VTJP Palestine/Israel Newslinks 12 August, 2011: US Mideast policy: Well on its way to total irrelevance

12 August , 2011 — VTJP


International Middle East Media Center

USAID Threatens To Stop Funding Projects In Gaza
IMEMC – Saturday August 13, 2011 – 04:59, A source at the US Department of State stated that the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) would stop funding all projects in the Gaza Strip should the Hamas movement implement its decision to enforce direct supervision on all international institutions operating in Gaza.

International Condemnation Of Plan To Expand East Jerusalem Settlement
IMEMC – Saturday August 13, 2011 – 04:05, The newly announced Israeli plan to construct additional 1600 units in the illegal Ramat Shlomo settlement, in occupied East Jerusalem, attracted international condemnation, as decision that complicates the situation and obstructs efforts to restart the stalled peace talks.

Ma’an News

Hundreds of international activists at Nablus peace rally
8/12/2011 – NABLUS (Ma’an) — Hundreds of international activists descended on the northern West Bank city of Nablus on Thursday to hold a peace rally. Around 1,200 people from over 22 countries gathered in the city center, wearing white with peace written in Arabic, English and Hebrew emblazoned on their clothes. They sang songs about freedom….

Demonstration in Kafr Qaddum
8/12/2011 – QALQILIYA (Ma’an) — Palestinians inhaled tear gas which the Israeli forces shot to disperse the weekly demonstration in Kafr Qaddum east of Qalqiliya on Friday, activists and witnesses said. The demonstration started after Friday prayer toward the eastern entrance of the village. Eyewitnesses told Ma’an the Israeli forces who were on the….

Abbas tells US lawmakers: NATO role in Palestinian state
8/12/2011 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told visiting US Congressmen on Thursday that the security of the future Palestinian state will be handed to NATO under US command, his adviser said Friday. The Palestinian state must also be “empty of [Israeli] settlements,” the President said, according to official Palestinian Authority news agency WAFA….

US official: USAID halts aid to Gaza
8/12/2011 – RAMALLAH (AFP) — USAID is halting humanitarian assistance to the Gaza Strip over alleged meddling by Hamas, a US official said on Friday.” We deeply regret that USAID-funded partner organizations operating in Gaza are forced by Hamas’s actions to suspend their assistance work,” the official said on condition of anonymity.” USAID assistance programs were….

Envoy: World must act against ‘colonization campaign’
8/12/2011 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Palestinian Ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour on Friday urged the international community to compel Israel to end its colonization campaign if it really believes in the two-state solution, reports said. In letters to the UN secretary-general and the presidents of the Security Council and the General Assembly, Mansour said “the….

Gaza government: No crisis with NGOs
8/12/2011 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The minister of foreign affairs and planning in Gaza, Mohammad Awad, denied Friday the existence of a crisis with NGOs and assistance agencies like USAID. Awad told Ma’an the government in Gaza remained committed to working with NGOs in order to “clarify the goals of these organizations to ensure….

UNRWA decision unjustified, Jenin official says
8/12/2011 – JENIN (Ma’an) — UNRWA’s decision to suspend its services is not justified, Adnan Al-Hindi, president of the popular committee for services in Jenin’s refugee camp, said a day after the agency suspended services indefinitely. UNRWA said the suspension came in response to “continued threats” against staff. But Al-Hindi said Friday….

PA condemns Israeli settlement expansion
8/12/2011 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — The Palestinian Authority on Thursday slammed the announcement of Israel’s interior ministry to build 1,600 new Israeli settlement homes near Jerusalem. In a statement from Ramallah-based Prime Minister Salam Fayyad’s office, the government said the settlement expansion “clearly demonstrate Israel’s intentions to conduct their affairs….

Delays continue at Rafah crossing
8/12/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The Gaza Ministry of Interior said Friday that passengers registered on August 7 could travel through the Rafah crossing to Egypt on Saturday. Recent delays at the crossing have prevented registered passengers from traveling on their scheduled journeys, with daily lists prescribing who will be given passage. The ministry instructed….

US Palestinians on inaugural ‘know thy heritage’ tour
8/12/2011 – RAMALLAH (AFP) — Olga Kishek was just a child when her family left the West Bank, but a Palestinian programme encouraging participants to “know thy heritage” has brought her back to her birthplace. At two years old, Kishek moved to the US state of Michigan with her family, following a familiar path for emigrating Palestinians, learning….

EU ‘regrets’ new Jerusalem settler homes
8/12/2011 – BRUSSELS (AFP) — EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton on Friday expressed her “deep regret” over Israel’s approval of more new settler homes in east Jerusalem. The European Union “has repeatedly called on Israel to end all settlement activity, including natural growth, and to dismantle outposts erected since March 2001,” Ashton said in a….

Egypt: New Israeli settler homes ‘major obstacle’
8/12/2011 – BERLIN (AFP) — Egypt on Friday blasted Israel’s approval of 1,600 new homes in an east Jerusalem settlement as a “major obstacle” to the start of new peace talks with the Palestinians.” We cannot accept this, we condemn it categorically,” Foreign Minister Mohammed Amr said in Berlin during his first European visit since taking….

Hamas: Reconciliation committees will start in September
8/12/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Hamas leader Ismail Radwan said Friday that committees established to progress the reconciliation deal between his party and Fatah would not begin work until September. On Monday, Fatah deputy Ashraf Jomah said the commissioners and committee mechanisms would be completed within a week, to complete their work by early September….

September rallies to avoid confronting army
8/12/2011 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — All rallies in support of the Palestinian bid for UN membership in September will be confined to areas where the Palestinian Authority has security control, thus avoiding confrontation with the Israeli army, high-ranking Palestinian Authority sources told Ma’an Thursday.” Ramallah rallies will be carried out in Manara square, Bethlehem….

Report: Army controls 39 percent of Israeli land
8/12/2011 – TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma’an) — Israel’s army is holding dozens of abandoned bases covering an area of more than 38,000 dunams, and some leaders now say they should be turned over to civilians. Defense Minister Ehud Barak has said that “it’s very important that we, too, should contribute to this….

Thousands attend Friday prayers at Al-Aqsa
8/12/2011 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — More than 125,000 Palestinians came to Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque for prayers on the second Friday of Ramadan, Israeli radio reported. Over 24,000 West Bank Palestinians entered through Bethlehem’s main checkpoint on Friday, the report said, noting the lack of clashes during the passage of worshipers. Thousands of….

Man kills brother, injures sister in Gaza
8/12/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — A family feud left one dead and one injured in Gaza City on Thursday night, Palestinian security said. A fight between two brothers erupted in the Az-Zeitoun neighborhood, ending in one shooting the other, and injuringhis sister, security sources told Ma’an. The victims, who sources declined to identify….

Erekat calls for accountability as EU, France condemn settlement build
8/12/2011 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — PLO official Saeb Erekat said Thursday that Israel’s announcement of a flux of settlement building shows the country “regards itself as a state above international law and accountability,” calling for firmer action by foreign nations. International leaders have rushed to condemn Thursday’s approval of more than 1,600….

Islamic Jihad condemns settlement plan
8/12/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) – The Islamic Jihad movement called for resistance against Israel after it announced plans to build over 1,000 new housing units in occupied east Jerusalem, a spokesman said. In a statement, the spokesman condemned the plan and said settlements are “the result of the peace process in the region, and the….

Qurei slams settlement expansion as ‘recklessness’
8/12/2011 – JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — The Israeli government’s “greed and recklessness” have reached a point that cannot be condoned or tolerated, senior PLO official Ahmed Qurei said Friday. Its plan to build 4,300 housing units “as an excuse” for solving the housing problems would expand illegal settlements in the West Bank and would turn….

Officer dismissed after 11 Israel soldiers go AWOL
8/12/2011 – TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma’an) — An Israeli sergeant-major was dismissed Thursday, after 11 of his soldiers went absent without leave in protest of poor service conditions, Israeli media reported. An inquiry faulted the officer’s actions but also criticized the conduct of the company commander and the platoon commander and disciplinary action will….

Israeli protest leaders urge Saturday demos
8/12/2011 – JERUSALEM (AFP) — The leaders of a social protest movement that has rocked Israel for a month called on demonstrators to “get out of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem” to bolster demonstrations Saturday in a dozen other cities. Israel has gripped since mid-July by a rapidly growing protest movement demanding cheaper housing, education and health care.” We….

Syria troops start assaults ahead of mass protests
8/12/2011 – DAMASCUS (AFP) — Syrian forces launched assaults on flashpoint areas, killing at least two people as they pursued a crackdown on dissent ahead of expected mass protests after Ramadan Friday prayers, activists said. The security force operations came in defiance of warnings to Syria by the United States that it will face further sanctions if it….

Activists use social media to help Egypt slum-dwellers
8/12/2011 – CAIRO (IRIN) — A few months ago Mahmoud Salem, aged 30, used to sit at his laptop and join various online forums in a bid to help the effort to overthrow former President Hosni Mubarak. Now, and after Mubarak is gone, Salem is back at his laptop, but this time as an activist of a different….

Libya’s ‘Stalingrad’ struggles to its feet
8/12/2011 – MISRATA, Libya (AFP) — Far from the nearest rebel bastion and perched provocatively on Tripoli’s doorstep, residents of the western Libyan city of Misrata have not had an easy war, but slowly the city is getting to its feet. The port city of 500,000 has been the scene of the fiercest fighting in the….

Libya rebels on offensive six months into uprising
8/12/2011 – BENGHAZI, Libya (AFP) — Rebels are rattling the gates of oil town Brega as they advance in eastern Libya and are pushing an offensive at Tuarga in the west, almost six months after launching an uprising against strongman Moammar Gadhafi. They are also pushing forward in the western Nafusa mountains against Gadhafi’s forces, which….

Mass protests staged across Syria, 13 killed
8/12/2011 – DAMASCUS (AFP) — Syrian security forces opened fire Friday killing at least 13 people as thousands of anti-regime protesters rallied in flashpoint cities after the Ramadan weekly prayers, rights activists said. As the West grapples with ways to pressure Damascus into ending the bloodshed, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged countries to stop trading with….

Egyptians rally for ‘civil state’ in Tahrir
8/12/2011 – CAIRO (AFP) — Nearly 150 people rallied late Friday in Cairo’s iconic Tahrir Square in favour of a “civil state” after a visit by Egypt’s ruling general, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi.” Civil, civil” and “down with military rule” they chanted. Some carried a huge Egyptian flag, an AFP reporter witnessed. Military and….

Palestine Note

US Warns of Gaza Aid Suspension
Palestine Note 12 Aug 2011 – Threat comes as Hamas moves to audit local U.S.-financed charities New York Times – The State Department sent a message to Gaza ‘s Hamas leaders on Thursday that it would withdraw some $100 million it is spending in Gaza on…


Casualties in Beirut suburb explosion
AlJazeera 12 Aug 2011 – Blast north of Lebanese capital kills two people, as interior minister says investigations do not point to sabotage.

Explosion hits Iran-Turkey gas pipeline
AlJazeera 12 Aug 2011 – PKK fighters suspected of sabotaging pipeline in east of Turkey, as blast halts flow of Iranian gas into the country.

Egyptians rally for ‘civil state’
AlJazeera 12 Aug 2011 – Hundreds clash with riot police in Tahrir Square calling for a civil state.

Thousands of protesters swell Yemen’s streets
AlJazeera 12 Aug 2011 – Hundreds of thousands of people rally in Sanaa to demand the president stand down, as a soldier is killed in Taez.

Security forces fire on protests in Syria
AlJazeera 12 Aug 2011 – Activists say 17 people have died as government attempts to put down demonstrations from Damascus to Deir ez-Zor.

Relief Web

USAID halts aid to Gaza: US official
Relief Web 12 Aug 2011 – Source: Agence France-Presse Country: occupied Palestinian territory By Hossam Ezzedine (AFP) RAMALLAH, Palestinian Territories — The US Agency for International Development is halting humanitarian assistance to the Gaza Strip over alleged meddling by the enclave’s rulers, Hamas, a US official…

Senior UN official criticizes Israel’s plan for new housing in East Jerusalem
Relief Web 11 Aug 2011 – Source: UN News Service Country: occupied Palestinian territory , Israel A senior United Nations envoy today called Israel’s announced plan to develop new housing units in East Jerusalem, if confirmed, a “provocative action” that undermines international efforts to foster peace talks…

The National

Kuwait criticised for failing to implement heat ban
The National 12 Aug 2011 – Critics say Kuwait ministry of social affairs and labours failure to implement the ban on outdoor work when the summer day is its hottest is allowing companies to put manual labourers at risk.


Clinton urges world cut economic ties with Syria
Ha’aretz – There is little prospect of Western states agreeing to sanctions on Assad, due to vested commercial interests in lucrative Syrian oil industry.

Syria uprising may lead to regional war
Ha’aretz – The brutal crackdown in Syria continues unabated, and is likely to become the stage for a regional conflict involving Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the rest of the Gulf.

Kitchen at Tel Aviv tent protest forced to dismantle
Ha’aretz – Municipal inspectors isssue eviction notice at Nordau Boulevard protest site, while main ‘tent city’ on Rothschild Boulevard remains untouched.

Report: U.S. threatens to halt humanitarian aid to Gaza
Ha’aretz – State Department announcement comes in light of Hamas demands to audit the books of U.S. charities, New York Times reports, which would violate U.S. policy against direct contacts with Hamas.

Amir Oren / In fear of September, Israel may soon evacuate the tent protest
Ha’aretz – While temperatures rise in tents around the country, the army and the police are making rigorous preparation for what may happen after the Palestinians declare statehood.

The man behind the panel
Ha’aretz – Netanyahu’s choice of Prof. Manuel Trajtenberg to formulate an emergency plan to address the protesters was far from obvious.

Jerusalem & Babylon / Keeping the bastards out again
Ha’aretz – Communities, and especially big cities, with their loss of individual identity, need myths, how else can they be so sure that the bastards won’t drive them out?

Mass social protests to take place in 11 Israeli cities on Saturday
Ha’aretz – Leaders of Israel’s social protests plan mass marches and rallies in major cities such as Haifa and Be’er Sheva on Saturday; for first time since start of protests, there will be no march in Tel Aviv.

Lieberman condemns ‘one-sided’ media coverage of Israel’s social protests
Ha’aretz – Foreign Minister says some of those taking part in Israel’s social protests are ‘opportunists,’ Israel is a ‘stable democracy’ with a lot to ‘be proud of’; Shimon Peres meets with head of Benjamin Netanyahu’s new team appointed to deal with protesters’ demands.

Israelis step up social protests: Masked rallies set for Wednesday across the country
Ha’aretz – Protesters plan to gather in major cities wearing white masks to symbolize discriminated and underpaid workers.

Katsav lawyer: Former president was convicted by public before trial began
Ha’aretz – Arguments in appeals process of Katsav rape case continue for second day at Supreme Court.

South Tel Aviv social protest camp celebrates inter-ethnic solidarity
Ha’aretz – African music concert hastily organized in Levinsky Park to welcome return of key Ethiopian-Israeli activist arrested Tuesday.

Jerusalem Post

US suspends work of aid groups in Gaza Strip
Jerusalem Post 13 Aug 2011 – Official says Hamas has “created an environment which jeopardizes the ability of non-governmental organizations to provide assistance to Gaza’s most vulnerable residents.”

PA sources: September rallies will avoid clashes with IDF
Jerusalem Post 12 Aug 2011 – Demonstrations in support of Palestinian UN statehood bid will be confined to areas under full PA control.

‘Egypt preparing operation against al-Qaida cells in Sinai’
Jerusalem Post 12 Aug 2011 – Senior Egyptian military officials tell CNN that mission planned against terrorists in area of pipeline blasts, smuggling near Gaza border.

Syrian forces kill 20 as thousands demand Assad’s ouster
Jerusalem Post 12 Aug 2011 – Gov’t troops continue violent crackdown, firing on protesters across country, including in cities of Hama and Deir al-Zor.

‘Syrian forces kill eight protesters following prayers’
Jerusalem Post 12 Aug 2011 – Government security forces open fire on demonstrators after Friday prayers in Deir al-Zor; two killed in Aleppo, one in Homs, three in Damascus suburbs, two more near Turkish border.

Gaddafi forces still hold Brega oil terminal, refinery
Jerusalem Post 12 Aug 2011 – Gov’t forces holding on to Brega oil terminal; Tunisia cracks down on fuel smuggling to Gaddafi; more countries to unfreeze assets for rebels.

Ashton: E. J’lem construction threatens two-states
Jerusalem Post 12 Aug 2011 – PA says Israel trying to create facts on the ground, US calls construction “illegitimate”; Peace Now threatens court challenge.

‘Turkey: Retired officers to deal with Syrian refugees’
Jerusalem Post 12 Aug 2011 – Ankara reportedly fears NATO intervention, expects additional 17,000 Syrian refugees may be headed for border, ‘Zaman’ says.

‘US threatens to cut Gaza aid over Hamas audits of NGOs’
Jerusalem Post 12 Aug 2011 – State Department: Hamas must drop demand to conduct audits of NGOs, ‘NY Times’ says; move comes after western diplomat threatens PA funds.

‘Foreign Ministry unsure if it’ll replace envoy in Ankara’
Jerusalem Post 12 Aug 2011 – Officials say Jerusalem is waiting to see if agreement reached over ‘Marmara,’ whether Turkish PM Erdogan visits Gaza Strip.

This Week in History: Israel and Jordan are connected
Jerusalem Post 12 Aug 2011 – After forty-six years of war and only two weeks after deciding on peace in Washington, Rabin and King Hussein open the first border crossing.

To help with war trauma, Israeli soldiers take Manhattan
Jerusalem Post 12 Aug 2011 – Long distance is heart of treatment program. “In Israel, it’s not socially acceptable to talk about these experiences,” says psychologist.

Abbas says seeking Palestinian state without settlements
Jerusalem Post 12 Aug 2011 – PA president tells visiting US lawmakers UN bid isn’t his first choice but doesn’t see it as contradictory with the peace process.

Nordau’s tent city: A sane alternative to Rothschild
Jerusalem Post 12 Aug 2011 – Nordau tent city has proven that setting up a campsite in the middle of town doesn’t have to equal a descent into chaos.

Women smokers have more heart risk than men
Jerusalem Post 12 Aug 2011 – Female smokers have 25% greater risk for coronary heart disease than male smokers, differnece in risk increases 2% per year smoking.

UK envoy Gould appeals to Israelis not to cancel UK trips
Jerusalem Post 11 Aug 2011 – As riots subside, British ambassador assures Israelis UK safe for a visit; violence was “criminality, pure and simple.”

Editor’s Notes: The time has come…
Jerusalem Post 11 Aug 2011 – The editor of a respected newspaper should spell out his positions at the start of his tenure, and make his voice heard. So here is my “wish list.”

The Jacksonian foreign policy option
Jerusalem Post 11 Aug 2011 – With all the failings of the neoconservative foreign policy model, it’s clear Obama’s policy has been far more devastating for security.

Arab World: Power politics
Jerusalem Post 11 Aug 2011 – Sectarianism plays out in Syria as Saudis seize momentum to continue battle for regional dominance and bring down Damascus regime.

Politics: Shelly Yacimovich’s serendipity
Jerusalem Post 11 Aug 2011 – Labor Party leadership candidate and former radio and TV broadcaster has emerged as one of the big winners from the social protests.

Monkey business
Jerusalem Post 11 Aug 2011 – The new Three Monkeys pub should boost some energy into Eilat’s nightlife

The Guardian

How youth-led revolts shook elites around the world
The Guardian 12 Aug 2011 – From Athens to Cairo and Spain to Santiago, old certainties are being challenged after the Arab spring and financial crises Of all the millions of words expended in the global media on this year’s rash of…

‘I feel like I’ve saved a life’: the women clearing Lebanon of cluster bombs
The Guardian 12 Aug 2011 – An all-female team is doing the hazardous and painstaking work of removing unexploded Israeli ordnance from the 2006 war Only up close does it become clear that some of the bulky figures in armoured vests scouring…

Inter Press Service

MIDEAST: Work Has Come to This
IPS It’s a weekday morning, the beach is yet to fill with crowds seeking a break from the heat, but already the odd-jobbers are at work selling toys, clothes and food along the coast.


Residents Say NATO’s Air Strikes Killed 85 People, Including 33 Children, 32 Women and 20 Men NATO’S Massacre at Majer, Libya

Uruknet August 12, 2011 – …Applicable international law includes but is not limited to Article 3 of the Statute of The Hague International Penal Court which clearly states that one criterion for indictment for war crimes is: “Attack or bombardment, by whatever means, against undefended cities, towns, villages, buildings or houses”. ‚Ä®‚Ä®NATO’s continuous use of civilian targets for military…

Your Approval of History Is Irrelevant and Meaningless
Uruknet August 12, 2011 – … Given recent and continuing events in England, the United States, and other countries, can we say that judgment is wrong? I certainly can’t, even though I still think recourse to violence represents an enormous tragedy and that it will almost certainly prove to be self-defeatingAnd do I “disapprove of” and “condemn” the violence itself?…

Yearning for work in Gaza under siege
Uruknet August 12, 2011 – It’s a weekday morning, the beach is yet to fill with crowds seeking a break from the heat, but already the odd-jobbers are at work selling toys, clothes and food along the coast. Shariff Abu Kass, 27, walks the stretch of seaside in Sheik Rajleen every day from morning to evening with two armfuls…

Syria News – August 11, 2011 (Videos)
Uruknet August 11, 2011 – Homs : Army, Shabiha and security forces started to leave the city of Qusair after killing 12 people, injuring tens others. News about an amonut of missing people. These forces wrote on the walls some mottos that deificates Bashar AlAsad, threatened residents that they willcome again in case of any new demonstration. Lattakia: Al-Haffa: Ammar…

Netanyahu imposes harsher conditions on Palestinian political prisoners
Uruknet August 11, 2011 – This week I received a letter from Ali, a Palestinian political prisoner from Israel. Ali is one of the 126 Palestinian prisoners who have served more than 20 years in prison. He writes, “I spent already 23 years of my life in Israeli prison but the prison couldn’t break my spirit. I am still…

Straining Every Nerve Against UN Membership for Palestine
Uruknet August 11, 2011 – The Roman philosopher and politician Cicero urged orators to ‘Strain every nerve to gain your point.’ The Obama Administration appears to have taken his advice to heart in its attempts to make the case that the United States should oppose Palestinian efforts to gain membership in the United Nations this fall. However, its rhetoric…

Racism in the Galilee part 1: Caging in Palestinians
Uruknet August 11, 2011 – Many Palestinians have been forced to leave Nazareth, the primary Palestinian city in Israel, and its satellite villages due to the absence of planning and lack of resources allotted by the government, which prohibits development and results in overcrowding. Nazareth was allowed to keep its Palestinian population and identity after 1948 on condition that…

Libya diary day 13 (Aug 9)
Uruknet August 11, 2011 – And on the day that NATO massacred 85 Libyan civilians, the images of Britain on fire can garner little sympathy amongst outraged Libyans. This is just the start of the “chickens [coming] home to roost.” I watched their heartbroken and incensed loved ones bury the 33 children, 32 women and 20 men NATO claimed…

Press Conference by Moussa Ibrahim on Majer/Zlitan Massacre by NATO

Iraq snapshot
Uruknet August 11, 2011. Chaos and violence continue, Senator Patty Murray raises concerns about the treatment of female veterans, Political Stalemate II continues, house bombings are still the new fad in Iraqi violence, and more….Ali Yussef (AFP) reports 3 people were killed by a bombing of police officer’s Ramadi home leaving 3 dead and 24 wounded. As we noted…

Republican presidential candidate wants to destroy UN if it recognizes Palestine
Uruknet August 11, 2011 – In an op-ed published by the pro-Netanyahu tabloid Yisrael Hayom, Republican Newt Gingrich calls upon the United States to stop supporting the United Nations if it votes for Palestinian independence. “We don’t need to fund a corrupt institution to beat up on our allies,” says Gingrich. Washington should make immediately clear that it has…

Imperial Plans for Libya Post-Gaddafi
Uruknet August 11, 2011 – Despite clear evidence of war crimes, NATO claims civilians and civilian targets aren’t struck. In fact, they’re targeted deliberately and repeatedly, killing hundreds and injuring many more as part of a campaign to cow targeted populations into submission. In the last 48 hours, Tripoli power facilities were bombed, knocking it out to parts of…

In Prison, and Denied Education
Uruknet August 11, 2011- Access to education for Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails is getting worse as international organisations remain unwilling or unable to intervene. Secondary- school students here completed their exams in June, and received their results by end of July. However, the 1,800 Palestinian prisoners who were supposed to complete their exams were not permitted to do…

Israel approves 1,600 Jerusalem settler homes
Uruknet August 11, 2011 — Israel’s interior minister Eli Yishai has given final approval for the construction of 1,600 new settler homes in east Jerusalem, his spokesman told AFP on Thursday. The move is likely to anger both the Palestinians and the international community, as it struggles to find a way to relaunch peace talks in a bid to…

Iraq snapshot – August 10, 2011
Uruknet August 10, 2011. Chaos and violence continue, the financial cost of war is noted (pay attention, Steve Inskeep), talk of extending the US military presence in Iraq continues, Iraqi Youth issue a statement, and more….The US needs to leave Iraq. It needs to leave Iraq immediately. If the carpets need cleaned or replace, a bill can be sent….

Daily Star

Qabalan’s wife passes away, to be laid to rest in Najaf
Daily Star 12 Aug 2011 Azza Faqih, the wife of Sheikh Abdel-Amir Qabalan, the vice president of the Higher Shiite Council, passed away Thursday. The body was sent Friday to be buried in the holy Shiite city of Najaf, south of…

Civil defense, army put out fires across country
Daily Star 12 Aug 2011 Members of the Civil Defense and Lebanese Army extinguished a number of fires that broke out across the country Thursday, the army said in a statement Friday.

ISF cracks down on motorized pickpockets
Daily Star 12 Aug 2011 As part of a campaign to crack down on motorcycle-mounted pickpockets, the Internal Security Forces said Friday its personnel have confiscated 6,465 illegal motorcycles in Beirut and Mount Lebanon.

Family of slain man blocks road, demand answers
Daily Star 12 Aug 2011 Relatives of a slain man blocked the road in Baalbek’s downtown Friday, protesting the inaction of authorities on the murder investigation.

Two killed in car accident at Chekka tunnel entrance
Daily Star 12 Aug 2011 Two people were killed in a car accident Friday at the entrance to the Chekka tunnel.

Fasting offers chance to cleanse, revitalize body: experts
Daily Star 12 Aug 2011 When the sunset prayers end and Muslims break their fast with iftar, they are feeding their bodies as well as forming bonds.

Police reports topped by 2 men killed in separate stabbing incidents
Daily Star 12 Aug 2011 Two fatal stabbings, in Aley and Baalbek were at the top of police reports Friday.Rami Anis Abu Said, 33, from Shweit, Baabda was stabbed six times in the back and neck Friday on Maroun Abboud Street…

Rare plant rediscovered by French botanists in Jabal Moussa
Daily Star 12 Aug 2011 A plant only observed once in Lebanon over a century ago and considered an extinct species was recently rediscovered in the nature reserve of Jabal Moussa by a team of French botanists.

Ramadan in flux for Syrian refugees in north
Daily Star 12 Aug 2011 Back in Syria Ramadan was beautiful, recalls Nawal Kurdi as she has iftar with her family on the floor at a school in the north Lebanon village of Mashta Hamoud where they have been taking shelter…

Syrian forces kill 10 protesters after Friday prayers
Daily Star 12 Aug 2011 Syrian forces shot dead 10 protesters on Friday, activists said, as tens of thousands demanded the fall of President Bashar al-Assad, chanting “we will kneel only to God.”

STL meets relatives of slain ex-Communist Party head Hawi
Daily Star 12 Aug 2011 The U.N.-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon Friday informed the family of slain former Communist Party leader George Hawi of a link between his case and the killing of statesman Rafik Hariri.

Dozens hold protest over power cuts in Tyre
Daily Star 12 Aug 2011 Tens of people held a protest in front of the Sidon branch of Electricite Du Liban in south Lebanon Friday, blocking roads with burning tires.

Sleiman’s proposal for dialogue would set us back: Hariri
Daily Star 12 Aug 2011 President Michel Sleiman’s proposal that national dialogue should address current controversial issues would not lead to progress, former Prime Minister Saad Hariri says.

Iranian gas flow to Turkey halted by blast
Daily Star 12 Aug 2011 Iranian gas flow to Turkey has been halted due to an explosion on the pipeline in Turkey overnight and repairs have been started which will take one week, a Turkish Energy Ministry official told Reuters Friday.

Libyan rebels claim victory in key oil terminal
Daily Star 12 Aug 2011 Libyan rebels battling Moammar Gadhafi’s troops along the country’s Mediterranean coast have claimed they captured a key oil terminal that has repeatedly changed hands in the 6-month-old civil war.

Higher Defense Council agrees to tighten security in Lebanon
Daily Star 12 Aug 2011 Higher Defense Council agrees to tighten security measures across Lebanon during an extraordinary meeting Friday.

Syrian forces kill 19, U.S. threatens more sanctions
Daily Star 12 Aug 2011 Syrian forces killed at least 19 people in raids near the Lebanon border and in the country’s Sunni tribal heartland, activists said, pursuing a military campaign to crush street protests against President Bashar Assad.

YNet News

Social protest rallies move to periphery
YNet News, 12 Aug 2011 – Israel’s social protest has mainly gained attention due to Tel Aviv’s tent city situated in the Rothschild Boulevard with weekly rallies being held in the city nearly … ….

Egypt targets al-Qaeda-linked militants in Sinai
YNet News, 12 Aug 2011 – The Egyptian army has deployed thousands of troops to the Sinai peninsula as part of a major operation against al-Qaeda-inspired militants, two senior military officials … ….

Clinton urges nations to cut Syria ties
YNet News, 12 Aug 2011 – The United States on Friday called on countries to stop buying Syrian oil and gas as it sought to build pressure on Syrian President Bashar aAssad to end a brutal … ….

NYC child-killer suspect unrepentant
YNet News, 12 Aug 2011 – Levi Aron, who is being charged with the murder and dismemberment of 8-year-old Leiby Kletzky, has yet to express any remorse. “It hurts too much to think about it,” … ….

Firefighters contain Upper Galilee blaze
YNet News, 12 Aug 2011 – A huge blaze erupted in the Upper Galilee on Friday morning threatening Yesud HaMa’ala and the Hula Valley for a few tense hours. Firefighting teams eventually managed to … ….

US may cut Gaza aid over Hamas probes
YNet News, 12 Aug 2011 – The State Department has reportedly sent a warning to Hamas leaders in Gaza that it would withdraw $100 million of its Gaza funds unless they relent in their demands to … ….

Iran gearing for ‘cyber war’?
YNet News, 12 Aug 2011 – Iran’s Information and Communications Technology Minister Reza Taghipour accused Israel on Friday of “unmatched cyber terrorism” against nations the world over. … ….

IDF officer quits over sexual abuse allegations
YNet News, 12 Aug 2011 – Company commander with Paratroopers Brigade asks to be relieved of duty,….

GOP nomination battle heats up
YNet News, 12 Aug 2011 – 2012 Republican presidential candidacy is underway as 8 candidates take on….

Abbas: We want settlements-free state
YNet News, 12 Aug 2011 – Palestinian president assures US lawmakers visiting West Bank that nearing UN….

IDF commander dismissed after 11 soldiers go AWOL
YNet News, 12 Aug 2011 – Inquiry into Duchifat soldiers’ desertion results in company sergeant major’s….

Chabad rabbi abducted in Ecuador; released unharmed
YNet News, 12 Aug 2011 – Rabbi Tomer Rotem falls prey to ruthless kidnapping after being lured to meeting….

Palestinian Information Center

IOF troops arrest Imam of Tulkarem Mosque
PIC – IOF troops on Thursday arrested Sheikh Laith Attili, Imam of the Ali Ibn Abu Taleb Mosque, in the village of Attil in the northern West Bank district of Tulkarem..

Fanatic Jewish settlers regularly attack Palestinians at Iftar time
PIC – Fanatic Jewish settlers attacked Palestinian homes in the old city in al-Khalil on Wednesday evening for the second time in two days. The attacks take place at Iftar time.

Palestinian Journalist Forum condemn Zionist threats to Russian journalist Maxim
PIC – The Palestinian Journalist Forum strongly condemned death threats made by a prominent Russian Zionist against Russian journalist Maxim Shevchenko for his support of Palestinian rights.

Israeli intelligence tried to recruit al-Jazeera journalist
PIC – Samer Allawi said that the Israeli intelligence tried to recruit him but he refused and that he was threatened with being accused of something serious.

Haneyya has Iftar with orphans
PIC – Palestinian Prime Minister in Gaza, Ismail Haneyya, broke his fast on Thursday with orphans expressing joy at sharing the Iftar with orphans.

Hamas calls on Lebanon to adopt civil rights of Palestinian refugees
PIC – Hamas has called on the Lebanese government to rectify its relationship with the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon by adopting their civil and social rights and rebuilding Nahr al-Bared.

170 thousand worshipers attend Friday prayers at Aqsa Mosque
PIC – On the second Friday of Ramadan the Israeli occupation deployed troops in large numbers in occupied Jerusalem and around it and stopped many worshipers from the West Bank from reaching the Mosque.


Saudi Arabia Funds Refugee Housing in Gaza

Dozens Hurt in Weekly West Bank Anti-Wall Protests

UNRWA Suspends Services in Jenin

Almost 200,000 Muslims Attend Friday Prayer at Al-Aqsa

EU’s Ashton Strongly Criticizes Settlement Expansion

Los Angeles Times

Syrian soap operas get real this Ramadan
LA Times 12 Aug 2011 – On the traditional holiday TV shows, President Bashar Assad is allowing criticism of the regime that he doesn’t tolerate in real life. Every night, as Syrian troops and tanks launch assaults on protesters during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, a Syrian man named Jihad…

Palestinian Authority has cash crunch amid statehood drive
LA Times 12 Aug 2011 – Palestinian banks, which lent the authority about $200 million to cover shortfalls, have stopped making new loans. Donations from the Arab world have plummeted. A year ago, Palestinian Authority employee Fida Jiryis took out a $100,000 mortgage to purchase an apartment in Ramallah, one of…

Syrian forces kill 19 as protests erupt nationwide
LA Times 12 Aug 2011 – Syria, despite warnings from Turkey and the U.S. to stop military operations against unarmed civilians, continues its campaign against dissent, activists say. Syrian forces met worshipers emerging from Friday prayers with volleys of gunfire, killing at least 19 people according to activists, despite tough warnings…

New York Times

Qaeda Trying to Harness Toxin for Bombs, U.S. Officials Fear
New York Times 12 Aug 2011 – According to classified reports, Al Qaeda’s Yemeni branch is trying to acquire castor beans [so difficult to get! -ed.] for making ricin, a toxin so deadly that just a speck can kill.

For Egyptians, British Riots Are a Mix of Familiar and Peculiar
New York Times 12 Aug 2011 – Egyptians watched this week with a mix of empathy, disgust and perhaps a measure of satisfaction as the British authorities struggled for four days to rein in arson and looting.

Security Forces Kill at Least 15 People in Cities Around Syria
New York Times 12 Aug 2011 – The demonstrations came two weeks after security forces took control of the country’s two most restive cities, Hama and Deir al-Zour.

Iraqi Leader Backs Syria, With a Nudge From Iran
New York Times 12 Aug 2011 – Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki of Iraq has sided with President Bashar al-Assad of Syria against the protesters and has expanded ties between the countries.


Lebanon intercepts covert arms shipments bound for Syria
WSWS – Lebanese army intelligence has intercepted a covert shipment of 1,000 assault rifles, apparently being sent to the Syrian city of Baniyas by US-backed forces in Lebanon hostile to the Syrian regime.

Today in Nabi Saleh
Mondoweiss – Nabi Saleh consumed with raids while fasting ISM posted 11 Aug — Following the unusually short demonstration on the first Friday ofRamadan, the Israeli army raided the village of Nabi Saleh just beforeIftar, the Muslim time for breaking fast during Ramadan, resulting in the detaining of…

Israel’s Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi to Glenn Beck: ‚ÄòG-d will bless you for what you did’
Mondoweiss – It’s T minus twelve days until Glenn Beck’s big End Times powwow in Jerusalem (an event he has predicted “will change the direction of the world”), and the wing-nuts are coming out of the, well, wings to support it. Tea Bagger-turned-Presidential candidate Herman Cain is set…

‚ÄòBDS brides’ bring boycott to Bed Bath & Beyond
Mondoweiss –

In Israel, Steny Hoyer promises, US financial crisis won’t cut our aid package by a dime
Mondoweiss – Huh. Steny Hoyer is in Israel, with 25 other Democratic congresspeople. Jerusalem Post : The current economic crisis in the US will have no impact on US financial assistance to Israel, US Congressman Steny Hoyer (D-Maryland) said Wednesday. Hoyer said he wanted to “make it clear” that…

Needed: ‚Äòworldwide external pressure’
Mondoweiss – Joseph Dana’s new article @ The National has a twist at the end: But fundamental questions remain. How can a protest in Israel, borrowing the revolutionary energy of the Arab Spring, ignore Israel’s military control of the Palestinians? Israel may be seeing a challenge to its security-led…

Soldiers in settlement go AWOL in protest
Neged Neshek – Eleven soldiers stationed in the Gush Etzion settlements abandoned their posts temporarily in protest of poor economic conditions and hazing complaints that were ignored. While the limits of this protest are quite clear — namely that the actions of the army against Palestinians in the West…

Abusisi to Shabak: I Left Gaza Because Hamas Threatened Me and My Children
Tikun Olam – Israeli journalists applied to the district court hearing the Dirar Abusisi case for release of his interrogation transcripts. The court did so today and the Israeli media have publisehd a largely stenographic and lurid account of Abusisi’s supposed rocket engineering prowess in expanding the range and…

IWI to produce new Desert Eagle run
Neged Neshek – Guns & Ammo is reporting that Israel Weapon Industries (IWI) will be producing a new run of the Desert Eagle to help the spread of handguns into civilian homes. Israel Military Industries (prior to the 2005 privatization of Israel Military Industries’ small arms division IWI) and…

Florida EMS deploys Verint Audiolog system
Neged Neshek – Surveillance firm Verint has implemented its Audiolog recording system for an unnamed Florida emergency services department. Verint’s surveillance systems assist with state surveillance in dozens of nations from Brazil to Malaysia to the United Kingdom and with corporate surveillance as thousands of sites worldwide.

Misc 2

Morocco: Syria Events – Gov’t Calls On All Parties to Show Wisdom And Restraint
allAfrica.com 12 Aug 2011 – Morocco called, on Wednesday, on all Syrian parties to show wisdom and restraint and to engage in an inclusive dialogue.

Army Invades Beit Ommar for Third Time in One Week
Palestine Solidarity Project 12 Aug 2011 – At around 10pm on the night of the 11th August, the Israeli army once more invaded the town of Beit Ommar. Around eight jeeps and more than twelve soldiers entered the town and advanced along the main road, closing off the entrance to the village behind…

Some Good News for Shabbat Nahamu
The Magnes Zionist 12 Aug 2011 – PCHR reported that the IDF was paying the Abu Hajja family approx. $147,000, in an out-of-court settlment, as reparations for for the killing of the mother Riyya and daughter Majda during Operation Cast Lead. Last year, the soldier who shot the two, who were waving white…

UN Report criticises Israeli policies which displace Palestinians in the occupied West Bank
Middle East Monitor 12 Aug 2011 – The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) has issued a report looking at the policies of the Israeli government which lead to the displacement of Palestinians. “Displacement and Insecurity in Area C of the West Bank” records that there are clear displacement patterns…

Israeli forces prepare for possible September unrest
Middle East Monitor 12 Aug 2011 – Israeli defence sources have revealed that the Regional Brigade located in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank has held a surprise drill based on the scenario of civil unrest around the time of the expected request for UN recognition of a Palestinian state. The drill was…

Hamas report calls Israeli “Museum of Tolerance” on historic Muslim cemetery “theft”
Middle East Monitor 12 Aug 2011 – The Islamic Resistance Movement has issued a detailed report on the historic Ma’man Allah cemetery in East Jerusalem, calling the Israeli plans to build a supposed “Museum of Tolerance” thereon “part of the Zionist state’s ongoing theft of religious endowment land”. The cemetery, says Hamas, is “…

US urges states to cut Syria ties
BBC 12 Aug 2011 – US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urges all countries to cut political and economic ties with Syria as its harsh crackdown on protests goes on.

VIDEO: Amateur footage of ‘fresh Syria violence’
BBC 12 Aug 2011 – Syrian forces have renewed their crackdown on protesters, activists say, with operations in Deir al-Zour in the east and Kahn Sheikhun in the north.

VIDEO: ‘Assad regime must be denounced’
BBC 12 Aug 2011 – Sheikh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi calls for more international pressure on the Syrian regime after forces renewed their crackdown on protesters.


Israel’s ‘Jews first, democracy second’ law and its racist authors
Uri Avnery, Redress8/13/2011
“The People demand social justice!” chanted 250,000 protesters in unison in Tel Aviv on Saturday 6 August. But what they need — to quote an American artist — is “more unemployed politicians”.
Fortunately, the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, has gone on a prolonged vacation, three months. For as Mark Twain quipped: “No man’s life or property is safe while the legislature is in session.”
As if to prove this point, Member of the Knesset Avi Dichter submitted, on the very last day of the outgoing session, a bill so outrageous that it easily trumps all the many other racist laws lately adopted by this Knesset.
“Dichter” is a German name and means “poet”. But no poet he. He is the former chief of the secret police, the General Security Service (Shin-Bet or Shabak).
(“Dichter also means “more dense”, but let’s not dwell on that.)
He proudly announced that he had spent a year and a half smoothening and sharpening this particular project, turning it into a legislative masterpiece.
And a masterpiece it is. No colleague in yesterday’s Germany or present-day Iran could have produced a more illustrious piece. The other members of the Knesset seem to feel so, too — no fewer than 20 of the 28 members of the Kadima faction, as well as all the other dyed-in-the-wool racist members of this august body, have proudly put their name to this bill as co-authors. more.. e-mail

US Mideast policy: Well on its way to total irrelevance
Noam Sheizaf, +972 Magazine8/10/2011
By following Jerusalem’s lead regarding the Palestinian UN bid, the United State is diminishing its own position in the region, and actually proving that the Palestinians have nothing to hope for in negotiations with Israel
A few months ago, there was still speculation in Jerusalem that the White House is behind the new wave of diplomatic pressure from the EU. Some even wondered whether the administration is secretly supporting the Palestinian UN bid, hoping that this would finally get Israel to take a step or two towards the Palestinians, possibly even freeze settlement construction, so that negotiations could resume.
Nobody thinks so now. The administration has clearly decided to throw its entire weight behind Jerusalem and against the Palestinian move. Washington is threatening both in public and in private that the UN bid would seriously harm American relations with Ramallah, and might even bring to an end the financial aid for the Palestinian Authority. As usual, the US congress—which seems crazier than the Knesset, impossible as this is to imagine—is threatening to stop all financial aid to the PA, and there are even talks of withdrawing funds from the UN itself if its members dare to vote in the Palestinian favor.
Punishing the entire world for seeking to end the occupation! It seems that American foreign policy was taken hostage by the Likud. Current political circumstances in Washington could be blamed, but the facts are pretty clear. One could find in the Israeli mainstream media, and even in the Israeli administration, those who are inclined to support the Palestinian UN bid, yet America seems to be speaking in one voice against it.
Even the New York Times, whose editorial was at times very critical of recent Israeli policies, warned the Palestinians of the possible consequences of their UN move…. more.. e-mail

Obama straining every nerve against UN membership for Palestine
Josh Ruebner, Redress8/11/2011
The Roman philosopher and politician Cicero urged orators to “Strain every nerve to gain your point”. The administration of Barack Obama appears to have taken his advice to heart in its attempts to make the case that the United States should oppose Palestinian efforts to gain membership in the United Nations this autumn.
However, its rhetoric has been so convoluted, its logic so flawed and its reasoning so shoddy that its efforts have been desultory and unconvincing. Take, for example, the following quotes:
“Delegitimizing” Israel
“No vote at the United Nations will ever create an independent Palestinian state. And the United States will stand up against efforts to single Israel out at the United Nations or in any international forum. (applause) Israel’s legitimacy is not a matter for debate.” (Barack Obama, remarks at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, AIPAC, Policy Conference, 22 May 2011)
There are so many historical inaccuracies, deliberate obfuscations of political realities and hyperbolic assumptions that it is difficult to know where to begin to unpack these three crucial sentences.
To assert, boldly, that no action will ever achieve its goal, then at the very least Obama should have the historical record on his side. Despite his bluster, he is powerless to stop the UN from voting to create an independent Palestinian state because it already did so — in 1947. more.. e-mail

Gazans vent anger as Israel deprives prisoners of education
Electronic Intifada: 12 Aug 2011 – Mohammed Omer The Electronic Intifada Gaza City Access to education for Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails is getting worse. The 1,800 Palestinian prisoners who were supposed to complete their secondary school exams were not permitted to do so by the Israeli Prison Service.more

Film review: women footballers struggle to play (and win)
Electronic Intifada: 12 Aug 2011 – Michelle Gyeney The Electronic Intifada Sawsan Qaoud documents how the idea for a Palestinian women’s football team was brought to life — and recounts the difficulties the players face on a regular basis just to play — in Women in the Stadium .more

yearning for work in Gaza under siege
In Gaza: 12 Aug 2011 – selling plastic toys to get by in Gaza GAZA CITY, Aug 12, 2011 (IPS) By Eva Bartlett- It’s a weekday morning, the beach is yet to fill with crowds seeking a break from the heat, but already the odd-jobbers are at work selling toys, clothes and food along the coast. Shariff Abu Kass, 27, walks the stretch of seaside in Sheik Rajleen every day from morning to evening with two armfuls of lightweight sports pants to sell. “I have two young children and no other work, so I do this every day. Usually I earn around 40 shekels (13 dollars) a day, but Fridays are better because so many come to the sea.” Before Israel imposed the siege on Gaza in mid-2006, options for work were more plentiful. But Palestinian construction workers and other labourers who worked in Israel have been looking for new work since borders closed a decade…more

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