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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
29 September, 2009

News

Uruknet

Is the Middle East heading towards the eighth war? [30-sep-2009 01:58 ECT]
September 29, 2009 - ...In the view of many Arab observers the failure of the American plan will push the region sooner or later towards a comprehensive war which would be the logical result of the aggressive Zionist policy. Are we heading towards the eighth Arab Israeli war, it is difficult to tell, but what is sure that the absence...

Video: The Women's Line - Qalandiya Checkpoint 11.9.2009, Third Firday of Ramadan [30-sep-2009 01:36 ECT]
September 30, 2009 - Israel denies Palestinians entry to Jerusalem all year round. On Ramadan, the Muslims ' month of fasting, Israel announced that "in honor of the holiday" it would allow elderly Palestinians to pray at the alAqsa mosque on Fridays. And this is what it looks like...

Malformed Babies Resulting From Israeli Banned Weapons [30-sep-2009 00:08 ECT]
September 29, 2009 - Since the end of criminal Israeli operation cast lead in Gaza Strip last January, more than five cases of birth have been registered which show babies who have a deformed and not fully formed heart. These births came as an effect of the use of internationally banned weapons of phosphor and uranium by the Israeli occupation...

Comrade Sa'adat: "Negotiations" provide cover for occupation crimes and must end [30-sep-2009 00:04 ECT]
September 29, 2009 - The anniversary of Al-Aqsa Intifada and the ongoing Zionist assaults urgently require all Palestinian forces to restore national unity to confront the occupation attacks and honor our people, said Comrade Leader Ahmad Sa'adat, the imprisoned General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, on September 28, 2009. Attorney Buthaina Duqmaq, President of the...

PCHR: Human Rights Council Must Endorse Findings and Recommendations of Goldstone Enquiry [29-sep-2009 23:51 ECT]
29 September 2009 - The reality of Operation Cast Lead, Israel's 23 day offensive on the Gaza Strip (27 December - 18 January) is now well known. The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) have investigated and documented numerous violations of international human rights and humanitarian law, many of which constitute war crimes and grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions....

Night raids in Bilin target activists [29-sep-2009 22:01 ECT]
For the last three months, residents of the West Bank village of Bilin have been subjected to constant night raids by the Israeli military. The raids are in retaliation for their five-year campaign of nonviolent resistance against Israel's wall, which is being constructed on the village's land. The Israeli authorities have arrested members of the Bilin Popular Committee as well...

Israel's vile anti-miscegenation squads When the police lend support to vigilante groups hounding Jewish-Arab couples, what hope is there for coexistence? [29-sep-2009 19:31 ECT]
September 29, 2009 - Whilst the proliferation of ultra-orthodox "vigilante police" is a stain on Israeli society, their Taliban-esque actions can at least be contextualised as the inevitable consequence of religious fundamentalism gone wild. Such communities are dominated by leaders who refuse to accommodate any form of modernisation or freedom of thought into their archaic systems of governance, and the...

Iran put nuclear site near base in case of attack [29-sep-2009 17:37 ECT]
September 29, 2009 - Iran's nuclear chief said Tuesday his country built its newly revealed uranium enrichment facility inside a mountain and next to a military site to ensure continuity of its nuclear activities in case of an attack. Vice President Ali Akbar Salehi, who also heads the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, reiterated that Iran is in talks with...

Report: Abbas drops demand for settlement freeze under US pressure [29-sep-2009 17:29 ECT]
September 29, 2009 - Two key Israeli officials will head to Washington on Wednesday for continued talks leading up to renewed peace negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, reportedly without the pre-condition of a settlement freeze. Aide to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's attorney, Yitzhak Molcho, and Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak's chief of staff Michael Herzog will attend the talks...

Don't Israel's nuclear weapons count? Netanyahu has what he wants to keep up the idea of his plucky, vulnerable little state [29-sep-2009 17:01 ECT]
September 29, 2009 - ...It has predictably rejected the long, sober, unbiased UN report on the last assault on Gaza chaired by Richard Goldstone. He accused Hamas of crimes against Jewish civilians and charged Israel with grave crimes, the breaking of the Geneva convention, punishing and terrorising unarmed civilians. I have some images of these victims sent to me by...

HONDURAS TODAY ~~ WE ARE ALL PALESTINIANS! [29-sep-2009 15:57 ECT]
September 29, 2009... - The Palestinian cause, in particular, is very close to my heart as they are my people. As Carlos himself stated, "WE ARE ALL PALESTINIANS". His series of cartoons dealing with that can be seen HERE. BUT.... this Blog deals with International Issues as well, especially those issues where Justice and Democracy are threatened. The Human Race...

Video: The Falseness of the Zionist State of Israel [29-sep-2009 14:58 ECT]
September 29, 2009 - This Video is to show the deception that has gone on for more then 61 years, The Palestinians were robbed of there Land by Zionists who were aided by the US UK and the UN. The World has seen crime after crime committed by the first Irgun then IDF against innocent civilians and even human rights...

Ha'aretz Defense page

Gaza militants fire two Qassam rockets into Israel
29 Sep 2009 - No casualties as rockets hit western Negev; Palestinians shoot at IDF troops along Gaza security fence. 

MI: IDF needs new ethics code for war on terror
29 Sep 2009 - MI chief says current code doesn't sufficiently address asymmetric warfare, such as in Gaza offensive. 

Court grants Palestinian man entry to Israel, despite state ban
29 Sep 2009 - Interior Ministry had West Bank man on 'security grounds', based on Shin Bet recomendation. 

Israeli moderately hurt in West Bank shooting
29 Sep 2009 - Palestinian opened fire on Israeli car near the settlement of Shilo; two Qassams strike west Negev. 

Israel marks 36th anniversary of Yom Kippur War
29 Sep 2009 - At ceremony in Jerusalem, Deputy Defense Min. speaks of IDF troops' bravery in repelling 1973 assault. 

Slight increase in security incidents along fence with Gaza
29 Sep 2009 - IDF reports 14 incidents of light-weapons fire and six attempted infiltrations in September. 

IAF destroys Gaza Strip rocket launcher ready for action
28 Sep 2009 - Gaza militants fire 3 Qassams, four mortar shells into Israel during Yom Kippur; no injuries reported. 

BACKGROUND / How big is Iran's military?
28 Sep 2009 - A breakdown of Iran's military capability, including equipment held by the Revolutionary Guards. 

EU calls Iran missile launch 'a concern'
28 Sep 2009 - White House official quoted as saying missile test a 'step forward' in Iran's capacity to deliver weapons. 

Ma'an News

Israeli forces seize dozens of Palestinians from Jerusalem’s Old City
9/29/2009 - Jerusalem - Ma'an - Israeli forces raided the Old City of Jerusalem on Monday night and seized some 50 Palestinians allegedly involved in the confrontations at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Sunday. According to Nasser Qus, head of Jerusalem office of the Palestinian prisoners' society, Israeli forces stormed the neighborhoods of As-Sa'diyya, Al-Wad street, Hutta Gate neighborhood, and Silsila neighborhood, in addition to Silwan, Thuri, Damascus Gate, and throughout the Old City. Israeli riot police used stun grenades and batons to disperse unarmed protesters at the Al-Aqsa compound on Sunday after Israeli settlers entered the area. Al-Aqsa is the third holiest site in Islam and a Palestinian national symbol. 

PA Police: Suicide numbers up, mostly among women
9/29/2009 - Salfit - Ma'an - Reported suicide attempts in the West Bank are already up 65% over 2008 numbers, the Department of Planning and Research in the Palestinian police reported Tuesday. While the number of successful attempts is down, numbers collected so far this year show a marked increase over the total for 2008. According to the report 312 attempts have so far been made, with eight deaths recorded. In all of 2008, there were 204 attempts and 12 deaths. The increase comes primarily from women, the report concluded, whose attempts far outnumbered their male counterparts, whereas in 2008 the ratio was roughly equal. The report also noted a steady increase in the number of reported attempts over the past five years. Social and family pressures were blamed for the majority of cases, the report noted, and many victims were from poor or struggling families, though poor grades among university students were also cited as a leading reason. 

Islamic Christian Society: Israel to enforce Jewish prayer time at Aqsa
9/29/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - Israel plans to allow Jewish worshipers to pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem on a regular basis, dividing prayer time between Muslims and Jews, officials at the Islamic Christian Society in Support of Jerusalem said Monday. Currently Israeli citizens are not permitted to enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, the Haram Ash-Sharif. On Sunday, however, clashes broke out inside the sanctuary when extremist Jews - reports dispute whether or not the culprits were Israeli citizens - entered the area along with Israeli soldiers. The compound was locked down during the clashes and 13 were injured. Israeli forces also raided Palestinian Jerusalem and detained dozens military sources say were involved in the clashes. According to the society, there will be 50 Jewish holidays on which Jews will have exclusive access to the compound for worship. 

Eight Azzun residents handed orders to demolish homes
9/29/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - Israeli forces handed demolition orders to eight Azzun residents, whose homes are now set for demolition within thirty days, Palestinian police reported Tuesday. The following residents of the town, in the Qalqiliya district, were targeted: Nasser Salameh Salim, Yousif Salameh Salim, Ikrema Salameh Salim, Azem Muhammad Ibrahim Salim, Hazim Muhammad Ibrahim Salim, Sa'd Rashed Salim, Kamal Yousif Salim, Khaled Yousef Salim. [end] 

Report: Abbas drops demand for settlement freeze under US pressure
9/29/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Two key Israeli officials will head to Washington on Wednesday for continued talks leading up to renewed peace negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, reportedly without the pre-condition of a settlement freeze. Aide to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's attorney, Yitzhak Molcho, and Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak's chief of staff Michael Herzog will attend the talks with US Middle East envoy George Mitchell and senior White House officials, according to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz. The article also noted Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had dropped the pre-condition of a settlement construction halt under US pressure. In exchange for the pressure for easing Abbas' demand on settlements, the Israeli daily reported, US President Bacack Obama promised Abbas that the Palestinian viewpoint will be taken into consideration in forming the "framework" for the negotiations. 

Haniyeh sees imminent unity agreement based on Egyptian plan
9/29/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Gaza's de facto Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said "the signing of the reconciliation agreement is near," and affirmed his party's approval for the framework of the agreement in an interview aired Tuesday. The "Hamas position on the Egyptian proposal is positive," he said, "because it constitutes the regulatory framework of national reconciliation. " Haniyeh also said he believes the proposal will be ready for signing after some parts are elaborated on during talks in October. Division will end as soon as the proposal is signed, he said. "If everything goes according to the agreement, the elections will be held in a time that it is agreed upon," indicating he feels accord will be reached over the Fatah hesitation over postponing the elections, as per the Egyptian plan, to the "first half of 2010. 

Gaza parents demand Israel release prisoners
9/29/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - The mothers and relatives of Palestinians held illegally in Israeli prisons held yet another demonstration in front of the Red Cross headquarters in Gaza on Monday calling for the release of their loved ones. Detainees from Gaza represent a minority (an estimated 1,000 out of 11,000) of the Palestinians held by Israel. Since June of 2007 Israel has also denied prisoners' families the right to visit their relatives as mandated under the Geneva Conventions. According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, the weekly vigil first started thirteen years ago in 1995, when two women, Umm Jaber (Mother of Jaber) and Umm Ibrahim stood together outside the ICRC building, holding photographs of their imprisoned sons. The ICRC building is symbolic because the Red Cross facilitated family visits until Israel began blocking the program in 2007. 

Report: The gendered impact of Israel’s war on Gaza
9/29/2009 - Through Women's Eyes: A PCHR Report on the Gender-Specific Impact and Consequences of Operation Cast Lead As a result of the patriarchal nature of Palestinian society, women in the Gaza Strip - victims of "˜peacetime' discrimination - are particularly susceptible to the marginalization, poverty, and suffering brought about as a result of armed conflict and occupation. Israeli attacks result in often ignored gender-specific consequences. In conjunction with the presentation of the UN Fact Finding Mission's report to the Human Rights Council on 29 September, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) released the following report, and testimony of 12 women who revealed the larger impact of the war. Below is one of those testimonies, which partially outline the impact of the war beyond the casualties and destruction. 

Al-Aqsa Intifada turns nine
9/30/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Palestinians quietly commemorated the ninth anniversary of the Second Intifada, as militant brigades vowed revenge for the Sunday attack on Al-Aqsa by Israeli extremists and soldiers. The Second Intifadah, also known as the Al-Aqsa Intifada, was precipitated by a provocative walk along the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, also the Jewish Western Wall, by then Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Nine years minus a day later, on 27 September, Israeli extremists illegally entered the Muslim compound for worship, accompanied by Israeli soldiers. Clashes ensued, and were followed by a wave of arrests throughout Palestinian East Jerusalem. Hamas' armed wing the Al-Qassam Brigades threatened to respond to the latest attempt to storm Al-Aqsa, saying "the occupation should wait for our response and they must be certain that the Al-Aqsa mosque can outbreak an Intifada. " 

Palestinians back Goldstone as Gaza report faces test
9/29/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Palestinian support for Justice Richard Goldstone's call for further investigations into allegations of war crimes committed during Israel's war on Gaza last winter is overwhelming. In dozens of interviews with ordinary people, civil society activists, and political figures of all stripes, Ma'an did not find a single person opposed to Goldstone or his time, aside from minor critiques of the report. Goldstone, a Jewish South African judge, presented his team's findings to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva on Tuesday. Ultimately, the report will need the backing of the Security Council to be referred either to the International Criminal Court or to a possible special tribunal similar to those established for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia. Salah Samouni, 31, who lost 29 of his relatives to the Israeli onslaught in January, is one of the people. . . 

Israel allows aid into Gaza after four-day lockdown
9/29/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - After sealing Gaza's borders completely for several days for the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur, Israel will allow minimal shipments of food and fuel into the territory on Tuesday. Palestinian crossings liaison official Raed Fattouh said 92-102 truckloads of food and "humanitarian" goods will enter the Gaza Strip through the Kerem Shalom border crossing on Tuesday. A shipment of European Union-supplied industrial fuel for Gaza's power plant will be allowed through the Nahal Oz crossing. Karni crossing, formerly the primary shipping terminal for goods into Gaza, will be open for minimal shipments. Israel has blockaded Gaza since June 2007 when Hamas took full control of the territory, essentially ending normal import and export shipping, and eliminating thousands of jobs. A ban on construction materials has made reconstruction from the recent Israeli war impossible. 

Bethlehem man seized at military checkpoint
9/29/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israeli soldiers seized a man when he attempted to cross a military checkpoint near the West Bank city of Bethlehem on Monday night, according to the Palestinian Authority (PA). According to PA police, Rami As'ad Thawabteh, 27, from the village of Beit Fajjar, was detained when he arrived at a checkpoint near the Gush Eztion Israeli settlement area. [end] 

Goldstone tells UN: War crimes accountability needed for peace
9/29/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - A lack of accountability for war crimes committed in the Middle East is undermining any hope for peace in the region, Justice Richard Goldstone, told the UN Hman Rights Council Tuesday. "A culture of impunity in the region has existed for too long," Goldstone, the author of the report, a former UN war crimes prosecutor and Jewish South African, told the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, was quoted by Reuters. "The lack of accountability for war crimes and possible war crimes against humanity has reached a crisis point; the ongoing lack of justice is undermining any hope for a successful peace process and reinforcing an environment that fosters violence," he continued. According to international, Israeli, and Palestinian human rights groups, between 1,100 and 1,500 Palestinians were killed during the attack Israel dubbed Operation Cast Lead. 

Sit in protest affects West Bank, Gaza’s public colleges
9/29/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Workers at Al-Aqsa University in Gaza City, The Khoudhouri College in Tulkarem, Aroub College in Hebron and the Palestinian Technical Institute in Ramallah held a sit-in strike Tuesday, in protest of a failure of the government to respond to requests for improved working conditions. The teachers are all members of the Public Workers Union, whose president Abed Al-Jawad Al-Atrash,said in a statement the strike was a planned event, and that further strike action would be planned for the following week if demands were not addressed. "Teachers at public institutions are facing a policy of procrastination," he said in front of the teachers Tuesday afternoon. [end] 

Israeli injured in WB shooting; settlers blame checkpoint removal
9/29/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - An unidentified Israeli settler was shot in his car while traveling in the occupied West Bank near the illegal settlement of Shvut Rachel north of Jerusalem Tuesday night, Israeli media sources reported. The man suffered mild to moderate wounds when a bullet hit his hand. Israeli police and border guards said the shots came from "unknown assailants," but noted they may have come from "terrorists situated at the side of the road. "The Israeli English news website Ynet quoted a settler leader as saying the "attack is a direct result of the removal of roadblocks. It's only by some miracle that the outcome of these attacks has been no worse than injuries, but you cannot base security policies on miracles. "

Israeli forces confiscate tractor of Jericho-area farmer
9/29/2009 - Jericho - Ma'an - Israeli forces entered Fasayel village near Jericho, and confiscated the tractor of a local farmer, police reported Tuesday. The owner of the tractor was identified as Jaser Khalil Muhammad Ka'abneh. [end] 

Israelis urge 'swift and powerful' response to 2 projectiles in Negev
9/29/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Israeli sources reported the landing of two projectiles they said were launched from Gaza in the western Negev Tuesday evening. Sources said the projectiles were launched approximately one hour apart and caused no injuries. "I am not ruling out the possibility that Hamas is testing our nerves and level of preparedness," Ashkelon Beach Regional Council head Yair Farjoun was quoted as telling the Israeli English news website Ynet following the incident. "Our response must be swift and powerful. We cannot allow the current situation to continue," he added. [end] 

UK attorneys seek Barak’s arrest
9/29/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Lawyers representing Palestinian families are seeking the arrest of Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak for alleged war crimes in the Gaza Strip, Al-Jazeera reported Monday. A lawyer working for the families told the news network he will present their case at a magistrate's court in London on Tuesday before British officials decide if it has the jurisdiction to decide the case. Barak is due in Britain on Tuesday to address a meeting of the Labor Friends of Israel on the sidelines of the ruling party's annual conference in the city of Brighton. The families hope that an arrest warrant will be issued during his visit, Al-Jazeera said. Michel Massih, the UK-based lawyer who is filing the case, said that he believed that the British government was obliged "to actively pursue people who are alleged to be involved in war crimes. 

Jordan summons Israeli charge d’affaires over Al-Aqsa violence
9/29/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Jordan summoned Israel's charge d'affaires in Amman on Sunday in protest over the Israeli settler intrusion into the Al-Aqsa Mosque courtyard that set of violent clashes. According to the Petra News Agency, Jordan's foreign ministry asked the Israeli envoy "to convey to his government Jordan's strong protest and denunciation of the raid as a vicious aggression against unarmed worshipers. " According to Petra, The ministry demanded that Israel immediately end such provocations, which it said threatened regional stability and undermined peace efforts. Dozens of Palestinians worshipers were injured when Israeli police used batons and stun grenades to disperse protesters who reportedly threw stones inside the Al-Aqsa compound in objection to the settlers' presence. Jordan's Minister of State for Media Affairs and Communications Nabil Al Sharif said the. . . 

Fatah promises to follow up on Jlm detentions after Aqsa clashes
9/29/2009 - Jerusalem - Ma'an - The detentions carried out by Israeli authorities allegedly targeting Palestinians who took part in the clashes at the Al-Aqsa Mosque Sunday are provocations, member of the Fatah Revolutionary Council Dmitri Deliany said Tuesday. Delainy called the mass detentions an "extension of the escalating provocations which aim to provoke reactions so Netanyahu's government can get out of its political impasse in the international arena. "  He said the actions revealed the real racist nature of the Israeli state, and advised the international community to take note and hold them to account. He promised that Fatah members were following up on the arrests and working to provide legal counsel for all those taken. 

Fayyad demands end to Israeli attacks, settler violence
9/29/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - "What is going on in Jerusalem, the Israeli attacks, is against the International law," Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad told reporters in Ramallah Tuesday. "Both Arab and foreign countries must take clear positions to compel Israel to stop its arbitrary practices" he said specifically referring to the clashes that broke out in the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem when extremist Israelis entered the area with armed soldiers on Sunday. Israeli actions in the holy city are changing its features, Fayyad said, and more restrictions are being put on Palestinians. "This will significantly harm the already faltering peace process, and will only lead to more of frustration and tension," he said. "Israel is dealing with the city of Jerusalem on the basis that it is out of the negotiations. 

All patients carried up the stairs as Beit Jala elevators break down
9/29/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Patients at the Beit Jala Governmental Hospital, including emergency surgeries and laboring mothers, must use the stairs after all elevators at the hospital were reportedly broken. Families of patients said loved ones were carried on stretchers ad gurneys up and down the stairs of the hospital when they needed to be moved from one ward to the next, even following surgeries. Doctors, nurses and sometimes friends of the patients would transport them from floor to floor. One elevator has been out of order for three months, though staff said Minister of Health Fathi Abu Moghli had been contacted. The second elevator broke down during the Eid holiday, and for the past week there has been no working elevator in the building. "Some of doctors stopped carrying out critical surgeries fearing the impact of moving up the stairs would prove fatal to critical cases," one family member said. 

PFLP ’optimistic’ on unity talks
9/29/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - A leader in the leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) said on Tuesday that a speech by a top Hamas leader the previous day was a positive sign for renewed Palestinian unity. PFLP Central Committee member Kayed Al-Ghoul was referring to Khalid Mesh'al's address in Cairo, in which he said Egypt is hoping to seal a unity deal in October. He said, "Mash'al did not divulge what details of what he discussed with [Egypt's Intelligence] Minister Omar Sulaiman and he also pointed out that that the Egyptians will present a new document that reflects the reaction of the factions to the former Egyptian paper. " Al-Ghoul stressed that it was important that the new proposal reflect the views of all the factions, not just Hamas and Fatah. He said the PFLP has already communicated its views to Egypt about the proposal. 

The Egyptian proposal: Facts and reactions
9/29/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - As what many believe will be a decisive round of unity talks for Palestinian factions approach, the 13 participating Palestinian factions are abuzz with comments and criticism around the contents of Egypt's "Conciliation Proposal," a detailed plan based on the cumulative agreements from several rounds of talks in Cairo. The elements of the Egyptian plan include proposals on elections, security, detainees, government, and the function and structure of a supervisory committee to oversee the process. Elections - According to the Egyptian proposal, Palestinian legislative, National Council and presidential elections should be held during the first half of 2010. While Hamas agreed with the proposal's plan to delay elections by a few months, going as far as suggesting the elections be postponed for a year, Fatah said elections must be held "on time and without delay. 

Nablus home to ’world’s first street named after a Twitter account’
9/29/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The world's first street thought to be named after a user name on the popular micro-blogging service Twitter is located in Askar Refugee Camp in the West Bank city of Nablus. The '@arjanelfassed tweetstreet' is located is situated within the municipal boundaries of Nablus, the largest city in the northern part of the West Bank. The street name was purchased by the Dutch-Palestinian owner of the Twitter account, Arjan El Fassed, through a website www. jouwstraatnaam. nl, set up by a Dutch group to support after-school cultural activities for children in the camp. "Since a refugee camp by definition should not remain permanent, selling street names of the camp is a creative way to connect people and support these children after school," said Arjan El Fassed in a statement. "Naming the street after my Twitter-account is a symbolic way to connect both online and offline with the children of Askar. 

Car racers to compete in Jordan following PA coordination
9/29/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - A group of Palestinian racers sponsored by Bank of Palestine will head to Jordan on Tuesday to race at the Ar-Ruman Hills against racers from Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. The "Middle East" race is sponsored by Jordanian Prince Faisal Bin Al-Hussein, head of the Jordanian department for motorsports. The race will take place on Friday, 2 October. Head of the Palestinian Federation Khaled Kadura said the participation of Palestinian racers in the competition represents the strong relation between the nations. He thanked the Palestinian Authority and Jordan for their coordination around the transfer of the participants race cars from Ramallah to Jordan, without which racers would have to invest in additional cars outside of the West Bank. "Maybe someday we can even drive to Jordan in our private cars," he added. 

Palestinian worker killed as scaffold collapses on Tel Aviv work site
9/29/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - A Palestinian construction worker was killed on Tuesday and another was injured when a scaffold collapsed on a construction site in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv. Israeli sources said the two were working on the sixth floor of a scaffold before it collapsed throwing both to the ground. The victims were evacuated by ambulance to Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv where one died of his wounds upon arrival, and the other was treated of moderate wounds. The worker who was killed was from the West Bank village of Burin, south of the city of Nablus. Israeli police said they began an investigation into the case. [end] 

PSE tumbles: Al-Quds Index drops below 500
9/29/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The Palestine Securities Exchanged tumbled on Tuesday, as the Al-Quds Index closed at 499. 78, a decrease of 4. 9 points (0. 97%) over Monday. Trading volume for Tuesday reached 1,980,763 shares, a total value of 2,067,923. 2 US dollars, over the course of 506 trades. The shares of 24 companies were traded. The shares prices of 11 companies rose, and the shares prices of nine declined. The top five gainers were AHC by (4. 55%), QUDS by (4. 12%), PCB by (3. 90%), ISBK by (3. 80%), and MIC by (3. 64%). The top five losers were PIIC by (4. 41%), PRICO by (2. 44%), GMC by (2. 35%), PADICO by (1. 56%), and UCI by (1. 54%) [end] 

The National

UN: culture of impunity in Gaza must end
29 Sep 2009 - A 'culture of impunity' is protecting both Israel and Hamas from prosecution over war crimes committed in the Gaza Strip, the head of a UN investigation panel says.

Hamas agrees to reconcile with Fatah
29 Sep 2009 - Hamas announces it will accept an Egyptian proposal for ending its bitter power struggle with Fatah, renewing hopes for an end to political deadlock.

Israel adds to submarine fleet
29 Sep 2009 - Delivery is taken of two German submarines ordered four years ago that can launch cruise missiles carrying nuclear warheads.

Hamas agrees in principle to reconcile with Fatah
29 Sep 2009 - A deal brokered by Egypt is due to be signed in October by the two rival Palestinian groups

Way paved for new cabinet in Lebanon
28 Sep 2009 - The thawing of relations between Syria and Saudi Arabia is expected to help Lebanon's prime minister-designate, Saad Hariri, form a unity government, more than three months after general elections.

Aljazeera

Iran insists on 'nuclear rights'
29 Sep 2009 - Tehran will not discuss its nuclear programme at Geneva talks, atomic agency chief says.

UN investigator defends Gaza report
29 Sep 2009 - UN body urged to adopt report that accuses Israel and Palestinian groups of war crimes.

UK court quashes Barak arrest bid
29 Sep 2009 - Judge rules Israeli defence minister is immune from prosecution while in Britain.

Hamas chief praises unity proposal
28 Sep 2009 - Khaled Meshaal says Egyptian proposal on reconciliation with Fatah is positive step.

Alternative Information Center

Capacity or Audacity: Comments on Israel’s Report to the Ad Hoc Liason Committee
29 Sep 2009 - To download the report in pdf format, click here . In June 2009, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs published a document called Supporting Palestinian Capacity Building: Israel’s Effort in Supporting the Palestinian Economy, Security Reforms and...

A Water Convoy Breaking the Blockade in, Jinbah, South Mount Hebron
28 Sep 2009 - Water—or rather the denial of water—is a potent weapon. Here in the south Hebron hills, a harsh, arid land of rock and thorn and sand, it may be the most potent of all. Without water no...

Palestine News Network

Extremist settlers in the West Bank openly planning on preventing olive harvest and stealing cameras
29 Sep 2009 - Ramallah / PNN – Israeli settlers in the West Bank are becoming increasingly dangerous leading to enhanced fears of increased attacks during olive harvest season, says Agricultural Relief upon receiving a statement. With the support of the Israeli army and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, settlers are moving forward with their criminal activities that include destruction and confiscation of trees and other agriculture, burning...

Through Women’s Eyes: PCHR report on gender-specific impact and consequences of Operation ...
28 Sep 2009 - In conjunction with the presentation of the UN Fact Finding Mission’s report to the Human Rights Council on 29 September, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) release “Through Women’s Eyes: A PCHR Report on the Gender-Specific Impact and Consequences of Operation Cast Lead”. The Israeli offensive claimed the lives of 118 women, and injured at least 825 more. However, although the...

UN sidelines discussion: After the Report by the Fact Finding Mission on Gaza
28 Sep 2009 - Invitation to Side Event Human Rights Council 12th Session Adalah ⠏ Al-Haq ⠏ Al-Mezan ⠏ Badil ⠏ Human Rights Watch ⠏ Palestinian Centre for Human Rights ⠏ Physicians for Human Rights - Israel Invitation to Side EventHuman Rights Council 12th Session After the Report by the Fact Finding Mission on Gaza: What’s Next? Date: 29 September...

Human rights organization condemns Israeli granting of permission for settlers to enter Al Aqsa
28 Sep 2009 - The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) strongly condemns the Israeli government's decision to allow Jewish settler groups to enter the yards of the al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem. PCHR further condemns the use of excessive force by Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) against Palestinian civilians who attempted to prevent the provocative entry of settlers into the Mosque. PCHR reminds of similar...

Invitation to Taybeh Oktoberfest, Taybeh, Palestine, 3 & 4 October
28 Sep 2009 - The Taybeh Municipality Council with Mr. David C. Khoury, Mayor and all of our local organizations cordially invite you to the Taybeh Oktoberfest, October 3 4 2009, 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. Come enjoy a day of fun, food, music, Taybeh Beer, Support our local products produced in Taybeh Pray with us during Sunday Church Services starting at 9 a.m., at one...

Khaled implores US to not fall into Israeli trap of politicizing UNHRC report in order to negate it
28 Sep 2009 - Nablus / PNN - Head of Expatriates Affairs in the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, Khaled, said today that the “Goldstone Report” provides sufficient evidence to prosecute Israelis as war criminals. Referring to the United Nations Human Rights Council whose fact-finding mission was led by Justice Richard Goldstone, Khaled said that it became clear to any dissenters that the Israelis committed...

Israeli forces fire four missiles in 2 days, ground and air attacks, boys injured
28 Sep 2009 - Gaza / PNN – Two Palestinian boys were injured yesterday by an Israeli tank in the central Gaza Strip. The tank fired toward the boys causing serious injuries, medical sources reported. In a later attack on the northern Gaza Strip, witnesses reported that an Israeli drone aircraft fired a missile Monday evening at a group of Palestinians.The Palestinians were suspected of launching a...

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: 

Protests continue in al-Ma’sara; three arrested in Bil’in last Friday
29 Sep 2009 - Weekly actions against the Wall were held in the villages of Bil'in and al-Ma'sara, with demonstrators calling for an end to settlement activity and Palestinian unity. Soldiers tear gassed marchers in Bil'in and arrested three people near the Wall. [

PCHR Latest

PCHR: Human Rights Council Must Endorse Findings and Recommendations of Goldstone Enquiry, PCHR Condemns Israel's Granting of Permission for Settlers to Enter al-Aqsa Mosque and Use of Excessive Force against Palestinian Civilians
PCHR

PCHR Weekly Report

(10- 16 Sep. 2009), information on boycott, divestment and sanctions
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.

International Solidarity Movement

Mount Hebron: Leftists bring Palestinians water
9/28/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - YNet News - Activists of several left-wing organizations transferred water to Palestinians in the South Mount Hebron area on Saturday. They also tried clearing ways in order to access the Palestinian villages. One of the activists, Yaakov Manor, told Ynet about the area's water problem. "We left from several places on two buses and private vehicles. In South Mount Hebron there are villages in which some of the residents live in caves or temporary buildings. " According to Manor, "They collect the rain water, but it is only enough for a short period of time. In recent years there has not been sufficient rain and they have been forced to settle for water from the Hebron area. "They bring water from afar, and it is expensive - NIS 50 (about $ 13) per gallon, while Mekorot in Israel charges about NIS 4 ($1). "This Palestinian population lives in grave conditions. 

CODEPINK women for peace & the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement
9/28/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Code Pink, 23 September 2009 - The Israeli assault on Gaza at the end of December 2008 and into January 2009 was a tipping point for many with regard to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. For CODEPINK it no longer felt possible to sit on the sidelines and do nothing while white phosphorous bombs rained down on the people of Gaza "” bombs paid for by American tax dollars. CODEPINK led several humanitarian delegations to Gaza, in March and June of 2009, where we witnessed the devastating wake of Operation Cast Lead, and saw the debilitating effects of a two-year blockade on the people of the Gaza Strip. We also went to Israel where we met with Palestinians and Israelis who were working for a just peace for both their peoples, and who invited us to join their struggle. Decades of a so-called "peace process" have only resulted in further dispossession and oppression of Palestinians, both inside 

PCHR report on the gender-specific impact and consequences of Operation Cast Lead
9/28/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) - In conjunction with the presentation of the UN Fact Finding Mission's report to the Human Rights Council on 29 September, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) release "Through Women's Eyes: A PCHR Report on the Gender-Specific Impact and Consequences of Operation Cast Lead". The Israeli offensive claimed the lives of 118 women, and injured at least 825 more. However, although the numbers of victims and casualties illustrate the appalling human toll of this conflict, the true extent of the suffering lies in the day-to-day reality of life in the Gaza Strip following Operation Cast Lead, as civilians struggle to rebuild their lives, come to terms with their loss, and restore some semblance of human dignityPCHR has released "˜Through Women's Eyes' in order to highlight the gender-specific impact of Operation Cast Lead and the illegal Israeli closure. 

Israel demands PA drop war crimes suit at The Hague
9/28/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Ha'aretz, 27 September 2009 - 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. 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

PA pushing for UN to act on Goldstone 'war crime' findings 
29 Sep 2009 - The Palestinian Authority is urging the UN Human Rights Council to adopt the Goldstone Commission report in full and pass it on to the General Assembly for action. ... 

White House: Iran must prove it is not developing nukes
29 Sep 2009 - Iran said on Tuesday it would not discuss a previously secret nuclear plant at international talks this week, but Washington vowed to bring it ...

Top Syria official's visit to U.S. marks tentative growth in ties
28 Sep 2009 - The top Syrian official to visit the United States in five years held talks on Monday with a senior U.S. diplomat to boost tentative links between the two estranged countries, a State Department official said. ...

Tsunami strikes Samoa, killing unknown number of people
28 Sep 2009 - A powerful 8.0 magnitude earthquake generated Pacific tsunami on Wednesday, killing an unknown number of people in American and Western ...

Skull piece thought to be Hitler's is actually from woman
28 Sep 2009 - DNA taken from a skull thought to be Nazi chancellor Adolf Hitler's shows the bone fragment came from a woman, a University of Connecticut scientist said on Tuesday. ...

The Guardian

Israeli minister Ehud Barak faces war crimes arrest threat during UK visit
29 Sep 2009 - Israel received an uncomfortable reminder of international anger over the Gaza war today when lawyers representing 16 Palestinians asked a London court to issue an arrest warrant for its defence minister, Ehud Barak, who is visiting...

Israel's vile anti-miscegenation squads | Seth Freedman
29 Sep 2009 - When the police lend support to vigilante groups hounding Jewish-Arab couples, what hope is there for coexistence? Whilst the proliferation of ultra-orthodox " vigilante police " is a stain on Israeli society, their Taliban-esque actions can at least...

Arab nations must endorse Goldstone report | Abderrahim Sabir
29 Sep 2009 - Will Arab members of the UN human rights council show the courage to endorse a call for accountability in the Gaza conflict? The UN Human Rights Council (HRC) has earned a poor reputation for impartiality when...

Lawyers seek arrest of Israeli defence minister in UK for alleged war crimes
29 Sep 2009 - Palestinian families apply for international arrest warrant for Ehud Barak over military offensive in Gaza British lawyers for 16 Palestinians are seeking to obtain an international arrest warrant for the Israeli defence minister, Ehud Barak, in...

Letters: Nuclear nightmare in the Middle East
28 Sep 2009 - Your editorial ( Time to come clean , 26 September) states "Iran's cat-and-mouse game with nuclear inspectors hands a propaganda victory on a plate to Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli premier who has made little secret of his air...

William Safire Obituary
28 Sep 2009 - US conservative political pundit known for his New York Times column on how the English language is used William Safire, who has died aged 79 of pancreatic cancer, went from being the public relations man who...

Iran test-fires long-range missiles – then warns Israel
28 Sep 2009 - Show of defiance comes days before key talks in Geneva on Tehran's uranium enrichment programme Iran has warned Israel not to dare attack it after Tehran defiantly test-fired long-range missiles capable of hitting targets across the...

The Iran situation | Michael Tomasky
28 Sep 2009 - What's the view of the Iranian missile tests from Washington? Still shaking out, but it seems likely that the "purely coincidental" timing of the tests is designed in some way to rally Arab-world public opinion -...

Ha'aretz National page

Panel blames state for Gaza evacuees' continued plight 
28 Sep 2009 - Although more than four years have passed since Israel evacuated all of its settlers from the Gaza Strip, the end of the evacuees' plight is "not in sight," a panel investigating their treatment by the state reported Tuesday. ... 

Court grants Palestinian man entry to Israel, despite state ban
28 Sep 2009 - The Haifa District Court on Tuesday overturned the Interior Ministry's decision to deny entry for security reasons to a Palestinian resident of the West Bank ...

Giant African snails discovered outside central Tel Aviv home
28 Sep 2009 - More than 50 giant African snails, as well as hundreds of snail eggs, were discovered in a private garden in central Tel Aviv on Tuesday. ...

Israelis, Palestinians work together in bid to solve local water shortage
28 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." ... 

Foreign diplomats to rally with Israeli Arabs marking October 2000 riots
28 Sep 2009 - Representatives of foreign governments stationed in Israel plan to participate in a rally marking the Israeli Arab riots of October 2000, Haaretz learned on Monday, in a diplomatic first in Israel's history. ... 

Relief Web

Ramadan projects in Palestine, Syria, and Jordan
29 Sep 2009 - Source: Life for Relief and Development

UNRWA Commissioner-General pays farewell visit to Syria
29 Sep 2009 - Source: UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East

OPT: Head of UN Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict urges accountability for war crimes; insists impunity undermines peace process and encourages violence
29 Sep 2009 - Source: UN Human Rights Council

OPT: Human Rights Council discusses report of Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict
29 Sep 2009 - Source: UN Human Rights Council

OPT: Periodic report on the implementation of resolution S-9/2 - Statement of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
29 Sep 2009 - Source: UN Human Rights Council, UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

OPT: DCI-Palestine submits 11 cases to the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture
29 Sep 2009 - Source: Defence for Children International/Palestine Section

YNet News

'We will continue to seek legal action against Israeli officials' 
29 Sep 2009 - British attorney who tried to have Defense Minister Ehud Barak arrested in UK says efforts to prosecute Israeli officials involved in Gaza war will not temper 

100 Norwegian tourists admitted to Eilat hospital with food poisoning 
29 Sep 2009 - Tourists who eat in Bedouin tent in Jordan's Akaba suffer sever food poisoning symptoms shortly after crossing into Israel; rushed to Yoseftal Medical Center in southern resort city 

Iran says put nuclear site near base in case of attack
29 Sep 2009 - Nuclear chief Salehi says newly revealed nuclear facility is next to Revolutionary Guard military compound, equipped with air defense system to ensure continuity of nuclear activities. 'We will never bargain over our sovereign right,' he says of scheduled talks with world powers 

Minister Ben-Eliezer slams 'legal circus' in Spain, UK 
29 Sep 2009 - Following war crimes motion against Barak, fellow Labor member says, 'It's inconceivable that Hamas-backed courts might actually have Israeli officials arrested' 

2 Gaza rockets hit Negev; no injuries 
29 Sep 2009 - Projectiles fired by Palestinian in northern Strip land in open areas, cause no injury or damage. Local council head: Hamas may be testing our nerves 

Israeli shot in West Bank 
29 Sep 2009 - Unknown assailants open fire on Israeli vehicle travelling near Shvut Rachel; driver suffers mild to moderate wounds to his hand 

UK court denies petition against Barak
29 Sep 2009 - London Justice Daphne Wickham rejects petition to have defense minister arrested for alleged war crimes, says he enjoys diplomatic immunity, cannot be prosecuted. Ruling said to coincide with UK Foreign Ministry recommendation 

Inquiry commission: State failed in rehabilitating evacuees 
29 Sep 2009 - Panel headed by retired Supreme Court Justice Eliyahu Matza issues report saying treatment of Gaza, northern West Bank evacuees 'riddled with failures,' calls on government to make their rehabilitation national mission 

Daily Star

Breaking Lebanon's cabinet impasse will require regional, international influences 
29 Sep 2009

Mayor accused of spying for Israel 
29 Sep 2009

IMF report proposes adding remittances to Lebanon's GDP 
29 Sep 2009

Nuclear row diverts focus from Iran unrest 
29 Sep 2009

US urges Israel to probe Gaza crimes to boost peace 
29 Sep 2009

Iran promises UN inspections 'soon' but no enrichment freeze 
29 Sep 2009

Palestinian Information Center

Al-Aqsa, the ultimate red line
29 Sep 2009 - The unprovoked intrusion by Jewish fanatics into the Noble Sanctuary of Jerusalem on Sunday 27 September, should alarm every Muslim under the sun.

Ekmeleddin: Israel’s escalation against Aqsa part of a Judaization campaign
29 Sep 2009 - Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the secretary-general of the organization of the Islamic conference, stated that the Israeli escalation against the Aqsa Mosque is part of a campaign to Judaize the holy city.

Ministry of prisoners deplores Abbas’s militia for kidnapping Hamas spokesman
29 Sep 2009 - The Palestinian ministry of prisoners’ affairs strongly denounced Abbas’s militias for kidnapping ex-detainee Abdelbasit Al-Haj, a Hamas spokesman in Jenin.

Abu Zuhri: All options open before Hamas to protect the Palestinian people
29 Sep 2009 - Dr. Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas spokesman, has said that all options were open before his Movement to protect the Palestinian people and their holy places.

Khudari: Arresting Jerusalemites and closing gates of Aqsa are terrorist acts
29 Sep 2009 - MP Jamal Al-Khudari said that Israel’s arrest of dozens of Jerusalemite young men and its closure of the Aqsa Mosque’s gates are terrorist acts that entail international sanctions.

Gov't committee against siege welcomes new European aid
29 Sep 2009 - The government committee to break the siege on Gaza Strip has welcomed the European "Miles of Smiles" convoy that set sail from the German port of Hamburg heading to Port Said in Egypt.

Bahar: The attack on Aqsa is a blatant challenge to Arabs and Muslims
29 Sep 2009 - First deputy speaker of the PLC Ahmed Bahar said that the attempted entry of Zionist settlers into the Aqsa Mosque demonstrated a blatant challenge to the Arab and Muslim nations.

Jihad activist wounded, comrades survive IOF raid
29 Sep 2009 - An Israeli aerial raid targeting a group of Palestinian resistance fighters to the northwest of Beit Lahia north of the Gaza Strip left one wounded, local sources said.

Mishaal: Egypt embarks on formulating a final reconciliation draft
29 Sep 2009 - Khaled Mishaal, the head of Hamas political bureau, said the Palestinian factions were told that Egypt would embark in the coming days on formulating a final draft of reconciliation.

IOF soldiers fire at students, use disguised security men to kidnap protestors
29 Sep 2009 - A Palestinian student of the Quds University in Abu Dis east of occupied Jerusalem was wounded in his foot when Israeli occupation forces (IOF) fired at a students' demonstration on Monday.

Los Angeles Times

Missile tests underscore the threat Iran poses in Mideast 
29 Sep 2009 - The launches show Iran is capable of striking Israel, Europe and U.S. bases in the Persian Gulf. They send a message that 'we are able to give a swift . . . answer to our enemies,' a general says. Iran's reported test-firing Monday of medium-range missiles that could reach Israel, Europe and American bases in the Persian Gulf was a reminder of the potent military threat Tehran poses to nations seeking to derail its nuclear program. 

Unions target owners of five L.A. carwashes 
27 Sep 2009 - Organizers focus on a chain of businesses owned by Iranian immigrants who are facing 220 charges of worker abuse. An aggressive push to organize thousands of immigrant carwash workers in Southern California has sparked a fierce battle pitting big labor against two brothers who are major players in the Los Angeles carwash industry. 

Israeli riot police, Palestinians clash at holy site 
28 Sep 2009 - Palestinian protesters attempt to stop a Jewish prayer event outside the Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem's Old City, where such events are normally banned. Israeli riot police entered the grounds of Islam's third-holiest shrine Sunday and fired tear gas and stun grenades to disperse rock-throwing Palestinians who had gathered to prevent Jews from praying at the contested site in Jerusalem's Old City. 

Monday's Talk Shows 
28 Sep 2009 - 'Charlie Rose' interviews Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad The Early Show (N) 7 a.m. KCBS 

Defense Secretary Robert Gates says severe sanctions on Iran could work 
28 Sep 2009 - Gates says additional sanctions may force an economically squeezed Iran to change its nuclear policy. He questions the value of military strikes. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said Sunday that the severe sanctions the West is threatening against Iran could force a change in the Islamic Republic's nuclear ambitions, especially since the country is already under severe economic distress. 

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. 

New York Times

China’s Ties With Iran May Snag Sanctions
29 Sep 2009 - As the United States issues new calls to punish Iran for secretly expanding its nuclear program, it is not at all clear that Washington’s interests are the same as Beijing’s. 

U.N. Investigator Presents Report on Gaza War
29 Sep 2009 - Richard Goldstone reported to the United Nations Human Rights Council on 36 specific attacks in Gaza and a number on the West Bank and in Israel. 

Iran Insists on Its ‘Rights’ to Nuclear Program
29 Sep 2009 - Iran said Tuesday it would soon offer a timetable for inspectors to visit a hitherto secret facility, but was not prepared to debate its “rights” to operate the plant. 

Lens: David Burnett’s 44 Days in Iran
29 Sep 2009 - A photographer who has made the most of inside access to document revolutionary change discusses what it is like to see history unfold, from the outside. 

A Nuclear Debate: Is Iran Designing Warheads?
28 Sep 2009 - A dispute among American, European and Israeli spies about Iran’s advanced weapons work has huge political consequences. 

Memo From Cairo: Egypt Ponders Failed Drive for Unesco
28 Sep 2009 - Many Egyptians said that Farouk Hosny’s failure to lead Unesco was at least as much a sign of Egypt’s long, slow slide as the center of Arab culture, thought and influence. 

Misc

Israeli minister Ehud Barak faces war crimes arrest threat during UK visit 
9/29/2009 - The Guardian - Israel received an uncomfortable reminder of international anger over the Gaza war today when lawyers representing 16 Palestinians asked a London court to issue an arrest warrant for its defence minister, Ehud Barak, who is visiting Britain. After a day of delays and legal wrangling the bid failed on the grounds that Barak enjoyed diplomatic immunity from prosecution. But the episode triggered a brief storm that is likely to give Israeli officials second thoughts about the risk of prosecution in foreign courts. Barak was last night addressing a fringe meeting at the Labour party conference in Brighton, and is due to meet Gordon Brown and David Miliband, the foreign secretary-— triggering new protests. Furious Israeli officials insisted all day that he was protected by diplomatic immunity and could not be legally detained. 

Ousted Honduran president: Israelis sent to kill me 
9/29/2009 - YNetNews - Manuel Zelaya takes refuge in Brazilian Embassy in Honduras since coming back to the country. He claims Israeli mercenaries hired by the de facto government tormenting him, planning on murdering him - Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, who returned to his country this week after three months in exile, is accusing his government of hiring Israeli mercenaries to torture him with high-frequency radiation in his safe haven in the Brazilian Embassy. In a conversation with the Miami Herald, Zelaya said that he has begun to suffer from throat pains resulting from poisonous gases being leaked into the embassy in Tegucigalpa. He also said that he fears mercenaries will enter the building and murder him. "They are threatening to kill us," he said. Witnesses said that soldiers were noticed installing some kind of satellite in front of the embassy on Friday that emitted loud noises. 

UN: culture of impunity in Gaza must end 
9/29/2009 - The National - A “culture of impunity” is protecting both Israel and Hamas from prosecution over war crimes committed in the Gaza Strip, the head of a UN investigation panel said yesterday. Richard Goldstone, who led a four-member panel that reported on human rights violations during last winter’s invasion, said the lack of accountability over crimes committed in Gaza had reached a crisis point and was undermining any hopes of a peace deal in the region. He suggested that the UN Security Council and, if necessary, the International Criminal Court, be allowed to take up the matter, including possible prosecutions for crimes against humanity. Speaking during an often-bitter debate at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Mr Goldstone, an international jurist and former UN war crimes prosecutor, told the council: “Now is the time for action. 

Hamas agrees in principle to reconcile with Fatah 
9/29/2009 - The National - CAIRO // Hamas’s exiled political leader said on Monday that the militant group has agreed in principle to a proposal for reconciling with its rivals in the Fatah movement in a deal that would clear the way for new presidential and parliamentary elections. A final deal being brokered by Egyptian mediators will be drawn up and signed in October, Hamas;s leader, Khaled Mashaal, told reporters in Cairo after talks with Egypt’s intelligence chief. The Gaza Strip’s Hamas rulers and Fatah, which leads a separate, Western-backed government in the West Bank, have been bitterly divided since a civil war more than two years ago. Bringing the sides together and restoring some Fatah control in the Gaza Strip could open up the blockaded and impoverished seaside territory to more aid from international donors that had shunned dealings with the militants of Hamas. 

Israel adds to submarine fleet 
9/29/2009 - The National - AFP - Israel has taken delivery of two German submarines ordered four years ago, a military spokesman said on Tuesday. The submarines, called U212s, can launch cruise missiles carrying nuclear warheads, although when it confirmed the sale in 2006 the German government said the two vessels were not equipped to carry nuclear weapons. The subs were ordered in 2005 and delivery was initially expected in 2010. Including the two new ones, Israel has five German submarines. Germany donated the first two submarines after the 1991 Gulf War. It split the cost of the third with the Jewish state. According to Jane’s Defence Weekly, the U212s are designed for a crew of 35, have a range of 4,500 kilometres and can launch cruise missiles carrying nuclear warheads. Israeli media have written that the Dolphin submarine could be vital in any attack on Iran’s controversial nuclear sites. 

IAF destroys Gaza Strip rocket launcher ready for action 
9/29/2009 - Ha'aretz - The Israel Air Force bombed a rocket launching device in the Gaza Strip Monday evening, which was aimed at Israel and set to fire, the Israel Defense Forces Spokesperson's Office reported. The IAF confirmed that the launcher was hit and destroyed. Earlier Monday evening, a mortar shell was fired from Gaza at Israel, but apparently exploded within Palestinian territory. The IAF strike came after several incidents of rocket and shell fire from the Hamas-ruled territory over the course of Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar. Three Qassam rockets exploded in the Negev, two Sunday night and one just hours before the IAF attack. No injuries or damage were reported in any of the incidents. Monday morning, Palestinian militants opened fire at IDF troops patrolling the border fence between Israel and Gaza. An exchange of fire ensued, but none of the soldiers were hurt. 

U.K. court defers Palestinian bid to arrest Ehud Barak 
9/29/2009 - Ha'aretz - A United Kingdom court on Tuesday deferred until further notice an appeal by local pro-Palestinian groups to issue an arrest warrant against visiting Defense Minister Ehud Barak. It is not yet clear whether the issue will be raised for deliberation while Israel's top defense official is still in Britain. According to sources close to Barak, the British Foreign Ministry recommended to the London court that it treat the current appeal in the same manner it did when a similar appeal was issued in 2004 against Israel's then defense minister, Shaul Mofaz. At the time, Mofaz was granted immunity from international arrest and trial - a precedent set by the British court, which until then had given such protection only to foreign ministers or premiers. Barak's associates said it was too soon to tell whether the court would accept the British Foreign Ministry's request for immunity. 

Palestinians call for Israel to be ’punished’ for Gaza offensive 
9/29/2009 - CNN - (CNN) -- Palestinians on Tuesday urged the United Nations to "punish" Israel as a scathing U. N. report accused the nation of war crimes during its military offensive in Gaza last winter. A Palestinian boy kicks a football outside damaged homes in northern Gaza in January 2009. But Israel rejected the investigation as one-sided and shameful. The report accused Israel of committing "actions amounting to war crimes, possibly crimes against humanity" during its military incursion into Gaza from December 27 to January 18. Richard Goldstone, the South African judge who headed the U. N. investigation into the conflict, demanded that someone be held responsible for crimes committed during it. " The lack of accountability for war crimes and possible crimes against humanity has reached a crisis point," Goldstone said Tuesday. "This is the time of action. " 

Erdogan: Focus on Israeli nukes, not Iran nuclear energy program
9/28/2009 - Axis of Logic - The Turkish president has condemned Western countries' focus on Iran's nuclear program, stressing that the world should deal with Israel's nuclear weapons instead. Turkey's "Radikal" newspaper on Sunday reported that Recep Tayyip Erdogan's strong comments against Israel's nuclear program was similar to his "one minute" stance in Davos in January when he walked out of a televised debate with his Israeli counterpart Shimon Peres. Erdogan told reporters in New York that Iran's nuclear program is not aimed at "military ends". The Turkish president noted that Israel has "nuclear weapons" and has used "phosphorous bombs" against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. " Why these are not on the agenda? It is always Iran…" Erdogan told reporters in New York. " If only Iran is put on the world agenda, then we may neglect other issues such as the Gaza [conflict] that should be addressed," he said. 

A Nuclear Debate: Is Iran Designing Warheads? 
9/27/2009 - New York Times - WASHINGTON — When President Obama stood last week with the leaders of Britain and France to denounce Iran’s construction of a secret nuclear plant, the Western powers all appeared to be on the same page. Behind their show of unity about Iran’s clandestine efforts to manufacture nuclear fuel, however, is a continuing debate among American, European and Israeli spies about a separate component of Iran’s nuclear program: its clandestine efforts to design a nuclear warhead. . . . . . Meanwhile, in closed-door discussions, American spy agencies have stood firm in their conclusion that while Iran may ultimately want a bomb, the country halted work on weapons design in 2003 and probably has not restarted that effort — a judgment first made public in a 2007 National Intelligence Estimate. The debate, in essence, is a mirror image of the intelligence dispute on the eve of the Iraq war. 

Israel obstacle to nuke-free Mideast, says Syria 
9/28/2009 - Press TV - Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem urges Israel to yield to the demands pressed by the UN nuclear watchdog and open its nuclear sites to inspection. The Syrian diplomat said on Monday that the Israeli regime must place all its nuclear installations under the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards, and adhere to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The objectives of the landmark international treaty are to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to promote co-operation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and to achieve nuclear disarmament. For decades, Tel Aviv has refused to confirm the well-documented fact that it possesses a significant arsenal of nuclear warheads. " Syria stresses the need to commit Israel to comply with the resolution adopted by the IAEA. . . regarding Israeli nuclear capabilities," Al-Mualem said. 

Turkey wants UN body to discuss Gaza ’war crimes’ 
9/26/2009 - Reuters - NEW YORK (Reuters) - Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday his country would push the Security Council to discuss a report by U. N. investigators accusing Israel and Palestinian militants of war crimes in the Gaza war. " We will definitely take the position to discuss this issue on the Security Council," Erdogan told reporters. A U. N. fact-finding mission led by South African jurist Richard Goldstone issued a report last week that said both the Israeli army and Palestinian militants had committed war crimes, and possibly crimes against humanity, during the December-January war in the Gaza Strip. The report urged the Security Council to refer the allegations to the International Criminal Court in The Hague if either Israel or Palestinian authorities failed to investigate and prosecute those suspected of the crimes within six months. 

Syria calls for Israel to join nuclear treaty 
9/28/2009 - Antiwar.com - AP News - Israel must comply with the demands of the International Atomic Energy Agency if the Mideast is to become a region free of weapons of mass destruction, Syria's foreign minister said Monday. Foreign Minister Walid Al-Moualem echoed calls by many Arab nations during the current U. N. General Assembly session for Israel to comply with the IAEA's demand to submit its nuclear facilities to the agency's safeguard regime and to adhere to the Non-Proliferation Treaty. The treaty restricts any nuclear program to nonmilitary purposes. Israel has never said it has nuclear weapons, but is universally believed to possess a sizable arsenal of such warheads. The U. S. and its allies consider Iran the region's greatest proliferation threat, fearing that Tehran is trying to achieve the capacity to make nuclear weapons despite its assertion that it is only building a civilian program to generate power. 

Call for Universal National Service Raises Uncomfortable Questions in Israel 
9/29/2009 - Antiwar.com - Jonathan Cook - 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. Though 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. Unlike Palestinians in the occupied territories, who are ineligible to serve in the armed forces, they have Israeli citizenship. 

Former FBI Agent Confirms: Bush State Official Was Target of ’Decade-Long’ Espionage Probe 
9/28/2009 - Bradblog - Longtime counterintel official acknowledges evidence behind key aspect of allegations against Marc Grossman made by former FBI translator turned whistleblower Sibel Edmonds - Agency vet says investigation was 'buried and covered up,' calls for new investigation, 'accountability' - George W. Bush's third-highest ranking State Department official, Marc Grossman, who became the Under Secretary of State after previously serving as Ambassador to Turkey, was targeted as part of a "decade-long investigation" by the FBI, according to an 18-year veteran manager of the agency's Counterintelligence and Counterespionage departments. For still-unknown reasons, the investigation, which also involved a multitude of cases involving Israeli espionage, was ultimately "buried and covered up," according to the official. The comment from the former FBI official John M. 


Articles

Real reform in Israel is a distant prospect 
Ben White, The Guardian 9/27/2009
      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 "matrix of control", but also the status of Palestinian citizens of Israel. While the increasingly overt racism of Knesset members has got its fair share of headlines, other important developments have escaped scrutiny outside the region.
     Last month, Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu managed to pass legislation that introduces significant changes in how Israel’s land is administered. The bill that eventually passed in the Knesset seeks to replace the Israel Lands Administration (ILA), which manages 93% of land in Israel, with a new Land Authority, and crucially, will allow for the privatisation of 200,000 acres (half by 2014). This change will "allow people to own their property outright, rather than lease it from the ILA".
     For weeks, there was fierce political fighting, as supporters and opponents of the reform bill ramped up the rhetoric and made often strange-looking alliances in order to strengthen their bloc. While Netanyahu was selling the reform as a way to boost the economy, the discussion was by no means restricted to fiscal policy – environmental concerns, religion, and Zionism itself were all part of the intense arguments.
     Palestinian citizens of Israel were also unhappy with the reforms, though the impact of the new Land Authority and its arrangements with the Jewish National Fund (JNF) on the country’s marginalised minority was rarely central to the Knesset-focused debate. Yet there are important consequences for Palestinian refugees and Palestinians in Israel (including the "present absentees"). more.. e-mail

Keeping Iran honest 
Scott Ritter, The Guardian 9/25/2009
      Iran’s secret nuclear plant will spark a new round of IAEA inspections and lead to a period of even greater transparency.
     It was very much a moment of high drama. Barack Obama, fresh from his history-making stint hosting the UN security council, took a break from his duties at the G20 economic summit in Pittsburgh to announce the existence of a secret, undeclared nuclear facility in Iran which was inconsistent with a peaceful nuclear programme, underscoring the president’s conclusion that "Iran is breaking rules that all nations must follow".
     Obama, backed by Gordon Brown and Nicolas Sarkozy, threatened tough sanctions against Iran if it did not fully comply with its obligations concerning the international monitoring of its nuclear programme, which at the present time is being defined by the US, Britain and France as requiring an immediate suspension of all nuclear-enrichment activity.
     The facility in question, said to be located on a secret Iranian military installation outside of the holy city of Qom and capable of housing up to 3,000 centrifuges used to enrich uranium, had been monitored by the intelligence services of the US and other nations for some time. But it wasn’t until Monday that the IAEA found out about its existence, based not on any intelligence "scoop" provided by the US, but rather Iran’s own voluntary declaration. Iran’s actions forced the hand of the US, leading to Obama’s hurried press conference Friday morning.
     Beware politically motivated hype.... more.. e-mail


Electronic Intifada
Night raids in Bilin target activists
29 Sep 2009 - For the last three months, residents of the West Bank village of Bilin have been subjected to constant night raids by the Israeli military in retaliation for the village's five-year campaign of nonviolent resistance against Israel's wall being constructed on their land. Members of the Bilin Popular Committee have been arrested as well as teenagers and young boys from the village in order to obtain forced confessions against committee members. Bilin Popular Committee's Media Coordinator Abdullah Abu Rahme tells the story of the 16 September 2009 raid of his home to The Electronic Intifada contributor Jody McIntyre. 

Jerusalem Palestinians defining their own future
29 Sep 2009 - OCCUPIED EAST JERUSALEM (IPS) - Almost a year ago a barely noticed event took place in Sawarha, a Palestinian neighborhood in the Israeli-occupied part of the city. On that November day, Israeli Jerusalemites were voting in a new mayor and a new city council. On that same day, in this neighborhood home to 25,000, people were ignoring the Israeli-run elections. Instead, they were focused on electing their own local council. 

False promise of integration for Palestinian soldiers in Israel
28 Sep 2009 - 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. Though 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 in the occupied territories. Jonathan Cook reports. 

Book casts new light on Palestine's ethnic cleansing
28 Sep 2009 - In recent years, a growing number of accounts of the 1948 war have corrected and exposed the founding myths of Israel, including claims by its leaders that the Palestinian people did not exist or were invented. The latest addition is Rosemarie M. Esber's meticulously documented history Under the Cover of War: The Zionist Expulsion of the Palestinians . Esber uses British archives and oral testimonies from Palestinian survivors to demonstrate that there was a purposeful, systematic pattern by which Zionist forces depopulated Palestinian cities and villages before the end of the British mandate on 15 May 1948. 

In Gaza
Jihad and dates
28 Sep 2009 - The shades of orange and red drew of freshly harvested dates stopped me in my tracks. Two horse carts waited streetside, one loaded with heaps of dates still attached to their branches, the second with boxes of crisp, red, newly plucked dates and sweet, dark, time-ripened dates. Although I’d seen dates at friends homes and in small forests in central Gaza, something about their intense colour insisted that I photograph them. As I turn to leave, three men approached, more dates in hand. Jihad, from Beit Lahiya, moves around Gaza city harvesting date trees. With his horse carts, he and the two young men (relatives of his) take the bounty...

Palestine Chronicle
US Interests Versus The Jewish State 
29 Sep 2009 - - By Jeff Gates Barack Obama’s recent conduct at the U.N. removed all remaining doubt as to Israeli influence inside this latest U.S. presidency. When he uttered the phrase 'the Jewish state of Israel,' he provided precisely the provocation required to ensure that peace in the Middle East will continue to be deferred. When, in May 1948, Christian-Zionist Harry Truman agreed to recognize an enclave of Jewish-Zionist extremists as a nation state, he struck out “Jewish state” and wrote the “state of Israel.” Despite assurances from Zionist lobbyist Chaim Weizmann that Israel would be a democracy, Truman feared the Zionist state might become what it became: a racist theocracy committed to an expansionist agenda that endangers U.S. interests in the region. Barack Obama is a political product of Chicago’s West Side Jewish community and the nation’s “first Jewish president” according to former Clinton White House counsel Abner Mikva. Though branded an agent of change, when the zeitgeist of his campaign suggested that change might encompass a shift in the U.S.-Israeli relationship, those Ashkenazim who produced this presidential phenomenon let their displeasure be known. The candidate of change quickly made the requisite rounds of pro-Israeli venues where he promised his benefactors there would be no change in an entangled alliance that, in retrospect, is the primary reason the U.S. finds itself at war in the Middle East. His U.N. performance thrilled those colonial Zionists whose duplicity troubled Truman. Meanwhile his “Jewish state” comment was guaranteed to inflame tensions in the region....

Israel's Ofra Settlement on Unauthorized Palestinian Land 
29 Sep 2009 - By Stephen Lendman - Chicago Israel's 130 West Bank settlements are illegal under international law, including Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention that states: "Individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power or to that of any other country, occupied or not, are prohibited, regardless of their motive." In addition, various UN resolutions (including 446, 452 and 465) condemned Israel's settlement building by declaring they have "no legal validity" to exist. Yet they do and continue expanding in reckless disregard of the law. Even so, after its forces occupied the West Bank in 1967, Israel in principle agreed to respect binding local Jordanian law and its own subsequent military order. It didn't then and doesn't now. B'Tselem's report titled "The Ofra Settlement - An Unauthorized Outpost" shows that Israel reneged on its agreement because Ofra is illegal under local and international law. Called a flagship settlement, it was established in 1975 by the fundamentalist Gush Emunim (Bloc of the Faithful) movement that began seizing West Bank land for itself - modestly at first in abandoned Jordanian Ein Yabrud army camp houses. Then later, more aggressively after the Rabin government recognized it as a community even though 58% of its area lies on land registered to Palestinians in Israel's Land Registry. Settlement construction there is forbidden. Yet in 1977 under Menachem Begin, recognition became official. Ofra set a precedent. As the first northern West Bank settlement,...

Israel's Palestinian Soldiers
29 Sep 2009 - By Jonathan Cook - Arrabeh 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. Though 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. Unlike Palestinians in the occupied territories, who are ineligible to serve in the armed forces, they have Israeli citizenship. In calling for mandatory national service, Gen Gabi Ashkenazi observed that those Israelis who refused to serve could not expect "civil equality". His comment echoed those of politicians who have been calling on Israel's Palestinian minority to prove its loyalty in the wake of the winter attack on Gaza, in which some 1,400 Palestinians were killed, most of them civilians. Hundreds of Palestinian citizens were arrested for participating in protests during the operation. Israel's education minister, Gideon Saar, announced this summer that school budgets will in future be based on the number of pupils who enlist in the army or agree to do an alternative civilian programme of national service. Although most Palestinian citizens oppose their rights...

Israel's Fear of Jewish Girls Dating Arabs
28 Sep 2009 - By Jonathan Cook - Nazareth 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 organisations and groups of Israeli residents to try to prevent interracial dating and marriage. In a related development, the Israeli media reported this month that residents of Pisgat Zeev, a large Jewish settlement in the midst of Palestinian neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem, had formed a vigilante-style patrol to stop Arab men from mixing with local Jewish girls. Hostility to intimate relationships developing across Israel’s ethnic divide is shared by many Israeli Jews, who regard such behaviour as a threat to the state’s Jewishness. One of the few polls on the subject, in 2007, found that more than half of Israeli Jews believed intermarriage should be equated with “national treason”. Since the state’s founding in 1948, analysts have noted, a series of legal and administrative measures have been taken by Israel to limit the possibilities of close links developing between Jewish and Arab citizens, the latter comprising a fifth of the population. Largely segregated communities and separate education systems mean that there are few opportunities for young Arabs and Jews to become familiarised with each other....

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