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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
10 December, 2009

News

International Middle East Media Center

UK Urges Businesses to Label Settlement Products
IMEMC 10 Dec 2009 - Friday December 11, 2009 - 03:25, The British government issued a statement urging businesses around the country to place clear labels on products made in Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank so that consumers engaged in boycotts will easily identify settlement products.

P.A Security Forces Arrest Son Of Detained Legislator
IMEMC 10 Dec 2009 - Thursday December 10, 2009 - 23:37, Palestinian Security Forces arrested Thursday No’man Salhab, 20, the son of legislator Dr. Azzam Slahab, who is currently imprisoned by Israel.

Islamic Party Slams P.A For Sponsoring Miss Palestine In The West Bank
IMEMC 10 Dec 2009 - Thursday December 10, 2009 - 13:16, The “Liberation Party” voiced sharp criticism of the Palestinian Authority (P.A) for sponsoring “Palestine Beauty Pageant” Contest in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Israeli Police Kidnaps 214 Palestinian Workers in Israel
IMEMC 10 Dec 2009 - Thursday December 10, 2009 - 11:38, The Israeli Police and the so-called Border Guards carried out a comprehensive campaign targeting Palestinian workers who ‘illegally’ entered Israel seeking work to provide food for their families, and kidnapped 214 of them.

Hamas: “We Are Waiting Israel’s Response On Shalit Deal”
IMEMC 10 Dec 2009 - Thursday December 10, 2009 - 10:36, Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, stated Thursday that it waiting Israel’s response on Shalit deal and that Israel can decide whether the prisoner of war returns home by the beginning on the New Year.

Dweik Calls On EU Parliamentarians To Launch International Campaign Against The Siege
IMEMC 10 Dec 2009 - Thursday December 10, 2009 - 02:15, Head of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Dr. Aziz Dweik, called on European Parliamentarians to hold an international campaign against the illegal Israeli siege on the Gaza Strip and to support the Palestinian people and their elected leadership.

Ma'an News

Israel seizes Bil’in anti-wall protest leader
12/10/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israeli forces seized Abdullah Abu Rahmah, a member of the Popular Committee against the Wall ofthe village of Bil'in early on Thursday, according to Palestinian Authority police. PA police said Abu Rahmah was seized from a house in the At-Tira neighborhood in Ramallah. Iyad Burnat, the head of Bil'in's Popular Committee confirmed that the arrest took place at around 2:30am. He said Abu Rahmah was likely taken to the military prison in the settlement of Ofer, on the outskirts of Ramallah. Abu Rahmah is a high school teacher in the Latin Patriarchate school in Birzeit near Ramallah. Last Thursday Palestinians in the village said the Israeli military seized Rani Najar, 23, from his house at 2am. The villagers say the nighttime raids are an attempt to quash Bil'in's weekly nonviolent demonstrations against the wall Israel is building across the town. 

Palestinian MK indicted on assault charges
12/10/2009 - Jerusalem - Ma'an - An Israeli court in Tel Aviv on Wednesday charged Palestinian-Israeli Knesset Member Mohammed Barakeh with insulting a government employee and assaulting a police officer. Israel Radio reported that the charges were related to a 2005 incident in the West Bank village of Bil'in, when Barakeh, the chairman of the Hadash party, is accused of striking an Israeli Prison Service officer during a protest in the village. The officer was reportedly taking a detained demonstrator to a police car at the time of the alleged assault. Israeli writer Uri Avnery described the incident in a May 2005 article, saying soldiers fired tear gas before beating demonstrators. "MK Barakeh had a heated exchange with an officer, and while they were arguing passionately, a soldier fired a gas grenade at point blank range between Barakeh's legs," he wrote. 

Israeli court upholds ban on family visits for Gaza prisoners
12/10/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The Israeli Supreme Court rejected on Wednesday evening a petition requesting that Palestinians from Gaza be allowed to visit relatives in Israeli prisons. Israel Radio reported the petition was brought by the Palestinian-Israeli human rights group Adalah. It added that the judges ruled that family visits do not fall under the "˜minimum humanitarian needs' Israel is committed to allow in and out of Gaza. Israel has rebuffed calls in the past from the International Committee of the Red Cross, which arranges family visits, to allow Palestinian families to visit the 900 Gazan prisoners. Rights groups say the ban amounts to collective punishment. The issue of family visits for Gazan prisoners also came up during a meeting between Palestinian Authority Minister of Prisoners' Affairs and a delegation from the Red Cross. 

Israeli forces disrupt UNRWA chief’s farewell
12/10/2009 - Jerusalem - Ma'an - Israeli police ordered outgoing UNRWA Commissioner-General Karen AbuZayd to leave an East Jerusalem home on Thursday during her last official visit as the head of the relief agency. Ma'an's reporter on the scene said AbuZayd left after police gave her five minutes to evacuate the premises of the house of the Al-Kurd family, as a Palestinian woman yelled "We want our homes and our lands. We have no alternative. " Amidst Israeli police and soldiers, AbuZayd visited Palestinians recently evicted from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of Jerusalem on International Human Rights Day. She spoke of Jerusalem as a "City of Dispossession," "On this day, and in this place, I wish to remind the international community of the unfinished business in Sheikh Jarrah and elsewhere in the West Bank," she said. 

Israeli officials: PA security crackdown a ruse
12/10/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The Palestinian Authority's crackdown on armed resistance against Israel's occupation is a ruse meant to hoodwink the international community into pushing forward a Palestinian state, Israeli officials reportedly said Wednesday. The Israeli daily Haaretz reported that intelligence and military officials complained to the country's security cabinet that the PA crackdown had prompted the international community to demand that Israel advance the Palestinians' demands for self-determination. Military Intelligence chief Amos Yadlin, Shin Bet director Yuval Diskin, and other top army officials told the ministers that the PA wants to push Israel into a settlement "from above" by drawing in the international community, according to the report. "The Palestinians want to continue to build their state from below and at the same time. . . " 

Israel allows one-time export of flowers from Gaza
12/10/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Israel will allow the Gaza Strip to export one truckload of flowers on Thursday in a rare easing of a blockade, a Palestinian official said. The last time Gaza's flower farmers were allowed to export their crops was in February, when Israel allowed the export of carnations at the request of the Dutch government. Gaza's airport and seaport were bombed by Israel, and the Strip does not have a commercial crossing with Egypt, so all exports must go through Israel. Israel has primarily not allowed exports since 2007 as a part of a comprehensive economic blockade. A Palestinian official on the committee that liaises with Israel on the entry of goods, Raed Fattouh announced that the Israeli authorities decided to open the Kerem Shalom crossing to let in 115 truckloads of humanitarian aid and goods for the commercial and agricultural sectors. 

PHOTOS - Gaza singing for peace and freedom
12/10/2009 - Palestinians wait backstage for their turn to perform during the Gaza Singing for Peace and Freedom festival in Gaza City on December 7, 2009, marking the UN's International Day in Solidarity with the Palestinian People. Hundreds of Gazans, civil society leaders and representatives of international organizations attended the festival. [end] 

Comment: On International Human Rights Day
12/10/2009 - The following is a statement issued on the occasion of International Human Rights Day by Palestinian human rights organizations including Al-Haq, Al-Mezan, DCI - Palestine Section, Al-Dameer, Arab Association for Human Rights, Badil, Addameer, ENSAN Center, Jerusalem Legal Aid Center, Palestine Solidarity Committee - South Africa, Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, Ramallah Center for Human Rights Studies, and the Women's Centre for Legal Aid and Counseling. - Israel Continues to Deny Palestinians' Fundamental Human Rights - On 10 December, the world observes the 61st International Human Rights Day, commemorating the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) by the United Nations General Assembly. This year, International Human Rights Day will focus on non-discrimination, a right enshrined in, inter alia, Article 1 of the UDHR:All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. 

Pro-settlement protesters denounce Netanyahu
12/10/2009 - Photos - Jerusalem - Tens of thousands of Israelis demonstrated support in West Jerusalem on Wednesday for further expansion of settlements on Palestinian land in the West Bank. The demonstration was in opposition to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's declared ten-month freeze on construction in settlements outside of what Israel considers Jerusalem. The settlement slowdown was dismissed by the Palestinian Authority as insufficient to renew peace talks. To the massed ranks in Paris Square it was nothing short of betrayal. A procession of high-profile representatives of Israel's far right delivered emotive speeches, accompanied by videos of settlers being arrested. "Get your hands off the land of Israel," roared Likud Knesset Member Danny Danon, referring to foreign pressure that many felt had led to the announcement. 

PA forces detonate explosive charge in Tubas
12/10/2009 - Salfit - Ma'an - Palestinian Authority security forces in the West Bank city of Nablus dismantled and destroyed an explosive that was left behind by the Israeli army in Tubas. No injuries were reported. In a statement, the PA's media office said "security forces rushed to the scene after receiving information on explosive charges in one of the neighborhoods, after which it was found out that is was left behind by the Israeli army. "[end] 

Quriea: PA was wrong about Obama
12/10/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The US has disappointed the PLO leadership by failing to pressure Israel to stop expanding settlements on land taken from Palestinians, top PLO official Ahmad Qureia said on Wednesday night. He told Palestine TV in an interview that the PA and PLO were mistaken in thinking that US President Barack Obama would change US policy significantly. "We had good intentions and we thought that there would be a change in US policy, but the US position on settlement shows that we misread the US position," Qureia said. "Pressure was exerted on us [by the US] to return to the negotiations and we found out that negotiations was [the US'] goal, not ending the occupation," he added. In addition, he alleged that Israel plans to unilaterally withdraw from much of the West Bank while annexing major settlements in a move similar to the 2005 pullout from Gaza. 

Dutch envoy: EU sees East Jerusalem as occupied land
12/10/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The thrust of the EU foreign ministers' statement passed on Tuesday was to confirm that East Jerusalem was occupied territory, Holland's envoy to the Palestinian Authority said on Thursday. Jack Twiss Quarles van Ufford, the head of the Netherlands' Representative Office in Ramallah, said the ministerial statement "reconfirms that East Jerusalem is considered occupied territory, like the rest of the West Bank. " "The parties can agree in negotiations on a different solution, but that's not where we are now," he told Ma'an in an interview. Van Ufford also downplayed reports that the final version of the foreign ministers' statement was more moderate than a draft leaked to the media last week. "Obviously when you negotiate with 27 member states," changes will be made, he said of the document. 

Hamas: PA detains 8 supporters
12/10/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Hamas said on Thursday that Fatah-allied Palestinian Authority (PA) forces detained eight members of the Islamic movement in the West Bank during the last two days. Hamas said in a statement that the PA arrested eight Hamas members from Nablus, Tulkarem and Qalqilya. [end] 

Official: Hamas-Fatah talks may resume soon
12/10/2009 - Cairo - Ma'an/Agencies - Talks between rival factions Hamas and Fatah could resume within a few days, the head of the Palestinian Reconciliation Committee, Iyad As-Serraj, told Egyptian journalists on Thursday. Hamas and Fatah have yet to agree on the resumption of direct talks, he said. A potential meeting between the two parties would address an Egyptian proposal to restore Palestinian unity, and Hamas' suggestions to revise the document. "The approval of both Hamas and Fatah will lead to the resumption of national dialogue within the coming two days after which a date to sign the agreement," As-Serraj said. He added that a date would be set for a summit of Palestinian factions in Cairo. Accompanied by a delegation of independent figures from Gaza. As-Serraj has been holding talks on how to resume unity talks with Egyptian officials in Cairo for four days. 

Gaza woman dies, raising H1N1 toll to six
12/10/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - A 56-year-old woman from Gaza died after being diagnosed with H1N1, raising the toll from the virus to six, the Health Ministry there said on Wednesday night. Hassan Khalaf, the deputy health minister in the de facto Gaza government, told Ma'an over the phone that the woman died in Ash-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. Khalaf appealed to international organizations to send more flu vaccine to the Gaza Strip. He said the amount of vaccine in the Strip at present is not enough even to inoculate all doctors in Gaza's hospitals. A doctor at Gaza's Ash-Shifa Hospital died of the virus on Tuesday. Omar An-Nasser, a spokesman for the Palestinian Authority (PA) Ministry of Health in Ramallah, said that a new batch of vaccine will enter the Gaza Strip in the next few days, as soon as authorities receive them. 

PSE rises: Al-Quds Index jumps 0.48% on Thursday
12/10/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Stocks increased on the Palestine Securities Exchange in Nablus on Thursday. The Al-Quds Index closed at 488. 74 increasing by 2. 35 points (0. 48%) during the day's trading. Trading volume was 281,147 shares for a total value of 591,158. 17 USD in 209 trades. The shares of 18 companies were traded. The shares prices of four companies rose, and nine declined. The top five gainers were NIC by 1. 52%, PALTEL by 1. 37%, PADICO by 0. 83%, and JCC by 0. 36%. The top five losers were AZIZA by 4. 65%, PRICO by 4. 00%, AMB by 3. 85%, UCI by 3. 28%, and VOIC by 2. 94%. [end] 

Ha'aretz Defense page

Labor rebels: Settlements don't need Israel's money
Ha'aretz 10 Dec 2009 - MK Cabel lashes out at ministers for not opposing PM's plan to include certain towns on future map. 

Thousands of Palestinians faking illness to flee Gaza siege
Ha'aretz 10 Dec 2009 - Thousands of Gazans use false medical reports to escape poverty and circumvent strict border closure. 

Experts say Iran has clear path to nuclear weapons
Ha'aretz 10 Dec 2009 - Harvard University simulation showed U.S. will not attack Iran and U.S.-Israel relations will deteriorate. 

Iran: We`ll hit Israel`s nuclear sites if attacked
Ha'aretz 10 Dec 2009 - Iran nuclear official criticizes new UN nuke observatory on border; calls it a form of 'espionage.' 

Alleged Jewish terrorist Yaakov Teitel goes on trial in Jerusalem
Ha'aretz 10 Dec 2009 - 'He caused us terrible damage, but did not succeed in blotting us out,' says alleged victim's mother. 

Barghouti: Shalit deal is on verge of completion
Ha'aretz 10 Dec 2009 - Abbas: No deal yet between Israel and Hamas on Shalit due to disagreements over Palestinian prisoners. 

Court names IDF chief's guard suspected of attempted rape
Ha'aretz 10 Dec 2009 - Guard is Capt. Erez Efrati, 30, of Moshav Batzra; he is suspected of attacking a woman in Tel Aviv 11 days ago. 

Turkish forces foil Hezbollah attack on Israeli target
Ha'aretz 10 Dec 2009 - Plot exposed a month ago; defense sources: Attack was meant to avenge assassination of Mughniyeh. 

Rabbi who encouraged soldier insubordination summoned for hearing
Ha'aretz 10 Dec 2009 - Crisis between IDF, hesder yeshivas centers around calls on students to refuse to evacuate settlements. 

Israel arrests wanted Islamic Jihad terrorist
Ha'aretz 10 Dec 2009 - Zalach Buchari is suspected of involvement in attacks, including 2002 suicide bombing in Tel Aviv. 

Israel Navy soldier dies in training accident at Ashdod Port
Ha'aretz 10 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 10 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 10 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 10 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 10 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 10 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 10 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 10 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 10 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 10 Dec 2009 - News of battle comes after revelation of shady deal in which army arranged NIS 3m pension for MK Shai. 

Uruknet

Abuse and show trials - Amnesty reports on Iran
Uruknet December 9, 2009 - Human rights abuses in Iran are now as bad as at any time in the past 20 years, Amnesty International reports tomorrow in a survey marking six months since June's disputed presidential election. Amnesty documents "patterns of abuse" by the Basij militia and revolutionary guards involving beatings, rape, death threats, forced confessions, intimidation and official cover-ups....

THE FREE BETHLEHEM CAMPAIGN
Uruknet December 10, 2009 - Bethlehem is one of the most historically significant towns in Palestine. It is known as the birthplace of King David and of Jesus. And, for generations, it was a lively and bustling town. But, today, Bethlehem resembles an open-air prison, occupied by Israel's military and encircled by Israel's wall. These circumstances have caused Bethlehem's population, particularly...

* News * World news * Iran Abuse and show trials - Amnesty reports on Iran 
Uruknet December 10, 2009 - Human rights abuses in Iran are now as bad as at any time in the past 20 years, Amnesty International reports tomorrow in a survey marking six months since June's disputed presidential election. Amnesty documents "patterns of abuse" by the Basij militia and revolutionary guards involving beatings, rape, death threats, forced confessions, intimidation and official cover-ups....

Detainee 063: serialized interrogation and torture log of Mohamed al-Kahtani
Uruknet December 9, 2009 - detainee063.com: "This is the interrogation log of Mohammed al-Qahtani. It is being published in real time: each entry will appear exactly seven years after it was first recorded. The interrogation took place at Guantanamo Bay." That is him in the photo above. He is still imprisoned in Guantanamo. The serialized logs are not for the faint...

Gaza Power Strip The Palestinian power plant has endured bombings, embargoes and blockades: Can it ever fully power Gaza's grid?
Uruknet December 9, 2009 - ...The most recent war, which began on 27 December 2008, brought yet another catastrophe to Gaza. Israel launched Operation Cast Lead, a three-week military offensive retaliating against Hamas for a series of rocket attacks that fell on civilian areas in southern Israel. The military operations, which combined strikes from the air and sea with a ground...

Khiaban No. 57: Looking back at Student Day 2009
Uruknet December 9, 2009 - ... 16th of Azar has passed. With the widespread and courageous presence of the people in the streets. People who, despite the [undeclared] military law and the military occupation of the streets, took to the streets and fought for their presence in public spaces and shouted out their demands. 16th of Azar has passed. With the announcement...

Who will save Gaza's children? Never mind Copenhagen, an environmental catastrophe is going on right now - contaminated water is poisoning babies in Gaza
Uruknet December 9, 2009 - Among all the complex and long-term solutions being sought in Copenhagen for averting environmental catastrophe across the world, there is one place where the catastrophe has already happened, but could be immediately ameliorated with one simple political act. In Gaza there is now no uncontaminated water; of the 40,000 or so newborn babies, at least half...

IOF troops bulldoze lands in Gaza
Uruknet December 9, 2009 -- Israeli occupation forces (IOF) advanced east of Khan Younis, south of the Gaza Strip, on Wednesday and bulldozed Palestinian cultivated lands, locals reported. Local sources told PIC reporter that four IOF tanks escorted two bulldozers 200 meters into Palestinian lands. Meanwhile, the Hamas Movement said in a monthly report monitoring IOF aggression that the IOF troops...

Video: Israelis protest settlement freeze
Uruknet December 9, 2009 - As talks continue over the release of Galid Shalit, the Israeli soldier held captive by Hamas, Israeli settlers have been demanding access to land that does not legally belong to them. Many Israelis are angry at a proposed partial-freeze on building new settlements in some parts of the occuptied West Bank, prompting thousands of protesters to...

The case of Berlanty Azzam : Israel's High Court Decides: Berlanty Azzam Not Allowed to Finish Her BA at Bethlehem University 
Uruknet December 9, 2009: · Despite the fact that the State did not produce the requested documents, Israel's High Court of Justice accepted the State's refusal to allow Berlanty to complete her degree. · Israel admits that it has no security concerns about Berlanty and that she was removed only because the address on her identity card is in Gaza. ·...

The Great Wall of Israel
Uruknet December 9, 2009 - Much is heard of violence in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but the story of the determined, long-term nonviolent resistance of many Palestinian villagers to the loss of their lands, striking as it may be, is seldom told. Here's my report from just one village on the West Bank. At no time since its 1967 West Bank occupation...

Targeting Civilians In Gaza
Uruknet December 9, 2009 - The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) is an "independent legal body dedicated to the protection of human rights, the promotion of the rule of law, and the upholding of democratic principles in the Occupied Territories." It issues frequent press releases, statistics, fact sheets, documents, and reports like its October 22, 2009 English version of "Targeted...

Palestine Telegraph

Siege Martyrs Reach 365
Gaza, December 10, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) - The Ministry of Health in Gaza declared that the child Mohammad Ashraf Bolbol, 9, who lived in Gaza died today. The child was suffering from pain in abdomen and pelvis and his health deteriorated after he had prohibited from traveling abroad for treatment. The minsitry pointed out that the doctors tried to save...

More Dead as Swine Flu Hits Gaza
Gaza, December 10, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) - The Ministry of Health in Gaza declared that a woman died of swine flu, pointing out that the total number of deaths has reached 6. Hassan Khalaf, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health in Gaza, said that a Palestinian woman, 56, died last night as she had been infected with swine flu. He...

IOF Arrest Coordinator of the Popular Committee against the Wall & Settlements
West Bank, December 10, 2009, (Pal Telegraph)-- IOF arrested Abdullah Abu Rahma, 39, the coordinator of the Popular Committee against the Wall and Settlements in Bil'in, at down today after they raided his house in al-Tira town of Ramallah. Eyewitness said that a number of Israeli troops stormed al-tira town early today, surrounded the house of Abu Rahma, raided it...

Egypt Building Wall to Thwart Gaza Tunnels
Gaza Strip, December 10, 2009 (Pal Telegraph)-- Egypt is building a huge wall along its border with Gaza to break off the tunnels being used by Palestinians to get basic necessities into the blockaded Gaza Strip. The wall will be 9 to 10 kilometers long (about 7 miles) and will go 20 to 30 meters deep into the ground, Haaretz...

Seven Palestinians Ordered Out Of Jerusalem For 45 Days
Jerusalem, December 10, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - The Israeli Authorities decided to expel seven Palestinians, from Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, in East Jerusalem, out of the city for 45 days. The Israeli Police arrested the seven Palestinians following clashes between Palestinians and fundamentalist Jewish settlers who attempted to occupy a Palestinian home in Sheikh Jarrah. The seven were identified as Khamis...

The National

Egypt to build tunnel barrier at Gaza border
The National 10 Dec 2009 - The Egyptian government begins construction on a subterranean steel wall along the country’s border with the Gaza Strip, according to reports.

Israeli minister says settlers' resistance 'natural'
The National 10 Dec 2009 - Remarks come as West Bank settlers step up protest against the order for a temporary construction moratorium.

Iran looms large at Manama talks
The National 10 Dec 2009 - Ahead of a high-powered security conference, participants call on Tehran to clarify its intentions and act with greater transparency in its nuclear ambitions.

Aljazeera

Amnesty slams Iran's rights record
AlJazeera 10 Dec 2009 - Group urges Iranian authorities to investigate claims of human rights violations.

Egypt denies building 'Gaza wall'
AlJazeera 10 Dec 2009 - Authorities deny Israeli reports of underground wall to block Palestinian tunnels.

Israeli MPs pass referendum bill
AlJazeera 9 Dec 2009 - Knesset approves first reading of a law to pull out from east Jerusalem and Golan Heights.

Jordan's king appoints new PM
AlJazeera 9 Dec 2009 - Palace aide Nasser Lozi to form a new cabinet, after resignation of former government.

Alternative Information Center

Demolition in the 1948 Depopulated Palestinian Village of Kafr Bir'im
Alternative Information Center 10 Dec 2009 - On Tuesday, November 25th, officials from the regional council of Merom Hagalil in the north of Israel demolished a building in the depopulated Palestinian village of Kafr Bir'im in the north of Israel. The building, which...

Executive Summary: Academic Boycott of Israel And the Complicity of Israeli Academic Institutions in Occupation of Palestinian Territories
Alternative Information Center 10 Dec 2009 - The idea of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) as means of struggle against the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories has gathered pace in the years following the second intifada, and all the more so since the...

More investors abandoning Lev Leviev and Africa-Israel 
Alternative Information Center 8 Dec 2009 - Last month, the second-largest Dutch pension fund PFZW joined an already impressive group of investors that have divested from Africa-Israel. Africa-Israel is the target of an international boycott campaign by Palestine solidarity activists because of its...

Palestine News Network

Flourishing Palestinian sex trade exposed in new report
PNN 10 Dec 2009 - Young Palestinian women are being forced to into prostitution in brothels, escort services, and private apartments in Ramallah and Jerusalem, including areas inhabited by Jews, according to a report released Wednesday. The Palestinian organization SAWA (All Women Together Today and Tomorrow) published the paper, the first of its kind, urging Palestinian society to break its silence over its sex industry.The report was...

Share Jerusalem With the Palestinians, European Union Tells Israel
PNN 9 Dec 2009 - In a rare, partial diplomatic victory for Israel in the face of international pro-Palestinian sentiment, European Union foreign ministers have dropped from a draft statement a call for eastern Jerusalem to be the capital of a future Palestinian state. Instead the statement, to be adopted by E.U. heads of government at a summit in Brussels later this week, now says Jerusalem should...

International Participation in December 31 Gaza Freedom March Tops 1,000 As Registration Closes
PNN 9 Dec 2009 - Over 1,000 delegates from 42 countries have signed up to participate in the December 31 Gaza Freedom March that will mark the one-year anniversary of the Israeli invasion and call for an end to the siege that has brought 1.5 million people to the edge of disaster. Organizers cut off registration on November 30 to give the Egyptian officials enough time to...

Jerusalem Post

IDF: 30 'war crimes' cases 'baseless'
Jeruslalem Post 10 Dec 2009 - Army finds 6 other key Goldstone report cases relate to operational errors; findings presented to UN.

France leads UN call for Iran sanctions
Jeruslalem Post 10 Dec 2009 - French envoy tells Security Council "there's no reason to wait longer," as "the clock is ticking."

High Court to hear petitions against freeze next week
Jeruslalem Post 10 Dec 2009 - State to court: West Bank building moratorium aimed at renewing talks with the Palestinian Authority.

Kadima: No-confidence motion over map
Jeruslalem Post 10 Dec 2009 - Barak, PM agree to hold vote next Sunday; Labor rebels: Map depicts Israel as anti-peace state.

UK: W. Bank produce must be marked 'settlement' or 'Palestinian'
Jeruslalem Post 10 Dec 2009 - Jerusalem decries move, says it is result of Palestinian pressure that singles out Israel and encourages boycott of Israeli goods.

Many Israel Beiteinu voters complain civil union bill does not address problem
Jeruslalem Post 10 Dec 2009 - Legislation would enable marriage of two people not considered halachicly Jewish, but not between one who is and one who isn't.

Jerusalem ulpans for new immigrants under threat of closure due to funding crunch
Jeruslalem Post 10 Dec 2009 - Absorption Ministry expects progress next week on issue that is troublesome for teachers and students.

'Diplomacy might not suffice on Iran'
Jeruslalem Post 10 Dec 2009 - US president receives Nobel peace prize in Oslo, defends war when negotiations are not effective.

Yonath accepts Nobel Prize in Chemistry
Jeruslalem Post 10 Dec 2009 - Netanyahu thanks Weizmann Institute professor for the honor she brings Israel, its citizens and science.

IRIN

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.

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.

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: One Step Closer to Unilateral Sanctions Against Iran 
IPS WASHINGTON, Dec 9 (IPS) - Congress has given new momentum to a bill imposing unilateral sanctions on Iran - a move seen by many as an ineffective form of sanctions and potentially antagonistic against valuable U.S. allies on the U.N. Security Council. This comes ahead of the end of the...

MIDEAST: In a Muddle Over Mixed Signals 
IPS JERUSALEM, Dec 10 (IPS) - "Get your hands off the Land of Israel and the people of the Land of Israel - that's what we need to tell Mr. Obama - get on the phone to the White House each and every one of you!"

PCHR Weekly Report

(03- 09 Dec. 2009)
PCHR During the reporting period, one Palestinian civilian was wounded when Israeli forces used force to disperse a peaceful demonstration organized by Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders to protest the construction of the Annexation Wall in the West Bank. - PDF

International Solidarity Movement

A portrait of nonviolent resistance in one Palestinian village
12/10/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Ellen Cantarow, Huffington Post, 8 December - At no time since its 1967 West Bank occupation have Israel's seizures of Palestinian land and water resources seemed as shocking as the ones attending its construction of "the wall," begun in 2002. Vast, complex, and shifting in form, the wall appears most dramatically as 25-foot-high concrete slabs punctuated by militarized watch towers, supplemented by electronically monitored electrified fences stretching over vast distances. In 2004, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) declared the wall illegal, but Israel ignored the ruling. Now, it undulates through the West Bank for over 280 kilometers, clasping Israel's major colonies and some minor ones in its embrace. The completed wall will incorporate more than 85% of the West Bank's settler population, a de facto annexation by Israel of significant chunks of the territory it first occupied in 1967. 

Bil’in leader Abdallah Abu Rahmah arrested during military night raid
12/10/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Popular Struggle Coordination Committee - Abdallah Abu Rahmah (right) with Ela Bhatt, Desmond Tutu, Jimmy Carter, Fernando H Cardoso, Mary Robinson and Gro Brundtland of the Elders during their visit to Bil'in As part of a recent escalation of political arrests in Bil'in, Abdallah Abu Rahmah, a school teacher and coordinator of the Bil'in Popular Committee was arrested by Israeli soldiersAt exactly 2 AM last night, seven Israeli military jeeps pulled over at Abdallah Abu Rahmah's residence in the city of Ramallah. Soldiers raided the house and arrested Abu Rahmah from his bed in the presence of his wife and children. Abu Rahmah is a high school teacher in the Latin Patriarchate school in Birzeit near Ramallah and is the coordinator of the Bil'in Popular Committee against the Wall and Settlements. A previous raid targeting Abu Rahmah was executed with such exceptional violence on 15 September 2009, that a soldier was subsequently indicted for assault. 

Letter to family and friends: Bir Idd, West Bank
12/10/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - I have now been in the village of Bir Idd for three weeks. This has been a great time of connecting with the people here, helping with chores with the sheep, going out in the hills with the sheep, and helping rebuild the village. Israeli settlers attacked a flock of sheep on Saturday, November 28. About 30 Israeli soldiers and police came and did nothing except to remove all the Israeli peace activists from the area. A major issue continues to be whether Palestinians can use the road they built and paid for back in 1984, or whether they have to drive through fields to get to town for supplies. Under legal and moral pressure, the Israeli military has agreed to allow Palestinians to use their road, but soldiers on the ground are continuing to take orders from the settlers who demand that only Jews be allowed to use the roads. 

Peace must begin with the plight of Palestine’s refugees
12/11/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Karen AbuZayd, The Guardian, 8 December - Sixty years after the UN moved to address the fate of the dispossessed, we need to accept that the injustice endures - Sixty years ago today the United Nations general assembly voted into existence a temporary body known as UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency. UNRWA's task was to deal with the humanitarian consequences of the dispossession of some three-quarters of a million Palestine refugees forced by the 1948 Middle East war to abandon their homes and flee their ancestral lands. Just two decades later, the six-day war generated another spasm of violence and forced displacement, culminating in the occupation of Palestinian territory. Today, anguished exile remains the lot of Palestinians and Palestine refugees. The occupation of Palestinian land persists, there is no Palestinian state, and the human rights and fundamental freedoms to which Palestinians are entitled under international law do not exist. 

Settlers from Yitzhar burn Palestinian family’s house and cars near Nablus
12/10/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - 6 December - In the village ‘Einabus south of Nablus, three settlers caused severe damage to Palestinian property, setting a Palestinian house and several cars on fire in the early hours of Sunday, 6 December. In total two tractors were completely destroyed by the fire, as well as one car and a mini-bus. The lower part of a Palestinian house was also destroyed, causing severe damage to the upper part of the house as well. As a result of the fire, cracks appeared in the walls and the ceiling and windows were broken. The furniture in the house as well as the bathroom have been left unusable. The house is constructed in a way that connects it to several other houses. If the fire was not stopped in time it would have spread to the other houses, causing a widespread damage. The father of the family living in the house told an international activists who visited the village in the aftermath. . . . 

Settlers occupying al-Kurd house in Sheikh Jarrah continue to harass evicted Palestinian families
12/10/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - 8 December - Settlers, who have since August 2009 taken over three houses in the Palestinian neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah in occupied East Jerusalem, have, after a series of violent attacks, initiated a number of actions this week with the intention of intimidating and harassing local Palestinians forcefully evicted from their homes. In the past couple of days, Israeli settlers have three times harassed the evicted Palestinians. Even though their actions were not particularly violent, they highlight the daily suffering the Palestinians have to endure as the settlers take over more and more houses in the neighbourhood. The situation is especially difficult for the al-Kurds, as they have been forced to live alongside the settlers in their own house. On 1 December, a group of settlers occupied one section of the al-Kurd home which shares the same entrance gate and backyard as the other section, where the Palestinian family lives. 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

Accepting Nobel, Obama says war can sometimes be justified
Ha'aretz 10 Dec 2009 - U.S. President Barack Obama accepted the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize on Thursday, acknowledging the controversy over the choice of a wartime president and saying he reserved the right to take action to protect the United States. ...

Sweden to Israel: Don't divide EU over Jerusalem stance
Ha'aretz 10 Dec 2009 - Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt warned Thursday that Israel must not play "divide and rule" with the 27-member European Union over a recent resolution calling for Jerusalem to become the shared capital of Israel and a future Palestinian state. ...

Poll: More Israelis like Obama, but don't feel he supports them
Ha'aretz 10 Dec 2009 - U.S. President Barack Obama has a higher approval rating among Israelis than is widely believed, undercutting arguments he has lost Israeli public support for new peace efforts, a poll said on Thursday. ...

Full text of Obama Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech 
Ha'aretz 10 Dec 2009 - Your Majesties, Your Royal Highnesses, Distinguished Members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, citizens of America, and citizens of the world: ...

Defense officials: Palestinians trying to coerce Israel into accepting statehood
Ha'aretz 10 Dec 2009 - Defense establishment officials said Wednesday that the Palestinian Authority is orchestrating a diplomatic campaign with the international community to coerce Israel into accepting a political arrangement which would pave the way for the establishment of a Palestinian state. ...

The Guardian

Nuclear row: Tehran threatens to target Israel
The Guardian 9 Dec 2009 - Iran's defence minister has threatened to target Israeli nuclear and other "unconventional" sites if it comes under attack. Ahmad Vahidi's warning came after Iran accused western-backed Saudi Arabia of handing over a missing Iranian nuclear scientist...

Who will save Gaza's children? | Victoria Brittain
The Guardian 9 Dec 2009 - Never mind Copenhagen, an environmental catastrophe is going on right now contaminated water is poisoning babies in Gaza Among all the complex and long-term solutions being sought in Copenhagen for averting environmental catastrophe across the world,...

Cairo human rights group attacks Arab states
The Guardian 8 Dec 2009 - Respected body's second annual report condemns Arab League for remaining silent on grave human rights violations Human rights in the Arab world have deteriorated over the last year as governments flaunt progress on women's issues while...

Europe softens Middle East statement after condemnation from Israel
The Guardian 8 Dec 2009 - EU foreign ministers agree to drop call in draft document for east Jerusalem to be capital of future Palestinian state European foreign ministers today agreed a watered-down statement on the Middle East so that it now...

The US cash behind extremist settlers | Andrew Kadi and Aaron Levitt
The Guardian 8 Dec 2009 - The Hebron Fund is raising vast sums for Israeli settlements that violate the Geneva convention, with little scrutiny Last month, a Brooklyn-based non-profit organisation called the Hebron Fund , which supports Jewish settlers in the Israeli-occupied city...

Peace must begin with the plight of Palestine's refugees | Karen AbuZayd
The Guardian 8 Dec 2009 - Sixty years after the UN moved to address the fate of the dispossessed, we need to accept that the injustice endures Sixty years ago today the United Nations general assembly voted into existence a temporary body...

Ha'aretz National page

'National service is yet another channel funneling money to Haredim' 
Ha'aretz 10 Dec 2009 - Most of the ultra-Orthodox Israelis who chose to volunteer for national service in lieu of obligatory military service performed this national service at yeshivas and other religious organizations, data presented to the Knesset reveals. ...

State: Implementation of settlement freeze couldn't have waited 
Ha'aretz 10 Dec 2009 - The State of Israel submitted its response on Thursday to three petitions filed with the court against the temporary freeze on construction in West Bank settlements, announced last month. ...

IN PICTURES / Israel's winning photographs of 2009
Ha'aretz 10 Dec 2009 - The list of the 54 winners in this year's "Local Testimony" competition, in which 300 Israeli photojournalists submitted photographs, was released on Thursday, naming Kobi Gideon and Moti Milrod as the winners of the NIS 5,000 first prize. ...

Israeli scientist Ada Yonath receives Nobel Prize for chemistry 
Ha'aretz 10 Dec 2009 - Israeli scientist professor Ada Yonath received the Nobel Prize for chemistry in a ceremony in Stockholm on Thursday. Yonath was chosen to speak on behalf of the chemistry winners at the lavish ceremony, attended by the Swedish royal family. ...

Accepting Nobel, Obama says war can sometimes be justified
Ha'aretz 10 Dec 2009 - U.S. President Barack Obama accepted the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize on Thursday, acknowledging the controversy over the choice of a wartime president and saying he reserved the right to take action to protect the United States. ...

Relief Web

OPT: Jerusalem - City of dispossession 
Relief Web 10 Dec 2009 - Source: UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East

OPT: Protection of civilians weekly report, 25 Nov - 8 Dec 2009
Relief Web 10 Dec 2009 - Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

OPT: Qatar Charity sends 18 trucks of aid to Gaza
Relief Web 10 Dec 2009 - Source: UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East

EUPOL COPPS Head of Mission, Paul Kernaghan: "The real achievements are those of the Palestinians"
Relief Web 10 Dec 2009 - Source: European Union

OIC Secretary General's message on the Human Rights Day
Relief Web 10 Dec 2009 - Source: Organization of the Islamic Conference

Statement by WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran on Luxembourg's committment to the fight against hunger
Relief Web 10 Dec 2009 - Source: World Food Programme

YNet News

'Disobedient rabbi' gets ultimatum
YNet News 10 Dec 2009 - Rabbi Melamed told he must condemn IDF insubordination by Sunday or face 

Yonath receives Nobel Chemistry Prize
YNet News 10 Dec 2009 - Proud moment for Israel: For first time in history, Israeli woman receives Nobel Prize; King Carl Gustaf XVI of Sweden awards Weizmann Institute Professor Ada Yonath Chemistry Nobel Prize in Stockholm ceremony 

UK to shun settlement products?
YNet News 10 Dec 2009 - British government advises UK food chains to clearly label all products made in Judea, Samaria and Golan Heights; officials in Jerusalem condemn move, prepare to fight back. British embassy: This isn't a boycott 

Bibi, Barak at odds on priorities map
YNet News 10 Dec 2009 - Following PM's Office decision to designate settlements as national priority area, defense minister says Labor party 'believes in Galilee, Negev,' will seek to limit investments elsewhere 

State to court: Construction freeze legal
YNet News 10 Dec 2009 - High Court hears State's response to Legal Forum for the Land of Israel's claim that construction freeze is illegal. 'Overall political benefits to Israel outweigh any individual damage,' says rebuttal 

West talks tough on Iran
YNet News 10 Dec 2009 - Security Council discusses Iran violations; US envoy: Tehran caught breaking rules repeatedly 

Israel's talks with Vatican fail
YNet News 10 Dec 2009 - Israeli delegation returns home empty-handed, previous understandings annulled 

Livni: Bibi can't please both Obama, settlers
YNet News 10 Dec 2009 - Opposition leader slams government over national priorities plan, budgetary preference for remote settlements 

Hamas: Israel balked at Shalit swap deal 
YNet News 10 Dec 2009 - Israel refuses to meet Hamas demands for Shalit, group leader Khaled Mashaal says Thursday; no swap will materialize until Israeli government agrees to Hamas conditions in full, he says 

B'tselem

Testimony: Soldiers assault elderly farmer
7 Dec 2009 - In his testimony to B'Tselem, Ahmad Ghanem, 75, a resident of Deir al-Ghusun, states that while working his land near the Separation Barrier, two soldiers severely beat him and left without giving him first-aid. B'Tselem informed the Military Police Inves

Daily Star

Conflicting reports over Egypt plans for Gaza border
Daily Star 10 Dec 2009 Residents of the Egyptian border town of Rafah, a smuggling haven within tunneling distance of the Gaza strip, are accustomed to the sight of smugglers burrowing into the earth. But conflicting reports about excavations along the frontier have left them mystified. They say that Egyptian engineers showed up more than a month ago with heavy earth-moving equipment and began digging in earnest.

Palestinians fake cancer to flee blockaded Gaza Strip
Daily Star 10 Dec 2009 A healthy man in blockaded Gaza faked cancer, hoping the deadly disease would be his ticket out of the territory that has become an open-air prison for its 1.4 million residents. His ploy failed, but several thousand others succeeded in fleeing this shabby sliver of land this year using bribes and fake medical reports, a sign of Gazans' desperation over growing poverty.

Iran's intelligence minister hits out at Rafsanjani
Daily Star 10 Dec 2009 Iran's intelligence minister lashed out at former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani on Thursday, suggesting the top cleric was among people "standing against" the Islamic Republic's leadership. Intelligence Minister Heydar Moslehi, speaking three days after police clashed with opposition protesters seeking to renew their challenge to the hardline government over June's disputed election., Iran's intelligence minister lashed out at former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani on Thursday, suggesting the top cleric was among people "standing against" the Islamic Republic's leadership. Intelligence Minister Heydar Moslehi, speaking three days after police clashed with opposition protesters seeking to renew their challenge to the hardline government over June's disputed election.

EU says Israel aimed to divide bloc over Jerusalem
Daily Star 10 Dec 2009 The European Union accused Israel on Thursday of trying to divide the 27-nation bloc to stop it passing a resolution calling for Jerusalem to be the shared capital of Israel and a future Palestinian state. The new resolution adopted by the EU on Tuesday sparked an angry reaction from Israel, which captured the eastern half of city on 1967 and considers it its eternal undivided capital., The European Union accused Israel on Thursday of trying to divide the 27-nation bloc to stop it passing a resolution calling for Jerusalem to be the shared capital of Israel and a future Palestinian state. The new resolution adopted by the EU on Tuesday sparked an angry reaction from Israel, which captured the eastern half of city on 1967 and considers it its eternal undivided capital.

On Iraq's border with Syria: No sign of Saddam loyalists
Daily Star 10 Dec 2009 Iraq's border with Syria runs for hundreds of kilometers through barren land patrolled by a relative scattering of security forces. But despite claims about exiled Saddam Hussein loyalists sneaking across to disrupt Iraq's upcoming elections, the only evidence around one key outpost is faded slogans of Saddam's banned Baath Party painted on the wall of a decaying grain elevator.

Kuwaiti Parliament fails to meet on stateless rights
Daily Star 10 Dec 2009 Kuwait's Parliament failed Thursday to hold a special session to resolve the humanitarian issue of stateless Arabs, with some MPs accusing the government of deliberately preventing the meeting. A quorum could not be met, as only 26 MPs and five ministers showed up, two short of the number required. Parliament has 49 elected MPs and 16 Cabinet ministers., Kuwait's Parliament failed Thursday to hold a special session to resolve the humanitarian issue of stateless Arabs, with some MPs accusing the government of deliberately preventing the meeting. A quorum could not be met, as only 26 MPs and five ministers showed up, two short of the number required. Parliament has 49 elected MPs and 16 Cabinet ministers.

Palestinian Information Center

Hamas: Referendum on withdrawal displays Zionist arrogance
PIC 10 Dec 2009 - Hamas described the Israeli draft law binding any government to go to referendum before agreeing to withdraw from Jerusalem and the Golan Heights as a referendum on something that it does not own.

Kashif: The health ministry keen on raising the public awareness about H1N1
PIC 10 Dec 2009 - Mohamed Al-Kashif, the director-general of Gaza hospitals in the Palestinian health ministry, stated that the ministry is keen on raising the awareness of citizens about the infection of swine flu.

Davutoglu: Israel committed a crime by using phosphorus bombs against Gaza
PIC 10 Dec 2009 - Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu has said that Israel's use of phosphorus bombs in its aggression on the unarmed Palestinian people in Gaza was not only a mistake but rather a heinous crime.

PEACE Now: Construction in WB settlements ongoing
PIC 10 Dec 2009 - The Israeli Peace Now movement concerned with human rights has revealed the acceleration of construction in Israeli settlements in the West Bank despite the decision to freeze building.

Dweik calls on visiting European MPs to organize int’l anti-siege campaign
PIC 10 Dec 2009 - Dr. Aziz Dweik, the PLC speaker, urged a delegation of European lawmakers to organize an international campaign aimed to end the blockade on the Palestinian people, their leaders and lawmakers.

Sheikh Salah reaffirms Israeli intents to seize Aqsa Mosque museum
PIC 10 Dec 2009 - Sheikh Ra’ed Salah said that there is confirmed information about Israeli intentions to empty the museum of the Aqsa Mosque from its contents and turn it into a synagogue.

Lavrov: Russia to continue dealing with Hamas
PIC 10 Dec 2009 - Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov has announced support for and participation in Egyptian efforts to achieve inter-Palestinian reconciliation.

Jewish historian: The Jewish people an invention
PIC 10 Dec 2009 - Jewish historian Prof. Shlomo Sand, who is a history professor at Tel Aviv University, has said that there are no Jewish people in history of mankind.

IOF troops arrest 11 PFLP activists, settlers abduct boy
PIC 10 Dec 2009 - The IOF rounded up 11 political and social activists of the popular front for the liberation of Palestine (PFLP) in Nablus on Wednesday including a woman, well informed local sources said.

Nudity at last
PIC 10 Dec 2009 - In a brazen disregard for Muslim (and Christian) sensibilities, the PA is reportedly allowing a westernized group of women to organize a beauty queen contest in Ramallah later this month.

Los Angeles Times

Exiles keep Iran in touch 
LA Times 10 Dec 2009 - The latest wave in the diaspora is tech-savvy and playing a key role in countering hard-liners at home. "Tehran is online," the director's wife announces. 

Iran accuses U.S. and Saudis of kidnapping a nuclear scientist 
LA Times 9 Dec 2009 - Iran has also alleged that the U.S. and Israel abducted a Defense Ministry official who disappeared in 2006. In both incidents, there are suspicions that the missing men defected to the West. Iran's top diplomat accused the United States and Saudi Arabia on Tuesday of kidnapping one of its nuclear scientists. 

Pro-government militiamen attack protesting students at two Tehran universities 
LA Times 9 Dec 2009 - Iran's chief prosecutor warns that harsher measures will be taken against protesters. Tear gas was reported at today's demonstrations, after more than 200 were arrested in Monday's protests. Pro-government Basiji militiamen stormed the campuses of two Tehran universities Tuesday and attacked hundreds of protesting students, and Iran's chief prosecutor vowed to come down harder than ever on peaceful demonstrators he described as a threat to the nation's security. 

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,...

‘We sought international pressure to stop expulsions of Palestinians. We failed.’
Mondoweiss - 9 Dec 2009 - David Shulman ’s report from the Sheikh Jarrah evictions in East Jerusalem ran a few days ago at Ibn Ezra . His story is upsetting and important. It is worth noting that the our press has done a lousy job of covering this continuing outrage, at a...

What will Brian Baird do next?
Mondoweiss - 9 Dec 2009 - Brian Baird, the crusading Washington congressman, announced his retirement today , after six terms in the House. "Tough loss," says my tipster, Felson. But I don’t think this is the last we’ve seen of Baird, 53, who was changed by Gaza, and understands the key foreign-policy issue...

‘Peace Now’ board member calls for end to U.S. tax-breaks for funds to settlements now
Mondoweiss - 9 Dec 2009 - Dan Fleshler, a board member of Americans for Peace Now, heeding the siren-call of truth, writes: U.S. tax-exempt charities are in league with the devil in the occupied territories…. The idea that tax exemptions are available to people who are helping the settlers resist the settlement...

Peace Now and J Street should join the battle against tax breaks for the West Bank colonists
Mondoweiss - 9 Dec 2009 - In a sign that the discourse is changing and taboo subjects are coming inside, The Atlantic considers the case for ending the special relationship of US and Israel, and picks up an important piece in the Guardian by Andrew Kadi and Aaron Levitt about the U.S....

What it means to advocate the ‘Sri Lanka model’ for Israel/Palestine
Mondoweiss - 9 Dec 2009 - It is easy to frame the conflict in Israel and Palestine as inherently unique. In many ways it is – decades-old occupation, US-supported racial discrimination and failure of Western journalism to hold the powerful to account – but other struggles have eerie similarities. This year Sri...


Articles

Who will save Gaza’s children? 
Victoria Brittain, The Guardian 12/9/2009
      Never mind Copenhagen, an environmental catastrophe is going on right now – contaminated water is poisoning babies in Gaza.
     Among all the complex and long-term solutions being sought in Copenhagen for averting environmental catastrophe across the world, there is one place where the catastrophe has already happened, but could be immediately ameliorated with one simple political act.
     In Gaza there is now no uncontaminated water; of the 40,000 or so newborn babies, at least half are at immediate risk of nitrate poisoning – incidence of "blue baby syndrome", methaemoglobinaemia, is exceptionally high; an unprecedented number of people have been exposed to nitrate poisoning over 10 years; in some places the nitrate content in water is 300 times World Health Organisation standards; the agricultural economy is dying from the contamination and salinated water; the underground aquifer is stressed to the point of collapse; and sewage and waste water flows into public spaces and the aquifer.
     The blockade of Gaza has gone on for nearly four years, and the vital water and sanitation infrastructure went past creaking to virtual collapse during the three-week assault on the territory almost a year ago.
     What would it take to start the two UN sewerage repair projects approved by Israel; a UN water and sanitation project, not yet approved; and two more UN internal sewage networks, not yet approved? Right now just one corner of the blockade could be lifted for these building materials and equipment to enter Gaza, to let water works begin and to give infant lives a chance. Just one telephone call from the Israeli defence ministry could do it – an early Christmas present to the UN staff on the ground who have been ready to act for months and have grown desperate on this front, as on so many others. more.. e-mail

Confronting dispossession 
Karen AbuZayd, Ma’an News Agency 12/9/2009
      Sixty years ago today the United Nations General Assembly voted into existence a temporary body known as UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency. 
     UNRWA"™s task was to deal with the humanitarian consequences of the dispossession of some three quarters of a million Palestine refugees forced by the 1948 Middle East war to abandon their homes and flee their ancestral lands. Just two decades later, the Six-Day War generated another spasm of violence and forced displacement, culminating in the occupation of Palestinian territory. 
     Today, anguished exile remains the lot of Palestinians and Palestine refugees. The occupation of Palestinian land persists, there is no Palestinian state and the human rights and fundamental freedoms to which Palestinians are entitled under international law do not exist. 
     The occupation, now over 40 years old, becomes more entrenched with every infringement of human rights and international law in the occupied Palestinian territory. Political actors hold in their hands the power to redress the travesties Palestinians endure. Yet, the approach has been, at best, to equivocate over the minutiae of the occupation "“ a checkpoint here, a bag of cement there "“ or, at worst, to look the other way, to acquiesce in or even support the measures causing Palestinian suffering.
     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 "œfinal status" issues, one which belongs to a later stage of the negotiation process. more.. e-mail

Israel’s notorious Hannibal procedure 
Jonathan Cook, Ma’an News Agency 12/10/2009
      Nazareth - The fatal shooting by Israeli soldiers of an Israeli man earlier this week as he tried to scale a fence into the Gaza Strip was reportedly part of a drastic procedure the army was supposed to have phased out several years ago. 
     The Israeli media reported that Yakir Ben-Melech, 34, had bled to death after he was shot under the "Hannibal procedure," designed to prevent Israelis from being taken captive alive by enemy forces.
     One critic, Uri Avnery, a former Israeli legislator and leader of Gush Shalom, a small radical peace group, defined the procedure as meaning: "Liberate the soldier by killing him."
     The controversial directive, which was once one of the army"™s best-kept secrets, was drafted more than 20 years ago after the Israeli government had come under domestic pressure to release hundreds of enemy prisoners for the return of three captured soldiers.
     Israel is currently involved in just such negotiations over Gilad Shalit, a soldier who has been held prisoner in Gaza by Hamas for more than three years. According to reports, he may be freed in the near future in a deal expected to see several hundred Palestinians released from Israeli prisons.
     Israel was supposed to have stopped the Hannibal procedure after it withdrew its occupying army from south Lebanon in May 2000.
     However, there is strong evidence that it has continued to be used, particularly during the events that triggered Israel"™s attack on Lebanon in the summer of 2006 and again last year during Israel"™s assault on Gaza. more.. e-mail


Palestinians still deprived of their fundamental rights
Electronic Intifada: 10 Dec 2009 - Sixty-one years after the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Israel continues to pursue clearly discriminatory policies and practices and the violation of Palestinians' human rights have persisted, and escalated. Israel's persistent human rights violations would not be possible without the complicity or support of the international community. 

Israel: "a dead soldier is better than a captive soldier"
Electronic Intifada: 10 Dec 2009 - The fatal shooting by Israeli soldiers of an Israeli man earlier this week as he tried to scale a fence into the Gaza Strip was reportedly part of a drastic procedure the army was supposed to have phased out several years ago. Jonathan Cook reports. 

Palestinian grassroots organizer arrested during Israeli military night raid
Electronic Intifada: 10 Dec 2009 - As part of a recent escalation of political arrests in the West Bank village of Bilin, Abdallah Abu Rahmah, a school teacher and coordinator of the Bilin Popular Committee, was arrested by Israeli soldiers. Abu Rahmah is a high school teacher in the Latin Patriarchate school in Birzeit near Ramallah and is the coordinator of the Bilin Popular Committee against the wall and settlements. 

Israeli forces mass arrest Palestinian activists
Electronic Intifada: 10 Dec 2009 - Occupation military forces raided several towns, villages and camps in the Nablus area on 9 December 2009, engaging in a mass arrest campaign targeting alleged members and supporters of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, two days before the 42nd anniversary of the Front will be commemorated with large marches and activities throughout Palestine. 

Marwan Barghouti: The Equalizer
Palestine Chronicle: 10 Dec 2009 - By James Gundun - Washington D.C. Conflicting inhabitants of the Holy Land, if nothing else, must surely agree that the universe works in strange ways. God by any name operates beyond human understanding. Deep inside an Israeli prison cosmic balance awaits in Marwan Barghouti, Fatah strongman and political game-changer, who sits a step away from freedom. Of course this step might be a mile wide and a year long, and if Israel had its way Barghouti would never see daylight again. Releasing a man convicted in an Israeli civilian court of five murders and implicated in dozens more is no sure thing - a PR disaster - but Israel only has itself to blame for Barghouti's potential resurrection. Multiple IDF operations have failed to bring home IDF soldier Gilad Shalit since he was captured in 2006, and Israel has accepted concessions as the only resort. Releasing 1,000 high value prisoners, including Barghouti, for one captured soldier is proof that Israel hasn’t gotten the better of Hamas. Overwhelming force and covert actions haven't produce the desired results. Finally Hamas has brought Israel down to its level and is making Jerusalem pay a steep, some would say stupid, price for Shalit. Said one Hamas source, “This is a red line. There is no chance the deal will go through without his release." In so far as Israel fostered the circumstances for Barghouti’s escape, his opportunity for success is purely Israeli-made. Outgoing Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas wouldn’t have tested him anyway, according to...

A Wolfowitz in Sheep's Clothing
Palestine Chronicle: 10 Dec 2009 - By Maidhc Ó Cathail Paul Wolfowitz, the chief architect of the Iraq War, now wants the United States to help refugees. No, not the estimated 4.8 million Iraqis forced to flee their homes in a war he and other pro-Israeli neoconservatives planned as far back as 1992. Instead, the unlikely humanitarian, having brought “democracy” to the Iraqi people in 2003, has turned his attention this year to “the plight of North Korean refugees in China.” In a June 16 Wall Street Journal op-ed entitled “How to Help North Korea’s Refugees,” the visiting scholar at the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute expresses his hope that President Obama and South Korean President Lee, who were meeting that day, would find the time to address “this purely humanitarian issue.” While it’s hard to imagine any U.S. administration taking anything Wolfowitz says seriously after the Iraq debacle, Americans should still take note. Whenever a Zionist poses as a humanitarian, it can be taken as axiomatic that Israel stands to benefit somehow – often, if not always, at the expense of U.S. interests. But how, it may be reasonably asked, could Israel possibly gain from Wolfowitz’s championing of North Korean refugees? One obvious benefit is that it diverts the spotlight from Israeli crimes in Palestine. The best known example of this strategy is the Save Darfur coalition, which, as the Jerusalem Post once bragged, “was actually begun exclusively as an initiative of the American Jewish community.” Eliot Engel’s attempt to deflect international criticism of Israel’s apartheid...

The Hypocrisy of Al-Demoqratia
Palestine Chronicle: 10 Dec 2009 - By Ramzy Baroud So this is how democracy works? In 2004, France banned headscarves and school principals chased after young "defiant" Muslim girls who continued to cover their heads in school. Now, following a national referendum, Switzerland has banned the construction of minarets, because minarets also somehow symbolize oppression. Thanks to the dedicated action of the far-right Swiss People's Party, the Alpine skies will be free from the snaking menace, which would spread intolerance and taint the splendor of Swiss architecture. In between these two peculiar events, the targeting of Muslims in Western countries and the subjugation of entire Muslim nations all over the world has never ceased. Not for a day. Moreover, the collective targeting of small or large Muslim communities in Western countries, and the deliberate abuse and degradation of Muslim individuals and Islamic symbols (from the Holy Koran to the Prophet Mohammed) has also never ceased. Bizarrely, most of these actions have been done through "democratic" channels and justified in the name of democracy, on the basis of upholding the principles of secularism and Western values. Many thoughts come to mind here; all unreservedly angry. I remember when the word "democracy" used to resonate so loudly among Arabs and Muslims around the world. The more they were denied it, the more they yearned for it. University campuses in Cairo, Gaza and Karachi took their student union elections so very seriously. Innocent blood was spilled in clashes around campuses as students desperately tried to express their right to...
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