VTJP Palestine/Israel Newslinks 10 May 2012: Israeli government announces plan to forcibly remove 2300 Bedouins

10 May 2012 — VTJP


International Middle East Media Center

Court Injunction Delays Demolitions of Jerusalem Area Bedouin Homes
IMEMC – The Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center obtained on Wednesday an injunction order for Khan al-Ahmar Kurshan community. This temporary injunction prevents the demolition of homes of the eight families that received 24-hour eviction notices on Sunday, 6 May. …

Settlers Prevent Farmers from Reaching Their Land
IMEMC – The Palestinian News Network reported that a number of settlers prevented farmers in the town of Tekoa East south of Bethlehem from accessing their agricultural lands. …

Ban Ki-moon: Palestinian hunger Strikers Should be Brought to Trial or Released 
IMEMC – The Palestinian News Network reported today that Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, stated through his spokesman, Martin Nesirky, that the Palestinian prisoners who are on hunger strike and who are held under administrative detention without trial should ‘be charged with legal guarantees or released’. …

Israeli Abducts 17 Palestinians
IMEMC – The Palestinian News Network PNN reported that Israeli soldiers abducted 17 Palestinians from various locations across the West Bank on Thursday morning. …

Israeli Military Launches Campaign to Arrest Draft Dodgers
IMEMC – Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth reported on its website on Thursday that the Israeli Military Police have started a widespread campaign to catch the increasing numbers of draft dodgers, young Israeli people who avoid military service. This campaign will carry on for two weeks in order to arrest hundreds of them and bring them to trial. …

Evidence Of Ulpana Neighbourhood Illegality Poses Problem For Netanyahu
IMEMC – Damning new Israeli Police evidence surrounding the original decision to start building in Beit El’s Ulpana area poses serious problems for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud party, who have openly campaigned and petitioned against the removal of the settlement. …

Protesters Close Red Cross Headquarter In Ramallah
IMEMC – Dozens of residents held, on Thursday, a protest in front of the United Nations – Red Cross headquarters in the central West Bank city of Ramallah, demanding the UN to perform its duties in protecting the rights of Palestinian political prisoners held by Israel. …

Israeli Court Orders the Release of Detained Nonviolent Activist
IMEMC – Palestinian nonviolent activist, Bassem Tamimi, 45, from Nabi Saleh village, north of the central West Bank city of Ramallah, spent more than 13 months in Israeli prisons. Earlier on Friday, an Israeli court rejected an appeal filed by the Israeli prosecution against his release, yet imposed severe restrictions on him including confining him to the Ramallah district. …

Israeli government announces plan to forcibly remove 2300 Bedouins
IMEMC – In their urgency to “resolve” a perceived problem with the Bedouin population, the Israeli government has proposed that 2,300 Bedouins be relocated from hill surrounding the Palestinian town of As Sawahra, where they live on the edge of a garbage dump at al Abidal. …

Ma’an News

Fatah prisoners on hunger strike refuse medicine
5/10/2012GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Hunger-striking detainees affiliated to Fatah said Thursday they are refusing medicine as well as food and water until Israel responds to their demands. A representative for Fatah prisoners informed party officials in Gaza that detainees were determined to achieve the goals of the strike, which include family visits, access to…. Related: Lawyer: Halahla could die at any moment

Israeli forces arrest 17 people across the West Bank
5/10/2012 – NABLUS (Ma’an) — Israeli forces arrested 17 people overnight Wednesday in the West Bank, Israel’s army and PA officials said. Seven people were detained in the Nablus village of Burin, six in the Bethlehem area, two in Qalandia, one in Jericho and one in Ramallah, an Israeli army spokesman said. Ghassan Daghlas….

Lawyer: Halahla could die at any moment
5/10/2012 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Prison doctors have told Thaer Halahla that he could die at any moment after 72 days on hunger strike, his lawyer Mona Neddaf said Thursday. Neddaf visited Halahla, 33, in Ramle prison clinic on Thursday, the prisoner rights group Addameer said in a statement. He is vomiting blood, bleeding from his…. Related:Fatah prisoners on hunger strike refuse medicine

Group: Hunger strike leaders meet Israeli authorities
5/10/2012GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — A Palestinian prisoners rights group said Thursday that leaders of a hunger strike met with the Israeli prison administration inside Nafha jail. The Hussam organization said the administration indicated it was flexible about loosening the use of solitary confinement and promised to ease limitations on visitors and improve the cantine….

Report: Hamas forms anti-rocket force in Gaza
5/10/2012 – TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma’an) — An Israeli newspaper reported Thursday that Gaza’s Hamas government has been operating a force over the past few months whose sole task is to prevent the firing of rockets into Israel. The report in Haaretz, which was denied by the government in Gaza, quoted a source who….

Relatives of prisoners protest outside Red Crescent HQ
5/10/2012 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Protesting relatives of prisoners in Israeli jails forced the International Red Crescent headquarters in al-Bireh to temporarily close on Thursday. Family members prevented employees from entering the building, calling on the UN to intervene to protect hunger strikers, a Ma’an correspondent said. Protesters said they opposed the negative role…. Related: 9 protesters hurt in clash outside Ofer prison

Israel moves 2 prisoners out of solitary confinement
5/10/2012 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Israeli prison authorities moved two prisoners out of solitary confinement on Thursday, the Prisoners Society said. Mahmoud Issa, who has been in isolation for 13 years, and Waleed Ali were moved out of their cells by Israel’s prison administration.”We applaud the prison administration’s decision to release….

Literature festival shut down by police in Gaza
5/10/2012 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Security forces in the Gaza Strip shut down the fifth Palestine Festival of Literature late Wednesday, sparking outrage from participants and an apology by the chief of police. The festival’s final event was ordered to close down by police forces, organizers said Thursday, even though the event was coordinated….

9 protesters hurt in clash outside Ofer prison
5/10/2012 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Nine Palestinians were injured, including one seriously, by rubber bullets during clashes that erupted between Palestinians and Israeli forces near the Ofer prison. The demonstration was held near the Ofar prison but the Israeli forces intervened in a sit-in by shooting tear gas and stun grenades in addition to rubber bullets…. Related: Relatives of prisoners protest outside Red Crescent HQ

PA: Suspects in Jenin shooting attack detained
5/10/2012 – JENIN (Ma’an) — Security forces on Thursday arrested the perpetrators of a shooting attack on the home of the late governor of Jenin, a spokesman said. On May 1, assailants opened fire on Qaddura Musa’s home in Jenin. The governor left his home with security chiefs to investigate when he suffered a….

FM: Abbas expecting response to Israel letter
5/10/2012 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The Palestinian Authority foreign minister on Thursday said President Mahmoud Abbas expected to receive a response to a letter sent to Israel’s leadership in the coming days. Riyad al-Malki said Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu‘s decision to legalize three settler outposts two days after receiving the letter from….

Abbas meets UN envoy in Ramallah
5/10/2012 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — President Mahmoud Abbas met Thursday with the United Nations envoy for the Middle East peace process to discuss the issue of Palestinian prisoners, a UN official said. Robert Serry and Abbas met in Ramallah and discussed “issues of shared interest,” including peace talks and the internal politics, a spokesman for the….

Haniyeh: Hamas won’t go to war for Iran
5/10/2012GAZA CITY (Reuters) — Hamas will not let itself be dragged into a war against Israel if it attacks the nuclear facilities of Hamas ally Iran, Gaza leader Ismail Haniyeh said Thursday.” Hamas is a Palestinian movement that acts within the Palestinian arena and it carries out its political and field actions in a way that….

Abbas meets with security force leaders
5/10/2012 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — President Mahmoud Abbas met with leaders from the Palestinian security forces in Ramallah on Wednesday. Secretary-general of the presidency Tayyeb Abdul Rahim, interior minister Saed Abu Ali, security forces assistant to the president Ismail Jaber, and presidential office chairman Hussein al-Araj were among officials who attended the meeting, a statement said….

PA employees report new currency crisis in Gaza
5/10/2012GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Gaza banks are experiencing another currency crisis, protesters said Thursday. Palestinian Authority employees organized a sit-in in front of the Bank of Palestine in Nuseirat to protest the fact that their salaries were distributed in multiple currencies.”We were surprised today that our salaries were in dollars, (Jordanian) dinars, and….

Abbas meets relatives of hunger-strikers
5/10/2012 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — President Mahmud Abbas said Thursday that the Palestinian leadership was sparing no effort to liberate Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails. Speaking with prisoners’ families at a sit-in tent in Al-Bireh, Abbas said that the prisoners’ cause is not only political but also a humanitarian issue.”This is another reason….

Father blames medical negligence for daughter’s death
5/10/2012 – HEBRON (Ma’an) — A man from Hebron says medical negligence led to his daughter’s death on Saturday, four days after she underwent stomach reduction surgery. Aya al-Froukh, from Sair east of Hebron, suffered stomach pains and in April made an appointment to see a doctor whose services were advertised on a banner….

State TV: 55 killed, 372 wounded in Syria blast
5/10/2012 – BEIRUT (Reuters) — Two suicide car bombers killed more than 55 people and wounded 372 in the Syrian capital Damascus, the Syrian Interior Ministry said in a statement on government-owned TV on Thursday. Syrian television blamed “terrorists” for the rush-hour blasts on the southern edge of the city and showed dozens of mangled, burnt and smoldering….

UN Security Council condemns Syria attacks
5/10/2012 – UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) — The UN Security Council strongly condemned the “terrorist attacks” in Syria on Thursday, urging all parties to the 14-month conflict to cease all armed violence and comply with a UN-backed peace plan.” The members of the security council condemned in the strongest terms the terrorist attacks that occurred in Damascus, Syria….

White House: Extremists taking advantage of Syria chaos
5/10/2012 – ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE (Reuters) — The White House condemned Thursday’s suicide car bombings in Damascus, which it said were not representative of the opposition to Syrian President Bashar Assad, arguing they showed the need to end the country’s upheaval.” Attacks like these that result in the indiscriminate killing and injury of….

Egypt seizes weapons cache, arrests smugglers
5/10/2012 – CAIRO (Reuters) — Egyptian security forces have seized 40 surface-to-surface missiles and other heavy weapons being smuggled along the northern coastal highway from Libya by a group from the Sinai Peninsula, state media reported Thursday. The arms had been seized on the road between Marsa Matrouh and Alexandria on the Mediterranean coast, state media reported. The….

Palestinian Center for Human Rights

PCHR Condemns Preventing al-Quds Channel Crew from Carrying out Their Work and Their Detention by Shifa Hospital Security Personnel in Gaza City
Palestinian Center for Human Rights 

International Solidarity Movement

Karmei Tsur: Poisoning the vine with Zionism
5/10/2012 – International Solidarity Movement – By Joseph, 7 May 2012, International Solidarity Movement, West Bank – When Ali Awad visited his orchard on Friday morning before the midday prayer he noticed nothing out of the usual. But eight hours later, when he returned to his land in order to gather grape leaves to sell in the local market, he was shocked….

Alternative Information Center

Situation of long-term hunger strikers becomes increasingly urgent 
Alternative Information Center – Addameer lawyer Mona Neddaf visited four hunger strikers in Ramleh prison medical clinic today, including Thaer Halahleh, now on his 73 rd day of hunger strike.

Prisoner families step up international pressure, temporarily force ICRC HQ closing in West Bank 
Alternative Information Center – For the second day straight, family members and supporters of hunger striking Palestinian prisoners forced the temporary closing of an international intergovernmental office, this time the Ramallah-area headquarters of the International Committee of the Red Cross (…

The National

Official calls for Iran to settle dispute
The National 10 May 2012 – Dr Tariq Ahmed Al Haydan underscores that the ‘UAE has exerted efforts to have the issue settled amicably in assertion of the historic ties and good neighbourliness with Iran‘.


Turkey objects to Israel’s attendance at NATO summit
Ha’aretz – 10 May 2012

Clinton to Netanyahu: Use unity cabinet to advance Mideast peace
Ha’aretz – 10 May 2012

The Palestinian taxi driver crucial to Jewish settlement in E. Jlem
Ha’aretz – 10 May 2012

Progress in talks between Palestinian hunger strikers, Israeli officials
Ha’aretz – 10 May 2012

Survey: Most Israeli parents want schools to expand art, culture events
Ha’aretz – 10 May 2012

Jerusalem rabbi hears divorce cases as daughter represents spouses
Ha’aretz – 10 May 2012

Jerusalem construction work leaves woman trapped in her own home
Ha’aretz – 10 May 2012

In Jerusalem, possible site of ancient church’s ‘miracle’ is revealed
Ha’aretz – 10 May 2012

U.S. official: Israel’s absence from NATO summit not result of Turkey veto
Ha’aretz – 10 May 2012

Yair Lapid: With unity cabinet, Netanyahu can fight Israeli extremists
Ha’aretz – 10 May 2012

Finance Minister: Israel likely won’t back same-sex marriages in near future
Ha’aretz – 10 May 2012

Israeli mayor suspected of rape: It was consensual
Ha’aretz – 10 May 2012

Netanyahu, Israeli cabinet to weigh approval of illegal West Bank outpost
Ha’aretz – 10 May 2012

Israel’s LGBT community praises Obama’s support for same-sex marriage
Ha’aretz – 10 May 2012

Israeli soldier wounded in West Bank field exercise
Ha’aretz – 10 May 2012

New Hamas force in Gaza is foiling rocket attacks against Israel
Ha’aretz – 9 May 2012

Settler leaders knew homes were built on private Palestinian land, says Ulpana developer
Ha’aretz – 9 May 2012

Israeli ministers fear Mofaz will flip-flop and support strike on Iran
Ha’aretz – 9 May 2012

Two controversial, costly paths lead tens of thousands to Meron Lag Ba’omer celebrations
Ha’aretz – 9 May 2012

Israeli police officer lied about sending patrol car to scene of murder
Ha’aretz – 9 May 2012

Israel Radio staff up in arms over changes in schedule
Ha’aretz – 9 May 2012

Israel Police believe Haifa burial society head was murdered over feud with rival
Ha’aretz – 9 May 2012

Rumors abound that parties may quit Israel’s new coalition government
Ha’aretz – 9 May 2012

Israeli report shows 70 percent rise in soldiers on welfare
Ha’aretz – 9 May 2012

Jerusalem Post

Beit Shemesh man charged with killing Hevra Kadisha head
Jerusalem Post 10 May 2012 – District attorney charges 40-year-old Itzhik Hazan with his murder of Haifa burial society head Benny Hesse. 

Ethiopians march to protest May 31 tent eviction
Jerusalem Post 10 May 2012 – Activists have held vigil outside of the residence for 89 days to protest racism against Ethiopians. 

PA chief fired after blaming Fatah for Jenin chaos
Jerusalem Post 10 May 2012 – Commander Radi Asideh fired after saying PA security officers and Fatah “outlaws” responsible for state of lawlessness. 

Palestinian news group blocks Israeli contact
Jerusalem Post 10 May 2012 – A Palestinian journalist group forbids its members from meeting with their Israeli counterparts. 

Abbas warns Israel over hunger strikers
Jerusalem Post 10 May 2012 – “The case of [hunger striking] prisoners is not only a political issue, rather it is a humanitarian issue,” PA president says. 

‘Saudi clerics use social media to spread hate’
Jerusalem Post 10 May 2012 – Report: A decade after 9/11, calls for jihad are down but xenophobic rhetoric is alive and well. 

Another tack: Dishonest and disgusting
Jerusalem Post 10 May 2012 – In 1942, George Orwell said that “so-called peace propaganda is just as dishonest,” intellectually disgusting as war propaganda. 

National unity, but not national decisions
Jerusalem Post 10 May 2012 – Savir’s Corner: Elections in US still taking place; elections in Israel postponed, may take place on time in 2013 or earlier. 

Lapid to supporters: ‘They will not break us’
Jerusalem Post 10 May 2012 – Yesh Atid leader says that no gov’t which gave Yishai power over drafting haredim will meaningfully change Tal Law. 

Abbas: PA won’t stay silent if prisoners harmed
Jerusalem Post 10 May 2012 – “The case of [hunger striking] prisoners is not only a political issue, rather it is a humanitarian issue,” PA president says. 

Haniyeh: Hamas will not go to war for Iran
Jerusalem Post 10 May 2012Hamas PM says Netanyahu‘s coalition deal was for internal reasons, but may have had “external motives.” 

Egypt to air first televised presidential debate
Jerusalem Post 10 May 2012 – Self-proclaimed liberal nationalist Moussa and independent Islamist Aboul Fotouh, seen as top front-runners, to face off. 

Jewish pilgrims stay away from Tunisia festival
Jerusalem Post 10 May 2012 – No more than 500 pilgrims attended religious festival celebrated a month after Passover at one of Africa’s oldest synagogues. 

Mexican volcano forces closure of Puebla airport
Jerusalem Post 10 May 2012 – Gov’t of Puebla says local authorities ordered airport to close, would review situation again around midday. 

Knesset to vote on bill legalizing W. Bank outposts
Jerusalem Post 10 May 2012 – If bill passes, could transform outposts throughout West Bank into legal settlements overnight. 

18 years for human trafficking ringleader
Jerusalem Post 10 May 2012 – Saban found guilty of false imprisonment, possession of prostitution premises, money laundering, confiscating passport. 

Kiryat Malachi mayor denies rape suspicions
Jerusalem Post 10 May 2012 – Mayor says sexual relations were held “consensually,” expresses confidence that “truth will come to light.” 

PA transfers Jenin commander who slams Fatah
Jerusalem Post 10 May 2012 – Radi Assideh earlier this week said that PA security officers, Fatah “outlaws” were responsible for anarchy in city, 

As Egyptians return to polls, voter fatigue
Jerusalem Post 10 May 2012 – Despair that the many elections in Egypt over the past 14 months have failed to bring change. 

IPS lets 2 out of solitary, expects end to strike
Jerusalem Post 10 May 2012 – Official also says he expects ongoing negotiations will lead to end to hunger strike in 7-10 days. 

Cabbage for springtime
Jerusalem Post 10 May 2012 – To many, cabbage salad means coleslaw, but there are plenty more options. 

Mofaz: Unity gov’t a ‘historic opportunity’
Jerusalem Post 10 May 2012 – Kadima leader rejects criticism he “flip-flopped” by joining coalition of former rival Netanyahu

Spurred by Obama, MK files marriage equality bill
Jerusalem Post 10 May 2012 – Meretz MK Horowitz resubmits “Freedom of Choice in Marriage” bill, after US president declares support for same-sex marriage. 

Sudanese man charged with raping 17-year-old
Jerusalem Post 10 May 2012 – Defendant allegedly raped victim on sofa, knowing she was drunk. 

Chosen Bites: Stinking Flower
Jerusalem Post 10 May 2012 – The Jewish people have had a long, tempestuous relationship with garlic. 

French Left-turn in pursuit of traditional presidency
Jerusalem Post 10 May 2012 – Francois Hollande’s victory signals departure from “Merkozy” approach to Europe’s economy. 

Tel Aviv man charged with mother’s murder
Jerusalem Post 10 May 2012 – Binyamin Davidi allegedly stabbed his mother to death after she repeatedly asked him to leave her apartment. 

Zahar: New Israeli gov’t won’t risk Iran, Gaza wars
Jerusalem Post 10 May 2012Hamas leader rejects idea that addition of Mofaz to coalition will make Israel more likely to launch military operations. 

Why Egyptian Salafists support a liberal Muslim
Jerusalem Post 10 May 2012 – Is Abdelmonem Aboelfotohh’s agenda to implement progressive ideas or sharia law? 

Bill would close courts in domestic violence trials
Jerusalem Post 9 May 2012 – Hearings regarding women currently open to media; minors involved in sex or violence cases already get such protection. 

Hindu teacher brings J’lem mantra of compassion
Jerusalem Post 9 May 2012 – Morari Bapu, a Hindu preacher from India visits and teaches central mantra of truth, love and compassion to hundreds in Jerusalem. 

Ministries move to reduce organophosphates
Jerusalem Post 9 May 2012 – While they can affect anyone who is exposed, organophosphates affect primarily agricultural workers. 

Environment reps added to Petroleum Council
Jerusalem Post 9 May 2012 – Economic Affairs Committee makes the move at the behest of the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel. 

New law will control medical equipment oversight
Jerusalem Post 9 May 2012 – After years of inadequate supervision of medical equipment, the Knesset this week approved a government bill to improve such activities. 

Sparks of love this Lag Ba’omer
Jerusalem Post 9 May 2012 – Rabbi Menachem Mendel Taub of Kaliv has lived a dramatic, at times traumatic, but fulfilled life over the past nine decades. 

Illegal piranhas discovered in drug raid
Jerusalem Post 9 May 2012 – Police arrest the man for drug trafficking and Agriculture Ministry inspectors question him about the predatory fish. 

Landau submits proposal for summer shortage
Jerusalem Post 9 May 2012 – Energy and Water Minister recommends a 30-megawatt increase in solar rooftops allocations to boost energy. 

The Guardian

TV review: Prisoners of War (Hatufim); Phil Spencer: Secret Agent
The Guardian 10 May 2012 – From the Israeil slow-burning thriller that Homeland was based on to selling houses in Manchester Oh for God’s sake. I’m pretty much fluent in Danish, can get by in Swedish, have a smattering of Arabic. Now…

Binyamin Netanyahu has indeed learned to play politics | Aluf Benn
The Guardian 10 May 2012 – By striking a surprise coalition deal, Israel’s PM has secured another 18 months in power and he’ll be calling the shots Shortly before the 2009 election that propelled Binyamin Netanyahu back to power in Israel, I…

Inter Press Service

Palestinian Children Labour for Little in Israel
IPS “It’s tiring,” says 15-year-old Ibrahim*, deep lines running across his forehead. “But there is no alternative.” Only a teenager, Ibrahim has been working full-time for three years already.


Elderly Gaza man on hunger strike in solidarity with “only son left”
Uruknet May 10, 2012 – The sit-in tent for Palestinian political prisoners has been moved from the International Committee for the Red Cross to a central park near the statue of the Unknown Soldier in the middle of Gaza City. It is one of the few green places and thus one of the most lively places in…

Chaos at Guantánamo as the 9/11 Trial Begins
Uruknet May 10, 2012 -On Saturday, the eyes of the world were on Guantánamo, as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other men accused of planning and facilitating the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 – Ramzi bin al-Shibh, Ali Abd al-Aziz Ali, Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi and Walid bin Attash – appeared in a courtroom for the first…

The Children of Iraq: Was the price worth it?
Uruknet May 9, 2012 – Behind all these data, figures and numbers that I will present to you, are children with a name, a personality, they are sisters, brothers, daughters, a son, a grandchild, a friend. I regret to have to put them in tables and categories, each of them , so vulnerable and fragile, they became the…

Syria: Dozens Reported Dead After Massive Twin Bomb Attacks In Damascus
Uruknet Two massive explosions have rocked the Syrian capital Damascus with state media reporting dozens of people dead or injured. The scale of the explosions is still unclear, but it has been suggested the explosions represent the deadliest attacks in the city for months. The Syrian foreign ministry reported 55 people killed, 372 injured, and said the…

Lawyer: Halahla could die at any moment
Uruknet May 10, 2012 – Prison doctors have told Thaer Halahla that he could die at any moment after 72 days on hunger strike, his lawyer Mona Neddaf said Thursday.Neddaf visited Halahla, 33, in Ramle prison clinic on Thursday, the prisoner rights group Addameer said in a statement. He is vomiting blood, bleeding from his gums and…

PRESS RELEASE: Bush and Associates Authorised Torture
Uruknet May 9, 2012 – The third day of the Kuala Lumpur war crimes tribunal hearing saw the prosecution present its submission to establish that the accused parties are indeed guilty as charged for the Crime of Torture and Crimes Against Humanity. In the last two days, three witnesses namely Abbas Abid, Moazzam Begg and Jameelah Hameedi…

Gaza: Occupied Lives: Hoping for a New Home
Uruknet May 9, 2012 – Nasser Jaber Ismail Abu Said (38) is from a family of refugees and lives in Johr al Dik, a small farming village east of Gaza City. Until 2010, he lived with his parents in their house located approximately 300 meters from the Palestinian-Israeli border. He is married and has five children, four…

Ads Warn Jewish Parents – Keep Daughters Away from Arabs
Uruknet May 09, 2012 – Ari Gallahar of Ynetnews reports today that advertisements made to look like imaginary wedding invitations have been distributed throughout Jerusalem’s streets in a bid to demonstrate what would happen if Jewish parents fail to keep watch over their daughters. Lehava, the extremist Jewish organization for the prevention of assimilation in the Holy…

Military Resistance 10E2: Command Hiding Afghan Attacks 
Uruknet May 9, 2012 – Ten children and four women were killed in recent bombardments of the foreign forces in western Badghis and southern Helmand provinces of Afghanistan, officials and area residents said Monday. Abdul Rauf, a resident of Nawbar area, Balamurghab district, Badghis province told the Afghan Islamic Press (AIP) the foreign forces conducted bombardment in…

PRESS RELEASE:The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal Hears Witness Testimonies of Horrific Tortures
Uruknet May 9, 2012 – The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal heard the testimony of the prosecution’s third witness Jameelah Abbas Hameedi, who used to be the Head Chief of the Cooperation Unions in Kirkuk. The 57-year-old Iraqi told of her torture in the Baghdad Airport and Abu Ghraib prisons in 2004. She told the 5-member tribunal…

Israeli government announces plan to forcibly remove 2300 Bedouins
Uruknet May 9, 2012 – In their urgency to “resolve” a perceived problem with the Bedouin population, the Israeli government has proposed that 2,300 Bedouins be relocated from hill surrounding the Palestinian town of As Sawahra, where they live on the edge of a garbage dump at al Abidal. Further plans are currently being pressed forward through…

012 (Warning: Graphic Videos) 
Uruknet May 9 2012 – Wednesday drew to an end in Syria with 23 martyrs: 7 martyrs in Homs, 6 martyrs in Hama, 3 martyrs in Damascus Suburbs, 4 martyrs in Aleppo, 2 martyrs in Idlib and a martyr in Deir Ezzor. Aleppo: Three people were martyred in Sheikh Maqsood while a strike took place: Ahmed Kojar (…

Protesting NATO
Uruknet May 9, 2012 – The NATO summit meeting later this month, in Chicago, will be the place “where new Obama administration restrictions on civil liberties will be put into full effect.” Nevertheless, it is necessary to protest NATO’s role as “the armed wing for European and American elites who control the destiny not only of the…

Afghanistan’s massacred innocents have names
Uruknet May 9, 2012 – With opinion polls showing high disapproval of the U.S. war in Afghanistan and in the wake of the upcoming NATO summit in Chicago, President Barack Obama’s trip last week to Afghanistan was intended to demonstrate to the American people and its allies that the war in Afghanistan will soon end. Instead, Obama’s…

Historic Hunger Strikes: Lightning in the Skies of Palestine
Uruknet May 9, 2012 – There is ongoing militant expression of Palestinian resistance to the abuses of Israel’s 45 years of occupation and de facto annexation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and five year blockade of Gaza taking the form of a series of hunger strikes. Recourse to this desperate tactic of courageous self-sacrifice is…

Act now for starving political prisoners
Uruknet May 9, 2012 – On Monday 7th May the Israeli Supreme Court rejected the appeals of two hunger strikers, Bilal Diab 27, and Thaer Halahleh 33, held in administrative detention without charge or trial, denied the right to see the evidence against them. These young men are in the 70th day of their hunger strike and…

Israeli attacks on Muslim-and Christian-owned buildings and religious sites in Palestine
Uruknet May 9, 2012 – The recent escalation of Israeli attacks on Muslim and Christian religious sites in Palestine, including Jerusalem, other cities in the occupied West Bank and the area occupied in 1948, can be viewed as part of Israel’s assault on all things Palestinian since 1967. It is a war declared by Israel and waged…

012 : A Video Roundup 

Palestinian protesters block entrance to UN in Ramallah
Uruknet May 9 2012 – Palestinian demonstrators staged a sit-in at the entrance to the United Nations offices in Ramallah Wednesday morning to protest inaction by the international body on behalf of the approximately 2,000 Palestinian prisoners now on hunger strike. The sit-in, which was organized by the group Palestinians for Dignity, prevented UN employees from entering…

012 Olympics
Uruknet May 9, 2012 – Last weekend, residents at Lexington Building in London’s Bow Quarter received an unexpected item in the post. A leaflet from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) informed them that the Army planned to install a High Velocity Missile system on the roof of the complex, as part of the security arrangements for the…

Salute to the Daughters of Palestine; the Mothers of Palestinian Political Prisoners
Uruknet May 9, 2012 – I saw her during a protest in support of Hana’ Ash-Shalabi. She was sitting, surrounded by protesters, too weak to stand, and holding a poster of Hana’. People around her tried to convince her to go home and eat or at least drink something. She looked at us and shook her head:…

Poor Little Haiti to be Fleeced of its Riches
Uruknet May 9, 2012 – Haiti’s mineral wealth is marked for super-exploitation by a Canadian corporation that has already wreaked havoc in the neighboring Dominican Republic. Mining companies claim the gold and silver reserves were only recently discovered, but “the story could just as well be that the mining executives were biding their time and waiting for…

New Pew Center poll highlights growing Egyptian revulsion at peace treaty with Israel
Uruknet May 9, 2012 -The Pew Research Center poll shows antipathy towards the US and Israel–an expected result if you follow data on Arab and Muslim attitudes towards the West and Israel. Here are the relevant numbers: 60% of Egyptians say that US economic and military aid to Egypt has a “detrimental impact”; almost 40% want a…

Somalia Recolonized – With African Help
Uruknet May 9, 2012 – Since at least 2006, Somalia has been the focus of the United States’ drive for military domination of Africa, with other African states lining up to join in the bloody, neocolonial feast. Sierra Leone is the latest. “Sierra Leone’s soldiers have become cogs in the imperial reconquest of Africa, with Somalia as…

Drone warfare: politically expedient and disturbingly inaccurate
Uruknet May 9, 2012 – With almost no public debate, in the past decade the United States has increased dramatically the use of a significant new weapon in its military and counterterrorism efforts: unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones. Drones have become such a major part of American counterterrorism efforts that current Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has…

Despite Interpol notice, Turkey says it won’t extradite Iraq’s vice president 
Uruknet May 9, 2012 – Turkey said Wednesday that it has no plans to send Iraq’s vice president, who is currently in Turkey, back to Iraq for prosecution even after Interpol placed him on its most-wanted list. Iraq has charged Tariq al-Hashemi with terrorism, accusing him of guiding and financing death squads that targeted government officials, security…

Hunger Strike on the West Bank Empty Stomachs, Palestinian Spring
Uruknet May 9, 2012 – Following the examples of Khader Adnan and Hana Shalabi, 1,500 Palestinian prisoners have joined a mass hunger strike campaign inside Israeli military prisons. They are calling for an immediate termination of the policy of administrative detention and the excessive use of solitary confinement, and demanding humane living conditions, family visits, and reasonable…

Saudi loan seen unlikely to cut Egypt T-bill costs
Daily Star 10 May 2012 Egypt secured a long-awaited $1 billion loan from Saudi Arabia, but the funds are probably too little and too late to take pressure off government finances and bring down its borrowing costs soon.

Israel seeks deal with Palestinian hunger strikers
Daily Star 10 May 2012 Israel’s prison service has offered to ease restrictions on Palestinian prisoners in a bid to end a mass hunger strike that has left several detainees close to death.

Daily Star

Hamas says it will not go to war for Iran
Daily Star 10 May 2012 The Islamist movement Hamas will not let itself be dragged into a war against Israel if it attacks the nuclear facilities of Hamas ally Iran, Gaza leader Ismail Haniyeh said on Thursday.

Bahrain activists burn tyres, demand women’s release
Daily Star 10 May 2012 Bahraini opposition activists said they blocked roads with burning tyres on Thursday to demand the release of women prisoners.

US cautions Lebanese banks on Syria: Treasury
Daily Star 10 May 2012 The US is urging Lebanese banks to take “extra” caution in handling financial transactions with Syria, to prevent the Assad regime and its supporters from stashing money abroad.

Palestinian leader warns Israel over hunger strike
Daily Star 10 May 2012 The Palestinian president says his people “will not be quiet” if any harm comes to a group of Palestinian hunger strikers held by Israel.

Iran’s GTC buys at least 50,000 T Brazil raw sugar
Daily Star 10 May 2012 Iran‘s Government Trading Corporation (GTC) bought at least 50,000 tonnes of Brazilian raw sugar for July shipment, European trade sources said on Thursday.

YNet News

FTC probing Facebook’s $1B Instagram deal
YNet News, 10 May 2012 – ….

Putin to shun US-hosted G8 talks
YNet News, 10 May 2012 – ….

Lapid: I dare Netanyahu to fire Shas
YNet News, 10 May 2012 – Lapid blasts PM for deal on Tal Law: ‘Putting Eli Yishai in charge of enlisting Haredis is not serious,’ he says ….

Special: The war on Israel, Irish-style 
YNet News, 10 May 2012 – Special report: Irish journalist slams silence of politicians in face of ‘group anti-Semitism’ mindset; says that in Ireland either one obeys anti-Israel orders of left-wing mind-thugs, or one is lynched ….

Obama: Europe should have followed US economic lead
YNet News, 10 May 2012 – ….

Local LGBT groups hope Israel follows Obama’s footsteps 
YNet News, 10 May 2012 – Gay community hopes for change in Israeli policy on same-sex marriage following US president’s encouraging statement on the matter ….

British played central role in foiled underwear bomb operation
YNet News, 10 May 2012 – ….

US military tests new interceptor missile
YNet News, 10 May 2012 – ….

Ferris wheel ride goes awry; girl lightly hurt 
YNet News, 10 May 2012 – Five-year-old sustains light head injury after ferris wheel in Tel Aviv’s main amusement park malfunctions ….

Kiryat Malachi mayor denies rape charges 
YNet News, 10 May 2012 – Moti Malka insists sex with complainant was consensual; court denies him bail ….

Is that you, Mr. Olmert?
YNet News, 10 May 2012 – Op-ed: The former PM who led Israel into disastrous war has nerve to say he doesn’t trust Netanyahu ….

New IAF chief: We’re ready for anything 
YNet News, 10 May 2012 – General Staff welcomes Maj.-Gen. Amir Eshel as new Air Force commander. IDF Chief Gantz: Israel has the best air force in the world ….

Mofaz says not oblivious to criticism
YNet News, 10 May 2012 – Kadima chairman posts Facebook response to public backlash over his teaming with Netanyahu; says ‘leaders have to make unpopular decisions’ ….

Head of massive prostitution ring gets 18 years in prison
YNet News, 10 May 2012 – Rami Saban and three accomplices who headed one of ‘most extensive human-trafficking rings in Israel’s history’ jailed and ordered to compensate victims. Prosecution: Court sent strong message ….

Palestinian Information Center

European petition for international solidarity with the prisoners
PIC – More than one hundred Parliamentary and political personalities in Europe participated in an international petition that aims to activate European political support for Palestinian prisoners. 

“Friends of Humanity” condemn barring of investment delegation’s visit to Gaza
PIC – Friends of Humanity called on the Egyptian authorities, on Wednesday, to facilitate the arrival of Arab business men and women to Gaza to participate in an investment conference in Gaza. 

Continuing sit-ins in London in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners
PIC – The PFB organized, on Wednesday, a sit-in outside the Israeli embassy in London as a part of continuing solidarity activities in support of Palestinian prisoners which started two weeks ago.

Confrontations near Ofer jail
PIC – Palestinian young men clashed with Israeli occupation forces (IOF) near the Ofer jail to the west of Ramallah on Thursday, local sources reported.

IOF soldiers destroy Palestinian crops south of Al-Khalil
PIC – Israeli occupation forces (IOF) destroyed vast areas of Palestinian cultivated land lots south of Al-Khalil on Thursday.

Ahrar: The hunger strikers reject partial solutions to their suffering
PIC – Director of Ahrar center Fouad Al-Khafsh said the Israeli offer to end the solitary confinement of only two prisoners does not meet the purpose for which the detainees staged their hunger strike.

Palestinian protestors close Red Cross office
PIC – Mothers of prisoners and dozens of activists closed the Red Cross office in El-Bireh on Thursday in protest at the international committee’s indifference toward the prisoners’ hunger strike.

IOF kidnap 18 Palestinians in recent raids on W. Bank homes
PIC – Different news reports said the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) kidnapped at dawn Thursday during raids on homes about 18 Palestinian citizens in different West Bank areas.

Jewish settler assault Jerusalemite
PIC – A Jewish settler attacked and beat up a Palestinian Jerusalemite on Wednesday night claiming he tried to assault him.

Israeli authorities agree on ending isolation of all prisoners except three
PIC – The Israeli occupation authorities have tentatively agreed to end isolation of all Palestinian prisoners held in solitary confinement with the exception of three.


EU Contributes €22.5 million to April salaries

Europe Day Celebrated in Ramallah

PEX Report: Al-Quds Index Continues to Decline

Settlers Cut Hundreds of Trees in Nablus Area

Palestinians Block UN Staff from Entering Office

Rights Group Establishes ‘Situation Room’ on Prisoners

CPJ Calls for Return of Wattan Broadcast Equipment

Israeli Army Demolishes Three Buildings near Bethlehem

World Bank Supports Private Sector in West Bank and Gaza


Egypt presidential candidates clash in TV debate
LA Times 11 May 2012 – The exchange between former diplomat Amr Moussa and Islamist favorite Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh would have been unthinkable under President Hosni Mubarak. CAIRO — Egyptians gathered in living rooms and cafes Thursday night to mark another first in their troubled political odyssey toward a new…

Explosions Kill Dozens in Damascus
New York Times 10 May 2012 – Two car bombs exploded outside a key intelligence compound in Damascus, Syrian state media said. 

Years of U.S.-Saudi Teamwork Led to Airline Plot’s Failure
New York Times 10 May 2012 – Saudi Arabia and the United States have worked closely together against a militant network in Yemen, most recently foiling an effort to smuggle a bomb onto a jetliner. 

Image Said to Suggest Cleanup at Iran Nuclear Site
New York Times 10 May 2012 – The Institute for Science and International Security said satellite imagery showed activity that may be related to cleaning at a suspected explosives testing chamber. 

Jenin Loses Leader as West Bank Violence Returns
New York Times 10 May 2012 – The death of a respected West Bank governor, Qadoura Moussa, is the latest sign that lawlessness is creeping back into Jenin, a beacon of Palestinian self-rule. 

Syria Rebels, Though Disparate, Are Tenacious in Crackdown
New York Times 10 May 2012 – Those who have taken up arms in the Syrian uprising acknowledge that they lack a workable chain of command to coordinate operations, even as they ask for international help. 

Egypt Presidential Election Is Suspended by Court
New York Times 10 May 2012 – An administrative court determined that the election’s May 23 starting date had been wrongly set, but legal experts said the ruling was expected to have little effect. 

Roadside Bomb Hits Syrian Military Truck
New York Times 10 May 2012 – Ten Syrian soldiers were injured after an explosion on Wednesday, just seconds after the head of the United Nations observer team drove by in a convoy. 

StandWithUs: Destroying Human Rights at UC San Diego
Tikun Olam – Tweet Thanks to Audrey Jacobs of StandWithUs, I’ve managed to confirm that the far-right Israel advocacy group is indeed sponsoring Rescuing Human Rights, and that the program will feature four controversial figures in the national anti-jihadi movement. This event is part of Israel Awareness Week on…

US military officers taught to target civilians and wage ‘total war’ on Islam
Mondoweiss – The slide above was one of many anti-Muslim presentations US military officers sat through (Picture via Wired) Over the past decade, fringe ideas about Muslims and Islam have seeped into law enforcement agencies across the country. Now we know the details about what some members of…

Right of Return key goes on tour
Mondoweiss – What a fantastic idea! Al Arabiya News A huge key that weighs approximately a ton and symbolizes the right of return for Palestinian refugees was transported from the Aida Refugee Camp in Bethlehem to the Berlin Biennale in Germany. The key, which is nine meters long…

Rejecting boycott, Tom Rob Smith and Tracy Chevalier prepare for Jerusalem International Writers Festival
Mondoweiss – ‘If a single dominant theme could be said to emerge more from the especially diverse program of the third Jerusalem International Writers Festival, which opens this Sunday night at Mishkenot Sha’ananim and runs through Friday morning, it’s evil’, writes editor of Haaretz Books, David B. Green. He specifies: ‘…

‘NYT’ exposes pattern of Ultra Orthodox community covering up sexual abuse, punishing accusers
Mondoweiss – The Catholic church’s sex abuse scandal turns out to be epochal: it is having salutary effects across society in institutions that have covered up abuse– at university athletic programs, for instance. Now the New York Times is exposing patterns of covering up sexual abuse inside the…

Netanyahu gets special audience on nuclear talks
Mondoweiss – Catherine Ashton, the EU Foreign Affairs Chief, visited Jerusalem yesterday to consult with Benjamin Netanyahu about the Iran negotiations.   Ashton is a key player in the nuclear talks.   Apparently presenting an Israeli united front, cabinet ministers Ehud Barak, Avigdor Lieberman and Netanyahu‘s new coalition…

Still a Proud, Disappointed Zionist 
The Forward Leonard Fein 10 May 2012 – 

Coalition Mulls Legalizing Illegal Settlement 
The Foward Breaking News 10 May 2012 – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s scheduled Thursday a special cabinet meeting to discuss the possibility sanctioning the West Bank outpost of Ulpana Hill through High Court-bypassing legislation. Click here for the rest of the article…

Israeli Gays Praise Obama Marriage Statement 
The Foward Breaking News 10 May 2012 – Israel’s LGBT community praised U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday for expressing his support for same-sex marriages. Click here for the rest of the article…

Will Mofaz Flip and Support Iran Strike? 
The Foward Breaking News 10 May 2012 – Cabinet members who oppose a strike on Iran said on Wednesday Kadima head Shaul Mofaz might backtrack and align with the more hawkish Benjamin Netanyahu, now that the two are in the same government. Click here for the rest of the article…

U.S. House Passes New Israel Cooperation Bill 
The Foward Breaking News 10 May 2012 – The U.S House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed bipartisan legislation that reaffirms and enhances U.S. policy commitments to Israel’s security. Click here for the rest of the article…

Egypt: FM Calls Israel for Immediate Release Palestinian Prisoners 
allAfrica.com 10 May 2012 – [Egypt Online] Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr reiterated that Egypt find it necessary to practice international pressures, led by Non-Alignment Movement, on the Israeli Government to respect its commitments, according to Geneva Pact, as an occupational authority and stop oppressive practices against Palestinians, especially administrative…

Respond to Olympian Op-ed! 
Rachel Corrie Foundation 10 May 2012 – On May 2nd, The Olympian published a troubling op-ed entitled “Local actions target Israel – but land squarely on area Jews” by Allyson Brooks. The op-ed is full of misinformation about the struggle for Palestinian human rights. The author claims, with no evidence to substantiate, that…

UN condemns Syria bomb attacks 
BBC 10 May 2012 – The UN Security Council condemns bomb attacks which killed at least 55 people near an intelligence complex in the Syrian capital, Damascus.

Egypt poll hopefuls in TV debate 
BBC 10 May 2012 – Egyptian presidential poll front-runners Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh and Amr Moussa have gone head-to-head in the country’s first live election TV debate.

B’Tselem to Attorney General: do not allow home demolition of relatives of the murderers of Fogel family 
B’tselem 10 May 2012 – B’Tselem has written to the Israeli Attorney General , Adv. Yehuda Weinstein, requesting him to reject the Israel Security Agency (ISA) recommendation to demolish the ‘Awarta homes of the families of Amjad and Hakim Awad, who murdered five members of the Fogel family in March 2011. The…


Netanyahu crowns himself King of Israel 
Jonathan Cook, Redress 5/10/2012
      Will the Israeli left finally stir?
     Israelis barely had time to absorb the news that they were heading into a summer election when Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on 8 May pulled the rug from underneath the charade. Rancourous early electioneering had provided cover for a secret agreement between Netanyahu and the main opposition party, Kadima, to form a new, expanded coalition government.
     Rather than facing the electorate in September, Netanyahu and his hardline right-wing government are expected to comfortably see out the remaining 18 months of his term of office. Not only that, but he will now have the backing of more than three-quarters of the 120-seat Israeli parliament, leading one commentator to crown him the “King of Israel”. Dysfunctional political culture
     The announcement may have taken Israelis by surprise but it fully accorded with the logic of an increasingly dysfunctional Israeli political culture.
     Shaul Mofaz, who a few weeks ago ousted Tzipi Livni as head of the centre-right Kadima party, had been vitriolic in denouncing Netanyahu. He called the prime minister a “liar” and went to the trouble of posting on his Facebook page a pledge that he would never make a deal with this “weak, incompetent and deaf government”.
     He also boasted in a recent interview that he would topple Netanyahu by leading the revival of mass social protests expected in the summer. more.. e-mail

Zionist history: a short quiz 
Neve Gordon, Redress 5/8/2012
      Take this test to find out how much you know about the gradual shift in Israeli political thought over the decades.
     Not long after Israel celebrated its 64th birthday on 26 April, a friend prepared a quiz of sorts. She read out loud political quotes to about 10 guests who were having dinner at my house, and asked us to identify the politician who had uttered each statement.
     Truth be told, none of my guests did very well on the quiz, but I thought that readers acquainted with Zionist history might do better and would be able to identify the source of each of the following statements. There is only one rule to this game: all search engines, including Google, are off limits. The quiz
     * “Does a bad law become a good one just because Jews apply it? I say that this law is bad from its very foundation and does not become good because it is practiced by Jews… We oppose administrative detention in principle. There is no place for such detention.”
     * “We do not accept the semi-official view … wherein the state grants rights and is entitled to rescind them. We believe that there are human rights that precede the human form of life called a state.”
     * “We have learned that an elected parliamentary majority can be an instrument in the hands of a group of rulers and act as camouflage for their tyranny. Therefore, the nation must, if it chooses freedom, determine its rights also with regard to the House of Representatives in order that the majority thereof, that serves the regime more than it oversees it, should not negate these rights.” more.. e-mail

Empty Stomachs, Palestinian Spring 
Patrick O. Strickland, CounterPunch 5/9/2012
      Hunger Strike on the West Bank
     Following the examples of Khader Adnan and Hana Shalabi, 1,500 Palestinian prisoners have joined a mass hunger strike campaign inside Israeli military prisons. They are calling for an immediate termination of the policy of administrative detention and the excessive use of solitary confinement, and demanding humane living conditions, family visits, and reasonable access to educational materials.
     In short, Palestinian hunger strikers are reclaiming something which they have been systematically denied—their dignity.
     It is not Israel alone that stands between Palestinians and their basic human rights: neither the media nor the Western governments have bothered to comment much on the plight of Palestinian prisoners conducting a mass campaign of peaceful resistance.
     In the media, Egypt, Tunisia, and Syria have been repackaged and price-marked. The highly commercialized depiction of the Arab Spring—large crowds of youngsters overthrowing repressive dictators only with the help of Iphones and Facebook—has increased media profits.
     Palestinians, however, continue to be portrayed as nothing more than ragtag bands of stone-throwers, hijackers, and suicide bombers. more.. e-mail

Palestinian children work for a pittance in Israel’s settlements
Electronic Intifada: 10 May 2012 – Jillian Kestler-D’Amours 10 May 2012 Extreme poverty forces hundreds of children to work in Israel’s illegal settlements.more

Film review: Palestinians in Israel honored in debut comedy feature
Electronic Intifada: 10 May 2012 – Maureen Clare Murphy 10 May 2012 The under-recognized steadfastness of Palestinians who clung onto their land in the areas of Palestine upon which the State of Israel was declared is lovingly praised in Sameh Zoabi’s lighthearted debut feature Man Without a Cell Phone.more

Bean Counting States
Palestine Chronicle: 10 May 2012 – By Sam Bahour As the Israeli-Palestinian conflict faces hunger strikes and the threat of renewed conflict, the question being tirelessly reiterated is whether a two-state solution is beyond us. The answer is “Yes” and “No.” But counting the number of states required for bringing about a final status solution is entirely misguided. It is past time to take a fresh approach to resolving the conflict. Instead we should focus on two clear milestones. First, there should be an end to Israel’s 45-year military occupation of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Then, and only then, can Palestinians be expected to negotiate in good faith toward the second milestone, which is a negotiated final status agreement that would end the conflict and launch a process of historic reconciliation. Ending the occupation—or the bulk of it—can be done immediately; resolving the conflict may take decades. The status quo, which involves…more

The Red and White Bird in Gaza
Dissident Voice: 10 May 2012 – The young girl from Gaza tells me how she yearns for the red and white bird. It used to come every morning to the little veranda where her mother served a breakfast of bread, tea, water and fruit when the weather was good. Each morning her father left to look for work in Gaza City, and sometimes he was successful. Most of the time he came home late at night. She used to throw out a few seeds or bread crumbs to the red and white bird. It came every morning at the same time, as if it had its own clock. They used to have breakfast together. The girl talks about the time before that day in 2004, when everything disappeared. That was the day when one of the many wars ended. Before then, Israeli soldiers had passed by every day in their big metal boxes. She could see…more

Tumultuous Israeli Politics Will Not Usher Peace
Dissident Voice: 10 May 2012 – Israel is currently experiencing the kind of turmoil that may or may not affect its political hierarchy following the next general election. However, there is little reason to believe that any major transformations in the Israeli political landscape could be of benefit to Palestinians. Former politicians and intelligence bosses have been challenging the conventional wisdom of right-wing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu through a series of charged statements and political rhetoric. A few weeks ago it sounded rather like a political fluke when former chief of the Israeli Mossad, Meir Dagan called an attack on Iran “the stupidest thing I have ever heard.” His comment was then widely dismissed, but other voices have since joined the discussion.  Yuval Diskin, former head of the Israeli internal intelligence, the Shin Bet, went even further, as he questioned the abilities of both Netanyahu and Barak, accusing them of promoting ‘messianic sentiments’ regarding Iran….more

Netanyahu: King of Israel?
Dissident Voice: 10 May 2012 – Israelis barely had time to absorb the news that they were heading into a summer election when Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu yesterday pulled the rug from underneath the charade. Rancourous early electioneering had provided cover for a secret agreement between Netanyahu and the main opposition party, Kadima, to form a new, expanded coalition government. Rather than facing the electorate in September, Netanyahu and his hardline right-wing government are expected to comfortably see out the remaining 18 months of his term of office. Not only that, but he will now have the backing of more than three-quarters of the 120-seat Israeli parliament, leading one commentator to crown him the “King of Israel”. The announcement may have taken Israelis by surprise but it fully accorded with the logic of an increasingly dysfunctional Israeli political culture. Shaul Mofaz, who a few weeks ago ousted Tzipi Livni as head of the centre-right Kadima party,…more

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