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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
14 June , 2009

News

International Middle East Media Center

Abu Rodeina: "Netanyahu's speech, a deadly blow to peace"
15 Jun 2009 - Nabil Abu Rodeina, spokesperson of the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, stated Sunday that the speech of Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, regarding peace in the Middle East, is disappointing and a deadly blow to the peace process. 

Israel fires missiles at Palestinian neighborhood in Rafah, injuring 4; Palestinians fire projectile
15 Jun 2009 - At midnight Saturday, the Israeli airforce launched a number of air-to-surface missiles at a Palestinian neighborhood located near the Gaza-Egypt border. Local residents reported that four Palestinians were wounded in the attack. 

Hamas: "Netanyahu's speech racist, ignores the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people"
15 Jun 2009 - Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, said that the speech of Israel's Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is racist as he demanded the Palestinians to recognize the land of Palestinian"as a land for the Zionists". 

US administration welcomes Netanyahu's speech
15 Jun 2009 - The United States administration welcomed on Sunday the speech of Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu and considered it an important step towards peace. 

In speech on Sunday, Netanyahu rejects Palestinian right of return, right of self-defense
15 Jun 2009 - The recently-inaugurated Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu gave a speech Sunday in which he called on the Palestinian Authority to give up their demand that 4 million Palestinian refugees be allowed their internationally-recognized right to return to their homes. He also said that any future Palestinian state must be defenseless, and that Israeli settlements (constructed on Palestinian land in contravention of international law) must be allowed to expand their territory for so-called “natural growth”. 

12 Palestinian-Israelis charged for 'lynching' Israeli extremist who was on a killing rampage
14 Jun 2009 - In a decision that has sparked large protests in Palestinian-Israeli towns, an Israeli prosecutor has charged twelve men in an incident four years ago in which an Israeli man who was in the process of gunning down an entire busload of Arab men, women and children was subdued by the crowd and killed. 

Four residents wounded by Israeli fire in southern Gaza
14 Jun 2009 - Four Palestinian residents were reportedly injured early on Sunday after Israeli warplanes rocketed the Albarazil neighborhood in the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah.

Rightist MKs seek compulsory Zionism lessons in Israeli schools
14 Jun 2009 -  Extreme right wing Knesset members of the Yisrael Beiteinu Party presented a new bill to the Ministerial Committee on Legislation demanding that all students in Israel’s official schools should be required to Study Zionism ,and the “Land of Israel”. 

Palestinian internal Reconciliation committees to convene Sunday in Gaza, West Bank
14 Jun 2009 - Palestinian sources reported Saturday that a committee representing the two major Palestinian political parties, Hamas and Fateh, would be holding talks on Sunday in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. 

Palestinian Prime Minister meets former US President Carter in Ramallah
14 Jun 2009 - Palestinian Prime Minister, Salam Fayyad, met in his Ramallah office with the former US President Jimmy Carter and the delegates who are accompanying him. 

Shalit’s family hands Carter a letter to their son
13 Jun 2009 - The parents of Gilad Shalit, Israeli corporal captured by the Palestinian resistance since 2006, held a meeting with the former US president, Jimmy Carter, and handed him a letter to their son before he headed to Syria for a meeting with Hamas political leaders. 

Hamdan: “Hamas-Carter meeting shows that the West realizes Hamas cannot be ignored"
13 Jun 2009 - Hamas representative in Syria, Osama Hamdan, stated that Hamas will not recognize the Israeli occupation in exchange for talks with the West. He said that the meeting between former US president, Jimmy Carter and Hamas leadership in Syria shows a new recognition by the West that Hamas cannot be ignored. 

Ha'aretz Defense page

Israel suffered massive cyber attack during Gaza offensive
14 Jun 2009 - The attack, which focused on government Web sites, was executed by at least half a million computers. 

Two East Jerusalem journalists jailed for reporting for Iran
14 Jun 2009 - Reporters gave real-time updates on the start of the IDF's ground offensive in the Gaza Strip. 

Carter: Israel won't need to give up Gush Etzion settlements
14 Jun 2009 - After meeting settler leaders, ex-U.S. president says visit to bloc gave him fresh perspective on the issue. 

Poll: Most Israelis could live with a nuclear Iran
14 Jun 2009 - 80% of Israeli Jews say nuclear Iran wouldn't affect their lives, but 59% back IDF strike if diplomacy fails. 

Israel launches naval center to combat pirate attacks
14 Jun 2009 - Search and rescue center to be manned by ex-Israel Navy officers, will also deal with marine pollution. 

IAF bombs Gaza smuggling tunnels after Qassam hits Negev
14 Jun 2009 - Two weapons-smuggling tunnels hit after first Qassam in four weeks exploded in Negev on Saturday. 

Report: U.S. technology helped uncover Israel spy ring in Lebanon
13 Jun 2009 - Arab media reports come after over 20 said to have been been charged with spying for Israel in Lebanon. 

U.S. weapons makers eye international market as Pentagon cuts back
14 Jun 2009 - As U.S. defense dept. scales down buys, pricey American weapons to be flogged at Paris air show. 

Ma'an News

PFLP leader ends nine-day hunger strike
6/14/2009 - Ramallah – Ma’an – Secretary-General of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) Ahmad Sa’adat, ended a nine-day hunger strike inside an Israeli jail on Sunday, according to Palestinian Minister of Prisoners affairs Issa Qaraqe. Qaraqe said in a press conference held at Watan Information Center in the West Bank city of Ramallah that Sa’adat had decided to go on hunger strike in order to highlight the dire conditions of Palestinian prisoners in Israel’s custody especially solitary confinement. He explained that a prisoner in solitary confinement would be segregated from other prisoners and denied basic necessities of life. For her part, Sa’adat’s wife Abla could not hide her happiness that her husband ended the hunger strike. She said however that she has not been allowed to visit her husband for three months, and their son has been denied visitation rights for three years. 

Palestinian journalists jailed for violating censorship during Gaza invasion
6/14/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an/Agencies – An Israeli court sentenced two Palestinian journalists to prison for reporting on Israel’s invasion of Gaza in January in violation of military censorship. The Jerusalem District Court sentenced East Jerusalem residents Kadir Shahin, 34, and Muhammed Sarhan, 26, to two months in prison with six months probation. Shahin was employed as a reporter and Sarhan as a producer for the Arabic-language Iranian satellite channel Al-Alam. The two were accused of reporting the beginning of Israel’s ground invasion on 3 January 2009 before it was cleared for publication by the military censor. Stationed on the Israeli side of the Gaza border, Shahin observed tanks and troop carriers moving advancing toward Gaza and reported this on air. The defense attorneys said they would appeal the ruling argued that their clients had meant no harm. 

Rafah airstrikes injure four; clashes erupt near Khan Younis
6/14/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – Israeli warplanes fired missiles at midnight on Saturday at the tunnel area in the Brazil neighborhood of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, sources said. Sources told Ma’an that three missiles were launched at the tunnel area, injuring four Palestinians who were transferred to Abu Yousif An-Najjar Hospital in Rafah. The strikes were "in response to the continuous firing of rockets and mortar shells at Israeli Southern communities from the Gaza Strip," said a statement to Ma'an from Israel's military spokesperson. Late on Saturday night, a homemade projectile fired by an unknown group from the Gaza Strip landed in a field in the Sdot Negev Regional Council in the western Negev region of Israel. The launch, which was the first in about four weeks, caused no injuries or damage. Separately, witnesses reported that an explosive devices planted by Palestinian. . . 

Former US President Carter: Gazans 'are literally starving'
6/14/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Former US President Jimmy Carter on Sunday condemned Israel's "maltreatment of the people in Gaza, who are literally starving and have no hope at this time. " "According to the UN 41,000 of their homes are either severely damaged or destroyed. And for five months they haven't gotten a single sack of cement, or single sheet of plaster. They're being treated like savages," Carter said in an interview with the Israeli newspaper Haaretz. Asked what he was hoping to hear in Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech later on Sunday evening, Carter said a commitment to "[t]he alleviation of their plight to some means I think would be the most important the Israeli PM could do. " Carter was honored with the annual Palestine International Award for Excellence and Creativity on Saturday in Ramallah, where he said, "I have been in love with the Palestinian people for many years. " 

PLO: Netanyahu’s speech 'a zero'
6/14/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – A top Palestinian official dismissed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s policy speech as “a zero” on Sunday. Yasser Abed Rabbo, the secretary of the Palestine Liberation Organization Executive Committee, said the speech was empty of any content and pointless. He explained that the speech would impede any progress toward a balanced peace settlement. He said Netanyahu is "a swindler, a fraud, and a liar who makes up tricks [about] achievement of this peace. " In the speech Netanyahu called for immediate peace negotiations with the Palestinian Authority. The address was billed as a major policy speech at Israel’s Bar Ilan University near Tel Aviv, a counterpoint to US President Barack Obama’s speech to the Muslim world at Cairo University earlier this month. "I call on you, our Palestinian neighbors, and to the leadership of the Palestinian. . . " 

Fatah, Hamas meet to end schism on Gaza takeover anniversary
6/14/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – Hamas and Fatah officials held reconciliation meetings in the West Bank and Gaza on Sunday, on the two-year anniversary of Hamas’ takeover of Gaza and three weeks before another formal round of unity talks. The Reconciliation Committees’ meetings began at 2pm. The top of the agenda is to find a way to calm the situation after a recent flare up in intra-Palestinian violence in the West Bank. In Ramallah, Fatah is represented by parliament leader Azzam Al-Ahmad, Hamas by former minister Omar Abd Ar-Raziq. In Gaza, Ibrahim Abu An-Naja will represent Fatah in Gaza and Jamal Abu Hashem will represent Hamas. On his way into the meeting in Ramallah former cabinet minister Abd Ar-Raziq said Hamas views the meetings “positively” and said he expected practical issues to be addressed, including the release of political prisoners by the Palestinian Authority (PA),. . . 

Hamas, Fatah women protest political arrests in Gaza
6/14/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – Hamas and Fatah women’s groups held two separate demonstrations in Gaza on Sunday calling for the release of political prisoners held by the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the Gaza government, respectively. Following its takeover of Gaza exactly two years ago, Hamas has consolidated control and cracked down on opposition. The Fatah-led PA did the same in the West Bank, shutting down Hamas’ ability to operate as a public force there. Fatah-affiliated women rallied in front of the headquarters of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) demanding that the de facto government in Gaza free members of their movement, their husbands and sons. The detainees’ families asked the Red Cross and other international organizations to intervene, some of them saying that they have received no information about their relatives since they were detained. 

Kidnapped Palestinian from Balata camp freed by PA security
6/14/2009 - Nablus – Ma’an – Palestinian Authority security services managed to free a young man from Balata refugee camp near Nablus in the northern West Bank two hours after he was kidnapped by unidentified captors. Palestinian security sources named the man as 24-year-old Badi’ Abu Rweis. There was no word on the identity of the kidnappers. Security services started investigations under the assumption that the kidnap was over previous clan disputes. [end] 

Two new Free Gaza vessels to depart Cyprus 25 June
6/14/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – The international Free Gaza Movement announced on Sunday preparations to receive two solidarity vessels which come as part of the group's Summer of Hope campaign. The two vessels will set sail from Larnaca port in Cyprus on 25 June, and are expected to dock at Gaza's port on 26 June around 5pm. Several international dignitaries from 17 countries are expected to be on board the two ships, including Máiread Corrigan-Maguire, a Nobel Peace Prize, and former US Congressman Cynthia Ann McKinney. The movement explained that a complete reception program was being prepared for hosting the solidarity activists during their two-day visit. Activists will visit bereaved families, disaster areas and hospitals. They will also meet with representatives of civil society institutions, fishermen, farmers, and families of prisoners in Israel’s custody, the group said in a statement. 

Two Khan Younis men die from last week’s gas canister explosion
6/14/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – Two Palestinian men from Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip died on Sunday of critical wounds and burns they sustained last week when a cooking gas canister exploded. Mu’awiya Hassanein, director of ambulance and emergency services in the Palestinian Ministry of Health, identified the victims as 35-year-old Mahmoud Abu Hatab and 50-year-old Azzam Abu Yousif. He said that dozens were injured in last week’s explosion. Hassanein also explained that five people with very serious burns were sent to Israeli hospitals, while 12 were taken to Ash-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. [end] 

Israel: Homemade projectile landed in western Negev
6/14/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – A homemade projectile launched from the Gaza Strip on Saturday evening landed in the western Negev, according to Israeli sources. The sources said the projectile landed in an open area in the Sdot Negev Regional Council, east of Gaza. No casualties were reported. No Palestinian factions immediately claimed responsibility for launching the attack, which was the first in about four weeks. [end] 

Missing Palestinian man discovered dead in Beit Hanoun
6/14/2009 - Gaza - Ma’an - A Palestinian man who went missing 50 days ago was found dead in the Gaza Strip city of Beit Hanoun on Sunday, volunteers announced. The body of 19-year-old Ahmad Abu Hasheesh was transferred to Beit Hanoun Hospital, according to Saber Az-Zaghneen, who headed up the committee of volunteers who were searching for the man who went missing on 21 April. Az-Zaghaneen added, "Israel fired on the the group's volunteers and a foreigners' delegation while Abu Hasheesh's body was removed. "[end] 

Israeli army sweeps Tulkarem and surroundings
6/14/2009 - Tulkarem – Ma’an – Israeli forces swept the Tulkarem area of the northern West Bank early on Sunday morning. The military operation extended to Iktaba, Nur Shams Refugee Camp, Shweika, Bal’a, and Tulkarem’s city center. During the raids a number of Palestinian residents were summoned for interrogation by the Israeli intelligence services. Israeli forces also searched a mosque and raided several shops. No arrests or injuries were reported. According to Palestinian security sources and witnesses, the Israeli soldiers searched a hardware store owned by Husam Fouda, and summoned Muhammad Mahmoud Masharka from Nur Shams Camp for interrogation. In the town of Bala’a, Israeli soldiers raided Al-Khader mosque, searching the ground. The troops also raided several houses, including those belonging to Amar Wasef and Ra’fat Shahror, who were both summoned for interrogation. 

Gaza Projectile lands near Ashkelon; no injuries
6/14/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – A homemade projectile fired from Gaza landed south of the Israeli city of Ashkelon on Sunday afternoon. According to Israeli news reports, the projectile caused no damage or injuries. Another projectile was launched on Saturday night, the first such attack in weeks, causing Israel to respond with airstrikes on the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah. Four Palestinians were hospitalized after those strikes, which Israel said targeted smuggling tunnels. [end] 

Hamas fighter succumbs to wounds sustained in Israeli assault
6/14/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – The militant wing of the Hamas movement on Sunday announced the death of one of its fighters who was injured in Israel's winter offensive against the Gaza Strip. The Al-Qassam Brigades said in a statement that Yasser Arafat Shubeir, of Jabaliya in the northern Gaza Strip, died on Sunday in Egypt of wounds sustained during the offensive that killed more than 1,400 Palestinians and injured thousands more. [end] 

Two Gaza crossing points partially open; Karni closed
6/14/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – Israeli authorities decided on Monday to partially open the Kerem Shalom and Nahal Oz crossing points between Israel and the Gaza Strip, while the Karni crossing will remain closed, said Raed Fattouh, a Palestinian border crossing official. Fattouh said that 110 trucks loaded with humanitarian aid, commercial goods and agricultural requirements will pass through Kerem Shalom. Limited quantities of cooking gas and industrial diesel for Gaza’s only power plant is be shipped through the Nahal Oz, he said. [end] 

Hamas, Israel react to Iran’s Ahmadinejad reelection
6/14/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – The results of the Iranian election reflect the country's democratic spirit and the people's interests, the Hamas movement said in a statement on Sunday. Incumbent Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was reelected over the weekend, according to the country's semi-official media, although protesters in Tehran said the vote was full of corruption and fraud. “The outcome of the elections in Iran is a triumph of Iranian democracy, people, leadership, and all trends and parties which participated in the elections,” said Hamas spokesperson Fawzi Barhoum in a statement released Sunday. He said several countries should take these elections as as opportunity to change their anti-Iran positions, especially countries in the Middle East that fear Iran rather than Israel. Barhoum applauded Iran’s role in supporting the Palestinian people and helping them. . . 

Hamas: PA security services detained 15 West Bank affiliates
6/14/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma’an - The Hamas movement said on Saturday that Palestinian Authority security services have rounded up 15 of its affiliates in recent days, according to a statement. "PA security services detained from Nablus the headmaster of the Basic Islamic School, Noor Al-Deen As-Shreda, a professor at An-Najah University, Dr Nizar Al-Ourtany, and Abdallah Dweikat," the statement said. Hamas added that in Qalqiliya, Shiekh Riyad Waloweel, paramedic Fares Olba, Ayman Gaber, Kamal Yassien and Sami Al-Maghazy were arrested by PA security. In Salfit, forces arrested Suhaeeb Mar’ay, Ayoub Mara’y and Amar Tawfeeq. Mohamed Sarojeen from Tulkarem, student at Al-Quds University Ibrahim Habeea from Ramallah and Mohamed Al-Helu from Jericho were also seized. 

PLO calls for solidarity campaign with detained PFLP leader
6/14/2009 - Ramallah – Ma’an – The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) on Sunday called for launching a solidarity campaign with Ahmad Sa’adat, secretary-general of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, who started a hunger strike in Israel’s custody two weeks ago. “Israel's racial and oppressive procedures against Palestinian detainees in Israel indicate that the Israeli occupation adopts suppressive and aggressive policies, as well as violates international law,” a PLO statement said. The PLO said it holds the Israeli government directly accountable for Sa’adat’s life, demanding that they stop "such oppressive procedures against all Palestinian prisoners in Israel’s custody. " Sa’adat has been on hunger strike for two weeks protesting his solitary confinement, a top Palestinian Authority (PA) official said on Thursday. 

Hamas, Fatah agree to prisoner swap
6/14/2009 - Gaza/Ramallah – Ma'an – Hamas and Fatah agreed on Sunday to free political prisoners on both sides after Reconciliation Committees held meetings in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Senior Fatah leader in Gaza Ibrahim Abu An-Naja announced that both movements agreed to trade prisoner lists in preparation to release them. The agreement comes on the two-year anniversary of Hamas’ takeover of Gaza and three weeks before another formal round of unity talks. In Ramallah, as the meeting ended, speaker of Fatah bloc in the PLC Azzam Al-Ahmad said, "Politically-motivated detention is unacceptable and we agreed to exchange detainees in the West Bank and Gaza, and implementation starts immediately. Detentions in the West Bank are not Fatah responsibility, but the Palestinian Authority’s responsibility. However, we will coordinate with president Abbas and exert all possible efforts. 

The National

Netanyahu endorses Palestinian independence
14 Jun 2009 - The Israeli prime minister endorses the idea of an independent Palestinian state for the first time.

Egypt moves to increase female MPs
14 Jun 2009 - Many welcome the 'positive discrimination' but some doubt whether it can have an impact given the country's strong conservative streak.

Thousands protest at Iran vote result
14 Jun 2009 - Dozens arrested as opposition supporters take to Tehran's street following Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's landslide victory.

Uncertainty follows too convincing a victory
13 Jun 2009 - Iran is seething with political turmoil and the West is aghast. Hopes of a Tehran spring under a moderate new president seemingly have been dashed.

This time, Syria sees a chance for peace 
13 Jun 2009 - When Syrians talk of the Middle East peace process, they typically do so in tired, jaded tones of a people who have heard many empty words.

Mitchell presses for Palestinian state
12 Jun 2009 - The US Middle East envoy George Mitchell says Washington supports the creation of a Palestinian state 'as soon as possible'.

Aljazeera

Iran election dispute fans unrest
14 Jun 2009 - Ahmadinejad celebrates "victory" amid protests as Mousavi urges cancellation of vote.

Israel sets conditions for peace
14 Jun 2009 - US welcomes "step forward" after PM demands any Palestinian state be demilitarised.

Syria welcomes US envoy Mitchell
13 Jun 2009 - Mitchell says Syria has "integral role to play" in achieving Middle East peace.

Gazans hurt at reconciliation rally
13 Jun 2009 - Pair said to be injured by police amid protest against Palestinian factional divisions.

Peres offers interim borders plan
11 Jun 2009 - Israeli president says a Palestinian state should exist with provisional borders.

Inter Press Service

MIDEAST: Israel Tightens Stranglehold in East Jerusalem 
WADI QADOUM, East Jerusalem, Jun 13 (IPS) - "What are you doing here?" The motorist in the battered white Volvo stops to ask us alongside an overflowing rubbish cart. Residents of this poor Palestinian neighbourhood in occupied East Jerusalem have been burning garbage in a bid to clear the uncollected...

MIDEAST: Palestinians Begin to See Real Hope 
RAMALLAH, Jun 12 (IPS) - Chief Palestinian Authority negotiator Saeb Erekat believes Palestinians are politically in their strongest position ever in their decades-long conflict with the Israelis.

U.S.: Congress Reviews Military Contracts, Kabul Embassy Scandal 
WASHINGTON, Jun 11 (IPS) - Private security guards abandoning their posts at the U.S. embassy in Kabul for up to three and a half hours.

POLITICS: Lebanon’s Election: An International Affair 
WASHINGTON, Jun 11 (IPS) - It was touted as an historic election, a vote to determine the future direction of Lebanon. But even with the winners declared, analysts say the Jun. 7 ballot was far from decisive, and did little to alter the fundamental balance of power in the country.

Stop The Wall

New report: Democratic South Africa’s complicity in Israel’s occupation, colonialism and apartheid
11 Jun 2009 - This report discusses South African economic relations with Israel as well as the related political and institutional framework. Analyzing dozens of cases of commercial ties and political initiatives, it proves once again that trade relations with Israel necessarily require involvement in or complicity with Israeli violations of human rights and international law, including assistance to Israeli occupation, colonialism and apartheid. [

http://stopthewall.org/latestnews/1975.shtml
10 Jun 2009 - Last Friday, the weekly popular protest at al-Ma'sara launched a call for support and solidarity with four of its members and one Palestinian from Hebron, whose trials are scheduled to start on June 9. [

PCHR Weekly Report

(04- 10 June  2008)
During the reporting period, one Palestinian was killed by IOF in the West Bank. Additionally, IOF wounded 13 Palestinian civilians, including four children and a paramedic, in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

International Solidarity Movement

Bedouin family to search for the body of their missing son
International Solidarity Movement - A Bedouin teenager – Ahmed Salama Eid Abu Hashish, 18 – from the border area east of Beit Hanoun has been missing since 21st April, 2009. His family believe that he may have been killed in the "buffer zone" – an area of Gaza next to the border that Israeli soldiers attempt to prohibit access to by shooting at people. On Sunday, , his family, along with members of the Local Initiative from Beit Hanoun, and volunteers from the International Solidarity Movement – Gaza Strip will attempt to search for his body in this area. The ISM is aware of 18 people who have been injured by Israeli gunfire or shelling. 5 June 2009, Shoka, Rafah: Khaled Ismail Mohammed Jahjuh was shot in his lower spine by the Israeli army. 3 June 2009, Beit Hanoun: Ali Mohammed al-Zummara, 65, injured by shrapnel in the back. . . . 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

Was Dennis Ross ousted as U.S. envoy to Iran because he's a Jew?
14 Jun 2009 - Dennis Ross, who most recently served as a special State Department envoy to Iran, will abruptly be relieved of his duties, sources in Washington told Haaretz . An official announcement is expected in the coming days. ... 

Obama welcomes Netanyahu acceptance of Palestinian state
14 Jun 2009 - The White House on Sunday welcomed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's endorsement of a Palestinian state, and reiterated its commitment both to the Palestinian aspiration for sovereignty as well as Israel's security. ...

ANALYSIS / Netanyahu speech aimed solely for Obama's ears 
14 Jun 2009 - It nearly made one feel sorry for Benjamin Netanyahu, watching him progress through his speech, through an ocean of right-wing rhetoric full of national symbols, until he uttered two words: "Palestinian state" (which were followed by a third: "demilitarized"). These two words were uttered like a rotten tooth pulled from its socket without anesthesia. In spite all this, he lived. ...

Netanyahu, Mideast peace and a return to the Axis of Evil 
14 Jun 2009 - The prime minister's speech last night returned the Middle East to the days of George W. Bush's "axis of evil." Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a patriarchal, colonialist address in the best neoconservative tradition: The Arabs are the bad guys, or at best ungrateful terrorists; the Jews, of course, are the good guys, rational people who need to raise and care for their children. In the West Bank settlement of Itamar, they're even building a nursery school. ...

Rightist MK: Netanyahu has lost support of the nationalist camp
13 Jun 2009 - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's foreign policy address on Sunday evening was met with mixed responses from across the political spectrum. ...

The Guardian

Siobhain Butterworth: The Readers' editor on the Guardian's production of Caryl Churchill's Seven Jewish Children
14 Jun 2009 - The Readers' editor on ... the Guardian's production of Seven Jewish Children: an act of journalism or art? The Guardian made its first foray into filming drama two months ago with a video production of Caryl Churchill's...

Letters: Freeing Hamas to play a role in peace talks with Israel
14 Jun 2009 - The determined action promised by President Obama to achieve peace between Israelis and Palestinians (World briefing, 9 June) must involve members of the Hamas government elected by the Palestinians in 2006. Peace in Northern Ireland was...

Binyamin Netanyahu's speech: Key conditions outlined by Israeli prime minister
14 Jun 2009 - • Israel would accept a Palestinian state but only if it was demilitarised, with no army or military agreements with other states, and only if the Palestinians met the "fundamental condition" of recognising Israel as a...

Netanyahu backs an independent Palestinian state for first time
14 Jun 2009 - • Prime minister insists on recognition of Israel • Remarks follow growing US pressure for peace The Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, last night said for the first time he would accept an independent Palestinian state,...

Ha'aretz National page

Court orders deceased teen's sperm saved for posthumous conception 
14 Jun 2009 - A hospital must retain the sperm of a deceased 15-year-old cancer patient for five years, so that his family can use it in the future to produce posthumous descendants, the Ramat Gan Family Court decided yesterday. ...

Invasive jellyfish spreading along Israeli coast 
14 Jun 2009 - An invasive jellyfish that devastated fish populations in the Black Sea and the Baltic has reached Israel, the Israel Oceanographic and Limnological Research institute said yesterday. ...

Two planes nearly crashed at B-G Airport to due technical malfunction 
14 Jun 2009 - A malfunction in the ground instruments at Ben-Gurion Airport nearly caused two passenger planes to crash, Haaretz has learned. ...

Peres clears criminal record of Gaza pullout protesters 
13 Jun 2009 - President Shimon Peres on Sunday ordered legal officials to expunge the criminal record of Israeli detained for disruptive protests during Israel's disengagement from the Gaza Strip in 2005. ...

Rightist MKs seek compulsory Zionism lessons in Israeli schools
13 Jun 2009 - The Ministerial Committee on Legislation is to discuss on Sunday a bill proposed by a group of Yisrael Beiteinu MKs to require Land of Israel studies and Zionism in Israel's official schools. ...

Relief Web

Over 300,000 people under threat of house demolition in occupied Palestinian territory
14 Jun 2009 - Source: Save the Children

OPT: Adalah, Al-Mezan and Al-Haq demand investigation into killing of two girls, Suad and Amal Abed Rabbo, at close range by Israeli soldiers during Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip 
14 Jun 2009 - Source: Al Mezan Center for Human Rights

OPT/Israel: The people's voice - Results of a public opinion survey on national security issues
14 Jun 2009 - Source: Institute for National Security Studies

OPT: Humanitarian assistance seized from charitable association - Al Mezan calls on Government in Gaza to take measures to guarantee autonomy of charities
14 Jun 2009 - Source: Al Mezan Center for Human Rights

OPT: Netanyahu bows to Obama, accepts Palestinian "state" 
14 Jun 2009 - Source: Reuters - AlertNet

OPT: Four hurt in Israeli raids on Gaza tunnels 
14 Jun 2009 - Source: Agence France-Presse

Press conference by President of sixty-fourth General Assembly session
12 Jun 2009 - Source: UN Department of Public Information

OPT: New gas and fuel pipeline between Israel and Gaza Strip
12 Jun 2009 - Source: Government of Israel

YNet News

Obama welcomes Netanyahu's two-state speech 
14 Jun 2009 - White House praises prime minister's speech as 'important step' forward, president 'believes this solution can and must ensure both Israel's security and the fulfillment of the Palestinians' legitimate aspirations for a viable state'

Netanyahu backs creation of Palestinian state
14 Jun 2009 - Prime minister endorses creation of Palestinian state, stresses any such entity will have to be demilitarized and acknowledge Israel as a Jewish nation. 'The claim that territorial withdrawals will bring peace with the Palestinians has up till now not stood the test of reality,' says Netanyahu 

PA: Speech dealt deadly blow to peace process
14 Jun 2009 - Palestinian officials say Netanyahu's speech backs settlers while Hamas says it is racist and extremist

Carter: I never imagined Gush Etzion being evacuated
14 Jun 2009 - Former US president meets with residents of Jerusalem-vicinity settlements to 'listen' to their side. Despite heavy opposition by many settlers, local council leader says he believes the visit 'changed' Carter's perceptions 

Iran TV reporters jailed over censorship breach
14 Jun 2009 - Tehran's Alalam TV employees Kadir Shahin, Mohammed Sarhan, who reported on IDF incursion during Operation Cast Lead despite media embargo, found guilty of relaying information to enemy, sentenced to two months in prison

Tel Aviv missing 324,000 parking spots 
14 Jun 2009 - New municipal report says parking crisis in central Israel's biggest city getting worse, with 450,000 vehicles competing for 278,000 parking slots daily

Netanyahu speech will be 'ambiguous,' Barak says
14 Jun 2009 - PA also expects 'nothing ground-breaking'; Meanwhile, prime minister refuses to discuss content of imminent policy speech or even speak with reporters, but says that it will be 'clear'

B'tselem

Bring the shooter in Hebron to justice
7 Jun 2009 - In December '08, settler Ze'ev Braude was filmed shooting and wounding three Palestinians in Hebron. On 8 June '09, it was reported that, following a Supreme Court order that the state reveal privileged evidence in the case, the indictment against Braude 

Investigation closed in case of Susiya settler attack
6 Jun 2009 - On 8 June '08, four settlers clubbed Palestinian shepherds near Susiya. A relative of the victims documented the attack with a B'Tselem camera. Recently, the Hebron police closed the investigation on grounds of "offender unknown".

Daily Star

Mousavi seeks to overturn Iran election result 
14 Jun 2009 - Defeated candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi demanded on Sunday that Iran's presidential election be annulled and urged more protests, while tens of thousands of people hailed the victory of the hardline Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Mousavi's supporters again took to the streets after violence on Saturday, clashing with police in protests.

Netanyahu accepts limited Palestinian state, rejects settlement freeze 
14 Jun 2009 - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accepted on Sunday the US-backed goal of a Palestinian state but balked at meeting President Barack Obama's demand to stop Israeli settlement expansion. Netanyahu's reversal on statehood appeared to be a bid to end the worst rift in US-Israeli relations in a decade.

Tehran street resembles war zone after violent protests against 'rigged' polls 
14 Jun 2009 - A few days ago Tehran's most famous boulevard was alive with joy and celebration as supporters of moderate presidential candidate Mirhossein Mousavi vented their desire for social and political change in Iran. Last night, tree-lined Vali-ye Asr avenue had turned into a smoldering battle-zone after widespread clashes sparked.

Carter tells Neve Daniel residents he expects Jewish settlement to stay in Israeli hands 
14 Jun 2009 - Former US President Jimmy Carter, a vocal critic of Israeli settlements in the Occupied West Bank, ventured into one such settlement Sunday and told its hardline residents that their community is among those which should be able to remain in place under a final peace deal with the Palestinians.

Yemen announces arrest of top terror financier in country 
14 Jun 2009 - A Yemeni Interior Ministry official says the biggest and most important financier for the Al-Qaeda terror network in Yemen and Saudi Arabia has been arrested in the impoverished Arabian Peninsula nation. Hassan Hussein Bin Alwan, a Saudi national, was arrested recently but the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, did not give an exact date. 

Two wounded in Gaza as Hamas police crack down on demonstration 
14 Jun 2009 - Two Palestinians were wounded when Hamas-run police fired into the air to disperse a demonstration against Palestinian divisions on Saturday, two years after Hamas seized power in Gaza, witnesses said. Around 3,000 people attended the rally organized by the secular Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). 

Most Israelis could live with nuclear-armed Iran - poll 
14 Jun 2009 - Only one in five Israeli Jews believes a nuclear-armed Iran would try to destroy Israel and most see life continuing as normal should their arch-foe get the bomb, an opinion poll published on Sunday found. The survey, commissioned by a Tel Aviv University think tank, appeared to challenge the argument of successive Israeli governments.

US envoy says Syria integral to Mideast peace 
14 Jun 2009 - US envoy George Mitchell said on Saturday Damascus had an integral role to play in Washington's efforts to secure Middle East peace, after meeting Syrian President Bashar Assad. Mitchell, the highest-ranking US official to visit Syria since President Barack Obama took office in January, met Assad on the last leg of a regional tour.

Palestinian Information Center

Barhoum: Detention of Hamas's lawmakers in W. Bank big blow to Egyptian efforts
15 Jun 2009 - Fawzi Barhoum, the official spokesman of Hamas Movement in the Gaza Strip, has condemned Sunday the detention of five Hamas lawmakers at the hands of the militia of former PA chief.

Hamas: We retain the right to retaliate to PA violations against W. Bank women
15 Jun 2009 - Hamas stated that it retains the right to retaliate to the violations committed by the PA security apparatuses against West Bank women and the Palestinian resistance.

Field committee for ending political arrest file meets today in Gaza and W. Bank
15 Jun 2009 - Hamas said that the first meetings of the field committee are supposed to be held Sunday evening in Gaza and the West Bank to put an end to the political arrest file.

Barghouthi: Netanyahu's speech to circumvent Obama's speech
15 Jun 2009 - MP Dr. Mustafa Al-Barghouthi has charged that the speech of Netanyahu would attempt to circumvent Obama's speech in Cairo and put hurdles in face of any positive developments displayed in that speech.

EU parliamentary delegation: Conditions in Gaza horrific
15 Jun 2009 - The chairman of the European parliamentary delegation that visited Gaza recently has called for the formation of an independent investigative committee to investigate IOF invasion of the Strip.

Natori Karta calls for dismantling Israel and establishing a Palestinian state
15 Jun 2009 - The anti-Zionism Jewish Natori Karta movement organized a protest outside the UN building to demand the dismantling of Israel and the establishment of a Palestinian state.

Hamas extends condolences to the Lebanese people over death of Yakan
15 Jun 2009 - Hamas extended condolences to the Lebanese people over the death of Fathi Yakan, one of the prominent Islamic propagators and thinkers who died on Saturday.

Jewish settlers assault Palestinian farmers, IOF troops kidnap foreign activist
15 Jun 2009 - Jewish settlers on Saturday assaulted Palestinian farmers and foreign sympathizers in Beit Ummar village, north of Al-Khalil, severely beating them, local sources reported.

Human rights watch demands Israel to stop demolishing Palestinian homes
15 Jun 2009 - The organization of human rights watch on Saturday called on Israel to immediately stop the demolition of Palestinian homes and property in the West Bank, and compensate the people it displaced.

Palestinian prisoner unconscious round the clock
15 Jun 2009 - Palestinian prisoner Munadel Al-Sharkawi is unconscious round the clock due to the presence of a blood clot in his brain, representative of the prisoners in the Israeli Megiddo jail Banan Burhum said.

Los Angeles Times

Riots erupt in Iran after Ahmadinejad declares victory 
14 Jun 2009 - Official results show the leader with more than 63% of the vote, a figure an opponent calls 'ridiculous.' Rival Mir-Hossein Mousavi is reportedly put under house arrest. Huge swaths of the Iranian capital erupted in fiery riots that stretched into the early hours today as hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared victory in his quest for a second term amid allegations of widespread fraud and reports that his main challenger had been placed under house arrest. 

Riots erupt in Tehran as Iranian President Ahmadinejad declares victory 
13 Jun 2009 - Ahmadinejad's main challenger, Mir-Hossein Mousavi, disputes the election results and reportedly under house arrest. Huge swaths of the capital erupted in fiery riots that stretched into the early morning Sunday as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared victory in his quest for a second four-year term amid allegations of widespread fraud and a strident challenge of the vote results by his main challenger, who was reportedly placed under house arrest. 

Iran election result makes a U.S. overture more difficult 
14 Jun 2009 - With Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reelected, critics in the U.S. are expected to press Obama to quickly try to engage Iran in talks and then move on to economic sanctions and military action if necessary. The reelection of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad delivered a stinging setback to the Obama administration's hopes of cultivating a better relationship with the Islamic Republic. 

New York Times

Biden Questions Vote but Sticks to Policy on Iran
14 Jun 2009 - The U.S. will continue to pursue talks with Tehran despite misgivings about the election, the vice president said. 

Israeli Premier Backs State for Palestinians, With Caveats
14 Jun 2009 - Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday endorsed the principle of a Palestinian state for the first time, but Palestinians immediately rejected his conditions. 

Real-Time Criticism of CNN’s Iran Coverage
14 Jun 2009 - Thousands complained on Twitter of insufficient coverage of Iran on CNN and its cable rivals. 


Articles

Electronic Intifada
Veolia reportedly drops light rail project, but campaign goes on
14 Jun 2009 - On 8 June the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz announced that French transport giant Veolia might abandon the light rail project that will connect Jerusalem with several illegal Israeli settlements built on Palestinian land. Reports also indicate that Veolia wants to pull out of the 30-year contract to operate the train. Adri Nieuwhof reports for The Electronic Intifada. 

Some unclean drops to drink
12 Jun 2009 - FAQUA, occupied West Bank (IPS) - Faqua village has found itself unfortunately named. Faqua in Arabic means spring water bubbles; the village was named after the abundant natural underground springs that were once found all around it. Faqua's problems started in 1948 with the establishment of Israel, when 24,000 of Faqua's 36,000 dunams of land (a dunam is the equivalent of 1,000 square meters) and most of the underground springs were appropriated by the new Jewish state. 

Young Palestinians in Gaza find their voice through hip-hop
16 Jun 2009 - The Maqusi Towers in Gaza City look a bit like US housing projects. The neighborhood consists of several tall apartment buildings grouped together in the northern part of town. It is also ground zero for Gaza's growing Hip-Hop community. On a recent evening in one small but well-decorated apartment, a dozen rappers and their friends and families relaxed, danced, smoked flavored tobacco, and rapped the lyrics to some of their songs. Jordan Flaherty write for The Electronic Intifada. 

"Security threat": An attempt to visit family in Ramallah
12 Jun 2009 - Taking the first bus of the day, my wife and I arrived on the Israeli side of the King Hussein bridge crossing into the West Bank from Jordan. We explained that we were heading to Ramallah to visit my wife's mother and brothers for three weeks. We performed the exact same procedure last year without incident. However, this year I was told to wait. Asa Winstanley writes from the UK. 

In Gaza
54 days
14 Jun 2009 - Today, on my birthday, we (ISM) went with Beit Hanoun ‘Local Initiative’ volunteers to retrieve the long-decomposed body of a man who didn’t live to see his 19th birthday. Ahmed Abu Hashih disappeared on April 21st.  His family believed that he had been killed somewhere in the north-eastern border region, the Israeli-imposed ‘buffer zone’ where Israeli soldiers routinely shoot at Palestinian farmers and residents. Since then, his parents and others have searched, unsuccessfully, for his body, fearing the worst. Sixteen of us (family, international accompaniment from the ISM, and local rights activists and volunteers from Beit Hanoun) set out this morning to comb the land for the missing youth.  The...

Palestine Chronicle
The Other Apartheid State
14 Jun 2009 - By Ronnie Kasrils – Cape Town, South Africa (Address by Ronnie Kasrils – Cape Town International Conference: Re-envisioning Israel/Palestine. June 12, 2009) May I start by quoting a South African who emphatically stated as far back as 1961 that “The Jews took Israel from the Arabs after the Arabs had lived there for a thousand years. Israel like South Africa, is an apartheid state” (Rand Daily Mail, 23 November 1961). Those were not the words of Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Tutu or Ruth First, but were uttered by none other than the architect of apartheid itself, racist Prime Minister, Dr. Hendrik Verwoerd. He was irked by the criticism of apartheid policy and Harold Macmillan’s “Winds of Change” speech and the growing international outcry following the Sharpeville massacre, in contrast to the West’s unconditional support for Zionist Israel. To be sure Verwoerd was correct. Both apartheid South Africa and Zionist Israel were colonial, settler states created on the basis of the harsh dispossession of the land and birthright of the indigenous people. This is unblushingly documented in Israel's case from the time of Herzl through Jabotinsky, Ben Gurion, Menachem Begin, Moshe Dayan to Sharon et al. Both states preached and implemented a policy based on racial ethnicity; the sole claim of Jews in Israel and whites in South Africa to exclusive citizenship; monopolized rights in law regarding the ownership of land, property, business; superior access to education, health, social, sporting and cultural amenities, pensions and municipal services at the expense of the...

Obama Won't Wink Back
14 Jun 2009 - By Uri Avnery – Israel Remember Dov Weisglass? The one who said that peace must wait until the Palestinians become Finns? Who talked about preserving the peace process in formaldehyde? However, Weisglass will mainly be remembered less for his mouth than his eyes. Weisglass is the King of the Wink. This week, Binyamin Netanyahu called him in for urgent consultations. He needed a lesson in “working with the eyes” (as cheating is called in modern Hebrew slang). Winking is the main instrument of the settlement enterprise. The wink is the real father of the settlements. The settlers wink. The government winks. Officials don’t issue a permit, but wink. They say no, and wink. Wink and build. Wink and connect to electricity and water. Wink and send soldiers to protect the outposts, and also remove the Palestinians from adjoining fields and olive groves. The wink is also the main instrument of Israeli diplomacy. Everything is done by winking. The Americans demand a freeze of the settlements – and wink. The Israelis agree to the freeze – and wink back. Trouble is that there is no printed sign for a wink. The computer has no standard symbol for it. So Hillary Clinton could honestly assert this week that no wink is documented in any agreement signed by the US and Israel. Not in any memorandum of oral exchanges. So there are no understandings. No mention at all of a wink in any file or document. Worse: it seems that in Afro-American culture...

Iran's Elections and the 'Obama Effect' Myth
14 Jun 2009 - By Rannie Amiri The adulation of tens of thousands of Iranians that greeted Mir-Hossein Mousavi and his equally popular wife, Zahra Rahnavard, during the country’s presidential campaign has now transformed itself into righteous indignation and anger. Shortly after the final election results released Saturday showed that incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won – not in the extremely close count expected but in a landslide 2:1 victory – reports of civil unrest, street protests, police clashes and cut text messaging service followed. Events continue to unfold at the time of this writing as the government counters the demonstrations in heavy-handed fashion. The results indicate that either a groundswell of support for Ahmadinejad among his base of poor Iranians or those in rural areas where he is most popular was underreported in polls, or there was massive ballot fraud and vote-rigging. The writer will refrain from passing judgment on this until more facts are known, but evidence seems to be pointing to significant irregularities. Of note was how the American media’s coverage of the race seemed to be continuously punctuated by mention of the “Obama Effect” and how it might influence its outcome. Completely ignored were the vigorous, contentious and often downright nasty campaigns of the two major candidates and their supporters or the multiple, lively televised debates conducted during it. In a country purported to be a regional threat, this was never contrasted with the sorry state (or non-existence) of elections among the U.S.-allied Arab regimes, particularly Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia (...

A Cautionary History of the Nuclear Age – Book Review
14 Jun 2009 - By Jim Miles In Mortal Hands – A Cautionary History of the Nuclear Age. Stephanie Cooke. Bloomsbury, New York, 2009. In an era when the corporate media and the corporate politicians and the corporate military men gang up together and denounce and threaten other countries because of their nuclear related activities, they should spend much of that rhetorical energy by cross-examining themselves in a mirror. North Korea’s latest nuclear test received much more attention than its earlier ‘possible’ test because of its greater power and the strategic message sent by its politically timed Taepodong II rocket launch. Iran has moved a little bit off the radar screen as its elections have proven more interesting than its nuclear ‘threat’ but it is under increasing scrutiny as it reaches weapons potential. When placed in relation to this “cautionary history”, North Korea and Iran are acting only as all other nuclear powers have acted in the past, for the main theme behind In Mortal Hands is that of lies, deceit, deception, cover-ups, and secrecy to cover up the real issues with the nuclear industry. The real issue as reiterated constantly and perceptively by Stephanie Cooke is that of an industry whose central purpose is to create fissile material for weapons production regardless of and in spite of all other attempts to equate nuclear energy with peaceful purposes and with the ‘greening’ of the energy industry. It is a trillion dollar industry, supported by governments of all genres as no private developer is able...

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