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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
30 November, 2009

News

International Middle East Media Center

Israeli settlers attack Palestinian villagers northern West Bank
IMEMC 30 Nov 2009 - Monday November 30, 2009 - 17:01, A group of Israeli settlers attacked on Monday midday the village of Bureen near Nablus city in northern West Bank.

Tanks open fire at resident home at the northern Gaza boarders with Israel
IMEMC 30 Nov 2009 - Monday November 30, 2009 - 16:53, Israeli tanks opened fire on Monday afternoon at resident homes close to the southern Gaza Strip boarders with Israel.

The Israeli military kidnaps two civilians during invasions targeting the West Bank
IMEMC 30 Nov 2009 - Monday November 30, 2009 - 16:44, Two Palestinian civilians were kidnapped on Monday during Israeli military invasions targeting a number of West Bank communities.

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 Navy Shells Palestinian Fishing Boats
IMEMC 30 Nov 2009 - Sunday November 29, 2009 - 09:46, The Israeli Navy fired several shelled at a number of Palestinian fishing boats near the Al Shudaniyya shore, north west of Gaza City. No injuries were reported in the shelling.

Ma'an News

Witnesses: Israeli forces open fire in northern Gaza
11/30/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Israeli forces opened fire at houses and farmland in the northern Gaza Strip on Monday, eyewitnesses told Ma'an. The witnesses said Israeli forces opened fire while withdrawing from an area southeast of the town of Beit Hanoun where they had entered in the morning. The area where fire was reported was approximately 800 meters from the Green Line in the agricultural lands of Abu Sufiyah, according to Palestinian sources in the area. No injuries were reported, according to Muawiyah Hassanein, the director of ambulance and emergency services for the Ministry of Health in Gaza. An Israeli military spokeswoman denied this report, saying, "The IDF conducted regular military activities today on the border and did not open fire, nor did they come under fire during these activities. " Meanwhile, the armed wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine,. . . 

Deported Bethlehem student appears in Israeli court
11/30/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - A month after she was blindfolded, handcuffed, and taken from the West Bank to Gaza, Bethlehem University student Berlanty Assam appeared in an Israeli court on Monday. Represented by Yadin Elam, a lawyer with the Israeli human rights organization Gisha, the appearance was the first time Israel has granted permission for the student to leave the coastal territory since her deportation on 28 October. Despite that small success, the student's 12-hour permit expired at 8pm the same evening, far short of the permission Israel's army says Azzam needs to finish her last semester in the Palestinian Authority-controlled city of Bethlehem. A supporter who attended the hearing told Ma'an that the Holy See's envoy to the Holy Land promised to personally ensure that Azzam returned to Gaza after graduation, but that the court rejected the proposal. 

Settlers storm Nablus-area village
11/30/2009 - Nablus - Ma'an - Residents of Israel's illegal Yitzhar settlement stormed the nearby Palestinian village of Burin in Nablus on Monday, a Palestinian Authority official told Ma'an. Ghassan Daghlas, who holds the PA's settlement portfolio in the northern West Bank, said dozens of settlers assaulted residents and caused damage to property. The episode sparked clashes between village residents and the settlers, but no one was injured, Daghlas said. An Israeli security source confirmed that "there was a bit of a standoff between Israelis and Palestinians" in the village. Israeli forces were dispatched to the areas and dispersed the two groups, who threw stones at one another, the source said, adding that there were no injuries. On Saturday, 15 Yitzhar settlers reportedly attempted to set fire to the home of Ayman Attalla Safwan in the same village. 

Hunger strike continues at Juneid prison
11/30/2009 - Nablus - Ma'an - Twelve Palestinian detainees held at Juneid prison in Nablus continued their hunger strike for the fourth consecutive day in protest against their detention on Monday. One of the prisoners told Ma'an in a telephone interview that the strike was undertaken as a protest against Israel's refusal to pardon the prisoners and a call to Palestinian Authority officials to discuss their cases with Israel. The detainee added that of the 12 Palestinians partaking in the hunger strike, 11 are affiliated with Fatah's paramilitary group, The Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade, while one is a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Four of the Palestinian prisoners taking part in the hunger strike include Muhammad Milhem, Jad Hmeidan, Sabri Al-Kurdi, and Muhammad Ash-Sharqawi, the detainee added. 

Explosion kills Gaza man
12/1/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - A Palestinian was killed and three others injured in an explosion in a car in Ash-Shati Refugee Camp adjacent to Gaza City on Monday, medical and other sources said. Muawiyah Hassanein, director of ambulance and emergency services in the Gaza Health Ministry, said an unidentified dead man was transported to Ash-Shifa Hospital in an ambulance. The cause of the explosion was not immediately clear. Sources said that the explosion went off inside a Volkswagen in the refugee camp. An Israeli military spokeswoman said "there was no IDF activity in the area. "Separately, Palestinians in Gaza said Israeli F16 fighter jets carried out what they said were sorties designed to give the appearance of airstrikes, dropping what were termed "heat bombs. " Earlier on Monday residents said Israeli forces opened fire while operating in northern Gaza. 

British MP Galloway to lead aid convoy into Gaza
11/30/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - British Member of Parliament George Galloway is planning a third charity convoy to the Gaza Strip, in cooperation with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, following the succsess of his first two convoys. Lifeline 3 will arrive in Gaza on December 27 through the Rafah Border Crossing, including a delegation led by Galloway and several international politicians, according to Hamdi Sha'ath, the Palestinian official heading a governmental committee for hosting solidary delegations and breaking the seige in Gaza. The consignment will include humanitarian aid, in addition to 250 cars, Sha'ath said. He further highlighted that contact has been made with Egyptian authorities to secure the arrival of the convoy without hindrance. "Organizers assured us that the convoy would depart from Britain to France on 6 December, then to Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and from Jordan. . . 

Discrimination, not culture, keeps families in poverty
11/30/2009 - Nazareth - Israel's finance minister was accused last week of trying to deflect attention from discriminatory policies keeping many of the country's Palestinian families in poverty by blaming their troubles on what he termed Arab society's opposition to women working. A recent report from Israel's National Insurance Institute showed that half of all Palestinian families in Israel are classified as poor compared with just 14 percent of Jewish families. Yuval Steinitz, the finance minister, told a conference on employment discrimination this month that the failure of Palestinian women to participate in the workforce was damaging Israel's economy. Eighteen percent of Palestinian women work, and only half of them full time, compared with at least 55 percent of Jewish women. He attributed the low employment rate to "cultural obstacles, traditional frameworks and the belief that. . . 

Israeli forces detain five from Hebron
11/30/2009 - Hebron - Ma'an - Israeli soldiers seized five Palestinians during raids on houses on Monday in the Old City of Hebron, in the West Bank, according to witnesses. Nidal Al-Owewi said Israeli soldiers entered his house, and ordered his wife and children into the street, before detaining his son Saed Al-Owewi, 20, his nephews Farid Al-Owewi, 20, and Muhammad Al-Owewi, 15. He also said Israeli soldiers detained two brothers in the same area, Muhammad Al-Karaki 16 and Ihab Al-Karaki 15. Al-Owewi's house is near the Avraham Avino, one of several settlements set up by Israeli settlers in the heart of Hebron, the West Bank's largest city. An Israeli military spokeswoman said she was not aware of arrests taking place in Hebron. Two "wanted" Palestinians were detained the previous night in the village of Hussan, on the outskirts of Bethlehem, the previous night, she added. 

Israel cancels amnesty for Nablus man
11/30/2009 - Nablus - Ma'an Exclusive - Israel cancelled an agreement to grant amnesty to a Palestinian fighter, Palestinian security sources said on Monday. Mahdi Maraqa, 37, was granted a full pardon and removed from Israel's "wanted" list in 2008 under an deal negotiated by the Palestinian Authority. He was working as an officer in the PA's intelligence service in the city of Nablus. Israel has now decreed that the PA arrest Maraqa and hold him in Juneid prison in Nablus. Maraqa also recently travelled to Jordan but was deported back to the West Bank. Approached by Ma'an Maraqa said that contacts were underway to find out why Israel cancelled his pardon. He declined to comment further on the issue. Hundreds of former fighters have signed amnesty agreements, in which they vow to give up armed resistance in exchange for Israel's promise not to arrest or kill them. 

Israel chief justice: No prisoner deal yet
11/30/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The chief justice of Israel's highest court said on Monday that Israel and Hams are far from concluding a prisoner exchange deal. "What we have learned that one can say is that there is still no deal," Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch said, according to the Israeli daily Haaretz. "It is complex and not agreed upon, there are gaps between the sides and it is possible that there will be no deal. In this situation, there is no place to publish details about it," she said. Beinisch made the pronouncement during a hearing on a petition from the parents of Israelis killed in Palestinian attacks demanding the reversal of a military gag order on the details of a potential deal. The bereaved families want their government to make public the names of prisoners that are being considered for released. Beinisch argued that since a deal is still far away, there is no point in releasing the names. 

Two Gaza crossings opened
11/30/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Israeli authorities opened Kerem Shalom and Karni crossings into the Gaza Strip on Monday, while Nahal Oz remained closed. A Palestinian crossings official, Raed Fattuh, said that between 82 and 92 truckloads of commercial merchandize and humanitarian aid would be allowed into Gaza through Kerem Shalom. Fattouh added that 88 truckloads of wheat and fodder would be allowed through the Karni crossing. [end] 

Report: Israeli stabs Palestinian teen in Jaffa
11/30/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - A Palestinian teenager was stabbed in Jaffa on Monday, the Hebrew-language daily Yedioth Ahronoth reported. The victim, an 18-year-old man, was evacuated to a hospital in Holon inside Israel. Medics said he sustained moderate wounds. According to the report, a 20-year-old Israeli from Affula was arrested on suspicions he stabbed the man. There was no immediate indication the alleged attack was nationalistically motivated. Israeli police also opened an investigation into the victim's residency status, the newspaper said. [end] 

’Kidnapped’ boy found dead in central Gaza
11/30/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - A nine-year-old boy was found dead in the central Gaza Strip on Sunday evening, a medical official said Monday. Ahmad Farajallah, 9, from the Nuseirat Refugee Camp near Gaza City, was found gagged and bound by his hands and feet inside a black sack, according to Muawiyah Hassanein, the director of ambulance and emergency services in the Gaza Health Ministry. The boy was apparently kidnapped on Friday by unidentified people, Hassanein stated. Hassanein added that the young Palestinian's body was taken for forensic examination to establish the cause of death and any indication that may lead police to his killers. [end] 

Israeli intel agency defends interrogation methods
11/30/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Responding to a petition to Israel's Supreme Court, the Shin Bet intelligence agency on Monday insisted its interrogation practices are humane. The Public Committee Against Torture had petitioned the court to stop handcuffing Palestinian detainees during interrogation, considering the practice a form of torture. According to the Shin Bet, however, Palestinian prisoners are handcuffed during investigation to avoid attacks on interrogators and to avoid escape attempts, the Hebrew-language daily Ma'ariv reported. The newspaper reported that detainees are typically tied to a chair for long hours with their hands cuffed behind them during interrogations. However, Maariv added, the Shin Bet has amended its cuffing method by lengthening the chains to 48 centimeters. Meanwhile, the Tel Aviv District Court ruled Monday that medical inspectors would review the. . . 

Rabbis declare victory in ’demographic race’
11/30/2009 - Jerusalem - Ma'an/Agencies - Ultra-Orthodox rabbis say they have secured Israel's victory in the "demographic race with the Arabs," according to the Israeli newspaper Israel Ha'Yom on Monday, in response to statistics released on army enlistment rates. The comments follow criticism launched by a number of Israeli army commanders accusing the ultra-Orthodox community of failing to enlist in the army, as one in four Israelis who refuse to serve cite religious reasons for their deferral, according to Sunday's Israeli cabinet meeting. Rabbi Yaqov Lisman, deputy Israeli minister of health, stated, "The religious Jews beget many children, while secular Jews serve in the army. Thus, you have to thank us instead of criticizing us because procreation is a battle too which we fight for Jewish demography. Take for example Jerusalem; if it wasn't for religious Jews, Sari Nusseibeh would have become mayor of Jerusalem. . . " 

Blair expects ’hell of a fight’ without two states
11/30/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - The Quartet Middle East Envoy Tony Blair warned on Sunday against the one-state solution to the Palestine/Israel conflict. In an interview with CNN, the former British prime minster said, "The alternative to a two-state solution is a one-state solution and that will, I assure you, be a hell of a fight. "Blair added that he believes Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is serious about resuming negotiations with the Palestinians. "I've just spent some time with the Israeli prime minister, Mr Netanyahu," Blair said, "and I think he is genuine and serious in wanting the negotiations to start. ""The majority of people, both Israelis and Palestinians, want to see a two-state solution," he added, reiterating that Israel's main concern remains security while Palestinians want assurances that negotiations will bring about the end of Israel's occupation and the declaration of a Palestinian state. 

Allenby Bridge open 24/7 for homebound Hajj pilgrims
11/30/2009 - Jericho - Ma'an - The first group of Palestinian Hajj pilgrims returned to the West Bank on Monday via the Allenby Bridge, the border crossing with Jordan. According to a report issued by the Allenby Bridge media office, 36 Palestinian security officers were the first to arrive, including the director of the Qalqiliya police, Omar Al- Buzur. The border crossing with Jordan will remain open 24 hours a day until the weekend to accommodate Palestinian Hajj pilgrims returning from Mecca following Eid Al-Adha, the report added. [end] 

Report: German mediator arrives in Gaza
11/30/2009 - Jerusalem - Ma'an - A German mediator arrived in Gaza City on Monday to deliver Israel's final response to Hamas' demands over an impending prisoner swap deal, the Dubai-based satellite network Al-Arabiya reported. Meanwhile, other Hamas sources ruled out the possibility that the movement would issue a response before sending a delegation of its own to Damascus to consult with leadership there. 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. 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. 

Nasrallah: US, Israel facing defeat
11/30/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The global economic crisis could signal the end of US hegemony and the collapse of Israel, Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah declared on Monday. "It's possible to say that we are in the midst of historical transformations that signal the retreat of the US role as a predominant power and the demise of the Zionist entity," Nasrallah said at a press conference announcing Hizbullah's new political platform, which was adopted after two months of deliberation. Addressing his audience from an undisclosed location via a projection on a giant screen, Nasrallah also declared that the US and its client Israel were facing defeat at the hands of armed resistance in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, and Palestine. "The resistance movements are at the heart of international transformations and emerge as a strategic factor after. . . " 

Palestinian police officer injured in fight
11/30/2009 - Nablus - Ma'an - A Palestinian police officer was injured on Thursday in a fight with a member of the Palestinian National Security forces in Nablus. Colonel Rashid Hamdan, the director of the Nablus police, told Ma'an that the fight erupted in the Rafedya area following an altercation between a member of the Palestinian police and a member of the Palestinian National Security forces. The police officer was moderately injured and was transferred to the Arab hospital in Nablus. Hamdan stated that he ordered the Palestinian police to withdraw from the scene in order to ease the tension. The intelligence service is investigating the incident, he added. Palestinian security sources told Ma'an that the Palestinian security forces announced that they have detained those who were suspected of being involved in the incident. 

Former top PA officer dies at 67
11/30/2009 - Jenin - Ma'an - Major General Fayez Mahmoud Arafat, a high-ranking commander in the Palestinian Authority's (PA)security forces, died of cancer on Monday at age 67. Arafat was a longtime member of the Palestinian liberation movement. After graduating from a military academy in Egypt in 1963, he joined Fatah in 1965. He was a former member of the Fatah Revolutionary Council and the PLO's Palestinian National Council. After briefly serving in the PA security forces in Gaza, he was promoted to the rank of major general and commanded security forces in Jenin from 1995 until 2005. The police department in Jenin said an official funeral procession will take place on Tuesday before a burial in the Martyrs' Cemetery in the city. The Police headquarters will be opened for three days to receive mourners. 

Palestinian archeologist dies in Abu Dhabi
11/30/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Archeologist Shawqi Sha'ath died on Sunday evening in Abu Dhabi. Sha'ath was born in Beer Sheva, Palestine in 1937. He attended school in Khan Younis, then got a BA in history from Syria's Damascus University in 1959, along with a higher diploma in ancient history. In 1973, Sha'ath received a PHD in oriental archeology and was appointed chairman of the Syria Museum. [end] 

’If I stop working, how can we survive?’
12/1/2009 - Damascus - IRIN - Karrad, 16, and his family fled the sectarian violence in Iraq following the US-led invasion in 2003 and came to Syria in 2005. Although the Syrian government provides Iraqi children with free education in its public schools, Karrad and his brother Ali, 12, cannot go to school because they are the breadwinners. Karrad told his story to IRIN: "I arrived with my parents and three brothers in Syria in 2005. As we were Shiites living in a Sunni neighborhood [in Iraq], we used to receive many threats, which forced us to leave the country. My father used to work in the Iraqi security forces. In 2007, he went for a visit to Iraq and disappeared. We went back to look for him but we could not find out what happened to him. "I was in grade six when we left Iraq in 2005 and have not been back to school since then. I did a number of jobs in Syria. [Initially] at a factory, then at a restaurant and grocery store among others. My brother. . . is working too. . . . " 

Ha'aretz Defense page

New IDF Web 2.0 unit to fight enemies on Facebook, Twitter
Ha'aretz 30 Nov 2009 - Top IDF spokesman's Office official: We must show the totality of IDF actions without a filter. 

Medics: Explosion in car kills Gaza militant
Ha'aretz 30 Nov 2009 - Two wounded in incident, which seems to be accident involving militants; doctor: Explosives in car caused blast. 

Hezbollah chief: Armed struggle is best way to end occupation
Ha'aretz 30 Nov 2009 - Nasrallah's comments come amid criticism in Lebanon of Hezbollah's refusal to disarm. 

Chief justice: Still no point in naming prisoners in Shalit swap
Ha'aretz 30 Nov 2009 - Beinisch calls deal 'complex;' bereaved parents to High Court: Will our kids' killers be freed for Shalit? 

Two Border Policeman charged with beating Arab youth
Ha'aretz 30 Nov 2009 - Suspects detained 10 days ago for allegedly assaulting youth passing by them in Jerusalem's Old City. 

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. 

Uruknet

[uruknet.info] Palestinians organize for the Gaza Freedom March
Uruknet November 30, 2009 - "From the besieged Gaza Strip, we call upon all peace lovers around the globe to come here to participate in our Gaza Freedom March that is aimed at breaking a repressive Israeli blockade on Gaza's 1.5 million residents." So said Mustafa al-Kayali, coordinator of the steering committee for the Gaza Freedom March. The march is scheduled...

[uruknet.info] Tour the Palestinian archipelago
Uruknet November 30, 2009 - When an image of the West Bank map is invoked, the map that typically comes to mind is the broad double-hump of the Green Line-defined area. This is most people's reference map: the implicit, assumptive spatial unit that orients prototypical thinking about Israel, Palestine, partition, and two states. If this is your mental map, then partition...

[uruknet.info] WE HAVE ONLY GOD
Uruknet November 30, 2009 - In Gaza City I have seen 1948 in 2009. The same images: the images of the Nakba, the Palestinian catastrophe. But now they were moving. It was not a film. It was not theater. It was real. On Saturday 27 December 2008, at precisely 11:25, Israeli Occupation Forces launched a ferocious offensive against the Gaza Strip...

[uruknet.info] Video: Palestine before 1948
Uruknet The video contains pictures of different Palestinian cities during the 1920's and 1930's, before the creation of the state of Israel by the Zionists in 1948...

[uruknet.info] Iran detains five British sailors
Uruknet Monday 30 November 2009 - Five British sailors have been detained in Iran after their racing yacht was stopped by the Iranian navy while sailing from Bahrain to Dubai, the Foreign Office said tonight. The civilian crew were seized last week while on a racing yacht sailing from Bahrain to Dubai after allegedly straying into Iranian waters. The Foreign Office...

[uruknet.info] Any given Friday
Uruknet November 30, 2009 - Today we were clearing land in the Palestinian village of Um Salomona and it is a beautiful crisp, clear fall day. Um Salomona is located in the occupied West Bank's Bethlehem District and is one of nine villages, with a combined total of 9,000 residents, that borders the illegal Israeli settlement of Efrat. More accurately, Efrat...

[uruknet.info] Will the Church act to save the children of Gaza this Christmas? OPEN LETTER to The Most Rev. and the Rt. Hon. the Archbishop of Canterbury, Spiritual leader of the Anglican Church
Uruknet Dear Archbishop, Two years ago, on returning from Gaza and the West Bank, I wrote about the dire conditions and the British government's complicity in the crippling blockade, and reminded prime minister Gordon Brown that Gaza was formerly entrusted to Britain under mandate, which was reason for us to feel a special responsibility. I urged him: "Go see for yourselves...

[uruknet.info] Witnesses: Israeli forces open fire in northern Gaza
Uruknet November 30, 2009 - Israeli forces opened fire at houses and farmland in the northern Gaza Strip on Monday, eyewitnesses told Ma'an. The witnesses said Israeli forces opened fire while withdrawing from an area southeast of the town of Beit Hanoun where they had entered in the morning. The area where fire was reported was approximately 800 meters from the...

[uruknet.info] Hamas: Gaps remain over prisoner swap with Israel
Uruknet November 30, 2009 - Senior Hamas officials said Monday that the Islamic militant group is still sparring with Israel over the names of 50 prisoners it wants released in exchange for a captive Israeli soldier, signaling there were still significant gaps before completing the anticipated deal. Last week, Israeli and Hamas officials spoke of progress, raising speculation that an agreement...

[uruknet.info] Back to Google News Hamas: Gaps remain over prisoner swap with Israel
Uruknet November 30, 2009 - Senior Hamas officials said Monday that the Islamic militant group is still sparring with Israel over the names of 50 prisoners it wants released in exchange for a captive Israeli soldier, signaling there were still significant gaps before completing the anticipated deal. Last week, Israeli and Hamas officials spoke of progress, raising speculation that an agreement...

[uruknet.info] Arab women need not apply' 
Uruknet November 30, 2009 - Israel's finance minister was accused last week of trying to deflect attention from discriminatory policies keeping many of the country's Arab families in poverty by blaming their economic troubles on what he described as Arab society's opposition to women working. A recent report from Israel's National Insurance Institute showed that half of all Arab families in...

[uruknet.info] Israeli intel agency defends interrogation methods
Uruknet November 30, 2009 - Responding to a petition to Israel's Supreme Court, the Shin Bet intelligence agency on Monday insisted its interrogation practices are humane. The Public Committee Against Torture had petitioned the court to stop handcuffing Palestinian detainees during interrogation, considering the practice a form of torture. According to the Shin Bet, however, Palestinian prisoners are handcuffed during investigation...

Palestine Telegraph

Israeli navy shells Palestinian fishing boats
Gaza, November 30, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - The Israeli navy has fired several shells at a number of Palestinian fishing boats off the coast of Gaza. The Israeli navy opened fire on the fishermen near the al-Shudaniyya shore, northwest of Gaza City. No injuries were reported in the shelling, according to the International Middle East Media Center (IMEMC). An Israeli...

Abu Wajeh, News Vendor: The War Destroyed My House, the Siege Destroyed My Livelihood
Gaza, November 30, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - Ismail Wajeh Al Ayoubi, or Uncle Abu Wajeh, as he is known to all of his customers, has been a newspaper vendor in Gaza for forty years. When he was two years old, his family settled in the Alshougaia district of Gaza City, after being expelled from Yaffa, during the Nakba.

Areej - A Child Who Lost Her Home, But Found Paper To Draw Her Dreams
Gaza, November 30, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - After the collapse of her home in the recent war on Gaza, loss and an uncertain future were waiting.

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...

The National

Syria is accused of persecuting Kurds
The National 30 Nov 2009 - A report by a human rights group says that conditions have deteriorated for the minority but an independent analyst disputes this claim.

Journalists' union election lifts lid on internal split
The National 30 Nov 2009 - The vote is mirroring disagreements between pro-government and opposition forces Egypt generally.

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.

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.

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.

Aljazeera

UN rebuke 'forced' new Iran plans
AlJazeera 30 Nov 2009 - Tehran says IAEA resolution prompted move to build 10 new nuclear facilities.

Hezbollah vows to boost arsenal
AlJazeera 30 Nov 2009 - Nasrallah calls for Lebanon to have defence strategy built on popular resistance.

Palestine News Network

Prosecutor outlines prisoner-swap plan
PNN 30 Nov 2009 - Israel's state prosecutor on Sunday provided a broad outline of a plan to release hundreds of Palestinian prisoners in exchange for a kidnapped Israeli soldier who has been held by militants in the Gaza Strip for more than three years. Under the plan, which is still being negotiated, Israel would free roughly 1,000 prisoners to win the freedom of Cpl. Gilad Shalit....

Jerusalem Post

Military to protect bases from missiles
Jeruslalem Post 30 Nov 2009 - Senior IDF officer: We assume that the bases will be one of our enemy's first targets.

Mofaz plan faces criticism from Kadima MKs
Jeruslalem Post 30 Nov 2009 - Dichter: Creating a Palestinian state with temporary borders is dangerous.

Everybody loves Jerusalem
Jeruslalem Post 30 Nov 2009 - Phil Rosenthal of 'Raymond' is teaming up with Dreamworks for Sha'are Zedek Hospital documentary.

Nasrallah: continue arming to fight
Jeruslalem Post 30 Nov 2009 - Hizbullah leader says armed struggle is the only way to regain "Arab lands" captured by Israel.

Palestinians to ask UN for state based on 1967 borders
Jeruslalem Post 30 Nov 2009 - Proposal to ask UN for state with Jerusalem as its capital; Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says that Palestinian statehood "vital" for regional peace.

Hamas: Dec. 14 or 27 date for swap
Jeruslalem Post 30 Nov 2009 - "We want either date to mark the day when hundreds of Palestinian prisoners are released."

Settler leaders to ignore building ban
Jeruslalem Post 30 Nov 2009 - Inspectors in 30 settlements including Elkana, Beit El, Tekoa, Ariel and Kedar, issue stop work orders.

US: 'Time is short' for Iran engagement
Jeruslalem Post 30 Nov 2009 - US envoy to UN calls Teheran's plans to build an 10 more uranium enrichment plants "unacceptable."

Iran holding yacht with 5 UK nationals
Jeruslalem Post 30 Nov 2009 - British officials say boat, owned by Sail Bahrain, may have "inadvertently strayed into Iranian waters."

IRIN

ISRAEL-OPT: Travel restrictions eased
IRIN TEL AVIV Thursday, November 26, 2009 (IRIN) - The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) has announced that restrictions on the West Bank's population in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) will be eased during the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha between 26 November and 2 December.

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.

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.

Inter Press Service

US-IRAN: Moving Again Toward Confrontation 
IPS WASHINGTON, Nov 30 (IPS) - Iran's announced intention to build 10 new nuclear enrichment plants has been deemed "unacceptable" by the administration of President Barack Obama, which warned Monday of increased pressure on Tehran if it does not soon accept Western proposals to curb its nuclear programme.

MIDEAST: One Palestinian Prisoner Could Change the Balance 
IPS JERUSALEM, Nov 30 (IPS) - The fate of one prisoner locked in an Israeli jail could release the moribund Israeli-Palestinian peace process from its own jail - provided the timing is right.

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

Bees and spiders - a U.S. Army officer's view of U.S., Arab forces 
Ha'aretz 30 Nov 2009 - An army is an army and an officer is an officer. That is apparently the feeling, more or less, of the masses of American soldiers who have flooded the Persian Gulf, the Arab countries and Afghanistan during the past decade. Yet they may find, to their frustration, that they are wrong. Indeed, this week, one member of the armed services pointed out their mistake: In reality, he said, Americans are like bees and Arabs are like spiders. ... 

Demjanjuk case could set precedent in Germany
Ha'aretz 30 Nov 2009 - BERLIN - For Bronislaw Hajda, an 85-year-old Polish-American, the trial of John Demjanjuk is a bad omen. ... 

Demjanjuk trial / Why liberal legal systems can't try Nazis 
Ha'aretz 30 Nov 2009 - The Demjanjuk trial in Jerusalem showed Israelis what the Germans found out years before: The rules of the game in the liberal legal system are not suitable for bringing Nazis and their accomplices to justice. ... 

David Makovsky / Obama and Netanyahu: Lessons of 2009 
Ha'aretz 30 Nov 2009 - WASHINGTON - The announcement of a moratorium on building in the settlements ends the first chapter of U.S.-Israel relations during the Obama era. There are lessons for all. ... 

Lieberman blasted for naming 'party hack' as envoy to Moscow 
Ha'aretz 30 Nov 2009 - Israel's embassy in Moscow is considered one of the most important missions of Israel in the world. Nonetheless, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman will appoint as ambassador to Russia Dorit Golender, of Radio Reka in Russian, but lacking any diplomatic experience. ... 

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...

Ha'aretz National page

Seculars use God's name against Haredim in Jerusalem fight 
Ha'aretz 30 Nov 2009 - During the ultra-Orthodox demonstrations against Intel in Jerusalem two weeks ago, something strange happened: toward the end of the protest, when the police began pushing the demonstrators out of the Har Hotzvim industrial zone, the Haredim withdrew. ... 

How Wikipedia has flourished in Hebrew under three 'bureaucrats' 
Ha'aretz 30 Nov 2009 - Since the beginning of this decade, Wikipedia, the free online ...

Haredi deputy health minister mulls segregating sexes at psychiatric hospitals 
Ha'aretz 30 Nov 2009 - The latest storm to emerge from the office of Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman stems from the plan being considered to separate the sexes in Jerusalem's psychiatric institutions. The idea is to transform the Kfar Shaul Psychiatric Hospital to men-only, and Eitanim to an all-women's facility. ... 

Settlers: We'll prevent inspectors from enforcing construction freeze
Ha'aretz 30 Nov 2009 - Crackdown on settlements activity begins; group appeals move after Barak adds more W. Bank inspectors.

Israel's top ten must-have gadgets 
Ha'aretz 30 Nov 2009 - They keep your legs smooth, back up your files, upload your photos from wherever you may be. ISRAEL21c presents 10 top, developed-in-Israel gadgets. ...

Relief Web

Those who undermine peace by violence or changing facts on ground must not set agenda, UN SG tells Palestinian meeting
Relief Web 30 Nov 2009 - Source: UN Secretary-General

Biggest challenge to shared agenda is creation of conditions to resume talks, says UN SG on Day of Solidarity with Palestinians
Relief Web 30 Nov 2009 - Source: UN Secretary-General

Portfolio of Mine Action Projects 2010
Relief Web 30 Nov 2009 - Source: UN Children's Fund, UN Development Programme, UN Mine Action Service

OPT: Kuwait charity distributes 16,000 kg of meat among Gazans
Relief Web 30 Nov 2009 - Source: Kuwait News Agency

Israel says enforcing W.Bank settlement moratorium
Relief Web 30 Nov 2009 - Source: Reuters - AlertNet

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

YNet News

Abbas to UN: Israel alienates Palestinians 
YNet News 30 Nov 2009 - Speaking on behalf of PA leader, Palestinian observer at UN tells General Assembly peace talks hindered by 'settlements, arrests of Palestinians by Israel and IDF attacks'; calls on Security Council to take immediate steps against Jewish state top reflect 'international demand for end of occupation' 

Construction materials confiscated in West Bank
YNet News 30 Nov 2009 - Civil Administration enforces settlement freeze; Ariel mayor says 'Israel has returned to saison days' 

Hamas approves law to execute drug dealers
YNet News 30 Nov 2009 - Gaza government okays decision to cancel 'Zionist military law which included light punishments that encouraged rather than deterred those who take and trade in drugs'; more than 100 dealers, users arrested, Islamist group says 

Netanyahu allows construction of 25 housing units in settlement
YNet News 30 Nov 2009 - PM asks Barak to order Defense Ministry inspectors to stop preventing construction of housing units in Keidar, says may compensate settlers who suffer financially from construction moratorium 

UN marks November 29 'day of mourning'
YNet News 30 Nov 2009 - While Israel celebrates date on which it was given a state by UN, latter plans anti-Israeli resolutions 

Nasrallah rages against 'hegemonic' US
YNet News 30 Nov 2009 - Hezbollah chief broadcasts political platform, which promotes battle against 'unlimited expansionism' 

Daily Star

Tehran: UN criticism prompted new nuclear plans
Daily Star 30 Nov 2009 Iran's nuclear chief Monday said UN criticism pushed his country to retaliate by announcing ambitious plans for more uranium enrichment. With tensions rising over deadlocked negotiations, France said diplomacy was not working and sanctions against Iran were needed. Vice President Ali Akbar Salehi told state radio that Iran's decision to build 10 new uranium.

Hamas official says differences remain over prisoner swap with Israel
Daily Star 30 Nov 2009 Senior Hamas officials said Monday that the Islamic militant group is still sparring with Israel over the names of 50 prisoners it wants released in exchange for a captive Israeli soldier, signaling there were still significant gaps before completing the anticipated deal. Last week, Israeli and Hamas officials spoke of progress.

Yemeni forces clamp down on Aden separatists
Daily Star 30 Nov 2009 Yemeni security forces spread out across the southern port city of Aden Monday, clamping down on any display of secessionist sentiment on the anniversary of the south's independence from Britain. Residents said hundreds of troops lined the streets of Aden, where southern activists had been planning a festival to commemorate the day the last British soldier departed in 1967.

One Palestinian prisoner could change the balance
Daily Star 30 Nov 2009 The fate of one prisoner locked in an Israeli jail could release the moribund Israeli-Palestinian peace process from its own jail - provided the timing is right. The political timing is definitely ripe. This week a major residual source of tension between Israelis and Palestinians may be on the verge of being resolved - if German mediation finally overcomes last-minute., The fate of one prisoner locked in an Israeli jail could release the moribund Israeli-Palestinian peace process from its own jail - provided the timing is right. The political timing is definitely ripe. This week a major residual source of tension between Israelis and Palestinians may be on the verge of being resolved - if German mediation finally overcomes last-minute.

Israeli illegal settlers vow to defy construction freeze
Daily Star 30 Nov 2009 Israeli settler leaders vowed Monday to resist the government decision to impose a temporary ease on West Bank settlement building after months of pressure from the US. Prominent settler leaders held an emergency meeting at which it was decided to bar government construction inspectors from the settlements, they said in a statement.

Palestinian Information Center

Madi: Massive international march to enter Gaza by end of December
PIC 30 Nov 2009 - Fadi Madi, the head of The Anti-US and Israeli Globalization and Hegemony Movement, has said that final preparations for the international solidarity week with Gaza had kicked off.

IOF troops detain two Palestinians, settler stabs Palestinian teen
PIC 30 Nov 2009 - Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Monday detained two Palestinians west of Bethlehem city during raids at the pretext that they were wanted for interrogation, Hebrew press reported.

Swedish MP: Gaza biggest prison in the open air
PIC 30 Nov 2009 - A Swedish green party MP has criticized the ministry of immigration for deciding to deport Palestinian refugees to Gaza Strip, warning that the Strip has turned into the biggest prison in open air.

Bahar: Assaulting MP Mansour unprecedented insolence
PIC 30 Nov 2009 - Dr. Ahmed Bahar has described the assault on MP Mona Mansour in the West Bank city of Nablus at the hands of militias loyal to former PA chief Mahmoud Abbas as "unprecedented insolence".

Gov't committee against siege: Lifeline-3 convoy to arrive in Gaza mid December
PIC 30 Nov 2009 - The international aid convoy "Lifeline-3 for Gaza" led by British MP George Galloway is to arrive in the Gaza Strip by mid December, the government committee against the siege said.

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.

Los Angeles Times

Craftsmen carve out their corner in Egypt 
LA Times 30 Nov 2009 - With almost no unemployment, Damietta, a center of handmade furniture, is an anomaly in Egypt. But the $1-billion industry, reliant on exports, is feeling the squeeze of the global downturn. Chisel, scrape, chisel, scrape. 

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. 

Iran plans to build 10 more nuclear plants 
LA Times 29 Nov 2009 - President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says an expanded nuclear program would create enriched uranium to produce electricity. It's unclear whether Iran has the know-how to carry out the plan. Two days after the world's atomic energy watchdog rebuked Iran for building a small undisclosed uranium enrichment facility, the Islamic Republic's Cabinet today ordered a dramatic expansion of the nuclear 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

Restrictions, Removal: Israel’s Double Bind Policy for Palestinians Holders of Gaza IDs in WB
11/30/2009 - WAFA - Palestine News Agency - TEL AVIV, November 30, 2009 (WAFA)- An Israeli Human Rights organization asked its government to respect the right of Palestinians to live in either part of the Palestinian territory and to desist from its policy of removing people from the West Bank to GazaThe Israeli Legal Center for Freedom of Movement- Gisha also asked Israel to permit students from the Gaza Strip to travel to the West Bank for purposes of higher education, subject to an individual security screening. In a fact sheet Gisha said: Beginning in approximately 2003, Israel began to prohibit Palestinians whose registered address is in Gaza from being in the West Bank – even if they had been living in the West Bank for years. It also began a policy of arresting Palestinians whose registered address is in Gaza – including those whose homes, families, and jobs are in the West Bank – and removing them to Gaza against their will. -- Links: Deported Bethlehem student appears in Israeli court and Gisha. . . . 

IPSC Reports its Visit to Palestine 
11/30/2009 - WAFA - Palestine News Agency - DUBLIN, November 30, 2009 (WAFA)- The Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) took part in this year’s International Week of Solidarity called by the Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign (www. stopthewall. org). In a Report on the Week of Solidarity Against the Apartheid Walls in Palestine and the Siege of Gaza (November 9-16, 2009) written by Kevin Squires and Freda Hughes, IPSC said Monday: An international call to activists was put out to launch a week of global mobilization against the walls of apartheid in Palestine from November 9th to 16th 2009. The IPSC used this opportunity to highlight the necessity of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, with specific reference to the ongoing role of Irish construction company CRH (formerly Cement Road stone Holdings) in the building of the Apartheid Wall and illegal colonial settlements in the West Bank. -- Links: Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign and Stop The Wall

Abbas Calls on UNSG to Take Decisive Action
11/30/2009 - WAFA - Palestine News Agency - NEW YORK/GENEVA, November 30, 2009 (WAFA) - President Mahmood Abbas Called on Monday the international community, particularly the UN Security Council, to shoulder its responsibilities and to take immediate and decisive action that reflects the positions of the countries of the world, which have repeatedly called for the two-State solution and an end to the Israeli occupation that began in 1967, in order to bring an end to this conflict and give credibility to the Charter of the United Nations and its resolutions. In a statement, on the occasion of the commemoration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People read on behalf of him in two ceremonies held at the UN HQ in New York and Geneva, the President said: The concept of negotiations for the current Israeli Government is that they can do whatever they wish on the ground and that we can talk whatever we want at the negotiating table. . . . 

One Palestinian killed, three wounded in Gaza explosion 
11/30/2009 - Earth Times - DPA - Gaza - One Palestinian militant was killed and three were wounded Monday night in a mysterious explosion in a car that drove west of Gaza city, eyewitnesses and medics said. The witnesses said that four militants were riding in a minibus in Shatti refugee camp west of Gaza City when the explosion wrecked the bus. Sources said that the dead militant was a member of Islamic Jihad (Holy War) and that the minibus was full of explosives which detonated due to technical problemGaza emergency chief Mo'aweya Hassanein confirmed the casualties, adding that the four were taken to Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. The witnesses said that the minibus was driving near the mosque of Ibad el Rahma in the refugee camp, not far from the house ofprime minister of the de facto Hamas government in the Gaza Strip, Ismail Haneyeh. Hamas security sources in Gaza said the explosion was being investigated. Witnesses said that the explosion occurred at the same time that Israeli F16 warplanes passed overhead. 

Hezbollah chief says US role is diminishing in the region 
11/30/2009 - Earth Times - DPA - Beirut - Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah said Monday that the role of the US in the region is diminishing and thus weakening the Jewish state. "We are amid historical transformations that signal the retreat of the US role and the demise of the Hebrew State," opposition leader Nasrallah told journalists via a video feed in Beirut's southern suburbs. "The most dangerous aspect of the US logic is that they think they own the world and are entitled to dominate it, based on superiority in several domains," the Hezbollah leader said. But Nasrallah said that his movement does not underestimate current challenges and threats or the severity of any possible confrontation with the US and Israel, historical foes of Hezbollah. Because of the Israeli threat perceived by Hezbollah, Nasrallah said Lebanon has no choice but to rely on his movement for its defence, in addition to the Lebanese army. 

China’s backing on Iran followed dire predictions 
11/26/2009 - Washington Post - Before Obama's visit, NSC warned leaders that Israel might attack Iran - Two weeks before President Obama visited China, two senior White House officials traveled to Beijing on a "special mission" to try to persuade China to pressure Iran to give up its alleged nuclear weapons program. If Beijing did not help the United States on this issue, the consequences could be severe, the visitors, Dennis Ross and Jeffrey Bader, both senior officials in the National Security Council, informed the Chinese. The Chinese were told that Israel regards Iran's nuclear program as an "existential issue and that countries that have an existential issue don't listen to other countries," according to a senior administration official. The implication was clear: Israel could bomb Iran, leading to a crisis in the Persian Gulf region and almost inevitably problems over the very oil China needs to fuel its economic. . . . 

Netanyahu Talks As Settlers Continue To Occupy 
11/30/2009 - Desert Peace - PIC - OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, 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. “At around 2:00 am I heard some noise near my brother’s house which has been closed for the past nine years. . I came out to find four settlers breaking into my brother’s house, the entry of which is banned, a court will decide on its fait on Sunday 29 November,” Maysa’ al-Kurd, the daughter of Hajja al-Kurd said in a statement, “One of the settlers pushed me and tried to strangle my son and when the neighbours heard the screams they came out, the settler ran into the house despite the presence of a guard who is supposed to stop people entering it. ”“I phoned the police and when they arrived they said that there was nothing to stop them [the settlers] from entering the house. 

Hamas: Gaps remain over prisoner swap with Israel 
11/30/2009 - Yahoo! News - AP - RAMALLAH, West Bank – Senior Hamas officials said Monday that the Islamic militant group is still wrangling with Israel over the names of 50 prisoners it wants released in exchange for a captive Israeli soldier, signaling significant gaps in the way of an anticipated deal. Last week, Israeli and Hamas officials spoke of progress, raising speculation that an agreement could be wrapped up within days. Hamas is demanding some 1,000 prisoners in exchange for an Israeli soldier it has held for more than three years. But Hamas officials said Israel is still balking at including prominent political leaders and top Hamas militants it holds. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the German-mediated negotiations. At the top of the contested list is Marwan Barghouti, a popular leader of Hamas' rival Fatah, who is serving five consecutive life terms for his role in shooting attacks that killed four Israelis and a Greek monk. 

Hezbollah to continue arming to fight Israel 
11/30/2009 - Yahoo! News - AP - BEIRUT – Hezbollah's leader said Monday that the Lebanese militant group will improve its weapons capabilities to face off any Israeli threat and that armed struggle was the only way to regain Arab lands captured by the Jewish state. Hassan Nasrallah's remarks signaled the group has no intention of meeting a United Nations resolution requiring it to give up its weapons. That position that has generated division among the country's fractious political groups as well as concern in Israel, which says it is preparing to deploy a defense system to shoot down rockets from Lebanon. Nasrallah gave no details on the weapons plans, but Hezbollah has said it has tens of thousands of rockets. Israel's military says that since its 2006 war with the group, Hezbollah has tripled its prewar arsenal to more than 40,000 rockets, some of which can strike virtually anywhere in Israel — a dramatic improvement over the short-range missiles fired in 2006. 

Netanyahu ill, trip to Germany postponed 
11/29/2009 - Yahoo! News - AP - JERUSALEM – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has fallen ill, and his trip to Germany has been postponed. Netanyahu was due to fly to Germany on Monday for a day of talks with German leaders. Netanyahu's office issued a statement late Sunday saying that the Israeli leader felt unwell. His doctor found Netanyahu has a viral infection and a light fever and recommended that he call off the trip. Israel's foreign minister and defense minister were due to accompany Netanyahu. The statement said the trip would be rescheduled for January. Four hours before the postponement, Netanyahu spoke at a conference in the southern resort of Eilat and showed no outward signs of illness. [end] 

Has Israel Been Spying On The United Nations? 
11/30/2009 - Political Theatrics - Al-Manar - A Swiss newspaper said that a number of UN employees in Geneva have concluded that Israel is eavesdropping on UN court sessions. The Neue Zuericher Zeitung (NZZ) added that bugging devices have been found in the organization’s deliberations room in the Swiss capital. The newspaper pointed that during regular maintenance procedures on the electrical network, three years ago, two bugging devices were found in a room set for the UN Disarmament Committee meetings. It added that ‘secret’ meetings were also held in the room over the Second Gulf War and the assassination of former Lebanese PM Rafik Hariri. NZZ revealed that other spying devices have also been found in other parts of the building, including courtrooms. The daily quoted UN employees as saying that Israel was behind planting the devices. UN security experts estimate that the planting process might have taken at least two days with the collaboration of UN employees. 

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
11/25/2009 - Palestinian Centre for Human Rights - Today, 25 November, 2009, the world celebrates the International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women. Adopted by the UN in 1999, this day forms part of the overall effort to eliminate violence against women, and to urge countries to take actions necessary to ensure women’s rights. 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 Strip as these affect living conditions, as well as from other practices by IOF, including the illegal blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip since 2006. According to PCHR's documentation, between 25 November 2008 and 25 November 2009, 116. . . . 

VIDEO - 'The Erasure of Palestine' 
11/25/2009 - Palestine Center - JFECD - 13 November 2009, The Palestine Center, Washington, D. C. - Welcome Remarks by Dr. Subhi Ali and Introduction and Rationale by Dr. Naseer Aruri. Panel I: Erasure Before and After 1967 with Ms. Nadia Hijab, Ms. Jennifer Lowenstein, Dr. Leila Farsakh and Ms. Phyllis Bennis - Panel II: Shrinking Space and Colonization with Dr. Eid Mustafa, Dr. Laurie King and Mr. Will Youmans - Panel III: National Fragmentation and Cohesion with Dr. Halim Barakat, Dr. Elliot Colla and Mr. Ali Abunimah - Final Remarks: The Role of the International Community in the Erasure with Ms. Zaha Hassan, Ms. Susan Akram and Dr. Naseer Aruri. [end] 

Barak calls for inspectors to police settlements freeze (Roundup) 
11/29/2009 - Monsters and Critics - DPA - Jerusalem - Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak ordered his officials Sunday to recruit and train inspectors to oversee a 10- month freeze on residential construction in West Bank settlements, as decided by the Israeli inner cabinet last week. The 40 additional inspectors will supplement the 14 currently at work in the West Bank. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced the freeze last week, after receiving the backing of 11 ministers in the 15-minister inner, security-diplomatic cabinet. He said Israel would build no new settlements, nor expropriate more land for the expansion of existing settlements, and would not allow any new constructions to start within existing Jewish settlements for a period of 10 months. However 'public buildings that are essential for the continuation of a normal life' were excluded from the freeze. 

Israeli ministers from Netanyahu’s party slam settlement freeze 
11/29/2009 - Monsters and Critics - DPA - Jerusalem - Ministers in Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud Party voiced opposition Sunday to a decision to freeze construction in the West Bank, with the most senior critic, Vice Premier Silvan Shalom, saying the move was 'unnecessary. ' Shalom, who in recent months has positioned himself to the political right of Netanyahu, was quoted in media reports as saying the freeze would not lead to the resumption of peace talks with the Palestinians, and added that 'harming the (West Bank) settlements will have implications on the country's future. ' Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has made a restart of peace talks conditional on a total halt to Israeli construction in West Bank settlements. He has rejected Netanyahu's decision, announced Wednesday night after a vote of the inner security-diplomatic cabinet, to freeze housing starts in the West Bank - but not in East Jerusalem - for 10 months. 


Articles

Introducing Palestine in US High Schools 
Dan Walsh, Al-Majdal, ZNet 11/30/2009
      "...I am convinced that in order to move forward, we must say openly the things we hold in our hearts..." - U.S. President Barak Obama in Cairo, June 4, 2009
     "Palestine is not just an Arabic and Islamic question: it is important to many different and contradictory worlds that intersect one another. Working for Palestine means being necessarily aware of such open dimensions... As Mandela kept saying during his own struggle, we must be aware of the fact that Palestine is one of the foremost moral issues of our time." - Edward Said, 2002
     This essay focuses on a little-understood aspect of the process of "teaching Palestine" in American schools: Palestine’s unwarranted status as part of the "null curriculum." In his book The Educational Imagination: On the Design and Evaluation of School Programs (1994), Elliot Eisner outlines four categories of modern curricula: formal, informal, hidden, and null. Briefly, the formal curriculum is that which is "officially approved" by some institutional authority. For high schools in the U.S., this is the state government. The informal curriculum is that which is actually taught in the classroom; in other words, it is what the teacher does with the formal curriculum. The hidden curriculum is any subsidiary or unplanned teaching and learning that takes place as a result of delivering the official curriculum but which is not "officially" part of it. The null curriculum, the category that I am focusing on here, is content that is specifically not taught.
     An example of a null curriculum controversy that gets a great deal of attention in the U.S. is the one related to scientific "creationism." Proponents of this religiously-based interpretation of the origins of life are waging a very public and organized national effort to leverage its idiosyncratic ideology out of its null status.....","  I am convinced that in order to move forward, we must say openly the things we hold in our hearts..." - U.S. President Barak Obama in Cairo, June 4, 2009
     "Palestine is not just an Arabic and Islamic question: it is important to many different and contradictory worlds that intersect one another. Working for Palestine means being necessarily aware of such open dimensions... As Mandela kept saying during his own struggle, we must be aware of the fact that Palestine is one of the foremost moral issues of our time." - Edward Said, 2002
     This essay focuses on a little-understood aspect of the process of "teaching Palestine" in American schools: Palestine’s unwarranted status as part of the "null curriculum." In his book The Educational Imagination: On the Design and Evaluation of School Programs (1994), Elliot Eisner outlines four categories of modern curricula: formal, informal, hidden, and null. Briefly, the formal... more.. e-mail

What Goldstone says about the US 
Mark LeVine, AlJazeera 11/12/2009
      Put simply, if there is blood on Israel’s hands, than it is has dripped all over America’s shirt.
     Opponents of the Goldstone report might well be hoping that after its lopsided condemnation in the US House of Representatives and successful relegation back to the UN’s Human Rights Commission, the report will become little more than an historical footnote in a decades-long conflict.
     This might in fact occur, given the imbalance of power between the contending sides. But historians can do a great deal with footnotes.
     When the glare of history is finally shone upon the whole affair, it might well turn out that the reasons for such vehement opposition from US politicians, and only tepid (at best) support for it among other major powers, have far more to do with their own geostrategic interests than with protecting Israel.
     Back story
     The report, written by South African jurist Richard Goldstone, has caused uproar in Israel and the US for its alleged bias against Israel and avoidance of serious criticism of Hamas. The condemnation, House Resolution 867, passed by a 344-36 vote.
     Before the vote on the resolution, Goldstone sent a letter to members of Congress refuting most of the allegations contained in it. But his rebuttal did not lead to substantive changes in the report’s accusations and apparently had no effect on the vote.
     Given the way in which opposition to the report unfolded it would be easy to conclude that this is merely another case of the vaunted Israel lobby shutting down any debate over Israel’s actions in the Occupied Territories..... more.. e-mail

Let’s Talk About Resistance 
Natalie abu Shakra, International Solidarity Movement 11/29/2009
      The choice of civil resistance in challenging the Israeli occupation is considered by some as a form of "surrender." In an interview [in Arabic] on Al Aqsa, Palestinian activists Mazen Qumsiyeh and comrade Haidar Eid answer these questions. 
     Eid was asked about the meaning of civil resistance of which he spoke about the numerous terms coined to non-violent resistance, civil resistance, non-violent struggle and therefore multiple definitions to each term. There is, he says, the Gandhian non-violent struggle, Satyagraha, which is to depend totally on people power and the strength of economic boycott of the occupier’s products. “What happened in South Africa was that this concept was further developed to include multiple and different forms of struggle, of which complete one another. And there was an emphasis in the later part of Apartheid, during the eighties, on Boycott [in all its forms].” Eid emphasized that the four pillars of struggle in South Africa should be taken as a model to learn from in the Palestinian struggle.
     In the Palestinian context, the word “peace” has come to have a negative connotation, and Eid explains that this is due to the “industry of peace” processes that the Palestinians had to face constantly, and particularly from 1993 till now, where peace as a process was not linked to the attainment of justice for the Palestinian people, and the right of return of the refugees with reparation of the decades of suffering, estrangement, refugeehood and exile.... more.. e-mail


Electronic Intifada
Palestinians organize for the Gaza Freedom March
Electronic Intifada: 30 Nov 2009 - "From the besieged Gaza Strip, we call upon all peace lovers around the globe to come here to participate in our Gaza Freedom March that is aimed at breaking a repressive Israeli blockade on Gaza's 1.5 million residents." So said Mustafa al-Kayali, coordinator of the steering committee for the Gaza Freedom March. Rami Almeghari reports from the occupied Gaza Strip. 

Discrimination keeps Palestinian women out of Israel's workforce
Electronic Intifada: 30 Nov 2009 - Israel's finance minister was accused last week of trying to deflect attention from discriminatory policies keeping many of the country's Palestinian Arab families in poverty by blaming their economic troubles on what he described as Arab society's opposition to women working. Jonathan Cook reports. 

Any given Friday
Electronic Intifada: 30 Nov 2009 - After years of land appropriation and harassing Palestinian villagers, Efrat settlers have decided that they want to acquire more of Um Salomona's farmland separated from the village by the main road for a cemetery. Raed, a Palestinian resident of the village, owns the land targeted by the settlers. He knows all too well that without strong action (and quite possibly, even with strong action) it is likely that his land -- like thousands of other acres of Palestinian land in the West Bank -- will be seized by the settlement. Jo Ehrlich writes for The Electronic Intifada. 

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
Israel Killing Peace Hopes with Ethnic Cleansing Settlement Project
Palestine Chronicle: 30 Nov 2009 - By Stu Harrison Israel's ongoing takeover of East Jerusalem shows it is trying to kill any hope of a negotiated settlement to Palestine’s struggle for self-determination. Israel approved plans to build 844 housing units outside the East Jerusalem Jewish-only Israeli settlement of Gilo on November 17. South of Jerusalem’s centre, Gilo is home to 40,000 residents. It is part of a ring of Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem that inhibits the possibility of it becoming the capital of an independent Palestinian state, based on the occupied territories of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. This has been the demand of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation since the 1993 Oslo Accords. Since 1967, East Jerusalem has been part of the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel, along with the West Bank and Gaza. The new settlement will expand Gilo in the direction of the Palestinian West Bank town of al-Walaja, where residents are struggling against Israeli plans to demolish their homes. The plan would also connect the settlement to Givat Yael, a planned settlement that will straddle the Jerusalem border and cut off access from Jerusalem to Bethlehem in the West Bank, Americans for Peace Now said on November 17. This effort is being further supported by the construction of an ever-growing “separation barrier/wall” that will force 55,000 mainly Palestinian residents outside the city limits. The wall’s planned route will help connect the Gush Etzion settlement block in the West Bank to Jerusalem. The ideology of Zionism, which supports an exclusively Jewish...

Israel's Arab Women Workers Need Not Apply
Palestine Chronicle: 30 Nov 2009 - By Jonathan Cook - Nazareth Israel’s finance minister was accused last week of trying to deflect attention from discriminatory policies keeping many of the country’s Arab families in poverty by blaming their economic troubles on what he described as Arab society’s opposition to women working. A recent report from Israel’s National Insurance Institute showed that half of all Arab families in Israel are classified as poor compared with just 14 per cent of Jewish families. Yuval Steinitz, the finance minister, told a conference on employment discrimination this month that the failure of Arab women to participate in the workforce was damaging Israel’s economy. Eighteen per cent of Arab women work, and only half of them full time, compared with at least 55 per cent of Jewish women. He attributed the low employment rate to “cultural obstacles, traditional frameworks and the belief that Arab women have to remain in their home towns”, adding that such restrictions were characteristic of all Arab societies. But researchers and women’s groups pointed out that employment of Arab women in Israel is lower than almost anywhere else in the Arab world, including such employment blackspots for women as Saudi Arabia and Oman. “Most Arab women want to work, including a large number of female graduates, but the government has refused to tackle the many and severe obstacles that have been put in their way,” said Sawsan Shukha of Women Against Violence, a Nazareth-based organisation. That assessment was supported by a survey this month revealing that 83...

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...

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