VTJP Palestine/Israel Newslinks 23 December 2011: The undeniable Palestinian right to resist occupation

23 December 2011 — VTJP


International Middle East Media Center

Eshtayya: “Palestinian Lands Are For the Palestinians, Not For Settlements”
IMEMC – Mohammad Eshtayya, member of the Central Committee of Fateh movement, headed by Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, stated that Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and his government, must understand that the Palestinian lands are for the Palestinian people, and not for the illegal Israeli settlements. …

Troops Attack Bil’in Weekly Protest; Dozens Injured
IMEMC – Israeli soldiers attacked on Friday the weekly nonviolent protest against the illegal Israeli Annexation Wall and settlements, in Bil’in village, near the central West Bank city of Ramallah. …

EU Warns Israel Against Connecting Ma’ale Adumim With Jerusalem
IMEMC – The European Union warned the Israeli government against creating a geographical contiguity between the Ma’ale Adumim settlement and occupied East Jerusalem by constructing a new settlement in the area. …

PCHR Weekly Report: One Palestinian killed, three wounded by Israeli forces this week
IMEMC – In its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the week of 15- 21 December 2011, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights found that one Palestinian civilian was killed and three wounded by Israeli troops this week. …

Ma’an News

Israeli gunfire injures Palestinian demonstrator
12/23/2011 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces shot and injured a Palestinian protester in the occupied West Bank, activists in Nabi Saleh village near Ramallah said Friday. The protester was shot in the leg, activists said, pointing to photos taken Friday. Two protesters were arrested at the demonstration, they said, while a photographer suffered a light…. Related: Live sniper-fire injures protester in Nabi Saleh

Mayor: Israeli forces destroy wells, other structures
12/23/2011 – HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli forces demolished wells and agricultural structures in Ithna near Hebron on Thursday, the town’s mayor said. Jamal Tmaizi said an Israeli force raided the town with bulldozers and destroyed a water tank and two wells which belong to Mohammad Hasan Abu Asaad and Mohammad Badawi Tmaizi. They also….

Israeli shelling east of Khan Younis
12/23/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israeli forces shelled on Friday morning east of Khan Younis in the south of the Gaza Strip. Eyewitnesses in the al-Zana area said they heard three explosions that were a result of Israeli shelling in an open area. Gaza medical official Adham Abu Salmiya told Ma’an there were….

New ‘wall museum’ tells women’s stories
12/24/2011 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A unique museum has been set up on the path of Israel’s wall, which snakes through the West Bank city of Bethlehem. An initiative of the Sumud Story House, it is designed to communicate Palestinian women’s stories about the “truth of Palestinian life which the wall tries….

Hundreds of children march to Nativity Square
12/24/2011 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Over 1,000 children have marched through Bethlehem to mark the start of Christmas in the West Bank city. The “Children Without Borders” event is held annually, and this year they walked to Nativity Square from the John Paul II Institute. Clowns and Santa Clauses were in attendance, as well as members….

In photos: Santa joins West Bank wall protest
12/23/2011 – MaanImages / Bilin popular committee – Santa Clauses with Palestinian flags rallied against Israel’s wall in the occupied West Bank on Saturday, Dec. 23, ahead of Christmas. Soldiers dispersed the protest with tear gas. At the rally, Palestinians called for national unity, resistance and freedom for prisoners. The Bilin popular committee appealed to the Palestinian….

Hamas says it plans to join Fatah-dominated PLO
12/23/2011 – GAZA CITY (Reuters) — Rival Palestinian factions took a significant step towards reconciliation Thursday as the Islamist group Hamas said it planned to join President Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestine Liberation Organization. Abbas held a meeting in Cairo with leaders from the factions, including Hamas chief Khalid Mashaal, where a committee was formed to prepare for….

Gaza Christians head to Bethlehem
12/23/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Palestinian Christians from the Gaza Strip started on Thursday to leave Gaza on their way to Bethlehem to participate in the Christmas celebrations. Maher Sabha, director of the crossings in Hamas’ interior ministry, said 145 Christians left Gaza through the Erez crossing going to the West Bank for Christmas….

PA expects 50,000 tourists during 2-day surge
12/24/2011 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The Palestinian Authority Ministry of Tourism expects more than 100,000 tourists to visit Bethlehem by the end of the month for Christmas and New Year holidays. Minister Khulud Deibes said 50,000 pilgrims would visit Bethlehem on Dec. 24 and 25 for the midnight mass and Christmas celebrations. Moreover, she expects the….

40 killed, 100 wounded in Syria blasts
12/23/2011 – BEIRUT (Reuters) — Forty people were killed and 100 wounded in two blasts which struck Damascus on Friday, Syria’s Dunia television channel reported, quoting its correspondent on the scene. Dunia said most of the casualties in the explosions, which struck near security sites in the capital, were civilians. Initial footage of the blast showed….

Egypt activists gather for mass rally against army
12/23/2011 – By Edmund Blair and Marwa AwadCAIRO (Reuters) — Egyptian protesters gathered in Cairo for a mass rally they called for on Friday against the military’s handling of protests that killed 17 people and have drawn international criticism of the ruling generals. Protesters who fought soldiers and police in the capital for five days until….

Russia warns of religious rift after Arab spring
12/23/2011 – MOSCOW (Reuters) — Russia is concerned that the Arab Spring revolutions could sow further turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa by provoking a potentially catastrophic rift between Sunni and Shiite Muslims, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said. In written answers to Reuters, Lavrov said the events in the region were still unfolding and cautioned that….

Arab League monitors to visit Syria next week
12/23/2011 – CAIRO (Reuters) — The first batch of Arab League monitors will head to Syria next week to assess whether Damascus is abiding by an Arab peace plan to end a nine-month crackdown on protesters, Egypt’s state news agency reported on Friday.” The mission of Arab League monitors will leave for Syria this Monday under….

Egyptians rally against army over beatings of protesters
12/23/2011 – By Edmund Blair and Marwa AwadCAIRO (Reuters) — Thousands of Egyptians rallied in Cairo and other cities on Friday to demand the military give up power and vent their anger after 17 people were killed in protests where troops beat and clubbed women and men even as they lay on the ground. One image in particular….

Analysis: Syria bombings signal deadlier phase of revolt
12/23/2011 – LONDON (Reuters) — Two suicide bombs that killed 40 people in Damascus on Friday may mark a new order of violence aimed at toppling Syrian leader Bashar Assad, although some of his foes pointed the finger at his own intelligence services.” We have all sorts of suspicions that this could be organised by the regime itself….

Palestine News Network

Magi are Back to Bethlehem: Millions of Children Participate in “Children without Borders†March
PNN – PNNThree knights sitting on camels leaded the march that was set by John Paul II institute in its forth March, under the title of “Children without limits” for a better future. The…

Christmas Tree Consists of Walls, Wires, Gas Bombs
PNN – by Monjed JadouIt’s a Christmas tree, but it differs from the traditional one this year. It holds a clear political message reflecting the suffering of Palestine under the Israeli occupation. It’s a…

Israeli Intelligence Warns Hatem Abdul Qader Against Meetings in Jerusalem
PNN – PNNOn Thursday, Israeli General Security service Shabak warned Hatem Abdel Qader, the PA official in charge of the Jerusalem file, against holding any Palestinian or Palestinian-Israeli meetings in the city. The warning…

Disease Threatens 15 Prisoners in al-Ramlah Prison, Israelis Raid Freed Prisoner’s Home
PNN – PNNOn Friday, freed prisoner Yasser Amin Nazzal said some of his fellow detainees were suffering from “tragic health conditions” in al-Ramleh prison after being shot by the Israeli army. Forty-six-year-old Nazzal, from…

UN Officially Protests Israeli Settlement in E1 Area near Jerusalem
PNN – PNNOn Friday, the United Nations presented an official protest to the Israeli Foreign Ministry about the demolition of Palestinian homes in the E1 area, located between Jerusalem and the illegal Ma’ale Adumim…

International Solidarity Movement

Live sniper-fire injures protester in Nabi Saleh
12/23/2011 – International Solidarity Movement – 23 December 2011, Popular Struggle Coordination Committee – Two weeks after the killing of Mustafa Tamimi during a demonstration in the village, an Israeli sniper shot a protester with live 0. 22? caliber ammunition, banned for crowd control purposes. Earlier today, an Israeli military sniper opened fire at demonstrators in the village of Nabi Saleh…. Related: Israeli gunfire injures Palestinian demonstrator

U.S. says it finds 5,000 missiles in post-Gadhafi Libya
Ha’aretz – 23 Dec 2011

Alan Gross not part of Cuba’s 2,900-person prisoner amnesty
Ha’aretz – 23 Dec 2011

Obama signs bill that includes added U.S. military assistance to Israel
Ha’aretz – 23 Dec 2011

‘Arab League monitors to leave for Syria on Monday’
Ha’aretz – 23 Dec 2011

U.S. condemns Damascus attacks, says Arab League mission to Syria must proceed
Ha’aretz – 23 Dec 2011

Erdogan accuses France of Algeria genocide amind new diplomatic tensions
Ha’aretz – 23 Dec 2011

Hamas will focus on popular protests in struggle with Israel, group chief says
Ha’aretz – 23 Dec 2011

Israel MKs slam Jerusalem mayor for suggesting surrender of Palestinian neighborhoods
Ha’aretz – 23 Dec 2011

Suicide bombings in Syria capital kill 40, report says
Ha’aretz – 23 Dec 2011

Shooting Israel / Life through others’ lenses
Ha’aretz – 23 Dec 2011

The Israeli Santa Claus: Old, fat, and likeable
Ha’aretz – 23 Dec 2011

Israel’s real Rosa Parks takes to the buses
Ha’aretz – 23 Dec 2011

Twin explosions hit Syria security sites in Damascus
Ha’aretz – 23 Dec 2011

Report: Israeli company sold surveillance equipment to Iran
Ha’aretz – 23 Dec 2011

Jerusalem Post

Russia offers new UN Syria draft, Germany unsatisfied
Jerusalem Post 23 Dec 2011 – Russian UN Ambassador says arms embargo “not going to happen”; German envoy calls new resolution “insufficient,” says council must support Arab League.

Agency: Arab League monitors to leave for Syria
Jerusalem Post 23 Dec 2011 – First batch to consist of over 50 monitors; Violence continues as 2 car bombs in capital kill 44; Syria Foreign Ministry: Lebanon warned al-Qaida had infiltrated from its territory.

Iraq crisis stirs protests in Sunni strongholds
Jerusalem Post 23 Dec 2011 – Protests in Sunni areas over VP arrest; demonstrations come day after Baghdad bombings.

Turkey accuses France of genocide in Algeria
Jerusalem Post 23 Dec 2011 – Responding to French vote to make Armenian genocide denial a crime, Erdogan says French president should “ask his father about genocide.”

Egyptians rally against army after woman beaten
Jerusalem Post 23 Dec 2011 – Protesters demand swifter military handover of power; Muslim Brotherhood, Islamist parties stay out of demonstration.

‘Forty killed, 100 wounded in Syrian blasts’
Jerusalem Post 23 Dec 2011 – Syria TV: 2 rigged vehicles cause explosion in capital killing several civilians, soldiers, most casualties are civilians; Syria Foreign Ministry: Lebanon warned al-Qaida had infiltrated from its territory.

‘Thirty killed, 55 wounded in Syrian blasts’
Jerusalem Post 23 Dec 2011 – Syria TV: Two rigged vehicles cause explosion in the capital killing several civilians and soldiers; Damascus claims al-Qaida involvement; Hezbollah TV says most casualties are civilians.

Egypt activists gather for mass rally against army
Jerusalem Post 23 Dec 2011 – Islamist parties distance themselves from movement calling for quicker transfer from military to civilian rule.

The Numbers Crunch: Top 11s of 2011
Jerusalem Post 23 Dec 2011 – As the year draws to a close, JPost readers vote on women’s issues, Egyptians tweet Tahrir, and Tel Aviv tops the readership list.

France recommends removal of suspect breast implants
Jerusalem Post 23 Dec 2011 – Paris says removals are a precautionary measure but said there’s no conclusive link to cancer.

Israeli surveillance gear sent to Iran
Jerusalem Post 23 Dec 2011 – Officials in Jerusalem say they didn’t know of the sales despite records being available from distributor in Denmark.

‘Abbas in a stronger position with Hamas in PLO’
Jerusalem Post 23 Dec 2011 – Hamas official tells London paper “the liberation of Palestine is bigger than Hamas”; Prime Minister’s Office slams deal.

Darfurian refugee dies tragically after return to S.Sudan
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2011 – “Darfur is my first home, but Israel is my second,” humous restaurateur said shortly before embarking back home.

Sewage clogs Jordan River south of baptism site
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2011 – US ambassador: Water, rehabilitation efforts can bring regional peace.

Slight weight gain may not mean worse health
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2011 – Adhering to proper diet will continue to improve some blood biomarkers, even if a few kilos return.

Vandals torch Ramle synagogue
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2011 – Police suspect the blaze at the place of worship associated with the local Jewish Tunisian community was a hate crime.

Battalion will keep IAF bases operational in attack
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2011 – Fearing Hezbollah, Syrian missile attacks, IAF decides to establish battalion at bases that will ensure operational continuity.

Diplomacy: An appreciative partner in Africa
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2011 – South Sudanese President Salva Kiir’s low-key visit this week was filled with large strategic ramifications.

Note to Newt (Part II): Rethinking Palestine
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2011 – Into The Fray: Some will consider this article provocative – especially if they deem “resettling” as more heinous than “recurrence of war.”

A View from Israel: A president’s folly
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2011 – Yes, the US has repeatedly vetoed anti-Israel resolutions at the UN. But Israel should not be viewing that as a favor from Obama.

A Dose of Nuance:Before we preach to Israelis living abroad
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2011 – Are we so desperately afraid of our external enemies that we’ll support at all costs a government that just watches as the country rots from within?

In Plain Language: The fifth candle
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2011 – Hannuka at Buchenwald: Why the holy ritual gave them a certain inner strength beyond just being fuel for the maniacal Nazi machine.

Eisenbud’s Odyssey: The power of one
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2011 – By myopically focusing on, and judging, Jews who decide to pursue lives outside of Israel, the Absorption Ministry missed the forest for the trees.

Keep dreaming: Damn everything but the circus
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2011 – A Haifa festival asks how different peoples can be true to their origins and disparate narratives and yet live harmoniously side by side.

Think again: First, let’s calm down
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2011 – How a rejection of any separation between the sexes has become a fetish.

Another Tack: Just hate wholeheartedly
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2011 – When the Left goes on the warpath it’s always for peace, morality and virtue; its self-proclaimed highmindedness inevitably justifies any means.

The everlasting light
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2011 – ‘And Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand; and I took the grapes, and pressed them into Pharaoh’s cup, and I gave the cup into Pharaoh’s hand’ (Miketz; Genesis 40:11).

Veterans: No looking back
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2011 – Moving here is never easy, but Arthur Livingstone and his wife, Joy, overcame the initial setbacks and have no regrets.

Syria launches offensive against rebel hotbed
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2011 – Idlib province – site of recent violence that killed over 100 soldiers and civilians – targeted by Syrian forces.

Will antarctic worms warm to changing climate?
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2011 – If we can learn how these organism adapt to severe cold then there is hope that we can better asses how a polar environment shapes responses to environmental stress.

The Guardian

Israel’s treatment of women is hardly that of a democracy | Rachel Shabi
The Guardian 23 Dec 2011 – A ‘dignified’ dress code and gender segregation show Israel is fast becoming bigoted about dissent and difference While we’ve been distracted by alarmism over newly elected Islamist leaders enforcing hijabs and bikini bans in the Arab…

Gaza Christians long for days before Hamas cancelled Christmas
The Guardian 23 Dec 2011 – Since the Palestinian Authority left the Gaza Strip, festive celebrations and displays of crucifixes have become taboo When the Latin patriarch came to Gaza’s Holy Family church to celebrate Christmas mass last week, he instructed a…

Inter Press Service

OP-ED: This Spring Breeze Did Not Arise in the West
IPS So here I am, an Arab journalist in Silicon Valley, where four out of every four people I meet believe Facebook invented the Arab Spring. Three more weeks here and I may start to hallucinate that Mark Zuckerberg was a Cairo-slums native named Hassouna El-Fatatri, who rotted in a Mubarak…

MIDEAST: Some Comfort Fails to End Agony
IPS Yousef walks barefoot into a children’s room with four beds and points to a snoopy-blanketed bed by the window. “That’s where I sleep,” he says. A red remote-controlled toy racecar sits atop a new mini-laptop. The closet is full of clothes, a pot of soup simmering on the gas range…


Christmas Tree Consists of Walls, Wires, Gas Bombs
Uruknet December 23, 2011 – It’s a Christmas tree, but it differs from the traditional one this year. It holds a clear political message reflecting the suffering of Palestine under the Israeli occupation. It’s a message for the world to wake up their conscience and help stop the aggression, walls and settlements imposed on the people of…

Oil hunt: Somalia next UK target
Uruknet December 23, 2011 – Britain is apparently preparing its troops for the next oil war in Africa after Prime Minister considered Somalia as a “failed state” that has been threatening Britain’s interests and security.As the British government considered Libya’s regime change as a victory of the Nato forces, it is now looking for its next humanitarian…

The Liberation of the Golan
Uruknet December 23, 2011 – Today demonstrators marched against the Syrian regime in Majdal Shams on the occupied Golan Heights. (For believers in the sectarian narrative, most of the people here happen to be Druze, not Sunnis). One of their slogans was ash-sha ab yureed tahreer al-jowlan – The People Want the Liberation of the Golan. The…

Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (15- 21 December 2011)
Uruknet December 23, 2011 – Summary: Israeli violations of international law and humanitarian law in the OPT continued during the reporting period (15 – 21 December 2011): Shooting: During the reporting period, a Palestinian civilian was killed when fell from his bicycle as he was attempting to escape Israeli gunfire in the Gaza Strip. Two Palestinian civilians,…

Protester injured by live fire in Nabi Saleh
Uruknet December 23, 2011 – According to the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee (PSCC), an Israeli military sniper used live fire against protesters during the weekly demonstration in Nabi Saleh today, injuring one. The protester, who was shot in the thigh, was evacuated to a nearby hospital. The army reportedly used a 0.22? ammunition, which is forbidden from…

Orphans on the Rise in Gaza
Uruknet December 23, 2011 – Yousef, his brother, and his younger sister are among what Al Jazeera news cites as the Gaza Strip’s 53,000 orphans. Over 2,000 children more were orphaned during the 2008-2009 Israeli war on Gaza. An orphan here is defined as a child who has lost his father or both parents, as men are…

Syria says attack vindicates govt stance
Uruknet December 23, 2011 – …State TV said initial investigations indicated possible involvement by the Al-Qaeda terror network. Government officials brought the advance team of Arab League observers to the scene to see the wreckage. The team arrived Thursday, the start of a mission to monitor Syria’s promises to end its crackdown. “We said it from the…

Special Report about the Explosions in Damascus on the 23 December 2011
Uruknet December 23, 2011 – The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights condemns this act of terrorism regardless of the perpetrator and their ideology. Reports from our members seem to give a very disturbing picture. The Observatory has and continues to receive statements from both officials and local activists on the findings… The Observatory is keen to understand…

Damascus explosions fit neatly into the Syrian regime’s official narrative
Uruknet December 23, 2011 – Two car bombs – the first since the start of the uprising against Bashar al-Assad’s regime – caused carnage in the centre of the capital. And before the dust had even settled, the government had found itself a suspect. Al-Qaida did it, state TV reported, just as the terror group had caused…

Now in Iraq: purges in the top and ethnic cleansings of the people.
Uruknet December 23, 2011 – …The arrest warrant for Tariq al-Hashimi is not a surprise to us, because the current government is based on a sectarian quota system. And he who has the greatest influence in the government now carried out a purge in the top of the hiearchy. They have practiced a policy of exclusion under…

Syria says twin suicide bombings in Damascus kill 40 ?
Uruknet December 23, 2011 – At least 40 people have been killed in two suicide car bombings outside security service facilities in Syria’s capital, Damascus, officials say….The two explosions happened within minutes of each other on Friday morning. Not long afterwards, State TV said two attacks had been “carried about by suicide bombers driving vehicles packed with…

FM: Britain Considering Bombing Somalia
Uruknet December 22, 2011 – Reports coming out of Britain’s Foreign Ministry today confirm that the British government is considering “direct military assistance” to the various foreign troops in Somalia through direct bombing campaigns by the British Air Force. Prime Minister David Cameron has also claimed that Somalia “directly threatens British interests” so long as its self-declared…

‘If Jesus were to come this year, Bethlehem would be closed’
Uruknet December 22, 2011 – If Joseph and Mary were making their way to Bethlehem today, the Christmas story would be a little different, says Father Ibrahim Shomali, a parish priest in the town. The couple would struggle to get into the city, let alone find a hotel room. “If Jesus were to come this year, Bethlehem…

Palestinian Worker Wounded By Army Fire In Gaza
Uruknet December 22, 2011 – Palestinian medical sources reported Wednesday that a Palestinian worker, aged just 19 years old, was shot and wounded by the Israeli armyin the northern part of the Gaza Strip. The sources stated that the worker was shot in his left leg while he was working north of the Bedouin village in Beit…

Settlement expert warns of Israeli plan to displace thousands more Palestinians
Uruknet December 22, 2011 – An expert on settlement issues has warned of an Israeli plan which will displace thousands of Palestinian citizens from 20 towns and villages near Hebron in the occupied West Bank. Abdul Hadi Hantash has told the Palestinian media that the Israeli authorities have confiscated thousands of acres of land south and east…

Syria News – December 22, 2011 (Warning: Graphic Videos)
Uruknet December 22, 2011 – The number of martyrs in Syria today, as of now, is 41. There were 25 martyrs in Homs, 8 in Idlib, 3 in Hama, 2 in Deir Ezzor, 1 in Daraa, 1 in the Damascus suburbs, and 1 in Lattakia…Idlib: Martyrdom of Adnaan Haj Awad, Ammar Shahoud and another unknown young mand…

Israel Release 55 But 106 Palestinian Children Remain in Jail as Shackling Continues
Uruknet December 22, 2011 -… Last month I met half a dozen young ex-prisoners from the Hebron area of the West Bank who are now receiving support from a psychological counselling centre run by the YMCA near Bethlehem. As their answers to my questions unfolded, the sheer extent of the Israeli military’s practice of shackling child prisoners…

Iraq snapshot – December 22 , 2011
Uruknet Thursday, December 22, 2011. Chaos and violence continue, Baghdad is slammed with bombings, the White House talks Iraq ‘progress,’ and more. Baghdad is slammed with bombings and Jay Carney has achieved a rare feat — making people miss the White House spokesperson stylings of Robert Gibbs. “Attempts such as this,” Carney said at the White House…

Anger grows in Libya’s forgotten town
Uruknet December 22, 2011 – Sirte was a city protected, even pampered, by the regime of Muammar Gaddafi. But now, the fallen leader’s forgotten hometown is simmering with anger at being side-lined in a “new” Libya…In one neighbourhood numbered “2”, where the bloodiest battles raged between rebels and Gaddafi loyalists, resentment is festering… Ibrahim Abdullah fled Sirte…

The Inquisition Comes to Boston
Uruknet December 22, 2012 – The recent finishing off of the Bill of Rights in the National Defense Authorization Act was actually just a formality. The United States has been able to persecute and convict US citizens for a long time now whether they had a trial by jury or not. Jose’ Padilla was convicted without a…

Program of activities in Bethlehem area
Uruknet December 22, 2011 – Below is a program of selected activities in the Bethlehem area starting tomorrow and over the Holidays (your participation if around would be appreciated). I also included a link to the best and most detailed account of the colonial destruction in the Bethlehem area. The district of Bethlehem was burdened with over…

Daily Star

Fuel pipeline explodes in Colombia, killing 11
Daily Star 23 Dec 2011 A fuel pipeline exploded in Colombia on Friday, creating a fireball and blaze that killed 11 people, injured nearly 100 and destroyed more than two dozen homes.

Cedars need a strategy to bounce back
Daily Star 23 Dec 2011 It’s an understatement to say that 2011 wasn’t a great year for Lebanese international basketball.

Kings Riyadi cap 2011 with their biggest crown yet
Daily Star 23 Dec 2011 Another year has passed, and the domination of Riyadi on the Lebanese basketball scene seems destined to continue.

An unforgettable year for Lebanese football
Daily Star 23 Dec 2011 Earlier this month, Lebanese-Brazilian filmmaker Fouad Sabbagh found himself in the company of the Brazil Fair Play team.

Russian satellite crashes into Siberia after launch
Daily Star 23 Dec 2011 A Russian satellite crashed into Siberia minutes after its launch due to rocket failure, the defence ministry said, in the latest humiliating setback for Russia’s embattled space programme.

Russia test-fires two new nuclear missiles
Daily Star 23 Dec 2011 Russia successfully tested on Friday its two new Bulava intercontinental missiles, which experienced several failures in the past.

US attack may have killed Yemen Qaeda leader’s relative
Daily Star 23 Dec 2011 A U.S. drone attack appears to have killed a relative of al Qaeda’s leader in Yemen, where militants have exploited opposition to veteran ruler Ali Abdullah Saleh this year to establish a firmer foothold.

Richard Gere to receive George Eastman Award
Daily Star 23 Dec 2011 Richard Gere is getting a George Eastman Award in upstate New York for his contributions to movies and humanitarian causes.

Iraq VP warns of sectarian conflict
Daily Star 23 Dec 2011 The Sunni vice president wanted for allegedly running a hit squad in Iraq accused Shiite PM al-Maliki of waging a campaign against Sunnis and pushing the country toward sectarian war.

Canada imposes new sanctions against Assad regime
Daily Star 23 Dec 2011 Canada said Friday it is imposing new sanctions against Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime and criticized the United Nations for not doing more about the “disgusting” violence there.

Syria bombings signal deadlier phase of revolt
Daily Star 23 Dec 2011 Two suicide bombs that killed 40 people in Damascus on Friday may mark a new order of violence aimed at toppling Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad.

U.S. says Syria blasts must not hinder Arab League
Daily Star 23 Dec 2011 The United States strongly condemned two blasts that hit Syria’s capital on Friday, saying they should not be allowed to impede an Arab League plan.

Hezbollah says U.S. behind Syria attacks
Daily Star 23 Dec 2011 Hezbollah accused the United States Friday of orchestrating the suicide bombings that ripped through the Syrian capital earlier in the day and killed killing over 40 people and wounding scores more.

GLC suspends Dec. 27 general strike
Daily Star 23 Dec 2011 The General Labor Confederation suspended Friday a general strike scheduled for Dec. 27 after the government approved a wage hike plan earlier in the week.

Yemen demo attacked, 7 soldiers killed in an ambush
Daily Star 23 Dec 2011 Loyalists of Yemen President Ali Abdullah Saleh on Friday attacked demonstrators gathered south of the capital calling for the leader’s trial, a protest organiser told AFP.

Bahrain police attack Shiite opposition offices
Daily Star 23 Dec 2011 Security forces in Bahrain have attacked the headquarters of the main Shiite opposition party in the capital with tear gas.

Sleiman decries Syria attacks, Hariri blames Damascus
Daily Star 23 Dec 2011 Lebanese officials denounced Friday the suicide bombings in Damascus earlier in the day while former Prime Minister Saad Hariri said he believed Syrian authorities were behind the attacks.

Israel should compensate Lebanon over 2006 oil spill: U.N.
Daily Star 23 Dec 2011 The United Nations General Assembly has reiterated its call on Israel to compensate Lebanon over damages caused during the July-August 2006 war.

Feltman: Lebanon should reassess policies given regional developments
Daily Star 23 Dec 2011 Top U.S. official Jeffrey Feltman has urged Lebanon to re-evaluate its long-term policies given developments in the region, particularly neighbouring Syria.

YNet News

Morocco bans magazine showing pictures of Prophet
YNet News, 23 Dec 2011 – ….

Catholic church in US disinvites gay clergy
YNet News, 23 Dec 2011 – ….

UK’s Prince Philip in hospital after chest pains
YNet News, 23 Dec 2011 – ….

UN chief ‘gravely concerned’ over Syria escalation
YNet News, 23 Dec 2011 – After two explosions in Damascus kill at least 44 people, Ban stresses need for ‘inclusive, legitimate’ political change in Syria; Arab League monitors set to arrive Monday ….

UN chief: Syria violence unacceptable
YNet News, 23 Dec 2011 – ….

Soldiers treat stabbed Palestinian
YNet News, 23 Dec 2011 – ….

44 dead, over 150 injured in twin Syria blasts
YNet News, 23 Dec 2011 – Two explosions target security services’ buildings in Damascus. Initial reports suggest suicide bombers, al-Qaeda link; Lebanon reportedly warned Syria of terror plot ….

Turkey accuses France of genocide after Armenian bill
YNet News, 23 Dec 2011 – Erdogan says Sarkozy’s father may have direct knowledge on ‘massacres’ in Algeria. French president: Turkey should respect us ….

Egyptians rally against army over beatings of protesters
YNet News, 23 Dec 2011 – Several thousand demonstrators in Tahrir Square chant ‘down with military rule’; demonstrators in Alexandria say ‘women, you are more noble than those who stamp on you’ ….

UNESCO says won’t fund Palestinian magazine praising Hitler
YNet News, 23 Dec 2011 – After children’s magazine publishes article on girl’s dream in which Hitler tells her ‘Jews spread destruction all over the world,’ cultural agency’s director tells Abbas membership means ‘sharing values of tolerance, respect for others’ ….

Fiji: Israeli woman killed in car accident
YNet News, 23 Dec 2011 – ZAKA working to bring injured husband back to Israel along with victim’s body ….

Hamas leader: New focus on popular anti-Israel protests
YNet News, 23 Dec 2011 – In interview conducted during reconciliation talks with Fatah in Cairo, Mashaal also gives rare public support to idea of a Palestinian state in West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem. Israel gov’t: Hamas sees every Israeli civilian as legitimate target ….

Trapped in a nightmare
YNet News, 23 Dec 2011 – Op-ed: Israelis are frightened by the lack of political desire to curb rightist violence ….

Palestinian Information Center

The Islamists and US: The prospects don’t seem too good
PIC – It is probably true that many within the American political establishment would like to have good relations with Islamist movements in the Arab world.

Zionist minister: We will annex settlements in response to Palestinian unity
PIC – A Zionist minister warned Fatah of the consequences of reconciliation with Hamas and threatened that if a Palestinian unity government was formed the Israeli occupation would annex Jewish settlements.

Haneyya: Reconciliation understandings should be implemented on the ground
PIC – Ismael Haneyya, the Palestinian prime minister has stressed Thursday that the understandings between Palestinian factions pertaining to national recompilations must be implemented on the ground.

Knesset will discuss a draft law making Jerusalem the “capital of Jewish peopleâ€
PIC – The Knesset will discuss on Sunday a draft law which considers Jerusalem as the “capital of Israel†and the capital of the “Jewish people†at the same time.

Occupation municipality plans to abandon neighbourhoods outside the wall
PIC – The Israeli occupation mayor of Jerusalem put forward a plan which aims to give up responsibility for Palestinian neighbourhoods outside the apartheid wall.

Palestinians stopped from crossing roadblock because they refused a strip-search
PIC – A Palestinian man and his sister on Friday were not allowed to cross the Barta’a military roadblock because they refused to be strip-searched.

IOF soldiers raid home of a Palestinian captive south of Jenin
PIC – IOF troops at dawn Friday entered the city of Jenin, its refugee camp and the villages of Jaba’, Maithalaoun and Qabatia and raided a number of homes, including the home of a captive.

Israeli artillery fire target the southern and northern Gaza Strip
PIC – Israeli occupation tanks on Friday morning fired artillery shells to the east of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip and Jabal al-Kashef in the northern Gaza Strip without any casualties reported.

Ministry of detainees: Israel still keeps some prisoners as unlawful combatants
PIC – There are still three civilian prisoners from the Gaza Strip classified by the Israeli occupation as unlawful combatants in its jails, although they ended their prison terms.

Rizqa: Haneyya’s regional trip will address issues related to Gaza
PIC – Advisor Yousuf Rizqa said the intended visit of premier Haneyya to some Arab and Islamic countries would highlight the issues of reconstruction, development and unemployment in Gaza.

Intifada Palestine

Western-Backed Terrorists Kill 30 In Syria Attacks
Intifada-Palestine: 23 Dec 2011 – Establishment media instantly turns to conspiracy theories to hide fact that country is in a state of civil war State TV shows Syrians carrying away a dead body at the site of the explosions in Damascus. Photograph: -/AFP/Getty Images Paul Joseph… more


Syria capital hit by massive bombings
LA Times 23 Dec 2011 – Syrian officials blame Al Qaeda for the twin suicide car bombings in Damascus, but opposition activists say the government staged the blasts. In a dramatic twist in the nine-month uprising against Syrian President Bashar Assad, government officials said Friday that two suicide car bombers detonated…

Iraq bombings kill 60, revive old fears
LA Times 23 Dec 2011 – The scenes of devastation were all too familiar after more than a dozen explosions ripped through Baghdad. Iraqis see signs of a return to sectarian violence.  

New Air Jordans cause shopping frenzy across nation
LA Times 23 Dec 2011 – SEATTLE — The release of Nike’s new Air Jordan basketball shoes caused a frenzy at stores across the nation early Friday, with police using pepper spray on a group of rowdy customers near Seattle and officers arresting some shoppers after a crowd broke down a…

Liechtenstein Donates $110,742 to UNRWA

Syria Reports Suicide Bomber Attacks in Damascus
New York Times 23 Dec 2011 – The government pointed to Al Qaeda but also linked the bombings to Syria’s nine-month-old uprising, setting off a new round of recriminations with opposition groups.

Iraqi Sunnis and Shiites Clash Over Regional Power
New York Times 23 Dec 2011 – Years of anger and disenfranchisement are driving some largely Sunni provinces to try to wrest more autonomy from Iraq’s Shiite leaders.

Israel Cancels Military Contract With Turkey to Supply Aerial System
New York Times 23 Dec 2011 – The Israeli government canceled a $141 million contract to supply Turkey with an advanced aerial intelligence system, a move that appeared to reflect a strategic reassessment of ties with the nation.

Turkey Responds to French Law With Genocide Accusations
New York Times 23 Dec 2011 – Turkey halted diplomatic consultations and military dealings with France on Thursday after the lower house of the French Parliament approved legislation about the Armenian genocide in the early 20th century.

Nabi Saleh protester injured by live sniper fire during Friday protest
Mondoweiss – From the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee: Two weeks after the killing of Mustafa Tamimi during a demonstration in the village, an Israeli sniper shot a protester with live 0.22″ caliber ammunition, banned for crowd control purposes. Earlier today, an Israeli military sniper opened fire at demonstrators…

Glasnost: Prog thinktank sacks Block, saying ‘Your actions cause many to fear’ criticizing Israel
Mondoweiss – josh block The continuing drama of Democratic Party institutions making room for criticism of Israel…. Greg Sargent of the Washington Post reported last week that the Progressive Policy Institute would likely bounce former AIPAC aide Josh Block for smearing critics of Israel at the Dem-Party-aligned Center…

Isikoff’s double standard on religion and politics
Mondoweiss – Adelson Last night on NBC, Michael Isikoff did a good piece on the new terrain in campaign finance since the disastrous Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court. He focused on Super PACs, which help out a candidate unofficially and can collect unlimited contributions. One such…

Rightwing ‘Israel Project’ finds welcome mat at NYT and ‘Daily Show’
Mondoweiss – Laszlo Mizrahi Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi of the Israel Project, which is essentially a propaganda outfit for the Israeli government , promoting everything Netanyahu says, sent out an email blast the other day seeking to raise money by boasting that she and others at the group met with…

‘This is awful,’ Bush said, coming into Bethlehem
Mondoweiss – Welcome to Bethlehem A piece in the New York Review of Books on Condoleezza Rice’s new memoir is weirdly absent the word neoconservative when author Joseph Lelyveld tries to explain why we invaded Iraq—we were seeking to establish a “foothold” in an Arab land with oil….

Press mistrustful of the League observers it clamored for
Voltaire Network 23 Dec 2011 – The press is much less loquacious today about Syria. It prefers to focus its attention on the terrorist attacks in Iraq. After vociferating for three weeks that Syria should open its borders to Arab League observers, the Atlantic and Gulf press tries to downplay the importance…

Violence Mars “Arab Spring”
Arab American Institute 23 Dec 2011 – This morning, we heard the tragic news of twin suicide bombings in Damascus that killed at least 40 people and injured over a hundred, amid ever more valid fears that Syria is probably sliding towards civil war. Meanwhile in Egypt, footage emergedof the brutal beating and…

UN condemns Syria suicide blasts
BBC 23 Dec 2011 – The UN Security Council condemns suicide blasts that killed 44 peoplein Syria’s capital Damascus, but remains divided over months-long protests.

America’s growing isolation because of President Obama’s grovelling for Jewish campaign funding and votes
Sabbah report 23 Dec 2011 – Alan Hart views the growing international isolation of the United States due to its unconditional support of Israel, as manifested in the recent condemnation by “all the regional and political groupings on the UN Security Council” of Israeli settlement activities and settler violence.


The undeniable Palestinian right to resist occupation
Noam Sheizaf, +972 Magazine 12/21/2011
      Following the killing of Mustafa Tamimi in his village Nabi Saleh, Spokesperson for the IDF presented pictures of a slingshot Tamimi had on him when he was brought to the hospital. This was to be the indicting evidence that the protester was taking part in hostile action against the army – i.e. throwing stones – and therefore responsible for his own death.
     Only in the context of the occupation can throwing stones at a bullet-proof army jeep be seen as an offense deserving the death penalty, carried out on the spot (clearly, the soldiers weren’t acting in self-defense). Furthermore, as recent attacks by settlers on soldiers – including a brick thrown from close range on the IDF regional commander – demonstrated, the army’s treatment of Jews is very different (to be clear, I don’t call for shooting Jewish stone-throwers either). But there is a larger issue here, concerning the whole notion of “legitimate” resistance to the occupation.
     Facts and context are important: Israel took over the West Bank and Gaza more than 44 years ago. Since then, the Palestinians have been under military occupation, which denies their basic human and civil rights. The Palestinians can’t vote. They are tried in military court, where the conviction rate is astonishing. They don’t enjoy due process. Their property rights are limited, and their lands – including private lands – are regularly seized by Israel. All this is well-known and well-documented.
     As far as Israel is concerned, this situation can go on forever. Israel is not attempting to leave the West Bank – it actually strengthens its hold on the territory – and it doesn’t plan to give the Palestinians equal rights within the state of Israel.
     The Palestinians therefore have a moral right to resist the occupation. It’s as simple as that. more.. e-mail

Israel gangs up on Palestinians
Khaled Amayreh in occupied Jerusalem, Al-Ahram Weekly 12/15/2011
      Despite knowing that settlements have broken the peace process, Israel is forging ahead with plans to build new Jew-only colonies on Arab land.
     Taking advantage of the ongoing turbulence in the Arab world, the proximity of the US presidential elections, and the international community’s manifest powerlessness to check aggressive Israeli unilateralism, the Israeli government has been stepping up hostile measures against the largely unprotected Palestinian community.
     The measures, which include the seizure of a large swathe of Palestinian-owned land for settlement expansion, wanton home demolition as well as unrelenting attacks and acts of vandalism against Palestinians and their property, are aimed at rendering unrealistic and impossible the goal of establishing a viable and territorially contiguous Palestinian state on the West Bank.
     The latest colonialist Israeli scheme would confiscate thousands of acres of mostly privately owned Arab land south of Bethlehem. This week, the Israeli occupation army approved the establishment of a new permanent settlement south of the Biblical city. The new settlement would include a large farm as well other infrastructure. It would also cut off the southern West Bank — the Hebron region — from the Bethlehem and Ramallah regions, putting an end to Palestinian demographic continuity in the vicinity.
     Virtually powerless Palestinian Authority (PA) officials described Israel’s plans to build a new settlement as “outrageous”. One PA official labelled the new expansion scheme as an “act of rape”. more.. e-mail

War rapidly approaches
Saleh Al-Naami, Al-Ahram Weekly 12/15/2011
      With the Muslim Brotherhood on the rise in Egypt, Tel Aviv knows that its latitude to strike Hamas will soon diminish.
     The signs of joy were obvious on 10-year-old Ramadan’s face as he kissed his mother goodnight on Thursday night. His father, Bahgat Al-Zaalan, 37, had promised that he would take him Friday morning with the rest of his siblings and mother on an outing to the amusement park, and thereafter they would have lunch at a restaurant in Gaza City.
     While Ramadan and the rest of his family slept in their family home west of Al-Nasr district in northern Gaza, they were attacked by missiles that destroyed the house, killing Bahgat and fatally injuring Ramadan. His mother and three siblings are injured, one critically, and his grandparents in the next door house were also injured.
     While Ramadan’s family were asleep dreaming about an exciting day in the morning, three US-made Israeli Apache helicopters fired several missiles at a Hamas military location close to the Al-Zaalan home. Three missiles landed on the house, leveling it and causing much destruction to the neighbouring house. Palestinian security sources insist that the Israeli army targeted the house on purpose, since many times Israeli planes are able to selectively target small cars on busy streets without harming other vehicles.
     Targeting Palestinian homes with people inside was a gruesome tactic used by Israel during its war on Gaza at the end of 2008. Last week’s attack brought back bitter memories of that time. This feeling is enforced by the fact that Israel returned to its policy of attacking homes on Sunday night. One young girl was critically injured and her father was also injured when the occupation army fired a missile on a house in Al-Zeitoun neighbourhood. The attack could have had a worse outcome if it wasn’t for the fact that the family was having a late night in the garden outside their house, and not inside the building. more.. e-mail

It’s the right moment for churches to pay attention to Israel’s occupation
Electronic Intifada: 22 Dec 2011 – James M. Wall The Electronic Intifada A new book about the Palestine Kairos Document tells the story of the Christian churches’ effort to communicate the suffering imposed by Israel on Palestinians.more

Israel’s siege punishing Gaza orphans
Electronic Intifada: 23 Dec 2011 – Eva Bartlett The Electronic Intifada Gaza City Charities are struggling to meet the needs of an estimated 53,000 orphans in the Gaza Strip; more than 2,000 children were orphaned during the 2008-09 Israeli war on Gaza.more

Orphans on the Rise in Gaza
In Gaza: 23 Dec 2011 – * The Amal Institute for Orphans cares for 120 of Gaza City’s orphans.  GAZA CITY, Dec 23, 2011 (IPS) -By Eva Bartlett Yousef walks barefoot into a children’s room with four beds and points to a snoopy-blanketed bed by the window. “That’s where I sleep,” he says. A red remote-controlled toy racecar sits atop a new mini-laptop. The closet is full of clothes, a pot of soup simmering on the gas range in the spacious kitchen, and the wooden dining table is piled with seasonal fruit. Unlike the overwhelming majority of children in the Gaza Strip, the seven-year-old’s naked feet are not a result of poverty. Quite the opposite, his home in the Rafah-based SOS Children’s Village , run by an international non-governmental organisation (NGO), does not leave him wanting for shoes, clothes, school supplies, regular meals or a safe abode. His home, one of 14 in the village hosting 111…more

Carnage in Baghdad: New Fear, New Game
Palestine Chronicle: 23 Dec 2011 – By Ismail Salami – Tehran There is a new fear emerging in Iraq that the country will plunge even more into turmoil and political disequilibrium as the US troops cased in their colors and left behind a country which they helped lay bare to waste and dereliction. This feeling of angst deepened when a string of 16 bomb explosions ripped through the Iraqi capital on Thursday, the worst in four months, leaving 72 people dead and 217 others fatally wounded. Roughly coinciding with the homecoming of the US troops, the incident was opportunistically ascribed by Western observers to the security vacuum created as a result of the withdrawal of the US forces. As a way of diverting attention from the real cause for these unspeakable acts of terrorism, some pointed fingers at Iraqi Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi, who had recently been accused by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki of orchestrating…more

Following Yonder Star: Massacring Innocents
Palestine Chronicle: 23 Dec 2011 – By Kathy Kelly – Kabul Beneath our flat, here in Kabul, wedding guests crowded into a restaurant and celebrated throughout the night. Guests sounded joyful and the music, mostly disco, thumped loudly. When the regular call to prayer sounded out at 5:20 a.m., the sounds seemed to collide in an odd cacophony, making all music indistinguishable. I smiled, remembering the prayer call’s durable exhortation to live in peace, heard worldwide for centuries, and went back to sleep. Through most of my life, I’ve found it easy to resonate with the ringing and beautiful Christmas narrative found in the Gospel of Luke, but less so with that jangling discord with which westerners are so familiar—the annual collision between (on the one hand) the orgy of gift-purchasing and gift-consumption surrounding the holiday and the sweeter, simpler proclamations of peace on earth heralded by the newborn’s arrival. I’ve found myself quite surprisingly happy…more

Challenge of Change in the Middle East
Palestine Chronicle: 23 Dec 2011 – By Aijaz Zaka Syed – Dubai Patrick Buchanan is one of those few writers I never like to miss. Having worked as a senior advisor to three US presidents, Buchanan has had a rare, ringside view of history. Six of his 10 books including The Death of the West, Where the Right Went Wrong, and more recently, Suicide of a Superpower have been New York Times bestsellers. I like Buchanan’s writings for their unsparing, sweeping view of history. He tries to divine the future in the light of the past. Despite being an old-fashioned Conservative, he has his feet on the ground. He was one of those few voices on the right that attacked America’s indefensible wars. In his latest piece in the American Conservative, Buchanan argues that the biggest winner this year is Islam. In the article titled, Second Period of Islamic Power, Buchanan says: “From Morocco to Pakistan,…more

Palestinians Are Heroes, Braving Israeli Dictatorship
Dissident Voice: 23 Dec 2011 – The Palestinians are heroes, and that’s the only fact that’s relevant after the slight shock of the hilltop thugs. The hands are the hands of thugs, and the head? The head is the head of the hostile regime under which the Palestinians live and which harasses them every moment of every day, week after week for decades. To live this way and remain sane — that’s heroism. “And who says we’re sane?” Palestinians answer me. Well, here’s the proof: self-irony. The thugs of the hills are only the icing on the cake. Most of the work is being done by thugs wearing kid gloves. Unlike the people who threw the stone at the deputy brigade commander, these are fan favorites in Israel. The flesh of our flesh. Officers and soldiers, military jurists, architects and contractors in the service of the army, Interior Ministry and National Insurance Institute clerks. The hands…more

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