VTJP Palestine/Israel Newslinks 17 June, 2011: Analysis: Did Egypt really open Rafah crossing?

17 June, 2011 — VTJP


International Middle East Media Center

Netanyahu: “No Peace With The Palestinians Without Recognizing Jewish State”
IMEMC – Saturday June 18, 2011 – 04:56, Israeli paper, Haaretz, reported Friday that Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, believes that there can be no peace agreement with the Palestinians unless they recognize Israel as a state for the Jewish people.

Settlers Torch Farmlands Near Ramallah
IMEMC – Saturday June 18, 2011 – 04:01, After a recent burning of its mosque, a group of extremist Israeli settlers torched on Friday Palestinian farmlands planted with wheat in the Al Mogheer village, north of the central west bank city of Ramallah.

IHH Pulls Out Of “Freedom Flotilla 2” due to technical problems
IMEMC – Friday June 17, 2011 – 15:30, The Turkish Organisation IHH has said that its ship, the Mavi Marmara, will not be taking part in the upcoming Freedom Flotilla 2 because of technical problems with its ship.

Ex Israeli Soldier, Eden Aberjil, will not face Charges for Controversial Pictures
IMEMC – Friday June 17, 2011 – 11:38, Israeli Deputy State Prosecuter, Shai Nitzan, has judged that the state will not take proceedings against Israeli military soldier, Eden Aberjil, over photographs posted on Aberjil’s Facebook page in which she poses next to handcuffed and blindfolded Palestinian detainees.

Israeli Military trains for potential Palestinian Protests in September
IMEMC – Friday June 17, 2011 – 11:21, Israeli police are taking part in a 3-day training exercise to prepare for potential large-scale Palestinian protests in September following Palestinian moves towards UN recognition of statehood.

Lieberman: “We Will Cancel All Peace Accords Should Palestinians Declare State”
IMEMC – Friday June 17, 2011 – 11:13, Israeli Foreign minister and leader of the right-wing Yisrael Beiteinu Party, Avigdor Lieberman, stated during his meeting with EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton, that Israel will void all related peace agreements with the Palestinians, including Oslo, should the Palestinian leadership unilaterally declare a state at the United Nations.

Herzog: “U.S. Does Not Even Want To Hear Netanyahu’s Name”
IMEMC – Friday June 17, 2011 – 10:31, Labor Party member of Knesset, Yitzhak Herzog, stated that he recently met with a number of American government officials close to president Barack Obama. They allegedly told him that they are angry with Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, due to his rejection to resume peace talks with the Palestinians.

PCHR Weekly Report: One Dead, Four Wounded By Israeli Troops And Settlers
IMEMC – Friday June 17, 2011 – 10:04, In its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the week of 09– 15 June 2011, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) found that one Palestinian died of wounds he had sustained during the wide scale Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip.

Egypt Denies The Entry Of Six Out Of Eight Buses Carrying Gazan Passengers
IMEMC – Friday June 17, 2011 – 09:47, Palestinian sources in the Gaza Strip reported on Thursday that the Egyptian Border Authorities only allowed two out of eight passenger buses to cross through the Rafah Border Terminal, located in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.

Settlers Torch Palestinian Orchards Near Nablus
IMEMC – Friday June 17, 2011 – 09:25, On Thursday evening, dozens of extremist Israeli settlers torched Palestinian Olive orchards near the illegal Itamar settlement, south of the northern West bank city of Nablus.

Ma’an News

Delivery for Gaza medical shortages
6/17/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The Turkish Red Crescent donated a truckload of medical supplies to the Palestinian Ministry of Health to meet ongoing shortages, the ministry’s PR head said Thursday. Omer An-Naser told Ma’an that the truck contained medication which has run out in Gaza, to be added to a….

IHH: Mavi Marmara will not sail with Gaza flotilla
6/17/2011 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The Turkish Mavi Marmara ship, which was raided by Israeli troops en route to Gaza in May 2010, will not join a flotilla to the coastal strip in the coming weeks organizers said Friday, amid conflicting reports as to what prevented its launch.”After the damage caused to the Mavi Marmara….

Hundreds join weekly anti-wall protests across West Bank
6/17/2011 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Palestinians and international activists protested Friday against Israel’s separation wall in villages across the West Bank. Israeli forces fired-tear canisters at the demonstrators in Ni’lin, Bil’in, Nabi Saleh and Al-Mas’ara, villages near Ramallah and Bethlehem. In Al-Mas’ara, near Bethlehem, activists protested….

Palestinians urge Egypt to ease restrictions at Rafah
6/17/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Palestinian authorities in Gaza are urging Cairo to increase the number of travelers allowed to cross the Rafah border each day, crossings official Hatem Oweida said Friday. Oweida said 12,000 Gaza residents had registered to travel to Egypt by August, and that at least 300 – 400 must be allowed to….

1,000 settlers visit Salfit village tombs
6/17/2011 – SALFIT (Ma’an) — A thousand Israeli settlers accompanied by Israeli military patrols entered northern West Bank village Kifl Haris overnight Thursday, villagers said. Checkpoints were installed at all village entrances and soldiers manned the roads, as the settler group came to pray at sites revered by both Muslims and Jews, a local center said….

Mash’al, Abbas to attend unity govt announcement Tuesday
6/17/2011 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Hamas politburo official Osama Hamdan on Thursday confirmed that the new unity government will be announced in Cairo on Tuesday. In an interview with Ma’an radio, Hamdan, who is responsible for the party’s international relations, said that President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas chief Khaled Mash’al….

EU, Israel spar over peace prospects
6/17/2011 – JERUSALEM (AFP) — The EU’s top diplomat had a terse exchange with Israel’s Avigdor Lieberman on Friday after he told her there was “zero chance” of reviving talks given the Palestinians’ bid for UN recognition. The exchange occurred during an early breakfast briefing during which EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton….

Report: Rocket fired from Gaza
6/17/2011 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A rocket was fired from Gaza into southern Israel Thursday night without causing injury or damage, Israeli press said. According to a statement from the Israeli military, “most likely a mortar shell was fired. The Israeli Police are currently investigating the type of projectile.” A siren sounded around 9:30 p….

Haniyeh courts Turkish PM as Israel sends wishes
6/17/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh invited his Turkish counterpart to visit Gaza in a phone call Thursday evening, a statement from the Haniyeh’s office said. The Gaza premier congratulated Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the re-election of his Justice and Development Party [AKP] in the country….

Negotiator: UN bid with or without negotiations
6/17/2011 – RAMALLAH (AFP) — Palestinians will seek UN recognition and membership regardless of whether there is a resumption of peace talks, negotiator Mohammed Shtayeh said on Thursday. His comments were made as the international community pushes a raft of new peace initiatives in a bid to head off the Palestinian push for UN membership. But Shtayeh said….

Lieberman: Palestinian UN bid undoes Oslo Accords
6/17/2011 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The Israeli foreign minister said Friday there was zero chance of talks resuming and all past agreements could be broken if Palestinians go to the UN, Israeli press reported. Avigdor Lieberman made the comments at a breakfast with European foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton, as she began a day of meetings….

Gas leak blast kills 4 in Israel
6/17/2011 – JERUSALEM (AFP) — An overnight explosion in the Israeli coastal town of Netanya which left four dead, was caused by a gas leak and was not related to any criminal or nationalist issues, police said on Friday. The blast occurred late on Thursday in center of the seaside town, flattening a four-story building and injuring around….

Russia, China warn West against Arab interference
6/17/2011 – MOSCOW, Russia (AFP) — Russia and China oppose outside interference in the unrest in the Arab world, the two presidents said on Thursday in a declaration, as the West seeks their support for increasing pressure on Syria.” The sides believe that the search for settling the situation in the countries of the Middle East and North….

In photos: Solidarity basketball championship
6/17/2011 – MaanImages – Thirteen basketball teams compete in the first round of a basketball championship in the West Bank city of Bethlehem on June 6. Two foreign nationals joined each team….

Saudi women defy drive ban
6/17/2011 – RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AFP) — Saudi women are set to defy a ban on driving Friday, one month after Manal al-Sharif was jailed for taking the wheel and posting footage of her rebellious act online. The demonstrations are the climax of a two-month online campaign riding the winds of the so-called Arab spring which has spread….

Syria activists defiant, hated tycoon turns to charity
6/17/2011 – DAMASCUS (AFP) — Syrian activists vowed new protests Friday as troops stormed northern towns, while a hated member of President Bashar al-Assad’s inner circle pledged to turn over his fortune to charity. As the country braced for another day of defiance, the army pressed its crackdown on dissent, sending tanks and troops into the….

Deadly protests in Syria, call for tougher sanctions
6/17/2011 – DAMASCUS (AFP) — Syrian security forces killed at least eight people when they opened fire on protesters Friday, rights activists said, as France urged tougher EU sanctions against President Bashar Al-Assad’s regime. The protests after the main weekly Muslim prayers came as the army pressed its campaign against northern towns and the number of….

Palestine Note

Deaths as fresh protests rock Syria
Palestine Note 17 Jun 2011 – Escalating violence turns border with Turkey into “tent city” Al Jazeera – Syrian security forces have shot dead at least 16 people, including a 16-year-old boy, during fresh anti-government protests, activists said. The Local Co-ordination Committee, a group that documents…

Reality check cools the initial heat of the Arab Spring
Palestine Note 17 Jun 2011 – Michael Theodoulou, The National- Six months ago today, an impoverished Tunisian fruit vendor set himself on fire after being publicly humiliated by a policewoman who tried to confiscate his unlicensed street cart. Mohammed Bouazizi, 26, probably did not intend to…

What The Arab Spring Means For Israel And Palestine
Palestine Note 17 Jun 2011 – NPR- Democracy movements sweeping across the Middle East and North Africa have sparked dramatic changes in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya. The West Bank has yet to see a movement on this level. If and when that does occur, it could…

Delivery for Gaza medical shortages
Palestine Note 17 Jun 2011 – Ma’an- The Turkish Red Crescent donated a truckload of medical supplies to the Palestinian Ministry of Health to meet ongoing shortages, the ministry’s PR head said Thursday. Omer An-Naser told Ma’an that the truck contained medication which has run out…

Turkish ship involved in Gaza flotilla raid pulls out of next convoy
Palestine Note 17 Jun 2011 – Haaretz- The Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH) announced on Friday that the Mavi Marmara ship will not participate in the Gaza flotilla planned for later this month due to technical reasons. In a press conference held in Istanbul, IHH members…

News Office in Jordan Is Damaged in an Attack
Palestine Note 17 Jun 2011 – New York Times- The offices of the French news agency in the Jordanian capital, Amman, were attacked on Wednesday by about 10 men who broke windows and destroyed furniture, a day after several hundred people demonstrated against the bureau, accusing…

Israeli navy practises boarding ships in readiness for Gaza flotilla
Palestine Note 17 Jun 2011 – The National- Israeli naval commandos carried out a wide-ranging exercise yesterday in the takeover of a large ship in preparation for a possible raid of the vessels taking part in the Gaza-bound flotilla that is expected to sail in coming…

UNRWA summer camps kick off in Gaza
Palestine Note 17 Jun 2011 – Ma’an- Children in Gaza attending UNRWA summer camps this year will attempt to break four world records in July, in an effort to top the two records smashed the year before. (Please visit the site to view this media) An…

Medications to arrive in Gaza Monday, PA says
Palestine Note 17 Jun 2011 – Ma’an- Ten truckloads of medicine will enter the Gaza Strip on Sunday, officials in the coastal enclave told Ma’an on Thursday. Nazmi Muhanna, head of the crossings committee in Gaza, said that instructions from President Mahmoud Abbas were handed down…

Factions say ‘no way’ to settler visits in Nablus
Palestine Note 17 Jun 2011 – Ma’an- A committee in Nablus have said they “refuse and condemn” Palestinian Authority dialogue with settler groups who wish to visit Joseph’s Tomb, a holy site in the city where biblical figure Joseph is thought to be buried. In a…

Doctors and nurses in Gaza protest medicine shortages
Palestine Note 17 Jun 2011 – Ma’an- Doctors and nurses organized a rally Wednesday in front of Red Cross offices in Gaza City to protest the lack of medical supplies in the coastal enclave. Representatives from different Palestinian factions joined the demonstrations as protesters held posters…

Hamas peacemaker’s new softer stance treads a risky path
Palestine Note 17 Jun 2011 – The National- Khaled Meshaal, the Damascus-based Hamas leader, has been praised for his role in the recent reconciliation process with the rival Palestinian group Fatah. Mediators involved in the agreement credit him for checking the Islamist group’s hard-line impulses and…

Syria’s humanitarian crisis intensifies
Palestine Note 17 Jun 2011 – Al Jazeera- When reports of protests and subsequent civilian deaths as security forces fired on protestors began filtering in from the southern Syrian city of Deraa in March, many wondered what turn events would take in both Syria and the…


Morocco reforms to cut monarch’s powers
AlJazeera 17 Jun 2011 – King Mohammed VI proposes constitutional changes that will whittle down his powers, but keep his role as power-broker.

Defiant Gaddafi vows to defeat NATO
AlJazeera 17 Jun 2011 – In an audio speech broadcast on state television, the Libyan leader said those seeking his ouster “will be defeated”.

Saudi women defy ban to take driver’s seat
AlJazeera 17 Jun 2011 – Several women drive around in kingdom in open defiance of rule that prohibits them from driving.

Deaths as fresh protests rock Syria
AlJazeera 17 Jun 2011 – At least 16 killed as security forces open fire on anti-government protesters across the country.

Deadly blast hits Israeli coastal city
AlJazeera 17 Jun 2011 – At least four people killed and scores injured in explosion suspected by police to have been caused by a gas leak.

Palestine News Network

Troops Attack West Bank Anti-Wall Protests; Ten Injured
PNN – Ramallah – PNN – Ten civilians were injured as Israeli troops attacked the weekly nonviolent protests organized at a number of West Bank communities. This week, protests were reported in the villages…

Qaraqe: Prisoners’ Health Conditions Reach Catastrophic Levels
PNN – Ramallah – PNN – Minister of Prisoner Affairs, Issa Qaraqe, stated on Friday that the health conditions of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli military detention facilities have reached a critical level….

Ministry of Tourism Will Receive 33 Applications for New Hotels in the West Bank
PNN – Bethlehem – PNN Exclusive – Jarius Qumsiyeh, head of the media department at the ministry of tourism, told PNN on Friday that 33 applications for new hotels have been received by the…

The Turkish Aid Boat Mavi Marmara Will Not Sail to Gaza for Technical Reasons
PNN – Ghassan Bannoura – PNN Agencies – Mavi Marmara, the Turkish aid ship attacked by Israel last year, will not take part in the Gaza-bound Freedom Flotilla 2, according to mission organizers, reported…

The Confrontation to Come
PNN – By Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh – Israel reported a record $7.2 billion weapons exports solidifying its position in the top four countries profiting from war and destruction. The other two main official sources…

Olympic-Style Ceremony Kicks Off Fifth Annual Gaza Summer Games
PNN – Gaza City – PNN – An Olympic-style torch relay officially kicked off the Gaza Summer Games on Thursday in the Gaza Strip, reports UNRWA. Both the games and the Israeli blockade of…

International Solidarity Movement

VIDEO – Freedom Flotilla 2: message in a bottle
6/17/2011 – International Solidarity Movement – 16 June 2011 – A video to inspire the international community and continue the support for the Freedom Flotilla II – Stay Human. Updated on June 18, 2011….

Microcosm of Israeli-Palestinian conflict
6/17/2011 – International Solidarity Movement – The World, Matthew Bell – In the Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is playing out on the level of a house-by-house, court case by court case, competition. And it is a fight that has gone on for decades. In 1956, Rivqa al-Kurd and her husband moved into a new house in Sheikh Jarrah…. Related: Source

Council establishes mandate on C?¥te d’Ivoire, adopts protocol to child rights treaty, requests study on discrimination and sexual orientation
Relief Web 17 Jun 2011 – Source: UN Human Rights Council Country: C?¥te d’Ivoire , Kyrgyzstan , Libyan Arab Jamahiriya (the) , occupied Palestinian territory Human Rights Council MORNING 17 June 2011 Extends Mandates of Commission of Inquiry on Libya, and of the Special Rapporteurs on Human Rights of…

Relief Web

Shortages of Drugs and Medical Disposables in MoH Gaza, June 2011
Relief Web 17 Jun 2011 – Source: World Health Organization Country: occupied Palestinian territory SUMMARY Essential Medications: Of the 480 medications on the essential drug list, 178 (37%) were reported at zero stock levels in the Ministry of Health’s Gaza Central Drug Store (CDS) at end…

How exposed are MENA households to global food price increases?
Relief Web 16 Jun 2011 – Source: World Bank Country: Algeria , Bahrain , Djibouti , Egypt , Iraq , Jordan , Lebanon , Libyan Arab Jamahiriya (the) , occupied Palestinian territory , Syrian Arab Republic (the) , Tunisia , Yemen Submitted by Elena Ianchovichina on June 6, 2011 There is widespread belief that consumers across Middle…

The National

Yemen denies claim that Saleh won’t be back
The National 17 Jun 2011 – Officials in Sana’a say Saudis should respect their guest and not make comments about Yemeni affairs.

Saudi women drive to defy tradition
The National 17 Jun 2011 – At least 40 women reported, mainly through Twitter, that they had driven yesterday, in defiance of the kingdom’s social custom, but not law, barring female drivers.

Sixteen die as Syrian uprising enters fourth month
The National 17 Jun 2011 – Yesterday’s worst violence was in the central city of Homs, Syria’s third-largest urban area, where eight protesters were fatally shot by security forces, according to activists.

EU to implement additional sanctions against Syrian companies
The National 16 Jun 2011 – “Talks are under way” according to a French Foreign Ministry spokesman.

President Saleh will not return to Yemen: Saudi official
The National 16 Jun 2011 – The Yemeni leader has been undergoing treatment for shrapnel wounds after a mosque inside his compound was shelled amid protests to oust him from power.


Abbas calls on EU to recognize Palestinian state
Ha’aretz – EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton meets Palestinian PM, president after Lieberman tells her, ‘Abbas does not want an agreement, but rather confrontation with Israel.’

Merkel, Sarkozy call for Gilad Shalit’s release amid new efforts to secure deal
Ha’aretz – In an usual move, the two European leaders issue joint statement calling for release of abducted IDF soldier; according to foreign media, there have been renewed attempts at advancing prisoner swap deal with Hamas.

Syria security forces shoot dead 16 as Sunni city of Aleppo sees first deadly violence
Ha’aretz – Friday protests erupt a tens of thousands rally against President Assad’s rule; first protester killed in Syria’s second city Aleppo – a commercial hub with a rich merchant class with links to the Alawite ruling hierarchy.

Anshel Pfeffer / Syrian refugees unsure if there’s a better alternative to Assad
Ha’aretz – Haaretz correspondent Anshel Pfeffer reports from the Turkish side of the Syria-Turkey border.

Morocco’s king outlines constitutional reforms
Ha’aretz – King Mohammed VI’s speech marks the culmination of a three-month review of the constitution in response to February’s protests calling for reform; new constitution elevates prime minister to ‘head of government’ and king to highest religious authority.

Yossi Verter / Shimon Peres is still hoping for the best
Ha’aretz – Finishing four years in the President’s Residence is a reason for Shimon Peres to celebrate. Or not.

Two arrested over deadly Netanya gas explosion
Ha’aretz – PM Netanyahu expresses his condolences to Netanya mayor for building explosion in which four people were killed; police releases names of the three teenage girls and man killed in explosion.

Carlo Strenger / Netanyahu and the Mystics of Safed
Ha’aretz – The government’s disconnection from the world has much in common with the psychology of religious sects that, having become so convinced of their own truth, no longer care about the world at large.

Turkish ship involved in Gaza flotilla raid pulls out of next convoy
Ha’aretz – Turkish group IHH says the Mavi Marmara ship did not get the necessary approval from Turkish port authorities to set sail.

Lieberman: Israel will renounce past agreements if Palestinians seek unilateral statehood
Ha’aretz – In Jerusalem, EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton says “it is more urgent than ever” for Israel-Palestinian peace talks to take place.

Four dead, dozens injured in Netanya building explosion
Ha’aretz – Initial investigation reveals blast likely the result of a gas leak; 91 people, including many French tourists, were injured as a result of the explosion.

UN council splits sanctions list for Taliban, al-Qaida figures into two
Ha’aretz – Envoys: move could help induce Taliban into talks on Afghanistan peace deal and promote reconciliation; move comes as Washington prepares to start pulling out troops in Afghanistan.

Vietnam, U.S. take symbolic step in Agent Orange clean-up
Ha’aretz – U.S.-Vietnam ties have blossomed since diplomatic relations were established 16 years ago.

Saudi women launch campaign to defy driving ban
Ha’aretz – Activists are urging Saudi women to challenge male-only driving rules that are enforced by powerful morality squads.

Jerusalem Post

Lebanese officer gets 20 years for spying for Israel
Jeruslalem Post 17 Jun 2011 – Diab, who is first officer to be charged by Lebanese court for espionage on Israel’s behalf, gave military, civilian information to Israel.

Identity of casualties in Netanya explosion are released
Jeruslalem Post 17 Jun 2011 – Three teenage girls affiliated with French Habbad House among dead; man from Kafr Karaa also killed in gas blast, was soon to be married.

Three dead in sectarian clash in north Lebanon
Jeruslalem Post 17 Jun 2011 – Fighting erupted between Tripoli neighborhoods of Bab al-Tebbaneh, mostly Sunni Muslim, and Alawite populated Jabal Mohsen.

J’lem trash crisis solved, Abu Dis dump to be phased out
Jeruslalem Post 17 Jun 2011 – J’lem municipality, PMO, Finance Ministry, and Environmental Ministry reach solution to fund new southern landfill for city’s waste.

More Kadima infighting: Dichter blasts Livni in interview
Jeruslalem Post 17 Jun 2011 – Dichter claims Livni wastes funds, demands more transparency and says faction should openly decide where, how to allocate funds.

Holocaust exhibit vanishes again from Romanian subway
Jeruslalem Post 17 Jun 2011 – Incident comes days after whole of Austian journalist Emil Rennert, Israeli photographer Shani Bar-On Romanian Jewish exhibit go missing.

Protests ripple across Syria despite crackdown; 16 killed
Jeruslalem Post 17 Jun 2011 – Tens of thousands rally in Deraa, Homs and Hama, and in suburbs of Damascus; Turkey says nearly 10,000 Syrian refugees have crossed border; Sarkozy: France and Germany call for tougher sanctions on Assad regime.

‘US consul in Egypt tells Grapel he is in big trouble’
Jeruslalem Post 17 Jun 2011 – ‘Al-Ahram’ report comes after previous report saying accused Mossad spy could face charges in 1 week after he allegedly confessed to being a spy.

‘Syrian security forces take over Maarat al-Numaan’
Jeruslalem Post 17 Jun 2011 – Protesters name latest day of protests “Day of Saleh al-Ali” in reference to Alawite leader who led uprising against the French in 20th century.

IHH will not take part in upcoming Gaza flotilla
Jeruslalem Post 17 Jun 2011 – Head of IHH says “Mavi Marmara suffered so much damage we couldn’t get it ready in time”; 10 ships still set to sail for Gaza from around Europe.

Remand of suspects in Netanya blast extended by 5 days
Jeruslalem Post 17 Jun 2011 – Gas explosions kill 3 teenager girls, 1 man ; alleged thief, gas technician suspected of manslaughter, death by negligence.

Korean Embassy honors Jewish war veterans
Jeruslalem Post 17 Jun 2011 – Embassy credits ‘Post’ with helping find Jews who fought in Korean War; Ma Young-Sam: “Koreans will never forget what [veterans] did for us.”

Remand hearing to be held for 2 suspects in gas blast
Jeruslalem Post 17 Jun 2011 – Suspected gas explosion rocks building in Netanya; 4 dead, 90 hurt; technician who was later called to repair cables suspected of negligence.

This Week in History: First US presidential visit to Israel
Jeruslalem Post 17 Jun 2011 – Twenty-six years after the creation of the State of Israel, Nixon was the 1st sitting US president to set foot on its shores and in the hills of Jerusalem.

‘Next year will determine success of haredim in work force
Jeruslalem Post 17 Jun 2011 – Manager of Manpower Bereshit speaks of need for more businesses to hire qualified, haredi employees and the ensuing challenges.

Pisgat Ze’ev mikve to get recycled-water system in August
Jeruslalem Post 17 Jun 2011 – Mikve Yair will be the first among the city’s 36 ritual baths to be piloting a special recycled- water system.

Schechter management says solution to strike imminent
Jeruslalem Post 17 Jun 2011 – “We have reached an understanding on most issues and I believe it will all be resolved in the next few days,” VP of development tells ‘Post’.

ROI summit on future of Jewish people concludes in J’lem
Jeruslalem Post 16 Jun 2011 – Some 150 participants from around world take part in annual gathering, which includes dozens of lectures, workshops, brainstorming sessions.

Analysis: Will Syrian issue warm Israeli-Turkish ties?
Jeruslalem Post 16 Jun 2011 – IHH to announce if it will drop participation in Gaza flotilla; experts warn turn-around in Turkey’s attitude doesn’t reflect thaw in tense relations.

Column One: A do-or-die moment
Jeruslalem Post 16 Jun 2011 – As was the case in May 1967, when the combined Arab armies gathered with the express purpose of wiping the Jewish state off the map – today again, Israel is alone at its hour of greatest peril.

Security and Defense: A mission for Shaldag
Jeruslalem Post 16 Jun 2011 – Shaldag, “Kingfisher” in English, is the hot unit in the IDF as Israel’s need for new targets grows amid regional instability.

Editor’s Notes: Why Meir Dagan speaks out
Jeruslalem Post 16 Jun 2011 – There has been widespread criticism, but no plausible explanation, for the ex-Mossad chief’s anguished repeated warnings against an Israeli military strike on Iran. Don’t we owe this remarkable individual rather more than a rush to condemnation?

The Guardian

Israel warns Palestinians all deals are off if UN vote goes ahead
The Guardian 17 Jun 2011 – Foreign minister says past deals such as the Oslo accord will be threatened by efforts towards UN recognition of Palestinian state Israel will renounce past agreements made with the Palestinians if they press ahead with unilateral…

Palestinian desire for food security drives farming innovation
The Guardian 17 Jun 2011 – Gaza goes organic in bid for safer and more reliable supply of vegetables and fruit In a rural area of the central Gaza Strip, Eyad Najjar plucks organic carrots from the sandy soil of his tiny…

Inter Press Service

U.S.: Obama’s Claim of Libya War Powers Widely Disputed
IPS President Barack Obama’s claim that U.S. military operations against Libya should not be subject to the War Powers Act and do not require Congressional approval is drawing heavy fire from friends and foes alike.

Turkey Recalibrating Regional Role
IPS As thousands of Syrian refugees pour over the Turkish border, the just re- elected government in Ankara is confronting the limits of its “no problems” policy toward its neighbours.

MIDEAST: Sphinx Avenue Paved With Bitter Memories
IPS Mohamed Saeed’s battle with a wrecking crew ended predictably. His refusal to leave the home his grandfather built and defiant attempts to throw himself in front of the giant hydraulic hammer bought his family some time, but by the end of the day their two-storey house was reduced to rubble….

MIDEAST: Where Freelance Means Abandoned
IPS Sitting by the hospital bed of freelance photographer Mohammed Othman, Ashraf Abu Amrah knows that nobody owns a freelance journalist from Gaza who gets injured, or dies.


New excavation site in West Bank village has Palestinians on edge
Uruknet June 17, 2011 – The village of At-Tuwani, in the West Bank’s south Hebron hills, rises above Israeli route 60 as you come down from the city of Yatta with unmistakable roundness. It’s smooth shape is a telltale sign of centuries, if not millennia, of human habitation. The village wraps around Tel Tuwani, a hill that has slowly…

IHH: Mavi Marmara will not sail with Gaza flotilla
Uruknet June 17, 2011 – The Turkish Mavi Marmara ship, which was raided by Israeli troops en route to Gaza in May 2010, will not join a flotilla to the coastal strip in the coming weeks organizers said Friday, amid conflicting reports as to what prevented its launch. “After the damage caused to the Mavi Marmara [during the raid],…

Iraqis take to the streets
Uruknet June 17, 2011 – It is Determination Friday in Iraq as activists take to the streets to demand a responsive government. Protests have been going on in Iraq this year since January. The college students and Iraqi youth began organizing around Friday’s a designated day for protest each week. In Baghdad, citizens have turned out in strong numbers……

Egypt’s military regime prepares clampdown on strike wave
Uruknet June 17, 2011 – The upsurge of industrial struggle by Egyptian workers that preceded the January revolution shows no sign of diminishing. Workers are now in a mounting conflict with the post-Mubarak military regime in Cairo. With workers pressing their demands on pay, conditions and official corruption‚Äïdemands that accompanied the toppling of former President Hosni Mubarak and remain…

19 killed in Syria as protests surge in defiance of crackdown
Uruknet June 17, 2011 – Tens of thousands of protesters poured into the streets of Damascus’s suburbs and three of Syria’s five largest cities on Friday, in a weekly show of defiance against President Bashar al-Assad. Activists said at least 19 people were killed. Security forces fired on protesters in Homs, one of Syria most restive locales, and the…

Military Resistance 9 F9: Blinding Flash Of The Obvious
Uruknet June 16, 2011 – Two U.S. soldiers were killed Monday during operations in southern Iraq, U.S. militaryofficials said. They died June 13 in Wasit province, Iraq, of wounds suffered when enemy forcesattacked their unit with an improvised explosive device.The new deaths bring to 4,462 the number of American service members who have diedin Iraq since the war began…

Drones Over Yemen
Uruknet June 16, 2011 – While thousands of Yemenis continue to take to the streets demanding elections and democratic reform in defiance of ongoing deadly government crackdowns, the US government, led by its Nobel Peace prize winning President, is beginning what may well become its fourth war. Unlike the kinetic action (war) to defend the peoples’ right to democracy…

Hamas Detain Fatah Official In Gaza
Uruknet June 16, 2011 – Fatah have complained that one of its officials in Gaza, Abu A’itah, was detained in Gaza by Hamas security forces, according to Maan. Fatah officials have complained that the detention of Abu A’itah by Hamas makes Fatah’s effort to rebuild the party in Gaza impossible. The party also complains that it breaks the spirit…

Israel’s One Way Democracy
Uruknet June 16, 2011 – When Palestinians point out the obvious – that Israel is hardly a democracy when it comes to them, they are often cast aside as being motivated by the sinister goal of wanting to destroy Israel. All of Israel’s overused defenses of security, their fight against terrorism, their right to defend the Jewish character of…

Syrian security forces conduct mass arrests in troubled north
Uruknet June 16, 2011 – Syrian security forces fanned out through villages and towns in the northern province of Idlib Thursday, randomly hauling in males over age 16 as the regime worked to silence a center of anti-regime protest. In this border region, where thousands of Syrian civilians have fled to havens in Turkey, Turkish officials were preparing to…

Nobel Peace laureates to Ban Ki-Moon: Safe Passage for Gaza Flotilla
Uruknet June 16, 2011 – Four women Nobel Peace Laureates have sent an open letter calling on United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to support the safe passage of the Freedom Flotilla II. The flotilla will be bringing much-needed humanitarian supplies to the people of Gaza in late June. Mairead Maguire, Jody Williams, Shirin Ebadi, and Rigoberta Mench?? Tum…

Women’s rights protestors in Iraq sexually assaulted
Uruknet June 16, 2011 – Women protesters were molested and beaten by government-sponsored protesters in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square on Friday. The women were part of a delegation from the Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq (OWFI), protesting to create a visible female presence in the pro-democracy movement. OWFI seeks to add women’s freedom to the demands of jobs, electricity,…

Striking Back at Egyptian Workers
Uruknet June 18, 2011 – Mainstream narratives of the ongoing 2011 Egyptian revolution center around a “crisis of the state.” Among the elements of the crisis were the utter failure of top-down political reform, as shown in the shamelessly rigged 2010 legislative elections; mounting corruption and repression; emerging opportunities for collective action offered by networking sites like Facebook and…

Iraq snapshot – June 16, 2011
Uruknet June 16, 2011. Chaos and violence continue, US companies rake in the dough in Iraq, Allawi accuses Nouri of terrorism, a power player in Iraq praises Nouri and then cuts him off at the knees, the US press corps disgrace themselves to publicly slobber over Robert Gates and they all agree to keep it off the record (I…

Don’t Look Away: The Siege of Gaza Must End
Uruknet June 16, 2011 – In Late June 2011, I’m going to be a passenger on ‘The Audacity of Hope,’ the USA boat in this summer’s international flotilla to break the illegal and deadly Israeli siege of Gaza. Organizers, supporters and passengers aim to nonviolently end the brutal collective punishment imposed on Gazan residents since 2006 when the Israeli…

Rebels dismiss election offer, NATO pounds Tripoli
Uruknet June 16, 2011 – NATO planes resumed bombardments of Tripoli after Muammar Gaddafi’s son said the Libyan leader was willing to hold elections and step aside if he lost, an offer rejected by rebels and the United States. Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam told an Italian newspaper that the elections could be held within three months and transparency could…

Iraq’s Mehdi Army faces splits, wary of return to war
Uruknet June 16, 2011 -Moqtada al-Sadr is reviving fears of sectarian violence with a warning he will unleash his Shi’ite Mehdi Army militia again if U.S. forces stay in the country beyond a year-end deadline. But for Mehdi Army veterans like Ahmed, who once battled U.S. troops on Baghdad’s streets, the fighting days are over as Sadr’s militia enters…

Gadhafi’s Son: Libya Can Be Ready For Elections In 3 Months
Uruknet June 16, 2011 – In an interview with the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, Moammar Gadhafi’s son, Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, said in an effort to end the conflict in Libya, his father was willing to hold elections as early as three months from now. “Let’s go to the polls,” the paper quotes Saif Gadhafi as saying. “And may…

The Right of Return and the Right to Break the Fence
Uruknet June 16, 2011 – When the 12-year-old ‘Imad saw his mother prepare some sandwiches, which they can have during the march on 15/5/2011 to the southern Lebanese borders with Palestine, he wondered in surprise, “What is the food for? Will we have the time to eat it? Aren’t we going today to the borders of Palestine to fight…

That Was Hama in 1982. This Is Syria in 2011
Uruknet June 16, 2011 – … In Deraa and across the country, a shoot-to-kill policy has been executed by security forces, foremost by those under the direction of Maher Al-Asad, the current president’s younger brother. Weekends are the bloodiest: on Fridays, the demonstrators emerge en masse following the mid-day prayer; on Saturdays, they congregate at funeral processions for Friday’s casualties….

Turkey breaks with Syria over crackdown
Uruknet June 16, 2011 – Turkey on Thursday signaled a diplomatic shift to further distance itself from longtime ally Syria, welcoming defecting Syrian officers and announcing plans to deliver relief assistance to beleaguered pro-democracy protesters across the border… The moves against Damascus, after escalating rhetoric against Assad’s actions, are cooling once-warming ties with Syria ally Iran. Tehran has begun…

William Hague: Following in Churchill’s footsteps
Uruknet June 16, 2011 – Now let me get this straight: In order to save civilian lives (the infamous ‘Right to Protect’), the Empire, through its Rottweiller NATO, not only deindustrializes Libya but it also causes a mass exodus of refugees hundreds of whom drowned and many thousands more were left stranded, attacked and abused. The Pirates attempted to…

Settlers Torch Olive Orchards Near Ramallah
Uruknet June 16, 2011 – A number of armed extremist Israeli settlers torched on Wednesday at night dozens of olive trees that belong to villagers of Bil’in village, near the central West Bank city of Ramallah. The trees are located in Palestinian orchards isolated behind the Annexation Wall. The Popular Committee Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements issued…

Questions About the Libyan Sex Atrocity Reporting
Uruknet June 16, 2011 – … A rapidly spiraling scandal involves the allegation that the embattled Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi ordered his troops to commit mass rape-and gave them Viagra to help fortify them in this atrocity. As we noted previously, that story has been reported widely throughout the world. As we also noted, there’s scant evidence that it is…

Interview: Mazin Qumsiyeh on popular resistance and breaking the spell of fear
Uruknet June 16, 2011 – In his latest book Popular Resistance in Palestine: A History of Hope and Empowerment, Mazin Qumsiyeh counters the conventional wisdom promoted by the Israeli propaganda machine and the mainstream Western media, which conflates the Palestinian struggle against occupation with “terrorism.” Qumsiyeh, a former professor of genetics who taught at Yale and Duke universities, returned…

Daily Star

Morocco will become democratic constitutional monarchy: king
Daily Star 17 Jun 2011 Moroccan King Mohammad VI unveiled Friday draft reforms that curb his wide-ranging political powers and outlined a democratic method of choosing the prime minister.

Lieberman shatters hopes for peace talks
Daily Star 17 Jun 2011 The EU’s top diplomat had a terse exchange with Israel’s Avigdor Lieberman Friday after he told her there was zero chance of reviving talks given the Palestinians’ bid for U.N. recognition.

16 civilians killed in Syria as Jolie visits refugees
Daily Star 17 Jun 2011 U.N. Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie traveled to Turkey’s border with Syria to meet refugees Friday, while inside itself Syrian security forces fired on thousands of protesters killing a teenage boy and at least 15 other civilians.

Spain freezes $47 million worth of assets held by detained Mubarak associate and his family
Daily Star 17 Jun 2011 Spain has frozen 33 million euros ($47 million) in accounts held by a detained Egyptian associate of ousted President Hosni Mubarak and relatives of the detainee who is also wanted back home, officials said Friday.

Bahrain Shiite preacher warns cosmetic reform not enough
Daily Star 17 Jun 2011 An influential Bahraini Shiite preacher warned Friday that merely cosmetic reform would not satisfy people who joined a wave of protests quashed by security forces in March, as thousands of Shiites joined a demonstration outside Manama.

Saudi women drive the message home by defying ban
Daily Star 17 Jun 2011 A number of Saudi women drove cars Friday in response to calls for nationwide action to break a traditional ban, unique to the kingdom, according to reports on social networks.

Mixed reports emerge over Saleh’s return
Daily Star 17 Jun 2011 Embattled Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, being treated for shrapnel wounds in Riyadh, will not return home, a top Saudi official told AFP Friday, contrary to Sanaa’s claims that he will return soon.

Ben Ali lawyer denies all his client’s charges
Daily Star 17 Jun 2011 An attorney representing Tunisia’s ousted dictator denied Friday the charges against him and dismissed his upcoming trial as politically motivated.

Syrian opposition seeks common front abroad
Daily Star 17 Jun 2011 Syrian opposition figures living abroad are seeking to form a common front with activists inside the country to help put pressure on President Bashar Assad’s crisis-hit regime.

Frustrated Libyan rebels feeling the strain
Daily Star 17 Jun 2011 With conflict dragging into a fifth month, a series of blasts and shootings have rattled the east Libyan rebel stronghold of Benghazi and fueled a drive to weed out Moammar Gadhafi’s loyalists.

Imprisoned Iranian doctors win top health prize
Daily Star 17 Jun 2011 Two Iranian doctors who were jailed three years ago for allegedly plotting to overthrow the government were awarded a global health prize Thursday for their efforts to treat patients with HIV.

Gadhafi lashes out at NATO after newstrikes on capital
Daily Star 17 Jun 2011 Provoked by renewed daylight NATO bombing of his capital, Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi raged against the alliance Friday, screaming his message and daring Western forces to keep it up.

US dismisses criminal charges against bin Laden
Daily Star 17 Jun 2011 Federal authorities dropped terrorism charges against Osama bin Laden in court papers filed Friday, formally ending a case against the slain al-Qaeda leader that began with hopes of seeing him brought to justice in a civilian…

Estonia in the dark over Lebanon kidnap: Prime Minister
Daily Star 17 Jun 2011 Estonia is completely in the dark about the fate of seven of its citizens kidnapped in Lebanon almost three months ago, Prime Minister Andrus Ansip said Friday.

Tunisia’s ex-president denies charges: lawyer
Daily Star 17 Jun 2011 An attorney representing Tunisia’s ousted dictator denied Friday the charges against him and dismissed his upcoming trial as politically motivated.

Syria envoy sues France 24
Daily Star 17 Jun 2011 Syria’s ambassador to France has lodged an official complaint against the news channel France 24 accusing it of misinformation, the state-run SANA news agency reported Friday.

Syria forces shoot dead 16 in protests: activists
Daily Star 17 Jun 2011 Syrian forces shot dead 16 people Friday when they fired on protesters demanding the removal of President Bashar al-Assad, activists said, and European powers said Damascus should face tougher sanctions for the violence.

Angelina Jolie visits Syrian refugees in Turkey
Daily Star 17 Jun 2011 Screen idol Angelina Jolie Friday meet thousands of Syrians sheltered in Turkey in camps as other refugees began a hunger strike against curbs imposed by Turkish authorities.

Bahrain cleric raises fresh doubts about talks
Daily Star 17 Jun 2011 Bahrain’s top Shiite cleric denounced the Gulf kingdom’s rulers for “damaging the country” and warned Friday that tension-easing dialogue cannot take place until authorities halt crackdowns used to crush protests demanding greater political rights.

Al-Qaeda claims killing of anti-Saddam purger
Daily Star 17 Jun 2011 An al-Qaeda-linked group in Iraq claimed responsibility Friday for the killing of a prominent Shiite official who was tasked with purging loyalists of deposed ruler Saddam Hussein and who was once implicated in a bombing that…

Three wounded during Tripoli anti-Syrian government protest
Daily Star 17 Jun 2011 Three people were wounded after a concussion grenade was thrown at a demonstration in Tripoli Friday in support of Syrian protesters, security sources told The Daily Star.

10 Lebanese soldiers wounded as vehicle flips over
Daily Star 17 Jun 2011 Ten Lebanese Army soldiers were wounded Friday when their Humvee flipped over near the Jbeil district on the Aqoura-Mnaitra road.

National unity a red line: Mikati
Daily Star 17 Jun 2011 Lebanon part of international community and wants best relations with friendly and neighboring countries, prime minister says.

Boy crushed to death under father’s car in Chouf
Daily Star 17 Jun 2011 A five-year-old boy was killed in the Chouf mountains Friday after his father’s car rolled over onto him and crushed him to death, security sources said.

MP Qanso won’t give Cabinet vote of confidence
Daily Star 17 Jun 2011 Qanso, member of the Baath Party parliamentary bloc, says Baath Party should have been represented in government.

Nasrallah: New government a ‘very important step’
Daily Star 17 Jun 2011 Hezbollah leader says government of Prime Minister Najib Mikati is a very important step at the national level during a meeting with Syrian Social Nationalist Party leader MP Asaad Hardan.

Employee arrested over embezzlement charges
Daily Star 16 Jun 2011 General Prosecutor Said Mirza ordered Thursday the arrest of a female state employee on charges of embezzlement.

Lawmakers call for release of detained Syrian refugees
Daily Star 16 Jun 2011 Lawmakers Khaled Daher and Mouin Merabi called on the security forces to release detained Syrian refugees and treat them in accordance with universal human rights, the National News Agency said Thursday.

Hundreds in Tripoli rally to denounce Syria crackdown
Daily Star 16 Jun 2011 Hundreds of people in the northern city of Tripoli rallied Thursday night to protest the Syrian government’s crackdown on opposition groups, the National News Agency reported.

Rai travels to Rome to attend synod workshops
Daily Star 16 Jun 2011 Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai will leave for Rome Sunday on a one week visit to participate in preparatory workshops for a synod to be held at the Vatican, headed by Pope Benedict XVI.

Angry residents block road in southern suburbs
Daily Star 16 Jun 2011 Residents blocked a road in Beirut’s southern suburbs Thursday in protest over the authorities’ crackdown on illegal construction, said the National News Agency.

Hajj Hasan rules out new food safety agency
Daily Star 16 Jun 2011 Agriculture Minister Hussein Hajj Hasan announced Thursday that he will scrap a draft law to establish a national agency for food safety, rebuffing calls from consumer watchdogs.

Wahhab denies suspected collaborator is bodyguard
Daily Star 16 Jun 2011 Druze politician Wiam Wahhab denied Thursday that a man charged with spying for Israel was his personal bodyguard.

European police round up members of Lebanese drug network
Daily Star 16 Jun 2011 European police this week arrested six suspected members of a multinational drug trafficking and money laundering network and confiscated millions in cash, two police agencies said here.

House committee studies measures for prisoners short of amnesty
Daily Star 16 Jun 2011 A parliamentary committee is considering adopting measures short of granting amnesty to prisoners, as the committee’s chair argues that such a move won’t resolve the issues in the country’s prisons.

Cambodian PM seeks Lebanon support for U.N.
Daily Star 16 Jun 2011 President Michel Sleiman received a letter from Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen seeking Lebanon’s support for Cambodia’s candidacy for nonpermanent member in the U.N. Security Council for 2013-2014.

Hezbollah says era of American influence over
Daily Star 16 Jun 2011 Hezbollah said Thursday that the new government will turn the page on March 14 policies, repositioning Lebanon as a state defiant to the will of the United States.

Dutch diplomats abducted, taken to Syria and released
Daily Star 16 Jun 2011 Two Dutch diplomats were briefly kidnapped by armed men and taken to Syria, the Netherlands said Thursday.

Mikati says government to serve all
Daily Star 16 Jun 2011 Najib Mikati began his tenure as Lebanon’s prime minister at the Grand Serail Thursday with a promise to give priority to tackling the people’s socio-economic woes, stressing that his Cabinet members would work as one team…

YNet News

Report: US consul says Grapel is ‘in big trouble’
YNet News, 17 Jun 2011 – Alleged Israeli ‘spy’ Ilan Grapel meets with US embassy representative. Cairo’s….

Police probe Fire Dept. response to Netanya gas leak
YNet News, 17 Jun 2011 – Authorities at odds as tenants of building which suffered deadly explosion said….

IHH bails out of Gaza flotilla
YNet News, 17 Jun 2011 – Turkish group cites ‘technical reasons’ for decision not to partake in next….

Scene of Netanya blast: ‘Unimaginable ruin’
YNet News, 17 Jun 2011 – Shocked residents describe scene of gas explosion in downtown Netanya as….

FM: PA’s UN bid – end of Oslo Accords
YNet News, 17 Jun 2011 – Meeting with EU foreign policy chief, foreign minister claims ‘chances of….

Watch: Rescue teams at Netanya blast site
YNet News, 17 Jun 2011 – Burnt Torah scrolls where a synagogue used to be, personal effects strewn….

4 killed, dozens hurt in Netanya blast
YNet News, 17 Jun 2011 – At least four people killed, some 50 wounded in huge blast at Netanya building….

Cairo seeks extradition of Mubarak associate from Spain
YNet News, 17 Jun 2011 – ‘Gas billionaire’ Hussein Salam arrested in Majorca; stands to face faces….

Arabs want ‘bride for Shalit’
YNet News, 16 Jun 2011 – Disturbing initiative: Palestinians set up Facebook group with sickening photo….

Lull ends, rocket fired from Gaza
YNet News, 16 Jun 2011 – Qassam rocket explodes in southern Israel after several attack-free weeks….

MK Herzog: Deep hostility to Bibi in US
YNet News, 16 Jun 2011 – Labor Party Knesset member visiting US says Netanyahu slammed by top Democrats….

Al-Qaeda: No compromise on Palestine
YNet News, 16 Jun 2011 – Al-Qaeda says it will ‘never recognize any legitimacy for alleged state of….

Palestinian Information Center

Jewish settlers burn olive trees west of Ramallah
PIC – Jewish settlers torched tens of Palestinian olive trees in Bilin village land behind the separation wall west of Ramallah city, the popular anti wall committee said in a statement on Thursday.

Dennis Ross: go home, you are not welcome
PIC – It is really hard to imagine any positive contributions by Ross. This is the conclusion that the hopelessly pliant Palestinian leadership in Ramallah should have reached a long time ago.

Egyptian authorities refuse entry of 6 bus-loads out of 8 at Rafah
PIC – Egyptian authorities on Thursday refused entry of six busloads of Palestinian passengers and allowed in only two bus-loads during the hours of opening.

Occupation bulldozers demolish Palestinian homes in Negev
PIC – Israeli occupation bulldozers demolished three residential structures in the villages of Karnab and Faraa as part of the occupation efforts to cleanse the Negev of Palestinian Bedouins.

Settlers set fire to Palestinian crops, IOF troops burn olive groves
PIC – Extremist Jewish settlers on Thursday torched Palestinian crops in agricultural land belonging to the villagers of Awarta to the south east of the Northern West Bank city of Nablus.

Families of captives call on Egyptians to exchange spy for Arab captives
PIC – Families of Palestinian captives called on the Egyptian government not to release the Israeli spy except after reaching an honourable exchange deal to free Egyptian and Palestinian captives.

Abu al-Suabah calls for enabling captives to sit GCSE exams
PIC – Minister of Prisoners and Ex-prisoners Affairs called on human rights organisations to intervene to enable Palestinian captives in Israeli occupation jails to sit the GCSE exams..

Families of political prisoners in PA jails protest in al-Khalil
PIC – Families of political prisoners in PA jails on Thursday afternoon held a sit in in the southern West Bank city of al-Khalil at the city centre.

Death hangs over 25 captives in Ramlah prison
PIC – Families of sick Palestinian captives in the Ramlah prison have called for bringing their issue to the fore, especially that occupation prison authorities deliberately neglects their medical needs.

Israeli occupation Judaizes Islamic Umayyad palaces
PIC – AFEH warned that the Israeli occupation is racing with time to Judaize Umayyad palaces to the south of the Aqsa Mosque, as part of a plan to turn the surroundings of the Mosque into a biblical garden.

Silwan inhabitants fear confiscation of their land in court ruling
PIC – 16/06/2011 – 07:43 AM

IOF soldiers renew detention of MP Qadi
PIC – 16/06/2011 – 08:09 AM

European campaign: Continued Gaza siege proves collusion of world community
PIC – 16/06/2011 – 09:09 AM

IOA holds former minister in administrative custody
PIC – 16/06/2011 – 09:34 AM

WAFA – Palestine News Agency

Gaza Summer Games Kick Off for Fifth Year

EU Foreign Policy Chief to Visit Region

Intifada Palestine

Don’t Look Away — The Siege of Gaza Must End
Intifada-Palestine: 17 Jun 2011 – by Kathy Kelly / The Huffington Post In late June 2011, I’m going to be a passenger on “The Audacity of Hope,” the USA boat in this summer’s international flotilla to break the illegal and deadly Israeli siege of Gaza. Organizers, supporters… more

Palestinian Statehood and Bypassing Israel
Intifada-Palestine: 17 Jun 2011 – Israel breaks international law and UN agreements under the guise of “protecting state legitimacy”. ” Israel uses territorial and demographic change as terms of reference when building illegal Jewish-only settlements and displacing Palestinians [GALLO/GETTY Israel, backed by the US, has started… more

Freedom Flotilla II sets sail for Gaza
Intifada-Palestine: 17 Jun 2011 – Freedom Flotilla aid ship is setting sail for Gaza again. by Debbie Menon / Intifada Palestine The aid flotilla is being organized by a coalition of pro-Palestinian groups, most of them based in Europe, the Associated Press reported. The mission is named… more

Los Angeles Times

Morocco’s king proposes constitutional reforms
LA Times 17 Jun 2011 – The changes, which would strengthen the role of elected government, come in response to demands for greater democracy across the Arab world. Attempting to stave off democratic demands sweeping the Arab world, Morocco’s King Mohammed VI unveiled a draft constitution that includes major reforms to…

Pro-Kadafi rally brings throngs to Tripoli’s Green Square
LA Times 17 Jun 2011 – Several thousand buoyant Libyans join a closely choreographed pep rally for their leader. Friday marks the fourth month of the revolt and the 79th day of NATO’s bombing mission — surpassing its engagement in Kosovo. It was the four-month anniversary of the popular uprising against…

New York Times

Violent Clashes as Thousands Protest in Cities Across Syria
New York Times 17 Jun 2011 – Deaths and injuries are reported as government forces attack demonstrators in two large cities.

Syrian Town Is Strained by Flood of Refugees
New York Times 17 Jun 2011 – Syrian security forces were coming nearer to makeshift refugee camps lining the border with Turkey.

Bail Set for Billionaire Accused of Corruption With Mubarak
New York Times 17 Jun 2011 – Egyptian prosecutors are seeking the extradition of Hussein K. Salem to be tried on corruption charges related to his past dealings with the former president, Hosni Mubarak.


Egypt’s military regime prepares clampdown on strike wave
WSWS – The upsurge of industrial struggle by Egyptian workers that preceded the January revolution shows no sign of diminishing.

US steps up air strikes as conflict deepens in Yemen
WSWS – As heavy fighting between the government and opposition militants continued in Yemen, the US carried out further air strikes in the south of the country.

Oil companies prepare for post-Gaddafi Libya
WSWS – The major US and European oil conglomerates previously active in Libya are preparing to resume business in the event that the illegal NATO-led war achieves its objective of “regime change”.

BEIT UMMAR: Twenty-one mature grapevines cut near Beit Ummar
Christian Peacemaker Teams – Palestine – ,

What do you do when Netroots is just not that into you?
Mondoweiss – This is my second day of Netroots and I need to register the fact that I feel like an outsider here and sense common cause only with the many Asians who are here. Though they are not included entirely either. The simple physics of it are:…

‘Don’t Play in Tel Aviv! Apartheid is Not Punk Rock!’: An Open Letter to Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine
Mondoweiss – Dear Jello, We are fans of yours, people who have been influenced and inspired by your work. There’s no doubt that over the past thirty years, while so much of American culture has been inundated by cookie-cutter corporate pop, your words and music stood apart in…

A family in Gaza struggles to rebuild following repeated Israeli attacks
Mondoweiss – The Abu Sa’ad home in Jahr el Deek. (Photo: Ruqaya Izzidien) 37-year-old Nasr Abu Sa’ad is holding a demonstration with his children outside the United Nations in Gaza with the aim of convincing them to rebuild his home which was shelled five times in July 2010…

Lying IDF Generals: ‘Israeli Blockade Recognized Under International Law’
Tikun Olam – Free Gaza, support the flotilla, end the Israeli siege Remember that old screed attacking Rush Limbaugh: Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell them? Well, IDF Brig. Gen. Yoav Mordechai seems to have studied the book and learned all its lessons down cold. He threatened mayhem…

IDF Planning for Syrian War
Tikun Olam – Perhaps in a move designed to warn the Syrian regime that it’s playing with fire if it continues allowing Nakba -Naksa style protests on the Golan Heights armistice line, the IDF website publicized an annual war game exercise which simulates war with Syria. It’s armored and…

Israel, and its supporters in the U.S., prepare for the Freedom Flotilla II
Mondoweiss – Watch: Video shows IDF preparing for next Gaza flotilla Haaretz 16 June — The naval exercise includes intercepting ships of various sizes and handling both non-violent and violent passengers. Organizers: Flotilla no threat to Israel Ynet 16 June — Free Gaza ‘determined to sail to Gaza’;…

USA recognizes Israeli arms industry clearances
Neged Neshek – The USA is recognizing security clearances given by Israeli authorities for persons in the arms industry. Formerly, the US prohibited Israelis from Arab countries, Iran, Russia and other “unfriendly” nations from working on joint Israel-US arms projects. Now that the US has okayed their employment on…

Misc 2

Palestinian imprisoned for flashing the peace sign
The Only Democracy? JVP2 17 Jun 2011 – From the Occupied Palestine blog comes this report of another nonviolent activist arrested. Khaled Zawahre’s military hearing has concluded delayed ruling until Sunday they will either release him or keep him in custody for 101 days.We want to ask your support to keep sharing this information…

Fresh protests erupt across Syria
BBC 17 Jun 2011 – Syrians demonstrating against Bashar al-Assad’s regime pour on to the streets across the country, with reports of at least 18 protesters killed.

Saudi women drivers stage protest
BBC 17 Jun 2011 – Saudi women begin driving cars in the capital Riyadh in open defiance of an official ban on female drivers, in an action organised on social network sites.

Israel gas explosion kills four
BBC 17 Jun 2011 – An explosion caused by a gas leak kills four people in the Israeli coastal town of Netanya.

Imprisoned Iran medics win prize
BBC 17 Jun 2011 – Two Iranian doctors imprisoned for allegedly plotting to overthrow the government win a global health prize for their role in treating and preventing HIV.


Analysis: Did Egypt really open Rafah crossing?
Ramzy Baroud, Ma’an News Agency6/17/2011
For most Palestinians, leaving Gaza through Egypt is as exasperating a process as entering it.
Governed by political and cultural sensitivities, most Palestinian officials and public figures refrain from criticizing the way Palestinians are treated at the Rafah border. However, there is really no diplomatic language to describe the relationship between desperate Palestinians — some literally fighting for their lives — and Egyptian officials at the crossing which separates Gaza from Egypt.
“Gazans are treated like animals at the border,” a friend of mine told me. She was afraid that her fiancé would not be allowed to leave Gaza, despite the fact that his papers were in order. Having crossed the border myself just a few days ago, I could not disagree with her statement.
The New York Times reported on June 8: “After days of acrimony between Hamas and Egypt over limitations on who could pass through the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt, Hamas said Egypt had agreed to allow 550 people a day to leave Gaza and to lengthen the operating hours of the crossing.”
And so the saga continues.
A few weeks after an official Egyptian announcement to permanently open the crossing — thus extending a lifeline for trapped Palestinians under siege in Gaza — the Rafah border was opened for two days of conditional operation in late May, and then closed again for four days. Now it has once more “reopened.” more.. e-mail


Palestinian statehood and bypassing Israel
Lamis Andoni, Al Jazeera6/16/2011
Israel breaks international law and UN agreements under the guise of “protecting state legitimacy”.
Israel, backed by the US, has started a campaign to preempt a Palestinian drive to win United Nations recognition of an independent Palestinian state on the territories occupied by Israeli in the 1967 war.
If such a recognition is secured, it will neither lead to an establishment of a Palestinian state nor would it stop the continued Israeli colonisation of Palestinian lands. Nevertheless, Israel is mainly concerned that the Palestinian move would restore the United Nations resolution – and international resolutions – as the main reference for solving the conflict.
Israel has been relying on unchallenged US support and its military supremacy to create facts on the ground to prevent the foundation of an independent Palestinian state, and for that matter, any alternative solution based on equality and justice.
If anything, Israel has used the 17-year-old Oslo process to undermine international law and substitute United Nations resolutions with territorial and demographic changes as terms of reference. And it is these final status settlements that determine the permanent status of the Palestinian land and people.
Thus, the Palestinian Authority (PA) has come under tremendous pressure to abandon its campaign and return to negotiations with Israel – under the same terms that have led only to the consolidation of Israeli control of Palestinians lives and lands. more.. e-mail

The Siege of Gaza Must End
Kathy Kelly, CounterPunch6/17/2011
In late June 2011, I’m going to be a passenger on “The Audacity of Hope,” the USA boat in this summer’s international flotilla to break the illegal and deadly Israeli siege of Gaza. Organizers, supporters and passengers aim to nonviolently end the brutal collective punishment imposed on Gazan residents since 2006 when the Israeli government began a stringent air, naval and land blockade of the Gaza Strip explicitly to punish Gaza’s residents for choosing the Hamas government in a democratic election. Both the Hamas and the Israeli governments have indiscriminately killed civilians in repeated attacks, but the vast preponderance of these outrages over the length of the conflict have been inflicted by Israeli soldiers and settlers on unarmed Palestinians. I was witness to one such attack when last in Gaza two years ago, under heavy Israeli bombardment in a civilian neighborhood in Rafah.
In January 2009, I lived with a family in Rafah during the final days of the “Operation Cast Lead” bombing. We were a few streets down from an area where there was heavy bombing. Employing its ever-replenished stockpile of U.S. weapons, the Israeli government sought to destroy tunnels beneath the Egyptian border through which food, medicine, badly-needed building supplies, and possibly a few weapons as well were evading the internationally condemned blockade and entering Gaza.
Throughout that terrible assault, Israel pounded civilians in Gaza, turning villages, homes, refugee camps, schools, mosques and infrastructure into rubble. According to Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem, the attack killed 1,385 Palestinians, nearly a quarter of them minors, with an uncountable number more to succumb, in the months and years following, to malnutrition, disease, and suicidal despair, the consequences of forced impoverishment under a still continuing siege that salts Gaza’s dreadful wounds by preventing it from even starting to rebuild. more.. e-mail

Interview: Alice Walker on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla and the struggle for justice
Electronic Intifada: 17 Jun 2011 – Ali Abunimah The Electronic Intifada Celebrated American author and poet Alice Walker will be aboard the Audacity of Hope, part of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, set sail this month. Ali Abunimah interviews for The Electronic Intifada.more

The rebellions of our peoples make us stronger
Electronic Intifada: 17 Jun 2011 – Ameer Makhoul The Electronic Intifada Gilboa Prison The Arab rebellions are being created by the social movement — by the people — in all its currents and forces that seek change; in other words, by the great majority of the peoples in revolt. Ameer Makhoul writes from Gilboa Prison.more

Silwan children abducted from their bedrooms
Electronic Intifada: 17 Jun 2011 – Mel Frykberg The Electronic Intifada Silwan Defence for Children International – Palestine Section reports that Israeli police opened 1,267 criminal cases against Palestinian children between November 2009 and October 2010 for stone throwing in East Jerusalem. The Israeli human rights group B’Tselem reports 31 of those children were from Silwan.more

Right of Return and Right to Break the Fence
Palestine Chronicle: 17 Jun 2011 – By Dr. Mohsen M. Saleh When the 12-year-old ‘Imad saw his mother prepare some sandwiches, which they can have during the march on 15/5/2011 to the southern Lebanese borders with Palestine, he wondered in surprise, ‘What is the food for? Will we have the time to eat it? Aren’t we going today to the borders of Palestine to fight the Israelis?’ The message which this kid and his peers have conveyed gave that event another dimension. These marches of return that headed towards the borders with Palestine, which was occupied in 1948 and became known as Israel, turned into a landmark in the Palestinian approach to the right of the Palestinians to return to their homeland. The Return Marches: A Turning Point The crowds that participated in the marches in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, West Bank and the Gaza Strip in addition to those killed while trying to penetrate the border…more

Don’t Look Away: The Siege of Gaza Must End
Palestine Chronicle: 17 Jun 2011 – By Kathy Kelly In Late June 2011, I’m going to be a passenger on ‘The Audacity of Hope,’ the USA boat in this summer’s international flotilla to break the illegal and deadly Israeli siege of Gaza. Organizers, supporters and passengers aim to nonviolently end the brutal collective punishment imposed on Gazan residents since 2006 when the Israeli government began a stringent air, naval and land blockade of the Gaza Strip explicitly to punish Gaza’s residents for choosing the Hamas government in a democratic election. Both the Hamas and the Israeli governments have indiscriminately killed civilians in repeated attacks, but the vast preponderance of these outrages over the length of the conflict have been inflicted by Israeli soldiers and settlers on unarmed Palestinians. I was witness to one such attack when last in Gaza two years ago, under heavy Israeli bombardment in a civilian neighborhood in Rafah. In January 2009, I…more

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