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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
11 July , 2009

News

Ha'aretz Defense page

UN investigator: Gaza war report will be balanced
11 Jul 2009 - Richard Goldstone tells Channel 1 that report will also deal with 2006 abduction of Gilad Shalit. 

Top doctor slams group's first aid course for West Bank protestors
11 Jul 2009 - Dr. Yoram Blachar: Physicians for Human Rights is a 'radical political group disguised as a medical organization.' 

Hamas nabs two Islamic Jihad men preparing to fire mortars at Israel
11 Jul 2009 - Since Cast Lead, Hamas has arrested several militants trying to launch rockets from Gaza at Israel. 

Exposed: The bitter row over Barak's pick for deputy IDF chief
10 Jul 2009 - Benny Gantz only chosen for post after clash between Barak, Ashkenazi drew fire from media and army. 

Benny Gantz named deputy IDF chief amid Ashkenazi-Barak row
10 Jul 2009 - Gantz has been serving as the IDF attaché in Washington for the last two years. 

3 years on, Israel still divided over Second Lebanon War
10 Jul 2009 - Barak: The sacrifice of the soldiers made up for the mistakes of the ranks above them. 

Barak, Ashkenazi discuss next deputy IDF chief of staff
10 Jul 2009 - Inability of defense minister, IDF chief to agree on Dan Harel's replacement could result in appointment of Benny Gantz. 

Egypt arrests Palestinian-led cell over Suez terror plot
9 Jul 2009 - Egypt: 25 detained on suspicion of plotting attacks on oil pipelines, ships crossing Suez Canal. 

Ma'an News

B’Tselem: Natural growth 'unnatural'
7/11/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma’an - The growth rate in settlements is 35% higher than the rate of population growth of Jews in Israel, the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem reiterated Saturday. “Last year,” a statement from the group said, "the population of Israel increased at a rate of 1. 8%. Among the Jewish population the growth rate is 1. 6%. In that same year, the settlements increased by 5. 6%. Of that figure, a full 40% is directly attributable to immigration, from Israel and abroad. " The statement was released amid growing speculation around whether the United States will give Israel the go-ahead to continue building 2,500 homes in settlements across the West Bank and East Jerusalem as part of a “natural growth” plan. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had promised that he would not stifle the settlement communities by denying them at least space to accommodate growing families. 

Israeli forces attack farmer, prevent harvest in Beit Ummar
7/11/2009 - Hebron - Ma’an - Farmers from the towns of Beit Ummar and Khirbat Safa north of Hebron were attacked and prevented from reaching their lands by Israeli forces Saturday morning. Soldiers barred the groups from accessing agricultural areas saying they had been classified “closed military zones. ” One elderly farmer, Hammad Jaber Sleibi, was assaulted as he tried to gain access to his grape vines. Muhammad Awad, the media spokesman for the Palestinian Solidarity Project, said he was trying to organize with the Beit Ommar Municipality and the Israeli District Coordination Office (DCO) to allow the farmers access to their land without the assistance of foreigners. In the past, Israeli and international volunteers travelled to the village to escort farmers to land abutting settlements to prevent attacks from settlers and soldiers. 

Four injured in Gaza tunnel collapse
7/11/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – Four workers were injured when one of the Gaza smuggling tunnels in the As-Salam neighborhood of Rafah collapsed on Saturday. Palestinian medical sources at Abu Yousef An-Najjar Hospital said that "one of the four who were injured is [still] in the hospital, while the others were discharged for their light injuries. " The injuries were the first since late June, when one Gazan was killed and four others went missing after a collapse in the same Rafah-area neighborhood. The tunnel industry is notoriously dangerous, and dozens of workers are killed each year in workplace accidents. Above the regular collapse of the sandy tunnels, Israeli and Egyptian border police routinely throw explosives into the access points for the tunnels, or flood the passages with water or fuel. 

Jenin resident arrested after soldiers force wife to strip
7/11/2009 - Jenin – Ma’an – It was supposed to be a pleasant stroll home for a middle-aged married couple returning from the American-Arab University's graduation on Friday. Accompanied by his father-in-law, Ramzy Qabaha, 31, from the village of Barta’ Ash-Sharqieyah near the West Bank city of Jenin, had just proudly watched his wife walk the stage at the graduation ceremony. While they were on their way home, an Israeli army unit operating in the area stopped the small group at the village's crossing and one of the soldiers ordered Qabaha's wife to remove her shirt as part of a physical search, according to two village council members. Ghassan Qabaha, head of the village council, told Ma'an that the husband refused the soldier's demand and a clash erupted between Qabaha and six other Israeli soldiers, who assaulted the Palestinian before moving him to a local jail. 

Rabbis announce communal fast for Gaza
7/11/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - A group of rabbis and Jews has committed to undertaking a monthly daytime fast in support of Palestinians in Gaza, their website said. In Jewish tradition a communal fast is held in times of crisis both as an expression of mourning and a call to repentance. "The Torah teaches, Do not stand idly by when your neighbor’s blood is being spilled (Leviticus 19:16). As Jews and people of conscience, we can no longer stand idly by Israel’s collective punishment of the Palestinian people in Gaza," the group said. In this spirit Ta’anit Tzedek, Hebrew for Jewish Fast for Gaza, "is a collective act of conscience initiated by an ad hoc group of rabbis, Jews, people of faith, and all concerned with the ongoing crisis in Gaza," they added. The rabbis also called for lifting the blockade on Gaza, which they said prevents the entry of civilian goods and services, as well as for increasing aid to the Strip's people. 

Hamas: PA arresting Islamic Jihad fighters in West Bank
7/11/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – The Palestinian Authority has been arresting affiliates of Islamic Jihad and other factions in the West Bank on allegations they were "planning a coup," Hamas said on Saturday. In a statement, the movement added that "PA security forces arrested more than 100 Jihad affiliates, confiscating their money, banning their activities and chasing fighters," Hamas added. The statement concluded by claiming that PA forces were arresting other armed wings, as well, including those of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Hizb At-Tahrir party all under the allegations that the groups are planning "coups. " Meanwhile, Islamic Jihad accused Hamas-affiliated forces in Gaza of seizing two of its militants who were preparing to launch projectiles at Israel, according to the German news agency DPA. 

Israeli solidarity activists detained south of Hebron
7/11/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – Israeli forces arrested three left-wing Israeli activists near the Suseya settlement south of Hebron Saturday, though the group claimed they were in the area for a picnic. When they were approached by Israeli troops the activists insisted they were not in the area to work against the continued building of settlement outposts alongside Palestinians, but were simply in the area for a weekend picnic. The soldiers insisted they were involved with a group of 40 other “leftists” preparing to demonstrate in the area against settlements. When the three refused to leave the settlement area soldiers arrested them. [end] 

Activists to erect tents across globe in solidarity with Silwan
7/11/2009 - Jerusalem – Ma’an – Solidarity activists will erect sit-in tents around the globe on Monday in solidarity with families in the East Jerusalem Silwan neighborhood, whose houses have been demolished or ordered to be demolished by Israeli authorities. The demonstrations, apparently organized by a group calling itself the Community of Sheikh Jarrah Residents, allude to a tent erected in the Sheikh Jarrah area of East Jerusalem that gained notoriety after it was repeatedly dismantled by Israeli police. The tent was erected to house a family whose home had been recently demolished, but instead became a symbol of the Palestinian struggle against home demolitions. Similar tents will be erected in several countries and capitals near Israeli embassies and consulates in Glasgow, London, Chicago, New York, Ireland, San Francisco, Czech Republic, Egypt, Sweden, Denmark, Spain and Holland next Monday, the group said. 

UN begins clearing rubble caused by Gaza assault
7/11/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and its partners on Friday began clearing around 420,000 tons of rubble caused by the recent Gaza conflict. In a statement, the UN reiterated the need for Israel to ease its blockade so building materials and other vital supplies can enter the area. In addition to causing loss of life and injuries, the three weeks of fighting that took place between 27 December and 18 January damaged or destroyed an estimated 15,000 buildings, according to UNDP. "The removal of rubble is an important start in helping Gazans get over the recent destruction," said Jens Toyberg-Frandzen, UNDP representative in the occupied Palestinian territory. "This project will help provide much needed work and improve the environment before rebuilding can start. 

Medics identify 1,505th victim of Gaza assault
7/11/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – The corpse of a Palestinian was found on Saturday under the rubble of a house destroyed during the latest Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip last winter. Palestinian medics identified the man as Abdallah Na'im, who was in his 20s. Mu’wieyah Hasaneen, head of Emergency and Ambulance Services at the Health Ministry in Gaza, told Ma'an that "the decomposed body was found under the rubble of a destroyed house near the Wa'ed building," which itself stood near the Islamic University campus in Gaza City, but was destroyed by Israeli aircraft. He added that "the corpse was moved to the Dar Ash-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City," noting that "the number of those who were killed during the Israeli war on Gaza amounts to 1,505," following the most recent discovery. Meanwhile, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and its partners on Friday began clearing around. . . 

Lebanon security finds two unexploded rockets in south
7/11/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma’an - Lebanon security sources found two unexploded Katyusha rockets in the south of the country Saturday morning. The rockets, which appeared to have been launched but did not detonate, were found on the main road between the southern-district towns of Ad-Dwer and Aba in the An-Nabtya district. [end] 

French FM calls on Israel to stop settlement expansion
7/11/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - France's foreign minister on Friday called on Israel to stop settlement expansion and resume peace talks, the AFP reported on Saturday. It was not the first time French officials have demanded that Israel stop its illegal building in occupied territory, but Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner reiterated France's stand on Friday following a meeting with Lebanese President Michel Sleiman. "In the Middle East, things seem to be advancing. But the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not moving forward -- on the contrary," he said during the visit, in which he also met with a Hizbullah legislator as part of a recent French and British initiative of engagement with the group that the US and Israel consider a terrorist organization. Kouchner added that France is concerned about the situation in the Holy Land, but is "very hopeful that this will move forward. . . 

Hamas: Egypt delegation working at our request
7/11/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma’an - It was Hamas who mobilized the Egyptian delegation now meeting with factions in Ramallah, Hamas leader Dr Ismail Radwan said Saturday. “If the delegation does not succeed in resolving the outstanding issues with Fatah, in particular that of the detainees, Hamas will refuse to attend the next round of dialogue,” Radwan said. The Egyptian delegation met with Hamas leaders in Damascus last week, and has been holding long meetings with faction leaders in Ramallah, yesterday with two leftist factions the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Palestinian People’s Party. Radwan praised the delegation, saying they have an understanding of the needs of all factions and are helping forward the desire of all parties to realize unity. He outlined the issues Hamas hopes the delegation will be able to resolve as follows:• Hamas would like. . . 

Hamas: PA forces detained seven members
7/11/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma’an - Palestinian Authority forces detained seven Hamas affiliates from across the West Bank Friday evening, party officials said. According to the statement, those detained were from the Bethlehem, Jenin and Jericho districts. [end] 

PPSF third faction to slam Hamas plans for two-party higher committee
7/11/2009 - Ramallah – Ma’an - The Palestinian Popular Struggle Front was the third delegation to reject the formation of a Fatah-Hamas higher committee charged with rebuilding Gaza and preparing for elections in 2010. The PPSF, in a meeting with an Egyptian mediation delegation in Ramallah this week, told delegation leader Egyptian Minister of Intelligence Omar Suleiman and his Assistant Director of Intelligence Mohamed Ibrahim that the proposed committee would only serve to deepen division. “We need a restoration of political and geographical unity for the Palestinian people to be able to meet the challenges facing the national project, especially in light of political changes at the regional and international levels,” member of the PPSF political bureau Abu Ghosh said following the meeting. Earlier Friday the Egyptian delegation met with representatives from leftist parties the. . . 

PA releases five Hamas affiliates from Qalqiliya
7/11/2009 - Qalqiliya - Ma’an - Palestinian Authority security forces released five Hamas detainees in Qalqiliya on Saturday, PA sources told Ma'an. They added that detainees had been held by its military intelligence branch. Mazen Khadreg, Shaker Awenat, Wasfi Dahoued, Mohamed Al-Basha and Raf’at As-Seda, were identified as the former Qalqiliya detainees. The northern West Bank city was the site of two early June standoffs that left nine Palestinians dead in renewed clashes between Hamas and the PA, which is largely affiliated to Fatah. The June violence was the worst in the two years since summer 2007 clashes left Palestine's government fractured, with Hamas-affiliated forces seizing the Gaza Strip and the Fatah-affiliated PA still in control of the West Bank. 

PA arrests suspects accused of firing on police official
7/11/2009 - Ramallah – Ma’an – Palestinian Authority security forces on Saturday arrested a man for opening fire on Munir At-Telbani, head of the police department in Ramallah, in March. The incident occurred during an operation at the Al-Am'ari refuge camp on 27 March of this year, according to the police. The suspect in the shooting incident is a 26-year-old Palestinian from the same camp, identified as MJ, and was "wanted" for several other offenses, Ma'an has learned from informed sources. [end] 

Iraq beats Palestine in first match since US invasion
7/11/2009 - Arbil - Ma'an - Iraq beat Palestine 3-0 during a friendly football match at the Al-Hariri Franco field in the northern Iraqi town of Arbil to a 40,000-thick crowd Friday night. It was the first match between the two teams since the US invasion of the country in 2003. The teams will face off again Monday at the People's Field in Baghdad. Strong performances from Iraqi football stars Younis Mahmoud, Howar Mulla Mohamed, Imad Mohamed, and goalkeeper Mohamed Kased lead the team to victory. Iraq went into halftime with a 1-0 lead. The small margin was due to stellar goaltending by Palestine's Mohamed Shber. Shber made several impressive saves in the second half, but Iraq's offensive prowess proved too much to handle. 

Northern Israel feels small quake
7/11/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma’an - An earthquake measuring 3. 2 on the Richter scale hit northern Israel and the Golan Heights Friday night. The Geophysical Institute of Israel said that the quake’s epicenter was in southern Lebanon, west of Al-Mytala. [end] 

The National

Israeli tourists desert Sinai 
11 Jul 2009 - Wary of terror attacks, Israelis are avoiding the Peninsula, leaving Bedouin business owners wondering about their livelihoods.

Elite unit mooted for West Bank security
10 Jul 2009 - Israel may support the Palestinian Authority in its attempt to set up a special force to reduce casualties.

New chapter for Syria-Saudi relations
10 Jul 2009 - Analysis: Saudi Arabia's decision to send an ambassador to Syria is a clear sign that a new chapter really is beginning.

Achieving two states without a solution
8 Jul 2009 - Comment: Israel has been quietly assembling a framework for handing over a battered Gaza and West Bank without surrendering real control.

Aljazeera

Iran offers G8 new issues to debate
11 Jul 2009 - Tehran restates plan to present points for discussion at nuclear talks with West. 

'Israel scuttled' Shalit's release
10 Jul 2009 - Egyptian leader advises Israeli officials to avoid openly discussing soldier's release.

Iranian police disperse protest
9 Jul 2009 - Protesters mark the 10th anniversary of an attack on Tehran University dormitory.

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

SAUDI ARABIA: New Bill Fails to Protect Domestic Workers, HRW Says 
WASHINGTON, Jul 10 (IPS) - Despite a bill passed by Saudi Arabia's Shura Council on Wednesday, a prominent New York-based human rights group is asking for more protection for the estimated 1.5 million domestic workers in the country.

YEMEN: Problems Go Far Beyond Narrow U.S. Focus on Terror 
WASHINGTON, Jul 10 (IPS) - Yemen's recent reappearance on the U.S. radar due to its reputation as a safe haven for al Qaeda has brought more attention to the country of 23 million and its persistent underlying problems – the least of which may be terrorism.

RIGHTS-US: Acquittal No Guarantee of Freedom 
NEW YORK, Jul 10 (IPS) - Lawmakers and human rights advocates are questioning the assertion by the administration of President Barack Obama that Guantanamo terror suspects could be imprisoned indefinitely even if they are found not guilty by a U.S. court.

RIGHTS-US: Muslim Groups Seek Reform of Charity Blacklisting 
NEW YORK, Jul 8 (IPS) - While President Barack Obama conceded in his speech in Cairo last month that U.S. rules on charitable giving "have made it harder for Muslims to fulfill their religious obligation", civil rights advocates are pressing the president to turn his words into action.

Stop The Wall

New report on the impact of the Wall in the West Bank
9 Jul 2009 - Today, The Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE) and the Grassroots Palestinian Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign, issued a joint report entitled 

New report denounces Israeli aggression against Palestinian communities
8 Jul 2009 - “Repression allowed, resistance denied: Israel’s suppression of the popular movement against the Apartheid Wall”, a joint report from Stop the Wall Campaign and Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association examines Israel’s policies of arrest, detention and violent repression against Palestinian Popular Committees engaged in the struggle against the construction of Wall. Five years after the International Court of Justice’s landmark advisory opinion declaring the illegality of the Wall being constructed in the occupied Palestinian territory, the attention of those committed to the principles of international law should turn to the plight of those attempting to resist the Wall’s construction. [

PCHR Latest

(08 July)  On 5th Anniversary of ICJ Advisory Opinion on ‘The Wall’ PCHR Highlight Israel’s Continued Violations of International Law, and the International Community’s Complicity in Illegal Acts ..::..
PCHR

(08 July)  Individuals’ Passports Requisitioned to Prevent Them from Traveling
PCHR

PCHR Weekly Report

(02 - 08 July  2008)
On Thursday, 02 July 2009, Israeli troops positioned at the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel to the east of Gaza Valley village, fired three artillery shells at the area.  One shell landed a few meters away from the house of Kamal 'Abdul 'Aziz Abu 'Aayesh, 52, nearly one kilometer away from the border

International Solidarity Movement

Physicians for Human Rights Israel, mobile clinic in Bil’in
International Solidarity Movement - 11 July 2009 - Today, July 11th, Physicians For Human Rights Israel came to visit the Palestinian village of Bil'in. Volunteer doctors, nurses, paramedics, optometrists, pharmacists, psychologists and translators came to Bil'in with the mobile clinic to offer their support to the community. At their arrival, PHR Israel was warmly welcomed by the head of the village consul and invited to see where the wall is being construct in the village and also witness the presence of the Israeli soldiers. The popular committee against the wall explained the situation of Bil'in to the volunteers present on the site and asked the organization to help them understand what could be the possible long-term effects of the chemical water bombs used against them during the weekly non-violent manifestations. The smell of the chemical bombs used the day before by the Israeli army was still present during the visit. 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

Father of abducted IDF soldier Gilad Shalit to meet EU lawmakers
11 Jul 2009 - Noam Shalit, father of captive soldier Gilad Shalit, will leave this week to Strasbourg, France, for the opening session of the European Parliament, Haaretz has learned. ... 

Anti-Israel literary event in London draws Israel supporters
11 Jul 2009 - An anti-Israel literary event in London on Thursday drew a strong pro-Israel contingent, according to participants and organizers, who said that some 25 percent of attendees came there to defend Israel. ...

1982 memo shows Israel learned little from First Lebanon War
11 Jul 2009 - Sunday is the third anniversary of the start of the Second Lebanon War. When you go into a second war, it is tempting to believe that something has been learned from the first, and you try to avoid the same mistakes. ... 

Zvi Bar'el / Will warmer U.S.-Syria ties lead Israel to cede Golan?
11 Jul 2009 - Where is the super-plan for regional peace that we were promised? Where, at the very least, is the "Obama document" for peace between Israel and the Palestinians? ... 

Gaza conflict sparks billboard battle in Texas 
11 Jul 2009 - Texans have had occasion this week to witness the eruption of a billboard war waged between pro-Palestinian and pro-Israel grassroots organizations vying to tell Houston commuters their side of the story. ... 

The Guardian

Netanyahu turns to Nazi language | Peter Beaumont
10 Jul 2009 - The Israeli prime minister's use of the word 'Judenrein' is a cynical attempt to skew the fight over West Bank settlements There are words with meanings corrosive as acid. Heavy with the stench of historic crimes....

Israel's wall still deepening the divide | Ben White
9 Jul 2009 - Five years ago the international court of justice ruled that Israel's separation wall should be demolished. But it is still growing Five years ago today, the international court of justice in The Hague published its advisory...

The Dayton force dilemma | Nicholas Blincoe
8 Jul 2009 - A US-led Palestinian security force is said to be a barrier to unity government, but has brought a welcome calm to the West Bank A small battalion of soldiers had taken control of the main junction...

Jerusalem Jews come to blows over car park
11 Jul 2009 - Two religious Jews were stabbed and another was beaten in a fight with secular Jews in Jerusalem. The assailants fled and there were no arrests, a police spokesman said. Resentment has been simmering for years as...

Ha'aretz National page

IDF appointment row could cost Israel one of its top officers
11 Jul 2009 - The Israel Defense Forces' next deputy chief of staff will be Benny Gantz, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi said on Friday - a move that might make another top general leave. ... 

Haredim clash with police over Shabbat opening of Jerusalem parking lot
10 Jul 2009 - Hundreds of ultra-Orthodox Jews clashed with police in Jerusalem on Saturday during the latest Haredi demonstration against the Shabbat opening of the Carta parking garage in the capital. ...

Old tires and mud used to build school for West Bank Bedouin
10 Jul 2009 - Covering a 300-square-meter plot of land southeast of Jerusalem is an eco-friendly building made solely of used tires and mud. The Jahalin tribe is planning to use the make-shift structures as a grade school and kindergarten. That is, if the Civil Administration, which is subordinate to the Defense Ministry, does not raze the four-and-a-half room educational facility. ...

Relief Web

OPT: Week in review - Hope springs for unity, not for settlement freeze
11 Jul 2009 - Source: MIFTAH

OPT: Settlement expansion - Un-natural growth
11 Jul 2009 - Source: Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories

Further support for Palestine
10 Jul 2009 - Source: Government of Germany

OPT: Logistics Cluster Gaza crisis consolidated situation report, 26 Jun - 09 Jul 2009
10 Jul 2009 - Source: Logistics Cluster

OPT: Protection of civilians weekly report, 01 - 07 Jul 2009
10 Jul 2009 - Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

OPT: "Tear down that wall, Mr. Netanyahu", says United Nations expert on key anniversary
10 Jul 2009 - Source: UN Human Rights Council

OPT: Gaza's children struggle with memories of war
10 Jul 2009 - Source: Agence France-Presse

OPT: Hamas - Ideological rigidity and political flexibility
9 Jul 2009 - Source: US Institute of Peace

YNet News

Hundreds rally in support of foreign workers
11 Jul 2009 - Human rights activists, foreign workers rally in Tel Aviv to protest immigration authority's intention to deport families whose children were born in Israel

Haredim, police clash in Jerusalem
11 Jul 2009 - Ultra-Orthodox protestors upset over opening of parking lot in Jerusalem clash with police Saturday; in separate incident, two religious Jews reportedly stabbed by seculars during brawl in capital

Arab-Jewish tensions high in Beersheba
11 Jul 2009 - Jewish residents in Beersheba neighborhood upset at Palestinian collaborators relocated to site

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 

Daily Star

Netanyahu's aide rules out pullout from Golan in any peace deal
11 Jul 2009 - Israel is ready to withdraw from areas of the Occupied Golan Heights, but it will not give up large parts of the occupied territory in any peace deal with Syria, a top aide to Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu said. National Security Adviser Uzi Arad also said in an interview with Haaretz newspaper published on Friday.

Gaza’s children struggle with memories of war
11 Jul 2009 - Fourteen-year-old Ghasan Matar won’t talk about the explosion that cost him his legs and killed his brother. In fact, six months after the end of the Israeli war on Gaza, he still barely talks at all. He spends most of his time staring at the walls and a huge poster depicting his older brother against a bloody background of war featuring.

Mubarak accuses Israel of scuppering deal to free captive soldier Shalit
11 Jul 2009 - Egyptian President Hos ni Mubarak accused Israel of scuttling a deal on the verge of ending the three-year captivity in Gaza of soldier Gilad Shalit, in an interview published in Israel’s top-selling daily Friday. Mubarak, whose government has led efforts to broker the release of the young conscript seized by Palestinian militants in a cross-border raid in June 2006.

Kouchner: Cabinet formation Hariri's responsibility
11 Jul 2009 - French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner stressed Friday that forming the next government Lebanon was the responsibility of Premier-designate Saad Hariri, trying to play down speculation that Paris was the latest deal-maker in the process. Kouchner reiterated that Syria and France were in no position to facilitate the formation.

La Fondation Resonnance holds piano concert in Dbayeh
11 Jul 2009 - The French, Italian and Swiss Embassies gathered to support La Fondation Resonnance, a French non-profit organization offering free piano tuition, in a series of spectacular concerts across Lebanon. Elizabeth Sombart, the founder of Resonnance, presided over a team of no less than 14 pianists.

Palestinian Information Center

Dweik: The Egyptian efforts move towards resolving reconciliation obstacles
11 Jul 2009 - Dr. Aziz Dweik, the speaker of the Palestinian legislative council (PLC), stated Saturday that the Egyptian efforts to resolve the obstacles in the way of the national reconciliation were progressing.

Hamas: Kidnapping Islamic Jihad members aimed at eradicating resistance
11 Jul 2009 - Hamas deplored the PA security campaigns waged against the Islamic Jihad Movement, saying that such practices is only part of the Zionist scheme aimed at eliminating the Palestinian resistance.

IOF soldiers storm Tulkarem, hand summonses to tens of citizens
11 Jul 2009 - IOF soldiers at dawn Saturday stormed the city of Tulkarem and its two refugee camps and handed tens of citizen's summonses to appear before the Israeli intelligence office west of the city.

Studies center: Suffering of prisoners doubles in summer
11 Jul 2009 - The prisoners' center for studies has said that the suffering of Palestinian prisoners in IOA jails is doubled during the summer season as a result of soaring heat and humidity, and poor ventilation.

Sheikh Sabri warns against Israeli intents to divide Aqsa Mosque
11 Jul 2009 - Sheikh Ikrema Sabri warned against intents to divide the Aqsa Mosque between Muslims and Jews, stressing that no one has the right to give up or take a single grain of soil from the Mosque.

Barghouthi: Our people insist on ending the longest occupation in modern history
11 Jul 2009 - Dr. Mustafa Al-Barghouthi stressed that the Palestinian people are determined to end the longest occupation in modern history and restore their freedom and independence.

OCHA: Israeli separation wall to expropriate 9.5% of West Bank area
11 Jul 2009 - The UN office for coordination of humanitarian affairs in the occupied Palestinian lands (OCHA) said in a report that the Israeli separation wall would confiscate 9.5% of the West Bank area.

Muzzaini: Shalit's whereabouts only known by a few
11 Jul 2009 - Dr. Osama Al-Muzzaini, one of Hamas's political leaders, has underlined that only a few members of the Qassam Brigades knew the whereabouts of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

PFLP-GC: Opening Rafah crossing should not be linked to internal conditions
11 Jul 2009 - The popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command has asked Egypt to open the Rafah crossing permanently and not to link its opening to internal Palestinian conditions.

Zahhar: Egypt told us about Fatah reluctance to achieve reconciliation
11 Jul 2009 - Dr. Mahmoud Al-Zahhar stated Friday that Egyptian officials told his Movement that Fatah faction has no willingness at all to reach an agreement to end the inter-Palestinian division.

Los Angeles Times

Senior Iranian cleric calls for revision of election laws 
11 Jul 2009 - Ayatollah Mohammad Emami Kashani tells worshipers that spelling out rules regarding campaigns and debates could remove tensions. An Iranian American academic is detained again. A senior Iranian cleric called Friday for a revision of election laws to fix "shortcomings" that he said contributed to the nation's worst political crisis since the first years after the 1979 Islamic Revolution. 

Iran protests draw thousands but are quickly quelled 
10 Jul 2009 - Clashes erupt between demonstrators and police in Tehran, as the dispute over Iran's presidential election results continues. Violent clashes erupted Thursday in downtown Tehran between thousands of defiant protesters chanting "Death to the dictator" and security forces wielding truncheons, as the political crisis over Iran's disputed presidential election stretched into its fourth week. 

Iranian exile speaks out against militia he once supported 
9 Jul 2009 - Amir Farshad Ebrahimi, a former child fighter and political prisoner, says Iran's bloody crackdown on protesters prompted him to 'out' ex-colleagues in Ansar-e Hezbollah who took part in the beatings. For people around the globe, the images of club-wielding men on motorcycles beating demonstrators on the streets of Tehran was just another case of brutality in a far-off land. 

New York Times

Iran Protesters Take to Streets Despite Threats
10 Jul 2009 - Iranian security forces moved in quickly to try to disperse protesters, shattering 11 days of tense calm in Tehran. 

Lod Journal: Polishing a Lost Gem to Dazzle Tourists
8 Jul 2009 - Officials in a poor town hope that a 1,700-year-old mosaic floor, one of the largest and finest tiled floors in Israel, will help restore their city’s past glory. 

A Peek in Iran: Protests Fade Under Withering Gaze
8 Jul 2009 - Interviews with Iranians in an Iraqi border town paint a picture of a polarized nation and a government that appears to be succeeding in silencing dissent. 

Misc

Elite unit mooted for West Bank security 
The National - July 10. 2009 - Israel may permit the Palestinian Authority to set up an elite squad for antiterrorist operations in the West Bank, reports said yesterday. The Jerusalem Post said the force would be created to reduce Palestinian casualties during operations against Hamas and other militant groups. Last month, four members of a Palestinian security team died when conducting a mission in Kalkilya against Hamas fighters, five of whom were killed. The United States has carried out training in Jordan for four Palestinian battalions but this was primarily for police-type work for forces armed with rifles and pistols. France has already offered to train the proposed elite squad in special operations, which would also be likely to include missions against Islamic Jihad, the newspaper said. News of the planned special operations squad has come amid praise from the Israeli authorities for the 

Viva Palestina Convoy Updates
Desert Peace - July 11, 2009, Sarah Ikhmayes, Al-Awda-NY - On our way to Alexandria: The day started out beautifully. Most of the 80 people that were heading to Alexandria to pick up the trucks that will be driving us into Gaza, were in the lobby by 8. You can really feel the excitement within the delegates. Not because we were going into a different city, but because this was really a step forward toward Gaza. About 2 hrs later we began boarding the bus. And supposedly 2 1/2 hrs later we were supposed to be in Alexandria. But things don’t always work out as you plan. We eventually reached Alexandria 4 hrs later. We stopped at a McDonalds so that everyone can stretch and get something to eat. An hour and a half later we found ourselves heading to Customs, where the Egyptians were holding the cars. But get this, they didn’t give it to us. 

France: U.S. gave Israel six months to freeze settlements 
Ha'aretz - 7/11/2009 - The United States has given Israel a six-month deadline to accede to its demand to freeze all construction in West Bank settlements, France's foreign minister told his Lebanese interlocutors during an official visit to Beirut. Israel Radio cited a report which appeared Saturday in the Lebanese daily newspaper an-Nahar. According to the report, Bernard Kouchner told Lebanese officials that the U. S. could extend the six-month deadline, though Washington will not provide sponsorship to a renewed peace process if Jerusalem continues settlement construction. On Friday, Kouchner held talks with a Hezbollah legislator in the latest European outreach to the Iranian-backed militant group. The European Union and Britain have also sought to engage Lebanon's Hezbollah in recent months to encourage the group to abandon violence and play a constructive political role in the deeply divided country. The U. S. , however, shuns the group, which it considers a terrorist organization. 

VIDEO - Former BBC & ABC Palestinian Journalist On Israel & Hamas 
YouTube - July 10, 2009 - Tuma Hazou, former BBC and ABC Journalist in the Middle East, talks Israel & Hamas after a screening of 'Edward Said, The Last Interview'. Filmed at Tivoli, Waiheke Island, New Zealand on the 4th of July 2009. Tuma was a refugee from Palestine in 1948. [end] 

Articles

'Reckless' to sail in international waters - official 
Stuart Littlewood, Redress 7/12/2009
      Stuart Littlewood discloses a recent correspondence with the British Foreign Office over the latest act of piracy by the Israelis in international waters off Gaza, which illustrates the collusion of Britain’s Zionist-leaning government in Israel’s unlawful conduct.
     I thought I would share this with you.
     Britain’s Foreign Secretary David Miliband -- or rather, a henchman on his behalf -- has written to me about the government’s response to Israel’s hijacking of the mercy ship Spirit of Humanity on the high seas and the outrageous treatment of six peace-loving British citizens (including the skipper), en route to Gaza, not Israel, who had their gear stolen or damaged and were thrown into Israeli jails. The letter contains the usual wet and meaningless expressions like deplore and press and raise the issue, which are the familiar hallmark of Foreign Office mentality.
     And I’m told it is "reckless" to travel in international waters. It should, of course, be safe -- and would be if the high and mighty Western allies, always talking big against terror, were to enforce maritime law and rid the Eastern Mediterranean of marauding Israeli pirates.
     Miliband’s spokesman says: "The Israeli Navy took control of the Spirit of Humanity on 30 June, diverting it to Ashdod port in Israel. All those on board, including six British nationals, were handed over to Israeli immigration officials. British consular officials had good access to the British detainees and established that they were treated well. The Israeli authorities deported the detainees on 6 July."

Would you buy a used car from this man? 
Khalid Amayreh in occupied Jerusalem, Desert Peace 7/11/2009
      The Israeli government headed by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is making concerted efforts to avoid a looming crisis with the Obama administration over the issue of Jewish settlement expansion in the West Bank.
     United States President Barack Obama is demanding that Israel freeze all settlement expansion projects in the West Bank and East Jerusalem in order to enable the creation of a viable Palestinian state.
     However, Netanyahu has so far been defying American demands, resorting to diversionary tactics and vague statements about accepting a Palestinian entity in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
     On Monday, 6 July, the Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak, who is effectively acting as an extraordinary foreign minister in lieu of the widely- despised Avigdor Lieberman, met once again in London for 90 minutes with US Peace Envoy George Mitchell.
     Barak was trying to sell the Obama administration its usual bill of goods, offering to dismantle “illegal outposts” in return for obtaining an American consent for allowing construction of settlement buildings in “legal outposts”.
     The two had met earlier in New York and held “intensive discussions” on the settlement expansion issue. Barak described the meeting as “positive and constructive”, saying that “there was no crisis in relations between the US and Israel.”
     However, subsequent reports indicated that the New York meeting was a failure as Mitchell refused to accept salesman Barak’s used-cars which would allow Israel to continue building thousands of settler units under the rubric of “natural growth”.


Electronic Intifada
Argentinian singer urged to cancel performance at Israeli festival
11 Jul 2009 - The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) is writing to express its grave concern about your upcoming appearance in the "Festival Argentina-Israel" in Israel on 14 July. As an artist with a great following because of your commitment to justice, we are writing to urge you to cancel your participation in a festival sponsored by a state that is complicit in some of the worst human rights abuses of our modern era. 

The victory of defeat
10 Jul 2009 - While Israel has been buying yet more time with Washington in bickering over a paltry settlement freeze, it has been forging ahead with the process of creating two Palestinian territories, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, that, despite supposedly emerging from occupation, are in reality sinking ever deeper into chronic dependency on Israeli goodwill. This is creating a culture of absolute Israeli control and absolute Palestinian dependency, enforced by proxy Palestinian rulers acting as mini-dictatorships. Jonathan Cook comments. 

Sheikh Jarrah residents refuse to be displaced
10 Jul 2009 - Fawzieh al-Kurd, 57, clad in black, spends her days on a promontory overlooking Tomb of Simon the Righteous in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem. Enduring the cold of winter and the summer's blazing sun, she relates her family's tragic story to visitors from around the world with dignity and resolve. Marcey Gayer writes from occupied East Jerusalem. 

Study: Tel Aviv University part and parcel of the Israeli occupation
9 Jul 2009 - A study prepared by the School of Oriental and African Studies Palestine Society outlines Tel Aviv University's (TAU) intensive, purposive and open institutional contributions to the Israeli military. The briefing paper presented irrefutable evidence of TAU's deep investment in the facilitation and prosecution (at both the material and conceptual level) of what amount to war crimes. 

In Gaza
urgent call to open Rafah
10 Jul 2009 - Iman, from the IMORB says: I’ve just got a call from Paki and Christian telling me that there’s a very sick Palestinian woman lying on the ground in front of Rahah gate. She has kidney problems and need a kidney transplant very soon, and as it can not be done in Egypt now for Palestinians , nor can Egypt allow her to travel abroad and have it somewhere else, the woman needs to return NOW to Gaza so she can be treated in Israel or travel to another country. Contact Egyptian embassies to let her go back home [NOTE: WHILE WAITING FOR THE WOMAN'S FULL NAME AND AGE, CALLS CAN STILL...

Palestine Chronicle
Still Avoiding Clash with Israel
10 Jul 2009 - By George S. Hishmeh Why are Barak Obama and his senior colleagues in the US administration weak kneed in confronting Israeli shenanigans, whether over Israeli colonialist policies in the occupied Palestinian territories or its regional stance, particularly over Iran? All Obama has to do is look at what his European partners are doing or saying. Here is French President Nicolas Sarkozy calling for the dismissal of Israel foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman, known for his ethnic-cleansing policies and extremist views against Palestinian Arabs, who number more than one-fifth of the Israeli population. Sarkozy, according to the Israeli media, has compared Lieberman to the French far-rightist Jean Marie Le Pen. Lieberman had introduced legislation in the Knesset that would have curbed the rights of Arabs in Israel, and had suggested ceding their towns, mostly in the Galilee region where they form a majority, to the projected Palestinian state in exchange for the Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank. Additionally, the European Commission also criticised Israel for its colonial policies which helped strangle the Palestinian economy and made the Palestinian government more dependent on foreign aid. “It is the European taxpayers who pay most of the price of this dependence,” the EU underlined, explaining that the expropriation of fertile Palestinian land for Israeli settlements, roads that serve settlers only and West Bank checkpoints help constrain Palestinian economic growth and make the Palestinian government more dependent on aid. The European Union is one of the largest donors to the Palestinian Authority, having contributed $...

Obama's Rollback Strategy and the Boomerang Effect
9 Jul 2009 - By James Petras The recent events in Honduras and Iran, which pit democratically elected regimes against pro-US military and civilian actors intent on overthrowing them can best be understood as part of a larger White House strategy designed to rollback the gains achieved by opposition government and movements during the Bush years. In a manner reminiscent of Ronald Reagan’s New Cold War policies, Obama has vastly increased the military budget, increased the number of combat troops, targeted new regions for military intervention and backed military coups in regions traditionally controlled by the US. However Obama’s rollback strategy occurs in a very different international and domestic context. Unlike Reagan, Obama faces a prolonged and profound recession/depression, massive fiscal and trade deficits, a declining role in the world economy and loss of political dominance in Latin America, the Middle East, East Asia and elsewhere. While Reagan faced off against a decaying Soviet Communist regime, Obama confronts surging world-wide opposition from a variety of independent secular, clerical, nationalist, liberal democratic and socialist electoral regimes and social movements anchored in local struggles. Obama’s rollback strategy is evident from his very first pronouncements, promising to reassert US dominance (‘leadership’) in the Middle East, his projection of massive military power in Afghanistan and military expansion in Pakistan and the destabilization of regimes through deep intervention by proxies as in Iran and Honduras. Obama’s pursuit of the rollback strategy operates a multi-track policy of overt military intervention, covert ‘civil society’ operations and soft-sell, seemingly benign diplomatic rhetoric,...

The Two-State Solution, Israeli-Style
9 Jul 2009 - By Jonathan Cook - Ramallah Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's prime minister, has been much criticized in Israel, as well as abroad, for failing to present his own diplomatic initiative on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process to forestall US intervention. Mr. Netanyahu may have huffed and puffed before giving voice to the phrase “two states for two peoples” at Sunday’s cabinet meeting, but the contours of just such a Palestinian state -- or states -- have been emerging undisturbed for some time. In fact, Mr. Netanyahu appears every bit as committed as his predecessors to creating the facts of an Israeli-imposed two-state solution, one he and others in Israel’s leadership doubtless hope will eventually be adopted by the White House as the “pragmatic” -- if far from ideal -- option. While Israel has been buying yet more time with Washington in bickering over a paltry settlement freeze, it has been forging ahead with the process of creating two Palestinian territories, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, that, despite supposedly emerging from occupation, are in reality sinking ever deeper into chronic dependency on Israeli goodwill. This is creating a culture of absolute Israeli control and absolute Palestinian dependency, enforced by proxy Palestinian rulers acting as mini-dictatorships. For a growing number of Palestinians, the conditions of bare subsistence and even survival are Israeli gifts that few can afford to spurn through political activity, let alone civil disobedience or armed resistance. The Palestinian will to organize and resist as their land is seized for settlements...

Reawakening Ghosts of Ayodhya
9 Jul 2009 - By Aijaz Zaka Syed – Hyderabad One is not sure what had been the context of William Gladstone’s prophetic warning that justice delayed is justice denied. But it’s as though the British politician had India’s Liberhan Commission in his mind and the charade it has unleashed on an unsuspecting country when he proffered that much worn-out advice. Justice MS Liberhan has delivered a historic verdict on one of the most defining tragedies of our time; a tragedy that shook India to its core, forcing it to pause and ponder the road ahead and the direction in which the country was headed. Only he has delivered it a tad late. Seventeen years too late! The commission was formed after the demolition of Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992 in Ayodhya. The commission, appointed by Prime Minister Narasimha Rao who himself was sound asleep at the wheel throughout that fateful day, was to look into the ‘events and circumstances’ that led to the demolition of the mosque and present its findings within THREE MONTHS. However, Justice Liberhan kept the Ayodhya saga alive by getting the term of his commission extended month after month, year after year, for seventeen long years. Prime ministers came and prime ministers went. Strange bedfellows formed most absurd coalition governments, only to be brought down with equally improbable allies. Justice Liberhan stayed on though and has survived to chronicle and recount that epic tragedy. Prime Minister Rao, who fiddled while Ayodhya burnt with the rest of India and...

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