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Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel
www.vtjp.org/
For those interested in keeping up with events in Palestine/Israel, there is no better digest than VTJP.

VTJP Archives | VTJP 2009
31 December, 2009

News

International Middle East Media Center

The Israeli military levels two animal huts near Hebron
IMEMC 31 Dec 2009 - Thursday December 31, 2009 - 16:59, The Israeli military leveled on Thursday two animal huts that belong to a Palestinian farmer from Al Baqabra village near Hebron, southern West Bank.

Israeli settlers uproot trees and destroy natural water spring in northern West Bank
IMEMC 31 Dec 2009 - Thursday December 31, 2009 - 16:53, Israeli settlers uprooted trees and destroy natural water spring on Thursday that belongs to the villagers of Qarawit Bani Hassan in northern West Bank.

The Israeli military kidnaps 11 civilians from the West Bank
IMEMC 31 Dec 2009 - Thursday December 31, 2009 - 16:40, 11 Palestinian civilians were kidnapped by Israeli troops on Thursday during pre dawn military invasions targeting a number of west Bank communities.

Settlement Construction Continues in Kiryat Netafim
IMEMC 31 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 31 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 31 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.

Ma'an News

Israeli forces detain 15 including PA security officer in raids
12/31/2009 - Nablus - Ma'an - Israeli forces detained thirteen young men including an officer with the PA security forces and two minors overnight after storming their home, locals reported. Local Palestinian sources in Barqa village south of Nablus told Ma'an that Israeli military vehicles stormed the area after midnight and raided a number of houses before detaining the young men. The detainees were identified as: Shabib Shabib, 20, Amr Ahmad Shabib, 17, Ali Muhammad Salah, 16, Ameen Taysir Salah, 16, and Samer Safe, 20, a guard in the Palestinian National Security forces. Locals said Israeli forces withdrew from the village at 5 am and took the detainees to the Huwara investigations center. According to Israeli sources, a total of 11 Palestinians were detained in overnight raids, including five from the Nablus area. 

Internationals injured in Cairo protests
12/31/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Several international demonstrators were reported injured by Egyptian riot police during demonstrations with the Gaza Freedom March in Cairo Thursday. "There was a Moroccan-Italian woman who was punched in the face and was taken for treatment," said Medea Benjamin, a prominent US anti-war activist who organized the Gaza initiative. She said a number of people received cuts, bruises and other injuries. "It was quite the brutal scene. " Benjamin said the group would continue protesting, but said the organizers had not decided how long to continue. Egypt this week denied the Gaza Freedom March access to the besieged Strip, allowing only 84 of the 1,300 who registered to participate in the action. The march was planned to call attention to the Israeli-Egyptian blockade of Gaza on the one-year anniversary of Israel's three-week war on the territory. 

Witnesses: Settlers bulldoze land for settlement expansion
12/31/2009 - Salfit - Ma'an - Accompanied by soldiers, Israeli settlers driving bulldozers destroyed the Neweitef Al-Majur spring, the central water source for residents of the nearby West Bank town of Qarawat Bani Hassan on Thursday, locals reported. The destruction of the spring also involved uprooting several olive trees, eyewitnesses said, noting the group of settlers came from the Hayat Ya'eer outpost, near the settlement of Yakir, north of the town. "Settlers will not allow any residents [of Qarawat Bani Hassan] near the bulldozed land since it is for the expansion of the settlement," a resident told Ma'an. Residents said the bulldozer incident was preceded by an attack on a young shepherd identified as Nayef Assi, who was threatened and told to stay out of the area of the spring. An Israeli military spokesman said officials were not aware of an incident like the one described by the witnesses. 

Israel: Gaza projectile strikes Netivot
12/31/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - A projectile fired from the Gaza Strip landed in the town of Netivot, in southern Israel on Thursday evening, according to the Israeli military. A military spokesman said there were no reports of casualties. No one claimed responsibility for the reported strike. Israel waged a three-week war on Gaza last winter seeking to end such strikes, killing 1,400 Palestinians in the process. Launches of homemade projectiles, mortars, and rockets have been rare since the end of the war. 

Palestinians resume building Al-Bireh stadium under specter of halt
12/31/2009 - Ramallah - Mya Guarnieri - Construction on the Al-Bireh stadium resumed last week, a month after the Israeli forces shut-down the project. But Palestinian officials are not celebrating - the mood is tense, and the building feverish, as the fate of the stadium remains uncertain. Work on the stadium began in October 2008, after the FIFA-financed turf was completed. Building commenced with great fanfare - FIFA President Joseph Blatter helped to lay the stadium's first stone at the inauguration ceremony. Blatter also attended the Palestine-Jordan football match at the Al-Husseini Stadium, a landmark meeting as it was Palestine's first time hosting a team from abroad. The significance of the match was not lost on Blatter, who stated in a press release: "Football is about much more than just kicking a ball. The aim of football is not only to put the ball in the net, but to touch the. . . 

Israel demolishes two Hebron buildings
12/31/2009 - Hebron - Ma'an - Israeli forces demolished two agricultural buildings belonging to Ghaleb Az-Za'tari in the Al-Buayra area east of Hebron. Az-Za'tari told Ma'an the homes were demolished on the pretext that he had not obtained a permit to build them from Israeli authorities. [end] 

Video: Protesters denounce Gaza blockade
12/31/2009 - Erez Crossing - Ma'an - Some 500 demonstrators called on Israel to lift the blockade of Gaza during a demonstration at the Erez crossing point on Thursday, as part of the Gaza Freedom March initiative. The demonstrators, mostly Palestinians living inside Israel, said they came to express solidarity with Gaza residents. "We want to lift the siege of Gaza," said Mouad Khatib, 24, a translator from Haifa. "But our other demands, which are equally essential - I would not call them secondary - are to call on the Egyptian government and President Hosni Mubarak not to participate the siege," he said. "We also say to the Palestinian people in Gaza: We are one people, and we are with you all the way. We ask them not to stop defending their land," he added. Asked if he thought demonstrations would have a significant effect on Israeli or Egyptian policy,. . . 

Two Gaza crossings open; fuel in, flowers out
12/31/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Two crossings into the Gaza Strip will open on Thursday, Palestinian liaison official Raed Fattouh announced, noting a load of cut carnations would be exported from the Strip. The flower export is the third in three weeks. The three loads of cut carnations are the only export product allowed out of Gaza, and the permission to transport the flowers marks the first time since April that goods have been allowed out of the Strip. Imports on Thursday include 109 truckloads of humanitarian and commercial goods, Fattouh said, noting the Nahal Oz crossing will also be open to pump in limited quantities of household gas used for cooking and heating. This is the second time Nahal Oz will be open on the week, marking an increase over the previous period. On Wednesday, 242 tons of cooking gas were permitted into the Strip, as well as 77 truckloads of goods through the Kerem Shalom crossing and 62 through Karni. 

PLC bombing ’carried out unlawfully and wantonly’
12/31/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) building in central Gaza City was, according to the Israeli military, attacked on 31 December 2008, the fifth day of its massive assault on the besieged coastal enclave. Ahmad Bahar, then acting speaker of the PLC in Gaza, told South African jurist Richard Goldstone's UN Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict that the parliament building was hit by three missiles launched from fighter planes. Israel did not allege any Hamas military activity, such as launching of rockets, storage of weapons or planning of operations, was carried out in the building. Instead, it termed the area a "Hamas Government site," saying such locales "serve as a critical component of the terrorist groups' infrastructure in Gaza" and "constitute part of Hamas's mechanism of control. " 

An-Nasser Brigades clash with Israeli forces in northern Gaza
12/31/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - The An-Nasser Salah Ad-Din Brigades said fighters clashed with Israeli forces in northern Gaza for three hours Thursday morning. The brigades, affiliated with the Popular Resistance Committees, said Israeli troops were "sneaking onto Al-Ghoul land northwest of Beit Lahia" and were surprised by an attack that lasted from 5am to 8am, when the troops withdrew. There were no injuries reported with the brigades. An Israeli military spokeswoman said three armed gunmen opened fire on an Israeli patrol operating in the border area next to the shore in the northern Gaza Strip. She said a naval vessel fired on the men in addition to the ground soldiers, but noted that neither force "confirmed a direct hit. "She said there were no damages to Israeli equipment or injuries to soldiers. The brigades said they were ready to block access of Israeli soldiers to the Gaza Strip at any time. 

In photos: Gaza mural commemorates war
12/31/2009 - On 27 December 2008, Israeli forces launched what would be a 22-day assault on the Gaza Strip, killing more than 1,400 Palestinians. The aims of the Gaza war were said to have been the halting of projectile launches by Gaza militant groups into southern Israel, and the routing of the Hamas movement, which took control of Gaza in 2007. [end] 

Reports: Settler arrested over attack on mosque
12/31/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Israeli police arrested on Thursday a teenage settler suspected of involvement in an arson attack on a West Bank mosque three weeks ago, Israeli media reported. On 11 December settlers set fire to the mosque in the village of Yasuf. The vandals burned copies of the Quran, prayer carpets, and scrawled slogans in Hebrew such as "We will burn you all" on the walls. The attack drew harsh condemnation from across the world. [end] 

Zahhar: Hamas still open to swap deal
12/31/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Hamas has not ruled out a prisoner exchange with Israel, one of the movements top leaders said upon returning from talks on the issue in Damascus. Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahhar told Ma'an, "Hamas did not close the door on the Shalit deal. Hamas is demanding that Israel release some 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in return for Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier held in Gaza. Zahhar said Hamas is still holding internal consultations on the prisoner deal, and other issues, including reconciliation with Fatah, and the steel wall Egypt is building on the border with Gaza. He said the wall issue had been raised with the Egyptian government. Zahhar returned to Gaza on Thursday via the Rafah border crossing along with Hamas officials Khalil Al-Haya and Nezar Awad Allah. Earlier, Reuters news agency reported that Hamas rejected Israel's terms for a swap in a message relayed to a German mediator on Wednesday night. 

Jordan offers to train Palestinian security forces
12/31/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Minister of the Interior with the appointed Palestinian Authority government Said Abu Ali met with his counterpart in Amman on Wednesday over cooperation in the development of Palestinian security forces, the official said. Abu Ali sat with Minister Nayef Al-Qadi in Amman, who communicated a Jordanian interest to help rebuild the Palestinian security services based on the Jordanian model. " The PA depends on the role of Jordan as an essential and supportive role to face the Israeli intransigence," Al-Qadi told Abu Ali during the meeting. The Jordanian official expressed regret for the Palestinian situation, but stressed the need for unity, noting division "fragments efforts to reach a comprehensive, lasting and just solution to the Palestinian cause. " Abu Ali assured his counterpart that reconciliation was a priority of the Palestinian leadership, but noted. . . 

Israeli police: Fatah official involved in attack on soldiers
12/31/2009 - Jerusalem - Ma'an - Israeli police accusedFatah official Hatem Abdul Qader of involvement in an attack on two Israeli solders during the October Israeli crackdown on Palestinians seeking entry to Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque, his lawyer said. The police called Abdul Qader to the Russian Compound investigation center in Jerusalem on Wednesday night and questioned him for four hours on the topic, saying the soldiers were ready to testify against him. Abdul Qader's lawyer Ahmad Safia said the accusations were baseless and only aimed at sending his client to prison. He said Israeli police made no mention of the charges earlier in the month when Abdul Qader was held for 12 hours at the compound. Abdul Qader himself denied the charges, noting charges should rather be laid on Israeli police who beat him when they raided the Al-Aqsa compound. 

Finland donates 2.5 million Euros to PA
12/31/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - A 2. 5 million Euro funding deal was signed Thursday in Ramallah between Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and the Finnish government represented by Deputy Representative to the Palestinian Authority Outi Saarikoski. The money will go toward paying the salaries of Palestinian Authority employees and pensioners via the EU's PEGASE mechanism, the PA news agency WAFA said. The donation came as part of the 20 million US dollar pledge the Finnish government put forward in the Paris Donor Conference in 2007. [end] 

Abbas to mark Fatah anniversary in speech
12/31/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - President Mahmoud Abbas will announce the start of celebrations commemorating the Palestinian "revolution" in a speech he will deliver on Thursday, sources said. The Fatah movement will celebrate its 45th anniversary on 1 January, but details around festivities have remained under wraps. Senior political figures and representatives of the Palestinian Legislative Council were invited to participate in the announcement, sources said, which is set to take place at 6pm and be broadcast from the Ramallah presidential compound. Early on Thursday, prisoners affairs researcher Abed An-Nasser Farwana congratulated the, the members of the PLO executive committee, and all the Fatah leaders on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of what he called "the contemporary Palestinian revolution. " Farwana claimed his research showed that both the first stone of the Palestinian. . . 

Abbas: Gaza’s suffering is our suffering
12/31/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - President Mahmoud Abbas vowed on Thursday to spare no effort in supporting Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip. "Your suffering is ours - we will continue supporting you. We will offer every possible means of support," he said, speaking at a ceremony in Ramallah marking the 45th anniversary of the founding of his Fatah movement. He touted the role of the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority (PA) in supporting Gazans. He said the PA still pays the salaries of 77,000 employees in Gaza, devoting 55% of its budget to the territory. He also mentioned that the PA facilitates the entry of foreign aid to Gaza. Abbas was speaking on the same day as demonstrations marking the one-year anniversary of the Israeli war on Gaza which left more than 1,400 Palestinians dead. While Abbas is recognized in Gaza as president, he has little power there. 

Ha'aretz Defense page

Gaza militants fire Grad rocket into Netivot
Ha'aretz 31 Dec 2009 - No injuries or damage reported; rocket strike is first such attack on Netivot in nine months. 

Envoy to U.S.: Washington and Israel not discussing Iran strike
Ha'aretz 31 Dec 2009 - Michael Oren: Our main focus is on formulating, applying sanctions against Iran in 2010. 

Settler teen arrested over West Bank mosque arson, then freed
Ha'aretz 31 Dec 2009 - Parents and grandfather of main suspect in attack on Yasuf mosque were killed in Palestinian terror attack. 

Al-Hayat: Hamas ready with final response on Israel's offer for Shalit
Ha'aretz 31 Dec 2009 - Delegates conclude Damascus debate and head to Cairo to meet with German mediator, paper reports. 

Israel's 10 worst errors of the decade
Ha'aretz 31 Dec 2009 - In no decade of the modern Middle East has the roll of failure been so democratic. 

Hamas: Shalit mediator to start new round of talks next week
Ha'aretz 31 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 31 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 31 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 31 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 31 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 31 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 31 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 31 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 31 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 31 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 31 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 31 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 31 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 31 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 31 Dec 2009 - IDF soldier shot in chest by comrade in Be'er Sheva mall as shoppers looked on; second soldier arrested. 

Misc

VIDEO - Updates from the Cairo protests
12/31/2009 - Mondoweiss - Mondoweiss reader Michael Brown sent this: "I finally found my Dad in the crowd. We were split up when he was pulled out first by the head. I got a vicious kick to the ribs around that time, but wasn’t pulled out for another two minutes. A woman, in tears, was thrown on top of me. I just read that Desiree Fairouz was thrown over a fence or barricade. Many were roughed up. Felt like open hand to my head, but it was the kicks that I think probably hurt people the most. Medics said I checked out ok. There was an Italian woman there who fainted and needed medical attention for a considerable period of time. We stayed until about noon when the legal team thought it wise to get my father out. He’s 80 and it was a pretty strenuous morning, particularly as he’d been in the street and not on the sidewalk. "Here’s a video of Egyptian police moving protesters out of the street from Kayvan Farchadi with Sam Husseini. 

VIDEO - Update from protests in Gaza and at the Erez checkpoint
12/31/2009 - Mondoweiss - All along the idea for the Gaza Freedom March was that there would be a march inside Gaza once the delegation arrived, and a concurrent march to the Erez checkpoint on the Israeli side of the checkpoint. Although most of the Gaza Freedom March delegation did not go to Gaza from Cairo, the marches still took place. The photo above is the from the Erez checkpoint, and here is a report we just received about the Gaza march: Word from Gaza is that 6,000 marched — the maximum allowed by Hamas in absence of international shield — civil society march under Palestinian flag only. Govt felt march route too exposed and too narrow for more to march if Israeli attack was possible. The 84 internationals who marched w/ gazan palestinians went beyond the end of the march to within 500 meters of border and are sitting in the road holding a press conf. 

Gaza sees more newborns of malformation
12/31/2009 - Uruknet - GAZA, Dec. 31, 2009 (Xinhua) -- Um Hamza, a 22-year-old pregnant woman, from Jabalya refugee camp in northern Gaza Strip, woke up at night numerous times during the 22-day Israeli war which ended on Jan. 18, sniffing the smell of gas. Several weeks later she started experiencing terrible pain in the abdomen. Although she had been pregnant for two months then, it was impossible for her to conduct necessary tests as the hospitals were overwhelmed by injured people of Israeli bombardments. The pain continued for a couple of months before she was finally able to get the medical checkup, and the results left her shocked and speechless. The child she was carrying suffered from malformation and may die either inside her womb or shortly after birth. The baby came to this world while his brain hung out of his head like a bag of skin covering his eyes, therefore, the baby will never experience sight. 

Lives Destroyed: Day 3: Yebna Refugee Camp, Rafah
12/29/2009 - Al Mezan Center for Human Rights - At about 1am on 29 December 2008, the Al-Absi family home in Yebna Refugee Camp, south of Gaza's southern town of Rafah, was bombed and completely destroyed by an Israeli aircraft. All 10 family members were sleeping at the time. Three of the family’s children – Sidqi, aged four, Ahmed, 10, and Mohammad, 12 – were killed. Their four sisters and their parents were injured, some of them very seriously. The children’s mother, 41-year-old ‘Afaf, went into a coma for two months and her 16-year-old daughter Zakiya still requires further surgery to her left arm. Ne’meh, who is now three, was thrown by the force of the blast onto the roof of the adjacent house. Only one of the children, Mahmoud, now 18, escaped without injury. Al Mezan interviewed, ‘Afaf’s sister, Samira, 45, about how the family is coping almost one year after the attack. 

Lives Destroyed: Day 4: The Hamdan Family, Beit Hanoun in North Gaza
12/30/2009 - Al Mezan Center for Human Rights - At around 7. 45am on 30 December 2008, Lama, 5, Ismail, 10, and Haya, 12, wandered down the road from their home in Beit Hanoun in north Gaza to take out the garbage. As they reached the skip they were targeted by an Israeli warplane. Al Mezan interviewed the children’s parents, Talat and Eman Hamdan, nearly a year after the attacks. The Day of the Attacks - At around 7. 45 am on 30 December 2008, Lama, 5, Ismail, 10, and Haya, 12, wandered down the road from their home to take the garbage to a nearby skip. Their father, Talat Hamdan, 45, explains, “Every day, the children used to wake up, have breakfast, clean up the garden and then take the garbage to the skip down the road. We don’t have a collection service here. That day, I was woken up by the sound of an explosion. I was half asleep and I didn’t realise what was happening. 

Lives Destroyed: Day 5: The Targeting of Medical Teams
12/30/2009 - Al Mezan Center for Human Rights - On Wednesday 31 December 2008, several people were wounded in an Israeli attack in Jabal Ar-Rayis neighbourhood, north-east of Gaza City. Dr. Ihab Al Madhoun, 33-year-old director of Az-Zeitoun Clinic in Gaza City, ambulance driver Hishmat Ajour, 30, and medic Mohammed Sa’id Abu Hasira, 30, sped out in an ambulance to rescue them. As they stepped out of the vehicle they were targeted by an Israeli warplane. Hishmat was the only survivor. Mohammed died instantly and Ihab died the next day. Al Mezan interviewed Ihab’s widow, Roshana Al Madhoun, 28, and his brother, Iyad Al Madhoun, 35, nearly a year after Ihab was killed. In the Line of Duty - “He was doing his duty that day,” Roshana says. “He went out to rescue the wounded. My sister-in-law came to tell me he’d been injured. I told her I was preparing myself for the worst. 

Stop the Wall Campaign Targeted: Israel Continues to Violate the Rights of Human Rights Defenders and Peaceful Activists
12/30/2009 - Al Mezan Center for Human Rights - Addameer * Al-Haq – Law in the Service of Man * Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights* Al Dameer Association for Human Rights * BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights* DCI – Palestine Section * ENSAN Center * Jerusalem Legal Aid Center * Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counselling -- [Ramallah] Israel has for too long been allowed to violate the rights of human rights defenders and activists. As an occupying power and State Party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), Israel is obliged to respect the rights of Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) as guaranteed under the ICCPR. Palestinian human rights defenders must be guaranteed their right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, and their right to liberty and security of person. Since September 2009, Israel has intensified a repression campaign against. . . . 

Chances of new Palestinian intifada in 2010 low, says head of Israel’s Shin Bet
12/30/2009 - Daily Star - (AFP) OCCUPIED JERUSALEM: The chances of a new Palestinian uprising erupting in 2010 are low, barring a dramatic event like an attack on Muslim holy places, the head of Israel’s Shin Bet security agency was quoted as saying on Tuesday. A change in Palestinian leadership or large-scale release of Hamas prisoners into the Israeli occupied West Bank could also destabilize the region, Yuval Diskin told the parliamentary foreign affairs and defense committee, according to a senior official at the closed-door meeting. “The chances of a third intifada in 2010 are low,” Diskin reportedly said. “But if there are dramatic events like an attack on the Temple Mount (the Al-Aqsa mosque compound), arson attacks on mosques or similar things, it could inflame the situation or lead to protests. ” The Al-Aqsa mosque compound known to Muslims as Al-Haram Al-Sharif (the Noble Sanctuary) and to Jews as the Temple Mount has been a frequent flashpoint. 

Yemen seizes ’Israel-linked’ cell
10/7/2008 - BBC Online - October 7, 2008 - 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 last month which killed at least 18 people, official sources were quoted saying. Israel's foreign ministry has rejected the accusation as "totally ridiculous". " A terrorist cell was arrested and will be referred to the judicial authorities for its links with the Israeli intelligence services," Mr Saleh told a gathering at al-Mukalla University in Hadramawt province. " Details of the trial will be announced later. You will hear about what goes on in the proceedings," he added. 

Hip-hop Kindles Hopes in Destroyed Refugee Camp
12/30/2009 - Inter Press Service - 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. "I'm carrying worries / From inside a destroyed camp / I'm preparing an attack / Words that keep turning in my head / Nahr al-Bared is fenced-in with iron bars / In the newspapers they speak about suffering / Every word makes sense". Farhan Abu Siyam, 21, is Nahr al-Bared's first and only rapper. Going by the name of MC Tamarrod (which translates as MC Rebellion), he grew up in the Palestinian refugee camps of Nahr al-Bared and Bourj al-Barajneh. Abu Siyam knows that hip-hop has few takers within Palestinian society. "Many people don't like rap because they're against Western music and its elements like the beat. " 

PCBS: 10.9 Million Palestinians in the World
12/30/2009 - WAFA - Palestine News Agency - RAMALLAH, December 29, 2009 (WAFA)- The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) said Tuesday that 10. 9 million Palestinians in the world by the end of 2009, more than half in Diaspora and about 36. 7% in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. By the end of 2009, PCBS said in a press release, about 4. 0 million Palestinians were in the Palestinian Territory, of which 2. 5 million were in the West Bank and 1. 5 million in Gaza Strip. PCBS indicated that it issued this press release on the Palestinians in the world and their main demographic indicators, as part of efforts and plans, as well as its mandate to provide policy makers, politicians, development planners, and academics with the most reliable statistics on the Palestinians all over the world. The estimated figure for Palestinians all over World by the end of 2009 is 10. 

Israel’s population at 2010 is 7.5m
12/30/2009 - Jerusalem Post - On the eve of a new decade, Israel's population stands at 7. 5 million, according to figures released Wednesday by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS). Published ahead of the secular New Year 2010, Israel's population has continued to grow at a steady rate of 1. 8 percent over the past seven years, with 160,000 new babies born since last January 1 and some 14,500 new immigrants arriving over the past year. In terms of ethnic divisions, Israel's Jews now make up 75. 4% of the population or 5,664,000 people; Arabs, 20. 3% or 1,526,000 citizens and the remaining 4. 3% (319,000) are those registered as "others" by the Interior Ministry. According to the CBS's population report published ahead of the Jewish New Year in September, Israel is still a fairly young nation with nearly 30% of its population under the age of 14, compared to 17% in most other Western countries. 

Uruknet

Q&A: "The Government Took My Sister Hostage" Omid Memarian interviews Iranian Nobel Prize Laureate SHIRIN EBADI 
Uruknet December 31, 2009 - The Iranian government has intensified its pressure on political and human rights activists since the harsh crackdown on protesters on the holy day of Ashura, arresting major political figures and even their family members, including Noushin Ebadi, the sister of Noble Peace Laureate Shirin Ebadi. On Monday, authorities arrested dozens of ranking political figures, including Ebrahim...

Gaza Freedom March activists target Egypt's complicity
Uruknet December 31, 2009 - It was another eventful day here in Cairo at the inaugural Gaza Freedom March (GFM). On Tuesday night, organizers informed the 1,362-strong delegation that only 100 of them had been selected to travel to Gaza yesterday morning, Wednesday 30 December. After several hours of heated debate with organizers over whether this was an appropriate strategy, the...

Egypt lacks the milk of human kindness
Uruknet December 31, 2009 - It is desperately sad to see the noble efforts of the Viva Palestina expedition turning sour in front of our eyes as the forces of darkness plot once again to derail humanitarian aid for Gaza. Admittedly the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (joint organizers) are avoiding questions about whether or not they obtained clearance from Egypt for the...

UN warns of the collapse of Gaza's water supplies
Uruknet December 31, 2009 - A UN agency has warned of the danger of the collapse of the underground water system in the Gaza Strip. In a report, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) claims that over-use and contamination as a result of the Israeli war against Gaza a year ago is having a damaging effect on water supplies upon which...

Palestine, Forgive Us
Uruknet December 31, 2009 - Another year is closing and we have not yet liberated you from your usurper. Another year is closing and we have not alleviated your pain and suffering. Another year is closing and your blood, the blood of your children, is still being shed.... your tears, the tears of your children still run... your soul, the souls...

UNRWA: "Gaza is back beyond the Stone Age due to the siege"
Uruknet December 31, 2009 - The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has denounced the continuation of the blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip. The Israeli occupation authorities will not allow materials essential for the reconstruction of Gaza to be imported into the territory. As a result, the people of Gaza have not...

The opinion of Haidar Eid and Omar Barghouti on the Gaza Freedom March
Uruknet December 31, 2009 - The following statement was released today by two leading Palestinian intellectuals and activists: Dear Gaza Freedom March organizers and participants, After a lot of hesitation and deliberation, we are writing to call on you to reject the "deal" reached with the Egyptian leadership (through Mrs. Mubarak). This deal is bad for us and, we deeply feel,...

UN expert repeats call for threat of sanctions against Israel over Gaza blockade
Uruknet December 31, 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...

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Uruknet December 31, 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...

Video: Protesters denounces Gaza blockade
Uruknet December 31, 2009 - Some 500 demonstrators called on Israel to lift the blockade of Gaza during a demonstration at the Erez crossing point on Thursday, as part of the Gaza Freedom March initiative. The demonstrators, mostly Palestinians living inside Israel, said they came to express solidarity with Gaza residents. "We want to lift the siege of Gaza," said Mouad...

Israel's East Jerusalem Linked Settlement Expansion
Uruknet December 31, 2009 - On February 1, 2009, the International Solidarity Movement reported that Israel continues its E 1 area homes and infrastructure work that includes linking its Ma'ale Adummim settlement with East Jerusalem and other settlements around it. It said Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, while in office, promised to expand E 1 development - the land northeast of Jerusalem,...

Gaza sees more newborns of malformation
Uruknet December 31, 2009 - Um Hamza, a 22-year-old pregnant woman, from Jabalya refugee camp in northern Gaza Strip, woke up at night numerous times during the 22-day Israeli war which ended on Jan. 18, sniffing the smell of gas. Several weeks later she started experiencing terrible pain in the abdomen. Although she had been pregnant for two months then, it...

Palestine Telegraph

For Publication: A week of Actions to Remember Gaza victims
London, December 31, (Pal Telegraph) - Several Organizations are preparing for a memorial week for the Palestinian victims over the past 60 years.  The organizations are picking the last week of the barbaric attacks on Gaza “Gaza genocide-war” to be the yearly annual week to mark the suffering thousands of Palestinians who passed the mayhem and exile. The actions are...

The Occupied West Bank Latroun Villages - by Stephen Lendman
US, December 31, 2009 (Pal Telegraph)- On June 6, 1967, when Israeli forces invaded Gaza and the West Bank, on the second day of the so-called Six-Day War (June 5 - 10, 1967), they entered three Palestinian villages in the Latroun salient - Imwas, Yalo and Beit Nouba, forcibly expelling the residents, numbering over 10,000 at the time. By the next...

Israel's East Jerusalem Linked Settlement Expansion - by Stephen Lendman
US, December 31, 2009 (Pal Telegraph)- On February 1, 2009, the International Solidarity Movement reported that Israel continues its E 1 area homes and infrastructure work that includes linking its Ma'ale Adummim settlement with East Jerusalem and other settlements around it. It said Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, while in office, promised to expand E 1 development - the land northeast of...

Gaza Water Reservoirs Almost Dry
Gaza, December 31, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) - The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has said that water reservoirs in the Gaza Strip are almost dry, that would increase the harshness of life for the 1.5 million Palestinians living in the Strip. A UNEP report Wednesday said that water resources in the Gaza Strip had been exhausted by overuse in addition...

Israel Detains 11 Palestinians
West Bank, December 31, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) - At dawn on Thursday, Israeli occupation forces kidnapped 11 Palestinians from different governorates in West Bank. Israeli occupation forces continue to arrest and attack different areas in West Bank. They detained 11 citizens whose ages around 18-22, claiming that they are "wanted". Palestinian local agencies reported that Israeli occupation forces raided Ramallah,...

The National

A decade after Israeli withdrawal, border villages remain in limbo
The National 31 Dec 2009 - Residents of the far south-east corner of Lebanon are caught in a tussle between Israeli and Hizbollah forces.

Backlash over Gaza onslaught chastens Israel
The National 31 Dec 2009 - Analysts say international pressure and allegations of war crimes stir political concessions that include conditional support for a Palestinian state.

Stalled peace process widens Fatah-Hamas divide
The National 31 Dec 2009 - Though experts predicted the assault by Israel would unite Gaza and the West Bank within a matter of weeks, distrust and animus continues to fester in the tattered region.

Aljazeera

Protests held against Gaza siege 
AlJazeera 31 Dec 2009 - Demonstrations against Israel's blockade take place on either side of Erez crossing.

Iran faces nuclear deal deadline
AlJazeera 31 Dec 2009 - US mulls sanctions if Tehran ignores proposal to send nuclear material abroad. 

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.

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

Pink Floyd's Roger Waters Speaks Out in Support of Gaza Freedom March
PNN 31 Dec 2009 - In a Democracy Now! exclusive interview, British musician Roger Waters of the iconic rock band Pink Floyd speaks out about the Gaza Freedom March. “I actually would be very interested to hear what the President of the United States has to say about this nonviolent, democratic demonstration of ordinary people from forty-two countries all over the world,” says Waters. “They feel solidarity...

AT-TUWANI: Israeli settler violence against children
PNN 31 Dec 2009 - An Israeli settler from the outpost of Havat Ma'on (Hill 833) chased and threw stones at Palestinian schoolchildren from the villages of Tuba and Maghayir Al-Abeed. The Israeli army exposed the children to this attack by arriving more than 90 minutes late to escort the children to their school in the village of At-Tuwani.The schoolchildren had been waiting for the army escort...

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...

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...

Holocaust Survivor Goes on Hunger Strike for Gaza
PNN 31 Dec 2009 - BEIRUT -- An 85-year-old Holocaust survivor entered the second day of her hunger strike on Tuesday, in protest over the Egyptian government's refusal to allow an international Palestinian solidarity march to enter the Gaza Strip. American peace activist Hedy Epstein came to Cairo as part of an international delegation with participants from 43 countries. The delegation had planned to join Palestinians in...

Jerusalem Post

Sderot children send New Year's message to Gaza
Jeruslalem Post 31 Dec 2009 - "A New Decade for Hope and Peace" was the theme behind the Sderot Rally for Hope.

'Halacha is above military orders'
Jeruslalem Post 31 Dec 2009 - Seven ex-IDF chief rabbis call on Barak to stop the "incitement" against hesder yeshivot.

Israel seeks 'crippling sanctions' as time runs out on Iran
Jeruslalem Post 31 Dec 2009 - But while Washington looks increasingly to sanctions, it still wants "a diplomatic resolution" and may not go as far as Jerusalem would like.

Hundreds protest Israel's Gaza policies
Jeruslalem Post 31 Dec 2009 - Israeli Arab MKs lead one demonstration, Edelstein leads a counter protest.

Kadima has lost touch with vital Negev, Galilee supporters, party malcontents claim
Jeruslalem Post 31 Dec 2009 - Official associated with party since its establishment says that under Livni, Kadima alienates activists in development towns.

On the road to safety? Deaths per km. fell 30% in '09
Jeruslalem Post 31 Dec 2009 - Fewer people died in traffic accidents in Israel in 2009 than in any of the last 35 years.

Barghouti fate key to Schalit deal
Jeruslalem Post 31 Dec 2009 - Hamas says it will continue negotiations despite having reservations about latest Israeli proposal.

Mofaz: Livni's scared of threat I pose
Jeruslalem Post 31 Dec 2009 - Kadima number No. 2 blasts leader after she refuses to meet him to set agreed date for primaries.

Barak to Abbas: 'Return to the table'
Jeruslalem Post 31 Dec 2009 - At IAF school graduation ceremony, Ashkenazi says "threats are gathering, both near and far away."

Inter Press Service

Q&A: ''U.S. 'Grand Bargain' Can Save Israel From Itself'' 
IPS JERUSALEM, Dec 28 (IPS) - Resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict along the two-state parameters seems less likely with Israel torn between accepting a Palestinian state and the settler ideology which calls for Israel’s exclusive rule over the whole of Jerusalem and the West Bank.

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.

PCHR Weekly Report

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

International Solidarity Movement

Release Abdallah Abu Rahmah and other leaders and members of the Bil’in Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements
12/31/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Faculty for Israeli-Palestinian Peace, 29 December - Abdallah Abu Rahmah, a leader of the Bil'in Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements, was arrested at his home during a military operation in Ramallah by the Israeli Army on December 10. FFIPP interns and members of faculty delegations know Abdallah Abu Rahmah well. For the past two years, he has received our students and faculty at his home in Bil'in and has taken them to see the Separation Wall on the village's land. Abdallah is currently in military prison and is being charged with illegal weapons possession, in response to his creative exhibition of discharged tear gas canisters, bullets and sound grenades used by the Israeli military in Bil'in against non-violenet protestors. As many of our students and faculty have witnessed, the exhibition was created for educational purposes and does not have live ammunitions but only the remains of weapon used by the Israeli Army. 

New year in Gaza reopens wounds of old
12/31/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Eva Bartlett, The Electronic Intifada - For many survivors of the last Israeli war on Gaza, time has not healed their wounds, physical or emotional. Halil 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 her martyred father and younger brother, both of whom she saw shot dead at close range by Israeli soldiers during the 2008-2009 winter war on Gaza. The name Samouni has become well known for the high number of martyrs in the extended family, and for the brutality with which many victims were killed, the Israeli army's prevention of medical access to the injured, and the thorough and systematic destruction of homes, farms, and civilian infrastructure in the Zeitoun district in eastern Gaza, and all throughout Gaza. 

The rains
12/31/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Eva Bartlett, In Gaza - It's pouring rain. Farmers are collectively breathing relief, finally able to begin working on their parched land, land deprived water because Israeli bombing, tanks and bulldozers destroyed virtually all of the wells, cisterns, and rain-water collectors of farms in the border regions. I'm breathing many sighs of relief, because the rain is fresh, brings life, brings a needed feeling of growth"¦But the family of Saleh Abu Leila, with their 14 family members crammed into 1. 5 tents (half the tent is occupied by a refrigerator) of poor-quality, torn fabric will be sighing with much less relief, as water seeps in through rips and breaks in the tent, floods the door, gradually streams into the tent entrance. Their focus will be on keeping warm, particularly for their infant just over a month old, and dry, added to the daily worries about where the money for the next tine of baby milk will come from. " 

Gaza Freedom March: On the March at Last
12/31/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Ellen Davidson and Judith Mahoney Pasternak, The Indypendent - At 9:50 this morning, hundreds of Egyptian Museum-bound tourists milled around Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo. Camouflaged among them were several hundred Gaza Freedom marchers, their "Free Gaza" t-shirts and "My heart is with Palestine"buttons hidden under jackets, their backpacks holding a day's worth of water and snack foods. At a few minutes before 10, says marcher Brad Taylor of New York City, the marchers converged and began to march down Meret Basha Street, waving banners and "Free Gaza" signs in Arabic and English and blocking traffic on half this heavily traveled multi-lane main artery. The Gaza Freedom March was on the march at last, if not in Gaza. In Gaza, hundreds of Gazans marched with international activists against the Israeli blockade of the territory, according to Haaretz newspaper. -- Link: The Indypendent

UN expert repeats call for threat of sanctions against Israel over Gaza blockade
12/31/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - United Nations News Centre, 29 December - 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 and the EU [European Union] don't. . . . " 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

Despite freeze, hundreds of housing units under construction in isolated settlements 
Ha'aretz 31 Dec 2009 - Despite the construction freeze, dozens of settlements in the West Bank are experiencing a building boom, even on the eve of another visit to the region by U.S. envoy George Mitchell to try to restart talks for a final settlement between the Israelis and Palestinians. ... 

Iran soccer body sends Israeli team New Year`s greeting 
Ha'aretz 1 Jan 2010 - The Iranian football federation sent its Israeli counterpart a new year's greeting on Thursday, Army Radio reported, in what a Tehran official described as a mistake. ...

Goodbye 2009! World readies for a more hopeful 2010
Ha'aretz 1 Jan 2010 - Fireworks exploded over Sydney's famous bridge and the Eiffel Tower prepared for its own colored-light spectacle as the world celebrated a New Year that many hope will be more prosperous and peaceful than 2009. ...

Abbas: Israel sabotages Palestinian achievements by killing us
Ha'aretz 31 Dec 2009 - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas accused Israel Thursday of trying to sabotage Palestinian achievements - mainly the enforcement of law and order, stability and security in the West Bank - through its military incursions and killing of Palestinians. ...

Hamas official: We turned down Israeli Shalit deal offer, but door not closed
Ha'aretz 31 Dec 2009 - A senior leader of the Palestinian Islamic Hamas movement said Thursday that Hamas has not accepted Israel's offer, but the door for completing a prisoner swap deal "has not been closed." ...

The Guardian

Jews among hundreds to protest against blockade of Gaza Strip
The Guardian 31 Dec 2009 - Hundreds of demonstrators rallied on opposite sides of an Israeli-Gaza border crossing today to protest at the blockade of the strip imposed by Egypt and Israel. In Gaza, about 100 international activists staged a rally with...

I've changed my mind about a two-state solution | Mehdi Hasan
The Guardian 31 Dec 2009 - Israel's Palestinian settlements are now too extensive to make division of the land practical. Instead, it must be shared OK, I admit it. I was wrong. How could I have bought into all that idealistic nonsense...

Ha'aretz National page

Jerusalem man suspected in death of infant daughter
Ha'aretz 31 Dec 2009 - Police in Jerusalem arrested a 23-year-old man whose infant daughter was discovered in his apartment suffering from serious physical trauma. The infant girl was rushed to hospital, where she died of her injuries. ...

Iran soccer body sends Israeli team New Year`s greeting 
Ha'aretz 1 Jan 2010 - The Iranian football federation sent its Israeli counterpart a new year's greeting on Thursday, Army Radio reported, in what a Tehran official described as a mistake. ...

5 religious girls sue police for allegedly strip-searching them
Ha'aretz 31 Dec 2009 - Five young religious women have filed a lawsuit against the Israel Police for allegedly conducting demeaning strip searches on them during their arrest at illegal West Bank outpost. ...

U.S. court to rule on return of Jewish books from Russia
Ha'aretz 31 Dec 2009 - A U.S. federal court has agreed to rule whether the Chabad movement can retrieve Jewish manuscripts nationalized by Communist Russia last century, Army Radio reported on Thursday. The ruling comes despite the fact that Moscow has denied Washington's jurisdiction in the case. ...

WATCH: The world celebrates New Year's eve as 2010 arrives
Ha'aretz 31 Dec 2009 - Before 2010 descends on Israel, the New Year hits first across the Pacific Ocean. ...

Relief Web

OPT - Cast Lead Aggression 1st Anniversary, Day 5: The Targeting of Medical Teams
Relief Web 31 Dec 2009 - Source: Al Mezan Center for Human Rights

Egypt's Gaza wall months from completion - Israel 
Relief Web 30 Dec 2009 - Source: Reuters - AlertNet

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

YNet News

J'lem: Father suspected of beating toddler daughter to death
YNet News 31 Dec 2009 - Two-year-old pays ultimate price for parents' marital troubles; wife leaves house after heated argument, husband believed to strangle their daughter 

Officials: Netanyahu proposes Egypt peace summit
YNet News 31 Dec 2009 - Israeli officials say plan raised by PM during talks with Mubarak this week. Abbas aide: Region will see important political activity in next two weeks 

Gaza rocket hits Netivot
YNet News 31 Dec 2009 - Calm in south breached as rocket lands in city. Color Red alert fails to sound, IDF said system turned off to avoid false alarms 

Shah's son wants UN probe in Iran
YNet News 31 Dec 2009 - Reza Pahlavi tells AP unrest in his homeland redolent of 'revolutionary atmosphere' that preceded fall of his father 30 years ago; urges Secretary-General Ban to press Tehran to release those arrested and act to 'halt intolerable, increasingly dangerous march of events' 

Egypt allows foreign activists to march into Gaza 
YNet News 31 Dec 2009 - North Sinai governorate says Cairo 'made an exception' and lets 84 activists into Hamas-ruled territory to mark first anniversary of IDF offensive 

Hamas reps return to Gaza; response to Shalit deal offer expected soon
YNet News 31 Dec 2009 - Islamist group's consultations in Damascus on latest Israel prisoner swap offer conclude; reps say exiled leaders expressed some reservations 

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

The return of Shawar
PIC 31 Dec 2009 - Shawars and traitors will go down the dustbin of history. This is their natural place, and it doesn’t make any difference whether the traitor serves a Crusader king or a modern evil entity.

Italian organizations: The steel wall makes Egypt equal to Israel
PIC 31 Dec 2009 - Italian human rights organizations and dignitaries warned that the steel of wall being built on the Palestinian-Egyptian borders would equalize Egypt with Israel in its blockade on the Gaza Strip.

Egypt allows 86 activists to enter Gaza without aid trucks
PIC 31 Dec 2009 - The Egyptian authorities allowed last night 86 pro-Gaza activists from the US, Britain, France and Japan to enter Gaza with only their personal belongings and refused to allow in any aid trucks.

Internal Gaza security foils attempt to locate Shalit
PIC 31 Dec 2009 - The internal security apparatus in the Gaza Strip has revealed that an attempt by the Israeli Shabak security to locate the whereabouts of Israeli captured soldier Gilad Shalit was foiled.

Tadamun: IOF killed 1,594 Palestinians in 2009
PIC 31 Dec 2009 - The international Tadamun (solidarity) institution for human rights has said that the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) had killed 1,594 Palestinians in 2009 including 473 children and 126 women.

Hamas: Resistance is our strategic choice until the liberation of Palestine
PIC 31 Dec 2009 - Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri stated that the resistance is a strategic choice of his Movement aimed to liberate Palestine and restore the usurped rights.

Swiss organizations, Algerian society condemn the steel wall
PIC 31 Dec 2009 - Twenty Swiss organizations have called for picketing the Egyptian embassy on Wednesday to protest the building of the steel wall while an Algerian society denounced the step.

Resheq denies news reports on Hamas rejection of German mediator’s offer
PIC 31 Dec 2009 - Ezzat Al-Resheq denied what was reported by Al-Arabiya satellite channel that his Movement refused the Israeli response regarding the prisoner swap deal relayed by the German mediator.

Batesh: Steel wall an Egyptian mistake
PIC 31 Dec 2009 - Khaled Al-Batesh, one of the senior leaders of the Islamic Jihad Movement, has rejected Egypt's construction of an underground steel wall along its borders with Gaza Strip as "racist".

Gov't anti siege committee organizes protest march to Erez
PIC 31 Dec 2009 - The government committee against the siege has announced that a rally would be organized near the Beit Hanun (Erez) crossing in northern Gaza Strip to protest the siege on Gaza.

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. 

Iran government supporters rally in Tehran 
LA Times 31 Dec 2009 - Demonstrators call for the death of opponents of the hard-line government and decry the opposition after a weekend of large-scale protests, for which leaders blame the West. Tens of thousands of Iranians backing the country's rulers rallied in central Tehran on Wednesday, calling for the death of antigovernment protesters and opposition leader Mir-Hossein Mousavi. 

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. 

New York Times

Hundreds Demonstrate on Border With Gaza
New York Times 31 Dec 2009 - Hundreds of demonstrators gathered on both sides of the Israeli-Gazan border to mark a year since Israel’s three-week war in Gaza. 

Op-Ed Columnist: Change Iran at the Top
New York Times 31 Dec 2009 - A ruler transplanted from heaven is not what Iranians want; a moral guide, rooted in the ethics of Persia, may well be. 

A Mideast Bond, Stitched of Pain and Healing
New York Times 31 Dec 2009 - The friendship between two children in a hospital — a Palestinian and an Israeli — has drawn their parents into a kinship that defies national struggle. 

In Tehran, Thousands Rally to Back Government
New York Times 31 Dec 2009 - The chants of the crowds on Wednesday — and Sunday — spoke to the depth of the schism in Iranian society since the disputed presidential elections in June. 

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. 

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...

Update from protests in Gaza and at the Erez checkpoint
Mondoweiss - 31 Dec 2009 - Protest at the Erez checkpoint in southern Israel. (Photo: Michael Ratner) All along the idea for the Gaza Freedom March was that there would be a march inside Gaza once the delegation arrived, and a concurrent march to the Erez checkpoint on the Israeli side of...

Updates from the Cairo protests
Mondoweiss - 31 Dec 2009 - Protest and police in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. (Photo: diptychal ) Mondoweiss reader Michael Brown sent this : I finally found my Dad in the crowd. We were split up when he was pulled out first by the head. I got a vicious kick to the ribs around that...

The Egyptian Plans to Thwart the Gaza Freedom March
Mondoweiss - 31 Dec 2009 - It is safe to assume that at about the time the Gaza Freedom March and Viva Palestina announced its plans to enter Gaza, Egypt also made plans, in consultation with their Israeli, American and occasionally Jordanian counterparts. They probably looked something like this: 1. Let the...

Press release: Protesters are being brutalized in Tahrir Square right now – 500+ protesters violently forced into pens, others barricaded in their hotels
Mondoweiss - 31 Dec 2009 - From a Gaza Freedom March press release: Members of the Gaza Freedom March are being forcibly detained in hotels around town (Lotus, Liala) as well as violently forced into pens in Tahrir Square by Egyptian police and additional security forces. Reports of police brutality are flooding...

Flashpoints has Gaza covered – from 1956 to today
Mondoweiss - 31 Dec 2009 - Flashpoints – December 30, 2009 at 5:00pm Click to listen (or download ) Today’s Flashpoints features great interviews with Hedy Epstein from Cairo on the Gaza Freedom March, and Joe Sacco on his important new book Footnotes in Gaza , which deals with Israeli massacres in Rafah and...


Articles

AIPAC Celebrates 47th Birthday in Court 
Grant Smith, Antiwar.com 12/31/2009
      The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) enters its 47th year of existence battling to extricate itself from two highly damaging civil court cases. The more recent is Steven J. Rosen’s defamation suit against AIPAC, which has now entered its most critical phase. The suit claims AIPAC defamed its former research director by firing Rosen after he was criminally indicted for espionage in 2005. Before the government dropped [.pdf] its criminal prosecution in the spring of 2009, Rosen sued AIPAC, its entire board of directors, and an outside public relations firm for $20 million. On June 5, 2009, Rosen’s attorney David H. Shapiro promised AIPAC’s counsel he would be seeking "serious discovery." Rosen’s right to acquire depositions and internal AIPAC documents, some of which [.pdf] he has already begun to expose in his court filings, mirrors the successful "graymail" defense Rosen and Keith Weissman mounted in their criminal defense. The pair threatened to expose so much classified U.S. national security information in court that government prosecutors, possibly under pressure from Obama administration political appointees, simply gave up. Rosen, who knows where many of AIPAC’s skeletons are buried, is demanding a steep price to keep silent about other classified U.S. government information leveraged by AIPAC in service to Israel.
     On Oct. 28, 2009, Judge Jeannette J. Clark dismissed [.pdf] Rosen’s complaint against AIPAC’s board of directors but sustained Rosen’s right to have a jury decide whether AIPAC acted with malice when it stated publicly that he did not "reflect AIPAC standards." On Nov. 11, 2009, AIPAC fired back that the rest of Rosen’s complaint should also be barred under the doctrine of "unclean hands" [.pdf], since Rosen had allegedly long been acting unethically while at AIPAC. This curious defense may have legs. The FBI has now begun the long overdue public release of criminal investigation files about espionage and theft of government property during Rosen’s tenure as head of research at AIPAC. But making an argument in open court that Rosen was merely engaged in "business as usual" is clearly unpalatable to AIPAC, which is probably now in serious negotiations over a private financial settlement. A major discovery filing, due in court on Dec. 14, 2009 [.pdf], has not yet been docketed, even as Rosen publicly reemerges to position himself as a credible Middle East policy analyst. more.. e-mail

A future without prisoners 
Rotem Dan Mor, Ma’an News Agency 12/30/2009
      Every week, as I return from music lessons in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Rehavia I pass by the tent erected by activists in support of Gilad Shalit, the captive Israeli soldier.
     Each time I pass by and wish them good luck I am struck by the steadfast commitment to their cause, while I am also, sadly, reminded of my own inactivity in the cause of my imprisoned friends.
     For as the leaders of Israel and of Hamas (along with the press) are busy discussing the release of their combatants there are a few important prisoners whom have been neglected from the debate. These prisoners are those who have been imprisoned for taking a stand for peace and justice in Israel/Palestine. Amongst them are my friends Orr Ben David and Muhammad Othman, both young but experienced activists for peace.
     I have known Muhammad Othman, a staff member for the Palestinian organization Stop the Wall (Stopthewall.org), for many years due to our mutual engagement in the fight to bring down the racist barriers separating our peoples and our struggle for a joint future for Israelis and Palestinians.
     Muhammad is from Jayous, a beautiful agricultural village located in the Northern part of the occupied West Bank. The village has lost much of its land to the separation barrier built by Israel.
     He was arrested on the 22nd of September at the Allenby Bridge as he was returning from a speaking tour of Scandinavia. He has spent the first 60 days of his arrest in isolation while enduring intensive and often humiliating interrogations and for the last 30 days has been under administrative detention without a trial or formal charges. more.. e-mail


Gaza Freedom March activists target Egypt's complicity
Electronic Intifada: 31 Dec 2009 - While it was deeply disappointing for the nearly 1,400 delegates with the Gaza Freedom March who came from 43 countries that they could not physically be in Gaza today, this was a momentous and historic gathering of justice-loving people from every corner of the globe, united by their common desire to see Gaza free. On the eve of a new year, the crowd vowed to do everything in their power to make 2010 the year that the siege of Gaza is finally and forever broken. Sayed Dhansay reports from Cairo. 

New year in Gaza reopens wounds of old
Electronic Intifada: 31 Dec 2009 - GAZA CITY, occupied Gaza Strip (IPS) - For many survivors of the last Israeli war on Gaza, time has not healed their wounds, physical or emotional. Halil 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. 

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. 

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...

Remember Gaza, Read the Book, Spread the Word
Palestine Chronicle: 31 Dec 2009 - Order Your Copy Today Through Amazon or Pluto Press. Product Details Paperback: 320 pages Publisher: Pluto Press (January 2010) Language: English ISBN-10: 0745328814 ISBN-13: 978-0745328812 Description The frontline in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, Gaza is constantly reported as a place of violence and terror. Ramzy Baroud's memoir explores the daily lives of the people in that turbulent region: the complex human beings -- revolutionaries, mothers and fathers, lovers, and comedians -- who make Gaza so much more than just a disputed territory. At the heart of Baroud's tale is the story of his father who, driven out of his village to a refugee camp, took up arms to fight the occupation while trying to raise a family. Ramzy Baroud: "This is a book about Gaza. It is also a book about my family, and in particular my father, how they moved from living as Palestinian farmers, growing their own crops, to fleeing for their lives and ending up in a Gaza refugee camp. Throughout the book I spell out the context of the Zionist invasion, and interweave my family story within the wider history of my people and the destruction of their old ways of life. So far we have many books from Israelis, some sympathetic and others not, regarding the events that led to the creation of the State of Israel, and its later expansion. But there is really very little that tells the story from those of us who lost everything. I am proud to...

On Gaza Drivers, Rumours and Egypt's Steel Wall
Palestine Chronicle: 31 Dec 2009 - By Ramzy Baroud Those pesky taxi drivers of Gaza are always circulating rumours. One story that made the rounds during the first Palestinian uprising in 1987 claimed that an Arab army crossed the Sinai desert to save Palestinians from the daily killings and protracted state of siege which caused untold suffering for civilians. The army in question would change from time to time, but the focus inevitably returned to Egypt. The rumour of an Egyptian military intervention persevered through the years, and it registered deeply in Palestinian psyche, especially among those living in Gaza. My father, as many in his generation, fought in the Egyptian army and the Palestinian Liberation Army. Following defeat in the war of 1967, he was hauled along wounded and dead Egyptian soldiers across Sinai, as well as on a floating army bridge over the Suez Canal under intense Israeli aerial bombardment. As a child, I once accompanied him on a journey to an impoverished neighborhood in Cairo to look for an Egyptian war buddy of his. When we found out that he was long dead, my father wept. Confused and scared among the ailing buildings, I too cried. Indeed, the bond between Egyptians and Palestinians is historical, everlasting, cemented in blood, sweat and tears. Yes, everlasting, despite the responses of the Egyptian government to the more recent suffering of Palestinians in Gaza. When the Palestinian people democratically elected Hamas to lead the Palestinian legislature in 2006, they were aware of the possible repercussions. They have...

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...
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