VTJP Occupied Palestine and Israel: News and Articles 19 December 2012: Election committee bans Palestinian MK Zoabi from participating in elections

19 December 2012 — VTJP

News

International Middle East Media Center

Several Palestinians Injured In Jenin, Two Children Kidnapped
IMEMC – Palestinian medical sources in Jenin, in the northern part of the West Bank, reported Wednesday that several residents have been treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation after the army fired gas bombs at them near the southern entrance of the city. Two children were kidnapped in a nearby village. …

Army Besieges Al-Eesawiyya, Removes Protest Tent
IMEMC – Palestinian sources in occupied East Jerusalem reported Wednesday that Israeli soldiers imposed a full siege on the El-Eesawiyya town, in the center of the city, conducted searches of Palestinian vehicles while inspecting the residents ID card, and removed the protest tent installed in solidarity with hunger striking detainee, Samer Al-Eesawy of Al-Eesawiyya. … 

Soldiers Kidnap Three In Hebron And Bethlehem
IMEMC – The Palestine New & Info Agency, WAFA, reported that Israeli soldiers kidnapped, on Wednesday at dawn, two Palestinians in the southern West Bank district of Hebron, and one resident in Bethlehem. …

Israel To Demolish Palestinian Residential Building In Occupied Jerusalem
IMEMC – The Palestine News & Info Agency, WAFA, reported that Fatima Ja’afara, a Palestinian native of occupied East Jerusalem, voiced an urgent appeal for immediate action as Israel intends to demolish her family’s apartment building of five flats. …

Injuries Reported In Clashes Near Aida Refugee Camp In Bethlehem
IMEMC – Palestinian medical sources in Bethlehem reported that clashes took place, on Tuesday evening, between local youths of Aida refugee camp, in the city, and Israeli soldiers; several residents were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation while one resident was hit by a rubber-coated metal bullet in the head. … 

US, EU, Denounce Israel’s Settlement Plan
IMEMC – The United States and the European Union issued statements denouncing Israel’s new plan to build thousands of units in illegal Israeli settlements in and around occupied Jerusalem, and in a number of illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank. …

4600 Palestinians, Including 182 Children, Imprisoned By Israel
IMEMC – Former Political Prisoner, Palestinian Researcher, Abdul-Nasser Farawna, stated that Israel is currently holding captive 4600 Palestinians, including 182 children and 11 women, in addition to 1200 detainees who are ill, including 20 who are continuously held at prison clinic. …

Ma’an News

Israel bars Haneen Zoabi from re-election
12/19/2012 – JERUSALEM (Reuters) — Israel’s electoral authority barred a Palestinian lawmaker from re-election on Wednesday, saying she had supported the nation’s enemies by joining a protest ship that tried to break a naval blockade of Gaza. Haneen Zoabi is expected to appeal to Israel’s highest court which has overruled most previous….

Jailed hunger strikers: We are fighting for dignity
12/19/2012 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike for over three weeks say their battle is a fight for freedom and dignity, in a message sent from Israel’s Megiddo jail. In a statement dictated to lawyer Samer Samaan, the group said the goal of their open hunger strike “is not just to….

Teen dies of Gaza war wounds
12/19/2012GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — A Palestinian teenager died on Wednesday from wounds sustained during Israel’s recent military assault on the Gaza Strip. Ahmad bin Saed 19, died in an Egyptian hospital where he was being treated for shrapnel wounds from an Israeli airstrike. The strike on al-Masdar town in central Gaza on….

Israeli PM vows to build in Jerusalem despite criticism
12/19/2012 – JERUSALEM (Reuters) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday his government would press ahead with expanding Jewish settlements around Jerusalem despite Western criticism of its plan to build 6,000 more homes on Palestinian land. In addition to several thousand housing units approved earlier this month, Israeli media said initial approval was granted on Wednesday….

Israeli forces ‘confiscate protest tent’ in Isawiya
12/19/2012 – JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces confiscated a protest tent in solidarity with Palestinian hunger-striker Samer Issawi in East Jerusalem on Wednesday, a local group said. Forces blocked the entrances to Isawiya, the hometown of Issawi, checking the IDs of all residents, Jerusalem media center director Muhammad Sadeq said. They then seized the protest tent….

Israeli forces detain released prisoners in Beit Ummar
12/19/2012 – HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli forces detained three Palestinians in the West Bank overnight Tuesday, including two released prisoners. Issa Mohammad Issa Awad, 24, and Waseem Wahadeen, 19, were detained from their homes in Hebron-district town Beit Ummar at dawn, popular committee spokesman Mohammad Ayad Awad said. Issa was released from Israeli jail in last….

Fatah anniversary to go ahead in Gaza
12/19/2012 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Fatah is preparing to celebrate its 48th anniversary in the Gaza Strip, a senior party official said Tuesday, after a dispute in recent days over the political ceremony. Hamas permitted the anniversary event, set for Jan. 1, in a conciliatory gesture reciprocated by the Fatah-dominated government in the West Bank for…. Related: Official: Hamas will decide where to stage Fatah festival in Gaza

West Bank Palestinians strike as Israeli sanctions bite
12/19/2012 – RAMALLAH (Reuters) — Palestinian government employees in the West Bank began a two-day general strike on Wednesday to protest against a delay in the payment of their wages because of Israeli economic sanctions. Israel is withholding some $100 million in monthly customs revenues it collects on the Palestinians’ behalf as punishment for their successful bid….

PFLP-GC says PNC statement ‘hypocrisy’
12/19/2012 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command on Tuesday evening accused the Palestinian National Council of hypocrisy over its condemnation of their group leader’s actions in Syria. Earlier, the PNC said will address the case PFLP-GC leader Ahmad Jibril in the first future meeting in order….

Jailed PFLP leader calls for solidarity with hunger strikers
12/19/2012GAZA CITY (Ma’an) –Jailed Palestinian leader Ahmad Saadat on Wednesday called for a national solidarity campaign with long-term hunger strikers Samer al-Issawi and Ayman al-Sharawneh. In a letter leaked from Hadarim prison, the secretary-general of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine praised al-Issawi and al-Sharawneh for their determination. Saadat said they….

Israel charges Tel Aviv bus bomb suspect
12/19/2012 – TEL AVIV (Reuters) — Israel charged a Palestinian citizen of Israel on Wednesday over a bomb explosion on a Tel Aviv bus during Israel’s November military offensive in the Gaza Strip, the Justice Ministry said. The bus was driving close to Israel’s defense ministry complex when the bomb went off on Nov….

Christmas message from President Abbas
12/19/2012 – If you take a look around Bethlehem, one is bound to be shocked by the choking reality this city has been forced to endure. Surrounded by 22 Israeli settlements and extremist settlers; its land shrunk to a mere 13 percent of its original size because of the encroaching reality of Israeli unilateralism. For first time….

Presidential aide: France, Britain proposing talks initiative
12/19/2012 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Britain and France are proposing a new initiative to resume negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis, an adviser to President Mahmoud Abbas said Wednesday. The joint proposal will be presented to the US to help push for new talks, presidential legal aide Nimir Hamad told Ma’an. He said the initiative….

Abbas in talks to shelter Palestinian refugees fleeing Syria violence
12/19/2012 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — President Mahmoud Abbas has contacted the UN and regional countries to try to find a solution for Palestinian refugees fleeing Syria amid fighting in a Damascus neighborhood, his spokesman said Wednesday. Abbas wants the Palestinians in Syria to be able to return to Palestine to avoid the worsening conflict between President…. Related: In photos: Palestinians flee Syria after camp fighting and Syria’s Palestinians sleep rough in wintry Damascus

Government announces welfare payments amid crisis
12/19/2012 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — The Palestinian Authority will transfer welfare payments to needy families in Gaza and the West Bank in the coming days despite the economic crisis, a government official said Wednesday. Rami Mahdawi, PR director at the PA finance ministry, said the funds would be paid to families in Gaza on Saturday and….

Former Israeli army chief dies aged 68
12/19/2012 – TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma’an) — Former Israeli army chief Amnon Lipkin-Shahak died of cancer on Monday aged 68, Israeli media reported. He served in the Israeli army from 1962 to 1998, the Israeli daily Haaretz said, serving as chief of staff from 1995. [END]

Official: Hamas will decide where to stage Fatah festival in Gaza
12/19/2012GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Hamas is considering a suitable location for a festival to celebrate Fatah’s 48th anniversary, a senior Hamas official said Wednesday.” Hamas encouraged the Gaza government to allow Fatah to have a complete festival in the Gaza Strip,” Salah Bardawil told Ma’an. The festival has been approved…. Related: Fatah anniversary to go ahead in Gaza

Spokeswoman: PA will try to pay partial salaries next week
12/19/2012 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The Palestinian Authority will try and pay half November salaries to government employees next week, a PA spokeswoman said Wednesday. The Ministry of Finance is working with the Palestine Monetary Authority to borrow money from Palestinian banks in order to pay public sector workers between 1,500 and 4,000 shekels($400-$1,070….

Banks to lend PA $100 million
12/19/2012GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Palestinian banks will lend the Palestinian Authority $100 million to see it through a financial crisis caused by Israeli sanctions, the Palestine Monetary Authority chief said Wednesday. The PMA reached an agreement with bank representatives for the short-term loan that will be repaid when the Arab League delivers its promised….

In photos: Palestinians flee Syria after camp fighting
12/19/2012 – Reuters / Jamal Saidi – Palestinians who had been living at Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria arrived at the Lebanese-Syrian border in al-Masnaa on Tuesday. 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…. Related:Abbas in talks to shelter Palestinian refugees fleeing Syria violence and Syria’s Palestinians sleep rough in wintry Damascus

Syria’s Palestinians sleep rough in wintry Damascus
12/19/2012 – BEIRUT (Reuters) — The amber light of the street lamp illuminates the boy, wrapped in a thin blanket, his legs exposed to the December cold as he sleeps by a kerbside in a wealthy district of Damascus. The child – barely in his teens, if that – was said by the opposition activist who posted his photograph on…. Related: Abbas in talks to shelter Palestinian refugees fleeing Syria violence and In photos: Palestinians flee Syria after camp fighting

Once a symbol of new Afghanistan, can policewomen survive?
12/19/2012 – KABUL (Reuters) — Shortly after Friba joined the Afghan National Police, she gave herself the nickname “dragon” and vowed to bring law and order to her tormented homeland. Five years later, she is tired of rebuffing the sexual advances of male colleagues, worries the budget for the female force will shrink and fears the government will….

012 deadliest year on record for journalists
12/19/2012 – PARIS (Reuters) — More journalists were killed doing their job in 2012 than in any year since monitoring started 17 years ago, with Syria and Somalia seeing a particularly heavy toll, Reporters Without Borders said on Wednesday. Eighty-eight journalists were killed, a third more than last year, as security forces in various conflict zones cracked down….

Security sources: Syrian Interior Minister in Beirut for treatment
12/19/2012 – BEIRUT (Reuters) — Syria‘s Interior Minister Mohammad Ibrahim al-Shaar arrived in Lebanon on Wednesday for medical treatment, security sources said, a week after bombers attacked his ministry in central Damascus. They gave no details of his condition, but said it was not critical. Some Syrian rebels had said on Tuesday that Shaar was seriously….

UN chief Ban calls for peaceful Egyptian referendum
12/19/2012 – UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on Wednesday for the final stage of a referendum in Egypt on a new constitution to be carried out peacefully so the country can focus on building “a pyramid of democracy in the heart of the Arab world.” The run-up to the two-stage referendum vote on the….

Aljazeera

Israel pushes forward with new settlements
AlJazeera 19 Dec 2012 – Approval of more settler homes accelerate Palestinian plans to appeal to International Criminal Court, official says.

Palestine News Network

MADA: Violations Contaminated with the Blood of Journalists Throughout Last Month
Palestine News Network

Christmas Message from H.E President Mahmoud Abbas
Palestine News Network

Arab League Secretary General to Visit West Bank
Palestine News Network

Comprehensive Strike in the West Bank over Unpaid Salaries
Palestine News Network

Egypt Deports 11 Palestinians to the Gaza Strip
Palestine News Network

Israeli Embassy in Dublin Offends Jesus Christ on its Facebook Page
Palestine News Network

UNESCO Celebrates World Arabic Language Day
Palestine News Network

Clashes Erupt in Aida Refugee Camp, Palestinian Injured
Palestine News Network

Alternative Information Center

Elections Committee bars MK Zoabi from elections
Alternative Information Center – By a vote of 19 to 9 with one abstention, Israel’s Central Elections Committee Wednesday disqualified Member of Knesset (MK) Hanin Zoabi from running for Knesset in the January 2013 elections. MK Zoabi, a member of…

Relief Web

Syrian Arab Republic (the): UNRWA Syria crisis situation update
Relief Web 19 Dec 2012 – Source: UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East Country: Lebanon, occupied Palestinian territory, Syrian Arab Republic (the) Note: Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) will disseminate information about…

occupied Palestinian territory: Momentum slipping for two-State solution, but recent ‘resounding endorsement’ of Palestinian goals will make 2013 decisive year, Security Council told
Relief Web 19 Dec 2012 – Source: UN Security Council Country: Lebanon, occupied Palestinian territory, Syrian Arab Republic (the) SC/10863 Security Council 6894th Meeting (AM) As 2012 drew to a close, momentum was slipping for a two-State solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and tensions on the…

Syrian Arab Republic (the): Talks afoot to remove warring sides from Damascus camp
Relief Web 19 Dec 2012 – Source: Agence France-Presse Country: occupied Palestinian territory, Syrian Arab Republic (the) 12/19/2012 11:38 GMT BEIRUT, Dec 19, 2012 (AFP) – Talks were under way on Wednesday aimed at removing both rebel and pro-government fighters from a Damascus Palestinian refugee camp…

occupied Palestinian territory: Aid agencies call for halt to recurring demolitions of water cisterns in Area C
Relief Web 19 Dec 2012 – Source: ActionAid, American Friends Service Committee, Action Against Hunger, CARE, Comitato Internazionale per lo Sviluppo dei Popoli, Polish Humanitarian Action – Polska Akcja Humanitarna, HelpAge International, World Vision, EWASH Country: occupied Palestinian territory Action Against Hunger (ACF); ActionAid; American Friends…

Syrian Arab Republic (the): 100,000 Palestinians may have fled Damascus camp: UN
Relief Web 19 Dec 2012 – Source: Agence France-Presse Country: Lebanon, occupied Palestinian territory, Syrian Arab Republic (the) 12/19/2012 17:32 GMT GENEVA, Dec 19, 2012 (AFP) – As many as 100,000 Palestinians may have fled a Damascus refugee camp after deadly clashes there, the UN agency…

occupied Palestinian territory: Water & Sanitation in the Access Restricted Areas of the Gaza Strip – Fact Sheet 13
Relief Web 19 Dec 2012 – Source: EWASH Country: occupied Palestinian territory Key Facts 113,000 people are affected by the Israeli restrictions in the ARA Farming is the main source of income for the majority of families in the ARA Approximately 35% of Gaza’s cultivable land…

The National

Palestinians threaten to take Israel to the ICC over settlements
The National 19 Dec 2012 – Unprecedented legal action may be open to Palestine after its recognition by the United Nations as a non-member observer state.

Libya struggles to renounce violence
The National 19 Dec 2012 – As a new government tries to establish a basic hegemony over Libya’s disparate factions, those who accept democracy as a concept still face heavily armed militias who are prone to using force.

US scholar is behind apocalypse rumour
The National 19 Dec 2012 – The ancient Maya people compiled the Long Count Calendar but the popular rumour linking it to the end of the world appears to lie with Michael Coe, an American Maya expert.

UN threatens Yemen with sanctions
The National 19 Dec 2012 – The United Nations could sanction those impeding political transition in the impoverished country, the world body’s envoy to Yemen said.

World rumoured to end on 21-12-12, but the UAE is sceptical
The National 19 Dec 2012 – The aptly titled Mayan End of the World Party is taking place at 360 in Dubai tomorrow night.

Egypt in peril of international isolation
The National 19 Dec 2012 – Swiss court denies Egypt access to documents related to Mubarak-era corruption probe because of president Morsi’s attempts to interfere with the judiciary.

FNC to set up UAE human-rights committee
The National 19 Dec 2012 – The Federal National Council (FNC) has ordered the creation of a specialised committee to support the country’s human-rights efforts at home and abroad.

Dubai set to go from 4.5MW to 1,000MW by 2030
The National 19 Dec 2012 – Dubai currently only generates 4.5 MW of solar power, in private small-scale systems that use photovoltaic technology to convert sunlight into electricity.

Ha’aretz

Shas’ Deri demands Netanyahu reveal 2013 budget before election
Ha’aretz – 19 Dec 2012

Amman warns: Jihadists are hijacking Syrian revolution, may target Israel, Jordan next
Ha’aretz – 19 Dec 2012

Knesset committee requires disability access at all public places within five years
Ha’aretz – 19 Dec 2012

Yes, kids, there is a Jewish Santa Claus
Ha’aretz – 19 Dec 2012

Why was the architect selected to design Israel’s new National Library ousted?
Ha’aretz – 19 Dec 2012

Amonon Lipkin-Shahak: The last of the army’s princes
Ha’aretz – 19 Dec 2012

Nurses end strike after agreement on 13% pay raise
Ha’aretz – 19 Dec 2012

UN Security Council members blast Israel over settlement construction plans
Ha’aretz – 19 Dec 2012

Israel Air Force chief warns of growing threat from Hezbollah drones
Ha’aretz – 19 Dec 2012

Israel election committee disqualifies MK Hanin Zuabi from running for Knesset
Ha’aretz – 19 Dec 2012

Israel approves plan for 2,600 new homes in East Jerusalem
Ha’aretz – 19 Dec 2012

Israel elections committee debates disqualifying Arab and rightist parties
Ha’aretz – 19 Dec 2012

Israel approves Qatar emir’s visit to West Bank, in nod to Abbas
Ha’aretz – 19 Dec 2012

Former IDF chief Amnon Lipkin-Shahak dies, 68
Ha’aretz – 19 Dec 2012

Israeli court indicts alleged Tel Aviv bus bomber
Ha’aretz – 19 Dec 2012

Israeli Arab activists encourage voting, but enthusiasm running low
Ha’aretz – 19 Dec 2012

Labor slams Netanyahu over settlement expansion: Israel is headed for isolation
Ha’aretz – 19 Dec 2012

Lieberman opposes Russian law restricting foreign donors, despite pushing Israeli version
Ha’aretz – 19 Dec 2012

Jerusalem Post

Knesset approves new law for handicap access
Jerusalem Post 19 Dec 2012 – Law attempts to ensure people with disabilities will be able to equally enjoy all the services offered to the general public. 

NGO’s unsurprised by recent child poverty figures
Jerusalem Post 19 Dec 2012 – Organization head says “the kids suffer tragically and they didn’t do anything wrong. Neither did their parents.” 

Students get scholarships for Carmel fire victims
Jerusalem Post 19 Dec 2012 – University of Haifa awards 44 scholarships to students in honor of 44 people who died in the Mount Carmel fire of 2010. 

Likud video mimics ‘Harry Potter Puppet Pals’
Jerusalem Post 19 Dec 2012 – Campaign clip is almost identical to a 2007 viral YouTube hit – catching Likud’s campaigners were unaware. 

Gaza, Iran and nuclear weapons: Connecting the dots
Jerusalem Post 19 Dec 2012 – German human rights activist Bonhoeffer warned, “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” 

Fundamentally Freund: Making J’lem truly indivisible
Jerusalem Post 19 Dec 2012 – Whether the world likes it or not, the demographic realities on the ground have for all intents and purposes created a fait accompli: Jerusalem is now truly indivisible. 

Candidly Speaking: Election: An unedifying spectacle
Jerusalem Post 19 Dec 2012 – Notwithstanding this appalling, corrupt circus and despite the increased strength of the Right, I predict that the next government will be more broadly based. 

Inouye: One of Israel’s best friends in Congress
Jerusalem Post 19 Dec 2012 – Washington Watch: “Danny was courage personified,” Biden said, displaying heroism on the battlefields of World II and “incredible moral bravery” in the Senate. 

Media Comment: Channel 10 versus Israel’s democracy
Jerusalem Post 19 Dec 2012 – Channel 10 had no respect for the democratic process until now. Should the Knesset then save it today? 

Poverty poll
Jerusalem Post 19 Dec 2012 – Political parties that provide coherent solutions have earned our vote; those that do not should be punished at the polls. 

Liberman vows to take control of Shas ministries
Jerusalem Post 19 Dec 2012 – Parties vie for Housing, Interior portfolios; Liberman: The criteria for public housing will be IDF service and working. 

IAF chief: Those who sleep with rockets are unsafe
Jerusalem Post 19 Dec 2012 – OC Air Force Eshel makes comments two days after an explosion in south Lebanon damaged suspected Hezbollah arms depot. 

Analysis: IAF preparing surprises for enemies
Jerusalem Post 19 Dec 2012 – Upgrades to fighter jets creating operational capabilities that would have been considered fantasy years ago. 

PA set to pay its employees half their salaries
Jerusalem Post 19 Dec 2012 – Announcement comes after civil servants began a two-day strike following the PA failed to pay last month’s salaries. 

Knesset to save Channel 10 in expedited vote
Jerusalem Post 19 Dec 2012 – Labor head Yacimovich says Netanyahu trying to silence media, plans to propose bill to help newspapers. 

‘Continued nurses strike could lead to diseases’
Jerusalem Post 19 Dec 2012 – Israel Pediatrics Society warns that thousands of babies, toddlers have not received shots against pox, measles, hepatitis. 

Kahlon: Bank reform is next step after cellular, TV
Jerusalem Post 19 Dec 2012 – Minister Moshe Kahlon decries state of banking in Israel, says he will work to introduce competition into market. 

Committee approves plan for 2,610 units in e. Jerusalem
Jerusalem Post 19 Dec 2012 – Jerusalem Local Planning Committee approves construction in Givat Hamatos neighborhood; Netanyahu to Asian and Pacific envoys: It is not logical for Israel to be barred from building in its capital. 

New US sanctions to trap more Iran oil revenue
Jerusalem Post 19 Dec 2012 – Sanctions that take effect in February will prevent states from moving money used to buy oil outside of the purchasing country. 

Former IDF chief of staff Lipkin-Shahak passes away
Jerusalem Post 19 Dec 2012 – Following battle with cancer, Israel’s 15th chief of staff, former minister of transportation, tourism passes away at age 68. 

C’tee bars Zoabi from polls for supporting terror
Jerusalem Post 19 Dec 2012 – Zoabi: “A black flag of illegitimacy waves over this decision”; Balad: Party will not run if decision is not overruled. 

‘Man placed bomb, returned to work at McDonalds’
Jerusalem Post 19 Dec 2012 – Israeli-Arab is suspected of carrying out November bus bomb; indictments pending against 3 Palestinian suspects. 

Inquiry slams US State Department over Benghazi
Jerusalem Post 19 Dec 2012 – Panel says security at US mission in Libya was grossly inadequate to deal with Sept. 11 attack that killed US ambassador, 3 others. 

Obama faces backlash over Hagel’s Israel record
Jerusalem Post 19 Dec 2012 – Pro-Israel groups, neoconservatives confronting US president over possible nomination of ex-Republican senator Chuck Hagel to Pentagon. 

BIU Professor: Lanza was ‘looking for immortality’
Jerusalem Post 18 Dec 2012 – Bar-Ilan University psychologist Yacov Rofé blames US murderer’s mother for isolating son, making him love guns. 

Britain names Ephraim Mirvis new chief rabbi
Jerusalem Post 18 Dec 2012 – Long-serving communal rabbi in Britain selected by the Orthodox communal association to be its new chief rabbi. 

‘Capturing Yarmouk camp another Syrian rebel gain’
Jerusalem Post 18 Dec 2012 – Palestinians formerly loyal to Syrian President Assad have defected to the rebels, sources tell Lebanese press. 

Mass., Israel cooperate to build water innovation
Jerusalem Post 18 Dec 2012 – An Israeli firm specializing in rapid microbiological water testing is set to showcase its system in the New England hi-tech hub. 

The Guardian

Arab-Israeli politician Haneen Zoabi disqualified from re-election
The Guardian 19 Dec 2012 – MP who was on board flotilla that attempted to breach Israel’s blockade of Gaza in 2010 has faced long campaign for expulsion An Israeli-Arab politician who took part in an attempt to breach the blockade of…

Israel approves new settlement between Jerusalem and Bethlehem
The Guardian 19 Dec 2012 – European diplomats criticise Givat Hamatos settlement as ‘game-changer’ that will endanger two-state solution Israel’s spate of settlement expansion around Jerusalem has increased again with the approval of 2,612 homes in a move likely to further inflame…

UN security council’s EU members to condemn Israeli settlements expansion
The Guardian 19 Dec 2012 – Unusual statement expected from the UK, France, Germany and Portugal follows blunt criticism by US of construction plans The four European members of the United Nations security council are drawing up a strong joint condemnation of…

Syrian crisis triggers massive UN aid appeal
The Guardian 19 Dec 2012 – United Nations estimates that almost £1bn is needed to slow ‘dramatically deteriorating humanitarian situation’ in Syria If any doubt lingered that the crisis in Syria was grave and getting worse, the decision by the United Nations…

Inter Press Service

A Third Intifada on the Horizon?
IPS A new Palestinian group called the National Union Battalions (NUB), comprising Palestinians from across the political spectrum, has called for a third Palestinian uprising or Intifada. Simultaneously, Israeli intelligence is warning that conditions on the ground in the West Bank are ripe for another Palestinian revolt. These warnings come as…

Uruknet

Opposing Apartheid, Then and Now
Uruknet

The manipulation of justice in the Occupied Palestinian Territories
Uruknet

Afghan Army Desertion Rates Up, Despite Claims of Progress
Uruknet

Killing Children
Uruknet

Knesset Speaker says Jerusalem is not negotiable
Uruknet

CPJ looks the other way as Nouri al-Maliki threatens Fakhri Karim
Uruknet

An All-American Nightmare Why Zero Dark Thirty Won’t Settle the Torture Question or Purge Torture From the American System
Uruknet

Five Palestinian Prisoners Continue their Hunger Strikes Despite Rapidly Deteriorating Health Conditions
Uruknet

The Freedom Bus: Taking resistance on tour in the West Bank
Uruknet

Palestinian National Council denounces PFLP-GC leader over Syria
Uruknet

Daily Star

Obama presses for new gun policies
Daily Star 19 Dec 2012 President Barack Obama on Wednesday asked an administration team to offer “concrete proposals” on curbing gun violence no later than January.

Egypt atheist blasts Islamist regime
Daily Star 19 Dec 2012 An Egyptian atheist convicted then released from prison on bail this week told The Associated Press Wednesday that the new Islamist government is no better than the dictatorial regime it replaced.

Americans to lose right to adopt in Russia
Daily Star 19 Dec 2012 A bill to ban Americans from adopting Russian children won preliminary parliamentary approval on Wednesday in a retaliatory gesture for a U.S. law punishing alleged Russian human rights violators.

Yemen’s president shakes up army
Daily Star 19 Dec 2012 Yemen’s president on Wednesday ordered a shake-up of the country’s Defense Ministry, removing the powerful son, relatives and aides of the ousted leader, in a harsh blow to the ex-president’s remaining ties to power.

Saudis may boost natural gas price
Daily Star 19 Dec 2012 Saudi Arabia may as early as next year do something it has resisted for decades: raise what is currently the world’s lowest price for natural gas, in order to reduce expensive subsidies and curb energy waste.

Israel OK’s new homes in West Bank, Jerusalem
Daily Star 19 Dec 2012 Israel on Wednesday pressed forward with the construction of thousands of new homes in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, part of a series of new settlement plans that have drawn worldwide rebuke.

Egypt: Mubarak taken to military hospital
Daily Star 19 Dec 2012 Egypt’s ousted president Hosni Mubarak was transferred to a Cairo military hospital on Wednesday, after slipping and injuring his head and chest in prison, a security official said.

Egypt: Top elections official resigns
Daily Star 19 Dec 2012 One of the top officials in charge of overseeing Egypt’s vote on a contentious Islamist-backed draft constitution resigned Wednesday, citing health problems, a judicial official said.

Obama named TIME magazine’s Person of the Year
Daily Star 19 Dec 2012 TIME has tapped U.S. President Barack Obama for its Person of the Year for the second time, citing his historic re-election last month as symbolic of the nation’s shifting demographics and the rise of younger, more…

Head of Iraq’s largest Christian group resigns
Daily Star 19 Dec 2012 Cardinal Emmanuel III Delly, the head of Iraq’s largest Christian group, resigned on Wednesday, the Vatican said, announcing that a synod has been convoked for January to elect a successor for a community faced with religious…

More than 44,000 killed in Syria conflict: watchdog
Daily Star 19 Dec 2012 More than 44,000 people have been killed in Syria since the outbreak in March 2011 of an anti-regime revolt that became a bloody insurgency after a brutal crackdown, a rights group said on Wednesday.

Ban calls for peaceful Egyptian referendum
Daily Star 19 Dec 2012 U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for the final stage of a referendum in Egypt on a new constitution to be carried out peacefully so the country can focus on building “a pyramid of democracy in the…

YNet News

Poll: Most Americans support gun restrictions 
YNet News, 19 Dec 2012 – ….

Lieberman good for Palestinians 
YNet News, 19 Dec 2012 – Op-ed: Former foreign minister served Palestinians’ public relations efforts very well ….

Treasury: Breakthrough in talks with nurses
YNet News, 19 Dec 2012 – ….

US: Pro-Israel group to air ad against Hagel appointment
YNet News, 19 Dec 2012 – ….

IDF reinforces Bethlehem checkpoint before Christmas 
YNet News, 19 Dec 2012 – ….

Report: Morsi postpones US visit
YNet News, 19 Dec 2012 – ….

EU detached from reality 
YNet News, 19 Dec 2012 – Op-ed: Criticism of E1 development plan shows EU policy is based on information from Palestinian sources ….

Just talk
YNet News, 19 Dec 2012 – Op-ed: As Obama arrived in Connecticut, guns were being sold at record pace just 155 miles away ….

Number of children living in poverty rising 
YNet News, 18 Dec 2012 – New National Council for the Child report indicates widening gap between children living in center versus periphery; between Jews, Arabs ….

US: Israel’s settlement plans provocative
YNet News, 18 Dec 2012 – Washington joins EU in criticism over government’s plans to expand construction in east Jerusalem, West Bank. State Department spokesperson says US ‘deeply disappointed’ by decision ….

Iran: Newtown massacre was Israeli conspiracy 
YNet News, 18 Dec 2012 – Tehran news website quotes ‘expert’ alleging horrific Connecticut shooting that claimed lives of 20 children, six adults was Israeli scheme meant to exert revenge on US following ‘humiliation at UN‘ ….

Obama ‘actively supportive’ of assault weapons ban
YNet News, 18 Dec 2012 – In wake of Newtown tragedy, White House says Obama is exploring legislation reinstating ban on assault weapons ….

4 EU nations to condemn Israel’s settlements plans
YNet News, 18 Dec 2012UN Security Council members Britain, France, Germany and Portugal to issue formal censure over planned east Jerusalem construction bids ….

Iron Dome factory faces uncertain future 
YNet News, 18 Dec 2012 – Workers in Sanmina electronic factory, which produce parts for Iron Dome defense system, were told factory will shut down in March ….

Police arrest 3 ‘price-tag’ suspects
YNet News, 18 Dec 2012 – Lengthy investigation in case involving desecration of West Bank mosque leads to suspects’ arrest ….

American hero and true friend of Israel
YNet News, 18 Dec 2012 – Op-ed: Former ambassador remembers Daniel Inouye, the US senator who asked ‘What can I do for Israel?’ ….

IDF, PA collaboration in West Bank faltering
YNet News, 18 Dec 2012 – Long-term cooperation between Israeli, Palestinian security forces in West Bank at critical junction ….

War crimes court acquits Congolese warlord
YNet News, 18 Dec 2012 – International Criminal Court finds Ngudjolo Chui not guilty of crimes against humanity in 2003 atrocities in north-eastern Congo; verdict a blow to The Hague ….

Security prisoner’s family instigates court fight 
YNet News, 18 Dec 2012 – Riot breaks out in Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court during parole hearing for hunger-striking prisoner released in Shalit deal ….

Pro-Israel senator Inouye passes away
YNet News, 18 Dec 2012US‘s most senior senator, Daniel Inouye, a staunch Israel advocate who pushed for funding of Iron Dome, passes away at age of 88 ….

Palestinian Information Center

Attoun calls on Egypt to intervene to save Sharawna and al-Issawi
PIC – Palestinian Legislative Council member Ahmed Attoun from Jerusalem stated that the Israeli occupation forces’ attack on the hunger striker Samer al-Issawi and his family in the court yesterday.

New Israeli demolition campaign in Negev
PIC – Israeli police and “Border Guards” raided on Wednesday morning the Palestinian village of Al-Zernouk, and demolished a concrete house, warning to demolish other houses..

Abu Marzouk: the reconciliation is a priority to accomplish the unity government
PIC – Dr. Mousa Abu Marzouk said that Fatah’s requirements to accomplish the reconciliation after the election, had been the cause to suspend the national reconciliation in the past..

Tens of millions participate in the electronic media campaign
PIC – The media electronic campaign in solidarity with the Palestinian prisoners in Israeli occupation jails managed to shed the light on the prisoners’ issue..

PCHR reports dozens of Israeli violations against Gaza fishermen since the truce
PIC – A human rights organization confirmed that the Israeli naval forces wounded and arrested, since the truce a month ago, 34 Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Sea..

Sheikh Sabri: Buraq Wall is a part of Al-Aqsa Mosque
PIC – Sheikh Dr. Ikrima Sa’id Sabri, head of the Supreme Islamic Council and the Al Aqsa Mosque preacher, stressed that the western wall of Al Aqsa Mosque was not and will never be a Jewish property.

PA security arrest leader and journalist and summon liberated prisoner
PIC – The authority security apparatuses arrested a Hamas leader in Tulkarem and a journalist in Ramallah, and summoned a liberated captive from al-Khalil for questioning and interrogation.

European campaign for the relief of Palestinians displaced from Syria
PIC – A European committee launched an urgent relief campaign to rescue the Palestinian refugees fleeing the refugee camps in Syria, after the regular army planes bombed them.

Syria: Army surrounds entrances to Yarmouk camp in preparation for storming it
PIC – Dozens of Syrian tanks are surrounding the Yarmouk refugee camp, and are preparing to raid it at any moment and regain control over it after the Free Army declared full control over the camp.

WAFA

PA to Pay Public Employees Part of November Salary
WAFA – 19 Dec 2012

Israel Approves Building 2615 Settlement Units in Jerusalem
WAFA – 19 Dec 2012

Newspapers Review: Approval of 6000 Settlement Units Focus of Daily
WAFA – 19 Dec 2012

WHO Report Assesses Health Situation in Gaza after Israeli War
WAFA – 19 Dec 2012

EU Missions Concerned over Israeli Raid of NGOs in Ramallah
WAFA – 19 Dec 2012

Abbas to Ban: Bring Syria’s Palestinian Refugees Home
WAFA – 19 Dec 2012

Weather Forecast: Rain, Cold Weather Expected in Coming Days
WAFA – 19 Dec 2012

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

Misc

3 State Department officials quit after report on Benghazi attack
LA Times 19 Dec 2012 – The three officials resign after a high-level panel held them responsible for failing to act on requests for greater security for the U.S. mission in Libya. WASHINGTON — Three senior State Department officials resigned under pressure Wednesday after an independent review board determined that they…

Panel faults security failures in Benghazi attacks
LA Times 19 Dec 2012 – A high-level panel faults the State Department for systematic security failures, which left the U.S. mission in Libya ill-equipped to deal with the attacks. WASHINGTON — The State Department was guilty of “systematic failures” in security that made the deadly Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on…

U.N. Seeks New Aid for Syria Crisis
New York Times 19 Dec 2012 – The increased refugee estimate represents at least the fourth time the United Nations has revised its projections upward in the nearly two-year-old uprising. 

Lebanon’s Shiites and Sunnis Fight in Syria, but Not at Home
New York Times 19 Dec 2012 – Sunni Muslims from Lebanon and fighters from Hezbollah, the militant Shiite movement, have chosen sides in the Syrian conflict but manage to observe an uneasy truce in their own country. 

I.H.T. Special Report: Turkey Seeks a Spiritual Leader’s Secret Grave
New York Times 19 Dec 2012 – A parliamentary commission investigating a series of military coups is trying to find the secret grave of Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, an Islamic scholar revered by millions. 

I.H.T. Special Report: Egyptian Economy Caught in a Political Bind
New York Times 19 Dec 2012 – As Egyptians prepare to vote on a new Constitution, President Mohamed Morsi is following his predecessors’ pattern of delaying economic overhauls. 

Yemeni Leader Shakes Up a Divided Military
New York Times 19 Dec 2012 – The reshuffling of the military was seen as a crucial component of Yemen’s transition after the autocratic rule of Ali Abdullah Saleh, the predecessor of President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi. 

I.H.T. Special Report: Arab Filmmakers Seek Commercial Success
New York Times 19 Dec 2012 – Despite tense regional politics, emerging filmmakers are producing movies with the primary aim of achieving commercial success. 

Iraq’s Stricken President To Be Flown to Germany for Treatment
New York Times 19 Dec 2012 – Medical staff in Baghdad said Jalal Talabani, the president of Iraq who has been treated abroad for medical conditions in recent years, was improving after he suffered a stroke on Monday. 

Homebuyers’ purchasing power plummets
Globes Main News – Research at IDC Herzliya finds that Israelis need 120 salaries to buy an average home, compared with 60 in other developed countries.

EDF inaugurates three Israel solar energy projects
Globes Main News – The renewable energy unit of Electricite de France SA (EDF) inaugurated its first three projects in Israel.

Microsoft Israel incubator opens second session
Globes Main News – Start up graduates from the first session that ended three months ago have already raised $6.5 million.

Wed: Partner propels market gains
Globes Main News – Partner clawed back much of the week’s losses as Haim Saban tries to buy more shares of the mobile carrier from Bank Leumi and other institutional investors.

Dankner offered $750m for HSBC New York building
Globes Main News – Property & Building and Koor bought the Fifth Avenue building in 2010 for $330 million.

Australia’s Telstra curtails Amdocs project
Globes Main News – The reason for the move is unclear; it will cost Amdocs a few million dollars revenue.

Elbit Systems awarded IAF Hercules upgrade contract
Globes Aerospace & Defense – The transport aircraft will be modernized with a digital cockpit, head-up display system and new radar.

MK Zoabi Disqualified for Knesset
Tikun Olam – An Israeli Knesset election committee voted to bar Israeli Palestinian MK Haneen Zoabi from running in next month’s national election.  The vote was 19-9 on a motion presented by a Likud Knesset member.  The committee seeking to slice the baby clean in half, voted not to…

Israeli prediction of third intifada follows days of provocation in Hebron
Mondoweiss – Funeral of Mohammed Salayme There’s been lots of unrest occurring around Hebron in recent weeks, including most notably the killing of 17-year-old Mohammed Salayme at a Hebron checkpoint a week ago, which has gotten international attention. But Salayme’s killing on December 12 did not take place…

Israeli committee bars Haneen Zoabi from upcoming elections
Mondoweiss – Haneen Zoabi, on the right, tries to speak as Anastassia Michaeli of the Yisrael Beteinu party is escorted off of the podium (David Vaaknin/AP) The most prominent Israeli citizen of Palestinian descent in the Israeli Knesset was disqualified today from participating in next month’s elections. Haneen…

Who funds Pamela Geller? In 2010, it was a former Israel Project board member
Mondoweiss – Pamela Geller speaks at a September 11, 2012 conference (AP Photo/David Karp) The nation’s leading anti-Muslim blogger and activist is back at it again in the New York City subway system. On December 17, Pamela Geller, who runs the blog Atlas Shrugs and is the head…

Who started it?
Mondoweiss – Normal 0 false false false ENUS X-NONE X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:”Table Normal”; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:””; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0in; mso-para-margin-right:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0in; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:”Calibri”,”sans-serif”; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:”Times New Roman”; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} With the successful Palestinian bid for “nonmember…

Exile and the Prophetic: Michael Walzer, repeat intimidator
Mondoweiss – This post is part of Marc H. Ellis’s “Exile and the Prophetic” feature for Mondoweiss. To read the entire series visit the archive page. Normal 0 false false false ENUS X-NONE X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:”Table Normal”; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:””; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in…

Liberal Zionists and neocons battle over Chuck Hagel
Mondoweiss – The possible nomination of Chuck Hagel to be secretary of Defense is drawing neoconservative opposition and support from liberal Zionists and realists. In short, the Israel lobby is dividing over Chuck Hagel. Here are some of the latest responses. In the New York Times , “Comments on…

Israeli Arab Barred From Running in Election 
The Foward Breaking News 19 Dec 2012 – srael’s Central Elections Committee voted to disqualify Arab lawmaker Hanin Zoabi from next month’s elections but voted to allow two Arab parties to run. Click here for the rest of the article…

Richard Falk Bounced From Rights Group 
The Foward Breaking News 19 Dec 2012 – Human Rights Watch has removed Richard Falk, United Nations special rapporteur on Palestinian human rights, from one of its local committees. Click here for the rest of the article…

Israel’s Rightward Shift Sparks Worries 
The Forward New 19 Dec 2012 – The Israeli elections will feature a Likud list dominated by the far right and a badly divided political center. The result will likely be continued gridlock for the peace process. Click here for the rest of the article…

Nigeria: 300 Nigerian Pilgrims Stranded in Israel 
allAfrica.com 19 Dec 2012 – [Daily Trust]The pilgrims, who were supposed to round up their ten-day trip to Jerusalem yesterday, checked out of their hotels very early only to be told on their arrival at the airport that there’s no arrangement made for their return trip to Nigeria.

Egypt: Morsi Calls to End Bloodshed in Syria 
allAfrica.com 19 Dec 2012 – [Egypt Online]President Mohamed Morsi stressed on Monday 17/12/2012 the importance of efforts by all the parties concerned to stop bloodshed in Syria and to preserve Syria‘s territorial integrity.

Wounded minister ‘leaves Syria’ 
BBC 19 Dec 2012Syria‘s interior minister is admitted to hospital in Lebanon after being wounded in a bombing in Damascus, reports say.

UN steps up pressure on Israel 
BBC 19 Dec 2012 – The UN and 14 Security Council members demand a halt to Israeli construction in occupied territory as the US state department criticises its ally.

UN appeals for $1.5bn Syria aid 
BBC 19 Dec 2012 – The United Nations is appealing for more than $1.5bn (£920m) to fund aid efforts for those affected by the conflict in Syria for the next six months.

Stuart Littlewood: Peace is possible if justice is possible 
Sabbah report 19 Dec 2012 – Christians in Palestine are not suffering persecution, because we are not considered to be a religious community, but rather the people of Palestine. We have the same rights and the same obligations. Fr Manuel says, “peace is possible if justice is possible,” so get off your…

They can attack our bodies but not our strength 
Sabbah report 19 Dec 2012 – Due to the ongoing illegal closure imposed by Israel, some of the required medical supplies and devices cannot enter the Gaza Strip, causing additional suffering to patients throughout their recovery process. They can attack our bodies but not our strength was published by Sabbah Report . Sign…

Elections Committee bars MK Zoabi from elections 
AIC: Israeli Society 19 Dec 2012 – By a vote of 19 to 9 with one abstention, Israel’s Central Elections Committee Wednesday disqualified Member of Knesset (MK) Hanin Zoabi from running for Knesset in the January 2013 elections. MK Zoabi, a member of the National Democratic Assembly (NDA), was disqualified primarily for her…

Politics, Judicial Fights at Play in Prosecutor’s Resignation 
Al-Akhbar Blogs 19 Dec 2012 – Cairo – Lines of plain-clothed conscripts and officers blocked the curved hallways leading to the prosecutor general’s office. In front of the bevy of close-shaved heads in sweaters and jumpers, young prosecutors stood in ties, neat suits and coats in an uneasy, hours-long standoff on Monday,…

UN tells Israel to cancel plans for thousands of settler homes 
Al-Akhbar News 19 Dec 2012 – The United Nations on Wednesday called on Israel to cancel plans to build thousands of new settler homes in the occupied Palestinian territories, warning it could be “an almost fatal blow” to peace hopes. UN leader Ban Ki-moon’s political chief also told the UN Security Council…

Syria: Religious Police Patrol Aleppo’s Countryside 
Al-Akhbar News 19 Dec 2012 – A Syrian man paints stripes on a side walk the northern Aleppo province, on 16 December 2012. (Photo: AFP – Prashant Rao) A Syrian man paints stripes on a side walk the northern Aleppo province, on 16 December 2012. (Photo: AFP – Prashant Rao) The Syrian…

The Extension of Rifi’s Term: April’s Fool 
Al-Akhbar News 19 Dec 2012 – The Free Patriotic Movement and Hezbollah both categorically reject this bid, despite all that is being said about Hezbollah’s consent. (Photo: Al-Akhbar) The Free Patriotic Movement and Hezbollah both categorically reject this bid, despite all that is being said about Hezbollah’s consent. (Photo: Al-Akhbar) The bid…

Israeli embassy says Palestinians would have ‘lynched’ Jesus 
Al-Akhbar News 19 Dec 2012 – The Israeli embassy in Ireland Wednesday temporarily shut down its Facebook page ‘for maintenance’ after a Christmas message sparking controversy had been taken down two days earlier: “A thought for Christmas…If Jesus and mother Mary were alive today, they would probably end up being lynched in…

Refugees from Yarmouk: “We Left Everything Behind” 
Al-Akhbar News 19 Dec 2012 – A Palestinian refugee from the Syrian refugee camp of Yarmouk holds up his passport in front of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) offices in the Cola district of the Lebanese capital, Beirut, on 19 December 2012. (Photo: AFP – Anwar Amro) A Palestinian…

Freedom for Georges Abdallah: Tomorrow is a Crucial Day 
Al-Akhbar News 19 Dec 2012 – “Down with imperialism, its Zionist guard dogs and tyrannical Arab collaborators.” (Photo: Haytham al-Moussawi) “Down with imperialism, its Zionist guard dogs and tyrannical Arab collaborators.” (Photo: Haytham al-Moussawi) This Thursday, 20 December 2012, all eyes will be on Paris in anticipation of the final ruling in…

Violations Prevail in Egypt’s Constitutional Referendum 
Al-Akhbar Politics 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…

Wounded minister ‘leaves Syria’ 
BBC 19 Dec 2012Syria‘s interior minister is admitted to hospital in Lebanon after being wounded in a bombing in Damascus, reports say.

Three quit after Benghazi report 
BBC 19 Dec 2012 – Three US state department officials resign following a damning report into the deadly attack on the US consulate in Benghazi.

UN steps up pressure on Israel 
BBC 19 Dec 2012 – The UN and 14 Security Council members demand a halt to Israeli construction in occupied territory as the US state department criticises its ally.

Hosni Mubarak treated in hospital 
BBC 19 Dec 2012 – Ousted Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak is treated in a military hospital after slipping and injuring his head, Egyptian state media say.

UN appeals for $1.5bn Syria aid 
BBC 19 Dec 2012 – The United Nations is appealing for more than $1.5bn (£920m) to fund aid efforts for those affected by the conflict in Syria for the next six months.

Sick Iraq leader ‘to go abroad’ 
BBC 19 Dec 2012 – Iraqi President Jalal Talabani will be flown to Germany for further treatment, officials say, after reportedly suffered a stroke.

Articles


Election committee bans Palestinian MK Zoabi from participating in elections 
Noam Sheizaf, +972 Magazine 12/19/2012
      An automatic appeal before the Supreme Court will be heard next week. Zoabi’s party, Balad, has already announced it will withdraw from the elections if the decision is not reversed.
     Israel’s Central Election Committee (CEC) voted today (Wednesday) to disqualify Palestinian Knesset Member Haneen Zoabi from participating in the coming elections. MK Zoabi is the number two candidate on Balad’s Knesset list. The decision is automatically transferred to the Supreme Court, which will hear the appeal next week. Earlier today, Balad announced that if the Supreme Court doesn’t allow Zoabi to run, the entire party will withdraw from the elections.
     The decision did not come as a surprise: The CEC is a political body whose members are determined in proportion to the representation of their parties in the Knesset. The current committee therefore has a clear right-wing majority. The decision to ban Zoabi from taking part in the elections was also supported by members of Kadima, widely considered a centrist party. Labor, Meretz, Hadash, Livni’s Hatnua party and the Palestinian parties voted against, and the result was 19-9 in favor of the disqualification.
     Interestingly enough, the CEC rejected requests to disqualify Palestinian parties Balad and Ra’am Ta’al from taking part in the elections. In previous elections, both parties were disqualified but the decision was reversed by the Supreme Court.
     Still, Balad held a press conference today, in which party leader Dr. Jamal Zahalka made it clear that Balad will not run without Zoabi:
     “This [move] hurt the entire Arab public. Its purpose is to weaken the political power of the Arab citizens in the Knesset and to strengthen the Israeli right. We fully support MK Zoabi and all her actions, and we emphasize again that if the Supreme Court does not reverse the decision, Balad will not take part in the coming elections.” — See also: Zoabi: Racism is part of Israel’s ruling consensus more.. e-mail

Zoabi: Racism is part of Israel’s ruling consensus 
Nikki Hodgson and Mikaela Levin, Alternative Information Center 12/19/2012
      In a July 2011 interview, MK Hanin Zoabi told the AIC that “When it comes to the rights of Palestinians in Israel, there is no difference between opposition and coalition.” Zoabi’s concern that racism has become part of Israeli national consensus, and that everything outside of this must now be criminalized, appears justified given today’s decision by the Knesset Central Elections Committee to disqualify her from running in the January 2013 elections. An interview more relevant than ever.
     Since she was sanctioned for her participation in the first Freedom Flotilla to Gaza, Knesset Member Hanin Zoabi (National Democratic Assembly) spends most days inside her office in the Knesset. Her desk is overflowing with papers, the small coffee table on the side is occupied with used tea mugs and some treats; in one corner, facing her desk, a television is broadcasting live the debate on the Knesset floor.
     As of Monday 18 July, MK Zoabi is unable to participate in Knesset general debates or even speak in parliamentary committees until the end of this year’s parliamentary sessions, at the end of July. “I can just vote”, explains the Palestinian politician, with a half smile of open resignation. Throughout the entire interview with the Alternative Information Center (AIC), Zoabi will not take her eyes off the screen for more than a minute; she doesn’t want to miss the chance to exercise her last remaining right as a democratic elected MK: expressing her minority vote.
     – Do you think you can still promote change from within the Knesset?
     Promote change…mmmm, yeah! (She laughs). Definitely. The event of the Flotilla proved how crucial our presence in the Knesset is. It is ironic. The fact that they restrict our movements and incite against us indicates that we are really challenging their policies…. — See also: Election committee bans Palestinian MK Zoabi from participating in elections more.. e-mail

Opposing Apartheid, Then and Now 
Paul R. Pillar,  12/17/2012
      Several factors contributed to the demise of apartheid in the land where that term originated, South Africa. Inspired and timely leadership within South Africa was an important ingredient. But international agitation and pressure, based on a widespread sense of moral outrage, undoubtedly were also critical. The international response included unofficial boycotts and official sanctions, with great and lesser powers alike contributing.
     International opposition to the most conspicuous current example of apartheid—Israeli subjugation of Palestinian Arabs—is not nearly as ubiquitous as opposition to the South African variety had become near its end in the early 1990s. But there are signs that it is growing. Organized efforts are aimed at boycotting products from settlements Israel has built in occupied territory in the West Bank. A recent noteworthy departure in the policy of a major power was Germany’s refusal to toe the Israeli line in a vote in the United Nations General Assembly.
     To the extent that international opposition to Israel’s conduct toward the Palestinians may indeed be growing, there are good reasons. One is a realization that the Israeli version of apartheid is very similar in important respects to the South African version, and that moral equivalence ought to follow from empirical equivalence. Both versions have included grand apartheid, meaning the denial of basic political rights, and petty apartheid, which is the maintaining of separate and very unequal facilities and opportunities in countless aspects of daily life. Some respects in which Israelis may contend their situation is different, such as facing a terrorist threat, do not really involve a difference. The African National Congress, which has been the ruling party in South Africa since the end of apartheid there, had significant involvement in terrorism when it was confronting the white National Party government. That government also saw the ANC as posing a communist threat.
     A fitting accompaniment to the similarities between the two apartheid systems is the historical fact that when the South African system still existed, Israel was one of South Africa’s very few international friends or partners…. more.. e-mail

The time is ripe for Palestinian reconciliation, again 
Yaser AlZaatra, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 12/17/2012
      Security coordination will continue and the Palestinian Authority’s rule over the localities the “Separation Wall” leaves behind will continue.
     After the victory of the Palestinian resistance in Gaza against the Israeli offensive and the relative success at the United Nations, there is a positive atmosphere with regards to reconciliation; the time, surely, is ripe for it. However, when we ask questions about it, it looks as if we’re sabotaging the coming together which is going to solve Palestine’s complicated issues. Of course, Hamas and Fatah leaders are now meeting to achieve the hoped-for reconciliation, which they have used as an excuse for all disasters that have befallen the people of Palestine. That list includes the failed negotiations, even though they have been negotiating for much longer than the division without actually achieving anything.
     The reality is that all the positive atmospheres in the world can’t guarantee reconciliation, as the devil lies in the details, which will still be there to sabotage the process at any moment. Even so, let’s assume that things will be alright and ask about the nature of this reconciliation and how it will benefit what is called the “Palestinian national project”. Keep in mind the “principles” of the Palestinian Authority whose leader splits his time between the leadership of the PLO, Palestine and the Palestinian Revolution Forces.
     What scenario does reconciliation promise, and what will be the consequences for the liberation project? Can we truly “liberate” the land on the borders of 1967 if the president gives up 78 per cent of historic Palestine without even getting any recognition of Palestinians’ right to the remaining 22 per cent? more.. e-mail

We will remain rooted here, says defiant father of Gaza boy killed by Israel
Electronic Intifada: 19 Dec 2012 – Rami Almeghari Gaza Strip 19 December 2012 Ibrahim Ashour and his family had temporarily returned to Gaza when Israeli bombs killed eight-year-old Muhammad.  more

Israeli warplanes, Gaza’s airspace, just imagine if it were vice versa
In Gaza: 19 Dec 2012 – Dec 17 late afternoon Israeli warplanes audibly, visibly violating Gaza’s airspace, and oh yes, the cease-fire (not the first time, drones in the sky almost every day, Israeli warplanes many days a week). Filed under: Israeli attacks on Gaza , siege on Gaza  more

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