VTJP Palestine/Israel Newslinks 18 June, 2011: Israel’s war against Palestinian children continues

18 June, 2011 — VTJP


International Middle East Media Center

Egypt negotiates for release of Israeli soldier captured five years ago
IMEMC – Sunday June 19, 2011 – 03:27, An Egyptian official told Israeli reporters Saturday that there are active negotiations taking place with Palestinian resistance groups for the potential release of the Palestinians’ only Israeli prisoner, a soldier captured five years ago in Gaza – but added that Israel’s continued obstinance in the negotiation process could lead to the soldier’s disappearance.

10 injured in non-violent weekly protests Friday
IMEMC – Sunday June 19, 2011 – 02:22, 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 of al-Nabi Salleh, Bil’in, and Nil’in in the central West Bank, as well as al-Ma’ssara in the south.

25 Detainees Facing Death Due To The Lack Of Medical Attention
IMEMC – Saturday June 18, 2011 – 09:26, 25 Palestinian political prisoners in the Al Ramla Israeli detention facility are facing imminent death due to illegal Israeli policies that deprive the detainees from their right to medical treatment.

Lebanese Army Officer Sentenced To 20 Years
IMEMC – Saturday June 18, 2011 – 09:03, A Lebanese Court sentenced on Friday evening a Lebanese army officer to twenty years imprisonment after convicting him of spying for Israel.

Ma’an News

Witnesses: Settlers torch farmland near Ramallah
6/18/2011 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Dozens of settlers on Friday set fire to farmland in Al-Mughayyir village near Ramallah, witnesses said. Villagers said settlers torched around 35 dunums of wheat. Israeli forces and Palestinian and Israeli liaison officials visited the area to investigate the incident….

Army raids West Bank village
6/18/2011 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Israel’s army raided Bil’in, west of Ramallah, and fired tear gas, said Rateb Abu Rahmah, spokesman of the popular committee against the wall in the village. Abu Rahmah said troops intensively fired gas canisters and many of the residents were hurt after inhaling gas while wide areas….

Miles of Smiles docks in El-Arish
6/18/2011 – EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma’an) — The European aid ship Miles of Smiles docked in the Egyptian city of El-Arish on Friday night, port director Jamal Abdul-Maqsoud said. Egyptian authorities and the Red Crescent unloaded the ship’s cargo, which will be transferred overland to the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing. Egyptian officials said….

Medics: Settlers assault Palestinian in central Hebron
6/18/2011 – HEBRON (Ma’an) — A group of Israeli settlers harshly beat a young Palestinian man in the occupied West Bank, medics said. Anas Hashem Abu Al-Halawa, 21, came under attack while walking in central Hebron, Red Crescent official Naser Qabaja said. The incident, on Shuhada street, left Abu Al-Halawa with extensive bruising. He was admitted….

Rafah crossing opens for limited numbers
6/19/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Egypt will allow limited numbers of Palestinians to cross the Rafah border on Saturday, crossings officials in Gaza said. On Thursday, Egyptian authorities turned back six buses of Palestinians at the terminal. They will be the first to cross on Saturday, Hamas officials said. Around 12,000 people in Gaza have….

Gaza families shut down UN summer camps
6/19/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Homeless families in the southern Gaza Strip on Saturday shut down UNRWA summer camps in protest over the agency’s failure to reconstruct homes destroyed during the Second Intifada. Gaza residents also closed UNRWA’s emergency department, social services office and ration stores, said Atiyya Radwan, who heads….

PA: Suspension of tax revenue will cause financial turmoil
6/19/2011 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — The Palestinian Authority will not be able to meet its financial obligations if Israel withholds the government’s tax revenues, PA spokesman Ghassan Al-Khatib said Saturday. Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz wants to stop the transfer of money owed to the PA as soon as a unity government is announced….

Israel wants freed prisoners sent to Gaza
6/19/2011 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israel is objecting to the release of dozens of Palestinian prisoners with life sentences to their homes in the occupied West Bank in exchange for a captured Israeli soldier, Ma’an has learned. Under a new proposal to arrange a prisoner swap of hundreds of Palestinian detainees in exchange for….

Gaza cartoonist says US consul canceled training invite
6/18/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — A Palestinian cartoonist says the US consulate in Jerusalem canceled his invitation to join a training course because officials thought his artwork was antisemitic. Majed Badra, from the Gaza Strip, said he received a phone call from the consulate saying he would not be able to participate in a political….

Activists: Army fires tear gas in Bil’in
6/18/2011 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Israeli forces fired tear-gas canisters which set fire to fields in the Palestinian village of Bil’in, near Ramallah, late Saturday, a Palestinian anti-wall activist told Ma’an….

Gas station attendant arrested near Hebron
6/18/2011 – HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israel’s army arrested a gas station worker Saturday near Hebron in the occupied West Bank, activists said. Soldiers raided the station and after a verbal dispute arrested Jihad Abu Hashem, 22, the spokesman of the local popular committee said. Muhammad Awad told Ma’an that Abu Hashem was….

Abbas calls on EU to recognize Palestine
6/18/2011 – RAMALLAH (AFP) — President Mahmoud Abbas urged European Union nations on Friday to separately or collectively recognize the state of Palestine. During a meeting with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, Abbas “affirmed that the Palestinian position was to resume the peace process” with Israel, expecting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to accept to talk of….

Report: Lebanese officer sentenced for collaboration
6/18/2011 – BEIRUT, Lebanon (Ma’an) — A Lebanese military court on Friday sentenced an army officer to 20 years hard labor for collaborating with Israel, local media reported. Lebanese newspaper The Daily Star reported that army colonel Mansour Diab was found guilty of supplying Israel with classified military documents and information about army and civilian sites….

PA police detain 24 at Allenby crossing
6/18/2011 – JERICHO (Ma’an) — Palestinian Authority security forces detained 24 people wanted on criminal charges at the Allenby border crossing during the week, police said. Crossings officials said 14,824 passengers entered the West Bank and 20,841 left for Jordan via the crossing this week. Ten Palestinians left for medical care in Jordan, officials said in….

PA sends 20 trucks of medicine to Gaza
6/19/2011 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — The Palestinian Authority health ministry on Saturday sent 20 truckloads of medicine to the Gaza Strip to ease critical hospital shortages. Another 20 trucks will be transferred by Monday from warehouses in the West Bank city of Nablus to Gaza via the Erez crossing on Israel’s border, the ministry….

Haniyeh: Unity govt must protect resistance
6/19/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Prime Minister in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh said Saturday a proposed unity government should not threaten the resistance. Speaking at the Islamic University in Gaza City, Haniyeh said that “we were able to establish a deal that reflects the people’s will.””It’s true there are the Oslo….

Hamas determined to implement unity deal, official says
6/18/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Lawmaker Khalil Al-Hayya said Saturday that Hamas was determined to implement the reconciliation agreement signed with former rival party Fatah. Al-Hayya, who heads Hamas’ parliamentary bloc, updated leaders in Algeria on the unity deal during a visit to attend a forum in the country. The leaders also discussed the….

Australian surgeons operate in Gaza
6/18/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Two Australian surgeons are performing specialist operations in hospitals in the Gaza Strip, the union of health care committees said. Professor David Croaker, who specializes in urological surgeries, pediatric orthopedic surgeon Professor Angus Gray and nurse Paul Chicchio will work in the Al-Awda Hospital in Jabalia in northern Gaza and….

Loud blast reported in Gaza City
6/19/2011 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A loud blast was heard in Gaza City just after midnight Sunday, residents of the city said. The cause of the blast was not immediately clear….

Egyptian businessmen postpone visit to Gaza
6/18/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — A delegation of Egyptian businessmen and entrepreneurs has postponed a visit to the Gaza Strip scheduled for Saturday. The visit was postponed for technical reasons, said deputy chair of the Palestinian association of businessmen in Gaza Nabil Abu Mualiq. The Egyptian delegation said they would visit Gaza as soon as….

Report: New initiative to free captives
6/18/2011 – TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma’an) — Germany, France and Egypt are jointly proposing a new initiative to free hundreds of Palestinian prisoners and an Israeli soldier held since 2006, Israeli media reported Saturday….

Hamas official dies in central Gaza
6/18/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — A member of Hamas’ leadership council died Friday in in central Gaza early Friday, officials said. Juma Asfa passed away in Deir Al-Balah, Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood said in a statement. The cause of death was not immediately clear….

Israeli media name gas blast victims
6/18/2011 – JERUSALEM (AFP) — Three young French-Israelis and a Palestinian citizen of Israel were killed in an accidental explosion that destroyed a building in the coastal town of Netanya, Israeli media reported Saturday. They named the victims of the blast in the town north of Tel Aviv as Rebecca Msihid, 17, Rebecca Dorai, 18, and Stacy Barouk….

Spain freezes assets of Mubarak associate
6/19/2011 – MADRID (AFP) —Spanish police said Friday they have frozen more than 30 million euros in bank accounts and properties valued at 10 million after arresting a close associate of ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on fraud charges. Hussein Salem, detained along with his son and a suspected frontman, was accused of money laundering, fraud, bribery….

Lebanon army deploys in Tripoli after 7 die
6/19/2011 – TRIPOLI, Lebanon (AFP) — Soldiers deployed in force in Lebanon’s main northern city Tripoli Saturday after seven people were killed in clashes between Alawites and Sunnis over a rally against the Syrian government. Twenty-five people were also wounded in the fighting which erupted hours after some 600 demonstrators gathered for a protest against Syria….

Brave young Syrians report on repression
6/19/2011 – GUVECCI, Turkey (AFP) — Young Syrian activists have taken on a mission to inform the world about bloody repression in their country, defying the regime’s restrictions on the media and risking their lives. In a makeshift “media center”, confined to a tiny room at a secret location near the Turkish-Syrian border, dissidents gather pictures….

Turkish Airlines flight makes emergency landing
6/18/2011 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) – A Turkish Airlines flight from Istanbul to Amman made an emergency landing 15 minutes after takeoff at midnight on Friday. Passengers on board flight 814 said they were told to fasten their seat belts and that the plane would return to Istanbul due to a technical problem. The flight crew did….

Defiant Gadhafi vows to defeat NATO
6/18/2011 – BENGHAZI, Libya (AFP) — Hours after loud blasts shook Libya’s capital Tripoli, Moammar Gadhafi vowed to defeat NATO as his forces launched a deadly rocket assault on rebel-held Misrata. State television on Friday aired Gadhafi’s comments in what it said was a live telephone call from the Libyan leader, who has gone….

Clinton says ‘no going back’ in Syria
6/18/2011 – WASHINGTON (AFP) — Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Saturday urged a transition to democracy in Syria, saying in a commentary in the Arabic-language Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that the regime crackdown would not quell the momentum for change. In an English translation provided by the State Department, Clinton wrote under the headline “There Is No Going….

Syrian tanks enter village on border with Turkey
6/18/2011 – DAMASCUS (AFP) — Army tanks on Saturday entered a village bordering Turkey, where 10,000 Syrians have sought refuge, an activist said, as Washington warned Damascus over its “continued brutality” against protesters. With the deadly revolt now in its fourth month, Britain urged its nationals to leave Syria “now” by commercial means, warning that its embassy in….

Ousted Tunisia leader Ben Ali to face dozens of charges
6/18/2011 – TUNIS, Tunisia (AFP) — Tunisian military prosecutors are to weigh dozens of charges against ousted leader Zine El Abidine Ben Ali concerning civilian deaths during the north African country’s revolution, an official says. Three military courts may prosecute Ben Ali and his former interior minister Rafik Belhaj Kacem in 182 cases relating to 300….

Saudi beheads Indonesian woman convicted of murder
6/18/2011 – JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia (AFP) — An Indonesian woman was beheaded by the sword Saturday after being convicted of murdering a Saudi woman, the interior ministry said. The woman named Roiaiti Beth Sabotti Sarona, according to a transliteration from Arabic, was found guilty of killing Saudi Khairiya bint Hamid Mijlid by striking her repeatedly on the head….

Egypt military summons journalists over torture claim
6/18/2011 – CAIRO (AFP) — Military prosecutors have summoned a newspaper editor and a journalist over comments in an article on torture attributed to a military official, a military source and the paper’s editor said on Saturday. Journalist Adel Hammuda and editor Rasha Azab from the independent weekly Al-Fagr will appear before the prosecutor on Sunday….


Syrian forces ‘storm town near Turkey border’
AlJazeera 18 Jun 2011 – Witnesses say troops backed by tanks and machine guns have swept into Bdama, a town close to the Turkish border.

Bahrain to lift ban on major opposition party
AlJazeera 18 Jun 2011 – Government “taking steps” to reinstate Waad party, but opposition officials remain sceptical of talks with Manama.

Economic situation worries Greeks
AlJazeera 18 Jun 2011 – Protests against austerity measures continue as government tries to deal with debt.

Battle for Libyan town intensifies
AlJazeera 18 Jun 2011 – As fighting continues in Nalut, rebel oil minister says lack of funds could grind their operations to a halt.

Protests called against Morocco reform plan
AlJazeera 18 Jun 2011 – Pro-democracy activists call for fresh demonstrations, saying the king’s proposals are not enough.

Palestine News Network

President Abbas Ask the EU to Recognize the Palestinian State
PNN – Ramallah – PNN – During his meeting on Friday with Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas asked the EU to recognize…

Security Council Recommends Re-Appointment of UN Secretary-General
PNN – New York – UN Media to PNN – The Security Council announced today that it is recommending to the General Assembly that Ban Ki-moon be appointed to a second consecutive term as…

Israel Rejects Special Mention in Human Rights Council Agenda
PNN – New York – PNN – Israel has spoken out against the newly-drafted UN Human Rights Council Agenda saying it unfairly singles out the country. The agenda, which is renewed every five years,…

Kadima MK and Former Palestinian Minister for Prisoner Affairs Debate Tuesday in Beer Sheva
PNN – Beer Sheva – PNN – At an event held Tuesday at Beer Sheva’s Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Kadima Knesset member Yoel Hasson and the journalist and former Palestinian Authority Minister for…

Sarkozy and Merkel Call For Gilad Shalit’s Release
PNN – Berlin – PNN – French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for the release of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit during a press conference on Friday. The calls come…

Renovation Work Begins in Holy Family Hospital?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s Postnatal Section
PNN – Bethlehem – ANERA to PNN – The American Near East Refugee Aid – ANERA- signed this week a contract to begin renovating the postnatal section of the Holy Family Hospital in Bethlehem….

International Solidarity Movement

Teenage boy targeted as part of Israeli campaign against local family
6/18/2011 – International Solidarity Movement – Wadi Hilweh Information Center – A 14-year old boy was abducted by Israeli undercover forces from Bir Ayyub this morning. Ahmed Siyam was taken by an undercover unit from outside his uncle’s shop in Bir Ayyub and transferred to Salah al-Din police station. Police claimed that the boy “constitutes a danger to society…. Related: Wadi Hilweh Information Center – Silwan

Settlers torch farmlands near Ramallah
6/18/2011 – International Solidarity Movement – IMEMC, Saed Bannoura – 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. The settlers burnt the land in broad daylight and the fires consumed most of the 35 Dunams…. Related: Source

Waves of attacks against West Bank mosques
6/18/2011 – International Solidarity Movement – Middle East Monitor, Ali Badwan – In recent months, there have been repeated attacks by Israeli settlers against mosques across the West Bank. They were carried out with the complicity of Israel’s occupation army and encouraged by the leaders of settler groups and political blocs, as well as the rabbinic guides of extremist gangs…. Related: Source

Palestine Telegraph

Israeli soldiers attack WB peaceful protests
18 Jun 2011 – West Bank, (Pal Telegraph)-Six Palestinians were injured yesterday and dozens treated due to tear gas inhalation when Israeli forces attacked anti-wall protests held in the West Bank villages of Bilin, Nilin, and al-Masara.

The National

King declares Morocco a constitutional monarchy
The National 17 Jun 2011 – Under the new constitution, the king will remain the supreme commander of the army and a new article formalised him as the highest religious authority in the country.


Egypt: Shalit will disappear due to Israeli obstinance
Ha’aretz – A burst of activity on all sides to negotiate the release of IDF soldier Gilad Shalit has taken place as the fifth anniversary of his capture approaches.

Father of convicted spy Jonathan Pollard dies at 95
Ha’aretz – Family requests that U.S. permit Jonathan Pollard to attend funeral of his father Morris.

Gaza flotilla organizers disappointed by Turkish group’s decision to cancel ship
Ha’aretz – Flotilla organizers hold urgent consultations following IHH announcement that Mavi Marmara won’t sail to Gaza; five to eight ships expected to take part in flotilla later this month.

Report: Turkey to demand Assad’s brother steps down in Syria
Ha’aretz – Syrian leader Bashar Assad has reportedly used Syria’s vast security apparatus, including the army division led by his brother Maher Assad, to quell the massive anti-government uprising.

Israel, FIBA reach compromise over Orthodox player’s basketball uniform
Ha’aretz – Israel Basketball Association spokesman says agreement with FIBA allows point guard Naama Shafir to play wearing skin-toned elastic sleeves.

Aluf Benn / Netanyahu would be wise to turn to Kadima
Ha’aretz – The time is ripe for the prime minister to dissolve the existing coalition and join forces with Kadima and Atzmaut. It would not only earn Israel points in the world, but also guarantee him a third term.

Libya fighting stirs memories of country’s Jewish past
Ha’aretz – In ravaged Libya, ghosts of the country’s Jewish history echo in the hearts of Libyan Jews and their descendants living abroad.

Three women killed in car crash in northern West Bank
Ha’aretz – The women killed in the head-on collision were Israeli Arab residents of East Jerusalem; boy, age 10, also seriously injured in the crash.

Arson suspected after two large fires break out in North
Ha’aretz – Around 2,000 dunams of land scorched as fires burn in the Golan Heights and the Galilee; arson being investigated in Golan fire.

Man shot to death outside Galilee soccer stadium
Ha’aretz – 32-year-old man was found dead in the stadium parking lot; police believe the man was murdered in connection with another killing that occurred in the village.

Egypt court suspends order to remove Mubarak name from public institutions
Ha’aretz – Officials seeking to win presidential favor routinely named streets, schools, military installations and remote rural clinics after the former Egyptian president before he was toppled in February.

U.S. talking to Taliban, says Afghanistan president
Ha’aretz – Karzai’s comments are the first official confirmation that U.S. is negotiating with the Taliban to end the war in Afghanistan.

Dozens of Saudi women risk arrest by flouting driving ban
Ha’aretz – No arrests were supported after women across the country reportedly violated religious restrictions on driving, intended to limit their ability to fraternize with men.

Jerusalem Post

Niagra on the lake: The jewel in Canada’s crown
Jeruslalem Post 18 Jun 2011 – If ever there was a place where you could just ‘get away’ from it all, enjoy nature’s splendor and relax, this is it!

Many parents help themselves by helping with homework
Jeruslalem Post 18 Jun 2011 – Parents with positive attitude towards homework, who feel competent in subjects, more likely positively reinforce kids’ motivation to do homework.

Filter out websites with greater ease
Jeruslalem Post 18 Jun 2011 – New Worlds: New Knesset law will require Internet service providers to prove software for removing potentially offensive websites to customers.

Toward a ‘culture of safety’
Jeruslalem Post 18 Jun 2011 – Ergonomics is making inroads in the medical profession, helping prevent dangerous mistakes.

‘University of London receives Saudi funds’
Jeruslalem Post 18 Jun 2011 – This is ‘completely unacceptable’ for a university that prides itself on its support for human rights, says director of student rights.

New White House Mideast director unknown to US Jews
Jeruslalem Post 18 Jun 2011 – US Jewish establishment says “people didn’t really know” his Israel experience; Simon says talking with Hezbollah best chance to disarm it.

PM to warn Ashton against unilaterally declared Palestine
Jeruslalem Post 18 Jun 2011 – Israeli officials say Netanyahu will tell EU foreign policy chief in J’lem that UN Palestinian state declaration would hurt harm peace efforts beyond repair; Lieberman warns it would bring an end to Oslo.

Jlem’s Lifta faces threats from destruction, development
Jeruslalem Post 18 Jun 2011 – Commercialization of abandoned Arab village may be the only way to save the historical homes, but is the price too high?

Living lies
Jeruslalem Post 18 Jun 2011 – I’m not sorry that someone pulled the plug on Amina Arraf. But that’s not the end of her. She has turned from being just a name into being a legend.

The future of Jewish philanthropy
Jeruslalem Post 18 Jun 2011 – Jews are still among the world’s most generous givers. But they are not giving to Israel or Jewish causes.

Mounting threats
Jeruslalem Post 18 Jun 2011 – Too few key players in the international community fully appreciate the kind of alarming dangers facing Israel that those items indicate.

Father of Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard dies at 95
Jeruslalem Post 18 Jun 2011 – Morris Pollard passes away at Indiana hospital; his son had been seeking “compassionate leave” to see him one last time; effort will now shift to lobbying to enable Pollard to attend his father’s funeral.

David Cameron and Anglo-Jewish leaders
Jeruslalem Post 18 Jun 2011 – The younger generation may find it hard to tell the difference between keeping a low profile and groveling.

Week-long nationwide civil defense exercise to begin
Jeruslalem Post 18 Jun 2011 – During “Turning Point 5,” Defense Ministry, Israel Police to test responses to bombardment of missiles from Lebanon, Syria, Gaza, Iran.

US man seeks to seize flotilla ships using anti-piracy law
Jeruslalem Post 18 Jun 2011 – Lawsuit filed in NY court seeks to confiscate 14 ships slated to participate in upcoming flotilla on grounds they were outfitted with unlawful funds.

‘Turkey to demand Assad oust brother from military’
Jeruslalem Post 18 Jun 2011 – Al-Arabiya reports Turkish envoy will bring ‘warning letter’ to Damascus calling for reform and the removal of Maher Assad from position of power.

154 couples tie knot in Cyprus in attempt to break record
Jeruslalem Post 18 Jun 2011 – Israeli and Russian couples get married in mass-wedding ceremony in medieval castle in Lanarca, Cyprus.

Fire damages 2,000 dunams of open space in Golan
Jeruslalem Post 18 Jun 2011 – Fire commission praises different groups’ cooperation in dousing the flames; cause of the fire still remains unknown.

‘France, Germany offer Hamas perks to release Schalit’
Jeruslalem Post 18 Jun 2011 – Channel 2 reports new initiative promises Hamas easing of border restrictions, de facto recognition of Hamas gov’t in Gaza.

US Rep. Ackerman insists Grapel is no Israeli spy
Jeruslalem Post 18 Jun 2011 – Ackerman urging Egyptians to finish probe of alleged Mossad agent; dismisses claim that Grapel, who served as his intern in 2002, is a spy.

3 killed, 1 seriously hurt in collision near Shiloh
Jeruslalem Post 18 Jun 2011 – East Jerusalem resident and 2 Arab-Israelis from North killed in head-on collision near W. Bank settlement; 10-year-old child injured.

Asia’s popular Jewish corner
Jeruslalem Post 18 Jun 2011 – “One of the things I’m trying to do is connect the Jewish communities in Asia, these small pockets of Jewish life,” ‘Asian Jewish Life’ founder says.

‘Eight Libyan rebels killed by Gaddafi’s forces’
Jeruslalem Post 18 Jun 2011 – Rebels in gun battles with regime in northwest as they attempt to isolate Tripoli; rebel oil chief says West not delivering promised aid.

UK urges British citizens to leave Syria immediately
Jeruslalem Post 18 Jun 2011 – Soldiers loyal to Bashar Assad burn houses, arrest 70; Lebanese army responds with force to rallies in support of Syrian protesters.

Jailed Fatah leader’s wife accuses PA of news blackout
Jeruslalem Post 18 Jun 2011 – Fadwa Barghouti writes letter to PA President Abbas urging help in circulating news on her jailed husband Marwan Barghouti.

Firefighters gain control of fire in southern Golan
Jeruslalem Post 18 Jun 2011 – Route 888 was closed to traffic and hikers and visitors were asked to evacuate region in Golan; 15 trucks and 2 planes deployed to battle blaze.

Syrian tanks storm town near Turkey border
Jeruslalem Post 18 Jun 2011 – Soldiers loyal to Bashar Assad burn houses, arrest 70; 19 protesters shot to death across country as bloody crackdown continues; Lebanese army responds with force to rallies in support of Syrian protesters.

Inter Press Service

OP-ED: Experts Fear Israeli Design to Balkanise Arab States
IPS Developments in Libya have raised fears among Egyptian analysts and political figures of the possible break-up of the North African nation into two warring halves. To support the assertion, they point to longstanding Israeli designs – supported by the western powers – to balkanise the Arab states of the region….


PA: Suspension of tax revenue will cause financial turmoil
Uruknet June 18, 2011 – The Palestinian Authority will not be able to meet its financial obligations if Israel withholds the government’s tax revenues, PA spokesman Ghassan Al-Khatib said Saturday. Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz wants to stop the transfer of money owed to the PA as soon as a unity government is announced, the Israeli news site Ynet…

Turkey wants Assad to fire his brother from military
Uruknet June 18, 2011 – A Turkish envoy will travel to Damascus in the coming days to bring a “warning letter” to Syrian President Bashar Assad, telling him to enact reforms and to remove his brother Maher Assad from the command of Syria’s Republican Guard and the Fourth Armored Division, Al-Arabiya reported on Saturday. Maher Assad is largely believed…

25 Palestinian Detainees Facing Death Due To The Lack Of Medical Attention
Uruknet June 18, 2011 – 25 Palestinian political prisoners in the Al Ramla Israeli detention facility are facing imminent death due to illegal Israeli policies that deprive the detainees from their right to medical treatment. The sick detainees are at the Al Ramla prison hospital, a small medical facility that lacks basic medications and medical equipment, and are facing…

Duplicitous Congressional Posturing on Libya
Uruknet June 18, 2011 – In Washington, hypocrisy and duplicity substitute for resolute action to obey international and constitutional law. In fact, they’re mere artifacts long ago discarded to advance America’s imperium. All Washington’s wars are illegal. International law permits them only in self-defense. Constitutional law only lets Congress, not the president, declare or wage them overtly, covertly or…

Obama rejects top lawyers’ legal views on Libya
Uruknet June 18, 2011 – The growing controversy over President Obama’s illegal waging of war in Libya got much bigger last night with Charlie Savage’s New York Times scoop. He reveals that top administration lawyers — Attorney General Eric Holder, OLC Chief Caroline Krass, and DoD General Counsel Jeh Johnson — all told Obama that his latest, widely panned…

Iraq: Relatives of Anbar victims striving to raise judicial case against former U.S. President
Uruknet June 18, 2011- A number of relatives of victims of the American military operations in west Iraq’s Anbar Province are striving to raise a judicial case against former U.S. President, George Bush, whose forces have killed a number of their sons in the Province during the years that followed Iraq’s occupation in 2003. “I have lost five of…

Waves of attacks against West Bank mosques
Uruknet June 18, 2011 – In recent months, there have been repeated attacks by Israeli settlers against mosques across the West Bank. They were carried out with the complicity of Israel’s occupation army and encouraged by the leaders of settler groups and political blocs, as well as the rabbinic guides of extremist gangs; gangs who own weapons and operate…

Moroccan king fails to win over youth protest movement
Uruknet June 18, 2011 – Morocco’s youth-based February 20 Movement called for nationwide protests on Sunday after rejecting constitutional reforms proposed by King Mohammed VI. The king outlined curbs to his wide political powers in an address to the nation on Friday, pledging to build a constitutional monarchy with a democratic parliament….Many political players welcomed Mohammed VI’s proposals. “Compared…

Experts Fear Israeli Design to Balkanise Arab States
Uruknet June 18, 2011 – Developments in Libya have raised fears among Egyptian analysts and political figures of the possible break-up of the North African nation into two warring halves. To support the assertion, they point to longstanding Israeli designs – supported by the western powers – to balkanise the Arab states of the region. “Libya could be split…

Every day is “practise” for the Israeli navy
Uruknet June 18, 2011 – A June 16 Reuters article on Israel’s vow to stop and preparations for the Freedom Flotilla 2 quotes an Israeli unnamed source as saying the blockade and siege on the Gaza Strip is legal: The source, who declined to be named, said Israel’s maritime blockade would only be deemed legal if it imposed a…

Syria forces storm border town near Turkey
Uruknet June 18, 2011 – Syrian troops and gunmen loyal to President Bashar al-Assad stormed a town near the Turkish border on Saturday, burning houses and arresting dozens, witnesses said, in a persistent military campaign to crush popular revolt. The latest assault followed another Friday of protests, which have grown in size and scope over the last three months,…

Lying IDF Generals: Israeli Blockade Recognized Under International Law’
Uruknet June 17, 2011 – 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 on the unarmed activists who are about to depart on the Gaza flotilla boats for Occupied Palestine….

Oil companies prepare for post-Gaddafi Libya
Uruknet June 17, 2011 – The major American 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”, with Muammar Gaddafi forced from power and a more pliant administration installed in Tripoli. The International Energy Agency yesterday forecast a relatively slow but…

French lawyers sue Sarkozy over crimes against humanity in Libya
Uruknet June 17, 2011 – Two high-profile French lawyers, Jacques Verge’s and former Socialist Party minister Roland Dumas, have announced that they plan to sue French president Nicolas Sarkozy on charges of crimes against humanity committed in the on-going NATO military intervention in Libya. They are acting for some thirty Libyan families who have lost family members in the…

Israel warns Palestinians all deals are off if UN vote goes ahead
Uruknet June 17, 2011 – Israel will renounce past agreements made with the Palestinians if they press ahead with unilateral plans to seek recognition of a Palestinian state at the UN, foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman has said. “A move like that will be a violation of all the agreements that were signed until today,” Lieberman told the EU foreign…

Where Freelance Means Abandoned
Uruknet June 17, 2011 – 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. “When a news agency crew is injured, the world reacts with anger, and human rights groups send letters of protests,” Abu Amrah, 29, himself a freelance photographer,…

A response to accusations made against Shaikh Raed Salah, Head of the Islamic Movement in Palestine
Uruknet June 17, 2011 – The vicious political harassment of Sh. Raed Salah, the Head of the Islamic Movement in Palestine, began many years ago, long before the current allegations which date back to 2007 were made. This latest is only one of many attempts to justify the unjustifiable, nothing more. In 1989, when Sh. Raed was the elected…

Writing our own stories
Uruknet June 17, 2011 – Anger was my first reaction after listening to US president Barack Obama’s two recent speeches, one to the world and another to AIPAC, the powerful Israeli lobby in the US. I went around to my friends with questions like “who does he think he is, presuming to tell Palestinians how they may or may…

Man to have Jewishness revoked after newspaper interview
Uruknet June 17, 2011 – The Israeli-born son of a Holocaust survivor told a newspaper he wasn’t Jewish by religious law – and had access to state services temporarily frozen, and his nationality put under review. But this is no isolated incident: Religion plays an increasingly dominant role in the mechanisms of the state….

A family in Gaza struggles to rebuild following repeated Israeli attacks
Uruknet June 17, 2011 – 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 and another four times this April. Here is his story. Somewhere in the north-east of Gaza, there is a…

The confrontation to come
Uruknet June 17, 2011 – 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 of income for Israel (foreign aid and its pillaging of the Palestinian economy) are also at a record high. A fourth source of income that is less…

European Union expresses concern over persecution of West Bank protest organizer, Bassem Tamimi
Uruknet June 17, 2011 – EU representative to UN Human Rights Council stated on Tuesday that “The rights of Israeli and Palestinian Human Rights Defenders protesting peacefully […] are severely curtailed”, mentioning Tamimi’s case explicitly. The European Union expressed its concern last Tuesday that Palestinian “human rights defenders continue to be detained for their non violent protests”, specifically mentioning the…

Occupation bulldozers demolish Palestinian homes in Negev
Uruknet June 17, 2011 – Israeli occupation bulldozers demolished three residential structures in the villages of Karnab and Faraa, two unrecognised villages of Negev in southern occupied Palestine, as part of the occupation efforts to cleanse the Negev of Palestinian Bedouins. Head of the regional council of unrecognised villages, Ibrahim al-Waqili, said in an appeal that “the occupation authorities…

Working America’s Dismal State
Uruknet June 17, 2011 – Two recent studies documented it, both discussed below. In May 2011, Northeastern University’s Center for Labor Market Studies (NECLMS) headlined, “The ‘Jobless and Wageless’ Recovery from the Great Recession of 2007 – 2009: The Magnitude and Sources of Economic Growth Through 2011 (Q I) and Their Impacts on Workers, Profits, and Stock Values.” From…

Progressive Heroes Poopyheads
Uruknet June 17, 2011 – Every blogger and writer who is conscious and even fractionally honest now acknowledges that Obama has doubled down on every single policy of Bush’s that the progressives had condemned so loudly and for so long. Moreover, Obama has gone beyond Bush’s profoundly awful record in certain critical respects. And never, ever forget that Obama…

Daily Star

Calm returns to Tripoli following deadly clashes
Daily Star 18 Jun 2011 Calm returned to Tripoli Saturday, following a night of intense fighting between pro and anti-Syrian government protests that left seven dead and 59 wounded.

Roman ruins found along Naqoura junction in Tyre
Daily Star 18 Jun 2011 Early Roman ruins have been discovered along a main road in the Tyre area, causing the road to be partially closed while excavations continue.

Yemen crisis puts Saudis in powerbroker’s bind
Daily Star 18 Jun 2011 Fearing both civil war and sweeping political reform as results of the crisis in Yemen, Saudi Arabia is struggling with its role as regional kingmaker.

Israel to conduct military drills on Lebanese border
Daily Star 18 Jun 2011 The Israeli Army will be conducting routine border exercises along the Lebanese border for one week starting Sunday.

Moroccan king fails to win over youth protest movement
Daily Star 18 Jun 2011 Morocco’s youth-based February 20 Movement reject constitutional reforms proposed by King Mohammed VI, call for nationwide protests.

Syrian army attacks village near Turkish border
Daily Star 18 Jun 2011 Syrian troops backed by tanks and firing heavy machine guns sweep into a village near the Turkish border as the army intensified operations in the northwest where there have been heavy clashes between loyalist troops and…

In ravaged Libya, ghosts of a Jewish past
Daily Star 18 Jun 2011 Libyan Jews watch with fascination from afar as Gadhafi’s forces and a NATO-backed rebel insurgency battle for control of a country some of them still see as home.

Clinton, Lavrov discuss Syria U.N. resolution
Daily Star 18 Jun 2011 U.S. secretary of state speaks with Russian foreign minister, trying to break a deadlock over a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Syria’s crackdown on pro-democracy protesters.

Obama overrides lawyers in Libya war debate: report
Daily Star 18 Jun 2011 President Barack Obama overruled two senior government lawyers in deciding that he had the authority to continue U.S. military operations in Libya without Congressional approval, The New York Times reported late Friday.

Qanso will not give vote of confidence to new Cabinet
Daily Star 17 Jun 2011 Baalbek-Hermel MP Assem Qanso, a member of the Baath Party parliamentary bloc, said Friday he would not give the new government a vote of confidence.

EU ambassador laments lack of women in new government
Daily Star 17 Jun 2011 The European Union’s ambassador to Lebanon Friday joined the rising chorus of voices denouncing the lack of female representation in the new Cabinet.

New U.S. anti-terrorism legislation targets Hezbollah
Daily Star 17 Jun 2011 United States Congressman Howard L. Berman has introduced the Hezbollah Anti-Terrorism Act (HATA), legislation intended to block any American taxpayer funds from benefiting Hezbollah or any of its allies.

Tripoli clashes raise sectarian fears
Daily Star 17 Jun 2011 At least six people, including a 14-year-old boy, were killed and more than 10 wounded in clashes between gunmen from rival groups in Prime Minister Najib Mikati’s home city of Tripoli Friday.

33-year-old man takes his own life in Sanayeh
Daily Star 17 Jun 2011 A 33-year-old man shot and killed himself in his residence in Beirut’s Sanayeh neighborhood Friday, said the state-run National News Agency.

Car looters make off with $15,000 in cash and items
Daily Star 17 Jun 2011 More than $15,000 in cash and items were robbed from a car in the southern town of Jwayya overnight, the state-run National News Agency said Friday.

Tolerance award goes to Egyptian and Tunisian people
Daily Star 17 Jun 2011 An Arab network advocating tolerance granted its annual award Friday to the Egyptian and Tunisian people for their successful uprisings which toppled their autocratic regimes.

Lebanon’s first public smoke-free beach opens in Sidon
Daily Star 17 Jun 2011 The southern coastal city’s public beach was inaugurated on Friday for summer 2011 and was declared to be a smoke-free area for the first time ever.

Lebanon’s endangered natural treasures
Daily Star 17 Jun 2011 Abu Rabih has lived and made his living in the mountains near Sannine for most of his life.

Assyrian, Shiite community members end feud in Metn
Daily Star 17 Jun 2011 Members of the Assyrian community concluded a reconciliation with the Shiite community in the Metn town of Sadd al-Boushrieh Friday, a week after members of both groups engaged in clashes.

Qabalan calls on Syrian government to reform
Daily Star 17 Jun 2011 Sheikh Abdel-Amir Qabalan, vice president of the Higher Shiite Council, called in his Friday sermon on the Syrian government to accelerate the implementation of political reforms as a means of quelling widening public protests against the…

MP files lawsuit against new local newspaper
Daily Star 17 Jun 2011 Jezzine MP Ziad Aswad filed a lawsuit against newly launched local newspaper Al-Joumhouria, the National News Agency said Friday.

YNet News

Israelis try to set new mass wedding record
YNet News, 18 Jun 2011 – Some 160 newlyweds attend mass civil marriage ceremony in Cyprus, try to break….

Mitzna: 25% of Labor membership forms not kosher
YNet News, 18 Jun 2011 – Labor party chairman hopeful MK Amram Mitzna says ‘If politics is corrupt, with….

Barak: Palestinians shouldn’t mind WB construction
YNet News, 18 Jun 2011 – Defense minister says settlement construction cannot fully stop due to ‘reality,….

Angelina Jolie visits Syrian refugees in Turkey
YNet News, 18 Jun 2011 – Hollywood celebrity, goodwill ambassador spends two-and-a-half hours speaking to….

HRC keeps clause dedicated to Israel
YNet News, 17 Jun 2011 – UN automatically approves Human Rights Council agenda for next five years, which….

France, Germany call for Shalit’s release
YNet News, 17 Jun 2011 – Al-Sharq al-Awsat reports Hamas’s military wing has vetoed a ‘good deal’ offered….

Netanya mourns gas blast victims
YNet News, 17 Jun 2011 – Three teenage girls were on way to hand out Sabbath candles when blast occurred,….

IDF officers compete for fitness title
YNet News, 17 Jun 2011 – Commanders take part in division-wide fitness exercises; Paratroopers triumph….

Probe chief: Assad ordered Hariri killed
YNet News, 17 Jun 2011 – Judge who headed probe on Lebanese premier’s death says Syria feared he would….

Syrian security forces shoot dead 8 protesters
YNet News, 17 Jun 2011 – Sixteen-year-old boy among dead as protests continue to rage against Assad….

Suspects in Netanya gas blast remanded
YNet News, 17 Jun 2011 – Gas technician, alleged metal thief linked to explosion which killed 4, injured….

Palestinian Information Center

Haneyya: Pressures failed to extract concessions
PIC – Palestinian premier in Gaza Ismail Haneyya has said that his government had survived five years of military, economic, and political pressures.

Freedom Flotilla 2 is to set sail for Gaza within days
PIC – The European campaign to lift the siege on Gaza has said that the Freedom Flotilla 2 carrying relief material to the Gaza Strip would set sail for the coastal enclave within days.

Hayya: Negotiators convinced of failure of peace talks with Israel
PIC – Hamas political bureau member Khalil al-Hayya has called the Palestinian Authority’s move to unilaterally seek statehood with the UN in September a “mirage”.

Netanyahu: No solution without recognizing Israel as a Jewish state
PIC – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reiterated that the Israeli-Arab conflict would remain until the Palestinians recognize Israel as a state for the Jews.

Protesting refugees close UNRWA offices
PIC – Palestinian refugees closed UNRWA offices in Gaza and north of the West Bank on Saturday protesting the agency’s delay in implementing promises to build destroyed homes and to stop reducing services.

Thabit warns: Relinquishing right of return might be price for Palestinian state
PIC – The Thabit organization warned Friday that the Palestinian Authority’s attempt to seek statehood with the UN risks relinquishing the Palestinian refugees’ right of return for good.

Rezqa: Gazans can no longer bear humiliation at Rafah crossing
PIC – The Palestinians can no longer bear the humiliation received at the Rafah border crossing, said Yousef Rezqa, advisor to Gaza prime minister Ismail Haneyya.

International campaign demands firm measures to halt Israeli abduction of MPs
PIC – The international campaign to release detained lawmakers addressed urgent messages to speakers of world parliaments asking for their immediate intervention to stop Israel from re-arresting MPs.

Haneyya: Future gov’t must preserve armed strength of resistance
PIC – Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haneyya has said that the signing of the national unity deal was the first step on a “long road”, emphasizing the need to preserve the agreement from past experiences.

Top US peace activist to take part in June Gaza flotilla
PIC – Renowned American peace activist and author Kathy Kelly, founder of the Voices for Creative Nonviolence website, has announced that she is going to participate in the Freedom Flotilla II.

Dozens injured during West Bank rallies on Friday
PIC – 18/06/2011 – 07:16 AM

WAFA – Palestine News Agency

Gaza’s Housing Crisis: Residents Protest UNRWA Failure to Rebuild Their Destroyed Homes

Peace Now Calls on Conservative US Talk Show Host Beck to Stay Home

Original Picasso Painting to be Exhibited in Ramallah

Intifada Palestine

Netanyahu says there’s no solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
Intifada-Palestine: 18 Jun 2011 – Etgar Keret / Haaretz The flight to Rome leaves in the middle of the night. When I finish packing my small travel suitcase, my wife gives me a scrap of orange notepaper. It isn’t meant for me; it’s for the prime minister…. more

Gilad Atzmon: Jews & Their Self Interest-An Interview with Philip Weiss
Intifada-Palestine: 18 Jun 2011 – Phillip Weiss photo courtesy: Gilad.co.uk by Gilad Atzmon Over a week ago I emailed to the well- known blogger Philip Weiss, an interesting post written by Nahida (AKA The Exiled Palestinian). In her article, Jewish Voice For Peace? Really?? , Nahida expresses… more

Los Angeles Times

Saudi women get in the driver’s seat to defy ban
LA Times 17 Jun 2011 – In a novel form of protest against the kingdom’s severe restrictions on their rights, about three dozen women got behind the wheel. Some were given tickets, but there were also reports of arrests. She got her driver’s license in Indiana. She likes to drive fast….

24 reported slain in Syrian protests
LA Times 17 Jun 2011 – Security forces fire on demonstrators, as protests are held in several cities after Friday prayers. The U.S. and its allies are said to be weighing additional actions to pressure Syria to end the violence. Syria suffered through another agonizing day of bloodshed Friday as security…

New York Times

Activists Using Video to Bear Witness in Syria
New York Times 18 Jun 2011 – A rolling Internet blackout and efforts to bar foreign journalists have left the world largely dependent on online videos of protests and the Syrian government’s crackdown.

NATO Says It Mistakenly Hit Libyan Rebels Again
New York Times 18 Jun 2011 – The accidental strike was at least the third such episode since the airstrikes began three months ago.

In Libya, More Novice Soldiers in Defense of Qaddafi
New York Times 18 Jun 2011 – With professional soldiers called away to rebel hot spots, amateurs are an increasingly important part of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s defense of the capital.

In a Scattered Protest, Saudi Women Take the Wheel
New York Times 18 Jun 2011 – Several dozen women drove in major cities of Saudi Arabia on Friday as part of a protest against a longstanding ban.


Why Obama is wrong to ignore the War Powers Act
Mondoweiss – The New York Times published a disturbing story this morning about Obama’s unusual decision to ignore the advice of two top administration lawyers in deciding that he was not required to obey the War Powers Act and seek Congressional approval to continue military attacks on Libya….

Israel’s war against Palestinian children continues
Mondoweiss – Silwan children abducted from their bedrooms / Mel Frykberg SILWAN, occupied East Jerusalem (IPS) 16 June — “Father please help me! Don’t let them take me away,” screamed 12-year-old Ahmed Siyam as approximately fifty heavily armed Israeli soldiers and police dragged the handcuffed and blindfolded boyaway. Last…

At Netroots, Rep. Keith Ellison supports Palestinian statehood initiative at UN
Mondoweiss – Last night at Netroots Nation, I had a conversation with Minnesota congressman Keith Ellison, one of two Muslims in the Congress, and after I congratulated him for his outspokenness on Gaza, he told me of his support for the Palestinian statehood initiative in the United Nations. “…

John Greyson’s latest brilliant BDS video
Mondoweiss – Canadian filmmaker John Greyson will be traveling on the Canadian Boat to Gaza, the Tahrir , joining the global effort of Freedom Flotilla 2 – Stay Human. On the heels of taking off tomorrow he just finished another fantastic witty, fresh, must-see BDS video. Sure I’m…

Nakba: They Will Return
Tikun Olam – Nakba I’m shamelessly ripping off a deeply moving photo-poetry collage by Patrick McManus, one of my Facebook friends, which I came across in my online wanderings. The poem exquisitely echoes the photograph: Abu Salma: We Will Return (1951) Beloved Palestine, how do I sleep while the…

Top Ten Fun Names for IDF Interdiction Operation Against Gaza Flotilla
Tikun Olam – I offer the following in the spirit of hangman’s humor preceding what I hope will be a safe passage for all my friends on the various boats of the Gaza flotilla. The IDF, like all military organizations gives names to every operation it executes. Its planned…

Doctor Who Collaborated With Mossad Commits Suicide
Tikun Olam – Tonight I’m going to tell a sad story, but an instructive one. It begins with the tragic news that an 88 year-old retired Israeli doctor, respected in his profession for many decades, committed suicide in his Ramat Aviv apartment. The man’s son said his father had…

The Mysterious San Remo Treaty, Hasbarists’ Delight
Tikun Olam – Whenever Israel gets itself into serious hot water and kills a lot of people and looks really bad in the process, if it can, the MFA and the rest of the hasbara brigade goes into overdrive, dusts off all the possible avenues of defense they can…

Misc 2

2 Shot with Live Ammunition, Regional Leader Arrested in Deir Qaddis
Palestine Solidarity Project 17 Jun 2011 – Demonstrations began again this week in Deir Qaddis, a small town in the Ramallah district, against the expansion of the Nili settlement onto village land. Residents, joined by Palestinian activists from nearby Ni’lin and Budrus, as well as Israeli and international solidarity activists, have successfully stopped…

Syria troops ‘raid border town’
BBC 18 Jun 2011 – Syrian troops sweep into the town of Bdama near the Turkish border, reports say, as a campaign to crush protests continues.

Empire or Republic. How the Empire Destroys its Own People
Sabbah report 18 Jun 2011 – When you hear the tornado warning, it’s up to you. As a proud, free American you can find a rock to crawl under and say your prayer: the Federal government and Homeland Security have the Endless, World-wide War against Terror to fight and cannot be bothered…


Israel’s Systematic Ill Treatment and Punishment of Palestinian Children
Gerard Horton, Editor, Palestine Note6/16/2011
Last month, a 13-year-old boy from a small village in the occupied West Bank woke up to the sound of loud banging on the front door of his family home – it was 3:00 am. Omar’s father answered the door and found heavily armed Israeli soldiers waiting outside. The soldiers asked for the family’s ID cards and then informed Omar’s father that they were taking his son, but without saying why or where. Omar was blindfolded and his hands were tied behind his back before being led outside to a waiting military vehicle and driven off into the night.
Omar was taken to the settlement of Ari’el. He was interrogated by two policemen and accused of throwing stones at settlers near his village. He denied the accusation but after several hours of interrogation, in which he was punched and slapped, he confessed. What happened to Omar is not unusual.
This month marks the 44th anniversary since the start of Israel’s military occupation of Palestinian territory – an occupation in which arrest and detention are common. According to the UN, since June 1967 well over 700,000 Palestinians have been detained by Israeli security forces and prosecuted in military courts. One leading Israeli NGO described these courts as ‘operating since the beginning of the occupation under virtually an absolute veil of darkness.’
A number of Israeli and Palestinian organisations have attempted to shed more light on what exactly is going on under this military regime since the publication of Yesh Din’s report in 2007. One organisation, Defence for Children International, focuses on children such as Omar, who is just one of around 700 minors, some as young as 12 years, prosecuted in military courts each year. Based on hundreds of sworn testimonies, a picture of systematic ill-treatment and punishment is emerging. more.. e-mail


Top ten myths about Israeli policy
Roi Maor, +972 Magazine6/16/2011
In the next few weeks, I will write a separate post about each of the top ten myths about Israeli policy, tackling the obfuscation and confusion that often characterize discussions of official Israeli positions and actions, at home and abroad. My top ten list appears below
Inspired by the fascinating series on constitutional myths in the United States (well, fascinating for American politics junkies like myself), by Garret Epps in the Atlantic, I have decided to create my own list of myths. This list refers to myths about current government policy in Israel. It therefore excludes the variety of cultural, social and historical myths surrounding Israel, in order to focus on the obfuscation and confusion that often characterize discussions of official Israeli positions and actions, at home and abroad.
The list is not ranked in any particular order. The various myths have been selected in order to highlight different policy issues, although relations between Jews and Palestinians get a very prominent representation, with half the items in the list. I tried to include myths that are both relatively widespread, and significant in shaping discussions of policy.
In the next few weeks, I will write a separate post about each myth, explaining its origins, significance and the reality it conceals. Here is the list (if you have suggestions for more items, feel free to add them in the comments, adhering to 972’s policy on commenting, of course):
Myth #1: Policy towards Palestinians and Arab states is governed by security concerns.
Myth #2: Separation between Jews and Palestinians is not based on a racist ideology…. more.. e-mail

The forthcoming Gaza flotilla: heroism vs violent intransigence?
Richard Lightbown, Redress6/19/2011
“No Nobel Peace Laureate will be able to disguise the guilt if more Israeli hoods batter more human rights workers. No selectively edited whitewash report, with of without endorsement from professors of international law, will be able to conceal the truth this time from the people of the world.”
After he returned from his ordeal on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, Fiachra O’Luain, the second mate on the Challenger I, was asked if he would go again to break the siege of Gaza. He replied “yes … and again, and again”.
Many of the survivors of the flotilla will be on the next one, due to sail for Gaza towards the end of June. Called Stay Human, it will commemorate Vittorio Arrigoni who gave his life (as did 10 activists on the Mavi Marmara: nine dead and one in a coma) for justice and human rights for the Palestinian people.
In the face of Israeli propaganda, parroted by the BBC and other mainstream media, we should hold fast to the truth that these people are prepared to face. All of the survivors of the previous flotilla were maltreated and humiliated. Many of them were beaten, tasered by electric stun guns, attacked with stun grenades and tear gas, deprived of food and water and subjected, by terrorists in the employ of the state of Israel, to treatment described by a United Nations Fact-Finding Mission as tantamount to torture. Many suffered injury from deliberately over-tightened handcuffs. Several had their passports stolen (for use in who-knows-what future outrage by Mossad criminals), all cameras, mobile phones and computers were illegally seized and many lost large sums of money: plundered in individual acts of piracy by members of one of the world’s most criminal and immoral armies. All of the victims experienced first-hand the ruthless contempt for human dignity that the Zionist state considers its right. more.. e-mail

every day is “practise” for the Israeli navy
In Gaza: 18 Jun 2011 – * an Israeli gunboat douses a Palestinian fishing trawler in Palestinian waters with a heavy-powered water cannon [photo: David Schermerhorn, October 2008 ] A June 16 Reuters article on Israel’s vow to stop and preparations for the Freedom Flotilla 2 quotes an Israeli unnamed source as saying the blockade and siege on the Gaza Strip is legal: The source, who declined to be named, said Israel’s maritime blockade would only be deemed legal if it imposed a total exclusion zone around the small Palestinian enclave and urged the flotilla organizers not to challenge the navy. But, under international law, including the much-touted United Nations (isn’t the UN the scapegoat reason for bombarding Libya?) the blockade is illegal [ source : under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the San Remo Manual (SRM) on armed conflicts at sea —which Israel cites—and according to which, a blockade must satisfy a…more

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