VTJP Occupied Palestine and Israel: News and Articles 22 December 2012: Israel’s colonial strangling of Bethlehem

22 December 2012 — VTJP

News

International Middle East Media Center

012
IMEMC – The Palestinian Ministry Of Detainees reported that this year witnessed a sharp increase in Israeli violations against Palestinian children, and said that Israeli soldiers kidnapped this year 900 Palestinian children comparing to 700 kidnapped last year. …

Ma’an News

5 Palestinians hurt as Israeli troops fire at funeral near Hebron
12/22/2012 – HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli soldiers opened fire and injured five young Palestinian men Saturday north of Hebron in the southern West Bank as clashes erupted when soldiers attacked a funeral procession. Muhammad Ayyad Awad, a spokesman of a local popular committee against the wall and settlements, said hundreds of residents took part in afuneral….

Group: Hunger striker refuses to pay bail
12/22/2012 – JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court decided on Thursday to amend its previous decision that abides Samer al-Issawi to pay bail, the Palestinian Prisoners Society said. The decision was made after al-Issawi told the court that he would not pay any bail, the group said. The detainee has been on hunger….

Settlers ‘attack shepherds’ near Herodion
12/22/2012BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) – Dozens of Jewish settlers on Saturday assaulted Palestinian shepherds in the village of Beit Taamar east of Bethlehem, a spokesman of a local popular committee against Israel’s wall and settlements said. Hasan Breigiyeh told Ma’an that settlers from Nokdim settlement, where outgoing Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman….

Israeli forces stop Ramallah governor for hours
12/22/2012 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) – Israeli forces on Saturday evening stopped for several hours the cars of the governor of Ramallah and her escorts near the entrance to the village of Sinjil north of Ramallah. A spokesman from Layla Ghannam’s office said the governor was being escorted by an official delegation in Sinjil to….

Russian plane with aid for Gaza lands in Sinai
12/22/2012EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma’an) — A Russian plane loaded with aid for the people in Gaza arrived to el-Arish airport Friday evening, an Egyptian security source said. The airplane, which belongs to the Russian government, carried 43 tons of humanitarian aid to be distributed to Gaza on Saturday. The Red Crescent in northern Sinai was….

Israeli forces disperse rallies in Ramallah, Bethlehem
12/22/2012BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) – Israeli forces on Friday forcibly dispersed a rally in Nabi Saleh village near Ramallah showing solidarity with Palestinian prisoners. A Ma’an reporter said dozens of locals along with international peace activists rallied Friday in Nabi Saleh chanting slogans against occupation and settlement expansion and calling on Israel to free….

Official: Jerusalem among top Islam heritage sites
12/22/2012 – JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — The heritage committee in the Islamic world recorded Jerusalem as the first location on the heritage list in the Islamic world, Ismael al-Tilawi said Sunday. Al-Tilawi, the secretary-general of the Palestinian national committee for education, culture, and science said that this announcement came out after the third meeting of the committee….

Hamas condemns Lebanese remarks on refugees
12/22/2012GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Hamas in Lebanon condemned the remarks of some Lebanese officials urging against aid for refugees from Syria‘s Yarmouk refugee camp and not allowing Palestinians into Lebanon. In a statement, the Hamas refugee center in Lebanon said: “We appreciate the Lebanese hosting refugees from Yarmouk camp, but we are….

Abbas: UN recognition a turning point in struggle against occupation
12/22/2012 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) – Recognition of Palestine as a non-member state in the UN General Assembly is a historic accomplishment for the Palestinian people, President Mahmoud Abbas said Saturday. He called it a major turning point in the struggle against occupation because the Palestinian land has become “a property of a state under occupation,” annulling….

PLO releases Bethlehem Christmas video
12/22/2012BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The PLO’s negotiations affairs department and Palestinian Government Media Center released a video Saturday about the realities of Bethlehem ahead of Christmas. The video, titled Justice is Possible and Hope is Justified, reflects the “current reality of Bethlehem, the birthplace of the Prince of Hope,” an emailed statement said. [END]

Netanyahu lauds Kerry nomination for US secretary of state job
12/22/2012 – JERUSALEM (Reuters) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday welcomed the appointment of his personal friend John Kerry as US secretary of state and described him as “a known supporter of Israel’s security”. President Barack Obama nominated Kerry on Friday, calling the veteran US senator the “perfect choice” as America’s top….

MoH: Swine flu no longer epidemic
12/22/2012 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) – Swine flu has become a seasonal epidemic with symptoms and effects very similar to normal flu which vanish in a few days, a Palestinian Authority official said Saturday. Speaking to Ma’an, director general of the Palestinian ministry of health Asaad Ramlawi reassured Palestinians that swine flu is no longer….

Iran says to send humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Syria
12/22/2012 – DUBAI (Reuters) — Iran plans to send humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Syria living in an area recently seized by Syrian rebels, Iran’s ambassador to Syria was quoted as saying on Saturday. Iran has been a staunch supporter of Syrian President Bashar Assad of Syria who has been battling to put down a 21…. Related: In photos: Palestinian refugees flee Syria fighting

In photos: Palestinian refugees flee Syria fighting
12/22/2012 – Reuters / Jamal Saidi – Palestinian families, who had been living at Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria, cross into Lebanon in al-Masnaa Dec. 18, 2012. More than 1,000 refugees living in Syria crossed into Lebanon on Tuesday after Syrian rebels took control of a Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus. [END]

Presidential source: Egypt’s vice president resigns
12/22/2012 – CAIRO (Reuters) — Egypt’s vice president, Mahmoud Mekky, has resigned from his post, a presidential source said on Saturday, without giving any reason. The source said the presidential spokesman would issue a statement shortly. Mekky took a leading role in hosting “national unity” talks called by President Mohamed Mursi, although the main opposition politicians stayed away. [END]

State TV: Egypt’s Central Bank governor resigns
12/22/2012 – CAIRO (Reuters) — Egypt’s Central Bank Governor Farouk El-Okadah resigned on Saturday, state television reported and said his deputy Hisham Ramez is the most likely candidate to fill his post. Both the former governor and his deputy helped steer the central bank during last year’s uprising that ousted former President Hosni Mubarak…. Related: Egypt cabinet denies C.Bank governor resigned

Egypt cabinet denies C.Bank governor resigned
12/22/2012 – CAIRO (Reuters) — Egypt’s cabinet denied on Saturday a report by state television that the central bank governor Farouk El-Okdah had resigned, the cabinet spokesman told Reuters.” It is not true,” spokesman Alaa Hadidi said by telephone.”I am officially denying it.”[END]

Palestine News Network

Turning our Eyes to Bethlehem
Palestine News Network

Christmas Video on Bethlehem “Justice is Possible and Hope is Justified”
Palestine News Network

Palestinian Center for Human Rights

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Palestinian Center for Human Rights

International Solidarity Movement

All we want for Christmas is Freedom for Palestine
12/22/2012 – International Solidarity Movement – 22 December 2012, International Solidarity Movement, Palestine – Holiday’s Greetings and a Happy New Year from Palestine! The International Solidarity Movement is approaching the end of its twelfth year of solidarity with the Palestinian people. What started as a few activists participating in actions against the Israeli occupation has developed into a movement of….

Ransacking and arrests in Sarra and Tell
12/22/2012 – International Solidarity Movement – 22 December 2012, International Solidarity Movement, Sarra and Tell, Occupied Palestine – Hundreds of Israeli soldiers raided the neighbouring villages of Sarra and Tell, south of Nablus, broke into seven homes and arrested three people in the early hours of Thursday morning. A family in Sarra, a village of around 5,000 inhabitants, told us how 50 Israeli….

Relief Web

Syrian Arab Republic (the): Disaster Needs Analysis – Update: Syria Conflict
Relief Web 22 Dec 2012 – Source: Assessment Capacities Project Country: Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, occupied Palestinian territory, Syrian Arab Republic (the), Turkey Priority concerns Access for humanitarian organisation to the people in need has decreased since June 2012. Unemployment, price increases and inflation has impacted…

The National

Russia: Assad will not quit even if given safe passage
The National 22 Dec 2012 – Bashar Al Assad will not quit even under pressure from allies in Moscow and Beijing, the Russian foreign minister said yesterday.

Germany celebrates 200 years of Grimm tales
The National 22 Dec 2012 – Germany is celebrating the 200th anniversary of the December 20, 1812, publication of Children’s and Household Tales by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm with exhibitions, stage performances, public readings and even an academic congress on the entrancing tome that gave the world Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and Hansel and Gretel, along with more than 200 other stories.

Omani election has shortage of women candidates
The National 22 Dec 2012 – About half of the women who signed up to as candidates in Oman’s first local elections withdrew, said observers with the election commission. A total of 1,475 candidates were contesting the 192 seats. Initially, 46 were women.

Driver ‘tried to run over teenager’
The National 22 Dec 2012 – Man is accused of trying to kill another in a fight over a game of football.

Four jailed for desert gang rape are freed
The National 22 Dec 2012 – Four men accused of gang raping a woman in the desert are cleared of kidnap and rape but convicted of consensual sex.

Cactus to be grown as food for farm animals
The National 22 Dec 2012 – Also known as Opuntia, the prickly pear cactus grows with much less water than other plants, such as Rhodes grass and alfalfa.

Harassment is part of everyday life
The National 22 Dec 2012 – The brutal gang rape and beating of a young woman on a bus has put the spotlight firmly on India’s misogynistic attitudes.

Why gold is out of this world, and fake diamonds can look as good as the real thing
The National 22 Dec 2012 – Mankind has long been drawn by the lustre of gold and the sparkle of diamonds, but only recently have scientists been able to establish the extraordinary genesis of the precious metal and create in a laboratory diamonds that look as good as the real thing.

Ha’aretz

Israeli film ‘Fill the Void’ eliminated from Oscar race
Ha’aretz – 22 Dec 2012

Israeli drugs panel to rule on subsidies for nicotine substitutes, more prenatal tests
Ha’aretz – 22 Dec 2012

Netanyahu clashes with Habayit Hayehudi’s Bennett over call to disobey IDF orders
Ha’aretz – 22 Dec 2012

Winter storm pushes Kinneret to 20-year December high
Ha’aretz – 22 Dec 2012

Haredi newspaper editor assaulted in suspected political attack
Ha’aretz – 22 Dec 2012

Jerusalem Post

Egypt: Voters approve constitution, say rival camps
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2012 – Muslim Brotherhood reports 71% of voters say “yes” in second round of referendum on Islamist-drafted constitution

Would-be PA presidential candidate’s car torched
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2012 – No one claims responsibility for the torching of the car, which was completely destroyed. 

J’lem: Christmas tree fails to cheer haredim
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2012 – The city issued a permit to a private individual to set up a tree for three days last week. 

PM: Why does Abbas serially refuse to enter negotiations?
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2012 – In separate interviews aired simultaneously on Channel 10 and 2, Netanyahu says he will continue building in J’lem “because it is our right,” says recent moves are response to PA status upgrade at UN, not connected to elections. 

Nurses’ victory
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2012 – Under the circumstances, it was refreshing and encouraging to witness the nation’s nurses reach an agreement with the Treasury after “just” 17 days. 

‘Homeland’ and Hamas
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2012 – Israelis, who often negate Israel’s ability to pursue long-term solutions by complaining that “Israel is not America,” need to take a cue from America’s establishment. 

Bennett accuses Likud of ‘twisting’ his words
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2012 – Following wave of criticism after saying he would not evacuate settlements as a soldier, Bayit Yehudi leader releases statement. 

Injured Syrian fighters seek respite in Jordan
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2012 – Had Abu Ahmed not made the risky trip across the border with Jordan, he believes he would have bled to death. 

PM lauds Kerry nomination for US Secretary of State
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2012 – US president says he expects quick Senate confirmation; National Jewish Democratic Council “ecstatic” over news. 

Egypt’s vice president quits amid crisis
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2012 – Mahmoud Mekky says he wanted to resign earlier but stayed on to help Morsi tackle political crisis. 

‘PA won’t allow E1 settlement project to happen’
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2012PA president says Palestinians are “holding contacts on all levels to stop Israeli project that aims to sabotage the peace process.” 

Russia says neither side will win Syrian civil war
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2012 – Lavrov: Assad would not quit even if pressed; Syrian chemical weapons “under control”; car bomb kills 5 in Damascus. 

Tougher EU sanctions against Iran come into force
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2012 – New sanctions include bans on financial transactions, sales of shipping equipment, natural gas imports from Tehran. 

World’s second-oldest Bible fragment posted online
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2012 – Cambridge digitized a 2,000-year-old fragment of the Bible containing the Ten Commandments, part of the Shema prayer. 

Egypt holds 2nd stage of constitutional referendum
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2012 – Egyptians vote again after first round saw 57% of public say “yes” to charter; rights groups report irregularities at polls. 

Israeli film ‘Fill the Void’ falls short at Oscars
Jerusalem Post 21 Dec 2012 – Streak of Oscar nominations ends as Israeli entry fails to make list of nine semi-finalists among foreign-language films. 

The Guardian

Bethlehem Christians feel the squeeze as Israeli settlements spread
The Guardian 22 Dec 2012 – Near a biblical landscape of donkeys and olive trees, homes are being built and Palestinian Christians fear for their future Amid plastic bags snagged on gorse bushes, rusting hulks of cars in a breakers yard and…

Sandy Hook: compassion, not anger, is the best response to the Newtown massacre | Izzeldin Abuelaish
The Guardian 22 Dec 2012 – I know what it’s like to lose children in violent circumstances, but we cannot support a culture of fear Like countless other people, I was shocked and mesmerised by the murders at Sandy Hook school. So…

Inter Press Service

Bedouin Seek Democracy in Israel
IPS As campaign posters pop up around Israel ahead of the country’s upcoming parliamentary elections, Bedouin citizens of the state are still reeling after being denied the chance to elect their own local council representatives. Legal rights activists say the move represents the limits of democracy in Israel, particularly with regard…

Uruknet

PCHR Appeals the International Community to Save the Lives of Palestinian Administrative Detainees, al-Sharawna and al-Eissawi, Who Have Been on Hunger Strike
Uruknet

Teaching by Example Learning Our Penchant for Mass Murder
Uruknet

Israeli Army Killing Palestinian Protestors with Impunity say Activists (Video)
Uruknet

Mental illness is rampant in Afghanistan
Uruknet

The Ultimate Logic of a Society Built on Mass Murder
Uruknet

Are the U.S. and Israel Heading for a Showdown? No One Thinks So, But It Just Might Happen
Uruknet

Palestinians Live in the Hour Before Dawn The UN Stumbles on Israeli Settlements
Uruknet

Qatar intervening in northern Mali?
Uruknet

Contradictory Israeli Stories Over the Death of the 17-Year-Old Martyr Salayma
Uruknet

Bin Laden execution has claimed more innocent victims
Uruknet

Daily Star

Netanyahu lauds Kerry nomination
Daily Star 22 Dec 2012 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomes the appointment of his personal friend John Kerry as U.S. secretary of state and describes him as “a known supporter of Israel’s security”.

Tunisia Islamists besiege opposition meeting
Daily Star 22 Dec 2012 Hundreds of supporters of Tunisia’s Islamist ruling party attack members of a secular opposition party and besieg the hotel where they were meeting, an AFP correspondent says.

Egypt cabinet denies central bank chief resigns: state TV
Daily Star 22 Dec 2012 Egypt’s cabinet denies that the country’s central bank head had stepped down, state television says, hours after reporting Faruq El-Okda’s resignation.

Spanish satellite operator drops Iran state TV: report
Daily Star 22 Dec 2012 Spanish satellite operator Hispasat has dropped broadcasts by two of Iranian state broadcaster IRIB’s channels because of EU sanctions against its chief, the Mehr news agency reports.

Bahrain protesters demand departure of PM
Daily Star 22 Dec 2012 Thousands of Shiite protesters in Bahrain demand a transition government and the removal of Prime Minister Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman al-Khalifa, who has been premier since 1974, witnesses say.

Iraq PM warns against return to sectarian strife
Daily Star 22 Dec 2012 Iraqi PM Nuri al-Maliki calls for the people to stand together against sectarian strife, warning of a return to the days of bloody sectarian war when heads were left in the streets.

NATO picks 3 Turkish sites for Patriot missiles
Daily Star 22 Dec 2012 NATO says it has picked three sites in southern Turkey to base batteries of Patriot missiles intended to boost the nation’s air defenses against possible spillover from Syria.

Suicide bomber kills 6 at Pakistan political meet: official
Daily Star 22 Dec 2012 A suicide bomber blows himself up at a meeting of the political party that rules Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, killing six people and wounding 21, officials say.

YNet News

Girl shot by Taliban recovering from surgery in NY
YNet News, 22 Dec 2012 – ….

Egypt president appoints upper house of parliament members
YNet News, 22 Dec 2012 – ….

Obama condemns deadly violence in Kenya
YNet News, 22 Dec 2012 – ….

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef criticizes former housing ministers 
YNet News, 22 Dec 2012 – ….

Russia says it won’t host Assad but others welcome
YNet News, 22 Dec 2012 – ….

E1 not Israeli territory 
YNet News, 22 Dec 2012 – Op-ed: According to int’l law, ‘state-owned’ lands in West Bank can be used only for the benefit of the local Palestinian population ….

Video allegedly shows Assad troops firing Scud
YNet News, 21 Dec 2012 – Clip purportedly obtained from troops who have defected seems to shows missile fired by Syrian army at rebels ….

Probe: Soldier failed to discharge weapon at intruders
YNet News, 21 Dec 2012 – Inquiry into IDF base break-in finds that soldier guarding site called out ‘who’s there?’ before opening observation post’s door. Army: Soldier acted appropriately ….

Obama nominates Kerry for secretary of state
YNet News, 21 Dec 2012 – Senator John Kerry’s ‘entire life has prepared him for this role,’ President Obama says ….

IDF gunfire injures 5 in Gaza, Palestinians say
YNet News, 21 Dec 2012 – Israeli troops shoot, wound five farmers, Hamas journal reports; IDF says soldiers fired at legs of protesters who approached off-limits area near border ….

Iranian bomb suspects in Bangkok claim innocence
YNet News, 21 Dec 2012 – Trial for two Iranians arrested for plotting botched attack on Israelis begins; lawyers says defendants had no prior knowledge of explosives stashed at their home ….

Egypt blogger strips naked in protest against constitution
YNet News, 21 Dec 2012 – Activist strips down in Stockholm in demo against Sharia law as Egypt gets ready for second round of referendum; Islamists, opponents clash in Alexandria ….

Tunisian imam to followers: Pray for Jews to become sterile
YNet News, 21 Dec 2012 – Tunisian minority advocacy group files complaint against Muslim cleric for inciting violence, hatred ….

2 Palestinians breach IDF base; assault soldier 
YNet News, 21 Dec 2012 – Two Palestinians breach fence of Jerusalem-adjacent base and steal soldier’s rifle. IDF investigates incident as near-terror attack ….

Syrian rebels attack base near military factories
YNet News, 21 Dec 2012 – Opposition forces storm base near military compound known to house nonconventional weapons ….

Canada adds elite Iran force to terror list
YNet News, 21 Dec 2012 – Ottawa adds Tehran’s infamous Quds Force to its terror watch list over their links to Hamas, Taliban ….

Israel: Palestinians power-drunk 
YNet News, 21 Dec 2012 – Foreign Ministry warns PA‘s pledge to take far-reaching steps against Israel if Right wins elections is ‘delusional and suicidal’; Jerusalem gears for possible ICC backlash ….

Palestinian Information Center

012: Eventful year in (and for) Palestine
PIC – 2012 has been quite an eventful year for the Palestinian question. The fourth quarter of the year witnessed some landmark events, including the eight-day- Israeli aggression on Gaza.

OIC warns of crisis in Gaza due to shortage of medicines
PIC – The Organization of Islamic Cooperation has warned of the collapse of Gaza’s health sector which continues to suffer shortages of two-thirds of medicines in hospitals and medical centers in the Strip.

IOF arrests 5 citizens from Yatta south of al-Khalil
PIC – Israeli occupation forces (IOF) arrested five Palestinians and attacked another to the east of Yatta southern al-Khalil over the past 24 hours.

Terror of IOF arrests increase after midnight in occupied territories
PIC – Many Palestinian families with their children are mercilessly maltreated and forced out of their houses in freezing cold during arrest raids carried out at dawn by the Israeli occupation forces.

Ministry of Awqaf collects donations for Palestinians displaced from Syria
PIC – The Ministry of Awqaf in Gaza Strip launched a campaign of donations to support Palestinian refugees displaced from Syria‘s refugee camps to Lebanon, who suffer difficult social and living conditions.

Ashaal: The January 25 coalition is making efforts to end the Palestinian rift
PIC – Head of the advisory body of the January 25 revolution coalition Abdullah Al-Ashaal said there are vigorous efforts to heal the rift between Hamas and Fatah and end the inter-Palestinian division.

PA arrests one of Hamas supporters and summons 5 others
PIC – The PA‘s security apparatuses in the West Bank arrested one of Hamas supporters, and summoned five others for investigation.

IOF soldiers set up roadblocks south of Al-Khalil
PIC – Israeli occupation forces (IOF) set up a number of roadblocks south of Al-Khalil on Saturday morning and checked passing cars and citizens’ IDs.

Jerusalemites rally in support of prisoners and hunger strikers
PIC – Dozens of Jerusalemite natives staged a rally in support of Palestinian prisoners and hunger strikers in Israeli jails following the Friday prayers in Al-Bustan sit-in tent in Silwan district.

WAFA

Abbas says E1 Settlement Project will Never Happen
WAFA – 22 Dec 2012

EU, Russia Call for Negotiations with Clear Parameters
WAFA – 22 Dec 2012

EU’s Ashton Reiterates Opposition to Israeli Settlements
WAFA – 22 Dec 2012

Complementary Local Elections Start in 24 Councils
WAFA – 22 Dec 2012

EU Contributes €11 million to Needy Palestinians
WAFA – 22 Dec 2012

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

Misc

Russia Says It Won’t Play Role in Ousting Syria’s Leader
New York Times 22 Dec 2012 – Comments by Russia’s foreign minister came after recent signals that his country sees the military balance shifting in Syria, but still strongly opposes international intervention. 

As Charter Nears Passage, Egyptians Face New Fights
New York Times 22 Dec 2012 – An Islamist-backed constitution appeared headed for approval, propelling deeply split political factions into a new phase in the battle over Egypt’s future. 

At Western Wall, a Divide Over Prayer Deepens
New York Times 22 Dec 2012 – After years of legislative and legal fights, the movement for equal access for people to pray as they wish at the Western Wall has become a rallying cause for liberal Jews. 

Syrian Resort Town Is Stronghold for Alawites
New York Times 22 Dec 2012 – The resort town of Tartus is seen as a possible place for Alawites, including President Bashar al-Assad, to establish a rump state if his government falls. 

The Lede Blog: Rorschach in Hebron: Grainy Footage Fails to End Arguments Over Fatal Shooting
New York Times 22 Dec 2012 – Israel’s military and its critics see different things in 49 seconds of edited, grainy, black-and-white video showing the fatal shooting of a young Palestinian last week in the West Bank. 

Time Magazine Photos of the Year
Tikun Olam – Bernat Armangue. Gaza City. Nov. 18, 2012. Time Magazine has named the best photos of 2012 and the first one is an image from Israel’s war against Gaza last month featuring a surviving member of the massacred Dalou family tenderly kissing the limb of a dead…

Defending Hagel, Hayes & Greenwald assail neocon stranglehold on policy
Mondoweiss – Chris Hayes hosted a panel discussion about the Hagel nomination this morning on his weekly program Up with Chris Hayes . It’s so refreshing to have a host veer a conversation where it needs to go. With guests Glenn Greenwald, Aaron David Miller, Spencer Ackerman, Hina Shamsi…

Facebook group posts image of Zoabi as dangerous crocodile
Mondoweiss – More evidence of the disturbingly racist discourse in Israel: Ofer Neiman and Sol Salbe say this image featuring the face of Haneen Zoabi, the Israeli Palestinian member of Knesset who has been barred from running for reelection, appeared on a widely-read page on Facebook (which I…

Maddow slams Hagel, to neocon applause
Mondoweiss – The war against Chuck Hagel to be Defense Secretary continues. Rachel Maddow concludes this short segment, “Sorry, Charlie” on Chuck Hagel’s homophobic comment of 14 years ago  with the statement, “I do not know if President Obama wants to nominate Chuck Hagel or not. But if…

If Islam is submission to God, well– journalism is submission to the Almighty State
Mondoweiss –   Abu Hamza The United Kingdom used to send its convicts to Australia. It now carts off the merest suspect to America. The old penal colony was more enlightened. I had expected the extradition hearing of Gary McKinnon to go the way of the British domiciled cleric…

West Bank protests held in solidarity with hunger strikers and refugees from Yarmouk camp
Mondoweiss – link to english.pnn.ps link to electronicintifada.net link to www.palestine-info.co.uk link towww.middleeastmonitor.com link to www.palestine-info.co.uk link to electronicintifada.net link to english.al-akhbar.com link towww.palestine-info.co.uk link to www.palestine-info.co.uk link to english.pnn.ps link to english.pnn.ps link to english.pnn.ps link to www.palestinemonitor.org link to www.telegraph.co.uk link to www.maannews.net link…

Bibi: Iran Will Be Big Issue of Next Term 
The Foward Breaking News 22 Dec 2012 – Iran’s perceived nuclear threat against Israel will be the central issue concerning Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government if he is re-elected in a month’s time, the Israeli leader said on Saturday. Click here for the rest of the article…

Netanyahu Lauds Pick of John Kerry 
The Foward Breaking News 22 Dec 2012 – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday welcomed the appointment of his personal friend John Kerry as U.S. secretary of state and described him as “a known supporter of Israel’s security”. Click here for the rest of the article…

Israeli Forces Fire Live Ammunition at Funeral in Beit Ommar 
Palestine Solidarity Project 22 Dec 2012 – Today Ahmed Aadi, 43, was found dead outside of Beit Ommar. Ahmed was well-known and popular around town. He had been missing for several weeks, and was mentally disabled. His funeral was held this afternoon in Beit Ommar and was attended by over 1,000 residents. Beit…

Two Children Detained in Beit Ommar Demonstration 
Palestine Solidarity Project 22 Dec 2012 – Today, dozens of Palestinians participated in the weekly demonstration organized by the Beit Ommar popular committee and Palestine Solidarity Project near the illegal Israeli settlement of Karmei Tsur. The demonstration was met by Israeli soldiers, who immediately ordered the area a closed military zone. Sound bombs…

Help Keep PSP Organizing in 2013! 
Palestine Solidarity Project 22 Dec 2012 – Palestine Solidarity Project has once again been at the center of some of the most important organizing and activism in Palestine and in Palestine solidarity World Wide. Some of our 2012 highlights: *PSP Co-Founder Mousa Abu Maria, former political prisoner who was held in prison with…

Egypt awaits constitution results 
BBC 22 Dec 2012 – Egyptians await the results of a referendum on a divisive draft constitution, a day after the resignation of the country’s vice-president.

Syria ‘protecting chemical arms’ 
BBC 22 Dec 2012Syria has consolidated its chemical weapons into “one or two” places to prevent rebels capturing them, Russia says.

Mohamed Khodr: Who Will Obama Choose – AIPAC or Senator Hagel? 
Sabbah report 22 Dec 2012 – President Obama you must nominate Senator Chuck Hagel or forever be known as the President who surrendered our sovereignty and independence to a state whose belligerent policies against a defenseless people, the Palestinians, are condemned by the entire world. Not nominating Senator Hagel will only further…

The Environmental Conference of the Bourgeoisie 
Al-Akhbar Opinion 22 Dec 2012 – A Qatari fighter jet flies over skyscrapers during the Gulf emirate’s National Day celebrations in Doha on 18 December 2012. (Photo: AFP – Karim Jaafar / AL-WATAN) A Qatari fighter jet flies over skyscrapers during the Gulf emirate’s National Day celebrations in Doha on 18 December 2012. (…

Empty Promises of the Future Movement in Bekaa 
Al-Akhbar News 22 Dec 2012 – As the days went by, little to none of the projects that “Sheikh Saad” promised were ever implemented. (Photo: Marwan Tahtah) As the days went by, little to none of the projects that “Sheikh Saad” promised were ever implemented. (Photo: Marwan Tahtah) Over the years, the…

Syrian rebels threaten to storm two Christian towns 
Al-Akhbar News 22 Dec 2012 – Syrian women smoke waterpipe as a waiter (back) decorates a Christmas tree at a cafe in the old city of Damascus on December 20, 2012. The majority of the Christian community in Syria has decided to celebrate Christmas without decorations this year amid an ongoing Syrian…

Al-Nusra Front fighters declare ‘No Fly Zone’ over Aleppo: Video 
Al-Akhbar News 22 Dec 2012 – A November 17, 2012, file photo shows a Syrian rebel mannig a Duska heavy machine as he scans the skies for Syrian air force fighter jets in Maaret Al-Numan. Syria‘s uprising has shifted from popular street protests against President Bashar al-Assad to a full-fledged war, increasingly…

Netanyahu: What the UN says doesn’t interest me 
Al-Akhbar News 22 Dec 2012 – A laborer works at the construction site of a new housing project at the Jewish settlement of Gilo in east Jerusalem on December 20, 2012. Israel has approved plans to build 523 homes in the West Bank, Jewish settlers said, in the first step towards a…

West Bank Workers Strike Amid Financial Woes 
Al-Akhbar Politics 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 Politics 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…

Egypt awaits constitution results 
BBC 22 Dec 2012 – Egyptians await the results of a referendum on a divisive draft constitution, a day after the resignation of the country’s vice-president.

Syria ‘protecting chemical arms’ 
BBC 22 Dec 2012Syria has consolidated its chemical weapons into “one or two” places to prevent rebels capturing them, Russia says.

Articles


Israel’s colonial strangling of Bethlehem 
Ben White, Al Jazeera.com 12/20/2012
      Bethlehem has been “isolated and fragmented” in a way that would devastate any town or community the world over.
     At the main checkpoint to enter Bethlehem there is a large sign placed on the Separation Wall by Israel’s ministry of tourism which says “Peace be with you”. An appropriate symbol for Israel’s colonial strangling of the “little town”, this propaganda for pilgrims is a crude microcosm of Israel’s habit of talking “co-existence” while pursuing apartheid. 
     Over decades of Israeli military rule, more and more land around the city has been annexed, expropriated and colonised, with 19 illegal settlements now in the governorate. Eighty percent of an estimated 22 square kilometre of land confiscated from the north of the Bethlehem region was annexed to the Jerusalem municipality in order to expand settlements (see this briefing). 
     Beit Sahour, home of the Shepherds’ Fields where it is said the angels announced the birth of Jesus, has been hit hard by Israel’s colonial regime, losing 17 percent of its land to the expansion of Jerusalem’s municipal boundaries. The Wall loops around 10 percent of the Bethlehem region’s land, and the UN estimates that only 13 percent of the governorate is available for Palestinian use. In and around the city, there are over 30 physical barriers to Palestinian freedom of movement imposed by the Israeli military. Bethlehem has been isolated and fragmented in a way that would devastate any town or community the world over. 
     Palestinians from Bethlehem, of course, must apply for permits to enter occupied (and illegally annexed) East Jerusalem – while the Israeli citizens living in the neighbouring Jewish settlements come and go as they please. The two cities are increasingly disconnected, with plans for Israeli colonies like Givat Hamatos intended to “complete the ring that will cut off East Jerusalem completely from the southern West Bank.” more.. e-mail

Financial and political deadlock 
Lama Khater, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 12/21/2012
      The crisis did not begin when Israel decided to transfer the tax revenue owed to the Palestinian Authority (PA) to the Israeli Electricity Company instead, to pay for its arrears. Nor did it begin when the PA leadership decided to go to the United Nations to obtain non-member observer status. In fact, it began when we Palestinians believed that it was possible to build a state while being occupied; and that prosperity, development and success with state institutions were attainable before liberation. The crisis began when we believed that all other national priorities could be deferred in order to reform the internal administrative system, expand the civil service sector and strengthen the security agencies with ever more personnel and apparatus.
     Why did the authority turn a blind eye to the accumulated consequences of placing its life-line and means of revenue in the hands of the Israeli Occupier? Why did they embark on this adventure knowing full well that they would be obliged to conduct their policies in accord with the whims of the Occupier, in such a way that does not surpass the ceiling set by Israel? Why has the PA‘s discourse continued to revolve around an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital and of its adherence to the national principles when it knew that it was a mere client entity that has no right to speak more than necessary about the options and margins for manoeuvre?
     Today the PA is facing the consequences of Israel’s refusal to pay the tax revenue. It is now incapable of paying salaries to civil employees, unless it resorts to taking loans. So why did it bloat its administrative and security agencies? And why did it ignore the fact that the trappings of prosperity were ever only going to be temporary? The supposed affluence was based on the theory of economic peace that was peddled by Netanyahu. Were the Palestinians ever in need of believing in an imaginary system of honest administration and the construction of a strong security, to the degree that they believed the lie of building a state and turning their backs on the option of resistance? more.. e-mail

Discussion on confederation 
Daoud Kuttab, Arabic Media Internet Network (AMIN) 12/20/2012
      Abdel Bari Atwan is well-known to Arab audiences. The editor of the London-based Al Quds Al Arabi is known for his fiery patriotic and anti-Western interviews on major satellite televisions. A major supporter of the Arab revolutions, Atwan lived up to his no-nonsense reputation when he appeared this week on Jordan’s independent station Roya TV. However, something strange happened when the discussion came to the issue of a Jordanian-Palestinian confederation. The Gaza-born Palestinian, now a UK citizen, was mellow and supportive of the idea on condition that it takes place after Palestinian independence, and not on the basis of the UN declaration of Palestinian statehood. Atwan’s commentary, until recently a taboo subject, is being now heard in Jordanian and Palestinian circles. The confederation issue had been discussed at length in the 1980s by senior PLO and Jordanian officials, but came to an abrupt stop when King Hussein stated: “I don’t want to hear the term confederation ever mentioned again.” It is unclear why the King made such a strong statement, but some argue that it was made because some had questioned Jordan’s genuine support for Palestinian independence. Since those days much has happened, including a change in the top Palestinian and Jordanian leaderships. The overwhelming vote at the UN to recognise Palestine based on the 1967 borders as a non-member observer state relieves Jordan of the continuous Israeli aspiration to see Jordan replace the PLO in representing Palestinians. Ironically, Israel has at different times recognised the Jordanian role in Palestine, including Jerusalem, as at the time of the Jordan-Israel peace treaty, yet at other times denied it any role. more.. e-mail

We will remain rooted here, says defiant father of Gaza boy killed by Israel 
Rami Almeghari, Gaza Strip, Electronic Intifada 12/19/2012
      Under a mulberry tree on a sunny day, Muhammad Ibrahim Ashour and five of his cousins were playing near their homes on Siyam street in the Zaytoun neighborhood of southern Gaza City.
     It was Tuesday, 20 November and Israeli warplanes were carrying out intensive air strikes on the area, and many other parts of the coastal occupied territory. All of a sudden, an Israeli drone-fired missile hit the mulberry tree, killing eight-year-old Muhammad and wounding the five cousins and Muhammad’s eighty-year-old grandfather.
     Muhammad was one of nearly three dozen children killed during Israel’s eight consecutive days of intense bombing and shelling across Gaza last month.
     According to the Gaza health ministry, 183 persons were killed during Israel’s offensive. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has reported that 103 Palestinian civilians were killed. Almost 1,400 Palestinians were injured, including 155 elderly persons and 220 women, the health ministry says.
     Loud explosion
     “It was almost 4pm Tuesday, and I was coming back from afternoon prayer in a nearby mosque,” recalled Muhammad’s uncle, also named Muhammad Ashour, but goes by Abu Rizeq.
     Abu Rizeq was returning from giving his condolences to his neighbors, the Abu Zour family. Some of their children had been killed by an Israeli warplane.
     “All a sudden, I heard a loud explosion just west of me but I didn’t imagine it was in the vicinity of my family,” he said.more.. e-mail

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