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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
31 May , 2009

News

International Middle East Media Center

Halutz: “We tried to assassinate Nasrallah during the Lebanon war”
1 Jun 2009 - Former Israeli Army Chief of Staff, Dan Halutz, stated Sunday that Israel had tried to assassinate Hezbollah leader, Hasan Nasrallah, during the war against Lebanon in 2006. 

Knesset turns down “loyalty oath bill”
1 Jun 2009 - Israeli sources reported Sunday that the Knesset’s Ministerial Legislative Committee  turned town a bill submitted by member of Knesset David Rotem of the extremist right-wing Yisrael Beiteinu Party demanding any person who retains an Israeli citizenship to declare loyalty to Israel as a Jewish,Zionisgt, democratic state. 

Israel “disappointed” over US demands on settlement freeze
31 May 2009 - Israeli officials said Sunday that a noticeable tension is shadowing the Israeli-American relations over a US demand that Israel should halt its settlement activities in the occupied West Bank. The tension rose after a failed round of talks between US envoy George Mitchell and Israeli officials in London last week. 

Six Palestinians killed in internal clashes in Qalqilia
31 May 2009 - Palestinians medical sources reported on Sunday at dawn that six Palestinians were killed in Qalqilia, in the northern part of the West Bank, during clashes that took place between Palestinian security forces and a group of fighters of the Al Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas. 

Arab Committee: “Nakba bill, a call for war, an attempt to force us forget our history”
31 May 2009 - The Higher Arab Monitoring Committee slammed the Israeli government’s intention to hold a vote on Sunday on a bill outlawing marking the Nakba day by the Arabs in Israel. The Committee stated this bill is racist and aims at forcing the Arabs to forget and deny their own history. 

Palestinian journalist released by Israeli police after interrogation
30 May 2009 - A Palestinian journalist and his assistant were detained by the Israeli police when they were making a documentary about the Al-Aqsa Mosque on Friday after the midday prayers. 

France is ignoring EU rules on arms sales to Israel, new study reports
30 May 2009 - The French arms trade with Israel breaks the rules that the European Union has set out for the defense industry, according to a new study brought out this week. Between 2003 and 2007 France licensed for more than 446 million euros for arms exports to Israel, making France the largest EU supplier of weapons to Israel. 

Israeli army and settlers violently obstruct Palestinians from harvesting their lands in Safa
30 May 2009 - Villagers from the Southern West Bank village of Safa, north of Hebron, have tried to harvest their lands that are located closely to the settlement of Beit Ayn, on Saturday morning. The Israeli army violently pushed the villagers of their lands, as settlers were gathering on near by hilltops. Later in the morning settlers came down and attacked a group of women and children, a local witness reported to IMEMC. 

Nasrallah: “Lebanese resistance ready to counter any future Israeli attack”
30 May 2009 - In a public speech, and while thousands of supporters chanted “death to Israel”, Hezbollah leader Hasan Narsallah in Lebanon said that the Lebanese resistance is ready to counter any Israeli military aggression, and added that Iran is willing to arm the Lebanese army with missiles and fighter-jets. 

Hamas: “Obama-Abbas meeting disappointing to the Palestinians”
30 May 2009 - Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, stated Friday that the meeting between the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, and the US President, Barack Obama, is disappointing as it did not carry any new issue especially while the Israeli occupation is still ongoing with its daily violations against the Palestinian people. 

Abbas: “No peace talks without halting settlements, accepting two-state solution”
29 May 2009 - Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, repeated his demands that the right-wing Israeli government of Benjamin Netanyahu should stop all of its illegal settlement activities and should publically accept the two-state solution before peace talks with Israel can resume. 

UN investigation committee to arrive next week
29 May 2009 - The United Nations reported Friday that its special team of experts assigned to probe human rights violations during the war in Gaza, will be in the Middle East by next week. 

Ha'aretz Defense page

Barak: There is neither hunger nor crisis in Gaza
31 May 2009 - Shin Bet Chief: Hamas is cracking down on rocket fire, but simultaneously working to reinforce its own strength. 

Six die as PA cracks down on Hamas in West Bank
30 May 2009 - Forces loyal to Fatah-led Palestinian government were on mission to arrest Hamas operatives in Qalqilya. 

Israel holds biggest civil defense drill in state history
31 May 2009 - Five-day exercise to simulate attack on country; Netanyahu: Drill not directed at any regional entity. 

Shin Bet officials met jailed Hamas leaders on Shalit deal
31 May 2009 - Meetings held at Ketziot Prison during Olmert tenure, in former PM's bid to secure prisoner release. 

Report: Homemade bomb defused on Iran domestic flight
31 May 2009 - Icident occurrs less than two weeks before Islamic Republic's presidential election. 

'Hezbollah, Iran plotted bombing of Israel embassy in Azerbaijan'
31 May 2009 - Los Angeles Times: Two Lebanese, four Azeris linked to plot were charged with terrorism, espionage. 

Settlers, leftists clash near West Bank village of Safa
30 May 2009 - Activists say 15 to 20 masked settlers attacked them, breaking a camera and flipping over a car. 

Lebanon charges four with collaborating with Israel
30 May 2009 - Men accused of spying on civilian and military positions; 23 charged with espionage over recent months. 

Ma'an News

Six Palestinians killed in Hamas-PA clashes in Qalqiliya
5/31/2009 - Bethlehem/Qalqiliya – Ma’an – Six Palestinians were killed on Sunday morning in clashes between Palestinian Authority security services and gunmen affiliated to Hamas in the northern West Bank city of Qalqiliya. According to the medics, three security officers and two Hamas fighters were killed, in addition to the owner of the building where the Hamas men had stationed themselves. The home owner's wife was also injured, according to former mayor of Qalqiliya Zahran Maaroof. Officials named the PA-affiliated victims as Shahir Abu At-Tayyib and Abd Ar-Rahman Yasin, who were officers in the Palestinian Preventive Security services. A third security officer from the National Security Service was killed, but his name was not released. Meanwhile, Hamas affiliates Muhammad Yasin and Muhammad As-Samman were also killed in the clash, in addition to the owner of the building, Abd An-Nasser Al-Basha, sources told Ma'an. 

Settlers use caves to replace evacuated trailler outposts
5/31/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – Israeli settlers have begun to follow a new policy in defending their illegal outposts, seeking out caves to replace trailers which Prime Minister Netanyahu’s government said it would evacuate. After Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak ordered evacuating some ten outposts in the West Bank, settlers have begun searching for caves to live in, according to a report aired on Israeli TV. The report showed settlers working at night preparing caves near the Qedumim settlement because they believe Israeli law does not ban living in caves. “Since the decision to evacuate outposts, settlers have begun primitive preparations in the caves currently, but will demand installation of water and electricity networks in the meantime,” the report explained. “We have no problem evacuating outposts, if the government find us an alternative, and focuses on our needs. . . 

Fatah fighters say Hamas abducted 16 men in Gaza after Qalqiliya shootout
5/31/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – Fatah’s armed wing, Al-Aqsa Brigades, accused Hamas-allied security forces in Gaza of arresting 16 of its fighters following the deadly shootout between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas’ armed wing in the West Bank city of Qalqiliya. Al-Aqsa Brigades in Gaza released a statement in which they said, “Since the early morning hours, Hamas began a wide-scale abduction campaign against Al-Aqsa Brigades fighters. So far, 16 from different Gaza Strip districts have been abducted. ”The statement threatened to retaliate in the West Bank against Hamas activists if any Fatah fighter is harmed in Gaza. “Hamas must realize how great the disaster is,” the statement added holding Hamas accountable for the regrettable events in Qalqilia. Three Palestinian Authority (PA) officers, two Hamas gunmen, and a bystander were killed overnight when PA security forces went in to arrest Hamas men. 

Hamas may pull out of Cairo talks after Qalqiliya clashes
5/31/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – Hamas said it is considering withdrawing from upcoming talks with its rival Fatah in the wake of deadly clashes with the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority on Sunday. Two Hamas men, three PA security officers and a bystander were killed in the firefight that took place when the officers went into arrest the fighters in the West Bank city of Qalqiliya. The incident was the most serious instance of intra-Palestinian fighting in the West Bank in nearly two years. The next round of Hamas-Fatah talks is scheduled to begin on 5 July in Cairo. In a statement issued from Gaza, the Islamic movement said it is weighing the option of pulling out of the talks, blaming Fatah, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and Salam Fayyad, the prime minister in Abbas’ cabinet, for the deaths. Hamas also called on Egypt, the mediator in the Hamas Fatah talks, to pressure. . . 

Qalqiliya Hamas fighters buried amid tight security
5/31/2009 - Qalqiliya – Ma’an – Two Hamas-affiliated gunmen were laid to rest in the West Bank city of Qalqiliya on Sunday afternoon amid heavy security. Earlier, three Palestinian Authority (PA) security officers who were killed in a firefight with the Hamas men were buries. Their military funeral was attended by the PA interior minister and the commanders of the various security forces. Ma’an learned that during the funeral procession for the security personnel, the bodies of Hamas fighters Muhammad Yasin and Muhammad As-Samman, as well as Abd An-Nasser Al-Basha, the owner of the building where the shootout took place, were transferred to a hospital in Salfit in the northern West Bank to avoid encounters between victims’ families. 

Kerem Shalom and Nahal Oz crossings open; Karni closed
5/31/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – Israel will open both the Kerem Shalom and Nahal Oz crossings into the Gaza Strip on Sunday but keep Karni closed, according to crossings official Raed Fattouh. Fattuh said that Kerem Shalom would be partially open to allow 41 truckloads of humanitarian aid to the agricultural and commercial sectors in Gaza, while Nahal Oz would allow shipments of limited quantities of cooking gas and industrial diesel. Fattouh also confirmed that Karni is expected to remain closed on Sunday. [end] 

UNRWA chief: Palestinian people not defeated
5/31/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – The UN’s director of relief operations in Gaza told Palestinians in Gaza that they had not been defeated by the Israeli military on Sunday. “The Palestinians were not defeated by Israeli army in its latest offensive against the Gaza Strip, and they proved to be capable of resuming their life anew despite all their hardships,” said John Ging, the director of the United Nations Relief Works Agency (UNRWA), which serves hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees in Gaza. Ging’s comment came during a ceremony in Gaza City for honoring retiring teachers and teachers receiving promotions. The celebration was organized under the auspices of the Islamic Bank in the Gaza Strip. 

Israeli forces seize Jenin man at checkpoint
5/31/2009 - Jenin – Ma’an – Israeli forces detained 20-year-old Munadil Sharqawi from the town of Az-Zababda, near Jenin, at a checkpoint they imposed at Al-Jarba crossroads on Sunday afternoon. The detainee’s father told Ma’an that Israeli forces besieged Az-Zababda three days ago in order to arrest him, but he managed to escape. Israeli soldiers delivered the family a letter demanding that Sharqawi turn himself in for “security reasons. ” [end] 

Report: Iran and Hizbullah plotted to bomb Israeli embassy
5/31/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Iran and Hizbullah plotted to bomb Israel's embassy in Azerbaijan, according to a report published Saturday in the Los Angeles Times. According to the paper, two Lebanese citizens and four Azerbaijanis were put on trial last week for the alleged plot, including charges of terrorism and espionage. Both Israeli and Azerbaijani media had been ordered not to report on the reports, the newspaper noted. Israel's military censor routinely orders blackouts on security matters. The Azerbaijani investigators have said that the suspects were planning to plant three to four car bombs around the embassy and detonate them simultaneously, having commandeered hundreds of pounds of explosives from Iranian spies. Haaretz quoted Israeli sources saying the plotters also indented to kidnap the Israeli ambassador to Baku, Azerbaijan's capital. 

High-ranking Israeli intelligence officer commits suicide
5/31/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – A high-ranking Israeli intelligence committed suicide on Sunday, Israel’s Channel 2 television reported. The officer, who holds the rank of major, shot himself in the head in his office on Sunday morning, according to the televised report. The officer’s identity was withheld due to the “sensitive” nature of his work. The Israeli intelligence apparatus has come under harsh criticism in recent days due to an ongoing scandal involving the exposure of an Israeli spy network in Lebanon. [end] 

PA minister of economy meets with governor of Nablus
5/31/2009 - Nablus – Ma’an – The governor of Nablus in the northern West Bank, Jamal Muheisin, on Sunday hosted the Palestinian minister of economy, Basim Khouri, and a delegation from the ministry. Dr Rami Al-Hamdalla, president of An-Najah National University, attended the meeting in addition to the mayor of Nablus, Adli Ya’ish, and Dr Munib Al-Masri. The mayor updated the guests on the situation in the Nablus district, focusing on security, stability and highlighting that the district needs economic development. He maintained that an industrial city was needed in Nablus, in addition to small projects which would help the economic plan that began after the special economic conference in the northern West Bank near the end of 2008. For his part, the minister asserted that the visit to Nablus reflected his personal conviction that the city plays a major part in Palestinian economy,. . . 

Thousands attend funeral for three officers killed in Qalqiliya
5/31/2009 - Qalqilia – Ma’an – Thousands of Palestinians on Sunday afternoon attended a funeral procession for three security officers who were killed the same morning in clashes with Hamas gunmen in the Kfar Saba neighborhood of Qalqiliya in the northern West Bank. Two Hamas gunmen were also killed in the clashes, in addition to the owner of the building where the Hamas gunmen were allegedly stationed. According to Ma’an’s correspondent, the mourners marched from As-Suq Masoque in the city center toward the Martyrs graveyard, where the, victims Shahir Abu At-Tayyib and Abd Ar-Rahman Yasin from the preventive security service, and Husam Faris from the Palestinian national security forces, were buried. Palestinian Authority Interior Minister Sa’id Abu Ali attended the funeral, along with other security commanders and officers. 

Fayyad: PA ’will not apologize’ for Qalqiliya deaths
5/31/2009 - took place Qalqiliya – Ma’an – Palestinian caretaker Prime Minister Salam Fayyad visited the West Bank city of Qalqiliya on Sunday afternoon to review the situation after clashes between PA security forces and Hamas gunmen left six dead. Fayyad insisted that the Palestinian Authority is intent on keeping order Palestinians in the West Bank. “I feel sorry and sad, but we will not apologize for what happened because our security forces have done their national duty, and the PA insists on imposing security and order,” Fayyad said. According to Ma’an’s reporter, Fayyad headed first to the Kfar Saba neighborhood where clashes took place, and listened to briefing by security forces leaders. 

Man arrested for allegedly bringing drugs into Jericho prison
5/31/2009 - Jericho - Ma’an – Palestinian Authority (PA) police said on Sunday that they arrested a man for attempting to sell illegal drugs in the central PA prison in the West Bank city of Jericho. The police public relations office said that the alleged drug dealer was transferred to the drug control department to complete the legal formalities and was later transferred to the Public Prosecutor’s Office. The accused said in his statement that he intended to sell the drugs to one of the prisoners who was himself arrested for trafficking. In a statement the police said they have arrested many visitor to the prison with prohibited substances. [end] 

PA: Hamas’ men were heavily armed, had planned attacks
5/31/2009 - Ramallah – Ma’an – The Palestinian Authority’s (PA) security spokesperson Adnan Ad-Dimeiri said that the Hamas gunmen who engaged in a deadly shootout with security forces on Sunday were heavily armed had planned to attack the PA. Two Hamas men, three PA security officers and a bystander were killed in the firefight that took place when the officers went into arrest the fighters. “The weapons the two [Hamas] activists used are similar to those used by Israeli soldiers, M16s, and they also possessed bombs which the security forces themselves do not have such. We found large amounts of explosives,” said Ad-Dimeiri, noting that the Hamas fighters had enough ammunition to keep fighting from Saturday night long into the hours of Sunday morning. Ad-Dimeiri, speaking at a press conference in Ramallah, vowed to continue a crackdown on illegal weapons and. . . 

PA: Security forces ’acted in self defense’ in Qalqiliya
5/31/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – Senior Palestinian Authority official Hussein Ash-Sheikh said on Sunday that security forces had no prior instructions to open fire when they went on the arrest raid that resulted in a deadly firefight early on Sunday morning. Ash-Sheikh, a minister in the PA government and also the chief liaison with Israeli authorities, said in an interview with Ma’an that the fighting was an isolated incident, and that the PA officers fired back to defend themselves after three officers were killed. Ash-Sheikh’s comments are part of an emerging picture of Sunday’s violence, in which the two Hamas fighters and the owner of the building in which they took shelter were killed. According to initial reports, the three were killed by a grenade. The Hamas’ members refusal to surrender resulted in a standoff and nine hours of negotiations, during which the security forces appealed to national figures to mediate. 

The National

The gates that keep Gaza hungry 
29 May 2009 - Before Israel imposed a goods blockade in 2007, about 600 lorries passed into Gaza each day. Now, barely 100 enter via only one crossing point.

US stand on settlements could bolster Abbas's hand
28 May 2009 - AnalysisThe Palestinian president has failed in his fight against their expansion, but his policy now has the backing of the Obama administration.

Mother has court date to see her daughter
28 May 2009 - In the 12 years since Sarah El Gohary's father kidnapped her from the United States and brought her to Egypt, she has never once seen her mother.

Israel shrugs off US call to halt settlements
28 May 2009 - Israel shrugged off today a blunt US call for a halt to all Jewish settlement building on occupied Palestinian land.

Aljazeera

Police raid sparks West Bank clash
31 May 2009 - Six Palestinians killed as police corner Hamas fighters in the occupied West Bank.

Israel 'loyalty law' rejected
31 May 2009 - Cabinet committee throws out draft bill calling for citizens to take oath of loyalty.

Israel tests response to 'doomsday'
31 May 2009 - Largest-ever defence drill tests country's response to simultaneous attacks.

Iran hangs three over mosque blast
30 May 2009 - Officials say trio had helped orchestrate Thursday's bombing that killed 25 people.

Hezbollah: Iran to support Lebanon
30 May 2009 - Nasrallah says Tehran would help supply Lebanon's army if his coalition is elected.

IRIN

OPT: Grim housing, water situation in Gaza 
TEL AVIV Thursday, May 28, 2009 (IRIN) - Reports published recently by the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), Israeli NGO B'Tselem and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) paint a grim picture of life in Gaza more than four months after the 23-day Israeli offensive ended on 18 January.

OPT: Gaza liquidity crisis having tangible humanitarian impact 
GAZA CITY Monday, May 25, 2009 (IRIN) - A banking and liquidity crisis is affecting the lives of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip: Civil servants are struggling to get their salaries, and humanitarian aid is being delayed. Thousands of welfare benefit recipients are not getting their dues. 

Inter Press Service

POLITICS: Abbas Visit Comes as U.S.-Israeli Tensions Mount 
WASHINGTON, May 29 (IPS) - U.S. President Barack Obama’s first meeting on Thursday with Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas was less remarkable for the actual talks between the two leaders than it was for the changed Washington political climate in which it took place.

POLITICS: Where Iran Fits in the Mideast Peace Puzzle 
ANKARA, Turkey, May 29 (IPS) - What is the relationship between the United States’ policy towards Iran and its performance on Arab-Israeli peacemaking, including the crucial quest for peace between Israel and the Palestinians?

FRANCE: 'Defying Rules on Arms Sales to Israel' 
BRUSSELS, May 29 (IPS) - French arms sales to Israel are "in total contradiction" of European Union rules on the defence industry, the author of a new study has said.

MIDEAST: Palestinians Honour Holocaust Victims 
RAMALLAH, May 29 (IPS) - On a cool and overcast day, a procession of grim-faced people filed silently past pictures of heaps of skeletons piled high, of emaciated survivors with blank stares corralled behind barbed wire, barely clinging to life.

Stop The Wall

Two new videos online!
30 May 2009 - Two new video resources are online. The first is 

Bi'lin marks 40 days since Abu Rahma killing
30 May 2009 - Demonstrations in Ni'lin and Bi'lin were met with more violence this week. Five were injured in Ni'lin and three in Bi'lin, and dozens more suffered from tear gas that Occupation forces showered on the protests. Protestors in Bi'lin carried shields and posters of Basem Abu Rahma to mark the 40 days since his death. [

PCHR Latest

(31-05-2009)  3 Security Officers, 2 Members of the 'Izziddin al-Qassam Brigades and One Civilian Killed in Qalqilya
PCHR

PCHR Weekly Report

(21 - 27 May  2008)
During the reporting period, IOF killed two Palestinian resistance activists in the Gaza Strip, and wounded 17 civilians, including four children and an old woman in the West Bank

International Solidarity Movement

Settlers attack Palestinian farmers as they work their land in Saffa
International Solidarity Movement - Ha'aretz - 30 May 2009 - Clashes erupted on Saturday between settlers and left-wing activists who were trying to help Palestinians with agricultural work near the village of Safa in the West Bank. Activists from the Jewish-Arab rights group Ta'ayush arrived at the village, which is located near the settlement of Bat Ayin, and were attacked by 15 to 20 masked settlers, according to one of the activists. Activist Mairav Zonszein told Haaretz that the settlers assaulted the activists and pelted them with stones, breaking one of their cameras, and flipping over one of their cars, breaking the windshield. Israel Defense Forces soldiers and Border Police armed with batons arrived and forcefully removed the demonstrators from the scene, according to Zonszein. Border Police then declared the area a closed military zone. 

Israeli forces attack and abduct Gazan fishermen
International Solidarity Movement - Fishing Under Fire - 29 May 2009 - The Israeli Navy continues its aggression towards the Palestinian fishermen. Since the declaration of the "ceasefire" at least 5 fishermen have been injured by gunfire in the sea while another 5 have been reportedly injured on shore by Israeli shelling. 40 abductions have been reported (at least 2 fishermen abducted twice) and 17 "confiscations" of fishing boats About 10 fishing boats have been returned but with damages and equipment missing, and one hassaka was stolen again. Some of the latest incidents: Wednesday, 20 May 2009 - Some hours before hundreds of Palestinian fishermen and supporters demonstrated in the sea, Khalil Abdullah Al Najar and his brother Ibrahim Abdullah Al Najar were abducted off shore of Rafah, while they were trying to collect their nets. 

VIDEO - Farmers under fire
International Solidarity Movement - 29 May 2009 - A compilation video from real incidents when Palestinian farmers came under fire from Israeli soldiers shooting with live ammunition from jeeps and towers along the border to Gaza. All of the incidents occurred in the south-eastern border region east of Khan Younis, within the months since the ‘cease-fire' following Israel's war on Gaza. All the attacks have been against unarmed Palestinian farmers, including women and children, and internationals accompanying them. The practise of firing at farmers and civilians in the area up to 1km from the border has been a consistent occurrence, with attacks increasing after Israel's 3 weeks of massacring Gaza. The farmers working the land are all either dependent on the food they produce or very poor labourers dependent on the meagre salary they receive. 

Israeli soldiers detain and harass Hebron residents at checkpoint
International Solidarity Movement - Harassment of Palestinians at checkpoints happens regularly in the West Bank. Several of the abuses against Palestinians by Israeli soldiers in Hebron were documented by international solidarity activists from the ISM. On the afternoon of 26th of May, Israeli border police stopped five young Palestinian men in a temporary checkpoint in the old town. The men were not given a reason for their detainment but were lined up against the wall for some time. After an hour, international solidarity activists arrived and 2 of the men were released. Eventually, 6 international solidarity activists were present and arguing with the soldiers. Another 2 men were released and given back their ids 15 minutes later. The border police took the remaining detained Palestinian to a closed off area near the Ibrahimi Mosque, stopping the internationals from following them. 

Bil’in demonstration commemorates Basem Abu Rahme
International Solidarity Movement - Bil'in Popular Committee - 29 May 2009 - After Friday prayers, the people began the weekly demonstration at Bil "˜in, in which a group of international, Palestinian and Israelis from peace and anti-occupation movements gather to resist the building of the wall around the village in order to regain land that was taken in 2004. This Friday, demonstrators marched through the village towards the wall waving Palestinian flags, chanting anti-Zionist slogans demanding the cessation of the occupation and return of their land, and refusing the Israeli racist policy against our People in the occupied Palestine. The protesters commemorated the martyr Bassem Abu Rahma and they were carrying metal shields, with his pictures, in order to protect themselves and others from Israeli fire. They also wear masks designed specially for Bassem, expressing his existence in all the demonstrations , and they are all Bassem. 

International human rights workers to accompany Gazan farmers near the ‘buffer zone’ despite Israeli threats
International Solidarity Movement - Sunday, 31 May 2009: Four international human rights workers from the ISM-Gaza Strip will be accompanying farmers from Khoza as they harvest crops next to the Green Line, for a second day. In the morning, human rights workers will join Palestinian farmers in Khoza village, located east of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, to farm land about 400 meters from the "˜Green Line'. The farmers will continue their work despite recent threats from the Israeli occupation forces to shoot anyone who enters the ‘buffer zone. 'Israeli forces opened fire on the workers on 25 May 2009 but they remained in the area and finished their work. Several farmers have been shot by Israeli forces while farming their lands. 20 May 2009, Beit Hanoun: Ziad Salem abu Hadayid, 23, was shot in his legs with live ammunition by Israeli forces7 May 2009, Rafah: Randa. . . 

Interview with an ex-political prisoner
International Solidarity Movement - 31 May 2009 - Hi. My name is Mansour Hammad. I live in Gaza. All my life I have lived in Gaza. But, I am originally from Na'alaya, in Majdal. I am a refugee in Gaza, and my grandparents came to Gaza when the Nakba, the Catastropher, occurred. In 1986 when I was 16 years old, I was arrested by the Shen Bet at midnight, in my home in Gaza. They came into my house, very quietly, I was asleep, but my mother answered the door. She was terrified with all those guns she saw. They woke me up and placed a gun in front of my head. I was wearing my pajamas, and was bare foot. I was handcuffed, and made to walk around 500 metres away from the house, until I came to the outskirt of the Jabalya Refugee Camp. There they had arrested other boys and men from the camp. They began to beat us up. 

Campaign to release Samieh Jabbarin
International Solidarity Movement - 31 May 2009 - Dear friends, The solidarity struggle with Palestinian theatre-artist and activist Samieh Jabbarin, who is still under house-arrest in Um Al Fahm, has gained significant resonance in the past two weeks thanks to the publication of journalist Aviva Lori's extensive coverage of the affair in "Haaretz" weekend supplement in Hebrew (22. 5. 09) and English (28. 5. 09). Links to both versions follow. . . . Unfortunately, nothing has moved in court. On June 7th the court in Hadera is to review Samieh's appeal for lifting the limiting conditions of his house-arrest - four (!) months of being denied his personal liberty after being arrested at a political demonstration. Due to the said limiting conditions, Samieh could not even attend the. . . 

Palestine urges withdrawal of rail contract
International Solidarity Movement - Gulf News - 31 May 2009 - Dubai: Palestinian officials have intensified diplomatic efforts to persuade Saudi Arabia to withdraw a multibillion dollar rail contract awarded to a firm alleged to be complicit in Israel's expansion in Occupied East Jerusalem, Gulf News has learnt. Palestinian National Authority officials have said that they are in talks with the Saudis to find ways to block the Occupied Jerusalem light rail project. The light rail project will link Occupied West Jerusalem to Occupied East Jerusalem and Jewish colonies in the Occupied West Bank when completed. It has been described by Israeli leaders as the fulfillment of the Zionist dream and will be partly built by the French firm Alstom. Alstom is part of a consortium awarded a $1. 8 billion (Dh6. 6 billion) civil works contract in March for the Makkah-Madinah railway, the Haramain Express. 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

Family axes wedding plans, Egyptian cuts off penis
31 May 2009 - A 25-year-old Egyptian man cut off his own penis to spite his family after he was refused permission to marry a girl from a lower class family, police reported Sunday. ...

Thousands march, celebrate Israel at NYC parade
30 May 2009 - Tens of thousands of supporters of Israel crowded New York's Fifth Avenue on Sunday as part of the annual parade celebrating the birth of the Jewish state in 1948. ...

Study: 64% of Turks don't want Jewish neighbors 
30 May 2009 - A new study published in a Turkish newspaper Sunday said 64 percent of Turks would not want Jewish neighbors. ...

Egypt: Mideast peace more pressing that Iran nukes
30 May 2009 - Egypt does not agree with Israel's point of view that Iran's nuclear ambitions are a higher priority for the region than Mideast peace, a spokesman to President Hosni Mubarak said Sunday. ...

Merkel to accompany Obama on visit to concentration camp in Germany 
30 May 2009 - German Chancellor Angela Merkel will accompany U.S. President Barack Obama on a visit to the former Nazi concentration camp of Buchenwald later this week, a German government spokesman said Sunday. ...

The Guardian

Obama's speech in Cairo: getting the right audience | Editorial
31 May 2009 - Cast a weary eye over the map of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and there are, on any one day, at least a dozen flashpoints. One erupted yesterday in the West Bank town of Qalqilya, when a local...

Six die as Palestinian police clash with Hamas in West Bank
31 May 2009 - Three police officers killed in gun battle with militants The prospect of Palestinian reconciliation receded still further yesterday after six people were killed in the deadliest outbreak of fighting between Fatah and Hamas in the West...

Six killed as Palestinian police clash with Hamas in the West Bank
31 May 2009 - Three police killed in gun battle as they try to arrest militants hiding in house in Qalqiliya, security officials say Six people died today in a gun battle between Palestinian police and Hamas militants, security officials...

Putting the squeeze on Israel's settlements | Richard Silverstein
29 May 2009 - For over 40 years, US presidents have nodded and winked at Israeli settlement expansion. Not Barack Obama President Obama held his first meeting with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday. But you'd hardly know it from...

Ha'aretz National page

Study: Smoking spiked in southern Israel during Gaza war
30 May 2009 - The number of cigarettes smoked by residents of Israeli towns near the Gaza Strip during Operation Cast Lead rose to an average of over a pack a day, the Health Ministry's 2008 report on smoking revealed. ...

Israel names ex-Mossad man to head Shalit talks
30 May 2009 - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Sunday that he has appointed former senior Mossad intelligence agency operative Haggai Hadas to head negotiations with Hamas over the release of abducted Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit. ...

Ministers reject Yisrael Beiteinu's loyalty oath bill
30 May 2009 - The ministerial legislative committee rejected on Sunday a bill stating that those who wish to retain Israeli citizenship would have to declare their loyalty to Israel as a Jewish state. ...

Philanthropic foundation grants Hebrew U. largest gift ever 
30 May 2009 - Jerusalem's Hebrew University is using a $50 million gift from the foundation of a donor who was killed in 1999 to launch a new brain research center. ...

Katsav wants his rape trial open to the public
30 May 2009 - Former president Moshe Katsav wants his rape trial to be open to the public, defense attorneys said on Sunday in response to the prosecution's request to hold the proceedings behind closed doors. ...

Relief Web

Statement attributable to the UN fact-finding mission on the Gaza conflict
30 May 2009 - Source: UN Department of Public Information

CWS Hotline - Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, OPT, Honduras, Mozambique
30 May 2009 - Source: Church World Service

OPT: U.N. war crimes inquiry to depart for Middle East
29 May 2009 - Source: Reuters - AlertNet

The Secretary-General's message on the International Day of UN Peacekeepers
29 May 2009 - Source: United Nations

Journée internationale des Casques bleus : Message du Secrétaire général de l'ONU, M. Ban Ki-moon
29 May 2009 - Source: United Nations

Press conference by United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Occupied Palestinian Territory
28 May 2009 - Source: UN Department of Public Information

OPT: Disabled boy and Gaza family get help from LIFE and UAE Red Crescent 
28 May 2009 - Source: Life for Relief and Development

West Bank and Gaza: Gaza emergency response additional finance program
28 May 2009 - Source: World Bank

YNet News

Lebanon arrests 2 more in Israeli spy inquiry
31 May 2009 - Lebanese army colonel, retired customs officer detained on suspicion of spying in latest espionage arrests 

Halutz: Conflict with US must be avoided
31 May 2009 - Former IDF chief warns government that while differences in opinion are legitimate, it should avoid conflict with Americans, on whose equipment Israel 'relies heavily'; also justifies operations of Second Lebanon War

Thousands march for Israel in New York 
31 May 2009 - Parents of captive soldier Gilad Shalit, Noam and Aviva Shalit, take part in annual solidarity march attended by a reported 100,000; Tel Aviv centennial at center of festivities

Aharon Barak accuses defense establishment of misleading high court
31 May 2009 - Former High Court president says judiciary branch must retain authority to rule on defense matters, says court has been misled before by defense officials in petitions regarding security issued. 'The name of security has been taken in vain more than once or twice,' says Barak

High Court orders freeze of construction at settlement
31 May 2009 - Court issues interim stop-work order on at least ten permanent structures being built in settlement of Halamish-Neve Tzuf in West Bank following petition filed by Peace Now

Ex-Mossad official named as Shalit envoy
31 May 2009 - PM announces Hagai Hadas to replace Ofer Dekel in Cairo talks on release of captive IDF soldier

Abbas vows to crack down on Hamas violence
31 May 2009 - Following deadly clashes in Qalqilya, PA official says Hamas cells obtaining arms, trying to taint image of Abbas' regime 

Barak: No humanitarian crisis in Gaza
31 May 2009 - Government discusses situation in the Strip, briefed by Shin Bet director on Hamas' developing policies – namely a drop in rocket attacks on towns, increase in targeting of troops on border fence. Meanwhile there is little progress on Fatah-Hamas reconciliation front 

Egypt: Peace trumps Iranian threat
31 May 2009 - Ahead of Obama's visit, Cairo stresses its commitment to two-state solution, Mideast peace

B'tselem

Testimony: Sixty laborers detained in refrigerator compartment
25 May 2009 - On 9 May, more than sixty Palestinians, in an attempt to enter Israel without a work permit, squeezed into a truck's refrigerator compartment. One of them related to B'Tselem that police stopped the truck, found the workers, and then made them remain insi

Investigate officers for policy of routine use of violence
20 May 2009 - B'Tselem and ACRI demand that a Military Police investigation be opened, following the publication of testimonies by the Kfir Brigade commander and the Shimshon Battalion commander, which indicate a policy of deliberate violence toward Palestinians.

Daily Star

Six killed when Abbas forces hit Hamas hideout in West Bank 
31 May 2009 - Six people were killed on Sunday when forces loyal to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas raided a Hamas hideout, just days after he promised in Washington to fulfill his security commitments. The violence erupted when police encircled a house in the West Bank town of Qalqilya where a top Hamas field commander.

Egypt rejects Israeli view that Iran threat more urgent than peace 
31 May 2009 - Egypt does not agree with Israel's point of view that Iran's nuclear ambitions are a higher priority for the region than Mideast peace, the presidential spokesman said Sunday. Israel is looking to rally various Arab nations around the idea that Iran is the common danger to the whole region. The comments from presidential spokesman Suleiman Awwad.

Iran defuses homemade bomb on airplane 
31 May 2009 - Security personnel defused a homemade bomb found on an aircraft during a domestic flight in Iran late on Saturday, Iranian media said, two days after a mosque bombing killed 25 people in the country's southeast. The incident occurred less than two weeks before the Islamic Republic holds a presidential election in which the conservative incumbent.

Israel begins its biggest military drill to date 
31 May 2009 - Israel began the biggest military drill in its history on Sunday, putting soldiers, emergency crews and civilians through rehearsals for the possibility of war at a time of rising tensions with Iran. The five-day drill, code-named Turning Point III, will include simulated rocket and missile attacks on Israeli cities.

Israel softens Nakba bill, rejects proposed loyalty oath 
31 May 2009 - e Israeli cabinet on Sunday softened a much-criticized bill on the Nakba, what many Palestinians lament as the "catastrophe" of the 1948 creation of Israel. The revised draft law now prohibits any government funds from being used for events marking the Nakba, instead of banning commemorations altogether, a government official said.

Israel rejects 'unfair' US demands to stop illegal settlement activity 
31 May 2009 - Israel refused on Sunday to bow to US calls for a freeze of all settlement activity in the Occupied West Bank, as it fumed over the "unfair" demands that have raised tensions between the key allies. "I want to say in a crystal clear manner that the current Israeli government will not accept in any fashion.

Muslims want to hear more than just talk from Obama 
31 May 2009 - US President Barack Obama has awoken hope for redress of grievances in the hearts of some of the more than a billion Muslims scattered in diverse communities across the globe.To win their minds, skeptical after a "war on terror" waged by his predecessor George W. Bush that many saw as an assault on Islam.

Leading Syrian dissident backs detente with West 
31 May 2009 - A leading Syrian dissident said on Sunday that US efforts to improve ties with Damascus could help democratic reform in his homeland. Riad al-Turk, 79, told Reuters in a rare interview that US President Barack Obama's initiative could also undermine what he called an "unconvincing alliance" between Syria and Iran.

Palestinian Information Center

Abu Zuhri: The Qalqiliya crime is a translation of Abbas’s remarks in Washington
31 May 2009 - Sami Abu Zuhri stated that the assassination of two Qassam fighters in Qalqiliya is a translation of earlier remarks made by Abbas in Washington about his commitment to the roadmap plan.

Hamas studies suspending participation in Cairo talks
31 May 2009 - Hamas on Sunday said that it was studying the suspension of its participation in the Cairo conciliation talks in the wake of the assassination of two of its armed wing's commanders in Qalqilia.

Hamas: The assassination of Qassam leaders in Qalqiliya is a premeditated crime
31 May 2009 - Hamas stated Sunday that the assassination of Al-Qassam leader Mohamed Al-Samman and his assistant Mohamed Yassin in Qalqiliya at the hands of PA security elements is a planned crime.

Qassam Brigades: Qalqilia incident a turning point
31 May 2009 - The Qassam Brigades on Sunday said that the PA security forces' assassination of two of its commanders in the West Bank represented a turning point in dealing with those who chase its cadres.

Islamic Jihad: Assassination of Qassam commanders treachery
31 May 2009 - The Islamic Jihad Movement on Sunday condemned the PA security forces' assassination of two commanders of the Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas Movement, in Qalqilia in the West Bank.

Abbas’s forces murder resistance Chief in Qalqilia
31 May 2009 - American-backed Palestinian Authority (PA) forces in the northern West Bank on Sunday murdered two prominent Islamic resistance fighters affiliated with Hamas’s military wing, the Qassam Brigades.

Abu Obaida: Israeli maneuvers threat to neighbors
31 May 2009 - Abu Obaida, the spokesman of the Qassam Brigades, has warned that the Israeli massive maneuvers to start on Sunday posed as a "covert threat" to the Arab, Islamic and regional countries.

Khatib: Internationalizing Aqsa mischievous attempt
31 May 2009 - Sheikh Kamal Al-Khatib, the deputy leaders of the Islamic Movement in 1948 occupied Palestine, has warned that occupied Jerusalem was passing through the bleakest stage in its history.

Two Qassam members killed at the hands of Abbas security forces
31 May 2009 - Two members of the Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas Movement, were shot dead at an early hour on Sunday at the hands of PA security forces loyal to former PA chief Mahmoud Abbas.

Bahar: The Palestinian people will never waive the right of return
31 May 2009 - Dr. Ahmed Bahar, the acting speaker of the PLC, stressed Friday that the Palestinian people are still adherent to the right of return despite all schemes and conspiracies hatched against them.

Los Angeles Times

6 dead as Palestinian factions clash in West Bank 
1 Jun 2009 - Hamas says the clampdown on one of its armed cells will bring 'tough and harsh reprisal' against the Fatah-led administration in the West Bank. Tension between Palestinian factions exploded in their worst violence in nearly two years as a paramilitary police raid Sunday in the West Bank left six people dead. The clash underscored the risks for the Palestinian Authority as it moves forcefully, with fresh encouragement from President Obama, to disarm militants intent on attacking Israel. 

Iran president's rivals slam his foreign policy 
31 May 2009 - Challengers in the presidential race dare to criticize Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's positions on sensitive issues such as U.S. relations and Israel. In a political race most analysts predicted would hinge on domestic bread-and-butter issues, foreign policy has emerged as a major battleground -- and a potential Achilles' heel for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. 

In Egypt, dissident Ayman Nour is pessimistic on eve of Obama visit 
31 May 2009 - Ayman Nour was freed from prison early this year in a gesture to the U.S., but he fears that Washington, which needs Egypt's help in the region, won't push for democratic reforms. Egypt's leading dissident, his forehead singed from a recent attack, sits near a window in an armchair, depressed and wondering whether he was better off behind bars. 

New York Times

Six Are Killed in West Bank as Fatah Moves Against Hamas
31 May 2009 - Palestinian Authority forces clashed with Hamas militants in the West Bank, leaving six dead in the bloodiest such encounter in two years. 

Iran Hangs 3 Men Held in Bombing of Mosque
30 May 2009 - They were accused of being involved in an attack that killed 25 people and wounded more than 100 on Thursday. 

Misery Hangs Over Gaza Despite Pledges of Help
29 May 2009 - Lately cut off from any productivity or hope, Gaza will soon be back at the center of Mideast peace negotiations. 


Articles

Electronic Intifada
At a breaking point: "Young Freud in Gaza"
29 May 2009 - In addition to a long list of films exploring themes of social injustice and conflict, Swedish filmmaker PeÅ Holmquist has directed several on Palestine. Young Freud in Gaza (2008), his most recent documentary on the subject, enters the recesses of Palestinian society as it copes with life under Israeli occupation. Directed with Holmquist's longtime partner, Beirut-born Armenian filmmaker and journalist Suzanne Khardalian, the 60-minute film follows Ayed, a 27-year-old psychologist working for the Palestinian Authority's Clinic for Mental Health in northern Gaza. Maymanah Farhat reviews for The Electronic Intifada. 

West Bank rights violations on the rise
29 May 2009 - RAMALLAH, occupied West Bank (IPS) - "I heard voices, I turned around to look, and saw a group of Israeli settlers assaulting my brother Hammad," says Abdallah Wahadin, 82, a Palestinian farmer from Beit Ummar near the southern West Bank city of Hebron. "Three of them surrounded me, while a fourth threw a rock at the back of my head. Lots of blood ran down onto my clothes. Other settlers then joined them," Wahadin told the Israeli human rights group B'Tselem. 

Gaza housing, water situation still dire
29 May 2009 - TEL AVIV (IRIN) - Reports published recently by various organizations paint a grim picture of life in Gaza more than four months after the 23-day Israeli offensive ended on 18 January. At the end of April 2009, UNRWA and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) completed their assessments of damage caused during the offensive: Some 3,500 houses were totally destroyed or are beyond repair and many others have yet to be repaired. 

Mr. Abbas goes to Washington
29 May 2009 - If the Oval Office guest list is an indicator, US President Barack Obama is making good on his commitment to try to revive the long-dead Arab-Israeli peace process. As this process gets under way, the United States -- Israel's main arms supplier, financier and international apologist -- faces huge hurdles. It is deeply mistrusted by Palestinians and Arabs generally, and the new administration has not done much to rebuild trust. 

In Gaza
May 16-23, 2009
31 May 2009 - * Abed , sniped in 2008, slow road to partial recovery 1st published Rafah crossing largely remained sealed under an Israeli-led, Egyptian and internationally-backed siege. It is supposed to open today. I awake in Rafah to the explosions of Israeli warplanes again bombing the tunnels along the border. For the next two days, I follow the progress of a number of friends trying to leave Gaza. One will receive professional training in the UK, and another would see his estranged West Bank family, from whom he has been exiled for 7 years. I learn later, that he is again unable to leave Gaza. A monthly average of 800-1000 Palestinians need to...

Palestine Chronicle
Israel's Newfound Concern for UNIFIL
30 May 2009 - By Belen Fernandez A recent article in the online edition of the Jerusalem Post states that "Israel is becoming increasingly anxious about the fate of UNIFIL if Hezbollah increases its power in upcoming parliamentary elections in Lebanon." Anxiety over UNIFIL’s fate was apparently not an issue in 2006 when an Israeli air strike on a UN post in Khiam killed 4 UN observers; the introduction of the word “increasingly” is thus encouraging. Hezbollah has also been prone to bouts of worrying over the fate of Lebanon’s long-term guests, such as when UNIFIL enlisted the Party of God’s protection following a 2007 car bombing that killed 6 Spanish and Colombian troops. The bombing was attributed to Sunni militants whose proliferation in Lebanon had been encouraged by regional moderates like Fuad Siniora and the United States in order to counterbalance Iran; in other instances of convergence between radicals and moderates, Al Qaeda number two Ayman Al Zawahiri joined Israel in condemning innovative Lebanese answers to the question of who will guard the guards. Cooperation between Hezbollah and UNIFIL was not a new phenomenon, as demonstrated by a 2006 article on MilitantIslamMonitor.org entitled “Unifil aided and abetted Hezbollah – provided detailed Israeli troop movement on website.” The article addresses claims by the president of the Philadelphia chapter of the Zionist Organization of America that UNIFIL churned out real-time intelligence on Israeli coordinates during the July War while merely ambiguously noting that Hezbollah “fired rockets in large numbers from various locations.” As for more...

'Mucking out' British Politics
29 May 2009 - By Stuart Littlewood - London UK politicians are currently reeling from a public lashing for fiddling their expenses big-time. Such is their arrogance that many, when confronted with their crimes, don't see that they have done anything wrong. The guilty ones who step down will be further enriched with a lavish re-settlement allowance and a big pension pot. To appease voters’ anger Parliament and Government are now promising anti-sleaze reforms. They are calling on the impressive-sounding Committee on Standards in Public Life to investigate and make recommendations. Conservative leader David Cameron, who has expectations of becoming the next British prime minister, talks of purging his party of its cheats and racketeers. But swindling the taxpayer over MPs' expenses is nothing compared to other corruption that's rife in Westminster. It is said that becoming a Friend of Israel is a necessary stepping-stone to high office. As a result supporters of that foreign power are embedded at all levels in the fabric of British political life and at the heart of the Government. Eighteen months ago a group of concerned academics wrote to the Standards Committee complaining about Israel’s “deep penetration” of our political system and how it prevented Britain from taking a principled stand on Middle East affairs, including the Iraq war and the never-ending violations of Palestinian human rights. They asked the committee to consider the activities of the Friends of Israel as a matter for urgent investigation. The chairman, Sir Christopher Kelly, refused. Why? He wouldn't say. But some...

Netanyahu's New Quest: The Game is On
29 May 2009 - By Ramzy Baroud "We've accomplished quite a few things, and I think the most important one is to cement the principle that the path to peace is through negotiations and not through violence." These were the 'encouraging' words modestly uttered by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, during a joint press conference with the US president. The President was then Bill Clinton, and the date was October 2, 1996. In the occupied Palestinian territories, the situation then seemed incredibly grim. But there was no Israeli wall. The settlements were smaller in size and in population. Gaza was besieged, but not to the point of total suffocation. Recently, Prime Minister Netanyahu paid a highly anticipated visit to the White House, on May 18, 2009, this time meeting with Barack Obama. “I share with you very much the desire to move the peace process forward. And I want to start peace negotiations with the Palestinians. I would like to broaden the circle of peace to include others in the Arab world,” said Netanyahu. One need not emphasize the harm inflicted upon the Palestinian people during those years. The violence, which Netanyahu seemingly decried in ’96, visited Palestinians countless times. Starting December 27, 2008 and for 22 frightening days, much of Gaza was decimated by the Israeli army, using US weapons, killing and wounding thousands. There is now a giant wall, hundreds of miles in length, snaking around the West Bank, separating Palestinians from their land, livelihoods and any possibility of a true statehood....

Justice Must Prevail: An American Doctor's Account
29 May 2009 - By Bryan Saario Following up upon a Christmas donation to Palestine Children's Relief Fund in 2006, I offered my services as a retired oral and maxillofacial surgeon for one of their future cleft palate missions to Palestine/Israel. I was looking for an opportunity to fulfill a sense of not having done quite enough during my professional career to justify the self indulgent life I was living as an affluent American retiree; and in my research of looking for worthy causes, I had uncovered a disturbing scene of utterly neglected children devoid of medical care, living in the desperate conditions of refugee camps in a time warp of 1948 when their grandparents and great grand- parents were forced to flee their farms and homes. I eagerly accepted PCRF’s invitation to participate in a mission to the West Bank, and in April of 2007 entered though fortified gates and checkpoints into Nablus in the (militarily) occupied Palestinian territories and on to Rafidia Hospital where throngs of parents with their children awaited our surgical team. In a dawn-deep into the night schedule we operated on children who had a plethora of developmental and acquired facial disfigurements of cleft lips and palates, deformed and misaligned jaws, and untreated or poorly treated facial and traumatic jaw injuries stemming from the Israeli Palestinian conflict. In my attempt to contribute something of value to a people in need, I found my specific surgical skills to be limited to an assistant surgeon’s role for the many cases which...

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