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Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel
charges peace activist with “arms possession” for picking up spent
Israeli tear gas canisters
’attack unfinished house’ near Nablus
Ha'aretz 24 Dec 2009 - Security forces alerted to the scene to investigate the incident; victim apparently resident of settlement.
Year after Gaza war, Hamas says ready to fight Israel again
Ha'aretz 24 Dec 2009 - Armed wing says ready with all manpower to 'confront Zionists', but won't say what capabilities it has.
IDF recruits to Barak: We refuse to evacuate settlements
Ha'aretz 24 Dec 2009 - Jewish law forbids destruction of Jewish construction, 12th graders tell defense minister in letter.
For Palestinians, possession of used IDF arms is now a crime
Ha'aretz 24 Dec 2009 - IDF troops arrest West Bank man for possessing weapons for exhibition on 'means used by security forces.'
Settlers plan to cut IDF ties in fight against freeze
Ha'aretz 24 Dec 2009 - In pamphlet, rightists say IDF soldiers should be convinced to refuse orders to enforce settlement freeze.
Israel warns nationals of Al-Qaida abduction threat in Africa
Ha'aretz 24 Dec 2009 - In advisory, Counter Terrorism Bureau lists Ivory Coast, Togo, Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Mali and northern Nigeria.
Israel drops two-month-old advisory against India travel
Ha'aretz 24 Dec 2009 - Counter-Terrorism Bureau in mid-October warned of a concrete threat, particularly in Goa.
IDF soldier dies in freak training accident in Golan Heights
Ha'aretz 24 Dec 2009 - Pvt. Mor Cohen, 19, dies after being hit by a bullet fired by another soldier during urban combat drill.
Islamic Movement head banned from entering Jerusalem
Ha'aretz 24 Dec 2009 - IDF orders 3-week ban 'to maintain public peace and order;' Ra'ad Salah will be able to appeal order.
Netanyahu's brother-in-law: Free Shalit through war, not talks
Ha'aretz 24 Dec 2009 - Hagai Ben Artzi argues with Noam Shalit; Ron Arad's wife: Bringing Shalit back home is Israel's 'moral duty.'
modern nativity scene - crib, wise men and separation wall
Ramallah, December 24, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) - At today dawn Israeli occupation forces detained Mohammad Al-Wawi, 19, from Al-Jalzon Camp, in north of Ramallah. Mostafa Al-Wawi, the detainee brother, said: "Israeli occupation forces raided our house at 3 a.m. and arrested my brother Mohammad" Meanwhile, Israeli occupation forces Israeli raid the West Bank governorates daily. They invade the citizens' houses;...
Gaza Exports Third Flower Shipment, Aid Allowed in
Gaza Strip, December 24, 2009 (Pal Telegraph)- It's been scheduled to allow 112 trucks loaded with aid, as well as assistance for trade and agricultural sectors to the Gaza Strip today, and to export a truckload of flowers abroad. Israeli media sources said that Israeli occupation authorities decided to open the Karam Abu Salem and al Shejaeiya crossing points, and...
PA and EU sign three agreements worth €50.5 million
Ramallah, December 24, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) -Ramallah-led Government Prime Minister Dr. Salam Fayyad and the European Union signed Wednesday three agreements worth €50.5 million to support several sectors. D. Fayyad pointed out that the first agreement which worth 22 million Euros to boost the economy of the Gaza Strip, through providing support for private sector which was damaged heavily in the...
Researchers: Israel Poisons Palestinian Soil and Newborns
World, December 24, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) - These are some of the key findings of a recent study by New Weapons Research Committee (NWRC), an Italy-based group of academics, physicians and researchers specialized in elaborating risk assessment surveys on the effects of the newest "non-conventional weapons and their mid-term effects on residents of areas afflicted by conflicts". The metals found...
Hamas to Consult with Damascus Leadership on Swap Deal
Gaza, December 24, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) - After receiving the Israeli response from the German mediator, a delegation of Hamas officials will visit Damascus Thursday in order to consult with the movement's leaders there around the latest Israeli response to ongoing negotiations for a prisoner swap deal. An official in Hamas said the delegation would seek Damascus' point of view...
The National 23 Dec 2009 - The minority Christian community wait hopefully for limited number of permits to travel to the West Bank and visit Bethlehem.
AlJazeera 24 Dec 2009 - Leader of opposition Kadima says she is open to discuss any serious offer.
Israeli settler killed in West Bank
AlJazeera 24 Dec 2009 - Gunmen kill the man in shooting attack near an Israeli settlement in the West Bank.
Hamas 'considering' Israel swap
AlJazeera 23 Dec 2009 - Group to hold talks with top leaders in Syria on Israeli prisoner exchange proposal.
Clashes reported at Iran protests
AlJazeera 23 Dec 2009 - Incidents occur as crowds in Isfahan mourn death of dissident Hossein Ali Montazeri.
Alternative Information Center 24 Dec 2009 - Israel never managed to develop a uniform, egalitarian public education system. In fact, the most outstanding characteristic of education in Israel today is segregation or separation - on the basis of ethnicity, degree of religiosity, and...
Condemnation of Israeli Arrests of Human Rights Activists in the West Bank
Alternative Information Center 23 Dec 2009 - On 15 December 2009, Jamal Juma', Coordinator of the Stop the Wall campaign, was seized from his home by Israel forces and placed in detention. On 21 December, the Military Court at the Russian Compound in...
PNN 24 Dec 2009 - Israel's security barrier, complete with looming watchtowers, has found its way into the nativity scenes on sale to tourists. The shelves of Bethlehem's tourist shops this winter are filled with the gifts you might expect. There are countless carved olive-wood crucifixes, angels and last suppers. But there are also unexpected nativity scenes complete with Joseph, Mary, crib, wise men and large Israeli...
Gaza underground on schedule to beat Egypt's wall
PNN 23 Dec 2009 - RAFAH // Ismail Atallah could not hide his disgust. With both hands he squeezed an imaginary throat in front of him. “This is what they are trying to do,” he said. “They want to strangle us. The blood of 1.5 million people means nothing to the Egyptians.”Mr Atallah, 45, an unemployed labourer, was condemning a steel wall that Egypt is constructing on its...
Bethlehem gets first Christmas rock concert
PNN 23 Dec 2009 - BETHLEHEM, West Bank — O Come All Ye Faithful to Bethlehem's first Christmas rock festival. A young musician who grew up near Jesus' traditional birthplace feels the old-fashioned way of marking the holiday — hanging around Manger Square and listening to carols — is a little dull.So Emmanuel Fleckenstein has organized a three-day battle of the bands that he hopes will attract...
Danger: Popular struggle
PNN 23 Dec 2009 - There is an internal document that has not been leaked, or perhaps has not even been written, but all the forces are acting according to its inspiration: the Shin Bet, Israel Defense Forces, Border Police, police, and civil and military judges. They have found the true enemy who refuses to whither away: The popular struggle against the occupation. Over the past few...
Peace high on Gazans' Christmas wish list
PNN 24 Dec 2009 - GAZA CITY // Father Jorge Hernandez was busy and distracted. Yesterday was the third day he had spent composing his Christmas sermon, and he hadn’t finished it yet. “Good intentions are the foundation for hope,” the Latin Catholic priest said his message would be. “Hope is something we have to pray for in Gaza, where we celebrate Christmas with mixed feelings, remembering the...
Jeruslalem Post 24 Dec 2009 - Mithal al-Alusi, who visited Israel and whose sons were murdered in apparent payback, says he has 'insider information'.
Analysis: The domino effect
Jeruslalem Post 24 Dec 2009 - Obama's engagement policy signals that the US is willing concede to Iran's bid for regional hegemony.
A unique treasure
Jeruslalem Post 24 Dec 2009 - Cleveland philanthropists endow Israel Museum with $12 million gift to support "legacy of Jewish life."
Pro-Israeli lobby sues Hamas in Belgium
Jeruslalem Post 24 Dec 2009 - Mashaal, Haniyeh among those targeted by lawsuit filed on behalf of 15 Gaza periphery residents.
Hamas: We'll respond to Schalit counter-offer by next week
Jeruslalem Post 24 Dec 2009 - High-level discussions of terror group's Damascus-based leadership to continue for next few days as group studies latest Israeli offer.
Unlimited permit quota for Palestinian Christians
Jeruslalem Post 24 Dec 2009 - Over 10,000 permits so far issued in W. Bank; 300 Gazans allowed out; watch Peres' Xmas blessing.
Police attacked by haredi mob in J'lem
Jeruslalem Post 24 Dec 2009 - Officers were in Beit Yisrael neighborhood tending to woman who was assaulted by "modesty patrol."
Livni: Don't help PM weaken Kadima
Jeruslalem Post 24 Dec 2009 - Kadima leader implores Mofaz to keep party ranks unified, but her No. 2 calls for primaries.
Youths warn Barak they won't evacuate
Jeruslalem Post 24 Dec 2009 - 200 pre-IDF teens tell defense minister in letter their commitment to Torah precedes that to army.
IPS HONOLULU, U.S., Dec 16 (IPS) - Although the tumult that has gripped Iran since the contested Jun. 12 election has never abated, two recent occurrences have highlighted the further sharpening of internal conflict and the government's inability to restore stability in the face of creative ways the opposition has learned...
US-LEBANON: Hard Line on Hezbollah Clashes with Political Reality
IPS WASHINGTON, Dec 23 (IPS) - Lebanese President Michel Sleiman visited Washington last week, for his first visit with President Barack Obama. The meeting was a quick one, tucked in amongst the myriad of domestic issues that are demanding Obama's attention.
12/25/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - 21 December - Imprisoned American citizen and Minnesota resident Ryan Olander to be deported to the US after being arrested in Sheikh Jarrah, Occupied East Jerusalem, whilst visiting Palestinian family whose house has been taken over by Israeli settlers. Ryan was visiting the al-Kurds in the tent the Palestinian family built in their own backyard, after the recent setter take-over of a section of their house. At 1. 15pm, 6 Israeli police walked into the tent, where Ryan was talking to the family members and drinking tea, and took him for questioning at the Russian Compound police station in west Jerusalem. From the Givon prison in Ramle where Mr. Olander is currently awaiting his deportation hearing he reported that: "On Friday, 18 December, I was placed under arrest illegally. A police officer forcibly removed me from the al-Kurd private residence and proceeded to file a fallacious police report. . . "
For Palestinians, possession of used IDF arms is now a crime
12/24/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Amira Hass, Haaretz - The Israel Defense Forces consider it a crime punishable by imprisonment for a Palestinian to possess used IDF weapons, according to an indictment filed by the military prosecutor against Abdullah Abu Rahma of the West Bank town of Bil'in. Abu Rahma, 39, is coordinator of the Bil'in Popular Committee Against the Wall, which has been holding demonstrations against construction of the separation fence on the village's land. A teacher by profession, he was arrested by IDF troops on December 10 and indicted in a military court last Tuesday. In addition to charges of incitement and throwing stones, Abu Rahma was charged with illegal weapons possession due to his alleged possession of M16 rifle bullets and gas and concussion grenades – which, the indictment said, "the accused and his associates used for an exhibition that showed people the means used by the security forces. "
Breaking Palestine’s peaceful protest
12/24/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Neve Gordon, The Guardian, 23 December - Palestinians have a long history of nonviolent resistance but Israel has continuously deployed methods to destroy it - "Why," I have often been asked, "haven't the Palestinians established a peace movement like the Israeli Peace Now? "The question itself is problematic, being based on many erroneous assumptions, such as the notion that there is symmetry between the two sides and that Peace Now has been a politically effective movement. Most important, though, is the false supposition that Palestinians have indeed failed to create a pro-peace popular movement. In September 1967 - three months after the decisive war in which the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem were occupied - Palestinian leaders decided to launch a campaign against the introduction of new Israeli textbooks in Palestinian schools.
Settlers attempt to destroy Christmas tree following Palestinian celebration in Sheikh Jarrah
12/24/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - 23 December - On Wednesday 23 December at 11. 30pm, as every other night, settlers began to circulate in the street between the occupied Gawi house and the half-occupied al-Kurd house in Sheikh Jarrah. After about an hour of general harassment of the Palestinian families living in the neighbourhood since 1956, the settlers increased their aggression and started throwing fruit at the people who sat in front of the Kurd family house to protect it from further invasions. Two settlers started making graffiti and sprayed over Palestinian flags painted on the wall of the al-Kurd backyard, while the rest pushed and cursed the Palestinians and internationals, who verbally tried to make them stop. A solidarity activist filming the episode was spray-painted in the face numerous times. Three border policemen stood next by and watched without interfering for the whole duration of the attack.
Residents of Sheikh Jarrah celebrate Christmas despite ongoing settler expansion
12/24/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - 23 December 2009 - "Merry Christmas to all the Christians and Happy New Year," Nasser Gawi after his first Christmas tree decoration. On Wednesday, 23 December, residents of Sheikh Jarrah organised a Christmas celebration outside the occupied homes of the Gawi and al-Kurd families. At 11am two trees, donated by the Jerusalem Collation, were brought by the Palestinian community, and were continually decorated thoughout the day. The decorations started from handmade paper baskets filled with candy for the children, a panda bear and monkey toys, who had been living outside with the Ghawe family, and ended with streamers, tensile, and a bright lit up star. The best decorations were the Palestinian flags flowing across the trees. The celebration started around 4pm and more than 100 people came to join in the fun. There were lots of media outlets that showed up and seemed to enjoy themselves; even with the constant presence of the settlers.
Times: Auschwitz sign stolen to fund Swedish terror attacks
Ha'aretz 24 Dec 2009 - The group that ordered the theft of the infamous 'Arbeit Macht Frei' sign from the gates of Auschwitz planned to sell it to fund violent attacks against the Swedish Prime Minister and Parliament, the Times of London reported on Thursday. ...
Report: Madoff treated for face fractures, collapsed lung
Ha'aretz 24 Dec 2009 - Disgraced financier Bernard Madoff was hospitalized late last week and treated for facial fractures, broken ribs and a collapsed lung, a Raleigh, North Carolina television station reported on its Web site on Thursday. ...
Jewish group: Carter's apology to Jewish community a 'publicity stunt'
Ha'aretz 24 Dec 2009 - The holiday season brought U.S. Jews a surprising gesture from former president Jimmy Carter recently, when he issued a letter of apology for "stigmatizing Israel" . ...
Guardian: Headline on Israeli organ harvesting was serious error
Ha'aretz 24 Dec 2009 - The British paper The Guardian issued a correction on Tuesday, conceding that it should not have run the headline "Israel admits harvesting Palestinian organs" on a story that, according to the correction, "did not match the article." ...
Iran bans memorials for dissident cleric in wake of violence
Ha'aretz 24 Dec 2009 - Iran banned memorials for the country's most senior dissident cleric and reiterated a stern warning to the opposition Thursday, after days of services in honor of the spiritual leader turned into street protests against the government. ...
The Guardian 23 Dec 2009 - The report of the 16 NGOs ( Help end Gaza blockade, aid groups urge EU , 22 December) castigates Israel for banning the import into Gaza of materials urgently needed for reconstruction. Israel has certainly been holding back...
Letters: Palestinian children suffer amid the ruins
The Guardian 23 Dec 2009 - Last year it was the terror of bombs, now it is the desolation of a future destroyed ( Childhood in ruins , G2, 17 December). The physical injuries suffered by the people of Gaza are healing, to varying...
Miss Palestine contest shelved over moral fears
The Guardian 23 Dec 2009 - It had been billed as a beauty contest tailor-made for the Middle East: a pageant in which the contestants would not dress immodestly and the swimsuit round would be dropped. But, despite efforts to cater for...
Bethlehem's modern nativity scene crib, wise men and separation wall
The Guardian 23 Dec 2009 - Israel's security barrier, complete with looming watchtowers, has found its way into the nativity scenes on sale to tourists The shelves of Bethlehem's tourist shops this winter are filled with the gifts you might expect. There...
Breaking Palestine's peaceful protest | Neve Gordon
The Guardian 23 Dec 2009 - Palestinians have a long history of nonviolent resistance but Israel has continuously deployed methods to destroy it "Why," I have often been asked, "haven't the Palestinians established a peace movement like the Israeli Peace Now ?" The...
Video: Middle East prisoner exchange could be derailed
The Guardian 23 Dec 2009 - Israeli objections threaten to derail swap of Hamas prisoners for captive soldier Gilad Shalit
Israeli objections threaten to derail Gilad Shalit-for-Hamas prisoner swap
The Guardian 22 Dec 2009 - Deal being brokered by German official hinges on which Palestinians convicted of armed attacks would be freed Israel and Hamas were tonight facing serious disagreements that could scupper a long-awaited prisoner exchange likely to see hundreds...
Israel will work to free soldier Gilad Shalit but 'not at any price'
The Guardian 22 Dec 2009 - Ehud Barak responds to Hamas offer to free Gilad Shalit in exchange for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners Israel's defence minister today said his government was doing its utmost to win the release of Gilad Shalit, a...
The separation wall | Austen Ivereigh
The Guardian 22 Dec 2009 - I would get rid of the Israeli separation wall, not just for Christmas, but for all our sakes Within spitting distance of the very spot Jesus Christ was born is one of the world's great monstrosities, "...
Israel's doctors must allay torture fears | Antony Lerman
The Guardian 22 Dec 2009 - Allegations of Israeli doctors colluding in the torture of Palestinians must be investigated One of the disturbing features of the persistent use of torture by many countries in conflict situations around the world is the role...
Ha'aretz 24 Dec 2009 - Last week, Israel removed a West Bank road block on the very road where 40-year-old Meir Hai was killed in a shooting attack Thursday afternoon, so said an Israel Defense Forces officer who preferred to remain nameless. ...
Netivot woman sentenced to 8-years for sexually abusing her sons
Ha'aretz 24 Dec 2009 - A woman, 40, was sentenced on Thursday to 8-years in jail and 12-months suspended sentence, for sexually abusing her two sons. ...
U.S. rabbi involved in sex scandal led fight against Israel conversions
Ha'aretz 24 Dec 2009 - It is hard to imagine a more embarrassing situation in which to find an exclusive ultra-Orthodox organization - a group that was a standard-bearer in the fight against "breaches in the wall of conversion" and "the penetration of complete gentiles into the vineyard of Israel." ...
Inspectors, police, civilians all chase 'Jewish pony' in Holon
Ha'aretz 24 Dec 2009 - This was a pursuit for which no policeman was prepared: Two inspectors, riot police, a police patrol car and one civilian ? all of them participated on Wednesday in the hunt for a pony that galloped across the central city of Holon. ...
Netanyahu asks Livni, Kadima to join unity government
Ha'aretz 24 Dec 2009 - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked opposition leader Tzipi Livni, the chairwoman of Kadima, on Thursday to join a unity government. Livni did not immediately reject the offer, and added that if the offer is real "I always said that it is up for discussion." ...
Relief Web 24 Dec 2009 - Source: Agence France-Presse
Israeli settler killed in West Bank shooting: medics
Relief Web 24 Dec 2009 - Source: Agence France-Presse
Kuwaiti donates USD 33,000 to Gazan families in need
Relief Web 24 Dec 2009 - Source: Kuwait News Agency
Gaza 12 months on: responding to need, pressing for action
Relief Web 24 Dec 2009 - Source: Department for International Development
OPT: Back to work - earning a living in a shattered economy
Relief Web 24 Dec 2009 - Source: Department for International Development
OPT: The basics - accessing safe water
Relief Web 24 Dec 2009 - Source: Department for International Development
YNet News 24 Dec 2009 - Hamas’ Gaza, Damascus leaderships at odds over several issues pertaining to swap deal
Israel to allow glass into Gaza
YNet News 24 Dec 2009 - Israel complies with Ban Ki-moon’s request, glass for Gaza reconstruction to reach Strip
Settlers slam government over shooting attack
YNet News 24 Dec 2009 - Yesha Council heads, MKs say terror attack result of roadblocks' removal, construction freeze. 'The Arabs are interpreting government's decision as green light to harm settlers,' says MK Arieli
Report: Israel wants to send Shalit supplies
YNet News 24 Dec 2009 - Al-Jazeera Television says Israel asked German mediator to convince Hamas to let it send captive soldier provisions; arrange for a doctor's visit
Man killed in West Bank shooting
YNet News 24 Dec 2009 - (Video) Meir Avshalom Hai, 45, murdered in shooting attack on West Bank road Thursday afternoon; Magen David Adom ambulance teams, security forces rush to scene, troops scour area for suspects
White House says won't oppose Kerry's visit to Iran
YNet News 24 Dec 2009 - US administration said to support appointment of former presidential candidate as US envoy to Iran
22 Dec 2009 - B'Tselem's and Bimkom's new report reveals that as far back as the 1970s, Israel planned to annex Ma’ale Adummim. To do this, it expropriated over the years tens of thousands of dunams of Palestinian land and expelled hundreds of Beduin who were living th
Daily Star 24 Dec 2009 Iranian security forces armed with batons and tear gas clashed with supporters of the late dissident cleric Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri in two cities on Wednesday, opposition websites said. But a senior local official denied reports of clashes in Isfahan, accusing foreign media of "staging a psychological war" against the clerical establishment by publishing such reports.
Hamas leaders weigh Israeli draft on prisoner swap
Daily Star 24 Dec 2009 A German mediator gave Hamas on Wednesday Israel's response to a proposed swap freeing hundreds of jailed Palestinians for a captured soldier, and the Islamist group said it would need days to review the new draft. Signaling a possible breakthrough, a Hamas official said he expected the group to send a delegation from the Gaza Strip to Damascus by Thursday to meet exiled Hamas leaders.
Visiting Turkish premier hails ties with Syria
Daily Star 24 Dec 2009 Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan hailed Turkey's fast expanding relations with Syria as model for its ties with other Arab countries during a visit to Damascus Wednesday. "We are in the process of building with Syria a sound structure for the Middle East - we need to create a foundation for peace in the region," Erdogan said.
Gaza demonstration puts spotlight on civilian suffering
Daily Star 24 Dec 2009 More than 50,000 people are expected to take to the streets of Gaza on December 31 for a mass march designed to send a message to the United States, a key supporter of Israel's army, that the situation in Gaza violates international human rights laws. The idea behind the "Gaza Freedom March" comes from CODEPINK, a women's peace group committed.
Erakat: Peace talks can restart if Israel halts settlements
Daily Star 24 Dec 2009 Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat said in an interview published Wednesday that he would immediately resume peace talks with Israel if it freezes all settlement construction in occupied land. "Erakat is ready to continue where he left off with [former Israeli premier Ehud Olmert]," the negotiator told the Austrian daily Kurier.
Bethlehem wall kills Christmas for Palestine
Daily Star 24 Dec 2009 Christian visitors coming to Bethlehem this week to celebrate the birth of Christ will encounter a concrete wall with watchtowers, built by Israel between nearby Jerusalem and the Church of the Nativity. In a message to remind the world of the Israeli barrier's existence, the Palestine Liberation Organization said the wall symbolized a "Christmas without hope" for the ancient city.
Iraq attacks target church, election candidate
Daily Star 24 Dec 2009 A pre-Christmas attack on a church killed two people in the Iraqi city of Mosul Wednesday while a Sunni Arab candidate died in a bombing in Fallujah, the first such murder ahead of March polls. They were among 11 people killed in violence across the country, despite security forces ramping up their presence ahead of Christmas and the Shiite commemoration ceremonies of Ashura.
PIC 25 Dec 2009 - The seventh annual conference of the international Quds institution is to discuss in Beirut in mid January the retreat in official and popular Arab support for the holy occupied city of Jerusalem.
European campaign denies calling for boycott of Egyptian products
PIC 25 Dec 2009 - The European campaign to end the siege on Gaza denied that it called for boycotting Egyptian products in protest against its building of a steel wall on Gaza borders.
Haneyya gov’t rejects Dennis Ross plan and any temporary solutions
PIC 25 Dec 2009 - The Palestinian government headed by premier Ismail Haneyya on Tuesday reiterated its rejection of the plan of Dennis Ross and the temporary solutions to the Palestinian cause.
Palestinian center demands immediate release of Khafsh from PA jail
PIC 25 Dec 2009 - The Palestinian center for the defense of prisoners has urged the PA in Ramallah to immediately release Fuad Al-Khafsh, describing his detention as a shame and a real farce.
Palestinian kidnapped, another handed demolition note in villages in Al-Khalil
PIC 25 Dec 2009 - A Palestinian citizen was kidnapped and another was handed a demolition warning during Israeli raids carried out yesterday and today on the villages of Dura, Yatta and Idna in Al-Khalil district.
PLC delegation meets UN representative, arrives in Libya
PIC 25 Dec 2009 - The Palestinian legislative council (PLC) delegation met on Wednesday with the UN Secretary General's representative Lakhdar Al-Ibrahimi in the course of the official visit to Algeria.
Khudari: World community responsible for delay in lifting siege, reconstruction
PIC 25 Dec 2009 - Palestinian MP Jamal Al-Khudari held the world community responsible for not assuming legal and ethical duties towards the Gaza siege.
Falk calls for economic sanctions against Israel to lift the Gaza siege
PIC 25 Dec 2009 - Richard Falk, UN Special Rapporteur on "the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories," has called for the swift implementation of the recommendations included in Goldstone's report.
Bardawil: Hamas became stronger after its victory in Gaza war
PIC 25 Dec 2009 - Senior Hamas official and lawmaker Dr. Salah Al-Bardawil stated Wednesday that his Movement has become stronger and more powerful after its victory in the Israeli war on the Gaza Strip.
Hamas: Our response to Israeli offer on swap deal after discussion
PIC 25 Dec 2009 - Hamas Movement said that it received the Israeli response to the German mediator's proposal on the prisoners' exchange deal and would study the response.
LA Times 25 Dec 2009 - Protesters honoring the late Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, Iran's leading dissident cleric, are met by police in riot gear. Several thousand protesters took to the streets of Tehran on Thursday and clashed with security forces in the latest round of unrest over Iran's disputed June presidential election, according to witnesses and amateur video posted on the Internet.
Iran protests spread in heartland
LA Times 24 Dec 2009 - Demonstrations in Esfahan and Najafabad are evidence that the opposition movement has spread beyond Tehran to include a broad cross-section of people in central Iran. Large-scale protests spread in central Iranian cities Wednesday, offering the starkest evidence yet that the opposition movement that emerged from the disputed June presidential election has expanded beyond its base of mostly young, educated Tehran residents to at least some segments of the country's pious heartland.
Vatican, Israel joust over Jerusalem site
LA Times 23 Dec 2009 - The Mt. Zion site where Jesus is believed to have gathered his disciples for the Last Supper was lost to the Roman Catholic Church more than 450 years ago. No accord was reached in the latest talks. The government of Israel seems to be embracing the Christmas spirit. This week it is organizing carols and tree giveaways in Jerusalem, bus service to Bethlehem and even a fireworks show in Nazareth with an apparent eye on burnishing the nation's reputation for religious diversity.
New York Times 24 Dec 2009 - The political turmoil has has silenced pragmatic voices in Tehran and made it nearly impossible for anyone to support nuclear cooperation without being accused of capitulating to the West.
World Briefing | Middle East: West Bank: Israeli Settler Killed
New York Times 24 Dec 2009 - A little-known militant group identifying itself as a faction of Fatah claimed responsibility for shooting the man.
Police Try to Quell Protesters Who Mourn Iranian Cleric
New York Times 24 Dec 2009 - In Tehran and the northwestern city of Zanjan, officers clashed with demonstrators defying a ban on memorial ceremonies for Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri.
Netanyahu Asks Rival to Join Government
New York Times 24 Dec 2009 - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked Tzipi Livni to join his government, saying Israel faced existential choices that need a broad coalition.
Memo From Tel Aviv: A Tougher Stance on the Use of Military Force Stirs Little Public Debate
New York Times 24 Dec 2009 - A year after the Gaza offensive, the devastating use of force is seen as an effective deterrent against threats from Hamas and Hezbollah.
Yitzhak Ahronovitch, Exodus Skipper in Defiant ’47 Voyage of Jewish Refugees, Dies at 86
New York Times 24 Dec 2009 - The violent interception of the ship by the British Navy in 1947 helped rally support for the creation of the state of Israel.
Palestine Monitor - 22 Dec 2009 - For the last two months, every Friday several peace activists and ordinary citizens have organized a demonstration in East Jerusalem protesting against Israeli authorities who have evicted several Palestinian residents of Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood. The eviction of Palestinians from their homes in East Jerusalem is illegal...
Non-violent activists under attack
Palestine Monitor - 22 Dec 2009 - The West Bank villages of Bi'lin and Ni'lin have been invaded again on Saturday early morning by Israeli military: soldiers entered both villages and raided houses. For the last months residents of West Bank villages committed to non violent resistance, have been constantly subjected to arrests,...
Bibi in the bunker: you’re either with us or you ‘ram’ us
Mondoweiss - 23 Dec 2009 - Is it just my flair for the dramatic, or does this Netanyahu speech exude bunker mentality? He doesn’t understand that Israel’s standing has never been lower internationally because of factors Netanyahu can actually control: Gaza, killing the Goldstone report, suppressing peaceful protest, endless colonization. From a...
This has to be seen to be believed: Bil’in leader charged with arms possession
Mondoweiss - 23 Dec 2009 - Abdallah Abu Rahmah , a leader of the weekly nonviolent protests in Bil’in, has finally been charged after being arrested nearly two weeks ago by the Israeli military. Abu Rahmah’s arrest has been part on an ongoing Israeli campaign against Palestinian nonviolent resistance leaders . The charges against...
Oh just imagine if the Palestinian resistance movement were happening in Iran!
Mondoweiss - 23 Dec 2009 - Imagine if the Palestinian resistance movement were taking place in Iran! Dashing Mohammad Othman now rotting in detention would be a global cause. The middle-of-the-night arrest of Abdallah Abu Rahmah would be on the Nightly News. The New York Times would tell the stories of international...
eyes wide shut
Mondoweiss - 23 Dec 2009 - 2009 The Year in  Pictures, from the New York Times /International Herald Tribune. You might be particularly interested in the first of the pictures: "January." What does it tell Palestinians in Gaza? I’m sure it was awful for those in the picture, but the question...
Q: Would a leading US newspaper dare to attack the ‘reign of Jewish supremacy’? A: No
Mondoweiss - 23 Dec 2009 - The great Amira Hass has a piece in Haaretz saying that the Israeli gov’t is suppressing the Palestinian protests of colonization because it fears that the struggle for self-determination will resonate around the world. Popular struggle, she describes it. So we are now in the period...
An Outrageous and Pathetic Weapon Against BDS: Stop Instrumentalizing Anti-Semitism!
Alternative Information Center - 23 Dec 2009 - Every time the State of Israel is confronted with substantial international criticism for its political behavior and its violations of basic international standards, it counter-attacks by using the infamous tool of accusations of anti-Semitism. One remembers the campaign on anti-Semitism launched by Ariel Sharon and his...
Condemnation of Israeli Arrests of Human Rights Activists in the West Bank
Alternative Information Center - 23 Dec 2009 - On 15 December 2009, Jamal Juma', Coordinator of the Stop the Wall campaign, was seized from his home by Israel forces and placed in detention. On 21 December, the Military Court at the Russian Compound in Jerusalem extended his detention by a further four days. Although...
Breaking Palestine’s peaceful protest
Neve Gordon, The Guardian 12/23/2009
"Why," I have often been asked, "haven’t the Palestinians established a peace movement like the Israeli Peace Now?"
The question itself is problematic, being based on many erroneous assumptions, such as the notion that there is symmetry between the two sides and that Peace Now has been a politically effective movement. Most important, though, is the false supposition that Palestinians have indeed failed to create a pro-peace popular movement.
In September 1967 – three months after the decisive war in which the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem were occupied – Palestinian leaders decided to launch a campaign against the introduction of new Israeli textbooks in Palestinian schools. They did not initiate terrorist attacks, as the prevailing narratives about Palestinian opposition would have one believe, but rather the Palestinian dissidents adopted Mahatma Gandhi-style methods and declared a general school strike: teachers did not show up for work, children took to the streets to protest against the occupation and many shopkeepers closed shop.
Israel’s response to that first strike was immediate and severe: it issued military orders categorising all forms of resistance as insurgency – including protests and political meetings, raising flags or other national symbols, publishing or distributing articles or pictures with political connotations, and even singing or listening to nationalist songs.
Moreover, it quickly deployed security forces to suppress opposition, launching a punitive campaign in Nablus, where the strike’s leaders resided. As Major General Shlomo Gazit, the co-ordinator of activities in the occupied territories at the time, points out in his book The Carrot and the Stick, the message Israel wanted to convey was clear: any act of resistance would result in a disproportionate response, which would make the population suffer to such a degree that resistance would appear pointless. more.. e-mail
Return to Gaza
Amira Howeidy, Al-Ahram Weekly 12/17/2009
International solidarity with besieged Gaza is gaining momentum despite a Western media blackout. Amira Howeidy reports on the progress of the second Viva Palestina aid convoy as it crosses Europe.
It’s Tuesday, 15 December and the Viva Palestina convoy of international activists and politicians, who started their journey in the UK on 5 December, finally have a chance to relax. Not only is the weather a little warmer in Turkey, but so is the convoy’s reception. On the course of its journey through Western Europe, taking in Belgium, Germany, Austria and Italy, this life line to besieged Gaza -- at 45km long and 10km wide the world’s largest open prison -- was flatly ignored by the mainstream media.
Ten days from now marks the first anniversary of Israel’s 22-day war on the Gaza Strip. During Operation Cast Lead the Israeli army’s aerial and artillery bombardment killed over 1,400 Palestinians, most of them civilians, including 400 children. More than 5,300 were injured and maimed. Israel systematically destroyed Gaza’s infrastructure, including the Islamic University, hospitals, schools, mosques and UN quarters. The densely populated Strip, home to 1.5 million Palestinians, faced a barrage of chemical attacks in the form of white phosphorous shells which burn through skin and flesh all the way to the bone.
After leaving Turkey, where local NGOs managed to raise funds for 70 more aid vehicles to Gaza, Viva Palestina (VP) will cross the border to Syria, then on to Lebanon and Jordan. VP, which will by then comprise 110 vehicles accompanied by 420 activists, will then be ferried across the Red Sea to Nuweiba, from where the convoy will drive to the Egyptian- Gaza border town of Rafah, arriving on 27 December. Depending on the flexibility of the Egyptian authorities, the convoy will cross to Gaza to deliver medical and humanitarian supplies and other forms of aid to the Palestinians. In doing so it will break the strict siege Israel, with the blessings of the international community, has imposed on Gaza since June 2007. more.. e-mail
Has Mahmoud Abbas Lost All Credibility Among Palestinians?
Mohammed Omer, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs 12/1/2009
The now-reversed decision by the Western-backed Palestinian Authority (PA) to defer until March 2010 a vote on the Goldstone report by the Geneva-based U.N. Human Rights Council (UNHRC) constituted “a huge betrayal” of the Palestinian people, critics in Gaza, the occupied West Bank and abroad charged.
The 575-page report (see November 2009 Washington Report, p. 13) presented strong evidence that Israel engaged in multiple war crimes and crimes against humanity during its 22-day assault on Gaza last December and January. Dubbed “Operation Cast Lead,” the attack employed ground troops, F-16 warplanes, white phosphorus, missiles, tanks and helicopter gunships, destroying key elements of Gaza’s infrastructure, killing more than 1,400 men, women and children, and injuring more than 5,000 Gazans.
Although the Palestinians have no army, navy or air force, the report cited evidence that militia fighters in Gaza, which is under the leadership of the Hamas government, likewise engaged in human rights violations and war crimes. The indiscriminate firing of homemade rockets into Israel damaged several buildings and killed three civilians, the report found. Ten Israeli soldiers also died during the assault, four as the result of friendly fire.
International law experts in the Netherlands expected that “the report by UNHRC would likely pave the way for the prosecution of the state of Israel and several of its leaders for war crimes in the International Criminal Court (ICC).” Palestinians hoped they would finally get some measure of justice after more than six decades of oppression and occupation. more.. e-mail
Villages challenge occupation on human rights day
Electronic Intifada: 24 Dec 2009 - As tortuous as the occupation is for the people of al-Tuwani, on 10 December -- International Human Rights Day -- they decided to offer support to other Palestinians by highlighting the discrimination faced by schoolchildren from the neighboring villages. The focus of Human Rights Day 2009 was on non-discrimination, a topic that is particularly appropriate in occupied Palestine where Palestinians face daily discrimination by Israel. Jo Ehrlich writes for The Electronic Intifada.
US campaign for academic boycott gaining strength
Electronic Intifada: 24 Dec 2009 - The United States Campaign for an Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel was formed in the immediate aftermath of Operation Cast Lead, bringing together educators of conscience who were unable to stand by and watch in silence Israel's indiscriminate assault on the Gaza Strip and its educational institutions. Today, over 500 US-based academics, authors, artists, musicians, poets and other arts professionals have endorsed our call.
Labor for Palestine comes under attack
Electronic Intifada: 24 Dec 2009 - Labor for Palestine's 14 December Open Letter from US Trade Unionists to AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka: Boycott Apartheid Israel has been met with an overwhelmingly positive response. However, it has also become clear that growing support for boycott, divestment and sanctions is seen as a threat by those who would continue US labor officialdom's support for the apartheid state of Israel, as evidenced by new attacks on Labor for Palestine.
US government's hard line on Hizballah clashes with political reality
Electronic Intifada: 24 Dec 2009 - WASHINGTON (IPS) - Lebanese President Michel Suleiman visited Washington last week, for his first visit with President Barack Obama. The meeting was a quick one, tucked in amongst the myriad of domestic issues that are demanding Obama's attention. Yet despite its brevity, the meeting touched upon issues that strike at the heart of the US-Lebanon relationship.
Palestine Monitor: 22 Dec 2009 - For the last two months, every Friday several peace activists and ordinary citizens have organized a demonstration in East Jerusalem protesting against Israeli authorities who have evicted several Palestinian residents of Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood. The eviction of Palestinians from their homes in East Jerusalem is illegal under international law which forbids an occupying power from transferring its own people into an occupied area. Despite this the international community has done little to abate the appropriation of houses here. There is growing concern that Zionists are attempting to create a new Jewish settlement in East Jerusalem which will strengthen Israeli claims to complete autonomy of the capital. On Friday December 18, the peaceful protest of around 300 people was violently interrupted by Israeli police. In an attempt to prevent demonstrators from gathering at Sheikh Jarrah, Israeli police blocked all the accesses to the area. The demonstration culminated in the front yard...
Palestine Chronicle: 24 Dec 2009 - By Bianca Zammit – Gaza 'Is this our fate? Is this what we are worth? Nothing more than pictures on the wall?' said Um Rabia referring to what has now become a custom in Palestine, covering walls in the streets, homes and shops with pictures of deceased family members. Um Rabia' children were killed by an automatic watch tower as they were walking to school. No soldiers, no officers and no government has ever been forced to take responsibility for this action and if trends are abided to then it is very hard to believe justice will be served in any near future. Unfortunately, Um Rabia' story is a very common story in Palestine. If this trend is not stopped, soon there shall be no more wall in the streets, in homes and in shops left uncovered. In October 2009 an opportunity presented itself at the door of the international community. This opportunity was seeking nothing but the truth on the human rights violations committed during operation Cast Lead. It listened and witnessed and applied international law. When the Goldstone report finally emerged it revealed the clear priorities of each nation especially their interest or disinterest in human rights and rule of law. The report found that Israel had committed war crimes and crimes against humanity. The international community has chosen to play down the findings cited in the report and to opt for lip service followed by inaction. Inaction has never brought justice and the let's wait and see...
Palestinians on Brink of Explosion
Palestine Chronicle: 24 Dec 2009 - By Nicola Nasser – The West Bank "In the absence of all hope, we cry out our cry of hope,” Palestinian Christian leaders, representing churches and church-related organizations, meeting in Bethlehem on December 11, concluded in their 13-page document titled “Kairos Palestine – 2009: A Moment of Truth,” enlisting Christians worldwide in proactive efforts to end the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories. Their “cry” symbolizes the popular mood of their people as well as the political status quo. On both sides of the inter-Palestinian divide between the U.S. – backed presidency and the Israeli – hunted legislative, the Fatah – led West Bank (where the leadership of the Palestine Liberation organization (PLO) is committed to peace, direct negotiations and security coordination with the Israeli occupying power, but the 16 –year old “peace process’ has reached an impasse and the negotiations are deadlocked in a one –year old stalemate over the cancer – like expanding Jewish colonial settlements) and the Hamas – led Gaza Strip (where the Islamic resistance Movement (Hamas) is strictly committed to ceasefire save in self – defense while conducting indirect negotiations mediated by Egypt and Germany over an exchange of POWs), both political and military solutions for the century – old Arab – Israeli conflict have failed and aborted all prospects of peace, which have proved an elusive mirage, a stark failure of the U.S. led world community. An imminent explosion seems the only breakthrough ahead. “There is no bilateral solution. The fastest road to the next...
Targeting Lebanon's Al Manar at Congress
Palestine Chronicle: 24 Dec 2009 - By Franklin Lamb - Beirut "Regarding Al Manar it's personal for Israel. The reason is that Al Manar did to the Israeli government propaganda machine during and following the July 2006 war what Hezbollah fighters did to Israeli troops. Al Manar kicked butt. That station must be made to disappear. The plan is to stop the 15-20 million daily viewers of Al Manar from receiving its transmission and well as to intimidate all the other Middle East TV channels that are suspected of moving toward the growing “Culture of Resistance’ spreading in the Middle East from Lebanon." -- A Washington DC observer of how Israel controls the US Congress 12/9/09. Lebanon is a small country, approximately 0.7% the size of Connecticut with a population a bit more than 1% of America’s. But according to the four public US ‘Terrorist’ and Watch lists and at least seven supposedly secret US ‘T lists’ there are more Lebanese ‘terrorists’ and ‘inciters’ on the loose per square meter of planet Earth than any other nationality. Way more than say Iraq, Iran, Syria, Afghanistan or Pakistan could reasonably hope to muster. Increasingly these ‘terrorists and inciters’ work is claimed by some in the US Congress to be done via satellite TV channels. Such is the thesis of Congressman Gus Bilirakis, the ‘author’ of the 122nd US Congressional anti-Arab, anti-Muslim initiative in the past decade now known as the “Terrorist TV” Bill which passed the House on 12/08/09 and is now before the US Senate Foreign...
Military Metaphysics and the Native Informer
Palestine Chronicle: 24 Dec 2009 - By Muhammad Idrees Ahmad During a talk in Dublin A few years back a respected left luminary postulated that one cause of rising extremism in Pakistan was the increasing number of young people turning to seminaries instead of scientific academies for their education. He attributed this insight—one that is sure to leave most Pakistanis bemused—to ‘a friend, a nuclear physicist in Pakistan’. Anyone even remotely familiar with Pakistan of course would know that the education system there is highly stratified: people with money send their children to private schools and those without to decrepit public institutions. Further down are the underclasses who are often forced to choose between educating their children or feeding and sheltering them. The dilemma is often resolved by sending children to seminaries, the much-maligned madaris (plural of madrassa) where they get food, shelter, and education. Few, if any, go to the madaris by choice (though almost all except the Westernized elite send their children to mosques at some point for basic religious education). So the speaker’s comment was odd, Mary Antoinette-ish. And given its quality, it was not hard to guess who its source, the nuclear physicist in question, might be. After reading Pervez Hoodbhoy in Counterpunch on December 14, 2009, one would have to be a fool to question his familiarity with Riverside Drive. However, Hoodbhoy would sound less fatuous if he were equally familiar with Peshawar Road. In the title and conclusion of his article Hoodbhoy sardonically asks where, if he is the tool...