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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
13 August , 2009

News

Israeli soldiers killed unarmed civilians carrying white flags in Gaza, says report 
8/12/2009 - The Guardian - Human Rights Watch says Israel has failed to properly investigate 'white flag' killings during Gaza offensive - Israeli soldiers shot dead 11 unarmed Palestinian civilians carrying white flags during Israel's offensive in Gaza earlier this year, according to a report from Human Rights Watch, which said Israel had failed to investigate the killings adequately. The deaths – including those of five women and four children – took place in seven separate incidents across Gaza in areas controlled by the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF), where there was no fighting and no Palestinian fighters were nearby. Human Rights Watch, a New-York-based organisation, which published White Flag Deaths: Killings of Palestinian Civilians during Operation Cast Leadsaid it informed the Israeli military of the cases in February. But the cases were not examined in an IDF internal investigation, which concluded that they "operated in accordance with international law. "


International Middle East Media Center

Israel on high alert after reports of soldiers' abduction
13 Aug 2009 - Israeli security sources reported Thursday that the army and the police went on high alert and installed roadblocks in several areas in central Israel, and on the road between Tel Aviv and Modin’in illegal settlement, near Ramallah, after receiving reports that a soldier was abducted. 

Israel on high alert after reports of soldiers’ abduction
13 Aug 2009 - Israeli security sources reported Thursday that the army and the police went on high alert and installed roadblocks in several areas in central Israel, and on the road between Tel Aviv and Modin’in illegal settlement, near Ramallah, after receiving reports that a soldier was abducted. 

The Israeli military allows aid supplies into the Gaza Strip
13 Aug 2009 - The Israeli military opened two commercial crossing and allowed a number of trucks loaded with supplies to enter the Gaza Strip on Thursday.

Israeli settlers attack Palestinian civilians in northern West Bank.
13 Aug 2009 - Israeli settlers attacked on Thursday afternoon Palestinians at several areas in northern West Bank.

HRW: 'Army killed 11 civilians carrying white flags'
12 Aug 2009 - Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported Wednesday that Israeli soldiers shot and killed during the war against the Gaza Strip eleven Palestinian civilians, including five women and four children, and wounded eight others in seven separate attacks, although they were carrying white flags. 

Reports: 'Progress made in prisoner-swap talks'
13 Aug 2009 - Several media outlets reported that a progress was made in prisoner-swap talks, and that a deal on the release of the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in exchange for releasing Palestinian prisoners of war, held by Israel, could be signed by the end of the month. 

The Israeli military kidnaps seven Palestinian civilians from the West Bank
13 Aug 2009 - The Israeli military kidnapped on Thursday seven Palestinian civilians during pre dawn invasions targeting number of west Bank communities. 

Ha'aretz Defense page

Despite fears, no Israeli troops kidnapped
13 Aug 2009 - Report of little-known Palestinian group who claimed to have kidnapped soldier proves untrue. 

IDF investigating possible kidnap of Israeli soldier
13 Aug 2009 - Palestinian news agency: 'Al-Quds Army' claims it captured soldier, says will offer more details soon. 

Top Hamas officials head to Cairo for Shalit talks
13 Aug 2009 - Israel's special envoy also expected to take part in negotiations; Egypt pushing continued mediation. 

Settlers agree to evacuate West Bank outpost Bnei Adam
13 Aug 2009 - Barak orders IDF to increase supervision of West Bank settlement building by 50%, including in Area C. 

Rights group: IDF killed Gazans waving 'white flags' during war
13 Aug 2009 - WATCH: IDF defends actions, saying militants used flags as cover, after HRW demands probe of civilian death. 

Ma'an News

Angry Fatah members to deliver rejection memo to Abbas over elections
8/13/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - A memorandum calling for the rejection of the Fatah Central Committee elections finalized Wednesday will be delivered to Fatah leader and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Friday, sources in the party said. Prominent Fatah figures in the West Bank and Gaza prepared a statement condemning the announced results of the party's ruling body, and listed a dozen party policy violations that affected the outcome of the votes. The memo, signed by an unknown number of prominent Fatah members, will be delivered to Abbas Friday following prayers. [end] 

Israel shuts down one Gaza crossing; 80 truckloads and fuel to enter
8/13/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Israel will open the Kerem Shalom and Nahal Oz crossings into the Gaza Strip on Thursday while keeping the Karni crossing closed, Palestinian border official Raed Fattouh said. Israeli officials indicated they would allow 77 to 87 trucks loaded with humanitarian aid and some commercial goods to pass through Kerem Shalom and limited quantities of industrial diesel and cooking gas through Nahal Oz. Crossings have been partially open with minimal quantities of goods passing through all week. [end] 

Gazan fishermen protest Israeli naval presence
8/13/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Dozens of Gazan fishermen called for an end to Israeli attacks on fishing boats and an end to the siege on the Strip in a protest outside of the UN headquarters in Gaza City Thursday. The At-Tawfiq Institute, a fishers' rights group, organized the protest and called for an end to Israeli policing of Gaza's coastal waters. Demonstrators held a large photo of fisherman Muhammad Jarbou, who was killed by Israeli forces while fishing. Head of the Popular Committee Against the Siege Jamal Al-Khudari attended the event, and noted the loss of the fishing sector to the Gaza economy meant a loss of 3 million dollars a year. The Popular Committee was joined at the protest by members of the political bureau for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, including Jamil Al-Majdalawi, who called on the Palestinian government to protect the fishermen. 

Report: Ousted Fatah leader Qureia hints elections unclean
8/13/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - "The forgeries in Iran were much smaller than what we had in Palestine," the Israeli news website Ynet quoted former Palestinian Prime Minister and Central Committee member Ahmad Qureia as saying. The site ran an unsourced interview Thursday, where the ousted Qureia alleged that "arrangements were made behind the scenes that led to having some of the names pushed aside and other names forced in," and accused election winners Muhammad Dahlan, Jibril Rajoub, and Tawfiq At-Tirawi of being "coordinators with the occupation. "Qureia wondered out loud about a connection between the men's alleged ties with Israel and their win at the ballot boxes. The allegations follow a series of elections recounts from the Sixth Fatah Congress, where 2,241 members cast their votes for 18 spots in the party's Central Committee and 80 spots in the Revolutionary Council. 

Egyptian security: seven trucks en route to tunnels seized
8/13/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Egyptian security forces seized electricity generators about to be smuggled into the Gaza Strip, officials said Thursday. Five hundred and eight generators and 727 rubber car wheels were loaded in seven trucks driving north in Egypt on Rumaneh Road toward Rafah. Egyptian police said the drivers admitted they were preparing to deliver the loads to the Rafah tunnels area. [end] 

Top US Democrat breaks with Obama on settlements
8/14/2009 - Jerusalem - Ma'an - A senior member of US President Barack Obama's party broke ranks on Thursday, blaming Palestinians for a lack of peace negotiations and casting doubt on calls for a settlement freeze. "I don't think settlements are nearly the big issue that confronts the Palestinians and the Israelis in reaching an agreement," said Steny Hoyer (D-MD), the American House majority leader, at a West Jerusalem news conference. "I think the largest thing impeding them at this point in time is the unwillingness of [Palestinian President Mahmoud] Abbas to sit down now," added Hoyer, who was leading a 29-member delegation to Israel and the West Bank sponsored by an affiliate of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the largest pro-Israel lobbyist group in Washington, DC. The delegation arrived during the Congress' August recess. Most of its members hail from conservative southern and western districts, including several from Texas, Alabama, Tennessee, and Arizona. 

Hebron man beaten by Israeli troops as they raid West Bank, take 7
8/13/2009 - Hebron - Ma'an - Israeli troops abducted a Hebron man from his home and beat his brother so badly the man was taken to hospital for treatment for a concussion, witnesses said. Speaking from the hospital Khalil Gheith, a third brother who witnessed the events, described Israeli forces surrounding his family home in the Nemra neighborhood in the north of Hebron. He said they detained his elder brother, 27-year-old Rafe and pulled his 22-year-old brother Mustapha from the home. Four soldiers surrounded Mustapha and beat him with blunt objects on the head repeatedly, he said. Israeli forces reported detaining seven Palestinians from across the West Bank overnight Wednesday and into Thursday morning. Israeli media sources said troops seized weapons during their home raids, but Palestinian sources said the allegations were unconfirmed. 

HRW: Israel killed Gaza women, children waving white flags
8/13/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israeli soldiers killed Palestinian women and children who were in groups raising white flags signaling their civilian status during the recent assault on the Gaza Strip, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Thursday. In a 63-page report, the prominent US-based rights group said Israeli soldiers violated international humanitarian law during the three week war. HRW urged the Israeli military to "conduct thorough, credible investigations into these deaths to tackle the prevailing culture of impunity. " "The Israeli military is stonewalling in the face of evidence that its soldiers killed civilians waving white flags in areas it controlled and where there were no Palestinian fighters," said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch in a statement. "These cases need thorough, independent investigations," he said. 

Fighter, detained in 2007, sentenced in military court to 25 years
8/13/2009 - Tulkarem - Ma'an - The Israeli Salem Military Court sentenced detainee Muhammad Mahmoud Barakah, an Al-Quds fighter affiliated with Islamic Jihad, to 25 years in prison for his affiliation. Israeli Special Forces tried to assassinate Barakah at the Tulkarem Refugee Camp entrance on 1 February 2007. He was seriously injured and a second fighter, Jasser Abu Zgheib with Fatah's Al-Aqsa Brigades, was killed. Barakah was taken to an Israeli military hospital following the attempted assassination, and was transferred from there to prison where he remained until his sentencing this week. [end] 

Israeli soldiers seize West Bank teen
8/13/2009 - Salfit - Ma'an - Israeli soldiers raided a northern West Bank village south of Nablus on Wednesday night, forcing their way into Palestinian houses and detaining a teenager. According to the mayor of the village of Deir Istiya, Israeli soldiers overran the town, raiding houses belonging to Tawfiq Muhammad Abdel Rahman Khaled, Sa'ed Tawfiq Muhammad Khalid, and Dawoud Muhammad Obeid. Mayor Nathmi Salman said that the soldiers seized Ashos Dawoud Obeid, 18, who is still being held at an unknown location. In separate raids on Wednesday night, Israeli troops abducted a Hebron man from his home and beat his brother so badly the man was taken to hospital for treatment for a concussion, witnesses said. Speaking from the hospital Khalil Gheith, a third brother who witnessed the events, described Israeli forces surrounding his family home in the Nemra neighborhood in the north of Hebron. 

Army arrests Bethlehem woman, two Qalqiliya-area young men
8/13/2009 - Hebron - Ma'an - The media office of the Palestinian police department said on Thursday that Israeli soldiers arrested a girl from the West Bank city of Bethlehem at the Container military checkpoint north of the city. She was identified as 24-year-old A'ysha Mohammad Ahmad E'beiyat. Meanwhile, the Israeli army invaded the town of A'zzun near the West Bank city of Qalqiliya and detained two residents after breaking into several homes. The detainees were identified as Adnan Kayed, Mohammad Suweidan and Ahmad Sukar. They were taken to an undisclosed location. In their report, the Palestinian police department said the Israeli army had invaded Fasayel village in the Jordan Valley, surrounded a home belonging to Mohammad Mahmoud An-Nawawreh, and handed him an order to stop construction on a project. 

Lightly injured Israeli settlers say Palestinians opened fire
8/13/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Two Israelis were reported to have been lightly wounded by shrapnel as they guarded an illegal settlement outpost cluster near the central illegal outpost of Givat Harel southeast of Salfit in the West Bank. The injured Israelis said Palestinians opened fire on their vehicle, and highlighted bullet holes in the militarized jeep as proof, according to Israeli media sources. [end] 

Israeli military: No soldiers reported missing
8/14/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israeli authorities investigating reports a soldier was captured on Thursday evening concluded that no one was unaccounted for, according to news reports published just after midnight on Friday. It was Israel's first definitive response to two separate but seemingly related claims made about the abduction of a soldier the same day, which led to a 12-hour manhunt throughout the country and the West Bank on Thursday. Earlier on Thursday, a previously unknown group claimed responsibility for seizing a soldier near the country's airport in Lod, while separately the military said it received word from within its own ranks that a soldier was seen being shoved into a car and driven away. Neither report could be immediately verified. Approached over the emailed statement from the group that alleged it had captured a soldier, an Israeli military spokesperson offered,. . . 

Israeli sources torn over rumored restart of prisoner swap talks
8/13/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Israeli sources in Egypt said Hamas delegates charged with negotiating a prisoner swap will leave for Cairo to continue talks in the coming days, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported Thursday. The source reportedly said the delegation would be in Cairo along with Israel Special Envoy for the Shalit case Haggai Hadas. Also on Thursday, however, an alleged source from Hamas in Gaza told Israel Radioa third party presented Hamas with new ideas for negotiating the prisoner swap with Israel. The source would not elaborate on the new tactics, but said they did not differ markedly from earlier formulas. The source would also not identify the third party, and said he thought the new ideas would not resolve the issue any time soon. In a statement Wednesday, however, Popular Resistance Committees' armed wing Spokesman Abu Mujahid said, "Israeli media are trying to publish misleading reports. 

Counting begins for revolutionary council seats; results Friday
8/13/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The Fatah elections committee began counting votes for the movement's Revolutionary Council Wednesday, following a 30-hour delay caused by "technical considerations," the committee said. Eighty members of the approximately 130-seat council are elected, 23 come from the Central Committee and another 27 or so are appointed, at least seven of which are set to be Palestinians in Israeli prison. The appointments will be determined following the first meeting of the committee. The election was completed Tuesday, four days after its scheduled date, and voting closed Tuesday evening. Executive director of the congress Munir Salama had earlier announced results would be ready Wednesday morning, but later said a delay owing to the complicated process of counting would see results announced Friday. 

Hamas: PA detained 12 affiliates, political arrests ongoing
8/13/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Palestinian Authority police arrested 12 Hamas affiliates across the West Bank, a statement from the movement said Thursday. Those taken were from the Tulkarem, Bethlehem and Jenin areas. [end] 

Abbas slams Qureia accusations, welcomes ex-officials back into fold
8/13/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The "Fatah movement will face any split" Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said at a press conference one day after the controversial announcement of the 19 elected members of the Central Committee for the party. Speaking from the presidential compound in Ramallah, Abbas praised the integrity of the elections, following accusations from ousted Central Committee member Ahmad Qureia and on-the-outs Fatah member Farouq Qaddoumi that the elections were "unclean" and the conference rigged. The vociferous rejection by Qureia of the election results, coupled with uncertainty around the Gaza delegates' reaction to what some say is a lack of representation on the Central Committee, and Qaddoumi's rejection of the conference entirely, have lead to questions around a possible split in the party. 

Report: Qaddoumi rejects Fatah elections, maintains leadership role
8/13/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Regardless of the outcome of the elections in Fatah's Sixth Congress Farouq Qaddoumi maintains he is still the legitimate secretary of the faction, a Gaza-based on-line news agency, Shehab, reported Wednesday. There has been little word from Qaddoumi since he launched accusations at Fatah Chair and Palestinain President Mahmoud Abbas along with Fatah leader from Gaza Mohammed Dahlan, saying the two had conspired with the CIA and Israel to assassinate Yasser Arafat. Qaddoumi did not attend the Sixth Fatah Congress in Bethlehem, and did not nominate himself for a seat on the Central Committee, the top governing body of Fatah of which he has been a part for the last 20 years. The day voting for the committee started, and following the uncontested election of Abbas to the head of the committee, Abbas publically invited Qaddoumi to return to the party. 

Google launches Palestine-specific web domain
8/13/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Google unveiled its newest URL on Thursday, www. google. ps, a specific domain for residents of the occupied Palestinian territories, with the exception of East Jerusalem. "The new domain will give Arabic-speaking users in the Palestinian Territories, who use Palestinian ISPs, access to Google in Arabic and eventually, access to more locally relevant content," the company said on its Arabia blog. Aside from East Jerusalem, which falls under de facto Israeli authority, Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza have generally relied on www. google. jo, Jordan's domain, and Egypt's www. google. com. eg, respectively. "Arabic-speaking users in the Palestinian Territories have had to visit foreign domains in order to search in Arabic," the company added, noting that the new URL would be designed for Palestine-specific search results. 

The National

Harari faces new front in fight
13 Aug 2009 - Lebanon's PM designate says disputes over portfolios are natural' as Christians demand control of some key ministries. 

Israel sells off refugees' hopes
13 Aug 2009 - Palestinian refugees lose hope on reclaiming their homes in Tzipori after the new land reform imposed by the Israeli government.

Hariri says progress made in Lebanon
13 Aug 2009 - Efforts to resolve a political crisis that hampers efforts to form a national unity cabinet are described as good . 

Three injured in Lebanon blast
13 Aug 2009 - A bomb explodes in Tripoli in northern Lebanon wounding two adults and a child, according to a security official.

Aljazeera

Israel troops 'shot Gaza civilians'
13 Aug 2009 - Human Rights Watch says soldiers killed unarmed Palestinians during January offensive.

Israel probes soldier kidnap report
13 Aug 2009 - Israeli army investigates report that one of its soldiers may have been kidnapped. 

Palestine News Network

Israeli settlers and soldiers work together in suppressing freedom of the press, target journalists
13 Aug 2009 - Nablus / PNN - Earlier this week Palestinians demonstrated for their lands in southern Nablus. Citizens of Eraq Burin marched through the village in protest of attempts by Jewish extremist settlers in the West Bank to seize hundreds of acres of their land.The press was on hand for the demonstration, including a crew from Al Jazeera. Three settlers attacked cameraman Hassan Teeti. They...

Gaza fishermen demonstrate at UN in protest of Israeli attacks on their livelihoods
13 Aug 2009 - Gaza / PNN – Fishermen in the Gaza Strip are the frequent targets of Israeli forces. Israeli naval ships sometimes open fire, or board boats, arrest the fishermen, even confiscate nets and the boats themselves. Today in Gaza, Palestinian fishermen are demonstrating against the Israeli policies that are destroying their livelihood. The Palestinian fishing industry has lost millions in revenue since the siege...

Violations in Jerusalem become increasingly gross and more serious according to latest report 
12 Aug 2009 - Jerusalem / Maisa Abu Ghazaleh for PNN – Human rights violations are described as becoming increasingly gross and more serious” in Jerusalem. The city’s Center for Democracy and Human Rights, along with the monitoring group the National Coalition for the Defense of Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem, were part of a report issued under the name the Alahli Coalition regarding Israeli violations during the...

Two Israeli settlers lightly injured while driving in West Bank
12 Aug 2009 - Ramallah / PNN – Two Israeli settlers were lightly injured while driving in the West Bank last night. According to an Israeli military spokesperson, the Jewish settlers were northeast of the city of Ramallah.Palestinians allegedly fired on the settlers, all of whom exist in the West Bank and East Jerusalem in contravention to international law.The settlers were taken to a hospital and the...

Fateh program includes refugees’ rights and armed struggle: Hamas wants to see implementation
12 Aug 2009 - Doha / PNN - The head of the Hamas political bureau, Khaled Meshal, said today that the decisions made by Fateh regarding the Palestinian resistance would be meaningless if not applied on the ground. Meshal was commenting on the results of the Fateh Sixth Conference held in the West Bank’s Bethlehem.He told the Qatari daily, Al Watan, that some of the decisions made...

Camp: renewing spirit of volunteerism throughout Palestine and reviving boycott of Israeli goods
12 Aug 2009 - Bethlehem / Osama Awad for PNN - Reviving the spirit of Palestinian volunteerism and promoting the boycott of Israeli goods are the dual-purposes of an ongoing camp for young people in Bethlehem. Workshops are being held to raise awareness around actions that combat occupation in both a clever and nonviolent manner.People have come from around the region to participate in the assembly of...

Results officially released from Central Committee elections, names similar to original list 
12 Aug 2009 - Bethlehem / PNN - The supervisor of the elections committee announced the final results of election of the Fateh Central Committee voted upon at the Sixth Conference in Bethlehem. Presidential spokesperson, Nabil Abu Rudeineh said that the Central Committee elections were long and arduous, but transparent. Hatem Abdel Kader said last night that after the discovery of violations and manipulation, the finals on...

IRIN

OPT: Rubble removal uncovers potential health hazards
GAZA Tuesday, August 11, 2009 (IRIN) - Nearly seven months after Israel’s military offensive in the Gaza Strip, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) has begun removing some 600,000MT of rubble containing asbestos and other hazardous material.

MIDDLE EAST: Saudi Arabia has highest incidence of flu 
DUBAI Monday, August 10, 2009 (IRIN) - Saudi Arabia has the highest number of laboratory confirmed pandemic H1N1 cases in the Eastern Mediterranean Region – 595 – with four out of the eight deaths so far, according to an 8 August World Health Organization (WHO) report.

OPT-EGYPT: Rafah sees record crossings
GAZA CITY Monday, August 10, 2009 (IRIN) - The Rafah crossing on the Gaza-Egypt border opened for five days this month, the longest continued period since Hamas seized power in the Palestinian-controlled Gaza Strip in June 2007.

Inter Press Service

AFGHANISTAN-US: Mission Essential, Translators Expendable 
WASHINGTON, Aug 13 (IPS) - Basir "Steve" Ahmed was returning from a bomb-clearing mission in Khogyani district in northeastern Afghanistan when a suicide bomber blew up an explosive-filled vehicle nearby. The blast flipped the military armoured truck Ahmed was riding in three or four times, and filled it with smoke....

MIDEAST: Suddenly, It's Advantage Fatah, and a Solution 
JERUSALEM, Aug 13 (IPS) - Has the just-ended Fatah party convention, concluded in a cavalcade of personnel change, affected the prospects for a two-state solution that might finally resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

MOROCCO: The Berber Dance Is Over 
RABAT, Aug 13 (IPS) - The satellite receiver has speeded up the process of wiping out the cultural heritage of Morocco's Berbers. Old traditions are now dying out under the influence of television imams.

EUROPE: The Czar Makes Up With the Sultan 
ISTANBUL, Aug 12 (IPS) - Once the worst of enemies, involved in 12 wars in three centuries, Turkey and Russia have suddenly become the best of friends, forging strong bonds that could be a counterpoint to the European Union if it freezes Turkey out of full membership.

Stop The Wall

Closure does not stop al Ma’sara protest
11 Aug 2009 - Last week, soldiers closed the village of al Ma’sara the night prior to the weekly demonstration. This move did little to deter protestors, who marched to through the village in protest of the Wall and settlements the next day. [

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. [

PCHR Weekly Report

(06- 12 Aug.  2008)
During the reporting period, Israeli forces used force against peaceful demonstrations organized by Palestinian civilians in protest to the construction of the Annexation Wall in the West Bank.

International Solidarity Movement

Rights group: Israel must probe Gaza ‘white flag’ deaths
8/13/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Ha'aretz - Human Rights Watch called on Israel on Thursday to investigate seven incidents in which it said Israeli troops shot and killed Palestinian civilians who were flying white flags during the war in the Gaza Strip in January. Expressing disappointment with Israel's response so far to a range of allegations of war crimes made by international bodies, the New York-based lobby group said governments should press for prosecutions under international law if Israel and its enemies in Gaza's Islamist authorities did not act themselves. In the latest report from various organizations to catalogue accusations of possible war crimes by both sides in three weeks of fighting, Human Rights Watch said it had statements and other evidence indicating 11 unarmed people including five women and four children were shot dead while in groups waving white flags. 

Israel toughens entry for foreigners with West Bank ties
8/13/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Amira Hass, Ha'aretz - Israel has recently been putting up more obstacles for foreign nationals who enter the country if they have family, work, business or academic ties in the West Bank. It now restricts their movements to "the Palestinian Authority only. "The people concerned are citizens of countries that have diplomatic ties with Israel, mainly Western countries. In imposing such restrictions, Israel is in breach of the Oslo Accords. For about the last three months, border control officials at the Allenby Bridge have been stamping visitors' passports with a visa and the additional words "Palestinian Authority only. "Officials from the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), who are also present at the Allenby crossing, have in some cases told visitors that they must apply to the Civil Administration for a permit to leave the West Bank and enter Israel. 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

Anshel Pfeffer / Annotated Mein Kampf would only boost the Nazi myth
13 Aug 2009 - Stephan Kramer, the general secretary of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, thinks that prohibition of publishing Adolf Hitler's "Mein Kampf" in Germany should be lifted. ... 

Holland's chief rabbi: Dutch society dangerously permissive
13 Aug 2009 - Holland's chief rabbi this week spoke out against one of his country's most highly-cherished values, slamming abortions and saying that "Dutch society is becoming too progressive with a dangerously permissive attitude." ... 

Palestinian PM to Haaretz: It's not our business whether Israel is Jewish
13 Aug 2009 - Israel's character is it's own business. It is not up to the Palestinians to define it, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said Thursday, when asked about Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's demand the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state. ... 

Arab states lobby EU to back probe of Israel nuclear program
13 Aug 2009 - Arab states are lobbying the European Union for support in their ...

Gideon Levy / Obama's America is not delivering the goods
13 Aug 2009 - With great sorrow and deep consternation, we hereby declare the death of the latest hope. Perhaps rumors of its death are greatly exaggerated, to paraphrase the famous quote by Mark Twain, but the fears are being validated day after day. Barack Obama's America is not delivering the goods. Sharing a glass of beer with a racist cop and a pat on the back of Hugo Chavez are not what we hoped for; wholesale negotiations on freezing settlement construction are also not what we expected. Just over six months after the most promising president of all began his term, perhaps hope has a last breath left, but it is on its deathbed. ... 

The Guardian

Obituary | Amnon Kapeliouk
13 Aug 2009 - Israeli writer and journalist who opposed occupation Amnon Kapeliouk, who has died aged 78, was a courageous Israeli journalist and writer who placed the Palestinians at the centre of his work. Long before it became fashionable,...

Israeli soldiers shot dead 11 unarmed Palestinian civilians with white flags in Gaza offensive, claims report
13 Aug 2009 - Human Rights Watch says Israel has failed to properly investigate 'white flag' killings during Gaza offensive Israeli soldiers shot dead 11 unarmed Palestinian civilians carrying white flags during Israel's offensive in Gaza earlier this year, according...

Listen to the women of Palestine | Hannah Wright
13 Aug 2009 - Not a single female candidate was elected at Fatah's convention – it's time to let in the new ideas Palestinian women can bring As Fatah delegates meeting in Bethlehem elected their new leadership, one could not...

Israel split over calls to release jailed Palestinian leader
12 Aug 2009 - Row erupts over whether to release Marwan Barghouti in prisoner swap after his election to key Fatah committee A fierce debate has erupted among senior Israeli politicians over whether the jailed Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti –...

Ha'aretz National page

A man who lived modestly, ate little, and lived to be 108
13 Aug 2009 - He was born in Lithuania in 1901, 13 years before the outbreak of World War I, two years before the Wright brothers first flight and 22 years before the birth of Israeli president Shimon Peres. This week, at age 108, Yaakov Slavin passed away. ... 

Carlo Strenger / Why Israel's left has disappeared
13 Aug 2009 - Israel's left has disappeared; it has nearly no parliamentary representation and remarkably little public presence. At first glance, this is a paradox, because the left's program has, in many ways, won, as Yossi Sarid said when he left the Knesset for good. The idea of a Palestinian state, anathema in Israeli society a few decades ago, is now accepted by the mainstream. ... 

Despite fears, no Israeli troops kidnapped 
13 Aug 2009 - Acting on an uncorroborated report about a soldier's abduction near Lod, security forces mounted a sweeping roadblock effort in the greater ...

Relief Web

OPT: Protection of civilians weekly report, 05 - 11 Aug 2009
13 Aug 2009 - Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

DCI Israel and Palestine submit alternative report on child recruitment
13 Aug 2009 - Source: Defence for Children International/Palestine Section

South African Embassy in Syria donates computers for Alliance Women's Programme Centre
13 Aug 2009 - Source: UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East

YNet News

Security establishment: No IDF soldiers kidnapped 
13 Aug 2009 - Report filed by woman soldier saying two people forced soldier into vehicle near Ben Gurion Airport proves false, as army says all troops accounted for. Security establishment instructs forces to resume routine activity 

Arabs ask for EU support on Israel nuke resolution 
13 Aug 2009 - Arab League chief Moussa urges EU president Sweden to support resolution slamming Israel's nuclear secrecy 

Man removed from swine flu death list
13 Aug 2009 - Autopsy on 40-year-old man who died at Rabin Medical Center reveals H1N1 not cause of death; earlier, 54-year old woman hospitalized at Tel Aviv's Sourasky Medical Center and another 60-year-old woman believed to be two latest victims of swine flu. H1N1 virus death toll in Israel now seven 

Peres: Hope Lebanon will be Middle East's Switzerland again
13 Aug 2009 - In ceremony celebrating 60 years to Kiryat Shmona's inception, president speaks of Israel's northern neighbor: 'We are not interested in a grain of its land, or a drop of its waters. Our goal is to live peacefully alongside Lebanon'; dubs Hezbollah 'bizarre,' adding 'who needs it?' 

Senior IDF figure's credit card info compromised 
13 Aug 2009 - Military suspects soldier who obtained confidential details of credit card belonging to high-ranking officer revealed them to Arab he sold assault rifles to; Arab allegedly went on NIS 2,000 shopping spree at officer's expense 

Israeli consul rebuked over memo critical of government 
13 Aug 2009 - Foreign Ministry head reprimands consul general in Boston Tamir over 'poor judgment' in mass distribution of letter saying current conflict with Washington more harmful to Israel's image more than Gaza op 

Abbas: We won't agree to temporary state 
13 Aug 2009 - Palestinian president says Fatah's demands to 'end occupation, establish state with east Jerusalem as its capital' nonnegotiable 

Settlers at odds over Bnei Adam outpost 
13 Aug 2009 - Right-wing activists opposing consensual evacuation of illegal West Bank outpost distribute flyers negating Rabbi Haim Drukman's authority to rule on the matter; Yesha Council chairman slams them as 'irresponsible, lawless' 

Daily Star

Abbas rules out peace talks unless Israel halts settlements
13 Aug 2009 - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday ruled out resuming peace talks with Israel unless it stops settlement building and insisted on the Palestinians’ right to “legitimate resistance.” Abbas made the comments during the inaugural meeting of the new 23-member Central Committee his Fatah Party elected during its first convention in two decades.

Yemen sets terms for ending war on Shiites
13 Aug 2009 - The Yemeni government set terms on Thursday for ending a deadly three-day-old offensive against Shiite rebels in the northern mountains, including word on the fate of six Europeans missing since June. A government security committee said the rebels must evacuate all government offices they have occupied, hand in ammunition and equipment and free their prisoners.

‘Obeying Ahmadinejad like obeying God’
13 Aug 2009 - The Yemeni government set terms on Thursday for ending a deadly three-day-old offensive against Shiite rebels in the northern mountains, including word on the fate of six Europeans missing since June. A government security committee said the rebels must evacuate all government offices they have occupied, hand in ammunition and equipment and free their prisoners.

Jordanian man kills sister for marrying without permission
13 Aug 2009 - The Yemeni government set terms on Thursday for ending a deadly three-day-old offensive against Shiite rebels in the northern mountains, including word on the fate of six Europeans missing since June. A government security committee said the rebels must evacuate all government offices they have occupied, hand in ammunition and equipment and free their prisoners.

Senior Turkish minister meets pro-Kurdish party
13 Aug 2009 - The Yemeni government set terms on Thursday for ending a deadly three-day-old offensive against Shiite rebels in the northern mountains, including word on the fate of six Europeans missing since June. A government security committee said the rebels must evacuate all government offices they have occupied, hand in ammunition and equipment and free their prisoners.

HRW: Israelis shot Gazans waving white flags
13 Aug 2009 - The Yemeni government set terms on Thursday for ending a deadly three-day-old offensive against Shiite rebels in the northern mountains, including word on the fate of six Europeans missing since June. A government security committee said the rebels must evacuate all government offices they have occupied, hand in ammunition and equipment and free their prisoners.

Piracy suspected as ship vanishes in European seas
13 Aug 2009 - The Yemeni government set terms on Thursday for ending a deadly three-day-old offensive against Shiite rebels in the northern mountains, including word on the fate of six Europeans missing since June. A government security committee said the rebels must evacuate all government offices they have occupied, hand in ammunition and equipment and free their prisoners.

Pakistani gunships raze Taliban bases, kill 12 militants
13 Aug 2009 - The Yemeni government set terms on Thursday for ending a deadly three-day-old offensive against Shiite rebels in the northern mountains, including word on the fate of six Europeans missing since June. A government security committee said the rebels must evacuate all government offices they have occupied, hand in ammunition and equipment and free their prisoners.

Palestinian Information Center

A Palestinian resistance group announces the capture of an Israeli soldier
13 Aug 2009 - A Palestinian group calling itself "The Jerusalem Army" has announced that it has captured an Israeli occupation soldier near the Ben Gurion airport on Thursday evening.

HRW: Israeli soldiers killed civilians waving white flags
13 Aug 2009 - A report issued by human rights watch (HRW) revealed that IOF troops killed 11 Palestinian civilians as they were waving white flags during the barbaric military aggression on the Gaza Strip.

Prominent Fatah leaders plan to form new faction
13 Aug 2009 - A London-based newspaper has revealed Thursday that a big group of prominent Fatah leaders were holding serious talks to bolt their mother faction and form a new faction.

Abbas’s militias kidnap nine Hamas members in W. Bank
13 Aug 2009 - The Omamah website affiliated with Hamas reported Thursday that the security apparatuses under the command of Mahmoud Abbas kidnapped yesterday nine members of Hamas in the West Bank.

Mishaal: The Fatah conference’s words about resistance need action
13 Aug 2009 - Khaled Mishaal, the Hamas leader, stated that the decisions and slogans that were made in Fatah conference about the resistance would be meaningless unless they are implemented on the ground.

Quds Institution warns of possible landslide inside the Aqsa
13 Aug 2009 - The international Quds Institution has warned of the seriousness of the recent landslides that occurred in the Old City of Jerusalem and its vicinity as a result of IOA excavations and diggings.

IOF troops detain 7 Palestinians
13 Aug 2009 - Israeli occupation forces (IOF) have rounded up seven Palestinians in the districts of Ramallah, Qalqilia and Al-Khalil at dawn Thursday, the Hebrew radio reported.

Resheq: Fatah turned itself into an anti-resistance party
13 Aug 2009 - Ezzat Al-Resheq stated that Fatah engendered fundamental changes in its organizational structure and political program during its conference that turned it into an anti-resistance party.

Qurei rejects results of Fatah elections as fury within Fatah mounts
13 Aug 2009 - The prominent Fatah leader Ahmed Qurei has asserted Thursday that a state of anger was prevailing within Fatah members due to the forgery that occurred in the faction’s central committee elections.

Hamas MPs appeal to Mubarak to intervene to stop death cycle in PA jails
13 Aug 2009 - Hamas lawmakers in Israeli jails appealed to Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak to urgently intervene to stop the cycle of torture and death taking place in the prisons of the Palestinian Authority.

Los Angeles Times

Iran opposition leader decries 'show trials,' prisoner treatment 
13 Aug 2009 - A prominent conservative joins the chorus of critics. Iran's parliamentary speaker, however, dismisses allegations of sexual abuse of detainees as fabrications. Iran's legal system came under fresh criticism Wednesday amid allegations of prisoner abuse and controversy over televised courtroom confessions, decried as "show trials" by domestic and international critics. 

Iran roiled by prison abuse claims 
12 Aug 2009 - A reformist politician's letter claiming jailed protesters have been abused brings details of such allegations to the fore. The parliamentary speaker has promised to investigate. Nearly a month later, she can't erase images of the dying young man from her mind. 

Abbas emerges stronger from Fatah gathering 
12 Aug 2009 - Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas engineers a refreshing of his Fatah movement's leadership at a convention in Bethlehem while curbing younger activists' criticism of his record. For nearly five years Mahmoud Abbas had moved timidly in the shadow of his charismatic predecessor, the late Yasser Arafat. His demeanor matched his somber dark suits, his rambling speeches lulled audiences to sleep, and his indecision led the Palestinians' preeminent political movement to defeat and disarray. 

New York Times

After Alert, Israel Rules Out Kidnapping of Soldier
13 Aug 2009 - Twelve hours after the Israeli Army began a desperate search for what it feared was an abducted soldier, it said late Thursday that it had ruled out any such possibility. 

Israel Is Wary of Calm Days That May End in Turmoil
11 Aug 2009 - Israel is worried that a period of deceptive quiet could explode at any moment with a spark from Hezbollah, Hamas or Iran. 

Iran Denies Allegations That Protesters Were Raped in Prison
12 Aug 2009 - The speaker of Parliament said an inquiry had found no evidence to support reports that protesters had been sexually abused. 

Misc

Israeli soldiers killed unarmed civilians carrying white flags in Gaza, says report 
8/12/2009 - The Guardian - Human Rights Watch says Israel has failed to properly investigate 'white flag' killings during Gaza offensive - Israeli soldiers shot dead 11 unarmed Palestinian civilians carrying white flags during Israel's offensive in Gaza earlier this year, according to a report from Human Rights Watch, which said Israel had failed to investigate the killings adequately. The deaths – including those of five women and four children – took place in seven separate incidents across Gaza in areas controlled by the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF), where there was no fighting and no Palestinian fighters were nearby. Human Rights Watch, a New-York-based organisation, which published White Flag Deaths: Killings of Palestinian Civilians during Operation Cast Leadsaid it informed the Israeli military of the cases in February. But the cases were not examined in an IDF internal investigation, which concluded that they "operated in accordance with international law. " 

Amnon Kapeliouk 
8/13/2009 - The Guardian - Israeli writer and journalist who opposed occupation - Amnon Kapeliouk, who has died aged 78, was a courageous Israeli journalist and writer who placed the Palestinians at the centre of his work. Long before it became fashionable, he argued that the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 1967 was unsustainable, morally and politically, and that, without a just peace, Israelis would face an uncertain future. Witty and acerbic, Kapeliouk was born in Jerusalem during the British mandate era and complained that his fellow Jews did not understand the cruelty and misery of military occupation for the Palestinians. His expertise was acquired from his family background – his father Menachem was a renowned Arabic scholar – and from academic work at the Hebrew University and at the Sorbonne in Paris, where his doctorate was on Israel's Christian Arab community. 

Human Rights Groups Issue Reports Condemning Israeli Action in Gaza 
8/13/2009 - Alternative Information Center - Two human rights organizations have issued formal reports this week, presenting extensive evidence of misconduct on the part of both the Israeli military and the Israeli government at large, in the lead-up to, execution, and aftermath of Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip from December 2008 to January 2009. The 22-day long military offensive, purportedly sparked by a breach of an Israel-Hamas ceasefire in November 2008, commenced with aerial attacks on 26 December and expanded into ground operations eight days later, claiming the lives of an estimated 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis. Throughout the major military operations, Israel and Egypt completely sealed the Gaza Strip to journalists, media, and human rights workers, severely hampering efforts to document events on the ground. Nonetheless, both reports shed significant light on the human impact of Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, 

Disparities Between Jewish and Bedioun Schools in the Negev 
8/13/2009 - Alternative Information Center - In the Negev Moshav, Sde Tzvi, parents unsatisfied with their children’s education have begun a private community school to educate their children under their own watch, Haaretz reports. The new school will feature a mix of parent and teacher instruction and will be located in a building painted and built by students and parents from the area. Dafna Granot-Degani, Principal of the school, noted that “as a result of a lack of satisfaction over the existing situation, and especially as a result of the crowded classrooms, the parents decided to make a change. ” A focal part of the curriculum at the new school will be the teaching of ecology and appreciation for the environment. The plight of Moshav Sde Tzvi’s parents is not uncommon for communities in the Negev; for the region’s Bedouin population, educational disparities are especially large, and preclude Bedouin students from the same access 

Large Gap in Special Assistance Funding for Students from Low Socioeconomic Backgrounds Between Arab and Jewish Israeli Students
8/13/2009 - Alternative Information Center - A new study published by Professor Sorel Cahan of Hebrew University’s School of Education revealed a gaping differential in special assistance funding for students from low socioeconomic backgrounds between Arab and Jewish Israeli students, supporting claims long held by many Arab educators of institutionalized budgetary discrimination on the part of the Ministry of Education. Special assistance funding, which totaled 150 New Israeli Shekels last year, is designed to augment the resources of schools with a high proportion of students from low-income households by providing for extra tutoring and enrichment programs, and is administered separately from ordinary classroom hours allotted to schools. While the latter is calculated on a solely per-student basis, the former is allocated first by separating funds between Jewish and Arab students on the basis of how many children fall under each 

'Operation Cast Lead': A Statistical Analysis 
8/13/2009 - Alternative Information Center - On the morning of 27 December 2008, the Israeli occupying forces launched “Operation Cast Lead,” a wide-ranging military offensive against the Gaza Strip. 80 warplanes carried out a devastating surprise airstrike campaign whose scale and intensity signalled Israel’s intention to inflict widespread destruction throughout the Gaza Strip. After 22 days of unrelenting aerial attacks coupled with an intensive ground invasion that began on 3 January 2009, the death toll exceeded 1,400 Palestinians, the majority of them civilians including women and children. Over 5,000 more were wounded. Excessive civilian casualties were compounded by the unprecedented destruction of civilian infrastructure across the Gaza Strip including hospitals, schools, mosques, civilian homes, police stations and United Nations compounds. During the offensive, Al-Haq’s fieldworkers, as well as those of its partner organisation, 

Prosthetics unavailable for Gaza amputees 
8/11/2009 - Electronic Intifada - Eva Bartlett - GAZA CITY, occupied Gaza Strip (IPS) - On a Saturday morning in Gaza City, the Artificial Limb and Polio Center (ALPC) is filled with people waiting to see the director, Dr. Hazem al-Shawwa. Following consultation with him and with the specialist in prosthetics and orthotics rehabilitation from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), many will begin the long road to treatment. "It was the second day of the war," says Omar al-Ghrub, 24, referring to the three weeks of Israel attacks in the winter of 2008-2009. "I was working that day," he said. By day he worked in the al-Waleed marble and granite factory northwest of Gaza City, and by night served as its watchman. A missile struck, and Ghrub lost both his legs. Six months later, he waits for the stumps to heal enough to begin the process of fitting artificial legs, and learning to walk anew. 

Rights group: IDF killed Gazans waving ’white flags’ during war
8/14/2009 - Ha'aretz - Human Rights Watch called on Israel on Thursday to investigate seven incidents in which it said Israeli troops shot and killed Palestinian civilians who were flying white flags during the war in the Gaza Strip in January. Expressing disappointment with Israel's response so far to a range of allegations of war crimes made by international bodies, the New York-based lobby group said governments should press for prosecutions under international law if Israel and its enemies in Gaza's Islamist authorities did not act themselves. In a response to the report, the Israeli military said its soldiers were obligated to avoid harming anyone waving a white flag but that in some cases Hamas militants had used civilians with white flags for cover. "Any person who displays a white flag in this way acts illegally, does not enjoy protection from retaliatory action, and endangers nearby civilian populations," the military said. 


Articles

An account of life on the West Bank 
Lamia Khatib, The Huffington Post, International Solidarity Movement 8/13/2009
      Lamia Khatib is a 27 year old Palestinian mother of of four. Lamia’s husband Mohammad is secretary of the village council and a member of the Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements. They live in the West Bank village of Bil’in, which has been under Israeli military occupation for the last 42 years. 
     On August 3, my husband Mohammed Khatib, and my little brother Abdullah, were taken from their beds in our West Bank village of Bil’in at 3 AM by the Israeli military. My husband is a member of the Bil’in Popular Committee, which has been leading our village’s nonviolent campaign against Israel’s construction of a Wall and a settlement on our land. For nearly five years, every Friday we have been joined by supporters from Israel and around the world as we attempt to march to our land on the other side of the Wall. According to the terms of the Fourth Geneva Convention, the settlement amounts to a war crime, and in 2004 the International Court of Justice ruled the Wall illegal.
     In addition to years of peaceful protests, for the last four years our village has held an annual international conference on nonviolent resistance. Bil’in’s struggle has become an emblematic example for Palestinians and worldwide. Last December, the Bil’in Popular Committee was awarded the 2008 Human Rights Medal by the International League of Human Rights in Germany.
     Despite this, the construction of the Wall and settlements continued, and we are treated as criminals in our quest for justice. On top of tens of arrests, hundreds of protesters from Bil’in have been injured and one has been killed by the Israeli military.

Israeli Containment Strategy: Gaza Misery Used to Intimidate West Bankers 
Alternative Information Center 8/13/2009
      All Israeli governments since the collapse of the Oslo Process have lacked plans for the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). A state of paralysis has taken hold of Israeli politics, and all major Zionist parties—from liberal-Left Meretz to quasi-fascist Israel Beitenu, agree on the following points:
     1. Israel shouldn’t withdraw from the OPT unless a permanent peace can be reached with the Palestinians, as a unilateral withdrawal will.
     2. Israel cannot control the entire OPT forever, because the international community doesn’t recognize the occupation and because the Palestinians will continue to resist it. be perceived as weakness.
     3. The Palestinians will never agree to peace without true sovereignty, East Jerusalem as their capital and recognition of the Right of Return of Palestinian refugees. *
     4. Israel should never allow the Palestinian refugees to return to within the borders of pre-1967 Israel, and should never own up to all of the crimes committed in 1948 and since 1967.
     This wide consensus in the Israeli political sphere leaves no room for proactive action, only for eternal procrastination. Unless the Palestinians will miraculously “forget” the atrocities committed against them and decide to compromise on all of their rights for which they have fought for many decades, Israeli governments will continue to contend that there is “no partner for peace.” No partner, that is, to accept Israel’s unilateral dictates.


Electronic Intifada
JNF presence in S. America perpetuates Palestine injustice
13 Aug 2009 - Without any sense of irony, lands of destroyed Palestinian villages have been expropriated by the Jewish National Fund (JNF) and dedicated to revolutionary South American heroes of liberation. Despite its role in the ongoing dispossession of historic Palestine, JNF has offices in the capitals of Bolivia and Venezuela where they raise funds to further entrench a racist system and to erase the signs of Israel's double crime: the ethnic cleansing of Palestine and the demolition of the Arab Jewish communities all over the Arab world and the transfer of Jews of Arab origin to Palestine by means of deception and terror. Rahela Mizrahi comments for The Electronic Intifada. 

Evicted Jerusalem family refuses to give up
12 Aug 2009 - We knew that the threat of eviction against the Hanoun family in occupied East Jerusalem was imminent ever since the first order of this year was served on 19 February. The family had already been kicked out of their home once, in 2002, but it was still hard to imagine that the day would ever come. Jody McIntyre writes from occupied East Jerusalem. 

Gaza play highlights difficulties for artists under siege
12 Aug 2009 - The question of the arts in times of siege and occupation is one of the main themes in Gaza's newest theatre production, Film Cinema , which opened on 4 August in Gaza City. A stage buried in film negatives, and adorned with a lone plump teddy bear, sets the scene of the three-person play. Eva Bartlett reports for The Electronic Intifada. 

Prison strengthens Palestinian women
11 Aug 2009 - BETHLEHEM, occupied West Bank (IPS) - In her office at the Bethlehem women's counseling center, Khawla al-Azraq recounts her memories from Israeli prison as vividly as if they were yesterday: the routine physical and psychological abuse, the nightly room searches, the hunger strikes and other collective actions in protest against their conditions, and the intense study sessions with her fellow prisoners. 

In Gaza
sensations
13 Aug 2009 - Sometimes it is just nice to indulge in sensations: colours, wind, scents, sensations… permanent page: videos: sea scenes

Palestine Chronicle
Fatah: A New Beginning or an Imminent End?
13 Aug 2009 - By Ramzy Baroud This is hardly the rational order of things. An overpowering military occupation was meant to be resisted by an equally determined, focused and unyielding national movement, hell-bent on liberation at any cost and by any means. This is the unwritten law that has governed and shielded successful national liberation projects throughout history. The Fatah movement, under Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, however, wants to alter that order, meeting Israeli colonialism with ill-defined ‘pragmatism’, extreme violence with press statements laden with endless clichés that mostly go unreported, and a determined Israeli attempt at squashing Palestinian aspirations with political tribalism, factional decay and internal divisions. Indeed, the long delayed Fatah Congress, held in Bethlehem on August 4 has underscored the obvious: the all-encompassing movement which was meant to exact and safeguard Palestinian national rights has grown into a liability that, if anything, will continue to derail the Palestinian national project. This comes at a time when the Palestinian people are in urgent need of a collective response that is strong enough to withstand Israeli military pressure and coercion at home, eloquent enough to communicate the Palestinian message to a global audience, and astute enough to galvanize international support and sympathy to the benefit of Palestinian freedom and independence. But what we witnessed in Bethlehem was a bizarre manifestation of the discord of self-seeking and self-imposed elites vying for empty titles, worthless positions and hollow prestige. The mockery started when hundreds of additional delegates were invited to join in the...

Fatah's Convention: Rejuvenation or Division
13 Aug 2009 - By Dr. Elias Akleh Finally, after 20 years since its last meeting in 1989 in Tunis, the Fatah congress convened last week, Tuesday August 4th, in the city of Bethlehem to, ostensibly, rejuvenate itself with younger blood. At the end of the convention, which was extended from three days to a week, it appeared clearly that the whole convention, from beginning to end, was tailored for the sole benefit of Mahmoud Abbas, whose presidency was expired since January 2009, and for his hired gang. Most of the alleged new rejuvenating blood seems to be as tainted and as corrupt as the old one. Since Oslo Agreement and their return to the West Bank some of the Fatah top leaders had, gradually, turned into docile and corrupt leaders. They had hijacked the movement and turned it from a national liberating movement to a political party oppressing the same people they wanted to liberate through the Palestinian Authority. To maintain their power positions and their control over the Palestinian economy and the donor’s money they sabotaged every attempt to convene the congress for the last 20 years. Israel would not have kept any of the Palestinian leaders alive except those who call for “futile” peace negotiations and are ready to give political concessions to Israel. Those honorable leaders, who wanted to continue the liberating struggle, such as Mustafa Alhaj the Secretary General of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), was assassinated by the Israeli forces in his house in...

Untold Story of The King-Crane Commission
13 Aug 2009 - By Tammy Obeidallah 'Down with American Imperialists.' This sign, or one of its variations, can be seen at protests and demonstratons throughout the world. U.S. policies have given credence to it, fueling legitimate hatred in countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine and others victimized by America’s lust for oil and support of the Israeli military juggernaut. Yet less than 100 years ago, the United States was admired in the global arena as a bastion of justice and freedom. Furthermore, Zionism—the belief that all Jews are entitled to a “homeland” in Palestine—was condemned in an official document. The King-Crane Commission is relatively unknown, buried under a century of Zionist propaganda and attempts to discredit Dr. Henry Churchill King and Charles R. Crane as Nazi sympathizers. On the contrary, Dr. King was one of the best known educators of his time and served as the director of religious work for the YMCA in France. Mr. Crane was selected as part of a special diplomatic mission to Russia and was U.S. Ambassador to China from 1920-1921. In 1919, after World War I and the break-up of the Ottoman Empire, President Woodrow Wilson apppointed King and Crane to head the Inter-Allied Commission on Mandates in Turkey. King and Crane’s mission was to record the wishes of the people in the former Ottoman territories regarding their desired form of government and the degree to which outside intervention would be accepted. President Woodrow Wilson’s July 4, 1918 address provided the backdrop for their objective: “The settlement of every...

Fatah Gets a Facelift, but Needs to Reconcile
13 Aug 2009 - By George S. Hishmeh If one chooses to be charitable, the holding of the Congress of the most significant Palestinian nationalist movement in Israeli-besieged Palestine for the first time since its founding in the early sixties could be considered a historic achievement. If nothing else, it allowed more than 2,000 members of the Palestinian Liberation Movement, or Fatah, to assemble in Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus Christ, and begin the process of rejuvenating what has been described as ‘a bloated gerontocracy’ that has not met for 20 years. It certainly underlined the Palestinians’ yearning to return to their usurped homeland despite the fact that many coming from neighbouring Arab countries such as Syria and Lebanon had to secure clearance from the Israeli authorities, in itself an insulting and degrading step. Over the years, Fatah and its popular founder, the late Yasser Arafat, have led the march to regain Palestine certainly the territories that were occupied in 1967, when Israeli troops managed to drive away armies of neighboring Arab states that were in control of these areas, including the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. But although Arafat and his close advisers were successful in drawing international attention to the plight of the Palestinians they failed in political organization; corruption and lack of discipline became distinct features of Fatah. The conference, slated to run for three days, ended up meeting for eight days due to the power struggle within the group. Most of the deliberations were not open to the public,...

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