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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
30 April, 2009

News

International Middle East Media Center

Israeli military kidnaps four Palestinian civilians from the West Bank
30 Apr 2009 - Four Palestinian civilians were reported kidnapped during military invasions targeting a number of Palestinian cities in the west bank on Thursday. 

Israeli settler rams a Palestinian teenager near Hebron
30 Apr 2009 - A Palestinian teen was injured when an Israeli settler rammed her with his car near the southern West bank city of Hebron on Thursday morning.

Soldiers open fire at famers near Gaza City
30 Apr 2009 - Israeli tanks stationed at the Gaa borders opened fire at Palestinian farmers onThursday midday near Gaza city. 

az Clay homes to replace shelled homes in Gaza
30 Apr 2009 - The dissolved Hamas-led government in the Gaza Strip announced that it aims at developing the idea of clay homes to fulfill the needs of the residents after Israel demolished thousands of homes and is barring the entry of construction tools in the coastal region since more than 18 months. 

Israel threatens to bloc EU from peace process if criticism of Netanyahu's government continues
30 Apr 2009 - An official at the Israeli Foreign Ministry warned that Israel would block the European Union from participating in the Middle East peace process with the Palestinians if the EU does not stop its criticism of Israel. 

Testimony: Settlers assault pregnant woman with sticks and stones, April '09
30 Apr 2009 - Roqaya al-Hazalin, 23; I am eight months’ pregnant. On Friday, 10 April, I took my sheep to graze in an area southwest of our village, not far from the cattle farm of the Ma’on settlement. I was with other women from the village, among them Amneh Sallem ‘Eid  al-Hazalin and Khadrah Suliman al-Hazalin, and a group of children under the age of 15, among them Tareq Sallem ‘Eid al-Hazalin, 13, Musa Suliman al-Hazalin, 12, and ‘Omar Suliman al-Hazalin, 10. 

Galboa’ Prison Administration to enforce Orange jumpsuits
30 Apr 2009 - Palestinian Prisoner Society (PPS) reported Wednesday that the Prison Administration in Galboa’ Israeli Prison informed the representative of the detainees that it intends to enforce Orange jumpsuits on the detainees starting next Sunday. 

P.A Ministry of Health prepares to counter Swine Flu
30 Apr 2009 - Palestinian Minister of Health, Dr. Fathi Abu Maghli, stated that although there are no swine flu infection cases in the Palestinian territories, the ministry held several meetings and conducted arrangements to ensure it’s ready to provide the residents with the needed advice and help. 

Jarrar: “National dialogue, free from external preconditions, is needed”
30 Apr 2009 - Legislator Khalida Jarrar, member of the political bureau of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), stated Wednesday that it is essential that all factions resume national dialogue, but without external preconditions. 

Abdul-Qader: “Israel issued orders to demolish constructions belonging to East Jerusalem Church"
29 Apr 2009 - Hatim Abdul-Qader, Jerusalem Affairs advisor to the Palestinian Prime Minister, stated on Wednesday at night that the Jerusalem Municipality issued orders to demolish constructions that are located in historical churches and monasteries in the Old City of Jerusalem. 

The Israeli military invades and bulldoze lands in northern Gaza Strip
29 Apr 2009 - A number of Israeli tanks and bulldozers invaded farm lands located near the northern Gaza Israeli borders on Wednesday morning.

The Israeli municipality finishes preparations to demolish 50 Palestinian homes in Jerusalem
29 Apr 2009 - The Israeli Jerusalem municipality announced on Wednesday that it had finalized all the preparations needed to demolish 50 Palestinian-owned homes in Jerusalem.

Ha'aretz Defense page

'Galilee Freedom Fighters': Israeli Arab terror suspects are our operatives
30 Apr 2009 - Shadowy group says other cells still planning attacks; 7 Israeli Arabs held over plot to kidnap troops. 

U.S. defense chief: Military strike won't halt Iran nuke program
30 Apr 2009 - Defense Secretary Gates: Sanctions make more sense, attack would send program further underground. 

Peres: Bombing Iran may not be the 'best solution'
29 Apr 2009 - President says attacking Iran nuclear sites would only postpone its ability to build atom bomb. 

Obama in 2012, after he fails to deal with Iran
29 Apr 2009 - A decision to thwart Tehran's nuclear ambitions could have prevented Mideast chaos and U.S. decline. 

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. 

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. 

Ma'an News

Israeli municipality issues demolition order on renovated housing in Old City monastery 
4/30/2009 - Jerusalem – Ma’an – Orders have been made to demolish a two-floor addition to a monastery and church in the Old City of Jerusalem, Aide for Jerusalem affairs Hatem Abdul Qader reported on Wednesday. The orders were made by the Israeli municipal government of Jerusalem, and target structures such as a two-story addition to the Armenian Catholic Church. Clergy from the order have requested help in fighting the order. The addition was built to house religious figures visiting Jerusalem from Vatican City. The 150-year-old structure is built on land owned by Belgium's monarchy. Abdul Qader describedthe order as a challenge against holy sites in the Old City, and said the order was particularly concerning ahead of Pope Benedict XVI's May visit. He noted that the issue would be brought up with the Holy Father. 

Israeli extremists rally against separation wall near Jerusalem 
4/30/2009 - Jerusalem – Ma’an – Fifteen right-wing Israelis rallied against the separation wall near the Shu’fat Refugee Camp north of Jerusalem on Thursday. The Israelis were protesting the route of the wall, which they said was cutting their land into separate pieces. Israeli sources said “around fifteen right-wing activists arrived to the construction site near the refugee camp and prevented the workers from continuing their job. ” They were using the same tactics that Palestinians in Bil’in, Ni’lin and Al-Ma’asara used each week during Friday afternoon protests in the West Bank. Right-wing member of the Israeli Knesset Michael Ben Ari climbed up the wall and shouted “Jerusalem and the Land of Israel will not be allowed to be separated by the wall. ”According to reports work at the construction site ceased following the demonstration. 

Poll: 75% of Americans oppose Israeli settlements 
4/30/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – Three-quarters of Americans think that Israel should not build settlements on occupied Palestinian land, according to an opinion poll released on Wednesday. The poll, organized by WorldPublicOpinion. org, a project run by researchers at the University of Maryland, found that one third of Americans “show more sympathy for Israel than the Palestinians, substantially more than the 12 percent who express more sympathy for the Palestinians. ”However the largest number, 51 percent, expressed “equal levels of sympathy for each side. The percentage expressing equal levels of sympathy is up 10 points from 2002. ”Even those respondents who said they sympathize more with Israel “feel that it should not be building settlements in the West Bank by a clear majority (64%), as do those who sympathize equally with Israel and the Palestinians (80%), and those who sympathize more with the Palestinians (96%). 

Lacking cement, Gaza government seeks to transform rubble into new buildings 
4/30/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – The de facto government in Gaza is investigating whether the rubble of bombed buildings can be ground up and re-constituted into a cement substitute that can be used in reconstruction. Minister of Public Works and Housing Yousef Al-Mansi said the Hamas-run government will build a mosque, a school and a clinic using this method as a trial run. Later, the ministry will expand its projects to include mud construction and other techniques. “We are capable of constructing such simple structures adequately,” said Al-Mansi, pointing out that architects and engineers still need to work out the fine details of the buildings, including windows, doors, electricity and sanitation. Reconstruction from Israel’s three-week assault on Gaza has been stalled due to what the UN reports is a blanket prohibition on imports of construction materials, including cement and steel. 

Ma'an Exclusive: Fatah leader calls for dismantling PA 
4/30/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – A high-ranking Fatah official on Thursday proposed holding presidential and legislative elections as an alternative to the "useless" Cairo dialogue, urging Palestinians to choose between Israeli negotiations led by Fatah or a resistance agenda claimed by Hamas, but which it "does not practice. " Hussam Khader, a Fatah legislator within the Palestinian Legislative Council, said during a visit to Ma’an News Agency in the West Bank city of Bethlehem that "without agreeing on a decent election program between Fatah and Hamas that will specify the future of the Palestinians, these elections will not be held and the state of division that is supported by western parties and Israel will deepen. " "Palestinians are qualified more than others for such a situation since there is a geographical barrier between the West Bank and Gaza, which is the [Israeli] occupation," he added. 

Two Palestinians killed as tunnel collapses under Gaza-Egypt border 
4/30/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – Two Palestinians were killed when a tunnel collapsed under the Gaza-Egypt border near the city of Rafah early on Thursday morning. The director of Abu Yousef An-Najjar Hospital in Rafah, Abdullah Shihadeh, said that the two bodies were transferred to the hospital at 5am on Thursday. He refused giving their names. An elaborate network of tunnels in Rafah is currently the only reliable means of moving goods into the Gaza Strip, which has been under an Israeli-led land and sea blockade for nearly two years. [end] 

Israeli settler hit and run sees teen girl admitted to hospital 
4/30/2009 - Hebron – Ma’an – An Israeli settler ran down a Palestinian girl near Yatta Thursday morning and fled from the scene as locals brought the girl to hospital. The teen, identified as 15-year-old Hind Issa Khalil Al-Amur, suffered from moderate/severe bruising and was taken to the Yatta Governmental Hospital to receive treatment. [end] 

Israeli authorities release Jerusalemite after eight years of detention 
4/30/2009 - Jerusalem – Ma’an – Israeli authorities released the eight-year-long prisoner Medhat Tariq Al-Isawi, 35, from Israeli prison on Thursday. Medhat, who had one brother killed by Israeli troops and two others in prison, was detained in 2001. [end] 

Detained PLC member refuses order to wear new orange prison uniform in Israel 
4/30/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – Imprisoned member of the Palestinian Legislative Council Jamal At-Tirawi refused an order to wear a new orange prison uniform at the Jalbou’a prison starting on Saturday. The Fatah bloc member has been detained since May 2007, and has had his appearance before a judge delayed 38 times. His trial is currently scheduled for 3 May. A statement from At-Tirawi said the prison administration has ignored all requests to allow inmates to continue wearing street clothes provided by family members, a general rule that has prevailed in Israeli prisons since shortly after the outbreak of the second Intifadah. Prisoners say the new dictate is meant to humiliate, and At-Tirawi accused the prison administration in Israel as “ignoring all international decisions in such cases while dealing with detainees. 

Israeli troops detain youth for carrying knife near Ibrahimi Mosque 
4/30/2009 - Hebron – Ma’an – Israeli troops detained a young man near the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron and took him to unknown destination early Thursday morning. Palestinian security sources identified the boy as 17-year-old Oday Al-Halaika, and said Israeli forces alleged he was carrying a knife. On Tuesday two youth were detained, also for allegedly carrying knives into the mosque area. [end] 

Israeli forces seize three Palestinians from Ramallah area 
4/30/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – Israeli forces said they seized three Palestinians from the Ramallah area of the West Bank on Wednesday night. The military said the “wanted” Palestinians were taken for interrogation. They are being held at an unknown location. [end] 

Israeli forces seize Palestinians in Gaza 
4/30/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an - Israeli forces detained “a number of Palestinians” who they said approached the Israeli border in Gaza early on Thursday. The Palestinians were taken for interrogation at an unknown location. [end] 

Israel arrests seven on kidnap charges 
4/30/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an/Agencies – Seven Palestinian citizens of Israel have been arrested on charges of planning to kidnap Israeli soldiers during the recent war against Gaza. Israel’s military censor prohibited media from releasing the information until Thursday. The indictments against the suspects include charges of “aiding the enemy during wartime,” contacting a foreign agent, conspiracy, and weapons charges, according to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz. According to authorities, during searches of the suspects’ homes in northern Israel, police found “nine explosive belts ready to be detonated. ”The suspects were reportedly in contact with a Palestinian in Gaza who encouraged them to carry out attacks. Israeli forces killed more than 1,400 Palestinians during the three-week offensive in Gaza. 

Kings of Saudi and Jordan align positions on US role in Palestinian issue 
4/30/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma’an/Agencies - Jordan's King Abdullah II and Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz met ahead of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ planned trip to Saudi Arabia next week and discussed their positions on Middle East peace. According to SPA, the official Saudi news agency, the leaders discussed the “Palestinian issue” ahead of King Abdullah’s trip to Washington in the coming weeks. The meeting follows a gathering of Arab foreign ministers in Amman on 10 April, where the officials discussed strategy over the new Israeli government and Arab Peace Plan. Following the meeting King Abdullah stressed his position that Washington must make a serious push for peace in the region. The monarch took an equally hard line when he spoke with a US congressional delegation headed by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, also on 10 April, stating that the US must swiftly re-launch peace talks aimed at a two-state solution. 

Hamas: 13 members arrested by PA in West Bank 
4/30/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Palestinian Authority security forces arrested 13 Hamas affiliates in different parts of the West Bank on Wednesday, the Gaza-based resistance movement told Iran's Press TV. The affiliated Hamas members are students and academics who were previously held in Israeli jails, the state-run Iranian news agency said. [end] 

Israel’s Netanyahu, Livni hold first meeting in new posts 
4/30/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met on Thursday with opposition leader Tzipi Livni, who he managed to defeat in February’s election despite his party winning fewer seats in parliament. Netanyahu updated Livni “on a series of current security and diplomatic issues,” according to the prime minister’s office. This was their first meeting as Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition. The two agreed to hold such meetings periodically. Israeli president Shimon Peres tapped Netanyahu, the leader of the right-wing Likud party to form a government, when it appeared likely that Livni would be unable to build a coalition due to the overall victory of rightist parties in the election. 

PA forces nab forgers processing illegal papers at car rental agency in Nablus 
4/30/2009 - Nablus – Ma’an – Palestinian police detained a gang of forgers working in license and registration numbers for stolen vehicles at a car rental agency in Nablus, police said on Thursday. The gang of four men work with a car rental agency in the northern West Bank city, from which 12 cars were seized during the arrests, in addition to forged papers, logos and forging machines. Police confiscated the material and closed the company. According to the police all four men admitted their crimes under questioning. [end] 

Tulkarem Police department seizes half dozen with 45,000 in cash 
4/30/2009 - Tulkarem – Ma’an – The Palestinian Public Intelligence unit in Tulkarem seized six suspected money forgers and distributorsThursday afternoon. A shop owner filed a complaint with the department the week before, saying “strange people came to store, bought some small items and gave me a crisp 200 shekel bill. ” A second man, owner of a gas station, said a similar incident occurred with a group of men who partially filled their tank and paid with a 200 shekel bill. After investigating the incident the suspects were located attempting to buy a car for 6,600 shekels (1,591 US dollars) and were found to be holding an additional 9,200 shekels (2,200 US dollars) of forged money. After questioning the suspects they identified the man who provided the forgery equipment as a Palestinian born in northern Israel but living in the West Bank. 

PA Health Ministry: Two swine farms in Bethlehem 
4/30/2009 - Ramallah – Ma’an – There are two pig farms in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, according to Dr As'ad Muhammad Ar-Ramlawi, general director of health care within the Palestinian Authority, on Thursday. He told Ma'an that the ministry is following up on swine flu cases, but that there are no Palestinian families that raise swine in their residences. There are, however, two farms in Bethlehem and the ministry is keeping an eye on them, he said. In an interview with Ma'an, Ar-Ramlawi noted that "swine should not cause any dear in the meantime because the flu is transferred by humans, so humans should be examined, not the swine. " He added that the Health Ministry is taking measures to protect schools and health care organizations to create public awareness on the issue and protect the public. Meanwhile, two Israelis tested positive for swine flu earlier this week. 


Aljazeera

Lebanon frees Hariri suspects
29 Apr 2009 - Four generals imprisoned over ex-Lebanese PM's assassination released after four years.

UN says Egypt pig cull real mistake
29 Apr 2009 - Agency says no reason for slaughter as flu is spread from human-to-human.

Death verdict over W Bank land sale
29 Apr 2009 - Man accused of treason for selling land that did not belong to him to Israel.

Palestinian rivals end unity talks
28 Apr 2009 - Fatah and Hamas fail to reach agreement on a power-sharing government.

IRIN

OPT: Gaza citizens at risk from rubbish, rubble, unexploded ordnance
GAZA CITY Thursday, April 30, 2009 (IRIN) - Unexploded ordnance (UXO) and the uncontrolled dumping of rubbish pose the greatest environmental and public health risks to residents of the Gaza Strip, according to the UN Development Programme (UNDP). A further study is planned by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

MIDDLE EAST: Regional efforts to prepare for swine flu 
DUBAI Wednesday, April 29, 2009 (IRIN) - Middle East countries are taking precautionary measures against swine flu as the World Health Organization (WHO) raised the global influenza pandemic alert level to Phase 4 after the influenza A /H1N1 virus infection claimed more than 150 lives in Mexico and spread to several other countries. 

Inter Press Service

LEBANON: Generals’ Release May Influence June Election 
WASHINGTON, Apr 30 (IPS) - On Wednesday, a judge at the Hague-based "Special Tribunal for Lebanon" (STL) ordered Lebanon to release four senior Lebanese generals imprisoned since 2005 on suspicion of involvement in killing former prime minister Rafiq Hariri in February of that year.

ENVIRONMENT: Israel Stripping West Bank Quarries 
RAMALLAH, Apr 30 (IPS) - Israeli human rights organisation Yesh Din is taking the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF), the Israeli civil administration and a number of Israeli mining companies to court.

MIDEAST: A Former 'Terrorist' Speaks Out 
JENIN, Northern West Bank, Apr 30 (IPS) - A former high-level Palestinian resistance fighter, who spent years on the run from Israel's security forces, has just been appointed to the Palestinian Ministry of Prisoners' Affairs, and made honorary theatre director.

MIDEAST: Hamas Gaining International Legitimacy 
JERUSALEM, Apr 30 (IPS) - Delegations from the rival Fatah and Hamas organisations have again failed in Cairo to bridge their differences meant to usher in a Palestinian unity government, but this has in no way slowed inroads which the Islamist movement has been making to increase its international legitimacy...

Stop The Wall

Checkpoints along the Wall to be computerized
30 Apr 2009 - Earlier this week, Occupation authorities announced their intentions to computerize the permit system that controls West Bank Palestinians’ access to ’48 Palestine. This move increases the control exercised over the Palestinian population, adding to the hardships faced by workers and further sealing off Jerusalem. These high-tech additions also create space for the growth of particular sectors of Israeli industry, in turn increasing their strength in the international defense and homeland security markets. [

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

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

Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, 23 - 28 April 2009
PCHR - During the reporting period, 20 Palestinian civilians, including 6 children, were wounded by IOF and Israeli settlers in the West Bank.

International Solidarity Movement

New Bil'in barrier route reduces Modi'in Illit expansion
International Solidarity Movement - It took the death of a Palestinian at Bil'in last week and the threat of another contempt of court petition to the High Court of Justice, but the state has finally come up with a new proposal for the route of the West Bank security barrier that apparently complies with the original court decision of 19 months ago, attorney Michael Sfard said on Sunday. Last week, the state submitted a new proposal to the High Court to change the original route of the fence in the area of Modi'in Illit, which was proposed by the Defense Ministry and rejected by the court on September 4, 2007. Now, Sfard told The , the ministry has come up with a new route that gives Bil'in villagers back 700 of the 1,700 dunams, or 170 hectares, that were set to be located on the "Israeli side" of the barrier in the original proposal. srael has said the route of the barrier was determined by security considerations only. 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

Did U.K. airline cater to Muslims by wiping Israel off map?
29 Apr 2009 - British airline BMI has deleted Israel from electronic maps that appear on its flights in order to avoid angering Muslim passengers, Army Radio reported on Thursday. ...

Report: Turkey ends war crimes probe against Israel over Gaza op
29 Apr 2009 - Turkey has closed an investigation against war crimes allegedly committed by Israel during its military offensive in the Gaza Strip earlier this year, according to a report by the Anatolia news agency on Thursday. ...

Israel to EU: Criticism of Netanyahu government unacceptable
29 Apr 2009 - A Foreign Ministry official has been warning European countries that unless they curtail criticism of Benjamin Netanyahu's government, Israel will block the European Union from participating in the diplomatic process with the Palestinians. ... 

ANALYSIS / Netanyahu will have to work to restore U.S.-Israel ties
29 Apr 2009 - During his first 100 days in office, U.S. President Barack Obama set his aims high, but he took careful, moderate steps in practice, avoiding confrontations or adventures that might undermine his support in Congress or among the American public. That has also been his approach to the Middle East: Obama has called for a radical change in direction from his predecessor's policies, but at the same time has given relatively low priority to dealing with Israel and its neighbors. ... 

Ben-Eliezer: Netanyahu will surprise us with 'serious' Syria talks
29 Apr 2009 - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu intends to conduct "serious negotiations" with the Palestinians and the Syrians, Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer (Labor) told Haaretz. The full interview will appear Friday in Week's End. ...

The Guardian

Israel's budding autocracy | Dimi Reider
30 Apr 2009 - The arrest of members of a pacifist NGO is symptomatic of a country that is becoming militarised at an alarming pace The first raids took place at about 7am on Sunday. Across the country, activists in...

Photographer Ryuichi Hirokawa's best shot
29 Apr 2009 - I took this in 2002, at Al-Ram checkpoint on the West Bank. All the checkpoints had been closed by Israeli troops and these women were demonstrating to have them opened, so that food and medical supplies...

Members of US Congress sceptical of Palestinian aid plan
29 Apr 2009 - Obama administration has asked Congress to allow aid even if members of Hamas become part of government The Obama administration, already on treacherous domestic political ground with its outreach to Iran, Cuba and others, has opened...

Hezbollah spy thriller grips Arab world
29 Apr 2009 - Bugged cars, mini-bars and the 'party of God' … no wonder the arrest of four alleged moles has the Middle East abuzz It's the first rule of espionage not to get caught – and of counter-intelligence...

Ha'aretz National page

Israel to hold swine flu border checks for Mexico visitors
29 Apr 2009 - Israel will tighten its border examinations of nationals and tourists entering from Mexico or who have recently visited the country, senior health officials decided on Thursday following another set of emergency consultations in the prime minister's bureau. ...

Israeli with swine flu 'healthy as an ox', but will remain hospitalized
29 Apr 2009 - The 26-year-old Israeli in quarantine with swine flu is "feeling healthy as an ox but will stay in the hospital for another couple of days," said his brother Wednesday. ... 

Parents in shock as court acquits two mobsters in murder of girl
29 Apr 2009 - Six years after Shaked Shalhov was killed by an errant bullet fired during a botched mob hit, Be'er Sheva District Court on Thursday acquitted the two suspects, Yisrael Ganon and Michel Jeano, of murder. ...

Q&A with Health Ministry adviser on swine flu in Israel
29 Apr 2009 - Dr. Ran Blitzer, special adviser to the Health Ministry on the swine flu epidemic, and head of health policy at the Clalit HMO, answers questions for Haaretz: ... 

Bilingual households may improve infants' cognitive abilities 
29 Apr 2009 - Mom speaks Norwegian and dad, Dutch. Confusing? Not necessarily. A child raised in such an environment might not only grow up to be bilingual, but even before learning to speak, he or she may have a cognitive advantage over infants of the same age whose parents speak only one language. ... 

Relief Web

OPT: End of Gaza patients referral crisis
30 Apr 2009 - Source: Physicians for Human Rights

Israel/US: Clinton should press to end Gaza blockade
30 Apr 2009 - Source: Human Rights Watch

OPT: Gaza citizens at risk from rubbish, rubble, unexploded ordnance
30 Apr 2009 - Source: Integrated Regional Information Networks

UN SC reaffirms commitment to address widespread impact of armed conflict on children, after hearing over 60 speakers in day-long debate
30 Apr 2009 - Source: UN Security Council

Le Conseil de sécurité reconnaît l'importance d'élargir les critères pour l'inscription sur la « liste de la honte » des parties à un conflit qui utilisent des enfants
29 Apr 2009 - Source: UN Security Council

Security Council open debate on children and armed conflict: Statement by SRSG Radhika Coomaraswamy
29 Apr 2009 - Source: UN Office of the SRSG for Children and Armed Conflict

EU € 1 billion "Food Facility" for developing countries – Commission adopts 2nd implementation decision
29 Apr 2009 - Source: European Commission - Humanitarian Aid Office, European Commission

Secretary-General urges action by Security Council to 'strike a blow' against impunity for victimization of children in conflict
29 Apr 2009 - Source: UN Secretary-General, UN Security Council

YNet News

IDF to probe Palestinian abuse claim 
30 Apr 2009 - West Bank resident says he was wrongfully arrested for stone throwing and abused along with five others

Clinton: No possibility of funding Hamas
30 Apr 2009 - US Secretary of state says no aid would be offered to Palestinian unity government that includes Hamas

Bibi to head to Egypt before US visit
30 Apr 2009 - PM expected to meet Mubarak in first half of May, discuss Shalit release, Gaza smuggling

Hamas: 65% of Gazans unemployed
30 Apr 2009 - Hamas labor minister says 80% are beneath poverty line, and 85% rely on foreign aid for relief

Gates: Sanctions only way to end Iran's nuke program
30 Apr 2009 - US secretary of defense says military strike on Tehran's nuke facilities would merely 'buy time,' push Iranian program deeper underground; UN sanctions 'only way to eliminate Iranian determination to have nuclear weapons, Gates says

Lieberman questioned by police for 8 hours
30 Apr 2009 - Foreign minister interrogated by police for fourth time since taking office; Lieberman suspected of receiving bribe via his daughter's company

Lieberman on Time's top 100 list
30 Apr 2009 - List of world's most influential people of 2009 includes foreign minister and Israeli high-tech leader Shai Agassi

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

7 Iranians plead guilty in US court to terror charges 
30 Apr 2009 - LOS ANGELES: Seven men have pleaded guilty to terrorism charges for raising funds for an Iranian opposition group that the United States has designated a foreign terrorist organization, authorities said. The seven, all of Iranian origin, entered the guilty pleas on Wednesday.

Egypt admits pig cull won't curb swine flu 
30 Apr 2009 - CAIRO: Egypt on Thursday said its cull of 250,000-400,000 pigs was a general health measure rather than a precaution against swine flu after the UN said there was no evidence the animals were spreading the disease. "We're at stage five, the matter is now human not animal," health ministry spokesman Abdel-Rahman Shahine.

Politics, security must be decoupled from Gaza aid 
30 Apr 2009 - As we near the end of the fourth month since hostilities in Gaza ended, it is increasingly apparent that massive needs are going unmet, and reconstruction is stalled. Donors have pledged money for humanitarian aid and for reconstruction, but on the ground the flow of goods compared to the needs is wholly inadequate.

Palestinian Information Center

Hamas: Any government not approved by the PLC is illegitimate
30 Apr 2009 - The Hamas Movement stated that any government not approved by the PLC would be unconstitutional and illegitimate, and thus it would not deal with this government.

Thousands of Palestinians commemorate Palestine Nakba in Kafrin village
30 Apr 2009 - More than 3,000 Palestinians from the 1948 occupied lands on Wednesday flocked to the abandoned village of Kafrin to commemorate the 61st anniversary of Israel's establishment on usurped Palestine.

Press: Hamas denies election of new political bureau without Nazzal
30 Apr 2009 - Well informed sources in the Hamas Movement denied press speculations that a new political bureau for the Movement was elected and that it did not include Mohammed Nazzal.

UNICEF: Gaza children continue to suffer physically and psychologically
30 Apr 2009 - The UN children's fund (UNICEF) reported that children in Gaza continue to suffer both physically and psychologically despite the Israeli war, which ended 100 days ago.

Farwana: Barghouthi to enter Guinness book of records as oldest serving prisoner
30 Apr 2009 - Nael Al-Barghouthi, who has been held in Israeli occupation jails for more than 31 years, is to be registered in the Guinness book of records as the oldest serving prisoner.

Commerce chamber: The unemployment rate in Gaza reached 65 percent
30 Apr 2009 - The Palestinian chamber of commerce reported that the unemployment rate in Gaza reached 65 percent and the poverty rate rose by 80 percent, warning that these percentages are apt to increase.

Tafakji: Zionist scheme to settle one million Jews in Jerusalem, WB
30 Apr 2009 - Khalil Tafakji, an expert on Israeli settlements, said that Israel was strenuously working on creating greater Jerusalem that would eat up 10% of the entire West Bank area.

Khudari appeals to world's labor unions to support Gaza workers
30 Apr 2009 - MP Jamal Al-Khudari, the head of the popular committee against the siege, called on all labor unions around the world to seriously move on the international labor day to support Gaza workers.

Bitter disputes within Fatah prevent it from holding its sixth conference
30 Apr 2009 - Fatah sources ruled out that the sixth conference of Fatah could be held in the near future attributing this to the altercations that erupted between members of the preparatory committee.

Hamdan: Dialog scored breakthroughs but no package agreement reached
30 Apr 2009 - Osama Hamdan, the representative of Hamas in Lebanon, has stressed that the fourth round of dialog talks with Fatah faction achieved breakthroughs but no package agreement was reached.

Los Angeles Times

Bird flu blamed in Egypt child's death 
30 Apr 2009 - Six-year-old Ali died last week, and health workers don't know the source of his disease. Bird flu has been blamed in the deaths of 26 people in Egypt since 2006, the most of any nation outside Asia. Beyond smokestacks and whipped donkeys, past fish curled on dirty ice and sparrows skimming laundry hanging in alleys, the death of 6-year-old Ali Mohammed Ali brought mystery, health inspectors and truckloads of police to a poor Cairo neighborhood. 

Professor's comparison of Israelis to Nazis stirs furor 
30 Apr 2009 - The UC Santa Barbara sociologist, who is Jewish, sent images from the Holocaust and from Israel's Gaza offensive to students in his class. He has drawn denunciation and support. Controversy has erupted at UC Santa Barbara over a professor's decision to send his students an e-mail in which he compared graphic images of Jews in the Holocaust to pictures of Palestinians caught up in Israel's recent Gaza offensive. 

Lebanon frees 4 generals held in Hariri slaying 
30 Apr 2009 - A U.N.-backed tribunal orders them released after a witness recants allegations that the men helped plan the 2005 bombing that killed former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and 22 others. Four Lebanese generals with ties to Syrian security services were freed Wednesday for lack of evidence after spending nearly four years in custody on suspicion of involvement in the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. 

New York Times

Palestinian Rivals to Try Once More for an Accord
28 Apr 2009 - After four rounds of reconciliation talks, Fatah and Hamas said they would try meeting one more time. 

World Briefing | Middle East: Iran: Official Says Reporter Isn’t Fasting
28 Apr 2009 - A judiciary official denied on Tuesday that an American-Iranian journalist jailed on spying charges was on a hunger strike and said that she was in good condition. 

World Briefing | Middle East: West Bank: Death Penalty for Land Sale
28 Apr 2009 - A Palestinian court sentenced a man to death on Tuesday for selling land in the West Bank to Israelis. 


Articles


’Resistance’ is the essence of Islamism 
Rami G. Khouri, The Daily Star, Conflicts Forum 4/22/2009
      Once in a while a wave of ideas sweeps across societies and countries, and when combined with political and social activism it changes global history for a time. We are living through such wave now in the global Islamist movement that has swept across much of the Arab world and Asia, as well as pockets of other societies since the late 1970s. Many different forms of Islamist movements have come and gone; some have endured for decades; most have embraced non-violent change that starts within the hearts of pious men and women; a few have veered off into violent confrontation or terrorism; and all have generated significant opposition, especially after the 9/11 attacks by Al-Qaeda against the United States.
     Islamism broadly defined encompasses many dozens of different forms of nationalist, local, religious, charitable, social, economic, military resistance-based, and the occasional terror movements.
     It is also controversial, misrepresented and misunderstood.
     We are fortunate in this respect to have available a new book that provides, in my view, one of the most comprehensive, accurate and useful analyses of the core philosophy and motivating political principles of political Islamism that is available to English-speaking readers. The book is titled “Resistance: The Essence of the Islamist Revolution“, by Alastair Crooke. It cuts through much of the ideological venom, post-9/11 vengefulness, neo-Orientalist stereotyping, or mere nonsense that characterizes much of what is said and written about Islamist movements in much of the Western world and Islamic societies alike.

Shades of Checkpoint Charlie at Rafah Crossing 
Haidar Eid writing from the occupied Gaza Strip, Electronic Intifada 4/28/2009
      On Monday 30 June, Gaza was abuzz with the sudden announcement that Egypt would open Rafah Crossing -- the only gateway for 1.5 million Palestinians who have been imprisoned here for almost two years -- for three short days. Although I had good reasons to use the crossing to leave Gaza, I was unsure about pressing my luck to escape, if only for a short while. Past experience has made me graphically and painfully aware that thousands of my fellow Gazans would also try to capitalize on this very rare opportunity suddenly available to us.
     On the one hand, I had also already asked my university to add my name to the list of academics who intended to travel to Egypt to further their studies as I had accepted an invitation to a conference -- to be held at University of Brighton -- in London in September. Moreover, I wanted to be with my wife who is in South Africa, and whom I have not seen for almost two years as a result of the siege. On the other hand, the story of failed attempts to leave Gaza through Rafah Crossing is an agonizingly familiar one to every family in Gaza.
     Nevertheless, the temptation was too great and hope triumphed over experience. At 2pm, on Monday, I called the university’s public relations officer. I was told in two short sentences to be at the Rafah crossing at 2am on Tuesday morning. The reason for this strange departure hour was not explained and I did not question it. If one wants to leave Gaza after two years, one simply follows orders.


Electronic Intifada
Tunnels become a lifeline
30 Apr 2009 - RAFAH, occupied Gaza Strip (IPS) - Pickup trucks speed westward on the Barth highway that flanks the Israeli border in Egypt's North Sinai region, stacked high with cartons of petrol. They are headed "for Gaza," the Bedouin residents of Barth village say -- through the tunnels that burrow under the Egypt-Gaza border and are filling Gaza's aid gap in the aftermath of Israel's deadly assault on the territory. 

Tony Blair and the full measure of justice
30 Apr 2009 - An elderly Palestinian woman grabbed my hand and held it over her chest. "Feel my heartbeat," she said. "We are really afraid of the settlers." Only half an hour before she took my hand, a group of 20 settlers from Maon settlement entered the village of Juwwiya and shot at her and her family as they grazed their sheep. Joy Ellison writes from the occupied West Bank. 

The Palestinian Authority's authoritarian turn
30 Apr 2009 - The recent attempts to intimidate a critic of the Palestinian Authority, Abdel Sattar Qassem, into silence is disturbing, but is only one incident in a growing trend. The Ramallah-based political leadership, dominated by Fatah, and the PA security forces, are becoming increasingly authoritarian, encouraging a culture of militarized policing and a lack of respect for human rights and the rule of law. Ben White comments for The Electronic Intifada. 

London Sci-Fi festival asked not to celebrate apartheid
29 Apr 2009 - The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) is writing to the organizers of the Sci-Fi-London International Festival of Science Fiction and Fantasy Film to urge you to cancel the special "Focus on: Israel" in your festival in London from 29 April - 4 May. We also urge the attendees of this festival, if its organizers insist on the special tribute to Israel, to protest the inclusion of this session and to boycott the focus on Israel. 

In Gaza
one day in Gaza
29 Apr 2009 - Some days in Gaza, if you are in an area where you don’t hear the drones hovering, spying, menacing…nor the Israeli gunboats harassing or injuring fishermen by shelling and shooting live ammunition…nor see Israeli soldiers shooting at farmers and civilians in the region along Gaza’s borders to Israel… nor see the manufactured, grinding poverty…nor see the remnants of buildings… nor see the remnants of limbs and lives…nor see the fatigue etched deeply into the faces of those all around….some days, if you stay in a café or under the covers, or miraculously miss all of these signs… you can relax a bit. I catch myself -with a whiff of coffee...

Palestine Chronicle
The Kingdom of Lies
29 Apr 2009 - By Jeremy Salt - Ankara Racism is common to most and probably all societies. Laws never seem entirely to eliminate it. It was the essential tool in the creation of modern settler states. The United States could not have come into existence without the obliteration of North American Indian cultures and of large numbers of the people themselves. They had to die so the US could be born. In Australia the indigenous people of Tasmania were wiped out to the last man, woman and child, while on the mainland the tribes were massacred, confined, stripped of their ancestral land and eventually turned into fringe dwellers. Until recently Australia had a prime minister who could deny that aboriginal children of mixed ‘blood’ were taken from their parents up to the 1930s and refused to issue any expression of remorse for their mistreatment. More recent targets of racism have been Lebanese and Vietnamese immigrants, while the Howard federal government’s racist treatment of Iraqi and Afghan refugees and asylum seekers remains one of the most shameful chapters of Australia’s history. In the US the election of a colored president would have been inconceivable until very recently. It was so unbelievable that people wept when Barack Obama won the elections. Racism comes in many shades. Discrimination against people on the grounds of skin color, ethnicity or religion is a basic human rights issue, a first cousin to discrimination, harassment and denial of opportunity on the basis of gender. President Mahmud Ahmedinejad, in his recent...

Soldiers Confirm Israel's War Crimes in Gaza
29 Apr 2009 - By Kim Bullimore Testimony given by Israeli soldiers involved in Israel’s 22-day December-January assault on Gaza to a pre-military preparatory program at the Oranim Academic College in Israel on February 13, and which the March 18 Haaretz daily began printing daily excerpts of, revealed that they repeatedly committed crimes with impunity in Gaza. One soldier, a squad commander, revealed that his unit was instructed to open fire in densely populated areas without warning. “We were supposed to go in with an armoured personnel carrier called an Achzarit [literally meaning “cruel”] to burst through the lower door [of Palestinian houses], to start shooting inside and then ... I call this murder ... in effect, we were supposed to go up floor by floor, and any person we identified — we were supposed to shoot. I initially asked myself: Where is the logic in this?” He said his commanding officers “said this was permissible, because anyone who remained in the sector and inside Gaza City was in effect condemned, a terrorist, because they hadn’t fled. I didn’t really understand: On the one hand they don’t really have anywhere to flee to, but on the other hand they’re telling us they hadn’t fled so it’s their fault.” The squad commander said that Palestinian civilians were suppose to be given five minutes’ warning to leave their houses. However, many soldiers under his command challenged this, one soldier saying, “Anyone who’s in there is a terrorist”. According to the squad commander, that sentiment was backed up by...

The Holocaust Connection
29 Apr 2009 - By Joharah Baker As Israel jubilantly celebrates 61 years of existence, the Palestinians continue to wonder what the future holds for them. Their dream of a two-state solution seems to wane with each passing day as Israel continues nonstop in creating more facts on the ground that serve to make this dream virtually impossible. Still, the Palestinian leadership has stuck to its guns, despite the constant obstacles and impasses, insisting that it will live side by side with Israel. As if this were not a tough enough goal to reach, new Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is making it even tougher. Palestinians, he says, must recognize Israel as a Jewish state, for any kind of “peace talks” to proceed. Otherwise, no deal. President Mahmoud Abbas was quick, efficient and to the point in his response. “It is not my job to give a description of the state. Name yourself the Hebrew Socialist Republic — it is none of my business,” he said on April 27 in Ramallah. “I do not accept it.” There are a multitude of layers and underlying intentions behind this argument which will be difficult to map out in such a confined space. But let us suffice with some of the most crucial points why Netanyahu has demanded this and equally, why the Palestinians will hear nothing of it. Before, however, one thing should be very clear. Prime Minister Netanyahu has given no illusions as to his intentions to back or help create a Palestinian state. He...

Global Research: Media As It Should Be
29 Apr 2009 - By Stephen Lendman – Chicago Self-promotion? Fair enough, but for a good purpose - to introduce more people to what the Global Research News Hour (GRNH) provides: -- real democracy advocacy live, on-air, daily; -- an antidote to government and corporate propaganda; -- a force against war, injustice and inhumanity; -- championing universal freedom; -- a voice for social justice, human rights, and beneficial change - of, for, and by the people; -- a bulwark against Wall Street, corruption, unfettered greed, fraud, and dirty government; -- an advocate for our most precious First Amendment rights without which all others are at risk; -- a scrupulously free, fair, open, vibrant, and vital on-air resource, Monday through Friday on Republic Broadcasting.org with all programs archived for easy listening; -- real news and information unavailable through the major media, on-air or in print; -- cutting-edge discussions on world and national issues with distinguished guests rarely, if ever, heard or read through the dominant media; and -- following Project Censored's tradition of discussing "important (world and) national news stories that are underreported, ignored, misrepresented, or censored by the US corporate media." The GRNH is committed to what James Madison meant by: "A popular government, without popular information or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or tragedy; or perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives." Ignorance begets servitude. Knowledge is empowering....

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