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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
28 April, 2009

News

International Middle East Media Center

Army kidnaps two Palestinian teenagers, claims of plan to stab
28 Apr 2009 - Two Palestinians teenagers were kidnapped on Tuesday at midday by Israeli troops at a checkpoint near the Ibrahim mosque (Tomb of Patriarchs) in the southern West Bank city of Hebron. 

Gaza again on brink of disaster, says Scots aid chief
28 Apr 2009 - TENS of thousands of people struggling to rebuild their lives in the Gaza Strip after Israel's 22-day military offensive this year will face a second humanitarian disaster within weeks, because aid is not getting through, the Scot heading the British Red Cross international relief effort has warned. 

Settlers take over land, destroy crops near Hebron
28 Apr 2009 - Israeli settlers destroyed Palestinian farmers’ crops and took over land that belongs to farmers near the southern West Bank city of Hebron, while soldiers searched homes in the old city part on Tuesday. 

Abu Al Ghiet: new Israeli government did not present any positive step towards peace
28 Apr 2009 - Egyptian Foreign Minister, Ahmad Abu Al Gheit, stated on Monday at night, that the new Israeli government did not put forward any positive step towards increasing the pace of the peace process with the Palestinians. 

Shaath: progress made in internal talks
28 Apr 2009 - Dr. Nabil Shaath, member of Fateh’s Central Committee, has said that some progress was made during internal Palestinian talks at Monday's trilateral meeting. The meeting  brought together representatives of Fateh and Hamas together with Egypt’s Intelligence Chief Omar Suleiman. 

Jerusalem sealed as Israel celebrates independence
28 Apr 2009 - Israeli occupation authorities imposed a strict siege on Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the already besieged and impoverished Gaza Strip, as Israel started marking its memorial day on Tuesday. It is also preparing to mark its “Independence Day” on May 15, which is the day Palestine fell under occupation 61 years ago. 

Free Gaza: Disabled Europeans join Hope convoy
28 Apr 2009 - The Popular Committee Against the Siege (PCAS) announced that a number of disabled have   expressed their willingness to join the Hope for Gaza Convoy, which will be heading to the Gaza Strip in May. 

Olmert built and planned to build 9000 homes for settlers in West Bank
28 Apr 2009 - The Israeli group Peace Now has published a report which says that the previous Israeli government under the leadership of Ehud Olmert, built and planned to build 9000 homes for Jewish settlers in Jerusalem and the West Bank. 

Border policeman sentenced to 8 years for killing a Palestinians in 2002
28 Apr 2009 - Israeli District Court in Jerusalem sentenced a border-guard policeman for eight years for killing a Palestinian youth in the southern West Bank city of Hebron in 2002. The Palestinian was abused and beaten before he was arrested and forced to jump off the speeding jeep. 

Jerusalem Central Court indicts Hebron man of attempting to buy Chinese weapons to send to Gaza
28 Apr 2009 - The Israeli Central Court in Jerusalem filed what was described as “conspiracy charges” against a 33-year-old man from the southern West Bank city of Hebron, after claiming he attempted to buy ammunition from china with the intend to transfer to the Gaza Strip. 

“No Arabs”, Elon Moreh settlement council decides
27 Apr 2009 - The settlement council of Elon Moreh settlement, near the northern West Bank city of Nablus, decided that except for loading and unloading goods and stuffs, Palestinians and Arabs are not allowed into the settlement. 

Israeli settlers open fire at farmers near Nablus: youth injured
27 Apr 2009 - On Monday at midday a group of armed Israeli settlers opened fire at Palestinian farmers near the northern West Bank city of Nablus and injured a Palestinian youth.

Ha'aretz Defense page

Netanyahu: Threat of terror is greater than ever
28 Apr 2009 - Israeli leaders, bereaved families gather on Mt. Herzl to remember fallen IDF soldiers and terror victims. 

Revisiting the photo that exposed a Shin Bet lie
28 Apr 2009 - 1984 photo shows Palestinian alive, after hostage rescue in which Shin Bet said he was killed. 

Report: 3 Lebanon men admit spying on Hezbollah for Israel
28 Apr 2009 - Men arrested Saturday in connection with alleged espionage ring headed by retired Lebanese general. 

Israel honors fallen IDF soldiers, terror victims
27 Apr 2009 - IDF chief warns Israel's enemies: Don't test our strength; Netanyahu vows to 'spare no effort' for Shalit. 

Border Policeman gets 8 years for killing Palestinian in 2002
27 Apr 2009 - Shahar Butbika and three friends forced 17-year-old to jump from speeding jeep in Hebron. 

Could the Taliban get the bomb before Iran does?
27 Apr 2009 - Just when you thought you knew the unthinkable - now there's this: the keys to Pakistan's arsenal. 

Security guards shoot Palestinian at West Bank checkpoint
27 Apr 2009 - Man lightly wounded in incident near Hebron; army checking whether he tried to carry out terror attack. 

'Rising Mideast arms imports may stoke Iran fears of attack'
27 Apr 2009 - Volume of arms exports up 38% since 2004 and could destabilize region, says Swedish think tank. 

Ma'an News

Fatah, Hamas end dispute over PLO 
4/28/2009 - Bethlehem/Cairo – Ma’an – Rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah have agreed to accept the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) as a “national reference” until new elections are held for the Palestine National Council (PNC). By agreeing this the parties resolved a recent dispute in which Hamas called for the PLO to be replaced with a more inclusive organization. The PLO does not include Hamas or Islamic Jihad. The agreement is the first to emerge from the fourth round of talks in Cairo aimed at reuniting the two movements and establishing a unified Palestinian government. Both factions have labeled the negotiations a “last chance” for unity. At the end of the first day of meetings on Monday, leaders from both parties refused to make statements about the negotiations, which were expected to end without a comprehensive agreement. 

PA military court sentences man to death by hanging for selling land to Israelis 
4/28/2009 - Hebron – Ma’an – A special Palestinian Authority (PA) military court in Hebron in the southern West Bank sentenced a Palestinian man to death by hanging after he was found guilty of selling land to Israeli settlers on Tuesday. This is the first time a Palestinian court has handed down a conviction for treason in a case relating to land sales. The suspect is from the Hebron area. Presiding over tribunal was judge Brigadier General Abdul-Karim Al-Masri. The jurists were the judge Major Mihriz Atyani, and Major Nabil Jabir. Head of military prosecution in Hebron Issa Amr attended the sentencing as well as the military prosecuting attorney in Hebron Hani Al-Heih, the court’s clerk Abdul-Rahman Fannun. Lawyers defending the suspect were also present. The military court held a hearing session on 21 April, on the charge of “leaking lands to Israel". 

Israeli soldiers abduct groom on wedding night 
4/27/2009 - Qalqiliya – Ma’an – Twenty-four-year-old Ahmad Abd Al-Hadi Tayoun was married in the West Bank village of Hajja, east of Qalqiliya on Sunday. Tayoun was not able to spend the night with his bride, as he was abducted by Israeli soldiers at 2am. The troops raided the house and seized him in front of his wife. He is now being held at an unknown location. During house-to-house raids in the village, Israeli soldiers also seized 20-year-old Ahmad Bashir. The Tayoun family said that Ahmad had no political affiliation, and they did not expect him to be detained. They called on rights organizations to intervene and secure his release. Meanwhile, Israeli forces also stormed the nearby village of Al-Funduq and raided the house of Jamil Jab’iti, beat his 30-year-old daughter Sahar, destroyed furniture and they shredded a copy of the holy Quran. 

Israeli forces hold up hundreds at Beit Furik checkpoint near Nablus 
4/27/2009 - Nablus – Ma’an – Israeli forces subject Palestinians to strict searches at the Beit Furik checkpoint east of the northern West Bank city of Nablus, stopping dozens of vehicles and hundreds of travelers, said Munadil Hanani, member of Beit Furik municipal council on Monday morning. Israeli authorities had claimed earlier in April that they eased Palestinian movement at that checkpoint. 

Israeli government hears objection to East Jerusalem Ring Road plan 
4/27/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – An official appointed by the Israeli Interior Ministry heard an objection filed by the human rights organization Adalah on Monday to a plan to build the East Jerusalem Ring Road that opponents say will expropriate Palestinian land while further isolating Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank. The Jerusalem District Planning and Building Committee appointed an investigator to hear the objection filed by Adalah on behalf of a variety of Palestinian organizations, the mayors of three Palestinian towns, and private citizens. Adalah and the other petitioners are calling for the cancellation of the plan, which they say will see the creation of an “apartheid road. ” The objection specifically challenges the Central Section of the Eastern Ring Road, part of a broader plan that encompasses West Jerusalem and occupied East Jerusalem. 

Israeli border police officers jailed for 2002 kidnapping, killing of Hebron teenager 
4/27/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an/Agencies – Israel’s Jerusalem District Court sentenced two border police officers to prison terms on Monday for kidnapping and killing a young Palestinian from the West Bank city of Hebron in 2002. According to the indictment, four Israeli officers kidnapped 17-year-old Amran Abu Hamadya in Hebron in December 2002. They dragged him into their jeep, proceeded to beat him and eventually threw him out of the car at high speed. On Monday, Shahar Butbika was sentenced to eight and a half years in prison for assault, abuse of power and obstruction of justice, according to the website of the Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahrnonot. Another officer, Dennis Alhazov was sentenced to five and a half years. Two other officers were previously sentenced to six and a half months and four and a half years respectively. 

Peaceful demonstrators force settlers to re-route planned road near Hebron 
4/27/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – Palestinian and international demonstrators managed to convince Israeli settlers to re-route a road around a West Bank village on Sunday, a house from demolition. By nonviolently blocking construction vehicles on their way to build a road in the village of Umm Al-Kheir, the protesters forced Israelis from the settlement of Karmel to change the route of the planned road, according to fieldworkers with the organization Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT). The demonstrators confronted settlers, soldiers, and border police as work began at 7am on Sunday. Israeli soldiers allowed the road work to continue, despite a pending legal complaint filed by the village in an Israeli court. One older Palestinian man who was sitting in front of earth-moving equipment was accidentally struck by stones which became dislodged by the work. 

Israel releases former Palestinian finance minister 
4/28/2009 - Nablus – Ma'an – Israel released Palestinian lawmaker and former Finance Minister Omar Abdel Razeq from prison on Tuesday after holding him for five months, according to his wife. Abdel Razeq, 50 had been held in Israel’s Negev prison camp since he was seized by Israeli forces on 15 December. He is on his way home to the West Bank town of Salfit. Abdel Razeq had originally been sentenced to 26 months in prison for his affiliation to Hamas. He served the Hamas-led government elected in 2006. 

Israeli forces seize nine Palestinians in overnight raids 
4/27/2009 - Nablus – Ma’an – The Israeli military seized nine Palestinians from their homes during overnight raids in the West Bank on Monday. According to the military, three Palestinians were taken from the Nablus area, two from Tulkarem, two from Ramallah and Bethlehem, and the rest from Hebron. Among these, two young Palestinian men were taken from their homes in the village of Urif, south of Nablus early on Monday morning. Local sources told Ma’an that Israeli forces stormed the village took 32-year-old Isam Safadi and 41-year-old As’ad Safadi to unknown location. 

Israeli soldiers shoot 62-year-old Palestinian man at checkpoint 
4/27/2009 - Hebron – Ma’an – Israeli soldiers shot a 62-year-old Palestinian man in the legs near the Tarqumia crossing, west of the West Bank city of Hebron on Monday afternoon. According to the Palestinian Authority security forces, the soldiers shot Azzam Muhammad Abdel Hadi Abu Asbah, suspecting him of attempting to attack the checkpoint. Medics at the Hebron Public Hospital said Abu Asbah is seriously injured. 

Israeli forces detain two near Ibrahimi Mosque; allege attack plot 
4/28/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an - Israeli troops detained two young men near the Ibrahimi mosque in Hebron on Tuesday morning; soldiers claimed the youth were holding knives. Israeli sources reported that during their investigation the young men admitted they intended to stab Israeli soldiers. Israel has not released the identities of the youth. 

Israeli forces seize two Palestinians overnight 
4/28/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – Israeli forces seized two Palestinians from their homes in the West Bank during raids late on Monday. According to the Israeli military, the Palestinians were taken from towns east of Nablus and north of Ramallah. Nine Palestinians were seized the previous night. 

Israel opens three Gaza crossings 
4/27/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – Israeli authorities informed Palestinian officials that three crossings, Kerem Shalom, Nahal Oz and Karni, will be open on Monday to allow goods, fuel and gas into the otherwise besieged Gaza Strip. Director General of Economy Minister’s office in the Gaza government Hatem Oueidah told Ma’an that the crossings will open partially on Monday. According to Oueidah, 83 trucks were allowed on Sunday through Kerem Shalom shipping supplies for the agricultural and commercial sectors in addition to 279 tons of cooking gas and 735,200 liters of diesel through Nahal Oz. Israel has maintained a comprehensive blockade of the Gaza Strip since June 2007, trapping 1. 5 million Palestinians inside and forcing much of the economy to collapse. Currently the only reliable means of moving goods into the Strip is through a network of smuggling tunnels under the Egyptian border. 

PA moves to open diplomatic mission in Venezuela 
4/27/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an/Agencies – Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki visited Venezuela on Sunday as a step toward opening a diplomatic mission in Caracas, AFP reported. On Monday Al-Malki and Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro are scheduled to sign a joint declaration establishing diplomatic relations between Venezuela and the Palestinian Authority (PA), according to the news agency. Venezuela severed ties with Israel on 15 January in protest of the Israeli war on the Gaza Strip, which killed more than 1,400 Palestinians. The Venezuelan government said at the time it was reacting to the "cruel persecution of the Palestinian people directed by Israeli authorities. " Venezuela currently has a Representative Office to the PA in Ramallah. In Latin America, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) has embassies in Chile, Cuba, Nicaragua, and a Representative in Peru. 

Allenby Bridge open for limited hours on Tuesday 
4/27/2009 - Jericho – Ma’an – The Allenby Bridge border crossing will be open from 8am until 10:30am only on Tuesday due to Israeli holidays, according to the Palestinian police stationed at the crossing. The police urged passengers in both directions to “obey instructions and consider priorities. ”The Israeli-controlled Allenby Bridge is the only public border crossing between the West Bank and Jordan. 

France 'concerned' at expansion of West Bank settlement 
4/27/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an/Agencies – France expressed "great concern" at a proposed Israeli plan to expand Ma’ale Adumim, the 30,000-resident Israeli settlement in the heart of the occupied West Bank, AFP reported. "The plans to expand the settlement of Ma’ale Adumim are particularly concerning in that they threaten the creation of a viable Palestinian state, without which there can be no peace in the Middle East orlasting security for Israel," said the spokesperson of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Eric Chevallier, according to AFP. On Sunday it was revealed that a special committee of the Israeli housing ministry approved a proposal to merge Ma’ale Adumim with the much smaller nearby settlement of Qedar, seizing 12,000 dunums of land in between the two. 

Fayyad government: Expansion of Ma'ale Adumim could cause 'explosion' 
4/27/2009 - Ramallah – Ma’an – The Palestinian caretaker cabinet condemned a proposed expansion of the illegal Israeli West Bank settlement of Ma’ale Adumim on Monday as a step that could cause the region to “explode. ”The cabinet, led by Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, issued a declaration saying that the proposal would sever the West Bank into two sections, denying any possibility of the creation of a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders. The statement was in reference to a decision by a special committee of the Israeli Interior Ministry, which approved a merger between Ma’ale Adumim and the much smaller settlement of Qedar. Under the plan, 12,000 dunums of land in between the two settlements would be seized and the entire area, a swath of the central West Bank, would be surrounded by the separation wall. The cabinet called on the international community and the US in particular to. . . 

Egypt arrests Hamas official's brother 
4/28/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – The brother of a prominent Hamas spokesperson was arrested on Tuesday after allegedly infiltrating Egypt through an underground tunnel from Gaza, Reuters reported. Yousif Abu Zuhri, the brother of Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri, was reportedly detained in the city of Al-Arish, near the border with the Gaza Strip. He was arrested during a raid on an apartment. ***Get breaking news from Palestine: Click to follow Ma'an on Twitter. 

Egyptian FM: Israeli government taking no positive steps towards peace 
4/28/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmad Abu Agh-Gheit said the Israeli government has not taken any positive steps towards peace with the Palestinians since it took office. Speaking in Luxembourg at a conference of European Foreign Ministers Monday night Abu Agh-Gheit blamed the stagnation on “the very grounds on which the government bases its decisions,” rather than the popular choice for blame right-wing Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. A central issue for Agh-Gheit was Israel’s stipulations that any progress in negotiations with the Palestinians is dependent on ending Iran’s nuclear threat. He said such stipulations would halt the entire peace process and muddy Middle Eastern political processes considerably. 

Netanyahu on fence over meeting with Abbas on peace talks 
4/28/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu will not meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas until after his visits to Washington and Cairo, Israeli political sources said Tuesday. Analysts expect Netanyahu to consult with the American and Egyptian Presidents on the course of peace talks and the position of the new Israeli government with regards to a peace solution. Sources have also made much of a Monday speech by Abbas where the PM said he rejected a demand by Netanyahu that Palestinians must recognize Israel “as a Jewish state,” a condition for renewed peace talks. "I do not accept it," Abbas said, according to Reuters. "It is not my job to give a description of the state. Name yourself the Hebrew Socialist Republic - it is none of my business. ”

New Temporary International Presence in Hebron head named 
4/28/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Brigadier General Britt Brestrup is replacing Brigadier General Roy Grottheim as head of mission for the Temporary International Presence in Hebron, according to a statement sent to Ma'an. Grottheim will be leaving the mission as scheduled after serving one year and three months as its head. Brestrup will lead a group of 64 civilian observers from six countries (Denmark, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey), observing and reporting in Hebron, the statement said. Brestrup served as principal aide-de-camp to the king of Norway and as the deputy commandant at the Norwegian National Defense College prior to being appointed as the new head of mission for TIPH. Her international experience covers peacekeeping, military observer missions and civilian humanitarian missions in the Middle East and in Europe. 

DFLP criticizes Hamas and Fatah for excluding other factions from talks 
4/27/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) criticized major factions Hamas and Fatah for excluding other parties from the latest round of unity talks, which begins on Monday. “Bilateral dialogue means monopoly and exclusion of others. It is a call by Hamas and Fatah to divide authority amongst themselves, excluding other components of the Palestinian people both inside and in Diaspora,” the movement said in a statement issued from Gaza. The statement also cited past bilateral agreements in its critique, noting that the 2007 Hamas-Fatah unity government collapsed a few months later into bloody infighting. “They are reproducing disagreement in a way which will be worse than what happened on 8 February 2007 when ‘civil war’ erupted between Fatah and Hamas, and Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip by military force,” the statement read. 

Palestinian police arrest Gaza drug traffickers 
4/27/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – Palestinian police said they arrested three major drug traffickers in the Gaza Strip on Monday. Jamil Dahshan, the director of the Anti-Narcotics Unit of the police in the de facto government in Gaza, said that the three worked with a Bedouin and a Jewish Israeli to smuggle drugs into Gaza. “After the drug unit received information about drugs having been smuggled into Gaza, they began collecting information day and night using drug distributers to ambush the major dealers until they were finally arrested,” Dahshan explained. 

Fatah leaders clash in Jordan during Sixth Fatah Conference preparatory meeting 
4/28/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an Exclusive – Fatah leaders Hakam Bal’awi and Nasser Yousef brawled on Monday in Jordan as the two attended a planning meeting ahead of the Sixth Fatah conference, sources inside the movement said. A heated argument nearly came to blows during a late afternoon session of the planning committee, which has been preparing for a party conference set to re-think the structure and purpose of Fatah. As a result of the argument meetings for the conference were postponed. According to insiders the fight broke out when Bal’awi suggested younger generations of Fatah members join the conference to ensure fresh ideas at the conference. Yousef categorically rejected the idea saying the meeting, which could have participants in the hundreds of thousands, in favor of keeping the meeting to the central leaders of the party. 

Former PA official sentenced to seven years for embezzlement 
4/28/2009 - Ramallah – Ma’an – A Palestinian Authority court in Ramallah sentenced a former deputy undersecretary of the Interior Ministry to seven years in prison on Tuesday. In addition to the former undersecretary, Muhammad Abdul-Latif Abu Hajja, the court also convicted his wife, Samira Arif Turkiyya, and son, Ayman, to seven years imprisonment and penal servitude, along with a fine of 375,000 US dollars. According to Salim Jarrar, general persecutor for corruption and economic crimes, the case was referred to court by general prosecution on 9 September 2006, and the charges were embezzlement, forgery, using forged documents, and establishing an illegal society. He pointed out that the verdict came to crown efforts by the general prosecution’s department of fighting corruption and economic crimes. He said that corruption crimes are of special nature, and that they take a longer time to investigate. 

Hamas-Fatah dialogue in Cairo postponed to mid-May 
4/28/2009 - Cairo – Ma’an – The Palestinian national dialogue session between Hamas and Fatah has been delayed until mid-May, Reuters reported on Tuesday. The talks had started on Monday, but on Tuesday it was announced that the parties will break to examine new Egyptian proposals on a range of controversial topics. Senior Hamas leader and negotiator Mahmoud Zahhar said on Tuesday that talks would resume either 16 or 17 May. He told Reuters that the dialogue session "has been postponed in order for both delegations to go back to their leadership and discuss Egyptian suggestions and ideas. " He also explained that the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and security issues were the most complicated and controversial being discussed even before the talks were postponed. Member of Hamas' politburo Izzat Ar-Rashq, who also partook in the session, said both sides had not changed. . . 

Boy rescued from well in Gaza 
4/28/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – Palestinian civil defense workers rescued an eight-year-old who fell in an empty 35 to 30 meter well in Beit Lahiya, in the northern Gaza Strip on Monday night. The child was rushed to a hospital, where medics said he is mostly unharmed. Doctors said they decided to keep the boy in the hospital overnight to make sure he remains in good condition. 

Israeli man diagnosed with swine flu 
4/28/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an/Agencies – An Israeli man has been diagnosed with swine flu, the country’s Health Ministry confirmed on Tuesday afternoon. Twenty-six-year-old Tomer Vajim was hospitalized in the city of Netanya after returning from Mexico with flu symptoms. He was officially diagnosed after lab tests, according to the website of the newspaper Yediot Ahronot. According to the report, doctors said Vajim is in good condition and is being kept in isolation. Medics are still awaiting test results for a second Israeli who returned from Mexico with flu-like symptoms on Sunday and was hospitalized in the town of Kfar Saba, according to Yediot Ahronot. The Palestinian Authority Health Minister said on Monday that the West Bank and Gaza are clear of swine flu. The Ministry of Health in Ramallah released an informational pamphlet on how to identify potential swine flu symptoms. 

Palestine Motorsport season to kick off in Nablus Friday 
4/28/2009 - Nablus – Ma’an – The second round of Palestine's 2009 Motorsport series will begin Friday in the northern West Bank city of Nablus. Men and women motorsport racers have been practicing in Jericho all week in advance of the Nablus event, sponsored by Wataniyeh Communications and coordinated by the Palestinian Motor Sport and Motorcycle Federation with Nablus Mayor Dr Jamal Muheisen. The event will be held at the central vegetable market area, where five stunt racing events will be held for men and women in each vehicle class. The obstacle course, high-speed looping and tailing will be judged by a panel and awards will be presented for each category. The Nablus event will be the first of four set to take place in Ramallah, Bethlehem Jericho. The aggregate winner said Chairman of the Board for the Palestinian Motor Sport and Motorcycle Federation Khalid Kaddura, will be given the title of Palestinian Race Car Hero 2009. 

Aljazeera

Fatah and Hamas set for unity talks
27 Apr 2009 - Palestinian rivals in Egypt for meeting aimed at reviving national dialogue.

Clinton urges 'free' Lebanon vote
26 Apr 2009 - Lebanese must choose leaders without outside interference, US secretary of state says.

Reporter on 'hunger strike' in Iran
25 Apr 2009 - Journalist jailed in Iran for espionage is reportedly refusing food, her father says.

Policemen killed in Iran clashes
25 Apr 2009 - Armed men attack police in western provinces, killing at least 11 officers.

IRIN

GAZA: Efforts to track communicable diseases in Gaza
GAZA CITY Monday, April 27, 2009 (IRIN) - UN agencies and the health ministry in Gaza are working to strengthen communicable disease surveillance systems in Gaza, in light of the fact that leaking sewage may be contaminating drinking water.

ISRAEL-OPT: UN survey highlights psychological trauma in Gaza 
GAZA CITY Sunday, April 26, 2009 (IRIN) - The UN Inter-Agency Gender Task Force (IAGTF), a mechanism for integrating gender concerns into UN policies and programmes, on 23 April published the results of a household survey on the needs and perceptions of men and women in the aftermath of Israel’s recent 23-day military offensive in Gaza.

Inter Press Service

MIDEAST: If Only They Could See 
AMSTERDAM, Apr 28 (IPS) - Mohammed Al-Sheikh Yousef could save his eyesight if only he could cross the border out of Gaza. He was denied a permit by Israel; he got one from Egypt, but not for someone to accompany him. And he can't go on his own because he...

EGYPT: Dubious Claims Spark Row With Hizbullah 
CAIRO, Apr 27 (IPS) - Egyptian authorities announced earlier this month the discovery of a Hizbullah "cell" allegedly planning to carry out violent operations in Egypt. Although Hizbullah chief Hasan Nasrallah insists the group was only tasked to assist the Palestinian resistance in Gaza, the government has used the episode...

RIGHTS-US: Bracing for New Prisoner Abuse Photos 
NEW YORK, Apr 27 (IPS) - This Tuesday, Apr. 28, will mark five years since the world got its first look at the sickening photographs from Abu Ghraib on the U.S. television programme "60 Minutes."

RIGHTS-US: Dozens of CIA "Ghost Prisoners" Missing 
NEW YORK, Apr 24 (IPS) - At least three dozen detainees who were held in the CIA's secret prisons overseas appear to be missing – and efforts by human rights organisations to track their whereabouts have been unsuccessful.

Stop The Wall

37 injured in protests following the killing of Abu Rahma
27 Apr 2009 - Anti-Wall demonstrations this week commemorated the life of Basem Abu Rahma, who was killed last week in Bil’in. Several were detained and at least 37 were wounded in Ni’lin, Bil’in, Jayyus and al-Ma’sara. 25 of the wounded are residents of Bil’in, where a memorial was set up on Friday for Abu Rahma. Youth in Jayyus have also reported that soldiers have started using only live ammunition against village demonstrations. [

PCHR Latest

(27-04-2009) PCHR Welcomes Resumption of Work at External Medical Treatment Department
PCHR

PCHR Condemn Israeli Attempts to Legitimise Crimes in Gaza and Shield Perpetrators from Justice
PCHR

PCHR Weekly Report

(09 -22 April  2008)
During the reporting period, IOF killed three Palestinian civilians, including two children, in the West Bank. Two of the dead were killed by IOF in Ramallah, while Israeli settlement guards in Hebron killed the third.

International Solidarity Movement

Construction of Israeli-only road threatens homes of Umm al Kher-al Faqir residents
International Solidarity Movement - "My family bought this land in 1948 after being expelled from our old home. It was just us, the birds, and the trees here at that time. But in 1967 the Israelis started to attack us, and ten years later they built a military outpost. Five years after that the settlers started buiding their homes on our land. Today they even tried to tear down our camp," says Salim, a 60 year-old man from Umm al Kher-al Faqir. A military road around the Karmel settlement, built on stolen land, is under construction, and was planned to go through the village demolishing some houses. The demolition order of the Bedouin camp outside Hebron was due at four o'clock on Sunday, 26 April 2009, but did not take place. When the bulldozer started work on the land early in the morning, people from the camp attempted to prevent the demolition by sitting down in front of the bulldozer. 

Israeli forces shoot protester in the head with tear-gas during Ni'lin demonsration
International Solidarity Movement - 25 April 2009 - On Friday the 25th of April at 12. 30 pm the weekly prayer demonstration was carried out in Ni"™lin. Approximately 100 Ni"™lin residents, accompanied by international and Israeli solidarity activists took part in the demonstration. The Israeli army was already present at the usual prayer site before residents arrived. During the demonstration, Israeli forces shot tar gas canisters directly at protesters, causing four to be injured including one who was shot with a canister in the head. Another 22 were heavily tear-gassed and required medical attention. Rubber coated steel bullets and sound bombs were also used by the army, causing one demonstrator to be shot with a rubber coated steel bullet. After the prayer, demonstrators were prevented from entering the olive fields by the army. A military incursion into the village caused several residents to throw stones in response. 

Nonviolent action by Palestinians and internationals stops settler road construction in Um al Kheir
International Solidarity Movement - 26 April 2009 - Palestinians from the South Hebron Hills village of Um al Kheir today changed the route of a road being constructed by settlersfrom the illegal settlement of Karmel. The villagers, acting with internationals, nonviolently blocked the road-building equipment as it prepared the roadbed on land which belongs to Palestinians living in the village of Um al Kheir. Palestinians and internationals gathered to confront settlers from Karmel, Israeli soldiers, and Israeli border police as work began at 7:00 AM. Israeli soldiers allowed the road work to continue despite a pending legal complaint filed by the village in Israeli court. One older Palestinian man who was sitting in front of earth-moving equipment was accidentally struck by stones which were dislodged by the work. 

Israeli forces raid Awawi home in Hebron
International Solidarity Movement - 26 April 2009 - In the early hours of Sunday 26th of April, the house of the Awawi family in the old city of Hebron was raided by a group of 10 Israeli soldiers. Arriving at midnight, the soldiers ruthlessly searched the house, noting all the families"™ possessions beforethrowing them on the floor. They made drawings of the layout of the house and photographed the 9 young children who live in the small, compact house. After three hours, they left, finding nothing of note. The Awawi family has frequently been harrassed by settlers and army, due to living in a house which provides good access to the old city for the settlers. On one occasion the room on the roof of the house was even set on fire by settlers and the water tanks destroyed. Updated on April 28, 2009 

Israeli forces raid Tel Rumeida homes
International Solidarity Movement - 25 April 2009 - On the evenings of the 23rd & 24th April, Israeli soldiers entered the homes of Palestinian residents in the Tel Rumeida area of Hebron. During these illegal raids the houses were searched and the families harassed before the soldiers left with no evidence of law infringement of any kind. On Thursday 23rd at 9pm soldiers began their operation; it lasted 3 hours with five Palestinian houses being searched. The following day, Friday 24th, this move was replicated, with a further five houses searched. A number of these families were forced into a single room and sometimes made to wait outside their houses during the raids, oblivious to what was happening inside. These raids are not the first of their kind in Tel Rumeida. Every month the soldiers enter numerous houses in the neighborhood, under the pretense of searching for incriminating weapons. 

Closing statement of the fourth Bil'in International Conference on Non-Violent Resistance
International Solidarity Movement - April 22-24, 2009 - As we conclude our conference today, we remember our friend and fellow in struggle, Bassem Abu Rahma, who was killed by the Israeli army last Friday during the weekly peaceful demonstration. Our hearts and prayers go out to his family and we wish them peace in these hard times. Our thoughts and prayers are also with Tristan Anderson and his family. Tristan, an American solidarity activist, was shot and seriously injured by the Israeli army last month while he was visiting Ni"™lin village. The Fourth Bil"™in Conference for Non-Violent Resistance is held this year at a critical stage of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. As Israeli violence and oppression against the Palestinian people to force it into submission has intensified, and an extremist Israeli government ascended to power, the Palestinian leadership is unacceptably divided and weakened. 

Palestinian prisoners' families protest at Red Cross
International Solidarity Movement - 27 April 2009 - The Palestinian Prisoners Day (14th of April) has gone but the families of the Palestinian prisoners continue their struggle. As every Monday for several years now, today again they peacefully occupied the yard of the Red Cross building in Gaza City. Mothers, wives, sisters, children, showing the pictures of their beloved ones that they haven't seen for years, since the Israeli prohibition of visits for residents from Gaza Strip. Thousands of Palestinian prisoners, hundreds of children, tens of women, are suffering from institutionalized torture and ill-treatment, medical negligence, solitary confinement and other inhuman conditions in the Israeli jails. Updated on April 28, 2009 

Non-violent protests against West Bank barrier turn increasingly dangerous
International Solidarity Movement - 27 April 2009 - It began calmly enough with a march down the high street after midday prayers at the mosque. Palestinian villagers were surrounded by dozens of foreigners singing and waving flags. They turned and headed out to the olive-tree fields and up towards the broad path of Israel's West Bank barrier. There, behind a concrete hilltop bunker, the Israeli soldiers looked down on them. The crowd approached the barrier, still singing. One man flew a paper kite shaped as a plane. "This land is a closed military zone," an Israeli soldier shouted in flawless Arabic over a loudspeaker. "You are not allowed near the wall. "Then the soldiers fired a barrage of teargas. It has been like this every Friday in the village of Bil'in for more than four years "“ the most persistent popular demonstration against Israel's vast steel and concrete barrier. It is a protest founded on non-violence that is spreading to other West Bank villages. But it has become increasingly dangerous. 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

PM aide: Netanyahu's Mideast policy likely by time of U.S. visit
27 Apr 2009 - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's review of Israel's policy on the Middle East is expected to be completed by the time he visits the United States next month, an aide to the premier said Tuesday. ...

Israel worried by report U.S. would aid Hamas-Fatah coalition
27 Apr 2009 - Officials in Jerusalem were surprised by a report in the L.A. Times Monday that the Obama administration has asked Congress to amend U.S. law to enable the Palestinian Authority to receive federal aid even if Hamas joins a unity coalition. ... 

Report: 3 Lebanon men admit spying on Hezbollah for Israel
27 Apr 2009 - Two Lebanese men and a Palestinian have confessed to supplying Israeli intelligence agents with information regarding Hezbollah's activities, media outlets in Lebanon reported on Tuesday. ...

Barak: Israel can and must make peace within three years
27 Apr 2009 - "I am certain it is possible and certainly necessary to act with all our might to achieve peace even before I turn 70, which will be in three years," said Defense Minister Ehud Barak in his first extensive interview since joining the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. ... 

Venezuela and PA establish official ties in wake of Gaza war
27 Apr 2009 - Palestinian officials established formal ties on Monday with Venezuela and opened a diplomatic mission in the South American country. ...

The Guardian

Abe Hayeem: Boycott this Israeli settlement builder
28 Apr 2009 - The UK Foreign Office will no longer rent from Lev Leviev. Now other states must also boycott this builder of illegal settlements The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office must be commended for its decision to cancel...

Ben White: Fatah is turning into a footnote
28 Apr 2009 - The crisis in the Palestinian party is such that it cannot find sufficient unity to hold a conference 20 years after it last met The future of Fatah is up in the air. Internal divisions and...

Simon Tisdall: When Barack meets Bibi
27 Apr 2009 - Due to a widening gulf between the US and Israel, Obama's meeting with Netanyahu could present a tough challenge The US and Israel are old friends. But Barack Obama's meeting in Washington next month with his...

Seth Freedman: Violence is futile in Bil'in
27 Apr 2009 - Protesters continue to clash with Israeli border police in Bil'in – but every rock hurled works in the IDF's favour A week after the tragic death of Bassem Abu Rahma at the hands of Israeli border...

Ha'aretz National page

Slumdog Millionaire stars find love in Israel
27 Apr 2009 - Rumors of a romance between the two stars of Slumdog Millionaire have been circulating for months, but now the young love seems to have been confirmed, with a secret rendezvous in Israel. ...

WATCH: Israel stands silent as Memorial Day sirens wail
27 Apr 2009 - Israelis stood silently at attention on Tuesday morning, as a two-minute siren sounded across the country to commemorate Israel's fallen soldiers and victims of terror attacks. ...

Israel confirms first case of swine flu, raises alert level to 4
27 Apr 2009 - Israel confirmed its first case of swine flu on Tuesday, Israel Radio reported, as the Health Ministry raised its level of alert 4 out of 6. ...

Making swine flu kosher: A symptom of the disease of Israeli politics
27 Apr 2009 - On what must have been a slow day at the Knesset, the de facto head of the Health Ministry, MK Yakov Litzman, stated Monday that swine flu would be from here on in referred to as " Mexico Flu ," as pork is non-kosher and considered unclean under Jewish law. ... 

Memorial Day / Reflections of an American Jew in Israel
27 Apr 2009 - Being in Israel as it commemorates Memorial Day is something I would recommend for any one of my fellow Diaspora Jews. ...

Relief Web

OPT : UNICEF and ECHO support counselling to help Gaza 's children face the future 
25 Apr 2009 - By Lóa Magnúsdóttir GAZA , Occupied Palestinian Territory, 21 April 2009...during the conflict in Gaza that ended earlier this...counselling from the Palestinian Centre for Democracy...desperately needs. In Gaza , where medical facilities... 

New risks from global crisis create development emergency, say World Bank, IMF
25 Apr 2009 - ...Montoliu- Munoz, Joyce Msuya, Richard Newfarmer, Israel Osorio-Rodarte, Harry Patrinos, Emilio Porta, Abha...systems in Egypt, Jordan, Rajasthan (India), and the West Bank and Gaza , with the objectives of supporting national education... 

Global crisis prompts big rise in World Bank health and education financing - AIDS drugs could be in short spply
25 Apr 2009 - ...health outcomes. Women and children are especially vulnerable. During crises, households may demand fewer health services and opt for lower quality and quantity of nutrition. Government capacity is also impacted. This may result in deteriorating health... 

Malaria & children - Progress in intervention coverage summary update 2009
25 Apr 2009 - ...0 323 Israel 5 1 683...0 103 Lebanon 29 2 362...Occupied Palestinian Terr. 27 4 685 Oman 12 1 271... 

OPT : UNRWA wins prestigious "Kahlil Gibran Spirit of Humanity" award 
24 Apr 2009 - ...conflict in Gaza , UNRWA's...thousands of Palestinians affected by...thousand staff in Gaza who showed extraordinary...UNRWA staff. " Gaza has been in...working in the West Bank , Jordan, Lebanon and Syria...opportunities to Palestine refugees, some... 

OPT : UNRWA Commissioner-General visits Syria 
24 Apr 2009 - ...and the Syrian people solidarity for the Gaza Campaign launched by UNRWA early January...Government in support of the people in Gaza . Afterwards she will inaugurate the European...Theater in support of "For the Children of Gaza " Campaign. Before returning to Amman... 

YNet News

Israel celebrates 61st Independence Day
28 Apr 2009 - Nation begins anniversary celebrations with traditional lighting of 12 flares 'for the glory of Israel' and in honor of various sectors' achievements. Ceremony focuses on Tel Aviv centennial

Palestinian faces death for selling land to Israel 
28 Apr 2009 - Military court in West Bank city of Hebron said to find local man guilty of selling land to Jews, sentences him to death by hanging 

2nd case of swine flu confirmed; PM calls special meeting
28 Apr 2009 - Health Ministry says 49-year-old man returning from Mexico was diagnosed with flu, doing well. Netanyahu holds special meeting following growing concerns of H1N2 virus spreading in Israel, tasked the Health Ministry with ensuring nation's readiness

Anti-Israel event fraudulently planned, then canceled, at NYU
28 Apr 2009 - New York University reports student received permission to host event on climate change, then hung flyers for conference on 'Hidden History of Zionism: The Road to Gaza's Killing Fields'

1st swine flu case diagnosed in Israel
28 Apr 2009 - Lab test confirm 26-year-old Tomer Vajim, who returned from Mexico last week and was hospitalized at Netanya hospital, is indeed suffering from disease; doctors say he is in good condition, being kept in isolation. Health Ministry's director-general instructs hospitals on Phase 4 level of preparedness for virus 

Israel remembers its 22,570 fallen 
28 Apr 2009 - (Video) Two-minute siren sounds across country, followed by state memorial services for fallen IDF soldiers, terror victims on Jerusalem's Mount Herzl. Prime Minister Netanyahu addressed bereaved families, says 'there's no consolation and no way to forget.' Father of Chabad emissary's wife who was killed in Mumbai: Pain grows with every day that passes

PA: Olmert received an offer, then bombed Gaza
28 Apr 2009 - Chief negotiator Erekat says written plan for long-term peace was also submitted to President Bush in late December

B'tselem

Policemen sentenced to prison for incident exposed by B'Tselem
27 Apr 2009 - The Jerusalem District Court sentenced two additional border policemen for their involvement in the 2002 abduction and killing of ‘Imran Abu Hamdiya, a Palestinian from Hebron.

Testimony: Settlers assault young pregnant Palestinian
22 Apr 2009 - On 10 April, Roqaya al-Hazalin, together with a group of women and children, were grazing sheep near their village, in the Hebron District. According to her testimony, four armed settlers with sticks approached them. The other shepherds she was with ran a

Daily Star

First Middle East swine flu case confirmed in Israel 
28 Apr 2009 - In the first case of swine flu in the Middle East, an Israeli man who recently returned from Mexico was on Tuesday confirmed to have contracted the potentially deadly virus, officials said. "The virus was confirmed," said Matilda Schwartz, spokeswoman for the Laniado hospital in Netanya, where the man had been under observation since Sunday morning.

Barak says Netanyahu will bend on two-state solution 
28 Apr 2009 - Israel's defense minister said in an interview published Tuesday that he expects Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to agree to the principle of Palestinian statehood - something the Israeli leader has balked at doing since taking office a month ago. Netanyahu is coming under increasing pressure from Washington.

Presidential hopeful says Ahmadinejad hurt Iran's standing 
28 Apr 2009 - Iran's hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has damaged the country's relations with the international community, a moderate challenger in the June presidential vote said on Tuesday. Mehdi Karoubi, former parliamentary speaker and a moderate cleric, said Ahmadinejad's questioning of the Holocaust was not in line with the Islamic state's interests.

Iran insists Saberi healthy, not on hunger strike 
28 Apr 2009 - Iran's judiciary said on Tuesday a US-born journalist jailed for espionage was in good health and not hunger striking, but Roxana Saberi's father said she was "frail and weak" after refusing food for a week. Reza Saberi said his daughter, who was sentenced on April 18 to eight years in prison on charges of spying for the United States, had not eaten since Tuesday last week.

Gaza siege cuts off Palestinians from medical treatment 
28 Apr 2009 - Mohammad al-Sheikh Yousef could save his eyesight if only he could cross the border out of Gaza. He was denied a permit by Israel; he got one from Egypt, but not for someone to accompany him. And he cannot go on his own because he cannot see very well.

Palestinian Authority, Venezuela establish formal diplomatic relations 
28 Apr 2009 - The Venezuelan government and the Palestinian Authority formally established relations Monday with the opening of a Palestinian diplomatic mission in Caracas. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez "is the most popular leader in the Arab world because of his courage, his support for justice.

Palestinian Information Center

Israel builds new Jewish neighborhood south of O. Jerusalem
28 Apr 2009 - The Israeli Haaretz newspaper reported Sunday that the IOA is embarking nowadays on establishing a new Jewish neighborhood in the Palestinian area of Arab Al-Sawahreh, south of occupied Jerusalem.

Khatib: The perils threatening J'lem would have adverse results on Arab states
28 Apr 2009 - Sheikh Kamal Al-Khatib warned that the dangers which keep threatening occupied Jerusalem would result in repercussions on the domestic policies of all Arab countries.

Agriculture ministry condemns repeated Israeli attacks on farmers
28 Apr 2009 - The ministry of agriculture in Gaza Strip on Tuesday condemned the repeated attacks on Palestinian farmers in the West Bank at the hands of Israeli occupation forces and the "herds of settlers".

Israeli court refuses to release sick detainee
28 Apr 2009 - Israeli military court in Ofer jail has refused to release Palestinian detainee Nassim Al-Kharraz despite a recommendation by the jail's doctor that he should be released in view of his condition.

IOA releases MP Abdelrazek, Fatah preventive security kidnaps his son
28 Apr 2009 - The IOA released Dr. Omar Abdelrazek, a Palestinian lawmaker, Tuesday morning while the Fatah-affiliated preventive security apparatus kidnapped his son Mohamed soon after his release.

IOA imposes complete closure on O. Jerusalem on eve of 61st anniversary of Nakba
28 Apr 2009 - On the eve of the 61st anniversary of Israel's establishment on Palestine the IOA imposed tight closure on occupied Jerusalem and barred West Bank citizens who hold permits from entering the city.

British circus to participate in Hope convoy heading to impoverished Gaza
28 Apr 2009 - A British group specialized in entertainment declared its intention to go along with the "Hope" convoy to the Gaza Strip to give psychosocial and recreational support for Gaza children.

Turkish-Syrian maneuvers disturb Israel
28 Apr 2009 - Syria and Turkey commenced joint military exercises on the common borders on Monday described as the first of their kind between the two countries, a press release by the Turkish chief of staff said.

Masri: Any government without PLC approval illegitimate
28 Apr 2009 - Hamas asserted that it was open for all proposals to ensure success of the national dialog sessions away from the international quartet committee's conditions, which call for recognizing Israel.

Scottish delegation decides to bring more convoys to break siege on Gaza
28 Apr 2009 - Members of the Scottish delegation who left the besieged Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing point a couple of days after they paid a solidarity visit to it vowed to lead more convoys to Gaza.

Los Angeles Times

A coffee drinker's guide to the world 
28 Apr 2009 - In Italy, the brew in the hideaway bar vies with the banter. Then there's the sweet concoction in Caracas, and the mall outlet in Israel that served up a great espresso amid the threat of rockets. The nonchalant artists behind the counter serve up one mini-masterpiece after another. But you won't find Il Caffe in any Milan guidebooks. 

Obama move alarms Israel supporters 
27 Apr 2009 - The administration seeks changes that would permit aid to Palestinians even if officials backed by Hamas, which has been designated a terrorist group, become part of a unified Palestinian government. The Obama administration, already on treacherous political ground because of its outreach to traditional adversaries such as Iran and Cuba, has opened the door a crack to engagement with the militant group Hamas. 

New York Times

Reporter Jailed in Iran Passes Week on Fast
27 Apr 2009 - Roxana Saberi has lost 10 pounds and has become weak since she began her protest, her father said. 

Abbas Rejects Calling Israel a Jewish State
27 Apr 2009 - The Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas, dismissed a demand by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. 

Clinton Says Moderation Is Lebanon’s Best Hope
26 Apr 2009 - Hillary Rodham Clinton made a lightning visit to Lebanon six weeks before a crucial parliamentary election in which Hezbollah is expected to make gains. 


Articles


Boycott this Israeli settlement builder 
The Guardian 4/28/2009
      The UK Foreign Office will no longer rent from Lev Leviev. Now other states must also boycott this builder of illegal settlements. 
     The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office must be commended for its decision to cancel renting premises for the UK embassy in Tel Aviv from the company Africa-Israel, owned by Israeli businessman and settlement builder Lev Leviev. This is an encouraging step that should now be backed by stronger sanctions against the building of the separation wall and the building of illegal settlements by Israel. Furthermore, the governments of Norway and Dubai should emulate the example set by the UK and sever their relationships with Leviev’s companies.
     The Israeli paper Ha’aretz reported on 3 March 2009 that "Due to the public pressure" several months ago in a special debate in parliament, Kim Howells of the Foreign Office was asked to explain plans to rent the embassy from Leviev.
     This pressure, by a letters campaign to the FCO, was initiated by Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine with human rights organisation Adalah-New York, followed by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Noam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein, former BBC correspondent Tim Llewellyn and hundreds of others.
     Further voices included Daniel Machover of Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights, Palestinian notables including Hanan Ashrawi, Mustafa Barghouti and Luisa Morgantini, vice president of the European parliament.

A Little Red Light 
Uri Avnery, CounterPunch 4/27/2009
      On Israeli Fascism
     Perhaps Avigdor Lieberman is only a passing episode in the annals of the State of Israel. Perhaps the fire he is trying to ignite will flicker briefly and go out by itself. Or perhaps the police investigations into the grave corruption affair of which he is suspected will lead to his removal from the public sphere.
     But the opposite is also possible. Last week he promised his acolytes that the next elections would bring him to power.
     Perhaps Lieberman will prove to be an “Israbluff”’ (a term he himself likes to use), and be revealed, behind the frightful façade, as nothing more than a run of the mill impostor.
     Perhaps this Lieberman will indeed disappear, to be replaced by another, even worse Lieberman.
     Either way, we should candidly confront the phenomenon he represents. If one believes that his utterances sound fascist, one has to ask oneself: is there a possibility that a fascist regime might come to power in Israel?
     THE INITITIAL gut-feeling is a resounding NO. In Israel? In the Jewish State? After the Holocaust which Nazi fascism brought upon us? Can one even imagine that Israelis would become something like the Nazis?


Electronic Intifada
Racism, boycott and a big dose of hypocrisy
28 Apr 2009 - The Durban Review Conference held last week was initially intended to be a forum to evaluate the progress towards goals set eight years ago. But bullying tactics by certain European/North American states ensured that the draft Durban Review Conference declaration excluded any criticism of Israel. In the planning process original "offensive" statements such as those referring to "unlawful collective punishment" and "torture" were removed. Isabelle Humphries comments for The Electronic Intifada. 

Norway gov't, banks investing in settlement construction company
28 Apr 2009 - As the pressure on companies to pull out from business facilitating Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip grows, it has been recently revealed that in Norway three private banks and the state pension fund invested in one such company. Adri Nieuwhof reports for The Electronic Intifada. 

Dahlan comeback to Gaza fails
27 Apr 2009 - CAIRO (IPS) - The recent onslaught against the Gaza Strip -- and Israel's failure to achieve its military objectives there -- left Palestinian resistance group Hamas politically stronger than ever. Concurrently, it dealt a possible death blow to the faction within Fatah led by strongman Mohammed Dahlan, long known for its closeness to Israel. 

The Zionist movement and sports in Palestine
27 Apr 2009 - Even today, there remains a great deal of misinformation on Palestinian websites regarding the participation of Palestine in the 1934 and 1938 World Cup tournaments. Such misinformation generally comes from individuals who are not familiar with the historical facts and must be corrected. Issam Khalidi looks at the history of the Zionist movement and sports in Palestine. 

In Gaza
widowed and orphaned by Israeli drone strike
26 Apr 2009 - Naama Barbakh stands in the yard beside her farmhouse in southern Gaza’s As Shoka district, east of Rafah. She gestures to the ground and the surrounding area, pointing out where the dead and dying bodies of her husband and three of her sons lay after an unmanned drone missile strike on the morning of January 4th. On January 3rd, the Israeli land invasion had begun, with tanks and troops invading Gaza and occupying areas to the east of Rafah. Barbakh, a mother of eight children, three martyred in the attack, explains what happened that morning. “It was around 9 am. My daughter and I were preparing bread dough inside the...

Palestine Chronicle
The Problem Isn't Avigdor Lieberman
27 Apr 2009 - By Ellen Cantarow 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...

Why Did Hillary Clinton Come to Beirut?
27 Apr 2009 - By Franklin Lamb - Beirut On June 17, 2008, then Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice set a remarkable American and World Record for the shortest visit to Lebanon ever recorded by a serving US Secretary of State. The objective was to express love, affection, and non-interference in Lebanon’s internal affairs. Some wags in Beirut will tell you it was George Bush’s’ Secretary of State’s greatest single achievement. History will judge, but Ms. Rice was definitely in and out of Lebanon ten months ago in a breadth taking 275 minutes! Today, April 26, 2009, that record was shattered. With the authority of a Shack O’Neal slam dunk in sudden death overtime in a NBA playoff, current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, to the awe of her advance team and bedazzled entourage, shaved no fewer than 110 minutes off Condi’s Record. Let the word go forth, that as of today, the new record for an American administration expressing eternal love to Lebanon is: 165 minutes flat--touchdown to wheels up! Both ladies arrived, as others had before them, with identical objectives. It to shore up the US backed ‘ruling team’ amid disturbing signs that Lebanon’s population wants change they can believe in. Each had the same itinerary, a quick visit with smiles and sweet words for the much admired Lebanese President, Michel Suleiman, followed by a dash downtown to Martyr’s Square (one of several such Squares in Lebanon) to lay a wreath on the shrine of murdered former Prime Minister, Rafic Hariri. This...

Emanuel Trumpets the Coming of the Drummer
27 Apr 2009 - By William A. Cook "It is not merely of some importance but is of fundamental importance that justice should not only be done, but should manifestly and undoubtedly beseen to be done." -- Lord Hewart, 1870-1943. No doubt Avigdor Lieberman did not hear the news as he blustered recently (Haaretz 4/22/09) that “The Obama administration will put forth new peace initiatives only if Israel wants it to.” Then he added to the Russian daily Moskovskiy Komosolets, “Believe me America accepts all our decisions.” Perhaps he did not hear Rahm Emanuel’s announcement that the President is committed to a Palestinian State, a commitment that prophesizes a return to justice as the foundation for peace in Palestine and Israel just as it declares in no uncertain terms that he is not subservient to an Israeli Prime Minister or his political bouncer, the Foreign Minister; he is his own drummer, suggesting that Netanyahu and Lieberman had better fall in line and step to his beat or stand on the sidelines as America advances toward a real and tangible resolution to the “crisis” that has crippled the countries of the mid-East for more than 60 years. Obama’s assertion that there must be a Palestinian State forces the issue front and center if only because both Netanyahu and Lieberman have declared it moribund. Despite years of implied recognition by Israel that negotiations between the PLO and the Israeli government would result in the creation of a Palestinian State, Israel has never stated in writing that...

Terror and Torture
27 Apr 2009 - By Jim Miles The current media frenzy concerning Obama's coming release of more information on U.S. torture between 2000 and 2005 is a political storm conveniently kept out of context. There are two aspects to the context that are missing. First, this is not new information and well before current events erupted into the news, the case has been made all along that the Bush administration in general – Bush and Cheney, their political advisors and legal representatives – are all complicit in contravening the Geneva Conventions on torture and the treatment of prisoners of war. Secondly, terror and torture go hand in glove, the two are fully related and have been used by the U.S. and its proxies in many different contexts around the world – and are still doing so as Obama has put an end to torture at Guantanamo, but has not denied renditions to friendly torturers elsewhere. The spin-doctors in the White House are no longer allowing the use of the term “war on terror” although the facts of the war have not changed. As the global war on whatever or the long war on whomever continues, the abuses associated with terror and torture will continue to spread. The initiator of terror of course is the occupier of foreign territories creating the obvious wish on the part of the indigenous populations for the occupier to go home, currently involving most of the Middle East from Israel/Palestine through to Pakistan. This has happened throughout history, ancient and...

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