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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
9 October, 2009

News

Ma'an News

Confrontations spread from Jerusalem to surrounding areas
10/9/2009 - Jerusalem - Ma'an - A Palestinian and four Israeli police officers were injured, and dozens of Palestinians detained during confrontations spurred by heavy Israeli military presence and restricted access for Palestinians to the Old City of Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Barred from entering the Old City, hundreds of Palestinian men held the Friday prayer on the sidewalk outside Damascus Gate, as armed Israeli troops looked on. After the noon prayer confrontations between Israeli armed forces and Palestinians, mostly youth, had spread to Qalandiya, where a large Israeli military checkpoint abuts the Qalandiya Refugee Camp. Stalled traffic and closed roads lead to frustrations where local youth set car tires ablaze and Israeli military officials responded by sending in more soldiers, which further increased tensions. According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), 18 Palestinians were injured in the last week during Jerusalem confrontations, including two children. 

Nil’in protesters use sunlight and mirrors to thwart Israeli soldiers
10/9/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - More than 200 protesters arrived early in Nil'in Friday and penetrated the Israeli separation barrier before Israeli forces arrived to quash the weekly demonstration. When Israeli forces arrived, organizers of the protest said, they launched an "enormous amount of teargas canisters," who had formed a line parallel to the barrier's fence and concrete wall sections. Event leaders used mirrors to direct bright sun rays at the faces of soldiers mounted on jeeps and launching the gas at the peaceful crowd, they said. Ralliers carried banners and signs condemning recent Israeli attacks on Jerusalem, and against the illegal construction of the separation wall in the village. Two weeks earlier, Nil'in protesters used pulleys and make-shift ladders to take down sections of the eight-meter-tall separation wall. 

Five Gazans injured in tunnel collapse following Israeli strike
10/9/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Five Gazans were injured while working inside the tunnels between Rafah and Egypt on Friday morning, medical sources confirmed. Officials at Abu Yousef An-Najjar Hospital in Khan Younis said two workers suffered electrical shocks and three others were injured when a tunnel collapsed. One of the youth lost a finger, they said. Israeli forces dropped three bombs in the Gaza tunnel region on Friday morning. Locals say the impact of the strikes destabilizes the already fragile tunnels, which provide goods as diverse as cars and food basics to a besieged Palestinian population in the locked down Gaza Strip. [end] 

Israel lifts siege of Al-Aqsa compound
10/10/2009 - Jerusalem - Ma'an - Israeli forces steadily withdrew from East Jerusalem's Old City and its Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Friday evening, following the day's blockade of about 100 worshipers who had refused to leave the area. Clashes that erupted elsewhere throughout the occupied city left at least one Palestinian injured, as well as 11 Israeli soldiers including four who were hospitalized, Israeli sources said. Hatem Abdul-Qader, who holds the Fatah movement's Jerusalem portfolio, said Israel's decision to end the siege was the result of its police forces agreeing to cancel arrest warrants for a number of worshipers there. He said Ali Abu Sheikha, advisor to the Islamic Movement, was among those whose warrants were cancelled. Other sources told Ma'an that Jordan, in addition to UN special envoy Robert Serry, played a role in ending the siege. 

Israeli warplanes attack Gaza tunnels - drop three bombs
10/9/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - At least two Israeli F16 warplanes dropped three bombs on the tunnels area in Rafah early Friday morning, Palestinians reported no injuries from the attacks. Palestinian medical sources at Abu Yousef An-Najjar Hospital confirmed that no injuries had been reported, but family of tunnel workers were flooding the hospital with calls to see if their sons were killed. [end] 

Report: Settler seriously injured by rock near Nablus
10/9/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - An Israeli settler was seriously injured when a large rock crashed through her car window between the Palestinian cities of Ramallah and Nablus on Friday evening, according to news reports. The Hebrew-language daily newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported that a 50-year-old settler was seriously hurt along with her relative driving a car near the "Tabuach junction" in the northern West Bank. According to the report, paramedics arrived soon after and evacuated the two to Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikvah inside Israel. The newspaper quoted medics saying the woman sustained a skull fracture. It did not mention suspects. Meanwhile, Israeli forces stormed Sanjil village searching for Palestinians suspected of throwing stones, according to a report from The Jerusalem Post. The newspaper did not mention a link to the prior incident, although Sanjil village is near Tabuach. 

Israel angry over Swedish support for Goldstone report
10/9/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israel is considering cutting diplomatic ties with Sweden after the country's ambassador to the UN said Israel had made "a mistake" by not cooperating with the UN fact-finding mission, and expressed his general support of the Goldstone report that came out of it. Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt has expressed support for the Goldstone report, and its recommendations that the war crimes alleged in the document be investigated, as it suggests, by the International Criminal Court. He made comments at the Human Rights Council and on the radio in his home country. According to Israeli media reports, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon was outraged over comments Bildt made in Stockholm Thursday, calling South African Judge Richard Goldstone a person with "high credibility" and "high integrity" and that his report carries weight. 

Local confusion over new Wataniya mobile service provider
10/9/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Palestinian Minister of the Economy Basem Khoury denounced what he described as "media confusion" over the ownership of the new Wataniya mobile service provider. Recent media reports said the yet-to-launch mobile services provider, which is awaiting bandwidth promised from Israel so the company could function and already almost a year behind its planned launch date, said the company was in fact mostly owned by Palestinian officials who stand to make a major profit when the company is launched. The provider is not a Palestinian company, with 57% of shares owned by Wataniya International, a Qatari company, and the rest, 43%, owned by the Palestinian Investment Fund, Khoury emphasized. Director of the Wataniya, Khoury explained, is the head of the Palestinian Investment Fund Mohammad Mustafa. 

Bil’in village holds tear-gas canister cleanup
10/10/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - Local residents and international solidarity activists on Friday afternoon helped the central West Bank village of Bil'in clean up several months worth of spent tear-gas canisters. Israel's military opens fire each week on demonstrators protesting its separation barrier, which, when completed, will annex more than 50 percent of the farming village's olive groves for the use of nearby illegal settlements. But on Friday, about 150 volunteers, including dozens from Israel, scraped up and bagged thousands of the plastic and metal casings marked with yellow Hebrew lettering, all found littered throughout Bil'in's rolling hills. Shortly after locals hauled the sacks away in personal vehicles, however, soldiers launched more high-velocity CS shells at what was left of this week's protest, a crowd of regulars that had slimmed down noticeably from the past summer's throngs. 

Gaza doctor up for EU prize for defenders of human rights
10/9/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The Palestinian obstetrician in Gaza who became well known for a tragic Israeli Channel 10 broadcast during which he lost three of his daughters to Israeli airstrikes during Operation Cast Lead, is up for the European Parliament's prize for defenders of human rights and democracy across the world. Doctor Izzeldin Abu Al-Aish was nominated for the Sakharov Prize for his continued "fight for peace between the Israeli and Palestinian people and his tireless efforts to "build bridges between the two war-torn and weary communities. "Dr Abu Al-Aish was an obstetrician living in Gaza and working the a hospital in Israel before the Israeli war on Gaza. He lost three of his daughters in the war, and emigrated with his family to Canada shortly afterward. The Gaza-based doctor, who was trained in Israel and speaks Hebrew, rocked Israeli society when he was recorded sobbing. . . 

Without warning Israel shuts down all Gaza crossings
10/9/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - All crossing points from Israel into Gaza were shut Friday, Palestinian crossings official Raed Fattouh confirmed. The crossings were scheduled to receive goods as of Thursday, when one crossing was operating, but the portals were locked down Friday, and Fattouh said no reason was communicated to him from Israeli authorities. Often crossings are closed as a form of collective punishment against Gazan civilians when resistance fighters launch projectiles. The same tactic was used in the weeks and months before Israeli forces launched their war on Gaza in December. No projectile launches were claimed by resistance factions in Gaza Thursday or Friday. [end] 

Israeli forces detain 2nd youth in Hebron for knife possession
10/9/2009 - Hebron - Ma'an - Israeli troops detaineda second young man at the Ibrahimi mosque in Hebron Friday morning, again alleging he was carrying a knife. Eyewitness from Dura,Nayef Musa Abu Hleil, identified the young man as his son, 19-year-old Anas. He said soldiers outside the mosque took Anas to the Etzion detention center south of Bethlehem for questioning, and denied the allegations that his son was carrying a weapon. Late Thursday soldiers at the same checkpoint detained 16-year-old Ali Muhammad Sleiman Abu Saleh, also from Dura, who was also accused to have been carrying a knife. Ali's relatives said it was the second time Ali has been. The first time he was taken from a different checkpoint in Hebron, and detained wtihout charge for 15 months. He was released six months ago. 

Two succumb to injuries from Jabaliya explosion
10/10/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Two Palestinians on Friday succumbed to serious injuries sustained in an explosion of gas cylinders inside a restaurant in Jabaliya about three weeks earlier, according to a Palestinian human rights organization. The Al-Mezan Centre for Human Rights reported that Mahdi Fadel Ismail, 54, and Subheiyah Abed Ar-Rahman, 51, were pronounced dead at Israeli hospitals, raising the death toll to 10. Four Palestinians were still undergoing treatment in Israel, according to the organization. The apparently accidental blast injured 50 others. An investigation into the causes behind the explosion revealed leaking gas canisters were to blame for the incident, according to Gazan de facto civil defense unit personnel. Investigators also found that damages were particularly acute because 90 percent of materials needed for firefighting had been used up during the assault on Gaza over the winter, they said. 

Netanyahu may concede some Palestinian rights to bolster Abbas
10/10/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may live up to one of its outstanding legal or human rights obligations in order to bolster the support of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, news sources reported Friday. Sources cited by the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz said Netanyahu would either finally follow through on his binding agreement to give the emerging Palestinian cellular telecom company Wataniya the band width it was promised last year so it can begin operations, or stop denying the Palestinian Authority permission to build a housing development on Israeli-occupied land near Ramallah. The decision on which of the rumored "goodwill packages," as they were termed by Israeli media, will go forward could be announced during Netanyahu's Friday meeting with US Special Envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell. 

Obama wins 2009 Nobel Peace Prize as local peace talks flounder
10/9/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to US President Barack Obama on Friday "for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples," the Nobel Foundation announced. The committee that selected Obama made specific mention of his work "for a world without nuclear weapons. "Also cited were his more active role in the United Nations, his approach to international relations through "dialogue and negotiations," and emphasis on the need to address climate change. "Obama has as President created a new climate in international politics," the Nobel announcement said. "Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future. His diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that. . . 

Palestinian FM wants UN to protect Jerusalem
10/9/2009 - Paris - Ma'an - Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs Riyad Al-Maliki, speaking at the UNESCO's 35th general conference in Paris on Friday, urged member states to establish a special fund to protect the heritage of Jerusalem. He called on the UN body to take action on the holy city and others, all of which he said were suffering under Israel's refusal to implement hundreds of international resolutions. Al-Maliki said Israel's separation wall was causing untold damage to Palestine and occupied East Jerusalem, and that its construction reflected Israel's respect for cultural heritage. He concluded by calling the international community to take responsibility for rebuilding Gaza. Meanwhile, The Associated Press reported that Palestinian diplomats in Geneva were pushing for an urgent meeting of the UN Human Rights Council to renew debate on the Gaza assault. 

Hamas: PA detains five affiliated from Nablus
10/9/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Hamas officials accused the Palestinian Authority of detaining five of its party members and affiliated from their Nablus homes across Thursday night. The accusations come as tensions rise in the West Bank, with calls for the resignation of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas over his leadership on the UN-mandated Goldstone report that saw discussion of the war crimes allegations the report held postponed at the UN Human Rights Council. While factions have insisted the issue will have no effect on unity talks anticipated in Cairo at the end of October, other leaders are worried the PA fumble and the popular outcry will provide unity talks with a reason for failure. 

Abbas’ Goldstone failure could thwart unity, keep Rafah closed
10/9/2009 - Al-A'rish - Ma'an - "Hamas asked Egypt to delay the dialogue and the conciliation agreement," Egyptian analyst on Palestinian affairs Ashraf Abu Al-Houl said via phone Friday. The analyst for the Egyptian Al-Ahram newspaper described the current political turmoil as almost entirely caused by the Goldstone report crisis, and noted that it may "thwart all the progress Egypt has made on the complex file of Palestinian national unity. " Palestinian sources confirmed the issue, saying "pressures are being placed on Hamas by some of the Palestinian factions to delay the dialogue" and noted that Egyptian officials are reviewing the request to delay talks, but are wary of the risks of delay. Abu al-Houl said Hamas leader Mahmoud Az-Zahar who justified the delay to him, saying "˜the atmosphere is not suitable' in the wake of the PA dropping the Goldstone report and accusations. . . 

Haniyeh urges Ramallah to make moves for unity
10/9/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - De facto Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh demanded Palestinian leadership in Ramallha take quick steps to put back on track the issue of Palestinian unity in time for the next conciliation talks in Cairo. While Fatah coordinated pro-Abbas rallies in the West Bank coordinated with Jerusalem-solidarity rallies to boost numbers and show support for the Palestinians in the Al-Aqsa Mosque,Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri confirmed that Hamas was talking to Egypt about postponing talks. "Consultations between Egypt and Hamas are ongoing to ensure a suitable date for the holding of a national dialogue session that is guaranteed to be successful," Abu Zuhri said. [end] 

Hamas, Jihad host Al-Aqsa rallies in Gaza
10/9/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Islamic Jihad and Hamas on Friday organized large rallies in different parts of Gaza in solidarity with the Al-Aqsa Mosque and in protest of the Palestinian Authority's decision to delay the Goldstone report. "Israeli attacks on Al-Aqsa are aimed at changing the reality of Jerusalem, which we too are prepared to do," said senior Islamic Jihad leader Khaled Al-Batsh. The official's remarks came as demonstrators departed from a local mosque near Jabaliya, in northern Gaza, where protesters carried the Islamic movement's flag and chanted slogans. Al-Batsh called the delay of South African justice Richard Goldstone's UN investigation "a crime," although he also criticized the report which, he said, "equated the victim with the attacker. "He also called for capturing more soldiers, calling on both his organization's militant wing, the Al-Quds Brigades, and Hamas' Al-Qassam Brigades, to step up efforts in that regard. 

Erekat: Abbas received Cairo invitation for 25 October
10/10/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - President Mahmoud Abbas received an invitation to sign a conciliation agreement with Hamas in Cairo on 25 October, chief Palestine Liberation Organization negotiator Saeb Erekat said on Friday. The announcement came during a height of tensions between the two mainstay factions, over disagreements stemming from the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority's apparent intervention in stifling a UN-backed investigation into Israel's assault on Gaza. According to Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri, "The movement is studying the issue. . . It [Hamas] has not yet made a final decision regarding this matter. "Earlier on Friday, de facto Prime Minister Ismail Haniyah urged Ramallah to revitalize conciliation talks aimed at resolving the ongoing state of disunity in the occupied Palestinian territories that began in 2007. 

’Amreeka’ makes its way back to Ramallah
10/9/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - "This is where the story originates; this is where my heart is," said director Cherien Dabis ahead of the Ramallah premiere of her debut film, Amreeka, about a single mother who picks up and moves to Illinois with her teenage son. Although the movie already earned the record of the Arab-American film with the largest number of releases around the world, premiered at Sundance and won at Cannes, was picked up by at least 75 theatres across the United States, and is now making its way around Europe and the Middle East, Dabis said she was nervous about the Ramallah crowd's reaction. "I have family here that I haven't even met yet, uncles I haven't seen in eight years," she explained. They are parts of the family who remained in Palestine after her own family emigrated. It was from Palestinians like her extended family that Dabis worried criticism 

EU honors winners of Ma’an-produced game show
10/10/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - High-ranking European Union officials on Friday joined Ma'an in Bethlehem and Hebron to honor winners of the network's radio game show "Here and There" that aired over Ramadan. The European Commission's representative in the occupied Palestinian territory, Christian Berger, and Alix De Mauny, the EU's press and information manager, were on hand to present the awards. "The quiz show wasn't something to get everyone on our side," said Berger of the program that ran throughout the month of Ramadan on nine radio stations across Palestine. "This was something to enjoy, to celebrate Ramadan. "Some 30 winners accepted prizes at Ma'an's recently redesigned studio on Friday, where guests were welcomed by Raed Othman, the network's general director, who thanked the EU for funding the program, which had the highest listening figures on Ma'an's radio network. 

Ha'aretz Defense page

Israeli seriously wounded by Palestinian stone throwers in West Bank
9 Oct 2009 - Woman seriously hurt in incident, her partner lightly wounded; IDF troops searching area where attack occured. 

Hamas bails out Gaza's losing tunnel investors
9 Oct 2009 - PA Economy Minister: Some 60 million Euro was lost be Gazan's who ploughed cash into expanding the tunnel network. 

Iran: We'll 'blow up the heart' of Israel if attacked
9 Oct 2009 - Revolutionary Guard official says Iran will destroy Israel if hit by a single U.S. or Israeli missile. 

IDF to protect Palestinians harvesting olives for only 3 days
9 Oct 2009 - In recent years settlers have attacked and shot Palestinians who harvested near West Bank settlements. 

IDF soldier arrested after caught on tape beating Palestinian
8 Oct 2009 - Soldier allegedly threatened Bil'in man that he would end up like the protestor shot and killed by IDF. 

Uruknet

[uruknet.info] Israel's export of occupation police tactics
October 9, 2009 - Israel's specialized policing and fighting capacity, which it is currently exporting to other countries, including the US, began to take shape after the June 1967 Arab-Israeli war. In the territories it occupied during the conflict, especially the Palestinian West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip, the Israeli government wanted to lay claim, permanently, to specific parts...

[uruknet.info] From boycotts to Bilin: An interview with Jonathan Cook
October 9, 2009 - ...JG: How important do you think the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement is at this stage in the conflict? JC: It is a hugely important development in the struggle for Palestinian self-determination. Certainly I think its moment has arrived. This is a Palestinian grassroots initiative that cannot be bought off by Israel in the way...

[uruknet.info] Al-Walajah, a symbol of Israeli ethnic cleansing
October 9, 2009 - While American officials continue to claim that the mission of US Middle East Envoy George Mitchell is by no means over, and that he will still pursue his efforts to convince the Israeli government to agree to some sort of settlement freeze, Israeli plans for further colonization of Palestinian land continue undisturbed. The latest Israeli plans...

[uruknet.info] Palestinians barred from Old City
October 9, 2009 - Israeli police have barred Palestinians protesting in defence of the al-Aqsa mosque compound from gaining access to Jerusalem's Old City. Friday's increased restrictions on the mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem follow a series of clashes that started late last month. Men under the age of 50 have been prevented from accessing the mosque for the...

[uruknet.info] Weekly Report: On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory No. 39/2009 (01 - 07 Oct. 2009) 
October 9, 2009 - Israeli violations of international law and humanitarian law in the OPT continued during the reporting period (01 - 07 October 2009): Shooting: During the reporting period, a Palestinian child and an Israeli human rights defender were wounded by IOF gunfire in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank respectively. In the Gaza Strip, on 04 October...

[uruknet.info] Impunity wins
October 9, 2009 - On 2 October, a week before the UN Human Rights Council was scheduled to vote on the Gaza war crimes report, Geneva-based Palestinian human rights activist Rania Madi knew something was wrong. She received a tip off from sources in the council about US and Israeli plans to defer the vote to March 2010. In response...

[uruknet.info] EU backs UN Gaza report, disappointing Israel
October 9, 2009 - The European Union backed on Thursday a contentious UN report blasting Israel's military offensive in Gaza, praising its chief author and saying the document is "worthy of consideration." Israel immediately expressed disappointment at the support from Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt -- whose country holds the EU presidency -- and said it showed that Bildt had...

[uruknet.info] Israeli massacre crimes not easily forgotten, despite the PA
October 9, 2009 - Abbas and the PA...what to say? Palestinians in Gaza made it through the massacre, minus 1500, only to learn of the extent of the PA collaboration with Israel... There has been much good coverage and analysis [outside of corporate media] of the PA decision to again fail the people, this time in the most brazen and...

[uruknet.info] L'acqua del Nilo..........Quando, dopo il gas, anche l'acqua andra' allo stato sionista? Questa e' una dichiarazione di guerra
Quanto sta avvenendo riguardo all'acqua del Nilo non e' un semplice problema....Senza esagerare...Cio' e' importante quanto la guerra stessa.... Lieberman, il ministro degli esteri della furiosa entita' sionista, sta svolgendo un giro nei paesi africani che sono legati al Nilo..... e prima che il tempo passi, e prima che coloro che si occupano di noi prendano l'iniziativa di chiedere la...

[uruknet.info] Lieberman: US doesn't get it - peace efforts have no chance
October 8, 2009 - Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman told AP there is no chance of ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for many years, in an interview published Thursday. The comments to the international news agency came as Israeli and Palestinian negotiators sit down in Washington, Tel Aviv and Ramallah under American patronage and try to hammer out a deal that...

[uruknet.info] Iran welcomes foreign investment in energy industry
October 8, 2009 - Iran, holder of the world's second- largest gas reserves, is open to foreign companies investing in its energy sector, the country's deputy oil minister said. "Many companies that belong to the government now will become private very soon," Azizollah Ramezani, deputy Iranian oil minister, said on Tuesday in an interview in Buenos Aires. "I think the...

Palestine Telegraph

Palestinians to hold support rally at al-Aqsa
Gaza, October 9, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - Palestinian factions have called for a demonstration at the al-Aqsa Mosque and staging a general strike and protests throughout the nation to condemn the desecration of the holy site by Israelis.

Protests in Geneva over Goldstone's report
Gaza, October 9, 2009, (Pal Telegraph)-Scores of protestors from the Palestinian, Arab and European communities marched in front of the headquarters of UN Human Rights Council in protest against the decision to postpone the vote on Richard Goldstone's report which accuses Israel...

Mitchell in Pilgrimage mission of ''so called peace''
Palestine, October 9, 2009, (Pal Telegraph)-George Mitchell, the US Middle East envoy, has held talks with Israeli leaders as part of an effort to restart peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. Mitchell met Avigdor Lieberman, Israel's foreign minister, Ehud Barak, the...

Parliamentarian calls for collective pause to restore unity and repel pressure to resume negotiation
Palestine, October 8, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) -Member of the Legislative Council and Secretary General of the National Initiative, Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi said today that resuming negotiations with the Israelis is at this point impossible.

Palestinians in London call for Accountability over Goldstone Report dilemma
Gaza, October 8, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) - Palestinian Return Center (PRC) held an urgent meeting in London, yesterday evening, to discuss the consequences of the withdrawal of the Goldstone report before submitting it to UN Human Rights Council of the United Nations....

The National

Visit the heart of Gaza without going there
9 Oct 2009 - Virtual tour of the Strip aims to put a human face on its inhabitants and elicit sympathy for their plight.

US envoy strives to reignite talks
9 Oct 2009 - Senior diplomat George Mitchell visits Israel amid clashes in East Jerusalem over access to Mosque.

Political interference leads to Egyptian judge's resignation
8 Oct 2009 - As one of Egypt's longest-serving judges, Mahmoud el Khodeiri's decision to resign last month was not taken lightly.

Hamas bans women on motorcycles
8 Oct 2009 - The group say safety concerns and social traditions, not Islamic religious values, are behind a ban on women riding motorbikes in the Gaza Strip.

Aljazeera

Palestinians barred from Old City
9 Oct 2009 - Israeli police stop Palestinian worshippers as protests at al-Aqsa continue.

PA does U-turn on Gaza report
8 Oct 2009 - Attempt to re-convene talks on Goldstone report follows outrage against Abbas.

Mitchell pushes Middle East talks
9 Oct 2009 - US envoy meets Israeli and Palestinian leaders with view to restarting peace talks.

Mystery over missing Iran scientist
8 Oct 2009 - US denies involvement in disappearance of man "linked" to Tehran's atomic programme.

Alternative Information Center

Discussion of the Importance of Israeli Support for the Palestinian Struggle With Sergio Yahni of the AIC
9 Oct 2009 - 

Palestine News Network

Tony Blair's niece begins epic cycle for peace
9 Oct 2009 - Siraj Center, Beit Sahour / George S. Rishmawi - Cyclists from across the world will today arrive in Amman to take part in the 4th international Peace Cycle to Jerusalem. Among the group are Lauren Booth, sister-in-law of Tony Blair, and her daughter Alexandra. As ex-PM Blair becomes favorite for first President of Europe, his 8-year old niece will take a fortnight off...

Palestinians seek new leadership, independence: PRC meeting in London
9 Oct 2009 - Gaza City / Pal Telegraph - Palestinian Return Center (PRC) held an urgent meeting in London this week to discuss the consequences of the withdrawal of the Goldstone report before submitting it to UN Human Rights Council of the United Nations. The meeting also discussed the needed and required Palestinian united position in response. A number of Palestinian Organizations, politicians and academics participated...

Hundreds march in Na'lin in solidarity with Jerusalem, pay tribute to British unions joining boycott
9 Oct 2009 - Na’lin / Salah Khawaja - Like towns throughout the Gaza Strip and West Bank today, Na’lin hosted a major demonstration in solidarity with Jerusalem and Al Aqsa Mosque, both of which are under particular threat. Hundreds of people from the western Ramallah town of Na’lin gathered for Friday prayers under the olive trees. Much of the land has been confiscated for the Wall,...

Human rights report on Israeli violations in West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza for first week of October
9 Oct 2009 - PNN - This week construction began on housing units for Israeli settlers in the Jabal al-Mukabber, Mount Scopus, neighborhood of East Jerusalem while settlers near Ramallah uprooted at least 50 olive trees. The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights has published its findings on Israeli violations of human rights for the reporting period of the first through the seventh of October. The report...

Sit-in calls for increased solidarity with political prisoners, particularly medical cases
8 Oct 2009 - Nablus / PNN - In Nablus dozens of Palestinians held a sit-in out of solidarity for Akram Mansour and other Palestinians held in captivity. The northern West Bank resident is one of thousands of political prisoners in Israeli jails.The sit-in included Director of the Ministry of Prisoners, Samer Smaroa, representatives of the factional coordination committee, and officials from the Palestinian Prisoner Society. The...

British Science Association honors Muslim Heritage pioneer with fellowship
8 Oct 2009 - A leading British-Arab engineer has been granted Fellowship of the British Science Association for his work to promote the scientific and technological achievements within Muslim cultures. Professor Salim T S Al-Hassani, of Manchester University, has spent the last two decades debunking the myth of “The Dark Ages” by raising awareness of the scientific achievements that took place in India, China, Muslim Spain...

Using fear to sell Israeli policy - military tours offered to western tourists
8 Oct 2009 - Amanda Mueller / special to PNN - For eight days at the end of October, Western tourists can participate in a tour labeled the “Ultimate Mission” hosted by the Israeli right-wing group Shurat HaDin (Israel Law Center). For 2,795 USD, plus airfare and a required donation of at least 500 dollars to the group that sells itself as one of human rights, participants...

Inter Press Service

MIDEAST: U.S. Strategy in Doubt as Abbas Loses Popular Support 
WASHINGTON, Oct 9 (IPS) - Just two months ago, many western commentators were jubilant that Mahmoud Abbas, the U.S.-supported head of both the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) and the interim Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority (PA), was making a comeback and reducing the influence in Palestinian society of the Islamist movement Hamas.

MIDEAST: Unrest Rising Over Goldstone Report 
RAMALLAH, Oct 9 (IPS) - The Palestinian Authority (PA) is trying desperately to contain the political fallout following its decision to withdraw support for a UN report into war crimes committed in Gaza in December and January.

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. [

PCHR Latest

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

PCHR Weekly Report

(01- 07 Oct. 2009), information on boycott, divestment and sanctions
During the reporting period, a Palestinian child and an Israeli human rights defender were wounded by IOF gunfire in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank respectively.

International Solidarity Movement

Israeli government prepared to return land annexed from Iraq Burin
10/9/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Iraq Burin has re-commenced its lively weekly demonstrations after a month-long Ramadan hiatus, with approximately 150 villagers and internationals joining forces on Friday, the 25th of September, to protest the occupation. The village's return to form was welcomed by the Israeli Occupation Forces with standard fare "crowd dispersal" techniques. In the following week the village received a statement from the Israeli government that it was prepared to return an unspecified amount of contested farmland that lies between Iraq Burin and the illegal settlement of Bracha, signifying an important breakthrough in the ongoing battle across the West Bank against land annexation and settlement expansion. Following the midday prayer, the protesters marched from the centre to the edge of the village where a public prayer was planned to take place on the contested farmland. 

Residents of Burin protest the destruction of an olive grove by settlers
10/9/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - The village of Burin came under attack from the nearby illegal settlement of Bracha on Monday the 28th of September. At 5am 25 settlers invaded the farmland of Abid Moussar, taking to his olive trees with chainsaws. 150 trees in total, covering 4 dunums of land were destroyed, just one day before Moussar planned to begin harvesting his crops. A demonstration was called for the following Saturday on the devastated land, only for protesters to be forced off the site by the military. The trees, planted 30 years ago by Moussar himself, will take another 10 years to rejuvenate to a point at which they can once again be harvested for their olives. The same farmland has come under attack year after year, with settlers attempting to burn the trees on several occasions. For Moussar, though he owns the largest farm in the area of Burin, the economic consequences are dire – this is his only source of income. 

Ni’lin residents demonstrate against Apartheid Wall
10/9/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - 2 October 2009 - Today about 70 people protested against the illegal Wall in Ni'lin. Less people than normal participated in the demonstration because of the olive harvest season. The demonstrators were attacked by the Israeli armed forces with a severe amount of tear gas, sound bombs and "˜skunk' water.  The majority of the tear gas canisters were aimed directly at the body of the protesters and several were hit but luckily nobody was seriously injured. The demonstration started after the Friday prayer, around noon. International and Israeli activists walked together with the Palestinians though the olive groves down towards the Wall. Pictures of six imprisoned boys, five of  from Ni'lin and one from Jayyous, were carried by the protesters. People were singing and chanting against the Occupation and carrying Palestinian flags. 

Israeli soldier arrested for beating Palestinian
10/9/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - AFP - Israeli military police have arrested a soldier accused of beating a Palestinian activist involved in regular protests against the West Bank separation barrier, an Israeli human rights group said. Yesh Din said the arrest was made after it filed a complaint and demanded an investigation into claims Mohammed Khatib, a member of the Bilin regional council, was beaten by soldiers last month. The army confirmed the arrest and said the soldier will be held until Monday. The incident allegedly took place when Israeli soldiers raided the home of Abdullah Abu Rahme of the Bilin Popular Committee Against the Wall, in order to arrest him. Rahme was not at home at the time, but Khatib was allegedly severely beaten when he came to check on his family. The village of Bilin is the scene of weekly protests against construction of Israel's West Bank barrier, which often lead to clashes between protesters and soldiers. 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

Obama envoy meets Netanyahu, Abbas in latest peace push
9 Oct 2009 - When President Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, his Mideast envoy was hard at work in Jerusalem trying to revive a faltering peace process on which Obama has staked his credibility and that of the United States. ...

Netanyahu to Obama: Nobel win sign of hope for 'new era of peace'
9 Oct 2009 - Israel's leaders congratulated U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday for winning the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressing the hope that his presidency would "usher in a new era of peace." ...

Palestinians want urgent UN debate on Goldstone Gaza report
9 Oct 2009 - Palestinian diplomats in Geneva said Friday they are pushing to bring forward a United Nations Human Rights Council debate on alleged war crimes committed by Israeli forces and Palestinian militants in Gaza earlier this year. ...

Last surviving leader of Warsaw Ghetto uprising laid to rest
8 Oct 2009 - Poland's President Lech Kaczynski, Jewish leaders and hundreds of Poles on Friday bid farewell to Marek Edelman, who was the last surviving leader of the 1943 Warsaw ghetto uprising against the Nazis. ...

Accepting Nobel, Obama vows to pursue Mideast peace
8 Oct 2009 - U.S. President Barack Obama reiterated on Friday his commitment to resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in a short speech he made during which he expressed surprise over winning the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. ...

The Guardian

Nobel peace prize: A call to action
9 Oct 2009 - The day that Henry Kissinger picked it up, satire was said to have died. When the Nobel peace prize was awarded to Barack Obama yesterday something different expired – the idea that the accolade is for...

A Nobel prize for hope | Amjad Atallah and Daniel Levy
9 Oct 2009 - The awarding of the Nobel prize to Barack Obama is a timely boost for his efforts to bring peace to Israel and the Middle East President Obama's efforts to achieve a comprehensive peace agreement between Israel...

Barack Obama's Nobel prize earns mixed reaction
9 Oct 2009 - Residents of Kabul, Baghdad and Jerusalem voice reservations at US president's award Kabul For the crowd gathered for a second day of festivities at one of the Afghan capital's garish wedding halls this afternoon there was...

Letters: In the dark
7 Oct 2009 - Holmfirth, and all towns and villages across England, should be watching out for Tesco sneaking in the back way ( In praise of... Holmfirth, 6 October ) my village has just woken up to the fact that Tesco...

It's not just about Iran | Hans Blix
7 Oct 2009 - A WMD-free zone in the Middle East could be the answer to rising nuclear tensions in the region The possibility that Iran is seeking to develop a nuclear weapon and the reality that it is building...

Dropping UN resolution on Gaza war a mistake, says Palestinian official
7 Oct 2009 - Abbas aide is first senior West Bank figure to publicly denounce decision to delay vote on endorsing war crimes investigations A senior Palestinian official admitted today it was a "mistake" to drop support for a UN...

Hamas bans women from riding motorbikes
7 Oct 2009 - Move 'to preserve citizen safety' is latest sign of Islamisation campaign in Gaza The Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas has banned women in Gaza from riding on motorbikes. The ban, posted on the movement's interior ministry website,...

Syria rolls out red carpet as Saudis fly in to kiss and make up
7 Oct 2009 - Sudden rapprochement between King Abdullah and President Assad ends bitter feud over Lebanon and US invasion of Iraq Syria is rolling out the red carpet today for an unusually important visitor, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia,...

Jerusalem's troublesome sheikh | Mick Dumper
7 Oct 2009 - Ra'ed Salah is mobilising opposition to the undermining of the Islamic presence in the city. His actions play to a wider audience A subtle shift in power has recently taken place on the street in Jerusalem....

Ha'aretz National page

Stone-throwing Arabs hurt 11 Border Policemen in Jerusalem
8 Oct 2009 - Rock-throwing Arabs lightly wounded eleven Border Policemen in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Ra'as al-Amud on Friday, as tensions in the capital flared yet again. ...

Soldier stabbed to death during Jerusalem brawl
8 Oct 2009 - Police believe argument between suspects' girlfriends at downtown nightclub led to stabbing.

Ra'anana man held for killing mother, wounding brother
8 Oct 2009 - Police arrested a 26-year-old Ra'anana resident Friday on suspicion of killing his mother and moderately wounding his brother, in two separate stabbing attacks. ...

How I felt watching a play about myself 
8 Oct 2009 - The lights in the Ha-Asurim theater hall went out and the show began. I had no idea what I had let myself in for. ... 

Under Netanyahu, Abbas has gone from 'good Palestinian' to foe
8 Oct 2009 - PM Salam Fayyad also joins Palestinian President on Netanyahu's list of 'problematic' Palestinians.

Relief Web

OPT: Israel - Stop blocking school supplies from entering Gaza
9 Oct 2009 - Source: Human Rights Watch

OPT: Logistics Cluster Gaza crisis consolidated situation report, 11 Sep - 08 Oct 2009
9 Oct 2009 - Source: Logistics Cluster

OPT: Identical letters dated 5 October 2009 from the Chargé d'affaires a.i. of the Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the UN addressed to the SG and the President of the SC (A/ES-10/464-S/2009/513)
9 Oct 2009 - Source: UN General Assembly, UN Security Council

Palestinian reconciliation pact may be on hold again
8 Oct 2009 - Source: Reuters - AlertNet

OPT: UN official seeks to defuse tension at holy site in Jerusalem
8 Oct 2009 - Source: UN News Service

OPT: USAID and the Palestinian Authority celebrate new infrastructure projects in the Northern West Bank
8 Oct 2009 - Source: US Agency for International Development

YNet News

Mitchell says meeting with Abbas positive
9 Oct 2009 - US envoy asks Israeli, Palestinian sides to send envoys to US to discuss renewal of peace talks 

Iran: Israel's threats inexplicable
9 Oct 2009 - Iran's ambassador to UN demands Security Council take steps against comments made by Ephraim Sneh, who said Israel would attack Iran if sanctions weren't in place by Christmas 

Iran: Decision to give Obama Nobel 'hasty'
9 Oct 2009 - Foreign Minster Mottaki says prize would be well-won if US changed its 'warmongering policies' 

PA wants urgent UN debate on Gaza
9 Oct 2009 - Palestinian diplomats urge Security Council to debate Goldstone report in light of Jerusalem riots 

2 Israelis injured by stones in West Bank
9 Oct 2009 - Woman driving car sustains severe head injury from shattered windshield, man lightly injured 

11 policemen injured by stones in Jerusalem 
9 Oct 2009 - Police's fears of wide-scale riots during Friday prayer services on Temple Mount are not realized, but police and Border Guard officers lightly hurt by stones in east Jerusalem neighborhood. Police commissioner: Peak of tension behind us 

Peres: Obama has begun turning peace into reality 
9 Oct 2009 - Israeli, Palestinian officials respond to US president's surprising Peace Prize win. Defense Minister Barak, Chief Palestinian negotiator Erekat hope award will boost Mideast peace efforts. Knesset speaker: This may force steps on Israel. Iran: Prize should push Obama to help end injustice 

Daily Star

US envoy meets Palestinian and Israeli leaders amid dim hopes
9 Oct 2009 - US envoy George Mitchell held separate talks with Israel's hawkish premier and the Palestinian president Friday, at a time when hopes of a Middle East peace breakthrough appear dimmer than ever. Despite low expectations, Premier Benjamin Netanyahu's office described his two hours of talks with Mitchell in Jerusalem as "productive and constructive, and focused on steps for advancing the peace process."

Police and protesters clash near Al-Aqsa
9 Oct 2009 - Israeli security forces on Friday clashed with stone-throwing Palestinians near occupied Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque compound as authorities limited access to the flashpoint site sacred to Muslims and Jews. Eleven officers were injured and two Palestinians arrested, a police spokesman said after the scuffles, which came as Palestinians staged a one-day strike in defense of the compound they say is threatened by right-wing Jews.

Palestinian leaders change course on Goldstone report
9 Oct 2009 - The Palestinian leadership has quickly backtracked in its passive approach to a UN report accusing Israel of possible war crimes in Gaza, in what its top diplomat acknowledged Thursday is erupting into a "clear crisis" for its people. Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki didn't say who was responsible for the crisis, but told reporters at UN headquarters.

Egypt's top Sunni cleric bans face veil in Al-Azhar
9 Oct 2009 - Egypt's top Islamic cleric said Thursday that students and teachers will not be allowed to wear face veils in classrooms and dormitories of Sunni Islam's premier institute of learning, Al-Azhar, part of a government effort to curb radical Islamic practices. The decision announced by Al-Azhar Sheikh Mohammad Sayyed Tantawi came just days after the senior cleric said the face veil, or niqab, "has nothing to do with Islam."

Iran vows to 'blow up heart' of Israel if attacked
9 Oct 2009 - Iran would "blow up the heart" of Israel if attacked by Tel Aviv or the US, a Revolutionary Guards official was quoted on Friday as saying. "Even if one American or Zionist missile hits our country, before the dust settles, Iranian missiles will blow up the heart of Israel," Mojtaba Zolnour said, according to IRNA news agency.

Palestinian Information Center

Tens of thousands in Gaza demonstrate in support of the Aqsa Mosque
9 Oct 2009 - Tens of thousands of Palestinian citizens in the Gaza Strip heeded the call of Hamas Movement to demonstrate in support of the Aqsa Mosque that had been under Israeli siege for more than a week now.

Massive rally in Damascus in support of the Aqsa and condemnation of Abbas
9 Oct 2009 - Mahir Al-Tahir, the representative of the PFLP in the exile, has strongly criticized on Friday Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas for aborting a scheduled UNHRC vote on the Goldstone report.

Turkish masses demonstrate in support of Jerusalem
9 Oct 2009 - Thousands of Turkish people marched the streets in massive demonstrations in support of the Aqsa Mosque, stressing that defending the holy shrine was a religious duty on every Muslim.

Huge demonstrations in Iran in support of Jerusalem and the Aqsa Moque
9 Oct 2009 - Thousands of Iranians demonstrated after the Friday prayers in various cities in Iran in support of the occupied holy city of Jerusalem and the holy Aqsa Mosque.

Abbas must go
9 Oct 2009 - Mahmoud Abbas’s decision to defer the adoption of the Goldstone report by the UNHRC in Geneva last week was more than an innocent diplomatic error or classical example of political misjudgment.

Qasem: US and Israeli occupation will work to rescue Abbas
9 Oct 2009 - Dr. Abdel-Sattar Qasem, professor of Political science at the Najah University in Nablus said on Thursday that Abbas will not resign his post despite popular Palestinian calls for his resignation.

Turkey warns Zionist entity over Aqsa Mosque
9 Oct 2009 - Ahmed Dawood Oglo, the Turkish foreign minister, said on Thursday that his country was closely monitoring the repressive Israeli measures against the occupied city of Jerusalem..

Israel imposes more restrictions on Muslim religious freedom
9 Oct 2009 - The Israeli government has imposed further restrictions on Muslim entry into the Haram al Sharif compound, considered the third holiest Islamic sanctuary.

Qudwa: Abbas is to blame for adjourning UN vote on Goldstone's report
9 Oct 2009 - Nasser Al-Qudwa, member of Fatah's central committee, has acknowledged Thursday that Mahmoud Abbas, the leader of Fatah, was the one to blame for delaying a UN vote on the Goldstone report..

Abbas's militia kidnap five Hamas supporters, continue to hold Beitawi's son
9 Oct 2009 - Abbas's militia continued its campaign against Hamas supporters in the West Bank and kidnapped 5 more supporters over the past couple of days in the Nablus district..

Los Angeles Times

Abbas' steps toward peace talks are echoing loudly 
9 Oct 2009 - The Palestinian Authority leader has angered friend and foe with concessions to Israel made under pressure from the U.S. Hounded by his moderate supporters and militant rivals alike, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is facing a leadership crisis that will make it harder for the Obama administration to draw him into peace talks with Israel. 

Striped on the Gaza Strip: Donkeys turned into 'zebras' at zoo 
8 Oct 2009 - Bringing real zebras into the embargoed territory would be too costly, a zoo official says, so workers painted two white donkeys with women's hair dye. Two white donkeys dyed with black stripes at a small Gaza zoo are delighting Palestinian kids who had never seen a zebra in the flesh. 

L.A. plays host to Iranian film festival 
8 Oct 2009 - The 10-day program, at the UCLA Film & Television Archive and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, features art from a country with a long history of storytelling. Perhaps no country in the world has garnered more attention this year than Iran, from the street protests over the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to revelations about its nuclear program. Yet somehow in the midst of turmoil and upheaval, the country's cinema is thriving. 

New York Times

Elite Guard in Iran Tightens Its Grip With Telecom Move
8 Oct 2009 - The Revolutionary Guards has taken a majority share in Iran’s telecommunications monopoly, prompting an investigation by Parliament. 

Moshav Yated Journal: Along Gaza, a Quiet (but Still Tense) Life
8 Oct 2009 - Last winter’s war has brought some quiet to Israeli communities along the border with Gaza, but in some respects, the war is not over. 

World Briefing | Middle East: Israel: Foreign Minister Scoffs at Prospects for Peace
8 Oct 2009 - Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Thursday that it was unrealistic to expect to reach a final peace agreement with the Palestinians soon. 

Egypt, Demanding Artifacts’ Return, Cuts Ties With the Louvre
7 Oct 2009 - The nation’s antiquities department says reliefs in the possession of the French museum were stolen in the 1980s from an ancient Egyptian tomb. 

Furor Sends Palestinians Into Shift on U.N. Report
7 Oct 2009 - Leaders are pursuing accusations against Israel over the Gaza conflict after acquiescence to the United States on the issue set off angry protests. 

Misc

Palestinians barred from Old City 
10/9/2009 - Uruknet - Aljazeera. net - Israeli police have barred Palestinians protesting in defence of the al-Aqsa mosque compound from gaining access to Jerusalem's Old City. Friday's increased restrictions on the mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem follow a series of clashes that started late last month. Men under the age of 50 have been prevented from accessing the mosque for the past six days. Several hundred Palestinians, denied entry to the mosque, performed Friday prayers just outside the gates of the Old City as the heavily armed Israeli police deployed extra troops. Palestinian leaders called on Friday for a one-day strike, as some suggested that the Israeli actions could spark a third uprising, or intifada, against the occupation. Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president who heads the Fatah movement, called the strike "to peacefully protest". 

Arab from the North? You can’t enter Jerusalem 
10/9/2009 - Jerusalem Post - The heavy security around Jerusalem in the wake of the recent Arab riots appeared to get a little bit out of hand on Thursday when Al-Jazeera's bureau chief in Israel, Walid al-Omari, and two of his crew members were initially denied entrance to Jerusalem, because "Arabs from the North aren't allowed into the capital. " The three, residents of northern Israel who hold Government Press Office cards, were traveling from Ramallah to the capital and were held up for some two hours at the Hizme checkpoint on the northern outskirts of Jerusalem after border policemen told them the seemingly bizarre order they had been given. Eventually, the policemen told the Al-Jazeera crew a mistake had been made, and the journalists were allowed to pass through the checkpoint. " It was astonishing and strange," Omari told Israel Radio. "They told us we weren't allowed to pass because Arabs from the North cannot enter Jerusalem. 

Shadows loom over Middle East peace talks 
10/9/2009 - The National - TEL AVIV // George Mitchell is taking another jab at Middle East peacemaking. Yesterday, though, prospects that the current visit of the top US envoy to the Middle East would prompt a resumption of the stalled peace process appeared grim after Israel’s ultranationalist foreign minister declared there was no chance for a peace deal anytime soon. Mr Mitchell’s latest tour in the region also coincided with a warning issued by King Abdullah of Jordan that the current diplomatic impasse in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process is sending the region back “into the darkness”. The US emissary, despite his daunting task, appeared determined to convince Israeli and Palestinian leaders to return to the negotiationing table. Speaking before a meeting with Shimon Peres, the Israeli president, in Jerusalem, Mr Mitchell said: “We are going to continue with our efforts to achieve an early relaunch of 

US envoy strives to reignite talks 
10/9/2009 - The National - TEL AVIV // George Mitchell, the top US envoy to the Middle East, yesterday met Israeli and Palestinian leaders in a bid to advance Washington’s efforts to reignite negotiations even amid increasingly grim prospects for peace. A day after Israel’s ultranationalist foreign minister declared there was no chance for a peace deal any time soon, Mr Mitchell met with Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, in Jerusalem in a renewed attempt to convince him to make the concessions necessary for the two sides to resume peace talks. A statement from Mr Netanyahu’s office described the two-hour meeting as “constructive” and added that it focused “on steps for advancing the peace process”. Mr Mitchell and his aides are due to continue the talks today with representatives of Mr Netanyahu. While the statement provided no indication of any possible breakthroughs, Israeli media reported that no 

Visit the heart of Gaza without going there 
10/8/2009 - The National - TEL AVIV // The tourist holds up a map, punches in a phone number and soon hears a description of the strictly guarded building of the United Nations relief agency for Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. “No, we’re not at Saraya prison, though one might think so from the barricaded and barbwired walls. Please hand your IDs to the security guard to obtain a visitor’s permit – security is very strict here. ”While this sounds like any other walking tour, albeit of a city that does not usually feature on lists of top 20 holiday destinations, there is a twist: the walking is actually done in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv. Visitors can download a double-sided map from the website of You Are Not Here, a tour agency with a difference, set up by a Palestinian and an Israeli. Holding the map up to the light, the sites of Gaza appear marked on a street map of Tel Aviv, meaning that instead of looking 

Report: Saban wants to buy al-Jazeera 
10/9/2009 - YNetNews - Egyptian newspaper al-Mesryoon says former Israeli media tycoon has submitted another offer to purchase television network from Qatari emir through Egyptian mediator - Former Israeli billionaire Haim Saban is holding negotiations for the purchase of 50% of the al-Jazeera television network from the Qatari government, Egyptian newspaper al-Mesryoon reported Wednesday. The negotiations are said to be conducted through an Egyptian mediator. According to the report, the television network is experiencing financial trouble despite its immense popularity. This is the second time Saban is negotiating with the Qatari emir. The media tycoon visited Qatar in 2003 together with former US President Bill Clinton, as part of a conference aimed at promoting peace in the Middle East. Saban backed out of the same negotiations in the past without offering any explanation. 

Israel considers recalling its ambassador to Sweden 
10/8/2009 - YNetNews - Following Swedish counterpart's remarks in support of UN report claiming Israeli forces committed war crimes in Gaza, Deputy Foreign Minister Ayalon says Jerusalem must reexamine relations with Stockholm - Israel is considering recalling its ambassador to Stockholm in light of Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt's remarks in support of a UN report claiming war crimes were committed by both sides during the Israel-Hamas Gaza conflict. Bildt told reporters in Stockholm Thursday that South African jurist Richard Goldstone, who headed the investigation into the war, is a person with "high credibility" and "high integrity" and that his report carries weight. Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon called to re-examine Israel's relations with Sweden. "It is a shame that a person who refused to respond to the blood libel against Israel has come out in praise of this unprofessional report," Ayalon told Ynet Thursday evening. 

Israel considers recalling its ambassador to Sweden 
10/8/2009 - YNetNews - Following Swedish counterpart's remarks in support of UN report claiming Israeli forces committed war crimes in Gaza, Deputy Foreign Minister Ayalon says Jerusalem must reexamine relations with Stockholm -Israel is considering recalling its ambassador to Stockholm in light of Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt's remarks in support of a UN report claiming war crimes were committed by both sides during the Israel-Hamas Gaza conflict. Bildt told reporters in Stockholm Thursday that South African jurist Richard Goldstone, who headed the investigation into the war, is a person with "high credibility" and "high integrity" and that his report carries weight. Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon called to re-examine Israel's relations with Sweden. "It is a shame that a person who refused to respond to the blood libel against Israel has come out in praise of this unprofessional report," Ayalon told Ynet Thursday evening. 

Sweden: Israel erred in not cooperating with Gaza probe 
10/8/2009 - Ha'aretz - Associated Press - The Swedish foreign minister said he supports a UN report claiming war crimes were committed by both sides during the Israel-Hamas Gaza conflict. Carl Bildt says Israel made "a mistake" by not cooperating with the probe, which he called an "independent" and "serious" report that demands serious treatment. South African jurist Richard Goldstone's report alleged that both Israel and Hamas committed war crimes during Israel's offensive against the Islamic militants last winter. Israel has rejected the war crimes allegations, declining to cooperate with the probe, fearing bias. Bildt spoke to Swedish Radio on Thursday. The United Nations Security Council said Wednesday it would not hold an emergency session on the report. The decision came as a rejection to a request submitted by Libya, the only Arab member on the 15-nation council, to hold a meeting dedicated to discussing the report compiled by Goldstone. 

Palestinians drum up support for UN debate on Goldstone report 
10/8/2009 - Monsters and Critics - New York - Palestinian officials on Thursday called on UN Security Council members to discuss the controversial report on fighting between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip when they meet next week for a session on the Middle East. Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki visited UN headquarters to hold talks with Arab states, which also support a debate in the 15-nation council on the report by South African Judge Richard Goldstone. The Arab states and the Palestinians failed on Wednesday to convince the council to hold a debate solely on the report. But the council, in a sign of compromise, decided to hold its monthly meeting on the situation in the Middle East on October 14, a week earlier than originally scheduled. The council thus opened the doors for discussion on the Goldstone report. The PA is counting on council members like Libya and Turkey to introduce the report to the council's Middle East meeting. 

Palestinian leader Abbas facing outrage 
10/8/2009 - San Francisco Chronicle - Associated Press - In five turbulent years in office, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has never faced as much outrage as he has over his decision to suspend efforts to get Israeli officials put on trial for war crimes in Gaza. On Wednesday, Gaza professors threw shoes at his defaced image and West Bank commentators called for his resignation, the latest signs Abbas may have miscalculated in bowing to what Palestinian officials say was intense U. S. pressure. Abbas is unlikely to be forced out of office because he enjoys strong Western support and has ruled the West Bank without challenge since his Islamic militant Hamas rivals drove him out of Gaza in 2007. However, the scandal could cause lasting harm to the 74-year-old Palestinian leader's standing with voters and his ability to negotiate with Israel. 

Israel, U.S. to hold manoeuvres as Iran talks simmer 
10/8/2009 - Reuters AlertNet - TEL AVIV, Oct 8 (Reuters) - Israel and the United States will hold their biggest joint air-defence exercise next week, officials said, testing missile interceptors that would serve as a strategic bulwark in any future showdown with Iran. The Oct. 12-16 manoeuvres, dubbed Juniper Cobra, will be overseen by Admiral Mark Fitzgerald, chief of the U. S. Navy's Sixth Fleet and the most senior American officer to be involved in the biennial event, an Israeli official said on Thursday. The first Juniper Cobra took place in 2001, when the Scud missiles of Saddam Hussein's Iraq menaced Israel. Now Iran and its nuclear project are seen as the main threat, though both Israel and the United States played down links to their drill. "This exercise is not related to or in response to any world events," the U. S. embassy in Tel Aviv said in a statement. 

Israeli FM Says Anyone Who Expects Peace Is Delusional 
10/8/2009 - Antiwar.com - Advises Israelis to 'Learn to Live With' Perpetual Conflict - Israel’s hawkish Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has sought to reassure people today that hawkishness will not be going out of fashion, as he attacked those expressing hope for a peace deal in the near term and insisted there was absolutely “no chance” of that happening. “Anyone who says that within the next few years an agreement can be reached ending the conflict simply doesn’t understand the situation and spreads delusions,” Lieberman declared. Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu Party has been firmly against the peace process for years, insisting that peace is impossible with the Palestinians and that security and stability could be attained while continuing a perpetual but low level conflict with the Palestinians. The platform won Yisrael Beiteinu a significant role in Israel’s coalition government, and Lieberman says he 

You Are Not Here: Gaza/Tel Aviv 
10/8/2009 - You Are Not Here - You Are Not Here Gaza/Tel Aviv has been relaunched in September 2009. Enjoy Gaza! - Welcome to Gaza. A Tour of Gaza through the Streets of Tel Aviv is the latest project from YANH. This time we are joined by Laila El-Haddad, the woman behind the blog Raising Yousuf: Diaries of a Palestinian Mother. Laila has written and recorded the audio tours of her city which are available to explore through the streets of Tel Aviv. Go print the map. [end] 


Articles

New Crisis Developing in Palestine 
Kathleen And Bill Christison, CounterPunch 10/9/2009
      Tensions Intensified by Obama Administration’s Lack of Decisiveness
     The following article is based heavily on a section of a new book recently published by Counterpunch contributors Kathleen and Bill Christison. Their book, entitled Palestine in Pieces: Graphic Perspectives on the Israeli Occupation, is published by Pluto Press. The book is a comprehensive description of all aspects of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories in the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem. It brings personal and pictorial perspectives to the Israeli occupation, describing the ways in which Israel dominates and constricts the lives of Palestinians, and also going beyond to discuss Israel’s long-term intentions. Illustrated with more than 50 photographs, the book argues that the occupation is part and parcel of Israel’s ultimate intention to retain control over the entirety of Palestine and to so fragment the occupied territories that any sustainable presence in the land by Palestinians as a nation will be negated.
     We have visited Palestine multiple times, most particularly eight times since 2003, and have been able to witness close up the vast changes that Zionism is constantly bringing to the land and to the people, none for the better. Palestinians are undergoing ever increasing levels of persecution and mistreatment from a rightwing Israeli regime that is being enabled and emboldened by the Obama administration’s abject failure to exert any real pressure. (See Jonathan Cook, “How Israel Buried the UN’s War Crime Probe,” CounterPunch, October 6, 2009.)
     You cannot possibly come away from even a single trip around the West Bank without realizing that Zionism is no mere abstract political philosophy but is an aggressive, exclusivist movement of Jewish redemption intended from the beginning to sweep everything non-Jewish from its path. On each trip we have made since 2003, things have grown worse for Palestinians. You can actually see this Jewish implantation across the land -- the whole land of Palestine -- in concrete form, actually see that Zionism has no room in its thinking, and Israeli leaders have no room in their policies, to accommodate any non-Jews at all, any Palestinians, living in Palestine in freedom and equality. more.. e-mail

From delusion to vindictiveness: interpreting the Zionist dream 
Gilad Atzmon, Redress 10/8/2009
      “The socio-economic structure of the Jewish people differs radically from that of other nations. Ours is an anomalous, abnormal structure.” (Ber Borochov, The Economic Development of the Jewish People, 1917)
     “You [Jews] lack the right notion of honour, feeling for duty, morality, patriotism, idealism...” (Max Nordau – address at First Zionist Congress, 1897)
     “But labour is the only force which binds man to the soil... it is the basic energy for the creation of national culture. This is what we do not have, but we are not aware of missing it. We are a people without a country, without a national living language, without a national culture. We seem to think that if we have no labour it does not matter – let Ivan, John or Mustafa do the work...” (A.D. Gordon, "Our Tasks Ahead," 1920)
     Early Zionism was indeed a cheerful dream. It was all about the transformation of the “Jew” into a “civilized, respectful and authentic human being”. The founders of Zionism were inspired by the notions of “people like any other people” and “nation amongst nations”. Reading early Zionists such as Nordau, Borochov and Gordon provides us with some very contemptuous references to the Jewish character and identity that would make Nazi ideology look mildly liberal. However, one is advised to take a short break for a second and to contemplate critically over the above Zionist dream. One may wonder what kind of people dream of “becoming human beings”. Can anyone imagine a French, English or Chinese man or woman who dreams of becoming an ordinary “human”? We can easily think of oppressed human beings who demand to be treated as humans (Palestinians, civil rights movements, anti-apartheid activists and so on). Yet, the Zionist dream is rather different. It is not just about the desire for recognition or equality, it is not just about being treated appropriately, it is also a dream of “self-transformation”. In fact, it is all about a miraculous metamorphosis from a morbid ,“abnormal” state of being into an acceptable decent human form. more.. e-mail


Electronic Intifada
Al-Walajah, a symbol of Israeli ethnic cleansing
9 Oct 2009 - While American officials continue to claim that the mission of US Middle East Envoy George Mitchell is by no means over, and that he will still pursue his efforts to convince the Israeli government to agree to some sort of settlement freeze, Israeli plans for further colonization of Palestinian land continue undisturbed. The latest Israeli plans call for the destruction of the West Bank village of al-Walajah for the second time in six decades. Hasan Abu Nimah comments. 

Israel's export of occupation police tactics
9 Oct 2009 - Palestinian resistance to the Israeli occupation would have to be suppressed and the population pacified if the occupation was to be sustainable. Thus began an evolutionary relationship that continues to this day, that of the Palestinian resistance versus Israel's policy of permanent occupation. Jimmy Johnson analyzes for The Electronic Intifada. 

From boycotts to Bilin: An interview with Jonathan Cook
9 Oct 2009 - Jonathan Cook is a British journalist based in Nazareth, the largest Palestinian city in Israel, whose work is regularly published by The Electronic Intifada. His latest book, Disappearing Palestine: Israel's Experiments in Human Despair , was published by Zed Books last October. He recently sat with Jeff Gore to discuss his work and his analysis of the current situation on the ground. 

Following al-Aqsa clashes, Israel mulls banning Islamic movement
8 Oct 2009 - The Israeli government announced yesterday it would consider banning Israel's Islamic Movement at the next cabinet meeting, in a significant escalation of tensions that have fueled a fortnight of bloody clashes in Jerusalem over access to the Haram al-Sharif compound of mosques. The move followed the arrest of the movement's leader, Sheikh Raed Salah, on Tuesday on suspicion of incitement and sedition. Jonathan Cook reports from Nazareth. 

In Gaza
Israeli massacre crimes not easily forgotten, despite the PA
9 Oct 2009 - * older man from Sheyjayee, east of Gaza City, one of many beating Abbas’ photo in frustration at PA treachery Abbas and the PA…what to say? Palestinians in Gaza made it through the massacre, minus 1500, only to learn of the extent of the PA collaboration with Israel… There has been much good coverage and analysis [outside of corporate media] of the PA decision to again fail the people, this time in the most brazen and disgusting of ways, by not endorsing the Goldstone report. Instead, I’ll just add my name to the list of those utterly repulsed, though not entirely surprised, by this failure to push for justice. While...

Palestine Chronicle
Will Tel Aviv Take the U.S. to War – Again?
9 Oct 2009 - By Jeff Gates Tel Aviv long ago proved its mastery at waging war “by way of deception” – the operative credo of the Mossad, Israel’s intelligence and foreign operations directorate. Yet its latest operation reveals a need to freshen up its repertoire of dirty tricks. As Israel’s patron, those of us who live in the U.S. are painfully familiar with such duplicity. Yet the recent frequency of its frauds renders their latest treachery remarkably transparent. Consider the similarities. First a network of pro-Israelis fixed the intelligence that induced us to invade Iraq in support of an expansionist agenda for Greater Israel. Who can forget Iraqi WMD, scary images of mushroom clouds and secret meetings in Prague? Who can fail to recall the yellowcake uranium from Niger and those ominous warnings of “high-level contacts” between secular Baghdad and the religious fundamentalists of Al Qaeda? Even Colin Powell was duped when pro-Israelis in the G.W. Bush administration associated his credibility with false U.N. testimony avowing Iraqi mobile biological weapons laboratories. Though all was deception, it had the intended effect. To others, it looked like the U.S. was at fault. Yet our policy-makers are no better than the information on which they must rely—and the allies they are persuaded to trust. The same old Israeli duplicity is back but with a new twist. And, importantly, ably aided by a new commander-in-chief. As with the deception that induced the invasion of Iraq, war in Iran also requires weaving a web of consensus beliefs from...

Abbas's Loss is Palestinians' Gain
9 Oct 2009 - By Sherri Muzher There is a famous Arabic expression: 'he who doesn't respect himself shall not be respected.' Apparently, Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas doesn't believe in this. At least, he didn't until now. The decision to defer the Goldstone Report, the UN report alleging that both Israel and Hamas had committed war crimes during Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip last winter, was nothing short of betrayal. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Richard Falk even described the decision as "perverse." 'The Palestinians have betrayed their own people,' Falk said. 'This was a moment finally when the international community endorsed the allegations of war crimes and it would have been an opportunity to vindicate the struggle of the Palestinian people for their rights under international law.' Falk continued, "For the Palestinian representatives in the UN themselves to seem to undermine this report is an astonishing development." Indeed, it was astonishing for Palestinians and those who have supported Palestinian efforts toward justice and freedom for the last 61 years. Human rights, after all, are the cornerstone of the Palestinian struggle. From the right to self-determination to putting an end to the economic sanctions imposed on civilians, modern Palestinian history has consisted of one Israeli transgression after another. This makes the decision to defer the Goldstone Report all the more perplexing. Rather than think of the landmark Goldstone Report as being about war crimes and accountability, it will represent a very sad chapter in Palestinian history. Equal to the Hamas...

Tensions Mount Again at Al-Aqsa: A Third Intifada?
9 Oct 2009 - By Jonathan Cook - Nazareth Tension over control of the Haram al Sharif compound of mosques in Jerusalem's Old City has reached a pitch unseen since clashes at the site sparked the second intifada nine years ago. Ten days of intermittently bloody clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces in Jerusalem culminated yesterday in warnings by Palestinian officials that Israel was "sparking a fire" in the city. Israel's Jerusalem Post newspaper similarly wondered whether a third intifada was imminent. Israel, meanwhile, deployed 20,000 police to safeguard the annual Jerusalem march, which was reported to have attracted a crowd of 70,000 passing through sensitive Palestinian neighbourhoods close to the Old City. The ostensible cause of friction is Israel's religious holidays that have brought Jewish worshippers to the Western Wall, located next to the Haram al Sharif and traditionally considered the holiest site in Judaism. The wall is the only remnant of the Jewish temple destroyed by Herod in AD70. At a deeper level for Palestinians, however, the ease with which Jews can access sites in and around Jerusalem, while the city is off-limits to the vast majority of Palestinians, highlights the extent to which Palestinian control over Jerusalem and its holy places has been eroded by four decades of occupation. That point was reinforced on Sunday when the gates to the mosque compound were shut by Israeli police, who cited safety concerns for 30,000 Jews praying at the Western Wall for Succot. Jerusalem's police chief, Aharon Franco, also incensed Palestinians on...

The Gaza War's Effect on Women 
7 Oct 2009 - By Stephen Lendman - Chicago The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights' (PCHR) new report, titled "Through Women's Eyes," highlights "the Gender-Specific Impact and Consequences of Operation Cast Lead" and the ongoing siege, including 12 case study examples "through the victims' words." Several are discussed below. In patriarchal Palestinian society, women traditionally are caregivers while men typically head households and are the main breadwinners. As a result, when widows are thrust into this role, they're often victimized by cultural, social and economic discrimination and marginalization. In Gaza today, it's hard for women to get by alone, so widows must either live with family members or remarry. The alternative is a hard struggle alone, something most Palestinian women try to avoid, but post-conflict many have no choice. Besides the vast destruction from Operation Cast Lead claiming over 1,400 lives and thousands more wounded, 118 women were killed and 825 injured, in many cases severely enough to make it hard for them to get by. The majority of victims were in Northern Gaza and Gaza City where the heaviest fighting and bombardment occurred. PCHR listed the names of the dead by age, their address, date and place of attack, and date of death. Israel said the death toll was an unavoidable part of its military operations during which efforts were made to minimize civilian casualties. PCHR debunked this as baseless by documenting numerous indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks against civilians and their property. Individual testimonies bear witness that 83% of all fatalities were civilian,...

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