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Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel
kidnaps students marking the Nakba in Jerusalem
16 May 2009 - Head of UN nuclear watchdog says attack on nuclear facilities would turn Mideast into 'one big fireball.'
Noam Shalit to Netanyahu: Tie Gaza gestures to progress on Gilad
16 May 2009 - Abductee's father urges Netanyahu not to agree to U.S. requests on Gaza until Hamas gives something in return.
Here's how Israel would destroy Iran's nuclear program
15 May 2009 - U.S. study maps out 'complex and high-risk' possibilities for an IAF strike on Iran's facilities.
Only 2,000 turn out for Gaza Nakba Day march held by Hamas
15 May 2009 - Gaza commentators believe poor showing due to Fatah-Hamas divide, Israel's recent offensive.
Egypt finds massive arms cache along Israel border
15 May 2009 - Weapons include at least 266 rockets, 50 mortar shells and three anti-aircraft missiles, according to report.
Amira Hass / Life among the ruins in Gaza
15 May 2009 - Despite 4,000 homes destroyed in the war, Israel won't let building materials be brought into the Strip.
Defense Ministry: Iran could have nuclear bomb by 2010
14 May 2009 - Iran has two-thirds of fissile material needed to manufacture a nuclear weapon, ministry warns.
Iran sends two warships to confront Somali pirates
14 May 2009 - Iran says warships to spend 5 months patrolling Gulf of Aden for pirates preying on oil tankers.
5/16/2009 - Jeinin – Ma’an – Israeli troops massed at the iron gate installed at the entrance of Anin, a village north of Jenin Saturday. The village, which borders the illegal separation wall in the north, was preparing to host an anti-wall rally and commemoration of the 61st anniversary of the Nakba, when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were driven from their homes by advancing Israeli militias following the declaration of the State of Israel in 1948. Head of the Anin village council Rabah Yasin said high-profile Palestinian officials from the West Bank were set to partake in the rally in addition to Palestinians living in Israel. He explained that the rally, despite heavy Israeli military presence, would advance from the village center toward the separation wall at 10:30am.
Woman found stabbed to death; body left for four days near Israeli checkpoint
5/16/2009 - Ramallah – Ma’an – Palestinian Red Crescent medics found the body of a young woman near the Atarah checkpoint north of Ramallah in the central West Bank on Saturday at noon. Medics received information about the body and rushed to the area to discover an unidentified woman in her twenties stabbed in the back 400 meters away from the military checkpoint. They estimated the murder occurred at least four days ago. The body of the woman had been outside for the four days and was damaged by wild animals. Palestinian police opened an investigation and arranged the transfer of the woman’s body to forensic science labs for testing. ***Get breaking news from Palestine: Click here to follow Ma'an on Twitter.
Israeli police arrest students marking Nakba in East Jerusalem
5/16/2009 - Jerusalem – Ma’an – Israeli police forces carried out sweeping arrests of Palestinian university students participating in Nakba commemoration activities in East Jerusalem on Saturday. The students, most from the Al-Qelem Academic Foundation and Al-Aqsa Islamic Society, were marking the annual day of mourning that marked the 61st anniversary of the expulsion of some 750,000 Palestinians following the establishment of Israel. Witnesses said Israeli forces attacked the group of at least 1,000 students, and arrested a number of them without providing an explanation. Nevertheless, organizers continued the activities inside Jerusalem's Old City, including at Al-Aqsa Mosque, as well as other suburbs of East Jerusalem, which Israel illegally annexed in 1967. Khaled Muhana, head of the media department in for the Islamic Movement in Israel and the spokesperson for Al-Aqsa, commented. . .
Israeli municipal council and settlers plan to build over Palestinian East Jerusalem neighborhood
5/16/2009 - Jerusalem – Ma’an – The Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan in East Jerusalem is slated for destruction to make way for residential units in a new illegal Israeli settlement, Palestinian prime minister’s Advisor on Jerusalem Affairs Hatim Abdul Qadir said Saturday. A plan by the Israeli-run municipal council of Jerusalem and an Israeli settlers’ association called Atirat Cohaneim is set to build residential units on the area of Batn Al-Hawa in Silwan, south of the Old City of Jerusalem. The 5,800 square meter Batn Al-Hawa neighborhood is home to 60 Palestinian residential buildings built on the area before 1948. The Atirat Cohaneim association applied to the Israeli Jerusalem municipality’s committee for construction seeking approval to build new residential units this month, but have not submitted documents proving ownership of the area, Abdul-Qadir told residents while visiting the area.
PLC members visit Hamas affiliate released from Israeli jail
5/16/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – A delegation from the Hamas-affiliated Change and Reform bloc visited Mohammad Al-Ay, who was released from Israeli prison after 17 years of imprisonment. The members of the Palestinian Legislative Council visited Al-Ay at his house near the At-Tufah neighborhood in Gaza City on Saturday. Among the PLC members were deputy head of the bloc Ismail Al-Ashqar, Salem Salamah, Musheer Al-Masri, Jamal Iskiek and Imad A’fanah, general manager of the bloc in Gaza City. In a statement, the delegates expressed their joy for Al-Ay’s release after 17 years of imprisonment, having moved from one Israeli jail to another throughout the sentence. [end]
Israeli forces quash student-organized attempts to quietly commemorate Nakba
5/16/2009 - Jerusalem – Ma’an – Israeli police detained three Jerusalemites in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound as they participated in a commemoration ceremony marking the 61st anniversary of the Nakba. More than 300 female university students arrived in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound to jointly commemorate the Nakba, when 61 years ago hundreds of thousands of their parents' and grandparents' generation were driven out of their homes and villages to make way for the State of Israel. As the women began to gather in the compound Israeli forces forcibly evicted them, confiscated posters and pamphlets about the Nakba from two female university students who were then detained and taken to the Western Wall, or Al-Buraq, police station. A third Palestinian, Nawwaf At-Touri, was also detained as he lead a clean-up campaign in the ancient Islamic cemeteries surrounding the Al-Aqsa compound.
Khan Younis boy dies in mysterious explosion
5/16/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – An explosion in the Al-Amal neighborhood of Khan Younis killed a Gaza boy on Saturday morning. Palestinian security sources identified the boy as 11-year-old Ayman Hamdan, who died before he was evacuated to Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis. No other casualties were reported. Two Al-Qasssam Birgadesmen were killed east of Khan Younis in recent weeks during what militia leaders called “special missions” in the area. [end]
Israelis arrest Palestinian man in his 30s at Salfit checkpoint
5/16/2009 - Nablus - Ma’an - A Palestinian man in his 30s was detained by Israeli soldiers in the northern West Bank city of Salfit on Saturday, according to local sources. The arrest occurred at a flying checkpoint at the eastern entrance of the district, near Iskaka bridge, the sources added. According to witnesses, Israeli soldiers forced the driver, Shadi Kazaf Shahin, to get out of his taxi before he was blindfolded and hands were tied behind his back. He was then taken to an undisclosed location. Others said that soldiers removed the checkpoint following the arrest. [end]
Wild boars descend on Salfit-area farmlands; wreak havoc
5/16/2009 - Salfit – Ma’an – Herds of wild boars descended on northern areas of Salfit destroying wheat crops and terrifying farmers, locals said Saturday. The large herd trampled areas in the Ash-Shaer and Al-Irsal neighborhoods. Farmers have long suspected nearby settlement communities of illegally residing Israelis to be responsible for unleashing the boars to harass farmers. Head of the Salfit farm workers and food industries council Khalil I’mran said it was time to take action against the animals, which may have undocumented cases of H1N1 Swine Flu and are a nuisance to the locals. [end]
Settlers claim ownership of two Palestinian homes
5/16/2009 - Jerusalem – Ma’an – Two Palestinians are scheduled to appear before an Israeli court on Sunday for refusing to evacuate homes that settlers are claiming to own. The two Palestinians, Abed Al-Fatah Al-Ghawi and Maher Hanun, were ordered to appear in court after they refused to willingly evacuate their homes in the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem. One of the two residents, Maher Hanun, had previously spent three months in an Israeli prison for refusing to evacuate his home, which he insists he never sold to settlers. The Israeli court disagrees, and has ruled that the homes must be evacuated. [end]
Rafah crossing open Saturday for students, patients, and foreign passport holders to exit Strip
5/16/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – Eleven busses carrying 550 Gazans are expected to pass into Egypt Saturday, and an unknown number will travel Sunday, officials said. Students, patients, special cases identified by Egypt and foreign passport holders lined up in Khan Younis after being ordered to stay away from Rafah in a new transfer process administered by the de facto government in Gaza. The process appeared to have sped up the transfer of Gazans out of the Strip, as three busses were already on their way through by ten o’clock Saturday. Locals were skeptical about the new system, preferring to queue closer to the border at Rafah. Crossing authorities noted that a number of Gazans are to cross into the Strip from Egypt Saturday, though none have yet come through.
UNSC discusses Gaza probe report on damages to UN buildings, personnel
5/16/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma’an - UN Security Council members issued a statement over the Board of Inquiry Report commissioned by Secretary General Ban Ki Moon probing damages to UN buildings and personnel during Israel’s war on the Strip over the winter. The short statement issued on 13 May expressed “concern” over the report’s findings which diplomats called “critical of Israel. ”The recommendations of the report - to begin legal action against Israel for damages to UN buildings and an inappropriate use of force in the Gaza Strip - will not be implemented, according to Ban. [end]
Erekat updates Middle East World Economic Forum participants on Palestinian situation
5/16/2009 - Jericho - Ma’an - The World Economic Forum on the Middle East 2009 kicked off in Jordan at the Dead Sea on Friday with addresses from regional leaders and US Foreign Relations Committee Senator John Kerry. In attendance are Chief Palestinian Negotiator Dr Sa’eb Erakat, Secretary General of the Arab League Amr Mousa and its chairperson Nasser Al- Loazy, as well as representatives from the Jordanian Royal Court, King Abdullah II, Queen Rania and the country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Jouda. Bahraini Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa was also present. Updating conference participants on the Palestinian situation Erakat stressed that the international community must continue to pressure Israel to pursue a two-state solution and halt settlement building including on the pretext of natural growth.
MK: Netanyahu won’t commit to two states during US visit
5/16/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu travels to Washington for talks with US President Barack Obama, he will not commit to the creation of a Palestinian state, according to a Likud-affiliated member of the Knesset. Israeli Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar on Saturday said that Netanyahu plans to "advance the peace process with the Palestinians on the economic, diplomatic and security-related tracks," according to Israeli news reports. Meanwhile, Knesset Member Ofir Akonis, also a member of the right-wing Israeli Likud, said that Netanyahu will not bow to worldwide calls for a two-state solution to the Palestinian struggle for self-determination. "The establishment of a Palestinian state will lead to a second Hamastan, and its army will threaten the citizens of Israel," the MK reportedly said, according to the Israeli news agency Ynet.
De facto Interior Ministry: Patients will not travel Sunday
5/16/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – The De facto Ministry of the Interior in Gaza said on Saturday that there will be no travel for patients on Sunday. However, the Gaza Strip government noted that "efforts are ongoing in an attempt to open the Rafah crossing for a third day so more of them can leave. " Three busloads of patients managed to pass through the Rafah crossing into Egypt on Saturday, one hour after it was opened by Egyptian authorities. A total of 150 residents were transferred out of the besieged coastal strip. Other passengers on the busses that carried about 50 passengers each were students and other stranded Palestinians with alternative residency permits. The ministry had previously divided the passengers into three categories and gave each one a number for the busses that were waiting in Khan Younis, where it was expected that eight buses were to leave during the first day of opening.
Fifth round of Cairo dialogue underway; parties approach with caution
5/16/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – Fifth round of conciliation talks between Fatah and Hamas started Saturday afternoon in Cairo. The dialogue is set to run three days, the first to with bilateral Hamas-Fatah talks and the third an all-factions dialogue to confirm any tentative agreements made. Acting speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) Ahmad Bahar warned that dialogue would likely move slowly so delegates would thoroughly work out the core unresolved issues. The principal issue is the make-up of a new transitional government or committee that would bridge the two parties and facilitate the rebuilding of the war-ravaged Gaza Strip. Bahar also suggested there might be some difficulty with Fatah’s stubbornness around mending the fragmented security services, another of the core unresolved issues. “We hope dialogue will come up with successful results, but it is not. . .
DFLP says Cairo unity talks postponed indefinitely
5/16/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – Sources in the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine said on Saturday that the comprehensive talks that were supposed to begin Saturday were delayed indefinitely. The sources added in a statement that “the exclusive bilateral dialogue between Fatah and Hamas bypassed the comprehensive national dialogue in February and March 2009 concerning holding elections based on the fully proportionate representation [system], thus the dialogue was obstructed. ”The dialogue was set to run three days, the first with bilateral Hamas-Fatah talks and the third an all-faction dialogue to confirm any tentative agreements made. The sources noted that "a fourth bilateral round of talks will be held in Cairo on Saturday behind closed doors, and away from the Palestinians, twelve factions, figures and unions in occupied Palestine and the Diaspora. "
PPP denounces alleged de facto government office raid
5/16/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – The Palestinian People's Party (PPP) on Saturday denounced a recent break-in at the Gaza office of the Popular Struggle Front, allegedly at the hands of de facto security forces. In a statement sent to Ma'an, the PPP said that the Hamas-affiliated government forces detained a number of the Front's affiliates for several hours, as well as ransacked files and computers at the office in Gaza City. The PPP added that "such acts are a violation that harm the national relations between factions, and urged the de facto security apparatus to "stop such incidents that will disturb these relations and threaten the positive atmosphere Palestinians are seeking here at the start of the national dialogue" in Cairo.
Egypt arrests 33 members of Muslim Brotherhood
16 May 2009 - Banned organisation claims the government is trying to prevent the possibility of talks with Barack Obama during his stay in Cairo in June.
Top Hizbollah official glorifies bloody attacks last May
16 May 2009 - Hizbollah's secretary general stuns Lebanon's political class with the assessment that last year's bloody near-coup was a glorious day for the Lebanese resistance.
Freed journalist leaves Iran
15 May 2009 - The US-born reporter Roxana Saberi flies into Vienna from Tehran, only days after her release from an Iranian prison.
Abbas visit to Syria boycotted by Hamas
14 May 2009 - The snubbing of the president while in Damascus says much about the deep rivalries that continue to divide the Palestinian people.
Israeli Jews back Palestinian state
14 May 2009 - A poll indicates strong support for a two-state solution ahead of Mr Netanyahu's visit to the US.
16 May 2009 - Hamas and Fatah will try to reach a deal to share power.
Pope ends Middle East pilgrimage
15 May 2009 - Benedict XVI criticises Israel's separation wall and calls for a Palestinian state.
Gazans remember 1948 exodus
15 May 2009 - Huge rallies mark the displacement of 700,000 Palestinians as Israel was created.
Jordan hosts economic crisis talks
15 May 2009 - Leaders gather to discuss implications of global slowdown on the region.
LONDON, May 15 (IPS) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet with Pres. Barack Obama in Washington next Monday, amid speculation that their two administrations may be heading for a confrontation worse than any they have known since 1991-92.
ENVIRONMENT: West Bank Becomes Waste Land
RAMALLAH, May 15 (IPS/IFEJ) - Israel has found a cheap and easy way to get rid of its waste, much of it hazardous: dump it into the West Bank. A few Palestinians can be bought, the rest are in no position to complain.
US-MIDEAST: Lobbies Gear Up Ahead of Bibi-Barack Meet
WASHINGTON, May 15 (IPS) - In the months since U.S. President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have taken office, there has been lots of noise made about the relationship between the two men and their respective countries.
EGYPT: Fears Rise Over Spate of Missing Children
CAIRO, May 15 (IPS) - A surge in reports of missing children has set off alarm across the Egyptian countryside. The fears are being fed both by reports and rumour.
16 May 2009 - On May 15, Palestinians officially commemorated 61 years of the Nakba. From May 14 – 16, activities and demonstrations were organized across historic Palestine. This photo story features images from the '48 and the West Bank, including the central demonstrations, anti-Wall protests, and other activities. [
Two new BDS resources
16 May 2009 - Two separate briefings have been released addressing the Norwegian Pension Fund’s investment in Israeli companies. One looks at IEC, Nesher, and Emblaze, while the second is a detailed report about on Israeli arms supplier Elbit Systems. Both demonstrate that the actions of the above firms run contrary to the Fund’s ethical guidelines and demand divestment. [
PCHR Director Delivers Human Rights Lecture in Madrid, Spain
During the reporting period, five Palestinian civilians, including two children and one woman, were wounded in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
International Solidarity Movement - 15 May 2009 - The Al-Ma'sara Committee against the Wall and Settlements has been organizing and participating in demonstrations against the confiscation of their land for the past two and a half years. Participants and committee members are known for their strict adherence to non-violent tactics in demonstrations. While the protesters maintained their usual tactics on 1 May 2009, Israeli forces escalated their attempt to suppress the non-violent resistance by arresting several demonstrators. A new military commander, stationed in the area two months prior, had announced his intentions to end the resistance and implemented tactics such as night invasions of organizer's homes, destruction of property and threats. During the demonstration on 1 May 2009, the Israeli army arrested three members of the Al-Ma'sara Committee against the Wall and Settlements; Hasan Bergia, Mohammad Bergia and Mahmoud Sawahre.
Balata Camp commemorates the Nakba
International Solidarity Movement - 14 May 2009 - The Nakba Committee of Nablus organized a commemoration ceremonyin Balata village. About 500 people from the area gathered to attend the event where various speeches were given by community officials such as the Mayor of Nablus and others. Some 500 Palestinians with flags and banners gathered in Balata village at the outskirts of Nablus to observe the 61st memorial day of the Nakba, when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians where expelled from their homeland and became refugees. The mayor of Nablus, Dr. Jamal Mhezen, held a speech about the Nakba and the political situation today. He pointed out that the Palestinian government did everything Israel was asking for, and rhetorically he asked, "What did Israel do for the Palestinians? " He talked about the rights of return, and emphasized that Palestinians want peace, but that there are more than one ways to achieve it.
Nakba commemoration: protesters carry a 5 meter long key in Bil’in
International Solidarity Movement - 15 May 2009 - Residents of Bil'in marched today after the Friday prayer in a protest joined by international and Israelis activists. Protesters carried Palestinian flags and posters of the martyr, Bassem Abu Rahmah, and also banners commemorating 61 years of the Palestinian Nakba (catastrophe). A 5 meter long key was carried as a symbol to the right of return which a lot o Palestinians still have keys of their original homes and land ownership documents. Protesters marched towards the wall calling for the end of the occupation, and to stop construction of the Wall. What the Palestinians are facing by the Israeli occupation did not stop with one Nakba, but the aggression is still continuous especially the most recent offense on Gaza. Settlement building, home demolishing, and the ethic cleansing of the Palestinians in Jerusalem are all Nakbas.
Netanyahu is good for Obama
16 May 2009 - As Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lands in Washington Sunday, he brings a valuable gift for U.S. President Barack Obama: new U.S. legitimacy in the Middle East. If Netanyahu says the right password at the White House gates - "two states for two peoples" - Obama will have his first Israeli political achievement. Then there will be no escaping attributing this ideological compromise to American pressure on Israel. If Netanyahu refuses to say the magic words, this will further thicken the alliance between Obama and the Arab and Muslim Mideast. No matter how we spin this summit, Obama will be the winner. ...
Netanyahu heads to Washington in attempt to bridge differences
16 May 2009 - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is unlikely to state support for the establishment of a Palestinian state when he meets with U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House Sunday, an aide to the prime minister said. However, in a bid to soften edgy relations with Washington, Netanyahu will propose that joint teams draft a new road map for the Palestinian peace process and a new strategy on Iran. ...
Deputy FM: Assad just wants peace process, not peace
16 May 2009 - Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon said Saturday that Syrian President Bashar Assad was only interested in conducting a peace process with Israel, instead of actually reaching a peace accord. ...
U.S. Mideast envoy said preparing for Syria visit
16 May 2009 - President Barack Obama's special Middle East envoy is laying the groundwork for a visit to Syria as a way to push forward talks between the Arab world and Israel, U.S. officials said Friday. ...
ANALYSIS / Netanyahu's only card to play with Obama is Iran
16 May 2009 - I'm going out on a limb when I predict that no crisis will erupt at the meeting between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House on Monday. The smiles will be authentic, and Netanyahu will be able to tell reporters about the good atmosphere. Obama will be an affable and charming host, just as Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was when he met Netanyahu in Sharm el-Sheikh this week. ...
15 May 2009 - Barack Obama has made no secret of his ambition to reset US foreign policy, but none of the buttons he has pressed on Russia or Iran will be nearly as electrifying as the one he is...
Israel's Eurovision song for peace | Rachel Shabi
15 May 2009 - Israel's Eurovision entry is sung by two friends, one Jewish, one Palestinian. It may be idealistic, but shouldn't we support them? The timing was doomed. Just as the Israel-inflicted death toll in Gaza reached 900, a...
Hate kills the soul, says pope in Nazareth mass
14 May 2009 - Mixed crowd of faiths and nationalities approaching 50,000 people hears pontiff emphasise tolerance and family values Pope Benedict XVI stood on a mountaintop in Nazareth today to say the largest mass of his visit to the...
Singing for peace in Israel | Hillel Schenker
14 May 2009 - A campaign to stop a Leonard Cohen concert fails to understand the impact of such artists as Joan Baez and Roger Waters "This machine surrounds hate and forces it to surrender," reads the famous slogan on...
16 May 2009 - Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer wants to end the saga of Bank Hapoalim chairman Danny Dankner this week. Fischer would prefer an agreed-upon, honorable resignation by Dankner, but if that's not in the offing, then the central bank is ready to give Dankner his walking papers. ...
New residents account for one-third of West Bank settlement growth
16 May 2009 - Figures released recently by the Central Bureau of Statistics cast doubt on government officials' claims of housing shortages for young couples living in West Bank settlements - the central argument Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu intends to present to U.S. President Barack Obama against freezing settlement construction. ...
Jewish-Arab duo falls short in Israel bid for fourth Eurovision win
16 May 2009 - Israel's Jewish-Arab singing duo, Achinoam Nini and Mira Awad, came up short Saturday in their bid to bring Israel its fourth Eurovision victory, after favorite Norway blew away the competition. ...
Kiryat Shmona man electrocuted while fishing in Hula Valley
15 May 2009 - A Kiryat Shmona man died of electrocution on Saturday while fishing on an authorized fishing site in the northern Hula Valley. ...
Two injured as ultralight aircraft crashes in Negev
15 May 2009 - Two men were injured Saturday when an ultralight aircraft crashed in the northern Negev. ...
16 May 2009 - Source: Logistics Cluster
UN workers end Jordan strike
16 May 2009 - Source: Agence France-Presse
Factbox - Main issues in Middle East peace
16 May 2009 - Source: Reuters - AlertNet
OPT: Egypt opens Gaza border
16 May 2009 - Source: Agence France-Presse
Palestinian factions to resume unity talks in Cairo
16 May 2009 - Source: Deutsche Presse Agentur
Concluding observations of the Committee against Torture: Israel (CAT/C/ISR/CO/4)
16 May 2009 - Source: UN Committee against Torture
Le Comité contre la torture a conclu les travaux de sa session de printemps
16 May 2009 - Source: UN Committee against Torture
Committee against Torture concludes forty-second session
16 May 2009 - Source: UN Committee against Torture
16 May 2009 - Senior White House official says administration sees coming visit by Israeli premier to Washington as opportunity to discuss mutual interests; adds Obama expects Israel, Palestinians to live up to Road Map commitments
Minister Katz: Bibi to promote new diplomatic initiative
16 May 2009 - PM Netanyahu to seek establishment of joint US-Israel committee that would advance new peace initiatives in place of existing plans, Minister Katz says, adds that Bibi has no intention of building new West Bank settlements
Palestinian factions resume unity talks in Cairo
16 May 2009 - Hamas, Fatah resume reconciliation efforts in Egypt; Hamas leader says group won't be part of any government program that recognizes Israel
ElBaradei: Strike on Iran would be insane
16 May 2009 - Atomic Energy Agency chief urges Tehran to engage with US, negotiate over nuke program; attacking Iran 'would turn region into one big fireball, Iranians would immediately start building bomb,' ElBaradei warns
MK: Bibi won't commit to Palestinian state during US trip
16 May 2009 - Likud member Akonis says establishment of independent Palestinian state will lead to 'second Hamastan'; Erekat says only Obama can compel Israel to accept two-state solution, urges US to 'stop stop dealing with Israel as an above-the-law state'
Deputy FM: Assad doesn't want peace
16 May 2009 - After Syrian president claims there is 'no partner for peace' on Israeli side, Ayalon says 'you cannot wish for peace and simultaneously arm Hizbullah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad
Egypt opens Gaza border
16 May 2009 - Hamas security figure says crossings 'authorized in both directions' for humanitarian reasons
9 May 2009 - According to a testimony given to B'Tselem by a resident of the Wadi a-Nasara neighborhood of Hebron, on 3 April 2009, dozens of settlers, accompanied by soldiers, entered the neighborhood. The soldiers allowed the settlers to throw stones at homes and pa
Settler youngsters attack ambulance in Hebron
6 May 2009 - On 11 April, a Palestinian ambulance was transporting a patient to her home in the Israeli-controlled area of Hebron. According to testimonies, children and youths from nearby settlements threw rocks at the ambulance and soldiers at the scene did not inte
15 May 2009 - Turkish President Abdullah Gul flew to neighboring Syria Friday for a three-day visit aimed at boosting bilateral ties and discussing prospects of peace in the Middle East. "We aim to develop our ties with Syria on the basis of friendship and mutual interest in a way that will benefit the entire region," Gul said at Ankara airport before his departure.
Palestinians in Gaza mark anniversary of Nakba
15 May 2009 - Palestinians in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip on Friday marked the 61st anniversary of the Nakba, the "catastrophe" of the 1948 creation of Israel, which made refugees out of around 700,000 Palestinians. They have been prevented from returning to their homes by Israel ever since - instead, they have lived dispersed around the Arab world.
Jordan's king lauds renewed US commitment to Mideast peace
15 May 2009 - Jordan's king praised the renewed US commitment to achieving peace in the Middle East on Friday and urged Israel to work toward that goal. King Abdullah II spoke a day after he pressed Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu to immediately commit to the establishment of a Palestinian state, a step he has been reluctant to take despite pressure from the US.
Fears rise over spate of missing children in Egypt
15 May 2009 - A surge in reports of missing children has set off alarm across the Egyptian countryside. The fears are being fed both by reports and rumor. "Provinces on fire with kidnapping rumors; every day more stories of missing children," read the May 1 headline of independent daily Al-Dustour.
Obama revives military trials for terrorism suspects
15 May 2009 - President Barack Obama will restart military tribunals for a small number of Guantanamo detainees, reviving a Bush-era trial system he once assailed as flawed but with new legal protections for terror suspects, US officials said. The changes to the system, which will affect a small number of detainees, was announced on Friday.
17 May 2009 - After more than a hundred days since the end of the Zionist war on the Gaza Strip, human rights organizations are warning of the consequences of an alarming humanitarian situation in the Strip.
Wa’ed: Israel practices the ugliest torture methods in secret prisons
17 May 2009 - The Wa’ed society for detainees reported that all information available indicates that Israel practices the most heinous methods of torture against Palestinian prisoners in secret jails.
Hamas: We’ll discuss all options on the dialog table except the US terms
17 May 2009 - Hamas stated that its delegation to the fifth round of the national dialog will discuss with Fatah all options on the table except the American conditions.
Sheikh Salah: The Palestinian right is stronger than Israeli tanks and warplanes
17 May 2009 - Sheikh Ra’ed Salah emphasized that the Palestinian right is stronger than the Israeli tanks and warplanes, highlighting that the right of return is historical inevitability and divine destiny.
IOA court sentences Palestinian boy to five months in jail
17 May 2009 - The Israeli military court in Ofer prison, west of Ramallah, has sentenced a 15-year-old Palestinian boy to five months in jail in addition to about 1,200 dollars fine.
Bahar: Israel was established following bloody massacres
17 May 2009 - Dr. Ahmed Bahar stated that Israel was established following "bloody massacres" against the Palestinian people, highlighting that the resistance is a legitimate right guaranteed by divine religions.
IOF soldiers wound 9 Palestinians in peaceful march
17 May 2009 - Nine Palestinian citizens were wounded on Friday at the hands of Israeli occupation forces while peacefully marching in Bilin village in the weekly demonstration against the separation wall.
Report: Israel kidnapped more than 2,500 Palestinians last year
17 May 2009 - The Palestinian center for human rights on Thursday reported that the IOF troops kidnapped more than 2,500 Palestinians last year, most of them from the West Bank.
Euro campaign: Slight amendment to convoy route delays its arrival in Gaza
17 May 2009 - The European campaign to lift the siege on Gaza Strip has said that the European "Hope" convoy would reach the Strip by the end of next week citing a slight amendment to its route for the delay.
Nakba Day…"They Killed Anyone They Saw
17 May 2009 - Mohammed al-Saghir Abu Sharar was 37 when the Hagana and other Jewish terrorist gangs attacked al-Dawayema, a village located 18 kilometers northwest of Al-Khalil..
16 May 2009 - Austrian Embassy in Tehran played a key role in helping secure her release. She and her parents will head to the United States after a short stay. With Austria helping to secure her release, Iranian American journalist Roxana Saberi arrived in Vienna on Friday, days after she was released from prison in Iran following an appeals court decision suspending her sentence on an espionage charge.
Pope Benedict's farewell remarks please both Israelis, Palestinians
16 May 2009 - Pope Benedict condemns anti-Semitism and makes his strongest appeal for a Palestinian state. But no one expects his message of peace to move the Mideast conflict toward resolution. Pope Benedict XVI ended a politically charged visit to Israel and the West Bank on Friday with new condemnations of anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial and his strongest appeal yet for the creation of a Palestinian state.
Stephen McEveety produces 'The Stoning of Soraya M.'
16 May 2009 - Producer Stephen McEveety's new film depicts a modern stoning in Iran. As a producer of "The Passion of the Christ," Stephen McEveety knows how difficult (and also satisfying) it can be to make a controversial, sometimes brutal movie about religion and faithfulness.
16 May 2009 - Mindful of not antagonizing a powerful neighbor, Oman’s rulers have defied the appeals of others in the Middle East for it to draw away from Tehran.
Citing Auschwitz, Pope Assails Hatred
15 May 2009 - Pope Benedict XVI wound up a sometimes fraught trip to Israel and the West Bank on Friday with a plea that the Holocaust must “never be forgotten or denied.”
Jordan Tells Israel to Accept Two-State Solution
14 May 2009 - Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, met with King Abdullah II of Jordan, who urged the Israeli leader to commit to a two-state solution with the Palestinians.
Ha'aretz - Palestinian interest in the intentions of the new Israeli government tends to focus on one small area in the West Bank, Ma'aleh Adumim and its environs, particularly the area known as E1 linking the settlement to East Jerusalem. Earlier this month Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayad participated in mass Friday prayers against land expropriation in the area, and the Palestinian media was full of reports of Israeli settlement plans in Ma'aleh Adumim and E1. The concerns are not baseless. E1 is the only area that Benjamin Netanyahu explicitly committed to developing, on the eve of February's elections.
War crimes against children: new report on the 313 children killed during Gaza offensive
ReliefWeb - Date: 14 May 2009 - A new report released today reveals the true extent of child killings by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip during its 23 day offensive on Gaza between 27 December 2008 and 18 January 2009. The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) is publishing War Crimes Against Children in response to the unprecedented number of children killed by Israeli forces in its latest operation; a total of 313 children under the age of eighteen.
VIDEO - Off the Charts: Media Analysis of the Israel-Palestinian Conflict
If Americans Knew - Produced by Alternate Focus - A 30-minute segment featuring Alison Weir and the findings of If Americans Knew in researching media coverage of the Israel-Palestinian conflict.
Hamas under scrutiny while Lieberman embraced
14 May 2009 - GAZA CITY, occupied Gaza Strip (IPS) - A founding member of Hamas says he hates all weapons and insists that his organization is not anti-Jewish. In an interview with IPS, Sayed Abu Musameh described frequent claims in the European and US press that Hamas's charter is based on enmity towards Jews as a "big lie." Speaking in the remains of the Palestinian Legislative Council headquarters in Gaza City, Husameh drew a distinction between followers of Judaism and the Zionist ideology to which most politicians in Israel's main political parties subscribe.
Pope's visit overlooks Palestinians
14 May 2009 - Pope Benedict XVI upset the schedule on his first day in Israel by leaving an interfaith meeting in Jerusalem early on Monday night after a leading Muslim cleric called on him to condemn the "slaughter" of women and children in the recent assault on Gaza. The pontiff walked out, a spokesman noted, because Sheikh Tayseer Tamimi's speech was a "direct negation" of dialogue and damaged the Pope's efforts at "promoting peace."
Israeli orgs call on Norway to divest from occupation
14 May 2009 - In an unprecedented way, a wide array of Israeli civil society and grassroots organizations has sent a letter to the Norwegian Pension Fund, addressed to its Council on Ethics, urging it to support their efforts for a just peace and equality in Israel/Palestine by divesting from all companies involved in the Israeli occupation.
EU obligated to prosecute war crime suspects
14 May 2009 - Fair criminal trials in EU member states, especially if they result in convictions, could provide genuine deterrence and begin to provide justice for Palestinian victims of Israeli actions. The EU has a massive role in that regard. Instead of paying lip service to injustices inflicted upon the Palestinian people by issuing statements "deploring the loss of life" and promises to "follow closely investigations into alleged violations of international humanitarian law," EU countries would achieve much more by applying the rule of law to Israel, starting with making their laws match their obligations under the 1949 Geneva Conventions. Daniel Machover and Adri Nieuwhof comment for The Electronic Intifada.