VTJP Occupied Palestine and Israel: News and Articles 21 December 2012: Israel’s assault on Gaza killed 177, mostly civilians

21 December 2012 — VTJP


International Middle East Media Center

Europe Trying To Convince U.S To Obtain Security Council Resolution Against Settlements
IMEMC – Nimir Hammad, Political Advisor to President Mahmoud Abbas, stated that several European Countries are exerting efforts meant at convincing the United States to obtain a serious resolution at the United Nations General Assembly to prevent Israel from continuing its illegal settlement activities. … 

General Assembly Votes For Palestinian Right To Self Determination
IMEMC – With an overwhelming majority, the United Nations General Assembly voted for the “Palestinian Right To Self Determination”; the vote passed by 179 votes while only seven countries, including Israel and the United States, voted against, and three countries abstained. …

Ma’an News

Official: 5 injured by Israeli fire in Gaza
12/21/2012GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israeli forces shot and injured five Palestinians on Friday in the northern Gaza Strip, a health ministry spokesman said. Ashraf al-Qidra said five Palestinians were hospitalized with moderate wounds after being shot near the border with Israel. Medics told Ma’an a number of injured Palestinians were brought to….

Israel arrests 8 Palestinians in West Bank raids
12/21/2012 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces detained eight Palestinians in the West Bank overnight Thursday, the army said. Troops detained three Palestinians in the Hebron district, two in Tulkarem and three from the village of Rummana north of Jenin, an Israeli military spokesman told Ma’an. They were taken for security questioning, he added. [END]

Jewish worshipers visit West Bank tomb
12/21/2012 – SALFIT (Ma’an) — Thousands of Jewish worshipers accompanied by Israeli soldiers entered Kifl Haris in the northern West Bank on Friday, locals said. Kifl Haris mayor Issam Abu Yaqoub said the Israelis behaved provocatively during the visit, shouting at villagers and dancing in the streets. Izzat Shuqour, Yaqoub’s deputy, said the group….

Report: Palestinians break into army base, injure soldier
12/21/2012 – TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma’an) — Israel’s army said Friday that two Palestinians breached the security fence of an army base north of Jerusalem and lightly injured a soldier after assaulting him. Israel’s Ynet news site reported that assailants sprayed him with pepper spray, overpowered him and stole his weapon. He….

PLO official: US pressuring Arab countries to withold PA aid
12/21/2012 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Washington may be pressuring Arab countries not to send financial aid to the cash-strapped Palestinian Authority, a PLO official said Friday. Wasil Abu Yousef told Ma’an that US pressure was the only explanation for the slow response of Arab countries to the PA‘s financial crisis. The PA….

UN resolution backs Palestinian self-determination
12/21/2012 – JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — The UN General Assembly adopted with majority a draft for a resolution named “Palestinian people’s right of self-determination,” an official said Thursday. Ambassador Riyad Mansour said 179 countries voted for Palestine’s right of self-determination, in a vote that confirmed that Palestine has the right to have an….

Husband pleads guilty to murder as probe slams police
12/22/2012 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A man pleaded guilty to murdering his wife on Thursday in a case that sparked outrage and prompted a presidential inquiry into institutional failures to protect victims of domestic violence. The prosecutor charged Shadi Ubeidallah, 33, with fatally slashing the throat of his estranged wife Nancy Zaboun outside her workplace, a….

Official: Arab League chief to visit Palestine
12/21/2012 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Arab League Secretary-General Nabil al-Arabi will visit Palestine on Dec. 29 to meet with President Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Authority foreign minister said Friday. Riyad al-Malki said al-Arabi would discuss the financial safety net pledged by the Arab League to the Palestinian Authority to ease the West Bank government’s….

Official: Palestine mulling ICC if UN takes no action on settlements
12/21/2012 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Palestine may complain to the International Criminal Court if the UN Security Council does not take action over Israeli settlement plans, the political adviser to President Mahmoud Abbas said Friday. Nimr Hammad told Ma’an that several European countries were lobbying the US to take a serious position against Israeli….

Israel complains to UN about rearming by Hezbollah
12/21/2012 – UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Israel’s UN envoy urged the Security Council on Thursday to condemn what he described as significant rearming by Hezbollah, saying the Lebanese group now possessed an arsenal of tens of thousands of missiles capable of hitting Israel. Israel’s UN Ambassador Ron Prosor said in a letter to the….

Ashton, Blair say settlements undermine negotiation efforts
12/21/2012 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and Quartet envoy Tony Blair said Israeli settlement plans undermined efforts to restart negotiations in separate statements Thursday.” The approval of an additional 2610 housing units in the settlement of Givat Hamatos is extremely troubling, coming in addition to announcements made at the end of….

Withholding Palestinian tax revenues is a criminal act
12/21/2012 – By Rashid Shahin – This is not the first time the Israeli occupation authority withholds Palestinian tax revenues; in the last few years, the Israeli government has used this money as a Damocles sword hanging over the head of the Palestinians. It was used to blackmail them and as a tool to pressure them when needed….

EU, Russia condemn Israeli settlement expansion plans
12/21/2012 – BRUSSELS (Reuters) — The European Union and Russia on Friday denounced Israel’s plans to expand settlements in the occupied West Bank and urged Israelis and Palestinians to take “bold and concrete steps towards peace”. Israeli officials said this week they would press on with plans to build 6,000 homes for settlers on land claimed….

Unknown attackers torch car of former chief justice
12/21/2012 – HEBRON (Ma’an) — Unknown assailants on Friday torched the car offormer chief justice Sheikh Tayseer al-Tamimi in Hebron. Al-Tamimi told Ma’an he considered the attack an assassination attempt on him and his family. He said his wife smelt smoke early Friday morning, and saw their car on fire. Four explosions followed, al-Tamimi….

Last local elections to be held Saturday
12/21/2012 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — A second round of voting will take place in the West Bank on Saturday in municipalities that did not take part in earlier local elections. Some 78 municipalities failed to field any candidates for the elections, and after a second registration, 20 districts remained without candidates. In other municipalities only one….

Fatah insists on holding anniversary in Gaza square
12/21/2012GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The Fatah movement will not accept any location to hold its anniversary celebration except Gaza City’s al-Katiba Square, member of Fatah Revolutionary Council Abdullah Abu Samhadana said Friday. In a statement, Abu Samhadana wondered why Hamas opposed organization of Fatah anniversary ceremony at al-Katiba Square.”While the Palestinian….

Bethlehem unveils giant carving of baby Jesus
12/21/2012 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A Bethlehem artist hopes to enter the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest ever model of baby Jesus, carved in olive wood. Zakaria Zakaria’s 300-kg carving was unveiled in Bethlehem on Thursday, made from a 700-kg olive tree imported from Italy. Ibrahim Faltas, the head….

Jenin man dies aged 117, relatives say
12/21/2012 – JENIN (Ma’an) — A very elderly man died on Friday in Kafr Dan village near Jenin at the age of 117, relatives said. The family of Abdul-Latif Amir Aabid say he was born in 1895 and took part in revolutions against the British Mandate in Palestine.”He felt pain in his chest, and before….

Man killed in in Qalqiliya road accident
12/21/2012 – QALQILIYA (Ma’an) — A 25-year-old Palestinian man was killed on Friday when his car collided with an Israeli bus near Qalqiliya in the northern West Bank. A Palestinian civil defense crew and Red Crescent medics pulled Subhi Muhammad Said’s body from the vehicle, on the main road in Wadi Qana east….

South Sudan denies shooting down UN helicopter, blames rebels
12/21/2012 – KHARTOUM (Reuters) — South Sudan’s army denied the United Nations’ accusation that it had shot down a UN helicopter there on Friday, saying rebels, not government forces, had brought down the aircraft.” The SPLA (South Sudan’s army) did not shoot down the helicopter. Rebels of Yau Yau shot it down,” army….

UN chief Ban condemns shooting down of UN helicopter in S.Sudan
12/21/2012 – UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) — UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon strongly condemned on Friday the shooting down of a “clearly marked” UN helicopter by South Sudan’s army, which he said killed four Russian crew in the Jonglei state. In a statement, Ban called “on the Government of South Sudan to immediately carry out an investigation and….

Palestine News Network

Veolia Firm Accused of Israeli Settlement Complicity Pulls Out of Billion Pound Contract
Palestine News Network

Australia Expresses Disappointment at Settlement Approvals in East Jerusalem
Palestine News Network

A Palestinian Dies of Swine Flu in Jenin
Palestine News Network

Israeli Authorities Allow 557 Christians from Gaza to Participate Christmas in the West Bank
Palestine News Network

PA to Fight Israeli Economic ‘Blockade’
Palestine News Network

Israeli Occupation Arrests 3 Palestinians; One Injured
Palestine News Network

Organizations Embark on New Project to Help Protect Palestinians’ Rights
Palestine News Network

Palestinian Center for Human Rights

Palestinian Center for Human Rights

International Solidarity Movement

An appeal to the international community to save the lives of Palestinian administrative detainees on hunger strike, al-Sharawna and al-Eissawi
12/21/2012 – International Solidarity Movement – 20 December 2012, Palestinian Centre for Human Rights – The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) expresses extreme concern over the fate of Ayman al-Sharawna and Samer al-Eissawi, who have been on hunger strike in Israeli jails. PCHR holds the Israeli Occupation Forces accountable for these lives, and calls upon the international community to exert pressure…. Related: PCHR Appeals the International Community

Curfew imposed on Kifl Haris as settlers invade
12/21/2012 – International Solidarity Movement – 21 December 2012, International Solidarity Movement, Kifl Haris, Occupied Palestine – At around 9. 30pm last night several Israeli Army vehicles entered the village of Kifl Haris as they do many times every year. They immediately imposed a strict unannounced curfew. The Israeli military tell nobody this will happen, nobody can leave their homes, nobody is….

Relief Web

012 –21 November 2012
Relief Web 21 Dec 2012 – Source: Al Mezan Center for Human Rights Country: occupied Palestinian territory In this detailed field report Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights (Al Mezan) reports on military attacks carried out in the Gaza Strip in the period 14 November 2012

occupied Palestinian territory: Five Gaza Palestinians wounded by Israeli gunfire
Relief Web 21 Dec 2012 – Source: Agence France-Presse Country: occupied Palestinian territory 12/21/2012 18:38 GMT GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories, Dec 21, 2012 (AFP) – Five Palestinians were wounded by Israeli army gunfire near the security fence east of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip on…

Syrian Arab Republic (the): WFP To Provide Food To People From Yarmouk Camp In Syria
Relief Web 21 Dec 2012 – Source: World Food Programme Country: occupied Palestinian territory, Syrian Arab Republic (the) DAMASCUS – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) will start providing ready-to-eat food to 125,000 vulnerable Palestinians and displaced Syrians caught up in fighting around Yarmouk camp…

occupied Palestinian territory: Caritas concerned for Gazans in difficulty
Relief Web 21 Dec 2012 – Source: Caritas Country: occupied Palestinian territory Caritas is concerned that people in Gaza cannot meet their basic needs following the November conflict between Israel and Hamas. The Caritas confederation is launching a €1.6 million (US$2.1 million) appeal to help vulnerable…

Syrian Arab Republic (the): Syria ‘firing Scud-style missiles,’ Palestinians go home
Relief Web 21 Dec 2012 – Source: Agence France-Presse Country: occupied Palestinian territory, Syrian Arab Republic (the) 12/21/2012 20:33 GMT DAMASCUS, Dec 21, 2012 (AFP) – The Syrian regime has fired Scud-style missiles at rebels, NATO said Friday, as Russia raised the alarm over the risk…

The National

Pakistan authorities try to verify Baluchis’ rights to citizenship
The National 21 Dec 2012 – Stateless Baluchis seek Pakistani citizenship.

Facelift for Pakistan embassy premises
The National 21 Dec 2012 – Renovations slated for Pakistan missions in the UAE.

Kerry selected to replace Clinton at US state department
The National 21 Dec 2012 – A member of the Foreign Relations Committee for 27 years, the last six as chairman, John Kerry has traveled extensively in his capacity as intrepid lawmaker and unofficial envoy for US president Barack Obama, tamping down diplomatic fires in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Egypt

Jail for drunk man who hid under police car to avoid arrest
The National 21 Dec 2012 – A drunk Saudi who caused a public disturbance outside a hotel in Muraqqabat is sentenced to a month in prison.

‘Desperate’ regime fires more Scuds at rebels
The National 21 Dec 2012 – Syrian forces have fired more Scud-type missiles, Nato said yesterday as renewed clashes broke out at the Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus.

Dozens injured during clashes in Alexandria on eve of constitution vote
The National 21 Dec 2012 – Even if the Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi is victorious in the battle over the constitution, as the first round of voting suggests, he will be left with a deeply divided country and a re-energised opposition movement.

Libya’s hot spot feels the chill
The National 21 Dec 2012 – It has been more than 18 months since the people of this eastern city began the uprising against the rule of Muammar Qaddafi, kindling the war that would bring him down and usher in a new Libya. The city became the war’s hot spot and many people here hoped the neglect that Benghazi had suffered for decades would be over.

Dubai Tweeter runs risk of prosecution
The National 21 Dec 2012 – Tweets could lead to legal action by those mentioned, experts have warned.


Following in father’s footsteps, man uncovers WWII bunkers – and a big myth
Ha’aretz – 21 Dec 2012

Israel’s ultra-Orthodox parties rocked by infighting as dissenters form splinter lists
Ha’aretz – 21 Dec 2012

Heavy storms and snow shut down Israel’s Hermon ski site
Ha’aretz – 21 Dec 2012

Son of Nazareth deputy mayor convicted of murdering wife
Ha’aretz – 21 Dec 2012

As election nears, Likud revels in UN, U.S. censure of Israeli settlements
Ha’aretz – 21 Dec 2012

MKs give commercial TV stations vital lifeline
Ha’aretz – 21 Dec 2012

After 17-day strike, nurses return to work under new wage agreement
Ha’aretz – 20 Dec 2012

Italy to press Germany on conviction of ex-Nazis
Ha’aretz – 20 Dec 2012

Habayit Hayehudi chairman retracts comments on refusal to evacuate settlements
Ha’aretz – 20 Dec 2012

Jerusalem Post

Two Palestinians infiltrate IDF base, steal weapon
Jerusalem Post 21 Dec 2012 – Exploiting overcast weather, Palestinians attack guarding soldier, steal rifle; IDF: We’re investigating incident as terror attack. 

Clashes break out as Egyptian Islamists stage rally
Jerusalem Post 21 Dec 2012 – Police fire teargas as supporters and opponents of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi hurl stones at each other in Alexandria ahead of final fay of voting on Islamist-supported constitution. 

Clashes erupt as Egyptian Islamists stage rally
Jerusalem Post 21 Dec 2012 – Police fire teargas as supporters, opponents of Morsi hurl stones at each ahead of final day of voting on constitution. 

Not-quite-apocalyptic storms hit Israel
Jerusalem Post 21 Dec 2012 – Sure, the Water Authority says the weather system is a once-in-a-decade event, but it’s not the end of the world. 

Boehner abandons fiscal cliff plan as GOP balks
Jerusalem Post 21 Dec 2012 – House Speaker fails to round up Republican support for his bill, casting further uncertainty on talks and scaring markets. 

Bennett draws fire with IDF order refusal remarks
Jerusalem Post 21 Dec 2012 – Left and Right attack Bayit Hayehudi leader for suggesting soldiers should refuse orders in cases ordering settler expulsion. 

S. Africa’s ruling party endorses Israel boycott
Jerusalem Post 21 Dec 2012 – ANC approves resolutions endorsing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign to “pressure Israel.” 

Court forbids Rabbinate ordination without exam
Jerusalem Post 20 Dec 2012 – Lobbying organization: This is a good first step in making the test process fair and transparent. 

Tzipi Livni Party presents environmental agenda
Jerusalem Post 20 Dec 2012 – Livni partners with Green Movement; party advocates public transportation reform, passing environmental protection law. 

‘Economy of Tomorrow requires green strategies’
Jerusalem Post 20 Dec 2012 – Environmental program focused on long-term sustainability would be turning point for stability, experts say. 

J’lem, Cairo hold quiet talks over new Gaza policy
Jerusalem Post 20 Dec 2012 – Policy could lead to further easing of restrictions in Strip, prevent quick rearming of Hamas, help develop ties with Egypt

Settlement construction censures continue pouring in
Jerusalem Post 20 Dec 2012 – France says settlement building plans calls into question Israel’s commitment to peace; Ashton issues veiled threats. 

UN sanctions Iran firms that shipped arms to Syria
Jerusalem Post 20 Dec 2012US welcomes UNSC move to impose sanctions on Yas Air, SAD Import Export for violating UN arms embargo on Tehran. 

Annexing Area C: An open letter to Naftali Bennett
Jerusalem Post 20 Dec 2012 – Into the Fray: Between the Jordan River and Mediterranean Sea, there can — and eventually will — prevail either exclusively Jewish, or exclusively Arab, sovereignty. 

Environment: Cutting down obstacles
Jerusalem Post 20 Dec 2012 – Energy and Water Minister Uzi Landau hopes to be appointed to a second term in the next government, after which he wants to merge with the Environmental Protection Ministry and push forward projects. 

Knesset approves perks for Ch. 2, Ch. 10
Jerusalem Post 20 Dec 2012 – Channel 10 will no longer have to close at year’s end; opposition: PM waging Intifada against free press. 

Hi Story/Her Story: Bouena Sarfatty(Part II)
Jerusalem Post 20 Dec 2012 – While in Athens, Bouena Sarfatty miraculously avoided arrest because she had realized the significance of local dress. 

Just A Thought: Jewish theology
Jerusalem Post 20 Dec 2012 – Perhaps one of the most neglected areas of study in our yeshivot and women’s seminaries is that of Jewish theology. 

Amsallem’s sunny side
Jerusalem Post 20 Dec 2012 – French pianist Franck Amsallem, who’s coming here in January, loves warm weather and hot jazz. 

Grumpy old man: The unbearable numbness of being
Jerusalem Post 20 Dec 2012 – In life-and-death situations it’s good when our reactions are automatic, but less so when it’s because things feel so banal and mundane. 

Implementing the Balfour Declaration
Jerusalem Post 20 Dec 2012 – T.E. Lawrence on British-Jewish- Arab cooperation 

Wagner and Hitler: Active or passive influence?
Jerusalem Post 20 Dec 2012 – ‘For me Wagner is a god, his music is my religion. I go to his operas as others go to church’ – Hitler. 

The human spirit: Let’s not extol intermarriage
Jerusalem Post 20 Dec 2012 – “It’s been a bad week for those of us who still believe that Jews should marry other Jews.” 

Keep dreaming: Beinart’s good old-fashioned Zionism
Jerusalem Post 20 Dec 2012 – Martin Buber once observed that a people cannot be redeemed until it sees the flaws in its soul and tries to efface them. Are we ready for redemption? 

The Guardian

No room at the inn – but Bethlehem’s popularity is a boon for Palestinians
The Guardian 21 Dec 2012 – More visitors and statehood recognition raises hopes for tourism industry in West Bank city, which is largely controlled by Israel Ever since Mary and Joseph were turned away, the ancient biblical town of Bethlehem has had…


The politics of resistance versus security coordination

Free Shaker Aamer: Last British Resident in Guantánamo Sues British Government

In historic decision, South Africa’s ANC makes support for Israel boycott its official policy

UN Security Council Endorses War in Mali Unanimous Vote Backs Invasion of Azawad

Mass Arrests in Iraq: Maliki Moves Against Finance Minister’s Staff

Christmas behind the wall

Indefinite Military Detention Powers and the Death of the Feinstein Amendment

012 (Warning: Graphic Videos)

Sandy Hook and Netanyahu’s Victimization Philosophy

Daily Star

‘If you look at my work you dream a little bit’
Daily Star 21 Dec 2012 Dina Khalife’s colorful, fantastical silk scarves are the perfect antidote to the gray skies of a wintry Beirut evening, each one featuring scenes from a magical, fairy-tale land.

YNet News

Margaret Thatcher in UK hospital after operation
YNet News, 21 Dec 2012 – ….

US: Congress completes $633B defense bill
YNet News, 21 Dec 2012 – ….

US: Cops kill man who fled after shooting 3 people
YNet News, 21 Dec 2012 – ….

Obama officially nominates Sen. John Kerry for secretary of state
YNet News, 21 Dec 2012 – ….

UN says peacekeeping helicopter shot down in South Sudan
YNet News, 21 Dec 2012 – ….

How do they sleep at night?
YNet News, 21 Dec 2012 – Op-ed: Hypocritical lecturers who support academic boycott of Israel have a lot to learn about ethics, social solidarity ….

Israel steps up controversial construction plans 
YNet News, 20 Dec 2012 – A look at the status of the various construction plans in Jerusalem, West Bank ….

3 Palestinians die of swine flu
YNet News, 20 Dec 2012 – More than 40 Palestinians hospitalized after having contracted H1N1 virus, Palestinian Authority reports ….

Canada rules on wearing religious veil in court
YNet News, 20 Dec 2012 – Supreme Court weighs in on religious freedom versus right to fair trial when female Muslim witness asks to wear niqab in court ….

Dozens petition to relinquish ‘Jewish’ status
YNet News, 20 Dec 2012 – Following in author Yoram Kaniuk’s footsteps, dozens including journalist Yaron London appeal to Interior Ministry to be registered as ‘irreligious’ ….

Palestinians aim to isolate Israel with new steps
YNet News, 20 Dec 2012 – Emboldened by newly upgraded UN status, Palestinian officials plan tough steps against Israel if PM Netanyahu is re-elected including ending security cooperation ….

Former minister Hirchson’s sentence commuted
YNet News, 20 Dec 2012 – Ex-minister convicted of embezzlement to be released next month after Parole Board reduced his sentence by one third ….

UN: Syrian civil war increasingly sectarian 
YNet News, 20 Dec 2012 – UNHRC report says raging civil war now pitting majority Sunni rebels against government-loyal Allawites ….

Iranian MP: Russian employees at nuclear plant ‘immodest’
YNet News, 20 Dec 2012 – Islamic Republic’s official complains that though paid to uphold modesty laws, Russian women working at Bushehr reactor appear in public uncovered ….

4 State Department officials step down over Benghazi report
YNet News, 20 Dec 2012 – State Department security chief, three other senior officials relieved of their duties following probe into Libya attack which left four US diplomats dead ….

LA man charged with making phony bomb threat against temple 
YNet News, 20 Dec 2012 – LAPD detains Wan Ryung Song, 46, after he threatened to blow up Wilshire Boulevard Temple in Koreatown ….

Palestinian Information Center

5 farmers injured by Israeli fire in Gaza
PIC – Israeli troops, deployed in the east of the Shouhada cemetery and east of the town of Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian farmers, injuring five of them on Friday.

West Bank marches in solidarity with prisoners and the Yarmouk camp
PIC – West Bank‘s weekly anti-apartheid wall and settlements marches were launched today in solidarity with the hunger striking prisoners and the refugees in Syria‘s refugee camps.

Risheq: Washington supports settlement activity in West Bank and Jerusalem
PIC – Ezzat al-Risheq, member of the Political Bureau of Hamas, strongly criticized the position of U.S.A which disrupted a UN resolution condemning the occupation’s settlement activity.

Salfit: 2000 settlers storm shrines under protection of occupation army
PIC – Thousands of Jewish worshipers accompanied by Israeli soldiers stormed the town of Kifl Haris to the north of Salfit on Friday morning, locals said.

Al-Hindi: the occupation will not dare to wage a new war on Gaza
PIC – Mohammed al-Hindi of the Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine, excluded the possibility that the Israeli occupation will wage a new war on the Gaza Strip during the current stage.

Haniya: Gaza’s victory is the victory of the whole nation
PIC – Gaza Prime Minister, Ismail Haniya, received on Thursday the leader of the Turkish Great Union Party, Mustafa Dastagi, and his accompanying delegation.

Occupation army orders its soldiers to increase alertness in West Bank
PIC – The leadership of the Israeli occupation army has issued strict instructions ordering the soldiers in the West Bank, especially in the city of Jerusalem, to increase their alertness.

Two men seize an Israeli soldier’s weapon north of Jerusalem
PIC – Hebrew media sources reported that two Palestinians assaulted an Israeli soldier stationed at Al-Ram checkpoint in occupied Jerusalem, and seized his weapon before withdrawing from the place.

Unidentified persons torch Tamimi’s vehicle in al-Khalil
PIC – Unidentified persons torched the car of former Palestinian Chief Justice Dr. Tayseer Rajab Tamimi, at about two o’clock in the morning, where the car was parked next to his house..

Rebuilding the solidarity tent with al-Issawi for the second time
PIC – Residents of Issawiya rebuilt on Thursday evening the sit-in tent in solidarity with their son the striking prisoner Samer al-Issawi after being demolished by the occupation.


PEX Report: Al-Quds Index Up
WAFA – 20 Dec 2012


GOP lawmakers challenge plan to correct diplomatic security flaws
LA Times 20 Dec 2012 – They also demand to know why the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, was not better protected and what Secretary of State Hillary Clinton knew before the attacks. WASHINGTON — Congressional Republicans on Thursday challenged the Obama administration’s plan for correcting flaws exposed by the deadly…

In Israel, Labor Party chief’s shift to the right causes dissent
LA Times 20 Dec 2012 – Many in Israel’s Labor Party support Shelly Yachimovich’s bid to draw centrist and even conservative voters. But one critic says she’s leading ‘the fake left.’ JERUSALEM — Israel’s political left cheered when newly installed Labor Party head Shelly Yachimovich led the faction from near-extinction two…

Penalties on Iran Strengthened by U.S. and Europe
New York Times 21 Dec 2012 – The United States and Europe increased the number of companies and individuals subject to penalties because of links to the Iranian nuclear program. 

In Islamist Bastion, Support Ebbs for Egypt’s Brotherhood
New York Times 21 Dec 2012 – Residents complain about the government’s confusing economic policies, its near-monopoly on power, and the use of force against opponents. 

Ben Ali’s Possessions to Be Auctioned in Tunisia
New York Times 21 Dec 2012 – Cars, jewelry, carpets and other assets that once belonged to the deposed president of Tunisia, Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, are to be sold at public auction there. 

Arrest of al-Essawi’s Bodyguards Prompts Protests in Iraq
New York Times 21 Dec 2012 – Ten bodyguards to Rafe al-Essawi, the finance minister and a top Sunni politician, were arrested on terrorism charges, threatening to further hinder Iraq’s halting process of sectarian reconciliation. 

National Briefing | Religion: Religion: Rabbis Oppose Israeli Plan in Disputed Area
New York Times 21 Dec 2012 – More than 500 American rabbis and cantors have released an open letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel asking him not to build settlements in the contested E1 area of the West Bank

At War Blog: In Syria, Cluster Munitions Takes Its Toll
New York Times 21 Dec 2012 – C.J. Chivers reports from Maraa, Syria, on the government’s use of cluster munitions against civilians in what appears to be collective punishment. 

The Lede Blog: Bahrain Welcomes European Delegation, Not Delegates’ Calls to Free Dissidents
New York Times 21 Dec 2012 – A European Parliament delegation’s visit to Bahrain this week was big news in the kingdom’s state news media; calls by the delegates to free “prisoners of conscience” got less attention. 

Jerusalem Post’s Self-Censorship Protects Leading Religious Leader, Cleanses Israeli Racism
Tikun Olam – The lady–and the article–vanishes. Mysterious censored Jerusalem Post article This post began the way a good number of them do: an enterprising Israeli noticed a newspaper article had been available online for an hour or a day or a year and then, all of a sudden,…

‘Always sing when you’re arrested’ — Rae Abileah says goodbye to Code Pink
Mondoweiss – Rae Abileah is leaving CODEPINK Women for Peace , and she signs off with the above video. At 30 years young, Abileah, who is Jewish America of Israeli descent, is already an icon; a household name in the American activist scene . As a passionate advocate for peace…

Daniel Pipes wants to take down Iranian-American group so he can get a war
Mondoweiss – Daniel Pipes as seen in the movie “2016: Obama’s America.” (Screenshot via AP) The right-wing Middle East Forum has the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) in its sights for one reason: it wants a war on Iran, and NIAC is trying to stop that from happening….

Why the ‘Washington Post’ buried the story of Murdoch’s bid to buy US presidency
Mondoweiss – Carl Bernstein, of All the President’s Men fame, has a revealing commentary in the Guardian today, though revealing not entirely in a way he appears to understand. Bernstein highlights a story first disclosed earlier this month in the Washington Post by his former journalistic partner Bob Woodward…

‘Forward’ says B’nai Jeshurun retrenched on Palestine statement under pressure from wealthy donors
Mondoweiss – On December 4 the NYT broke the B’nai Jeshurun rabbis’ brave statement in support of the Palestine upgrade at the UN, and it became the most emailed story of the day. After that the progressive rabbis backed off somewhat from their statement said they were passionate…

Obama gets backup from broad center-left group to defy neocons and nominate Hagel
Mondoweiss – Centrists and liberals are trying to buck up Barack Obama to nominate Chuck Hagel for secretary of Defense in defiance of the rightwing Israel lobby. Last night to try and give the parsimonious president some political capital, Chris Matthews described the anti-Hagel camp as a small…

IDF Shoots and Wounds 5 Palestinians on Gaza Border 
The Foward Breaking News 21 Dec 2012 – Israeli troops patrolling the border with the Gaza strip on Friday shot and wounded five Palestinians who were in an area on the Gaza side which Israel deems off limits, the Israeli army and Gaza medics said. Click here for the rest of the article…

Obama To Nominate Kerry for Secretary of State 
The Foward Breaking News 21 Dec 2012 – President Barack Obama on Friday will announce his nomination of Senator John Kerry as secretary of state to succeed Hillary Clinton, senior administration officials said. Click here for the rest of the article…

South Africa’s Ruling Party Endorses BDS Campaign Against Israel 
The Foward Breaking News 21 Dec 2012 – Johannesburg – The ruling African National Congress voted at its annual conference Thursday night to support the Palestinian boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel. The ANC declared it was “unapologetic in its view that the Palestinians are the victims and the oppressed in the…

73 Senators Sign AIPAC-Backed Letter Urging Continued Iran Restrictions 
The Foward Breaking News 21 Dec 2012 – A letter backed by AIPAC urging President Obama to keep up pressure on Iran even as he negotiates with the regime garnered signatures from 73 U.S. Senators. Click here for the rest of the article…

BJ Rabbis Offer Another Statement on Palestine 
The Forward New 21 Dec 2012 – The turmoil at one of New York’s most prominent synagogues continues after its rabbis publicly embraced the U.N. resolution recognizing Palestine as a nonmember observer state. Click here for the rest of the article…

Ballot sparks fresh Egypt unrest 
BBC 21 Dec 2012 – Clashes erupt in the city of Alexandria on the eve of the second leg of voting in Egypt‘s controversial constitutional referendum.

Syria ‘still using Scud missiles’ 
BBC 21 Dec 2012 – Nato Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen says Syrian government forces are continuing to fire short-range ballistic missiles at rebel fighters.

Libya to release Lockerbie files 
BBC 21 Dec 2012 – The new Libyan government in Tripoli is prepared to open all files relating to the Lockerbie bombing, the country’s ambassador to the UK confirms.

As the ANC Votes to Support BDS, a New Film – Roadmap to Apartheid – Compares Life in Palestine to Apartheid South Africa 
Sabbah report 21 Dec 2012 – As the African National Congress voted Thursday to support the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel known as BDS, declaring it was “unapologetic in its view that the Palestinians are the victims and the oppressed in the conflict with Israel,” we look at…

One Month After Ceasefire: Israeli Violations in Gaza and World Silence 
Sabbah report 21 Dec 2012 – Though mainstream media has been silent, Israel has violated these simple truce points continuously since they were agreed upon. Not only are the crossings still very restricted, but the fire into Gaza continues, with the first one occurring only four days after the truce agreement. Here…

Stuart Littlewood: Palestinian leadership still asleep at the wheel? 
Sabbah report 21 Dec 2012 – Why is the newly-empowered Palestine, fresh from its victory, still asking us to do the donkey-work? Now that access to the proper UN legal machinery is available for Palestinians, it is ridiculous to claim that EU and other sanctions are “the only way” to halt Israel’s…

Stephen Lendman: Palestinian Hunger Striking Steadfastness 
Sabbah report 21 Dec 2012 – Imprisoned or free, Palestinians have no rights. Racism is policy. So is institutionalized persecution and violence. Arabs are despised. Israel calls them sub-human. Israel persecutes them for not being Jews. Praying to the wrong God is criminalized. Hunger strikers defy Israeli lawlessness. Abstinence is their only…

The False Equation of Supporting Resistance and Authoritarianism in Syria 
Al-Akhbar Opinion 21 Dec 2012 – A damaged tank is seen at the Free Syrian Army controlled infantry college in the country side in Aleppo 21 December 2012. (Photo: Reuters- Ahmed Jadallah) A damaged tank is seen at the Free Syrian Army controlled infantry college in the country side in Aleppo 21…

Israel’s assault on Gaza killed 177 
Al-Akhbar News 21 Dec 2012 – Israel killed 177 Palestinians, mostly civilians, during its eight-day assault in November, medical sources on both sides said in an updated count. Retaliatory rocket fire from Gaza killed six Israelis – four civilians and two soldiers. A previous toll at the end of November stood at…

Syrian rebels fire at civilian airliner 
Al-Akhbar News 21 Dec 2012 – A Free Syrian Army sniper is reflected in a mirror while looking through the scope of his rifle as he takes position at the frontline during fighting with Syrian forces at Bustan al-Qasr district in Aleppo on 21 December 2012. (Photo: Reuters – Ahmed Jadallah) Syrian…

West Bank Workers Strike Amid Financial Woes 
Al-Akhbar News 21 Dec 2012 – A Palestinian man waves his national flag on the sidelines of a march organized by inhabitants of the West Bank village Nabi Saleh on 21 December 2012 (Photo: AFP – Abbas Momani) A Palestinian man waves his national flag on the sidelines of a march organized…

A Protest Blunder for the Egyptian Opposition 
Al-Akhbar News 21 Dec 2012 – A protester opposing Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi wears a mask with the colours of Egypt‘s national flag and a headband reading, “Down, down with the rule of the Morshed” at Tahrir Square in Cairo 21 December 2012. (Photo: Reuters – Amr Abdallah Dalsh) A protester opposing…

Tensions flare ahead of Egypt vote 
Al-Akhbar News 21 Dec 2012 – Police fired teargas on Friday when supporters and opponents of President Mohammed Mursi hurled stones at each other in Alexandria on the eve of a vote on a new constitution shaped by Islamists. Dozens of opponents of the new constitution and thousands of supporters of the…

Britain may deploy troops to UAE, despite human rights concerns 
Al-Akhbar News 21 Dec 2012 – Oman’s Deputy Prime Minister for the Council of Ministers Sayyid Fahd bin Mahmoud al-Said (2nd R) welcomes Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron (4th R) in Muscat, Oman December 21, 2012. (Reuters – Stefan Wermuth) Oman’s Deputy Prime Minister for the Council of Ministers Sayyid Fahd bin…

New Round of Palestinian Prisoner Hunger Strikes 
Al-Akhbar Politics 20 Dec 2012 – Palestinian scouts wave Palestinian flags and carry placard reads: “15 of May: Refugees, prisoners, Gaza, West Bank, Jerusalem, Palestine 1948… they are all one and same (Photo: Reuters – Sharif Karim) Palestinian scouts wave Palestinian flags and carry placard reads: “15 of May: Refugees, prisoners, Gaza,…

Palestinian Hunger Strikers Dying for Dignity 
Al-Haq 21 Dec 2012 – Ad: Engineering Vehicles E-book | Military-today.com – Great E-book For Military Enthusiasts. It Has 57 Pages And Contains Rare Information On Combat Engineering Vehicles, Recovery Vehicles, Bridgelayers, Ferrying Systems, Mine Clearing Vehicles And Other Specialized Equipment.

Ballot sparks fresh Egypt unrest 
BBC 21 Dec 2012 – Clashes erupt in the city of Alexandria on the eve of the second leg of voting in Egypt‘s controversial constitutional referendum.

Syria ‘still using Scud missiles’ 
BBC 21 Dec 2012 – Nato Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen says Syrian government forces are continuing to fire short-range ballistic missiles at rebel fighters.

Iraq minister denounces arrests 
BBC 21 Dec 2012 – Iraq’s Sunni finance minister condemns raids on his home and office, as 10 of his bodyguards are reportedly accused of terrorism-related offences.

Three Westerners seized in Yemen 
BBC 21 Dec 2012 – Two Finns and an Austrian are kidnapped by masked gunmen in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, security officials say.

Libya to release Lockerbie files 
BBC 21 Dec 2012 – The new Libyan government in Tripoli is prepared to open all files relating to the Lockerbie bombing, the country’s ambassador to the UK confirms.

Detainee death doctor struck off 
BBC 21 Dec 2012 – A former British Army doctor is struck off the medical register after his misconduct over the death of Iraqi detainee Baha Mousa in 2003.


Withholding Palestinian tax revenues is a criminal act 
Rashid Shahin, Ma’an News Agency 12/21/2012
      This is not the first time the Israeli occupation authority withholds Palestinian tax revenues; in the last few years, the Israeli government has used this money as a Damocles sword hanging over the head of the Palestinians. It was used to blackmail them and as a tool to pressure them when needed.
     Unfortunately, the Israeli government practices this policy in a way closer to a gang mentality rather than a civilized, modern or democratic country which respects international law and treaties.
     Palestinians know and admit they are the weak party in the conflict equation; the world community knows this fact but they are doing and saying nothing in order to make Israel retract its policy.
     Since the Palestinians announced their intention to go to the United Nations to demand upgrading the status of Palestine to observer non- member status, the Israeli occupation leaders haven’t stopped their threats to not transfer the tax revenue, in an attempt to make Palestinians reconsider their plans.
     Israel said it wouldn’t transfer the Palestinian money until March at the earliest, in a protest measure against the successful Palestinian bid to upgrade its status.
     The Israeli step is coming amid Arab and international silence, inability and compliance, despite the fact that this step would have disastrous effects on more than a million Palestinians.
     Anger and frustration is overwhelming the Palestinians who have not received their salaries regularly like other people in the world. more.. e-mail

The Hour of Sunlight: One Palestinian’s Journey from Prisoner to Peacemaker 
Amelia Smith, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 12/21/2012
      Book Review: Authors: Sami Al Jundi and Jen Marlowe, Paperback: 344 pages, Publisher: Nation Books, Language: English – ISBN: 978-1-56858-448-5
     Every week, inmates at the Israeli prison of Beer Al-Sabe’ hold political debates inside their cells. What are the benefits of negotiations with Israel; how useful is the Palestine Liberation Organisation in the South of Lebanon? Hunger strikes in the 70s have granted the cellmates paper and pens and no restrictions on the books they read inside. They want to understand what is happening beyond their cell walls.
     Sami Al Jundi, a Palestinian militant turned peacemaker, was one of these detainees; it is through his story that we discover what life is like in the prison. It is here, within this democratic community of political prisoners that he begins his transformation from violent resistance to pacifism. In this beautiful memoir, written with his co-author and former colleague Jen Marlowe, he recounts the details and stages of his colourful life. 
     Inside his cell, Sami devours Ghandi, Martin Luther King and Dostoevsky; books become ambassadors, or a fleeting plunge into a free life. His family become Penelope, Odysseus’s wife. “I tucked Penelope’s faith in the absent Odysseus next to my heart. For many, we were like the dead. Penelope served as a reminder that my family was still waiting for me, loving and respecting me as a living, breathing human being,” he explains.
     It is clear how much the authors and their words mean to him. “Writers were like prophets to me,” he writes. “Their characters dwelled inside me as if their experiences were my personal memories.” An hour with Umm Kalthoum, one of the most famous Arab singers who died in 1975, over the loud speaker in the prison, makes him wonder if his mother is thinking and worrying about him. more.. e-mail

The Sharaa interview and the Iranian proposal: the need for a political solution 
Amal Saad Ghorayeb, Conflicts Forum 12/20/2012
      The concurrence of two important Syria-related developments today—Farouk al-Sharaa’s interview with Al-Akhbar and Iran’s 6 point proposal to resolve the Syrian crisis—does not appear to be a mere coincidence. The considerable overlap between the solutions envisaged by both the Islamic Republic and Sharaa—neither of which would have been put on the table had the Assad leadership rejected either one outright—indicate a growing realization within the Resistance Axis and Syrian government circles, that there is no going back to the status quo ante. Yes, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi did say on Sunday that “Iran will never allow any Western plots to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to succeed” but this doesn’t contradict Iran’s attempts to find a political solution to the conflict, nor does it signal any back peddling on its part as AP boldly claims in this report which curiously cites an “Iranian-born political analyst based in Israel” to corroborate the reporter’s fanciful analysis. Rejecting the forcible ouster of Assad while calling for a peaceful resolution to the conflict by means of an internal national dialogue, are not mutually exclusive objectives but part and parcel of a realistic yet principled position on Syria. In fact, the only parties who have been repeatedly calling for an intra Syrian dialogue for well over a year now, are Iran, Hizbullah, Russia and China. Not a single Western or Arab capital aligned with the opposition has done the same.
     While many in the Syrian government believe that the foreign-backed insurrection/proxy war can be won decisively on the battlefield, Syria’s allies like Iran and Hizbullah, as well as officials like Sharaa, do not see the military option as sufficient. This view is not only evinced by Iran’s recent proposal but by Hizbullah’s repeated calls for a dialogue between the government and the opposition whose popular representation has never been denied by the movement (Nasrallah never uses the term “majority” of course, but he does refer to a “portion” or “segment” of the population who support the opposition).
     This view or understanding is also evident in Nasrallah’s recent appraisal of the conflict: “the Americans are in no hurry to end the [violence] in Syria” as their aim is to weaken and destroy Syria. In other words, by playing into the US‘ divide and rule strategy, Syrians from both sides are digging their own graves both literally and metaphorically…. — See also: Amal Saad-Ghorayeb’s counter-hegemony unit blog more.. e-mail

For whom the Syrian bell tolls 
Pepe Escobar, Asia Times 12/22/2012
      The top geopolitical tragedy in 2012 is bound to remain the top geopolitical tragedy in 2013: the rape of Syria.
     Just as once in a while I go back to my favorite Hemingway passages, lately I’ve been going back to some footage I shot years ago of the Aleppo souk – the most extraordinary of all Middle Eastern souks. It’s like being shot in the back; I was as fond of the souk’s architecture as of its people and traders. Weeks ago, most of the souk – the living pulse of Aleppo for centuries – was set on fire and destroyed by the “rebels” of the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA).
     In this Syrian tragedy, there is no Hemingway young hero, no Robert Jordan in the International Brigades fighting alongside Republican guerrillas against the fascists during the Spanish Civil War. In the Syrian civil war, the international brigades are mostly of the mercenary, Salafi-jihadi, beheading and car-bombing type. And the (few) young Americans in place are basically high-tech pawns in a game played by the rapacious NATOGCC club (the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and its Arab puppets of the Gulf Cooperation Council).
     The tragedy continues. The Syrian state, political and military security apparatus will maintain its mini-blitzkriegs – with no second thoughts for “collateral damage”. On the opposing side, “rebel” commanders will be betting on a new Saudi-Qatari-encouraged Supreme Military Council.
     The Salafis and Salafi-jihadis of the al-Nusrah Front – 7th century fanatics, beheading enthusiasts and car-bombing operatives who do the bulk of the fighting – were not invited. After all, the al-Nusrah Front has been branded a “terrorist organization” by Washington. more.. e-mail

UK lawsuit challenges college union’s right to boycott Israel
Electronic Intifada: 21 Dec 2012 – Asa Winstanley London 21 December 2012 Academic is suing his own union to undermine Palestine solidarity.  more

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