VTJP Palestine/Israel Newslinks 20 March, 2011: The resurgence of Palestine

20 March, 2011 — VTJP


Ma’an News

Israeli army kills 2 teenagers in Gaza
3/20/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The bodies of two Gaza teenagers were retrieved by Palestinian medics late Sunday morning, after being killed by Israeli fire some 12 hours earlier in the border area east of Gaza City. Medical crews said they were only permitted to access the site, east of Juhor Addik and north of….

Report: Israeli soldier stabbed in Jaffa
3/20/2011 – TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma’an) — An Israeli soldier was stabbed Sunday morning in Israel’s port town Jaffa, the Israeli news site Ynet reported. The soldier was attacked by a man who tried to take his army-issue weapon. He sustained moderate injuries and was taken to Ichilov Hospital, Ynet said. Police were searching….

UN: Massive increase in home demolitions
3/20/2011 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The latest numbers from the United Nations show a two-fold increase in the number of Palestinian homes and agricultural buildings destroyed by Israel order this year, causing concern among officials. The UN Relief and Works Agency recorded 70 demolitions since the start of 2011, displacing 105 Palestinians, of whom 43 were….

Report: Israel admits to abduction of Gaza engineer
3/20/2011 – TEL AVIV (Ma’an) — Israeli media released details on the abduction of Gaza engineer Dirar Abu Sisi on Sunday, after the country partially lifted its gag order on the plight of the Power Plant official who went missing in the Ukraine in February. In a report released in the Israeli daily news site Haaretz…. Related: Director of Gaza power plant missing in Ukraine and Hamas appeals to Ukraine for release of engineer

1 injured as Israel tanks shell central Gaza
3/20/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — A Palestinian man sustained wounds Sunday as Israeli tanks launched fresh attacks against targets in the central Gaza Strip, medics said. Palestinian medics said a man was hit by shrapnel and wounded all over his body. Witnesses said Israel’s military fired three artillery shells at Juhor Ad-Dik, an….

Gaza’s sole border crossing opens for limited deliveries
3/20/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities will partially open Gaza’s sole operating border crossing, Kerem Shalom, for the delivery of limited quantities of goods, humanitarian aid, and fuel, Palestinian liaison officials said. Raed Fattouh, who coordinates goods deliveries into Gaza, told Ma’an that Israeli officers said 240 to 250 truckloads….

Israel detains Gaza merchant at Erez crossing
3/20/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities detained a Palestinian merchant on Thursday as he tried to leave the Gaza Strip via Erez crossing on the border with Israel. Rajih Mahmoud Kahlout, 57, had been granted a permit to enter the West Bank from the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Commerce, his son Rajaee told Ma….

Resistance labels onslaught ‘winds of change’
3/20/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — In a Sunday statement announcing the latest projectile launch from the Gaza Strip, the armed wing of the Popular Resistance Committees named the recent barrage of projectile fire operation “Winds of Change.” The group, known as the An-Nasser Brigades, said the campaign was “in response to the offensive on Gaza….

Bomb explodes near Gaza beauty salon
3/20/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — A bomb exploded Sunday morning in front of a women’s hairdressing salon in the Shaboura neighborhood of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, witnesses said. Locals told Ma’an that they were performing the dawn prayer when they heard an explosion near a beauty salon in the….

Scout to scout, Japan tells of tragedy
3/20/2011 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — “To our brothers and sisters in scouting and humanity”the Palestinian Boy Scouts and Girl Guides association wrote to their compatriots in Japan, conveying a message of great sorrow for the disaster in their homeland.” Our hearts were broken. Absolutely for us, the event is big and took place on the….

Erekat: We will seek UN recognition soon
3/20/2011 – RAMALLAH (AFP) — The United Nations will be asked to recognize a Palestinian state with full membership of the world body, a Palestinian official said on Sunday. The decision to go forward with the plan had been made by the Palestinian leadership and it is the “choice of president Mahmoud Abbas,” resigned chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb….

Ramallah protesters resume hunger strike
3/20/2011 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Protesters resumed a hunger strike Sunday morning in Ramallah’s Manara square, as youth rallies in the West Bank and Gaza continue to demand national unity. On Tuesday, hundreds of thousands of young Palestinians took to the streets in Gaza City, and thousands rallied in cities across the West Bank….

In Gaza, Fatah says Abbas due next week
3/20/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Member of the PLO Executive Committee and Fatah member in Gaza Zakarieyah Al-Agha told Ma’an Sunday that President Mahmoud Abbas would arrive in Gaza next week “if all goes as planned.”He said Hamas had given initial approval for the visit, which was initiated after large protests across….

Palestine Note

Libyan war may remove a dictator, but not change American hatred of Arabs
Palestine Note 20 Mar 2011 – Does it bother anyone that the American-led assault on Libya came just hours after the 8 th anniversary of the American-led assault on Iraq? Most Americans are spoon-fed the twisted logic that drives American foreign policy, but one thing is…


Fresh explosions rock Libyan capital
AlJazeera 20 Mar 2011 – US says operation “effective” in degrading Gaddafi air defences as international forces launch second night of attacks.

Syria protesters torch buildings
AlJazeera 20 Mar 2011 – One person killed as demonstrations in the southern city of Daraa continue for a third straight day.

Bahrain opposition ‘eases demands’
AlJazeera 20 Mar 2011 – Anti-government coalition appears to retreat from demanding the king’s ouster as they call for the release of prisoners.

Yemen president fires cabinet
AlJazeera 20 Mar 2011 – State media says embattled leader sacks his cabinet after weeks of pro-democracy protests demanding his resignation.

Egypt approves constitutional changes
AlJazeera 20 Mar 2011 – Package of nine changes endorsed by overwhelming vote, paving the way for parliamentary elections later this year.

Haitians vote in presidential runoff
AlJazeera 20 Mar 2011 – UN official describes vote as peaceful but several polling sites delayed opening because they lacked voting materials.

Saudi protest ends with arrests
AlJazeera 20 Mar 2011 – Authorities detain about a dozen demonstrators demanding information about loved ones jailed for years without trial.

Palestinian Center for Human Rights

Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (10-16 March 2011)
Palestinian Center for Human Rights


IDF officers confirm special department created to monitor left-wing organizations
Ha’aretz – New Military Intelligence research department keeping tabs on groups’ efforts to delegitimize Israel.

Libya rebel spokesman: More than 8,000 Libyans killed in revolt
Ha’aretz – Gadhafi vows a long war as allied forces launch second night of air strikes, targeting any Gadhafi forces on the ground that are attacking the opposition.

Israel admits to arrest and detention of Gaza engineer
Ha’aretz – Dirar Abu Sisi, an engineer at Gaza’s power plant went missing from the Ukraine nearly two weeks ago; his wife alleged that he was kidnapped by the Mossad.

Grad rocket fired from Gaza explodes in southern Ashkelon
Ha’aretz – Several people were treated for shock following the explosion, which landed in an open area and caused no damage.

Yemen president fires government amid unrest, state media says
Ha’aretz – Snipers on rooftops shot dead up to 52 anti-government protesters on Friday in Yemen; Yemen ambassador to UN resigns in wake of protesters’ deaths.

Additional protester killed by Syria forces in Daraa, residents say
Ha’aretz – Killing of protester comes two days after four civilians were killed during protests demanding freedoms and the release of political prisoners; thousands continue to demonstrate in Daraa.

Potential White House contender Sarah Palin lands in Israel
Ha’aretz – Palin, on her first trip to the country, plans to visit holy sites and meet Prime Minister Netanyahu; in a message on her website, Palin says she will discuss ‘key issues’ facing Israel with Netanyahu.

J Street head in Israel to lobby Knesset over group’s commitment to Israel
Ha’aretz – Knesset committee scheduled to debate on whether J Street is sufficiently ‘committed’ to Israel to be called a pro-Israel organization.

Doctors declare work dispute on way to general strike
Ha’aretz – If next week’s negotiations do not reach an understanding more than 20,000 doctors will go on strike for the first time in 10 years.

Brig. Gen. Yoav Mordechai named next IDF spokesman
Ha’aretz – Mordechai, an intelligence officer, will replace current IDF spokesman Brig. Gen. Avi Benayahu within the next few weeks;

WikiLeaks: Lebanon army seized Hezbollah arms truck during 2006 war
Ha’aretz – Classified cables released by a Hezbollah-linked newspaper claim Christian leaders voiced support for Israel’s attack on Hezbollah, hoping that such a move would weaken the militant group.

IDF soldier moderately wounded in Jaffa stabbing attack
Ha’aretz – Police forces deploy throughout the area to protect the Purim holiday crowds following the incident, which may have been an attempt to snatch the soldier’s rifle.

Jerusalem Post

Law professor Gavison wins Israel Prize for legal research
Jeruslalem Post 20 Mar 2011 – Selection committee hails ACRI founder for bravely grappling with issues of Israel’s identity.

Using attacks on Syrians shows Assad’s vulnerability
Jeruslalem Post 20 Mar 2011 – Analysis: Damascus wants to be seen as Israel’s chief enemy, but some dissenters now brand the regime as its “protector.”

Hamas split over Abbas offer to visit Gaza for unity talks
Jeruslalem Post 20 Mar 2011 – Critics deride PA leader’s “ploy,” call on him to end security cooperation with Israel.

Syrian protesters torch Baath party headquarters
Jeruslalem Post 20 Mar 2011 – 1 protester killed by security forces in Deraa; thousands of Syrians protest for 3rd straight day, call on Assad to end emergency law.

Thousands of Syrians protest for 3rd straight day
Jeruslalem Post 20 Mar 2011 – Demonstrators in Deraa call on Assad to end emergency law; gov’t tries to appease discontent by promising to release 15 arrested schoolchildren.

Iran warns Libyans of West’s ‘colonial’ aims
Jeruslalem Post 20 Mar 2011 – Tehran expresses support for rebels but says western countries claiming to protect them may eventually look to occupy oil-rich nation.

WikiLeaks: LAF seized Hezbollah rockets during war
Jeruslalem Post 20 Mar 2011 – Cable describes Lebanese defense minister telling US ambassador that his army intercepted arms during height of 2nd Lebanon War, willing to strike Hezbollah.

‘Lebanese army seized Hezbollah rockets in 2nd Lebanon War’
Jeruslalem Post 20 Mar 2011 – WikiLeaks cable shows then-defense minister told US envoy of willingness to “hit back” at Iran-backed guerrillas.

Egypt vote contrasts with thuggery, rigging of the past
Jeruslalem Post 20 Mar 2011 – Police welcome observers into polling stations; people vote for the first time; ElBaradei attacked as he attempts to cast vote.

Jaffa: Assailant stabs IDF soldier, tries to steal gun
Jeruslalem Post 20 Mar 2011 – Man attempts to take Armored Corps officer’s weapon, leaves him lightly to moderately injured; motorcyclist gunned down in Tiberias.

Alternative Information Center

Perpetual Collective Punishment in Awarta
Alternative Information Center – The Israeli military finally left the village of Awarta after days of lockdown and curfew. The West Bank town has long been home to settler attacks and violence. Where is their justice?

Stop The Wall

Commemorate Land Day 2011 by Joining the Global BDS Day of Action 30 March
Stop The Wall – The BDS National Committee (BNC) is calling on you to unite in your different capacities and struggles to join the Global BDS Day of Action on Land Day, 30 March 2011, in solidarity with the Palestinian people’s right to self determination on their ancestral land. [

Los Angeles Times

Double standard seen in Arab response to Libya
LA Times 20 Mar 2011 – Concerns over Western involvement and possible reigniting of Islamic radicalism complicate the situation, which is also coated with hypocrisy. Arab leaders don’t relish attacking one of their own. But bloodshed across Libya and Western pressure have forced them into supporting international airstrikes against Col. Moammar…


To my beloved Palestine, I am sorry. I love you.
Mondoweiss – My aim is not to narrate what happened on March 15; I will leave this to someone else. I will allow myself to be sentimental and emotional. I want to aver my feelings of pain, disgust, disappointment, and anger with this nonsense……. With much anticipation… Fighting…

Mondoweiss – The top of this website says it’s about the war of ideas in the Middle East, which means that I as a co-editor am supposed to have a firm opinion about the intervention in Libya. I don’t. Truthfully, I’m thrilled, I think Qaddafi will be gone…

How I spent March 15 in Gaza
Mondoweiss – This is how I spent March 15. Over the past few months, revolution in the Middle East has spread like wildfire; all those audacious Arab peoples are revolting against their old despotic regimes, a normal result of long years of dictatorship and oppression, and sharing a…

Lebanon ’06 was collective punishment, and we started all that at Passover, the young Jew tells his aunt
Mondoweiss – Leila Buck is an appealing Arab-American actress/playwright with considerable inventive powers. She has a play called ” In the Crossing,” sponsored by the Culture Project that is now running on the Lower East Side and that hunts like a drill for the nerves of the Israel-Palestine conflict….

Young Jews are turning to Palestinian solidarity, Beinart tells a Pittsburgh temple
Mondoweiss – An anonymous friend from Busboys and Poets reports from Pittsburgh: Peter Beinart spoke to a crowd of about 250 at Pittsburgh’s temple Rodef Shalom Thursday evening , on the topic, “Is the Love Affair Over? Young American Jews and Israel.” The moderator was delighted to observe that “…

Misc 2

Selling Purim to Progessives
The Magnes Zionist 20 Mar 2011 – This is the third year I’ve run this post. Sorry, but I have to watch the Adventures of Robin Hood before I go hear the megillah being read. Hope it helps. However you look at it, the holiday is not exactly a favorite among Jewish progressives….

Selling Purim to Progressives Redux
The Magnes Zionist 20 Mar 2011 – Hi, it’s Purim here in Shushan — oops, I mean it’s about to be Shushan Purim here in Jerusalem — and once again, I am out to defend Purim with my fellow progressives. But first a few stories. A colleague at the university, a Jewish liberal-hawk-neocon…

Report: Israel admits to abduction of Gaza engineer
Sabr 20 Mar 2011 – TEL AVIV ( Ma’an ) — Israeli media released details on the abduction of Gaza engineer Dirar Abu Sisi on Sunday, after the country partially lifted its gag order on the plight of the Power Plant official who went missing in the Ukraine in February. In a report…

Campaign launched to save life of kidney patient in Israeli jail
Sabr 20 Mar 2011 – [ 19/03/2011 – 06:50 AM ] NABLUS, ( PIC )— The Palestinian prisoner society launched a campaign to demand international organizations to intervene to save the life of prisoner Abdelkhaliq Gurani and provide him with urgent appropriate medical treatment. Director of the society in Tubas city Mahmoud Sawafta…

Silwan committee: Detained children gone through behavioral changes
Sabr 20 Mar 2011 – [ 19/03/2011 – 08:13 PM ] OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, ( PIC )— According to a study by the Silwan defense committee, children from Jerusalem’s Silwan district have undergone marked behavioral changes after being detained in Israeli prisons. The restrictions placed on them could have negative long-term effects, Silwan committee…

Syrian protesters burn buildings
BBC 20 Mar 2011 – Demonstrators in southern Syria set fire to several buildings including a courthouse during a third day of protests, witnesses say.

Egypt backs constitution changes
BBC 20 Mar 2011 – Egyptians have strongly backed constitutional changes that will allow the country to move quickly on to elections.

Bahrain and Iran expel diplomats
BBC 20 Mar 2011 – Iran expels a Bahraini diplomat in a retaliatory move, amid an ongoing dispute linked to anti-government protests in Bahrain.

Two killed at Gaza-Israel border
BBC 20 Mar 2011 – The bodies of two Palestinian men have been found near the Gaza Israel border, Palestinian medics report.


The resurgence of Palestine
Abdaljawad Hamayel, Ma’an News Agency3/20/2011
For five consecutive years Palestinians have been in a state of nihilism. Politics, even as day-to-day talk, was completely derided and scorned.
Besides the few protests that took place in villages near Ramallah and Hebron, the rest of Palestine was plunged into an unprecedented silence. Checkpoints became a fact of life and the Israeli built “wall” became part and parcel of the territory and its landscape. Meanwhile European and American money poured in by the millions celebrating ‘Fayyadism’ as the new political genre that would transform Palestinian polity and remove any obstacles to Palestinian statehood.
On March 15, this manufactured nihilism finally broke and a new generation of Palestinian youth inspired by the protests in the Arab world embarked on a bold national campaign. They demanded the election of a new Palestinian National Council composed of all Palestinians everywhere, an end to the political division between Hamas and Fatah and a new strategy to confront the Israeli occupation.
The streets of Ramallah, Bethlehem, Hebron and Gaza buzzed with protesters reclaiming the Palestinian national movement and advocating a radical overhaul and change to the failures of the past 20 years.
Strategic failures began with the Palestinian leadership’s support of Saddam Hussein in his occupation of Kuwait and ended with a fractured Oslo agreement that resulted in the fragmentation and dissolution of the Palestinian national movement into a political authority dependent heavily on western financial support and legitimation. more.. e-mail


Human Rights Centre: Thousands of Jerusalemites halt claim to taxes as a prelude to being separated from the city
Jerusalem Centre for Social and Economic Rights, Middle East Monitor (MEMO)3/18/2011
Mr. Segev stated that the Wall had been constructed for demographic reasons; to get rid of 55,000 Palestinian Jerusalemites in districts overseen by the municipality.
The Jerusalem Human Rights Centre has said that authorities of the Israeli occupation have recently begun the implementation of a new policy affecting Jerusalemite inhabitants living in districts that have been cut off by the Apartheid Wall surrounding the occupied city. In a report released today, the Jerusalem Centre for Social and Economic Rights highlighted that their legal department had recently received complaints from residents of these districts stating that when they went to the occupation’s municipality in Jerusalem to obtain the 2011 list of Arnona tax fees, they were informed that they were no longer required to pay the tax and as such their request was refused by municipal officials.
The Research and Documentation Unit at the Centre quoted Omran al-Rashiq, a resident of “New Anata” or the al-Salam district, as saying: His family had lived in the suburb for more than thirty years and had always paid the Arnona Tax. What had happened a few days ago was that the municipality had informed him that they were now no longer required to pay the fees; however, no explanation had been given for this shift in policy. He highlighted the fact that the Arnona papers were one in a long list of documentation required by the Israeli Interior Ministry and had to be produced when conducting certain transactions. Mr al-Rashiq expressed fears that this development would lead to his family losing their rights to reside in Jerusalem. The Jerusalem Centre has warned that this could be the preliminary step toward political procedures disclosed over a year ago by Yair Segev, a high-ranking official within the occupation’s municipality in Jerusalem…. more.. e-mail

Playing politics at Gaza’s Rafah Crossing
Richard Lightbown, Redress3/21/2011
Hopes that the popular uprising in Egypt will lead to the permanent opening of the Rafah Crossing into the Gaza Strip suffered a setback on 13 March when an Anglo-French medical team of three surgeons was denied entry into the Strip by Egyptian officials. No reason was given for refusing a visit that had been arranged in conjunction with the French embassy two months previously. According to a report by Gisha, an Israeli organization that challenges restrictions on Palestinian movement, entitled “Rafah Crossing Who Holds the Keys?” Israel, not the Egyptian government largely controls the Rafah Crossing. The other key players are the Hamas government, the Palestinian Authority (PA) in Ramallah, the European Union and the United States. It is no surprise then that the situation remains much as it did before the Egyptian revolt. The 2005 agreement on movement and access
The operation of the Rafah Crossing is run according to the Agreement on Movement and Access (AMA) between the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Israel which was brokered by Condoleezza Rice in November 2005. This was a comprehensive plan for the normalization of movement for people and goods within the Palestinian territories and across Palestinian borders. All crossings were to be open by the end of 2005 and were to operate continuously, while the refurbished crossing at Karni was intended to allow 400 trucks a day to pass between Israel and Gaza by the end of 2006. (In January and February this year, just before it was permanently closed, the crossing handled an average of 136 trucks per day, despite Israel’s well-publicized “easing” of the closure.)
Under the AMA the Rafah Crossing opened on 26 November 2005 for Palestinian identity card holders and other designated persons. It was also intended to cater for the export of goods, and for cars once sophisticated search equipment had been inaugurated. The EU had agreed to supply officials to ensure proper procedures were followed…. more.. e-mail

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