VTJP Palestine/Israel Newslinks 15 December 2011: Settlers torch Ramallah mosque

15 December 2011 — VTJP


International Middle East Media Center

Settlers Torch A Mosque In Ramallah
IMEMC – A group of fanatic Israeli settlers burnt, on Thursday at dawn, a mosque in Borqa village, east of the central West Bank city of Ramallah, and wrote racist graffiti on its walls. The attack is the latest of a series of attacks against Palestinian mosques and property. …

Barak Calls Vandals “Jewish Terrorists” As Right-wingers Clash With Police In Jerusalem
IMEMC – On Wednesday, Israeli right-wing settler youth continued attacking property and holy sites for the third straight day, while Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak told the Army Radio that he considered the recent attacks to be the work of “Jewish terrorists”. …

Army Demolishes Two Buildings In An Illegal Outpost
IMEMC – Israeli soldiers demolished, on Thursday morning, two constructions in an illegal settlement outpost, known as Mitzpeh Yitzhar, near Yitzhar settlement, near Nablus, in the northern part of the West Bank. …

Palestinian Released Under Swap-Deal Believed To Have Known Shalit’s Location
IMEMC – Cleared for publication Tuesday; in September 2007, undercover forces of the Israeli Army kidnapped a resident identified as Mohawish Al-Qadi, from Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip. After his capture, Hamas changed the location where Gilad Shalit, was being held. …

PCHR Concerned Over Medical Shortages In Gaza Strip Hospitals
IMEMC – The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) expresses concern over the extreme shortage of medicines in the Gaza Strip hospitals. PCHR warns of the potential catastrophic repercussions on the health of the Gaza Strip population, especially patients who suffer from renal failure due to the shortage in blood filters used in dialysis. …

Ma’an News

Settlers torch Ramallah mosque
12/15/2011 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Jewish settlers on Thursday torched a village mosque near Ramallah and sprayed racist graffiti in Hebrew on its walls, witnesses said. The Al-Nour Mosque in Burqa was still burning when villagers arrived for morning prayers, locals said, adding that the fire had spread to the first and second floors and caused….

Israeli military enters northern Gaza
12/15/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israeli forces entered northern Gaza near Erez crossing on Thursday morning, witnesses and the army said. Locals told Ma’an bulldozers dug up land and opened fire toward but no injuries were reported. An Israeli military spokesman said soldiers were conducting “routine activity” in the area but said he….

Gaza official: 6 women, 55 children set for release
12/15/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Six women and 55 children are among the detainees due to be released in days in a prisoner exchange deal with Israel, a Gaza prisoners’ official said on Thursday. Riyad al-Ashqar, media director in Gaza’s Ministry of Prisoners, said of the 550 expected to be freed this….

Report: Israel to mull bill legalizing outposts
12/15/2011 – TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma’an) — Israeli lawmakers will discuss on Sunday a law to legalize settlement outposts built on land owned by Palestinians, Israeli media reported on Thursday. Israeli daily Haaretz said the bill will halt removal of outposts if Palestinian landowners failed to lodge an appeal within four years of its construction. After….

Israel nuclear workers say radiation gave them cancer
12/15/2011 – TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma’an) — Workers at Israel’s Dimona nuclear reactor say they have been sickened during their work, according to court information reported Thursday by Israeli media. Haaretz newspaper reported that a hearing was held on Wednesday on a complaint by 44 employees and their families that the workers are suffering….

Israeli jails ‘refilled’ after prisoner swap
12/15/2011 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israel has detained nearly the same number of Palestinians they freed in the first stage of a prisoner exchange deal in the two months since the swap, a prisoners group said on Thursday. Israeli forces detained nearly 470 Palestinians since the Oct. 18 release of 477 prisoners from Israeli jail in….

Officials plan water plant to end crisis
12/15/2011 – JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — The Palestinian Water Authority is working to establish a major desalination plant by the Dead Sea, its chief has revealed. The plan is designed to help ease the water crisis in the West Bank and Gaza by providing an extra 100 million cubic meters of water, Shaddad al-Attili said. However it….

Official: 6 fruit, vegetable trucks leave Gaza for export
12/15/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — One truckload of tomatoes and bell peppers, and five trucks carrying strawberries, crossed out of the Gaza Strip for export abroad on Thursday, crossings officials said. Palestinian liaison official Raed Fattouh said that Israel opened the sole functioning Kerem Shalom crossing in southern Gaza to allow the small convoy through….

Radical settlers give Israelis reason to pause
12/15/2011 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — An attack on a Palestinian holy site in Jerusalem gave some Israelis pause Wednesday, after right-wing activists brought to home the tactics more often employed in the occupied West Bank. After stepping up acts of vandalism and even attacking an army base, an extremist minority of Jewish Israelis has sparked condemnation…. Related: Netanyahu: Violent extremists are not terrorists

Netanyahu: Violent extremists are not terrorists
12/15/2011 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday said he would not define violent Jewish extremists as terrorists after a string of attacks on mosques and Israeli army bases. Israeli ministers formed a list of recommendations for the prime minister, including defining the ultra-nationalist attackers as terrorists. While Netanyahu rejected the definition…. Related: Radical settlers give Israelis reason to pause

Bodyguard of Palestinian commander ‘killed in Lebanon’
12/15/2011 – BEIRUT (Ma’an) — The bodyguard of a top Palestinian commander was shot dead on Wednesday in a refugee camp in southern Lebanon, a local official told Lebanese media.” At around 10:00 p. m. , a masked gunman shot and killed Ashraf Qadiri at his shop here in the Ain al-Hilweh camp,” Munir Maqdah, in….

Settlement rabbi: Expel mosque arsonists
12/15/2011 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The head rabbi of an Israeli settlement in the West Bank said Thursday that Jewish extremists who attack Palestinian mosques and property should be expelled from the country. Menachem Froman, the chief rabbi of the Teqoa settlement near Bethlehem, told Ma’an TV that Jewish groups who attack Islamic holy….

Bethlehem mayor: Boycott Israel until we get state
12/16/2011 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The mayor of Bethlehem said Thursday after his annual Christmas address that the international community should boycott Israel until it accepts Palestinian aspirations for independence.”We have a right to self-determination,” Victor Batarseh told reporters in Bethlehem.” We are peaceful people. We want peace,” he said after announcing the start of….

Iceland recognizes state of Palestine
12/15/2011 – REYKJAVIK (Reuters) — Iceland on Thursday became the first west European country to formally recognize a Palestinian state, three months after the Palestinians began to seek full membership of the United Nations with peace talks with Israel frozen indefinitely.” (This) will surely have positive influence on other states to follow the same steps,” Palestinian Authority Foreign….

40,000 govt employees to receive salaries in Gaza
12/15/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The finance ministry in Gaza will pay salaries on Thursday to its 40,000 employees for the months of October and November, the deputy minister Ismail Mahfouz said. The salaries are for employees whose monthly income is less than 1,500 shekels. The rest of the salaries will be paid by the….

Israel forms special ops command
12/15/2011 – JERUSALEM (Reuters) — Israel said on Thursday it was unifying its special forces under one command, a move experts say could help Israel strike countries like Iran, whose nuclear program the country deems a threat to its existence.” The primary task of the Corps will be to extend joint IDF (Israeli army) operations into the strategic….

In photos: Christmas season arrives in Palestine
12/15/2011 – MaanImages / Wajdi Jafari – The holiday season has officially arrived to Palestine, as a national Christmas tree is lit for the first time in Bethlehem’s Nativity Square, on Thursday, Dec. 15, 2011. After an annual address from the mayor, a tree-lighting ceremony was led by Salam Fayyad, the West Bank-based prime minister…. Related: Why we’re celebrating hope this Christmas

Bethlehem man dies in elevator accident
12/15/2011 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A 22-year-old man died on Thursday when an elevator he was repairing fell on him in Bethlehem. Mohammad Jameel Abu Kwaik, from al-Jalazun refugee camp, died instantly in the accident in a building in central Bethlehem, civil defense officials told Ma’an….

Iceland recognises Palestinian state
AlJazeera 15 Dec 2011 – First west European country to do so three months after Palestinians began to seek full membership of the UN.

Palestinian Center for Human Rights

PCHR Appeals to Palestinian President to Immediately Intervene to Save Lives of 450 Patients in Gaza
Palestinian Center for Human Rights Thursday, 15 December 2011

PCHR Condemns Placing Large Floats 3 Miles from Gaza Seashore to Tighten the Siege Imposed on the Gaza Strip
Palestinian Center for Human Rights Thursday, 15 December 2011

Within 24 Hours, Israeli Settlers and Extremists Set Two Mosques Ablaze in Separate Incidences
Palestinian Center for Human Rights Thursday, 15 December 2011

PCHR Condemns Detention of PLC Member by IOF
Palestinian Center for Human Rights Thursday, 15 December 2011

Alternative Information Center

Palestinians call for the release of Syrian-American blogger Razan Ghazzawi
Alternative Information Center – A group of Palestinian activists and bloggers call for the release of detained Syrian-American blogger Razan Ghazzawi, declare their solidarity with the Syrian uprising, and discuss the shared fate of the Arab and Palestinian people in…

Relief Web

World: Speakers Stress Need to Scale Up ‘Smarter’ Humanitarian Aid as General Assembly Holds Annual Debate on Disaster, Emergency Relief
Relief Web 14 Dec 2011 – Source: UN General Assembly Country: World , Haiti , Japan , Kenya , occupied Palestinian territory , Pakistan , Rwanda , Somalia GA/11195 Sixty-sixth General Assembly Plenary 85th Meeting (AM) Draft Resolutions Tabled Include Texts On Assistance to Palestinian People, Drought in Horn of Africa Humanitarian assistance…

The National

Iran tries to mend fences in region
The National 15 Dec 2011 – Iran has launched a charm offensive to ease tensions with key regional powers and US allies amid increasingly tough sanctions and growing isolation over its nuclear programme.

Islamists expected to hold or gain ground in elections
The National 14 Dec 2011 – Egypt’s Islamist political parties were expected to cement or increase their hold of the new parliament yesterday

Large turnout in second round of Egyptian elections
The National 14 Dec 2011 – Voters came out in large numbers in Egypt yesterday as the two-day polls opened in the second round of staggered parliamentary elections that will take six weeks to complete.


Israel’s treatment at the UN ‘obsessive’ and ‘ugly,’ U.S. diplomat says
Ha’aretz – Speaking at Conference of Presidents event, American UN envoy Rice says Obama administration committed to oppose efforts to ‘chip away at Israel’s legitimacy.’

WATCH: Haaretz interactive map of West Bank outposts
Ha’aretz – With tensions rising in the West Bank, and with Israeli military and police forces moving to demolish illegal structures, Haaretz is brining you a map listing the main outposts, their position and legal status.

Israel announces new ‘depth’ command for long-range military operations
Ha’aretz – New command to be headed by former chief of elite special forces squad Sayeret Matakl; unit to supervise operations away from Israel’s borders.

U.S. Jewish conservatives target Obama for treating Israel ‘like a punching bag’
Ha’aretz – Full-page ad in major newspapers by Emergency Committee for Israel criticizes U.S. President for Israel policies, as senior New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman says Congress ‘bought’ by Israel lobby.

Iran official: We tricked the U.S. surveillance drone to land intact
Ha’aretz – Speaking with the Christian Science Monitor, Iranian electronic warfare specialist says Iranian forces tampered with the RQ-170’s GPS to make it think it was landing in its Afghanistan base.

U.S. Jewish comics icon, co-creator of Captain America dies at 98
Ha’aretz – Joe Simon, along with fellow comics giant Jack Kirby, helped create several comic icons for Timely Comics, the predecessor of what is now Marvel.

European geese make huge splash in rare Israel visit
Ha’aretz – Bean Goose, which originates from northern Europe, Siberia, normally migrates to damp European regions; this is only the second sighting in Israel.

After 9 years, 4,500 dead, U.S. troops prepare for final Iraq exit
Ha’aretz – American Defense Secretary Panetta, top officials set to participate in handoff ceremony, during which the flag of U.S. Forces-Iraq will officially be retired.

Syrian rebels kill dozens of Assad’s forces in fresh clashes
Ha’aretz – Human Rights Watch releases report claiming military commanders given direct orders to kill and torture protesters.

U.S. House of Representatives endorses tough sanctions on Iran
Ha’aretz – Bill aimed at expanding U.S. sanctions against Iranian regime, passed by a vote of 410 to 11, includes targeting of Central Bank of Iran.

Iceland formally recognizes Palestinian state within 1967 lines
Ha’aretz – Palestinian Foreign Minister says move has ‘great meaning’; declaration comes a little more than 2 weeks after Cyprus said it would establish formal ties with PA.

In Arabic and in Hebrew, a name is more than just a name
Ha’aretz – A serious world war is erupting in Israel about identity, narratives, the status of Israeli Arabs and the right of return.

Peres: Right-wing violence ‘a disaster’ that must be stopped
Ha’aretz – In a meeting with settlers leaders, Israeli President condemns recent violence; Palestinians: Mosque arson a declaration of war.

Israel ministers to weigh bill meant to legalize West Bank outposts
Ha’aretz – Officials say proposal will be postponed until Netanyahu panel will hand in report on the ways to decriminalize settlements built on private Palestinian land.

Netanyahu seeks to absolve massive Israel TV debt amid fears of Channel 10 closure
Ha’aretz – New cabinet memo aims to swipe nearly NIS 300 million of Israel Broadcast Authority’s debt, while refusing to push back Channel 10’s NIS 45 million.

Israeli security forces demolish illegal buildings in West Bank outpost
Ha’aretz – Area around Mitzpeh Yitzhar declared closed military zone, and two buildings dismantled, according to reports; demolition comes two days after attack on IDF base in West Bank.

IDF, Israel police demolish buildings in West Bank outpost of Mitzpeh Yitzhar
Ha’aretz – Area around outpost declared closed military zone, and two buildings dismantled, according to reports; demolition comes two days after attack on IDF base in West Bank.

Netanyahu’s crackdown on Jewish extremists unlikely to change West Bank status quo, IDF officials say
Ha’aretz – Prime minister approved measures including issuing administrative detention orders for Jewish extremists responsible for recent attacks on IDF soldiers, other targets.

Israel prepares to release 550 Palestinian prisoners in Hamas deal
Ha’aretz – Release is second stage of deal with Hamas that brought home IDF soldier Gilad Shalit after five years of captivity in the Gaza Strip.

Palestinians: West Bank mosque torched, defaced by Hebrew graffiti
Ha’aretz – Burning of mosque near Ramallah comes hours after IDF demolishes two unauthorized structures in Jewish illegal outpost.

Jerusalem Post

Osteoarthritis patients take Teva company to court
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2011 – Altman/Ta’am has claimed for years that food supplement Mega Gluflex heals, treats, relieves pain from painful condition.

Bill to stop giving baby formula sparks debate
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2011 – Likud MK Danon wary of aggressive marketing, discouragement of breast feeding.

Bethlehem mayor calls for cultural boycott of Israel
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2011 – Victor Batarseh tells reporters boycott only way to get Israel back to negotiations; “It worked with South Africa.”

Beit She’an’s sewage could end up in Jordan River
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2011 – Beit She’an municipality, surrounding Emek Mayanot Regional Council owe treatment plant NIS 3 milion.

‘Beinisch’s speech did not violate judicial ethics’
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2011 – Supreme Court president did not violate ethical rules when she accused politicians of working to deligitimize High Court.

‘Hezbollah laundered money through US used cars’
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2011 – US federal prosecutors accuse three banks with links to Hezbollah of laundering $240 million through used car market.

Florida governor visits, with jobs on his mind
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2011 – Israel has emerged as issue in US elections because “Americans overall are extremely supportive of Israel,” Scott says.

PA: Mosque attack is declaration of war
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2011 – Abbas’s spokesman reacts to apparent “price tag” arson attack; “Mitzpe Yitzhar” and “war” sprayed on W. Bank mosque.

Friedman is wrong
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2011 – His misunderstanding of Israel is evident in his underlying assumption that appears in his columns repeatedly: that were Israel to just leave the settlements, peace would flow like a river.

No longer a journalist’s paradise
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2011 – Israel – once regarded as a foreign correspondent’s paradise – has become a highly institutionalized locale.

Finance and the golden calf
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2011 – Rediscovering religious values in the market economy

Gingrich versus the Palestinian Authority
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2011 – “The American congressional candidates were correct in criticizing the PA for promoting terror.”

Natan Sharansky calls for Pollard’s release
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2011 – Jewish Agency chairman notes the complicated nature of Pollard affair, but says “26 years is more than enough.”

Ethics @ Work: Browsers for browsers
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2011 – Amazon’s price-comparison application arouses indignation.

Travels with Alan
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2011 – Few people combine Dershowitz’s passion for the law with a love for Israel and our Jewish heritage.

Savir’s Corner: A nuclear free zone
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2011 – “The Iranian development of a military nuclear capability is the single most dangerous threat to Israel’s security.”

Likud votes to move up primary
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2011 – Netanyahu thanks central c’tee for supporting move, hints he still wants general elections in 2013; Shalom not running.

IEC board approves deal with Tamar partners
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2011 – Israel Electric Corp. chairman says deal is “perhaps the largest agreement ever signed in the Israeli economy.”

Netanyahu: We won’t let extremists spark a war
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2011 – Netanyahu tells Likud meeting “the law is the law, justice is justice,” says he won’t let radicals “start a religious war, set fire to mosques, attack Jews or non-Jews.”

Proposed bill would stop demolitions in Migron
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2011 – Twenty MKs promote legislation to stop courts from ordering destruction of outposts existing over four years.

Jewish rioters face stiffer penalties in IDF courts
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2011 – Trying West Bank Israelis in military courts would be a “huge policy shift,” legal experts say.

Suspected far-right radicals are indicted
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2011 – Fifteen are charged following Jordan border incident, one for vandalizing IDF post and another for throwing stones.

Mea Shearim elections disqualified after violence
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2011 – Group of haredi men destroy ballots during counting; vote to take place at later date.

Petition filed to delay new prisoner release
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2011 – Israel Law Center wants more time for citizens to contest prisoner release in second stage of Schalit deal.

‘New nuclear plant being built in Isfahan’
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2011 – Tehran says facility will be completed within 3 years, to be located in province rocked by explosion last month.

Finding fulfillment
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2011 – Eitan Yardeni seeks to impart how Kabbala can help us make significant changes.

The Weekly Schmooze’s annual Hanukka video-off
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2011 – JPost column wrapping up hottest Jewish culture news worldwide: Vote for which holiday-themed video deserves to be a viral hit.

Analysis: Palestinian rivals united by drift
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2011 – With elections overdue, questions over the legitimacy of both Fatah and Hamas are only likely to increase.

Off the Beaten Track: ‘Is it safe to come?’
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2011 – Travel expert Joe Yudin gives his insight into the Gaza conflict and why it’s important to visit Sderot.

US marks official end to Iraq war in Baghdad
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2011 – Nearly 9 years after invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein, US Defense Secretary Panetta packs up military flag.

Egypt votes in 2nd round, Islamist win forecasted
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2011 – Parliamentary elections continue in various regions of country; analysts expect Muslim Brotherhood’s showing to continue.

Chosen Bites: Build a better latke
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2011 – Celebrate Hanukka this year with a modern version of the classic applesauce.

Syrian army deserters kill 27 soldiers in Deraa
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2011 – High casualties suggest coordinated strikes by rebels; rights group: Army commanders ordered to kill protesters.

MKs vote down health basket increase
Jerusalem Post 14 Dec 2011 – Numerous political leaders came out in favor of an identical bill presented in the previous Knesset.

Infrastructure Ministry begins fridge trade-in program
Jerusalem Post 14 Dec 2011 – The state is financing up to 60 percent of 25,000 new refrigerators for low income people, to encourage higher-efficiency appliances use.

Fishermen detained over illegal nets
Jerusalem Post 14 Dec 2011 – Police confiscate fishermen’s equipment after reportedly catching them using illegally small-holed nets on Lake Kinneret.

Progress on divorce sanctions bill held up
Jerusalem Post 14 Dec 2011 – Saga of amendments to law imposing punitive sanctions on men who refuse to give their wives a bill of divorce continues.

‘Conversion authority is inefficient, cumbersome’
Jerusalem Post 14 Dec 2011 – Knesset panel critiques Authority; June changes mean applicants must now wait 18 months after civil wedding before applying for conversion.

The light at the end of the tunnel
Jerusalem Post 14 Dec 2011 – Agnieszka Holland’s ‘In Darkness’ grapples with moral complexities with a documentary-style realism

Inter Press Service

Syrian Troops ‘Ordered to Shoot to Kill’
IPS More than 70 Syrian army commanders and officials have been named by former soldiers as having ordered attacks on unarmed protesters in that country, says the U.S.-based Human Rights Watch.

Iran Hedges Its Bets on Syria
IPS Iran is courting the opposition to Syrian President Bashar al- Assad, seeking to maintain a crucial alliance in the event that Assad falls.

CLIMATE CHANGE: ‘High Glaciers Safe From Warming’
IPS Global warming will melt far less of the glaciers of Central Asia than of those in other mountain ranges, shielding the people who depend on them for water from the effects of climate change for several decades at least, scientists say.

MIDEAST: Fighting Settlers’ Impunity and Immunity
IPS The outer stone walls of the unused 12th century Ayyubid mosque in the Israeli centre of the city carried the black scars of attempted arson and hatred. “Price tag”, the signature read.


Tehran nixes threats on Turkey over shield
Uruknet December 14, 2011 -Iran has dismissed comments from its own officials to target a NATO missile shield in eastern Turkey if the Islamic republic is threatened by the West, Anatolia news agency reported yesterday. “We reject those views completely,” Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said in an interview, adding that those who had made the…

The US Becomes Just Another Military Dictatorship
Uruknet December 14, 2011 – Within days after my article on due process and presumption of innocence, the U.S. Senate voted to empower the U.S. military to apprehend and detain indefinitely anyone in America, based on the whim of the soldier or military commander, and it will probably eventually include any armed agent of government including local…

Gaza: Cutting the life line
Uruknet December 14, 2011 – Shahinaz Khouf is a mother of six and has been suffering from renal failure for nearly 2 years. Her illness requires her to visit Al Shifa hospital three times a week to undergo hemodialysis treatments. However, Shahinaz has not been receiving the required three dialysis sessions every week, as a result of…

Cutting the life line
Uruknet December 14, 2011 – Shahinaz Khouf is a mother of six and has been suffering from renal failure for nearly 2 years. Her illness requires her to visit Al Shifa hospital three times a week to undergo hemodialysis treatments. However, Shahinaz has not been receiving the required three dialysis sessions every week, as a result of…

Obama Seeks to Resume Aid to Repressive Dictatorship in Uzbekistan
Uruknet December 14, 2011 – The US Senate Appropriations Committee, in a move initiated by the Obama administration, has voted to waive Bush-era human rights restrictions on military aid to the Islam Karimov dictatorship in Uzbekistan, one of the most brutal and repressive regimes on the planet. The lifting of the restrictions, now part of the Foreign…

Israel plans expulsion of Bedouin communities… to a rubbish dumping site
Uruknet December 14, 2011 – As soon as Israel was established in 1948, it began a ruthless campaign of displacement and expulsion against the Bedouins – the indigenous population of the Negev in what is now Southern Israel – and 64 years later Bedouin refugees living in the West Bank are due to face the same fate…

Iraq deputy PM: Maliki a dictator’
Uruknet December 14, 2011 – Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is amassing dictatorial power as U.S. troops leave the country, risking a new civil war and the breakup of the nation, his deputy warned Tuesday. Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq said he was “shocked” to hear U.S. President Barack Obama greet al-Maliki at the White House on…

Palestinian village struggles against “quiet transfer”
Uruknet December 14, 2011 – Like other Palestinian villages, Al Aqaba is endangered—95% of its builldings are under demolition orders, including the kindergarten and the mosque. After 1967, Israel declared the area a closed military zone and began using it for training, entering the village, occasionally, to “practice.” Residents say that it is part of a plan…

Military court partially acquits Palestinian due to forced confession
Uruknet December 14, 2011 – …Research by B’Tselem and HaMoked: Center for the Defence of the Individual (the reports “Absolute Prohibition”, from 2007, and “Kept in the Dark “from 2010), which included testimonies and affidavits of some 200 Palestinians who had been interrogated by the ISA at various times and in various detention facilities since 2005, indicates…

Right wing Israelis torch Jerusalem mosque
Uruknet December 14, 2011 — Right wing Israelis set fire to a mosque in Jerusalem overnight, Israeli police said. “During the night, there was an attempt to set fire to a disused mosque in the city center,” police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP. “Police also found graffiti on the walls. The police have opened an investigation.” Vandals…

Fallujah : Iraqis burn US flags to celebrate troop withdrawal
Uruknet 14 December 2011 – Hundreds of Iraqis set alight US and Israeli flags on Wednesday as they celebrated the impending pullout of American forces from the country in the former insurgent bastion of Fallujah. Shouting slogans in support of the “resistance,” the demonstrators held up banners and placards inscribed with phrases like, “Now we are free”…

Jaffa neighborhood undergoes further Judaization
Uruknet December 14, 2011 – Jaffa’s Ajami neighborhood is home to roughly 20,000 Palestinians, 40 percent of whom live in refugee – or “absentee owner” – property, in the partitioned homes of Jaffa’s pre-1948 elite. The Absentee Property Law was implemented back in 1950 and enshrined in law Israel’s control over this property. The deal struck by…

Bradley Manning deserves a medal
Uruknet December 14, 2011 – After 17 months of pre-trial imprisonment, Bradley Manning, the 23-year-old US army private and accused WikiLeaks source, is finally going to see the inside of a courtroom. This Friday, on an army base in Maryland, the preliminary stage of his military trial will start. He is accused of leaking to the whistleblowing…

When the Sky Was Turned into a Christmas Tree Xmas in Baghdad
Uruknet December 14, 2011 – ….Xmas reminds me of the war in Iraq in the early nineties, when the Americans turned the sky of Baghdad “into a Xmas tree” from their continuous bombing as Wolf Blitzer at CNN described it. Xmas and the death of the innocent people was one in the eyes of a CNN reporter….

Gaddafi daughter seeks ICC probe into his killing
Uruknet December 14, 2011 – A lawyer for Muammar Gaddafi’s daughter said on Wednesday he had written to the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to ask if an investigation had been launched into the killing of her father and brother. A copy of the letter, seen by Reuters, said that Muammar Gaddafi and his son…

Separated as prisoners, reunited in Gaza on release
Uruknet December 14, 2011 – On 19 December, the second and last group of Palestinian prisoners to be exchanged for a captured Israeli soldier is expected to be released. The 550 men slated for release will at long last taste freedom after years – for some, decades – behind bars. Their stories will likely be similar to…

African Migrants Caught In Brutal Libyan Limbo
Uruknet December 14, 2011 – Thousands of sub-Saharan Africans are either stranded or imprisoned in Libya in the wake of the revolt against Moammar Gadhafi – and they haven’t been having an easy time. Many have been detained and abused, accused of being mercenaries in Gadhafi’s army. On a recent day at the military airport in Tripoli,…

Critical Health Issues in Gaza –
Uruknet December 13, 2011 – Since locked down and isolated by Israel, Gaza’s experienced systemic crisis. Its health system especially was gravely harmed. Many services and life-saving treatments aren’t available. Accessing it elsewhere is uncertain and tenuous. Treating chronic illnesses is jeopardized by inadequate medicines and proper equipment. Regular Israel incursions and air attacks exacerbate bad conditions….

Syria News – December 13, 2011 (Warning: Graphic Videos)
Uruknet December 13, 2011 – The number of martyrs today reached so far to 37 martyrs, eight martyrs in Hama, 6 martyrs in Homs, 2 martyrs in Daraa and the rest is in IdlibThe LCC has documented 376 martyrs thus far in December alone; these were victims of army and security forces’ gunfire. Among the martyrs are…

Daily Star

US hopes to work with Russia on UN draft on Syria
Daily Star 15 Dec 2011 US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the US hopes it can work with Russia on the draft resolution it proposed to the UN Security Council on the Syria crisis.

US puts alleged Zarqawi associate on terror list
Daily Star 15 Dec 2011 The United States has placed on a terror watch list a Saudi militant said to have been an associate of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the deceased former leader of Iraq’s branch of Al-Qaeda.

Syrian activist urges diplomatic boycott, pressure on Russia
Daily Star 15 Dec 2011 A leading Syrian human rights activist urged the international community to cut diplomatic ties with Damascus and up pressure on Russia to stop blocking UN action against the regime there.

Lindsay Lohan makes good progress on probation
Daily Star 15 Dec 2011 Actress Lindsay Lohan, who is on probation for drunk driving and theft convictions, pleased a judge for a change on Wednesday by completing her court-ordered community service and therapy sessions on time.

Syria’s information revolution brings news out of the dark
Daily Star 15 Dec 2011 Throughout Syria, many people who were once afraid to speak out against their government are now risking their lives to tell the world their stories, thanks to an increasingly organized network of citizen journalists and alternative…

Controversial police officers promotion signed
Daily Star 15 Dec 2011 Police chief Maj. Gen. Ashraf Rifi said Thursday a controversial decree promoting 25 colonels to brigadier generals had been signed.

Juventus keeper Buffon quashes title talk
Daily Star 15 Dec 2011 Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has dismissed talk of a title tilt and pointed to recent history that suggests the club’s unbeaten start to the season should not be cause for elation.

Syrian rebels kill 27 soldiers in south
Daily Star 15 Dec 2011 Army deserters killed 27 soldiers in southern Syria on Thursday, an activist group said, in some of the deadliest attacks on forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad since the start of an uprising nine months ago.

More than 100 countries recognise Palestine as a state
Daily Star 15 Dec 2011 At least 112 countries around the world have formally recognised Palestine as a state, stretching from Africa to Asia, Europe to Latin America.

Syrian dissidents create ‘National Alliance’ against regime
Daily Star 15 Dec 2011 A group claiming to represent the majority of the opposition movements inside Syria declared Thursday the foundation of a “National Alliance” of revolutionary forces aiming to topple the regime.

Thompson takes lead at Dubai Ladies Masters
Daily Star 15 Dec 2011 Alexis Thompson made a spectacular move to the top of the leaderboard when the teenage sensation shot a bogey-free round of six-under par 66 in the second round of the Dubai Ladies Masters on Thursday.

Palestinians blast Israel after new arson attack on mosque
Daily Star 15 Dec 2011 Palestinian officials on Thursday blasted Israel for letting Jewish extremists act with impunity, after two mosques were set alight and covered in Hebrew graffiti.

Eto’o decision will be announced on Friday, Cameroon say
Daily Star 15 Dec 2011 A disciplinary hearing decision about Samuel Eto’o will be announced on Friday, Cameroon soccer authorities said, adding that media reports that the striker had been suspended for seven games were “speculation”.

Canada to evacuate nationals from Syria
Daily Star 15 Dec 2011 Canada announced Thursday it was organizing an evacuation of its nationals from Syria, saying the situation in the violence-wracked Middle East nation “continues to deteriorate.”

Diplomats submit plan to reunite Yemen army: paper
Daily Star 15 Dec 2011 Six world powers and the United Nations have proposed a plan to reunite Yemen’s fragmented military in a drive to reduce chaos in the impoverished nation after months of unrest, a pan-Arab daily reported on Thursday.

Greek man claims for 19 kids-none real, police say
Daily Star 15 Dec 2011 A former Greek policeman who invented 19 fictional offspring to claim benefits for what would have been the largest family in Greece has been arrested for benefit fraud, police said.

Hezbollah slams as ‘unacceptable’ March 14 accusations over UNIFIL attack
Daily Star 15 Dec 2011 Hezbollah lashed out at the March 14 Thursday, saying accusations by the alliance that the resistance group had been in some way involved in a recent attack on UNIFIL were unacceptable.

Afghan leaders want war to stop before talks: Karzai
Daily Star 15 Dec 2011 Afghan leaders who met on Thursday with President Hamid Karzai to discuss the future of peace talks with the Taliban, said Saudi Arabia or Turkey would be a “preferable” location for an office for the insurgent…

Arsenal consider Torres bid, Chelsea eye Higuain
Daily Star 15 Dec 2011 As the transfer window approaches, teams are getting busy to plug the gaps in their respective teams. Arsenal and Manchester United are scouring Europe for depth, while Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester City, Juventus, AC Milan and…

Tripartite meeting held in south over recent incidents
Daily Star 15 Dec 2011 Senior Lebanese and Israeli military officials met Thursday in Naqoura, south Lebanon, under the supervision of U.N. to discuss recent developments and violations along the border between the two countries.

YNet News

Nitzan Alon appointed Central Command chief
YNet News, 15 Dec 2011 – IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz approved on Thursday the appointment of Brigadier General Nitzan Alon as the next commander of the Central Command. Alon, who … ….

Swedish professor links Israel to Norway massacre
YNet News, 15 Dec 2011 – A Swedish professor suggested Israel was behind the bloody terror attacks committed by Norwegian terrorist Anders Behring Breivik this past July, stirring up controversy … ….

US proposal links Palestinian aid to halting UN push
YNet News, 15 Dec 2011 – The US Congress would allow American economic aid to the Palestinians to continue next year so long as Palestine is not admitted as a state to any more United Nations … ….

PM: We will protect IDF soldiers in Bilin as well
YNet News, 15 Dec 2011 – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Thursday evening compared West Bank settlers to left-wing protesters, saying “The law is the law, and harming IDF soldiers is very … ….

Police: Probe women’s exclusion from J’lem vote
YNet News, 15 Dec 2011 – Jerusalem Police chief Nisso Shaham has demanded that votes cast at a polling station in Jerusalem’s Strauss Street be disqualified due to claims that haredi men … ….

Iceland recognizes state of Palestine
YNet News, 15 Dec 2011 – Iceland on Thursday became the first west European country to formally recognize a Palestinian state, three months after the Palestinians began to seek full membership of … ….

Germany: 90-year-old Nazi hit man jailed
YNet News, 15 Dec 2011 – A 90-year-old man convicted last year of killing three Dutch civilians while he was part of a Nazi SS hit squad during World War II has been taken to prison to start … ….

New bill: Legalize Jewish outposts in West Bank
YNet News, 15 Dec 2011 – Ministers to debate controversial proposal signed by 20 coalition Knesset….

Panetta formally shuts down US war in Iraq
YNet News, 15 Dec 2011 – ‘You will leave knowing that your sacrifice has helped the Iraqi people to begin….

Rightists indicted for entering closed military zone, rioting
YNet News, 15 Dec 2011 – Eight adults, seven teens who illegally entered army area near Jordanian border….

Religious teens denounce violence against IDF
YNet News, 15 Dec 2011 – West Bank yeshiva students write letter accusing far-Right activists of….

Watch: Security forces raze outpost
YNet News, 15 Dec 2011 – Footage recorded by Shomron Settlers’ Committee shows soldiers equipped with….

‘Refugees invisible to Israeli law’
YNet News, 15 Dec 2011 – Data questions Israel asylum, refugee policies; says only 17 out of 43,000….

‘Measures against rightist rioters a bluff’
YNet News, 15 Dec 2011 – Former top military prosecutor says majority of steps adopted by Netanyahu….

Peres: Don’t fuel fire against Israel
YNet News, 15 Dec 2011 – President meets leaders of settlement movement, rabbis and military academies’….

Iran to build new nuclear facility in Isfahan
YNet News, 15 Dec 2011 – Tehran says new nuclear facility will serve civilian purposes; site to be….

Syria: Defectors kill 27 soldiers
YNet News, 15 Dec 2011 – Violence is Syria surges, activists say army defectors killed over two dozen….

West Bank mosque torched
YNet News, 15 Dec 2011 – Residents of Nablus-adjacent village say local mosque set on fire. No injuries….

IDF razes 2 structures in Mitzpe Yitzhar
YNet News, 15 Dec 2011 – Security forces arrive at illegal West Bank outpost, take down two illegally….


Ashrawi Denounces Israeli Recent Torching of Palestinian Mosques

Iceland Recognizes Palestinian State

Fatah: Netanyahu’s Inciting Policy Inflames Religious Conflict

Settlers Cut Down Olive Trees South of Nablus

Newspaper Review: Dailies Highlight Arson of Mosque, Prisoners’ Swap Deal

Abu Rudeineh Condemns Arson of Mosque near Ramallah

Settlers Set Fire to Mosque near Ramallah

Intifada Palestine

Reflections on the Meaning of Palestine
Intifada-Palestine: 14 Dec 2011 – By Alain Gresh / Institute for Palestine Studies This essay addresses the Palestine question within a European context. After reflecting on why Palestine has been widely embraced as a “universal cause,” the author explores its relationship to the “Jewish question” in the… more


End for U.S. Begins Period of Uncertainty for Iraqis
New York Times 15 Dec 2011 – America’s departure from Iraq leaves a shattered country marred by sectarian conflict and political dysfunction, whose future, for better or worse, is in the hands of its people.

Pentagon Declares End to an Iraq War of Mixed Results
New York Times 15 Dec 2011 – The military is departing a country where insurgents continue to attack American soldiers and militants with Al Qaeda still regularly carry out devastating attacks against civilians.

Falluja Is Left Wounded by War
New York Times 15 Dec 2011 – A broken city shifts its anger and frustration from the United States to the Shiite-led government in Baghdad.

Syria Army Defectors Reportedly Kill 27 Soldiers
New York Times 15 Dec 2011 – The attack was one of the largest attacks yet on Syrian security forces by a growing armed insurgency.

Settlers Attack After Demolitions at Outpost
New York Times 15 Dec 2011 – A mosque was burned outside the West Bank city of Ramallah in a third day of extremist violence that the Israeli president said was “crazy” and “must be stopped.”

U.S. Sues American and Lebanese Businesses It Says Helped Hezbollah Money Laundering
New York Times 15 Dec 2011 – Prosecutors filed a civil suit to punish American and Lebanese businesses the government says were behind a Hezbollah-controlled network that laundered cocaine proceeds.

Obama administration is likely to fold on AIPAC-backed legislation it opposed targeting Iran
Mondoweiss – The Senate just passed the Defense Authorization Act , which in addition to allowing indefinite detention of alleged terrorists, contains an Iran sanctions measure that  I wrote about last week. That amendment passed the Senate 100-0, even though the White House vigorously opposed it, saying it would…

Saban funds a) Democratic Party, b) D.C. thinktank, c) Israeli army, d) all of the above
Mondoweiss – Haim Saban, funder of the Brookings Institution’s Saban Center on Middle East Policy, with some of his beloved. Photo by Israel Hadari I don’t understand why people take the Brooking Institution’s Saban Center on Middle East Policy so seriously when its namesake and funder is holding…

Adelson Plans to Give $20 Million to Palestine-Denier, Gingrich
Tikun Olam – Politico reports that billionaire uber-Israel gambling tycoon, Sheldon Adelson plans to give independent PACs acting on behalf of Newt Gingrich $20-million as early as this week.  This jibes nicely with the post I wrote a few days ago which predicted precisely this sort of mega donations…

Kristol is going to ‘punch’ Obama administration, in Palm Beach and Vegas
Mondoweiss – Boy this is fun! This is the latest from Bill Kristol’s group, the Emergency Committee for Israel . “Obama administration is treating Israel like a punching bag” and we’re not going to take it anymore. When are they going to take out a full-page ad against Tom…

The Iraq withdrawal and the continuing eruption of US militarism
WSWS – While the overwhelming majority of the American people support the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, this tactical shift cannot conceal the dangers posed by Washington’s expanding global military operations.

Settlers torch West Bank mosque, second attack in two days
Mondoweiss – link to www.bbc.co.uk link to sabbah.biz link to silwanic.net link to www.imemc.org link to www.maannews.net link to gulfnews.com link to silwanic.net link to www.maannews.net link to www.alternativenews.org link to www.ynetnews.com link to www.maannews.net link to us.rd.yahoo.com link to www.aljazeera.com link to english.al-akhbar.com link to mondoweiss.net link…

‘New Yorker’ editor tells American readers one thing– and Israeli readers something else
Mondoweiss – Remnick In The New Yorker that came out Monday, David Remnick wrote that Newt Gingrich’s goal is the Jewish “vote.” He didn’t say it once, but four or five times (emphasis mine): Late last week, as part of a Republican pander-fest for the Jewish vote … Newt…

Yaalon: Iran Has Choice to ‘Have Bomb or Survive’
Tikun Olam – Moshe ‘Bogie’ Yaalon with settler extremist Moshe Feiglin: Iran must be forced to choose between ‘a bomb and survival.’ Israeli Minister for Strategic Affairs Moshe “Bogie” Yaalon gave a foreign press briefing two days ago hosted by the ultra-hawkish pro-Israel advocacy group, The Israel Project.  The…

The moral emergency argument
Voltaire Network 14 Dec 2011 – • Two allegations were brought forward by the Atlanticist organs of communication: 1. In her oral report to the Security Council, the High Commissioner for Human Rights supported the accusation that the repression had claimed the lives of more than 5000 people in Syria in nine…

Western elite wage info-war to justify Syria invasion?
Voltaire Network 14 Dec 2011 – Escalating tensions surrounding Syria are preparation for aggression. Writer and political scientist Igor Panarin believes that part of the British-American and Israeli elite is waging an information war to justify a military invasion of Syria. The mass protests that broke out in a number of Arab…

Eritrea: Eritrean Nationals in Israel Voice Determination to Reinforce National Rebuff
allAfrica.com 14 Dec 2011 – Eritrean nationals residing in the Israeli towns of Ashkelon and Kiryat voiced readiness to strengthen their organization, and thereby reinforce national rebuff.

Take Action – Tell the RNC to Dissociate from Gingrich’s Remarks
Arab American Institute 13 Dec 2011 – Last week, Republican Presidential Candidate Newt Gingrich said that the Palestinian people were ?an invented people.? Once confronted with those remarks in Saturday?s Republican debate in Iowa, Gingrich did not backtrack, but actually took it a step further, describing the Palestinians as ?terrorists?:

Russia in surprise UN Syria move
BBC 15 Dec 2011 – Russia circulates a UN Security Council resolution aimed at ending the crisis in Syria, in a move that surprised the Western nations.

Bahrain police ‘detain blogger’
BBC 15 Dec 2011 – Police in Bahrain detain prominent blogger and rights activist Zainab al-Khawaja during a protest near the capital Manama, reports say.

New attack on mosque in West Bank
BBC 15 Dec 2011 – Vandals have tried to set a mosque on fire and scrawled graffiti on the walls for the second time in two days

Italy to renew pact on Libya ties
BBC 15 Dec 2011 – Italy and Libya will revive a 2008 “friendship treaty”, suspended during hostilities earlier this year, their leaders say after talks in Rome.

Lawless Israeli Oppression in Palestine: Shooting Mustafa Tamimi at Point Blank Range
Sabbah report 15 Dec 2011 – Israeli soldiers, police and even settlers can kill or otherwise harm Palestinians with impunity.Mustafa Tamimi’s death and many others show that Palestinian life is “cheap.”


Behind the mask
Ramzy Baroud, Ma’an News Agency 12/15/2011
      Essam al-Batsh and his nephew, Sobhi al-Batsh, are the latest in a long line of reported Palestinian “militants” killed by Israel.
     The civilians were both targeted while driving in a car in downtown Gaza on Dec. 8. According to an Israeli army statement, they “were affiliated with a terrorist squad that intended to attack Israeli civilians and soldiers via the western border.”
     Another “militant” had been killed two days earlier. The Israeli military said its aircraft “had targeted two militant squads that were preparing to fire rockets into southern Israel.”
     AP quoted an Israeli official saying the army would “continue to take action against those (who) use terror against the state of Israel.”
     It really doesn’t take much to kill a “militant” in Gaza. Israeli military intelligence officers simply select a weapon and zoom in on their chosen person on any given day.
     This is not a difficult task really since the entire population of the Strip are besieged in Gaza’s open air prison. The same statement issued regarding the assassinated “militant” can then be easily rewritten, using the same predictable justifications.
     Israel’s excuses actually tell nothing of the history behind the phenomena of so-called militancy.
     To know why some young men in Gaza decide to mask their faces and carry arms, they need to abandon the media’s reductionist characterization of Gaza’s armed struggle. This goes back much earlier than Hamas and Fatah, the 2006 selections, the 2007 siege or the 2008-09 war. more.. e-mail

Worse than Gingrich’s ’invented’ comment
Daoud Kuttab, Ma’an News Agency 12/15/2011
      In September 1993, the prime minister of Israel at the time, Yitzhak Rabin, wrote to PLO chairman Yasser Arafat:
     “In response to your letter of September 9, 1993, I wish to confirm to you that, in light of the PLO commitments included in your letter, the government of Israel has decided to recognise the PLO as the representative of the Palestinian people and commence negotiations with the PLO within the Middle East peace process.”
     The letter was proof of Israel and PLO mutual recognition, which ushered in the Oslo Accords signed on the White House lawn on Sept. 13, 1993.
     The Palestinians sought and received recognition with many sacrifices. Negating or denying the existence of the Palestinian people after the government of the state of Israel recognized it shows how low some US presidential candidates have reached.
     While Newt Gingrich’s comments to a Jewish media outlet that Palestinians are an invented people was pretty bad, even worse was what happened (or didn’t) afterward.
     The statement made on the eve of the pre-Iowa Republican primaries brought immediate response from Palestinians. PLO executive committee member Hanan Ashrawi questioned whether someone making such a statement has what it takes to become the president of the United States of America. Other Palestinian officials correctly identified the statement as green light to Israelis to carry out ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians. more.. e-mail

Why we’re celebrating hope this Christmas
Victor Batarseh, Ma’an News Agency 12/16/2011
      It all started in Bethlehem.
     From here, the Christmas message was revealed to mankind; a message of joy, love and peace.
     And here we are today, after more than 2,000 years, reviving this eternal remembrance in faith and love, happily cheering and singing songs of joy and triumph.
     “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” This verse spreads joy in our hearts and proves for us that nothing is impossible for God, not even realizing peace.
     Palestinians have always suffered from occupation and oppression, and still undergo violations of their rights. We live in a city surrounded by a wall that cruelly and severely obscures it, prohibiting its people from moving freely on their lands.
     Around 70,000 acres of Bethlehem’s arable land behind the wall have been seized this year by the Israeli occupation authorities, who decided the landowners were “absent” and referred their land to Israel’s “absentee property custodian.”
     Our hearts grieve for what our city has become, and it pains us to imagine what the birth of our lord Jesus Christ would look like today.
     Saint Joseph and Virgin Mary would be stopped and searched entering Bethlehem or departing on their flight to Egypt. The Magi would run into a huge concrete wall. The shepherds would not be able to graze their sheep; their land would have been confiscated. — See also: In photos: Christmas season arrives in Palestine more.. e-mail

US Fear and Loathing over Spy Drone
Palestine Chronicle: 14 Dec 2011 – By Ismail Salami – Tehran In what seems to be nothing but US-style barefaced arrogance, President Barack Obama has demanded the return of a spy drone which violated the airspace of the Islamic Republic but which was to the humiliation of the US officials downed by the Iranian army. The top-secret RQ-170 Sentinel drone, which was used by Washington as part of the covert operations the US officials have already vowed to conduct inside Iran, was hunted down by an electronic ambush and landed with a minimal degree of damage over the city of Kashmar about 140 miles inside Iran. Consciously blind to the realities of Washington’s abysmal policies, the Western media treated the report with a predilection for suspicion and disbelief and used the somewhat innocuous-sounding term ‘reconnaissance drone’. However, when Pentagon later acknowledged the “mysterious loss of a surveillance drone”, they had no choice but to face the…more

Masked in Gaza: The Untold History of Palestinian “Militancy”
Dissident Voice: 15 Dec 2011 – Essam Al-Batsh and his nephew, Sobhi Al-Batsh, are the latest in a long line of reported Palestinian ‘militants’ killed by Israel. They were both targeted while driving in a car in downtown Gaza on December 8. According to an Israeli army statement, “(They) were affiliated with a terrorist squad that intended to attack Israeli civilians and soldiers via the western border” (Reuters, December 8). Another ‘militant’ had been killed two days earlier. Israeli military aircraft “had targeted two militant squads that were preparing to fire rockets into southern Israel,” according to the Associated Press. AP quoted an Israeli official saying the army would “continue to take action against those (who) use terror against the state of Israel.” It really doesn’t take much to kill a ‘militant’ in Gaza. Israeli military intelligence officers simply select a weapon and zoom in on their chosen person on any given day. This is not…more

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