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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
29 November, 2009

News

International Middle East Media Center

The Artery Of Life Expected in Gaza in Mid-December
IMEMC 30 Nov 2009 - Monday November 30, 2009 - 03:30, The Artery of Life 3 humanitarian convoy, led by member of parliament in the British House of Commons, George Galloway, is expected in the Gaza Strip in mid-December, as part of the efforts to break the illegal Israeli siege on the Coastal Region.

Israel To Release 980 Palestinian Detainees For Shalit
IMEMC 30 Nov 2009 - Monday November 30, 2009 - 03:09, Israel decided to release 450 Palestinian detainees as part of a prisoner-swap deal to secure the release of the captured soldier, Gilad Shalit, and would also release additional 550 detainees chosen by the state as part of what was described as a ‘gesture to the Palestinians’.

Israeli army admits that hundreds of soldiers can't speak Hebrew
IMEMC 30 Nov 2009 - Sunday November 29, 2009 - 09:44, The Israeli military's Education Corps admitted Saturday that hundreds of new immigrants to Israel are allowed to serve in combat units in the Israeli occupying forces in the West Bank and borders of Gaza without knowing sufficient Hebrew to understand rules and orders.

Likud Fundamentalists Protest Netanyahu, Obama
IMEMC 30 Nov 2009 - Sunday November 29, 2009 - 05:52, Some 200 Likud party members protested on Saturday evening against the decision of Likud leader, Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, to temporarily freeze settlement activities in the occupied territories. They also protested the US President, Barack Obama, for ‘pressuring’ Israel into freeze settlement construction.

Jordan: “Settlement Freeze Must Include Jerusalem”
IMEMC 30 Nov 2009 - Sunday November 29, 2009 - 01:25, Jordan’s Foreign Minister, Nasser Joudah , stated Saturday that the Israeli declaration of a temporary freeze of settlement activities, excluding in Jerusalem, is an insufficient step that does not help in reaching a two-state solution, as settlement freeze must include occupied East Jerusalem.

Palestinian Authority in West Bank shuts down radio station after Israel claims interference
IMEMC 30 Nov 2009 - Saturday November 28, 2009 - 09:37, The Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, led by Mahmoud Abbas of the Fateh party, shut down a radio station on Friday that Israel claimed was causing interference to air control of the Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, and arrested the station's owner.

Ma'an News

Israel releases Palestinian professor held without charge
11/29/2009 - Salfit - Ma'an - Israel released a Palestinian law professor on Thursday after holding him for 20 months in three different prisons without charge. Dr Ghassan Khaled (known as "Abu Nasser") is a lawyer and lecturer in commercial law at An-Najah University in the West Bank city of Nablus. Khaled was arrested in January 2008, interrogated for 20 days, then released and re-arrested on 31 March 2008. He was held in administrative detention until last Thursday. According to the human rights organization Ahrar, Khaled was tortured while in Israel's Negev, Megiddo and Ofer prisons. Akram Daoud, the dean of the law faculty at An-Najah, told the Chronicle of Higher Education earlier in November that his colleague was held completely without charges. "There are no charges. This was the first time he was arrested. He is religious. He is someone who prays and sometimes talks in the mosques, but he's not connected to any kind of political party," Doud was quoted as saying. 

Settlers label Obama ’enemy of the Jews’
11/29/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Members of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's own party held a meeting on Saturday to voice outrage at a declared slowdown in construction of West Bank settlements. Settler leaders were among the 200 members of the ruling Likud party who attended the meeting in the city of Ra'ana inside Israel. The right-wing activists saved their most intense criticism for US President Barack Obama, who for 10 months has been urging a total freeze on the expansion of settlements on land taken from Palestinians. "The Obama administration is an enemy of the Jews and the worst regime there ever was for the State of Israel," declared Yossi Naim, of the Beit Aryeh regional council, a quasi-governmental organization run by settlers in the northern West Bank. "I announce to Obama: You won't be able to stop us," Naim was quoted as saying by the Israeli daily Haaretz. 

Israel: 980 Palestinians slated for release
11/30/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israel will release 980 Palestinians in exchange for a soldier captured in 2006, its State Attorney's Office said Sunday. The office said Hamas will select 450 names and Israel will choose the rest. The announcement came after an activist group petitioned the country's Supreme Court against a swap deal, according to the Hebrew-language daily newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth. In response, the State Attorney's Office disclosed, "As part of an agreement with Hamas, which would allow the return of soldier Gilad Shalit to Israel. . . there is a possibility for the release in principle of about 450 prisoners whose names are being delivered by Hamas. "Some 530 Palestinians selected by Israel will also be released "[a]s a gesture to the Palestinian people" in a second stage of the deal, the office added. "The list of these prisoners has not been formed yet and no criteria have been set on this matter. . . . " 

Teen detained by Israeli forces overnight
11/29/2009 - Nablus - Ma'an - Israeli forces detained a Palestinian teenager from the Barqa village, west of Nablus, on Saturday night. Palestinian sources told Ma'an that Munjed Ragheb Salah, 16, was detained at the entrance of the village and was taken to an unknown location. The sources added that Israeli troops opened fire against the youth before he was detained, as clashes erupted between the troops and local Palestinians. No injuries were reported. [end] 

A solemn Eid for relatives of Gaza detainees
11/29/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - As the Eid Al-Adha festivities are underway across the world and in the Palestinian territories, relatives of Gazan detainees in Israeli jails describe their sorrow at not being able to rejoice, as the sight of empty chairs at the traditional feast tables fills the homes of Palestinians in Gaza. Among the 800 Palestinian detainees from the Gaza Strip in Israeli jails, prisoner Nafeth Ahmad Harz, 54, has been serving a life sentence since 1985. In cooperation with the Husam Association for Detainees' Affairs, Harz's four children, Ahmad, Muhammad, Suheir and Basma, spoke of the difficulties their family has faced in the 24-year absence of their father. "We were kids when our father was detained and now we are all married and my dear father wasn't there to share in these events with us, but his picture is always there, on the walls in our home," Ahmed said. 

PA police visit families of the slain in Ramallah
11/29/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - A delegation of Palestinian Authority (PA) police officers said it visited the families of Palestinians killed in the conflict with Israel in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Saturday evening on the occasion of Eid Al-Adha. Ramallah police chief Hazem Atallah ordered his officers to visit the parents of the dead in order to check on their living situation and offer gifts, according to a statement from the police department. The police department said the officers were thanked by the families they visited. [end] 

PA forces, Fatah members commemorate victims of Israeli attacks
11/29/2009 - those killed by Israeli attacks [MaanImages] Qalqiliya - Ma'an - Palestinian Authority national security forces and Fatah members in Azzun village placed wreathes on the graves of Palestinian victims of Israeli attacks on Sunday. The commemoration ceremony was undertaken for the Eid Al-Adha holiday. Brigadier Musleh Abu Amid paid tribute to those Palestinians killed by Israeli attacks, adding that their souls will only rest in peace when the land is liberated and Palestinian detainees are released, he said [end] 

Religious, secular Israelis hold duel rallies
11/29/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Hundreds of secular Israelis protested in Jerusalem on Saturday against the recent ultra-Orthodox Jewish campaign to shut down businesses working on the Jewish Sabbath in the city. Secular Israelis waved the Israeli flag and held banners proclaiming "We are sick of [religious] coercion" in response to weeks of Jewish ultra-Orthodox protests in Jerusalem, that have often turned violent, against the American company Intel's opening of office hours on theSabbath and the Jerusalem Municipality's decision to allow a parking lot near the Old City to function on the day of rest. According to Reuters,Israeli police present at Saturday's demonstration reported no violence. A Palestinian photojournalist, Ata Uweisat, said he was assaulted and his car was damaged by ultra-Orthodox demonstrators during one of the previous protests at the Intel offices as he tried to cover a rally that turned violent. 

Abbas concludes South America tour
11/29/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - President Mahmoud Abbas concluded his tour of Latin America in Venezuela on Friday, where he and President Hugo Chavez signed agreements to promote bilateral relations. The agreements included a series of initiatives to increase trade between Venezuela and the Palestinian territories, in addition to student exchange programs, with Chavez emphasizing that the agreements were signed between the State of Palestine, recognized as a sovereign state, and Caracas. In particular, Chavez presented 20 medical school scholarships to Palestinians in addition to other scholarships for master's degrees in the field of science. Furthermore, during a ceremony held at the presidential palace, Chavez announced the decision to appoint a Venezuelan ambassador to the West Bank, stressing, "We now have a charge d'affaires; we will name an ambassador in the coming days. . . 

Greek football delegation concludes Palestine tour
11/29/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - A Greek delegation of veteran footballers and musicians left the occupied Palestinian territories on Saturday evening, following a week of events and visits organized by the Greek organization Struggle Until Victory Forever. The delegation included Greek singer Vasilis Lekkas and a number of Greece's members of parliament. On Thursday, a friendly football match was held between veteran Palestinian and Greek footballers at the Feisal Husseini Stadium in Ar-Ram, the Palestinian team winning 3-1. The Greek delegation toured Palestinian refugee camps and the Israeli Separation Wall, in addition to late President Yasser Arafat's grave in Ramallah, where they placed flowers. A tour of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem was postponed on Friday until the afternoon, as the Struggle Until Victory, Forever delegation participated in the Bil'in and Ni'lin protests against Israel's Separation Wall. 

Netanyahu: Israel wants peace, Palestinians unsure
11/29/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that his administration is fully committed to holding peace talks, but does not believe Palestinians are interested. "It is clear today, to anyone willing to check the facts, that Israel wants peace - to enter the peace process with the aspiration of fulfilling it," Netanyahu said. "I don't see the same firmness on the other side. ""I see preconditions being laid that never before existed. I see legal steps being taken at the international court to advance that absurd thing called the Goldstone report. You can't reach peace if the horizon is moving away, and it is moving away," Netanyahu added, speaking at a journalists conference in Eilat. The PLO has rejected entering into talks with Israel while it continues to expand its borders into Palestinian territory. 

Two arrested for using forged dollars to buy Eid gifts
11/29/2009 - Hebron - Ma'an - Palestinian Authority police said they arrested two people on Friday night they suspected of using forged hundred-dollar US bills in the market in the West Bank city of Hebron According to a statement from the police information office, police acted on a complaint that the two suspects were using the forged currency to purchase gifts for the Eid Al-Adha holiday. After a search, police said they apprehended the two suspects in possession of 2,400 US dollars and the gifts they bought, including a mobile phone worth 300 US dollars and a watch estimated at 100 US dollars. The statement added that both the suspects had Israeli-issued ID cards for Palestinians residents of Jerusalem. They told the police that they obtained the money from a Palestinian in Jerusalem. The statement also mentioned that they returned the gifts to the merchants and that their case was sent to the Hebron prosecutor's office. 

Palestinian police confiscate illegal fireworks
11/29/2009 - Hebron - Ma'an - The Palestinian Authority Customs Department seized large quantities of illegal fireworks from a tradesman from Tulkarem. Husam Khalaileh, an official in the customs department, said that the 50 boxes of fireworks originated from Israel and were confiscated during a complicated sting operation where the tradesman was lured into selling the goods to a merchant in Hebron. The tradesman was transferred to the customs department in Tulkarem for investigation, Khalaileh said, adding that the seized goods will be destroyed. [end]

Fish farming proves successful in Nablus
11/29/2009 - Nablus - Ma'an Exclusive - Yasser Hamdan's fish farming project in the northern West Bank has been hailed as a new Palestinian economic success story, as the Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture seeks to emulate his accomplishments with Brazilian funding to assist the industry's development. Hamdan, known also as Abu Ammar, 47, has successfully implemented a natural fish farming method that consists of 10 homemade water basins and constant vigilance to ensure the water's temperature does not drop below 13 degrees Celsius. This, Hamdan told Ma'an, is the key to guaranteeing that the fish live and grow naturally. It is estimated that every basin produces 900 kilograms of a variety of fish. Although Hamdan started his project three years ago with his five children, he only began to sell his farmed fish to Palestinians this year, at 20 Israeli shekels per kilogram. 

Ha'aretz Defense page

Israel likely to free 980 Palestinians for Shalit
Ha'aretz 30 Nov 2009 - Shalit parents meet FM, say neither 'encouraged nor ill at ease'; soldier reportedly to be brought to Egypt. 

Shalit deal / What would Israel do if Iran captured an IAF pilot?
Ha'aretz 30 Nov 2009 - Israel must prepare for the possibility that if it strikes Iran's nuclear sites, not all of the pilots will come back. 

Hezbollah leadership split amid fears of fresh IDF attack
Ha'aretz 30 Nov 2009 - Fearing repeat of mistakes made in 2006, top militants slam civilian leaders, Lebanon media report. 

Security officer for IDF General Staff suspected of attempted rape
Ha'aretz 30 Nov 2009 - Officer at rank of captain arrested on suspicion of trying to rape 22-year-old near Tel Aviv nightclub district. 

Palestinian killed as IAF strikes Gaza rocket launchers
Ha'aretz 30 Nov 2009 - 3 additional gunmen seriously hurt; IDF: Targeted rocket-launching squad was preparing to fire at Israel. 

IDF foils terror attack along Egypt border
Ha'aretz 30 Nov 2009 - Infiltrator carrying bomb flees to Egypt; Gaza militants fire 5 mortars into Negev, causing no injuries. 

Two Israelis stabbed near Hebron; attacker shot
Ha'aretz 30 Nov 2009 - Palestinian stabs, lightly hurts Israelis in West Bank settlement of Kiryat Arba; IDF launches probe. 

Report: Lebanon says Hezbollah has right to fight Israel
Ha'aretz 30 Nov 2009 - New cabinet has agreed on a policy statement acknowledging Hezbollah's right to bear arms against Israel. 

Report: IDF troops allegedly abused comrade for eight months
Ha'aretz 30 Nov 2009 - Kfir Brigade soldier nicknamed 'punching bag' beaten, humiliated on almost daily basis, reports Israel Radio. 

Mumbai commemorates first anniversary of city-wide attacks
Ha'aretz 30 Nov 2009 - 166 people were killed in near-simultaneous attacks on hotels, train station and Chabad house. 

Report: Lebanese man charged with spying for Israel
Ha'aretz 30 Nov 2009 - Pan-Arab paper says Osama Berri admitted to being in contact with Israeli intelligence since 1990. 

Report: Israel will release Barghouti in Shalit deal
Ha'aretz 30 Nov 2009 - Arab paper: Swap to take place next week; Hamas defers Shalit talks, dashing hopes of quick deal. 

U.S. may allow Israeli upgrades to F-35 fighter jet
Ha'aretz 30 Nov 2009 - An order from Israel has been delayed for months because of discussions on the issue of Israeli systems. 

Barak: Israel to target Lebanon if Hezbollah escalates tension
Ha'aretz 30 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 30 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 30 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 30 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 30 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 30 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 30 Nov 2009 - Hamas declared Sat. that militants agreed to halt cross-border rocket fire; no casualties in attack. 

Uruknet

Israel: 980 Palestinians slated for release
Uruknet November 29, 2009 - Israel will release 980 Palestinians in exchange for a soldier captured in 2006, its State Attorney's Office said Sunday. The office said Hamas will select 450 names and Israel will choose the rest. The announcement came after an activist group petitioned the country's Supreme Court against a swap deal, according to the Hebrew-language daily newspaper Yedioth...

Families of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli Jails: "Our Sons are not terrorists, the real terrorists are the Zionist child-killers"
Uruknet November 29, 2009 - Abu Yasser is an elderly Palestinian farmer living in the southern part of the West Bank. He keeps his eyes glued to Al-Jazeera Television channel these days to follow up the latest news regarding the German-mediated talks between Israel and Hamas over a possible prisoner-exchange deal. He hopes that his son, Ahmed, will be amongst hundreds...

The US "war on the internet"
Uruknet November 29, 2009 - The US "war on the internet" information below is just the tip of a terrible iceberg, rarely even mentioned, much less examined by US mainstream media. It is chillingly self-explanatory. In the works for years, it is being incrementally implemented (for ex., at the most basic sender-receiver authentication level, as 'anti-spam'. 'anti-ID theft' and other personal '...

Sixty Days after his Arrest, Human Rights Defender Mohammad Othman Receives his First Administrative Detention Order
Uruknet November 29, 2009 - On 23 November 2009, after 61 days of detention for the purpose of interrogation by Israeli Security Agency officers, human rights defender Mohammad Othman received his first administrative detention order. The administrative detention order is set for a three month period, during which time Mohammad will be held without charge or trial. The judicial review of...

Ahmad: The Palestinian people reject partition today as they did 62 years ago
Uruknet November 29, 2009 - The head of Hamas's refugee department, Husam Ahmad, said that the conspiracy in 1947 which lead to the adoption of the partition resolution (181) aimed to legitimise the Balfour declaration. In a press statement on Sunday Ahmad said that 62 years on this conspiracy has not stopped, as those international parties behind are very much interested...

The Prisoner Issue and the Israeli Arrogance
Uruknet November 29, 2009 - There are currently 11,000 Palestinian and Arab activists suffering inside Israeli prisons and detention locations. Those people sacrificed their freedom and spent brief or lengthy imprisonment terms for the sake of independence of Palestine and the liberation of their people from Israeli occupation. Those prisoners are at the forefront of Palestinian conscience and memory. There issue...

On the Anniversary of the International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women, the Suffering of Palestinian Women Continues in the West Bank and Doubles in the Gaza Strip
Uruknet November 29, 2009 - This year, on the International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women, the suffering of the Palestinian women continues due to the actions of the Israeli Occupation Forces and internal Palestinian violence. Palestinian women living in the Gaza Strip in particular continue to suffer from the repercussions of the latest Israeli military offensive against the Gaza...

Iran to build more nuclear plants
Uruknet November 29, 2009 - Iran's government has ordered its atomic energy organisation to build 10 new uranium enrichment plants, state media has reported. Irna, Iran's state news agency, said on Sunday that construction of five plants whose locations had already been decided would start within the next two months, while suitable locations would be found for the other five. The...

UN Partition of Palestine
Uruknet November 29, 2009 - The UN General assembly voted 29 November 1947 to recommend partition of Palestine to give the Zionist movement control over 55% of Palestine and leave the Palestinians with 45% of Palestine. The Palestinian natives were then more than 2/3rd of the population and owned 93% of the land. Jews constituted a third of the population (most...

Israel's settlements are ethnic cleansing - justice for Palestine
Uruknet November 29, 2009 - The ideology of Zionism, which supports an exclusively Jewish state in historic Palestine, claims Jerusalem is the "eternal" and "indivisible" home of the Jewish people and the capital of the Jewish state of Israel. This view sees settlements as noble parts of a struggle for Jewish "self-determination". What is covered up is that implementing this plan...

The Geopolitics Of The Dubai Debt Crisis: It's Iran vs. The United States
Uruknet November 29, 2009 - The role of Iran may be the most overlooked in the Dubai debt crisis. Of all the states of the United Arab Emirates federation, Dubai has maintained the closest ties to Iran. Indeed, as international pressure has built on Iran over the past decade, Dubai has prospered from those ties. It provides critical banking and trade...

The Palestinian Prisoners' Plight
Uruknet November 29, 2009 - There are currently approximately 11,000 Palestinian prisoners being held captive in Israeli jails across Israel. Whilst their imprisonment is of itself in direct contravention of international law, the whole arrest, judiciary and imprisonment process compromises their basic human rights. In Gaza, the families of prisoners in Israeli jails meet every Monday at the premises of the...

Palestine Telegraph

The UNRWA: 60 Years of Hypocratic Discourse and Lying !!!
60 years of the UNRWA history of directing and managing the disaster of the Palestinian refugees should be studied again in a different way than the hypocritical one of the UN!!! 60 years of the Palestinian misery that is not only going on but also deteriorating and deepened in lots of places of the diaspora other than Gaza !!  Why...

Adam, "the Terrorist" !!!
This picture, of my wife and our little baby I got yesterday evening Aug. 5th 09, a moment before dusk. Today, my wife went to visit her brother in the “israeli” jail, and of course she got to take our little baby Adam with her. Adam, our baby, is less than two months, he’s exactly 54 days old today as...

Gazan infant diagnosed with brittle bone disease
Gaza Strip, November 26, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - Gaza health officials have diagnosed a Palestinian baby girl with a rare condition caused by a genetic mutation in the production of collagen, commonly called brittle bone disease. "About 10 days after her birth, while her mother was changing her clothes, I noticed a fracture like that of a pencil tip in...

For Gaza's Homeless, Eid is a Time of Despair
Gaza, November 26, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - In the days leading up to Eid al-Adha, Zaid Khadar would usually be buying new clothes for his children and stocking up on traditional foods to celebrate one of the most important dates on the Muslim calendar.

Children in Occupied Gaza, living in Containers as Israeli siege continues
Gaza, November 26, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - A tent, a container, and a lot of wood suspended in the air by a metal column: who can imagine this as a home? Nobody. And before the Gaza War, neither could Om Ramadan.

The National

Egyptian banks’ plea for damages could set precedent
The National 30 Nov 2009 - A petition by two banks claiming Israel stole their stock in a Jerusalem hotel may have wide-reaching implications for Egyptians who lost their property in Israel decades ago.

MPs demand Iran cut back ties with IAEA
The National 30 Nov 2009 - Iranian lawmakers demand Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's government reduce ties with the UN atomic watchdog after it censures Tehran for building a new nuclear plant.

Bad blood between Egypt and Algeria runs deeper than football
The National 30 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.

‘Arab women need not apply’
The National 30 Nov 2009 - Widespread discrimination combined with cultural obstacles mean that fewer than 10pc of Arab women in Israel are in full-time jobs.

The legal legacy of a ‘hedonist’
The National 30 Nov 2009 - In an unprecedented case, the former prime minister Ehud Olmert faces trial for graft, while some of his ministers have been sentenced.

Dark waters
The National 30 Nov 2009 - World Sign of a self-determined Egypt, tool of foreign profiteers, emblem of a populist movement, and reminder of its failure – 150 years after work began on the Suez Canal, Maria Golia tallies the project’s many faces.

Aljazeera

Iran to build more uranium plants 
AlJazeera 29 Nov 2009 - White House condemns "serious violations" as Tehran plans 10 new enrichment plants.

Abbas concludes Latin America tour
AlJazeera 28 Nov 2009 - Palestinian president secures pledge for upgraded ties during stop in Venezuela.

Palestine News Network

Mubarak tells Netanyahu the Jerusalem building must end 
PNN 28 Nov 2009 - CAIRO: Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Cairo has major reservations over the Israeli government’s continued settlement construction, saying it is detrimental to furthering peace efforts. The two spoke on the phone last Thursday, but details from the conversation continues to remain a mystery, as Israeli newspapers published confirmation that the phone call from Netanyahu to...

Palestinians shun Israeli settlement restriction plan 
PNN 28 Nov 2009 - The Palestinian Authority has reacted negatively to Israel's offer to temporarily restrict construction in Jewish settlements in the West Bank. Chief negotiator Sayeb Erekat said any temporary halt that did not include East Jerusalem was unacceptable. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the 10-month restriction was part of a policy he hoped would give a new impetus to peace talks. The US...

Jerusalem Post

Blair: Both Israel, Palestinians want peace
Jeruslalem Post 30 Nov 2009 - Blair tells CNN talks should be started "as quickly as possible," noted "positive" moves on the ground.

25% of young men don't serve in the IDF
Jeruslalem Post 29 Nov 2009 - 40% of girls also don't join army; Likud minister Yisrael Katz: Those who don't serve shouldn't drive.

Barak boosts building inspector staff
Jeruslalem Post 29 Nov 2009 - Civil Administration staff to be tripled as settlers vow to defy W. Bank 10-month construction delay.

Standing up for Israel
Jeruslalem Post 29 Nov 2009 - Butch Bradley isn't concerned about coming here on a comedy tour; NJ is 'more of a war zone,' he says.

Russia vows quick completion of Iran's Bushehr atomic reactor
Jeruslalem Post 29 Nov 2009 - Russian energy minister insists reactor meets all IAEA requirements; statement comes as Iran announces plan to build 10 more enrichment plants.

MK Katz: Make government release Shamgar criteria for prisoner swaps
Jeruslalem Post 29 Nov 2009 - "The US does not negotiate with terrorists, in Israel everything is up in the air."

Barak considers conscripting green police, park rangers to enforce settlement building freeze
Jeruslalem Post 29 Nov 2009 - 

After 'Free Jerusalem' rally, both sides remain steadfast
Jeruslalem Post 29 Nov 2009 - Neither haredi leaders nor organizers of the protest show any indication they would relent.

Barak takes credit for Israel's settlement freeze
Jeruslalem Post 29 Nov 2009 - Ben-Simon says he's staying in Labor - and so should rebels because "the freeze is an extraordinary accomplishment."

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: The Man Who Would Move a Hill 
IPS OCCUPIED EAST JERUSALEM, Nov 28 (IPS) - In this city of fraternal faiths and conflicting political aspirations, dreams need to be made of sterner stuff.

Stop The Wall

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. [

http://stopthewall.org/latestnews/2118.shtml
Stop The Wall - On 23 November 2009, after 61 days of detention for the purpose of interrogation by Israeli Security Agency officers, human rights defender Mohammad Othman received his first administrative detention order. The administrative detention order is set for a three month period, during which time Mohammad will be held without charge or trial. The judicial review of the order is scheduled to take place on 25 November at the Military Court of Administrative Detainees in Ofer Military Base. [

PCHR Weekly Report

(25-11-2009) Weekly Report: On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory
PCHR 

International Solidarity Movement

Gate forced open in Ni’lin’s separation barrier – eight demonstrators wounded and one arrested
11/29/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Popular Struggle Coordination Committee, 28 November - This morning, a group of demonstrators in the West Bank village of Ni'lin managed to surprise the Israeli army and, using bolt cutters, cut open one of the gates in the fence built on the village's lands. Israeli soldiers arrived at the scene and fired rubber-coated steel bullets as well as tear gas canisters at the demonstrators, followed by the use of live ammunition. Eight people were wounded during the action. Seven demonstrators were injured by rubber-coated steel bullets, and a one and a half year-old baby was evacuated to a Ramallah hospital suffering from tear gas inhalation, caused by soldiers firing a tear gas canister into her house. Today marks the first time Israeli soldiers invade the residential parts of Ni'lin in an attempt to suppress a demonstration, since Palestinian demonstrator Aqel Sadeq Srour was shot. . . . 

Residents of Sheikh Jarrah hold Eid al-Adha prayers and demonstrations against ethnic cleansing and house evictions
11/29/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - 27 November - On Friday 27 November 2009, the Eid al-Adha celebration in Sheikh Jarrah, a Palestinian neighbourhood in occupied East Jerusalem, was marked by prayers and demonstrations. In the night unto Eid, the sleep in the neighbourhood was disturbed at 2am by loud music coming from a street party attended by Jewish settler youths, who gathered outside the Shimon HaTzadik Tomb, located just behind the Palestinian houses. This is the same location from which Jewish settlers threw stones at the Palestinian houses in the middle of the night on Friday 6 November. The disturbing music was played for 30 minutes until the police blue-lights drew near. At 7am, the Palestinian families gathered in an open field in the neighbourhood to hold the traditional Eid Friday prayer. The prayer was led by Sheikh Raed Salah, an influential and well known imam, who in his speech talked about the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in 1948, 1967, and until present. 

Eid al-Adha highlights a Gaza family’s struggle to survive
11/29/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Rami Almeghari, The Electronic Intifada, 25 November - Eleven-year-old Rawan at her family's home in the al-Maghazi refugee camp in Gaza. Muslims around the world are about to celebrate Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice), one of the most important dates in the calendar, marking the end of the annual pilgrimage season to Mecca. Traditionally, Muslims slaughter a lamb (or offer money for one to be slaughtered for a poorer family), as an act of faith, as the Prophet Abraham did. In many Muslim countries, it is also a festive time of year, marked by family visits, purchasing new clothing, presenting gifts and offering sweets and candy to guests. Daoud Suleiman Ahmad, 48, an unemployed construction worker, has been unable to find work for almost three years due to the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip. Life for Ahmad and his family in the al-Maghazi refugee camp has been desperately difficult, something that is particularly on his mind during the Eid. 

South Africa: Israeli policy reminiscent of apartheid
11/29/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Ma'an News, 26 November - The South African government urged Israel on Tuesday to end practices toward Palestinians that it said were reminiscent of its own history of apartheid. "We call upon the Israeli government to cease their activities that are reminiscent of apartheid forced removals and resume negotiations immediately," the government said in a statement. The unusually strong statement criticized the demolition of Palestinian houses and the expansion of Jewish-only settlement on land taken from Palestinians. "We condemn the fact that Israeli settlement expansion in East Jerusalem is coupled with Israel's campaign to evict and displace the original Palestinian residents from the City," the statement read. The statement also took note of US and European condemnations of Israel's latest plan to expand. . . 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

Israel's 'hot return' of Sudan refugees prompts UN rebuke 
Ha'aretz 29 Nov 2009 - The Supreme Court is currently discussing a case that concerns Israel's practice of immediately returning asylum seekers who cross from Egypt into Israel back across the border. ... 

Nazi guard Demjanjuk to stand trial in Germany
Ha'aretz 29 Nov 2009 - John Demjanjuk, an 89-year-old former Nazi camp guard, is due to stand trial on Monday on charges of helping to force 27,900 Jews into gas chambers in 1943. ...

Avi Issacharroff / Hamas influence in Gaza is growing 
Ha'aretz 29 Nov 2009 - What can we learn from the state's response Sunday to a High Court of Justice petition demanding the publication of which Palestinian prisoners would be freed in exchange for captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit? Not much. ... 

Israel, Hamas pledge to keep mum on Shalit deal
Ha'aretz 29 Nov 2009 - Israel will release 980 prisoners in exchange for captive soldier Gilad Shalit, the State Prosecutor's Office stated Sunday in response to a petition filed by the parents of terror victims. ... 

Cabinet puts off special Germany trip after Netanyahu falls ill
Ha'aretz 29 Nov 2009 - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his cabinet on Sunday were forced to cancel their planned visit to Germany, after the premier fell ill and was advised by his physician not travel. ...

The Guardian

Israel ready to release 1,000 Palestinians for captive soldier
The Guardian 29 Nov 2009 - First official confirmation of prisoner swap for Gilad Shalit captured in 2006 Israel revealed for the first time today it is ready to release nearly 1,000 Palestinian prisoners to secure the freedom of Gilad Shalit, the...

Palestine calls for release of intifada leader in prisoner swap with Israel
The Guardian 28 Nov 2009 - Marwan Barghouti has helped to lead his people through two violent uprisings. But many believe he is the region's best chance for peace From the tree-ringed campus of Birzeit University, a narrow road leads deep inside...

Clock ticks for Middle East peace | Neri Zilber
The Guardian 27 Nov 2009 - As time marches on, attempts to reach a peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict lack any sense of urgency On his recent trip to the Middle East, French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner observed : "The coming days...

Ha'aretz National page

If the Vilna Gaon was right, the 3rd Temple is on its way
Ha'aretz 29 Nov 2009 - If the 18th-century rabbinic authority the Vilna Gaon was right, on March 16, 2010, construction will begin on the third Temple. His projection states that the auspicious day will coincide with the third completion of the Hurva Synagogue in Jerusalem's Jewish Quarter. ... 

Israeli ecologists could help stop global warming 
Ha'aretz 29 Nov 2009 - On December 7, leading experts from all over the world will convene at the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen and attempt to find a solution to global warming. This increasingly serious problem stems from what is called the greenhouse effect, in which a cloud of gases, primarily carbon dioxide, envelop the earth - like the transparent roof of a greenhouse - allowing the sun's rays to penetrate but trapping heat inside. ... 

Barak: Israeli settlement freeze is unprecedented peace move
Ha'aretz 29 Nov 2009 - Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Sunday called the government's move to enforce a construction freeze in West Bank settlements an unprecedented step that proves Israel is serious about pursuing Middle East peace. ...

Israel may start importing books published in enemy states
Ha'aretz 29 Nov 2009 - Books translated in "hostile countries" will soon be allowed to be sold ...

Woman allegedly attacked by IDF officer still in serious condition
Ha'aretz 29 Nov 2009 - The young woman who was allegedly raped an attacked by a security guard working for the Israel Defense Forces General Staff is still in serious medical and emotional condition, the victim's lawyer said on Sunday. ...

Relief Web

OPT: Israel could swap 980 prisoners for captive soldier - report
Relief Web 29 Nov 2009 - Source: Agence France-Presse

OPT: Israeli right, settlers seethe over settlement ease
Relief Web 29 Nov 2009 - Source: Agence France-Presse

Marking Day of Solidarity, Ban stresses importance of creating a Palestinian State 
Relief Web 29 Nov 2009 - Source: UN News Service

Restrictions and removal: Israel's double bind policy for Palestinians holders of Gaza IDs in the West Bank
Relief Web 29 Nov 2009 - Source: Gisha

OPT: Prohibit live ammunition in circumstances that are not life-threatening in the West Bank 
Relief Web 28 Nov 2009 - Source: Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories

Civil Administration chokes Palestinian construction 
Relief Web 28 Nov 2009 - Source: Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories

YNet News

Report: Russia vows quick completion of Iran atom plant 
YNet News 29 Nov 2009 - Russian energy minister quoted as saying Moscow will complete Islamic republic's first nuclear power station 'at the earliest possible time' 

Troops get off easy for forcing prisoners to eat snacks
YNet News 29 Nov 2009 - Four soldiers convicted of overstepping authority when they forced Palestinian detainees to eat snacks get off easy. Jaffa Military Court demotes them in rank, fines them NIS 1,800 even though the four did 'damage to IDF's image' 

Blair: 2-state solution or 'hell of a fight' 
YNet News 29 Nov 2009 - Quartet's Mideat envoy says next month will be 'completely critical' in efforts to resume negotiations between Israel, Palestinians 

Iran says will build 10 new uranium enrichment plants
YNet News 29 Nov 2009 - Islamic republic continues to provoke IAEA, ordering plans for 10 new facilities to be built within two months 'in order to serve country's electricity needs.' White House: Iran isolating itself 

Barak, Ben-Eliezer 'happy Labor is in government'
YNet News 29 Nov 2009 - On backdrop of continued fracture within faction, Labor Party bureau meets in Tel Aviv. Chairman Barak and Minister Ben-Eliezer use meeting as stage for self-praise 

Netanyahu says Iranian regime vulnerable 
YNet News 29 Nov 2009 - Speaking at Eilat Journalism Conference, Prime minister calls on Western powers to impose painful sanctions on Iran, says country 'very vulnerable economically.' He urges Palestinians to help startup peace process, 'because the alternative will only benefit Hamas' 

Israel: 980 prisoners to be freed for Shalit 
YNet News 29 Nov 2009 - As part of its response to bereaved parents' High Court petition, State says 450 prisoners may be released as part of deal securing kidnapped soldier's release, adds '530 additional prisoners chosen by Israel will be freed as a gesture to the Palestinian people' 

Daily Star

Iran to build 10 new uranium enrichment plants
Daily Star 30 Nov 2009 Iran announced plans on Sunday to build 10 new uranium enrichment plants in a major expansion of its nuclear program, a clear show of defiance after the UN nuclear watchdog rebuked Tehran over secret such work. The decision by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's government will further aggravate tensions between the Islamic Republic and major powers seeking a diplomatic solution to a long-running dispute over Iranian nuclear activities.

Israel to beef up enforcement of settlement freeze
Daily Star 30 Nov 2009 Israel's defense minister on Sunday ordered his office to triple the number of construction inspectors in the West Bank to enforce a new settlement freeze declared by the government, while settler leaders vowed to defy the edict. Defense Minister Ehud Barak said 40 new inspectors would be added in the next two weeks to work with police in ensuring.

Miitary aid tops Sleiman agenda during Washington visit
Daily Star 30 Nov 2009 President Michel Sleiman is expected to make a three-day visit to the US on December 12, for talks with President Barack Obama. The pair are slated to discuss Lebanese-American bilateral ties, Lebanon's outlook on the Middle East peace process and a potential increase in US military aid to the Lebanese Army.  The president is also expected to hold talks., President Michel Sleiman is expected to make a three-day visit to the US on December 12, for talks with President Barack Obama. The pair are slated to discuss Lebanese-American bilateral ties, Lebanon's outlook on the Middle East peace process and a potential increase in US military aid to the Lebanese Army.  The president is also expected to hold talks., President Michel Sleiman is expected to make a three-day visit to the US on December 12, for talks with President Barack Obama. The pair are slated to discuss Lebanese-American bilateral ties, Lebanon's outlook on the Middle East peace process and a potential increase in US military aid to the Lebanese Army., The president is also expected to hold talks.

Fallout from Dubai crisis will spare Lebanese economy
Daily Star 30 Nov 2009 Lebanon will not be drastically affected by the looming financial crisis in Dubai but Beirut should derive news lessons from the experience of the once-thriving emirate, economists and bankers said on Sunday. There was also a consensus that one should wait to see what kind of action the oil-rich Abu Dhabi will take to help its neighbor Dubai., Lebanon will not be drastically affected by the looming financial crisis in Dubai but Beirut should derive news lessons from the experience of the once-thriving emirate, economists and bankers said on Sunday. There was also a consensus that one should wait to see what kind of action the oil-rich Abu Dhabi will take to help its neighbor Dubai.

A policy of intransigence
Daily Star 30 Nov 2009 A resolution passed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Friday, which rebuked Iran for building an enrichment site in secret, should serve as a stark warning to the country's leaders - not just for its strong words, but also for its adherents. The resolution, which was passed 25-3 (Cuba, Venezuela and Malaysia voting against), calls for Iran to clarify., A resolution passed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Friday, which rebuked Iran for building an enrichment site in secret, should serve as a stark warning to the country's leaders - not just for its strong words, but also for its adherents. The resolution, which was passed 25-3 (Cuba, Venezuela and Malaysia voting against), calls for Iran to clarify.

We should call Israel's bet, then raise
Daily Star 30 Nov 2009 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's announcement a few days ago, that Israel would suspend all new housing construction in the occupied West Bank for 10 months, while other building and colonial ventures continued, reminds us that we are passing through another episode of a long-running tale of biblical proportions.

Lebanese women bereft of protection
Daily Star 30 Nov 2009 As women's rights groups worldwide are organizing events to raise awareness for the 9th International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, Lebanon's women find themselves virtually unprotected against domestic violence, a number of NGO workers told The Daily Star.  Amal Ftouni, media coordinator with the NGO Lebanese Council to Resist Violence against Women (LCRVAW)., As women's rights groups worldwide are organizing events to raise awareness for the 9th International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, Lebanon's women find themselves virtually unprotected against domestic violence, a number of NGO workers told The Daily Star.  Amal Ftouni, media coordinator with the NGO Lebanese Council to Resist Violence against Women (LCRVAW).

Great and good gather to celebrate Chevening scholarships
Daily Star 30 Nov 2009 Great Britain's Ambassador to Lebanon Frances Guy and Hugo Raybaudo hosted a sparkling reception at Villa al-Lawzi last Tuesday, to introduce the Chevening program  - which provides nearly 1,000 scholarships for higher education institutions in the UK for postgraduate students or researchers from over 130 countries. Nearly 100 people attended the Yarzeh event., Great Britain's Ambassador to Lebanon Frances Guy and Hugo Raybaudo hosted a sparkling reception at Villa al-Lawzi last Tuesday, to introduce the Chevening program  - which provides nearly 1,000 scholarships for higher education institutions in the UK for postgraduate students or researchers from over 130 countries. Nearly 100 people attended the Yarzeh event.

Palestinian Information Center

Settlers tried to occupy the home of Hajja al-Kurd in Jerusalem
PIC 30 Nov 2009 - A number of extremist Jewish settlers tried to occupy the home of Hajja Rifqa al-Kurd in Sheikh Jarrah suburb in occupied Jerusalem a couple of days ago, local sources revealed on Saturday.

Ahmad: The Palestinian people reject partition today as they did 62 years ago
PIC 30 Nov 2009 - The head of Hamas's refugee department, Husam Ahmad, said that the conspiracy in 1947 which lead to the adoption of the partition resolution (181) aimed to legitimise the Balfour declaration.

IOF troops arrest a disabled Palestinian boy on his way to hospital
PIC 30 Nov 2009 - IOF troops arrested a 19-year-old disabled Palestinian boy Ahmad Samir Asfour, from the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis, on his way to a hospital in Jerusalem, according to local sources.

The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People
PIC 30 Nov 2009 - In 1977, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) called for the annual observance of 29 November as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People (resolution 32/40 B).

Israeli radio: Ramallah and Washington hinder the Shalit deal
PIC 30 Nov 2009 - Israeli radio revealed on Saturday that the Palestinian Authority and Washington are hindering a prisoner exchange deal fearing that such a deal would raise Hamas's popularity amongst Palestinians.

IOF soldiers arrest fifth son of Um Bakir
PIC 30 Nov 2009 - The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) spoilt the Eid joy for the Palestinian old widow Um Bakir in Nablus on Friday and took away her fifth son to join his four brothers in detention.

Barak sanctions construction of 28 settlement institutions in WB
PIC 30 Nov 2009 - Israeli war minister Ehud Barak has sanctioned the construction of 28 new settlement institutions in the West bank that would be opened by next year, the Israeli radio said.

IOF troops use force to disperse Bilin peaceful march
PIC 30 Nov 2009 - Israeli occupation forces used stun grenades and teargas against inhabitants of the Bilin village when they tried to organize a peaceful march to their confiscated land on Friday.

Bahar: National reconciliation based on constants national strategy
PIC 30 Nov 2009 - Dr. Ahmed Bahar has said that national reconciliation should be based on Palestinian constants and not on conditions of the international quartet committee.

Egyptian authorities bar entry of American students into Gaza
PIC 30 Nov 2009 - The Egyptian authorities have barred the entry of a group of American students into the Gaza Strip on Friday, the Khibra (expertise) institution for consultants and development in Gaza said.

Los Angeles Times

Iran plans 10 more large nuclear plants 
LA Times 30 Nov 2009 - Tehran's declaration that it will expand its nuclear program comes days after a rebuke by the U.N. nuclear watchdog. Experts say Iran lacks the ability or material to build the plants any time soon. Two days after the world's atomic energy watchdog rebuked Iran over its nuclear program, the Islamic Republic's Cabinet on Sunday ordered a dramatic expansion of the program that would include 10 more nuclear plants. 

New York Times

Israel to Recruit More Building Inspectors to Enforce a Freeze on West Bank Construction
New York Times 30 Nov 2009 - Israel’s defense minister told his staff to recruit dozens of new building inspectors to supervise the government’s temporary construction freeze in West Bank settlements.

Israeli Military Says Air Force Thwarted a Gaza Rocket Attack
New York Times 28 Nov 2009 - A small Islamic extremist group influenced by Al Qaeda was blamed for the attempted strike in northern Gaza early Friday.

Half-Truths Dim Chances for Renewing Mideast Talks
New York Times 27 Nov 2009 - Despite Israel’s plan for a 10-month settlement freeze and Palestinians’ claim that attacks are over, tensions seem set to rise. 

Misc

Israel ready to release 1,000 Palestinians for captive soldier 
11/29/2009 - The Guardian - First official confirmation of prisoner swap for Gilad Shalit captured in 2006 - Israel revealed for the first time today it is ready to release nearly 1,000 Palestinian prisoners to secure the freedom of Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier held captive in Gaza. The government said it was preparing for the possible release of 450 prisoners, whose names were proposed by Hamas, in the first stage of what would be Israel's biggest prisoner swap in more than 20 years. Once Shalit, who was captured near Gaza in June 2006, was freed then another 530 prisoners, whose names will be chosen by Israel, would be released. Although the approximate figures have been known for several weeks, this was the first time the government has officially confirmed the size of the deal and suggests real progress has been made towards a prisoner swap. 

Iran defies United Nations with plans for 10 new nuclear plants 
11/29/2009 - The Guardian - Iran today sent a defiant signal to the international community by announcing plans to build 10 uranium enrichment plants days after it was condemned by the UN for concealing activities that are feared may be designed to produce an atomic bomb. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's government said the plants would be the same size as the main enrichment complex at Natanz, central Iran, and work would begin within two months. " We have a friendly approach towards the world but at the same time we won't let anyone harm even one iota of the Iranian nation's rights," the president said. The aim was to produce 250-300 tonnes of nuclear fuel a year by using centrifuges with a higher speed. The announcement seems likely to strengthen the hands of those arguing for sanctions if negotiations do not resume soon. The Foreign Office called the development "a matter of serious concern". 

Likud activist: Obama regime is anti-Semitic 
11/29/2009 - Press TV - A Likud activist has accused US President Barack Obama of being anti-Semitic for his repeated calls for a settlement freeze in the West Bank. About 200 Likud activists attended a meeting on Saturday to express their objection to a temporary settlement freeze announced by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Beit Ariyeh local authority head, Avi Naim, slammed the US administration for exerting pressure on Netanyahu. " The Obama regime is anti-Jewish and anti-Semitic; it's the worst," Ynet news quoted Naim as saying. Pro-settlement leader Ron Nachman was also critical of Obama over his support for Netanyahu's decision. Netanyahu on Wednesday declared a 10-month moratorium on Israel's settlement activity in the West Bank, excluding East Jerusalem Al-Quds. 

Best Holiday Present - Late For The Eid Or Early For Christmas? 
11/29/2009 - Desert Peace - Khalid Amayreh in occupied Jerusalem - An Israel-Hamas prisoner swap deal appears close to fruition, though no indication has been given yet as to who and how many it includes. -- As of Wednesday, 25 November, German and Egyptian mediators were trying hectically to finalise a prisoner swap deal between Israel and the Palestinian Islamic resistance movement, Hamas. The deal would see the release of Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier captured by Palestinian fighters in the Gaza Strip more than three years ago, in exchange for the release from Israeli detention camps of hundreds of Palestinian political prisoners. Indirect negotiations aimed at reaching an accord that failed repeatedly due to Israeli intransigence and Hamas’s insistence that Israel free all prisoners included in the original list Hamas presented to Israel more than two years ago. 

Tony Blair Defends Obama On Israeli-Palestinian Conflict 
11/29/2009 - Huffington Post - Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair came to President Barack Obama's defense on Sunday after a scathing New York Times editorial accused the White House of losing legitimacy and strategic standing on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Appearing on CNN's "State of the Union," Blair urged, above all, patience in resolving a problem that has confounded so many previous administrations. noting, also, how long it took to resolve the discord in Northern Ireland. More subtly, he contrasted Obama's commitment to the issue to that of his predecessor, George W. Bush, arguing the importance of setting a "strategic objective" for the region at the onset of the administration. Asked if he agreed with the NYT editorial, which claimed that "Obama's own credibility [on Israel-Palestine] is so diminished. . . that serious negotiations may be farther off than ever," Blair replied: "I don't, actually. . . "-- Links: New York Times: Diplomacy 101

Iranian Lawmaker: Iran Could Leave Nuclear Treaty 
11/29/2009 - Huffington Post - AP - TEHRAN, Iran — A conservative Iranian legislator warned Saturday that his country may pull out of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty after a U. N. resolution censuring Tehran – a move that could seriously undermine world attempts to prevent Iran from developing atomic weapons. Iran's official news agency quoted a hardline political analyst who made the same point, another indication the idea could be gaining steam. If Iran withdraws from the treaty, its nuclear program would no longer be subject to oversight by the U. N. nuclear agency. That in turn would be a significant blow to efforts to ensure that no enriched uranium is diverted from use as fuel to warhead development. The lawmaker's threat came a day after the board of the U. N. 's International Atomic Energy Agency passed a resolution demanding Tehran immediately stop building its newly revealed nuclear facility near the holy city of Qom and freeze uranium enrichment. 

Marking Day of Solidarity, Ban stresses importance of creating a Palestinian State 
11/29/2009 - United Nations: International Law - 29 November 2009 – Voicing deep concern that talks between Israel and the Palestinians have stalled for nearly a year, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today stressed the importance of creating the right conditions so that the two sides have sufficient trust in each other to return to the negotiating table. “It is vital that a sovereign State of Palestine is achieved,” Mr. Ban said, in a message marking the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, which is observed annually on 29 November. “This should be on the basis of the 1967 lines with agreed land swaps and a just and agreed solution to the refugee issue – a State that lives side-by-side in peace with Israel within secure and recognized borders. ”But the United Nations Secretary-General noted that while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas have publicly committed to a. . . . 

50 Years of Building, and Going Strong 
11/25/2009 - This Week in Palestine - When the late Haj Hashem Shawa established Bank of Palestine (BoP) in 1960, it was his vision to establish a national bank that not only catered to the daily financial needs of its clients but also an institution that would one day become a pillar of economic growth and social change. Today, 50 years on, we are proud to continue with this tradition of giving and to renew our commitment to provide encouragement and support to our people through this ever-changing and, at times, extremely testing and unpredictable landscape. At BoP, we believe that no opportunity should be missed in the building of the economy and of the morale and capabilities of our society, regardless of the setbacks or interruptions we might face. The year 2009 was a year that saw the build-up of momentum in the sectors, a marked step towards modernisation, and the forging of relations with the international community. . . . 


Articles

The Palestinian Prisoners’ Plight 
Bianca Zammit and Fadi Skaik, International Solidarity Movement 11/29/2009
      There are currently approximately 11,000 Palestinian prisoners being held captive in Israeli jails across Israel. Whilst their imprisonment is of itself in direct contravention of international law, the whole arrest, judiciary and imprisonment process compromises their basic human rights. In Gaza, the families of prisoners in Israeli jails meet every Monday at the premises of the International Committee of the Red Cross to hold a weekly vigil asking for the release of Palestinian prisoners. The demonstration also takes place at the ICRC building in order to send out a message to the international community, asking it to uphold international law and put pressure on Israel for the release of all prisoners. 
     Palestinians taken captive are held in one of the 24 prisons across Israel. The Fourth Geneva Convention through Article 76 prohibits an occupying power, in this case Israel, from imprisoning prisoners outside the territory it occupies and Article 47 of the same Convention clearly outlines that convicted prisoners should serve their sentence within the occupied territory.
     Since September 2000 Palestinian citizens living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip require special permits to travel within the 1967 borders of Israel, yet these permits are very hard to come by. For these last three years all permits have stopped being issued and Palestinians from West Bank and Gaza are prohibited from entering 1948 land.
     The use of telephone is controlled and only in rare exceptions are Palestinian prisoners allowed to call their families. Without family visits and telephone calls the only ways of communicating is through letters and greetings families send through radio stations. Letters are received sparingly by both sides, months after they were written and sent. more.. e-mail

And A Little Child Shall Lead Them 
Uri Avnery, Ma’an News Agency 11/29/2009
      Thomas Friedman, the New York Times columnist, has an idea. That happens to him quite often. One might almost say – too often. It goes like this: The US will turn its back on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The entire world will follow. Everybody is fed up with this conflict. Let the Israelis and the Palestinians sort out their problems by themselves.
     Sounds sensible. Why must the world be bothered with these two unruly children? Let them kick each other as much as they like. The adults should not interfere.
     But in reality this is an outrageous suggestion because these two children are not of equal strength. When an adult sees a 14-year old mercilessly mistreating a 6-year old, can he just look on?
     Israel is materially a hundredfold, indeed a thousandfold, stronger than the Palestinians. The fourth strongest army in the world (by its own estimate) dominates the life of a helpless people. The Israeli economy, with some of the most advanced technologies in the world, dominates a people whose resources are next to nil. A 42-year old occupation dominates every single corner of occupied Palestine.
     This did not come about by a miracle. The huge gap between the strength of the two peoples has also been created by the support of the US for Israel. Israel would not be where it is today without this political, economic and military underpinning. Billions of dollars in annual aid, access to the most advanced weaponry in the world, the political immunity assured by the US veto in the Security Council and all the other forms of assistance have helped successive Israeli governments to maintain and intensify the occupation. more.. e-mail

Diplomacy 101 
Editorial, New York Times 11/27/2009
      We were thrilled when President Obama decided to plunge fully into the Middle East peace effort. He appointed a skilled special envoy, George Mitchell, and demanded that Israel freeze settlements, Palestinians crack down on anti-Israel violence and Arab leaders demonstrate their readiness to reach out to Israel.
     Nine months later, the president’s promising peace initiative has unraveled.
     The Israelis have refused to stop all building. The Palestinians say that they won’t talk to the Israelis until they do, and President Mahmoud Abbas is so despondent he has threatened to quit. Arab states are refusing to do anything.
     Mr. Obama’s own credibility is so diminished (his approval rating in Israel is 4 percent) that serious negotiations may be farther off than ever.
     Peacemaking takes strategic skill. But we see no sign that President Obama and Mr. Mitchell were thinking more than one move down the board. The president went public with his demand for a full freeze on settlements before securing Israel’s commitment. And he and his aides apparently had no plan for what they would do if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said no.
     Most important, they allowed the controversy to obscure the real goal: nudging Israel and the Palestinians into peace talks. (We don’t know exactly what happened but we are told that Mr. Obama relied more on the judgment of his political advisers — specifically his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel — than of his Mideast specialists.) more.. e-mail


Electronic Intifada
Interview: Bilin activist continues to struggle despite injury
Electronic Intifada: 28 Nov 2009 - Earlier this year, Khamis Fathi Abu Rahmah, 27, was shot in the head with a high-velocity tear gas canister while participating in a nonviolent demonstration against Israel's wall in the occupied West Bank near the village of Bilin. Israeli soldiers used the same weapon a few months later and killed his cousin, Bassem Abu Rahme. The Electronic Intifada contributor Jody McIntyre spoke to Khamis Fathi Abu Rahmah about his life in Bilin. 

In Gaza
decor
In Gaza: 29 Nov 2009 - *’Eid decorations on Nasser street, the long-torn-up street serving a number of Gaza’s hospitals and clinics. Only now, after over one year (or more), small sections of it are slowly being repaved, using old interlocking blocks rather than pavement, building materials long-banned by the Israeli occupation authorities, despite the great need after Israel’s winter massacre of Gaza. *the sad, torn-up street somehow mirrors the feelings this ‘Eid

Palestine Chronicle
Israeli War Criminal Welcomed in Australia
Palestine Chronicle: 29 Nov 2009 - By Sonja Karkar The news that former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was in Australia and was welcomed by the honourable members of our parliament came as somewhat of a shock. It is one thing to have allowed a man on corruption charges as well as facing war crimes indictments into Australia at all; it is another thing that he was listed as a distinguished guest in Hansard - the official record of parliamentary proceedings - and received a resounding “hear, hear” from our elected representatives. This is, after all, the man who approved the genocidal attack on the 1.5 million imprisoned and defenceless Palestinians in Gaza less than a year ago. This is the same attack that was the subject of numerous enquiries, not least the UN fact-finding mission led by Justice Richard Goldstone, which found that “the operations were carefully planned...and designed to punish, humiliate and terrorise a civilian population...[and] that the serious violations of International Humanitarian Law recounted in this report fall within the subject-matter jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC).” With further investigations, these violations may well amount to “war crimes and “crimes against humanity”. The 574-page report detailed meticulously the violations carried out in that military action as well as the enormous deprivations that were already being suffered by the entire population due to Israel’s punitive sanctions and long-running military occupation. It was an official assessment of what the world had seen with its own eyes during three weeks of savage attacks, notwithstanding the...

Friedman's Idea: '.. And A Little Child Shall Lead Them'
Palestine Chronicle: 28 Nov 2009 - By Uri Avnery – Israel Thomas Friedman, the New York Times columnist, has an idea. That happens to him quite often. One might almost say - too often. It goes like this: The US will turn its back on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The entire world will follow. Everybody is fed up with this conflict. Let the Israelis and the Palestinians sort out their problems by themselves. Sounds sensible. Why must the world be bothered with these two unruly children? Let them kick each other as much as they like. The adults should not interfere. But in reality this is an outrageous suggestion. Because these two children are not of equal strength. When an adult sees a 14-year old mercilessly mistreating a 6-year old, can he just look on? Israel is materially a hundredfold, indeed a thousandfold, stronger than the Palestinians. The fourth strongest army in the world (by its own estimate) dominates the life of a helpless people. The Israeli economy, with some of the most advanced technologies in the world, dominates a people whose resources are next to nil. A 42-year old occupation dominates every single corner of occupied Palestine. This did not come about by a miracle. The huge gap between the strength of the two peoples has also been created by the support of the US for Israel. Israel would not be where it is today without this political, economic and military underpinning. Billions of dollars in annual aid, access to the most advanced weaponry in the...

Imperial Inertia
Palestine Chronicle: 28 Nov 2009 - By Jim Miles The task of saving and reviving humanity oft times appears overwhelming when studied from a fully global perspective: occupations, wars, and terror abounds; starvation, disease, poverty, homelessness, accompany the wars and are also an integral part of global economic structures; of which, the current debt crises robs the working class of their wealth while the elites roll in the beneficence of corporate/government welfare. To top all that off is the rush towards global environmental changes, changes that are occurring at ever faster - and faster than predicted - rates, while governments put forth only mild platitudes acknowledging that there is a problem of some kind, placing weak futuristic recommendations out to try and placate the scientists and concerned public. It is enough to render reviewing books a seemingly worthless task when nothing changes and the inertia of the U.S. and western corporate/government/military liaisons continues to steer the ship of state, apparently without working radar or rudder, on its destructive course through this complex web of problems. Palestine as the Centre When I first started my research/reviews, it quickly became apparent that Palestine was not only a metaphorical centre for the problems of many of the peoples of the world, but it is also the reality of much of the political-military manoeuvring that continues not only in the Middle East, but throughout the world, as the demands for resource control and market control begins shifting from west to east. Yet it is easy to lose site of the...

Change Has Come to America
Palestine Chronicle: 28 Nov 2009 - By Alfred Warkentin When 'W' walked into the Oval Office he was a theocracy. He had received his orders; he understood them. From the moment he sat down he knew he was about God’s work. Whether or not a president throws the full weight of the divinity into the heat of verbal battle, the American head of state will always insist he is on God’s side before venturing on a policy that may invoke the eternal. This is particularly true when the subject is the Holy Land. No president will allow himself to disrespect “things divine”, to put Francis Bacon’s phrase to work. Henry Luce of Time and Ludwig Lewisohn were godly men. By accident I’ve come across an old cover Time cover story on Jordan’s King Hussein. The date of the cover story is July 14, 1967, days after the Six-Day War, June 5-10. Earlier I’d come across ISRAEL by Ludwig Lewisohn, published in 1925. Mr. Lewisohn was a well known author and writer for The Nation. In his book ISRAEL he wrote: “Jews despise force”, that they face a Gentile “lust for war.” War was something he saw as “hideous and unnatural to the soul of Israel.” By Israel, of course, he meant the people, not the state that came to be. Mr. Lewisohn was a Zionist. He argued Jews should not be giving to “the building of Anglican cathedrals while there is not money enough for the oppressed of Poland to get to Palestine.” He wanted to...

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