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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 August , 2009

News

International Middle East Media Center

Senior Aqsa Brigades members to attend Fateh conference in Bethlehem
4 Aug 2009 - Zakariyya Zobeidi, leader of the Al Aqsa Brigades, the armed wing of Fateh movement in the West Bank, and 24 Palestinians fighters of the brigades who were pardoned by Israel are expected to attend the opening ceremonies of the Fateh Sixth Conference in the West Bank city of Bethlehem on Tuesday. 

Netanyahu to tour in Europe for talks with officials
4 Aug 2009 - Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is planning to head to Europe for talks with his British counterpart, Gordon Brown, the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, and US Special Middle East Envoy, George Mitchell in London. 

Arab Mk's held by Israeli soldiers while on their way to Fateh conference
4 Aug 2009 - Arab members of Israeli Knesset, Ahmad Tibi and Talab El Sane’ were held Monday by the Israeli army while on their way to participate in the Fateh general conference in the West Bank city of Bethlehem. The two MK’s received invitations from the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas.  

Irish Cyclists Arrive After Trans-Europe Bike Ride, En Route to Gaza
4 Aug 2009 - Cycling close to double the distance of the Tour de France, three Irish cyclists are now on the final stretch of their journey from Ireland to Gaza. The students, having just reached Israel-Palestine, arrived in Jerusalem yesterday and will attempt to cross into Gaza over the coming days. 

Clinton slams Israel's eviction of two Palestinian families in Jerusalem
3 Aug 2009 - United States Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, slammed Israel on Monday for the forced eviction of two Palestinian families from an Arab neighborhood in East Jerusalem. 

Rivlin: “Creation of Israel caused suffering and trauma to the Palestinians”
3 Aug 2009 - Speaker of the Israeli Knesset, member of the Likud Party, Reuven Rivlin, stated that there should be a fundamental change in relations between Jews and Arabs in Israel, and called for what he described as partnership between the two sectors based on mutual respect. 

Lieberman says would resign should indictment be filed against him
3 Aug 2009 - Israeli Foreign Minister, head of the extremist right-wing Yisrael Beiteinu Party, Avigdor Lieberman, stated Monday that he would quit his government post should Israel’s Attorney General file an indictment against him.  

Ha'aretz Defense page

Security forces evacuate West Bank outpost
3 Aug 2009 - Eight people arrested during operation; Far-right activist calls evacuation of outpost 'brutal'. 

Smugglers gun down Egyptian guard near Israeli border
3 Aug 2009 - Clash occured after smugglers were intercepted trying to move African migrants into Israel. 

Al-Qaida's Zawahri: Israel should be wiped off the map
3 Aug 2009 - Group's second-in-command says Obama wants a Palestinian state to serve as 'an extension of the CIA'. 

South Lebanon Army veterans protest 'humiliating treatment' in Tiberias
3 Aug 2009 - 'You cannot treat us like dogs,' says veteran in protest of division of welfare services between ministries. 

Min. Katz: Fatah platform draft is declaration of war on Israel
2 Aug 2009 - Fatah platform outline calls for supporters to use limited violence against Israeli targets. 

Ma'an News

Israeli forces detain 14 West Bank Palestinians
8/4/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Israeli forces seized 14 "wanted" Palestinians in the Wset Bank overnight, according to the Hebrew-language newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth. It said three were detained in Qalqiliya, three in Nablus, four around Ramallah, three near Bethlehem and one in Hebron. The detainees were transferred for interrogation, the newspaper said. Three of the four areas of last night's arrest fall within Israel's self-declared no-go zone. Several weeks ago Israel announced it had handed over Qalqiliya, Ramallah and Bethlehem to full Palestinian Authority control, and would avoid such arrest raids. Israeli forces also detained five Palestinians in Bil'in overnight, but it was not immediately clear if they were included in the total of 14 quoted in Monday morning's news reports. 

Israeli forces invade Bil’in overnight, detain six
8/3/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - About 200 Israeli troops raided the central West Bank village of Bil'in at dawn on Monday, taking over several homes and detaining at least six individuals. Among them was 35-year-old Muhammad Al-Khatib, a member of the Popular Committee Against the Wall. Israeli forces also stormed the home of Shawkat Al-Khatib, detaining three of his sons, 22-year-old Khalid, 18-year-old Mustafa and 16-year-old Muhammad. Meanwhile, 18-year-old Abdullah Ahmad Yasin was seized from his home, which was similarly ransacked. Soldiers detained 40-year-old Issa Abu Rahma and 16-year-old Abdullah Muhammad Yasin from their homes, as well. An American solidarity activist was also reportedly seized. When a group of local residents tried to prevent the detention, Israeli soldiers displayed maps and military orders declaring that their village was "a closed military zone. 

Gaza’s Rafah crossing with Egypt opens
8/3/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - The Rafah crossing between Egypt and the southern Gaza Strip began operating on Monday morning, said Eyhab Al-Ghussein, spokesman for the de facto government's Interior Ministry. Three buses left for Egypt before noon on Monday, he said. The first carried regular passengers, the second hospital patients, and the third unspecified special cases. Al-Ghussein said he hoped the crossing would ease the crisis of stranded passengers, but insisted that three days was not enough time. He said there were 8,131 Palestinians on the ministry's waiting list to travel. Egypt and Israel have maintained a near-total blockade of the Strip by land and sea since June 2007. While Israel opens its crossings more often, they are rarely opened for passengers, who have to travel through Egypt in all but some special cases. 

Israel failed to return Dalal Al-Mughrabi’s remains, says sister
8/3/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israel failed to return a the corpse of slain Palestinian fighter Dalal Al-Mughrabi as promised as a part of last year's Israel-Hizbullah prisoner exchange, the woman's sister said on Monday. Rashida Al-Mughrabi, speaking to Ma'an in Bethlehem on the eve of the Fatah convention, said, "We didn't receive my sister's body. What were sent to us by Israel was just dirt and stones inside the coffin. " Dalal Al-Mughrabi's name is synonymous with the 1978 attack in which she and 12 other Palestinians entered Israel from Lebanon, hijacked a bus and sparked a shootout with Israeli forces. Eleven of the hijackers and 35 Israelis were killed in the operation. Al-Mughrabi's remains were to be returned to Lebanon along with those of about 200 other Palestinians and Lebanese in exchange for the bodies of two Israeli soldiers who were captured and killed by Hizbulah at the outset of the 2006 war. 

Egypt, Israel to open all Gaza crossings Monday
8/3/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Israel will open all three of its border crossings into the Gaza Strip on Monday, said Palestinian border crossings official Raed Fattouh. Israel plans to permit 57-67 truckloads of humanitarian aid and quantities of cooking gas and industrial diesel into the area through the Kerem Shalom and Nahal Oz crossings, he added. The Karni crossing will also open for trucks loaded with wheat and animal feed, according to Fattouh. Meanwhile, Egypt opened its only crossing on Monday. By morning, several buses had crossed over in Rafah. The Egyptian crossing is opened even less frequently than any of Israel's, and this time it is expected to close after three days. Israel and Egypt have maintained a near-total blockade of the Strip by land and sea since June 2007, and the quantities and types of goods allowed into Gaza are subject to tight restrictions. 

US condemns East Jerusalem home evictions
8/3/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - United States Embassy staff sent a sharply worded letter to Israel's Foreign Ministry on Monday, condemning the country's decision to evict over 50 Palestinian families from their homes in East Jerusalem on Sunday. The diplomats also said a "high-level protest" would be communicated to Israel later in the day in response to decision to evict the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood families to make room for settlers. As US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton "has stated previously, the eviction of families and demolition of homes in East Jerusalem is not in keeping with Israeli obligations under the road map," State Department spokesman Robert Wood said in a statement on Sunday. "We urge that the government of Israel and municipal officials refrain from provocative actions in East Jerusalem, including home demolitions and evictions," Wood added. 

Fayyad: Jerusalem evictions threaten chances of renewed peace talks
8/3/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - Israel's policies are demolishing any hope of returning to the peace process, caretaker Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said on Monday. Fayyad was referring to Israel's expulsion of two Palestinian families from their East Jerusalem homes the previous day. Israeli police removed the Al-Ghawi and Hanoun families from their houses in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in order to make way for settlers. "There will be no peace without Jerusalem," Fayyad said in response to the forced evictions. Fayyad was speaking at a Ramallah signing ceremony for a six million US dollar donation from the Swedish government to the Palestinian Authority (PA). The donation will contribute to the dispersal of PA employees' salaries, which have been promised to be delivered by Tuesday. The Swedish donation fulfilled a promise made at the Sharm Ash-Sheikh donors' conference in March. 

EU Presidency: Jerusalem evictions illegal and unacceptable
8/3/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The EU's Swedish Presidency condemned on Monday Israel's expulsion of two Palestinian families from their East Jerusalem homes the previous day as "illegal" and "unacceptable. "  "The Presidency of the European Union reiterates its serious concern about the continued and unacceptable evictions in East Jerusalem, notably the evictions by Israeli authorities of two families from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood," it said in a statement. The Presidency "recalls that house demolitions, evictions and settlement activities in East Jerusalem are illegal under international law. "  The statement also noted that they "contravene repeated calls by the international community, including the Quartet, to refrain from any provocative actions in East Jerusalem. These actions, the EU Presidency said, "confirm a worrying trend that runs counter to. . . 

Clinton calls Israel’s eviction of Jerusalem families 'regrettable'
8/4/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemned on Monday Israel's expulsion of two Palestinian families from their homes in East Jerusalem, although in softer terms than her European counterparts did. "Well, I think these actions are deeply regrettable," she said, speaking alongside Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh at a Washington news conference. "I have said before that the eviction of families and demolition of homes in East Jerusalem is not in keeping with Israeli obligations, and I urge the Government of Israel and municipal officials to refrain from such provocative actions," she said. "Both sides have responsibilities to refrain from provocative actions that can block the path toward a comprehensive peace agreement. Unilateral actions taken by either party cannot be used to prejudge the outcome of negotiations, and they will not be recognized as changing the status quo," she continued. 

Fatah: Mediation failed, Hamas won’t let delegates leave Gaza
8/3/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - Arab mediators have failed to convince Hamas to allow Fatah delegates to the sixth conference leave the Gaza Strip to Bethlehem, where the meet will be held Tuesday, Fatah announced on Sunday. Earlier this week Hamas had announced that every Fatah delegate who snuck out to the West Bank to attend the conference would be arrested upon their return to Gaza as the Palestinian Authority refused to release Hamas affiliates. Following a session of Fatah's Central Committee in Ramallah Sunday, Fatah parliament bloc speaker Azzam Al-Ahmad said, "The Central Committee has come to the conclusion that Hamas doesn't want to allow Fatah's delegates to leave the Gaza Strip, and instead wants to blackmail Fatah and the Palestinian Authority, which we refuse. "However, the Central Committee decided that the conference would be held as scheduled on Tuesday, 4 August in Bethlehem,. . . 

Samir Ghousha, PPSF secretary-general and co-founder, dead at 72
8/3/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Samir Ghousha, secretary-general of the Palestinian Popular Struggle Front (PPSF) and member of the Palestine Liberation Organization's Executive Committee, died on Monday morning. He was 72. According to Awni Abu Ghoush, a member of the party's politburo, Ghousha was suffering from cancer at a Jordanian hospital in Amman. He explained that the former Palestinian leader's body would be transferred back to Palestine on Tuesday, where a formal funeral procession will be held. "We will exert efforts to bury the body in Ghousha's city of origin, Jerusalem, which was requested in his will, Abu Ghoush said. "However if we fail, we will bury him in the Martyrs cemetery in Al-Birah," near Ramallah. Ghousha was born in Jerusalem in 1937, and attended elementary and secondary schools there. He obtained a Bachelor's degree in dentistry from Damascus University in Syria. 

Fatah leader returns to Gaza in protest of Hamas travel ban
8/3/2009 - Nablus - Ma'an - A senior Fatah leader decided to return to the Gaza Strip on Monday in a show of solidarity with other members of his movement who have been banned from travelling by Hamas. Ibrahim Abu An-Naja, a member of Fatah's Revolutionary Council, has decided to boycott Fatah's sixth general conference, due to begin on Tuesday in Bethlehem, in protest of the travel ban. "Abu An-Naja decided not to attend the conference as long as other delegates from the Gaza Strip do not attend it," according to a statement from his office. Upon returning to Gaza Abu An-Naja told Ma'an via telephone that he was questioned by Hamas authorities but was not arrested. Hamas had previously threatened to arrest Fatah leaders who left the Strip for the Bethlehem conference. Hamas, which controls the Palestinian government in Gaza, refuses to allow the Fatah leaders to leave Gaza until. . . 

Fayyad government wades into Hamas-Fatah dispute over Gaza delegates
8/4/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - The caretaker government of Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, nominally a political independent, waded into the current over Fatah members seeking to leave the Gaza Strip for the movement's long-delayed sixth conference. Fayyad's cabinet issued a statement condemning Hamas' refusal to allow the Fatah men from Gaza to attend the Bethlehem summit, which begins tomorrow. The government said Hamas was creating further obstacles to renewed Palestinian unity. The statement also criticized Hamas for violating the rights of the Fatah members themselves. Fayyad, speaking at the weekly cabinet meeting in Ramallah, urged human rights organizations to take hold Hamas to account for these actions. He also said he hoped the conference will be a success. Fayyad's government includes a number of Fatah officials, and is heavily influenced by Fatah. 

Bethlehem residents sound off on Fatah’s conference
8/3/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - A number of Palestinians in Bethlehem sounded off on their hopes and fears for the sixth Fatah conference, being held for the first time not only in their city, but in Palestine, as well. Raed Zawahreh, a university student, said he was "extremely optimistic," and "hopes for a positive outcome. "He added that he and others were thrilled to see so many Fatah members coming from abroad to visit Bethlehem and the Holy Land. Mawwal radio broadcaster Khader Barham prejudged the conference as a success, citing the fact that so many Palestinians from abroad were able to get permission to enter the West Bank. Another university student, Mansour Az-Za'lul, pointed out that not only Palestinians were concerned with the conference. Having just returned from Amman, Az-Za'lul said the convention was a hot topic among Jordanians, as well. 

Former Jenin Al-Aqsa leader: Fatah must adopt ’program of resistance’
8/4/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an Exclusive - Zakariya Zubeidi, the prominent former leader of the Al-Aqsa Brigades in Jenin Refugee Camp, called for Fatah to adopt a platform that includes "resistance" during its conference which begins on Tuesday. However, he said resistance can and should coexist with the strategy of negotiation with Israel that has become identified with Fatah since the Oslo peace accords of the 1990s. "This resistance is not defined yet. It could be armed resistance and it could be peaceful resistance," said Zubeidi, who signed an "amnesty" deal with Israel in which he agreed to give up armed struggle. "The main focus of that [Fatah] program is that it should include everyone from the Central Committee members to the members on the ground," he said. Zubeidi also said that the second thing he will stress in the convention is "regarding our relations with the occupation. 

In Bethlehem, Abbas says Gazans’ absence won’t stop Fatah’s conference
8/3/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The sixth Fatah conference will go on despite the absence of hundreds of the movement's delegates stuck in Gaza, President Mahmoud Abbas said upon his arrival to Bethlehem on Monday night. "On the eve of the conference, after 20 years, there is a lump in our souls that delegates from the Gaza Strip will not attend," Abbas said at the Bethlehem Intercontinental Hotel. "However we will not be deterred from our stance, which matches that of the Arab nation and world. " Regarding negotiations with Israel, Abbas said, "We want to uphold our rights - our rights based on international legitimacy - and we hope our neighbors will respond to the opportunity to achieve the peace that we all desire. ""We hope our neighbors [the Israelis] will allow us to build a future of peace for our nation to live in security and stability," he added. 

Exiled Fatah member reunites with sister after 28 years
8/3/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Hussein Ghannam, a Fatah official in Ukraine, had not seen his sister Niveen in 28 years, until he travelled to Bethlehem for Fatah's sixth general conference, which begins on Tuesday. Ghannam was reunited with his sister who was five when he was deported from Lebanon. She is now 33 and her daughter Engie, who came to see her uncle, is 14. Niveen was born in 1976 in Lebanon, and she left to Egypt when Israel invaded Lebanon in 1982. Hussein left to study in the Soviet Union. He settled in Ukraine where he organized Fatah activities. He was eventually appointed Fatah Secretary in Ukraine. She returned to Lebanon before marrying a distant relative in Sakhnin, a Palestinian town in the interior of Israel. Niveen said she waited for the sixth Fatah conference since the last summit 20 years ago. 

PSE up more than five points
8/3/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The Palestine Securities Exchange finished strong on Monday, with the Al-Quds Index closing at 499. 61, up 5. 67 points (1. 15%) from the last trading session. Trading Volume for Monday reached 548,111 shares traded for a total value of 1,085,406. 87 US dollars, in 324 individual trades The shares of 17 companies were traded. The shares prices of seven companies rose, and the shares prices of six declined The top five gainers were GMC by 5. 00%, LADAEN by 3. 23%, PADICO by 3. 23%, PIIC by 2. 63%, and BPC by 2. 34%. The top five losers were JCC by 4. 18%, QUDS by 2. 78%, ISBK by 2. 78%, PID by 2. 13%, and NIC by 1. 27%. [end] 

The National

Israel targets human rights groups
3 Aug 2009 - The Israeli government launches a campaign to clamp down on human rights groups, both in Israel and abroad.

Lieberman threatens to step down
3 Aug 2009 - Police say they have enough evidence to charge Avigdor Lieberman with accepting bribes, fraud, money laundering and other offences.

Manhunt for Israel's gay club killer
2 Aug 2009 - Police impose blackout on details of their investigation after two shot dead and at least eight wounded in Tel Aviv club shooting.

Palestinian families evicted from homes
2 Aug 2009 - Israeli police have evicted two Palestinian families from an east Jerusalem neighbourhood, says UN spokesman.

Aljazeera

Outrage at East Jerusalem evictions
3 Aug 2009 - US and UN join condemnation of Israel over eviction of two Palestinian families.

Israel urged to commit to Arab plan
3 Aug 2009 - Kuwaiti emir tells US president that Israel must 'fulfil obligations' for peace.

Palestine News Network

Conflict, controversy and hope surround Fateh Sixth Conference 
3 Aug 2009 - Bethlehem / PNN – The Fateh Sixth Conference, set to begin in Bethlehem on Tuesday, will restore the faith of Palestinians who have lost confidence in their government. This is the message of Fateh member Abdullah Abdullah, a Palestinian Authority lawmaker and chairman of a Legislative Council Committee. It is not unheard of to be in power to commit some errors, and this...

Attack on Sheikh Jarrah: Palestinians injured and several arrested as Israelis overtake neighborhood
2 Aug 2009 - Jerusalem / PNN – On Monday morning five citizens of Jerusalem were injured during clashes with Jewish extremists in the Palestinian neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah. This East Jerusalem neighborhood has been in the news as of late as one of many being destroyed by the occupying administration. The Israelis are removing Palestinians and replacing them with settlers, which has caused even the United...

Murad Sueti sings of home and love at Nablus' Roundabout Theater during arts festival 
2 Aug 2009 - Nablus / PNN – Arab Super Star Murad Sueti sang in the northern West Bank to 10,000 this weekend. The Palestinian artist is from Nablus where he performed for three hours songs of home and love in the city center. The arts festival is taking place throughout Nablus, including at the Roundabout Theater where Sueti performed until he was swarmed by fans taking...

Fateh members flood Bethlehem coming from the Diaspora, but not the Gaza Strip
2 Aug 2009 - Bethlehem / PNN - Palestinian and Fateh flags are waving along the way from Ramallah, save for areas under complete Israeli control such as outside of Beit Sahour. All roads, it seems, point to Bethlehem. The Fateh Sixth Conference is getting underway to hundreds of participants and even more security.The General Conference will be held within a local school and its environs in...

S Nablus residents struggle against increase in Israeli settler violence, receive compensation
2 Aug 2009 - Nablus / Amin Abu Wardeh for PNN – The local community has staged demonstrations and solidarity networks joined the struggle since last year’s attacks by settlers began in southern Nablus, but the situation has still become worse within the past few weeks. Israeli settlers have launched a series of intense attacks on farmer’s fields, on homes and vehicles. The escalation is of course...

Israelis denounce Fateh Sixth Conference, Palestinian official tells PNN movement will persevere
2 Aug 2009 - Bethlehem / Munjed Jaddo for PNN – The Fateh Sixth Conference is being criticized by Israeli ministers, including Netanyahu and Katz. The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “Israel demands that the Palestinians recognize the state of Israel as being for the Jewish people.”For his part, Israeli Minister Yisrael Katz, said today that the Fateh program in its refusal to recognize the Israeli...

Presidential official: Israeli overtaking of East Jerusalem homes is nail in the coffin of peace
2 Aug 2009 - Jerusalem / PNN – In blatant disregard to international law, the Israeli administration has overtaken two more homes in Sheikh Jarrah. The message is clear: East Jerusalem will be destroyed for Israeli settlements. By changing any facts on the ground in Jerusalem the Israelis have contravened international law as it is officially occupied territory and cannot be altered until the final status is...

IRIN

GAZA: Swimming in sewage
GAZA CITY Sunday, August 02, 2009 (IRIN) - Less than 50m from a black, barrel-sized pipe pouring raw sewage directly into the sea, children are playing in the waves.

HOW TO: Do a food airdrop
NAIROBI Thursday, July 30, 2009 (IRIN) - The humanitarian cavalry is the food airdrop: when you need to shift serious tonnage in a hurry to somewhere inaccessible, nothing quite does it like a large cargo plane and skilled pilot and crew.

MIDDLE EAST: First swine flu death in Egypt 
DUBAI Monday, July 20, 2009 (IRIN) - The Middle East registered its first death due to H1N1 2009 after a 25-year-old Egyptian woman returning from Umrah, the lesser Muslim pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia, died in hospital on 18 July after testing positive for the virus, according to the Egyptian health...

Inter Press Service

MIDEAST: And Still They Run These Taxis 
GAZA CITY, Aug 3 (IPS) - Salleh wonders how he will pay for a replacement car part he bought from the tunnels black market.

MIDEAST: 'Lay Not Thine Hand Upon the Boy' 
TEL AVIV, Aug 3 (IPS) - "And He said, Lay not thine hand upon the boy, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God" (Genesis 22:12). Not so much in fear of God as in fear of their own conscience, Israeli leaders have...

MIDEAST: Obama Maneuvres Between Jewish Israelis, Jewish Americans 
WASHINGTON, Jul 31 (IPS) - Pres. Barack Obama has repeatedly declared himself a close friend of Israel. But many Israelis inside and outside their country's government have now expressed concern about the lack of closeness, or even just of attention, with which they feel Obama is treating them.

MOROCCO: Western Sahara Drains Development 
RABAT, Jul 31 (IPS) - Informal talks are being held in Vienna between the different parties involved in the long lasting conflict over the Western Sahara. A new plan proposed by the Obama administration will be discussed between the Polisario and the Kingdom of Morocco.

Stop The Wall

Ni’lin and Bil’in face chemicals and tear gas; demonstration in Barta’
3 Aug 2009 - This Friday, Occupation forces rained tear gas and foul-smelling chemicals on protestors in the villages of Bil’in and Ni’lin during the weekly march. In Barta’, a demonstration was organized at the terminal to protest the conditions imposed on the people there. [

Brides and grooms lead popular march in al-Ma’sara
1 Aug 2009 - Summer is wedding season in Palestine, and Friday in al-Ma’sara brides and grooms led the weekly march against the Wall and settlements. Hundreds of people participated, confronting Occupation forces at the entrance of the village. Scuffles occurred when some broke through the razor wire, and three people were arrested. [

PCHR Weekly Report

(23 - 29 July  2008)
During the reporting period, 7 Palestinians civilians, including one child and one woman, were wounded by the IOF gunfire in the West Bank.

International Solidarity Movement

Ni’lin demonstrates against the Apartheid Wall
8/3/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - 31 July 2009 - At 1 pm, after the Friday prayer, approximately 75 protesters internationalsand Israeli activist joined the inhabitants of Ni'linin their weekly demonstration against the illegal Apartheid wall which Israel has built on Ni'lin land. The demonstration walked along one of the roads from the village towards the wall. When the demonstration reached the area around the fence, soldiers immediately responded with excessive use ofteargas. The demonstration spread out on the field and the youths respondedtowards the grenades with stonethrowing. Despite the heavy use of teargas,sound bombs and chemical water, the Palestinan flag was held up high in thewind as a symbol for the free Palestine. It ended at 3 pm. Israeli forces commonly use tear-gas canisters, rubber coated steel bullets and live ammunition against demonstrators. To date, Israeli occupation forces have murdered. . . 

Israeli forces raid Bil’in, arrest eight
8/3/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Bil'in Popular Committee - At 3am, the occupation forces invaded the village of Bil'in. A total of some 200 soldiers with combat paint in their faces and masks entered the village on foot at several points of entry. 5 homes were raided and a total of 8 people were arrested, 7 Palestinians and one international activist from the United States. The arrested Palestinians are: the three brothers Khaled Show gut Abd-Alrazic al-Khateeb (age 23), Mustafa Show gut Abd-Alrazic al-Khateeb (age18), and Mohammed Show gut Abd-Alrazic al-Khateeb (age 16); Abdullah Ahmad Yassen (age 18); Abdullah Mohammed Ali Yassen (age 16); Issa Mahmoud Issa Abu Rahma (age 40); Mohammed Abdulkarim Mustafa Khatib (age 35). One of the the popular committee leaders. The occupation forces threw sound bombs to disperse the villagers who were coming into the streets at day-break throwing rocks at the arriving Jeeps and the soldiers that were still partly disguised from the night. 

Israeli forces raid West Bank village of Bil’in, arresting 7 Palestinians and 1 American solidarity activist
8/3/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Israeli forces raid West Bank village of Bil'in, arresting 7 Palestinians and 1 American solidarity activist. At around 3am on Monday morning, a large military force wearing combat paint and masks invaded Bil'in. Israeli soldiers raided several homes, arresting 2 Palestinian children, 5 Palestinian adults including Mohammad Khatib of the Bil'in Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements and an American national. The home of another member of the Popular Committee was raided, but soldiers could not arrest him because he was not present at home. Monday's raid is another in a series of many that Israeli forces have carried out in Bil'in since June. Since 29 June 2009, Israeli forces have arrested 25 people (most are under 18), of which 18 are currently being held in detention. Israeli forces have been using interrogation techniques to pressure the. . . 

Take action against suppression of Palestinian non-violent resistance in Bil’in
8/4/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Bil'in demonstrates against ongoing night raids and arrests. - At around 3am on Monday morning, a large military force wearing combat paint and masks invaded the West Bank village of Bil'in. Israeli soldiers raided several homes, arresting 2 Palestinian children, 5 Palestinian adults including Mohammad Khatib of the Bil'in Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements. The home of another member of the Popular Committee was raided, but soldiers could not arrest him because he was not present at home. Also arrested were the three brothers Khaled Shawkat Abd-Alrazic al-Khateeb (age 23), Mustafa Shawkat Abd-Alrazic al-Khateeb (age18), and Mohammed Show gut Abd-Alrazic al-Khateeb (age 16); Abdullah Ahmad Yassen (age 18); Abdullah Mohammed Ali Yassen (age 16); Issa Mahmoud Issa Abu Rahma (age 40); This brings to 19 the number of Biliner's currently in custody. 

And still they run these taxis
8/3/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Eva Bartlett, Inter Press Service - "It cost over 1,000 dollars. Before the siege, it would have been 500 to 1000 shekels (roughly 125 to 250 dollars), at most 250 dollars. Anyway, I had to buy it; you need to maintain the car when you use it all the time. " The father of five drives one of Gaza's many run-down taxis, working round the clock but earning just enough to get by. "I work day and night, but only for 20 shekels (five dollars), or sometimes 50 shekels (12 dollars) per day. That's only enough to buy food and cover my children's needs. "Salleh lists the other expenses his meagre salary will not cover: "I can't afford a licence or car insurance, they're very expensive. I've gone four years without them. If I have an accident, I could go to jail for not having the licence on insurance. " Rami Dawoud, translator for Adnan Abu Oada from the Ministry of Transport says the. . . 

Hebron settler stabs Palestinian
8/4/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Hebron is a divided city. Around 500 hundred Israeli settlers illegally occupy buildings in the city centre and to accommodate them the lives of over 180,000 Palestinians have been thrown into disorder. Palestinians' movement through their own city is severely restricted: thousands of Israeli soldiers man checkpoints along a line of segregation that cuts through the city; in order to pass Palestinians must present their ID cards and can be detained arbitrarily. Some roads and sidewalks are segregated - Palestinians have to walk on small divided sections. Local residents are forbidden from driving on many streets and what was until recently a bustling main market street is now forbidden to them. Step-by-step, house-by-house the settlers plan to take over all of Hebron and expel the local Arab population. Settlers in Hebron are part of the most extreme Israeli right-wing movement. 

Israeli settlers arson Palestinian land in al-Bueri
8/4/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Settlers occupying an illegal outpost near al-Bueri in Hebron District set alight four fields of grape-vines belonging to local Palestinian families just weeks before the grape harvest season is due to begin. On Saturday residents raised the alarm as the blaze began to spread shortly after midday on land owned by the Zateri and Jaaber families. Separate fires had been set in fields and stone out-building within one hundred meters of the settler outpost. The 77 year-old head of the family which is closest to the outpost, which was established six-months ago is illegal even under Israeli occupation law, explained that the family have farmed the land for at least 150 years. The family are subjected to frequent setter attacks and have received death threats from settler youths. When ISM volunteers arrived at the scene they found large swaths of scorched earth and blackened vine-terraces. 

US condemns evicition of east J’lem families
8/3/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - YNet News - Some 200 leftists, including Arabs and Jews, protested the eviction of Palestinian families from their homes in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah in the early hours of Sunday morning. Clashes broke out between the demonstrators and security forces, and 13 people were arrested. Israeli police evicted two Palestinian families, then allowed Jewish settlers to move into their homes, drawing criticism from Palestinians, the United Nations and the State Department. Police arrived before dawn and cordoned off part of the Arab neighborhood before forcibly removing more than 50 people, said Chris Gunness, spokesman for the UN agency in charge of Palestinian refugees. UN staff later saw vehicles bringing Jewish settlers to move into the homes, he said. Israeli police cited a ruling by the country's Supreme Court that the houses belonged to Jews and that the Arab families had been living there illegally. 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

Clinton slams Israel for evicting Arab families from East Jerusalem
3 Aug 2009 - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday criticized Israel for the eviction two Palestinian families from an Arab neighborhood in east Jerusalem, calling the move "deeply regrettable". ...

Israelis make film on their Colombian abduction ordeal
3 Aug 2009 - Two of the four Israelis kidnapped in Colombia six years ago returned ...

Knesset passes land reform and 'Mofaz law'
2 Aug 2009 - The Knesset passed a land reform bill Monday that allows for privatization of state-owned lands. ...

Iran's Supreme Leader approves Ahmadinejad's second term
2 Aug 2009 - Iran's Supreme Leader endorsed the presidency of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a ceremony boycotted by leading moderates in protest at a disputed poll that plunged Iran into its worst crisis since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. ...

New York woman arrested over strangling death of Holocaust survivor
2 Aug 2009 - A New York City woman has been accused of strangling an 89-year-old man who survived the Holocaust after being sent to Auschwitz. ...

The Guardian

Police evict Palestinian families in Jerusalem
2 Aug 2009 - Police evicted two Palestinian families in east Jerusalem today, then allowed Jewish settlers to move into their homes, drawing criticism from the UN and the US. Part of the Arab neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah was cordoned...

How fame made it harder for Baron Cohen to fool his victims
31 Jul 2009 - Sacha Baron Cohen is notoriously reluctant to explain himself and his methods to the media, but a few of his secretive Ali G/Borat/Brüno techniques have emerged. It's fairly clear, in the Ali G days, that Baron...

The non-profit worker from Bethlehem who was branded a terrorist by Bruno
31 Jul 2009 - • Christian activist plans to sue Sacha Baron Cohen • Interview was filmed in hotel, not refugee camp For a supposed terrorist, Ayman Abu Aita is remarkably easy to find. It takes one phone call to...

Kite Festival in Palestine
31 Jul 2009 - Thursday 30 July, 2009: Thousands of children in the Gaza Strip attempted to set a new world record by flying colorful homemade kites on a Mediterranean beach in Beit Lahiya, northern Gaza Strip. The event was...

Ha'aretz National page

Police: Too early to assume Saturday attack was hate crime
2 Aug 2009 - Police Commissioner David Cohen called on the public not to blame ...

10 Israelis, Americans charged in massive U.S. tax fraud case
2 Aug 2009 - A scheme directed by an American in Israel in which fake income tax returns were filed on behalf of U.S. prison inmates netted refunds of more than e4 million, prosecutors said on Monday in announcing fraud charges. ...

Prosecution to indict mother suspected of starving her son
2 Aug 2009 - Prosecutors on Monday announced plans to bring an indictment against a Jerusalem mother suspected of starving her 3-year-old son. ...

Relief Web

UN Special Committee on Israeli Practices to visit Egypt, Jordan and Syria
3 Aug 2009 - Source: UN General Assembly, UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

OPT: EU disburses €12.75 million for Palestinian salaries and pensions
3 Aug 2009 - Source: European Commission, European Union

Iraq: UNHCR Operational Achievements, 1 Jan - 30 Jun 2009
3 Aug 2009 - Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees

YNet News

Dichter warns of 3rd intifada 
3 Aug 2009 - Former Shin Bet chief, internal security minister says reckless decisions by nearing Fatah congress may reignite armed conflict with Israel. 'It's clear that the PA has no intention of missing an opportunity – to miss an opportunity,' he says 

Prominent Al-Aqsa Brigades figures to attend Fatah congress
3 Aug 2009 - Five former commanders of Fatah's armed wing, including Zubeidi, to participate in opening of movement's sixth congress in Bethlehem with Israel's authorization 

US, Israel discuss curbs on imports of gasoline to Iran
3 Aug 2009 - Official in Jerusalem says allies have been discussing possible gasoline import ban if Tehran refuses to enter talks over it nuclear program, but adds Washington fears Islamic Republic's response may have hurt global oil markets. Experts: Fuel sanctions would not have much impact on Iran due to porous borders, history of smuggling petroleum products 

MKs Tibi, El-Sana held up on way to Fatah congress
3 Aug 2009 - Arab parliamentarians travelling to Bethlehem after receiving official invitation from Abbas delayed by Border Guard officers for more than an hour. 'It was embarrassing,' El-Sana says, 'it's not like we were trying to smuggle bombs' 

Clinton slams Israeli evictions of Palestinians 
3 Aug 2009 - US Secretary of State says eviction of Palestinian families from east Jerusalem 'not in keeping with Israeli obligations'; urges Netanyahu government to 'refrain from such provocative actions'; Jordanian counterpart: East Jerusalem is occupied territory 

Ahmadinejad gets key endorsement as Iran president; protests continue 
3 Aug 2009 - Supreme Leader Khamenei formally endorses Ahmadinejad for a second term as president in ceremony that highlighted deep political divides. Clashes erupted in north Tehran square; hundreds of protestors chant 'Death to dictator' 

8 settlers detained during outpost evacuation
3 Aug 2009 - IDF soldiers forcefully remove rightists from Reches Sela outpost near Bracha settlement after area declared closed military zone; eight detained. Daniella Weiss: We already rebuilt structure razed by security forces 

Drama in Lebanon: Jumblatt quits anti-Syrian camp
3 Aug 2009 - Druze leader rocks political arena by announcing his departure from Western-backed 'March 14' alliance; still unclear how development will influence government-building efforts 

B'tselem

Don't silence "Breaking the Silence"
1 Aug 2009 - Ten Israeli human rights and social change organizations have written to the prime minister protesting the government's attack on "Breaking the Silence", which escalated with the government's attempt to thwart funding for the group.

Daily Star

Khamenei approves Ahmadinejad’s second term
3 Aug 2009 - Iran’s supreme leader endorsed the presidency of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a ceremony boycotted by leading moderates in protest at a disputed poll that plunged Iran into its worst crisis since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Two former presidents, Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Mohammad Khatami.

Call to indict Lieberman stokes instability fears in Israel
3 Aug 2009 - Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Monday vowed to stand down if indicted on graft charges, raising the specter of disarray in the four-month-old rightwing coalition government. But the English-language Jerusalem Post said an indictment would have little direct impact on Israel’s foreign relations.

Fatah’s exiled delegates make bittersweet ‘return’
3 Aug 2009 - After lives spent in exile fighting Israel, it’s a bittersweet homecoming to the occupied West Bank for hundreds of veterans in the Fatah movement of the late Yasser Arafat. The Fatah old-timers from Syria, Lebanon and other Arab countries stepped on Palestinian soil for the first time this weekend.

Iraqi governor says police detained 36 Iranian exiles
3 Aug 2009 - Iraqi police have arrested 36 Iranian exiles on rioting charges after clashes with Iraqi forces at their camp killed at least seven exiles, but an Iraqi official said on Monday they would not be repatriated to Iran. Iraqi forces on Tuesday took control of Camp Ashraf on the Iranian border, home to the People’s Mujahideen Organization of Iran (PMOI).

Fatah tones down armed struggle in new proposed platform
3 Aug 2009 - The proposed new platform of the Palestinians’ moderate Fatah party marginalizes the once central theme of “armed struggle” against Israel, but demands a complete Israeli settlement freeze before talks for a final peace deal can take place. The 41-page draft, published Monday, is to be presented for approval this week to Fatah’s first convention in 20 years.

Washington mulls complex in US for terror suspects
3 Aug 2009 - The Obama administration is looking at creating a courtroom-within-a-pri son complex in the US to house suspected terrorists, combining military and civilian detention facilities at a single maximum-security prison. Several senior US officials said the administration is eyeing a soon-to-be-shuttered state maximum security prison in Michigan.

Generic drug consumption in Lebanon can cut health costs
3 Aug 2009 - Cutting health spending and buying effective cheaper medications have become the obsessions of many Leba nese families in these dire economic times. One of the ways to reduce the pharmaceuticals bill is to buy what is known in medical terms as generic drugs. There is a general consensus among pharmaceutical professionals.

Scores of mourners attend funeral for Shafiq al-Hout
3 Aug 2009 - Founding member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) Shafiq al-Hout was escorted to his final resting place on Monday after midday prayers at Al-Imam Ali mosque in Tariq al-Jdeideh. The crowded memorial gathering was attended by a plethora of Lebanese political figures including Prime Minister Fouad Siniora.

Palestinian Information Center

IOF troops kidnap Palestinian children in Al-Khalil
3 Aug 2009 - The Palestinian prisoner society in Al-Khalil city has revealed Monday that at least 69 Palestinian citizens, including 11 children, were kidnapped by IOF troops over the past month.

Masri: Int’l mediators understood the step taken against Fatah leaders in Gaza
3 Aug 2009 - MP Mushir Al-Masri stated Monday that the international parties, which tried to convince Hamas to allow members of Fatah to leave for the West Bank, understood its resort to this option.

Abu Shaar calls for defending the Aqsa Mosque
3 Aug 2009 - Taleb Abu Shaar, the minister of religious affairs, has urged Palestinian citizens to head to the Aqsa Mosque and to defend it in face of violations on the part of IOF and herds of settlers.

Hamas: PA militias intensified their attack on our cadres in Bethlehem
3 Aug 2009 - Hamas in Bethlehem said Monday that it is exposed to unprecedented ferocious attack by the Palestinian Authority’s militias which waged a broad campaign of political arrests in the district.

Ministry of education castigates Ramallah for firing 490 teachers
3 Aug 2009 - The ministry of education in Gaza Strip has castigated the Ramallah authority for sacking 490 teachers in the West Bank over the past two months, describing the sacking as of political nature.

IOA releases Hamas leader after 21 months of administrative detention
3 Aug 2009 - The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) released Sheikh Maher Al-Kharraz, one of the prominent Hamas figures in Nablus, after 21 months of administrative detention without trial or charge.

Interior ministry announces reopening of Rafah before passengers
3 Aug 2009 - The Palestinian ministry of interior announced the reopening of Rafah border crossing for three days and the entry of the first batch of buses full of passengers and patients into the Egyptian side.

Fatah in Arabian Gulf calls for boycotting Abbas’s conference in Bethlehem
3 Aug 2009 - Fatah in the Arabian Gulf declared its boycott of the conference of Bethlehem called for by Mahmoud Abbas and called for forming an emergency leadership headed by Al-Qaddoumi.

IOF soldiers round up 15 citizens including American activist
3 Aug 2009 - IOF at dawn Monday rounded up 14 Palestinians and an American citizen in the districts of Qalqilia, Nablus, Bethlehem, Al-Khalil and Ramallah with more than half of them from the latter.

Khudari: Islamic University achieved scientific progress despite siege
3 Aug 2009 - MP Jamal Al-Khudari has said that the new achievement of the Islamic University, topping the list of Palestinian universities, was a victory over the challenges of Israeli siege and aggression.

Los Angeles Times

Iran court warns against criticizing proceedings 
3 Aug 2009 - The threat comes after a round of condemnation over the televised court hearing of those accused in postelection unrest. The proceedings were labeled a 'sham' by opposition figure Mir-Hossein Mousavi. Tehran's hard-line Revolutionary Court warned Sunday that those criticizing its ongoing proceedings against postelection protesters could face jail time themselves. 

Iran puts 100 reformists, moderate politicians on trial 
2 Aug 2009 - Opposition leaders call the mass indictment baseless. Analysts say the trials are meant to bolster the cause of hard-liners ahead of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's confirmation for a second term. Iran's hard-line judiciary Saturday put 100 prominent moderate politicians and others on trial, accusing the country's main reformist political groups of working with foreigners to foment a popular uprising against the government. 

Gunman kills two at gay center in Israel 
2 Aug 2009 - A masked gunman slipped into a community center for gay teenagers in Tel Aviv and sprayed the room with automatic rifle fire late Saturday, killing two people and wounding at least 10 in what activists called Israel's deadliest crime against homosexuals. 

New York Times

Ahmadinejad’s Opponents Snub Election Ceremony
3 Aug 2009 - Several opponents of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad avoided a ceremony recognizing his re-election in Iran. 

Kurds Identify 3 Hikers Held in Iran
3 Aug 2009 - The Kurdish authorities named the three Americans as Shane Michael Bauer, of Emeryville, Calif., Joshua Felix Fattal, of Cottage Grove, Ore., and Sarah Emily Shourd. 

New U.S.-Israeli Crime Ring Detailed
3 Aug 2009 - The Israeli police said they cracked a ring that defrauded the U.S. tax authorities of tens of millions of dollars. 

Misc

Israel targets human rights groups 
8/3/2009 - The National - Jonathan Cook - NAZARETH // In a bid to staunch the flow of damaging evidence of war crimes committed during Israel’s winter assault on Gaza, the Israeli government has launched a campaign to clamp down on human rights groups, both in Israel and abroad. It has begun by targeting one of the world’s leading rights organisations, the US-based Human Rights Watch (HRW), as well as a local group of dissident army veterans, Breaking the Silence, which last month published the testimonies of 26 combat soldiers who served in Gaza. Additionally, according to the Israeli media, the government is planning a “much more aggressive stance” towards human rights groups working to help the Palestinians. Officials have questioned the sources of funding received by the organisations and threatened legislation to ban support from foreign governments, particularly in Europe. 

Former Irish president Mary Robinson ’bullied’ by pro-Israel lobbyists 
8/3/2009 - Belfast Telegraph - Former Irish president Mary Robinson accused "certain elements" of the Jewish community of bullying after a number of pro-Israel lobby groups voiced concerns over her being awarded the top US civilian honour. US President Barack Obama has come under fire from a number of pro-Israeli online sources for honouring Ms Robinson with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. But Ms Robinson hit back yesterday at what she described as allegations "totally without foundation" of her condoning anti-Semitic behaviour at the Durban World Conference Against Racism in 2001. " It's totally without foundation but when stuff is out on the internet, I'm not quite sure what you can do," Ms Robinson told RTE Radio One yesterday. Ms Robinson insisted that she never supported any anti-Semitism and cited her decision at the conference to reject a civil society document which she deemed racist. 

Fatah leader warns of party split 
8/3/2009 - Jerusalem Post - As more than 2,000 delegates gathered in Bethlehem for the long-delayed Sixth Fatah Congress, the leader of Fatah in Bethlehem warned of a split in the party if the leadership denies a role to the younger generation who launched a wave of violence against Israel in the second intifada. A Palestinian woman rests next to a wall decorated with a graffiti supporting Fatah, in the West Bank refugee camp of Kalandia. "There will be a clear split within Fatah," Abdullah Abu Hadid, secretary of Fatah in Bethlehem and a leader of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, told The Media Line in an exclusive interview. "We have the leaders of the first and second intifadas and the real leaders of the Palestinian people, the leaders of the Palestinian street. " Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has been struggling to stay in control of the movement after they lost an election in 2006 to Hamas and were expelled from Gaza in a bloody coup the following year. 

Katz: Fatah ’plan’ is declaration of war 
8/2/2009 - Jerusalem Post - Fatah's draft "political plan," leaked to several Arab newspapers over the weekend, "is a declaration of war on the state of Israel," Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz said Sunday during a meeting of Likud ministers. " The refusal to acknowledge Israel as a Jewish state, the demand for a withdrawal to the 1967 lines and for the full right of return for Palestinian refugees - this means wiping Israel out of existence," he said. The document reportedly also reiterates Fatah's commitment to the "armed struggle" against Israel as one of the methods of achieving an independent Palestinian state. It calls for Palestinians to unilaterally declare such a state if peace talks fail. " We must adopt a clear stance in the face of these positions," Katz said. According to Channel 10, the ministers agreed to await Fatah's official stance before responding. 

Lieberman: I’ll resign if A-G indicts me 
8/3/2009 - Jerusalem Post - Avigdor Lieberman would give up all three of his posts as foreign minister, Israel Beiteinu chairman and MK in the wake of an indictment on corruption charges, expected in the coming months, he said during a press conference at the Knesset Monday. But a defiant Lieberman said he was certain he would be found innocent and would return to all three positions even stronger. He said he slept soundly after the police announced their recommendation to indict him on Sunday, and that his conscience was clear. " I'm happy that after great efforts and an appeal to the High Court of Justice, the investigation has reached its conclusion, and I hope the State Attorney's Office will supply a swift answer," Lieberman said. " I reviewed everything I said in the questioning sessions, and I am at peace with all of my actions," he said. "If I had the opportunity to do things over again, I would do the same. " 

Netanyahu: We uprooted Israelis from Gaza, and now it is a terror base 
8/2/2009 - Ha'aretz - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu remarked on the four-year anniversary of Israel's withdrawal from Gaza. At the weekly cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said that "Israel uprooted 10,000 of its citizens from their homes and Gaza has turned into a terror base under the control of Hamas, and sponsored by Iran. ""I want to stress the fact that we are committed to the full rehabilitation of those uprooted, and the cabinet will discuss the matter next week," Netanyahu added. "We will not put up with rocket fire [from Gaza] into our communities. We will decisively respond to every attack," the prime minister went on to declare. "Peace will once again be based on reciprocation. ""Israel expects the Palestinians to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, it expects that the refugee issue be resolved outside of Israel and the implementation of effective security solutions with international guarantees 

Israel lets Palestinians use Hebron road for first time in 8 years 
8/2/2009 - Ha'aretz - Israeli authorities on Sunday opened a road from Hebron to the Jewish settlement of Kiryat Arba to Palestinian traffic for the first time in eight years. Tzir Zion Road, or "Route of Zion," is the central artery connecting all the Jewish locations in the West Bank city. It was closed to Palestinian traffic in 2001, not long after the outbreak of the second intifada and following a spate of terror attacks against Israelis. In 2008, the Hebron municipality petitioned the High Court in a bid to cancel the restrictions on Palestinian vehicles. The state told the High Court in response that it would drop some of the restrictions, and that the road would be opened to Palestinians with prior approval and whose vehicles have been registered. Hebron governor Hussein al-Araj said the opening of the road on Sunday was an attempt by Israel to distract from its continued settlement activities, which its main ally, the United States, wants stopped. 

VIDEO - Israel evicts two Palestinian families
8/2/2009 - YouTube - Al Jazeera - Israeli security forces have forcibily evicted two Palestinian families from a contested East Jerusalem neighbourhood. The families have lived in Sheikh Jarrah since 1956 but an Israeli court ruled that the homes belonged to Jewish families. Al Jazeera's Sherine Tadros reports from occupied East Jerusalem. [end] 

VIDEOS - Zionist Hatred; Where It Starts, What It Leads To
8/3/2009 - Desert Peace - Hatred among the zionist settlers starts at an early age. They learn by example, their parents are hateful towards their Palestinian neighbours leaving the children with the impression that this behaviour is the norm. Ibn Ezra posted a brilliant video about these children, followed by what they get involved in when they become adults. . . . Palestinian children from the villages surrounding Tuwani in the south West Bank are often attacked on the way to school by settlers from the illegal outpost of Havat Maon. On the 1st of August, members of Ta’ayush were attacked by settler childern while protecting childern on their way to school. . . . Interviews conducted by Antony Loewenstein from a protest outside of a house in Shiek Jarrah (East Jerusalem) which is slated to be demolished to make room for Jewish settlers in East Jerusalem. Hagit Ofran talks about the plan by Irving Moskowitz to make the famous Shepherd hotel in to an apartment building for Jewish settlers. 

Articles

A Jeremiad 
Uri Avnery, Ma’an News Agency 8/2/2009
      Dear Dov Yermiya, I have received the distressing letter that you recently sent to a limited number of friends. You paint the Israeli reality in dark - but true - colors, and end by cutting your ties with it. 
     “Therefore I, a 95-year-old sabra (native-born Israeli Jew), who has plowed its fields, planted trees, built a house and fathered sons, grandsons and great-grandsons, and also shed his blood in the battle for the founding of the State of Israel... Declare herewith that I renounce my belief in the Zionism which has failed, that I shall not be loyal to the Jewish fascist state and its mad visions, that I shall not sing anymore its nationalist anthem, that I shall stand at attention only on the days of mourning for those fallen on both sides in the wars, and that I look with a broken heart at an Israel that is committing suicide and at the three generations of offspring that I have bred and raised in it.”
     Since I first met you, Dov, some 50 years ago, I have always considered you the salt of the earth. You were born in a village, the son of a farmer, were a fighter in the 1948 war and later a colonel in the army, a modest man, a moral person in every fiber. In the first Lebanon war, you exposed the atrocities committed against the Palestinian refugees in the Tyre-Sidon area, and your courageous report shocked me no less than those of the Sabra and Shatila massacre. You did not hesitate to break the silence, as the Breaking the Silence youngsters are doing now, knowing full well that your peers in the officers’ corps would excommunicate you. You are a man of my heart, Dov. That is why your words distress me so much. I think it important to share the statement of a man of your caliber with those in our camp who spend sleepless nights worrying about the situation of our state.
     You start your letter by mentioning the founders of the Zionist movement. “If Herzl could come to life again and see what those who claim to carry the flag of Zionism are doing, he would flee at once, miserable and shocked, back to his grave. So would Chaim Weizmann and most of the pioneers, the fathers and mothers of my generation. They were people of conscience and morality, who held to the axiom that human beings are decent and honest.”

Stolen Beauty 
Peter Rothberg, The Nation 7/31/2009
      Ahava Beauty Products promises "beauty secrets from the Dead Sea" but the real secret is that its products come from stolen Palestinian natural resources in the Occupied Territory, and are produced in the illegal settlement of Mitzpe Shalem. The company’s appropriation of materials from the Dead Sea is, according to the Fourth Geneva Convention, a patently illegal use of resources by an occupying power.
     Ahava puts a pretty face on its crimes, paying noted progressive actress and Oxfam Ambassador Kristen Davis to be its spokeswoman. But here’s what Oxfam itself has to say about Ahava’s business practices:
     "The settlements on the West Bank are illegal under international humanitarian law and that creates a lot of problems for the Palestinians that live there."
     "Consumers that are buying produce that are grown in illegal settlements need to have that information so that they can make an informed choice." 
     So when Ahava labels its products’ origin as "The Dead Sea, Israel," the company is asserting a view of the region shared by very little of the world in an effort to actively mislead its consumers. In response, the womens’ activist group CodePink has launched a boycott of Ahava and a series of actions designed to educate consumers about the unseemly back-story of this upscale cosmetics concern.
     The Hebrew word "Ahava" means love, but there’s nothing loving about what the company is doing in the West Bank. So check out this Ten-Step Guide to exposing the truth about Ahava’s dirty secrets, sign a petition supporting the boycott and spread the word with an E-Card telling your friends and family about Ahava’s dirty secret.


Electronic Intifada
Gaza's cars barely running
3 Aug 2009 - GAZA CITY, occupied Gaza Strip (IPS) - Saleh wonders how he will pay for a replacement car part he bought from the tunnels black market. "It cost more than $1,000. Before the siege, it would have been 500 to 1,000 shekels (roughly $125-$250), at most $250. Anyway, I had to buy it; you need to maintain the car when you use it all the time." The father of five drives one of Gaza's many run-down taxis, working around the clock but earning just enough to get by. 

The ugly reality of Israel's settlement-made beauty products
3 Aug 2009 - Israel enjoys free trade of industrial goods with Europe under the Association Agreement it signed with the European Union in 2000. Yakov Ellis, chief executive officer of the Israeli cosmetics company Ahava, told the BBC radio program Today on 5 November 2008 that his company has benefitted from the free trade with the EU. Adri Nieuwhof reports for The Electronic Intifada. 

A third uprising?
3 Aug 2009 - "I recently returned from the Holy Land after leading about 40 Presbyterians from Galilee to Jerusalem. This isn't new territory for me. I've been in the country many times leading students, working at archaeology digs, speaking at conferences, and occasionally taking a church such as this. And this time what I saw and heard was worrying." Author and Bible scholar Gary Burge comments on rising frustration amidst Israel's policies that are destroying Palestinian communities and futures across the occupied West Bank. 

In Gaza
And Still They Run These Taxis
3 Aug 2009 - * Nabil, a taxi driver from Gaza, beside a car that barely runs. [photo: Emad Badwan ] Aug 3 (IPS) - Salleh wonders how he will pay for a replacement car part he bought from the tunnels black market. “It cost over 1,000 dollars. Before the siege, it would have been 500 to 1000 shekels (roughly 125 to 250 dollars), at most 250 dollars. Anyway, I had to buy it; you need to maintain the car when you use it all the time.” The father of five drives one of Gaza’s many run-down taxis, working round the clock but earning just enough to get by. “I work day and night, but...

Palestine Chronicle
On Exploiting Land and Natural Gas
3 Aug 2009 - By Dina Jadallah There is a paradox at the heart of recent news stories from Egypt, Israel, and the Palestinian Authority concerning various natural gas and land 'business deals.' For in this day of seemingly unsurpassed state power there is a tendency to downplay its true extent. It is frequently proclaimed that the exigencies of international power structures limit state agency. Often, the aim is to shield the state and/or the true holders of power in the state from the consequences of rapacious behavior toward citizens and resources. This is accomplished by subordinating political issues and political space to private economic entities. The latter are presented as imposing their own supra-national legitimacy and agenda dissociated completely from the political sphere of the state and thus, (conveniently) circumscribing and directing the actions of the state itself. The “political’ space includes the questions of poverty; access and influence over the direction of government; historical national rights and their protection; distribution of benefits from national resources; adherence to and application of national and international laws; and so forth. Many times, the “political” imposes limits on the state even when it is dictatorial as is the case in the Arab world. To counteract these limits, economic supra-national structures and the ideology of free market capitalism, liberalization, globalization, and privatization are used by the state as rationalizations. Thus, the state can: a) escape its responsibilities to its citizens; b) usurp the “national interest” in the sense of distributive benefits to the widest number possible; c)...

Life in the Bubble: At Home in the Israeli Settler State
3 Aug 2009 - By Ed Kinane Given my Judeo-Christian roots, I’ve long wanted to visit 'The Holy Land.' The US-supported Israeli attack on Gaza this past winter lent urgency to that longing. This spring I joined a delegation going to Israel and the West Bank of the Israeli-Occupied Palestinian Territories. Altogether I spent a month experiencing those tense and militarized lands. What most surprised me on this tour was how at home I felt – not in the West Bank, but in Israel. Except for signs in Hebrew, things often seemed so “American” that it was like we were in the 51st state. For example, even in the Arab quarters of Israeli cities, many non-Arab Israelis dress with an immodesty that surely offends the indigenous Muslim people they live among. But this at-home feeling went beyond appearances. It was in the attitudes. The non-activist Israelis I met reminded me of many folks back in the US. Here were nice, hospitable, English-speaking people who – just as in the US – live in what I call the “Bubble.” Colonizing and nationalizing our minds, the Bubble is spun by our governments and mainstream media. It narrows our horizons, drowns our dissent, stifles the voices of the voiceless. Distracting and trivializing, the Bubble shelters us from others’ pain. The non-activist Jewish Israelis I met seemed oblivious to – or were quick to rationalize – how predatory their military and the Israeli settlers they protect were being in the Occupied Territories. They took for granted the great...

NYT to Be First Signature on San José Accord
3 Aug 2009 - By Belen Fernandez Over the past few days in Honduras, I have received a number of emails from various parts of the world notifying me that the coup is over thanks to the San José Accord brokered by Costa Rican President Oscar Arias. My attempts to discuss the breakthrough with Hondurans here in Tegucigalpa have largely been met with a wave of the hand and roll of the eyes, behavior that detracts slightly from the optimism of the July 29 New York Times article proclaiming: “Honduran Leader Backs Return of President.” Further detraction has been supplied by Honduran Leader Roberto Micheletti himself, whose reaction to a recent meeting in Managua between ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya and US ambassador to Honduras Hugo Llorens is described on page 16 of the July 31 edition of La Tribuna. Micheletti is quoted as warning that Llorens is committing a grave error if he is considering a reinstatement of Zelaya as president; several paragraphs later, however, some of the spirit of “Honduran Leader Backs Return of President” is recuperated with the information that Micheletti welcomes Zelaya back to Honduras to be tried for his crimes. A link to the text of the San José Accord is provided in a July 25 New York Times article entitled “Military in Honduras Backs Plan on Zelaya,” which also provides a link to the military communiqué from which the New York Times deduced said backing. A glance at the communiqué reveals that the backing actually consists of support...

Homeward Bound: Gaza in 24 Hours
1 Aug 2009 - By Dr. Mona El Farra - Gaza As soon as I arrived home, I felt a great relief, if that is the right word. I had been unable to return home to Gaza since before the 23 days of bombing of Gaza earlier this year, because of the ongoing siege. I am not sure that the word relief summarizes my intense and conflicting emotions. Mixed feelings of relief, happiness, but also disorientation, continued to overwhelm me. Gaza my beautiful home, yes, my beautiful home, my beautiful people, who are trying so hard to live. To continue from one day to another. Despite the odds, the hardships, the deaf ears of the world. The same day of my arrival home, July 9th 2009, I could see from my balcony the rubble of what had been at one time Arafat's headquarters, The whole building was completely demolished, leveled to the ground, blowing out the windows on one side of my apartment building. It is the same place where one of my cousins was killed in the first day of the attack assault against Gaza last December -January. I now see a different Gaza, and it is not the Gaza I have known; it is like a city after an earthquake. Many of the historically important buildings were leveled to the ground. I decided to postpone my field visits to the different areas where the assaults were the most savage and brutal. I thought it might be a good idea to wait for...

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