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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
24 November, 2009

News

International Middle East Media Center

Abbas: “Obama Is Doing Nothing To Advance Peace”
IMEMC 24 Nov 2009 - Tuesday November 24, 2009 - 23:40, Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, stated that U.S. President, Barack Obama is, so far, doing nothing to facilitate the peace process, and added that he hopes Obama will be playing an essential role.

The Israeli military kidnaps eight civilians from the West Bank
IMEMC 24 Nov 2009 - Tuesday November 24, 2009 - 15:41, The Israeli military kidnapped on Tuesday at dawn eight Palestinian civilians during pre dawn invasions targeting a number of west Bank communities.

Israel Bans Senior P.A Official From Al Aqsa For Six Months
IMEMC 24 Nov 2009 - Tuesday November 24, 2009 - 11:27, The Israeli Authorities decided to ban Fateh official, Hatem Abdul-Qader, from the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem for six months. The official said he will not respect the decision as ‘it facilitates the settlers’ attacks against the mosque’.

Three Palestinians Wounded In An Israeli Air Strike In Rafah
IMEMC 24 Nov 2009 - Tuesday November 24, 2009 - 10:14, Palestinian medical sources reported on Tuesday morning that three Palestinians suffered mild-to-moderate wounds after the Israeli Air Force shelled the ‘Tunnels Area’ in Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.

Two Qassam Fighters Killed In Gaza
IMEMC 24 Nov 2009 - Tuesday November 24, 2009 - 06:15, The Al Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, reported that two of its fighters were killed on Tuesday at dawn in an explosion that took place in a home near Al Shijaeyya neighborhood in Gaza.

Israeli TV: “Israel Agees To Freeze Settlements For 10 Months”
IMEMC 24 Nov 2009 - Tuesday November 24, 2009 - 01:49, The Israeli TV, Channel One, reported on Monday at night that Israel agreed to freeze all settlement activities, except in Jerusalem, for 10 months.

Ma'an News

Israeli forces seize eight in night raids
11/24/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israel's military said on Tuesday that it detained seven Palestinians during overnight raids in the occupied West Bank. One raid took place in a village near Ramallah, another near Qalandiya (south of Ramallah) and a third in Hebron, the army said, adding that all the detainees were taken because they were "wanted. " ¯Additionally, after raiding the village of Jayous, northeast Qalqiliya, Israeli forces detained Muhammad Hasan Salim, 68, and took him to an unknown location. Salim was expected to travel to Mecca to perform Hajj on Tuesday, under the sponsorship of Saudi Arabia who underwrote the cost of the pilgrimage for 2,000 Palestinians who lost relatives in Israeli attacks. The raids come amid reports of progress toward a deal in which Israel would release 1,000 of the estimated 10,000 Palestinians it holds in its prisons in exchange for a soldier held by fighters in Gaza. 

Hearing for deported BU student postponed at Israeli court
11/24/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The Israeli High Court issued a two-day extension for military prosecutors to file a report that will ultimately determine whether deported Bethlehem University student Berlanty Azzam will be allowed to finish her degree. Israeli prosecutors have until 11am on Tuesday to file a report on their findings from a 17 November interview with Berlanty at the Erez crossing. So far their case has rested on accusations that Berlanty was residing in the West Bank illegally, and her deportation is part of a security campaign. Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev told CNN the treatment of Berlanty, who was detained for hours, blindfolded and handcuffed then dropped off at the Erez crossing and told to go home, was in keeping with Israeli concerns that Gaza-registered Palestinians may be coerced by family members to push forward Hamas-policy in the West Bank. 

Israeli settlers stone public bus on Ramallah-Tulkarem road
11/24/2009 - Tulkarem - Ma'an - Israeli settlers from the illegal colony of Yitzhar injured a Palestinian man travelling in a public bus on a main road near the settlement on Tuesday, the victim of the attack reported. The service taxi, carrying seven passengers in total, was assailed by a barrage of stones launched by Israeli settlers in the northern West Bank. The car was travelling from Ramallah to Tulkarem at the time. The injured man, Muhammad Al-Sheikh, was taken by Red Crescent ambulance to the Thabet Thabet Hospital in Tulkarem from the scene. He was treated for moderate chest wounds, medics said. [end] 

Israeli airstrikes injure four in Gaza
11/24/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Four Palestinians were injured when Israeli warplanes targeted smuggling tunnels along the Gaza Strip's border with Egypt on Tuesday morning, a medical official said, while another strike hit near Gaza City. Muawiyah Hassanein, the director of ambulance and emergency services in the Ministry of Health in Gaza, said the four were received at the Abu Yousef An-Najjar Hospital in Rafah, and that all sustained moderate to slight wounds. An Israeli military spokesperson confirmed that warplanes struck two tunnels in the border area, as well as what he described as "a Hamas-owned weapons facility in Gaza City. " Sources in Gaza, however, said the northern target was a blacksmith's shop in Gaza City's Zaytoun neighborhood. Israel'smilitary spokesperson further reported that strikes were in response to two "rockets," actually homemade projectiles, reportedly fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel on Monday evening. 

Barghouthi: Negotiations failed to release prisoners
11/24/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Jailed Fatah Central Committee member Marwan Barghouthi said he regrets the failure of talks with Hamas and Israel to guarantee the release of Palestinians in Israeli prisons, a letter from the leader said Tuesday. The letter, addressed to the International Conference on Detainees launched in Jericho told participants that"it is regrettable that the negotiations and agreements have failed to release the prisoners. The victims of this failure are the hundreds of prisoners who have been in jails for more than 32 years such as Na'el Al-Barghouti, Fakhry Al-Barghouthi, Karim Younis, Othman Musleh, Fuad Ar-Razemand and many others. " ¯It was not clear, however, whether the letter from Barghouthi was proclaiming as failed the most recent round of talks between Israel and Hamas via Germany over the possible release of 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the handing over of a captured Israeli soldier. 

Hamas: Israel continues to manipulate swap talks
11/24/2009 - released in exchange for a video tape of Shalit[MaanImages] Bethlehem/Cairo - Ma'an - Israel has exaggerated the progress of recent prisoner swap talks and manipulated the hopes and expectations of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, Hamas leaders proclaimed late Tuesday. The proclamation followed days of reports from Palestinian and Israeli media heralding the immanent release of 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for an Israeli soldier captured in 2006. Talks have been proceeding with German mediation following the release of a video tape showing the Israeli soldier in good health. "If a deal is not struck in the next 48 hours," Hamas sources said, it will be proof of Israeli reticence over the terms of the swap deal, and a refusal to show seriousness in the talks. One leader called recent media coverage "propaganda only. 

Hamas: PA detained 13 of our members
11/24/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Hamas reported on Tuesday that the Fatah-allied Palestinian Authority security forces detained thirteen people affiliated with the Islamic movement in the last two days. Hamas said in a statement that the detentions took place near the West Bank cities of Nablus and Tulkarem. Since Hamas seized full control of the Gaza Strip in June 2007, the PA has consolidated power in the West Bank, arresting members of opposing parties and banning Hamas from public demonstrations or other displays of affiliation. Hamas authorities in Gaza have also clamped down on Fatah activity, allegedly arresting members of the group and banning its activities. Arrests as a method of political repression in both the West Bank and Gaza have been a stumbling block in efforts to reunite the rival movements. 

Two Gaza crossings opened
11/24/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Israeli authorities opened the Kerem Shalom crossing and the Nahal Oz fuel terminal in Gaza on Tuesday, while Karni remained closed. According to Palestinian crossings coordinator, Raed Fattuh, between 129-139 truckloads of humanitarian 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] 

Woman dies of suspicious causes in E. Jerusalem
11/24/2009 - Jerusalem - Ma'an - A Palestinian woman was found dead from unknown causes in a home in As-Sawahra, East Jerusalem, Palestinian police said on Tuesday. The unnamed woman, 33, was found with a discolored blue face and injuries to her mouth, a statement said. The woman's body was transferred to the Beit Jala Hospital for forensic examination, a police statement said. Police said they informed the chief prosecutor of the incident and are treating the woman's death as suspicious, adding that they have opened an investigation. The corner from Al-Quds University Hospital, however, said the woman was from a Hebron-area village, and noted that the cadaver was turned away from the facility because it "could not accommodate" the body. From the Al-Quds Morgue the body of the woman was sent to an Israeli facility in Beit Safafa. 

Gaza: Relatives of victims of Israeli attacks to receive Eid donations
11/24/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - The Support for Martyrs' Families Foundation will distribute financial assistance to the families of victims of Israeli attacks in Gaza for the Eid Al-Adha Muslim holiday, the foundation announced on Tuesday. Fathi Shahin, head of the foundation, told Ma'an that the organization has begun distributing the donations ahead of the Eid Al-Adha feast on Friday. Shahin stated that the families concerned should proceed to the Islamic Bank where the funds will be made available to them. [end] 

Two Hamas fighters killed in explosion
11/24/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Two Palestinian operatives affiliated to Hamas' armed Al-Qassam Brigades were killed and four others injured in a home-explosion near the Karni border crossing with Israel on Tuesday, local sources reported. The home, in the Ash-Shuja'iyya neighborhood of Gaza City, was destroyed, though it was unclear what caused the explosion. The two killed were identified as Ahmad Abu Ghaniyya and Muhammad Nawati, according to the director of the ambulance and emergency services in Gaza, Muawiyah Hassanein. Hassanein added that the four other injured Palestinians were treated at the Ash-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. According to the Al-Qassam Brigades' website, an official communiqué was issued by the paramilitary group on Tuesday morning saying the party "Mourned. . . . two of her field leaders who were martyred while performing a jihadi task in the Ash-Shuja'iyya neighborhood. . . 

Netanyahu seeking to approve minor settlement freeze
11/24/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may ask his cabinet to approve a 10-month freeze on settlement construction in the West Bank only in an attempt to resume peace talks, Israeli media announced on Tuesday. According to the Israeli daily Haaretz, a senior Israeli official in Jerusalem said the initiative would not bring about a halt to construction in East Jerusalem but would implement limitations on settlement construction in the West Bank. The Palestinian Authority has demanded a complete halt to settlement construction in the West Bank including East Jerusalem before officials come to the table for peace talks. The US administration, once adamant over the halt of settlement construction has waffled over the past months and failed to demand a halt, calling proposed slow-downs in construction "unprecedented" progress. 

Report: Israeli cabinet would approve Shalit deal
11/24/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The Israeli cabinet would approve a prisoner swap deal releasing 1,000 Palestinians for captive soldier Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit if the issue came up for a vote, Israeli media wrote on Tuesday. Following reports that Hamas was meeting in Cairo with a German mediator to finalize a deal. The Israeli news site Ynet reported that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyhu would not receive opposition in his cabinet to endorse the swap. The list of Knesset members who would sanction the prisoner swap include Defense Minister Ehud Barak and ministers from his Labor party, while the religious party Shas appears as though it will remain undecided until the day of the vote as leaders consult with the party's spiritual leader for advice, according to Ynet. The news that there would be an overwhelming cabinet approval for a prisoner exchange deal comes after Monday's. . . 

Syria’s Bab Al-Hara stars leave Gaza via Rafah
11/24/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Twelve Syrian soap-opera superstars left the Gaza Strip on Monday via the Rafah border after a 24 hour solidarity visit to the besieged enclave. In addition to meeting with de facto Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, the delegation of actors toured the tunnels in Rafah, the Gaza government's Ministry of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs and met with families who lost relatives to Israeli attacks. The group included Wafa Mousselie and Salim Kallas, who play leading roles on the hugely popular soap opera Bab Al-Hara (Gate of the Neighborhood), watched by tens of millions across the Arab world, broadcast nightly during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The actors appeared in a play entitled "Shayata"¯ staged by the Al-Mustaqbal (Future) Society for Culture and Development in the city of Khan Younis during their visit. 

Jericho hosts international conference on prisoners
11/24/2009 - Jericho - Ma'an - The International Conference on Palestinian Prisoners began in Jericho on Tuesday, attended by delegations representing local and international human rights organizations. Also in attendance was caretaker Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, who delivered a speech thanking the participants and addressing current Palestinian detainees: "I say to you that you are not alone and we will stand by you until you are released. " ¯ The conference on Palestinian prisoners was sponsored by the Palestinian Authority, who stated that the conference's aim was to mobilizeinternational support for the right to freedom of Palestinian detainees and their recognition as Prisoners of War in accordance with the Forth Geneva Convention and international treaties ratified by Israel. Fayyad highlighted that, "The death of over 200 detainees inside Israeli prisons as a result of medical negligence,. . . 

Fayyad: Israeli stubbornness impeding peace process
11/24/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - Caretaker Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said the Israeli refusal to bring settlement construction and activity to a complete standstill as the central reason for the stall in peace talks, during a news conference on Tuesday alongside German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle. During their meeting in Ramallah, Fayyad and Westerwelle discussed the peace process and what is needed to overcome the obstacles in front of it. Fayyad highlighted his own efforts to prepare for the establishment of a Palestinian state capable of serving the Palestinian people. The prime minister also emphasized the need for the Palestinian Authority to undertake further efforts to declare a sovereign Palestinian state and ensure the implementation of the Road Map agreement. Westerwelle, for his part, pledged continued German support for the Palestinian people and the Palestinian Authority,. . . 

Egypt: Rafah to open one way Wednesday, Thursday
11/24/2009 - Cairo - Ma'an - The Rafah border crossing will be open one way on Wednesday and Thursday for patients and Palestinians in Egypt to enter the Gaza Strip, Palestinian Embassy in Egypt announced Tuesday. The Egyptian authorities will open the Rafah crossing only to allow travelers to enter Gaza, the statement said, adding that the Egyptian authorities had come to this decision because of the advent of the Muslim holiday of Eid Al-Adha on Friday. The statement further called on all Palestinians and patients stranded in Egypt to go directly to the border crossing when it is opened, adding that no prior registration will be needed to cross the border. [end] 

Abed Rabbo: Hamas would form pact with Satan
11/24/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - Senior PLO official Yasser Abed Rabbo assailed Hamas on Tuesday morning, accusing the group of plotting to "ally with the devil" in order to weaken the Palestinian Authority (PA). The criticism comes amid media reports that Hamas is poised to conclude a deal with Israel that would involve the release of 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for a soldier held by guerrillas in Gaza. Both Fatah and Hamas prisoners would be released. An exchange of this magnitude would be a victory for Hamas and a potential embarrassment for the Fatah-dominated PA and PLO leadership in Ramallah, who have not secured any similar victories vis-a-vis Israel. President Mahmoud Abbas demanded a halt to settlement construction before he would head back to the negotiating table, but the recent Israeli approval of 900 homes to be constructed in the Bethlehem-area settlement of Gilo further highlighted the failure of the move. 

Fatah forms elections commissariat
11/24/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - Palestine's Fatah party established an elections commissariat for the first time in the movement's history, according to Fatah Central Committee member Muhammad Al-Madani on Tuesday. The newly formed elections commissariat began a three-day tour of the West Bank, starting in Hebron, where they will prepare Palestinians for the upcoming legislative and presidential elections, Al-Madani said. The elections, initially called for 24 January, were postponed indefinitely by the Central Elections Committee in October. By preparing the population for elections, the official said, Fatah is showing its support for the democratic process. Al-Madani compared the party's commitment to Palestinian elections to the recent election of new members to Fatah's ruling bodies during the party's Sixth Congress in Bethlehem in August. 

Haniyeh bids farewell to Mecca-bound families
11/24/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - De facto Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh bid farewell to a group of families of Palestinians killed in conflict with Israel who are travelling from Gaza to Mecca on Tuesday. Officials in Haniyeh's government and Egyptian security sources said Egypt planned to open the crossing to allow 1,000 members of the families to make the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca. The Palestinian Authority announced last week that Saudi Arabia plans to pay for 2,000 family members of the deceased make the Hajj pilgrimage. Another group of 1,000 are travelling from the West Bank. [end] 

Italians consulted as traffic violations block Palestinian courts
11/24/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Palestinian judges and police met with Italian specialists this week to discuss possible solutions to the backlog of cases over traffic violations plaguing the Palestinian court system, police announced Tuesday. The specialists ran a two-day workshop for 35 members of the Palestinian Higher Judicial Council (HJC) and Civil Police (PCP) coordinated by EUPOL COPPS. The workshop brainstormed ways to relieve Palestinian courts of the burden of dealing with cases relating to car theft, improper licensing, and traffic tickets. "Stealing cars and selling them has become a culture. We have to work to change this and prevent its social acceptance,"PCP Investigation Department Brigadier Jaber Asfour commented during one session, while his colleague Judge Raed Abdul Hamid noted "Police officers and courts are the first to suffer from the accumulation of cases due to car theft and other violations of the law. 

British Council funds Palestinian womens motor racing
11/24/2009 - Jerusalem - Ma'an - Head of the Palestinian Motor Sports Federation (PMSF) Khaled Qaddura signed a cooperation agreement with the British Council Tuesday, for the support and encouragement of women participating in the sport. Support will come in several stages, the first of which will see women outfitted with the equipment necessary to participate in races, a second to send Palestinian women racers for training in the UK, and a possible third; the donation of cash prizes to the PMSF events to attract more participants. Equipment for the women will include the refurbishment of a 1988 BMW to top racing condition and a fund for maintenance. The car will be used for women to practice in and race. The car was donated by PMSF member Rand Abu Hujer. The support agreement with the British Council was signed with Head of Public Relations for the program Karen McCluskey, in the presence of Project Manager Michael Sansour. 

PSE drops: Al-Quds Index down 0.28% on Tuesday
11/24/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Stocks on the Palestine Securities Exchange in Nablus fell on Tuesday. The Al-Quds Index closed at 498. 01, decreasing by 1. 39 points (0. 28%). Trading volume was 457,766 shares traded for a total value of 710,690. 91 US dollars in 290 trades. The shares of 25 companies were traded, the shares prices of 11 companies rose, and eight declined. The top five gainers were AHC by 3. 95%, PRICO by 3. 95%, WASSEL by 3. 33%, LADAEN by 3. 23%, and PID by 2. 08%. The top five losers were AZIZA by 4. 44%, GCOM by 4. 35%, ISBK by 4. 11%, PCB by 3. 61%, and AMB by 1. 28%. [end] 

Jordan’s king dissolves parliament
11/24/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Jordan's King Abdullah II has dissolved parliament halfway through its four year term and called early elections. The decision was announced on state television on Monday, according to Reuters. The royal decree goes into effect on Tuesday, ending the current term of what many consider a rubber-stamp assembly of 110. Opposition Islamist lawmakers charged that the dissolution order was an attempt to allow the king to rule by decree. The parliament has also been accused of handling legislation ineptly. The cabinet recently failed to get approval for changes to the election law that would have further reduced the influence in parliament of the opposition Islamist group, the Muslim Brotherhood. "Clearly the government wants things its own way," Hamza Mansour of the Islamic Action Front, the political arm of the Brotherhood, told the Associated Press. 

Ha'aretz Defense page

Barak: Israel to target Lebanon if Hezbollah escalates tension
Ha'aretz 24 Nov 2009 - Defense Min. says Israel does not accept that a militia like Hezbollah sits in Lebanon government. 

Iran official warns Russia of legal action over S-300 missiles
Ha'aretz 24 Nov 2009 - Tehran has voiced growing irritation at Moscow's failure to supply it with the S-300 missile defense system. 

Abbas: Palestinians won't launch new intifada, despite frustration
Ha'aretz 24 Nov 2009 - 'We will not go back to an intifada because we have suffered too much,' says Abbas in Argentina. 

Wary of pro-settler protest, IDF strip-searches troops at ceremony
Ha'aretz 24 Nov 2009 - IDF wary soldiers to declare refusal to evacuate settlements as soldiers from the Kfir Brigade did. 

IDF planes attack Gaza arms depot and smuggling tunnels
Ha'aretz 24 Nov 2009 - The rocket attacks violated an agreement over the weekend by militant factions in Gaza to halt them. 

Netanyahu: We'll have public and Knesset debates on Shalit swap
Ha'aretz 24 Nov 2009 - PM seeks to calm hopes over deal for soldier; Shalit's father 'not reassured' after meeting negotiator. 

Gaza rocket hits Israel, despite Hamas moratorium on Qassams
Ha'aretz 24 Nov 2009 - Hamas declared Sat. that militants agreed to halt cross-border rocket fire; no casualties in attack. 

Rightist MKs: 'Cursed' deal for Shalit will bring terror to Israel
Ha'aretz 24 Nov 2009 - 'These murderers have killed between one to 65 people each, so start doing the math,' says MK Eldad. 

Netanyahu aide hopes PA peace talks will be renewed within weeks
Ha'aretz 24 Nov 2009 - Uzi Arad: Our priority is to renew the peace talks; Peres: PM can and must make peace with Palestinians. 

Two settlers charged with attacking Palestinian shepherd
Ha'aretz 24 Nov 2009 - Suspects claim to have acted out of self-defense when they beat shepherd near Mitzpeh Yair outpost. 

Israel looks toward IDF pullout from Lebanon border village
Ha'aretz 24 Nov 2009 - Ministers recommend handing control of Ghajar to UN troops, letting residents keep Israeli IDs. 

Rabbis at secret meet: Soldiers who refuse orders are 'heroes'
Ha'aretz 24 Nov 2009 - Religious Zionist rabbis hold meeting to discuss ways of bolstering refusal to evacuate settlements. 

Iran launches 'huge' war games amid threats to strike Tel Aviv
Ha'aretz 24 Nov 2009 - War games aimed at helping protect nuclear sites; Iran cleric: We'll strike heart of Tel Aviv if attacked. 

IDF vows 'zero tolerance' for soldiers who refuse orders
Ha'aretz 24 Nov 2009 - IDF Chief echoes comments made by Defense Minister and PM, says troops will be needed for all missions. 

IDF soldier who tried to sell army rifle jailed for 20 months
Ha'aretz 24 Nov 2009 - Offending soldier and two others were suspected of burying stolen weapon with the intention of selling it. 

Number of IDF recruits seeking combat service jumps by 6%
Ha'aretz 24 Nov 2009 - As in previous years, IDF infantry brigades are most highly sought after, of which Golani still most popular. 

ANALYSIS / Gaza war brought Israel its quietest year in a decade
Ha'aretz 24 Nov 2009 - However, formulating an answer to rocket attacks seems to be a complex and lengthy process. 

Uruknet

[uruknet.info] Gaza: the young bird keeper
Uruknet November 24, 2009 - It was a lovely story, that of a boy who caught birds in order to protect them. He lives, the boy, but his hopes died in the massacre Israeli authorities and soldiers commited in Gaza last winter..."He used to brings the birds in order to care for them," Abed said, "because there are no trees in...

[uruknet.info] Together we can make this next voyage happen
Uruknet November 24, 2009 - On November 7 and 8, The Free Gaza interim board of directors met in London to plan our strategy for 2010 as well as to schedule the next mission to Gaza. The situation in Gaza is as bad today as it was the day the bombs stopped falling in January. The Gaza Strip is still sealed;...

[uruknet.info] Hamas: Israel continues to manipulate swap talks
Uruknet November 24, 2009 - Israel has exaggerated the progress of recent prisoner swap talks and manipulated the hopes and expectations of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, Hamas leaders proclaimed late Tuesday. The proclamation followed days of reports from Palestinian and Israeli media heralding the immanent release of 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for an Israeli soldier captured in 2006. Talks...

[uruknet.info] Is Israel preparing for a new war on Gaza?
Uruknet November 24, 2009 - Although its major offensive on the Gaza Strip ended in January, Israel's sporadic attacks have not stopped. Early last Sunday Israeli aircrafts launched raids on targets in the Gaza Strip, wounding seven Palestinians and destroying many buildings. The army justified its aggressive action claiming that a rocket was fired from the Gaza Strip. The raids targeted...

[uruknet.info] HUMAN TOUCH OR THE CURSE OF ZIONISM
Uruknet November 24, 2009 - Cold and wet. That describes the weather in Jerusalem today. Cold and wet. That describes the situation of the scores of Palestinian families living on the streets of occupied East Jerusalem, homeless because of illegal demolitions or evictions. Homeless because they are Palestinians living in a land occupied by illegal settlers, no other reason. The occupiers...

[uruknet.info] FAR BEYOND CHUTZPAH
Uruknet November 24, 2009 - "How come Barak, Israel's Defence Minister, is under threat of being arrested in the UK while Khaled Mashaal, the leader of Hamas, roams London free of concern" asks Prof Alan Dershowitz, who is probably the leading defender of the Jewish state in America. In fact the question could be easily extended, one may wonder how come...

[uruknet.info] Video: Tracing all That remains of the destroyed village of al-'Abbasiyya, Palestine
Uruknet November 24, 2009 - al-'Abbasiyya is a destroyed Palestinian village located 5 km East of Jaffa, and during the 1948 war it was completely destroyed and ethnically cleansed by the Israeli troops...

[uruknet.info] A Right of Return primer (Arabic and English)
Uruknet November 24, 2009 - A referential drafting extracted from the Human Rights Covenants and human principles and the laws related to it based on the basis that Palestinian Arabs should have the same human rights as the rest of the peoples of the world....1- The Right of Return is the right for individuals and groups to return at any time...

[uruknet.info] Veolia and Alstom continue to abet Israel's rights violations
Uruknet November 24, 2009 - Despite mounting pressure to withdraw from the light rail project in Jerusalem designed to serve the needs of Israel's illegal settlements, the French transportation giant Veolia is set to be highly involved in the project for the next five years. The company needs to support its new Israeli partner, the Dan Bus Company, which lacks the...

[uruknet.info] JCSER warns of Israeli plan to deport more than 20,000 Palestinians from J'lem
Uruknet November 24, 2009 -- The Jerusalem center for social and economic rights (JCSER) warned of Israeli intentions to deport more than 20,000 Palestinians from the West Bank who married from Jerusalemite women at the pretext that their residence in the holy city is illegal. The center said that many of those Palestinian citizens have temporary residence permits issued by the...

[uruknet.info] Israeli airstrikes injure four in Gaza
Uruknet November 24, 2009 - Four Palestinians were injured when Israeli warplanes targeted smuggling tunnels along the Gaza Strip's border with Egypt on Tuesday morning, a medical official said, while another strike hit near Gaza City. Muawiyah Hassanein, the director of ambulance and emergency services in the Ministry of Health in Gaza, said the four were received at the Abu Yousef...

[uruknet.info] Killing Hope
Uruknet ...During the early 1990's, in a television interview, one former member of the US military stated in a British TV show, that "one Iraqi life is not worth ten American lives" in reference to the Basra Road Massacre, with this mantra proving itself to be still alive and kicking but in the regime of Nouri Al-Maliki, who only through the...

Palestine Telegraph

Palestinians tear down chunk of own 'Berlin' wall
West Bank, November 24, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - Palestinians mark 20th anniversary of fall of Berlin Wall by protesting Israel's 'apartheid' wall. Palestinians tore down a chunk of Israel's West Bank separation barrier (known by Palestinians as 'apartheid' wall) on Monday in a protest staged to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the day the Berlin Wall came down. A...

Israeli minister: Shalit prisoner swap 'very close'
Palestine, November 24, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - Ben Eliezer expects Israeli government to approve prisoner-swap deal with Hamas soon. An Israeli minister said on Tuesday that a deal with the democratically elected Hamas movement to swap a Gaza-held soldier in exchange for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners was "very close." "I think that we are very close to a deal on...

Press reports 'progress' in talks to free Shalit
Jerusalem, november 23, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) - Report Hamas leaders will meet to study details of plan to swap Israeli soldier for Palestinian prisoners. Israeli President Shimon Peres said on Sunday there has been "progress" in talks to free soldier Gilad Shalit, held captive by Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip for the past three years. "Everyone knows there is...

NGO: Israel-Palestinian conflict kills 8,900 in 20 years
Jerusalem, November 23, 2009, ( Pal Telegraph ) - B'Tselem says 7,398 Palestinians killed, 4,300 homes destroyed in 20 years of conflict. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has claimed almost 8,900 lives in two decades, the vast majority of them Palestinians, the Israeli human rights group B'Tselem said in a statement published on Sunday. Israeli forces killed 7,398 Palestinians, including 1,537 minors, both in...

Hamas: Gaza armed groups agree to truce
Gaza City, November 22, 2009, ( Pal Telegraph ) - Agreement between Al-Qassam Brigades and other factions seeks to keep together internal front. Hamas's armed wing on Sunday said that armed groups in its Gaza Strip stronghold had finalised a deal to stop firing rockets into Israel, but said they would respond to Israeli raids.   "The agreement between (Ezzedine) Al-Qassam (Brigades)...

The National

Netanyahu may seek partial limits on settlements
The National 24 Nov 2009 - Israel’s prime minister to seek government backing for curtailing construction but would still allow development in areas already approved.

Lebanon police force caught in spat over reforms
The National 24 Nov 2009 - Arguments over authority within the country's unity cabinet could derail modernisation efforts.

Bad blood between Egypt and Algeria runs deeper than football
The National 24 Nov 2009 - Violence is latest incident in escalating diplomatic row between Egypt and Algeria, whose two World Cup qualifying matches this week inflamed decades-old tensions.

The legal legacy of a ‘hedonist’
The National 24 Nov 2009 - In an unprecedented case, the former prime minister Ehud Olmert faces trial for graft, while some of his ministers have been sentenced.

Inside Israeli jails, the real victims of a cry for justice
The National 24 Nov 2009 - Jesse Rosenfeld: Amid the growing media fever over a possible prisoner swap involving the release of Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier held by Hamas, another young captive has a less visible public profile – but personifies Israel’s chokehold on Palestinian self-expression.

Aljazeera

Jordanian king disbands parliament
AlJazeera 24 Nov 2009 - Jordan's MPs sent home as King Abdullah II orders snap general election.

'Progress' in Shalit swap talks
AlJazeera 23 Nov 2009 - Israeli president raises hopes captured soldier will be swapped for Palestinian inmates.

Lula backs Iran's nuclear programme
AlJazeera 23 Nov 2009 - Brazil president declares support for Tehran's quest for "peaceful nuclear energy".

Gaza groups deny rocket ceasefire 
AlJazeera 23 Nov 2009 - Palestinian groups say there has been no deal on suspending rocket fire into Israel.

Alternative Information Center

New Campaign to Defend Gaza Workers in Israeli Courts: Call for Solidarity and Action
Alternative Information Center 24 Nov 2009 - In the area between Israel and the industrial zone of Erez, the rights of thousands of workers from Gaza have disappeared The Closure of Factories in the Erez Industrial Zone The industrial zone of Erez, constructed...

Art Exhibition Organized by the AIC: Jerusalem...Like Heaven or Closer
Alternative Information Center 24 Nov 2009 - 

Palestine News Network

Syrian Actor Duraid Lahham Enters Gaza along with a group of actors and actresses
PNN 23 Nov 2009 - Duraid Lahham is probably considered one of the most prominent Arab actors to participate in breaking the siege on Gaza. The Syrian actor and satirist is perhaps the equivalent of Bob Hope, Larry David and Jon Stewart put in one. Through his most famous character, Ghawar Attoshe, and for several decades, he provided the most stinging political satire and social commentary the...

Mubarak, Peres hold 'frank' Middle East talks
PNN 23 Nov 2009 - EGYPTIAN President Hosni Mubarak and Israeli counterpart, Shimon Peres, have held discussions in Cairo on efforts to restart Middle East peace talks after the Egyptian leader accused the Jewish State of creating obstacles to a settlement with the Palestinians. The talks, according to Reuters yesterday, came as Israeli aircraft attacked two suspected weapons-making factories and a smuggling tunnel in the Gaza Strip...

Three Palestinians Wounded In An Israeli Air Strike In Rafah
PNN 24 Nov 2009 - Palestinian medical sources reported on Tuesday morning that three Palestinians suffered mild-to-moderate wounds after the Israeli Air Force shelled the ‘Tunnels Area’ in Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip. The wounded residents were moved to a local hospital while dozens of residents rushed out of their homes fearing additional strikes. In related news, the Israeli Air Force bombarded a...

Jerusalem Post

Hamas site encourages Europe attacks
Jeruslalem Post 24 Nov 2009 - Study finds Al Fateh site incites children to commit suicide bombings in Germany, all over Europe.

Analysis: Getting the interests straight
Jeruslalem Post 24 Nov 2009 - Israel's interest has always been to release Schalit far away enough from the Palestinian elections to prevent prisoner release from significantly undermining Abbas.

Hamas discusses Schalit deal in Syria
Jeruslalem Post 24 Nov 2009 - Gaza official accuses Israel of "dragging its feet" on swap; Eitan: Hamas doesn't want Barghouti free.

Labor rebels: Even a super-adviser can't save party
Jeruslalem Post 24 Nov 2009 - Sources praise appointment of Barak's new chief of staff, but doubt he can heal rift in ailing party.

Law passed to allow IDF widows to retain benefits after remarrying
Jeruslalem Post 24 Nov 2009 - 

Olmert aide's trial put on hold
Jeruslalem Post 24 Nov 2009 - As Shula Zaken pleads "not guilty" in court, former PM's travel coordinator requests trial postponement.

Terror victims' families petition High Court demanding details of Schalit deal be publicized
Jeruslalem Post 24 Nov 2009 - 

Abbas: PA will not launch third intifada
Jeruslalem Post 24 Nov 2009 - In Argentina, Palestinian Authority president says his people are focused on the path of peace.

Russia, China join other powers in readying Iran resolution
Jeruslalem Post 24 Nov 2009 - Draft document calls on Teheran to be more open about nuclear plans following recent revelation of secret uranium enrichment facility.

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.

MIDDLE EAST/ASIA: Crunching the swine flu numbers 
IRIN DUBAI Wednesday, November 18, 2009 (IRIN) - More people have died from H1N1 influenza in Iran than in any of the 22 countries in the World Health Organization (WHO) Eastern Mediterranean Region, according to WHO’s 14 November update.

SYRIA: Drought response faces funding shortfall 
IRIN DAMASCUS Tuesday, November 24, 2009 (IRIN) - With a few weeks left before the end of this year’s planting season, UN officials have raised concerns over the lack of funds to help drought-hit farmers and herders in northeastern Syria.

Inter Press Service

BRAZIL-IRAN: New Boost to South-South Diplomacy 
IPS RIO DE JANEIRO, Nov 24 (IPS) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's controversial visit to Brazil further underscored the independence of this country's diplomacy, and gave Tehran a chance to defend its points of view on the construction of a lasting peace in the Middle East.

MIDEAST: Palestinian Children Face Daily Settler Attacks Getting to School 
IPS AT TUWANI, Nov 23 (IPS) - Being able to travel to school in relative safety is something children all over the world take for granted. But, for Palestinian children living in the shadow of the ubiquitous and illegal Israeli settlements dotting the West Bank, simply walking to school can be...

Stop The Wall

Daily invasions rock Jayyus
Stop The Wall - For the past weeks, the village of Jayyus has been subjected to daily military raids. In response to residents’ ongoing resistance to the Wall, soldiers have threatened individuals, destroyed property, set curfews and engaged in shooting on a near daily basis. Collective punishment has feature strongly into this campaign, with Occupation forces targeting house owners, youth and farmers. [

Jayyus still held hostage by invasions
Stop The Wall - Military incursions into Jayyus continued this past week, as many as three times daily. Clashes and curfews have characterized village life, and undercover units have attempted to trap local youth. Although there has of yet been no serious injuries among the villagers, a group of young men were arrested several days ago. [

PCHR Weekly Report

PDF
PCHR 

(12-18 Nov. 2009)
PCHR During the reporting period, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian child and wounded 6 civilians, including two children, in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

International Solidarity Movement

Inside Israeli jails, the real victims of a cry for justice
11/24/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Jesse Rosenfeld, The National - Amid the growing media fever over a possible prisoner swap involving the release of Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier held by Hamas, another young captive has a less visible public profile - but personifies Israel's chokehold on Palestinian self-expression. Mohammad Othman, 33, from the West Bank town of Jayyous, and an activist with the grassroots Palestinian organisation Stop the Wall, was arrested on September 22 at the Allenby Bridge crossing on the Jordanian border. He was on his way home after a meeting in Norway with supporters of the global movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions on Israel (BDS). Adameer (Arabic for "conscience"¯), the Palestinian prisoners' support and human rights organisation, contends that his arrest is a result of "his successful human rights advocacy and community activism"¯. 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

EasyJet apologizes for photo shoot at Holocaust memorial 
Ha'aretz 24 Nov 2009 - Budget airline easyJet has apologized for printing photographs of models posing at Berlin's Holocaust memorial in its in-flight magazine and says it has withdrawn all copies of the publication. ...

U.S. offers $5 million reward for elusive Palestinian bomb-maker 
Ha'aretz 24 Nov 2009 - The U.S. State Department announced Tuesday that it is offering a reward of up to $5 million for a Palestinian bomb-maker suspected of once targeting commercial airliners and of aiding the Iraq insurgency. ...

Ben-Eliezer: We stopped snowballing Israel-Turkey tensions
Ha'aretz 24 Nov 2009 - Industry, Labor and Trade Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer on Tuesday said that his visit to Turkey achieved its goal of warming ties between the two countries and that the government must now do more to encourage better diplomacy. ...

Abbas: Obama is 'doing nothing' for Middle East peace
Ha'aretz 24 Nov 2009 - Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas complained that U.S. President Barack Obama "is doing nothing for the peace process" in the Middle East so far. ...

UN official: Gilo expansion threatens Middle East peace 
Ha'aretz 24 Nov 2009 - Israel's decision to expand the settlement at Gilo in East Jerusalem is an impasse to the Middle East peace process that must be overcome, a UN official told the Security Council on Tuesday. ...

The Guardian

Hamas officials hold talks on Shalit prisoner swap deal
The Guardian 24 Nov 2009 - Reports say deal to free Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in return for release of Palestinian prisoners may be close at hand Ian Black: deal could herald big breakthrough Senior figures from the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas...

Netanyahu's Syrian distraction | Chris Phillips
The Guardian 24 Nov 2009 - France-brokered talks between Syria and Israel are unlikely to provide an avenue for peace neither is offering anything new A glimmer of hope in the moribund Middle East peace process surfaced in Paris recently when Nicolas...

Israeli prisoner swap with Hamas could herald big Middle East breakthrough
The Guardian 24 Nov 2009 - Deal for captive soldier Gilad Shalit may include return of the one man able to rebuild Fatah and unite the Palestinians: Marwan Barghouti Prisoner exchanges have been part of the terms of trade of the Middle...

Obama's nuclear spring | Benny Morris
The Guardian 24 Nov 2009 - An Israeli attack on Iran's atomic weapons plants rests on one thing the US president's approval The talk in Israel, explicit and open including in the country's leading daily, Haaretz , last week is about a war...

An insidious argument for censorship | David Henshaw
The Guardian 23 Nov 2009 - The legitimate questions raised by Dispatches deserve better than to be dismissed as Islamophobia and antisemitism So what's it like to go from being Britain's top Islamophobe (Dispatches' Undercover Mosque ) to Britain's top antisemite (Dispatches' Inside...

Gaza militant groups agree to stop firing rockets into Israel
The Guardian 22 Nov 2009 - Deal appears to be attempt by Hamas to prevent another descent into conflict Hamas has won an agreement from other militant groups in Gaza to halt rocket fire into Israel for the first time in almost...

Ha'aretz National page

Report: Top Hamas officials in Damascus to discuss Shalit swap 
Ha'aretz 25 Nov 2009 - A Palestinian delegation involved in the negotiations in Cairo to free abducted Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit arrived in Damascus to discuss finalizing the deal with Hamas politburo chief Khaled Meshal, Arabic news station Al Arabiya reported Tuesday. ...

Four killed as helicopter crashes near Netanya
Ha'aretz 24 Nov 2009 - Four people were killed Tuesday when their civilian helicopter crashed into the waters off the coast of Netanya, rescue workers said. ...

UN official: Gilo expansion threatens Middle East peace 
Ha'aretz 24 Nov 2009 - Israel's decision to expand the settlement at Gilo in East Jerusalem is an impasse to the Middle East peace process that must be overcome, a UN official told the Security Council on Tuesday. ...

Education official: Arab students lower standardized test scores
Ha'aretz 24 Nov 2009 - Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar said on Monday that the growth and effectiveness measures for schools in 2009 demonstrated a slight improvement, but also indicated a broadening gap between Jewish and Arab students, as well as students from low and high socio-economic classes. ...

Health Ministry: 90,000 have already received swine flu vaccine
Ha'aretz 24 Nov 2009 - More than 90,000 people in Israel have received swine flu vaccinations thus far, of which 43 developed side effects, the Health Ministry reported on Tuesday. ...

Relief Web

OPT: Lack of political progress in Middle East has created vacuum for violence, extremism, senior political affairs official tells UN SC
Relief Web 24 Nov 2009 - Source: UN Security Council

Detainees in Israel and Occupied Palestinian Territories must be treated humanely
Relief Web 24 Nov 2009 - Source: Amnesty

OPT: UN Secretary-General should evaluate Gaza inquiries
Relief Web 24 Nov 2009 - Source: Human Rights Watch

AED 3 billion provided by UAE Red Crescent for humanitarian purposes
Relief Web 24 Nov 2009 - Source: Emirates News Agency

Ministerial declaration: ESDP ten years – Challenges and opportunities
Relief Web 23 Nov 2009 - Source: European Union

OPT: Paper football signed by UN chief fetches over $200,000 at charity auction
Relief Web 23 Nov 2009 - Source: UN News Service

YNet News

Rabbi Metzger for Shalit: Rightist rabbis irresponsible
YNet News 24 Nov 2009 - After some 50 rightist rabbis speak out against Shalit release deal, chief Ashkenazi rabbi goes on attack: As long as rabbi does not have full information, including IDF and intelligence reports, impossible to establish decisive halachic stance 

Hamas leaders head to Syria for Shalit talks
YNet News 24 Nov 2009 - Getting closer to finalizing Shalit deal? Top Hamas figures leave Cairo Tuesday for consultations in Damascus; senior Hamas member warns that Israeli stubbornness could torpedo prisoner swap 

United front against Iran?
YNet News 24 Nov 2009 - Diplomats say Russia, China to join Western powers in resolution critical of Tehran 

Barak warns Lebanese government
YNet News 24 Nov 2009 - Lebanon will be held accountable for Hezbollah actions, defense minister says 

State Prosecution: Saadat a threat to society
YNet News 24 Nov 2009 - State refuses to remove terror group leader from confinement, claiming he will give orders from cell 

Vilnai: Next war to include all Israel
YNet News 24 Nov 2009 - As State concludes restoration of public shelters in North, Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai says, 'There won't be another war that doesn't involve civilian population' 

B'tselem

B'Tselem marks twentieth anniversary with a heavy heart
21 Nov 2009 - On its 20th anniversary, B'Tselem is publishing statistics on the human rights situation in the Occupied Territories covering the time since the organization was founded. During this period, 7,398 Palestinians, 955 Israeli civilians, and 488 members of Is

Daily Star

Iran 'could consider' sending nuclear fuel abroad provided guarantees in place
Daily Star 24 Nov 2009 Iran could consider sending its low-enriched uranium abroad, the Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday, signaling a possible softening of its opposition to a plan aimed at easing Western concern over its nuclear ambitions. Last week Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki rejected a UN-drafted deal that would see Iran ship low-enriched uranium (LEU) abroad for reprocessing.

Netanyahu casts doubt over prisoner swap
Daily Star 24 Nov 2009 An Israeli prisoner exchange with Hamas has not yet been agreed and may not happen, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday, after a senior Cabinet colleague predicted a breakthrough within weeks. "There is still no deal, and I do not know if there will be one," Netanyahu, whose reticence on the state of the Egyptian.

Brazil urges Iran to maintain talks with West
Daily Star 24 Nov 2009 Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrived in Bolivia for a short visit on Tuesday, the second leg of a Latin America tour of three leftist nations sympathetic to his administration. He was greeted at the airport with full military honors by President Evo Morales. Ahmadinejad began his itinerary on Monday in Brazil, where his host, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

US pitches unique F-35 fighter jet to Israel
Daily Star 24 Nov 2009 The United States has offered to add Israeli systems and munitions to a new US-built fighter jet and deliver it to Israel by 2015, provided a deal is sealed in coming months. Lockheed Martin Corp, maker of the radar-evading F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, would tie in Israeli-built command, control, communications, computer and intelligence systems for a unique version of the jet for sale to Israel.

What is new? It has always been like this
Daily Star 24 Nov 2009 No one believes the United Nations will respond positively to a recent Palestinian request for the creation of a Palestinian state within borders as they were in 1967, with Jerusalem as its capital and the right of return for Palestinian refugees according to all international terms of reference and Security Council resolutions.  Nevertheless, the way the subject was approached is worth considering carefully., No one believes the United Nations will respond positively to a recent Palestinian request for the creation of a Palestinian state within borders as they were in 1967, with Jerusalem as its capital and the right of return for Palestinian refugees according to all international terms of reference and Security Council resolutions.  Nevertheless, the way the subject was approached is worth considering carefully.

Turkey, Israel pledge to mend battered ties
Daily Star 24 Nov 2009 Turkey and Israel Tuesday pledged commitment to improve ties as an Israeli minister held talks in Ankara, the first since Israel's war in Gaza poisoned ties between the two regional allies. "We are doing our best to try to make progress in our ties - and I am confident we will keep our friendship on the right course, in the best shape," Benjamin Ben Eliezer.

Jordan's king orders reform of controversial election law
Daily Star 24 Nov 2009 Jordan's King Abdullah II on Tuesday ordered his government to amend the country's controversial election law and ensure a "transparent" vote, a day after he dissolved Parliament. "We instruct the government to immediately start planning for parliamentary elections, which should be transparent and fair, reflecting Jordan's reform drive," the king told Prime Minister Nader Dahabi in a letter, a palace statement said.

Palestinian Information Center

Hayya: Hamas can never give up the resistance option
PIC 24 Nov 2009 - Dr. Khalil Al-Hayya, a member of Hamas political bureau, stated Monday that his Movement can never renounce the option of resistance which is considered one of its fundamental principles.

American students to visit Gaza
PIC 24 Nov 2009 - A team of American students is to arrive in the Gaza Strip on Friday in a solidarity visit, the expertise society for consultants and development said on Tuesday.

Abbas’s militias kidnap 13 Palestinian citizens in Nablus and Tulkarem
PIC 24 Nov 2009 - Mahmoud Abbas’s militias reportedly kidnapped 13 Palestinian citizens affiliated with Hamas during the last two days in the districts of Nablus and Tulkarem.

Khudari: Qatari, Turkish institutions approve financing project for the disabled
PIC 24 Nov 2009 - MP Dr. Jamal Al-Khudari has announced that three Turkish and Qatari institutions had given their preliminary approval to finance a project to rehabilitate the disabled in the Gaza Strip.

Israeli troops and officers raid homes of Hamas members in Jenin
PIC 24 Nov 2009 - Israeli troops and intelligence officers on Monday stormed and ransacked Palestinian homes belonging to Hamas-affiliated citizens in the town of Yabad, west of Jenin.

Meoni: Geneva government to finance Palestinian heritage museum
PIC 24 Nov 2009 - Patrice Meoni, the minister of culture in the Geneva government, said that his government was ready to finance the establishment of a Palestinian heritage museum in the Gaza Strip.

JCSER warns of Israeli plan to deport more than 20,000 Palestinians from J’lem
PIC 24 Nov 2009 - The Jerusalem center for social and economic rights (JCSER) warned of Israeli intentions to deport more than 20,000 Palestinians from the West Bank who married from Jerusalemite women.

Haneyya meets with British and US priests in Gaza
PIC 24 Nov 2009 - Palestinian premier Ismail Haneyya met Monday with a delegation of British and American priests in addition to Christian Gazans and stressed the importance of such visits.

Hamas: Talk about a near exchange deal premature
PIC 24 Nov 2009 - The Hamas Movement has described the media reports on a near prisoners' exchange deal between Israel and the Palestinian resistance factions capturing Gilad Shalit as "premature".

Israeli warplanes blast Gaza targets, wound three citizens
PIC 24 Nov 2009 - Israeli warplanes blasted a number of targets in the Gaza Strip for the second day running at dawn Tuesday wounding three Palestinian citizens and starting a big fire, locals reported.

Los Angeles Times

Israel, Hamas said to be near deal on prisoner swap 
LA Times 24 Nov 2009 - Israeli officials are tight-lipped as negotiators hammer out details in Cairo to free Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, being held by Hamas, in exchange for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners. Expectations of a swap of hundreds of jailed Palestinian militants for an Israeli soldier held by Hamas soared Monday after some of the most promising signs of progress in years of negotiations. 

PASSINGS: Yang Xianyi, Ali Kordan, Alan Kim Kurumada 
LA Times 24 Nov 2009 - Yang Xianyi, Chinese poet and translator, dies at 94; Ali Kordan, Iranian interior minister dismissed in credentials flap, dies at 51; Alan Kim Kurumada, longtime assistant director, dies at 64 Yang Xianyi 

Egypt's Nile Delta: Fertile land, but not for jobs 
LA Times 23 Nov 2009 - Young men scatter from the area like seeds on the wind, taking what work they can get in neighboring countries, hoping to save enough, perhaps, for that apartment that would allow them to marry. The rice has been harvested, the chaff burned. It's time for planting winter wheat, seed sunk deep into new furrow, as white birds with razor beaks land on fields to feast. 

Lula takes risk in welcoming Ahmadinejad to Brazil 
LA Times 23 Nov 2009 - President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva may lose global influence by playing host to the Iranian leader, who is searching for new economic opportunities ahead of stiff sanctions the West has threatened. Reporting from Bogota, Colombia Borzou Daragahi, and Beirut -- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrives today in Brazil on a Latin American and African tour amid U.S. and domestic criticism that, by playing host, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is squandering his newfound global influence. 

Iran begins air-defense drills to protect nuclear sites 
LA Times 23 Nov 2009 - Iran says Israel would pay a heavy price if the West launched airstrikes. Meanwhile, opposition leader Mir-Hossein Mousavi praises anti-government protesters. Iran on Sunday launched what it described as its biggest air-defense drill ever with the aim of preparing to protect its nuclear sites from possible airstrikes as international talks to resolve the long stalemate over the nation's atomic research program falter. 

New York Times

Talk of Prisoner Exchange Tempered
New York Times 25 Nov 2009 - Israel’s prime minister sought to dampen speculation about a deal with Hamas to recover an Israeli soldier. 

Prisoner Swap Appears Near in the Mideast
New York Times 24 Nov 2009 - Hundreds of prisoners could be exchanged for the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, and officials said the deal would likely include Marwan Barghouti, a popular West Bank leader.

Misc

Berlanty Can not Complete Final 2 Months of Her Degree in Bethlehem 
11/24/2009 - WAFA - Palestine News Agency - TEL AVIV, November 24, 2009 (WAFA)– The Israeli army maintained its refusal to allow Berlanty Azzam to return to her studies in Bethlehem, stated the Israeli State Attorney’s Office in a supplementary statement submitted today to the High Court following an urgent petition submitted by 'Gisha – Legal Center for Freedom of Movement. 'The State's update was submitted following a military hearing conducted for Berlanty after the High Court ordered the State to grant her the legal right that was originally denied to her – the opportunity to present her claims and appeal her removal, while exercising her right to legal representation. The hearing took place on November 17, 2009, at the Erez Crossing in the presence of Gisha attorney, Adv. Yadin Elam. In its statement today, the State continues to claim that Berlanty, a 22-year-old student who was forcibly removed to the Gaza Strip last month. . . . -- Links: IDF Insists: Berlanty Azzam can not complete the final 2 months of her degree in Bethlehem

Ambulances Denied Access to Neighborhoods in E. Jerusalem without Police Escort 
11/23/2009 - WAFA - Palestine News Agency - JERUSALEM, November 23, 2009 (WAFA)- Three Human rights organization sent an urgent letter to the Israeli Deputy Minister of Health and the Jerusalem Police Chief demanding the immediate cancellation of preventing ambulances from entering Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem without an Israeli police escort , saying this policy violates the residents' right to life and health. Adalah, Physicians for Human Rights – Israel and Al Mezan Center for Human Rights demanded the immediate cancellation of instructions preventing Magen David Adom (MDA) ambulances from entering the Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem without prior permission and police escort even in emergency cases. According to the instructions, the MDA ambulance must wait in a Jewish neighborhood adjacent to the Palestinian neighborhood and may not enter it to transfer the injured or the sick person to the hospital. . . . . -- Links: VIDEO - Ctrl Alt Shift Film Competition Winner No Way Through

Israel Plans To Deport More Than 20,000 Palestinians From Jerusalem 
11/24/2009 - Political Theatrics - The Jerusalem center for social and economic rights (JCSER) warned of Israeli intentions to deport more than 20,000 Palestinians from the West Bank who married from Jerusalemite women at the pretext that their residence in the holy city is illegal. The center said that many of those Palestinian citizens have temporary residence permits issued by the Israeli ministry of interior and until now they have not been given a right to stay permanently with their wives in Jerusalem according to the procedures of reunion. Ziyad Al-Hammouri, the director of the center, explained in this regard that the Israeli interior ministry published last year in a local newspaper a notice ordering what it called “the inhabitants of Judea and Samaria living in Jerusalem illegally”, in reference to the West Bank citizens who live with Jerusalemite wives in the holy city, to apply for temporary residence permits. 

VIDEO - Israeli Soldiers Admit to War Crimes During Gaza War 
11/23/2009 - Political Theatrics - July 15, 2009 - Soldiers who took part in Israel’s 2008 war on Gaza have spoken out on what they say really happened during the 22-day offensive. Israel has rejected charges that it could be guilty of war crimes. Now the activist group Breaking the Silence has published soldiers’ testimonies saying crimes were committed, and even encouraged. -- Links: Breaking The Silence and Watch on YouTube [end] 

Vilnai: Next War to Include All Israel 
11/24/2009 - Political Theatrics - Al-Manar - Three-and-a-half years have passed since the Second Lebanon War, and Tuesday morning saw the end of a project for the renovation and restoration of bomb shelters in northern occupied Palestine in a festive ceremony. The Israeli Prime Minister’s Office and the Defense Ministry invested NIS 96 million (roughly $25. 27 million) in the renovation of 3,019 public shelters. An additional 1,838 joint shelters were renovated by the administration for the restoration of the North and the Amigour company. Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai said that in the event of another military operation, the fighting will not only be felt near the occupied Palestinian borders, but throughout the entire Zionist entity. “We are building the State of Israel’s civilian front,” he said, “A war only on the military front, as in the Yom Kippur War – not involving the civilian population – will not reoccur. 

No improvement in Palestinian access to Israeli-occupied West Bank land, UN reports 
11/23/2009 - United Nations: International Law - 23 November 2009 – Israel continued to increase freedom of movement for Palestinians between most urban centres in the West Bank over the past six months, but access to land has not significantly improved, with 60 per cent of the area remaining largely off-limits for use and development, according to a new United Nations report released today. “The easing of Palestinian movement between urban centres is a welcome step,” the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in its monthly update, noting that access still continues to be severely restricted to and from areas behind the barrier – which Israel says it is building to keep out suicide bombers and other attackers – including East Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley, as well as within the Israeli-controlled area of Hebron. “Further measures aimed at restoring Palestinian control over West Bank space are required. . . . "

Statement by Middle East Quartet
11/24/2009 - United Nations: International Law - Following is the text of the statement issued today in New York by the Quartet ( United Nations, Russian Federation, United States and European Union): The Quartet -- United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, United States Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, United States Special Envoy for Middle East Peace George Mitchell, High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy of the European Union Javier Solana, European Commissioner for External Relations Benita Ferrero-Waldner and Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt -- met in New York on 24 September 2009. They were joined by Quartet Representative Tony Blair. Recalling the fundamental principles laid down in its statement in Trieste on 26 June 2009, the Quartet welcomes the recent meetings between United States President Barack Obama, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and. . . . 

VIDEO - Ctrl Alt Shift Film Competition Winner No Way Through
11/24/2009 - YouTube - Written and Directed by: Alexandra Monro + Sheila Menon, Mentor: Jim Threapleton, Music: The Thirst -- No Way Through highlights mobility restrictions imposed in the West Bank, that are limiting its habitants access to health care, thus violating a fundamental human right. Take Action to help people in the Occupied Palestinian Territories get justice. -- Links: Ambulances Denied Access to Neighborhoods in E. Jerusalem without Police Escort [end] 

Israeli-Palestinian Peace Moves Breaking Down 
11/25/2009 - Scoop - United Nations - Israeli-Palestinian Peace Moves At ‘Deep And Worrying Impasse,’ UN Official Warns - New York, Nov 24 2009 2:10PM With no Israeli-Palestinian negotiations underway, no agreed terms of reference for such talks, and Israel’s refusal to freeze settlements posing a key challenge, a senior United Nations official today called for “immediate actions on the ground” to prevent Middle East peace efforts from unravelling. “It is vital at this juncture that the international community takes a clear and united position,” Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Haile Menkerios told the Security Council in its monthly briefing on the crisis, warning that political efforts for a negotiated two-State solution have reached “a deep and worrying impasse,” even as security and economic efforts have continued on the ground. -- Links: UN: Lack of Political Progress in Middle East Has Created Vacuum for Violence. . . . 

Israel: New Holding Cells are Being Built 
11/24/2009 - Scoop - Public Committee Against Torture - Following a petition filed by the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) to the High court of Justice, the State announced this week that it has begun building a new detention complex next to the Ofer Camp military courts (near Ramallah) that will replace the present facility. According to the state, the new facility "will be built with high standards, and an emphasis on the quality of the conditions of detention of those being held in the cells", and that the construction is expected to be completed in six months. The State also said that efforts will also be made in the beginning of 2010 to find a solution to the harsh detention conditions in a similar facility at the Salem Camp (near Jenin) through the appointment of an expert in air conditioning and ventilation. The petition was filed in November 2007 on behalf of a number of Palestinian. . . . 

IDF Insists: Berlanty Azzam can not complete the final 2 months of her degree in Bethlehem 
11/24/2009 - Gisha - Gisha requests that the Court instruct the army to let Berlanty return to her studies in Bethlehem. -Berlanty has already missed almost a month of her studies; she was due to finish her BA in Business Management in less than two months - Israel admits that it has no security concerns regarding Berlanty and that she was removed only because the address listed on her identity card is in Gaza - Since 2000, Israel has enforced a sweeping ban on Palestinian students from Gaza studying at universities in the West Bank. -- The IDF maintained its refusal to allow Berlanty to return to her studies in Bethlehem, stated the Israeli State Attorney’s Office in a supplementary statement submitted today to the High Court of Justice following an urgent petition submitted by "Gisha – Legal Center for Freedom of Movement". -- Links:Berlanty Can not Complete Final 2 Months of Her Degree in Bethlehem

Qadoorah 'More than 2000 cases torture during the past year' 
11/16/2009 - Palestinian Prisoners Society - Reports - Male Prisoners: A prisoner loses his eye and another has injured a main artery in the heart during interrogation. The president of the Prisoners' Club Qadoorh has confirmed that the Israeli occupation forces exerted and continue to exercise violence, beatings, physical and psychological torture against Palestinian prisoners and everyday there is evidence and facts on the barbarism of the occupation forces against prisoners. He also adds that for example the prisoner Majid Mohammed Khalaf from Rantis and who has been detained since 9/18/2001 and sentenced to 15 years in prison, and according to statement by him during a visit with the prisoners clubs lawyer that he was in interrogation for over seventy days in the Mascoobiya, and during the investigation he was subjected to all forms of torture from physical and psychological torture to beatings, being tied in by the hands standing all day, and solitary confinement, also being deprived of sleep for long periods of time. 

German government to give Israel warships for free: PROTEST DEMO 
11/24/2009 - Palestine Think Tank - Jonas Feller for Campo Anti-Imperialista - Israel, which has recently been condemned by the UN Human Rights Council because of their war crimes (1), asks Germany to build them two new warships – for free. (2) After the German chancellor Merkel argued in front of the US congress that “whoever threatens Israel, threatens us” (3), it seems as if Israel will get what it wants. This wouldn’t, however, be anything new: At the turn of the millennium, Germany financed three submarines spending 560 Million Euros on them. In 2012, there will two additional submarines, this time German tax payers will have to pay 333 Million Euros. (4) If the German government is going to deliver weapons to Israel, they are therefore directly responsible for taking part in the Zionist terror against the Palestinians, the Lebanese and maybe against Syrians, Iranians next… While they are talking about peace and human. . . . 

PCHR Director Addresses International Criminal Court Assembly of States Parties; Meets with Chief Prosecutor 
11/22/2009 - Palestinian Centre for Human Rights - On Friday 20 November 2009, the Director of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), Mr. Raji Sourani, addressed the Assembly of States Parties of the International Criminal Court (ICC) speaking on behalf of the Coalition for the International Criminal Court. In his speech, annexed to this release, Mr. Sourani addressed the key problems facing the ICC today, in particular certain States political self-interest, and the apparent desire to shield alleged war criminals from justice. Mr. Sourani pointed out the implications of this position on universal justice, stressing the need for universal ratification of the ICC. During his visit to Europe, Mr. Sourani also met with Mr. Moreno-Ocampo, the Prosecutor of the ICC. This meeting followed up on issues discussed previously, and focused on the possibility of the ICC launching an investigation into Israel’s war on Gaza. 

Extensive Israeli Campaign Against Palestinian Civil Construction Activities in Area C; New Demolition Orders Issued Against 60 Palestinian Houses, Apartments and other Civilian Facilities in the West Bank
11/19/2009 - Palestinian Centre for Human Rights - Israeli Occupation Forces have escalated their systematic campaign against Palestinian civilian construction activities in areas under their full control according to the Oslo Accords signed by the government of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in 1993. Areas classified as Areas C in the West Bank are currently subjected to extensive Israeli campaigns aimed at undermining the Palestinian presence. Israel is also expanding construction activities in settlements and the annexation of new areas of Palestinian lands in Area C, including occupied East Jerusalem and its surroundings. The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) strongly condemns all these measures taken by Israel and stresses the legal status of the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT). PCHR calls upon the international community to urgently and promptly take serious action to compel the government of Israel, the occupying power, to put an end to all illegal measures. 

Three Israeli Air Strikes Injure 10 Palestinians and Damage Palestinian Houses and Other Property, Al Mezan Condemns Escalation of Israeli Aggression
11/22/2009 - Al Mezan Center for Human Rights - On 22 November 2009, Israeli warplanes launched three air strikes at different locations in the Gaza Strip injuring 10 persons and destroying several Palestinian houses and other property. According to Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights’ field investigations, at approximately 12:30am on Sunday 22 November 2009, an Israeli jet airplane launched two missiles at a Palestinian metal workshop belonging to Mohammed Abdel Fatah An-Namroti, 42, near Salah Ad- Din Street in the industrial area of Az-Zawaida village. The 400 square meter metal workshop where six Palestinians used to work was completely destroyed. In addition, the Golden Land Company for Fodder owned by Khadir Hassan Abu Ajwa, 58, was partially destroyed as a result of this air strike. This air strike also damaged the electric network. In a separate attack, at midnight on Sunday 22 November 2009, Israeli jet airplanes. . . . 

Gazan farmers unable to work their land in ‘buffer zone’ 
11/20/2009 - Oxfam - Gazans don’t want to rely on aid. They want to work on their land, reports Catherine Weibel. -- Driving along the buffer zone, a military no-go area that extends along the entire perimeter of Gaza and borders Israel, is an eerie experience. A long, horizontal brownish strip of earth runs along the Wall that separates the Gaza Strip from Israel. The desolate landscape is only dotted with the ruins of destroyed buildings, while a large, silver observation balloon, fully equipped with video cameras by the Israeli army, floats slowly by in the sky. What used to be a green, fertile area of rich farming and grazing land has turned into a deserted place where no one dares to go and cultivate. Gazan farmers are now forbidden to enter the zone by the Israeli army. According to reports, Israeli soldiers shoot towards farmers working on their lands along the buffer zone nearly every week. 

Harvest under Fire 
11/1/2009 - This Week in Palestine - November 2009 - Compiled by the Palestinian Grassroots - Immatin is a small village of nearly 2,500 people that is nestled in the hills east of Qalqilia. Like so many other villages in Qalqilia, Immatin’s recent history is marred by stories of confiscated lands, uprooted olive trees, and the approach of the Wall, which threatens to isolate 10,000 of the village’s 27,000 dunums. To make matters worse, the people of Immatin have the misfortune of living just south of the Qedumim settlement. Founded by the religious settlement movement Gush Emunim in 1975, Qedumim is populated by settlers infamous for their violence, which inevitably increases during the olive harvest. These settlers were responsible for nearly a dozen attacks during last year’s harvest, when they burned and blocked access to fields and attacked farmers with sticks and stones. In just two weeks last October, Qedumim settlers perpetrated three attacks in Immatin. -- Links: This Week in Palestine (PDF)


Articles

Have Israeli Spies Infiltrated International Aiports? 
Jonathan Cook, CounterPunch 11/23/2009
      South Africa Deports Airline Official After Investigation
     South Africa deported an Israeli airline official last week following allegations that Israel’s secret police, the Shin Bet, had infiltrated Johannesburg international airport in an effort to gather information on South African citizens, particularly black and Muslim travellers.
     The move by the South African government followed an investigation by local TV showing an undercover reporter being illegally interrogated by an official with El Al, Israel’s national carrier, in a public area of Johannesburg’s OR Tambo airport.
     The programme also featured testimony from Jonathan Garb, a former El Al guard, who claimed that the airline company had been a front for the Shin Bet in South Africa for many years.
     Of the footage of the undercover reporter’s questioning, he commented: “Here is a secret service operating above the law in South Africa. We pull the wool over everyone’s eyes. We do exactly what we want. The local authorities do not know what we are doing.”
     The Israeli foreign ministry is reported to have sent a team to South Africa to try to defuse the diplomatic crisis after the government in Johannesburg threatened to deport all of El Al’s security staff.
     Mr Garb’s accusations have been supported by an investigation by the regulator for South Africa’s private security industries.
     They have also been confirmed by human rights groups in Israel, which report that Israeli security staff are carrying out racial profiling at many airports around the world, apparently out of sight of local authorities. more.. e-mail

School of Hard Knocks 
Kieron Monks, Ma’an News Agency 11/24/2009
      As she awaits a final verdict, Bethlehem University student Berlanty Azzam (who was sent blindfolded and handcuffed back to Gaza last month) can at least take some consolation from the global campaign on her behalf. Human rights NGOs and the media have pushed her case enough to put genuine pressure on the Israeli government and their policy toward Gazan students.
     Most Palestinian students will not share the world’s shock at Azzam"™s case. To them there is nothing strange about suffering for their degree. Israeli restrictions seem designed to thwart academic potential, arresting lecturers, embargoing equipment and shutting down whole universities.
     Birzeit University, situated on the main road from Ramallah to Nablus, attracts the cream of Palestinian students. Entrance demands are comparable to Oxford and Cambridge. Its reputation is founded on liberal values that treat women as equals and leaves no intellectual stone unturned, including thorny political issues. This partly explains why 85 of its students are currently locked up in Israeli prisons, bringing the total detained to over 400 in the last six years.
     Ala Masalmeh, a final year English student, believes the reason for their treatment is both practical and symbolic. "Education is the main reason for the development of any society. They don’t want Palestinian people to be literate and intelligent.
     Very few of my friends take higher education because of the problems we face. If you tell a soldier at a checkpoint you are a student they will keep you for hours, searching and interrogating you. more.. e-mail

Inside Israeli jails, the real victims of a cry for justice 
Jesse Rosenfeld, The National 11/24/2009
      Amid the growing media fever over a possible prisoner swap involving the release of Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier held by Hamas, another young captive has a less visible public profile – but personifies Israel’s chokehold on Palestinian self-expression.
     Mohammad Othman, 33, from the West Bank town of Jayyous, and an activist with the grassroots Palestinian organisation Stop the Wall, was arrested on September 22 at the Allenby Bridge crossing on the Jordanian border. He was on his way home after a meeting in Norway with supporters of the global movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions on Israel (BDS). Adameer (Arabic for “conscience”), the Palestinian prisoners’ support and human rights organisation, contends that his arrest is a result of “his successful human rights advocacy and community activism”.
     Mohammad was interrogated for two months at the Kishon detention centre in northern Israel. His lawyer told me he was repeatedly asked about his meetings, contacts and political activities in Europe. He alleges that Mohammad was kept in isolation, deprived of sleep, questioned round the clock, and threatened with death.
     On Monday, Mohammad was formally placed in Israeli administrative detention for three months. He is the latest of more than 335 Palestinians held in this way, a practice based on a 1945 emergency British Mandate law and highlighted in a report last month by the Israeli human rights groups B’Tselem and HaMoked.
     I first met Mohammad Othman in Jayyous a year ago, during a protest against the annexation of the towns’s farmland to build Israel’s wall. Residents had just had their permits to cross the wall to their farms revoked, and had rekindled their earlier campaign of resistance.... more.. e-mail


Electronic Intifada
Veolia and Alstom continue to abet Israel's rights violations
Electronic Intifada: 24 Nov 2009 - Despite mounting pressure to withdraw from the light rail project in Jerusalem designed to serve the needs of Israel's illegal settlements, the French transportation giant Veolia is set to be highly involved in the project for the next five years. The company needs to support its new Israeli partner, the Dan Bus Company, which lacks the experience to operate the light rail. Adri Nieuwhof reports for The Electronic Intifada. 

Palestinian schoolchildren face daily settler attacks 
Electronic Intifada: 24 Nov 2009 - AL-TUWANI, occupied West Bank (IPS) - Being able to travel to school in relative safety is something children all over the world take for granted. But, for Palestinian children living in the shadow of the ubiquitous and illegal Israeli settlements dotting the occupied West Bank, simply walking to school can be a terrifying experience. "It is really scary walking to school. We never know when the settlers will attack us and beat us," says Rima Ali, 10. 

A desperate throw of the dice
Electronic Intifada: 24 Nov 2009 - The Palestinian "unilateralism" making recent news is more like a game of politicking -- and a dangerous one at that. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas could be keen to push the proposal for unilateral statehood/Security Council recognition as a way of undermining Salam Fayyad's own "two year plan," amid worries that the US has already designated Fayyad to replace Abbas, just as Abbas himself was "empowered" by the US to sideline and eventually embrace the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. Ben White comments for The Electronic Intifada. 

Hebron's architecture of occupation
Electronic Intifada: 23 Nov 2009 - The word "revenge" is scrawled in Hebrew on a Palestinian school in Hebron in the occupied West Bank. The windows are covered with screens and the play yard obstructed with more screens tipped with barbed wire, to obstruct the stones regularly pelted down by Jewish settlers. Sarah Lazare and Clare Bayard write from Hebron, occupied West Bank. 

In Gaza
the young bird keeper
In Gaza: 24 Nov 2009 - It was a lovely story, that of a boy who caught birds in order to protect them. He lives, the boy, but his hopes died in the massacre Israeli authorities and soldiers commited in Gaza last winter. A friend, Abed, told me the story, as we discussed one of the latest victims of Israeli soldiers’ shooting in Gaza’s border regions with Israel. This one occurred near the northern border on the morning of 15 November. Abed, filming his young bird-catcher friend, saw the bloodied Amjad Hassanain, 27, being carried away by other bird-catchers. “I heard the shots, but didn’t expect the Israelis to shoot at us,” he said. Hassanain survived,...

Palestine Chronicle
Have Israeli Spies Infiltrated International Airports?
Palestine Chronicle: 23 Nov 2009 - By Jonathan Cook - Nazareth South Africa deported an Israeli airline official last week following allegations that Israel's secret police, the Shin Bet, had infiltrated Johannesburg international airport in an effort to gather information on South African citizens, particularly black and Muslim travellers. The move by the South African government followed an investigation by local TV showing an undercover reporter being illegally interrogated by an official with El Al, Israel's national carrier, in a public area of Johannesburg's OR Tambo airport. The programme also featured testimony from Jonathan Garb, a former El Al guard, who claimed that the airline company had been a front for the Shin Bet in South Africa for many years. Of the footage of the undercover reporter's questioning, he commented: "Here is a secret service operating above the law in South Africa. We pull the wool over everyone's eyes. We do exactly what we want. The local authorities do not know what we are doing." The Israeli foreign ministry is reported to have sent a team to South Africa to try to defuse the diplomatic crisis after the government in Johannesburg threatened to deport all of El Al's security staff. Mr Garb's accusations have been supported by an investigation by the regulator for South Africa's private security industries. They have also been confirmed by human rights groups in Israel, which report that Israeli security staff are carrying out racial profiling at many airports around the world, apparently out of sight of local authorities. Concern in South...

Guantanamo Bay - A Poem
Palestine Chronicle: 23 Nov 2009 - By Deepak Sarkar Dedicated to all victims who have been silenced depriving them from Rule of Law and Proof of Conviction Welcome to Guantanimo Bay Cuba! We specialize in converting innocent people to Al-Qaeda! Headquartered in the Indian Ocean, Island of Diego Garcia! The management brain is in Washington DC/Virginia! Our main North American branch is in Indiana, Branch offices recruiting all over including Britain and Australia! Middle Eastern branches are in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia! The newest branch is in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada! If you cooperate we will make an offer you can't refuse! If you don't, you are in for endless torture and abuse! We make sure no one can hear you but everyone only hears us! So whatever we tell media is the final words! We trained for years detained Palestinians as suicide bombers! Methodology starts by putting you in solitary cell lighted 24 hours! Ensuring sleep deprivation waking you up every half an hour! Interrogations and tortures follow until you surrender? And prepared to say what we want you to say and follow orders! You will be chained in hands and legs, looking at the floor all day! Yet have to finish your meal within five minutes permitted! Natures call will be rationed prohibited if you ever protest! You won't be allowed to talk to anyone not even yourself! No religious practice or bowing to anybody except ourselves! Until you are baptized as Al-Qaeda wholly committed! We will train you in all sophisticated bombs and weapons!...

Targeting Muslim Charities in America
Palestine Chronicle: 23 Nov 2009 - By Stephen Lendman - Chicago In a December 2008 article, this writer explained that the Texas-based Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF) was the largest American Muslim charity until the Bush administration bogusly declared it an enemy of the state and shut it down. On December 4, 2001, the Treasury Department declared HLF a terrorist group, froze its assets, and falsely claimed they were being used to funnel millions of dollars to Hamas. HLF's appeal was denied. It provided vital relief to Palestinian refugees in Occupied Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan as well as aid for the needy in Bosnia, Albania, Chechnya, Turkey, America, and elsewhere. Its activities included: -- financial aid to needy and impoverished families; -- a sponsorship program for orphaned children; -- numerous social services; -- educational ones; -- medical and other emergency work; and -- community development, including helping Palestinians rebuild homes that Israel maliciously destroyed. HLF described its work as follows. "We gave: -- books, not bombs; -- bread, not bullets; -- smiles, not scars; -- toys, not tanks; -- liberty, not poverty; -- hope, not despair; -- love, not hate; (and) -- life, not death. Yet a July 27, 2004 press release accompanying a Department of Justice (DOJ) indictment headlined: "HOLY LAND FOUNDATION, LEADERS, ACCUSED OF PROVIDING MATERIAL SUPPORT TO HAMAS TERRORIST ORGANIZATION." Hamas IS NOT a terrorist organization. It's the democratically elected Palestinian government that's been maliciously maligned, targeted, sanctioned, isolated, boycotted, attacked, and held under a devastating Gaza siege since mid-2007....

As a Light Unto the Nations
Palestine Chronicle: 23 Nov 2009 - By Gilad Atzmon - London 'Israel is the light onto the nations' says the Torah. Indeed it is, and not just because the Torah says so. Israel is ahead of everyone else in many fronts. Take for instance, terrorizing civilian populations and practicing some of the most devastating murderous tactics upon elders, women and young. The Jerusalem post reported yesterday that the Chairman of NATO's Military Committee, Admiral Giampaolo Di Paola, visited Israel earlier this week to study "IDF tactics and methods that the military alliance can utilise for its war in Afghanistan." A senior Israeli defence official added "The one thing on NATO's mind today is how to win in Afghanistan...Di Paola was very impressed by the IDF, which is a major source of information due to our operational experience." I would advise both the Israeli official and Admiral Di Paola to slightly curb their enthusiasm. The IDF didn't win a single war since 1967. Yes, it murdered many civilians, it flattened many cities, it starved millions, it has been committing war crimes on a daily basis for decades and yet, it didn't win a war. Thus, the IDF cannot really teach NATO how to win in Afghanistan. If NATO generals are stupid enough to follow IDF tactics, like the Israeli generals, they will start to see the charges of war crimes pile up against them. They may even be lucky enough to share their cells with some Israelis in due course, once justice is performed. Admiral Di Paola...

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