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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
17 June , 2009

News

International Middle East Media Center

PLC head could be released next week
18 Jun 2009 - The lawyer of Dr. Aziz Dweik, the detained head of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) could be released from Israeli prison very soon. Dweik was kidnapped by the army three years ago. 

Fateh to release twenty Hamas detainees in the West Bank
18 Jun 2009 - Ibrahim Abu Al Naja, of Fateh’s media committee of in the Gaza Strip, representative of Fateh in unity talks, stated that the security forces in the West Bank intend to release 20 Hamas prisoners. 

Troops remove the Jericho roadblock
18 Jun 2009 - Israel sources reported Wednesday that Israeli soldiers removed the Jericho roadblock in what Israel described as a “gesture of good will” towards the Palestinian. Israelis are still not allowed into the historic city. 

We will not freeze settlements, Lieberman tells Clinton
18 Jun 2009 - Visiting Washington, Israeli Foreign Minister of the right-wing extremist Yisrael Beiteinu Party, Avigdor Lieberman, told the US Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, that Israel will not freeze the construction and expansion of settlements.  

One patient dies in Gaza razing death toll due to the siege to 344
17 Jun 2009 - A Palestinian man was reported dead on Wednesday after he was unable to leave the Gaza Strip for life saving medical care.

Jerusalem municipality hands out demolition orders to Palestinian families
17 Jun 2009 - At least a dozen Palestinian families in vireos parts of East Jerusalem received on Wednesday demolition orders issued by the Jerusalem Municipality. 

Israeli forces demolish 15 barns, three shacks in Jordan Valley
17 Jun 2009 - Israeli bulldozers have demolished 15 animal barns and 3 shacks in the Jordan Valley near the Israeli settlement of Masquin on Wednesday morning. 

Right-wing settlers reveal plan to build 30 new outposts over the summer
17 Jun 2009 - The Land of Israel Faithful group responded to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu's speech by saying that they are planning to construct 30 new outposts in the West Bank. In his speech Netanyahu declared that no new settlements would be built and no extra land would be confiscated from Palestinians for settlement development. 

Israel's Public security minister calls a policeman "dirty Arab"
17 Jun 2009 - Israeli online daily, Haaretz, reported that Israel's Public Security Minister, Yitzhak Aharonovitch, member of the extremist ring-wing Yisrael Beiteinu Party of foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, called an undercover Israeli police officer a "dirty Arab", at the old Central Bus Station in Tel Aviv. 

International activists continue their protest at the Egyptian side of Rafah terminal
17 Jun 2009 - International activists carrying medications, food and aid supplies to the Gaza Strip, continued their protest at the Egyptian side of the Rafah border terminal demanding to be allowed into the coastal region. 

Palestinian official assassinated at a Lebanon refugee camp
17 Jun 2009 - Unknown gunmen assassinated on Tuesday at night a Palestinian official in front of his home in Ein Al Hilwa refugee camp in Lebanon. 

Code Pink protesters beaten and arrested by Israeli police outside Netanyahu speech
17 Jun 2009 - While Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was making a major foreign policy speech at Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan on  Sunday, Israeli police outside the university attacked international protesters who challenged Israel's invasion of Gaza, illegal settlements and the apartheid wall. 

Ha'aretz Defense page

IDF removes Jericho checkpoint in 'goodwill' gesture to Abbas
17 Jun 2009 - Israel has dismantled some 140 West Bank roadblocks over last year to ease Palestinians movement. 

Shin Bet arrests 4 Palestinians over 2006 murder of Israeli
17 Jun 2009 - Daniel Yakobi was stabbed to death and his body was burned and placed in the trunk of his car in 2006. 

Why aren't Jews outraged by Israeli occupation?
17 Jun 2009 - Defining a humane Judaism in the 21st century means condemning the brutal military occupation in the West Bank and resisting the ongoing siege of Gaza. 

Israel can't make up its mind about Iran nuclear timetable
17 Jun 2009 - Constant re-evaluation of deadline for nuclear capacity damages reputation of intelligence agencies. 

Mossad: Iran will have nuclear bomb by 2014
16 Jun 2009 - Dagan warns if Iran nuclear program continue without glitch, Israel will face significant existential threat. 

'Hamas foiled plot to assassinate Carter in Gaza'
16 Jun 2009 - Hamas denies witness, source reports that Al-Qaida-linked militants planted bombs at border targeting Carter. 

Palestinian court convicts West Bank woman as Israel collaborator
15 Jun 2009 - Woman received life sentence with hard labor, claimed was forced into prostitution by her husband. 

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. 

Ma'an News

Israel’s new regulations make moving from Gaza to West Bank harder
6/17/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – Israel has imposed new restrictions barring Palestinians living in Gaza from moving to the West Bank, two Israeli human rights groups said on Tuesday. According to the new regulation, which was presented by the Israeli state to the High Court of Justice in response to several petitions, no Palestinian living in Gaza is allowed to apply for residency in the West Bank except under exceptional circumstances, according to the Jerusalem Post newspaper. Only Gazans who have close family registered as living in the West Bank will even be considered for a permit to move there, the paper said. "Israel is systematically taking action to further isolate the Gaza Strip, while increasing the geographic and political separation between Gaza and the West Bank," said rights groups Gisha and Hamoked. 

Sa’adat sent to solitary confinement again after hunger strike
6/17/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – Israeli prison authorities have decided to strip Ahmad Sa’adat, the leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), of his rights in punishment for a recent nine day hunger strike, according to the Palestinian Minister of Prisoners Affairs Issa Qaraqe. The hunger strike, which ended on Sunday, was in protest of an earlier decision to remand him to solitary confinement. Qaraqe told Ma’an that the administration of Askhelon prison held a hearing on the case, which Sa’adat refused to attend. The hearing resulted in a draconian set of sanctions against Sa’adat, including denying him family visits, banning him from visiting the prison canteen and smoking. In addition he must pay a 200 shekel fine and serve another week in solitary confinement. Qaraqe said that such regulations “revenge” for Sa’adat’s hunger strike, which he said was an. . . 

38 aid agencies denounce Gaza blockade
6/17/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – A group of 38 United Nations and non-governmental organizations issued a denunciation of Israel’s ongoing blockade of the Gaza Strip. The groups, which include UNRWA, the United Nations Development Fund for Women and Oxfam International, the amount of goods now allowed into Gaza is still one-quarter of what it was before the imposition of the blockade in 2007. Israel locked down Gaza’s borders following the June 2007 Hamas takeover, trapping 1. 5 million Palestinians inside and creating scarcities of numerous items, including food, medicine, and fuel. Currently, construction materials, needed to rebuild the Strip from last winter’s war, are completely barred. The following is the full text of the humanitarian agencies’ statement:We, United Nations and non-governmental humanitarian organisations, express deepening concern over Israel's continued. . . 

Israeli bulldozers demolish 15 barns, three shacks in Jordan Valley
6/17/2009 - Nablus – Ma’an – Israeli bulldozers demolished 15 animal barns and 3 shacks owned by Palestinian residents of Ein Al-Hilwa neighborhood in the Jordan Valley near Israeli settlement of Masquin, eyewitnesses reported Wednesday morning. Palestinian Authority official Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors Israeli settlement activity in the northern West Bank, condemned the demolition describing it as part of a clear Israeli policy aimed at emptying the Jordan Valley of all Palestinian residents. Daghlas called on the international community to exert pressure on Israel to stop displacing the Palestinian citizens from their homes and lands they have lived on for decades. [end] 

Four-day protest has internationals demand opening of Rafah
6/17/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – Internationals continue to gather in protest at the Egyptian side of the Rafah border calling on officials to open the border and allow aid and family members through on a permanent basis. Twenty-six Egyptians and foreign nationals were camped out at the crossing by Wednesday, including a handful of American activists who reportedly began a hunger strike Tuesday afternoon. The protest was initiated by four French activists, three Americans, two Egyptian journalists and an Italian. Another German woman, who is married to a Palestinian and Gaza, along with her six children, joined the protest seeking to support her husband. On Monday, a Palestinian-Belgian man joined the protest carrying insulin for his daughter, sick with diabetes, who is living in Gaza; he has not seen her in years. Palestinian-Swedish family of ten also joined the protest. 

Israel to release Palestinian parliament speaker
6/17/2009 - Hebron – Ma’an – An Israeli military court decided on Wednesday to release Palestinian parliament speaker Aziz Dweik after holding him prisoner for more than 36 months, his family said. Dwiek’s wife, Umm Hisham, told Ma’an she was “surprised” at the decision by the court in the settlement of Ofer. She said she hopes all Palestinian prisoners are released. The panel of judges rejected the prosecution’s request to extend Dweik’s sentence from 36 months to 42. Dweik has also been ordered to pay a 5,000 ($1,263) shekel fine. Palestinian lawmaker Samira Al-Halayka also called for the release of all detainees especially, members of parliament, considering Dweik’s release as a good step for his home town of Hebron, in the West Bank. Reactions to the release were surprised but positive; with Gaza’s independent representative Dr Yasser Al-Wadiyah commenting that the release. . . 

Ad-Damir: Nuts and coffee being smuggled into Gaza with animal feed
6/17/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Desperate Gazan traders are making deals with their Israeli counterparts to have nuts and coffee smuggled into the Strip amidst loads of animal feed, the Ad-Damir Human Rights foundation reported Wednesday. Ad-Damir’s report highlighted the “unbearable” nature of the siege and blockade of Gaza, but warned traders that the animal feed“is made from chemicals and wastes” and that when goods meant for human consumption came in contact with the feed the goods would “no longer be suitable and cause a danger to people’s health. ”The organization urged traders to exercise caution and be aware of the effect of their actions on Gazans in the long run. Coffee and nuts are not permitted to enter Gaza and are categorized as "luxury goods" by Israeli crossings authorities. 

Fatah leader killed in Lebanon refugee camp
6/17/2009 - Lebanon – Ma’an – High-profile Fatah leader Ahmad Khalil (known as Ahmad Abu Al-Kul) was assassinated in Lebanon’s Ein Al-Hilweh Refugee Camp on Tuesday, according to Lebanese sources. The sources said that at 10:30pm on Tuesday, clashes erupted in Ein Al-Hilweh after a masked gunman shot Khalil in the head at his home in the Jewish Garden neighborhood of the camp injuring him seriously. Khalil was transferred to a hospital where he died of his wound. The shooter fled the scene to and has not been arrested. Leaders of various Palestinian factions in the camp have begun contacts to try and avoid further violence and complications. [end] 

Seven Palestinians taken in West Bank raids
6/17/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – The Israeli military said it detained seven Palestinians during overnight raids in the West Bank on Wednesday. The seven were seized from their homes on the grounds that they are “wanted. ” They are being held at an unknown location. [end] 

Police remove suspected explosive from Jenin-area village
6/17/2009 - Jenin - Ma'an - A suspected explosive device was discovered and removed from a residential area in the Jenin-area village of Kfar Qud on Wednessday. No indication was given as to who put the explosive in the area. Palestinian Authority police said a “special unit” moved the suspected explosives to a special location in police headquarters where it was destroyed. The Public Relations in Jenin said the explosive was 100cm long, and General Rady Asida called on residents to inform police of dangerous materials for public safety. [end] 

Israel releases identities of four detained in death of settler in 2006
6/17/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma’an/Agencies - Four Palestinians were reportedly detained by Israeli forces for their role in the death of an Israeli settler in 2006, Israeli news sources revealed Wednesday. Reports, which were based on documents released by Israeli intelligence offices, said the four men were from the Qalqiliya area and all affiliated with Fatah’s Al-Aqsa Brigades. The settler, 59-year-old Dr Daniel Yaakobi, was found dead in a car near Qalqiliya on 27 July, 2006, shortly after the capture of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, and the Israeli counter attacks that targeted Palestinian lawmakers. More than 43 members of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) were taken during June and July raids in Ramallah. The man was from the illegal West Bank settlement of Yakir. In the reports Israeli sources named the four detained Palestinians as:Tayun TayunAhmad. . . 

Two Gaza crossings open, third closed
6/17/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – Israel will allow limited quantities of fuel, food, and other goods into the besieged Gaza Strip on Wednesday morning, according to Palestinian crossings official Raed Fattouh. Fattouh said that the Kerem Shalom crossing in the southern Gaza Strip would be partially open to allow 120-129 truckloads of humanitarian aid and commercial merchandise in Gaza, while the Nahal Oz terminal will allow the transfer 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 closed, the official said. [end] 

Hamas still weighing whether to deliver Shalit letter
6/17/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – The spokesperson of Hamas’ military wing Abu Obayda said on Wednesday his group would consider whether or not to hand a letter to captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit from his parents that was handed over by former US President Jimmy Carter. Carter, who visited the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, delivered a letter from the Shalit family to Ismail Haniyeh, the prime minister of the Gaza government, and requested the message be handed to the captured soldier. Apropos of the letter, the Gaza-based Palestine newspaper quoted Hamas leader Salah Al-Bardawil saying that Carter suggested that a mediator hand the letter to Shalit. Shalit has been held in Gaza by Palestinian fighters since 2006. Hamas is demanding the release of hundreds, out of the more than 11,000 Palestinians who are held by Israel. 

Mitchell: US says no 'natural growth' for Israeli settlements
6/17/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma’an - American Middle East Envoy George Mitchell called reports saying the US agreed to “consider [allowing] natural growth” in settlement construction “highly inaccurate” during a news briefing in Washington Tuesday. “Our position is clear,” he added, “In 2003, Israel agreed to the Roadmap. It calls for a stop to settlements. We believe there should be a stop to settlements. ”Mitchell said the generally accepted definition for “natural growth” was based on the number of births, and insisted the US was clear on its demand for a halt to all settlement expansion including natural growth. He noted US partners were “engaged in serious and intensive discussions” with Israel over the halt to settlement building, as well as with “Palestinian partners” over holding up their end of the Road Map. Mitchell also spoke about the American vision for eventual negotiations,. . . 

PNC condemns ’one sidedness’ of Netanyahu’s speech
6/17/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an – Head of the Palestinian National Council (PNC) Salim Az-Za’noun condemned Netanyahu’s claims that “opportunities for peace” exist when “Israel will not even stop building settlements. ”In a Wednesday statement Az-Za’noun comments made by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Sunday, saying he asked Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to abide by international conventions when Israel has clearly refused to do the same. "The Palestinian National Council condemns these remarks and accuses Israel of erecting obstacles in the way of achieving a just and comprehensive peace process,” he said. [end] 

Report: Egypt preparing final Hamas-Fatah deal
6/17/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – Egypt is working on a final draft of a power-sharing agreement between rival Palestinian parties Hamas and Fatah, the London-based Al-Hayat daily newspaper reported on Wednesday. According to the paper’s Egyptian sources, the draft includes arrangements for the period following of the agreement which is supposed to be signed by 7 July. The leaders of all the Palestinian factions are to sign this final agreement, according the sources. Regarding whether Egypt is pressuring Hamas and Fatah, the source was quoted as saying, “We don’t exert pressure on anybody. Both sides realize how important it is to end rivalry and turn this page. Reconciliation is a top priority for the Palestinians and for Arab countries as well. We are endeavoring to bridge the gap between both sides, but we don’t impose any decisions on anyone. 

Gaza man convicted of spying
6/17/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – A Hamas military court in Gaza sentenced a man to two years in prison and a fine of 4 thousand Jordanian Dinars ($6500) on Wednesday after he was convicted of spying for a foreign country. The convict is from Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, and he was detained on 5 March 2008. The unanimous verdict is appealable. [end] 

PA forces arrest long-time fraud in sting operation in Bethlehem
6/17/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – Palestinian Authority police arrestedlong-time crook “Dr Mohammed” in a carefully planned sting operation, ending years of theft targeting families of those killed by Israeli troops. The accused, who goes under the pseudonym “Dr Mohammed” or “Dr Najib,” operated for years without detection, as cheated families were too embarrassed to come forward. The operator would approach grieving families who lost their sons to Israeli troops, and tell them they were eligible for 25,000 US dollars from the PA. The paperwork and legal fees for the compensation, Dr Mohammed would tell the parents, would cost about 1,000 US dollars. He would collect the fee, bring some forged paperwork and flee. When Dr Mohammed approached the family of a man who worked for the PA police, who was killed in clashes, they enquired with the police to verify his claims. 

PA Ministry of Health delivers promised medical supplies to Gaza
6/17/2009 - Ramallah – Ma’an – Four loads of medical supplies from the Palestinian Ministry of Health arrived in Gaza from Ramallah and Nablus warehouses, officials reported Wednesday. The trucks were sent to Gaza Tuesday, and arrived on schedule as part of the regular shipments of supplies from the West Bank. The shipment, according to a statement from Director General of the public relations in the ministry Omar An-Nasser, contained four medical refrigerators filled with medications and lab supplies. The ministry has sent a total of 700 tons of medical equipment and supplies to Gaza since the Israeli war on Gaza in December and January, An-Nasser added. [end] 

The National

Canadian ambassador honoured at illegal park
17 Jun 2009 - The Jewish diplomat and family members are commemorated at a dedication site built on the rubble of three destroyed Palestinian villages.

Opposition detained by security forces
17 Jun 2009 - Mohammad Ali Abtahi is a genial cleric and Tehran's first politician to keep a blog, which has made him an Iranian cyber star.

Reunited after 12 long years apart
17 Jun 2009 - American woman meets the daughter she has not seen since she was kidnapped and taken to Egypt 12 years ago.

Israel beats up children' 
16 Jun 2009 - The rights of Palestinian children are routinely violated by Israel's security forces, according to a new report.

Gaza resilience puts Hamas in strong position
16 Jun 2009 - After three-and-half years, the world may finally be coming around to the conclusion that Hamas is a reality that can be neither sanctioned nor bombed away.

Aljazeera

Iran protesters to mourn dead
17 Jun 2009 - Mousavi calls for killed protesters to be remembered as government broadens crackdown.

Carter: Grief and despair for Gaza
16 Jun 2009 - Former US president says Palestinians treated "like animals" after touring Gaza Strip.

US Iran adviser to move from post
15 Jun 2009 - Dennis Ross to leave state department amid Iran's reported objections over ties to Israel.

IRIN

EGYPT: Migrant community leaders trained in pandemic preparedness 
DUBAI Wednesday, June 17, 2009 (IRIN) - The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has been training 50 migrant community leaders and NGO staff in Egypt on how to respond to the threat of pandemic influenza viruses, such as A(H1N1) influenza, also known as swine flu.

IRAQ: Government moves to rationalize food aid system 
BAGHDAD Wednesday, June 17, 2009 (IRIN) - The Iraqi government has moved to try and rationalize the state-run food aid system by stopping the well-off from benefiting from it. The aim is to ease pressure on the budget and help the most needy, a government statement said on 16 June.

YEMEN: Over 3,000 displaced as clashes flare up in north 
SANAA Wednesday, June 17, 2009 (IRIN) - The security situation in Saada Governorate, northern Yemen, has been deteriorating in the wake of sporadic clashes between government forces and a group of Shia rebels since May, aid workers say. 

Inter Press Service

US-MIDEAST: Parsing Netanyahu’s Palestinian State 
WASHINGTON, Jun 17 (IPS) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has laid out his terms for peace in the Middle East. In a highly anticipated speech at Israel’s Bar-Ilan University last Sunday, Netanyahu said – for the first time – that he was willing to consider a "demilitarised" Palestinian state,...

U.S.: Report Blasts Terror Financing Laws and Investigations 
WASHINGTON, Jun 17 (IPS) - Muslim charities in the United States are subject to unfair treatment by the government under terrorism financing laws, according to a new report which says the effect has been a chill on charitable giving that violates Muslims’ right to freely practice an important requirement of...

LEBANON: Law to Stop Violence Against Women Takes Time 
BEIRUT, Jun 16 (IPS) - There was some good news for women’s activists in Lebanon last week.

EGYPT: Workers Reeling Under Financial Crisis 
CAIRO, Jun 16 (IPS) - The global financial crisis has forced Egyptian companies to lay off thousands of workers, and provided cover for firms to evade their legal and financial obligations to their workers, labour rights groups warn.

Stop The Wall

Civil society conference in Ramallah supports the popular struggle against the Wall
16 Jun 2009 - Following the recent killings in Ni'lin and Bil'in and the arrests in al Ma'sara, the Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign organized a national conference to promote ways to support grassroots resistance against the Wall. Some 70 people, among them popular committee representatives from affected areas along with the families of the injured, arrested, and martyred participated in the conference. The aim of the meeting was to assess ways in which to respond to the mounting repression and violence against popular resistance movements. Participants focused on three main areas: official leadership, legal action and the media, and how to best integrate them with the ongoing actions against the Wall. [

PCHR Latest

(15 June) Detainee Dies in the GIS Prison in Hebron
PCHR

(15 June) Policemen Fire on Peaceful Demonstration Injuring Three Civilians"
PCHR

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

Gaza’s hospitals short of surgeons and supplies
International Solidarity Movement - Eva Bartlett, Electronic Intifada - 11 June 2009 - One of the most densely populated places on earth only has two cardiac surgeons to serve its entire population. According to Dr. Nasser Tatter, head of Shifa hospital's cardiology unit, that only explains part of the medical crisis that exists in the Gaza Strip today. "We are in bad need for cardiac surgeons," said Dr. Tatter, further explaining that one of the two surgeons is ill and unable to perform surgeries. The second, Tatter added, isn't able to work independently, rendering Gaza devoid of specialists able to perform open heart surgery. Dr. Tatter estimates that there are roughly 400 patients in Gaza in need of such surgery. Some, he said, have died from their heart maladies. "Many have tried to leave, to go outside for surgery," Tatter said. "But they were denied exit by the Israeli and Egyptian authorities. 

Israeli bulldozers demolish 15 barns, three shacks in Jordan Valley
International Solidarity Movement - Ma'an News - 17 June 2009 - Israeli bulldozers demolished 15 animal barns and 3 shacks owned by Palestinian residents of Ein Al-Hilwa neighborhood in the Jordan Valley near Israeli settlement of Masquin, eyewitnesses reported Wednesday morning. Palestinian Authority official Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors Israeli settlement activity in the northern West Bank, condemned the demolition describing it as part of a clear Israeli policy aimed at emptying the Jordan Valley of all Palestinian residents. Daghlas called on the international community to exert pressure on Israel to stop displacing the Palestinian citizens from their homes and lands they have lived on for decades. [end] 

Steadfastness and solidarity at the Rafah border
International Solidarity Movement - Under pressure from the Egyptian army and the police, the International Movement to Open the Rafah Border ( IMORB), is maintaining their camp at the Rafah Border. The group is growing; now 26 people from France, USA, Germany, Egypt, Belgium, and Sweden. Yesterday, our Italian friend left us for his job in Italy, but a German woman, Alona, married to a Palestinian from Rafah, joined us with her six children, aged 2 to 12. She wants to return to live with her husband and other three children in Gaza. After Egyptian authorities denied her entrance, she said, "I am coming from Germany and I don't wish to go back to sleep in El Arish. I come here and I only want one thing: to go to Gaza. " By phone, her husband asked his family to join the IMORB camp. This morning we were joined by a Palestinian refugee, Mohammad, a PFLP (Palestinian Front for Liberation of Palestine) activist who spent 24 years in Israeli prison and has been living in Belgium. 

ISM Gaza helps recover body of Gazan farmer
International Solidarity Movement - Farming Under Fire - 15 June 2009 - The young man in the video was killed either by gunshots or other means as he was farming his field, and he lay in the field of Gaza for over a month while his family frantically tried to reach him. Israeli soldiers shoot at him and the internationals trying to help. Updated on June 17, 2009 [end] 

Village sues Canada companies cashing in on occupation
International Solidarity Movement - Electronic Intifada - 11 June 2009 - The small Palestinian village of Bilin will face-off this month against two Canadian corporations accused of aiding and abetting the colonization of the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Bilin has charged Green Park International and Green Mount International with illegally constructing residential buildings and other settlement infrastructure on village territory, and marketing such structures to the civilian population of the State of Israel. The condominiums in question are located in a settlement neighborhood known as Matityahu East. Still in its preliminary phase, the lawsuit sheds light on the shady pairing of corporate interest with Israeli expansionist ambition. Representing the village of Bilin, the Bilin Village Council headed by Ahmed Issa Abdallah Yassin seeks to hold the companies accountable for violations of international law. 

Viva Palestina: our convoy to Gaza
International Solidarity Movement - George Galloway, Counter Punch, 10 June 2009 - "Where is the ummah; where is this Arab world they tell us about in school. "Those words will forever remain etched on my brain. They were spoken by a 10 year old girl in a bombed out ruin in Gaza in March. She had lost her almost her entire family in the 22-day Israeli bombardment earlier this year. The second time she spoke, it was to the back of my head. I had to turn away; what answer could you give her? While Hugo Chavez expelled the Israeli ambassador to Venezuela, the leaders of the Arab League, with a handful of exceptions, spent those murderous weeks in December and January scarcely summoning even the synthetic indignation that has so often attended previous bloody episodes in the Palestinian tragedy. But that was not so of public opinion, not only in the Muslim world, but mobilized on the streets of Western capitals. 

No peace from Netanyahu
International Solidarity Movement - Laila El-Haddad, The Guardian - 16 June 2009 - "Eight nos, but nothing new. "This is the reaction I hear over and over again from Palestinian refugees here in Lebanon's Wavel Refugee Camp, where four generations wait to return to the homeland from which they were brutally evicted over 60 years ago, in response to Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu's so-called landmark policy speech. This is from those who even bothered to listen. The US and Europe saw his speech as a move towards recognising two states (while dismissing the right of return, a divided Jerusalem and an end to settlements, and the list goes on) and thus some sort of advance towards peace; others suggested it was a step backward. Both analyses are flawed. One confuses a call for a Palestinian ghetto as a call for a sovereign, viable Palestinian state. The other is based on the assumption that progress was made over the past (few) decades vis a vis Palestinian statehood. 

Israeli human rights organizations to the EU: use Association Council meeting to stop settlements and open Gaza
International Solidarity Movement - B'Tselem, 15 June 2009 - On the occasion of the 9th EU-Israel Association Council on June 15 2009, three prominent Israeli human rights organizations call upon the EU to link the upgrade of EU-Israel relations to respect for human rights and the rule of law. In their letter to the EU Foreign Ministers, the organizations emphasized that the shared values of democracy and the rule of law stand at the heart of the EU-Israel relationship. These values must be given tangible expression, both in the bilateral relationship as well as in diplomatic efforts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Specifically, both Israel and the EU must demonstrate concrete steps to promote and respect human rights and international humanitarian law. The three organizations, therefore call upon the EU to use the Association Council meeting to explicitly link the upgrade process to Israeli demonstration. . . 

Aid agencies denounce Gaza blockade
International Solidarity Movement - Ma'an News - 17 June 2009 - A group of 38 United Nations and non-governmental organizations issued a denunciation of Israel's ongoing blockade of the Gaza Strip. The groups, which include UNRWA, the United Nations Development Fund for Women and Oxfam International, the amount of goods now allowed into Gaza is still one-quarter of what it was before the imposition of the blockade in 2007. Israel locked down Gaza's borders following the June 2007 Hamas takeover, trapping 1. 5 million Palestinians inside and creating scarcities of numerous items, including food, medicine, and fuel. Currently, construction materials, needed to rebuild the Strip from last winter's war, are completely barred. The following is the full text of the humanitarian agencies' statement: We, United Nations and non-governmental humanitarian organisations, express deepening concern over Israel's continued. . . 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

Palestinian Authority launches Hebrew-language site 
17 Jun 2009 - The Palestinian Authority Wednesday launched a new Hebrew-language version of the Wafa news agency's Web site, which it said would provide readers with "accurate and first-hand information" from Palestinian Authority territory. ... 

Nobel laureate Wiesel: It'd be foolish to call Obama anti-Israel
17 Jun 2009 - After touring the former Nazi death camp Buchenwald with President Barack Obama last week, Nobel Prize Laureate Elie Wiesel told Haaretz he had no doubt that the U.S. leader bore no anti-Israel sentiments. ... 

Iran youth bring promise of change to Islamic regime 
17 Jun 2009 - When Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of Iran, cannot root for his own national soccer team because its players are wearing green bands - showing support for the "green revolution" of reformist leader Mir Hossein Mousavi - the crack in national unity exposed by this week's election protest becomes a chasm. There's no greater insult than to have an Iranian national representative identify with Khamenei's political opponent, an act akin to burning the flag. Moreover, on a day when rallies are being held in memory of those killed in the demonstrations, who are seen as martyrs who died defending the sanctity of democracy; when the law forbidding protests is being trampled in the Iranian cities of Tehran, Isfahan and Tabriz; when top Islamic scholars have issued edicts "not to cooperate with Ahmadinejad's regime" - then not only is the president-elect's status being questioned, but so is the entire regime, as well as Khamenei himself. ... 

Dutch anti-Islamic MP: 'Israel is West's first line of defense' 
17 Jun 2009 - Israel will be a major part of Geert Wilders' next film on Islam, the rightist Dutch legislator said last week in an interview for Haaretz. He praised Avigdor Lieberman, observing "similarities" between Yisrael Beiteinu and the Party for Freedom ? a small movement which has grown to become Holland's second most popular. ...

Lieberman trying to soften his image abroad 
17 Jun 2009 - There is no doubt that the speech of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at Bar-Ilan University contributed to a smooth landing for Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman in Washington. ... 

The Guardian

Netanyahu's gift to Lieberman | Antony Lerman
17 Jun 2009 - The Israeli prime minister's tough conditions for a Palestinian state will be music to his ultra-nationalist coalition partner's ears The commentariat is all over the place on the implications of Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu's recent...

Israel must be a secular state for all citizens | Maajid Nawaz
16 Jun 2009 - Just as Islamists should not call for nations exclusively for Muslims, Jews should not label Israel as a Jewish state "My state is at war with my nation." These are the words of an Arab-Israeli public...

No peace from Netanyahu | Laila El-Haddad
16 Jun 2009 - Israel's prime minister called for talks without preconditions while imposing conditions that would make peace impossible "Eight nos, but nothing new." This is the reaction I hear over and over again from Palestinian refugees here in...

Ex-US president Jimmy Carter to meet Hamas leadership during Gaza visit
15 Jun 2009 - • Former US president to travel to Gaza • Netanyahu raised new obstacles to peace, Carter says The former US president Jimmy Carter will visit Gaza for a rare meeting with senior Hamas officials following his...

Ha'aretz National page

High Rabbinical Court judge: Converts will do everything to deceive
17 Jun 2009 - A judge of the High Rabbinical Court, Rabbi Avraham Sherman, says that new immigrants who want to be accepted as Jews according to halakha are "in the vast majority gentiles who want to convert out of self-interest, and the Orthodox rabbis who want to convert them are suffering from a "false and distorted perspective, a lack of understanding of halakha." ... 

Israeli Arab town erupts in Christian-Druze riots 
17 Jun 2009 - Police, Border Police, including anti-riot squads, spread out in Shfaram Wednesday to prevent the resumption of armed riots and clashes between the Druze and Christian communities that hit the town on Tuesday night. ... 

Entertainer Dudu Topaz to be charged today over attacks on TV execs 
17 Jun 2009 - Entertainer and former television star Dudu Topaz is due to be indicted Thursday for allegedly ordering attacks on three media executives and planning to attack others. ... 

Asbestos makes Nahariya world leader in lung cancer 
17 Jun 2009 - The northern coastal city of Nahariya and the surrounding area has one of the largest concentrations in the world of people with mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer that is caused mostly by exposure to asbestos. Experts believe the number of cases will rise in the coming decades as individuals exposed to the substance age. ... 

Budget approved in first reading, despite Opposition boycott
16 Jun 2009 - The state budget bill for 2009 and 2010 squeaked past its first of three readings into a law on Wednesday, even as the opposition boycotted the vote. ...

Relief Web

OPT: US, Israel seek clarity on settlement freeze
17 Jun 2009 - Source: Reuters - AlertNet

Rapport du Secrétaire général sur la protection des civils en période de conflit armé (S/2009/277)
17 Jun 2009 - Source: UN Secretary-General

Ban pushes for greater protection of civilians affected by armed conflict
17 Jun 2009 - Source: UN News Service

Report of the Secretary-General on the protection of civilians in armed conflict (S/2009/277)
17 Jun 2009 - Source: UN Security Council

Kuwait hands to UNRWA aid for besieged Gazans
17 Jun 2009 - Source: Kuwait News Agency

Israeli siege hindering Gaza reconstruction, UN says
17 Jun 2009 - Source: Deutsche Presse Agentur

Influenza A (H1N1): Eastern Mediterranean Region - WHO Information Bulletin 16
17 Jun 2009 - Source: World Health Organization

Federal Foreign Office supports Palestinian refugees in northern Lebanon
17 Jun 2009 - Source: Government of Germany

YNet News

Lieberman tells Clinton settlements won't be frozen 
17 Jun 2009 - Meeting between foreign minister, US secretary of state manifests deep disagreement between Obama administration, Netanyahu's government. Clinton demands stop to settlements, Lieberman says Israel reached understandings with Bush administration 

Big crowd masses for pro-Mousavi rally in Tehran 
17 Jun 2009 - Tens of thousands of supporters of defeated presidential candidate gather for fifth day of protests against last week's election result. Mainly dressed in black, protesters walk silently, making victory signs

Shin Bet says solved West Bank murder
17 Jun 2009 - Four murderers of Dr. Daniel Yaakobi said to have been found in Qalqilya area after three-year investigation

Deputy FM: Clinton, Lieberman won't debate settlements
17 Jun 2009 - Ahead of Washington meeting, Danny Ayalon says 'Americans want to find practical, acceptable solution' to settlement conflict

Chief medical officer warns of severe lack of IDF doctors
17 Jun 2009 - Brigadier-General Nachman Ash says shortage will only be solved in 10 years, until then troops to be treated by HMOs

B'tselem

Lift the closure on Gaza
16 Jun 2009 - "Lift the closure - give life a chance" is the message of a new online film released today by eight human rights organizations in Israel to mark the two years of closure that Israel has imposed on the Gaza Strip.

The EU must link the upgrade to human rights compliance
14 Jun 2009 - On the occasion of the 9th EU-Israel Association Council on June 15 2009, three prominent Israeli human rights organizations call upon the EU to link the upgrade of EU-Israel relations to respect for human rights and the rule of law.

Daily Star

Assad calls for better ties between Syria and Armenia 
17 Jun 2009 - Syrian President Bashar Assad on Wednesday called for Syrian-Armenian relations to quickly move forward after he met with Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan, Syrian state news agency SANA reported. Syria has a large Armenian community, especially in the northern city of Aleppo.

Mousavi calls for mass rally to protest election results 
17 Jun 2009 - Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi on Wednesday called for a mass rally on Thursday to protest disputed election results and violence against his followers, while Iran accused the US of meddling in Iranian affairs. A crackdown on dissent continued, with more arrests of opposition figures reported.

Israeli tribunal declines to keep Hamas speaker jailed 
17 Jun 2009 - The detained Hamas speaker of the Palestinian Parliament is to be released after an Israeli military tribunal refused to keep him behind bars beyond his sentence, his lawyer said Wednesday. The court at the Ofer military base near Ramallah in the Occupied West Bank rejected an application by prosecutors to keep Aziz Dweik behind bars.

Syrian court finds dissident 'not guilty' 
17 Jun 2009 - A Syrian court issued Wednesday a rare acquittal in a political case, finding dissident Walid al-Bunni not guilty of "weakening the morale of the nation." Bunni is already serving a two-and-a-half-year jail term for political crimes since he took part in a 2007 meeting that tried to revive a movement for democracy in Syria.

ElBaradei: Iran wants nuclear weapon as an 'insurance policy' 
17 Jun 2009 - Iran wants a nuclear weapon as an "insurance policy" and to be recognized as a major power in the Middle East, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in an interview Wednesday. IAEA director general Mohamed ElBaradei told the BBC that securing a nuclear weapon was "the road to get that recognition.

Increasing number of Gaza children attend Hamas summer camps 
17 Jun 2009 - Summer has arrived, school's out, and on the carpeted floor of a Gaza City mosque Ala al-Ramalawi is reciting the Koran to a group of 12-year-old girls in colorful veils. For most of Gaza's children summer camp still means swimming, horseback riding and campfire songs.

Iran's growing protests near 'level of revolution' - Shah's son 
17 Jun 2009 - The growing street protests over Iran's disputed presidential election mark the biggest threat to its ruling clerics since they took power in 1979 with the US-backed shah's fall, the shah's son said on Tuesday. Reza Pahlavi, the former crown prince of Iran who now lives in the United States, said the protests have almost reached.

Remnants of rebels seek to rebrand Tamil movement 
17 Jun 2009 - Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels are trying to rise from the ashes of their devastating battlefield defeat, swearing off violence and vowing to transform their globally shunned terror group into a democratic movement for Tamil statehood. Their rebranding effort faces long odds. The Tamil Tigers' self-proclaimed new leader is a wanted arms smuggler.

Palestinian Information Center

Erdogan supports Gaza reconstruction conference in Istanbul
17 Jun 2009 - Turkish prime minister Tayyeb Recep Erdogan and seven of his ministers have sent Wednesday a letter of support and solidarity to the conference of the IAA for the reconstruction of Gaza

Qassam Brigades: We are studying delivering letter to Shalit
17 Jun 2009 - The Qassam Brigades said on Wednesday that it was studying delivering the letter carried by former US president Jimmy Carter from parents of the captured IOF soldier Gilad Shalit to their son.

Hamas: Mishaal to deliver important address within days
17 Jun 2009 - Khaled Mishaal is to deliver an important address within the few coming days to outline his Movement's position towards numerous issues in addition to tackling a number of important topics.

Zahhar: Reconciliation possible before deadline if Fatah gave up practices
17 Jun 2009 - MP Dr. Mahmoud Al-Zahhar, the prominent Hamas political leader, has emphasized that an inter-Palestinian reconciliation was possible before the Egyptian proposed deadline 7/7/2009.

IOF soldiers kidnap director of charitable society, steal jewels
17 Jun 2009 - Israeli occupation forces on Tuesday stormed the home of Walid Allo, the director of a charitable society in Deir Al-Ghussoon village, Tulkarem, district, stole his wife's jewelry and took him away.

Bahar: World community ignored Palestinian people's democratic choice
17 Jun 2009 - Dr. Ahmed Bahar, the PLC acting speaker, has said that the world community had ignored the results of the Palestinian transparent elections and did not respect the Palestinian people's choice.

Syria: Netanyahu speech rejects peace prerequisites
17 Jun 2009 - An official Syrian source has described the speech of Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu as reflecting a clear indication against peace in the region.

Interior ministry denies Hebrew report on attempt to assassinate Carter
17 Jun 2009 - Ihab Al-Ghussain, the interior ministry spokesman, has denied Hebrew press allegations that former US president Jimmy Carter was the target of a foiled assassination attempt during his visit to Gaza.

Haneyya asks the world community to pressure the IOA to lift siege
17 Jun 2009 - Palestinian premier Ismail Haneyya has urged the world community to pressure the Israeli occupation authority to lift the siege on Gaza Strip and end the Palestinian people's suffering.

UN high commissioner for human rights calls for ending Gaza siege
17 Jun 2009 - Navanethem (Navi) Pillay, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, has called for an end to the Israeli siege of Gaza Strip and on ending restrictions on freedom of import-export traffic.

Los Angeles Times

A duel for legitimacy plays out in Iran rallies 
17 Jun 2009 - Both sides stage massive gatherings. At least 12 people have been killed in the unrest over the disputed presidential election that kept Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in office. Pressing their claim to victory, pro-government supporters staged a mass rally in Tehran on Tuesday, responding to calls from state media to come out in support of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and against protesters they described as "looters and arsonists." 

Mideast hanging on every text and tweet from Iran 
17 Jun 2009 - Though Tehran has largely shut down communication outlets, protesters are getting out snippets of text and stealthily uploaded photos in a guerrilla-style Internet revolt. Footage of burning cars, masked boys and bloodied protesters in Iran is playing across the Middle East, captivating Arab countries where repressive regimes have for years been arresting political bloggers and cyberspace dissidents. 

Obama stays on sidelines after Iran's disputed election 
16 Jun 2009 - 'It's not productive, given the history of the U.S.-Iranian relationship, to be seen as meddling,' the president says. The bedlam touched off by Iran's disputed presidential election could eventually transform the entire Middle East. But it has relegated President Obama to the status of an onlooker. 

New York Times

Clerics Stay Largely Quiet
17 Jun 2009 - A central question lurking behind the post-election tumult in Iran is which side the country’s highly influential clerics will back. 

New Protest Builds in Iran
17 Jun 2009 - Protesters said that tens of thousands had massed in central Tehran again on Wednesday as Iran tried to block any coverage of opposition activities. 

Stark Images, Uploaded to the World
17 Jun 2009 - As foreign journalists are forced to leave Tehran and others are confined, news organizations are looking more and more to the Iranians themselves to provide the news. 

Misc

Israel is losing the PR war so badly that even evangelical support is eroding 
Jerusalem Post - Jun. 15, 2009, Brian Schrauger , The Jerusalem Post - The war that Israel keeps losing is the war of world opinion, the war for individual hearts and minds. Consider recent stumbles. Israel's military campaign in Gaza should have been named "8,000 is enough!" This would have communicated a determination to stop the barrage of missiles from Hamas, using surgical precision to destroy its arsenal, but destroying all of it, not just a part. Enough was enough: 8,000 missiles launched on the nation's civilian population would no longer be tolerated. Unfortunately the operation was dubbed, "Cast Lead. "The resulting image in the English-speaking world was not helpful. Lead is a soft metal associated with poison. The implication, then, was an unprofessional plan with ambivalent determination, biased motives and toxic methods. Which is exactly how governments and media judge "the Gaza war. " 

Israel hatching new plot in ME’ 
PressTV - 17 Jun 2009, PressTV - Hezbollah leader Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah says the recent speech by the Israeli Prime Minister suggests that the regime is hatching a new "plot" against the region. "What is happening in the region is a US-Israeli plan. There is a scheme with a clear division of roles between the US and Israel to divide the Arab region," Nasrallah said on Wednesday. "We should defend our country against what is being plotted for the region. . . which includes a possible relocation of the 1948 Palestinians to Lebanon," the Hezbollah leader added. Nasrallah also said that Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu's speech "dashed the hopes of moderate Arab countries, which were counting on the (US President Barack) Obama administration to bring about a compromise. "Earlier on Sunday, Netanyahu made a speech during which he offered "conditional support" for the establishment of a Palestinian state. The Premier also said the Palestinian refugee problem would have to be resolved "outside Israel. " 

Old Legal Opinion Raises New Questions 
Washington Post - 1979 State Dept. Document Found Israeli Settlements 'Inconsistent' With the Law - Glenn Kessler, Washington Post, June 17, 2009 - Thirty years ago, the State Department legal adviser issued an opinion in response to an inquiry from Congress: The establishment of Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territories "is inconsistent with international law. " The opinion cited Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which states that an occupying power "shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies. "Israel has insisted that the Geneva Convention does not apply to settlers and broadly contests assertions of the settlements' illegality. Despite the passage of time, the legal opinion, issued during the Carter administration, has never been revoked or revised. President Ronald Reagan said he disagreed with it -- he called the settlements 


Articles

All in a day’s work for the Israeli army: beating and torturing children 
Jonathan Cook in Nazareth, Redress 6/18/2009
      Jonathan Cook reports on how Israeli soldiers routinely, and as a matter of policy, practise torture against Palestinian children, hundreds of whom are “convicted in Israel’s military courts each year, with children older than 12 denied access to lawyers in interrogation”.
     “He broke his hand here at the wrist. Broke his hand at the wrist, broke his leg here. And started to stomp on his stomach, three times, and left… The next day I go out with him on another patrol, and the soldiers are already starting to do the same thing.” – Israeli soldier describing assault by his commander on four-year-old Palestinian boy, 2007
     The rights of Palestinian children are routinely violated by Israel’s security forces, according to a new report that says beatings and torture are common. In addition, hundreds of Palestinian minors are prosecuted by Israel each year without a proper trial and are denied family visits. The findings by Defence for Children International (DCI) come in the wake of revelations from Israeli soldiers and senior commanders that it is “normal procedure” in the West Bank to terrorize Palestinian civilians, including children. Col Itai Virob, commander of the Kfir Brigade, disclosed last month that to accomplish a mission, “aggressiveness towards every one of the residents in the village is common”. Questioning included slaps, beatings and kickings, he said.

Palestinians Without Palestine 
Ira Chernus, Antiwar.com 6/17/2009
      “Obama Welcomes Netanyahu Acceptance of Palestinian State,” the headlines blared. Well, at least that’s settled. With the U.S. president having shown the Israeli prime minister who is boss, both are headed toward the same long-term goal of a two-state solution – or so it seems.
     But the devil, as always, is in the details. Before anyone attacks all the messy political details on how to reach a settlement, there are the details of exactly what the two leaders have said in the past two weeks. A closer looks reveals rather less agreement than has met the media’s eye.
     A People Without a State?
     “Just as Israel’s right to exist cannot be denied, neither can Palestine’s,” Barack Obama said in Cairo. A two-state solution is “in Israel’s interest, Palestine’s interest, America’s interest, and the world’s interest.” No previous president has created such a strong image of an evenhanded broker guiding the two parties to peace. No previous president has pronounced the once-taboo name “Palestine” in public.
     No Israeli leader has pronounced it yet – and certainly not the current prime minister. As he publicly bowed to the politically inevitable, Binyamin Netanyahu chose his words very carefully. He used the word “Palestinians” 27 times, but “Palestine” not once. He would go only so far as to say: “In my vision of peace, there are two free peoples living side by side.” One of those free peoples is absolutely certain to live in a state named Palestine. So why not come out and say it?


Electronic Intifada
Netanyahu's "brilliant" peace plan
17 Jun 2009 - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu proposed a peace plan so ingenious it is a wonder that for six decades of bloodshed no one thought of it. Some people might have missed the true brilliance of his ideas presented in a speech at Bar Ilan University on 14 June, so we are pleased to offer this analysis. Hasan Abu Nimah and Ali Abunimah comment. 

Report: Palestinian children systematically abused in Israeli detention
16 Jun 2009 - The following press release was issued on 11 June 2009: Today, DCI-Palestine is releasing a report which documents the widespread ill-treatment and torture of Palestinian children at the hands of the Israeli army and police force -- "Palestinian Child Prisoners: The systematic and institutionalized ill-treatment and torture of Palestinian children by Israeli authorities." 

Israel's efforts to suppress Palestinian activities in Jerusalem
16 Jun 2009 - Israel is currently using provisions in the lengthy documents of the Oslo accords as the legal basis for intensifying efforts to suppress activities in Jerusalem that the state says are linked to the Palestinian Authority. The latest examples of this crackdown were closure orders delivered last month at the opening and closing sessions of this year's annual Palestine Festival of Literature. Marian Houk reports for The Electronic Intifada. 

Video: Nahr al-Bared, "A Sip of Coffee"
16 Jun 2009 - This 26-minute film follows a father and his son in the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp as they attempt to deal with their unemployment. The two have been living in temporary metal shelters for more than a year, waiting to return to their camp. By documenting issues of reconstruction, temporary housing, economy, unemployment and despair, the film touches on the daily experience of life in Nahr al-Bared refugee camp. 

In Gaza
how do they keep living?
16 Jun 2009 - Hamsa’s wife Iman is very near the end of her term, due to give birth any day now.  Thinking that she may have already had her baby, I called her this morning to ask her news. Only because I had called did Hamsa divulge their latest problems: they need an adequate doctor, because Iman is quite young and this is her first childbirth and they are worried the public doctors won’t be good enough.  But they don’t have the money to cover a private doctor’s fees.  Hamsa mentioned that his horse has been sick for the last 10 days, so for the last 10 days he has not worked collecting...

Palestine Chronicle
Shocking Testimonies: Brutalizing Palestinian Children
17 Jun 2009 - By Jonathan Cook - Nazareth The rights of Palestinian children are routinely violated by Israel's security forces, according to a new report that says beatings and torture are common. In addition, hundreds of Palestinian minors are prosecuted by Israel each year without a proper trial and are denied family visits. The findings by Defence for Children International (DCI) come in the wake of revelations from Israeli soldiers and senior commanders that it is “normal procedure” in the West Bank to terrorise Palestinian civilians, including children. Col Itai Virob, commander of the Kfir Brigade, disclosed last month that to accomplish a mission, “aggressiveness towards every one of the residents in the village is common”. Questioning included slaps, beatings and kickings, he said. As a result, Gabi Ashkenazi, the head of the armed services, was forced to appear before the Israeli parliament to disavow the behaviour of his soldiers. Beatings were “absolutely prohibited”, he told legislators. Col Virob made his remarks during court testimony in defence of two soldiers, including his deputy commander, who are accused of beating Palestinians in the village of Qaddum, close to Nablus. One told the court that “soldiers are educated towards aggression in the IDF [army]”. Col Virob appeared to confirm his observation, saying it was policy to “disturb the balance” of village life during missions and that the vast majority of assaults were “against uninvolved people”. Last week, further disclosures of ill-treatment of Palestinians, some as young as 14, were aired on Israeli TV, using material...

Netanyahu: Masking an Upcoming Conflict
17 Jun 2009 - By Abdelrahman Rashdan "When the forces approached us ... I still remember .. we were sitting - me, my father, my mother, my older brother, my two sisters - in the lower story of our house and my father looked at us and said: You know guys, just go … go! Where to go? He said: just go … He gave everyone of us 10 Palestinian pounds and he said .. just go .. -- Just imagine how parents tell their youngest boy to just go .. but where to, they didn’t know. It was so terrifying …My parents didn't want to see us killed or to see my sisters rapped at the reputation of the Zionist forces that were spreading around. … and the story starts from there," Naji Farah, telling his own story, was among the hundreds of thousands who were expelled from their homes in 1948 to become refugees in neighboring Arab countries and scattered all over the world. Prime Minister Netanyahu is now telling Farah, stay in Canada, your problem can only be solved "outside of the borders of the State of Israel". In his anticipated speech on Sunday, June 14, 2009 in Bar Ilan University, Netanyahu laid clearly his vision for the peace process in the Middle East. Unfortunately, it fell short of all expectations and hopes from the Arab and Palestinian side. Matrix of Pressures Netanyahu was stuck with the several parties playing pressure on his government, all at the same time, with many of them asking for contradicting...

US Has to Choose - Roadmap to Nowhere
17 Jun 2009 - By Aijaz Zaka Syed – Dubai Former US president Jimmy Carter is one of those rare birds who have retained their humanity even after four years in the world's most powerful job. The architect of the first Arab-Israel peace accord was moved to tears when he visited the ruins of Gaza this week, comparing the condition of the Palestinians to “worse than animals.” Granted, most Americans are not familiar with the Palestinian way of life, I often wonder what the Israelis themselves think of the people living next door in a permanent hell? Are the Israelis ever moved by the Palestinian suffering, as Carter has been and rest of the world often is? If they are, it is yet to be seen. No matter what happens to the Palestinians and what the rest of the world thinks of their suffering, Israel and its leaders remain as indifferent and as unreasonable as ever. When Benjamin Netanyahu promised his own roadmap, after President Barack Obama gave him those stony looks in the Oval Office with the world media watching, even the most hardened cynics like me began nursing hopes of peace. We thought, maybe, Israel, prodded by its faithful ally and biggest backer, finally has had a change of heart. Maybe, we hoped, it’s finally time for the doves of peace to descend on the Holy Land. Perhaps, the time has come for Palestinians to find themselves a home -- even if moth eaten -- of their own on this big and...

But What Kind of a 'Palestinian State'?
17 Jun 2009 - By Nizar Sakhnini Partition of Palestine into two-states was introduced on 29 November 1947 when Resolution # 181 was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations. Palestinian Arabs took to the streets in protest of tearing their home and giving away a major part of it to strangers. Palestinians’ rejection of partition was used as a pretext to justify the Zionist war aimed at ethnic cleansing Palestine from its Arabs and stealing their homes and lands. Arab cities and villages were attacked pushing Palestinian Arabs into flight. The British were still responsible to keep law and order in Palestine. They did nothing to stop the Zionist atrocities. All they did was offering trucks and boats to carry the Palestinians fleeing in panic during April and May 1948. Over 750,000 Palestinian Arabs ended up as refugees in neighboring Arab countries and were not allowed to return to their homes and lands, which were stolen and used to accommodate Jewish immigrants coming from all corners of the globe. Within 6 decades, the Zionist dream began to evaporate. Inspite of all the Zionist atrocities, Palestinian Arabs did not vanish into thin air. Palestinian Arabs living within the borders of Mandate Palestine are more than 4.5 million. Within ten to fifteen years, Arabs living in Palestine would become the majority even if the Refugees were not allowed to return to their homes and lands. Accordingly, creation of a puppet ‘Palestinian State’ would rid the Zionist entity from its Arabs. That’s why even Netanyahu...

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