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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
7 June , 2009

News

International Middle East Media Center

Soldiers, settlers, attack peace activists near Hebron
7 Jun 2009 - The Maan News Agency reported Saturday that Israeli soldiers and settlers attacked dozens of International, Israeli and Palestinian peace activists who were protesting against the settlers of Susia illegal settlement outpost, in the southern West Bank city of Hebron. 

PCHR prepares 936 lawsuits against Israel for war crimes in Gaza
7 Jun 2009 - The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), based in Gaza, stated that Palestinian lawyers have prepared 936 lawsuits against the Israeli army for committing war crimes against the Palestinians during the Israeli war on Gaza. 

Gaza Man killed by ordnance while working in his land
7 Jun 2009 - Palestinian medical sources in the Gaza Strip reported Saturday afternoon that a Palestinian man was killed and another was injured when an ordnance detonated near them while working in their land in Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip. 

Child dies of wounds sustained during Israel war on Gaza
6 Jun 2009 - Palestinian medical sources in the Gaza Strip reported Saturday that a Palestinian child died of wounds suffered during the Israeli war on the Gaza Strip in which more than 1600 Palestinians, mainly civilians, were killed and thousands were wounded. 

Israeli settlers dedicate new outpost to Obama
6 Jun 2009 - In response to US President Barack Obama's plea to Israel to freeze new settlement construction, extremist Israeli settlers report that they have dramatically increased the number of settlement outposts in the West Bank over the last week, even going so far as dedicating one of the outposts “the Obama hut”. 

N'ilin: farewell to the fifth victim of Israel's army in less than one year
6 Jun 2009 - Villagers of the West Bank village of N'ilin and the neighbouring villages and other local and international supporters took to the streets on Saturday for the funeral of Akel Srour, 36 who was killed by Israeli military's gunfire in the village on Friday, during a nonviolent demonstration against the construction of the wall on the village's land. 

Obama postpones moving the US embassy to Jerusalem
6 Jun 2009 - Israeli sources reported that the US president, Barack Obama, decided on Friday to postpone moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem for additional six months. 

Labor Party in Israel could face another split
6 Jun 2009 - Israeli sources reported Friday that the Labor Party could be facing another split that would shrink it further, as some labor party leaders, described as rebels, decided to form a new party. 

Fact finding committee leaves Gaza, disappointed over Israel’s lack of cooperation
6 Jun 2009 - The 17 members of the UN fact-finding committee, probing the latest war on Gaza, left the coastal region on Friday after probing the devastating effects of Israel’s war. Committee head, Richard Goldstone, said that Israel’s lack of cooperation is disappointing but will not decrease the importance of the UN investigation. 

Settlers attack, wound a Palestinian young man in Jerusalem
6 Jun 2009 - A 20-year old Palestinian man from Jerusalem was wounded on Thursday at night after he was attacked by a group of extremist settlers. 

Al-Ma'sara Demonstration Commemorates the 42nd Year of al-Naksa
5 Jun 2009 - Today, the weekly popular protest at al-Ma'sara, a village near Bethlehem, was again met by armed Israeli soldiers. The Israeli Occupying Forces had blocked the exit road of the village with razor wire, denying the people their right to access their fields. 

Israeli army kills one, injures 4 during non-violent demonstration in Ni'lin
5 Jun 2009 - During the weekly non-violent demonstration against the wall in the village of Ni'lin, in the central West Bank the Israeli army killed a 36-year old Palestinian man and wounded a Palestinian boy, who was taken to the hospital in critical condition. Three others sustained moderate wounds. 

Ha'aretz Defense page

Defense officials to meet on easing Gaza blockade
7 Jun 2009 - Decision to reexamine policy follows Obama's recent criticism of 'continuing humanitarian crisis' in Gaza. 

Report: Palestinians plan to file 936 lawsuits over Gaza 'war crimes'
6 Jun 2009 - Cases include alleged IDF shootings of Gaza children at close range, Der Spiegel reports. 

IDF tells officers: Lose the PowerPoint presentations
7 Jun 2009 - Deputy chief of staff sent open letter, saying slideshows make level of discussion, depth of study superficial. 

Israel to pay Palestinians for damage caused in 2008 Hebron riots
7 Jun 2009 - A total of NIS 250,000 to be paid to 50 residents whose property was damaged during forceful evacuation. 

Hezbollah still funding attacks on Israel from Gaza
7 Jun 2009 - Cairo sources say Lebanese group supports militants to undermine Egyptian regime, Hamas. 

With Israel in mind, Iran starts making new anti-aircraft missile
6 Jun 2009 - Tehran's defense minister says 'Shahin' surface-to-air missile has range of more than 40 kilometers. 

Fatah: Hamas carrying out mass arrests of our men in Gaza
6 Jun 2009 - Hamas doesn't confirm arrests, but says some Fatah men detained as suspected informers for Israel 

Palestinian killed in apparent accidental blast in Gaza
6 Jun 2009 - Man killed after picking up what was either a Qassam rocket or unexploded IAF ordinance. 

Ma'an News

Israel issues 13 demolition orders for Jerusalem apartments
6/7/2009 - Jerusalem - Ma’an - Israel's Jerusalem municipality on Sunday issued 13 demolition orders for Palestinian apartments in Beit Hanina, under the pretext that they lack permits. The demolition orders will affect the 13 apartments at the Al-Halhouly building in Beit Hanina, in the Ganet Adan (Garden of Eden) area, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Jerusalem Affairs. In a statement, the ministry said that the issue of the houses, home to about 100 Palestinians, had been handed over to attorney Sami Arsheed, who will pursue the issue within Israel's court system. Israel’s Jerusalem Municipality is moving to demolish over 100 houses and remove the 140 families who live in the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan in East Jerusalem. The decision is expected to lead to the forced displacement of more than 1,000 Palestinians from their family residences. 

12 Palestinians charged for lynching ’Jewish terrorist’
6/7/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Israel charged 12 Palestinian citizens of Israel for the 2005 lynching death of an Israeli who murdered four Palestinians. Dubbed a "Jewish terrorist" by then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Israeli soldier Eden Natan-Zada shot dead four Palestinians and injured 22 others when he opened fire on a bus in Shfaram, northern Israel, in protest of the country's withdrawal from Gaza. As Natan-Zada paused to unload his army-issued M-16, surviving passengers on the bus beat him to death. "The prosecution believes that, despite Natan-Zada's atrocious actions, the events that led to his death seriously harmed the rule of law," said a statement from Israeli prosecutors. "In a country governed by laws, whoever takes the law into his own hands and harms someone, even if he committed despicable crimes, will be tried by law enforcement. 

PRC skeptical of chances of Hamas-Fatah unity
6/7/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – The commander of the Popular Resistance Committees in Gaza, Sheikh- Zoher Al-Qaysi (Abu Ibrahim) cast doubt on Sunday on an upcoming round of Palestinian unity talks in Cairo. Abu Ibrahim said the dialogue is “weak” and that recent Hamas-Palestinian Authority fighting in the West Bank city of Qalqiliya has widened the gap between the two parties. “No one goes to the dialogue with his own desire; there are many matters that force the two parties to hold the dialogue and to adopt the desire to end the division,” he said. Abu Ibrahim also said that “Interventions in the theme of the dialogue are not completely Palestinian. There are regional interests and accounts to be resolved within the dialogue. If the Palestinian interest was their priority, the dialogue would have [already] ended with reconciliation. " 

Rights group: Hamas detained 76 Fatah members and others in Gaza
6/7/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – Hamas-allied Palestinian security forces detained 76 Fatah members and others seen as loyal to the Palestinian Authority (PA) in Ramallah in a sweep across Gaza on Saturday, the Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights reported on Sunday. Among the arrestees are former members of the PA security forces, Fatah activists, employees of the Civil Affairs Ministry liaison department, and the director of an NGO, according to information collected by Al-Mezan’s fieldworkers. The arrests took place in all the governorates of Gaza and stretched from the early morning into the afternoon. Security forces also seized computers and mobile phones. In northern Gaza, seven people were detained, the center reported. Security officers also told the families of Jamal Ubeid and Maher Abu Harbid to surrender to the government, according to Al-Mezan. 

Palestinian woman facing death penalty for collaboration
6/7/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an/Agencies – A Palestinian woman is currently on trial on charges of collaborating with Israel, court officials told AP on Sunday. The woman could face the death penalty for passing information to Israel, according to the same report. It is rare for women to be convicted as Israeli spies. Some 30 Palestinian men have been sentenced to death for collaboration over the last two years, although executions are rarely carried out. Court officials told AP that the 22-year-old woman was recruited as a collaborator after obtaining a divorce from her husband, who forced her to work as a prostitute, making her a social outcast. A Palestinian military court delayed a ruling on the woman’s case on Sunday until later this month. The issue of collaborators is sensitive, because Palestinian fighters have been jailed or killed by Israeli forces based on information supplied by spies. 

Israeli court postpones ruling on jailed PLC speaker
6/7/2009 - Nablus – Ma’an – An Israeli military court in the settlement of Ofer, near Ramallah, delayed a ruling on Sunday on whether to release the Palestinian parliament speaker from prison until Monday. According to Fadi Al-Qawasmi, the lawyer representing Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) speaker Aziz Dweik, the court could rule on Monday to release him until his trial resumes or increase his prison sentence until his term in the PLC expires. Sunday’s hearing took place in accordance with a military prosecution order wherein Dweik, a Hamas member, is scheduled to be released by mid June. The Israeli military seized Dweik and 19 other members of the PLC in the summer of 2006 following the capture of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit by militants from Gaza. Hamas’ Change and Reform Bloc swept to victory in elections earlier that year. 

Israel to compensate Palestinians for Hebron settler damage
6/7/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Israel's Defense Ministry plans to dole out 250,000 shekels (about 63,000 US dollars) to 50 Palestinians whose property was damaged by settlers in the southern West Bank city of Hebron in December. According to the announcement on Sunday, the compensation will cover damage caused by settlers following Israel's evacuation of the "House of Contention" home in late 2008, when settlers went on a rampage through the Palestinian city in protest. Israel's defense minister, Ehud Barak, had ordered the country's military to evacuate the home belonging to a Palestinian family that was taken over by settlers. Several hundred settlers burned cars and homes, broke windows and shot two Palestinians in response to the evacuation. The evacuation also touched off violent settler attacks accross the West Bank. 

Two Gaza terminals partially open; one closed
6/7/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – Israel will allow limited quantities of fuel, food, and other goods into the Gaza Strip on Monday morning, according to Palestinian crossings official Raed Fattouh. Fattouh said that the Kerem Shalom crossing would be partially open to allow 81 truckloads of humanitarian aid for the commercial and agricultural sectors in Gaza, while the Nahal Oz terminal will allow shipments of limited amounts of cooking gas and industrial diesel needed to run the Gaza power plant. The Karni crossing, used to ship grain, will be remain closed, Fattouh said. [end] 

Report: Mitchell may propose immediate talks on borders
6/7/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - A number of senior American officials, including US Middle East envoy George Mitchell, are considering immediate talks on setting Israel's future border with the West Bank. According to Israeli news reports, the move comes following Israel's refusal to freeze expansion in illegal West Bank settlements, forcing the US envoy to propose that both sides determine immediately which settlements will remain and which will go. The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that the American proposal was raised in recent weeks following the government of Benjamin Netanyahu's refusal to stop construction in the settlements expected to remain inside Israel after an agreement is signed. The settlement blocs Israel is reportedly refusing to stop growth in include Gush Etzion, Alfei Menashe, Ariel, Ma'aleh Adumim and others in and near Jerusalem, according to Haaretz. 

Netanyahu to present Israeli peace plan next week
6/7/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will present his country's plan for "achieving peace and security" in a speech sometime next week, he said. "Ahead of the speech, I intend listen to the opinions of the coalition partners and other elements among the Israeli public," the prime minister added at Israel's weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday. "My aspiration is to achieve a stable peace that rests on a solid foundation of security for the State of Israel and its citizens," he said. The prime minister has faced criticism from within Israel and abroad for not explicitely backing the creation of a Palestinian state, including vocal criticism of the country's settlement enterprise by both US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. "In recent days, I have read and heard quotes attributed to me that I did not say. 

Israel to ease movement restrictions for Palestinians in Nablus
6/7/2009 - Nablus – Ma’an – Israel's military liaison commander in Nablus, Faris Atiyya, said on Sunday he would ease restrictions for the northern West Bank city's Shopping Festival scheduledfor mid-July. Atiyya said in a news conference at the Huwwara checkpoint, south of Nablus, that four Nablus checkpoints saw improvements in accessibility over the past two days. The facilitation included increasing the opening hours at Huwwara, Chavi Shomron, and Awarta checkpoints in addition to the complete removal of checkpoint 17 near Asira Ash-Shamaliyya. He asserted that troops were evacuated from that checkpoint in the first stage, and that all cement blocks would be completely removed within days. 

Former US President Carter to visit Palestine, Israel
6/7/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an/Agencies – Former US President Jimmy Carter will visit Syria, Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza this week, a spokesperson told reporters. Carter is currently in Lebanon where his Carter Center is supervising the Lebanese national election. Spokeswoman Deanna Congileo told AP that further details of the former president’s trip will be available later this week. Carter last visited Israel and the West Bank in April 2008, but was denied entry to Gaza by Israeli authorities. [end] 

Fatah lawmakers from Bethlehem join Fayyad government
6/7/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – Two members of the Fatah bloc in the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) joined the new led caretaker government led by prime minister Salam Fayyad, marking an end to a dispute between Fayyad and Speaker of Fatah bloc Azzam Al-Ahmad over the formation of the new government. Ma’an learned that Issa Qaraqe, a lawmaker representing Fatah in Bethlehem, was sworn in on Thursday as minister of prisoners' affairs, while Rabiha Thiab, also representing Fatah in Bethlehem, became minister of women's affairs. Qaraqe and Thiab were originally meant to be sworn in with the rest of the new government on 19 May but dropped out at the last minute as a part of a Fatah bloc boycott. Observers see this step as indicative of Fatah's success in internal conflict resolution ahead of the long-awaited sixth conference of the movement, which is expected to be held in Bethlehem. 

Palestinian MK calls on ministry to investigate drug use
6/7/2009 - Jerusalem - Ma’an - Israeli Member of the Knesset Ibrahim Sarsour on Sunday contacted the country's social welfare minister over reports that that the use of illegal drugs by Palestinian citizens of Israel is increasing. In his message, he asked the minister how Israel's Social Welfare Ministry plans to handle the situation, including increases in Palestinian drug use and trafficking, and blamed the government for not focusing on non-Jewish citizens' issues. [end] 

Hebron: Charity distributed expired flour to poor
6/7/2009 - Hebron – Ma’an – Palestinian Authority consumer protection staff in the West Bank city of Hebron reported on Sunday that they found that a charity has been distributing expired flour to the poor. According to the Palestinian Ministry of National Economy, the flour, imported from Nazareth, in Israel, was found not to be up to PA standards. The charity in question was informed of this, and they cooperated with consumer protection authorities. The ministry said it confiscated and destroyed the flour. The ministry also said that it did not refer the case to the police. [end] 

The National

Loyalty oath' to keep Arabs out of Galilee town 
7 Jun 2009 - A community in northern Israel changes its bylaws to demand new residents pledge support for Zionism, Jewish heritage and settlement of the land". 

Festive atmosphere on polling day
7 Jun 2009 - Crowds start out early on Mount Lebanon, with supporters waving the colourful flags of their chosen parties as they go to vote.

Lebanon's heroes tell their stories
7 Jun 2009 - Documentary film-maker focuses on people cleaning up unexploded Israeli cluster bombs in Lebanon speaking of their fears and hopes for the future.

Polls close in Lebanon
7 Jun 2009 - Early results were expected during the night but official results were not expected before Monday.

A plea from the forgotten people
6 Jun 2009 - Correspondent's notebook Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi refugees in Syria are waiting to be resettled. For most of them, returning home is not an option.

Christians could be kingmakers
5 Jun 2009 - With the Muslim vote largely predictable in Lebanon's elections, most of the attention is focusing on the Christian vote.

Aljazeera

March 14 group claims Lebanon win
7 Jun 2009 - Western-backed alliance claims victory over Hezbollah-led coalition in parliamentary polls.

Iran poll debate sparks clashes
7 Jun 2009 - Supporters and opponents of Ahmadinejad scuffle in Tehran square after TV face-off.

Israel welcomes Obama speech
4 Jun 2009 - But government ignores US president's call to stop settlement expansion.

West Bank raid sparks deadly clash
4 Jun 2009 - Policeman killed in clash sparked by police raid on suspected Hamas hideout.

Iran 'steps up' nuclear programme
5 Jun 2009 - UN nuclear watchdog reports increase in Tehran's production of enriched uranium.

IRIN

OPT: Sewage warning to swimmers, fishermen
GAZA CITY Friday, June 05, 2009 (IRIN) - The World Health Organization (WHO) in the Gaza Strip, in conjunction with the Gaza health ministry, began a public awareness campaign this week to warn swimmers and fishermen of raw sewage discharges, and the potential dangers.

OPT: Gaza building project experiments with clay, rubble 
GAZA CITY Thursday, June 04, 2009 (IRIN) - In the face of the ongoing Israeli ban on imports of building materials Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are looking at new building methods, and one project is using clay and rubble. 

Inter Press Service

LEBANON: Hizbullah Punching Above Its Numbers 
BEIRUT, Jun 6 (IPS) - Understanding Lebanon's complex political system is no easy task. In a relatively small country of about four million, Lebanon has more than 18 religious communities and dozens of active political parties. The sectarian political system divides the 128 seats of parliament between 10 of those...

LEBANON: Women Battle for Citizenship Rights 
BEIRUT, Jun 6 (IPS) - One can be born in Lebanon and live here all one's life, and still not be a Lebanese citizen. Lebanon is one of few remaining countries in the Middle East where a mother is unable to pass citizenship to her children.

EGYPT: 'Obama Talks Democracy, Endorses Dictatorship' 
CAIRO, Jun 5 (IPS) - Egyptian officials are lining up to praise U.S. President Barack Obama's address to the Islamic world delivered in Cairo Thursday. But local campaigners for political reform say the speech was disappointingly light on the issues of democracy and human rights.

MIDEAST: Lebanese Polls Closely Watched by U.S. and Region 
WASHINGTON, Jun 5 (IPS) - After emerging from a political crisis last year, the Lebanese people will head to the polls Jun. 7 to determine the composition of the new parliament. A variety of foreign powers, including the U.S., will be watching closely, waiting for the electoral results before they...

Stop The Wall

Another killed in Ni'lin
5 Jun 2009 - Occupation forces shot and killed Yousef Sadiq Srour during a demonstration against the Wall this afternoon in Ni'lin. He was shot in the chest with a live bullet while he was trying to remove an injured person from the front lines of the demonstration. Soldiers attacked Ni'lin in the morning, shooting at villagers who were in the midst of praying with tear gas and live ammunition. Four other people were shot with live bullets today; three were hit in the leg and the fourth in the kidney. [

Boycotting in Qalqilya
6 Jun 2009 - On Wednesday, Palestinian students, activists, professors and politicians gathered in Qalqilya to discuss the boycott movement in the West Bank. Some 70 people attended, a majority of them students, to present ideas and assess the current successes as well as the obstacles to moving BDS forward in their schools and communities. [

PCHR Latest

(05-06-2009) Palestinian Security Officer and 2 Members of the 'Izziddin al-Qassam Brigades Killed in Qalqilya
PCHR

PCHR Condemns Palestinian Security Services' Prevention of PLC Members form Hamas from Entering Qalqilya  
PCHR

International Solidarity Movement

Funeral for Yousef ‘Akil’ Srour held in Ni’lin
International Solidarity Movement - The funeral for Yousef Tzadik ‘Akil' Srour was held in Ni'lin on Saturday. Srour was murdered by Israeli forces on Friday, 5 June 2009, during a demonstration against the construction of the Apartheid Wall on Ni'lin's land. Akil frequently participated in the unarmed demonstrations against the construction of the Apartheid Wall. He was known as a leader amongst the demonstrators, always ready to help another. According to an eyewitness from the village, "The soldier was to our right and Akal was running to the left to help an injured man"¦ when he was shot in the heart. "Residents of Ni'lin, amongst others, drove behind the vehicle bringing Srour's body back to Ni'lin. The procession reached Ni'lin from Ramallah around 12:30pm. People marched through the village, carrying Srour's body to his home, the mosque and finally to the place of burial. 

Left-wing activists evacuated from tent built opposite outpost
International Solidarity Movement - YNet News - 6 June 2009 - IDF troops forcibly removed dozens of left-wing and Palestinian activists who were trying to erect a tent in South Mt. Hebron with a Palestinian family claiming ownership of the land. The family says that it owns the land near the Susya settlement on which an illegal outpost has been built. Settlers called the outpost Givat Hadegel. The activists, members of Combatants for Peace, were successful in erecting their tent but were removed from the area a short time later by IDF troops alerted to the scene. A confrontation ensued between the two sides, culminating in the dismantling of the tent. The outpost still stands. Ofra Ben Porat, a member of Combatants for Peace: "We came here in cooperation with Palestinian residents of Susya to protest the establishment of the outpost called Givat Hadegel, near Susya. 

Royal Ontario Museum proceeds with unlawful exhibit
International Solidarity Movement - Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East - 7 June 2009 - Dear Friends, Later this month, the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) will be showcasing artifacts illegally seized by Israel in 1967 after it occupied East Jerusalem. In cooperating with the Israel Antiquities Authority to import and exhibit the Dead Sea Scrolls, the ROM would be in violation of Canada's obligations under UNESCO legal conventions and protocols, and its own obligations as a member of the Canadian Museums Association (CMA). Please click here to send an email to officials at the ROM, the CMA as well as provincial and Federal party leaders. More Info - The Dead Sea Scrolls were largely excavated from Qumran (see map below) in the West Bank between 1947 and 1956 by the Palestine Archaeological Museum with the Department of Antiquities of Jordan and the École Biblique Française. 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

Lebanon's pro-Western majority declares victory over Hezbollah coalition
7 Jun 2009 - Lebanon's pro-Western coalition declared victory early Monday, as local television stations reported the faction had successfully fended off ...

OPINION / Jews gone wild: Why camcorders and booze don't mix
7 Jun 2009 - The night before Barack Obama thrilled Cairo, two cameramen strolled through downtown Jerusalem and filmed a handful of drunken American kids doing their best David Duke impressions. Forty-eight hours later, the video has gone viral, linked from a hundred political blogs, and is circling the internet at a critical velocity on a mission to humiliate the Jewish people. ...

Saudis tell Obama: Impose Mideast solution if needed 
6 Jun 2009 - King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has urged U.S. President Barack Obama to impose a solution on the festering Arab-Israeli conflict if necessary, a Saudi newspaper said on Sunday. ...

Will Obama envoy push Israel for final border talks? 
6 Jun 2009 - Senior U.S. officials, including President Barack Obama's Mideast envoy George Mitchell, say they might propose immediate talks on setting Israel's border along the West Bank. ...

Palestinian woman accused of spying for Israel may face death
6 Jun 2009 - A Palestinian woman could face the death penalty after prosecutors charged her with spying for Israel, said court officials Sunday, in a rare development. ...

The Guardian

Letters: Obama's battle for Muslim hearts and minds
7 Jun 2009 - In his speech ( Barack Obama pledges new beginning between US and Muslims, 4 June ), President Obama preaches to the Palestinians living under a brutal military occupation that they "must abandon violence. Resistance through violence and killing...

Supermarkets may face action on Israeli labels, say lawyers
7 Jun 2009 - Retailers including UK supermarkets may be at risk of prosecution for misleading consumers by selling goods from the Palestinian Territories under the label "West Bank", lawyers have warned. Fruit, wine and cosmetics originating from illegal Israeli...

A war of water | Jens Toyberg-Frandzen
6 Jun 2009 - Environmental problems in Israel and the Palestinian territories can't wait for the resumption of peace talks The water spouts from a broken pipe, forming a perfect circle before it is dispersed by the wind and falls...

Michael Tomasky: Why the settlements?
5 Jun 2009 - I've been thinking about why Obama has fastened onto the settlements issue vis a vis Israel as opposed to some other thing -- right of return, the violence in Gaza, what have you. I suspect the...

Ha'aretz National page

Israeli ministry wages settlement war against U.S.
7 Jun 2009 - Interior Minister Eli Yishai on Sunday began to make good on a pledge that he would exploit all the resources of the Interior Ministry, "its branches and its influences over local government" to expand settlements in the territories. ... 

Court rejects Katsav lawyers' request to quit rape trial
6 Jun 2009 - The Tel Aviv District Court has turned down the request of former president Moshe Katsav's attorneys to withdraw from representing him in his sex crimes trial. ...

Policeman wounded after asking man to see ID in routine patrol
6 Jun 2009 - A policeman from Beit Jann was shot and gravely wounded after asking a ...

Shafram calls strike after 12 charged with lynching Jewish terrorist
6 Jun 2009 - Shfaram is declaring a one-day general strike in response to the state prosecution's decision to indict 12 of the city's residents over the lynching of Jewish gunman Eden Natan-Zada in 2005. ...

Jewish teen suspected of stabbing Israeli Arab to death
6 Jun 2009 - A Jewish man from the northern town of Upper Nazareth has been arrested Sunday for his alleged involvement in the fatal stabbing of an Israeli Arab from a nearby village. ...

Relief Web

RCA provides medical supplies to Palestinians in Lebanon
7 Jun 2009 - Source: Emirates News Agency

Human Rights Council discusses reports by High Commissioner and Secretary-General
7 Jun 2009 - Source: UN Human Rights Council

OPT: Additional roadblocks removed in Judea and Samaria
6 Jun 2009 - Source: Government of Israel

European Union helps Palestinian Authority maintain basic services through regular payment of salaries and pensions 
6 Jun 2009 - Source: European Commission

Palestinian tensions simmer after West Bank killings
6 Jun 2009 - Source: Agence France-Presse

OPT: Week in review - Internal violence mars Obama optimism
6 Jun 2009 - Source: MIFTAH

OPT: Israeli "Cast Lead" campaign - UN Commission shocked after inquiry
6 Jun 2009 - Source: Missionary International Service News Agency

OPT: Unexploded bombs threaten the reconstruction of Gaza
5 Jun 2009 - Source: UN Mine Action Service

YNet News

Netanyahu 'determined to show world he is not against peace'
7 Jun 2009 - Prime minister not expected to use phrase 'two states for two peoples' at planned response speech following Obama address in Egypt, but he will work hard to narrow the schism over the settlements. 'Israel is adopting the principles of Obama's vision,' PM's aides say

Hamas gets into matchmaking biz
7 Jun 2009 - Single women in Gaza turn to Tayseer Association for Marriage and Development to find husbands

Hizbullah says lost Lebanon election
7 Jun 2009 - Anti-Syrian coalition declaring victory as initial polling figures indicate it has won parliament elections. Hizbullah official acknowledges loss, says Shi'ite party will 'accept the result as the will of the people' 

Barkat meets with haredi councilmen over parking lot fiasco
7 Jun 2009 - Jerusalem mayor offers compromise in meeting with ultra-Orthodox municipal representatives, offers to open Karta parking lot on Shabbat rather than contested Safra lot - but despite positive response from councilmen, haredi protestors are vowing no location will be allowed to open

Students to march to Jerusalem for Shalit
7 Jun 2009 - 120 high school students plan to walk 90 km to PM's residence in support of kidnapped soldier

Lebanon polls close, counting starts
7 Jun 2009 - Interior Ministry reports record turnout in crucial elections, both camps display confidence as they prepare for announcement of initial results later this evening 

Report: Saudi king asks Obama to impose solution
7 Jun 2009 - Arab newspaper says Saudi leadership pressing Washington to take active role in solving Palestinian crisis, even if this means forcing a solution on both sides

B'tselem

Testimonies: Settlers stone Palestinians
3 Jun 2009 - On 1 June 2009, settlers blocked a road near the Qedumim settlement and threw stones at vehicles. Testimonies given to B'Tselem indicate that the settlers assaulted a minibus carrying construction workers, wounding three of them. Soldiers at the site refu

Prepare for acts of revenge by settlers
3 Jun 2009 - In a letter that was sent this week to the Minister of Defense, B'Tselem claimed that in light of past experience and statements from settlers, it was reasonable to anticipate the recent violent acts, yet the security forces avoid, time and again, providi

Daily Star

Israel urges firmer IAEA measures to probe Syrian, Iranian 'nuclear sites' 
7 Jun 2009 - Israel called on the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Sunday to use firmer measures to probe suspected Syrian and Iranian nuclear sites after its latest report suggested the two states were hindering probes. The UN nuclear agency on Friday reported its second unexplained find of uranium particles at a Syrian nuclear site.

Saudi King urges US to 'impose' Mideast solution 
7 Jun 2009 - King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has urged US President Barack Obama to "impose" a solution on the festering Arab-Israeli conflict if necessary, a Saudi newspaper said on Sunday. Saudi Arabia and other Arab states want Obama to get tough with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who has balked at Palestinian statehood.

Netanyahu wants 'understanding' with US without promise of settlement halt 
7 Jun 2009 - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday he would strive for "maximum understanding" with Washington on peace issues but gave no sign he intends to bow to its demand to halt settlement expansion. Under pressure from US President Barack Obama over settlements in the Occupied West Bank and Palestinian statehood. 

Fatah team in Cairo for talks on unity deal with Hamas 
7 Jun 2009 - A delegation from Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas' Fatah party was in Cairo on Sunday for talks with Egyptian officials ahead of a July 7 target for a deal between rival Palestinian factions. The delegation, led by former prime minister Ahmad Qorei and including Azzam al-Ahmad who heads Fatah's parliamentary bloc.

Palestinian Information Center

IOA files criminal charges against 12 Palestinians for foiling massacre
7 Jun 2009 - The Israeli occupation authority has decided Sunday to file criminal charges against 12 Palestinian citizens in the 1948-occupied Palestinian lands for thwarting a heinous massacre..

Abu Mujahid: Chasing the resistance in W. Bank is declaration of an open war
7 Jun 2009 - Abu Mujahid,the PRC spokesman, said that chasing the Palestinian resistance fighters in the West Bank at the hands of the PA security forces was tantamount to declaring an open war against it.

New committee against judaization schemes inaugurates its work in Jerusalem
7 Jun 2009 - The Jerusalemite committee against demolition and relocation (Hema) declared the inauguration of its formal work on Saturday.

Qaisi: Abbas’s security alliance with Israel is the reason for Qalqilia events
7 Jun 2009 - Sheikh Zuhair Al-Qaisi said that the persistence of Abbas and his entourage in their security collaboration with Israel against the Palestinian resistance was the main reason for Qalqilia events.

Negev prisoners appeal for medical treatment
7 Jun 2009 - Palestinian prisoners held in the notorious Israeli desert prison of Negev have appealed to legal institutions to expedite intervention in the case of 150 sick prisoners.

IOA orders the demolition of 13 Palestinian apartments
7 Jun 2009 - The Israeli occupation authority on Sunday issued a new batch of demolition orders against Palestinian homes in occupied Jerusalem, Palestinian sources in the holy city said.

Awad calls for popular moves to break the Israeli siege on Gaza
7 Jun 2009 - Dr. Mohammed Awad, the secretary of the Palestinian cabinet in Gaza, on Sunday called for popular moves to break the Israeli siege on Gaza and end the suffering of one and a half million Palestinians.

Resheq calls on the Palestinian people to protect resistance
7 Jun 2009 - Ezzet Al-Resheq, political bureau member of the Hamas Movement, has asked the Palestinian masses in the West Bank to protect the resistance fighters in face of the Ramallah security apparatuses.

Qassem: Obama's speech change in tone not heart
7 Jun 2009 - Dr. Abdul Sattar Qassem, a veteran Palestinian academic, has lashed out at the recent speech of Barack Obama in Cairo on Thursday, saying that it only carried a change of tone not of heart.

Taha: Mishaal contacts Egyptian officials over Qalqilia incidents
7 Jun 2009 - Hamas leaders have been holding contacts with Egyptian officials over the past few days on the assassination of Qassam Brigades' commanders in the West Bank at the hands of Ramallah's security forces.

Los Angeles Times

Lebanon sees heavy election turnout in close race 
8 Jun 2009 - The Western-backed March 14 coalition says it won a narrow victory over Hezbollah's alliance, maintaining control over parliament, but final results will not be available until later today. The American-backed political alliance of Lebanese parties claimed to have fended off a strong challenge from a coalition led by Hezbollah on Sunday in a closely watched election that could have major repercussions. 

Iranian presidential candidate Mohsen Rezai calls for peace 
7 Jun 2009 - The former soldier and insurgent who launched two of Iran's most acclaimed news websites says he can smooth Iran's relations with the international community. Like so many of his generation, Mohsen Rezai is a fighter. 

In the footsteps of Pharaohs in Egypt 
7 Jun 2009 - Egyptomaniacs in the making meet gods, kings and friendly mortals face-to-face during a walking tour of the country's glorious past. A felucca sailed in front of an orange sun, which was sinking behind a ridge on the far side of the Nile. Turning away from the river, I darted through a stream of cars and horse-drawn calashes, then stepped onto the broad plaza of the Temple of Luxor. The sky was fast going to cobalt as spotlights illuminated a double row of sphinxes, an obelisk and the great entrance gate flanked by monumental statues of Ramses II. A recording of the call to prayer blared from loudspeakers on a nearby minaret, drowning out all other sounds. 

New York Times

News Analysis: Obama Pins Mideast Hope on Limiting Settlements
5 Jun 2009 - The Obama administration has selected Israeli settlement building in occupied lands as the issue that could begin to untie the Gordian knot of the conflict. 

In Lebanon Vote, Stark Options, Complex Choices
5 Jun 2009 - Christians are divided between a Hezbollah partner and a pro-American alliance in the parliamentary election. 

Iran Has Centrifuge Capacity for Nuclear Arms, Report Says
5 Jun 2009 - A week before Iran’s presidential election, inspectors said the country had sped up its production of nuclear fuel and increased its number of installed centrifuges to 7,200. 

Misc

Tunnel fraud leaves Gazans on verge of financial ruin 
The Guardian - Peter Bradshaw, The Observer, Sunday 7 June 2009 - For years, a network of underground smugglers' routes from Egypt to the Gaza Strip has supplied a besieged population with everything from cement to cattle. But now a series of major scams has destroyed the dreams of desperate investors who saw the tunnels as a path out of poverty. Jawad Tawfiq, a 52-year-old Gazan actor and director, was dubious at first, but his nephew insisted. If they could scrape together enough money, the nephew said, large profits could be made from investing in the tunnels that snake beneath the Egyptian border. " They were liars," Tawfiq said bitterly last week. "They took my money to put in their own pockets. And we are being offered a fraction of what we gave them. " 

’IDF troops were never at risk in Naalin’ 
YNetNews - Palestinian eyewitness says soldiers who killed West Bank protestor were never in any danger. Military disputes claim; inquiry ongoing - Palestinian sources told Ynet Saturday that contrary to an IDF statement, the man killed during a Friday clash between Palestinian demonstrators and IDF forces in the town of Naalin, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, posed no danger whatsoever to the troops. Akal Srur was killed by Border Guard fire during the riot. A subsequent military inquiry said that Srur, a known Hamas operative, attacked soldiers as part of a large group. [end] 

Tunnel fraud leaves Gazans on verge of financial ruin 
The Guardian - Peter Bradshaw, The Observer, Sunday 7 June 2009 - For years, a network of underground smugglers' routes from Egypt to the Gaza Strip has supplied a besieged population with everything from cement to cattle. But now a series of major scams has destroyed the dreams of desperate investors who saw the tunnels as a path out of poverty. Jawad Tawfiq, a 52-year-old Gazan actor and director, was dubious at first, but his nephew insisted. If they could scrape together enough money, the nephew said, large profits could be made from investing in the tunnels that snake beneath the Egyptian border. " They were liars," Tawfiq said bitterly last week. "They took my money to put in their own pockets. And we are being offered a fraction of what we gave them. " 

Photostory: The Illegal Settlements 
The First Post - Despite international condemnation, 500,000 Israelis still live on occupied lands - June 5, 2009, The First Post - Half a million Israelis still live in illegal settlements in occupied territories. But while Barack Obama has highlighted the problem of their continued expansion as one of the biggest barriers to peace in the Middle East, Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu resolutely defends them. This was Morag, an Israeli settlement in the southern Gaza Strip, in August 2005. It was subsequently demolished by the Israeli army, like a number of others when earlier Israeli governments made concessions to Palestinians. [end] 

Articles

Electronic Intifada
Palestinian students call for academic boycott of Israel
7 Jun 2009 - The Palestinian Students' Campaign for the Academic Boycott of Israel (PSCABI) calls upon freedom-loving students all over the world to stand in solidarity with us by boycotting Israeli academic institutions for their complicity in perpetuating Israel's illegal military occupation and apartheid system. 

Gaza building project experiments with clay and rubble
5 Jun 2009 - GAZA CITY, occupied Gaza Strip (IRIN) - In the face of the ongoing Israeli ban on imports of building materials Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are looking at new building methods, and one project is using clay and rubble. Local Palestinian non-governmental organization Mercy Association for Children began building a school for handicapped children in Gaza City on 24 May to test a recently developed method using clay blocks, salt and rubble. 

Obama in Cairo: A Bush in sheep's clothing?
5 Jun 2009 - Once you strip away the mujamalat -- the courtesies exchanged between guest and host -- the substance of President Obama's speech in Cairo indicates there is likely to be little real change in US policy. It is not necessary to divine Obama's intentions -- he may be utterly sincere and I believe he is. It is his analysis and prescriptions that in most regards maintain flawed American policies intact. EI's Ali Abunimah comments. 

Despite Israel's efforts, Palestinian festival celebrates literature
4 Jun 2009 - For many Palestinians, the month of May is associated with the commemoration of the Nakba. But with the increasing popularity of the arts in Palestine, the second annual Palestine Festival of Literature (PalFest) harmoniously unfolded to the final days of spring, a time also for lavender and lilies. The Electronic Intifada contributor Sousan Hammad reports on PalFest, and how it was shut down by Israeli authorities in Jerusalem. 

In Gaza
Nicer times 4
5 Jun 2009 - I try to remain open to the beauty of Palestinian life in Gaza. It’s hard, when most encounters vocally or visibly tell of suffering, suffocation, dreams lost.  The other day, stopping in a shop to buy phone card refill, the shop owner told me dogs have more rights and live better than Palestinians. So when I come across the joys of life celebrated, I grasp and share, try to convey that amazing unextinguishable Palestinian spirit of life, defiance, resistance, love… * sunset from the bottom floor balcony of the Commodore hotel, where we’d gone for a meeting with the latest Codepink delegation. As I appreciated the sunset, the music from the...

Palestine Chronicle
How Much Really Separates Obama and Netanyahu?
7 Jun 2009 - By Jennifer Loewenstein Benjamin Netanyahu and Barack Obama have one thing very much in common: both of them have nearly the same vision for the future of “Palestine”. They may not recognize it yet, but sooner or later, whether Netanyahu remains in power or is replaced by someone who speaks Dove-Liberalese better, they will shake hands and agree that the only thing that really separated them in the early months of President Obama’s administration was semantics: the language each man used to describe what he saw for the future of Palestine, or “the Israeli-Palestinian conflict” –a phrase that suggests there are two sides each with a grievance that equals or cancels out the other’s and that makes a just resolution so difficult to formulate. How deeply have we been indoctrinated. If President Obama’s speech in Cairo signified anything, it was that the likelihood of a dramatic shift in United States’ policy toward Israel in the coming years is almost nil. The rejectionist framework in which both states have pursued their policies for the past 33 years – or since the 1976 UNSC resolution that first acknowledged Palestinian national rights within the context of two states—is slated to continue. If Obama clarified anything in his lengthy, often patronizing, often obsequious speech in Egypt – a country whose leader epitomizes the tyrannical and repressive regimes so often the primary recipients of massive US foreign aid for doing as they are told – it was the fact that no threat to the status...

Obama's Speech: The Tone and the Music
7 Jun 2009 - By Uri Avnery – Israel One man spoke to the world, and the world listened. He walked onto the stage in Cairo, alone, without hosts and without aides, and delivered a sermon to an audience of billions. Egyptians and Americans, Israelis and Palestinians, Jews and Arabs, Sunnis and Shiites, Copts and Maronites – and they all listened attentively. He unfolded before them the map of a new world, a different world, whose values and laws he spelled out in simple and clear language - a mixture of idealism and practical politics, vision and pragmatism. Barack Hussein Obama – as he took pains to call himself – is the most powerful man on earth. Every word he utters is a political fact. “A historic speech,” pronounced commentators in a hundred languages. I prefer another adjective: The speech was right. Every word was in its place, every sentence precise, every tone in harmony. The masterpiece of a man bringing a new message to the world. From the very first word, every listener in the hall and in the world felt the honesty of the man, that his heart and his tongue were in harmony, that this is not a politician of the old familiar sort – hypocritical, sanctimonious, calculating. His body language was speaking, and so were his facial expressions That’s why the speech was so important. The new moral integrity and the sense of honesty increased the impact of the revolutionary content. And a revolutionary speech it certainly was. In 55...

Provocative Shortcomings of Obama's Speech in Cairo
7 Jun 2009 - By Jerry Levin President Obama's address to the Muslim world certainly moved a significant distance down a confidence building road with Islamic States but it was not far enough. Not by a long shot. With respect to the Israel-Palestine conflict, he failed his historic opportunity to clarify the most pressing issue needing to be resolved before mutual security, stability, and justice can be established in the region. Instead of ingenuously assailing publicly one of the most fundamental causes of the mutual enmity, he continued to avoid that opportunity by disingenuously mouthing critical platitudes, which, though truthful, were designed to continue to obscure the truths standing in the way of a genuine wholly liberating peace agreement. Here’s what I mean. It was encouraging for the President to declare that “the United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements,” because the “construction violates previous agreements and undermines efforts to achieve peace. [So] It is time for these settlements to stop.” However that supposedly bold assertion offered no incentive to actually stop them. It was also encouraging to hear him say “it is undeniable that the Palestinian people - Muslims and Christians - have suffered in pursuit of a homeland, [and] they endure the daily humiliations - large and small - that come with occupation. [So] America will not turn our backs on the legitimate Palestinian aspiration for dignity, opportunity, and a state of their own.” But sadly again there was nothing new in what he said, except that he...

Israeli Hawks Desire No Peace
7 Jun 2009 - By Iqbal Jassat – Pretoria Israel is in the throes of an intense debate about its identity and future. Failure by the Olmert regime to dislodge Hamas from the Gaza and itself being replaced by rightwing zealots under Benjamin Netanyahu are recent symptoms of deep-seated malaise in the body politic of the Zionist regime. New emerging trends reveal that all is not kosher in the Jewish state. Craving for recognition and acceptance from its former foes in the so-called “moderate” Arab world, yet ironically, Israel seems hell bent on continuing to commit major blunders in conflict with its desire to “normalize” ties. Two such flaws have evidently become global talking points: the refusal by Netanyahu to endorse a “two-state” solution and stubbornly continuing expansionist settlements. These have not only earned Israel a public rebuke from Barack Obama when he addressed a global audience from Cairo in a landmark speech to reach out to the Muslim world, they have potentially placed the Zionist state on a collision course with America. Latest reports indicate that the European Union is seriously considering using its trade clout with Israel to bolster US pressure. An option it has is to crack down on fruit, vegetables, olive oil and other produce grown by Jewish settlers on stolen Palestinian land. It is well known, though usually ignored, that such products are entering the EU at low import tariffs reserved for output labeled as coming from what is described as Israel “proper”. As the row begins to grow...

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