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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
26 September, 2009

News

International Middle East Media Center

Army opens fire at funeral of assassinated fighters in Gaza, 17 residents wounded
27 Sep 2009 - Palestinian medical sources in the Gaza Strip reported that the Israeli army opened fires at hundreds of residents participating in the funeral of three Al Quds Brigades fighters, the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad, and wounded at least 17 residents. 

HRW report; EU: Demand Justice for Victims of Gaza War
26 Sep 2009 -  (Brussels, September 25, 2009) – The European Union and its member states should fully endorse the report of the United Nations fact-finding mission on the Gaza conflict led by South African judge Richard Goldstone and demand justice for the victims of serious violations of international humanitarian law, Human Rights Watch said today. 

Birth defects in Gaza due to illegal weapons used by Israel during the war
26 Sep 2009 - The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza reported Friday that eight months after the Israeli war ended, several birth defect cases were reported among the Gaza Strip newborns. 

Jerusalem Christians pray for the city, its indigenous people
26 Sep 2009 - Christians in Jerusalem held prayers on Thursday in support of the Holy City’s indigenous Muslim and Christian population facing ongoing Israeli violations including expulsion and home demolitions. 

Hamas: “Aqsa reporter tortured in Palestinian prisons”
25 Sep 2009 - The Al Aqsa TV, affiliated with the Hamas movement, reported that its reporter, Tareq Zeid, imprisoned by the security forces of president Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank, is subjected to torture and abuse. 

Army assassinates three fighters in Gaza
25 Sep 2009 - The Al Quds Brigades, the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad, reported Friday evening that three of its fighters were assassinated by the Israeli army in Al Tuffah neighborhood, east of Gaza City. 

Ha'aretz Defense page

ANALYSIS / How many more secret nuke sites does Iran have?
26 Sep 2009 - The question is of particular interest to the military leaders weighing a military option against Iran. 

PM urges 'crippling' sanctions on Iran
26 Sep 2009 - 'If not now, then when?' PM asks U.S. lawmakers in regard to taking action against Iran nuclear program. 

IDF releases video of air strike on Gaza rocket squad
26 Sep 2009 - Three Palestinian militants killed in air strike; Jihad vows to 'teach Israel a lesson' after attack. 

IDF to impose closure on West Bank ahead of Yom Kippur
26 Sep 2009 - Jewish holy day ends Monday evening; Persons in need of medical attention will be permitted through. 

Iran to hold missile defense exercise on Yom Kippur
26 Sep 2009 - Revolutionary Guards: Goal of drill is to raise 'deterrence capability' of Iranian armed forces. 

IAF strike on Qassam crew kills three militants in Gaza
25 Sep 2009 - Islamic Jihad claims responsibility for attack; IDF says militants on route to fire rockets into Israel. 

Ma'an News

Israeli forces deliver home demolition orders in north, central WB
9/26/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israeli forces delivered home demolition orders before dawn on Saturday morning in the West Bank villages of Kisan and Al-Hadidiya, targeting at least eight structures. In Kisan, southeast of Bethlehem, invading Israeli forces delivered several demolition orders to a village council member, commanding him to distribute the papers and ensure the targeted homes are demolished within the week. The "self-demolitions"¯ are being employed in Jerusalem and the West Bank, seemingly to avoid the angry crowds around Israeli bulldozers and wrecking crews. Kisan resident Husein Ali Auda Ghazal said he received his order early Saturday, along with the orders to demolish the homes of two of his sons. "This is not the first time my home will be demolished,"¯ Ghazal said, "they say my home was built without a permit, along with those of my sons. " 

High-velocity tear gas canisters hit eight Nil’in protesters
9/26/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - Eight Palestinians were injured by tear gas canister shots and dozens of others choked on the gas released from the capsules during the weekly anti-wall demonstration in Nil'in on Friday. Hundreds gathered following the success of last week's rally, where a second group of demonstrators managed to pull down three segments of the 30-foot-tall Israeli separation wall that cuts off the village from its agricultural land. The ramped up support for the actions saw a large crowd perform the Friday prayers near the wall. Palestinians were joined by International peace activists from Spain, Italy, Britain, Sweden, and the United States. Shortly before Israeli troops disbursed the crowd, member of the popular committee against the wall in the village Salah Al-Khawaja called for all of the Palestinian factions to help resist the occupation, and end division. 

Medics: Israeli forces fire on Gaza funeral, injuring 12
9/26/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Twelve people were injured when Israeli forces opened fire on a funeral on Saturday for three Palestinian fighters who were killed by an Israeli airstrike a day earlier, according to medical officials. Dr Muawiya Hassanein, the director of Emergency Services in the Health Ministry in Gaza, said, "The Israeli military towers east of the eastern cemetery opened fire on citizens during the funeral of the martyrs. " ¯Hassanein said that 12 mild to moderately injured people arrived at Ash-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City as a result of the Israeli fire. In the chaos after the shooting, another five people were wounded: three from Palestinian gunfire and two who fell to the ground while fleeing the area. Three members of Al-Quds Brigades, the military wing of Islamic Jihad, were killed on Friday night when Israeli warplanes bombed a car that was traveling on Al-Jaru street east of Gaza City. 

Al-Aqsa threatens retaliation for strike; Salafi group attacks patrol
9/26/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The Gaza Strip's militant groups ramped up efforts against Israeli forces on Saturday, as a Salafi group announced an attack on an Israeli military patrol, and Fatah's Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and Islamic Jihad's Al-Quds Brigades jointly claimed a projectile launch. In a statement declaring their participation in the joint launch of a projectile against Israeli targets in the western Negev desert, the Al-Aqsa Brigades vowed to retaliate for an Israeli airstrike on the northern Strip that killed three Palestinians on Friday. Israeli sources reported that a projectile landed in the western Negev on Saturday morning. In their statement the group called upon all Palestinian military groups to retaliate for what they called the "criminal act"¯ that killed three Palestinian activists in the north eastern Gaza Strip on Friday, and to unite in the face of "Israeli arrogance. 

Analysis: Israeli strike intended to disrupt calm
9/26/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - An Israeli airstrike that killed three Palestinian fighters on Friday night was targeted at Islamic Jihad in a calculated move intended to disrupt a precarious calm in the Gaza Strip, political analysts told Ma'an on Saturday. The strike targeted Islamic Jihad in hopes that the group would respond violently, thus embarrassing the Hamas-controlled government in Gaza, which has assiduously enforced a unilateral ceasefire since the end of Israel's three-week war on Gaza last January. Islamic Jihad has generally observed the ceasefire until now, but has vowed to avenge the deaths of its members. Islamic Jihad also generally enjoys warm relations with Hamas, which it views as a fellow member of the pro-armed resistance camp. The airstrike targeted the three men who were driving in a car in the Tuffah neighborhood of eastern Gaza City. 

Israeli forces take two teens accused of throwing Molotov cocktails
9/26/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - Israeli forces invaded the northern West Bank town of Azzun Friday night, alleging that Palestinian teenagers threw Molotov cocktails at passing cars. Two youths were detained but home searches continued for at least another hour. Those detained in the Qalqiliya governorate were identified by the public relations department of the Palestinian police department, as Ahmad Munther Bakir Radwan and Salah Wesam Bakir Radwan. [end] 

Palestinian prisoner in Israeli custody hospitalized
9/26/2009 - Qalqiliya - Ma'an- Palestinian prisoner in Israel Akram Mansour from Qalqilyia was transferred from the Negev Desert detention center to Beer Sheva Hospital Friday for treatment of an unknown medical condition, the Palestinian Ministry of Prisoners Affairs said. Mansour has been suffering from an undiagnosed medical condition for five years. Family members say he suffers from permanent headache, toothaches, and high blood pressure. He faints frequently and lost hearing in his left ear. His lawyer said the Israeli prison services refuse to let him have a CT scan, which doctors believe would aid in making a diagnosis. Mansour has been jailed in Israel for 30 years. He was detained on 2 August 1979 and sentenced to 35 years in prison for his involvement in a military operation against Israeli targets near Tel Aviv. 

Conference in Jericho to address Israel’s Palestinian prisoners
9/26/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The Palestinian Authority Ministry of Prisoners Affairs will hold a three-day conference on the issue of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails starting on 14 November in Jericho. Minister of Prisoners Affairs Issa Qaraqe announced the conference, titled "Liberty is a right not a tool for violations"¯ will bring together 50 international dignitaries and human rights advocates at Jericho's Intercontinental hotel. Qaraqe called the conference "the year's most important event,"¯ the first of its kind in Palestine, which will try and mobilize international support for Palestinian prisoners in in an attempt to put pressure on Israel to stop human rights violations against detainees. There are an estimated 10,000 Palestinians in Israeli prisons - The major issues to be discussed at the conference are: - Prisoners and international law. Detention of children. Torture and abuse. . . . . 

PA police seize 15 at Allenby crossing, say all are fugitives
9/26/2009 - Jericho - Ma'an - Palestinian police at the Allenby Bridge arrested fifteen Palestinians this week, all reportedly fugitives attempting to flee to Jordan, the police reported Saturday. The fifteen detained are said to be suspected for criminal offenses, most of which involve fraud, money laundering and theft, police said. Officers noted the men were hoping to get lost in the large crowds flowing through the Allenby terminal during the Eid holiday. [end] 

Israel to close West Bank for Yom Kippur
9/26/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The Israeli military announced a closure of the West Bank beginning at midnight on Saturday, lasting until midnight on Monday, which is the Jewish holy day Yom Kippur. Under ordinary circumstances, most Palestinians from the West Bank are barred from entering Jerusalem or crossing into Israel. The closure means that even those with special permits to work or study in Jerusalem or the interior of Israel will be confined to the West Bank. The Israeli army said that during the closure Palestinians will be allowed to leave only in exceptional medical and humanitarian cases. Observant Jews fast for 24 hours on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. [end] 

Palestinian tourism sector to receive training in Poland
9/26/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Palestinian Minister of Tourism and antiquities Khouloud Daibesand her Polish counterpart Katrina Superyajesicasigned an agreement in Warsaw this week that will see the development of joint work in the field of tourism between the two countries. Speaking at the signing, Daibes noted to the importance of the agreement in empowering the joint values of Poland and Palestine and to encourage and increase tourism between the two sides. Tourists from Poland make the second largest group, behind those from Russia. The agreement will see the development of relationships between the private and public sectors to increase information flow around the tour options and accommodations in Palestine, developing the sector at home and providing better information to Polish tourists. 

Independents: Stalling peace talks should force Palestinians to unite
9/26/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - The Palestinian reaction to Israel's failure to advance peace talks should prompt an immediate focus on the issue of Palestinian unity, representative of the Palestinian independent figures of the Cairo-appointed internal conciliation committee Yaser Al-Wadeiyah said Saturday. The arrogance of the Israeli government in its continued attacks on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, its continued settlement construction and the tightening of the Israeli siege must be countered with a strong Palestinian front, Al-Wadeiyah explained. The group of independent figures includes Muslim scholars, Christian clergymen, businessmen, intellectuals and representatives of the organizations of civil society organizations from around Palestine. Members have continued to meet beyond the early spring creation of the committee under the auspices of Egyptian Intelligence Chief Omar Sulaiman. 

EU-backed biotechnology lab in Hebron is Palestinian first
9/26/2009 - Hebron - Ma'an - With support from the European Union and the World Bank, a Biotechnology Unit for Training and Research has been established at Palestine Polytechnic University in the West Bank city of Hebron. The unit includes research laboratories in the fields of molecular medical biology and agricultural biotechnology. The project is intended to transfer the advanced biotechnology techniques to both the agricultural and medical sectors in Palestine and to develop practical applications of these techniques to meet the needs of Palestinian society, contribute to development, and allow Palestinians to take advantage of natural resources. The research unit is designed to allow a high level of academic instruction in biotechnology and facilitate research in genetics, focusing on applied research. The research unit's founders also plan to develop local and international partnerships, exchanges, and joint development projects. 

Egypt: Israel must release 1,000 Palestinians for Shalit
9/26/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Egypt's foreign minister urged Israel on Friday to release 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who was captured in 2006, according to the Associated Press. Egypt has been mediating in negotiations toward a proposed prisoner swap with the Palestinian Hamas movement in Gaza. On Friday Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit said Israel needs to show flexibility in its conditions. According to the same report, a year ago, Hamas leader Mahmoud Az-Zahhar accused Israel of going back on a promise to release 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the release of Gilad Shalit who was captured by Hamas-allied militants in a raid near the Gaza border in 2006. "If you want a soldier, if you need a certain commodity and you are ready to pay in that commodity then pay for the sake of the soldier - give the Palestinians what. . . 

PA: Application to WTO on track for full membership
9/26/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The Palestinian Authority will apply for Full Observership en route to full membership at the World Trade Organization, an official from the Palestinian Authority Ministry of the Economy explained Saturday. Clarifying reports released by Al-Jazeera earlier this week, an official outlined details of the PA plan to move from its current position as an ad hoc observer at the WTO Ministerial Conference in Hong Kong in 2005, to full observer, allowing observership in the General Council and its subsidiary bodies, as well as the Ministerial Conference. The "observership in the General Council will serve as an interim step on the way toward the [PA's] final aim of WTO Membership,"¯ a statement said, noting "Palestine aims to submit its application for accession in the near future,"¯ based on its status as a separate customs territory. 

Gaza notables to form a lobby on social, political issues
9/26/2009 - Photos - Gaza - Ma'an - More than 300 Palestinian notables from the Gaza Strip will gather in the coming weeks to address, and lobby leaders on issues Gazans face that reduce the quality of life in the Strip including health care, education, electricity, water pollution and shortages as well as the issue of crossing points, informed sources said. The group of leaders are congregating out of a sense that the issues they hope to tackle are being left out of the political arena, the elements affecting the daily lives of Gazans that go beyond the siege and the Hamas-Fatah rivalry. Five preparatory meetings have already been held to try and form the lobby. The group appointed Gazan Talal Ukal, political analyst and writer, as their spokesperson. He explained hat members included businessmen, academics, writers, civil society organization leaders, and influential community notables. 

PRC: Gaza armed groups must form united front
9/26/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - The An-Nasser Salah Ad-Din Brigades, the armed wing of the Popular Resistance Committees, put out a call on Saturday for Palestinian resistance groups to form a united front to respond to a recent Israeli attack. The group urged resistance groups to put aside their political differences in order to respond to the Israeli airstrike that killed three fighters, members of Islamic Jihad, in Gaza on Friday. In a statement the An-Nasser Brigades also called for the formation of a permanent, central operation room with a unified leadership for all the armed groups in order to coordinate the fight against Israeli forces. The statement also said that the factions are prepared to respond to a possible Israeli escalation in attacks. 

PA favoritism irks travelers, officers at Allenby crossing
9/26/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - Palestinian officers at the Jericho side of the Allenby Bridge (the West Bank's link to Jordan) have told Ma'an that they resent Palestinian Authority (PA) officials' relatives who they say using their contacts and privileged status to cut lines, to the consternation of fellow travelers. Speaking on the condition of anonymity, officers told Ma'an that PA-linked families usually skip the initial step at the PA-controlled Jericho station. While most Palestinian travelers wait at the station for a bus to fill up to take them to the bridge itself, which is controlled by Israel, the PA families are able, by leveraging their connections, to board already-full buses en route to the border. At this very step, all passengers have get out of the bus coming from Jericho station, and move to another one at the Israeli side after a quick check through metal detectors. 

Islamic Jihad: PA must release our members
9/26/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - The Islamic Jihad movement called on the Fatah-backed Palestinian Authority in the West Bank to release its members from prison as a step toward renewed national unity. This call came as a part of Jihad's official response to Egypt's current proposal for national unity. The issue of political prisoners is a also major point of contention between Fatah and Hamas, which controls Gaza. Islamic Jihad spokesperson Dawoud Shihab said that holding elections is a point of national consensus, and that the only problem will be setting a date. This pronouncement came in spite of Islamic Jihad's traditional rejection of elections. With regard to reform of security services, Shihab said, "it should be built on a professional basis, and the national interests of the people. We are against any foreign agenda. 

The National

Tehran defiant ahead of talks with superpowers
26 Sep 2009 - Analysts say the exposure of a nuclear plant weakens the republic's stance as it goes into talks in Geneva.

Playing chicken on a world stage
26 Sep 2009 - Despite signs the GCC may be nudging Russia and China to soften their opposition to sanctions the stand-off over Tehran's nuclear intentions remains unpredictable. 

Leaders losing patience with Tehran
25 Sep 2009 - The international community said it was losing patience with Iran after news broke that the country had been building a covert nuclear facility for several years.

Olmert in court over corruption
25 Sep 2009 - Israel's former prime minister Ehud Olmert denies wrongdoing as proceedings start in his corruption trial.

Aljazeera

Iran hands IAEA plant supervision
26 Sep 2009 - Vice president says newly-disclosed uranium facility a "precautionary measure".

Clinton urges Arabs on Israel ties
26 Sep 2009 - Washington calls on Middle East states to take steps towards normalising relations.

Gunshots disrupt Gaza funeral
26 Sep 2009 - Five people injured after shots fired from Israel, Palestinan sources say.

Abbas insists on settlement freeze 
25 Sep 2009 - Palestinian leader says Israel must comply to 'salvage' Middle East peace process. 

Alternative Information Center

Free Mohammad Othman, Palestine’s first Boycott Divestment and Sanctions Prisoner of Conscience!
25 Sep 2009 - On Tuesday, September 22, Mohammad Othman (33 years old)—a Palestinian human rights activist and advocate of the non-violent civil society campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS)—was arrested by Israeli authorities at the Allenby Crossing, the...

Seventeen Arrested and Four Injured in the Naqab Following Clashes between Palestinian Citizens of Israel and the Jewish National Fund
25 Sep 2009 - Seventeen Palestinian citizens of Israel were arrested and another four injured yesterday following locals' resistance to the invasion of Jewish National Fund (JNF) officials to their lands north of Beer al-Sabe' (Beer Sheva) in the Naqab (...

Palestine News Network

Palestinian fishers in Gaza Strip demonstrating for right to earn living without daily harassment
26 Sep 2009 - Gaza / Maher Ibrahim – Fishers in the Gaza Strip are asking the international community for protection against daily Israeli aggression both at sea and on the shore. The fishing industry has been effectively destroyed, Rami Abdo said today, by the Israeli war on the Strip and the continuation of aggression and harassment. Fishing boats and nets are often confiscated and destroyed, fishers...

Demonstration suppressed in Nablus town at same time of arrests and issuing of demolition orders
25 Sep 2009 - Burin / PNN – The Information Office of the Palestinian police informed PNN that Israeli attacks in the past 24 hours include on the northern West Bank. Under the pretext of a Molotov cocktail being thrown in the Qalqilia Governorate town of Azzun, Israeli forces invaded the main street and pulled three people into military jeeps.In Tubas the occupying Israeli army distributed demolition...

Resistance groups working on responses to Israeli killing of three fighters in eastern Gaza City
25 Sep 2009 - Gaza / PNN – The Al Aqsa Brigades launched a projectile at 3:30 this morning and called for more in response to the Israeli killing of three Palestinians Friday. A local source described to PNN yesterday an Israeli warplane bombing a car in the eastern Gaza City neighborhood of Tuffah. A number of people were injured, in addition to the killing of three.Medical...

Special military courts for Palestinian children created to bolster Israeli image
25 Sep 2009 - Gaza / PNN – The decision of the Israeli administration to try Palestinian children in separate courts is an attempt to remove a stain from the image of the occupying forces, says Nasser Ferwana. The Palestinian prisoners advocate and official said today that by continuing to keep children, the Israeli authorities are illustrating a lack of formal change, and certainly not fundamental change.The...

Prominent nonviolent activist and advocate of human rights remains in Israeli prison
25 Sep 2009 - On 22 September Mohammad Othman was arrested by Israeli soldiers on the Allenby Bridge Crossing, the border from Jordan to Palestine. He is now being held in the Israeli Huwara military prison as a prisoner of conscience, arrested solely for his human rights work. Mohammad, 33 years old, has dedicated the last ten years of his life to the defense of Palestinian...

IRIN

LEBANON: Move to take domestic violence cases out of religious courts
BEIRUT Wednesday, September 23, 2009 (IRIN) - As lawmakers struggle to form a government three months after Lebanon's parliamentary elections, women's rights activists await the opening of parliament to debate a new bill on domestic violence.

JORDAN: Declining rainfall, population growth spur search for water
AMMAN Wednesday, September 23, 2009 (IRIN) - Declining rainfall levels in water scarce and debt-ridden Jordan, the population of which is growing rapidly, have given further urgency to the search for alternative water sources.

ISRAEL: Fishermen forced to look elsewhere for work
JAFFA Tuesday, September 22, 2009 (IRIN) - Mussa, an elderly fisherman from Jaffa, south of Tel Aviv, is worried about his future. "It's never been this bad, I think there's been a decrease of over 60 percent in the fish population [in recent years] and they are much smaller than...

Inter Press Service

MIDEAST: Jerusalem Palestinians Defining Their Own Future 
EAST JERUSALEM, Sep 25 (IPS) - Almost a year ago a barely noticed event took place in Sawarha, a Palestinian neighbourhood in the Israeli-occupied part of the city.

Stop The Wall

Free Mohammad Othman Now!
24 Sep 2009 - On September 22, Mohammad Othman was arrested by soldiers on the Allenby Bridge Crossing, the border from Jordan to Palestine. He is now being held in Huwara prison as a prisoner of conscience, arrested solely for his human rights work. We call on international solidarity and human rights organizations to act immediately to advocate for the release of Mohammad Othman. See: 

Ni’lin village demands release of Mohammad Othman during Friday demonstration
26 Sep 2009 - This week in Ni'lin, several hundred demonstrators marched to the Wall where they were met with tear gas as well as rubber and live bullets. Youth carried pictures of Mohammed Othman, arrested last Tuesday, demanding his release. Three people were arrested near the end of the demonstration. [

PCHR Latest

Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Support Work and Recommendations of UN Fact Finding Mission: Demand Effective Judicial Redress and the Protection of Victims’ Rights
PCHR

PCHR Weekly Report

(10- 16 Sep. 2009)
During the reporting period, a Palestinian civilian died of a previous wound he had sustained by IOF in Hebron.  Additionally, 6 Palestinian civilians, including a child, were wounded by IOF and settlers in the West Bank.

information on boycott, divestment and sanctions
PCHR Strongly Condemns New Israeli Settlement Plans in the West Bank 08 September

International Solidarity Movement

Israeli forces target Palestinian cameramen at Bil’in demonstration
9/25/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Israeli forces target Palestinian cameramen at Bil'in demonstration - Israeli forces storm Bil'in and arrest 3 demonstrators -- 25 September 2009: Israeli forces target Palestinian cameramen at Bil'in demonstration. Around 1pm, Israeli forces arrested 2 Israeli solidarity activists and a Palestinian cameraman, Haitham al-Khatib (33 years old) during a demonstration in the West Bank village of Bil'in. Witnesses say that Israeli soldiers ran in and arrested the 3 demonstrators. Haitham al-Khatib was filming the demonstration near the Wall when he was taken. Haitham has been filming the ongoing Israeli arrest campaign in Bil'in. One of his videos was recently used by several news sources, including the Israeli news, YNet, to showcase the violence and intimidation used by the army against Bil'in residents. Thousands of viewers worldwide have been following the night raids in Bil'in through Haitham's videos. . . . 

ICC may try IDF officer in wake of Goldstone Gaza report
9/25/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Ha'aretz, 24 September 2009 - A senior prosecutor at the International Criminal Court in The Hague said Monday that he is considering opening an investigation into whether Lt. Col. David Benjamin, an Israel Defense Forces reserve officer, allowed war crimes to be committed during the IDF's three-week offensive in the Gaza Strip this winter. The officer – a dual citizen of Israel and South Africa, where he was born – served in the Military Advocate General's international law department, which authorized which targets troops would strike before and during the operation. Newsweek magazine released an interview Monday with ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo of Argentina in which he said he is convinced his office has the authority to launch an investigation into Benjamin's actions. The ICC has until now refrained from trying IDF officers, as it lacks authority to do so, since 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

Israel, U.S. working to limit damage of Goldstone report
26 Sep 2009 - WASHINGTON - Israeli and American diplomats came to the United Nations not to praise the Goldstone Report, but to bury it. And unlike Marc Antony in his eulogy for Julius Caesar, they meant it. ... 

What has really changed in Israel since 1973?
26 Sep 2009 - In the morning we decided to take a trip. I was staying as a guest with a couple of friends at Kibbutz Hatzerim. From there, we took a car belonging to the kibbutz and headed south, to Sinai. We crossed Rafah and reached El-Arish. We drove as if the area were our own backyard. It was only when we realized we were running low on fuel and the Israeli gas stations were closed that we changed course and abandoned plans to reach the Suez Canal. ... 

Clinton to Arabs: Normalize Israel ties to spur peace process
26 Sep 2009 - Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Saturday called for Arab nations to take steps toward normalizing relations with Israel and supporting the Palestinians in an effort to help restart stalled Mideast peace talks. ...

Settlers marketing East Jerusalem homes for 22 Jewish families
26 Sep 2009 - An organization committed to populating East Jerusalem with Jewish residents has said that it has six properties in the Old City to sell to 22 Jewish families, which would bring the number of Jews living in the Arab quarters of the walled city to 1,000. ... 

Iran to allow UN inspectors at second nuclear site
26 Sep 2009 - Iran will allow the United Nations nuclear watchdog to inspect its newly revealed, still unfinished uranium enrichment facility, the Islamic Republic's Iran's nuclear chief said Saturday. ...

The Guardian

Leonard Cohen sings of love and peace | Hillel Schenker
25 Sep 2009 - The singer's Tel Aviv concert illustrates the need for constructive engagement, not boycotts, to build Israeli-Palestinian peace Three days before Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, when everything comes to a halt in Israel, Leonard Cohen...

Iran's second nuclear plant 'a vindication for Israel'
25 Sep 2009 - Israel and pro-western Arab states feel that their concerns about Iran's nuclear ambitions have been vindicated by the latest dramatic revelations about a secret, second uranium enrichment plant. News about the Qom site will encourage those...

Ehud Olmert defiant as corruption trial begins
25 Sep 2009 - Former Israeli prime minister faces charges of secret campaign funding, fraud over travel costs and personal favours Ehud Olmert, the former Israeli prime minister, has appeared in a Jerusalem court at the start of a high-profile...

Ha'aretz National page

Israelis, Palestinians work together in bid to solve local water shortage
26 Sep 2009 - "Wadi Fukin is a rich valley, full of water: The springs there gush forth, the soil is fruitful and generous, every resident has a pool for collecting the spring water, and the vegetable plots are abundant with produce, and olive groves are planted in it, and vine tendrils are found all along it, shoulder to shoulder. And at the top of the mountain above the wadi - the foundations of the city of Betar and the settlement of Betar Ilit." ... 

Cool weather across Israel should help fasters on Yom Kippur
26 Sep 2009 - The weather will be kind to the millions of Israelis who will fast Monday on Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement. Unlike in some years, temperatures are expected to be mild and even cool in mountainous areas. Cool weather is expected this evening, Yom Kippur Eve, with another drop in temperatures on the day of rest itself. Rains are, however, not expected to fall. This will make life easier for fasters, who are forbidden by religious law to drink or eat anything for just over 24 hours. ... 

Israel needs a solution, not Netanyahu's PR
26 Sep 2009 - In Washington they were not impressed with the Israeli occupation; the president began pressing and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rushed to support. He is keen on explaining. ... 

Police working to prevent repeat of Acre Yom Kippur violence
26 Sep 2009 - The Northern District Police will go on high alert Sunday as a precaution for possible clashes that may occur during Yom Kippur. At noon Sunday, the commander of the Northern District, Shimon Koren, will meet with senior officers for a briefing on possible scenarios and likely violence hotspots. ... 

Israeli scientists: We've mapped unconscious activity in the brain
26 Sep 2009 - Seventy years after the death of Sigmund Freud, researchers from Tel Aviv University say they have outlined unconscious thought and can even characterize the cerebral activity behind it. ... 

Relief Web

OPT: Several wounded as Gaza militants vow revenge on Israel
26 Sep 2009 - Source: Agence France-Presse

OPT: Gaza figures to form a lobby to improve life in Gaza
26 Sep 2009 - Source: Deutsche Presse Agentur

OPT: U.S. urges Arabs to support Abbas on peace talks
26 Sep 2009 - Source: Reuters - AlertNet

OPT: Week in review - UN addresses spark sharp criticism from all sides
26 Sep 2009 - Source: MIFTAH

EU: Demand justice for victims of Gaza war
26 Sep 2009 - Source: Human Rights Watch

OPT: Letter to European Union Foreign Ministers regarding the report of the UN fact-finding mission on the Gaza conflict
26 Sep 2009 - Source: Human Rights Watch

YNet News

Clinton urges Arabs to normalize ties with Israel
26 Sep 2009 - Secretary of state's aide says Arab countries should make Israel feel part of the region 

Ahmadinejad: New nuclear site blow to West
26 Sep 2009 - Iranian leader taunts Western powers; meanwhile, Bibi asks US officials to take action against Iran 

Egyptian minister declares 'culture war' on Israel
26 Sep 2009 - Farouk Hosni, who recently lost vote for UNESCO leadership, declares intention to launch 'culture war against tyranny, dwarf Israel vis-?-vis Egyptian culture'; Outraged minister blames racism, Jews for UN defeat 

Daylight saving time draws to end
26 Sep 2009 - After 184 days of daylight saving time Israel reverts back to standard time 

IDF releases video of strike on terrorists
26 Sep 2009 - Video filmed by aircraft shows Islamic Jihad terrorists carrying rockets before being hit 

Iran to allow IAEA visit nuclear site
26 Sep 2009 - UN nuclear agency to inspect newly revealed uranium enrichment facility, Iran nuke chief says 

Palestinians say IDF targeted funeral ceremony
26 Sep 2009 - Twelve participants in funeral for Islamic Jihad members said to be hurt by army's fire 

Iran announces missile drill
26 Sep 2009 - Tehran continues to flex its muscles: Iranian exercise, codenamed Great Prophet 4, to be held as Israelis mark Yom Kippur; during drill, Revolutionary Guards' Air Force expected to various types of missiles 

B'tselem

Border policeman to be jailed for assaulting Palestinians
23 Sep 2009 - In March 2005, B'Tselem reported to the DIP that three garage owners in Baka a-Sharqiya claimed to have been assaulted by border policemen. In 2009, one of the policemen was convicted in two of the cases and was sentenced to eight months’ imprisonment, a 

Daily Star

Lebanon looking for positive spinoff by hosting Francophone Games 
25 Sep 2009

UN kicks off second 'Palestinian Olympics' in Sibline 
25 Sep 2009

Sleiman voices hopes for Lebanese seat on Security Council 
25 Sep 2009

March 14 silent on formula as Hariri works on cabinet 
25 Sep 2009

Australian court jails Lebanese over Internet terror manual 
25 Sep 2009

Salafranca lauds maturity in Lebanon polls 
25 Sep 2009

Palestinians want peace deal but don't reject Hamas - opinion poll 
25 Sep 2009

Ex-Israeli PM Olmert faces corruption charges in court 
25 Sep 2009

FBI pays Egyptian man $250,000 after wrongful detention for terror attack 
25 Sep 2009

Abbas takes aim at Israeli settlements during UN address 
25 Sep 2009

Western leaders warn Iran over new nuclear site 
25 Sep 2009

Tehran hypermarket opens without Carrefour name 
25 Sep 2009

Beirut's new Arab Energy Forum: an initiative that shows promise 
25 Sep 2009

Palestinian Information Center

IOA extends administrative detention of x-ray technician
27 Sep 2009 - The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) has extended the administrative detention, without trial or charge, of a Palestinian x-ray technician for four months for the fifth consecutive time.

Hamas: IOF murder of Jihad operatives fruit of Abbas-Netanyahu meet
27 Sep 2009 - Hamas has charged that the IOF assassination of three members of the armed wing of Islamic Jihad Movement was the early fruit of the meeting between Mahmoud Abbas and Benjamin Netanyahu.

Jihad armed wing denies its slain operatives were planning to fire rockets
27 Sep 2009 - The Quds Brigades, the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad Movement, denied that its three operatives who were killed by IOF on Friday evening were planning a rocket attack on Israeli targets.

Sabri: Two-state solution an illusion
27 Sep 2009 - Sheikh Ekrema Sabri, the preacher of the Aqsa Mosque, has charged that the reported two-state solution for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict was impractical and illusionary.

Haneyya gov't condemns Mizrahi's tour, desecration of Ibrahimi Mosque
27 Sep 2009 - The Palestinian government of Ismail Haneyya has condemned the tour of Avi Mizrahi, the commander of the IOF central region, in Bethlehem accompanied and escorted by Palestinian security officers.

Hundreds of Israeli settlers desecrate Ishaq's tomb in the Ibrahimi Mosque
27 Sep 2009 - Close to 150 fanatic Israeli settlers have stormed, at dawn Friday, the Muslim sacred Ibrahimi Mosque in Al-Khalil city, south of the West Bank, and desecrated the tomb of Prophet Ishaq.

Resheq: Results of trilateral meeting big blow to Abbas and retinue
27 Sep 2009 - Ezzat Al-Resheq, member of the Hamas political bureau, has described results of the trilateral meeting in New York as a big blow to Abbas and his associates..

Swedish journalist: Israel stole the organs of more than a 1000 Palestinians
27 Sep 2009 - Donald Bostrom said that Israel started the illegal harvesting of organs from Palestinian victims as early as 1960, with a marked increase in this practice during the first Palestinian intifada.

Abu Zuhri: Abbas's behavior pushed the Palestinian issue down below zero
27 Sep 2009 - Dr. Sami Abu Zuhri, the spokesman of Hamas Movement in Gaza Strip, strongly criticized Thursday the way the former PA chief and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas is handling the Palestinian issue

Hamas: Netanyahu emerged winner from trilateral meeting
27 Sep 2009 - The Hamas Movement has urged Mahmoud Abbbas and his Fatah Movement to stop deceiving and misleading the Palestinian people by attaching more hopes on the "useless" negotiations

Los Angeles Times

Lebanon tourism is back from a holiday 
26 Sep 2009 - The country saw its biggest tourist season ever this summer, and that was a problem. War has weakened Lebanese infrastructure, and basic services like electricity and water fell short. It was a good summer for Georges Boustany. His popular upscale beach club, Lazy B, thrived as record numbers of visitors flocked to Lebanon's famed sandy coast for what officials are calling the country's most successful tourist season ever. 

Disclosure of Iran site raises nuclear, diplomatic tensions 
26 Sep 2009 - President Obama reveals the secret Iran facility at the G-20 summit in Pittsburgh, just days before scheduled talks with Tehran. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad downplays the revelation. Reporting from Washington and Pittsburgh -- Dramatically heightening the international confrontation over Iran, President Obama on Friday revealed the existence of an underground uranium enrichment site that the Islamic Republic had kept secret from international inspectors for years. 

Time for talk with Iran may be over 
26 Sep 2009 - President Obama's long-held hope of engaging Tehran about its nuclear program appears to be fading. President Obama has maintained that he would not wait forever for Iran to decide whether it will negotiate over its suspected nuclear weapons program. 

New York Times

Iranian Protester Flees Country After Telling of Rape and Torture in Prison
26 Sep 2009 - Ibrahim Sharifi received threats after telling opposition figures that he was raped and tortured in a Tehran prison. 

U.S. to Demand Inspection of New Iran Plant ‘Within Weeks’
26 Sep 2009 - The Obama administration plans to tell Iran this week that it must soon open a newly revealed nuclear enrichment site to international inspectors, according to senior officials. 

Iran’s Leader Mocks West’s Accusations
26 Sep 2009 - President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran made light of the Western accusation that his country was caught hiding another crucial piece of its nuclear development program. 

The Saturday Profile: Israeli Ambassador Draws on American Roots
26 Sep 2009 - For Michael B. Oren, the hardest thing about becoming Israel’s ambassador to the United States was giving up his American citizenship. 

Cryptic Note Ignited an Iran Nuclear Strategy Debate
26 Sep 2009 - The Obama administration seized upon Iran’s disclosure of a nuclear site to marshal its own evidence and try to persuade wavering nations to take a hard line with the country. 

Room for Debate: Can Sanctions Work Against Iran?
25 Sep 2009 - A forum on strategies that might stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. 

Misc

Palestinian fishers in Gaza Strip demonstrating for right to earn living without daily harassment 
9/26/2009 - Uruknet - Gaza PNN – Fishers in the Gaza Strip are asking the international community for protection against daily Israeli aggression both at sea and on the shore. The fishing industry has been effectively destroyed, Rami Abdo said today, by the Israeli war on the Strip and the continuation of aggression and harassment. Fishing boats and nets are often confiscated and destroyed, fishers are arrested. Abdo, a spokesperson for the Popular Committee against the Siege said that the direct loss in revenue for each day of closure of the sea is up to 70,000 USD. Other losses are estimated at 30,000 USD per day. Some 3,500 Palestinians fish in the Gaza Strip with about 700 boats. Engineer Salah Al Jihad from the Department of Fisheries in Gaza’s Ministry of Agriculture, said that 70,000 people live off the sea, and hundreds of those who fish with small boats are not registered with the Ministry. 

Medics: Israeli forces fire on Gaza funeral, injuring 17 
9/26/2009 - Uruknet - Ma'an News - Gaza – Ma’an – Seventeen people were injured when Israeli forces opened fire on a funeral on Saturday for three Palestinian fighters who were killed by an Israeli airstrike a day earlier, according to medical officials. Dr Muawiya Hassanein, the director of Emergency Services in the Gaza Strip, said, "The Israeli military towers east of the eastern cemetery opened fire on citizens during the funeral of the martyrs, which led to the injury of 17 citizens with different wounds. " Three members of Al-Quds Brigades, the military wing of Islamic Jihad, were killed on Friday night when Israeli warplanes bombed a car that was traveling on Aj-Jaru street east of Gaza City. Hassanein said that 12 mild to moderately injured people arrived at Ash-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. Thousands of Islamic Jihad supporters headed by senior leader Muhammad Al-Hindi participated in the funeral of. . . . 

Comrade Mizher: Occupation killings require a unified resistance response 
9/25/2009 - Uruknet - Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine -PFLP - Comrade Jamil Mizher denounced the Zionist occupation's criminal assassination of three Palestinian resistance fighters from Al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of Islamic Jihad, on September 26, 2009, calling for all factions to form a unified resistance front that can act together to resist the occupier. The three martyrs, Kamel Al-Dahduh, Mahmoud Al-Banna and Muhammad Marshoud, were targeted by the occupation military, who bombed their car east of Gaza City with warplanes, on Friday night, September 25, 2009. Their funeral, attended by thousands of marchers, was targeted once more for attacks by the occupation military - 12 were injured when Israeli military towers opened fire on the funeral procession. Comrade Mizher, member of the Central Committee of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, said in an interview with the. . . 

VIDEO - Hanan Ashrawi 
9/26/2009 - Uruknet - Political activism is in Hanan Ashrawi's blood. Her father, Daoud Mikhail, was a founding member of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) and few names have represented the Palestinian people as visibly over the years as Ashrawi. She is known for her straight-talking, tough diplomacy when it comes to negotiating the rights of her people – particularly the women. Ashrawi was born in Ramallah – then a part of the British Mandate of Palestine – into a family that included a mother who was a devout Christian of Lebanese descent, as well as relatives who are Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Baptist and Muslim. She was at University in Beirut when the Six Day War broke out in 1967, leaving her stranded in Lebanon, but she continued her studies, eventually earning her PhD in the USA before being allowed to return to Ramallah in 1973. 

Iran to allow IAEA visit nuclear site 
9/26/2009 - Uruknet - AP - TEHRAN, Iran — Iran will allow the U. N. nuclear agency to inspect a newly revealed and still unfinished uranium enrichment facility, the country's nuclear chief told state television Saturday. Vice President Ali Akbar Salehi didn't specify when inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency could visit the site, but said it has to be worked out with the agency under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty rules. Iran's newly revealed enrichment site is said to be in the arid mountains near the holy city of Qom, inside a heavily guarded, underground facility belonging to the elite Revolutionary Guard. The small-scale site is meant to house no more than 3,000 centrifuges — much less than the more than 8,000 machines at Natanz, Iran's known industrial-scale enrichment facility. Still, the enriching machines in Qom facility will produce nuclear fuel — or possibly the payload for atomic warheads. 

Clinton welcomes Iran move to admit IAEA inspectors 
9/26/2009 - Uruknet - AFP - NEW YORK — US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Saturday welcomed Iran's decision to admit International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors to a newly disclosed uranium enrichment plant. " It is always welcome when Iran makes a decision to comply with the international rules and regulations, and particularly with respect to the IAEA," Clinton told reporters at talks with Gulf Arab foreign ministers. She was reacting to comments from Ali Akbar Salehi, Iran's atomic energy chief, who said on Iranian state television, "we have no problem for inspection within the framework of the agency regulations. " Clinton said she had earlier discussed the issue of the uranium enrichment -- which was publicly disclosed Friday -- with her counterparts from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Oman. 

Celebrate ‘Times’ photographer Rina Castelnuovo 
9/25/2009 - Mondoweiss - PHOTOS - I keep forgetting to post perhaps the most important event in journalism about Jewish identity in the last couple weeks, the NYT’s publication of Rina Castelnuovo’s amazing photograph from Hebron, which has been widely republished in the Arab world. The Times could do a further service by having Castelnuovo blog about how she took this picture… As well as do more thorough reporting on how Jews could become so brutalized, a story Americans still aren’t hearing. [end] 

Non-violent tool of boycott is the only recourse– Code Pink 
9/25/2009 - Mondoweiss - Philip Weiss - Code Pink has informed Omar Barghouti that the peace group will do as Palestinians have asked of westerners who care about self-determination for Palestinians, and endorse the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. From the Pink tank (apologies, it’s their pun): Decades of a so-called “peace process” have only resulted in further dispossession and oppression of Palestinians, both inside Israel and in the Occupied Territories: home demolitions in East Jerusalem, settlement expansion in the West Bank, the Annexation wall separating Palestinians from their land and from each other, and the terrorizing of Gazan fishermen and West Bank farmers. What recourse do we have as concerned citizens, whose tax dollars are subsidizing a brutal occupation and whose government blocks any meaningful international response to Israel’s flouting of international law? We have at our disposal 

Is Rahm Emanuel washing his hands? 
9/25/2009 - Mondoweiss - Philip Weiss - Rahm Emanuel on Charlie Rose, picked up in Haaretz by Akiva Eldar. Excerpt 1: But even more importantly, he believes that both parties, Israeli and Palestinian, need to "put aside the negotiations about the negotiations and begin their negotiations," Emanuel told interviewer Charlie Rose. "And youcan’t start as if there hasn’t been a process. ""If you don’t make progress and engage in the process of making peace," he continued, "you give Hamas and Hezbollah and Iran, who are enemies of the peaceprocess, and vocal opponents of it, a veto. "Comment 1 (from a friend. I only wish I was this smart): Put aside negotiations about the negotiations and begin the negotiations with a process. And do it on your own (the president doesn’t really have the time). What mush. And notice: inclusion of Hamas in talks has been ruled out. Yet no arrangement for all Palestinians can exclude Hamas (cf. Gideon Levy’s column). Emanuel and Obama are sure that they want Israel’s enemies to be our enemies. Nothing can come of it at this rate. . . 

A Week of Dimming Peace Prospects 
9/25/2009 - Inter Press Service - Helena Cobban - WASHINGTON, Sep 25 (IPS) - Eight months after Barack Obama launched his presidency by promising a speedy push for Palestinian-Israeli peace, that effort has stalled badly. And there are now growing fears that the top levels of Obama's peace team are torn by internal disagreements that may undermine the whole peace effort. Some of these problems were on view during two high-level appearances Obama made in New York this week. On Tuesday, speaking to the media after the three-way meeting he held with the Israeli and Palestinian leaders, Obama notably avoided saying anything about the failure of the high-profile campaign he and his chief peace envoy, George Mitchell, have pursued to "persuade" the Israeli government to stop building settlement housing in the occupied West Bank. Obama instead announced a new project: the resumption of the long-suspended negotiations between the parties over the terms of their final peace. 


Articles

Who Needs Clean Water? 
Max Ajl, P U L S E 9/24/2009
      Correctly characterizing the Gaza strip in a typology of repressive institutions isn’t easy. Without question, it’s a refugee camp, but a quite developed refugee camp, and some of its inhabitants have been there for 60 years. When refugees stay refugees for six decades, they’re still refugees, but they’re locked in a “prison for the stateless.”
     Actually, in Gaza, “zoo” used to be the more precise descriptor: the sole goal was to keep the inhabitants, or most of them “alive, with an eye to how outsiders might see them.” Freedom was never at issue. Amidst the savagery of Cast Lead and its mounting consequences, zoo may now be a passé metaphor. It’s hard to argue that Israel’s overwhelming concern is how the outside world sees Gaza. Concern for outsiders’ opinions doesn’t lead one to call a massacre “impressive… [its] timing brilliant” in your country’s leading liberal newspaper. Nor to chants calling for the slaughter of Palestinians in city squares.
     Concentration camp could no longer be polemical but rather descriptive. In a concentration camp one herds a population into a dense, tightly controlled space. Human beings come to serve instrumental purposes. One controls survival by controlling inputs—food, water, caring only slightly about the inhabitants, sometimes not at all. Some will surely die, and that’s hardly a concern. They’ll die of disease, as at Andersonville. Sometimes they die because one kills them. Sometimes “sometimes” becomes often.
     Disease is a convenient form of slaughter for an ostensibly liberal state. “We didn’t mean to,” state officials can demur; “it was unimaginable that when we destroyed their water supply and their sewage treatment facilities, typhoid and salmonella poisoning would break out!” The inevitable feigned ignorance is even less believable in the case of Gazan water than in other socially-forced humanitarian crises. This has been a long time coming. Gaza has the lowest-per-capita capacity of freshwater in the world other than Kuwait, which subsists on desalinated salt-water, the privilege of an ultra-wealthy oil statelet. Desalinization plants aren’t an option for Gaza, which has to physically import shekels, dinars, and dollars. more.. e-mail

Khalid Amayreh Interview: 'the mental landscape of every Palestinian man, woman and child is overwhelmed with the Israeli nightmare' 
Mary Rizzo, Palestine Think Tank 9/24/2009
      Those who seek information about Palestine often tend to be attracted to particular writers and journalists for the special insights and gifts that seem to be uniquely their own. “The Middle East Crisis” is an issue having a profound, complex and multi-faceted dimension of interpretation, that for however long there has been a crisis (and worse), and despite the great abundance of written material available, more than we can ever realistically confront, the reader is driven to seek the voices that can analyse any aspect of the situation clearly. There really are far fewer with this talent than one would expect. The characteristic of this type of writer is that there is a distinctive voice or style, and more than that, there is a strong sense that the coherent and authentic ethics of this person are part of the message. It is not just reporting facts and intelligent analysis, but creating within us a consciousness of the moral situation that underlies the events. Khalid Amayreh is one such “source”. He is a very prolific author, and he is often able to correctly analyse the event of the day and place it into its overall context. This makes his work almost a diary of Palestinian events. However, as useful as it would be if he limited himself to reporting, Khalid Amayreh is far more important as a writer. He is concerned with the human condition and knows that the reader should not be left only with a cold reportage, because that would be telling only half of the story, and the less important half at that. His voice is the one speaking to the human heart, to the reader who sees the oppression that Palestinians are living under, and is mystified at they are no nearer to the end of their suffering. Khalid does not talk about “indiscriminate masses”, his work is almost a passion play, where there are names, identities, human stories behind all of the events narrated. In this interview for Palestine Think Tank, he touches on many issues in his intimitable way.
     Mary Rizzo: Could you briefly tell us about the work you do? 
     Khalid Amayreh: I am a journalist who since time immemorial has found himself, first as a human being, and second as a journalist, right in the middle of the fray of the enduring Palestinian plight. For example, I remember I knew all the details of Israeli commando operations and massacres when I was merely 7 years old. more.. e-mail


Electronic Intifada
The risks of de-contextualizing Gaza war crimes
26 Sep 2009 - The Goldstone investigation into alleged war crimes committed during last winter's Gaza attacks singles out a particular set of facts, and a limited period of time as its primary locus. However, such a high-profile report, crafted specifically to address what is perceived to be an extreme or peculiar period of time in the lives of Palestinians under occupation, might have significant negative consequences. Goncalo de Almeida Ribeiro, Vishaal Kishore and Nimer Sultany comment for The Electronic Intifada. 

Israeli forces arrest anti-wall organizer
25 Sep 2009 - Palestinian human rights defender and activist Mohammad Othman was arrested by Israeli forces on 22 September 2009. It is believed that Mohammad's arrest is related to his human rights activism. In the last few years, Mohammad has been extremely active in his advocacy efforts by briefing activists and officials, locally and internationally, on Israel's illegal construction of the wall, informing the media on daily developments and monitoring human rights violations. 

In Israel, intermarriage viewed as treason
25 Sep 2009 - A local authority in Israel has announced that it is establishing a special team of youth counsellors and psychologists whose job it will be to identify young Jewish women who are dating Arab men and "rescue" them. The move by the municipality of Petah Tikva, a city close to Tel Aviv, is the latest in a series of separate -- and little discussed -- initiatives from official bodies, rabbis, private organizations and groups of Israeli residents to try to prevent interracial dating and marriage. Jonathan Cook reports. 

Cape Town to host Palestinian Struggle and Human Spirit Film Festival
25 Sep 2009 - Channel 4 Network SA, a Cape Town-based international news network and syndication company, will be hosting a Palestinian film festival from 2-4 October 2009 in Cape Town, South Africa. The objectives of the festival are to educate the public and create a general awareness around the situation in Palestine to foster a culture of human rights, respect for human dignity and justice for all. 

In Gaza
daily life and celebration merge: last day of Eid
23 Sep 2009 - The third day of Eid, kids are still in their new clothes, playing in the streets on makeshift swings or simplified, hand-powered fair-ground rides. But there are also the extremely poor who aren’t taking the day off, instead profiting from holiday waste to scour the trash bins for recyclables. One such donkey and cart is slugging uphill as I walk behind. It stops and the two youths driving it hop off to poke through the bin, moving on to the next bin a couple hundred metres on. As I pass, we smile. Despite what might seem a job and lifestyle to blush from, the youths say the day is going...

Palestine Chronicle
Obama's Choice
25 Sep 2009 - By Aijaz Zaka Syed - Dubai Why do I have this feeling that we have been here and done all this before? I know, I know. This US President is different, as different from his predecessors as a sunny day is distinguishable from a dark, oppressive night. But watching Barack Obama shake hands with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in New York this week and smile for the waiting cameras, I had this weird feeling I have seen it all before. But haven’t we indeed all seen this before? This is what we have repeatedly witnessed since Bill Clinton proudly presented Yasser Arafat and Isaac Rabin before the world on the White House lawns in 1993. And every time the US leaders did so, they have generated tremendous hopes and hype everywhere, including in the Middle East. And every time those hopes have come crashing down with progressive ferocity, giving way to greater frustration, anger and bitterness that have consumed generations in the Arab world and beyond. As Obama posed for the cameras with Abbas and Netanyahu flanking him, hundreds of millions of people across the world -- and not just Arabs and Muslims -- asked themselves: Is this US President going to create more pointless photo opportunities and say all the right things without actually meaning and believing in them like his predecessors? Or is he going to be different as he has often promised and walk the talk for a change? The answer to...

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