VTJP Palestine/Israel Newslinks 23 May, 2010: Gaza Prepares For Freedom Flotilla

News

International Middle East Media Center

Settlers Destroy Farm Lands; Troops Detain 10 Civilians
IMEMC – 24 May 2010 – Israeli settlers destroyed on Monday farm lands owned by villagers of Nahalien near the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem.

Hamas Arrested Egyptian Spy In Gaza
IMEMC – 24 May 2010 – The Hamas run Interior Ministry of Gaza announced on Monday that police arrested an Egyptian intelligence officer inside the Gaza Strip on Sunday.

Dozens Protest Peres’ Visit to Shefa-‘Amr
IMEMC – 24 May 2010 – Dozens of Arab residents of the northern Israeli city of Shefa-‘Amr met Sunday, to protest Israeli President Shimon Peres’ participation in the city’s 100th anniversary celebration.

Gaza Prepares For Freedom Flotilla
IMEMC – 23 May 2010 – Residents of the Gaza Strip and several humanitarian institutions are preparing to receive the “The Freedom Flotilla,” the largest convoy of solidarity ships yet, expected to arrive by Friday. Israel is threatening to intercept the convoy and prevent it, by any means, from reaching Gaza.

Ma’an News

Israel overturns land in Bethlehem-area village
5/24/2010 – Bethlehem – Ma’an – Israel’s Civil Administration, reportedly accompanied by border guards, bulldozed land in the Nahalin village in Bethlehem and uprooted a number of olive trees on Monday, a village council official told Ma’an. The official, Yousef Shakarneh, said approximately 10 Israeli military vehicles were present during the incident, adding that the digging was largely undertaken….

PSP: 4 injured in Beit Ummar clashes
5/24/2010 – Hebron – Ma’an – Three Palestinian teenagers and an adult were injured on Monday after clashes took place near the Beit Ummar town north of Hebron, the Palestine Solidarity Project said. PSP spokesman Muhammad Awad said the clashes were centered in front of the Karmi Tsur settlement, with Israeli forces responding with tear-gas canisters and rubber bullets….

Curfew imposed on East Jerusalem village
5/24/2010 – Jerusalem – Ma’an – An early-morning raid of Al-Esawiyeh, a village in occupied East Jerusalem, followed the imposition of a curfew, popular committee officials told Ma’an on Monday. The raid began reportedly at 4am, where Israeli forces, composed of border guards and intelligence officers, deployed around and inside the village, which lies behind Israel’s separation wall, the….

Settlers set up tent around Palestinian water spring
5/24/2010 – Ramallah – Ma’an – Residents of the Dura Al-Qar’a village east of Ramallah said residents of an illegal West Bank settlement erected a tent near the village’s water springs on Monday. The tent, residents said, is five by eight meters, and was put up by Beit El settlers to “provoke” locals by raising Israeli flags and preventing….

Fatah official barred from travel by Israel
5/24/2010 – Ramallah – Ma’an – Israeli authorities barred Fatah Central Committee member Tawfiq At-Tirawi from traveling to Jordan via the Allenby Bridge in the West Bank city of Jericho on Monday, the official said. The ban on the Fatah official’s travel is the second since April, when Israel prevented At-Tirawi from traveling through the King Hussein border crossing….

Gaza govt bans protest rally against UNRWA arson
5/24/2010 – Gaza – Ma’an – The Gaza government has banned a protest rally against the vandalizing of an UNRWA recreation facility one day prior on Monday, and the holding of a human rights workshop in the coastal enclave, groups said. The NGO’s network said “de facto security forces prevented a civil society protest heading toward the UNRWA camp….

Open letter to Agrexco – Gush Shalom
5/25/2010 – Bethlehem – Ma’an – Following reports that two Italian food store chains has cleared its shelves of West Bank settlement goods, Israeli peace Gush Shalom has written an open letter the Management of the Agrexco Agricultural Exports Company on Sunday eveningBelow is an unedited version of the letter Gush Shalom sent. Dear Sir/MadamAlready for many years….

Israel to allow building material into Gaza for UNRWA
5/24/2010 – Gaza – Ma’an – Israel will permit the entry of limited construction material into the Gaza Strip on Monday for UNRWA projects, a Palestinian liaison official said. The official, Raed Fattouh, said Israel would open two Gaza crossings partially, the northern Karni and the southern Kerem Shalom. The building material includes six truckloads carrying 250 tons o….

Report: EU may cut aid to PA if talks fail
5/24/2010 – Jerusalem – Ma’an – The EU could reconsider the amount of aid it provides to the Palestinian Authority if no progress is made in peace talks, EU diplomats reportedly said Monday, as officials meet to discuss the next seven-year budget. The aid, approximately 300 million euros, is meant to prepare the PA for a peace treaty with….

Israel detains teenager at Jordan border
5/25/2010 – Tulkarem – Ma’an – A 17-year-old Tulkarem resident was detained on Monday at the Allenby Bridge crossing between Jordan and the West Bank, after Israeli intelligence summoned him for an interview. Ala Na’im Abu Hamed was returning from Mecca after having performed the Muslim pilgrimage Omrah, sources said. The teenager was reportedly taken by Israeli forces….

Report: Israel offered South Africa nuclear weapons
5/24/2010 – Jerusalem – Ma’an/Agencies – Documents uncovered by an American academic on the close ties between Israeli and the then apartheid South Africa in the 1970s provide the first documented evidence of Israel’s possession of nuclear weapons, British media reported. The secret documents, unearthed by Sasha Polakow-Suransky, reveal that the then Defense Minister, and current president, Shimon….

Israel releases 3 detainees
5/24/2010 – Nablus – Ma’an – Israeli authorities released three Palestinian detainees from the Beit Furik village, east of Nablus city, after four years of detention on Sunday. Sources identified the released as Ayman Abu Ghalmi, Hamada Hanani and Ramiz Hanani. Maysar Aytan, a campaigner for prisoners’ rights, said she was would receive the three detainees upon their release….

PFLP detainee marks 23 years in Israeli jails
5/24/2010 – Nablus – Ma’an – A Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine leader from Nablus marked 23 years in Israeli custody on Sunday, as three detainees from his native village marked their release. Ahmad Abdul So’oud was sentenced to life following his detention on 23 May 1987. A resident of the Nablus village Beit Furik, Abdul So’oud….

200 Gaza residents denied re-entry to UAE
5/24/2010 – Gaza – Ma’an – Two hundred Gaza residents were denied re-entry into the UAE and are presently stranded on Kish Island in the Persian Gulf, they told Ma’an on Monday.”We endure complicated and disastrous living conditions as most the young people can’t afford to pay for hotel fees or food,” said Hammouda Abu Rida, a Gaza….

Jordanian, Saudi aid en route to Gaza
5/25/2010 – Ramallah – Ma’an – A delivery of Jordanian and Saudi Arabian aid is en route to Gaza, after arriving at the Allenby Bridge crossing between Jordan and the West Bank on Monday, the Palestinian Authority Minister of Endowments said. Minister Mahmoud Al-Habbash said the aid, donated by the Jordanian Charity Organization under King Abdullah’s direction, consists of….

Gaza security forces detain top Egyptian officer
5/24/2010 – Gaza – Ma’an – The Gaza government’s security forces detained and interrogated a high-ranking Egyptian officer who entered the Gaza Strip in secret “to gather information on the Palestinian people, government, and other things,” the de facto Interior Minister said Monday. Fathi Hammad told the Hamas-affiliated newspaper Palestine that the Egyptian officer was returned and called on….

Australia expels Israeli diplomat over Mabhouh hit
5/24/2010 – Jerusalem – Ma’an/Agencies – Australia has expelled an Israeli diplomat after a probe revealed Israel was behind the forging of four Australian passports linked to the murder of a Hamas operative in Dubai, various media outlets reported Monday. Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith told parliament that Israel’s conduct was “not the actions of a friend,” the….

Alleged Hamas prisoner welfare system exposed
5/24/2010 – Jerusalem – Ma’an/Agencies – Five Palestinians have been charged with transferring over one million Shekels to Hamas and Islamic Jihad members in Israeli prisons, Israeli media revealed Monday after a gag-order was lifted. The indictments were filed against five suspects including, lawyer Shirin Issawi, 32, and her brother Madhat, 36, both from the east Jerusalem neighborhood….

Netanyahu: Boycott only harming PA
5/24/2010 – Jerusalem – Ma’an/Agencies – The Palestinians are opposing economic peace with Israel and are “taking steps that in the end hurt themselves,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Likud party members on Monday.”Israel is aiming for peace and economic prosperity,” Netanyahu said, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz wrote.”The Palestinians must decide if they are aiming….

Hamas: PA detains 19 West Bank supporters
5/24/2010 – Bethlehem – Ma’an – Hamas said Palestinian Authority Preventative Security Services detained 19 of the movement’s supporters across the West Bank overnight Sunday. A statement issued by the Islamist movement said the detentions undertaken in Ramallah, Nablus, Tulkarem, Bethlehem, and Jenin. On Thursday, a senior Hamas leader in Nablus was released by the PA after a brief….

Gaza govt: Taxes collected go to unemployed
5/24/2010 – Gaza – Ma’an – The revenue collected from taxes imposed on fuel smuggled into Gaza through the subterranean tunnel complex along the Egyptian border have assisted the government in handing out financial aid to unemployed workers, the Gaza deputy premier said Monday. According to Ziyad Ath-Thatha, the Gaza government has distributed 2. 5 million US dollars in….

Hamas, Jihad boycott local elections in West Bank
5/24/2010 – Gaza – Ma’an – Islamic Jihad and Hamas announced Monday that the movements would boycott local elections in the West Bank due for mid-July. Hamas leader Ayman Taha said the movement was boycotting the municipal elections announced by the Palestinian Authority because “they are held without a national agreement, and aims to deepen division in the Palestinian….

Palestine Note

Report: Israeli minister assaulted
Palestine Note 24 May 2010 – New York – Ultra-Orthodox Jewish protesters hurled stones at Israeli cabinet minister Eli Yishai on Monday. According to Israeli news reports, Yishai was in Jerusalem’s ultra-Orthodox Mea Shearim neighborhood for a visit to a prominent rabbi….

Albright speaks at Aspen’s Farouki speaker series
Palestine Note 24 May 2010 – Washington – The Aspen Institute’s Farouki Speaker Series hosted US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on Monday, for a roundtable lunch discussion titled “NATO in the 21 st Century: Examining the Greater Middle East.” Secretary Albright…

Israel police recommend indicting Lieberman
Palestine Note 24 May 2010 – New York – Israeli police on Monday recommended indicting the country’s foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, for breaching public trust by receiving classified information about an ongoing investigation against him. According to the Israeli daily Haaretz , Police…

Hariri in Washington: Time for serious talks
Palestine Note 24 May 2010 – New York – Upon arriving in Washington on Monday Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri called for “serious” Middle East peace negotiations that would lead to the creation of a Palestinian state. According to Now Lebanon , Hariri’s…

Netanyahu slams settlement boycott
Palestine Note 24 May 2010 – New York – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lashed out on Monday at the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) campaign to stop Palestinians from buying goods made in Israel’s West Bank settlements. “Israel aspires to economic peace,” Netanyahu…

Australia expels Israel envoy over Dubai killing
Palestine Note 24 May 2010 – New York – Australia’s foreign minister asked Israel to withdraw one of its diplomats from the country on Monday after an investigation found Israel responsible for forging four Australian passports used in the killing of a…

Revealed: Israel offered nuclear weapons to South Africa
Palestine Note 24 May 2010 – Peres offered Apartheid regime ‘three sizes’ of warheads New York – The British newspaper the Guardian revealed secret South African documents on Sunday that show that Israel offered to sell nuclear weapons to the Apartheid state….

Obama’s West Point speech shows signs of smart “National security strategy report”
Palestine Note 24 May 2010 – President Barack Obama’s speech at West Point on Saturday may be among the most important he has yet made during his sixteen month old presidency. The speech intimates a number of the key themes likely to…

Nahum Barnea: Haim Ramon advised Dan Shapiro to wait with negotiations for Livni
Palestine Note 23 May 2010 – A course in core studies Excerpt from column, Nahum Barnea, Yediot Friday Political Supplement, May 21 2010 [page 2; Hebrew original here This week, my Washington sources insist, special envoy George Mitchell is going to start…

Israeli public sector’s door closed to Arab workers
Palestine Note 23 May 2010 – Unemployed computer engineer Morad Lashin would like to work in Israel’s Electricity Company, a large state utility, but admits his chances of being recruited are slim. The reasons were set out in graphic form this month…

Engaging with Hamas and Hezbollah: Who benefits?
Palestine Note 23 May 2010 – It wasn’t exactly news last week when John Brennan, US president Barack Obama’s counterterrorism adviser, suggested that the US work to strengthen “moderate elements” within Hezbollah . Brennan has made similar comments before – last year, in…

Aljazeera

Israel ‘offered arms’ to S Africa
AlJazeera 24 May 2010 – Forthcoming book reveals secret deal between defence ministers on atomic weapons in 1975.

Iran notifies IAEA over atomic deal
AlJazeera 24 May 2010 – In letter to IAEA, Tehran describes nuclear fuel swap deal as a “breakthrough”.

Iran executes Jundollah member
AlJazeera 24 May 2010 – Brother of armed Sunni group hanged for attacks in country’s southeast.

Ha’aretz

Knesset panel debates stripping Israeli Arab MKs of immunity over Libya trip
Ha’aretz – Motion initiated by National Union MK Michael Ari, but criticized by some MKs as ‘Kahanistic horse.’

Two non-Orthodox synagogues in Ra’anana attacked in one-week span
Ha’aretz – Some members of the congregations have concluded that intolerance toward the Conservative and Reform movements is behind the incidents.

30 Palestinians injured as West Bank bus overturns
Ha’aretz – Magen David Adom paramedics arrive at the scene of the Arava Junction accident, begin treating the casualties.

Shfaram mayor to Peres: Drop charges in lynch of Jewish terrorist
Ha’aretz – Hundreds of Israeli Arab protesters demonstrate during president’s visit, demand state not prosecute suspects in killing of Eden Natan Zada.

Congratulations you’ve bought an iPad. For an MK
Ha’aretz – Every MK receives an annual budget of NIS 68,000 for both office purposes and public relations.

Bill to strip convicted terrorists of Israeli citizenship heads to Knesset
Ha’aretz – Ministerial panel approves ‘citizenship and loyalty’ bill after rejecting other proposals initiated on the matter by Yisrael Beiteinu.

‘Shame on you, democracy,’ Vanunu yells as he returns to prison
Ha’aretz – After having served 18 years for leaking Israeli nuclear secrets, Mordechai Vanunu begins serving additional 3 months for violating terms of his parole.

Tibi: Lieberman is an immigrant who’s racist against the native Arabs
Ha’aretz – In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Israeli Arab MK Ahmed Tibi criticizes Lieberman, says he’s worse than late extreme Austrian politician Jorg Haider.

Hamas: Israel trying to extort us into releasing Shalit for free
Ha’aretz – Ministers back bill toughening conditions for Hamas prisoners in response to the organization’s failure to free abducted IDF soldier Gilad Shalit.

Israeli art detectives crack a forgery riddle
Ha’aretz – Cracking the riddle of the Jozef Israels’ self-portrait and its mysterious twin involves tracking down a tale of a forgotten Turkish pasha and an eccentric Jerusalem artist, and infrared cameras.

Health Ministry: Kidney patient died because of faulty treatment
Ha’aretz – Investigation committee determined that mainly because of understaffing and the large number of patients, care in the dialysis room had been faulty.

Syria: Obama has failed in peace efforts and lost influence in Mideast
Ha’aretz – Assad’s comments come as Obama set to meet with Lebanon PM to raise concerns about alleged Syria-Hezbollah Scud transfer.

Israeli envoy to Australia shortens Israel visit due to escalating crisis
Ha’aretz – Australia expels Israeli diplomat over Dubai passport row; FM Stephen Smith: Probe leaves ‘no doubt’ Israel is behind misuse of Australian passports linked to assassination of Hamas operative Mabhouh.

Israel denies offering nuclear weapons to Apartheid South Africa
Ha’aretz – British daily The Guardian publishes documents it says prove that then-defense minister Shimon Peres tried to sell nuclear weapons to P.W. Botha in the 1970s.

Israel charges four with passing Hamas funds to Palestinian prisoners
Ha’aretz – East Jerusalem attorney and her brother suspected of orchestrating the affair; director of post office and Gaza resident also indicted.

Israel backs U.S.-led sanctions as Iran hands UN letter on nuclear deal
Ha’aretz – Iranian officials meet with IAEA to discuss agreement brokered by Brazil and Turkey to send low-grade uranium abroad., Two Israelis lightly wounded on Friday; Palestinians blame settlers for killing stone-throwing teen near Ramallah on Thursday.

Closed-door trial gets underway for ex-soldier accused of passing classified docs to Haaretz reporter
Ha’aretz – Anat Kamm declines to respond to espionage charges; defense lawyers: court broke promise to drop trial if she returned documents.

Obama likely to raise Syria-Hezbollah arms transfer in talks with Lebanon PM
Ha’aretz – Hariri’s first official visit to U.S. takes place against a backdrop of tensions in Mideast, U.S. efforts to restart Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and growing momentum against Iran.

Israeli Arab gets 7 years in jail for belonging to terror group
Ha’aretz – Assad Ursan, 58, joined Palestinian Fatah’s Algeria branch and recruited Israeli Arabs in Europe to carry out attacks in Israel.

Top IDF general: It hasn’t been this quiet in north since 1948
Ha’aretz – GOC Northern Command issues calming message to residents of north as Israel launches 5-day homefront defense drill to prepare for possible war.

Anat Kam’s trial started today
24 May 2010 – Jerusalem, May 24, (Pal Telegraph) Today launched the trial of Israeli soldier Anat Kam, which was considered by Israeli security directions as the reason of the biggest security leakage since years ago, she was accused by Israeli security forces of stealing thousands of secret documents from the Israeli army’s leadership during her service and gave these documents to an Israeli…

IOF launches large arresting campaigns in ‘Al Issawiyeh’ village
24 May 2010 – Jerussalem, May 24, (Pal Telegraph) Since the early morning hours of today, a large force of hundreds of police, border guards and Israeli intelligence, in addition to joint crews of Israel’s municipality, taxes and Gihon water company launched a large-scale arresting campaign in “Al Issawiyeh” village northeast of Jerusalem.

‘Noise’ is a film to soon premiere in Gaza
24 May 2010 – Gaza, May 24, (Pal Telegraph) Next August will witness the premier of the film “Noise”, directed by Fayeq Jarada, the film falls in THE “Drama” category which revolves around the suffering of the people of in the sieged Gaza. The film highlights the crisis of electricity in the Gaza Strip, and the particular problem of generators and the resulting damage…

Israel allows building materials to enter Gaza for UNRWA
24 May 2010 – Gaza, May 24, (Pal Telegraph) The Israeli occupation authorities declared today that they allowed the entry of building materials for projects by UNRWA. The Chairman of the goods entry into Gaza Committee, Raed Fattouh, confirmed that “Israel decided to open Gaza’s commercial crossings partially today to let in approximately 97 trucks through the Karam Abu Salem crossing loaded with aid…

Uruknet

PCHR Gravely Concerned Regarding Political Arrests Conducted by Security Services in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank
Uruknet May 24, 2010 – The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) is gravely concerned regarding ongoing detention and harassment directed against members of the Fatah movement in the Gaza Strip and the Hamas movement in the West Bank; PCHR believe that these measures are conducted on political grounds. PCHR reiterates its call to the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) and…

Video: Gunmen leave Gaza summer camp in shambles
Uruknet May 24, 2010 – Dozens of armed men have attacked a United Nations summer camp being set up for children in Gaza. Tents were set on fire and bathrooms vandalised. The UN provides activities for around 250 thousand young people in Gaza, but as Al Jazeera’s Nicole Johnston reports, the fighters left a chilling warning for the organisers…

US Funds Apartheid Roads on West Bank
Uruknet May 24, 2010 – The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is helping Israel to construct an apartheid road infrastructure in the occupied Palestinian West Bank by financing nearly a quarter of the segregated road system primarily for the benefit of Israeli settlers. USAID’s figures state that the agency has financed 235 km of roads in the West…

Israel’s war on international law
Uruknet May 23, 2010 – Before the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government was formed in Britain, Israel’s Yediot Aharonot newspaper carried an article voicing concerns about LibDem leader Nick Clegg’s stance on the policies of the Jewish state. Clegg called for an arms embargo during the Israeli assault on Gaza last year, during which 1,400 Palestinians were killed and thousands more…

Two Italian Supermarkets Suspend Sales of Settlement Products
Uruknet May 23, 2010 – Following lobbying efforts by the Italian Coalition Against Carmel-Agrexco, two major Italian supermarket chains, COOP and Nordiconad, announced the suspension of sales of products from Agrexco, the principal exporter of produce from Israel and the illegal Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Nordiconad director Mr. Covili announced that as of the end of April…

Email From And More About Mordechai Vanunu
Uruknet May 23, 2010 – …Beginning in 1986, Mordechai Vanunu’s life was sacrificed on the altar of TRUTH largely because THE MEDIA failed at its commission to go, seek and report THE TRUTH, no matter how inconvenient, ugly or brutal. “Vanunu told the world that Israel had developed between one hundred and two hundred atomic bombs [in 1986!] and had…

The memos and minutes that confirm Israel’s nuclear stockpile
Uruknet May 23, 2010 – …This is the secret memo by South Africa’s military chief of staff, General RF Armstrong, asking for nukes on the Jericho missiles. It has been revealed before, but its context was not understood. We now know the memo was the direct result of the meeting between Botha and Peres, and the basis of Botha’s demand…

Zionist setters burn 150 olive trees in Al-Khalil
Uruknet May 23, 2010 – Dozens of Zionist settlers raided the village of Sa’ir east of Al-Khalil district on Saturday and burned tens of fruitful olive trees, local sources reported. They said that the settlers set fire to the trees in lands owned by two families near to the settlement of Asfar then ran away, destroying 150 trees in the…

Unending Nakbas
Uruknet May 23, 2010 – This is the month for Palestinians to remember their Nakba, or “catastrophe”, in which more than 700,000 women, men and children were pushed off their land and rendered homeless refugees by the Zionist attacks before, during and after the founding of Israel in 1948. Isdud, a farming community to the north of Gaza’s current border,…

PCHR Strongly Condemns Attack on UNRWA Summer Games Camp in Gaza
Uruknet May 23, 2010 – The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) strongly condemns the attack carried out by a large number of masked gunmen on a summer games camp organized by UNRWA at a beach in the west of Gaza City. The attackers set fire to parts of the camp and damaged its contents in the early morning. PCHR…

Gaza children’s camp destroyed
Uruknet May 23, 2010 – Dozens of masked men have broken into a UN-run Gaza summer camp for children and set it on fire, after beating up the guard and destroying the plastic tents. The men blocked Gaza Strip’s main coastal highway on Sunday before destroying the facility, one of the largest of several summer camps across the occupied Palestinian…

Turkish vessel embarks to join flotilla attempting to assist Gaza
Uruknet May 23, 2010 – A TRIPLE-DECK Turkish ferry received a grand send-off on Saturday as it left Istanbul to join the Freedom Flotilla of passenger and cargo vessels seeking to break Israel’s four-year-old blockade of Gaza. Thousands of Turks cheered as white doves of peace fluttered overhead. The ferry is carrying 600 activists as well as tonnes of cement,…

Israel and apartheid: a marriage of convenience and military mightSecret documents revealing offer to sell nuclear warheads to South Africa cast fresh light on alliance
Uruknet May 23, 2010 – It’s the relationship that never was. Kept to the shadows, it was shielded behind secret agreements and disinformation that dressed up military cooperation as mining deals. But when the spotlight occasionally flickered over one of the most intimate and enduring alliances of the postwar years, Israel was quick to underplay its deep military ties with…

Worker injured by Israeli fire in Gaza
Uruknet May 23, 2010 — A young Palestinian worker sustained gunshot wound injuries on Sunday, after Israeli forces reportedly opened fire at a group of workers in Beit Lahiya, northern Gaza Strip. Witnesses said Muhammad Sa’dallah, 19, was hit by Israeli machine-gun fire, as workers collected stones and rocks for construction, left behind by Israel forces following the evacuation of…

Gaza still awaiting reconstruction over a year after Israeli offensive, UN report finds
Uruknet May 23, 2010 – Sixteen months after an Israeli military offensive inflicted widespread damage in the Gaza Strip, about three quarters of the damaged buildings and infrastructure have still not been repaired, a new United Nations report says. The report from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), produced in partnership with the Gaza-based Engineering and Management Consulting Center, estimates…

The National

Hamas leader says agreement with Fatah essential to peace talks
The National 24 May 2010 – Khalid Meshaal accuses US of blocking attempts to patch up relations between Palestinian groups, and says Hamas will never recognise Israel.

Hamas arrests Egyptian officer who snuck into Gaza
The National 24 May 2010 – Hamas-run police arrested and deported a high-ranking Egyptian officer who snuck into the Gaza Strip, as the group’s ties with Cairo continued to fray.

Australia expels Israeli diplomat for compliance in Hamas murder
The National 24 May 2010 – The Australian government expels the diplomat after an investigation concludes Israel was responsible for counterfeited passports used in the murder.

International Solidarity Movement

FAQ’s about Tristan
5/25/2010 – International Solidarity Movement – Solidarity with Tristan Anderson, May 24 – As of 1 May, 2010, Written by Gabby, his partner – 1- Can he talk? Yes, Tristan started talking in early December (shortly after he ripped out his tracheotomy tube). 2- What does he say? Does he know who he is? Tristan knows who he is and he remembers his….

Al Walaja, Beit Jala protest illegal wall construction
5/25/2010 – International Solidarity Movement – 25 May 2010, Al Walaja – Al Walaja village, close to Bethlehem, faces the threat of being totally isolated from the surrounding countryside by an apartheid wall which is currently under construction. When it is finished the only access villagers will have to the outside world is through atunnel which can be opened or closed at….

Hypocrisy: Israel, Apartheid South Africa and Goldstone
Alternative Information Center – An investigation conducted by industrious journalists from (the Israeli daily newspaper) Yedioth Ahronot revealed that South African Judge Richard Goldstone served the polluted and racist Apartheid regime…

Palestine News Network

Israeli Military Exercise Raises Tensions
PNN – Bethlehem – PNN- On Sunday Israel launched a 5 day military exercise to test its response capabilities to rocket and chemical attacks from neighboring countries. The exercise has heightened tensions between Israel…

Israeli Organization Empowers Palestinians To Appeal Against House Demolition Threats
PNN – By Catherine Weibel — PNN- On a calm morning in the south of the West Bank Palestinian villagers in At-Tuwani are experiencing two very different types of encounters with Israelis. About one…

During Attacks In W.B; Settlers Destroy Farm lands; Troops Arrest Civilians
PNN – Bethlehem — PNN – Israeli settlers destroyed on Monday farm lands owned by villagers of Nahalien near the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem. Farmers said settlers arrived under the protection of…

Australia Expels Israeli Diplomat Over Hamas Leader Assassination
PNN – Reuters — PNN – Australia has decided on Monday to expel the Mossad (Israel Intelligence) representative in the Israeli embassy in Canberra over the use of fake passports used in the assassination…

Egyptian Spy Arrested in Gaza
PNN – Gaza — PNN – The Hamas run Interior Ministry of Gaza announced on Monday that police arrested an Egyptian intelligence officer inside the Gaza Strip on Sunday. Fathi Hammad, the Interior Minister…

Shahryar Gaza: Married 13 Women and looking For More
PNN – Hiba Lama — PNN — When Mahmud Abu Kaas, a Palestinian from the Gaza Strip, starts to tell his story one remembers the classic story One Thousand and One Nights, also known…

Inter Press Service

MIDEAST: US Funds Apartheid Roads on West Bank
IPS RAMALLAH, May 24 (IPS) – The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is helping Israel to construct an apartheid road infrastructure in the occupied Palestinian West Bank by financing nearly a quarter of the segregated road system primarily for the benefit of Israeli settlers.

Palestinian Center for Human Rights

Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (13 — 19 May 2010)
Palestinian Center for Human Rights

Jerusalem Post

Police to question Olmert on Holyland
Jeruslalem Post 24 May 2010 – Former PM to be interrogated in affair for the first time Tuesday.

‘Enough evidence to indict Lieberman’
Jeruslalem Post 24 May 2010 – Police tell ‘Post’: A-G should charge FM for illegal tip-off.

Olmert called in for questioning
Jeruslalem Post 24 May 2010 – Police to interrogate former PM on Holyland bribery affair Tuesday.

Police recommend charging Lieberman in leak case
Jeruslalem Post 24 May 2010 – FM suspected of receiving illegal tip-off from former Israeli ambassador in 2008, subverting bribery investigation, breach of trust; attorney unconcerned.

Hamas to boycott W. Bank elections
Jeruslalem Post 24 May 2010 – Islamist movements say elections “illegal”, designed to favor Fatah.

Construction materials allowed into Gaza
Jeruslalem Post 24 May 2010 – Israel Radio: First time since “Cast Lead” building supplies let in.

PM slams PA ‘boycott effort’
Jeruslalem Post 24 May 2010 – At Likud meeting, Netanyahu attacks bid to deny Israel OECD entry.

Assad: Peace for Golan Heights
Jeruslalem Post 24 May 2010 – In interview, Syrian president discusses peace, Hizbullah, US influence in ME.

Ya’alon lashes out at radical Left
Jeruslalem Post 24 May 2010 – Accuses domestic forces of campaigning against the legitimacy of the State of Israel.

Iran briefs IAEA on nuclear-fuel swap
Jeruslalem Post 24 May 2010 – Russia, China back the deal supervised by the UN watchdog.

Ronsky’s contribution
Jeruslalem Post 24 May 2010 – The IDF rabbi forced Jews to face facts.

Lebanese PM to discuss Mideast tension with Obama
Jeruslalem Post 24 May 2010 – Hariri’s Washington visit comes amid Israeli claims Hizbullah has acquired Scud missiles from Syria

‘‚ÄòSchalit bill’ complicates soldier’s return’
Jeruslalem Post 24 May 2010 – Palestinian, UN officials deliver harsh words for the new legislation.

Barak: W. Bank can’t be another Lebanon, Gaza
Jeruslalem Post 24 May 2010 – Defense minister insists any future land agreement must be solid, safe.

The Guardian: Israel offered nukes to S. Africa
Jeruslalem Post 24 May 2010 – Declassified South African documents allegedly show secret talks between Peres, Botha.

‚ÄòSchalit bill’ passes major hurdle
Jeruslalem Post 24 May 2010 – Gov’t legislation aims to press Hamas by toughening prisoner conditions.

Protesters to test Gaza sea blockade
Jeruslalem Post 23 May 2010 – Ships carrying 10,000 tons of construction material and humanitarian aid will attempt to sail from Turkey to Gaza on Sunday.

WAFA – Palestine News Agency

Relief Web

OPT: UNRWA condemns attack on its Summer Games location
Relief Web 24 May 2010 – Source: UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East

OPT: Al Mezan Condemns the Israeli Approval of the “Shalit Law Bill and Calls for Intensifying International Efforts to Abolish this Racist Law
Relief Web 24 May 2010 – Source: Al Mezan Center for Human Rights

OPT: Gaza Government Prohibits a Sit-in in Solidarity with UNRWA and a Workshop by ICHR – Al Mezan Condemns these Decisions and Calls for Respecting the Law
Relief Web 24 May 2010 – Source: Al Mezan Center for Human Rights

Easing restrictions for Palestinians in the West Bank
Relief Web 24 May 2010 – Source: Government of Israel

YNet News

Home Front Command: Don’t take Lebanon’s reaction seriously
YNet News – On second day of Israel’s largest ever home front drill simulating all-out war,….

Palestinian police tour Jaffa neighborhood
YNet News – Dozens of Palestinian Authority officers visit Tel Aviv district to learn about….

Assad says US has lost Mideast peace influence
YNet News – Syrian president tells Italian paper Washington ‘has no influence because they….

Suleiman meets Barak: Need stable, calm region
YNet News – Egyptian intelligence minister meets Israeli defense minister, says ‘our….

Iran, IAEA meet to discuss uranium deal
YNet News – Iranian officials meet UN nuclear watchdog, submit letter outlining details of a….

Arabs transfer over 1 mil. to Hamas inmates
YNet News – New security scandal is cleared for publication. At end of joint Shin Bet-police….

Hamas: We caught Egyptian spy in Gaza
YNet News – Interior Minister in Gaza reveals security forces expelled senior Egyptian….

Mashaal: No news on Shalit deal
YNet News – Hamas politburo chief says US intervention hinders progress on prisoner exchange….

Olmert to be questioned Tuesday in Holyland affair
YNet News – Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will be questioned in the Holyland corruption affair on Tuesday. Olmert, who is not considered the main suspect in the affair — but …….

Drop in Iran oil production even before fresh sanctions
YNet News – WASHINGTON — US Defense Secretary Robert Gates said recently that the draft UN Security Council resolution on sanctions against Iran is stronger than he expected, but it …….

Haredim hurl stones at Shas chairman
YNet News – Interior Minister Eli Yishai was pelted with stones on Monday as he arrived at the Mea Shearim neighborhood in Jerusalem for a condolence visit at the home of Rabbi Yosef …….

Teacher who called Ethiopian officer ‘Nazi’ gets probation
YNet News – The Jerusalem District Court has sentenced a man who verbally abused two Ethiopian officers in Hebron’s Cave of Patriarchs three years ago to nine months probation. The …….

Police: Indict FM in ‘ambassador affair’
YNet News – The police have recommended indicting Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and former Israeli Ambassador to Belarus Zeev Ben-Arieh. The police said Monday that the file had …….

S. African official doubts nuclear arms sale offer
YNet News – Israel described as baseless on Monday reported findings in a new book that it offered to sell nuclear warheads to South Africa in 1975. Waldo Stumpf, the former …….

Daily Star

Gaza assailants vandalize UN summer camp
Daily Star 24 May 2010 GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip: Armed assailants in black masks burned and vandalized a UN summer camp site Sunday and left behind three bullets next to written death threats against UN officials – the latest escalation of…

Iran wants US humanitarian gesture over hikers – report
Daily Star 24 May 2010 TEHRAN: Iran has demanded the US make a humanitarian gesture to Iranians it holds before there can be any talk of an eventual exchange for three detained US hikers, the ISNA news agency reported. “What Iran…

Middle East: May is about memories of Palestinian Nakba
Daily Star 24 May 2010 GAZA CITY: This is the month for Palestinians to remember their Nakba, or “catastrophe,” in which more than 700,000 women, men and children were pushed off their land and rendered homeless refugees by the Zionist attacks…

As tensions with Lebanon rise, Israel launches air raid drill
Daily Star 24 May 2010 OCCUPIED JERUSALEM: Israel launched its biggest air raid exercise on Sunday to test its preparedness against possible missile strikes from Iranian-sponsored militant groups as international tensions rose over Tehran’s nuclear program. Israel has called for strong…

Palestinian Information Center

Resheq: Municipal elections not legitimate, not binding
PIC 24 May 2010 – Ezzet Al-Resheq, political bureau member of Hamas movement, has warned of the negative repercussions of holding municipal elections in the West Bank away from national entente.

Barak-Suleiman meeting focuses on “security issues”
PIC 24 May 2010 – Visiting Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman discussed with Israeli war minister Ehud Barak on Monday latest “security developments in the region”, a Hebrew daily said.

Zionist settlers damage Palestinian farms, IOF soldiers arrest 10 citizens
PIC 24 May 2010 – Zionist settlers backed by Israeli occupation forces (IOF) and military bulldozers damaged Palestinian farmland over a mountain slope in Nahalin village, Bethlehem district, local sources reported.

Hamas to boycott municipal elections in W. Bank
PIC 24 May 2010 – Hamas declared its boycott of the municipal elections called for by the unconstitutional government in Ramallah, saying these elections would deepen the inter-Palestinian division.

Haneyya: American society supports breaking the siege on Gaza
PIC 24 May 2010 – Ismail Haneyya has pointed to a growing desire within the American society to break the siege on Gaza Strip as evident in the repeated visits by American solidarity delegations to the Strip.

Father Capucci joins Freedom Flotilla convoy
PIC 24 May 2010 – Sources participating in the Freedom Flotilla aid convoy stated that father Hilarion Capucci, the former archbishop of Jerusalem, joined the convoy sailing for the besieged Gaza Strip.

Forum of journalists slams Abbas’s militias for arresting Fakhouri
PIC 24 May 2010 – The forum of Palestinian journalists strongly denounced Abbas’s security militias for arresting Hazem Al-Fakhouri, the husband of noted writer Lama Khater.

Herzog: Freedom Flotilla will reach Gaza if there are pledges to release Shalit
PIC 24 May 2010 – Israeli minister of social welfare Yizhak Herzog said that Freedom Flotilla will not be allowed to reach the Gaza Strip, before its organizers pledge to get soldier Gilad Shalit released.

Bahar lashes out at American funding of Iron Dome
PIC 24 May 2010 – Dr. Ahmed Bahar has lashed out at the American Congress for agreeing to finance the “Iron Dome” system to defend Israeli settlements against short range missiles.

Abu Zuhri asks Australia to prosecute killers of Mabhouh
PIC 24 May 2010 – Dr. Sami Abu Zuhri said that the Australian expulsion of an Israeli diplomat from Canberra was an additional proof that Israel was involved in the assassination crime of Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh.

The Media Line

Qatar Reigns Supreme in MidEast Competitiveness
The Media Line 20 May 2010 – Qatar has remained the Middle East’s economic kingpin and Israel is showing great signs of improvement, an annual study of economic competitiveness has found. The 2010 World Competitiveness Yearbook, issued by the International Institute for Management…

Misc

Hypocrisy: Israel, Apartheid South Africa and Goldstone
Alternative Information Center 3 – An investigation conducted by industrious journalists from (the Israeli daily newspaper) Yedioth Ahronot revealed that South African Judge Richard Goldstone served the polluted and racist Apartheid regime…

Dershowitz falsely suggests that Chomsky is against the existence of Israel
Mondoweiss – In this interview with Jerusalem Post , Dershowitz says that the left wants to revolutionize 1948— end Israel/create one democracy in Israel/Palestine— and that makes his 80 percent case for Israel (80 percent good, that means!) easier. Notice below that he uses strawmen Norman Finkelstein and Noam…

Your Israel lobby at work: ZOA blasts Obama appointee for saying al-Quds
Mondoweiss – The Chas Freeman treatment. Go after anyone who sounds like he thinks Arabs are people. I have to believe that this is a sign of unraveling. The Zionist Organization of American is going after a deputy Homeland Security adviser, John Brennan, for using the Arabic name…

Gaza extremists target children’s camp
Mondoweiss – Yes I believe this has to do with occupation and siege, but still, there are intolerant elements inside Gazan society. The Times carries a report from Fares Akram of an attack on a UN children’s camp in Sunday, apparently by Islamic militants, torching property. John Ging…

If Saban bought ‚ÄòLA Times,’ Americans wouldn’t hear Ahmad Tibi’s call for equality
Mondoweiss – The New Yorker’s profile of Haim Saban, the Israeli-American billionaire, quotes Saban as saying that he wanted to buy the Los Angeles Times (and still does) because he “thought it was time that it turn from a pro-Palestinian paper into a balanced paper. During the period…

Is Chomsky getting religion on the lobby?
Mondoweiss – International Middle East Media Center report : American Professor Noam Chomsky held a meeting on Friday with a senior official of the Lebanon-based Hezbollah party, and discussed several issues regarding the Middle East conflict, Israel and the United States policies. …Chomsky met with Nabil Qaouk, a senior…

Misc 2

Podcast — Tidings Blog interviews Avigail Abarbanel: A therapist looks at Israel
Palestine Think Tank – Avigail Abarbanel is an Israeli-born psychotherapist who migrated to Australia in 1991. A few months ago, she and her husband moved to the Scottish Highlands where they plan to set up their counseling practice. I spoke with Avigail from her home near Inverness. (The full interview…

Al Mezan Condemns the Israeli Approval of the ‘Shalit Law” Bill and Calls for Intensifying International Efforts to Abolish this Racist Law
Al Mezan Center for Human Rights –

Gaza Government Prohibits a Sit-in in Solidarity with UNRWA and a Workshop by ICHR, Al Mezan Condemns these Decisions and Calls for Respecting the Law
Al Mezan Center for Human Rights –

OBAMA MURDER PLOT????
Irish4Palestine – Reported from Veterans Today:CAUGHT IN THE ACT! IS THE MURDER OF PRESIDENT OBAMA BEING PLANNED? Newsmax published it but pulled it quickly but not until it was sent to every senior member of Americas military. I got it from a former military intelligence officer. It has…

Ooooooooooooooooo Very Interesting
Irish4Palestine – link Arrest warrant issued for mystery Scot Christopher Lockwoo. A scot is the focus of a global manhunt following the Mossad assassination of a top Hamas official. Detectives investigating the Dubai murder – blamed on the Israeli secret service – have issued an arrest warrant for…

CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN MY ARSE!
Irish4Palestine – Bad, Bad, Iran, they went and struck a deal with Turkey instead of some country controlled by the US and Israel. So, even after Iran does what for the last several years America has asked it to do, a Uranium swap deal, we see the following:…

Crowd heckles Iranian president
BBC – A crowd in south-west Iran heckles president Ahmadinejad over his government’s handling of the economy.

Israeli minister ‘abused trust’
BBC – Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman should face fresh charges in a corruption probe, police in Israel say

Peres denies S Africa weapon deal
BBC – Israel’s President denies a report that he made a deal with apartheid South Africa to sell them nuclear warheads in 1975.

Monday: 1 US Soldier, 3 Iraqis Killed; 7 Iraqis Wounded
Antiwar.com – At least three Iraqis were killed and seven more were wounded in the latest violence. Also, one U.S. soldier was killed while conducting security operations. With the occupation winding down and foreign reporters having gone home, fewer reports manage to get out of the country unless…

Civil society in the lead
Sabbah report – Palestinians call to boycott Israeli products (Photo: MaanImages/Mushir Abdelrahman) By Sam Bahour* | Sabbah Report | www.sabbah.biz When politicians face failure what do they do? Step down? No way. Not in Palestine at least. Over and over again the Palestinian leadership has hit a cement wall (no pun…

Australia: Israeli diplomat expelled over fake passport affair
BDS – Emma Rodgers [ ABC News ] 24 May 2010 – The Federal Government is expelling an Israeli diplomat after it found Israel faked Australian passports that were used in a hit on a top Hamas leader in Dubai. read more

Articles


Revealed: how Israel offered to sell South Africa nuclear weapons
Chris McGreal, The Guardian5/24/2010
Secret South African documents reveal that Israel offered to sell nuclear warheads to the apartheid regime, providing the first official documentary evidence of the state’s possession of nuclear weapons.
The “top secret” minutes of meetings between senior officials from the two countries in 1975 show that South Africa’s defence minister, PW Botha, asked for the warheads and Shimon Peres, then Israel’s defence minister and now its president, responded by offering them “in three sizes”. The two men also signed a broad-ranging agreement governing military ties between the two countries that included a clause declaring that “the very existence of this agreement” was to remain secret.
The documents, uncovered by an American academic, Sasha Polakow-Suransky, in research for a book on the close relationship between the two countries, provide evidence that Israel has nuclear weapons despite its policy of “ambiguity” in neither confirming nor denying their existence.
The Israeli authorities tried to stop South Africa’s post-apartheid government declassifying the documents at Polakow-Suransky’s request and the revelations will be an embarrassment, particularly as this week’s nuclear non-proliferation talks in New York focus on the Middle East.
They will also undermine Israel’s attempts to suggest that, if it has nuclear weapons, it is a “responsible” power that would not misuse them, whereas countries such as Iran cannot be trusted.
A spokeswoman for Peres today said the report was baseless and there were “never any negotiations” between the two countries. She did not comment on the authenticity of the documents.
South African documents show that the apartheid-era military wanted the missiles as a deterrent and for potential strikes against neighbouring states.more..e-mail

Israel’s Permanent War on Palestine
Stephen Lendman, Dissident Voice5/23/2010
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) provides weekly snapshots of Israeli killings, targeted assassinations, arrests, home demolitions, destroyed farmland, assaults on peaceful protesters, community incursions, home invasions, and more besides full-scale attacks at its discretion — a decades-long onslaught against 1.5 million Gazans and over 2.5 million West Bank and East Jerusalem Palestinians.
On May 11, a recent assault occurred in the West Bank’s Lubban Al-Sharqiya village when settlers attacked a local mosque, set it ablaze and gutted it. Israeli fire-fighters blamed it on an electrical short-circuit, later investigations showing arson was responsible, what Palestinians knew all along.
A village spokesperson said the mosque was undergoing renovations, its electricity turned off in the section where the fire broke out. Other villagers heard cars arrive around 3AM and saw settlers entering the mosque. They tore down curtains to start the blaze, stacked Qurans next to a bathroom, and arranged shoes on the pile in the shape of a Star of David to desecrate them and the mosque.
Besides security force assaults, attacks like this happen often against Palestinian homes, businesses, vehicles, farmland, and livestock — even children on their way to school. Rarely are charges ever brought, giving settlers license to commit crimes with impunity, including cold blooded murder.
Other Recent Attacks
On April 1, Israeli jets struck Gaza’s Maghazi refugee camp and Palestinian businesses, including two cheese factories, claiming they were making weapons — the same justification Israel uses for other aggression….more..e-mail

Otherwise Occupied — The irrational stage
Amira Hass, Haaretz, Israeli Occupation Archive5/24/2010
Speaking by video conference from Amman, Noam Chomsky explained to a Bir Zeit University audience last week the link between the Israeli occupation and U.S. global ambitions
“Denying my entry to the West Bank was a minor event, but significant because it indicates irrational behavior on the part of Israel,” the linguist Noam Chomsky said at the start of his lecture last Tuesday to a few dozen students and faculty members of Bir Zeit University. He delivered his lecture, “Americans and the World,” by video conference, of course: He in Amman, his audience in one of the university’s lecture halls. With all due respect to technology, the sound system did not allow for a real dialogue, much less an opportunity to pause for clarification. Thus it was impossible to interrupt Chomsky and ask him to define “irrational” and to say whether he considers this to be a new stage in of Israeli policy.
Chomsky spent time discussing a political decision taken by Israel in 1971, but he did not explicitly define it as irrational. Then, he said, Israel turned down a proposal from Egyptian president Anwar Sadat for a peace treaty in return for withdrawal. The same principle has guided Israel ever since, Chomsky said: It favors territorial expansion over security. He did not say “peace,” but rather “security,” repeating this at least twice. Many of his examples fell victim to technology, but not these nuances. He criticizes policy, but he cares about people — and he makes a distinction between governments, which are the object of his criticism, and nations, sometimes excessively so, to the point of exempting societies, particularly ones with internal democracy, of responsibility for the policies of their governments.
Chomsky went on to say that the 1978 Camp David Accord (between Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat ) was “a diplomatic disaster” — and not the achievement it is generally hailed as being, because it came after a major war with many casualties…. — See also:Source: Ha’aretzmore..e-mail

Art, theory and action: Udi Aloni interviewed
Electronic Intifada: 24 May 2010 – On 10 May, Udi Aloni spoke at a public debate on the Palestinians and Israel in Bern, Switzerland about his support for the Palestinian civil society call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS). The Electronic Intifada contributor Adri Nieuwhof spoke with Aloni about his work and views.

Protest the extended detention of rights defender Ameer Makhoul
Electronic Intifada: 24 May 2010 – In a hearing at Petach Tikva Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, 20 May 2010, a judge extended Ameer Makhoul’s detention for a third time until Tuesday, 25 May 2010. Mr. Makhoul, a human rights defender and the director of Arab nongovernmental organization network Ittijah, has been in Israeli detention since he was arrested from his family home in Haifa in the early morning hours of 6 May.

Living the Nakba in Gaza
Electronic Intifada: 24 May 2010 – GAZA CITY, occupied Gaza Strip (IPS) – This is the month for Palestinians to remember their Nakba, or “catastrophe,” in which more than 700,000 women, men and children were pushed off their land and rendered homeless refugees by the Zionist attacks before, during and after the founding of Israel in 1948.

unending Nakbas
In Gaza: 23 May 2010 – (IPS) — This is the month for Palestinians to remember their Nakba , or “catastrophe”, in which more than 700,000 women, men and children were pushed off their land and rendered homeless refugees by the Zionist attacks before, during and after the founding of Israel in 1948. Isdud, a farming community to the north of Gaza’s current border, was ethnically cleansed, in the months after the expulsions began in May 1948. It was one of over 530 villages razed and destroyed after the residents were forced out by Zionist attacks. After three nights of Israeli air bombardment, more than 5,000 Palestinian residents here were forcibly expelled from their houses and land. Most resettled in what are now overcrowded refugee camps in Gaza. “Most of the houses have been destroyed; the rubble is covered with grasses and thorns,” wrote Palestinian historian Walid Khalidi . At a Gaza City Nakba commemoration displaying the clothes,…

The Simplicity of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Palestine Chronicle: 24 May 2010 – By Jeremy R. Hammond There is a general perception that the reason the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has continued for so long is because it is extremely complex. Nothing could be further from the truth. Placed in historical context, understanding the root cause of the conflict is simple, and in doing so, the solution becomes apparent. During the late 1800s, a movement known as Zionism arose to establish a Jewish state in Palestine, then a territory under the Ottoman Empire. As a result of World War I, the Ottoman Empire was dissolved and Great Britain and France conspired to divide the territorial spoils of war between themselves. The British became the occupying power of Palestine. The League of Nations issued a mandate effectively recognizing Great Britain as such. During the war, the British had promised the Arab nations their independence in return for their cooperation in helping to defeat the Ottoman Turks….more

The Biggest Threat to Peace in Middle East
Palestine Chronicle: 24 May 2010 – By Dr. Elias Akleh A build up of heightened tension in the Middle East is escalating in the last few weeks. American and Israeli postures towards Lebanon, Syria, and Iran have become more threatening. Listening to speeches of political leaders one hears talks only about war not peace. Iranians and Israelis are continuously training hard for a possible showdown. Both sides are conducting extensive war games every month. This led Syrians to claim that Israel is preparing for a soon-to-come another war. The Jordanians also are warning that current stalemate of the peace process is an indication of a war breaking this summer. The Russian President and his army chief hinted, few months ago, that the US and Israel were planning for an attack on Iran. Indeed Iran is, as it has been for last few years, the target of most of the threats and accusation of supporting terrorism. Escalating…more

From the Imaginary Line to the Imaginary Dome
Palestine Chronicle: 24 May 2010 – By Dallas Darling If wars first begin in the mind and with one’s imagination, then so does peace and security. I was reminded of this when President Barack Obama sent a request to Congress to pay Israel more than $200 million to fund a new missile shield called the “Iron Dome.” It will consist of a weapons system that will intercept rockets and artillery shells. But much like the Maginot Line, it will never solve the real problems surrounding the causes of war, nor will it guarantee ultimate peace and security. The Maginot Line was the name given to a system of fortifications built by France after World War One. It consisted of a complex system of underground bunkers, anti-tank systems, field fortifications, outposts and artillery fire, and included areas that could be flooded before the system came under assault. Having taken more than twelve years to build, the Maginot…more

Beyond Fundementalism — Book Review
Palestine Chronicle: 24 May 2010 – By Jim Miles Beyond Fundamentalism – Confronting Religious Extremism in the Age of Globalization. Reza Aslan. Random House, New York. 2009/10. I first encountered Reza Aslan on the Jon Stewart Show and was somewhat perturbed by his interview – unfortunately I have not been able to retrieve that reference on the internet, but it did intrigue me and led me to purchasing his book Beyond Fundamentalism. More than likely that was what his intentions originally were for, to promote purchase and readership of his latest book, originally published as “How to Win a Cosmic War.” At first appearances the writing seemed highly sensationalized, presenting definitions about the differences between holy wars and ‚Äòcosmic’ wars as if there was a substantial difference between the two. That a “cosmic war is a religious war,” does not seem to offer much differentiation to that of a holy war. That cosmic warriors “are fighting…more

Palestine, Israel: Back to the Basics
Palestine Chronicle: 24 May 2010 – By John D. Welch As the so-called proximity talks move back and forth between the Israeli negotiators, the Palestinian Authority negotiators and George Mitchell, the US special Middle East envoy, it occurs to me to ask “Why bother?” Why should more time and effort be expended in talks that historically have never been equally productive for both the Palestinians and the Israelis. In fact, given the historic positions of both sides, the talks may never be able to produce positive results. Albert Einstein once said something to the effect that problems can’t be resolved by using the same thought patterns that produced the problems in the first place. Just that is happening now in the Palestine/Israel proximity talks. An article published on BBC News (2007/11/26) by Paul Reynolds outlines the major peace talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians since the 1967 occupation began. In summary, that article begins with…more


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