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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
21 August , 2009

News

International Middle East Media Center

Abbas orders the release of 200 political prisoners
23 Aug 2009 - According to the Maan News Agency, Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, had ordered the release of 200 political prisoners detained by his security forces in the West Bank. The order comes as an act of good-will as the Muslims are marking the holy month of Ramadan.  

Zionist group holds a meeting to 'counter' the Arabs in the Negev
22 Aug 2009 - The Arabs48 news Website reported that a Zionist organization calling itself Ha-Shomer Ha-Hadash (The New Guard), held a meeting on Thursday to ‘counter’ what they described as ‘the Arab embezzling of Israeli lands in the Negev and the Galilee”. 

Egyptian teams conclude talks with Palestinian leaders in Damascus
22 Aug 2009 - Egyptian delegates, in charge of holding talks with different Palestinian factions in an attempt to restore unity, concluded a round of talks on Friday with Hamas leaders and leaders of different Palestinian factions stationed in Syria. 

The Elders to market Obama’s Peace Plan
22 Aug 2009 - Senior world leaders of the Elders organization, including former U.S. president, Jimmy Carter, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, intend to visit Israel and the Palestinian territories next Monday in an effort to market the peace plan of U.S. President Barack Obama. 

Abbas: “70 political prisoners will be released soon”
22 Aug 2009 - Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, stated Friday that the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank intends to release 70 political prisoners who are imprisoned for less serious offenses. 

Germany demands Israel to stop settlement activities
22 Aug 2009 - Germany is demanding Israel to act and stop its settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories, and said that there an urgent need to halt settlement construction to give the peace process a chance to advance. 

Sweden’s Foreign Ministry summons Israel’s ambassador
22 Aug 2009 - As the Israeli-Swedish relations stand at odds over an article regarding Israeli soldiers killing Palestinians for their organs, and Israel’s demand for official apology, the Swedish government summoned the Israeli Ambassador for talks on the issue.  

Ha'aretz Defense page

Settler leader presses outpost residents to evacuate
21 Aug 2009 - Residents of Bnei Adam expected to evacuate after 'father of outposts' threatens to cut off gas supply. 

Shin Bet guards top Palestinian leaders in parts of West Bank
19 Aug 2009 - New policy meant to avoid having armed Palestinian guards in Israeli-controlled areas. 

Argentine immigrant named as IDF soldier who stole Ashkenazi's credit card
19 Aug 2009 - Louis Muskata of Ra'anana also indicted for stealing IDF rifle in order to sell it to criminal operatives. 

IDF probe finds horseplay behind errant bullet that killed soldier
19 Aug 2009 - One soldier had apparently been demonstrating capabilities on rifle when weapon went off, killing Or Hadad. 

IDF: One-third of soldiers might refuse to evacuate outposts
19 Aug 2009 - Memo from commander urges sensitivity, yet mandates 'red lines' for soldiers who refuse orders. 

Ma'an News

Dozens hit by CS gas during anti-wall demonstrations
8/22/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Dozens were hurt by tear-gas canisters fired by Israeli soldiers during weekly protests against the separation barrier across the West Bank on Friday, demonstrators said. In Bil'in, a village near Ramallah, protesters claimed in a statement that Israeli forces fired CS tear gas when they approached the under-construction wall that separates residents from some 60 percent of their land. The same morning, soldiers raided Bil'in and arrested Mohammed Ibrahim Abu Rahma, 48, the vice president of the village council and leader in the Popular Committee Against the Wall. "Thus this raid is targeting the members of the People's Committee in order to stop their resistance against the occupation," the group's statement said. The day before, Israel's military released without charge Basil Naim Bernat, who spent 39 days at Ofer prison and was forced to pay a fine of 7,000 Israeli shekels (about 1,800 US dollars). 

PFLP demands investigation into reports of Israeli organ harvesting
8/22/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - International human rights organizations must carry out a serious and immediate investigation on media reports published by a Swedish newspaper alleging Israeli forces harvested organs from Palestinian youth, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine demanded Saturday. The report in Aftonbladet quoted Palestinians claiming Israeli soldiers detained young men who died in custody, and alleged their bodies were returned with organs missing. A PFLP statement said such reports, given the detailed names, dates and photographs included and the staunch support of the Swedish government of the reporter, must be taken seriously. The group said the story was similar to alleged violations carried out by soldiers in the 1980s in Gaza, where they were said to have stolen organs from children taken to Israeli hospitals. 

Fayyad: PA has no political detainees
8/22/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - There are no political detainees in Palestinian Authority custody, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad reiterated on Saturday. "All those whom security services detain have violated the law in one way or another," Fayyad insisted during a speech at a Protect the Palestinian Flag ceremony in Ramallah. Following his speech, in which he insisted the PA was in support of unity and that security campaigns were targeting criminals and were not politically motivated, the leader oversaw the replacement of old and worn out flags with new ones along Ramallah's streets. Rights organizations have confirmed that both West Bank and Gaza Strip prisons hold individuals detained for political reasons. On Friday, President Mahmoud Abbas was given a security overview by Interior Minister Sa'id Abu Ali. 

Hamas to attempt ’reeducation’ of detained ultra-Islamists
8/22/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - The de facto Ministry of the Interior in Gaza will try to "correct" ideologies held by members of Jund Ansar Allah who were arrested after and during gun battles last week, spokesman Eyhab Al-Ghussein said on Saturday. The ministry said it would seek help from the Union of Muslim Scholars. Jund Ansar Allah, a radical armed group thought to be ideologically aligned with Al-Qaeda, was at the center of clashes that left 28 Palestinians dead following a Hamas operation against its members in Rafah last Friday. Al-Ghussein explained that his ministry gave directives to security services to impose order and ease movement during Ramadan. Police will deploy in marketplaces and crossroads to protect residents, he said. With regard to the Palestinian reconciliation dialogue, Al-Ghussein said "the ongoing detention of resistance activists by the Palestinian Authority. . . 

Two Gazan boys seized after escaping to Egypt
8/22/2009 - Al-Arish - Ma'an - Egyptian border police seized two Gazan boys as they escaped the Strip into Egypt, local security sources said. The boys, aged 12 and 14, were reportedly spotted by Egyptian border guards as they jumped the iron wall near the Brazili neighborhood in Gaza. Security forces said the boys were from the Rafah neighborhood of As-Salam. During interrogation the boys revealed miserable living conditions in Rafah on account of the continued Israeli siege on the area. The final straw, they said, was family tension that hit its peak as Ramadan fasting began. They said they only planned to amuse themselves in Egypt for a few days or weeks and then return home. The boys, as minors, will not be charged, and will be handed back to their families at the Rafah border crossing as soon as possible, according to the security sources. 

Israel dismisses Germany’s latest settlement critique
8/22/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Israel dismissed calls from Germany's Foreign Ministry on Friday that it stop building settlements on occupied Palestinian land in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. "These are disconnected statements, without any diplomatic context," said Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor. "These statements are not part of any diplomatic negotiations, they are unrelated to reality and distort it. "Germany's Foreign Ministry had earlier called the settlements "one of the biggest impediments to the two-state solution," and urged Israel to make "urgent progress" on freezing growth in the colonies. "We and our partners the Americans have made very clear that we see the settlements issue as one of the biggest impediments to a two-state solution," according to the German ministry's spokesman, Andreas Peschke, at a news conference. 

Obama’s Ramadan message: US support for Palestinian state unyielding
8/22/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - The United States is "committed to keeping our responsibility to build a world that is more peaceful and secure," US President Barack Obama said in a live address Friday night. "That is why we are unyielding in our support for a two-state solution that recognizes the rights of Israelis and Palestinians to live in peace and security," he said. Obama mentioned only three Middle Eastern issues in his address, also noting the US' move to "responsibly ending the war in Iraq," empowering "the people in places like Afghanistan and Pakistan," and securing a state for Palestinians. "America will always stand for the universal rights of all people to speak their mind, practice their religion, contribute fully to society and have confidence in the rule of law," Obama said. The US president's address focused, much like his earlier address to the. . . 

Qatar donates $10 million for Gazan workers and fishermen
8/22/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Qatar donated 10 million US dollars to support Gazan fishermen and workers on the occasion of the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan. The donation was announced Friday evening during a telephone call between de facto Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad Ben Khalifa Al-Thani. Haniyeh congratulated Al-Thani on the occasion of Ramadan and updated him on the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip. Al-Thani informed Haniyeh that his country would send 10 million US dollars to help Gazan workers and fishermen during Ramadan. [end] 

Erekat meets Japan’s representative to PA
8/22/2009 - Jericho - Ma'an - Chief negotiator of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Sa'eb Erekat met on Saturday withJapan's representative to the Palestinian Authority (PA) Hidiki Yamamuto. Erekat applauded the Japanese government for supporting the Palestinian people in all fields, and for its unchangeable position toward the establishment of a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders. Erekat asserted that the PLO was committed to international resolutions and international law, and in accordance with them has planned to achieve peace based on withdrawal of Israeli forces from all Palestinian territories which were occupied in 1967, including East Jerusalem, and the Syrian Golan Heights. Erekat said the Israeli government was uninterested in resuming final-status negotiations, and that it has refused to implement prior commitments in the Road Map plan, particularly freezing settlements. 

World Media Committee: This Ramadan, shed light on Jerusalem
8/22/2009 - Jerusalem - Ma'an - The World Media Committee to defend Jerusalem urged Islamic and Arabic satellite channels to transmit all Ramadan rituals from the Al-Aqsa Mosque over the coming weeks. In a statement, the group urged media outlets to make public what they called Israeli acts against Palestinians and the religious sites they guard. The committee reminded media outlets of a fire set by a Christian extremist at Al-Aqsa 40 years ago, and said Jerusalem constantly faces Israeli violations of the sanctity of its holy place, the statement said. Meanwhile, the group noted that Palestinians would fight against planned expulsions, adding that Palestinians would continue to resist the building of the separation wall that cuts off many from access to holy places. It also condemned construction of settlements. Digging underneath Al-Aqsa was the most troubling issue, the group said,. . . 

Clan clashes averted by Tulkarem governor’s diplomatic efforts
8/22/2009 - Tulkarem - Ma'an - A family feud that saw the death of one child was settled by top village officials in Tulkarem Thursday following intensive efforts by police and local Governor Talal Dweikat. The families of the recently slain Ahmad Malek Sabbah, and killer Mohammad Belal Adnan Al-Haj Saleh met in the town hall following extensive go-betweens during the five days after Sabbah's death, involving Dweikat, head of the local police department and Muslim judge Mahmoud Al-I'bushi. Clan clashes can go on for years and even generations, causing death and destruction to families, neighborhoods and communities. Following the death of Ahmad Sabbah, local authorities stepped in to make sure no escalation occurred. Days later, in Tubas, a similar incident resulted in the death of one, the injury of 38, and the destruction of five homes. 

Fatah members continue to applaud sixth congress, elections
8/22/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The youngest elected member of Fatah's Revolutionary Council, 38-year-old Jamal Nazzal, applauded what he called the "responsible election behavior of voters. "He said the Fatah Central Committee and Revolutionary Council elections were elected in "outwardly opposite trends. " In a Saturday interview with Ma'an, Nazzal said he was "happy because 14 of the people I voted for in the Central Committee elections won. As other voters, I voted for leaders who are not in harmony [with each other]. " The Central Committee elections caused early upsets as results were announced and only confirmed three days later after a recount was demanded by ousted former member Ahmad Qureia. While Qureia remained out of the Fatah party's ruling body, an aide to President Mahmoud Abbas jumped three places in the rankings and made it into the committee after announcing his candidacy only the morning of the vote. 

Busy week for Bethlehem antiquities police
8/22/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Palestinian Tourism and Antiquities Police in Bethlehem seized several unregistered ancient items being kept by local residents, they announced Friday. Police require antiquities to be registered or handed over to authorities, and were given information on several items being held ad unregistered. The owner of the goods was summoned and registered the following items:A statue made of pottery standing on a glass base, a glass jug, a small glass pot, a striped pottery jug, a dark brown pottery jug, a small striped pottery jar, and a small pottery jar with an ornamented neck. Through the operation police discovered local Bethlehem souvenir shops selling unregistered antiquities. Twenty-one items were discovered, including nine pottery jugs in different colors and shapes, six pottery plates, two clay lamps, and four old coins. 

Gaza schools to open Sunday, one week ahead of West Bank
8/22/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Gaza's government, UNRWA and private schools will open their doors Sunday, most without adequate paper and book supplies. The schools will open one week before their West Bank counterparts,The de facto Ministry of Education said it had coordinated with the Ramallah-based caretaker government to align the school calendars for both areas, but the West Bank government announced a delay last week, citing the start of Ramadan and concerns over the H1N1 virus. Gaza officials said they were surprised the date of the stat of the school semester was changed, given the prior communication. In Gaza 250,000 of school children will head to 383 of governmental schools in all districts of the Gaza Strip. Another 200,000 schoolchildren will be heading to UNRWA schools, and an unknown number to private schools, mostly around Gaza City. 

Darwish: Revolutionary poetry beyond poetry of revolution
8/22/2009 - Lutfi Khalaf is a Ramallah-based Palestinian poet. - To write about a cause means that you add to it, to its soul and show the dark parts of it which wouldn't have appeared before you wrote. Many academics described poets who wrote about revolution as political poets with "political hemoglobin in their blood cells, and political air in their lungs. " Indeed, Mahmoud Darwish was seen like that by the average Palestinian, and even by men when I was at preparatory school reading his poetry. As we sat listening attentively to Darwish's early poems, we were stirred with political and nationalistic sentiment. At that point, we weren't critics, we did not know how to understand the objectives of his poetry, neither did we understand how to access them. As I write today, I see that it was true. Never did any other poet write more honest, committed, and loyal nationalistic and political poetry about his country's revolution than what Darwish wrote. 

Red Cross, university team up to renovate Gaza City buildings
8/22/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Islamic University's engineering school began renovating buildings in cooperation with the International Red Cross in Gaza City on Saturday, according to a statement. Husam Ad-Din Daoud, who heads the school's Center for Heritage and Architecture, said the project was divided into two phases; the first was to create a healthy environment inside the ancient structures by removing trash or debris. Secondly, the official said the center would involve altering the structures themselves to protect people still living in them despite their deterioration, and that the project would focus mainly on the Old City. Daoud added that 200 engineers, technicians, and workers were expected to be employed in the project, and that the center would train future engineers. 

The National

Survival a victory for Gaza football club
22 Aug 2009 - Al Shams Sports Club now offers a footballing course that helps to draw out youngsters still in a state of shock from the war.

Strangers in their own land
21 Aug 2009 - Hamas' tightening conservative grip across all sections of society may prompt some secular Palestinians to leave their homeland.

The battle for the mosque at Beersheva
21 Aug 2009 - In a fight familiar to communities across Israel, Beersheva's thousands of Muslims are struggling to save their sole house of worship from becoming a museum.

The Jew on Fatah's governing body
21 Aug 2009 - A scholar seeks to help the group become a broad-based movement against Israel, modelled on the African National Congress.

Aljazeera

Clerics query Iran cabinet choices
22 Aug 2009 - Conservatives voice concern over president's choice of three female ministers.

UN 'inspects Iranian nuclear site'
21 Aug 2009 - Tehran lifts ban on allowing IAEA to inspect nuclear reactor site, diplomats say.

Alternative Information Center

Recent Home Demolitions in the Negev Highlight Bedouin Struggle Over Land
21 Aug 2009 - Israeli forces demolished several homes belonging to families of the Bedouin Tlalka tribe settled near Highway 40 in the Negev between the Lehavim and Gorel junctions, adding to what the Association for Civil Rights in Israel...

Palestinian Shops in Jerusalem’s Old City Close in Protest of Israeli Harassment
21 Aug 2009 - Palestinian shopkeepers in the Old City of Jerusalem closed their businesses on Wednesday, 19 August, protesting what they deem to be arbitrarily-applied fines and disruptions by Israeli forces.  In recent weeks, municipal authorities have begun enforcing...

Palestine News Network

Italy attacking Nativity Church deportees, Fateh criticized for not addressing issue at Conference 
22 Aug 2009 - Gaza / PNN – The Palestinians deported and exiled by Israeli forces from the Church of Nativity are still outside. Some were deported to the Gaza Strip with instructions to not leave Gaza City and to not engage in any political activity. If they did, their fates would be more unknown than they are now.Those exiled to Europe have had as difficult time...

Greetings at beginning of Ramadan delivered with concerns over occupation and internal conflict
22 Aug 2009 - Nablus / Amin Abu Wardeh for PNN - With the first day of Ramadan come thousands of greetings by e-mail, as well as cards on paper, which is part of the normal ritual. The messages are mixed with the religious and political. Despite the religious aspect of the month of Ramadan, greetings mix between religious, ideological, national concerns and the general political situation.The...

Revival of Ramadan nights in Jerusalem begins with children's parade and music in the streets 
22 Aug 2009 - Jerusalem / Maisa Abu Ghazaleh for PNN - Ten organizations formed a coalition in Jerusalem for the month of Ramadan, in hopes of reviving the nights. With the day spent fasting, evening activities often stretch well into the night, with walking, eating sweets, visiting, and going to shows.This year in Jerusalem cultural events and other art exhibits are part of the traditional and...

The beginning of Ramadan: how did Palestinians spend their day?
22 Aug 2009 - Bethlehem / Osama Awad for PNN – How did Palestinians spend the first day of Ramadan? Were they in prayer and faith, or in the kitchen and in front of the TV? The Islamic holy month of Ramadan is pregnant with meanings of charity and blessings. What distinguishes this month is that good prevails, with people going out of their way to take...

Palestinian officials expect postponement of Cairo dialogue until after Eid Al Fitr
21 Aug 2009 - Damascus / PNN - Palestinian sources said today that the Egyptian delegation led by Assistant Director of Intelligence, Major General Mohamed Ibrahim, suggested postponing the National Council meeting. President Abbas had said that the Council should meet, while making assurances that it would not serve as disruption to reconciliation between his Fateh party and Hamas. Elections are slated for January and until now...

Bil’in children demonstrate at Wall against night raids and arrests, next night another was taken
21 Aug 2009 - Bil’in / Iyad Burnat – This week the children of western Ramallah’s Bil’in demonstrated against the night raids that are keeping them awake. Boys and adults in the village are being taken, organizers of the nonviolent resistance movement say, to prevent their participation in the weekly demonstrations that have made the village known throughout the world.During Wednesday’s demonstration the kids of the town...

The Dead Sea is for us: Palestinian youth affirm right to walk on beach despite Israeli actions
20 Aug 2009 - Bethlehm / Hiba Lama for PNN - A group of Palestinian youth went to the Dead Sea in an affirmation of their right to utilize its waters. On the beach they celebrated their right to wander on the sand. A political message was communicated: the sea Dead is for us, not them. One of the young organizers of this week’s celebration, Tariq Za'anun,...

IRIN

OPT: Gaza mothers, newborns affected by Israeli blockade 
GAZA CITY Thursday, August 20, 2009 (IRIN) - Inadequate infrastructure, lack of equipment and a shortage of hospital staff are contributing to the deterioration of hospital care for mothers and newborns in Gaza, according to a July 2009 assessment by the World Health Organization (WHO) in Jerusalem.

OPT: Where cancer sufferers get only painkillers 
GAZA CITY Wednesday, August 19, 2009 (IRIN) - Arafat Hamdona, 20, has been confined to the cancer unit of As-Shifa, Gaza’s primary hospital, since he was diagnosed with maxillary skin tumours in June 2008. Red lesions protrude from his face, his features are distorted and his eyes swollen shut.

Analysis: Humanitarian action under siege
DAKAR Tuesday, August 18, 2009 (IRIN) - On the first-ever World Humanitarian Day, as the UN spotlights fallen aid workers and growing humanitarian needs, experts say a trend toward integrating aid goals into broader social and security agendas has contributed to an erosion of “humanitarian space”. IRIN looks at why,...

Inter Press Service

RIGHTS-US: Teenage Terror Plot or Wild Imagination? 
ATLANTA, Georgia, Aug 21 (IPS) - Following a seven-day trial, Ehsanul Islam Sadequee, 23, was convicted in a U.S. federal court earlier this month on several counts of providing material support to terrorists and the Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LET), a designated foreign terrorist organisation.

MIDEAST: Republicans Attack Obama on Palestine Policy 
WASHINGTON, Aug 21 (IPS) - Former Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee has been in Israel and the occupied West Bank this week, stridently criticising Pres. Barack Obama's policies of pushing for an Israeli settlement freeze and the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel.

EGYPT: Differences 'Narrowing' Over Nile Waters 
CAIRO, Aug 21 (IPS) - Signs are emerging of some narrowing of differences over the sharing of Nile waters.

POLITICS-US: Court Reins in Terror Finance Policy 
NEW YORK, Aug 20 (IPS) - A federal court this week ruled for the first time that the U.S. government cannot freeze an organisation's assets under a terror financing law without a warrant based upon probable cause and without telling the organisation the basis for its action and a meaningful...

Stop The Wall

New checkpoint ensures isolation of Beit Iksa
22 Aug 2009 - Occupation forces have nearly completed a fortified checkpoint to the northwest of Beit Iksa. This will ensure the loss of more land, which will be used to expand nearby settlements, as well as the severing of the village from the greater community. Residents, who rely on heath and educational services outside the village, will find access more restricted. [

Demolishing homes, building up settlements
20 Aug 2009 - This month, Occupation forces have issued new demolition orders to communities across the West Bank. A total of 49 residential structures are under threat, affecting families in the areas surrounding Hebron, Qalqilya, Salfit and Nablus. This effectively restricts the growth of Palestinian communities, and is motivated by the route of the Wall and preserving the surrounding land for settlement expansion. [

PCHR Weekly Report

(13 - 19 Aug.  2008)
On 14 August 2009, Israeli gunboats opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats opposite to Rafah beach.  As a result, a 12-year-old Palestinian child, who was at the beach, was seriously wounded by a gunshot to the head.

International Solidarity Movement

Bil’in demonstrates against the Apartheid Wall
8/21/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Bil'in Popular Committee - Dozen were suffocated with tear gas by occupation soldiers during their participation in the weekly demonstration that was called by the People's Committee to resist the wall. Participants of the demonstration were people of the village, international activists and Israeli peace movement's members. Demonstrators raised Palestinian flags and banners calling for ending the occupation, stopping wall and settlements constructions, land confiscation, night raids and arrests. Participants, walked in Bil'in streets, chanting slogans and calling for national unity. Demonstrators walked toward the wall and when they get close to the gate, the occupation soldiers started firing tear gas, causing suffocation. On the other hand, the Israeli army force raided the village of Bil'in today's morning and arrested Mohammed Ibrahim Abu Rahma (48 years). . . 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

Democratic Congressman: Obama demand for settlement freeze 'mistaken'
22 Aug 2009 - The chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee said last week that the Obama administration is making a mistake in demanding Israel completely freeze construction in the settlements. Congressman Howard Berman, a Democrat from California, made these comments during a closed meeting with Jewish leaders in Los Angeles. ... 

Dutch Zionists: Money museum spreading lies about Israel
22 Aug 2009 - In accusing Israel of "robbing Palestinian identity and replacing Palestinian money," the Netherlands' Geldmuseum (Money Museum) has adopted propaganda that "runs contrary to the truth," the country's largest pro-Israel organization said this week. ...

Comment / Lieberman wrongly stirring scandal over Sweden article
22 Aug 2009 - Not far from the memorial square in the Yad Vashem compound in Jerusalem, a white vehicle is parked - part bus, part ambulance. It is one of 36 such vehicles that were used during the final weeks of World War II for the transfer of thousands of Nazi concentration camp prisoners from Germany to Sweden. ... 

Netanyahu to press Sweden to condemn IDF organ harvesting article 
22 Aug 2009 - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to press Sweden for an official condemnation of an article in the Swedish daily Aftonbladet that alleged Israeli soldiers "harvested" the organs of Palestinians. However, in Jerusalem there was some satisfaction expressed over an entry in the personal blog of Sweden's foreign minister, which led some here to believe the official stance in Stockholm has softened. ... 

Israel sees progress in U.S. talks on settlement freeze
22 Aug 2009 - Netanyahu to discuss issue further with Obama's Mideast envoy at meeting in London on Wednesday.

The Guardian

Why Israeli Jew Uri Davis joined Fatah to save Palestine
22 Aug 2009 - The first Jewish member of the Revolutionary Council of Fatah talks about a unique political journey Uri Davis is used to denunciations. A "traitor", "scum", "mentally unstable": those are just some of the condemnations that have...

Time to boycott Israel | Neve Gordon
21 Aug 2009 - For the sake of our children, I am convinced that an international boycott is the only way to save Israel from itself Israeli newspapers this summer are filled with angry articles about the push for an...

Video: Hamas's 'cinema of resistance'
19 Aug 2009 - The first Hamas-produced film premiered in Gaza, depicting the life of Imad Aqel, who was held responsible for killing 13 Israeli soldiers and settlers

Abbas's Sudan trip is ethical | Nicholas Blincoe
19 Aug 2009 - The Palestinian president's visit despite the ICC's arrest warrant for Omar al-Bashir may be realpolitik, but it is defensible The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, invites accusations of hypocrisy with his visit to Sudan today for talks...

Ha'aretz National page

Plans for largest East Jerusalem settlement filed for approval 
22 Aug 2009 - A plan for the building of a new settlement, Ma'aleh David, in the middle of an Arab neighborhood in East Jerusalem was filed for approval by the relevant municipal committee at the Jerusalem Municipality. The plan calls for the construction of 104 housing units on the land where the former headquarters of the Judea and Samaria police was housed in the neighborhood of Ras al-Amud. ... 

Police: Tel Aviv murder victim may have escaped attackers
22 Aug 2009 - Police now believe that Leonard (Aryeh) Karp, who died last week after being beaten by several drunken youths at a seaside promenade in Tel Aviv, escaped his attackers, collapsed and then fell into the water. ... 

Who is leading the settlers' fight for the West Bank outposts?
22 Aug 2009 - It isn't clear whether Israel has a partner for negotiations in the West Bank. Not for negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, but between Israelis and themselves. And it's not at all certain whether the Israeli military establishment has anyone to talk to about the unauthorized Jewish outposts in the West Bank, and if any agreement resulting from such talks would be worth the paper it's written on. ... 

Relief Web

OPT: Leaving Gaza
21 Aug 2009 - Source: Oxfam

WFP hunger hotspots: OPT - 21 Aug 2009
21 Aug 2009 - Source: World Food Programme

Middle East: UNTSO Deployment (as of Jun 2009)
21 Aug 2009 - Source: UNCS

YNet News

Barak: True nature of Iranian regime revealed 
22 Aug 2009 - Defense minister slams decision to appoint suspect of 1994 Buenos Aires bombings as Iran's defense minister 

Israeli lecturer endorses international boycott of state
22 Aug 2009 - Dr. Neve Gordon of Ben-Gurion University writes in Los Angeles Times Israel an apartheid state, only massive international pressure could save it. University says in response Gordon overstepped academic freedom boundaries 

Israel: Sweden using 'freedom of speech' as fig leaf 
22 Aug 2009 - Responding to Swedish prime minister's refusal to apologize for article alleging Israeli soldiers harvested organs from Palestinian bodies, Foreign Ministry says Sweden utilizing 'freedom of speech' as excuse not to condemn anti-Semitism 

Peres: Nasrallah speeches amusing 
22 Aug 2009 - President tells Kuwaiti daily al-Rai he believes Hezbollah will continue fighting Israel even if latter withdraws from Shebaa Farms, Ghajar; says Israel knows Shiite group has 80,000 rockets 

Haredim protest 'Shabbat desecration' in Jerusalem 
22 Aug 2009 - Hundreds protest opening of Karta parking lot on Saturdays. Protestors in Bar-Ilan road hurl stones at cars; one injured. Police arrest six protestors 

Daily Star

Palestinians and Israelis trade blame over peace deadlock
22 Aug 2009 - Israel and the Palestinians traded blame Friday for failure to resume stalled peace talks after US President Barack Obama renewed his call on both sides to resume talks as soon as possible. A senior Israeli official said the Palestinians had rejected repeated calls by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to resume talks that have been frozen for eight months.

Relatives of US hikers held in Iran launch website
22 Aug 2009 - President Hamid Kar zai's campaign and chief rival Abdullah Abdullah both said on Friday they had won Afghan istan's election, with US officials warning the candidates to keep a lid on simmering tensions. Both camps said unofficial counts by campaign workers showed they had won enough votes from Thursday's election, which went ahead despite Taliban threats of violence.

Tehran allows UN inspectors access to nuclear reactor
22 Aug 2009 - President Hamid Kar zai's campaign and chief rival Abdullah Abdullah both said on Friday they had won Afghan istan's election, with US officials warning the candidates to keep a lid on simmering tensions. Both camps said unofficial counts by campaign workers showed they had won enough votes from Thursday's election, which went ahead despite Taliban threats of violence.

Palestinian Information Center

Nine citizens and two Italian activists suffocate during Nil’in protest
22 Aug 2009 - Nine Palestinian citizens and two Italian activists suffered suffocation during the Weekly anti-wall protest in Nil’in village when IOF troops fired dozens of tear gas canisters.

Ministers and lawmakers call for stopping torture of Aziz Kayed
22 Aug 2009 - Palestinian ministers and lawmakers imprisoned in Israeli jails called on Mahmoud Abbas’s security apparatuses to stop torturing under-secretary-general of the cabinet Aziz Kayed.

Hamas congratulates Muslims, calls for supporting Jerusalem
22 Aug 2009 - Hamas Movement has congratulated the Palestinian people and the Muslims worldwide on the occasion of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, and urged for greater support for occupied Jerusalem.

IOF tightens the noose on occupied Jerusalem on first day of Ramadan
22 Aug 2009 - Israeli occupation authority (IOA) on Saturday deployed large numbers of policemen and security forces at the entrances of the Old City of Jerusalem and the Aqsa Mosque, local sources said.

Haneyya asks Egypt to facilitate entry of goods into Gaza
22 Aug 2009 - Ismail Haneyya, the Palestinian premier, has hoped that Egypt would facilitate entry of foodstuff and medication to Gaza to meet Palestinian needs on the occasion of the holy month of Ramadan.

Radwan: Israeli incursions into Gaza borders target stability
22 Aug 2009 - Dr. Ismail Radwan, a senior Hamas official, said that the limited Israeli incursions into Gaza border areas are aimed to undermine the calm and security in the Strip.

Nassif calls for vigilance to defend Aqsa
22 Aug 2009 - Ra'fat Nassif, the detained Hamas political leader in the West Bank, has called on the Palestinian people to remain vigilant and on constant alert to defend occupied Jerusalem and the Aqsa Mosque.

Bayareq foundation provides 1,500 trips to Aqsa Mosque
22 Aug 2009 - The Bayareq foundation that caters for the Aqsa Mosque has announced Thursday that it would mobilize 1,500 bus trip from the 1948-occupied lands to the Aqsa Mosque during Ramadan.

Hindi rejects two-state solution, says resistance only path for victory
22 Aug 2009 - Dr. Moahammed Al-Hindi said on Thursday his Movement's rejection of the US-sponsored two-state solution, describing it as the most dangerous scenario to liquidate the Palestinian issue.

Salah calls for popular chains to protect the Aqsa Mosque
22 Aug 2009 - The Well-known Muslim leader in the 1948-occupied Palestinian land Sheikh Raed Salah has called on the Palestinian people to form popular chains to protect the Aqsa Mosque..

Los Angeles Times

Iran cleric calls for arrest of opposition leaders 
22 Aug 2009 - Head of the ultraconservative Guardian Council says Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi should be put on trial. A counterpart, meanwhile, demands the release of political prisoners. A high-ranking Iranian conservative cleric called for the arrest of opposition leaders Friday and a counterpart demanded the release of political prisoners as Iran's political and religious establishment showed no signs of reconciliation after the disputed June 12 reelection of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. 

A Christian on the run in Egypt 
22 Aug 2009 - Maher El Gohary is something his Muslim compatriots can't fathom: a convert to Christianity. He and his daughter live like fugitives, moving frequently to avoid those who'd like to see him dead. It is a clear day along the coast, but in a bungalow off the beach, Maher El Gohary sits behind a locked door with an open Bible and a crystal cross, suspicious of every voice and sandal scraping past outside. 

Iran's Ahmadinejad softens tone before Cabinet vote 
21 Aug 2009 - With some analysts predicting a tough fight in parliament to get his 21-member Cabinet approved, the Iranian president gives a prime-time TV interview, praising his nominees. Iran's embattled leader toned down his rhetoric, softened his voice and attempted to directly woo the people in a live prime-time television interview Thursday before what most analysts predict will be a fierce fight with parliament over his proposed Cabinet. 

New York Times

Ahmadinejad Nominee Is Wanted in ’94 Bombing
21 Aug 2009 - Iran’s defense minister nominee is wanted in the bombing of a Jewish center in Buenos Aires, confronting Iran with another challenge to its reputation. 

Ahmadinejad Submits a Cabinet of Acolytes
19 Aug 2009 - Facing persistent opposition, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran will shore up his circle of loyalists. 

World Briefing | Middle East: Lebanon: Militant Is Recaptured
19 Aug 2009 - Lebanese commandos caught a fugitive from an Islamic militant group, Fatah Islam, a day after he broke out of a high-security prison in a spectacular escape. 

Misc

Israeli Cosmetic Company Is About to Learn It Can’t Cover Up Its Role in the Occupation 
8/22/2009 - AlterNet - Nancy Kricorian - Ahava is an Israeli profiteer exploiting the natural resources of occupied Palestine to sell its exotic beauty products. - As the dust settled on the destroyed homes, schools and lives in the aftermath of Israel’s assault on Gaza earlier this year, mainstream human rights groups from Amnesty International to Physicians for Human Rights/Israel issued reports condemning Israel’s attack and alleging that the Israeli government and the Israeli Defense Forces had committed war crimes and crimes against humanity. The staff of CODEPINK Women for Peace re-opened a discussion of what we could do about Israel’s flagrant flouting of international law and the brutality of the ongoing blockade of Gaza, the occupation of the West Bank and the home demolitions in East Jerusalem. We decided to revisit the idea of a boycott against Israeli products—a boycott that was having more difficulty gaining traction here in the United States than in Europe. 

I live in a tent, with no privacy 
8/18/2009 - Peace For Gaza - And every time, she tries to understand what happened to her, she asks herself : what was my fault? , what’s going to happen to me in my tent? Ilham, 30 years old, a mother of 6 , she lives in Al-atatra district , in the northern part of the Gaza strip. The Israeli war had a huge impact on her, it actually destroyed her house, her parent’s house and killed her brother. Ilham and her family spent 25 days in one of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency’s schools (UNRWA), to take shelter from phosphorous missiles of death that was chasing all the population of the strip. She was saying: "Israeli armed forces bombarded our house with many missiles, destroyed its walls, set fire in its rooms, and spread darkness all around us (she meant the missiles fumes), to a point that we couldn’t breathe anymore… and after hours, during which we were facing death, the ambulance transported us to the hospital. 

Exclusive Interview with FBI Whistleblower Sibel Edmonds 
8/21/2009 - The Armenian Weekly - "I have emphasized the fact that the American Turkish Council [ATC], the Turkish lobby, and these Turkish networks, they work together, in partnership with AIPAC [American Israel Public Affairs Committee] and JINSA [Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs]. "-- Khatchig Mouradian - On April 23, 2007, I sat down in Washington, D. C. with FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds for an extensive interview, which was published in the Armenian Weekly and on ZNet and widely circulated. On Aug. 18, 2009, I conducted a follow-up phone interview with Edmonds, who was visiting New Zealand. The interview is an overview of what has transpired in her case since 2007, with emphasis on her deposition in the Schmidt vs. Krikorian case in Ohio earlier this month. Edmonds, an FBI language specialist, was fired from her job with the FBI’s Washington Field Office in March 2002. 

American Israel Education Foundation - Sponsor of Congressional Travel 
8/21/2009 - Legistorm.com - Trips Selected: 401, Cost: $3,040,509 - Approved by Republicans: 200, Cost: $1,655,699 - Approved by Democrats: 202, Cost: $1,391,881 - Lists pages of Congressional trips to Israel, including costs, travelers, approvers, dates, etc. [end] 

Why Israeli Jew Uri Davis joined Fatah to save Palestine 
8/21/2009 - The Guardian - The first Jewish member of the Revolutionary Council of Fatah talks about a unique political journey - Uri Davis is used to denunciations. A "traitor", "scum", "mentally unstable": those are just some of the condemnations that have been posted in the Israeli blogosphere in recent days. As the first person of Jewish origin to be elected to the Revolutionary Council of the Palestinian Fatah movement, an organisation once dominated by Yasser Arafat, Davis has tapped a deep reserve of Israeli resentment. Some have even called for him to be deported. He has been here before, not least as the man who first proposed the critique of Israel as an "apartheid state" in the late 1980s. Davis's involvement in the first UN World Conference Against Racism in Durban in 2001 was condemned by the Anti-Defamation League. During a career of protest he has been described – inevitably – as a "self-hating Jew". 

U.S.: Iran still not providing full cooperation on nuke obligations 
8/21/2009 - Ha'aretz - Reuters - Iran is still not fulfilling its obligations related to its nuclear activities, despite allowing United Nations inspectors access to a reactor and allowing an upgrade to monitoring at a uranium enrichment plant, a senior Obama administration official said on Friday. "Iran is still not in compliance with its IAEA obligations and is not providing what has been called for, and that is full and comprehensive cooperation," the official said, referring to the International Atomic Energy Agency. Iran allowed IAEA nuclear officials to inspect the construction site of a heavy water reactor last week after blocking visits by the UN non-proliferation watchdog for over a year, diplomats said. The International Atomic Energy Agency, which is expected to circulate its latest report on Iran next week, has been pushing Tehran to grant it access to the Arak site so that its experts can verify it is being designed for peaceful uses only. 


Articles

Boycott Israel 
Neve Gordon, Los Angeles Times 8/20/2009
      An Israeli comes to the painful conclusion that it’s the only way to save his country.
     ’The most accurate way to describe Israel today is as an apartheid state.’
     Israeli newspapers this summer are filled with angry articles about the push for an international boycott of Israel. Films have been withdrawn from Israeli film festivals, Leonard Cohen is under fire around the world for his decision to perform in Tel Aviv, and Oxfam has severed ties with a celebrity spokesperson, a British actress who also endorses cosmetics produced in the occupied territories. Clearly, the campaign to use the kind of tactics that helped put an end to the practice of apartheid in South Africa is gaining many followers around the world. 
     Not surprisingly, many Israelis -- even peaceniks -- aren’t signing on. A global boycott can’t help but contain echoes of anti-Semitism. It also brings up questions of a double standard (why not boycott China for its egregious violations of human rights?) and the seemingly contradictory position of approving a boycott of one’s own nation. 
     It is indeed not a simple matter for me as an Israeli citizen to call on foreign governments, regional authorities, international social movements, faith-based organizations, unions and citizens to suspend cooperation with Israel. But today, as I watch my two boys playing in the yard, I am convinced that it is the only way that Israel can be saved from itself.
     I say this because Israel has reached a historic crossroads, and times of crisis call for dramatic measures. I say this as a Jew who has chosen to raise his children in Israel, who has been a member of the Israeli peace camp for almost 30 years and who is deeply anxious about the country’s future. more.. e-mail

One year after I was beaten 
Mohammed Omer, The Socialist Worker 6/29/2009
      JUNE 26, 2008, is a day I will never forget. For the events of that day irrevocably changed my life. 
     That day, I was detained, interrogated, strip-searched and tortured while attempting to return home from a European speaking tour, which culminated in independent American journalist Dahr Jamil and I sharing the Martha Gellhorn Journalism Prize in London–an award given to journalists who expose propaganda which often masks egregious human rights abuses. 
     I want to address the denials from Israel and the inaccurate reporting by a few journalists, in addition to requesting that the state of Israel acknowledge what it did to me, prosecute the members of the Shin Bet responsible for it, and put in place procedures that protect other journalists from such treatment. 
     Since 2003, I’ve been the voice to the voiceless in the besieged Gaza Strip for a number of publications and news programs ranging from The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs to the BBC, Morgenbladet in Norway as well as Democracy Now! These stories exposed a carefully crafted fiction continuing control and exploitation of 5 million people. Their impact, coupled with the reporting of others, served to change public opinion in the United States and Europe concerning the dynamics of Israel and its occupation of Palestine.
     After receiving the Martha Gellhorn prize, I returned home through the Allenby Bridge Crossing in the occupied West Bank between Jordan and Israel. It was here I was detained, interrogated and tortured for several hours by Shin Bet and border officers. When it appeared I may have been close to death, an ambulance was called to transport me to a hospital. From that day, my life has been a year of continued medical treatments, pain--and a search for justice. more.. e-mail


Electronic Intifada
Uri Davis: perpetual thorn in Israel's side
21 Aug 2009 - If a single person deserves the title of serial thorn in the side of the Israeli state, Uri Davis, a professor of critical Israel studies at al-Quds University on the outskirts of East Jerusalem, might be the one to claim it. The crowning moment for Dr. Davis arrived last weekend when he became the first Israeli Jew to be elected to one of Fatah's governing bodies, the Revolutionary Council. Jonathan Cook reports. 

Gaza attacks replayed on Edinburgh stage
21 Aug 2009 - In the august surroundings of Rainy Hall in Edinburgh, Scotland with its wood-paneled walls, lofty beams and grey stone architecture, Israel's devastating attack on Gaza is being replayed. The university dining hall has been reincarnated as a temporary theatre for the duration of Edinburgh's festival season with the drama, Go to Gaza, Drink the Sea , performed daily to a mixed audience of the concerned and the curious. Neville Rigby reports for The Electronic Intifada. 

S. Africa: War crime suspects must think twice
21 Aug 2009 - The international condemnation over Israel's winter invasion of Gaza and allegations of war crimes has made it increasingly uncomfortable, if not difficult, for members of the Israeli military to travel abroad. A recent incident in South Africa reveals the power and limitations of attempts to enforce international law and to hold war criminals accountable. Sayed Dhansay comments for The Electronic Intifada. 

Bilin's unwavering spirit of resistance
21 Aug 2009 - The Ofer military base is not an easy place to get into. But after most of my friends and the father of the family I was living with, Mohammed Khatib (also a leading member of the Bilin Popular Committee) were arrested in a brutal night raid on the occupied West Bank village of Bilin, I was determined to go to their court hearing. Jody McIntyre writes from Bilin. 

In Gaza
iftaar dates
21 Aug 2009 - * How my day ended yesterday . Not having looked out of my building’s stairs windows in quite a while, yesterday I finally noticed the flattened neighbouring multi-storey building. During the Israeli attacks on Gaza this winter, I only a few times slept in my building, staying instead at the Red Crescent office, or at the hospitals, or at the news agency building. The afternoon was a little nicer. I’d gone to Saha, to see how people were preparing for Ramadan. And despite hearing what I’d expected to hear –on the effects of the siege, war, unemployment… of life in Gaza and that Ramadan would be far from special and lovely...

Palestine Chronicle
Boycotting Israel: The Only Way to Save Our Country
21 Aug 2009 - By Neve Gordon Israeli newspapers this summer are filled with angry articles about the push for an international boycott of Israel. Films have been withdrawn from Israeli film festivals, Leonard Cohen is under fire around the world for his decision to perform in Tel Aviv, and Oxfam has severed ties with a celebrity spokesperson, a British actress who also endorses cosmetics produced in the occupied territories. Clearly, the campaign to use the kind of tactics that helped put an end to the practice of apartheid in South Africa is gaining many followers around the world. Not surprisingly, many Israelis - even peaceniks - aren't signing on. A global boycott can't help but contain echoes of anti-Semitism. It also brings up questions of a double standard (why not boycott China for its egregious violations of human rights?) and the seemingly contradictory position of approving a boycott of one's own nation. It is indeed not a simple matter for me as an Israeli citizen to call on foreign governments, regional authorities, international social movements, faith-based organizations, unions and citizens to suspend cooperation with Israel. But today, as I watch my two boys playing in the yard, I am convinced that it is the only way that Israel can be saved from itself. I say this because Israel has reached a historic crossroads, and times of crisis call for dramatic measures. I say this as a Jew who has chosen to raise his children in Israel, who has been a member of the...

The First Israeli Jew in Fatah's Parliament
21 Aug 2009 - By Jonathan Cook - Nazareth If a single person deserves the title of serial thorn in the side of the Israeli state, Uri Davis, a professor of critical Israel studies at al Quds University on the outskirts of East Jerusalem, might be the one to claim it. The crowning moment for Dr. Davis arrived last weekend when he became the first Israeli Jew to be elected to one of Fatah’s governing bodies, the Revolutionary Council. It is a public relations breakthrough for Fatah – which held its sixth congress last week, this time under occupation in the West Bank city of Bethlehem – in which Dr Davis clearly takes some pride. His presence on the 120-member council, sometimes referred to as the Palestinian parliament, is unlikely to make a significant difference to Fatah’s policies, which will continue to be largely dictated by Mahmoud Abbas, the president, and his inner circle. But it does have huge symbolic significance. His polling in the 31st place for one of 80 seats contested by more than 600 Fatah members, he said in an interview, challenged Israel’s suggestion that the Palestinian people and its leaders regard the Jews as their enemies. Or as one local Palestinian pundit noted of the vote’s message: “It is not Judaism that Palestinians are fighting, it is Zionism.” It also finally puts Dr. Davis in a position from which he hopes to shake up the complacency that has bedevilled the Fatah leadership and the PLO in their neglect of supporters...

How Israel Wages Game Theory Warfare
21 Aug 2009 - By Jeff Gates In 2005, the Nobel Prize in Economic Science was awarded to Israeli mathematician and game theory specialist Robert J. Aumann, co-founder of the Center for Rationality at Hebrew University. This Jerusalem resident explains: “the entire school of thought that we have developed here in Israel” has turned “Israel into the leading authority in this field.” Israeli strategists rely on game theory models to ensure the intended response to staged provocations and manipulated crises. With the use of game theory algorithms, those responses become predictable, even foreseeable—within an acceptable range of probabilities. The waging of war “by way of deception” is now a mathematical discipline. Such “probabilistic” war planning enables Tel Aviv to deploy serial provocations and well-timed crises as a force multiplier to project Israeli influence worldwide. For a skilled agent provocateur, the target can be a person, a company, an economy, a legislature, a nation or an entire culture—such as Islam. With a well-modeled provocation, the anticipated reaction can even become a powerful weapon in the Israeli arsenal. For instance, a skilled game theorist could foresee that, in response to a 911-type mass murder, “the mark” (the U.S.) would deploy its military to avenge that attack. With phony intelligence fixed around a preset goal, a game theory algorithm could anticipate that those forces might well be redirected to invade Iraq—not to avenge 911 but to pursue the expansionist goals of Greater Israel. To provoke that invasion required the displacement of an inconvenient truth (Iraq played no...

Time to Speak Openly and Freely
21 Aug 2009 - By George S. Hishmeh The historic conference of Fateh, the Palestinian Liberation Movement, held in Bethlehem earlier this month, generated widespread optimism in the region, including Israel, due to the dethroning of the old guard that has been blamed for tolerating the cruel status quo imposed by Israel and its ineffectiveness since signing the inconclusive peace accord with Israel in 1993. What was sorely missing from the conferees? Exchanges and the subsequent coverage by the various correspondents, regional and international, including some Americans who were in the region, is any mention of the consequences of the harsh Israeli policies. Mazen Qumsiyeh, a Palestinian professor of biology at Bethlehem University, wrote in his blog ( http://qumsiyeh.org ) about the failure to expose the miserable conditions in the birthplace of Jesus Christ. He pointed out that the Bethlehem district lost more than 85 per cent of its land to the Israeli colonial settlements and the apartheid wall that snakes around us and captures most of the good natural resources, the agricultural lands, the water and more? The professor, who had previously served on the faculties of the University of Tennessee and Duke and Yale universities, added that more than half of the "residents in this shrinking ghetto of Bethlehem are refugees or displaced people (and) nearly 35,000 are the refugees from the original frenzy of ethnic cleansing that happened between 1947-1949 and their descendants." Another 30,000, he underlined, represent displaced people who moved into the remaining shrinking enclave when their lands were stolen by...

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