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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
27 September, 2009

News

Ha'aretz Defense page

Iran tests more missiles amid tension with West
27 Sep 2009 - Revolutionary Guards on Monday tests medium-range missiles, Iranian state radio reports. 

Israel demands PA drop war crimes suit at The Hague
27 Sep 2009 - Palestinian Authority called on International Court to examine IDF's January operation in Gaza. 

U.S. defense chief: Iran intends to develop nuclear arms
26 Sep 2009 - U.S. Defense Secretary: Second nuke site part of Iran's lies; Netanyahu urges 'crippling' sanctions on Iran. 

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. 

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. 

Ma'an News

Dozens injured, five arrested as clashes erupt in Old City
9/28/2009 - Jerusalem - Ma'an - At least 40 people were injured and five arrested as fierce clashes broke out in and near the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem's Old City on Sunday. Dozens of Palestinians were hurt by police batons and high-velocity tear-gas canisters, medics said, including several who sustained serious eye and head injuries. Israeli forces said 17 officers were also wounded during the clashes, most from rocks. Reports conflicted on how many Palestinians were detained during the incident. Palestinian sources said five were seized, while Israeli sources put the number at nine. According to witnesses, clashes broke out after a group of about 150 Israeli settlers entered the Al-Aqsa compound on Sunday morning, reportedly under the guard of local authorities who also escorted the group away from the area when worshipers began to protest. 

Witnesses: Israeli forces shelled Gaza overnight
9/27/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Israel's military bombarded several areas in Gaza overnight, and a number of military vehicles crossed the border near Beit Lahiya in the north, witnesses said on Sunday. Artillery shelling reportedly targeted the northern Gaza town of Jabaliya, while tanks and special forces were said to have entered the evacuated Israeli settlement of Dogit, northwest of Beit Lahiya. Machine gun fire was reported, and fighter jets were heard flying overhead. Israel's military confirmed firing two mortar shells toward what they said was the launching post for mortars fired the same night. According to Israeli sources, Palestinians launched a mortar shell toward southern Israel that landed in an open area in the Eshkol Regional Council. There were no reports of injury or damage. Separately, in the Al-Waha area of the northern Gaza Strip, fishermen said they came under fire from Israeli warships. 

Hamas calls for new uprising in response to Al-Aqsa clashes
9/27/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - The Hamas movement urged Palestinians throughout the West Bank, Gaza, and Israel to take to the streets and begin a new uprising against Israel in reaction to clashes at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem on Sunday. In his call for protests, senior Hamas leader Muhammad Abu Askar in Gaza also called on Arabs and Muslims throughout the world to take action to defend the mosque. By midday on Sunday, 26 people were said to be injured after stone-throwing Palestinians fought Israeli riot police after right-wing Jewish activists entered the Al-Aqsa compound. Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri said the Israeli "attack" on Al-Aqsa was an attempt to escalate the situation. "The Israeli occupation is not interested in calm," he said, holding Israel accountable for the repercussions of the escalation. 

PLO slams ’provocative attack’ on Jerusalem worshipers
9/28/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The top Palestinian negotiator, Dr Saeb Erakat, on Sunday condemned what he termed Israeli violence against worshippers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem earlier the same day. "This attack on ordinary civilians and worshippers at Al-Aqsa is unacceptable," he said in a statement to Ma'an. "Israel must cease all actions that will only inflame the situation. " Dozens of Palestinians and several police officers sustained injuries during clashes that erupted after a group settlers reportedly entered the Old City compound under the watch of Israeli forces operating in the area. "Providing a police escort for settlers who are against peace at all costs, and whose presence is deliberately designed to provoke a reaction, are not the actions of someone who is committed to peace, but of someone who will go to extraordinary lengths to scuttle all hopes of peace. 

One killed, two injured in Rafah tunnel collapse
9/27/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - A young Palestinian man was killed and two others injured after a tunnel collapsed in the As-Salam neighborhood of the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah on Sunday, medics said. Muawiya Hassanein, director of ambulance and emergency services at the Ministry of Health, identified the deceased as 20-year-old Ismail Abu Jleidan. He said two others were pulled from the debris and treated on the spot. Last Friday, another young man died and two more were injured in a similar collapse in the Brazil neighborhood of Rafah. Smugglers maintain a massive network of tunnels under the Gaza-Egypt border, using them to import food, fuel, consumer goods, and anything else made scarce by an Israli-led blockade of the tiny coastal territory. 

Israeli forces detain two Palestinians near Nablus
9/27/2009 - Nablus - Ma'an - Israeli forces detained two young Palestinian men from the northern West Bank village of Madama, south of Nablus, on Saturday night, according to a local official. The detention took place at a military checkpoint near the Israeli settlement of Ariel, said Madama village council head Hasan Ziyada. In a telephone call, he identified the detainee as 35-year-old Rafiz Nassar and 26-year-old Alaa Zayada. Both are construction workers, he said. [end] 

Report: Man shot by PA escapes via Israeli checkpoint
9/27/2009 - Hebron - Ma'an - Palestinian Authority security forces on Sunday shot and injured a 30-year-old man who reportedly later escaped through an Israeli checkpoint south of Hebron. PA security sources said that the man, who they identified as Mohammad Sa'di Ash-Shruf, was "wanted" by security forces on unspecified charges. The sources said a PA officer shot Ash-Shruf in the leg as he attempted to flee arrest. Israeli sources confirmed that the young man was injured and that he had arrived at an Israeli checkpoint near the Zif intersection south of Hebron, where military medics treated his injury and transported him to a Beersheva hospital for treatment. The Israeli sources said Ash-Shruf sustained injuries to the foot rather than leg, and described his condition as moderate. 

In Cuba, Abbas says peace deal would encourage stability
9/27/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday reiterated the Palestinian Authority's commitment to international legitimacy, calling on the world to insist that Israel adhere to UN resolutions. He said Israel should halt settlement activities and allow the Palestinian people to build their own state and live side by side in peace. During a speech in the Cuban capital of Havana, Abbas said, "This is the best solution, and if the question of Palestine is not solved, the Middle East will remain disturbed. " "An Israeli withdrawal from Palestine, the Syrian Golan Heights, and the Lebanese territories is a top priority," he said. "Once that is achieved, Israel will enjoy normal relations with all Arab and Islamic countries. "He added, "We tell Israel that if they withdraw from the Palestinian territories, all Arab and Islamic countries will be able to normalize relations with you. 

PA condemns ’state terror’ at Al-Aqsa
9/28/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - The Palestinian Authority joined a chorus of institutions and leaders condemning what officials termed a provocative visit to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem on Sunday. The PA's Information Ministry released a statement that slammed the actions of "Israeli occupation police and extremist settlers" wanting to "implement a new series of organized state terror" in Palestinian East Jerusalem. At least 40 people were injured and five arrested as fierce clashes broke out near the Old City-area mosque on Sunday after a group of right-wing Israelis reportedly entered the compound under police watch. The PA called on world media to expose "the ugly face of the Israeli occupation that does not hold any value to the sanctities of Islam and Christianity [or] freedom of worship. " Palestinians were hurt by police batons and high-velocity tear-gas canisters, including several who sustained serious eye and head injuries. 

Hamas: Al-Aqsa violence a product of New York summit
9/27/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Hamas urged the Palestinian Authority to immediately stop negotiations with Israel in protest of the violence at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem on Sunday. Hamas leader Mushir Al-Masri told a demonstration in Gaza City that clashes were "the fruit of the three-way meeting that was held in Washington between [Palestinian President] Abbas, [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu and [US President Barack] Obama. " Hamas staged demonstrations in Gaza City and Khan Younis in protest of the violence. Dozens were injured in clashes that took place earlier after right-wing religious Jews reportedly entered the Al-Aqsa compound ahead of the Jewish Holy Day of Yom Kippur. Israeli border guards used stun grenades and batons to attack stone-throwing protesters inside the compound. In Khan Younis, Hamas leader Saleh Ar-Raqab urged Arab states to cut economic and political ties with Israel, demanding solidarity with Palestinians. 

J’lem archbishop: Israel targets mosque today, church tomorrow
9/27/2009 - Jerusalem - Ma'an - Archbishop Atallah Hanna, one of the highest-ranking Christian clergymen in Jerusalem, declared Sunday's violence near the Al-Aqsa Mosque a dark premonition of Israel's plans for the city. "What is being planned for Jerusalem is very dangerous," the archbishop said in a statement. "What happened today at the Al-Aqsa yard is a dangerous indicator of what Israeli authorities intend to work toward on Al-Aqsa, in particular, and in Jerusalem, in general. "Dozens were injured in clashes that took place after right-wing religious Jews reportedly entered the Al-Aqsa compound ahead of the holy day of Yom Kippur. Israeli police used stun grenades and batons to disperse stone-throwing protesters inside and near the mosque. "We, as Christian Palestinians and Jerusalemites, cannot keep watching with our hands folded in the face of what happened today," Hanna continued. 

Hamas: Elections cannot be held on time
9/27/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - Hamas believes that elections simply cannot be held on schedule on 25 January 2010, sources in the movement in the West Bank told Ma'an on Sunday. The sources stated several reasons for why the poll cannot be held on time. First, they said, both Hamas and Fatah are not ready for elections. Logistical arrangements have not been made; the public is not yet ready for elections. Safeguards of public freedoms have yet to be put in place and political arrests are ongoing. Election registers are yet to be prepared. Finally, in Hamas' view, the split with Fatah must come to an end as a prerequisite to hold elections in both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The Hamas sources asserted that if Palestinian factions and political parties agree on postponing the elections, this could still be done in a legal way, especially if it is done through the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC). 

PA accused of distributing inferior quality bread to the poor
9/27/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Ordinary Palestinians are complaining that the Palestinian Authority's(PA) Ministry of Social Affairs is distributing inferior quality pita bread to needy families. After receiving several complaints of inedible bread from families in the West Bank, Ma'an spoke with shop owners who are tasked with delivering the bread to the public. Most of the merchants confirmed that the food-aid bread is completely different from normal pita found in bakeries. Asked why this bread could be different, shop owners said they believed the bread was made from expired or otherwise poor quality flour. They added that the PA began distributing this type of bread to needy families about two months ago. They reported that dozens of families had stopped collecting their bread allowance because children refused to eat it or because it simply tasted bad. 

Mash’al in Cairo to give unity response
9/28/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Hamas has confirmed that senior leader Khalid Mash'al is in Cairo to present the movement's response to Egypt's latest proposal for a Palestinian coalition or unity government. According to spokesperson Fawzi Barhoum in Gaza, Mash'al is in Cairo alongside Muhammad Nasser, and Moussa Abu Marzuq, who are also members of Hamas' Political Bureau in Damascus. Joining them will be a delegation of top leaders from Gaza, including Mahmoud Az-Zahhar, Khalil Al-Haya and Nizar Awadallah, who departed for Cairo on Sunday. "A delegation on such a level may reflect Hamas' seriousness and high sense of responsibility in dealing with the Egyptian proposal in a way that would guarantee bringing success to the Egypt's efforts toward reconciliation," Barhoum told Ma'an in a phone call. "Hamas' response comes to reinforce real partnership to restore the prerequisites. . . 

The National

Gaza peace protester is imprisoned in own home
27 Sep 2009 - Dozens of Arab political activists living in Israel have faced long-term detention by police since the winter assault in Gaza.

Police contain riot at sensitive Jerusalem holy site
27 Sep 2009 - Israeli police fired stun grenades to disperse 150 Palestinians who hurled stones at Jewish worshipers visiting Temple Mount.

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. 

Aljazeera

Iran fires rockets in show of force
27 Sep 2009 - Short-range missiles fired two days after Western criticism over new nuclear site.

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.

Palestine News Network

Gaza Development Authority: a New Deal model for the Middle East
27 Sep 2009 - UN / Rene Wadlow - It is difficult to predict the political future of Gaza both in terms of relations between Hamas and Fateh as well as the future relations with Israel and Egypt. What is certain is the Israel-Gaza conflict and the long embargos have crippled and in some cases destroyed the manufacturing and agricultural sectors of the Gaza Strip where some...

Urgent meeting of Islamic Conference to protect Mosque, PA official banned from Old City
27 Sep 2009 - Jerusalem / PNN - The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Mohammad Hussein, the Imam of Al Aqsa Mosque, said tonight that the Organization of the Islamic Conference is holding an urgent meeting to discuss ways to protect Palestinian holy sites. He said this is particularly crucial in light of the silence of the international community toward practices such as those today and other...

Reactions from Palestinians in the Knesset after Israelis attack Al Aqsa: planned provocation
27 Sep 2009 - Jerusalem / PNN – Palestinian member of the Israeli Knesset Masoud Ghanayem described Sunday’s attack on Al Aqsa Mosque as a declaration of war against all Arabs and Muslims in the world. The MK of the United Arab List said, “What happened today on the eve of Yom Kippur is only evidence of police collusion with these extremist groups.”He described the current climate...

Extremists have attempted for weeks to storm Al Aqsa
27 Sep 2009 - Jerusalem / Maisa Abu Ghazaleh for PNN – As attacks continued inside the Al Aqsa Mosque courtyards today, sporadic clashes went on at the outer gates. Dozens of people were injured by gas, bullets and beatings while others were arrested.At the Bab Hatta gate just after noon prayers a number of young people were arrested by an Israeli undercover unit there. All Muslims...

Injuries inside Al Aqsa Mosque as Israeli forces fire gas and bullets, beat medics
27 Sep 2009 - Jerusalem / Maisa Abu Ghazaleh for PNN – In a scene reminiscent of actions that sparked the second Intifada, Israeli forces stormed Al Aqsa Mosque today. Dubbed the Al Aqsa Intifada, that which began in September 2000 when Ariel Sharon entered the Mosque courtyards with a contingent of heavily armed soldiers, a version of the nine year old assault was played out in...

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...

Inter Press Service

MIDEAST: A Good Time Not to Make Peace 
JERUSALEM, Sep 27 (IPS) - Most analysts agree that the past week of Middle East diplomacy has actually set back the cause of peacemaking. If they are right that the intensive U.S.-led effort has actually diminished prospects for a breakthrough towards Palestinian-Israel peace, who is to blame?

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 Publishes ‘Targeted Civilians’ a Comprehensive Report on the Israeli Military Offensive against the Gaza Strip

International Solidarity Movement

Free Mohammad Othman now!
9/27/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Stop the Wall, 24 September 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. Mohammad, 33 years old, has dedicated the last ten years of his life to the defense of Palestinian human rights. He has campaigned with the Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign against the dispossession of Palestinian farmers and against the involvement of Israeli and international business in the violations of Palestinian human rights. His village, Jayyous, has been devastated by the Apartheid Wall and Zufim - a settlement, built by Lev Leviev's companies. These companies are facing a successful boycott campaign because of their violations of Palestinian rights. 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

William Safire, commentator and staunch Israel defender, dies
27 Sep 2009 - A family friend says conservative columnist and longtime wordsmith William Safire died of pancreatic cancer. ...

WATCH: What does Hugo Chavez think of Ahmadinejad's Holocaust denial?
27 Sep 2009 - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says he disagrees with his ally, Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, on whether or not the Holocaust took place, though he added that the West has also engaged in its own form of denial in its failure to acknowledge the impact of colonialism on South America. ...

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. ... 

Michael Oren still 'enjoying every minute' as Israel's envoy to U.S.
26 Sep 2009 - WASHINGTON, D.C. - His office in the embassy - with the picture of Israel's president hanging above the desk, a statuette of appreciation from the Nahal Brigade behind it and a long row of books - is probably not too different from the offices of ambassadors the world over. But the tasks confronted by Israel's top diplomat to the United States, Michael Oren, are entirely different. Since taking over the job in May, he hasn't had a moment of peace and quiet. Nonetheless, he says, "There are no dramas," adding that, "There's not much time to sleep either, but I'm enjoying every minute." ... 

The cowardice, the vanity, the sin of boycotting Israel
26 Sep 2009 - Click here for more articles by Bradley Burston ... 

The Guardian

Bill Speirs Obituary
27 Sep 2009 - Scottish TUC general secretary and key figure on the left Bill Speirs, who has died at the age of 57 after a long illness, was an able and articulate trade union leader who served as general...

Real reform in Israel is a distant prospect | Ben White
27 Sep 2009 - Netanyahu ploughed through opposition to get land reforms passed, but they have serious consequences for Palestinians Once again, issues like the settlement "freeze" are dominating the official peace process, ignoring not only core questions like Israel's "...

Ha'aretz National page

Erekat: Israel deliberately escalating tensions in Jerusalem 
26 Sep 2009 - Palestinian leaders warned Israel on Sunday not to stoke tension in Jerusalem in the hope of thwarting peace talks, after clashes at a sacred site in which Palestinians and Israeli police were injured. ...

Anti-Semitism may be spurring wave of aliyah from Sweden
26 Sep 2009 - 2009 may prove to be a peak year for immigration from Sweden, according to Jewish and Christian Zionist officials involved in facilitating this immigration, which they say may be connected with anti-Semitism and Israel-hatred in Sweden. ...

Israel comes to a halt as Yom Kippur begins
26 Sep 2009 - The start of the Jewish Day of Atonement at sundown Sunday marked the beginning of a day like no other in Israel, on which even Israelis with no connection to religion tend to put their normal lives on hold. ...

Israeli scientists: We've mapped unconscious human thought
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. ... 

Israel's Shahar Pe'er wins second straight tourney on women's tennis tour 
26 Sep 2009 - 

Relief Web

OPT: US - Endorse goldstone report on Gaza
27 Sep 2009 - Source: Human Rights Watch

OPT: UNRWA & EC launch the Balloon Mobile in Fawwar refugee camp
27 Sep 2009 - Source: European Commission, UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East

Al Mezan urges UN Human Rights Council members to endorse Goldstone Mission recommendations and calls for action to protect human rights in OPT
27 Sep 2009 - Source: Al Mezan Center for Human Rights

Small island states warn ecosystems already threatened by climate change effects, urge drastic reduction in greenhouse gases, as Assembly continues debate
27 Sep 2009 - Source: UN General Assembly

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

YNet News

Police, MDA on high alert for Yom Kippur 
27 Sep 2009 - Israel freezes its activities for 24 hours of fasting, prayers and bicycle rides as holy Jewish day commences. Following last year's riots in Akko, police and emergency services declare heightened state of alert in north for fear of possible clashes between Jews, Arabs 

Mount Hebron: Leftists bring Palestinians water 
27 Sep 2009 - Activists say Palestinians living in caves, temporary buildings forced to pay NIS 50 for gallon of water, as they must bring it from afar. Civil Administration: We supply Palestinians with water 

Gates: Iran planning on obtaining nuclear weapons
27 Sep 2009 - In interview with ABC network, US secretary of defense says he is unsure if Iranians have already 'made a formal decision' on nuclear issue. According to Iranian nuclear energy agency chairman, facility in Qom was built as preventative step against potential attack on facilities. British newspaper reports that Saudi green light given for an Israeli attack 

26 lightly injured in Temple Mount riot
27 Sep 2009 - Group of tourists enters holy site in Jerusalem accompanied by police force. Some 150 Muslim worshippers gather around them, some hurling stones. Nine policemen, 17 worshippers lightly hurt; five people detained 

Report: Iran tests 2 short-range missiles in war games
27 Sep 2009 - Islamic Republic TV says tests included multiple missile launcher. On Monday, state radio reports, elite Revolutionary Guards to test-fire missile that could reach Israel 

UN chief, Europeans chide Iran's new atom plant
27 Sep 2009 - US, Europeans call Iran's revelation of formerly secret uranium enrichment plant 'a major challenge to international peace and security', demanding 'unfettered access' to Qom site within weeks 

Turkey wants UN body to discuss Gaza 'war crimes' 
27 Sep 2009 - PM Erdogan says his country will push Security Council to discuss report accusing Israel and Hamas of war crimes during Operation Cast Lead. 'Whoever is the guilty party, they should be identified and face the necessary sanctions,' he adds 

Mortar shell hits south; IDF fires back 
27 Sep 2009 - No injuries or damage reported as mortar lands in Eshkol Regional Council on Saturday night. Army responds by firing two shells at launching spot 

Daily Star

Christians tempted to emigrate as Lebanon grows increasingly 'Islamized' 
27 Sep 2009

Lebanese citizenship not an option - PLO chief 
27 Sep 2009

Security forces apprehend family-feud killer 
27 Sep 2009

Spectacular ceremony kicks off Francophone games in Lebanon 
27 Sep 2009

Lebanese opposition parties blast LF leader's call to form majority cabinet 
27 Sep 2009

UNIFIL says 'terrorists' in Palestinian camps threat to national security 
27 Sep 2009

Assad to take back Golan at any cost - Wahhab 
27 Sep 2009

Geagea insists majority government would solve cabinet conundrum 
27 Sep 2009

Beirut ranks 175th globally for quality of living 
27 Sep 2009

Palestinian and Israeli hikers tell clashing tales of the land 
27 Sep 2009

Egypt detains 16 Islamists in latest roundup 
27 Sep 2009

Obama welcomes international help in confronting Iran's nuclear program 
27 Sep 2009

Iran test-fires missiles amid nuclear tension 
27 Sep 2009

A coherent response from Iran is now required 
27 Sep 2009

Palestinian Information Center

Error in running event chain
28 Sep 2009 - Error occurred while trying to run the event chain.

Los Angeles Times

Disclosure of nuclear plant adds to Iran rift 
27 Sep 2009 - Iranians have always rallied around their country's nuclear ambitions, but it's unclear whether they will support President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei this time. The international pressure and diplomatic embarrassment facing Iran after the secret of its second nuclear plant was revealed by the U.S. two days ago are deepening the rancor between the country's opposition movement and those loyal to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. 

U.S., allies to press Iran for free access to facility 
27 Sep 2009 - No deadline has been set but Tehran would probably have to comply within weeks, an American official says. The U.S. and its allies plan to demand that Iran provide "unfettered access" to scientists and information regarding an underground uranium enrichment plant suspected of being part of a secret nuclear weapons program, an Obama administration official said Saturday. 

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

News Analysis: Warmer U.S.-Russia Relations May Yield Little in Action Toward Iran
27 Sep 2009 - Russia, a neighbor of Iran, is far more intertwined with it geopolitically than any other world power, and has more concerns about upsetting relations. 

Palestinians and Israelis Clash at Jerusalem Holy Site
27 Sep 2009 - Palestinians and Israeli police fought after Muslim worshippers threw stones at a group of foreign tourists, apparently mistaking them for Jewish activists. 

U.S. Is Seeking Tougher Sanctions Against Iran
27 Sep 2009 - The sanctions could include a cutoff of investments to the Iranian oil-and-gas industry and restrictions on many more banks than those currently blacklisted. 

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

Misc

Arrest of Palestinian children on the rise
9/25/2009 - Electronic Intifada - Mel Frykberg, BILIN, occupied West Bank (IPS) - Eight children between the ages of 10 and 17 were arrested and detained by Israeli soldiers during military raids Monday night and Tuesday morning in the northern West Bank cities Nablus and Qalqiliya. Defence for Children International- Palestine Section (DCI) has released a statement that the number of children detained in Israeli jails and temporary Israeli army detention centers this year has risen by 17. 5 percent compared with 2008. "The average number of Palestinian children held in Israeli detention in 2009 remains high, at 375 per month compared with an average of 319 in 2008," says DCI. "Disturbingly, 39 young children between the ages of 12 and 15 were detained in August 2009. This is up 85 percent compared to the corresponding period in 2008 of 21 children. " 

Police contain riot at sensitive Jerusalem holy site 
9/27/2009 - The National - JERUSALEM // Israeli police fired stun grenades on Sunday to disperse 150 Palestinians who hurled stones at Jewish worshipers visiting a sensitive religious site in the Old City before the start of the holiest day for Jews. Two policemen were lightly wounded, a spokesman said, and Palestinian medics said they evacuated a Palestinian man suffering from a head injury. Police restored calm and closed the complex after the incident. The incident occurred before Yom Kippur in the complex known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as al Harm al Sharif (Noble Sanctuary). It houses al Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock and overlooks the Western Wall, a Jewish prayer site. Israel captured the Temple Mount in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed it with the rest of East Jerusalem, in a move not recognised internationally. 

Palestinians join Israeli army for better life 
9/25/2009 - The National - Jonathan Cook - Arrabeh, Israel // Demands from Israel’s chief commander this month that all Israeli citizens should be required to perform national service has turned the spotlight on a rarely discussed group of soldiers: members of Israel’s Palestinian minority. Dr Rhoda Kanaaneh, a Middle East expert at New York University, says the Israeli air force continues to exclude Palestinians. Jonathan Cook / The NationalThough no official statistics are available, an estimated 3,000 of Israel’s 1. 3 million Palestinian citizens have broken one of their society’s biggest taboos and are currently serving, often as combat troops on the front line of the conflict with their Palestinian kin, in the occupied territories. These Palestinians – nearly a fifth of Israel’s population – are the descendants of Palestinians who managed to avoid being expelled when the Jewish state was established in 1948. 

Gaza peace protester is imprisoned in own home 
9/27/2009 - The National - Jonathan Cook - NAZARETH // Nine months after he helped to organise protests against Israel’s attack on Gaza, Samih Jabareen is a prisoner in his home in Jaffa, near Tel Aviv, an electronic bracelet around his ankle to alert the police should he step outside his front door. The 40-year-old actor and theatre director is one of dozens of Arab political activists in Israel who have faced long-term detention during and since Israel’s winter assault on Gaza in what human rights groups are calling political intimidation and repression of free speech by the Israeli police and courts. A report published last week by Adalah, an Arab legal rights group in Israel, said 830 Israeli demonstrators, the overwhelming majority of them Arab citizens, were arrested for participating in mostly peaceful demonstrations during the 23 days of the Gaza operation. 

Israel demands PA drop war crimes suit at The Hague 
9/27/2009 - Ha'aretz - Tensions are mounting between Israel and the Palestinian Authority following Ramallah's call on the International Court at The Hague to examine claims of "war crimes" that the IDF allegedly committed during Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip. The issue is already weighing in on the relations between the leadership of Israel's defense and security establishment with their counterparts in the West Bank, and is part of a growing list of Israeli complaints about the behavior of PA officials. Meanwhile, Israel has warned the Palestinian Authority that it would condition permission for a second cellular telephone provider to operate in the West Bank - an economic issue of critical importance to the PA leadership - on the Palestinians withdrawing their request at the International Court. The issue of a second cellular provider is at the center of talks between the PA, the international Quartet, and Israel, and has been ongoing for some months. 

VIDEO - IDF releases video of air strike on Gaza rocket squad 
9/27/2009 - Ha'aretz - The Israel Defense Forces on Saturday released footage of an air strike the previous evening on a group Gaza militants who were launching a rocket into Israel. The Palestinian militants were all killed in the air strike, which took place east of Gaza City. The IDF said in a statement that the men belonged to the Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad. It also said they had been part of cell that had fired Qassam rockets into Israel over the past few weeks, including the cross-border attack on the recent Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah. The IDF identified the men as Mahmoud Mussah Rammadan Bana, Kamel Hamdan Ibrahim Dahduh and Mohamed Salem Barawi Marshoud. In the statement, the army warned that it would "respond harshly to any attempt to break the calm in Israel's southern communities. " Following IAF strike, Jihad vows to 'teach Israel a lesson'Following the air strike, Islamic 

Israeli vigilantes target young Arab-Jewish couples 
9/28/2009 - Times of London - It’s past 10pm, but work has just begun for the group of vigilantes in a small white hatchback patrolling the streets of Pisgat Ze’ev — a Jewish settlement on the outskirts of east Jerusalem. As the car crawls through the nearly empty streets, the men peer out at couples. They say they are experts at spotting those that don’t “match”. “Stop, right there. Stop the car. Is he an Arab? That dark guy. . . If they are both Jewish, keep the car moving!” yells out ‘David’, a 31-year-old Jewish settler who does not use his real name. For more than a decade, David has considered it his unofficial job to patrol the streets looking for mixed Arab-Jewish couples. “We are protecting the Jewish people, our traditions, our heritage. Some people just get mixed up. We talk to them, explain why it’s important for Jews to be with Jews,” he said. 

Egyptian minister urges swap for Israeli soldier 
9/25/2009 - Antiwar.com - Egyptian minister urges Israel to release 1,000 Palestinians in return for Israeli soldiers - Egypt's foreign minister urged Israel on Friday to release 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for an Israeli soldier captured in 2006. Egypt has been mediating a prisoner swap and Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit said Israel needs to show flexibility. A year ago, Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar accused Israel of going back on a promise to release 1,000 Palestinian prisoners for Cpl. Gilad Shalit who was captured by Hamas-allied militants in a cross-border 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 they are after," Aboul Gheit said in an interview with the Associated Press on the sidelines of the U. 

Clinton seeks Arabs’ help on stalled Mideast talks 
9/26/2009 - Antiwar.com - Hillary Clinton presses Arabs for goodwill gestures toward Israel, support for Palestinians - Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Saturday urged Arab nations to take steps toward normalizing relations with Israel and supporting the Palestinians in an effort to help restart stalled Mideast peace talks. Clinton made the case with senior officials from Oman, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates on the sidelines of the U. N. General Assembly. The session followed President Barack Obama's talks this past week with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The Obama administration wants Arab states to make "tangible" and "credible" goodwill gestures toward Israel and provide political and economic support to Abbas to lay the groundwork for a resumption in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. 

Arabs and Israelis tell clashing tales of the land 
9/26/2009 - Antiwar.com - Arabs and Israeli hike the land retracing their dueling histories - Israeli and Palestinian hikers are taking to the hills in the footsteps of their ancestors — deploying maps, holy texts and walking boots in the long-running battle for control of the Holy Land. In Israel and the West Bank, bands of enthusiasts trek over the same paths mentioned in antiquity and past villages abandoned to wars. But Israeli and Palestinian hikers mostly emphasize their attachment to the land and ignore each other's historical footprints. In northern Israel's Ramot Menashe Park, guide Innon Kahalany recently led a group past pungent fig trees, bringing to life characters of the Old Testament, which he calls Israel's first guide book. He vividly described how on nearby Mount Carmel, the Jewish prophet Elijah challenged the priests of the heathen god Baal. 

Egypt says Israel lacks will for credible Mideast peace talks 
9/26/2009 - Yahoo! News - UNITED NATIONS (AFP) – Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit on Saturday accused Israel of lacking the political will to enter "serious and credible" peace talks with the Palestinians. " Throughout this year, Israel has shown lack of the necessary political will to engage in serious and credible negotiations that aim at reaching a final settlement to the conflict," he told the 192-member UN General Assembly. Abul Gheit outlined Egyptian proposals urging the international community to put forward "the formula for the final settlement" and stressing the need "to ensure Israel's commitment to halt all settlement activity in the occupied Palestinian Territory, including east Jerusalem. " The freeze on Israeli settlement activity "should go simultaneously and in parallel with the negotiating track in order to reinforce the Palestinian confidence in Israeli intentions," he added. 

VIDEO - Gaza’s Water Supply Near Collapse 
9/26/2009 - Uruknet - TheGlobalReport - The International Committee of the Red Cross has warned that Gaza's access to safe supply of drinking water could cease at any time. The World Health Organization says outbreaks of disease could be triggered as a consequence. [end] 

Gaza figures to form a lobby to improve life in Gaza 
9/27/2009 - Monsters and Critics - Gaza - Around 300 Gaza figures, including independent politicians and intellectuals, are to form a lobby to improve daily life in the salient in the face of an ongoing Israeli blockade, the organization, the Palestinian Lobby Group, announced Saturday. Talal Aoukal, spokesman for the group, said in a statement that the aim of the lobbying group was to ease the blockade and resolve problems that resulted from the internal rift between rival Palestinian groups Fatah and Hamas. 'We had already held five meetings on forming the group to resolve daily living problems ignored by political leaders such as the closure of crossings, water, electricity, education and healthcare,' said Aoukal. Israel has imposed a tight blockade on the Gaza Strip right after Islamic Hamas movement seized control of the Gaza Strip in June 2007. 

Minister Braverman: Seek Arabs’ forgiveness 
9/26/2009 - YNetNews - Government should ask Arabs for forgiveness ahead of Yom Kippur, minister for minority affairs says - Minister for Minority Affairs Avishay Braverman urged the government Saturday to "ask for the forgiveness of Israel's Arabs" ahead of Yom Kippur. "The State of Israel needs to considerably ameliorate its attitude to the Arab population in general, and the Bedouin community in particular," the minister said at a meeting of Bedouin local council heads in the south. Before the session, Minister Braverman toured several Bedouin communities in the Negev desert and heard the problems faced by local residents. In one case, residents complained that despite living in a community officially recognized by Israel, they do not have access to water, sewage, and electricity infrastructure. "We must make progress this year in respect to addressing the Bedouin population," Braverman said. 

Ehud Olmert defiant as corruption trial begins 
9/25/2009 - The Guardian - Rory McCarthy in Jerusalem - Former Israeli prime minister faces charges of secret campaign funding, fraud over travel costs and personal favours - The Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert, speaks at a conference in the US prior to meeting George Bush. Photograph: Lawrence Jackson/AP'I believe my innocence will be proven,' said Ehud Olmert as his trial began on corruption charges. Photograph: Lawrence Jackson/APEhud Olmert, the former Israeli prime minister, has appeared in a Jerusalem court at the start of a high-profile corruption trial, insisting he will be acquitted. Olmert, 63, resigned his party leadership in September 2008 as the pressure of several corruption investigations mounted against him. Last month he was charged with crimes including fraud and breach of trust in three separate cases dating back to when he was Jerusalem mayor and then a government minister. 


Articles

On Palestinian civil disobedience 
Neve Gordon, Redress 9/28/2009
      Israeli academic Neve Gordon argues that it is crucial that the media and the international community recognize the heroism of the Palestinians who engage in daily acts of civil disobedience against the Israeli occupation.
     Sometime in 1846, Henry David Thoreau spent a night in jail because he refused to pay his taxes. This was his way of opposing the Mexican-American War as well as the institution of slavery. A few years later he published the essay Civil Disobedience, which has since been read by millions of people, including many Israelis and Palestinians.
     Kobi Snitz read the book. He is an Israeli anarchist who is currently serving a 20-day sentence for refusing to pay a 2,000 shekel fine.
     Thirty-eight-year-old Snitz was arrested with other activists in the small Palestinian village of Kharbatha back in 2004 while trying to prevent the demolition of the home of a prominent member of the local people’s committee. The demolition, so it seems, was carried out both to intimidate and punish the local leader who had, just a couple of weeks earlier, began organizing weekly demonstrations against the annexation wall. Both the demonstrations and the attempt to stop the demolition were acts of civil disobedience.
     In a letter sent to friends the night before his incarceration, Snitz writes: “I and the others who were arrested with me are guilty of nothing except not doing more to oppose the state’s truly criminal policies.” Snitz also explains that paying the fine is an acknowledgment of guilt which he finds demeaning. Finally, he concludes his epistle by insisting that his punishment is trivial when compared to the punishment meted out to Palestinian teenagers who have resisted the occupation. These 12-, 14-, 15- and 16-year olds, he claims, are often detained for 20 days before the legal process even begins. more.. e-mail

The Consequences of the Palestinian-Israel Status Quo 
William Pfaff, Antiwar.com 9/26/2009
      PARIS — There seems to have been a mistake made when President Barack Obama named former Sen. George J. Mitchell his special representative concerned with settlement of the Palestinian-Israel impasse.
     The president and Mr. Mitchell seem to have believed that the problem is one of negotiation between adamantly opposed but ultimately reconcilable parties.
     It is reasonable to make that assumption, and George Mitchell’s most imposing achievement was his success in Northern Ireland, as the Clinton administration intermediary between the Provisional IRA and the Northern Irish loyalist community.
     The issue between the communities was historically religious, as in the Middle East today, but had hardened into adamant nationalism, primitively territorial, with outrageous public clashes concerning a battle four centuries ago. It was both absurd and murderous, and therefore soluble, as even the most extreme on the two sides eventually could understand.
     In Jerusalem, Mr. Mitchell’s techniques of confidence building, isolation of specific issues, rational compromise on the nonessentials while approaching the essential have been a waste of everyone’s time. This conflict concerns God’s specific instruction to the Jewish people to re-occupy Jerusalem and the Palestinian West Bank.
     Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was not elected to negotiate a solution going against God’s express will, but to prevent a solution by blocking every avenue of negotiation.
     The Irish affair was a nationalist conflict, not a religious one, hence ultimately soluble. George Mitchell was an enabler. What was revealed last week by the meeting of Barack Obama with Benjamin Netanyahu was that defiance of God’s will for Israel is not subject to negotiation. Benjamin Netanyahu has made no secret of his position, but the American side has not taken him seriously, believing that he could be replaced if necessary. 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. 

In Gaza
expectations
27 Sep 2009 - I expected to be depressed today. Hamza ’s work had not panned out, my one hope that something good could happen in a Strip under siege…I knew when I returned to the Al Bateran families their problems would be just as massive as before, worse even with time. I knew Saud would not have found the meds he needs to ward of behaviour problems from his schizophrenia, and Fathiya would be admirably by his side but suffering from his moods swings and their biting poverty. I knew Amer would be a ragged and impoverished as always, through no fault of his own but because of his head injury from an...

Palestine Chronicle
A World Without Law
28 Sep 2009 - By Professor William A. Cook Consider the consequences of the Israeli PR blitz that is now blanketing the world as its defiant answer to the United Nations’ authorized investigation into war crimes and crimes against humanity by the state of Israel, known as the Goldstone Report. Ironically, the existence of the United Nations as an internationally accepted body charged with protection of all world citizens through its Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the continued acceptance by its members of the Geneva Conventions, resulted in part from the actions of the Nazi state against the Jews. Now the Jewish state of Israel, in a manner analogous to their situation in occupied Europe, have been charged with crimes against a people who have no state and no defense except international law as incorporated by the UN through the International Court of Justice. Should the Israeli blitz effectively neutralize the actions of the 192 nations that constitute the UN by forcing the United States to veto any action that would result from the Goldstone Report, it will have removed the rule of law from the international arena. Israel will have made it clear that it is subject to no law but its own. Consider the consequences of this act. The UN could not with any logic bring any nation into compliance with its Resolutions as George W. Bush did with Saddam’s Iraq. This fact makes graphic the hypocrisy of the US and Israel as they condemn North Korea, Syria, and...

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