VTJP Palestine/Israel Newslinks 16 December 2011: Soldiers: “West Bank Problem Is Jews, Not Palestinians”

16 December 2011 — VTJP


International Middle East Media Center

Palestinian Killed By Army Fire In Central Gaza
IMEMC – Israeli soldiers shot and killed, on Saturday at dawn, a Palestinian man in Al Boreij Refugee camp, in central Gaza, medical sources reported. …

Soldiers: “West Bank Problem Is Jews, Not Palestinians”
IMEMC – As extremist settler groups in the occupied West Bank step up their attacks against the Palestinians, their property and their holy sites, in addition to attacking Israeli peace groups and even Israeli soldiers and policemen, Israeli soldiers said that the problem they face in the West Bank is with Jewish fanatics, not the Palestinians. …

PCHR Weekly Report: 5 Palestinians killed (including a child), 23 wounded this week
IMEMC – In its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the week of 08- 14 December 2011, 4 Palestinians (two resistance fighters and a man and his child) were killed by Israeli air strikes in the Gaza Strip, and one peaceful protester was killed in the West Bank. …

Army Demolishes Home In Jericho
IMEMC – Israeli troops demolished in the West Bank city of Jericho, on Thursday, a home that belongs to a political leader of the Hamas movement, currently imprisoned by Israel. …

Iceland Recognizes Palestine as a State
IMEMC – During a special ceremony at its capital, Reykjavik, Iceland’s Foreign Minister, Ossur Skarphedinsson, officially informed his Palestinian counterpart, Riyadh Al Maliki, that his country officially recognized Palestine as a state within the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital. …

Conditional U.S. Aid To P.A To Continue Next Year
IMEMC – The U.S. Congress proposed to continue the American financial support to the Palestinian Authority (P.A) next year as long as it refrains from filing any other membership applications to United Nations agencies. …

Ma’an News

Medics: Israeli troops kill Gaza man
12/17/2011 – GAZA CITY (Reuters) — Israeli troops killed a Palestinian and wounded two in the central Gaza Strip on Saturday, local hospital officials said. The victims were not immediately identified. An Israeli military spokeswoman said troops along the Israeli side of the border heard a loud explosion and responded with fire toward “areas suspected as points where….

Hebron settlers ‘attack Palestinians’ after funeral
12/16/2011 – HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli settlers attacked Palestinians on Friday in central Hebron after they had finished burying a settler and his wife in the nearby cemetery, after they died after under unrelated circumstances. Issa Amr, of the Youth Against Settlements movement, said the attacks concentrated on specific families in a message that the settlers….

Witnesses: Artillery strikes Gaza, no injuries
12/16/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israeli artillery fire struck the Gaza Strip on Friday, witnesses said. No injuries were reported after the incident near Gaza City. The shells landed near the eastern cemetery in the Shjaiya neighborhood, onlookers said….

US proposal links PA aid to halting UN push
12/16/2011 – WASHINGTON (Reuters) — The US Congress would allow American economic aid to the Palestinian Authority to continue next year so long as Palestine is not admitted as a state to any more United Nations organizations, under a proposal released on Thursday. The measure pending before lawmakers would appear to give Palestinians a pass on the UN….

Report: EU paper says Palestinians in Israel ‘core issue’
12/16/2011 – TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma’an) — European diplomats in Israel have prepared a classified paper on the treatment of Palestinians in Israel which says it is a “core issue” in the conflict, Israeli media reported Friday. The document says the stalled peace process is harming the integration of Palestinian citizens of Israel, and calls on….

Israel detains 15 at Nabi Saleh protest
12/16/2011 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Israeli forces detained at least 15 people during a protest in Nabi Saleh on Friday, after demonstrators clashed with soldiers at the march to commemorate a villager killed a week earlier. The mother of Mustafa Tamimi, the 28-year-old killed by a tear gas canister fired by Israeli soldiers, led the….

In photos: Protesters brave tear gas in Nabi Saleh
12/16/2011 – Reuters / Darren Whiteside – Palestinian and left-wing Israeli demonstrators face tear gas fired by Israeli forces during clashes at a protest against a nearby settlement, in Nabi Saleh village, near Ramallah, on Dec. 16, 2011. Some 100 demonstrators took part in the protest almost a week after a Palestinian demonstrator died after succumbing to his wounds…. Related: 21 arrested in Nabi Saleh demonstration commemorating the death of Mustafa Tamimi

Israel court approves second stage of prisoner deal
12/16/2011 – TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma’an) — Israel’s high court has approved the second phase of a prisoner exchange with Hamas, after two families of victims of attacks sought to stop the release of certain prisoners. Israel’s Ynet news site says the court’s top justice Dorit Beinish rejected the petition….

PA health ministry ‘stopped critical supplies reaching Gaza’
12/16/2011 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Medical supplies required for dialysis have run out in the Gaza Strip, endangering the lives of 450 patients with kidney failure, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights said on Thursday. Blood filters, which are available to the Ministry of Health in Ramallah, have not been delivered to Gaza due to “political….

Factions warn of ‘last chance’ ahead of unity talks
12/16/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Palestinian political groups have called their upcoming meeting in Cairo the last chance for implementation of a reconciliation deal between Fatah and Hamas. Seven months after the agreement was signed in the Egyptian capital, the factions say nothing has moved on the ground to implement the terms of the deal….

PA: Mosque attacks show ‘contempt’ for Palestinians
12/16/2011 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The Palestinian Authority said on Thursday that the burning of three Palestinian mosques in seven days highlighted the double standards applied to Jewish settlers living in the West Bank.”While Palestinian protest is met with the reckless use of legal force, as in Nabi Saleh, the Israeli forces do nothing to….

France lauds inclusion of citizen in prisoner releases
12/16/2011 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The French Foreign Minister on Thursday welcomed the inclusion of a French-Palestinian national in the second phase of prisoner releases by Israel under an exchange deal with Hamas. Alain Juppe thanked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for freeing Saleh Hamuri, and Jewish leader Rabbi Ovadia Yousef, who Hammuri was convicted on….

Palestine Muslim Brotherhood founder dead at 91
12/16/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Sheikh Asaad Hasniyeh, one of the founders of the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood, died in Gaza on Friday. He was 91. Hasniyeh was considered one of the leading members of the Brotherhood in the coastal strip, and established the Islamic society in Gaza City….

Revisiting the rules of war in Israel and Palestine
12/16/2011 – TEL AVIV, Israel (IRIN) — In the wake of increased violence between the Israeli army and fighters in the Gaza Strip, Israeli threats of a second large-scale attack on the occupied Palestinian territory raise pressing questions of international humanitarian law: How can civilians be better protected during urban warfare? And does IHL need to be amended….

Brazil increases funding to UNRWA
12/16/2011 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Brazil announced a pledge of $7. 5 million to UNRWA on Friday, in a move described as an unprecedented contribution from the Latin American country, Palestinian Authority media reported. The official news agency in Ramallah, Wafa, reported that the announcement was delivered at a ceremony in Gaza between the Brazilian representative….

Tunisia lifts warrant summoning Arafat widow
12/16/2011 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Tunisia’s Justice Ministry has decided to lift a warrant summoning the widow of Yasser Arafat for questioning over a corruption scandal, news reports said Friday….

EU poverty fund extends from West Bank to Gaza
12/16/2011 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The European Union is set to make a fourth and last contribution to the Palestinian Authority’s quarterly payment of social allowances to over 66,600 households living in extreme poverty. The contribution, a statement from the EU agency said, will be channelled through PEGASE and amounts to 12 million euros….

Right-wing legislation stirs debate in Israel
12/16/2011 – JERUSALEM (Reuters) — Legislation promoted by right-wing lawmakers in Israel is raising concern that democratic values are under threat in a country that has long billed itself the only democracy in the Middle East. One bill could potentially paralyse dovish Israeli advocacy groups by imposing sharp limits on funding they receive from foreign governments, while others….

Report: 2 dead as light plane crashes in Israeli city
12/16/2011 – TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma’an) — A light plane crashed into an urban area in central Israel on Friday, Israeli media reported. Two people were killed after the plane struck a car when it crashed. The plane went down on a road near Modiin, between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, Israel’s Haaretz newspaper reported….

Protesters, military police clash in Cairo
12/16/2011 – CAIRO (Reuters) — Protesters clashed with military police in central Cairo on Friday after rumors spread that an anti-government activist was detained at a sit-in and badly beaten, in the worst violence since the start of Egypt’s first free election in decades. Police fired in the air after dawn to try to disperse around….

Clashes mar Egypt election, at least 2 dead
12/16/2011 – By Maha Dahan and Tamim ElyanCAIRO (Reuters) — At least two people were killed and 100 wounded in Cairo on Friday as demonstrators fought troops in the worst violence since Egypt began its first free election in six decades. In a pattern that has recurred during nine months of army rule since President Hosni Mubarak’….

International Solidarity Movement

21 arrested in Nabi Saleh demonstration commemorating the death of Mustafa Tamimi
12/16/2011 – International Solidarity Movement – 16 December 2011, Popular Struggle Coordination Committee – Soldiers attacked the peaceful demonstration, shooting tear-gas projectiles directly at protesters. 21 were arrested in an attempt to block the entrance to Halamish settlement and to reach the village’s confiscated spring. Hundreds joined the weekly demonstration in Nabi Saleh today, marking the killing of Mustafa Tamimi…. Related: In photos: Protesters brave tear gas in Nabi Saleh

Further violence against prisoners as the second stage of the swap deal begins
12/16/2011 – International Solidarity Movement – By Shahd Abusalama, 16 December 2011, Palestine from My Eyes – Sketch by Latuff – As the second stage of the swap deal begins, Israeli jailers escalate their violations of the simplest rights of the Palestinian political prisoners behind bars and exercise more violence against them. Such are the typical actions of typical Zionist soldiers. A statement…. Related: Palestine from My Eyes

In Photos: Settlement too close for comfort
12/16/2011 – International Solidarity Movement – By Amal, 16 December 2011 | International Solidarity Movement, West Bank – Kufr Qaddoum’s resistance is only getting stronger and is showing no signs of slowing down. The resilience of the Kufr Qaddoum residents is remarkable. Every week the Israeli Occupation Forces have increased their aggressive attacks, and yet the people still join together every….

In Photos: The construction of segregation
12/16/2011 – International Solidarity Movement – By Jenna Bereld and Samar, 16 December 2011,International Solidarity Movement, West Bank – Today, Israeli soldiers once again denied the Palestinians’ right to assemble and protest against the construction of the illegal separation wall. About fifty villagers of Qalandia gathered after the Friday prayer and went to the construction site in a peaceful demonstration….

Israeli soldiers raid Hebron homes ‘to stay in shape’
12/16/2011 – International Solidarity Movement – By Carol Vans, 15 December 2011, International Solidarity Movement, West Bank – Today on December 15, Israeli soldiers raided private property and at least one school in what appeared to be a military excercise in Hebron. Around 7:30 in the morning soldiers entered the playground of Ibrahimi elementary school and claimed that children had been throwing pieces of….

Settlers and military jump pedestrians in Tel Rumeida
12/16/2011 – International Solidarity Movement – By Fida Far, 16 December 2011, International Solidarity Movement, West Bank – When my friend and I decided to walk downtown, we didn’t expect that this walk could be dangerous. There was a funeral going on for a settler woman who had been killed by her ex-husband, who in turn committed suicide. First we….

Relief Web

World: 11 for 11: Our year in photos
Relief Web 15 Dec 2011 – Source: Trócaire Country: World , Haiti , Honduras , Kenya , Malawi , Mozambique , occupied Palestinian territory , Pakistan , Somalia , Zimbabwe Posted by Alan Whelan Below I’ve picked 11 of our most striking photos from a busy 2011, representing Trócaire’s work responding to emergencies in Haiti,…

World: Multilateral Political Missions and Preventive Diplomacy
Relief Web 15 Dec 2011 – Source: US Institute of Peace Country: World , Afghanistan , Armenia , Azerbaijan , Iraq , Kyrgyzstan , Nepal , occupied Palestinian territory , Serbia , Somalia , the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia Special Report by Richard Gowan Summary More than six thousand personnel are deployed in political missions…

World: Armed groups’organizational structure and their strategic options
Relief Web 15 Dec 2011 – Source: ICRC Country: World , Afghanistan , Libya , occupied Palestinian territory , Serbia , Sudan (the) , Western Sahara Abstract The organizational structures of armed groups, whether they develop by accident or by design, affect their strategic choices during the conflict and their ability to…

The National

US sues companies accused of laundering money to finance Hizbollah
The National 16 Dec 2011 – The suit is asking for Dh1.76 billion from Lebanese financial companies, including the Lebanese Canadian Bank. It also names 30 US-based car dealerships and a shipping firm said to be involved in the conspiracy.

Bouazizi’s courage changed nations
The National 16 Dec 2011 – The world that a humble Tunisian vendor left behind is very different to the one that his self-immolation inspired. One year on, The National looks back at the events that sparked the upheaval that transformed Tunisia and the region.

At least one person killed, 170 wounded in Cairo clashes
The National 16 Dec 2011 – Scenes of men standing on the edge of the roof of the cabinet building, hurling rocks at the protesters on the street below, inspired thousands of people to come out and support the demonstrations.

200,000 fill streets to rally against Syria regime
The National 16 Dec 2011 – At least four people were killed by security forces nationwide yesterday, according to human rights groups, although some activists said the actual number was 14.

‘Hundreds of thousands’ of Yemeni protesters demand Saleh’s prosecution
The National 15 Dec 2011 – The parliament is required to vote on the immunity law next week, according to the Gulf-brokered power transition plan Mr Saleh signed on November 23.


Obama to U.S. Jews: My administration has done more than any other to support Israel
Ha’aretz – U.S. President speaks before Union for Reform Judaism conference, stresses that U.S. support for Israel is ‘unshakeable.’

Chemi Shalev / The bottom line: Obama speaks Jewish, Republicans don’t
Ha’aretz – Obama knew how to touch all the right buttons of his Reform and liberal Jewish audience during his address to the Union for Reform Judaism.

Palestinian paramedics: Man dies from gunfire on Israel-Gaza border
Ha’aretz – IDF and a Gaza health official do not confirm whether man was killed by military; mortar rocket falls in southern Israel.

Syrians protest against Assad after Russia sharpens criticism of Damascus
Ha’aretz – Assad forces kill 13 people, activists say, during widespread anti-regime protests; activists say some 200,000 people marched throughout country, which could be one of the biggest turnouts by protesters in weeks.

The quiet man who’s making a storm in Israel’s Supreme Court scene: Justice Asher Grunis
Ha’aretz – Dubbed a conservative and the darling of the right wing, Justice Asher Grunis has nonetheless handed down some liberal decisions in his time. If he succeeds in becoming the next president of the Supreme Court, which way will he turn?

Three dead, 257 wounded in Egypt clashes
Ha’aretz – Violence clouds election set to empower Islamists, while generals struggle for control of post-Mubarak Egypt.

Israeli, German researchers expose the Nazi past of a prominent historian and ‘resistance hero’
Ha’aretz – Research shows that the historian Karl Bosl swept away his Nazi past and replaced it with the image of a brave opponent of the Nazis.

Israeli man changes his name to Mark Zuckerberg
Ha’aretz – Entrepreneur changes name to that of Facebook CEO so when the social networking site sues him for his online business, they will sue Mark Zuckerberg.

Russia curbs attempt to smuggle radioactive material into Iran, report says
Ha’aretz – Interfax news agency says radioactive sodium that can only be produced in a nuclear reactor apprehended at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport in luggage bound for Iran.

Egypt clashes leave at least two dead as military attacks protesters
Ha’aretz – Violence starts Thursday when military police tries to break up a sit-in by pro-democracy activists in front of Egypt cabinet building.

Syria security forces hunt deserters near Jordan border
Ha’aretz – The deserters, who have joined the opposition against Bashar Assad’s regime, have reportedly killed more than 45 Syrian government soldiers in the past three days.

Barak: Israel won’t accept Palestinian state that perpetuates Mideast conflict
Ha’aretz – At Union for Reform Judaism conference near Washington, Defense Minister says supports formation of viable, democratic Palestinian state through direct peace talks with Israel.

Light plane crashes into central Israel city, 2 killed
Ha’aretz – Ultralight plane goes down on road near city of Modi’in, hits moving vehicles; emergency crews arrive at scene.

West Bank rabbi hosts female musicians to protest Israeli women’s exclusion
Ha’aretz – Rabbi Menachem Froman tells the large audience of men and women at the Tekoa synagogue, he sees humiliation and exclusion of women as ‘darkness.’

Jerusalem Post

Three dead and 257 wounded in Egyptian clashes
Jerusalem Post 16 Dec 2011 – Troops, protesters battle in central Cairo; violence clouds election set to empower Islamists; generals struggle for control of post-Mubarak Egypt.

‘Palestinian dies from IDF fire in Gaza’
Jerusalem Post 16 Dec 2011 – Gaza hospital officials say 1 dead, 2 injured; IDF spokesman: Patrol troops on Israeli side heard explosion, responded with fire.

‘Frustrated’ Obama defends record on Israel
Jerusalem Post 16 Dec 2011 – Courting the Jewish vote, US President Barack Obama says his administration has been the strongest on Israel’s security, acknowledges “frustration” on peace process in speech to Union for Reform Judaism.

Court nixes delay to stage two of Schalit deal
Jerusalem Post 16 Dec 2011 – Justices say government must honor the deal, release of 550 prisoners expected to go ahead Sunday.

France rejects Russia’s Syria resolution
Jerusalem Post 16 Dec 2011 – Text of Russian surprise draft resolution on Syrian violence is still too weak; deserters kill 27 Syrian soldiers.

Court rejects delay to stage two of Schalit deal
Jerusalem Post 16 Dec 2011 – High Court decision allows second stage of Gilad Schalit exchange deal to move forward as planned.

Russia seizes radioactive material en route to Iran
Jerusalem Post 16 Dec 2011 – 18 pieces of radioactive metal found in luggage of Tehran-bound passenger at Moscow airport; no apparent weapons use.

2 killed in light aircraft crash in Modi’in
Jerusalem Post 16 Dec 2011 – Plane crashes into parked car on Menahem Begin Street; victims are two people in their 50s who were passengers on plane.

Egypt protesters clash with military police in Cairo
Jerusalem Post 16 Dec 2011 – Witnesses say demonstrators set cars alight, throw stones at police after rumors that activist had been detained.

The Numbers Crunch: Gingrich on the rise
Jerusalem Post 16 Dec 2011 – JPost readers want Gingrich for president, Washington-Tehran relations take 3% of the US newshole, and Egyptians keep tweeting about elections.

West welcomes Russian draft resolution on Syria
Jerusalem Post 16 Dec 2011 – Text of new draft is still too weak but there’s room for negotiation, Western UN envoys say; deserters kill 27 Syrian soldiers.

Police suspect murder-suicide in Kiryat Arba
Jerusalem Post 16 Dec 2011 – Man and woman found shot to death in apartment; police believe man shot his ex-wife, and then killed himself.

W. Bank: 3rd of IDF used against ‘price-tag’ attacks
Jerusalem Post 16 Dec 2011 – Senior officer says move means less forces to prevent terrorism; Maj.- Gen. Mizrachi may come under 24-hour protection.

Turkish FM: Israel ‘kneels down’ to us
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2011 – Davutoglu says Turkish foreign policy has pushed Israel to ‘kneel down,’ insists “zero problems with neighbors” policy works.

Holocaust archive to open in Britain
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2011 – Archive will be available free of charge at the Wiener Library in London, world’s oldest Holocaust memorial institution.

Global Affairs: All change at Red Square
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2011 – Confrontation brewing between Kremlin and political opponents, but ruling party expected to survive.

Security and Defense: Combating lawlessness
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2011 – IDF feels that to tackle ‘price-tag’ phenomenon, the gov’t needs to toughen legislation, increase policing, send a clear message.

Jewish World: In limbo, in Gondar
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2011 – Thousands in Ethiopia still hope for recognition of their right to immigrate to the Jewish homeland.

Note to Newt (Part I): Uninventing Palestinians
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2011 – The Palestinians aspiration is not to establish a state of their own but to dismantle a state of others

Column One: Violent rioters and media goons
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2011 – Muslim rioters, leftists routinely resort to violence to get their way.

Extreme or mainstream?
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2011 – Today’s young generation includes various strains of ultra-Orthodoxy, and is blindly following in the radical footsteps of those before them.

The Human Spirit: Shabbat in Harlem
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2011 – Jews fled to the Bronx, Brooklyn and the Upper West Side. By 1930, 5,000 Jewish residents remained of the hundreds of thousands who had lived in Harlem.

Guest Columnist: Does Israel care about the Diaspora?
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2011 – Our future as a nation is linked to the immutable relationship that exists between Israel and Jews abroad.

Consider This: A modest proposal
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2011 – Let’s be clear: the veil wearers are cuckoo. But they didn’t lose their marbles all by themselves.

Eisenbud’s Odyssey: Celebrating celebrity celluloid
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2011 – Woody Allen once said that you can tell a lot about a society based on whom they celebrate.

Another tack: The poison in the well
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2011 – We won’t be better liked for being weaker, and getting weaker won’t improve our self-preservation prospects.

Brothers and blood
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2011 – ‘Judah said to his brothers: What gain will there be if we kill our brother and cover up his blood? Let us sell him to the Ishmaelites…’ (Genesis 37:26, 27)

RX For Readers: Know your pills
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2011 – Ask your pharmacist to identify the contents of your medication if you think certain ingredients may be problematic.

Arrivals: A dream come true
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2011 – David Riflin, 58, moved from London to Ra’anana in 2010.

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.

The Guardian

Palestinian envoy’s wife ‘forced back to Jerusalem during cancer treatment’
The Guardian 16 Dec 2011 – London ambassador says Israeli refusal to renew wife’s residency papers led to trip that hastened her death Israeli authorities made the wife of the Palestinian ambassador in London interrupt a course of chemotherapy in order to…

Inter Press Service

How Maliki and Iran Outsmarted the U.S. on Troop Withdrawal
IPS Defence Secretary Leon Panetta’s suggestion that the end of the U.S. troop presence in Iraq is part of a U.S. military success story ignores the fact that the George W. Bush administration and the U.S. military had planned to maintain a semi-permanent military presence in Iraq.

U.S.: Iraq Intervention Ends with Scarcely a Whimper
IPS When the United States formally ended its eight-and-a-half year military adventure in Iraq on Thursday with a flag-lowering ceremony presided over by Defence Secretary Leon Panetta Baghdad, hardly anyone here seemed to notice, let alone mark the occasion in a special manner.


The daily ordeal of getting to school in Hebron
Uruknet December 16, 2011 – The Qurduba School in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron is once again a target for harassment by Israeli occupation forces, as new restrictions on freedom of movement bring a wave of settler attacks and soldier violence. Established in 1984, the Qurduba School sits surrounded by five Israeli settlements on a…

Newt Gingrich’s Brilliant Insight about Palestinians
Uruknet December 15, 2011 – U.S. presidential aspirant, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich recently declared that Palestinians are an “invented” people. This is a brilliant insight that lays the basis, finally, for a real solution to the Middle East conflict. Gingrich simply noted the well-known facts that Palestine, though referred to in old maps, was once…

Military Resistance 9L11 : Crossing the Line
Uruknet December 15, 2011 – … Iraqi officials said two large explosions have damaged an oil pipeline in southern Iraq and set off a huge blaze. The deputy head of the Basra provincial council, Ahmed al-Sulaiti, said firefighters were still battling the fire late Tuesday. Security official in Basra said the explosions were set off by bombs. The…

The Tripoli Massacres: Dr. Salem al-Farjani
Uruknet December 15, 2011 – In two important ways this man may be relevant to our understanding of the mysterious massacres across the capitol in August and September. First, the text: A recent Associated Press Article by Vanessa Gera, December 10, mentions his relevance in “liberated Libya.” Al-Ferjani is a big wheel in the NTC’s search for…

Iraq Disaster
Uruknet December 15, 2011 – Not even in Ghana can you escape the US propaganda surrounding the final pull-out of troops (but not oil companies) from Iraq. They leave Iraq “sovereign and free”, a variety of thuggish looking and dull Americans have just told us. But being in Ghana I probably see rather more balance on TV…

Israel nuclear workers say radiation gave them cancer
Uruknet December 15, 2011 — 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 from cancer and other diseases…

Iraq snapshot – December 15, 2011
Uruknet December 15, 2011. Chaos and violence continue, Morning Joe brews a new form of sexism: Erasing all US women who served in the Iraq War, a mayor is kidnapped in Iraq (and killed), Senator Patty Murray calls for a new outpatient care center for veterans and more… And Nouri remains in control of Iraq because the…

Syria News – December 15, 2011 (Warning: Graphic Videos)
Uruknet December 15, 2011 – The number of Syria’s martyrs rose to 13 martyrs including a female child, 4 martyrs in both Homs and Daraa, two martyrs in Idlib, and a martyrs in each of Damascus Suburbs, Hassakeh, and Hama…Hama : the Free Syrian Army destroyed one security car and many tanks in the Arb’een neighbourhood…Homs: Hula: the…

PCHR Appeals to Palestinian President to Immediately Intervene to Save Lives of 450 Patients in Gaza
Uruknet December 15, 2011 – The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) appeals to the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, to immediately intervene to save the lives of 450 patients, including 15 children, in the Gaza Strip who suffer from renal failure, as their lives are endangered due to the lack of Dialysis filers, which are vital disposables…

Obama at Fort Bragg: A hypocritical embrace of a criminal war
Uruknet December 15, 2011 – Missing from this narrative was any reference to the cost that the US war imposed on its unwilling victims, the Iraqi people. According to credible estimates, these costs include a million Iraqi lives. Some four million people were driven from their homes, forced to flee the country or become internal refugees. Basic…

Lawless Israeli Oppression in Palestine: Shooting Mustafa Tamimi at Point Blank Range
Uruknet December 15, 2011 – On December 9, al-Nabi Saleh village residents protested peacefully against settlers stealing their land. At point blank range, an Israeli soldier fired a tear-gas canister directly at Mustafa Tamimi’s head, killing him. On December 10, thousands of Palestinians protested against his cold-blooded murder. Tamimi was the 20th Palestinian killed this way in…

Tawarga Libyans plead for help to return home
Uruknet December 15, 2011 – Libyans from the town of Tawarga called upon the world powers on Wednesday to help them, saying ex-rebels who were backed by NATO in fighting Moamer Kadhafi’s rule were stopping them from returning home. The people from Tawarga — who are mostly black-skinned Libyans now living in refugee camps — also accused…

Jewish settlers threaten to colonise Jordanian territory
Uruknet December 15, 2011 – Israeli media reports claim that dozens of Jewish settlers have crossed the border between Israel and the Kingdom of Jordan and threatened to establish a colony on Jordanian territory. The illegal settlers’ move was in response to the Kingdom’s stand on Israel’s plans to demolish the historic Mugharbeh Bridge leading to the…

Junkyard Gives Up Secret Accounts of Massacre in Iraq
Uruknet December 15, 2011 – …The 400 pages of interrogations, once closely guarded as secrets of war, were supposed to have been destroyed as the last American troops prepare to leave Iraq. Instead, they were discovered along with reams of other classified documents, including military maps showing helicopter routes and radar capabilities, by a reporter for The…

Congressional Tyranny, White House Surrender
Uruknet December 15, 2011 – Paraphrasing Shakespeare, something is rotten in the state of Capitol Hill. A majority of Congress is just about to put the finishing touches on an amendment to the military budget authorization legislation that will finish off some critical American rights under our Constitution. Here is how two retired 4 star marine generals,…

Symbolism, Steps Towards Statehood and so Much More
Uruknet December 15, 2011 – While the sun broke through the clouds and sent rays of sunshine over rainy Paris, the Palestinian flag was hoisted above the UNESCO headquarters yesterday. Both the ceremony and the media coverage were crammed with symbolism, and rightly so, as this is the first time the red, green, black and white flag…

Illegal FBI Spying on Community Groups
Uruknet December 15, 2011 – On December 1, an ACLU of Northern California press release headlined, “FOIA Documents Show FBI Illegally Collecting Intelligence Under Guise of Community Outreach,” saying: “The trust that community outreach efforts aim to create is undermined when the FBI exploits these programs to gather intelligence on the very members of the religious and…

No doubts about the memo: Kayani, Pasha
Uruknet December 15, 2011 – Tightening the noose around the mastermind of the treacherous memo, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Lt General Ahmad Shuja Pasha on Thursday unanimously told the Supreme Court that the memo was a conspiracy against the army and national security and the evidence corroborated…

Bitter memories haunt Iraq’s Falluja as U.S. departs
Uruknet December 15, 2011 – Now Falluja is recalling its past, bitter memories resurfacing of lost relatives and of the overwhelming violence visited on the city on the banks of the Euphrates river. “This scene must remain like it is as a testimony to the brutality of the Americans. For me, this scene is more beautiful than…

Obama administration backs bill authorizing indefinite military detention of US citizens
Uruknet December 15, 2011 – The Obama administration declared Wednesday afternoon that it was abandoning its nominal threat to veto a military authorization bill that explicitly authorizes the indefinite military detention of anyone the federal government declares to be a terrorist or supporter, including US citizens. The final passage of the bill is now virtually assured by…

“By All Means Necessary!” : Individual and Command Responsibility for Crimes against Humanity in Syria
Uruknet December 15, 2011 – … The 88-page report, ” By All Means Necessary!’: Individual and Command Responsibility for Crimes against Humanity in Syria,” is based on more than 60 interviews with defectors from the Syrian military and intelligence agencies. The defectors provided detailed information about their units’ participation in attacks, abuses against Syrian citizens, and the orders they…

Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (08- 14 December 2011)
Uruknet December 15, 2011 – Summary : Israeli violations of international law and humanitarian law in the OPT continued during the reporting period (08 – 14 December 2011): Shooting: During the reporting period, IOF killed 5 Palestinians, including a child, and wounded 26 civilians, including 10 children and 5 women in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip….

Vladimir Putin points to US drones, special forces in killing of Gaddafi
Uruknet December 15, 2011 – Vladimir Putin has accused the US of involvement in the death of Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi. “Drones, including American ones. They attacked his column,” Putin said during an annual televised phone-in with Russians, reported by The Daily Telegraph. “Then using the radio – through the Special Forces, who should not have been…

Within 24 Hours, Israeli Settlers and Extremists Set Two Mosques Ablaze in Separate Incidences
Uruknet December 15, 2011 – The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns, in the strongest terms, the criminal arson attack on two mosques, one by Israeli extremists in West Jerusalem and another by Jewish settlers in Burqa village, east of Ramallah. PCHR states that the cover, support and protection provided by Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) to…

Daily Star

Syrian farmer killed in mine explosion at Lebanon border
Daily Star 16 Dec 2011 A Syrian farmer was killed on Friday when a landmine exploded as he was driving his truck across an illegal border crossing into Lebanon, a medical source said.

Money can’t buy quick success
Daily Star 16 Dec 2011 Why is it that money can buy everything other than the two things we all really want?

Ahed looking to get in shape for Tadamoun Sour
Daily Star 16 Dec 2011 Having walked away with the last two Lebanese football league championships and waltzed their way to a Lebanese Cup win last season.

Lebanese teams shake up lineups
Daily Star 16 Dec 2011 Although most of Lebanon’s basketball followers have switched their attention to the national team’s effort in winning the gold medal in the Pan Arab Games in Doha (Dec. 7-23), transfer activity is still under way back…

Russian oil the winner from Syria, Iran sanctions
Daily Star 16 Dec 2011 Russia is emerging as the winner from international sanctions against Syria and stands to benefit even more if the EU bans imports of Iranian crude, keeping Russia’s Urals crude at stiff premiums for months more.

Furor as US hands over last Iraqi prisoner
Daily Star 16 Dec 2011 The United States on Friday handed its last prisoner in Iraq, a Hezbollah operative accused of plotting the killing of five US soldiers, to Iraqi authorities, sparking a political furor in Washington.

Two wounded in Beirut clash
Daily Star 16 Dec 2011 Two men were wounded Friday night when a dispute over a parking lot developed into a gunfight in the west Beirut neighborhood of Zaydaniyeh.

Russia’s Syria resolution needs changes: France
Daily Star 16 Dec 2011 Russia’s draft U.N. Security Council resolution on Syria is unacceptable to France in its current form, but Moscow’s recognition that the body must react to the bloodshed is a positive step.

Galaxy and iPhone to top smartphone holiday sales
Daily Star 16 Dec 2011 Apple’s long-awaited iPhone 4S and Samsung Electronics’ fresh, broad offering are likely to stand out in this holiday season’s smartphone sales which will otherwise be clouded by global economic uncertainty.

Exclusive: Made in Texas: Apple’s A5 iPhone chip
Daily Star 16 Dec 2011 Apple Inc is famous for relying on low-cost Asian manufacturers to both source and assemble its popular gadgets.

Commodity prices retreat on global economy strains
Daily Star 16 Dec 2011 Commodity prices slumped this week on increasing worries about the future of the eurozone, the possibility of fresh recession in major economies and a Chinese manufacturing slowdown.

Two die as bloody clashes overshadow Egypt election
Daily Star 16 Dec 2011 At least two persons were killed and more than 170 hurt on Friday as Egyptian protesters and security forces clashed in the worst violence in weeks.

Football: No decision yet on Suarez racism case – FA
Daily Star 16 Dec 2011 The disciplinary panel hearing allegations of racism by Liverpool striker Luis Suarez has not reached a decision and will continue working through the weekend, the FA confirmed Friday.

More than 4,500 Syrians sheltered in Lebanon: UN
Daily Star 16 Dec 2011 More than 4,500 Syrians fleeing a brutal crackdown on a revolt against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad have found shelter in neighbouring Lebanon.

Lebanese concert promoter suing Snoop Dogg
Daily Star 16 Dec 2011 Lebanese concert promoter Roger Kalaouz is suing Snoop Dogg for $280,000 for smoking weed at a club in Beirut.

Kuwaiti police beat, arrest protesters: witnesses
Daily Star 16 Dec 2011 Kuwait’s riot police beat up some protesters and arrested 25 during a demonstration Friday by stateless Arabs demanding Kuwaiti nationality rights, witnesses said.

Connelly urges Rai to support efforts to end brutality in Syria
Daily Star 16 Dec 2011 U.S. ambassador to urges Maronite patriarch to support efforts to end the Syrian government’s violent crackdown.

BlackBerry maker RIM’s net income falls in 3Q
Daily Star 16 Dec 2011 BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd. said Thursday that BlackBerry sales will fall sharply in the holiday quarter

Pope’s peace message: more power to world’s young
Daily Star 16 Dec 2011 Pope Benedict XVI called on the world’s political and educational leaders on Friday to empower the younger generations.

Thousands abused in Dutch Catholic institutions
Daily Star 16 Dec 2011 Thousands of children suffered sexual abuse in Dutch Catholic institutions over the past 65 years

YNet News

US congressman criticized for Nazi comparison
YNet News, 16 Dec 2011 – Rep. Allen West, a freshman Republican, made the Nazi reference Thursday when asked about Congress’ approval ratings and the blame the public has focused on … ….

Obama to US Jews: We stand with Israel
YNet News, 16 Dec 2011 – United States President Barack Obama delivered a keynote speech in front of thousands of Jewish Americans Friday at the 71st General Assembly of the Union for Reform … ….

Iran: Factory blast death toll reaches 16
YNet News, 16 Dec 2011 – The death toll from an explosion in a steel factory in the Iranian province of Yazd earlier this week has increased to 16, after nine people seriously hurt in the blast … ….

Egyptian soldiers clashes with protesters; 3 dead
YNet News, 16 Dec 2011 – At least two people were killed in clashes on Friday between demonstrators and troops in the worst violence since the start of Egypt’s first free election in six decades, … ….

‘Palestinians won’t stop pressing for UN seat’
YNet News, 16 Dec 2011 – A top representative says the Palestinians won’t stop pressing the UN Security Council until it accepts their bid for full UN membership. Speaking in Iceland on … ….

High Court OKs 2nd phase of Shalit deal
YNet News, 16 Dec 2011 – Supreme Court Justice Dorit Beinish and judges Asher Grunis and Elyakim Rubinstein rejected a petition filed by Shurat HaDin organization and two bereaved families asking … ….

Light plane crashes near Modiin; 2 dead
YNet News, 16 Dec 2011 – A light plane crashed in a residential area in the central Israeli city of Moddiin, Friday. Pilot Colonel (ret.) Elhanan Shmueli, 55, from Modiin and Shimshon Rozen, 60, … ….

Officials: Downed US drone was on CIA mission
YNet News, 16 Dec 2011 – Top US officials confirmed to CNN that RQ-170 Sentinel drone that crashed in….

Russian customs seize Iran-bound radioactive metal
YNet News, 16 Dec 2011 – Moscow’s Federal Customs Service seizes small shipment of radioactive isotope….

Settlers irked over new GOC Central Command
YNet News, 16 Dec 2011 – Brig.-Gen. Nitzan Alon’s nomination for sector chief has right-wing elements….

‘Turkey’s policies brought Israel to its knees’
YNet News, 16 Dec 2011 – Ankara’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu boasts Turkey’s firm Middle East….

US alleges huge Hezbollah money laundering web
YNet News, 16 Dec 2011 – Prosecutors says several Lebanese financial institutions helped Shiite terror….

Russia draft for UN-Syria resolution nixed
YNet News, 16 Dec 2011 – In surprise move, Moscow introduces conflict resolution bid on Syria to UN….

Nitzan Alon named new GOC Central Command
YNet News, 15 Dec 2011 – IDF chief Gantz promotes former Judea and Samaria Division commander who was….

Palestinian Information Center

Palestinian fisherman wounded by occupation navy
PIC – A Palestinian fisherman was wounded on Friday afternoon by bullets fired from an Israeli occupation gunboat while fishing at sea within the three mile limit imposed by occupation.

IOF troops arrest four in Silawan, including two children
PIC – IOF troops on Friday afternoon arrested Zeid Fatiha (15 years) and Muhammad al-Karaki (15 years) in the Silwan suburb to the south of the Aqsa Mosque. The two were taken to an unknown destination.

IOF troops raid Beit Kahel, supress demonstrations in Ma’sara and Bilin
PIC – A number of Palestinians were injured in confrontations with invading IOF troops in the village of Beit Kahel to the north west of al-Khalil.

New Zionist law to prevent Palestinian from reclaiming their stolen lands
PIC – Israeli media sources said that the occupation government is expected to support a law that will legitimize settlement outposts in the West Bank that breach Israeli occupation laws.

Occupation forces raid home of imprisoned Hamas leader
PIC – IOF troops on Thursday raided the home imprisoned Hamas leader, Sheikh Shaker Amarah, in the southern West Bank city of Jericho.

Ashqar: Second phase of the prisoner exchange include 55 children and six women
PIC – Reyadh al-Ashqar said that the second phase of the prisoner exchange deal with the Israeli occupation should see the release of 550 prisoners, including 55 children under the age of 18 and 6 women.

Beitawi calls for intensifying presence at mosques to defend them
PIC – The head of the Palestinian Scholars League, Sheikh Hamed al-Beitawi held the Israeli occupation government responsible for extremist Jewish settler spate of attacks against mosques.

Special forces raid Eishel prison and assault Palestinian captives
PIC – Sources from inside the Eishel prison informed the Ministry of Prisoners and Ex-Prisoners that special forces raided section 10 of the prison on Wednesday and searched room 8.

Human rights group appeal for saving the lives of 450 patients in Gaza
PIC – PCHR appealed on Thursday to the PA President, Mahmoud Abbas, to intervene to save the lives of 450 kidney patients in the Gaza Strip as their lives are endangered due to the lack of Dialysis filers.

National conference: Settlers’ arson attack on J’lem mosque a declaration of war
PIC – 15/12/2011 – 12:52 PM

Ihsanoglu slams Israel for setting up Shu’afat crossing in J’lem
PIC – 15/12/2011 – 12:58 PM

Delegations of 15 states coordinate efforts to stage worldwide rally for J’lem
PIC – 15/12/2011 – 01:12 PM


EU Provides €12m for Social Protection to Families

France Happy Palestinian-French Prisoner in Israel to be Released

Brazil Announces $7.5m Donation to UNRWA

Iceland Recognizes Palestinian State

Settlers Cut Down Olive Trees South of Nablus

Intifada Palestine

Netanyahu for President of (America)
Intifada-Palestine: 16 Dec 2011 – by Alan Hart It’s now clear that the Republican frontrunner in the race for the White House is Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. Officially the two Republican frontrunners are Newt “the Palestinians are an invented people” Gingrich and Mitt “Obama has pushed… more

IRAN-DRONEGATE: Washington’s Acrimony over the Downed Top Secret Spy Drone
Intifada-Palestine: 16 Dec 2011 – Washington is more than ever bent on carrying out secret black operations inside Iran and that it is harboring a malicious plan to orchestrate an attack on the Iranian nuclear sites if not an Armageddon in the region. by Dr. Ismail… more


U.S. Transfers Last Prisoner to Iraqi Custody
New York Times 16 Dec 2011 – Ali Musa Daqduq is accused of helping to orchestrate a January 2007 raid that killed five American soldiers.

In Baghdad, Panetta Leads Uneasy Closure to Conflict
New York Times 16 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.

Egyptian Military’s Civilian Advisers Suspend Work
New York Times 16 Dec 2011 – Protesters hurled Molotov cocktails at the empty Parliament and hundreds of judges monitoring elections threatened to quit over clashes at ballot counting centers.

Impatient Protesters Convulse Syria as Russia Offers New Resolution
New York Times 16 Dec 2011 – Hundreds of thousands demonstrated Friday as Bashar al-Assad’s regime faced a surprise Security Council resolution that called on all antagonists in the conflict to begin negotiations.

Panetta, in Turkey, Urges Improving Ties With Israel
New York Times 16 Dec 2011 – Turkey has raised its profile in the region, particularly in efforts to isolate Syria, but remains at odds with Israel over its treatment of Palestinians.

Exporting tears, exporting death
Jewish Voice for Peace –

Occupy Olympia launches Rachel Corrie Community Center
Mondoweiss – The encampment known as Occupy Olympia has been situated in Heritage Park in downtown for Olympia, Washigton, for two months. Yesterday morning, activists at the encampment received the following eviction notice: In response, last night members of Occupy Olympia marched across the street and took over…

Obama says nothing about Palestinians– because Indyk says Netanyahu has Congress in his ‘back pocket’
Mondoweiss – White House lawn, Wednesday (photo by White House fotog Chuck Kennedy Shocking headline in the New York Times’ story by Helene Cooper on Obama’s speech to the Reform Jews yesterday: “In Obama Speech on Israel, No Mention of Palestinians”  In a speech Friday to the convention…

‘Christopher Hitchens’s loathing for Israel…’ –John Podhoretz
Mondoweiss – John Podhoretz Like me, John Podhoretz lacks the ability to respond to Christopher Hitchens’s  passing (Chris I got loaded with you, in 89!) in any other terms than Israel: Christopher’s loathing for Israel originated in his days as part of Britain’s neo-Marxist left and its post-1967…

Iraq– I’m sorry
Mondoweiss – US troops and defence officials attend a flag-lowering ceremony in Baghdad to mark the end of operations in Iraq. Photograph: Ali Al-Saadi/AFP/Getty Images There was a war, now there isn’t. Iraqi VIPs snub US farewell : Yesterday, as the US formally declared at an official ceremony in…

Give it up to Hitchens!
Mondoweiss – I missed this. From an interview with Hugh Hewitt last summer ( h/t Andrew Sullivan ). The Said connection—the two were close in the 80s: In order for Israel to become part of the alliance against whatever we want to call it, religious barbarism, theocratic, possibly thermonuclear theocratic…

New Evidence Iran Cracked Communications System of U.S. Stealth Drone, Downed It
Tikun Olam – Captured U.S. RQ-170 drone on display in Iran (AFP/Getty) There is new evidence to support Iran’s claim that the U.S.’ most advanced stealth drone, the RQ-170, did not crash inside Iran due to a simple malfunction as U.S. officials claimed.  But rather, the Iranians attacked weaknesses…

New IDF Special Forces Command to Attack Iran
Tikun Olam – Yediot headline: ‘General Iran Command’ The IDF announced in the past few days that it was creating a new Special Forces command  (Hebrew) that would be designed to project Israeli force far beyond its borders.  It would operate behind enemy lines and take the fight to the…

IDF PR Flacks Branch Out into Tourism Promotion and Touting Nation’s Nobel Laureates
Tikun Olam – During the recent uproar over IDF Captain Peter Lerner’s cold-hearted Twitter #fail put-downs of the murdered Palestinian protester, Mustafa Tamimi , I spent some time reviewing his Twitter feed and that of others like Avital Leibovich and Captain Barak Raz.  Despite the fact that their lies and…

Florida governor visits IAI looking for arms jobs
Neged Neshek – Florida Governor Rick Scott is in Israel for a week with State Senate President Mike Haridopolos and others. His visit included a trip to Israel Aerospace Industries facilities. Haridopolos wrote , ” We are hopeful that we can build on the early relationships made today so we…

Nigeria: The Business of Terror
allAfrica.com 16 Dec 2011 – The government’s confused strategy has made little headway against the Boko Haram militia’s shootings and bombings across northern Nigeria.

Is Michele Bachmann a Compulsive Liar or Just Clueless?
Arab American Institute 16 Dec 2011 – So no longer is she only alleging that Iran said things they actually didn?t, but now we know ?without a shadow of doubt? that the attack will happen, unless we do something about it. That?s the sort of lying that makes the Iraq war propaganda of…

Syria opposition stages congress
BBC 16 Dec 2011 – The Syrian National Council, a coalition of groups opposed to President Assad, opens its first congress in Tunisia, as violence in Syria continues.

UN lifts Libyan banks sanctions
BBC 16 Dec 2011 – The UN Security Council lifts sanctions on Libya’s central bank to ease a cash crisis in the post-Gaddafi country, diplomats say.

‘Hezbollah laundered funds’ in US
BBC 16 Dec 2011 – Three Lebanese financial institutions linked to Hezbollah laundered more than $300m through the US used car market, US prosecutors say.

Netanyahu for President (of America)
Sabbah report 16 Dec 2011 – It’s now clear that the Republican frontrunner in the race for the White House is Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. Officially the two Republican frontrunners are Newt “the Palestinians are an invented people” Gingrich and Mitt “Obama has pushed Israel under a bus” Romney.

Obama Ad Condemns Israel Aid Opponents
Sabbah report 16 Dec 2011 – What is so bizarre about the Obama campaign’s hostility toward those who oppose aid to Israel is that Israel doesn’t need U.S. assistance to begin with. Israel, the region’s only nuclear power, has by far the strongest military capability in the greater Middle East, and it…

470 Palestinians Arrested Since First Phase of Prisoner Exchange
Sabbah report 16 Dec 2011 – Israeli Occupying Forces (IOF) have arrested nearly 470 Palestinians since 18 October 2011 , when 477 Palestinian political prisoners were released in exchange for captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit as part of the first phase of the prisoner exchange deal concluded by the Israeli government and Hamas…


Further violence against prisoners as the second stage of the swap deal begins
Shahd Abusalama, Palestine from My Eyes 12/16/2011
      As the second stage of the swap deal begins, Israeli jailers escalate their violations of the simplest rights of the Palestinian political prisoners behind bars and exercise more violence against them. Such are the typical actions of typical Zionist soldiers.
     A statement I have heard repeatedly from all my friends who are former prisoners, every time I have asked about how Israeli torture impacts the prisoners’ spirits, is that “Israeli jailers never keep a sense of stability inside prisons. They expose prisoners to extremely difficult situations tying to depress their spirits. However, they always fail at achieving their inhumane aim. Their cruelty brings more strength and will out of the prisoners. No matter how strong those armed and heartless jailers are, our barehanded prisoners are stronger in spirit.”
     On Tuesday, 13 December, a savage group of armed Israeli jailers broke into section 10 of Eichel prison and attacked prisoners aggressively. They sprayed tear gas and pepper powder into the detainees, which resulted in several injuries and cases of suffocation. They summoned additional military units to break into all 13 rooms of the section. Adding more savagery, they confiscated all the detainees’ possessions, dragging away TV, fans, banning them from the cafeteria, and cutting off electricity and water, leaving Eichel Prison isolated from the outer world.
     Rebelling against this violent aggression, the prisoners reacted by chanting and banging on doors. Our strong-willed detainees have started a short-term hunger strike protesting the unjustified attack, and threatened to take serious protest action, like refusing to stand up for the daily count, in objection to Israeli soldiers’ brutality and arrogance. more.. e-mail

Newt Gingrich: ignoramus, cheat, cynic or all three?
Uri Avnery, Redress 12/17/2011
      My God, what a bizarre lot these Republican aspirants for the US presidency are!
     What a sorry bunch of ignoramuses and downright crazies. Or, at best, what a bunch of cheats and cynics! (With the possible exception of the good doctor Ron Paul.)”
     Is this the best a great and proud nation can produce? How frightening the thought that one of them may actually become the most powerful person in the world, with a finger on the biggest nuclear button!
     But let’s concentrate on the present front-runner (Republicans seem to change front-runners like a fastidious beau changes socks).
     It’s Newt Gingrich. Remember him? The Speaker of the House who had an extramarital affair with an intern while at the same time leading the campaign to impeach President Bill Clinton for having an affair with an intern.
     But that’s not the point. The point is that this intellectual giant – named after Isaac Newton, perhaps the greatest scientist ever – has discovered a great historical truth.
     The original Newton discovered the law of gravity. Newton Leroy Gingrich has discovered something no less earth-shaking: there is an “invented” people around, referring to the Palestinians…
     From its very beginning, the Zionist movement has denied the existence of the Palestinian people. It’s an article of faith. more.. e-mail

Legal researcher on Israel: ‘Segregation within segregation within segregation’
Mikaela Levin, Alternative Information Center 12/12/2011
      When people discuss apartheid in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), they tend to talk about the discrimination against the Palestinians on both sides of the separation barrier. Simone O’Brien, a legal researcher at Badil, proposes a more complex approach to the subject. O’Brien argues that apartheid has evolved in Israel throughout the last six decades and that, instead of recreating the segregation between white and black in South Africa, Israel has come up with a model of segregation within segregation within segregation that involves all of historic Palestine.
     “Gazans today are completely separated; they can’t go to 48 Israel or to the West Bank, except for very exceptional cases based on humanitarian reasons,” O’Brien said. “Today even spousal reunification is not [considered] a humanitarian reason. The people in the West Bank can’t get to East Jerusalem in most cases and the fact that refugees are banned from returning is, in itself, an act of apartheid. Also, the Jordan Valley is now pretty much a closed zone and the H2 area of Hebron is too a closed zone.”
     Simone’s research is part of a legal report that Badil, a local NGO from Bethlehem that works on the Palestinian refugees’ right of return, will publish in the next months. The main goal of the research is to use legal tools to prove that the state of Israel imposes apartheid on its own Palestinian citizens and on the Palestinian population in the OPT.
     Just some weeks ago, in November, Simone travelled to South Africa to attend the Russell Tribunal, a new version of the famous tribunal created in 1966 by renowned intellectuals from all over the world to judge the atrocities committed in Vietnam. Today, the new members of the tribunal gathered to hear testimony from experts as to whether the situation in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories constitutes apartheid. more.. e-mail

The daily ordeal of getting to school in Hebron
Electronic Intifada: 15 Dec 2011 – Ben Lorber The Electronic Intifada Hebron Palestinian schoolchildren and their teachers face violent settler attacks and Israeli army movement restrictions in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron.more

mornings in Palestine
In Gaza: 16 Dec 2011 – I’ve been waking up by 7 or earlier lately, mostly because I’ve had a number of early morning appointments in Gaza City but also because if I wake before the power cuts I can charge the laptop whose battery, like all my laptops, is almost useless. Most mornings are quiet, just bird calls, rooster crows, and footsteps of children leaving for the 7 am school start. Often, Emad’s father is already awake and fiddling with the series of pumps (and generators if the power is already out) that bring town water to the various tanks that supply the 50-some people in this home. And on any given day the aggravating buzz of Israeli drones or hum (or rush, depending on whether they low-fly) of Israeli warplanes is the elevator music background that all of us wish would just end already. Today, Friday, the kids sleep in but most women rise…more

Newt Makes a Discovery – ‘With Friends Like These..’
Palestine Chronicle: 16 Dec 2011 – By Uri Avnery My God, what a bizarre lot these Republican aspirants for the US presidency are! What a sorry bunch of ignoramuses and downright crazies. Or, at best, what a bunch of cheats and cynics! (With the possible exception of the good doctor Ron Paul)”. Is this the best a great and proud nation can produce? How frightening the thought that one of them may actually become the most powerful person in the world, with a finger on the biggest nuclear button! But let’s concentrate on the present front-runner. (Republicans seem to change front-runners like a fastidious beau changes socks.) It’s Newt Gingrich. Remember him? The Speaker of the House who had an extra-marital affair with an intern while at the same time leading the campaign to impeach President Bill Clinton for having an affair with an intern. But that’s not the point. The point is that this intellectual…more

Congressional Tyranny, White House Surrender
Palestine Chronicle: 15 Dec 2011 – By Ralph Nader Paraphrasing Shakespeare, something is rotten in the state of Capitol Hill. A majority of Congress is just about to put the finishing touches on an amendment to the military budget authorization legislation that will finish off some critical American rights under our Constitution. Here is how two retired 4 star marine generals, Charles C. Krulak and Joseph P. Hoar, described in the New York Times the stripmining of your freedom to resist tyranny in urging a veto by President Obama: “One provision would authorize the military to indefinitely detain without charge people suspected of involvement with terrorism, including United States citizens apprehended on American soil. Due process would be a thing of the past…. “A second provision would mandate military custody for most terrorism suspects. It would force on the military responsibilities it hasn’t sought”…”for domestic law enforcement….” “A third provision would further extend a ban on…more

The Gate of Mercy?
Palestine Chronicle: 15 Dec 2011 – By Tamar Fleishman An hour and twenty minutes is a lot of time when you are at the checkpoint and you advance only by twenty meters, given that it’s not even the rush hour and most people are heading towards Palestine and not out of it. After years of experience you know better than to wonder about that which is beyond you and which you will never understand. Only the soldier in the glassed post, who was driven out of his bubble by boredom, tried to explain: “It’s in accordance to the orders… yes, the checkpoint commanders can see through their plasma screens everything that is going on both inside and outside… it’s probably because the computers crashed…” The soldier also showed some compassion for the parents of an ill baby who kept coughing and suffocating from the cough, they were on their way to get treatment in a hospital…more

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