VTJP Palestine/Israel Newslinks 28 February, 2010: Police: Hamas leader’s killers drugged him

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International Middle East Media Center

13 injured as Israeli police attack Palestinians in Jerusalem’s old city
IMEMC – Sunday February 28, 2010 – 11:42, At least 13 Palestinian civilians were injured on Sunday by Israeli police and army fire as it crackdown on residents at Jerusalem’s old city.

Israeli Army Attacks Protest In Hebron
IMEMC – Saturday February 27, 2010 – 05:01, Israeli soldiers attacked on Thursday evening a protest organized by the Palestinian Peoplea Party and the Youth Assembly Against Settlements to commemorate the 16th anniversary of the Ibrahimi Mosque massacre. At least sixteen residents were wounded., The protest was held at the southern entrance of Al Shuhada Street that was closed by the Israeli army since the massacre.

Palestinian Nonviolent Protestors Gassed In Nabi Saleh
IMEMC – Friday February 26, 2010 – 21:06, In the town of Nabi Saleh, Israeli troops responded to a peaceful march with tear gas and rubber coated steel bullets.

Protest in al-Ma’sara Met With Increased Aggression
IMEMC – Friday February 26, 2010 – 18:39, Following an incursion into the village of al-Ma’sara, at 2 a.m. Friday morning, the villagers of al-Ma’sara marched towards the construction site of the Israeli built wall that annexes their land.

Israeli Troops Detain 20 People From The West Bank
IMEMC – Thursday February 25, 2010 – 18:20, Twenty Palestinian civilians were detained by Israeli troops during military invasions targeting a number of West Bank communities on Thursday morning.

Dozens Injured, Three Arrested As Israeli Troops Attack Protests In Hebron
IMEMC – Thursday February 25, 2010 – 17:51, Children, Palestinian MPs and journalists were among those injured on Thursday during Israeli troops attack on the protests in Hebron city southern West Bank.

Irish Officials Enter Gaza
IMEMC – Thursday February 25, 2010 – 13:07, A group of Irish officials, headed by the Irish Foreign Minister, Michael Martin, arrived in the Gaza Strip on Thursday morning via the Rafah Border Terminal.

Viva Palestina To Send Convoy To Gaza
IMEMC – Thursday February 25, 2010 – 12:28, British Legislator, George Galloway, stated that Viva Palestina is preparing to send another humanitarian aid convoy to the impoverished Gaza Strip.

German Jews To Aid Gaza
IMEMC – Thursday February 25, 2010 – 11:33, Among the groups and organizations aiding Gaza – a group of German Jews, some Holocaust survivors – plan to send a humanitarian aid ship to show support for the Gazan people.

Israeli Ambassador Questioned In Australia
IMEMC – Thursday February 25, 2010 – 09:18, On Wednesday night, Australian Authorities questioned their Israeli ambassador after three Australian passport holders were added to the list of suspects involved with the assassination of a Hamas leader in Dubai. Australia

Ma’an News

Report: Israel planning Old City renovations without consultations
2/28/2010 – Jerusalem – Ma’an – The Israeli municipal officials in Jerusalem plan to affect a series of changes in the Old City streets and alleyways, from streetlights to gardens, lawyer Qays Nasser explained, without first consulting a single Palestinian official or Jerusalem property owners. The unapproved changes on an area under Israeli occupation follow a Sunday announcement by the Israeli government claiming West Bank religious institutions as “national heritage sites,” and adds to the fire already burning over continued excavations in Silwan and the Old City that seek to prioritize Jewish history in the holy land over its past and present Palestinian inhabitants. According to Nasser, renovations are planned on 361 lanes and alleys of the Old City, totaling some 10% of the entire area of the ancient quarters. Though the plans Nasser found say the construction and renovations are. . .

Israeli forces storm Al-Aqsa compound
2/28/2010 – Jerusalem – Ma’an – Seven Palestinians were detained as clashes erupted on Sunday with Israeli forces at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, after storming the site with discord reported throughout the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem. Ma’an’s Jerusalem correspondent reported that four right-wing Israelis were allowed access to the Al-Aqsa compound with a police escort. Dozens of Palestinian worshipers spent the night at site, fearing a takeover during the Jewish holiday of Purim. Fatima Al-Barsi, 40, sustained a leg fracture after reportedly being attacked by Israeli soldiers as she tried to enter the site. Palestinians said their homes were used as vantage points by Israeli forces. According to the Hebrew daily Haaretz, four Israeli policemen were injured in confrontations with Palestinians. Israeli police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld said “tourists entered the Temple Mount. . . “

Fatah official in Lebanon resigns over ‘dire’ situation in camps
2/28/2010 – Bethlehem – Ma’an – Fatah’s Secretary-General in Lebanon, Sultan Abul Enayn, publicly confirmed his resignation from his post over a failure of the Palestinian leadership to heed his warnings of increasingly grim circumstances faced by Palestinian refugees, he said in an interview with Ma’an radio on Saturday. “I submitted my resignation to President Mahmoud Abbas in protest over the dire situation in the refugee camps, as a result of negligence,” he said. “My deputy, Fathi Abu Al-Aradat, has been appointed [Fatah’s] new secretary in Lebanon,” Abul Enayn said. According to UNWRA, there are 227,776 registered Palestinian refugees in Lebanon’s camps, with an additional 10,246 refugees distributed throughout the camps. Among the issues encountered by refugees in Lebanon are the lack of social and civil rights, with limited access to governmental health care.

Israel court to hear Citizenship Law challenge
2/28/2010 – Bethlehem – Ma’an – The Israeli High Court of Justice will soon hear a challenge to a law which prohibits Palestinians with Israeli citizenship from bringing in spouses from the occupied territories and countries deemed “enemy states” by the Israeli government. A petition was filed in 2007 by Adalah, the legal center for the Palestinian minority in Israel, and other human rights groups, contesting the Citizenship Law. In March 2009, the High Court held a hearing based on the petition and, in the run-up, Adalah submitted three expert legal opinions by lawyers and legal scholars from the UK, South Africa and the Open Society Justice Initiative, which deemed the Citizenship Law a violation of the right to family life, discriminatory, and unconstitutional, a statement by the legal center read. During the hearing, the Attorney General’s Office acknowledged that the law causes harm to thousands. . .

Gaza prosecutor wants UK journalist’s term extended
2/28/2010 – Chicago – Ma’an/Agencies – A Gaza military prosecutor wants to extend the detention of a British journalist, claiming he poses a security threat, a local government official told The Associated Press on Sunday. Freelance journalist Paul Martin has been held in Gaza since 14 February, the first foreign national to be arrested since Hamas took full control of the territory in 2007. Martin’s initial 15-day arrest order expires on Monday. At that time, a prosecutor will ask a court to keep Martin in custody, Interior Ministry spokesman Ihab Al-Ghussein told the AP. Martin was arrested in a Gaza courtroom when he arrived to testify at the trial of a Palestinian who was accused of collaborating with Israel. Martin reportedly interviewed the accused man for a documentary. Martin’s lawyer, Sharhabil Zayim, told the AP that prosecutors would likely seek another 15 days, the maximum time someone can be held without formal charges being presented. Related:Is Hamas accusing British journalist detained in Gaza of looking for captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit?

PA cabinet to meet in Hebron
2/28/2010 – Hebron – Ma’an – The Fayyad government is due to hold its weekly cabinet meeting in an office the West Bank city of Hebron on Monday, in protest against Israel’s decision to include the Ibrahimi Mosque on a list of Israeli heritage sites. Hebron Governor Hussein Al-Araj said the move from Ramallah to Hebron was a signal Palestinian Authority rejected the Israeli cabinet’s decision, highlighting that Israel lacks the sovereignty needed to change Palestinian landmarks on land occupied by Israel in 1967. “[This] is a violation to the Fourth Geneva Convention, and the Hebron Agreement signed by Israel and the Palestinian Authority,” he said. On Friday Irina Bokova, Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), expressed concern about the heritage list saying the sites are “of historical and religious significance not only to Judaism but also to Islam, and to Christianity as well. “

EU says PA made ‘enormous progress’ in statehood prep
2/28/2010 – Bethlehem – Ma’an – The Palestinian Authority has made “enormous progress” in preparing for statehood based on the rule of law and in the spirit of good governance, “even under the current difficult political environment”, said Christian Berger on Friday, the EU representative in the occupied Palestinians territories. His comments came as officials from the EU and the PA met in Brussels on Friday to continue dialogue on human rights, good governance and the rule of law in the context of the European Neighbourhood Policy. The second round of the Human Rights, Good Governance and Rule of Law Sub-Committee between the PA and the EU was held “in a frank and open atmosphere, with a productive exchange on issues of mutual interest and concern,” a statement said. The human rights situation in both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, rights of women and children, freedom of the press,. . .

US pushes peace agenda during talks with Barak in Washington
2/28/2010 – Bethlehem – Ma’an – Israeli Minister of Defense Ehud Barak and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met Friday for brief talks in Washington where Clinton was expected to push conditions for a resumption of talks with Palestinian negotiators. The American administration remains committed to a two-state solution, Clinton said, as Palestinians of all political stripes become increasingly disenchanted with the possibility of peace with the current Israeli government. On Thursday the PLO executive committee warned Israel following a governmental move to claim West Bank religious sites as Israeli, that Israel ‘can’t have the sites if they want peace. ‘ In remarks preceding the meeting, Clinton said she hoped to convince Barak to relax the siege on Gaza, noting the “people of Gaza deserve hope for a better future, and making sure that they have that hope is in both the interests of the Israelis and the Palestinians. “

Royal Television Society recognizes work of Gaza journalists
2/28/2010 – Gaza – Ma’an – Head of The Associated Press office in Gaza, Najib Abu Al-Jabin, received the Judges Award from the Royal Television Society in London on Wednesday, on behalf of all freelance, stringer, staff and independent Gazan reporters for their work documenting the events of Israel’s Operation Cast Lead. The work of Gaza journalists during December and January of 2008-9 ensured “that the world could witness a war that would otherwise have unfolded largely in secret,” Royal Television Society judges told Abu Al-Jabin, who represented the newsmen and women of Gaza. “When Israel launched its assault on Gaza just over a year ago itwent to extraordinary lengths to keep the world’s media out. The Israeli military sealed off Gaza from journalists and camera teams to prevent them seeing and reporting what was going on. “Related:Royal Television Society awards

PLC member Barghouti attends Beit Sahour protest
2/28/2010 – Bethlehem – Ma’an – Mustafa Barghouti, a former Palestinian information minister, attended a demonstration in Beit Sahour, near Bethlehem, on Sunday in protest of the re-opening of a former military base. The official, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council and secretary-general of the Palestinian National Initiative, joined protesters, including international activists, at the Oush Al-Ghrab military post, a site known as Shdema to settlers. Barghouti’s media officer said Israeli soldiers fired stun grenades and tear-gas canisters at protesters. The lawmaker was reportedly hurt after he clashed with Israeli soldiers and his escort, Yousef Al-Khawaja, was hit in the shoulder when forces opened fire. An Israeli military spokesman said the army was unfamiliar with the shooting. However, the spokesman also said 50 Palestinians hurled rocks at Israeli forces, who he said responded with riot-dispersal measures.

Assailant attacks hospital staff in Qalqiliya
2/28/2010 – Qalqiliya – Ma’an – A doctor and pregnant nurse were assaulted in the emergency room of Qalqiliya Public Hospital on Sunday, sustaining moderate and serious injuries respectively, a union official said. The two were assaulted by an agitated patient who accused them of delaying the results of a blood test, said the head of the Union of Doctors in Qalqiliya, Ramzi Abu Yamen. The nurse was rushed to intensive care to undergo treatment for injuries sustained in the assault, added Abu Yamen. The director of the hospital, Muyasser Mansour, said no strike would be held on Sunday as police begin an investigation into the incident. [end]

3 Gaza workers detained at Israeli border fence
2/28/2010 – Gaza – Ma’an – Three Gaza workers were detained by Israeli forces on Sunday as they attempted to cross over the barbed-wire fence east of Al-Bureij refugee camp, central Gaza Strip. Ma’an’s Gaza correspondent said Israeli troops opened fire after they spotted the workers. The three were detained and taken to an unknown location, he added. An Israeli military spokesman told Ma’an that “three suspects were identified approaching the security fence. “As they approached the fence, Israeli forces detained them and took them for security questioning in Israel, he said. Two weeks prior, a number of Gazan workers were detained also trying attempting cross through the border fence near Beit Lahiya, northern Gaza. . . . .

Jihad affiliate given 7th administrative detention sentence
2/28/2010 – Hebron – Ma’an – Israeli authorities handed down on Sunday the seventh consecutive administrative detention sentence to an Islamic Jihad supporter from Beit Ummar, north of Hebron. Relatives of Imad Abu Maria, 30, said he was preparing to leave the Negev prison and while fellow prisoners were bidding him farewell, he was told that his sentence was extended in relation to an undisclosed case. Following Maria’s third detention in Israeli custody and his brief release three days earlier, Israeli forces detained him. He has served 36 months of administrative detention (imprisonment without trial or indictment) in total. [end]

In photos: Fayyad replants uprooted olive trees
2/28/2010 – MaanImages / Rami Swidan – Salam Fayyad, caretaker prime minister of the Ramallah-based Palestinian government, plants an olive tree in the northern West Bank village of Burin on 25 February 2010, two days after 45 trees were destroyed by Israeli settlers from the nearby Yitzhar settlement. An Israeli military spokesman told Ma’an that the Civil Administration, a branch of the country’s Defense Ministry in the occupied territories, received a complaint about the incident, and that Civil Administration officials were dispatched to the crime scene to investigate. Last Sunday, settlers smashed windshields of cars driving along the Nablus-Jenin road and assaulted a Palestinian doctor. “Attacks by settlers on Palestinians in the Nablus district continue, almost every day,” said Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian Authority official.

Gaza crossings see low numbers exit last week
2/28/2010 – Bethlehem – Ma’an – The Rafah crossing on the Egyptian-Gaza border saw the return of 121 Gazans on Thursday and Friday, a de facto report issued on Saturday by the border crossings committee wrote. The numbers were well below those for the previous three weeks in February, and zero Palestinians in Gaza were permitted to leave via the crossing. The Erez crossing, the northernmost border with Israel, saw the travel of 160 Gazans into Israel, including 66 residents, 29 patients with 29 companions, two for visits, and six with work permits, the administration wrote. The number of those entering Gaza reached 160, 141 of whom were Gaza residents, including 50 patients who completed their treatment, 23 companions, six visitors, and 22 for other purposes. Additionally, 34 foreign nationals entered the coastal enclave, as well as 12 persons with Israeli citizenship.

PA minister of tourism signs agreement with Cypriot counterpart
2/28/2010 – Bethlehem – Ma’an – Following a meeting with Cypriot President Demetris Chritofias on Saturday, the Palestinian Authority minister of tourism signed an agreement with her Cypriot counterpart, encouraging bilateral relations in the fields of commerce and tourism. Khulud Deibes responded to an official invitation from the Cyrpiot Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Andonis Paschlides. During the meeting with the president and the minister, both sides confirmed Cypriot-Palestinian ties. Christofias was updated on Palestinian affairs and efforts undertaken by the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah to achieve stability and peace in the region. The tourism and commerce agreement includes developing tourism relations between Cyprus and the occupied Palestinian territories, and participation in exhibitions and tourist activities, as well as encouraging investment and training in the field of Palestinian tourism.

Allenby traffic slows, police detain 18 ‘wanted’ men
2/28/2010 – Jericho – Ma’an – Palestinian Authority police deployed at the Allenby Bridge crossing into Jordan detained 18 fugitives trying to flee, a report said on Saturday. Those arrested were transferred to the general attorney to continue with legal proceedings against them, the report said. Police were able to coordinate the exit of 17 ambulances, transporting 17 patients, into Jordan. A total of 85 international passport holders and 57 Palestinians with Israeli ID cards entered through the Jericho border. During the same period, 54 foreign nationals and 24 Israeli ID card holders left through the crossing. Numbers for the last three weeks at the crossing include: 7-13 February— Enter 6,474 Exit 8,099, 14-20 February— Enter 6,058 Exit 7,218, 21-27 February— Enter 5,635 Exit 7,115. . . . .

Fatah official: Abbas to meet with Egyptian leaders Tuesday
2/28/2010 – Bethlehem – Ma’an – President Mahmoud Abbas will meet with Egyptian leaders on Tuesday, to discuss internal Palestinian issues, as well as peace talks, the first deputy secretary-general of Fatah’s Revolutionary Council told Ma’an on Saturday. Sabri Seidam said Abbas’ Cairo visit aims at discussing the call for the Arab follow-up committee to compel the UN Security Council to determine the borders of a Palestinian state. “The visit also aims at discussing the issue of national reconciliation, and Hamas’ ratification of the Egyptian document, as well as the most recent Israeli escalations,” Seidam said. The US proposal includes proximity talks as a means to overcome the deadlock in peace talks, which were brought to a halt as Israel began its devastating winter assault on Gaza in December 2008. However, Abbas has called for clarification on the timeframe of proximity talks before agreeing on Palestinian participation.

Abbas expresses solidarity with Chile after quake
2/28/2010 – Bethlehem – Ma’an – After the catastrophic earthquake that hit Chile on Saturday, President Mahmoud Abbas expressed his solidarity and the solidarity of the Palestinian people to the government and people of South American nation. His message was relayed in a telegram sent to Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat said Sunday. Chile hosts the largest Palestinian community outside the Arab world with around 300,000 people, most of whom are located between the Chilean capital Santiago and the city of Concepcion to the south, the areas most affected by the earthquake, which has killed at least 300. Abbas has instructed the Palestinian Embassy in Santiago to provide assistance to the Palestinian community living in the area, particularly in the most affected zones. The epicenter of the earthquake, Concepcion, along with its neighboring villages hosts around 10,000 Palestinians, the statement said.

Police: Hamas leader’s killers drugged him
2/28/2010 – Chicago – Ma’an – The results of an autopsy show that the killers of Hamas leader Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh first injected him with a muscle relaxant and then suffocated him, Dubai police said on Sunday. Toxicology tests on Al-Mabhouh found significant amounts of succinylcholine, a drug used to relax muscles during surgery or as an anesthetic, according to an announcement on the Dubai police website. According to the Emirate’s Deputy police chief Khamis Al-Mazeina, “The assassins used this method so that it would seem that his death was natural as there were no signs of resistance shown by the victim. “Mabhouh was found dead in his Dubai hotel room on 20 January. Authorities have released the names and photos of a 26-member hit squad they say traveled to Dubai on British, Irish, French, German, and Australian passports.

Fuel pumped into Gaza despite closure
2/28/2010 – Gaza – Ma’an – Israeli authorities permitted the transfer of fuel through the Kerem Shalom crossing into Gaza on Sunday, Palestinian border crossings official Raed Fattouh said. Limited quantities of cooking gas and industrial fuel were delivered through the border crossing, despite its closure by Israeli authorities for the duration of the Jewish holiday Purim, Fattouh said. The Israeli government announced the closure of all of Gaza’s commercial goods crossing beginning 25 February and ending 1 March. . . . .

Hamas, Jihad urge escalation of protests
2/28/2010 – Gaza – Ma’an – Hamas and Islamic Jihad urged on Sunday an escalation of protests in the West Bank against they perceive as an Israeli assault on Palestinian religious sites. Islamic Jihad staged a mass rally in Gaza denouncing renewed violence at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem and Israel’s recent decision to lay claim to two holy sites in Bethlehem and Hebron. Islamic Jihad leader Muhammad Al-Hindi told the assembled crowd that Israel “only understands the language of force. “”This settlement called Israel cannot not intimidate our people and our resistance through aggression,” he said. “Al-Hindi also called on the leaders of rival factions Hamas and Fatah to immediately unite in opposition to Israel. Israeli forces stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, home to Islam’s third holiest site, early on Sunday in response to reports of stone throwing. “

Haniyeh thanks UAE for efforts on Al-Mabhouh slaying
2/27/2010 – Gaza – Ma’an – De facto government Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh talked to President of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Khalifa Ibn Zayid on Friday to thank him for the efforts of Dubai police in their investigation of Hamas man Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh last month. The suspicious circumstances around the death of Al-Mabhouh, who was originally announced to have died from cancer complications, were gradually uncovered by UAE authorities, and lead to allegations that the death was an organized Israeli Mossad hit on the Hamas leader. Dubai hotel and airport video cameras tracked the movements of the alleged assassins, and police made public the passport photos and assumed nationalities of the 11 and then 15 alleged killers. Officials in Britain, Ireland, Australia, France and Germany were angered that passports of nationals had been used in the plot.

Life term for Tulkarem man convicted of treason
2/28/2010 – Tulkarem – Ma’an – A Tulkarem court sentenced a Palestinian man to life imprisonment on Sunday, after he was found guilty of treason and making contact with Israel. The 31-year-old man, identified only by his initials AK, was sentenced in accordance with acticles 111 and 112 of the penal code. The accused can appeal the sentence. [end]

In photos: Islamic Jihad rally in Gaza
2/28/2010 – MaanImages / Hatem Omar – Islamic Jihad supporters shout slogans as they march in Khan Younis refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip during a rally against an Israeli initiative to nationalize two holy sites in the occupied West Bank, 26 February 2010. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has defended the controversial plan, which would add Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem and the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron, both in Palestinian territory, to a list of “Israeli heritage sites. “[end]

DFLP celebrates anniversary by calling for unity
2/27/2010 – Gaza – Ma’an -Officials from the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) confirmed their support for the Egyptian reconciliation document and called for unity during a celebration marking the movement’s 41st anniversary on Saturday at the Palestine Stadium in Gaza. DFLP Politburo official, Saleh Zidan, said the party supported the document document because it detailed points of national dialogue that were both agreed and disagreed upon, but mostly because it is the direct result of bilateral dialogue between Fatah and Hamas. Zidan warned of what he called Israeli escalations and attacks against Muslim and Christian holy sites, referring to the recent Israeli cabinet decision to include two sites in the occupied West Bank on a list of Israeli heritage sites. This act, he said, would lead to deadlock in trying to resume negotiations.

Hebron police investigate suspected suicide
2/27/2010 – Hebron – Ma’an – Palestinian police in Hebron launched an investigation into the death of a young man whose body was found in his family home in Adh-Dhahiriya, Hebron. Security sources told Man’an that the body of the man, identified only as HQ, 25, was found with a rope around his neck and police are investigating to determine whether the death was suicide or murder. A spokesperson for the Hebron police declined to comment further, and said information on the case will be released to the public, pending the completion of investigations. [end]

PSE rises: Al-Quds index up 4.44 points on Sunday
2/28/2010 – Bethlehem – Ma’an – Stocks rose on the Palestine Securities Exchange on Sunday. At the close of trading, the Al-Quds Index stood at 525. 18, increasing by 4. 44 points (0. 85%). Trading volume was 613,871 for a total value of US $1,980,153. 81, executed through 343 trades. The top five gainers were MIC (4. 69%), APC (4. 44%), PIIC (4. 35%), AIG (4. 23%), and NSC (4. 17%). The top five losers were TRUST (4. 65%), AHC (4. 44%), NCI (3. 45%), GCOM (3. 23%), and WASSEL (1. 75%). [end]

Ha’aretz Defense page

IDF chief dismisses ex-Gaza Division commander over son’s ATV accident
Ha’aretz 28 Feb 2010 – Brig. Gen. Moshe ‘Chico’ Tamir had previously been demoted to the rank of colonel over the incident.

Hamas seeks to extend Gaza arrest of U.K. journalist
Ha’aretz 28 Feb 2010 – Paul Martin accused by militant group of providing Israel with information harmful to Palestinian security.

Gas masks to join Purim masks today as IDF begins distribution
Ha’aretz 28 Feb 2010 – Kits are being distributed by national postal service and will be delivered directly to homes for a NIS 25 charge.

Barak: A nuclear Iran threatens world stability
Ha’aretz 28 Feb 2010 – U.S. Secretary of State Clinton discusses revival of peace talks, easing of Gaza blockade with Barak.

Exclusive: Hamas leader quits Shalit talks over internal feud
Ha’aretz 28 Feb 2010 – Mahmoud A-Zahar resigned two weeks ago after row with Hamas leader who wanted harder line in talks with Israel.

Barak to U.S.: Impose new Iran nuclear sanctions
Ha’aretz 28 Feb 2010 – In meet with Defense Sec. Gates, Barak says Hezbollah arming for the sole purpose of harming civilians.

IDF soldier attacked, stripped of his rifle in North
Ha’aretz 28 Feb 2010 – Police suspects soldier was accosted by 2 men while hitchhiking in road near northern town of Kiryat Shmona.

Netanyahu: ‘Heritage’ list won’t change West Bank status quo
Ha’aretz 28 Feb 2010 – PM says outrage over addition of West Bank shrines to list of heritage sites stems from a ‘misunderstanding.’

’Hamas leader killed in Dubai used multiple passports in arms deals’
Ha’aretz 28 Feb 2010 – Confidant of al-Mabhouh, killed last month in Dubai, says he supplied money and arms to Hamas.

Dubai hit did not affect intel ties, Israel official says
Ha’aretz 28 Feb 2010 – Former CIA official says January assassination of Hamas strongman will not effect Mossad ties.

Iranian threat to destroy Israel doesn’t hold up
Ha’aretz 28 Feb 2010 – Israel needs to internalize the insight that all talk about an Iranian bomb is irrational and meaningless.

Army police winds down Gaza human shields investigation
Ha’aretz 28 Feb 2010 – Inquiry finds no basis for claims that IDF troops hid behind noncombatants during Operation Cast Lead.

Settlers: New Palestinian city will harm security, the environment
Ha’aretz 28 Feb 2010 – Construction of West Bank city Rawabi near Ramallah supposed to have 5,000 housing units for 25,000 people.

Netanyahu faces double intifada from Palestinians and settlers
Ha’aretz 28 Feb 2010 – PM’s box of tricks is running out, as world loses trust over Dubai killing and Fayyad joins Bil’in protest.

Uruknet

Zionist Definition of Religious Tolerance: If it’s not Jewish, either we Judaize it or we Destroy it! (II)
Uruknet February 28, 2010 – Today, Sunday 28.02.2010, and after several calls from Zionist organizations, tens of Zionist fanatics marched into the Noble Sanctuary area under the protection of the Israeli police. Their declared intention was to storm Al-Aqsa Mosque today and tomorrow and to celebrate the Purim feast on its grounds. Some Palestinian worshippers spent the night at the mosque,…

IOF soldiers shoot Gazan farmer and 5 civilians, round up three others
Uruknet February 28, 2010 – Israeli occupation forces (IOF) detained three Palestinian citizens east of Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza Strip at dawn Sunday, local sources said. They told the PIC reporter that an IOF special force infiltrated into the area and took away the three civilians. The IOF soldiers on Saturday fired at and wounded a Palestinian farmer in…

Israeli forces storm Al-Aqsa compound
Uruknet February 28, 2010 – Seven Palestinians were detained as clashes erupted on Sunday with Israeli forces at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, after storming the site with discord reported throughout the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem. Ma’an’s Jerusalem correspondent reported that four right-wing Israelis were allowed access to the Al-Aqsa compound with a police escort. Dozens of Palestinian worshipers spent…

A Sociable Smile?
Uruknet February 27, 2010 – Politicians’ like smiling because they are incapable of doing much else and this was proven when the Lord Mayor of Manchester recently opened the new Iraqi Consulate, in a city which prides itself on ethnic diversity and its status as a “City of Peace”. The Lord Mayor, who is a member of the Liberal Democrats, is…

West Bank: Weekly Protest Video Round-Up
Uruknet February 27, 2010 – …Dozens of protesters suffered teargas inhalation in a demonstration against the Wall and settlements in Bil’in which was joined by Israeli and international activists. Despite the bad weather, protesters marched on the streets of the village chanting slogans and singing national songs. The protesters carried Palestinian flags and called for national unity against the Israeli occupation…

Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (18 — 23 February 2010)
Uruknet February 27, 2010 – Israeli violations of international law and humanitarian law continued in the OPT during the reporting period (18 — 23 February 2010): Shooting: During the reporting period, IOF wounded 6 Palestinians, including one child, in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. In the Gaza Strip, on 20 February 2010, 3 activists of the Palestinian resistance were…

Listen to the Heroes of Israel
Uruknet February 27, 2010 – …Whenever I am asked about heroes, I say Rami and his wife Nurit without hesitation. Soon after when we met, Rami gave me a home videotape that was difficult to watch. It shows his daughter Smadar, aged 14, throwing her head back, laughing and playing the piano… Rami was in his car when he turned on…

The sufferings of Iran’s minorities
Uruknet February 27, 2010 – …Rigi’s “armed struggle” did more harm than good even to Iran’s Baluch people. His attacks enabled the regime to push aside legitimate Baluch grievances, and portray as “terrorists and foreign agents” all those who demanded a fair deal for an oppressed people. With or without Rigi, the fact remains that Iranian Baluchis are victims of systemic…

Bush’s torture psychologists wanted to use ‘mock burials’: report
Uruknet February 27, 2010 – torturegitmociaharsh Bushs torture psychologists wanted to use mock burials: reportTwo psychologists working on the Bush administration’s enhanced interrogation techniques pushed for the use of “mock burials” on terror suspects, according to documents released by the Department of Justice. Blogger Marcy Wheeler reports that the Department of Justice rejected a request from psychologists Bruce Jessen and James…

Crying for VIP IDs Instead of Palestine
Uruknet February 27, 2010 – Folly, vanity and lack of modesty are in the crying of the Palestinian Authority. The so-called minister of civil affairs Hussein al- Sheikh, the former head of the PA general intelligence service in the West Bank (who fled from Gaza) Tawfiq Tirawi, are crying at the Israeli refusal to grant VIP IDs to some of the…

We must never forget Gaza
Uruknet February 27, 2010 – Despite a slight improvement in the general humanitarian situation, the Gaza Strip remains a disaster area. In fact, in terms of the sheer destruction of homes and infrastructure, the coastal enclave can be compared to quake-stricken Haiti, with the main difference lying in the fact that while the Caribbean island’s calamity was a natural disaster, the…

UNESCO Worried Over Israel’s Mosques Plan
Uruknet February 27, 2010 – The United Nations cultural body voiced concerns Friday, February 26, over Israel’s plans to annex two Muslim mosques in the occupied West Bank to its Jewish heritage list. “The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, expressed her concern today at the announcement by the Israeli Prime Minister that two sites located in the occupied Palestinian territory‚Ķ are…

Palestine Telegraph

Abbas calls on U.S. to halt Israeli aggressions
Amman, Feb. 28, 2010 (Pal Telegraph)- President Mahmoud Abbas called Sunday on the U.S administration to pressure Israel to stop its aggressions on the holy sites and the Palestinian land. Commenting on the Israeli provocations today on Al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem after a meeting in Amman with King Abdullah II of Jordan, Abbas told reporters that the U.S. should…

Israel experiments on Palestinian prisoners
Jerusalem, Feb. 28, 2010 (Pal Telegraph)- Jerusalemite MP Ahmed Atton has called for the formation of a fact-finding committee to look into the Israeli occupation authority’s use of Palestinian detainees for experiments with new medicines. The Palestinian MP said in a press release on Friday that Palestinian detainees, especially in the Negev jail, are also exposed to radiation that caused…

Clinton tells Barak to lift Gaza blockade
¬† Washington, Feb. 28, 2010 (Pal Telegraph) – The United States pressed Israel on Friday to ease its blockade of the Gaza Strip, an issue Arab officials have urged Washington to address as it tries to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told reporters she had an extended discussion with Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak about…

Egyptians, internationals rally against underground wall
Cairo, Feb. 28, 2010 (Pal Telegraph; by Max Ajl) – The building housing the Egyptian Journalists’ Syndicate is not beautiful. Its beige concrete is filthy with Cairene grit. Towering, meter-square, concrete columns stand in rows in front of a cobalt blue, mirrored-glass fa?ßade, a jarring mix of faux-Greek architecture and modernist conceit. It has a large set of steps in…

Palestinian president: raiding Al-Aqsa is ruse to escape peace requirements
West Bank, Feb. 28, 2010 (Pal Telegraph) – Nabil Abu Rudainah, Palestinian presidential spokesperson, said today that Israel’s raid of Al-Aqsa Mosque is designed to evade peace requirements. Abu Rudainah said in a press statement released by the WAFA News Agency today that “Jerusalem is a red line that cannot be overstepped.” He also observed that the Israeli government is…

The National

Seven held as Israelis storm mosque
The National 28 Feb 2010 – Violence erupted at the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem when Israeli police stormed the compound to confront stone-throwing protesters.

Edward Said’s daughter brings her father to life on stage
The National 28 Feb 2010 – Najla’s Said’s relationship with her identity and grief over losing her father are highlighted by her personal narrative, now a stage show called Palestine.

Extra time for Gaza war crime probe
The National 27 Feb 2010 – Arab states back resolution giving Israel and Palestinians five more months to investigate findings of the Goldstone report.

The Media Line

Iraq’s Poor Sell Their Votes
The Media Line 27 Feb 2010 – Iraqi politicians accused of buying votes instead of campaigning for March 7 vote. Iraq is rife with allegations of vote buying a week ahead of the country’s national elections.A number of localities have reported that representatives…

In Dire Straits
The Media Line 27 Feb 2010 – Yemen tries to keep Somalia’s Al Qaeda offshoot at bay. For years the 100 to 170 nautical mile route across the Gulf of Aden between Somalia and Yemen has been well traveled. Tens of thousands of…

Rocks Are Thrown at Visitors to Temple Mount; Riot Ensues
The Media Line 27 Feb 2010 – A riot erupted on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount on Sunday morning when Palestinians hurled rocks at non-Muslim visitors to the site. When Israeli police who normally refrain from entering the area arrived to quell the violence, the…

Americans Ask Assad to Stop Arming Hizbullah and Hamas
The Media Line 27 Feb 2010 – Amid aggressive efforts to reconcile with Syria, Obama administration officials have reportedly asked Syrian President Bashar Al-Asad to stop sending arms to Hizbullah and other Palestinian terrorist groups. According to the Israeli daily Haaretz, the request…

Palestinians Spar Over ‘Ariqat Document
The Media Line 27 Feb 2010 – Hamas has lashed out at Fatah-loyal chief negotiator Sa’ib ‘Ariqat and a controversial document that was leaked on Saturday. ‘Ariqat’s writing was critical of Palestinian Authority Mahmoud ‘Abbas in expressing the opinion that refusing to return…

Aljazeera

Concerns over Israel heritage list
AlJazeera 26 Feb 2010 – Unesco and EU decry Israel’s bid to add sites in the West Bank to its list of national heritage.

Egypt gas exports to Israel legal
AlJazeera 27 Feb 2010 – Despite strong opposition, Egyptian gas to Israel would flow under the power of law.

UK police probe false passports use
AlJazeera 28 Feb 2010 – Officers arrive in Tel Aviv as Dubai police chief links Israel to Mabhouh murder suspects.

Israeli police storm Jerusalem site
AlJazeera 28 Feb 2010 – Six Palestinians reportedly wounded in standoff at al-Aqsa mosque compound.

Alternative Information Center

Jerusalem in the Palestinian Cultural and Political Consciousness: An Interview With Rifat Odeh Kassis
Alternative Information Center – Friday, 26 February 2010, Rifat Odeh Kassis is a Palestinian Christian from the village of Beit Sahour, located on the outskirts of Bethlehem and Jerusalem. He currently serves as the president of International Executive Council for…

Open Shuhada Street in Hebron
Alternative Information Center – Thursday, 25 February 2010, On 25 February, the demonstration that demands the opening of Shuhada Street — the main artery in the city of Hebron — is a traditional appointment for associations, activists and social movements….

Arab-Sponsored Draft Resolution on Goldstone Report Denies Victims’ Rights and Fosters a Situation of Impunity
Alternative Information Center – Thursday, 25 February 2010, On 26 February 2010, the General Assembly of the United Nations will debate the implementation of the Report of the UN Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict (the Goldstone Report). An…

Palestine News Network

Clashes as Israel puts West Bank religious sites on heritage list
PNN – Saturday, 27 February 2010

Israel’s PR ministry takes swipe at foreign media
PNN – Saturday, 27 February 2010

Building the first ‘Palestinian settlement’
PNN – Saturday, 27 February 2010

Jerusalem Post

Israel protests hate-filled postcards from Spanish kids
Jeruslalem Post 28 Feb 2010 – Schoolchildren send insidious messages such as “Jews kill for money.”

Ex-Gaza Division chief ousted from IDF
Jeruslalem Post 28 Feb 2010 – Ashkenazi decides on harsh treatment for Tamir, who let son drive IDF buggy.

PA to convene cabinet in Hebron
Jeruslalem Post 28 Feb 2010 – Jewish community’s rainy Purim celebration passes quietly.

’Fayyad is inciting violence’
Jeruslalem Post 28 Feb 2010 – Clashes spread from Hebron to J’lem; PA, Jordan: Israel provoked escalation.

’Dubai dripping out info on hit’
Jeruslalem Post 28 Feb 2010 – J’lem worried incident led friendly countries to vote against Israel at UN.

Israel leading campaign against blood diamonds?
Jeruslalem Post 28 Feb 2010 – Human Rights Watch urges Israeli gov. to move rapidly to end “suffering of innocent.”

Learning from history
Jeruslalem Post 28 Feb 2010 – Israel is taking a beating on the international stage.

Massive head of pharaoh unearthed in Egypt
Jeruslalem Post 28 Feb 2010 – Head of Amenhotep III, which alone is about the height of a person, found in southern city of Luxor.

Dubai: Hamas operative drugged
Jeruslalem Post 28 Feb 2010 – Two more suspects identified in Mabhouh’s death, police chief tells Egyptian paper.

Inter Press Service

MIDEAST: How to Check Both Iran and Israel
IPS TEL AVIV, Feb 27 (IPS) – The U.S. is raising the stakes in its bid to halt Iran’s nuclear programme, putting the issue on a “pressure track”, says top U.S. general David Petraeus. The U.S. and other world powers are drumming up support for a fourth round of UN sanctions…

RIGHTS: What Fish may do for Western Sahara
IPS BRUSSELS, Feb 27 (IPS) – Legal advice stating that European vessels have no justification to fish off Western Sahara – a territory occupied by Morocco – has provoked a row between the main political institutions in Brussels.

MIDEAST: Palestinians Excluded From Bulk of West Bank
IPS IDNA, Occupied West Bank, Feb 27 (IPS) – Israel’s illegal occupation and continued expropriation of Palestinian land in the West Bank has left 2.5 million Palestinians living there with effectively less than 40 percent of the territory.

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.

PCHR Weekly Report

Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory
PCHR Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) Continue Systematic Attacks against Palestinian Civilians and Property in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT)

International Solidarity Movement

New Demolition Orders Issued in Silwan as Main Road Collapses A Second Time
2/28/2010 – International Solidarity Movement – International Solidarity Movement – The Jerusalem Municipality issued a further 8 demolition orders on February 24 applying to Palestinian homes in Silwan village East Jerusalem. The main street of Wadi Hilweh neighbourhood of Silwan collapsed that evening at the same point it collapsed in January due to structural damage caused by settler project “City of David”’s subterranean excavations. A large force of Israeli Police and Border Police, accompanied by Jerusalem Municipality representatives, executed an early morning raid on the village of Silwan that day to deliver a further 8 administrative demolition orders. Amongst the affected families are that of Riad a-Tawil, Nayef Alqam, Hani Haymoni, Yassin Salaymeh and Salfiti. The demolition orders state “Under Construction & Management Law of 1956 you are ordered to immediately halt all current construction. . . “

Cultivating Resistance: Khirbet Bir al ‘Idd
2/27/2010 – International Solidarity Movement – International Solidarity Movement – Last week, two small, rural outposts were awaiting two payloads from a 4?ó4 that was snaking its way along the winding, West Bank roads of the South Hebron hills. The first was the material to construct some alternative energy sources for these small communities, the second was an international presence that would aid them in the fight for their legitimacy. In the hills around Susya, sheep- and goat-herders live in small, tented communities in the wadis of Israeli-controlled “Area C”in the West Bank. These communities are fighting for their existence against the Israeli policy of ethnic cleansing in the region, where strict controls limit the quality of life that is possible for these people. Our first stop was to deliver the parts to construct both solar and wind-powered electricity sources to an isolated site where two families live in tents.

Ha’aretz Diplomacy page

China ‘giving serious consideration’ to Israel’s request for Iran sanctions
Ha’aretz 28 Feb 2010 – Israeli delegation to China aimed to present the Chinese evidence that Iran was developing nuclear arms.

Universities worldwide mark ‘Israeli Apartheid Week’
Ha’aretz 28 Feb 2010 – Three Israeli speakers headline events during the week; campuses in 40 cities participate.

PA moves cabinet meeting to Hebron to protest heritage sites
Ha’aretz 28 Feb 2010 – Fayyad moves meeting to raise awareness about Israeli decision to add West Bank sites to heritage list.

’Anti-Semitism being taught in Spain schools’
Ha’aretz 28 Feb 2010 – Israel files complaint after envoy gets cards from grade school students saying ‘Jews kill for money.’

Ahmadinejad: ‘Zionist regime’ is an insult to humanity
Ha’aretz 28 Feb 2010 – Iranian president suggests holding a referendum on the destruction of Israel, says news agency IRNA.

Chilean President Bachelet: Quake death toll reaches 708
Ha’aretz 28 Feb 2010 – Emergency officials: Earthquake has affected at least 1.5 million Chileans and severely damaged 500,000 homes.

Barak: Iran developing nukes, not ‘Avatar-like long bows’
Ha’aretz 28 Feb 2010 – Defense Minister calls on world powers to ‘not remove any options from the table’ regarding Iran.

Roof accident shuts down star-studded New York Purim party
Ha’aretz 28 Feb 2010 – Report: Ice broke through a glass atrium at the Sony Building in New York, lightly injuring 10.

Iran army official: Our missiles can reach all our enemies
Ha’aretz 28 Feb 2010 – Deputy Revolutionary Guards chief says Iran can also make Europe suffer by cutting off its oil supply.

Massive 3,400-year-old pharaoh bust unearthed in Egypt
Ha’aretz 28 Feb 2010 – Egyptian, European archaeologists find head of Amenhotep III wearing white crown.

Al-Qaida bomber of Afghanistan CIA calls for Jihad on Jordan
Ha’aretz 28 Feb 2010 – Humam al-Balawi says expected to kill his Jordanian handler, but that the death of CIA agents was a ‘gift from allah.’

U.S. warns Syria: Stop arming Hezbollah immediately
Ha’aretz 28 Feb 2010 – Assad denies American claims that his regime is providing military aid to Hezbollah and Palestinian groups.

Let’s calm down on Syria and Hezbollah
Ha’aretz 28 Feb 2010 – If Syria, Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas are indeed planning a war against Israel, they don’t need showcase meetings.

Weaker than expected Chile quake tsunami hits Pacific rim
Ha’aretz 28 Feb 2010 – Santiago estimates death toll from the 8.8-magnitude jolt at 214, adding believed numbers would rise.

DNA study: Dozens of living Austrians are related to Hitler
Ha’aretz 28 Feb 2010 – Farmer horrified to learn he has the blood of ‘history’s greatest criminal’ flowing through his veins.

The Guardian

Israel’s NGOs must operate freely | Antony Lerman
The Guardian 27 Feb 2010 – Following attacks on the New Israel Fund, a Knesset bill restricting rights organisations risks eroding democratic culture The vicious, McCarthyite attack on the New Israel Fund (Nif) , which uses philanthropic funds to foster and support Israeli…

Ha’aretz National page

Israel may let sponsors beam messages onto Western Wall
Ha’aretz 28 Feb 2010 – Most people go to the Western Wall to pray, but now some will also head there to pay. …

Israel begins distributing gas masks to citizens
Ha’aretz 28 Feb 2010 – Israel has begun distributing new gas masks to its 7 million citizens to offer protection against a possible chemical attack. …

Palestinian protesters dispersed after Temple Mount clashes with police
Ha’aretz 28 Feb 2010 – Israel Police forces stormed the most contentious holy site in Jerusalem on Sunday to disperse masked Palestinian protesters hurling objects at a crowd of visitors, authorities said. …

Moshe Dayan’s widow: Israel doesn’t know how to make peace
Ha’aretz 28 Feb 2010 – She turned 93 last Friday, according to the Hebrew calendar. On Thursday, Herzliya awarded her honorary citizenship. Ruth Dayan doesn’t rest for a moment. In the Bedouin town of Segev Shalom and in the Palestinian village of Kharbata, she founded an arts and crafts workshop for women. Once every week or two she drives to these places by herself. She’s also busy with countless humanitarian issues in the territories. A few months ago she flew to Malta to meet the daughter of Yasser Arafat, the granddaughter of her soulmate, Raymonda Tawil. …

Man detained for sending threatening letter to PM`s wife
Ha’aretz 28 Feb 2010 – A Bat Yam man was arrested Sunday over suspicions he had sent a threatening letter to the Prime Minister’s office, stating his wish to kill Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s wife Sara over her alleged mistreatment of her housekeeper. …

Relief Web

Violence flares at Jerusalem holy site
Relief Web 28 Feb 2010 – Source: Reuters – AlertNet

OPT: “It Is Not Made In Israel”
Relief Web 27 Feb 2010 – Source: Palestine Monitor

European Commission allocates more than €375 million in humanitarian aid to help vulnerable people from Afghanistan to Sudan
Relief Web 27 Feb 2010 – Source: European Commission Humanitarian Aid department

Israeli Reaction to the UNGA Resolution on the “Goldstone” Report
Relief Web 26 Feb 2010 – Source: Government of Israel

YNet News

Irish councilmen snub Israeli ambassador
YNet News 28 Feb 2010 – Irish newspaper reports town councilmen voted to rip out page of town’s visitor’s book signed by Israel’s Ambassador Zion Evrony

King of Jordan: Protect holy sites from Israel
YNet News 28 Feb 2010 – In meeting with Abbas in Amman, King Abdullah warns of ‘dangerous consequences of provocative Israeli moves and aggressive acts against al-Aqsa Mosque.’ He adds that steps taken ‘constitute dangerous provocation that threatens efforts to achieve regional peace’

Spanish children urge Israeli envoy to ‘stop murdering Palestinians’
YNet News 28 Feb 2010 – Israeli Embassy in Madrid receives hundreds of letters of protest from local pupils. ‘Why does Israel murder Palestinians?’ one letter notes. Foreign Ministry protests phenomenon

’Australia did not back Israel in UN due to passport affair’
YNet News 28 Feb 2010 – Canberra official tells Sydney Morning Herald Australia’s decision to abstain from UN vote on Goldstone report linked to use of forged Australian passports by Mabhouh killers. ‘Debacle helped to make up the government’s mind to abstain,’ he says, adding that UK’s decision to back resolution also influenced by Dubai hit

IDF chief dismisses Brig.-Gen. Tamir over ATV affair
YNet News 28 Feb 2010 – Ashkenazi effectively ends career of decorated officer who tried to whitewash accident his teenage son was involved in while driving military-issued vehicle. Associate: Sad day for army

Ahmadinejad: Israel has lost its ‘raison d’etre’
YNet News 28 Feb 2010 – During Tehran conference in support of Palestinians Iranian president says ‘Zionist regime’s’ presence in region causes threat, crisis and war. Khamenei: US behind IAEA charge that Iran making bomb

Islamic Jihad urges escalation of conflict in West Bank
YNet News 28 Feb 2010 – Palestinian group calls to step up clashes with Israeli security forces in light of al-Aqsa Mosque tensions. Hamas: Protect our Islamic holy places from risk of Judaization. Meanwhile, PA to convene in Hebron as act of protest against Israel’s decision to declare Cave of Patriarchs a national heritage site

Hebron Purim parade takes place without hitch
YNet News 28 Feb 2010 – Festive atmosphere along with wintry weather succeed in easing tension. Palestinians watch Purim parade from sidelines, welcome participants with holiday greetings while also acknowledging that situation could be dangerous. ‘Hebron will be ours,’ shouted intoxicated revelers

IDF officer suspended over shooting on Palestinian car
YNet News 28 Feb 2010 – Force apparently mistook car’s passengers for Palestinian who threw firebombs at IDF checkpoint, opened fire in violation of army procedure

Daily Star

Hariri urges allies to halt Israel’s threats
Daily Star 28 Feb 2010 QATAR: Prime Minister Saad Hariri said Sunday he would continue to urge friendly states to pressure Israel to cease its threats of war against Lebanon.Hariri was speaking at a joint news conference in Qatar with Premier and Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr al-Thani. Prior to the news conference, Hariri held closed-door talks with the Qatari premier to discuss steps to face Israeli threats.

Several wounded in clashes at Al-Aqsa mosque compound
Daily Star 28 Feb 2010 OCCUPIED JERUSALEM: Sixteen people including two Israeli policemen were wounded in clashes at Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound on Sunday, after police entered to arrest Palestinians who had hurled rocks at visitors they believed were Jewish extremists. The fighting came after days of protests over an Israeli plan to renovate two contested holy sites in the occupied West Bank.

Yemen arrests 21 separatists in south, protests go on
Daily Star 28 Feb 2010 ADEN, Yemen: Separatists demonstrated in southern Yemen on Sunday after security forces arrested 21 people accused of rioting, residents and officials said. People travelling to Aden said demonstrations continued for a second day in the main southern city and in the provinces of Abyan and Dalea, also in the south of the poorest Arab country.

Iran’s Jundallah chooses new leader after Rigi ‘confession’
Daily Star 28 Feb 2010 An outlawed militant group in southeastern Iran announced the selection of a new leader after its founder was captured by Iranian forces, according to the group’s website. Jundallah said it had named Mohammad Dhahir Baluch as the group’s new leader. “The movement is more than its leader,” said the statement posted in Arabic Saturday. “With firm determination and strong will it will continue on the path of jihad till the last drop of blood.”

Khamenei: US behind IAEA charge that Iran wants bomb
Daily Star 28 Feb 2010 TEHRAN: Iran’s supreme leader charged Sunday that US and its allies are behind the UN nuclear watchdog agency’s claim that Iran may be making nuclear bombs, despite its repeated denials. The comments by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, broadcast on state television Sunday, came 10 days after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said it was concerned Iran may be working on nuclear weapons.

Israeli army starts distributing new gas masks to civilians
Daily Star 28 Feb 2010 OCCUPIED JERUSALEM: Israel on Sunday began distributing new gas masks for civilians to use in a possible chemical or biological attack, the army said. “The civil defense has asked the Israeli postal service to begin distributing gas masks on an experimental basis to the residents of Or Yehuda,” a military spokesman told AFP, referring to an area near Tel Aviv.

Iranian president calls Israel ‘a microbe of corruption’
Daily Star 28 Feb 2010 TEHRAN: Israel is “a microbe of corruption” and Islamic resistance will “send it to the bottom of hell,” Iran’s president said Sunday at a conference attended by top Palestinian militant leaders, Iranian media reported. “With God’s grace and thanks to the Palestinian resistance the occupying Zionist regime has lost its raison d’?™tre,” Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said at a Tehran conference in support of the Palestinians.

Palestinian Information Center

Zahhar denies his withdrawal from prisoner swap delegation
PIC 28 Feb 2010 – Dr. Mahmoud Al-Zahhar, a member of Hamas’s political bureau, categorically denied Israeli reports claiming that he withdrew from the delegation responsible for handling the prisoner swap file.

Hamas calls for urgent Arab and Muslim action to save Aqsa Mosque
PIC 28 Feb 2010 – Hamas called for an urgent Arab and Muslim action to curb the Israeli escalation against the Aqsa Mosque, and international intervention to force Israel to end its occupation of the Palestinian land.

PFLP demands trial of Ramallah authority officials
PIC 28 Feb 2010 – MP Khaleda Jarrar has said that PA officials in Ramallah who approve a return to direct or indirect negotiations with the Israeli occupation authority should stand trial.

Bardawil: Arab countries mediating to activate reconciliation
PIC 28 Feb 2010 – Dr. Salah Al-Bardawil said that his movement had sought the mediation of a number of Arab countries with Egypt to reactivate the stalled national reconciliation process.

IOF soldiers turn Al-Khalil’s Old City into army barracks
PIC 28 Feb 2010 – The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) turned the Old City in Al-Khalil into army barracks to protect a march for Jewish settlers near the Ibrahimi Mosque, locals reported on Sunday.

Israeli troops storm and encircle Aqsa Mosque
PIC 28 Feb 2010 – The Israeli occupation forces stormed the courtyards of the Aqsa Mosque and cordoned off its premises where dozens of Palestinian worshipers are still maintaining a vigil and refusing to leave.

IOF troops detain four West Bankers including university student
PIC 28 Feb 2010 – The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) rounded up four Palestinians in the districts of Jenin and Tulkarem at dawn Sunday despite the severe rainy weather, Hebrew media reported.

European campaign hails visit of Irish foreign minister to Gaza
PIC 28 Feb 2010 – The European campaign to end the siege hailed the visit made by Irish foreign minister Michael Martin to the impoverished Gaza Strip, saying it is an important step.

OCHA: IOF killed 9 Palestinians, wounded 18 in two months
PIC 28 Feb 2010 – The IOF killed nine Palestinians and wounded 18 others since the beginning of 2010 while 18 children were rounded up in occupied Jerusalem in the past week, a report for OCHA said on Saturday.

IOF soldiers shoot Gazan farmer and 5 civilians, round up three others
PIC 28 Feb 2010 – Israeli occupation forces (IOF) detained three Palestinian citizens east of Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza Strip at dawn Sunday, local sources said.

Los Angeles Times

Iran opposition leader calls crackdown a wasteful exercise
LA Times 28 Feb 2010 – Mir-Hossein Mousavi accuses the government of wasting resources in a massive show of force Feb. 11; he offers few specifics on what the opposition should do next. Iranian opposition leader Mir-Hossein Mousavi on Saturday accused the government of wasting public resources in a massive show of force against the opposition this month, calling the country’s hard-line leadership a “dictatorship and distortion of the Islamic Revolution.”

Sex allegations against rabbi roil Israel’s Orthodox community
LA Times 27 Feb 2010 – A religious group accuses Rabbi Mordechai Elon of sexually exploiting male students. No police complaints have been filed, but the case spotlights subjects some would prefer to avoid. Many Israelis pride themselves on a kind of European sophistication when it comes to public sex scandals: For the most part, they shrug them off.

New York Times

Another Puzzle After Iran Moves Nuclear Fuel
New York Times 27 Feb 2010 – Officials are trying to determine why Iran moved much of its nuclear fuel to where it could easily be attacked.

World Briefing | UNITED NATIONS: Gaza War Inquiries Demanded
New York Times 27 Feb 2010 – The General Assembly renewed its demand that Israel and the Palestinians conduct independent investigations into possible war crimes during the Gaza war.

3 Foreigners Die in Cruise Liner Accident in Egypt
New York Times 26 Feb 2010 – Medics and police say three foreigners have died when a luxury cruise liner slammed into the docks in a Red Sea resort in Egypt.

Mayor’s Housing Offer Sets Off Row in Jerusalem
New York Times 26 Feb 2010 – Disagreements have arisen over matters of ownership and the demographics of East Jerusalem.

More Clashes Over Israeli Claim to Shrine
New York Times 26 Feb 2010 – Dozens of Palestinian youths clashed with Israeli forces in Hebron for a fourth day Thursday over the inclusion of a hotly contested religious shrine on a list of Jewish heritage sites.

Iran Leader Concedes No Ground to Rivals
New York Times 26 Feb 2010 – The supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said the opposition leaders had no right to participate in politics, in his toughest remarks about them yet.

Misc

Weekly Protest Video Round-Up
Palestine Monitor – 27 Feb 2010 – Heavy rain prevented popular resistance marches scaling the peaks of Bi’lin last week, but up and down the country demonstrators made their feelings known. BILIN Dozens of protesters suffered teargas inhalation in a demonstration against the Wall and settlements in Bil’in which was joined by Israeli…

”It Is Not Made In Israel”
Palestine Monitor – 27 Feb 2010 – Europe’s highest court ruled on Thursday that Israeli products manufactured in settlements in occupied Palestinian territories are not exempt from paying EU customs duties. Though nominally a finding on a trade-related matter, the decision has much wider political implications. It would seem like little more than…

Hebron: Open Shuhada Street!
Palestine Monitor – 27 Feb 2010 – On Thursday morning over 250 Palestinian protesters, joined by dozens of Israeli and international activists, braved foul weather conditions to demonstrate in Hebron against the closure of Ash’Shuhada, the street which, since Baruch Goldstein’s massacre of 29 worshippers in the Ibrahimi Mosque in 1994 has been…

Global movement joins Hebron protest to ‘Open Shuhada Street’
Mondoweiss – 28 Feb 2010 – Last Thursday I joined Palestinian, Israeli, and international activists for the “Open Shuhada Street” demonstration to demand Palestinian access to one of the most important streets in Hebron. Hebron, along with East Jerusalem, is unique in having settlers and Israeli soldiers occupy the very heart of…

’NYT’ Op-Ed congratulates Obama for laying off Israel ‘cause solving I/P won’t solve anything
Mondoweiss – 28 Feb 2010 – Has the NY Times response to the complaints about Ethan Bronner led it to be even more forceful in pushing its pro-Israel agenda including getting the US to attack Iran? Apparently so. In today’s op-eds, they’ve imported the thoughts of a British Jewish professor, Efraim Karsh , (…

Israel Includes Two West Bank Holy Places to National Heritage List
Alternative Information Center – 28 Feb 2010 – Thursday, 25 February 2010, While Israeli rhetoric and propaganda argue that Israel’s push for a resumption of negotiations shows its commitment to a peaceful settlement with the Palestinians, Israeli actions on the ground show another political will. Even if the exact contours of this plan are…

Arab-Sponsored Draft Resolution on Goldstone Report Denies Victims’ Rights and Fosters a Situation of Impunity
Alternative Information Center – 28 Feb 2010 – Thursday, 25 February 2010, On 26 February 2010, the General Assembly of the United Nations will debate the implementation of the Report of the UN Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict (the Goldstone Report). An Arab-sponsored draft Resolution requests that all parties be given a…

First International Session of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, Barcelona
Alternative Information Center – 28 Feb 2010 – Thursday, 25 February 2010, The first international session of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine will be held in Barcelona on 1-3 March 2010. The mandate of the Tribunal constituted in Barcelona will be to consider the extent to which the European Union and its member states…

Open Shuhada Street in Hebron
Alternative Information Center – 28 Feb 2010 – Thursday, 25 February 2010, On 25 February, the demonstration that demands the opening of Shuhada Street — the main artery in the city of Hebron — is a traditional appointment for associations, activists and social movements. However, this year the protest action has a special meaning….

Jerusalem in the Palestinian Cultural and Political Consciousness: An Interview With Rifat Odeh Kassis
Alternative Information Center – 28 Feb 2010 – Friday, 26 February 2010, Rifat Odeh Kassis is a Palestinian Christian from the village of Beit Sahour, located on the outskirts of Bethlehem and Jerusalem. He currently serves as the president of International Executive Council for Defence for Children International (DCI) and the General Director of…

Articles


Scattered in death as in life
Nadia Hijab, The Electronic Intifada, Israeli Occupation Archive 2/22/2010
I carried a handful of ashes from my father’s cremates into the Occupied Palestinian Territories a few years ago, hoping to take them to his hometown, Nablus. At the border, the only available taxi was driven by an Israeli Moroccan Jew. Delighted I was an Arab, he immediately plunged into conversation and pointed out various landmarks along the way to Jerusalem.

“That road,” he said at one point, “leads to Nablus,” indicating the tarmac cutting through the rocky soil as we drove through a desolate area. I asked him to stop the car. Israel often kept Nablus under curfew for weeks on end and I didn’t know if I’d be able to get there during my short trip. On the road to Nablus, I laid the ashes and paid my respects. Back in the car, the puzzled driver wondered what I had been doing. When I told him he asked hesitantly, “Don’t you have rites like ours, including visiting loved ones’ graves?”
I stared at the back of his neck, as brown as my own, as I sought a response. We do have similar rites. It is rare for a Muslim to seek cremation, as in our father’s case, part of the enforced modernity of exile. In fact, at no time is the loss of Palestine more piercing than at a loved one’s passing, reinforcing the realization that, Muslim or Christian, Palestinians are as scattered across the globe in death as in life. But how could one explain 100 years of history in a cab ride? “Yes, but you’ve made it impossible for us to practice ours.”
So it is with special poignancy that I have followed the latest twist in the battle over Jerusalem’s Mamilla Cemetery, a Muslim cemetery known in Arabic as Maman Allah, where the US-based Simon Wiesenthal Center intends to build a Museum of Tolerance, a project stalled by legal and other protests since it began in 2004.
Mamilla 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…..more..e-mail

Dispersing white phosphorous clouds over Gaza
Gideon Levy, Haaretz, Israeli Occupation Archive 2/25/2010
If you have a moment or are bored or depressed, if you suspected there might be some truth in the criticism of Israel, or if you just feel like laughing out loud, just enter the Information and Diaspora Ministry’s Web site.

There you’ll find an innovation of global proportions — propaganda intended to mislead propagandists and public relations to deceive PR experts, rather than the target audience. Nicolae Ceausescu couldn’t have phrased it better, and the Cairo radio station that broadcast threats in pidgin Hebrew before the Six-Day War never sounded as ludicrous. The Information Ministry presents: an insult to intelligence, contempt of reason — not only to the intelligence of “people overseas,” to whom this cheap propaganda is geared, but to us, self-declared Israeli “ambassadors.”
If this is the official message from Israel then we’re really in trouble. If these are our arguments, then all our critics are right. Information and propaganda ministries exist, but in the third world. Welcome, Israel. Sex, lies and videotape? There’s not much sex on this site, but plenty of all the rest — mixed with trivia, tastelessness and embarrassing parochialism.
How shall we begin our “information” quest? Perhaps with the list of achievements — 15 million bags of Bamba produced a month — 1,000 bags a minute of that peanut-butter-flavored children’s snack. We’re also a rising Krembo power — 50 million a season of that chocolate-coated marshmallow treat. The heart swells with pride. There’s nothing like it in the world. A land of milk, Krembo and Bamba.
So why don’t you visit us for the Krembo? Maybe you’ll end up liking us for the Bamba. The actress Ayelet Zurer is doing well in Hollywood, and another Israeli is the world’s cotton-growing champion. And an epilator that “makes women happy all over the world” was invented in Israel.more..e-mail

Juan Cole on Israel and its Lobby: Ideological Blinders or Hidden Meaning
Stephen Sniegoski, America Hijacked 2/25/2010
Friends,

In this article I am going to critique some fundamental views expressed by a staunch opponent of the US wars in the Middle East, Juan Cole, who has performed extremely valuable and courageous service in opposing US war policy in the Middle East. I should add, and will discuss at greater length at the end of this piece, that I am not absolutely certain whether Cole actually believes all of what I criticize or whether some of it merely serves as PC cover, and the better-informed are expected to read between the lines.
Cole, who is a college professor, dares to do what few of his peers are willing to do: present his views (most frequently on his weblog, “Informed Comment”) on current Middle East issues which necessarily touch the taboo topic of Israel and contradict the position of the Israel lobby. As a Middle East specialist, Cole is capable of writing very informative pieces on that region, which go into far greater depth than I have the expertise to do. It is certainly not in his view of the Middle East per se where I find flaws in his interpretation, but in his assessment of the United States policy, especially the role of the neoconservatives and the broader Israel Lobby, an area in which I have done considerable research (e.g. my book, “The Transparent Cabal: The Neoconservative Agenda, War in the Middle East, and the National Interest of Israel”), and where my Ph.D. background in US diplomatic history would be of some relevance.
Although mentioning the role of some American Jews in regard to shaping American Middle East policy, Cole still tends to downplay it. The flawed elements in his thinking on this crucial area are especially encapsulated in his recent article, “The Decline of the Israeli Right and the Increasing Desperation of the ‘Anti-Semitism’ Charge.”more..e-mail

out of sight
In Gaza: 28 Feb 2010 – Three days ago when I saw these children, their father bragged: “she gets near perfect grades; she got a prize in school today for her grades.¬† And he’s a whiz.” We were walking around the ruins of his home, to the east of central Gaza’s al-Musaddar village, touring the wreckage of his life. Israeli bulldozers had come in a week prior and destroyed his house and livelihood, and those of 2 other neighbouring families, tearing down 3 houses in total and 17 dunams of treed land. Without reason. It’s a lush area, next to a wadi (valley, though the water has long since stopped streaming through, cut off, most say,…

The White Lie of Herzl
Palestine Chronicle: 28 Feb 2010 – By Uri Avnery This coming Wednesday, the Supreme Court of Israel will consider an application by a group of Israeli citizens to compel the Interior Ministry to register them as belonging to the “Israeli nation”. Odd? Indeed. The Israeli Interior Ministry recognizes 126 nations, but not the Israeli nation. An Israeli citizen can be registered as belonging to the Assyrian, the Tatar or the Circassian nation. But the Israeli nation? Sorry, no such thing. According to the official doctrine, the State of Israel cannot recognize an “Israeli” nation because it is the state of the “Jewish” nation. In other words, it belongs to the Jews of Brooklyn, Budapest and Buenos Aires, even though these consider themselves as belonging to the American, Hungarian or Argentine nations. Messy? Indeed. This mess started 113 years ago, when the Viennese Journalist Theodor Herzl wrote his book “The State of the Jews”. (That’s the true translation. The generally used name “The Jewish State” is false and means something else.) For this purpose he had to perform an acrobatic exercise. One can say that he used a white lie. Modern Zionism was born as a direct response to modern anti-Semitism. Not by accident, the term “Zionismus” came into being some 20 years after the term “Antisemitismus” was invented in Germany. They are twins. In Europe and the Americas another modern term was flourishing: Nationalism. Peoples which had been living together for centuries under dynasties of Emperors and Kings wanted to belong to nation-states of their own….

US-Israel Relations Sail into Icy Waters
Palestine Chronicle: 28 Feb 2010 – By James Gundun – Washington D.C. It would be foolish conclude that America and Israel’s special relationship is charted for divorce. Any long-lasting marriage hits a few cold spells, and tough times often unite. But a storm has chilled the waters. Now, will America and Israel hit an iceberg? President Barack Obama lost his battle with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the moment it began. Not the ideological or pragmatic battle necessarily, for Obama’s principles, were they sincere and he stuck to them, stand a better chance of creating a Palestine than whatever Netanyahu has in mind. The political battle is over though. Never a match for the veteran Netanyahu, US policy with Israel was burned by one of Obama’s core weaknesses – inexperience. The Gaza war struck a month after his election. Obama went silent and would never say much afterward. Another month later Netanyahu had returned to power, already smelling blood from Washington, and proceeded to bite Obama repeatedly in action, word, and tone. Obama barely reacted to the peace process over 2009 and into 2010, Netanyahu even less, and famously refused to place any blame on either of them. Obama’s approach must change if he expects any progress towards a sovereign Palestine and a secure Israel, if he truly desires the potential healing benefits to the region. He must actively engage the process not just during negotiations but before, or run the risk of conflict between all parties involved. US envoy George Mitchell can’t move all the weight…

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