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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
17 November, 2009

News

International Middle East Media Center

Two Homes Demolished In Jerusalem
IMEMC 17 Nov 2009 - Wednesday November 18, 2009 - 01:12, The Israeli Authorities demolished on Tuesday two Palestinians homes in Beit Hanin and in Wadi kadum, in East Jerusalem.

U.S Asks Israel To Halt Construction In Gilo Settlement
IMEMC 17 Nov 2009 - Wednesday November 18, 2009 - 00:48, Israeli sources reported Tuesday that the United States demanded Israel to halt the construction in Gilo settlement, built on Palestinian lands in between Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

Israeli setters attack international human rights workers in southern West Bank
IMEMC 17 Nov 2009 - Tuesday November 17, 2009 - 16:21, A group of five Israeli settlers attacked on Tuesday two international volunteers at the village of Towani in the southern west Bank.

Israeli tanks and bulldozers invade borders areas near Gaza City
IMEMC 17 Nov 2009 - Tuesday November 17, 2009 - 15:57, A number of Israeli tanks and bulldozers invaded on Tuesday midday boarder area near Gaza City.

The Israeli military kidnaps five civilians from the West Bank
IMEMC 17 Nov 2009 - Tuesday November 17, 2009 - 15:52, Five Palestinian civilians were kidnapped on Tuesday by Israeli troops during military invasions targeting a number of West Bank communities.

EU: It Is “premature” To Recognize A Palestinian State
IMEMC 17 Nov 2009 - Tuesday November 17, 2009 - 09:49, The European Union's Swedish presidency said Tuesday that it was 'premature' to recognize a Palestinian state, Reuters news agency reported.

Ma'an News

Jerusalem: Israel demolishes home, okays 900 settlement units
11/18/2009 - Jerusalem - Ma'an - Israeli bulldozers demolished a four-story house in Jerusalem as reports in the Israeli media announced the approval of construction of 900 new settlement homes in the Israeli Gilo settlement on Tuesday. Neighbors of Nasry Nassar Al-Husseini said his home, a four-story, multi-family structure in a neighborhood south of the Old City of Jerusalem, was destroyed by Israeli bulldozers as the family looked on. The structure was home to 30 Palestinians. The demolition is part of what Palestinians call an ongoing campaign of Judaizing Jerusalem, including the eviction of Palestinians from their homes, the destruction of Palestinian homes and the continued construction of settlements. According to the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz, the plan involves the construction of 900 four- and five-bedroom housing units, "in an effort to lure relatively well-off residents. 

Israeli army arrests Palestinian woman for refusing to strip
11/17/2009 - Hebron - Ma'an - A woman who refused to remove her clothes in front of Israeli soldiers at a checkpoint in Hebron was detained and taken to an Israeli prison facility Tuesday afternoon, local sources said. Umm Wisam Dovch approached the Martyrs street checkpoint in central Hebron, and was asked to remove layers of her clothing so soldiers could search her person after she passed through metal detectors at the military post. When the middle-age woman refused to remove her clothing she was struck several times by one of the soldiers and forced into a military vehicle. The woman was at the checkpoint on her way home to Tel Ar-Rumeda, south west of the Old City. The street is closed to Palestinian vehicles and residents must pass two Israeli checkpoints and several trailers settler families whenever they leave or return to their homes. 

Gas crisis reaches Gaza’s hospitals
11/17/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - The domestic gas crisis has taken root in hospitals following the prohibition of its entry for over a month as Israel moves fuel transfer infrastructure from the Nahal Oz terminal to the Kerem Shalom crossing. The movement of infrastructure will see Nahal Oz shut down for unknown reasons. Following Israel's announcement that it intended to close the crossing, the Palestinian Authority said it would investigate the matter and ensure adequate fuel was transferred into the Strip despite the disruptions. Kerem Shalom is not equipped to transfer fuel. Media spokesman for the Association of oil companies' owners in Gaza Muhammad Al-Abadla confirmed on Monday afternoon that the gas crisis reached the hospitals of Gaza. The fuel source is used in part to boil water for the sterilization of hospital equipment, for heating some wards as well as powering stoves in the kitchens of the facilities. 

Report: Israeli soldiers beat Palestinians, rob internationals
11/17/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Five Israeli settlers beat a Palestinian family and robbed two internationals accompanying them through the South Hebron Hills on their way home, members of the Christian Peacemaker Teams said in a statement Tuesday. A young couple and their three small children walking from Yatta to their home village of Tuba at 11am reportedly came across the CPT members, who warned them of earlier reported attacks by settlers in the area, a statement said. The CPT members accompanied the family on the longer path to their home. "As the group crossed Mashakha Hill, they saw four settler men on a ridge 50 meters above them. The settlers ran toward the Palestinians and began to circle them. A fifth settler, masked and hooded, appeared from the valley below. When the Palestinian man told them he was only trying to walk home, a settler shoved him," the CPT statement said. 

Gaza police: Israeli bulldozers enter Az-Zaitoun
11/17/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Several Israeli bulldozers and machinery infiltrated the Az-Zaitoun neighborhood in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, Gaza police reported. In a telephone interview, a de facto police officer in Gaza said six bulldozers and four tanks entered the area and damaged lands near the border area. Witnesses in the area reported that the Israeli machinery was en route to the Juhr Ad-Dik area east of Al-Bureij Refugee Camp amid gunfire. [end] 

Released prisoner: life ’terrible’ in prison
11/17/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Released prisoner Younes Hussein described the "terrible" state of Israeli prisons and the harsh conditions endured by Palestinian. Younes Hussein, 43, spoke candidly in an interview with Ma'an of the severe living conditions, cases of torture and the arbitrary actions employed by the Israeli prison administration. Hussein remarked that he had been transferred to various prisons during his 22-year sentence on charges of affiliation with Fatah and carrying out attacks against Israeli troops, and further alluded to medical negligence he and other prisoners endured during their detention: "I am now suffering terrible problems in my eyes because 4 years ago, prison doctors said that I should have surgery but the prison administration refused. "  The former prisoner further discussed the case of detainee Nafeth Ahmad Hezer who suffers from a stomach related illness but who has yet to undergo treatment, he said. 

Gaza gov’t: Israel to deport detainee
11/17/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Israeli forces intend to deport detainee Hamad Musallam Musa Abu Omra to an unspecified country, according to The Ministry of Prisoners' Affairs of the de facto government in Gaza on Tuesday. Rayed Al-Ashqar, director of the information services of the Gaza government said in a statement that Abu Omra, from Der Al-Balah in Gaza, was detained in 2003 whilst traveling on a ship from Lebanon to Palestine, was accused of smuggling military equipment into Gaza and sentenced to six years in prison. Abu Omra was released in February upon completion of his sentence, the statement added, but was detained by Israeli intelligence during his return to Gaza through the Erez crossing. He was then transferred to Ramon prison and was informed of his impending deportation. Al-Ashqar said the decision was reported to the International Red Cross. 

Azzun village put under curfew by Israeli forces
11/17/2009 - Qalqiliya - Ma'an - Palestinian workers, farmers, students and teachers were prevented from leaving Azzun village south of Qalqiliya Tuesday morning, as Israeli forces imposed a curfew on the area and locked down roads to and from the area. The teachers and students from Beit Amen village more than an hour late to their schools,disrupting classes across the village. Dozens of day laborers missed bids for work, meaning a days wages gone, and farmers were delayed in harvesting crops. Secretary of the Azzun village council Muhammad Ayyoub said Tuesday was not the first time Israeli forces had imposed an arbitrary curfew on the village. "These procedures are continuous," he said. 

Israeli forces beat Halhoul man
11/17/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israeli soldiers pulled a Palestinian man from his car near Hebron on Tuesday and beat him causing moderate injuries, the victim reported. Abdul Rahman Khalil Al-Abed said he was beaten by Israeli soldiers who stopped his car as he drove home to the village of Halhoul, north of Hebron on Tuesday afternoon. Al-Abed said he was ordered out of his car, beaten then told to proceed home. He drove directly to the Alia hospital where medics confirmed moderate injuries including large bruises and possible internal bleeding. [end] 

Viva Palestina convoy to depart London 5 December
11/17/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The Viva Palestina project will launch a third convoy of aid trucks from London to Gaza on the first weekend of December, the group announced Monday. "Viva Palestina - Return to Gaza 2009" will see more than 100 vehicles carrying medical, humanitarian and educational supplies, head for the Gaza Strip via Egypt and the Rafah crossing. Previous convoys in February and July 2009 brought medical and school supplies. According to a statement, the convoy aims to cross the Rafah border into Gaza on 27 December, the first anniversary of the start of Israel's Operation Cast Lead. The first day of the Israeli war on Gaza saw more than 200, mostly graduating police officers, killed in a series of airstrikes that continued through the night. The convoy, which includes several fully-equipped used ambulances, will be delivered to NGOs working in Gaza. 

Tunnel smuggling on the increase in Gaza
11/17/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Smuggling into Gaza from Egypt has increased despite the destruction of tunnels during Operation Cast Led last winter, Israeli media reported on Tuesday. Between 350 and 500 tunnels are currently being used to smuggle goods into the Gaza Strip, in spite of Israel's claim that the military destroyed about 300 tunnels during its offensive last winter, According to the Israeli daily The Jerusalem Post. The article published on the newspaper's website further added that Israel has reiterated on many occasions that tunnel industry could be dismantled by Egypt within 24 hours but "it doesn't want to - in part because the trade is an integral part of the economy in Sinai," according to the Jerusalem Post. Egypt's hesitancy to shut down the smuggling industry also results from a fear of anti-government demonstrations in Cairo, the articleadded. 

Fight erupted at Al-Quds University, causing damage to campus building
11/17/2009 - Jerusalem - Ma'an - A brawl erupted last Friday between hundreds of Palestinians from Abu Deis and others from the nearby As-Sawahira village, causing damage to buildings of Al-Quds University in Abu Deis. The university's administration told Ma'an that opponents from both villages kept pelted stones and Molotov Cocktails at each other near the Abu Deis campus until midnight, causing damage to several buildings. The glass façade of the Sa'id Khouri Center for Information Technology was smashed as well as the gate of the Mathematics Museum (the first of its kind in the Arab world), according to university administration. Furthermore, lights in the streets near campus were also smashed, as well as the western fence of the university. 

Israel opens two Gaza crossings
11/17/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Israeli authorities opened the Kerem Shalom and Nahal Oz crossings in Gaza on Tuesday, while Karni remained closed. Palestinian crossing points coordinator, Raed Fattuh, said:"Between 88-99 truckloads ofhumanitarian aid and commercial merchandise are expected to be allowed into Gaza through Kerem Shalom including, 20 truckloads carrying 600 calves for the Muslim Eid Al-Adha. Fattouh highlighted that the Karni crossing will remain closed. Israel opened the Kerem Shalom and Karni crossings on Monday to allow trucks of aid, merchandise, wheat, and animal feed. [end] 

PCHR condemns detention of Hamas supporters in the West Bank
11/17/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Palestinian Authority forces arrested13 Hamas members in the West Bank over the last two days, a statement from Hamas said on Tuesday, the same day a report from the Palestinian Center for Human rights released a report condemning the arrest of Hamas members in the West Bank. "According to investigations conducted by PCHR, in the past two weeks, Palestinian security services conducted a number of political arrests in Tulkarem and Salfit targeting activists and supporters of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas)," the report said. The records of the center said those detained include university students, professionals and two journalists, only one of whom was released following the detention. According to the PCHR report, "a number of detainees have remained in the custody of the General Intelligence Service (GIS) and the Preventive Security Service (PSS). 

Ban Ki-Moon: Israel must stop blockade of Gaza
11/17/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called for Israel to end the blockade of Gaza, cease evictions and demolitions of Palestinian homes and ensure the rights of children, adding that all allegations of torture and ill-treatment must be promptly investigated and perpetrators prosecuted, in his annual report released on Monday. "In particular, the Government of Israel should allow unimpeded access to Gaza for humanitarian aid and the non-humanitarian goods needed for the reconstruction of properties and infrastructure," Mr Ban asserted in his report delivered to the UN General Assembly. "Israel should also address effectively and immediately the water, sanitation and environmental crisis in Gaza," he stressed, citing the devastating damage stemming from Israel's military action against Hamas last winter and its blockade of many materials other. . . 

US envoy demands halt to settlement growth in E. Jerusalem
11/17/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - US Special Envoy George Mitchell called on Israel to stop construction in the Israeli settlement of Gilo, in east Jerusalem, according to Israeli media on Tuesday. The demand was made during a meeting on Monday between George Mitchell and Yitzhak Molcho, an Israeli official with the country's envoy to Washington, concerning plans to build a new residential complex in Gilo that are currently awaiting authorization from Jerusalem municipality officials, according to the Israeli daily Ynet. The article further reported that Molcho refused Mitchell's request which elicited a response from the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Bureau stating that, "the neighborhood of Gilo is an integral part of Jerusalem, just as the neighborhoods Ramat Eshkol, Rehavia, French Hill and Pisgat Zeev are part of the united city, and there is no difference between construction. . . 

Al-Maliki meets with EU representatives
11/17/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - The Minister of Foreign Affairs Riyad Al-Maliki called on EU representatives on Monday to improve efforts to compel Israel to commit to its duty as defined by the Road Map. During a meeting in Ramallah on Monday at the ministry headquarters with EU state members and Al-Maliki, the minister expressed his surprise at the EU's decision to sign an industrial agreement with Israel, pointing out that no efforts have been made apply pressure on Israel to abide by the terms set out in the Road Map. Al-Maliki added that, as a result, Israel feels no obligation towards the Palestinians who continue to endure attacks and harassment, he said. Al-Maliki further met with EU representative Christian Burger to discuss the latest on Palestinian-EU relations. Al-Maliki delivered an explanatory presentation to the EU representatives, elucidating on the state of political affairs. . . 

Abbas in Cairo: PA committed to seeking UN recognition
11/17/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - President Abbas confirmed on Tuesday the unilateral decision to seek UN recognition of a Palestinian state in accordance with the recent Arab Peace Initiative committee's support, during a news conference with Egyptian President Hosni Mobarak. Abbas confirmed the Palestinian Authority's commitment to appealing to the UN Security Council for a resolution recognizing a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders, with Arab support. The PA completely rejects former Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz's plan to establish a state on temporary borders, Abbas said, and further criticized Hamas' approval of the temporary borders plan. On the issue of unity Abbas stressed his party's dedication the Egyptian-sponsored reconciliation agreement and blamed Hamas for its failure thus far citing their failure to sign the conciliation document. 

Erekat: It’s time to recognize a Palestinian state
11/17/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - "This is the right time" to seek Security Council recognition of a Palestinian state, Chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat said in response to comments made by EU officials calling the move "premature. " Earlier Tuesday Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency, told reporters in Brussels ahead of a Foreign Ministers meeting that he "would hope that we would be in a position to recognize a Palestinian state but there has to be one first, so I think it is somewhat premature. "Erekat responded almost immediately through an interview with Agence France Presse (AFP) from Cairo, saying "it is time to recognize a Palestinian state on the borders of 4 June 1967 with Jerusalem as its capital. "  Arguing the case, Erekat argued that the EU recognized the State of Kosovo before other official channels supported its claim for independence. 

Gazans stranded after visa mix-up to be flown to Mecca for Hajj
11/17/2009 - Mecca - Ma'an - 198 Palestinian pilgrims from Gaza currently stranded at the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Cairo will be flown to Mecca for the Hajj pilgrimage following intensive negotiations between Palestinian and Saudi officials. Four small aircraft will carry the Gaza residents from Al-Arish in Egypt to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, where they will be granted visas to enter the pilgrimage sites for the Hajj journey, Palestinian Consul General to Saudi Arabia Dr Imad Sha't confirmed Tuesday. The Palestinian Embassy to Saudi Arabia credited coordination with the local government with the success of securing passage to Mecca for the stranded worshipers. Sha't said the 198 were stranded because of a mix-up in the number of visas Palestinian Authority and de facto government officials thought they had to hand out, versus the number allotted to them by Saudi officials. 

Cooperation between Fatah and Hamas behind successful Hajj
11/17/2009 - Mecca - Ma'an - A seven-member committee of Hamas, Fatah and non-partisan officials collaborated on the joint mission of ensuring Palestinians in Gaza could realize their duty to perform the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca in 2009, after the infighting left worshippers stranded in 2008. Thousands in Gaza feared being prevented from the pilgrimage again, since Saudi Arabia gives a set number of permits to each country and the Palestinian Authority is charged with distributing the quota among its citizens. Sheikh Ali Al-Ghafri, director of the orientation service of the Palestinian Hajj mission, was the non-partisan member of the joint commission, and explained how the Hamas-Fatah cooperation worked. The committee members were appointed by Fatah and Hamas after Sheikh Al-Ghafri agreed to sit on the committee. Heading the West Bank subsection was Sheikh Abd As-Salam Al-Qitati, while Sheikh. . . 

Palestinian universities announce 'caveat strike'
11/17/2009 - Hebron - Ma'an - The Palestinian Universities' Syndicate Union announced a "caveat strike" starting Tuesday 17 November, followed by protests starting Monday 23 November, if their demands are not met, in addition to the application of the presedential decree concerning the Law of General Retirement. The council appealed for President Mahmoud Abbas and caretaker Prime Minister Salam Fayyad to intervene in solving this dilemma in order to preserve the academic process. The council noted in a "warning statement" that, "After all the useless calls, speeches and dialogues delivered to officials, the council had to meet on Sunday 1 November to discuss the disregarded state and announce strike in universities. "  

Haniyeh: Gaza is part of homeland
11/17/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - De facto Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said on Tuesday that the Gaza Strip "is part of the bigger Palestinian homeland, and not an independent entity," during a meeting held with a delegation of Egyptian businessmen in in Gaza CityHaniyeh welcomed his Egyptian guests and applauded their efforts to help the Palestinian people face challenges. He asserted that his government provided all the required assistance for companies to invest in the Gaza Strip, adding that the government does not intervene or impede the private sector's activities. "We need support from all our brothers because the Gaza Strip humanly, morally, and politically relies on our Arab brothers in Egypt," Haniyeh said. Haniyeh also noted that he "hopes Egyptian efforts will achieve reconciliation. " The Gaza government's Minister of Economy Ziad Thatha attended the meeting. . . 

PA: 42 security officers to be prosecuted for abuse of power
11/17/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - Forty-two security officers were referred to military tribunals by the Palestinian Military Intelligence, while three have been discharged for misconduct toward civilians, the caretaker government's Ministry of Interior released in a statement on Tuesday. The statement noted that 80 complaints against security officers were received by the Ministry in September, adding that all were examined and pursued by the Military Intelligence Service before several were referred to military tribunals. "The Ministry of the Interior is determined to bring to an end all breaches committed by security officers taking advantage of their positions," said Palestinian Minister of the Interior Sa'id Abu Ali. "As part of the government's endeavors to build state institutions, we will follow up with any complaint against security officers who breach law and don't stick to the ethics of their duty. 

Bahar: PLC will continue to function until elections
11/17/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - The Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) will continue to function until the next elections since its legitimacy is guaranteed by the amended Palestinian Basic Law, said deputy PLC Speaker Ahmad Bahar on Tuesday. Bahar added in a news conference held at the PLC headquarters in Gaza City that, "The PLO Central Council's attempts to practice "˜piracy' against PLC jurisdiction violates the Palestinian national agreement document which maintained that all articles of the amended Basic Law should be respected. "  The plan to referPLC jurisdiction to the PLO's central council in January 2010 is aimed at depriving the current PLC of its legal jurisdiction and at extending President Abbas' term without any legal or constitutional basis, Bahar said, noting that "This plan is doomed to failure. " Bahar further called on the Arab League, as well as Arab and Islamic. . . 

Hebron police arrest 50 alleged law-breakers
11/17/2009 - Hebron - Ma'an - Palestinian police in Hebron arrested 50 person charged with misdemeanor on Monday, southern West Bank. The police media office explained in a statement that those currently held in custody were either accused of refusal to pay debts owed to Palestinians, or for writing false checks without provision. The media office further clarified that an additional 45 cases were referred to the general prosecution, ensuing legal procedures against the defendants. [end] 

Al-Matalla village appeals to Fayyad for an English teacher
11/17/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The citizens of Al-Matalla village east of Jenin appealed the Prime Minister Dr Salam Fayyad and Minister if Education Lamis Al-Alami to furnish their school with an English teacher. The appeal, made Tuesday, marked the 20th day the village school was without an English teacher. The 300-student secondary school, part of the Palestinian Authority school system, offers daily instruction in Arabic grammar as well as English lessons, in conjunction with the standard maths and science courses. [end] 

London Christmas concert to highlight 'plight of the Holy Land'
11/17/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The Voices of Bethlehem '09 Christmas concert in London will host a handful of literary celebrities in what hopes to be an event to raise awareness the "plight of the Holy Land," organizers said. The event, where a full choir and brass band, with members of the Adhoc Humanitarians Orchestra, will perform Christmas and seasonal works, as Samira Hassassian, former lecturer at Bethlehem University gives audience members background on the occupation on the Holy Land. Also addressing concert goers will be British author Deborah Moggach, who recently took part in the Palestine Literature Festival, whose debut readings in Jerusalem were shut down by armed Israeli soldiers. Moggach will be joined by British playwright Caryl Churchill, whose short play "Seven Jewish Children - A Play for Gaza," released during the last days of Israel's war on Gaza, was distributed. . . 

Ha'aretz Defense page

Panel suggests scrapping bereaved parents' consent for combat service
Ha'aretz 17 Nov 2009 - Subject arose following the death of Capt. Asaf Ramon in an IAF F-16 crash two months ago. 

Netanyahu: Israel is world's 'most threatened country'
Ha'aretz 17 Nov 2009 - PM notes faster economic growth needed to finance increasing burden of state's defense needs. 

IDF refusal will bring about Israel's collapse, warns Netanyahu
Ha'aretz 17 Nov 2009 - Some 15 lawmakers sign on to proposal to curb army mandate; two soldiers jailed for pro-settler sign at base. 

Netanyahu: Israel is Iran's first target, but not its last
Ha'aretz 17 Nov 2009 - During navy tour, PM warns of Iran threat and visits boat that raided 'Hezbollah arms ship.' 

IDF troops hang sign at base: We won't evacuate settlers
Ha'aretz 17 Nov 2009 - Move comes month after soldiers from same brigade waved pro-settler banners during graduation ceremony. 

Lieberman: PA playing ugly 'double game' with Israel
Ha'aretz 17 Nov 2009 - FM accuses PA of pressuring Israel to crush Hamas, then submitting complaints to international court. 

Turkey and Israel hold joint drill, in apparent ease of tensions
Ha'aretz 17 Nov 2009 - Jordan also takes part in rescue exercise; Turkish daily 

Netanyahu: If Palestinians act unilaterally, so will Israel
Ha'aretz 17 Nov 2009 - PM tells Saban Forum there is no substitute for talks, appeals to Palestinians to negotiate at once. 

Report: Missing Iran general abducted by Mossad, being held in Israel
Ha'aretz 17 Nov 2009 - Iranian website: Ali-Reza Asgari taken to Israel to get information about Iran nuclear program, Ron Arad. 

Iran MP: We could produce our own missile defense system
Ha'aretz 17 Nov 2009 - Lawmaker says Iran will soon be able to produce system if Russia does not deliver S-300 air defense missiles. 

IDF Chief Rabbi: Troops who show mercy to enemy will be 'damned'
Ha'aretz 17 Nov 2009 - Brig. Gen. Rontzki also tells yeshiva students that religious individuals made better combat troops. 

IDF chief: Army open to looking into Goldstone claims
Ha'aretz 17 Nov 2009 - Ashkenazi says Israel must explain the war's justice as it is possible we will be forced to act again in Gaza. 

ANALYSIS / Next round of Gaza hostilities will be more intense
Ha'aretz 17 Nov 2009 - To halt rocket fire, IDF will have to combine massive firepower with deployment of ground forces. 

Hamas: Israel fabricating pretext for new Gaza war
Ha'aretz 17 Nov 2009 - Spokesman says IDF report of Hamas test-firing rocket is intended to cover up 'previous crimes' in Gaza. 

IDF Chief: Israel will fight in Gaza again if needed
Ha'aretz 17 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 17 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 17 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 17 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 17 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 17 Nov 2009 - U.S. raises issue of arms shipments to Security Council; UN: Both sides violating UN Resolution 1701. 

Uruknet

[uruknet.info] Arab Teens Need "Protecting from Israeli Justice" Judge Warns of Israel's Two-tier Legal System
Uruknet November 17, 2009 - An Israeli judge made an historic ruling last week when he decided that an Arab teenager needed "protection" from the justice system and ordered that he not be convicted despite being found guilty of throwing stones at a police car during a protest against Israel's attack last winter on Gaza. Prosecutors had demanded that the juvenile,...

[uruknet.info] Will Palestine Be Declared A State? Crossing the Rubicon
Uruknet November 17, 2009 - ... However, no matter how cautious and meticulous the PA will be in seeking UN endorsement of a Palestinian state, it seems that the mission will be an arduous uphill battle. Indeed, in the absence of massive international backing, including vigorous and meaningful Arab and Muslim support, the goal of enlisting Western, especially American backing for the...

[uruknet.info] A Festival to Remember
Uruknet November 17, 2009 - Campaigners kicked off a film festival on Tuesday, with a series of films that will charter the Palestinian experiences, at the month long event that will ultimately conclude in December. The Palestinian Film Festival, which is being organised by the Manchester Metropolitan University, is promising to highlight the plight of the Palestinian people, by showing a...

[uruknet.info] Bargouthi dismisses 'ridiculous' threats
Uruknet November 17, 2009 - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's threat to take unilateral action against Palestinians were they to declare statehood is "ridiculous," according to Mustafa Barghouthi, the secretary-general of the Palestinian National Initiative. "There aren't any Palestinian territories left to threaten - they're all occupied," Barghouthi said in a statement on Monday...

[uruknet.info] OCHA warns of displacing hundreds of Palestinians in O. Jerusalem
Uruknet November 17, 2009 - The UN office for the coordination of humanitarian affairs (OCHA) warned that hundreds of Palestinians in occupied Jerusalem are threatened with displacement because of Israeli intentions to demolish their homes at the pretext of unlicensed construction. A report issued by OCHA revealed that the Israeli municipal council in the holy city issued 17 demolition orders against...

[uruknet.info] Video - Dispatches: Inside Britain's Israel Lobby
Uruknet November 17, 2009 - Dispatches investigates one of the most powerful and influential political lobbies in Britain, which is working in support of the interests of the State of Israel. Despite wielding great influence among the highest realms of British politics and media, little is known about the individuals and groups which collectively are known as the pro-Israel lobby. Political...

[uruknet.info] Iran Sentences 5 To Death Over Post-Election Protests
Uruknet November 17, 2009- Iran has sentenced five defendants to death in a mass trial of opposition figures accused of fomenting the unrest that followed the disputed June presidential election, state television reported Tuesday. The five apparently include three death sentences announced last month. None of the five have been identified by Iranian authorities. Iran began the mass trial in August...

[uruknet.info] Report unveils the use of Palestinian detainees for Israeli medical texting 
Uruknet November 17, 2009 - A Palestinian report unveiled that Israel exploited Palestinian prisoners as laboratory samples to test new drugs - produced in the laboratories of the Israeli Ministry of Health. Several years ago a number of medical organizations as well as health and humanitarian institutions warned of the abuse of Palestinian prisoners through the conduct of such tests on...

[uruknet.info] Exposing Britain's pro-Israel lobby: Channel 4 TV makes a bold start
Uruknet November 17, 2009 - Last night Channel 4's 'Dispatches' programme set out to investigate the pro-Israel lobby in Britain, and to boldly go where no TV team had gone before. On the Dispatches website we were told that the lobby "aims to shape the debate about Britain's relationship with Israel and future foreign policies relating to it". So the programme...

[uruknet.info] Palestinians to Arab states: You can stop Jerusalem light rail
Uruknet November 17, 2008 - The chairman of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' office, Dr. Rafiq Husseini, on Monday urges all Arab countries to cancel their business ties with two French companies - Veolia and Alstom - involved in the construction of a Jerusalem-based light railway which passes through the West Bank. Husseini spoke in a press conference organized by the BNC...

[uruknet.info] Israeli army arrests Palestinian woman for refusing to strip
Uruknet November 17, 2009 - A woman who refused to remove her clothes in front of Israeli soldiers at a checkpoint in Hebron was detained and taken to an Israeli prison facility Tuesday afternoon, local sources said. Umm Wisam Dovch approached the Martyrs street checkpoint in central Hebron, and was asked to remove layers of her clothing so soldiers could search...

[uruknet.info] Britain must de-Zionise Itself Immediately
Uruknet November 17, 2009 - On Monday the British TV broadcaster, Channel 4 screened Inside Britain's Israel Lobby, a devastating expose of the Jewish lobby in the UK*. 'We couldn't find a conspiracy' affirmed Peter Oborne the Daily Mail's political commentator behind the film. He was right. After running the show for so many years, the Jewish lobby's purchasing of British...

Palestine Telegraph

Report: 32 Children Killed in Gaza Tunnels in Past Year
Gaza, November 17, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - A new report has found that thirty two children have died in the last two years in smuggling tunnels between the Gaza Strip and Egypt.

Israel Threatens to Annex More Palestinian Land
Israel, November 17, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - Israel has threatened to annex more land in the occupied West Bank, should Palestinians declare statehood without concluding a peace agreement.

Tunnel Trade wins Noor Award for best short doc!
Gaza, November 16, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - We have just learned that Tunnel Trade, the film I co-directed with my friend and colleague Saeed Farouky of Tourist with a Typewriter Ltd, in 2007, has won a Noor Award for Outstanding Short Documentary...

Israel Rejects Palestinian Call For Statehood
Israel, November 16, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - Israel has rejected a move by the Palestinians to gain international recognition for an independent state, saying negotiations are the solution.

Palestinians Seek UN Help For State
West Bank, November 15, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - The Palestinians plan to take their quest for independence to the U.N. Security Council, aiming to secure international support for a state, Palestinian officials said Sunday.

The National

Ahmadinejad claims Tehran metro
The National 17 Nov 2009 - Tehran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's move to control the capital's metro system is seen as a personal grudge against political opponents.

Syria has easy answers, but ducks the hard questions
The National 17 Nov 2009 - Emile Hokayem, Political Editor: A once-shunned Bashar al Assad has returned to the international fold after a series of foreign policy coups.

The legal legacy of a ‘hedonist’
The National 17 Nov 2009 - In an unprecedented case, the former prime minister Ehud Olmert faces trial for graft, while some of his ministers have been sentenced.

Aljazeera

Israel moves to expand settlement
AlJazeera 17 Nov 2009 - US "dismayed" and Palestinians outraged over approval for 900 new homes in East Jerusalem.

Iran protesters sentenced to death
AlJazeera 17 Nov 2009 - More than 80 others get jail terms of up to 15 years for roles in post-election unrest.

Iran dismisses nuclear concerns
AlJazeera 17 Nov 2009 - UN agency report on enrichment site proves nuclear programme is peaceful, envoy says.

EU rejects Palestinian state plan
AlJazeera 17 Nov 2009 - Bloc says move to call for recognition of independent state at the UN is premature.

Alternative Information Center

The Jerusalem Light Railway Project: Effects and Legal Implications
Alternative Information Center 16 Nov 2009 - Construction on the Jerusalem Light Railway (JLR) began in 2006 with the pretext of, “bringing immediate relief to traffic congestion” and “revitalizing the center of Jerusalem”. The project, slated for completion in 2010, is a public-private...

Israel Must End Gaza Blockade, Evictions, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon: Alleged Abuse of Palestinian Children
Alternative Information Center 16 Nov 2009 - Israel should end the blockade of Gaza, cease evictions and demolitions of Palestinian homes, and ensure that the rights of children are respected and that all allegations of torture and ill-treatment are promptly investigated and perpetrators...

Palestine News Network

Hamas criticizes PA attempt to seek UN recognition of statehood 
PNN 16 Nov 2009 - Gaza City - Hamas rejected Monday a Palestinian suggestion to seek UN Security Council support for unilaterally declaring a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Such a declaration would have no meaning and was merely an attempt by the rival Palestinian camp of President Mahmoud Abbas to pretend it had an alternative to faltering peace negotiations, other than armed...

Israel could annex more of West Bank: minister
PNN 16 Nov 2009 - JERUSALEM (Reuters) - An Israeli cabinet minister said on Monday Israel could annex more of the West Bank if Palestinians declared statehood without concluding a peace agreement. If the Palestinians take such a unilateral line, Israel should also consider ... passing a law to annex some of the settlements, Environment Minister Gilad Erdan, a close ally of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, told Israel...

Palestinians warned over UN move 
PNN 16 Nov 2009 - Binyamin Netanyahu, Israel's prime minister, has warned the Palestinian leadership against any attempts to unilaterally declare statehood for the Gaza Strip, the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. West Bank-based Palestinian officials said on Sunday that they were preparing to ask the United Nations Security Council to declare their backing for the Palestinian quest for an independent state. In a radio address...

Jerusalem Post

'Tal Law failed to encourage enlistment'
Jeruslalem Post 17 Nov 2009 - Fmr. Supreme Court justice Tzvi Tal says he thought law in his name would make more haredim join IDF.

UN lists vulnerable Palestinian villages
Jeruslalem Post 17 Nov 2009 - Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs maps 83 spots likely to be targeted by settlers.

Rabbis grapple with IDF insubordination
Jeruslalem Post 17 Nov 2009 - Orthodox Zionist leaders discuss what troops should do when torn between loyalty to God and the army.

'No one will limit Gilo construction'
Jeruslalem Post 17 Nov 2009 - Gov't sources: Israel won't accept restrictions in J'lem; US, UK, PA slam approval of 900 Gilo houses.

'Afghan debacle rules out US-Iran war'
Jeruslalem Post 17 Nov 2009 - Obama adviser Bruce Riedel says Israel needs to understand the "huge drain on US resources."

Erekat denies PA plans to declare state unilaterally
Jeruslalem Post 17 Nov 2009 - Top Palestinian negotiator tells 'Post': We want the UN Security Council to recognize pre-1967 lines as the borders of our future state.

Israel ranks 32 in global corruption index
Jeruslalem Post 17 Nov 2009 - 

IDF to up Arrow interceptor production
Jeruslalem Post 17 Nov 2009 - In addition, air defense chief says Iron Dome system to be deployed along Gaza border in mid-2010.

Defense Ministry, IDF veterans end feud
Jeruslalem Post 17 Nov 2009 - Deal aims to end string of protests from disabled army veterans suffering cut-backs to benefits.

IRIN

EGYPT: Out of the slum and into joblessness
IRIN CAIRO Tuesday, November 17, 2009 (IRIN) - When government workmen came in a truck to take Ahmed Mohamed’s furniture to his new home just outside Cairo, the 32-year-old fisherman was overjoyed: His dream of quitting the slum where he had lived for years seemed to be coming true.

In Brief: Stunting not as bad as expected in Occupied Palestinian Territories
IRIN DUBAI Friday, November 13, 2009 (IRIN) - An estimated 200 million children aged under five in the developing world suffer from stunted growth due to maternal and childhood undernutrition, according to a new UNICEF report.

In Brief: Israel transfers calves to Gaza as a ‘humanitarian gesture’ 
IRIN TEL AVIV Sunday, November 15, 2009 (IRIN) - Israel’s Ministry of Defence has accepted agriculture minister Shalom Simchon’s request to transfer some 7,500 calves into Gaza for Eid al-Adha, a Muslim holiday on around 27 November this year and symbolised by the slaughtering of animals to distribute meat to the...

Inter Press Service

POLITICS: Iran Began Preparing for U.S. Bombing in 2002 
IPS WASHINGTON, Nov 17 (IPS) - The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) published new evidence Monday that Iran had been building "contingency centres" in the event of a U.S. bombing attack as early as 2002, years before it began building the second enrichment facility at Qom.

MIDEAST: Palestinians Threaten Unilateral Independent State 
IPS RAMALLAH, Nov 17 (IPS) - Following the political deadlock between the Israelis and Palestinians, the Palestinian Authority (PA) has decided to take the matter directly to the U.N. Security Council.

Stop The Wall

"We are going to Jerusalem!"
Stop The Wall 17 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. [

Medic beaten, youth destroy fence in Ni'lin
Stop The Wall 17 Nov 2009 - More than 200 people participated in the protest that the Ni’lin popular committee organizes every week on Friday. In response to the recent tearing down of the Wall in both Qalandiya and Ni'lin, a large contingent of soldiers were waiting for the protestors, and immediately started fire huge amounts of tear gas, rubber coated steel bullets and also live ammunition. Despite this, a group of youth managed to cut up parts of the fence and partially damage the gate. [

PCHR Weekly Report

(05-11 Nov. 2009)
PCHR During the reporting period, 6 Palestinian civilians were wounded by Israeli forces in the West Bank

International Solidarity Movement

Plea to boycott firms with Israel link
11/17/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Gulf News - Group urges GCC states to shun Alstom and Veolia involved in Occupied Jerusalem projects - Dubai: A pressure campaign targeted at Gulf states was launched in Occupied Jerusalem on Monday by a coalition of 170 Palestinian organisations urging Arab states to boycott companies complicit in Israel's expansion in the holy city. In a rare public pressure campaign, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement in Palestine, a grouping of Palestinian civil society organisations, has turned its focus on the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which is preparing to build a multi-billion dollar railway to link its six members. The BDS campaign has called on the GCC and its member states to shun French transport giants Alstom and Veolia, both of which are involved in the construction of the Jerusalem Light Rail (JLR). . . . Links: Palestinians to Arab states: You can stop Jerusalem light rail

Palestinians to Arab states: You can stop Jerusalem light rail
11/17/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Amira Hass, Ha'aretz - The chairman of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' office, Dr. Rafiq Husseini, on Monday urges all Arab countries to cancel their business ties with two French companies – Veolia and Alstom – involved in the construction of a Jerusalem-based light railway which passes through the West Bank. Husseini spoke in a press conference organized by the BNC – The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee – made up of several non governmental organizations. So far, the Palestinian civil society organization are those which have initiated local and international activities calling for various types of boycotts (mainly on companies which are active in the occupied territories, and on Israeli academics and artists. -- Links: Plea to boycott firms with Israel link

al-Ma’sara demonstrates against the Apartheid Wall
11/17/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - The al-Ma'sara Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements, 13 November - In memory of the fifth year since the death of Yaser Arafat, who was poisoned by the Israeli army, villagers of Al-Ma'sara gathered today along with Israeli and international activists in protest against the illegal Apartheid Wall and settlement building. The protesters raised Palestinian flags and banners demanding that farmers be allowed to access their lands to pick olives. As every Friday for the past three years, they were intercepted by Israeli soldiers who had put up a fence of barb wire at the entrance to the village, effectively cutting off the villager's access to their lands. Demonstrators chanted against the discriminatory policies of the occupation and reminded that only this morning, farmers who were picking olives on their lands in the surrounding villagers were harassed by settlers while Israeli soldiers stood by. 

IDF uses ‘two-two bullets’ in Ni’ilin clash
11/17/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - The Jerusalem Post, 15 November 2009 - IDF troops used ammunition equivalent to live bullets against protesters at Ni'ilin on Friday, where a weekly protest by Palestinians and left-wing activists from Israel and abroad is held against the West Bank security barrier. The military ordinarily only uses protest-dispersal means such as tear gas and a recently introduced "skunk bomb" that is harmless but exudes a pungent stench. One Border Police officer was lightly wounded in Friday's clash when he was hit by a rock. He was given preliminary treatment at the scene and later taken to a hospital. A rioter at Friday's protest said the military fired ‘two-two bullets,' small metal pellets similar to those fired by BB guns but of a larger caliber (5. 6 mm. vs the BB gun pellets' 4. 5 mm. ). The man said ‘two-two bullets' have not been used against protesters since May. 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

ANALYSIS / Netanyahu senses Obama's weakness on Jerusalem 
Ha'aretz 17 Nov 2009 - If there is anything that irks the White House more than news from the American consulate in Jerusalem about new West Bank settlements, it is a newspaper report on a new neighborhood in East Jerusalem. ... 

Comment / Why Netanyahu really does want to advance peace
Ha'aretz 17 Nov 2009 - I could hear the prime minister's familiar voice on the telephone. "I want to advance a peace agreement with the Palestinians. I am capable of achieving an agreement. I have the political will inside me," Benjamin Netanyahu told me. He repeated this message during his speeches at the conference of Jewish communities in Washington and at the Saban Forum in Jerusalem: great concessions, generosity of spirit, territorial compromise, let's start negotiations and surprise the world, he said. ...

'Egyptians should read in Hebrew, to know what the enemy is plotting' 
Ha'aretz 17 Nov 2009 - A gigantic storm has been brewing among Egyptian intellectuals ever since Egyptian poetess Iman Mersal permitted one of her books to be published in Hebrew ("An Alternative Geography," translated by Sasson Somekh, Hakibbutz Hameuhad publishing house). How, they demand, could any Egyptian writer cross the lines, defy the writers association's orders and destroy the bases from which the war against normalization with Israel is being waged? ... 

Jerusalem holds off removing rightists from building in Arab area 
Ha'aretz 17 Nov 2009 - Last minute political pressure is preventing the implementation of a Supreme Court ruling to evacuate Beit Yehonatan, which was established in East Jerusalem by the right-wing group Ateret Cohanim. ... 

Peres in Argentina: Ahmadinejad, Chavez will fall
Ha'aretz 17 Nov 2009 - President Shimon Peres predicted on Tuesday that the people of Venezuela and Iran will make their leaders disappear before too long. ...

The Guardian

US 'dismay' at Israel over Gilo plan
The Guardian 17 Nov 2009 - Controversial settlement expansion criticised Obama's efforts to resume negotiations undermined The White House yesterday expressed exasperation with Israel over a plan to build 900 new houses on the West Bank at a time when Barack Obama...

Letters: Is apologising for the past enough?
The Guardian 17 Nov 2009 - Having decided a formal apology will be made by the prime minister to those who survived the appalling deprivations of forced child migration, according to Valerie Amos, the "next stage" is to decide its wording ( Brown...

Shallow polemic on pro-Israel lobby | David Cesarani
The Guardian 17 Nov 2009 - Peter Oborne's investigation into Britain's pro-Israel lobby shows one side of a complicated picture. It will do more harm than good In his Dispatches programme on the pro-Israel lobby, and the accompanying online pamphlet authored with...

Palestinians call for EU to back independence
The Guardian 16 Nov 2009 - Frustration at impasse on 'two-state project' Israel warns of retaliation over any unilateral move Palestinians have formally asked the European Union to urge the UN security council to recognise a fully independent state in the West...

Friends in high places | Peter Oborne
The Guardian 16 Nov 2009 - Britain's pro-Israel lobby needs to be far more open about how it is funded and what it does Every year a very grand lunch is given by the Conservative Friends of Israel at a central London...

Ha'aretz National page

ANALYSIS / IDF collaborating with rabbis who preach refusal 
Ha'aretz 17 Nov 2009 - In the monthly newsletter that the hesder yeshiva Birkat Yosef in the northern West Bank settlement of Elon Moreh sends to its students in the army, a soldier in the Kfir Brigade describes how he and his comrades stopped a Palestinian trying to get around the army roadblock in Qalqilyah. ... 

Who are Israel's ultra-Orthodox Jews? 
Ha'aretz 17 Nov 2009 - The more Israeli society deteriorates and its skullcap-wearers divide and subdivide into groups and communities with differing lifestyles and differing relations with society and the state, the shallower the perspective from which secular people view them. ... 

Intel to employ only non-Jews at Jerusalem plant on Shabbat 
Ha'aretz 17 Nov 2009 - Intel will not employ Jewish workers on Saturday shifts in its Jerusalem plant, the chip-maker has suggested in a new compromise proposal. The move comes after large crowds of ultra-Orthodox protesters attacked the plant on Saturday, in protest of it continuing operations on Shabbat. The plant, in the Har Hotzvim industrial area in Jerusalem, employs some 150 workers. ... 

U.S. 'dismayed' at Israel plan to build 900 homes beyond Green Line
Ha'aretz 17 Nov 2009 - Israel disregards specific U.S. objection, approves plan to expand Jerusalem's Gilo neighborhood.

Police probing MK over fraudulent West Bank outpost deal 
Ha'aretz 17 Nov 2009 - Police are investigating suspicions of document fraud involving the chairman of the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, MK David Rotem (Yisrael Beiteinu), secretary general of the Amana settlement housing group, Ze'ev "Zambish" Hever, and prominent settlement leader Yoel Tzur. ... 

Relief Web

OPT: Educational equipment transferred to Gaza Strip via Israel
Relief Web 17 Nov 2009 - Source: Government of Israel

OPT: Israel angers U.S. by approving new WBank homes
Relief Web 17 Nov 2009 - Source: Reuters - AlertNet

OPT: Secretary-General deplores Israel's settlement expansion decision
Relief Web 17 Nov 2009 - Source: UN Secretary-General

Factbox - Factors to watch from Israel, Palestinians
Relief Web 17 Nov 2009 - Source: Reuters - AlertNet

ACTED Newsletter No 59 - Nov 2009
Relief Web 17 Nov 2009 - Source: Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development

Council conclusions on ESDP, 2974th External Relations Council meeting
Relief Web 17 Nov 2009 - Source: European Union

YNet News

Peace activists say beaten by settlers
YNet News 17 Nov 2009 - Two foreigners accompany Palestinian family to village in South Mount Hebron as part of Christian Peace Group, claim they were assaulted by settlers near outpost 

White House baffled by Clinton's gaffes
YNet News 17 Nov 2009 - Sources close to US President Obama tell New Republic magazine secretary of state veered away from White House’s message on Middle East peace process in two different occasions 

Israel insists there is no crisis with US 
YNet News 17 Nov 2009 - Sources close to Netanyahu imply White House's public criticism against planned construction in Jerusalem neighborhood is only a show, although state officials surprised by its intensity. Prime Minister's Office instructs ministers not to comment on issue 

US: Time 'very short' for Iran on nuclear deal 
YNet News 17 Nov 2009 - State Department spokesman says 'frustration is mounting' over Islamic Republic's delay in issuing formal reply to nuclear proposal drafted by IAEA a month ago 

Palestinians return home, harassed by settlers
YNet News 17 Nov 2009 - Residents of Khirbet Bir al-'Idd in Hebron area forced to leave their homes 10 years ago following repeated attacks by settlers. Last week, families return with IDF approval but are harassed again 

No budget for Gush Katif evacuees' kids
YNet News 17 Nov 2009 - NIS 5 million lost in pipes between ministries. In meantime, youth counselors leaving, IDF prep programs closing, and Gush Katif kids are suffering. Likud MK Danny Danon blames his colleagues in cabinet 

US 'dismayed' at Gilo expansion approval 
YNet News 17 Nov 2009 - White House press secretary responds to plan to build 900 new housing units in Jerusalem neighborhood, says 'neither party should engage in efforts or take actions that could unilaterally preempt, or appear to preempt, negotiations' 

Palestinians, UK blast Israeli Jerusalem building plan
YNet News 17 Nov 2009 - Despite US pressure, Jerusalem building authorized and Palestinians aren't happy about it, say move shows Israel's overtures for talks 'meaningless' 

FM Lieberman tops 'corruption index' 
YNet News 17 Nov 2009 - Annual survey presented at Israel-Sderot Conference on Social Issues shows public perceives left-wing MKs as most uncorrupt elected representatives 

Hamas prisoner: Progress made in Shalit talks
YNet News 17 Nov 2009 - Senior Hamas inmate says headway involves next stages of deal, names of prisoners to be swapped 

Daily Star

Abbas defends decision to seek state recognition
Daily Star 17 Nov 2009 Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Tuesday the impasse in the Middle East peace process left him no choice but to seek international recognition, even as Europe and Washington discouraged the move. "We feel we are in a very difficult situation," he said in Cairo after talks with Egyptian counterpart Hosni Mubarak. "What is the solution for us? To remain suspended like this, not in peace? That is why I took this step."

Tehran accuses Saudi Arabia of 'Wahhabi state terrorism' over Yemen strikes
Daily Star 17 Nov 2009 A senior Iranian military official Tuesday accused Saudi Arabia of killing Shiite Muslims in Yemen and denounced it as the onset of "Wahhabi state terrorism." In another sign of increased regional tension over fighting in northern Yemen, Iran's Parliament shelved a bill on tax cooperation with Sanaa in protest at its treatment of Yemen's minority Shiites, Iranian state broadcaster IRIB said.

Obama warns of 'consequences' to Iran nuclear plan
Daily Star 17 Nov 2009 Iran vowed to continue enriching uranium despite a wrist slap by the UN nuclear watchdog, as US President Barack Obama warned of "consequences" Tuesday if Tehran refused to come clean on its atomic program. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) raised suspicions on Monday that Iran could be hiding more atomic facilities and complained.

Turks and Israelis hold first military drill since row
Daily Star 17 Nov 2009 Israel and Turkey have held a joint military drill in Ankara, an official said Tuesday, the first such cooperation since Turkey excluded Israel from an October exercise, sparking a diplomatic row. Israeli and Turkish Army units conducted a joint search-and-rescue exercise in Ankara staged between November 3 and 5, the military official  who was speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP., Israel and Turkey have held a joint military drill in Ankara, an official said Tuesday, the first such cooperation since Turkey excluded Israel from an October exercise, sparking a diplomatic row. Israeli and Turkish Army units conducted a joint search-and-rescue exercise in Ankara staged between November 3 and 5, the military official  who was speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP.

PLO will keep Abbas as Palestinian president
Daily Star 17 Nov 2009 Mahmoud Abbas' term as Palestinian president will be extended by the supreme body of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) when it meets in December, senior PLO officials said on Tuesday. Abbas, the Western-backed leader committed to negotiating peace with Israel, will stay in office, they said. Though Abbas has said he does not want to run again for the presidency.

Israel approves plans for 900 new homes for Jews in West bank
Daily Star 17 Nov 2009 Defying the United States, Israel approved on Tuesday the building of 900 homes for Jews on West Bank land it occupied in a 1967 Middle East war. The Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth said that President Barack Obama's envoy, George Mitchell, had asked an aide to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, at a meeting in London on Monday, to block the proposed construction at the settlement of Gilo.

IAEA deepens Syria nuclear probe over uranium traces
Daily Star 17 Nov 2009 Syria's initial explanation of uranium traces UN inspectors found at a Damascus atom research reactor is unconvincing and they will take more samples in a deepening probe, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said. In a report obtained by Reuters on Monday, the IAEA said Syria was also still blocking follow-up access to a desert site of what US intelligence reports said was a nascent.

Civilian death toll trebles in Afghan attack
Daily Star 17 Nov 2009 Afghan officials said on Tuesday 14 civilians had been killed by rockets fired by the Taliban into a crowded market a day earlier, almost trebling the original toll given for the attack in the country's northeast. "In total 14 people were martyred and 38 of our countrymen were wounded," Afghan Army General Paikan Zamaray told reporters after visiting some of the wounded at a medical facility in a NATO military base at Kabul airport.

Palestinian Information Center

Israel turns down US request to halt expansion in Gilo settlement
PIC 17 Nov 2009 - The Israeli government strongly rejected a US request to halt construction in Gilo settlement built on usurped Palestinian lands in the south of occupied Jerusalem.

OCHA warns of displacing hundreds of Palestinians in O. Jerusalem
PIC 17 Nov 2009 - The UN office for the coordination of humanitarian affairs warned that hundreds of Palestinians in Jerusalem are threatened with displacement because of Israeli intentions to demolish their homes.

Hamas initiates social visits to all Gaza homes
PIC 17 Nov 2009 - The Movement of Hamas started Tuesday to visit all homes in the Gaza Strip to give sweets to citizens as a sign of love and in appreciation of their steadfastness in face of the Israeli blockade.

IOF troops conduct an incursion into Johr al-Deek to south east of Gaza
PIC 17 Nov 2009 - Six IOF bulldozers and four tanks rolled Tuesday morning across the demarcation line into Johr al-Deek village to the south east of Gaza City and bulldozed tracts of Palestinian land.

Bahar: The present PLC will carry on with its duties until elections are held
PIC 17 Nov 2009 - Dr. Ahmad Bahar said on Tuesday that the PLC takes its legitimacy from the amended Palestinian Basic Law, and stressed that the present PLC will continue until a new PLC is elected..

Haneyya: Gaza welcomes private investment
PIC 17 Nov 2009 - Ismail Haneyya told a delegation of Egyptian businessmen on Monday that he welcomed all companies that want to work legally and responsibly to rebuild the Gaza Strip.

Abbas’s militias put MP Abdeljawad under 24-hour surveillance
PIC 17 Nov 2009 - Hamas lawmaker Nasser Abdeljawad, who was released two months ago from Israeli jails, reported that Abbas’s militias in Salfit still harass him everyday and put him under surveillance for 24 hours.

Human rights center condemns Israel’s “illegal combatant” law
PIC 17 Nov 2009 - The Mizan center for human rights has strongly condemned Monday the Israeli “illegal combatant” law that allows the IOA to arrest and detain any Palestinian citizen indefinitely..

Swedish writer to organize sea trip from Scandinavia to Gaza
PIC 17 Nov 2009 - Swedish writer Matthias Kardel intends to hold talks in Sofia park in the province of Smaland aimed at organizing a sea trip from Scandinavia to the Gaza.

Hamas: Declaring the Palestinian state entails the renunciation of Oslo accords
PIC 17 Nov 2009 - Hamas stated that the idea of declaring the Palestinian state unilaterally needs the termination of Oslo accords and its results and the rebuilding of the Palestinian liberation organization (PLO).

Los Angeles Times

U.N. report questions Iran's credibility on nuclear plant 
LA Times 17 Nov 2009 - The IAEA says satellite photos show construction on the facility near Qom began five years earlier than Tehran contends it did. The latest United Nations report on Iran's nuclear program questions Tehran's credibility regarding a recently disclosed facility built into a mountain near the holy city of Qom. 

U.S., Russia agree on dissatisfaction with Iran 
LA Times 16 Nov 2009 - Obama meets with Medvedev at the APEC summit in Singapore, with both saying Iran has limited time to accept a proposal to outsource enrichment. Obama then moves on to Shanghai. Presenting a united front on Iran's nuclear energy program, President Obama and Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev warned Sunday that they were losing patience with Tehran and wouldn't wait much longer for it to accept a proposal to resolve the dispute. 

New York Times

Plan to Expand Jerusalem Settlement Angers U.S.
New York Times 18 Nov 2009 - Israel said it had advanced plans to expand a district of Jerusalem that Palestinians also claim, a move likely to complicate the White House’s efforts at peace talks. 

A Mideast Truce
New York Times 17 Nov 2009 - Peace between Israelis and Palestinians is unattainable. The wounds of the past decade are too deep.

Unusual Partners Study Divisive Jerusalem Site
New York Times 15 Nov 2009 - Israeli and Palestinian experts, seeking to promote understanding, collaborated on a new book about the holy site known as the Temple Mount and as Haram al-Sharif . 

Misc

Gazans Brace for Cold, Bleak, and Miserable Winter 
11/17/2009 - Antiwar.com - Mel Frykberg - EZBT ABBED RABBO – Tens of thousands of Gazans living in tents and damaged homes face a wet, cold, and miserable winter as Israel’s blockade of the coastal territory continues to prevent the importation of building and reconstruction material. During the last few weeks, Gazans were given a brief reprieve from the oncoming winter as an unseasonable snap of warmish, sunny weather held off winter rain and plummeting temperatures. But during a tour of northern Gaza last week, the UN humanitarian coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territory, Maxwell Gaylard, and the Association of International Development Agencies (AIDA) called on Israel to open its border crossings immediately to avert a further deterioration in the humanitarian situation on the ground. " With winter rains and cold weather now imminent, the people of Gaza are even more desperately in need of construction 

US Slams Palestinian Statehood Initiative 
11/16/2009 - Antiwar.com - Israel Threatens Annexations to Punish Palestinians - Less than six months after President Barack Obama came out formally in favor of an independent Palestinian state, the US State Department is condemning the Palestinian push for statehood. Following yesterday’s reports that top Palestinian leaders, frustrated by Israel’s repeatedly declarations that the peace process was dead, intend to approach the UN about a unilateral declaration of independence, the State Department says the US is opposed to any Palestinian state that doesn’t arise from negotiations with Israel. Israel has also angrily condemned the idea of a unilateral Palestinian state, and Minister Gilad Erdan says Israel may annex additional portions of the occupied territories to punish the Palestinians for this move. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman expressed hope that the US would veto Palestinian statehood in the UN Security Council. 

No Unilateral Declaration of Palestinian State, Says Erekat 
11/17/2009 - Antiwar.com - IPS - JERUSALEM – The Palestinian Authority has embarked on a new strategic drive to get renewed international recognition for the borders of the future Palestinian state. Last Thursday it gained backing for this approach from the Arab League. Going into a meeting with European representatives in Ramallah on the West Bank to explain the Palestinian strategy, and hours before embarking with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on a three-nation tour of Latin America, the chief Palestinian peace negotiator, Saeb Erekat, spoke exclusively Monday morning to IPS’ Jerrold Kessel and Pierre Klochendler. IPS: There has been much talk in recent days of a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state. What’s the purpose of that move and what lies behind it? Saeb Erekat: Actually, we’re not planning to declare our state unilaterally, as has been mistakenly reported. 

US ’dismay’ at Israel over Gilo plan 
11/18/2009 - The Guardian - Controversial settlement expansion criticised • Obama's efforts to resume negotiations undermined - Barack Obama, centre, with Binyamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas. Robert Gibbs expressed concern the Gilo development will undermine Middle East peace negotiations. Photograph: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty ImagesThe White House yesterday expressed exasperation with Israel over a plan to build 900 new houses on the West Bank at a time when Barack Obama is trying to broker a Middle East peace agreement. Although Obama is mainly focused on a tour of south-east Asia, the White House took time out to express disappointment over approval of the new houses at Gilo, a controversial settlement on the outskirts of east Jerusalem. It is politically risky for Israel to snub Obama so publicly. The White House has been pressing Israel for at least a week not to take this course of action. 

US Politician Wants American Jews to Buy West Bank Homes 
11/17/2009 - Political Theatrics - An influential Jewish community leader and Democratic State Assemblyman from New York is currently heading a mission of about 50 Americans through the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem to promote home purchases in the area and to protest U. S. President Barack Obama’s Middle East policy. “Our goal is to send a clear message to Washington and President Obama that Jews will continue to live in Judea and Samaria and the ultimate commitment American Jews can make is to actually come and buy property in these areas as this will ensure these communities” security and growth,” said Dov Hikind, 59, who has been representing Brooklyn’s 48th district since 1983. “People buy properties in different places, and I can’t think of any reason why people dedicated to the land of Israel shouldn’t own something here, whether they will use it or use it as an opportunity for young families to live in that 

'Israeli Ministries Funding the Rabbi who Endorses Killing Babies' 
11/17/2009 - Political Theatrics - Israeli daily Haaretz published a report on Tuesday in which it said that there are Israeli ministries funding Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira, the rabbi who endorsed killing gentile babies. The Haaretz repost says: “Right-wing spokesmen, including some elected officials, rushed to place Yaakov “Jack” Teitel in the fringe group alongside Yigal Amir, Eden Natan Zada, Eliran Golan, Asher Weisgan, Danny Tikman and a few other “political/ideological” murderers. True, they acknowledge, there are among us several lunatic rabbis who agitate to violence. Really, just a handful; even a toddler could count them. The more stringent will note that unlike the Hamas government, our government does not pay the salaries of rabbis who advocate the killing of babies. ” “Is that so? Not really,” Haaretz continues. -- Links: Who is funding the rabbi who endorses killing gentile babies? 

Ehud Barak: Arrow Gives Israel Leverage in Talks 
11/17/2009 - Political Theatrics - Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Tuesday that Israel’s Arrow missile defense system, once completed, would “change the picture and be a necessary condition for a peace accord that is stable, due to deterrence”. Speaking at the international Euro-Space conference near Ben Gurion International Airport, Barak stressed Israel’s need for defense systems in any negotiations for peace with its neighbors. “Any threat that could disrupt normal life must be neutralized,” he said. “This effort is an addition to a multi-layered concept: Iron Dome as an answer to short-range (artillery), Magic Wand for the middle layer, the Arrow as it is today and Arrow 3. ”Barak then questioned whether these defenses were sufficient. “This must rely on strong intelligence and control systems, coordinated planning and operations, and intelligent ties, especially with the Americans, some of which were tested during a very extensive drill. 

New Yorkers For Military Aid Cuts To Israel 
11/17/2009 - Desert Peace - Commentary by Chippy Dee - The Brooklyn Law School Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, Brooklyn for Peace, and Students for Public Interest sponsored a program at the Brooklyn Law School entitled, U. S. Military Aid to Israel…is it legal? Moral? Political? In 2007 the U. S. agreed to increase military aid to Israel to $30 billion over the next 10 years. Is this a worthwhile use of taxpayer dollars? The speaker was Josh Ruebner, the National Advocacy Director of the U. S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, a national coalition of more than 300 organizations working to change U. S. policy toward Israel/Palestine to support human rights, international law, and equality. He is a former Analyst in Middle East Affairs at Congressional Research Service, a federal government agency providing Members of Congress with policy research and analysis. 

20-Year-Old Letterhead points to Israeli Forgery in Francop Affair 
11/17/2009 - JuanCole.com - Iran's PressTV says it has caught Israel forging documents in an attempt to implicate Iran in arms smuggling. The Israelis have been maintaining that a ship, the Francop, that their forces boarded near Cyprus originated in Iran and was bringing arms to Hizbullah and Hamas. Many US news outlets published the accompanying picture, which seemed to indicate that the arms were being supplied by the Ministry of the Sipah [i. e. of soldier]. The name of that ministry was changed 20 years ago, however, to the Ministry of Defense. One Iranian journalist opined, "So this begs the question of what the emblem of a nonexistent body was doing on the cargo? " Syria had all along accused the Israeli operation of being a forgery. It is tempting to speculate as to how the Israelis got the letterhead of the Iranian Ministry of the Soldier. -- Links: Israel gaffe reveals 'Iran ship photos' were forged

Israel gaffe reveals ’Iran ship photos’ were forged 
11/16/2009 - Press TV - Iran says labels reading 'Ministry of Sepah', a body that no longer exists, are enough to prove that the photos released by Israel are forged. - After Israel released photos it said proved that a huge shipment of weapons for Hezbollah came from Tehran, Iranian news agencies publish evidence showing that the photos are forged. Israeli naval sources recently claimed that they found a large cache of Iranian-made arms when they stormed a vessel near Cyprus in the Mediterranean Sea. They claimed that the ship was heading for the Hezbollah resistance movement, either in Lebanon or Syria. Iran instantly dismissed the claims, issuing a statement with which it condemned Israel's many acts of piracy in international waters. But the Israeli government persisted in its accusations, releasing what it claimed to be photos and documents in an effort to implicate the Iranian government in the matter. -- Links: Egypt's Mubarak says Israel faked smuggling evidence

Jordan’s king rejects pro-Israeli’s anti-Iran plans 
11/17/2009 - Press TV - Jordan's King Abdullah II has expressed his country's “rejection” of any anti-Iran measure, speaking to a visiting group of a major pro-Israeli lobby group in the US. The rare pro-Iran expression by the King of Jordan, which has formal diplomatic relations with Israel, unlike Iran which considers the entity as illegitimate, came during a meeting Monday with a delegation representing the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), a powerful pro-Israeli pressure group in the US that widely influences American foreign policy in the Middle East. In the meeting, King Abdullah called for "dialogue" as the only channel for resolving the dispute over Iran's nuclear case. His comment came after Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon rejected speculations that the warnings of any military attack on Iran are just a bluff, insisting that they are very real. 

Israel faked Francop arms claims -- Iran 
11/16/2009 - UPI - TEHRAN, Nov. 16 (UPI) -- Israeli photos depicting shipping documents pointing to an alleged Iranian arms delivery to Hezbollah are forgeries, Iranian media claims. The Israeli army in early November said it unloaded 36 containers of weapons at the Israeli port of Ashdod from the Antigua-flagged vessel Francop. Thirty tons of weapons, rockets, missiles, hand grenades and ammunition were hidden behind thousands of plastic polyethylene bags, the army said. Israel claimed the Iranian- and Russian-made arms were due to be unloaded in the Syrian port of Latakia and from there transferred to Hezbollah in Lebanon. The Los Angeles Times and other media outlets published a series of photos that allegedly back the Israeli claims. Iran, however, says one of the photos -- an apparent shipping manifest from the Ministry of Sepah -- is from a defunct agency, suggesting Israel made up the story. . . . 

VIDEO - Living in fear of evictions 
11/4/2009 - AlJazeera - The United Nations, the United States and the European Union have all called on Israel to stop the illegal eviction of Palestinians and the demolition of their homes. Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary-general, urged Israel to end its "provocative actions" in East Jerusalem, while calling for it to freeze all settlement activity in the occupied West Bank. Despite that, the sight of Palestinians in East Jerusalem being forced out of their homes has become an all too familiar scene. Al Jazeera's Jacky Rowland reports from occupied East Jerusalem. 

Soldiers’ mutiny raises concern in Israel 
11/17/2009 - Reuters - JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu voiced concern on Tuesday over a mutiny by pro-settler soldiers that raised fears of more rebellion in the ranks in any future land-for-peace moves with the Palestinians. " Our security and existence depend on the Israel Defense Forces," Netanyahu told reporters. "If you promote disobedience, you will bring about the downfall of the state. There is no place for disobedience. " In an incident on Monday played down by the military as an aberration and described by some political commentators as a crossing of a red line, a handful of soldiers protested against the partial dismantling of a settler-outpost in the West Bank. Their action prompted 15 right-wing legislators in the 120-member parliament to propose a bill that would bar the military from forcing troops to remove Jews from settlements in the occupied territory. 

Israeli soldiers protest razing of settler homes 
11/16/2009 - Reuters - JERUSALEM (Reuters) - A group of Israeli soldiers disobeyed orders Monday to help in the dismantling of several structures that Jewish settlers had built without government authorization in the occupied West Bank. A military spokeswoman said two of the soldiers were sent to prison for 30 days and permanently dismissed from command or combat positions. Several others were still being investigated, the spokeswoman said. The mutiny followed a similar incident last month that raised concern in Israel about rebellion in the ranks of soldiers opposed on religious or political grounds to any settler evacuation in a future peace deal with the Palestinians. " It should be emphasized that the soldiers' actions were fundamentally wrong and contradictory to the (military's) core values," an army statement said about Monday's events. 

Israel angers U.S. by approving new WBank homes 
11/17/2009 - Reuters - JERUSALEM, Nov 17 (Reuters) - Israel triggered a fresh rift with Washington over settlement building on Tuesday by approving the building of 900 homes for Jews on West Bank land it occupied in a 1967 war and annexed to its Jerusalem municipality. The Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth said U. S. President Barack Obama's envoy, George Mitchell, had asked an aide to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, at a meeting in London on Monday, to block the proposed construction at the settlement of Gilo. But a government planning commission approved the addition of 900 housing units at Gilo, where 40,000 Israelis already live. The Israeli decision drew an unusually sharply worded rebuke from the White House, which said it was "dismayed" and accused Israel of undermining Obama's efforts to resume peace talks with Palestinians stalled since December. 

Israel could annex more of West Bank - minister 
11/16/2009 - Reuters - JERUSALEM, Nov 16 (Reuters) - Israel warned the Palestinians on Monday that declaring a state without concluding a peace agreement would lead to Israeli counter-measures that could include annexation of more of the occupied West Bank. " If the Palestinians take such a unilateral line, Israel should also consider. . . passing a law to annex some of the settlements," Environment Minister Gilad Erdan, a close ally of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, told Israel Radio. Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, speaking to reporters, declined to specify what action Israel might take. But he said: "It is clear any such step by the Palestinians would not pass without an Israeli response. " Without setting a timeframe, Palestinian officials said on Sunday the Palestinians planned to go to the U. N. Security Council in an effort to secure international support for an independent state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. 

Palestinians to Arab states: You can stop Jerusalem light rail
11/17/2009 - Ha'aretz - Amira Hass - The chairman of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' office, Dr. Rafiq Husseini, on Monday urges all Arab countries to cancel their business ties with two French companies - Veolia and Alstom - involved in the construction of a Jerusalem-based light railway which passes through the West Bank. Husseini spoke in a press conference organized by the BNC - The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee - made up of several non governmental organizations. So far, the Palestinian civil society organization are those which have initiated local and international activities calling for various types of boycotts (mainly on companies which are active in the occupied territories, and on Israeli academics and artists. )It seems that the international attention their activities have garnered has encouraged the Palestinian Authority to join in the boycotts. . . . Links: Plea to boycott firms with Israel link

Lieberman: PA playing ugly ’double game’ with Israel 
11/16/2009 - Ha'aretz - Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Monday accused the Palestinian Authority of playing an "ugly and double game," by seeking Israel's support in crushing Hamas while submitting simultaneous complaints to the international community. " During Operation Cast Lead, the Palestinian Authority pressured us to crush Hamas," Lieberman told the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. "Then, a month later, they submitted a complaint against us to the International Criminal Court in The Hague. " Even before the Goldstone Commission published its damning report about Israel's offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip, said Lieberman, "there were a thousand complaints against Israel at the ICC, a large number of them encouraged by the PA. " Fatah, which runs the PA, was ousted by Hamas from Gaza in a bloody 2007 coup. Since then, the rival movements have been deeply divided and repeated attempts at reconciliation have failed. 

Hamas criticizes PA attempt to seek UN recognition of statehood 
11/16/2009 - Monsters and Critics - Gaza City - Hamas rejected Monday a Palestinian suggestion to seek UN Security Council support for unilaterally declaring a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Such a declaration would have no meaning and was merely an attempt by the rival Palestinian camp of President Mahmoud Abbas to pretend it had an alternative to faltering peace negotiations, other than armed struggle, said the radical Islamist movement controlling Gaza. 'This move is not a meaningful declaration. It simply aims at escaping the benefits of resistance against the (Israeli) occupation,' Salah al-Bardaweel, a senior Hamas leader based in Gaza, said in a statement sent to journalists. 'Instead of threatening to unilaterally declare a Palestinian state to be established in the air, we should work on liberating the occupied territories and end the current internal (Palestinian) division,' said al-Bardaweel. 

Jordan’s king urges US Jewish leaders to back two-state solution 
11/16/2009 - Monsters and Critics - Amman - Jordan's King Abdullah II on Monday appealed to the Jewish community in the United States to support the two-state vision, saying Israel should choose between peace and continuing to live with the 'fortress mentality. 'The monarch made the remarks during a meeting with a delegation representing the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), currently on a visit to Jordan, according to a royal court statement. 'The king underscored the importance of support by all parties, including the US Jewish organizations, for current efforts aimed at accomplishing the two-state solution which represents the cornerstone for peace and guarantees the rights of all parties in the region,' the statement said. 'Israel should choose between peace that ensures its security and recognition in accordance with the Arab peace initiative and sticking to the fortress mentality in a region that faces 

’Peres won the Nobel Prize for murder’ 
11/16/2009 - Jerusalem Post - Peres: 'Ahmadinejad carries the mark of Cain' - BUENOS AIRES - Despite the warm welcome given to President Shimon Peres by Argentinean President Cristina Kirchner, hundreds of demonstrators gathered on Monday night opposite the parliament building in Buenos Aires in protest of his visit, shouting that he was a laureate of the "Nobel Prize for murder. "Peres, however, did not seem affected by the demonstration, choosing instead to focus on Mideast issues such as the nuclear crisis. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad carries the mark of Cain, he said at a luncheon hosted in his honor by Kirchner on Monday. Citing two acts of terrorism perpetrated by Iran on Argentinean soil - the bombing of the Israeli Embassy in 1992 and the attack on the AMIA Jewish Community Center in 1994 - Peres wondered who could allow a regime that murders innocent people to develop nuclear weapons. 


Articles

From Idealism to Brutality, From Liberation to Oppression 
Hanna Braun, peacepalestine 2/13/2005
      How did we get from there to here?
     This is an account of a personal Journey to try and help to explain how so many of us fell for the Zionist myth and how difficult it was -and still is- to see the truth beyond it.
     When I arrived in Palestine with my parents in 1937, the Jewish Community in Palestine was minute. The country was also in the midst of a bitter and violent revolt against the British Authorities and the new settlers. As soon as we arrived, my father’s relations who had come to Haifa’s port to welcome us, warned us of the dangerous, treacherous and backward Arabs, who were highly visible as dockworkers. These aunts and uncles also cautioned us never to employ Arabs nor to buy anything from them. This widespread slogan however, termed "Hebrew work for Hebrew workers", was frequently observed in the breach of it. My mother’s immediate reaction was "is this how you want to live with them in peace?" This remark earned her the pity, bordering on contempt, of most people for not being a true Zionist at all.
     At the time this was certainly true: my family on mother’s side were so deeply integrated into German society that they regarded Zionists as something for poor East European Jews who couldn’t make ends meet. Eventually she was persuaded to Zionism; albeit to a more humane and benign version that was very short lived.
     As to me, I started school immediately, learned Hebrew from scratch and was keen to fit in. The nationalistic songs we learned as well as the collection boxes for the Fund for Israel and the Settlement Redemption Fund, didn’t impinge much on my consciousness. My Zionist convictions grew almost imperceptively, mainly after I started secondary school in Haifa at the age of 13. Together with socialism, which many of us embraced to a greater or lesser degree, the vision of an idealised future of shared rather than owned property and of building our new land with our hands, if at all possible as pioneer founders of a new kibbutz (an agricultural commune), was beguiling. more.. e-mail

Recognize Palestinian statehood now 
Ghassan Khatib, Ma’an News Agency 11/17/2009
      The failure of the Obama administration to launch a serious negotiating process between the PLO and Israel has led to Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Authority president, announcing that he will not seek re-election. He cited Washington’s inability to ensure an Israeli settlement construction freeze as well as American bias toward Israel as the main reasons.
     This has created a serious crisis not only for the peace process, but for US Middle East policy in general. It is a crisis that will be magnified because of the interrelation between the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and other Middle East conflicts, in addition to the fact that no vacuum is possible in this region: when there is no move toward peace, it only provides room for war and violence.
     At the same time, the crisis should give pause for reflection, especially for the US administration. Theoretically, we can go in one of two possible directions from here. The crisis can either lead us back to violent confrontations and the unmasked reality of military occupation, or it can move us forward toward ending the occupation, Palestinian statehood and a two-state solution.
     A two-state solution still appears to be the preferred goal of the international community. However, the international community is laboring under a problematic concept: that the only way to get there is through agreement between the two parties. This needs to be reconsidered. The concept presupposes Israeli consent. However, Israel has proven reluctant to embrace a two-state solution, certainly a reasonably just one, and has instead used the imbalance of power to prevent any agreement from emerging. For as long as Israel can do this, it has no incentive to end the occupation. more.. e-mail

Who is funding the rabbi who endorses killing gentile babies? 
Akiva Eldar, Ha’aretz 11/17/2009
      Right-wing spokesmen, including some elected officials, rushed to place Yaakov "Jack" Teitel in the fringe group alongside Yigal Amir, Eden Natan Zada, Eliran Golan, Asher Weisgan, Danny Tikman and a few other "political/ideological" murderers. 
     True, they acknowledge, there are among us several lunatic rabbis who agitate to violence. Really, just a handful; even a toddler could count them. 
     The more stringent will note that unlike the Hamas government, our government does not pay the salaries of rabbis who advocate the killing of babies. 
     Is that so? Not really. 
     For example, government ministries regularly transfer support and funding to a yeshiva whose rabbi determined that it is permissible to kill gentile babies "because their presence assists murder, and there is reason to harm children if it is clear that they will grow up to harm us ... it is permissible to harm the children of a leader in order to stop him from acting evilly ... we have seen in the Halakha that even babies of gentiles who do not violate the seven Noahide laws, there is cause to kill them because of the future threat that will be caused if they are raised to be wicked people like their parents." 
     Lior Yavne, who oversees research at the Yesh Din human rights organization, checked and found that in 2006-2007, the Ministry of Education department of Torah institutions transferred over a million shekels to the Od Yosef Hai yeshiva in Yitzhar. more.. e-mail


Electronic Intifada
Israeli judge rules Arabs need "protection" from justice system
Electronic Intifada: 17 Nov 2009 - An Israeli judge made an historic ruling last week when he decided that an Arab teenager needed "protection" from the justice system and ordered that he not be convicted despite being found guilty of throwing stones at a police car during a protest against Israel's attack last winter on Gaza. Jonathan Cook reports. 

Gaza braces for bitter winter
Electronic Intifada: 17 Nov 2009 - EZBT ABBED RABBO, occupied Gaza Strip (IPS) - Tens of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza living in tents and damaged homes face a wet, cold and miserable winter as Israel's blockade of the coastal territory continues to prevent the importation of building and reconstruction material. During the last few weeks Gazans were given a brief reprieve from the oncoming winter as an unseasonal snap of warmish, sunny weather held off winter rain and plummeting temperatures. 

Baseball team urged to cut ties with settler organization
Electronic Intifada: 17 Nov 2009 - WASHINGTON (IPS) - A coalition of 11 US, Israeli and Palestinian groups are calling on the New York Mets baseball team to cancel a fundraiser by the "violent and racist" Israeli Hebron Fund which is scheduled to be held at the Mets' stadium, Citi Field, on 21 November. The Hebron Fund participates in "the raising of capital for the improvement of daily life for the residents of Hebron, Israel," but the Fund has been accused of encouraging violence towards Palestinians and participating in illegal settlement expansion. 

Resisting through education
Electronic Intifada: 16 Nov 2009 - Ahmad's first day of school was in 1991 during the first Palestinian intifada. Then six years old and living in the northern Gaza town of Beit Hanoun, Ahmad was a good student who enjoyed school. He worked hard and was always the first in his year. However, he was to have a different attitude towards education as frequent Israeli violence made completing his studies a struggle. Marryam Haleem writes from Beit Hanoun. 

In Gaza
threads of potential
16 Nov 2009 - Embroidery lives on in Palestine, a tradition passed down through the generations.  While Palestine is as modern as a choking, all-encompassing 3 year siege (since soon after Hamas was elected in early 2006) and numerous Israeli wars and attacks will allow, the traditions from generations ago are not forgotten: songs, dabke (dance), food, farming and fishing techniques, clothing…and embroidery. In recent years, the art has taken on a new role in occupied Palestine, re-affirming Palestinian identity in proudly embroidered kuffiyehs (scarves) and bracelets, along with traditional dresses and shawls. And in both the occupied West Bank and siege-occupied Gaza Strip, Palestinians face the obstacle of having goods but no market:...

Palestine Chronicle
Assad's Gauntlet: Engaging Syria
17 Nov 2009 - By James Gundun - Washington DC 'Israel is prepared to hold negotiations without precondition with the Syrians,' Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu proclaimed last week, shunning his usual rhetoric that Syria isn't serious about peace. 'I prefer direct talks, but if they are with a mediator then it must be fair.' After meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad responded, ‘I say we would talk about returning land, and for this subject there is a framework, mechanisms and specialized negotiators to handle this. It is neither me nor Mr. Netanyahu. If Mr. Netanyahu is serious, he can send his teams of experts, we will send our teams of experts to Turkey.’ Netanyahu expressed frustration over Turkey’s role as a mediator and welcomed an alternate proposal for French mediation, which Assad may be open to. A separate dispute may form over direct or indirect negotiations. Either way, Assad laid down a gauntlet to challenge President Obama and Netanyahu. High risk entails high reward. The Obama administration, in its desire to oppose all things Bush, arranged from the beginning to test Damascus. Bush had taken the opposite approach, freezing relations until Syria disengaged with Iran and stayed out of Lebanon. The bitter taste of Syria’s duplicity in Iraq had to be cleansed. ‘We are going to start on day one, we are going to take a regional approach, we're going to have to involve Syria in discussions, we are going to have to engage Iran,’ Obama said in a...

Arab Teens Need 'Protecting from Israeli Justice'
17 Nov 2009 - By Jonathan Cook - Nazareth An Israeli judge made an historic ruling last week when he decided that an Arab teenager needed "protection" from the justice system and ordered that he not be convicted despite being found guilty of throwing stones at a police car during a protest against Israel's attack last winter on Gaza. Prosecutors had demanded that the juvenile, a 17-year-old from Nazareth in northern Israel, be convicted of endangering a vehicle on the road, a charge that carries a punishment of up to 20 years' imprisonment, as a way to deter other members of Israel's Arab minority from committing similar offences. But Judge Yuval Shadmi said discrimination in the Israeli legal system's treatment of Jewish and Arab minors, particularly in cases of what he called "ideologically motivated" offences, was "common knowledge". In the verdict, he wrote: "I will say that the state is not authorised to caress with one hand the Jewish 'ideological' felons, and flog with its other hand the Arab 'ideological' felons." He referred in particular to the lenient treatment by the police and courts both of Jewish settler youths who have attacked soldiers in the West Bank and who violently resisted the disengagement from the Gaza Strip in 2005, and of religious extremists who have spent many months battling police to prevent the opening of a car park on the Sabbath in Jerusalem. Abir Baker, a lawyer with Adalah, a legal group for Israel's 1.3 million-strong Arab minority, said the ruling was the first...

A Scoundrel with Permission
16 Nov 2009 - By Uri Avnery - Israel When the TV news starts with a murder, people are relieved. This means that no war has broken out, no suicide bomb has exploded, no Qassam rocket has been launched at Sderot. Ahmadinejad has not test-fired a new missile that can reach Tel Aviv. Just another murder. Not that Israel is the world’s murder capital. We shall have to work much harder to reach the heights of New York or Moscow, not to mention Johannesburg. Statistics even show our murder rate is declining. But lately Israel has been shocked by a series of exceptionally brutal murders. A husband took revenge on his wife by killing his little daughter and burying her in a forest. A man who lived with the wife of his son killed her daughter, his own granddaughter, put her little body in a suitcase and threw it into Tel Aviv’s Yarkon river. A son who quarreled with his wife killed her and her mother, cut up both bodies and dispersed the parts in garbage bins. A young man who had a quarrel with his mother killed her, and then went off to kill his brother, too. A man in his 70s killed his wife in her sleep with a hammer. In recent weeks, there were two cases that trumped even these atrocities. Damian Karlik, an immigrant from Russia who worked as head waiter in a Russian restaurant, was dismissed for theft and decided to take revenge on the owners, Russian immigrants like...

Campus Watch Copycats Close in on Israeli Professors
16 Nov 2009 - By Jonathan Cook - Nazareth Right-wing groups in Israel want to create a climate of fear among left-wing scholars at Israeli universities by emulating the 'witch-hunt' tactics of the US academic monitoring group Campus Watch, Israeli professors warn. The watchdog groups IsraCampus and Israel Academia Monitor are believed to be stepping up their campaigns after the recent publication in a US newspaper of an Israeli professor’s call to boycott Israel. Both groups have been alerting the universities’ external donors, mostly US Jews, to what they describe as “subversive” professors as a way to bring pressure to bear on university administrations to sanction faculty staff who are critical of Israeli policies. “I have no hesitation in calling this a McCarthyite campaign,” said David Newman, a politics professor at Ben Gurion University, in Israel’s southern city of Beersheva. “What they are doing is very dangerous.” Last month, in what appeared to be a new tactic, IsraCampus placed a full-page advertisement in an official diary issued to students at Haifa University, urging them to visit its website to see a “rogues’ gallery” of 100 Israeli scholars the group deems an “academic fifth column”. “The goal is to transform our students into spies in the classroom to gather information and intimidate us,” a senior Israeli lecturer said. “It’s a model of ‘policing’ faculty staff that has been very successful in stifling academic freedom in the US.” Both Israel Academia Monitor, established in 2004, and the later IsraCampus, model themselves on Campus Watch, a US...

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