VTJP Palestine/Israel Newslinks 18 October, 2011: UN concern at fate of Palestinian detainees

18 October 2011 — VTJP


International Middle East Media Center

Mashal Calls On Abbas To Imeplemnt National Unity Agreement
IMEMC – Wednesday October 19, 2011 – 00:51, Khaled Mashal, head of the Hamas Movement’s political Bureau in Damascus, called on President Mahmoud Abbas, Tuesday, to hold a meeting with Hamas in Cairo next week to conclude all outstanding issues that are delaying the full implementation of the Palestinian reconciliation agreement.

All Freed Detainees Are Now In Gaza And Ramallah
IMEMC – Tuesday October 18, 2011 – 13:50, Every Palestinian detainee released in the first phase of the prisoners-swap deal between Israel and the Hamas movement, except those sent to Egypt, are now safely in Gaza and Ramallah. This article includes the speeches of President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, and Hamas leader, Hasan Yousef, standing next to him.

Shalit In Egypt, Interviewed By Egyptian TV
IMEMC – Tuesday October 18, 2011 – 12:35, Egyptian TV has published an interview with released Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, after he was safely handed over to Egypt as part of the prisoner-swap deal.

Prisoner-Exchange Deal Officially Kicks Off
IMEMC – Tuesday October 18, 2011 – 09:49, The prisoner-swap deal, signed between Hamas and Israel, has overcome the final hurdle after the Israeli High Court rejected all appeals filed against the deal by Israelis. Hundreds of detainees have been loaded onto buses and taken to various locations in preparation for their release, Egyptian sources have reported that Shalit is now in Egypt, and the freeing of the detainees can now get underway.

Zahhar: “Swap-deal Includes Lifting The Siege On Gaza”
IMEMC – Tuesday October 18, 2011 – 09:08, Hamas political leader, Mahmoud Zahhar, told Israeli daily Haaretz, that the prisoner-swap deal reached indirectly between Hamas and Israel includes lifting the Israeli siege on the Gaza Strip.

Ma’an News

Hundreds of thousands rally to celebrate prisoner release
10/18/2011 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Hundreds of thousands of people gathered in Ramallah and Gaza City on Tuesday in celebration of the release of hundreds of prisoners from Israeli jails. More than 200,000 people rallied at al-Katiba square in Gaza City, a Hamas official involved in organizing the welcome rally said. Israel freed 477 prisoners, most…. Related: In photos: Prisoner release celebrated across West Bank, Gaza and Jubilation after swap deal in Gaza

Jubilation after swap deal in Gaza
10/18/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The Palestinian leader in Gaza praised the release of hundreds of prisoners as a “historic moment,” in an address late Tuesday to thousands of supporters. Ismail Haniyeh said the resistance refused to back down on two demands — to include leaders of all factions, and to include Palestinians from “the whole…. Related: Hundreds of thousands rally to celebrate prisoner release

Detainees suspend hunger strike ‘for 3 days’
10/18/2011 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Palestinian prisoners in Israel’s Ohalei Kedar jail have agreed to suspend their hunger strike for three days, representatives of the detainees said Tuesday. Detainees suspended the strike after prison authorities agreed to end the policy of solitary confinement, a statement said. Israeli prison officials also agreed to transfer Popular…. Related: Prisoners society: Saadat loses 10 kilos in strike

UN concern at fate of Palestinian detainees
10/18/2011 – GENEVA (Reuters) — The United Nations voiced concern on Tuesday that some of the Palestinian detainees released in exchange for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit may have not have been given any choice on where to go, which could constitute an illegal forced transfer. The office of Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, welcomed the….

HRW: Lift blockade after prisoner exchange
10/18/2011 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israel and Hamas should follow the prisoner exchange with measures to improve human rights, such as by lifting the siege of Gaza, Human Rights Watch said Tuesday.” The prisoner exchange between Israel and Hamas should mark the beginning of an era in which all parties respect basic rights,” said Joe Stork….

Hamas wing: Israelis ‘will pay’ for prisoners left out of deal
10/18/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israelis “will pay” for their government’s refusal to release all prisoners held in Israeli jails for more than 10 years, a spokesman for Hamas’ armed wing said Tuesday. At a news conference in Gaza City, Abu Ubaida expressed regret that negotiations to swap Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit….

Prisoners society: Saadat loses 10 kilos in strike
10/18/2011 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Fares Qaddura, head of the Palestinian prisoners society, says the secretary-general of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine will enter his 23rd day on hunger strike Wednesday. Ahmad Saadat is refusing to back down until the demands of the strike are met, although he has lost 10 kilos in…. Related: Detainees suspend hunger strike ‘for 3 days’

10 prisoners to go to Turkey in captive swap
10/18/2011 – ISTANBUL (Reuters) — Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said around 10 Palestinians would come to Turkey as part of the thousand-for-one prisoner exchange being carried out on Tuesday. Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit and hundreds of Palestinians crossed Israel’s borders in opposite directions on Tuesday under the deal. Some 40 of the Palestinians were being….

Calls for respect of international law as prisoners swapped
10/18/2011 – GAZA CITY (IRIN) — The exchange of 477 Palestinian prisoners for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who had been held by Hamas, has highlighted calls by several human rights organizations and NGOs for Israel to stop violating international law by removing Palestinians from occupied Palestinian territory.” Holding these prisoners and detainees in Israel flagrantly breaches international humanitarian….

Freed mother: ‘I must be dreaming’
10/18/2011 – RAMALLAH (Reuters) — For nine years, Qahera Assadi dreamed she would one day be free to embrace her four children again. From the Jenin refugee camp in the northern West Bank, Assadi was handed three life terms for offenses including homicide and possession of a bomb and could well have lived out her days in an….

Hamas: Prisoner celebrations to include ‘a huge surprise’
10/18/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The ceremony in Gaza City to celebrate the release of hundreds of prisoners Tuesday will include “a huge surprise,” sources close to Hamas told Ma’an. Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and released prisoner Yahwa Sinwar are scheduled to speak, and officials suggested a third speaker would be a surprise….

Israeli soldier Shalit says in good health
10/18/2011 – CAIRO (Reuters) — Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, looking weak and pale but insisting he was in good health, said he hoped his release on Tuesday in exchange for a thousand Palestinians held in Israeli prisons could help bring peace between the two peoples. In an interview conducted by Egyptian television shortly after he was handed over….

Hamas official: Israel agreed to lift Gaza siege
10/18/2011 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israel agreed to lift its siege on the Gaza Strip as part of a deal to release soldier Gilad Shalit, Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzouq said Tuesday. Abu Marzouq, deputy head of the Hamas politburo, told Palestine TV that Israel had used Shalit as a pretext to blockade Gaza but there….

Mashaal wants unity meeting with Abbas next week
10/18/2011 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal called Tuesday on President Mahmoud Abbas to set a meeting next week to wrap up a reconciliation deal signed in May, in remarks to reporters in Cairo…. Related: Mashaal calls on Abbas to meet him in Cairo

Mashaal calls on Abbas to meet him in Cairo
10/18/2011 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Hamas leader in exile Khaled Mashaal alled on President Mahmud Abbas on Tuesday to hold a meeting next week in Cairo to implement a reconciliation deal signed in May. Speaking at a news conference after celebrating the prisoner exchange between Hamas and Israel, Mashaal urged Abbas to meet with him in…. Related: Mashaal wants unity meeting with Abbas next week

16 Hamas detainees return to Khan Younis
10/18/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) The Hamas media office in the city of Khan Younis in southern Gaza released the names of 18 prisoners freed by Israel in an exchange for a captured soldier held since 2006. 1. Taleeb Ibrahim Abu Mustafa2. Ibrahim Mohammad Shabaan Ibrahim al-Hindi3. Ismael Mousa Hussein Bakheet4. Akram Abdul-Rahman Salameh5. Hani….

First prisoners freed in West Bank, Gaza Strip
10/18/2011 – RAFAH (AFP) — The first Palestinian prisoners freed in the West Bank and Gaza Strip as part of a landmark deal for the return of a captured Israeli soldier arrived home on Tuesday, an AFP reporter said. Israel freed 477 Palestinian prisoners, most of them to the Gaza Strip, where Hamas leaders greeted former prisoners piling….

Soldier Gilad Shalit arrives in Israel
10/18/2011 – GAZA CITY (Reuters) — Gaza’s Hamas government released captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit on Tuesday in return for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners, a Hamas military source said, in a deal ending a saga that has gripped Israel for five years. The source said Shalit, 25, was taken across the frontier from the Gaza Strip….

Hamas official: Prisoner exchange a historic day
10/18/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Senior Hamas leader Ahmad Bahar said Tuesday that the prisoner swap was a historic day for the Palestinian people and the Arab and Islamic nations. The deputy speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council said that the prisoner deal will not be the last of its kind, as other Palestinian factions….

In photos: Prisoner release celebrated across West Bank, Gaza
10/18/2011 – Reuters – Hundreds of thousands of people gathered in Ramallah and Gaza City on Tuesday in celebration of the release of hundreds of prisoners from Israeli jails. The landmark deal between Israel and Hamas will see Israel freeing a total of 1,027 prisoners in exchange for the release of Shalit, a soldier who has been held…. Related: Hundreds of thousands rally to celebrate prisoner release

Mashaal: Prisoner deal marks ‘beginning for victory’
10/18/2011 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Hamas leader in exile Khaled Mashaal on Tuesday hailed the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners in exchange for an Israeli soldier. The initial phase of the prisoner exchange, the first between Israel and Hamas, marks “a beginning for victories and national unity,” Mashaal said in a brief phone interview. Mashaal….

PRC: We will kidnap more Israeli soldiers
10/18/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The Popular Resistance Committees will kidnap more Israeli soldiers until all prisoners are freed, spokesman Abu Mujahid said Tuesday.” The Palestinian resistance will continue on this track until all prisoners are freed,” Abu Mujahid told Ma’an. PRC militants helped capture Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit near the Gaza border….

Shalit captors dedicate deal to militants killed in kidnap
10/18/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Militants involved in the kidnap of Gilad Shalit have dedicated the prisoner exchange deal to two men killed during his capture. Israel released 477 prisoners on Tuesday and has agreed to release an additional 550 detainees in two months in exchange for Shalit, who was freed in a carefully choreographed….

UK says Israel must do more for peace
10/18/2011 – NOUAKCHOTT (Reuters) — Britain called on Israel to build on the momentum provided by the release of its soldier Gilad Shalit to advance peace talks with the Palestinians. Foreign Secretary William Hague welcomed the release of Shalit after more than five years in captivity in the Gaza Strip as part of a thousand-for-one prisoner exchange.” It….

White House: Obama pleased that Israeli soldier released
10/18/2011 – JAMESTOWN, NC (Reuters) – US President Barack Obama is pleased that Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit has been freed and wants Israelis and Palestinians to take steps toward resuming peace negotiations, the White House said Tuesday. White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters during the president’s bus tour in North Carolina that it was not….

World leaders hope detainee swap gives peace boost
10/18/2011 – LONDON (Reuters) — World leaders voiced hope on Tuesday that a major prisoner exchange between Israel and the Palestinians would help reinvigorate a peace process frozen for more than a year. But while the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit from Hamas-ruled Gaza in return for 477 Palestinians detainees was celebrated on both sides, it did….

Iran congratulates Palestinians on freed prisoners
10/18/2011 – TEHRAN (AFP) — Iran’s foreign ministry welcomed the negotiated release on Tuesday of more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for an Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit.” Iran congratulates the Palestinian nation on the release of prisoners held captive by the illegitimate Zionist regime,” spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told reporters in a regular weekly briefing. Iran….

Joy, relief in Israeli village as Shalit arrives home
10/18/2011 – MITZPE HILA, Israel (AFP) — Waves of joy and relief washed over the crowd in the Israeli village of Mitzpe Hila Tuesday, as a convoy carrying Gilad Shalit brought him home after 1,941 days in captivity. Thousands of Israelis packed the streets of this village in northern Israel, cheering and whistling as military police vehicles escorted….

Egypt PM: Prisoner swap part of efforts for stability
10/18/2011 – CAIRO, Egypt (AFP) — Egyptian Prime Minister Essam Sharaf on Tuesday hailed a prisoner swap deal between Israel and Hamas, and mediated by Cairo, saying it was part of efforts to boost regional stability. Sharaf “stressed that Egypt’s efforts, which contributed to the success of the prisoner exchange deal, come as part of (its….

UN’s Ban applauds prisoner swap
10/18/2011 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The secretary-general of the United Nations welcomed on Tuesday the prisoner exchange between Israel and Hamas, calling it a “significant humanitarian breakthrough.” Ban Ki-moon said in a statement that he had long called for an end to “the unacceptable captivity of Gilad Shalit and has also called for the release of….

11 troops among 41 people killed in Syria violence
10/18/2011 – DAMASCUS (AFP) — The unrest in Syria edged closer to an all-out armed conflict on Monday as 41 people were killed, including 11 soldiers reportedly in clashes with army defectors, as the UN chief urged an immediate end to the bloodletting. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that 27 people, most of them civilians but….

Clinton in Malta for talks with PM over Libya
10/18/2011 – VALLETTA (AFP) — US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Malta Tuesday for talks on the situation in Libya with Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi, according to official sources. Clinton arrived at 2:30am and was met by Malta’s Foreign Minister Tonio Borg. She was due to meet Gonzi at 10:00am before releasing….

Egypt water challenges forcing a rethink on usage
10/18/2011 – SHARQIA, Egypt (IRIN) — Leaking water pipes, evaporation and a rapidly growing population may be significant concerns for those trying to manage and plan water supplies in Egypt, but compounding such problems — and forcing Egyptians to rethink how they use water — is the threat posed by downstream countries which also want to take more water from….

Palestine Note

Celebrations as Prisoners Return Home
Palestine Note 18 Oct 2011 – Arabiya – The prisoner exchange deal that secured the release of more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners and Israeli army officer Gilad Shalit has elicited impassioned reactions from both sides. Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas hailed the newly released prisoners as “freedom…


Palestinian families await prisoners’ return
AlJazeera 18 Oct 2011 – Ban Ki-moon expresses “deep concern” over reports of Israeli plans to extend illegal settlements in East Jerusalem.

Bahrain arms deal moves closer to completion
AlJazeera 18 Oct 2011 – Witnesses say forces loyal to President Saleh fired on protesters, killing at least seven in the capital, Sanaa.

Ahmadinejad rejects US ‘murder plot’ claims, Ahmadinejad rejects US ‘murder plot’ claims
AlJazeera 18 Oct 2011 – Report says executions carried out without knowledge or presence of inmates’ lawyers or families.

UN says secret executions widespread in Iran
AlJazeera 18 Oct 2011 – US state department says it will move forward with a plan to sell $53m worth of weapons, despite concerns.

Palestine News Network

In Pictures: Hebron Greets Return of Palestinian Prisoners
PNN – by Lo Yuk FaiIn the southern West Bank city of Hebron, a crowd of thousands gathered to greet the 30 Hebron-area prisoners released in today’s historic prisoner swap between Israel and Hamas….

Freed Prisoners in Spotlight in Huge West Bank and Gaza Rallies
PNN – PNNFollowing the completion of the first phase of a historic prisoner swap between Israel and Hamas, captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit set foot inside Israel for the first time since 2006 and…

Qaraqe Confirms: Prisoners Suspend Hunger Strike on Day 21
PNN – On Tuesday, Palestinian Authority (PA) Minister of Prisoners Affairs Issa Qaraqe said that Palestinian prisoners suspended their hunger strike on its 21st day, after Israeli prison administrators agreed to end the policy…

Prisoners Arrive in Rafah and Ramallah, Shalit Gives First Interview, Clashes Reported in Beitunia
PNN – PNNThe first phase of the Shalit prisoner swap was completed on Tuesday morning, with captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit being released into Israel in return for 477 Palestinian prisoners now in the…

Relief Web

Israel: Follow Prisoner Exchange by Ending Blockade
Relief Web 18 Oct 2011 – Source: Human Rights Watch Country: Israel , occupied Palestinian territory (Jerusalem, October 18, 2011) — Israel and Hamas should follow the announced prisoner exchange with measures to improve human rights, Human Rights Watch said today. Israel should end its punitive closure…

Israel-Hamas prisoner swap casts harsh light on detention practices of all sides
Relief Web 18 Oct 2011 – Source: Amnesty Country: occupied Palestinian territory , Israel The prisoner exchange involving Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit and 477 Palestinian prisoners highlights the need for the humane treatment of all detainees in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), Amnesty International said…

De nombreux ?©tats insistent devant la Troisi?®me Commission sur la n?©cessit?© de porter les efforts sur les enfants les plus vuln?©rables et d?©favoris?©s
Relief Web 17 Oct 2011 – Source: UN General Assembly Country: World , Azerbaijan , Bangladesh , Bolivia , Burkina Faso , C?¥te d’Ivoire , Djibouti , Haiti , Indonesia , Lebanon , Mozambique , Myanmar , Nepal , Niger (the) , occupied Palestinian territory , Sierra Leone , Somalia , Sri Lanka , Timor-Leste , United Republic of Tanzania (the) AG/SHC/4012 Troisi?®me Commission 17…

Palestine Telegraph

Report: Facts about Palestinian Prisoners in Israel
18 Oct 2011 – Palestine, (Pal Telegraph) – Executive Summary: On Sept. 27, 2011, approximately 500 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails launched a hunger strike to protest increasingly discriminatory, inhumane and illegal treatment by the Israeli government — ranging from preventing access to books, educational programs and new clothes, to imposing solitary confinement on inmate leaders, to restricting visits by families and lawyers.

Hamas: Lifting Gaza siege is part of swap deal
18 Oct 2011 – Gaza, (Pal Telegraph) – Hamas political leader, Mahmoud Zahhar, told Israeli daily Haaretz, that the prisoner-swap deal reached indirectly between Hamas and Israel includes lifting the Israeli siege on the Gaza Strip.

477 Palestinian Prisoners released in return of 1 Israeli solider
18 Oct 2011 – London, (Pal Telegraph) – The first group of Palestinian prisoners has been transferred from Israeli detention centers bound for freedom as part of a deal to release 1,027 Palestinian inmates in exchange for Hamas-captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

The National

Palestinians exchanged for Israeli soldier
The National 18 Oct 2011 – Emotional celebrations, singing and dancing in Gaza and the West Bank as detainees are freed from Israeli jails in the first stage of a landmark deal.

Families reunited in release of prisoners from Israel
The National 18 Oct 2011 – “Nothing in the world can describe how I feel”, says brother of released prisoner

New PM expected to take Jordan forward
The National 17 Oct 2011 – The resignation of Marouf Bakhit has been welcomed, but Muslim Brotherhood favours an elected prime minister rather than an appointee.


Hamas leader: Shalit deal turning point in struggle against Israel
Ha’aretz – Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh says deal in which prisoners from all factions released is testimony to Hamas dedication to entire Palestinian people.

Noam Shalit: Gilad is home after a long, exhausting battle
Ha’aretz – Shalit’s father says his son is suffering from a few minor injuries, as well as the effects of lack of sunlight, but other than that he is in good health.

Gilad Shalit met by ecstatic parade as he returns home after 5 years
Ha’aretz – 25-year-old Shalit was released Tuesday morning following a long-awaited prisoner swap between Israel and Hamas.

Netanyahu: Shalit’s release means I have accomplished my mission
Ha’aretz – Speaking at an IDF base after meeting with the freed Israeli soldier and his family, PM says did not want Shalit to share fate of missing IAF navigator Ron Arad.

Bradley Burston / Bravo for these people, these Israelis
Ha’aretz – Israel has freed 13,509 prisoners in order to win the release of a total of 16 soldiers. An average of well over 800 for each one. But this is the price.

Gilad Shalit’s Egyptian TV interview comes under fire in Israel
Ha’aretz – Israeli officials slam interview in which a gaunt, sallow and uncomfortable looking Shalit appears to struggle to speak; Egyptian interviewer claims did not know interview coerced.

Israeli singer Arik Einstein dedicates ballad to Gilad Shalit
Ha’aretz – One of Israel’s music giants has recorded a song honoring abducted soldier Gilad Shalit’s return to Israel after over five years in captivity in Gaza.

Obama ‘personally pleased’ by Gilad Shalit return
Ha’aretz – U.S. President urges Israelis and Palestinians to take steps toward resuming peace negotiations; French President says Shalit’s release a ‘huge relief’ for France.

Palestinian UN bid moves step further in UN Security Council
Ha’aretz – Membership committee says report on Palestinian membership application to be presented by early next month.

Clinton arrives in Libya for surprise visit to meet new leaders
Ha’aretz – The visit by Clinton, the most senior U.S. official to come to Tripoli since Gadhafi’s 42-year rule ended, was marked by tight security, reflecting worries that new rulers have yet to establish full control over the country.

Lebanon Hariri tribunal to try Hezbollah suspects in absentia
Ha’aretz – Lebanese militant group denies four of its men were involved in the 2005 bombing that killed ex-Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

Egypt official: Mubarak sons own assets worth $340 million in Switzerland
Ha’aretz – Ousted Egypt President Mubarak and sons Gamal and Alaa are on trial for corruption, abuse of power; sons may have been involved in money laundering.

Tens of thousands celebrate in Gaza, demand ‘new Gilad Shalit’
Ha’aretz – Crowds celebrate homecoming of hundreds of prisoners exchanged for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, held by Hamas for five years.

Prime Minister Netanyahu’s remarks following release of Gilad Shalit
Ha’aretz – Netanyahu addresses nation in wake of abducted soldier Gilad Shalit’s return to Israel after being held in captivity in Gaza for over five years.

Peres: Israel stands with Gilad Shalit full of excitement
Ha’aretz – Peres says nation stands behind Shalit; Kadima MK Nachman Shai says Netanyahu’s cabinet must reevaluate Gaza blockade, ban on talks with Hamas.

Guy Rolnik / After the holidays
Ha’aretz – After the holidays we will learn whether the grassroots protest that erupted in the summer of 2011 sufficed to change the mindset of Israel’s leaders.

Channel 2: TheMarker has become the most influential newspaper in Israel
Ha’aretz – TV broadcast says newspaper helped create the platform for the social protests across Israel.

Students take aim at banks, brokerages
Ha’aretz – Having tamed Tnuva and subdued Super-Sol, they’re casting about for a new target.

Gilad Shalit heads home under medical supervision after reunion with his family
Ha’aretz – Soldier undergoes comprehensive medical examination after saying he felt unwell; Netanyahu tells Shalit: Welcome back, how good it is that you’ve come home.

Abbas greets newly released Palestinian prisoners: You are freedom fighters
Ha’aretz – Arrivals of the prisoners set off ecstatic celebrations in Palestinian territories, where large crowds and dignitaries greet them.

Netanyahu to Shalit family: I’m delighted we’ve arrived at this day
Ha’aretz – Prime Minister meets Gilad Shalit’s parents, siblings at Tel Nof Air Base ahead of family’s reunion.

Hamas expects half a million at Gaza rally following Shalit swap
Ha’aretz – Militant group closes Rafah crossing to civilian traffic; only television broadcast to cover the day’s events will be Hamas’ Al-Aqsa network.

LIVE BLOG: The Gilad Shalit prisoner swap as it happens
Ha’aretz – A minute-by-minute update of the exchange between Israel and Hamas as it unfolded.

IDF: Gilad Shalit back home in Israel after five years in Hamas captivity
Ha’aretz – Soldier enters Israel via Kerem Shalom crossing on Gaza border as part of extensive prisoner swap; military medical staff say he is in good health.

Jerusalem Post

Gilad Schalit’s release trending on Twitter
Jerusalem Post 18 Oct 2011 – on the day when the historic deal went down, both Israeli and Palestinian Twitter users expressed their own happiness.

‘Today we have experienced the rebirth of our son’
Jerusalem Post 18 Oct 2011 – “When I saw Gilad, I didn’t say much. I just hugged him,” Noam Schalit says of his son’s return to Israel; Mitzpe Hila celebrates soldier’s arrival.

Words of truth amidst a world of lies
Jerusalem Post 18 Oct 2011 – The killers we released are not deviants of Palestinian society. Rather, they are society itself.

Five notes on the Schalit deal
Jerusalem Post 18 Oct 2011 – Why did Noam and Aviva Schalit not turn to the Red Cross, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Brussels, Washington, London to help free their son?

Celebrate Gilad’s return like there’s no tomorrow
Jerusalem Post 18 Oct 2011 – No time of the year symbolizes the paradoxes of life better than Succot and Simchat Torah.

Yall Peace: Getting mad at the wrong people
Jerusalem Post 18 Oct 2011 – My advice to Mr. Areikat is to drop the ATFP boycott and instead confront the fanatics who hold the Palestinian leadership hostage.

Saving ‘Private’ Schalit and the defenseless Jewish state
Jerusalem Post 18 Oct 2011 – The world, it seems, wants a defenseless Jewish state, one that wouldn’t incarcerate those responsible for mass murderer.

‘US concerned over some Palestinians freed in Schalit deal’
Jerusalem Post 18 Oct 2011 – State Department says some released Palestinian prisoners pose a threat, the US objected to their freedom, AFP reports; Clinton, Obama pleased over Schalit deal, says it took “far too long.”

Time to institute the death penalty for terrorists
Jerusalem Post 18 Oct 2011 – Lopsided hostage deals make a mockery of the Israeli justice system.

Grapevine: Happy birthday, Bibi!
Jerusalem Post 18 Oct 2011 – Schalit’s return makes memorable gift for Netanyahu, Yonit Levy and Ido Rosenblum tie the knot, and Ramot rabbi hosts diplomats in his succa

Schalit’s captivity: No sunlight but given radio, TV
Jerusalem Post 18 Oct 2011 – IDF prepared for much worse scenarios regarding Gilad’s health, mental state; Military Intelligence will begin debriefing in the coming weeks.

Analysis: Schalit on Egypt TV: exploitative, abusive, cruel
Jerusalem Post 18 Oct 2011 – Israeli officials described the interview as “exploitative”; they could have added amateurish, propagandistic and cruel.

Noam Schalit: We’ve experienced the rebirth of our son
Jerusalem Post 18 Oct 2011 – Gilad Schalit’s father says his son has begun a long healing process; says Gilad suffered from a lack of sunlight, interaction with others.

Jewish groups welcome Schalit’s return despite ‘the price’
Jerusalem Post 18 Oct 2011 – “Gilad is finally coming home, which is wonderful news for his family and the entire Jewish people,” says WJC President Ronald S. Lauder.

Gilad Schalit finally arrives home in Mitzpe Hila
Jerusalem Post 18 Oct 2011 – At Tel Nof, Netanyahu says to freshly-released IDF soldier: “Welcome to Israel”; 200 cheering supporters await him at entrance to home.

Azzam Azzam: ‘The trauma hasn’t left me’
Jerusalem Post 18 Oct 2011 – While waiting in Mitzpe Hila for Gilad Schalit to return home, Druse man who was imprisoned for 8 years in Egypt says family should “go slow.”

UN concerned at fate of Palestinian detainees
Jerusalem Post 18 Oct 2011 – UN High Commissioner for Human Rights expresses concern that shipping prisoners abroad is in breach of international law.

Opposition MKs split on PM’s handling of Schalit release
Jerusalem Post 18 Oct 2011 – Kadima’s Shai takes offense to GPO photos released in which Netanyahu “took center stage”; Labor’s Cabel: It’s PM’s right to do what he did.

Schalit story an intelligence failure
Jerusalem Post 18 Oct 2011 – Israel’s failure to return Gilad Schalit by other means will go down in history as one of the worst intelligence and military failures in the country’s history.

Haniyeh: Prisoner swap ‘a page of light in our history’
Jerusalem Post 18 Oct 2011 – West Bank residents celebrate Schalit prisoner swap; families wave flags, chant “The people want a new Schalit”; clashes break out in Betunia.

‘Freed prisoners who return to terror do so at own risk’
Jerusalem Post 18 Oct 2011 – After greeting Schalit at Tel Nof, Netanyahu, Barak vow to act to prevent risks associated with prisoner exchange deal from endangering citizens.

Mitzpe Hila reacts joyously to first Schalit photos
Jerusalem Post 18 Oct 2011 – Activists and reporters crowd around television to glimpse soldier in Egypt after he emerged from five years in captivity.

IPS: Transfer of all 477 Palestinian prisoners complete
Jerusalem Post 18 Oct 2011 – Officials complete transfer of all prisoners to Egypt, West Bank after Schalit confirmed in good health in Israeli hands.

West Bank residents celebrate Schalit prisoner releases
Jerusalem Post 18 Oct 2011 – Families wave Hamas, Fatah flags, chant “The people want a new Schalit”; hundreds celebrate in Umm el-Fahm, e. J’lem.

Palestinian prisoners transferred to Red Cross buses
Jerusalem Post 18 Oct 2011 – Israeli officials awaiting word that Schalit in Israel before allowing buses carrying prisoners to pass into Gaza, W. Bank.

Schalit family arrives at Tel Nof to greet Gilad
Jerusalem Post 18 Oct 2011 – Noam: “We’re excited, trying to get through these moments, stay calm”; family reaches IAF base via helicopter where they’ll greet their son.

The Gilad Schalit prisoner swap in pictures
Jerusalem Post 18 Oct 2011 – Photo gallery: Israel frees 477 prisoners in first phase of Schalit deal; Gilad arrives in Israel at Tel Nof base where he is met by family, PM.

Schalit deal underway as Israel transfers prisoners
Jerusalem Post 17 Oct 2011 – Vehicles carrying Palestinian prisoners depart Israeli jails, setting in motion Schalit-prisoner swap; 96 prisoners taken from Ktziot facility.

The Guardian

Gilad Shalit’s father: ‘we have experienced the rebirth of a son’ – video
The Guardian 18 Oct 2011 – Noam Shalit, the father of released Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit told a news conference that his son had been kept in harsh conditions by his captors initially, but his treatment had got better over the years…

Adam Werritty bankrolled by three pro-Israel business tycoons
The Guardian 18 Oct 2011 – Mick Davis, Michael Lewis and Poju Zabludowicz named in Cabinet report, with over ¬£140,000 channelled through Pargav Three of the six donors who funded Adam Werritty’s jetset lifestyle were prominent pro-Israel business figures. Gus O’Donnell’s report…

Freed Palestinians reunite with families in Gaza and West Bank
The Guardian 18 Oct 2011 – Euphoria and tears of joy as released detainees come home after Gilad Shalit is handed over to Israel by Hamas Families wept as they embraced. Children who had no memories of their fathers were held up…

Middle East witnesses day of euphoria and tears both sides of the divide
The Guardian 18 Oct 2011 – Israeli relief tinged with anxiety over Gilad Shalit’s physical and mental state as Palestinians welcome back hundreds He came home to flowers, flags and a euphoria tinged with shock at his fragility; free at last but…

Gilad Shalit exchange for Palestinian prisoners — as it happened
The Guardian 18 Oct 2011 – ‚Ä¢Gilad Shalit back on Israeli soil ‚Ä¢ Swap part of exchange for initial 477 Palestinian prisoners ‚Ä¢ Read a summary of today’s key events ‚Ä¢ Read more: Gilad Shalit: ‘I hope this deal promotes peace’ 6.31am:…

Gilad Shalit freed in exchange for Palestinian prisoners
The Guardian 18 Oct 2011 – Hamas hands in soldier to Israel in the first phase of a deal that would lead to the release of 1,027 Palestinians Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier who was seized in 2006 by Hamas, has been…

Gilad Shalit returns home to Israel – video
The Guardian 18 Oct 2011 – Soldier released after five years in captivity in the Gaza Strip is reunited with his family and arrives in Israel to a national outpouring of joy

Gilad Shalit’s health brings fresh scrutiny of Hamas detention practices
The Guardian 18 Oct 2011 – Israeli soldier looked emaciated after release, adding to concerns about treatment of detainees in Gaza — and in Israel The pale, emaciated state of Gilad Shalit as he emerged from more than five years in captivity…

Gilad Shalit swap has split opinion on Binyamin Netanyahu | Simon Tisdall
The Guardian 18 Oct 2011 – Most Israelis support the Gilad Shalit exchange, but to critics it is another example of the Israeli leader’s lack of strategic vision Binyamin Netanyahu, Israel’s rightwing prime minister, has been busy pursuing his favourite pastime this…

Gilad Shalit: ‘I hope this deal will help us reach peace between the Israeli and Palestinian sides’ – video
The Guardian 18 Oct 2011 – Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit tells Egyptian television in his first interview since his release that he feels well and hopes for peace

Inter Press Service

Syrian National Council Seeks Legitimacy At Home and Abroad
IPS As the death toll from more than six months of popular unrest climbs past the 3,000 mark, the opposition to the government of President Bashar al-Assad is intensifying efforts to present a unified face to both the outside world and the Syrian people.


Family Values: The Roman Rigor of Obama’s Death Squad
Uruknet October 18, 2011 – It is not enough for the Peace Laureate to murder American citizens without charges, without trial and without warning; he must also murder their children too — in the same cowardly, cold-blooded fashion. Last week, Abdulrahman al-Awlaki — an American teenager — was ripped to shreds by an American drone missile in Yemen. The…

Anwar al-Awlaki’s family speaks out against his son’s death in airstrike
Uruknet October 18, 2011 – In the days before a CIA drone strike killed al-Qaeda operative Anwar al-Awlaki last month, his 16-year-old son ran away from the family home in Yemen’s capital of Sanaa to try to find him, relatives say. When he, too, was killed in a U.S. airstrike Friday, the Awlaki family decided to speak out for…

“I was 1-day-old when my father was jailed”
Uruknet October 18, 2011 – …While I was writing this article among the crowd of people at the Red Cross building, I suddenly heard people chanting and clapping and could see a woman jumping with joy. While on the phone, she said loudly, “My husband is going to be free!” Her husband is Abu Thaer Ghneem, who received a…

Sirte destroyed by NTC-NATO offensive in Libya
Uruknet October 18, 2011 – The Libyan town of Sirte has been all but destroyed and its inhabitants turned into homeless refugees. This situation has gone largely unreported, but those press reports that have emerged paint a picture of a city being reduced to ruins by attacks of the National Transitional Council (NTC) “rebels” and NATO bombing raids against…

Hamas official: Israel agreed to lift Gaza siege
Uruknet October 18, 2011 — Israel agreed to lift its siege on the Gaza Strip as part of a deal to release soldier Gilad Shalit, Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzouq said Tuesday. Abu Marzouq, deputy head of the Hamas politburo, told Palestine TV that Israel had used Shalit as a pretext to blockade Gaza but there had been “unofficial…

477 Palestinian prisoners released
Uruknet October 18, 2011 – Thousands gathered at the Ofer prison checkpoint and the Muqata’a this morning, to greet West Bank Palestinian prisoners freed from Israeli jails. In total, 477 Palestinian inmates were released today as part of the recent prisoner swap agreement reached between Israel and Hamas. Of the prisoners released today, the majority was from Gaza and…

Yemeni Officials: At Least 18 Killed, 30 Wounded in Capital Fighting
Uruknet October 17, 2011 – Reports from Yemeni officials today say that at least 18 people were killed and 30 others wounded in overnight fighting in the capital city Sanaa. The death toll included at least three civilian protesters, hit with random shelling. The widespread shelling was reported across the capital yesterday, and a number of houses were destroyed…

Free at Last
Uruknet October 17, 2011 – …Among the Palestinians, there are concerns and criticisms too, many of them well founded. While 1,027 prisoners is a good deal no matter which way you slice it, there are many strings attached that puts a damper on the overall feeling of joy at these men and women’s release. For one, 40 of those…

Revolts in Syria: Tracking the Convergence Between Authoritarianism and Neoliberalism
Uruknet October 17, 2011 – …. Syria’s political leadership has placed a premium on autonomy from oppositional forces within and outside the country. However, tracing the trajectory of economic liberalization actually suggests a gradual loss of this autonomy through the evolving constituencies of the regime as well as, in part, explaining the particularities of this crisis. Unlike some developing countries…

Military Resistance 9J12 : Companions of Thieves
Uruknet October 17, 2011 – …The 1%: “For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingerswith iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness.”None calleth for justice, nor pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief,and bring forth iniquity. They hatch cockatrice’ eggs, and weave the spider’sweb: he that eateth…

U.S.-NATO War in Libya Meets Ongoing Resistance
Uruknet On October 17 – The Pentagon-NATO war against the people of Libya is part of a broader strategy to enhance political, economic and military control over the African continent. Since early October the White House has announced the deployment of drones in Somalia, Ethiopia and Djibouti. On October 14 the Obama administration announced that 100 military advisors and…

Syria News – October 17, 2011 (Warning: Graphic Videos)
Uruknet October 17, 2011 – Syria: On this first day after the Arab League issued a deadline to the Assad regime, the number of martyrs increased to 32. Twenty-four of them were from Homs. Four martyrs are from Idlib. Two martyrs are from the Hama suburbs. One martyr is from Hama proper and another is from Daraa….The Syrian regime…

Illegal Jewish settlers continue attacks against Christian and Muslim places of worship
Uruknet October 17, 2011 – In early September, illegal Jewish settlers set fire to the ground floor of Al-Nurain Mosque in the occupied West Bank village of Qasra to the south of Nablus. This was not an isolated act of violence, but one of many incidents which have seen Muslim and Christian places of worship and religious artefacts attacked…

US Zionists sharply divided over how to censor Palestine speech on campus
Uruknet October 17, 2011 – Sharp disagreements have intensified among leading US pro-Israel groups on the best methods to suppress criticism and discussion of Israel’s apartheid, occupation, colonization and human rights abuses, or support for Palestinian rights, on US college campuses. The dispute centers on the use of US civil rights statutes to lodge complaints against universities, alleging that…

Tunnels boost Gaza mosque reconstruction
Uruknet October 17, 2011 – – An increased flow of building materials entering the Gaza Strip via underground tunnels along the Gaza-Egypt border has allowed reconstruction work to begin on hundreds of religious sites damaged or destroyed during the 23-day Israeli offensive which ended in January 2009. Nearly a quarter of Gaza’s 850 mosques were affected; 45 mosques were…

Don’t occupy Wall Street – surround the Pentagon
Uruknet October 17, 2011 – What I want to know is why there aren’t throngs of people currently surrounding the Pentagon? Yes, the people of the United States bailed out the villains on Wall Street to the tune of $700bn dollars. That said, why isn’t anyone just as disgusted – or far more disgusted – with the fact that…

America’s Multi-Headed Monster
Uruknet October 17, 2011 – It’ combines and represents: * money power in private hands to make more of it at the public’s expense; * super-wealth and privilege; * one-party rule – corrupted money party duopoly power; and * major media managed news, not real information and analysis. Angry street protesters nationwide must understand and focus on these above other issues. Achieving social…

Iraq snapshot – October 17, 2011
Uruknet October 17, 2011. Chaos and violence continue, Baghdad again sees multiple deaths from a bombing, rumors swirl that negotiations may have ended between Iraq and the US, cancer is on the rise in Iraq, the disputed areas issue leads to a protest, US Senators Patty Murray and Jon Tester want answers from the VA about the way the…

Urgent Appeal – Prisoner exchange – Release of Palestinian children
Uruknet October 17, 2011 – As part of the prisoner exchange deal, the Israeli authorities published a list of 477 prisoners, including 27 women, to be released in the first stage on 18 October. The list does not include any children. Please send appeals urging the Israeli authorities to release all Palestinian children currently held in detention….

Daily Star

Turkey makes contact with Syrian opposition
Daily Star 18 Oct 2011 Turkey’s foreign minister held his first acknowledged meeting with Syrian opposition leaders, urging them to use peaceful means despite what activists say was the biggest offensive yet in the city of Homs by forces loyal to…

Clinton in Tripoli urges Libya’s unsteady new rulers to unite
Daily Star 18 Oct 2011 U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Libya Tuesday offering millions of dollars in new U.S. aid to Libya and urging its disparate militias to unite around their new leaders…

Palestine day of jubilation
Daily Star 18 Oct 2011 There were jubilant scenes of welcome across the Gaza Strip, West Bank and northern Israel Tuesday…

Syrian troops kill 1, conflicting reports on location of incident
Daily Star 18 Oct 2011 A Syrian-Lebanese man was killed Tuesday and another arrested when Syrian troops crossed over the border into the Bekaa in an operation to find opposition figures, a security source told The Daily Star.

Teachers stage strike to protest ‘humiliating’ wage hike
Daily Star 18 Oct 2011 Teachers at public and private schools throughout Lebanon are striking Wednesday to protest what they call a humiliating wage hike introduced by the Cabinet last week.

Cabinet debates 2012 budget, skirts STL dues
Daily Star 18 Oct 2011 The Cabinet began debating the 2012 draft state budget Tuesday, avoiding as expected any discussion of the divisive issue of financing a U.N.-backed court…

ISF report links Syrian Embassy to abductions
Daily Star 18 Oct 2011 The head of the Internal Security Forces released to the media a detailed report that implicates the Syrian Embassy and its ISF personnel in the kidnappings of Syrian opposition figures…

Diplomats concerned by armed groups in Bekaa
Daily Star 18 Oct 2011 International political sources are discussing information that was released by the head of the Internal Security Forces, Maj. Gen. Ashraf Rifi, at the Human Rights Parliamentary Committee…

Aoun warns of extremist Islamist rule in Syria if Assad regime falls
Daily Star 18 Oct 2011 Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun warned Tuesday that extremist Islamists would take over power in Syria if the regime of President Bashar Assad was brought down by the ongoing popular uprising.

Lebanon hails prisoner swap as victory against Israeli aggression
Daily Star 18 Oct 2011 Lebanese officials from across the political spectrum hailed Tuesday’s prisoner swap between Israel and Hamas as a victory for Palestinians against Israel’s policy of aggression.

U.K. follows U.S in Iran sanctions over alleged plot to assassinate Saudi envoy
Daily Star 18 Oct 2011 Britain has frozen the assets of five men, including two key suspects in an alleged Iranian plot to kill the Saudi ambassador in the United States, matching sanctions taken by U.S. authorities.

Saleh forces open fire on protesters, kill 6
Daily Star 18 Oct 2011 At least six Yemenis were killed in the capital Tuesday in an intensifying crackdown by security forces on protesters demanding President Ali Abdullah Saleh step down.

Lawyer for alleged Syria spy rejects charges
Daily Star 18 Oct 2011 The lawyer for a man accused of acting as a Syrian spy said Monday that his client’s recent travel to that country was part of a fact-finding mission led by a U.S. congressman, not part of…

Saudi monarch’s latest surgery brings succession plans into limelight
Daily Star 18 Oct 2011 When Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah had a back operation Monday, the weekly Cabinet meeting was instead chaired by Prince Nayef, indicating the likely path for any future transfer of power in the world’s largest oil exporter.

At least 4 dead in Somalia suicide attack
Daily Star 18 Oct 2011 A suicide car bomb exploded near a meeting involving two Kenyan ministers and killing at least four people, after Al-Shabaab rebels promised Nairobi all-out retaliation for its unprecedented military operation inside Somalia.

Youth association urges road safety measures
Daily Star 18 Oct 2011 The Youth Association for Social Awareness raised Tuesday eight demands to the government in order to reduce the rate of road accidents which according to a statement it issued have reached a record high.

Charbel attends security and safety event in Paris
Daily Star 18 Oct 2011 Interior Minister Marwan Charbel participated Tuesday in the launching of the 17th edition of a security and safety exhibition taking place in Paris, the National News Agency reported.

U.S. anti-terrorism aid team touches down in Hamat
Daily Star 18 Oct 2011 A U.S. C-130 plane landed Tuesday at Lebanon’s Hamat Air Base, as part of the U.S. Aid Program to the Lebanese Army, the military said in a statement.

‘Gateway’ refugees await move to country that prompted their Iraq exit
Daily Star 18 Oct 2011 Lebanon was always going to be an interim home for Mahir Abdulsalam and his family, who arrived here as refugees last July after deciding that life in Baghdad had simply become too dangerous.

Members of committees enjoy unanimous votes
Daily Star 18 Oct 2011 Consensus reigned at Parliament’s session Tuesday to elect members of Parliament’s committees, with most members re-elected unanimously.

Aridi defends ISF’s Information Branch in face of Aoun’s attacks
Daily Star 18 Oct 2011 Public Works Minister Ghazi Aridi defended Tuesday the Internal Security Forces’ Information Branch in the face of vehement attacks by politicians, saying its members should not be deprived of promotions.

Diplomatic appointments in final stages
Daily Star 18 Oct 2011 Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour is putting the final touches on a backlog of diplomatic appointments, with sectarian and political affiliations topping the selection criteria.

U.N. Security Council meets on Palestine bid
Daily Star 18 Oct 2011 The Security Council was meeting Tuesday to review for the first time the work of a committee considering the Palestinian request for full U.N. membership, diplomats said.

World leaders hope exchange will ease tensions
Daily Star 18 Oct 2011 World leaders voiced hope Tuesday that the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit and hundreds of Palestinian prisoners would boost the Middle East peace process and ease regional tensions.

Prisoner release terms may constitute forced transfer: U.N.
Daily Star 18 Oct 2011 The United Nations voiced concern Tuesday that some of the Palestinian detainees released in exchange for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit may not have been given a choice on where to go and said this could constitute…

Freed Palestinian mother stunned by release, has no regrets over actions
Daily Star 18 Oct 2011 For nine years, Qahera Assadi dreamed she would one day be free to embrace her four children again.

Sleiman welcomes Israeli-Palestinian prisoner swap
Daily Star 18 Oct 2011 President welcomes the news of the first stage of the prisoner swap between the Palestinians and Israelis and says the Jewish state has no other option but to seek a just peace.

Clinton in Tripoli, Gadhafi forces counter-attack
Daily Star 18 Oct 2011 U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visits Libya to urge its new government to establish firmer control over its people, as loyalists of ousted Moammar Gadhafi launch a surprise attack in his hometown of Sirte.

Daher urges Lebanon to recognize Syrian National Council
Daily Star 18 Oct 2011 Future Movement MP Khaled Daher has called on the Lebanese government and Arab League to recognize the nascent Syrian National Council and urged that Syria be suspended from the top Arab body.

Two shot dead in Sanaa protests
Daily Star 18 Oct 2011 Two protesters killed and many others wounded as gunmen loyal to President Ali Abdullah Saleh opened fire at a demonstration in the Yemeni capital, an AFP journalist and medics said.

Weapons awash in Libya’s capital
Daily Star 18 Oct 2011 The wide diffusion of weapons, two months after Gadhafi’s fall, poses a real danger for Libya’s capital.

Turkish foreign minister meets Syrian opposition: official
Daily Star 18 Oct 2011 Turkey’s foreign minister meets members of Syria’s newly-formed opposition National Council in the Turkish capital, the first time Turkey has acknowledged such a meeting with the council.

Israeli soldier Shalit freed in mass prisoner swap
Daily Star 18 Oct 2011 Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was released Tuesday after 5 years in captivity, exchanged for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners in a deal with Gaza’s Hamas rulers.

YNet News

Free at last: What’s Gilad Shalit’s condition?
YNet News, 18 Oct 2011 – Following Gilad Shalit’s release in a prisoner swap with Hamas Tuesday, details are starting to emerge regarding the former captive’s imprisonment conditions and medical … ….

Palestinian Information Center

Sinwar: we will free all captives
PIC – Freed Hamas leader, Yahya al-Sinwar, who was freed today as part of the prisoner exchange deal, said upon his arrival in Gaza that he will work for the release of all Palestinian captives.

Freed captives arrive to Gaza and Ramallah
PIC – Hundreds of freed captives arrived at noon Tuesday into the Gaza Strip as the implementation of the first phase of the prisoner exchange deal reaches the final stage.

Shalit: Hamas treated me well
PIC – The Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit has told the Egyptian TV in an interview shortly after his release from Gaza that Hamas treated him well during his five years captivity.

Mishaal to address a press conference on exchange deal
PIC – Political bureau chairman of Hamas Khaled Mishaal is to address a press conference in Cairo on Tuesday evening to talk about the prisoners?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢ exchange deal.

Shalit in Egypt
PIC – The captured Israeli soldier in Gaza Gilad Shalit was officially delivered to Egypt on Tuesday, a source close to the Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, said.

Abu Zuhri: Exchange deal progressing well
PIC – Hamas spokesman Dr. Sami Abu Zuhri has said that steps of the exchange deal between Hamas and Israel were progressing as planned.

Resheq: Three private jets to carry banished prisoners
PIC – Qatari, Syrian, and Turkish jets have landed in Cairo in preparation for carrying the 40 freed Palestinian prisoners in the exchange deal between Hamas and Israel who are going to be banished.

Abu Marzouq: Egypt exerting efforts to release remaining female prisoners
PIC – Dr. Mousa Abu Marzouq has said that Egypt was exerting ?¢‚Ǩ?ìbig efforts?¢‚Ǩ¬ù to secure the release of the remaining nine Palestine female prisoners in Israeli occupation jails.

Qassam Brigades: We will not rest until we close down occupation jails
PIC – The Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, said that it will not rest until occupation jails are closed behind the last Palestinian captive.

Resheq: No fixed date for Mishaal?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s visit to Jordan
PIC – Political bureau member of Hamas Ezzet Al-Resheq has denied press reports claiming that supreme leader of Hamas Khaled Mishaal would visit Jordan on Thursday.


Released Irena and her Daughters Meet in Tears after 10 Years

Released Prisoner Continues on Hunger Strike

Settlers Prevent Farmers from Harvesting Olive Trees

UN Welcomes Release of Prisoners

DCI Palestine Appeals to Release Children in Prisoner Exchange

PLO Commends Release of Prisoners

France Delivers Feasibility Study to Water Authority

Israel Must Release All Palestinian Prisoners, Says El-Araby

OCHA: Israel Cuts Access to 85% of Gaza Fishing Waters

Newspapers Review: Release of Palestinian Prisoners Dominates Dailies

Abbas: Israel to Release Another Group of Prisoners Soon

Intifada Palestine

THE FBI GOES ROGUE ON IRAN — An Analysis by Dr. Lawrence Davidson
Intifada-Palestine: 18 Oct 2011 – by Dr. Lawrence Davidson Part I — Going Rogue Again Back on 1 September 2011 I posted a piece (seeessay six below)titled America’s FBI Goes Rogue . The gist of that piece was that the FBI’s Counter Terrorist Unit has transformed itself… more

Los Angeles Times

Palestinian elation is mixed with Israeli anguish
LA Times 18 Oct 2011 – As Israel frees the first prisoners in exchange for soldier Gilad Shalit, the families of Israeli victims feel betrayed. The day was a jarring reminder that for those whose lives have been torn apart by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, elation on one side often equates with…

Hamas feeling pressure amid changes in Middle East
LA Times 18 Oct 2011 – The group’s ties with benefactors Iran and Syria appear strained and its popularity with Palestinians has plummeted. A prisoner swap with Israel points to the pressure Hamas faces, analysts say. This seaside territory was abuzz with preparations for an elaborate homecoming ceremony, including a 21-gun…

New York Times

Hard Feelings After Israel-Hamas Swap for Shalit
New York Times 18 Oct 2011 – The prisoner exchange involving Sgt. First Class Gilad Shalit raised hopes of better relations, but it was also a source of acrimony.

Egyptian TV Interview With Shalit Is Sharply Criticized
New York Times 18 Oct 2011 – An interview by Egyptian state television with Staff Sgt. Gilad Shalit provoked polar opposite reactions on both sides of the border.

Bani Walid Seized, Anti-Qaddafi Fighters Say
New York Times 18 Oct 2011 – If a report from the anti-Qaddafi fighters about taking control of Bani Walid proves accurate, only a small district of Surt will remain as a stronghold for loyalists.

Dozens Killed in Syrian City, Residents Say
New York Times 18 Oct 2011 – Security forces killed at least 25 people on Monday in a thrust into the city of Homs, residents said.

Iran Says Saudi Plot Defendant Belongs to Exile Group
New York Times 18 Oct 2011 – Iran injects a new argument into its rebuttal of American allegations that its operatives plotted to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to Washington.


Tunisians distrust upcoming Constituent Assembly election
WSWS – The Constituent Assembly election in Tunisia, slated to draft a new constitution, is scheduled for October 23.

Sirte destroyed by NTC-NATO offensive in Libya
WSWS – The Libyan town of Sirte has been all but destroyed and its inhabitants turned into homeless refugees.

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Protests and clashes erupt in Hebron 11-12 October.
Christian Peacemaker Teams – Palestine – At approximately 10:00 a.m. on 11 October 2011, members of CPT’s Hebron team received a call telling them that the Israeli military would not allow teachers to pass through the gate at the side of the checkpoint 56 on Duboyya Street—which it had previously agreed to…

Haaretz: Jewish groups congratulate Israel on Gilad Shalit return
Jewish Voice for Peace –

JVP statement on Israeli-Palestinian prisoner deal
Jewish Voice for Peace – Jewish Voice for Peace welcomes the deal between Israel and Hamas for the release of over 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. This deal proves what we’ve been saying in JVP all along: Israel can and must talk with Hamas.

Tablet: Why Doesn’t Federation Blush Anymore?
Jewish Voice for Peace – JFNA would honor several unsavory folks, if they pass political litmus test

Forward: Federations Bounce Israel Critics From Contest
Jewish Voice for Peace –

JWeekly: National ‘Jewish Heroes’ contest axes Bay Area nominee for JVP connection
Jewish Voice for Peace –

The US media reports: Gilad Shalit swapped for 1000 non-people (per Blumenthal)
Mondoweiss – link to www.independent.co.uk ‘—> link to www.guardian.co.uk link to www.middleeastmonitor.org.uk link to www.middleeastmonitor.org.uk link to www.alarabiya.net link to www.democracynow.org link to mondoweiss.net link to blog.endtheoccupation.org link to www.huffingtonpost.com link to mondoweiss.net Celebrating the Prisoner Release Prisoner Exchange All Freed Detainees Are Now In Gaza And Ramallah…

Channel 10 Tzinor Layla Interview on Bibi and Barak’s Next Excellent Adventure
Tikun Olam – I’m dating myself here, but there once was a movie called Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure , hence the title of today’s post. The adventure” in the title of course refers to Bibi Netanyahu and Ehud Barak’s next military adventure. It is a truth universally acknowledged, that…

Mondoweiss – Palestinians celebrate the release of prisoners in Ramallah. (Photo: Oren Ziv/ Activestills ). For more photos of Palestinains welcoming the released prisoners home check out the Activestills Flickr page . Also, Noa Yachot and Dimi Reider are live blogging Gilad Shalit’s return to Israel for 972. Some recent…

Touring Palestine, you see… Jewish symbols everywhere
Mondoweiss – I spent several days in Palestine earlier this month, and even when I was deep in Palestinian territory, on lands that are supposed to become a Palestinian state, I saw Jewish symbols. Like this menorah, just outside the Palestinian city of Nablus, seen out the bus…

Ordinary citizens, making a difference
Mondoweiss – Here’s a great little video from Albuquerque, New Mexico. Although a little aged it is not outdated in the least and I never saw it until today. More important, I believe more of this kind of citizen action is needed today all across our country. Check…

Hey, New York, Freedom Theater is in Town!
Tikun Olam – Freedom Theater director Udi Aloni with actors during rehearsal of ‘While Waiting’ (Michael Nagle/NYT) All you Jews (and Palestinians and anyone else) at the Occupy Wall Street protests are hereby urged to take a break tomorrow night. That’s because you have a rare opportunity to see…

Shalit’s Release
Tikun Olam – As I write this, Israeli media ( Al Jazeera and the Guardian too ) are offering wall to wall coverage of the release of Gilad Shalit from captivity. Of course this is a wonderful day for his family and for all Israelis who hoped for this day to…

Misc 2

Mali: Masses March in Support of Muammar Gaddafi
Voltaire Network 18 Oct 2011 – Mass demonstrations took place Friday in Mali against the European-American aggression on the Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya and the leader of the Libyan revolution, Colonel Muammar Qaddafi. The protesters wore T-shirts and placards bearing the image of Colonel Gaddafi and chanted their readiness to…

South Africa: Zuma to Publish Report on ‘Oil for Food’ In Iran
allAfrica.com 18 Oct 2011 – President Jacob Zuma will release the report of the Donen Commission of Inquiry into the involvement of South Africans in the Iraq oil-for-food programme, his office said on Tuesday.

Egypt: FM Urges Palestinians to Make Breakthrough in Reconciliation File
allAfrica.com 18 Oct 2011 – Foreign Minister Mohamed Amr urged Palestinian parties on 17/10/2011 to make use of the current phase which witnesses a number of gains in the interest of their cause to achieve a breakthrough in the reconciliation issue.

Egypt: Gafi Chairman – Country Keen to Offer All Kind of Support to Palestinians
allAfrica.com 18 Oct 2011 – Egypt is keen on offering all kind of support to the Palestinians via encouraging cooperation between their private sectors to push the wheel of investment forward and achieve development, said Charmian of the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI) Osama Saleh.

PSP has started to give tours in the West Bank.
Palestine Solidarity Project 18 Oct 2011 – Palestine Solidarity Project has now started to give tours. The Solidarity tour programme offers an introduction to the different geographical and cultural regions of the West Bank. The tour is providing its participants with in-depth social, political and historical insights on Palestinian life. Read the full…

Video: A Discussion with Ahmed Maher
Arab American Institute 18 Oct 2011 – The Arab American Institute hosted Egyptian activist Ahmed Maher, founder of EgyptÔø?s April 6 Youth Movement, in Washington, DC for a discussion about the current status of EgyptÔø?s youth revolution entitled A Discussion with Ahmed Maher: WhatÔø?s Next for Egypt.

Ahlam al-Tamimi: among the freed women
Middle East Monitor 18 Oct 2011 – Her upbringing and education Ahlam al-Tamimi was born on 20/10/1980 in the Jordanian city of al-Zarqa to a Palestinian family with roots in the Palestinian village of al-Nabi Saleh near Ramallah. Ahlam completed her elementary, junior and secondary education in al-Zarqa before returning to Palestine and…

Qatar, Syria and Turkey are willing to accept exiled Palestinian prisoners
Middle East Monitor 18 Oct 2011 – A spokesman for Hamas has said that Qatar, Syria and Turkey have expressed their willingness to accept some of the Palestinian prisoners who will be sent into exile as a result of the exchange deal with Israel. Ezzat Al-Rishq said that arrangements will be made within…

Jordan’s King Abdullah dismisses the government
Middle East Monitor 18 Oct 2011 – The King of Jordan has yielded to pressure from protesters and parliament and dismissed the government of Maarouf Al-Bakhit. King Abdullah II also sacked his intelligence chief, Mohamed Al-Rakkad. According to Jordanian sources, the King “accepted the resignation” of Prime Minister Al-Bakhit and entrusted Awn Khaswaneh…

Hague calls on Israel to revoke its announcement of a new settlement
Middle East Monitor 18 Oct 2011 – Britain’s Foreign Secretary has expressed his dismay at Israel’s announcement last Friday of a new settlement at Givat Hamatos. William Hague described the Israeli step as “provocative” and “disappointing”. He called upon the Israeli government to revoke its statement. In a press release from the Foreign…

All Freed Detainees Are Now In Gaza, Ramallah
Sabr 18 Oct 2011 – Tuesday October 18, 2011 13:50 by Saed Bannoura – IMEMC & Agencies All Palestinian detainees released under the first phase of the prisoners-swap deal between Israel and the Hamas movement, except those sent to Egypt, are now in Gaza and Ramallah. This article includes the speeches…

First prisoners freed in West Bank, Gaza Strip
Sabr 18 Oct 2011 – Ma’an RAFAH (AFP) — The first Palestinian prisoners freed in the West Bank and Gaza Strip as part of a landmark deal for the return of a captured Israeli soldier arrived home on Tuesday, an AFP reporter said. Israel freed 477 Palestinian prisoners, most of them…

Barghouti: Prisoners were not consulted over swap deal
Sabr 18 Oct 2011 – BETHLEHEM ( Ma’an ) — Detained Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti said Sunday that Hamas did not consult detainees over its prisoner swap deal with Israel. Hamas has agreed to free Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in exchange for the release of 1,027 Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails. Several prominent…

Minister: Detainees suspend strike after deal on isolation
Sabr 18 Oct 2011 – RAMALLAH ( Ma’an ) — Palestinians jailed in Israel suspended a three-week hunger strike on Monday, the minister of detainee affairs in Ramallah said. Issa Qaraqe told the official Wafa news agency that prisoners ended the strike after Israeli prison authorities agreed to end the practice of solitary…

Mid-East joy at prisoner exchange
BBC 18 Oct 2011 – Jubilant crowds gather in Israel and the Palestinian territories to celebrate Gilad Shalit’s historic swap for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners.

Clinton in unannounced Libya trip
BBC 18 Oct 2011 – US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton makes an unannounced visit to Libya aimed at showing support for the Libyan people and building ties as fierce fighting breaks out in Sirte.

The FBI Goes Rogue On Iran
Sabbah report 18 Oct 2011 – Why do our political leaders act in such duplicitous and hypocritical fashion? Obama is probably going to appear as embarrassing hypocrite in all future relevant and objective histories.


A ‘Palestinian Spring’? Not Yet.
Bashir Abu-Manneh, New Politics, Israeli Occupation Archive10/18/2011
This is a revised version of a talk given at a conference sponsored by Students for Justice in Palestine held at Columbia University, October 14-16, 2011.
The ‘Palestinian Spring’ is the only one of the ‘Arab Springs’ to be announced from the General Assembly platform of the UN. ‘At a time when’, Mahmoud Abbas declared in his speech for UN recognition of Palestinian statehood, ‘the Arab peoples affirm their quest for democracy—the Arab Spring—the time is now for the Palestinian Spring, the time for independence’. This link between the bid and the democratic revolts taking place in the Arab world was repeated the next day in Ramallah. Abbas told cheering supporters who came out to greet him: ‘We told the world that there is an Arab Spring, but the Palestinian Spring exists here: a mass, popular, peacefully resisting spring that seeks to achieve our objectives…. raise your heads for you are Palestinians’ (Al-Hayat, 26 September 2011).
It is important to note that Abbas’ UN speech did emphasize Palestinian rights of self-determination and of return for the refugees. And it was a powerful indictment of Israeli rejectionism and colonialism. This doesn’t change the fact, though, that there is something deeply troubling about Abbas’ Palestinian Spring announcement. Here we have a Palestinian leader whose only distinction in the last 20 years is mostly secret negotiations with Israeli leaders. A leader:
* whose presidency of the Palestinian Authority has expired;
* whose Fatah faction has lost the last elections in 2006 to Hamas;
* who has spent most of his time as President clamping down on popular movements like Hamas (as well as Islamic Jihad) in the West Bank, closing down hundreds of Islamic charities, firing imams sympathetic to Hamas, and controlling the content of Friday sermons. more.. e-mail

Israel and Libya: Preparing Africa for the ‘Clash of Civilizations’
Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, Introduction by Cynthia McKinney, Centre for Research on Globalization – Middle East10/11/2011
Third of Four Installments on Libya: Israel and Libya
McKinney: ‘In fact, my own personal experiences with the pro-Israel Lobby inside the United States demonstrate Israel’s intense interest in Africa.’

Once again, Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya peels away the veneer of legitimacy and deception enveloping the U.S./NATO genocide currently taking place in Libya. In his first article, Nazemroaya exposed the mechanism by which the world came to “know” of the need for a humanitarian intervention in the Libyan Arab Jamahirya and U.S./NATO admissions of targeted assassination attempts against the Leader of the 1969 Libyan Revolution, Muammar Qaddafi. In his first of these four installments since his return from Libya, Nazemraoya makes it clear that there never was any evidence given to the United Nations or the International Criminal Court to warrant or justify United Nations Resolutions 1970 and 1973 or current U.S./NATO operations inside Libya.
In his second article detailing this very sad story, Nazemroaya exposes the relationships between the major Libyan protagonists/NATO collaborators and the U.S. Congress-funded National Endowment for Democracy. Incredibly, when leading Members of Congress publicly proclaimed repeatedly that they did not know who the Libyan “rebel” NATO collaborators were, select so-called rebel leaders were political intimates with stakeholders at the National Endowment for Democracy. The leaders of the National Transitional Council, contrived to appear highly influential to publics in former colonial capitals, have very little influence or support inside Libya, and can be likened to a Hamid Karzai type of morally bankrupt neo-colonial authority that presides over and gives a fig-leaf of “legitmacy”…. — See also: Part 1: America’s Conquest of Africa: The Roles of France and Israel and Part 2: Libya and the Big Lie: Using Human Rights Organizations to Launch Wars more.. e-mail

Truth and falsehood in Syria
Jeremy Salt in Ankara, Al-Ahram Weekly10/13/2011
There are at least 23 reasons why we should be careful about uncritically accepting Western views of the insurrection in Syria.
As insurrection in Syria lurches towards civil war, the brakes need to be put on the propaganda pouring through the Western mainstream media and accepted uncritically by many who should know better. So here is a matrix of positions from which to argue about what is going on in this critical Middle Eastern country.
1. Syria has been a mukhabarat (intelligence) state since the redoubtable Abdel-Hamid Al-Serraj ran the intelligence services as the deuxiéme bureau in the 1950s. The authoritarian state which developed from the time former Syrian president Hafez Al-Assad took power in 1970 has crushed all dissent ruthlessly. On occasion it has either been him or them. The ubiquitous presence of the mukhabarat is an unpleasant fact of Syrian life, but as Syria is a central target for assassination and subversion by Israel and Western intelligence agencies, as it has repeatedly come under military attack, as it has had a large chunk of its territories occupied, and as its enemies are forever looking for opportunities to bring it down, it can hardly be said that the mukhabarat is not needed.
2. There is no doubt that the bulk of the people demonstrating in Syria want a peaceful transition to a democratic form of government. Neither is there any doubt that armed groups operating from behind the screen of the demonstrations have no interest in reform. They want to destroy the government.
3. There have been very big demonstrations of support for the government. There is anger at the violence of the armed gangs and anger at external interference and exploitation of the situation by outside governments and the media. In the eyes of many Syrians, their country is once again the target of an international conspiracy. more.. e-mail

Mother still restricted from visiting son after his release from prison
Electronic Intifada: 18 Oct 2011 – Jillian Kestler-D’Amours The Electronic Intifada Jerusalem Israel is deporting more than 140 released Palestinian prisoners to Gaza permanently, despite many being from Jerusalem and elsewhere in the occupied West Bank. Their families, therefore, remain unable to see their loved ones.more

“I was 1-day-old when my father was jailed”
Electronic Intifada: 18 Oct 2011 – Shahd Abusalama The Electronic Intifada Gaza City As many families celebrate in Gaza and the West Bank, let us remember those Palestinians still being held in Israeli jails.more

‘Theater of the Absurd’: Netanyahu and His Endgame in Palestine
Palestine Chronicle: 18 Oct 2011 – By Ramzy Baroud During his deliberately offensive speech on September 23, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described the General Assembly as ‘the theater of the absurd.’ Israel’s few friends at the United Nations — led by the US delegation – listened gleefully and applauded as Netanyahu heralded a steady stream of insults. Netanyahu then returned to Israel with vengeance, enraged by the passionate international reception of Palestinian Authority’s statehood bid. Despite every Israeli effort, the world community has long been united in its support of Palestinian rights. For decades, Israel labored to legitimize itself, denying the very existence of Palestinians. Following its occupation of the rest of historic Palestine in 1967, it tried to validate its colonial project while concurrently targeting any political platform that represented the Palestinian people. This endeavor was unsuccessful, thanks in part to the resistance of the Palestinians themselves, but also largely due to the enduring…more

The Beginning Is Near
Dissident Voice: 18 Oct 2011 – The anti-Wall Street protest has often resembled a street party. In occupied Liberty Park, people banged on drums, danced , performed mime, even dangled donuts to bait cops. Their mood has been merry, which is remarkable considering that they’ve been sleeping out in the open , on hard ground, in a compact park, without even tents over them. Food and money have been limited, and sanitation a logistical nuisance, yet even a cloudburst in the middle of the night, drenching everyone, was greeted with cheers. A sign, ” THE REVOLUTION WILL BE PLAYFUL .” Critics have slandered these protesters as idle and frivolous, as muddled crybabies who would flee from any job application, not that anyone’s hiring, by the way. This rally, then, is just a noisy blight on America’s crooked economic engine. With a first dusting of snow, these anarchists, hippies, art students, bums and trust fund kids would all go…more

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