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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
6 November, 2009

News

International Middle East Media Center

Israel Is Not A Tolerant Society, Says US State Department
IMEMC 7 Nov 2009 - Saturday November 07, 2009 - 12:54, Israeli daily, Haaretz, reported that according to a new report by the U.S State Department, Israel fails all requirements of a tolerant pluralistic society.

France Concerned Over Abbas’ Decision Not To Run For President
IMEMC 7 Nov 2009 - Saturday November 07, 2009 - 01:30, French Foreign Minister, Bernard Kouchner, stated Friday that he intends to pressure Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, into altering his decision regarding not running for president in the upcoming Palestinian elections.

Gaza; Four Palestinians Wounded In Israeli Bombardment
IMEMC 7 Nov 2009 - Friday November 06, 2009 - 22:54, Palestinian medical sources reported on Friday at night that four Palestinians were wounded when the Israeli army fired artillery shells at a group of residents near the Nahal Oz crossing, east of Gaza City.

Fayyad: “Peace Process Credibility Requires Ending The Occupation”
IMEMC 7 Nov 2009 - Friday November 06, 2009 - 22:01, Palestinian Prime Minister, Dr. Salaam Fayyad, stated Friday that restoring the credibility of the peace process with Israel requires ending the Israeli occupation and halting all Israeli settlement activities.

Un General Assembly Urges Israel To Conduct Credible Investigations Into War Crimes In Gaza
IMEMC 7 Nov 2009 - Friday November 06, 2009 - 18:24, The United Nations General Assembly thursday, by a recorded vote of 114 in favour to 18 against, with 44 abstentions, adopted a resolution giving Israel and the Palestinians three months to undertake 'independent, credible investigations' into serious violations of international humanitarian and human rights law committed during the conflict in Gaza that broke in late December 2008.

Israeli troops attack the Nil'in weekly protest
IMEMC 7 Nov 2009 - Friday November 06, 2009 - 15:48, The villagers of Nil'in, central West Bank, were joined by international supporters on Friday for the weekly anti-wall protest.

Ma'an News

Twenty years after Berlin, Palestinians crack Israel’s wall
11/7/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Marking the 20th anniversary since the fall of the Berlin Wall, Palestinians tore down a section of Israel's wall in the West Bank village of Ni'lin on Friday. During a weekly protest against the barrier, which cuts through the Ramallah-area village's center and isolates residents from 60 percent of their farmland, some 300 demonstrators methodically dismantled a concrete section before Israeli forces opened fire. "When one concrete part started to come down partially, the Israeli army arrived and started shooting large amounts of tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets and even live ammunition," said organizer Ahmad Mesleh. "Dozens of soldiers came through the gate and are currently following the demonstration into the village. "Mesleh said protesters first gathered in front of Ni'lin's health clinic, where they prepped supplies and marched toward the wall. 

Two hurt by Israeli shelling in eastern Gaza
11/7/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Israeli shelling injured several Palestinians east of Gaza City on Friday evening, residents said. Medics reportedly evacuated two people after the attack near Nahal Oz crossing. "Ambulances are attempting to reach the injured," an onlooker told Ma'an over the phone, adding that others were hurt. An Israeli military spokeswoman told Ma'an that soldiers opened fire after they identified someone operating a weapon in the vicinity of the border crossing. The army was not aware of any injuries, she added. The Hebrew-language daily newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported three Palestinians injured. [end] 

Bil’in protesters mark anniversary of Berlin wall fall
11/6/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, demonstrators in Bil'in once again marched toward the site of the separation barrier, which cuts the village from its agricultural land, for a weekly protest. "On 9 November 1989, the Berlin Wall came crumbling down in two days that inspired hope for a world in which walls could no longer keep people apart," a statement from the Popular Committee in Bil'in read. "Today, a wall twice as high and five times as long is being built by Israel in the West Bank, in blunt contempt of international law, to separate Palestinians from their lands. "As the group of Palestinian and internationals, including Israelis, marched toward the wall, they were met with tear-gas canisters and rubber bullets fired by Israeli soldiers. Demonstrators carried banners and shouted slogans reminding soldiers that despite the International. . . 

Al-Ma’asara children remove barbed wire, sustain cuts
11/6/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Al-Ma'asara residents approached the Israeli separation barrier banging drums in their village Friday afternoon, the local Popular Committee said. In a statement, the group said several children sustained cuts on their hands while stepping over and trying to remove barbed wire, and others fell on the sharp barbs as soldiers pushed them back, threatening them with arrest. As the children and protesters faced off with soldiers, one military vehicle reportedly entered the village from the back and parked on the main road, encircling the demonstrators. On their way back to the village, demonstrators said they stopped at the vehicle and crowded in on the soldiers, singing, clapping, and playing drums. A female protestor from the village asked the soldiers why they insisted on penetrating deep into Palestine, the popular committee said. 

Israeli leaders regret Abbas announcement
11/6/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israeli leaders expressed disappointment that President Mahmoud Abbas intended to retire from office at the end of his term, as the consider the Palestinian leader more moderate than Hamas. "If you leave the Palestinians would lose their chance for an independent state," said Israeli President Shimon Peres in a phone call to Abbas, according to the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz. Peres added, "The situation in the region would deteriorate. Stay, for the Palestinian people's sake. "The newspaper reported that while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not comment publicly, he has said in private meetings that it was in Israel's interest to have a strong Abbas who could advance negotiations. "Of the existing alternatives, if we want an agreement with the Palestinians then Abbas is the best partner," he said a few days earlier, according to Haaretz. 

Hamas says Israel, US used Abbas as political tool
11/6/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Following Mahmoud Abbas' Thursday announcement he would drop out of January's election, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said Israel and the US had used the president as a tool. Abbas's speech was "a symbol of failure after America and Israel used him as a tool," Abu Zuhri was quoted as saying by the Los Angeles Times, a US newspaper. "We advise him to. . . face the Palestinian people and tell them frankly that the path of negotiations has failed. Halt negotiations with the occupation and take practical steps toward reconciliation," Abu Zuhri said. Earlier, the Hamas spokesman said Abbas' speech was intended as a "rebuke to his American and Israeli friends after they ignored him and turned him into a mere tool, according to Agence France-Pressse. But the president too had harsh words for Hamas in his remarks on Thursday evening, naming its' refusal to sign. . . 

Sheikh Raed Salah convicted by Israeli court of assaulting an officer
11/6/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Leader of the Islamic Movement's northern faction Sheikh Raed Salah was convicted by an Israeli court of assaulting an Israeli border guard during the thick of diplomatic and local tension of Israel's decision to begin excavations near the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Salah was charged with spitting in the face of the border guards after they physically barred him from entering the Al-Aqsa Mosque. At the time, the prominent Muslim leader and outspoken activist for the protection of Al-Aqsa was the target of then Israeli minister of strategic affairs, Avigdor Liberman, who called for the imprisonment of the sheikh, as did then Israeli minister of interior security, Avi Dechter, former head of the Shin Bet interior intelligence, who vowed to see the man in jail. Saleh was convicted in the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court on Thursday, his sentence will be delivered on December 24, Israeli media reported. 

Hamas denounces PA security force’s arrest of PLC members’ son
11/6/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Hamas' parliamentary bloc denounced the arrest ofPalestinian Legislative Council deputy and attorney, Sheikh Hamed Al-Betawi's son in a statement released Thursday. The statement did not say when, or under what circumstances Al-Betawi's son was arrested, and did not say which of the lawmaker's sons was the subject of the statement. It only noted the man was detained by Palestinian Authority security sources. "The number of the political detainees is increasing which will be a real obstacle in the way of conciliation," the statement noted. [end] 

Gaza man sentenced to three life terms in Israeli court
11/6/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - An Israeli military court sentenced a Palestinian man to three life prison terms on Thursday, after convicting him of the killing of three Israeli soldiers and injuring a fourth in a roadside explosion seven years ago, Israeli media sources reported. Nahed Al-Aqra, a Gaza resident, was convicted by the Beersheba military court. Al-Arqa was found guilty of placing an explosive device under the tank of the soldiers near the Netzarim base in Gaza. He was also accused and convicted of membership with the Popular Resistance Committees. [end] 

Gaza cargo crossings sealed Friday
11/6/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Israeli authorities announced early Friday morning that all border crossings with the Gaza Strip would be closed for the day, continuing a trend of five-day-a week openings despite a six-day agreement. Raed Fattouh, a border crossing official in Gaza, said Israeli authorities confirmed that the Kerem Shalom border crossing, Nahal Oz and Karni crossing will be closed. On Thursday, the Kerem Shalom crossing was open, and all others closed. [end] 

PA police: Youth arrested by Israel, teen assaulted by settlers
11/6/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - A Palestinian Authority police report on Israeli violations in the West Bank overnight said a young man was detained and a teen struck in the head by a rock thrown by settlers. In Biddu village northwest of Jerusalem Israeli forces detained 25-year-old Riyad Badwan on Thursday night and took him to unknown destination. In Hebron,14 year-old Adham Abdel Kader was transferred to Hebron Hospital after being hit with a stone in his head by Israeli settlers in the old city. Near Bethlehem, Israeli troops overran Hussan village and detained two young men, identified as 21-year-oldsMahmoud As-Sabatin and Muhammad Sabry Shusha. The detentions were reported to the PA police, along with half a dozen home break-ins. In Salfit, Israeli troops overran the town center and handed Nidal Kamal Al-Halabi a warning letter demanding he visit the offices of the Israeli intelligence. 

Hajj pilgrims wait to depart Gaza
11/6/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Gaza's Rafah terminal with Egypt remained open for Palestinian Hajj pilgrims to depart for Saudi Arabia on Friday, said crossings spokesman Jaser Mashukhi in an interview. Mashukhi told Ma'an that "the crossing is working to complete the departure of the fourth group of pilgrims, while 820 of pilgrims have already crossed. . . the crossing will open over the coming three days. " Concerning reports that new passports were set to arrive soon, the official said that "not one passport has yet arrived," but expressed hope they would be delivered soon. The first of four cohorts of 300 Gazans bound for Mecca left Gaza via Rafah at 6am Friday, Mashukhi said. He said 4,300 were granted permits for travel. Once on the far side of the crossing, pilgrims departed for the Al-A'rish airport and authorities prepared for the second group of 300 to pass through. 

Deputy Israeli FM: Barghouthi pardon unlikely
11/7/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - There is little chance for the release of prominent jailed Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouthi, Israel's Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said on Friday. The comment came following the anniouncement of current President Mahmoud Abbas that he would not run for reelection, despite reported calls from the US, Jordan and Egypt, that he reconsider the decision. Abbas' own party, as well as the PLO, also attempted to convince the president to reassess his position. Talk in the Palestinian arena immediately turned to thoughts of a successor for Abbas, with few names being produced. Marwan Barghouthi, a key player in shaping the Prisoners' Document, which set out a plan to stop Hamas-Fatah infighting, is seen by many as one natural leader. He is serving five life sentences in an Israeli prison, and was seized in 2002. 

Clinton: Will work with Abbas in any new capacity
11/6/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Thursday she looked forward to working with President Mahmoud Abbas in "any new capacity" after he announced on Thursday he would not seek a second term. "I look forward to working with President Abbas in any new capacity," Clinton said, noting that the two discussed his political future when they met last week in Abu Dhabi, Reuters was reporting. "He reiterated his personal commitment to do whatever he can to achieve a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. . . I look forward to working with President Abbas in any new capacity," she added. The president said he decided to step down when it became clear the US would not alter its position in favor of Israel and the settlement enterprise. His announcement came days after Palestinians were left stunned when Clinton praised as unprecedented Israeli. . . 

Supporters rally for Abbas across West Bank
11/7/2009 - Salfit - Ma'an - Backers of President Mahmoud Abbas rallied in the West Bank on Friday, the second public show of support in the 24 hours since he said he would not seek a second term. Protesters paraded in Salfit and nearby Tubas, urging the president to reconsider. In Qalqiliya, some 200 military and civil vehicles participated in a parade, which was called by Fatah. Branches of the Fatah movement in Ramallah, Jericho and Qalqiliya called their members to demonstrate and show support for Abbas, who announced his retirement on Thursday. In Qalqiliya, supporters drove through the streets with banners and loudspeakers in an attempt to change the mind of the Fatah leader and get him to run for reelection in January. In Ramallah and Jericho, supporters gathered near the city center, waving party flags and banners, while others were stationed at the city center holding photos of Abbas. 

Fatah organizes pro-Abbas rallies
11/6/2009 - Qalqiliya - Ma'an - Branches of the Fatah movement in Ramallah, Jericho and Qalqiliya called their members to demonstrate and show their support for outgoing President Mahmoud Abbas, who announced his retirement on Thursday. In Qalqiliya, supporters were asked to bring out their cars for a tour of the streets Thursday night following the announcement, with banners and loudspeakers in an attempt to change the mind of the Fatah leader and get him to run for reelection in January. In Ramallah, supporters gathered near the city center, waving party flags and banners. In Jericho participants toured the streets holding flags, while other were stationed at the city center holding photos of Abbas. 

PA police: 70 fugitives arrested in Hebron area
11/6/2009 - Hebron - Ma'an - Palestinian Authority security forces detained 70 locals wanted for violent crimes, including murder, and other theft-related allegations, an official said on Friday. Hebron security campaign officer Hayel Abu Kosh and police chief Ramadan Awad announced the arrests, which took place as part of a major sting operation in Hebron city and the nearby Yatta and As-Samou villages. In a joint statement, the officials said all of the detainees, who were not immediately identified, were wanted on accusation of murder, assault, theft and illegal vehicle registration. Police had been investigating one suspect, an alleged murderer, for six years, the official said, without elaborating on the nature of his alleged involvement, nor the the identities of the suspect or victim. Praising recent police efforts "to maintain security in the region and catch fugitives," Hayel. . . 

Novelty shops cash in on Goldstone renown
11/6/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Young people, university students an the foreign missions in Gaza drove the demand for the Strip's newest novelty item, a kuffeyeh-patterned scarf with the name of Richard Goldstone cross-stitched near the fringe. The name is spelled the way it is commonly pronounced in Arabic. Shop owner Tareq Abu Dayya put on an exhibit of a prototype a week earlier, and had more requests for reproductions that he expected. "We manufactured a small amount as an experiment," Abu Dayya said, but they sold out quickly, so he made more. "Now all the scarves are sold and we are working to manufacture more. " The scarves are made by a half a dozen Palestinian women who work in an embroidery workshop where they operate weaving machinary and put the final touches on the scarves by hand. Abu Dayya's shop has always been on the forefront of the political souvenir, specializing. . . 

Ahead of Hajj, swine flu vaccines administered in Gaza
11/6/2009 - Nablus - Ma'an - Hajj pilgrims leaving for Saudi Arabia from the Gaza Strip will be immunized against the H1N1 virus with 5,000 doses of the vaccine, the Ministry of Health said Friday. The announcement came after the first wave of pilgrims travelled out of Gaza for the Saudi Arabian city of Mecca ahead of Eid Al-Adha. Head of the ministry's public relations department Dr Omar Naser said officials were working hard to get vaccinations to all pilgrims ahead of their journey. Vaccination against swine flu is a condition for entrance into Mecca, Islam's holiest city. Israel allowed 20,000 doses of the vaccine into Ramallah for the same purpose, its Civil Administration said in a statement Thursday evening. "The Civil Administration places great value on cooperation and coordination with the Palestinian Authority in the fields of health and religious expression," the statement added. 

Reports: Alleged shooter’s family from Palestine
11/6/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - An American army psychiatrist accused of shooting dead 13 soldiers in the US state of Texas on Thursday is the son of Palestinian immigrants, according to news reports. The suspect, 39-year-old Maj. Nidal M. Hasan, was shot during what US officials termed a rampage on Fort Hood, a large American military base, and remained on a ventilator Friday at a civilian hospital in stable condition, army officials said. The Washington Post reported that Hasan's father, Malik, immigrated to the US at age 16 from a village in the West Bank. His family tended an olive grove there, the newspaper quoted neighbors as saying. The New York Times quoted Hasan's cousin, Nader, as saying both parents, now deceased, had immigrated to the US from a small Palestinian town near Jerusalem. The newspaper said Nader refused to confirm they were Jordanian, which some outlets were reporting. 

Ha'aretz Defense page

Lebanon authorities detain 'arms ship' crew for questioning
Ha'aretz 6 Nov 2009 - After Israel releases ship found to be carrying tons of weapons apparently to Hezbollah, crew questioned in Beirut. 

Deputy FM: Israel threat to attack Iran is not bluff
Ha'aretz 6 Nov 2009 - Danny Ayalon tells Sky News that Iran conduct regarding international efforts is bid to 'buy time and procrastinate. 

Lebanon source: Israel working with Islamists to hurt Hezbollah
Ha'aretz 6 Nov 2009 - Lebanese official says Katyusha fired last month was arranged with Israel, to make Hezbollah take blame. 

Netanyahu: Iran's shipment of arms to Hezbollah - a war crime
Ha'aretz 6 Nov 2009 - PM responds to seizure of hundreds of tons of weapons believed to be Iranian shipment to Hezbollah. 

ANALYSIS / Arms ship seizure just another battle in the secret war with Iran
Ha'aretz 6 Nov 2009 - Israel shouldn't congratulate itself too much for intercepting hundreds of tons of weapons apparently meant for Hezbollah. 

WATCH: Video of Israel Navy commandeering arms ship
Ha'aretz 6 Nov 2009 - Ship believed to be carrying tons of weapons from Iran to Hezbollah, disguised as civilian cargo. 

Israel Navy chief: Hezbollah-bound Iran ship carried hundreds of tons of arms
Ha'aretz 6 Nov 2009 - The Antigua-flagged ship was raided by the Navy not far from the coast of Cyprus before dawn Wednesday. 

Police call off search for terrorist feared loose in Israel
Ha'aretz 6 Nov 2009 - The highest level of alert has been declared by security forces in the Sharon plain. 

ANALYSIS / Israel preparing public for a new war in Gaza
Ha'aretz 6 Nov 2009 - Hamas has used the lull in fighting with Israel not only to restore, but improve its capabilities. 

Iran twitchy since Israel strike on Syria nuke reactor
Ha'aretz 6 Nov 2009 - Der Spiegel: Iran has demanded Syria return uranium delivered to it prior to the Israeli attack. 

B'Tselem: IDF probes alleged cases of harm to civilians in Gaza
Ha'aretz 6 Nov 2009 - B'Tselem reports that IDF is examining 21 cases of violence against civilians during Operation Cast Lead. 

UN chief to Israel: End 'provocative actions' in East Jerusalem
Ha'aretz 6 Nov 2009 - Settlers force Palestinians out of East Jerusalem home after court rejects family's appeal. 

Sources: Iran gave Hamas missile that can hit Tel Aviv
Ha'aretz 6 Nov 2009 - MI chief: Hamas has missile with a range of 60km; Hamas refuses to discuss reports of test-fire. 

IDF executes largest-ever terror attack simulation
Ha'aretz 6 Nov 2009 - The drill will simulate an enormous explosion in a mall in Haifa, causing around 600 casualties. 

Uruknet

[uruknet.info] Video: Nilin marking 20 years to the fall of the berlin wall by taking down the wall on their land
Uruknet November 6, 2009 - - Demonstrators toppled 8 meters tall concrete wall in Ni'ilin The protest in Nilin was held today to mark the 20th anniversary to the fall of the Berlin wall, which has been declared an international day of action against Israel's barrier. The 300 demonstrators managed to topple a part of the eight meters tall concrete wall...

[uruknet.info] America's old ugly face
Uruknet November 6, 2009 - Speaking during a joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in West Jerusalem Saturday, 31 October, visiting US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton remarked that Israel was making "unprecedented concessions" on the issue of settlements. "What the prime minister has offered in specifics on restraints on a policy on settlements is unprecedented in the...

[uruknet.info] Out in the cold
Uruknet Awatef Al-Assar filled bags of sand to hold down the sides of the tent in a failed attempt to stabilise it. Her children still remember how hard she tried to hold on to the pole of the tent that was sheltering her and her family last winter as the winds blew hard to uproot it. Meanwhile, trying to help, her...

[uruknet.info] Gaza students organize for justice
Uruknet November 6, 2009 - In order to find sustainable alternatives to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict a new group calling itself the Justice Makers has been formed across the law departments in Palestinian universities. Two of the founders, Mohammed Eliwa and Yousef al-Nouri, are both fourth-year law students from al-Azhar University in Gaza. "The Justice Makers is about finding new ways within...

[uruknet.info] Violation of media freedoms in occupied Palestine during October 2009
Uruknet November 6, 2009 - There have been disturbing violations of media freedoms in the occupied Palestinian territories during October 2009. The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) monitored many of the Israeli violations against journalists, especially incidents in Jerusalem and Hebron committed by Israeli occupation forces. These included attacks on: Alquds Net reporter and photographer Dyala Jwayhan, Palestinian...

[uruknet.info] Weekly Report: On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory No. 43/2009 (29 Oct.- 04 Nov. 2009)
Uruknet November 5, 2009 - Israeli violations of international law and humanitarian law in the OPT continued during the reporting period (29 October - 4 November 2009): Shooting: During the reporting period, three Palestinian civilians suffered bullet wounds following IOF attacks. In addition, 12 Palestinian civilians sustained injuries and bruises after IOF attacks in the West Bank. Incursions: During the reporting...

[uruknet.info] Abbas admits failure of the peace process
Uruknet November 6, 2009 - Mahmoud Abbas, the beleaguered head of the Palestinian Authority, has finally but belatedly admitted that the so-called Peace process with Israel has completely failed and that the Palestinian people will have to seek an alternative to it. In a speech in Ramallah Thursday evening, Abbas rightly blamed Israel for the collapse of the political process, saying...

[uruknet.info] Comrade Taher: Complete failure of Abu Mazen and the Oslo process reflected in his decision to not run for re-election
Uruknet November 6, 2009 - Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' (Abu Mazen) decision to not stand for re-election is a reflection of his failure and the failure of the Oslo "peace process" that he represents, said Comrade Dr. Maher al-Taher, member of the Political Bureau of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and leader of its branch in exile....

[uruknet.info] Fort Hood Shootings: Don't Let Racism Hide Truth
Uruknet November 6, 2009 - BY NOW EVERYBODY ON THE PLANET KNOWS about the killing of 12 people and wounding of 31 others at Fort Hood in Texas. There's no doubt that this is a tragedy for the families and friends of the slain. But from a tragedy like this there will inevitably issue forth a second tragedy - the racist,...

[uruknet.info] Video: Mohammed Omer on the Hell that is Gaza
Uruknet November 5, 2009 - On Nov. 5, 2009, at the Palestine Center, in Washington, D.C., an award-winning journalist, Mohammed Omer, discussed the desperate human rights situation in Gaza--the result of Israel/s recent siege and military offensive. His presentation included his personal observations, interviews with the people of Gaza, his photographs and a video. Mr. Omer, now 25 years of age,...

[uruknet.info] Interview: Living under constant fear of arrest
Uruknet November 5, 2009 - Mohammed Ahmed Issa Yassen, 20, lives in the occupied West Bank village of Bilin, where he works in his family's car garage business as a mechanic. He is also a student at the al-Quds Open University, but since he has joined the Israeli intelligence's "wanted" list from the village, studying has been difficult. The Electronic Intifada...

[uruknet.info] Criminal convictions of 22 CIA agents in Italy The accountability imposed by another country for the CIA's kidnapping and torture reveals much about our own.
Uruknet November 5, 2009 - The criminal conviction of 22 CIA agents (and 2 Italian intelligence officers) by an Italian court yesterday -- for the 2003 kidnapping of an Islamic cleric, Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr, off the street in Italy and his "rendition" to Egypt to be tortured -- highlights several vital points: First, illustrating how these matters are typically distorted...

Palestine Telegraph

Abbas Announces He Will Not Seek Re-Election
West Bank, November 5, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, has decided not to run for the presidency in elections next year, according to reports from Ramallah.

Israel: The Army Will Fight the Next Battle Soon in Gaza Strip
Gaza, November 4, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - Gabi Ashkenazi, chief of staff of the Israeli Army, made a statement this week that "the army will come back to face the rocket launching stages in the overcrowded areas and fight in cities, villages,...

PRC sends a Parliamentarian delegation to Palestinian Refugee Camps, meets Syrian President
London, November 4, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) - The Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) coordinated a delegation of parliamentarians to the Palestinian Refugee Camps in Syria. The delegation included a number of MPs and MSPs who investigated the living conditions and suffering experienced by...

Jewish Extremists "Manics" attack Palestinian family in Jerusalem
London, November 4, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) - A group of Jewish "Manics" extremists, broke into the closed part of Al-Kurds house which owned by an 85-year-old Kurd woman in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in occupied east Jerusalem. The extremists attacked the house,...

Fenced in but defiant in Israeli-occupied West Bank
West Bank, November 3, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) - Sabri Mohammed Ghraieb has seen the olive groves that once fringed his West Bank home turn into a Jewish settlement and prison-like walls but still he refuses to leave.

The National

Painting a kinder picture of Syria
The National 6 Nov 2009 - Damascus's envoy to the US uses modern art to win over prickly diplomats and dodge difficult questions.

From pariah to power broker – a renewed identity for Damascus
The National 6 Nov 2009 - As Europe looks to Turkey to help bridge a divide with the Muslim world, Syria hopes to cement its position as a regional power broker.

Fatah looks to the past after Abbas
The National 6 Nov 2009 - Marwan Barghouti, serving five life terms, is touted as successor to Abbas and unite Palestine.

The legal legacy of a hedonist' 
The National 5 Nov 2009 - In an unprecedented case, the former prime minister Ehud Olmert faces trial for graft, while some of his ministers have been sentenced.

Care urged for young victims of war to break cycle of violence
The National 5 Nov 2009 - The head of the United Nations' children fund in Syria has warned that Iraqi youths still struggling to cope with the traumas of war.

Aljazeera

Supporters urge Abbas to run again
AlJazeera 6 Nov 2009 - Rallies held in Ramallah to press Palestinian president to stand in January poll.

Gaza report to go to UN top council
AlJazeera 6 Nov 2009 - Ban Ki-moon says he will pass on Goldstone Report to UN Security Council.

Syria and Iran deny arms boat claim
AlJazeera 5 Nov 2009 - Syrian minister says ship seized by Israel was carrying "imported goods from Syria to Iran". 

Settlements 'end two-state hopes'
AlJazeera 5 Nov 2009 - Palestinian negotiator says two-state solution is not an option with continued activity.

Alternative Information Center

Israeli Military's Investigations Into Operation Cast Lead Focus on Individual Soldiers, Not Unlawful Policies
Alternative Information Center 6 Nov 2009 - Military Police investigations involving Operation Cast Lead According to the Israeli Judge Advocate General’s Office, since Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza, the Military Police Investigation Unit (MPIU) has opened 23 investigations into incidents that took...

Executive Summary of The Economy of the Occupation Bulletin 20-21: Cast Lead: Israel Attacks Gaza 
Alternative Information Center 6 Nov 2009 - The Israeli military offensive against the Gaza Strip from 27 December 2008, to 18 January 2009, was the most violent and deadly offensive by Israel since the second Intifada began. According to the UN, 1,434 Palestinian...

Government of Israel Postpones Elections in the Abu-Basma (Bedouin) Regional Council , Until the Minister of Interior Decides "They are Ready"
Alternative Information Center 5 Nov 2009 - Thanks to massive efforts by the leadership of the residents in the unrecognized Bedouin villages in the Israeli Negev, six years ago the Government of Israel started a process of recognizing the Bedouin villages. The Government...

Palestine News Network

Violation of media freedoms in oPt during October 2009 
PNN 4 Nov 2009 - ISRAELI VIOLATIONS AGAINST JOURNALISTS WERE ESCLATED SPECIALY IN JERUSALEM DURING LAST MONTH PNN\ There have been disturbing violations of media freedoms in the occupied Palestinian territories during October 2009. The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) monitored many of the Israeli violations against journalists, especially incidents in Jerusalem and Hebron committed by Israeli occupation forces. These included attacks on: Alquds...

Spain and Sweden help Palestinian Authority to meet end of year payments
PNN 4 Nov 2009 - PNN/ Spain and Sweden have joined forces to help the Palestinian Authority (PA) meet its wages and pensions bill until the end of the year, thus helping to ensure the continuous delivery of public services to the Palestinian people. Spain is contributing a total of €25 million and Sweden €4.85 million to the salary and pension payments for almost 80,000 civil servants...

Jerusalem Post

Texas killer reportedly of Palestinian descent
Jeruslalem Post 7 Nov 2009 - 13 killed, 30 hurt as US soldier opens fire at army base; witnesses: gunman shouted "Allahu akbar!"

IDF reveals footage of Francop raid
Jeruslalem Post 6 Nov 2009 - In dramatic operation, Flotilla 13 commandos board ship with weapons loaded and bullet in barrel carrier.

Hizbullah: We will join Hariri's unity government
Jeruslalem Post 6 Nov 2009 - Government may be formed within 2 days; UN secretary-general condemns Israel, Hizbullah for activity in Lebanon in violation of Resolution 1701.

'We are not bluffing regarding Iran'
Jeruslalem Post 6 Nov 2009 - Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon says Iranians are "trying to play with cards they don't have."

Norway drops Israel war crimes lawsuit
Jeruslalem Post 6 Nov 2009 - Chief prosecutor finds "no good reason" to probe allegations; Norway abstains in UNGA vote.

Analysis: Seized arms evidence of Iran's investment of Israel's borders
Jeruslalem Post 6 Nov 2009 - Hamas and Hizbullah play a vital role in Iran's strategy for regional hegemony.

Erekat: PA may ditch two-state solution
Jeruslalem Post 6 Nov 2009 - Palestinians may consider "other options" if peace process falters; Clinton: US opposes settlements.

FM: Vote shows Israel has moral majority
Jeruslalem Post 6 Nov 2009 - Lieberman: UNGA endorsement of Goldstone Report not surprising, Saudi Arabia will not preach morality.

'Israel knew it had survivors' assets'
Jeruslalem Post 5 Nov 2009 - Head of state-run Holocaust Victims Assets Restitution Company, blasts country's past conduct.

IRIN

EGYPT: Nearly a third of children malnourished - report
IRIN CAIRO Thursday, November 05, 2009 (IRIN) - Despite a number of positive economic indicators, Egypt has a hunger problem: Nearly a third of all children are malnourished, according to a new report compiled by the Ministry of Health and the UN Development Programme (UNDP).

SYRIA: WFP pilots SMS food distribution
IRIN DAMASCUS Wednesday, November 04, 2009 (IRIN) - A new pilot project by the World Food Programme (WFP) in Syria has come up with a novel way of getting food aid to Iraqi refugees. WFP claims the project is a world first.

EGYPT: Dabbas Haile, "When life is hard, you have to be tough"
IRIN CAIRO Tuesday, November 03, 2009 (IRIN) - I come from the Gash Barka region of Eritrea, near the Sudanese border. I escaped from prison and left my country on 1 January 2004 to come to Sudan and then Egypt, where I was jailed again.

Inter Press Service

POLITICS: On Nuke Disarmament, It's Still "You First" 
IPS UNITED NATIONS, Oct 31 (IPS) - Is the ongoing controversy over Iran's nuclear programme helping to advance the United Nations' agenda on nuclear disarmament? To a number of diplomats and experts who have participated in past U.N. discussions on the spread of nuclear weapons, the answer is, yes – although...

MIDEAST: Abbas Produces a Dubious Twist 
IPS RAMALLAH, Nov 6 (IPS) - U.S. and Israeli failure to take either Palestinian rights or Israeli settlement expansion seriously has placed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his Palestinian Authority (PA) in an untenable situation, which could seriously damage peace prospects.

Stop The Wall

Protests focus on Wall and prisoners
Stop The Wall 7 Nov 2009 - This Friday, in spite of heavy rains, soldiers and tear gas, the people of Bil’in and al-Ma’sara marched against the Wall. In Bil’in, organizers dedicated their protest to jailed activist Adeeb Abu Rahmeh, who was arrested this summer and remains in prison for his role in organizing grassroots resistance. [

Ni’lin resists the Wall under heavy rain
Stop The Wall 7 Nov 2009 - The heavy rain which fell in the West Bank did not prevent the people of Ni’lin village from protesting against the Apartheid Wall. This week, people marched under the slogan of the “Black Wall”, bringing car tires to burn along the base of the Wall. [

PCHR Weekly Report

(29 Oct.- 04 Nov. 2009)
PCHR Weekly Report

International Solidarity Movement

VIDEO - Ni’lin demonstrators topple 8 meter tall concrete wall
11/6/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - 20 years to the fall of the Berlin wall: Demonstrators toppled 8 meters tall concrete wall in Ni'ilin - Three protest marches were held today in the West Bank to mark the 20th anniversary to the fall of the Berlin wall, whichhas been declared an international day of action against Israel's barrier. In Ni'lin, the 300 demonstratorsmanaged to topple a part of the eight meters tall concrete wall that cuts through the village's land. Following the direct action, the army fired scores of live rounds at the demonstrators. The concrete wall in Ni’lin – five to eight meters (15 to 25 feet) in height – has only recently been laid on the path of the wall cutting through Ni’lin’s lands, in addition to the already existing electronic barrier and razor-wire. Since the Wall was built to allow more land to annexed to the nearby settlements rather than in a militarily strategic manner, demonstrators have 

Inciting non-violence: support Bil’in’s struggle
11/6/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Support Bil'in's struggle - "Just as a simple man named Ghandi led the successful non-violent struggle in India and simple people such as Rosa Parks and Nelson Mandela led the struggle for civil rights in the United States, simple people here in Bil'in are leading a non-violent struggle that will bring them their freedom. The South Africa experience proves that injustice can be dismantled. " - Archbishop Desmond Tutu, during a visit to Bil'in on 27 August 2009 - Adeeb Abu Rahmah, a leading activist and organizer from the West Bank village of Bil'in has been held in detention since his arrest during a demonstration on 10 July 2009 (see 'Video' link). Thousands of Israeli and international solidarity activists who have demonstrated alongside Adeeb against the theft of Bil’in’s lands over the past five years can testify to his unshakable commitment to non-violence and dignified action. -- Links: Video

From Berlin to Palestine: no matter where, no matter how tall, all walls fall
11/6/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Bil'in Popular Committee - The 20thanniversary to the fall of the Berlin Wall will be marked this Friday in mass demonstrations across the West Bank calling for an immediate dismantling of Israel's wall and settlements Exactly twenty years ago, On 9 November 1989, the Berlin Wall came crumbling down in two days that inspired hope for a world in which walls could no longer keep people apart. Today, a wall twice as high and five times as long is being built by Israel in the West Bank, in blunt contempt of international law, to separate Palestinians from their lands. Despite the International Court of Justice's advisory opinion from 2004, which had pronounced Israel's wall illegal, and called for its removal, no significant changes on the ground were made. The demonstrators raised a model of the Wall at the Wall itself, which stated that, as the Berlin Wall fell twenty years ago, the Bil'in Wall must fall today. 

al-Ma’sara demonstrates against the Apartheid Wall
11/6/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Al-Ma'sara Popular Committee Against the Wall - In today's demonstration against the illegal construction of the Apartheid Wall that is designed to steal the agricultural lands of the villages of Southern Bethlehem, the people of al-Ma'sara celebrated the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall in Germany. In chants and speeches, the demonstrators insisted on the illegality of the Wall and of Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories, while international and Israeli activists showed support using percussion instruments. Evoking the removal of the Wall, the children of the village succeeded in removing the barb wire and cross the arbitrary barrier which the Israeli army puts up every Friday to prevent the demonstrators from reaching the actual construction site of the Wall. Several children sustained cuts on their hands while stepping over the barb wire. The soldiers threatened the demonstrators with arrests and violently pushed the children back across the fence. -- Links: More about al-Ma'sara

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

UN condemns Israel-Hezbollah violations
Ha'aretz 6 Nov 2009 - Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned recent violations of the 2006 cease-fire between Israel and Hezbollah militants in Lebanon and urged both sides to exercise maximum restraint. ...

ANALYSIS / How Israel's war with Iran will be fought
Ha'aretz 6 Nov 2009 - It is precisely from the events of the passing week, which culminated in an impressive show of force reminiscent of the good old Israel Defense Forces ? the IDF that carried out Entebbe and bombed the reactors in Iraq and in Syria - that Israel can glean an important lesson about the limitations of the power at its disposal. These are the limitations dictated by U.S. President Barack Obama: Israel's navy can intercept weapons shipments from Iran, Israel's Military Intelligence can expose Hamas long-range missile tests from Gaza, but at least for the time being, as long as the international community is conducting dialogue with Tehran over its controversial nuclear program, it is best that Israel doesn?t do too much to annoy the adults. ...

Iran cleric: IAEA obligated to supply Iran nuclear fuel
Ha'aretz 6 Nov 2009 - The United Nations nuclear watchdog is legally obliged to provide Iran with nuclear fuel for its research reactor without setting any conditions, a hardline Iranian cleric told worshippers on Friday. ...

Netanyahu and Obama don't need love to advance peace
Ha'aretz 6 Nov 2009 - Immediately after the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem this Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will take off on his third trip to the U.S. since his return to power. ...

Wagner descendant slams 'anti-semitic' music at Berlin Wall event
Ha'aretz 6 Nov 2009 - Richard Wagner's great-grandson, Gottfried Wagner, on Friday protested the choice of music at festivities 20 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, which includes a composition by his "anti-semitic" great-grandfather. ...

The Guardian

Charity makes us who we are | Seth Freedman
The Guardian 6 Nov 2009 - Thankfully, the citizens of Tel Aviv are not as callous as national leaders when it comes to practising one tenet of the Jewish faith At governmental level, Israel's attitude towards the 17,000 African refugees living in...

Video: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says he has 'no desire' to run for re-election
The Guardian 6 Nov 2009 - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas voices disappointment at Washington for 'favouring' Israel over peace talks row

Palestinian president: A dream turned sour
The Guardian 5 Nov 2009 - Whether he makes good on the pledge he made last night not to stand in next year's elections , or whether he is eventually persuaded to stay, the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, has had enough already. And...

Palestinian presidency: Likely candidates
The Guardian 5 Nov 2009 - If Mahmoud Abbas follows through with his threat and does not stand in the next Palestinian presidential elections the most likely candidate to replace him is probably Marwan Barghouti, a popular Fatah leader who is now...

Grave blow to fading hopes of a two-state solution | Ian Black
The Guardian 5 Nov 2009 - Posters in Gaza, ruled by Mahmoud Abbas's enemies in Hamas, already scorn the Palestinian president as being "on the dustheap of history"." His announcement last night that he does not wish to contest the next elections...

Mahmoud Abbas will not seek re-election as Palestinian president
The Guardian 5 Nov 2009 - Leader of Fatah movement, seen as a moderate by the west, to sit out forthcoming election according to reports in West Bank The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, announced tonight his surprise decision not to run in...

Hezbollah, Iran and Syria disown arms shipment
The Guardian 5 Nov 2009 - Israel displays hundreds of tonnes of weapons it says were bound for Lebanese militia disguised as bulldozer parts Hezbollah and its Iranian and Syrian backers have flatly rejected Israeli claims that a shipment of arms and...

UN set to call for Gaza war investigations by Israel and Palestinians
The Guardian 4 Nov 2009 - General assembly expected to back resolution endorsing Goldstone report on alleged war crimes The UN general assembly is expected to approve a resolution this week calling on Israel and the Palestinians to carry out independent investigations...

Israel seizes ship 'carrying weapons for Hezbollah'
The Guardian 4 Nov 2009 - Military says vessel flying Antiguan flag had ammunition disguised as civilian cargo on board Israeli naval special forces today seized a civilian cargo ship near Cyprus which they said was carrying weapons, including rockets, destined for...

Ha'aretz National page

WATCH: Protesters breach West Bank separation barrier
Ha'aretz 6 Nov 2009 - The weekly demonstrations against the West Bank separation barrier in the towns of Bil'in and Na'alin, which take place every Friday, reached new heights this week when activists, seeking to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the falling of the Berlin Wall, knocked a part of the barrier over. ...

Man allegedly threatens to kill the culture minister 
Ha'aretz 6 Nov 2009 - A 38-year-old man from the central town of Ramat Gan was charged on Friday for threatening to kill the Sports and Culture Minister Limor Livnat. ...

Mazuz: Splitting AG post will contribute to its 'politicization'
Ha'aretz 6 Nov 2009 - Attorney General Menachem Mazuz on Friday spoke out against proposal to split his authority into two posts, warning that such a move would contribute to the "politicization" of a legal position. ...

Israeli scientists look to 'smell therapy' to treat trauma
Ha'aretz 6 Nov 2009 - The aroma of Grandmother's fresh-baked cookies etch themselves into the brain's emotional memory, but so does a whiff of rotten fish, Israeli scientists said in a finding that might help in treating trauma patients. ...

Islamic leader in Israel convicted of assaulting cop
Ha'aretz 5 Nov 2009 - Sheikh Ra'ad Salah, head of the Islamic Movement's northern branch, was convicted on Thursday of assaulting a police officer during a 2007 protest in Jerusalem. According to the court, Salah spit in the face of a Border Policeman in 2007 in the midst of a demonstration against reconstruction work in Jerusalem's Old City. ...

Relief Web

OPT: Press conference by IN GA President on Human Rights Council report on Fact Finding Mission on Gaza Conflict 
Relief Web 6 Nov 2009 - Source: UN Department of Public Information

Lebanon: Eleventh report of the UN SG on the implementation of SC resolution 1701 (2006) (S/2009/566)
Relief Web 6 Nov 2009 - Source: UN Security Council

OPT/Israel: Stop East Jerusalem home demolitions
Relief Web 6 Nov 2009 - Source: Human Rights Watch

ECHO Operational Strategy 2010: Middle East and Mediterranean
Relief Web 6 Nov 2009 - Source: European Commission Humanitarian Aid department

OPT: USAID West Bank/Gaza mission program achievements - Week of 26 Oct 2009
Relief Web 6 Nov 2009 - Source: US Agency for International Development

OPT: UN vote on Goldstone report a defining step for accountability, says Amnesty International
Relief Web 6 Nov 2009 - Source: Amnesty

YNet News

Turkey ready to further Syria-Israel dialogue
YNet News 6 Nov 2009 - During joint press conference with French counterpart in Paris, FM Davutoglu says, 'All countries that seek peace are our strategic allies, including Israel of course' 

Lebanese authorities probe Israeli-intercepted arms ship
YNet News 6 Nov 2009 - Ship intercepted by Israel Navy commandos this week for carrying hundreds of tons of Iranian weapons destined for Hezbollah arrives at Beirut port, searched by army in cooperation with UN naval forces to 'ensure it does not carry banned goods'; crew interrogated 

IDF tanks opens fire on suspected Gaza gunman, 2 hurt
YNet News 6 Nov 2009 - Tank opens fire on gunman who apparently planted bomb along border fence, identifies hit; Palestinians say two injured 

Hezbollah slams Arab satellites for suspending Iranian TV
YNet News 6 Nov 2009 - After being dropped by Arabsat, Egyptian Nilesat satellite providers, Al-Alam channel says it is 'paying the price for its support of resistance in Lebanon' 

France urges Abbas to stay in office, pursue peace
YNet News 6 Nov 2009 - FM Kouchner says during upcoming Mideast trip he will press Palestinian president to reverse decision not to seek re-election and urge him to 'obstinately continue his work for peace, that is, for creation of Palestinian state.' Lieberman: Announcement nothing to get worked up about' 

Anne Frank diary offends Lebanon's Hezbollah
YNet News 6 Nov 2009 - Private English-language school in western Beirut drops textbook containing excerpts from 'The Diary of Anne Frank' after Shiite terror group says it promotes Zionism, focuses on persecution of Jews 

Part of West Bank security barrier torn down 'like Berlin Wall' 
YNet News 6 Nov 2009 - Palestinians, leftists rallying in Naalin say they tipped over concrete slab to mark fall of 'monstrosity that divided Berlin,' adding 'we will triumph because justice is on our side' 

ADL: Arab cartoonists use Goldstone Report to promote anti-Israel worldview 
YNet News 6 Nov 2009 - Survey of Arab press shows cartoonists taking 'deeply cynical and often perverted view of Gaza war report, while at times portraying Jews, Israelis using offensive anti-Semitic stereotypes,' group says 

Norway dismisses Israel war crimes complaint 
YNet News 6 Nov 2009 - Former Israeli PM Ehud Olmert, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, opposition leader Tzipi Livni among 10 Israelis named in complaint filed by group of Norwegian lawyers 

Daily Star

Palestinians in no rush to succeed Abbas as president
Daily Star 6 Nov 2009 Younger Palestinian leaders were in no rush on Friday to step into the shoes of President Mahmoud Abbas after he said he did not want to run for re-election in January. Making clear Abbas' Fatah movement is, so far, unwilling to take the 74-year-old president at his word, none of the men seen as potential successors threw their hats into the ring after Ab bas' announcement Thursday.

Turkey ready to oversee new Syria-Israel peace talks
Daily Star 6 Nov 2009 Turkey is ready to oversee a new stage of secret peace talks between Israel and Syria, resuming a role it had played until last year, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said here Friday. Historically Israel's only friend in the Middle East, Ankara has in recent years served as a conduit for diplomatic exchanges between Israel and its arch foe Damascus about improving relations.

UN assembly votes for Gaza war probe
Daily Star 6 Nov 2009 Israel on Friday rejected a UN General Assembly resolution urging an investigation into a report saying that war crimes were committed in Gaza, and condemned the world body vote as "completely detached from realities." In a statement, the Israeli Foreign Ministry said in response to Thursday's vote that Israel "maintains the right to self-defense," and would "continue to act.

Norway drops investigation into Israel's Gaza war crimes
Daily Star 6 Nov 2009 Norwegian prosecutors announced on Friday they would not pursue war crimes charges against Israeli officials, including former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, over the Gaza Strip offensive. Six Norwegian lawyers brought a case against Olmert and nine others in April for alleged offenses during the conflict in December-January.

Hamas grants visas to 4,500 Gazans for hajj
Daily Star 6 Nov 2009 Hamas said Friday it is allowing Muslims to leave the Gaza Strip on the annual pilgrimage to Mecca after blocking them last year because of a Palestinian political dispute. "The first wave of around 1,000 hajj pilgrims from the Gaza Strip is now traveling to Egypt through the Rafah border crossing," Hamas religious affairs minister Taleb Abu Shaar told AFP.

Iran to give IAEA more details on nuclear fuel plan
Daily Star 6 Nov 2009 The UN nuclear watchdog has asked Iran to explain evidence suggesting the Islamic Republic's scientists have experimented with an advanced nuclear warhead design, while Iran said it is preparing to give more details on its response to international proposals for supplying nuclear fuel. Citing what it describes as "previously unpublished documentation" from an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) compiled dossier.

Palestinian Information Center

IOF troops wound 7 resistance fighters, kidnap two citizens in Deir al-Balah
PIC 7 Nov 2009 - IOF troops escalated its attacks on the Gaza Strip on Friday wounding seven Palestinian resistance fighters and arresting two citizens during an incursion into eastern Gaza and Deir al-Balah.

IOF troops wound two Palestinian children during an anti-wall demonstration
PIC 7 Nov 2009 - IOF troops wounded two Palestinian children during the weekly anti-wall demonstration in the village of al-Masara to the south of Bethlehem in the southern West Bank.

Hamas welcomes UNGA vote
PIC 7 Nov 2009 - Hamas has welcomed the endorsement by the United Nations General Assembly of the Goldstone report on war crimes during the Israeli occupation war on the Gaza Strip.

Fatah fails to mobilize rallies in support of Abbas
PIC 7 Nov 2009 - Fatah has failed to mobilize mass rallies in support of its leader Mahmoud Abbas to urge him to change his mind about not running for president of the PA.

Maqdisi society exposes Israeli plan to demolish more Palestinian homes in O.J.
PIC 7 Nov 2009 - The Maqdisi society said on Thursday that it possesses an important document revealing the intention of the Israeli occupation authority to demolish 40 Palestinian homes in the Jerusalem.

UN General Assembly votes for the Goldstone report
PIC 7 Nov 2009 - The United Nations General Assembly voted on Thursday evening on a draft resolution submitted by Arab countries and Senegal on the Goldstone report which accuses Israeli of committing war crimes..

Zionist court convicts Sheikh Salah and Dr. Aghbarya
PIC 7 Nov 2009 - A Zionist magistrate's court in Jerusalem, convicted on, Thursday Sheikh Raed Salah and Dr. Sulaiman Aghbarya in relation to the events of Bab al-Magharaba protests back in 2007.

Nazzal: Abbas’s speech vague, unconvincing
PIC 7 Nov 2009 - Mohammed Nazzal, the member of Hamas’s political bureau, has described Thursday the speech of Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas as “vague”, “uncomforting”, and “unconvincing..

Hamas: Abbas’s speech clearly mourns the futile peace process
PIC 7 Nov 2009 - The Hamas Movement has said on Thursday that the speech of Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas was plain and clear-cut announcement of the failure of the "peace process" ..

Abbas admits failure of the peace process
PIC 7 Nov 2009 - Mahmoud Abbas has finally but belatedly admitted that the so-called Peace process with Israel has completely failed and that the Palestinian people will have to seek an alternative to it.

Los Angeles Times

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas says he won't seek reelection 
LA Times 6 Nov 2009 - The Palestinian Authority president cites a lack of U.S. support for demands that Israel freeze settlement expansion. His decision is seen as a bid to push Israel toward compromise. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas announced Thursday that he would not seek reelection next year, citing a lack of U.S. support for his conditions for resuming peace talks with Israel. 

New York Times

Goldstone and Gaza
New York Times 6 Nov 2009 - The dispute over the Goldstone Report will continue, but Gaza needs help right now.

Clinton Backs Peace Talks Before Israeli Settlement Freeze
New York Times 5 Nov 2009 - Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s call for peace talks to precede a freeze of Israeli settlements conflicts with Arab and Palestinian demands.

U.N. Set to Endorse Inquiry Into Possible War Crimes in Gaza
New York Times 5 Nov 2009 - The U.N. is expected to endorse a report that found evidence that Israel and Palestinian militants had each committed war crimes during last winter’s Gaza conflict.

Israeli Navy Captures Arms Shipment
New York Times 5 Nov 2009 - Officials say a cargo ship captured off Cyprus was carrying weapons for Hezbollah but offered no proof.

Short-Term Fixes Sought in Mideast
New York Times 4 Nov 2009 - With the peace push stalled, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is sketching out a more modest effort.

Israel Says Hamas Test-Fired Rocket
New York Times 4 Nov 2009 - Hamas militants in Gaza recently test-fired a rocket that flew 37 miles into the sea, which could put it within the reach of Tel Aviv, Israel said.

Misc

Michigan Woman Imprisoned by Israel Following Settler Take Over of Palestinian Home 
11/6/2009 - WAFA - Palestine News Agency - JERUSALEM, November 6, 2009 (WAFA) - Imprisoned American citizen and Michigan resident Ahlam Mohsen to be deported to the US after being arrested in a Palestinian home taken over by Jewish settlers in Occupied East Jerusalem. In a press release, the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) said Ahlam was a guest of the al-Kurd family when on the morning of November 3, 2009 settlers burst in and seized part of the building. Contrary to eyewitness accounts, the police claim the 21- year-old attacked them. From the Givon prison in Ramle where Ms. Mohsen is currently awaiting deportation she reported that: “The Israeli police were violently pushing an elderly Palestinian woman. So I stepped in front of them. They told me to move and when I refused they started forcefully pushing me. Then they grabbed me and carried me into a police van. 

Sussex University Students Vote to Boycott Israeli Goods 
11/6/2009 - WAFA - Palestine News Agency - LONDON, November 6, 2009 (WAFA)- Students at the University of Sussex, England have voted to boycott Israeli goods, the London based Palestine Solidarity Campaign said Friday. The decision follows the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel, which calls upon the Israeli state to respect international law and end the occupation of Palestine. In a campus-wide referendum, 56% of students voted in favour of the boycott. The referendum was held by the University of Sussex Students’ Union (USSU), which represents the institution’s 11000 students. Goods from Israel will no longer be stocked in USSU shops on the university campus, and USSU will be lobbying the university administration to observe the boycott. Tom Wills, USSU President, said 'Israel has broken more UN resolutions than any other state. 

Palestinian Authority leader, citing U.S. stance, says he won’t run for reelection 
11/6/2009 - Los Angeles Times - Mahmoud Abbas laments a lack of U. S. support for his position on reviving peace talks with Israel and insists his decision is not a bargaining ploy. Supporters hope he will reconsider. - Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas announced today that he would not seek reelection next year, citing a lack of U. S. support for his conditions for resuming peace talks with Israel. In a televised speech, the 74-year-old Palestinian leader said the move was not a tactic to bring more pressure on Israel, although his language appeared to leave room for a change of heart. Visibly tense, Abbas spoke hours after the Palestine Liberation Organization's executive committee heard his decision in a closed-door meeting and urged him to reconsider. " I have told our brethren in the PLO. . . that I have no desire to run in the forthcoming election," Abbas said. 

Israeli tank fire hits house in Gaza Strip 
11/6/2009 - Press TV - Israeli tanks have shelled a house in the east of the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, leaving at least two people wounded. The attack, which came on late Friday, caused panic among Palestinian families living in the vicinity, a Press TV correspondent reported. An Israeli army spokeswoman confirmed the attack, saying "a suspicious figure was spotted by our forces" near the barrier separating Gaza from the occupied West Bank, AFP said. In January, the Israeli army launched a massive military offensive against the populated coastal sliver, killing more than 1,400 Palestinians, mostly civilians, and many thousands more wounded. [end] 

U.S. dodges UN debate on Goldstone Gaza report 
11/5/2009 - Ha'aretz - The United States on Wednesday openly eschewed a United Nations General Assembly debate on a resolution that would call on Israel and the Palestinians to investigate charges of war crimes during the Gaza war detailed in the Goldstone Commission's report. The nonbinding resolution on the Goldstone report, which looked certain to be approved by the 192-nation assembly, also requests that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon submit the 575-page report to the Security Council. U. S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice skipped the discussion and sent her deputy, Alejandro Wolff, as an observer instead. The report, commissioned by the UN Human Rights Council and published on Sept. 15, lambasted both sides in the December-January conflict, which killed more than 1,000 Palestinians and 13 Israelis, but was harsher toward Israel. Diplomats say there is little chance that the report or the Arab-drafted resolution could lead to punishment of either side. 

Declassified FBI File Alleges an Israeli Intelligence Agent Worked at AIPAC 
11/5/2009 - Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy - WASHINGTON, Nov. 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- An agent of the Israeli intelligence service worked on the staff of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) according to a newly declassified FBI file. An August 13, 1984 secret communication from the FBI Washington Field Office (WFO) to the FBI director states, "WFO files disclose that AIPAC is a powerful pro-Israel lobbying group staffed by U. S. citizens. WFO files contain an unsubstantiated allegation that a member of the Israeli Intelligence Service was a staff member of AIPAC. "The newly declassified document may be downloaded from the Israel Lobby Archive [see Links]. The secret FBI file was declassified and released to the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy (IRmep) under a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. IRmep sought the FBI files to file a third amicus brief urging Judge T. S. Ellis not to dismiss charges against two AIPAC staffers. . . -- Links: Declassified FBI document (PDF)

Russia spy chief: Israel arming Georgia 
11/5/2009 - YNetNews - In rare interview, Alexander Shlyakhturov says NATO, Ukraine, Israel arming Georgia, which may go to war again with Russia over disputed territories. Israel providing Georgia with drones, he says - The head of Russia's powerful military intelligence agency said on Thursday that Georgia might again attack South Ossetia, the pro-Moscow region over which the two countries fought a war last year. Alexander Shlyakhturov, who in April took over command of the GRU -- the Russian acronym for Russia's Chief Intelligence Agency -- said the situation was strained and accused NATO of continuing to supply arms to Georgia. "The situation with Georgia remains tense because the current Georgian authorities do not just refuse to recognize the sovereignty of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, but are trying in every way to return these countries. 

UN vote on Goldstone report a defining step for accountability 
11/6/2009 - Amnesty International - Thursday's UN vote adopting key recommendations of the Goldstone report on the conflict in Gaza and southern Israel earlier this year is vitally important for ensuring that those, on both sides, who committed war crimes and other violations of international law will now be held to account, said Amnesty International. " Both Israel and Hamas in Gaza have been served due notice, in this defining General Assembly resolution, that they must immediately conduct credible, independent investigations into the alleged grave violations of human rights and humanitarian law committed during the conflict," said Yvonne Terlingen, Head of Amnesty International's Office at the UN on Thursday. " The clock is now running and we urge both parties to act without further delay. The UN has spoken up today for accountability and for an end to the cycle of impunity that has for so long obstructed the search for peace and justice between Israelis and Palestinians. " 

UN Affirms Israeli-Hamas War Crimes Report 
11/6/2009 - Antiwar.com - A 575-page blistering report by Justice Richard Goldstone detailing war crimes in Gaza last December is refusing to die despite an aggressive Israeli smear campaign to kill it. The report, which was favorably voted by the 47-member Human Rights Council in Geneva last month, received overwhelming support Thursday in the 192-member General Assembly. The vote was 114 in favor and 18 against, with 44 abstentions. The 18 countries that voted against the resolution included the United States, Australia, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and Israel. Ambassador Riyad Mansour, Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations, singled out Ireland, one of the few Western nations to vote for the resolution, for "supporting" it. He also noted that a "sizeable number of European nations" abstained on the resolution. Among the abstentions were Britain, France, Norway, Sweden, Spain, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Denmark and Greece. 

Israel: Weapons would let Hezbollah fight a month 
11/5/2009 - Antiwar.com - Israel says seized weapons would have given Hezbollah a month's firepower, urges focus on Iran - Israel said Thursday that Hezbollah could have bombarded the Jewish state for a month with the weapons confiscated in the country's largest-ever arms seizure, and called on the world to focus on the Lebanese militants' chief backer, Iran, rather than assailing Israel. Palestinian leaders expressed concern that Israel would use the seizure of a ship laden with what officials described as hundreds of tons of weapons from Iran to divert attention from its settlement expansion and accusations of Israeli war crimes in Gaza. Hezbollah denied any connection to the weapons. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, commenting on United Nations deliberations Thursday over Israel's conduct during last winter's Gaza war, said Iranian efforts to kill civilians by smuggling massive amounts of weapons to Hezbollah are the real war crime. 

Israel rejects UN vote approving Gaza report 
11/6/2009 - Yahoo! News - AP - JERUSALEM – Israel said on Friday that a U. N. General Assembly decision to endorse a report accusing the Jewish state of war crimes lacked the support of the world's "moral majority. " In a vote Thursday, the General Assembly overwhelmingly approved an Arab-drafted resolution calling on Israel and the Palestinians to conduct "credible" investigations into alleged war crimes committed by both sides during the fighting in Gaza early this year. The motion, drafted by Arab countries, raised the possibility of Security Council action if the sides do not comply. The 192-member world body approved the resolution by a vote of 114-18, with 44 abstentions and 16 countries not voting. Israel launched its offensive against Gaza's militant Hamas rulers in an attempt to halt years of rocket fire at Israeli towns. The fighting killed 13 Israelis and nearly 1,400 Palestinians, many of them civilians. 

Abbas’ move reflects deep Palestinian despair
11/6/2009 - Yahoo! News - JERUSALEM – By saying he wants to step down as president, Mahmoud Abbas has highlighted a deep Palestinian despair rooted in decades of failed peace initiatives and fruitless violence. Neither strategy has yielded a Palestinian state, and Israeli settlements still encroach on lands that would make up their would-be nation. Facing a hawkish Israeli government and an Obama administration reluctant to put muscle behind its demands on Israel, many Palestinians say they see no hope at all. " I am frustrated with so-called peace and the so-called 'two-state solution,'" said Rami Hassouna, a 34-year-old construction contractor in the West Bank city of Ramallah. "If all of this was one percent possible before, now I think it's impossible. " Moderate Palestinians are worried that Abbas, in saying he doesn't want another term in office, will only deepen frustrations and boost the militants who claim violence is the only option. 

Palestinian presidency: Likely candidates 
11/5/2009 - The Guardian - If Mahmoud Abbas follows through with his threat and does not stand in the next Palestinian presidential elections the most likely candidate to replace him is probably Marwan Barghouti, a popular Fatah leader who is now serving five life terms in an Israeli jail. He was convicted in 2002 of involvement in the killing of four Israelis and a Greek Orthodox monk, but is seen as a potential leader by many Palestinians. Barghouti is a fluent Hebrew-speaker who has supported peace talks with Israel but was also a prominent figure early in the second intifada, the Palestinian uprising that began in late 2000. There are other senior figures in Fatah who might want to run, such as Mohammad Dahlan, but they do not have the same popular following. Likewise Salam Fayyad, the prime minister who is not a Fatah member, might want to run but he too does not have a widespread public following. 


Articles

Whipping Abbas Into Line...Clinton Style 
Khalid Amayreh, Desert Peace 11/4/2009
      The latest visit by Secretary of State Hilary Clinton to Occupied Palestine seems to have effectively terminated whatever hopes the Palestinians and other Arabs may have pinned on the Obama administration to adopt an evenhanded approach toward the Arab-Israeli conflict.
     In his public policy discourse toward the Muslim world, which culminated in his Cairo speech on 4 June, President Obama gave a certain impression that his administration would resist Israeli insolence and arrogance of power and introduce a semblance of fairness into its policy toward the Palestinian issue.
     Obama also pledged to get Israel to freeze Jewish settlement expansion in the West Bank and East Jerusalem as a precondition for resuming stalled peace talks between the apartheid Israeli regime and the weak Palestinian Authority (PA).
     Now, it is becoming increasingly clear that all Obama’s assertions and promises were mostly disingenuous rhetoric that is meant for public relations consumption.
     Clinton, in a joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu in occupied Jerusalem Saturday night, stopped short of completely endorsing the Israeli settlement policy, describing Israeli “concessions” as “unprecedented.”
     What Clinton seemed to be saying was that the proverbial ball was in the Palestinians’ court and that Israel did or was doing its part of the deal. more.. e-mail

Irving Moskowitz’s Bingo Madness 
Richard Silverstein, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs 11/5/2009
      2009 September-October
     Irving Moskowitz has come a long way since he began his medical career as a young internist in California 60 years ago. Shortly after earning his medical degree in 1952, he bought his first hospital. This transaction turned into a lucrative business of buying and selling hospitals, which earned him his first fortune.
     As early as 1969, he began to turn his attention from hospitals to real estate of a different sort: holy real estate. He began to buy property for yeshivot in East Jerusalem. But he was running out of hospitals to sell and needed a new source of income to fund his dreams.
     In 1972, he opened the first hospital in the small southern California town of Hawaiian Gardens and became a local hero. So in 1988, when the town faced the loss of $200,000 in revenue from the local bingo parlor, they turned to the Orthodox Jewish doctor to take over the operation. The town agreed to accept 1 percent of gross receipts, and Moskowitz kept the rest—tens of millions of dollars. He never looked back, and his second fortune was guaranteed.
     California law required that bingo be conducted by a non-profit organization. So he shrewdly incorporated the Moskowitz Foundation, enabling his profits to be transferred directly to Israeli projects and largely avoid U.S. taxes.
     Over time, Moskowitz and other supporters of a far-right settler agenda developed a vision of “Judaizing” East Jerusalem and its environs. They began after the 1967 war with a goal of repopulating formerly Jewish neighborhoods, whose inhabitants had been expelled in 1948. The vision has gradually become more ambitious, seeking to dislodge Arab inhabitants from their traditional homes in villages like Silwan in order to transform Jerusalem into an exclusively Jewish city that can never be divided or shared with the Palestinians.... more.. e-mail

Israel’s ‘Right To Exist’? The UN Legitimacy Myth 
Alan Hart, P U L S E 11/4/2009
      Alan Hart does well to provide this historical corrective, excerpted from ‘Israel’s Right to Exist?‘
     According to history as written by the winner, Zionism, Israel was given its birth certificate and thus legitimacy by the UN Partition Resolution of 29 November 1947. This is propaganda nonsense.
     * In the first place the UN without the consent of the majority of the people of Palestine did not have the right to decide to partition Palestine or assign any part of its territory to a minority of alien immigrants in order for them to establish a state of their own.
     * Despite that, by the narrowest of margins, and only after a rigged vote, the UN General Assembly did pass a resolution to partition Palestine and create two states, one Arab, one Jewish, with Jerusalem not part of either. But the General Assembly resolution was only a proposal – meaning that it could have no effect, would not become policy, unless approved by the Security Council.
     * The truth is that the General Assembly’s partition proposal never went to the Security Council for consideration. Why not? Because the U.S. knew that, if approved, it could only be implemented by force given the extent of Arab and other Muslim opposition to it; and President Truman was not prepared to use force to partition Palestine.
     * So the partition plan was vitiated (became invalid) and the question of what the hell to do about Palestine – after Britain had made a mess of it and walked away, effectively surrendering to Zionist terrorism – was taken back to the General Assembly for more discussion. The option favoured and proposed by the U.S. was temporary UN Trusteeship. It was while the General Assembly was debating what do that Israel unilaterally declared itself to be in existence – actually in defiance of the will of the organised international community, including the Truman administration. more.. e-mail


Electronic Intifada
Sussex University students vote to boycott Israeli goods
Electronic Intifada: 6 Nov 2009 - Students at the University of Sussex, England have voted to boycott Israeli goods. The decision follows the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel, which calls upon the Israeli state to respect international law and end the occupation of Palestine. In a campus-wide referendum, 56 percent of students voted in favor of the boycott. 

UN vote overwhelmingly supports Goldstone report
Electronic Intifada: 6 Nov 2009 - UNITED NATIONS (IPS) - A 575-page blistering report by Justice Richard Goldstone detailing war crimes in Gaza last winter is refusing to die despite an aggressive Israeli smear campaign to kill it. The report, which was favorably voted by the 47-member Human Rights Council in Geneva last month, received overwhelming support Thursday in the 192-member General Assembly. The vote was 114 in favor and 18 against, with 44 abstentions. 

Gaza students organize for justice
Electronic Intifada: 6 Nov 2009 - In order to find sustainable alternatives to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict a new group calling itself the Justice Makers has been formed across the law departments in Palestinian universities. Two of the founders, Mohammed Eliwa and Yousef al-Nouri, are both fourth-year law students from al-Azhar University in Gaza. "The Justice Makers is about finding new ways within the international justice system to forward our case," al-Nouri explained. Biana Zammit reports from the occupied Gaza Strip. 

Israeli soldiers, settlers violate Palestinian women's rights
Electronic Intifada: 6 Nov 2009 - RAMALLAH, occupied West Bank (IPS) - Palestinian women continue to suffer abuse and denial of basic human rights at the hands of Israeli settlers and soldiers in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. This is in flagrant violation of Israel's obligations as a signatory to the UN Convention of the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). 

In Gaza
peak hour
4 Nov 2009 - Children swarming the streets coming from school, men and women going to market, people employed as traffic police, police –many who worked for the former government and continued with the current government –people on bikes, in taxis, afoot… These were the scenese when Israel began dropping bombs all over Gaza on December 27 and kept it up for the next 22 days, indiscriminately targeting civilians at a peak hour, in their homes, schools, cars, mosques, kindergartens… Think of these children, and justice for Palestinians.  And ask, what more than supporting the Goldstone report (important, but certainly not marking Israel’s first violations of international human rights) can we do? … BDS :...

Palestine Chronicle
Israel, Hamas and Rockets: Time to Pummel Gaza Again?
6 Nov 2009 - By Steve Breyman From December 27, 2008 through January 18, 2009, Israel waged war on the Gaza Strip. Twelve to fourteen hundred Palestinians were killed, including many women and children. Thirteen Israelis were killed; several by friendly fire. Nearly a third of Gazans were left without running water. Tens of thousands were left homeless. The physical structures of Hamas rule were left in ruins. Hundreds of greenhouses and factories were destroyed. The declared rationale for the assault was the launching of the glorified bottle rockets known as Qassams into southern Israeli towns like Sderot. The February 2009 national elections in Israel likely played a role in the timing of the attacks, six months in the planning. Each side blamed the other for breaking the uneasy ceasefire in effect for six months prior to the winter hostilities. Rocket fire had dwindled to near zero during the lull. Hamas considered the November 4, 2008, Israeli raid on a Gaza tunnel a major violation of the truce, and fired rockets and mortars in retaliation. Back-and-forth exchanges continued until Operation Cast Lead—called the Gaza Massacre in the Arab press--was launched on December 27. The UN’s Goldstone Report rejected Israel’s claim that it acted in self-defense against the rockets. Instead, the Report found the offensive “a deliberately disproportionate attack designed to punish, humiliate and terrorize a civilian population.” Hamas too was accused of war crimes for failing to discriminate between military and civilian targets. The fallout from the Gaza assault and the Goldstone and other...

Iran's Would be American Interlocutors
6 Nov 2009 - By Franklin Lamb- Beirut On November 4, 2009, the 30th anniversary of the student takeover of the American Embassy in Tehran, Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khameini gave a speech which is being much discussed in Washington DC. The source of some of the angst at the While House and the State Department according to Congressional sources was that “the speech suggests that the Iranian government may be doing what it’s done many times over the past seven years. Which is to say that Iran may appear to agree, then hedge, then disagree, then appear to agree again somewhat, then pull back again, then ask for more time to consider details of the proposal, then finally present a counter-proposal, then say it wants cooperation but has serious doubts about the reliability of the other side and then say it will never give up on its rights, and on and on its goes.” Iran’s Complaint While omitting Iran’s take on recent events, some on Capitol Hill wondered if Iran’s Wali al Fique (supreme leader) was playing to his base or was using the speech to communicate directly and seriously with the Obama administration. Presumably he was doing both. Aytollalh’s Khameni’s words were pointed and clear. He declared that Tehran may reject any talks backed by Washington because it is not to be trusted. He acknowledged that the US wanted to negotiate with Tehran “but its talks were full of threats."… "Every time they have a smile on their face, they are...

Two States or One: The Moment of Truth
6 Nov 2009 - By John V. Whitbeck In the wake of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s public praise for Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s 'unprecedented' attitude toward continued Israeli settlement expansion, Saeb Erakat, chief negotiator for the Palestinian Authority, calmly rolled out a verbal bombshell at a November 4 press conference in Ramallah. In the wake of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s public praise for Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s 'unprecedented' attitude toward continued Israeli settlement expansion, Saeb Erakat, chief negotiator for the Palestinian Authority, calmly rolled out a verbal bombshell at a November 4 press conference in Ramallah. Erakat noted that now may be “the moment of truth” for the Palestinian leadership and raised the possibility that “the two-state solution is no longer an option and maybe the Palestinian people should refocus their attention on the one-state solution, where Muslims, Christians and Jews live as equals.” This statement just might signal a turning point in the long, frustrating search for peace with some measure of justice in Israel/Palestine. Throughout the long years of the perpetual "peace process", deadlines have been consistently and predictably missed. Such failures have been facilitated by the practical reality that, for Israel, "failure" has had no consequences other than a continuation of the status quo, which, for all Israeli governments, has been not only tolerable but preferable to any realistically realizable alternative. For Israel, "failure" has always constituted "success", permitting it to continue confiscating Palestinian land, expanding its West Bank colonies, building Jews-only bypass roads and...

Hamas Wants Britain to Make Amends
5 Nov 2009 - By Stuart Littlewood - London Hamas marked the 92nd anniversary of the infamous Balfour Declaration by recalling the misery of the 1948 Nakba (Catastrophe) and insisting that European states in general and Britain in particular make amends for the crimes committed against Palestine. It is worth reminding ourselves from time to time what started the trouble all those years ago. Arabs know the details only too well, but you would be surprised how the British people are kept in ignorance. The history of the Arab-Israeli struggle is seldom taught in schools and our politicians are afraid to talk freely about it. To all intents and purposes the fuse to the present powder-keg was lit by the British foreign secretary, Lord Balfour, on 2 November 1917 in a letter to the most senior Jew in England, Lord Rothschild, pledging assistance for the Zionist cause. It was a moment of madness that showed utter disregard for the likely impact on Islamic sensibilities and the day-to-day lives of those (Muslim and Christian) already living in the Holy Land, and for peace in the region. This lethal scrap of paper, which called itself a declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations, actually said… "His Majesty's Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing and...

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