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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
1 September, 2009

News

International Middle East Media Center

Red Crescent: “Army fired at our medics as they to save the life of a wounded child"
2 Sep 2009 - Mo’tasem Awad, in charge of the International Humanitarian Law department at the Red Crescent stated that Israeli soldiers opened fire at Red Crescent medics while they were trying to approach a wounded child who died of his wounds. 

Father demands Red Cross to locate his detained young daughter
2 Sep 2009 - Abu Ayman, father of Ghofran Al Zamel, who was kidnapped by the Israeli army four days ago, demanded the International Red Cross and other human rights groups to intervene and ask Israel to reveal the location where Ghofran is being detained and why she was kidnapped. 

Israeli Minister: “Jews will continue to live and build in Jerusalem”
1 Sep 2009 - Israeli Minister, Yossi Peled, of the Likud Party headed by Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, stated Tuesday that the Israeli government does not have any plans to freeze the construction and expansion of Jewish settlement in Jerusalem, and added that the Jews will continue to live and build in and around the city. 

Israel to release nine detained Hamas legislators
1 Sep 2009 - Israel is likely to release on Wednesday nine legislators of the Hamas movement in the West Bank after more than three years in captivity without any legal grounds. 

Army kills two Qassam fighters in northern Gaza
1 Sep 2009 - The Al Qassam brigades, the armed wing of Hamas movement, reported Tuesday at night that two of its fighters were killed when the Israeli army fired a tank shell at them, east of Jabalia, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip. 

Israeli Army suspends operations to avoid being seen by US diplomats
1 Sep 2009 - The Israeli online newspaper Haaretz said on Tuesday the Israeli army suspended a number of their military operations in the West Bank fearing troops will be seen by American diplomats touring the occupied West Bank. 

Female detainee informs lawyer of violence by soldiers, interrogators
1 Sep 2009 - Female detainee Najwa Awni Abdul-Ghani, told the lawyer of the Palestinian Prisoner Society (PPS) about the day soldier kidnapped her from her home, terrifying the family, searching the home for three hours and kidnapping her to place her under 14 days of continued interrogation, intimidation and abuse. 

Ha'aretz Defense page

IDF denies killing Hamas gunmen in north Gaza
1 Sep 2009 - Hamas, Palestinian medics claim IDF tank fire killed two Hamas gunmen in Gaza Strip on Tuesday. 

Shalit family to Barak: Less talk, more action
1 Sep 2009 - Comments come after defense minister tells Israeli teens: State can't save every soldier. 

IDF troops kill Palestinian youth suspected of hurling firebombs
1 Sep 2009 - Troops opened fire on Palestinian, 14, in clashes near Ramallah; soldiers arrest 9 wanted Palestinians. 

IDF cuts down West Bank raids for fear U.S. diplomats will see
1 Sep 2009 - U.S. consulate employees tour area regularly to gather testimony, oversee projects, meet PA officials. 

Israeli Arab charged in Hezbollah plot to kill IDF chief
31 Aug 2009 - Rawi Sultani, 23, allegedly recruited by group because he belonged to same health club as Ashkenazi. 

Ma'an News

Jerusalem resident beaten by Israeli troops
9/1/2009 - Jerusalem - Ma'an - An 18-year-old Jerusalem resident, Jihad Arar, was severely beaten by Israeli troops on Monday night, according to Ma'an's correspondent there. The reporter said a dispute was sparked by the arrival of police Damascus Gate, where they proceeded to dismantle several tables being operated by vendors. When Jihad complained, the troops attacked him, according to our correspondent. Jihad was taken to a police station before being eventually transferred to Hadassa Hospital, our reporter said. [end] 

PA minister accuses Israel of neglecting prisoners’ health
9/1/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Palestinian Minister of Prisoners Affairs Issa Qaraqi on Tuesday alleged that potentially fatal diseases such as cancer were going untreated inside Israeli prisons. In a statement, Qaraqi attributed certain patients' decline to the "Israeli prison service deliberately neglecting prisoners' healthcare," and its failure to release prisoners on humanitarian grounds. Jailing some 25 prisoners with cancer "is a serious phenomenon which indicates that prisoners in Israeli jails do not get the minimum healthcare," the minister added. Qaraqi mentioned 22-year-old prisoner Hamza Tarayra, from Bani Na'eim near Hebron, who was released recently before completing his sentence because he has advanced cancer of the mouth. The minister also mentioned prisoner Fayiz Zeidat who was also released before completing his term due to cancer. 

Rights group: Soldiers left wounded teen bleeding for an hour
9/1/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) issued a strong condemnation of the Israeli army's killing of a Palestinian child on Monday night. PCHR's said that its investigation, which included eyewitness testimony, revealed that the children who came under fire were unarmed and did not attack nearby Israeli soldiers. The investigation also found that Israeli soldiers left the child, 15-year-old Muhammad Nayif, bleeding for an hour before he was treated. The rights group's report is at odds with the version of events reported by the Israeli military, which claimed that three Palestinian "gunmen" hurled "firebombs" at Israeli forces, who opened fire on their alleged attackers. A military spokesperson also told Ma'an that soldiers administered medical treatment to the wounded Palestinian on the scene before evacuating him. 

Hamas: Israeli forces kill two fighters in Gaza
9/1/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Two Hamas fighters were killed on Tuesday evening by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip, according to sources in the costal territory. A source in the Al-Qassam Brigades said Israeli forces fired artillery shells at a group of fighters affiliated near the Martyrs Cemetery east of the city of Jabaliya, in the northern Gaza Strip. The same source said the two gunmen, Faraj An-Najjar and Ismat Muhra, were carrying out a "jihad" mission when they were killed. Approached by Ma'an, an Israeli military spokesperson said, "There was no IDF attack in the Gaza Strip. "The report from Gaza was the second fatal incident in 24 hours. Late on Monday night Israeli soldiers shot a 15-year-old Palestinian dead near Al-Jalazun Refugee Camp near Ramallah. According to the Palestinian Center for human rights, the teen was unarmed and did not provoke the shooting. 

Radio Bethlehem 2000: We don’t answer to Israel
9/1/2009 - Radio Bethlehem 2000 released the following statement earlier this week in response to an Israeli raid last week in which their transmission equipment was confiscated. The statement was read out at a journalists demonstration in Bethlehem's central Manger Square on Sunday. -- Today is the sixth day since the occupation forces confiscated all the equipment of Radio Bethlehem 2000, forcing the station of air. This is an attempt to salience the truth. Our protest today is a clear indication to unity among journalists to counter all occupation schemes to obstruct our work, which was intertwined with this land which was watered with the blood of the martyrs. We reiterate that we will continue to work hard to deliver our message. Since the first moments of this cowardly move by the occupation forces and based on what the soldiers told the sound technician that was there during the raid,. . . 

Israel to open two Gaza border crossings
9/1/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Israeli authorities decided to open two border crossings to allow food and fuel into the besieged Gaza Strip on Tuesday, a Palestinian official reported. Palestinian crossings representative Raed Fattouh said that the Kerem Shalom crossing would be open for 81 to 91 trucks carrying commercial merchandize and humanitarian aid. Nahal Oz terminal will also be open to deliver limited quantities of industrial diesel and cooking gas, he said. Karni crossing, formerly the main terminal for the deliveries of goods, will be closed, Fattouh said. [end] 

Israeli forces detain Hebronite at dawn
9/1/2009 - Hebron - Ma'an - Israeli forces overran Hebron on Tuesday at dawn, eventually seizing one man, according to his family. 52-year-old Azzam Azmi Hassouna was detained by an Israeli force of nine patrols which, according to his parents, broke into and damaged several homes, before finally taking Hassouna. Hassouna's brother Khader said that during the course of their search, Israeli troops stole 4,000 shekels from the home. [end] 

Egyptian police kill African migrant en route to Israel
9/1/2009 - Al-Arish - Ma'an - Egyptian police killed an African migrant and injured a girl from Eritrea in her right shoulder as a group of migrants attempted to sneak into Israel 10 kilometers south of the Rafah crossing, according to a security source. Eleven members of the group were detained unharmed, the Egyptian security official added. The source told Ma'an that border guard police spotted 13 Africans trying to pass through the barbed wire border fence between Israel and Egypt. Police warned them to stop, he said, and seized eleven. He claimed a man and a woman refused to stop, and continued to cross the border, forcing Egyptian police to open fire at them, killing the man and injuring the woman. The woman was from Eritrea, while the man remained unidentified because he had lacked identification, the source added. 

Young boy detained in overnight Israeli raid
9/1/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israeli forces seized two residents of Qalqiliya and Nablus and took them to undisclosed location on Tuesday, according to Palestinian police report obtained by Ma'an. Over the past 12 hours, soldiers overran Quseen village, southwest of Nablus, and detained 13-year-old Muhammad Ghassan Yadek there. The other resident reportedly seized from Qalqiliya was not immediately identified. [end] 

UNRWA chief: Gaza school curriculum does not include Holocaust
9/1/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Karen Abu Zayd, the commissioner-general of the UN agency for Palestinian Refugees, UNRWA, said on Tuesday that curriculum at UN schools in Gaza does not refer to the Jewish Holocaust. During a news conference at the Gaza harbor Abu Zayd said, "I can refute allegations that UN school curriculum includes anything about the Holocaust. Anyone can have a look at the school books. Really we focus on human rights in curriculum. " She went on to say, "Last year was the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and we found that the Palestinians were deprived of many rights. " The human rights curriculum also teaches some history, she said. Abu Zayd explained that the curriculum for these schools was written in the regional UN office in the Gaza Strip, and that it is revised by a group of editors from Palestine and from abroad. 

Israeli forces seize Bil’in teenager
9/1/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israeli forces seized a young Palestinian early on Tuesday from the West Bank village of Bil'in, known for its vibrant nonviolent protests against Israel's separation wall. According to the village's Popular Committee, four Israeli military jeeps, a truck, and some 50 soldiers entered the village shortly after 3am. The soldiers raided three houses simultaneously, detaining Abed Baset Muhammed Abu Rahme, 19. In the second house, the soldiers tried to arrest Yaseen Mohammed Ali Yaseen ,21, but he was not at home, according to the popular committee. The soldiers left a military order for him to turn himself in by 9am the next day. The committee also said that international activists confronted the soldiers, filming and photographing the raid. The soldiers responded to this activity with tear gas and stun grenades, and trained a laser beam on the activists "as a means of intimidation. 

Haniyeh: Hamas will not recognize Israel
9/1/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - De facto Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh on Monday evening reiterated Hamas' refusal to recognize Israel repeating his famous line, "Castles will not fall, neither will they determine our attitudes by force, and we will not recognize Israel. " Haniyeh's comments came during an iftar, the sundown meal breaking the Ramadan fast along with dignitaries from the eastern Gaza Strip. "The pledge between us and the Palestinian people is that we do not remiss martyrs' blood, nor Jerusalem, nor our holy land. Our prisoners will be freed for sure. " [end] 

EU donates 13 million euros to create jobs in Gaza
9/1/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The European Commission announced on Tuesday a donation of 13 million euros to a United Nations job creation program in the besieged Gaza Strip. Christian Berger, the European Commission (EC) Representative for the West Bank and Gaza, made the announcement to UNRWA Commissioner-General Karen Abu Zayd at Gaza City's port, Al-Mina. The donation will go towards UNRWA's Job Creation Programme in the Gaza Strip, which provides temporary jobs designed to alleviate what the UN says is are unemployment crisis and high poverty rates in the area. According to UNRWA, the commission's first-ever contribution will provide jobs for more than 17,000 direct beneficiaries, reaching a total of 105,384 direct and indirect beneficiaries through the hired workers and their dependents. More than 1,450,000 job days will be generated, a welcome development given current economic circumstances. 

President Abbas meets Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi
9/1/2009 - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi in the Tripoli on Monday. Gaddafi, the chairman of the African Union, told delegates at a special summit of the organization in Triopli that Israel was fueling conflicts across Africa. Israel is "behind all of Africa's conflicts," Gaddafi told about 30 African leaders gathered under a huge tent at Tripoli airport, according to Al-Jazeera. "As African brothers, we must find solutions to stop the superpowers who are pillaging our continent," he said, according to the network. He demanded the closure of all Israeli embassies across the continent, describing Israel as a "gang" and saying it uses "the protection of minorities as an excuse to launch conflicts. "Israel, Al-Jazeera states, has acknowledged operating what it called a "forward policy" in Africa between. . . 

Italy donates 20 motorcycles to PA tourist police
9/1/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The government of Italy delivered 20 Piaggio X7 motorcycles and a Mitsubishi pickup truck to the Palestinian Authority tourist police on Tuesday. The donation, coordinated by the European police training and assistance mission EUPOL COPPS, includes training on use and maintenance of the vehicles as well as fleet management. Motorcycle helmets and protective clothing will also be delivered to all the drivers. The European mission said the consignment will significantly enhance the mobility of the Tourist Department of the Palestinian Civil Police throughout the West Bank. The tourist police previously shared just a few vehicles among its 80 staff. The pick-up truck will provide the tourist police with the ability to reach remote tourist sites and investigate cases of trafficking in antiquities. 

Police deploy near schools on first day of classes
9/1/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - Palestinian police deployed in front of schools Monday to secure students' arrival on the first day of the semester. The Ramallah-area police information office explained that the officers would be present in the morning when students arrive, and in the afternoon as they depart. Police also asked drivers to stay alert near schools, and to drive very slowly. [end] 

Union calls for PA health minister to be dismissed
9/1/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The Palestinian Health Workers Union called on Health Minister Fathi Abu Moghli to be dismissed on Tuesday in a further escalation of an ongoing labor dispute. Earlier, Abu Moghli told the Palestine radio station that the union's ongoing strike was illegal. In response to this, the union released a statement calling on Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad to fire the health minister. "The minister of health stated that unions' work, and the strike were illegal, and he undermined the strike in health sector," said Osama Najjar, head of the Health Workers Union. He accused the minister of using "police repression" against unions. "It was the minister who refused to meet with the unions, and when he met with one union, he couldn't stand the discussion, and as a result he assaulted one of the union's activists, expelling him from his office," Najjar added. 

Hamas wants PLC speaker to return to work
9/1/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Hamas lawmaker Ahmad Bahar called on Tuesday for Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) speaker and fellow Hamas leader Aziz Dweik to be allowed to return to work. Dweik was released in June from an Israeli prison after being held for three years without charge or trial. According to Hamas he has not been allowed to enter his office or continue his work as speaker. Duringa speech to other lawmakers Gaza on Tuesday Bahar, one of Dweik's deputies, said that the prohibition against Dweik was a "moral, national and constitutional crime. " The meeting in Gaza was slated to discuss the implications of a recent meeting of the Palestinian National Council (PNC) in Ramallah, which Hamas said violated a previous agreement to reform the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) to include it and other Islamist movements. 

Striking Bethlehem University students camp out on campus
9/1/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Striking Bethlehem University students expressed their anger on Monday night by refusing to leave the campus, and sleeping on site. The Student Senate has been protesting the university's administration for at least two weeks now over disputes regarding the admissions policy of the university, and an increase in tuition fees. The student strike has stopped classes so far this semester, and Monday's sit-in seems to be part of their promise to "escalate" protests should the administration continue to ignore their requests. In a letter released in August the university's Vice Chancellor Peter Bray addressed the students, arguing that the Student Senate's demands were baseless. On the financial aid issue, the vice chancellor said, "Bethlehem University also strongly believes that students have to pay their part of the cost of their education. 

Finance Ministry releases September fuel prices
9/1/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The Palestinian Ministry of Finance released regulated fuel prices for consumers across Palestine for September 2009 as follows: One liter of diesel = 5. 18 NIS [New Israeli Shekel] One liter of benzene (gasoline) 95 octane = 5. 94 NIS One liter of benzene 96 octane = 5. 94 NIS One liter of benzene 98 octane = 6. 42 NIS One liter of kerosene = 5. 18 NIS 12-kilogram bottle of cooking gas = 49 NIS for consumers 48-kilogram bottle of cooking gas = 196 NIS for consumers One liter of cooking gas = 2. 17 NIS [end] 

PSE stocks surge: Al-Quds Index up 1.35%
9/1/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The Palestine Securities exchange in Nablus rose on Tuesday, with the Al-Quds Index closing at 505. 16, an increase of 6. 71 points (1. 35%). Trading Volume for Tuesday reached 403,128 shares for a total value of 1,020,598. 79 US dollars, over the course of 278 trades. The shares of 20 companies were traded. The shares prices of 13 companies rose, while those of four others dropped. [end] 

The National

Jewish settlers plan massive construction
31 Aug 2009 - Anti-settlement group says plans for 150 housing units in East Jerusalem are backed by the national and municipal governments.

Not one penny has reached Gaza
31 Aug 2009 - Restrictions are blocking aid earmarked for reconstruction, delaying critical projects while leaving homes and institutions in rubble.

Olmert indicted on corruption charges
30 Aug 2009 - Ehud Olmert is indicted on three counts of corruption, becoming the first ex-premier to face criminal charges.

US denies making deal with Israel
29 Aug 2009 - The United States has denied reports that it is in the process of agreeing to compromise on its position that all Israeli settlement construction should be completely frozen.

Aljazeera

Iran 'ready for new nuclear talks'
1 Sep 2009 - Tehran says that it has updated its proposal ahead of a US deadline.

Palestinian youth shot dead
1 Sep 2009 - An ambulance driver and three other youngsters are wounded in the confrontation.

Alternative Information Center

“This is Israel Here, not Palestine”
31 Aug 2009 - While the U.S. administration and the main EU Foreign Ministries seem to be in favor of slowing down the colonization process of occupied or annexed territories, the Israeli government is still responding to those efforts with...

Lower Education in Israel 
31 Aug 2009 - A direct line connects the plans of Israeli Minister of Education Gideon Sa’ar, as published in the weekend newspapers in run to for the opening of the school year, and the remarks of Rivka Carmi, President...

Palestine News Network

Cancer patients going untreated in Israeli prisons until it is too late: rise in malignant disease
31 Aug 2009 - Bethlehem / PNN – A Palestinian man has cancer in his spinal court and is sentenced to life in Israeli prison. Another is suffering from malignant tumors and cannot move. The Prisoners' Minister reports that malignant diseases are becoming prevalent among Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli captivity.Palestinian Prisoners Affairs Minister Issa Qaraqe’ repots that cancer is on the rise and being seriously exacerbated...

All sectors in Al Quds Index see rise in August closing except service
31 Aug 2009 - Nablus / PNN – The Al Quds Index closed August up nearly two percent higher than the previous month. The Palestinian stock exchange in the northern West Bank’s Nablus reports closing August at 498.45 points; that is up 9.68 points, or 1.98 percent higher, than July’s close.This rise comes against the backdrop of rising indicators of all sectors except services, where the banking...

Heavy police presence at schools throughout West Bank as new academic year opens
31 Aug 2009 - Ramallah / PNN - Palestinian police began early this morning deploying officers and members of the police in front of schools in all provinces of the West Bank. Police are on the lookout for dangerous drivers more than the Israeli soldiers that have been known to park jeeps near schoolyards in order to provoke students into throwing stones.Today the focus is on traffic...

Instead of seeing their son off to first day of new school year, parents take Mohammad to cemetery
31 Aug 2009 - Ramallah / PNN – A young boy died overnight after being shot near his home in the central West Bank’s Jalazoun Refugee Camp. The shooters were Israeli soldiers at an occupation post near the Jewish settlement of Beit El built on lands of the Ramallah governorate.Fourteen year old Mohammad Riad Nayef was shot and seriously wounded on Monday evening. He was rushed to...

Council of Ministers in Ramallah welcomes new school year, winter time and provision for prisoners 
31 Aug 2009 - Ramallah / PNN – The Palestinian Council of Ministers met in Ramallah on Monday, chaired by Prime Minister Salam Fayyad. Broadening the base of popular support for the document, “Palestine: ending the occupation and establishing the state” was discussed after its release last week.Fayyad stressed that the major challenges facing the Palestinian people in achieving the mission of ending the occupation and nation-building...

International campaign demands assurances that medical and humanitarian goods be allowed into Gaza
31 Aug 2009 - Gaza / PNN – The blockade has not ended in the Gaza Strip and the years continue to pass. Medical supplies, food, construction and raw materials, basic goods and humanitarian supplies remain difficult to come by. Hundreds of activists and organizations have called for an end to what has been considered by the United Nations, the International Red Cross and others as a...

Signs will bring you closer to Jerusalem: distance to Capital of Arab Culture marked in ceramic
31 Aug 2009 - Jerusalem / PNN – All roads lead to Jerusalem, regardless of Israeli policy that blocks entry to the city for millions of Palestinians. Signs will be distributed in all villages, towns and camps to bring residents closer to Jerusalem. Signs will mark the distance in kilometers as part of a project of the International Academy of Art and Jerusalem as Capital of Arab...

IRIN

OPT: Bleak Ramadan for Gaza residents
GAZA CITY Monday, August 31, 2009 (IRIN) - Ramadan, a festive time in many parts of the Muslim world, is bleak in Gaza because basic and traditional foodstuffs are unavailable due to the Israeli blockade, or out of reach due to soaring prices and poverty, according to officials.

MIDDLE EAST: Swine flu keeps Muslim pilgrims at home 
DUBAI Wednesday, August 26, 2009 (IRIN) - Far fewer Muslims than normal are undertaking the lesser pilgrimage known as ‘Umrah’ because of coordinated efforts by health ministers in the Gulf and beyond to counter the spread of H1N1 2009.

ISRAEL-OPT: Travel restrictions in West Bank eased for Ramadan 
TEL AVIV Monday, August 24, 2009 (IRIN) - Israel has eased some of its travel restrictions for Palestinians in the West Bank during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, according to the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) spokesperson’s unit.

Inter Press Service

MIDEAST: Olmert's Peace Plan May Go Down With Him 
JERUSALEM, Aug 31 (IPS) - The State of Israel against the former leader of the State of Israel - for the first time, a former prime minister will soon be in the defendant's chair in a criminal court.

MIDEAST: East Jerusalem Shuts Out Thousands of Prayers 
QALANDIA, West Bank, Aug 31 (IPS) - The future of East Jerusalem and of Palestinian access to it has again been brought under the spotlight.

Q&A: Economic Empowerment Gives Women Choices 
CAIRO, Aug 31 (IPS) - In Egypt, women have not achieved the same career levels as their male counterparts. Women are chiefly employed as civil servants, in small family businesses or as manual labour in the agricultural sector.

MIDEAST: In a Rotten State 
GAZA CITY, Aug 29 (IPS) - Abu Abed can't make a profit, and although 54 years old, he still has not married. "I can't pay my rent, I can't afford a wedding."

Stop The Wall

Mobilize for the seventh Week Against the Apartheid Wall
1 Sep 2009 - The Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign, its popular committees and member organizations call on activists to launch a week of global mobilization against the walls of apartheid in the West Bank and Gaza from November 9 to 16 2009. See the full call here. [

Soldiers fire on demonstration, kidnap two following Tutu visit
1 Sep 2009 - Occupation forces fired tear gas and sound bombs at demonstrators in Bil’in on Friday. During the night following the protest, soldiers raided the village and kidnapped several more residents. These actions follow Desmond Tutu and others to the village the day prior. [

PCHR Latest

IOF Willfully Kill a Palestinian Child in al-Jalazoun Refugee Camp, North of Ramallah
PCHR

PCHR Weekly Report

(20 - 26 Aug.  2008), information on boycott, divestment and sanctions
During the reporting period, Israeli forces killed 3 Palestinian civilians, including a child, and wounded 9 others in the Gaza Strip.  Another Palestinian is also missing.  In the West Bank, one Palestinian civilian was wounded.

International Solidarity Movement

IOF willfully kill a Palestinian child in al-Jalazoun refugee camp, north of Ramallah
9/1/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) - The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) strongly condemns the willful killing of a 15-year-old Palestinian child by Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF). The attack occurred yesterday, 31 August 2009, near the entrance of al-Jalazoun refugee camp, north of Ramallah. According to investigations conduced by PCHR, at approximately 21:30 on Monday, 31 August 2009, IOF troops stationed at a military observation tower inside "Beit Eil" settlement, north of Ramallah, opened fire at five Palestinian children who were near al-Jalazon UNRWA School, located near the southeastern entrance of al-Jalazoun refugee camp. One of the children, 15-year-old Mohammed Riad Nayef "˜Elayan, was wounded by three bullets to the chest. An ambulance from Sheikh Zayed Hospital in Ramallah attempted to reach the area. 

Israeli forces raid Bil’in, arrest one
9/1/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Shortly after 3am, Bil'in was invaded again. 4 Jeeps and a military truck entered the village with over 50 soldiers. The Israeli occupation forces raided three homes simultaneously and arrested Abed Baset Mohammed Abu Rahme (age 19). In the second house, they tried to arrest Yaseen Mohammed Ali Yaseen (21), but he was not at home. They left a military order for him to turn himself in by 9am the next day. In the third house, they wanted to arrest Mohammed Ahmed Yaseen (age 21), but did not find him at his home either. The soldiers acted very swiftly. As they encountered many international activists who stood in their way filming and challenging their action as well as following the movement of the jeeps, the soldiers threw tear gas and sound bombs to disperse them and clear the way. They also used a laser beam on some of the activists as a means of intimidation. 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

Lebanese papers use plot against IDF chief as proof of Hezbollah might 
1 Sep 2009 - An alleged plot to assassinate IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi took center stage Tuesday in many of the newspapers in Lebanon affiliated with Hezbollah. ... 

Ambassador Oren attends White House dinner celebrating Ramadan 
1 Sep 2009 - Israel's ambassador to the United States Michael Oren on Tuesday attended a White House dinner celebrating the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. ...

Likud minister: No deal for West Bank settlement freeze
31 Aug 2009 - Minister without Portfolio Yossi Peled (Likud) said Tuesday that Israel has not reached any deal for a West Bank settlement freeze, which U.S. President Barack Obama has demanded that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu implement. ...

Poland commemorates 70 years since Nazi invasion that sparked WWII
31 Aug 2009 - Polish leaders, veterans and the archbishop of Gdansk gathered before sunrise Tuesday on the Baltic coast to commemorate the moment a Nazi battleship fired its first shots at a military garrison on September 1, 1939, to spark World War II. ...

U.S. official dismisses Iran statement on new 'nuclear proposal'
31 Aug 2009 - A senior U.S. official dismissed a statement attributed to Iran's chief nuclear negotiator on Tuesday saying that Iran has prepared an "updated nuclear proposal" and is ready to talk to world powers. ...

The Guardian

The lonely struggle of Uri Davis | Seth Freedman
1 Sep 2009 - The Jewish-born Fatah councillor is widely mocked. But his secular vision for a binational Israel is not so crazy Waiting for Uri Davis in a hotel forecourt in Ramallah, I reflect that his reputation precedes him...

Boycotts don't equal censorship
1 Sep 2009 - Film-makers should support the growing international movement to boycott Israel – it's wrong to cast our actions as censorship When we decided to pull our film Looking for Eric from the Melbourne International Film festival following...

Germany in talks to help secure release of Israeli soldier Shalit
30 Aug 2009 - Intelligence officials negotiating swap-deal between Israel and Hamas, says German news magazine German intelligence officials are involved in a new effort to secure the release of an Israeli soldier captured near Gaza more than three years...

Damaging Israel's priceless assets | Antony Lerman
29 Aug 2009 - Netanyahu's demonising of human rights groups – and European funding of them – does disservice to a proud Jewish history With the left in Israel in disarray and unable to mount any effective opposition to the...

Ha'aretz National page

Alleged sexual assault victims take stand in Katsav trial 
1 Sep 2009 - The trial of former president Moshe Katsav began the testimony stage Tuesday at the Tel Aviv District Court. Katsav is being tried on sexual harassment and rape charges. The first prosecution witness was a woman from the President's Residence who offered testimony against Katsav lasting seven hours. ... 

Leaving office has been NIS 2.5 million cash cow for Olmert 
1 Sep 2009 - Since former prime minister Ehud Olmert opened his consulting firm less than five months ago, it has brought in over NIS 2.5 million in revenues. A source close to Olmert said most of the money has come from overseas, and started flowing in immediately after Olmert left office. ... 

Harsh lessons for Ethiopians and Gilad Shalit 
1 Sep 2009 - What did you learn in school today, my darling young one? What did you learn on the first day of the new year? You learned a good many interesting important things, though none are surprising. ... 

Relief Web

OPT: EU contribution to UNRWA's Job Creation Programme in Gaza to create more than 1,4 million work days
1 Sep 2009 - Source: European Commission, UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East

An education track for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process
1 Sep 2009 - Source: US Institute of Peace

Address by Ms. Navanethem Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, to the protection of human rights in armed conflict: A decade after UNSC resolution 1265
1 Sep 2009 - Source: UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

YNet News

Hamas: Israel won't get better deal on Shalit
1 Sep 2009 - After Barak says Shalit won't be released at any price, Hamas official tells Ynet organization wants deal based on conditions presented on first day after capture. 'Israel biding time to prove to public that it secured better deal,' he says 

Defense officials debate refusal to release Shalit 'at any price'
1 Sep 2009 - Barak tells students soldiers needed to be prepared for worst, sparking positive and negative responses 

Minister Peled: No agreement on settlement freeze
1 Sep 2009 - Minister who visited Germany recently as part of prime minister's entourage says he 'heard with his own ears' that 'Jews will continue to live and build in Jerusalem' and the West Bank 

2 Hamas gunmen killed by malfunctioning explosive device
1 Sep 2009 - Gunmen die trying to place device near area of Gaza border fence regularly patrolled by soldiers 

Lieberman seeks bolstered ties with Africa
1 Sep 2009 - Foreign minister slated to embark Wednesday on tour of Africa, will focus on strengthening economic, trade ties as well as Iranian issue 

Gang caught stealing 25 tons of fish
1 Sep 2009 - Seven suspects, five of them Bedouin, apprehended by Negev police for allegedly stealing everything from parquet flooring to boutique cheese and transferring proceeds to Palestinian territories. Police: They are organized network with operations officer, burglars, drivers, and truck loaders' 

Daily Star

Syria 'keen on seeing internal dialogue in Lebanon' 
1 Sep 2009

Lebanon to start receiving Egyptian gas mid-September 
1 Sep 2009

Iran says ready for nuclear talks with world powers 
1 Sep 2009

Gaza fishermen accuse Israeli Navy of trawling for informants 
1 Sep 2009

Egyptian minister draws flak over Israel stance 
1 Sep 2009

Iran MPs show support for minister wanted by Argentina 
1 Sep 2009

Olmert's concessions on peace process may go down with him 
1 Sep 2009

Square the provisional and permanent for peace in Palestine 
1 Sep 2009

Palestinian Information Center

Hamas: The PA and Israel killed in August seven Palestinians
1 Sep 2009 - Hamas said that Israel killed during August five Palestinians while two Palestinian citizens died in the Palestinian authority’s jails as a result of their exposure to torture.

Agriculture ministry: Israeli navy used incendiary bombs against fishermen
1 Sep 2009 - The Palestinian ministry of agriculture has held the Israeli occupation authority fully responsible for the lives of Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip while working at sea.

Palestinian boy killed by IOF
1 Sep 2009 - Israeli occupation forces (IOF) shot and killed a 14-year-old Palestinian boy in Jalazoun refugee camp north of Ramallah and wounded two paramedics who tried to rescue him, local sources reported.

Palestinian media assembly slams Israel for kidnapping another journalist
1 Sep 2009 - The Palestinian media assembly strongly denounced Israel for kidnapping journalist Sri Sammour at dawn Monday after storming his home in Jenin.

Haneyya: We will never recognize Israel
1 Sep 2009 - Palestinian premier Ismail Haneyya has said that his government would never recognize Israel or give up the Palestinian right to Jerusalem.

Radwan: Any request for Gaza visit made by Fatah will be considered
1 Sep 2009 - Dr. Ismail Radwan said that Hamas would consider the visit intended to be made to the Gaza Strip by the delegation of the central committee of Fatah in case it submitted a request in this regard.

Father Hernandez warns of spreading lies about persecuting Christians in Gaza
1 Sep 2009 - Father George Hernandez warned the media outlets and directors of news websites of publishing false news about the so-called persecution of Christians in the Gaza Strip.

Bahar calls on resistance not to change their demands regarding swap deal
1 Sep 2009 - Dr. Ahmed Bahar, the first deputy of the Palestinian speaker, appealed to the Palestinian resistance factions to uphold their demands for the release of prisoners.

Mishaal leaves Amman after attending funeral of his father
1 Sep 2009 - Khaled Mishaal, the political bureau chairman of Hamas Movement, left Jordan at a late hour on Sunday after attending the funeral of his father on Saturday.

IOF troops launch ferocious storming campaign in West Bank
1 Sep 2009 - IOF late Sunday and at dawn Monday rounded up ten Palestinians in various West Bank areas in a rabid storming campaign that was coupled with ransacking homes of the detainees.

Los Angeles Times

Once-legendary Fatah figure makes a comeback 
1 Sep 2009 - Mohammed Dahlan, driven into exile and blamed for 'losing Gaza' to the forces of Hamas, has once more maneuvered into the Palestinian movement's inner circles. He ran the Gaza Strip like the Godfather, dispensing brutal punishment and benevolent largess. But that was before his summer of disgrace, two years ago, when Hamas militants drove out his armed followers and allowed looters to pick apart his seaside villa. 

Former Israeli Prime Minister Olmert indicted on corruption charges 
31 Aug 2009 - Fraud and other allegations led Olmert to resign last year. Public disgust over official dishonesty has grown in Israel and brought investigations and harsh punishments. Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was indicted Sunday in corruption scandals that drove him to resign last year, a long-awaited legal step that made him the first current or former holder of Israel's most powerful office to be charged with a criminal offense. 

New York Times

Memo From Cairo: Hints of Pluralism in Egyptian Religious Debates
30 Aug 2009 - In Egypt, a man who has been preaching liberal Islamic views for decades says that only now, with the rise of independent media, has he had a chance to be heard. 

Iran Lawmakers Back Minister Wanted in Bombing
1 Sep 2009 - The parliament signaled it supported the president’s choice for defense minister, a man Argentina said was involved in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish center there. 

Iran News Agency Reports Prisoner Died of Abuse
31 Aug 2009 - The admission, if it is confirmed and leads to punishment, could shore up support for the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei among clerics. 

Misc

Not one penny has reached Gaza 
8/31/2009 - The National - Omar Karmi - JERUSALEM // It has been six months since the international community pledged nearly US$5 billion (Dh18bn) in aid to the Palestinian people, chiefly for the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip after Israel’s devastating offensive there this year. None of this aid has reached Gaza and no reconstruction has started. Although Israel is slowly easing its restrictions on the flow of basic humanitarian goods to Gaza, including food and medicine, construction materials remain prohibited from entering, institutions and homes still lie in rubble, and critically needed projects to repair and upgrade Gaza’s power plant and tottering sewage network lie dormant. The situation is frustrating to development agencies and experts. Two weeks ago, the UN was forced to issue another emergency appeal for funds for Gazans. The UN’s Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which provides aid and education 

East Jerusalem Shuts Out Thousands of Palestinians on Holy Day 
9/1/2009 - Inter Press Service - Mel Frykberg - QALANDIA, West Bank – The future of East Jerusalem and of Palestinian access to it has again been brought under the spotlight. Thousands of Palestinians were turned away at West Bank checkpoints leading into Jerusalem by Israeli security forces as they tried to attend Friday Ramadan prayers at al-Aqsa Mosque. IPS witnessed dozens of heavily armed Israeli soldiers and police cordoning off the Qalandia border crossing south of Ramallah and preventing hundreds of Palestinians from crossing through. Women wept and elderly men argued with law enforcement officers. Several scuffles broke out, and a number of young men were beaten and arrested as they tried to force their way through the metal barriers. The first Friday of Ramadan, Islam’s holy month when Muslims fast from dawn to dusk, is one of the holiest days of the period. 

The Calm Has Ended In The Port Of Gaza As Israel Resumes Attacks On Fishing Boats 
8/31/2009 - Desert Peace - Photos - Just two days ago I reported on a ‘Peaceful Saturday in the Gaza Port’…. that’s history now On August 31st, the Israeli navy attacked a Palestinian fishing trawler with what is reported to have been shelling, causing the boat to light afire. At the time of the attack, the fishermen were in waters near the north of Gaza. The Palestinian fishermen say that they were within the (arbitrarily-imposed by Israel, solely at Israeli authorities’ whim) new 3 mile fishing limit (although under Oslo, they have the right to venture 20 miles out). Israeli authorities said that the boat had entered Israeli waters. Israeli authorities also reportedly say that Palestinian fishermen ignored warning shots and orders to turn back. The same Ynet report quotes Israeli authorities as saying “the Israeli navy helped put out the fire on the fishing boat. 

Israeli Navy fires on Gaza fishermen
8/31/2009 - YNetNews - Military spokeswoman says army opened fire at fishing boats off northern Strip town of Beit Lahiya after their crews ignored warning shots and orders to turn back, says Navy helped put out fire on fishing boatAFPThe Israeli Navy opened fire on fishermen from the besieged Gaza Strip on Monday, causing one boat to burst into flames, the army said. Witnesses did not report any casualties. The boat was targeted off Beit Lahiya in northern Gaza by the Israeli Navy which enforces a blockade on the Palestinian territory and prevents fishermen from venturing more than five kilometers (3. 5 miles) from shore. A military spokeswoman confirmed the Navy opened fire at fishing boats after their crews ignored warning shots and orders to turn back. She said the Israeli navy helped put out the fire on the fishing boat. About 3,500 fishermen struggle to ply their trade off Gaza's 40-kilometer (25-mile) Mediterranean coastline in spite of the Israeli blockade. 

ElBaradei calls Iranian threat ’hyped’ 
9/1/2009 - Jerusalem Post - Mohamed ElBaradei, outgoing chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency, has called the Iranian threat "hyped," saying there is no proof the Islamic republic will soon have nuclear weapons. " In many ways, I think the threat has been hyped," ElBaradei told the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists in an interview released Tuesday. " Yes, there's concern about Iran's future intentions and Iran needs to be more transparent with the IAEA and international community," he told the Chicago-based magazine. "But the idea that we'll wake up tomorrow and Iran will have a nuclear weapon is an idea that isn't supported by the facts as we have seen them so far. " "About Iran, I've been told, 'Mind your own business; you're a technician. ' And yet, at other times, on other matters, I have been told that I'm the custodian of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty - sometimes by the very people who tell me to mind my own business when it comes to Iran," he continued. 

Shh! Play Nice,The Americans Are Looking! 01sep09 
8/31/2009 - Political Theatrics - According to Lebanese media outlet Al Manar,the Israeli army has canceled a number of planned arrest operations in the West Bank fearing soldiers will be “seen by US diplomats touring the territories”. Israeli army officers serving with their units in the occupied West Bank stated that they were instructed by their brigade commanders in recent weeks to call off the planned arrests of wanted men inside Palestinian towns, because of these diplomats’ presence. The diplomats, mostly employees of the U. S. consulate in occupied East Jerusalem, have been traveling regularly to the West Bank to gather testimony on settlement construction, to oversee American-funded projects and to meet with Palestinian Authority officials. “We were told that the situation with the Americans is sensitive, and that it is not desirable that operations are conducted that could lead to violent situations when they [the Americans] are there,” one of the Israeli officers said. 

Lieberman: Israel won`t let Palestinians declare state unilaterally 
8/31/2009 - Ha'aretz - Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Monday declared that Israel would not stand by idly should Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad go ahead with his stated plan to declare a de-facto state within two years. Lieberman told visiting UN envoy Tony Blair and European Union's foreign policy chief Javier Solana that such unilateral initiatives did not contribute to the creation of positive dialogue and vowed that Israel would respond. He also said that a deadline should not yet be set on a future agreement between Israel and the Palestinians as past attempts to do so has only exacerbated the conflict. Meanwhile, President Shimon Peres earlier Monday told Solana that Israel the Palestinians had both expressed willingness to enter negotiations and have agreed to work toward the principle of two states for two peoples. 

Diplomats: Trilateral Obama meet with Abbas, Netanyahu highly unlikely 
9/1/2009 - Ha'aretz - Senior diplomats in New York said Tuesday it was highly unlikely that U. S. President Barack Obama, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas would hold a three-way meeting at the end of the month. The diplomats are credible sources at the United Nations who are in close contact with Israel's delegation to the world body. Haaretz reported earlier Tuesday that Washington will announce the renewal of talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority through such a trilateral summit. The meeting would take place on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly late this month; two years would be allotted to completing talks on a peace agreement. The ambassador of a Western nation told Haaretz Tuesday that there was no firm information on such a meeting from any party involved in the Middle East. 

Germany to host six-power talks on Iran nuclear program this week 
8/31/2009 - Ha'aretz - Reuters - Germany will host high-level talks this week between the United States, China, France, Britain, Russia and Germany on Iran's disputed nuclear program, the Foreign Ministry said on Monday. The United States, Germany, France and Britain have threatened Iran with harsher UN sanctions if it carries on enriching uranium and refuses to clear up concerns that it has conducted extensive research into how to build a nuclear weapon. Foreign Ministry spokesman Jens Ploetner said the talks would be held at "senior civil servant level", but declined to give details of where they would take place. France's Foreign Ministry said the talks would be in Frankfurt on Wednesday. Spokesman Eric Chevallier said the meeting would help prepare for high level discussions on Iran on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in September. 

Mitchell, Israelis to meet on settlement deal: diplomat 
9/1/2009 - The Raw Story - Israeli officials were to meet Wednesday with US envoy George Mitchell as an Israeli diplomat said both sides moved toward an understanding on the future of Jewish settlements in the West Bank. US State Department spokesman Ian Kelly told reporters Tuesday that Mitchell would meet in New York on Wednesday with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak's chief of staff Michael Herzog. He expected a statement to be issued afterward. An Israeli diplomat told AFP that Yitzhak Molcho, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's attorney, would also attend the meeting which he said comes as the two sides move toward an understanding on settlements. " It's definitely not a dispute," the diplomat said on the condition of anonymity when asked about US demands for a total settlement freeze. "There's a very good will on both sides to reach an encompassing understanding. " 

Iran calls for nuclear talks as further sanctions loom 
9/1/2009 - The Guardian - West's diplomats sceptical after TV announcement • UN to discuss embargo on oil sector later this month - Iran said today it was ready to resume negotiations over its nuclear programme and a broad range of other issues with a six-nation group of major powers. The brief announcement reported on state-run Iranian television appeared to have been timed to precede a meeting tomorrow in Germany to discuss further sanctions against Iran for failing to comply with UN security council demands to suspend uranium enrichment. Saeed Jalili, the country's lead nuclear negotiator, said the Iranian government had completed a package of proposals for dialogue "regarding all security, political and economic issues, in addition to the nuclear issue". However, the EU's foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, who leads the six-nation group's negotiations with Tehran, had not been informed of the Iranian package by this afternoon. 


Articles

Israel’s Natanyahu launches his latest trick to gullible Europeans 
Paul J. Balles, Redress 8/30/2009
      The travelling music is always the same
     Paul J. Balles considers Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s latest ruse, launched last week in talks with European leaders and in off-the-record briefings to gullible and sycophantic news editors: concede a temporary hold on illegal settlements built on stolen lands in exchange for agreement to trample or desecrate Iran.
     Havah Nagilah provides the background music for Binyamin Netanyahu’s latest dance to America and Europe.
     One of the problems with Israel seems to be that they can never do something because it’s the right thing to do. They usually have to bargain for something in exchange.
     Here’s the way Netanyahu put it: “The continuation of unilateral withdrawal without receiving anything must stop. In business, there are no free lunches, and this also is true with politics. There can be no free withdrawals.”
     Israeli maxim: Occupy a country and then make the people pay a price to get part of it back. When they object, accuse them of refusing to take advantage of opportunities for peace.
     When their various ministers and prime ministers travel to the US or Europe, they claim to be interested in peace, but they’re looking for a bargain.
     Netanyahu has been touring to drum up support for his latest barter: concede a temporary hold on settlements in exchange for agreement to trample or desecrate Iran.
     He’s looking for what Hillary Clinton called "crippling sanctions" against Iran. In itself, that would be an act of war. A December deadline for Iran to "unclench its fist" has now been moved forward to September. more.. e-mail

Israel has Iran in its sights 
Micah Zenko, Los Angeles Times 8/30/2009
      Unless Tehran responds to by late September to international proposals on its nuclear program, history strongly suggests the Israelis will act alone.
     Iran has until late September to respond to the latest international proposal aimed at stopping the Islamic Republic from developing a nuclear weapon. Under the proposal, Iran would suspend its uranium enrichment program in exchange for a U.N. Security Council commitment to forgo a fourth round of economic and diplomatic sanctions.
     But if diplomacy fails, the world should be prepared for an Israeli attack on Iran’s suspected nuclear weapons facilities. As Adm. Michael Mullen, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, recently acknowledged: "The window between a strike on Iran and their getting nuclear weapons is a pretty narrow window."
     If Israel attempts such a high-risk and destabilizing strike against Iran, President Obama will probably learn of the operation from CNN rather than the CIA. History shows that although Washington seeks influence over Israel’s military operations, Israel would rather explain later than ask for approval in advance of launching preventive or preemptive attacks. Those hoping that the Obama administration will be able to pressure Israel to stand down from attacking Iran as diplomatic efforts drag on are mistaken.
     The current infighting among Iran’s leaders also has led some to incorrectly believe that Tehran’s nuclear efforts will stall. As Friday’s International Atomic Energy Agency report on Iran’s nuclear programs revealed, throughout the political crises of the last three months, Iran’s production rate for centrifuges has remained steady, as has its ability to produce uranium hexafluoride to feed into the centrifuges. more.. e-mail


Electronic Intifada
In Jerusalem, separate and unequal
1 Sep 2009 - OCCUPIED EAST JERUSALEM (IPS) - Israel says "united" Jerusalem will be the eternal capital of the Jewish state. However, a quick walk across the Green Line which marks the international boundary dividing the two parts of the city reveals a city very much divided. Most of West Jerusalem is clean, well cared for and far more opulent than the poorer east. The streets of East Jerusalem are filled with litter, piles of uncollected garbage, potholes and vermin. 

Gaza-bound goods stuck at the border
31 Aug 2009 - GAZA CITY, occupied Gaza Strip (IPS) - According to the Palestinian Chamber of Commerce in Gaza, there are currently over 1,700 containers of imported goods ordered by Gaza merchants being stored in Israel and the West Bank until they are allowed into Gaza. A breakdown of the items listed by the Chamber of Commerce includes clothing, shoes, electronics and toys. 

Review: Erasing the borders in "A Map of Home"
31 Aug 2009 - Randa Jarrar's A Map of Home is a beautifully achieved coming of age novel which follows a clever girl through a war, a domestic battlefield, and repeated forced migrations. For our heroine, these events are aspects of normal everyday life (because everything's normal when it happens to you), like school, friends, family and shopping. Robin Yassin-Kassab reviews for The Electronic Intifada. 

Lebanon's politics of real estate
31 Aug 2009 - Nostalgia, insists architect and academic Rami Daher, is a legitimate feeling. While most individuals' instinctive thoughts of the glories of Levantine architecture might run to ancient mosques, castles and palaces, Daher's yearning is towards an era in living memory, and on a more everyday scale. Sarah Irving reports for Electronic Lebanon. 

In Gaza
there’s beauty: Gaza Ramadan day 11
1 Sep 2009 - Looking for beauty when surrounded by injustices. Right up until maghreb , when the sun sets and the call to prayer rings out and the fasting masses can begin iftaar , Abu Adham related the events of yesterday’s Israeli navy shooting and shelling of his boat , destroying it. This is the third major Israeli harassment (to put it too lightly), and by far the worst, which Abu Adham’s boat has endured in the last year only. Prior incidents include: IOF shooting with live ammunition, IOF water-cannon dousings (high pressured water, sometimes laced with a nauseous toxic spray, aimed at key structural parts of the boat and at windows, which can knock fishermen...

Palestine Chronicle
US Audacity of Hope Falters
31 Aug 2009 - By Ramzy Baroud The US has decided to be 'flexible' regarding its once touted call for a total Israeli freeze on the expansion of its occupied territories' settlements, all illegal under international law. A senior official spoke to reporters on condition of anonymity on August 27. “It was more important that the scope of a settlement freeze was acceptable to the Israelis and the Palestinians than to the United States,” Reuters reported, citing the senior official. This means that peace negotiations can resume while Israeli bulldozers are carving up Palestinian land, demolishing homes and cutting down trees. It also means that the Israeli rejection of the only US demand, which has thus far defined President Barack Obama’s relations to the Middle East conflict, has prevailed over the supposed American persistence. In other words, the US has officially succumbed to Israeli and pro-Israeli pressures, in Tel Aviv and Washington. Those not familiar with the connotation of certain terminology in this conflict may not appreciate what it truly means that the US will no longer demand an Israeli halt of the ‘natural growth’ of its settlements, especially in the occupied Jerusalem area where tens of thousands of Palestinians are vulnerable to Israeli ethnic cleansing. Families like the Hanoun and Ghawi family have been evicted from their homes and thrown out on the street before sunrise. “The police came for them at dawn on a Sunday, heavily armed, wearing helmets and riot shields as they broke down the metal doors of the houses...

Winners and Losers of Partition
31 Aug 2009 - By Aijaz Zaka Syed - Dubai What did Jaswant Singh expect? You can't be in a party that thrives on the demonization of Muslims and shower fulsome praise on the founding father of Pakistan as a 'great Indian' and 'freedom hero' and get away with it. No wonder the former soldier has been expelled from the party that he helped found a day after the release of his biography of Pakistan’s founder. But then the former foreign minister has reached a stage in his career where he doesn’t give two hoots what his party thinks of his extraordinary book on Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the man most Indians have grown up despising as the man responsible for the country’s Partition. The BJP has been out of power for more than five years. And after the rout in the recent elections, it looks like it is going to remain out there in the wilderness for a long time to come. Besides, going by the incredible attention and adulation Singh and his book have been receiving at home and abroad with television networks and newspapers queuing up to interview him, his future appears more promising and secure than his former party. One of the BJP’s founding members, Singh handled crucial responsibilities - defense, finance and external affairs - with aplomb in the government of Atal Behari Vajpayee. He deserved better than this from his party, which is going through a serious existential crisis right now. I haven’t had the opportunity to look at...

Message to President Obama and Americans with a Conscience
31 Aug 2009 - By Eileen Fleming ‘There comes a time comes when silence is betrayal...History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people. We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims...We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people. The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. Cowardice asks the question: is it safe? Expediency asks the question: is it politic? Vanity asks the question: is it popular? But conscience asks the question: is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular- but one must take it simply because it is right.’ -- Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. Since 1967, the Israeli authorities have demolished more than 24,000 Palestinian homes in the Occupied Territories. Some are considered "collateral damage" in military operations; such as the 4,000 homes that were demolished in Israel's December-January assault on Gaza. Some are as collective punishment; such as the obliteration of the Jenin refugee camp in 2002. Many are for lack of a building permit, which Israel denies to Palestinians; and due to the unjust justice system of Israel, the...

What We Palestinians Need
30 Aug 2009 - By Dr. Mustafa Barghouti Irrespective of what political settlement is ultimately embraced, Palestinians need a unified strategy for confronting and overcoming Israeli racism, apartheid and oppression. Palestinians have only two choices before them: 1) either to continue to evade the struggle, as some have been trying to do, or 2) to summon the collective national resolve to engage in it. The latter option does not necessarily entail a call to arms. Clearly Israel has the overwhelming advantage in this respect in both conventional and unconventional (nuclear) weapons. Just as obviously, neighboring Arab countries have neither the will nor ability to go the military route. However, the inability to wage war does not automatically mean surrender and eschewing other means to wage struggle. As powerful as it is militarily, Israel has two major weak points. Firstly, it cannot impose political solutions by force of arms on a people determined to sustain a campaign of resistance. This has been amply demonstrated in two full-scale wars against Lebanon and, most recently, in the assault against Gaza. Secondly, the longer the Palestinians have remained steadfast, and the greater the role the demographic factor has come to play in the conflict, the more clearly Israel has emerged as an apartheid system hostile to peace. If the ethnic cleansing of 1948 and the colonialist expansionism describe the circumstances surrounding the birth of the Israeli state, the recent bills regarding the declaration of allegiance to a Jewish state and prohibiting the Palestinian commemoration of the nakba more...

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