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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
4 February, 2010

News

International Middle East Media Center

Settlers Occupy a Palestinian Mountain In Nablus
IMEMC 4 Feb 2010 - Thursday February 04, 2010 - 13:50, A group of right-wing, armed, Israeli settlers occupied a 500-Dunam Palestinian mountain south of Nablus city, in the northern part of the West Bank.

Israel Exiles A Detainee To Gaza, Aim At Expelling Nine To Jordan
IMEMC 4 Feb 2010 - Thursday February 04, 2010 - 13:03, Less than one month after detaining him in the northern West Bank city of Tulkarem, Israeli soldiers exiled a detainee, Baker al-Hafi, to the Gaza Strip.

Army Kidnaps 29 Palestinians in the West Bank
IMEMC 4 Feb 2010 - Thursday February 04, 2010 - 11:56, Israeli soldiers detained, on Thursday at dawn, 29 Palestinians in different parts of the occupied West Bank. Army sources claimed that those detained are on their “wanted-list” by the Israeli security.

Sha'ath Meets Hamas Leaders In Gaza
IMEMC 4 Feb 2010 - Thursday February 04, 2010 - 02:55, Dr. Nabil Sha'ath, member of the Central Committee of the Fatah party, met on Wednesday evening with delegates of the rival Hamas movement, and also met with Fatah leaders and leaders of other factions.

Netanyahu Expects Peace Talks To Resume Within Coming Weeks
IMEMC 4 Feb 2010 - Thursday February 04, 2010 - 01:44, Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, stated Wednesday that there is a chance that the stalled peace process would be unconditionally resumed in the coming few weeks.

Italian Prime Minister Evasive During Bethlehem Press Conference
IMEMC 4 Feb 2010 - Wednesday February 03, 2010 - 17:42, Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, visited the Church of the Nativity, in the West Bank City of Bethlehem, today and held a joint press conference with Palestinian Authority President, Mahmoud Abbas.

The Israeli Military Invades Areas Near Gaza City & Destroys Farm Lands
IMEMC 4 Feb 2010 - Wednesday February 03, 2010 - 17:06, Israeli tanks and bulldozers invaded residential areas and farm lands, east of Gaza City on Wednesday afternoon.

The Israeli military detained 12 Palestinian civilians from the West Bank
IMEMC 4 Feb 2010 - Wednesday February 03, 2010 - 16:55, Twelve Palestinian civilians were detained, on Wednesday, by Israeli troops during pre-dawn invasions targeting a number of West Bank communities.

Two Palestinians & One American Detained Following Pre-Dawn Incursion in Bil'in
IMEMC 4 Feb 2010 - Wednesday February 03, 2010 - 14:34, 26 Israeli soldiers entered the West Bank village of Bil’in, near Ramallah, on Wednesday at 3 am. They detained 2 Palestinians, one a journalist, and an international journalist.

More Detainees Seeking Higher Education
IMEMC 4 Feb 2010 - Wednesday February 03, 2010 - 13:17, The Palestinian Prisoner Society (PPS) reported that more Palestinian detainees, imprisoned at the Ramon Israeli prison, are joining the Hebrew Open University. The detainees are also holding seminars and educational sessions.

Ma'an News

Gaza power plant to cease operations
2/5/2010 - Gaza - Ma'an - The Gaza Strip's sole power plant will cease all operations late Friday night due to a lack of fuel, officials warned. The plant had already shut down services to all but 30-40 percent of the coastal strip by nightfall on Thursday, the Gaza Energy Authority said, noting that the sudden cold front in the region spent the remaining fuel faster than expected. The Energy Authority has notified mayors and municipalities across Gaza, and was informing the Health Ministry and major telecommunications companies PalTel and Jawwal to prepare for the worst. "People are trying to stock up on fuel to operate private generators for the buildings and institutions that have them," according to Emad Eid, the director of Ma'an's Gaza City bureau. He said that while Gazans are used to these blackouts, most generators in private homes are too weak to produce enough electricity for. . . 

New checkpoint targets Tulkarem farmers
2/4/2010 - Tulkarem - Ma'an - Israeli military personnel completed the installation of a partial checkpoint and search station Wednesday for farmers in the Tulkarem area who pass through Gate 753 on their way to lands cut off by the separation wall. Families with orchards or fields near Khirbet Jubara, south of Tulkarem, must have a pre-arranged permit to access their lands, west of Israel's separation wall. Farmers would travel to Gate 753, south of the Ephraim checkpoint, and wait for the scheduled openings of the gate in the wall, in order to access their lands. Residents of the village must also pass through the gate to access Tulkarem. As of Wednesday, farmers with permits from the Israeli Civil Administration must also undergo physical searches. Farmers and all their equipment must be scanned and pass through metal detectors in the new room constructed at the gate. 

Overnight Israeli raids see 22 taken to unknown locations
2/4/2010 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Nighttime raids targeting the Bethlehem, Ramallah, Qalqiliya and Hebron areas saw a total of 22 Palestinianstaken from homes and streets and transported to unknown locations, military sources confirmed. A Palestine Solidarity Project Spokesman said troops stormed Beit Ummar north of Hebron and raided several homes. During the searches, women and children were thrown out of the buildings and told to wait in the freezing rain. Secondary military vehicles threw stun grenades at homes as the raid continued. Those taken from the village were identified as: Murshid Muhammad Murshid Al-Aqeed, 35, Aiesh Ahmad Murshid Za'aqeq, 23, Rami Bassam Khalil Za'aqeq, 32, Muhammad Bassam Khalil Za'aqeq, 20, Murad Amer Ahmad Abu Juda, 21, Muhammad Amer Ahmad Abu Juda, 20, Sharif Fathi Muhammad Baragheeth, 22, Ashraf Ali Khalawy Sabarna, 27, Jihad. . . 

Israel hands down travel ban for Jerusalem researcher
2/4/2010 - Jerusalem - Ma'an - Israeli police handed prominent Jerusalem researcher Khalil At-Tafkahi a signed order by the Minister of Internal Security preventing him from traveling outside the country for a period of six months. The order cites "security reasons" for the ban. A Palestinian resident of Jerusalem, At-Tafkahi is the Director of the Cartographic Section in the Arab Studies Society (Beit Ash-Sharq) and an expert on settlements and settlement expansion. At-Tafkahi said he considered the order evidence that Israel does not want peace. "I am a peace man," he said, recalling he was in the delegation of Palestinians who attended peace talks from Oslo to Taba (1992-2001) and stressed that any move against him was a move by the current Israeli government against peace. . . . . 

Israeli report claims $2 billion stolen from Palestinians
2/4/2010 - Nazareth - Over the past four decades Israel has defrauded Palestinians working inside Israel of more than US $2 billion by deducting from their salaries contributions for welfare benefits to which they were never entitled, Israeli economists have alleged. A new report, "State Robbery," to be published later this month, says the "theft" continued even after the Palestinian Authority was established in 1994 and part of the money was supposed to be transferred to a special fund on behalf of the workers. According to information supplied by Israeli officials, most of the deductions from the workers' pay were invested in infrastructure projects in the Palestinian territories - a presumed reference to the massive state subsidies accorded to the settlements. Nearly 50,000 Palestinians from the West Bank are working in Israel - following the easing of restrictions on entering Israel. . . . 

Hasan Ghafry marks 21 years in Israeli prison
2/4/2010 - Gaza - Ma'an - Palestinian detainee Hasan Ghafry marks today his 21st year in Israeli prison on Thursday, having spent more than half of his life incarcerated, detainees affairs experts announced. The 39-year-old from Sinjil village east Ramallah was detained when he was 18, he is unmarried. He was taken by Israeli military personnel on 4 February 1990, accused and convicted in a military court of taking action against the Israeli army. He was sentenced to life. When he was detained, Hasan was a student at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. In 1992, he was permitted to continue his studies, in which he focused on Hebrew and Arabic Grammar with a minor in English Literature. [end] 

Lieberman warns Syrian president, his family
2/4/2010 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman threatened Syrian President Bashar Assad and his family on Thursday, speaking at a business forum hosted by Tel Aviv's Bar Ilan University. "If you declare war on Israel, you and your family will lose your reign," he said, according to a statement circulated by the university, which is considered among the more right-wing institutions in Israel. Lieberman was referring to a comment made yesterday by the Syrian president that Israel is not serious about its intentions to make peace with Damascus, as evidenced by "its conduct which is leading the region to war. "The West Bank settler declared that Assad's statement had "crossed a red line. ""We heard Defense Minister [Ehud] Barak's sincere call for peace with Syria, and we have now received Syria's answer. Whoever thinks territorial concessions will disconnect Damascus from the Axis of Evil is wrong," he asserted. 

US peace groups to Obama: Ask Israel to lift Gaza closure
2/4/2010 - Six US-based Middle East peace organizations sent a letter to President Barack Obama on Thursday, urging him to ask Israel to lift its Gaza closure in order to remove a "serious obstacle to restoring hope and making peace" in the region. Following is the full text of the letter: February 4, 2010, President Barack Obama, The White House, Washington, DC - Dear Mr. President, We are seven organizations that strongly support your commitment to a two-state peace between Israel and Palestine that will ensure Israel's security, win Palestinian self-determination, and protect U. S. national security. As your administration works to launch a political process to achieve this, we echo the recent call of the fifty-four Members of Congress who signed the McDermott-Ellison letter urging that the U. S. also address now, urgently, the grave humanitarian crisis affecting. . . . 

All factions meet in Gaza for talks on unity
2/5/2010 - Gaza - Ma'an - Representatives of all Palestinian factions met in Gaza City late Wednesday at the headquarters of the independents, Yasser Al-Wadiyeh said Thursday morning. The announcement came hours after the arrival of Fatah leader Nabil Sha'ath to Gaza, where he was welcomed by several of the independent personalities. Al-Wadiyeh said political leaders sat and discussed recent developments in the Palestinian arena, mainly internal reconciliation and efforts around achieving unity. All partners agreed that the current status of talks must be overcome and unity achieved. Factions also expressed the need to find solutions for the people of Gaza, living under a tight blockade, Al-Wadiyeh added. He promised that representatives of the meeting would not stop working for solutions to both problems, and said efforts would. . . 

Haniyeh greets top Fatah leader in Gaza
2/5/2010 - Gaza - Ma'an - De facto Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh welcomed Fatah Central Committee member Nabil Sha'ath into his home in the Ash-Shati Refugee Camp on Thursday, along with delegations of Fatah and Hamas leaders in Gaza. The visit came after Sha'ath spent the day touring Al-Azhar University and civil service institutions in the Strip. At the university he met the board of trustees, staff and several members of the student senate, with whom he discussed the school's academic and administrative policies. The Fatah leader visited the home of the late Yasser Arafat and toured its gardens, paying a social visit to Arafat's sister Khadija and learning about her social programs and their goals. Sha'ath arrived in Gaza on Wednesday afternoon via the Erez crossing. It was his first visit to the area since the Hamas takeover in 2007 and marks the first time a Fatah member visited the Strip since the sixth Fatah conference in August. 

One Gaza crossing open
2/4/2010 - Gaza - Ma'an - The Kerem Shalom crossing was opened by Israeli officials on Thursday, for the transfer of limited amounts of aid, Palestinian liaison officer Raed Fattouh said. The crossing, likely to be closed Friday and Saturday, will reportedly allow 100 to 110 truckloads of aid, commercial and agricultural goods into the Strip, with amounts of cooking gas and industrial diesel to be pumped in through the same crossing. The fuel transfer station at Nahal Oz and the bulk goods terminal at Karni were both shut Thursday, Fattouh said. Token exports continue under the Dutch government program, with two loads of cut carnations and one truck of strawberries set for transfer out of Gaza en route to European markets. Before Israel's siege of Gaza, hundreds of trucks a day of exports, including processed foods, fabrics and agricultural goods were sent around the Middle East and Europe. 

Former PJS official slams ’illegitimate’ elections
2/5/2010 - Gaza - Ma'an - A former board member of the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate rejected Friday's scheduled elections as illegitimate, speaking out after it came to light they would not include members from the Gaza Strip. The official, Zakariyah At-Telmes, said the long-delayed vote should take place simultaneously throughout the occupied territories. Palestine's ongoing state of disunity, with separate governments controlling the West Bank and Gaza Strip since 2007, has prevented some organizations from operating normally. Recent months have seen an escalation of that tension with the Palestinian Authority and Hamas playing tit-for-tat over the arrests of journalists working for media associated with rival political groups. At-Telmes told Ma'an that "no agreement was arranged between the syndicate's board concerning the. . . " 

Authorities say 161 return to Gaza Strip
2/4/2010 - Gaza - Ma'an - The crossings administration in Gaza said Thursday that 161 people returned to the coastal enclave over the past 48 hours. In its daily report, the administration said 28 people left Gaza for Egypt during the same period. At the Erez crossing, 155 travelers, including 101 Gazans, 49 internationals, and five Palestinians from Israel crossed over, the report said. The administration said the total number of those who left Gaza for medical treatment was 69, among them eight visitors, five with work permits, and 19 classified as "other. " Last Thursday and Friday at Rafah saw 123 Palestinians return to Gaza, mainly patients finished medical treatment, including 11 denied transport from the Cairo airport to several destinations and deported to the Strip, officials said. That Friday, a report said, an UNRWA delegation of 10 officials were stuck on the Egyptian. . . 

Police: Fatah office set ablaze near Ramallah
2/5/2010 - Jerusalem - Ma'an - A Fatah official's office in Qalandiya refugee camp was the target of an apparent arson on Thursday, police said. Palestinian Authority security forces opened an investigation into the incident, police said, refusing to identify whose office was targeted. In a statement, the Ramallah police department stated that "intelligence services rushed to the scene, where it was discovered that the office door was deliberately opened by force, and that unknown assailants set fire to its contents. "It was not immediately clear exactly when on Thursday the alleged attack was carried out. [end] 

Blast near Red Cross convoy in northern Gaza
2/4/2010 - Gaza - Ma'an - An explosion occurred near a Red Cross convoy near the Erez crossing in northern Gaza on Thursday, witnesses said. The explosion shattered one car's windows, but no one was hurt. Gaza security forces arrived on the scene soon after and were investigating. In a statement, the International Committee of the Red Cross said "a blast occurred in Gaza, shattering the windshield of one of the convoy's jeeps, but no one was hurt by this explosion. "Iyad Nasser, Red Cross spokesman in Gaza, added that "the convoy was en route to the Israeli-controlled Erez crossing when a strong explosion on the roadside occurred, during which a jeep's glass was shattered. "However, the convoy continued its journey toward the crossing and departed Gaza. " . . . . 

Hamas leader Mash’al to visit Moscow next week
2/5/2010 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Russia's Foreign Ministry said Thursday that Hamas leader Khaled Mash'al will visit Moscow next week to hold talks over ending division among Palestinians and resuming peace talks with Israel. Mash'al's last visit to Russia was in 2007. Ministry spokesman Andre Nestrenko told reporters in Moscow that "the main issue that will be discussed is the way to end division and ways to resume Palestinian-Israeli negotiations. " . . . . 

EU donates 21 million Euro to PA salaries
2/4/2010 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The European Union is providing a contribution of 21 million Euro to "help the Palestinian Authority pay the January salaries and pensions of 80,551 Palestinian public service providers and pensioners," a statement said. The government of the Netherlands contributed almost 2 million Euro to the payment, devoting its funds to 17,376 Palestinian civil policemen and members of civil defense services, such as fire-fighters and rescue services "At the request of Prime Minister Fayyad, the contribution made available by the European Union this month towards the regular payment of Palestinian civil servants and pensioners is higher than in previous months," European Union Representative in Jerusalem Christian Berger said. He further noted that "the need for the Palestinian Authority to have a predictable and steady flow of aid to enable its administration. . . " 

At Berlusconi meeting, Abbas says peace plans in works
2/4/2010 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - While Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi displayed mixed political messages during his visit to Israel and the West Bank on Wednesday, host President Mahmoud Abbas announced his determination to move forward with peace talks. Palestinian leaders must move ahead with the peace process, Abbas told reporters at a news conference with Berlusconi, noting steps were being made with "Arab brothers and friends. "He told the conference Palestinians should expect an official announcement in the coming weeks. Though Berlusconi expressed sadness over the loss of life and destruction of Israel's war on Gaza while he was in Bethlehem, he told Israel the offensive was a justified response to the firing or homemade projectiles by Gaza militant groups. His criticism of the Goldstone report stemmed from the same sentiments; he told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. . . 

Haniyeh hails 14,000-strong police applicant pool
2/4/2010 - Gaza - Ma'an - "Our security forces were in a state of attrition; we are ready to upgrade and boost their presence in Gaza," de facto Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh commented Wednesday. Speaking at a ceremony to honor the leaders of the police departments in Gaza City, Haniyeh referred to the application of 14,000 men and women to announced posts in the de facto government security services. The overwhelming number of applications are for an estimated 1,000-1,500 jobs. Gaza security forces "passed through an exhausting stage, they endured grueling work during Israel's war on Gaza. Just maintaining the security of the area is a difficult job," Haniyeh said, promising to bolster the forces and diversify responsibilities. The de facto prime minister recounted the difficult history of the forces, saying their formation "during the term of the tenth government. . . " 

Ha'aretz Defense page

Dubai: We'll go after Netanyahu if Mossad killed Hamas man
Ha'aretz 4 Feb 2010 - Police chief warns both Mossad and Hamas against conducting covert operations in Dubai. 

Robbing Sderot of defense from rockets
Ha'aretz 4 Feb 2010 - Suspicions exist that defense establishment developed Iron Dome to serve moneymaking interests. 

IDF officer: I wouldn't live in same country as Goldstone
Ha'aretz 4 Feb 2010 - GOC Central Command Maj. Gen. Mizrahi to yeshiva students: I don't believe a word of Gaza report. 

Hamas rejects Goldstone charge of Gaza war crimes
Ha'aretz 4 Feb 2010 - Human Rights Watch: Hamas claim that rocket attacks against Israel are not war crimes is legally wrong. 

Israel's southern residents irate over missile defense decision
Ha'aretz 4 Feb 2010 - IDF: No intention at this stage of deploying Iron Dome system to protect Sderot against rocket attacks. 

Police destroy third 'barrel bomb' washed ashore south of Tel Aviv
Ha'aretz 4 Feb 2010 - Two barrels found earlier this week were packed with TNT and rigged for detonation by cellphone. 

Second Qassam rocket in 24 hours strikes southern Israel
Ha'aretz 4 Feb 2010 - Attack follows calls to expedite deployment of delayed "Iron Dome" defense batteries. 

Dubai warns Mossad, Hamas against covert operations
Ha'aretz 4 Feb 2010 - Dubai police chief denies Hamas claim that the assassins entered the country with Israeli delegation. 

Peretz to Barak: Deploy anti-missile system near Gaza
Ha'aretz 4 Feb 2010 - Comment by former defense min. comes as IDF says it will only deploy Iron Dome system in IAF bases. 

Shalit family: German mediator set to deliver Hamas response
Ha'aretz 4 Feb 2010 - Hamas says mediated talks have been halted due to assassination of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai. 

IDF officer: Gaza civilians risked to protect Israel troops during war
Ha'aretz 4 Feb 2010 - Officer tells The Independent that the IDF's new policy meant literally zero risk to the soldiers. 

Hamas returns Israeli Bedouin who entered Gaza
Ha'aretz 4 Feb 2010 - The reportedly mentally unstable man made previous attempts to illegally cross into Egypt and Jordan. 

IAF hits Gaza tunnels in wake of bombing attempt by sea
Ha'aretz 4 Feb 2010 - Palestinians claim responsibility for attempted attack, say more explosive-laden barrels in sea. 

Israel fears more explosive-laden barrels in Mediterranean
Ha'aretz 4 Feb 2010 - Following discovery of two explosives in Ashkelon and Ashdod, police scan coast for devices. 

IDF arrests two suspects plotting to attack Israel for Hamas
Ha'aretz 4 Feb 2010 - East Jerusalem residents allegedly recruited while living in Jordan and Dubai to attack civilian locations. 

VIDEO: Israel's immigration police cracks down on pro-Palestinian foreigners
Ha'aretz 4 Feb 2010 - Newly formed Oz Unit has joined the IDF in at least three arrest raids on foreign activists in recent weeks. 

IDF denies disciplining top officers over white phosphorous use in Gaza war
Ha'aretz 4 Feb 2010 - Army denial counters state report into Gaza shelling that found two officers jeopardized civilian lives. 

Israel frees detained Lebanese shepherd into UNIFIL hands
Ha'aretz 4 Feb 2010 - Lebanese sources accuse IDF of kidnapping 17-year-old and abusing him; Lebanon MP appeals to army. 

IDF arrests Lebanese shepherd carrying army knife near border
Ha'aretz 4 Feb 2010 - Lebanese MP tied to Hezbollah calls on country to deal with incident he says clearly violates UN resolution. 

U.S. official: Hezbollah arms flow may signal plans for war with Israel
Ha'aretz 4 Feb 2010 - State Dept. official tells Al-Hayat that flow of arms into south Lebanon clearly breaches UN Resolution 1701. 

Uruknet

B'Tselem: Israel’s report to the UN misstates the truth
Uruknet February 4, 2010 - On Friday, 29 January 2010, Israel submitted to the UN an update on the investigations opened following Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip. The 46-page document offers almost no new information, except for updated figures on the investigations. The report states that, to date, the military has begun to examine 150 cases, most of which...

Israeli army Kidnaps 29 Palestinians in the West Bank
Uruknet February 04, 2010 - Israeli soldiers detained, on Thursday at dawn, 29 Palestinians in different parts of the occupied West Bank. Army sources claimed that those detained are on their "wanted-list" by the Israeli security. Seven residents were kidnapped in Qalqilia district, one in Jenin, three in Ramallah, eight in Bethlehem and ten in Hebron; all were moved to interrogation...

Weekly Report: On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory 05/2010 (28 Jan.- 03 Feb. 2010)
Uruknet February 4, 2010 - Israeli violations of international law and humanitarian law continued in the OPT during the reporting period (28 January – 03 February 2010). Shooting: During the reporting period, IOF wounded a Palestinian child in the West Bank village of Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron. On 30 January 2010, IOF moved into Beit Ummar village and chased...

Video: Adjusting to life one year after Israel's war on Gaza
Uruknet 

More air strikes in Gaza: the fruits and blessings of the Herzliya Conference EXCLUSIVE PICTURES
Uruknet February 4, 2010 - Israeli fighter jets late on Tuesday 2nd February attacked several targets in southern Gaza Strip, including on what used to be Gaza’s International Airport in southern Gaza. Minutes later, F-16 planes dropped bombs on a tunnel located on Palestinian-Egyptian border in Rafah. The raids did not result in any human casualties at the Gaza International Airport,...

GAZA; ILLUSIONS AND REALITY
Uruknet February 4, 2010 - The United States seems to live on illusions…… illusions of hope, change and more that have no connection to the reality of life. Whitewashing the war crimes that were carried out in Gaza last year is a part of those illusions. Perhaps the logic is that if Israel is not quite guilty as charged, then those...

Israeli report claims $2 billion stolen from Palestinians
Uruknet February 4, 2010 - Over the past four decades Israel has defrauded Palestinians working inside Israel of more than US$2 billion (Dh7.4bn) by deducting from their salaries contributions for welfare benefits to which they were never entitled, Israeli economists revealed this week. A new report, "State Robbery", says the "theft" continued even after the Palestinian Authority was established in 1994...

Constant Israeli attacks on graves and shrines "The Case of Awarta village"
Uruknet February 3, 2010 - The village of Awarta, Nablus district, is known for its green plains and high hills and long history of Maqamat ( religious shrines and monuments) indicating its ancient history and authenticity. Awarta village was on the new date of the serial attacks by colonizers on its land and people when a dozen of military vehicles accompanied by...

With 47 journalists in jail, Iran sets notorious records
Uruknet Febraury 3, 2010 - Iranian authorities are now holding at least 47 journalists in prison, more than any single country has imprisoned since 1996, according to a new survey by the Committee to Protect Journalists. While many of the detainees were arrested in the aftermath of the disputed June presidential election, CPJ’s survey found that authorities are continuing to wage...

Show Trial
Uruknet Febraury 3, 2010 - In order that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed be denied even the formalities of American justice as we once knew it, the system itself must be eviscerated. "Phony concerns about security costs and whipped up fears of impending terror attacks are used to subvert the legal system that was once held up as a model for the rest...

Pro-Israel Lobbies Work on Europe
Uruknet February 3, 2010 - Defenders of Israel’s aggressive stance have for many years been recognised as a powerful force shaping United States foreign policy. A less well-known fact is that the pro-Israel lobby has been making a concerted effort to strengthen its presence in Europe. The lobby’s determination to make an impression on European Union policy-makers was exemplified by a...

My Father was a Freedom Fighter- a book review
Uruknet February 3, 2010 - Ramzy Baroud’s "My Father Was A Freedom Fighter" is more than a book, it is actually a masterpiece. In an overwhelmingly evoking personal style Baroud manages to bring to light the history of the Palestinian people and their battle with Israel and Zionism. Through the story of the Baroud’s family the book outlines every event in...

Palestine Telegraph

US to Israel: Ease Gaza blockade to counter Goldstone charges of war crimes
US, February 4, 2010 (Pal Telegraph; reprinted from Haaretz, by Barak Ravid) - The United States has suggested to Israel that easing the Gaza blockade would help counter the fallout from the Goldstone report on alleged war crimes during Operation Cast Lead a year ago. Judge Richard Goldstone Friday, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is expected to present a...

Report: Israel guilty of defrauding Palestinian workers
Jerusalem, February 4, 2010 (Pal Telegraph; reprinted from The National, by John Cook) - Over the past four decades Israel has defrauded Palestinians working inside Israel of more than US$2 billion (Dh7.4bn) by deducting from their salaries contributions for welfare benefits to which they were never entitled, Israeli economists revealed this week. A Palestinian worker, helping to build Israel's illegal...

Berlusconi fails to notice apartheid wall
Bethlehem, February 4, 2010 (Pal Telegraph) - Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi travelled along the road from Jerusalem to Bethlehem on Wednesday but he said the failed to notice the eight-meter-high Israeli apartheid wall. At a joint news conference with the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, an Italian journalist asked Berlusconi about his impressions of the apartheid wall. "I'm going to...

Erekat says Palestinians should consider declaring Oslo Accords 'null and void'
Israel, February 4, 2010 (Pal Telegraph; reprinted from The Jerusalem Post, by Khaled Abu Toameh) - A paper prepared by chief Palestinian Authority negotiator Saeb Erekat on the status of the peace talks with Israel recommends that the Palestinians consider the possibility of abandoning the two-state solution in favor of a one-state solution if the peace process does not move...

Snow hits high-areas Thursday
Gaza, February 04, 2010 (Pal Telegraph) -Temperatures remain on average six degrees below normal as scattered showers turn to snow in regions with elevations above 1000 meters. Brisk northwesterly winds are expected, creating driving rain and rough seas. On Friday, skies will be partly cloudy as rain and cold temperatures persist during the day, with the low-pressure system abating by...

The National

Blockade forces Gaza to turn from modern medicine to bee stings
The National 4 Feb 2010 - Cut off from modern medicine by Israel's sanctions, Palestinians turn to cheap forms of alternative medicine for cures.

Israeli report claims $2bn stolen from Palestinians
The National 3 Feb 2010 - A group of economists say a fifth of workers' salaries were deducted by the state over 40 years and used to subsidise settlements.

Lebanon's AK-47 index may be pointing to war
The National 3 Feb 2010 - As the country fears another period of conflict, a black-market weapons dealer says the price of everyone's favourite rifle is rising rapidly.

The Media Line

Israeli Aerospace Goes Green
The Media Line 1 Feb 2010 - Israel's major aerospace manufacturer considers plans to build wind turbines. Israel's prime aircraft manufacturer is contemplating expanding its expertise of military and commercial aircrafts to the development of wind turbines. The Israeli military and civil aviation...

Somalia's Al-Shabab Aligns with Al-Qaeda 
The Media Line 1 Feb 2010 - Somalia's Al-Shabab declares a formal allegiance with the global terrorist network Al-Qaeda. Somalia's Islamist Al-Shabab movement plans to become part of the global Al-Qaeda organization in an attempt to boost its standing among potential recruits and...

Israel Disciplines Senior Officers for Gaza Artillery Use 
The Media Line 1 Feb 2010 - Experts argue that international law is no longer relevant in Israel's asymmetric conflict with the Palestinians. One year after the Gaza Operation, the Israeli army has reprimanded two senior officers for firing cannons in populated areas....

Israeli Beaches Closed After 2 Explosive Devices Found Offshore
The Media Line 1 Feb 2010 - Israeli security authorities are keeping civilians off the beaches until they are certain no more explosive devices are floating in the waters south of Tel Aviv. Two devices apparently set to explode were discovered on Monday....

Iran Celebrates Ayatollah Khomeini's Triumphant Return 31 Years Ago
The Media Line 1 Feb 2010 - Iran was awash in celebration on Monday, marking 31 years since the late Ayatollah Khomeini returned from exile to lead the revolution that ousted the Shah of Iran. Festivities will continue until February 11th: the anniversary...

‘Abbas Now Offering Resumption of Talks for Temporary Building Freeze
The Media Line 1 Feb 2010 - Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud 'Abbas is apparently tempering his absolute refusal to return to peace talks with Israel unless an absolute freeze in building in areas Israel acquired in the 1967 war is in place. The...

‘Wine Fatwa' Sparks Religious Spat in Morocco 
The Media Line 31 Jan 2010 - A Moroccan cleric issues a ban on wine, drawing angry responses from secularists. A Moroccan cleric's religious edict banning the consumption of wine has drawn angry responses from pro-democracy groups, who say religion is being hijacked...

Israel Outlines Energy Goals
The Media Line 31 Jan 2010 - Israel plans to generate 10% of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2020. Israel hopes to have five percent of its energy needs supplied by renewable sources within five years and to double that percentage...

Aljazeera

Iran plans poll protest executions
AlJazeera 2 Feb 2010 - Official says nine demonstrators to be hanged "soon" over post-election unrest.

US sceptical on Iran nuclear move
AlJazeera 3 Feb 2010 - Washington tells Tehran to formally notify IAEA about its readiness to ship out uranium.

Israel: Peace talks to resume soon
AlJazeera 3 Feb 2010 - Prime minister Netanyahu says negotiation with Palestinians to restart within weeks.

Israel's Lieberman cautions Syria 
AlJazeera 4 Feb 2010 - Foreign minister tells Damascus to refrain from drawing his country into another war.

Alternative Information Center

Principles and Mechanisms to Hold Business Accountable for Human Rights Abuses: Potential Avenues to Challenge Corporate Involvement in Israel’s Oppression of the Palestinian People
Alternative Information Center 4 Feb 2010 - About the Working Paper Palestinians would not be a people displaced, dispossessed and oppressed in 2010 if states and the UN had held Israel accountable for its massive violation of international law and the Nakba over...

Arab Population Accuses: Israel Systematically Acting to Impose Violent Confrontation
Alternative Information Center 4 Feb 2010 - T his coming Friday, 5 February 2010, a public campaign will be launched to defend the Arab population under the slogan “Meeting challenges and defending existence.” The campaign is organized by the Public Committee for Defending...

Not Much Hope for Fayyad’s Statehood Plan
Alternative Information Center 3 Feb 2010 - On Tuesday, 3 February, at the 10th Herzliya Conference, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad presented his plan to declare an independent Palestinian state in mid-2011. Fayyad expressed confidence that Palestinians will be able to declare a...

Palestine News Network

Ajami One Conflict, Many Views, No Actors
PNN 4 Feb 2010 - THE Israeli movie industry, once a sorry mix of ethnic melodrama and soldier slapstick, has come distinctly into its own in the past decade with a crop of admired writers, directors and actors. For two years now an Israeli film of subtlety and power has made the Oscars’ final five for best foreign picture: “Beaufort” (http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/350383/Beaufort/overview) in 2008 and “Waltz With Bashir”...

Renovated cinema to bring new life to Jenin
PNN 4 Feb 2010 - Standing in the dusty, half-lit lobby of Cinema Jenin with paint splattered builders beavering away all around, it's hard to imagine that this venue was once the place to be on the Jenin social scene.The cinema in the centre of the West Bank city was first opened in 1957. But over the years, Jenin has seen some of the worst violence between...

Israel: Peace talks to resume soon
PNN 4 Feb 2010 - The Israeli prime minister has said he expects peace talks with the Palestinians, which have been stalled for more than a year, to resume in the coming weeks. I have reasons to believe, realistically, that we will resume the peace process with the Palestinians, without prior conditions, in the coming weeks, Binyamin Netanyahu told a conference on security in Herzliya, northern Israel,...

Israeli jets 'strike Gaza targets'
PNN 3 Feb 2010 - Israeli aircraft have struck tunnels in the Gaza Strip, Palestinian witnesses say, a day after two explosive devices said to have originated in Hamas-ruled Gaza washed up on Israel's coastline. The Israeli army had no immediate comment on the alleged strikes on Tuesday which witnesses say were carried out by Israeli air force jets against an abandoned airport building in Gaza and...

Hamas: Talks on Shalit and prisoner swap stopped
PNN 3 Feb 2010 - Leading Hamas official Mahmoud Zahar has said talks on swapping Palestinian prisoners for the captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit have collapsed. Late last year a German-mediated deal emerged in which hundreds of Palestinian prisoners would be exchanged for Gilad Shalit. In an interview with the BBC, Mr Zahar blamed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the talks' failure. Gilad Shalit was captured...

Hamas raps Fayyad over attending Israeli conference
PNN 3 Feb 2010 - Hamas has denounced the Palestinian Authority for the participation of the caretaker Prime Minister Salam Fayyad in an Israeli conference. Fayyad addressed Israel's 10th annual Herzilya conference on Tuesday, following remarks by Tel Aviv's Defense Minister Ehud Barak. The Palestinian Authority's cooperation with Israel reached a political level and this is a serious indicator that this national side has connected its projects...

Jerusalem Post

'Israel sows seeds of war in ME'
Jeruslalem Post 4 Feb 2010 - At press conference with Moratinos, Syrian FM warns Israel against testing Damascus. 

AG briefed on Lieberman case
Jeruslalem Post 4 Feb 2010 - Foreign Minister says in response that he is a victim of political persecution. 

Lieberman warns Assad war will drive him from power
Jeruslalem Post 4 Feb 2010 - 

Barak urges Assad to return to negotiating table instead of trading harsh words
Jeruslalem Post 4 Feb 2010 - After Lieberman's warning to Assad regime, Netanyahu tells ministers to refrain from speaking to press on Syria; Syrian foreign affairs chief: Israel isn't interested in peace. 

Assad:
Jeruslalem Post 4 Feb 2010 - In interview with The New Yorker , Syrian President 

Kadima: Israel is playing with fire
Jeruslalem Post 4 Feb 2010 - Opposition party, Meretz head, MK Eitan Cabel criticize FM for Syria remarks. 

FM: If Syria provokes Israel, Assad will be out of power
Jeruslalem Post 4 Feb 2010 - Lieberman blasts Syrian president for claiming Israel leading Middle East towards war, says Assad made a "direct threat on Israel," calls on Damascus to give up demand for Golan Heights. 

Criticize, yes. Demonize, no
Jeruslalem Post 4 Feb 2010 - It wasn’t that the NIF criticized its government for moral lapses that angers its critics. That it criticized Israel at all provoked the venom. 

Lieberman: If Assad provokes Israel, he will be out of power
Jeruslalem Post 4 Feb 2010 - FM blasts Syrian president for accusing Israel of leading region towards war, claims Assad made a "direct threat on Israel," calls on Damascus to give up demand for Golan Heights. 

Inter Press Service

Q&A: ''Hamas Accepts Existence of Israel Within 1967 Borders'' 
IPS RAMALLAH, Jan 29 (IPS) - Palestinian politics are at an impasse. The four-year term of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) ended on Jan. 25 with no new elections planned. Presidential elections, meant to be held last year, were also postponed indefinitely.

MIDEAST: Helpless in Gaza 
IPS JERSUALEM, Feb 1 (IPS) - Scores of Palestinian women and their children carefully sift through the desert sands. They are looking for hard nuggets.

MIDEAST: Corrupt Arab Regimes - Who is to Blame? 
IPS RAMALLAH, Feb 2 (IPS) - The Mideast continues to be plagued by autocratic Arab regimes where human rights, democracy and freedom of speech are a pipe dream for the average citizen. But who is to blame and what can be done to amend this situation?

JORDAN: Palestinians Unfairly Stripped of Citizenship - Report 
IPS WASHINGTON, Feb 1 (IPS) - The Jordanian government should halt the arbitrary revocation of nationality from its citizens of Palestinian origin, according to a Human Rights Watch (HRW) report released Monday.

PCHR Weekly Report

(04-02-2010) Weekly Report: On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory
PCHR 

International Solidarity Movement

Scattered Palestinian protests reflect a fractured struggle
2/4/2010 - International Solidarity Movement - AFP - The villagers prepared for battle, piling up rocks in the streets, erecting barricades out of rubbish bins, and wrapping their faces in trademark Palestinian chequered scarves. But only a few dozen people gathered in front of a line of Israeli troops to chant against the takeover of nearby land by Jewish settlers, and they soon scattered before a deafening salvo of tear gas and sound grenades. With the peace process at an impasse for over a year, the Western-backed Palestinian Authority has vowed to escalate "popular struggle" by supporting home-grown weekly protests in villages across the occupied West Bank. But few are turning out for the demonstrations, both because of heightened Israeli efforts to suppress the gatherings and growing disenchantment with the fractured Palestinian movement. 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

'Israel wants Syria peace, but will not be threatened'
Ha'aretz 4 Feb 2010 - Top Netanyahu aide says PM and FM Lieberman support peace talks with Damascus, without preconditions. 

U.S.: Nuclear Iran is not in China's best interest
Ha'aretz 4 Feb 2010 - Iran Moscow envoy: We have received assurances Russia intends to deliver long-range air-defense missiles. 

'U.S. Jews concerned over state of pluralism in Israel'
Ha'aretz 4 Feb 2010 - Diaspora Min. Edelstein: U.S. Jewish groups say they cannot be expected to always support Israel. 

Austrian magazine pulls ad of dog wearing Nazi-era Jewish badge
Ha'aretz 4 Feb 2010 - Wuff magazine: We did not intend to equate persecution of Jews and opposing dog licensing bill. 

Meshal to visit Russia next week on Mideast peace
Ha'aretz 4 Feb 2010 - Last month Israel protested Hamas leader's previous meeting with Russian FM in Damascus. 

Report: Syria renews intel sharing with U.S., U.K.
Ha'aretz 4 Feb 2010 - New Yorker journalist Seymour Hersh: Senior Syrian official said U.S. envoy relayed request from Obama. 

U.S.: Easing Gaza siege would help counter Goldstone
Ha'aretz 4 Feb 2010 - Ban Ki-moon to present report Friday on implementation of Goldstone's recommendations by Israel, PA. 

Iran: U.S. is fighting a 'psychological war' in the Gulf
Ha'aretz 4 Feb 2010 - Tehran claims the U.S. presents Iran as a threat to Arab states so they will seek U.S. protection. 

Avram Grant named as Premier League boss seen at brothel
Ha'aretz 4 Feb 2010 - Israeli manager of Portsmouth FC faces probe after being photographed visiting a 'massage parlor.' 

Virtual memorials on Facebook commemorate Holocaust victims
Ha'aretz 4 Feb 2010 - Some historians fear the use of social media in war remembrance may trivialize such tragedies. 

Australia blocks Iran shipments over nuclear weapons fears
Ha'aretz 4 Feb 2010 - Australian PM: Iran nuclear aims pose a threat to global peace, pressure must continue. 

The message is clear: Israel must not strike Iran
Ha'aretz 4 Feb 2010 - Former European ambassador in Tehran: Israeli attack on Iran would unite Iranians behind the regime. 

Peace will be found in Damascus, not Ramallah
Ha'aretz 4 Feb 2010 - No imminent breakthrough in Palestinian relations; a breakthrough with Syria must be initiated. 

Netanyahu cool to calls for fresh Syria talks
Ha'aretz 4 Feb 2010 - Prime minister tells Spanish FM he does not believe that Syria is prepared to distance itself from Iran. 

Grandson of Auschwitz survivor buys Mengele's diary
Ha'aretz 4 Feb 2010 - Buyer intends to donate diary to a Holocaust museum, said Bill Panagopulos of Alexander Autographs. 

The Guardian

Israel's dual reality | Aluf Benn
The Guardian 4 Feb 2010 - Israelis believe in peace, yet the Palestinian issue is met with apathy – except by our leaders, who see it just as a PR problem Israel's image problem abroad is down to one issue: the stark...

The lessons of Iraq have been ignored. The target is now Iran | Seumas Milne
The Guardian 3 Feb 2010 - The US military buildup in the Gulf and Blair's promotion of war against Tehran are a warning of yet another catastrophe We were supposed to have learned the lessons of the Iraq war. That's what Britain's...

Palestine's impossible dream | Yousef Munayyer
The Guardian 4 Feb 2010 - Lavish, unrealistic plans for Palestinian development are a dangerous alternative to the struggle for independence Recently I received a very impressive full-colour booklet printed on expensive paper advertising a development project. The ambitious plan is to...

Pressure mounts for Israel to hold Gaza war inquiry
The Guardian 3 Feb 2010 - Senior military law officer adds to voices denying war crimes but calling for examination to counter UN's Goldstone report Israel's government is facing fresh calls for an independent inquiry into the military's conduct during the Gaza...

Barak: make peace with Palestinians or face apartheid
The Guardian 2 Feb 2010 - Ehud Barak, Israel's defence minister, last night delivered an unusually blunt warning to his country that a failure to make peace with the Palestinians would leave either a state with no Jewish majority or an "apartheid"...

Israel debates over its self-defence| Uri Dromi
The Guardian 3 Feb 2010 - I supported an independent inquiry into the Gaza conflict, but the one conducted by Goldstone and the UN was biased When the Goldstone report condemning Israel was issued last September, I wrote in the Jewish Chronicle...

A real plan to build Palestine | Hussein Ibish
The Guardian 3 Feb 2010 - The PA's proposal to unilaterally build the framework of a Palestinian state is a legal, peaceful response to Israel Two weeks ago the Palestinian Authority issued a detailed budget for the state and institution-building programme it...

Ha'aretz National page

Teenager who killed dozens of cats sent to 20 months in prison
Ha'aretz 4 Feb 2010 - A Petah Tikva magistrate's court sentenced a 19-year-old on Thursday to 21 months in prison for killing dozens of cats, in addition to conspiracy to murder and knife possession charges. ...

Rabin assassin asks to be removed from 'vengeful' solitary confinement 
Ha'aretz 4 Feb 2010 - Assassin of former Prime Minister Yitzak Rabin,Yigal Amir, said on Thursday that Israel's request to keep him in solitary confinement was motivated by "revenge." ...

IN PICTURES / Snow in northern Israel, as cold snap bites
Ha'aretz 4 Feb 2010 - Israel faced relatively heavy snowfall in Mount Hermon and the Golan Heights overnight Wednesday, while Jerusalem residents were left disappointed Thursday morning, having no snow grace their city. ... 

Petah Tikva court indicts brothers over murder of 7-year-old boy
Ha'aretz 4 Feb 2010 - The brothers suspected of murdering 7-year-old Leon Kalantarov were indicted by the Petah Tikva district court on Thursday. ...

Israeli schools to teach about Eichmann trial for first time 
Ha'aretz 4 Feb 2010 - High school students will learn for the first time about the Eichmann trial and its impact on the shaping of the collective memory of the Holocaust in Israel. ... 

Relief Web

OPT: Under the auspices of H.E. Prime Minister Salam Fayyad - The General Personnel Council Graduates the First Group of Civil Service Leaders
Relief Web 4 Feb 2010 - Source: UN Development Programme

Israel to seal settler house in east Jerusalem
Relief Web 4 Feb 2010 - Source: Agence France-Presse

Weekly report on Israeli human rights violations in the occupied Palestinian territory 28 Jan.- 03 Feb. 2010
Relief Web 4 Feb 2010 - Source: Palestinian Centre for Human Rights

Principles and Mechanisms to Hold Business Accountable for Human Rights Abuses: Potential Avenues to Challenge Corporate Involvement in Israel's Oppression of the Palestinian People - Working Paper No. 11
Relief Web 4 Feb 2010 - Source: BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights

Netherlands contributes NIS 10.36 million to the payment of PA civil police and defence salaries of January, through the EU's PEGASE mechanism
Relief Web 3 Feb 2010 - Source: European Union, Government of the Netherlands

European Union contributes €21 million to the Palestinian Authority's payment of January salaries and pensions through PEGASE
Relief Web 3 Feb 2010 - Source: European Union

YNet News

Netanyahu associates: Bibi backs Lieberman 
YNet News 4 Feb 2010 - Prime minister's aides say Netanyahu is not criticizing foreign minister's belligerent statements vis-?-vis Syria, but timing of declarations unwise 

Dubai may seek Bibi's arrest over Hamas man's assassination
YNet News 4 Feb 2010 - Dubai to issue arrest warrant for Netanyahu should it turn out that Mossad killed al-Mabhouh, senior official says 

US: Taiwanese national aided Iran
YNet News 4 Feb 2010 - Man arrested on charges of exporting goods for Iran's missile program 

Bibi tells ministers to keep mum on Syria
YNet News 4 Feb 2010 - Netanyahu, Lieberman issue joint statement in bid to allay tensions vis-?-vis Damascus 

Mossad, Shin Bet: Our disabled veterans on par with IDF
YNet News 4 Feb 2010 - Dagan, Diskin speak before committee, call for equality of disabled veterans in rare open session 

Red Cross Jeep hit by bomb in Gaza
YNet News 4 Feb 2010 - Powerful explosion hits Red Cross convoy on way to Erez crossing; no injuries reported 

Tannenbaum arrested for debts of NIS 2 million
YNet News 4 Feb 2010 - Police arrest former Hezbollah captive. If debt not paid, will be detained for seven days 

Assad: Golan withdrawal before peace 
YNet News 4 Feb 2010 - In interview with The New Yorker, Syrian president says, 'You start with the land; you do not start with peace'; claims Israel lacks 'old-generation politicians like Rabin' 

B'tselem

Israel's report to the UN misstates the truth
3 Feb 2010 - The report praises the military's investigative and judicial systems, ignoring essential flaws in their operation. To date, only one soldier who participated in Operation Cast Lead has been prosecuted - for stealing a credit card. B'Tselem again urges Isr

Daily Star

Israel warns Syria it would face defeat in future conflict
Daily Star 4 Feb 2010 Israel's foreign minister on Thursday harshly warned Syria against drawing his country into another war, saying Syria's army would be defeated and its regime would collapse in a future conflict. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman also advised Syria to abandon its dreams of recovering the Israeli-held Golan Heights in a speech  that ratcheted up simmering political tensions between

Talk of Iran sanctions hinders diplomacy, says China
Daily Star 4 Feb 2010 China told other world powers on Thursday that discussing broader sanctions against Iran was counter-productive, striking a blow to a Western push to rein in Tehran's nuclear program. Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi told a conference during a visit to France that Tehran's negotiating position was evolving and he wanted to see more direct talks with Iran

Hamas wants talks with Americans, Europeans: Haniyya
Daily Star 4 Feb 2010 Hamas is ready for dialogue with the international community, including the United States and European Union, the leader of the Palestinian Islamist movement Ismail Haniyya told AFP. "Hamas is ready to dialogue with the world, international community, the US, the [Middle East] Quartet and the Europeans," he said Wednesday

Iran tells Gulf states not to buy 'ineffective' US missiles
Daily Star 4 Feb 2010 A senior Iranian military official told Gulf states Thursday not to squander money on US missiles, boasting that Iran can render them useless, the country's state news agency IRNA reported. Tehran had on Wednesday slammed plans by the United States to beef up defenses in the Gulf against potential Iranian missile attacks, with the Islamic Republic insisting it posed no threat to its neighbors

Palestinian Information Center

Palestinian government in Gaza submits official response to Goldstone report
PIC 4 Feb 2010 - The Palestinian government in Gaza submitted its official response to the office of the high commissioner for human rights regarding the recommendations of Goldstone report.

Khudari: Gaza economy is moribund
PIC 4 Feb 2010 - MP Jamal Al-Khudari warned that the economy in the Gaza Strip moved from weakness to the intensive care unit because of the different measures taken by Israel to destroy it.

IOA to demolish "unlicensed" homes in Silwan, IOF detain civilians
PIC 4 Feb 2010 - The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) has reiterated its intention to demolish all "unlicensed" buildings in occupied eastern Jerusalem.

Hindi: Fayyad is politically mutinous and uncontrollable
PIC 4 Feb 2010 - Dr. Mohamed Al-Hindi, a senior Islamic Jihad official, strongly denounced Salam Fayyad’s participation in Herzliya conference, describing Fayyad as politically mutinous and out of control.

Haneyya: The reconciliation is a top priority for the gov’t and Hamas
PIC 4 Feb 2010 - Premier Ismail Haneyya welcomed the visit of Nabil Shaath to Gaza and stressed that the Palestinian reconciliation is a high priority for his government and the Movement of Hamas.

Bardawil: Berlusconi's statement more fanatic than that of the occupation
PIC 4 Feb 2010 - Dr. Salah Al-Bardawil, the spokesman of Hamas's parliamentary block, lashed out at Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi for supporting the Israeli war on Gaza.

Palestinian ex-detainee dies of mistreatment while in occupation jails
PIC 4 Feb 2010 - Liberated prisoner Mohammed Al-Emle, 26, was pronounced dead on Wednesday in one of Al-Khalil hospitals of kidney failure after he was given wrong medication while in Israeli custody.

Shaath in Gaza for conciliation talks
PIC 4 Feb 2010 - Dr. Nabil Shaath, central committee member of Fatah faction, arrived in Gaza on Wednesday and told a press conference that his visit aimed at holding talks on national reconciliation.

Ihsanoglu: We are looking forward to visiting Gaza
PIC 4 Feb 2010 - Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the secretary general of the OIC, has said that he was looking forward to visiting the Gaza Strip and championed an early end to the blockade on the beleaguered Strip.

Abu Marzouk denies involvement of Arab countries in assassination of Mabhouh
PIC 4 Feb 2010 - Dr. Mousa Abu Marzouk has denied Hebrew press reports that Arab countries were involved in the assassination of Qassam commander Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh in a Dubai hotel.

Los Angeles Times

Iran announces launch of powerful rocket carrying animals into space 
LA Times 3 Feb 2010 - A rat, two turtles and worms are on board the Kavoshgar-3, reports say. Tehran's advances in space and missile technology are worrisome to the West. Iran announced that it fired a powerful rocket loaded with a rat and several other live animals into space Wednesday, a week before a national holiday and amid heightened international concerns about Tehran's nuclear research and missile programs. 

U.S. rebuffs Iran's offer to swap detainees 
LA Times 4 Feb 2010 - Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says Tehran should release three American hikers because there is no basis for their detention. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Wednesday rebuffed Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's suggestion that three detained American hikers in Iran be swapped for Iranian citizens held in the U.S. 

Israel satire show sees no end of material 
LA Times 3 Feb 2010 - Muli Segev, creator and executive producer of TV's 'It's a Wonderful Country,' says life in Israel 'is very intense. . . . It requires stronger humor to achieve relief and deal with the stress.' The camera zooms in on the face of an actor portraying a captive Israeli soldier as he reads a prepared statement. 

New York Times

Israeli Minister Adds Heat to Exchange With Syria
New York Times 4 Feb 2010 - Israel’s foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, warned Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad, that the Assad family would lose power in any war with Israel. 

Abroad: The Sour Notes of Iran’s Art Diplomacy
New York Times 4 Feb 2010 - A tour across Europe by the Tehran Symphony Orchestra had the faint echo of an earlier era of cultural diplomacy. 

China Renews Opposition to Iran Sanctions
New York Times 4 Feb 2010 - Adding to tension between Washington and Beijing, China said that pressure for tighter sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program could impact chances of settling the dispute. 

World Briefing | Middle East: Syria: U.S. to Send First Envoy Since ’05
New York Times 4 Feb 2010 - Washington withdrew its last ambassador in 2005 after the assassination of Prime Minister Rafik Hariri of Lebanon, for which many blamed Syria. 

World Briefing | Middle East: Gaza Strip: Fatah Leader Arrives for Talks
New York Times 4 Feb 2010 - A senior Fatah leader returned to Gaza for the first time since the territory was seized by the Islamic militant group Hamas in 2007, saying he hoped to help end the rift between the two rivals. 

Iran Opposition Leaders Urge Rally on Anniversary
New York Times 4 Feb 2010 - Iran’s leading opposition figures are urging protesters to take to the streets in an antigovernment rally on Feb. 11. 

Misc

Ministry Of Mixed Messages
Palestine Monitor - 4 Feb 2010 - The circus named Berlusconi has left town. During his whistle stop tour of Israel and the West Bank the world's most flamboyant head of state was at his crowd pleasing best. Crying with Netanyahou during a speech to the Knesset, delivering a set of priceless Da...

Mustafa Barghouthi Nominated for 2010 Nobel Peace Prize
Palestine Monitor - 3 Feb 2010 - “I have pleasure in nominating Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi for the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize. I am inspired by the life and work of Dr. Barghouthi whose commitment to nonviolence, in his personal and public life, is truly in the Ghandian spirit", stated in her letter to...

Goldstone co-author: The court of world opinion is determined to see the report prevail
Mondoweiss - 4 Feb 2010 - Hanan Chehata of Middle East Monitor goes to Dublin to interview Desmond Travers, the retired Irish colonel who was one of the authors of the Goldstone Report . The money: The best statement I can make about that is the one that Richard Goldstone made when an...

Haaretz: Bronner’s son’s service has fostered ‘mini blog storm’
Mondoweiss - 4 Feb 2010 - I’m on record saying that Ethan Bronner’s son serving in the IDF is going to affect his assignment at The New York Times. The Times doesn’t like its reporters making news, and Bronner’s making it. From Anshel Pfeffer at Haaretz , who advises Bronner how to spin...

Bronner to speak in S’ta Barbara on Monday
Mondoweiss - 4 Feb 2010 - I’m doing my little part to promote the speaking tour…Here’s the info, from the Santa Barbara Independent : "This Monday, February 8, [NYTimes Jerusalem bureau chief Ethan] Bronner will appear at UCSB’s Campbell Hall to deliver a free public lecture: Covering the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict in 2010: A...

It’s a happy day around these parts
Mondoweiss - 4 Feb 2010 - We’ve had joyous news at this site, I’ve done all I could to contain myself. A day or so ago, Adam Horowitz and his partner became the parents of twins. Everyone’s healthy, I gather the parents are deliriously happy, and deliriously tired. Adam’s going to be...

Rabbis for Human Rights: witchhunt endangers the state of Israel
Mondoweiss - 4 Feb 2010 - A few times now I’ve referred to the democracy crisis that Israel is experiencing over the official threats to the New Israel Fund for its support of dissident groups inside Israel. Below is a letter from Arik Ascherman, a leading rabbi with Rabbis for Human Rights ,...

Principles and Mechanisms to Hold Business Accountable for Human Rights Abuses: Potential Avenues to Challenge Corporate Involvement in Israel’s Oppression of the Palestinian People
Alternative Information Center - 4 Feb 2010 - About the Working Paper Palestinians would not be a people displaced, dispossessed and oppressed in 2010 if states and the UN had held Israel accountable for its massive violation of international law and the Nakba over 60 years ago. However, not only governments and the UN,...

Arab Population Accuses: Israel Systematically Acting to Impose Violent Confrontation
Alternative Information Center - 4 Feb 2010 - T his coming Friday, 5 February 2010, a public campaign will be launched to defend the Arab population under the slogan “Meeting challenges and defending existence.” The campaign is organized by the Public Committee for Defending Liberties, under the auspices of the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee....

Not Much Hope for Fayyad’s Statehood Plan
Alternative Information Center - 3 Feb 2010 - On Tuesday, 3 February, at the 10th Herzliya Conference, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad presented his plan to declare an independent Palestinian state in mid-2011. Fayyad expressed confidence that Palestinians will be able to declare a state by this date and he outlined the steps his...


Articles

Zionism Laid Bare 
Kathleen Christison, CounterPunch 2/3/2010
      A Review of Shahid Alam’s "Israeli Exceptionalism"
     The essential point of M. Shahid Alam’s book, Israeli Exceptionalism: The Destabilizing Logic of Zionism, comes clear upon opening the book to the inscription in the frontispiece. From the Persian poet and philosopher Rumi, the quote reads, “You have the light, but you have no humanity. Seek humanity, for that is the goal.” Alam, professor of economics at Northeastern University in Boston and a CounterPunch contributor, follows this with an explicit statement of his aims in the first paragraph of the preface. Asking and answering the obvious question, “Why is an economist writing a book on the geopolitics of Zionism?” he says that he “could have written a book about the economics of Zionism, the Israeli economy, or the economy of the West Bank and Gaza, but how would any of that have helped me to understand the cold logic and the deep passions that have driven Zionism?”
     Until recent years, the notion that Zionism was a benign, indeed a humanitarian, political movement designed for the noble purpose of creating a homeland and refuge for the world’s stateless, persecuted Jews was a virtually universal assumption. In the last few years, particularly since the start of the al-Aqsa intifada in 2000, as Israel’s harsh oppression of the Palestinians has become more widely known, a great many Israelis and friends of Israel have begun to distance themselves from and criticize Israel’s occupation policies, but they remain strong Zionists and have been at pains to propound the view that Zionism began well and has only lately been corrupted by the occupation. Alam demonstrates clearly, through voluminous evidence and a carefully argued analysis, that Zionism was never benign, never good—that from the very beginning, it operated according to a “cold logic” and, per Rumi, had “no humanity.” Except perhaps for Jews, which is where Israel’s and Zionism’s exceptionalism comes in.
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Will Israel Target Gaza or Lebanon First? 
Ramzy Baroud, CounterPunch 2/4/2010
      Beware the Iron Wall, the Coming War
     The Israeli military may be much less effective in winning wars than it was in the past, thanks to the stiffness of Arab resistance. But its military strategists are as shrewd and unpredictable as ever. The recent rhetoric that has escalated from Israel suggests that a future war in Lebanon will most likely target Syria as well. While this doesn’t necessarily mean that Israel actually intends on targeting either of these countries in the near future, it is certainly the type or language that often precedes Israeli military maneuvers.
     Deciphering the available clues regarding the nature of Israel’s immediate military objectives is not always easy, but it is possible. One indicator that could serve as a foundation for any serious prediction of Israel’s actions is Israel’s historical tendency to seek a perpetual state of war. Peace, real peace, has never been a long-term policy.
     "Unlike many others, I consider that peace is not a goal in itself but only a means to guarantee our existence," claimed Yossi Peled, a former army general and current Cabinet Minister in Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing government.
     Israeli official policy – military or otherwise - is governed by the same Zionist diktats that long preceded the establishment of the state of Israel. If anything has changed since early Zionists outlined their vision, it was the interpretation of those directives. The substance has remained intact.
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Triumph of the Will 
Bernard Avishai, Palestine Note 2/1/2010
      Imagine a state in Palestine to which the Jews of the world are gathered, but in which they have individual rights no greater than its Arab inhabitants. Imagine a country with no privileged religion: everyone goes to his or her house of prayer in freedom and peace. Imagine a state in which individual human rights are paramount; a state that is full of different languages, reflecting the cultural richness of its many immigrants. Imagine that such a state would have no army, but would depend for its peace and order on the Western powers. Imagine that this state called itself merely the "new society." A hydroelectric canal would join the Dead Sea to the Mediterranean.
     Imagine that, in such a society, an Arab citizen could say something like this: "Would you call a man or a robber who takes nothing from you but brings you something instead? The Jews have enriched us, why should we be angry with them? They dwell among us like brothers, why should we not love them? Our houses of worship stand side by side...our prayers, when they rise, mingle somewhere up above, and then continue on their way together until they appeared before our Father."
     Imagine a Jew adding: "Nothing on earth is perfect, not even our new society. But we are merely a society of citizens seeking to enjoy life through work and culture."
     A leftist fantasy? Bound to undermine Israel? Actually, this is more or less exactly the vision of the Jewish state set out in Theodore Herzl’s novel Old-New Land.(The dialogue is taken from the book verbatim; Herzl also wanted "athletic and rifle clubs" for once "pale, weak and timid" Jewish children.) Old-New Land’s famous epigraph, "Im tirzu, ein zu agaddah," "If you will it, it is no dream," almost immediately entered Zionist lore, though few Zionists at the time were so liberal and cosmopolitan that they were prepared for a vision in which Hebrew had been effaced. Nevertheless, when people invoke the phrase "Im tirzu, etc.," this is the dream Herzl supposed Jewish will would attach to.
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Naseer Shamma and the music of resistance
Electronic Intifada: 4 Feb 2010 - Celebrated Iraqi musician Naseer Shamma plays emotive compositions in beautiful tones on the oud to major audiences across the Middle East, stirring musical reflections on human realities in US-occupied Iraq. Although Iraqi current affairs are clearly interwoven into Shamma's sound, it is also unique musical talent that has earned Shamma a reputation as one of the world's preeminent oud players. Stefan Christoff profiles Shamma for The Electronic Intifada. 

Report: Israel stole $2 billion from Palestinian workers
Electronic Intifada: 4 Feb 2010 - Over the past four decades Israel has defrauded Palestinians working inside Israel of more than $2 billion by deducting from their salaries contributions for welfare benefits to which they were never entitled, Israeli economists have revealed. A new report, "State Robbery," to be published later this month, says the "theft" continued even after the Palestinian Authority was established in 1994. Jonathan Cook reports. 

Raze illegal buildings -- unless they are Jewish
Electronic Intifada: 4 Feb 2010 - SILWAN, occupied East Jerusalem (IPS) - Backed by armed security men, the municipal inspectors race their jeeps through the narrow alleyways and up a hillside crowded with buildings. One block of flats stands out for its unusual seven-story height in an area of the city where two or three storied buildings are the norm. And then there is the giant, blue-and-white Israeli national flag draped demonstratively over the front of the building, from the roof down to the ground. 

Nightmares continue to plague Gaza children
Electronic Intifada: 3 Feb 2010 - OCCUPIED GAZA STRIP (IRIN) - Mona al-Samouni, 12, is depressed and has nightmares about the day -- just more than a year ago -- when she witnessed her parents and a number of relatives being shot by Israeli soldiers in their home in Zeitoun, southeast of Gaza City. Like a number of other children who witnessed horrific events during last year's 23-day Israeli military operation in the Gaza Strip, Mona has become increasingly withdrawn and silent -- common ways of coping with tragedies, doctors say. 

escaping in Gaza
In Gaza: 2 Feb 2010 - Many in Gaza ask me, ‘which is better, the (occupied) West Bank or Gaza?’ Not giving in to the devisive efforts of external forces and politicians, I answer that both are Palestine –it’s all Palestine– and both have their beauties and intense hardships. The presence of Israeli occupation soldiers in the occupied West Bank, of remorseless settlers capable of shocking brutality , of Israeli land annexation, of humiliating and debilitating military checkpoints and roadblocks, of lock-downs (“curfews”) and raids , of daily kidnappings and imprisonment of sons, daughters, husbands, mothers, of the complete Israeli control and stealing of water sources , of the destruction of occupied East Jerusalem …is just some of the...

Report: Israel Stole $2bn from Palestinian Workers
Palestine Chronicle: 4 Feb 2010 - By Jonathan Cook - Jerusalem Over the past four decades Israel has defrauded Palestinians working inside Israel of more than $2 billion by deducting from their salaries contributions for welfare benefits to which they were never entitled, Israeli economists have revealed. A new report, “State Robbery”, to be published later this month, says the “theft” continued even after the Palestinian Authority was established in 1994 and part of the money was supposed to be transferred to a special fund on behalf of the workers. According to information supplied by Israeli officials, most of the deductions from the workers’ pay were invested in infrastructure projects in the Palestinian territories -- a presumed reference to the massive state subsidies accorded to the settlements. Nearly 50,000 Palestinians from the West Bank are working in Israel -- following the easing of restrictions on entering Israel under the “economic peace” promised by Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister -- and continue to have such contributions docked from their pay. Complicit in the deception, the report adds, is the Histadrut, the Israeli labour federation, which levies a monthly fee on Palestinian workers, even though they are not entitled to membership and are not represented in labour disputes. “This is a clear-cut case of theft from Palestinian workers on a grand scale,” said Shir Hever, a Jerusalem-based economist and one of the authors of the report. “There are no reasons for Israel to delay in returning this money either to the workers or to their beneficiaries.” The...

'More Than a Book: It's a Masterpiece': My Father Was a Freedom Fighter
Palestine Chronicle: 3 Feb 2010 - By Gilad Atzmon – London Ramzy Baroud's 'My Father Was A Freedom Fighter' is more than a book, it is actually a masterpiece. In an overwhelmingly evoking personal style Baroud manages to bring to light the history of the Palestinian people and their battle with Israel and Zionism. Through the story of the Baroud’s family the book outlines every event in the history of the conflict and reflects on the way it transformed the Palestinian reality. The book is a heart breaking depressing story of the Baroud family’s journey from paradise to hell. It is a flight that starts in Beit Daras, a small pictorial village in the south of Palestine. It ends in a Gaza refugee camp. It is a tragic journey of a rural self-sufficient population that is driven into total dispossession, humiliation and absolute poverty. And yet, there is a beam of light along the book namely resistance: Ramzy’s father Mohammed, was a freedom fighter. He didn’t win a single war, not even a battle, yet, against all odds, in spite of his poverty and illness, he managed to educate his children and to plant hope in their young souls, to fuel Ramzy with fierceness, which along the years transformed the young man into a monumental inspirational writer and an icon of intellectual resistance. My Father Was A Freedom Fighter may be one of the saddest books ever written, yet, Baroud peppered it with his witty sarcastic humour. In between sobbing and laughter we come to intimately...

Beware the Iron Wall, the Coming War
Palestine Chronicle: 3 Feb 2010 - By Ramzy Baroud The Israeli military may be much less effective in winning wars than it was in the past, thanks to the stiffness of Arab resistance. But its military strategists are as shrewd and unpredictable as ever. The recent rhetoric that has escalated from Israel suggests that a future war in Lebanon will most likely target Syria as well. While this doesn’t necessarily mean that Israel actually intends on targeting either of these countries in the near future, it is certainly the type or language that often precedes Israeli military maneuvers. Deciphering the available clues regarding the nature of Israel’s immediate military objectives is not always easy, but it is possible. One indicator that could serve as a foundation for any serious prediction of Israel’s actions is Israel’s historical tendency to seek a perpetual state of war. Peace, real peace, has never been a long-term policy. "Unlike many others, I consider that peace is not a goal in itself but only a means to guarantee our existence," claimed Yossi Peled, a former army general and current Cabinet Minister in Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing government. Israeli official policy – military or otherwise - is governed by the same Zionist diktats that long preceded the establishment of the state of Israel. If anything has changed since early Zionists outlined their vision, it was the interpretation of those directives. The substance has remained intact. For example, Zionist visionary, Vladimir Jabotinsky stated in 1923 that Zionist “colonization can…continue and develop only under the protection...
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