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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
6 December, 2009

News

International Middle East Media Center

French Medical Crew Examined Shalit
IMEMC 7 Dec 2009 - Sunday December 06, 2009 - 08:52, The Al Hayat newspaper, based in London, reported that four French physicians examined the captured prisoner of war, Gilad Shalit, in the Gaza Strip last week marking the first time foreign delegates manage to visit him.

Egyptian Security Uncovers Tunnel, Two Storehouses
IMEMC 7 Dec 2009 - Sunday December 06, 2009 - 01:46, Egyptian security forces uncovered a tunnel and two storehouses filled with goods meant to be smuggled into the besieged and impoverished Gaza Strip., The tunnel and storehouses were uncovered as Egypt is conducting a security operation targeting tunnels across the border with Gaza.

Israel Rejects Swedish Initiative, P.A Promotes It
IMEMC 7 Dec 2009 - Saturday December 05, 2009 - 23:38, Israel considered the initiative of Sweden for declaring recognizing a Palestinian State in the occupied territories, with East Jerusalem as its capital, as a stance that does not represent the European Union, and demanded voiding this proposal.

Egypt Invites The Reconciliation Committee To Resume Unity Talks
IMEMC 7 Dec 2009 - Saturday December 05, 2009 - 23:03, The Egyptian leadership issued an invitation to the Palestinian National Reconciliation Committee to visit Cairo in an attempt to resume the talks and efforts to end internal divisions and achieve national unity.

Soldiers Invade Nur Shams Refugee Camp, Kidnap One Youth, Elderly Man Wounded Near Tulkarem
IMEMC 7 Dec 2009 - Saturday December 05, 2009 - 02:00, Israeli soldiers invaded on Friday at dawn the Nur Shams Refugee Camp, near the northern West Bank City of Nablus, broke into several homes and kidnapped one youth. A 75-year-old man moderately wounded in a separate attack near Tulkarem.

Five Palestinians Wounded Near Nablus
IMEMC 7 Dec 2009 - Saturday December 05, 2009 - 00:29, Palestinian medical sources reported that five Palestinians were wounded, on Friday morning, by setters and soldiers fire in Aseera Al Qibliyya town, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus.

Ma'an News

Settlers torch Palestinian property, uproot trees
12/7/2009 - Nablus - Ma'an - Angry at their government over a slowdown in the expansion of West Bank settlements, Israeli settlers set fire to Palestinian vehicles and buildings and uprooted more than 50 trees on Sunday. Settlers set ablaze two warehouses, two cars, and a tractor belonging to Palestinian farmers in the northern West Bank village of Einabus near Nablus on Sunday morning. Palestinian sources said firefighters from the Civil Defense service and Nablus municipal council were alerted at 2:30am and headed to the home of Nadir Mufdi to extinguish a fire in his barn, as well as a tractor and private car. Separately, eyewitnesses told Ma'an that Israeli settlers set fire to a car owned by Fayiz Allan in the same area. No injuries were reported in either apparent arson. The Palestinian Civil Defense Department said it was able to contain the fire in the barn owned by a resident identified by the initials "HA". 

Bedouin activist to give testimony in land ownership case
12/7/2009 - Israeli settlement expansion [MaanImages] Bethlehem - Ma'an - Bedouin rights activist Nuri Al-Okbi, will give testimony before Judge Sarah Dovrat concerning his prolonged legal struggle to prove his ownership of family land in the town of Al-Arakib northwest of Beersheba in Israel on Monday, the Association for Bedouin's Rights in Israel released in a statement on Sunday. Forty years ago, Al-Okabi's father, Sheikh Sliman Muhammad, presented a claim against the Israeli government's Land Arrangement Clerk concerning the family's eviction from their house and land in 1951. For the past two years, the case has been heard by Judge Sarah Dovrat at the Beersheba District Court. "In 1951, while still a child, the army deported my family and my entire tribe from the land. They told us that it was only for half a year, but we were never allowed to go back" says Al-Okbi. 

British MP Galloway sets out with Gaza convoy
12/6/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - British Member of Parliament George Galloway left the UK on Sunday with a convoy of humanitarian aid and will arrive in the Gaza Strip on 27 December, according to the de facto government's director of the anti-siege committee, Hamdi Sha'ath. Galloway's Lifeline 3 convoy is expected to arrive with a consignment of 200 vehicles carrying humanitarian aid on 27 December, to mark the first anniversary of Israel's devastating assault on the Gaza Strip last winter. Meanwhile, Sha'ath announced that 30 European MPs are expected to arrive in Gaza by mid January 2010, travelling from Britain to France, Italy, Cyprus, Turkey, Syria, Jordan and Egypt before arriving at the Rafah border crossing into the Gaza Strip. The European MPs will fly to Egypt on 15 January 2010 and are expected to be in Gaza the next day, Sha'ath added. 

Settlers uproot trees near Bethlehem
12/6/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Dozens of Israeli settlers uprooted more than fifty newly-planted trees on Sunday from fields in the West Bank village of Um Salamona, south of Bethlehem, Palestinian officials said. The trees were planted last week during a campaign led by the Palestinian Authority governor of Bethlehem Abdul-Fattah Hamayil. The aim of the planting was to express solidarity with the people of Um Salamona whose lands are being confiscated by Israeli authorities to build the separation wall between it and the settlement of Efrat. "This assault by settlers reflects their barbarism which they practice even against trees and stones that belong to the Palestinians," Hamayil commented. He explained that such attacks were completion of an overarching Israeli government plan to confiscate Palestinian lands to build more settlements. 

Netanyahu embraces settlers as ’brothers’
12/6/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu embraced West Bank settlers as "brothers" while explaining his decision to slow the expansion of settlements. "The decision was certainly not easy, either for them or for us. It has to do with the heart of the homeland of the Jewish people," Netanyhu said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting. "It has to do with settlers, Israelis who are our brothers; they are part of us and we are part of them," Netanyahu said. He added that the order to halt building in most West Bank settlements "was made because we see it as serving broader interests, perhaps the State of Israel's broadest interests. " "Today, it is clear even to those who were unclear previously - those who want peace and those who are currently acting as refusers of peace", he added. "The State of Israel wants peace in the clearest possible sense. This was made clear following the Cabinet decision," he also said. 

Prisoners concerned rumors affecting families’ morale
12/7/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Senior Palestinian prisoners detained in jails across Israel feel great anxiety for their parents who are attentively following news of a potential swap deal, they told the Prisoners' Center for Studies in Gaza. Prisoners told the center, according to a statement, that they worry the outcome of a prisoner exchange deal where they are not included will have devastating effects on their families' lives as the detainees remain anxious over their future. They were referring to numerous conflicting news reports concerning captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit and a hoped-for swap deal between Israel and Hamas. "The outcome of the swap deal will have a great effect on our parents. For example, if my name were included in the swap deal then it would be a source of unexpected happiness for my family after more than twenty years but if it is not, then great sorrow will take away my mother's breath," one prisoner said. 

Two Gaza crossings sealed
12/6/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Israeli authorities opened the Kerem Shalom border crossing into Gaza on Sunday, while the Karni and Nahal Oz crossings remained closed, an official said. Palestinian crossings official Raed Fattuh said between 99-109 trucks of commercial products and humanitarian aid would be allowed into Gaza through the Kerem Shalom crossing. The Israeli military reported that exactly 108 trucks were scheduled to cross. Fattouh said Nahal Oz and Karni would remain closed. All three terminals were closed on Friday and Saturday, continuing a trend that began over the summer. Also on Saturday, a Hamas official slammed Israel's supposed plan to continue the siege of Gaza even if its soldier is released as a continuation of the country's offensive "against the Palestinian people. "The official, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri, was referring to Israeli media reports quoting officials. . . 

Jenin: 4 detained in army raid
12/6/2009 - Jenin - Ma'an - Israeli forces detained four Palestinians in Al-Yamun, west of the city of Jenin early on Sunday during a military operation searching foran armed fighter affiliated with the Islamic Jihad movement. Sources told Ma'an that Israeli forces entered the village in two cars with Palestinian license plates and, at 1am, stopped at the family homeof Bajis Hamadiyah, the Islamic Jihad affiliate, where they detained his three brothers Luay, Shadid and Aneed for over three hoursand questioned them on their brother's whereabouts. Subsequently, the sources added, 20 military vehicles stormed the village, accompanied by a reconnaissance plane and a helicopter, searching for the wanted Palestinian combatant. Troops detained Ahmad Baqliyah, Ala'a Baqliyah, Adeeb As-Smoudi and Majdi Hamadiyah, all in their twenties. 

More clashes reported near Shufat Refugee Camp
12/6/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israeli forces temporarily closed down part of Shufat Refugee Camp in East Jerusalem on Sunday following a dispute between families that turned violent. A unit of Israel's border police was called to the scene, the refugee camp's Anata area, following fresh reports of inter-clan violence that has marred the area since Friday. Witnesses told Ma'an that Anata was closed off to the public and that aerial surveillance was being used to monitor the area. This latest incident follows family brawls on Friday in Shufat, where Anwar Gheith, 42, died of a gunshot wound to the chest during clashes between the Abu Srour and Abu Asab families. Members of the Gheith family reportedly set a number of homes, vehicles and bulldozers on fire, accusing the Abu Asab family of culpability in Anwar's apparent murder. 

Israel blocks delivery of Russian APCs to PA
12/7/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak reportedly blocked the transfer of 25 armored personnel carriers to the Palestinian Authority from Russia on Thursday. The Israeli daily Haaretz reported Sunday that Russian National Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev asked for permission, but Barak responded that while he was not opposed in theory, it was not the right time. [end] 

Gaza government denies H1N1 patients sent to Israel
12/7/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - The Ministry of Health in Gaza denied reports on Sunday that six patients diagnosed with H1N1 swine flu were transferred to Israel for treatment. Deputy Minister of Health Hasan Khalaf told Ma'an, "These reports are totally untrue. " "The cases that were said to be transferred to Israel are in Gaza and receiving the necessary treatment. " He characterized the reports as "[lies] aiming at arousing confusion. " Khalaf also said the Health Ministry is implementing a comprehensive plan to combat swine flu. Media reports on Sunday night said one person had died of H1N1 while six patients were transferred to Israel. Earlier in the day Khalaf confirmed that five cases of swine flu were diagnosed in Gaza, the first to reach the coastal enclave besieged by Israel and Egypt. 

Abbas out of the country more often than Obama
12/6/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - President Mahmoud Abbas has outdone America's Barack Obama in the number of state visits in 2009, the pan-Arab daily Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat reported Saturday. Since he was sworn in on 20 January 2009, Obama has made 23 international visits whereas Abbas has made 55 since the beginning of 2009, according to the newspaper. The US president has attended major events, including in Egypt, where he delivered his now-famous speech to the Muslim world at Cairo University. Additionally, Obama has visted Ghana, Germany and Mexico twice, as well as Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Turkey. Obama's Palestinian counterpart, on the other hand, has visited 27 countries, including the US where he addressed the UN Security Council's emergency session in New York to discuss Israel's assault on Gaza last winter. 

Zahhar denies French medics saw Shalit
12/6/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahhar denied reports on Sunday that a team of four French physicians visited captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit at a secret location in Gaza last week. The British Broadcasting Corp. 's Arabic service and the pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat were said to be reporting Sunday morning that the soldier received a checkup from the doctors, all specialists in different areas of medicine. Zahhar, however, told the Israeli newspaper Haaretz that there was absolutely no truth in the report, which said the doctors were accompanied by a German mediator negotiating an Israel-Hamas prisoner exchange. The father of the captured soldier, Noam Shalit, dismissed the reports right away. "I don't think this even happened," he told the Hebrew-language daily Yedioth Ahronoth. Neither BBC Arabic nor Al-Hayat were carrying the report online at press time. 

Abbas in Beirut: Palestinians are guests in Lebanon
12/6/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - President Mahmoud Abbas reiterated his rejection of resettling Palestinian refugees in Lebanon on Sunday on the first day of a visit to the Arab nation. "The Palestinians are guests in Lebanon until our question is resolved. We will not accept any homeland other than Palestine," Abbas said in an interview with the Lebanese daily Al-Liwa that is to be published on Monday. "There is no solution in the Middle East without a solution to the issue of Palestinian refugees under the Arab peace plan and UN resolution 194," he also said. Abbas is visiting Lebanon as a part of diplomatic consultations Arab, Western, and Latin American states, and the US, concerning a potential UN resolution demarcating the borders of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital. After visiting several counties in Latin America, Abbas arrives in Beirut at the beginning. . . 

Reconciliation committee to visit Cairo
12/6/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Egypt invited a Palestinian reconciliation committee to visit Cairo on Saturday to restart efforts to end Fatah-Hamas rivalry that began in 2007. According to Iyad Sarraj, committee secretary, the delegation will leave on Sunday for Cairo and meet chief of Egyptian intelligence Omar Sulaiman and try to get both sides to sign a conciliation proposal proposed by Egypt. Among the topics for discussion include the ways to facilitate Palestinian movement through the Rafah border crossing with Egypt. Additionally, the delegation will inform the Egyptian representatives of the worsening humanitarian crisis in Gaza and the impact of Israel's siege on the population. Palestinians on the reconciliation committee in the West Bank and Gaza Strip will hold a joint meeting before convening with Omar Sulaiman, As-Sarraj added. 

PA police arrest eight fugitives at Allenby Bridge
12/6/2009 - Jericho - Ma'an - Eight Palestinian fugitives were apprehended by PA police at the Allenby Bridge crossing between the West Bank and Jordan, according to the Palestinian police on Sunday. The eight were detained as they attempted fleeing into Jordan. The Palestinian police stated that the fugitives were suspected of criminal offences, mostly involving fraud, money laundering and theft. [end] 

Date set for PLO Central Council meeting
12/6/2009 - Nablus - Ma'an - Members of the Palestinian National Council (PNC), based in the occupied territories and abroad, have invited members of the Palestinian Central Council to attend a meeting on 15 December at the Presidential headquarters in Ramallah, according to the PNC's Director General Bilal As-Shakhshir on Sunday. The meeting has been convened to tackle a number of issues, and to update its members on current events in the occupied Palestinian territories, according to As-Shakhshir. The meeting was convened following a decision made by Salim Az-Za'noun, leader of the PNC. [end] 

Swine flu cases confirmed in Gaza
12/7/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Five H1N1 cases have been diagnosed in the Gaza Strip, local government officials confirmed on Sunday. Ministry of Health Undersecretary Hasan Khalaf revealed in a news conference in Gaza City that tests showed five cases of the virus commonly known as swine flu in the Ash-Shifa and An-Nasser hospitals. He added that the Ministry of Health in the de facto government in Gaza coordinated with the World Health organization to obtain the medicines necessary to treat the disease. The five are the first cases of the disease to be diagnosed in the Gaza Strip, which is largely isolated from the outside world due to Israel's and Egypt's closure of its borders. Earlier on Sunday, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Health in the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah, As'ad Ramlawi said that five H1N1 cases were diagnosed in Gaza. 

PSE drops: Al-Quds Index down 0.16%
12/6/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Stocks fell on the Palestine Securities Exchange in Nablus on Sunday. At the close of trading the Al-Quds Index stood at 492. 26, decreasing by 0. 77 points (0. 16%). Trading Volume was 307,016 shares traded for a total value of 505,977. 64 US dollars in 187 trades. The shares of 18 companies were traded. The shares prices of six companies rose, and seven declined. The top five gainers were AZIZA by 4. 65%), WASSEL by 3. 33%), PIIC by 2. 94%), PADICO by 2. 46%), NSC by 2. 04%). The top five losers PRICO by 4. 00%), JCC by 3. 10%), ISBK by 2. 86%), PCB by 2. 63%), AIG by 1. 28%). [end] 

Ha'aretz Defense page

Hamas: Israel has 2 days to accept Shalit deal
Ha'aretz 6 Dec 2009 - German mediator reportedly brings final Hamas offer to Israel; Hamas denies French doctors visited Shalit. 

Israel reportedly preparing to leave northern Ghajar
Ha'aretz 6 Dec 2009 - Foreign Ministry official met UNIFIL chief last week to set conditions for withdrawal, says Ch. 2. 

IDF: Gaza militants fired new kind of rocket at Israel
Ha'aretz 6 Dec 2009 - Defense source identifies rocket launched at Negev earlier Sunday as S5K, weapon less precise than Qassam. 

'The Freeze' is just another scene in Israel's masquerade
Ha'aretz 6 Dec 2009 - Nothing will move so long as Tel Aviv, its inhabitants do not let their voice be heard on settlements' future. 

IDF chief set to visit India to strengthen military ties
Ha'aretz 6 Dec 2009 - During visit, which is part of a five-day Asia tour, Ashkenazi will meet with government officials and his Indian counterpart. 

Israel rejects Russian request to give PA armored vehicles
Ha'aretz 6 Dec 2009 - Matter was raised with officials in 2005 but no progress was made due to opposition from Israel's defense. 

IDF troops wound Palestinian at protest against West Bank fence
Ha'aretz 6 Dec 2009 - Demonstrator moderately wounded near Na'alin; army says troops opened fire after protestors hurled fire bombs. 

Revealed: The secret war over IDF officers' exorbitant salaries
Ha'aretz 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 Dec 2009 - Ashkenazi: Changing demographics in Israel require the IDF to construct 'new models of service.' 

Uruknet

[Uruknet 60825 07-dec-2009 03:20 ECT] Destroy Your Homes: Israel to Palestinians
Uruknet December 6, 2009 - With a desperate look in his eyes, Ghazi Dodeen is gazing at his house in the West Bank village of Hijra. "I have always dreamed of building this house on this land," Dodeen told IslamOnline.net Sunday, December 6. "Now, I'm asked to either demolish it by my own hands of let Israeli bulldozers do it." The...

[Uruknet 60823 07-dec-2009 03:05 ECT] The Interview Ha'aretz Doesn't Want You To See
Uruknet December 6, 2009 - Meet Ali Abunimah, the son of a Jordanian diplomat, a Palestinian activist, and the man who brings the hottest news of the struggle to thousands of people. His message: Forget two states, one will be tough enough to get it right. The Interview before you was commissioned by one of the the big newspapers [Haaretz]. For...

[Uruknet 60824 07-dec-2009 02:58 ECT] WE ACCOMPLISH MIRACLES
Uruknet December 6, 2009 - The Gaza Strip is a land of deep sadness, great sacrifices, ancient sufferings, big tragedies and many uprisings. When you walk in the night on the Gaza seashore, Emad Al-Ghoul or Mussa Salem would indicate a myriad of lights at a distance, towards the north, and would tell you: "This is Erbia... this is my village......

[Uruknet 60821 07-dec-2009 02:24 ECT] Jewish occupiers set fire to Palestinian property
Uruknet December 6, 2009 - Jewish occupiers on early Sunday set fire to a house and two vehicles in the West Bank village of Ain Abous, southwest of Nablus, in an apparent attempt to avenge a construction freeze in Jewish settlements. The Israeli Army Radio quoted security sources as saying that the act was carried out as part of the occupiers' "...

[Uruknet 60820 07-dec-2009 02:17 ECT] A Palestinian Detainee Has No Clothes
Uruknet December 6, 2009 - A new fact about the Israeli torture in their prisons, the Prisoner's Center for Studies urged the international society to help Somood Karaga, 21, and end her suffering which has been continuing since the last October. Her brother Hassan said: "she moved from many prisons. First, she was moved from Hasharoon prison to El Maskobia prison...

[uruknet.info] Living With A Terror Suspect: Detainee U's Landlord Tells His Story
Uruknet December 6, 2009 - The man identified in legal proceedings in the UK as Detainee U is a 46-year old Algerian, who, as two High Court judges explained on December 1, "has been continuously in custody since March 2001," held without charge or trial, on the basis of secret evidence, "save for a period from July 2008 until February 2009,...

[Uruknet 60819 06-dec-2009 22:23 ECT] Living With A Terror Suspect: Detainee U's Landlord Tells His Story
Uruknet December 6, 2009 - The man identified in legal proceedings in the UK as Detainee U is a 46-year old Algerian, who, as two High Court judges explained on December 1, "has been continuously in custody since March 2001," held without charge or trial, on the basis of secret evidence, "save for a period from July 2008 until February 2009,...

[uruknet.info] Iran Student Day 2009
Uruknet December 6, 2009 - 16th of Azar is on the way once again. Any ceremonies planned for this year will be different from those of previous years. This school year started with a different beginning. 13th of Aban (Nov. 4th), which had always been a boring event, this time around was a starting point for this day. 16th of Azar,...

[Uruknet 60817 06-dec-2009 22:05 ECT] Iran Student Day 2009
Uruknet December 6, 2009 - 16th of Azar is on the way once again. Any ceremonies planned for this year will be different from those of previous years. This school year started with a different beginning. 13th of Aban (Nov. 4th), which had always been a boring event, this time around was a starting point for this day. 16th of Azar,...

[uruknet.info] Will Harper criminalize criticism of Israel?
Uruknet December 6, 2009 - Ever since the Israeli invasion of the Gaza strip last December the global debate surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has intensified with both sides upping the ante, and the stakes of the framing battle increasing almost daily. One of the most recent - but almost totally unreported - developments in Canada is something called the Canadian Parliamentary...

[Uruknet 60815 06-dec-2009 21:45 ECT] Will Harper criminalize criticism of Israel?
Uruknet December 6, 2009 - Ever since the Israeli invasion of the Gaza strip last December the global debate surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has intensified with both sides upping the ante, and the stakes of the framing battle increasing almost daily. One of the most recent - but almost totally unreported - developments in Canada is something called the Canadian Parliamentary...

[uruknet.info] Israel accused of interrogating medical patients from Gaza
Uruknet December 6, 2009 - Israeli security agents held a Palestinian patient for three weeks without charge, interrogated him repeatedly and offered access to hospital care if he agreed to become an informant, the Guardian has learned. The treatment of Abd al-Karim al-Atal, 28, is the latest in a series of cases over the past two years in which patients from...

Palestine Telegraph

5 Swine Flu Cases in Gaza
Gaza, December 6, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) – Hassan Khalaf, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health in Gaza, said that it was suspected number of swine flu cases in Al-Shifa Hospital and Al-Nasser Pediatrics Hospital. The analysis results of the samples taken from the suspected cases confirmed the discovery of five swine flu cases today. The ministry confirmed, in a press...

A Palestinian Detainee Has No Clothes
West Bank, December 6, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) - A new fact about the Israeli torture in their prisons, the Prisoner's Center for Studies urged the international society to help Somood Karaga, 21, and end her suffering which has been continuing since the last October.

Nablus Flaming by the Israeli Settlers
West Bank, December 6, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) - In Sunday dawn, Israeli Settlers burnt a Palestinian house, in Aynabous, south of Nablus. The cars were burned by the settlers, after they had burnt tons of harvests. Palestinian human rights groups reported that a group of Israeli settlers attacked the village at 2 am and assaulted one of the Palestinian houses...

Gaza: Sharp Shortage in Cooking Gas
Gaza, December 6, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) - Sawasiya ,human rights center in Gaza, has warned of Gazans difficult living conditions that would be aggravated if the Israeli occupation continued to block pumping cooking gas. The center said, in a statement on Saturday, that the Israeli occupation prohibits pumping sufficient quantities of cooking gas into Gaza Strip had led many bakeries,...

Viva Palestina will head to Gaza
London, December 6, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - An international aid convoy is scheduled to take humanitarian supplies to the Gaza Strip from London, marking the first year anniversary of Israel's three week war against Gazans. The Viva Palestina convoy of 250 vehicles will deliver medical, humanitarian and educational aid to Palestinians who are suffering a long-running Israeli blockade on their...

The National

Egypt to re-evaluate subsidies for the poor
The National 7 Dec 2009 - Egypt’s government is evaluating plans to restructure its food and energy subsidy system, which critics say is wasteful and inefficient.

Dark waters
The National 7 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 7 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 moves to block protests
AlJazeera 6 Dec 2009 - Web access and foreign reporters blocked amid fears student rally could trigger new protests.

Palestine News Network

Surge in East Jerusalem Palestinians losing residency
PNN 5 Dec 2009 - Israel stripped a record number of Palestinians of their right to live in East Jerusalem last year, an Israeli rights group has said. Some 4,570 people had their residency rights removed, more than a third of the total number since Israel took control of East Jerusalem in 1967. Palestinians fear an attempt to reduce their presence in Jerusalem, which both they and...

Jerusalem Post

Obama aide Jones: Picture on Iran is not good
Jeruslalem Post 6 Dec 2009 - Obama's national security adviser says clock is ticking; Clinton: It is important to kill bin-Laden.

'Final Hamas offer presented to Israel'
Jeruslalem Post 6 Dec 2009 - Al Jazeera: German mediator in Tel Aviv; Hamas official reportedly says "next 48 hours critical."

'Israel may withdraw from north Ghajar'
Jeruslalem Post 6 Dec 2009 - UNIFIL, Foreign Ministry discuss terms of pullout; meanwhile, Hizbullah sneak cameras to border area.

Israel pressing EU ministers to reject Swedish draft on J'lem
Jeruslalem Post 6 Dec 2009 - Israel pushing for text that would commend PM's housing-start moratorium; PA trying to convince EU to support draft making reference to "Palestine."

IDF: Palestinians launched S-5K Rocket
Jeruslalem Post 6 Dec 2009 - Use of new rocket type proves arms smuggling into Strip going on at "full speed," say defense officials.

Ashkenazi's India trip marks strong ties
Jeruslalem Post 6 Dec 2009 - Israel vital in helping New Delhi's "transition to Western technology," defense source says.

Security forces clash with settlers in Kedumim
Jeruslalem Post 6 Dec 2009 - Council head: They treated us as if we were the enemy; Netanyahu insists building freeze is temporary.

A little (political) common sense
Jeruslalem Post 6 Dec 2009 - If I were the mayor in a West Bank town I'd explain to my constituents the political facts of life.

Copenhagen concerns
Jeruslalem Post 6 Dec 2009 - Israel is capable of leading by example on alternative energy. It should.

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

25 Nov.- 02 Dec. 2009)
PCHR During the reporting period, 6 Palestinian civilians were wounded by Israeli gunfire in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.  .

International Solidarity Movement

VIDEO - Armageddon is coming to East Jerusalem
12/6/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Palestine Monitor, 5 December - This was the ominous warning issued yesterday by Rabbi Arik Asherman, director of Rabbis for Human Rights who believes that "if nothing changes, Jerusalem will burn. " His remarks come in response to a court decision on Monday permitting Israeli settlers to take possession of another Palestinian home in the East Jerusalem region of Sheikh Jarrah. This is the fifth family to be evicted in a neighbourhood where more and more Israeli flags are appearing atop of freshly occupied Palestinian homes. Yesterday Rabbis for Human Rights organized a demonstration in Jerusalem protesting the courts decision bringing together 150 Israeli and international activists from organizations such as ICHAD, EAPPI and Anarchists against the Wall. As they marched through the streets in West Jerusalem, they received a mixed reaction from passer bys. Some cheered them on whilst others shouted "˜traitor', spat at demonstrators and at one point a hose was turned on the crowd from behind the curtain of an upstairs apartment. 

Israel: End arbitrary detention of rights activist
12/6/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Human Rights Watch, 4 December - The Israeli military appeals court should end the administrative detention of Mohammed Othman, a West Bank rights activist, and order his release, Human Rights Watch said today. Israeli authorities have detained Othman without charge for more than two months on what appear to be politically motivated grounds. On the basis of secret evidence that Othman and his lawyers were not allowed to see, a military court confirmed a military order that consigned Othman to three months administrative detention without charging him with any crime. Othman has no criminal record and, to the knowledge of Human Rights Watch, has never advocated or participated in violence. His detention period, which may be renewed, ends on December 22. "The only reasonable conclusion is that Othman is being punished for. . . 

Palestinian reflections on American political ideology
12/6/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Haider Eid, Palestine Chronicle. 3 December - 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. 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

Reggae star Alpha Blondy in Israel to meet 'big brother Jesus'
Ha'aretz 6 Dec 2009 - "Bonjour maman" were the first words that Ivorian reggae star Alpha Blondy said Sunday when he arrived in Israel and entered the VIP reception room at Ben-Gurion Airport. ...

Gaza woman dies of swine flu, 5 others hospitalized in Israel
Ha'aretz 6 Dec 2009 - Health workers in the Gaza Strip announced the first death and first cases of H1N1 swine flu on Sunday, worrying Palestinians who had said that Israel's blockade of the territory was keeping the virus at bay. ...

German politician who set up fund for Nazi slaves dies, age 82 
Ha'aretz 6 Dec 2009 - Count Otto Lambsdorff, a German politician who helped raise $5 billion to compensate Nazi-era slave laborers, has died aged 82, his Free Democrat party said on Sunday. ...

Gadhafi: Swiss minaret ban plays into al-Qaida's hands
Ha'aretz 6 Dec 2009 - Libya leader Muamar Gadhafi on Sunday said Switzerland's vote to ban the building of new minarets had done a great favor to al-Qaida militants, who would use it to attract recruits in a holy war against Europe, news agency SDA reported. ...

Deputy FM: EU bid for divided Jerusalem endangers peace
Ha'aretz 6 Dec 2009 - The European Union initiative to support the division of Jerusalem and the status of East Jerusalem as the capital of the future Palestinian state "could hurt efforts to resume [peace] negotiations," Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said Sunday ahead the EU vote Monday. ... 

The Guardian

Israel accused of interrogating medical patients from Gaza
The Guardian 6 Dec 2009 - Palestinians interrogated and held without charge Questioning is a security measure, government says Israeli security agents held a Palestinian patient for three weeks without charge, interrogated him repeatedly and offered access to hospital care if he...

Israeli resentment grows on trees | Seth Freedman
The Guardian 6 Dec 2009 - The Jewish National Fund has donated 3,000 trees to a Palestinian housing project much to the fury of its traditional supporters The Jewish National Fund (JNF) is no stranger to controversy, its sectarian approach to charity...

My return to Gaza, and the fears of another intifada
The Guardian 5 Dec 2009 - Kidnapped BBC journalist Alan Johnston, who was freed in July 2007 after nearly four months in captivity, reports from Nablus on the brittle peace in the city and the threat of renewed violence if no progress...

Transatlantic transactions, part 3 | Simon Head
The Guardian 5 Dec 2009 - The Middle East dominates as Rory Stewart, Robert Malley and Margaret MacMillan close the New York Review of Books debate The multiple crises of the Middle East Israel/Palestine, Iraq, Iran and Afpak (Afghanistan/Pakistan) are collectively the...

EU could bring peace to Middle East | William Nitze and Leon Hadar
The Guardian 4 Dec 2009 - The union must stop free-riding on US policy on the Israel-Palestine conflict offering both sides membership could be key With much of his time and energy being consumed by the enormous challenges of rebuilding the American...

Realistic engagement with Hezbollah | James Denselow
The Guardian 4 Dec 2009 - Britain's decision to talk to Hezbollah is a nuanced move, but any call for disarmament is likely to fall on deaf ears David Miliband told the Lebanese Daily Star this week that he believed "carefully considered...

Ha'aretz National page

Mayor tells 'ghost' Jerusalem residents: Rent out or sell up 
Ha'aretz 7 Dec 2009 - In addition to the 800,000 residents for whom Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat is responsible, there are also tens of thousands of city residents who are virtually invisible for much of the year. They don't shop at neighborhood kiosks, occupy parking spots or send their children to nursery school, yet they affect life in the capital as much as the rest of the inhabitants, perhaps even more so. ... 

For first time, settlers plan mass protests within Green Line
Ha'aretz 7 Dec 2009 - Settlers are preparing for a heated confrontation with security services over the construction freeze imposed on West Bank settlements. For the first time, settlers are seeking to organize demonstrations and block roads in several Israeli communities within the Green Line. ... 

Israel may turn Megiddo Prison into a tourist site 
Ha'aretz 6 Dec 2009 - Megiddo prison, surrounded by prison guards on horseback supplemented by guard dogs, is not a place that many people would care to approach. But if a plan now in the final stages comes to fruition, it could become a tourist attraction drawing Israelis and tourists from around the world. ... 

Chief rabbi: Israeli conversion certificates valid for marriage 
Ha'aretz 6 Dec 2009 - In an unusual departure from the ultra-Orthodox stance, Israel's Ashkenazi chief rabbi has declared that anyone holding a conversion certificate issued by the State of Israel can register to be married in his place of residence. Yona Metzger's declaration, contained in a letter to the Knesset's Committee for Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs, comes on the heels of converts' complaints that local rabbis were refusing to recognize them as Jews according to Jewish law and to register them for marriage. ... 

Israel ignoring 400 Palestinian house demolition appeals 
Ha'aretz 6 Dec 2009 - The State Prosecutor's Office never responded to some 400 High Court petitions filed by Palestinians seeking to save their West Bank homes from demolition orders - which means the homes cannot be demolished - according to an advocacy-group report released today. ... 

Relief Web

Palestinians concerned over Israeli pressure to change EU' s Jerusalem plan
Relief Web 6 Dec 2009 - Source: Xinhua

Palestinian refugees survive in cramped Lebanese camps
Relief Web 6 Dec 2009 - Source: Agence France-Presse

OPT: PM Netanyahu meets with leaders of Judea and Samaria Jewish communities
Relief Web 6 Dec 2009 - Source: Government of Israel

OPT: Stop-work orders issued in Judea and Samaria, 30 Nov - 1 Dec 2009
Relief Web 6 Dec 2009 - Source: Government of Israel

OPT: Israeli settlers step up protest against freeze
Relief Web 6 Dec 2009 - Source: Reuters - AlertNet

OPT: H1N1 virus reaches Gaza, kills one
Relief Web 5 Dec 2009 - Source: Reuters - AlertNet

YNet News

Israeli climbing fence into Gaza shot dead
YNet News 7 Dec 2009 - Security forces open fire at man trying to climb border fence into Gaza after he ignores calls to halt. Man believed to be mentally unstable 

Report: Mediator in Tel Aviv with Hamas response to Shalit deal offer
YNet News 6 Dec 2009 - Palestinian source familiar with prisoner swap negotiations tells Al Jazeera next 48 hours will be critical in determining whether agreement can be finalized. Israel: Deal long way off 

H1N1 virus reaches Gaza, kills 1
YNet News 6 Dec 2009 - Medical workers in Strip say five people diagnosed with H1N1, female patient suffering underlying health problems dies. 'The illness hit Gaza,' deputy health minister says 

Obama aide: Clock ticking on US offer for talks with Iran
YNet News 6 Dec 2009 - National Security Adviser Jones tells CNN, 'Door is still open. But unfortunately the picture Iran is painting is not a good one.' US Central Command chief: Ahmadinejad driving concerned Gulf states into our arms 

World Bank gives Palestinian Authority $64 million
YNet News 6 Dec 2009 - Bank says goal of donation is to boost Fayyad's plan to set up institutions for a state within two years 

Official: We're facing unprecedented enforcement challenge in West Bank 
YNet News 6 Dec 2009 - Addressing settler activities against construction freeze orders, outgoing coordinator of government activities in the territories says authorities prepared for 'deterioration or status quo' 

Daily Star

Israeli settlers step up protests against construction freeze
Daily Star 7 Dec 2009 Jewish settlers widened their protests Sunday against a temporary construction freeze by shooting at a Palestinian home, torching and stoning vehicles, and assaulting Israeli officers in separate West Bank incidents. Israeli police arrested at least two settlers accused of trying to block security officers from enforcing the limited 10-month building ban Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Khamenei hammers 'awful' Britain, US as 'enemies'
Daily Star 7 Dec 2009 Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei lashed out Sunday at the US and Britain, labeling them Tehran's main "enemies" and warning they would fail to isolate Iran over its nuclear issue, a report said. "Americans are at the head of the list of enemies and the British are the most awful of them," state television reported Khamenei as saying in an address to thousands of people to mark a Shiite ceremony., Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei lashed out Sunday at the US and Britain, labeling them Tehran's main "enemies" and warning they would fail to isolate Iran over its nuclear issue, a report said. "Americans are at the head of the list of enemies and the British are the most awful of them," state television reported Khamenei as saying in an address to thousands of people to mark a Shiite ceremony.

Iraqi reunited with his mother 20 years after Halabja attack
Daily Star 7 Dec 2009 A young Iraqi man has been reunited with his mother 20 years since being taken to Iran as an infant after surviving the notorious Halabja chemical attack by Saddam Hussein's forces. Found amid a mess of corpses after the massacre, Zimnaco Saleh was taken to Iran, where he grew up believing himself to be an orphan.

Mousavi says reform movement alive
Daily Star 7 Dec 2009 Iran's opposition leader Mirhossein Mousavi said on Sunday the reform movement was alive despite pressure from the clerical establishment which he said was suppressing students, his website reported. Mousavi's remarks, a day before Iran plans to commemorate the killing of three students in 1953 under the former Shah.

Jordan's king to keep democracy on back-burner
Daily Star 7 Dec 2009 Jordan's King Abdullah II, having dissolved an elected, if unlamented, Parliament midway through its term, will probably shy away from genuine political reform, despite promises of a clean vote next time round. The 110-member assembly's abrupt demise last month drew little outcry, perhaps a reflection of widespread public perceptions of malpractice in the 2007 polls that produced it.

Egypt detains 10 senior Muslim Brotherhood members
Daily Star 7 Dec 2009 Egyptian authorities have detained 10 senior members of the opposition Muslim Brotherhood, the group's secretary general said on Sunday. The officials were arrested in the Nile Delta province of Kafr al-Sheikh on Saturday during a meeting, Mahmoud Ezzat said, adding authorities provided no reason for the arrests.

Brother of Dallas bomb plot suspect sent home to Jordan
Daily Star 7 Dec 2009 The United States has sent home to Jordan the brother of a Jordanian teenager accused of plotting to blow up a Dallas skyscraper in September, state-run Petra news agency reported on Sunday. Hussein Maher Smadi, 18, a student at Santa Clara High School in northern California, arrived in the kingdom aboard a US military plane on Saturday, Petra said.

Veil's spread fans Egypt's fear of hardline Islam
Daily Star 7 Dec 2009 When Egypt's government banned Islamic veils and all-encompassing robes in the dorms of public universities, it cited reports of men wearing the garb to sneak into the women's quarters. But there was a deeper reason behind the move: an intensifying struggle between the state and a populace that is turning to a stricter version of Islam, whose most visible hallmark is the niqab - the dress that covers the entire female form.

Clashes as demonstrators mark Greek teen's shooting
Daily Star 7 Dec 2009 Police clashed with hooded youths and the rector of Athens University was among several injured Sunday as violence flared in demonstrations in the memory of a teenager's killing by a policeman last year. Thousands took part in the protest called by student organizations, left-wing groups and trade unions to mark the anniversary. Students occupied dozens of universities and schools, according to staff unions., Police clashed with hooded youths and the rector of Athens University was among several injured Sunday as violence flared in demonstrations in the memory of a teenager's killing by a policeman last year. Thousands took part in the protest called by student organizations, left-wing groups and trade unions to mark the anniversary. Students occupied dozens of universities and schools, according to staff unions.

Palestinian Information Center

New “Viva Palestine” convoy leaves London for besieged Gaza
PIC 7 Dec 2009 - The third “Viva Palestine” convoy to Gaza led by British MP George Galloway set off Sunday from London and is gathering more participants as it passes through European countries.

Jewish settlers start fires in Palestinian village
PIC 7 Dec 2009 - Tens of Jewish settlers stormed the Palestinian village of Einabus, south of Nablus city, at dawn Sunday and wreaked havoc in the peaceful town.

Quds international urges scholars to challenge IOA ban
PIC 7 Dec 2009 - The international Quds institution has urged Muslim scholars and notables to challenge the IOA ban on their entry into the holy Aqsa Mosque so to avoid isolating the Aqsa as the IOA wishes.

Abu Zuhri: There are no new arrangements regarding the reconciliation efforts
PIC 7 Dec 2009 - Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri stated Sunday that his Movement is committed to the national reconciliation, but there are no new arrangements in the Egyptian efforts in this regard.

Health ministry: 5 swine flu cases in Gaza
PIC 7 Dec 2009 - The Palestinian health ministry announced that five persons had contracted the swine flu (H1N1) virus and were being treated in the Shifa hospital in a special ward.

Sheikh Salah in court today because of Friday sermon in 2007
PIC 7 Dec 2009 - Sheikh Ra’ed Salah is expected to stand trial Sunday morning in the Israeli magistrates court on allegations of inciting violence and racism during a Friday Khutba (sermon) he delivered in 2007.

Israel approves plan to construct extra buildings in Buraq plaza
PIC 7 Dec 2009 - Quds Press reported that the Israeli committee for planning and building in occupied Jerusalem approved last week a plan to build extra buildings in Al-Buraq plaza.

IOF soldiers round up Jihad activists
PIC 7 Dec 2009 - Israeli occupation forces (IOF) rounded up seven Palestinians in Yamon village at dawn Sunday including four brothers then released three of them and took away the others, locals reported.

Delegation of reconciliation committee heads to Cairo
PIC 7 Dec 2009 - A delegation of the Palestinian reconciliation committee heads to Cairo on Sunday to try and find solutions with Egyptian officials to the stalled reconciliation efforts.

Khudari: Siege must end regardless of other issues
PIC 7 Dec 2009 - MP Jamal Al-Khudari has emphasized that the Israeli siege on the Gaza Strip has to be lifted without any further delay and without any connection to any other issue.

New York Times

Yes, Miky, There Are Rabbis in Montana
New York Times 5 Dec 2009 - With a rabbi’s help, a bomb-sniffing dog trained in Israel finally heeds his owner’s commands. 

Misc

Israel accused of interrogating medical patients from Gaza
12/6/2009 - The Guardian - Palestinians interrogated and held without charge - Questioning is a security measure, government says - Israeli security agents held a Palestinian patient for three weeks without charge, interrogated him repeatedly and offered access to hospital care if he agreed to become an informant, the Guardian has learned. The treatment of Abd al-Karim al-Atal, 28, is the latest in a series of cases over the past two years in which patients from Gaza referred for hospital treatment in Israel have been held without charge and pressed to become Israeli collaborators, human rights groups say. Atal, who is losing his sight, is still waiting for a permit to travel from his home in the Jabaliya refugee camp, in Gaza, to an eye hospital in east Jerusalem for a cornea transplant operation now scheduled for tomorrow. Physicians for Human Rights, a leading Israeli rights group, says the pressure exerted. . . . 

Israeli Committee Planning More Building Projects In Occupied Jerusalem
12/7/2009 - Political Theatrics - PIC - Quds Press reported that the Israeli committee for planning and building in occupied Jerusalem approved last week a plan to build extra buildings in Al-Buraq plaza. Quds press quoted the Israeli Yerushalayim newspaper as saying that the new plan is aimed to establish a police station, educational center, offices for Al-Buraq wall heritage fund and a building for public service. The news agency added that four parties objected to this plan including Jerusalemite citizens living in the vicinity and a group for the protection of nature, which confirmed that the building in the open area in Al-Buraq plaza would shrink the area and affect the principle of maintaining the plaza. For its part, the civic coalition for defending the Palestinians’ rights in Jerusalem said that Israel broke the pledge it made in 1994 on the protection of Palestinian institutions and interests in east Jerusalem. . . . 

Jewish Settlers Start Fires In Palestinian Village
12/6/2009 - Political Theatrics - PIC - Tens of Jewish settlers stormed the Palestinian village of Einabus, south of Nablus city, at dawn Sunday and wreaked havoc in the peaceful town. Local sources said that the settlers started fire in the home of a civilian destroying his car, tractor and barn. They burnt another car for another citizen and spread panic in the village. Firefighters contained the blaze and prevented its spread to other property, the locals said, noting that the settlers had escalated their attacks on the village recently. [end] 

Israel closes sole oil and gas terminal on Gaza border
12/4/2009 - Yahoo! News - The Christian Science Monitor - Gaza City – The population of the Gaza Strip is facing an acute cooking gas shortage this winter, after a unilateral Israeli decision in October to permanently close the sole oil and gas terminal between the coastal Palestinian territory and the Jewish state. The Nahal Oz crossing has been shut down for "security reasons," an official with the Israeli coordination office for the Gaza Strip said, adding that it will only act as "a backup" when the Kerem Shalom crossing in the south is too congested. Nahal Oz, located in Gaza's north and just east of Gaza City, has been the site or in the vicinity of a number of deadly attacks carried out by Palestinian militants. The terminal itself is visibly damaged from a mortar attack in 2008. But Kerem Shalom does not have the proper infrastructure to meet the territory's cooking gas needs, local businessmen say. 

Philanthropist pleads guilty to bribes
12/5/2009 - israel-palestinenews.org - JTA - Elliott Broidy, a leading investor in the Israeli economy and major donor and activist in the Los Angeles Jewish community, pleaded guilty Thursday to the felony charge of rewarding official misconduct. According to New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, Broidy admitted that he made nearly $1 million in payoffs to four senior New York state officials as he pursued an investment from the state public pension fund. . . Cuomo said that Broidy has acknwoledged paying at least $75,000 for high-price luxury trips to Italy and Israel for a top official in the New York State Comptroller and his relatives. . . By raising $800 million, Broidy turned his Markstone Capital Group into the largest private equity fund in Israel. . . . In Los Angeles, Broidy has been a major donor to the United Jewish Fund and Friends of the Israel Defense Forces. . . . -- Link: L. A. philanthropist pleads guilty on bribes

Letter to Clinton: Iran trying to distract world
12/5/2009 - YNetNews - Members of US House of Representatives send letter to Secretary of State warning Islamic Republic may try to distract world from its nuclear program by instructing Hezbollah to launch conflict with Israel [!? ] - WASHINGTON - Iran may try to distract the international community from its nuclear program by heating things up at Israel's northern border via Hezbollah – dozens of members of the US House of Representatives wrote in a letter addressed to US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton on Friday. The letter was sent ahead of Lebanese President Michel Suleiman's upcoming visit to the White House, scheduled for December 14, and following the coalition agreement in the Lebanese government allowing Hezbollah to hold on to its arms. Meanwhile, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri on Friday announced that he plans to hold his first visit to Syria since the death of his father Rafiq Hariri in 2005. 

Al Mezan Condemns Killing of Woman from Shati’ Refugee Camp; Calls for Perpetrators to be Brought to Justice
12/7/2009 - Al Mezan Center for Human Rights - At approximately 2:20pm on Friday 27 November 2009, the body of a woman (R. S. ), 29, was admitted to Shifa Hospital. According to medical sources, the woman had been strangled to death. Police are investigating the murder and have arrested relatives of the victim in connection to the incident. According to the same source, claims have been made that the murder was ‘honour related. ’ The victim was murdered three days before her wedding was due to take place. Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights strongly condemns this crime and asserts that the leniency with which the authorities treat the perpetrators of such crimes - who usually allege that they were acting to preserve ‘family honour’ - has contributed to a noticeable increase in murders. In 2009 alone, eleven people have been killed, six of whom were women. Al Mezan is gravely concerned that the perpetrators of such crimes are able to escape appropriate judicial penalty by alleging they were acting to ‘preserve family honour. 

Three arrested in anti-Israel protest
12/6/2009 - ABC Australia - Protesters attempt to break into a dinner for the Australia Israel Leadership Forum - Melbourne police used horses and capsicum spray to subdue a demonstration by pro-Palestinian protesters who targeted a major meeting of Jewish leaders last night. Three people were arrested after 100 protesters stormed a side door at the Park Hyatt Hotel. Inside, Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Israeli Vice-Prime Minister Silvan Shalom were waiting to address about 400 delegates to the Australia Israel Leadership Forum. Sergeant Steve Burke says a police radio went missing during the scuffle, as protesters moved towards the building. " The building wasn't damaged. There was some dirt hurled at police officers, water hurled at police officers," he said. "It was a pretty quick event; a couple of minutes and it was all dispersed. "Sergeant Bourke said the protesters had breached an earlier agreement with police for a peaceful protest. 

PRC Changes Venue of Conference on Refugees
12/5/2009 - WAFA - Palestine News Agency - LONDON, December 5, 2009 (WAFA) Due to the growing number of participants and many distinguished guests taking part in the international event, the Palestinian Return Center (PRC) has decided to change the venue of the conference from Friends house in London Euston to the Congress Center, 28 Great Russell Street, London WC1B3LS near Totenham Court Road station. The conference is still scheduled for Wednesday, December 16, 2009. The key aim of the event is to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency UNRWA. It will provide a detailed and comprehensive analysis of the terrible situation facing the Palestinian Refugees and UNRWA within a regional and international context. Prominent personalities will open the conference which will include four sessions. Academics from USA, UK and the Middle East plus Politicians from Asia and other Arab countries will participate in the event. 

Protesters Tell Business Leaders: No Business with Apartheid Israel
12/5/2009 - WAFA - Palestine News Agency - NEW YORK, December 5, 2009- 25 New York City human rights advocates demonstrated Friday morning, in front of Leviev store on Madison Avenue, demanding boycott of Leviev’s companies due to their involvement in Israeli settlement construction in violation of international law, and human rights abuses in the diamond industry in Angola, The Coalition for Justice in the Middle East (Adalah-NY) said. The protestors surprised the Israel Business Leaders Delegation to the United States with a noisy protest outside their “breakfast reception amidst the Leviev jewelry collection. ” Groups worldwide have conducted a successful campaign for the boycott of Leviev’s companies due to their involvement in Israeli settlement construction. In addition to businesspeople, among the guests present at the breakfast was TV personality. . . . 

Wooden houses might solve Gaza housing problems
12/3/2009 - Jerusalem Post - Two-story houses built of wood and enforced by sand bags could help alleviate the housing crisis in Gaza. An Egyptian architect has designed a house costing only $2000 to construct, without using materials such as concrete or steel, banned from entering the territory by Israel. Dr. Hisham Juraisha from the Egypt University for Science and Technology designed a house using wood, sand bags and textiles, to help the thousands of Palestinians who were left homeless following Israel's January 2009 military operation against Hamas in Gaza. While the aim is to construct family houses, according to local news sources the design can also be applied to larger buildings such as Mosques, administrative buildings and even hospitals with up to four floors. The initial reports claimed the plans had been shown to the Hamas government and were positively received but. . . . 

Ukraine academic: Israel imported 25,000 kids for their organs
12/3/2009 - Ha'aretz - Stories appearing on several Ukrainian Web sites claim Israel has brought around some 25,000 Ukrainian children into the country over the past two years in order to harvest their organs. The claim, which was made by a Ukrainian philosophy professor and author at a pseudo-academic conference in Kiev five days ago, is the latest expression of a wave of anti-Semitism in the country. It comes a few months after a Swedish tabloid ran an article alleging that Israel Defense Forces soldiers have killed Palestinian civilians for their organs. Jews, Israel and anti-Semitism have become a major motif of the presidential election campaign in Ukraine, with some figures making anti-Semitic statements and others condemning them. Some candidates, including a Jew and someone whose rivals claim is Jewish, blame a third rival - Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko - for bringing anti-Semitism into the race. 


Articles

Palestinian Reflections on American Political Ideology 
Dr. Haidar Eid - Gaza, Palestine Chronicle 12/3/2009
      The question that begs for answers is why does America hate us Palestinians?
     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. more.. e-mail

Armageddon Is Coming To East Jerusalem 
Palestine Monitor 12/5/2009
      Includes videos and photo
     This was the ominous warning issued yesterday by Rabbi Arik Asherman, director of Rabbis for Human Rights who believes that “if nothing changes, Jerusalem will burn.” His remarks come in response to a court decision on Monday permitting Israeli settlers to take possession of another Palestinian home in the East Jerusalem region of Sheikh Jarrah. This is the fifth family to be evicted in a neighbourhood where more and more Israeli flags are appearing atop of freshly occupied Palestinian homes.
     Yesterday Rabbis for Human Rights organized a demonstration in Jerusalem protesting the courts decision bringing together 150 Israeli and international activists from organizations such as ICHAD, EAPPI and Anarchists against the Wall. As they marched through the streets in West Jerusalem, they received a mixed reaction from passer bys. Some cheered them on whilst others shouted ‘traitor’, spat at demonstrators and at one point a hose was turned on the crowd from behind the curtain of an upstairs apartment.
     The demonstration culminated in the front yard of the Al-Kurd’s family home where the front section is now occupied by Israeli settlers and the family has been moved to the back.
     The Al-Kurd house was built in 1956 and an extension added 10 years ago is the current source of contention. On Monday the Magistrates Court ruled it illegal and gave permission for a group of Israeli settlers to take occupation. An immediate appeal issued by the Al-Kurd family was dismissed. On Tuesday a group of Israeli settlers, accompanied by armed private security guards and Israeli police forces, took possession of the extension strewing the Al-Kurd’s belonging across the front yard. more.. e-mail

The height of kitsch 
Uri Avnery, Ma’an News Agency 12/5/2009
      It would have been the epitome of political kitsch.
     Benjamin Netanyahu and ten of his ministers were to hold a joint meeting with Angela Merkel and ten members of the German cabinet.
     What for? To demonstrate Germany’s love for Israel.
     At the last moment, Netanyahu announced that he was sick, and the meeting was canceled. I imagine that Netanyahu was not very sorry about this. What did he need it for? In any case the Israeli government is already getting from Germany anything it wants.
     A German journalist asked me about the reaction in Israel to the visit of the new German foreign minister, Guido Westerwelle. I had to disappoint him: most Israelis did not even hear about it. Another dignitary laying flowers in Yad Vashem. Another traffic jam in Jerusalem.
     As so often happens, there is no equality in this marriage. The German bride loves the Israeli groom much more than he loves her.
     From time to time, the relationship between Germany and Israel needs a review.
     The Germans do not forget the Holocaust. They are steeped in this subject all the time. It appears on TV programs, cultural discourse and art.
     That is as it should be. This monstrous crime must not be allowed to slip from memory. Young Germans must ask themselves again and again how it came about that their grandfathers and grandmothers were accessories to this enormous deed – those who took part in it, those who agreed silently and those who were silent out of fear or indifference. more.. e-mail


pulse
In Gaza: 6 Dec 2009 - Flu season is here, and it’s going around.  As I nurse a light case of it, through that haze of a throbbing head, congestion, and fever, I realize that am grateful for a number of things: -that I have a roof and walls, without craters from shelling, without leaks through bomb-cracked walls, with blankets and adequate protection from the cold nights -that I have the money to go to a pharmacy and buy meds -that every Palestinian I know who hears I’m not feeling 100% offers a ’salamtek’ (basically, ‘get well’) and home remedies (which are grounded in good sense and are quite effective) -that chamomile can be bought in...

Walled in by Myth and Deceit
Palestine Chronicle: 6 Dec 2009 - By William A. Cook Ben Gurian '…realized that the holy book could be made into a secular national text, serve as a central repository of ancient collective imagery, help forge the hundreds of thousands of new immigrants into a unified people, and tie the younger generation to the land.' -- (Shlomo Sand, The Invention of the Jewish People, 108) Of what possible significance has Sand’s comment today as America watches in utter disbelief and dismay the demise of the President of Change and Hope into an obsequious and obedient Golem of Israel, subservient to Netanyahu and Lieberman? The great Golem of Prague in the 16th century, a mythological creature created of mud by incantations of the ancient Rabbi Loew to protect the walled ghetto of the Jews, lived without a soul but at the service of the Rabbi. So now, we watch in disbelief Obama bow before the scorn of Bibi and Avigdor as they mock the great agent of change, the bringer of peace to the world, and the savior of America from the ravages of Bush. The answer lies in a study of mythistory and deception. Mythistory is the creation of historical fact out of ancient stories placing the accuracies of these stories before the evidence of scientific investigation or epistemological study. In 1936, Yitzhak Baer published Galut (exile) stating conclusively, “The Jewish revival of the present day is in its essence not determined by the national movements of Europe; it harks back to the ancient national consciousness...

Arundhati Roy Disturbs Democratic Daydreaming
Palestine Chronicle: 6 Dec 2009 - By Trond Øverland Listening to Grasshoppers; Field Notes on Democracy, Arundhati Roy, Hamish Hamilton, Penguin, India 2009, 240 pages, 499 rupees. Arundhati Roy is an unusual Indian woman. Instead of acting the graceful upholder of traditional values, she goes on challenging the hard core of establishment thinking. Roy is India's leading commentator on such evils as militaristic imperialist capitalism, Hindu-supported genocide of Muslims, and dam disasters. In her latest book, Listening to Grasshoppers; Field Notes on Democracy, she hammers at perhaps the most central of all contemporary sacred pillars, i.e. that of democracy, which in her words “have metastasized into something dangerous”. Grasshoppers is a collection of essays on such recent events as the 2008 terrorist attack on Mumbai, the 2006 visit to India by “the war criminal” U.S. President George W. Bush, the 2002 Gujarat carnage (between 2000-4000 Muslims slaughtered), the 2001 attack on the Indian Parliament by "so-called" Pakistan-based terrorists, and the growing inequality in India (“the old society has curdled and separated into a thin layer of thick cream – and a lot of water …”). A radical analysis of democracy runs through the book’s fiery chapters, like a river running from its mountainous source towards the ocean. Roy’s conclusion is disquieting: she is forced by the rationale of her facts and arguments to approve of violence as a means of people’s resistance to injustice. She observes with understanding that many of the poor are “crossing over … to another side; the side of armed struggle.” While...

Height of Kitsch: Thanks Germany, But No Thanks
Palestine Chronicle: 6 Dec 2009 - By Uri Avnery – Israel It would have been the epitome of political kitsch. Binyamin Netanyahu and ten of his ministers were to hold a joint meeting with Angela Merkel and ten members of the German cabinet. What for? To demonstrate Germany’s love for Israel. At the last moment, Netanyahu announced that he was sick, and the meeting was canceled. I imagine that Netanyahu was not very sorry about this. What did he need it for? In any case the Israeli government is already getting from Germany anything it wants. A German journalist asked me about the reaction in Israel to the visit of the new German foreign minister, Guido Westerwelle. I had to disappoint him: most Israelis did not even hear about it. Another dignitary laying flowers in Yad Vashem. Another traffic jam in Jerusalem. As so often happens, there is no equality in this marriage. The German bride loves the Israeli groom much more than he loves her. From time to time, the relationship between Germany and Israel needs a review. The Germans do not forget the Holocaust. They are steeped in this subject all the time. It appears on TV programs, cultural discourse and art. That is as it should be. This monstrous crime must not be allowed to slip from memory. Young Germans must ask themselves again and again how it came about that their grandfathers and grandmothers were accessories to this enormous deed – those who took part in it, those who agreed silently and...
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