VTJP Occupied Palestine and Israel: News and Articles 17 December 2012: Gaza fisherman jailed for serving Hamas coffee

18 December 2012 — VTJP

News

International Middle East Media Center

Soldiers Attack Funeral Of Palestinian Child In Hebron
IMEMC – Israeli soldiers attacked, Tuesday, hundreds of Palestinians participating in a funeral of a child in Beit Ummar town, north of the southern West Bank city of Hebron; at least three residents have been injured. …

Several Injuries Reported In Night Invasion Near Nablus
IMEMC – Palestinian medical sources reported that several young Palestinian men have been injured on Monday at night, including one who suffered a serious injury, after the army invaded Madama village, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus. …

Israel Kidnapped 173 Palestinians This Month
IMEMC – The Ahrar Center for Detainees Studies and Human Rights reported that Israeli soldiers kidnapped, since the beginning of this month until Tuesday December 18, 173 Palestinians in different parts of the occupied West Bank. …

Soldiers Attack Hunger-Striking Detainee And His Family
IMEMC – Israeli soldiers of the Nachshon Brigade attacked hunger-striking detainee, Samer Al-Eesawy, and his family when he tried to salute them as he was being taken into court. Al-Eesawy has been on hunger strike for 142 days demanding an end to his illegal detention, and is facing a sharply deteriorating health condition. … 

Knesset Head: “Jerusalem Not Part of Negotiations”
IMEMC – Head of the Israeli Knesset, Reuven Rivlin, of the Likud Party of Benjamin Netanyahu, stated that settlement construction in Jerusalem will continue, and claimed that Israel will never give-up control over occupied East Jerusalem under any peace agreement with the Palestinians. …

Ma’an News

PPS: Israeli forces assault hunger-striker in court
12/18/2012 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Israeli forces on Tuesday assaulted long-term hunger striker Samer al-Issawi during a court hearing, the head of the Palestinian Prisoners Society said. Guards from the Alnhacon unit beat al-Issawi when he tried to greet his family in the Jerusalem court, said Jawad Boulos, adding that the prisoner’s hands and…. Related: Group: Sister of hunger-striker detained in Jerusalem

Israel presses on with plans for 6,000 new settler homes
12/18/2012 – JERUSALEM (Reuters) — Israeli officials said they would press on with plans this week to build 6,000 homes for settlers on Palestinian land, defying criticism from Western powers who fear the move will hit already faint hopes for a peace accord. Stung by the de facto recognition of Palestinian sovereignty in a UN General Assembly vote….

Israeli army detains 16 in West Bank raids
12/18/2012 – SALFIT (Ma’an) — Israeli forces detained 16 Palestinians overnight Monday in raids across the West Bank, the army said. An Israeli military spokeswoman told Ma’an that 16 people were detained for “security questioning,” including seven in the Hebron district, four around Nablus and two in Ramallah. Three people were detained in Salfit….

Ministry: Long-term hunger strikers refuse exile
12/18/2012 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Two hunger-strikers in critical condition in an Israeli prison have refused exile, the Ministry of Prisoner Affairs said Tuesday. Ayman Sharawneh, 36, has been on hunger strike for 171 days and is suffering muscle spasms, memory loss and severe kidney and abdominal pains, the ministry’s lawyer Fadi Abedat said….

Report: Israel to shorten pre-trial detention of Palestinian children
12/18/2012 – JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities on Tuesday decided to shorten the detention period of Palestinian children before they appear in court, Israeli radio reported. Palestinian children aged under 14 will appear in court within 24 hours of arrest, and those aged between 14 and 16 will appear in court within 48 hours, Voice of….

Group: Sister of hunger-striker detained in Jerusalem
12/18/2012 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The sister of hunger-striker Samer Issawi was arrested from their East Jerusalem home on Tuesday, prisoners rights group Addameer said. Shireen Issawi was detained by Israeli forces in Issawiya after she tried to access her brother’s court hearing earlier in the day, the group said. The family were blocked…. Related: PPS: Israeli forces assault hunger-striker in court

Barghouti: Israeli settler expansion ‘war on Palestinians’
12/18/2012 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Lawmaker Mustafa Barghouti said Tuesday that Israel’s settlement expansion plans are akin to declaring war on Palestinians. Israel on Monday approved plans to build 1,500 more Jewish settler homes in East Jerusalem on Monday, an official said, days after provoking international protests against a project for another 3,000 such….

Israel sees new US poise, including military, to curb Iran
12/18/2012 – JERUSALEM (Reuters) — US-led efforts to curb Iran‘s nuclear program have resumed since President Barack Obama’s re-election and include preparation for possible military action, a senior Israeli official said on Tuesday. The remarks by Vice Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon suggested cautious optimism at prospects for an international resolution to the decade-old standoff….

Nuclear chief: Iran will not stop higher grade uranium enrichment
12/18/2012 – DUBAI (Reuters) – Iran will not stop higher grade enrichment of uranium due to external demands, Tehran’s top nuclear official was quoted as saying on Tuesday. Western powers want Iran to halt enrichment of uranium to a fissile concentration of 20 percent as it represents a significant step closer to the level that would….

Sinai group threatens to demolish Jewish monuments in Egypt
12/18/2012EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma’an) — A Sinai-based group threatened Tuesday to demolish a Jewish tomb if Israeli authorities destroy a Ramallah-area monument for Egyptian fighters killed in fighting with Israel. The Ahrar of Sinai (Free People of Sinai) movement will destroy the Abu Yaakov Abuhatzeira tomb in Beheira and Dayan Rock if Israel demolishes the….

PA ‘hopes to continue basic services’ amid financial crisis
12/18/2012 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The Palestinian Authority on Tuesday urged immediate action to prevent the government’s collapse, and said it hoped to continue providing basic services. At its weekly cabinet meeting, the government said it would remain on call until further notice in order to find a solution to the financial crisis, which….

Housing ministry employees hold Ramallah sit-in
12/18/2012 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Dozens of employees of the ministry of public works and housing held a sit-in at their Ramallah office on Tuesday, but said they would not take part in a government strike this week. The ministry workers want to make clear that they do not have enough money to cover their transport….

Schools to strike Wednesday, Thursday
12/18/2012 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) – The Palestinian Authority’s ministry of education is considering heading early to the winter holiday before final exams, a ministry official said. Undersecretary Muhammad Abu Zeid told Ma’an that “the ministry is following up with the teachers’ strike hour by hour, and is studying a suggestion to….

Agriculture ministry warns beetles threaten Gaza date harvest
12/18/2012GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Agriculture minister Ali al-Tarshawi on Tuesday warned that beetles are threatening the date harvest in the Gaza Strip. The red palm weevil, a species of beetle, has been spreading in the Gaza Strip since Sept. 2011, al-Tarshawi said at a news conference in Gaza City. Al-Tarshawi urged farmers to monitor….

Ambassador: Palestinian camp in Damascus deserted
12/18/2012 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Over 95 percent of Palestinians in Yarmouk have fled the refugee camp near Damascus under heavy shelling, the Palestinian ambassador to Syria said Tuesday. Mahmud al-Khalidi told Ma’an that refugees fled to UNRWA schools amid violent clashes between rebels and forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad. Rebel and…. Related: 1,000 Palestinians enter Lebanon after Damascus fighting

Palestinian National Council denounces PFLP-GC leader over Syria
12/18/2012 – Correction appended – AMMAN, Jordan (Ma’an) — The Palestinian National Council on Tuesday denounced faction leader Ahmad Jibril over his role in involving Palestinians in the conflict in Syria. In a message to President Mahmoud Abbas, the PNC denounced Jibril as in 1983 when he bombarded Yasser Arafat and Abu Jihad forces while they were….

1,000 Palestinians enter Lebanon after Damascus fighting
12/18/2012 – MASNAA, Lebanon (Reuters) — More than 1,000 Palestinian refugees living in Syria have crossed into Lebanon in the past 24 hours, a source at the Lebanese border said on Tuesday, after Syrian rebels took control of a Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus. Syria hosts half a million Palestinian refugees, descendants of those admitted after the creation…. Related: Ambassador: Palestinian camp in Damascus deserted

Fuel tank explosion injures 2 near Ramallah
12/18/2012 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — A fuel tank exploded in a gas station near Qalandiya refugee camp in Ramallah on Tuesday, injuring two workers. Civil defense officer Luay Bani Audah told Ma’an maintenance workers were welding near a diesel tank when sparks set it alight, causing an explosion. He said two workers sustained fractures….

Hebron police arrest suspected phone cable thieves
12/18/2012 – HEBRON (Ma’an) — Palestinian police arrested several people suspected of stealing telephone cables belonging to a Palestinian company in the southern West Bank, a police statement said Tuesday. The group had been interrogated after complaints from Paltel, the Palestinian telecommunications company, about theft in Bani Naim, near Hebron. The suspects were later caught red-handed….

NBC news team freed in Syria after firefight
12/18/2012 – LONDON (Reuters) — An NBC news team, including chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel, was freed in Syria on Monday after an Islamist rebel group killed two of their kidnappers at a checkpoint, the network reported on its website on Tuesday. The team, which later spoke live on the network, were held captive by an unidentified group….

UAE says Egypt media carried false plot claims
12/18/2012 – DUBAI (Reuters) — The United Arab Emirates has rebuffed claims carried by Egyptian media that it was behind a plot against the Egypt’s leadership, saying they were “fabricated”, state news agency WAM reported. UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahayan has summoned Egypt’s ambassador to discuss the claims aimed “to damage….

Russia may ease Muslim Brotherhood ban to boost Egypt ties
12/18/2012 – MOSCOW (Reuters) — Russia may ease restrictions on the Muslim Brotherhood soon to improve relations with Egypt and rebuild influence lost during the Arab Spring revolutions, diplomatic sources say. The election of President Muhammed Mursi, propelled to power by the Islamist group, offers President Vladimir Putin a chance to improve relations with Cairo that were strained….

King Ramses III’s throat slit by assassin, experts say
12/18/2012 – ROME (Reuters) — The Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses III, whose death has puzzled historians for centuries, had his throat slit in a succession plot concocted by his wife and son, a new analysis suggests. New CT scans have revealed a deep and wide cut that was hidden by the bandages covering the throat of the mummified king….

Aljazeera

Battles rage in Damascus refugee area
AlJazeera 18 Dec 2012 – Civilians flee Yarmouk camp as rebels and Palestinian fighters backing the Syrian regime continue to clash in capital.

Palestine News Network

Conference Discussed MADA Access to Information Draft Law
Palestine News Network

Video: Israeli Forces Assault Hunger Striker Issawi at Jerusalem Court
Palestine News Network

Hussam Calls International Community to Bear Responsibility to Save Lives of Hunger Strikers
Palestine News Network

Christmas Decorators Company Decorates the Bethlehem Christmas Tree
Palestine News Network

Destination Palestine: Tourism’s Denied Potential
Palestine News Network

USD 2,192.6 Million is the Deficit in Current Account
Palestine News Network

Israeli Occupation Hands 4 Palestinians Demolition Notices
Palestine News Network

Israeli Authorities Advance Approval of 1500 New Housing Units in Ramat Shlomo in Jerusalem
Palestine News Network

International Solidarity Movement

Madama attack – Harrowing account from the Nassar family
12/18/2012 – International Solidarity Movement – 18 December 2012, International Solidarity Movement, Madama, Occupied Palestine – Following yesterday’s attack on the village of Madama by Israeli soldiers and settlers, Huda Ibraheem Nassar, the mother of the family who were violently attacked yesterday, recounted to us the harrowing story of what happened. Currently one of her sons who was seized by….

Relief Web

Syrian Arab Republic (the): Latest Syrian fighting touches off a new exodus
Relief Web 18 Dec 2012 – Source: National Public Radio Country: Lebanon, occupied Palestinian territory, Syrian Arab Republic (the) Daily fighting in Syria has become so commonplace that it often merits little attention. But recent Syrian air strikes against Yarmouk, a densely populated area outside the…

012
Relief Web 18 Dec 2012 – Source: World Health Organization Country: occupied Palestinian territory 2. Crisis overview The escalation of violence in Gaza and southern Israel lasted for eight days November 14- 21, 2012, and involved Israeli bombardments and airstrikes on targets in Gaza and rocket…

012
Relief Web 18 Dec 2012 – Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: occupied Palestinian territory 1 Introduction This report compiles the preliminary findings of the Multi-Agency Initial Rapid Assessment of Gaza Conducted November 24 – 26. The Principal source of information and…

Syrian Arab Republic (the): UN Special Representative Zerrougui engages parties in the Syrian conflict to better protect children [EN/AR]
Relief Web 18 Dec 2012 – Source: UN Office of the SRSG for Children and Armed Conflict Country: occupied Palestinian territory, Syrian Arab Republic (the) OSRSG/181212 Beirut, 18 December 2012 – The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict Ms. Leila Zerrougui yesterday…

occupied Palestinian territory: Israel poised to build thousands of new settler homes
Relief Web 18 Dec 2012 – Source: Agence France-Presse Country: occupied Palestinian territory 12/18/2012 21:34 GMT by Steve Weizman JERUSALEM, Dec 18, 2012 (AFP) – Israeli authorities on Tuesday rejected a plan to build around 800 new settler homes in annexed east Jerusalem, but were expected…

The National

Thousands march on Morsi’s palace in referendum protest
The National 18 Dec 2012 – Opposition group hopes rally will pressure president into concessions and amendments to the constitution, or discredit it altogether.

Saudi Arabia suspends imports of Brazilian beef over mad cow disease
The National 18 Dec 2012 – The kingdom is the largest country to halt purchases following confirmation of a 2010 case of atypical mad cow disease.

The Roman ruins of Leptis, where the past is key to the future
The National 18 Dec 2012 – Foreign visitors are still scarce in Libya but Roman ruins an hour’s drive east of Tripoli are at the heart of plans to change that. Alice Fordham reports from Leptis Magna 

FNC’s caution on 2013 UAE budget underfinancing
The National 18 Dec 2012 – The Federal National Council passes next year’s budget after grilling finance minister Obaid Al Tayer for three hours over the lack of funding for some ministries.

Mixed UAE banks ‘are breaking the law’, FNC member says
The National 18 Dec 2012 – FNC member questions the legality of banks offering Islamic services at the same premises as their commercial activities.

Five women in Pakistan anti-polio campaign shot dead by Taliban
The National 18 Dec 2012 – Three teenagers among volunteers for polio vaccination campaign killed in coordinated attacks.

Putin set to announce $7bn arms deal
The National 18 Dec 2012 – Contracts expected to be confirmed during Russian president’s visit to India next week.

Ayatollah Khamenei’s Facebook page beats his own ban
The National 18 Dec 2012 – Page launched days ago, which may be a fake, already has 10,000 ‘likes’ on site banned in Iran after 2009 elections when it was used to organise protests.

Ha’aretz

Poll: Right-wing Habayit Hayehudi swells to third-biggest Israeli party
Ha’aretz – 18 Dec 2012

U.S. slams Israeli ‘pattern of provocation’
Ha’aretz – 18 Dec 2012

European Security Council members to condemn Israel’s settlement construction
Ha’aretz – 18 Dec 2012

Justice Ministry postpones indictment of Lieberman
Ha’aretz – 18 Dec 2012

Justice Ministry delays indictment against Lieberman at last minute
Ha’aretz – 18 Dec 2012

Autism diagnoses in Israel jump almost fivefold since 2004
Ha’aretz – 18 Dec 2012

Israeli teen evades assault charges after court suspects officer fabricated story
Ha’aretz – 18 Dec 2012

Likud officials bemoan ‘sleepy’ campaign devised by U.S. strategist
Ha’aretz – 18 Dec 2012

Google, Israel Antiquities Authority launch Dead Sea Scrolls digital library
Ha’aretz – 18 Dec 2012

State Prosecution to submit indictment against Lieberman in coming days
Ha’aretz – 18 Dec 2012

Late-night attempt to end nurses strike
Ha’aretz – 17 Dec 2012

Israel’s abnormal public norms
Ha’aretz – 17 Dec 2012

Bat Yam fails to pay performers in street festival
Ha’aretz – 17 Dec 2012

Jerusalem Post

Jerusalem train station to become entertainment hub
Jerusalem Post 18 Dec 2012 – “First Stop” expected to open in April with restaurants, concert space, farmers market. 

Rebel control of Yarmouk ‘real gain for opposition’
Jerusalem Post 18 Dec 2012 – Israeli expert says Syrian rebels making inroads; Palestinians formerly loyal to Assad defected, sources tell Lebanese press. 

LA high school trains young Israel advocates
Jerusalem Post 18 Dec 2012 – 70 teenagers to spend six months studying in Hod Hasharon beginning in January on a Zionist program. 

Jewish groups push for action on gun control
Jerusalem Post 18 Dec 2012 – In addition to banning assault weapons, Jewish groups are also seeking broader initiatives to address violence. 

Who is interested in exaggerating Israeli poverty?
Jerusalem Post 18 Dec 2012 – It seems that perverse incentives do not allow the NII to meet this task. A different, more objective body, would be better suited for the task. 

CIA game changer
Jerusalem Post 18 Dec 2012 – Now is the time for President Obama, finally, to respond to all the official requests for Pollard’s release by commuting his sentence to time served. 

In My Own Write: About keeping your balance
Jerusalem Post 18 Dec 2012 – Let’s stay above ground, and not go down the rabbit hole with Alice. 

Which party will the ‘settlers’ choose?
Jerusalem Post 18 Dec 2012 – View from the Hill: My greatest hope is following the election, the residents of Judea and Samaria, along with all Israelis, will be safe and sound, as is our right, regardless of whom is steering the ship. 

Center Field: Sandy Hook slaughter
Jerusalem Post 18 Dec 2012 – American innocence, Israeli realism – with different coping mechanisms, and contrasting impulses sometimes, both Americans and Israelis remain hooked on hope, ready to be redeemed. 

Terra Incognita: Liberating the Wall from whom?
Jerusalem Post 18 Dec 2012 – The Kotel should not be home to religious fanaticism. There should not come a day when only the “right” kind of Orthodox women can go to the holy site. 

Whither the Russian vote?
Jerusalem Post 18 Dec 2012 – New party targets FSU immigrants but Yisrael Beytenu confident it’s “natural” choice for Russian-speakers. 

Israeli gun control regulations ‘opposite of US’
Jerusalem Post 18 Dec 2012 – There is no full-auto Friday or Ladies night at the “Lahav” gun store in TA, a store that bears little resemblance to its US counterparts. 

Nurses, Treasury clash on agreement details
Jerusalem Post 18 Dec 2012 – Nurses reject Treasury offer of a 12% wage increase in a five year contract; talks continuing in the strike’s 16th day. 

Major part of new Jewish community in e. J’lem not approved
Jerusalem Post 18 Dec 2012 – In surprise move, Interior Ministry gives red light to major part of Givat Hamatos neighborhood; city councillor says decision purely bureaucratic; c’tee approves around 700 units for Arab residents of Beit Safafa. 

Support for Hamas soars in both W. Bank, Gaza
Jerusalem Post 18 Dec 2012 – A recent poll shows Hamas leader Haniyeh would beat PA President Abbas if elections were held today. 

Palestinian minors’ detention time in W. Bank cut
Jerusalem Post 18 Dec 2012 – State attorney announces major changes in significantly shortened detention periods under IDF detention policies. 

Police carry out drugs, arms raid in Arab village
Jerusalem Post 18 Dec 2012 – Officers arrest 5 men in northern Arab village suspected of involvement in violent crimes, drugs and firearms offenses. 

Iranian minister denies Syria’s Assad about to fall
Jerusalem Post 18 Dec 2012 – “Syrian army and the state machine are working smoothly,” says Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister. 

Egypt’s opposition to protest draft constitution
Jerusalem Post 18 Dec 2012 – Main opposition coalition, National Salvation Front, cite voting violations in referendum; calls for re-count, mass protest. 

Peres calls for immediate action on child poverty
Jerusalem Post 18 Dec 2012 – State of the Child in Israel finds that number of children living below poverty line increased 4.5-fold in 30 years. 

Election c’tee to review requests to bar parties
Jerusalem Post 18 Dec 2012 – Central Elections Committee to review 12 requests to disqualify parties, individuals from elections, including Shas, Balad’s Zoabi. 

Israelis face ‘difficult winter,’ study shows
Jerusalem Post 18 Dec 2012 – Ten percent of Israelis will not have enough blankets or other ways to keep themselves and their families warm this winter. 

Ya’alon: US poised for action on Iranian nukes
Jerusalem Post 18 Dec 2012 – Vice premier says US effort on Iran has picked up pace since Obama’s reelection; Barak determined to stop Iran going nuclear. 

Poll: Majority of Israelis prefer two-state solution
Jerusalem Post 18 Dec 2012 – Smith Research poll shows majority of Israelis fear a bi-national state; youth hold more right-wing positions. 

Site approved despite environmental concerns
Jerusalem Post 17 Dec 2012 – Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel decries industrial construction at rare ‘ecological island’ in Ashdod. 

Ministries clash over forced molting of chickens
Jerusalem Post 17 Dec 2012 – Agriculture Ministry calls for practice of starving hens for increased egg output to continue for 4 more years. 

Shas rabbi slams Deri’s claims to be party leader
Jerusalem Post 17 Dec 2012 – Rabbi Rafael Pinhasi caught on tape criticizing joint political leader Arye Deri. 

Rebels take control of Damascus Palestinian camp
Jerusalem Post 17 Dec 2012 – Syrian rebels seize camp after pro-Assad fighters pull out; report states 95 percent of Palestinian families flee Yarmouk. 

The Guardian

Arab-Israeli MP may face election ban
The Guardian 18 Dec 2012 – Election panel to consider motions against Haneen Zoabi, who took part in Gaza flotilla in 2010, and two Arab parties An Arab member of the Israeli parliament is facing an attempt to disqualify her from standing…

Palestinians flee to Lebanon after jet bombs Syria’s largest refugee camp
The Guardian 18 Dec 2012 – PLO officials say Assad regime’s attack marks ‘historic moment’ with former ally as 50,000 Palestinians expected from Yarmouk Thousands of Palestinians in Syria are fleeing Damascus after an attack on the country’s largest refugee camp, according…

Uruknet

Shocking Decline in Ethiopian Israeli Birthrate
Uruknet

Islamic Jihad: bombing the Yarmouk refugee camp is a criminal act
Uruknet

Israeli Hospital Refuses To Treat 8 Year Old Palestinian Child Cancer Patient
Uruknet

Egypt’s New Pharaoh
Uruknet

“My brother is dying”: an urgent appeal from family of hunger striker Samer Issawi
Uruknet

Connection to the Land Cannot Not Be Broken The struggle for land rights near the Gaza border
Uruknet

New press freedom group is launched to block US government attacks
Uruknet

Baha Mousa: guilty verdict on doctor should force an inquiry into Iraq abuse
Uruknet

America’s Selective Grief Remember All the Children, Mr. President
Uruknet

Daily Star

Children in Syria “paying very high price”: U.N.
Daily Star 18 Dec 2012 The U.N. Secretary General’s 2012 annual list of shame on children in armed conflict this year had a new member: Syrian government forces.

Morocco jails 8 activists for illegal protest
Daily Star 18 Dec 2012 A Moroccan appeals court on Tuesday jailed eight unemployed youth activists from the February 20 protest movement for up to six months for taking part in an unauthorised demonstration, a rights group said.

Panetta cites turning point in Afghan war
Daily Star 18 Dec 2012 Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says U.S. military commanders in Afghanistan believe the U.S. and its allies have “turned the tide” after 11 years of war.

US hits Israel hard on settlement plans
Daily Star 18 Dec 2012 The United States has slammed Israel for continuing to announce new settlement construction on land claimed by the Palestinians in an unusually rare and blunt criticism of its top Mideast ally.

NBC news team freed in Syria after firefight
Daily Star 18 Dec 2012 An NBC news team was freed in Syria during a firefight at an Islamic rebel checkpoint five days after being ambushed and kidnapped by 15 heavily armed gunmen, correspondent Richard Engel said on Tuesday.

Ex-Iran diplomat freed by Britain arrives in Oman
Daily Star 18 Dec 2012 A former Iranian diplomat, who won a British court ruling against his extradition to the US where he is wanted for allegedly smuggling arms, arrived Tuesday in Oman on his way home, an AFP photographer said.

Israel presses on with plans for 6,000 new settler homes
Daily Star 18 Dec 2012 Israeli officials said they would press on with plans this week to build 6,000 homes for settlers on land claimed by Palestinians, defying criticism from Western powers who fear the move will damage already faint hopes…

Egypt opposition protests against constitution
Daily Star 18 Dec 2012 Opponents of Mursi staged protests in Cairo on Tuesday against an Islamist-backed draft constitution that has divided Egypt but looks set to be approved in the second half of a referendum this weekend.

YNet News

US: Two-thirds of top Qaeda leaders ‘removed’ since 2009 
YNet News, 18 Dec 2012 – ….

012, record high 
YNet News, 18 Dec 2012 – ….

Israel to face new condemnation for settlements
YNet News, 18 Dec 2012 – ….

Berlusconi says Italy may be forced to leave the euro zone
YNet News, 18 Dec 2012 – ….

Russia eyes Syria evacuation as rebels take Damascus district
YNet News, 18 Dec 2012 – ….

Farewell to Israel’s closest friend
YNet News, 18 Dec 2012 – Op-ed: Former ambassador remembers Daniel Inouye, the US senator who asked ‘What can I do for Israel?’ ….

Fighting with our hands tied
YNet News, 18 Dec 2012 – Op-ed: IDF officer says stricter rules of engagement create absurd situations in West Bank ….

Palestinian Information Center

IOF storms al-Issawi’s home, arrests his sister
PIC – The Israeli occupation forces stormed on Tuesday afternoon the Jerusalemite hunger striker Samer al-Issawi’s home and arrested his sister Shirin.

IOF assault prisoner Issawi during his trial 
PIC – Palestinian Prisoners’ Center for Studies confirmed that the Nahshon forces have assaulted the prisoner Samer al-Issawi twice in the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court Hall.

Occupation detains five journalists in Bethlehem
PIC – The IOF detained on Tuesday afternoon five journalists in Al-Khader village in Bethlehem during their coverage of one of the Palestinian families suffering due to the Israeli settlers’ attacks. 

Issawi asks for his funeral prayers to take place at the Aqsa Mosque
PIC – The Palestinian prisoner in Israeli jails, Samer al-Issawi, who went on hunger strike since 141 days, asked in his will that his funeral prayers be performed at the Aqsa Mosque..

Hamas warns of increase of settlement projects in West Bank and Jerusalem
PIC – A report issued by the Information Office of Hamas movement affirmed that the pace of settlement expansion in the West Bank and Jerusalem has been escalating.

Attacks on the citizens and break-ins in al-Khalil
PIC – A group of Israeli settlers attacked, on Monday evening, Palestinian farmers near the town al-Rihiya in the south of al-Khalil.

IOF breaks into the house of leader Majed Hassan
PIC – The IOF raided at dawn Tuesday the city of Ramallah in the center of the occupied West Bank, then broke into the house of one of Hamas leaders and summoned him to the Israeli intelligence.

Settlers kidnap farmer and shoot another in Nablus
PIC – Jewish settlers attacked, on Monday afternoon, a group of Palestinian farmers in the village of Madama, south of Nablus in the northern West Bank.

IOF kidnap 16 young men and children in W. Bank
PIC – The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) kidnapped at dawn Tuesday 16 Palestinians including children in different West Bank areas.

Calls for holding PLC meeting
PIC – Representatives of human rights and trade union organizations of civil and private sector welcomed the reconciliation atmosphere in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank..

WAFA

Cabinet Calls for Immediate Activation of Safety Net
WAFA – 18 Dec 2012

Employees Go on Strike Protesting Delay in Salary Disbursement
WAFA – 18 Dec 2012

Abbas Meets Italian Counterpart in Rome
WAFA – 18 Dec 2012

Israeli Embassy Removes Facebook Anti-Palestinian Christmas Message
WAFA – 18 Dec 2012

Presidency Condemns New Settlement Housing
WAFA – 18 Dec 2012

Over $2 Billion Deficit in Current Account, says Statistics Bureau
WAFA – 18 Dec 2012

Weather Forecast: Rise and Fall in Temperature through Friday
WAFA – 18 Dec 2012

PEX Report: Al-Quds Index Up
WAFA – 17 Dec 2012

Misc

Iraq’s President Hospitalized With ‘Medical Emergency’
New York Times 18 Dec 2012Iraq’s president, Jalal Talabani, was taken to a hospital in Baghdad after suffering a medical emergency on Monday. 

The Lede Blog: Controversial Israeli Embassy Facebook Page Taken Down ‘for Maintenance’
New York Times 18 Dec 2012 – The Israeli embassy in Ireland has temporarily removed its entire Facebook page from the Web, but taken to Twitter to continue arguing with critics over a Christmas message, 

Russia Sends Warships Toward Syria for Possible Evacuation
New York Times 18 Dec 2012 – The move elooked like preparation for a potential evacuation of Russian citizens, who are scattered across Syria as a result of intermarriage and longstanding economic ties. 

Renault to Build Assembly Plant in Algeria
New York Times 18 Dec 2012 – As auto sales stagnate in Europe, the Algerian market has grown 50 percent this year. 

Epsilon: Gas is the big story for 2013 
Globes Energy & Water – The investment house recommends Delek Group, its subsidiary Avner Oil, and Ratio.

Finance C’tee approves NIS 2b guarantee for IEC 
Globes Energy & Water – Finance Committee chairman MK Moshe Gafni: We’re legitimizing dysfunctional systems.

Kinneret approaches 20-year record 
Globes Energy & Water – The Water Authority predicts that Kinneret’s water level will reach two meters below the upper red line this winter.

Nurses pay talks break down
Globes Main News – Nurses Union chairwoman Ilana Cohen: We’re being treated like slaves.

Better Place unveils new strategy
Globes Main News – The electric car venture will offer recharging services to the world’s electric carmakers.

Every third Israeli child suffers from poverty – report
Globes Main News – According to the National Council for the Child, the number of children known to the welfare services rose by 48% between 2001 and 2011.

Tue: Mellanox keeps sliding
Globes Main News – The market rose today, but it was another weak session for Mellanox. Teva rose, and banking and insurance stocks were strong.

Teva obtains new $3b revolving credit
Globes Main News – The new facility replaces the company’s existing $2.5 billion credit facility.

Kamada in Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500 EMEA
Globes Main News – In Israel, on the basis of this index, Kamada is ranked among the top 15 companies.

World Bank: Average Israeli co makes 33 different tax payments 
Globes Macro Economics – Israel is ranked 82nd out of 185 countries for the complexity of its tax system.

Netanyahu’s salary to rise to NIS 46,644 monthly 
Globes Macro Economics – “Yediot Ahronot”: MKs will receive a monthly pay raise of NIS 1,119 on January 1.

Tzipi Livni proposes differential VAT 
Globes Macro Economics – Livni: We oppose both Netanyahu’s wild market and Labor’s return to the old socialism.

Iran: Evidence Proves Mossad Kidnapped Asgari, Rendered Him to Israel
Tikun Olam – On the sixth anniversary of the kidnapping and disappearance of Iranian Gen. Ali Reza Asgari, an Iranian Revolutionary Guard general said : “We have a lot of evidence proving that members of the Israeli intelligence service (Mossad) have kidnapped Asgari from Turkey and transferred him to Israel,”…

IDF Police Interrogate, Gag Blogger, Demand Whistleblower’s Identity
Tikun Olam – Before beginning this post, I want to note that there is a great deal we don’t know about this case thanks to the Israeli police’s pressure on the victim to maintain silence.  But here, I’ll say what I know and then speculate about what I don’t…

‘NYT’ equates Palestinian suicide-bombers to CT school-killer
Mondoweiss – Today the New York Times published an opinion piece, “What Drives Suicidal Mass Killers?” that links Palestinians to the Newtown, CT, school massacre of last Friday. Writer Adam Lankford concludes: I can’t help but wonder about [US school shooters] Eric Harris, Dylan Klebold, Seung-Hui Cho and…

Hagel called for all-but normalizing relations with Iran so as to engage it as an ally on Israel-Palestine issue
Mondoweiss – Chuck Hagel, the Republican former Senator who is said to be Obama’s leading choice to be Defense Secretary, called for making a “security gift” to Iran and all-but normalizing relations with the country so as to get its help in solving the Israel-Palestine issue, which he…

Israeli settlement binge continues: 1,500 new Jewish-only homes approved in East Jerusalem
Mondoweiss – link to www.maannews.net link to www.maannews.net link to www.aljazeera.com link to www.palestine-info.co.uk link to news.yahoo.com link towww.palestine-info.co.uk link to www.haaretz.com link to palsolidarity.org link to www.maannews.net link to www.maannews.net link to www.palestine-info.co.uk link topalsolidarity.org link to electronicintifada.net link to mondoweiss.net link to www.haaretz.com link…

Roots of Resistance: We all have a responsibility to turn resistance into liberation
Mondoweiss – This post is part of the series “Roots of Resistance: 25 year retrospective on the first intifada.” Read the entire series here . The first Intifada (actually the second if we include the Palestinian Revolt of 1936-39, both derided as “riots” and “disturbances” in Israeli historiography) stands…

Roots of Resistance: The first intifada and international solidarity
Mondoweiss – Palestinian women and children demonstrate on January 3, 1988 in Al-Ram in the West Bank. (Photo: Esaias Baitel/AFP/Getty Images) This post is part of the series “Roots of Resistance: 25 year retrospective on the first intifada.” Read the entire series here . In the years leading up…

Halfway there! Take advantage of a 2-for-1 matching donation to help us reach our fundraising goal
Mondoweiss – Mondoweiss logos through the years. We’re just about halfway through our end of the year fundraiser — thanks so much to everyone who has already given! To help us reach our goal we are excited to share that an extremely generous donor has agreed to match…

Israel Ups Ante With 6K More Settler Homes 
The Foward Breaking News 18 Dec 2012 – Israeli officials said they would press on with plans this week to build 6,000 homes for settlers on land claimed by Palestinians, defying criticism from Western powers who fear the move will damage already faint hopes for a peace accord. Click here for the rest of…

Columbia Program Head Pulls Post on IDF Soldier 
The Foward Breaking News 18 Dec 2012 – A photo and text calling an Israeli soldier a “terrorist” and “killer” were removed from the Facebook page of a Columbia University program director. Click here for the rest of the article…

More Than 400 Jewish Clergy Press Netanyahu on E1 
The Foward Breaking News 18 Dec 2012 – More than 400 American Jewish clergy asked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu not to go ahead with new construction in a corridor connecting eastern Jerusalem to the West Bank settlement of Maale Adumim. Click here for the rest of the article…

Richard Engel’s Syria Kidnap Drama 
The Foward Breaking News 18 Dec 2012 – NBC’s Richard Engel revealed harrowing details of his five days as a captive of a Syrian armed group, telling of endless threats and mock executions by the kidnappers. Click here for the rest of the article…

Sen. Daniel Inouye, Friend of Jews and Israel, Dies at 88 
The Forward New 18 Dec 2012 – Israel lost one of its best friends ever to serve in the U.S. Congress with the passing of Sen. Daniel K. Inouye. The Hawaii lawmaker’s last word was, ‘Aloha.’ Click here for the rest of the article…

Eritrea: Ambassador Presents Credentials to Iranian President 
allAfrica.com 18 Dec 2012 – [Shabait]Asmara -Mr. Mohammed-Seid Mantai has been appointed as Eritrea’s roving Ambassador to the Republic of Iran and presented his credentials today to President Mohammed Ahmadinejad.

Tunisia: Relatives of Local Prisoners in Iraq Stage Protest in Front of Foreign Ministry 
allAfrica.com 18 Dec 2012 – [Tunis Afrique Presse]Tunis -The relatives of Tunisian prisoners and missing in Iraq staged a protest Tuesday morning in front of the Foreign Ministry, claiming the release of their children and to know what happened to those reported missing.

Eritrea: U.S. Report – Israel Sets Up Base in Eritrea to Monitor Iran 
allAfrica.com 18 Dec 2012 – [Sudan Tribune]Addis Ababa -Israel has opened a military bases in Eritrea to monitor and avert rival Iran‘s hostile activities in the Red Sea which could eventually pose a threat to its national security, a report by Stratfor Global Intelligence claims.

Syria rebels ‘make fresh gains’ 
BBC 18 Dec 2012 – Rebels in Syria are reported to have made fresh gains across the country, as fighting inside two Palestinian refugee camps in the south of Damascus intensifies.

Bahrain rights activist detained 
BBC 18 Dec 2012 – The vice-president of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, Sayed Yousif al-Muhafdha, was detained at a protest on Monday, the organisation says.

Stephen Lendman: Tortured in Sinai, Imprisoned in Israel 
Sabbah report 18 Dec 2012 – Palestinians wanting to live free are called terrorists. Non-Jewish refugees, asylum seekers, and those suffering from captivity and torture aren’t wanted. In Israel they’re imprisoned. They’re treated harshly with no rights. Most are deported. Israel matches the most unjust, repressive societies. Netanyahu exceeded the worst of…

Gaza to Galilee: The colonial context 
Sabbah report 18 Dec 2012 – The shocking reality is that many of the inhabitants of the Gaza Strip are a few miles away from the land of their ethnically cleansed former villages, across the border fence in southern Israel. Like so much else with Palestine, you can’t understand Gaza if you…

Al-Sharaa’s Proposal: Syria’s Last Chance 
Al-Akhbar Opinion 18 Dec 2012 – Syria’s Vice President Farouq al-Sharaa (C) stands at his office and welcomes an Iranian delegation in Damascus 26 August 2012. (Photo: Reuters – Khaled al-Hariri) Syria’s Vice President Farouq al-Sharaa (C) stands at his office and welcomes an Iranian delegation in Damascus 26 August 2012. (Photo:…

Ahmad Jibril to be expelled from the PLO 
Al-Akhbar News 18 Dec 2012 – The Palestinian Liberation Organization’s legislative body denounced Tuesday faction leader Ahmad Jibril, signaling that it would expel him over his alleged role in involving Palestinians in the Syria conflict. Jibril, head of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command, is accused of…

Lebanese University scuffle injures two 
Al-Akhbar News 18 Dec 2012 – Two students were hospitalized Tuesday when a fight broke out at Lebanese University’s Fanar campus between supporters of rival political parties. Antoun Saed, head of a general body that oversees all student branches of the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM), told Al-Akhbar that members of the rival…

STL registrar refuses to disclose Nashabe risk probe 
Al-Akhbar News 18 Dec 2012 – The registrar for the Special Tribunal for Lebanon refused Tuesday to provide the judge with a risk assessment of Omar Nashabe after reversing his appointment to the tribunal’s defense office over ‘security concerns.’ Nashabe, the director of Al-Akhbar ’s research unit and a criminal justice specialist,…

Orthodox Church Sees the Light with New Patriarch 
Al-Akhbar News 18 Dec 2012 – Newly elected Orthodox Patriarch Youhanna (John) Yaziji attends his enthronement ceremony at the Balamand Monestary, north of Beirut 17 December 2012. (Photo: Reuters – Stringer) Newly elected Orthodox Patriarch Youhanna (John) Yaziji attends his enthronement ceremony at the Balamand Monestary, north of Beirut 17 December 2012. (…

Violations Prevail in Egypt’s Constitutional Referendum 
Al-Akhbar News 18 Dec 2012 – A protester opposing Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi with his hands chained takes part in a demonstration at Tahrir Square in Cairo 18 December 2012. (Photo: Reuters – Amr Abdallah Dalsh) A protester opposing Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi with his hands chained takes part in a demonstration…

Nude and Tattooed in Moroccan Cinema 
Al-Akhbar News 18 Dec 2012 – Following the life of her tattoo becomes a way to call closer attention to the details of collective memory and our relationships to the body. (Photo: Al-Akhbar) Following the life of her tattoo becomes a way to call closer attention to the details of collective memory…

Syria: Armed Opposition Takes Yarmouk Refugee Camp 
Al-Akhbar Politics 17 Dec 2012 – Palestinians carry the coffin of Zakaria Abu al-Hassan during his funeral in al-Yarmouk camp near Damascus 6 June 2011. (Photo: Reuters – Khaled al-Hariri ) Palestinians carry the coffin of Zakaria Abu al-Hassan during his funeral in al-Yarmouk camp near Damascus 6 June 2011. (Photo: Reuters -…

No Praise for Lebanon Judge Who Released Qazzi 
Al-Akhbar Politics 17 Dec 2012 – How can a hand not be ashamed, not tremble, when it signs a decision to release an agent like Qazzi. This is abhorrent. It is shameful. (Photo: Haytham al-Moussawi) How can a hand not be ashamed, not tremble, when it signs a decision to release an…

Iraq President Talabani ‘in coma’ 
BBC 18 Dec 2012 – Iraqi President Jalal Talabani is said to be in a coma in hospital after officials and media reported he had suffered a stroke.

Syria rebels ‘make fresh gains’ 
BBC 18 Dec 2012 – Rebels in Syria are reported to have made fresh gains across the country, as fighting inside two Palestinian refugee camps in the south of Damascus intensifies.

Bahrain rights activist detained 
BBC 18 Dec 2012 – The vice-president of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, Sayed Yousif al-Muhafdha, was detained at a protest on Monday, the organisation says.

Seven activists ‘arrested in UAE’ 
BBC 18 Dec 2012 – Seven online activists are reported to have been arrested in a continuing crackdown in the United Arab Emirates.

Articles


Understanding Hamas after Khaled Meshaal’s Gaza speech 
Richard Falk, Al Jazeera.com 12/16/2012
      The lens through which Hamas is being viewed must be changed if we are to understand it.
     In the aftermath of Khaled Meshaal’s emotional visit to Gaza in celebration of Hamas‘ 25th anniversary, commentary in Israel and the West has focused on his remarks at a rally as “defiant” and confirming “the true face” of Hamas. Emphasis was particularly placed on his dramatic pledge to recover the whole of historic Palestine, from the Mediterranean to Jordan, “inch by inch”, no matter how long such a process might take. Meshaal also challenged the legitimacy of the Zionist project, and justified Palestinian resistance in whatever form it might assume, although disavowing the intention to attack civilians as such, and denying any complicity by Hamas in the recent November 21, 2012 incident in Israel when a bomb exploded in a Jerusalem bus.
     These remarks certainly raise concerns for moderate Israelis who continue to advocate a two-state solution in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 242, but at the same time, it is important to listen to Hamas fully before reaching firm conclusions about their “true intentions”.
     The thrice born ‘world leader’
     What Meshaal said in Gaza was at a rally dedicated to reaffirming its fundamental struggle in the immediate aftermath of the recent eight day Israeli attack (code-named “Pillar of Defence”), and by a leader who for the first time in 45 years had openly dared to set foot in his occupied and oppressed homeland. Meshaal is a leader who has lived in exile in several countries throughout the region since he was eleven years old, having been born in the Selwad neighbourhood of Ramallah, then under Jordanian control. He is someone who in 1997 Israel had tried to murder in a notorious incident in Jordan in which only the immediate capture of the Mossad perpetrators induced Israel to supply a life-saving antidote for the poison that had been sprayed into Meshaal’s ear so as to secure the release of these agents from Jordanian captivity and the avoidance of likely criminal charges. more.. e-mail

Gaza fisherman jailed for serving Hamas coffee 
Eva Bartlett, Gaza City, Electronic Intifada 12/18/2012
      GAZA CITY (IPS) – Shortly after Israel and Hamas signed a ceasefire agreement on 21 November, the Israeli navy abducted thirty Palestinian fishermen from Gaza’s waters, destroyed and sank a Palestinian fishing vessel, and confiscated nine fishing boats in the space of four days.
     The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) reported that 14 fishermen from a single family, stationed just three nautical miles from the coast of the Gaza Strip, were all arrested on 1 December.
     Some fishermen were only two miles off Gaza’s coast when they were attacked with machine gun fire and arrested by the Israeli navy. Ranging from the ages of 14 to 52, the majority in their late teens and early twenties, these fishermen come from some of Gaza’s poorest families (“In new violation of ceasefire, Israeli forces arrest 14 fishermen and confiscate three fishing boats,” 2 December 2012).
     According to Mifleh Abu Riyala, a representative of the General Syndicate of Marine Fishermen, the ceasefire has made no difference to Palestinian fishermen.
     Palestinians are allowed, under the current Israel-Hamas ceasefire, “to fish six miles out,” he said, “but the Israeli gunboats still attack us, whether we are six or three miles out.”
     The Oslo accords granted Palestinian fishermen the right to fish twenty nautical miles out at sea — a right the Israeli navy has unilaterally vetoed, downsizing the fishing “limits” since the 1990s to a mere three miles until last month’s ceasefire allowed a slight increase to six nautical miles. more.. e-mail

E1 is not a ’land without a people’ 
Activestills, +972 Magazine 12/18/2012
      Photo essay
     A recent New York Times article ran under the misleading headline, “West Bank Land, Empty but Full of Meaning”, referring to the E1 area where the Israeli government recently announced new settlement building in spite of international opposition. Strangely, the photo appearing in the online edition underneath that headline pictures a Bedouin man who owns land in E1.
     The Times headline is especially troubling for its resonance with the Israeli national myth that the land was “empty” before the Zionists came and “made the desert bloom.” Such language reinforces decades-old misconceptions to the casual reader, while the disconnect between the headline and the photo illustrates the internal contradictions of Nakba denial and Zionist mythology: there was no one here, and they all need to leave.
     A sheep shelter constructed out of old furniture in a Bedouin camp in the E1 area, situated between Jerusalem and the Israeli West Bank settlement of Maale Adumim (background), on December 11, 2012. Israel has approved the building of 3,000 settler homes on the patch of land; a development that has been on hold for years due to pressure from the US and EU. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)
     In the interest of demonstrating that E1 is not “a land without a people” for a people planning a land grab, here are a few more images of people currently living in E1–namely, the Jahalin Bedouin. No, there are not many modern permanent structures in E1, owing partly to Bedouin culture and their relative poverty–but more specifically due to Israeli control that bars building by Palestinians and has placed demolition orders on even the most humble structures built by the area’s inhabitants. Here is Al Jazeera’s headline on the same topic: “Israel expansion threatens West Bank Bedouin.” more.. e-mail

Gaza to Galilee: The colonial context 
Ben White, Al Jazeera.com 12/16/2012
      Framing events in Gaza in the colonial context is vital for understanding the nature of the violence.
     While it is common knowledge that a majority of the population of the Gaza Strip are refugees, it is less well understood where they came from. The shocking reality is that many of the inhabitants of the Gaza Strip are a few miles away from the land of their ethnically cleansed former villages, across the border fence in southern Israel. Like so much else with Palestine, you can’t understand Gaza if you don’t understand the Nakba. 
     To give a few examples. In 1948, most of the Palestinians of al-Majdal had fled in fear by the time the Israeli army took the town. In November of that year, around 500 were expelled to Gaza. But during 1949, a good number of Palestinians managed to return. Those remaining Palestinians were “concentrated and sealed off with barbed wire and IDF guards in a small, built-up area commonly known as the ‘ghetto'”. 
     The ethnic cleansing of al-Majdal was completed between June and October 1950. And if you haven’t heard of al-Majdal before, I’m sure you know the Israeli port city built in its place: Ashkelon. 
     Or take the village of Najd, whose inhabitants cultivated citrus, bananas, cereals and orchards. They were expelled by Israeli forces in May 1948 and you can find Palestinians from Najd in Jabaliya refugee camp. The Israeli city of Sderot was founded on its land. 
     An AFP article from 2008 illustrates the links between 1948 and 2012, and how the Nakba never finished: 
     “When Israeli soldiers razed his village of Najd during the Jewish state’s independence war, Yussef Abu al-Jidyan fled to a Gaza refugee camp where he has now lived for 60 years. But he has never lost hope of returning….” more.. e-mail

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