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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
13 November, 2009

News

International Middle East Media Center

No Independence Holiday for Gaza Schools
IMEMC 14 Nov 2009 - Friday November 13, 2009 - 22:13, The Palestinian Ministry of Education in Gaza stated Friday evening that Independence Day, Sunday November 15, will be an ordinary school day, but Gaza schools would designate the first two classes to the occasion.

Miles of Smiles Convoy Leaves Gaza
IMEMC 14 Nov 2009 - Friday November 13, 2009 - 19:42, Miles of Smiles Convoy left the Gaza Strip on Friday evening after spending 48 hours in the coastal region and delivering humanitarian supplies.

Three were injured at the Nil'in weekly protest
IMEMC 14 Nov 2009 - Friday November 13, 2009 - 16:51, Scores of villagers from Nil'in village, central West Bank, protested the Israeli wall on Friday. The military attacked the protest and injured three civilians.

Villagers near Bethlehem protest the Israeli wall
IMEMC 14 Nov 2009 - Friday November 13, 2009 - 16:33, The villagers of the Al-Ma'sara near Bethlehem, southern West Bank, along with their international and Israeli supporters protested the Israeli wall on Friday.

Scores suffered tear gas inhalation at the weekly Bil'in protest
IMEMC 14 Nov 2009 - Friday November 13, 2009 - 16:29, Scores of people suffered effects of tear gas inhalation on Friday among them Mohamed Baraka, an Arab member of the Israeli Parliament, during the weekly protest against the wall at the village of Bil'in central West Bank.

High Court examines Israel’s refusal to allow a 21 year old student to complete her BA in Bethlehem
IMEMC 14 Nov 2009 - Friday November 13, 2009 - 16:24, A hearing will be held in the Israeli High Court of Justice in the case of Berlanty Azzam, a student at Bethlehem University who was detained and forcibly removed to the Gaza Strip.

Ma'an News

Palestinian killed by Israeli fire in Gaza
11/13/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Israeli forces killed a young Palestinian man and injured three others in the southern Gaza Strip on Friday. Two brothers were hurt, medics said, adding that the Johr Ad-Dik-area shooting left another Palestinian hospitalized. An Israeli military spokeswoman confirmed that one Palestinian was killed during the incident, but would not comment on the hospitalized youth's condition. Three others were being questioned, she said. There were conflicting reports on what led to the incident, none of which could be independently confirmed. Palestinian witnesses said the group was on a hunting trip near the border east of Al-Bureij refugee camp when Israeli forces opened fire. Local medics said the fire was directed at the youths. Israeli media reported that troops entered the Johr Ad-Dik area for a short while, where they located a group of men near the Nahal Oz crossing. 

Medic among two hurt by live fire in Nil’in
11/14/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israeli forces used live fire on Palestinian demonstrators protesting Israel's separation barrier in the West Bank village of Nil'in on Friday, activists said and the military confirmed. Rumors had been circulating that the Israelis would respond more harshly than usual due to the activists' success in pulling down a section of the wall at the Qalandiya military checkpoint a week earlier. "These rumors were confirmed," said Ibraheem Amera, coordinator of the Nil'in popular committee. "A huge army of Israeli soldiers was awaiting [protesters] and immediately started [to] fire huge amounts of tear gas, rubber coated steel bullets and also live ammunition. " Amera said the popular committee had warned protesters to be extra cautious on Friday, because he believed a "decision was made by the Israeli military, because in Nil'in the wall has been taken down twice. . . " 

Reports of abuse, neglect in Israeli jails
11/13/2009 - Salfit - Ma'an - Israeli prison officials have kept a Palestinian inmate in an isolation cell for more than four months despite his ill health and complaints from fellow prisoners, the man's parents said. Thirty-two-year-old Mehraj Ibrahim from the Tulkarem Refugee Camp is serving his ninth year of a 15-year sentence in Israeli prison. He has been transfered from the Gelboa, Bafha, Negev, Maggido, Ashkelon and Beersheba prisons during his time in incarceration. His mother was permitted to see the man last week, and reported he was in serious condition. Ibrahim's hands and legs were cuffed when his mother saw him, and he reported that he had been held in an isolation cell with no contact from other inmates for at lest four months. She said her son looked ill, was limping on his right leg, shook violently and had a racking cough. 

NY Mets embroiled in settlement flap
11/13/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Controversy continued to grow in the US over a fundraiser scheduled for Saturday at the New York Mets' Citi Field stadium for the Brooklyn-based Israeli settlement group The Hebron Fund. Settlement supporters have called for letters praising the Mets for standing with the fund, while human rights groups issued a public appeal this week that resulted in hundreds of emails, letters and calls demanding the event's cancelation. "The New York Mets will be facilitating activities that directly violate international law and the [US President Barack] Obama administration's call for a freeze in settlement construction, and that actively promote racial discrimination and the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their homes in Hebron," read a letter sent by 11 human rights organizations to the US baseball team. 

Gaza crossings closed
11/13/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Continuing a trend, Gaza crossings are closed Friday, with no commercial or humanitarian goods passing into the besieged Strip, Gaza crossings officials said. Border official for the Palestinian side Raed Fattouh said Israeli forces informed his office early Friday morning that the crossings would be closed. Gaza crossings are scheduled to be open six days a week, but since the spring Israeli officials have kept the transport areas closed Fridays and Saturdays without explanation. [end] 

Halhoul: Attackers of local college dean sentenced to two years
11/13/2009 - Hebron - Ma'an - The Palestinian court of Halhoul headed by Judge Issa Jabbour sentenced four accused of attacking the dean of Al-Aroub college in Hebron to two years in prison after the men confessed to the attack, officials said. Chief of the Halhoul-area prosecution Ashraf Mash'al called for strict legal action against the four for what he called their "rude and aggressive" attack on Dean Basem Qumsiyyeh on 25 October 2009. Three of the four were detained by Palestinian police on 8 November in Hebron, at which time the media office of the Hebron police said it suspected a fourth attacker, from the northern West Bank governorates, was still at large. According to police all four confessed to having beaten the academic and were transferred to local prosecution. 

Israel: Teen tries to stab soldier in Jerusalem
11/13/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies -Jerusalem police detained a Palestinian youth for allegedly attempting to stab an Israeli soldier in the Old City on Friday. Israeli media said the 18-year-old youth pulled out the knife after a group of soldiers stopped him in the street and demanded he submit to a security check. According to the English-language Israeli news site Ynet, no injuries were reported. The teen continued to be held in Israeli custody. [end] 

Gaza armed wings mull over Ashkenazi threats
11/14/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - The armed wings of Hamas and Islamic Jihad speculated on the veracity of Israeli Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi's threat on Friday to renew operations inside the Gaza Strip. "I think this Israeli propaganda could be an prelude to waging a new attack on Gaza within the coming days," said Abu Ahmad, the spokesman of Islamic Jihad's armed wing. He suggested the recent upsurge in Israeli leaders' threats was attributable to the Goldstone report, interests in deflecting attention from settlements, or concerns that Palestinians may manage to sign a reconciliation agreement. " A new attack could serve as an exit for the occupation, what with all the crises it's facing. "Asked whether Jihad's armed wing moved weapons through Rafah's underground tunnels, he said, "I can't confirm or deny whether we smuggle rockets into Gaza. 

USAID funds Israeli military checkpoint upgrade
11/13/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Vehicles will soon be permitted to traverse Israel's northernmost military checkpoint separating the Jenin area from Palestinian communities in Nazareth and the agricultural zone to the north, an Israeli government news release said Wednesday. The change in status of the military checkpoint, according to the release, was due to an upgrade in the military facility funded by USAID. Israel spends three billion shekels per year on upgrading and maintaining its military infrastructure in the West Bank, including an expansive renovation of the Huwwara military checkpoint inside the West Bank, which was dismantled only months after it was installed. More permanent infrastructure was also installed at the Container checkpoint between Bethlehem and Ramallah, while renovations and adjustments were recorded at Israeli roadblocks across the West Bank. 

US consul announces scholarship recipients
11/13/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - US Consul General Daniel Rubinstein formally announced 21 Palestinian high school recipients of the "Abraham Lincoln Incentive Grants" during a visit to the Amideast office in Ramallah on Tuesday. The grants, meant to assist Palestinians applying to US colleges and universities, are part of the funding to support local students announced by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during her March visit to Ramallah. The US plans to award over 100 such grants during the next five years, the consulate said in a statement. While at Amideast, Rubinstein addressed students, including nine recipients from Gaza who were able to attend the ceremony in person. The students' parents were also in attendance or joined by digital videoconference from Gaza. Israel occasionally allows Palestinian students from Gaza to leave for the West Bank if accompanied by a foreign diplomatic mission during their visit. 

US: Israeli settlement offer not enough
11/13/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israel's offer to rein in some settlement building in the occupied West Bank is a step forward, but not in keeping with its obligations, a senior US State Department official said on Friday. Speaking at the Middle East Institute in Washington, Secretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns reiterated Barack Obama's insistence that the US does not "accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements. ""We consider the Israeli offer to restrain settlement activity to be a potentially important step, but it obviously falls short of the continuing Road Map obligation for a full settlement freeze," Burns added, according to the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz. His comments came a week after President Mahmoud Abbas announced he would not seek a second term in office, saying he made up his mind when it became clear the US would not alter its position in favor of Israel and the settlement enterprise. 

Hebron unveils bid for record-breaking dress
11/13/2009 - -click for more -Hebron - Ma'an - Hebron unveiled its bid for the latest Palestinian Guinness World Record entry on Friday, as part of the city's festival, A Dream Through A Thread. The title of World's Largest Embroidered Dress may be awarded to the giant creation of the event organizers, pending Guinness Book approval. Its unveiling was accompanied by a large cultural event where Palestinian poet Samih Al-Qassim recited to large crowds, as well as traditional dance and theater. Prime Minister Salam Fayyad opened the celebration, which he said was a tribute to Palestinian cultural production and values. He said the gown will serve as a link between Palestine's past, present and future, using cultural traditions in new and innovative ways. Governor of Hebron Hussein Al-Araj described that day as "one to remember" and dedicated the dress to the late Palestinian President Yasser Arafat. 

PA customs returns truck of expired chips to Israel
11/13/2009 - Hebron - Ma'an - The Palestinian Authority Customs department returned a truck loaded with potato chips to Israel Friday, saying the food inside did not conform to the standards set by the protection agency, officials said. Haitham Az-Zein, a public relations official in the customs department, said the truck that was loaded with nearly 35,000 small bags of chips. It was seized on the way to the Ramallah marketplace. Az-Zein said the packaging of the chips was sub-standard, and that the expiration date could be removed easily. The owner of the goods was fined and they were returned to Israel. [end] 

Ha'aretz Defense page

IDF Chief: Israel will fight in Gaza again if needed
Ha'aretz 14 Nov 2009 - Hamas tells Red Cross: Israel planning another war in Gaza'; Palestinian militant killed by IDF at border. 

IDF troops kill Palestinian militant at Gaza border
Ha'aretz 14 Nov 2009 - Gaza militants fire rocket into south Israel; Palestinian arrested over bid to stab cop near Temple Mount. 

Olmert: Groups using Goldstone Gaza report to attack us are 'hypocritical'
Ha'aretz 14 Nov 2009 - Former PM, who launched Gaza offensive condemned in UN report, says Israel must continue fighting terror. 

Brazil to buy $350 million worth of drones from Israel
Ha'aretz 14 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 14 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 14 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 14 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 14 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 14 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 14 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 14 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 14 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 14 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 14 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 14 Nov 2009 - After Israel releases ship found to be carrying tons of weapons apparently to Hezbollah, crew questioned in Beirut. 

Uruknet

[uruknet.info] Reports of abuse, neglect in Israeli jails
Uruknet November 13, 2009 - Israeli prison officials have kept a Palestinian inmate in an isolation cell for more than four months despite his ill health and complaints from fellow prisoners, the man's parents said. Thirty-two-year-old Mehraj Ibrahim from the Tulkarem Refugee Camp is serving his ninth year of a 15-year sentence in Israeli prison. He has been transfered from the...

[uruknet.info] Young Israeli women follow their consciences into prison
Uruknet November 13, 2009 - When most Israeli girls her age are planning how they will spend the time after their mandatory two-year stint in the armed forces, Emelia Markovitch, 19, is considering a spell in jail. The 19-year-old high school graduate has refused to serve in the Israel Defense Forces because she does not agree with the country's continued occupation...

[uruknet.info] Naalin: Protestors say IDF using live fire
Uruknet November 13, 2009 - Two Palestinians were injured Friday at the weekly anti-fence protest in the West Bank village of Naalin. The protestors claim Israeli security forces have reinstated the use of Ruger rifles, which have been deemed live fire by the military prosecution. The IDF confirmed the use of the rifles, which can be used to fire live ammunition...

[uruknet.info] Israel 'personally attacking human rights group' after Gaza war criticism
Uruknet November 13, 2009 - America's leading human rights organisation has accused Israel and its supporters of an "organised campaign" of false allegations and misinformation, including "extremely personal attacks" on its staff, in an attempt to discredit the group over its reports of war crimes in Gaza. Human Rights Watch (HRW) ties the campaign - which has included accusations that the...

[uruknet.info] High Court examines Israel's refusal to allow a 21 year old student to complete her BA in Bethlehem
Uruknet November 13, 2009 - A hearing will be held in the Israeli High Court of Justice in the case of Berlanty Azzam, a student at Bethlehem University who was detained and forcibly removed to the Gaza Strip. Berlanty was to complete her BA in Business Management in just two months. Israel admits that it has no security claims against Berlanty...

[uruknet.info] NOAM CHOMSKY ~~ DILETTANTE EXTRAORDINAIRE
Uruknet November 11, 2009 - At one time I was impressed every time Noam Chomsky spoke. Seeing his name on lists endorsing political actions was most encouraging.... but NOT seeing him participate in those actions sort of put a damper on the situation. In recent days he has been very vocal about the situation in Gaza. He speaks of International Solidarity...

[uruknet.info] Gaza Graduates Search for Vitamin W
Uruknet November 13, 2009 - "We fast a long time," says Gaza graduate Mona Ismail, 23. "Only to break our fast on a piece of onion." She is speaking not of Ramadan but of the whole year, and year after year. She graduated in 'academic excellence in English language' from the Islamic University in Gaza. A prestigious course, and her dream....

[uruknet.info] Video: Road restrictions for West Bank Palestinians
Uruknet November 13, 2009 - Roads in the occupied Palestinian Territories are vital arteries connecting West Bank towns and villages. But major routes have been closed off to tens of thousands of Palestinians, for the benefit of a handful of Israeli settlers. Now, in the first ruling of its kind, Israel's supreme court has ordered the army to open up a...

[uruknet.info] Jewish settlers destroy over 80 olive trees south of Nablus
Uruknet November 13, 2009 -- A number of Jewish settlers on Thursday attacked and destroyed olive trees belonging to Palestinian farmers in the village of Burin to the south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus. Local sources in the village said that settlers from the nearby Yitshar Jewish settlement cut down 81 olive trees in a stretch of land...

[uruknet.info] At least one, possibly two dead as Israeli forces fire on Gaza youth
Uruknet November 13, 2009 - One Palestinian is dead and two brothers injured along with one other now in Israeli custody, and a fifth admitted to an Israeli hospital following an apparent clash in the central Gaza Strip near Johr Ad-Dik south of Gaza City on Friday. Eyewitnesses said the group was on a hunting trip near the border east of...

[uruknet.info] Israeli army chief warns of operating in Gaza again if needed
Uruknet November 13, 2009 - If Palestinian Islamic Hamas movement continues its rocket attacks against Israel, Israeli army would operate in Gaza again as a response, Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi said on Friday. "If necessary, we will operate again in the Gaza Strip to stop the rocket fire," local daily Haaretz quoted Ashkenazi as saying when he...

Palestine Telegraph

Abbas resists US pressure for talks!
Palestine, November 12, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - The Palestinian president on Wednesday resisted US pressure for a resumption of peace talks with Israel, repeating his demand for a complete halt to West Bank settlement building before negotiations. Mahmoud Abbas also offered no...

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.

The National

Abbas may put off Palestinian elections
The National 14 Nov 2009 - Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Authority president, is today likely to announce the postponement, possibly indefinitely, of parliamentary and presidential elections.

Lebanon and Syria to discuss relations
The National 14 Nov 2009 - In an indication of warming bilateral ties, Syrian prime minister congratulates his Lebanese counterpart on unity cabinet.

Young Israeli women follow their consciences into prison
The National 14 Nov 2009 - Disillusioned by the government’s right-wing policies, some conscription-age females are choosing to go to jail rather than serve in the Israel Defense Forces.

Debate on Gaza report shows growing resolve to challenge pro-Israeli stance
The National 14 Nov 2009 - The US congressional debate on the Goldstone report highlights growing resolve to oppose the pro-Israeli lobby.

The legal legacy of a ‘hedonist’
The National 14 Nov 2009 - In an unprecedented case, the former prime minister Ehud Olmert faces trial for graft, while some of his ministers have been sentenced.

US ‘very concerned’ about Palestinian student deportation
The National 14 Nov 2009 - A female student's rough treatment by the Israeli military threatens to deepen a rift between the country and its US ally.

Aljazeera

France meets Syria over peace plan
AlJazeera 13 Nov 2009 - Sarkozy expected to persuade al-Assad to restart Middle East talks.

Israeli troops kill Palestinian
AlJazeera 13 Nov 2009 - Palestinian hunting birds killed near Gaza crossing by Israeli soldiers.

Palestinian poll delay recommended
AlJazeera 12 Nov 2009 - Electoral body informs Mahmoud Abbas about its inability to organise polls on January 24.

Settler defends West Bank murders
AlJazeera 12 Nov 2009 - Jewish-American says he has no regrets for attacking Palestinians and moderate Jews.

Alternative Information Center

Condemnation of Palestinian Security Services Raid on Ramattan News Agency in Gaza
Alternative Information Center 12 Nov 2009 - On Tuesday, 10 November 2009, Palestinian security services stormed the offices of Ramattan News Agency in Gaza and banned a press conference organized by the National Action Commission. The press conference had been organized to publicize...

Palestine News Network

Frozen efforts may still lead to reconciliation 
PNN 12 Nov 2009 - an interview with Mahmoud al-Ramahi BI: It seems Egyptian mediation efforts between Fateh and Hamas are stuck. Is that a correct reading of the situation?Ramahi: Let's say they are frozen. BI: What happened?Ramahi: The dialogue started at the beginning of this year, as you know. After eight months, Fateh and Hamas reached compromise on all outstanding issues. But in the final proposal...

Surgeon from UAE heals Gaza children deaf from Israeli bombings
PNN 12 Nov 2009 - Doctor from UAE performs string of operations on deaf children for free in Israeli-besieged Gaza. GAZA CITY - Wafa Sarhan was devastated to think her two sons would never hear her voice again after an Israeli strike on Gaza left them deaf.Then Dr. Hajeri showed up in the impoverished enclave.Bahaa and Qusei Sarhan, today six and five, lost their hearing in June...

High Court examines Israel's refusal to allow a 21 year old student to complete her BA in Bethlehem 
PNN 12 Nov 2009 - Today, Thursday, November 12, 2009, a hearing will be held in the Israeli High Court of Justice in the case of Berlanty Azzam, a student at Bethlehem University who was detained and forcibly removed to the Gaza Strip. Berlanty was to complete her BA in Business Management in just two months.Israel admits that it has no security claims against Berlanty and that...

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...

Fatah official: Palestinian elections likely to be delayed 
PNN 12 Nov 2009 - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is expected to accept a recommendation that he postpone elections scheduled for January, a senior official said on Thursday. The independent Central Election Commission, responsible for organizing elections on Thursday confirmed it had recommended postponing the vote, the head of the Central Elections Commission said. We met today and we decided to tell the president, who called these...

Jerusalem Post

Americans in Israel protest tax clause in Obama health care plan
Jeruslalem Post 13 Nov 2009 - Individual citizens who opt out of a health care plan may end up paying an annual tax of $750.

Palestinian Affairs: Is Mahmoud Abbas becoming chairman Arafat?
Jeruslalem Post 13 Nov 2009 - Abbas is only now understanding the value of adept political maneuvering and fiery anti-Israel rhetoric.

IDF uses 'tutu bullets' in Ni'ilin clash
Jeruslalem Post 13 Nov 2009 - 0.22 inch pellets similar to BB gun pellets seen as equivalent to live ammo; one border cop hurt.

'US, Israel, share ties, not a romance'
Jeruslalem Post 13 Nov 2009 - Expert: Monday's low-profile meeting simply an instance of "private diplomacy"; US releases 1 photo.

Assad in France: If Netanyahu is sincere, let's resume talks
Jeruslalem Post 13 Nov 2009 - Syrian president stresses Turkey has proven an experienced and capable mediator, tells Le Figaro US "weak link" in Mideast peace efforts. 

'Italy won't help Iran launch satellite'
Jeruslalem Post 13 Nov 2009 - Italy's Berlusconi pledges to ADL chief Foxman that his country supports efforts to stymie nuke program.

Kassam slams into Sdot Negev
Jeruslalem Post 13 Nov 2009 - 1 killed, 4 arrested in Gaza as IDF foils apparent bomb plot; Ashkenazi: Cast Lead goals fulfilled.

Sixth annual Saban Forum to be held in J'lem and Ramallah this week
Jeruslalem Post 13 Nov 2009 - 

Court orders army to hold hearing for Palestinian student expelled from West Bank to Gaza
Jeruslalem Post 13 Nov 2009 - State maintains 21-year-old Gaza woman was enrolled since 2005 at Bethlehem University after crossing into the city illegally.

IRIN

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.

In Brief: Egypt’s Copts facing persecution - report 
IRIN CAIRO Thursday, November 12, 2009 (IRIN) - A new report on religious freedom in Egypt says Coptic Christians, who make up about 10 percent of the 80 million population (CIA factbook), face major rights violations and are being increasingly persecuted.

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: Gaza Graduates Search for Vitamin W 
IPS THE HAGUE, Nov 12 (IPS) - "We fast a long time," says Gaza graduate Mona Ismail, 23. "Only to break our fast on a piece of onion."

Stop The Wall

Al-Ma’sara commemorates the fall of the Berlin Wall
Stop The Wall 13 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 13 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

PDF
PCHR During the reporting period, 6 Palestinian civilians were wounded by Israeli forces in the West Bank

(12-11-2009) Weekly Report: On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory
PCHR 

International Solidarity Movement

Naalin: Protestors say IDF using live fire
11/13/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Naalin: Protestors say IDF using live fire Ali Waked |YNet News 13 November 2009Two Palestinians were injured Friday at the weekly anti-fence protest in the West Bank village of Naalin. The protestors claim Israeli security forces have reinstated the use of Ruger rifles, which have been deemed live fire by the military prosecution. The IDF confirmed the use of the rifles, which can be used to fire live ammunition with relatively low force. Earlier this year B'tselem appealed to the military prosecution with a demand to ban the rifles. Judge Advocate General Avi Mandelblit said in his response to the appeal that "the guidelines for use of this ammunition are severe, and parallel to those for the use of live ammunition". In June a Palestinian was killed during an anti-fence protest in Naalin, assumedly from ammunition fired from a Ruger rifle. 

Bil’in demonstrates in solidarity with indicted MK Barakeh
11/13/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Bil'in Popular Committee - Directly after the Friday prayers, Bil'in citizens gathered in a large demonstration, in response to a call from the Poplar Committee Against the Wall. They were joined by international and Israeli activists, as well as a group of members and supporters of the Democratic Front for Peace and Equality (Hadash) and a delegation of members of the Palestinian People's Party. The protest was led by Mohammed Baraka – the front's general secretary and member of the Israeli Knesset. One international activist was injured and dozens suffered tear gas inhalation at the weekly demonstration in Bil'in. The demonstrators have raised dozens of Palestinian flags and pictures of the late martyr Abu Ammar, along with banners marking the fifth year of his martyrdom, emphasizing their loyalty to his soul. 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

Report: U.S. won't pressure Israel, PA to renew peace talks
Ha'aretz 14 Nov 2009 - The United States will not pressure Israel and the Palestinians to resume direct peace talks unless both sides are ready, senior U.S. officials were quoted as saying in a report published Saturday by London-based Arabic-language newspaper A-Sharq Al-Awsat. ...

U.S. rejects Ahmadinejad call to choose between Israel and Iran
Ha'aretz 14 Nov 2009 - The United States on Friday rejected a call by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for it to choose between supporting Israel or Iran. ...

The U.S. Jew whose Iran views rile Israel intelligence officials
Ha'aretz 13 Nov 2009 - WASHINGTON, D.C. - Hillary Mann Leverett and her partner and husband, Flynt Leverett, make the Iran desk staffers in the Israeli intelligence community see red. For the past two years the Leveretts, both of whom are former U.S. National Security Council and State Department officials, have preached relentlessly against using sanctions and threats against Iran. ... 

Four days late, U.S. releases photo of Netanyahu-Obama meet
Ha'aretz 14 Nov 2009 - The White House finally released on Friday a photograph of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's meeting Monday with U.S. President Barack Obama, after speculation that the lack of a photo opportunity was an intentional slight. ...

U.S.: Sept. 11 terror suspects heading to New York trial
Ha'aretz 14 Nov 2009 - Self-proclaimed Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other Guantanamo Bay detainees will be brought to trial in a civilian U.S. courthouse in New York, blocks from site of the devastating 2001 terror attacks. ...

The Guardian

Israel 'personally attacking human rights group' after Gaza war criticism
The Guardian 13 Nov 2009 - Human Rights Watch denies having political agenda or seeking funds from Saudi Arabia America's leading human rights organisation has accused Israel and its supporters of an "organised campaign" of false allegations and misinformation, including "extremely personal...

The community leadership we deserve | Antony Lerman
The Guardian 13 Nov 2009 - Jewish leaders too often lose their moral compass over Israel, but we ourselves are to blame if we do not hold them to account There was something both homely and understatedly heroic about the Guardian front...

Israel's dark view of the world | Charles Grant
The Guardian 13 Nov 2009 - Many Israelis see little need for a peace settlement but feel isolated in what they regard as an increasingly hostile world The official explained to Bibi Netanyahu that if there was a peace settlement, extra investment...

Letters: Distorted claims
The Guardian 12 Nov 2009 - Tom Porteous, London director of Human Rights Watch , says: "Bernstein's central argument is that HRW should focus only on 'closed' societies, such as China and not report on 'open' societies such as Israel" ( Letters , 30 October)....

Mahmoud Abbas puts off Palestinian elections after Hamas opposition
The Guardian 12 Nov 2009 - Prospects for restarting the stalled Middle East peace process hit new uncertainty today when the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, decided to postpone crucial elections due to have been held in late January. Officials said Abbas would...

Fragmenting Palestinian land | Ben White
The Guardian 12 Nov 2009 - A young student deported from the West Bank to Gaza is just the latest victim of Israeli efforts to sever ties between the territories Twenty-one-year-old Palestinian student Berlanty Azzam was seized by Israeli soldiers at a...

Obama fails to resuscitate the Middle East peace process
The Guardian 12 Nov 2009 - Obituaries for the hope generated by his election are being written in Arabic, Hebrew and English Barack Obama seems to have failed dismally in his first sustained attempt to show he is serious about making peace...

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...

Ha'aretz National page

Haaretz poll: 57% of Israelis support plan to talk to Hamas
Ha'aretz 13 Nov 2009 - In a few words, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner was able to encapsulate the political situation in Israel: "There is no more peace camp." New survey numbers appear to prove him right. ... 

Cool, calculated 'Jewish terrorist' shows no remorse in court 
Ha'aretz 13 Nov 2009 - Cool. Trained. Collects intelligence. Tries to cover his identity. Prepares escape routes. A professional who coolly squeezes the trigger. ... 

Comment / Jewish murder suspects prove Israel's Law of Return is obsolete
Ha'aretz 12 Nov 2009 - The eight murders allegedly carried out by Damian Karlik and Yaakov ...

Mazuz: If AG role is split, ministers will do 'whatever they want'
Ha'aretz 12 Nov 2009 - Attorney General Menachem Mazuz on Thursday lashed out again at Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman's proposal to split his role in two. ...

Haaretz's Yossi Melman, Zvi Bar'el win prestigious journalism award 
Ha'aretz 12 Nov 2009 - Two veteran Haaretz reporters, Yossi Melman and Zvi Bar'el, have been awarded the prestigious 2009 Sokolov Prize for Journalism, the prize committee announced on Thursday. ...

Relief Web

UNHCR Iraq Fact Sheet Sep 2009
Relief Web 13 Nov 2009 - Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees

Palestinian families at risk of being forced to leave homes
Relief Web 13 Nov 2009 - Source: Save the Children

Life on the edge: The struggle to survive and the impact of forced displacement in high risk areas of the Occupied Palestinian Territory
Relief Web 13 Nov 2009 - Source: Save the Children

Palestinian electoral body postpones January polls
Relief Web 13 Nov 2009 - Source: Agence France-Presse

Third Committee approves resolution aimed at 'combating defamation of religions', one of 16 draft texts recommended to General Assembly
Relief Web 12 Nov 2009 - Source: UN General Assembly

Second Committee approves text demanding that Israel stop exploiting, depleting, endangering natural resources in occupied Arab lands
Relief Web 12 Nov 2009 - Source: UN General Assembly

YNet News

Police prepare for Shabbat protest
YNet News 14 Nov 2009 - Hundreds of Jerusalem Police officers to take part in maintaining order on two fronts – Intel offices in Har Hotzvim, and Karta parking lot, as ultra-Orthodox community plans massive protest against work on Shabbat 

Peres attends Shabbat ceremony in Brazil
YNet News 13 Nov 2009 - President arrives in Rio de Janeiro to discuss economic cooperation between Israel, Brazil 

Assad: Syria wants peace talks
YNet News 13 Nov 2009 - Syrian president tells French counterpart in Paris that his country wants to resume peace talks with Israel through Turkish mediation, but feels there is no 'Israeli partner willing to move forward, achieve results' 

Naalin: Protestors say IDF using live fire
YNet News 13 Nov 2009 - Two anti-fence protestors injured in West Bank claim soldiers fired at them with banned Ruger rifles 

Palestinian killed by IDF fire; Hamas: He was bird hunting 
YNet News 13 Nov 2009 - Muhammad Wadi shot dead when soldiers open fire on group of youngsters suspected of trying to plant bomb near Gaza fence. Hamas claims they weren't terrorists 

Iran armed forces chief backs nuclear deal
YNet News 13 Nov 2009 - 'Exchange of fuel will prove bona fides of our peaceful nuclear activities,' General Firouzabadi says. Turkish energy minister says his country won't oppose to temporarily storing Iranian enriched uranium 

IDF chief on Goldstone Report: Terror should not be rewarded 
YNet News 13 Nov 2009 - During meeting with high school students Gabi Ashkenazi addresses Gaza offensive, UN report accusing Israel of war crimes. 'We're looking into Palestinian complaints as well, and are not always proud of results,' he says 

Syria urges firm US plan on Middle East peace 
YNet News 13 Nov 2009 - Assad tells Le Figaro, 'What Obama said about peace was a good thing, but what's the action plan?' On seized Iranian arms ship: Israeli act of piracy in the middle of the Mediterranean 

IDF: Number of recruits requesting combat service at record level
YNet News 13 Nov 2009 - Data show 73% of November 2009 recruits asked to serve in combat units; IDF attributes trend to success of Operation Cast Lead 

B'tselem

Ariel settlement wastewater pollutes Salfit
10 Nov 2009 - For years, the town of Salfit has suffered from wastewater channeled its way from Ariel. A video co-produced with "HaYarkon 70 News" portrays the problem, which exists in other places in the West Bank.

Daily Star

Israel hits back in super-sized salad war, fosters town ties
Daily Star 13 Nov 2009 Residents of the Israeli town of Shfaram were seeking Friday to make the world's largest tabbouleh salad, hoping to bring reconciliation after violent Christian-Druze clashes. "We are trying to get the Guinness record," said event organizer Ala Khuria as residents were busy chopping 700 kilograms of tomatoes and other ingredients that should make up a more-than 4-ton salad.

Jewish troops shoot Palestinian dead in Gaza confrontation
Daily Star 13 Nov 2009 Israeli soldiers shot and killed a Palestinian and wounded two others in a confrontation near a Gaza Strip border on Friday, the Israeli army and Palestinian medical workers said. A rocket fired from Gaza struck later in an open area near an Israeli town, causing no injury, the army said. There were no immediate claims of responsibility for that shooting.

Middle East radicals fill abyss created by impasse in peace talks
Daily Star 13 Nov 2009 Iran's closest allies in the Middle East are seizing on a deadlock in US-backed peace efforts to try to sway a frustrated Arab world to their side. Radicals have escalated their rhetoric as hopes for progress on an Israeli-Palestinian deal have faded. The leaders of Syria and the Shiite militant group Hizbullah endorsed violence against Israel and attacked President Barack Obama's Mideast approach in recent days.

Obama vows to strengthen engagement in Asia at start of first regional tour
Daily Star 13 Nov 2009 Barack Obama insisted on Friday that the United States was a "pacific" power and vowed to deepen its engagement in the region as he set foot in Asia for the first time as US president. "The United States will strengthen our alliances, build new partnerships and we will be part of multilateral efforts and regional institutions that advance regional security and prosperity," he said in Tokyo as he launched his four-nation tour.

Syria dismisses Israeli offer for peace talks as mere word games
Daily Star 13 Nov 2009 Syrian President Bashar Assad said on Friday that an Israeli call to renew peace talks was mere "word play" and the US should be doing more to resolve conflict in the Middle East. Assad was in Paris for talks with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and said ties with France had greatly improved in recent months, after a long period of frosty relations., Syrian President Bashar Assad said on Friday that an Israeli call to renew peace talks was mere "word play" and the US should be doing more to resolve conflict in the Middle East. Assad was in Paris for talks with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and said ties with France had greatly improved in recent months, after a long period of frosty relations.

IMF favors continued fall in interest rates in Lebanon
Daily Star 13 Nov 2009 The International Monetary Fund (IMF) again heaped praise on Lebanon for its ability to contain the negative effects of the global recession that hit many countries around the world, including some regional states. The fund has even projected a GDP growth of 7 percent this year, much higher than Western and Asian economies., The International Monetary Fund (IMF) again heaped praise on Lebanon for its ability to contain the negative effects of the global recession that hit many countries around the world, including some regional states. The fund has even projected a GDP growth of 7 percent this year, much higher than Western and Asian economies.

Electricity solution can build consensus
Daily Star 13 Nov 2009 Lebanon's new energy and water minister called Friday for "national consensus" to ensure that electricity and water are kept free of politics as officials struggle with the problems in these sectors. Jibran Bassil, who took up his duties at one of the country's most demanding ministries after ending a controversial tenure as telecommunications minister., Lebanon's new energy and water minister called Friday for "national consensus" to ensure that electricity and water are kept free of politics as officials struggle with the problems in these sectors. Jibran Bassil, who took up his duties at one of the country's most demanding ministries after ending a controversial tenure as telecommunications minister.

Live Lebanon calls for Diaspora donations
Daily Star 13 Nov 2009 Thursday evening marked a serendipitous occurrence when the famous Beirut city center landmark "The Egg," also known as the Old Dome, finally hatched the highly anticipated and promising "Live Lebanon" development project. Live Lebanon is a United Nations Development Program (UNDP) initiative, aimed at encouraging the vast Lebanese Diaspora to channel remittance payments., Thursday evening marked a serendipitous occurrence when the famous Beirut city center landmark "The Egg," also known as the Old Dome, finally hatched the highly anticipated and promising "Live Lebanon" development project. Live Lebanon is a United Nations Development Program (UNDP) initiative, aimed at encouraging the vast Lebanese Diaspora to channel remittance payments.

Palestinians need clarity, not charades
Daily Star 13 Nov 2009 Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has reverted to an old political trick by saying he will resign and not run for re-election when the next presidential elections are held in early 2010 - and then immediately arranging a series of staged "rallies" in which ordinary people appear to cheer him and demand that he remain in office.

Women lose out in Lebanon's liberal illusion
Daily Star 13 Nov 2009 Outside observers often express awe at the perceived emancipation women enjoy in "the Paris of the Middle East" - a triumph in the battle for women's rights, to be heeded by other states in this often misogynistic region. However, ask a Lebanese woman married to a foreign national, a female political studies graduate, or a woman who is being., Outside observers often express awe at the perceived emancipation women enjoy in "the Paris of the Middle East" - a triumph in the battle for women's rights, to be heeded by other states in this often misogynistic region. However, ask a Lebanese woman married to a foreign national, a female political studies graduate, or a woman who is being.

Palestinian Information Center

And, now, who will accept responsibility for the failure?
PIC 14 Nov 2009 - Finally, the Palestinian Authority (PA) has admitted, belatedly, of course, that 18 years of talks and negotiations with Israel have availed to nothing.

Khater: Hamas is keen on achieving national reconciliation
PIC 14 Nov 2009 - Sami Khater, member of Hamas’s political bureau, said on Thursday that his Movement was keen to end the Palestinian political rift..

Hamas: Arab leaders haven’t used pressure cards against the occupation
PIC 14 Nov 2009 - Hamas Movement said on Thursday that the Arab leaders have until now not used any of the strong cards they possess against the Israeli occupation, adding that they should go beyond promises.

Hamas lawmakers hope elections committee decision could enhance reconciliation
PIC 14 Nov 2009 - Palestinian lawmakers from Hamas Movement in the West Bank have described the decision of the Palestinian elections committee to postpone the legislative elections as “professional and responsible”.

Barhoum: Elections committee decision proves that Abbas’s edict was wrong
PIC 14 Nov 2009 - Fawzi Barhoum said on Friday that the declaration of the Palestinian elections committee of its inability to hold elections proves that Abbas’s edict was wrong..

Aqsa satellite TV cannel decries escalation against W. Bank correspondents
PIC 14 Nov 2009 - The Gaza-based Al-Aqsa satellite TV channel has strongly condemned the arrest of three of its correspondents in the West Bank at the hands of the Abbas’s militia.

Zionist security officials claim that Hamas has anti-aircraft missiles
PIC 14 Nov 2009 - The Hebrew newspaper, Yedioth Ahronoth, reported that Zionist security officials said that Hamas has managed, after the war on Gaza, to smuggle anti-aircraft missiles into the Gaza Strip.

Jewish settlers destroy over 80 olive trees south of Nablus
PIC 14 Nov 2009 - A number of Jewish settlers on Thursday attacked and destroyed olive trees belonging to Palestinian farmers in the village of Burin to the south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus.

IOF troops abduct 45 W.B. Palestinians, including 12 children since 5th November
PIC 14 Nov 2009 - The IOF has abducted, at dawn Friday, five Palestinian citizens from various West Bank localities, according to Israeli radio reports.

Picketers in Holland denounce visit of Lieberman, ask for his arrest
PIC 14 Nov 2009 - Tens of Palestinian supporters picketed the Dutch parliament to protest the visit of Avigdor Lieberman to the Netherlands, describing him as a "war criminal".

Los Angeles Times

Disagreement in Middle East over Iran's nuclear program 
LA Times 13 Nov 2009 - A TV debate in Qatar shows sharp divisions over whether Iran can be trusted not to build a nuclear bomb. Perhaps most surprising is the sympathy shown for Tehran. It's a sentiment bubbling just below the surface of a lively and charged televised debate over whether to trust Iran not to build a nuclear weapon. 

Authorities move to seize U.S. properties allegedly tied to Iran 
LA Times 13 Nov 2009 - Federal prosecutors seek the forfeiture of Islamic centers, mosques and other properties they accuse of funneling money to an Iranian bank involved in Tehran's nuclear program. Federal authorities Thursday moved to seize an array of U.S.-based properties, bank accounts and religious sites that they charged in court documents were funneling money to an Iranian bank involved in that country's suspected nuclear weapons program. 

Palestinian officials doubtful about elections 
LA Times 13 Nov 2009 - The Palestinian election commission says the presidential and parliamentary vote set for January may have to be postponed, especially with Hamas saying it won't allow voting in Gaza. Palestinian officials trying to organize a Jan. 24 election recommended Thursday that the vote be postponed, a move that could prolong uncertainty over Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' political future and the prospect for Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. 

Review: 'The Little Traitor' 
LA Times 13 Nov 2009 - A chance encounter in 1947 Palestine changes lives forever. "The Little Traitor," set in 1947 Palestine during the final throes of the British occupation before Israel became a nation, is a lyrical yet emotionally spare film about the unexpected casualties of war. 

New York Times

Israeli and French Leaders Meet
New York Times 12 Nov 2009 - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Nicolas Sarkozy issued a joint statement agreeing “to use all efforts” to restart the Middle East peace process.

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. 

Misc

Israel ’personally attacking human rights group’ after Gaza war criticism 
11/13/2009 - The Guardian - Human Rights Watch denies having political agenda or seeking funds from Saudi Arabia - America's leading human rights organisation has accused Israel and its supporters of an "organised campaign" of false allegations and misinformation, including "extremely personal attacks" on its staff, in an attempt to discredit the group over its reports of war crimes in Gaza. Human Rights Watch (HRW) ties the campaign – which has included accusations that the group's reports on the Jewish state are written by "anti-Israel ideologues" and that it has sought funds from Saudi Arabia – to a statement by a senior official in the Israeli prime minister's office in June pledging to "dedicate time and manpower to combating" human rights organisations. The criticism began with Israeli pressure groups and rightwing blogs, but in recent weeks it has drawn the support of influential individuals such as Elie Wiesel, 

IDF launches ’counter-Goldstone’ probe 
11/12/2009 - Jerusalem Post - The Military Police has launched a new criminal investigation into allegations that soldiers committed war crimes during Operation Cast Lead, The Jerusalem Post learned Wednesday, amid efforts by the IDF to complete a report to counter the accusations leveled at it by the Goldstone Commission. According to B'tselem, Military Police investigators contacted the human rights organization and asked it to coordinate a meeting with several Palestinians at the Erez crossing to question them regarding the deaths of two Palestinian men who were killed in their car near Dir el-Balah on January 15. B'tselem has a field worker, Mohammed Sabah, based in the Gaza Strip, whose job is to track down Palestinians who want to file complaints against Israel and bring them to the Erez crossing to give testimony. Since the end of Cast Lead, B'tselem has coordinated the testimonies of close to 30 Palestinians for the IDF's Military Police. -- Links: B'tselem: Military investigations of harm to civilians in Operation Cast Lead are insufficient

Expelled West Bank student petitions Israel court 
11/12/2009 - Antiwar.com - AP News - West Bank student blindfolded, expelled in handcuffs to Gaza, petitions Israel to return - A female Palestinian student who says she was handcuffed, blindfolded and hauled off to the Gaza Strip by the Israeli army in the middle of the night late last month asked Israel's supreme court Thursday to let her return to her studies in the West Bank. The incident highlights a deep fear among the thousands of Palestinians originally from Gaza who now live in the West Bank — sudden expulsion by the Israelis to the Hamas-ruled coastal strip. Berlanty Azzam, 21, was only two months away from finishing her business degree at Bethlehem University when she was stopped by Israeli soldiers at a checkpoint in the West Bank. After noticing her Gaza-issued identity card, soldiers detained Azzam and put her in the back of an army jeep. 

US ‘very concerned’ about Palestinian student deportation 
11/12/2009 - The National - TEL AVIV // Two weeks ago, Berlanty Azzam was blindfolded, handcuffed and driven from the West Bank to the Gaza Strip by Israeli soldiers who claimed the Palestinian university student was illegally residing in the occupied territory. Ms Azzam’s expulsion and rough treatment by the Israeli military have drawn wide international media attention and have threatened to deepen a rift between the country and its US ally, the Jersusalem consul general for which was quoted in Israeli newspapers as saying he was “very concerned” by the incident. Human rights activists say that the 22-year old senior at Bethlehem University has become a test case for the risk that some 25,000 Palestinians who live, work or study in the West Bank face in their possible removal from the area by Israel. Yesterday, Israel’s Supreme Court held the first hearing on a petition filed by the Israeli human rights group 

Young Israeli women follow their consciences into prison 
11/13/2009 - The National - TEL AVIV // When most Israeli girls her age are planning how they will spend the time after their mandatory two-year stint in the armed forces, Emelia Markovitch, 19, is considering a spell in jail. The 19-year-old high school graduate has refused to serve in the Israel Defense Forces because she does not agree with the country’s continued occupation of Palestinian lands. But that decision will land her in prison. “I am afraid. I don’t know what will happen there,” she said. Ms Markovitch said she felt being jailed for her moral convictions was an “insult”. However, she is not alone. In October, 88 youngsters – some still enrolled in school, some recent graduates – sent a letter to Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister, Ehud Barak, the defence minister, and the IDF’s chief of staff, Gaby Ashkenazi, stating their refusal to serve in the armed forces. 

Ilan Pappe silenced in Munich 
11/12/2009 - YNetNews - Left-wing groups enraged by Germany municipality's decision not to allow anti-Zionist Israeli historian to speak at governmental institution. Pappe writes to Munich mayor his policy reminiscent of Nazi Germany - Anti-Zionist historian Prof. Ilan Pappe, one of the most important "New Historians", was scheduled to speak last weekend at the Pedagogical Institute of Munich. But a letter received from the "Israeli-German association of Munich", claiming that Pappe's lecture would turn into "an anti-Israeli propaganda show," led the Munich Municipality to reconsider the event. The municipality eventually did not let Pappe use the room, claiming its decision was prompted by fears of violent clashes breaking out in the area. The Munich police insisted that there was no danger of fear for the security of those attending the lecture. 

Naalin: Protestors say IDF using live fire 
11/13/2009 - YNetNews - Two anti-fence protestors injured in West Bank claim soldiers fired at them with banned Ruger rifles - Two Palestinians were injured Friday at the weekly anti-fence protest in the West Bank village of Naalin. The protestors claim Israeli security forces have reinstated the use of Ruger rifles, which have been deemed live fire by the military prosecution. The IDF confirmed the use of the rifles, which can be used to fire live ammunition with relatively low force. Earlier this year B'tselem appealed to the military prosecution with a demand to ban the rifles. Judge Advocate General Avi Mandelblit said in his response to the appeal that "the guidelines for use of this ammunition are severe, and parallel to those for the use of live ammunition". In June a Palestinian was killed during an anti-fence protest in Naalin, assumedly from ammunition fired from a Ruger rifle. 

PCHR Condemns Raid on Ramattan News Agency in Gaza, and Expresses Deep Concerns over Measures Taken by the Gaza Government to Prevent Commemoration of Late President Yasser Arafat’s Death
11/12/2009 - Palestinian Centre for Human Rights - On Tuesday, 10 November 2009, Palestinian security services stormed the offices of Ramattan News Agency in Gaza and banned a press conference organized by the National Action Commission. The press conference had been organized to publicize the cancellation of an event commemorating President Arafat’s anniversary. The Gaza government claimed that the event was unlicensed. This measure was taken in the context of a series of measures taken by the Gaza Government to prevent the commemoration of the fifth anniversary of the death of late President Yasser Arafat on 11 November. The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) expresses deep concerns over such measures, and stresses that the right to freedom of opinion and expression and the right to peaceful assembly are basic human rights that are ensured by the Palestinian Basic Law and international human rights instruments. 

Visiting surgeon heals Gazan children deafened by war 
11/12/2009 - Telegraph - Wafa Sarhan was devastated that her two sons would never hear her voice again after an Israeli strike on Gaza robbed them of their hearing. Then Dr Hajeri showed up in the impoverished enclave. Bahaa and Qusei Sarhan, today six and five years old, lost their hearing in June 2004 when an Israeli drone fired missiles at a group of militants near their home in the northern town of Jabaliya. " Bahaa was wounded again by shrapnel during the last war [in December and January] because there was shelling and he couldn't hear us yelling at him to come inside," she says. Since the boys lost their hearing, Wafa Sarhan and her husband have been trying to get them treated outside the coastal strip, which Israel and Egypt have kept under a tight blockade since the Islamist Hamas movement seized power in June 2007. They heard of a procedure under which a device dubbed an electronic "snail" is inserted in the ear, enabling a person to regain his hearing. 

Goldstone to Haaretz: U.S. does not have to protect Israel blindly 
11/13/2009 - Ha'aretz - Judge Richard Goldstone told Haaretz Thursday that President Shimon Peres' remarks criticizing him were "specious and ill-befitting the head of State of Israel. " Peres was quoted Wednesday as calling Goldstone "a small man, devoid of any sense of justice, a technocrat with no real understanding of jurisprudence," who was "on a one-sided mission to hurt Israel. " In Thursday's interview by e-mail with Haaretz, Goldstone said: "I am content to be judged by my actions over the course of my career both in terms of my professional judicial career and my voluntary service. " Goldstone also said he had anticipated that the report would engender considerable criticism. "After all, no one likes to be accused of committing serious war crimes. However, I was surprised at the many nasty attacks made against me personally. In my view, it was a classic case of attacking the messenger rather than addressing the message. " 

Hamas Tells Red Cross: Israel Planning Another War In Gaza 
11/13/2009 - Political Theatrics - Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyyeh has warned that Israel is planning another offensive on the Gaza Strip, Iran’s Press TV reported on Friday. According to Haniyyeh, it is Israel and not Hamas that is intent on keeping the conflict going between the two sides. Hamas is “not looking for more violence,” Haniyyeh told a group of Red Cross delegates visiting the Gaza Strip earlier this week. The Hamas leader, who was elected to head the movement’s cabinet and took over leadership of Gaza in 2007, told the delegates that he hoped his prediction of war would not come into fruition. Haniyyeh said that should such an offensive occur, Hamas would be prepared to retaliate. “Our people will not surrender; they will fight back,” Prime Minister Haniyyeh’s office said, in a statement. He also said he hoped that “the world will stop Israel from killing more children,” according to the Iranian network. 

'Peace Talks with Israel Hindered by Obama Inaction'
11/13/2009 - Political Theatrics - French President Nicolas Sarkozy will deliver a message from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Syrian leader Bashar Assad during the latter’s visit to Paris on Friday, relaying Israel’s desires to renew “peace negotiations” immediately without preconditions. The French newspaper La Figaro on Friday quoted Assad as saying that U. S. President Barack Obama represented a weak point in the efforts to renew negotiations. “The American godfather needs to draw up a plan of action and take his own initiative, not wait for others,” said the Syrian President. According to the pan-Arab satellite television station Al Arabiya, “Netanyahu has expressed willingness to withdraw from the Golan to the borders of June 4, 1967”. Netanyahu also reportedly stressed that he is interested in a meeting with Assad, without preconditions. 

Israeli Foreign Ministry Drops Peace As Goal 
11/13/2009 - Political Theatrics - Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has set priorities for his ministry that apparently are at odds with those of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. While Netanyahu is trying to convince U. S. President Barack Obama that he is sincere about advancing the peace process on the principle of two states for two peoples, the Israeli foreign ministry’s written goals don’t even mention the word “Palestinians. ” Israeli Foreign Ministry director general Yossi Gal recently distributed a document detailing the ministry’s goals for 2010 to Israeli embassies around the world. The goals are significantly different than those the ministry espoused during previous foreign minister Tzipi Livni’s term, especially regarding the peace process. Netanyahu’s Bar-Ilan University speech, outlining his vision for the Middle East and his agreement to establishing a Palestinian state, is hardly reflected at all in the document. 

Impatient with U.S. efforts, France makes Mideast push 
11/11/2009 - McClatchey Newspapers - Christian Science Monitor - PARIS — Europeans, and the French in particular, strong backers of Washington's efforts to broker a Mideast deal, are starting to register frustration with the White House's handling of Israel-Palestinian relations. Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas is threatening to quit in January, and efforts toward Israeli-Palestinian peace are completely stalled. Now the Europeans are searching for ways to push both Americans and Israelis to solve what they see as a deteriorating situation in the West Bank and Gaza, with the French leading the way. Despite French President Nicolas Sarkozy's close ties to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was in Paris Wednesday, Sarkozy told the Israeli leader that progress on peace with the Palestinians remains a priority, diplomats said. Europeans don't have a strong hand, diplomats here said. 

Disillusioned with Europe, Turkey Looks East 
11/12/2009 - Der Spiegel - As European opposition to EU membership for Turkey grows, Ankara is looking to forge closer ties to its neighbors. Turkey wants to once again become a leading power in the Middle East -- but its relationship with Israel may suffer as a result. He was the last heir to the throne of the Ottoman Empire, a major power that controlled large parts of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East for centuries. But Prince Osman Ertugrul Osmanoglu was a prince without a country, and he was stateless for much of his life. When Turkish officers proclaimed the republic in 1924, they expelled Osmanoglu and his entire family. It wasn't until 2004 that the exiled prince was granted Turkish citizenship. The prince died in Istanbul on Sept. 23, at the age of 97, and the republic that had once banished him became reconciled with Osmanoglu. 


Articles

Abu Mazen Throws in the Towel 
Yacov Ben Efrat, Challenge 11/13/2009
      Sixteen years after signing the Oslo Accords, the Palestinians have concluded that there isn’t any point in continuing the peace process with Israel. That is the only way to understand the declaration by Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) that he won’t run in the next elections for the presidency of the Palestinian Authority (PA). I shall argue that he should have pulled out years ago, but better late than never. The Israeli side refuses to believe him, seeing the announcement as a public relations stunt. Just two months ago his Prime Minister, Salam Fayyad, announced his plan "for establishing a Palestinian state within two years," and here comes the boss and shuffles the cards. The Palestinians went astray, it seems, in their attempt to rescue something from the peace process, given a right-wing government that has arisen in Israel and contradictory signals from Washington.
     Abu Mazen’s resignation would be a big blast of no confidence where the peace process is concerned, but more than that, it expresses major disappointment with Barack Obama. Washington is largely responsible for the severe erosion in Abu Mazen’s position with the Palestinian public. It all began with Obama’s very promising speech in Cairo, where he committed himself to act for a Palestinian state with territorial continuity. On the heels of that speech he made a clear demand that Netanyahu stop construction in the settlements. Since then everything has been downhill, to the point where the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, praised Netanyahu for his "unprecedented concessions regarding the settlements."
     Clinton’s statement was the last straw. It came amid a series of humiliations suffered by Abu Mazen, who had expected the Americans to stand by their call for a freeze. Because of the initial US position, Abu Mazen went out on a limb, conditioning the renewal of negotiations on a freeze. However, when the UN General Assembly convened in September, Obama made him sit together with Netanyahu at a three-cornered meeting. Apart from a weak handshake, it produced nothing. more.. e-mail

The Disastrous Presidency of Mahmoud Abbas 
Rannie Amiri, CounterPunch 11/13/2009
      Is It Really Over?
     After five long years, and at great expense to a state hoped-to-be-called Palestine, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has finally realized that subservience to the United States and Israel pays little in dividends. Indeed, what he has done to the cause of Palestine, the unity of its people, and the advancement of their rights has been nothing short of unmitigated disaster.
     Last week, Abbas said he would not seek re-election in polls scheduled for January 2010. His resignation however, was quickly rejected by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), and as of today, no one has announced their intent to run in his place.
     In truth, many consider the move a tactic to exert additional pressure on the Obama administration, especially after Abbas’ demand for an Israeli settlement freeze prior to talks went largely ignored.
     It came, after all, on the heels of Secretary of State Clinton’s meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu, in which she rewarded Abbas for his years of servility with the following humiliating statement:
     “What the Prime Minister has offered in specifics of restraint on the policy of settlements ... is unprecedented.”
     Nevertheless, a host of regional leaders publicly urged him to stay on as president (the list of which is quite telling): Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Jordanian King Abdullah II, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, and President Shimon Peres (who referred to him as “my old friend”). As quoted by the Ynet news website, an Israeli state official candidly stated, “It’s an Israeli interest to have Abbas stay in office.” more.. e-mail

From the River to the Sea 
Gilad Atzmon, Dissident Voice 11/13/2009
      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 home coming’. The call to stop Israeli construction in the West Bank is there to leave us with the false impression that the robbery of Palestine started in 1967. The facts are known to many of us, but not to all. The vast majority of Palestinians were expelled from their towns, villages, fields and orchards in 1948.
     What seems as an American peace initiative putting pressure on Israel to halt its expansion into the West Bank is in fact an agenda that is promoted by Zionists within the US Administration who realise like the late Sharon, that the only chance for the Jewish state to survive the next decade, is to shrink into a little Jewish shtetle (ghetto). The Two state solution is indeed the last effort to keep Zionism alive.
     Netanyahu is far from being stupid. He understands it all. He knows that his Zionist Revisionist father’s dream of ‘greater Eretz Yisrael’ is unattainable.
     Haaretz reported that the Israeli PM admitted in Washington that he was committed to ‘two states living side by side’. However, he stressed that the “the right of Palestinian refugees to return to the homes from which they were expelled, would not be on the table.” Seemingly, an Israeli hawkish PM is voluntarily confronting the Israeli original sin namely the expulsion of the vast majority of the Palestinians people. However, the fact that he insists that it won’t be ‘on the table’ can only mean that it is on the table already. “They”, continues Netanyahu, “must abandon the fantasy of flooding Israel with refugees, give up irredentist claims to the Negev and Galilee, and declare unequivocally that the conflict is finally over”.
     Clearly, Netanyahu expresses here a wish that is shared by most if not all Israelis. They all dream to open their eyes in the morning just to find out that all Goyim, Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims just left the region.
     I am here to advise Netanyahu and every Israeli who is willing to listen that this is not going to happen. As much as being flooded by ‘refugee’ Palestinians is a deep Israeli nightmare, it is far from being a Palestinian fantasy. It is actually a reality waiting to happen. Israel has lost its opportunity to reconcile with its neighbours. It failed to settle its conflict with the indigenous people of the land. The fate of Israel will be determined by ‘facts on the ground’ namely demography. In terms of reconciliation, Israel has past the no return Zone. Its fate is doomed. One Palestine from the river to the sea is not any more a matter of ‘if’ but rather a question of ‘when’.
     Unlike most Israelis who dismiss the Palestinian cause, Netanyahu admitted today that Palestinians were indeed expelled. For the first time Palestinians’ “irredentist claims” are being addressed by an Israeli PM. And yet, Netanyahu should stop deluding himself and his people. It is not just the Negev and Galilee. It is actually every piece of land between the river and the sea: Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa, Be’er Sheva and every village, orchard, field, river and tree in between. The only question that is left open is how long will it take for the Shekel to drop? How long will it take before Israelis grasp that they dwell on stolen land? How long will it take before the Israelis realise that the battle is lost? How long will it take for the Israelis to internalise the obvious fact that they have once again managed to get on the wrong side of their Neighbours. more.. e-mail


Electronic Intifada
A glimmer of hope
Electronic Intifada: 12 Nov 2009 - While the Obama Administration proved twice recently that it intends to continue to consider Israel above the law, there is a glimmer of hope that the people of Gaza will see justice. The massacre brought about sweeping change, across the world, in perceptions of Israel. Citizen-led mobilizations in the past few months have showed that where governments have failed, ordinary citizens can, perhaps, make a difference. Ziyaad Lunat and Max Ajl comment for The Electronic Intifada. 

Report: The economic toll on Gaza after Israel's attacks
Electronic Intifada: 12 Nov 2009 - The Israeli military offensive against the Gaza Strip last winter was the most violent and deadly offensive by Israel since the second intifada began. A new report by The Alternative Information Center looks at the economic costs of Israel's attacks and ongoing siege on the Gaza population. 

In Gaza
waiting for justice
12 Nov 2009 - Fourteen people cram into two connected tents covered with plastic sheeting to combat the winter rains.  Although November and the beginning of cooler days, the heat inside the tents is choking.  In time, the opposite will be true: the tent’s thin walls and floors without mattresses will render it unbearably cold in the coming cold months. Until the Israeli massacre of Gaza last winter, Arafia al Attar and her husband Saleh Abu Leila lived in a two-storey home  in Gaza’s northwestern Attatra region.  A farming family originally from Gaza, they have now joined the 1948 and 1967 Palestine refugees, themselves becoming refugees in their own Strip. Over 21,000 houses were...

Palestine Chronicle
Lebanese Students Advise Obama How to Get it Right
13 Nov 2009 - By Franklin Lamb- Beirut If those in Lebanon watching the news on 11/12/09 blinked they might have missed an interesting news item. It appeared at approximately 4:20 pm on Narharnet.com, the pro-US/Saudi news website. The news item read "4:16 pm, American Ambassador Michele Sison (sp) departed Lebanon for her country." Ten minutes later the item disappeared and, as it turned out, the ten minutes was exactly how long it took for the US Embassy security and press office to inform Beirut media outlets that "the American Ambassadors movements are to be reported at least one hour after they occur not one minute." The hasty departure of Ambassador Michele Sisson, according to the US Foreign Relations Committee office, may have been because the Obama administration is preparing for a 'deep review' of its 9 months effort in Lebanon and the region, debriefing key officials arriving from the area to participate. Ambassador Sisson will likely give the White House an ear full, including a report of what the Embassy Press Office referred to as the spectacle this week of former US friends and assets in the March 14 majority coalition warmly and very publicly embracing at various events marking the end of the 5 month effort to create a government here of those "Iranian surrogates" in Hezbollah. The Ambassador may also report to the White House that Hezbollah in now the most popular and respected political party in Lebanon and the main pillar of the new government and that it is about...

Fort Hood Tragedy Sparks Islamophobic Response
13 Nov 2009 - By Steve Lendman - Chicago A personal note. This writer was stationed at Fort Hood in summer 1956, a quiet time, post-Korea and pre-Vietnam, when terrorism and Islamophbia weren't issues, and shooting only happened on firing ranges to learn and improve marksmanship. On November 5, The New Times headlined, "Mass Shooting at Fort Hood, saying: "the Army confirms that the gunman (thought to be killed) was Army Major Malik Nadal Hasan. Reports said 12 were dead (raised to 13, including one civilian) and 31 others wounded from an incident at the base Readiness Processing Center where troops prepare for deployment. Two other soldiers were detained as suspects. Another was believed at large. The shooting began about 1:30PM after which Fort Hood was locked down." CNN reported over 100 rounds fired. Some military retirees were skeptical, calling it bogus. An unidentified Army captain said it's impossible for a non-combatant like Hasan to fire that much with two pistols without being subdued. He'd have had to reload giving someone a chance to do it. Others said the same thing. Sergeant Donald Buswell called the official story illegitimate saying a room full of combat veterans wouldn't let one shooter do this kind of damage. "Multiple shooters is the only plausible scenario. This sounds like Major Hasan has been used, and perhaps is a patsy." Vietnam veteran Michael Gaddy said the Army's version doesn't compute. "People on the ground have told me cell phone towers were jammed to prevent unauthorized dissemination of information after...

Israel's Role in the Destabilization of Pakistan
12 Nov 2009 - By Jeff Gates When waging war 'by way of deception,' the motto of the Israeli Mossad, well-timed crises play a critical agenda-setting role by displacing facts with what a target population can be deceived to believe. Thus the force-multiplier effect when staged crises are reinforced with pre-staged intelligence. In combination, the two often prove persuasive. That duplicity was on display when U.S. lawmakers were induced to invade Iraq in response to the mass murder of 9-11. That crisis alone, however, was insufficient. Military mobilization required a “consensus” belief in Iraqi WMD, Iraqi ties to Al Qaeda, Iraqi mobile biological weapons, Iraqi meetings in Prague, and so forth. Though all were false, those “facts” proved sufficient to induce an invasion of Iraq. Such agent provocateur operations typically include collateral incidents as pre-staging for the intended main event. Ongoing incidents suggest a follow-on operation is underway. Recent history suggests we’ll see an orgy of evidence that plausibly indicts a pre-staged Evil Doer. Though Iran is an obvious candidate, Pakistan is also a possibility where outside forces have been destabilizing this nuclear Islamic nation with a series of violent incidents. Will it be coincidence if the next war—like the last—is consistent with the expansive goals of Jewish nationalists? The Indo-Israel Alliance December 2007 saw the murder of former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. Mark Siegel, her Ashkenazim biographer and lobbyist, assured U.S. diplomats that her return was “the only possible way that we could guarantee stability and keep the presidency of Musharraf intact.”...

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