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Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel
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For those interested in keeping up with events in Palestine/Israel, there is no better digest than VTJP.

VTJP Archives | VTJP 2009
18 October, 2009

News

Ma'an News

Three Jericho Bedouin families facing home demolitions
10/18/2009 - Jericho - Ma'an - Israeli authorities ordered three Bedouin families in Jericho on Sunday to leave their land within two days before their homes are bulldozed. The Mukhtar (elder) of the Az-Zayed clan said that "Israeli patrols came to the area and handed over orders in which they ordered Mohamad Hasan Az-Zayed, Ali Hasan Az-Zayed and Hani Ali Az-Zayed to evacuate their homes in order to demolish them. "  The extended Az-Zayed clan live in shacks and tents in the village of An-Nuei'ma, north of the city of Jericho, on the main road to Ramallah. Mukhtar said the families have faced pressure to leave the area for years. The family's lawyers have petitioned in Israeli courts repeatedly to reverse the demolition orders against the family homes. 

Abbas admits ordering Goldstone report delay
10/18/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday defended his decision to postpone debate on South African jurist Richard Goldstone's fact-finding mission on Gaza at the UN Human Rights Council last month. "I accepted the commission, and I am the one in charge," he said, speaking at a meeting of Fatah's Revolutionary Council in Ramallah. "Nobody operated without my approval. " He explained, "I gave directives to [PLO Ambassador] Ibrahim Khreisha to find a way to re-submit the Goldstone report, and a week later he did. The report was discussed, and was approved. Where's the treason they accuse us of? " The president insisted the Palestinian Authority supported the report, but deferred it for practical reasons. "When the Goldstone report was released, we agreed on it and welcomed it," he said. "Arab countries proposed a high-level resolution be submitted to the UN Human. . . " 

Israel seals two of three Gaza border crossings
10/18/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Israeli authorities decided to open the Kerem Shalom crossing on Sunday to allow food into the besieged Gaza Strip, according to a local Palestinian official. Raed Fattouh, a Gaza border crossings representative, said that both the Nahal Oz and Karni crossings with Israel would remain closed. Fattouh added that the Kerem Shalom crossing would be open for 64-74 trucks carrying commercial merchandise and humanitarian aid. According to a report this week from the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Gaza's educational system continues to be disrupted by an ongoing lack of materials. A total of 586 truckloads of goods entered last week, 23 percent higher than the previous week but only 21 percent of the imports that were typically allowed in before the blockade that began in full force in 2007. 

Source: Egypt seizes civilian goods intended for Gaza
10/19/2009 - Al-Arish - Ma'an - The Egyptian government claims that police have discovered and shut down a major warehouse in the city of Rafah storing civilian goods intended to be smuggled through tunnels into the besieged Gaza Strip. Egyptian security sources told Ma'an on Sunday that security officers seized more than one million Egyptian pounds (182,000 US dollars) worth of goods in a previously hidden location just 250 meters from the border with Gaza. The source said that, acting on a tip, a large number of security personnel raided the reported warehouse, confiscating large quantities of wood, liquid fuel, electric appliances, tires, and spare car parts. The source said this was the second major seizure of goods in the last two months. Security forces also shut down a warehouse north of the Rafah border crossing on the last day before the holy month of Ramadan, which began in mid-August. 

Hamas delegation delays Cairo visit
10/18/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - A Hamas delegation, which was scheduled to visit Cairo on Sunday, delayed its visit because director of Egyptian intelligence Omar Sulaiman had left the country, according to senior Hamas leader Ayman Taha. Taha told Ma'an that contacts with the Egyptians were ongoing to set a new date for the visit. Hamas examination and commentary on the Egyptian conciliation plan was expected to be completed on Saturday, after a high-profile delegation headed by the deputy head of the movement's politburo, Mousa Abu Marzouq, went to Cairo, Taha said on Saturday. "Hamas has no reservations [on the conciliation plan], but will highlight some issues that the Egyptians forgot to include in their plan," he told Ma'an. "These are issues which have been agreed on before. " Earlier that day, delegation leader Mousa Abu Marzouq told the Jordanian newspaper Al-Ghad that the delay. . . 

Egypt voices impatience with Hamas
10/18/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - An Egyptian official harshly sternly Hamas on Sunday for delaying the signing of a reconciliation agreement with rival party Fatah. The Egyptian daily Al-Ahram quoted an official saying that Hamas had showed "bad intentions" in its approach to the talks with Fatah, in which Egypt plays the role of mediator. "Egypt was surprised at Hamas justification which aimed at delaying and escaping reconciliation," the unnamed official is quoted as saying. Egypt asked both parties to respond by last Thursday to their latest proposal. Fatah signed on to the deal but Hamas requested more time to consider the document and suggest changes. A planned Hamas delegation to Cairo was delayed on Sunday because, Hamas officials said, Egypt's intelligence chief, Omar Sulaiman, was out of the country. Sulaiman is in charge of the unity talks. 

Two Palestinians seized near Bethlehem
10/18/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israeli forces reported on Sunday that soldiers detained two Palestinians overnight in Bethlehem. According to an Israeli army spokesperson, the unidentified Palestinians were transferred for questioning. They "were wanted for suspected terrorist activities in Judea and Samaria [the West Bank]," the spokesperson added. [end] 

Palestinian teens detained near Gilo settlement
10/18/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Five young Palestinians were detained near the illegal settlement of Gilo, northwest of Bethlehem in the central West Bank, after an incident involving Israeli settlers on Sunday. According to Fteiha Ziyada, who purportedly witnessed the incident, a mob of settlers beat the youths at a park inside Gilo before the Palestinians were arrested. Ziyada told Ma'an her two sons, 15-year-old Mahmoud and 18-year-old Muhammad, were detained along with three neighbors, who she identified as Wa'ed Khalaf, 18, Eyhab Khalaf, 17, and Mousa Khalaf, 16. They were taken to the "Russian compound" Israeli detention center, she added. The mother said the teenagers were arrested by Israeli forces despite that a group of some 20 settlers attacked them at a park near their house, and that one of them, Wa'ed, was struck in the head. 

Nativity Church deportee sued by landlord
10/18/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Ibrahim Ubeidat, who was deported to Italy from Bethlehem after the 39-day siege of the Nativity Church in 2002, could soon be deported from his apartment building, as well. According to his brother Naji, the Italian government recently stopped paying rent on the flat. Under the conditions of his deportation, Ibrahim cannot be employed in the European Union. Thus, his landlord filed a lawsuit seeking to expel the Palestinian from his flat. Naji summarized a recent exchange between the two, quoting his brother as saying, "It is the Italian government, not me, who is supposed to pay you the rent," to which the landlord responded, "It is you, not the Italian government, who lives in my apartment. "According to Naji, Ibrahim's wife suffers from heart disease, and the Palestinian Embassy in Rome has refused to provide her with necessary medication. 

PA forces dismantle Israeli explosives near Jenin
10/19/2009 - Jenin - Ma'an - Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces said on Sunday that they safely dismantled an explosive device left behind by the Israeli army in the village of Al-Mughier, near the West Bank city of Jenin. A statement from the National Security force said, "The central operation room received information from a resident on a group of children who were playing with a suspicious object, so the security forces moved to the scene and found that object with the children around it. "  "The ordnance was left behind by the Israeli army," the statement added. The object "was moved to be dismantled immediately. "  Separately the PA said that three children in another village near Jenin brought another Israeli explosive device to the security operations room. The security forces said they thanked the children and dismantled the object. 

Israeli media: Projectile lands in western Negev
10/19/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israeli media reported that a projectile fired from the Gaza Strip landed near the western Negev town of Sderot on Sunday evening, causing no damage or injury. According to several Israeli news reports, it was the second attack of the day. Israel's military deferred inquiries to a police spokesperson, who did not immediately return calls seeking comment late Sunday night. But the Jerusalem Post, an English-language newspaper, claimed a "Kassam launched by Palestinian terrorists in the northern Gaza Strip on Sunday night hit an open area in the Sha'ar Hanegev region. " The paper published a similar report that morning, which the army denied by mid-afternoon. Approached by Ma'an, a military spokesman said he was unaware, at the time, of any such attack emanating from Gaza in the last 48 hours, casting doubt on the day-long press accounts of explosions and alerts. 

Official: Israel cooperated somewhat with Goldstone
10/18/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israel's deputy foreign minister said on Friday that a decision not to prevent Israeli victims from traveling to Geneva amounted to unofficial cooperation with Richard Goldstone's report on last winter's Gaza war. "[A]lthough Israel did not officially cooperate with Goldstone, there was indirect cooperation in that Israel did not prevent the residents of Sderot from testifying before the mission," said Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon in Holon, according to a statement. He added, "However, their testimony, as expected, was not included in the report. ""Israel is disappointed that Russia, India and China supported the report," the deputy foreign minister also said on Friday. "They should have acted with greater discretion, as this unprofessional and distorted report, which denies democracies the right of self-defense, will harm them as well. 

UAE hospitals to treat post-war amputees
10/18/2009 - Al-Arish - Ma'an - Several Palestinians from the Gaza Strip who lost limbs during last winter's Israeli military offensive departed on Sunday to the United Arab Emirates for medical treatment, Ma'an has learned. An Egyptian security source said Cairo opened its Rafah crossing with southern Gaza to accommodate the patients, who will receive physical and psychological therapy in the UAE. The source explained that 24 people crossed over, where they were met by a representative of the UAE's embassy in Egypt. They were then taken to Cairo International Airport en route to UAE, the source explained. [end] 

Poll: Abbas’ popularity plummeted over Gaza report delay
10/18/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - President Mahmoud Abbas lost significant public support over his role in delaying international action on a United Nations report that accused Israel of committing war crimes in Gaza, a new opinion poll shows. The survey released on Sunday by the Jerusalem Media and Communications Centre (JMCC) indicates that if an election were held today, Abbas would receive just 16. 8 percent of the vote, and Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh 16 percent. A similar percentage said they would vote for Fatah leader Marwan Barghouthi, who is currently in prison in Israel. Public confidence in Abbas dropped to 12. 1% from 17. 8% in another JMCC poll in June. Confidence in Haniyeh held steady at 14. 2%. The level of confidence in caretaker Prime Minister Salam Fayyad increased to 4. 5% compared with 2. 1% last October. 

Ex-ambassador: Hamas thriving on Fatah’s mistakes
10/18/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - Former Palestinian Ambassador to Egypt Nabil Amr said this weekend that the Palestinian Authority (PA) is punishing him for voicing criticism of President Mahmoud Abbas for delaying action on a UN report on war crimes in Gaza. "Currently, my relationship with President Abbas is very bad," Amr told Ma'an in an interview. Last week he claimed that the PA cancelled his security detail after he slammed Abbas over his initial decision to drop his endorsement of justice Richard Goldstone's report on the recent Israeli war on Gaza. "I don't accept that any Palestinian should be punished for his political views, and I also refuse over-exaggerated strictness in political views. I also refuse incitement, defamation, and accusation of treason. I rather prefer objective treatment of any case on condition that it is tackled with enough freedom," the former ambassador added. 

Poll: Two-thirds of Israelis support two states
10/18/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Sixty-four percent of Israelis support the creation of a Palestinian state, a new poll carried out by researchers at Tel Aviv university shows. The poll, which was reported on the Hebrew website of the newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, shows that 33% of Israelis oppose the "two-state solution. " The survey also showed that 60% of the Israelis believe that continued settlement expansion reducing the chances of a two-state solution or would lead to a bi-national state while 33% have the opposite view. However, the survey also showed that 79% of Israelis rejected the main conclusion of the UN-backed Goldstone report, that Israel committed war crimes during its war on Gaza last winter. Fully 93. 5% share their government's view that the report was biased against Israel. The newspaper said that the survey was based on a sample of 514 Jewish and Palestinian citizens of Israel. 

First Palestinian seed bank opens in Hebron
10/18/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The Union of Agricultural Work Committees launched the opening of the first Palestinian community seed bank in Hebron on Thursday, according to a statement from the organization. "Poverty-fighting, achievement of millennium development goals, together with climate change, form a sole paradigm," said Christian Berger, the representative of the European Commission, at the project's launch. "The development of non-irrigated seeds does not only represent an economic opportunity for poor farmers, it is one of the existing sustainable possibilities to adapt to climate change in this particularly affected region of the world," he added. "The EU, as a world leader in the battle against climate change and as a major aid provider to the Palestinian Authority, is and will be very supportive to such initiatives. 

Union official: Chinese imports killing jobs
10/18/2009 - Nablus - Ma'an - An increasing reliance on imported goods, particularly from China, is hurting the West Bank economy, a member of the Union of Palestinian Industries told Ma'an on Saturday. The official, union member Yousef Hassuna, said that just 2,500 workers are employed in clothing a shoe production, for example, down from a high of 400,000 jobs just years earlier. Hassuna appeared along with Burhan Muheisen, the owner of the largest shoe factory in Palestine, on Ma'an TV affiliates' Iqtisaduna (Our Economy), which airs each Tuesday at 8:00am and reruns on Wednesdays at noon. Muheisen explained how his factory once supplied the Yemen's army and Dubai's police with locally made shoes, and explains how Palestinian exports have suffered due to the increase of Chinese goods in the Gulf. Officials from the Economy Ministry were also taped in this week's broadcast, where they. . . 

PSE drops: Al-Quds Index down 5.06 points (1%) on Sunday
10/18/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Stocks on the Palestine Securities Exchange (PSE) in Nablus fell on Sunday, as the Al-Quds Index dropped 5. 06 points (1%) to close at 503. 46. Trading volume for Sunday reached 450,058 shares traded for a total value of 1,038,699. 35 US dollars over the course of 264 trades. The shares of 24 companies were traded. The shares prices of six companies rose while those of 13 others declined. The top five gainers were NCI by 3. 03%, LADAEN by 2. 86%, AZIZA by 2. 73%, UCI by 1. 64%, and AMB by 1. 27%. The top five losers were PRICO by 3. 75%, JCC by 2. 78%, PCB by 2. 53%, ISBK by 2. 53%, and PADICO by 2. 22%. [end] 

Ha'aretz Defense page

Israel worried Fatah may resume suicide attacks
19 Oct 2009 - Fatah members have urged followers to use the 'doom's day weapon' employed during the second intifada. 

UN: IDF may have planted spy gear in Lebanon
19 Oct 2009 - UN probe indicates devices planted in 2006 war; IDF: Hezbollah trying to cover up truce violations. 

Family who lost 29 members in Gaza war: We envy the dead
19 Oct 2009 - The Samouni family says Richard Goldstone has finally lent the Gaza offensive victims a voice. 

Why Israel failed in the Gaza war
19 Oct 2009 - The IDF was not actually responsibile for the failure in the 3-week offensive against Hamas. 

Hezbollah vs. Israel: Who has 'real' video of Lebanon blast site?
19 Oct 2009 - Group denounces IDF video of militants removing arms from site as lie, airs clip detailing 'true events.' 

Israel warns of possible terror attacks in India
19 Oct 2009 - Counter-Terrorism Bureau: Terror group behind 2008 Mumbai attack planning further attacks on Israelis. 

Turkey: We foiled al-Qaida plot against Israeli, U.S. targets
19 Oct 2009 - State-run news agency reports 32 suspected militants detained in raids across eight provinces. 

Report: Syria supplying long-range missiles to Hezbollah
19 Oct 2009 - Kuwaiti paper: Israel sources say Syria has given quarter of its middle-, long-range missle arsenal to Lebanon group. 

Comptroller: Barak spent NIS 527,000 on Paris accomodation
19 Oct 2009 - Report slams Defense Ministry for spending exorbitant amount at Paris air show last June. 

IDF to start handing out new gas masks to civilians in January
19 Oct 2009 - Plan is to hand out 4.5 million kits within three years; GOC Home Front Command: We don't have enough kits. 

One person killed in Israeli airstrike on Gaza tunnels
19 Oct 2009 - IDF: Attack came in response to a rocket fired by Gaza militants into southern Israel late on Tuesday. 

Israel: Lebanon turning blind eye to Hezbollah arms
19 Oct 2009 - Israel complains to UN about Lebanon blast; WATCH: Video 'proves Hezbollah stored arms at blast site.' 

After snubbing Israel, Turkey to hold defense drills with Syria
19 Oct 2009 - Syrian defense minister says two nations to hold drills days after Turkey nixed maneuvers with Israel. 

Lebanon: Shell caused blast at Hezbollah official's home
19 Oct 2009 - Israel to UN: Lebanon blast shows Hezbollah violating truce; Lebanon: None killed in blast at militant's home. 

Netanyahu vows never to let Israelis be tried for war crimes
19 Oct 2009 - PM blasts Goldstone conclusions as 'distorted report' that 'undermines Israel's right to defend itself.' 

Israel and U.S. prepare for largest-ever joint air force drill
19 Oct 2009 - 'Junior Cobra' to begin on October 20, week after scheduled start; IDF: Drill unrelated to particular world event. 

Egypt destroys four smuggling tunnels on Gaza border
19 Oct 2009 - Palestinians have dug thousands of tunnels to smuggle goods and fuel from Egypt to the Gaza Strip. 

ANALYSIS / Hamas incitement over Jerusalem fails to ignite West Bank
19 Oct 2009 - Hamas may declare a 'Day of Rage' over Jerusalem, but such days are rare nowadays in the West Bank. 

Islamic Jihad says Hamas stopping their rocket crews in Gaza
19 Oct 2009 - Group adds Hamas nixed a rally and arrested two of its members in dispute over Gaza mosque. 

Hamas says more babies born with birth defects since Cast Lead
19 Oct 2009 - Islamist group's health ministry says 'illegal IDF ordnance' caused higher numbers of birth defects. 

Uruknet

[uruknet.info] ElBaradei: Iran's Nuclear Threat' Exaggerated Greatest Danger Comes From Possible Israeli Attack on Iran 
October 19, 2009 - In an interview with the German-language Die Presse, IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei cautioned that the threat of Iran acquiring a nuclear weapon was dramatically over-stated. The greater threat to the region, ElBaradei insisted, was the possibility that Israel might some day make good on its long-standing threats and launch an attack on Iran. This, he said "...

[uruknet.info] From Tutu to Goldstone
October 18, 2009 - On September 2008 South African Bishop Desmond Tutu's fact-finding delegation submitted to the Human Rights Council its latest report on the Israeli shelling of Beit Hanoun in the Gaza Strip in 2006, which led to the death of nineteen civilians. At a press conference in Geneva, Tutu denounced the siege of the Gaza Strip and said...

[uruknet.info] October 22: Take Action to End Isolation and Free Ahmad Sa'adat and Palestinian Prisoners!
October 18, 2009 - Imprisoned Palestinian leader Ahmad Sa'adat is going to court on Thursday, October 22, 2009 to challenge isolation of Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli prisons. Join the Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa'adat and take action today to uphold Palestinian prisoners' rights and support Palestinian prisoners' struggle for freedom! Ahmad Sa'adat, the General Secretary of the Popular Front...

[uruknet.info] WW interviews PFLP leaders Right of return ' still key demand after 61 years in Lebanon 
October 18, 2009 - When cameras are running, Washington officials sometimes express "concern" for the plight of the Palestinian people. But even this phony caring doesn't extend to the 4.5 million Palestinians who for 61 years have remained stateless, without official nationality, stranded in Arab countries. The right to return has never been raised in the so-called Palestinian-Israeli peace talks...

[uruknet.info] Critics of 'Holy Israel' Targeted by Christian Zionists
October 18, 2009 - Christianity too has its extremists and none worse than the Christian Zionists. A prize example is His Eminence The Very Reverend Charles J. Edgbaston, DD, PhD, Chair, Christians for Moses Ministries Inc. and Rector, Zion College of Canada. At least, that is what he calls himself. This person has just declared me an enemy of Israel....

[uruknet.info] Apartheid government panicking: Time to increase actions
October 18, 2009 - ...The vote and potential downstream events have dominated the interest and talk of Israeli media and politicians. According to Haaretz: "Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned on Friday that Israel must prepare for a protracted struggle against a damning United Nations report.." and daughter of Irgun terrorist and war criminal Tzipi Livni stated "Today's vote was political...

[uruknet.info] Obama Backs Netanyahu's Position on 'Peace Negotiations'
October 18, 2009 - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has claimed victory in the wake of US President Barak Obama's first speech to the United Nations General Assembly and the September 22 meeting in New York between Netanyahu, Obama and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. In his September 23 UN speech, Obama confirmed that Washington had retreated on its previous...

[uruknet.info] Gaza: dignified beyond losses
October 18, 2009 - *Mahmoud Musleh: "I've had three main things destroyed by Israeli forces: a tile factory on Sikka street (northern Beit Hanoun), another tile factory on Salah el Din street (Beit Hanoun), and the water well on my land. My olive trees have been bulldozed many times by Israeli forces. I'm 70 years old and now I have...

[uruknet.info] United Nations Security Council Resolutions Since 1967 Israel has defied or is in violation of
October 18, 2009 - 233, 6 June 1967: Calls for an immediate cease-fire and cessation of all military activities; 234, 7 June 1967: Demands a cease-fire. 237; 14 June 1967: Calls upon the Government of Israel to ensure the safety, welfare and security of the inhabitants, facilitate the return of those inhabitants who have fled the areas since the outbreak...

[uruknet.info] Israel may have planted spy gear in Lebanon: U.N.
October 18, 2009 - A U.N. investigation into explosions in south Lebanon indicated on Sunday that Israel had planted spy devices on Lebanese land in what a senior U.N. official said would be a violation of a ceasefire agreement. The UNIFIL peacekeeping force in Lebanon said its preliminary probe into two explosions in the south showed they had been caused...

[uruknet.info] Gaza costs Israel another friend: there aren't many left
October 18, 2009 - For years Israel has acted as if the unconditional support of the US would be enough to shield it for ever from the consequences of its behaviour - which is why last week was an unusually traumatic one for them. No suicide bombers detonated themselves and no rockets or mortar shells fell, but the double whammy...

[uruknet.info] Source: Egypt seizes civilian goods intended for Gaza
October 18, 2009 - The Egyptian government claims that police have discovered and shut down a major warehouse in the city of Rafah storing civilian goods intended to be smuggled through tunnels into the besieged Gaza Strip. Egyptian security sources told Ma'an on Sunday that security officers seized more than one million Egyptian pounds (182,000 US dollars) worth of goods...

Palestine Telegraph

Locked in: Life in Gaza
Gaza, October 18, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) - Munzer al-Dayyeh is a 40-year-old mechanic living in Gaza. In a land of ruin and disrepair, Munzer is kept busy fixing generators and repairing motorbikes.

Iran: Israelis should stand trial over war crimes
Iran, October 18, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) - In light of the Goldstone report on Israeli war crimes in the Gaza Strip, Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki calls for legal action against the Tel Aviv leadership.

IN GAZA: Farmers struggle with damaged agricultural land
Palestine, October 17, 2009 (Pal Telegraph)-Thousands of Gazan farmers may be unable to replant their crops during the region's main planting season in October due to agricultural land still damaged by the Israeli offensive at the start of the year, and a...

PRC: Endorsing Goldstone report is Victory for Justice and Victims
UK, October 17, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) -The Palestine Return Center (PRC) in London and The European Campaign to End the Siege (ECESG) on Gaza express great satisfaction towards approving the Gldstone Report by UNHRC. They both consider the step as turning point...

Mia Farrow: Palestinian children live in deprivation and fear 
Palestine, October 16, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors Mia Farrow and Mahmoud Kabil spent two days in the Gaza Strip meeting with children.

The National

Iran vows revenge over suicide bombing
18 Oct 2009 - Tehran accuses the United States and Britain of involvement in the militant attack.

New life for Egypt's Palestinian unity bid
17 Oct 2009 - Egypt's reconciliation proposal, aimed at healing the rifts between Fatah and Hamas, is back on the agenda.

Aljazeera

Hamas delays unity deal delegation
18 Oct 2009 - Hamas holds back unity delegation, accusing Egypt of making unauthorised amendments.

Iran vows swift response to attack
18 Oct 2009 - Tehran blames foreign actors including the US for attack that left more than 40 dead.

Palestine News Network

Human rights director from Gaza addresses meeting in Madrid on Goldstone report
18 Oct 2009 - On 17 October 2009, Raji Sourani, Director of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), addressed the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN) working group meeting on Israel-Palestine, which took place in Madrid. The address formed part of PCHR’s continuing efforts to ensure the implementation of the Goldstone report’s recommendations, particularly in light of the 16 October Human Rights Council Resolution endorsing the...

Leftist PFLP hosts cultural evening honoring armed struggle
18 Oct 2009 - Gaza / PNN – The leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine hosted a cultural evening in Gaza yesterday to mark the armed dimension of the struggle against occupation. It was on the seventeenth of October 2001 that right-wing Israeli tourism minister Rehavam Zeevi was killed in retaliation for the assassination of Abu Ali Mustafa in August of that year.Abu Ali Mustafa...

World Social Forum in Palestine at the end of 2010: focus on global education
18 Oct 2009 - Bethlehem / PNN - The International Council of the World Social Forum unanimously approved a decision to organize a Social Forum on global education in Palestine at the end of 2010. The Forum will be spread out between the West Bank, Gaza Strip and some Arab capitals as many people are unable to travel due to restrictions of occupation.Ten international educational networks are...

The road to Jerusalem: Israel can control land by military power, but it cannot control creativity
17 Oct 2009 - Jerusalem / Maisa Abu Ghazaleh for PNN - The Road to Jerusalem is not a movie or a book telling the story of the beauty and sanctity of this city. It is simply a sign; a blue ceramic rectangle with the word Jerusalem written in Arabic and English and the distance to the center of the holy city.Artist Khaled Hourani designed the pieces...

Friends of Humanity demands Egyptian authorities facilitate convoy, "Miles of Smiles"
17 Oct 2009 - Jenin / Ali Samoudi for PNN – With the siege on the Gaza Strip ongoing, human rights groups are still attempting to deliver aid. The Friends of Humanity International is demanding that Egyptian authorities facilitate entry of convoy through the Rafah crossing.Called Miles of Smiles , the campaign is attempting to enter Egypt at Port Said and cross into Gaza to deliver medical assistance.Friends...

Family has not seen son in five months, concerned for his health in Israeli prison
17 Oct 2009 - Nablus / PNN – Among the thousands of Palestinians in Israeli prisons is Mahmoud Saleh Sanakreh. The 26 year old is ill and his family has sent a letter of appeal to Palestinian Minister of Detainees and Ex Detainees, Issa Qaraqe’ to push for his release.Speaking from Balata Refugee Camp in the northern West Bank’s Nablus, the Sanakreh family says that Mahmoud’s health...

Inter Press Service

US-IRAN: Congress Begins Pressing Sanctions Legislation 
WASHINGTON, Oct 16 (IPS) - As the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama prepares for a critical series of talks about the fate of Iran's nuclear programme, Congress has begun moving long-pending legislation to impose new unilateral sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

POLITICS: U.N. Body Backs War Crimes Charges on Israel, Hamas 
UNITED NATIONS, Oct 16 (IPS) - The 47-member Human Rights Council (HRC) approved a resolution Friday endorsing war crimes charges against Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas, as spelled out in a report by a four-member international fact-finding mission headed by Justice Richard Goldstone.

Stop The Wall

Fact sheet: Companies building the Wall
18 Oct 2009 - This new fact sheet provides information on the companies involved in the Wall, with the aim of assisting activists in launching BDS campaigns. We have focused 8 companies – either larger Israeli companies in which there may be considerable international investment as well as international firms that play a significant role in building, equipping and/or maintaining the Wall. The fact sheet also details the successful Norwegian divestment for Elbit and provides information on how to launch your own divestment campaign. [

Join the first global BDS Marathon! - October 16/17 2009
18 Oct 2009 - [ 

PCHR Latest

PCHR Welcomes Hamas Decision to Investigate Allegations of War Crimes, Comply With Goldstone Report
PCHR

PCHR Weekly Report

(08- 14 Oct. 2009), information on boycott, divestment and sanctions
During the reporting period, a Palestinian child of wounds inflicted by IOF earlier this year, and 5 Palestinian civilians, including a child, were wounded by IOF gunfire in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank

International Solidarity Movement

New York protest against detention without trial of Palestinian BDS activist
10/18/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Adalah NY, 17 October 2009 - On Saturday forty New York human rights advocates rallied on a cold fall day at the Madison Avenue jewelry store of Israeli settlement mogul Lev Leviev to demand that Israel release jailed Palestinian boycott activist Mohammad Othman. Othman, held without charges and in solitary confinement since September 22nd, is from Jayyous, a West Bank village where Leviev's company Leader is building the Israeli settlement of Zufim. The protesters also called for an end to Israel's wave of arrests of Palestinian activists from Bil'in, another West Bank village campaigning against the construction of settlement homes by another Leviev company, Africa-Israel. Andrew Kadi of Adalah-NY commented, "Israel's arrest of Mohammad Othman and residents of Bil'in simply affirms the need for a global movement of Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), similar to the movement against apartheid South Africa, to hold Israel accountable, and pressure Israel to respect Palestinian rights. 

West Bank settlers use '˜price tag’ tactic to punish Palestinians
10/18/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - The Times, 15 October - In the farmlands between the Jewish settlement of Qedumim and the Palestinian village of Imatin, the wreckage of the endless struggle for control of the West Bank is visible. On a hilltop, blankets, pots and broken chairs are strewn where the Israeli army tried to demolish an illegal Jewish settlement outpost. In the fields opposite, 70 olive trees are scorched and blackened after the settlers took revenge "” not on the army, but on the local Palestinians. It is a new and effective settler tactic known as the "price tag": if the Government sends police or soldiers to dismantle an outpost that is being built, the settlers make the Palestinian population pay the price. "It's quite simple and smart but evil," said Michael Sfard, a lawyer with the Israeli human rights group Yesh Din. "They attack Palestinian property, people, and blockade roads every time the Israeli security forces do something they don't like" "” such as demolish outposts. 

Rebuilding Gaza’s infrastructure with mud
10/18/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Eva Bartlett, Electronic Intifada, 14 October - SHEIKH ZAYED, occupied Gaza Strip (IPS) – On a searing summer morning, workers are adding layers to the mud-brick police station being constructed in Sheikh Zayed, northern Gaza. "We started building on 20 June," says Mohammed al-Sheikh Eid, a consultant engineer with Gaza's Ministry of Interior. "Since this is the first time we've built something on this scale with mud bricks, we can't estimate exactly how much longer it will take to complete. Maybe another two months or so. " He is confident, however, that they will finish before the winter rains begin. Since the war on Gaza ended, a number of houses have been built using mud to create simple, square, two or three-room homes. The new Sheikh Zayed police station is one of the larger and more ambitious projects. 

'They killed him because he was Palestinian'
10/18/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Jody McIntyre, Electronic Intifada, 14 October - On 30 September 2009 at 11am, 17-year-old Fuad Mahmoud Nayif Turkman was standing outside his school in the village of Yabad, when he was run over by an Israeli military jeep. Yabad is located in the occupied West Bank, near the city of Jenin. An Israeli military spokesperson later claimed that "hundreds" of Palestinians were "rioting" in the area, and that the jeep had experienced "mechanical difficulties. "However, eyewitnesses from the scene say that the students were doing nothing of the sort. Jody McIntyre spoke with Fuad's father, Mahmoud Turkman, and his 12-year-old brother Fadi for The Electronic Intifada: Jody McIntyre: What was Fuad like? Mahmoud Turkman: He was like any boy, really. Worked hard in school, popular with his friends. He was in his last year at school and was planning to go on to university. 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

Hungarian MP: Jews want to take over the world 
19 Oct 2009 - A member of Hungary's main opposition party has accused the Jews of trying to take over the country. ... 

Russians deal Lieberman 'slap' by endorsing Goldstone 
18 Oct 2009 - Click here for more on the Goldstone commission report on the Gaza conflict ... 

Michael Oren ducks the question of J Street 
18 Oct 2009 - WASHINGTON - The October 25 conference in Washington D.C. of left-leaning lobby group J Street is just one week away, but Israel's ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, is still not saying whether he will attend or not. President Shimon Peres has written a welcoming letter to conference participants, J Street said, with his apologies for not being able to attend. ... 

Netanyahu: Israel and U.S. have resolved settlements row 
18 Oct 2009 - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero last Thursday that talks between Israel and the United States over construction in the settlements on the West Bank had ended. ... 

Maccabi coach booted off floor in friendly game against Knicks
18 Oct 2009 - The New York Knicks beat Maccabi Tel Aviv 106-91 on Sunday in an exhibition game that featured a bizarre delay in the third quarter when Maccabi coach Pini Gershon refused to leave the floor after he was ejected. ...

The Guardian

Video: Footage shows Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit looking healthy
19 Oct 2009 - Israel received a two-minute video of captured soldier, Gilad Shalit, after it asked Hamas for 'proof of life'. The following video is in Hebrew and will be translated shortly

Israel rejects UN council backing for Gaza war crimes report
19 Oct 2009 - Gordon Brown reportedly had a heated telephone call on Wednesday with Netanyahu Martin Rowson

Obama's mettle is about to be tested | Simon Tisdall
18 Oct 2009 - As the Middle East slides towards renewed conflict, the president has to revitalise US efforts for a peace – or face humiliation It's getting harder each day for the Obama administration to maintain theillusion of progress...

Hamas patrols beaches in Gaza to enforce conservative dress code
18 Oct 2009 - Lawyers resist campaign to make Palestinian society more Islamist It began with a rash of unusually assertive police patrols. Armed Hamas officers stopped men from sitting shirtless on the beach, broke up groups of unmarried men...

Reviving hope for Middle East peace | Olivia Hampton
18 Oct 2009 - Hope that Obama could make progress toward peace has evaporated. To get back on track, he should turn to Syria Hopes are dimming in Ramallah over Barack Obama's ability to deliver on his promise to revive...

Surveillance of Muslims: The lives of the other
17 Oct 2009 - The implementation of the Prevent strategy might make perfect sense from the perspective of a Whitehall desk. Properly mindful of the small but real band of would-be Islamist terrorists, bureaucrats feel obliged to do whatever it...

The dark side of Tel Aviv | Abe Hayeem 
16 Oct 2009 - The glitzy celebrations for the White City's 'centenary' airbrush over a complex history of colonialism The centenary of Tel Aviv , a city said to date from 1909, has provided a useful opportunity to present the face...

Why I celebrate the Tel Aviv centenary | Carlo Strenger
16 Oct 2009 - Recognising Israel's achievements does not negate Palestinian suffering, but it is time to move on The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is more than 100 years old. Israel is, no doubt, not doing what it should to end the...

A strike against silence | Antony Lerman
16 Oct 2009 - Israelis and Palestinians are meeting in London this week to explore the psychological aspects of their conflict Across the spectrum of activists working for Israel-Palestine peace and reconciliation a mood of deep pessimism seems to have...

Ha'aretz National page

Will preservation of ancient Roman road destroy the Western Wall?
19 Oct 2009 - One of the country's leading archaeologists has publicly condemned the Israel Antiquities Authority's failure to object to a plan to construct a building over a site in the Western Wall plaza where a well-preserved ancient Roman road was recently excavated. ... 

Israel pulls textbook with chapter on Nakba 
18 Oct 2009 - The Ministry of Education has taken the unusual step of collecting all copies of the history textbook, "Nationalism: Building a State in the Middle East" which was published about two months ago by the Zalman Shazar Center. They will be returned to the shelves only after corrections are made to the text, particularly with reference to the War of Independence. ... 

As Na'alin protests fence, Hashmonaim residents hide 
18 Oct 2009 - At about noon on Friday, at the village of Na'alin a demonstration begins against the separation fence, which signals to the residents of Hashmonaim, a community several hundred meters away, that it is time to close the blinds and windows and stay inside. ... 

Police suspect hit men hired to kill Rishon Letzion family 
18 Oct 2009 - The three generations of the Oshrenko family found dead in a partially torched apartment in Rishon Letzion on Saturday appear to have been murdered by one or more professional killers who may have come to Israel to commit the crime and have fled the country, police said Sunday, after receiving the initial autopsy results. ... 

First swine flu vaccinations arrive in Israel
18 Oct 2009 - The first swine flu vaccinations arrived in Israel Sunday, and 350,000 doses are expected to be here by the end of the week. ... 

Relief Web

OPT: Ensuring the implementation of Human Rights Council resolution on the Goldstone Report: PCHR director addresses EMHRN meeting in Madrid
18 Oct 2009 - Source: Palestinian Centre for Human Rights

One month later: COGAT continues to boycott human rights organizations
18 Oct 2009 - Source: Gisha

UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow concludes visit to Israel and occupied Palestinian territory 
18 Oct 2009 - Source: UN Children's Fund

OPT: Al Mezan commends HRC endorsement of Goldstone report recommendations; Calls for ensuring the rule of law and accountability
18 Oct 2009 - Source: Al Mezan Center for Human Rights

Javier SOLANA, EU High Representative for the CFSP, visits Israel and the Palestinian Territories from 19 to 21 Oct 2009
18 Oct 2009 - Source: European Union

Democracy and Workers' Rights Center concludes an EU-funded training course on statistical analysis for Palestinian trade unionists
18 Oct 2009 - Source: European Union

YNet News

Russia says won't let Goldstone Report reach Hague 
18 Oct 2009 - Foreign Ministry says received messages from Moscow that it won't support Security Council discussion on UN report accusing Israel of committing war crimes in Gaza 

'Ushrenko murder reminiscent of mafia methods'
18 Oct 2009 - Former Israeli ambassador to Georgia and Armenia says 'children's murder intended to show mercilessness.' Crime organizations 'made aliyah' in 1990s, still operate in Israel today 

Lebanon: Israeli cables explosion violates Resolution 1701
18 Oct 2009 - Lebanese Prime Minister Siniora says detonation of alleged spy devices along border, drone overflights are blatant infringement of UN resolution which ended Second Lebanon War; UNIFIL launches investigation into incident 

Qassam hits open area in western Negev 
18 Oct 2009 - Explosion heard near Sdot Negev, Shaar Hanegev regional councils after rocket launched from Gaza; no injuries or damage reported 

Meridor: When US is weak Iran enriches uranium 
18 Oct 2009 - Intelligence and atomic energy minister warns US conference that if Islamic Republic wins current round there's no chance for peace. Israel can start military action but cannot act alone for long, says US army general 

Turkish president: 'Brave criticism' of Israel to continue 
18 Oct 2009 - Abdullah G?l says his country will not keep silent when Jewish state makes mistakes, but adds this is not likely to shake foundations of bilateral relations between strategic allies 

3 suspected Israeli spy devices blown up in Lebanon
18 Oct 2009 - Lebanon military official says two detonations triggered by Israel, third device destroyed by Lebanese army. IDF: Claims don't warrant serious response 

Daily Star

Suicide bomber kills at least 35 in attack on Iran Guards
19 Oct 2009 

Egypt criticizes Hamas over unity deal delay
19 Oct 2009 

Netanyahu vows long fight against UN report on Gaza
19 Oct 2009 

Iran looks to Vienna for nuclear fuel supply guarantee
19 Oct 2009 

Turkey defends criticism of Israel's 'mistakes'
19 Oct 2009 

Israel's incursions are dangerous
19 Oct 2009 

The dark tourist comes home to Lebanon
19 Oct 2009 

Palestinian, Russian films win lucrative prizes at Abu Dhabi festival
19 Oct 2009 

Is there more time left on Iran's nuclear clock?
19 Oct 2009 

Abbas, the 'good Palestinian,' becomes Netanyahu's chief rival
19 Oct 2009 

Lebanon needs both security and freedom
19 Oct 2009 

Neither Sri Lanka nor Israel should have impunity in their 'wars on terror'
19 Oct 2009 

Saving the Special Tribunal for Lebanon from failure: a response to Jamil al-Sayyed and Antonio Cassese
19 Oct 2009 

Palestinian Information Center

Bahar: PLC supports national reconciliation away from Quartet conditions
19 Oct 2009 - Dr. Ahmed Bahar, the first deputy speaker of the PLC, said that the council supports the national reconciliation which is based on Palestinian agenda and not on the international quartet’s terms.

Rezqa: Abbas’s attack on Hamas is an attempt to defend himself
19 Oct 2009 - Dr. Yousuf Rezqa stated that Abbas’s scathing attacks on Hamas came in the context of his attempts to defend himself after the political scandal he caused by his position against Goldstone’s report.

Ex-prisoner: Administrative detainees experience tragic incarceration conditions
19 Oct 2009 - Sa'ed Yassin, an activist and researcher in prisoners' affairs, has said that Palestinian administrative detainees in Israeli occupation jails were suffering from tragic imprisonment conditions.

Hamas to send delegation to Cairo to state its position on Egypt’s amended paper
19 Oct 2009 - Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri stated that Hamas leaders intend to visit Cairo to brief the Egyptian officials on their Movement’s position towards the amended reconciliation paper.

Agha: Starvation of 1.5 million Palestinians puts the world before historic test
19 Oct 2009 - The Palestinian agriculture minister has said that his ministry had done whatever it could to ensure a dignified life for the Palestinians in Gaza in the light of the three-year oppressive siege.

JCCER: Israel escalated last month its violations of human rights in Jerusalem
19 Oct 2009 - The Jerusalem center for civil and economic rights (JCCER) stated that Israel escalated its violations of human rights during September in the occupied city of Jerusalem.

Ahrar center: Ofer court deferred trial of a female prisoner for the 7th time
19 Oct 2009 - Al-Ahrar center said that the Ofer military court decided to defer consideration in the trial of female prisoner Nada Al-Jayyousi for the seventh consecutive time without setting a date.

Sunday Times: Surge in West Bank support for Hamas
19 Oct 2009 - The Sunday Times said that a noticeable increase in Hamas's popularity in the West Bank was evident and reckoned that Mahmoud Abbas would be defeated in any new elections.

Khudari: Contacts underway to apply Goldstone report on Gaza
19 Oct 2009 - MP Jamal Al-Khudari, the head of the popular anti siege committee, has said that the committee was contacting concerned parties to implement the Goldstone report on lifting the siege on Gaza.

Abbas slams Fatah officials for faulting his delay of Goldstone’s report
19 Oct 2009 - Mahmoud Abbas denounced some of his aides and Fatah officials for admitting that the withdrawal of Goldstone’s report was a mistake, alleging that what happened came in the natural course of events.

Los Angeles Times

U.N. body backs Gaza war report 
17 Oct 2009 - The action by the human rights panel is a setback for Israel and probably makes U.S. peace efforts tougher. In a vote likely to complicate U.S. efforts to revive Middle East peace talks, the United Nations Human Rights Council on Friday endorsed a report calling on Israel and Hamas to conduct credible investigations of alleged war crimes by their forces or face further international inquiries and possible prosecutions. 

Misc

At last, Arab pressure on Obama to cut off US funding for West Bank colonies
Mondoweiss - 19 Oct 2009 - This is an interesting post, as it came from this Israeli news site that until a few months ago appeared to be extremely hawkish. It seems to recognize that a similar program has been launched by Gush Shalom and suggests that the Arab League cooperate with...

Flat earthers meet in DC
Mondoweiss - 18 Oct 2009 - Washington Institute for Near East Policy, offspring thinktank of AIPAC, says that it was "established to advance a balanced and realistic understanding of American interests in the Middle East.” It just had a panel about Obama’s record on the Middle East. The verdict (reported by Ori...

Mohammad Othman – Jailed for an idea
Mondoweiss - 18 Oct 2009 - From Adalah-NY : Comic by Ethan Heitner for Adalah-NY. Download a pdf version of it here . Related posts: A self-interview by Mohammad with Mohammad on the anniversary of the Iranian Revolution Mohammad of Vancouver on Ahmadinejad’s speech Why the U.S. will not attack Iran–Mohammad of Vancouver

Ehud Olmert struggles to give Univ. of Chicago lecture amid protests
Mondoweiss - 17 Oct 2009 - Nearly overwhelmed by protests, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert took an hour and a half to deliver a 20 minute speech at the University of Chicago on Thursday. Here’s a full report from Electronic Intifada : Approximately 30 activists — mainly students from area universities —...

At NYU, devilish Shlomo Sand predicts the Jewish past and pastes the Zionists
Mondoweiss - 17 Oct 2009 - Of all the events I’ve covered surrounding Jewish identity and Israel in the last year, none has given me so much pleasure as the lecture last night by Shlomo Sand at NYU on the Invention of the Jewish People . Most events I go to are grinding,...


Articles

Hardly any respite 
Khaled Amayreh, Uruknet 10/16/2009
      While some calm has returned to the compound of Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Muslim holy site is still under grave threat.
     An uneasy calm is descending over East Jerusalem after thousands of Israeli troops lifted a tight siege lasting two weeks on Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, one of Islam’s holiest sanctuaries.
     The site witnessed violent disturbances two weeks ago when Israeli paramilitary police stormed the Haram Al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary) in an effort to arrest Palestinians who had repulsed an attempt by a group of Jewish fanatics who were trying to arrogate "prayer rights" at the Islamic shrine.
     Dozens of Palestinians were injured, some quite seriously.
     Following the incident, hundreds of Muslims from Jerusalem and also from Arab towns and villages in Israel decided to maintain a constant presence at the mosque in order to repulse new attempts by Jewish extremists to seize a foothold at Al-Aqsa compound. On many occasions, Israeli police forces threatened to storm the Noble Sanctuary if the sit- in didn’t end. Meanwhile, they maintained a constant presence outside the compound. But on Sunday, the Israeli government decided to lift the siege, effectively allowing participants in the sit-in to leave peacefully.
     The deal apparently was part of a behind-the-scenes understanding between Israel and Jordan whereby Israel agreed to reinstitute the status quo ante at the site and to refrain from provoking Muslim sensibilities. According to the Jordanian- Israeli Peace Treaty, Jordan retained the role of custodian of Al-Aqsa Mosque. Jordan had harshly criticised Israel for the "standoff", and unconfirmed reports indicated that the Jordanian government threatened to expel the Israeli ambassador from Amman if the provocations continued. more.. e-mail

Rebuilding Gaza’s infrastructure with mud 
Eva Bartlett, Electronic Intifada 10/14/2009
      Includes photos
     SHEIKH ZAYED, occupied Gaza Strip (IPS) - On a searing summer morning, workers are adding layers to the mud-brick police station being constructed in Sheikh Zayed, northern Gaza.
     "We started building on 20 June," says Mohammed al-Sheikh Eid, a consultant engineer with Gaza’s Ministry of Interior. "Since this is the first time we’ve built something on this scale with mud bricks, we can’t estimate exactly how much longer it will take to complete. Maybe another two months or so."
     He is confident, however, that they will finish before the winter rains begin.
     Since the war on Gaza ended, a number of houses have been built using mud to create simple, square, two or three-room homes. The new Sheikh Zayed police station is one of the larger and more ambitious projects.
     An intricate series of thick-walled, deep-arched chambers form what is on the whole a much more artistic rendition of the former square, cement police station bombed during the attacks. When finished, the station will be 550 square meters, including seven 3.5m by 3.5m office rooms and eight long, arched-roofed chambers 3m wide and 8m long. 
     In contrast to Gaza’s basic new mud-brick homes, with their cracked-earth finish inside and rough, straw-flecked outer layer, the police station design replicates that of the elegant, traditional Palestinian stone or brick buildings: neatly-packed rows of brick frame windows and doorways in graceful arcs; with surprisingly smooth domes that top off vaulted rooms and corridors. The one-level station, with its multiple rooftop domes, resembles the architecture of Palestinian homes from Nablus to Jerusalem. more.. e-mail


In Gaza
dignified beyond losses
18 Oct 2009 - *Mahmoud Musleh: “I’ve had three main things destroyed by Israeli forces: a tile factory on Sikka street (northern Beit Hanoun), another tile factory on Salah el Din street (Beit Hanoun), and the water well on my land. My olive trees have been bulldozed many times by Israeli forces. I’m 70 years old and now I have nothing, like when I was 16.” *Mohammed Zaneen [eastern Beit Hanoun]: “I had 11 dunams of olive trees, bulldozed by the Israeli army. I used to earn well over US$11,000 from the olives. Now my oldest trees are just 4 years old and produce only a meagre amount. We also have bees. When there...

Palestine Chronicle
Empire in Trouble: Approaching Defeat? 
18 Oct 2009 - By Deepak Tripathi President Barack Obama is having a bad time. The health reforms he so confidently promised have been bogged down in Congress for months; his Defense Secretary, Robert Gates, said the other day that the pledge to close the Guantanamo Bay prison camp by January 2010 would take longer to fulfill; Obama’s top general, Stanley McChrystal, appeared to break military discipline by openly demanding forty thousand extra US troop for the Afghan War, warning his commander-in-chief that otherwise the mission would fail; the award of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize to President Obama brought more scorn and disbelief than congratulations and encouragement; it generated an odd unity of purpose between the Left and the Right, his erstwhile supporters and bitter adversaries out to destroy his young presidency; and two decades after the United States defeated its superpower adversary, a resurgent Russia made plain that sanctions against Iran over its suspicious-looking nuclear program were not acceptable to Moscow. History is full of contradictions between what American presidents offered and could deliver. Upon the ratification of the United States Constitution in 1789, President George Washington spoke of ‘the eternal rules of order and right? and ?the preservation of sacred fire of liberty’ in his inauguration address. In fact, American Indians and black slaves were to endure white oppression for a further two hundred years. Two and a half centuries ago, history recorded that Abraham Lincoln abolished slavery in 1865. In truth, re-enslavement occurred quickly under different laws and slavery was...

Critics of 'Holy Israel' Targeted by Christian Zionists 
18 Oct 2009 - By Stuart Littlewood - London Christianity too has its extremists and none worse than the Christian Zionists. A prize example is His Eminence The Very Reverend Charles J. Edgbaston, DD, PhD, Chair, Christians for Moses Ministries Inc. and Rector, Zion College of Canada. At least, that is what he calls himself. This person has just declared me an enemy of Israel. He says he will broadcast the sentence of his church court to the media and my family. His disciples are “empowered to facilitate” my removal from my place of work. He is applying to the Home Office to revoke my passport and warns that medical and pension benefits may be stopped and my bank accounts frozen. And he has ordered his goons to put me under close surveillance. He is also getting Israel to ban me from the Holy Land. He’ll do all this, he says, unless I hand over a suitcase full of US dollars. The Very Reverend Edgbaston claims to have 55,000 followers worldwide. Others who were similarly threatened have tried to find out who Edgbaston is, and the results can be seen here . So… is this a full-blown church of thousands, or a sad little one-man extortion racket run from a garden shed full of flies? The charge-sheet he sent me provides an entertaining glimpse into the hatred and self-delusion that drives this particular Christian Zionist and his colleagues (if he has any). It is headed “Notice of Judicial Sentence by Ecclesiastical Court” and begins: "Reliable...

Obama Backs Netanyahu's Position on 'Peace Negotiations'
18 Oct 2009 - By Kim Bullimore Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has claimed victory in the wake of US President Barak Obama's first speech to the United Nations General Assembly and the September 22 meeting in New York between Netanyahu, Obama and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. In his September 23 UN speech, Obama confirmed that Washington had retreated on its previous demand that Israel halt building new illegal settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, stating that "the time has come to re-launch [peace] negotiations -- without preconditions". "I'm pleased that President Obama accepted my request that there should be no preconditions", Netanyahu told Israel Radio in a telephone interview later that same day. He also said: "I commend this important speech of Obama's and his call to renew the peace process without preconditions. I commend his unequivocal support of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people." Obama's accommodation to Netanyahu's position, however, was not a surprise, as the previous day Obama's special envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell, revealed that Washington was about to back down on the "demand" that Israel temporarily freeze settlement building. Mitchell told Reuters news agency: "Neither the president nor the Secretary [of State, Hillary Clinton] nor I have ever said of any one issue ... that it is a precondition to negotiation." He went onto say, "we do not believe in preconditions. We do not impose them and we urge others not to impose preconditions." While both Mitchell and Obama claimed that there should be "no...

The Slippery Slope
17 Oct 2009 - By Uri Avnery It is, of course, all the fault of Judge Richard Goldstone. He is to blame for it, as he is to blame for all the other ills that are befalling us now. He is to blame for the trouble we are having at the UN, both in New York and in Geneva. For the conspiracy to bring our political and military leaders to trial in The Hague. For the ongoing crisis between us and Turkey. For the many initiatives throughout the world to organize a boycott of Israel. Now he is to blame also for the existential danger facing Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen).When the Goldstone report was submitted to the UN Human Rights Council, our government decided to do all it could to prevent even a debate about it. The debate was, of course, demanded by the Palestinians. When the report was published, the Palestinian representative in Geneva did the obvious: he demanded that the report be debated with a view to submitting it to the Security Council, which in turn would submit it to the international court in The Hague. What came next could have been foreseen. The Israeli government exerted heavy pressure on the US. The US exerted heavy pressure on Mahmoud Abbas. Abbas gave in and instructed his representative in Geneva to withdraw his request for a debate. In any other matter, this would have passed quietly. But since the subject was the Gaza War, Palestinian public opinion exploded. Throughout the war, every Palestinian...

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