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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
7 December, 2009

News

International Middle East Media Center

Israeli Man Shot Dead By Israeli Border Policemen
IMEMC 7 Dec 2009 - Monday December 07, 2009 - 23:33, Israeli sources reported that an Israeli man was shot dead on Monday when Israeli Border Policemen opened fire at him as he tried to cross the border fence into the Gaza Strip. The incident took place near the Erez border terminal.

Settlers stop state inspectors from handing out settlement activity freeze orders
IMEMC 7 Dec 2009 - Monday December 07, 2009 - 17:08, Israeli settlers escalated their protest against the Israeli government decision two week ago to freeze construction in west Bank settlement.

The Israeli military kidnaps five Palestinians from the West Bank
IMEMC 7 Dec 2009 - Monday December 07, 2009 - 15:57, Five Palestinian civilians were kidnapped on Monday by Israeli troops during pre dawn military invasions targeting a number of West Bank communities.

Israeli MK Demands Preventing Mosques For Calling For Dawn Prayers
IMEMC 7 Dec 2009 - Sunday December 06, 2009 - 11:08, Israeli member of Knesset (MK) Arie Bibi of the Kadima party headed by Tzipi Livni, intends to file a proposal to the Knesset to vote on preventing the mosques in Israel from using speakers while calling for dawn prayers.

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.

Ma'an News

Israeli forces kill Israeli man at Gaza border
12/7/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israeli forces shot and killed an Israeli citizen near a Gaza border crossing overnight, an official said. An Israeli military spokeswoman told Ma'an that forces opened fire at the man, a civilian in his 30s, as he attempted to enter northern Gaza near the Erez crossing early Monday. The spokeswoman added that when Defense Ministry guards identified seeing the man they first fired warning shots but ultimately targeted him when he failed to respond. The forces aimed at his lower body, she said. Police sappers were called in to search the man's body for explosives or other weapons, the official added, before an Israeli Magen David Adom ambulance transported him to a hospital, where he died. The spokeswoman raised the possibility that the man was mentally unstable. The army routinely opens fire on Palestinian civilians who approach the military demarcation. . . 

Israel’s Bedouin denied right to elections
12/7/2009 - Nazareth - Some 35,000 Bedouin residents of Israel's southern Negev have been denied the right to hold their first local council election after the Israeli parliament passed a law at the last minute to cancel this month's ballot. The new law gives the government the power to postpone elections to the regional council, known as Abu Basma, until the Interior Ministry deems the local Bedouin ready to run their own affairs. Legal and human rights groups say the move is an unprecedented violation of Israel's constitutional principles. Taleb As-Sana, a Bedouin member of Israel's parliament, has written to its speaker warning that "it is not possible to have democracy without elections." The vote in Abu Basma was scheduled to take place six years after the council was established under the transitional authority of a panel of mostly Jewish officials appointed by the Interior Ministry. 

Abbas: No Lebanese passports for Palestine refugees
12/7/2009 - Beirut - Ma'an - Palestinian refugees in Lebanon will not be offered Lebanese passports, President Mahmoud Abbas said on Monday following his meeting with Lebanese President Michel Suleiman at the Republican Palace. Abbas' remark quashed recent rumors concerning the issuing of Lebanese passports to Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, adding that the refugees' presence in the country is temporary, particularly as Lebanon's membership in the UN Security Council next year will help the Palestinian cause. The security arrangements in refugee camps should be arranged in coordination with the Lebanese government, Abbas said, stressing that they were built on sovereign Lebanese land. Lebanese President Suleiman had informed Abbas of a recent Lebanese cabinet statement which included the question of Palestinian refugees, as Abbas expressed his confidence in the Lebanese approach to Palestinian refugees. 

Egyptian forces thwart fuel smuggling into Gaza
12/7/2009 - Al-Arish - Ma'an - Egyptian security forces thwarted a diesel smuggling operation and shut down a storehouse containing commercial goods, also prepared for smuggling into the Gaza Strip on Monday. Egyptian forces stormed a fuel storehouse in the bordering As-Salam neighborhood of Rafah, containing 30,000 liters of diesel which was hidden with the intention of smuggling into Gaza, security sources said. Diesel smugglers use underground pipes and a generating motor to pump fuel into the Gaza Strip, and therefore, Egyptian security forces search for illegal diesel dens close to the border, the sources added. The Egyptian forces confiscated the fuel and destroyed it by mixing it with water. Israeli authorities have restricted the transfer of both domestic gas and industrial fuel into the Gaza Strip for three months, by closing the Nahal Oz fuel pipeline in northern Gaza regularly. 

Mental health center opens in Palestine
12/7/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The Mental Health Families and Friends Society opened its office on Monday, after being officially registered by the Palestinian Authority as a non-profit, non-governmental organization. The Society, in cooperation with the Palestinian Ministry of Health, the EU and the World Health Organization, aims at improving the quality of mental health services for mental health patients in the Palestinian territories through support and development of services provided to individuals who suffer from mental disorders. "The first were families of those individuals who did not spare any efforts in cooperation with all parties for the benefit of their beloved," the WHO said in a statement. The improvements will be undertaken by ensuring cooperation between the WHO and the Ministry of Health based on the implementation of the National Policy and Strategic Operational. . . . 

Knesset withdraws proposed bill to ban prayer call
12/7/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The Israeli Knesset will not pass the proposed bill, banning the Muslim dawn call to prayers from mosques in Jerusalem and Palestinian towns inside Israel's 1948 boundaries on Monday, said the leader of the Ra'am Ta'al party, Ahmed Tibi. During an interview with Ma'an, Tibi said that Kadima member Arie Bibi who initially proposed the bill had decided to withdraw it from the Knesset plenum after media and various parliamentary blocs who described the bill as racist. Tibi added that Bibi realized that the bill would not receive the required votes to pass in Knesset. The proposed bill to ban the early morning prayer call, known as Addan, was put forward by Bibi after he received a number of complaints from Jewish citizens. Bibi further alleged that the dawn call to prayer annoyed both non-Muslims and Jews. 

Israeli mayor rejects EU Jerusalem resolution
12/7/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israel's mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, on Monday called on the European Union to reject a resolution brought forth by Sweden that would recognize East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine. In a letter to EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton, Barkat argued that the Swedish proposal would divide Jerusalem and nullify the EU's "right to serve as an honest mediator. "The European Union's foreign affairs ministers were scheduled to vote Monday or Tuesday on the resolution, which recalls that their countries have never recognized the annexation of East Jerusalem and urges the reopening of Palestinian institutions there. The document, first obtained by the Israeli daily Haaretz, also calls on the Israeli government "to cease all discriminatory treatment of Palestinians in East Jerusalem. "Barkat rejected the proposal as an attempt to "divide Jerusalem". 

Swine flu kills 2 in Gaza Strip
12/7/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Two Palestinians from the Gaza Strip died of H1N1 complications on Sunday, a health official confirmed Monday. Hasan Khalaf, deputy minister of health in Gaza, told Ma'an that both patients were also suffering reduced immunity due to renal failure and bacterial pneumonia. Three other cases were improving with treatment, Khalaf added. Khalaf also said the Health Ministry was implementing a comprehensive plan to combat the H1N1 strain of flu. Authorities confirmed on Sunday that five cases were diagnosed in Gaza, the first to reach the coastal enclave besieged by Israel and Egypt. But Khalaf has denied reports that any H1N1 patients were transferred to Israel for treatment. "These reports are totally untrue," Khalaf said late Sunday evening. "The cases that were said to be transferred to Israel are in Gaza and receiving the necessary treatment. 

H1N1 fears sweep Gaza
12/7/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - A general state of fear struck the Gaza Strip on Monday as local authorities announced the first two deaths from the H1N1 swine flu virus. As word spread of the fatalities, Palestinians rushed to pharmacies to purchase medicines and surgical masks, while others stayed indoors in order to avoid contact with others who could give them the disease. Yousef Abdullah, a resident of the middle Gaza region told Ma'an that residents in his area are terrified of the disease. Most people, he said, chose to stay home in order to avoid catching the virus. He added that he noticed many people, particularly taxi drivers wearing masks to prevent being infected. Pharmacist Mervat Abu Ras from Gaza City said that dozens of people crowded into her drug store purchasing medicine, alcohol, and special soaps the believed could keep the disease at bay. 

Gaza government accused of stopping H1N1 medical transfer
12/7/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - Rights groups and the Palestinian Authority (PA) accused the Hamas-backed government in Gaza of barring Palestinian patients from leaving the territory for medical treatment on Monday. The Health Ministry in the de facto government in Gaza denied the claims, saying that they allowed ambulances to leave Gaza through the Erez crossing point en route to hospitals in Jerusalem and Israel. The Health Ministry in the Ramallah government said that four of the patients in question were in a life-threatening situation as a result of the ban. The PA in Ramallah had coordinated their transfer with the Israeli government. Dr Omar An-Nasser, the head of public relations in the Ramallah ministry told Ma'an, "The Israeli side informed us that the Erez crossing will be closed at 4:00 pm and after that the ambulances won't be able to cross. 

Two Gaza crossings open
12/7/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Israeli authorities opened the Kerem Shalom and Karni crossings into the Gaza Strip on Monday, while Nahal Oz remained closed, a Palestinian crossings official said. The official, Raed Fattouh, said 112 truckloads of commercial merchandize and humanitarian aid would be allowed through Kerem Shalom, in addition to limited amounts of gas and industrial diesel for the power plant. Fattouh added that 96 truckloads of wheat and fodder would be allowed through the Karni crossing. Israel and Egypt have maintained a debilitating blockade on Gaza since 2007, preventing all but a trickle of imports and exports, and banning the coastal strip's 1. 5 million residents from traveling. 

Israel detains 5 Palestinians overnight
12/7/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israeli forces detained five Palestinians in the West Bank overnight, the army said Monday. An army representative said the detainees were "wanted for suspected terrorist activities. "Later on Monday, the military reported that during one of the raids near Bethlehem, soldiers discovered "six explosive devices and four firebombs" in a Palestinian's home. Israel's Army Radio reported that the alleged devices were found hidden inside fire extinguishers and weighed one kilogram each, according to The Jerusalem Post, an English-language Israeli newspaper. [end] 

NGO: HIV-positive migrants in Israel lack access to care
12/7/2009 - Tel Aviv - IRIN - A prominent local NGO working on HIV-related issues says HIV-positive asylum-seekers and migrants face difficulties in accessing free AIDS services in Israel, including treatment. As asylum-seekers and migrant workers are not classed as Israeli citizens, some NGOs, including Israel AIDS Task Force, argue that they get a raw deal and have to rely on donations. Drugs for treating HIV patients are very expensive in Israel. "People living with HIV are often not aware of their status. One cannot ignore a population of some 300,000 [migrant workers and asylum-seekers]. A proper solution must be ensured [to provide access to AIDS services to those who need it]," said Arik Milman, a spokesman for Israel AIDS Task Force. Most asylum-seekers are from Sudan, Eritrea, Thailand, Philippines and China - all countries with low HIV prevalence. 

Gas lines repaired at Kerem Shalom crossing
12/7/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Refurbishment of gas lines at the Kerem Shalom crossing has been completed, a Palestinian source told Ma'an on Monday. The source explained that the necessary spare parts were installed on Friday, and 107 tons of cooking gas were shipped to Gaza on Sunday for the first time through Kerem Shalom. The Israelis have promised to gradually increase shipments until they reach 200 tons per day, the source added. In mid-October, the Palestinian Authority was working to reverse a unilateral decision made by Israeli authorities to shut down Nahal Oz, Gaza's main fuel terminal, and the only border point staffed jointly by Israelis and Palestinians as per signed agreements. Israel responded at the time that it would relax bans on certain items at Kerem Shalom, although it was not immediately clear if the repairs announced on Monday there were related to the proposal. 

Haniyeh discusses Israel’s siege with Gaddafi
12/7/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - De facto Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh spoke with Libyan leader Mu'ammar Gaddafi of the crippling Israeli siege on Gaza during a telephone conversation on Sunday, according to the Hamas affiliated Palestinian Information Center. The Gaza government's prime minister discussed the various Israeli policies in Jerusalem aimed at "Judaizing" the city and the continued confiscation of Palestinian land in the West Bank, calling on Arab and Muslim countries to exert further pressure to stop Israeli violations, PIC said. Additionally, Gaddafi expressed his appreciation for the Palestinian people, and reportedly promised to examine the support his country can offer to the besieged people of the Gaza Strip. As a delegation of members of the Palestinian Reconciliation Committee arrive in Cairo on Sunday to discuss the Egyptian proposal aimed at bringing an end to. . . 

PA backs EU declaration on Jerusalem
12/7/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - The cabinet of the Fatah-backed government in Ramallah urged the European Union to adopt what it termed "clear positions in accordance with international law" on Monday. The call comes as the council of European foreign ministers is set to vote on a resolution that would declare East Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital and hint that it would recognize a declared Palestinian state. The measure introduced by Sweden, obtained by the Israeli daily Haaretz, also calls on the Israeli government "to cease all discriminatory treatment of Palestinians in East Jerusalem. " Israel occupied East Jerusalem in 1967, annexing the Palestinian city and declaring it its "undivided, eternal capital. "Israel's claims to the city were never recognized abroad, and most countries' embassies are in Tel Aviv. The ministers called on the EU in statement to play a role in restarting the long-stalled peace process with Israel. 

Report: Egypt to offer new reconciliation plan
12/7/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an -Egypt intends to propose a new suggestion to the Hamas-Fatah reconciliation plan, focusing on disputed points, while Cairo will ask both sides to either accept or refuse the plan as a whole, but will not allow amendments, according to Al-Yaum, a Saudi newspaper, on Monday. Egyptian mediators will restart dialogue that was frozen for months following the Palestinian Authority's deferred discussion of the UN-backed Goldstone report, a high-profile source said Monday. A delegation of members of the Palestinian Reconciliation Committee arrived in Cairo on Sunday hoping to find solutions for the impasse and reach conciliation. "The committee was invited by the Egyptian leadership to resume consultations on how to move forward with the reconciliation efforts," said Hasan Abdo, member of the reconciliation committee. 

Muheisin: Fatah will not allow Abbas to step down
12/7/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Fatah Central Committee member Jamal Muheisin said on Monday that no Fatah members will be allowed to run for the presidency without prior consultation with the committee. Speaking on Ma'an Network's televised talk show Hard Questions Muheisin said the measure was intended to ensure that President Mahmoud Abbas does not step down. Abbas said last month that he has no desire to seek another term. Muheisin directly addressed Abbas during the interview, stating, "Since elections in Gaza cannot proceed as Hamas has thwarted reconciliation efforts, the decision that you remain president isn't a personal choice you make, but rather a Fatah decision. " "The Central Committee has refused your decision not to seek a new term, and is calling upon you to remain in office since you were elected at the Fatah Sixth Congress four months ago. 

PSE falls: Al-Quds Index down 0.84%
12/7/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Stocks on the Palestine Securities Exchange fell on Monday. The Al-Quds Index closed at488. 11 points, a decrease of 4. 15 (0. 84%). Trading volume was 344,857 shares for a total value of 742,900. 88 US dollars in 226 trades. The shares of 18 companies were traded. The shares prices of three companies rose, and 10 declined. The three that gained were PIIC by 4. 29%, AHC by 3. 80%, and BPC by 1. 11%, The top five losers were WASSEL by 4. 84%, GCOM by 4. 67%, NCI by 3. 33%, PADICO by 2. 40%, and AIB by 1. 64%. [end] 

Ha'aretz Defense page

Israel Navy soldier dies in training accident at Ashdod Port
Ha'aretz 7 Dec 2009 - Soldier pulled from water after comrades noted signs of distress over course of routine exercise. 

Israel border guards kill Israeli civilian trying to enter Gaza
Ha'aretz 7 Dec 2009 - Man, possibly mentally unstable, drove to Erez border crossing and ran toward border fence trying to scale it. 

Hamas: Israel has 2 days to accept Shalit deal
Ha'aretz 7 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 7 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 7 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 7 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 7 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 7 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 7 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 7 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 7 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 7 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 7 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 7 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 7 Dec 2009 - Ashkenazi: Changing demographics in Israel require the IDF to construct 'new models of service.' 

Uruknet

Video: The battle for Jerusalem
Uruknet December 7, 2009 - As EU Foreign ministers prepare to meet on Monday to discuss a Swedish proposal to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of both Israel and Palestine, the EU accuses Israel of working deliberately to alter the citys demographic balance and sever East Jerusalem from the West Bank. Can the EU play a role in peace making after...

Report: Israel deals with Gaza people as an enemy worthy of mass punishment
Uruknet December 7, 2009 - The association for human rights reported Sunday that Israel during its war on the Gaza Strip was responsible for widespread killing of civilians and continues to view the entire population of Gaza, including children, as an enemy worthy of mass punishment. The association, which deals with Israel's violations of human rights and civil liberties, said in...

Surprising Results of CFR Survey What the U.S. Elite Really Thinks About Israel
Uruknet December 7, 2009 - The Council on Foreign Relations is always near the top of the Left's list of bogeymen that stand accused of pulling the strings of US foreign policy. It is right up there with the Bilderberg Group and the Trilateral Commission, right? Wrong. If that was the case, those arguing that US support for Israel is based...

At Leviev Store, Protesters Tell Business Leaders "No Business as Usual with Apartheid Israel"
Uruknet December 7, 2009 - 25 New York City human rights advocates caught the Israel Business Leaders Delegation to the United States by surprise this morning with a noisy protest outside their "breakfast reception amidst the Leviev jewelry collection" at the Leviev store on Madison Avenue. Groups worldwide have conducted a successful campaign for the boycott of Leviev's companies due to...

Ministry of Interior's Decision, Palestinian Police Obstruct of Travel of Patients Receive Medical Treatment in Hospitals outside Gaza; PCHR Calls on Gaza Government to Immediately Cancel Such Measures 
Uruknet December 7, 2009 - The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns external travel restrictions imposed on the population of the Gaza Strip. These restrictions also apply to patients seeking medical treatment unavailable in the Gaza Strip. PCHR calls upon the Government in Gaza to remove all travel restrictions imposed, in particular the obligation to obtain permission from the Ministry...

Iran's 16 Azar: A Review of the Day's Events Throughout the Country
Uruknet December 7, 2009 - 7 December 2009, 16 Azar in the Persian calendar, brought fresh waves of protests across Iran. While slightly smaller than those of 4 November, the protests showed yet again that the government in Iran is facing a serious challenge from the opposition. The 7th of December, National Student Day, is traditionally a day when students gather...

NETANYAHU SAYS THESE BASTARDS ARE MY BROTHERS .....
Uruknet December 7, 2009 - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu embraced West Bank settlers as "brothers" while explaining his decision to slow the expansion of settlements. What decision to slow the expansion of settlements?Do you see it happening? I don't and I live here! An Op-Ed piece recenty reported that By year end 1,000 Palestinians will find themselves homeless. The Jerusalem...

Desertpeace NETANYAHU SAYS THESE BASTARDS ARE MY BROTHERS .....
Uruknet December 7, 2009 - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu embraced West Bank settlers as "brothers" while explaining his decision to slow the expansion of settlements. What decision to slow the expansion of settlements?Do you see it happening? I don't and I live here! An Op-Ed piece recenty reported that By year end 1,000 Palestinians will find themselves homeless. The Jerusalem...

Bilin teenager: "They arrested my father to discourage the struggle"
Uruknet December 7, 2009 - The end of November marked the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, a time to see family and friends and for people to eat together. But for many Palestinians, the Eid was not so festive. Rajaa Abu Rahmah, aged 19, only has one wish this holiday -- to see her father freed from prison. On 10 July...

Judeo-Nazi settlers rampage through West Bank, IOF looks on
Uruknet December 7, 2009 - Nazi-minded Jewish settlers continued to rampage throughout the West Bank, terrorizing unprotected Palestinian citizens and vandalizing their property. Settler leaders, mostly rabbis erudite in Jewish law or Halacha, had ruled that it was permissible to attack Palestinians and their property in order to protest token government decisions to freeze Jewish settlement expansion in some parts of...

Rabbi allows stealing Palestinian crops and water
Uruknet December 7, 2009 -- The PA agriculture ministry has strongly condemned Sunday a new religious edict issued by a rabbi allowing Israeli settlers to steal Palestinian olive crops and to poison Palestinian water. Mohsen Abu Eita, the ministry's under-secretary for natural resources, asserted in a statement that Israeli rabbis permit the settlers to steal the Palestinian olive trees and crops...

A Day In Palestine
Uruknet December 6, 2009 - December 3, 2009 passes, just another day among 365 days of the year. But no day here is boring. I videotape at length (mostly for another project) but put a tiny bit on youtube to give you a visual to accompany this description since I am still experimenting with video productions but hopefully will get better...

Palestine Telegraph

H1N1 Kills 2 in Gaza
Gaza, December 7, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) - Hassan Khalaf, deputy of the Ministry of Health in Gaza, confirmed that two swine flu cases died today morning. He pointed out they were suffering from underlying health problems such as pneumonia, kidney failure and they have not immunity. Dr. Asad Al-Ramlawi, the spokesman for the campaign against swine flu, declared that the...

Israeli Shot Trying to Cross into Gaza.
 Gaza Strip, December 7, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) -An Israeli man was shot dead while trying to climb the border fence and cross into Gaza, IOF said. The incident occurred at Erez crossing point in the early morning hours. The man, 30, drove to the area, stopped his car, and tried to rise over the fence border. According to IOF, the...

Palestinian children face daily settler attacks getting to school
West Bank, December 7, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - Being able to travel to school in relative safety is something children all over the world take for granted. But, for Palestinian children living in the shadow of the ubiquitous and illegal Israeli settlements dotting the West Bank, simply walking to school can be a terrifying experience."It is really scary walking to...

Lebanon's Palestinians: refugees for life
Lebanon, December 7, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) - Human rights groups warn Palestinian refugee camps could one day explode unless their issue is addressed.Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas's visit to Beirut on Monday casts the spotlight on the plight of nearly 300,000 Palestinians in Lebanon who fear they are doomed to be refugees for life. His brief trip comes amid renewed efforts...

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...

The National

New controls on militant charities stifle Eid fundraiser
The National 7 Dec 2009 - Under pressure after Mumbai attacks, Pakistani officials work to shut down the donation sites of organisations with known links to terror.

West Bank settlers block freeze-order officials
The National 7 Dec 2009 - Inspectors held up for hours trying to serve papers ordering a halt to construction amid growing threat of violence against Palestinians.

Abbas in Lebanon for refugee talks
The National 7 Dec 2009 - Palestinian president denounces any attempts to grant the hundreds of thousands of people living in squalid camps permanent residency.

Aljazeera

Iran police 'clash with protesters'
AlJazeera 7 Dec 2009 - Riot police fire tear gas at opposition supporters in central Tehran, witnesses say.

Alternative Information Center

Alternatives, Becoming a Victim of Journalist’s Propaganda Or…?
Alternative Information Center 7 Dec 2009 - According to the National Post (“Funding for leftist group to be cut,” John Ivison, Saturday, 5 December 2009), Alternatives would be the next solidarity organization whose program would be rejected by the Minister of International Cooperation,...

Palestinian Police Obstruct Travel of Patients Receive Medical Treatment in Hospitals outside Gaza: Call on Gaza Government to Immediately Cancel Such Measures 
Alternative Information Center 7 Dec 2009 - The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns external travel restrictions imposed on the population of the Gaza Strip. These restrictions also apply to patients seeking medical treatment unavailable in the Gaza Strip.  PCHR calls upon...

Palestine News Network

No glitz or glam at Gaza's first ever film festival
PNN 7 Dec 2009 - The Gaza Strip launched its first ever film festival on Saturday and although it was a far cry from the usual glitz and glamour associated with film festivals, it offered something far more real and substantial – namely exposing Israeli crimes. With the participation of several countries from the Arab world and internationally the documentary film festival kicked off despite several hiccups,...

Israeli troops kill Israeli trying to enter Gaza Strip
PNN 7 Dec 2009 - An Israeli man was shot dead on Monday morning while trying to climb a border fence and enter the Gaza Strip, an Israeli military spokesman said. The man drove to area and parked his car, then tried to climb the border fence. Border guards called for the man to stop and fired warning shots but he ignored them and continued to climb...

Palestine Needs Your Help. A letter from Justice for Palestine Association
PNN 7 Dec 2009 - Dear Supporter We need your help today to support people in Palestine, especially the people of Gaza in their fight for survival. Earlier this year, Justice for Palestine Association delivered its first convoy of medicine to Gaza. As an exiled Palestinian, this was my first visit in many years to Gaza. I was truly shocked to see how much everyday life for...

West Bank settlers reject Netanyahu plea for support 
PNN 7 Dec 2009 - Jewish settlers have rejected an attempt by the Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu to defuse tensions over a pause in building in the West Bank. They vowed to continue a civil disobedience campaign stopping inspectors from entering settlements, now in its third day. Speaking on Israeli radio, settlers described the meeting with PM as difficult and emotionally charged . The settlers have scheduled a...

Jerusalem Post

'Syria has removed preconditions'
Jeruslalem Post 7 Dec 2009 - According to PM, Sarkozy said Damascus willing to back down over Golan withdrawal guarantee.

European FMs to decide on ME text
Jeruslalem Post 7 Dec 2009 - Israel pessimistic over striking clause which calls for east J'lem as capital of future Palestinian state.

Barkat to EU foreign affairs chief: Jerusalem must stay united
Jeruslalem Post 7 Dec 2009 - In response to Swedish proposal to divide J'lem, city's mayor cautions against premature attempts to "dictate the outcome of negotiations."

'Iran can now produce nuclear bomb'
Jeruslalem Post 7 Dec 2009 - MI research division chief says Teheran has missiles that can carry nukes and reach Israel.

Barkat urges homeowners living abroad to rent their J'lem properties
Jeruslalem Post 7 Dec 2009 - Jerusalem mayor says long-term absence of residents causes "huge cumulative damage to the city's economy and housing market."

Democrats in Israel debate Obama policy
Jeruslalem Post 7 Dec 2009 - 

Student exchange aims to strengthen US teens' ties with Israel
Jeruslalem Post 7 Dec 2009 - 

Israeli Arab arrested for posing as IDF soldier and raping 14-year-old girl
Jeruslalem Post 7 Dec 2009 - 

Gaza swine flu victims transferred to Israeli hospitals
Jeruslalem Post 7 Dec 2009 - IDF's Gaza liaison body coordinates transfer of 10,000 vaccine doses to Strip.

IRIN

In Brief: First swine flu cases confirmed in Gaza
IRIN TEL AVIV Monday, December 07, 2009 (IRIN) - Nearly seven months after the first H1N1 influenza cases were registered in Israel and the West Bank, five cases of the disease were confirmed in the Gaza Strip on 6 December, according to the Palestinian health authority.

ISRAEL: HIV-positive migrants lack access to care - NGO 
IRIN TEL AVIV Monday, December 07, 2009 (IRIN) - A prominent local NGO working on HIV-related issues says HIV-positive asylum-seekers and migrants face difficulties in accessing free AIDS services in Israel, including treatment.

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

(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. - PDF

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

Climate conference / Israel anxious not to harm industrial growth
Ha'aretz 7 Dec 2009 - With the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen underway, Israel is seeking partners in coordinating a united position on climate-change policy. At the same time, the Environmental Protection Ministry is hoping that reduced emission targets set at the conference will not compromise Israel's industrial competitiveness. ... 

On peace with Syria, Israeli politicians only talk the talk 
Ha'aretz 7 Dec 2009 - The ritual "track dance" is in full swing: the Syrian track first - no, the Palestinian track first. A future scholar researching the history of the main contacts between Israel, Syria and the Palestinians starting in the 1990s will discover a marvelous cyclical pattern: Whenever the Palestinian track reached a dead end or a breakthrough beckoned, the Israelis began talking about the Syrian track, and vice versa. ... 

Netanyahu: Syria willing to renew talks without conditions 
Ha'aretz 7 Dec 2009 - Syria is now willing to negotiate without preconditions, having retracted its earlier insistence that talks could not begin unless Israel first agreed to withdraw from the entire Golan Heights, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Monday. ... 

Palestinian 'terrorist' takes aim at Sacha Baron Cohen
Ha'aretz 7 Dec 2009 - A Palestinian grocer from Bethlehem filed suit against comedian Sacha Baron Cohen on Monday, for the sum total of $115 million in libel damages over his film Bruno , which is equal to half of the movie's gross box office earnings. ... 

U.S. to Turkey: Restore Israel ties to play key Mideast role
Ha'aretz 7 Dec 2009 - Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with United States President Barack Obama in the White House on Monday to discuss the recent tensions between the two countries based on disagreements regarding their different outlooks on Middle East policies. ...

The Guardian

Building peace without Obama's interference | Tom Gross
The Guardian 7 Dec 2009 - A promising, independent Palestine is quietly being developed, with Israeli assistance It is difficult to turn on a TV or radio or pick up a newspaper these days, without finding some pundit or other deploring the...

Light in the Israel-Palestine darkness | Seth Freedman
The Guardian 7 Dec 2009 - Initiatives such as the Jerusalem Interest-Free Microfinance Fund bridge a cultural gulf as well as helping economically Sitting in a hotel lobby in East Jerusalem, Jafar Sabbah is strident in his assertion that both Israeli and...

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...

Ha'aretz National page

Settler rabbis to tell Barak: Don't oust extremist yeshivas 
Ha'aretz 7 Dec 2009 - The heads of the nation's hesder yeshivas, which combine Torah study with army service, plan to urge Defense Minister Ehud Barak today not to remove the Har Bracha yeshiva from the hesder program. ... 

Haredi women outraged over men-only business convention
Ha'aretz 7 Dec 2009 - Poalei Agudat Israel Bank banned women from a convention for customers it's holding in Ramat Gan Tuesday. The bank, part of the First International Bank of Israel group, sent out invitations explicitly stating that only men could attend, Army Radio reported Monday. ... 

Akiva Eldar / Israel may have frozen settlements, but does it want peace?
Ha'aretz 7 Dec 2009 - On the eve of signing the settlement construction freeze order, Avigdor Lieberman told reporters that the settlements had never been an obstacle to peace. The proof, the foreign minister explained, is that the Jewish settlement enterprise in Judea and Samaria did not stop Egypt and Jordan from signing peace agreements with Israel. ... 

Youth protesting settlement freeze block Jerusalem entrance
Ha'aretz 7 Dec 2009 - Riots against the settlement freeze escalated on Monday as dozens of Jewish youth attempted to block the entrance road to Jerusalem. Police were deployed to the area, and detained five teens for further questioning. ...

Israel Navy soldier dies in training accident at Ashdod Port
Ha'aretz 7 Dec 2009 - Israel Navy Sergeant Gal Azoulay, a cadet in the training course of the elite unit Shayetet 13, was killed overnight in a training accident at the Ashdod Port. ...

Relief Web

Safety and security of humanitarian personnel and protection of UN personnel - Report of the SG (A/64/336)
Relief Web 7 Dec 2009 - Source: UN General Assembly

OPT/Lebanon: Monarch highlights need to build UNRWA's capacity
Relief Web 7 Dec 2009 - Source: UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East

European Parliament Delegation to visit Palestine to assess the heart of Palestinian reality 6 - 10 December 2009
Relief Web 7 Dec 2009 - Source: European Union

Ministry of Interior's decision, Palestinian police obstruct of travel of patients receive medical treatment in hospitals outside Gaza; PCHR calls on Gaza government to immediately cancel such measures
Relief Web 7 Dec 2009 - Source: Palestinian Centre for Human Rights

The economic situation in the Palestinian Authority and Israeli relief measures: Periodic update
Relief Web 7 Dec 2009 - Source: Government of Israel

On the sidelines of the 5th PRCS Partnership meeting in Al Bireh: A delegation from National Red Cross Societies visits PRCS/Lebanon
Relief Web 7 Dec 2009 - Source: Palestine Red Crescent Society

YNet News

Settlers say will fight freeze with all their might 
YNet News 7 Dec 2009 - Yesha Council chairman expresses reservations over remark made by deputy settlement head that temporary construction halt needed to combat Iranian threat. 'There is no justification for this,' he says. Samaria Settlers' Committee: We don’t buy PM's excuses for racist decision 

Islamic Movement leaders wrestle for credit
YNet News 7 Dec 2009 - Two leaders say they are responsible for getting bus of hajj pilgrims stalled at border into Israel 

8 rightists arrested in Jerusalem 
YNet News 7 Dec 2009 - Dozens of right-wing activists attempt to block entrance to capital in protest of settlement construction freeze. Meanwhile, building inspectors manage to enter settlement of Maale Levona despite stone throwing, hand out freeze orders 

Obama: Turkey an important player in Iran issue
YNet News 7 Dec 2009 - US President meets with Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan, who says his country stands ready to do whatever it can to achieve diplomatic solution on Iranian nuclear issue 

Man shot on Gaza border was mental patient
YNet News 7 Dec 2009 - Director of Erez crossing says death could have been prevented if man 'had just said one word in Hebrew' 

Daily Star

Police clash with protestors at Tehran University
Daily Star 7 Dec 2009 Security forces and militiamen clashed with thousands of protesters shouting "death to the dictator" outside Tehran University on Monday, beating them with batons and firing tear gas on a day of nationwide student demonstrations, witnesses said. The rallies were the largest in months, bringing tens of thousands out on more than a dozen campuses around the country.

Egypt envoy to return to Algiers only after compensation
Daily Star 7 Dec 2009 Egypt will return its ambassador to Algeria who was recalled last month over a bitter soccer row only if it receives compensation for vandalized Egyptian property, a newspaper reported Monday. Algeria and Egypt engaged in a diplomatic row after Algerian fans attacked the buses of Egyptians fans in a World Cup qualifier hosted by Sudan in November, which Algeria won.

Palestinian Information Center

Judeo-Nazi settlers rampage through West Bank, IOF looks on
PIC 7 Dec 2009 - Nazi-minded Jewish settlers continued to rampage throughout the West Bank, terrorizing unprotected Palestinian citizens and vandalizing their property.

Health ministry announces death of two swine flu patients
PIC 7 Dec 2009 - The Palestinian health ministry on Monday announced the death of two women of swine flu while noting that three other persons who contracted the disease were improving.

Ruqub: Hamas will not give up a grain of the Palestinian soil
PIC 7 Dec 2009 - Hamas spokesman in Khan Younis Hammad Al-Ruqub stated that his Movement would not concede a grain of the Palestinian soil and would spare no effort to preserve the national constants.

Abul Ghait: Israel maneuvering, no real guarantees for imminent swap deal
PIC 7 Dec 2009 - Egyptian foreign minister Ahmed Abul Ghait has said that Israel was impeding the indirect negotiations between it and Hamas over the prisoners' exchange deal.

UNRWA: Our financial position is bad and services shrinking
PIC 7 Dec 2009 - The UNRWA said that it got fed up with standing at the gates of the international community to ask for assistance, highlighting that its financial position is very bad and its services have declined.

Gaddafi promises Haneyya to study extending assistance
PIC 7 Dec 2009 - Ismail Haneyya, the Palestinian premier, has reached Libyan leader Muammer Al-Gaddafi over the phone on Sunday night and briefed him on the conditions in Gaza Strip under the tight Israeli siege.

Abbas’s militias kidnap four Palestinians in Al-Khalil and Bethlehem
PIC 7 Dec 2009 - Mahmoud Abbas’s militias kidnapped during the last two weeks three Palestinian teachers in Al-Khalil and one ex-detainee in Bethlehem released recently from Israeli jails.

Rabbi allows stealing Palestinian crops and water
PIC 7 Dec 2009 - The PA agriculture ministry has strongly condemned Sunday a new religious edict issued by a rabbi allowing Israeli settlers to steal Palestinian olive crops and to poison Palestinian water.

Families of long-serving detainees urge Shalit captors to uphold their demands
PIC 7 Dec 2009 - Palestinian families of prisoners called on the captors of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit to stick to their demands for the release of long-serving Palestinians from jails.

Report: Israel deals with Gaza people as an enemy worthy of mass punishment
PIC 7 Dec 2009 - The association for human rights reported Sunday that Israel continues to view the entire population of Gaza, including children, as an enemy worthy of mass punishment.

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

Alternatives, Becoming a Victim of Journalist’s Propaganda Or…?
Alternative Information Center - 7 Dec 2009 - According to the National Post (“Funding for leftist group to be cut,” John Ivison, Saturday, 5 December 2009), Alternatives would be the next solidarity organization whose program would be rejected by the Minister of International Cooperation, Beverly Oda. Alternatives has not received an official confirmation about...

Palestinian Police Obstruct Travel of Patients Receive Medical Treatment in Hospitals outside Gaza: Call on Gaza Government to Immediately Cancel Such Measures 
Alternative Information Center - 7 Dec 2009 - The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns external travel restrictions imposed on the population of the Gaza Strip. These restrictions also apply to patients seeking medical treatment unavailable in the Gaza Strip.  PCHR calls upon the Government in Gaza to remove all travel restrictions imposed,...

Israeli business leaders delegation gets a New York welcome
Mondoweiss - 7 Dec 2009 - A member of the Israel Business Leaders Delegation confronts protesters (Photo: Bud Korotzer) From a Friday, December 4 Adalah-NY press release : New York City human rights advocates caught the Israel Business Leaders Delegation to the United States by surprise this morning with a noisy protest outside...

The Gaza Gateway
Mondoweiss - 7 Dec 2009 - Goods – Needs Vs. Supply – Nov 8 – Dec 5 (Graphic: gazagateway.org) Gisha – Legal Center for Freedom of Movement has created a new website – The Gaza Gateway . It looks like a great resource on Israel’s ongoing siege of Gaza. From the site: Gaza...

Help Mondoweiss meet our goal – only $1,000 to go!
Mondoweiss - 7 Dec 2009 - Three weeks ago we asked you to join us in laying a foundation for the future of Mondoweiss and help us raise $10,000. Thank you, you’ve come through! To this point we have raised just over $9,000 – please help us meet our goal . You can...

Abunimah is a prophet without honor in his parents’ land
Mondoweiss - 7 Dec 2009 - Pulse has posted an interview with Ali Abunimah that was conducted by a reporter for Haaretz, Rehaviya Berman, several weeks ago. Haaretz did not run the interview, and Berman then published it on his blog (once again demonstrating the importance of the internet in degrading consensus-building...

Rupert’s neocon rag blasts Obama for ‘meddling’ with Israeli expansion
Mondoweiss - 7 Dec 2009 - Most of the time we are focusing on the NYT or the Washington Post whose bias towards Israel is on the subtle side but this editorial, "Bam’s Mideast mess," in super Zionist Rupert Murdoch’s NY Post that is targeted for the less literate reader could have...


Articles

Yesterday’s Sheikh Jarrah Protest March in Jerusalem 
David Shulman, ibn Ezra 12/4/2009
      Ta’ayush member and prolific writer David Shulman has provided a report from yesterday’s Sheikh Jarrah protest march in Jerusalem. His words, as always, are moving and profound:
     December 4, 2009 Sheikh Jarrah, East Jerusalem
     Exhibit A. Kindly examine the attached photograph. Let’s make an inventory. Three stuffed animals, two face up, one face down. The yellow-and-red one, half animal half cushion, has an inscription: “I love you.” One school bag. Two unidentified red toys. Five pieces of yellow lego. One armless, legless doll. One yellow brush with blue bristles. An Arabic newspaper. A broken pole wrapped in red cloth. A broken flower, perhaps freshly cut, probably thrown out with the vase it sat in.
     I don’t want to overload your inbox, so I won’t add more pictures of this patch of ground in front of the al-Kurd family’s house in Sheikh Jarrah. I can tell you what’s there. A kitchen stove, its glass top shattered, green splinters everywhere. Broken microwave lying on its face. Pieces of bicycle and a children’s tractor. Shoes, mostly children’s. Many more pieces of lego. A few pots and pans. Some sheets. Boxes of odds and ends—cellphone, cords, electric wire. Plastic shovel for playing in the sand.
     Exhibit B. See attached photograph. Immediately adjacent to the above: Border Policemen outside the door of the house, now inhabited by Israeli settlers. The police are there, needless to say, to protect them. Note the Israeli flags strung over the windows, just to rub it in. The people taking photographs and milling around are Israeli peace activists who came for today’s protest march: ordinary people, shocked by what is happening in Sheikh Jarrah.... more.. e-mail

His own road to recovery 
Gloria Deutsch, Jerusalem Post 12/3/2009
      Name - Yuval Roth
     Age - 55
     Residence - Pardess Hanna
     Status - Married plus four
     Profession - Wood carver and juggler
     Organization - Derech Hachlama
     Hours of volunteering - Hard to say, many.
     Most meaningful moment - ’One of our officers mistakenly got to Jenin and was almost lynched. He was saved by a Palestinian policeman who later phoned me and told me that the year before I had taken his brother to hospital. It moved me very much. I can help Palestinian kids and save an Israeli life.’
     In 1993 Yuval Roth became a bereaved brother. His younger brother Udi was killed by Hamas terrorists while returning home from reserve duty. They were disguised as religious Jews and the unsuspecting young man got into the car and was murdered.
     "No, I didn’t want revenge, but I was angry, angry and frustrated," says Roth. His response was to join the Forum of Bereaved Families of Israelis and Palestinians, which he became very active in. Four years ago he founded the organization Derech Hachlama (The Way to Recovery), whose volunteers pick up sick West Bank Arabs at checkpoints and deliver them to hospitals in Israel. more.. e-mail


Refocus the debate on the dispossession
Electronic Intifada: 7 Dec 2009 - From my perspective as the head of the agency mandated to assist and protect Palestine refugees, it is particularly vexing that the prevailing approach fails -- or refuses -- to accord the refugee issue the attention it deserves. Over 60 years, dispossession has faded from the focus of peace efforts. The heart of where peace should begin is absent from the international agenda, pushed aside as one of the "final status" issues, one which belongs to a later stage of the negotiation process. Karen AbuZayd comments. 

Israel denies Bedouin right to elections
Electronic Intifada: 7 Dec 2009 - Some 35,000 Bedouin residents of Israel's southern Negev have been denied the right to hold their first local council election after the Israeli parliament passed a law at the last minute to cancel this month's ballot. The new law gives the government the power to postpone elections to the regional council, known as Abu Basma, until the interior ministry deems the local Bedouin ready to run their own affairs. Jonathan Cook reports. 

Bilin teenager: "They arrested my father to discourage the struggle"
Electronic Intifada: 7 Dec 2009 - The end of November marked the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, a time to see family and friends and for people to eat together. But for many Palestinians, the Eid was not so festive. Rajaa Abu Rahmah, aged 19, only has one wish this holiday -- to see her father Adeeb Abu Rahmah freed from prison. Jody McIntyre spoke to Rajaa to see how the family were coping during Eid al-Adha. 

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...

Israel's Bedouin Denied Right to Elections
Palestine Chronicle: 7 Dec 2009 - By Jonathan Cook - Nazareth Some 35,000 Bedouin residents of Israel’s southern Negev have been denied the right to hold their first local council election after the Israeli parliament passed a law at the last minute to cancel this month’s ballot. The new law gives the government the power to postpone elections to the regional council, known as Abu Basma, until the interior ministry deems the local Bedouin ready to run their own affairs. Legal and human rights groups say the move is an unprecedented violation of Israel’s constitutional principles. Taleb a-Sana, a Bedouin member of Israel’s parliament, has written to its speaker warning that “it is not possible to have democracy without elections”. The vote in Abu Basma was scheduled to take place six years after the council was established under the transitional authority of a panel of mostly Jewish officials appointed by the interior ministry. Critics say the government changed the law specifically to avoid bolstering the position of the Bedouin residents, who are engaged in a legal battle with the state for the return of ancestral lands confiscated decades ago. “The Bedouin have a claim on a large area of the Negev and the government wants someone ruling the council who is on its side until the case is settled to the state’s advantage,” said Thabet Abu Ras, who was head of an empowerment scheme for Abu Basma’s residents until 2007. The residents of Abu Basma are among 90,000 Bedouin in the Negev desert who have been...

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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