VTJP Palestine/Israel Newslinks 30 December 2011: Shocking Nakba Testimony by Former Israeli Palmach Fighter

30 December 2011 — VTJP

News International Middle East Media Center

Israel Closes Karm Abu Salem Crossing
IMEMC – Israeli authorities temporarily close the Karm Abu Salem Crossing with the Gaza Strip, Palestinian Security sources reported on Friday. The border crossing will re-open on Sunday. …

Freed Palestinian to Marry in Turkey
IMEMC – One of the Palestinian detainees freed in the latest prisoner exchange-deal with Israel, is scheduled to marry in the capital of Turkey, Ankara, the Turkish daily, Vatan, reported on Friday. …

One Dead, Five Injured in Israeli Shelling in the Gaza Strip
IMEMC – One Palestinian was killed and five were injured in an Israeli shelling of the Gaza Strip on Friday morning, a Palestinian medical source reported. …

Israeli airforce attacks Northern and Central Gaza; no injuries reported
IMEMC – On Thursday morning, Israeli warplanes shelled two locations targeting what the Israeli military claimed were sites used by Palestinian fighters in the Gaza Strip to fire projectiles across the border into Israel, Israeli sources claimed. …

On Third Anniversary of Israeli Invasion of Gaza, Palestinian Prime Minister Calls for Arab Support
IMEMC – As Palestinians commemorated the third anniversary of a massive Israeli invasion of the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, the Palestinian Prime Minister in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, called on the Arab League nations to show support for the people of Gaza and push for an end to the five-year long siege that has devastated the Gazan economy. …

Ma’an News

1 killed as Israel shells Gaza
12/30/2011 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces bombed Gaza City early Friday morning killing one man and wounding five others, medics said. Momen Abu Daf, a member of militant Salafi group Ansar al-Sunna, was killed when Israeli warplanes shelled an area southeast of Gaza City, local sources said. Five others were wounded, including one militant and…. Related: Witnesses: Israeli tanks shell eastern Gaza Strip

Laborer ‘attacked by settler’
12/30/2011 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A Palestinian laborer was attacked on Friday at work in Betar Illit settlement near Bethlehem, medics said. Khaled Hussein Hamamra, 40, sustained facial wounds after a settler attacked him with a sharp tool, said Abdul Halim Jaafra, head of the Red Crescent’s Bethlehem office. Jaafra told Ma’an….

Witnesses: Israeli tanks shell eastern Gaza Strip
12/30/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israeli tanks on Friday opened fire on Zaitoun neighborhood south of Gaza City, witnesses said. Locals reported hearing huge explosions. Gaza Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra said no injuries had been reported. An Israeli military spokeswoman was not familiar with the incident…. Related: 1 killed as Israel shells Gaza

Reconciliation committee cancels Gaza meeting
12/30/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — A committee overseeing national reconciliation has canceled a meeting scheduled to be held Saturday in Gaza City, committee member Hani Abu Arma said Friday. Abu Amra, a representative of the Palestinian Arab Front, told Ma’an the meeting was canceled for “technical reasons.”He said he hoped a new….

UK condemns Israeli ‘provocation’ in Jerusalem
12/30/2011 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Britain’s Minister for the Middle East and North Africa Alistair Burt on Friday condemned Israel’s plans to expand an illegal settlement and build a tourism center in occupied East Jerusalem. Jerusalem municipality on Wednesday approved plans to build 130 new homes in Gilo settlement and a tourism….

In photos: Israelis tour Bethlehem village
12/30/2011 – MaanImages / Haitham Othman – Around 200 Israelis on Friday entered Ertas village south of Bethlehem in the southern West Bank escorted by the Israeli army. Since early December, Israelis have arranged several tours to the village to visit the ancient Solomon’s Pools….

PA forces detonate bomb near Nablus
12/30/2011 – NABLUS (Ma’an) — Palestinian Authority engineers detonated a locally-made bomb in a village near Nablus on Thursday, security officials said. Local sources said PA preventative forces discovered the 30-kilogram device in Rujeib village, and alerted an engineering unit to safely detonate the bomb….

Al Qaeda-inspired groups in Gaza
12/30/2011 – Israeli forces killed a leader of a Salafi faction in the Gaza Strip on Friday, the second such strike on Palestinian militants with al Qaeda ties this week. Here are some facts about the constellation of ultra-conservative Islamists known as Salafis, who have challenged Hamas’ rule in the isolated enclave. Groups — Jaysh al-Islam (the….

US Saudi fighter jet sale to help offset Iran
12/30/2011 – WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States has signed a $29. 4 billion deal to sell 84 new F-15 fighter jets to Saudi Arabia in a long-expected move that the Obama administration said on Thursday would boost Gulf security amid mounting tension with Iran. The deal is the single priciest US arms sale to a foreign….

Syrian rebels ‘hold fire’, want to meet monitors
12/30/2011 – By Erika Solomon and Mariam KarounyBEIRUT (Reuters) – The anti-government Free Syrian Army has been ordered to stop offensive operations pending a meeting with Arab League delegates monitoring President Bashar Assad’s compliance with a peace plan, the rebels’ commander said on Friday. Colonel Riad al-Asaad said his forces had so far been unable….

17 dead as Syrians stage mass protests
12/30/2011 – By Erika Solomon and Mariam KarounyBEIRUT (Reuters) — Syrian security forces opened fire at protesters on Friday, killing at least 12, as hundreds of thousands filled the streets of restive cities to demonstrate against the government of President Bashar Assad, opposition activists said. Five members of the security forces were also killed in a shooting in….

Israeli air strike kills Palestinian in Gaza
AlJazeera 30 Dec 2011 – Reported member of Army of Islam killed and five others injured by Israeli air raid east of main city in besieged strip.

Palestine News Network

Hamas Security Forces Kidnap 16 leaders from Fatah, Gaza Strip
PNN – PNN On Friday, Hamas’ Security forces kidnapped 16 leaders from the north region of Gaza, one day before Fatah commemorates the 47th anniversary of the establishment of Fatah movement. Local sources in…

International Solidarity Movement

30 December 2008: The Hamdan family
12/30/2011 – International Solidarity Movement – 30 December 2011, Palestinian Center for Human Rights – “When I wake in the morning the first thing I do is remember my children.   I come and sit outside and picture them where they used to play. I don’t want to go out and interact with other people anymore. I largely stay inside the…. Related: Palestinian Center for Human Rights

International Women’s Peace Service meet with prisoner released in Shalit deal
12/30/2011 – International Solidarity Movement – 26 December 2011, International Women’s Peace Service – The 18th of December was a day of reunion and celebration for many in Palestine. Following a tense wait, several delays and tear-gas attacks by the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) on their waiting families, 550 Palestinian prisoners were released from Israeli jails to be reunited with their…. Related: International Women’s Peace Service

Ni’lin honors its heroes and urges military to ‘Stay Human’
12/30/2011 – International Solidarity Movement – By Barbara and James, 30 December 2011, International Solidarity Movement, West Bank – Volleys of tear gas, rubber coated steel bullets and live ammunition is how the Israeli Army met a small demonstration in remembrance of 2 martyrs, in Ni’lin today. Starting after Friday prayers approximately 25 Palestinians and 6 internationals made their way….


Egypt assures U.S. no more raids on NGOs, as Panetta urges transition to democracy
Ha’aretz – 30 Dec 2011

North Korea names Kim Jong Un Supreme Commander
Ha’aretz – 30 Dec 2011

Turkey president, premier express regret over airstrike that killed 35 civilians
Ha’aretz – 30 Dec 2011

Hundreds of thousands rally in Syria as 32 reported killed
Ha’aretz – 30 Dec 2011

Assad can force end to Syria crisis but wishes to avoid bloodshed, Lebanon official says
Ha’aretz – 30 Dec 2011

IDF Chief: Nuclear Iran a threat to entire region, not just to Israel
Ha’aretz – 30 Dec 2011

Major Israeli businesses helped quadruple donations to right-wing Im Tirtzu movement
Ha’aretz – 30 Dec 2011

Iran announces long-range missile test amid Strait of Hormuz row with U.S.
Ha’aretz – 30 Dec 2011

One killed as IDF hits Gaza militant squad about to launch rocket into Israel
Ha’aretz – 30 Dec 2011

Soviet envoy warned Nixon and Kissinger against Mideast war in 1973, documents reveal
Ha’aretz – 29 Dec 2011

Shooting Israel / Between Israel and the West Bank
Ha’aretz – 29 Dec 2011

One ultra-Orthodox woman who did not stay silent
Ha’aretz – 29 Dec 2011

Imam behind ‘Ground Zero Mosque’ calls for peaceful pilgrimage to Israel
Ha’aretz – 29 Dec 2011

Fox TV poll on Facebook: Do you think the Jews killed Jesus?
Ha’aretz – 29 Dec 2011

Israel court stumped by holy row over property near Church of the Holy Sepulchre
Ha’aretz – 29 Dec 2011

Education Ministry blasts Israeli Arab school for taking students to human rights march
Ha’aretz – 29 Dec 2011

Jerusalem Post

Egypt assures US no more raids on rights groups
Jerusalem Post 30 Dec 2011 – “Ambassador has received Egyptian leadership assurances that raids will cease, property will be returned,” says US State Dep’t.

UN: Arab mission to Syria must be impartial, independent
Jerusalem Post 30 Dec 2011 – Death toll rises in Syria despite presence of Arab League observers; Britain, Ashton urge Damascus to immediately end violence in accordance with Arab League plan.

17 killed as hundreds of thousands protest in Syria
Jerusalem Post 30 Dec 2011 – Demonstrators determined to show strength of movement to Arab monitors; clashes erupt despite FSA directive to halt offensive.

Assad’s forces kill 10 as Syrians stage mass protests
Jerusalem Post 30 Dec 2011 – Demonstrators determined to show strength of their movement to Arab League monitors; clashes erupt despite anti-gov’t Free Syria Army directive to halt offensive operations against loyalist troops.

Syrian forces kill 10 as amid mass protests
Jerusalem Post 30 Dec 2011 – Demonstrators determined to show strength of movement to Arab monitors; clashes erupt despite FSA directive to halt offensive.

This year was UK’s second-warmest ever
Jerusalem Post 30 Dec 2011 – This year marked a return to a trend of warmer than average annual temperatures, the Met Office says.

Iran to fire long-range missiles during Gulf drill
Jerusalem Post 30 Dec 2011 – Iran commander says navy to test long-range missiles; Gantz: Iran can be neutralized with domestic, int’l preparation.

‘Ex-SLA member stones wife to death in Safed’
Jerusalem Post 30 Dec 2011 – Woman, 51, dies of her wounds after beating from her husband; 13 year old son witnessed the crime.

2011’s top business story: Euro zone debt crisis
Jerusalem Post 30 Dec 2011 – The results are in: Over 75 percent of readers voted the euro zone debt crisis as the biggest business story of 2011.

Syria rebels ‘hold fire,’ want to meet Arab monitors
Jerusalem Post 30 Dec 2011 – Free Syria Army ordered to halt military operations before meeting with Arab League delegates monitoring situation in country.

Haniyeh, Mashaal meet Sudan’s Bashir over J’lem
Jerusalem Post 30 Dec 2011 – Hamas leaders take turns warning Sudanese president about Israel’s stepped up “Judaization of Jerusalem,” ask for funding.

US: Arab League monitors helping stem violence
Jerusalem Post 30 Dec 2011 – State department says it sees “positive signs”; residents voice doubts about Arab mission; Assad troops kill 25.

Russia submerges nuclear submarine to douse blaze
Jerusalem Post 30 Dec 2011 – Russia says has “localized” fire on nuclear submarine; Russian gov’t: Radiation levels normal, 9 injured; nuclear reactors shut down.

Army rabbi: IDF is no place for mistreating women
Jerusalem Post 30 Dec 2011 – Brig.-Gen. Rafi Peretz vows to keep extremist Jewish behavior out of IDF ranks; PM speaks out against exclusion of women.

IAF strikes rocket launching squad in Gaza
Jerusalem Post 30 Dec 2011 – Muaman Abu Daf, commander of al-Qaida affiliated ‘Army of Islam,’ confirmed dead; 5 others injured.

‘US reassures Israel over Saudi fighter jet deal’
Jerusalem Post 30 Dec 2011 – Arms deal to Saudis will increase Israeli security against Iranian threat, ‘Wall Street Journal’ quotes US official as saying.

Rally for their right, or challenging status quo?
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2011 – While ultra-Orthodox extremism isn’t new, it’s backlash by mainstream that looks set to upset delicate balance of religious-secular relations.

Korzits is Israeli sports personality of the year
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2011 – Interview: Inspirational 27-year-old windsurfer edges Shay Doron for prestigious ‘Post’ award.

Into the Fray: Palestine: What Sherlock Holmes would say
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2011 – Responding to the response: Answers to questions raised by my ‘Notes to Newt.’

Politics: The crystal ball
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2011 – From elections to the situation in Iran and Syria and the state of the ecomony, the ‘Post’ makes its predictions for 2012.

Column One: Obama’s foreign policy spin
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2011 – The failure of Obama’s foreign policies is nowhere more evident than in the Middle East.

Guest Columnist: A few words on the prophet motive
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2011 – Like other revolutionaries Islamists have too much confidence in the inevitability of their vision but no more than dreamy ideas about what it is.

The settlers’ movement is a threat to Israel’s existence
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2011 – Above the Fray: The settlements represent more than a security and political disagreement.

Consider This: Fed up
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2011 – The story of Tanya Rosenblit brought back the reality of bullying fanaticism masquerading as religious piety.

The Human Spirit: What do religious women want?
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2011 – Discrimination and violence against women is an easy subject for diverse sectors of Israeli society to agree on.

Yes to dialogue with the EU, no to singling out Israel
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2011 – Beyond the Prism: Israel cannot be singled out for criticism as Europe’s record is far from untarnished.

Eisenbud’s Odyssey: The medium is the message
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2011 – If so, it would appear that Israel has chosen to ignore it almost entirely. Until now.

Another Tack: Banana noses and freckles
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2011 – Malia’s bat mitzva fashion statements are about as relevant to Israel’s ongoing struggle for survival as my freckles were to Cookie’s contentions.

His brother’s keeper
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2011 – ‘For your servant took responsibility for the youth…Now let your servant remain as a servant instead of the youth [Benjamin] to my lord….’ (Genesis 44:32,33).

A self-tailored dream
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2011 – Daniel Hertz found a job as a tailor at the Israeli Opera and married one of opera’s up-and-coming stars.

Rx for readers: You are what you eat?
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2011 –

Can sea snails help to enhance memory
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2011 – Efforts to help people with learning impairments are being aided by a species of sea snail, contributing to the understanding of learning and memory.

‘Stuxnet weapon has at least 4 cousins’
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2011 – Kaspersky security firm says virus that damaged Iran’s nuke program 1 of at least 5 developed on a single platform.

The elite in Eilat
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2011 – Renowned conductor Valery Gergiev commands the podium at the Red Sea Classical Music Festival.

Inter Press Service

Despite Initial Euphoria, Palestine Remains Grounded at U.N.
IPS When Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas addressed the 193- member General Assembly in September, the rapturous welcome he received implicitly indicated the vibrant support for U.N. recognition of Palestine – if not in the Security Council, at least in the organisation’s highest policy making body.


“Operational Accidents”: On the Turkish State and Kurdish Deaths
Uruknet December 30, 2011 – Reading the press release issued by the Turkish Armed Forces on Thursday, 29 December 2011, it is impossible to get the sense that during the previous night, its warplanes struck and killed thirty-five citizens of Turkey, many of them high school students and all of them civilians. When referring to the young…

Israel isolates 125,000 Palestinians from Jerusalem
Uruknet December 30, 2011 – The Jerusalem-based Human Rights Centre has warned that Israel’s municipality has already started to apply its policy of isolating Palestinian districts from the rest of the city. In fact, claims the Centre, the process began two years ago. “The plans of Israeli Mayor Nir Barkat, suggest that the isolation of some Palestinian…

  Ten Years of Guantánamo: Andy Worthington Visits the US to Campaign for the Closure of the Prison, January 5-15, 2012
Uruknet December 30, 2011 – January 11, 2012 is a profoundly depressing anniversary – marking ten years since the Bush administration established its “war on terror” prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and decided that those who ended up in US custody would not be screened to ascertain whether or not they were combatants, and would be sent…

Just another Palestinian year
Uruknet December 30, 2011 – Like in previous years, 2011 was more or less another “normal” year for the Palestinians as Israel, which is ruled by a racist coalition of right wing and religious parties, continued to narrow Palestinian horizons, effectively putting an end to any realistic hopes for establishing a viable and territorially contiguous Palestinian state…

Israeli ban on family visits to Gazan prisoners violates international law
Uruknet December 30, 2011 – Palestinian human rights organization Addameer condemned Israel’s ban on family visits to prisoners from Gaza in Israeli jails in a press statement of 27 December. Israel prohibited these visits in June 2007 following the Hamas victory in the 2006 Palestinian elections and the capture of an Israeli soldier in June 2006. Addameer…

Al Qaeda sends fighters to Libya
Uruknet December 30, 2011 Al Qaeda’s leadership has sent experienced jihadists to Libya in an effort to build a fighting force there, according to a Libyan source briefed by Western counter-terrorism officials. The jihadists include one veteran fighter who had been detained in Britain on suspicion of terrorism…The source told CNN that the al Qaeda leader, Ayman…

1 killed as Israel shells Gaza
Uruknet December 30, 2011 — Israeli forces bombed Gaza City early Friday morning killing one man and wounding five others, medics said. Momen Abu Daf, a member of militant Salafi group Ansar al-Sunna, was killed when Israeli warplanes shelled an area southeast of Gaza City, local sources said. Five others were wounded, including one militant and four…

Yemen malnutrition data should “shock”
Uruknet December 29, 2011 – Aid workers hope “shocking” new malnutrition figures from a survey conducted in western Yemen will help highlight the serious humanitarian situation in the country and prompt donors to act immediately. Until now, aid workers say some donors have been unconvinced of the extent of the problem because of a perceived lack of…

The Syrian Regime ‘s Violations FileCovering the Period December 1-15, 2011
Uruknet December 29, 2011 – …In this recurring report produced by the Local Coordination Committees in Syria (LCC), we document several of these abuses in the period of time covered by the file. The abuses are also classified by the severity and brutality of the abuses, as well as their geographical locations. The information in these reports…

Video: Dr Chris Busby on Sky: Fallujah, Fukushima and Radiation
Uruknet December 29, 2011 – Dr Chris Busby interviewed 20th December 2011 by Theo Chalmers on Sky TV’s “One Step Beyond” about Fallujah, Fukushima and the cover-ups over the health effects of exposure to radioactivity..

In the Land of Facades, Mark the First Signs of an Indian Spring
Uruknet December 29, 2011 – When the early morning fog rises and drifting skeins from wood fires carry the sweet smell of India, the joggers arrive in Lodi Gardens. Past the tomb of Mohammed Shah, the 15th century Munghal ruler, across a landscape manicured in the 1930s by Lady Willingdon, wife of the governor-general, recently acquired trainers…

The Sad, Sad World of Israel’s Big-time Liars
Uruknet December 29, 2011 – Meet another of Israel’s undesirables, Yuli Edelstein. He is the regime’s Propaganda Minister (or to be more precise, Minister for Dis-information and Diaspora) and he runs the biggest lie machine in the world. His task is to make the Israel ‘brand’ smell sweeter. The reason it stinks, of course, is the regime’s…

Gaza Strip – Operation Cast Lead Aftermath : Balousha Family
Uruknet December 29, 2011 – At around 00:00 on the 29 December 2008 an Israeli aircraft attacked the Imad Akel Mosque situated in Jabaliya refugee camp. The attack destroyed the home of Anwar and Samira Balousha, which was situated just three metres from the mosque. Five of the family’s eight daughters were killed as a result of…

Three Years After Israel’s Deadly Assault: Gaza Lives
Uruknet December 29, 2011 – Exactly three years ago, at around 11 am, the Israeli military began its 22 day assault on the besieged Gaza Strip; one that will be engraved in our minds and hearts forever. It was a regular day in Gaza, but then, suddenly pandemonium broke out when 80 Israeli warplanes launched a surprise…

Syria News – December 29, 2011 (Warning: Graphic Videos)
Uruknet December 29, 2011 – The number of Syria’s martyrs has reached 38 martyrs so far, including three women and two children. 13 martyrs in Damascus Suburbs (6 martyrs in Douma, 4 martyrs in Mouadamyeh, and a martyr in each of Kesweh, Arbeen, and Shifonieh) 11 martyrs in Homs, 7 martyrs in Hama, 5 martyrs in Idlib,…

Alaa Abd El Fattah, Egyptian Blogger and Critic of Military Regime, Speaks Out After Months in Jail
Uruknet December 29, 2011 – Alaa Abd El Fattah, a prominent Egyptian revolutionary activist and blogger, has been released from prison after nearly two months behind bars. Fattah was ordered jailed by a military court on October 30 and summoned to face charges that included inciting violence-a charge he firmly denies. He refused to cooperate, rejecting the…

MK Danon Proposes Outlawing Sex Between Arabs,’ Young Jewish Girls
Uruknet December 29, 2011 – In a development that harkens back to the Nuremberg Laws and the old racialist broadsides of Rabbi Meir Kahane, MK Danny Danon has proposed a solution for a problem that doesn’t exist: he’s claimed that over 1,000 Jewish women have complained about being kidnapped by Palestinians and forced to become sex slaves….

Israel ‘will launch significant Gaza offensive sooner or later’
Uruknet December 29, 2011 – A new Israeli military offensive against Gaza will be launched “sooner or later” and will be “swift and painful”, Israel’s most senior military officer has warned. Benny Gantz, the chief of staff of the Israel Defence Forces, was speaking on the third anniversary of the start of a major three-week assault on…

Jenin Freedom Theatre Director Zakaria Zubeidi ordered by Israel to turn himself in to PA security services
Uruknet December 29, 2011 – Zakaria Zbeidi, the former commander of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in Jenin who was pardoned by Israel two years ago, has been added to Israel’s wanted list again. In recent days, Palestinian security services informed Zbeidi that upon Israel’s request, he must remain in the Palestinian Authority’s detention facilities during all hours…

Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (22- 28 December 2011)
Uruknet December 29, 2011 – … Israeli violations of international law and humanitarian law in the OPT continued during the reporting period (22 – 28 December 2011): Shooting: During the reporting period, IOF killed a Palestinian resistance activist and wounded 10 Palestinians, including two children in the Gaza Strip. An eleventh civilian was wounded in the West Bank….

Wrecking America’s Postal Service
Uruknet December 29, 2011 – At a time of open-checkbook military spending, multiple imperial wars, Wall Street bailouts, handouts to other corporate favorites, transferring unprecedented wealth to America’s rich, and preserving their tax cuts and other benefits for more, austerity is impoverishing millions, destroying their futures, and wrecking America’s Postal Service (USPS). The 1970 Postal Reorganization Act (…

PCHR Concerned over Summons and Arrests of Fatah Activists by Internal Security Service in Gaza
Uruknet December 29, 2011 – The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) is concerned over the campaign of summons and arrests waged by the Internal Security Service (ISS) in the Gaza Strip, which targeted dozens of members of Fatah Movement who used to be members of former security services. PCHR calls upon the government in the Gaza…

Iraq snapshot – December 29 , 2011
Uruknet December 29, 2011. Chaos and violence continue, Nouri wants the US to fork over weapons to him quickly, an anonymous State Dept worker ridiculously claims they can protect human rights in Iraq, the State Dept looks like a national idiot in a press briefing today, the Turkish military bombs the border and kills 35, and more….Despite…

In Defense of Bradley Manning
Uruknet December 29, 2011 – Bradley Manning is charged with leaking sensitive military information to Wikileaks. He’s currently on trial for his life. The military calls him a traitor, but he seems like a hero. In 1971 a military analyst named Daniel Ellsburg leaked what’s known as the “Pentagon Papers” to the New York Times. The papers…

Israel strikes Gaza, threatens new war
Uruknet December 29, 2011 – Israel conducted another airstrike on Gaza overnight, this time destroying an Islamic Jihad training site in central Gaza with no casualties reported, Ma’an news agency reported. Israeli warplanes struck two targets in the raid, hitting another site in northern Gaza. Palestinian factions launched a rocket in retaliation that landed in southern Israel…

Turkish military kills 35 Kurdish civilians
Uruknet December 29, 2011 – The Turkish government admitted Thursday to killing 35 Kurdish civilians previously claimed to be separatist militants. The Turkish military carried out airstrikes Wednesday night near Uludere, a village in southeastern Turkey near the Iraq border. At the time, the government said the strikes were within Iraq, in an area without a civilian…

Daily Star

US crude up 8.2 pct in ’11, 3rd straight annual gain
Daily Star 30 Dec 2011 U.S. crude on the New York Mercantile Exchange futures on Friday ended 2011 up $7.45, or 8.2 percent, a third straight annual gain but off 2010’s 15 percent jump…

Rallies, blood drives in Lebanon to aid Syria refugees
Daily Star 30 Dec 2011 Hundreds of protesters hit the streets in north Lebanon Friday to support the Syrian revolt against Bashar al-Assad.

NGO urges Arab League observers to visit jailed bloggers, journalists
Daily Star 30 Dec 2011 Arab League observers should visit jailed bloggers and journalists – and demand their release, Journalists Without Borders said.

Charbel says police arrested 11-member gang
Daily Star 30 Dec 2011 Interior Minister Marwan Charbel said Friday security forces arrested a gang of 11 people accused of multiple robberies and murders, describing it as the ministry’s holiday gift for citizens.

Hundreds of Iraqis cheer departure of US forces
Daily Star 30 Dec 2011 Hundreds of Sunni Muslims gathered in Baghdad Friday to celebrate the withdrawal of American forces.

Blast near mosque in restive northeast Nigeria: residents
Daily Star 30 Dec 2011 An explosion rocked an area near a mosque in the violence-torn city Nigerian city of Maiduguri.

Petroplus says will shut down three refineries in January
Daily Star 30 Dec 2011 Embattled oil refiner Petroplus said on Friday it will begin a temporary shutdown of three of its plants.

Bahrain protesters demand government resign
Daily Star 30 Dec 2011 Thousands of Bahrainis are marching in the capital city to demand the immediate resignation of the government.

Samoa skips Friday in leap across international date line
Daily Star 30 Dec 2011 When the clock struck midnight Thursday, the country skipped over Friday and moved 24 hours ahead.

Leading Syrian citizen journalist killed
Daily Star 30 Dec 2011 Basil al-Sayed, a leading citizen journalist in Syria, died in the hospital Thursday of wounds sustained in the restive city of Homs, which has become a hub of the country’s popular uprising.

Sudanese students rally at University of Khartoum
Daily Star 30 Dec 2011 Thousands of students are staging a sit-in at the largest university in Sudan’s capital.

Yemeni protesters demand trial of president
Daily Star 30 Dec 2011 Tens of thousands are demonstrating in Yemen, demanding that their longtime president be put on trial.

Hackers, IT units focusing on smartphone security
Daily Star 30 Dec 2011 Mobile phones have become a key target for hackers.

Sleiman hopes for stability, dialogue in 2012
Daily Star 30 Dec 2011 President Michel Sleiman said Friday he hoped 2012 would bring stability to Lebanon and would be a year of dialogue, praising Lebanon’s role in the United Nations.

Jordan Islamist demonstrators demand reform
Daily Star 30 Dec 2011 Thousands of Islamist opposition supporters demonstrated Friday in Amman to demand reform.

Clashes between Syrian forces, defectors in Damascus suburb
Daily Star 30 Dec 2011 Heavy clashes broke out between Syrian security forces and army defectors in the Damascus suburb of Douma.

Stateless rally in Kuwait for citizenship ‘dream’
Daily Star 30 Dec 2011 Hundreds of stateless people in Kuwait demonstrated on Friday for the third week demanding citizenship.

Snow expected for holiday weekend
Daily Star 30 Dec 2011 Areas at least 1,300 meters above sea level will experience heavy snow this holiday weekend, an announcement from Rafik Hariri International Airport said Friday.

YNet News

‘Synthetic’ marijuana is problem for US military
YNet News, 30 Dec 2011 – ….

US wants 2012 talks for Taliban political office
YNet News, 30 Dec 2011 – ….

UN presses Syria as death toll mounts
YNet News, 30 Dec 2011 – Syria government must give Arab League observers unhindered access, UN says, as dozens killed in bloody Friday across restive nation ….

UN backs Arab League mission to Syria
YNet News, 30 Dec 2011 – ….

Bahrain riot police clear protesters with tear gas
YNet News, 30 Dec 2011 – ….

Egypt assures US no more raids on democracy groups
YNet News, 30 Dec 2011 – ….

More deaths, protests in Syria
YNet News, 30 Dec 2011 – Hundreds of thousands of Syrians rally across nation; dozens killed, including troops ….

Israeli man gives birth
YNet News, 30 Dec 2011 – Transgender man makes history, becomes first Israeli male to give birth Thursday ….

Palestinian film: Jihad drove Israel away from Strip
YNet News, 30 Dec 2011 – New movie recreates 2005 shooting attack near Kissufim checkpoint, suggests terror led to Israeli withdrawal from Gaza. Director reveals some footage obtained through IDF officer ….

Gantz: Iran threat can be overcome with global alignment
YNet News, 30 Dec 2011 – IDF chief addresses Iranian threat in meeting with high-school students; stressed there is no exclusion of women ….

Haredi accused of sexually harassing soldier files appeal
YNet News, 30 Dec 2011 – Shlomo Fuchs, 44, accused of sexually harassing female soldier on public bus, files appeal with J’lem court. ‘Unpleasant remarks are heard every day, most of them sexual,’ he claims ….

Hamas’ Mashaal to visit Jordan
YNet News, 30 Dec 2011 – Jordanian government spokesman denies receiving Qatari request to take in Hamas leaders but suggests issue may be discussed after Mashaal’s visit ….

Palestinian Information Center

Palestinians must get their act together in 2012
PIC – 2011 brought us the Arab Spring, which consigned several tyrannical pro-American regimes to the dustbin of history. Some of these regimes had been a serious liability for the Palestinian struggle.

Occupation gives notices of demolition of 13 homes and confiscation of 160 dunum
PIC – Israeli occupation authorities have handed Palestinians notices of confiscation of 160 dunums and demolition of 13 homes in the village of Mneizel to the south east of Yatta..

A resistance fighter killed, 5 wounded in Israeli airstrike
PIC – A Palestinian resistance fighter was killed on Friday morning while five others were wounded in an Israeli occupation airstrike to the east of Gaza City.

Egyptian medical aid convoy enters Gaza
PIC – Egyptian authorities announced on Friday that it allowed an Egyptian medical aid convoy to enter the Gaza Strip through the Rafah border crossing.

Occupation arrested 3200 Palestinians, including 383 children in 2011
PIC – A human rights organisation said that occupation authorities intensified arrest campaigns against Palestinian activists in 2011, especially after the release of prisoners in a prisoner exchange deal.

Protest in al-Khalil calls for release of political prisoners
PIC – Muslim Youth Association and the committee representing families of political prisoners demonstrated on Thursday at noon in al-Khalil calling for the release of all political prisoners.

Jewish settlers invade an archaeological area near Bethlehem
PIC – A large group of settlers Friday morning invaded the historic Berak Sulaiman and Qasr al-Mo’tamarat (Convention Palace) in the town of al-Khadr to the south of Bethlehem, in the southern West Bank.

Israeli massacre of five Palestinian girls in Gaza remembered by family
PIC – The Israeli massacre of five Palestinian girls of the Balousha family in 2008 was remembered by their parents who said that they are still seeking justice to punish the killers of their daughters.

Sabri condemns Judaization of Jerusalem
PIC – Imam of the Aqsa Mosque and head of the Supreme Islamic Council, Dr. Ekrema Sabri, condemned the acceleration of Judaization process of the occupied city of Jerusalem.


Several Hurt, Including Photojournalist, in Weekly West Bank Protests
WAFA – 18:00-RAMALLAH, December 30, 2011 (WAFA) – A photojournalist and three people were hurt and many others suffered from tear gas inhalation during the weekly Friday protests in several West Bank areas, accord…

Britain Condemns Israeli Settlement Plan
WAFA – 17:22- LONDON, December 30, 2011 (WAFA) – Britain Friday condemned Israeli plans to build housing units for Jewish settlers in Jerusalem and its area settlements. British minister …

Armed Israeli Settlers Parade in West Bank Town
WAFA – 10:37-BETHLEHEM, December 30, 2011 (WAFA) – Around 200 armed Israeli settlers paraded in the town of al-Khader, south of Bethlehem Friday morning and walked around the convention center and nearby Solomon’s…

Palestinian Killed in Israeli Airstrike on Gaza
WAFA – 10:13- GAZA, December 30, 2011 (WAFA) – An Israeli airstrike on the Gaza Strip early Friday left one Palestinian dead and another injured, according to witnesses and medical sources. Witness …

Intifada Palestine

Crackpot Anti-Islam Activists, “Serial Fabricators” and the Tale of Iran and 9/11
Intifada-Palestine: 30 Dec 2011 – (Photo: Damon Winter / The New York Times) by: Gareth Porter, Truthout | Report Behind a mysterious December 22 Associated Press story about “finding of fact” by a District judge in Manhattan Friday that Iran assisted al Qaeda in the planning of the… more

An “Historic Partnership” With The Devil – An Analysis by Dr. Lawrence Davidson ?
Intifada-Palestine: 30 Dec 2011 – by Dr. Lawrence Davidson / intifada-palestine.com Part I – New York City The announcement came from the mayor’s office of New York City (NYC) on 19 December 2011 in the form of an eleven page declaration. It begins “Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg,… more


Islamic scholar casts a skeptical eye on the emerging Egypt
LA Times 30 Dec 2011 – Gamal Banna, a liberal Islamic scholar whose brother founded the Muslim Brotherhood, reflects on a year of hope and disappointment for Egypt and the region. ‘The revolution,’ he says, ‘has lost its freedom.’ Wrapped in a shawl on a cold morning, Gamal Banna shuffled over…

Egypt raids foreign organizations’ offices in crackdown
LA Times 29 Dec 2011 – Three U.S. groups are among those raided. Activists say the army is using the ruse of foreign intervention to stoke nationalism and deflect criticism of abuses. Egyptian security forces on Thursday raided the offices of 17 nongovernmental organizations, including three U.S.-based agencies, as part of…

Settlement outposts at root of Jewish violence in West Bank
LA Times 29 Dec 2011 – With their legal challenges exhausted, settlers are increasingly nervous Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing coalition is preparing to enforce court orders to dismantle outposts. For months many Israelis shrugged off the mosque burnings, the uprooted Palestinian olive trees and even the death threats against…

Egypt Promises to End Crackdown on Nonprofits After Outcry From U.S. and Europe
New York Times 30 Dec 2011 – Egypt’s military rulers privately signaled a retreat in a crackdown on organizations that promote democracy and human rights, senior American officials said.

The Saturday Profile: Rafe al-Essawi, a Moderate in an Increasingly Polarized Iraq
New York Times 30 Dec 2011 – Rafe al-Essawi, a Sunni doctor, may be the next leader to fall as Iraq’s prime minister takes aim at perceived rivals and enemies.

Large Protests Held in Syria to Prove Discontent to Monitors
New York Times 30 Dec 2011 – Protesters were intent on showing Arab League observers the extent of opposition to President Bashar al-Assad.

Israeli Strike Kills Muaman Abu-daf
New York Times 30 Dec 2011 – The Israeli military killed a Palestinian militant in Gaza on Friday and seriously wounded another one in what it said was the thwarting of a rocket attack into southern Israel.

Aussie Dave, JIDF Forge Fake Facebook Accounts, Identities on Behalf of Hasbara Jihad
Tikun Olam – JIDF’s David ‘Appletree’ Brotsky admits violating Facebook TOS David Appletree exposes Aussie Dave’s ‘fake’ Facebook accounts I’ve come into possession of a series of tweets from 2010 and shared among Aussie Dave, the Jewish Internet Task Force’s (JIDF) David Appletree (the nom de guerre of David…

New Comment Protocol
Tikun Olam – My web host has informed me that there’s a spam problem with my blog.  They’ve proposed solutions, none of which I like.  The least bad suggestion was to add a Captcha feature which requires commenters to solve simple questions in order to have their comments published….

Israel’s mythological borders: an interview with Rachel Havrelock
Mondoweiss – Rachel Havrelock is a scholar of the Hebrew Bible and its historical interpretation. She is an associate professor of Jewish Studies and English at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the author of three books as well as the writer/director of the play, From Tel…

More responses to Ron Paul’s surge
Mondoweiss – Ron Paul A Ron Paul morning wrapup. As Paul surges, the media are trying to get their heads around the phenomenon, figure out who he is. On NBC Nightly News last night, Chuck Todd likened Ron Paul’s youth army (chronicled in the NYT yesterday) to Gene…

Expendables of a waning empire
Mondoweiss –   Orphans A plethora of articles have been written highlighting the Obama Administrations expanding drone war, the United States’ unchecked militarism, and the laundry-list of deaths Obama’s ‘because we can‘ remote-controlled imperial policy has caused: A little Pakistani girl named Shakira who was burned beyond recognition…

Thanks, my enemy. I love Palestine
Mondoweiss – Palestine flag-face, artist unknown occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com Every time I happen to think of Palestine, pretty fast beats my heart. It takes me back in memory to my grandpa’s orange field, my grandma’s embroideries, and my pa’s textile doll. All I have – all new Palestinian generations have…

Occupation economy: taking from the very land they stand on
Mondoweiss – Betar Illit quarry photo by Dror Etkes I couldn’t help but think of the boycott campaign against Ahava cosmetics produced with materials mined in the occupation when Avraham Burg wrote this week in Haaretz “let the right-wing MKs, the Katzes and the Elkins, travel around the…

How Many Lies Has Rabbi Rotter Told?
Tikun Olam – Rabbi Yeshayahu Rotter: living by rules he devises and which only he understands Rabbi Yeshayahu Rotter founded Rotter.net , one of Israel’s most popular gossip and news sites (Alexa ranks it 72nd of all Israeli sites).  He is a Haredi Jew who teaches 12th grade at a…

Thierry Meyssan: Syria insurgents could spark religious war
Voltaire Network 28 Dec 2011 – Voltaire Network chairman Thierry Meyssan shares with RT his first-hand impressions on what is really happening in Syria and discusses the looming threat of a religious and sectarian violence aimed to disrupt the peaceful coexistence which has historically prevailed in Syria and to throw the country…

Sudan: Gaza Premier, Hamas Leaders Meet Bashir
allAfrica.com 30 Dec 2011 – Gaza’s Hamas premier Ismail Haniya held talks with Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir Thursday on his first official regional tour since the Islamists’ 2007 power seizure in the Palestinian enclave.


Inspirations from Palestine in 2011
Ramzy Baroud, Ma’an News Agency 12/29/2011
      Mustafa Tamimi was a 28-year-old resident of the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh. His meticulously trimmed beard served as the centerpiece of his handsome face.
     In December 2009, when an Israeli soldier shot him from a short distance with a tear gas canister, half of Mustafa’s face went missing. More soldiers laughed as his horrified family tried to accompany him to a nearby hospital, according to activists present at the scene. Only the mother was finally able to obtain a special permit from the Israeli military, which allowed her to be with her son.
     Mustafa’s crime? He, along with Palestinian, Israeli and international peace activists, protested the besieging of Nabi Saleh by the illegal Jewish settlement of Halamish.
     Halamish has existed since 1977 and drastically grown in size and population ever since, taking over privately-owned Palestinian land. As of late, Nabi Saleh has been struggling for mere survival as its fresh water spring has also been seized by settlers under the watchful eye of the Israeli army.
     Mustafa died so that the village of Nabi Saleh could live. The struggle will continue for years.
     A young man may now be gone, but he also left behind a legacy which has become the cornerstone of the augmenting international solidarity with Palestinians around the globe.
     The struggle for justice in Palestine is ultimately between a Palestinian — protesting, with a rock or rifle in hand — and an Israeli, often equipped with the latest killing technology the arms industry has to offer. more.. e-mail

30 December 2008: The Hamdan family
Palestinian Center for Human Rights 12/30/2011
      “When I wake in the morning the first thing I do is remember my children.  I come and sit outside and picture them where they used to play. I don’t want to go out and interact with other people anymore. I largely stay inside the home.”
     Talal Hamdan, 47, and Iman Hamdan, 46, are quietly contemplative about life since the loss of their three children Haya, Lama, and Ismail. The children were aged 12, 10, and 5 respectively, when on the morning of 30 December 2008 an Israeli F-16 dropped a bomb in the area they were walking in Beit Hanoun, killing all three. The children were walking with their father to a nearby rubbish site to drop off household waste when Israeli forces targeted the area. The children were the youngest of the couple’s children, and they have not had any other children since the attack.
     Though none of the previous three years have been easy on the couple, for Iman the hardest period was directly after the attack, when she found herself in deep shock. “After the death of my children I could not cry, I did not have the space to properly mourn them,” says Iman, “but when I finally became alone. I couldn’t stop my tears.” Iman believes the shock of the incident has greatly increased her physical health problems, which include severe back and leg pain. “I barely sleep at night, maybe two hours during the day,” says Iman. Her grief is compounded by the experience of losing her father, brother and two cousins all on the same day during the first intifada.
     Talal’s life has also been completely changed since the death of his children. “When I wake in the morning the first thing I do is remember my children. I come and sit outside and picture them where they used to play,” says Talal. “I don’t want to go out and interact with other people anymore. I largely stay inside the home.” Talal had a very close relationship with Ismail, “he would beg me to take him everywhere with me and so I would take him, we were always together….” more.. e-mail

Riding Israel: A tragicomedy
Marwan Bishara, Al Jazeera.com 12/30/2011
      Senior political analyst explains why Newt Gingrich is no Tom Cruise, and why touting Israel is a mission impossible.
     The film “Mission Impossible 4” opened in US theatres in recent weeks, starring BMW, Apple and Tom Cruise. A two-hour-long commercial on steroids.
     If you are unfamiliar with it, Paid Product Placement (PPP) is a big thing in the movie industry.
     This is how it works: Hollywood places in its movies certain watches, cars or a laptop brands; preferably worn by George Clooney, driven by Angelina Jolie or placed in front of Meg Ryan. In “The Transformers”, for example, GM’s Cameros lead with Megan Fox.
     PPP is indirect marketing that targets oblivious movie viewers, gender notwithstanding, Catherine Banning or Will Smith could be drinking Pepsi.
     The spirit and soul of a movie are sometimes compromised when its script and shooting are shaped by commercial, rather than artistic, considerations.
     PPP allows for extra budgets to produce costlier gimmicks that, in turn, bring more profit. “Mission Impossible”, for example, has reaped $75m in the first 10 days at the box office.
     The same logic seems to apply to politics. PPP is one way to understand the sudden surge of Israel-schmoozing and Palestine abusing ahead of the US election. more.. e-mail

Exposed: UK university student claiming bias works for project of Israel pressure group
Electronic Intifada: 30 Dec 2011 – Asa Winstanley The Electronic Intifada London A worker at an Israeli media pressure group used her low dissertation mark as a post-graduate student at University of Warwick to smear a professor involved in Palestine solidarity activism this month.more

Anatomy of Israel’s Survival – Book Review
Palestine Chronicle: 30 Dec 2011 – Reviewed by Jim Miles (The Anatomy of Israel’s Survival. Hirsh Goodman. Signal/McClelland & Stewart, Toronto, 2011.) The “Anatomy of Israel’s Survival” rests on a single backbone: military strength. I have always said that Israel will survive regardless of the situations it may find itself embroiled in because of its obvious overwhelming military strength and its historical record of using disproportionate force while doing so. Hirsh Goodman’s presentation, as much as it discusses other problems for Israel, is essentially the same. Israel has the military strength, is “known to possess an arsenal of several hundred nuclear weapons of various kinds,” has one of the most technologically advanced militaries, and is linked directly to the largest military state in the world with which it shares its technology and ideologies, the U.S. Survival is virtually guaranteed, what remains is the question of what kind of state it will be. While the work is…more

Israel and the Rise of Islamic Movements
Palestine Chronicle: 30 Dec 2011 – By Uri Avnery – Israel If Islamist movements come to power all over the region, they should express their debt of gratitude to their bete noire, Israel. Without the active or passive help of successive Israeli governments, they may not have been able to realize their dreams. That is true in Gaza, in Beirut, in Cairo and even in Tehran. Let’s take the example of Hamas. All over the Arab lands, dictators have been faced with a dilemma. They could easily close down all political and civic activities, but they could not close the mosques. In the mosques people could congregate in order to pray, organize charities and, secretly, set up political organizations. Before the days of Twitter and Facebook, that was the only way to reach masses of people. One of the dictators faced with this dilemma was the Israel military governor in the occupied Palestinian territories. Right from…more

Middle East’s Fragile Democracy in Danger
Palestine Chronicle: 30 Dec 2011 – By Ramesh Jaura – Berlin If the year 2011 appeared to be a beacon of hope for freedom and democracy in the Middle East and North Africa, indications are that 2012 will be marked by rough battles to protect the fruits of valiant revolts across Europe’s Mediterranean frontiers. In fact, the conflict brewing over the Strait of Hormuz bodes ill for peace – the spinal cord of freedom and democracy – in the region and beyond, unless it is prevented from turning violent and gory. The curtain on the impending battles was raised on December 29 when the Egyptian security forces raided the offices of civil society and human rights organizations in Cairo. The aim, according to the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI), was “to intimidate activists and rights advocates, gag their mouths, and freeze their activities in support of human rights and against repression and torture.” ANHRI…more

Shocking Nakba Testimony by Former Israeli Palmach Fighter
Dissident Voice: 30 Dec 2011 – Ethnic cleansing, massacres, colonization and a great deal of racism are all revealed in this shocking video testimony of Amnon Neumann, who fought with the terrorist force (elite of the Haganah), Palmach, during the Nakba of 1948. Neumann reveals that Moshe Dayan expelled Palestinians even as late as 1951! Despite some moments of remorse, the former member of this terror group tells the interviewer that he refuses to talk about the massacres, in particular, because he participated in them. He also tries to portray Palestinian villages as all made of straw and mud houses! Perhaps the selective amnesia that has afflicted almost all Jewish Israelis has not spared Neumann. Warning to Palestinian refugees watching this: it can be really difficult to listen to parts of this testimony. I had to stop the video twice … the nonchalance with which Neumann describes (in clearly sanitized language) the forced expulsion, the killings…more

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