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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
3 December, 2009

News

International Middle East Media Center

Jordan Protests Over Excavations At The Church Of Holy Sepulcher
IMEMC 3 Dec 2009 - Thursday December 03, 2009 - 22:32, Jordan filed an official complaint to Israel demanding it to stop the excavations and renovations at the Church of Holy Sepulcher in East Jerusalem.

Jordan Protests Over Excavation At The Church Of Holy Sepulcher
IMEMC 3 Dec 2009 - Thursday December 03, 2009 - 21:26, Jordan filed an official complaint to Israel demanding it to stop the excavations and renovations at the Church of Holy Sepulcher in East Jerusalem.

The military: two home-made bombs were found near an army base in central West Bank
IMEMC 3 Dec 2009 - Thursday December 03, 2009 - 17:59, Israeli military sources announced that troops have found on Thursday afternoon two home-made bombs near an army base in the central west Bank.

Israeli tanks invade southern border area of the Gaza Strip and open fire at residents’ homes
IMEMC 3 Dec 2009 - Thursday December 03, 2009 - 17:47, A number of Israeli tanks and bulldozers invaded on Thursday morning border areas close to Rafah city, southern Gaza Strip and opened fire at residents’ homes.

The Israeli military kidnaps 15 civilians from the West Bank
IMEMC 3 Dec 2009 - Thursday December 03, 2009 - 17:33, The Israeli military kidnapped on Thursday 15 Palestinian civilians during invasions targeting West Bank communities.

Abuse Continues Against Families Visiting Their Detained Loved Ones
IMEMC 3 Dec 2009 - Thursday December 03, 2009 - 12:09, Several parents of Palestinian detainees imprisoned by Israel complained of ongoing harassment and abuse against them while trying to visit their detained loved ones.

Ma'an News

BU student stranded in Gaza as Israeli court deliberates
12/3/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The Israeli High Court continued to deliberate on the case of Bethlehem University student Berlanty Azzam on Thursday, and declined to order the young woman returned to the West Bank to continue her studies following what her lawyers call an illegal deportation by the Israeli army. Berlanty was in attendence on Monday 30 November when the court heard her case in Jerusalem. Following the hearing Berlanty was transferred back to Gaza where she awaits the court's decision on whether or not she can return to Bethlehem. According to Berlanty's lawyers from Israeli human rights group Gisha, the High Court issued a ruling three hours after the hearing requesting the Israeli army "again attempt to locate the documents relating to the request from 2005 and the permit that was issued," referring to Berlanty's request for a permit to leave Gaza. 

Israeli night raids sweep West Bank
12/3/2009 - Jenin - Ma'an - Israeli forces detained nearly thirty Palestinians in raids on Wednesday night on communities throughout the West Bank, according to local sources. The Israeli military said that only 15 "wanted"¯ Palestinians were detained in the entire West Bank. Palestinians reported higher numbers, including raids in at least five separate communities. Israeli raids are a nightly occurence in the West Bank and are often Israel's response to resistance - violent and nonviolent - to its occupation. Those jailed by Israel include university students, pofessors, activists, journalists and members of parliament. According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, between 25 November and 2 December,Israeli forces conducted 14 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, and one into the Gaza Strip. During those incursions Israeli forces arrested 20 Palestinian civilians, including 6 under the age of 18. 

Israeli ground forces invade southern Gaza
12/3/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Three Israeli tanks and a bulldozer invaded the southern Gaza Strip on Thursday morning, witnesses said. Palestinians said the vehicles carried out a sweep of the area east of the Sufa crossing point, near the city of Rafah. The area sees nearly daily incursions by Israeli forces. The Sufa crossing was shut down by the Israeli military in 2008 and is no longer operative. An Israeli military spokeswoman said the report would be investigated. [end] 

Israel waters down partial settlement freeze
12/3/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Minor renovation projects will go ahead pending the approval of settlement mayors, Israel's Defense Minister Ehud Barak announced on Wednesday. The announcement, reported by the Israeli daily Haaretz, follows days of settler protests and stone-throwing in response to a 10-month partial construction moratorium affecting most West Bank settlements. The freeze did not include the construction of public buildings like schools, synagogues and government institutions, but still sparked ire among settlers, who accused the government of preventing population growth. According to Haaretz, the relaxation of the temporary ban, will allow projects like enclosing balconies or building pergolas over a porch to move forward. Palestinians living in Jerusalem and in areas in the West Bank under Israeli military and civil control must pay large fees and wait months. . . 

Hamas, Hizbullah hold talks in Lebanon
12/3/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah held talks on Wednesday with senior Hamas officials in Lebanon. Hamas was represented by officials Muhammad Nasr, Osama Hamdan, and Munir Said. According to a statement carried on Hizbullah's news channel Al-Manar, the two sides discussed "the international and regional situation in light of the confusion the US administration is experiencing in its approach to the crises arising from its aggressive policies in our Arab and Islamic region, particularly its blatant bias [in favor of] the Israeli stances and practices against the Palestinian people, their rights and interests. " ¯Officials from both groups also expressed satisfaction with the Lebanese cabinet's adoption on Wednesday of a platform that allows Hizbullah to retain its military arsenal. 

Israel defends refusal to evacuate outposts
12/3/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israel's government argued on Thursday that it lacks mechanisms for dismantling illegal settlement outposts, blaming the manpower shortage to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's partial settlement freeze. The response came after Palestinians and Peace Now petitioned Israel's High Court over the government's refusal to evacuate outposts. Israel's attorney general responded that "implementing the freeze decision requires enforcing rules that are designed to carry out the decision, which means delaying other missions to enforce the law. " The government added in its response that the Defense Ministry, the Office of the Prime Minister, and others were studying the issue. Knesset members from Israel's Likud and Kadima parties will draft a resolution to exclude large settlement blocs from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's partial settlement freeze, the Hebrew-language daily Ma'ariv reported Thursday. 

Israeli forces detain 15 from West Bank overnight
12/3/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israeli forces seized 15 Palestinians during overnight raids in the West Bank, the military said on Thursday. The "wanted"¯ people were taken for interrogation, according to the army. They were not immediately identified. [end] 

Gaza crossings open for Power Authority supplies
12/3/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - The Kerem Shalom and Karni crossings will be opened on Thursday to let in humanitarian and commercial goods, as well as five trucks destined for the Palestinian Power Authority, into the Gaza Strip. Raed Fattouh, Palestinian crossings liaison, said between 97 and 107 truckloads of goods were expected through Kerem Shalom including those destined for the Power Authority, and another 110 truckloads of wheat and animal feed were allowed through the Karni crossing. The delivery would be the largest expected in several weeks, although the total remains well below the necessary levels of imports to maintain basic living standards in the Strip. Construction materials for civilians remain barred. Deputy chief of the Power Authority Ka'anan Ubeid said he could not confirm what supplies the body would receive, but noted he was expecting electrical wires and generators for the rehabilitation of some areas of the power network. 

Two family brawls see one shot, 14 arrested
12/3/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Family brawls saw one man shot dead and three detained by Israeli forces in the Shufat Refugee Camp while five were injured and 11 detained by Palestinian police northwest of Ramallah in a second clan clash. Sources in Shufat said Anwar Gheith, 42, died of a gunshot wound to the chest during clashes between the Abu Srour and Abu Asab families. Enraged at the death, Gheith's family attacked the alleged killer's family, setting fire to their homes and cars, the sources added. Israeli police reportedly intervened to stop the violence and detained three. A three-day truce was declared in hopes that the two clans could resolve the dispute peacefully, sources said. A second clash in the town of Kufur Ein northwest of Ramallahwas quelled by Palestinian Authority (PA) police late Wednesday night, a report said. 

Israel says two bombs found near Ramallah
12/3/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The Israeli army claimed that one of its battalions discovered three explosive charges on the road side near a military base at the Beit El settlement north of Ramallah on Thursday. Israel Radio said one of the charges contained five kilograms of explosives and another contained three kilograms. The two charges were detonated without incident, according to the report. [end] 

Abu Mujahid: No Shalit deal yet
12/3/2009 - mural imaging Shalit aged by 30 years [MaanImages] Gaza - Ma'an - A spokesman for the captors of Gilad Shalit in Gaza denied on Thursday a report that the Israeli soldier was transferred to Egypt as a step toward a prisoner exchange. Popular Resistance Committees spokesman Abu Mujahid said in a statement that Israel is propagating false information about Shalit in order to force the hand of the Palestinian negotiators. "The ball is in Israel's court," he said, noting that a "deal is not over yet. " Osama Hamdan, a Hamas official in Lebanon, denied the report, telling Al-Jazeera television that he "didn't know where it came from. "The Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida quoted anonymous sources on Thursday saying Shalit arrived at a secret location in Cairo a few days ago accompanied by Hamas' military chief, Ahmad Jabari, and top political leader Mahmoud Zahhar. 

PPP calls for Arab, European intervention over UNRWA budget
12/3/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - The Palestine People's Party warned of further fallout from the global financial crisis Thursday, after UNRWA announced a zero budget for projects in the new year. On Wednesday, UNRWA announced several factors leading to a "zero budget" that would likely begin to affect the payment of salaries and the provision of services to refugees within the next month. The PPP's political bureau issued a statement warning of the implications of a depletion of UNRWA services, saying it would be disastrous for Palestinians across the Middle East. Everyone is aware that UNRWA is in a financial crisis, the statement said, but that it is far worse this time around. The official paper noted, however, that much of the responsibility for the crisis rests with the United States, for precipitating the latest global financial crisis. 

PNC chief applauds EU’s Jerusalem proposal
12/3/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The head of the Palestinian National Council, Salim Az-Za'nun, welcomed in a statement on Thursday the EU's move toward recognizing East Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian state. The suggestion was approved during a meeting of EU foreign affairs ministers on this week. Az-Za'nun added that "this move is in the right direction and a victory for international legitimacy and a factor that will encourage stability in the region when Israel abides by other international resolutions concerning not changing the demographic features of Jerusalem. . . [and] the return of the refugees, dismantling settlements and the wall. "He also denounced Israel's international campaign against the EU, and particularly Sweden, as "a clear assault while continuing with demolishing homes, stripping Palestinians from their identity cards and building settlement, all issues. . . 

Knesset bill would unfreeze settlement blocs
12/3/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Knesset members from Israel's Likud and Kadima parties will draft a resolution to exclude large settlement blocs from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's partial settlement freeze, the Hebrew-language daily Ma'ariv reported Thursday. According to the newspaper, MK Miri Regev (Likud) has adopted a proposal from Ron Nachman, the illegal Ariel settlement's leader, to be excluded from the building lull, which applies to areas in what Israel calls the the West Bank. MK Otniel Schneller (Kadima) will support the plan, according to Ma'ariv, which speculated that the draft would be a political embarrassment to Netanyahu, as his party, Likud, was generally in favor of the temporary freeze on certain building, and the opposition, Kadima, is thought to be more politically left-leaning and somewhat ideologically opposed to settlements. 

Fayyad: Security must be non-discriminatory for sake of state
12/3/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - Prime Minister Salam Fayyad met Palestinian security officials at hisRamallah headquarters on Wednesday, stressinf public service as a key element in state-building, and warned of abuses of power. "We learned a lot about state security from the takeover of Gaza by Hamas forces," Fayyad told top security cadres, noting that the "worst mistake" was to misunderstand the role of security forces and exploit the power they are entrusted with. "Our security forces are a source of pride; those who earn the honor of service to protect people are appreciated because they also protect the national project," Fayyad said. He described the national project as one working against the Israeli occupation, and representing the interests of all Palestinians. The prime minister was also insistent that human rights and respect for equality were essential elements of the security. . . 

Al-Aqsa Brigades say spokesman arrested in Gaza
12/3/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Fatah's military wing accused Hamas government forces in Gaza of arresting their spokesman this week, a statement said. The Al-Aqsa Brigades said Thursday that they hold the government responsible for any harm that could come to spokesman Khaled Al-Jabari, known as "Abu Al-Walid. " ¯ The de facto Gaza government did not immediately respond to the accusation. On Tuesday, the Al-Aqsa Brigades accused the government of jailing a senior leader named Muhammad Ubeid. On Monday night, an Al-Aqsa Brigades member was killed when a car exploded in Gaza's Ash-Shati Refugee Camp. The cause of the blast remains unexplained. In late November, the de facto Ministry of the Interior said that it had reached an agreement with armed groups in Gaza to cease cross-border attacks on Israel. Several groups, including the Al-Aqsa Brigades, denied having entered any agreement. 

Hamas: No desire for separate entity in Gaza
12/3/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Hamas has no desire to establish its own political system in the Gaza Strip, senior leader Moussa Abu Marzouq said on Thursday. Abu Marzouq, the deputy chief of Hamas' Political Bureau, issued a statement denying a report in the Saudi newspaper Okaz that the group aims to establish its own independent entity in Gaza. The official said Hamas is working to preserve the political unity of the West Bank and Gaza. He also said that Hamas is committed to all previous accords for unity with rival movement Fatah, but that they still want changes to Egypt's most recent proposal for unity. Hamas also welcomes any additions Fatah may make to the document, he said. Hamas won Palestinian parliamentary elections in 2006 and then took full control of the Gaza Strip in 2007, fearing a Fatah coup. After the takeover, President Mahmoud Abbas dissolved a unity government, leaving the West Bank and Gaza under separate administrations. 

PA seizes locks made in settlement
12/3/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - The Palestinian Authority said on Thursday it seized dozens of high-security locks in Ramallah as a part of a crackdown on products manufactured in illegal Israeli settlements. The Department of Consumer Protection of the Palestinian Ministry of National Economy said it confiscated 70 "Mul-T-Lock"¯ products, which are produced in a factory in the settlement ofBarqan, near the Palestinian town of Salfit. Abdul Hamid Mizher, the director of the consumer protection department appealed in a statement to all Palestinian merchants to abide by the ministry's instructions to boycott settlement products. [end] 

Deputy PLC speaker: Disunity serves Israel
12/3/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - Deputy PLC speaker Hasen Khreisha told Ma'an on Thursday that "the more the Palestinian dispute continued the cheaper the political price Israel will pay to solve the Palestinian cause and to end the occupation. " ¯ He noted that "Israel is pleased with the continued dispute and internal division because it provides a valuable opportunity and alternatives for Israel in dealing with the Palestinian cause, especially due to the multiplicity of the political agenda in the Palestinian arena, which would give the occupation more than one option to choose, providing it an opportunity to escape required political obligations. " ¯Kheirsha lamented "the recent state of weakness among Palestinians, in which the rival parties are competing to respond with political proposals that would lead to a achieve political settlement, whether through accepting the proposition of. . . 

PSE rebounds: Al-Quds Index up 0.7%
12/3/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - After tumbling earlier this week amid worries about Dubai's debt repayments, the Palestine Securities Exchange bounced back on Thursday. At the close of trading, the Al-Quds Index stood at 493. 03, marking an increase of 3. 44 points (0. 7%). Trading volume was 414,519 shares, a total value of 968,172. 96 US dollars in 257 trades. The shares of 20 companies were traded. The share prices of six companies rose, and seven declined. The top five gainers were GCOM by 4. 90%, AIB by 1. 68%, PALTEL by 0. 97%, QUDS by 0. 84%, PADICO by 0. 83%. The top five losers were PCB by 5. 00%, LADAEN by 3. 13%, AMB by 2. 56%, JCC by 1. 69%, and PIIC by 1. 45%. [end] 

Deadly bus blast in Damascus
12/3/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - A bus carrying Iranian pilgrims exploded in a busy Damascus suburb causing dozens of casualties Thursday morning, news reports said. Syrian Interior Minister Said Sammour said one of the bus tires exploded while it was refueling, according to reports of the incident. He also said, according to Reuters, "There was no terrorism factor behind the bus incident. "Three people were killed, he said. There were "dozens of casualties in a bus explosion in the Sayyeda Zainab area in Damascus," the Doha-based television network Al-Jazeera reported in a news flash. A shrine popular among Shia Muslim pilgrims dedicated to the granddaughter of the Prophet Muhammad was the destination of the bus, which exploded en route, media coverage said. Iranian state broadcaster Press TV reported that as many as 12 people may have been killed. 

Ha'aretz Defense page

Revealed: The secret war over IDF officers' exorbitant salaries
Ha'aretz 3 Dec 2009 - News of battle comes after revelation of shady deal in which army arranged NIS 3m pension for MK Shai. 

IDF draws up doctrine on missile threat protection
Ha'aretz 3 Dec 2009 - In a report last year, state comptroller criticized the lack of an operational plan. 

Did top Hamas officials discuss the Shalit deal with Nasrallah?
Ha'aretz 3 Dec 2009 - Hezbollah TV station says delegation met with Iran-backed group's leader for talks on U.S. Mideast policy. 

Lebanon cabinet lets Hezbollah keep its weapons
Ha'aretz 3 Dec 2009 - Decision signals group still has no intention of disarming; report: Lebanon army shoots at IAF warplanes. 

From Mishnah to MI: Haredi yeshiva graduates enlist in IDF
Ha'aretz 3 Dec 2009 - Seventy yeshiva graduates serve in unique program that brings ultra-Orthodox into Intelligence Corps. 

IDF chief wants to enlist Arabs, Haredim in national service
Ha'aretz 3 Dec 2009 - Ashkenazi: Changing demographics in Israel require the IDF to construct 'new models of service.' 

IAF considers buying $65m aircraft capable of vertical take-off, landing
Ha'aretz 3 Dec 2009 - On combat missions the V-22 was included for the first time in operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

Pre-army students to Netanyahu: Don't free hardened terrorists for Shalit
Ha'aretz 3 Dec 2009 - Court: Details of Shalit swap must stay secret; Report: Israel to free 17 East Jerusalem Arabs in deal. 

Ban 'dismayed' at East Jerusalem eviction of Palestinian family
Ha'aretz 3 Dec 2009 - UN chief's comments come after Jewish family's claim to home results in eviction of Palestinians. 

Ex-IDF officer: I claimed to be a pedophile to get out of army
Ha'aretz 3 Dec 2009 - 24-year-old soldier said he molested 17 children before enlisting, but retracted confession after arrest. 

How does the U.S. help fund pro-settler IDF troops?
Ha'aretz 3 Dec 2009 - Task Force to Save the Nation and the Land has offered NIS 1,000 a day to any soldier who fights evacuation. 

New IDF unit to fight enemies on Facebook, Twitter
Ha'aretz 3 Dec 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 3 Dec 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 3 Dec 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 3 Dec 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 3 Dec 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 3 Dec 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 3 Dec 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 3 Dec 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 3 Dec 2009 - Officer at rank of captain arrested on suspicion of trying to rape 22-year-old near Tel Aviv nightclub district. 

Uruknet

600 helpless as Gaza war disabled them
Uruknet December 3, 2009 - The Palestinian Medical Relief Society reported on Thursday that the recent Israeli assault on Gaza Strip caused more than six hundred Palestinian disabilities. It called for all official and private institutions to support disabled rights and enable them to exercise their role in society. It stressed in a statement on the occasion of World Disabled Day,...

Refuting pro-Israel hasbara: Official PGFTU statement in support of Boycott, Sanctions, Divestment campaign against Israel
Uruknet December 3, 2009 - Dear friends, as you will be aware with the increasing success of the Palestinian initiated Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) Campaign against Israel, the Israeli state, pro-Zionist media outlets and pro-Israel groups have sought to discredit the campaign. In particular, with increasing support for the campaign coming from trade unions around the world, Israel and pro-Israel...

The Israel Lobby Celebrates Espionage in New York
Uruknet December 3, 2009 - The recent sting operation against former NASA scientist Stewart Nozette involved an undercover FBI employee posing as Mossad agent. Meeting in the posh Mayflower hotel in Washington, the agent set up clandestine payments in exchange for highly classified information. Nozette began delivering requested classified national defense information believing it to be destined for Israel while confidentially...

A Strategy Revolution: A Game Theory Approach to Palestinian Resistance
Uruknet December 3, 2009 - Anyone who has witnessed the events in Palestine/Israel has been able to notice a cycle that repeats itself continually between the two groups of people. It can be summed up in two words: action/reaction. Sometimes the action is carried out to elicit a reaction (which we can define then as a provocation). A provocation has as...

The EU: Consider East Jerusalem As Capital of Palestine
Uruknet December 3, 2009 - Friends: Many of us search for an avenue, act, effort or voice to demand that Israel stop being treated as a separate nation on this planet, a nation above all divine and human laws, a nation that can get away with ethnic cleansing, murder, wars, invasions, genocides and war crimes without any accountability to the rest...

PLO warns of humanitarian disaster in refugee camps
Uruknet December 3, 2009 - The Department of Refugee Affairs of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) warned on Wednesday, Dec. 2 of a "humanitarian catastrophe" that could befall the Palestinian refugee camps in light of the severe financial crisis faced by the UN agency for refugees, UNRWA, "due to the shortage of financial assistance from donor countries, as well as the...

Weekly Report: On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory No. 47/2009 (25 Nov.- 02 Dec 2009)
Uruknet December 3, 2009 - Israeli violations of international law and humanitarian law in the OPT continued during the reporting period (25 November - 02 December 2009): Shooting: During the reporting period, 6 Palestinian civilians were wounded by Israeli gunfire in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. On 27 November 2009, Israeli forces fired a missile at a number of...

Knesset bill would unfreeze settlement blocs
Uruknet December 3, 2009 - Knesset members from Israel's Likud and Kadima parties will draft a resolution to exclude large settlement blocs from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's partial settlement freeze, the Hebrew-language daily Ma'ariv reported Thursday. According to the newspaper, MK Miri Regev (Likud) has adopted a proposal from Ron Nachman, the illegal Ariel settlement's leader, to be excluded from...

Israeli tanks invade southern border area of the Gaza Strip and open fire at residents' homes
Uruknet December 3, 2009 - A number of Israeli tanks and bulldozers invaded on Thursday morning border areas close to Rafah city, southern Gaza Strip and opened fire at residents' homes. Witnesses said tanks advanced from the Israeli Egyptian borders to Rafah, while bulldozers destroyed farm lands nearby tanks opened fire at nearby homes. Residents told local media that their homes...

PRC launches Internet website on the Goldstone Report
Uruknet December 3, 2009 - The Palestinian Return Center (PRC) in London has launched a new website to disseminate the major findings of the Goldstone report and provide useful analysis, according to a press statement issued by the center. According to PRC media department, there has been a number of websites launched by pro Israeli lobbies and groups which adopt the...

Extremist Jewish groups call for closing Aqsa until release of Shalit
Uruknet December 3, 2009 - Al-Aqsa foundation for endowment and heritage reported Thursday that fanatic Jewish groups released a document calling for closing the Aqsa Mosque until Palestinians release Gilad Shalit. The document is aimed to collect the signatures of 10,000 Israeli settlers and demands the police to close the holy Mosque to pressure the Palestinian resistance to release Shalit. "We,...

Increase of fetus deformity and cancer in Gaza
Uruknet December 3, 2009 - Experts call to provide equipment to detect radiation and its degree and impact on human and environment as rates of cancer is on rise upon the last Israeli war on Gaza. In a specialized symposium, organized by Maan Center for Development- Afaq Magazine for environment and development- ,entitled " One year after the extermination war and three...

Palestine Telegraph

French FM Barred from Entering Gaza
Paris, December 4, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - Foreign Minister Micheál Martin has been denied access to war-ravaged Gaza by the Israeli Government, it emerged tonight.

UN Denies Footballer Zinedine Zidane visit to Gaza as Goodwill Ambassador
Jerusalem, December 4, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - A UNICEF spokeswoman on Thursday retracted a statement that retired international soccer star Zinedine Zidane will visit Gaza in March as a goodwill ambassador.

Israel Oks new settlement plan despite moratorium
West Bank, December 3, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) - In apparent defiance of a recently announced plan for a moratorium on new construction work in the West Bank, Israel has approved expanding settlements there. The coordinator of government activities in the occupied territories, Maj. Gen. Eitan Dangot, approved the construction of 84 new settlement buildings on Wednesday, Haaretz reported. According to...

'Int. community not doing enough to end Gaza siege'
Gaza, December 3, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) - Palestinian legislator Jamal al-Khudari describes Arab and international efforts to lift the Israel-imposed blockade on the Gaza Strip as not up to scratch. "The international community and the Arab countries would have, by now, forced Israel to lift the Gaza siege and end the suffering of the 1.5 million Palestinians living there, if...

Hamas commander killed in central Gaza
Gaza, December 2, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) - A senior commander for the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Islamic Hamas movement, has died in the central Gaza Strip. "Yasser Sabri Radi, 37, a field commander in the Qassam Brigades from Nuseirat Camp in central Gaza, was martyred on Wednesday morning while undertaking a jihad-related task," AFP quoted a...

The National

Israel criticised for turning back African asylum seekers
The National 3 Dec 2009 - The country's policy of stopping refugees at its border could be putting lives at risk, say critics.

To read tea leaves in Moscow, watch its treatment of Tehran
The National 3 Dec 2009 - Alan Philps: Is Russia really ready to sign up to the type of crippling sanctions envisaged by Washington? And does this mean that the president is emerging from the shadow of his predecessor, Vladimir Putin?

Bad blood between Egypt and Algeria runs deeper than football
The National 3 Dec 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 3 Dec 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 3 Dec 2009 - In an unprecedented case, the former prime minister Ehud Olmert faces trial for graft, while some of his ministers have been sentenced.

Aljazeera

Iran says IAEA resolution 'illegal'
AlJazeera 2 Dec 2009 - "Superficially powerful" countries forced UN body to pass resolution, Ahmadinejad says.

Iran releases British sailors
AlJazeera 2 Dec 2009 - Tehran officials confirm yachtsmen's illegal entry into Iranian waters was mistake.

Alternative Information Center

On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (25 Nov.- 02 Dec 2009)
Alternative Information Center 3 Dec 2009 - Israeli Occupation Forces Continue Systematic Attacks against Palestinian Civilians and Property in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) and Continue to Impose a Total Closure on the Gaza Strip   6 Palestinians were wounded by Israeli forces...

2009 Journalist Conference in Israel: No News 
Alternative Information Center 2 Dec 2009 - I did not partake in the Journalist Conference that occurred this week in Eilat and was sponsored by the Tel Aviv Journalists’ Association and the Ben Gurion University of the Negev. Actually, I also did not...

Palestine News Network

'Shalit deal hinges on 15 Palestinian prisoners' 
PNN 3 Dec 2009 - A prisoner exchange deal to secure the release of abducted Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit hinges on a disagreement over 15 Palestinians, the Al-Ayyam daily newspaper reported Thursday. Shalit was abducted by Gaza militants in a cross-border raid in 2006 and has been held in captivity since then. Hamas, the rulers of the Gaza Strip, have demanded the release of hundreds of Palestinian...

Middle East conflict played out in the olive groves 
PNN 3 Dec 2009 - Akram Imran says the Jewish settlers came at night. I came to work in the early morning. It was a horrible sight, a massacre of trees, he said. Some of them are at least 70 years old. Climbing over a heap of withered branches in his olive grove on a rocky hillside near the village of Burin, the Palestinian farmer said they...

Jerusalem Post

Nuclear test detection site set up on Iran-Turkmenistan border
Jeruslalem Post 3 Dec 2009 - "The world is starting to understand Iran has been lying to everybody," Israeli official tells Post ; White House: Iran's time is running out. 

Hamas reports 'good progress' on Schalit
Jeruslalem Post 3 Dec 2009 - While voicing optimism about possible deal, source denies captured soldier has been moved to Egypt.

US TV show to feature J'lem hospital
Jeruslalem Post 3 Dec 2009 - 'Everybody Loves Raymond' creator sees Shaare Zedek as a microcosm of interfaith interaction.

Analysis: A bus blows up in Damascus - exploding tire or terror strike?
Jeruslalem Post 3 Dec 2009 - The tire story, on the face of it, looks like a somewhat ludicrous attempt by the Syrian authorities to explain away an alarming episode for the regime.

PM to settlers: 'We are your brethren'
Jeruslalem Post 3 Dec 2009 - Settler leader: Atmosphere at meeting was, "hard and tense"; PM: Palestinians are "peace resisters."

'Details of Iran arms seizure revealed'
Jeruslalem Post 3 Dec 2009 - Washington Post quotes expert as saying terror networks are getting even harder to destroy. 

IDF defuses two roadside bombs near Beit El
Jeruslalem Post 3 Dec 2009 - 

Esther Wachsman appeals to Peres to do everything to bring home Gilad Schalit
Jeruslalem Post 3 Dec 2009 - Bereaved mother's son was kidnapped by Hamas terrorists in 1994, and killed six days later in a failed rescue op.

'Change captives policy after Schalit's free'
Jeruslalem Post 3 Dec 2009 - Poll finds overwhelming majority of Israelis believe that Israel's policy of redeeming captives should only be toughened after kidnapped soldier's release.

IRIN

LEBANON: Sex workers still shun condoms
IRIN BEIRUT Tuesday, December 01, 2009 (IRIN) - Four years ago, at 16, Rana's husband forced her into prostitution. Despite the risks of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), Rana, like many local sex workers - estimated to number at least 6,000 - often did not use condoms.

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: Tough new law against killer tobacco
IRIN DAMASCUS Thursday, December 03, 2009 (IRIN) - A much tougher anti-smoking law in Syria, signed by President Bashar al-Assad and due to come into force in early 2010, will outlaw smoking in public places, including restaurants and bars, hospitals, sports halls and cinemas.

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: Palestinians Say No to Crumbs 
IPS RAMALLAH, Dec 3 (IPS) - The Palestinian Authority (PA) appears to be successfully countering the Israeli government's refusal to work towards a two-state solution to end the decades- long conflict.

PCHR Weekly Report

(03-12-2009)  Weekly Report: On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory
PCHR 

International Solidarity Movement

Palestinian shot in Naalin claims soldiers said he ‘deserves it’
12/3/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - YNet News, 2 December 2009 - Ashraf Abu Rahma, who was shot by IDF soldier during anti-fence protest takes stand in military court, says he was arrested for no reason, bound, and beaten by soldiers. ‘I heard a shot, I was hit, and I fell,' he testifies. Ashraf Abu Rahma, the Palestinian who was shot in the foot with a rubber bullet while he was bound and gagged after being arrested in a demonstration in Naalin in July 2008, arrived Wednesday in the Kirya's military court to testify against the two defendants in the affair - the then-commander of the 71st Battalion and the soldier suspected of the shooting. According to Abu Rahma, after he was shot, the soldiers said to him, "You deserve this and even more. " Abu Rahma came face-to-face with the defendants on Tuesday for the first time since the incident. 

Night raids conducted by Israeli forces resume in the village of Bil’in: One Palestinian resident arrested
12/3/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Popular Struggle Coordination Committee - Night raids, conducted by the Israeli army as a part of the ongoing arrest campaign in an attempt to crush the popular struggle against the Apartheid Wall and settlements in the Palestinian village of Bil'in have resumed in the early hours of Thursday, 3 December. At 2am, approximately 20 soldiers invaded the village on foot from the direction of the Apartheid Wall and broke into the house of Rani Najar, without issuing any prior warning. The soldiers handcuffed all men living in the house and detained them in a separate room. They then proceeded to arrest Rani (23), who had only returned from Jordan the previous day. Female members of the family who came to help Rani were violently pushed away, and, as the soldiers exited the house, they also failed to remove handcuffs from the earlier detained men. 

VIDEO - UPDATE: Shock follows footage of settler running over Palestinian
12/3/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Ma'an News, 3 December 2009 - An amateur video shocked Palestinians on Tuesday, catching what appeared to be an Israeli settler repeatedly running over a wounded Palestinian at a gas station in Hebron last week. The Palestinian, an unidentified man shot several times following an alleged knife attack at the station, appeared to be staggering when a silver Mercedes ran him down, stopped, reversed, and ran him over again. The video was reportedly taken on Thursday, although at the time, Israeli representatives made no mention of the settler's alleged attack, telling reporters only that a Palestinian man had been shot after he stabbed and lightly injured two settlers. A military spokesman told Ma'an that after the two Israelis were hurt, a soldier shot and injured the Palestinian, who was taken to the Hadassah Ein Karem Hospital in Jerusalem. 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

U.S., Arab states press Abbas to stay on as president of PA 
Ha'aretz 3 Dec 2009 - The United States and several Arab states are pressing Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to remain in office until new PA elections are called, in order to prevent a power vacuum that could result in the West Bank falling to Hamas. ... 

Goldstone wins human rights award from Sweden NGOs
Ha'aretz 3 Dec 2009 - Richard Goldstone, the South African jurist and author of a controversial UN report which accused Israel and Hamas of committing war crimes during the Israel Defense Forces' military offensive in the Gaza Strip last winter, will receive the Stockholm Human Rights Award, it was announced on Thursday. ...

IDF fears settlers may attack Palestinians in response to freeze 
Ha'aretz 3 Dec 2009 - Israel Defense Forces officers in the West Bank have expressed concerned that settlers may escalate their acts of opposition to the freeze on settlement construction by targeting the Palestinian population. ...

U.S. falls short in bid to gain support for Israel's settlement freeze 
Ha'aretz 3 Dec 2009 - The United States fell short in its efforts to gain a declaration of international support for Israel's temporary settlement construction freeze. The Americans were hoping that its partners in the Quartet - Russia, the European Union and the United Nations - would agree to such a declaration, but Moscow expressed a series of reservations and foiled Washington's effort. ... 

Study: Americans are tired of handling the world's problems
Ha'aretz 3 Dec 2009 - As U.S. President Barack Obama rallies public support for his decision to send reinforcements to Afghanistan, isolationist currents are being felt in opinion polls on a scale not seen in a number of years. ...

The Guardian

Shattering Israel's image of 'democracy' | Ben White
The Guardian 3 Dec 2009 - In the Negev, an area targeted for so-called 'development', lies the Israel that its government does not want to be seen A struggle over land, home demolitions, and an Israeli government working with Jewish agencies to "...

Call for Celtic fans to wave Palestinian flags at match against Israeli team
The Guardian 2 Dec 2009 - 'Extremely concerned' Glasgow club urges supporters to ignore Scottish TUC request Scottish trade unions have called on supporters of Celtic to wave Palestinian flags at Europa League home match tonight against Israel's Hapoel Tel Aviv in "...

Video: Amateur video shows man run over twice by angry Israeli
The Guardian 2 Dec 2009 - Witnesses say Palestinian victim had earlier stabbed two Jewish settlers. All three were taken to to a Jerusalem hospital

Israel's just fears of a Palestinian state | Carlo Strenger
The Guardian 2 Dec 2009 - A return to 1967 borders would put most Israelis in rocket range. The EU needs to see that a two-state solution is complex There are indications that the EU foreign ministers will formally recognise East Jerusalem...

East Jerusalem should be Palestinian capital, says EU draft paper
The Guardian 1 Dec 2009 - Israel accuses EU of destroying prospects of renewed peace talks with document seen as an effort to strengthen Abbas An EU document stressing that East Jerusalem should be the capital of a future Palestinian state brought...

Freeze won't hurt Netanyahu | Benjamin Pogrund
The Guardian 1 Dec 2009 - Israel's rightwingers are furious, but that doesn't mean the prime minister's halt to settlement building means much in practice Israeli rightwingers are furiously condemning the prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, for his 10-month freeze on building houses...

Ha'aretz National page

Ministry eyes thermal cameras to prevent spread of swine flu 
Ha'aretz 3 Dec 2009 - The Health Ministry is in advanced negotiations to purchase a new system to detect people with fever and thus reduce the risk of contracting the H1N1 virus (commonly known as swine flu). If the deal goes through, the ministry intends to install the system in four hospitals around the country in the coming weeks. ... 

Meretz: Nonprofit awarding cash to soldiers who refuse evacuation orders
Ha'aretz 3 Dec 2009 - MK Ilan Ghilon and Meretz chairman Mossi Raz filed a police complaint on Thursday against SOS Israel (the World Headquarters to Save the People and the Land of Israel) and Rabbi Sholom Dov Wolpo, who've been documented awarding monetary prizes to soldiers sent to military prison for refusing an order to evacuate the Homesh outpost. ...

Man suspected of burning his children's tongues with hot knife
Ha'aretz 3 Dec 2009 - A Beit Shemesh man, 45, was arrested on Thursday for allegedly abusing three of his twelve children repeatedly, at times pressing a burning hot knife to their tongues in order to teach them to speak to him with respect. ...

Settlers reject Netanyahu plea to respect settlement freeze
Ha'aretz 3 Dec 2009 - Defiant West Bank settler leaders rejected on Thursday a personal plea from the prime minister to respect a construction freeze in the territories, vowing to keep confronting security forces sent to enforce the edict. ...

Police: DNA ties IDF guard to sexual assault victim
Ha'aretz 3 Dec 2009 - A forensics laboratory has matched DNA from an Israel Defense Forces security guard accused of attempted rape and sexual assault with evidence found on the woman who was allegedly attacked, police said on Thursday, after a gag order was lifted on the information. ...

Relief Web

OPT: Following two-day debate, UN GA adopts six draft resolutions on question of Palestine, Middle East
Relief Web 3 Dec 2009 - Source: UN General Assembly

On the anniversary of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities: The humanitarian conditions of the disabled in the OPT have continued to deteriorate
Relief Web 3 Dec 2009 - Source: Palestinian Centre for Human Rights

UAE donates US$2.5 million to UNRWA, emphasizes backing to Palestinians
Relief Web 3 Dec 2009 - Source: Emirates News Agency

Weekly report on Israeli human rights violations in the occupied Palestinian territory 25 Nov - 02 Dec 2009
Relief Web 3 Dec 2009 - Source: Palestinian Centre for Human Rights

OPT: Israel cut settlement spending in 2009
Relief Web 3 Dec 2009 - Source: Reuters - AlertNet

UN Palestinian refugee agency faces 'unprecedented' deficit
Relief Web 3 Dec 2009 - Source: Agence France-Presse

YNet News

Congress plans Iran sanctions
YNet News 3 Dec 2009 - American sanctions against Iran go into high gear; Congress expected to pass harsh legislation within next two weeks that would impose sanctions on firms that do business with Iran, including energy companies 

Settlers gird for battle
YNet News 3 Dec 2009 - Settlers embark on fundraising campaign, plan Jerusalem rally to fight construction freeze 

What is Syria hiding?
YNet News 3 Dec 2009 - Images of bus incident in Damascus suggest terror attack, but Syrian officials deny reports 

Goldstone wins Swedish prize
YNet News 3 Dec 2009 - Judge who led controversial Gaza war inquiry honored with human rights award 

Jordan slams renovation work at Holy Sepulcher
YNet News 3 Dec 2009 - Letter of protest expresses 'deep concern' demands that Israel halt works at Jerusalem church 

Terror attack in Beit El thwarted
YNet News 3 Dec 2009 - IDF forces operating in West Bank uncover three explosive devices. All three detonated by military sappers 

US: Time running out for Iran
YNet News 3 Dec 2009 - White House spokesman says deadline still end of the year, adds that it is 'pretty clear' Tehran backing out of uranium-enrichment deal; Germany's Merkel says Iran testing international community's patience 

Daily Star

Settlers defiant on freeze as EU accuses Israel of annexing East Jerusalem
Daily Star 3 Dec 2009 Occupied West Bank settler leaders rejected a personal plea from the prime minister Thursday to respect a government-ordered construction freeze in their illegal communities, vowing to keep confronting security forces sent to enforce the edict. On the same day, a damning confidential report from the European Union accused Israel of attempting to illegally annex occupied East Jerusalem.

Syria attributes bus explosion to tire accident, 3 dead
Daily Star 3 Dec 2009 An explosion hit a bus carrying Iranian pilgrims in Damascus on Thursday, killing at least three people and shattering windows in the nearby buildings, in an incident Syria said was an accident and not an attack. Witnesses said a bomb had hit the bus near the Shiite shrine of Sayyeda Zainab, killing six people, but Syrian officials said it was an exploding tire.

Syria to field tougher law against smoking
Daily Star 3 Dec 2009 A much-tougher anti-smoking law in Syria, signed by President Bashar Assad and due to come into force in early 2010, will outlaw smoking in public places, including restaurants and bars, hospitals, sports halls and cinemas. The law covers cigarettes and cigars, as well as traditional narghile water pipes. "The ban is timely," said Mahmoud Etah, a Syrian doctor., A much-tougher anti-smoking law in Syria, signed by President Bashar Assad and due to come into force in early 2010, will outlaw smoking in public places, including restaurants and bars, hospitals, sports halls and cinemas. The law covers cigarettes and cigars, as well as traditional narghile water pipes. "The ban is timely," said Mahmoud Etah, a Syrian doctor.

Jordan summons Israel envoy over church
Daily Star 3 Dec 2009 Jordan summoned Israeli Ambassador Nevo Dani on Thursday to demand a halt to "unilateral" work carried out by Israel on the outer walls of Jerusalem's Church of the Holy Sepulchre. "The ambassador was summoned today to the Foreign Ministry where he was handed an official letter of protest expressing deep concerns and rejection of unilateral measures in the outer western walls of the church," a senior official said.

Gaza unleashes death penalty to halt drug scourge
Daily Star 3 Dec 2009 Alarmed by mounting drug abuse and addiction among the cooped-up Palestinians of Gaza, Islamist rulers of the enclave plan to introduce the death penalty for gangs getting rich off smuggled narcotics.  Security officials of the Hamas movement and human rights groups say drug smuggling through tunnels, which bring in all manner of goods from Egypt to get around the Israeli blockade, has increased alarmingly in the past few months.

Damascus defends Iran's enrichment plans as world powers urge Tehran to cooperate
Daily Star 3 Dec 2009 Syrian President Bashar Assad defended Iran's controversial nuclear program on Thursday, during a visit to Damascus by Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili, and promised that cooperation between the two countries would continue. Assad asserted "the right of Iran and other countries that are signatories to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to enrich uranium for civilian purposes," the official SANA news agency said.

Torture is systematic in Egypt 'police state,' say rights groups
Daily Star 3 Dec 2009 Egypt has become a police state where citizens receive no protection from torture, human rights groups said in a report published on Thursday. "The basic feature of human rights in Egypt today is the prevalence of a policy of exception in which those responsible for violations usually escape punishment amid a climate of impunity intentionally created and fostered for several decades," said the report by 16 Egyptian human rights groups.

Palestinian Information Center

Abu Mujahed: Ball in Israeli court regarding prisoner-exchange
PIC 3 Dec 2009 - Spokesman for the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC), Abu Mujahed, denied news that captured IOF soldier Gilad Sahlit was moved to Egypt as a prelude to implement a prisoner-exchange deal.

PRC launches Internet website on the Goldstone Report
PIC 3 Dec 2009 - The Palestinian Return Center (PRC) in London has launched a new website to disseminate the major findings of the Goldstone report and provide useful analysis..

Hamdan denies news that Shalit was moved to Egypt
PIC 3 Dec 2009 - Osama Hamdan, Member of Hamas's political bureau and its representative in Lebanon, denied news reports that captured IOF soldier Gilad Shalit was moved to Egypt..

Israeli spy calls for execution of Palestinian prisoners until Shalit is freed
PIC 3 Dec 2009 - Jonathan Pollard, who is serving a life sentence in a US jail for spying for Israel, has called on Israel to execute one Palestinian captive everyday until Shalit is freed..

Extremist Jewish groups call for closing Aqsa until release of Shalit
PIC 3 Dec 2009 - Al-Aqsa foundation for endowment and heritage reported Thursday that fanatic Jewish groups released a document calling for closing the Aqsa Mosque until Palestinians release Gilad Shalit.

IOF bomb agricultural lands in Beit Hanoun in Gaza
PIC 3 Dec 2009 - The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) bombed Wednesday evening agricultural lands of Palestinian farmers located east of Beit Hanoun, but without reported injuries.

Baraka urges int’l community to respond to ethnic cleansing policy in J’lem
PIC 3 Dec 2009 - Arab Knesset member Mohamed Baraka on Wednesday called on the international community to state its position towards the policy of ethnic cleansing practiced by Israel in occupied Jerusalem.

Thomas Friedman’s gallimaufry of lies
PIC 3 Dec 2009 - it is really sad and lamentable that dishonest, or pathologically dishonest, journalists like Friedman are allowed to poison the American discourse unchallenged.

IOF kidnap son of Hamas official in Jenin
PIC 3 Dec 2009 - The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) kidnapped at dawn Wednesday the son of senior Hamas official in Israeli jails Jamal Abul Haija during an incursion into the town of Beit Qad east of Jenin.

Ahrar center: Israel uses many torture means against Palestinian prisoners
PIC 3 Dec 2009 - Al-Ahrar center for human rights stated that Israel uses internationally-prohibited means against Palestinian prisoners much more than tying their hands behind their backs.

Los Angeles Times

Israel forces detain Jewish settlement mayor 
LA Times 3 Dec 2009 - The mayor of the West Bank settlement is arrested as he and others seek to keep Israeli government inspectors from enforcing a building moratorium aimed at restarting Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. Israeli security forces arrested the mayor of a Jewish settlement Wednesday as he and other residents tried to prevent government inspectors from entering the community to enforce new restrictions on building in the West Bank. 

Temple attack probed for links to organized crime 
LA Times 3 Dec 2009 - LAPD detectives investigate whether shootings of two men at North Hollywood synagogue are connected to mobsters in Israel. LAPD detectives are investigating whether the shooting of two men at a North Hollywood synagogue in October is the work of Israeli-connected organized crime. 

Iran frees 5 Britons caught in Persian Gulf on racing yacht 
LA Times 2 Dec 2009 - Iranian interrogators decide the boaters' intrusion was a mistake. They were arrested last week. Iran has released five British nationals who were arrested after allegedly straying into Iranian territorial waters while on their racing yacht last week, state radio said today. 

Poizner pushes Iran divestiture 
LA Times 2 Dec 2009 - Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner plans to outline how firms must unload their holdings in some multinational firms that do business in Iran. 'This is a loophole that I'm going to close,' he says. California insurance companies that own stock in some multinational companies that operate in Iran soon may have to sell their holdings or face penalties. 

New York Times

Israel Arrests Settlers Fighting Freeze
New York Times 3 Dec 2009 - A moratorium on settlement construction was meant to help restart Israeli-Palestinian peace talks but has so far succeeded only in pitting the settlers against the state.

Jewish Nationalists Clash With Palestinians
New York Times 2 Dec 2009 - The confrontation in East Jerusalem came after the Israelis took over a house by court order in a predominantly Arab area.

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.

Misc

On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (25 Nov.- 02 Dec 2009)
Alternative Information Center - 3 Dec 2009 - Israeli Occupation Forces Continue Systematic Attacks against Palestinian Civilians and Property in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) and Continue to Impose a Total Closure on the Gaza Strip   6 Palestinians were wounded by Israeli forces in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. An Israeli...

2009 Journalist Conference in Israel: No News 
Alternative Information Center - 2 Dec 2009 - I did not partake in the Journalist Conference that occurred this week in Eilat and was sponsored by the Tel Aviv Journalists’ Association and the Ben Gurion University of the Negev. Actually, I also did not participate in the previous two conferences. Seminars and conferences often...

Columbia Sportswear agrees to ‘immediately and permanently discontinue’ ad campaign marketing to settlers
Mondoweiss - 3 Dec 2009 - Last week we posted a Columbia Sportwear marketing campaign directed at Israeli settlers . Peter Miller, a member of the Portland-based organization Americans United for Palestinian Human Rights , took it upon himself to contact Columbia to voice his displeasure. To his surprise, Columbia responded the next day...

‘Other countries have experienced terrorist campaigns without giving in to extremism’
Mondoweiss - 3 Dec 2009 - Last night I went to a party in New York for Emma Williams’s new book, It’s Easier to Reach Heaven Than the End of the Street , a chronicle of what it was like to live in Jerusalem during the second intifada. Williams, an English doctor and...

Netanyahu tells colonists, In 9 months we start building afresh!
Mondoweiss - 3 Dec 2009 - Memo to Obama. Dec. 3, 2009. "Prime Minister Netanyahu Meets with Leaders of Judea and Samaria Jewish Communities" (Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser): "This order is one-time only and it limits the duration of the suspension. There are nine months and three weeks left....

Grayson’s hypocrisy (and Nadler and Weiner’s too)
Mondoweiss - 3 Dec 2009 - Yesterday the Jewish Telegraphic Agency picked up on a post by Max Blumenthal here the other day, blasting Alan Grayson, the populist hero congressman from Florida, for being neanderthal on the Israel/Palestine issue– bragging about his Jewishness as he makes himself at home in AIPAC’s pocket....

A visit to the border
Mondoweiss - 2 Dec 2009 - Northern Israel from the Lebanon-Israel border. (Photo: Ahmed Moor) While Americans were celebrating Thanksgiving this year, Muslims were preparing for Eid Al-Adha, or the Holiday of the Sacrifice. In a way, the two are related. Both holidays celebrate the forestalling of potential disaster by the grace...


Articles

The Israel Lobby Celebrates Espionage in New York 
Grant Smith, Antiwar.com 12/3/2009
      The recent sting operation against former NASA scientist Stewart Nozette involved an undercover FBI employee posing as Mossad agent. Meeting in the posh Mayflower hotel in Washington, the agent set up clandestine payments in exchange for highly classified information. Nozette began delivering requested classified national defense information believing it to be destined for Israel while confidentially assuring the FBI agent that he thought he was already spying for Israel. This allegedly occurred under Nozette’s prior "consulting" contract with Israel Aerospace Industries, a major military contractor. Although the US has traditionally ignored, forgiven, or quashed investigations into Israeli espionage, the cost to America’s national security and economy may now have pushed law enforcement agencies toward a tipping point. Ironically, this very week, the Israel lobby is celebrating in New York the biggest clandestine operation ever conducted against US industries and workers. 
     Israel Aerospace Industries was once called Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI), a company launched by the legendary flight engineer and entrepreneur Adolph "Al" Schwimmer. Schwimmer was a key man in the vast underground Haganah smuggling (PDF) effort across the US trafficking in surplus WWII arms, supplies and veteran manpower for war in Palestine. He purchased heavily discounted surplus US military aircraft from the War Assets Administration but violated laws prohibiting their export use in armed conflict by creating a fake Panamanian shell corporation and flying the transport wing to Palestine to battle for the creation of Israel in 1948. None of the key American financial backers of the effort went to jail, though a handful of small operators such as Nathan Liff did eventually appear in criminal court. They received lenient sentences pleading they were only giving guns to "young Jewish boys who went to the door of Hitler’s ovens to bring Holocaust survivors to a Jewish homeland." Schwimmer, a convicted felon who served no prison time, left the US to become managing director of IAI with the backing of David Ben-Gurion and Shimon Peres. more.. e-mail

Why does America hate us? 
Haidar Eid, Ma’an News Agency 12/3/2009
      The Palestinians have realized, thanks to Hillary Clinton, that the US is biased toward Israel. 
     According to the American secretary of state, negotiations between "the two parties" should resume without preconditions. The Americans have even praised Netanyahu’s "unprecedented concessions." 
     Gone is the sweet talk of the American president Barak Obama. Gone is the euphoria following his "groundbreaking" speech at Cairo University. 
     We are back to square one. 
     The question that begs for answers is why does America hate us Palestinians? Do the American people really believe that we have no rights even though those rights are enshrined in international law? Does President Obama truly believe that we are only a nuisance? 
     American hegemonic political philosophy judges a belief by its effects, not its causes. The emphasis is on the connection between the truth of statements and their practical applicability by one measure only: how will they work for America? This is American pragmatism. That is, liberal American politicians, including President Obama, are interested in the function of ideas and statements and their effects rather than the sources and conditions of their production.
     "Workability"¯ and "practicability"¯ are the basis of the justification of positions taken by the American establishment. However that does not take into account the circumstances under which these positions are "workable", neither historically nor socially. Whatever "we,"¯ white liberal Americans, want is justifiable and thus legitimate since it is ’workable’ and ’practical’ regardless of the means through which it is achieved. Thus Apartheid, Nazism, Zionism, American occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan can be easily justified and sold to CNNized citizens. more.. e-mail


Report finds new Israeli war doctrine targets civilians
Electronic Intifada: 3 Dec 2009 - The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) released today [2 December 2009] a new report which exposes the shifts in Israel's combat doctrine as evidenced in the prosecution of operation "Cast Lead" and from numerous public oral and written statements made by high ranking military officers and senior Israeli government officials. 

Boycott of Ahava Dead Sea products makes an impact
Electronic Intifada: 2 Dec 2009 - The international campaign to boycott Ahava beauty products has recently won the support of a Dutch parliamentarian and an Israeli peace group. During the past few months, activists in Canada, the UK, Ireland, Israel, the United States and the Netherlands have campaigned against the sale of Ahava products because of the company's complicity in the Israeli occupation. Adri Nieuwhof reports for The Electronic Intifada. 

"My Name is Rachel Corrie" and Israel's waning impunity
Electronic Intifada: 2 Dec 2009 - Insidious pressures and overt threats have created a hostile environment to telling Rachel Corrie's story and of course, the countless tragic stories of Palestinians. They are emblematic of a determination to maintain ignorance about the realities of life in Palestine, and a desire to perpetuate the notions of Israeli innocence, virtuousness and victimhood. In maintaining any hold to this myth, we are preventing the stories of Palestinian lives from reaching the light of day. Charlotte Silver writes for The Electronic Intifada. 

quiet with the philosopher
In Gaza: 2 Dec 2009 - After stopping in at the Jabaliya/ Dawwar Zimmo Red Crescent office yesterday, to catch up with some of the bravest people I know –the medics– I went by Ibrahim’s Gaza War cemetary . Run  the Commonwealth War Graves Commission , the cemetary grounds have been kept for over five decades by Ibrahim, and now by his sons. My reason for stopping by yesterday was to gather some information on gravestones for someone outside of Gaza.  But actually,  I just like the place, particularly Ibrahim. He’s a mixed bag: a grandfather, a philosopher, a host –100% Palestinian–, enthusiastic like a child, a teacher… From the first visit, Ibrahim has extended an open welcome...

Palestinian Reflections on American Political Ideology
Palestine Chronicle: 3 Dec 2009 - By Dr. Haidar Eid - Gaza The Palestinians have 'realized,' thanks to Hilary Clinton, that the US is biased towards Israel. According to the American Secretary of State, negotiations between "the two parties" should resume without preconditions. The Americans have even praised Netanyahu's "unprecedented concessions!" Gone is the sweet talk of the American president Barak Obama; gone is the euphoria following his "ground breaking" speech in Cairo university. We are back to square one. The question that begs for answers is why does America hate us Palestinians? Do the American people really believe that we have no rights even though those rights are enshrined in international law? Does President Obama truly believe that we are only a nuisance? American hegemonic political philosophy judges a belief by its effects not its causes. The emphasis is on the connection between the truth of statements and their practical applicability by one measure only: how will they work for America? This is American pragmatism. That is, White, liberal American politicians (including President Obama!) are interested in the function of ideas and statements and their effects rather than the sources and conditions of their production. ‘Workability’ and ‘practicability’ are the basis of the justification of positions taken by the American establishment. However that does not take into account the circumstances under which these positions are ‘workable,’ neither historically nor socially. Whatever ‘we’, white liberal Americans, want is justifiable and thus legitimate since it is 'workable' and 'practical' regardless of the means through which it is...

Native Orientalists at the Daily Times
Palestine Chronicle: 3 Dec 2009 - By M. Shahid Alam 'The more a ruling class is able to assimilate the foremost minds of the ruled class, the more stable and dangerous becomes its rule.' -- Karl Marx A few days back, I received a 'Dear friends' email from Mr. Najam Sethi, ex editor-in-chief of Daily Times, Pakistan, announcing that he, together with several of his colleagues, had resigned from their positions in the newspaper. In his email, Mr. Sethi thanked his ‘friends’ for their “support and encouragement…in making Daily Times a ‘new voice for a new Pakistan.’” Wistfully, he added, “I hope it will be able to live up to your expectations and mine in time to come.” I am not sure why Mr. Sethi had chosen me for this dubious honor. Certainly, I did not deserve it. I could not count myself among his ‘friends’ who had given “support and encouragement” to the mission that DT had chosen for itself in Pakistan’s media and politics. Contrary to its slogan, it was never DT’s mission to be a ‘new voice for a new Pakistan.’ The DT had dredged its voice from the colonial past; it had only altered its pitch and delivery to serve the new US-Zionist overlords. Many of the writers for DT aspire to the office of the native informers of the colonial era. They are heirs to the brown Sahibs, home-grown Orientalists, who see their own world (if it is theirs in any meaningful sense) through the lens created for them by their...

Ben Bella Was in Cairo and Egypt was Alive
Palestine Chronicle: 3 Dec 2009 - By Ahmed Amr Let it never be said that Pan-Arab nationalism died with a whimper. In the streets of Cairo, Algiers and Khartoum - Algerians and Egyptians celebrated the final death knell with gusto. But before we bury the ancient ideological beast, it might be worth our while to go for a nostalgic walk to a time before Egyptians and Algerians staked their national destinies on the outcome of a soccer match. I experienced my very first political moment at the ripe old age of six. It was an Algerian-Egyptian festival and what a time it was. The crowds lined the streets, the people were hanging out of balconies and the euphoria was unlike anything I’d ever experienced before. Ben Bella was in Cairo and Egypt was alive. The man who secured Algeria’s independence rode in an open American Chariot with Nasser at his side. Two giants - two Arab political rock stars - were passing by my front door and every relative I’d ever own showed up to watch the festivities. I’ve never felt so much joy in my life. I didn’t know quite what was going on but it had to be something awesome and it was. Egyptians had paid a heavy price for their support of the Algerian revolution. The Anglo-French-Israeli invasion of 1956 was a plot hatched on the soil of France and Egypt was not only punished for nationalizing the Suez Canal but for daring to aid the Algerian revolutionaries in their epic struggle against...

Come Home, America: Escalation is not Withdrawal
Palestine Chronicle: 3 Dec 2009 - By Kevin Zeese If I ever get cancer, I want Barack Obama to tell me I'm dying. He could probably convince someone like me who does not believe in the supernatural that death is life. He certainly did his best on Tuesday night to convince the American public that war means peace, and escalation means withdrawal. President Obama is not President Bush. He is a much more effective and eloquent advocate for American militarism who makes his case in ways that will challenge people who oppose war. He does not seek to merely energize his base, as President Bush did, but more to nullify and confuse it, something he is not only doing on war but on health care, banking, climate change ...seemingly every issue he touches. In his new Afghanistan war plan he tried to give everyone something. He gave General McChrystal and the war hawks what they want – tens of thousands of more troops. He gave the majority of Americans who oppose the war what they want – a promise, however vague, to begin withdrawal in 18 months. He told Pakistan that the U.S. will be there for them and escalated the war in Pakistan without clearly saying so. He gave the corrupt President Karzai the protection he needs to stay in office. Everybody’s happy, right? Well, not exactly. In fact, promising all things to all people seems likely to make no one happy. But, it may confuse people enough so that Obama gets the war funding...
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