturday that the roadmap plan and its consequent obligations is a roadmap for more division in the Palestinian arena.

European figures including Swiss MP to participate in Italian aid convoy to Gaza
12 Apr 2009 - Swiss MP Joseph Zisyadis and other anti-siege European personalities declared their intention to participate in the "Hope" convoy traveling from Italy to the besieged Gaza Strip next month.

Hamas: Israeli threats won't intimidate us
12 Apr 2009 - Hamas has warned the Israeli occupation authority against any military escalation against the Gaza Strip to retrieve the captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

Gov't committee calls on Arab foreign ministers to work on ending Gaza suffering
12 Apr 2009 - The government committee to break the siege called on the Arab foreign ministers to work strenuously to carry out urgent relief programs in Gaza and take a brave Arab resolution to end the siege.

Abu Halabeyya hails Arab popular and official support for the Palestinian people
12 Apr 2009 - MP Dr. Ahmad Abu Halabeyya, the chairman of the legal committee in the PA legislature, has hailed Saturday the Arab popular and official support for the Palestinian issue and the Palestinian people.

IOA declares death of prisoner
12 Apr 2009 - The Palestinian detainee Ahmed Ismail Samara in his fifties was found dead in one of the Israeli occupation authority's prisons on Saturday afternoon, the Hebrew radio reported.

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. 


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
Gaza needs more aid
12 Apr 2009 - RAMALLAH, occupied West Bank (IPS) - John Ging, head of the UN agency for Palestine refugees (UNRWA) in Gaza, has urged Israel to ease aid flow restrictions that are having a devastating effect on the 1.5 million inhabitants. Ging says the amount of aid being allowed into Gaza at present is "wholly and totally inadequate. It's having a very devastating impact on the physical circumstances and also the mindset of people on the ground," Ging told IPS. 

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
“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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