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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
20 October, 2009

News

International Middle East Media Center

Spain To Cooperate With The U.S. To Ensure The Resumption Of The Peace Process
21 Oct 2009 - Spanish Foreign Minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, stated Tuesday that Spain will cooperate with the United States in order to revive the Middle East peace process, when its hold the rotating presidency of the European Union in the first half of next year. 

Israeli Cabinet Refrains From Discussing Goldstone Report
21 Oct 2009 - The Israeli cabinet refrained during its Tuesday session from discussing the formation of a committee to discuss the events of the Gaza war earlier this year and the Goldstone report.

Israel Refuses To Grant French FM Permit To Visit Gaza
21 Oct 2009 - Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, rejected a request by the French Foreign Minister, Bernard Kouchner, to visit the Gaza Strip. 

Child died in Gaza due to the siege, death toll reaches 360
20 Oct 2009 - A Palestinian child was announced dead on Tuesday as he was prevented from leaving the Gaza Strip to get life saving medical care he needed.

One man killed six others injured while working in a tunnel in the Gaza Strip
20 Oct 2009 - One Palestinian man was killed and six other injured on Tuesday midday while working at a tunnel near the southern Gaza Strip borders with Egypt.

The Israeli military kidnaps nine civilians from the West Bank
20 Oct 2009 - The Israeli military kidnapped on Tuesday nine Palestinian civilians during invasions targeting a number of West Bank communities.

Ma'an News

PA: Settlers torch olive groves near Nablus
10/20/2009 - Nablus - Ma'an - Israeli settlers set fire to 10 dunums of land in a Palestinian village near the West Bank city of Nablus on Monday evening, according to a Palestinian Authority official. Ghassan Doughus, the PA official charged with monitoring settler activity in the northern West Bank, said dozens of settlers from a settlement called Aliyah set fire to olive groves in the village of Labn. The official also said settlers assaulted farmers who were harvesting olives. It was unclear if anyone was significantly injured in the reported attack. [end] 

Olive harvesters sent home by Israeli forces
10/20/2009 - Olive harvesters in the Nablus-area village of Salem went to access their groves and fields on Saturday, but were met with a road-gate installed by Israeli forces. At first most families simply ducked under the fence to gain access to their lands, but as more people arrived, so did vehicles of Israeli soldiers. The harvesters were prohibited from entering their lands by troops who told them they needed a permit. The law was introduced three days before without the knowledge of the local residents. In other areas around the West Bank, Palestinians harvesting their olives were find thousands of shekels for failing to get a permit. In the north Palestinian officials reported settler attacks against harvesting families, and incidents of settlers burning down groves. 

Israeli forces step-up campaign against Jerusalemite leaders
10/20/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Two Jerusalem leaders were harassed and interrogated by Israeli forces Tuesday, marking a steep increase in targeted detentions and raids of organizers involved in the Al-Aqsa Mosque sit-ins and demonstrations during the Jewish holidays earlier this month. In the latest incident, Israeli police released senior Fatah official and Jerusalem affairs official Hatem Abdul Qader after detaining him for hours at the Allenby Bridge as he returned to Palestine from Jordan on Tuesday. Abdul-Qader said authorities on the bridge handed him an order to submit to further interrogation by Israel's intelligence unit at 12pm on Wednesday, an order he said he intended to refuse. On Thursday Abdul Qader was taken from his car along with Islamic Movement leader Ali Sheikha. The two reported they had been taken by undercover Israeli agents at the Qalandiya military checkpoint between Jerusalem and Ramallah. 

US-Israel air drills to prompt some road closures in coming weeks
10/20/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israel and the United States will carry out a 15-day air defense exercise starting Wednesday, which will likely result in some road closures, Israeli military officials announced. The activity is reportedly the fifth such drill, which military sources said is run every two years, "in accordance with long-standing bilateral agreements, [with] the United States European Command. " A statement from the Israeli military said the "exercises are planned in advance and are part of a routine training cycle designed to improve the interoperability of both air defense systems. "  The exercise will involve more than 2,000 American and Israeli personnel. "Small numbers of US forces from US Army Europe (USAREUR) will be temporarily deployed to a number of locations in Israel in the vicinity of civilian areas," the military statement noted. 

Abbas: Arab League should denounce Hamas
10/20/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - President Mahmoud Abbas called on the Arab League on Tuesday to denounce Hamas for allegedly delaying a deal that would restore Palestinian political unity. "The Arab League now needs to take a stand on this. The Egyptians have announced clearly that they cannot show any more patience after Fatah expressed willingness to conclude a deal according to the Egyptian plan, while Hamas refused," Abbas said. Abbas recalled a decision by Arab League foreign ministers last year that any side that holds up a unity deal would be denounced by all Arab states. The Fatah leader made these remarks during a news conference at the presidential headquarters in Cairo, where Abbas held talks with Egyptian counterpart Hosni Mubarak on the unity issue. The official Palestinian Authority news agency WAFA quoted Abbas saying, "We will not let Egypt down, we are determined. . . " 

Egypt seizes goods intended for Gaza
10/20/2009 - Al-Arish - Ma'an - Egyptian security forces seized a shipment of civilian goods intended to be smuggled into Gaza Strip on Monday a security official said. The source said Egyptian forces acted on a tip and raided a warehouse in an olive grove across from the Brazil Neighborhood in Palestinian Rafah. The official said four trucks loaded with goods were seized. A tunnel was also discovered near the reported warehouse. The alleged smugglers fled the scene before they could be arrested, the source added. The alleged smugglers fled the scene before they could be arrested, the source added. Smuggling tunnels are a primary source of vital goods made scarce by an Israeli-Egyptian blockade of the Gaza Strip which has persisted since June 2007. 

Israel continues closure of two of three Gaza crossings
10/20/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Israeli authorities decided to open the Kerem Shalom crossing on Monday 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 81-91 trucks carrying commercial merchandise and humanitarian aid. Israel began a blockade of the Gaza Strip in June 2007, severely limiting imports, exports, and civilian travel to and from the territory. [end] 

Jordan to study deficiencies in Palestinian camps
10/20/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - The government of Jordan and the Norwegian research institute FAFO agreed to jointly conduct a comprehensive survey of the 10 Palestinian refugee camps located in the country, the German news agency DPA reported on Monday. Poverty, unemployment and inferior infrastructure in the camps are among the issues that will be examined in the planned study, the head of Palestinian affairs at the Foreign Ministry, Wajih Azayzeh told the agency. According to the records of the United Nations, Jordan currently hosts about 1. 8 million Palestinian refugees, who hold the Jordanian nationality. [end] 

Israeli soldiers round up six during West Bank incursions
10/20/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - Israeli forces seized six Palestinians during nighttime raids in the northern West Bank, the Palestinian Authority police said on Tuesday. In the city of Ramallah, Israeli soldiers seized Muhammad Mahmoud Ar-Rimawi and Bilal Abu Rabi from their homes, both age 20, the police said. In Nur Shams Refugee Camp in the city of Tulkarem, soldiers detained 19-year-old Yousef Ahmad Shabrawi, according to the PA. According to the same report, in the village of Azzun, near the city of Qalqiliya, soldiers raided houses belonging to Mustapha Odeh, Abdel Karim Salim, and Bilal As'ad Swidan. The soldiers seized Anas Mustapha Odeh, 20, Mu'ath Abel Karim Salim, 19, and Mu'ath Bilal Swidan, 20, the police report stated. 

Worker killed in Gaza tunnel accident
10/20/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - A worker died on Tuesday after he and six others fell from the mouth of a Gaza smuggling tunnel into its depths on Tuesday, officials said. Officials said Sa'di Abu Nasser, 44, died in Abu Yousef An-Najjar Hospital, hours after he was pulled out of the tunnel in the city of Rafah. Muawiyah Hassanein the director of Emergency and Ambulance services in the Health Ministry in Gaza said the men fell when the rope holding them up snapped. Hassanein also said paramedics took four of the workers to Abu Yousef An-Najjar Hospital. One had fractured his neck, another fractured his skull and spine, and a third was in a coma, he added. The fourth, Abu Nasser, eventually died. Three other injured workers were taken to the European Hospital in nearby Khan Younis, Hassanein said. Three of the men were rescued immediately, Hassanein said, while another four were trapped in the tunnel initially before paramedics could retrieve them. 

Official: Goldstone report does not single out Hamas
10/20/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Hamas is preparing a committee to investigate allegations that prisoners under de facto police control were shot and imprisoned during Israel's war on Gaza, member of the party's politbureau said Tuesday. Speaking on Al-Arabiya, Moussa Abu Marzouq reiterated the party's stance on the UN-mandated Goldstone report, which says there is evidence of war crimes in the actions of Israel and Gaza factions during Israel's Operation Cast Lead in December and January. "It was all Palestinian factions who launched projectiles," Abu Marzouq said, "including Fatah," indicating that the report does not single out Hamas. As for allegations in the Goldstone report, earlier brought to light in media reports and documents from the Palestinian Authority following the war, that Hamas fighters and possibly de facto government police had injured prisoners, mainly Fatah affiliates,. . . 

PRC: Fighters shelled Israeli forces near Rafah
10/20/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - A Palestinian armed group said it fired four mortar shells at Israeli vehicles who advanced toward the city of Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip. "A group of fighters spotted Israeli military vehicles progressing near Kerem Shalom crossing, and fired four mortar shells towards them at 9:30am," said the statement from the military wing of the Popular Resistance Committees, the An-Nasser Salah Addin Brigades. The statement also said that Israeli warplanes flew over the area. It said the fighters withdrew unharmed. An Israeli military spokesperson confirmed later in the day that troops "operating near the fence" heard "severe" explosions in the area, but said he could not confirm whether or not the explosions were mortars. 

San Francisco’s Palestine Day focuses on culture, not politics
10/20/2009 - San Francisco - Ma'an - Over its 32 years, San Francisco's Palestine Day events went from an overtly political event with banners and slogans to a celebration of culture and heritage, reaching out to a wide constituency of Palestinians, Arab Americans and all other manner of curious culture-seeking citizens. Fresh stuffed grape leaves, Oud, Dabka, and arghila, were over-layed with slide shows of photos depicting past and present realities of Palestine entertained more than 1,800 visitors to the festival organized by the city's Ramallah Club. The event has become so popular, organizers said, it may have to relocate to a larger venue to accommodate the crowds. The relocation, organizers said, might also see the involvement of other Palestinain groups in the area. "Palestine is always in our hearts, and this [Festival] is the least we can do to. . . preserve our culture and heritage and pass it on to our children," said festival goer Said Khalid, who drove an hour and a half to bring his family to the event. 

Israeli cabinet to weigh Gaza inquiry
10/20/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Israel's diplomatic-security cabinet is to meet on Tuesday to discuss a possible domestic inquiry into a UN-backed report that found Israel may have committed war crimes during the attack on Gaza last winter. The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that, in general, the meeting will address a diplomatic and legal response to the UN Human Rights Council's endorsement last week of the report. The 575-page report was the result of an independent international fact-finding mission led by former war crimes prosecutor and South African judge Richard Goldstone. Haaretz quoted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as saying, "the report is going to the UN [bodies in New York]. We're going to see to it that it's vetoed. "He told members of his right-wing Likud party that he expects the document will be discussed by both the General Assembly and the more powerful Security Council, the newspaper said. 

Ex-NASA scientist arrested for attempt to spy for Israel
10/20/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - A scientist formerly employed by the US space agency NASA was arrested on Monday for attempting to sell government secrets to FBI agents posing as Israeli intelligence operatives, according to news reports. According to Reuters, Stewart Nozette, 52, of Chevy Chase, Maryland, was charged with attempting to deliver classified national defense information to an individual he believed to be an Israeli intelligence officer. The officer was, in reality, an undercover FBI agent, the US Justice Department said in a statement. The government also said that the criminal complaint does not allege that the government of Israel or anyone acting on its behalf committed any offense under US laws in the case, Reuters reported. In addition to NASA, Nozette has also worked for the Department of Energy and the Department of Defense. 

USAID coordinates Palestinian-Israeli customs training
10/20/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - An Israeli Customs Administration course was administered by USAID to more than 30 officials in the Palestinian Authority Customs and Excise Department, the American funding agency announced Tuesday. USAID said the 10-day course, the sixth in a series, was organized with the PA and Israeli customs under the Trade Facilitation Project. It is taking place in Jerusalem. The project, according to a USAID statement, is "intended to help build the capacity of the Palestinian Authority and strengthen vital relationships between the two customs agencies. Building trust and cooperation is a necessary step in encouraging and facilitating bilateral trade, enhancing revenue collection, and effectively communicating with trade partners. " The statement quoted Acting Director of the Palestinian Authority Customs and VAT Department Fouad Al Shobaki as saying the training. . . 

Arab League chief may seek Egypt presidency
10/20/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa is reportedly considering a bid for Egypt's presidency in elections scheduled for 2011. "Every capable and efficient citizen has the right to aspire for the supreme post, which is the president of the republic," the 73-year-old Moussa said in the interview with the independent Egyptian newspaper, Ash-Shorouk, as quoted by AP. "Undoubtedly, I am like others looking forward to participate in the project of Egypt's resurrection," he said, according to the agency. The remarks come amid debate over who will replace 81-year-old President Hosni Mubarak, who has ruled Egypt for 28 years. Mubarak has not said whether or not he will run in the election, but he is rumored to be grooming his son, Gamal, to succeed him. Moussa is popular for taking strong rhetorical stands against Israel and the US. 

Israeli defense minister blocks debate on Gaza report
10/20/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak blocked a planned cabinet debate on Tuesday on whether to launch a domestic investigation into allegations of war crimes committed during last winter's offensive on Gaza, according to multiple reports. Barak believes that such an investigation would harm Israel's international image, the Israeli news site Ynet reported. Barak is the only prominent cabinet minister who was in power during the Gaza war who is now serving in the current government. The same report states that the diplomatic-security cabinet did agree to set up a team to diplomatically combat any further international action on a UN report that accuses Israel of war crimes. The United Nations Human Rights Council voted overwhelmingly last week to endores the report, referring it to the UN General Assembly and Security Council in New York. 

Blair tours Hebron, says prosperity, peace coming soon
10/20/2009 - Hebron - Ma'an - Envoy for the Middle East Quartet Tony Blair expects peace talks between Israel and Palestine to begin in the next few weeks, he told reporters in Hebron Tuesday. The comment came during an impromptu visit to the southern West Bank city, following a conference with Israeli President Shimon Peres in Jerusalem Tuesday morning. During his visit Blair was assaulted by a Palestinian from Hebron, who called the official a "terrorist," Reuters reported. "I believe that in the next few weeks there Palestinian-Israeli negotiations will be launched with the aim of reaching a two-state solution," he said at a news conference alongside Hebron Governor Hussen Al-Araj and several leaders of the local security forces, businessmen and shopkeepers. According to the US State Department, bi-lateral talks between US Special Envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell and delegations. . . 

Al-Qassam Brigades: Dissolve the PA
10/20/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - The armed wing of Hamas, the Al-Qassam Brigades called for the dissolution of the Palestinian Authority on Tuesday in a message on its website. The statement attributed to Al-Qassam spokesperson Abu Obaida was reacting to what the group said was the a part of Egypt's reconciliation plan to dissolve the group. "Dissolution [of Al-Qassam] is a distant dream, no matter how some people tried to explain the Egyptian paper in this regard, each has its own interpretation, and therefore, this point needs to be fully clarified," the statement said. "What we can assure is that the dissolution of the PA is easier than Al-Qassam Brigades or the brave resistance factions," the statement continued. Hamas' rival, Fatah, signed the Egyptian proposal last week. Hamas asked Egypt to extend the deadline to allow more time to consider the plan. 

Hebron police seize 8 for drug possession
10/20/2009 - Hebron - Ma'an- The Hebron Drug Squad detained eight for drug possession Tuesday, and seized several packages of narcotics, the information office of the Palestinian police said. Police were issued warrants to search the homes of several suspected drug dealers in the city, and found hash along with several bags of drug paraphernalia in one home, and several other bags in an Israeli-plated car belonging to another of the suspects. Police said the car was seized in a PA checkpoint as it went through the city. A total of eight men were detained and transferred to the local prosecutor. [end] 

Hamas: Egyptian paper will not be signed until amendments made
10/20/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Vice-Chairman of Hamas' politureau Mousa Abu Marzouq said the Egyptian paper needs further discussions to fill in the gaps on issues already agreed to between Hamas, Fatah, and Egyptian mediators. Abu Marzouq told Al-Arabia Tuesday that "if what was removed from the paper is reinstated, we will surely sign before the 25th of October. " Hamas refused Egypt's request to both parties for a yes or no answer to the conciliation plan set by Cairo mediators by 15 October. Shortly before the deadline Hamas announced it would send a delegation to Cairo to discuss the reservations they still had, then later delayed the delegation for unstated reasons. "There is no harm in holding further dialogue sessions for several weeks in order to reach an understanding over what is missing in the reconciliation paper," Abu Marzouq said. 

Beit Jala poet found dead in apartment
10/20/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Palestinian poet Banayout Zeidan, 81, was found dead in his apartment in the town of Beit Jala on Monday evening, according to Ahid Hasayin, the director of public relations for the Bethlehem police. Hasayin said that Zeidan's brother went to visit the poet, and when peering through the window, he saw him lying motionless. After phoning the police, an ambulance arrived, and emergency workers broke down the door of the apartment to find that Zeidan was dead, the spokesperson said. The body was taken to the Palestinian Authority hospital in Beit Jala, Hasayin said. The Bethlehem prosecutor's office ordered that the body remain there until Tuesday so forensic tests could be completed. Medical sources at Beit Jala Hospital said they believed Zeidan died at least 24 hours before his brother discovered him. 

PSE falls: Al-Quds Index down 0.48% on Tuesday
10/20/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Stocks fell on the Palestine Securities Exchange in Nablus on Tuesday. The Al-Quds Index closed at 500. 71, decreasing 2. 44 points (0. 48%). Trading volume for Tuesday reached 517,535 shares, a total value of 757,845. 75 US dollars, over the course of 235 trades. The shares of 21 companies were traded. The shares prices of five companies rose, while those of 12 others declined. The top five gainers were VOIC by 4. 57%, AHC by 4. 17%, PIIC by 1. 61%, AMB by 1. 27%, and AIB by 0. 80%. The top five losers were LADAEN by 2. 78%, ISBK by 2. 60%, QUDS by 1. 63%, UCI by 1. 61%, and WASSEL by 1. 54%. [end] 

Ha'aretz Defense page

Major U.S.-Israel defense drill to highlight military alliance
20 Oct 2009 - Exercises will test technology that could be used to defend Israel against possible Iranian attack. 

U.S. officer: If Israel strikes Iran, U.S. will likely join
20 Oct 2009 - Former top-ranking U.S. Air Force officer cautions: I don't think Israel can do it alone. 

Top IDF officer warns: Settlers' radical fringe growing
20 Oct 2009 - Over the past two years, the defense establishment has taken a harder line against unruly settlers. 

Israel worried Fatah may resume suicide attacks
20 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
20 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
20 Oct 2009 - The Samouni family says Richard Goldstone has finally lent the Gaza offensive victims a voice. 

Why Israel failed in the Gaza war
20 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?
20 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
20 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
20 Oct 2009 - State-run news agency reports 32 suspected militants detained in raids across eight provinces. 

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

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

Uruknet

[uruknet.info] ISRAEL CENSORSHIP EXPOSED
October 20, 2009 - This is WAY too funny! Israel, the GREAT "so called" Democracy in the Middle East ranks alongside Iran for freedom of the press. Story below. Wow, Israel is having such a crappy time lately, what with all the war crimes listed in the Goldstone report, then the Zionist AIPAC spies in America, then there was the...

[uruknet.info] Press freedom declines in Iran, Israel
October 20, 2009 - Iran and Israel both drew harsh criticism for their treatment of journalists in 2009 from the press watchdog group Reporters Without Borders. Iran's ranking fell precipitously in the wake of postelection protests that created what Reporters without Borders called "regime paranoia about journalists and bloggers."... Israel sank to 93rd in the ranking, behind other Middle Eastern...

[uruknet.info] Israel Wants International War Laws to Be Changed
October 20, 2009 - Tuesday Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instructed his government to draft an initiative to amend the international laws of war after the Goldstone report on its war in Gaza. The security cabinet did not, however, discuss calls made by ministers for an internal investigation into the 22-day offensive at the turn of the year that killed...

[uruknet.info] Settlers attack Palestinian family in Sheikh Jarrah, injure seven
October 20, 2009 - The settlers who have recently occupied the house of the Gawi family, forcefully evicted from their home in Sheikh Jarrah on 2 August 2009, launched an attack today on the Palestinians camping outside. According to local sources, seven Palestinians were injured and four arrested. The attack started between 8 and 8.30pm, when a driver of a...

[uruknet.info] Human rights defender's detention without charge enters second month
October 20, 2009 - On Monday 19 October 2009, a court hearing at Salem military court, in the northern West Bank, extended Mohammad Othman's detention period for another 11 days. It has been 29 days now since human rights defender Mohammad Othman was arrested at the Allenby Bridge Border Crossing between Jordan and the West Bank. Mohammad, who volunteers with...

[uruknet.info] Syria's Golan Heights: Can International law forestall a Golanian intifada? Pressure increasing on Syria's government to retake the Heights by force 
October 20, 2009 - Nationals from nearly one-third of the 192 member states of the United Nations met in Damascus last week to discuss the Return/Liberation of the Golan Heights. An estimated 5000 researchers, Lawyers, politicians, activists, victims of Israel's 42 years of occupation, students and members of the public, attended the opening event in Qunaitra, the Golan capital city,...

[uruknet.info] Olmert visit sparks Palestine movement at US university
October 20, 2009 - On 13 October, Tulane University, an elite university in the southern United States, hosted former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert as a featured speaker. Forced from office due to corruption charges and under indictment in his own country, Olmert's speaking engagements at respected American universities should at the very least raise questions as to the propriety...

[uruknet.info] Protester assails Blair in Palestinian mosque
October 20, 2009 - Bodyguards subdued a Palestinian man on Tuesday as he approached Middle East envoy Tony Blair, shouting "You are a terrorist." The former British prime minister was verbally assailed while visiting an ancient mosque during an official trip to the West Bank city of Hebron. The protester, carrying a bag, was backed into a corner by guards...

[uruknet.info] Video: Life in Gaza
October 20, 2009 - Munzer al-Dayyeh is a 40-year-old mechanic living in Gaza. And while the effects of war and ongoing siege may be good for his business, he can't manage to secure medical treatment for his disabled children. An insight into an ordinary Gazan man struggling to make a living and to find a solution for his family in...

[uruknet.info] Goldstone rejects Israel protests
October 20, 2009 - UN human rights investigator Richard Goldstone has rejected Israel's claim that the peace process would be harmed by his report on the offensive in Gaza. Judge Goldstone said there was no peace process at present and Israel's foreign minister did not want there to be one....

[uruknet.info] Israel, U.S. to start joint air defense exercises
October 20, 2009 - Israel and the United States will start large-scale joint air defense drills on Wednesday, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) reported Tuesday. The Juniper Cobra 10 maneuvers, to involve 1,000 servicemen from each country, are being held for the fifth time. Despite recent tensions with Iran over its nuclear program, the IDF said the drills were "not...

[uruknet.info] Egypt seizes goods intended for Gaza
October 20, 2009 - Egyptian security forces seized a shipment of civilian goods intended to be smuggled into Gaza Strip on Monday a security official said. The source said Egyptian forces acted on a tip and raided a warehouse in an olive grove across from the Brazil Neighborhood in Palestinian Rafah. The official said four trucks loaded with goods were...

Palestine Telegraph

Norman Finkelstein, British MPs to discuss future of Palestinian Refugees
London, October 20, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - As the preparations of The Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) for the International Conference, UNRWA and Palestinian Refugees; continue, more interest from people is being showed. PRC has received tens of requests from people to join...

Puppets on Road to Jerusalem
Palestine, October 19, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) 'Courage ... courage to movement, courage not to give up, courage to break doors, the courage to overcome barriers, the courage to fly', are words advocated by participants in the march of the road to Jerusalem, organized by...

UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow Concludes Visit to Palestine
Palestine, October 19, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - World renowned actress Mia Farrow ended Sunday a six-day mission to the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel. The mission focused on children affected by conflict, UNICEF said in a press release.

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.

The National

Egypt's clout may wane as Palestinian peace falters
20 Oct 2009 - Cairo's failure to mediate a deal between Fatah and Hamas could allow regional states such as Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Syria to take the lead in the area's crucial challenges.

Pressure grows on Israel after Gaza report
20 Oct 2009 - Cabinet split over carrying out an inquiry that would help stave off international efforts to bring the country before a war crimes tribunal.

Eavesdropping sparks fresh border tension
19 Oct 2009 - The discovery of three eavesdropping devices planted in southern Lebanon has prompted a wave of spying allegations between the country and Israel.

Good start' to nuclear talks, says ElBaradei 
19 Oct 2009 - Landmark negotiations between Iran and world powers resume in Vienna aiming to finalise a deal on Tehran's nuclear ambitions.

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

Aljazeera

Iran arrests three over bomb blast
20 Oct 2009 - Authorities detain Iranians in connection to Sunday's attack as funerals are held.

Iran not to cede 'nuclear rights'
20 Oct 2009 - Foreign minister rules out abandoning "legal and obvious" right to nuclear technology. 

Israel to discuss Gaza war inquiry
20 Oct 2009 - Two ministries reportedly back probe in order to mount defence against damning report.

Lebanon blasts called 'spy devices'
19 Oct 2009 - Hezbollah and army say Israel detonated underground sensors in country's south.

Alternative Information Center

The World March for Peace and Nonviolence continues in Bethlehem
19 Oct 2009 - On 14 October 2009, the World March for Peace and Nonviolence reached Bethlehem. Organized by the international pacifism organization World Without Wars, the march began in New Zealand on 2 October, Gandhi’s birthday and the “International...

Palestine News Network

Art shows throughout East Jerusalem's Old City kept secret to prevent harassment by Israeli forces
20 Oct 2009 - This year several Palestinian cultural activities in Jerusalem were banned or disturbed by Israeli authorities. Citing that artistic expression of one’s identity is vital to any society, a collective of approximately 60 young people is preparing “Al Quds Underground”, a hidden cultural festival on secret places in the Old City.Actors, musicians, writers and other artists are preparing a unique and unconventional festival...

Investigation may open into soldier attacks on Palestinians in southern West Bank’s Hebron Hills
19 Oct 2009 - Hebron / PNN – It is clear from testimonies collected by B'Tselem that Palestinians were attacked south of Mount Hebron during the month of September. Israeli soldiers have also engaged in the extensive vandalism of cars in the southern West Bank’s Mount Hebron. The vehicles are parked by Palestinian laborers who are traveling for work to Jerusalem or inside the Green Line. Documentation...

Israeli organizations working for Palestinian human rights say 335 prisoners are held without trial
19 Oct 2009 - In a report issued by two Israeli organizations working for Palestinian human rights, it was noted that 335 Palestinians still being held without trial in Israeli prison; 29 of them from two to five years continuously. In the report that HaMoked and B'Tselem published last week, the organizations severely criticized the Israeli detention of Palestinians without trial. The report states that the...

Palestinian Broadcast Union calls for solidarity with Ahmad Sa’adat upon six months in isolation
19 Oct 2009 - Gaza / PNN – For six months leftist leader Ahmad Sa’adat has been in solitary confinement in Israeli prison, a situation that has grabbed the attention of most Palestinians, including the Broadcast Union. Media outlets are beginning a new solidarity campaign with Sa’adat, the Secretary General of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Held in isolation for six months, the prominent...

Palestinian delegation asking UNESCO for condemnation of Israeli excavations around Al Aqsa Mosque
19 Oct 2009 - Jerusalem / PNN – The Palestinians are asking that United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization condemn the Israeli excavations around Al Aqsa Mosque. Dr. Hamdan Taha, Assistant Undersecretary of Archaeological and Cultural Heritage in the Palestinian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, is leading the delegation attending the UNESCO meeting, ongoing from 6 through 23 October.The Palestinian delegation is asking specifically that UNESCO...

Council of Ministers welcomes UNHRC adoption of Goldstone, pushes for follow-up, end to settlements
19 Oct 2009 - Ramallah / PNN – The weekly meeting of the Council of Ministers welcomed today the adoption by the United Nations Human Rights Council of the Goldstone report that states the Israelis committed war crimes in Gaza. The meeting of the Council of Ministers was chaired by Prime Minister Salam Fayyad in Ramallah and stressed that the Palestinian National Authority is determined to follow-up...

International peace cycle joined by Qalqilia bike club arrives in Bil’in
19 Oct 2009 - Bil’in / Iyad Burnat - This weekend in western Ramallah, members of the Bi'lin community lined the streets to greet cyclists from Belgium, the UK, Canada and Sweden. With temperatures at 38 degrees Celsius, the group has continued the Peace Cycle 2009 seemingly undaunted.The initiative aims to educate foreign visitors of the suffering of West Bank communities caused by the Israeli occupation.Since starting...

Jerusalem Post

'Now we realize what IDF had to counter'
20 Oct 2009 - Following 3-day visit, Canada's top general says he wants to read Goldstone report in "full context."

US, Israel to start major joint drills
20 Oct 2009 - Wednesday air defense exercises to include anti-missile radar systems amid Iran nuclear threat.

FBI nabs scientist on espionage charges
20 Oct 2009 - Agent posing as Mossad officer sets up US man said to be disloyal; Jerusalem not linked to affair.

Obama: US-Israel ties are 'more than strategic alliance'
20 Oct 2009 - Obama sends taped message to Peres; envoy to UN Rice: US will stand by Israel on Goldstone; French FM cancels visit to Israel next week over report.

No more Pollards
20 Oct 2009 - Nozette's alleged treason had little to do with ethnicity, but will still add fuel to Israel's enemies.

'Decision on how to proceed in Lieberman case to come within a few weeks'
20 Oct 2009 - In interview, State Attorney Moshe Lador also says he opposes splitting the functions of the attorney-general into two different jobs.

Livni's criticism of Barak draws cries of 'hypocrisy'
20 Oct 2009 - 

HRW founder slams criticism of Israel
20 Oct 2009 - In 'NY Times' piece, group's first chairman says it should focus on authoritarian regimes.

'Fewer east J'lem residents take advantage of social benefits'
20 Oct 2009 - Help offered to children, elderly especially low.

IRIN

EGYPT: John Simon, "I don’t know where I will be tomorrow"
CAIRO Monday, October 19, 2009 (IRIN) - In the first of a series of interviews with refugees living in Cairo, IRIN spoke to John Simon (not his real name), a 33-year-old Dinka from Southern Sudan, about why he left home, and what prospect he faces in this host country.

GAZA: Farmers struggle with damaged agricultural land
GAZA CITY Thursday, October 15, 2009 (IRIN) - 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 lack of agricultural materials like...

EGYPT: Disaster looms for Delta region 
CAIRO Wednesday, October 07, 2009 (IRIN) - Egypt’s Delta region faces a natural disaster of massive proportions by 2020 unless urgent action is taken to better manage scarce fresh water resources and come up with solutions to mitigate the effects of rising sea levels, according to government officials.

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

29 days after Mohammad’s arrest still no charges have been laid
20 Oct 2009 - n Monday 19 October 2009, a court hearing at Salem military court, in the Northern West Bank, extended Mohammad Othman’s detention period for another 11 days, failing once again to provide any evidence justifying Mohammad’s arrest. Read more about the conditions of detention and interrogation methods used against Mohammad. [

http://stopthewall.org/latestnews/2097.shtml
20 Oct 2009 - More than 150 people attended the weekly demo against the Apartheid Wall. Protestors held signs with the names of the five Nil’in prisoners, and others called for the freedom of the 11,000 other Palestinians held in Israeli jails. Youth marched with their hands tied, imitating the means soldiers use when they arrest Palestinians. Soldiers constantly tried to capture protestors, and jeep mounted launchers showered the area with gas. Soldiers also targeted medical teams, firing tear gas directly at them. [

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

Settlers attack Palestinian family in Sheikh Jarrah, injure seven
10/21/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - 20 October 2009 - The settlers who have recently occupied the house of the Gawi family, forcefully evicted from their home in Sheikh Jarrah on 2 August 2009, launched an attack today on the Palestinians camping outside. According to local sources, seven Palestinians were injured and four arrested. The attack started between 8 and 8. 30pm, when a driver of a lorry delivering furniture to the occupied house, accompanied by four settlers, attacked a five year old boy from the Gawi family who was playing nearby. The settlers then attacked a small tent where the Gawi family have been living since the eviction. The tent was full of mainly women and children at that time. A Palestinian woman who was hit hard by the driver had to be taken to hospital. A fight broke out immediately, involving at least 15 settlers. Several members of the family sustained light injuries and a 15-year old girl from the neighbourhood was hit by a falling TV as the settlers managed to tear down the tent. 

Israeli forces step-up campaign against Jerusalemite leaders
10/21/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Ma'an News, 20 October - Two Jerusalem leaders were harassed and interrogated by Israeli forces Tuesday, marking a steep increase in targeted detentions and raids of organizers involved in the Al-Aqsa Mosque sit-ins and demonstrations during the Jewish holidays earlier this month. In the latest incident, Israeli police released senior Fatah official and Jerusalem affairs official Hatem Abdul Qader after detaining him for hours at the Allenby Bridge as he returned to Palestine from Jordan on Tuesday. Abdul-Qader said authorities on the bridge handed him an order to submit to further interrogation by Israel's intelligence unit at 12pm on Wednesday, an order he said he intended to refuse. On Thursday Abdul Qader was taken from his car along with Islamic Movement leader Ali Sheikha. The two reported they had been taken by undercover Israeli agents at the Qalandiya military checkpoint between Jerusalem and Ramallah. 

Filling up Israel’s jails to no avail
10/20/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Seth Freedman, The Guardian - The plight of Palestinian activist Mohammad Othman has dominated the agendas of NGOs in the region ever since his detention in late September. However, while his case is at the forefront of their minds, Othman is just one of 11,000 Palestinian prisoners currently held in Israeli jails, 800 of whom are incarcerated under the terms of administrative detention - meaning that they are imprisoned indefinitely without any charges brought against them. As things stand, Othman appears to be heading for the murky world of administrative detention, given the treatment handed out to him thus far by the military courts. Othman was arrested by soldiers at the Allenby Bridge crossing on 22 September as he tried to return home to the West Bank town of Jayyous following an advocacy trip to Norway. Despite a lack of evidence presented against him in court, judges in subsequent hearings have extended his remand, leading to his having spent almost a month in solitary confinement. 

Ezra Nawi to be sentenced tomorrow, Wednesday 21 October
10/21/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - www. supportezra. net - Tomorrow, Wednesday, October 21, at 8. 30, the final sentencing of Ezra Nawi will be given at the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court (Peace Court). The judge, Eilata Ziskind, found Ezra guilty of assaulting two border police officers and participating in a riot, during a house demolition in the West Bank, in the village of Um el-Hir in February, 2007. Ezra was convicted based solely on the border police officers' testimonies, while the video footage from the event clearly showed that Ezra did not use violence in his protest against the injustices of the occupation. The sentencing was supposed to be given a month ago, but was postponed since the judge tried to examine the possibility of reducing the punishment to community service. Ezra refused to comply with this attempt, as he continues to claim his innocence. . . . Links: Support Ezra Nawi

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

How the Muslim world deals with the rise of Islamism 
20 Oct 2009 - The cries of joy from the four women elected to the parliament in Kuwait this past spring may yet turn into sobs. A religious edict published in that country last week states that any woman who wants to take parts in politics, either as a candidate or as a voter, must dress in accordance with Muslim religious law - with their head covered and "a long robe that hides all parts of the body and which is not so tight so that it would give prominence to any curves." ...

PA official ready for talks with U.S., but not Israel 
20 Oct 2009 - Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat arrived in Washington Tuesday, where he is expected to meet with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other American officials to discuss the first phase of the road map for Mideast peace and the renewal of final-status talks. ... 

Ex-IDF chief's widow rejects naming East Jerusalem street after him 
20 Oct 2009 - Following similar opposition by the family of late entertainer Shaike Ophir, the widow of late minister and Israel Defense Forces chief of staff Rafael Eitan does not want a street named after her husband in a Jewish neighborhood of East Jerusalem. ... 

Netanyahu to Abbas: The time has come for peace
20 Oct 2009 - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday called on Palestinian President to renew peace negotiations with Israel and bring an end to the years of conflict. ...

Deputy PM to Haaretz: Israel needs internal probe of Gaza war 
20 Oct 2009 - Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor thinks Israel should establish its own independent committee to investigate Israel Defense Forces activity in the Gaza Strip during last winter's Operation Cast Lead. ... 

The Guardian

Video: Tony Blair gets heckled at visit to Ibraheemi mosque in Hebron
20 Oct 2009 - Bodyguards subdued a Palestinian man as he approached Middle East envoy Tony Blair, shouting, 'You are a terrorist'

US scientist charged with attempting to sell military secrets to Israel
20 Oct 2009 - Stewart Nozette, 52, arrested after demanding Israeli passport during FBI sting A former Nasa scientist who helped discover evidence of water on the moon has been charged with attempting to sell Israel secrets about America's military...

Filling up Israel's jails to no avail | Seth Freedman
20 Oct 2009 - The imprisonment of Palestinian activists such as Mohammad Othman aims to curb dissent but it seems to be backfiring The plight of Palestinian activist Mohammad Othman has dominated the agendas of NGOs in the region ever...

FBI arrests US scientist on spying charges
20 Oct 2009 - Stewart David Nozette attempted to pass on secrets to an FBI agent posing as an Israeli intelligence officer, say charges A scientist credited with helping discover evidence of water on the moon has been arrested on...

A moral atrocity | Harold Evans
20 Oct 2009 - Judge Goldstone has been suckered into letting war criminals use his name to pillory Israel Aren't the British sickened by the moral confusions of their government? First, we have the weasel words to justify the unjustifiable...

US scientist faces espionage charges
19 Oct 2009 - Man accused of passing classified information to a person he believed was an Israeli intelligence officer A Maryland scientist who worked for the US defence department and other agencies has been arrested on espionage charges. The...

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 the illusion 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...

Ha'aretz National page

Police arrest 13-year-old suspected of molesting children
20 Oct 2009 - Police arrested on Monday a 13-year-old boy from the northern town of Beit Shean on suspicion of sexually abusing 15 boys in the near by area during the last summer vacation. ... 

Galilee man gets 9 years for killing girl with ATV on Yom Kippur
20 Oct 2009 - Assad Shibli, who was operating his all-terrain vehicle which struck and killed nine-year-old Tal Zino on Yom Kippur two years ago in the Galilee town of Kfar Tabor, was sentenced on Tuesday to nine years in prison by Nazareth District Court. ...

I quit Labor post over Barak failure to push peace
20 Oct 2009 - The last time we met, two days before the opening of the Knesset winter session, I asked Ehud Barak where he was heading. He said the Labor Party was on the right track. I asked why West Bank outposts hadn't been evacuated as promised, and he said that day was fast approaching. I posed a similar question to him toward the end of the summer session several months ago, and he told me the same thing - the day was approaching. ... 

Ministers set up task force to ease West Bank settlement construction
20 Oct 2009 - The defense and interior ministers agreed on Monday to appoint a task force to facilitate construction in the West Bank. ... 

What are 50-year-old Egyptian guns doing roadside in Israel?
19 Oct 2009 - Archaeologists carrying out excavations prior to road-widening near Hamovil junction in northern Israel discovered a weapons cache including submachine guns and ammunition on Monday. ... 

Relief Web

OPT: Refugee stories - UNRWA students make a stand against poverty
20 Oct 2009 - Source: UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East

Jordan to conduct survey the its Palestinian camps
19 Oct 2009 - Source: Deutsche Presse Agentur

OPT: USAID West Bank/Gaza mission program achievements - Week of 5 Oct 2009
19 Oct 2009 - Source: US Agency for International Development

Palestinian refugees reject 'sell-out' deal
19 Oct 2009 - Source: Medical Aid for Palestinians

OPT: Israel's reaction to the decision of the UN Human Rights Council
19 Oct 2009 - Source: Government of Israel

ICC Prosecutor receives Palestinian Minister of Justice, Arab League and Independent Fact-Finding Committee
19 Oct 2009 - Source: International Criminal Court

YNet News

Human Rights Watch founder says group biased against Israel 
20 Oct 2009 - Robert Bernstein says in New York Times editorial that human rights organization, 'Lost critical perspective on conflict in which Israel has been repeatedly attacked by Hamas, Hezbollah.' On Gaza war crimes allegations: Reporting often relies on witnesses whose stories cannot be verified 

Obama to J'lem: Friendship more than just strategic alliance
20 Oct 2009 - (Video) Thousands participate in opening ceremony of Jerusalem's presidential conference Facing Tomorrow and watch video message sent by US president. Peres: Israel wants to contribute. Netanyahu to Abbas: Lead your people to peace 

Israel's US envoy rejects invitation to attend J-Street conference 
20 Oct 2009 - Embassy in Washington says 'concerned over some of organization's policies that may impair interests of Israel.' J-Street: 'Israel missing opportunity to engage with over 1,200 pro-Israel activists' 

US pedophile arrested in J'lem after escaping 110 year sentence
20 Oct 2009 - Sporting a beard and long hair as a disguise, American citizen Donald Nelson located and arrested by police detectives in a Jerusalem hostel. 59-year-old convicted on 52 counts of sexual offenses against minors. He will likely be extradited 

Netanyahu: Advance international effort to change laws of war
20 Oct 2009 - PM tells cabinet laws of war should be contingent on type of warfare due to spread of global terror. 'No one will damage our ability and right to protect our children,' he says 

Goldstone: Gaza report won't hurt peace process
20 Oct 2009 - UN investigator who issued report saying Israel, Hamas committed war crimes tells American rabbis, 'What peace process is Israel talking about? There isn't one. Lieberman doesn't want one' 

Daily Star

Abbas to decree Palestinian vote for January 24
20 Oct 2009 

Talks stall after Iran rejects curbs on atomic drive
20 Oct 2009 

US scientist faces court over attempt to spy for Israel
20 Oct 2009 

Jordan mulls sukuk issue to cover part of its deficit
20 Oct 2009 

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

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

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

Palestinian Information Center

Ruqub: The PA meetings with Israelis cover up judaization plans in Jerusalem
20 Oct 2009 - Hamas spokesman Hammad Al-Ruqub stated that the Palestinian Authority's persistent meetings with Israeli officials provided a cover-up for the serious Zionist judaization schemes in Jerusalem.

Nasr: Egypt should match its last reconciliation paper with previous agreements
20 Oct 2009 - Mohamed Nasr, a member of Hamas political bureau, urged Egypt to match its last reconciliation paper with what had been agreed upon previously before his Movement accepts to sign any agreement.

Khudari hails Turkish supportive stands
20 Oct 2009 - MP Jamal Al-Khudari has lauded the Turkish government's stands in support of the Palestinian people and their cause in a letter addressed to Turkey's premier Recep Erdogan on Tuesday.

Hamas denounces terrorist attack in Iran
20 Oct 2009 - Hamas Movement on Tuesday condemned the "terrorist" attack in the Iranian Sistan-Baluchistan province that led to the death of tens of civilians and military personnel.

Abu Obeida: The dream of dissolving the resistance can never be realized
20 Oct 2009 - Abu Obeida, the spokesman for the Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, stated that that the dream of dissolving the Palestinian resistance factions can never come true.

IOF troops round up nine Palestinians in the West Bank
20 Oct 2009 - The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) rounded up nine Palestinian citizens in different West Bank areas at dawn Tuesday in line with their daily arrest campaigns.

Hayya: Hamas is ready to sign a reconciliation agreement free of additions
20 Oct 2009 - Dr. Khalil Al-Hayya, a member of Hamas political bureau, stated that his Movement is ready to sign the reconciliation agreement even before the 25th of this month, but without any new additions.

Gaza suffers shortage in cooking gas, fuel for power station
20 Oct 2009 - The Gaza Strip is suffering an acute shortage in cooking gas after most of its gas supply stations ran out of gas due to the Israeli reduced supply of that material.

Masri: Fatah leaders’ unseemly remarks aimed to confuse the Palestinian arena
20 Oct 2009 - Senior Hamas leader and lawmaker Mushir Al-Masri stated that Fatah leaders seek through their ill-mannered statements to confuse the Palestinian arena.

Erdogan: Gaza witnessing humanitarian tragedy
20 Oct 2009 - Turkish premier Recep Erdogan has described the conditions in the Gaza Strip as a humanitarian tragedy that should be ended without further delay.

Los Angeles Times

Pressure mounts for Afghan election runoff 
20 Oct 2009 - The U.S. urges President Hamid Karzai to accept a U.N.-backed panel's decision to throw out hundreds of thousands of ballots. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says she's encouraged. A United Nations-backed panel Monday tossed out hundreds of thousands of ballots cast in August for Afghan President Hamid Karzai, and independent election observers said the new figures dictated that a runoff election should take place. 

U.S., allies begin talks with Iran on nuclear program 
20 Oct 2009 - The Vienna gathering seeks a deal under which Russia would enrich uranium for Iran. But Tehran says that if talks fail, it will accelerate its enrichment capabilities. Iran threatened to accelerate its uranium enrichment capabilities if talks with world powers that began Monday in Vienna don't yield a compromise on an international plan to provide materials for Tehran's nuclear program. 

Dozens killed in suicide attack on Iran's Revolutionary Guard 
19 Oct 2009 - A bomber in tribal dress infiltrates what was to have been a reconciliation meeting between Shiite and Sunni tribesmen. Six guard commanders are among those slain. At least 28 people are wounded. In a brazen attack on Iran's military elite, a suicide bomber on Sunday killed six Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commanders and 36 others at a gathering of tribal leaders in a southeastern province near the Pakistani border known for drug running and religious extremism, according to the official Iranian news agency. 

Misc

Israel wants law of war changed after damning UN Gaza report 
10/20/2009 - Yahoo! News - JERUSALEM (AFP) – Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instructed his government on Tuesday to draw up proposals to amend the international laws of war after a damning UN report on its war in Gaza. The security cabinet did not, however, discuss calls made by ministers for an internal investigation into the 22-day offensive at the turn of the year that killed some 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis, an official told AFP. " The prime minister instructed the relevant government bodies to examine a worldwide campaign to amend the international laws of war to adapt them to the spread of global terrorism," his office said in a statement. Israel was dealt a heavy diplomatic blow with the adoption by the UN Human Rights Council of the report that accused both Israel and the Hamas rulers of the Gaza Strip of war crimes. 

Oren rejects J Street conference invite 
10/21/2009 - Jerusalem Post - Ambassador to the US Michael Oren has decided not to attend next week's J Street conference, the Israeli Embassy said on Tuesday. Instead, a lower-level member of the embassy staff will be sent to watch and report on the event. "In response to the question about J Street's invitation to participate in its conference, the Embassy of Israel has been privately communicating its concerns over certain policies of the organization that may impair the interests of Israel," the embassy said in a statement. "Accordingly, the embassy will send an observer to the conference and will follow its proceedings with interest. " The move stands in contrast to the White House's, which will be sending one of its highest officials, National Security Adviser Gen. James Jones, to deliver the keynote address on Tuesday. " The White House always welcomes the opportunity to discuss the president's views and engage 

’Water reserves may be drained by 2010’ 
10/20/2009 - Jerusalem Post - If this winter is as lacking in rainfall as the last one, then by next summer Israel will have to take drastic steps such as importing water and setting up portable desalination plants, officials believe. Even if the winter is a rainy one, there will still be a serious crisis, according to the Water Authority's prognosis for the coming year. The authority's head, Prof. Uri Shani, will testify about its plan for 2010 and reply to the questions of the National Investigation Committee Regarding the Water Crisis in Israel in Haifa on Tuesday afternoon. The committee made the plan and Shani's responses to previous questions available ahead of his testimony. Prof. Dan Bein, who chairs the committee, and members Prof. Yoram Avnimelech and Prof. Yoav Kislev invited Shani to testify again, so as to ensure that there would be no policy zigzags this coming year, as there were last year, they said in a statement. 

HRW founder slams criticism of Israel 
10/20/2009 - Jerusalem Post - The Human Rights Watch founder has criticized the organization for "helping those who wish to turn Israel into a pariah state. "In a New York Times opinion piece, Robert L. Bernstein, who served as Human Rights Watch chairman from 1978 to 1998 and is now its founding chairman emeritus, wrote that with increasing frequency, the watchdog casts aside its important distinction between open and closed societies. " Nowhere is this more evident than in its work in the Middle East," he said. "The region is populated by authoritarian regimes with appalling human rights records. Yet in recent years Human Rights Watch has written far more condemnations of Israel for violations of international law than of any other country in the region. " He said Israel was home to at least 80 human rights organizations, a vibrant free press, a democratically elected government, a judiciary that frequently rules against 

Erdogan defends Iran’s nuclear right 
10/19/2009 - Press TV - The Turkish prime minister defends Iran's right to pursue peaceful nuclear technology, saying that Iran's right is not 'questionable'. Speaking at an Istanbul forum, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Tehran's nuclear activities should not be the only one under focus. “Iran's nuclear program should not be the only one under focus, other countries possessing nuclear weapons should be questioned as well,” Hurriyet Daily News quoted Erdogan as saying. He also called on the international community to ease its concern about Iran's nuclear program. “I firmly believe that the international community's concern over Iran's nuclear program should be eased,” the premier added. He also stressed Turkey's willingness to improve relations with Iran, saying his country will spare no efforts to help remove concerns over Iran's nuclear case. 

Israel’s New Goldstone Strategy 
10/20/2009 - Irish4Palestine - Israel is developing a strategy to "Change the International Law that governs the Rules of War" Israel has come out in favour of supporting “lawlessness. ” This is the new strategy. Israel has now decided on its new strategy for fighting the Goldstone report and the Draft Resolution supporting it. Their answer is NOT to actually investigate or consider even the smallest possibility that anything could be justified within that report. Instead Israel will now attempt to “change the rules of war”, so that genocide, slaughter, mass murder and inflicting a holocaust are all fair play. Netanyahu has instructed the creation of several committees to tackle "Israel's Problems" This whilst they seek to destroy International Law and the Geneva convention so they no longer apply. In other words, it’s not the ”crimes” that need to be changed, using Zionist logic, it’s the Law that disallows those crimes that must be changed. 

Israel prepares to fight war crimes trials after Goldstone Gaza report 
10/20/2009 - Ha'aretz - The prospect that Israeli officials could face war crimes trials abroad led the political-security cabinet on Tuesday to form a committee to deal with the international legal consequences of the Goldstone Commission's report on the Gaza war. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who promised a lengthy battle to "delegitimize" the findings of the United Nations commission, also instructed government officials to draft proposals for changing international laws of war. The cabinet met to discuss Israel's diplomatic and legal response to the Goldstone report and its endorsement by the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. Netanyahu's office said in a statement his security cabinet instructed the Justice Ministry to form a committee to deal with the prospect of "legal proceedings abroad against the state of Israel or its citizens". 

’You’re a terrorist’: Tony Blair taunted by young Palestinian in West Bank mosque 
10/21/2009 - Daily Mail - Tony Blair had to be 'rescued' by bodyguards as he visited a West Bank mosque yesterday when a Palestinian man approached him shouting: 'You are a terrorist!'The security breach occurred as the former prime minister was visiting an ancient mosque during an official trip to the city of Hebron. The protester, a local man carrying a bag who was praying when Mr Blair and his entourage entered, was backed into a corner by guards who tried to shut him up. 'He is not welcome in the land of Palestine,' the man shouted before he was dragged away by Palestinian security forces. The man, a supporter of the Islamic Liberation Party Hizbut-Tahrir, was released after Blair left. Mr Blair - the Special Representative in the Middle East for the 'Quartet' of the UN, EU, U. S. and Russia - gave a tight-lipped smile and tried to wave the incident off, but his Palestinian hosts were visibly upset by the lapse. 

Israel spying devices found by UN 
10/19/2009 - BBC Online - Israeli spying devices that were planted during the 2006 war with Hezbollah have been discovered in southern Lebanon, the UN has said. UN peacekeepers discovered the buried devices when they were blown up by remote control by Israel on Sunday. Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora accused Israel of blatantly violating the UN Security Council resolution that led to the end of fighting. Israel has declined to comment directly on the matter. Mr Siniora said an Israeli plane flying above peacekeepers and Lebanese troops investigating the blasts constituted further violation of the resolution. The incident comes at a time of increased tension between the Lebanese authorities and Israel. Earlier in October the Israeli army released a video which it said showed Hezbollah removing munitions from the scene of an explosion near the city of Tyre. 


Articles

Palestinian question is political, not humanitarian 
Naseef Muallem, Ma’an News Agency 10/20/2009
      Conferences, workshops, meetings and talks on humanitarian aid to Palestinians have been taking place since 2005 and have been accelerated intensively since the beginning of 2009.Some Palestinians see the phenomenon as urgently needed donor support, while others see it as a mechanism to maintain corruption despite its obvious appearance in 2005. 
     A third perspective, and one that I hold, is that the donor conferences encourage Israel, the Occupying Power of the Palestinian Territory, to sake off its obligations under international law and use the occupation as an income generating project, allowing Europe and North America to pay for all the services it is obligated to provide. 
     So as Israeli forces continue killing innocent people, demolishing houses, building colonial walls, confiscating land and water resources or caging people in jails, donors pave roads, build court houses and take on the responsibility of occupation.
     So the question remains: will aid accelerate the founding of an independent Palestinian state, or is it prolonging the life of the Israeli occupation.
     Does aid placation buy Israel more time to confiscate land, build ’facts on the ground, push their hand in the demographics game and judaize the city of Jerusalem? more.. e-mail

Scandal in the raw 
Azmi Bishara, Champress 10/19/2009
      The decision to behave in Geneva like the made-in-Oslo Palestinian Authority (PA) was but an extension of the Israeli occupation was the final nail in the coffin of international solidarity with the Palestinian cause in its customary sense. Those who took this decision knew this. International solidarity was confounded by the questions stirred by the Oslo Accords, a treaty struck with the occupation power before a solution was in sight. Was the liberation struggle still in progress as the occupation was still in place? Or did the Oslo process mean that matters now rested with the ability of "the two sides" to reach a settlement? Although the solidarity movement revived somewhat with the second Intifada, the Palestinian rift and the behaviour of the PA towards the war on Gaza threw it into confusion again. Even so, as fragmented and disarrayed as they were, all grassroots and semi-grassroots organisations and movements mustered what spirit they could to stand behind the Palestinians, as divided as they are, in the wake of the Israeli assault on Gaza. The Goldstone Report was the product of this drive. But now, after 2 October in Geneva, who is going to demonstrate solidarity with the Palestinians, how would they do so, and why should they?
     The Palestinian party that declared, in Geneva, that it would withdraw its support from the Goldstone Report behaved not as though the Palestinians needed as much support as they could get, but as though this were part of the international order. Grassroots solidarity embarrasses such officials. It doesn’t mesh with their self-image. They are up there with those in the White House, and who needs popular solidarity once you’re a guest of the US president? Also, that solidarity movement can be more of an enemy than a friend at times. That movement supports the people in Gaza, for example, whereas the Palestinian officials in question stand on the other side of the blockade, working to obstruct any efforts that might give an advantage to their Palestinian political adversaries. These officials bade farewell to the liberation movement some time ago. "So long, liberation movement," they said well before liberation was even a glimmer on the horizon. That was painfully obvious to those who had eyes and ears. However, their behaviour in Geneva came as the definitive and impossible to miss adieu to the spirit and logic of liberation and solidarity movements. more.. e-mail


Electronic Intifada
Human rights defender's detention without charge enters second month
20 Oct 2009 - On Monday 19 October 2009, a court hearing at Salem military court, in the northern West Bank, extended Mohammad Othman's detention period for another 11 days. It has been 29 days now since human rights defender Mohammad Othman was arrested at the Allenby Bridge Border Crossing between Jordan and the West Bank. 

Obama's peace
20 Oct 2009 - For his continued wars against Pakistanis, Afghans, and Iraqis, his support for the overthrow of democracy in Honduras, his abetting dictatorships across the Arab and Muslim worlds (which his government finances, arms and trains in torture methods), his planning for a possible invasion of Iran, and his enthusiastic support for the racist Israeli settler colony (and its colonial wars and occupations against Palestinians), US President Barack Obama received the Nobel "Peace" Prize. Joseph Massad comments. 

Olmert visit sparks Palestine movement at US university
20 Oct 2009 - On 13 October, Tulane University, an elite university in the southern United States, hosted former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert as a featured speaker. In response to his visit, a coalition of students, teachers, activists and community members -- Muslims, Jews, Christians, Palestinians and their allies -- rallied in opposition and protest inside and outside the event. Emily Ratner writes from New Orleans. 

Believing in the nonviolent struggle
19 Oct 2009 - The tactics of Israel seem to promote armed resistance. They refuse to release just one of the 11,000 Palestinian prisoners currently rotting away in Israeli jails, but when an Israeli soldier is taken hostage, they are willing to negotiate. How can I convince the mothers of those martyred and those imprisoned that nonviolent resistance is the way forward? But in my heart, I know that nonviolent resistance is the path to freedom for our nation. From my small village of Bilin, I hope our actions can set an example for others to follow. Ahmed A. Khatib's story as told to The Electronic Intifada contributor Jody McIntyre. 

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
Syria's Golan Heights: Can International Law Forestall a Golanian Intifada 
20 Oct 2009 - By Franklin Lamb Nationals from nearly one-third of the 192 member states of the United Nations met in Damascus last week to discuss the Return/Liberation of the Golan Heights. An estimated 5000 researchers, Lawyers, politicians, activists, victims of Israel's 42 years of occupation, students and members of the public, attended the opening event in Qunaitra, the Golan capital city, which in a frenzy of frustration at being forced to return the city it had occupied since 1967 (Comment: think Gaza 2005), the Israeli ordered bulldozed, shelled, and booby trapped by its retreating forces as Qunaitra was surrendered to Syria. The conference heard the likes of former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark argue that the International community and rules of International law could not be clearer in requiring the full return of the 1,860 sq. meters of the Syrian territory, despite Israeli claims over the years of 'border irregularities'. As the International Court of Justice declared in the Burkin Faso and Malie cases, two former French colonies, the frontier existing at the moment of independence, which Syria achieved in April 1946, is frozen like a snapshot taken at the exact moment of Independence. Some attendees at the large Damascus conclave, often huddling on the sidelines, discussed, analyzed and even advocated a Golan Intifada. They argued that the whole international community, except Israel, and the full corpus of international law, supported the immediate and complete return of the Syrian Golan Height's to the nearly 350,000 displaced Golan inhabitants, being those who make...

Zionism: An Anti-Semite's Dream 
19 Oct 2009 - By John V. Whitbeck In a commentary published in the Arab News (Jeddah) on October 17, the British journalist Neil Berry focuses on a reality which is rarely mentioned in polite society: that Zionism is, and has always been, an anti-Semite's dream come true, offering the hope that one's own country's Jews can be induced to leave and move elsewhere. Berry writes: "The imperious British statesman, A.J. Balfour, who gave his name to the declaration, was an earnest supporter of the 1905 Alien Act, which was specifically designed to stem the inflow into Britain of Jews who were fleeing from persecution in czarist Russia. A century ago, immigrant Jews were seen by many, much as Muslims are now, as subversive intruders menacing the British way of life.... Zionism and anti-Semitism became inextricably bound up with one another." Citing a better-known cause for the enduring shame of Western states, Berry continues: "In the aftermath of the liquidation by the Nazis of some 6 million Jews during World War II, the United States, Australia and Canada, brushing aside Arab pleas to treat displaced Jews as a challenge for the whole world, refused to relax their immigration restrictions, thereby ensuring that the great majority of them poured into Palestine, even though many would have preferred to settle elsewhere.... It was with shrewd foresight that Herzl predicted that anti-Semitism would become Zionism's greatest ally." Western governments which, today, are not anti-Semitic should, rather than feeding justice, human decency and international law into a shredder...

America Confronts the Middle East - A Book Review
19 Oct 2009 - By Jim Miles A Choice of Enemies: America Confronts the Middle East. Lawrence Freedman. Anchor Canada (Random House). 2009. The subtitle to this text carries an interesting choice of active verb, 'confronts'. It signifies 'coming face to face in hostility or defiance.' That alone brings to question the U.S. perspective, generally expressed in most U.S. media that U.S. intentions are generally positive or at best benign ("kind or gracious to inferiors") and are done to assist the others involved within U.S. actions. Preface The preface and last chapter of Lawrence Freedman's A Choice of Enemies expresses this same double standard of how the U.S. explains itself in association with whatever action it takes on a given issue. Freedman's "amero-centric" viewpoint (with apologies to all the other citizens of the Americas not living in the U.S.) is clearly expressed in the preface and last chapter of the book. He writes that the wars, the confrontations are "not the result of avarice.nor for a want of beneficence," but "with genuine conviction, commitments were made to work to improve the lives of ordinary people in the region." The U.S. is "not the first external power to struggle in this part of the world," a part of the world that "contains multiple sources of tension." The obvious disconnect here is that some of the major "sources of tension" happen to be all the imperial forces that have invaded and occupied the lands over that past couple of centuries. Yes, "the Middle East has lacked...

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