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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
10 August , 2009

News

International Middle East Media Center

Netanyahu phones Mubarak, thanks him for foiling a plot to 'assassinate Israeli ambassador'
11 Aug 2009 - Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, phoned the Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak, on Monday, thanking him and his security forces for apprehending a ‘cell that planned to assassinate’ the Israeli ambassador. 

PPS: "25 detainees in Ofer moved to prison clinic"
11 Aug 2009 - The Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) reported Monday that 25 detainees, imprisoned at the Ofer Israeli detention facility, were moved to the prison clinic after suffering from high fever, and that some of them are in serious conditions. 

No Arabic allowed in Israeli swimming pool
11 Aug 2009 - A trip for some 250 children from Al Jish village, near Safad north of the country, had to be cut short after the manager of a Jewish-run swimming pool refused to allow the organizers of the Jish Church Summer camp, play Arabic music. 

Road in East Jerusalem collapses, allegedly due to Israeli excavation
10 Aug 2009 - Part of a main road in the Silwan area in East-Jerusalem collapsed on Monday, allegedly due to underground Israeli excavations, a local civic activist that witnessed the incident told local media. 

After Fayyad government shuts down Al Jazeera for broadcasting Qaddumi speech, Abbas to make amends
10 Aug 2009 - Sources in the Fateh leadership said Monday morning that new efforts are underway to heal the rift between President Mahmoud Abbas and PLO Executive Committee member Farouk Qaddumi. 

Israeli Air Force shells an area in Rafah
10 Aug 2009 - The Israeli Air force shelled the “Tunnels area” in Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, while the Israeli Navy shelled areas across the Gaza Coast in what the Navy described as retaliation to homemade shells fired from Gaza. 

Clashes reported between settlers and residents in Sheikh Jarrah
10 Aug 2009 - Palestinian sources in Jerusalem reported that a group of extremist settlers, led by two right-wing members of Knesset, broke into Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem in support of expelling the Palestinians out of their homes. 

Ha'aretz Defense page

Lebanon army on alert after reported IDF build-up on border
10 Aug 2009 - PM denies tensions increasing with Beirut; Israel warns: Hezbollah plotting to hit Israeli targets abroad. 

Yishai: U.S. can't stop West Bank settlement expansion
10 Aug 2009 - Interior Minister hopes to convince U.S. to allow E-1 construction, but Israel must act in own interest anyway. 

IDF chief rabbi: Army magazine shouldn't cover gays
10 Aug 2009 - Police widen investigation of ultra-Orthodox soldier who posted threats online against gay community. 

Israel vows to respond to every Gaza rocket
9 Aug 2009 - IDF attacks Gaza smuggling tunnel in response to Qassam and mortar shells; no casualties. 

Clinton: U.S. has no illusions Iran wants talks over nuclear program
9 Aug 2009 - Secretary of State says U.S. will not wait much longer for Tehran to respond to diplomatic overtures. 

Ma'an News

Report: Israeli settlers plant trees on Palestinian land
8/10/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - For the second Friday morning in a row, Israeli settlers planted trees in the Beqa'a Valley near Hebron on land belonging to a Palestinian family, according to a Christian organization operating in the area. The Christian Peacemakers Team said in a statement that at about 10:30am, a Palestinian farmer in the Beqa'a called to say settlers were on their land. The team said three of its members arrived just as the last three Israeli police officers were leaving. Meanwhile, the head of the Palestinian family involved said a military jeep came at 3am and took some photos, then returned about 6am and sat waiting at the junction of the village road with Bypass Road 60. Some 40-50 settlers reportedly arrived between 8-9am, along with about 20 soldiers in six or seven jeeps. Settlers planted about 60 pine seedlings on the terrace directly above the family's home, the Palestinian said. 

East Jerusalem road collapses, allegedly due to Israeli excavation
8/10/2009 - Jerusalem - Ma'an - A section of a main road collapsed in the Silwan area of East Jerusalem as a result of underground Israeli excavation on Monday, according to a local civic activist who witnessed the incident. According to Jawad Siyam, member of the local defense committee in the Wadi Hilweh section of Silwan, the Israeli-controlled Jerusalem Municipality is digging a tunnel in the Al-Ayn area heading north towards the iconic Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem's Old City. He said after the street collapsed, personnel from the municipality and the Israel Antiquities Authority closed off the section of the road. A similar collapse reportedly occurred about two months ago at Ad-Daraj neighborhood in the Al-Ayn area as a result of Israeli excavations. Israeli archaeologists have been digging for years underneath Silwan, which they say is the site of the fortress of the biblical King David. 

Hebron settlers rampage in reaction to outpost crackdown
8/11/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Israeli settlers rampaged through the southern West Bank city of Hebron on Monday afternoon, smashing the windows of cars and setting fire to at least one vehicle, according to Israeli media. No casualties were immediately reported in the attacks, which were reportedly in response to the Israeli army's dismantling of an unauthorized settler outpost elsewhere in the West Bank. According to reports in the same news sources, Israeli police later said that there had been no settler attacks in Hebron on Monday. Militant settler groups have declared their intention to exact a "price tag" for every outpost or structure that is removed by their government. Usually this involves attacks on Palestinians. In a separate incident, Palestinians said that settlers stoned cars on a highway south of the city of Nablus, in the northern West Bank. 

Fatah establishment faces unexpectedly strong election challenge
8/10/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an Exclusive - Fatah's old guard spent an unexpectedly anxious night awaiting the results of leadership elections at their party's convention in the West Bank city of Bethlehem. "I did not know it was going to be that hard. [Fatah] is really a large movement, and no one dares to think he is confident that the delegates will elect him. I could tell you I have been counting the minutes rather than the hours," said one candidate for the party's top governing body, the Central Committee. Fatah's elections committee then announced on Monday afternoon that delegates in Gaza will begin voting at 4pm on Monday, which means the results will not be released until Tuesday morning. Based on interviews with Fatah delegates, candidates, and analysts, Ma'an has learned that the coterie of establishment Fatah figures, linked closely to President Mahmoud Abbas and the. . . 

PFLP: Investigate Hamas member’s death in PA prison
8/10/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - The leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) called for an independent investigation into the death of a Hamas member in a Palestinian Authority (PA) prison on Monday. The PFLP in a statement called for national and Islamic factions to back the investigation. It also called for an end to politically-motivated arrests and respect for human rights. The statement was in reference to the death of 27-year-old Fadi Hamadneh from the village of Asira Ash-Shamaliyya, near the northern West Bank city of Nablus. Hamas said his death was the result of torture. According to the PA's security services spokesman, Adnan Demeiri, Hamadneh was found dead after he hung himself with a bed sheet tied around his neck. Dmeiri said officers on the scene took the man's brother-in-law, Shakir Dababsa, to the scene of the alleged suicide to prove that the man's death was not the result of foul play. 

Hamas: PA tortured prisoner to death
8/10/2009 - Nablus - Ma'an - A Hamas-affiliated detainee died while in the custody of Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces at Juneid prison in Nablus, a security official told Ma'an on Monday afternoon. The PA's security services spokesman, Adnan Demeiri, identified the victim as 27-year-old Fadi Hamadneh from Asira Ash-Shamaliyya village, near the northern West Bank city of Nablus. Hamas said his death was the result of torture. Hamadneh is the fourth Hamas member to die in a PA prison since 2007, when the Islamic movement took full control of the Gaza Strip, triggering a Fatah power grab in the West Bank. According to the PA's version of events, Hamadneh was found dead after he hung himself with a bed sheet tied around his neck. Dmeiri said officers on the scene took the man's brother-in-law Shakir Dababsa to the scene of the alleged suicide to prove that the man's death was not the result of foul play. 

Israel to open three Gaza crossing points
8/11/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Israeli authorities will open all three commercial crossings into the Gaza Strip on Monday, a Palestinian official said. Ra'ed Fattouh, a crossings official charged with liaising with Israel, said it planned to allow in 62-72 trucks of foreign humanitarian aid and consumer goods at the Kerem Shalom crossing. Cooking gas and industrial grade diesel for Gaza's sole power plant will be allowed through the Nahal Oz terminal, he said. Goods will also be shipped through the Karni crossing, which is often closed, Fattouh added. Monday's fuel announcement came the same week as one of the power station's generators was shut down for lack of supplies. The Power and Natural Resources Authority in Gaza announced Thursday that output would decrease to 55 megawatts, resulting in 30 percent less available power during prime hours. 

Islamic Jihad delegation returns from Cairo, Damascus
8/10/2009 - Al-Arish - Ma'an - A delegation representing the Islamic Jihad movement returned on Sunday evening to the Gaza Strip via Rafah after after a 17-day official visit to Egypt and Syria. The delegation held talks with Egyptian national security officials and while in Damascus the delegation met with other Islamic Jihad leaders. Delegates included senior leaders Khalid Al-Batsh, Muhammad Al-Hindi, Jamil "˜Ulayyan, Khadr Habib, and Ibrahim An-Najjar. Ma'an's Egypt correspondent caught up with the delegation as it arrived in Al-Arish, en route to Rafah crossing. "We met with Undersecretary Muhammad Ibrahim, an Egyptian national security official," said Khalid Al-Batsh. "Talks were in regard to the necessity to justly end Palestinian rivalry and resume national unity. " He reiterated the necessity that Egypt and Islamic Jihad agree on carrying out the next round of Palestinian. . . 

Israel lobbyists to host 29 more US lawmakers
8/10/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Some 29 Democratic Party members of the United States House of Representatives will visit Israel next Thursday, according to a forwarded statement on Monday. "The group of Democratic legislators will be in Israel for one week on a trip led by Rep. Steny Hoyer, the House Majority Leader," said a statement sent by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). "The trip is fully sponsored by the American Israel Education Foundation, a supporting organization of AIPAC, America's only pro-Israel lobby," added the statement, which was sent from AIPAC's Jerusalem office. It was not immediately clear if the Democratic lawmakers would visit any West Bank settlements during their visit, which comes exactly one week after an event organized at the illegal Alfei Menashe settlement for their Republican counterparts. 

Israeli interior minister: US won’t stop settlement expansion
8/10/2009 - behind the E1 zone, east of JerusalemBethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Israel's interior minister said on Monday that US opposition would not stop his government from expanding illegal West Bank settlements. "There is no doubt that the new [US] administration is different from the last, and this obligates us to make great efforts in order to convince the Americans" to allow settlement expansion, said Interior Minister Eli Yishai. Yishai was speaking while touring the critical E1 area, in between East Jerusalem and the large settlement of Ma'aleh Adumim. The construction of settlement housing there is strongly opposed by the US. The Palestinian Authority says Israeli control of the zone would cancel any chance of a territorially contiguous state in the West Bank and Gaza. "You cannot tell us we must not build within the settlement blocs," said Yishai, whose religious Shas party. . . 

Saudi Arabia to deliver 200 million USD to PA
8/10/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - Saudi Arabia will deliver 200 million US dollars to the Palestinian Authority (PA), caretaker Prime Minister Salam Fayyad announced on Monday. In a press conference at his Ramallah office, Fayyad said that "this generous delivery from Saudi Arabia will enable the PA to fulfill its commitments to the Palestinians who are living under siege, mainly in Gaza. " The funds are to be transferred to the PA treasury over the coming days, he said. Fayyad said that the aid-dependent PA has spend more than three billion US dollars since his government was appointed in mid-2007 following the breakup of the Hamas-Fatah unity government. He also said that the PA, based in Ramallah, sends some 120 million US dollars to the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip each month to pay workers' salaries, pensions, and social allowances, in addition to public services. 

Poll examines Fatah attitudes on sixth conference
8/10/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The research unit at Ma'an Network held a survey of Fatah members on the movement's future, conducted during the fourth through sixth days of the conference in Bethlehem. A representative sample of 344 members was obtained, which included delegates from the West Bank, Gaza and Diaspora. More than half of those surveyed (62%) had arrived from inside the Palestinian territories, while 38 percent originated in the Diaspora. An overwhelming majority of respondents, and likely delegates in general, were men (83. 3%); 16. 7 percent were women. Accountability - About two thirds (64%) of respondents said they expected the conference to implant a better degree of accountability within the Fatah movement, while 8. 5 percent said the opposite. More than a quarter (27. 5%), however, were neutral. With regard to the conference's role in reforming the Fatah movement. . . . 

Hamas: PA security detained three supporters
8/10/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Hamas accused the overwhelmingly Fatah-backed Palestinian Authority's security sources of detaining three supporters in the West Bank on Sunday night. In a statement to Ma'an on Monday, the Islamic movement claimed the detained were from the southern West Bank city of Hebron, as well as Jenin and Tubas in the north. Hamas provided a list of names for verification, but Ma'an no longer publishes them due to privacy concerns. The issue of arbitrary and political detentions is a main stumbling block for efforts to reunite the rival Palestinian parties, which have continuously failed to agree on a unity deal since 2007, when Hamas was left in control of Gaza and Fatah's PA with the West Bank. For its part, the PA has repeatedly and recently denied that it holds prisoners for anything but violations of the law. 

PA MoH: Hamas government trapping patients in Gaza
8/10/2009 - Nablus - Ma'an - The Palestinian Authority's Ministry of Health said Monday that the Gaza-based de facto government was preventing residents there from traveling to the West Bank, Jordan or Israel for treatment. In a statement to Ma'an, the PA ministry said it would hold the Hamas-backed government responsible for the lives of dozens of patients allegedly refused travel by authorities, specifically citing limitations at the Erez crossing. The de facto government's practices are "besieging the already besieged in Gaza," according to the Fatah-backed ministry's statement, which added it had exerted significant efforts to coordinate with Israeli authorities to acquire permits for Gazans seeking treatment there. The statement highlighted cases in which the Hamas-run government dismissed veteran physicians who were highly trained by the PA Health Ministry, and claimed the authorities in Gaza replaced them with inexperienced doctors. 

Gaza’s Fatah delegates vote by phone in extended leadership poll
8/11/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The executive director of Fatah's sixth conference, Munir Salamah, announced on Monday evening that the party had reopened voting to delegates in Gaza. He noted that a rescheduled vote was set to conclude by 4pm Monday, but that the deadline was lifted to ensure every Gazan wanting to cast a ballot would have the opportunity. Delegates will be permitted to vote by phone throughout Monday evening from the Strip, he said, where they have been asked to phone in voter registration information. However due to restrictions on travel in Gaza, as well as added registration complications, a number of delegates complained that not enough time had been provided for them. Thus the Elections Committee in Bethlehem extended the vote to anyone who missed the 4pm deadline. The original schedule stipulated that voting was to end by midnight on Sunday evening, but it was. . . 

PA: Hamas fired four doctors from Gaza’s Ash-Shifa Hospital
8/10/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Ramallah accused Hamas authorities on Monday of dismissing four doctors from Ash-Shifa Hospital in Gaza for no legitimate reason. The ministry said in a statement that Hamas ordered the doctors Basel Fada, Wesam Awadallah, Iyas Deka and Mohammad Al-Halabi to leave Gaza's largest hospital immediately, in a decision enforced by the Gaza security forces. The ministry also appealed for international help in stopping Hamas from "destroying what is left of the health sector in Gaza. " After winning parliamentary elections in 2006, Hamas took full control of the Gaza Strip through force in June 2007. President Mahmoud Abbas then appointed Salam Fayyad, an economist favored by donor states, to lead a caretaker government that still holds power only in the West Bank. 

Vote counting underway in Fatah leadership election
8/10/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Vote counting began on Monday night in two key leadership elections at Fatah's party congress in the West Bank city of Bethlehem. The conference's executive director, Munir Salameh, said that by 12:30pm, 39% of the votes were counted in the race for the Central Committee, the highest decision-making body. He said he expected counting to continue until 3:00am. Vote counting in the race for the Revolutionary Council, the second-highest body, will take place on Tuesday, Salameh said. President Mahmoud Abbas and a number of Fatah officials are overseeing the vote count in the Terra Sancta school hall in Bethlehem. Vote counting was delayed in order to allow the 300 Fatah delegates trapped in Gaza to cast votes over the phone for a few more hours on Monday evening. Most of the 2,000 other delegates cast paper ballots on Sunday at the conference hall in Bethlehem. 

Strong day for PSE stocks: Al-Quds Index up 1.19%
8/10/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The Palestine Securities Exchange in Nablus had another strong day on Monday, following a surge on Sunday. At the close of trading the Al-Quds Index stood at 518. 53, marking an increase of 6. 11 points (1. 19%) over Sunday's close. Trading Volume for Monday reached 923,207 shares, a total value of 2,940,163. 14 US dollars, over the course of 523 trades. The shares of 21 companies were traded. The shares prices of 13 companies rose, while those of four others declined. [end] 

The National

Fatah's voting deadline extended
10 Aug 2009 - Organisers ensure delegates from Gaza, who were banned by Hamas from attending the conference, have their ballots included.

Fatah concludes elections
10 Aug 2009 - Members of Fatah finish voting in an election marking the movement's first convention in 20 years, in a bid to reinvigorate the leadership by bringing in new faces.

Gaza sees brief flare-up of violence
10 Aug 2009 - Israeli planes bomb a smuggling tunnel along the Gaza-Egypt border this morning in response to Palestinian rocket and mortar fire.

Spies or pawns in a power struggle?
8 Aug 2009 - The key questions surrounding the trials in Tehran.

Aljazeera

Fatah vote-counting under way
10 Aug 2009 - Delegates at West Bank conference hope to rejuvenate Palestinan political movement.

Inquiry urged into Iran rape claims
10 Aug 2009 - Iranian reformist says detained protesters have reported abuses during time in custody

Palestine News Network

Israeli Interior Minister calls on Jewish state to ignore US pressure regarding settlement activity
10 Aug 2009 - Tel Aviv / PNN – Leader of the Israeli Shas movement and Israeli Interior Minister, Eli Yishai, said today that the American administration should be ignored. The Barack Obama Administration, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, has been calling on the Israelis to honor international law and cease settlement activity in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The Americans have backed down significantly...

After eight years Israeli prisons Golan man released, call to include more Arabs in Shalit exchange
10 Aug 2009 - Ramallah / PNN – This morning the prisoner Khater was released after eight years. He is from the Israeli-occupied Syrian Golan Heights and this release is part of a larger program to lessen the numbers at the northern Jelbua Prison.The Center for Prisoners Studies said today that Khater had already been arrested by the occupying Israeli authorities for questions regarding national activities. The...

Real happenings of Fateh conference taking place over coffee and cigarettes, and in hotel corridors
10 Aug 2009 - Bethlehem / Hiba Lama for PNN – The hotels in the city of Bethlehem are teeming with participants in the Fateh Sixth Conference. They are sitting at café tables, on couches and standing in lobbies. What they are talking about are the various topics of daily life; including economic, political and social concerns. Before being active members of a political movement, they are...

After Fayyad government shuts down Al Jazeera for broadcasting Qaddumi speech, Abbas to make amends
9 Aug 2009 - Bethlehem / PNN - Sources in the Fateh leadership said Monday morning that new efforts are underway to heal the rift between President Mahmoud Abbas and PLO Executive Committee member Farouk Qaddumi. The stage is set in Bethlehem at the Fateh Sixth Conference. The issue between the two was exacerbated last month when Al Jazeera broadcast Qaddumi suggesting a possible link between Abbas...

One year since the passing of Mahmoud Darwish: Make yourself what you want 
8 Aug 2009 - Kristen Ess - A year has passed since the words were written on PNN, “There is no news today of more importance: There is only sorrow as we mourn the loss of Mahmoud Darwish.” A year has passed since tears flowed openly at Ramallah’s Al Muqata, the presidential headquarters, between officials, family, friends, journalists and members of the security, during a funeral...

Palestinian political prisoners deprived of family and legal visits due to summer vacation
8 Aug 2009 - Ramallah / PNN – For Palestinian political prisoners, family visits, and those with the Red Cross and legal advisors, are difficult on what is considered a normal day. Families must wake before the crack of dawn for bus transportation that includes several checkpoints, lengthy waits, and invasive searches.Now the situation is even more difficult, beyond the thick plastic that normally separates father from...

Palestinian National Initiative continues to push draft bill allowing grants to university students
8 Aug 2009 - Ramallah / PNN – Higher education is difficult to come by under occupation, and those who are able still have a difficult time coming up with the funds. Ramallah’s Birzeit University offers competitive programs, while Bethlehem University began a new masters degree in international relations. Most students go outside for grad school, but for those who stay inside the Palestinian territory for undergrad...

IRIN

OPT: Explosives, mines and white phosphorus clean-up operation 
GAZA CITY Sunday, August 09, 2009 (IRIN) - The UN Development Programme (UNDP) has begun removing 600,000MT of rubble and debris left over from Israel’s Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip. More than six months later, the most deadly threat to civilians emanates from unexploded ordnance (UXO) in rubble...

ISRAEL-OPT: 'Humanitarian gesture' for Gaza
TEL AVIV Monday, August 03, 2009 (IRIN) - Israel will allow a limited amount of cement and iron into Gaza for the first time since operation Cast Lead ended in January 2009, according to Israeli officials.

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.

Inter Press Service

MIDEAST: There Just may Have to be a Partner 
JERUSALEM, Aug 10 (IPS) - "We have no partner," has been the mantra of successive Israeli governments, both right-wing and centre, ever since the outbreak of the Palestinian Intifadah in September 2000 in wake of the failed Camp David summit. That was the last time Palestinians and Israelis saw each...

MIDEAST: Piecing the Injured Back Together 
GAZA CITY, Aug 10 (IPS) - On a Saturday morning in Gaza city, the Artificial Limb and Polio Centre (ALPC) is filled with people waiting to see the director, Dr. Hazem Al-Shawwa.

IRAN: Nuclear Capability After 2013, Says U.S. Intelligence 
WASHINGTON, Aug 7 (IPS) - Iran is unlikely to be able to produce the highly enriched uranium (HEU) necessary for a nuclear weapon until at least 2013, according to a U.S. government intelligence estimate made public Thursday.

IRAQ: Shi’a Unity Deal Explodes U.S. Proxy War Myth 
WASHINGTON, Aug 7 (IPS) - The agreement announced Monday between Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and a Shi’a resistance group called the "League of the Righteous" (Asa'ib al-Haq) formally ended the group’s armed opposition to the regime in return for the release of its leader and eight other Shi’a detainees....

Stop The Wall

Special forces spotted at Ni’lin demonstration
10 Aug 2009 - The Friday demonstration in Ni’lin was held this week without injury to participants, although Occupation forces employ tear gas and chemical spray to keep people away from the Wall. Special forces were again spotted at the demonstration. [

Night raids in Bil'in and Jayyus
6 Aug 2009 - Occupation forces struck Bil'in and Jayyus this week, arresting and abducting 13 more people in the latest series of arrests. In Bil'in, the arrest campaign that began late June continued, when early Monday morning Occupation forces invaded the village. The following night, residents of Jayyus stated that soldiers raided the village sometime around midnight, kidnapping three more local students. [

PCHR Weekly Report

(30 Jul.- 05 Aug.  2008)
During the reporting period, 7 Palestinians civilians, including one child and one woman, were wounded by Israeli gunfire in the West Bank.

International Solidarity Movement

Breaking the Israeli water siege
8/8/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - International human rights activists together with Israelis and Palestinians escorted a convoy of water tankers, breaking the Israeli water siege of the village Qarawat Bani Zaid and delivering water to residents. At 12 pm ISM activists and other Internationals set off from Al Manara, Ramallah, to join the water convoy. After departure, passing checkpoints and settlements, the convoy could, without further delay, cross the border into the Palestinian Authority controlled Qarawat Bani Zaid, arriving at 15. 00 pm. Upon arriving to the village center, the local residents gathered to welcome the water aid. The water convoy was celebrated throughout the village with music, dancing and speeches by villagers and activists. Banners proclaiming "End the water siege" and "No More Thirst" in Arabic, Hebrew and English were exchanged and held up by Palestinian, Israeli and Internationals throughout the water delivery. 

Backed by their army, settlers bid for expansion in three locations
8/8/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Ma'an News - Israeli settlers launched a series of actions on Friday in a bid to take over more West Bank land from Palestinians. In the city of Hebron settlers began planting Palestinian-owned land under military guard in an apparent takeover attempt. Settlers from the illegal Israeli colony of Kiryat Arba moved on to land belonging to Muhammad Mustafa Jaber, in the Al-Beqa'a area, outside of Hebron. Jaber told Ma'an Israeli soldiers blocked his family from reaching the land. A similar incident took place last week when soldiers cordoned off his land to make way for the settlers' activities. In a separate incident dozens of Israeli military vehicles closed the village of Kfil Haris, north of the West Bank town of Salfit, Thursday as they escorted a group of settlers through the area, locals reported. 

Village of Bil’in calls on Amnesty International to withdraw from Leonard Cohen concert
8/8/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - We, members of the Bil'in popular committee against the wall and settlements, have always appreciated Amnesty International's role in the defense of human rights around the world and have recognized you as partners in our own struggle to defend our rights. We remember with great pleasure and pride your December, 2006 visit to our village to witness one of our protests. For these reasons we were surprised and deeply disturbed to learn that Amnesty International is sponsoring Leonard Cohen's upcoming concert in Israel. -- Dear Amnesty International, We, members of the Bil'in popular committee against the wall and settlements, have always appreciated Amnesty International's role in the defense of human rights around the world and have recognized you as partners in our own struggle to defend our rights. We remember with great pleasure and pride your December, 2006 visit to our village to witness one of our protests. 

'Palestinian Authority Only': new Israeli stamp limits travel for tourists
8/8/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - The Faster Times - This is an image of a page from a French passport, whose owner recently went through the Allenby Bridge border crossing between Jordan and the Israeli occupied West Bank. It shows an Israeli-issued stamp that provides the passport owner with a three-month tourism visa. What makes this stamp unique however is that the Israeli border agents who issued it appear to have come up with a new criteria regarding the freedom of movement of its holder. The presence of "Palestinian Authority only" on the stamp is what makes it unique. Previous Israeli-issued tourism visas do not restrict the freedom of movement of tourists who are allowed passage into the country, and who originate from countries which Israel has diplomatic relations and reciprocal arrangements regarding travel. 

VIDEO - Evicted Palestinians sleep rough in protest
8/8/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Al Jazeera - 7 August 2009 The Hanouns, a Palestinian family evicted by Israeli authorities from their home in East Jerusalem, are protesting their eviction by sleeping on the street outside the house that was for decades their home. Al Jazeera'sreports from the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in occupied East Jerusalem where the Hanouns are sleeping rough in protest. [end] 

University of JHB Prof lodges charges against War Criminal David Benjamin
8/8/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Today, University of Johannesburg academic, Professor Farid Esack and Palestine Solidarity Committee members formally laid charges at the Johannesburg Central Police station against war criminal Lieutenant-Colonel David Benjamin. This follows an application lodged on Monday by the Palestine Solidarity Alliance and others with the assistance of well-known international law professors John Dugard and Max du Plessis. The application calls on the National Directorate of Public Prosecutions to set in motion an investigation into war crimes committed by a number of Israelis linked to the Gaza massacre of December 2008-January 2009. South African-born Lieutenant-Colonel David Benjamin, who obtained his law degree from the University of Cape Town, has worked for the Israeli Occupation Forces for the past 17 years. As a member of the Israeli Army's Military Advocates Corps, he provided legal advice to the Israeli military during the massacre. 

al Ma’asara demonstrates against the Apartheid Wall
8/8/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Yesterday night military vehicles blocked the entrance of al Ma'asara village. This act came, last week, after Israeli Occupying Forces (IOF) threatened to put the village under siege if it had continued the weekly protests. In al Ma'asara today dozens of Palestinian protestors against the apartheid Wall and the settlements were joined by groups of around 80 internationals from all over the world and some Israeli activists. Protestors marched towards the Apartheid Wall carrying Palestinian and Fatah flags as a message to the members of Fateh fromthe popular resistance movement to adopt the popular resistance as strategy for the future and also as a message that unity is priority for the Palestinians. protestors marched toward their land chanting for the immediate end to the Israeli Occupation and Colonization of Palestine. 

Solidarity with Palestinian non-violent resistance: a Bil’in petition
8/8/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Sign the Petition - The Palestinian popular resistance movement is suffering from the ongoing violence of both the Israeli occupation forces and the settlers. The Israeli authorities want to crush the non-violent struggle and to break the unity created among Palestinians, Israelis and Internationals, who for more than four years have been demonstrating together in Bilin, Nilin and other occupied villages, exerting their legitimate right to defend their land against further colonization and to struggle for the full restitution of the land annexed by Israel, disregarding international obligations and violating human rights. In the past months we have seen an escalation of systematic arrests and kidnappings of activists in the movement by the Israeli army. This week, non-violent leaders from the West Bank village of Bilin and Al Masara have been arrested for peacefully demonstrating against Israeli separation wall and are still being held in prison. 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

ANALYSIS / Israel's threats to Lebanon only boost Hezbollah
10 Aug 2009 - Which Lebanon exactly does Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hold responsible for every Hezbollah action? Two months following the elections, Lebanon still has no government. The prime minister-designate, Sa'ad Hariri, just returned on Monday from a vacation in the south of France, the distribution of portfolios has yet to be completed and is likely to be delayed further due Walid Jumblatt's decision to quit the majority bloc, and there does not appear to be anyone in Lebanon that is moved by the Israeli threats. ...

Lieberman: Fatah platform buries chance for peace deal
9 Aug 2009 - Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said the recent pronouncements made by Fatah officials during the faction's convention in the West Bank "bury any chance" of an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement. ...

ADL urges Jordan to allow entry to Jews carrying religious items
9 Aug 2009 - The Anti-Defamation League expressed concern Monday over recurrent reports of Jordanian authorities denying entry to Jewish tourists carrying religious items. ...

IAEA chief: Jury still out on whether Iran seeks nukes
9 Aug 2009 - The head of the United Nations nuclear watchdog says the organization remains uncertain whether Iran is pursuing atomic weapons. ...

Mubarak confers with Netanyahu before U.S. trip
9 Aug 2009 - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke by telephone with Egypt President Hosni Mubarak on Monday just days after Cairo authorities announced the arrest of an alleged group of terrorists who plotted to assassinate Israel's ambassador. ...

The Guardian

Avigdor Lieberman calls for Israeli diplomat to quit over US ties warning
10 Aug 2009 - Israeli foreign minister rebukes envoy after he warns of deteriorating relations with US over West Bank settlements Israel's outspoken foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, said today that a diplomat who warned of deteriorating relations with the US...

Hamas turns attention to 'virtue' campaign | Ben White
10 Aug 2009 - Forced 'Islamisation' is raising concerns about government direction, as some point to Gaza's isolation as the root cause A number of recent reports from Gaza have given cause for concern about the direction the Hamas government...

Legitimising Lieberman? Not in the UK | Simon Rocker
10 Aug 2009 - Antony Lerman claims Jewish leaders in the UK have not spoken out against Avigdor Lieberman – but this is not the case The legal net is closing around Avigdor Lieberman , Israel's controversial foreign minister. Israeli police...

Mahmoud Darwish - a poet of peace in a time of conflict | Raja Shehadeh
7 Aug 2009 - Having Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish for a neighbour offered me a unique insight in the mind of a man fighting to find a common ground in the most divisive of circumstances For the last 12 years...

Ha'aretz National page

Which songs will Madonna perform at her Israel concert?
9 Aug 2009 - The producer of Madonna's upcoming Israel concert revealed details of her act at a press conference Monday, just weeks before the pop superstar's arrival. ...

Teen recants allegation Tel Aviv man held her hostage and raped her
9 Aug 2009 - A 17-year-old girl recanted on Monday an allegation that a 32-year-old Tel Aviv man held her hostage for three days and raped her. ...

IDF chief rabbi: Army magazine shouldn't cover gays 
9 Aug 2009 - Israel Defense Forces Chief Rabbi Brigadier General Avihai Ronski has slammed the army's weekly magazine Bamahane for publishing a series of features on the subject of gay officers. ... 

Relief Web

OPT: Al Mezan calls for intervention to end tunnels' catastrophe eight persons died in Rafah tunnels in last two days bringing death toll to 100 since 2006
10 Aug 2009 - Source: Al Mezan Center for Human Rights

OPT: Five years after the International Court of Justice advisory opinion - A summary of the humanitarian impact of the barrier, Jul 2009
10 Aug 2009 - Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

European Union assistance to the Palestinian Authority 2009 budget reaches €207 million
10 Aug 2009 - Source: European Commission, Palestinian National Authority

YNet News

71 senators ask Obama to pressure Arab states 
10 Aug 2009 - Democratic and Republican senators send letter to US president, saying Arab countries should consider 'dramatic gestures' toward Israel in order to show their commitment to peace, similar to steps taken by Prime Minister Netanyahu 

Barak hopeful for talks with Palestinians
10 Aug 2009 - Despite recent remarks by ministers favoring construction in settlements, defense minister believes new US plan will foster negotiations in region 

Report: Mubarak congratulates Ahmadinejad
10 Aug 2009 - Iran's official news agency says Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak has expressed good wishes to his Iranian counterpart on his disputed reelection, despite tense relations between countries. News of message not carried by Egypt's state press 

Netanyahu, Mubarak discuss Shalit, diplomatic issues 
10 Aug 2009 - Israeli, Egyptian leaders talk on phone ahead of Mubarak's upcoming trip to Washington. Prime minister thanks Egyptian president for security activity which led to arrest of terror cell planning to assassinate Israeli ambassador to Cairo 

Settlers smash windows of Palestinian houses in Hebron 
10 Aug 2009 - Following evacuation of Maoz Ester outpost, settlers resume acts of protest by hurling stones, damaging cars and houses in West Bank. Extreme rightist Ben-Gvir: Netanyahu and Barak are pyromaniacs 

Daily Star

Fatah movement prolongs leadership ballot to allow more Gazans to vote
10 Aug 2009 - The Palestinian Fatah movement on Monday put off counting ballots and announcing its new leadership because of complications over voting by its members from the Gaza Strip, who were barred from traveling to the convention by the rival Hamas, officials said. The vote will show whether Fatah – viewed by some as the West’s best hope for eventually delivering a peace deal with Israel.

Nablus booms as barriers fall in occupied West Bank
10 Aug 2009 - The Palestinian Fatah movement on Monday put off counting ballots and announcing its new leadership because of complications over voting by its members from the Gaza Strip, who were barred from traveling to the convention by the rival Hamas, officials said. The vote will show whether Fatah – viewed by some as the West’s best hope for eventually delivering a peace deal with Israel.

Mideast peace ‘unlikely in coming years’ – Israeli FM
10 Aug 2009 - The Palestinian Fatah movement on Monday put off counting ballots and announcing its new leadership because of complications over voting by its members from the Gaza Strip, who were barred from traveling to the convention by the rival Hamas, officials said. The vote will show whether Fatah – viewed by some as the West’s best hope for eventually delivering a peace deal with Israel.

Iran purges Intelligence Ministry officials
10 Aug 2009 - The Palestinian Fatah movement on Monday put off counting ballots and announcing its new leadership because of complications over voting by its members from the Gaza Strip, who were barred from traveling to the convention by the rival Hamas, officials said. The vote will show whether Fatah – viewed by some as the West’s best hope for eventually delivering a peace deal with Israel.

Washington grasps at ways to block Eritrea’s support for Somali militants
10 Aug 2009 - The Palestinian Fatah movement on Monday put off counting ballots and announcing its new leadership because of complications over voting by its members from the Gaza Strip, who were barred from traveling to the convention by the rival Hamas, officials said. The vote will show whether Fatah – viewed by some as the West’s best hope for eventually delivering a peace deal with Israel.

Four people killed each day on Tunisia’s roads – officials
10 Aug 2009 - The Palestinian Fatah movement on Monday put off counting ballots and announcing its new leadership because of complications over voting by its members from the Gaza Strip, who were barred from traveling to the convention by the rival Hamas, officials said. The vote will show whether Fatah – viewed by some as the West’s best hope for eventually delivering a peace deal with Israel.

Pirate says $4 million ransom paid for ship, Italy denies
10 Aug 2009 - The Palestinian Fatah movement on Monday put off counting ballots and announcing its new leadership because of complications over voting by its members from the Gaza Strip, who were barred from traveling to the convention by the rival Hamas, officials said. The vote will show whether Fatah – viewed by some as the West’s best hope for eventually delivering a peace deal with Israel.

UNDP begins explosive clean-up operation in Gaza
10 Aug 2009 - The Palestinian Fatah movement on Monday put off counting ballots and announcing its new leadership because of complications over voting by its members from the Gaza Strip, who were barred from traveling to the convention by the rival Hamas, officials said. The vote will show whether Fatah – viewed by some as the West’s best hope for eventually delivering a peace deal with Israel.

Palestinian Information Center

If You Live in Occupied WB Your House is Besieged by Settlers and Checkpoints
10 Aug 2009 - Zionist occupation forces are carrying out a systematic campaign of demolitions of dozens of Palestinian houses under a variety of pretexts, the flimsiest of them being construction without a permit.

Haneyya calls for stopping torture in West Bank jails
10 Aug 2009 - Premier Ismail Haneyya stressed the need for stopping the policy of torture taking place in West Bank jails which lead to the death of Hamas prisoners as a result of the torture inflicted on them.

Zahhar asks Arab League to demand immediate end to political detention
10 Aug 2009 - MP Dr. Mahmoud Al-Zahhar, political bureau member of Hamas Movement, has asked the Arab League to swiftly intervene to end the political detention phenomenon in the West Bank.

PPC: 25 Palestinian prisoners carried to Ofer clinic
10 Aug 2009 - Ofer prison administration transferred 25 Palestinian prisoners to the prison's clinic shortly before midnight Sunday, Louay Akka, the lawyer of the Palestinian prisoner's club (PPC), said on Monday.

Hamas holds Abbas and Fatah fully responsible for killing prisoner Hamadna
10 Aug 2009 - Hamas held Abbas and Fatah responsible for the execution of prisoner Fadi Hamadna, saying that this crime is a swift response from Abbas’s intelligence to the incitement exercised against Hamas.

Crossings department denies confiscating UNRWA ambulances
10 Aug 2009 - The Palestinian crossings department has refuted Israeli media reports that it confiscated ambulance vehicles owned by UNRWA in the Gaza Strip, describing the reports as sheer lies.

Hamas officials in jails warn of Mitchell’s calls for normalization with Israel
10 Aug 2009 - Hamas lawmakers and ministers in Israeli jails warned of US envoy George Mitchell’s remarks about the freezing of settlement expansion in exchange for Arab normalization with Israel.

Abu Zuhri: Fatah's position on resistance ambiguous
10 Aug 2009 - Dr. Sami Abu Zuhri said that the statement by Fatah on resistance was not clear and its link between resistance and international legitimacy was practically annulling such resistance.

Khalil: A new movement might emerge from Fatah soon
10 Aug 2009 - Hasan Khalil, the former official in the Palestinian national council, said that the Fatah conference in Bethlehem is a festival of speeches, expecting that a new movement might emerge from Fatah.

IOA partially opens three Gaza crossings
10 Aug 2009 - The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) has opened Gaza Strip's commercial crossings on Monday to allow entry of trucks loaded with foodstuff and fuel, Palestinian sources said.

Los Angeles Times

Iran's president purges Intelligence Ministry 
10 Aug 2009 - Mahmoud Ahmadinejad replaces longtime officials with loyalists. The son of a former intelligence chief accuses the president of retaliation against those who have not supported his reelection. Iran's president has conducted a purge of the nation's Intelligence Ministry, sweeping aside ranking officials with decades of experience in favor of loyalists, said a lawmaker, several news websites and a former intelligence chief's son. 

Ethiopian Israeli filmmaker pulls no punches 
10 Aug 2009 - Shmuel Beru, who arrived in Israel in 1984 in the first wave of Ethiopian Jewish immigrants, tells his people's story in the award-winning 'Zrubavel.' But not that many white Israelis are listening. Growing up, they called him the "chocolate boy" and worse. 

Trial of protesters seems only to hurt Iran, analysts say 
9 Aug 2009 - The televised proceedings fail to silence the opposition or quell protests, and appear to be damaging the international credibility of the Iranian judiciary and political systems, observers say. The alleged French spy stood at the lectern Saturday in Tehran and described her dastardly act of collusion. 

New York Times

Fatah Turns to Nation Building, Though It Doesn’t Discard the Rifle
10 Aug 2009 - The mainstream Palestinian nationalist party’s balancing act at a weeklong gathering provided unity but drew harsh criticism from Israel. 

Israeli Raid Strikes Tunnel Into Gaza
9 Aug 2009 - Israel said the attack by Israeli warplanes on the border with Egypt was made in response to mortar and rocket attacks. 

Palestinians Elect Leader, Unopposed, as Party Chief
8 Aug 2009 - A nearly unanimous majority of Fatah delegates voted for the president, Mahmoud Abbas, at a party conference in the West Bank city of Bethlehem on Saturday. 

Misc

Israeli Medical Association Severs Ties with Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) Over Torture Allegations 
8/10/2009 - Alternative Information Center - Dr. Yoram Blachar, President of the IMA and the World Medical Association (WMA), expressed his support for the use of “moderate physical pressure” during interrogations (a euphemism for torture), in a letter to The Lancet. The recent decision of Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) President Ruchama Marton to sign a petition against the torture of prisoners by Israel has led the Israeli Medical Association (IMA) to sever ties with the organization, Haaretz reports. The petition was in reaction to the condoning of torture by Dr. Yoram Blachar, President of the IMA and the World Medical Association (WMA), and called for his removal as President. According to PHR, Marton signed the petition in a personal capacity, and the organization should therefore not be punished as a whole. The petition has 725 signatories, and was initiated by a British doctor who insists that Blachar has for the last decade condoned and allowed the use of torture on prisoners. 

VIDEO - Madsen: Netanyahu Backs Birthers 
8/9/2009 - YouTube - RT. com - Investigative journalist and RT contributor Wayne Madsen says Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been working with conservatives in America to undermine Obama, including the claim that the U. S. President was born outside of the country. [end] 

Spain helping to rebuild illegal homes in East J’lem 
8/10/2009 - Jerusalem Post - The Spanish government is paying for 42 people to come here and help rebuild two Palestinian homes that Israel deemed illegal and tore down in Anata in northeast Jerusalem, according to the director of the organization in charge of the project. Jeff Halper, the director of the Israel Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD), which is holding its seventh annual summer "rebuilding camp," said volunteers from all over Europe, Latin America, Spain, the United States, South Africa, Asia, and Australia are currently in the country to rebuild two homes demolished in Anata. " In particular, there are about 42 people from Spain in the camp, and the Spanish government is funding the camp again this year. They have paid for the 42 tickets of young people to come to the work camp, so that is pretty interesting that governments are starting to encourage people to come and resist the occupation," Halper told The Jerusalem Post. 

The secret arsenal of the Jewish state 
8/9/2009 - MSNBC - Despite Israel's refusal to acknowledge its nuclear weapons status, its secret arsenal is an open secret that Israeli policy makers don't go out of their way to deny. From its beginnings in the mid-1960s, Israel's program has developed into one that rivals those of larger powers like France and Britain. Here, based on interviews with U. S. intelligence officials and nuclear experts, is a portrait of Israel's strategic weapons programs. Click on a symbol or location for more about Israel's secret arsenal. [end] 

Articles

Israeli school apartheid 
Jonathan Cook, CounterPunch 8/11/2009
      An Arab couple whose one-year-old daughter was expelled from an Israeli day-care centre on her first day are suing a Jewish mother for damages, accusing her of racist incitement against their child. 
     Maysa and Shua"™a Zuabi, from the village of Sulam in northern Israel, launched the court action last week saying they had been "œshocked and humiliated" when the centre"™s owner told them that six Jewish parents had demanded their daughter"™s removal because she is an Arab. 
     In the first legal action of its kind in Israel, the Zuabis are claiming $80,000 from Neta Kadshai, whom they accuse of being the ringleader. 
     The girl, Dana, is reported to be the first Arab child ever to attend the day-care centre in the rural Jewish community of Merhavia, less than 1km from Sulam. 
     However, human rights lawyers say that, given the narrow range of anti-racism legislation in Israel, the chance of success for the Zuabis is low.
     Since its founding in 1948, Israel has operated an education system almost entirely segregated between Jews and Arabs.
     However, chronic underfunding of Arab schools means that in recent years a small but growing number of Arab parents have sought to move their children into the Jewish system.
     Dana was admitted to the day-care centre last December, according to the case, after its owner, Ivon Grinwald, told the couple she had a vacant place. However, on Dana’s first day six parents threatened to withdraw their own children if she was not removed.
     Ms Kadshai, in particular, is said to have waged a campaign of “slurs and efforts aimed at having [Dana] removed from the day-care centre, making it clear that [her] children would not be in the same centre as an Arab girl”. Mrs Zuabi was summoned to a meeting the same evening at which Ms Grinwald said she could not afford to lose the six children. She returned the contract Mrs Zuabi had signed and repaid her advance fees.

Excess cynicism: Our biggest challenge 
Mazin Qumsiyeh, Uruknet 8/10/2009
      Our biggest challenge in my opinion is not the Israeli occupation, corrupt politicians, the apartheid wall, the economic deprivation, the moral slide, or the environmental catastrophe unfolding. Our biggest challenge is excess and paralyzing cynicism. How can one not be cynical when even just the past week:
     - Israeli courts ruled that any Jew can claim land supposedly owned even after 100 years (or 2000 years for collective ownership) evicting others whereas a "nonJew" has no similar rights. Palestinian refugees in East Jerusalem for example cannot reclaim their lawfully registered property in West Jerusalem but a Jew can claim property (rightly or wrongly) anywhere even with forged documents. Meanwhile evicted Jerusalemites sleep on the street outside their homes. See video:
     - The Palestinian authority reported $1.5 billion deficit (it spends most of its budget on "security"). Some 75,000 "security" personnel are here to manage a presumed restless Palestinians living under Israeli brutal colonial occupation. The sad reality is that these are inmates ensuring other inmates do not act "irrationally" especially against the concentration camp guards.
     - We commemorate the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the largest deliberate attack on civilian population in history but few bothered to evn ask how can we get rid of teh stockpiles of nuclear weapons in the US, Russia, England, Israel, and other countries. Instead, diversionary tactics are used ensuring we remain hostage to these ghorrible weapons.
     - Hamas rulers reiterated they are willing to accept a state on the border of 1967 and that they can maintain law and order just as well as the next guy (to prove it, no rockets were fired on Israel for seven months). The Israeli jailors still not satisfied, they maintain the medieval siege of the concentration camp of Gaza. These war crimes and crimes against humanity are tolerated (nay abetted) by a supine Western World.
     -Demand for refugee return is marginalized or even totally ignored by ruling factions and that is on the good days. On bad days, they wage outright war on this most simple of human rights: the right to go back home....


Electronic Intifada
Little recourse for Arab girl rejected from Israeli day-care
10 Aug 2009 - An Arab couple whose one-year-old daughter was expelled from an Israeli day-care center on her first day are suing a Jewish mother for damages, accusing her of racist incitement against their child. Jonathan Cook reports. 

In Gaza
early morning
10 Aug 2009 - A power outage (nothing new here) is a good time to contemplate the moon, the clouds, the stars, the sighing sea… if you have no more pressing matters at hand. The days still sear with heat, the nights bring little relief until early morning hours. Many sit outside or rooftop when the power cuts, avoiding the oven heat unique to cement block homes packed tightly together in camps. In the ministry of social affairs a few days ago, I inquired about electric wheelchairs, hoping to connect a disabled 18 year old with a source of independence. But, I was told, there are just 33 functioning electric wheelchairs to be given (...

Palestine Chronicle
No Rivaling the Slogan of Peace
10 Aug 2009 - By Ali Jawad Working for 'peace' in the Middle East comes in all sorts of different shapes and forms; some see its birth-pangs in the shadow of raining bombs, others see the cause of peace furthered in crippling sieges and sanctions, and yet others see peace to be impersonated in war criminals. As far as clichéd sleights-of-hand go, there is simply no rivaling the slogan of 'peace'. As a rule of thumb, the region’s many swindlers and part-time soothsayers (also known as politicians) often mean by “peace” a notion so vulgar as to draw disgust at its very mention. Indeed this distinguished tradition was repeated in Binyamin Netanyahu’s “historic” speech at Bar-Ilan University in which he managed to summon the utterance no less than forty-three times. Given this un-celebrated misuse of “peace” over time, history – in the context of the Palestinian struggle – is a province that many would like us to stay clear of. To raise its mention today is to be “an enemy of peace”. Beyond grand-sounding verbal clutter however, the basic frameworks for comprehending the “conflict” and its’ resolution are, in their heart, incredibly simple. For more than six decades, Palestinians have been forced to pass their lives between fear and shame. The choices have always been eminently clear: choose to live in utter fear of the invincible, divinely-sent IDF and thus accept one’s own degradation and ultimate de-humanization, or opt for the fate of “a dead man”. Colonizers invariably use the same methods, and the...

Israel's School Apartheid Highlighted by Court Case
10 Aug 2009 - By Jonathan Cook - Nazareth An Arab couple whose one-year-old daughter was expelled from an Israeli day-care centre on her first day are suing a Jewish mother for damages, accusing her of racist incitement against their child. Maysa and Shua’a Zuabi, from the village of Sulam in northern Israel, launched the court action last week saying they had been “shocked and humiliated” when the center’s owner told them that six Jewish parents had demanded their daughter’s removal because she is an Arab. In the first legal action of its kind in Israel, the Zuabis are claiming $80,000 from Neta Kadshai, whom they accuse of being the ringleader. The girl, Dana, is reported to be the first Arab child ever to attend the day-care centre in the rural Jewish community of Merhavia, less than 1km from Sulam. However, human rights lawyers say that, given the narrow range of anti-racism legislation in Israel, the chance of success for the Zuabis is low. Since its founding in 1948, Israel has operated an education system almost entirely segregated between Jews and Arabs. However, chronic underfunding of Arab schools means that in recent years a small but growing number of Arab parents have sought to move their children into the Jewish system. Dana was admitted to the day-care centre last December, according to the case, after its owner, Ivon Grinwald, told the couple she had a vacant place. However, on Dana’s first day six parents threatened to withdraw their own children if she was not...

Jawad Al Malhi: De-normalizing Occupation
10 Aug 2009 - By Catherine Wilson – London The 53rd Biennale of Venice, an international art exhibition and gathering of the global art world which has occurred in Italy every two years since 1895, opened on 7 June. This year the theme is Making Worlds, both worlds of today and worlds of tomorrow. According to Director, Daniel Birnbaum, 'a work of art represents a vision of the world and if taken seriously it can be seen as a way of making a world.' This year the program includes the first exhibition of Palestinian art, Palestine c/o Venice, in the Biennale’s history. Incorporating the diverse work and perspectives of Khalil Rabah, Jawad Al Malhi, Emily Jacir, Taysir Batniji, Shadi HabibAllah, Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti, it is a tribute to the achievements and vision of Palestinian artists, whether based in the occupied territories or diaspora, who have tenaciously employed creativity in their lives and work, and forged positive and productive avenues of exchange with artists and arts organizations around the world. Jawad Al Malhi, one of the exhibiting artists, lives and works in Shufat Refugee Camp on the north eastern edge of Jerusalem, and it was here that I visited him a few weeks before the exhibition opened. Al Malhi’s family were displaced from their village, Al Malha, located southwest of Jerusalem, during the Al-Nakba of 1948 and subsequently moved to Mu’skar camp in the Old City of Jerusalem. In 1966, the family were uprooted again to Shufat Refugee Camp, which was established in...

The Broken Pen - A Poem
10 Aug 2009 - By Rassool Jibraeel Snyman My pen is broken And cannot write My thoughts fail me What sonnets do I write What empty words are these That I might place on accusing paper When there is death in the streets And silence in the spaces Between our ribs And the dungeons of our minds Hidden are we in our ivory towers Our voices stilled As we sip wine And savour delicacies Of blood and nectar Truth like death Is a subject none will talk of Or think of For fear of it And what I might bring The world is engulfed in flames "Murder" the night screams I turn up the music The strains of Bach Beethoven and Rastaman mingle With explosions and screams My silk shirt crimson The colour of blood Of despair Yellow the colour of my courage The ghosts of Auschwitz Drift in the acrid powder That floats as mute witness To genocidal extravaganzas And political theatrics "Make up" screams the director Of Hollywood propaganda And embedded journalism "Cut ..Cut" bellows the producer of cellulose lies And deceitful scripts "Anti-Semitism" yells the jaundiced nationalist Silencing truth Murdering dissent Burying any thought that seeks the sun What has the world become Crows caw into the night Harbingers of doom Messengers of death I break the tablet Like the Moses of old Smash it to the ground And trample upon the shards The words empty meaningless Beware the eyes of January The Pharaohs of Judah Ascend the throne Red are...

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