InI Logo
Google
 
Web www.williambowles.info
PayPal
InI Needs Your Support!
Subscribe to InI’s Mailing List/Newsletter

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
30 December, 2009

News

International Middle East Media Center

Settlement Construction Continues in Kiryat Netafim
IMEMC 30 Dec 2009 - Wednesday December 30, 2009 - 17:42, Israel has informed the High Court of Justice that it will continue construction in a West Bank settlement, despite promises of a settlement freeze for a period of 10 months.

Health Ministry: Gaza has run out of 141 types of medical drugs
IMEMC 30 Dec 2009 - Wednesday December 30, 2009 - 16:43, The Palestinian Health Ministry reported on Wednesday that its inventories have run out of 141 types of prescription drugs.

The Israeli military kidnaps four Palestinian civilians from the West Bank
IMEMC 30 Dec 2009 - Wednesday December 30, 2009 - 15:43, Israeli troops kidnapped on Wednesday four Palestinian civilians during pre dawn military invasions targeting a number of West Bank communities.

Troops Violently Attack Four Palestinian Workers
IMEMC 30 Dec 2009 - Wednesday December 30, 2009 - 06:38, Israeli soldiers attacked on Tuesday at night four Palestinian workers, broke the legs of three of them and took the fourth to an unknown destination. The attack took place near Al Walaja village, near Jerusalem.

Haifa University bans commemoration of Israeli invasion
IMEMC 30 Dec 2009 - Tuesday December 29, 2009 - 22:52, Following a similar ban at Hebrew University, students at the University of Haifa were notified Tuesday that the administration would not allow their planned protest commemorating Israel's invasion of Gaza one year ago.

Israeli tanks open fire at farmers in northern Gaza Strip
IMEMC 30 Dec 2009 - Tuesday December 29, 2009 - 16:21, A number of Israeli tanks opened fire on Tuesday midday at Palestinian farmers near the northern Gaza Israeli borders.

Ma'an News

Family appeals for baby formula banned from Gaza
12/30/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Gazan resident Muhammad Abu Shabab appealed to the Palestinian Ministry of Health to put pressure on Israel to allow the import of Galactomin 19 infant formula for his 4-month-old nephew. Abu Shabab said in a statement that his nephew, Yahiya Ahmad Abu Shabab, has been suffering chronic diarrhea since he was born at Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, and that the formula is the only thing likely to stabilize his condition. The formula is designed for children with intolerances to lactose, galactose and glucose. After Yahiya's birth, he was treated at a hospital in Jaffa for digestion problems and returned home with four large containers of Galactomin 19 formula. According to his uncle, the last of the boy's containers of formula will soon be empty. There are no alternative formulas in the Gaza Strip. Abu Shabab said he approached local authorities, NGOs, and companies but could not locate solution that his nephew could use. 

UN: Israel bombed Gaza ’back to the mud age’
12/30/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The UN relief agency UNRWA said on Tuesday that Gaza had been "bombed back, not to the Stone Age, but to the mud age," because the agency was reduced to building houses out of mud due to Israel's ban on construction materials entering the Strip. "The Israeli blockade has meant that almost no reconstruction materials have been allowed to move into Gaza even though 60,000 homes were either damaged or completely destroyed. So we in UNRWA have been saying "˜let's lift this senseless blockage,'" UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness told UN Radio, according to the UN news service. Israel's three-week offensive on Gaza last December and January left more than 1,400 Palestinians, and 13 Israelis, dead. One year after the war, thousands of buildings remain in ruins due to the ban on construction materials. 

Gaza MoH runs out of 141 different medicines
12/30/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - The Ministry of Health in Gaza said it has run out of 141 types of medicines and 116 types of medical supplies due to Israeli restrictions on goods brought into Gaza, a monthly report released Wednesday said. The Israeli ban on certain medical items "puts patients' lives at risk," a statement on the report said. The ministry appealed to human rights groups and the International Committee of the Red Cross to pressure Israel to open its crossings with Gaza. Israel bans hundreds of foods, medical items, and consumer goods from Gaza as a part of a blockade that began in 2007. In December, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), only 36 types of food and consumer items were allowed into the Strip. 

Fatah to join Ni’lin protest
12/30/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Fatah's local Ramallah branch plans to bring members to the weekly anti-wall demonstration in the West Bank village of Ni'lin on Friday to mark the movement's 45th anniversary. A statement from the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee quoted a senior Fatah organizer saying, "Through 15 years of negotiations all we Palestinians have gained is the cementing of the reality of occupation through more settlements, segregated roads and the Wall. " "There is no other choice for us but struggle, and there is no other path for the people to thread, than that of resuming the strategies of the first Intifada," the official said. The announcement follows calls from Palestinian Authority (PA) and Fatah officials for popular demonstrations against the Israeli occupation. The movement's convention in Bethlehem in August saw a number of top leaders, including President. . . 

Sa’adat urges unity in message from prison
12/30/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Palestinians can restore national unity in 2010, the imprisoned leader of the leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), Ahmad Sa'adat in a Christmas and New Year message issued from his Israeli jail cell. "The new year, 2010, can be a year to restore the unity of our Palestinian people, break the siege on our heroic people in Gaza, and bring the occupation war criminals to trial before international courts," said the statement posted on the PFLP's website. The PFLP said Sa'adat met with his attorney on Monday for the first time in several months. The statement said the lawyer, from the prisoners' rights group Addameer, said Sa'adat "has high morale and great confidence in the ability of our people to end the internal national crisis. " In his message, Sa'adat said the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) must be completely "rebuilt on a democratic basis. . . " 

Bethlehem Christians boycott Greek Patriarch over land sales
12/30/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Thirteen Greek Orthodox Christian leaders met in Bethlehem Wednesday and voted unanimously to boycott the reception of the denomination'sPatriarch Theophilos III for the 6 January Christmas celebrations. Officials and scouts affiliated with the groups under the 13 and those they represent will not receive the Patriarch at the Mar Elias Monastery or meet him at the entrance to Bethlehem at Israel's Checkpoint 300 for his procession to the Nativity Church. The decision came as a result of a meeting in the Orthodox society headquarters in Bethlehem, following local leaders' dissatisfaction with the patriarch's unrealized promises to rectify issues of land sales to Israel that saw the previous patriarch sacked. The former Patriarch Irenaios I was voted out of the position in 2005 by the Brotherhood of the Holy Sephruchle, of which he had been the head. 

’Israel must allow journalists access to this important story’
12/30/2009 - Part four of a series recounting the findings of Richard Goldstone's UN Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza conflict. - Bethlehem - Ma'an - At least 375 Palestinians were dead and 1,720 injured, hundreds seriously, by the end of the fourth full day of Israeli airstrikes on Gaza one year ago today. In Beit Hanoun, Israeli missiles killed two Palestinian girls, four- and 11-year-old sisters, just one day after a mother lost five daughters in a strike on Jabaliya refugee camp the day before. The attacks, two of dozens that had killed more than 20 children since the military embarked on its operation, sparked a flurry of media reports despite Israel's best efforts to prevent international journalists from reporting the devastation in Gaza. While Israel's Foreign Ministry opened an international media broadcast center in Sderot the day after its assault began on 27 December 2008, and organized. . . . 

Three Gaza crossings partially open
12/30/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Israel decided to open three crossing points with the Gaza Strip to allow transfer of limited amounts of humanitarian aid and fuel on Wednesday. Among the goods delivered will be truckloads of gravel needed for projects organized by the Palestinian Water Authority, according to liaison official Raed Fattouh. Fattouh said the Kerem Shalom crossing will be open for 85 truckloads of aid and commercial goods. Karni crossing will allow 93 truckloads of wheat and animal feed, and 12 truckloads of gravel into the Strip. The Nahal Oz crossing will be operating, shipping limit limited quantities of cooking gas for domestic use, Fattouh said. Last week the Nahal Oz crossing opened only one of five scheduled days. After Hamas took full control of the Gaza Strip in June 2007 Israel began a strict blockade of the coastal enclave. 

Israel detains four Palestinians overnight
12/30/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The Israeli military announced on Wednesday that it detained four Palestinians during overnight operations in the West Bank. The detainees were "taken for questioning" the military said. The detainees were not immediately identified. [end] 

Protesters reject Egypt’s Gaza offer
12/30/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The organizers of the Gaza Freedom March rejected an Egyptian offer on Wednesday to allow 100 out of 1,300 supporters into the Gaza Strip. "We flatly reject Egypt's offer of a token gesture. We refuse to whitewash the siege of Gaza," said Ziyaad Lunat a member of the march's Coordinating Committee in a statement. "Our group will continue working to get all 1,362 marchers into Gaza as one step towards the ultimate goal for the complete end of the siege and the liberation of Palestine," he added. The Freedom March will walk the 41 kilometers from the southern end of Gaza at the Rafah crossing to the northern end at Israel's Erez crossing; the march was scheduled to take place on Thursday. Some organizers reportedly welcomed the Egyptian offer. "It's a partial victory," said Medea Benjamin, American activist one of the March's organizers, as quoted by AFP. 

Israel moves two life-term prisoners to Nafha isolation cells
12/30/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Israeli prison administration transferred two Palestinians in the Hedraim facility to the Nafha Desert Prison where they are being held in isolation cells, a Hamas committee announced on Thursday. Jihad Yaghmour from Jerusalem and Muhammad Dakhan from the An-Nuseirat Refugee Camp in Gaza had already been in isolation for three months prior to the move, the committee charged with monitoring detainees said. The committee said Jihad was born in Jerusalem in 1967, studied engineering in Turkey and was detained on 13 October 1994. He was detained for his alleged role in abduction of Israeli soldier Nachshon Vaksman, who was killed during an Israeli rescue attempt along with one other soldier. Jihad has developed lung problems and eye infections during his time in solitary confinement and has not received treatment, according to Hamas officials. 

PCBS: 10.88 million Palestinians in the world, half in diaspora
12/30/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an -The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics released a report on the Palestinian population worldwide, noting a decrease in family size for the population living in Palestinian territories. The report counted a total of 10. 9 million Palestinians worldwide by the end of 2009, with 2. 5 million in the West Bank including East Jerusalem, 1. 5million in the Gaza Strip and 1. 25 million living in Israel. More than half of the world Palestinian population, the report noted, live in the diaspora. Of those living in the diaspora 3. 24 million live in Jordan (29. 8%); 1. 78 million (16. 3%) in the other Arab countries, and 618,000 in orther foreign countries. Of those living in Palestinian areas,45. 0% are internally displaced refugees. By area, the numbers broke down to 18. 8% of the West Bank population and 26. 

Bethlehem mayor supports decision to boycott Patriarch
12/30/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - Bethlehem Governor Abdel Fattah Hamayel called the Arab Orthodox insitttions decision to boycott Greek Orthodox Patriarch Theophilos III's reception to Bethlehem for Christmas "unfortunate," and cautioned the church to be aware of the politics around the disposal of their lands. A group of 13 community and religious leaders form the Bethlehem area gathered Wednesday and decided to boycott the reception of the Patriarch on his 6 January Christmas visit to Bethlehem. The decision was made, group members said, over the Patriarch's failure to adequately redress land leases the former, and deposed, patriarch had made with Israeli construction companies. "What is going on now is really very unfortunate," Hamayeltold Ma'an, adding "the lands issue is a very sensitive case and of utmost importance for the homeland. 

Witnesses: Soldiers assault cab driver, mock beard
12/30/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - A Jerusalemite cab driver was stopped at the Bethlehem DCO on Thursday by soldiers who audibly mocked his beard, witnesses told Ma'an. The man, 37-year-oldNasser Muhammad Aton from Sur Baher, was beaten with rifle butts at the top of the Beit Jala hill where the Israeli District Coordination Office stands. Witnesses said Aton yelled at soldiers who mocked him, and the soldiers responded by physically beating the man. Following the incident Aton called the police, and was transferred by ambulance to the Sha`arey Tsedeq Hospital in Jerusalem where medics said he was moderately injured. [end] 

Abbas, Saudi king discuss peace talks
12/30/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - President Mahmoud Abbas held talks on the sputtering Middle East Peace process with Saudi King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz on Tuesday in Riyadh. "The discussion focused on the unfortunate US backtracking on the peace process, and the shift by the government of President Barack Obama to adopt the Israeli position," Palestinian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Jamal Abdul Latif Ash-Shubaki said. The ambassador said Abbas reminded the Saudi leader that when US President Barack Obama became president , he demanded Israel completely halt settlement expansion, which has not yet been implemented. He said the Palestinian Authority and Arab states are now turning to the UN Security Council to achieve a settlement freeze. Ash-Shubaki said that by contrast, the European Union had set out a clear position calling for an end to the Israeli occupation. 

PRC: Ready to respond to Israeli attack
12/30/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - The military wing of the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) is prepared to fight back against any future Israeli attack on Gaza, the movement declared on Wednesday. The PRC's An-Nasser Salah Ad-Din Brigades vowed in a statement to "inflict severe losses" on Israel in the event of a new offensive. In the statement, issued on the eighth anniversary of the death of the group's founder, Ismail Abu Al-Qumsan, the brigades pledged to continue the project of "resistance" to occupation and opposition to attempts to eliminate the Palestinian cause. On Tuesday, Palestinians in northern Gaza reported two separate incidents of Israeli violence. Witnesses reported Israeli soldiers firing on farmers as well as tanks patrolling the border area. The reports followed Israel's killing on Saturday of three Palestinians near the Erez border crossing. 

Hamas: Still weighing Israeli prisoner offer
12/30/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Hamas said on Wednesday it still needs more time to consider Israel's latest response in talks toward a proposed prisoner exchange. Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum in Gaza told Ma'an, "Hamas is still holding internal consultations among its leaders concerning the Israeli response "¦ it is too early to talk about concluding these consultations or releasing any outcomes. ""If these consultations are concluded, Hamas will deliver its response to the German mediator," he said. Israel communicated its offer through the mediator last week. Hamas' senior leadership has been meeting in Damascus to discuss the proposal, which reportedly calls for certain prisoners to be exiled rather than released to the West Bank. Hamas is demanding the release of some 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in return for that of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who has been held by fighters in Gaza since 2006. 

PLC official: Hamas, Fatah out of excuses for rivalry
12/30/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - Hamas-Fatah rivalry is now a feature of Palestinian life, and not merely a political issue, the deputy speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), Hassan Khreisha said on Tuesday. He said in an interview with Ma'an that Palestinians should take advantage of the one-year anniversary of what he termed a "holocaust" in Gaza to restore national unity. "I no longer truly know what we are disagreeing about," said Khreisha. "It appears that the dispute began as political but "¦ it has now become one of the details of Palestinian life. "All of the Palestinian factions involved in this division and its consequences are out of excuses," he added. Palestinian politics has been in a state of internal crisis since June 2007 when Hamas, the winner of 2006 elections, took full control of Gaza during fighting with Fatah. 

PA police arrest 26 in brawl north of Hebron
12/30/2009 - Hebron - Ma'an - Palestinian Authority police said on Wednesday they arrested 26 people when they broke up a brawl in the town of Beit Ummar, north of Hebron. The Public Relations department of the police said in a statement that they responded to a complaint from a family in Beit Ummar. One person was taken to a hospital for injuries, the police said. The statement added that those responsible for the fight would be prosecuted following an investigation. In a separate incident, police said a one-year-old child was crushed on Tuesday night by a gas truck in the town of Dura, south of Hebron. Police said Obeida Ziyad Badawy Hamdan was killed when a driver finished exchanging gas tubes, got back in the truck and began driving without noticing the child. Police said they confiscated the driver's license and also opened an investigation into the incident. 

Private and public New Year celebrations canceled in Nablus
12/30/2009 - Nablus - Ma'an - New Years Eve Celebrations hosted by the Nablus municipality will be canceled in honor of the memory of the three Nablus residents executed in their homes by Israeli soldiers on Saturday, the city's Mayor Jibrin Al-Bakri announced. The Thursday decision came following meetings by officials in Nablus, a spokesperson for the mayor said, explaining that Palestinians had a national duty to "respect the murder of the men," rather than "party and celebrate. "Cancellations extend to parties booked in halls and hotels by private parties. "Even if this has a bad economic impact on the city, it is what is appropriate," he said. On Saturday, Israeli forces entered Nablus for the first time in several months for one of the bloodiest operations in the city in over a year. The homes of three Fatah members - allegedly involved in the death of a settler the previous Wednesday - were broken into. 

Partial lunar eclipse expected on New Year’s Eve
12/30/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Astronomers are expecting a slight partial lunar eclipse on New Year's Eve which will be visible across Europe, Asia, and Africa. In Palestine, the eclipse will be visible from 8:52pm to 9:54pm local time. The eclipse coincides with the second full moon of the month, often called a "blue moon. "The details of the eclipse, from the US space agency NASA, are available here [end] 

US market brief expects several growth sectors in Palestine
12/30/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Growth in several Palestinian sectors including energy and telecommunications is expected over the next few years, a report by the US Commercial Service published Tuesday. The Service, a division of the US Department of Commerce, highlights opportunities for American investors in emerging market. "Over the next few years, infrastructure development, including upgrading the electricity network, will be a major growth sector of the Palestinian economy," the report notes, adding that the insufficient power supply in Palestine "is a serious impediment to the growth of the Palestinian economy. This sector will offer opportunities to U. S. companies. "For telecommunications, the report says "the influence of Palestinians familiar with American culture opens the door to good opportunities for American companies in establishing agents, distributors, and. . . 

PSE surges: Al-Quds Index up 1.38%
12/30/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Stocks surged on the Palestine Securities Exchange in the West Bank city of Nablus on Wednesday. At the close of trading, the Al-Quds Index stood at 493 increasing by 6. 7 points (1. 38%). Trading volume was 5,585,657 shares traded for a total value of 6,266,554. 15 US dollars, in 539 trades. The shares of 29 companies were traded. The share prices of 19 companies rose, and three declined. The top five gainers were NIC by 5. 00%, MIC by 4. 92%, AHC by 4. 76%, AZIZA by 4. 65%, and PID by 4. 30%. The top losers were NCI by 3. 33%, GCOM by 2. 91%, and WASSEL by 1. 75%. [end] 

Ha'aretz Defense page

Hamas: Shalit mediator to start new round of talks next week
Ha'aretz 30 Dec 2009 - Hamas awaiting German mediator's return to Mideast to give its official response to proposed deal. 

Shin Bet: 2009 had lowest terror levels in Israel this decade
Ha'aretz 30 Dec 2009 - 15 Israelis were killed in terror attacks in past year, down from 36 fatalities in 2008. 

Two Jerusalem Palestinians jailed for plotting to kidnap IDF soldiers
Ha'aretz 30 Dec 2009 - Ayad Avid and Abdullah Avid planned to use tractor to ram IDF jeep, then kidnap soldiers inside at gunpoint. 

Amid protests, Egypt defends right to build Gaza wall
Ha'aretz 30 Dec 2009 - Regional critics accuse Egypt of aiding in blockade of Gaza by building wall to curb smuggling. 

Israel can't launch strike against Iran on its own
Ha'aretz 30 Dec 2009 - It's doubtful whether Israel can allow itself to ignore U.S. wishes and stand alone against Iran's response. 

Lebanon's Druze leader urges Israeli Druze not to serve in IDF
Ha'aretz 30 Dec 2009 - Walid Jumblatt: Service as Israel's 'border guards' clashes with Druze membership in the Arab nation. 

High Court allows Palestinians to use Israeli highway
Ha'aretz 30 Dec 2009 - Second time in months Supreme Court orders the military to open roads deemed off-limits to Palestinians. 

Lebanon army says it fired at Israeli jets in south
Ha'aretz 30 Dec 2009 - Israel Air Force warplanes routinely fly over Lebanon but are rarely fired upon. 

Officer shoots Palestinian said to have tried to steal rifle
Ha'aretz 30 Dec 2009 - The officer claimed that a Palestinian dressed as a shepherd approached him at around noon on Tuesday. 

Barak: New Iran nuclear facility resistant to regular bombs
Ha'aretz 30 Dec 2009 - Defense Minister calls 2010 'year of threats, opportunities', encouraged by Abbas interest in renewing peace talks. 

U.S.: Israel plan to build in East Jerusalem harms peace process
Ha'aretz 30 Dec 2009 - Israel to build 700 new homes in East Jerusalem; state also may seize private Palestinian land in West Bank. 

More than 140 job-seekers apply to help IDF enforce settlement freeze
Ha'aretz 30 Dec 2009 - Applicants must have completed full military service, have a drivers license, good speaking skills and know how to interpret a map. 

Israel preparing to hand northern Ghajar over to UN
Ha'aretz 30 Dec 2009 - IDF plan to pull out from divided Lebanon border down angers residents, who want to return to Syria control. 

Israeli hurt in second West Bank road attack this week
Ha'aretz 30 Dec 2009 - Woman suffers burns after firebomb hits bus; IDF soldier hurt in clashes with Palestinians in Hebron. 

Bedouin mayor urges IDF to limit arms issue, after soldier kills comrade
Ha'aretz 30 Dec 2009 - IDF soldier shot in chest by comrade in Be'er Sheva mall as shoppers looked on; second soldier arrested. 

Hamas arrives in Egypt for Shalit talks, as Israel warns deal 'not close'
Ha'aretz 30 Dec 2009 - PM says Israel still 'not close' to closing deal with Hamas for release of abducted IDF soldier. 

Hamas marks year since war, but Gazans stay home
Ha'aretz 30 Dec 2009 - After days of heavy advertising, only a trickle of Hamas loyalists turn up to a commemoration in Gaza City. 

Israel's military avatar: Robots on the battlefield
Ha'aretz 30 Dec 2009 - With self-detonating grenades, thinking bullets and robot warriors, humans on the frontline could soon be a thing of the past. 

Despite U.S. rap, Netanyahu says IDF will keep 'aggressively' defending Israelis
Ha'aretz 30 Dec 2009 - Police: IDF snatched gun used to kill Israeli; U.S.: Explain killing of militants following attack. 

At militants' funeral, Palestinians vow revenge on Israel
Ha'aretz 30 Dec 2009 - IDF kills three Al Aqsa operatives responsible for death of West Bank settler earlier this week. 

Misc

Update from Cairo: Gaza Freedom March rejects Egyptian offer to allow only 100 protesters into Gaza
12/30/2009 - Mondoweiss - The latest from Cairo is that the Gaza Freedom March has rejected the Egyptian government’s offer to allow 100 protesters into Gaza. A press release from the march states:After three days of vigils and demonstrations in downtown Cairo, Suzanne Mubarak’s offer to allow just 100 of 1,300 delegates to enter Gaza was rejected by the Gaza Freedom March. Coordinating Committee as well as many of the larger contingents – including those from France, Scotland, Canada, South Africa, Sweden and New York State (U. S. ). “We flatly reject Egypt’s offer of a token gesture. We refuse to whitewash the siege of Gaza. Our group will continue working to get all 1362 marchers into Gaza as one step towards the ultimate goal for the complete end of the siege and the liberation of Palestine” said Ziyaad Lunat a member of the march Coordinating Committee. 

VIDEO - Gaza Freedom March Protests Continue in Cairo, Organizers Say Egypt Offer to Allow 100 into Gaza Not Sufficient
12/30/2009 - Democracy Now! - Hundreds of activists with the Gaza Freedom March are staging continued demonstrations and sit-ins in Cairo to protest the Egyptian government’s refusal to allow them to cross the border into Gaza. Organizers say an offer by Egyptian authorities this morning to allow just 100 members of the group to go to Gaza was not sufficient. More than 1,300 people from over forty countries are in Cairo as part of the Gaza Freedom March. We go to Cairo to speak with Ali Abunimah of Electronic Intifada. AMY GOODMAN: Hundreds of activists with the Gaza Freedom March are staging continued demonstrations and sit-ins in Cairo to protest Egypt’s refusal to allow them to cross the border into Gaza. Organizers say an offer by Egyptian authorities this morning to allow just a hundred members of the group to go to Gaza was not sufficient. More than 1,300 people came from over forty countries. 

UN expert repeats call for threat of sanctions against Israel over Gaza blockade
12/29/2009 - United Nations: International Law - Gaza has been “bombed back, not to the Stone Age, but to the mud age. . "- 29 December 2009 – The United Nations independent expert on Palestinian rights has again called for a threat of economic sanctions against Israel to force it to lift its blockade of Gaza, which is preventing the return to a normal life for 1. 5 million residents after the devastating Israeli offensive a year ago. “Obviously Israel does not respond to language of diplomacy, which has encouraged the lifting of the blockade and so what I am suggesting is that it has to be reinforced by a threat of adverse economic consequences for Israel,” Richard Falk, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, told UN Radio. “That probably is something that is politically unlikely to happen, but unless it happens, it really does suggest that the United States and the Quartet. . . . " 

VIDEO - Gaza Freedom March Updates
12/30/2009 - P U L S E - Sam Husseini speaks to Paul Jay of the Real News from Cairo. He is also liveblogging here. Also check out Kirstie and Angus MacLean’s updates and the always excellent coverage by our good friends at Mondoweiss. Ali Abunimah is also liveblogging from Cairo. Stephen Walt has written about the absence of coverage in the US media (here and here). This is what presumably prompted the New York Times to give some coverage today (albeit on page A8). Democracy Now, as always, has the best coverage of all. [Includes links] [end] 

Gaza Freedom March Update 30th of December
12/30/2009 - Mudhut - Photos - Yesterday, most of our group went down to the British embassy, and found it surrounded by police, and found no way of getting in. The American embassy was road blocked, police refusing entry, and a small group of Americans were being detained on the street. The secret police on the side of the road were moving other Internationals away from the area. These police were being physical and aggressive, and we got grabbed and pushed. We were informed that their was a group of Internationals talking to diplomats in the embassy trying to appeal for support in Cairo. The Egyptian government is continuing its support for Israeli war crimes and the Israeli block aid on Gaza. Meanwhile others in our group went down to support the French at their embassy, where they are still occupying the pavement outside the embassy building. However, they are now able to come and go, they are not being detained. 

Gaza Offensive Adds to Scale of Displacement
12/30/2009 - WAFA - Palestine News Agency - GENEVA, December 30, 2009 (WAFA)- According to the UN, 2009 marked one of the most violent periods experienced by the Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza since the occupation began in 1967, Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre said in a report. The three-week Israeli offensive in Gaza launched in December 2008 cost the lives of over 1,000 Palestinians and led to the displacement of over 100,000 people. In Gaza, the continued Israeli blockade has stalled reconstruction and limited the access to assistance of the tens of thousands of people still displaced. In the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) demolitions of houses by the Israeli authorities has continued to cause displacement, displacing close to 600 Palestinians in 2009. Though estimates vary, at least a further 129,000 people were reportedly displaced within the Occupied Palestinian Territory (the OPT) during the four decades to 2008. In addition, close to 100,000 people are reportedly at risk of displacement. 

U.S. Intelligence Found Iran Nuke Document Was Forged
12/28/2009 - Inter Press Service - Gareth Porter - WASHINGTON, Dec 28 (IPS) - U. S. intelligence has concluded that the document published recently by the Times of London, which purportedly describes an Iranian plan to do experiments on what the newspaper described as a "neutron initiator" for an atomic weapon, is a fabrication, according to a former Central Intelligence Agency official. Philip Giraldi, who was a CIA counterterrorism official from 1976 to 1992, told IPS that intelligence sources say that the United States had nothing to do with forging the document, and that Israel is the primary suspect. The sources do not rule out a British role in the fabrication, however. The Times of London story published Dec. 14 did not identify the source of the document. But it quoted "an Asian intelligence source" - a term some news media have used for Israeli intelligence officials - as confirming that his government believes Iran was working on a neutron initiator as recently as 2007. 

Gaza report finds major powers complicit in Israel’s collective punishment
12/30/2009 - World Socialist Web Site - To mark one year since Israel’s military assault on Gaza, a report by 16 aid agencies has strongly condemned the major powers for failing to end Israel’s illegal and inhumane blockade of Gaza. While the report holds Israel primarily responsible for the appalling conditions under which the Palestinian people are living (see “Aid report details social devastation in Gaza”), it holds the European Union, the United States, Russia and the United Nations (known collectively as the Quartet) responsible for allowing the situation to continue. Jeremy Hobbs, Oxfam’s director and one of the sponsors of the report, Failing Gaza: no rebuilding, no recovery, no more excuses, said, “World powers have failed. They have betrayed Gaza’s ordinary citizens. ” After years of closing Gaza’s borders and restricting the movement of people and goods, Israel began blockading Gaza in June 2007. . . -- Link: Full Report (PDF)

Cairo meets the movement, with tears and chaos and exaltation
12/30/2009 - Mondoweiss - Today the Gaza Freedom March fragmented slightly when in the face of stern opposition from their fellows about 80 people headed off to Gaza on buses, the rest staying in Cairo. But wait, weren’t you trying to go to Gaza? Yes, but it has been quite a drama. How to state this clearly…Over the last week, as the international marchers arrived in Egypt, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry made it very clear that it did not want them going into Gaza, and it would arrest them short of that goal. But these 1400 are not tourists or milquetoasts, they are activists; and they were not going to be stopped by any old Ministry, even the ministry of a police state. Many set out by bus and taxi to the Sinai desert, while the 300 members of the French group camped out in front of the French Embassy across from the Cairo Zoo, demanding to go even as they were ringed by riot police. 

Palestine’s Guernica
12/30/2009 - This Week in Palestine - A Diary of Israeli Aggression on Gaza, Edited by Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi, Published by Turbo Design, November 2009, 180 pages, NIS 100 - One year from the tragedy of Gaza, Palestine Monitor presents Palestine’s Guernica, a detailed account of the causes and consequences of Israel’s brutal assault. Using eyewitness testimonies, expert analysis, and a collection of articles and photography from Palestine Monitor, Guernica provides a new level of insight and humanity to a massacre that shamed the world. Split into sections that focus on before, during, and after, Guernica begins the narrative from Israel’s unilateral disengagement in 2005, and the escalation which followed. We see how Israel’s siege of Gaza led to Hamas’ election success and the shaky ceasefires that ensued, making conflict inevitable. Reports from human rights groups, politicians, and journalists describe the suffering of civilians. . . . -- Link: Palestine Monitor

Egypt blocks Gaza protesters
12/28/2009 - IRIN - UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs - CAIRO, 28 December 2009 (IRIN) - More than 1,000 people from 42 countries who have vowed to travel from Cairo to the Gaza Strip on 31 December in a bid to highlight and break the Israeli economic blockade, will be prevented from carrying out their mission, according to the Egyptian authorities. The protesters hope to bring aid to the 1. 5 million residents of Gaza a year after Israel’s 23-day offensive ended on 18 January 2009. “It’s a shame on Egypt to prevent these people from entering Gaza, which has been suffering this Israeli blockade for a long time now,” Diaaeddin Gad, a spokesman for the activists, told IRIN. On 27 December, the marchers were prevented by police from floating 1,400 candles on the River Nile to commemorate the deaths of 1,400 Palestinian victims of the offensive. Margaret Hawthorn, 62, who flew in from Massachusetts in the USA to take part in the event, said. . . . 

Lives Destroyed: Day 2: The Kishku Family, Az-Zeitoun in Gaza City
12/28/2009 - Al Mezan Center for Human Rights - Just after 7pm on 28 December 2008, an Israeli F16 dropped a bomb on the Kishku family home in Az-Zeitoun neighbourhood of Gaza City. Abdullah Kishku, 49, his wife Sabah, 49 and four of their children, Mohammed, 11, Latifa, 15, Fatma, 18 and Talal, 24 were sitting outside on the patio along with Talal’s one-year-old daughter, Islam. Talal’s wife, Maisa, 21, and Abdullah and Sabah’s youngest daughter, Ibtihal, 8, were inside the house when the bomb struck. Al Mezan interviewed Fatma, now 19, about how the family is coping almost a year after the attack. “I was sitting with my parents and siblings on a piece of land in front of our house as there was no electricity during the (Cast Lead) offensive,” Fatma explains. “My father, Abdullah, had just sent Ibtihal upstairs to tell Maisa, my sister-in-law, to come and join us outside. 

6 Palestinians Killed by Israeli occupation forces in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, Including 3 Who Were Extra-Judicially Executed
12/27/2009 - Palestinian Centre for Human Rights - On Saturday morning, 26 December 2009, Israeli occupation forces killed 6 Palestinians in two separate attacks in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. In the northern Gaza Strip, Israeli occupation forces employed excessive lethal force and killed 3 Palestinians, and Israeli undercover units extra-judicially executed 3 members of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades (the armed wing of Fatah movement) in Nablus. The three victims in Nablus had been granted amnesty, in coordination with the Palestinian National Authority, and had been allowed to freely move and live normally. Israeli occupation forces claimed that undercover unit fired at the three victims "as they refused to surrender. "However, investigations conducted by the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) conclude that the three victims were executed in cold blood. . . . 

Lives Destroyed: Day 1: 96 Widows and 245 Orphans
12/27/2009 - Al Mezan Center for Human Rights - Lives Destroyed: Series of Personal Testimonies, Reveal How One Year after Operation Cast Lead, Life in Gaza is Not Back to Normal - Day 1: 96 Widows and 245 Orphans - The State of Israel launched Operation Cast Lead at 11. 30am on Saturday 27 December 2008 with a surprise air attack which targeted dozens of civilian installations across the Gaza Strip; 24 civil police stations were among the targets. In these first few minutes, 130 policemen were killed; leaving 96 women widowed, and 245 children orphaned. Fayiz Al Madhoun, 33, was killed in the Az-Zahra City police station attack. Almost a year after his death, Al Mezan interviewed his mother, Um Fayiz, 50, and his widow, Ra’ida, 29. The Al Madhoun Family -“Fayiz joined the police in 2006,” Ra’ida explains. “We’d been living with our in-laws before then, but when he got a job we were able to buy a piece of land so we could build our own house. 

ISRAEL: Increased water prices to hit most vulnerable, say NGOs
12/24/2009 - IRIN - UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs - TEL AVIV, 24 December 2009 (IRIN) - Israeli NGOs say a planned 40 percent rise in water prices in 2010 will hit the most vulnerable in society hardest. Poor families spend some 100 NIS (US$27) a month on water but will have to spend another 40 NIS ($11) a month after the price increase. The Negev Bedouins, a traditionally pastoral and semi-nomadic Arabic-speaking minority in the Negev desert, southern Israel, are among the poorest people in the country, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics, and are expected to be worst affected by the price hike. In Rahat, a Bedouin town in the Negev region, residents told IRIN they will have to revert to fetching water from ancient wells. One resident, who requested anonymity, said it would be like “going back to the dark ages” and warned of severe implications for hygiene. 

PCHR Report: 23 Days of War, 928 Days of Closure
12/23/2009 - Palestinian Centre for Human Rights - 23 Days of War, 928 Days of Closure: Life One Year after Israel’s Latest Offensive on the Gaza Strip, 27 December 2008 – 18 January 2009 - Today, 23 December 2009, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) release 23 Days of War, 928 Days of Closure: Life One Year after Israel’s Latest Offensive on the Gaza Strip, 27 December 2008 – 18 January 2009. This report is released in order to highlight the reality of life in the occupied Gaza Strip, and to illustrate the dramatic deterioration in the human rights situation brought about by 928 days of continuous illegal closure,[1] as well as numerous offensives, incursions, and attacks. The report intends to present an overview of the human rights situation in the Gaza Strip by highlighting facts and figures relating to: Israel’s offensive on the Gaza Strip (27 December 2008 – 18 January 2009), The illegal closure, including poverty, unemployment, and food security. . . . -- Link: Full Report

PCHR Report: Israeli Attacks on Palestinian Disabled Persons in the Gaza Strip
12/23/2009 - Palestinian Centre for Human Rights - The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) has published a new report: "Israeli Attacks on Palestinian Disabled Persons in the Gaza Strip. "The report documents crimes committed by Israeli occupation forces against disabled Palestinians in the Gaza Strip during the period (1 September 2003 – 30 November 2009). The report presents information regarding the killing of Palestinian civilians with disabilities by Israeli forces, it presents cases wherein Palestinian civilians suffered disabilities as a result of Israeli actions. Of particular concern are Israeli attacks against Palestinian disabled persons during the latest Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip. Finally, the report details the impacts of the illegal closure that has been imposed on the Gaza Strip for over 2 and a half years; the closure has negatively affected the performance of rehabilitation institutions. . . . Full report "will be available in English soon. " 

VIDEO - Rep. Brian Baird to call for cutting US aid to Israel unless the blockade on Gaza is lifted
12/30/2009 - Mondoweiss - See also: Congressman Baird Announces He Will Not Seek Reelection (9 December 2009) and Brian Baird: Israel and Gaza [end] 

Hamas: Israel refusing to free 4 senior prisoners
12/30/2009 - YNetNews - Palestinian organization's official website says Jewish state won’t release Barghouti, Saadat and two other inmates, but notes that discussions on deal continue - The Hamas organization says Israel is refusing to release the "heaviest" prisoners as part of a possible prisoner exchange deal. The movement's official website on Tuesday mentioned the names of Marwan Barghouti, Ahmed Saadat, Ibrahim Hamed and Abdullah Barghouti. Abu Ubaida, a spokesman for Hamas' military wing, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, said that there was no news on the talks aimed at securing kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit's release. Ubaida denied an earlier report by the al-Arabiya network that Hamas has decided to reject Israel's latest offer for a prisoner swap. "We still don't have an answer for the German mediator," he said. Hamas reiterated that the discussions continue and that the movement was thoroughly examining the Israeli formula. 

Uruknet

[uruknet.info] Blogging beneath the bombs: An interview with Sharyn Lock
Uruknet December 30, 2009 - Israel has many weapons that it deploys against the Palestinian national movement and one of them is a powerful public relations machine. For years, it has allowed Israel to extend illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank, demolish homes, erode the rights of Palestinians and imprison and torture them, all in the name of democracy and...

[uruknet.info] Life of Gazan baby at stake due to lack of baby milk
Uruknet December 30, 2009 - A four-month-old Palestinian baby in the Gaza Strip is facing imminent death if a special kind of baby milk is not procured the soonest, Atiya Al-Basyuni, the coordinator of national and Islamic forces committee, said. Basyuni said in a press release on Wednesday that Yehya Abu Shabab is sensitive to all kinds of baby milk except...

[uruknet.info] This is not humane. We need dignity A year on from Operation Cast Lead, the Gaza blockade is preventing people from leading a minimally respectable civil life
Uruknet December 30, 2009 - On my way to visit a friend in the Abed Rabbo district, north of the Gaza Strip, the taxi driver handed me a small pack of biscuits for change. There are nearly no copper coins left here so cab drivers barter a half Israeli shekel for biscuits brought in from the tunnels between the southern city...

[uruknet.info] Gaza: Desperation and Hope Despite the horrors of Gaza, thousands of Palestinians support the left
Uruknet December 30, 2009 - Ever since the end of Israel's horrific military assault on Gaza in last December-January, the plight of the desperate people of Gaza has largely disappeared from the mainstream media. The Goldstone Fact-Finding Mission, which powerfully documenting Israeli war crimes during that offensive, has been in the news, but that of course was a backward looking report,...

[uruknet.info] Gaza: A New Year and the Wounds are Still Open
Uruknet December 30, 2009 - For many survivors of the last Israeli war on Gaza, time has not healed their wounds, physical or emotional. Amal Samouni, 10, still suffers vision problems in her right eye. The shrapnel remaining in her head causes her constant pain and she is unable to concentrate at school. Her concentration is broken, also, by memories of...

[uruknet.info] FLASHBACK: Yemen seizes Israel-linked 'Islamic' cell
Uruknet October 7, 2009: Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh has said the security forces have arrested a group of alleged Islamist militants linked to Israeli intelligence. Mr Saleh did not say what evidence had been found to show the group's links with Israel, a regional enemy of Yemen. The arrests were connected with an attack on the US embassy in Sanaa...

[uruknet.info] Q&A: ''Israeli Settlements Killing Two-Nation Solution'' Jerrold Kessel and Pierre Klochendler interview GHASSAN KHATIB, director of the Palestinian Government Media Centre 
Uruknet December 30, 2009 - In the absence of any progress towards peace between Israelis and Palestinians, leaders of the Palestinian Authority (PA) are adopting a reasonable approach as a way of building up international pressure on Israel to get it back to the negotiating table. Ghassan Khatib, an influential, former PA cabinet minister and co-editor of the 'bitterlemons' family of...

[uruknet.info] The Entire World Demands: Freedom for Gaza!
Uruknet December 30, 2009 - It is already possible to attribute one achievement to the Gaza Freedom March: the Gaza Strip and its 1.5 million inhabitants have come out of the forgotten world. Since the massacre committed by the Israeli military, one year ago, it is as if the land had swallowed up Gaza. No one spoke about the horrific blockade...

[uruknet.info] Falk: Steel wall built with Egyptian-American collusion
Uruknet December 30, 2009 -- Richard Falk, the special UN rapporteur on human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories, has denounced the Egyptian construction of a steel wall along the borders with the Gaza Strip. Falk in a statement to the UN radio on Wednesday said that he was angered by the news because it pointed to collusion between the Egyptian...

[uruknet.info] Video: Gaza Freedom March Paul Jay talks to Sam Husseini in Cairo, Egypt
Uruknet December 30, 2009 - ...This march, the Gaza Freedom March, it was largely composed of Americans, but, for example, over the last several days you've had the French, which are about 300, camped out in front of the French embassy, as well as people from Australia, from Turkey, from some 40 countries, including US writer Alice Walker, [inaudible] the anticorporate...

[uruknet.info] Displaced and desperate in Gaza
Uruknet December 30, 2009 - One year has passed since the beginning of Operation Cast lead, Israel's 22-day military assault on the besieged Gaza Strip and suspended is a word that best describes daily life in the Strip; the internal reconciliation process, peace talks with Israel, and most importantly, reconstruction being halted until further notice. On the street, conversations shift between...

[uruknet.info] Opposition denies Iran media reports leaders had fled
Uruknet December 30, 2009 - Iran's state news agency IRNA said on Wednesday that two leaders of "sedition" in the country have fled to a northern Iranian province, but the opposition said its leaders were still in the capital. "Two of those who played a major role in igniting tension in Iran following the (June presidential) vote, fled Tehran and went...

Palestine Telegraph

Gaza One Year Later - by Stephen Lendman
US, December 30, 2009 (Pal Telegraph)- A December 2009 report prepared by Oxfam International, Amnesty International UK, United Civilians for Peace, Christian Aid, and a dozen other international NGOs (called NGOs below) titled, "Failing Gaza: No rebuilding, no recovery, no more excuses" is hard-hitting and to the point.

Update: FGM adamant to reach Gaza, Egypt offers 2 busses for 1400
Cairo, December 30, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) -The Gaza Freedom March remains in Cairo without enough buses for the 1400 participants to gain access to Gaza. Egypt offered 2 buses for 100 people, but the majority of Marchers wanted to veto this offer for a commitment to unity of all

Gaza Running Low on Medicines
Gaza Strip, December 30, 2009 (Pal Telegraph)- The Palestinian Health Ministry of Gaza said, in its monthly report issued on December 2009, that there is a sharp shortage of medical supplies after the ministry stores have run out of 141 types of medicines and 116 medical necessities. In a statement on Wednesday, the ministry alarmingly warned of Israel's ongoing shutdown...

Terrorism: A "Human Rights" Research !!!
In 1987-8, the suicide bombing operations that were done by Hamas were at their top scale. The Israeli society then was in horror anticipating when and where the next operation is going to happen.

New West Bank Roadblock Frustrates Agriculture
West Bank, December 30, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) - The Israeli army erected a giant earth mound across a crucial agricultural road in the northern West Bank village of Madama this week. The road block severely limits hundreds of farmers' access to their lands, making transport by vehicle all but impossible. The intentional crippling of the village's chief economy comes as...

The National

Rock by rock, Gaza slowly rebuilds
The National 30 Dec 2009 - Long after the attack shattered large swathes of infrastructure, the Israeli blockade prevents the importation of the raw materials needed for reconstruction. So workers pound pieces of rubble to create their own bricks.

The two-state solution is starting to look impractical' 
The National 30 Dec 2009 - The biggest effect for Israel's 1.3 million Palestinian citizens of its assault on Gaza last winter has been to smash any remaining illusions that there is a future for the minority in a Jewish state, the community's leaders have agreed.

Gaza aid convoy appeals to Egypt
The National 29 Dec 2009 - A humanitarian aid convoy aimed at breaking the nearly three-year-old blockade on the Gaza Strip is hoping that Egypt will guarantee its safety.

Aljazeera

Iran holds pro-government rallies
AlJazeera 30 Dec 2009 - State TV shows huge crowds as police chief threatens to "crush" opposition gatherings.

Israel 'approves W Bank structures'
AlJazeera 30 Dec 2009 - Move comes despite government's declared 10-month settlement construction freeze.

Iran 'seeks Kazakh uranium'
AlJazeera 30 Dec 2009 - Purported intelligence report leaked as US and allies consider new sanctions.

Activists reject Egypt's Gaza offer
AlJazeera 30 Dec 2009 - Protesters say allowing 100 of the 1,300 person march into Gaza not good enough.

Alternative Information Center

Beyond Commemoration: Operation Cast Lead One Year After 
Alternative Information Center 29 Dec 2009 - Three hundred and sixty five days after the beginning of the Operation “Cast Lead,” what characterizes these days is silence. The silence of those who didn't survive—those 1,400 people killed by bombings in Gaza. Three hundred...

Palestine News Network

Egypt blocks The Gaza Freedom March
PNN 30 Dec 2009 - More than 1,000 people from 42 countries who have vowed to travel from Cairo to the Gaza Strip on 31 December in a bid to highlight and break the Israeli economic blockade, will be prevented from carrying out their mission, according to the Egyptian authorities. The protesters hope to bring aid to the 1.5 million residents of Gaza a year after Israel's...

Egypt's role in the Gaza blockade
PNN 30 Dec 2009 - While Egypt is reported to be receiving technical assistance from the United States in constructing an underground steel barrier along Gaza's southern border, Egypt's foreign minister, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, told The National (http://www.thenational.ae/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20091229/FOREIGN/712289914/1011): The Egyptian state and people paid a very high price and paid with their blood for more than 50 years in support of the Palestinians. No one should compare...

Police arrest nuclear whistleblower Vanunu 
PNN 29 Dec 2009 - Jerusalem police arrested nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu on Monday, on suspicion that he met with foreigners in direct violation of his parole orders. Vanunu was released from prison in 2004 after serving an 18-year sentence for revealing details of Israel's nuclear weapons program. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said Vanunu was detained on suspicion he met with several foreigners, in violation of the...

Norwich councillor in Gaza house arrest
PNN 29 Dec 2009 - A Norwich councillor has been placed under house arrest in Egypt after trying to reach the Gaza Strip to deliver art materials to people traumatised by the conflict in the territory. Peter Offord, Green county councillor for Thorpe Hamlet, set off last week to join the Gaza Freedom March, a 1,000-strong international delegation calling for the borders to be re-opened to let...

Russian Orthodox Church Representative Succumbs to Illness 
PNN 29 Dec 2009 - Jerusalem // Archimandrite Joasaph, 47 was head of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem. Archimandrite Joasaph of the Russian Orthodox Outside Russia passed away atMassachusetts General Hospital on December 18th, 2009, after being diagnosedwith cancer last August. Archimandrite Joasaph was born in 1962 and raised in the Boston area, wherehe went on to study Slavonic languages and theology. He was tonsured apriest at...

Rebuild: Gaza's 1st GFX hip hop video clip by DARG TEAM
PNN 30 Dec 2009 - On December 27th 2008, Israel started it's first strike on Gaza killing thousands of lives for 23 consecutive days. After the war, DARG TEAM - a Palestinian Rap band from Gaza - recorded and filmed it's first video clip '23 yoom (twenty three days).Today, one year after the war, DARG TEAM come up with a new song Rebuild , this time calling every...

Jerusalem Post

Lone soldiers praised at Tel Aviv ceremony marking five years of 'Wings'
Jeruslalem Post 30 Dec 2009 - "The thing that has always moved me most in Israel, and what I consider to be the core of our country, is our soldiers," says Mofaz.

Cotler heads drive to stop Iran threat
Jeruslalem Post 30 Dec 2009 - "Never wait for the actual beginning of atrocities before taking action," advises Canadian activist.

Peace talks framework may bridge goals
Jeruslalem Post 30 Dec 2009 - US envoy expected to announce resumption of talks aimed at reconciling Palestinian, Israeli demands.

Kadima-Aflalo split still not a done deal
Jeruslalem Post 30 Dec 2009 - Many within the party took it for granted that Livni would accede to Aflalo's request, in order to be rid of a potentially divisive element.

Chief of staff begins search for new IDF rabbi
Jeruslalem Post 30 Dec 2009 - Ronsky's term marred by criticism from Right, Left.

'Dozens of terror infiltrations foiled'
Jeruslalem Post 30 Dec 2009 - Annual Shin Bet report notes Palestinian groups' attempts to enter via Egypt; drop in W. Bank terror.

Hamas: We uncovered Israeli plot to gather info on Schalit
Jeruslalem Post 30 Dec 2009 - Gaza security official claims Shin Bet recruited "collaborators" who also planned to kidnap Izaddin al-Kassam member for info on abducted soldier.

'Evangelicals deserve our support'
Jeruslalem Post 30 Dec 2009 - Foreign Ministry, Interior Ministry at odds over recognizing the "Evangelical Church" in Israel.

Israel's population at 2010 is 7.5m
Jeruslalem Post 30 Dec 2009 - CBS data shows 75% of Israelis are Jewish; 160,000 babies born, and 14,500 new olim arrive.

Inter Press Service

MIDEAST: Israel Declares War on Peace NGOs 
IPS JERUSALEM, Dec 24 (IPS) - One year after the devastating attack on Hamas in Gaza a new wave of reports castigating Israel for war crimes has emerged.

Q&A: ''Israeli Settlements Killing Two-Nation Solution'' 
IPS JERUSALEM, Dec 30 (IPS) - In the absence of any progress towards peace between Israelis and Palestinians, leaders of the Palestinian Authority (PA) are adopting a reasonable approach as a way of building up international pressure on Israel to get it back to the negotiating table.

MIDEAST: New Year Reopens Wounds of the Old 
IPS GAZA CITY, Dec 30 (IPS) - For many survivors of the last Israeli war on Gaza, time has not healed their wounds, physical or emotional.

LEBANON: Hip-hop Kindles Hopes in Destroyed Refugee Camp 
IPS NAHR AL-BARED (North Lebanon), Dec 29 (IPS) - The hip-hop beats ringing through the muddy, unlit streets of this burnt-out Palestinian refugee camp seem incongruous. But the rhymes are camp-grown - and courageous.

PCHR Weekly Report

(30-12-2009)  Weekly Report: On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory
PCHR 

International Solidarity Movement

28 kilometers of distilled apartheid
12/30/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Gideon Levy, Haaretz, 29 December - This highway has told the whole story. They pave a road, expropriate Palestinian land and the High Court of Justice approves the expropriation, in its words, "provided that it is done for the sake of the local population. "Afterwards they prevent the "local population" from using the road, and finally they build a wall with drawings of creeks and meadows so we don't see and don't know that we are driving on an apartheid road, that we are traveling on the axis of evil. Apartheid? What are you talking about? It's just a freeway to the capital, because that's how we like it best. Going (quickly) along with the occupation and feeling like there is none. That way the highway has fulfilled another secret national wish – that they get out of our faces. How many of the masses of travelers on this high road to the capital have looked to. . . . 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

Hamas: We foiled Israeli attempt to locate Gilad Shalit 
Ha'aretz 30 Dec 2009 - The internal security apparatus of Hamas claims to have foiled an Israeli attempt to collect intelligence on where kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit is being kept. According to the head of Hamas' internal security service, Abu Abdullah, the Shin Bet security service has tried gathering intelligence through members of the rival Fatah organization who have operated in the Gaza Strip in the past. ... 

Iran: Opposition leader Mousavi has fled Tehran
Ha'aretz 31 Dec 2009 - Iran's state news agency IRNA said on Wednesday that two heads of "sedition" in the country - including oppposition leader Mir Houssain Mousavi - have fled to a northern Iranian province. ...

Arab League chief: More UN, less U.S. in Mideast peace bids
Ha'aretz 30 Dec 2009 - CAIRO - The United Nations must play a bigger role in trying to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the United States should not be the only mediator, according to the head of the Arab League. ...

Abbas says stalled peace process cause for his stepping down 
Ha'aretz 30 Dec 2009 - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Wednesday the stalled peace process is the reason he will not run for a second term in office. ...

Jerusalem Mayor: U.S. criticism won't halt construction in city
Ha'aretz 30 Dec 2009 - Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat vowed Wednesday that criticism from the United States would not have any impact on construction in the city, Israel Radio reported. ...

Ha'aretz National page

Knesset expected to pass law to halt 25 percent water price hike
Ha'aretz 30 Dec 2009 - The Knesset is expected to pass a law that would prevent the 25 percent increase in water rates announced by the Water Authority, after State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss recommended that measures be taken to halt the price hike. ... 

Yeshiva student charged with biting senior IDF officer 
Ha'aretz 30 Dec 2009 - An indictment was filed earlier this month against the yeshiva student in the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar for assaulting a high-ranking army officer and damaging military property. ... 

Mazuz's farewell decision: Will 'Jenin, Jenin' director be indicted? 
Ha'aretz 30 Dec 2009 - Before he steps down late next month, Attorney General Menachem Mazuz is expected to decide on a case likely to again provoke considerable debate on freedom of expression - whether actor and director Mohammed Bakri should be indicted for his controversial film "Jenin, Jenin." ... 

Police suspected 'Jewish terrorist' 10 years ago 
Ha'aretz 30 Dec 2009 - The police had strong indications that Yaakov (Jack) Teitel murdered Issa Mahamra as far back as 1999. However, his interrogation by the police and the Shin Bet security service did not result in charges being brought against him, and he was released. ... 

Government plans aid package for Gaza border communities
Ha'aretz 30 Dec 2009 - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz will present to the government for approval on Sunday an NIS 190 million aid package to help Sderot and communities bordering Gaza. ...

Relief Web

OPT: Israel, the Conflict and Peace - Answers to frequently asked questions
Relief Web 30 Dec 2009 - Source: Government of Israel

OPT: Deputy FM Ayalon comments on Israel's rights in the disputed territories
Relief Web 30 Dec 2009 - Source: Government of Israel

Gaza Crisis: One Year Later - Children and Families Continue to Struggle to Rebuild their Lives
Relief Web 30 Dec 2009 - Source: Save the Children

OPT: Humans without borders: One woman's quest to overcome the divides of Occupation
Relief Web 30 Dec 2009 - Source: Palestine Monitor

OPT: Israel to Build 700 Homes in East Jerusalem
Relief Web 30 Dec 2009 - Source: Chosun Ilbo

Weekly report on Israeli human rights violations in the occupied Palestinian territory 23 - 29 Dec 2009
Relief Web 30 Dec 2009 - Source: Palestinian Centre for Human Rights

YNet News

Government earmarks $50 mil for Gaza vicinity
YNet News 30 Dec 2009 - Netanyahu, finance minister create plan to promote development of Qassam-ravaged communities 

Suzanne Mubarak gets activists into Gaza
YNet News 30 Dec 2009 - Egypt's first lady obtains entry for 100 activists asking to march on anniversary of Cast Lead 

Report: Iranian opposition leaders fled Tehran
YNet News 30 Dec 2009 - Karoubi, Mousavi reported by government to have fled to northern province due to 'fear of punishment' 

Hamas says foiled Shalit rescue attempt
YNet News 30 Dec 2009 - Internal security chief in Gaza says Palestinian cell helping Shin Bet to find kidnapped soldier arrested 

Shin Bet: 2009 was quiet year
YNet News 30 Dec 2009 - First year in decade with no suicide attacks. Number of terror attacks halved since last year though 15 bereaved families will not be consoled by year-end report. Operation Cast Lead prevents rocket launching from Gaza while the West Bank enjoys relative calm. However, terror groups reorganizing 

Mortar shell lands in Negev
YNet News 30 Dec 2009 - After two weeks of quiet, mortar shell fired from Gaza Strip explodes in open area in Eshkol Regional Council, causing no damage or injuries 

Family suspected of running online casino
YNet News 30 Dec 2009 - Three family members charged with taking global bets on roulette game broadcast from Israel 

Daily Star

Some signs of movement seen in stalled Mideast peace process
Daily Star 30 Dec 2009 Israeli and Palestinian officials suggested on Wednesday progress had been made toward resuming negotiations following Egyptian-Israeli talks on a year-long deadlock in the Middle East peace process. The cautiously upbeat comments followed talks in Cairo on Tuesday between Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Senior cleric tells Iran's opposition leaders to either repent or face death
Daily Star 30 Dec 2009 Hundreds of thousands of government supporters took to Iran's streets on Wednesday in a show of force against the opposition, with a senior cleric telling their leaders to repent or be declared enemies of God and face death. Just hours later, state news agency IRNA reported that top opposition leaders Mirhossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi had fled the capital fearing for their lives.

Jordan jails man for 10 years over 'honour killing'
Daily Star 30 Dec 2009 A Jordanian court sentenced a 61-year-old man to 10 years in prison on Wednesday after convicting him of killing his teenage daughter last year to "defend his honor," a judicial official said. "In 2008, the 17-year-old girl was kidnapped and raped by a group of men, who are currently on trial," the official said. "But the father suspected that his daughter was involved in a sexual relationship.

Yemeni security forces storm Al-Qaeda hide-out
Daily Star 30 Dec 2009 Yemeni security forces stormed an Al-Qaeda hide-out Wednesday in a principle militant stronghold in the country's west, setting off clashes, officials said, as a security chief vowed to fight the group's powerful local branch until it was eliminated. A government statement said at least one suspected Al-Qaeda member was arrested during the fighting in Hudaydah province.

Kazakhstan, Iran deny planning uranium deal
Daily Star 30 Dec 2009 Kazakhstan angrily denied on Wednesday that it planned to sell purified uranium ore to Iran, calling media reports to this effect "groundless insinuations." The story was also denied by Tehran, which called it "utterly fabricated and baseless." Kazakhstan "categorically repudiates certain news media reports alleging Kazakhstan's connection.

Dozens dead in clashes in northern Nigeria
Daily Star 30 Dec 2009 Dozens more bodies were recovered Wednesday after violent clashes between security forces and Islamists in northern Nigeria, bringing the death toll to around 70, a count at a hospital morgue showed. An AFP reporter listed 42 bodies on the floor of the morgue in Bauchi, all with bullet or machete wounds. Another 25 bodies, mostly young people including minors.

Palestinian Information Center

UNEP: Gaza water supplies are in danger of collapse
PIC 30 Dec 2009 - The UN environment program (UNEP) warned that the groundwater supplies, upon which 1.5 million Palestinians depend for agricultural and drinking water, are in danger of collapse.

EJJP asks for trial of Israeli leaders
PIC 30 Dec 2009 - The chairman of the European Jews for a Just Peace (EJJP) has reiterated condemnation of the Israeli aggression on Gaza Strip last year and demanded trial of Israeli officials at international courts.

Life of Gazan baby at stake due to lack of baby milk
PIC 30 Dec 2009 - A four-month-old baby in the Gaza Strip is facing imminent death if a special kind of baby milk is not procured, Atiya Al-Basyuni, the coordinator of national and Islamic forces committee, said.

Galloway: I refuse any kind of coordination with Israel
PIC 30 Dec 2009 - George Galloway stated that he had received two weeks ago an Egyptian letter demanding that he obtains an Israeli approval before allowing the Lifeline 3 convoy to pass into the Gaza Strip.

Haneyya confers with UNRWA commissioner, contacts lifeline organizers
PIC 30 Dec 2009 - Palestinian premier Ismail Haneyya on Wednesday received outgoing UNRWA commissioner-general Karen Abu Zayd and hailed her humanitarian role in helping the Palestinian people for nine years.

IOA approves new construction in West Bank settlement
PIC 30 Dec 2009 - The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) has approved the construction of 14 new buildings in the settlement of Kiryat Netafim north of the West Bank despite the alleged settlement freeze.

Falk: Steel wall built with Egyptian-American collusion
PIC 30 Dec 2009 - Richard Falk, the special UN rapporteur on human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories, has denounced the Egyptian construction of a steel wall along the borders with Gaza Strip.

US military engineers supervise building of the wall of death
PIC 30 Dec 2009 - A senior Egyptian engineer told the PIC on condition of anonymity that the wall is fully supervised by American military engineers..

Al-Maqdesee: Israel demolished more than 130 Palestinian homes in 2009
PIC 30 Dec 2009 - Al-Maqdesee society developing establishment reported Tuesday that Israel demolished more than 130 Palestinian homes in the eastern part of occupied Jerusalem in 2009.

Bardawil: We ask president Mubarak to live up to his promises
PIC 30 Dec 2009 - MP Dr. Salah Al-Bardawil, one of Hamas's leaders, has asked Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak to live up to his promise of not allowing Palestinians in the Gaza Strip to be starved.

Los Angeles Times

Students, militia clash on Tehran university campus 
LA Times 30 Dec 2009 - Security forces continue to round up dissidents, and hard-liners struggle to show they have the upper hand. Students clashed with pro-government Basiji militiamen on the campus of a Tehran university Tuesday and security forces continued to round up dissidents as Iran reeled from the aftershocks of last weekend's deadly protests. 

Eugene Zinn dies at 85; survivor of Nazi death camps lectured on Holocaust 
LA Times 30 Dec 2009 - He was sent to Auschwitz in 1942. Three years later Zinn escaped, served in the Czech army, then moved to Israel. Later, living in Los Angeles, he spoke to students about the atrocities he witnessed. Eugene Zinn, who spent three years in Nazi death camps and regularly lectured about the horror of the Holocaust after The Times profiled him in a 2005 front-page story , died of pneumonia Sunday at Northridge Hospital Medical Center, his family said. He was 85. 

Iran clamps down on protests 
LA Times 29 Dec 2009 - Authorities round up political activists and even seize the corpses of some of those killed in weekend violence in an apparent effort to stem demonstrations. Iranian authorities dramatically intensified a crackdown on the country's burgeoning opposition movement Monday, rounding up political activists and seizing the corpse of one leading dissident's nephew, along with the bodies of other victims of weekend violence, in an apparent effort to stem further protests. 

Iran sanctions: U.S. and allies may narrow their approach 
LA Times 29 Dec 2009 - Tehran's growing crackdown on protesters has officials worried about hurting ordinary Iranians -- and about public perception. With Iran's crackdown on protesters intensifying, the Obama administration and allied governments are rethinking their approach to planned sanctions in hopes of focusing the punishments more tightly on the Iranian leadership, U.S. officials say. 

White House decries Israel's plan to build homes in East Jerusalem 
LA Times 29 Dec 2009 - The Israeli government says the 700 houses for Jewish families in the Palestinian-dominated area are not subject to its recently announced construction moratorium. An Israeli government plan to build nearly 700 homes for Jewish families in Palestinian-dominated East Jerusalem drew fire Monday from the Obama administration, which called the plan a hindrance to relaunching peace talks. 

New York Times

Iran Lashes Out at West Over Protests
New York Times 30 Dec 2009 - Accusing Western countries of supporting protesters, the Iranian government summoned the British ambassador. 

Protesters Gather in Cairo for March to Gaza
New York Times 30 Dec 2009 - The march is intended to mark a year since Israel’s military assault on the Palestinian territory, and to protest the blockade of Gaza. 

Israeli Segregated Road Ruled Down
New York Times 30 Dec 2009 - A highway running through the West Bank can no longer be closed to most Palestinian traffic, the court ruled. 

World Briefing | Middle East: Israel: Ex-Foreign Minister Declines to Join Right-Leaning Government
New York Times 29 Dec 2009 - Tzipi Livni, leader of the opposition Kadima Party, on Monday turned down, as expected, an offer from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to join his government. 

Israel Plans Homes in East Jerusalem
New York Times 29 Dec 2009 - Palestinian leaders said the move to build new housing was evidence that Israel was undermining peace efforts. 

Israelis’ Cancer Is Linked to Holocaust
New York Times 29 Dec 2009 - Immigrants who arrived in Israel after World War II have higher cancer rates than those who arrived during the war, a study found. 

Misc 2

NON - VIOLENCE AND HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS
Palestine Monitor - 30 Dec 2009 - 1. BARGHOUTHI ON THE DAILY SHOW Dr Mustafa Barghouti, Secretary General of the Palestinian National Initiative, appeared on the Daily Show, the American night television talk show, together with the Jewish American writer Anna Balzer. They discussed the situation in the occupied territories, advocating a non-violent...

Gaza Freedom Marchers Reject Egyptian Offer to Let Just 100 Enter Gaza
Palestine Monitor - 30 Dec 2009 - After three days of vigils and demonstrations in downtown Cairo, Suzanne Mubarak's offer to allow just 100 of 1,300 delegates to enter Gaza was rejected by the Gaza Freedom March. Coordinating Committee as well as many of the larger contingents – including those from France, Scotland,...

Humans without borders: One woman's quest to overcome the divides of Occupation
Palestine Monitor - 30 Dec 2009 - Shaare Zedek Medical Centre is in a suburb of Jerusalem and one of three Israeli hospitals where Palestinians are permitted to go for treatment. The lobby is filled with a presentation on the history of Israeli medicine, the cafes full of visitors and patients. On the...

Cairo meets the movement, with tears and chaos and exaltation
Mondoweiss - 30 Dec 2009 - Today the Gaza Freedom March fragmented slightly when in the face of stern opposition from their fellows about 80 people headed off to Gaza on buses, the rest staying in Cairo. But wait, weren’t you trying to go to Gaza? Yes, but it has been quite...

Gaza a year ago: My father says the Israelis are doing this to win an election
Mondoweiss - 30 Dec 2009 - A Palestinian boy looks up from inside a damaged house after an Israeli air strike in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, December 30, 2008. (Photo: Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters) Khulood Ghanem, 27, kept a Gaza diary a year ago. Its full text (as adapted by Edward...

Update from Cairo: Gaza Freedom March rejects Egyptian offer to allow only 100 protesters into Gaza
Mondoweiss - 30 Dec 2009 - The latest from Cairo is that the Gaza Freedom March has rejected the Egyptian government’s offer to allow 100 protesters into Gaza. A press release from the march states : After three days of vigils and demonstrations in downtown Cairo, Suzanne Mubarak’s offer to allow just 100...

Where do the human rights of Gazans fit into the fight for a ’sustainable’ future?
Mondoweiss - 30 Dec 2009 - The following is a response to the profile of Jesse Fox that we posted yesterday. We will be posting interviews all week with Jewish Israelis discussing their connection to the idea of Zionism in the hope of sparking a conversation over the what Zionism means today....

Egypt to allow 100 Gaza Freedom March participants into Gaza
Mondoweiss - 30 Dec 2009 - Protest at the United Nation building in Cairo (Photo: Rafaella Lima) As the Gaza Freedom March finally makes the pages of the New York Times , Egypt has announced that they will allow 100 members of the march to enter Gaza. This is from the over 1,300...

Beyond Commemoration: Operation Cast Lead One Year After 
Alternative Information Center - 29 Dec 2009 - Three hundred and sixty five days after the beginning of the Operation “Cast Lead,” what characterizes these days is silence. The silence of those who didn't survive—those 1,400 people killed by bombings in Gaza. Three hundred names of children murdered in operation Cast Lead will resonate...


Articles

28 kilometers of distilled apartheid 
Gideon Levy, Ha’aretz 12/29/2009
      This highway has told the whole story. They pave a road, expropriate Palestinian land and the High Court of Justice approves the expropriation, in its words, "provided that it is done for the sake of the local population." 
     Afterwards they prevent the "local population" from using the road, and finally they build a wall with drawings of creeks and meadows so we don’t see and don’t know that we are driving on an apartheid road, that we are traveling on the axis of evil.
     Apartheid? What are you talking about? It’s just a freeway to the capital, because that’s how we like it best. Going (quickly) along with the occupation and feeling like there is none. That way the highway has fulfilled another secret national wish - that they get out of our faces.
     How many of the masses of travelers on this high road to the capital have looked to their left and right? How many of them have noticed the 12 roads blocked by iron roadblocks and piles of garbage? (Is there another country that blocks roads with garbage?) And what about the 22 confined and concealed villages alongside the road? How many people have asked themselves how it is possible that a road that was paved in the heart of the Land of Palestine has no Palestinians traveling on it? How many have noticed the sign that leads to the "Ofer [army] camp", another whitewashed name for a detention facility or the hundreds of prisoners detained there, some without trial?
     How many have observed the inhabitants trudging over the rocky ground to get to the neighboring village? It’s 28 kilometers of distilled apartheid: the Jews on top on the freeway becoming of the lords of the land. Palestinians down below, going on foot to the Al-Tira village girls’ school, for example, through a dark, moldy tunnel. more.. e-mail

Gaza’s untold story 
Mamoon Alabbasi, Redress 12/29/2009
      Mamoon Alabbasi reviews the book “My father was a freedom fighter: Gaza’s untold story” by Ramzy Baroud – an example of the human face of Palestinian suffering “at a time when we have grown accustomed to debating cold facts and figures, and interpretations of humanitarian and international law”.
     One year on since Israel’s criminally insane war on Gaza, many are still unaware of the roots of the “conflict” and the plight of the Palestinian people. Israel would like to have us believe that its latest onslaught was a direct response to resistance rockets or even Hamas’s democratic accession to power, forgetting that both of these came into existence as a response to Israeli policies.
     But even those of us who have seen the true light, and are no longer deceived by the barrage of “flat earth news”, sometimes forget – if we were ever aware of – the depth and complexity of the tragedy.
     And that is the gap in understanding that veteran American-Palestinian author Ramzy Baroud seeks to fill in his latest book My father was a freedom fighter: Gaza’s untold story (Pluto Press, London, 2010).
     In our preoccupation with the Goldstone report (among other UN probes), human rights groups’ assessments, war crimes allegations, high civilian casualties, United Nations Relief and Works Agency statistics, official statements here and there, we become overwhelmed with information that makes many of us lose sight of context. more.. e-mail

'I live today, but I am afraid of tomorrow' 
Jody McIntyre and Sema Onbus writing from Tulkarem refugee camp, Electronic Intifada 12/29/2009
      The following is former Palestinian political prisoner Sema Onbus’s story as told to The Electronic Intifada contributor Jody McIntyre:
     My name is Sema Onbus. I am 37 years old, from Tulkarem refugee camp.
     My story starts when my brother was killed, on 6 September 2001, when an Apache [attack helicopter] dropped a bomb on him and his friends. It was the same day that my sister was due to get married, and he was on his way from Ramallah to visit the wedding when he was murdered. After my brother’s death, my husband decided to join the resistance, and started working with the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades. He had soon joined Israel’s wanted list.
     On 28 October 2002, the Israeli army invaded the camp and started shooting at random, spraying bullets through the streets at anyone who happened to be in sight. My 15-year-old cousin was killed ... they shot him six times. My husband was shot three times, twice in his stomach and once in his leg, but he survived.
     On 28 March 2003, the army invaded the camp again. My husband was fighting back, and they killed him. His body was left lying on the street, riddled with bullets.
     Forty days later, the army came to invade our home. They smashed through the windows and started destroying everything in the house, ordering the whole family out onto the street. They arrested my brother Abdullah, telling my father that they just wanted to talk with him for an hour. He was later taken to a military court, and sentenced to 13 years in prison. more.. e-mail


Blogging beneath the bombs: An interview with Sharyn Lock
Electronic Intifada: 30 Dec 2009 - Activist Sharyn Lock sailed to Gaza on the first "Break the Siege" boat with the Free Gaza Movement in 2008. During Israel's winter attacks last year, Lock documented the invasion on her blog "Tales to Tell." Her writing has recently been published in the short book Gaza: Beneath the Bombs . The Electronic Intifada contributor Arwa Aburawa interviewed lock about her experience in Gaza. 

Photostory: Egypt further encaging Gaza
Electronic Intifada: 30 Dec 2009 - With and the Egyptian government's new underground wall and the closure of the Rafah crossing -- Gaza's sole exit to the outside world -- Egypt's complicity shines more than ever. The following are exclusive images of Egyptian authorities building the new underground wall on the border with Gaza. 

A voice of frustration and hope in Nahr al-Bared
Electronic Intifada: 30 Dec 2009 - NAHR AL-BARED (North Lebanon) (IPS) - The hip-hop beats ringing through the muddy, unlit streets of this burnt-out Palestinian refugee camp seem incongruous. But the rhymes are camp-grown -- and courageous. Farhan Abu Siyam, 21, is Nahr al-Bared's first and only rapper. Going by the name of MC Tamarrod, he grew up in the Palestinian refugee camps of Nahr al-Bared and Burj al-Barajne. 

Gaza's border must be opened NOW
Electronic Intifada: 29 Dec 2009 - Too many months have gone by with no change in the crippling isolation of Gaza imposed by Israel and Egypt, and it was time to risk our privileged access to take our efforts to break the siege up a notch. Our numbers had to be massive enough to threaten the jailers' growing complacence and broad enough to send the message that this is a global movement that won't stop until the Palestinian people are given the freedom and justice they deserve. Pam Rasmussen comments for The Electronic Intifada. 

NON - VIOLENCE AND HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS
Palestine Monitor: 30 Dec 2009 - 1. BARGHOUTHI ON THE DAILY SHOW Dr Mustafa Barghouti, Secretary General of the Palestinian National Initiative, appeared on the Daily Show, the American night television talk show, together with the Jewish American writer Anna Balzer. They discussed the situation in the occupied territories, advocating a non-violent approach. PART ONE The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c Exclusive - Anna Baltzer & Mustafa Barghouti Extended Interview Pt. 1 www.thedailyshow.com Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Health Care Crisis PART TWO The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c Exclusive - Anna Baltzer & Mustafa Barghouti Extended Interview Pt. 2 www.thedailyshow.com Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Health Care Crisis 2.CONFERENCE IN LUXEMBOURG - October 2009 Dr Mustafa Barghouti met last October a number of European officials and solidarity groups. The meeting was part of ongoing efforts to ensure the implementation of the Goldstone Report....

Gaza Freedom Marchers Reject Egyptian Offer to Let Just 100 Enter Gaza
Palestine Monitor: 30 Dec 2009 - After three days of vigils and demonstrations in downtown Cairo, Suzanne Mubarak's offer to allow just 100 of 1,300 delegates to enter Gaza was rejected by the Gaza Freedom March. Coordinating Committee as well as many of the larger contingents – including those from France, Scotland, Canada, South Africa, Sweden and New York State (U.S.). “We flatly reject Egypt's offer of a token gesture. We refuse to whitewash the siege of Gaza. Our group will continue working to get all 1362 marchers into Gaza as one step towards the ultimate goal for the complete end of the siege and the liberation of Palestine ” said Ziyaad Lunat a member of the march Coordinating Committee. The Gaza Freedom March was organized to focus attention on the one-year mark since Israel's 22-day assault, which killed more than 1,400 Palestinians, injured more than 5,000. Although the invasion technically ended, the effects on the...

Gaza, Where Time Stood Still - A Poem
Palestine Chronicle: 30 Dec 2009 - By Samah Sabawi Don't tell us a year has passed… We don't measure our lives by this calendar Time has stood still for us so long ago Punctuated only by loss and grief And the in between moments of quite reprieve We don’t count on Christmas, nor Eid for cheer We don’t fool ourselves with “happy new year” No occasion is ever taken for granted, When it comes to tomorrow, there are no certainties Our yesterday is our today Time is frozen here And one calendar year Will never contain our lives, Our collective misery, Our yearning for humanity Don’t tell us a year has passed Our clock stopped ticking when justice collapsed Eclipsed by decades of repression Hush… don’t speak of time We have endured the absence of time We don’t measure our lives by days like you We measure our lives by the number of embraces Our worth by a lover’s heartbeat Our existence by our persistence So, don’t tell us a year has passed…. - Samah Sabawi is a writer playwright and poet. She was born in Gaza and is currently residing in Melbourne Australia. She contributed this poem to PalestineChronicle.com.

Gaza in Crisis
Palestine Chronicle: 30 Dec 2009 - By Sonja Karkar They came one cold December day. Not fearless warriors but fearsome hoardes hell-bent on destruction of the genocidal kind that leaves no room for regeneration. That was one year ago in Gaza. The attack shocked a complacent world into finally seeing Israel’s merciless ferocity against the Palestinians already hounded, herded and imprisoned in compounds throughout their land, if not actually driven out. More than sixty years of Western devotion to Israel’s security was blown wide open as truth shattered spin in three weeks of carnage and devastation. Dead bodies do not lie and neither do the maimed and the disfigured. Thousands have been left to make sense of the horrors they saw and the hollow aftermath to which they have been abandoned. Landscapes of rubble as far as the eye can see are still testament to the homes once standing in villages and towns, the homeless now huddled in tents while they wait one year on for materials to re-build. Little food, contaminated water, rationed fuel and electricity and the barest of medical supplies are just more of many cruel and wanton deprivations pushing Palestinian society to the limits of endurance. This is Gaza: a population of 1.5 million people kept in formaldehyde by Israel’s crippling siege. It is a human catastrophe that has many enablers. World leaders have shut their eyes to the crimes witnessed and documented countless times over by human rights groups. World media continuously sidesteps the truth and deliberately ignores international efforts to...

Arresting Peaceful Protesters in Occupied Palestine
Palestine Chronicle: 30 Dec 2009 - By Stephen Lendman For decades, Israel has met peaceful Palestinian protesters disruptively with violence, arrests and at times unprovoked killings. It's no surprise that targeting them and their leaders is now common practice in cities and villages like Jayyous and Bil'in. On August 3, 200 Israeli soldiers raided five Bel'in homes at 3AM arresting eight Palestinians, including Mohammad Khatib, a leader of the Bel'in Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements. It's part of Israel's repressive routine - late night arrests and imprisonment without charges for indefinite periods. Khatib faces trial, but was released on August 17 on condition he report to a police station with a monitor each Friday until 5PM for its duration. He told supporters: "The Israeli authorities are worried that the model of popular nonviolent resistance is spreading. They are targeting the popular committees to try to crush (them) but they cannot destroy the spirit of the demonstrations in Bil'in with the arrests of individuals. The whole village is part of the nonviolent resistance and the military would have to arrest (everyone) to stop us from protesting against the Occupation and the theft of our land. Even then, when we all come out of jail, we would continue our struggle." On September 22, Jayyous resident Mohammad Othman was arrested because of his "Stop the Wall Campaign" activism and efforts on behalf of dispossessed farmers. He's now administratively detained without charge after a military court rejected the Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association's appeal on his...

Turkey's Welcome Voice of Support 
Palestine Chronicle: 30 Dec 2009 - By Jeremy Salt Is Turkey's relationship with Israel going through a rocky patch or has it passed the point of no return? A week in politics is a long time, and all the rest of it, but it does seem that Turkish foreign policy has undergone a sea change since the election of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in 2002. Continuing difficulties in relationships with that amorphous package known as 'the west' is one reason. Excitement at the prospect of joining the EU has given way to cynicism. Angela Merkel is against accession, so is Sarkozy and so is the Pope (although he says different things at different times to different audiences). Criticism and often insults continue in the European Parliament and in European governments, no matter what Turkey does to try to meet European human rights standards. So it is probably fair to say that many if not most Turks are pretty fed up with the EU and as they have gained confidence in themselves and their country, many of them have concluded that, actually, we can do quite well without the EU. As for the United States, since 1945 it had no more reliable friend in the Middle East region. For half a century Turkey gave it all the US all it wanted, from military and electronic surveillance bases to troops for Korea and membership of NATO. The scales began to fall from Turkish eyes in 1964 when Lyndon Johnson sent a note warning Turkey not to...
Index | VTJP Archives