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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
3 July , 2009

News

International Middle East Media Center

Israel cuts off water to Arab Druze towns on hottest day of year
4 Jul 2009 - The Israeli National Water Company has cut off the water supply to two Arab Druze towns inside Israel.  While water cut-offs by Israeli authorities are common within the Occupied Territories of Gaza and the West Bank, they are fairly unheard of within Israel itself. 

Israel pledges to compensate UN for shelling its facilities in Gaza
3 Jul 2009 - Israel sources reported Friday that Israel said it would pay compensation to the United Nations for shelling its property, including schools and warehouses, in the Gaza Strip during the war on Gaza six months ago.  

Three children diagnosed with swine-flu
3 Jul 2009 - The Palestinian Ministry of Health reported Friday that three children from the central West Bank city of Ramallah were diagnosed with the swine-flu. 

Soldiers attack the Nil'in weekly Protest
3 Jul 2009 - Israeli soldiers attacked Palestinian villagers along with their international and Israeli peace supporters during the weekly non-violent protest against the wall in Ni'lin village, west of the central West Bank city of Ramallah, on Friday. 

Three Injured during the weekly Bil'in protest
3 Jul 2009 - Three injured and dozens suffered from gas inhalation when Israeli troops attacked the weekly protest in Bil'in village near the central West Bank city of Ramallah on Friday. 

Israeli Housing Minister Concerned over increasing Arab population
3 Jul 2009 - Israeli Housing Minister of the extremist Shas movement stated Thursday that it is essential for the state of Israel to construct settlements in the Negev and the Galilee to 'counter the increasing number of Arabs who do not love Israel'. 

Soldiers wound a Palestinian woman at a roadblock in the Jordan valley
3 Jul 2009 - A Palestinian woman was shot and moderately wounded in her lower body after an Israeli soldier opened fire at her at the B’qaot military roadblock in the Jordan valley. 

Soldiers break into the Al Aqsa Mosque yard, kidnap three Palestinians
3 Jul 2009 - Local sources in Jerusalem reported on Thursday evening that Israeli soldiers and security men broke into the yard of the Al Aqsa Mosque and Al Marwani prayer area, and kidnapped three residents, including a reporter. 

Army admits Gaza girl killed by soldiers' fire
3 Jul 2009 - The Israeli army admitted that the 17-year-old girl who was killed in the Gaza Strip on Thursday died of Israeli military fire, and that eleven other Palestinians were injured in the incident. 

Hamas denies it planned to assassinate P.A figures in the West Bank
3 Jul 2009 - Hamas media spokesperson, Sami Abu Zuhri, denied statements made by president Mahmoud Abbas, in which he accused Hamas of planning to assassinate senior Palestinian Authority (P.A) officials in the West Bank. 

Israeli Army rejects AMNESTY report on Gaza
3 Jul 2009 - The Israeli Army rejected on Thursday a report which was published by the AMNESTY International regarding the Israeli offensive against the Gaza Strip, and said that the report was unbalanced, and wrongly interprets the law of wars. 

Army shell kills a 17-year old young woman, wounds her brother in Gaza
3 Jul 2009 - Palestinian Medical sources in the Gaza Strip reported Thursday that a 17-year-old girl was killed, and her 24-year-old brother was injured when the army fired an artillery shell at an area close to Juhr Ed Deek in Central Gaza. 

Ha'aretz Defense page

Incoming IAEA chief: No evidence Iran seeking nuclear weapons
3 Jul 2009 - Japan's Yukiya Amano picked to succeed current UN nuclear watchdog director Mohammed ElBaradei. 

Israeli sub sails Suez sending message to Iran
3 Jul 2009 - Naval drill, held last month, possibly aimed at signaling readiness to retaliate against Iran nuclear attack. 

Israel's 'angel of destruction' is gambling on Iran
3 Jul 2009 - Meir Dagan has won an additional year as Mossad chief because of his anticipation of Gulf developments. 

For some Israeli Bedouin, border smuggling is a way of life
3 Jul 2009 - Poor communities in South see illegal trade across Sinai and Gaza borders as integral to struggling economy. 

IDF shoots Palestinian woman carrying toy gun near Nablus
3 Jul 2009 - Soldiers opened fire on woman, wounding her, after she refused to stop at West Bank checkpoint. 

Palestinians: IDF tank fire kills Gaza teen
2 Jul 2009 - Army says soldiers returned mortar fire after they were shelled by Palestinians across the border. 

Hamas: Amnesty report accusing us of war crimes is 'unfair'
1 Jul 2009 - Israel also hits back at Amnesty International report accusing Israel, Hamas of war crimes in Gaza. 

FBI: Saddam told us he lied about having nukes to deter Iran
2 Jul 2009 - Iraqi ruler told U.S. captors he wanted to deter Iran, said he personally ordered Scuds against Israel in '91. 

Ma'an News

UN expert: Israel’s seizure of aid boat 'criminal'
7/3/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - A top United Nations official in a statement on Friday denounced Israel's seizure of a humanitarian aid ship bound for the Gaza Strip earlier this week. The UN official, Special Rapporteur for human rights in the Palestinian territories Richard Falk, denounced what he called the unlawful naval seizure by an Israeli gunboat on Tuesday. "This Israeli action implements its cruel blockade of the entire Palestinian population of Gaza, in violation of Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention that prohibits any form of collective punishment directed at an occupied people," Falk said. The seized vessel was carrying medicine and reconstruction material to the blockaded people of Gaza, and was carrying a Nobel laureate and former US congresswoman when it was seized and towed to the Israeli port city of Ashdod. 

Isreali forces shoot Nablus woman holding toy gun
7/3/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma’an/Agencies - Israeli forces shot on sight a young Palestinian woman approaching the Hamra checkpoint on foot after allegedly warning her to halt and firing warning shots in the air, Israeli press reported Friday. Palestinian security forces later identified the woman as Khadija Azzat, 20, from Nablus. She was on her way to the Jordan Valley when the incident occurred. Azzat, who apparently did not stop to be searched by the officers, was shot in the lower half of the body and taken to Israeli hospital with moderate injuries. It was not immediately clear why the woman was carrying a toy gun at the checkpoint, one of 68 staffed military crossings in the West Bank, although Israel's military suggested she was suicidal and suffering from abuse. The Israeli daily newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth lamented the incident, saying Azzat’s actions “took place in the. . . 

Gaza: One crossing open for minimal delivery, including goats
7/3/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – The Kererm Shalom crossing will be partly open Friday and all others will be closed, said Gaza crossings official Raed Fattouh. Israel is expected to allow 57-67 truckloads of aid and commercial goods through points into the Strip, as well as 350 goats. The week’s total is just over 500 truckloads of goods for 1. 5 million Gazans. 27 June - Saturday - Closed, 28 June - Sunday - Two points open, 86 trucks and limited fuel, 29 June - Monday - Three points open, 50 trucks and limited fuel, 30 June - Tuesday - Two points open, 111 trucks and limited fuel, 1 July - Wednesday - Two points open, 105 trucks and limited fuel, 2 July - Thursday - Three points open 110 trucks and limited fuel, 3 July - Friday - One point, 57-67 trucks, 350 goats, no fuel. . . . 

One Palestinian, two Europeans injured at anti-wall rally
7/3/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Three demonstrators were injured by Israeli forces at an anti-wall demonstration in the West Bank city of Bil'in, near Ramallah, on Friday. The injured were named as Adeeb Abu Rahmah of Bil'in, as well as two Europeans identified only by their first names, Judi from the United Kingdom and Julia from Germany. Their injuries were described as light. Dozens of others suffered tear-gas inhalation when Israeli troops opened fire on protesters attending the weekly rally in opposition to the separation wall, which annexes some 60 percent of the area's land into Israel and for use of a nearby settlement. International and Israeli supporters joined the villagers of Bil'in and marched from the town's center following midday Friday prayers, calling for further resistance in light of new Israeli plans to take over Palestinian land near the Dead Sea and Jordan Valley. 

Anti-siege committee calls for more aid ships to Gaza
7/3/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – The Gaza-based Popular Committee Against the Siege called for more aid ships to attempt voyages to the Strip, according to a statement on Friday. The Popular Committee, along with the Free Gaza Movement, urged the international community to condemn Israeli actions taken against solidarity groups and to attempt more siege-breaking missions toward Gaza. The spokesperson of the committee, Ali An-Nuzali, condemned "terrorism and violence carried out by the occupation state [Israel] against these unarmed solidarity activists," who were on Tuesday arrested en route to Gaza from Cyprus. The activists were bringing "a humanitarian message, and were carrying aid to the besieged Palestinians," he added, insisting that Israel's actions against the vessel "would make people more determined to challenge the occupation. 

Palestinian women condemn Thursday’s killing of Gaza teen
7/3/2009 - Gaza - Ma’an - A women's union on Friday condemned what it called the crime committed by Israeli forces on Thursday that left a Palestinian girl dead in central Gaza. A women's bloc affiliated with the Popular Struggle Front condemned the death that Israel's military insisted was a mistake, according to a statement. Hiam Abu A'yesh, 17, was killed and her 24-year-old brother Husam was also injured by shrapnel from an Israeli shell that struck the family's home in the Juhor Ad-Dik neighborhood in the Strip late on Thursday. A member of the Central Committee of the Front, Nosra Al-Qubalany, called on the international community to break its silence and accept responsibility for the ongoing "comprehensive and systematic war that aims to break [Palestinians'] will and steadfastness. " Shortly following Thursday evening's deadly incident, Israel's military insisted it had. . . 

Haniyeh responds to Amnesty report on Gaza assault
7/3/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – De facto Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh on Friday commented on Amnesty International's report this week that both Israel and Hamas committed war crimes during the Gaza assault last winter. At his weekly address at a local Gaza City mosque, Haniyeh said "there are important and positive issues" in the Amnesty report, which he commended for it's honesty. "It includes eight crimes committed by the [Israeli] occupation forces during the latest war on Gaza, in which internationally banned weapons were used," he noted, adding that the document "cleared the Palestinians and resistance of using residents as human shields. " The report said it found no evidence that Hamas used human shields, but that Israel routinely kept people inside occupied homes for added protection, an act it called a war crime. 

Waqf: Israeli intelligence entered Al-Aqsa disguised as tourists
7/3/2009 - Jerusalem – Ma’an – A group of Israeli intelligence forces disguised as tourists entered the Haram Ash-Sharif in Jerusalem Friday, the Al-Aqsa organization for Waqf and Heritage claimed. The Haram, or sacred compound, holds the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque, and was entered by what the Waqf foundation claimed were disguised intelligence officers taking photos of several sites in the compound. The organization said it documented the invasion of the holy site on a video camera. When the disguised intelligence unit realized they were being filmed, the organization said, their police detained Waqf journalist Mahmoud Abu Atta for four hours. Atta was investigated and his camera memory card confiscated before he was released, the foundation said. 

Gaza: Arsonists set cafe ablaze in Khan Younis
7/3/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – A coffee shop in Khan Younis was set ablaze by unknown arsonists before dawn Friday morning, causing severe structural damage. This is the second time the coffee shop has been targeted by vandals and arsonists. It is located next to the Ministry of Education building offices in the district, which were also damaged in the blaze. While motives for the fire remain unclear, locals speculate it is the continuation of a trend observed before the outbreak of the Israeli war on Gaza over the winter. Coffee shops, DVD stores and hair salons were often the target for small explosive attacks, always when empty. The attacks halted as the Strip was bombarded by Israeli warplanes. 

Israeli troops detain three, including teen, in West Bank raids
7/3/2009 - Nablus – Ma’an – Israeli troops detained at least three Palestiains from their homes in the West Bank overnight Thursday, sources confirmed. According to Israel Radio at least three “wanted” Palestinains were taken from Nablus and Hebron and transported to unknown locations for questioning. Locals reported one of the detentions, saying troops invaded the Balata Refugee Camp at 1am Friday morning, raided the home of the Kyal family and took 16-year-old Mahdy Kyal. His parents do not know where he is. [end] 

Massive turnout at Gaza funeral for teen girl killed by Israel
7/3/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – Large crowds assembled on Friday at the funeral procession for a 17-year-old girl killed by Israeli shelling in central Gaza late on Thursday night. The procession took to the streets from a local mosque and marched with the body to the girl's final burial place in a nearby cemetery. Hiam Abu A'yesh, 17, was killed and her 24-year-old brother Husam was injured by shrapnel from an Israeli shell that struck the family's home in the Juhor Ad-Dik neighborhood in the Strip, according to medical officials at Al-Aqsa Hospital. Israel's military had insisted it had nothing to do with the girl's death, according to a spokesperson quoted in Israeli news reports, adding that its soldiers acted appropriately and professionally, placing the blame on Palestinians fighters. Nevertheless, just after midnight on Friday the Israeli news agency Ynet, quoting army officials,. . . 

Israel deports five Free Gaza activists; Ireland calls for release of Nobel Peace Prize winner
7/3/2009 - Gaza - Ma’an - Five Bahraini citizens participating in the Free Gaza Movement’s voyage to Gaza were deported on Friday, following their Tuesday afternoon seizure by Israeli forces in international waters off the Gaza coast. Coordinator of the Palestinian International Campaign to Lift the Siege Amjad Ash-Shawa confirmed that one of the Bahraini nationals is a reporter for the Al-Jazeera network. All five are expected to be escorted to Ben Gurion International Airport where other Al-Jazeera journalists will be awaiting their arrival. Two Palestinian activists and organizers with the Free Gaza Movement were released Thursday, and reported being held in unsanitary warehouse quarters and were questioned by Israeli intelligence. A report from the New York Times said the Bahrainis were kept in a separate facility from other imprisoned solidarity activists like former US Congresswoman. . . 

Orthodox patriarch condemns Israeli home demolitions
7/3/2009 - Jerusalem – Ma’an – Patriarch Atallah Hanna at the Orthodox Church expressed anger toward what he called the “inhumanity” of home demolitions targeting Palestinians living in Jerusalem during a visit to a now-homeless Palestinian family there Friday. Atallah Hanna, also known as Theodosios of Sebastia, paid visits to several families whose homes were demolished over the past weeks in Israeli occupied East Jerusalem neighborhoods. Many have been forced to self-demolish small additions to their homes after Israeli municipal officials handed down ultimatums threatening exorbitant fines for structures built without permits. The permits are regularly denied to Palestinians as part of Israel’s policy of prohibiting the growth of Palestinian areas inside Israeli annexed areas. “This is part of Israel’s policy of exile” Atallah Hanna told residents of now-demolished homes, and “you can be assured the Orthodox Church condemns such practices. 

In first visit to Israel, Bahraini delegation picks up deportees
7/3/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – In the Gulf nation's apparent first state visit to Israel, Bahraini officials arrived in Tel Aviv on Friday to accompany five nationals awaiting deportation. "[T]he Ministry of Foreign Affairs in cooperation with the Ministry of Interior sent a mission to Ben Gurion Airport to receive the Bahrainis detained," according to the Bahrain News Agency. All 21 crew members of an aid ship bound for Gaza, including the five Bahraini citizens, a Nobel laureate and former US congresswoman and the ship itself, were seized and towed to the Israeli port city of Ashdod on Tuesday afternoon. Friday's official visit was arranged by Bahrain's Foreign Affairs Ministry, according to the news agency, which "contacted several organisations and international bodies along with friendly countries to secure the release of people detained in Israel. 

Israel to compensate UN for damaged buildings and facilities
7/3/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israel has offered the United Nations compensation for damage its military caused to UN facilities in the Gaza Strip last winter, an official said on Friday. "The Israelis have indicated that they will pay compensation, particularly for our buildings that have been destroyed," said Karen AbuZayd, director of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). "So we're hopeful that that will happen, and that we'll be able to have compensation for the damages that we incurred," which included a number of facilities, including a warehouse, schools and clinics, she said in Poland, according to AFP. AbuZayd was in Europe in a fundraising visit for the agency, where she added that Israeli officials at the UN in New York had of late been discussing the compensation package with aides to the world body's secretary-general, Ban Ki-Moon. 

Hamas: PA forces detained 14 of our affiliates
7/3/2009 - Salfit - Ma’an - Hamas officials said Palestinian Authority security forces detained 14 party members and affiliates across the West Bank on Thursday night. The members were detained in Jericho, Salfit, Qalqiliya, Tulkarem and Bethlehem, Hamas said. The detentions come as talks between the rival parties come to a standstill, with one final round of unity talks scheduled for 27 July in Cairo. The issue of politically motivated arrests is the sticking point for talks, party members say. [end] 

Beit Sahour man latest H1N1 victim; 51 cases across West Bank
7/3/2009 - Nablus - Ma’an - The Palestinian Ministry of Health diagnosed another case of H1N1 Friday morning, bringing the number of cases across the West Bank up to 51. The latest victim is from the Bethlehem suburb of Beit Sahour, and told health officials that he must have contracted the virus through his work with “foreigners,” though he declined to comment on the nationality of the people he works with. Dr As’ad Ar-Ramlawi, head of health care at the health ministry, said most of the cases were treated successfully by health officials, and the ministry is working on further education of the populations, particularly in Ramallah, Bethlehem and Nablus, where most of the H1N1 cases have been diagnosed. 

Three new H1N1 cases diagnosed in Ramallah
7/3/2009 - Nablus – Ma’an – The Palestinian Ministry of Health announced on Friday that three new cases of H1N1 were diagnosed in the West Bank city of Ramallah, increasing the total number of cases to 54. The three caes are of children who got the virus from others infected with it in Palestine, rather than abroad, where most cases had originated over the past month. The general director of the health care department in the ministry, As’ad Ar-Ramlawi, told Ma’an that "the three cases of children were discovered in the city of Ramallah, who were infected with the virus by socializing with infected adolescents. "[end] 

The National

Settlers slowly kill Bedouin way of life
3 Jul 2009 - Jewish expansion in the West Bank is making it increasingly difficult for shepherds to earn a basic living.

Israeli settlements: an end to nods and winks?
2 Jul 2009 - The Obama administration is not the first to demand Israel halt its expansion into the West Bank: presidents since Jimmy Carter have been objecting, to varying degrees.

EU considers pulling ambassadors from Iran
2 Jul 2009 - The EU debates a British request to pull ambassadors of all 27 EU nations from Iran in protest over the detention of Iranian staff at the British Embassy in Tehran.

Amnesty says Israel wantonly' destroyed Gaza 
2 Jul 2009 - The rights group says Israel attacks often targeted Palestinians during the offensive in the Gaza Strip earlier this year.

The great – disgruntled – chefs of Egypt
1 Jul 2009 - At the old Egyptian Chefs' Club veterans lament the lost art of cooking and remember a time when prestigious families wouldn't eat outside.

A secret meeting with Lebanon's notorious drug war lord
1 Jul 2009 - Nawah Zoitar, who has been on the run from authorities over four months after a series of deadly clashes with authorities, pleads for amnesty.

Lebanon's drug barons vs the law: a battle for survival
1 Jul 2009 - The past year Lebanon has been unusually stable, but there have been a series of killings of drug traffickers linked to the large tribes of upper Beqaa.

Aljazeera

Saddam 'feared Iran more than US'
3 Jul 2009 - FBI tapes reveal ex-Iraqi leader bluffed over "weapons of mass destruction".

'No proof' Iran seeks nuclear arms
3 Jul 2009 - IAEA's incoming head says he has not seen evidence that Tehran wants nuclear weapons.

EU angered over Iran trial threat
3 Jul 2009 - Iranian ambassadors summoned after suggestion British embassy staff may face trial.

Israel 'wantonly destroyed Gaza'
2 Jul 2009 - Amnesty International report accuses Israel and Hamas of war crimes.

Israel blamed over drone attacks
30 Jun 2009 - Rights group says missiles were fired during Gaza war without always verifying targets.

IRIN

OPT: Gaza-Egypt crossing to open three days a month 
GAZA CITY Thursday, July 02, 2009 (IRIN) - Rafah crossing on the Gaza-Egypt border opened briefly on 25, 26 and 27 June allowing Gaza patients in need of emergency care, students, and foreign visa holders to exit. 

ISRAEL-OPT: By the numbers 
TEL AVIV Tuesday, June 30, 2009 (IRIN) - A new report by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) paints a grim picture of life in the Gaza Strip: insufficient housing, damaged infrastructure, limited access to clean water and the discharge of raw sewage into the sea. 

MIDDLE EAST: Swine flu cases on the rise
DUBAI Thursday, June 25, 2009 (IRIN) - The number of cases of the A(H1N1) virus, otherwise known as swine flu, is growing in the Middle East, with many new suspected and confirmed cases in the past few days, but so far no one has died of the disease.

Inter Press Service

MIDEAST: Future of Fatah in Doubt 
RAMALLAH, Jul 2 (IPS) - The future of Palestinian unity talks is far more complex than the bitter rivalry, bloodshed and division which represent the yawning chasm separating Palestine's two main political factions, Hamas and Fatah.

MIDEAST: Nobel Laureate 'Abducted' by Israeli Navy 
RAMALLAH, Jul 1 (IPS) - Twenty-one international peace activists were seized by Israeli naval frigates in international waters Tuesday as their boat 'The Spirit of Humanity' tried to carry humanitarian aid to Gaza.

MIDEAST: Finding Fish, But Israelis Too 
GAZA CITY, Jul 1 (IPS) - "They told us 'go west or we will shoot you'," says Ashraf Sadallah. "Initially, we refused, so they began shooting very close all around our boat."

MIDEAST: When Drones Become Indiscriminate 
JERUSALEM, Jun 30 (IPS) - The concerted effort of international human rights activists to rein in violations of laws of war was given a major impetus when Human Rights Watch researchers presented a report Tuesday on the unbridled use by the Israeli military of unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCLAV), commonly...

Stop The Wall

Ni’lin sends eyewitnesses to UN to testify about Occupation assassination policy
2 Jul 2009 - The United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza assault that investigates violations of human rights and international law committed in the context of the Israeli assault on Gaza in December 08/January 2009 will hear as well accounts of the repression meted out in the West Bank during this period. Two people were killed in Ni'lin demonstrating in solidarity with Gaza, and two eyewitnesses are set to testify before representatives of the international community.

Arms trade and occupation economics fact sheets
2 Jul 2009 - Two new fact sheets have been released. The first, “The Palestinian economy – Occupation, de-development and normalisation,” gives a concise summary of Stop the Wall's economic analysis, within which we clarify how the dominant approach to investment and development in Palestine serves to strengthen the Wall, checkpoints and military closures, creating “sustainable” ghettos in the West Bank. The second, “Boycott Elbit Systems!” turns the spotlight to Elbit Systems, one of the largest Israeli security and defense firms. ll as security systems for the Wall and settlements. Elbit has major subsidiaries across the globe, and any BDS campaign against arms trade must take the company into account. [

PCHR Latest

(30 June)  PCHR will Appeal to Supreme Court against Spanish Appeals Court’s Decision..::..
PCHR

(30 June)  PCHR Organizes Press Conference for Canadian Author Naomi Klein
PCHR

PCHR Weekly Report

(25 June- 01 July  2008)
During the reporting period, 5 Palestinian civilians, including 4 children, were wounded by IOF gunfire in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

International Solidarity Movement

Cynthia McKinney remains imprisoned in Israel after Gaza-bound boat is seized
International Solidarity Movement - Fox News, 2 July 2009 - Former U. S. lawmaker and Green Party presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney and several other human rights activists remained in an Israeli prison Thursday after refusing to sign a deportation form that they claim is self-incriminating. In a press release from the Green Party, McKinney said the form states that the Spirit of Humanity, a Greek-flagged relief boat carrying 21 activists, medical supplies, cement, olive trees and children's toys en route to Gaza, was violating the Israeli blockade and trespassing the country's territorial waters. "We were in international waters on a boat delivering humanitarian aid to people in Gaza when the Israeli Navy ships surrounded us and illegally threatened us, dismantled our navigation equipment, boarded and confiscated the ship," she said in a statement, adding that they were immediately taken into custody. 

Action Alert: protests in front of Israeli embassies tomorrow
International Solidarity Movement - London, 2 July, (ECESG) – The European campaign to end the siege on Gaza (ECESG) called today for international human rights organizations and lobbying groups to organize large protests in front of Israeli embassies across Europe in solidarity with activists of Free Gaza Movement. Activists onboard of the humanitarian boat were kidnapped by Israeli naval forces while they were sailing in a peaceful mission to end the siege. The call aims at creating factual movements on the ground to release "the spirit of humanity" activists. Additionally, head of ECESG, Dr. Arafat Madi contacted EU officials and MPs to urge on moving to release the activists immediately. British Baroness, Jenny Tonge, expressed her deep anger and concerns towards the Israeli doing. She said that, "I shall take up the matter with the Foreign office. 

Oppose the state, not the people
International Solidarity Movement - Ha'aretz, 2 July 2009 - Ramallah's intellectual elite, foreigners and curious spectators gathered last Saturday at the Friends School in Ramallah to hear writer and political activist Naomi Klein lecture to a packed auditorium. Following a musical interlude by a string quintet, one of whose members is blind, Klein took the stage. She chose to speak – in Ramallah – about her Jewish roots. "There is a debate among Jews – I'm a Jew by the way," she said. The debate boils down to the question: "Never again to everyone, or never again to us? … [Some Jews] even think we get one get-away-with-genocide-free card … There is another strain in the Jewish tradition that says, ‘Never again to anyone. '"It seems that during her brief visit, which began last Thursday night, Klein has not rested for a moment. 

Free Gaza Movement’s two Palestinian ‘48 organisers now released from Israeli prison and detention
International Solidarity Movement - 2 July 2009 - Lubna Masarwa and Huwaida Arraf, both organisers of the Free Gaza Movement, have now been released from Ashdod Detention Facility, where military authorities had held them from 9. 00 p. m. on 30th June until 1. 00 p. m. on 1st July, 2009, having arrested and detained them while in Gazan territorial waters (approx. 20 nautical miles from Gaza Port) at 3. 00 p. m. on 30th June. Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney and Nobel Peace Prize Winner Mairead Maguire have given telephone interviews from their prison cells, where they await deportation. To arrange such interviews, contact Free Gaza Movement (either Greta Berlin or Caoimhe Butterly, at +357 99 081 767), who will also supply current news or information as to the whereabouts of those Free Gaza 21 who are awaiting deportation, or the current status of legal negotiations as to those deportations. 

Detained peace activist: we slept with cockroaches
International Solidarity Movement - YNet News, 2 July 2009 - An Israeli citizen who was among 21 peace activists apprehended by the IDF en route to the Gaza Strip says she was held under conditions resembling a "horror movie. " Houida Araf, who was released on Wednesday, told Ynet that she and a fellow Israeli peace activist were separated from the group and taken to the Ashdod Port. "They put us in a warehouse, where we slept on a cockroach-infested cement floor, as armed soldiers were monitoring us," she said. "They didn't say a word to us. They confiscated all our personal belongings and phones, and they didn't let us contact anyone. A day later they left us at the Ashdod central bus station without any money or belongings. " "What they did to us is unforgivable, but we're not the story here," Araf said. "The fact they threatened us with violence because we wanted to transfer medical supplies and drawing equipment for children is simply absurd. 

Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire speaks from Israeli jail cell after arrest on boat delivering humanitarian aid to Gaza
International Solidarity Movement - Democracy Now, 2 July 2009 - Irish Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire speaks to us from her jail cell in Israel. She was taken into custody along with twenty others, including former US Congress member Cynthia McKinney, when the Israeli military boarded their ship in international waters as it tried to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza. JUAN GONZALEZ: We begin today with the latest news of the ship that was seized by the Israeli military Tuesday as it tried to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza. Israeli forces boarded the ship and towed it to the Israeli port of Ashdod. The twenty-one activists on board include former Congress member and presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney and the Irish peace activist and Nobel laureate Mairead Maguire. Huwaida Arraf and Lubna Masarwa were released, while the other nineteen remain in detention. 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

Report: U.S. to block Iran sanctions at G8 summit
3 Jul 2009 - The United States is opposed to enacting a new set of financial sanctions against Iran that are due to be discussed in the G8 summit next week, diplomatic officials in New York reported Friday. ...

Biden urges Iraqi leaders to do more for national reconciliation
3 Jul 2009 - U.S. Vice President Joe Biden pressed Iraqi leaders Friday to do more to foster national reconciliation and offered American assistance in achieving that, as concerns grow that a lack of political progress is fueling violence in Iraq. ...

Bahrain officials visit Israel for first time
3 Jul 2009 - Bahraini officials visited Israel in an official capacity for the first time on Friday to collect five of their nationals Israel was deporting, a Bahraini news report and an Israeli official said. ...

UN's Richard Falk: IDF seizure of Gaza-bound ship is 'criminal'
2 Jul 2009 - A United Nations human rights investigator on Thursday called Israel's seizure of a ship carrying relief aid for the Gaza Strip "unlawful" and said its blockade of the territory constituted a "continuing crime against humanity". ...

EU summons Iran ambassadors in joint protest 
2 Jul 2009 - The European Union on Friday summoned Iranian ambassadors across the 27-nation bloc in a joint protest against the detentions of staff at the British Embassy in Tehran. ...

The Guardian

In praise of ... Ezra Nawi | Editorial
2 Jul 2009 - He is a rarity, even among that most endangered of species, the Israeli peace activist. Born in Basra to an Iraqi Jewish family, Ezra Nawi lives on the modest wages he earns as a plumber. As...

Obama's hardline stance on settlements could be a game changer for Israel
2 Jul 2009 - Israel is finding a resolve it has not recently encountered in a US administration as the White House refuses to play by the old rules, writes Chris McGreal Barack Obama chose his battleground carefully. Americans may...

Israel's courts are for all Israelis | Seth Freedman
2 Jul 2009 - Objecting to justice being dealt to a lynch mob endangers every member of Israeli society, whether Jewish, Arab or other While Israel's legal system has many flaws when it comes to dispensing justice to Palestinians either...

No change in Jerusalem, yet | Mick Dumper
1 Jul 2009 - The hints of hopeful developments in the Palestinian-Israeli situation have not yet reached the centre of the conflict Something is moving in the Middle East but it has not yet arrived in Jerusalem. A new chess...

Ha'aretz National page

WATCH: Bar Refaeli's naked photo shoot in Israel
3 Jul 2009 - Bar Refaeli, Israel's most famous model, has stripped off for a video filmed in her native country. ...

Netanyahu gets barely passing grade for first 100 days
2 Jul 2009 - Benjamin Netanyahu's second cabinet will complete its 100th day in power next week, ending what is known as its 'period of grace.' ...

Jewish heritage does not begin and end in the synagogue
2 Jul 2009 - Last week the Israel Defense Forces entered another round in its own version of the wars of the Jews. The chief of staff's bureau decided to forbid religiously observant soldiers from walking out of military gatherings that include performances by female singers. As a compromise, soldiers who abide by the religious injunction against hearing a woman's voice are allowed to avert their eyes. ... 

For some Israeli Bedouin, border smuggling is a way of life
2 Jul 2009 - Early one morning A., a resident of one of the unrecognized Bedouin villages in the south realized that his older son was not in his bed. ...

A generation of Israeli Arabs nurtured on Jewish chutzpah
2 Jul 2009 - I'm not a wretched Arab woman. How can I whine that I've been deprived?" Lucy Aharish protests. "I like my life just fine, despite all the stinking racism that exists here." Following the remark by Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch of Yisrael Beiteinu (he told an undercover detective, "You look like a real Araboosh," using a derogatory word for Arab) she gave interviews to magazines from Germany to Abu Dhabi and had an opinion slot on the current events program anchored by Ofer Shelah and Raviv Drucker on Channel 10 - which she left in a huff a little over a year ago. ... 

Relief Web

TPO: México ayuda al PMA a suplir las necesidades de alimentos en Gaza
3 Jul 2009 - Source: World Food Programme

OPT: Protection of civilians weekly report, 24 - 30 Jun 2009 
3 Jul 2009 - Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

OPT: IDF response to Amnesty report
3 Jul 2009 - Source: Government of Israel

Palestinian girl killed in Gaza shelling-hospital 
2 Jul 2009 - Source: Reuters - AlertNet

OPT: Activists vow to keep up Gaza trips despite Israel
2 Jul 2009 - Source: Reuters - AlertNet

OPT/Gaza: UN Expert denounces seizure of aid boat by Israeli forces
2 Jul 2009 - Source: UN Human Rights Council

Israel/Gaza: Operation 'Cast Lead': 22 days of death and destruction
2 Jul 2009 - Source: Amnesty

Pandemic (H1N1) 2009: Eastern Mediterranean Region - WHO Information Bulletin 19
2 Jul 2009 - Source: World Health Organization

YNet News

Israel US ambassador warns of Iranian bomb 
3 Jul 2009 - In first public appearance since being appointed to post, Dr. Michael Oren says Iran moving fast towards having nuclear bomb that 'could wipe Israel off map in seconds,' Israel concerned about timing of Obama's engagement with Iranian regime 

Gaza residents report severe shortage of basic goods
3 Jul 2009 - While Israel mulls easing siege on Gaza, locals continue to suffer from continued shortage of basic food products, forced to pay high prices for smuggled, low-quality goods from Egypt 

Barak, Mitchell to meet again Monday 
3 Jul 2009 - Defense minister to travel to London next week for another meeting with US envoy to Mideast. Barak to convey steps Israel is willing to take to advance dialogue with Palestinians

Israel to compensate UN for Gaza property damage
3 Jul 2009 - UNRWA commissioner-general says Israel agreed to pay compensations for UN buildings destroyed during IDF's Operation Cast Lead in Gaza. UN chief Ban Ki-moon seeking payment for damages estimated at $11 million 

Jerusalem prepares for another violent Shabbat
3 Jul 2009 - Haredi Community leaders promise stormy rallies against decision to keep Karta parking lot open on Saturdays. Police, Border Guard to deploy in great numbers across haredi neighborhoods, vow zero tolerance in response to violence 

EU: Embassy staff trials in Iran 'not acceptable'
3 Jul 2009 - European Union 27-nation bloc considering British request to recall ambassadors from Tehran to protest detentions of local embassy staff

Fight in water park results in 50-person pileup
3 Jul 2009 - Two people injured, six arrested when fight breaks out between two groups of park-goers, one from east Jerusalem, other from Rahat. Eyewitnesses: Chairs and all kinds of other objects flew through the air

B'tselem

High Court orders harsher indictment in Ni'lin shooting
30 Jun 2009 - In July '08, a soldier shot a handcuffed detainee in the presence of his commander, yet the two were charged only with “unbecoming conduct”. Today, the Israeli High Court of Justice ruled in favor of changing the indictments to reflect the gravity of the 

New report: Foul Play
27 Jun 2009 - In its new report B'Tselem warns about the danger inherent in neglecting wastewater treatment in the West Bank. The report criticizes both Israel and the Palestinian Authority for their failures, which have harmed the health and future water supply of all

Daily Star

Families wait at Iran's Evin prison for release of loved ones 
3 Jul 2009 - Outside the gates of Terhan's notorious Evin prison, hundreds wait impatiently - some with blankets spread out in the parking lot on the street below, making time for dinner. The improvised picnic area has become a second home to the families of those arrested in the massive roundups that accompanied Iran's post-election unrest.

President Assad praises Obama, invites him to visit Syria 
3 Jul 2009 - Syria's leader praised President Barack Obama's outreach for dialogue and invited him to visit Damascus in remarks released Friday just days after the United States said it plans to return its ambassador to Syria after a four year absence. Syrian President Bashar Assad comments came in a telegram.

Europe lashes out at Iran plan to try UK Embassy staff 
3 Jul 2009 - A powerful Iranian cleric said Friday British Embassy local staff arrested for allegedly stoking unrest after the June election will be put on trial, a move that prompted coordinated protests from European governments. Britain's Foreign Secretary David Miliband said he was "urgently seeking clarification" about the announcement as governments.

Palestinians detain rivals in respective territories to strengthen grip 
3 Jul 2009 - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' security forces have significantly widened a crackdown on Hamas in the West Bank in the past month. They have doubled the number of detainees and are increasingly targeting the wives of activists, school teachers and others on the fringes of the Islamic militant group, Hamas officials say.

Iran shows tensions between ultras, reformers 
3 Jul 2009 - The political unrest in Iran over President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's re-election marks a key point in the ideological struggle between ultra-conservatives and reformers, according to analysts. Thirty years after the creation of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the two factions are finding co-habitation increasingly difficult.

Israeli sub sails to Suez, signals reach to Iran 
3 Jul 2009 - An Israeli submarine sailed the Suez Canal to the Red Sea as part of a naval drill last month, defense sources said on Friday, describing the unusual manoeuvre as a show of strategic reach in the face of Iran. Israel long kept its three Dolphin-class submarines, which are widely assumed to carry nuclear missiles.

Bahrain officials travel to Israel to recover activists 
3 Jul 2009 - An official Bahrain delegation travelled to Israel on an unprecedented trip to recover a group of nationals held by the Jewish state, the state news agency reported on Friday. According to BNA, the Bahrainis were in a group of pro-Palestinian activists on a ship seized by the Israeli navy Tuesday as it headed for the Gaza Strip in defiance of Israel's blockade.

Israeli Defense Ministry calls for easing Gaza blockade 
3 Jul 2009 - Israel's Defense Ministry has recommended a partial lifting of the embargo on the Gaza Strip as a goodwill gesture toward the Palestinians to spur talks to free a long-held captive soldier, an Israeli news site reported Friday. Israel has been linking the opening of Gaza's borders to the release of SergeantGilad Schalit, an Israeli soldier held by Hamas for three years.

Palestinian Information Center

Lieberman expresses anew his rejection of a freeze on settlements
3 Jul 2009 - Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman renewed his rejection of international demands to freeze settlement expansion in the West bank..

Human rights group urges Abbas to release 1012 political detainees in W. Bank
3 Jul 2009 - The Arab Organization for human rights in the UK said on Friday it was greatly disturbed for the sharp deterioration in human rights in the West Bank..

Qaddomi: Sincere people in Fatah supported Hamas's military action in Gaza
3 Jul 2009 - Farook Al-Qaddomi said that Hamas's military action two years ago against the mutiny trend in Fatah was a victory against the corrupt PA security apparatuses..

Zahalka: Zionists must realise that we are the indigenous population
3 Jul 2009 - Arab member of the Knesset, Jamal Zahlaka said that the statements made by the Israeli minister of housing mean that the Israeli government wants to force us into confrontation.

IOF shelling kills Palestinian teenager
3 Jul 2009 - Heyam Ayyash, 17, was killed on Thursday and four others were wounded by an Israeli tank shell that fell at Juhar al-Deek in the central Gaza Strip.

IOF troops fire at the legs of Palestinian girl before kidnapping her
3 Jul 2009 - A Palestinian girl was wounded in the legs Friday morning when IOF troops opened fire at the girl, according to local sources.

Occupation police raid al-Aqsa Mosque and kidnap three Palestinians
3 Jul 2009 - Israel occupation police raided the Aqsa Mosque on Thursday evening and kidnapped three Palestinians including a Journalist, according to local sources.

Masters of hypocrisy
3 Jul 2009 - I have no doubt whatsoever that Shimon Peres, the President of the criminal state of Israel , would be the main winner in any international championship for the world’s worst liar and hypocrite.

Naim discusses with Red Cross delegation ways of developing health sector
3 Jul 2009 - Dr. Bassem Naim, the health minister, met with a delegation from the international committee of the Red Cross and discussed with them the health situation in Gaza and ways of developing this sector.

IOF troops block firefighters from extinguishing fire in Palestinian land
3 Jul 2009 - IOF on Tuesday night blocked Palestinian firefighters from reaching cultivated lands of Anin village to extinguish a fire that started at a late night hour and continued till Wednesday morning.

Los Angeles Times

Iran's Ahmadinejad faces diplomatic isolation 
3 Jul 2009 - After a disputed election and crackdown on protesters, the Iranian president maybe be feted in some anti-U.S. corners, but he faces slights and snubs from other nations. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad can in one instant appear the diplomatic equivalent of damaged goods and in the next a confident leader whose bellicose speeches leave the West wondering how to deal with him and his perplexing nation now that he's won a much-disputed reelection. 

Review: 'Youssou N'Dour: I Bring What I Love' 
3 Jul 2009 - This documentary is an exemplary look at the African superstar's life and the fallout over his album 'Egypt.' Art that spans global divides often relies either on the loveliness of gauzy universals or the shock of gritty minutiae. Chronicling a tumultuous period in the career of an urbane internationalist, the African music superstar Youssou N'Dour, filmmaker Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi tries to split the difference between these approaches in her documentary "Youssou N'Dour: I Bring What I Love." 

World Briefing 
3 Jul 2009 - France: Comoros plane crash survivor, 14, is back home / Jordan: King Abdullah names eldest son crown prince / Bosnia-Herzegovina: Serb sentenced 14 years in 1992 massacre FRANCE 

New York Times

Iran Cleric Says British Embassy Staff to Stand Trial
3 Jul 2009 - Iran's plan to put some British embassy staff members on trial could provoke a tightening of European sanctions. 

Top Reformers Admitted Plot, Iran Declares
3 Jul 2009 - The Iranian government has made it a practice to publicize confessions from political prisoners, often subject to sleep deprivation, solitary confinement and torture, rights groups say. 

Israel and U.S. to Hold Second Meeting
3 Jul 2009 - The Israeli defense minister and the Obama administration’s Middle East envoy will confer for the second time in a week to pursue regional peace efforts, a senior Israeli official said. 

Misc

Merkel urges immediate halt to WB settlements 
Press TV - 2 Jul 2009, PressTV - German Chancellor Angela Merkel says the ongoing construction of Israeli settlements in the West Bank hampers efforts for a two-state solution with Palestinians. "I think it is now important to get commitments from all sides and that includes the issue of settlement building. I am convinced that there must be a stop to this. Otherwise we will not come to the two-state solution that is urgently needed," Merkel said in an address to the Bundestag lower house of parliament. Merkel's remarks come as Arab League head Amr Moussa had earlier called for an immediate halt to the construction of Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank. Amr Moussa had stated that it would be impossible to create an independent Palestinian state if Israel continued its settlement constructions. He also underscored that the West Bank population would rapidly change as a direct result of Israel's persistence in expanding Jewish settlements. 

Drug addiction on the rise in besieged Gaza 
Electronic Intifada - Electronic Intifada, 1 July 2009 - GAZA CITY, occupied Gaza Strip (IPS) - They are little white, yellow or green pills and are available almost anywhere. At the pharmacies or in the market, they are accessible, addictive and cheap. " I take them because it makes me forget, at least for a little while, that I'm in Gaza," says Abu Alaa, a resident of the strip and father of four. "There is no alternative. " Looking to escape years of war, searing poverty and an unrelenting economic blockade, medical officials in the Gaza Strip say residents have developed a serious addiction to the narcotic painkiller Tramadol. The embattled enclave's borders have been hermetically sealed by both Israel and Egypt for two years, and an Israeli military assault last winter killed some 1,500 Gazans. Gaza has the world's highest unemployment rate -- at 45 percent, according to the United Nations -- and 75 percent 

Articles

A Fearless Israeli Journalist 
Franklin Lamb, Beirut, CounterPunch 7/2/2009
      Remembering Amnon Kapeliouk
     Amnon Kapeliouk, an Israeli Jew, was an extraordinary journalist. Sadly, he died on June 26 at the age of 78 and was buried near his birthplace in West Jerusalem. For more than 40 years Kapeliouk reported on Palestinian and Arab affairs for half a dozen newspapers and was a pro from the old school for whom reporting meant getting to the scene fast and carefully scribing with pencil and notepad.
     I knew Kapeliouk mainly through his writings and a dozen or so encounters over the years following our first improbable encounter during the infamous Beirut summer of 1982. Those months of US-armed Israeli carnage, which continue to shape the region, left him with an indelible scar. He once told me: “I can’t forget. It doesn’t fade. I don’t think it ever will.” I understood what he meant.
     In his last communication he said he would try to attend the 27th Anniversary Memorial to the victims of the Sabra-Shatila Massacre, set for this coming September 16-18 at Beirut’s Shatila Camp.
     I thought about Amnon Kapeliouk a couple of weeks ago while giving one of my twice weekly swimming lessons to a gaggle of ‘Hezkids’ (children from Dahiyeh) and ‘Palkids’ (Palestinian children from nearby Shatila, Mar Elias, and Burj Barajeneh Refugee Camps) because it was near the same spot on Beirut’s Ramlet al Baida beach where Kapeliouk and I first met.
     It was an unusual first encounter. I had left my room at the Beau Rivage Hotel where Kapeliouk, (who I had never heard of) was also staying, to go for an early morning swim at the nearby beach. The PLO used to put up guests (their media office got a cut rate of $10 per night) at the Beau Rivage because it was near their Fakhani offices and within their security zone. Amnon had decided to take a walk on the beach and, as he later told me, was just a couple of hundred meters behind me ‘sur la plage’ when he witnessed a Class A Felony.

What’s discussed openly in Israel is toxic in Toronto 
Haroon Siddiqui, Toronto Star 6/28/2009
      "I feel like I am in exile in my own city and my own community," says Sharryn Aiken the morning after a conference she helped organize and for which she was vilified by her Jewish community.
     A Torontonian, she teaches law at Queen’s University in Kingston. It took her and three academics at Osgoode Hall Law School 18 months to mount the three-day event, Israel/Palestine: Mapping Models of Statehood and Paths to Peace.
     It was to explore, among other things, the notion of one state in which Jews and Arabs would live as equal citizens, sans their religious identities. The idea, not new, is anathema to those who see it as spelling the end of Israel as a Jewish state.
     That it was to be debated at York University made it worse, given the history of toxic relations between pro- and anti-Israeli groups on the campus, especially during the annual Israel Apartheid Week.
     Charges were hurled that the conference would be anti-Semitic.
     The Stephen Harper government ordered the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SHHRC) to rethink its modest $19,750 federal subsidy.
     Pressure was put on York University to pull the plug. But it refused.
     SHHRC stood by its decision.
     About 200 people from Canada, the U.S., Israel and Europe came. A quarter were Jewish. The dialogue was civil, Aiken reported from the meeting, which was closed to the media.
     She said that many delegates, "first and foremost, the Israelis," were outraged at the attempts to ban the meeting. Among them: Meron Benvenisti, deputy mayor of Jerusalem under Teddy Kollek (1971-78), now a columnist for Haaretz, the liberal Israeli paper.


Electronic Intifada
Gaza's sea a "no-go zone" for fishermen
2 Jul 2009 - GAZA CITY, occupied Gaza Strip (IPS) - "They told us 'go west or we will shoot you,'" says Ashraf Sadallah. "Initially, we refused, so they began shooting very close all around our boat." At 6am on 16 June, Sadallah and his brother Abdel Hadi Sadallah, in their early twenties, went roughly 400 meters out to sea off the coast of Sudaniya in Gaza's northwest. "We wanted to bring in nets we had left out the night before," says Sadallah. 

Why Obama should fire General Dayton
2 Jul 2009 - The US-sponsored "security coordination" program headed by Lt. Gen. Keith Dayton, which was launched by the Bush Administration in 2005 to allegedly help the Palestinians reform their security services, has done more harm than good. US President Barack Obama would do well to fire Dayton and put an end to US intrusion into internal Palestinian affairs. Mohammed J. Herzallah comments for The Electronic Intifada. 

Gaza aid boat crew detained, threatened with deportation
2 Jul 2009 - RAMALLAH, occupied West Bank (IPS) - Twenty-one international peace activists were seized by Israeli naval frigates in international waters Tuesday as their boat The Spirit of Humanity tried to carry humanitarian aid to Gaza. The activists, including former US Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney and Irish Nobel Peace laureate Mairead Maguire, and nationals from 11 other countries were part of the Free Gaza Movement (FGM) efforts to break Israel's naval and border blockade of Gaza. 

Newsroom politics dramatized in "Oh Well Never Mind Bye"
2 Jul 2009 - The play Oh Well Never Mind Bye is set in the busy newsroom of an unnamed London-based newspaper -- probably a right-wing tabloid -- in the days before and after London police shot dead a Brazilian immigrant on an underground train. But in a genuinely brave piece of playwriting, Steven Lally has drawn on wider themes, including the "churnalism" that has turned much of the journalistic profession into a regurgitation of celebrity press releases, the way in which Palestine and related issues are reported in the mainstream media and the influence of the Zionist lobby on news coverage. Sarah Irving reviews for The Electronic Intifada. 

In Gaza
Israeli naval abductions and shooting at Palestinian fishermen: it’s routine
1 Jul 2009 - *Palestinian fishing boats damaged by Israeli firing attacks. [photo: Emad Badwan ] GAZA CITY, Jul 1 (IPS) – “They told us ‘go west or we will shoot you’,” says Ashraf Sadallah. “Initially, we refused, so they began shooting very close all around our boat.” At 6am on Jun. 16, Sadallah and his brother Abdel Hadi Sadallah, in their early twenties, went roughly 400 metres out to sea off the coast of Sudaniya in Gaza’s northwest. “We wanted to bring in nets we had left out the night before,” says Sadallah. Their small fishing boat, known as a hassaka, was in Palestinian fishing waters when three Israeli navy boats approached the brothers....

Palestine Chronicle
Ethnic Cleansing as a State Policy
3 Jul 2009 - By Nicola Nasser - The West Bank In his speech at Bar Ilan University on June 14, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu proposed a new Israeli 'peace plan,' with preconditions that a Palestinian negotiator must first meet before he would “promptly” engage in “unconditional” bilateral talks to meet an international consensus demanding the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel. His preconditions added to the fourteen conditions the former Israeli government of comatose Ariel Sharon attached to Israel’s adoption in grudge of the 2003 Road Map blueprint for peace with the Palestinian side, on the basis of which the U.S. administration of President Barak Obama and his presidential envoy George Mitchell are now urging an early resumption of “immediate” Israeli – Palestinian peace talks, which Mitchell on June 26 hoped “very much to conclude this phase of the discussions and to be able to move into meaningful and productive negotiations in the near future." Sharon’s conditional approval of the Road Map has condemned the blueprint as a non-starter, led to the Israeli military reoccupation of the Palestinian autonomous areas, aborted former U.S. President George W. Bush’s promise to Palestinians to have their own state twice in 2005 and 2008, and doomed the twenty – year peace process since the Madrid conference in 1991 to its current impasse that Obama and Mitchell are trying to break through. It is a forgone conclusion that Netanyahu’s preconditions -- Palestinian recognition of Israel as a “Jewish state,” “demilitarization” of the prospective Palestinian less-than-a-sovereign state...

Israel Insults Britain (Again)
3 Jul 2009 - By Stuart Littlewood – London On Tuesday the Israeli navy, in a blatant act of piracy on the high seas, assaulted the vessel 'Spirit of Humanity' and abducted six British nationals who were taking part in a voyage of mercy. The tiny unarmed ship was bringing a humanitarian cargo of medicines, children's toys and reconstruction materials to the devastated people of Gaza. Israel's murderous 22-day offensive last December/January left more than 50,000 homes, 800 industrial properties, 200 schools, 39 mosques and two churches damaged or destroyed. The International Committee of the Red Cross says the 1.5 million Palestinians living in Gaza are "trapped in despair", unable to rebuild their lives because Israel, having wantonly wrecked their civil society and infrastructure, is blocking efforts to bring in the necessary repair materials. Those on board the 'Spirit of Humanity' were acting in accord with donors' pledges of $4.5 billion for reconstruction and rehabilitation and US President Obama's request to Israel to let those supplies pass. The mercy ship sailed from Larnaca, Cyprus, with a crew of 21 human rights activists, humanitarian workers and journalists from 11 different countries, including Nobel laureate Mairead Maguire and former US Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney. In the early hours of Tuesday morning Israeli warships surrounded it and threatened to open fire if the crew didn’t turn back. When they refused to be intimidated, the Israelis jammed their instrumentation and blocked their GPS, radar, and navigation systems, putting all lives at risk. The ship had been searched and given...

Remembering Fearless Israeli Journalist Kapeliouk
3 Jul 2009 - By Franklin Lamb - Beirut Amnon Kapeliouk, an Israeli Jew, was an extraordinary journalist. Sadly, he died on June 26 at the age of 78 and was buried near his birthplace in West Jerusalem. For more than 40 years Kapeliouk reported on Palestinian and Arab affairs for half a dozen newspapers and was a pro from the old school for whom reporting meant getting to the scene fast and carefully scribing with pencil and notepad. I knew Kapeliouk mainly through his writings and a dozen or so encounters over the years following our first improbable encounter during the infamous Beirut summer of 1982. Those months of US-armed Israeli carnage, which continue to shape the region, left him with an indelible scar. He once told me: “I can’t forget. It doesn’t fade. I don’t think it ever will.” I understood what he meant. In his last communication he said he would try to attend the 27th Anniversary Memorial to the victims of the Sabra-Shatila Massacre, set for this coming September 16-18 at Beirut’s Shatila Camp. I thought about Amnon Kapeliouk a couple of weeks ago while giving one of my twice weekly swimming lessons to a gaggle of ‘Hezkids’ (children from Dahiyeh) and ‘Palkids’ (Palestinian children from nearby Shatila, Mar Elias, and Burj Barajeneh Refugee Camps) because it was near the same spot on Beirut’s Ramlet al Baida beach where Kapeliouk and I first met. It was an unusual first encounter. I had left my room at the Beau Rivage Hotel...

President Obama: Why Are We Supporting Israel's War Crimes?
3 Jul 2009 - By Mohamed Khodr "Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves; and, under a just God, can not long retain it." -- Abraham Lincoln “Right and wrong are the same in Palestine as anywhere else. What is peculiar about the Palestine conflict is that the world has listened to the party that has committed the offence and has turned a deaf ear to the victims." -- Arnold Toynbee Dear President Obama: Peace Be With You, your family, our nation, and all of humanity as we prepare to celebrate Our Independence Day, a day illegally denied to so much of humanity, but none more so unjust and cruel than our illegally and immorally supported Israeli occupation of millions of Palestinians in East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the besieged concentration camp we call Gaza. The world is quite cognizant of the power and influence Israel and its powerful lobbies and Congressional allies hold on our foreign policy toward the Mideast and the Muslim world. Yet, in your destiny to become our President you have the innate intelligence, ability, charisma, and oratory skills to become the agent of change, the one to dare to accomplish the divine duty of justice for all, at home and abroad. No greater need for your audacity to challenge injustice is needed than to end what the world knows to be the cruelest of injustice upon a hapless population who lost their nation by force and ethnic cleansing, not even sparing their churches and...

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