VTJP Palestine/Israel Newslinks 24 December, 2010: Gaza: Two Years after the Horror

24 December, 2010 — VTJP


International Middle East Media Center

Army Carries Out Three Air Strikes In Gaza
IMEMC – 24 Dec 2010 – Saturday December 25, 2010 – 04:51, The Israeli Air Force carried out, on Friday night after midnight, three air strikes targeting several areas in in central and southern Gaza; three Palestinians were wounded.

Bethlehem Prepared for Midnight Mass
IMEMC – 24 Dec 2010 – Friday December 24, 2010 – 17:33, On Friday, Jerusalem’s Latin Patriarch Fuad Tawwal and the senior officials of the Catholic Church arrived in Bethlehem through the gate of the Israeli Wall to attend the midnight mass at the Nativity Church.

UN: “Both Israel And Hamas Want Calm In Gaza”
IMEMC – 24 Dec 2010 – Friday December 24, 2010 – 11:54, The United Nations reported Thursday that both Israel and the Hamas movement in Gaza are interested in calm, and are not seeking tension in the Gaza Strip or around it., The UN also called for an end to all military operations “on both sides”.

Ma’an News

Farmer injured in northern Gaza
12/24/2010 – GAZA CITY (AFP) — A Palestinian farmer was shot and wounded Friday in the legs by Israeli army fire in the northern Gaza Strip, Palestinian medics said. The Israeli army confirmed opening fire, saying that its soldiers had targeted “several suspects” near the border with the Gaza Strip after warning shots….

Israeli airstrikes hit Gaza after rocket attack
12/25/2010 – JERUSALEM (AFP) — Israeli warplanes hit four targets in the Gaza Strip early Saturday, wounding at least two people, officials and witnesses said and knocking out power in a large swathe of the strip. The strikes came after militants fired a mortar and rocket into Israel on Friday, according to the army. One of the strikes….

Rally in Silwan protesting Israeli practices
12/24/2010 – JERUSALEM (Ma’an) – Palestinians and peace activists from Israel and abroad rallied Friday in the Silwan neighborhood of Jerusalem protesting settlements and other Israeli procedures there and in the Old City. Demonstrators denounced practices of the Israeli government and settlers against Palestinians. Participants marched in the neighborhood reaching a protest tent in the Al-Bustan….

Israeli military to expel Jerusalem Palestinian
12/24/2010 – JERUSALEM (AFP) — The Israeli military has ordered an East Jerusalem Palestinian out of the city for four months for allegedly organizing protests against Israeli settlement there, the army and media said Thursday. Adnan Jith, 34, a resident of Silwan neighborhood, has 14 days in which to appeal the order and has said he plans to….

1 hurt in clashes in Nabi Saleh
12/24/2010 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A young Palestinian man was injured Friday when Israeli forces raided the village of Nabi Saleh. Dozens of Palestinian youths confronted the forces and clashes erupted. A young man identified as Adi At-Tamimi was hospitalized with breathing difficulties. The army also invaded the village on Thursday….

Report: Bereaved Gaza doctor to sue Israel
12/24/2010 – TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma’an) — Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, who lost three daughters when the Israeli army fired shells at his home during Operation Cast Lead, will file on Sunday a massive damages claim, an Israeli newspaper reported.”I didn’t want to file the lawsuit, and until now I didn’t want….

Weekly anti-wall rally commemorates Christmas
12/24/2010 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) – Two Palestinians and an Israeli journalist were injured Friday as confrontations erupted after Friday prayer in Bil’in, west of Ramallah in the central West Bank. International activists suffocated tear gas as Israeli forces dispersed the weekly non-violent rallyagainst the wall and settlement expansion. The rally commemorated Christmas this week….

Turkey ties frayed, Israel turns to the Balkans
12/24/2010 – JERUSALEM (AFP) — Israel is boosting its ties with Balkan nations after a deep freeze in relations with Turkey, formerly its closest and strongest regional ally. For over a decade, Ankara and the Jewish state shared warm relations, bolstered by important agreements on defence and the high-tech industry. Ties were so strong that Ankara even acted….

Zahhar: Hamas still committed to Israel truce
12/25/2010 – GAZA CITY (AFP) — Hamas remains committed to its truce with Israel, a senior leader of the Palestinian Islamist movement, Mahmoud Zahhar, said Friday, despite the increase in rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip.” We declare our commitment to respecting the truce between us and the occupier,” Zahhar told a gathering in the Gaza town of….

UN envoys criticize Israel home demolitions
12/24/2010 – JERUSALEM (AFP) — Two United Nations representatives have criticized Israel for demolishing Palestinian homes in occupied East Jerusalem, with a senior envoy saying the actions could violate international law. On Thursday, a field worker for the UN Relief and Works Agency, which cares for Palestinian refugees, decried the “trauma and indignity” of two home demolitions in….

Mitchell: US won’t drop peace efforts
12/24/2010 – TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma’an) — US Middle East envoy George Mitchell said Thursday that the United States would not terminate its involvement in the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians, Israeli media reported. In an interview on The Maine Public Broadcasting Network quoted by the Haaretz daily, Mitchell said a lack of US….

WikiLeaks to ‘prove’ Mossad behind Dubai murder
12/24/2010 – DUBAI (AFP) — Dubai’s police chief said WikiLeaks will confirm his charge that Israel’s Mossad secret service was behind the Jan. 20 murder of a Hamas commander visiting the emirate, in a newspaper report Friday.” The leaked document will prove the truth about Mossad’s involvement, but there are certain people….

Patriarch arrives in Bethlehem
12/24/2010 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The West Bank city of Bethlehem welcomed Jerusalem’s Latin Patriarch Fuad Tawwal on Friday afternoon, accompanied by senior officials of the Catholic Church. The delegation was received at the northern entrance of the city by the mayors of Bethlehem and nearby Beit Sahour and Beit Jala. President Mahmoud Abbas….

Egyptian has ‘revealed 3 Israeli spy cells’
12/24/2010 – CAIRO (AFP) — The confessions of an Egyptian accused of spying for Israel have led to three espionage cells being dismantled in Lebanon and Syria, where an agent was executed in November, Cairo newspapers said Friday. Tareq Abdul Razzak, the 37-year-old owner of an import-export business, is accused of having spied for Israel together with….

Thousands join Palestinians celebrating Christmas in Bethlehem
12/24/2010 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The West Bank city where Christians believe Jesus was born welcomed an unprecedented number of foreign guests on Christmas eve, Palestinian Authority officials said Friday. PA minister of tourism Khaloud Deibis told Ma’an that this year’s estimates showed that about 90,000 would arrive by the end of….

Christmas cheer abounds in sunny Bethlehem
12/24/2010 – BETHLEHEM, West Bank (AFP) — A festive mood gripped a sunny Bethlehem on Friday as tourists flocked in record numbers to celebrate Christmas in the town where Christians believe Jesus Christ was born.” It’s amazing. To be in the birthplace of Christ on Christmas, you can’t get better than that,” said Brady….

Economy priority as locals prep for Christmas
12/25/2010 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The West Bank city of Bethlehem prepared Thursday to receive thousands of tourists from across the globe to celebrate Christmas, as locals lit the city’s main Christmas tree. Palestinian Authority minister of tourism Khaloud Deibis told Ma’an that this year witnessed an increase in the number of….

Palestine Note

Ahmadinejad eyes cooperation over nuke talks
Palestine Note 24 Dec 2010 – Arabiya – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Thursday that upcoming talks with world powers in Istanbul would show whether the row over Tehran’s nuclear program could be resolved through cooperation. “We think this meeting will be…

Wikileaks: Israel destroyed Syria nuke reactor
Palestine Note 24 Dec 2010 – Arabiya – Israel destroyed a Syrian nuclear reactor in an air raid just weeks before it went online in 2007, said a U.S. diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks and published on Friday in an Israeli daily….

Egyptian literati reiterate refusal to normalize relations with Israel
Palestine Note 24 Dec 2010 – Al Masry Al Youm – At a conference held this week, prominent Egyptian literary figures reiterated their rejection of normalized relations with Israel, calling on their counterparts throughout the Arab world to put aside their differences…

Israeli papers: Security official arrested in Syria for involvement in spy ring
Palestine Note 24 Dec 2010 – Al Masry Al Youm – Israeli papers reported Friday the arrest of a security official in Damascus, for allegedly passing information to an Egyptian man accused of spying for Israeli intelligence. Read Full Article

Israeli military to expel Jerusalem Palestinian
Palestine Note 24 Dec 2010 – Maan – The Israeli military has ordered an East Jerusalem Palestinian out of the city for four months for allegedly organizing protests against Israeli settlement there, the army and media said Thursday. Adnan Jith, 34, a…

Report: Bereaved Gaza doctor to sue Israel
Palestine Note 24 Dec 2010 – Maan – Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, who lost three daughters when the Israeli army fired shells at his home during Operation Cast Lead, will file on Sunday a massive damages claim, an Israeli newspaper reported. Read Full…

Haniyeh to reshuffle cabinet
Palestine Note 24 Dec 2010 – Maan – Prime Minister in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh has decided to reshuffle his cabinet, a Hamas official said Friday. Hamas spokesman Taher An-Nunu said Haniyeh formed a special committee to meet with factions and national figures…

Christmas with Arafat in Bethlehem
Palestine Note 24 Dec 2010 – Nabil Sha’ath, Maan – Two weeks after my return to my homeland in May 1994, after the signing of the Gaza-Jericho agreement, I decided to go from the Gaza Strip to Bethlehem and Jerusalem after a…

Thousands join Palestinians celebrating Christmas in Bethlehem
Palestine Note 24 Dec 2010 – Maan – The West Bank city where Christians believe Jesus was born welcomed an unprecedented number of foreign guests on Christmas eve, Palestinian Authority officials said Friday. Read Full Article Photo: A Christmas service at the…

Wave of ethnic rage sparks concern in Israel
Palestine Note 24 Dec 2010 – Maan – A wave of protests and discriminatory acts by Jewish Israelis against Palestinians and Africans is worrying rights activists and has prompted an unprecedented appeal for calm from Israel’s prime minister. Read Full Article

UN agency condemns Arab home demolitions in Jerusalem
Palestine Note 24 Dec 2010 – BBC News – The UN relief agency UNRWA has condemned Israel’s demolition of homes in East Jerusalem, up 45% this year. It said 396 buildings were razed in 2010, compared with 275 last year, in occupied…

US sanctions policy ‘riddled with loopholes’
Palestine Note 24 Dec 2010 – BBC News – US sanctions tend to be riddled with exceptions that are neither humanitarian nor democracy-related, a former US sanctions official has said. Stuart Eizenstat, a deputy treasury secretary in the Clinton era, told the…

Hamas says committed to mutual truce with Israel
Palestine Note 24 Dec 2010 – Alert Net – Gaza’s Islamist Hamas rulers signalled on Friday that they wanted to defuse tension with Israel that has surged over the past week and they reiterated their desire for a mutual ceasefire. Israel and…

Squabbling hinders repairs to Bethlehem Nativity Church
Palestine Note 24 Dec 2010 – BBC News – As thousands of Christian pilgrims and tourists visit Bethlehem, the site where it is believed Jesus was born, the local authorities are warning that unless urgent repairs are carried out to the centuries-old…


US made trade exceptions for Iran
AlJazeera 24 Dec 2010 – Treasury Department granted some 10,000 licenses to American companies to trade with Iran, despite biting US sanctions.

Palestine News Network

Photos of the Midnight Christmas Mass in Bethlehem 2010
PNN – PNN Wishes You Marry Christmas and A Happy New Year

Voices of Christmas
PNN – Bethlehem – PNN – Manger Square is a melting pot unheard of in the West Bank on Christmas Eve, hosting old and young, boys and girls, travelers from far and near. Here…

Daily Roundup: Child, Journalist Injured in Anti-Wall Protests, Tanks Enter Gaza
PNN – Ramallah — PNN – While most press attention was focused on Christmas celebrations in Bethlehem, Israeli troops suppressed weekly anti-wall protests in several West Bank villages, resulting in dozens of cases of…

Live Coverage: Midnight Mass Starts as President Abbas arrives in the Church on Nativity
PNN – Bethlehem — PNN — Update 12:00 AM — On Friday midnight Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad joined hundreds of cristians at the Church of Nativity for the Christmas…

The Unexpected Sound of Christmas: Palestinians and the Bagpipe
PNN – Bethlehem — PNN – To an outsider, Palestinian culture can be recalled with a few recognizable motifs: the keffiyeh, the olive tree, a plate of hummus, or a Darwish poem. On the…

Palestinian Center for Human Rights

Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (16 — 22 December. 2010)
Palestinian Center for Human Rights

Jerusalem Post

Ecuador formally recognizes Palestinian state
Jeruslalem Post 24 Dec 2010 – President signs “Ecuadoran government’s official recognition of Palestine as free, independent state with 1967 borders.”

IDF hits Gaza targets after Kassam lands near Ashkelon
Jeruslalem Post 24 Dec 2010 – Terrorists cell, smuggling tunnels attacked by IAF planes in response to rocket fire; Hamas strongman says group against escalation in Gaza.

IDF attacks Gaza targets after Kassam lands near Ashkelon
Jeruslalem Post 24 Dec 2010 – Terrorists targets, smuggling tunnels hit by IAF planes in response to rocket fire; Hamas strongman says group against escalation in Gaza.

Abbas expresses hope for Palestinian state by next year
Jeruslalem Post 24 Dec 2010 – During Bethlehem speech to mark Christmas PA president says “we are seekers of peace in the path of Jesus.”

Hamas strongman against escalation with Israel
Jeruslalem Post 24 Dec 2010 – Zahar says the Gaza-based group is “committed to the calm” since Cast Lead; tells supporters that the quiet allows the group to rearm.

‘Syria uncovers Israeli spy networks with Egypt’s help’
Jeruslalem Post 24 Dec 2010 – Arab press reports Kung Fu coach bribed security officials to share intelligence; arrest comes shortly after four spies found in Egypt.

WikiLeaks: Israel bombed Syrian nuclear facility
Jeruslalem Post 24 Dec 2010 – Condoleezza Rice confirms Israeli strike in 2007, says intel collected by US, Israel shows that reactor was built with N. Korean help.

Security and Defense: Avoiding Cast Lead II
Jeruslalem Post 23 Dec 2010 – Hamas has long-range rockets, and Israel’s deterrence may have eroded, but neither side is interested in another large-scale conflict.

Focus on Iran: Who’s next on Ahmadinejad’s list?
Jeruslalem Post 23 Dec 2010 – The Iranian president has managed to dispense with two high-profile domestic opponents of late. Now who is in his crosshairs?

International Solidarity Movement

Israeli Military Kills Shepherd in Beit Lahya
12/24/2010 – International Solidarity Movement – Yesterday morning Salama Abu Hashish, 20 years, was herding his sheep and goats in Beit Lahya, in northern Gaza, when the Israeli Occupation Forces shot him without any warning. The bullet hit his back and went straight through one of his kidneys. He had surgery and was in the intensive care unit at Kamal Adwan….

Youth arrest in Nabi Saleh
12/24/2010 – International Solidarity Movement – Three days before the first anniversary of the weekly demonstration held in An Nabi Saleh, on December the 22nd, Israeli forces arrested 23-year-old Bahaa Tamimi, a member of the community. He will face a trial in an Israeli Military court within the following week. The military has been searching for him for the past….


Thousands in Tel Aviv protest plan for refugee detention facility
Ha’aretz – Israelis march through Tel Aviv for refugees’ rights; refugees also march carrying signs reading ‘Torture and persecution in Eritrea, detention facility in Israel.’

What’s the link between the attorney general’s wife and the defense minister’s wife?
Ha’aretz – Yehuda Weinstein appears to have employed a foreign worker in his house to do housework, even though his permit was limited to nursing care.

Former PM Olmert: Barak protected Hamas during Cast Lead
Ha’aretz – Defense Minister Ehud Barak and former prime minister Ehud Olmert trade barbs over Israel’s offensive against Hamas two years ago.

Top Gaza Hamas official: We are committed to ceasefire with Israel
Ha’aretz – Mahmoud Zahar says Hamas does not want an escalation with Israel despite recent rise in violence but hints at group’s rearmament.

Top Hamas official: No escalation in fighting with Israel
Ha’aretz – Mahmoud Zahar says Hamas is committed to maintaining calm despite recent rise in violence but hints at group’s rearmament.

Report: Syria official arrested for allegedly aiding Israel ‘espionage’
Ha’aretz – Security official in Damascus suspected of giving information to Egyptian businessman who was recently charged with recruiting agents in Arab states to spy for the Mossad.

Mitchell: Lack of U.S. involvement in Mideast could lead to outbreak of violence
Ha’aretz – U.S. envoy tells a Maine television network that no president would stand by and let the Mideast conflict erupt as it would not be in America’s strategic interests., Rocket and…

Israel allows more exports from Gaza in effort to slowly ease blockade
Ha’aretz – Farmers, private businessmen to be allowed to export goods even if they aren’t labeled as ‘international projects.’

Palestinian family sends mentally ill son to settlement in hope IDF shoots him
Ha’aretz – Boy caught near central West Bank settlement of Beit El, said family forced him at gunpoint to go to settlement in hopes he would be killed.


Video: Bil’in – Christmas under the gas 24.12.2010
Uruknet December 24, 2010 – To mark the International Week of Solidarity with the Palestinian people and the Christmas holiday the people of Bil’in remember their martyrs, prisoners and wounded and vow to continue their struggle against the occupation… with the aim of establishing an independent state with Jerusalem as capital. At today’s demonstration, a number of Bil’in’s citizens as…

You Are Not Forgotten
Uruknet December 24, 2010 – My Palestinian sister, my Palestinian brother;

Obama’s Indecisiveness Defines His Presidency
Uruknet December 24, 2010 – Obama’s handling of the shortly-lived peace talks between the Palestinian Authority and Israel’s rightwing government is another example of a striking failure followed by whitewash. Although he adamantly demanded a halt to Israel’s construction of illegal settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, Obama soon began capitulating before an obstinate Benjamin Netanyahu. The Israeli…

Prisoners Group Brings Relief Behind Bars
Uruknet December 24, 2010 -Over 10,000 Palestinians are suffering human rights abuses in Israeli jails, many of whom have not been convicted of any crime. A grass-roots initiative is aiming to provide representation to forgotten detainees. The idea of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club (PPC) was born in jail. One of the men that came up with it is Abderal Anabi,…

The Palestinian ‘legitimacy war’
Uruknet December 24, 2010 – …The Palestinians have been victimized in these respects for more than 62 years, and their efforts to end this intolerable set of realities by an innovative reliance on nonviolent resistance and self-defense deserves the support of persons of conscience throughout the world. Whether this reliance on a Legitimacy War can finally achieve justice for the…

Israeli soldiers kill Palestinian herdsman and wound three youthsEXCLUSIVE PICTURES
Uruknet December 24, 2010 – Scenes of mourning returned to the streets of Gaza as Israel intensifies its attacks on the besieged population of the Gaza Strip. Israeli soldiers today opened fire on a Palestinian herdsman as he tended to his goats in the northern area of the Strip. Salama Abu Hashish, a 22 year old Palestinian man, died from…

The Bluster of a Zionist Thug
Uruknet December 24, 2010 – Last week, Indypendent journalist and frequent Mondoweiss contributor Alex Kane noted: “As the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement continues full-steam ahead in its efforts to force Israel to comply with international law, pro-Israel hawks are increasingly attempting to link the movement to anti-Semitism and Nazi Germany-era policies.” The latest example of this disingenuous and…

Help Silwan Resident Adnan Gheith Stay in Jerusalem
Uruknet December 24, 2010 – I know the Occupation in and out — I lived under it my entire life, but even I cannot imagine being in Adnan Gheith’s position. I don’t want to believe that something like this is possible, and I want to do all I can to stop what israel is trying to do to him. On…

Weekly anti-wall rally commemorates Christmas
Uruknet December 24, 2010 – Two Palestinians and an Israeli journalist were injured Friday as confrontations erupted after Friday prayer in Bil’in, west of Ramallah in the central West Bank. International activists suffocated tear gas as Israeli forces dispersed the weekly non-violent rally against the wall and settlement expansion. The rally commemorated Christmas this week. As protestors progressed toward the…

Resisting Tyranny: A Universal Right
Uruknet December 24, 2010 – Israel’s new referendum law defines Jerusalem as its “eternal and indivisible” capital, as well as requiring a two-thirds Knesset majority to cede East Jerusalem land to the Palestinians or in Golan to Syria. Failing that, either withdrawal would be subject to a national referendum. In other words, Jews alone will decide whether or not to…

Christmas with Arafat in Bethlehem
Uruknet December 24, 2010 – …From that day until Christmas of the year 2000, Arafat lived in the monastery of the Church of Holy Nativity from the 23rd of December to the 19th of January every year, attending Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, and Armenian Christmas celebrations. I was with him most of the time. He loved it, and Bethlehem loved him….

Rediscovering Holy Land sites
Uruknet December 23, 2010 – “A number of churches in the West Bank have remained hidden from view, which Palestinians blame on Israel’s monopoly over tourism. Called the forgotten churches, the Christian sites are not found on most operated tours of the Holy Land. But some operators are trying to change that.Christian pilgrims are now able to get a look…

Spies and lies, especially against your allies
Uruknet December 23, 2010 – Reports from the United States say that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is to ask for the release of convicted spy Jonathan Jay Pollard. A report in the New York Times claims that Pollard’s release will be the subject of a “public request” to President Barack Obama; he was convicted in 1987 of spying for…

In Bethlehem, shepherds watching their flocks by night are a dying breed
Uruknet December 23, 2010 – If an “angel of the Lord” were to appear in the sky over Bethlehem today, there would be scarcely any shepherds keeping watch over their flocks to witness the scene. Spending nights and days in the fields herding sheep has become an almost impossible task for the fast-diminishing community of shepherds in this biblical Palestinian…

Anger after Israeli mayor bars Christmas trees from suburb of Nazareth
Uruknet December 23, 2010 — Christmas festivities in the Holy Land focus on the West Bank town of Bethlehem, where Christians believe Jesus was born and the Palestinian Authority hosts annual celebrations. Israel’s government highlights events in Nazareth, a predominantly Palestinian city in Israel where Jesus is believed to have spent much of his life growing up with his mother…

Video: Soldier violently arrests B’Tselem worker, Nasser a-Nawaj’ah, on his family’s land in southern Hebron Hills
Uruknet December 23, 2010 – On the morning of 18 November 2010, ‘Aliaa a-Nawaj’ah, 12, and her brother Hamzah, 14, Palestinians from Susiya in the southern Hebron Hills, were grazing sheep on their family’s land, near which the Susiya settlement was built. According to ‘Aliaa’s testimony, around 7:30 A.M., an army jeep pulled up and two soldiers got out. They…

Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (16 — 22 December. 2010)
Uruknet December 23, 2010 – Summary – Israeli violations of international law and humanitarian law in the OPT continued during the reporting period (16 — 22 December 2010): Shooting: During the reporting period, IOF killed 5 activists of the Palestinian resistance and wound 4 others in the Gaza Strip. They also wounded 8 Palestinian civilians, including a child in the…

WAFA – Palestine News Agency

SPF Deivers Tonfa Training to 37 Recruits
WAFA – RAMALLAH, October 20, 2010 (WAFA)- The Palestinian Special Police Force (SPF) has successfully delivered a Tonfa training course to 37 new SPF recruits, according to a press release by EUPOL-COPPS,

Abu Rdeineh: All Settlement Forms are Illegal, Rejected
WAFA – RAMALLAH, October 19 (WAFA)- The Presidency spokesperson , Nabil Abu Rdeineh confirmed today that all the forms of settlement (outposts and non-random) in Palestinian lands are illegal. Commenting

Netanyahu Declines Demolishing Settlements’ Random Units
WAFA – TEL AVIV, October 19 (WAFA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided that he wouldn’t demolish the unregulated construction in a various settlements although the government has issued

The Elders Urge Comprehensive Approach to Arab-Israeli Peace
WAFA – DAMASCUS, October 19, 2010 (WAFA)- The Elders have called for a more comprehensive approach to the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks following discussions with officials, civil society, business and

France Provides €4 million for Gaza Wastewater Treatment Plant
WAFA – JERUSALEM, October 19, 2010 (WAFA)- On Sunday 17 of October 2010, at Ministry of Planning, Mr Dov Zerah, CEO of the French Development Agency (AFD), Dr Ali Jarbawi, Minister of Planning and

IOF deploys Ariel Settlement
WAFA – SALFIT, October 19 (WAFA)- The Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) deployed, today, the Ariel Settlement that is established by force on the lands of the Salfit, Iskaka, Yasuf and Burkin

Dr. Erakat: Israel Seeks De Facto Recognition of Illegal Practices
WAFA – RAMALLAH, October 19, 2010 (WAFA)- Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization Negotiations Affairs Department Dr. Saeb Erakat said, yesterday, “By hosting the OECD conference in Jerusalem,

Observer: Israeli Government on Division Verge, Netanyahu Negotiates Kadima
WAFA – LONDON, October 17, 2010(WAFA) – The British Newspaper ‚ÄòObserver’ wrote that the Israeli government is facing the division risk because of the deadlock in the negotiations with the Palestinians

Relief Web

Six Airstrikes on Gaza, Al Mezan Condemns IOF Escalation; Calls for International Protection of Civilians in Gaza
Relief Web 24 Dec 2010 – Source: Al Mezan Center for Human Rights

OPT: Hamas says committed to mutual truce with Israel
Relief Web 24 Dec 2010 – Source: Reuters – AlertNet

“Dramatic” 2010 for United Nations: the year in review
Relief Web 24 Dec 2010 – Source: UN Radio

YNet News

Report: Syrian official spied for Israel
YNet News – New twist in espionage affair: Senior Syrian official handed over secret….

Patient transferred from Syria to Israel
YNet News – Young Druze man studying dentistry in Damascus suffers brain hemorrhage, rushed….

Refugees: We’re not Israel’s diseases
YNet News – Some 1,300 people rally in Tel Aviv against plan to set up detention facility….

US defends permits for deals in Iran
YNet News – Following report revealing US companies continue to trade with Iran, other….

Jordan bans textbook on Holocaust
YNet News – Newspaper report reveals private school in Hashemite Kingdom using textbook….

US memo: Israel bombed Syrian reactor
YNet News – Cable leaked to WikiLeaks website, but yet to be published, is first and….

Olmert in book: Barak tried to prevent Gaza op
YNet News – Former prime minister’s autobiography filled with harsh criticism of defense….

Supporters of rabbis’ letter: We’re not racists
YNet News – Rightists gather in Jerusalem’s Zion Square to express support for call to ban….

Palestinian Information Center

Palestinian government denies Israeli claims about Iranian and Syrian military e
PIC 24 Dec 2010 – The Palestinian government spokesman in Gaza, Taher al-Nunu, categorically denied Israeli occupation allegations about the presence of Iranian or Syrian military experts in the Gaza Strip.

Sabri: Aqsa is greater than to be the subject of bargaining
PIC 24 Dec 2010 – The Aqsa Mosque Imam, Sheikh Ekrema Sabri, said during the Friday sermon that the Marwani Mosque is an integral part of the Aqsa Mosque which covers an area of 144 dunums..

IOF fire kills shepherd wound farmer in Gaza
PIC 24 Dec 2010 – A Palestinian farmer was wounded Friday by IOF fire in northern Gaza while a shepherd wounded by IOF fire on Thursday succumbed to his wounds at hospital, according to Palestinian medical sources.

Hamas MPs: kidnapping sons of MPs part of war on resistance
PIC 24 Dec 2010 – Palestinian legislators from the reform and change bloc of Hamas Movement, the biggest in the duly elected Palestinian parliament, have condemned Thursday the kidnapping of Yousef Al-Rejoub.

Palestinian captives in Hawwara go on hunger strike
PIC 24 Dec 2010 – Palestinian captives at the Hawwara detention centre started an open ended hunger strike on Thursday to protest the harsh detention conditions they are kept under at the notorious centre.

IOF troops assault Spanish group at the entrance of Bethlehem
PIC 24 Dec 2010 – IOF troops assaulted a group of Spanish tourists on Thursday afternoon as they tried to enter the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem through its northern entrance to participate in the festivities.

Ashqar: Fatah uses reconciliation as Trojan horse to implement US-Zio schemes
PIC 24 Dec 2010 – Palestinian lawmaker MP Ismael Al-Ashqar has accused Thursday the Fatah Movement of using the reconciliation meetings as Trojan horse to implement a US-Israeli agenda in occupied Palestine.

Kabaha: Claims of Fatah militia on hunger-strikers misleading
PIC 24 Dec 2010 – Palestinian legislator MP Wasfi Kabaha has shrugged off the fabrications made by the Fatah militia in the West Bank claiming that hunger strikers in the Fatah jails ended their strike.

IOF troops storm Negev prison, confiscate captives’ winter clothes
PIC 24 Dec 2010 – The National Supreme Committee for supporting Palestinian captives in Israeli jails said on Thursday that the Israeli occupation troops stormed the Negev desert jail..

New York Times

Hamas Confirms Commitment to Cease-Fire
New York Times 24 Dec 2010 – After a week of heightened tensions along the Gaza-Israel border, Hamas’s statement was an apparent effort to head off further escalation.


My wife’s Christmas message
Mondoweiss –

Christmas in Bil’in
Mondoweiss – Christmas in Bil’in (All Photos: Hamde Abu Rahme) To mark the International Week of Solidarity with the Palestinian people and the Christmas holiday the people of Bil’in remember their martyrs, prisoners and wounded and vow to continue their struggle against the occupation with the aim of…

Will Assange go the way of Ruby or Dreyfus?
Mondoweiss – I think Assange’s fear is justified. Raw Story: Assange added that if the United States succeeded in getting him extradited from Britain or Sweden, then there was a “high chance” of him being killed “Jack Ruby-style” in an American prison. Here’s another way of looking at…

We have received complaints about the words on your T-shirt so we have called the police –Gagosian Gallery
Mondoweiss – Editor’s note: It is alarming to reflect that in the last 24 hours we have seen three instances of the suppression of free speech when it comes to the Israel/Palestine issue— and all in sophisticated western settings . This is why Jewish Voice for Peace launched the…

I been thru the desert with the JNF, it felt good to make it bloom
Mondoweiss – I think this is a setback. Yes, there’s no way to put a good face on this news. Dan Peek formerly of the band America has gone “rabidly Zionist.”

Misc 2

Mortar Fired from Gaza into Occupied Palestine
Al-Manar 24 Dec 2010 – Palestinian resistance fighters on Friday fired a mortar round from Gaza into the southern occupied territories, causing no casualties or damage, the Israeli military said. The shell landed in an empty field in the southern Eshkol area, a military spokesman told AFP. A total of…

Pope prays for peace at Rome Mass
BBC 24 Dec 2010 – Pope Benedict delivers his Christmas Eve homily in Rome as a Bethlehem Mass hears calls for Middle East peace.

US sanctions ‘full of loopholes’
BBC 24 Dec 2010 – US sanctions are riddled with exceptions, a former official says, as the New York Times finds evidence of American firms doing business with Iran.

UN raps Jerusalem home demolitions
BBC 23 Dec 2010 – The UN relief agency UNRWA condemns Israel’s demolition of Arab homes in East Jerusalem, which has risen 45% compared to last year.


Hamas: A never-ending debate over peace
Mahmoud Jaraba, Common Ground News Service12/24/2010
ERLANGEN, Germany – Hamas has always been a multifaceted and dynamic player in the Arab-Israeli conflict. The movement, whose ideological roots are highly religious, has increasingly brought forth new arguments to support its newfound pragmatism and growing support for a peaceful resolution of the conflict.
The Hamas Charter, drafted in August 1988, set forth the movement’s core strategy: defining the historical land of Palestine prior to the Israeli occupation of 1948 as the land of Palestine, “an Islamic Waqf (religious ownership) for Islamic generations until judgment day (Article 11)”. The Charter rejects any peace initiative aimed at solving the “Palestinian issue” (Article 13), and adopts Jihad (holy war) as a political strategy. The authors of the Charter portray the struggle between the Palestinians and Israelis as a “holy war” between Muslims and Jews (the introduction, Article 1, 31, 34, and 35). They stress that the Palestinian problem is a religious problem, and should therefore be dealt with according to this premise (Article 15).
In contrast, however, with the movement’s Charter and the belief that its perceived unchanging nature is rooted in its religious foundations, Hamas’ new commitment to the national dimension of the Arab-Israeli struggle demonstrates surprising political pragmatism. This is especially true of the period that immediately followed Hamas’ victory in the January 2006 Palestinian parliamentary elections, a victory that marked Hamas’ incorporation into the Palestinian political system. During this time, Hamas became more nationalist and less Islamist. This shift is the result of two factors: a rise to political leadership coupled with changing public opinions regarding peace with Israelis.
In the National Conciliation Document (an agreement among Palestinian factions signed after Hamas’ legislative victory), Hamas agreed to accept the establishment of a Palestinian state on the land occupied in 1967, and applied the idea of military resistance mainly to the territories occupied in 1967…. more.. e-mail

The Palestinian National Anthem(s)
Shadi Al Haj, Palestine Think Tank12/24/2010
“Kimi ga yo” Japan and “Mawtini” Palestine!
“Kimi ga yo”, (in English “The Emperor’s Reign”, with these words begins the Japanese national anthem, as a matter of fact, the world’s shortest national anthem (15 words). A poem to praise the Emperor, written in the Heian period and a melody chosen in 1880 to replace a previous unpopular one were the reason for a controversy in democratic Japan until the passage of a law which gave it recognition as Japan‚Äòs national anthem in 1999.
Anthems the way we know them rose to prominence in 19th century Europe and they are either “Marches” or “Hymns” in their musical style while in Latin America, operatic styles can be found.
The Palestinian national anthem has its own interesting story. After a short web-based search I was surprised with the amount of confusion and controversy surrounding it.
I spent a few hours searching the “painfully-confusing” Internet presence of the so-called “Ramallah government” and the “Gaza government ” as well, linking from these places, I ended up on some websites where it was even confusing to know where I was. I found almost nothing regarding the Palestinian national anthem on those web pages.. It seems to me that YouTube and Wikipedia have space to preserve our national story, while both respected Palestinian governments are busy innovating their Internet cockfighting over Legitimacy.
And to bring you closer to the reality behind my irony, I need you to listen to the official Palestinian national anthem which is the recognised Palestinian National Anthem…. — See also: YouTube: Palestinian National Anthem more.. e-mail

The People of the Year in the Middle East
Rannie Amiri, CounterPunch12/24/2010
Meet the Oppressed
The 2010 Middle East People of the Year are:
The Palestinians in Gaza, desperate to let the world know that nearly two years after the end of the 2008-2009 war, the cruel embargo on the territory persists; the siege by air, land and sea continues; and the impoverished population is still held captive in their land.
The Bahraini Shia, the island’s indigent and marginalized majority, ruled by the wealthy Sunni al-Khalifa royal family who routinely orders an imported security service to round up and torture democracy and human rights advocates. Excluded from government, the public sector and law enforcement by overt sectarian discrimination, they have risked life and limb to protest their disenfranchised state.
The Egyptians, who have suffocated under a repressive U.S.-backed regime that has governed by Emergency Law for 30 years and stifled the freedom of expression, assembly and press. The inability to replace their parliamentary representatives by a fair ballot this year makes voting a cruel reminder that the “status quo” is the only candidate ever up for election.
The Iraqis, who endured seven years of occupation and a few daily hours of electricity under a blistering summer sun as unrelenting as the explosions, bombings and suicide attacks that wracked cities and killed thousands. The simple will to stroll on neighborhood streets, take a trip to the market, drop the children off at school or attend Friday prayers are testaments to bravery that should put Iraqi politicians only interested in retaining power to shame. more.. e-mail

Gaza: Two Years after the Horror
Palestine Chronicle: 24 Dec 2010 – By Haidar Eid This week marks the second anniversary of the horror inflicted on the people of the Gaza Strip. Nothing has changed! Gaza has returned to its pre-invasion state of siege, confronted with the usual international indifference. Two years after the Israeli assault that lasted 22 long days and dark nights, during which its brave people were left alone to face one of the strongest armies in the world, Gaza no longer makes the news. Its people die slowly, its children are malnourished, its water contaminated, and yet it is deprived even of a word of sympathy from the President the United States and the leaders of Europe. The dehumanization of the Palestinians of Gaza continues unabated. But now the urgent question is how to hold Israel accountable to international law and basic principles of human rights in order to forestall further escalation. One way to begin holding Israel…more

More material available from Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel – www.vtjp.org
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