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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
11 November, 2009

News

International Middle East Media Center

Netanyahu Meets Sarkozi
IMEMC 11 Nov 2009 - Thursday November 12, 2009 - 00:37, Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, met on Wednesday with the French President, Nicolas Sarkozi, during a visit to France. The two discussed the bilateral relations between Israel and France, the efforts to resume the stalled peace process and the Iranian file.

PLC Speaker: Hamas Will Sign The Egyptian Document By End of November
IMEMC 11 Nov 2009 - Wednesday November 11, 2009 - 18:23, Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Dr. Aziz Dweik, of Hamas told Media that his movement will sign the Egyptian document for internal Palestinian conciliation.

The Israeli Military Kidnaps 12 Civilians From The West Bank
IMEMC 11 Nov 2009 - Wednesday November 11, 2009 - 14:36, The Israeli military kidnapped on Wednesday 12 Palestinian civilians during invasions targeting a number of West Bank communities.

Two Palestinians wounded by settlers in Hebron
IMEMC 11 Nov 2009 - Wednesday November 11, 2009 - 14:23, Two Palestinian teenagers were inquired late Tuesday night when Israeli settlers attacked them at the southern West Bank city of Hebron.

Zahhar: “Nobody Will Be Sorry To See Abbas Leave”
IMEMC 11 Nov 2009 - Wednesday November 11, 2009 - 11:29, Member of the Hamas Political Bureau, Mahmoud Zahhar, stated that nobody will be sorry to see President Mahmoud Abbas leaving his political life and position as president, and added that Abbas did not achieve any positive accomplishment.

Egypt Prevents Six Ministers, Hamas And Islamic Jihad Leaders From Heading To Mecca
IMEMC 11 Nov 2009 - Wednesday November 11, 2009 - 09:24, The Palestine News and Information Center, affiliated with the Hamas movement, reported on Tuesday evening that the Egyptian Authorities prevented six Palestinian officials, including two Hamas ministers, from leaving the Gaza Strip for pilgrimage in Mecca.

Ma'an News

New report says tunnel industry harming fabric of Gaza society
11/11/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - In its first report about children working in the Gaza-Egypt smuggling tunnels, the research unit of the Palestinian National Society for Democracy and Law reported the prime factor in child labor in the tunnels was abject poverty. The report, released in early November, details the working conditions for children employed in the tunnel industry, and provides analysis on the impact child labor in the tunnels has on Palestinian society in Gaza. The findings of the report say tunnel labor has a "very negative influence" on the political, social, and economic life in Palestinian society in Gaza. "This kind of labour weakens the potential of future generations and hinders development of human resources," the report's conclusion said, and recommended an immediate halt be put on the practice. The role of small children in the tunnel industry was described as merchandise movers. 

Israeli forces detain Palestinian, two youths sustain beating
11/11/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - Israeli forces detained a Palestinian in the town of Aqraba, Nablus, beat two youths from Hebron and raided a number of houses in different locations across the West Bank, the information office of the Palestinian police said on Wednesday. The information office stated that Israeli forces raided the town of Aqraba and detained Amjad Yousef Derieh, 42. They added that Hussam Wa'el Ash-Sharabati, 16, and his brother Hazem, 15, were transferred to Hebron hospital for bruising sustained while Israeli forces struck them in the Old City of Hebron, the information office said. In addition, Israeli forces raided the city of Qalqiliya, searching and causing damage to the house and personal property of Atef Da'oud Ash-Sharif. 

French union joins Israel boycott
11/11/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - A French labor union decided to join the international movement to apply Boycotts, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) on Israel, a statement from the National Work Confederation (Confederation Nationale du Travail - CNT) said Wednesday. "The commitment of the CNT to support the Palestinian people over many years has led us naturally to join this vital campaign to end the exploitation and occupation by Israel," the document said. The international secretary of the union said it would also invite each of its constituent members to join the BDS campaign and participate in its activities. "Our joining this Boycott, Disinvestment and Sanctions campaign is coherent with our solidarity with Palestine, defined by our statement of support of the Palestinian people's struggle, adopted by the CNT during its 2006 congress. 

Israeli troops close eastern entrance of Hebron
11/11/2009 - Hebron - Ma'an - Israeli forces closed the eastern entrance of Hebron and prevented Heron residents from entering the area, Ma'an's reporter said from the scene on Wednesday evening. Several Israeli soldiers were reportedly stationed above the Halhoul bridge northeast of Hebron, stopping traffic and preventing dozens of locals from reaching their homes. No justification was given at the scene for the searches. [end] 

Declaring a state? Palestinian leaders weigh in
11/11/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The Palestinian National Council proclaimed the establishment of a Palestinian state during a meeting in Algiers on 15 November 1988. Like the declaration of a Palestinian state in Gaza in 1948 amidst the war with the nascent Israeli state, the 1988 declaration has little practical meaning today. For whatever reason, recent media speculation has raised the notion that Palestinian leaders could make another such declaration in the current political climate. As the anniversary of the 1988 proclamation approaches, however, the idea of making such a pronouncement again remains a controversial idea among Palestinian political leaders. Officials from several political factions debated prospects for a new declaration in a program on Ramallah's Amwaj radio station on Tuesday morning. "The Palestinian people's right to self determination has been recognized. . . 

Birzeit hosts leaders to discuss feasibility of Fayyad plan
11/11/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an report - The Palestinian Institute for Politics and Strategic Studies held a brainstorming session Tuesday to discuss logistics of Prime Minister Salam Fayyad's plan of establishing a state in two years. Principal of Birzeit University Nabil Qassis headed the session, opening with comments marking the serious agenda Fayyad put forward, calling the plan a "serious agenda," and a "turning point in the way the [Palestinian Authority] PA thinks. "  No longer, he said, is the "occupation a pretext for failure. "  The three-hour session saw professionals, politicians, community officials and members of parliament focus on the possibilities and drawbacks of Fayyad's "Palestine: Ending the Occupation, Establishing the State," released on 25 August 2009. Central among the discussion was whether or not Fayyad's plan needed popular support, and whether or not it would get it. 

Gaza: Two crossings opened
11/11/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Israeli authorities opened the Kerem Shalom and Karni crossings in Gaza on Wednesday, while Nahal Oz remained closed. Palestinian coordinator at the crossing Raed Fattuh noted that "it is expected that between 77-88 truckloads of aid will be allowed into Gaza through Kerem Shalom including, 12 truckloads of 330 cows, while between 122-133 truckloads of wheat and fodder will be allowed through Karni. "  Israel opened the Kerem Shalom and Nahal Oz crossings on Tuesday to allow aid and limited amounts of industrial fuel, cooking gas all the while keeping Karni closed. [end] 

Israeli troops: We will never evacuate Homesh
11/11/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Soldiers of the reservist Shimshon Battalion expressed their support for soldiers who brandished signs against the evacuation of the Homesh settlement in the West Bank, Israeli media reported on Wednesday. Israeli reserve troops sent support in a letter to commanders on behalf of protesters who announced their refusal to evacuate the Homesh settlement during a military ceremony at the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem in October 2009. The protestors were later sentenced to 20-days imprisonment following expulsion from the battalion. The letter, quoted in the Israeli daily Ynet, accused the battalion commanders of "acting on political whims" and compelled them to return to "the true national missions - a crushing war against terrorists and enemies. " "We fought with the battalion in Gush Katif, in Netzarim, in Nisanit and in Gush Etzion, we were part. . . 

Al-Ashqar: Egypt lets Gazan leaders leave for Hajj
11/11/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Egypt allowed leaders of various Palestinian parties to depart to Saudi Arabia for to perform Hajj, said senior Hamas leader Isma'il Al-Ashqar on Wednesday after having been prohibited on Tuesday. On Tuesday Al-Ashqar stated that he and other Palestinian leaders had been banned from travelling to Saudi Arabia by Egyptian authorities, despite having the official documents required, he said. However, Al-Ashqar announced on Wednesday that they had now been permitted to travel to Saudi Arabia. The list of those now allowed to travel including Muhammad Al-Hindi, a leader of the Islamic Jihad party, Muhye Ad-Deen Abu Daqa from As-Sa'eqa, Zakaria Daghmash from the Popular Resistance, Salem Salama, and Iyad Ad-Dajani from Hamas, in addition to himself, said Al-Ashqar. 

Abbas sets out strict peace talk program at Arafat memorial
11/11/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - "I will make decisions as the situation develops," President Mahmoud Abbas told thousands marking the fifth anniversary of Arafat's death on Wednesday, referring to his political future and role in the Palestinian Authority. Speaking from the presidential compound in Ramallah, Abbas laid out for the assembled crowd the parameters of his political program, which seemingly leaves little room for movement unless progress comes from other sides. Abbas said he would continue to refuse peace talks with Israel unless Israeli leadership put a halt to settlement construction in the West Bank including East Jerusalem. He also said he would refuse a state with temporary boundaries, explaining "a state with temporary boundaries exists as a choice within the Roadmap plan, but we are declining to take that choice. 

Egypt to transport meat of 3,000 cows into Gaza before eid
11/11/2009 - Al-Arish - Ma'an - Egypt is to allow the transport of calves into Gaza ahead of Eid Al-Adha, on the condition that they are slaughtered before entering the Rafah crossing. Head of the Union of Arab Physicians Mustafa At-Tayeh said Egyptian authorities approved the transport of 3,000 calves via the Rafah border crossing, to be delivered in three stages, adding that Egyptian authorities would only allow the transfer to go ahead on the condition that the animals are slaughtered before entering Gaza. At-Tayeh added that humanitarian aid will also be allowed into Gaza which will be assigned by the union to children in Gaza. The Union of Arab Physicians further stated that it had coordinated with the Egyptian authorities to permit the transport of one thousand tents and five thousand caravans for families in Gaza left homeless due to Israel's assault on the Strip last winter. 

Haniyeh: We do not want violence with Israel
11/11/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - De facto Prime Minister Ismael Haniyeh told a delegation from the International Committee of the Red Cross that Gaza is "not looking for more violence," but that he was sure Israel has "plans to target the Gaza Strip once again. "  During a meeting with the delegation on Wednesday, Haniyeh said he "hopes what he said would not prove to be true, that the world will stop Israel from killing more children. "If Israel does decide to attack, he added, "our people will not surrender, they will fight back," a statement from his office said. The comments follow a string of threats from Israeli officials, saying the country's next war will be with Gaza. In one notable example, Israeli Military Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi told a cadre of graduating military officers, "The army will return to face the places where they [Gaza militants] launch rockets which is in the most. . . 

Nasrallah: Resistance must be supported
11/11/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah called followers to "strengthen the role of resistance in Lebanon and Palestine, to face Israel after the failure of all efforts to achieve peace," in an hour long speech broadcast by Al-Manar TV from Lebanon on Wednesday. Typically verbose and rhetorical, Nasrallah praised nations like Turkey and Vuenezuela for their support, highlighting the non-religious nature of Hizbullah's conflict with Israel. "We are with any state like the Sunni Turkey if they support Palestine and Lebanon and we are with Venezuela the communist if they support Palestine and Lebanon," he said. Nasrallah also typically postured against Israel, threatening the country with reports of a weaponthat can "reach to the heart of Haifa and more than that. "The threat followed a declaration that, "If Israel tries to attack Lebanon again, we will oppose. . . 

Arafat celebrated five years after death
11/11/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - More than 13,000 Palestinians gathered in Ramallah on Wednesday to mark the fifth anniversary of the death of former Palestinian President Yasser Arafat. Large crowds packed into the Presidential Compound to hear a memorial from President Mahmoud Abbas, who donned a white ball cap emblazoned with the flag of Palestine and a black and white kuffeyeh as he addressed the crowd for what many anticipated to be a historic speech. Rumors spread before the event that Abbas would announce his resignation, precipitating the dissolution of the Palestinian Authority. "Today we commemorate anniversary of our historic leader Arafat. He planted the seed which became the tree to provide shadow for us. We have reached the last quarter of our run for statehood, and thus we shouldn't give up hope," Abbas began, with hundreds of thousands watching from home and listening from the compound. 

Hamas: PA security detained five supporters
11/11/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Five Hamas supporters were detained over the past two days by the Palestinian Authority's security services, Hamas said in a statement released on Wednesday. The statement explained that the detainees were from Nablus in the north, Bethlehem and Hebron in the south. While the statement included the names of detainees, they will not be published in order to guarantee privacy. [end] 

PA deploys police ahead of Arafat memorial
11/11/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - Hundreds of Palestinian police officers, including women, were deployed across Ramallah in preparation for the fifth anniversary of the death of Yasser Arafat, police media offices said on Wednesday. A statement released by the Palestinian police media office saidbuses of participants ready to attend the Arafat rally would arrive from the southern districts of Hebron, Bethlehem and Jerusalem in addition to those arriving from the northern districts. The road from the Manara Square to the Muqata'a was to be closed to traffic, the statement added. The media office further stated that the police established three operating rooms for each branch of the security services and one for field officers in Ramallah to help coordinate security for the event. 

Hamas: Arafat a symbol of struggle
11/11/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Hamas hailed late President Yasser Arafat as an icon of struggle on the fifth anniversary of his death Wednesday, despite the ongoing bitter feud with the current leaders of Arafat's party, the Fatah movement. Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said, "for Fatah, Arafat's death meant [the party's] decision-making process was thrown off track, but to the Palestinian people, his death meant losing a symbolic leader committed to the Palestinian cause whether we agreed with him or not. "  In his speech, Barhoum also referred to the widely-held belief that Arafat was poisoned as Israel kept him under virtual house arrest in his Ramallah compound during the Ramallah siege in 2004. Barhoum said the death showed that leaders who defend Palestinian rights and principles must eventually "pay the price. "Referring to the declaration of the second intifada in 2000, Barhoum said 

Dweik: Hamas will sign Egyptian proposal by end of month
11/11/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - Hamas will sign the Egyptian reconciliation paper by month's end,Dr Aziz Ad-Dweik, speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council and member of the Hamas bloc said Wednesday. Dweik gave an interview on Al-Jazeera Arabic announcing that Hamas leaders had secured Egyptian guarantees that they would take into account Hamas' reservations on the issue, and would list them on the sidelines of the reconciliation paper, which would be signed by both parties. "By the end of the month you'll hear what will delight your hearts," Dweik said, assuring that political activity ensuring the end of Palestinian division was ongoing. Earlier Wednesday, the Palestinain paper Al-Quds Al-Arabi had Dweik hinting that Hamas would soon sign the Egyptian plan for unity. In the article, Dweik elaborated on the matter of the conditions Hamas insisted on inserting into the unity document before it would sign. 

Final group of Gaza pilgrims leave for Hajj
11/11/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - The remaining group of Palestinian pilgrims in Gaza will leave on Wednesday for Mecca to perform the Hajj, according to a Palestinian communications official. The official, Jaser Al-Mashukhi said, "A group of 143 pilgrims will leave to Al-A'rish Airport then to Mecca for the Hajj. "  He further noted, "The total number of pilgrims who travelled [from Gaza] as of Friday was 4,205 pilgrims" adding that some 170 passports in the Saudi consulate waiting to get Hajj visas for their holders. "  Senior Hamas leader Ismail Al-Ashqar said on Tuesday that Egyptian authorities prevented him and Palestinian leaders from other political parties from travelling to perform the Hajj. 

Do not let the olive branch fall from my hand
11/11/2009 - Born in Cairo on 4 August, 1929 to Gazan and Jerusalemite parents, Yasser Arafat, known also as Abu Ammar, remains an icon of the Palestinian people in the occupied territories and across the world for his dedication to the pursuit of a Palestinian state. His struggle for national liberation began in 1948, when he participated in Arab-Zionist fighting as British troops withdrew from Mandate Palestine. Following his election as Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in 1968, he continued to assert the Palestinian right to self determination internationally. Appearing at the UN in 1974 "bearing an olive branch and a freedom fighter's gun," Arafat demanded: "Do not let the olive branch fall from my hand. " Following the signing of the Declaration of Principles by Israel and the PLO at the White House in 1993, giving Palestinians. . . 

PSE drops: Al-Quds Index down 0.38% on Wednesday
11/11/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The Palestine Securities Exchange in Nablus fell on Wednesday, as the Al-Quds Index dropped 1. 91 points (0. 38%) to close at 494. 97. Trading volume was 173,172 shares traded for a total value of 259,473. 54 US dollars in 161 trades. The shares of 18 companies were traded. The share prices of five companies rose, while those of 10 declined. The top five gainers were NCI by 3. 33%, AMB by 2. 63%, PCB by 2. 44%, PEC by 2. 06%, and PIIC by 1. 52%. The top five losers were GCOM by 4. 55%, ARAB by 3. 39%, WASSEL by 1. 64%, BPC by 1. 35%, QUDS by 0. 83%. [end] 

Ha'aretz Defense page

Brazil to buy $350 million worth of drones from Israel
Ha'aretz 11 Nov 2009 - The deal was signed during President Peres' official visit to Brazil, but negotiations began months ago. 

Israel shows papers linking Iran to seized 'Hezbollah arms ship'
Ha'aretz 11 Nov 2009 - Iran urges Russia: Ignore Israeli pressure, deliver S-300 missiles are capable of shooting down warheads. 

U.S. accuses Iran of arms shipments to Hezbollah
Ha'aretz 11 Nov 2009 - U.S. raises issue of arms shipments to Security Council; UN: Both sides violating UN Resolution 1701. 

IDF to Palestinians: Bring forth Gaza war complaints
Ha'aretz 11 Nov 2009 - IDF chief says criminal investigation division along with five committees now probing 45 Palestinian complaints. 

Alleged Jewish terrorist to be charged with murdering two Palestinians
Ha'aretz 11 Nov 2009 - Yaakov Teitel arrested a month ago on suspicion of murder, involvement in several murders and bomb plots. 

IDF Chief: Hezbollah has rockets capable of hitting Tel Aviv
Ha'aretz 11 Nov 2009 - IDF chief says calm is 'misleading - Beyond the fences the terror groups are gaining strength.' 

Most advanced, expensive fighter jet headed to Israel
Ha'aretz 11 Nov 2009 - The U.S. is scheduled to respond next week to Israel's request for 25 F-35 stealth fighter jets. 

Outpost residents finally admit IDF official issuing demolition order
Ha'aretz 11 Nov 2009 - Police negotiating with residents of unauthorized community, Givat Asaf, who refuse to accept decree. 

Lebanon source: Israel working with Islamists to hurt Hezbollah
Ha'aretz 11 Nov 2009 - Lebanese official says Katyusha fired last month was arranged with Israel, to make Hezbollah take blame. 

Report: Hezbollah rearming for imminent conflict with Israel
Ha'aretz 11 Nov 2009 - The British Observer quotes a Hezbollah commander as saying they expect an Israeli attack by spring. 

U.S. top brass: Nuclear Iran is existential threat to Israel
Ha'aretz 11 Nov 2009 - Mullen: A nuclear Iran would undermine the stability of a region that is already highly unstable. 

Lebanon authorities detain 'arms ship' crew for questioning
Ha'aretz 11 Nov 2009 - After Israel releases ship found to be carrying tons of weapons apparently to Hezbollah, crew questioned in Beirut. 

Uruknet

[uruknet.info] Ehsan Fattahian Executed
Uruknet November 11, 2009 - This is from Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRAIran), and is the translation of Ehsan Fattahian's letter from his prison cell, before he was executed on November 11, for 'fighting against god'. It is noteworthy to mention that according to the witnesses present at the execution, Fattahian did not allow his executioners the last laugh, and...

[uruknet.info] From the River to the Sea
Uruknet November 11, 2009 - Let's once and for all stop getting excited about America mounting pressure on Israel to freeze West Bank settlements. The entire fascination with the topic is a product of Zionist spin. It is there to divert attention from the root cause of the conflict: The robbery of Palestine and Palestinians in the name of a 'Jewish...

[uruknet.info] Ministry of detainees: Israel stepped up its racist practices against prisoners
Uruknet November 11, 2009 -- The Palestinian ministry of prisoners stated Tuesday that the Israeli occupation authority (IOA) has stepped up its malicious racist practices against detainees, who number more than 10,000 Palestinians. Information director of the ministry Riyadh Al-Ashqar gave many examples of the serious violations committed against prisoners in Israeli jails, noting that these violations reflect Israel's hatred and...

[uruknet.info] Settlers 'stone' school children
Uruknet November 11, 2009 - Twaneh School in Hebron has seen some improvements since former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair paid it a visit as UN Middle East envoy last year. The track leading from the school to the new main road joining Jerusalem to Israeli settlements on the south eastern slopes of Palestine is now paved. There are two new...

[uruknet.info] Fatah marks Arafat's anniversary behind closed doors in Gaza
Uruknet November 10, 2009 - A Fatah lawmaker on Tuesday defied a Hamas ban on marking the death anniversary of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and held a candle-lighting ceremony at his office in southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah. The office of Ashraf Jum'a, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), were crammed with nearly 100 supporters of Fatah...

[uruknet.info] Video: UN calls for the opening of crossings into Gaza
Uruknet November 10, 2009 - UN Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territory called for the immediate opening of crossings into Gaza so that Palestinians can prepare for the coming winter...

[uruknet.info] Comrade Sa'adat calls from his isolation cell for support for Palestinian prisoners
Uruknet November 10, 2009 - Comrade Leader Ahmad Sa'adat, the imprisoned General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, issued a letter on November 8, 2009 from his isolation cell in response to the international day of action and the efforts of political, social, legal and media organizations in solidarity with Comrade Sa'adat and all Palestinian prisoners, particularly...

[uruknet.info] Israeli Jews and the one-state solution
Uruknet November 10, 2009 - One of the most commonly voiced objections to a one-state solution for Palestine/Israel stems from the accurate observation that the vast majority of Israeli Jews reject it, and fear being "swamped" by a Palestinian majority. Across the political spectrum, Israeli Jews insist on maintaining a separate Jewish-majority state. But with the total collapse of the Obama...

[uruknet.info] Palestinians adrift five years after Arafat death
Uruknet November 10, 2009 - Every time Nader Ismail comes to Ramallah he makes his way to the white mausoleum of Yasser Arafat, the father of the Palestinian struggle for statehood, to say a prayer. "President Arafat is a symbol of the Palestinian revolution, and I cannot come to Ramallah without reading the fatiha (Koranic verses) over his tomb," says Ismail,...

[uruknet.info] Five years on, Palestinians still mourning Arafat
Uruknet November 10, 2009 - Every time Nader Ismail comes to Ramallah he makes his way to the white mausoleum of Yasser Arafat, the father of the Palestinian struggle for statehood, to say a prayer. "President Arafat is a symbol of the Palestinian revolution, and I cannot come to Ramallah without reading the fatiha (Koranic verses) over his tomb," says Ismail,...

[uruknet.info] PCHR Condemns Gaza Government's Decision to Ban International Federation of Journalists Conference in Gaza
Uruknet November 10, 2009 - The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) strongly condemns the Gaza Government's decision to ban a conference of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) in Gaza. The conference was due to be held on 9 and 10 November 2009, and linked to the West Bank meeting via video conference. PCHR stresses that this measure constitutes an...

Palestine Telegraph

Arafat's death: Who is the killer?
Palestine, November 11, (Pal Telegraph) - Palestinians are marking the fifth anniversary of the death of Yasser Arafat. Hundreds of people gathered in the main square of the West Bank city of Ramallah to remember the late Palestinian leader.

UN official calls on Israel to allow construction raw-materials into Gaza
Palestine, Novermber 10, 2009 (Pal Telegraph)-A senior United Nations official Monday called on Israel to reopen the crossing points to allow construction raw-materials into the Gaza Strip blockaded by Israel.

Like Berlin Wall; Palestinians try to break Israeli "Apartheid " wall
Palestine, Novermber 10, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) - Palestinians and foreign activists have torn down segments of Israel's separation wall in a demonstration marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Fenced in but defiant in Israeli-occupied West Bank 
US, Novermber 8, 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

UN: Israel violates Lebanon resolution
The National 11 Nov 2009 - All Israeli military flights over Lebanon break a resolution aimed at ending the 2006 hostilities between the two neighbours, a UN envoy says.

Abbas is playing a bluff with few cards
The National 10 Nov 2009 - President's decision to not run for re-election may be part of a desperate ploy to face the White House and Israel with a final ultimatum.

Israel and Iran visit Brazil
The National 10 Nov 2009 - Dueling visits to Brazil by the presidents of Israel and Iran are showing the South American powerhouse's growing role in Mideast diplomacy.

Aljazeera

Palestinians mark Arafat's death
AlJazeera 11 Nov 2009 - Amid stalled peace talks, Fatah supporters honour man who led them for four decades.

Iran 'ready to aid Yemeni security'
AlJazeera 11 Nov 2009 - Tehran offers to help after warning Yemen's neighbours against interfering.

Jordan police held over man's death
AlJazeera 10 Nov 2009 - Jordanian police officers to face trial in connection with death of a civilian.

Alternative Information Center

Chairperson of Hebrew University Student Union: Build Wall between the University and the Neighboring Palestinian Village of Issawiya
Alternative Information Center 11 Nov 2009 - According to the Jerusalem online newspaper Mynet , Hebrew University’s Student Union Chairperson, Ofer Raviv, recently recommended that a Separation Wall between the university’s Mount Scopus campus and the nearby Palestinian village of Issawiya be constructed.

How Israel Won the Settlement Battle Again
Alternative Information Center 10 Nov 2009 - When British Foreign Secretary David Miliband uttered a few words regarding the illegality of the Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, many wanted to believe that London was taking a sharp stance against Israel’s continued...

Condemnation of the Gaza Government’s Decision to Ban an International Federation of Journalists Conference in Gaza 
Alternative Information Center 10 Nov 2009 - The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) strongly condemns the Gaza Government's decision to ban a conference of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) in Gaza. The conference was due to be held on 9 and...

Palestine News Network

Palestinians adrift five years after Arafat death
PNN 10 Nov 2009 - RAMALLAH, November 10, 2009 (AFP) - Every time Nader Ismail comes to Ramallah he makes his way to the white mausoleum of Yasser Arafat, the father of the Palestinian struggle for statehood, to say a prayer. President Arafat is a symbol of the Palestinian revolution, and I cannot come to Ramallah without reading the fatiha (Koranic verses) over his tomb, says Ismail,...

Palestinians tear down West Bank Wall
PNN 10 Nov 2009 - RAMALLAH, West Bank: Palestinians tore down a massive chunk of Israel’s illegal West Bank separation barrier on Monday in a protest staged to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the day the Berlin Wall came down. A truck was used to pull down the wall section to the cheers of an estimated 150 Palestinian activists and foreign supporters near the Qalandia refugee...

Israeli settlers plow privately owned Palestinian fields, Israeli police fail to intervene.
PNN 9 Nov 2009 - At-Tuwani - On the morning of Sunday 8 November 2009 four Israeli settleryouth from Ma'on settlement plowed privately-owned Palestinian fields inUmm Zeituna valley. The settlers arrived at approximately 8:50am andchased two Palestinian shepherds off the land throwing stones, beforestarting plowing. Local Palestinian shepherds and international peaceactivists from Operation Dove called the Israeli police, who failed torespond to the incident.Settlers worked for several...

Qalqilia Zoo
PNN 9 Nov 2009 - The Qalqilia Zoo was established in 1986 through funding from the Qalqilia Municipality. The total area of the project did not initially exceed ten dunums, including a small park, the animals’ area, and some recreational attractions. As time went on, the zoo started to expand. In recent years, the Qalqilia Municipality has focused on expanding and improving the zoo and inaugurated the...

The Writing on the Wall 
PNN 9 Nov 2009 - As the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall approaches, I find it appropriate to reflect on what lessons its fall has to teach us about the Wall being built here in Palestine, what is known to Israelis as the “Security Fence” and what is known to many Palestinians as the “Apartheid Wall.” In order to deepen my understanding of...

Harvest under Fire
PNN 9 Nov 2009 - Immatin is a small village of nearly 2,500 people that is nestled in the hills east of Qalqilia. Like so many other villages in Qalqilia, Immatin’s recent history is marred by stories of confiscated lands, uprooted olive trees, and the approach of the Wall, which threatens to isolate 10,000 of the village’s 27,000 dunums. To make matters worse, the people of Immatin...

Palestinians mark anniversary of Arafat's death
PNN 11 Nov 2009 - Palestinians are marking the fifth anniversary of the death of Yasser Arafat. Hundreds of people gathered in the main square of the West Bank city of Ramallah to remember the late Palestinian leader. Tributes have also been paid at his gravestone, inside the Palestinian presidential compound. The Hamas group, which runs the Gaza Strip, banned similar commemorations there. The anniversary of Arafat’s...

Jerusalem Post

PM tries to jump-start talks with Syria
Jeruslalem Post 11 Nov 2009 - Netanyahu willing to negotiate without preconditions; Barak: Don't belittle Damascus peace signals.

'Netanyahu-Obama meeting positive'
Jeruslalem Post 11 Nov 2009 - Senior US official tells 'Post': "There's a lot of agreement, a lot of cooperation" regarding Iran.

'Obama must choose - Israel or Iran'
Jeruslalem Post 11 Nov 2009 - At Istanbul economic forum, Iranian president calls on US counterpart to realize 'Change' motto.

'Israel choking Palestinian economy'
Jeruslalem Post 11 Nov 2009 - Ex-PA minister says efforts by "wrong-wing government" worthless without political agreement.

IDF shows 'proof' of Iran's link to arms
Jeruslalem Post 11 Nov 2009 - Israel says documents and photos confirm Teheran behind huge shipment of Hizbullah-bound weapons.

Army launches new probe for 'counter-Goldstone' report
Jeruslalem Post 11 Nov 2009 - IDF seeks B'tselem's assistance in gathering testimony from Gaza amid efforts to refute war crimes accusations, Jerusalem Post learns. 

Hizbullah: All of Israel is within our fire range
Jeruslalem Post 11 Nov 2009 - Official: If IAF attacks, we'll bomb TA; Lebanese couple sentenced to death for espionage.

Reservists' letter opposes 'politicized missions' for IDF
Jeruslalem Post 11 Nov 2009 - Soldiers imprisoned for 'Don't evacuate Homesh' protest awarded NIS 40,000 by right-wing group.

Braille printers for blind Palestinians allowed into Gaza
Jeruslalem Post 11 Nov 2009 - Delivery follows unprecedented transfers of school and office supplies for Palestinian education system that IDF began permitting last month.

IRIN

In Brief: Israel transfers 5,000 H1N1 vaccinations to Gaza
IRIN TEL AVIV Sunday, November 08, 2009 (IRIN) - Israel’s Civil Administration announced on 5 November that it had transferred 5,000 pandemic H1N1 vaccinations to Gaza for Hajj pilgrims leaving to Saudi Arabia via the Rafah border crossing with Egypt.

ISRAEL: Getting tough on "infiltrators"
IRIN JERUSALEM Tuesday, November 10, 2009 (IRIN) - Aid groups and several members of parliament (MPs) are outraged by what seems to be the toughening of Israeli policy towards asylum-seekers illegally entering the country.

EGYPT: Black cloud with a silver lining
IRIN CAIRO Monday, November 09, 2009 (IRIN) - The conversion of excess rice straw into fertilizer, rather than simply burning it off could be the solution to a problem that has plagued Cairo residents for the last 10 years: the “black cloud” that decends on the city every October and November.

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: The 'Unknown' Fight the Illegal 
IPS OCCUPIED EAST JERUSALEM, Nov 8 (IPS) - "Make sure your father gets this," the municipal inspector tells a ten-year-old boy at the gate of the concrete house in an alleyway in the Al-Bustan quarter of Silwan, a Palestinian neighbourhood right under the shadow of the walled Old City.

Stop The Wall

Al-Ma’sara commemorates the fall of the Berlin Wall
Stop The Wall 11 Nov 2009 - In Friday’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 occupation, while international and Israeli activists showed support using percussion instruments. [

"We are going to Jerusalem!"
Stop The Wall 11 Nov 2009 - This afternoon, exactly 20 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, popular committees struggling against the Apartheid Wall and the settlements destroyed part of the Wall near Qalandiya. Hundreds of people, with some 30 international supporters, used a truck to pull down part of the Wall in the area east of the Qalandiya refugee camp and beyond the UN Vocational College. They also destroyed iron gates and other pieces of concrete in the same area. [

PCHR Weekly Report

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

International Solidarity Movement

Israeli settlers plow privately owned Palestinian fields, Israeli police fail to intervene
11/9/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Christian Peacemaker Team - At-Tuwani - On the morning of Sunday 8 November 2009 four Israeli settler youth from Ma'on settlement plowed privately-owned Palestinian fields in Umm Zeituna valley. The settlers arrived at approximately 8:50am and chased two Palestinian shepherds off the land throwing stones, before starting plowing. Local Palestinian shepherds and international peace activists from Operation Dove called the Israeli police, who failed to respond to the incident. Settlers worked for several hours and plowed the whole valley which is situated on privately-owned Palestinian land and lies outside of Ma'on's municipal boundaries. Local shepherds also reported that on Friday 5 November settlers from Ma'on, with the accompaniment of Israeli soldiers, plowed a field near the Palestinian village of Maghayir al Abeed belonging to Hajj Hussein Daoud from the Palestinian city of Yatta. 

Protesters reenacted the fall of the Berlin Wall to mark its 20th anniversary: 8 meter tall concrete wall dividing Ramallah and Jerusalem tipped-over
11/9/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Popular Struggle Coordination Committee - Photos - In a symbolic reenactment of the event that changed the world 20 years ago, demonstrators from all over the West Bank managed to topple a section of Israel's wall, 8 meters of reinforced concrete in height, near the infamous Qalandiya Checkpoint. On the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall, hundreds of demonstrators from across the West Bank convened in Qalandiya to demand the immediate dismantling of Israel’s wall. In a dramatic turn of events, protesters managed to tip-over a a section of the wall, opening a passage in this strategic and symbolic location at the entrance to East-Jerusalem. Exactly twenty years ago today the Berlin Wall came crumbling down in two days that changed the world forever. Today, a wall twice as high and five times as long is being built by Israel in the West Bank, in blatant contempt of international law, to separate Palestinians from their lands. 

Qaryut residents successfully remove a roadblock
11/9/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - 5 November 2009 - The villagers of Qaryut are facing a new weekend tradition: the Friday removing of a roadblock, repeatedly re-instated by the Israeli army upon every attempt to clear the road connecting the village with Ramallah and Nablus. The morning of Friday, 5 November, saw approximately 200 villagers join forces in clearing a large earth mound that blocks Qaryut's passage to Road 60, the route for travelling between Ramallah and Nablus. Although 15 soldiers, 2 Israeli police vehicles and one car of settlers (who halted to observe from Road 60) were awaiting the villagers' arrival when they marched down to the roadblock, the action remained peaceful to the end. The soldiers and border guards had initially taken up position to defend the block, however they had no choice but to move back in the face of the large and determined crowd. 

Seven Palestinians arrested during Nablus military raids
11/9/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - 5 November 2009 - In the dead of night, at 2am, Thursday 4 November, the Israeli Occupation Force made a series of military raids on civilian home in Nablus, arresting 7 young men. Al-Ein camp was brutally attacked by a force of some 100 Israeli soldiers, encircling a large part of the camp while firing sound bombs. A large number of houses were invaded, their occupants awoken and forced to stand outside in the freezing cold, while soldiers with dogs wrecked havoc upon their personal belongings. One woman saw two young Palestinians with their hands tied behind their backs, while the soldiers had placed toy guns, partisan scarfs and knives at their side and were taking pictures of this (apparently a ploy to prove that they were ‘dangerous militants', thereby justifying their arrest). Among the arrested were Mustafa Kasem Al-Mabruk, 21 years old, and Ahmed Khalid Abdo Bohe, his cousin, who is 18 years old. 

Residents of Sheikh Jarrah demonstrate against settlements in East Jerusalem
11/9/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - 4 November 2009 - On Wednesday 4 November 2009, a vibrant demonstration was held in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of occupied East Jerusalem. The demonstration was organised as a protest against Jewish settlers taking over a Palestinian house in Sheikh Jarrah, belonging to the Al Kurd family, on the previous day. It was also a protest against the ongoing home confiscations, home demolitions, and evictions of Palestinian families in East Jerusalem. The demonstration gathered about 150 demonstrators and was covered by a number of press reporters. In addition to Sheikh Jarrah families, participant organizations included Israeli activists such as Ta'ayush and Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, and international activists such as the International Solidarity Movement, Michigan Peace Team, and Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel. 

Israeli army use live ammunition during invasion of Iraq Burin
11/9/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - 7 November 2009 - On Saturday 7 November the residents of Iraq Burin, a small village outside Nablus, once again had their weekend disrupted by settlers and the Israeli army. During the day settlers from the nearby illegal settlement came down close to the village in a provocative act. The scenario that followed was the same as the previous two Saturdays – settler attack followed by an army invasion. During the invasion that lasted about one hour, the army shot teargas and live ammunition inside the village. Because of similar events of settler and army violence in the last two weekends, the Palestinians have called for international activists to be present in the village on Saturday morning. At around 2. 30pm, five settlers from the illegal settlement Bracha appeared close to the village, scaring and provoking the villagers. 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

Netanyahu to Sarkozy: Israel ready for Syria talks without preconditions
Ha'aretz 11 Nov 2009 - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday that Israel would be prepared to hold immediate peace negotiations with Syria , as long as the talks were held without preconditions. ... 

Hezbollah chief: Obama gives Israel more support than Bush did
Ha'aretz 11 Nov 2009 - Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah on Wednesday accused U.S. President Barack Obama of absolute bias in favor of Israel and disregard for the dignity of Arabs and Muslims. ...

Lebanon condemns four alleged Israel spies to death
Ha'aretz 11 Nov 2009 - A Lebanese military court on Wednesday sentenced to death a first sergeant in the country's Internal Security Forces charged with spying on behalf of Israel. ...

Palestinian cave-dweller fights Israeli eviction
Ha'aretz 11 Nov 2009 - A Palestinian camping in an ancient cave near Jerusalem said he has been told by Israeli authorities to get out because the hillside is slated for a housing development and his "illegal" home will be demolished. ...

Report: Angelina Jolie planning to adopt child from Syria
Ha'aretz 11 Nov 2009 - Academy Award-winning actress Angelina Jolie is planning to adopt a child from Syria, OK! magazine reported Wednesday. ...

The Guardian

Abbas repeats demand for Jewish settlements freeze
The Guardian 11 Nov 2009 - Palestinian president uses fifth anniversary of Arafat's death to demand halt on construction before talks with Israel Mahmoud Abbas today underlined the stark reality of the stalemate in the Middle East peace process by again demanding...

Erdogan's blind faith in Muslims | Seth Freedman
The Guardian 11 Nov 2009 - The Turkish leader's support of Sudan's Omar al-Bashir while condemning Gaza 'war crimes' play to fears on the Israeli right Despite glaring evidence to the contrary, the Turkish prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan , believes "it is...

Abbas's mixed messages | Hussein Ibish
The Guardian 9 Nov 2009 - The Palestinian president is fed up, but his statement that he would not seek a second term was a warning, not a resignation The recent announcement by Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas that he would not seek...

Ha'aretz National page

'Israel has different laws for Arab and Jewish youth'
Ha'aretz 11 Nov 2009 - The Nazareth Magistrate's Court on Wednesday dismissed a case against an Arab youth who was charged with attacking a police vehicle near Nazareth during the Gaza offensive earlier this year. ...

Probe: Near 5-plane crash at B-G Airport due to systemic glitch
Ha'aretz 11 Nov 2009 - The near crash of five airplanes at Ben Gurion Airport last June was due to a serious systemic failure involving Israel Airport Authorities officials, technicians, air traffic controllers and pilots, results of an investigation released on Wednesday revealed. ...

Abbas accuses Israel of 'disfiguring' two-state solution
Ha'aretz 11 Nov 2009 - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas accused Israel on Wednesday of trying to undermine an internationally backed two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. ...

Bereaved women to Netanyahu: Stop gambling with Gilad Shalit's life
Ha'aretz 11 Nov 2009 - A group of women who had lost loved ones in combat or terror attacks sent a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday asking him to meet with them and tell them "when Gilad Shalit's tragic saga will end, so that we can stop struggling." ...

Study: Israeli employers prefer not to hire Arabs
Ha'aretz 11 Nov 2009 - Israeli employers prefer not to hire Arabs, Ethiopians and Haredis - even those holding at least an undergraduate degree, according to a study published on Monday. ...

Relief Web

Syria: RCA funds rehabilitation of the Neirab Palestinian refugee Camp
Relief Web 11 Nov 2009 - Source: Emirates News Agency

Syria/OPT: Work begins on Shaikh Zayed quarter, Neirab Camp
Relief Web 11 Nov 2009 - Source: UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East

Conseil de sécurité : la protection des civils dans les conflits armés - résolution 1894 (2009)
Relief Web 11 Nov 2009 - Source: UN Security Council

Saying torture can 'never be justified,' Third Committee approves text condemning any attempt to legalize, authorize, including on national security grounds
Relief Web 11 Nov 2009 - Source: UN General Assembly

Middle East peace process not suffering from lack of standards, but of effort to implement them, Fourth Committee told, ending debate on Israeli practices
Relief Web 11 Nov 2009 - Source: UN General Assembly

Palestinian rights committee approves four draft resolutions on question of Palestine for adoption by General Assembly
Relief Web 11 Nov 2009 - Source: UN General Assembly

YNet News

UN official to Security Council: Penalize Israel over Gaza op
YNet News 11 Nov 2009 - High Commissioner for Human Rights says Israel responsible for civilian deaths in Gaza, 'confiscation' of Arab land in east Jerusalem 

Netanyahu to Sarkozy: Immediate talks with Syria
YNet News 11 Nov 2009 - After Paris meeting, Israeli, French leaders say they agreed to 'deploy all efforts' toward 'immediately reviving the peace process'; also discuss Iranian nuclear program 

Nasrallah: Obama fully committed to Israel 
YNet News 11 Nov 2009 - During 'Shahid Day' speech, Hezbollah leader says hopes for change in 'savage policy' towards Arab world quickly faded, US committed to Israeli interests 

Barak: PM's meeting with Obama was constructive 
YNet News 11 Nov 2009 - Upon returning to Israel, defense minister rejects reports of tension between Netanyahu, US president 

Prize awarded to Shimshon Battalion 'rebels'
YNet News 11 Nov 2009 - New recruits Aryeh Arbus and Ahiya Ovadia who protested against evacuation of Homesh during induction ceremony still in military prison, while their families receive check and certificate of recognition from SOS Israel for sons' actions 

Lebanon: Death sentence to 4 convicted of collaborating with Israel
YNet News 11 Nov 2009 - Judges find defendants guilty of 'knowingly conspiring with Israel, allowing it to launch attack against Lebanon.' Two of defendants tried in absentia because they apparently fled to Israel 

Lieberman in The Hague: Positive dynamics needed ahead of negotiations 
YNet News 11 Nov 2009 - Foreign minister meets with Dutch counterpart as part of visit to Holland, says one condition to advancing political process is cessation of incitement, international diplomatic intrigue 

Assad: No preconditions for peace with Israel
YNet News 11 Nov 2009 - At meeting of Arab political parties in Damascus, Syrian president says, 'We do not put forward conditions on making peace,' but adds, 'Resistance forms the core of our policy' 

B'tselem

Update on Cast Lead investigations
10 Nov 2009 - The Military Police are investigating some 21 incidents from Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip. However, these investigations address specific incidents and will not address larger policy questions. They will also not examine the responsibility of civ

Daily Star

Abbas demands freeze of illegal Israeli settlements at Arafat memorial rally
Daily Star 11 Nov 2009 Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas stood by his demand for a complete Israeli settlement freeze in an address Wednesday to tens of thousands of Palestinians gathered to honor the late Yasser Arafat. The fifth anniversary of the revered leader's death finds Palestinians more divided than ever and his successor, Abbas, pondering resignation because.

Netanyahu-Sarkozy talks focus on Iran, Middle East
Daily Star 11 Nov 2009 Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held talks Wednesday in Paris with French President Nicolas Sarkozy focusing on Iran and the crisis in the Middle East peace process. Neither leader spoke to reporters after the two hour meeting in the Elysee Palace, and Netanayahu set off for the airport immediately.

Families of Americans detained in Iran consult one another before each move
Daily Star 11 Nov 2009 The families of three Americans accused of espionage in Iran are attempting the delicate feat of keeping a spotlight trained on the plight of their loved ones while trying to avoid the tangled politics of the tense US-Iran relationship. Even as the Americans' captivity passed the 100-day point this week, the families of Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd and Josh Fattal together.

Palestinian cave-dweller fights Israeli eviction
Daily Star 11 Nov 2009 A Palestinian camping in a cave near occupied Jeru salem says he has been told by Israeli authorities to get out be cause the hillside is slated for a housing development and his "illegal" home will be demolished. The predicament of Abdel-Fattah Abed Rabbo, a 48-year-old father of 10, highlights the dispute between Israel and Palestinians living in the steep hills between Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

Assad: No terms for peace with Israel, just rights
Daily Star 11 Nov 2009 President Bashar Assad said on Wednesday that Syria was not setting conditions on making peace with Israel, but that it did have rights that must be restored, the official SANA news agency reported. "Resistance [to Israeli occupation] forms the core of our po licy, both in the past and in the future. We do not put forward conditions on making peace., President Bashar Assad said on Wednesday that Syria was not setting conditions on making peace with Israel, but that it did have rights that must be restored, the official SANA news agency reported. "Resistance [to Israeli occupation] forms the core of our po licy, both in the past and in the future. We do not put forward conditions on making peace.

Iran urges Russia to deliver on defense contract despite pressure from Israel
Daily Star 11 Nov 2009 Iran urged Russia on Wednesday to deliver on an air-defense contract signed with Tehran and ignore Israeli pressures for delaying the deal that has also raised US concerns. Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi said Moscow is under an obligation to carry out the contract to provide the S-300 missiles to Tehran.

Ex-Blackwater chiefs claim $1m Iraqi civilian shooting cover-up
Daily Star 11 Nov 2009 Former top executives at Blackwater Worldwide say the US security contractor sent some $1 million to its Iraq office, with the intention of paying off officials in the country who were angry about the fatal shootings of 17 civilians by Blackwater employees, the New York Times reported Tuesday. Four former executives described the plan under the condition of anonymity, the newspaper said.

Washington sniper John Allen Mohammad executed
Daily Star 11 Nov 2009 The Washington sniper was executed Tuesday after a 2002 reign of terror that claimed 10 lives and left the US capital paralyzed in fear for three weeks. John Mohammad staggered into the death chamber with the aid of prison guards and offered no last-minute explanation for his random killings, before being executed by lethal injection.

Palestinian Information Center

Abbas’s militias kidnap five citizens and summon many others in W. Bank
PIC 11 Nov 2009 - Mahmoud Abbas’s militias during the last two days kidnapped five Palestinian citizens affiliated with Hamas and issued tens of summonses against others in Nablus, Al-Khalil and Bethlehem.

Haneyya calls for devising Arab strategy to restore Palestinian rights
PIC 11 Nov 2009 - Ismail Haneyya, the PA premier in Gaza Strip, has called for the formulation of a pan-Arab strategy that would restore Arab rights in general and Palestinian rights in particular.

Hamas discusses political developments with DFLP
PIC 11 Nov 2009 - Delegates from Hamas and the democratic front for the liberation of Palestine (DFLP) conferred on Wednesday on latest Palestinian political developments topped by the reconciliation efforts.

Assad: The resistance of the occupation is an honor we should be proud of
PIC 11 Nov 2009 - Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad stated Monday that the resistance of the occupation is a national duty and to support it is a moral and legal duty as well as an honor which we should be proud of.

IOF troops severely beat two children
PIC 11 Nov 2009 - Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Wednesday severely beat up two Palestinian children in the Old City of Al-Khalil without any apparent justification, locals reported.

Dweik: Hamas to sign the Egyptian reconciliation paper by end of month
PIC 11 Nov 2009 - Dr. Aziz Dweik, the Palestinian legislative council's speaker, has affirmed that Hamas would sign the Egyptian reconciliation paper by the end of November.

MP Zeidan: We don’t beg for negotiations
PIC 11 Nov 2009 - Hamas MP Abdul Rahman Zeidan has said that his Movement does not beg for negotiations but rather wants the "Zionist enemy" to recognize the Palestinian people's stable rights.

IOA extends administrative detention of Sheikh Saadi
PIC 11 Nov 2009 - The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) renewed for the sixth time the administrative detention of Sheikh Bassam Al-Saadi, a senior Islamic Jihad leader, after spending six years in Israeli jails.

Ministry of detainees: Israel stepped up its racist practices against prisoners
PIC 11 Nov 2009 - The Palestinian ministry of prisoners stated that the Israeli occupation authority (IOA) has stepped up its malicious racist practices against detainees, who number more than 10,000.

Hamas, Islamic Jihad dismayed at Egyptian blockage of their leaders' Haj
PIC 11 Nov 2009 - Hamas and Islamic Jihad top officials have expressed surprise and dismay at the Egyptian authorities' refusal to allow four of their officials and two other factional leaders to leave for Haj.

Los Angeles Times

An Iranian couple's revolution 
LA Times 11 Nov 2009 - Both were members of the Basiji elite, the hard-line Iranian militia. Over time, they took different paths, one embracing feminism and the other mellowing, then turning back to the use of force. One night he came home covered with blood. 

Lebanon rivals form unity government 
LA Times 10 Nov 2009 - The deadlock-ending accord divides power between U.S.-backed Prime Minister Saad Hariri and Hezbollah, which the U.S. considers a terrorist organization. After a months-long deadlock, Lebanon's rival political camps agreed to a unity government that includes both American-backed Prime Minister Saad Hariri and Hezbollah, a Shiite Muslim political party and militia that the United States considers a terrorist organization. 

New York Times

Blair Hails Economic Steps in West Bank
New York Times 11 Nov 2009 - Palestinians marked two breakthroughs: a second mobile telephone company opened, and a long-closed crossing point from Israel allowed limited motor traffic. 

Palestinian Authority’s Future Is in Question
New York Times 10 Nov 2009 - Those close to Mahmoud Abbas said that he intended to resign and that other Palestinian officials would follow. 

Israeli Asks Abbas Not to Step Down
New York Times 8 Nov 2009 - Appealing to the president of the Palestinian Authority, who announced that he would not seek re-election, the Israeli president said: “Don’t let go.”

Call White House, Ask for Barack
New York Times 8 Nov 2009 - Until the Palestinians and Israelis are serious about the peace process, the United States should get out of the picture.

Young, Talented and Unhappy Playing Basketball Overseas
New York Times 8 Nov 2009 - Jeremy Tyler, 18, left high school in San Diego to play basketball in Israel. His goal is to be drafted by an N.B.A. team in two years, but for now he is struggling. 

Misc

Chairperson of Hebrew University Student Union: Build Wall between the University and the Neighboring Palestinian Village of Issawiya
Alternative Information Center - 11 Nov 2009 - According to the Jerusalem online newspaper Mynet , Hebrew University’s Student Union Chairperson, Ofer Raviv, recently recommended that a Separation Wall between the university’s Mount Scopus campus and the nearby Palestinian village of Issawiya be constructed.

How Israel Won the Settlement Battle Again
Alternative Information Center - 10 Nov 2009 - When British Foreign Secretary David Miliband uttered a few words regarding the illegality of the Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, many wanted to believe that London was taking a sharp stance against Israel’s continued violations of international law. Alas, they were wrong.

Condemnation of the Gaza Government’s Decision to Ban an International Federation of Journalists Conference in Gaza 
Alternative Information Center - 10 Nov 2009 - The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) strongly condemns the Gaza Government's decision to ban a conference of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) in Gaza. The conference was due to be held on 9 and 10 November 2009, and linked to the West Bank meeting...

Israeli Settlers Plow Privately Owned Palestinian fields, Israeli Police Fail to Intervene
Alternative Information Center - 9 Nov 2009 - At-Tuwani - On the morning of Sunday 8 November 2009 four Israeli Settler youth from Ma'on settlement plowed privately-owned Palestinian fields in Umm Zeituna valley. The settlers arrived at approximately 8:50am and chased two Palestinian shepherds off the land throwing stones, before starting plowing. Local Palestinian...

Open Letter to the Board of Governors of Trondheim University
Alternative Information Center - 9 Nov 2009 - We are Arab students at the Israeli universities writing to you in support of the proposed academic boycott of Israeli academic institutions. We believe that the boycott is timely and hopefully will help in upholding moral values of fairness, justice and equality which have been sorely...

Just what the world needs… more walls!
Mondoweiss - 11 Nov 2009 - From Alternative Information Center : According to the Jerusalem online newspaper Mynet , Hebrew University’s Student Union Chairperson, Ofer Raviv, recently recommended that a Separation Wall between the university’s Mount Scopus campus and the nearby Palestinian village of Issawiya be constructed. Hebrew University officials suggested that such a...

Daniel Levy seems to favor boycott to ‘draw a red line at the Green Line’
Mondoweiss - 11 Nov 2009 - I said that J Street will have to come ’round to boycott inevitably, and yesterday one of J Street’s guiding spirits, Daniel Levy , came pretty close at the Middle East Institute . I just caught some of the panel on C-Span. Angered by the failure of Obama...

Where is MSM on Hebron story?
Mondoweiss - 11 Nov 2009 - Where’s the MSM on the fact that the Hebron Fund is having a fundraiser for illegal colonies at Citi Field? It’s a joke. If a Palestinian group were bringing in the equivalent of Noam Arnon…well, he wouldn’t even get in the country. But the event would...

appeal to readers
Mondoweiss - 11 Nov 2009 - About a year ago this site was approved as a Google News site, based on the news reporting we do and the number of contributors. This helped our traffic enormously, and restored some of my self-esteem, as a guy who had made a living as a...

Obama aide is not post-racial
Mondoweiss - 11 Nov 2009 - Rahm Emanuel, quoted in the Jerusalem Post, his speech to the Jewish Federations: Beginning his speech by referring to his long-standing ties to Israel, Emanuel warned about the dangers of abandoning the effort to make a deal with the Palestinians. "Demographics cannot be denied," he declared,...


Articles

Delusional Self-Defense, Delusional Congressional Vote 
Jimmy Leas and Noura Erakat, Huffington Post 11/10/2009
      The 344-36 House vote last week condemning the Goldstone Report, which encourages Israel and Hamas to conduct "credible" independent investigations of war crimes committed in Gaza, may help Israeli leaders avoid prosecution in the short-term. However, the House vote and the negative US votes at the UN will have long-term detrimental effects both on Israel and on the U.S.’s moral authority.
     Consider that within the General Assembly, 110 nations endorsed the Report, while the U.S. was among the minority of 18 nations that voted against the endorsement. The Congressional vote will increase the likelihood of a worldwide campaign to push the UN General Assembly, the International Criminal Court, or other countries, under universal jurisdiction, to hold Israel to account for war crimes committed in Gaza.
     Self-defense is of utmost concern because self-defense was a central element of Israel’s ongoing argument for the war and is the heart of the U.S.’s rejection of Goldstone. Israeli officials have featured that claim in every forum leading up to Operation Cast Lead’s pummeling strikes. It was Israel’s justification in its letter to the UN Secretary General when Israeli State officials announced the war on December 27, 2008. It was the main theme of Netanyahu’s recent speeches to the General Assembly and to the Knesset. It was the main theme of the most recent House Resolution. It will be the U.S.’s main reason to veto the forthcoming Security Council vote. The self-defense claim is not just a matter of public relations; it is essential. Absent self-defense, political and military officials in Israel are subject to charges that go beyond those in the Goldstone Report, including, but not limited to, the crime of war of aggression.
     However, the self-defense claim propagated by Israeli and U.S. politicians since the initiation of Operation Cast Lead is inconsistent with both the facts and the law. Within weeks of entering into the Egyptian-brokered ceasefire agreement, Hamas rocket fire had come to a halt. According to the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the ceasefire was so successful that it brought "normal life and "calm" back to Israeli towns near Gaza..... more.. e-mail

Is Israel threatened by the BDS movement? 
Mya Guarnieri, Ma’an News Agency 11/11/2009
      For nearly six weeks now Mohammed Othman, a prominent Palestinian activist and an outspoken advocate of the nonviolent boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, has been held in an Israeli military prison without charges. 
     On 22 September 2009 Othman, 34, was detained at the Allenby Crossing as he attempted to return home to the occupied West Bank from Jordan. He was returning from a trip to Norway, where he met with that country’s Finance Minister Kristin Halvorsen, amongst other officials. 
     At the beginning of September, Finance Minister Halvorsen announced Norway’s divestment from the Israeli company Elbit due to "ethical concerns." Elbit provides security systems for Israel’s separation wall in the West Bank, for illegal settlements as well as unmanned aerial vehicles (commonly known as drones) and other technology for the Israeli military. According to many Middle East analysts and human rights groups, Othman played a pivotal role in Norway’s decision to disassociate from Elbit.
     Norway’s severing of ties with Elbit is just one of the recent successes of the BDS campaign. The Africa-Israel Group, a company led by Israeli diamond mogul Lev Leviev, involved construction of illegal Israeli settlements, has recently plummeted in value as investors have pulled out. While Africa-Israel’s recent decline has been due in large part to the global economic downturn, the attention of BDS activists has made associating with the company and its chairman politically unpalatable. Amongst those who have distanced themselves from Africa-Israel is the United Kingdom’s government. In March, the UK cancelled plans to move its Tel Aviv embassy into a building owned by the company. more.. e-mail

Land First, Then Peace 
Turki al-Faisal, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs 11/10/2009
      2009 November
     Jeddah, Saudi Arabia—The United States and other Western powers have for some time been pushing Saudi Arabia to make more gestures toward Israel. More recently, the crown prince of Bahrain urged greater communication with Israel and joint steps from Arab states to revive the peace process.
     Saudi Arabia is the birthplace of Islam, the custodian of its two holy mosques, the world’s energy superpower and the de facto leader of the Arab and Muslim worlds—that is why our recognition is greatly prized by Israel. However, for all those same reasons, the kingdom holds itself to higher standards of justice and law. It must therefore refuse to engage Israel until it ends its illegal occupation of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights as well as Shabaa Farms in Lebanon. For Saudis to take steps toward diplomatic normalization before this land is returned to its rightful owners would undermine international law and turn a blind eye to immorality.
     Shortly after the Six-Day War in 1967, during which Israel occupied those territories as well as East Jerusalem and the Sinai Peninsula, the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution stating that, in order to form “a just and lasting peace in the Middle East,” Israel must withdraw from these newly occupied lands. The Fourth Geneva Convention similarly notes “the occupying power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.”
     Now, Israeli leaders hint that they are willing to return portions of these occupied territories to Arab control, but only if they are granted military and economic concessions first. For the Arabs to accept such a proposal would only encourage similar outrages in the future by rewarding military conquest. more.. e-mail


Electronic Intifada
Palestinian students at Israeli universities support academic boycott
Electronic Intifada: 11 Nov 2009 - We are Arab students at the Israeli universities writing to you in support of the proposed academic boycott of Israeli academic institutions. We believe that the boycott is timely and hopefully will help in upholding moral values of fairness, justice and equality which have been sorely missed in our region. 

Goldstone report met with muted enthusiasm in Gaza
Electronic Intifada: 11 Nov 2009 - Tareq Abu Daya, owner of a popular souvenir shop in the heart of Gaza City, has recently offered his customers a new kuffiyeh , or traditional checkered scarf, on which the name of Judge Richard Goldstone is inscribed. "When the famous UN report of Judge Richard Goldstone was first made public, I thought of something that would be in honor of such a significant report that accuses Israel of war crimes against Gaza during the last war," Abu Daya said. Rami Almeghari reports from the occupied Gaza Strip. 

Palestinians symbolically dismantle sections of the wall
Electronic Intifada: 11 Nov 2009 - Two decades after the fall of the Berlin wall, walls of separation still exist throughout the world. Israel's wall in the West Bank is much bigger than the Berlin wall ever was, as it encloses more than two million Palestinians inside the occupied West Bank. This wall separates Palestinians from their families, land, natural resources and communities. However, in a symbolic action documented in video and photographs, Palestinians managed to symbolically dismantle part of the wall. 

Activist confronts Netanyahu at Washington conference
Electronic Intifada: 10 Nov 2009 - At the Annual Conference of the United Jewish Federations in Washington, DC, during the plenary session by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, CODEPINK peace activist Midge Potts stood up with a banner that said "End the Siege of Gaza" and shouted "Stop the blockade of Gaza, Shame on you, Netanyahu." She was dragged out of the meeting by security guards. 

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
Which Way Obama?
11 Nov 2009 - By George S. Hishmeh – Washington DC Like most of his predecessors, Barack Obama has failed to come up with a logical approach to resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, now in its 62nd year. Many optimists on both sides of the great divide had believed that he would this month take his first, tough step towards bringing the two sides to agree on the outlines of a settlement. The American president had an opportunity to do that when he was scheduled to address last Tuesday an annual general assembly of 50 American Jewish groups. But apparently he was not prepared to do that and he must have been relieved that he can skip that much-awaited opportunity by participating in a memorial service for 12 American soldiers and a civilian massacred at a Texas army post by an American-born army psychiatrist of Arab origin and a Muslim. It was glaringly clear that Obama was not yet willing to plunge into the anticipated confrontation, certainly with Israel and the influential American Jewish community, which reportedly contributes 40 percent of the budget of the president’s political party. Surprisingly, he did not discuss the Middle East with the spokesmen of these Jewish groups whom he invited to the White House. This was the second meeting he had with American Jewish leaders since assuming the presidency earlier this year. Meanwhile, Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, was left wondering – – or sweating, as one Israeli paper reported – till the last moment before he knew...

How Israel Won the Settlement Battle, Again
10 Nov 2009 - By Ramzy Baroud When British Foreign Secretary David Miliband uttered a few words regarding the illegality of the Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, many wanted to believe that London was taking a sharp stance against Israel’s continued violations of international law. Alas, they were wrong. The fact is Miliband’s statement, made during a press conference that followed talks with Jordan’s King Abdullah II, in Amman, was merely tactical, aimed at lessening the negative impact of the feeble position adopted by Washington regarding the same issue. This is what Miliband had to say: "Settlements are illegal in our view and an obstacle to peace settlement in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The settlements challenge the heart of... a Palestinian state." But then, he added: "It's so important for all those who care about security and social justice in this region that discussions about borders and territory are restarted in a serious way, because if you can progress on border and territory, you can resolve the settlements issue." This is classic Miliband. While his clear and decisive statement regarding the illegality of the settlements and the fact that their construction is an obstacle is to be welcomed, one cannot decipher a politician’s statement in increments; to be truly appreciated, they must be understood as a whole. The danger lies in Miliband’s follow up statement, where he purposely changed the order of the proposed solution to the Middle East crisis to be "discussions about borders and territory are restarted in...

A Line In The Sand
10 Nov 2009 - By Uri Avnery Mahmoud Abbas is fed up. The day before yesterday he withdrew his candidacy for the coming presidential election in the Palestinian Authority. I understand him. He feels betrayed. And the traitor is Barack Obama. A year ago, when Obama was elected, he aroused high hopes in the Muslim world, among the Palestinian people as well as in the Israeli peace camp. At long last an American president who understood that he had to put an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, not only for the sake of the two peoples, but mainly for the US national interests. This conflict is largely responsible for the tidal waves of anti-American hatred that sweep the Muslim masses from ocean to ocean. Everybody believed that a new era had begun. Instead of the Clash of Civilizations, the Axis of Evil and all the other idiotic but fateful slogans of the Bush era, a new approach of understanding and reconciliation, mutual respect and practical solutions. Nobody expected Obama to exchange the unconditional pro-Israeli line for a one-sided pro-Palestinian attitude. But everybody thought that the US would henceforth adopt a more even-handed approach and push the two sides towards the Two-State Solution. And, no less important, that the continuous stream of hypocritical and sanctimonious blabbering would be displaced by a determined, vigorous, non-provocative but purposeful policy. As high as the hopes were then, so deep is the disappointment now. Nothing of all these has come about. Worse: the Obama administration has shown by its...

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