MEDIA LENS ALERT: GATES OF DELUSION Media Distortions And +Real+ Climate Scandals

22 February, 2010 — MEDIA LENS: Correcting for the distorted vision of the corporate media

Since November last year, the public has been bombarded with the story of stolen emails from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, revealing a supposed “scandal” of scientific malpractice, stupidly and lazily named “climategate”. Further media frenzy erupted over an erroneous Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change statement that 80 per cent of Himalayan glacier area would very likely be gone by 2035. Other climate-related storms in a teacup have been appearing in the corporate media almost on a daily basis. This nonsense is distracting attention from a mountain of evidence that human-induced climate change is accelerating and poses a deadly threat to civilisation.

James Hansen, the leading NASA climate scientist who first warned the US Congress of the dangers of global warming in 1988, gave us his view of media performance on “climategate”:

“The media have done a great disservice to the public. This mess should be cleared up in the next year or so, although the damage may linger a while, because some people who paid attention to sensationalism may not bother with accurate explanations of the truth.

“The impression left from this affair is that there are some parts of the media that care less about responsible reporting than about selling newspapers or other ware. Some of the problem may be honest ignorance, as the quality of science reporting has declined in recent decades. And of course some media are controlled by people who have a political axe to grind.” (Hansen, email to Media Lens, February 18, 2010)

Misleading the Debate on Climate

The excellent Realclimate website at, run by authoritative climate scientists, has been diligently issuing rebuttals of the relentless barrage of disinformation churned out by the Daily Mail, the Sunday Times, the Daily Telegraph and, yes, even the Guardian, the self-proclaimed flagship newspaper of the environment. (See Realclimate, ‘Whatevergate,’ February 16, 2010;

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VTJP Palestine/Israel Newslinks 22 February, 2010


International Middle East Media Center

Al Rishiq: “Annexing Holy Sites, A New Aggression Against the Palestinians”
IMEMC – Tuesday February 23, 2010 – 04:54, Izzat Al Rishiq, member of the Political Bureau of Hamas movement, stated that the Israeli decision to annex the Ibrahimi mosque in Hebron and the Bilal Mosque in Bethlehem, to consider them as part of the “Jewish Heritage Trail”, is another aggression against the Palestinians and their holy sites.

Sarkozy Calls For A Viable Palestinian State
IMEMC – Tuesday February 23, 2010 – 03:28, During a Monday meeting with the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, stated that the objective of the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians is a viable and independent Palestinian State within the 1967 border.

Israel To Claim Ibrahimi Mosque, Bilal Mosque, As Historic Jewish Sites
IMEMC – Tuesday February 23, 2010 – 00:43, Bethlehem will be holding a general strike on Tuesday to protest the Israeli government’s decision to annex the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron and the Bilal Mosque to the so-called ‘Historic Jewish Sites” as part of the Israeli “Heritage Trail”.

Palestinian Fighters Clash with Israeli Forces in Northern Gaza Strip
IMEMC – Monday February 22, 2010 – 16:35, Palestinian fighters clashed, on Monday at midday, with an Israeli force at the Northern Gaza Strip borders with Israel.

Israel Releases New Plans to Build 550 Settler Homes in Jerusalem
IMEMC – Monday February 22, 2010 – 16:18, Israeli settlers organization announced, Monday, a plan by the Israeli controlled Jerusalem Municipality to construct 550 new settlers homes in Jerusalem’s east city.

Israeli Military Detains Five Civilians in the West Bank
IMEMC – Monday February 22, 2010 – 16:02, Five Palestinian civilians were detained by Israeli troops, on Monday, in morning invasions. The attacks targeted a number of West Bank communities.

Settlers and Soldiers Attack Protesters in Hebron
IMEMC – Monday February 22, 2010 – 15:53, One Palestinian youth sustained moderate wounds in Hebron City, southern West Bank, as scores suffered tear gas inhalation during clashes that broke between local residents and Israeli soldiers

Israeli Settlers Attack Palestinian Cars & Drivers Near Nablus
IMEMC – Monday February 22, 2010 – 10:32, Right-wing Israeli settlers threw stones at Palestinian cars near Nablus, breaking several windshields and wounding a Palestinian doctor on Sunday.

British Prime Minister: Israeli officials were part of decision to invade Iraq
IMEMC – Saturday February 20, 2010 – 12:02, In his recent testimony to the UK Committee investigating the Iraq war, British Prime Minister Tony Blair admitted that Israeli officials influenced and participated in the decision by the US and UK governments to attack Iraq in 2003.

Two Palestinian Workers Wounded Near Hebron
IMEMC – Saturday February 20, 2010 – 11:25, Israeli soldiers shot and wounded on Saturday morning two Palestinian workers near a military roadblock east of Yatta town, south of the southern West Bank city of Hebron.

Ma’an News

Latest collapse in Jerusalem blamed on Israeli excavations
2/22/2010 – Jerusalem – Ma’an – A street collapse near the entrance of the Bab Khan Az-Zeit market in the Old City of Jerusalem occurred on Sunday, as a result of Israeli excavations in the area, witnesses reported. “A two by one meter deep hole was left following the collapse,” Ma’an’s Jerusalem correspondent said. The latest collapse is reportedly related to ongoing Israeli archeological digs around the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, which have caused a series of cave-ins around the Old City and in East Jerusalem neighborhoods. The cave-in follows Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to include two sites in the occupied Palestinian territories on an Israeli heritage list, The Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron and Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem. In January, the Al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage reported a street collapse on the main road in the area of Silwan in occupied East. . .

Clashes after Hebron mosque declared Israeli heritage site
2/22/2010 – Hebron – Ma’an – Confrontations broke out between Palestinians and Israeli forces in Hebron on Monday, as public figures declared a general strike amidst growing anger at the Israeli cabinet’s move to recognize shrines in the occupied West Bank as Israeli heritage sites. Protesters in the southern part of the city set tires alight, while in the city center, an Israeli military outpost at the entrance of Ash-Shuhada’ street, closed off to Palestinians, was pelted with stones. According to locals, Israeli soldiers used stun grenades against demonstrators. An Israeli military spokeswoman said that about 100 Palestinians were rioting in the area, “hurling rocks in a violent and illegal riot. “One soldier was lightly injured as a result, she said. Confrontations reportedly erupted near the Tariq Ibn Ziad school, between students and Israeli soldiers in the southern part of the city.

Witnesses: Israel navy fires on Gaza fishermen
2/22/2010 – Gaza – Ma’an – Israeli naval forces opened fire at fishermen off the coast of Gaza on Monday, locals said, forcing them to return to shore. No injuries were reported, but the purported witnesses said the fire has become an almost daily occurrence. An Israeli military spokeswoman said there was no such activity in the area. Last Sunday, naval forces detained four fishermen off the Sudaniyya coast in northern Gaza. They were identified as Awad Ramadan Sultan, Fadl Jamal Sultan, Sharif Muhammad Sultan, and Samih Rajab Sultan. At the time, an Israeli military spokesman said two boats crossed into an area not permitted for Palestinian vessels, and were detained for questioning when they refused orders to turn around. The same day, Egyptian security sources denied detaining four fishermen off the coast of Rafah. . . . .

Medics: Israeli forces shell Gaza overnight
2/23/2010 – Gaza – Ma’an – Israeli reconnaissance planes overnight on Sunday shelled open areas in the northern Gaza Strip, with no casualties reported. Muawiya Hassanein, director of ambulance and emergency services in Gaza, said the shelling targeted As-Sudaniyya, west of Beit Lahyia, an area targeted on Sunday morning by Israeli artillery shells. No casualties were reported. Israeli sources said the shelling was aimed toward a group of Palestinian fighters operating in the area. An Israeli military spokeswoman said that the army was unaware of any aerial fire or shelling overnight in As-Sudaniyya. On Sunday morning, five Palestinian workers were injured when Israeli forces deployed artillery shells near the former Israeli settlement of Gush Katif. An Israeli military spokesman said that the fire was aimed toward a Palestinian who approached the Israeli boundary in a “suspicious manner”. . . . .

Three children killed in Gaza fire blamed on Israeli fuel blockade
2/23/2010 – Gaza – Ma’an – Three children were killed and five others injured in a house fire in the town of Bani Sahela in the southern Gaza Strip on Monday. Medical officials said twin brothers Tarnim and Bassim Abu Jame, 8, and Tansim Abu Jame, 13 perished in the blaze. The medics said the three bodies arrived, completely burnt, at a hospital. Their mother Wafa Abu Jame was critically inhured. Civil defense officials said an initial investigation found that the fire began when an electric generator exploded. The Gaza Strip has been experiencing scheduled rolling blackouts for weeks due to a slowdown in production at the territory’s only power plant. Energy authorities say Israeli-imposed limits on fuel imports are to blame. In a separate incident on Monday, Lana Iyad Al-Farra, 4, died after falling from the fourth floor of a building in the city of Khan Younis.

Israel plans new Jerusalem-area settlement
2/23/2010 – Jerusalem – Ma’an – Israeli authorities have approved a plan to build 549 new homes for settlers on land across the Green Line in south Jerusalem, an advocacy group said on Monday. Ahmad Laban, an official with the Israeli-led group Ir Amim said a regional planning body in the Israeli-controlled Jerusalem Municipality approved the plan, which still needs to take further bureaucratic strides before it is finalized. The regional committee of organizing and building in the Israeli municipality of Jerusalem had approved to present a new settlement plan to build 549 housing units. “An announcement will be made on this issue soon,” Laban said of the plans, which will be submitted to the public for possible objections over a period of 60 days, in accordance with Israeli law. The new settlement housing is planned on Palestinian land in the town of Beit Safafa, west of the Jerusalem-Hebron road.

Barghouthi seen arguing with Israeli settlers
2/23/2010 – Hebron – Ma’an – Mustafa Barghouthi, the secretary-general of the Palestinian National Initiative, on Monday termed as provocative the Israeli cabinet’s move to designate West Bank holy shrines as “Israeli heritage sites. “The former Palestinian Authority information minister was spotted arguing with Israeli settlers during clashes in Hebron on Monday. “Your presence here is illegal, not only in Hebron but in Jerusalem and the rest of the occupied lands,” he said, addressing settlers who were protected by Israeli forces stationed near the Ibrahimi Mosque, which Israelis call the Cave of the Patriarchs. At a news conference following the confrontations, Barghouthi said “this racist decision comes four days before the anniversary of the Ibrahimi Mosque massacre, which was in 1994. “ . . . .

Israel renews ban on key West Bank bus line
2/23/2010 – Bethlehem – Ma’an – A month after Israel rescinded a ban on foreign nationals using a main Bethlehem bus line, travelers say authorities are again pulling internationals off buses en route to Jerusalem. Last December, for reasons that remain unclear, tourists leaving the central West Bank city were banned from line 21, a route used predominantly by Palestinian holders of East Jerusalem residency cards. The ban was briefly lifted over the Christmas holiday, the army said, but foreign nationals say they are again being targeted and removed from the line, the only continuous transport between the two cities. An American volunteer told Ma’an that she was inexplicably pulled off a bus as she left Bethlehem to attend church in Jerusalem on Sunday morning, as she does every week. A guard “was deaf to my pleas that I just wanted to go to church,” the volunteer said.

Hamas to Dubai police: Prove collaborator claim
2/22/2010 – Gaza – Ma’an – Hamas said Monday that Dubai Chief of Police Dahi Khalfan Tamim had yet to provide evidence that a collaborator from within the movement had supplied Mossad with information on Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh, who was killed in his Dubai hotel room in January. “Who is this person he speaks of, why haven’t they disclosed his name and why wasn’t he arrested like the two other Palestinians? “read a statement from a party official. UAE media outlets reported that Tamim accused a member of Hamas of providing information to the Israeli intelligence agency on Al-Mabhouh’s movements and locations in Dubai to facilitate the hit. Sources said that the movement had not been informed of the Dubai police’s investigations into the murder. “It is illogical to see Hamas learn of case through the media,” adding that it was unclear if Tamim’s claims were based on evidence or mere speculation.

PCHR condemns Israeli heritage declaration
2/23/2010 – Bethlehem – Ma’an – The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) on Monday condemned a decision taken by the Israeli government to include the the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron and Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem on a list of Israeli archaeological sites. In a statement, the human rights group recalled that the decision was taken on the eve of the 16th anniversary of the mass killing of 29 Palestinian worshippers in the mosque by an Israeli settler, Barach Goldstein, on 25 February 1994. PCHR further emphasized that the continued international tolerance toward “crimes committed by Israel, the Occupying Power, serves to encourage it to commit more of such crimes. “Accordingly, PCHR repeated its calls for the international community to provide protection for Palestinian civilians, their property and their religious sites.

Qureia: Israeli heritage decision discriminates
2/23/2010 – Bethlehem – Ma’an – PLO Executive Committee member Ahmad Qureia on Monday condemned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan to include the Ibrahimi Mosque and Rachel’s Tomb on a list of Israeli heritage sites. Qureia dubbed the move a “discriminatory crime” targeting Palestinian identity and historic sites that are representative of the nation. He highlighted that the Israeli cabinet’s decision follows a recent decision by country’s Jerusalem Municipality to approve the construction of a new settlement scheme of 549 housing units in Beit Safafa, south of Jerusalem. “We question how such plans are undertaken when the US is exerting efforts to achieve peace, while Israel is attacking homes and taking over holy places belonging to Palestinians,” he said, calling on the international community to intervene “to stop such crimes before returning to negotiations. “

Erekat blasts ‘Israeli heritage’ initiative
2/23/2010 – Bethlehem – Ma’an – Chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat on Monday condemned an initiative to include holy shrines in the occupied Palestinian territories on a list of Israeli “heritage sites. “ “The unilateral decision to make Palestinian sites in Hebron and Bethlehem part of Israel shows there is no genuine partner for peace, but an occupying power intent on consolidating Palestinian lands,” Erekat said in a statement. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s announcement came during his government’s weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday. In addition to Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem and Hebron’s Ibrahimi Mosque, both located in major Palestinian cities, the list also includes the West Bank sites of Herodion, Qumran, and Susiya. Noting that the move came just as the Quartet and other members of the international community were making. . .

UN envoy: Heritage sites not in Israel
2/22/2010 – Bethlehem – Ma’an – Robert Serry, the UN envoy for Middle East peace, expressed concern on Monday over Israel’s announcement regarding holy sites in Hebron and Bethlehem and the heightened tensions that have resulted. “These sites are in occupied Palestinian territory and are of historical and religious significance not only to Judaism but also to Islam, and to Christianity as well,” Serry said in a statement. “I urge Israel not to take any steps on the ground which undermine trust or could prejudice negotiations, the resumption of which should be the highest shared priority of all who seek peace. I also call for restraint and calm,” he said. “As I underscored in my visit to Hebron last week, I would like to see more positive steps by Israel to enable Palestinian development and state-building in the area and throughout the West Bank, reflecting a genuine commitment to the two State solution,” he added.

Two Gaza crossings open, no exports transfered
2/22/2010 – Gaza – Ma’an – Israeli authorities opened on Monday the Kerem Shalom and Karni crossings to the south and north of Gaza respectively, Palestinian border crossings official Raed Fattouh said. Between 77 and 88 truckloads of humanitarian aid and commercial goods would be transferred through Kerem Shalom, in addition to limited quantities of domestic gas and industrial fuel, Fattouh said. Unlike on Sunday, the Kerem Shalom crossing did not see the export of Gazan produce. The previously shut-down Karni crossing will be opened for the delivery of 113 truckloads of wheat and animal feed. [end]

Human rights groups in Israel face crackdown
2/22/2010 – Nazareth – The Israeli government and its right-wing supporters have been waging a “McCarthyite” campaign against human-rights groups by blaming them for the barrage of international criticism that has followed Israel’s attack on Gaza a year ago, critics say. In a sign of the growing backlash against the human-rights community, the cabinet backed a bill last week that, if passed, will jail senior officials from the country’s peace-related organisations should they fail to meet tough new registration conditions. The measure is a response to claims by right-wing lobbyists that Israel’s human-rights advocates supplied much of the damaging evidence of war crimes cited by Judge Richard Goldstone in his UN-commissioned report into Israel’s Operation Cast Lead. Human-rights groups funded by foreign donors, such as the European Union, would be required to register as political bodies and meet other demands for “transparency. “

Sources: Rafah crossing to open next week
2/22/2010 – Al-Arish – Ma’an – Authorities will open the Rafah border crossing next Monday to allow for humanitarian cases to enter or leave the Gaza Strip, Ma’an has learned. It will remain open through next Wednesday. Egyptian sources said coordination between the de facto government in Gaza and Cairo resulted in a list of names both sides agreed could be permitted to cross the border, namely patients, students and holders of foreign passports. “Egypt’s hesitancy to open the crossing is due to the crisis between Hamas and Cairo following the death of Egyptian soldier Ahmad Sha’ban,” one source told Ma’an, referring to protest at the border last month. Egypt, along with Israel, sealed its border with Gaza in 2007 following Hamas’ takeover of the coastal enclave. Cairo rarely opens the Rafah crossing, which is the only means of entering or exiting Gaza for most Palestinians.

High court hears challenge to PA ‘security’ firing
2/22/2010 – Ramallah – Ma’an – In a hearing on Sunday, the Palestinian High Court of Justice heard a challenge by the Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center against a decision by the Palestinian Ministry of Education to fire public school teachers for “security reasons. “The firings resulted from a decision by the cabinet of the Palestinian caretaker government decision on 13 September 2007 to adopt security checks as part of the criteria for the appointment of civil servants. Attorney Bassam Karaja from the Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center said the court decided to hold another hearing on the issue 17 October 2010. In its appeal, the rights group described the cabinet decision as illegal as it contradicts article 26 of the Palestinian Basic Law. The center also said the decision violated the Palestinian civil service law of 1998. . . . .

2 Palestinians detained at Nablus checkpoints
2/22/2010 – Bethlehem – Ma’an – Israeli forces detained two Palestinian men at military checkpoints near Nablus on Monday, the army said. Neither detainee was not immediately identified. An army spokeswoman said one man was found with a pipe bomb and a 30-centimeter knife at the Beqa’ot checkpoint east of Nablus. He was transferred to Israeli security forces for questioning, she added. Meanwhile, a second Palestinian was detained west of Nablus. Israeli forces pursued and eventually caught a Palestinian man near the Za’atara checkpoint after he threatened a settler with a toy gun, settler-affiliated Web sites reported. The Israeli military spokeswoman also corroborated those reports, but said the incident occurred at the Tapuah checkpoint, which is west of Nablus in the northern West Bank. . . . .

PRC wing: RPG fired at Israeli forces in Gaza
2/22/2010 – Gaza – Ma’an – The military wing of the Popular Resistance Committees claimed responsibility on Monday for firing a rocket-propelled grenade toward an Israeli vehicle in northern Gaza. The armed affiliates, the An-Nasser Salah Ad-Din Brigades, said clashes erupted between members of the military wing and Israeli forces in Bura Abu Samra, north of Beit Lahiya. Approached by Ma’an, an Israeli military spokeswoman said there was no such activity reported in the area. [end]

Visiting US official pledges support to PA
2/23/2010 – Ramallah – Ma’an – US Deputy Secretary of State Jacob Lew pledged to continue and expand support to the Palestinian Authority during a visit to Ramallah on Monday. “We want to help the Palestinians to change their lives through international aid and the agreements that are being signed “ intended to helping them build their state,” Lew told Health Minister Fathi Abu Moghli during a visit to the Palestine medical compound under construction in Ramallah. Lew also pledged general support, through USAID, to the Palestinian Health Ministry. Abu Moghli said, he welcomed Lew’s visit, which he said would help him “to see first hand one of the samples of developing the health sector in Palestine which is being implemented within the trilateral plan of the Palestinian government. “The minister said that the emergency room of the new hospital has already begun operating. “

EU condemns Dubai killing, passport fraud
2/23/2010 – Bethlehem – Ma’an – EU foreign ministers said on Monday that the killing of Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh in Dubai on 20 January “raises issues which are profoundly disturbing to the European Union. “ In a statement, Europe’s Foreign Affairs Council meeting in Brussels said: “This was an action which cannot be conducive to peace and stability in the Middle East. “It added: “The EU strongly condemns the fact that those involved in this action have used fraudulent EU Member States’ passports and credit cards acquired through the theft of EU citizens’ identities. “ The ministers also called on all countries to cooperate with the investigation by the Dubai authorities. The statement did not mention Israel by name, although its Mossad intelligence agency is widely believed to have carried out the assassination. The country’s leadership have not denied the allegations, as is customary.

Israel: PA thwarts West Bank projectile fire
2/22/2010 – Bethlehem – Ma’an – The Palestinian Authority cooperated with the Israeli military in foiling the planned launch of a homemade rocket-like projectile from the West Bank into Israel, Israel said on Monday. In a statement the military hailed the effort as an example of “successful cooperation between the IDF, the Civil Administration and the Palestinian Security Forces. “According to the military, the alleged projectile was of the same type fired into Israel from Gaza. The so-called “Qassam” rockets are usually metal pipes packed with explosives. The rockets are unguided and militarily ineffective. Israel waged a three-week war on the Gaza Strip last year with the stated aim of stopping such projectiles. An account published in the Israeli newspaper Ma’ariv revealed more details of the alleged operation. The newspaper said PA forces received information on a group affiliated to Hamas’ armed wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades, operating in the villages of Beit Surik and Beit Liqya, near Ramallah.

Israel’s new envoy to Egypt submits credentials
2/22/2010 – Bethlehem – Ma’an – Israel’s new ambassador to Egypt, Yitzhak Levanon, presented his credentials to Foreign Minister Ahmad Aboul Gheit on Monday after arriving in Cairo last week. The credentials will be handed over to President Hosni Mubarak, who is expected to approve them. According to news reports, Levanon was born in Lebanon, where his now 92-year-old mother was tortured and sentenced to death in 1961 after being found guilty of spying for Israel for 14 years. Levanon’s mother was released in 1967 as part of a prisoner exchange in the aftermath of the Six Day War. She now said to live in West Jerusalem. Levanon is set to replace ambassador Shalom Cohen, who served an extra year because a replacement could not be found. Levanon recently served as the Israeli ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva and was also the director of the Israeli Foreign Ministry’s Arab media division.

Fatah delegation set to visit Gaza on Thursday
2/23/2010 – Ramallah – Ma’an – Arrangements have been made for a delegation of members of Fatah’s Revolutionary Council to visit Gaza on Thursday, senior vice president of the body and secretary said on Monday. Sabri Saidam said the delegation is waiting for Israeli authorities to provide them with the required permits to enter, he told Ma’an radio. “A list of names has been made in order to receive the permits, after which, those who are to travel to Gaza will be determined. “Members of the Revolutionary Council in Gaza have been asked to prepare a program for the delegation, to communicate internal issues and Fatah affairs to members in the West Bank, he said. “We are ready for any meetings [with Hamas] that might create an atmosphere to encourage the parties to achieve reconciliation, but, as I said, the aim of the visit is to communicate with Fatah members. “

Shabanah vows to expose more PA corruption
2/23/2010 – Bethlehem – Ma’an – Fahmi Shabanah, a former Palestinian Authority intelligence officer, threatened during a news conference on Monday to expose more evidence of corruption among high-ranking government officials within days. President Mahmoud Abbas’ unrepentant advisors are “solely responsible for the repercussions of the [upcoming news] conference,” he said. Shabanah said he was moving forward on his prior pledge after he was accused of treason for handing documents over to an Israeli television network, which aired video showing former PA chief of staff Rafiq Husseini allegedly seeking sex for political favors. During Monday’s remarks, Shabaneh also criticized a Ma’an editorial that, in addition to calling on Husseini to resign, questioned Shabanah’s decision to leak the classified documents to an Israeli news channel rather than a Palestinian broadcaster.

Palestinian university employees announce strike
2/22/2010 – Hebron – Ma’an – The Syndicate of Palestinian Universities Union announced a series of protests on Monday that will take place in universities across the West Bank and Gaza Strip, over demands for an increase in salaries. Mousa Rawashda, the union’s spokesman, said that they are calling for an increase in salaries in accordance with the higher cost of living , which had previously been agreed upon by the Ministry of Higher Education and the union on 1 September 2009. Additionally, the union said that action would continue unless the ministry agrees to implementing the 1995 agreement related to fixing the rate of income tax, which was accorded and ratified in 2004. Employees are further calling on the government to adopt a law on general retirement to secure a pension for university workers and lecturers. Action will take place on Monday, 1 and 10 March, if their demands are not met, Rawashda said.

Hamas: PA arrested 10 supporters across West Bank
2/22/2010 – Bethlehem – Ma’an – Hamas accused Palestinian Authority Preventative Security Services of detaining ten of the movement’s affiliates across the West Bank on Monday. The Islamist movement said that those detained were arrested in Nablus, Hebron, Ramallah, Bethlehem, Qalqiliya and Salfit. [end]

Ha’aretz Defense page

Palestinians: We thwarted suicide attack against Israel
Ha’aretz 22 Feb 2010 – Young female would-be terrorist from Ramallah belongs to Islamic Jihad, PA sources reveal to Haaretz.

Palestinians hand Israel Qassam rocket seized in West Bank
Ha’aretz 22 Feb 2010 – Handover signals growing cooperation between Palestinian security force and IDF.

Some 100 Palestinians clash with IDF soldiers in Hebron
Ha’aretz 22 Feb 2010 – Dozens of protesters march to Tomb of the Patriarchs to denounce Israel’s new list of national heritage sites.

Police release 33 activists detained for entering Jericho
Ha’aretz 22 Feb 2010 – Two still in custody over Sunday night’s attempt by rightists to pray at West Bank synagogue.

5 hurt as IDF tank fires at Palestinians near Gaza border
Ha’aretz 22 Feb 2010 – IDF Spokesman’s office: A tank had fired toward figures approaching the border in a ‘suspicious’ manner.

IDF opens fire on Gaza gunmen near border
Ha’aretz 22 Feb 2010 – Palestinian news agency reports three hurt in clash; two wounded in seperate West Bank incident.

Bil’in protesters dismantle section of West Bank separation barrier
Ha’aretz 22 Feb 2010 – Hundreds mark five years since the first weekly anti-fence protest near the Palestinian village.

Hamas: Assisting Zionist enemy will result in confrontation
Ha’aretz 22 Feb 2010 – Hamas says two Palestinians linked to Dubai hit are employed by senior Fatah strongman Dahlan.

Yossi Melman / Kidon, the Mossad within the Mossad
Ha’aretz 22 Feb 2010 – Contrary to popular belief, assassinations by the Mossad are actually few and far between.

’Syria site bombed by Israel in 2007 likely to have been a nuclear reactor’
Ha’aretz 22 Feb 2010 – New IAEA report includes clearer language than previously used in its analysis of the bombed site.

Son of Palestinian peace activist admits to attempted terror attack
Ha’aretz 22 Feb 2010 – Mohanned Abu-Awwad says he was acting on behalf of Fatah, and the attack was filmed with a B’Tselem camera.

IDF commander: Settler leaders ‘losing control’ to rioting youths
Ha’aretz 22 Feb 2010 – Army furious after three hurt when settlers mistook a military exercise for eviction.

3 hurt as West Bank settlers mistake IDF drill for eviction
Ha’aretz 22 Feb 2010 – Rioters throw stones, damage vehicles in attack on soldiers and border guards training in West Bank.

’Illegal’ Gaza tunnel owners suffer as Hamas economy grows
Ha’aretz 22 Feb 2010 – Merchandise overflow caused by Hamas-run tunnels, which puts ‘illegal’ tunnel owners out of work.

High Court orders Israel to speed up outpost demolitions
Ha’aretz 22 Feb 2010 – 16 homes in unauthorized West Bank outposts Hayovel, Harsha have been considered ilegal since 2005.

Barak signals thaw in tensions with army chief Ashkenazi
Ha’aretz 22 Feb 2010 – Defense Minister praises chief of staff, signaling end to row over extending Ashkenazi’s term to fifth year.

Nasrallah: ‘If you hit Beirut airport, we’ll hit Ben Gurion’
Ha’aretz 22 Feb 2010 – Hezbollah leader threatens to attack Tel Aviv in future conflict; says group still seeks to avenge Mughniyeh.

Who are the new Hamas recruits in Gaza?
Ha’aretz 22 Feb 2010 – Many of 15,000 applicants have no interest in police work or in politics – they just are looking for jobs.

Israelis warned of Hezbollah threat abroad
Ha’aretz 22 Feb 2010 – Counterterrorism Bureau: Israelis could be target for revenge attacks over Mughniyeh, Iran scientist killings.

Ex-IDF chief: Israel can’t handle nuclear Iran alone
Ha’aretz 22 Feb 2010 – Dan Halutz says Israel should not take it upon itself to be the flag-bearer of the West against Tehran.


Checkpoint misery epitomizes a Mideast divide
2/21/2010 – – 5 days crossing an Israeli checkpoint shows Palestinian frustrations – BEN HUBBARD, AP News – The journey to Jerusalem, for tens of thousands of Palestinians, begins in a dank, trash-strewn hangar. They move through cage-like passages and 7-foot-high turnstiles to be checked by Israeli soldiers from behind bulletproof glass. The soldiers often yell at them through loudspeakers. They are supposed to work in pairs to speed the lines through, but sometimes one of them is asleep, his feet on his desk. The Qalandia crossing, say the Israelis, is where potential attackers are filtered out before they can reach Jerusalem on the other side. Palestinians say it’s a daily humiliation they must endure to reach jobs, family, medical appointments and schools. This main checkpoint between the northern West Bank and Jerusalem is one of the rawest points of friction between Israel and the Palestinians,. . . .

Unhappy with Israel, EU condemns Dubai killing
2/22/2010 – Reuters – BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union condemned on Monday the use of fraudulent EU passports by the killers of a Palestinian militant in Dubai, showing its discontent with Israel without referring to it directly. In a short statement that European diplomats said was intended as a rebuke to Israel, EU foreign ministers said that the assassination was “profoundly disturbing” and that its citizens’ rights were violated. Dubai has accused Israel of being behind the killing of Hamas commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh. Israel has not denied or confirmed it played any role but its foreign minister, visiting Brussels, said there was nothing to link it to the killing. “ The EU strongly condemns the fact that those involved in this action (the killing) used fraudulent EU member states’ passports and credit cards acquired through the theft of EU citizens’ identities,” ministers said after talks in Brussels.

Dancing, Singing New Yorkers protest, calling for boycott of Israel Ballet
2/22/2010 – Adalah-NY – Ballet official says nothing existed in Israel before 1948, denies government funding despite ballet’s own website – Brooklyn, NY, February 21, 2010 ó Forty-five human rights activists called upon fellow New Yorkers to boycott the Israel Ballet at its performance Sunday at the Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts. Accompanied by the Rude Mechanical Orchestra, protesters performed ballet, sang, chanted, and handed out mock programs to bring attention to the Israel Ballet’s role in the Israeli state’s use of the arts to whitewash its crimes against the Palestinian people. The demonstration was the third to take place along the Ballet company’s U. S. tour in as many days. Hundreds of people entering the Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts were handed mock programs that, when opened, described the connections between the Israel Ballet and Israeli apartheid.

VIDEO – The Single BDS Ladies
2/22/2010 – Adalah-NY – Single Lev’ies (to the tune of Single Ladies by Beyonce) — All the customers! (repeat 7x) / Now put your hands up! / Up at the store, we all showed up / doing our own pro-test. / You used to shop, now we want you to stop / cuz settlements are a crime. / We’ve got the facts, its apartheid, / so don’t pay for Lev’s dia-monds! / He steals the land and builds on it / so you really should boycott him! / [Chorus] Its apartheid so you shouldn’t put a ring on it / Its apartheid so you shouldn’t put a ring on it / Occupation is a crime so put an end to it! / Its apartheid so you shouldn’t put a ring on it. . . . Related:Also on YouTube

VIDEO – Interview with Grant F. Smith, Author of Spy Trade
2/20/2010 – Dissident Voice – Press TV – Iranian satellite television channel Press TV broadcast of a 25 minute interview with Institute for Research Middle Eastern Policy (IRmep) director Grant F. Smith about the Israel lobby’s history of challenges to rule of law and governance in the United States. [end]

Israeli claim on sites in occupied Palestinian territory matter of concern – UN
2/22/2010 – United Nations – 22 February 2010 ó A senior United Nations official today voiced concern at Israel’s announcement that it was adding two religious sites in occupied Palestinian territory to its list of national heritage sites, warning against moves that could prejudice the resumption of peace talks. Noting that the Israeli announcement concerning the tombs of the biblical patriarch Abraham in Hebron and the biblical matriarch Rachel in Bethlehem had led to heightened tensions, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry stressed that the sites are of historical and religious significance not only to Judaism but also to Islam and Christianity. “I urge Israel not to take any steps on the ground which undermine trust or could prejudice negotiations, the resumption of which should be the highest shared priority of all who seek peace,” he said in a statement, referring to Israeli-Palestinian peace talks that have been stalled for over a year.

Israel’s smiling PR drive
2/22/2010 – The Guardian – Israeli citizens are being recruited to boost the country’s image abroad ó but the campaign amounts to papering over cracks. – Israel’s latest conscripts in the fight to improve the country’s image have been unveiled: ordinary Israeli citizens. Armed only with a government-issued hasbara pamphlet and a winning smile, they will be sent to wage war with their detractors, in an effort to present Israel as a benign, democratic utopia whose only achilles heel is poor public relations. Into the breach has stepped a phalanx of Israeli spin doctors, who have devised a campaign in which they want all Israelis to participate when travelling overseas by “telling about the beautiful Israel you know”. To that end, three television commercials are currently being aired which mock the foreign media for its portrayal of the country. In one, a French newsreader is shown confusing Independence Day fireworks and flypasts with military action on Israel’s streets.

Canadian Jewish Tourism Ad Uses Oral Sex to Promote Israeli Tourism
2/22/2010 – Tikun Olam – SIZE DOESN’T MATTER – BIG PARADISE from Size Doesnt Matter – Dimi Reider has discovered one of the stranger of Israel’s tourism promotions. This one is sponsored by the Canadian Council for Israel and Jewish Advocacy (CIJA) undoubtedly in close collaboration with the foreign ministry. The video is in indescribably bad taste, portraying an attractive couple in bed with the woman telling the man she can’t possibly “do it” because it’s “too small. “ The dialogue is so lame that it simply must be quoted to be believed: “Girl: Uhhh” Boy: “What?” G: “Don’t be madÇ It’s just that it’s small.” B: “Small?!” G: “I don’t know if I can go there.” B: “I consider this a spot of worship. It may be small, but it’s brought the driest places to life. Baby, this is paradise.” [camera pans to show map of Israel and tourist guidebooks covering boy’s crotch]. G: OK, but if I go down there for you, you have to promise you’ll down south for me next winter. . . . “Related:Ad Campaign Video

Clinton criticized for dodging question on Israel nukes
2/21/2010 – Press TV – US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is criticized for dodging a question on Israel’s nuclear arsenal during a “town hall” meeting at a Jeddah college. Mariyam Alavi, a Saudi student, asked Clinton last Tuesday about Washington’s stance on the existence of nuclear weapons in the Middle East. “ I did not get a straight answer,” Alavi said in a letter published in Arab News, AFP reported. “ My question was simple and direct enough,” she wrote, but Clinton’s response “was very unsatisfying. “ The 12th grader at the International Indian School in Jeddah, who attended the meeting at the elite Dar al-Hekma College, noted that the US top diplomat only detailed Iran’s nuclear program, without mentioning Israel. If the Americans “so vehemently oppose Iran’s nuclear program,” she had asked, “then why isn’t the US asking Israel to give up their nuclear weapons? “The student has questioned Washington’s. . . .


Occupation forces fire on ambulances north of Gaza
Uruknet February 22, 2010 – Israel’s Occupation forces, on Sunday, February 21, shot at ambulances north of the Gaza Strip. Palestinian medical sources reported the ambulances — which were trying to reach the area raided by the Occupation Forces, north of Gaza – came under intense Israeli fire resulting in severe damages to the vehicles. The sources added that the ambulances…

Gaza, living in the dark
Uruknet February 22, 2010 – Gaza survives on a minimal amount of electricity, leaving residents without power for the most part of the day. No television is one thing; no street lighting and hospital equipment is another. The Israeli Air Force bombed Gaza’s main power station in 2006, plunging the strip’s 1.5 million residents into darkness. Although the station was repaired,…

Israel Annexes West Bank Mosques
Uruknet February 22, 2010 – The Israeli occupation authorities have decided to place two historic mosques in the occupied West Bank to a list of alleged Jewish heritage sites, drawing immediate rebuke from Palestinians and Israelis alike. “This announcement is an act of aggression against the cultural and religious rights of the Palestinian people,” Hamdan Taha, director of the Palestinian Tourism…

Uruknet February 22, 2010 – If you have a loved one who has died, you know where his body is, and if he a prisoner, you can follow his news and visit him, but if you have a missing son, you must wait. Wait and wait without the promise of his return or well-being. Waiting is the reality of hundreds of…

Israel’s new attack on freedom of speech’
Uruknet February 22, 2010 – The Israeli government and its right-wing supporters have been waging a “McCarthyite” campaign against human-rights groups by blaming them for the barrage of international criticism that has followed Israel’s attack on Gaza a year ago, critics say. In a sign of the growing backlash against the human-rights community, the cabinet backed a bill last week that,…

Is Israel severing East Jerusalem from the West Bank?
Uruknet February 22, 2010 – Blocked roads and asphalt that has been ripped open like a zipper can be seen everywhere in Ramallah these days. And whether or not the municipality bothers posting explanatory signs, people know what is being done – a new road, sewage pipes, a sidewalk. But seven or ten kilometers away, at the Qalandiyah and Jaba checkpoints,…

Scannergate: Terror Scares A Boon for Security Grifters
Uruknet February 21, 2010 – Call them what you will: bottom feeders, corporate con-men, flim-flam artists, peddlers of crisis, you name it. You can’t help but marvel how enterprising security firms have the uncanny ability to sniff-out new opportunities wherever they can find, or manufacture, them. After all, nothing sells like fear and in “new normal” America fear is an industry…

Killed Hamas official Mahmoud al-Mabhouh betrayed by associate, says Dubai police chief
Uruknet February 21, 2010 – Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, the Hamas official assassinated in Dubai, was betrayed by a close associate, the emirate’s police chief claimed as it emerged today that the Palestinian’s murderers used more fake Irish passports. Lieutenant General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim described whoever leaked details of Mahbouh’s arrival to his assassins as “the real killer”, Abu Dhabi’s al-Khalij newspaper reported….

Gaza Fishermen Fight to Keep a Way of Life Alive
Uruknet February 21, 2010 – …Ten years ago, Gaza’s approximately 3,600 fishermen were hauling out approximately 3,000 tons of fresh fish a year, supporting an even larger 30,000 people in Gaza. Since then, violent clashes with – and ever-tightening restrictions by – the Israeli army have virtually destroyed the once-booming business. Today, just 20 percent of Gaza fishermen are still able…

Public Service: Watch Mohammad Bakri’s Jenin Jenin
Uruknet February 21, 2010 – Jenin Jenin depicts the true story of Israeli colossal barbarism. There is no doubt left, the Jewish State is the ultimate enemy of humanity and humanism. It also presents the Palestinian ordeal facing the Zionist evil. Clearly, surviving the Israeli occupation is nothing but heroism. Soon after Jenin Jenin was released, after only three showings, the…

Israel claims West Bank holy sites
Uruknet February 21, 2010 – Israel has added two holy sites in the occupied West Bank to a list of national heritage sites, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Sunday. Within his “Plan to Rehabilitate and Strengthen Israel’s National Heritage Infrastructures,” the upgrade affects Hebron’s Ibrahimi Mosque, known to Israelis as the Cave of the Patriachs, and Rachel’s Tomb in…

PFLP denounces Zionist attempt to hijack Palestinian and Arab heritage at Ibrahimi Mosque and Bilal Ibn Rafah
Uruknet February 21, 2010 – The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine denounced the occupation state’s designation of our Palestinian national and holy sites, the Ibrahimi Mosque in al-Khalil, and the Bilal Ibn Rabah Mosque in Bethlehem, as “Israeli National Heritage” sites by the Netanyahu regime on Sunday, February 21, 2010. A PFLP spokesperson said that this action was an…

Palestine Telegraph

Israel prevents farmers from tilling land in Qalqilia
West Bank, February 22, 2010 (Pal Telegraph) – Israeli occupation forces prevented Palestinian farmers on Monday morning from reaching their fields in Qalqilia, in the northwest of the West Bank. Abdul Rahman Abu Saleem, a Palestinian farmer, said that he was heading to his tractor with another farmer to cultivate the land they own near the Jewish settlement ofQadumim, but…

Abbas meets with Kouchner, Sarkozy
France, February 22, 2010 (Pal Telegraph) – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met yesterday with France’s foreign minister Bernard Kouchner, who recently talked of recognising a Palestinian state even before its borders are finalized. The visit followed diplomatic tensions with Israel after France and other countries summoned Israeli diplomats to explain the use of fake passports in the killing of a…

Israel allows aid and fuel into Gaza
Gaza Strip, February 22, 2010 (Pal Telegraph) – Israeli occupation authorities opened on Monday Karem Abu Salem and Al-Montar crossings partly to allow limited quantities of fuel and food aid into the Gaza Strip. Raed Fattouh, Palestinian crossings official, said Israeli occupation authorities would allow the entry of 77 to 88 trucks, carrying aid and goods for commercial and agricultural sectors,…

Clashes erupt over Israeli plan to seize West Bank sites
West Bank, February 22, 2010 (Pal Telegraph) – Palestinians clashed Monday with Israeli occupation forces in Hebron, in the West Bank, amid outrage over an Israeli plan to seize two Islamic holy sites in the occupied territory. Dozens of youths hurled stones at an Israeli military checkpoint in the city as IOF fired tear gas, stun grenades and rubber bullets….

IOF kidnaps 5 Palestinians in West Bank
West Bank, February 22, 2010 (Pal Telegraph) – Israeli occupation forces kidnapped five Palestinians early Monday after raiding several cities in the West Bank. Security sources said that Israeli occupation forces raided Jenin and Bethlehem and broke into the citizens’ houses. They kidnapped the five Palestinians and transferred them to an unknown place. The sources said that Israeli occupation forces…

The National

Israel’s new attack on freedom of speech’
The National 21 Feb 2010 – Human rights groups said to have supplied damaging evidence to the UN face jail terms if they fail to meet tough new regulations.

Palestine Note

Bethlehem strike sparked by “Heritage Trail”
Palestine Note 22 Feb 2010 – A general strike will be held in Bethlehem on Tuesday in objection to the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron and the Bilal Mosque being added to the list of Jewish sites in the Israeli “Heritage Trail,” reported…

US official pledges USAID support for Palestinian Health Ministry
Palestine Note 22 Feb 2010 – Jacob Lew, the US Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources, pledged USAID support to the Palestinian Health Ministry, Ma’an News Agency reported. Lew made the pledge while touring a hospital under construction in Ramallah…

Palestinian statehood reassessed by supporters
Palestine Note 22 Feb 2010 – The Jerusalem Post reported that French President Nicolas Sarkozy, along with French and Spanish foreign ministers, backtracked on their previous stance supporting a Palestinian state, stating that a Palestinian state should not by recognized until an…

New kids on the block: Shadia Mansour and UnderAsh light up the Palestinian hip hop scene
Palestine Note 22 Feb 2010 – Arabic’s first lady of hip hop Shadia Mansour is a British-born Palestinian performer being touted as ‘the first lady of Arabic hip hop.’ Mansour has performed with house-hold Arabic rap group DAM, French rapper Olkinary and…

Traditional Palestinian tiles
Palestine Note 22 Feb 2010 – A backyard of the only remaining traditional handmade tiles factory in Palestine.Of course the owner never meant it to be such a masterpiece.He only added and added samples of his factory’s designs ,aiming at showing as…

Size doesn’t matter?: Israeli tourism campaign appears to be in poor taste
Palestine Note 22 Feb 2010 – Jewish university students across Canada are coordinating a campaign against the sixth annual Israeli Apartheid Week , which will run March 1-7, JTA reports. The campaign is being coordinated between the Canadian Council for Israel and Jewish…

The Media Line

Spike in Tourism to Jericho
The Media Line 20 Feb 2010 – Jericho stands out as Palestinian tourism magnet. Maybe it’s the relatively quiet security situation, or perhaps it’s the unusual February heat wave that has lingered over the region since last week ó but for whatever reason,…

The Right to Not Return
The Media Line 20 Feb 2010 – American Jews Reject Israeli law providing citizenship to any Jew. A campaign by American Jews to publicly reject the legal and financial privileges offered to them by the State of Israel has received more than 1000…

Iran: Don’t Talk to Foreign Media
The Media Line 20 Feb 2010 – General warns citizens against cooperating with American and British broadcasters. Iran’s police chief warned citizens against cooperating with foreign media over the weekend, specifically accusing the state-sponsored Voice of America (VOA) and British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)…

British Newspaper: Netanyahu Wished Hit Men Well Before Al-Mabhouh Assassination
The Media Line 20 Feb 2010 – A report on the assassination in Dubai of Palestinian terrorist Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh appearing in The Sunday Times (London), claims that Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu personally approved the operation as early as a month before and…

Syria Says “No” to Increased Access for Atomic Inspectors
The Media Line 20 Feb 2010 – The Syrian government has rejected a call for unlimited access to its nuclear facilities by inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The IAEA made the request shortly after announcing its conclusion that the facility…

Blair Tells AP Israeli-Palestinian Talks to Resume “Within Weeks”
The Media Line 20 Feb 2010 – Quartet envoy Tony Blair said on Saturday that he expects talks between Israel and the Palestinians to resume “within coming weeks.” Negotiations broke off when the term of former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert ended and…


Blast outside Egypt synagogue
AlJazeera 21 Feb 2010 – An explosive device in a suitcase is thrown at a Jewish place of worship in Cairo.

Israel drones ‘could target Iran’
AlJazeera 21 Feb 2010 – Military unveils unmanned aircraft capable of reaching Gulf as pressure mounts on Iran.

Clashes over Israel heritage sites
AlJazeera 22 Feb 2010 – Palestinian protesters throw stones at Israeli troops in West Bank town of Hebron.

Israel under fire for Dubai murder
AlJazeera 22 Feb 2010 – Irish FM criticises Israel for not denying involvement in Hamas murder last month.

Alternative Information Center

Press Conference About Ongoing Situation in Sheikh Jarrah
Alternative Information Center – Monday, 22 February 2010, On 17 February 2010, the Civic Coalition for Defending Palestinians’ Rights in Jerusalem held a press conference in the Ambassador Hotel, East Jerusalem, regarding the ongoing situation in Sheikh Jarrah. During the…

The Second Battle of Gaza: Israel’s Undermining Of International Law
Alternative Information Center – Monday, 22 February 2010, The Israeli attack on Gaza in December 2008/January 2009 was not merely a military assault on a primarily civilian population, impoverished and the victim of occupation and besiegement these past 42 years….

Where is Israeli Legitimacy Going?
Alternative Information Center – Friday, 19 February 2010, The Reut Institute is an semi-official Israeli think tank dealing with security as well as socio-economic issues, and provides reports to the government. Some of its reports are made of well known…

Palestine News Network

Israel adds West Bank shrines to heritage list
PNN – Monday, 22 February 2010

Palestine Network Launches in Bethlehem on Tuesday
PNN – Monday, 22 February 2010

Jerusalem Post

Poster depicts Peres bowing to Erdogan
Jeruslalem Post 22 Feb 2010 – Israel shrugs off massive banner unfurled near Ankara.

’Support Israel at this crucial time’
Jeruslalem Post 22 Feb 2010 – In spite of differences, US Jews must defend Israelis, ambassador says.

PA seizes West Bank rocket
Jeruslalem Post 22 Feb 2010 – Palestinian security forces handed weapon over to the IDF two weeks ago.

EU tones down Dubai criticism
Jeruslalem Post 22 Feb 2010 – Lieberman: There is No evidence linking Israel to the killing.

French reconsider recognizing Palestine
Jeruslalem Post 22 Feb 2010 – Sarkozy, Kouchner stress state must be established in negotiations.

UN coordinator slams PM’s heritage plan
Jeruslalem Post 22 Feb 2010 – Says Rachel’s Tomb, Cave of Patriarchs in “occupied Palestinian territory.”

Ex-UN nuclear chief: Egypt must change
Jeruslalem Post 22 Feb 2010 – Mohamed ElBaradei says country has stagnated under President Mubarak while corruption has thrived.

PA hands W.Bank-made Kassam to Israel
Jeruslalem Post 22 Feb 2010 – Army Radio says Palestinian security forces find rocket ready to launch.

ElBaradei returns to Egypt, urges change
Jeruslalem Post 22 Feb 2010 – Former UN nuclear chief slams Egypt’s ruling system Sunday, says country has stagnated under Mubarak while corruption has thrived.

WAFA – Palestine News Agency

IOF Continues Enforcing Security Buffer Zone inside Gaza
WAFA 22 Feb 2010 – GAZA, February 22, 2010 (WAFA)- The Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) has increased its attacks on Palestinians near the Gaza Strip’s eastern and northern borders with Israel; an area inside Gaza that

Settlers Chase Schoolchildren, Soldiers Refuse to Continue Daily Escort
WAFA 22 Feb 2010 – HEBRON, February 22, 2010 (WAFA)- Four Jewish settlers chased today Palestinian school children who were walking home after school in At-Tuwani village in the south hill of the West Ban k City

Dancing, Singing New Yorkers Protest, Calling for Boycott of Israel Ballet
WAFA 22 Feb 2010 – BROOKLYN, NY, February 21, 2010 – Forty-five human rights activists called upon fellow New Yorkers to boycott the Israel Ballet at its performance Sunday at the Brooklyn Center for the Performing

ISESCO Condemns Israel’s Decision to Add 2 Sites to its Heritage
WAFA 22 Feb 2010 – RABAT, February 22, 2010 (WAFA)- The Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) strongly condemned the Israeli occupation authorities’ decision to add Al-Haram Al-Ibrahimi in

Japan Extends Assistance by USD 171,648 for Third Phase of WB Program
WAFA 22 Feb 2010 – RAMALLAH, February 22, 2010 (WAFA) – The Government of Japan has just recently decided to extend its assistance with the amount of$ 171,648 to support the third phase of the program for training of

PLO Condemns Israeli Decision on Holy Sites
WAFA 22 Feb 2010 – HEBRON, February 22, 2010 (WAFA) – Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) condemned an Israeli decision to add the holy sites Ibrahimi Mosque in the West Bank city of Hebron and Bilal

Palestinian Students in North Lebanon Equipped for Better Opportunities
WAFA 22 Feb 2010 – BEIRUT, February 21, 2010 (WAFA)- 36 Palestine refugee students graduated from UNRWA’s North Vocational Training Centre (NTC), in the presence of the First Secretary for Economic Cooperation

Daily Star: It’s Back to “Square One” in Palestine
WAFA 22 Feb 2010 – BEIRUT, February 21, 2010(WAFA) – “The desperate resort to indirect talks following 17 years of failure makes no sense, other than to provide the illusion of progress where there is only stalemate,”

Inter Press Service

MIDEAST: Dubai Hit Exposes Hamas’s Weaknesses
IPS RAMALLAH, Feb 22 (IPS) – Hamas has closed ranks and is licking its wounds following the Jan. 20 assassination in Dubai of one of its top operatives, Mahmoud Al Mabhouh. It is alleged that one of its own was responsible for providing the hit team with vital logistical information.

MIDEAST: Opposition Grows Against Egypt-Gaza Barrier
IPS CAIRO, Feb 22 (IPS) – Activists and opposition groups are stepping up pressure on the Egyptian government to stop constructing a barrier along the border with the Gaza Strip. Officials say the barrier will prevent cross-border smuggling, but critics say it will seal the fate of the people on the…

SYRIA: U.S. Starts Normalisation Process in Earnest
IPS WASHINGTON, Feb 18 (IPS) – After months of delay, the administration of President Barack Obama is taking major steps engage the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as part of a broader regional strategy designed in major part to isolate Iran, escalate the fight against al Qaeda and other radical…

MIDEAST: Scandals, Assassination Plan Rock Palestinian Authority
IPS RAMALLAH, Feb 17 (IPS) – The Palestinian Authority (PA) in Ramallah is fighting a tidal wave of fresh allegations, including sexual harassment, an internal power struggle and embezzlement.

Palestinian Center for Human Rights

After Being Denied Access to the Gaza Strip by IOF, Mayor of Geneva and Accompanying Delegation Convene Meeting through Video Conference from the West Bank
PCHR 21 Feb 2010 – Ref: 21/2010 On Sunday, 21 February 2010, after the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) had denied him and the accompanying delegation access to the Gaza Strip, the Mayor of Geneva, Remy Pagani, and the delegation comprised of Kristen Lutas, Legal Advisor; Jacques Alfred Francois, Representative of the Swiss Agency for Development; Tubias Schnepli, Director of the Group for Switzerland without an Army, convened a meeting through video conference with Rafiq Mekki, Mayor of Gaza City, Iyad Sarraj, Director of Gaza Community Mental Health Program ( GCMHP ), and Raji Sourani, Director of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), who talked from PCHR’s main office in Gaza City.

International Solidarity Movement

AT-TUWANI: Israeli settlers chase, intimidate Palestinian school children after Israeli soldiers refuse to continue daily escort
2/22/2010 – International Solidarity Movement – Christian Peacemaker Teams – AT-TUWANI – On Monday morning, 22 February 2010, four Israeli settlerschased Palestinian school children who were walking home after school in At-Tuwani village. For one hour they awaited the Israeli military escort assigned to ensure their safe passage to their home villages of Tuba and Maghaer Al-Abeed. Because the Israeli military failed to arrive, the children were forced to take a circuitous path home taking over an hour. They finally arrived in Tuba and Mughaer Al-Abeed three hours after the end of the school day. After the Israeli military refused to respond to members of Christian Peacemaker Teams’ repeated phone calls for over half an hour, Israeli settlers approached on a farm tractor. Two men, one masked, drove down to the children’s regular waiting point on the dirt road that bisects the Ma’on settlement and the Havat Ma’on settlement outpost.

Ha’aretz Diplomacy page

Yoel Marcus / Dubai hit can’t distract from Palestinian talks
Ha’aretz 22 Feb 2010 – Could that woman with the penetrating stare be the same one as in Dubai, in disguise?

Akiva Eldar / For Palestinians, more talks don’t mean new hope
Ha’aretz 22 Feb 2010 – Netanyahu’s 1996 directive to open Western Wall Tunnel cost dozens of Israeli and Palestinian lives.

Barak off to U.S. to discuss Iran, peace talks with Palestinians
Ha’aretz 22 Feb 2010 – Defense minister decides to embark on trip despite rising security tensions, especially on northern border.

Report: PM approved Dubai assassination in early January
Ha’aretz 22 Feb 2010 – Mossad said to have used Tel Aviv hotel to train agents; Dubai police: Mabhouh aide leaked information.

’Military strike won’t stop Iran’s nuclear program’
Ha’aretz 22 Feb 2010 – Comment by U.S. army chief Mullen comes as State Dept. says it is weighing effective Iran sanctions.

UN: Israel ‘heritage sites’ are on Palestinian land
Ha’aretz 22 Feb 2010 – Netanyahu announced addition of West Bank’s Rachel’s Tomb, Tomb of the Patriarchs to ‘heritage list.’

J Street, Iran and everything in between
Ha’aretz 22 Feb 2010 – U.S. envoy discusses J Street talks; students blast ZOA call to ban university; UN envoy on Iran.

Sarkozy: Failed peace talks leading to intifada
Ha’aretz 22 Feb 2010 – French president rejects reported EU plan to unilaterally declare a Palestinian state within 2 years.

Lieberman on Dubai assassination: Arabs always blame Israel
Ha’aretz 22 Feb 2010 – Dubai reportedly finds 2 more fake U.K. passports linked to the January killings of the Hamas official.

Hungary parliament mulls legal ban on Holocaust denial
Ha’aretz 22 Feb 2010 – Some 450,000 Hungarian Jews perished during the closing months of the Second World War.

Court reunites Syrian woman with Israeli husband
Ha’aretz 22 Feb 2010 – High Court rules family unity supersedes suspicions the woman’s family involved in terrorism.

U.K. officer slams ‘Pavlovian’ criticism of IDF after Gaza war
Ha’aretz 22 Feb 2010 – Retired Col. Kemp said IDF scrutinized in a harsher manner than their U.K. counterparts in Afganistan.

Israel demands embargo on Iran oil, even without UN okay
Ha’aretz 22 Feb 2010 – Iran earmarks 20 sites for nuclear enrichment plants, says construction of two could begin this year.

IAEA report: Iran may be developing atom bomb
Ha’aretz 22 Feb 2010 – Covert report also confirms Iran produced its first, small batch of uranium enriched to 20 percent.

New York Jewish woman leaves behind 2,000 descendants
Ha’aretz 22 Feb 2010 – Yitta Schwartz considered bearing children as her tribute to God, said one son-in-law.

The Guardian

EU condemns use of forged passports in Dubai hotel killing
The Guardian 22 Feb 2010 – Israel not directly referred to but statement intended to ‘censure country’ over alleged involvement in Hamas official’s assassination The EU has strongly condemned the use of forged European passports by the hit squad which assassinated a…

Israel’s smiling PR drive | Seth Freedman
The Guardian 22 Feb 2010 – Israeli citizens are being recruited to boost the country’s image abroad – but the campaign amounts to papering over cracks Israel’s latest conscripts in the fight to improve the country’s image have been unveiled : ordinary Israeli…

Letter: Hamas must be part of a peaceful solution
The Guardian 21 Feb 2010 – It is not correct that the 1980 Venice declaration of the European Community called for the creation of a Palestinian state ( Troubled alliance: Period of crisis worsens already strained relations , 19 February) . It is true that…

Killed Hamas official Mahmoud al-Mabhouh betrayed by associate, says Dubai police chief
The Guardian 21 Feb 2010 – Two more fraudulent Irish passports linked to Palestinian’s killing, officials say Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, the Hamas official assassinated in Dubai, was betrayed by a close associate, the emirate’s police chief claimed as it emerged today that the…

Israel can accelerate peace by exercising restraint
The Guardian 22 Feb 2010 – The diplomatic challenge is to help Israel grasp how its failure even to engage with international opinion risks an isolation which will make the country much less secure It was inevitable that the Mossad, Israel’s secret…

Ha’aretz National page

Archaeologist finds Jerusalem wall matching biblical story
Ha’aretz 22 Feb 2010 – A team of Israeli archaeologists has announced the discovery of a massive wall they say dates to the 10th century BCE in Jerusalem’s Ophel Park on the slope between the Temple Mount and the village of Silwan. The dig director, Dr. Eilat Mazar, dates the wall according to potsherds found nearby to the period of King Solomon and the major period of construction in Jerusalem in the First Temple period, as described in the Bible. …

Ten years on, Israel remembers iconic singer Ofra Haza
Ha’aretz 22 Feb 2010 – A decade after the mysterious death of singer Ofra Haza (February 23, 2000), her Cinderella story still fascinates, and Channel 24 is devoting its entire broadcast today to Haza. …

Border policemen ‘cleaning up’ crime-infested Arab-Israeli towns
Ha’aretz 22 Feb 2010 – Friday, 10 P.M., Tira. The streets are almost deserted as a man in his 40s approaches the window of the Toyota driven by Jawad Kabalan, a young deputy inspector from Beit Jann who serves in the Eyal Border Police unit. Kabalan stops the car. …

For the first time, West Bank settlers can switch on to public radio
Ha’aretz 22 Feb 2010 – The Israel Broadcasting Authority has installed four radio transmitters in West Bank settlements, which have had difficulty picking up IBA broadcasts. Several settlements, such as Ma’aleh Adumim, Beit El, Kiryat Arba and Ma’aleh Efraim, have not been able to receive IBA broadcasts for decades, or receive them partially. …

Witnesses allowed entry as family of activist killed in Gaza sues Israel
Ha’aretz 22 Feb 2010 – The Obama administration is pressuring the Israeli authorities to allow four activists of the International Solidarity Movement from the U.S. and Britain to enter the country so they can testify in the civil suit brought against the Defense Ministry by the family of Rachel Corrie, an activist killed by an IDF bulldozer in the Gaza Strip in March 2003. …

Relief Web

Clashes erupt over Israeli plan to restore West Bank sites
Relief Web 22 Feb 2010 – Source: Agence France-Presse

Statement by Robert H. Serry, United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, following the Israeli heritage sites decision and tensions in Hebron
Relief Web 22 Feb 2010 – Source: UN Special Coordinator in the Occupied Territories

Permanent status issue of refugees – International Meeting in Support of Israeli-Palestinian Peace The urgency of addressing the permanent status issue of refugees
Relief Web 21 Feb 2010 – Source: UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East

OPT: The French Consul General Lays the Cornerstone for the reconstruction project of Al-Quds Hospital in Gaza
Relief Web 21 Feb 2010 – Source: Palestine Red Crescent Society

IOF Continues Enforcing Security Buffer Zone inside Gaza, Bulldozes Agricultural lands, Destroys Palestinian Houses
Relief Web 21 Feb 2010 – Source: Al Mezan Center for Human Rights

YNet News

Mullen: Strike on Iran won’t be decisive
YNet News 22 Feb 2010 – US Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman says attack on Islamic Republic’s nuclear sites won’t halt nuclear program. State Department claims Iran’s plan to build two new uranium enrichment plants ‘further evidence it refuses to engage cooperatively and constructively with IAEA’

Iran warns airlines over not calling Gulf Persian
YNet News 22 Feb 2010 – Islamic Republic’s transport minister says airlines of neighboring countries flying to Iran must use ‘Persian Gulf’ on their flight monitors or be banned from Iranian airspace

Miliband: Israel must cooperate with passport probe
YNet News 22 Feb 2010 – In Brussels meeting with FM Lieberman, British foreign secretary demands full cooperation from Israel with British inquiry into use of bogus passports in al-Mabhouh killing. Hamas: Put Israel on list of countries that sponsor terror

France’s Sarkozy backs ‘viable’ Palestinian state
YNet News 22 Feb 2010 – In joint press conference with visiting PA leader Abbas, French president says, ‘The objective is a Palestinian state in the frontiers of 1967, with an exchange of territory’

US indictments offer glimpse into Hezbollah funding methods
YNet News 22 Feb 2010 – Investigation spanning three years results in indictments against three businessmen who exported electronic equipment to shopping center in Paraguay in South America’s infamous Tri-Border Region. According to indictment, share of profits from products’ sale ended up with Islamic terror organization

’PA officials involved in sale of Jerusalem assets to Jewish groups’
YNet News 22 Feb 2010 – Former Palestinian intelligence head who uncovered sex scandal involving Abbas’ bureau chief tells reporters PA did not prosecute officer who sold Old City asset to Jewish organization; mentions other corruption cases

Lieberman: Israel being made scapegoat
YNet News 22 Feb 2010 – Foreign minister holds meeting with fellow Irish, Czech, Romanian FMs in Brussels; tells Dublin’s Michael Martin there is no evidence connecting Jerusalem to Dubai hit

Barak on Jericho infiltration: State only authority in West Bank
YNet News 22 Feb 2010 – Defense minister says Sunday’s infiltration of dozens of right-wing activists into Palestinian city ‘unacceptable’


Israeli pressure in Jordan Valley may force Bedouin community to leave
21 Feb 2010 – In recent years, Israel has attempted to force Palestinians to leave al-Hadidiyeh, a Bedouin community in the Jordan Valley, by denying building permits, repeatedly demolishing structures, and severely restricting movement. In addition, local residents st

Stop The Wall

Bil’in tears down the Wall as protests spread across the West Bank
Stop The Wall – Protests were held across the West Bank on Friday, with the biggest taking place in Bil’in where more than 1,000 demonstrators marked 5 years of resistance in the village by tearing down the Wall. Weekly anti-Wall protests were also held in al-Ma’sara and Ni’lin, where soldiers attacked demonstrations with tear gas and rubber bullets. Protests also continued in Nabi Saleh, where villagers have rallied against the Halamish settlement. [

Planting trees, building bases in Bethlehem
Stop The Wall – Last week, Occupation forces act on their intentions to re-establish a military base in Beit Sahour. Despite the protests of residents, soldiers declared the area a closed military zone, bringing in heavy machinery to begin work. Also around Bethlehem last week, activists planted olive trees near the Wall in a symbolic display of steadfastness and a refusal to be uprooted from their land. [

Daily Star

Sarkozy warns Mideast peace talks must be restarted to avoid ‘catastrophe’
Daily Star 22 Feb 2010 PARIS: Middle East peace talks must be restarted to avoid a “catastrophe,” French President Nicolas Sarkozy declared Monday, adding that he and visiting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has discussed a new initiative for the region.But Sarkozy backed off the notion of declaring a Palestinian state before borders with Israel are defined, as suggested by France’s foreign minister.

EU condemns Dubai killing in indirect Israel slam
Daily Star 22 Feb 2010 BRUSSELS: The European Union condemned on Monday the use of fraudulent EU passports by the killers of a Palestinian militant in Dubai, showing its discontent with Israel without referring to it directly.In a short statement, which European diplomats said was intended as a rebuke to Israel, EU foreign ministers said after talks in Brussels that the assassination raised “profoundly disturbing” issues and said citizens’ rights were violated.

Tehran: Work will commence soon on 2 new enrichment sites
Daily Star 22 Feb 2010 TEHRAN: Iran said Monday it plans to build two new uranium-enrichment facilities deep inside mountains to protect them from attack, a new challenge to Western powers trying to curb Tehran’s nuclear program for fear it is aimed at making weapons. The United States responded to the plan calling it “further evidence” that Iran rejects diplomatic engagement with the international community.

Clashes erupt over Israeli plan to restore West Bank holy sites
Daily Star 22 Feb 2010 HEBRON, Occupied West Bank: Palestinians clashed with Israeli troops in the West Bank town of Hebron Monday amid outrage over Israel’s plan to restore two flashpoint Jewish holy sites in the occupied territory. Dozens of youths burned tires and hurled rocks at an Israeli military checkpoint in the city as troops fired tear gas and stun grenades, an AFP correspondent said. A strike closed down shops and schools.

Iran’s Karroubi calls for referendum on key body’s banning of political candidates
Daily Star 22 Feb 2010 TEHRAN: One of Iran’s top opposition leaders called Monday for a referendum on whether to strip the ruling system of the right to ban political candidates – a powerful tool used to blacklist liberal voices from key campaigns. It’s highly unlikely that Iran’s theocracy will allow a public judgment on one of the pillars of the Constitution. But the appeal by Mehdi Karroubi could signal new strategies by the opposition.

Meeting of top Iranian clerical body likely to test Rafsanjani’s clout
Daily Star 22 Feb 2010 BEIRUT: Veteran politician Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, keen to reassert his weakened influence by healing Iran’s post-election rifts, may come under fire from hardliners again when he chairs a meeting of a top clerical body this week.In recent months followers of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have criticized Rafsanjani for failing to give the supreme leader.

ElBaradei insists Egypt must change
Daily Star 22 Feb 2010 CAIRO: Former UN nuclear chief Mohamed ElBaradei sharply criticized Egypt’s ruling system Sunday, saying the country has stagnated under President Hosni Mubarak while corruption has thrived. In his first televised appearance since he returned to his native Egypt, the 67-year-old ElBaradei said his ultimate goal is to set the country down the path of democratic reform.

Parliament fails to lower voting age
Daily Star 22 Feb 2010 BEIRUT: Lebanon’s Parliament on Monday shot down a bill to lower voting age from 21 to 18, a proposal which has sparked fears of an upheaval of the multi-confessional country’s power-sharing political structure. Only 34 out of Lebanon’s 128-strong Parliament voted in favor of the bill, while 66 abstained and one voted against. Twenty-seven MPs did not attend the session.

Lebanese gold reserves largest in MENA region, 15th worldwide
Daily Star 22 Feb 2010 BEIRUT: Lebanon’s gold reserve is considered the largest reserve in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and is ranked 15th globally, according to the World Gold Council. Lebanon’s gold reserves totaled $9.2 billion at the end of 2009, ranking it in 15th place globally and in first place among 14 countries in MENA, as reported by Lebanon This Week, the economic publication of the Byblos Bank Group.

A war over words in the Gulf
Daily Star 22 Feb 2010 What’s in a name? Sometimes quite a lot, when you arrive at the intersection of nationalism, geopolitics and international aviation. Iran has issued the following warning to airlines that want to use its country’s airspace: the term “Persian Gulf” is absolutely required for use on in-flight monitors, while “Arabian Gulf” is banned. If this measure isn’t followed, the warning continues, the offending planes will be impounded.

Protesters urge MPs to lower voting age
Daily Star 22 Feb 2010 BEIRUT: NGO workers, civil society campaigners and reform lobby groups gathered in Downtown Beirut on Monday in an attempt to influence Parliament’s session on lowering the voting age in time for June’s Municipal Elections. Members of the Civil Campaign for Electoral Reform (CCER) banged drums and waved banners at traffic as a steady stream of MPs entered Beirut’s Parliament building.

The Dubai killing and European tolerance
Daily Star 22 Feb 2010 In diplomatic circles, Israel increasingly resembles a distant relative who drunkenly turns up at family functions, does something embarrassing, and leaves the rest of the family wringing its hands in bewilderment. Whether or not firm evidence emerges linking Mossad to the murder of Hamas official Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai on January 19 (and as British Prime Minister Gordon Brown was at pains to point out last week.

Palestinian Information Center

Hamas MP: Israel finalizing Judaization of Al-Quds
PIC 22 Feb 2010 – Hamas lawmaker Fadl Hamdan revealed an Israeli plan to build a new settlement on Palestinian lands in the neighborhood of Beit Safafa, south of Jerusalem.

Hamas slams PA for selling real estate in J’lem to Israelis
PIC 22 Feb 2010 – Hamas strongly denounced the Palestinian Authority (PA) for allowing some of its officials to sell Palestinian real estate in occupied Jerusalem to Israelis as treason against the Palestinian people.

Hamas asks Europe to list Israel as a “terrorist entity”
PIC 22 Feb 2010 – Hamas called on the European Union members on Monday to put Israel on its list of “terrorist countries” because it constituted a threat to world peace.

One Palestinian wounded, dozens suffocate in Al-Khalil clashes
PIC 22 Feb 2010 – One Palestinian was wounded and many others suffered suffocation during clashes that broke out in Al-Khalil in protest at an Israeli decision to make the Ibrahimi Mosque part of the Jewish legacy.

Khudari asks Arab summit to send delegation to visit Gaza
PIC 22 Feb 2010 – MP Jamal Al-Khudari asked the Arab leaders meeting in the Libyan capital next month to send a high level delegation to Gaza Strip to get a first hand information on the suffering of its inhabitants.

Mousa: Mossad assassination in Dubai criminal act
PIC 22 Feb 2010 – Amre Mousa, the Arab League secretary general, described as a criminal act the Israeli Mossad’s assassination of a Palestinian in the United Arab Emirates.

Dweik addresses message to Abbas to facilitate convening of PLC session
PIC 22 Feb 2010 – Dr. Aziz Al-Dweik, the speaker of the PLC, has asked Mahmoud Abbas, the PA chief whose tenure expired over a year ago, to facilitate means of holding a PLC session in early March.

Ahrar center appeals for releasing professor Doqan from Israeli jails
PIC 22 Feb 2010 – Al-Ahrar center for prisoners’ studies appealed to international human rights organizations to necessarily intervene to secure the release of university lecturer Dr. Ghassan Doqan from Israeli jails.

IOF troops detain 5 Palestinians, shell resistance fighters
PIC 22 Feb 2010 – Israeli occupation forces (IOF) rounded up five Palestinian citizens in West Bank districts at dawn Monday at the pretext they were “wanted”, a Hebrew daily said.

UAE summons EU ambassadors to brief them on Dubai hotel crime
PIC 22 Feb 2010 – The United Arab Emirates summoned European Union ambassadors to brief them on the assassination of Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh in Dubai, especially since the killers used European passport to commit the crime.

Los Angeles Times

Israel relies on a deadly specialty
LA Times 22 Feb 2010 – Dubai allegations put the Jewish state on the hot seat again for its use of assassinations. When Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman faced questions Monday from European diplomats over Israel’s suspected role in the Dubai assassination of a Hamas militant, he responded with familiar indignation: Why is Israel always the first to be blamed, he asked.

Wounds are healing, but the fear remains
LA Times 22 Feb 2010 – An Iraqi reporter was injured by flying glass when a bomb went off at the Hamra hotel. Weeks later, he wonders how many others share his lingering terror and whether he’ll ever be the same. Whenever I walk past a window I feel a stab of fear. Traffic scares me because I think that any one of the cars could blow up. Sudden sounds terrify me.

UAE ‘deeply concerned’ over passports used in Hamas leader’s assassination
LA Times 22 Feb 2010 – The Persian Gulf federation is apparently trying to pressure European officials, whose nationals are able to freely travel through Dubai, to help it find the killers of Mahmoud Mabhouh. The United Arab Emirates Foreign Ministry issued a statement Sunday saying it was “deeply concerned” that passports from countries whose “nationals currently enjoy preferential visa waivers” were used in the recent assassination of a senior Hamas figure.

New York Times

Iran to Build More Enrichment Plants
New York Times 22 Feb 2010 – A senior Iranian official said on Monday that his country planned to build 10 more nuclear enrichment plants, two of them within the next year.

E.U. Decries Passport Use by Assassins
New York Times 22 Feb 2010 – The condemnation avoided implicating Israel, which has been accused of planning the attack on Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, a founder of Hamas’s armed wing.

Israel’s Plans for 2 Sites Stir Unrest in West Bank
New York Times 22 Feb 2010 – Clashes erupted after a Hebron shrine and a tomb in another West Bank city were added to a list of Israeli national heritage sites by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

European Press Links Israelis to Dubai Killing
New York Times 22 Feb 2010 – As Israel’s foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, prepared to meet his British and Irish counterparts on Monday, press reports from Britain and Germany linked Israelis to the assassination of a Hamas official in Dubai last month.

Israel Unveils Drones Able to Hit Iran
New York Times 22 Feb 2010 – Israel’s Air Force on Sunday introduced a fleet of huge pilotless planes that can remain in the air for a full day and fly as far as the Persian Gulf.

United States Lifts Syria Travel Advisory
New York Times 21 Feb 2010 – Despite a move to improve relations, Syria remains under sanctions and on an American list of countries supporting terrorism.

Misc 2

Canadian Hasbara outfit is scraping the bucket
Mondoweiss – 22 Feb 2010 – As mentioned earlier, Zionist hasbara efforts in Canada now boast a new initiative called ‘Size Doesn’t Matter’. The campaign has got most publicity so far on account of a video that combines sexual crudity with the erasure of Palestine from the map. This propaganda drive, sponsored…

Imagine a Harvard fellow calling for limiting Jewish births
Mondoweiss – 22 Feb 2010 – Electronic Intifada : A fellow at Harvard University’s Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Martin Kramer, has called for “the West” to take measures to curb the births of Palestinians, a proposal that appears to meet the international legal definition of a call for genocide. Related posts: Career-Limiting…

David Frum admits that his vote is all about Israel
Mondoweiss – 22 Feb 2010 – David Frum is a former Bush aide who pushed the Iraq war and is said to have coined the Axis of Evil formulation. I’ve always thought that he is Israel-centric but like other smarting/hunted neocons he’s cagey about it. Once when he gave a sermon in…

Israel cruises into a diplomatic storm
Mondoweiss – 22 Feb 2010 – Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, speaking on Saturday, suggested that Israel will not face a diplomatic crisis with Europe over the killing of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai “because there is nothing linking Israel to the assassination.” “Britain, France and Germany are countries with shared interests…

Hoenlein: campus climate is ‘deteriorating’
Mondoweiss – 22 Feb 2010 – Here’s a new video called “Crossing the line, the new intifada comes to campus” that equates the campus movement of criticizing Israeli behavior with anti-Semitism. It was sent out by the Forward today, as an advertisement. Zionists in the bunker; Hannah Schwarzschild writes, “They clearly think…

Tel Aviv University President’s Sophie Choice
Alternative Information Center – 22 Feb 2010 – Friday, 19 February 2010, “As the new president of Tel Aviv University, the country’s largest and most comprehensive institution of higher education, I find myself caught in an agonizing double bind. On the one hand, my university and other Israeli academic institutions are the subject of…

1,000 Demonstrators Marked Five Years of Protest in Bil’in by Dismantling Portions of the Wall
Alternative Information Center – 22 Feb 2010 – Friday, 19 February 2010, One week after work to reroute the path of the Wall in Bil’in had began, more than a thousand demonstrators celebrated five years of struggle by dismantling a section of the Wall and taking over a military post. Among the demonstrators were…

Where is Israeli Legitimacy Going?
Alternative Information Center – 22 Feb 2010 – Friday, 19 February 2010, The Reut Institute is an semi-official Israeli think tank dealing with security as well as socio-economic issues, and provides reports to the government. Some of its reports are made of well known and almost obvious matters than any newspaper’s reader is aware…

The Second Battle of Gaza: Israel’s Undermining Of International Law
Alternative Information Center – 22 Feb 2010 – Monday, 22 February 2010, The Israeli attack on Gaza in December 2008/January 2009 was not merely a military assault on a primarily civilian population, impoverished and the victim of occupation and besiegement these past 42 years. It was also part of an ongoing assault on international…

Press Conference About Ongoing Situation in Sheikh Jarrah
Alternative Information Center – 22 Feb 2010 – Monday, 22 February 2010, On 17 February 2010, the Civic Coalition for Defending Palestinians’ Rights in Jerusalem held a press conference in the Ambassador Hotel, East Jerusalem, regarding the ongoing situation in Sheikh Jarrah. During the meeting, the Civic Coalition announced that the first hearing of…


Curfew In Husan leaves Wadi Fuqeen without access To Bethlehem, freshwater springs and 2,000 year-old irrigation system under threat
The Friends of Wadi Fuqeen 2/22/2010
Two evenings ago, villagers in Wadi Fuqeen were alarmed to hear the sounds of trouble with the Israelis in the nearby village of Husan, which lies slightly to the east. A curfew was immediately imposed upon it. This means that the Wadi Fuqeen will be isolated for few days as well because villagers can only gain access to Bethlehem if they go through Husan. This is the reality caused by the winding path of the separation barrier and many so called ‘security measures’ imposed by the Israelis.

In any case, Israeli jeeps have now begun to patrol the village of Wadi Fuqeen on a regular basis. ‘Flying’ checkpoints have also begun to appear at the entrance to the village – both during the day and overnight.

Two weeks ago three workers from the district of Hebron were beaten by the Israeli soldiers in an area to the northeast of the village. They had been trying to sneak through into Israel in order to find work. They were later admitted to Beit Jala hospital.

The separation wall is not yet fully in place around Wadi Fuqeen. The route of the wall is subject to a legal challenge and this has somewhat delayed its building, although many of its footings are already in place. The village is therefore a favourite route for those impoverished Palestinians desperate to find illegal work in Israel. They try to slip through without being seen by the Israeli patrols. Looking at longer term developments, Wadi Fuqeen is facing a worrying situation in relation to its water sources.

Villagers from Wadi Fuqeen practice a 2,000-year-old form of agriculture dependent upon a complex system of terracing and wells. These ancient terraces and wells are fed by rainwater and a unique local aquifer and, in the past, that has made possible the widespread irrigation of surrounding arable land. — See also:The Friends of Wadi Fuqeen and The Settlers Next Door: Notes from Wadi Fukinmore..e-mail

Im Tirzu’s witch hunt continues
David J. Forman, Jerusalem Post 2/19/2010
While one may legitimately disagree with some of the organizations in Israel that NIF supports, it is well known for its aid to some of the most creative, progressive and socially-minded NGOs in the country. Most stories in the news have a brief shelf-life. Even the tragedy in Haiti has faded from the world’s consciousness after dominating the media for a number of weeks. But there are other events that drag on, including those that at first glance seem insignificant. In Israel, we are experts at flogging a dead horse, belaboring a particular news item ad nauseam. Such is the lingering coverage of the radical right-wing Im Tirzu’s frontal assault on the New Israel Fund (NIF) and its director, Dr. Naomi Chazan.

Indeed, Im Tirzu is guaranteeing that the story be kept alive as they now have produced inflammatory billboards: “Exposure: Naomi Goldstone’ Chazan’s NIF stands behind the Goldstone Report,” thus inciting a vicious atmosphere. Further breathing life into the issue is the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee setting up a sub-committee to examine how foreign foundations sponsor Israeli organizations. Kadima’s Otniel Schneller, former secretary-general of the Yesha Council and former deputy speaker of the Knesset, has announced that he is working to reach a broad consensus to probe the conduct of NIF and its Israeli grantees.

As the founding chairperson of Rabbis for Human Rights (RHR), I can categorically state that RHR might never have gotten off the ground if it were not for the funding it received from NIF at the incipient stages of the organization’s formation. I am proud of the work of RHR and grateful for NIF’s continued support.

Israel is accused of waging covert war across the Middle East
Sheera Frenkel in Jerusalem, Axis of Logic 2/21/2010
Israel is waging a covert assassination campaign across the Middle East in an effort to stop its key enemies co-ordinating their activities.

Israeli agents have been targeting meetings between members of Hamas and the leadership of the militant Hezbollah group, and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.

They are also suspected of recent killings in Dubai, Damascus and Beirut. While Israel’s Mossad spy agency has been suspected of staging assassinations across the world since the 1970s, it does not officially acknowledge or admit its activities.

The current spate of killings began in December when a “tourist bus” carrying Iranian officials and Hamas members exploded outside Damascus. The official report by Syria claimed that a tyre had exploded but photographs surfaced showing the charred remains of the vehicle – prompting speculation that a much larger explosion had taken place.

Several weeks later a meeting between members of Hamas, which controls Gaza, and their counterparts from Hezbollah in its southern Beirut stronghold in Lebanon was also attacked, resulting in several deaths.

Hamas had sought to cover up the incidents because it was embarrassed, a senior Palestinian official in Ramallah told The Times.

”There has been growing co-operation between Gaza and Iran. Israel can read the writing on the wall and they know that with the help of Iran, the Hamas Government in Gaza will become stronger and will fight better….”more..e-mail

Israel subjecting rights groups to “McCarthy techniques”
Electronic Intifada: 22 Feb 2010 – The Israeli government and its right-wing supporters have been waging a “McCarthyite” campaign against human rights groups by blaming them for the barrage of international criticism that has followed Israel’s attack on Gaza a year ago, critics say. Jonathan Cook reports.

Harvard Fellow calls for genocidal measure to curb Palestinian births
Electronic Intifada: 22 Feb 2010 – A fellow at Harvard University’s Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Martin Kramer, has called for “the West” to take measures to curb the births of Palestinians, a proposal that appears to meet the international legal definition of a call for genocide. Kramer, who is also a fellow at the influential Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), made the call early this month in a speech at Israel’s Herzliya conference, a video of which is posted on his blog.

Israel’s contemptuous response to Goldstone findings
Electronic Intifada: 22 Feb 2010 – Submitted to the UN on 29 January, the Israeli government’s response to the UN-commissioned Goldstone fact-finding report falls far short of a credible investigation and continues Israel’s long-standing policy of refusal to investigate and convict those responsible for crimes committed during its military campaigns. Sayed Dhansay comments for The Electronic Intifada.

Scattered in death as in life
Electronic Intifada: 22 Feb 2010 – Mamilla cemetery is estimated to be over 800 years old and was in continuous use until 1948 when the Western part of Jerusalem was conquered as Israel was created. The battle over Mamilla cemetery encapsulates many aspects of Israel’s approach to Palestinian rights since the conflict began, and it is worth considering five here. Nadia Hijab comments.

No Tutu Is Big Enough To Cover Israel’s War Crimes
Palestine Monitor: 22 Feb 2010 – Last week, American and Israeli human rights activists interrupted a performance by the Israel Ballet at the Flynn Theater in Burlington, Vermont, holding banners which read “Sponsored by Apartheid Israel” and “No tutu is big enough to cover War Crimes”. The Israel Ballet is currently touring the U.S. as part of “Brand Israel”, a campaign launched in August 2009 by Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs as attempt to give the controversial state a new international image, in the wake of unanimous condemnation from the major human rights organizations and, most recently, the U.N. “Goldstone Report. Video of the action is currently being censored by Youtube who claim it violates a “terms of use” policy, however the video can be viewed at the following links: Israel ballet interrupted in Burlington, Vt. – No tutu is big enough to cover Israel’s War Crimes from samayfield on Vimeo . The activists, who had purchased…

The Struggle For Family Park: Violence Mars Peaceful Rally
Palestine Monitor: 22 Feb 2010 – A peaceful march through Beit Sahour ended with shocking scenes of army brutality. Around 100 demonstrators were objecting to the proposed construction of a military base in Beit Sahour Family Park. We spoke with Nidal Abu Zulof, regional activist and head of the Joint Advocacy Initiative (JAI), about the need to oppose this illegal land grab. . Why were you protesting yesterday? To highlight Israel’s building plans and to convey a message that this is a serious issue, that will seriously impact on the people of Beit Sahour. We have heard from the council the area will become a closed military zone so that a watchtower can be built. This will prevent people from having access to their property and land. We understand you have fears this may lead to a settlement being built? This is how they normally begin, with a military confiscation of land, leading to a civilian community…

Mossad’s Murderous Reach: The Larger Political Issues
Palestine Chronicle: 22 Feb 2010 – By James Petras On January 19 Israel’s international secret police, the Mossad, sent an eighteen member death squad to Dubai using European passports, supposedly ‘stolen’ from Israeli dual citizens and altered with fake photos and signatures, in order to assassinate the Palestinian leader, Mahmoud al Mabhouh. The evidence is overwhelming: The Dubai police presentation of detailed security videos of the assassins was corroborated by the testimony of Israeli security experts and applauded by Israel’s leading newspapers and columnists. The Mossad openly stated that Mabhouh was a high priority target who had survived three previous assassination attempts. Israel did not even bother to deny the murder. Furthermore, the sophisticated communication system used by the killers, the logistics and planning surrounding their entry and exit from Dubai and the scope and scale of the operation have all the characteristics of a high-level state operation. Furthermore, only Mossad would have access to the European passports of its dual citizens! Only Mossad would have the capacity, motivation, stated intent and willingness to provoke a diplomatic row with its European allies, knowing full well that Western European governments’ anger would blow over because of their deep links to Israel. After meticulous investigation and the interrogation of 2 captured Palestinian Mossad collaborators, the Dubai police chief has stated he is sure the Mossad was behind the killing. The Larger Political Issues Israel’s policy of overseas assassination raises profound issues that threaten the basis of the modern state: sovereignty, rule of law and national and personal security….

The Tide Turns against Israel
Palestine Chronicle: 22 Feb 2010 – By Gilad Atzmon – London London is ‘angry’ over the use of stolen identities by the Dubai assassins and points its finger at the Jewish state and its notorious Mossad espionage agency. Israeli Ambassador to Britain Ron Prosor was summoned Thursday by foreign minister to “share information”. In practice Britain has stopped short of accusing Israel of involvement in the scandalous assassination, however to signal its displeasure the Foreign Office ignored an Israeli plea to keep the summons secret. “Relations were in the freezer before this. They are in the deep freeze now,” a British official told the Guardian. The British anger at Israel would be a positive signal in the right direction if we were not aware of Foreign Secretary David Miliband investing enormous efforts trying to amend Britain’s ethical stand just to appease Tzipi Livni, Ehud Barak and other Israeli leaders. The Foreign Ministry’s reaction could almost be deemed a revelation, were we able to forget that just five weeks before Israel launched its lethal criminal attack against Gaza, David Miliband visited Sderot, an Israeli town on the Gaza border to offer his support. “No country can accept constant bombardment of its citizens”, Miliband told the people of Sderot. He then continued, “Israel should, above all, seek to protect its own citizens”. It was that foolish statement that made us all complicit in Israel’s flattening of Gaza. Bearing these facts in mind, it is rather unlikely that the Israeli ambassador to Britain was sweating while “sharing information” with…

Dubious in Dubai
Palestine Chronicle: 22 Feb 2010 – By Uri Avnery From time to time I ask myself: what would happen if the world’s governments decided to abolish all their spy agencies simultaneously? True, it would be a great blow to the authors and movie producers who make their living from secret service stories. Their products would lose their appeal. But what would be the real damage if Washington stopped spying on Moscow and Moscow stopped spying on Washington, and both on Beijing? The result would be a draw. Immense sums of money would be saved, since a large part of the efforts of every spy agency is devoted to obstructing the intrigues of the competition. How many diseases could be overcome? How many hungry people fed, how many illiterates taught to read and write? The popular books and movies celebrate the imaginary successes of the intelligence agencies. Reality is much more prosaic, and it is replete with real failures. The two classic intelligence disasters occurred during World War II. In both, the intelligence agencies either provided their political bosses with faulty assessments, or the leaders ignored their accurate assessments. As far as the results are concerned, both amount to the same. Comrade Stalin was totally surprised by the German invasion of the Soviet Union, even though the Germans needed months to assemble their huge invasion force. President Roosevelt was totally surprised by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour, even though the bulk of the Japanese Navy took part in it. The failures were so fantastic, that spy…

VTJP Palestine/Israel Newslinks 20 February, 2010


International Middle East Media Center

Two Palestinian Workers Wounded Near Hebron
IMEMC – Saturday February 20, 2010 – 11:25, Israeli soldiers shot and wounded on Saturday morning two Palestinian workers near a military roadblock east of Yatta town, south of the southern West Bank city of Hebron.

Three Wounded In Gaza
IMEMC – Saturday February 20, 2010 – 10:02, Palestinian medical sources in the Gaza Strip reported Saturday morning that three residents were wounded when the Israeli Air Force bombarded an area close to the Kissufim Israeli military camp in southern Gaza.

Israeli troops attack the weekly anti wall protest at Nil’in and Bil’in villages central West Bank
IMEMC – Friday February 19, 2010 – 22:24, At Bil’in and Nil’in villages central West Bank Israeli troops used tear gas and sound bombs to suppress anti-wall protests. Today, the people of Bil’in, a small Palestinian village in the central West Bank marked the 5th year anniversary of their weekly struggle against the Israeli-built wall on their lands.

One injured scores suffered tear gas inhalation at an anti wall protest near Bethlehem
IMEMC – Friday February 19, 2010 – 22:03, Israeli Forces aggressively dispersed a peaceful demonstration of Palestinians protesting the construction of the Israeli apartheid wall through their land at Al Ma’sara village near Bethlehem city on Friday afternoon.

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ICH 22 February, 2010: NATO Kills 27 Civilians in Afghanistan

Number Of Iraqis Slaughtered Since The U.S. Invaded Iraq “1,366,350″

Number of U.S. Military Personnel Sacrificed (Officially acknowledged) In America’s War On Iraq: 4,696

Number Of International Occupation Force Troops Slaughtered In Afghanistan : 1,658

Cost of War in Iraq & Afghanistan

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NATO Kills 27 Civilians in Afghanistan

By Associated Press

Reports indicated that NATO planes fired at a convoy of three vehicles, killing at least 27 people, including four women and a child, and injuring 12 others.

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Joe Bageant: Once more for the record

22 February, 2010 — Joe Bageant

An update on The Annotated Obama
Obviously Barack Obama has wiped his ass on his campaign promises. That’s yesterday’s news. Americans demand jazzy new and ever more shocking ‘news’ daily, or else they fall asleep before their TV sets face down in their sausage pizzas from Brooklyn to Beaumont (or their fat free vegan lentil soup, as the case may be on the West Coast). Which means that if the accelerating economic collapse is sure to drown out such mundane stuff as the Constitution, surveillance, international kidnapping and star chamber military tribunals. Add to that such roaring distractions as the emerging new Weimar American dollar and Tiger Woods’ tearful apology for having more side action than any one man is entitled to, Obama may yet come through relatively unscathed. If he keeps up the charm and waits long enough, the public will give him a pass for lying like a whore at a police station during his campaign. But some things are so important they need to be restated and hammered on for as long as possible, lest we wake up to find a fascist state hammering on us. (Right now it just bitch slaps us around daily).

So briefly, one more time for the record:

End the war in Iraq: His plan appears to be turning down the burner, but not ending the war. At the same time, he has turned it up in Afghanistan.

End kidnapping and torture: His administration, through CIA director Leon Panetta, has declared that the right to kidnap (extraordinary rendition) will continue. Obama did ban waterboarding, as promised, but sanctions force feeding and other excruciating techniques banned under the Geneva Convention.

Restore American domestic and foreign policy to U.S. Constitutional ideals: Obama has adopted military commissions (to prosecute terrorism cases in which no legitimate convictions can be made). This is the highest possible violation our Constitutional ideal. Obama also flaunts the principle of habeas corpus, which he once called ‘the essence of who we are.’ Secret prisons continue to surface.

Restore citizen privacy: Instead, the Obama Justice Department has reinforced the Bush Administration’s surveillance practices through a claim of claim of ‘sovereign immunity,’ granting his administration the right to do so.

Close Guantanamo: Obviously, the lights are still on down there, because we are still getting the bill.”