VTJP Palestine/Israel Newslinks 22 March, 2010: Report: Current Knesset most racist of all time

News

International Middle East Media Center

Resistance Opens Fire At Army Vehicles Near Hebron
IMEMC – Monday March 22, 2010 – 03:00, Palestinian sources reported Sunday that a Palestinian resistance group opened fire at Israeli army vehicles near Beit Awwa town, in the southern West Bank district if Hebron. The army reported no injuries.

Shaath: ‚”No Negotiations Amidst Settlement Activities”
IMEMC – Monday March 22, 2010 – 01:38, The Higher Political Committee of the Fateh movement held a meeting on Sunday in Ramallah and decided that there will be no resumption of peace talks with Israel while it is ongoing with its illegal settlement activities.

Israeli Sources: ‚”Netanyahu ‘Softens’ Stances On Peace Talks”
IMEMC – Sunday March 21, 2010 – 12:29, Israeli sources reported that Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, told the U.S. president, Barack Obama, that he will conduct measures on ‚”good will” towards the Palestinians, including ‚”easing” the siege on Gaza.

Egyptian Navy Arrests Three Fishermen
IMEMC – Sunday March 21, 2010 – 11:41, The Egyptian Navy arrested on Saturday evening three Palestinian fishermen who accidentally entered Egyptian territorial waters.

Two Palestinian Children Killed in Nablus
IMEMC – Sunday March 21, 2010 – 10:24, Palestinian medical sources in Nablus, in the northern part of the West Bank, reported that two Palestinian children were killed by Israeli military fire in Iraq-Burin village, south of Nablus.

Soldiers Kidnap a Palestinian Woman, Child, Near Jerusalem
IMEMC – Sunday March 21, 2010 – 10:05, Israeli soldiers kidnapped on Saturday evening a Palestinian woman and a 14-year-old child, in the Shu’fat refugee camp, north of occupied East Jerusalem.

47 Residents Wounded In Hebron
IMEMC – Saturday March 20, 2010 – 10:33, Palestinian medical sources in the southern West Bank city of Hebron reported Friday evening that 47 residents were wounded during clashes with Israeli soldiers in the city and the nearby Beit Ummar town.

12 Injured In Israeli Airstrikes In Gaza
IMEMC – Saturday March 20, 2010 – 09:24, Palestinian medical sources in reported Saturday at dawn that 12 Palestinians were wounded when the Israeli Air Force bombarded a number of tunnels, and the Gaza International Airport east of Rafah, in southern Gaza.

Five Injured, Eight Detained At Anti Wall Protest In Budrus Village Central West Bank
IMEMC – Friday March 19, 2010 – 17:01, Five Palestinians were injured, eight others detained when Israeli troops attacked an anti wall protest at the village of Budrus, near Ramallah city, central West Bank.

Bil’in Protest The Wall, Israeli And International Supports Join Braking Army Orders
IMEMC – Friday March 19, 2010 – 16:48, The villagers of Bil’in, central West Bank, along with international and Israeli supporters protest the Israeli-built wall on villager’s lands.

Ma’an News

Gaza: Israeli warplanes target Rafah, artillery fire hits north
3/22/2010 – Gaza – Ma’an – Israeli warplanes struck a smuggling tunnel in the Jaradat neighborhood of Rafah overnight, while artillery fire hit an area near the northern border, witnesses said. No injuries were reported, though the southern smuggling tunnel and agricultural land in the north were destroyed by the fire. Eyewitnesses said an Israeli F16 fired one missile at the tunnel, obliterating the entrance and setting a fire in the underground passage. An Israeli military spokesman said the strike targeted a “weapons smuggling tunnel,” and was in “response to rocket fire” from Gaza in recent days. A homemade projectile hit south of Ashkelon overnight Sunday, with no damages or injuries reported. Director of ambulance and emergency services in Gaza, Muawiya Hassanein, confirmed reports that a shell was launched at an open area in Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip.

Ban shocked at persisting ruin of Gaza Strip
3/22/2010 – Gaza – Ma’an – On his first visit to Gaza since the end of Israel’s Operation Cast Lead, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called the ongoing siege “not sustainable” adding that the continued closure “is wrong. “More than a year after he spoke in front of the smoldering remains of the UN warehouse in Gaza City, hit by Israeli missiles during the December 2008-January 2009 war, Ban addressed Gazans in Khan Younis, saying they “are striving to provide for their families amid unacceptable, unsustainable conditions. ” The Israeli siege of Gaza, Ban said, “causes unacceptable suffering of human beings,” with half of the areas population, which is under the age of 18, suffering the most, a UN news brief quoted the official as saying. “The policy is also counter-productive. . . [and] prevents legitimate commerce and encourages smuggling. . . . ”

Security sources say settlers behind fire on Israeli patrol car
3/22/2010 – Bethlehem – Ma’an – Palestinian security source cast doubt Monday on Israeli news reports alleging young men opened fire at an Israeli patrol car south of Hebron overnight. The incident, where young men were said to have attacked an Israeli military patrol car near the Nahal Negohot settlement, was reported by several Israeli media outlets, all unsourced. The Palestinian security source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said security services learned from the Israeli liaison department that the news reports about shooting in the area were false. The source said the fire was likely caused by Israeli settlers in the area, who had been causing trouble for soldiers since a court ruling opened the main road near the settlement to Palestinian traffic. South of Hebron, Israeli forces detained nine Palestinians following the report.

Lebanon: Military fires at Israeli craft over national airspace
3/22/2010 – Bethlehem – Ma’an – The Lebanese army opened fire on two Israeli fighter aircraft after entering Lebanese airspace early Sunday morning. A statement issued by the Lebanese army said ground artillery fired at the two low-flying jet fighters over southern Lebanon. The Israeli army had no comment on the incident. In 2009, there were two incidents of exchanged fire between Israel and Lebanon. On 21 February 2009, Israel shelled southern Lebanon after a rocket from the country landed in Israel. Hizbullah and Palestinian factions all denied involvement in the launch. On 11 September 2009, two Katyusha rockets landed in the northern Israeli city of Nahariya, near the border with Lebanon, and Israeli forces responded by firing 15 artillery shells at what they said was the source of the fire, across the border in Lebanon. No damages or injuries were reported in either incident.

Palestinian journalists protest outside Al-Aqsa TV
3/22/2010 – Gaza – Ma’an – Dozens of Palestinian journalists and human rights groups rallied outside the Al-Aqsa TV station on Monday, protesting the US Finance Ministry decision to freeze all funding for the station. Hasan Abu Hashish, head of the de facto government media office, said the American decision is “null and void because it is announced by a side that has nothing to do with Palestinian internal issues,” he said outside the Al-Aqsa TV office in Gaza. The official added that Palestinian media will remain free and unaffected by the siege and “superiors’ decisions,” calling Al-Aqsa TV for more steadfastness. The American decision to classify Al-Aqsa TV as a “terrorist organization” effectively cuts off any funds for the station, its reporting and programs coming from the United States, including individual, organizational and government grants or donations.

Israeli soldier killed on Gaza border
3/22/2010 – Bethlehem – Ma’an – An Israeli soldier was killed on Monday evening by friendly fire near the Gaza Strip border, the army said. The news follows reports of shelling along the Kissufim border area in central Gaza. An Israeli military spokesman said the soldier was killed in an earlier shooting incident. “He was apparently killed by friendly fire during an incident that was percieved by the soliders as that of a terrorist nature,” he said. “A tank came, that was on an operational activity, and identified three suspects crossing the security fence from Gaza to Israel. An additional IDF patrol was called to the scene and was not updated that the tank team had begun pursuit. “He mistakenly identified the team as Palestinian suspect and began firing at the team. One soldier was killed,” the army said. Three Palestinians attempting to enter Israel were “arrested and taken for security questioning.

Israeli forces detain 9 near Hebron
3/22/2010 – Hebron – Ma’an – Israeli forces raided the southern West Bank village of Fuqeqis and detained nine young men, Palestinian security sources said on Monday. Reports said a heavy military presence entered the town and ransacked several homes before detaining 19-year-old Ahmad Amr, his brother Ali, 25, Thaer Amr, 19, Osama Abu Sharar, 31, Luay Amr, 21, Issa Abu Arqub, 26, Ayman Hantish, Mahmoud Tbeish, and Osama Ubeid. Fuqeqis is near the southern West Bank town of Dura, southwest of Hebron. [end]

PA police: Israeli forces continue West Bank assaults
3/22/2010 – Ramallah – Ma’an – Israeli forces raided three villages in the north and central parts of the West Bank overnight and erected a flying checkpoint at the entrance to one village, Palestinian police reported. The actions constitute continuing aggression by Israel against the population of the West Bank, police said. Raids targeted the Jinan and Al-Bireh neighborhoods of the central West Bank, where homes were entered and ransacked for alleged inspections, police said. The report noted no detentions were reported. The flying checkpoint was erected near the Abu Sharar gas station in Dura south of Hebron late Sunday evening. An Israeli military spokesman said the raids and access restrictions were a “regular” part of the Israeli military’s operations, noting the activities were meantto “fight terrorism and maintain law and order. ”

Bedouin family denied right to rent home in Israel
3/22/2010 – Nevatim – The Zakai and Tarabin families should be a picture of happy coexistence across the ethnic divide, a model for others to emulate in Israel. But Natalie and Weisman Zakai say the past three years – since the Jewish couple offered to rent their home to Bedouin friends, Ahmed and Khalas Tarabin – have been a living hell. “I have always loved Israel,” said Mrs Zakai, 43. “But to see the depth of the racism of our neighbours has made me question why we live in this country. “Three of the couple’s six dogs have been mysteriously poisoned; Mrs Zakai’s car has been sprayed with the words “Arab lover” and the windows smashed; her three children in school are regularly taunted and bullied by other pupils; and a collection of vintage cars in the family’s yard has been set on fire in what police say was an arson attack.

PLO payments to imprisoned members to resume
3/23/2010 – Salfit – Ma’an – The PLO will re-start payments to members detained by Israel, head of the Palestinian Detainees Society in Salfit said Sunday. The disbursement is set to take place in the coming days, Abdallah Al-Anany said, adding that PLO prisoners will be compensated for several months of arrears allowances during September, October, November and December of 2009. Al-Anany said the PLO secretariat is undertaking all efforts to ensure detainees are compensated, but added that the payments will depend on the body’s budget. [end]

Egyptian coast guards detain 2 Gaza fishermen
3/22/2010 – Gaza – Ma’an – Egyptian coast guards detained two Gaza fishermen on Sunday evening on charges of entering Egyptian territorial water, officials said. The fishermen told Egyptian authorities they had unknowingly entered the country’s territorial waters. Police identified them as Ahmad Sa’id An-Najjar, 17, and Basim Abed Rabbo, 36. On Saturday, coast guards detained three Palestinian fishermen also held on charges of illegally entering the country’s territorial waters. The fishermen claimed they were having engine trouble and were dragged along by the current, Ma’an’s Egypt correspondent reported. The incident was not the first of its kind. Egyptian authorities have sentenced fishermen who were detained in similar circumstances to one year of probation and a fine of 1,000 Egyptian pounds (150 US dollars) before returning them to the Gaza Strip.

Khan Younis man seriously injured in gas explosion
3/22/2010 – Gaza – Ma’an – A Palestinian man from Khan Younis sustained serious wounds when a gas canister exploded in his home on Sunday night, medics said. Officials at the Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis identified the victim as 50-year-old Atif Abu Hatab, who had his leg amputated and a series of burn treatments for third degree burns. Three other Khan Younis residents sustained burns in two separate accidents in last week. The accident is the latest in a string of energy-related malfunctions, with at least 10 dead and dozens more injured since January, when extensive blackouts hit the area. Cold weather and improperly stored generators resulted in more than half of the deaths, while poor-quality gas smuggled in from Egypt is believed to be behind the explosion of several gas tanks.

Israel opens 2 Gaza crossings
3/22/2010 – Gaza – Ma’an – The Kerem Shalom and the Karni crossings were partially opened on Monday, with limited amounts of aid and agricultural goods set to enter, Palestinian officials said. Crossings liaison representative Raed Fattouh said 93 truckloads of humanitarian aid and commercial goods, as well as limited quantities of domestic gas and industrial diesel were expected to enter via the Kerem Shalom crossing in the south. The limited fuel shipments have left Gaza in an energy crisis, with the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs noting that despite a small increase in the amount of cooking gas permitted into Gaza, (890 tonnes last week, compared to 843 tonnes the week before), the total amount “constitutes only 64 percent of the weekly needs of gas,” and”as a result, the cooking gas rationing scheme introduced in November 2009 remains in place.

Hamas: Israel prompting Gaza violence
3/22/2010 – Gaza – Ma’an – Multiple Israeli airstrikes on Gaza seek to disturb the peace and prompt a response in order to defer attention from Jerusalem, senior Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahhar said on Sunday. Addressing a commemoration ceremony for Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmad Yassin, assassinated six years earlier by Israeli forces, Zahhar hinted that recent projectile launches were “conspiracies plotted by some collaborators,” providing excuses for Israel to strike Gaza. ” We respect resistance regardless of which factions are adopting it. Palestine belongs to all including us,” Zahhar said, but reiterated his cation that Hamas “warns of some conspiracies plotted by collaborators. ” According to an Israeli military spokesman, 35 homemade projectiles were launched from the Gaza Strip toward Israel since the end of the country’s Operation Cast Lead in 2009.

Erekat: Israel prefers belligerency over peace
3/22/2010 – Bethlehem – Ma’an – Chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat condemned on Monday the killing of Palestinian civilians and the continuation of Israeli settlements in occupied East Jerusalem. Erekat said Israel’s decision to defy international calls for a settlement freeze in occupied East Jerusalem would prove fatal for the two-state solution, a statement read. “Faced with mounting pressure over illegal settlements, Israel is again resorting to deadly violence against Palestinians in a deliberate move to further incite and inflame tensions on the ground. Its actions are not only morally reprehensible, but highlight just how out of step Israel is with international efforts to get the peace process back on track,” he said. On Saturday, Israeli forces shot dead 16-year-old Muhammad Qadus, and 19-year-old Ousayab Qadous. Their deaths were closely followed by the killing of Mohammed Quarek and Salah Quarek yesterday.

PA cabinet: No return to violence
3/22/2010 – Ramallah – Ma’an – During its weekly cabinet meeting on Monday, the caretaker government in Ramallah condemned the killing of four Palestinians in Nablus in less than 24 hours by Israel forces. The cabinet also condemned Israeli military strikes on the Gaza Strip. Ministers warned that Israel’s recent escalation in military violence endangered the Palestinian Authority’s achievements in the fields of security and stability, and called on international entities to exert pressure on Israel to bring all such actions to a halt, as they coincide with the International Quartet’s demand for Israel to stop all settlement activity. The cabinet said the PA would not allow for a return to violence, adding that the international community’s assistance is essential in ensuring that an armed conflict does not erupt. This, stated ministers, comes through practical steps to bind Israel to halting intensified military action and settlement activity.

Fayyad: EU can contribute to defining peace process
3/22/2010 – Ramallah – Ma’an – Ramallah-based Prime Minister Salam Fayyad met with German minister Jens Bohrnsen on Monday in Ramallah, where they discussed EU’s stance on the occupied Palestinian territories. The premier told Bohrnsen that the Palestinian Authority appreciated the EU’s stance on the occupied Palestinian territories detailed in a December 2009 statement, which Fayyad said could contribute to forming a clear and consistent international position and a reference for the peace process. The December statement declared all Israeli settlements on Palestinian land occupied in 1967 illegal, as well as all efforts undertaken by Israel to incorporate East Jerusalem, also occupied in 1967. Fayyad reiterated the PA’s condemnation of the killing of four Palestinians in Nablus, which, he said, threatened the PA’s feats in security.

Children’s Village Graduates Association holds first meeting
3/23/2010 – Bethlehem – Ma’an – The SOS Children’s Village Graduates Association (CVGA) held its inaugural meeting on Sunday in Bethlehem, the West Bank, following an election for a new board of trustees. The SOS Children’s Village provides long-term care for children in need, supporting over 100 children in a family-based setting and providing youth homes and semi-independent housing facilities for the SOS children as they age. The Graduates Association continues the support-structure provided by the organization, and allows graduates to support their young colleagues. Under the patronage and the supervision of representatives from the Interior and Social Welfare Ministries, and in the presence of the SOS- National Director Palestine and honorable guests, CVGA held its first meeting of the year, discussing the means of reducing financial output, a statement read. Related:SOS Children’s Village Graduates – Palestine

PA employees asked to encourage family to vote
3/22/2010 – Tulkarem – Ma’an – Employees of the Palestinian Authority, particularly members of the security forces, were called on Monday to encourage their relatives to vote in the July municipal elections. The call was put forward by PA political advisor Adnan Ad-Dmeiri, where he spoke in Tulkarem of the role of the Palestinian Security Services, which he said aim to protect the law, constitution, Palestinian people, and independent decision-making. Tulkarem governor Talal Dweikat echoed the sentiments. Ad-Dmeiri took a defensive stance against what he called “slander campaigns” launched by Israel and Hamas against the PA, defending the Ramallah-government program. “Security brings about a good economy, good education and stability,” he said. In an event billed as an elections discussion panel, Ad-Dmeiri spoke about what he called Israeli attempts to arouse chaos through settlement activities and. . .

PA police launch campaign against illegal cars in Jericho
3/22/2010 – Jericho – Ma’an – Palestinian Authority police launched a clamp-down campaign on illegal cars in the West Bank city of Jericho on Monday, targeting in particular buses used by Palestinian workers. Police in the city began the campaign at 7:00am across Jericho, checking all cars and owners for the appropriate licensing permits, a police report said. The clamp-down was launched because of the high number of car accidents in the city caused by stolen or unlicensed vehicles and drivers, police wrote. Jericho chief of police, Mahmoud Salah Ad-Din, said the campaign was undertaken to ensure citizen safety. [end]

Hamas condemns sentencing of affiliates in West Bank court
3/22/2010 – Bethlehem – Ma’an – Hamas members of the Palestinian Legislative Council in Ramallah condemned on Monday a military court sentence handed down to four of its affiliates detained in a Palestinian Authority intelligence services prison. According to the Hamas lawmakers, the Palestinian Supreme Court had called for the release of the four detained affiliates, identified as Muhammad Judeh Abu Shalbak, Ahmad Sh’aban Abu Kuwek, Khalid Jamil As-Seraj and Saif Al-Qadi. “The continued security services operations and the issuance of sentences in military courts confirms that the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah does not want to reach a solution and end internal division,” a statement issued by the Hamas deputies said. The statement described the sentences as “unfair, based on false pretenses and trumped-up charges. “The arrests are a policy of “resistance suppression” in the West Bank and an encroachment on freedom, they wrote.

Fatah, Hamas leaders hold talks in Gaza and Damascus
3/22/2010 – Bethlehem – Ma’an – Meetings were held between rival factions Fatah and Hamas on Monday in Gaza and Damascus in order to reach a unity deal, a Fatah Central Committee member said. Speaking on Ma’an Radio Network, Azam Al-Ahmad said he met with Musa Abu Marzouq, Hamas vice-chairman, in his Damascus home, where they discussed all issues concerning bilateral dialogue and Hamas’ recent stance on national reconciliation. The aim of the talks, Al-Ahmad said, were to compel Hamas to sign the Egyptian-sponsored document, tipped to end inter-factional rivalry. The Damascus talks, he said, led to an agreement to continue bilateral talks between the two parties and further consultation on the unity deal. Abu Marzouq put forward a proposal to overcome the stalemate reached in ratifying the deal, Al-Ahmad said, but was not at liberty to discuss it.

West Bank clocks to change on same day as Israel
3/22/2010 – Bethlehem – Ma’an – The Palestinian Authority announced that Summer Time will begin at midnight on Thursday, as decided during a meeting of the government cabinet. At midnight on 26 March, clocks in the West Bank will be set one hour forward, corresponding to the time change schedule announced by Israel last week. The event marked the first time since daylight savings time was adopted in the region that the governments of Israel and Palestine mandated the time change on the same day. On Thursday, Israel’s Ministry of the Interior announced 26 March as the day Summer Time will set clocks forward. The Gaza government has yet to make an announcement on the issue. In 2009, the Palestinian Authority announced on Monday 23 March that summer time would go into effect at midnight on the 26th, the last Thursday of the month. In Gaza, clocks changed on 27 March 2009.

Ha’aretz Defense page

Egypt frees Israeli journalist who tried infiltrating border
Ha’aretz 21 Mar 2010 – Yotam Feldman, who also works for Haaretz, was preparing a piece on illegal immigration for Ch. 10.

Gaza rocket fired at south Israel, days after deadly strike
Ha’aretz 21 Mar 2010 – No casualties or damages reported; four rockets fired over weekend, 12 over course of last week.

West Bank businessman eyes creation of new city – if Israel agrees
Ha’aretz 21 Mar 2010 – Town will cut West Bank unemployment by 10 per cent, Palestinian developers say.

Palestinians can use route 443, but Israel will seize Palestinian land to ‘secure’ it
Ha’aretz 21 Mar 2010 – Route 443, connecting Modi’in to Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, supposed to open to Palestinians in 10 weeks.

Israeli troops shoot dead Palestinian boy in West Bank
Ha’aretz 21 Mar 2010 – Sixteen-year-old killed by IDF rifle fire during violent protest outside Nablus, medics say.

IDF soldier released by Jordanian army after crossing border
Ha’aretz 21 Mar 2010 – Israel retaliates after pro-al-Qaida militants fire five Qassam rockets in 24 hours, killing a Thai worker.

At least 14 wounded in IAF missile strike on Gaza
Ha’aretz 21 Mar 2010 – Israel retaliates after pro-al-Qaida militants fire five Qassam rockets in 24 hours, killing a Thai worker.

Gaza rocket strikes south Israel for fifth time in 24 hours
Ha’aretz 21 Mar 2010 – IAF aircraft attack at least six locations in Gaza, including smuggling tunnels, in response to deadly rocket.

‘Israel will defend itself from Gaza rockets, regardless of Goldstone’
Ha’aretz 21 Mar 2010 – IAF strikes six targets in Gaza in response to Qassam rocket attack that killed a man Thursday.

Hezbollah official: Israel strike on Iran could ignite Mideast
Ha’aretz 21 Mar 2010 – Group’s deputy chief says anyone who attacked Iran would pay the price, whether Israel or the U.S.

IDF troops assaulted after wandering into Hebron’s Arab area
Ha’aretz 21 Mar 2010 – 3 soldiers wounded after losing their way in Hebron during physical training exercise.

Lebanon arrests Saudi national for alleged Mossad links
Ha’aretz 21 Mar 2010 – Man was reportedly communicating with an IDF patrol when he was arrested Lebanon security forces.

IDF vs. democracy and freedom of speech
Ha’aretz 21 Mar 2010 – The decision to declare two Palestinian villages a closed military zone on is anti-democratic.

The IDF’s spending list: Useless planes and broken English
Ha’aretz 21 Mar 2010 – Israel is buying new planes capable of bombing Iran – to be delivered three years too late.

Jordan’s Abdullah: Israel trying to rid Jerusalem of Arabs
Ha’aretz 21 Mar 2010 – Comment comes as Israel opens Temple Mount after a day of fierce clashes with rioting Palestinians.

Shalit’s father to address UN council on son’s release
Ha’aretz 21 Mar 2010 – Noam Shalit to demand the execution of the Goldstone Gaza report which calls for his son’s release.

Report: U.S. positioning ‘bunker-busters’ for possible Iran strike
Ha’aretz 21 Mar 2010 – Sunday Herald: 387 ‘Blu’ bombs are being shipped to U.S. military base on Diego Garcia in Indian Ocean.

Egypt may try Israeli journalist for sneaking across border
Ha’aretz 21 Mar 2010 – Yotam Feldman, who also reports for Haaretz, was working on piece for Ch. 10 about illegal immigration.

Misc

US Lawmakers Stand Up Against Obama for Israel
3/20/2010 – Information Clearing House – March 20. 2010 “IsraelNN” Mar. 18, 2010 — U. S. Congressional lawmakers have flooded the White House and the media with letters and news releases complaining about the Obama administration’s unprecedented scolding of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. This, following an Israeli announcement last week that a routine housing project was proceeding apace in eastern Jerusalem. Politicians from across the political spectrum called on President Barack Obama and his aides to tone down their attacks on Israel and start using a more even-handed approach when dealing with the Palestinian Authority. Many pointed out the lopsided double standard used by U. S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vice President Joseph Biden in harshly condemning Israel’s routine announcement of a zoning approval for new housing in the Ramat Shlomo neighborhood in northwestern (mistakenly called east by most of the media) Jerusalem ‚Äì a three-year-old project.

Report: Current Knesset most racist of all time
3/21/2010 – YNetNews – Much beyond loyalty bill and Nakba Law, annual racism report issued by Mossawa Center states 21 bills deemed ‘discriminatory and racist’ laid on legislature’s table in 2009, a 75% increase since previous year — The current Knesset is the most racist Knesset since the establishment of the State, according to the Mossawa Center’s annual report on racism published Sunday. The report, published in honor of International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination being marked Sunday, reveals a 75% increase in discriminatory and racist bills submitted to the Knesset in the past year. According to the report, 11 bills deemed “discriminatory and racist” were placed on the legislature’s table in 2007, while 12 such bills were initiated in 2008. However, in 2009 a full 21 problematic bills were discussed in the Knesset. The Mossawa Center asserted that this is a worrisome trend and estimate. . . . Related:Poll: 46% of high-schoolers don’t want equality for Arabs

UN chief Ban Ki-moon demands Israel settlements halt
3/21/2010 – BBC Online – UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has said Israeli settlement building anywhere in occupied territory is illegal and must stop. Mr Ban is in the Middle East to meet Israeli and Palestinian leaders and press them to resume peace talks. Israel’s controversial announcement of plans to build 1,600 more homes in East Jerusalem has inflamed tensions in the region and between Israel and the US. The Palestinian leadership has said the plan is an obstacle to resuming talks. Mr Ban’s statement comes a day after he made a similar call, speaking for the international Quartet of Middle East peace mediators – the UN, Russia, the EU and the US. Meanwhile violence in the West Bank continued, with a Palestinian teenager shot dead and another badly hurt in clashes with Israeli troops near the city of Nablus, Palestinian medical officials said.

In Middle East, Ban hails ‘heroism and quite courage’ of Gazans
3/21/2010 – United Nations: International Law – 21 March 2010 ‚Äì Visiting Gaza today, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed his solidarity with the people of the area, just over one year after the end of the deadly conflict. ‚”Every day they show heroism and quiet courage and this is an inspiration,” Mr. Ban said while visiting the Khan Younis section of Gaza. The people of the area, he said, ‚”are striving to provide for their families amid unacceptable, unsustainable conditions. “For nearly three years, the United Nations’ housing project in Khan Younis has been stalled, but the Israeli Government recently approved the world body’s request to continue work on the humanitarian project and erect 150 housing units. Also set to be built are a flour mill and sewage treatment plant, while classes for schools and aluminum for windows will also be brought into the area.

US Vice President Joseph Biden First Visiting Foreign Dignitary to Lay Wreath at Tomb of Theodor Herzl
3/11/2010 – Jewish Agency – March 11 – US Vice President Joe Biden was the first visiting foreign dignitary to lay a wreath at the tomb of Theodor Herzl on Mt. Herzl in Jerusalem within the framework of activities to mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of Herzl. – US Vice President Joe Biden was the first visiting foreign dignitary to lay a wreath at the tomb of Theodor Herzl on Mt. Herzl in Jerusalem within the framework of activities to mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of Herzl. Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, visited Mt. Herzl on Tuesday March 9, 2010. They were accompanied by World Zionist Organization Executive member Adv. Hagai Meirom and Director of the Mount Herzl site Jacob Gispan. The World Zionist Organization is responsible for the maintenance and development of Mt. Herzl and operates the adjacent Herzl Museum and educational center.

Syrian murder, Israeli planes not linked: official
3/21/2010 – Yahoo! News – BUDAPEST (Reuters) – Two Israeli airforce planes that made a low-level pass over Budapest this week had nothing to do with the killing of a Syrian man in the Hungarian capital on the same day, Hungarian officials said on Friday. Denying speculation that the planes were part of an undercover mission, Hungarian government spokesman Domokos Szollar said the overflight was “routine” training that was cleared in advance with Hungary by the Israelis. Hungarian police said they saw no link between the planes and the shooting of the Syrian man, and their investigation of his murder was confined to Hungary. ” The Israeli airforce conducted a training operation at Ferihegy airport the day before yesterday, but it was not spying or reconnaissance, merely a routine pilot maneuver, the so called touch-and-go,” Szollar said. However, a breakdown in internal communications meant the Hungarian defense. . . .

Muslim philanthropists gather at UN-backed event to discuss hunger, development
3/21/2010 РUnited Nations: International Law Р21 March 2010 – Muslim philanthropists, along with Government and business leaders from around the world, are gathering in Doha, Qatar, to discuss hunger, development and technology at a United Nations-backed gathering which kicked off today. The third annual World Congress of Muslim Philanthropists, held in conjunction with the UN Office for Partnerships (UNOP), will focus over two days on how to make the most of philanthropic, public and private sector efforts to address poverty, disease and other worsening problems, most notably violence. The achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – eight anti-poverty targets agreed upon by world leaders with a 2015 deadline – will also be discussed at the Doha meeting. Last week, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon issued a report, entitled Keeping the Promise, in which he unveiled a new action plan aimed at getting governments, civil society. . . .

Artist of the Month: Remi Kanazi
3/21/2010 – This Week in Palestine – By Sophie DeWitt – Seven months pregnant, Remi Kanazi’s grandmother was forced to flee her home in Jaffa in 1948. Himself a refugee since birth, Kanazi was born in Western Massachusetts in 1981 and grew up in the United States, disconnected from his Palestinian identity. When he moved to New York four months before September 11, he had already begun to rethink his place in the world. That event, as was the case with so many Arab Americans, helped shape his future path. Kanazi found himself overwhelmed with anger and frustration, which sent him on a reading frenzy – learning all he could about the Middle East, especially Palestine. Recalling stories from his grandparents and parents, Kanazi began to reformulate and articulate his own views on Palestine. Then came the first transformational encounter he had as an emerging artist: seeing Def Poetry Jam on Broadway, featuring Palestinian American poet Suheir Hammad.

Poll: 46% of high-schoolers don’t want equality for Arabs
3/11/2010 – YNetNews – March 11 – Some 81% of religious students said they would refuse to evacuate settlements, versus 36% of secular counterparts. Every second student is opposed to granting right to vote to Arabs, and 32% don’t want Arab friends – Racism and refusal to evacuate alongside support for a democratic system of government ‚Äì these are the jumbled sentiment of Israel’s high school students, according to a recent poll. They support a democratic form of government, but more than half of them believe that Arabs should not be allowed to vote in Knesset elections. One out of every six students would not want to study in the same class with an Ethiopian or an immigrant from the former Soviet Union, and 21% of them think that “Death to Arabs” is a legitimate expression. Nearly every second student would refuse orders to evacuate settlements. Related:Report: Current Knesset most racist of all time

Uruknet

Israel: Arab family denied right to rent home
Uruknet March 21, 2010 – The Zakai and Tarabin families should be a picture of happy coexistence across the ethnic divide, a model for others to emulate in Israel. But Natalie and Weisman Zakai say the past three years ‚Äì since the Jewish couple offered to rent their home to Bedouin friends, Ahmed and Khalas Tarabin ‚Äì have been a living…

I will mourn on Nakba Day
Uruknet March 20, 2010 – The “Nakba law” passed in a first reading last Tuesday. The law forbids mourning the Nakba on Israel’s Independence Day […] I will mourn on Nakba Day. I will mourn for vanished Palestine most of which I never knew. I will mourn for the holy land that is losing its humanity, its landscape, its beauty and its…

Why violence against Palestinian women is widespread
Uruknet March 20, 2010 – …”The levels of violence against women in the Gaza Strip are higher than they were in previous years, and compared to other countries the rates are certainly higher,” Huda Hamouda, director of PWIC, said. “Women are exposed to hardships in every sphere, be it financial, social, political or lack of security.” She said widespread unemployment was…

NATO: AFRICOM’s Partner In Military Penetration Of Africa
Uruknet March 20, 2010 – …NATO’s largest, most powerful and dominant member is of course the United States. On October 1, 2007 the Pentagon established United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) under the temporary wing of United States European Command, which at the time included in its area of responsibility all of Africa except for four island nations in the Indian Ocean…

THE GAZA MUSIC SCHOOL
Uruknet March 20, 2010 – On Tuesday 23 December 2008, in the theater of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society in Tal El-Hawa, in Gaza City, was given a concert to mark the first three months of teaching at the Gaza Music School. We listened to an orchestra, solo performances of mature musicians, as well as little girls and boys who tried…

Harper Government Obstructs Visit of Respected Palestinian Leader
Uruknet March 20, 2010 – The Harper government has obstructed the issuance of a visa to Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, resulting in the cancellation of Dr. Barghouti’s upcoming speaking tour in Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa. Dr. Barghouti applied for a visa on March 5th, for entry into Canada on March 19th, yet despite the urgency of the issue being brought directly to…

Latest Iran Video and Transcript: Obama’s Nowruz Message (20 March)
Uruknet March 20, 2010 – President Obama reiterated his offer of dialogue with Tehran in a message on Saturday to mark the beginning of the Iranian new year…Obama said though Iran has “chosen to isolate itself, ” he is open to dialogue. “That is why, even as we continue to have differences with the Iranian government, we will sustain our commitment to…

Synagogue Bomb Suspects: The Feds Put Us Up to It!
Uruknet March 20, 2010 – Defense attorneys say an alleged plot to bomb New York synagogues was hatched and directed by a federal informant. Lawyers for four men from Newburgh have filed a motion to dismiss the terror indictment against them. They said the informant badgered the defendants until they got involved in the plot. They said the informant chose the…

Is third intifada a stone’s throw away?
Uruknet March 20, 2010 – There’s a little ritual that has played out at a junction in Bir Nabala, a village just north of Jerusalem, on most recent Fridays after the noon prayers. It starts with burning tyres, three this Friday, placed in the middle of a junction where the main road through the village branches into two and another road…

Gaza: art for art’s sake
Uruknet March 20, 2010 – …On Monday, March 15, a group of artists opened their exhibition “Gaza’rt”, saying it comes “at a time when we suffer from political and security deterioration and fading of future horizons,” writes Mohamed al Hawajri, one of the founding artists. The artists, Eltiqa group, was founded 2002, their goal “art for art’s sake”. Their main headquarters…

Ugent. Update 5 : Hiba Al-Shamaree, Iraqi Female Blogger
Uruknet March 20, 2010 – Following my update no.4 of 27th February on Hiba Al-Shamaree, aka Dr.Hanan Al-Mashdani, I mentioned that she was to be presented to the Iraqi courts on terrorism charges because of an anti-dual US/Iran occupation blog ! I just learned now that Hiba Al-Shamaree, this 33 year old Doctor has been sentenced to 3 years of imprisonment by…

ISM volunteer shot, hospitalized; ISM co-founder arrested
Uruknet March 20, 2010 – Friday’s demonstration in An Nabi Saleh saw an increase in violence and collective punishment from the Israeli military, as twenty-five demonstrators were injured, windows of cars and homes were intentionally shattered, and three were arrested. ISM volunteer Ellen Stark was shot at point blank range (4 meters) with a rubber bullet as she stood with medics,…

Palestine Telegraph

Award-winning Rafah journalist denied permission to enter US
Chicago, IL, March 22, 2010 (Pal Telegraph) ‚Äî Effectively canceling a planned speaking tour, the U.S. consulate in the Netherlands has put an extended hold on the visa application of award-winning Palestinian journalist and photographer Mohammed Omer, scheduled to speak on conditions in Palestine, on April 5 in Chicago. In 2008, *Omer became the youngest recipient of the prestigious Martha…

IOF soldiers kill 2 Palestinians in Nablus
Nablus, March 21, 2010 (Pal Telegraph) – Israel occupation forces soldiers killed two Palestinians approaching a checkpoint near Hawara checkpoint, near Nablus. Israeli sources claimed that the two Palestinians intended to kill solders with pitchforks. The IOF claimed that the two had the intention and means to harm the soldiers, who shot them to death. The Israeli occupation army is…

Israel and US ‘make up,’ both declaring victory
Jerusalem, March 21, 2010 (Pal Telegraph; reprinted from The New York Times, by Ethan Bronner) ‚Äî (Editor’s note: This article makes clear that the perception in Israel — and perhaps the United States — seems to be that further expansion of settlements can go on “under the table,” as long as peace talks are taking place.) After 10 days of…

Israeli shilling hits Gaza
Gaza, March 21, 2010 (Pal Telegraph) – Israeli tanks stationed at the Gaza-Israel border launched several artillery shells this morning on citizens’ houses without causing any injuries, Palestinian sources said. The targeted group of Palestinian survived the Israeli raid this morning east of Qarara and north of Khan Yunis, in southern Gaza. Palestinian sources said that no casualties were reported,…

Yemen issues Gaza stamps
Yemen, March 21 (Pal Telegraph, by Anwar Al-Shoaybi) – Yemen’s Post and Postal Saving Authority released new types of postal stamps and cards featuring the dire humanitarian conditions experienced by Palestinians in Gaza due to the hermetic Israeli blockade of the Strip, a Yemeni official disclosed.Jameel Al-Dawla of the Ministry of Telecommunications and Information Technology told the PT on Thursday…

The National

UN chief: I stand with the people of Gaza’
The National 21 Mar 2010 – Ban Ki-moon expresses solidarity with Palestinians and voices opposition to Israeli policies.

Tehran told to end satellite jamming
The National 21 Mar 2010 – European nations want Iran to stop blocking foreign the Farsi-language channels of major international broadcasters and censoring the internet.

Israeli troops kill two Palestinians in West Bank
The National 21 Mar 2010 – The fatalities brings the number of Palestinians killed to four in the last two days, ahead of a meeting between a US peace envoy and Benjamin Netanyahu.

Palestine Note

AIPAC: The ‘nonexistent’ lobby brings 7,000 to DC
Palestine Note 21 Mar 2010 – The 2007 Walt-Mearsheimer book, The Israeli Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy , raised public awareness of the highly influential American grassroots advocacy network that effectively employed literally hundreds of thousands of local volunteers and focused its campaigns…

Ignatius: Time to state negotiations principles
Palestine Note 21 Mar 2010 – The current crisis in US-Israel relations regarding construction in East Jerusalem is an opportunity for the Obama administration to assert its vision for a final-status resolution to the question of Jerusalem, and perhaps for all the…

UPDATE: Jeff Goldberg on AIPAC & dissent & Bibi losing bigtime PLUS video
Palestine Note 21 Mar 2010 – UPDATE: The AIPAC conference will be a joy to watch this year. Here is Jeff Goldberg on the Soviet-like lack of openness at AIPAC. And here is a video of what they do when someone asks…

UN chief calls Gaza conditions ‘unacceptable’
Palestine Note 21 Mar 2010 – UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon’s visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories took him to Gaza Sunday, BBC reports. The UN chief says the blockade causes “unacceptable suffering,” and says he stands with Gaza on the…

Small earthquake hits northern Israel
Palestine Note 21 Mar 2010 – A minor earthquake (3.0 on the Richter scale) shook northern Israel late Saturday night, Haaretz reports. No damage has been reported. Chilean earthquake damage, March Israel and the surrounding region suffered more serious earthquakes in 2008…

Israeli soldiers kill farmers near Nablus
Palestine Note 21 Mar 2010 – Israeli soldiers shot two Palestinian farmers near Nablus Sunday, Ma’an News Agency reports. Palestinian security identifies the victims as 19-year old farms Muhammad Faysal and Salah Muhammad Qawariq. From Awarta village southwest of Nablus, the two…

The Media Line

Rights Groups: Hamas Liable for Rocket Attacks
The Media Line 20 Mar 2010 – International human rights groups criticize Hamas over continuing Gaza rocket attacks on civilians in Israel. Hamas authorities in Gaza have the responsibility to stop indiscriminate rocket attacks into Israel, international human rights groups said over the…

UN’s Ban Ki-Moon Pledges Continued Support for Gazans
The Media Line 20 Mar 2010 – Visiting the Gaza Strip, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said he was “distressed” by the rubble from last year’s 22-day Israeli offensive and pledged Palestinians that the UN would “stand with you.” Ban’s visit to Israel…

Netanyahu Heads to Washington – Meeting with Obama
The Media Line 20 Mar 2010 – Hours before he took off for Washington, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu declared that major issues such as Jerusalem, refugees, settlements and borders were all on the table for negotiations with the Palestinians. The clarification came…

Aljazeera

Obama sends Iran internet message
AlJazeera 20 Mar 2010 – US president accuses Tehran of ignoring his overtures and vows to ensure online freedom.

Iran’s enemies ‘planned civil war’
AlJazeera 21 Mar 2010 – Iran’s supreme leader says US and Israel were behind post-election violence.

Israeli PM defiant before US trip
AlJazeera 21 Mar 2010 – Netanyahu says he will not stop building in East Jerusalem as UN chief visits Gaza.

Two Palestinians shot dead
AlJazeera 21 Mar 2010 – Israeli army says the men tried to stab a soldier at a checkpoint in occupied West Bank.

Alternative Information Center

Why Protest Building a Synagogue?
Alternative Information Center – Thursday, 18 March 2010, The Hurva synagogue was destroyed in the 1948 war by the Jordanian army. Before 1948, synagogues were used by Zionist underground forces for illicit activities including hording weapons.* But why is there…

Upcoming AIC Publication: Social Chaos: A Critical Perspective on the Israeli Educational System
Alternative Information Center – Wednesday, 17 March 2010, In April the Alternative Information Center (AIC) will release a new publication entitled Social Chaos: A Critical Perspective on the Israeli Educational System. Social Chaos is a compilation of articles written by…

It is Time to Hear the Palestinian People
Alternative Information Center – Tuesday, 16 March 2010, Israel’s dangerous and arrogant escalation in settlement building, house demolitions and evictions of Palestinian families in East Jerusalem indicates that the government of Netanyahu-Lieberman’s is pushing for overt clash and conflict‚Äì and…

Palestine News Network

Some Palestinian Jordanians Lose Citizenship
PNN – Saturday, 20 March 2010

US Citizen Shot and Injured Near Ramallah
PNN – Saturday, 20 March 2010

12 Injured In Israeli Airstrikes In Gaza
PNN – Saturday, 20 March 2010

UNHCR in Syria Closes Al-Tanf Refugee Camp
PNN – Saturday, 20 March 2010

Jerusalem Post

Jerusalem police say calm is returning to the capital
Jeruslalem Post 21 Mar 2010 – Flare-ups of violence continue, however, and extra security deployment remains in place.

Immune system ‘neutralized’ to accept incompatible kidney
Jeruslalem Post 21 Mar 2010 – For the first time in Israel, a man with one type of blood has donated his kidney to his daughter despite her incompatible blood type.

Analysis: Is there a humanitarian crisis in Gaza?
Jeruslalem Post 21 Mar 2010 – OCHA and other organizations warn that even if there is no starvation in Gaza, other aspects of life are in grave crisis.

AIPAC hopes event may mend strained ties
Jeruslalem Post 21 Mar 2010 – Lobby hoping Clinton finds venue welcoming enough to ‘reset’ ties with Israel.

PM’s DC speech to be ‘important’
Jeruslalem Post 21 Mar 2010 – Ahead of Obama talks, Netanyahu says gov’t policy on Jerusalem unchanged.

IDF kills 2 attackers in W. Bank
Jeruslalem Post 21 Mar 2010 – Assailants shot after trying to stab soldiers securing Palestinian farmers.

Khamenei cold to Obama overture
Jeruslalem Post 21 Mar 2010 – Iran’s supreme leader accuses US of plotting to overthrow clerical regime.

Obama invites PM to DC meeting
Jeruslalem Post 21 Mar 2010 – In J’lem, Mitchell conveys US president’s White House invitation to Netanyahu.

IDF kills 2 terrorists in Samaria
Jeruslalem Post 21 Mar 2010 – Assailants shot after trying to stab soldiers securing Palestinian farmers near Itamar.

WAFA – Palestine News Agency

Abu Rdeina Condemns Israeli Military Escalation
WAFA 21 Mar 2010 – RAMALLAH, March 21, 2010 (WAFA)- Presidency Spokesperson Nabil Abu Rdeina condemned Sunday that the Israeli military escalation and killing four Palestinian in the West Bank in 24

Water Purchased from Israel for Domestic Use in 2009 was 47.4 Million m3, PCBS Says
WAFA 21 Mar 2010 – RAMALLAH, March 21,2010 (WAFA)- The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) said in a press release on the occasion of World Water Day, March 22, that the quantity of Water Purchased From the

Current Knesset is Most Racist in Israeli History, Report Says
WAFA 21 Mar 2010 – TEL AVIV, March 21, 2010 (WAFA)-The current Knesset is the most racist Israeli parliament since the country’s founding, according to a report released Sunday by civil rights groups. daily Haaretz

PCAWS Calls on Ki-moon to Support Use of Non-violent Methods
WAFA 21 Mar 2010 – RAMALLAH, March 20, 2010 (WAFA)- The Popular Committees against the Wall and Settlements (PCAWS) Occupied Palestinian Territory called on UN Secretary General Mr. Ban Ki-moon, to adopt a clear stance

Ban in Ramallah: Settlements Illegal
WAFA 21 Mar 2010 – RAMALLAH, March 20, 2010 (WAFA)- UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Saturday Israeli settlement building anywhere on occupied land is illegal and must be stopped. Ban, who me Prime Minster Salam

UN Committee Concerned by Israel’s Ongoing Policy of Occupation, Settlement Expansion in East Jerusalem
WAFA 21 Mar 2010 – NEW YORK, March 20, 2010 (WAFA)-The Bureau of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, said Friday in a statement, it is gravely concerned about Israel’s

IOF Kills Teenager in Nablus
WAFA 21 Mar 2010 – NABLUS, March 20, 2010 (WAFA)- A teenager was killed and another gravely wounded as Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) opened Saturday afternoon fire at them in the West Bank village of Iraq Burin south

Diliani: Adhering to Non-violence Reveals Violent Nature of Israel
WAFA 21 Mar 2010 – JERUSALEM, March 20, 2010 (WAFA)- Fateh’s Revolutionary Council Member Dimitri Diliani, said today that the Palestinian people will adhere to non-violent resistance to further reveal the

Inter Press Service

MIDEAST: ‘Day of Rage’ Engulfs Palestine
IPS QALANDIA, West Bank, Mar 17 (IPS) – On Tuesday tens of hundreds of Palestinians of all political persuasions took to the streets, alleys and sidewalks as widespread rioting and protests spread across East Jerusalem, the West Bank, Gaza and into Israel proper.

WORLD CUP: But South Africa Will Win
IPS JERUSALEM, Mar 17 (IPS) – Less than a hundred days to go, and the world looks on, often more with scepticism than anticipation.

Palestinian Center for Human Rights

Cafeteria Burnt in al-Maghazi and Bombs Detonated in Police Officer’s Car in Rafah
PCHR 20 Mar 2010 – Field Update On Sunday morning, 21 March 2010, unknown persons sets fire to a cafeteria in the park of the Municipality of al-Maghazi in the central Gaza Strip. On Thursday, 18 March 2010, a bomb was detonated under a car belonging to a Palestinian police officer in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah…..

International Solidarity Movement

Second youth from Iraq Burin dies overnight
3/21/2010 – International Solidarity Movement – Popular Struggle Coordination Committee – Ussayed Qaddous, 19, who struck in the head with live ammunition and critically injured passed away in the Rafidya hospital in Nablus this morning. Qaddous was shot during a military incursion to his village as the Army attempted to suppress a demonstration. Ussayed Jamal Abd elNasser Qaddous passed away at 4:30am this morning despite doctors’ efforts to save his life. According to eye witnesses Qaddous was shot with live ammunition as soldiers invaded his village after residents demonstrated to protest settler harassment and restrictions of access to their lands. Mohammed Qaddous, 16, was killed in the same incident yesterday, after soldiers shot him in the chest. Despite the Israeli military’s claims that live ammunition was not used during the incident yesterday, the version given by numerous civilian eye witnesses of unjust use of live ammunition is corroborated by medical findings.

Ha’aretz Diplomacy page

Netanyahu visit to Washington aimed at mending U.S. ties
Ha’aretz 21 Mar 2010 – PM, Barak to meet key U.S. officials; Netanyahu refuses to halt E. J’lem building despite U.S. demands.

Report: Jerusalem drops more construction to avoid U.S. tensions
Ha’aretz 21 Mar 2010 – Council cancels discussion on expanding Har Homa, Army Radio reports, due to Netanyahu’s visit to Washington.

In Gaza, UN chief calls Israel siege ‘unsustainable and wrong’
Ha’aretz 21 Mar 2010 – Ban Ki-moon: Israel must end Gaza blockade, Palestinians should work to heal political rift.

Netanyahu and Obama to meet Tuesday in Washington
Ha’aretz 21 Mar 2010 – Mitchell and Barak: Direct talks needed soon; Netanyahu tells U.S. Israeli policy on Jerusalem unchanged.

Ongoing British Airway strike leaves Passover travelers stranded
Ha’aretz 21 Mar 2010 – BA crew are disputing a pay freeze and changes to working conditions; thousands of flights canceled.

Khamenei accuses Obama of trying to overthrow Iran regime
Ha’aretz 21 Mar 2010 – Iran’s supreme leader does not reject U.S. call for dialogue, but says previous overtures were deceptive.

Mauritania formally severs diplomatic ties with Israel
Ha’aretz 21 Mar 2010 – Muslim state expelled Israeli diplomats and closed the embassy last March over Gaza war.

Why this AIPAC conference is different from all other years
Ha’aretz 21 Mar 2010 – Pro-Israel activists hope this week’s conference emerges as a pivotal point back toward warmer ties between America and Israel in the wake of recent tensions.

America’s Mideast woes don’t begin and end with Israel
Ha’aretz 21 Mar 2010 – An Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement won’t placate extremists or draw al-Qaida’s sting.

Experts warn against Israeli plan to use European rabbi for PR
Ha’aretz 21 Mar 2010 – Minister’s bid for European ‘ambassadors’ meets worry of reinforcing image of Jews responsible for Israel’s deeds.

Egypt destroys tunnel under Gaza border in bid to curb smuggling
Ha’aretz 21 Mar 2010 – Egyptian security guards also arrested three Gaza fishermen after they ventured into territorial waters.

Netanyahu, U.S. gave you a second chance. Use it
Ha’aretz 21 Mar 2010 – Obama’s support is vital to preventing Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons; PM must appease the U.S.

Who’s in favor of a Palestinian intifada?
Ha’aretz 21 Mar 2010 – How do you know if someone is a leftist? You ask whether he thinks an intifada is imminent.

Netanyahu did one thing right in the Jerusalem debacle
Ha’aretz 21 Mar 2010 – Unwittingly, the prime minister revealed the lies about Jerusalem and presented things truthfully.

Report: Netanyahu to ask Obama for weapons to strike Iran
Ha’aretz 21 Mar 2010 – Prime minister to use Washington visit to ask ally for bombs that could destroy uranium plants.

The Guardian

Binyamin Netanyahu flies to US for talks with Barack Obama as killings raise tension in West Bank
The Guardian 21 Mar 2010 – Israeli PM still defiant on East Jerusalem settler homes after four Palestinians shot dead in West Bank The Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, will hold talks in Washington on Tuesday with President Barack Obama as tension…

Palestinians shot dead by Israeli troops near Nablus
The Guardian 21 Mar 2010 – Two teenagers killed day after boys, 15 and 17, shot in village Israeli troops shot dead two Palestinians in the occupied West Bank today amid a new descent into violence. The two, who Palestinians claimed were…

Two Palestinians killed by Israeli troops after attack on soldier
The Guardian 21 Mar 2010 – Israeli army says two people were shot dead after they tried to stab a soldier on patrol in the West Bank Israeli troops today shot dead two Palestinians who tried to stab a soldier, the Israeli…

Binyamin Netanyahu holds out olive branch to Palestinians ahead of US trip
The Guardian 20 Mar 2010 – Israeli prime minister bows to US demands and suspends construction of settler homes in east Jerusalem The Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, has bowed to American demands to suspend the construction of settlement homes in east…

JNews: a potential voice for peace | Keith Kahn-Harris
The Guardian 20 Mar 2010 – To win moral authority in the Jewish community, the new website must apply its critical perspective evenly on Israel-Palestine One might think there were already too many writing outlets on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but the newly…

Israeli-Palestinian peace hopes rise as US envoy prepares to get talks moving
The Guardian 20 Mar 2010 – ‚Ä¢ Mitchell’s trip to region back on after concession ‚Ä¢ Blair expects resumption of indirect negotiations The US special envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell, is due to fly to the region on Sunday to…

Ha’aretz National page

Decision to move rocket-resistant Ashkelon ER may be illegal
Ha’aretz 21 Mar 2010 – By a single vote, the cabinet approved Sunday the demand of Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman (United Torah Judaism) to move the planned bomb-proof emergency room of Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon, after ancient burial grounds were discovered in the original site. …

Jerusalem puts two construction plans on hold in wake of U.S. row
Ha’aretz 21 Mar 2010 – Plans to build two new residential neighborhoods for Jews in East Jerusalem were put on hold last week on the instructions of the legal adviser to the Jerusalem municipality, Haaretz has learned. …

Decision to move Ashkelon hospital ER spurs wave of criticism
Ha’aretz 21 Mar 2010 – The director general of Israel’s Health Ministry announced his resignation on Sunday, after the cabinet approved relocating the emergency room at Ashkelon’s main hospital due to the finding of a graveyard beneath the site. …

France’s Luis Fernandez to coach Israel’s national soccer team
Ha’aretz 21 Mar 2010 – Now it’s official: Luis Fernandez is Israel’s new national soccer coach. …

Report: Jerusalem drops more construction to avoid U.S. tensions
Ha’aretz 21 Mar 2010 – The Jerusalem municipality has canceled a meeting scheduled for Monday regarding the expansion of a neighborhood in East Jerusalem, according to Army Radio. …

Relief Web

Palestinians bury West Bank dead in bloody 24 hours
Relief Web 21 Mar 2010 – Source: Reuters – AlertNet

13 Human Rights Organizations Petition the Supreme Court: Israel Should Not Determine Which Parent a Palestinian Child Lives with
Relief Web 20 Mar 2010 – Source: Gisha

Israeli troops kill Palestinian in W.Bank-medics
Relief Web 20 Mar 2010 – Source: Reuters – AlertNet

In Middle East, Ban pledges to help settle all key issues within 24 months
Relief Web 20 Mar 2010 – Source: UN News Service

YNet News

Atias to continue Ramat Shlomo marketing process
YNet News 21 Mar 2010 – Minister of Housing does not intend to stop the construction process at east Jerusalem neighborhood. Marketing to contractors may take place as talks with Palestinians at peak

Netanyahu urged to take tough stance during US visit
YNet News 21 Mar 2010 – Minister Shalom tells Likud convention PM’s trip to Washington crucial because ‘US is our greatest ally,’ but adds that ruling party ‘waved the flag of settlement, in case anyone has forgotten.’ Knesset Speaker Rivlin calls on Netanyahu to tell Obama and Clinton ‘Next Year in Jerusalem’

Egypt releases reporter Yotam Feldman back to Israel
YNet News 21 Mar 2010 – Journalist who was detained by Egypt after trying to cross into Israel with group of African migrants heads home following rigorous efforts on part of Interior Minister Eli Yishai who negotiated with Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman

Qassam hits south of Ashkelon
YNet News 21 Mar 2010 – No injuries or damage reported as rocket fire emanating from Gaza continues. ‘Terror groups taking advantage of PM’s trip to US,’ local council head says

New campaign: Gilad Shalit becoming Ron Arad
YNet News 21 Mar 2010 – (Video) Family of abducted IDF soldier launch campaign ‘No time to waste’ after meeting UN secretary-general. Meeting with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights due this week

Palestinians open fire on IDF force
YNet News 21 Mar 2010 – No injuries among soldiers operating near Adora settlement in South Mount Hebron. Investigation into death of Palestinian teens earlier in the day reveals one of them may have planned to attack Israeli troops with syringe containing unknown substance

West Bank town mourns youths killed by Israel
YNet News 21 Mar 2010 – Iraq Burin residents protest continued settler efforts to take over land. Har Bracha settlers: Urgent to expand as much as possible

Iran says US actions contrary to desire for better ties
YNet News 21 Mar 2010 – Supreme Leader Khamenei says Washington claimed it was willing to normalize relations with Islamic Republic, but ‘in practice they did the opposite’; blasts US for referring to ‘rioters’ in post election protests as ‘civil rights activists’

Mauritania says cuts diplomatic ties with Israel
YNet News 21 Mar 2010 – Islamic African nation stops ‘completely and definitely’ relations with Israel over Gaza war

Stop The Wall

Four Palestinian youth killed in less that 24 hours
Stop The Wall – Today, two 19-year old boys, Muhammad Faysal and Salah Muhammad Qawariq, were shot dead by Israeli military close to their village Awarta, south of Nablus. Nablus district has paid a high price for international recognition of role of popular resistance. [

Second teenager dies from IOF bullets
Stop The Wall – Useid Abed An-Nasser Qadus, 19, who was shot in the head by invading Israeli forces yesterday in Iraq Burin, a West Bank village south of Nablus, succumbed to his wounds. Mohammad Qadus, his cousin, was shot in the chest and died even before reaching the hospital. [

Daily Star

Israel rules out building restrictions in East Jerusalem
Daily Star 21 Mar 2010 OCCUPIED JERUSALEM: Israel will not restrict construction in East Jerusalem, Israel’s prime minister said on Sunday, hours before leaving for Washington, despite a clear demand by the United States that building there must stop and a crisis in relations between the two longtime allies.Benjamin Netanyahu’s hardline statement came just hours before

Berri arrives in Ankara for Arab-Turkish dialogue
Daily Star 21 Mar 2010 BEIRUT: Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri arrived Sunday in Ankara were he was received at the airport by the head of the Joint Parliamentary Lebanese-Turkish Friendship committee Abdel-Rahman Kort and the Lebanese Charge d’Affaires in Turkey Wajib Abdel Samad. Accompanied by a delegation including MPs Ali Hassan Khalil, Nuhad al-Mashmouk.

STL ‘probe’ of Hizbullah members can ‘create strife’
Daily Star 21 Mar 2010 BEIRUT: A UN-backed tribunal set up to probe the killing of former Premier Rafik Hariri could “instigate trouble” after summoning Hizbullah members, a former minister said Saturday. Wi’am Wahhab, leader of the Druze opposition Tawheed Movement and a close Syria ally, claimed investigators from the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) had in the last

Iran’s supreme leader cold to American overture
Daily Star 21 Mar 2010 President Barack Obama told Iranians in an online video message that the US wants more educational and cultural exchanges, and lamented that Tehran’s leaders have “turned their backs” on good faith overtures in the past to expand opportunities for their people.The White House released the video late Friday, timing it, as it did last year, to coincide

Pro-Israel meet airs feared scars in US ties
Daily Star 21 Mar 2010 WASHINGTON: The top pro-Israel lobby opens its annual policy conference here on Sunday keeping up the pressure to defuse a US-Israeli row over the fizzled Middle East peace process and to check Iran’s nuclear ambitions.Evan Bayh, a democratic senator, and Israel’s ambassador to Washington, Michael Oren, will be the keynote

Darfur donors conference looks to raise $2 billion for reconstruction
Daily Star 21 Mar 2010 CAIRO: International donors were urged Sunday to dig deep into their pockets at a conference in Cairo which aims to raise $2 billion for the rebuilding of war-ravaged Darfur. The conference, which was organized by the 57-strong Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and co-chaired by Egypt and Turkey, was also attended by envoys from Britain.

Thousands gather for flashpoint Kurdish event in Turkey
Daily Star 21 Mar 2010 DIYARBAKIR, Turkey: About 50,000 Kurds gathered here Sunday to celebrate Newroz, their new year, as police enforced tight security for the event, often mired in violence and bloodshed.Some 3,000 officers were on duty in Diyarbakir and police helicopters overflew the city, the largest in Turkey’s Kurdish-majority southeast, as revelers poured into the festival venue.

Palestinian Information Center

Either one state for all, or open-ended conflict
PIC 21 Mar 2010 – Some reluctant voices in Washington D.C. have finally admitted that the persistence of the Palestinian plight is undermining American strategic interests in the Muslim world.

IOA to start building 1,600 housing units in OJ next September
PIC 21 Mar 2010 – The Israeli occupation authority is to start building 1,600 new housing units in Ramat Shlomo settlement to the northeast of occupied Jerusalem next September, Hebrew media reported on Sunday.

Egyptian coast guards detain Palestinian fishermen
PIC 21 Mar 2010 – Egyptian coast guards detained three Palestinian fishermen on Saturday night at the pretext they were fishing in Egyptian territorial waters.

Abu Zuhri: Nablus massacre necessitates unleashing resistance
PIC 21 Mar 2010 – Dr. Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas spokesman, said that the Israeli massacre in Nablus that left four Palestinian citizens killed in 24 hours reflected the bloody nature of the occupation.

IOF kill two more Palestinian teenagers
PIC 21 Mar 2010 – IOF troops killed on Sunday afternoon two Palestinian teenagers near the Yitmar settlement to the south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus, as confirmed by Palestinian medical sources.

Abbas’s militias kidnap three Palestinian cadres of Hamas and Hizb Attahrir
PIC 21 Mar 2010 – Mahmoud Abbas’s militias on Sunday kidnapped three Palestinian citizens in the districts of Salfit and Nablus, two of them were affiliated with Hizb Attahrir faction and one with Hamas Movement.

Hamas calls on Ki-moon to take instant decision ending Gaza siege
PIC 21 Mar 2010 – Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum on Sunday called on UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon to take immediate and urgent decision ending the suffocating Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip.

Another Palestinian boy wounded by Israeli gunfire declared dead
PIC 21 Mar 2010 – A 17-year old boy was proclaimed dead on Sunday as a result of injuries he sustained during clashes broke out yesterday between Palestinian young men and armed settlers who attacked their village.

UN official: Israel disrespects international conventions
PIC 21 Mar 2010 – Naseer Hamoud, the regional director of the Doha-based IIMSAM organization, expressed fears of Israeli intention to use the system of the Inquisition courts against the Palestinian people.

Khudari urges Ki-moon to take action to end Gaza siege
PIC 21 Mar 2010 – MP Jamal Al-Khudari called on UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon to take practical steps to get the Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip lifted and end the suffering of its impoverished people.

Los Angeles Times

Israeli military kills Palestinian after fight over West Bank well
LA Times 21 Mar 2010 – A feud over a water well in a village near Nablus spurs an ‘illegal riot,’ Israeli officials say. One boy is killed; another is critically wounded when shot in the head. Israeli forces killed a Palestinian teenager and critically injured another Saturday after a clash between Jewish settlers and Palestinians over a West Bank water well, officials said.

U.S. may end up boosting Israeli premier
LA Times 20 Mar 2010 – Building in Jerusalem has wide support, a benefit for Netanyahu. By drawing a line against expansion of Israeli housing units in Jerusalem, the Obama administration is confronting a policy that enjoys a strong consensus among Israelis: the effort to ensure that the city remains united and under their control.

New York Times

Cairo Journal: Synagogue’s Restoration and Unveiling Expose Conundrum in Egyptian Society
New York Times 21 Mar 2010 – The restoration of a synagogue in Egypt illustrates how the government has tried to satisfy foreign critics and domestic political opinion.

Netanyahu and Obama Will Talk on Tuesday
New York Times 21 Mar 2010 – Amid the intense diplomatic activity aimed at getting the negotiations back on track, more violence flared in the West Bank.

News Analysis: Clash Over Building in Israel Subsides, as Each Side Claims Success
New York Times 21 Mar 2010 – After 10 days of public quarreling over Jewish building in East Jerusalem, the U.S. and Israel move to ensure they aren’t surprised again.

Misc 2

Checkpoints
Palestine Monitor – 17 Dec 2010 – ‚”The right to freedom of movement provides that people are entitled to move freely within the borders of the state, to leave any country and to return to their country.” Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and article 12 of the International Covenant…

Two More Teenagers Killed ‘In Cold Blood’ At Awarta Checkpoint
Palestine Monitor – 21 Mar 2010 – Mohammed and Salah Quriq, both 19, were gunned down this morning at the Awarta checkpoint by Israeli soldiers. Military spokesmen claim the men were attempting to stab a soldier, a claim denied by local sources. A third man, injured at the scene, was taken by Israeli…

Palestinians Must Not Stay On The Sidelines
Palestine Monitor – 21 Mar 2010 – Mustafa Barghouti, a member of the PLO, sees a weakening of the Palestinian Authority over the hobbled peace process and is skeptical that the U.S. will keep the pressure on Israel. Read the interview by Edmund Sanders, first published on LA Times. Mustafa Barghouti while being…

Huh‚Äì ‘New Yorker’ says liberal Jews were right to deplore Gaza war
Mondoweiss – 21 Mar 2010 – I hit the New Yorker for protecting Americans from the dark Israeli reality, well David Remnick does a modified limited hangout of Israel’s bad news in a piece that ends by acknowledging that Israel faces a crisis if a viable Palestinian state is not created. (The…

Zakaria: Palestinians are ‘serfs’
Mondoweiss – 21 Mar 2010 – Fareed Zakaria nails it, in Newsweek : Meanwhile, the central problem persists: Israel rules more than 3 million Palestinians who will never become citizens of Israel and yet do not have their own state. As they multiply, Israel’s status as a democracy becomes more and more complex;…

Plus-ca-change agent Obama to meet Netanyahu
Mondoweiss – 21 Mar 2010 – It’s curious but not surprising that this has been first announced by the JTA and also by Ha’aretz before the NY Times or the Washington Post sent it out. So apparently there has been no change in the White House’s priorities. The big question is what…

Israeli education ministry censors Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Mondoweiss – 21 Mar 2010 – On March 17, the following note appeared on the Promised Land blog : And this also happened this week: the office of the minister of education forbade distributing a booklet for kids about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, because it didn’t like two articles in the…

Nonviolence is met with violence
Mondoweiss – 21 Mar 2010 – This is the news, a little late, from the popular resistance movement to the occupation in Palestine: Friday’s demonstration in An Nabi Saleh saw an increase in violence and collective punishment from the Israeli military, as twenty-five demonstrators were injured, windows of cars and homes were…

World Education Forum in Palestine Launched
Alternative Information Center – 20 Mar 2010 – Tuesday, 16 March 2010, The Palestinian National Committee in charge of the preparations of the World Social Forum on Education hosted a delegation of the International Advisory Committee of the World Social Forum in Ramallah from March 11 -13. Together they launched the organizing process that…

AIC Participates in Moroccan Social Forum for Another World
Alternative Information Center – 20 Mar 2010 – Tuesday, 16 March 2010, Seven hundred people attended the 5th Moroccan Social Forum, held in Bouznika, near Casablanca, from 5-7 March 2010. The Alternative Information Center (AIC) and the Teachers’ Creativity Centre from Palestine joined the meeting; the friendly and helpful atmosphere among the participants,…

Articles


Israel, Obama and the Doomsday Weapon
Uri Avnery, CounterPunch 3/22/2010
The Root Cause
It is already a commonplace to say that people who don’t learn from history are condemned to repeat their mistakes.
Some 1942 years ago, the Jews in the province called Palaestina launched a revolt against the Roman Empire. In retrospect, this looks like an act of madness. Palestine was a small and insignificant part of the world-wide empire which had just won a crushing victory against the rival power – the Parthian Empire (Persia) – and put down a major rebellion in Britain. What chances could the Jewish revolt have?
God knows what was going on in the mind of the ‚”Zealots”. They eliminated the moderate leaders, who warned against provoking the empire, and gained sway over the Jewish population of the country. They relied on God. Perhaps they also relied on the Jews in Rome and believed that their influence over the Senate would restrain the Emperor, Nero. Perhaps they had heard that Nero was weak and about to fall.
We know how it ended: after three years, the rebels were crushed, Jerusalem fell and the temple was burned down. The last of the Zealots committed suicide in Masada.
The Zionists did indeed try to learn from history. They acted in a rational way, did not provoke the great powers, endeavored in every situation to attain what was possible. They accepted compromises, and every compromise served them as a basis for the next surge forward. They cleverly utilized the radical stance of their adversaries and gained the sympathy of the whole world.
But since the beginning of the occupation, their mind has become clouded. The cult of Masada has become dominant. Divine promises once again start to play a role in public discourse. Large parts of the public are following the new zealots.more..e-mail

Entry Denied…
Marcy Newman, Palestine Think Tank 3/19/2010
Yesterday (18 March 2010) after I finished teaching at 2 PM I headed for Palestine to spend the weekend and my birthday with friends in Palestine. I arrived on the occupied side of the bridge at 4:55 PM. I used to live in Palestine, most recently last year when I taught at An Najah National University in Nablus, but I had not been back since July when I left.
I arrived at the bridge, went through the routinized luggage and security screenings and headed for the passport window. The woman in the occupying army at the window asked me questions when it was my turn. She asked me what I was planning to do in “Israel,” a word and question that makes my blood boil given that I was clearly trying to enter Palestine. Although I have spent extended periods of time living in Palestine since the summer of 2005, this is the first time I did not say that I was doing research as my reason for entering. This question normally got all sorts of questions, too, but at least it did not implicate my friends, something I had been unwilling to do before now. When I first went to Palestine in 2005 I used names of colonists, because I would much rather to have them questioned, but since 2006 when I adopted a policy of anti-normalization I refuse to speak to or normalize with a single colonist other than the occupying soldiers I am forced to deal with at the border and at checkpoints. I had arranged beforehand with my friend to say that I would be staying with him since he lives in Jerusalem and I wanted to make sure that I did not get one of those new stamps that said I can only enter the West Bank (my real plan was to stay in Doha, but I did not want to give additional names of friends). I was also asked how long I would be staying, and even though I had only planned to come for the weekend, I said I was not sure because I wanted to avoid getting one of the increasingly frequent stamps that is only for one week. I was worried that it would have implications for longer visits in the future. In the past I have always been given the three-month visa at the bridge (I’ve never entered the airport in occupied Lydd). But there have been occasions in the past when I wanted to come just for a wedding, just for the weekend when I was still given a three-month visa.more..e-mail

More on AIPAC message – New talking points memo, text of senate sign-on letter
Lara Friedman, Palestine Note 3/20/2010
CLARIFICATION: Nothing in this post reflects secret, leaked, or internal AIPAC documents. The Senate letter was circulating widely by email among Senate staff as of late Friday afternoon. All the other documents referenced here are available for anyone to see on the AIPAC website (and links to them, on the AIPAC website, are provided).
As noted in today’s Round-Up, AIPAC will be on the Hill next week lobbying members of Congress to pass “crippling” Iran sanctions and to sign on to letters to the Administration regarding US-Israel relations and the peace process.
The Senate version of that letter, being circulated by Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA), can now be read here; the Dear Colleague circulating with it can be read here. As expected, it is a carefully crafted, moderate-sounding letter — an updated version of last year’s Bayh-Risch letter. In brief, the letter (addressed to Secretary Clinton):
* implies that the problem with the recent announcement of new Jerusalem settlement plans was a problem of timing, not substance, and that the construction itself is not a serious issue since it will take place sometime in the future (“We write to urge you to do everything possible to ensure that the recent tensions between the U.S. and Israel over the untimely announcement of future housing construction in East Jerusalem do not derail Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations or harm U.S.-Israel relations.”)
* asserts that the failure to re-start Israeli-Palestinian negotiations is entirely due to Palestinian intransigence and in no way due to Israeli actions (“Despite your best efforts, Israeli-Palestinian negotiations have been frozen over the past year. Indeed, in a reversal of 16 years of policy, Palestinian leaders are refusing to enter into direct negotiations with Israel….”more..e-mail

art for art’s sake
In Gaza: 20 Mar 2010 – ‚”Mirror” ‚ÄìSalem Awad ‚”The colors of sunset are wonderful but the sun is the most wonderful. When the black clouds with their golden warm colors play on the sound of a bird that dialogues with the leaves of trees that were eaten by the wind and dance with a beautiful golden dress coloured by the sunset appearing in the far horizon behind the clouds I try to touch the sun before it closes its eyes to mix my brush with its colour and my white painting is the mirror.” ‘Random’ is a word a friend uses to describe Gaza. For all the truths we know and see in Gaza, after years of full-closure siege, after the 23 day Israeli massacre of Gaza and the Israeli invasions and military aggressions before and after the massacre‚Ķthere are certain norms one expects to see, and does: destroyed homes, businesses, factories, cars; devastated families…

Checkpoints
Palestine Monitor: 17 Dec 2010 – ‚”The right to freedom of movement provides that people are entitled to move freely within the borders of the state, to leave any country and to return to their country.” Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and article 12 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. December 10th, 1948 Movement Restrictions: The Facts By September 2008 there were 699 closure obstacles in the West Bank‚Äì approximately 130 of these have been added after the Annapolis Conference began in November 2007. 630 of the obstacles have been identified: trenches (3%), partial checkpoints (3%), earth walls (7%), road-blocks (11%), road barriers (12%), checkpoints (12%), road gates (16%) and earth mounds (36%). 74 % of the main routes in the West Bank are controlled by checkpoints or blocked entirely. In the period from April to September 2008 the weekly average of flying (or random) checkpoints was 89. Due to…

Two More Teenagers Killed ‘In Cold Blood’ At Awarta Checkpoint
Palestine Monitor: 21 Mar 2010 – Mohammed and Salah Quriq, both 19, were gunned down this morning at the Awarta checkpoint by Israeli soldiers. Military spokesmen claim the men were attempting to stab a soldier, a claim denied by local sources. A third man, injured at the scene, was taken by Israeli medics. Following the deaths of two youths at Iraq Burin, today’s violence brings the death toll to four in the past 24 hours. Army reports claim the Mohammed and Salah were shot in response to threatening behaviour with a pitchfork and axe. “Two men tried to stab a soldier during a routine patrol near the Awarta security crossing near Nablus. The force opened fire and confirmed their death”, a spokeman told us. No warning shots were fired and the men died at the scene. Hassan Awad, head of the Awarta council, contradicted this version of events. Speaking through an interpreter he told us “the…

Palestinians Must Not Stay On The Sidelines
Palestine Monitor: 21 Mar 2010 – Mustafa Barghouti, a member of the PLO, sees a weakening of the Palestinian Authority over the hobbled peace process and is skeptical that the U.S. will keep the pressure on Israel. Read the interview by Edmund Sanders, first published on LA Times. Mustafa Barghouti while being arrested by plainclothes Israeli policemen in traditionally Arab East Jerusalem as he tried to reach the Al Aqsa mosque area of the Old City for Friday prayers. It was the second time Barghouti had been arrested in East Jerusalem for not having a permit to campaign for the Palestinian Parliament. Photo: Lazar Simeonov Almost overshadowed in the recent days of diplomatic tussle between the U.S. and Israel is the Palestinian Authority, whose leaders have been watching with concern ‚Äî and perhaps a little amusement. It’s not often Palestinians get to see the U.S. and Israel clash so publicly. On Wednesday, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud…

The Doomsday Weapon
Palestine Chronicle: 21 Mar 2010 – By Uri Avnery It is already a commonplace to say that people who don’t learn from history are condemned to repeat their mistakes. Some 1942 years ago, the Jews in the province called Palaestina launched a revolt against the Roman Empire. In retrospect, this looks like an act of madness. Palestine was a small and insignificant part of the world-wide empire which had just won a crushing victory against the rival power – the Parthian Empire (Persia) – and put down a major rebellion in Britain. What chances could the Jewish revolt have? God knows what was going on in the mind of the “Zealots”. They eliminated the moderate leaders, who warned against provoking the empire, and gained sway over the Jewish population of the country. They relied on God. Perhaps they also relied on the Jews in Rome and believed that their influence over the Senate would restrain the…more

This Palestinian Life – Film Review
Palestine Chronicle: 21 Mar 2010 – By Ben White In the interests of transparency, I should declare that Philip Rizk and I are personal friends. Having already seen his documentary, This Palestinian Life, before being asked to review it, I was happy to accept the offer, knowing that I would only want to commend this excellent short film to readers. The strength of This Palestinian Life is hinted at in the title; what Rizk explicitly sets out to do is share the personal, everyday stories that do not feature in media coverage of Palestine/Israel. As Rizk comments in the film, the Palestinians he talks to do not represent ‘the severest cases’, in terms of experiences of Israeli occupation, but are the kind of stories ‘most rarely told’. These are glimpses of lives lived in defiance of Israeli apartheid rule, examples of sumoud, of steadfastness. The concluding sequence of shots feature the Palestinians we have met during…more

‘Settlement Freeze’ – Take It to the UN
Palestine Chronicle: 21 Mar 2010 – By Jim Miles The political events and comments surrounding Joe Biden’s recent visit to Israel stand only to highlight the hypocrisy and arrogant ignorance of the United States command. There are two factors here: first is the avoidance – in spite of superficial appearances – of the UN security council; and secondly – again in spite of superficial appearances – that the U.S. military command is concerned about the welfare of their troops in the Middle East because of the Israeli situation. As most followers of the news are aware, the Israelis announced plans to construct another 1600 settlement units in the Jerusalem area. They did this in the face of Biden who at the time was meeting with Netanyahu concerning the rebooting of the ‚”peace process.” The main purpose of the ‚”peace process” – at least for the Israelis – is to be able to establish communities – ‚”facts”…more

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