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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
5 October, 2009

News

Ma'an News

Ramallah protesters denounce PA over UN Gaza report
10/6/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Witnesses said that 500 protesters gathered in downtown Ramallah on Monday afternoon in the latest expression of public anger at the Palestinian Authority's (PA) decision to delay action on a United Nations report on alleged Israeli war crimes in Gaza. Organizers said that up to 1000 people attended the demonstration. Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza, and the Diaspora have been united in their outrage at the leadership of President Mahmoud Abbas for ordering the PLO envoy to Geneva to defer action in the UN Human Rights Council on the report compiled by former war crimes prosecutor Richard Goldstone. Media reports have suggested that Abbas' government made the decision under heavy international pressure led by the US. Monday's demonstration in Al-Manara square went ahead without incident or interference from PA security forces, witnesses said. 

East Jerusalem on alert as thousands descend on Old City
10/5/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Thousands of Israelis crossed into East Jerusalem to visit the Old City's Western Wall, considered the holiest site in Judaism, to take part in the annual Sukkot priestly blessing on Monday. Palestinian religious officials and Israeli police forces were on high alert throughout the occupied city, concerned that recent violence sparked by visits from right-wing groups to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound could break out anew. Hebrew-language media were reporting that several Palestinians had already been arrested for allegedly throwing stones at religious Israelis at the Mount of Olives, located one kilometer from the Old City. Five East Jerusalem Palestinians were arrested the day before, again accused of throwing rocks, while two Israeli police officers were lightly injured, according to Israeli sources. 

Police officer killed in Tulkarem crash, eight hurt
10/5/2009 - Tulkarem - Ma'an - A off-duty Palestinian police officer was killed and eight others injured in a car accident at the northern West Bank village of Ramin's main crossroads, east of Tulkarem. The police officer, identified as Mansour Khalil Suleiman, in his 30s, died shortly after an Israeli ambulance transferred him to Al-Arabi Hospital in Nablus, Red Crescent sources told Ma'an. Medics added that all of the injured, save 35-year-old Nihad Madhat of Balata refugee camp in Nablus, were from either Tulkarem city or its surrounding villages and towns. They were identified as follows: From Tulkarem city: Sabah Suleiman Sabbah, 31, Dalal Abu Khadra, 31, Ali Al-Khalid, 20, From Tulkarem district: Anwar Abu Khazna from Attil, 21, Nasser Ya'qub from Bal'a, 38, Rashid Ya'qub from Kafr Rumman, 46, Rana Omar from Al-Jaroushiyya, 19. 

Israel closes Hebron’s Ibrahimi mosque to Palestinians
10/5/2009 - Hebron - Ma'an - Israeli authorities prevented Muslim worshippers from entering the Ibrahimi Mosque in the West Bank city of Hebron for the second consecutive day on Monday, allowing Israeli settlers to use the site. "We demand all the Human rights and religious organizations to intervene urgently to stop the conversion that the Ibrahimi Mosque is being forced to undergo," said Zeid Aj-Jabari, the director of the Islamic Endowment (Waqf) in the Hebron. He said the closure of the site was a violation of religious freedom. Jewish settlers who live in armed compounds in the heart of Hebron marked the Sukkot holiday on Monday. The settlers also control half of the Ibrahimi Mosque, which lies in an area of Hebron tightly controlled by the Israeli army. Possibly in connection with the holiday, dozens of settlers reportedly entered the Palestinian markets in Hebron's Old City, causing panic among merchants and shoppers. 

Police in renewed standoff with Al-Aqsa protesters
10/5/2009 - Jerusalem - Ma'an - Israeli security forces reportedly surrounded and threatened to storm the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem on Monday evening in an ongoing standoff with demonstrators inside the holy site. Around 200 Palestinians have holed up inside the Mosque and have refused Israeli authorities demands to leave the area, according to Sheikh Ali Shekha, a leader in the Islamic Movement from inside Israel, who spoke to Ma'an on the phone from inside the compound. Shekha said that an Israeli raid on Al-Aqsa would result in a "massacre" of the worshipers inside. Hatem Abdul Qader, a senior Fatah official and Jerusalem Governor Adnan Husseini are said to be making contacts at all levels to prevent a police raid on the mosque. A similar standoff on Sunday night ended in violence, with unarmed demonstrators clashing with police well into Sunday and Monday. 

Syria rescinds Abbas invitation amid UN controversy
10/5/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Syria turned away President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday, reportedly over his decision to delay a vote over South African justice Richard Goldstone's report on the Gaza assault last winter. The president was originally scheduled to arrive in Damascus on Tuesday, following a brief state visit to Yemen that began on Sunday. The Qatari network Al-Jazeera reported on Monday that Abbas' trip was suddenly called off in light of Syria's outrage over the Palestine Liberation Organization's decision in Geneva on Friday to stall debate on the report. The wildly unpopular move led the UN Human Rights Council to delay approval for the Gaza fact-finding mission's results until March 2010 at the earliest. Meanwhile, the Paris-based news agency AFP quoted a Palestinian official confirming that Damascus had "postponed" the visit, although the anonymous source insisted it had nothing to do with the Gaza report. 

Israel seals two of three Gaza crossings for second day
10/5/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Israeli authorities decided to open the Kerem Shalom crossing on Monday to allow food products into the besieged Gaza Strip, according to a local Palestinian official. Raed Fattouh, a crossings representative, said that both the Nahal Oz and Karni crossings with Israel would remain closed. Both crossings were closed Sunday, as well Fattouh said that the Kerem Shalom crossing would be open for 76-86 trucks carrying commercial merchandise and humanitarian aid. Israel and Egypt have maintained a debilitating blockade on Gaza since 2007, preventing all but a trickle of imports and exports, and banning the coastal strip's 1. 5 million residents from traveling. [end] 

Israeli vice PM cancels UK trip over arrest fears
10/5/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Israel's vice premier, Moshe Ya'alon, recently cancelled a scheduled trip to the United Kingdom over fears he would be arrested there, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported on Monday. In the past, human rights organizations have sought legal action on behalf of 14 civilians who were killed in a strike Ya'alon ordered while he was the Israeli military's chief of staff from 2002 until 2005, according to the paper. The vice premier was expected to attend a fundraising dinner for an organization supporting British "lone soldiers," foreign immigrants conscripted in Israel's army while migrating via the country's race-based "Law of Return. "The Haaretz report said Ya'alon cancelled his plans when the Israeli Foreign Ministry's legal team warned him that a British court could order his arrest over the civilian deaths, which came during the assassination of Hamas militant leader Salah Shehade. 

Israeli car strikes elderly Bethlehem farmer, injuring him
10/5/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - An elderly farmer riding a donkey was injured on Monday evening when an Israeli car struck him on Sunday evening near the West Bank village of Al-Khader, south of Bethlehem, according to medics. Medical sources said that Khalil Salah Etfeha, 70, was injured in the collision while he was returning from his land, which is planted with grapes, near the Israeli settlement of Efrat. The car was believed to be driven by settlers. The farmer was taken to local Al-Yamama Hospital for treatment, the sources said. [end] 

Report: Soldier stabbed in East Jerusalem
10/5/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - A Palestinian refugee was detained on Monday evening over allegations he stabbed an Israeli soldier operating in East Jerusalem, according to the Hebrew-language newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth. The unsourced report said that the alleged attacker, a 16-year-old from Shufat Refugee Camp was arrested and transferred by Israeli military forces to an unspecified location for interrogation. The newspaper added that the soldier, who it said sustained light to moderate injuries, was first treated at the scene before being transferred by ambulance to Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem for further treatment. Seven Palestinians were also reportedly arrested in the area for throwing rocks at Israeli forces after the reported stabbing. Tensions have been high in Jerusalem for two days as Israeli forces enforced restrictions on access to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam. 

Shalit deal could be last chance for prisoners with Israeli IDs
10/5/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Over the past few days, serious progress has been made on wrapping up a prisoner swap deal between Israel and the captors of soldier Gilad Shalit, and several obstacles have been overcome through negotiations, our sources say. However, neither side has yet confirmed that Israel approved a list of prisoners submitted by Hamas. The initial list has not included any Palestinian prisoners from inside Israel, or from Jerusalem. According to the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz, Hamas added 40 new names of prisoners who are also residents of Israel, including Jerusalem. Some of these detainees have been serving time in Israeli jails since before the Oslo Accords. This new Hamas initiative, according to Haaretz, renews hope that they too could be released given that Israel refused to set them free in the latest prisoner swap deal between Israel and Hizbullah. 

Fayyad cabinet says it still backs Goldstone report
10/5/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - The caretaker government in Ramallah claimed during its weekly cabinet meeting on Monday that it still supports Judge Richard Goldstone's report on alleged war crimes in Gaza. According to a government statement, the West Bank cabinet headed by Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said that the government reaffirmed its previous stance urging the United Nations Human Rights Council to take up the report at its next session next March. It was "unacceptable" to waste an opportunity to bring alleged Israeli war criminals to justice, the cabinet said. The Palestinian Authority's decision to withdraw its support for the report, reportedly under US pressure, has sparked a firestorm of criticism from across the Palestinian political spectrum. The cabinet also expressed support for a commission formed by President Mahmoud Abbas to investigate how his own government. . . 

Haniyeh: Abbas himself responsible for Goldstone report delay
10/5/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Gaza-based Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh accused President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday of being personally responsible for the delay of international action on a United Nations report on war crimes in Gaza. Abbas has come under fire since the Palestinian envoy to the UN in Geneva dropped the Palestinian endorsement of Justice Richard Goldstone's report on the Israeli attack on Gaza last winter. The move means that action on the report will be delayed until March 2010 at the earliest. Haniyeh told a meeting of meeting of members of the Palestinian Legislative Council in Gaza that "the withdrawal of the report and postponing the vote is a political decision that has security, financial, and political dimensions that is linked to the movement of the US administration and its settlement process. " "Withdrawing the Goldstone report came from the top authority in the. . . 

Egypt: Hamas and Fatah will sign deal in October
10/5/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Feuding Palestinian political factions will sign a long-awaited reconciliation deal on 26 October in Cairo, Egypt's Foreign Minister Ahmad Aboul Gheit said on Monday after meeting President Mahmuod Abbas. "We agreed to hold a meeting for Palestinian factions in Cairo on October 25 before signing a reconciliation agreement on October 26," Aboul Gheit told a joint news conference his Jordanian counterpart Nasser Judeh, according to AFP. "Arab officials and maybe officials from outside the Arab world might attend the signing of the agreement as witnesses," he also said. The announcement came shortly after Abuol Gheit and Egypt's intelligence chief Omar Suleiman held talks in the Jordanian capital, Amman with Abbas, the leader of Fatah. The Palestinian factions have not directly commented on these remarks, which was the most definite pronouncement. . . 

Ma’an Network celebrates expanded production
10/5/2009 - Raed Othman, Ma'an's general director, issued the following statement on Thursday: Ma'an Network has expanded its production and activities in 2009, while remaining committed to its mission of strengthening independent media in Palestine and empowering Palestinians. Our projects cover a wide range of subjects and have connected us with organizations throughout Palestine and all over the world. We have decided to produce a regular newsletter to update the public about our different activities - welcome to the first edition! We hope you enjoy reading about our different projects, and as always, we welcome your suggestions and comments. You can contact us at info@maannet. org. Ma'an Network has grown significantly since its establishment in 2002, and we now have over 90 permanent employees between our headquarters in Bethlehem, offices in Gaza and Ramallah, and correspondents and photographers based in different Palestinian cities. 

Ha'aretz Defense page

Islamic leader: Temple Mount clashes won't end until occupation of Jerusalem does
5 Oct 2009 - Riots in Jerusalem continue as heads of Hamas and the Islamic Movement call protestors to the site. 

IDF soldier and cop hurt in East Jerusalem clashes
5 Oct 2009 - Soldier moderately wounded after stabbed during bus check in Shoafat; officer hurt as youth hurl rocks. 

Egyptian border guard dies of self-inflicted gunshot wound near Gaza border
4 Oct 2009 - Sources said investigations were under way to determine the source of the gunshots. 

Goldstone tells Sderot: Probe did not ignore rocket terror
4 Oct 2009 - Author of Gaza war report responds to letter from David Buskila, who accused him of ignoring rocket fire. 

Soccer player who dodged IDF can return home without arrest
4 Oct 2009 - IDF to let Ben Sahar to enter and exit for match against Moldova, but reiterates obligation for service. 

What are the chances of a third Palestinian Intifada?
4 Oct 2009 - Fatah strongman: Palestinians will continue to resist occupation, but only in accordance with international law. 

Last woman Palestinian prisoner freed in Shalit video swap
4 Oct 2009 - Haniyeh: Movement in prisoner swap file a 'serious relief'; Report: Israel knows exactly where Shalit is held. 

Uruknet

Palestinian unity deal in jeopardy [06-oct-2009 04:57 ECT]
October 6, 2009 - Fatah has accepted Egypt's invitation for Palestinian factions to sign a reconciliation agreement this month. But rival Hamas says Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas's smothering of a UN report on Israel's Gaza war conduct could prove fatal for any unity deal. Ahmed Abul Gheit, Egypt's foreign minister, told a joint press conference in Jordanian capital Amman on...

Another injustice to Palestinians [06-oct-2009 03:19 ECT]
October 5, 2009 - The Goldstone report on the violence in Gaza is a shocking record of the inhumanity of mankind in wartime. It was assumed that Israel, the main target of its criticism, and its principle ally, the United States, would oppose the report. What was not expected was how the report was suppressed in the United Nations Human...

Last Straw for the Palestinian "Authority"? [05-oct-2009 23:49 ECT]
October 5, 2009 - If there were any lingering doubts concerning the status and integrity of the Palestinian National Authority-and its so-called President, Mahmoud Abbas ("so-called" because his term of office, such as it was, expired almost a year ago)-they were surely dispelled once and for all by its decision to drop its support for a UN resolution that would...

Yemeni leading cleric blames Iran for war [05-oct-2009 23:36 ECT] 
A leading Yemeni religious leader has accused Iran of inciting violence in the north of the country, where a predominantly Shia Muslim group is waging a war against the government. Sheikh Abdul Majid al-Zandani, the head of Yemen's Imam University, told supporters that Tehran was trying to promote the Shia ideology in the country by backing the Houthi fighters...

The UN Must Adopt the Goldstone Report: Dissolve the Palestinian Authority [05-oct-2009 23:28 ECT]
October 5, 2009 - Palestinian civil society has strongly and almost unanimously condemned the Palestinian Authority's latest decision to delay adoption by the UN Human Rights Council of the report prepared by the UN Fact-Finding Mission, headed by justice Richard Goldstone, into the recent Israeli war of aggression against the Palestinian people in the occupied Gaza Strip. A common demand...

Guernica Written With the Hands and Hearts of Children [05-oct-2009 23:22 ECT]
October 5, 2009 - Located in the beautiful Well of Liverpool Anglican Cathedral is a stunning exhibition, "Loss of Innocence: Gaza Children's Art". Rod Cox, who collated the exhibition, drove from Cheshire, through Europe and North Africa to Gaza with the UK humanitarian aid convoy in March, following the 22 day assault on Gaza this year. He stayed to work...

Sarraj calls for removing Abbas from office [05-oct-2009 22:18 ECT]
October 5, 2009 - Head of the national reconciliation campaign Eyad Al-Sarraj on Sunday called for conducting an investigation with Mahmoud Abbas and removing him from office because of his decision to delay taking action on the UN report about Israeli war crimes in Gaza. "What happened in Geneva, regardless of the justifications, was a big unforgivable crime against the...

Audacity of Nope: Obama Disappoints As Middle East Peacemaker [05-oct-2009 20:01 ECT]
October 5, 2009 - Let me make one thing perfectly clear: President Barack Obama definitively demonstrated at the trilateral summit in New York that he will not contribute anything significant to peacemaking between Israelis and Palestinians. When Obama dropped his demand for a freeze on Israeli settlement building, all of which is illegal according to international law, and adopted a...

Hamas calls for dropping Abbas' Palestinian ID over UN Gaza report delay [05-oct-2009 19:33 ECT]
October 5, 2009 - A senior Hamas leader on Monday called for taking the Palestinian nationality off President Mahmoud Abbasover the Palestinian National Authority's (PNA) request to postpone voting on a Gaza war report at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC). "I call on the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) to work hard on procedures to strip Mahmoud Abbas and everyone...

Rafsanjani's Deal [05-oct-2009 19:13 ECT]
October 5, 2009 - Politicians and officials linked to both Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani have released the draft of a plan to calm the crisis of protests and detentions that have continued since June's disputed presidential election, according to a September 29 story published by Fars News Agency. "Currently experienced and concerned individuals of the...

Palestinian factions call for forming committee to probe Goldstone report delay [05-oct-2009 19:01 ECT]
October 5, 2009 - Palestinian factions and national forces on Sunday called for forming an independent national committee to investigate the parties responsible for postponing the vote on justice Richard Goldstone's report on Israeli war crimes in the Gaza Strip. In a press release, the factions expressed their rejection of all misleading and contradictory reasons given by the Palestinian Authority (...

Palestinian factions call for forming committee to probe Goldstone report delay [05-oct-2009 16:55 ECT]
October 5, 2009 - Palestinian factions and national forces on Sunday called for forming an independent national committee to investigate the parties responsible for postponing the vote on justice Richard Goldstone's report on Israeli war crimes in the Gaza Strip. In a press release, the factions expressed their rejection of all misleading and contradictory reasons given by the Palestinian Authority (...

Palestine Telegraph

Call for an investigation into Abbas over UN report
Gaza, October 6, 2009 (Pal Telegraph)- Eyad Al-Sarraj, head of the national reconciliation campaign, called for an investigation into Mahmoud Abbas and his possible removal from office over the decision to delay taking action on the UN report about Israeli war crimes in...

Israeli official cancels UK visit on fears of arrest
Gaza, October 5, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - Israeli vice Prime Minister Moshe Ya'alon has canceled a planned trip to Britain over fears of being arrested there, Israeli sources have said.

Palestinians commemorate Al Aqsa Intifada through Bili'n resistance
Bil'in, October 3, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - Yesterday's weekly demonstration in Bil'in was inundated with gas, but no arrests were made.

Palestinians Prisoners Waiting A complete Freedom
Palestine, October 2, 2009, (Pal Telegraph)-In an amazing celebration in both Gaza and West Bank, the 19 Palestinian prisoners have been greatly welcomed today 2 Oct 2009.

Vote on Gaza report deferred
Palestine, October 2, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) - The Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) has supported a decision to defer a vote on the UN-sanctioned report on the Gaza war until next March, Al Jazeera has learned.

The National

Jordanians question relations with Israel
5 Oct 2009 - A movement against the normalisation of ties between Israel and Jordan grows within the nation.

Saudi king's Syria visit feeds hopes soptimism
5 Oct 2009 - This week's visit to Syria by Saudi King Abdullah marks a potential reconciliation between the two rivals after years of bitter relations.

Threats led to deferral of UN Gaza investigation
5 Oct 2009 - Vigorous lobbying by Israel and US buries damning report on Israel's conduct during the invasion that killed hundreds of civilians.

Cairo-led talks to focus on Palestinian reconciliation
4 Oct 2009 - Latest efforts to foster an end to the feud between the rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah is scheduled for tonight.

Israel frees final woman prisoner
4 Oct 2009 - Israel has released the final Palestinian woman prisoner as part of a breakthrough swap for a video of its soldier held in Gaza for more than three years.

Aljazeera

Pressure mounts on Abbas to quit
5 Oct 2009 - Hamas calls Palestinian leader "criminal" for delaying vote on UN Gaza war report.

Palestinian unity deal in jeopardy
5 Oct 2009 - Fatah accepts Egypt's invite to sign pact but Hamas says Goldstone debacle could hurt talks.

Yemeni cleric blames Iran for war
5 Oct 2009 - Sunni religious leader says Tehran is supporting unrest in country's north.

IAEA sets Iran inspection date 
4 Oct 2009 - UN experts to visit newly disclosed uranium enrichment facility in Qom on October 25.

Alternative Information Center

Guernica Written With the Hands and Hearts of Children
5 Oct 2009 - Located in the beautiful Well of Liverpool Anglican Cathedral is a stunning exhibition, "Loss of Innocence: Gaza Children’s Art". Rod Cox, who collated the exhibition, drove from Cheshire, through Europe and North Africa to Gaza with...

Palestine News Network

Heads in the sand: Hamas head of PLC says coming back without issue while Abbas postpones Goldstone
5 Oct 2009 - Kristen Ess – The elected head of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Dr. Aziz Dweik said Monday that he will be returning to his natural role in the Legislative Council without any agreement from Fateh. Dweik ran on the Change and Reform ticket in the 2005-2006 Legislative elections, which landed him in Israeli prison along with 100 of his colleagues who were rounded-up...

Committee formed to investigate President Abbas as he agrees with Washington to postpone Goldstone 
5 Oct 2009 - Ramallah / special to PNN – Early Monday a committee was formed to investigate the circumstances of the Palestinian Authority agreeing to back-off from the Goldstone Report. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asked the Palestinian leadership to support postponing a vote to accept the findings that proved the Israelis committed war crimes in Gaza. The public has taken to the streets for...

March for Peace and Nonviolence has begun in S America, will be in Bethlehem mid-month
4 Oct 2009 - Bethlehem - The Holy Land Trust is planning to participate in the World March for Peace and Nonviolence. The March is a massive global initiative that will start in New Zealnd on October 2nd, the anniversary of Gandhi's birth, declared the International Day of Non-Violence by the United Nations, and conclude in the Andes Mountains (Punta de Vacas, Aconcagua, Argentina) on January...

Grassroots anti-Apartheid Wall campaign says postponing Goldstone vote is detrimental
4 Oct 2009 - Ramallah - The Palestinian Grassroots anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign is one of the organizations participating in today’s demonstration in Ramallah against the position of the Palestinian Authority regarding the Goldstone report on Gaza. In light of the situation, the campaign issued a statement against the postponement of the vote on the Goldstone Report:The Palestinian Grassroots Anti Apartheid Wall Campaign denounces the irresponsible action...

Protest Palestinian Authority’s position on Goldstone report
4 Oct 2009 - Ramallah – Participation is expected to be widespread, but the possible reaction of the Palestinian Authority security services is unclear. The Palestinian national political parties, the Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign, the Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO) and civil society organizations call for a demonstration to protest against the request of the Palestinian Authority to postpone the vote at the UN Human Rights...

Media org welcomes Human Rights Council protection of journalists, condemns treatment of Goldstone
4 Oct 2009 - Ramallah / Mousa Rimawi - The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) welcomes the Human Rights Council decision on 2 October, which related to the protection of journalists during armed conflicts. The resolution calls “on all parties to armed conflict to respect international humanitarian law, including their obligations under the Geneva Conventions, of 12 August 1949, and, where applicable, the Additional...

IRIN

LEBANON: Plight of the trafficked domestic worker
BEIRUT Wednesday, September 30, 2009 (IRIN) - Abbey was a nurse at a French hospital in Madagascar when a recruitment agency suggested to her boss that she travel to Lebanon for three years to work and learn Arabic so she could better care for the Arab sailors whose ships docked...

EGYPT-ISRAEL: How many migrants are dying at the border?
TEL AVIV Wednesday, September 30, 2009 (IRIN) - Rights groups such as Amnesty International have called on the Egyptian authorities to "urgently rein in their border security forces" after seven African asylum-seekers were killed in September trying to cross into Israel on foot, but some Israeli NGOs and soldiers say...

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

Inter Press Service

MIDEAST: Voices of Gloom Get Louder 
ABU DIS, Occupied West Bank, Oct 5 (IPS) - Three Israeli soldiers, automatic rifles slung across their shoulders, are questioning a group of Palestinian builders. The top floors being added to the concrete house that lies right alongside Israel's security wall which divides off occupied East Jerusalem from Palestinian territory...

Stop The Wall

http://stopthewall.org/latestnews/2082.shtml
5 Oct 2009 - Nearly a thousand people took to the streets today in Ramallah to protest the position of the PNA on the Goldstone Report. Carrying flags and banners and blocking traffic, people marched and vented their rage against the Palestinian Authority (PA) for failing to take the opportunity to see Israeli war criminals tried in international courts. [

More injuries and arrests as the villages of Bil’in and Ma’sara protest the Wall
4 Oct 2009 - Protestors marched against the Wall in Bil’in and al-Ma’sara on Friday. A solidarity delegation from France joined the people of Bil’in, and two people were injured during the course of the day. Occupation forces have also arrested another member of the Bil’in popular committee. [

PCHR Latest

Justice Delayed is Justice Denied: Decision of Palestinian Leadership and International Pressure an Insult to the Victims, 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

(17- 30 Sep. 2009), information on boycott, divestment and sanctions
This report on Israeli human rights violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) coincides with the 9th anniversary of the al-Aqsa Intifada, which erupted following the former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s provocative visit to the al-Aqsa Mosque (the Holy Sanctuary) in occupied Jerusalem.

International Solidarity Movement

VIDEO - Organizer admits City of David endangers Arab homes
10/5/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Akiva Eldar, Ha'aretz - A video tape made during a guided tour of the archaeological excavations at Silwan (the City of David) near Jerusalem’s Old City walls reveals how Elad, the association that runs the dig, works together with the Israel Antiquities Authority, the Israel Nature and Parks Authority and the Jerusalem municipality to dig under the homes of Arab residents. In the tape, made a year ago, the founding head of Elad, David Be’eri, says: “At a certain point we came to court. The judge approached me and said, ‘you’re digging under their houses. ’ I said ‘I’m digging under their houses? King David dug under their houses. I’m just cleaning. ’ He said to me, ‘Clean as much as possible. ’ Since then, we’re just cleaning; we’re not digging. ” Be’eri goes on to describe an excavation method in which “we built from the top down” and “everything’s standing in the air” [due to the removal of fill]. 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

Lieberman drops Cairo envoy nominee after internal pressure 
5 Oct 2009 - Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has withdrawn his nominee for the position of Israel's ambassador to Cairo, Haaretz has learned. Lieberman had planned to appoint his close Yisrael Beiteinu associate, Col. Shaul Kamisa. The idea was criticized across the board both inside and outside the Foreign Ministry, and a few days ago the candidacy was shelved. ... 

Foreign Ministry orders staff to keep mum on Goldstone report 
5 Oct 2009 - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is facing unusually harsh criticism from within Fatah and other Palestinian groups for his decision last week to withdraw a draft document requesting the United Nations Human Rights Council pursue the adoption of the Goldstone report on alleged crimes against humanity in Operation Cast Lead. ... 

Palestinian protesters hope for independent Gaza war probe
5 Oct 2009 - Ramallah - A few hundred protesters demonstrated here yesterday against the Palestinian Authority's decision to delay endorsing the Goldstone report. ... 

Jordan to Israel: Don't let Jews onto Temple Mount
5 Oct 2009 - Israel, PA and Waqf to hold talks on rules for visiting the site until crisis eases up. 

Expert on Iran Jews doubts Ahmadinejad has Jewish roots
4 Oct 2009 - An expert on Iranian Jewish communities has rebuffed rumors that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may have had Jewish origins, in a response published on Monday in The Guardian. ...

The Guardian

Letters: Time for action on Goldstone report
5 Oct 2009 - It is deplorable that the Goldstone report was removed from the agenda of the UN human rights council last week ( Palestinians bow to US pressure on Gaza report , 3 October). In effect this means no action...

Israeli minister Moshe Ya'alon rejects British trip amid arrest fears
5 Oct 2009 - Vice-prime minister warned he could be arrested in UK on suspicion of war crimes An Israeli cabinet minister has turned down an invitation to visit Britain next month after he was warned he might face arrest...

Fatah-led security officers accused of torturing Hamas suspect to death
5 Oct 2009 - Palestinian authorities begin military trial over death of Haitham Amr, fourth Hamas suspect to die in custody this year Palestinian authorities have begun a rare military trial of security officers accused of torturing a Hamas suspect...

The tropes of 'Jewish antisemitism' | Antony Lerman
5 Oct 2009 - The concept of the 'self-hating Jew' has been dignified with a pseudo-psychopathology by those keen to suppress dissent From the moment he took the job heading the UN Human Rights Council's mission to investigate human rights...

Ha'aretz National page

Why do Israeli students score so low on tests? 
5 Oct 2009 - Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar has signed new regulations requiring principals to report all cases of violence between students or between students and teachers. ... 

Filipino children take center stage for Tel Aviv beauty contest 
5 Oct 2009 - Francesca Fueros ascends the stage during the swimsuit section of the beauty pageant. The director of the event stands on the sidelines, urging her on with shouts of "be sexy." ... 

Two Bedouin arrested for allegedly vandalizing national park
4 Oct 2009 - Police on Monday arrested two Negev Bedouin on suspicion of vandalizing the southern archaeological park of Avdat as revenge for the recent demolition of homes in the area. ...

Who is really to blame for the tensions on the Temple Mount?
4 Oct 2009 - Palestinian clashes with Israeli police on Sunday and on the day before Yom Kippur near the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem's Old City have made foreign diplomats wonder whether Israel is enacting a new policy on the Temple Mount, which is serving to exacerbate tensions. ... 

Orthodox U.S. Jews: Our right to Jerusalem can't be denied
4 Oct 2009 - The leading body of Orthodox Jews in America on Monday condemned the Palestinian Authority over its call to the world to stop the "Judaization of Jerusalem," and vowed that Jews would never give up their historical right to the ancient city. ...

Relief Web

OPT: Abbas cabinet says will confront Israel; protests flare
5 Oct 2009 - Source: Reuters - AlertNet

Khalifa Foundation donates for food aid in the oPt in response to UNRWA Ramadan Appeal
5 Oct 2009 - Source: UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East

OPT: Save the Children launches EVERY ONE campaign to reduce infant and child mortality worldwide
5 Oct 2009 - Source: Save the Children

OPT: Stone laying at Terra Santa School in Jericho
5 Oct 2009 - Source: UN Development Programme

Analysis - Palestinians simmer, but no Intifada for now
5 Oct 2009 - Source: Reuters - AlertNet

OPT: Fatah and Hamas eye truce deal, but hurdles remain
5 Oct 2009 - Source: Reuters - AlertNet

YNet News

Mofaz: Jerusalem riots won't spread
5 Oct 2009 - Kadima MK, who served as IDF chief during second intifada, says current unrest in capital mere provocation aimed at disrupting Jewish holidays. Former Jerusalem Police chief: This is much ado about nothing 

Clerics urge Jerusalem's Muslims to 'protect al-Aqsa'
5 Oct 2009 - Capital's police on high alert in wake of increasing unrest in city, muezzins call on believers to guard Temple Mount against Jews trying to enter it 

Hamas to Egypt: Postpone reconciliation meeting with Fatah
5 Oct 2009 - Request follows PA's support for deferral of UN vote on Goldstone Report. 'Palestinian people won't have mercy on us if we reconcile with those who failed to protect their rights,' Islamist group says 

Iran names new militia commander who UN sanctioned
5 Oct 2009 - IRNA reports Supreme Leader Khamenei replaces head of feared Basij militia with senior military officer subjected to UN sanctions over links to ballistic missile program; two other new military appointments also announced 

Turkey: Protestors burn Israeli flag
5 Oct 2009 - Thousands attend anti-Israel rally in Istanbul held in support of Arab riots in Jerusalem. Foreign Ministry says moderate forces in turkey will know difference between incitement, facts 

'Rumors that Ahmadinejad has Jewish roots false'
5 Oct 2009 - According to the Guardian, Iranian president's previous surname not common among Persian Jews, reason it was changed has to do with class struggle in Iran 

Palestinian reconciliation deal underway
5 Oct 2009 - Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit says Hamas, Fatah agree on treaty meant to end internal Palestinian strife 

PA: World must prevent Judaization of Jerusalem 
5 Oct 2009 - Government in Ramallah blasts 'plan by Jews to perform religious rituals' in Temple Mount,' calls on international community to 'force Israel to put off its attempts to take over Jerusalem' 

J'lem clashes continue: Officer injured in Shufat
5 Oct 2009 - Police officer suffers light injuries from stones thrown towards checkpoint near Shufat; 10 detained for stoning Jews on way to Western Wall prayers 

Syria postpones PA president's visit
5 Oct 2009 - Mahmoud Abbas' planned visit to Syria was postponed amid controversy about his role in postponing discussion over Goldstone Report 

Daily Star

Iran vows 'positive' approach to next round of nuclear talks
6 Oct 2009 - TEHRAN: Iran, praised by the UN atomic watchdog chief for deciding to cooperate with world powers over its nuclear program, said on Monday it will head with a "positive" approach into the next round of talks later this month. Foreign Ministry spokesman Hassan Ghashghavi reiterated at a news conference that the Iranian nuclear program was peaceful in purpose and dismissed Western demands that Tehran offer guarantees to this effect.

UAE jails Syrian spy in Hariri probe
6 Oct 2009 - ABU DHABI: A Syrian former spy who was a prosecution witness in the inquiry into the assassination of Lebanon's former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri was on Monday given six months in jail and deportation for entering the UAE on a forged Czech passport. The Supreme State Security Court in Abu Dhabi pronounced its verdict, which cannot be appealed, ordering that the counterfeit passport of Mohammad Zuhair Siddiq.

King Abdullah to visit Syria this week amid warming tie
6 Oct 2009 - RIYADH: Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah is to visit Syria this week to meet President Bashar Assad, in a further sign of warming ties between the two Arab states, the royal court announced on Monday. The announcement carried by the official Saudi news agency SPA said Abdullah would travel to Syria "in the coming days" without giving a date.

Police flood into Jerusalem's Old City after Palestinians clash with security forces
6 Oct 2009 - OCCUPIED JERUSALEM: Police flooded into Jerusalem's Old City Monday following clashes with Palestinians near the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound while tens of thousands of Jews attended a religious ceremony. As tensions mounted in the holy city, one soldier was stabbed in the neck at a checkpoint in the Shuafat refugee camp several kilometers from where dozens of Palestinians hurled rocks at security forces.

Palestinians simmer, but no intifada for now
6 Oct 2009 - OCCUPIED JERUSALEM: Peace talks with Israel are in deadlock and tear gas and rocks are flying at Jerusalem's holy sites, but for all the mounting frustration in the West Bank talk of a Third Intifada seems premature to most Palestinians. A week after Israeli forces clashed with hundreds of Arabs who believed expansionist Jewish settlers were trying to enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

Egypt's top imam orders student to remove conservative face veil
6 Oct 2009 - CAIRO: Egypt's leading cleric ordered a student to remove her face veil while he was was visiting an academy linked to the Al-Azhar University in Cairo, an Egyptian newspaper reported on Monday. Al-Azhar's Grand Imam Mohammad Tantawi asked the student to remove her niqab, a face veil worn by devout Muslim women, when he spotted her in a classroom, the daily Al-Masry al-Yowm reported, add ing that the student complied.

Palestinian Information Center

Qaradawi urges Muslims to make next Friday a day in support of Aqsa Mosque
6 Oct 2009 - Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, the head of the international association of Muslim scholars, called Monday on the Arab and Muslim peoples to make next Friday a day of anger in support of the Aqsa Mosque.

Ya'alon cancels visit to Britain fearing arrest
6 Oct 2009 - Israeli vice premier Moshe Ya'alon has cancelled his scheduled visit to Britain next month fearing arrest after lawsuits were filed charging him with committing war crimes.

Turkish demonstrators picket before the Israeli consulate
6 Oct 2009 - A group of Turkish youths picketed in front of the Israeli consulate in Istanbul in protest against the Jewish desecration of the holy Aqsa Mosque.

Haneyya: Delaying the vote on the UN report dealt a blow to the reconciliation
6 Oct 2009 - Premier Ismail Haneyya stated that delaying the vote on Goldstone’s report at the request of the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah dealt a blow to the national reconciliation efforts.

IOA troops arrest Palestinian boy after shooting him, settlers steal olives
6 Oct 2009 - The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) fired at a Palestinian boy to the west of Beit Lahia city, north of the Gaza Strip, and took him away after wounding him, locals reported.

Sarraj calls for removing Abbas from office
6 Oct 2009 - Head of the national reconciliation campaign Eyad Al-Sarraj called for conducting an investigation with Mahmoud Abbas and removing him from office.

IOA turns Jerusalem into army barracks, blocks worshipers from heading to Aqsa
6 Oct 2009 - The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) on Monday deployed big numbers of policemen and border guards in occupied Jerusalem and blocked Muslims worshipers from heading to the Aqsa Mosque.

Mizan center: Delaying action on the UN report is a serious precedent
6 Oct 2009 - Issam Younis, the director of Al-Mizan center for human rights, said that the Palestinian Authority’s request to defer action on the UN report is a serious precedence entailing investigation.

Palestinian factions call for forming committee to probe Goldstone report delay
6 Oct 2009 - Palestinian factions and national forces called for forming an independent national committee to investigate the parties responsible for postponing the vote on Goldstone’s report.

IOA orders Islamic leader not to approach Jerusalem for two weeks
6 Oct 2009 - The IOA released late Sunday night Sheikh Kamal Al-Khatib, deputy leader of the Islamic Movement in Palestine occupied in 1948, and ordered him not to approach occupied Jerusalem for two weeks.

Los Angeles Times

With Oct. 25 nuclear plant inspection, Iran backs away from confrontation, official says 
5 Oct 2009 - The nation is moving away from challenging the West to 'transparency,' says the head of the U.N.'s nuclear enforcement agency. Saying Iran appeared to be moving away from confrontation with the West, the head of the United Nations nuclear enforcement agency announced Sunday that Tehran had agreed to a date this month for international inspectors to visit what until recently had been a covert underground uranium-enrichment plant. 

Iran sets date for inspection of nuclear plant 
5 Oct 2009 - Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency, says Tehran appears to be moving away from confrontation with the West. Inspectors are to visit the recently revealed Fordu site Oct. 25. Saying Iran appeared to be moving away from confrontation with the West, the head of the United Nations nuclear enforcement agency announced Sunday that Tehran had agreed to a date this month for international inspectors to visit what until recently had been a covert underground uranium-enrichment plant. 

Nuclear chief ElBaradei visits Iran 
4 Oct 2009 - Ahmadinejad defends Iran's nuclear activities as the head of the IAEA arrives to arrange an inspection of the uranium enrichment facility near the holy city of Qom. As the head of the U.N. nuclear monitoring agency arrived in Iran on Saturday, the country's president declared that it had reported the existence of a new nuclear site earlier than required. 

New York Times

World Briefing | Middle East: Egypt: Possible Ban on Veiled Students
5 Oct 2009 - Egypt’s top Islamic cleric is planning to bar students wearing a face veil from entering the schools of Al Azhar, Sunni Islam’s premier educational institution, according to an independent newspaper. 

World Briefing | Middle East: Egypt: ‘Artificial Virginity’ Kit Opposed
5 Oct 2009 - Conservative lawmakers have called for a ban on imports of a Chinese-made kit meant to help women fake their virginity. 

World Briefing | Middle East: Gaza: Harsh Words From Hamas
5 Oct 2009 - Hamas leaders stepped up their verbal assault of the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, saying they no longer considered him a Palestinian. 

World Briefing | Middle East: Israel: Official Cancels Trip to Britain
5 Oct 2009 - Moshe Yaalon, a government minister and former army chief of staff, feared he could be arrested on war crimes charges. 

Black Market Shows Iran Can Adapt to Sanctions
5 Oct 2009 - The focus on sanctions has intensified, but history shows it would be difficult to truly quarantine Iran’s economy. 

Iran Agrees to Allow Inspectors on Oct. 25
5 Oct 2009 - The director of the International Atomic Energy Agency said during a visit to Tehran that Iran had given access to a newly disclosed nuclear enrichment facility. 

Misc

Goldstone forgot his loyalty oath
Mondoweiss - 5 Oct 2009 - Yne t: United Nations investigator Richard Goldstone said Sunday that he was saddened by the fact that Jews felt he should not be investigating Israel because he is Jewish. As a Jew, he told CNN, I have an even bigger duty to investigate war crimes. I...

Hot damn, we’re the new Establishment
Mondoweiss - 5 Oct 2009 - I eat this up with a spoon. JTA : We are reasonably certain that 139 of the richest 400 Americans are Jewish, including 20 of the richest 50. Those top 20 control some $211.8 billion in personal wealth. A ton of Israel lobbyists here: Haim Saban, Mike...

Seeing double (JPost/NYPost praises Bloomberg for solidarity with Israel)
Mondoweiss - 5 Oct 2009 - A friend asks : Maybe you’ve heard about the joint venture between Jerusalem Post and NY Post in which ‘certain zip codes’ and subscribers receive a weekly JPost insert in their Sunday NYPost? [Nope I didn't Hazel, but it's giving me the willies] As reported to me...

Obama gave the dirty work to Abbas and now both are soiled
Mondoweiss - 5 Oct 2009 - The Palestinian reaction to the Palestinian Authority selling out Gaza on the Goldstone report has been vehement . Now, Arab News reports, Abbas is shocked, shocked over the cashiering of the report: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, amid mounting criticisms at home over Palestinian Authority’s decision to withdraw...

MSNBC airs Greenwald saying Israel flouts NPT and ’slaughters’ neighbors
Mondoweiss - 5 Oct 2009 - Genius appearance by Glenn Greenwald on MSNBC here. Arianna Huffington, fresh back from Israel, is a militant talking points mama. "Iran is challenging the existential presence of Israel," she says, and denying the Holocaust too. Iran has threatened to bomb Israel. (Has it? I don’t believe...

Guernica Written With the Hands and Hearts of Children
Alternative Information Center - 5 Oct 2009 - Located in the beautiful Well of Liverpool Anglican Cathedral is a stunning exhibition, "Loss of Innocence: Gaza Children’s Art". Rod Cox, who collated the exhibition, drove from Cheshire, through Europe and North Africa to Gaza with the UK humanitarian aid convoy in March, following the 22...


Articles

Dissolve the Palestinian Authority 
Omar Barghouti, CounterPunch 10/5/2009
      The UN Must Adopt the Goldstone Report
     Palestinian civil society has strongly and almost unanimously condemned the Palestinian Authority’s latest decision to delay adoption by the UN Human Rights Council of the report prepared by the UN Fact-Finding Mission, headed by justice Richard Goldstone, into the recent Israeli war of aggression against the Palestinian people in the occupied Gaza Strip. A common demand in almost all Palestinian statements issued in this respect was for the UN to adopt the report and act without undue delay on its recommendations in order to bring an end to Israel’s criminal impunity and to hold it accountable before international law for its war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Gaza and, indeed, all over the occupied Palestinian territory. 
     Succumbing to US pressures and unabashed Israeli blackmail, the president of the PA himself reportedly was himself responsible for the decision to defer discussion at the Council of the Goldstone report, dashing the hopes of Palestinians everywhere as well as of international human rights organizations and solidarity movements that Israel will finally face a long overdue process of legal accountability and that its victims will have a measure of justice. This decision by the PA, which in effect delays adoption of the report at least until March 2010, giving Israel a golden opportunity to bury it with US, European, Arab and now Palestinian complicity, constitutes the most blatant case yet of PA betrayal of Palestinian rights and surrender to Israeli dictates. 
     This is not the first time, though, that the PA has acted under orders from Washington and threats from Tel Aviv against the express interests of the Palestinian people. The historic advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice in July 2004 that found Israel’s Wall and colonies built on occupied Palestinian territory illegal had presented a rare diplomatic, political and legal opportunity that could have been used to isolate Israel as apartheid South Africa was after a similar ICJ decision in 1971 against its occupation of Namibia. Alas, the PA squandered it and systematically -- quite suspiciously, actually -- failed to even call on world governments to comply with their obligations stated in the advisory opinion. more.. e-mail

Obama should back Goldstone report 
George Bisharat, Redress 10/2/2009
      George Bisharat calls on US President Barack Obama to match his “warming rhetoric” on justice, ethics and the rule of law with principled deeds by supporting the Goldstone report on war crimes in Gaza.
     President Obama has placed restoration of the stature of the United States among his primary foreign policy goals. He has already achieved substantial progress in Europe, where polls indicate that he is widely admired. The president’s Cairo University speech in June also won praise in the Arab and Muslim worlds. Yet many across the globe still await the substantive policy changes implied by his inspiring words. President Obama can solidify broader global respect by supporting the recommendations of the just-released Goldstone report in the United Nations Human Rights Council. Richard Goldstone, an eminent South African jurist, led a mission to investigate allegations of war crimes in Gaza last winter.
     Indeed, the Goldstone mission concluded that Israel and Hamas committed war crimes and possibly crimes against humanity. The report recommends that both parties be given six months to mount independent, internal investigations – and if they fail, that the United Nations Security Council refer the matter to the International Criminal Court for investigation and possible prosecutions. Much of the 575-page report documents Israeli violations of the laws of war and human rights surrounding the intense fighting of last winter. That is fair, as the scale of harm Israel caused to lives and property in Gaza vastly exceeded that inflicted by Hamas. Israel killed approximately 100 Palestinians for every Israeli who died, and destroyed vast swaths of private housing, industrial buildings, agricultural facilities and public infrastructure. more.. e-mail


Electronic Intifada
UN must act on Goldstone and the PA must be dissolved
5 Oct 2009 - Succumbing to US pressure and unabashed Israeli blackmail, Mahmoud Abbas, leader of the Ramallah Palestinian Authority (PA), was reportedly personally responsible for the decision to defer UN Security Council consideration of the Goldstone report. This dashed the hopes of Palestinians everywhere as well as those of international human rights organizations and solidarity movements, that Israel would finally face a long overdue process of legal accountability and that its victims would have a measure of justice. 

Time to re-engage with people power
5 Oct 2009 - Bereft of any credible or legitimate leadership, the Palestinian people will have to look to themselves to continue their struggle for freedom, justice and equality. Indeed, their struggle has been at its best, for example, during the first intifada of the 1980s, when the official leadership -- at the time in exile in Tunis -- was actually least involved in it. No wonder, then, that the Israeli response to the grassroots autonomy of the first intifada was to usher the official leadership back into Palestine; the first intifada then stalled, and things have gone downhill ever since. Saree Makdisi comments for The Electronic Intifada. 

Palestinian orgs: Justice delayed is justice denied
5 Oct 2009 - On 2 October 2009, the Palestinian leadership -- under heavy international pressure lead by the United States -- deferred the draft proposal at the Human Rights Council endorsing all the recommendations of the UN Fact Finding Mission (the Goldstone Report). This deferral denies the Palestinian peoples' right to an effective judicial remedy and the equal protection of the law. It represents the triumph of politics over human rights. It is an insult to all victims and a rejection of their rights. 

In Gaza
finding pleasure in small celebrations:Nuit Blanche in Gaza
5 Oct 2009 - Every year around the beginning of October, Parisians celebrate Nuit Blanche, a night when the city is lit up and the musicians and artists crowd the streets. Every year in Gaza, artists and talented Palestinians show their works at the French Cultural Centre in Gaza City. This year saw, in addition to the artwork displayed inside, an array of singers and dancers including: traditional Palesitnian Dabke!; a band comprising oud and guitar players, playing traditional and non-traditional music; the Palestinian Rapperz; Camps Breakerz, a group of youths using breakdancing to express themselves and, as always, the intertwined political messages of life in an occupied land. Including a rendition of Cheb...

Palestine Chronicle
UN Must Immediately Adopt and Act on Goldstone Report
5 Oct 2009 - By Omar Barghouti Palestinian civil society has strongly and almost unanimously condemned the Palestinian Authority's latest decision to delay adoption by the UN Human Rights Council of the report prepared by the UN Fact-Finding Mission, headed by justice Richard Goldstone, into the recent Israeli war of aggression against the Palestinian people in the occupied Gaza Strip. A common demand in almost all Palestinian statements issued in this respect was for the UN to adopt the report and act without undue delay on its recommendations in order to bring an end to Israel's criminal impunity and to hold it accountable before international law for its war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Gaza and, indeed, all over the occupied Palestinian territory. Succumbing to US pressures and unabashed Israeli blackmail, the president of the PA himself reportedly was himself responsible for the decision to defer discussion at the Council of the Goldstone report, dashing the hopes of Palestinians everywhere as well as of international human rights organizations and solidarity movements that Israel will finally face a long overdue process of legal accountability and that its victims will have a measure of justice. This decision by the PA, which in effect delays adoption of the report at least until March 2010, giving Israel a golden opportunity to bury it with US, European, Arab and now Palestinian complicity, constitutes the most blatant case yet of PA betrayal of Palestinian rights and surrender to Israeli dictates. This is not the first time, though, that...

If You Can't Beat Hamas...
5 Oct 2009 - By James Gundun While the international community shuttles from one meeting to the next, jets from one city to the next, Gazans idle their time or keep their minds distracted from the past and future. Pushing 50% unemployment, they haven't felt the winds of change in President Obama's push for a two-state solution, not the slightest breeze. Though he insists Hamas is fully to blame, he's in no position to deny that blackballing Hamas is partly Israel's doing. Imagine if Obama reconsidered a dialogue with "terrorists" or spoke a single word about the UN's Gaza report at the Security Council - every last trace of his Jerusalem support would vanish. But evidence is mounting that Obama is on the wrong side of the inevitable. Hamas can't be beaten. Obviously President Obama shouldn't join it, but he may have no choice to work with it. Heading into their eighth negotiating round with Egypt, Hamas and Fatah are expected to sign a reconciliation agreement later this month specifying elections, political prisoner exchanges, and Palestinian security forces. Skepticism surrounds the talks given how intractable each side appears, but the language from both sides has been universally positive, a rarity in the Middle East. "We handed the Egyptians a very positive response before Id al-Fitr," Abdullah Abdullah, a Fatah legislator, said. "We are prepared to reach understandings with all the Palestinian groups over the points mentioned in the plan, and not only with Hamas." Mohammad Dahlan, leader of Fatah in Gaza, tempered expectations but...

Audacity of Nope: Obama Disappoints as Middle East Peacemaker
5 Oct 2009 - By Ira Glunts Let me make one thing perfectly clear: President Barack Obama definitively demonstrated at the trilateral summit in New York that he will not contribute anything significant to peacemaking between Israelis and Palestinians. When Obama dropped his demand for a freeze on Israeli settlement building, all of which is illegal according to international law, and adopted a softer formulation calling for a show of "restraint," he was telling the world that he is surrendering to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, to his powerful American supporters, and to their wish to continue to suppress any Palestinian aspirations for an independent state. Of course you will not read about this abject American surrender in The New York Times, although a Reuters report that appeared on The Times' website did characterize the summit as a "dud." However, the self-described pro-peace, pro-Israel organizations and their spokespeople outdid the mainstream media in spinning the summit in a positive direction. J Street, for instance, called Obama's recent statements a "move in the right direction" in an email sent to its mailing list. They also praised the President's performance at the summit in a public statement declaring that they, "applaud the serious commitment President Obama has demonstrated since the first days of his Presidency to personally engage in a sustained and active pursuit of a negotiated, two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict." Daniel Levy (New America Foundation) interprets Obama's capitulation with some tortured logic which whimsically concludes that the chastened President will eventually stiffen-up and actually...

Gilad Shalit: A Story of Betrayal
4 Oct 2009 - Uri Avnery - Israel A prisoner of war must not be left in captivity. A wounded soldier must not be left in the field. The state signs an unwritten contract with every person who joins the army, and most definitely with everyone who serves in a combat unit. The behavior of the Israeli governments in these 1196 days, of the politicians and the generals who are responsible for this outrage, is a violation of this contract, a betrayal of trust. In short: an infamy. It enrages and infuriates every decent person, and not only combat soldiers. The betrayal is already in the terminology used. In the words of the Book of Proverbs (18:21): “Death and life are in the power of the tongue”. A soldier captured by the enemy in a military action is a prisoner of war – in every language, in every country. Gilad Shalit was captured in a military action. He was an armed soldier in uniform. In this context, it does not matter whether the action itself was legal or illegal, and whether the captors were regular soldiers or guerrillas. Gilad Shalit is a prisoner of war. The denial started at the first moment. The Israeli government refused to call the capture by its proper name and insisted that it was an “abduction” or even “kidnapping”. The disciplined Israeli media, marching behind the generals in lockstep like the Prussian guard, joined the chorus. Not a single newspaper, not a single radio or TV announcer ever spoke...

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