VTJP Occupied Palestine and Israel: News and Articles 24 December 2012: Israel denies Bedouins right to elect representatives

24 December 2012 — VTJP

News

International Middle East Media Center

Sharawna Suspends His Hunger Strike
IMEMC – Palestinian Minister of Detainee, Issa Qaraqe’, stated that hunger striking detainee Ismail Sharawna, who started his hunger strike more than 176 days ago, and is facing serious health deterioration, decided to suspend his strike for ten days following medical advice, the Maan News Agency reported. …

Ma’an News

Official: Israeli troops raid Jenin mosque
12/24/2012 – JENIN (Ma’an) — Israeli soldiers on Monday raided a mosque in a village near Jenin searching for Jewish antiquities, a local official said. Fahma village council head Muhammad Eid Nawasra told Ma’an that Israeli troops broke into the mosque during dawn prayers. The soldiers searched the mosque and questioned worshipers about an….

Israeli raid leads to clashes in Beit Ummar
12/24/2012 – HEBRON (Ma’an) — Fierce clashes erupted early Monday in Beit Ummar in the southern West Bank after Israeli soldiers raided the town and detained two teenagers. Nine Israeli military jeeps stormed the town at daybreak ransacking several homes, said Muhammad Ayyad Awad, a spokesman of the local popular committee. Soldiers detained Muhammad Ibrahim Abu….

Lawmakers join hunger strike in solidarity with prisoners
12/24/2012 – HEBRON (Ma’an) — Several Hamas-affiliated MPs including parliament speaker Aziz Dweik went on hunger strike on Sundayin solidarity with prisoners in Israeli jails. Hebron lawmaker Hatim Qafisha told Ma’an the goal of the one-day protest was to embody the suffering of detainees on hunger strike.”It is a sentimental and actual participation….

Extremists find new way to insult Muslims in Jerusalem
12/24/2012 – JERUSALEM (Ma’an) – Extremists in Jerusalem have invented a bizarre new method to insult Palestinians and the Muslim religion.”For Sale” signs placed on used cars around the city with phone numbers lead potential buyers to a recorded message profanely insulting Palestinians and the Prophet Muhammad. Hamza Mahmoud, a resident of the Old City….

Turkey lifts objection to NATO cooperation with Israel
12/24/2012 – ANKARA, Turkey (Reuters) — Turkey has given approval for Israel to participate in non-military NATO activities in 2013, withdrawing an earlier objection driven by an ongoing dispute between the former regional allies, a Turkish official said on Monday. Relations between Israel and what was once its only Muslim ally crumbled after Israeli marines stormed the Mavi….

Gunmen fire at village council leader’s Tulkarem home
12/24/2012 – TULKAREM (Ma’an) — Unknown assailants on Monday shot at the house of a village council leader in Tulkarem. Jalal Jayousi, head of the Kour village council, said several bullets were fired and a Molotov cocktail was thrown at his home, causing damage but no injuries. Police have opened an investigation. [END]

Emir: Qatar will assist Palestinian Authority
12/24/2012BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Qatar will pay its share of the Arab financial security net pledged to the Palestinian Authority, Emir Sheikh Hamad Ibn Khalifa al-Thani said Sunday. Sheikh al-Thani phoned President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday evening and confirmed Qatar was committed to supporting Palestinian people in their struggle for independence, the PA news agency….

012 changed rules of war
12/24/2012GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Hamas’ armed wing on Monday hailed 2012 as the year that changed the rules of its confrontation with Israel.”Though this distinction was not exclusive to this year, I can understand that its outcome appeared this year, namely by mid-November during the new battle as resistance made unprecedented achievements….

HRW: Gaza rocket attacks on Israel unlawful
12/24/2012 – JERUSALEM (Reuters) — Palestinian militants violated the laws of war by launching rockets at Israeli cities from the Gaza Strip during last month’s fighting, Human Rights Watch said on Monday. The New York-based group also said that militant organizations in the territory, which is ruled by Hamas, put Palestinian civilians in harm’s….

New Swiss representative arrives in Ramallah
12/24/2012 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) – Palestinian foreign minister Riyad al-Maliki on Monday received credentials of the new head of the Representative Office of Switzerland to the Palestinian Authority Michel Guthrie. Al-Maliki hosted Guthrie in the foreign ministry’s office in Ramallah and the two talked about the latest developments in the region and the future….

Egypt detains 6 migrants in Sinai
12/24/2012GAZA CITY (Ma’an) – Egyptian forces on Monday detained six African migrants trying to enter Israel from Sinai, an Egyptian security official said. The security official told Ma’an that four men and two women were detained. They were exhausted and showed signs of torture on their bodies, he said. The migrants were….

Abbas in Bethlehem to join Christmas celebrations
12/24/2012BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — President Mahmoud Abbas arrived in Bethlehem on Monday to celebrate Christmas and join the traditional Midnight Mass service in the Church of the Nativity. He was welcomed by the governor and other senior Palestinian figures in Bethlehem. Jordan’s Foreign Minister Nasser Judah will also attend the mass on behalf….

Bethlehem celebrates Christmas Eve
12/24/2012BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Thousands of scouts, tourists and locals will celebrate Christmas Eve in the historic city of Bethlehem on Monday, gathering outside Nativity Church. The city has been decorated and a huge tree is standing in Manger Square, with thousands of colorful lights and a 150 centimeter star on top. The tree was…. Related: Patriarch arrives in Bethlehem

Patriarch arrives in Bethlehem
12/24/2012BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Fouad Twal arrived in Nativity Square on Monday and was greeted by thousands of pilgrims awaiting the traditional procession to Bethlehem. Twal arrived through a gate cut through Israel’s separation wall on the main Hebron-Jerusalem road. Bethlehem has been cut off from Jerusalem since Israel…. Related: Bethlehem celebrates Christmas Eve

Abbas aide: No plans to outlaw ‘honor killing’
12/24/2012 – Abbas fears’conservative forces’ – The Palestinian Legislative Council has not met since 2007, when Hamas and Fatah split, but women’s rights expert Soraida Hussein dismisses arguments that reforms must wait until parliament reconvenes.”For us, for women, all this is irrelevant,” said Hussein, general director of the Women’s Technical….

Egyptian judges review ballot on divisive constitution
12/24/2012 – CAIRO (Reuters) — Egyptian judges were investigating opposition accusations of voting irregularities on Monday before declaring the result of a referendum set to show that a contentious new constitution has been approved. President Mohamed Mursi sees the basic law, drawn up mostly by Islamists, as a vital step in Egypt’s transition to democracy almost….

Egypt C. Bank taking all steps to safeguard bank deposits
12/24/2012 – CAIRO (Reuters) — Egypt’s central bank, responding to what it said were market rumors, said on Monday that it was taking all steps needed to safeguard deposits in Egyptian banks whether denominated in local or foreign currencies.” The Central Bank of Egypt is taking all necessary steps and measures to preserve the stability and….

Russia says Syria is acting to secure its chemical weapons
12/24/2012 – MOSCOW (Reuters) — Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said he doesn’t believe Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government would use chemical weapons in the country’s civil war, saying in remarks broadcast on Monday that to do so would be “political suicide”. Lavrov told the Russia Today television channel that recent….

Aljazeera

Israel endorses first university in West Bank
AlJazeera 24 Dec 2012 – Authorities grant a settlement college in the West Bank a university status.

Palestine News Network

This Christmas, and the Christian Exiled from Bethlehem
Palestine News Network

What Palestinians Want for Christmas
Palestine News Network

Human Rights Watch: Palestinian Rockets Unlawfully Targeted Israeli Civilians
Palestine News Network

E1 Not Israeli Territory
Palestine News Network

IOF Arrest Two Gazan Infiltrators
Palestine News Network

Jewish Settlers Raid Al-Aqsa Mosque, Confrontations Launch with Young Palestinians
Palestine News Network

Israeli Forces Arrest Five Young Palestinians from Issawiya, Jerusalem
Palestine News Network

Emir of Qatar Confirms to President Abbas his Commitment to Pay PA’s Dues
Palestine News Network

Lebanon Participates in the International Theater Festival in Chile
Palestine News Network

Relief Web

012
Relief Web 24 Dec 2012 – Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, occupied Palestinian territory, Syrian Arab Republic (the), Turkey HIGHLIGHTS Escalating violence results in growing displacement within Syria and neighbouring countries. Palestine refugees flee Yarmouk camp due…

occupied Palestinian territory: Israel’s violation of the Right to Adequate Housing in the Gaza Strip: Individual complaint presented to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing.
Relief Web 24 Dec 2012 – Source: Palestinian Centre for Human Rights Country: occupied Palestinian territory On 24 December 2012, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) made a written submission, in the form of an Individual Complaint, to Ms. Raquel Rolnik, the United Nations Special…

Israel: Gaza: Palestinian Rockets Unlawfully Targeted Israeli Civilians
Relief Web 24 Dec 2012 – Source: Human Rights Watch Country: Israel, occupied Palestinian territory Residents Describe Deaths, Destruction from Attacks Watch the video (Jerusalem, December 24, 2012) – Palestinian armed groups in Gaza violated the laws of war during the November 2012 fighting by launching…

Myanmar: Australia pledges $1 million for Myanmar Emergency Response Fund
Relief Web 23 Dec 2012 – Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Australia, Myanmar (Yangon/New York, 24 December): Rapid and flexible in-country funding for emergency assistance such as water, sanitation and hygiene, health care, food, education, protection, livelihoods and agriculture has been…

occupied Palestinian territory: Through EU PEGASE mechanism: Spain, Ireland, the Netherlands and Sweden contribute €7.4 million to the Palestinian Authority’s November salaries and pensions
Relief Web 23 Dec 2012 – Source: European Union Country: Ireland, Netherlands (the), occupied Palestinian territory, Spain, Sweden The European Union (EU) is making today a contribution of approximately €7.4 million to the payment of the November salaries and pensions of more than 84,000 Palestinian civil…

Syrian Arab Republic (the): 700 Palestinians killed in Syria conflict: PLO
Relief Web 23 Dec 2012 – Source: Agence France-Presse Country: occupied Palestinian territory, Syrian Arab Republic (the) 12/23/2012 19:50 GMT CAIRO, Dec 23, 2012 (AFP) – More than 700 Palestinians have been killed in Syria since the conflict there erupted more than 21 months ago, a…

The National

Workers bring Christmas to Dubai labour camp
The National 24 Dec 2012 – They may not be able to celebrate the festive season with their family back home, but workers living in a Dubai labour camp have created their own little bit of Christmas in Al Quoz.

Rescued hostages of MV Iceberg 1 recount their 32-month pirate ordeal
The National 24 Dec 2012 – ‘We thought nobody was coming to check if we were alive,’ says one seaman rescued after a 13-day battle between the Puntland Maritime Police Force and pirates.

Abu Dhabi resident grabs goods worth Dh5,000 in supermarket sweep
The National 24 Dec 2012 – An Abu Dhabi resident managed to grab goods worth almost Dh5,000 in a two-minute supermarket sweep on Monday.

QE2’s former owner dismisses speculation over liner
The National 24 Dec 2012 – Rumours surrounding the fate of the QE2, the much loved Queen Elizabeth II liner, are false, according to her former owner, Cunard.

Carolers visit dozens of Dubai homes to raise funds for typhoon victims
The National 24 Dec 2012 – A band of carolers are visiting dozens of homes in Karama to raise funds for victims of Typhoon Bopha, which hit the southern Philippines this month.

Hostages on Dubai’s MV Iceberg 1 freed in rescue operation
The National 24 Dec 2012 – A 13-day siege has led to the release of 22 hostages held aboard the Dubai-owned MV Iceberg 1 for close to three years.

Success for MV Iceberg rescuers but the fight goes on
The National 24 Dec 2012 – For the 22 freed crew aboard the MV Iceberg I, the nightmare is over. But there are still 119 people held hostage by Somali pirates aboard eight ships and another 23 sailors are being held ashore, according to the International Maritime Bureau.

Search goes on for brave MV Iceberg chief officer declared as ‘missing’
The National 24 Dec 2012 – The ship’s rescuers, the Puntland Maritime Police Force (PMPF), have labelled Dhiraj Tiwari as ‘missing’ in the hope he may still be found alive.

Ha’aretz

Likud heads call to omit Netanyahu’s two-state declaration in party platform
Ha’aretz – 24 Dec 2012

Ayalon reportedly delivers damning testimony against Lieberman
Ha’aretz – 24 Dec 2012

Israel decides to recognize West Bank college as accredited university
Ha’aretz – 24 Dec 2012

Former Israeli chief rabbi Bakshi-Doron indicted for fraud
Ha’aretz – 24 Dec 2012

Israel’s national theater signs deal with government to save itself from crippling debt
Ha’aretz – 24 Dec 2012

Israel election committee bars party from using anti-plutocracy slogan
Ha’aretz – 24 Dec 2012

Israeli researchers isolate cancer stem cells in bid to eradicate tumors
Ha’aretz – 24 Dec 2012

Bittersweet Christmas for West Bank’s Bethlehem residents
Ha’aretz – 24 Dec 2012

Naftali Bennett: I will do everything in my power to prevent a Palestinian state
Ha’aretz – 23 Dec 2012

Egyptian blogger’s visit to Israel draws criticism from compatriots
Ha’aretz – 23 Dec 2012

One in eight Israeli college students suffers from social anxiety
Ha’aretz – 23 Dec 2012

Coastal Israeli towns petition court over state failure to deal with crumbling cliffs
Ha’aretz – 23 Dec 2012

Pro-women’s group surprisingly backs conservative candidate for chief rabbi
Ha’aretz – 23 Dec 2012

Battle over Israel’s National Library design heats up
Ha’aretz – 23 Dec 2012

Shas finds itself fighting on two fronts
Ha’aretz – 23 Dec 2012

Kibbutz celebrates past as pre-state gateway to Holy Land
Ha’aretz – 23 Dec 2012

Jerusalem Post

Regional sentiment hints at Syrian regime’s fall
Jerusalem Post 24 Dec 2012 – On Sunday, Syria stated that it would never use chemical weapons, but later in the day rebels claimed they were under a poison gas attack in Homs. 

Ayalon: I never testified against Liberman
Jerusalem Post 24 Dec 2012 – Deputy foreign minister denies reports by Channel 2, 10 claiming he gave police testimony against his former boss. 

‘Deputy FM is the main witness in Liberman case’
Jerusalem Post 24 Dec 2012 – Ayalon says Liberman actively pushed for promotion of Belarus envoy, could lead to amended indictment with active fraud. 

Encountering Peace: One-state reality – not viable
Jerusalem Post 24 Dec 2012 – There are millions of people living on the same land as us who are not Jewish, are not part of our state and do not want to be part of our state. 

Turkey lifts objection to Israel-NATO cooperation
Jerusalem Post 24 Dec 2012 – Ankara approves Israel’s participation in non-military NATO activities in 2013, remains opposed to joint military exercises. 

Integrating the haredim into Israeli society
Jerusalem Post 24 Dec 2012 – The haredi view of the establishment of the State of Israel is governed by the principle of messianic redemption. 

A blot on the criminal justice system
Jerusalem Post 24 Dec 2012 – The protracted investigation of Liberman, the abandonment of the overwhelming majority of the allegations against him and the filing of a pared down indictment underscore much of what is seriously wrong with the criminal justice system in Israel. 

Al-Qaida is shape-shifting, spreading, not dead
Jerusalem Post 24 Dec 2012 – If there is anything al-Qaida preys on, it is Western-influenced establishments, or any signs of a caliphate not ruled by Sharia puritanism. 

Extremists and conquerors of Syria’s war?
Jerusalem Post 24 Dec 2012 – After 11 months of conflict and despite recent progress made by the rebels, most parts of Syria are still under Assad’s rule. 

No Holds Barred: Self-blame blasphemy in Sandy Hook
Jerusalem Post 24 Dec 2012 – Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association suggested that Americans were to blame for the tragic shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, because they had abandoned God. 

Netanyahu ready for ‘stage 2’ in expelling migrants
Jerusalem Post 24 Dec 2012 – In bid to rob Shas of issue, PMO releases figures showing number of migrants fell from 2,031 in May to 29 this month. 

UTJ asks Election C’tee to ban Kadima ad campaign
Jerusalem Post 24 Dec 2012 – Party says campaign, that bears the slogan “350 shekels for soldiers, 3,400 shekels for yeshiva students,” is “patently false.” 

Barak authorizes upgrading Ariel college to university
Jerusalem Post 24 Dec 2012 – Hours after A-G pens letter supporting giving Ariel University Center official university status, outgoing Defense Minister Ehud Barak issues directive to OC Central Command Alon to recognize Israel’s 8th university. 

Landau addresses comment refusing to evacuate Golan
Jerusalem Post 24 Dec 2012 – Energy and Water Minister: 1995 comment about refusing orders to evacuate the Golan Heights was made in “a different context.” 

Livni: PM paying lip service to two-state solution
Jerusalem Post 24 Dec 2012 – Tzipi Livni Party head responds to reports that Likud-Beytenu platform will omit reference to Palestinian state. 

Syria envoy meets Assad as rebel frustration grows
Jerusalem Post 24 Dec 2012 – Envoy Brahimi, Syrian president discuss conflict; opposition frustrated over mission following killing of dozens in Halfaya. 

012
Jerusalem Post 24 Dec 2012 – On this year’s shortlist: Circumcision in Germany, Sephardi Jews, anti-Semitism in Germany, Claims Conference anniversary; Siyum HaShas 

State indicts former chief rabbi Bakshi-Doron
Jerusalem Post 24 Dec 2012 – Indictment alleges the rabbi issued fraudulent rabbinical certifications to IDF officers so they could receive pay raises. 

Syria envoy meets Assad to discuss solutions
Jerusalem Post 24 Dec 2012 – Special Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi and Syrian president discuss how all sides can work “toward the solution, as the Syrian people want.” 

PM touts religious pluralism in Christmas greeting
Jerusalem Post 24 Dec 2012 – Netanyahu says Christian community in Israel growing, unlike in neighboring countries where they are endangered. 

Yacimovich challenges PM to debate via Facebook
Jerusalem Post 24 Dec 2012 – Labor leader writes on Netanyahu’s Facebook Timeline, offering to debate him in any forum or date he chooses. 

Fragile Egypt economy overshadows Morsi win
Jerusalem Post 24 Dec 2012 – Egyprian president needs to act fast to tackle big budget deficit; opposition sees more turmoil that has hurt economy. 

HRW: Hamas rockets from Gaza violated laws of war
Jerusalem Post 24 Dec 2012 – Report: Hamas broke int’l law in Gaza operation by firing rockets from densely populated areas to civilian populations in Israel. 

Central Election Committee publicizes party letters
Jerusalem Post 24 Dec 2012 – Election will be conducted as in the past, via slips of paper with a letter or combination of letters representing parties. 

PM visits Central Command on W. Bank violence
Jerusalem Post 23 Dec 2012 – IDF Chief of Staff Gantz briefs Netanyahu, Barak over escalation of Palestinian violence in east Jerusalem, West Bank. 

Analysis: Morsi continues according to plan
Jerusalem Post 23 Dec 2012 – Morsi continues to solidify hold on power with clear victory in referendum called to ratify constitution. 

Weekend rains bring surge to Kinneret water level
Jerusalem Post 23 Dec 2012 – Israelis from the Center to the North take refuge from thundering winds and torrential rains throughout the weekend. 


Uruknet

Bedouin Seek Democracy in Israel
Uruknet

Fury as Britain fights ruling on Kenya torture victims
Uruknet

Iran congratulates Egypt on approving Islamist-backed constitution
Uruknet

So Much For Freedom of expression and Media in #Egypt in time of President #Morsi !!
Uruknet

Video: Drone Warrior: Outrage Over Children Killed in Cold Blood
Uruknet

Iraqis protest against ‘sectarian policies’ (Video)
Uruknet

Afghanistan Taliban pair pledge tolerance
Uruknet

How many more innocent people will be sentenced to death for the bombing of the Foreign and Finance Ministries in Iraq?
Uruknet

Israel To Demolish Palestinian Homes in Jerusalem
Uruknet

Video : From Palestine on Christmas
Uruknet

Daily Star

In Newtown, ‘Christmas will never be the same’
Daily Star 24 Dec 2012 While the grief was still fresh, some residents were urging political activism in the wake of President Barack Obama’s call for “real action, right now.”

Israel establishes first university in occupied West Bank
Daily Star 24 Dec 2012 Israel upgrades a college in a West Bank Jewish settlement to a university, reflecting a determination to keep control of the enclave in any peace deal with the Palestinians.

Syrian Christians ‘pray for peace’
Daily Star 24 Dec 2012 In the heart of Damascus, more than 1,000 people attend Christmas mass, praying for peace to return to Syria, after almost two years of bloodshed.

Jihadists take large part of Syria Alawite village: activists
Daily Star 24 Dec 2012 Jihadists overrun large parts of an Alawite village in the central Syrian province of Hama in fighting that killed at least 30 combatants, activists say.

Turkey warns against travel to Lebanon after threats
Daily Star 24 Dec 2012 The Turkish Embassy has asked its citizens to refrain from traveling to Lebanon, Turkish media reports, a day after the relatives of nine Lebanese pilgrims who were kidnapped in Syria warned Ankara.

Iraqi PM in Jordan, no oil deal announced
Daily Star 24 Dec 2012 Iraq’s prime minister has made a rare state visit to Jordan for talks, as Jordan faces an energy-related budget crisis.

Iraq calls for Arab action on climate change
Daily Star 24 Dec 2012 Iraq’s most senior energy official calls for coordinated Arab action on climate change while Egypt’s environment minister proposes a regional green fund at a conference in Baghdad.

Egypt’s upper house of parliament meets Wednesday
Daily Star 24 Dec 2012 An official statement says President Mohammad Mursi has ordered parliament’s upper chamber to convene on Wednesday.

Lebanon to issue commemorative stamp of Said Akl
Daily Star 24 Dec 2012 The Telecoms Ministry will release a stamp honoring Lebanese poet Said Akl, the ministry said in a statement Monday.

Pakistan’s loneliest church celebrates Christmas in Taliban country
Daily Star 24 Dec 2012 This Christmas, pastor Nazir Alam will stoke up a fire, lay a fresh cloth on the altar and welcome parishioners as they arrive at his church in Waziristan, a Pakistani tribal area known as an al-Qaeda…

YNet News

Russia says Syria is acting to secure its chemical weapons 
YNet News, 24 Dec 2012 – ….

IDF holds drill in Golan Heights
YNet News, 24 Dec 2012 – ….

Bank of Israel sets January interest at 1.75%
YNet News, 24 Dec 2012 – ….

Report: Top Palestinian operative killed in Syria 
YNet News, 24 Dec 2012 – ….

Danny Ayalon testifies in Lieberman case
YNet News, 24 Dec 2012 – ….

Israel-hatred fuels Malaysian politics
YNet News, 24 Dec 2012 – Mythic anti-Semitism and Islamic radicalization alongside democratic aspirations and hopeful opposition; a look into contemporary Malaysian culture, politics, society ….

Stop the yelling
YNet News, 24 Dec 2012 – Op-ed: Only way to quell constant criticism from abroad is to continue building in Jerusalem ….

Barak grants Ariel college university status
YNet News, 24 Dec 2012 – Defense minister gives West Bank school final stamp of approval as attorney general asserts that there is no reason to withhold accreditation ….

Soldier who shot terrorist near Egypt border to get citation
YNet News, 24 Dec 2012 – Female Caracal Battalion combatant to get special commendation for killing terrorist who infiltrated southern border, killed soldier ….

2 IDF officers convicted of negligence in soldier’s death
YNet News, 24 Dec 2012 – Five years after reservist’s death during training session in Golan Heights, military appeals court lays case to rest ….

Egyptian judges review ballot on divisive constitution 
YNet News, 24 Dec 2012 – Committee investigating complaints of irregularities in referendum on Islamist-backed charter. Newspaper: War over the constitution’s legitimacy has begun ….

Iran tells citizens to avoid ‘high-risk’ US travel
YNet News, 24 Dec 2012 – Foreign ministry advises citizens to avoid non-essential trips to US due to ‘targeted Iranophobia trend’ ….

Minister Sa’ar to Ynet: No to Palestinian state 
YNet News, 24 Dec 2012 – Education minister says establishment of independent Palestinian state was ‘never part of Likud’s platform.’ On Bennett: How can man who called for disobedience in IDF sit in government? ….

Aussie mosque issues Fatwa against Christmas
YNet News, 24 Dec 2012 – Facebook post banning Muslims from celebrating holiday removed following wide condemnation ….

Former chief Rabbi Bakshi-Doron charged with fraud
YNet News, 24 Dec 2012 – Indictment says prominent rabbi instructed aide to forge certifications as rabbis for hundreds of soldiers, police officers so they would qualify for salary increase ….

Rights group: Gaza terrorists committed war crimes
YNet News, 24 Dec 2012 – Human Rights Watch says ‘there is simply no legal justification’ for deliberate attacks on Israeli population centers during Pillar of Defense ….

Kangaroo court
YNet News, 24 Dec 2012 – Op-ed: UN Human Rights Council’s noble principles not being applied equally when it comes to Israel ….

Report: Obama ‘rethinking’ Hagel nomination 
YNet News, 24 Dec 2012 – National Journal says criticism of candidate for defense secretary centers on whether he has been ‘strong enough supporter of Israel and tough enough on Iran’ ….

‘Sarin-like gas’ kills 7 in Homs
YNet News, 24 Dec 2012 – Opposition activists tell Al-Jazeera poisonous gas sprayed by Assad’s forces in Homs neighborhood; German weekly says elite Israeli, American, French units operating deep in Syria to take control of chemical arms arsenals ….

Palestinian Information Center

Relatives stage solidarity sit-in with hunger striking prisoners at UN office
PIC – Dozens of relatives of prisoners staged a sit-in before the UN Nablus office on Monday in solidarity with hunger striking prisoners in Israeli occupation jails.

AL calls for allowing Palestinian refugees in Syria to return to Palestine
PIC – The Arab League council has condemned the attacks on Palestinian refugees in Yarmouk and other refugee camps in Syria.

IOA forces Jerusalemite to raze part of his home
PIC – The Israeli occupation authorities (IOA) forced a Jerusalemite citizen to demolish part of his home in Wadi Al-Juz in occupied Jerusalem at the pretext it was built without permit.

Bahar: resistance will soon force Israel to release prisoners
PIC – Palestinian MPs, resistance factions’ leaders and directors of community organizations in Gaza and West Bank launched a one-day hunger strike on Monday, in solidarity with hunger striking prisoners.

IOF storms a mosque in Jenin searching for alleged monuments
PIC – The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) stormed, at dawn Monday, the village of Fahma located in the south of the city of Jenin northern the West Bank, and broke into a mosque there.

Dozens of leaders participate in hunger strike to support prisoners
PIC – A number of leaders, politicians and academics, launched on Monday a hunger strike, in solidarity with the hunger strikers in the Israeli jails.

Israel delays MP Nawfal’s trial and extends Kabha’s administrative detention
PIC – The Israeli Salem military court postponed, on Sunday, the trial of the prisoner MP Imad Mahmoud Nawfal from Qalqilya to 29 January 2013.

Al-Qassam Brigades confirm targeting Israeli soldiers
PIC – Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’s military wing, confirmed that its operations represent response to the massacres committed by Israeli occupation against innocent civilians

IOA refuses to transfer the prisoner Abdul-Jabbar Jarar to hospital
PIC – The IOA refused to transfer the prisoner leader in Hamas movement, Sheikh Abdul-Jabbar Jarar, 46, to the hospital, despite the doctors’ recommendations that he needs an emergency surgery.

Gaza Agriculture losses during the recent aggression hit $93 million
PIC – The Ministry of Agriculture announced the total losses of the agricultural sector due to the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip, stressing that this sector was the most affected sector.

WAFA

Christians Begin Christmas Celebrations in Bethlehem
WAFA – 24 Dec 2012

Construction Cost Index Up in November, says Statistics Bureau
WAFA – 24 Dec 2012

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

Misc

Egypt opposition accuses Islamists of fraud in referendum
LA Times 23 Dec 2012 – Coalition leaders allege ‘systemic violations’ and urge the government to not implement the constitution until an investigation is carried out. CAIRO — Egypt’s opposition on Sunday charged that fraud was committed during a referendum on the nation’s Islamist-backed constitution, which preliminary results indicated had been…

Pope Calls On Faithful to Make Room for God
New York Times 24 Dec 2012 – In his Christmas Eve Mass, Pope Benedict XVI expressed concern for the place of faith in people’s busy lives, prayed for peace in the Middle East and called for an end to violence in Syria

As Envoy Meets Syria’s Assad, Russia Signals New Pessimism
New York Times 24 Dec 2012 – The envoy Lakhdar Brahimi said he presented President Bashar al-Assad of Syria with “steps” to end the war, while Russia accelerated efforts to evacuate its diplomats and other expatriates. 

Gaza City Journal: Gaza Cease-Fire Expands Fishing Area, but Risks Remain
New York Times 24 Dec 2012 – The deal that halted fighting between Israel and Hamas allows fishermen to go six nautical miles out to sea, instead of three, but arrests by Israeli patrols are still possible. 

The Lede Blog: Protesters Disrupt Egyptian Blogger’s Speech in Israel
New York Times 24 Dec 2012 – Palestinian students disrupted the blogger Maikel Nabil’s address to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem on Sunday. 

Syrian Airstrikes Reportedly Kill Dozens at Bakery
New York Times 24 Dec 2012 – Activists said Syrian warplanes conducted deadly airstrikes that killed dozens of people lined up for bread at a bakery in the central town of Hilfaya. 

Supreme Court dismisses appeal against Givot drilling 
Globes Energy & Water – The Supreme Court rejected a petition against the development of the Meged oil field filed by the Union for Environmental Defense.

Modiin Energy cuts fees to Dankner, Sultan 
Globes Energy & Water – The company cannot finance its oil and gas exploration plan for the Gabriella and Yam Hadera licenses.

Idan Ofer justifies firing Shai Agassi
Globes Main News – The Better Place chairman told China’s “Southern Weekly”: Building and operating a company are different things, which require different skills.

BoI cuts interest rate, raises growth forecast
Globes Main News – In a surprise move, the Bank of Israel has lowered the January interest rate to 1.75%, and raised the 2013 growth forecast to 3.8%.

BOI orders banks to strengthen cyber defenses
Globes Main News – The Banking Supervision Department has instructed the banks to speed up their cyber warfare preparation timetables.

Mon: Mellanox, EZchip rebound
Globes Main News – Mellanox and EZchip bucked the market, which was pulled down by the banks.

Koor wins Credit Suisse bank loan concessions
Globes Main News – The new terms lower the floor price and credit rating for Credit Suisse and reduce the total credit facility.

Clal Finance bullish on EZchip
Globes Main News – Clal Finance initiates coverage of the Ethernet NPU developer with a “Buy” recommendation and target price of $44.

Obama Farms Out Defense, Foreign Policy to Israel Lobby
Tikun Olam – Another appointee done gone–thanks to the Lobby (Jim Young/Reuters) Jewish lobby–Israel lobby, what does it matter?  No matter what you call it, this phantom that has no power and barely exists (if you were to query Josh Block, Bill Daroff, Dennis Ross or other doyens of…

Why should I be accused of being Westernized?
Mondoweiss –                                      (photo: Sameeha Elwan) “Westernized” is very often the first accusation pointed in your face when attempting to discuss or even try to raise gender matters in our society.” Especially if it stems from someone who has just come back from abroad, let alone it being…

Exile and the Prophetic: Narrating Palestine
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. The United States Nakba Memorial Museum. It sounds a bit strange to Jewish ears. Non-Jewish Americans would be surprised to hear of…

What ceasefire? Israeli soldiers shoot five Palestinians in latest in series of violations
Mondoweiss – Palestinians hang flags in the Israeli imposed “buffer zone” in the Gaza Strip after a protest in 2010 (Photo: Anne Paq/Activestills.org) The world’s cameras have turned away, but Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip continues unabated. The latest Israeli violation of the ceasefire agreement occurred last…

Chuck Hagel gets reinforcement from gay rights advocates, but White House is wobbling
Mondoweiss – A lot going on on the Chuck Hagel front. The possible Defense Secretary nominee got hammered on the talk shows yesterday not only by Israel lobbyist Chuck Schumer but by rightwingers Lindsey Graham and Joe “serious doubts” Lieberman — to the point that the National Journal…

Video: From Palestine on Christmas
Mondoweiss – link to www.maannews.net link to www.maannews.net link to www.detroitnews.com link to www.ynetnews.comlink to www.catholicnews.com link to 972mag.com link to www.imemc.org link to english.wafa.ps link to www.telegraph.co.uklink to www.maannews.net link to www.maannews.net link to www.maannews.net link to www.imemc.org link topalsolidarity.org link to www.imemc.org link…

Terror lurking in a Christmas tree? Israel tries to ban non-Jewish celebrations
Mondoweiss – Santa Claus in Bilin, 2011. (Photo: Popular Committee Against the Wall and settlement of Bil’in viaeuropalestine.com ) Israel’s large Palestinian minority is often spoken of in terms of the threat it poses to the Jewish majority. Palestinian citizens’ reproductive rate constitutes a “demographic timebomb”, while their…

Turkey Lifts Objection to NATO Israel Cooperation 
The Foward Breaking News 24 Dec 2012 – Turkey has given approval for Israel to participate in non-military NATO activities in 2013, withdrawing an earlier objection driven by an ongoing dispute between the former regional allies, a Turkish official said on Monday. Click here for the rest of the article…

Bibi Says Israel Won’t Tolerate Church Attacks 
The Foward Breaking News 24 Dec 2012 – In his yearly Christmas greeting, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he would not tolerate attacks on places of Christian worship. Click here for the rest of the article…

Anti-Occupation Groups Make Case at Limmud 
The Foward Breaking News 24 Dec 2012 – A group which encourages Jews to oppose the Israeli occupation has sparked a lively debate at its debut session at the 2012 Limmud Conference on Jewish life and identity. Click here for the rest of the article…

Gaza Rocket Attacks Illegal: Watchdog 
The Foward Breaking News 24 Dec 2012 – Palestinian militants violated the laws of war by launching rockets at Israeli cities from the Gaza Strip during last month’s fighting, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Monday. Click here for the rest of the article…

Congress May Pull Plug on PLO Over Statehood 
The Forward New 24 Dec 2012 – Looking to punish Palestinians over their statehood bid, Congressional supporters of Israel are seeking to shut down the PLO’s offices. But some say it’s just a stunt. Click here for the rest of the article…

Why Obama Should Nominate Chuck Hagel 
The Magnes Zionist 24 Dec 2012 – The White House’s trial balloon of former Republican senator Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense has not yet burst, despite rocks thrown at it by the pro-Israel lobby, the anti-Iran lobby, and some members of the gay community. But there is no question that to date…

Bethlehem holds Christmas Mass 
BBC 24 Dec 2012 – Thousands gather in Bethlehem for Christmas Eve celebrations, culminating in Midnight Mass at the site where it is believed Jesus Christ was born.

UN envoy in fresh Syria peace bid 
BBC 24 Dec 2012 – UN peace envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi has talks with President Assad in Damascus, a day after dozens were killed in a government air strike on what activists said was a bakery.

Egypt referendum result delayed 
BBC 24 Dec 2012 – The result of a controversial referendum on Egypt’s constitution is delayed till Tuesday as officials check allegations of fraud.

Attacks on Israel ‘breach of law’ 
BBC 24 Dec 2012 – Palestinian militants in Gaza violated the laws of war by firing rockets into Israel during last month’s conflict, Human Rights Watch (HRW) says.

Jonathan Cook: Israel Still Ban Christmas Trees in Nazareth 
Sabbah report 24 Dec 2012 – Who would imagine that Israeli Jews could be so intimidated by the innocuous Christmas tree? Far from “swallowing up” the historic Palestinian city of Nazareth, “Upper Nazareth is a Jewish town and all its symbols are Jewish,” Shimon Gapso, the mayor of Upper Nazareth said. “As…

Glenn Greenwald: The Israel Lobby’s smear campaign against Chuck Hagel and Zero Dark Thirty 
Sabbah report 24 Dec 2012 – Discussing the potential new Defense Secretary, Chuck Hagel, and the highly-celebrated pro-torture film, “Zero Dark Thirty,” on MSNBC’s “Up with Chris Hayes.” Glenn Greenwald: The Israel Lobby’s smear campaign against Chuck Hagel and Zero Dark Thirty was published by Sabbah Report . Sign up for our free…

Stephen Lendman: John Kerry is Israel’s Man at State 
Sabbah report 24 Dec 2012 – “John Kerry will never do anything to compromise (Israel’s) security.” He’s committed to a “special relationship.” His support for Israel is “unwavering.” He always believed that America “must stand solidly behind Israel at the UN and other international organizations.” He favors moving America’s embassy from Tel…

Kieran Kelly: Israel Doubles Down on Colonisation, Ethnic Cleansing, and Political Oppression: Reason for Hope? 
Sabbah report 24 Dec 2012 – The Israeli actions are a source of great suffering for Palestinians, it is tempting also to see them as being a sign that the Zionist project is doomed. Israeli actions seem almost designed to accelerate their own international isolation. One might almost assume that they consider…

John Kerry as Secretary of State 
Al-Akhbar Blogs 24 Dec 2012 – read more

Gebran Bassil: Curb Refugees to Lebanon 
Al-Akhbar Opinion 24 Dec 2012 – Antonio Guterres, the United Nations’ High Commissioner for Refugees, and Kristalina Georgieva, EU Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, sit with Syrian refugees at their temporary place of shelter in Saadnayel in the Bekaa valley 15 December , 2012. (Photo: Reuters – Mohamed Azakir)…

Iraqi President Still Alive as Succession Rumors Brew 
Al-Akhbar News 24 Dec 2012 – Iraqi Premier Nuri al-Maliki addressing an annual military conference in Baghdad on 16 December 2012. (Photo: AFP) Iraqi Premier Nuri al-Maliki addressing an annual military conference in Baghdad on 16 December 2012. (Photo: AFP) Amid the uncertainty surrounding the health of 79-year-old Iraqi President Jalal Talabani…

Winter’s Edge for Syrian Refugees in Ersal 
Al-Akhbar News 24 Dec 2012 – A general view of a center, funded by the International Islamic Relief Organization of Saudi Arabia, which provides shelter for Syrian refugees in al-Marj, in the Bekaa valley 21 December 2012. (Photo: Reuters – Afif Diab) A general view of a center, funded by the International…

Peace envoy wraps up talks with Assad 
Al-Akhbar News 24 Dec 2012 – Peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi Monday held talks with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on the “worrying” situation in the country, as frustration grows over an attack in Hama that killed dozens. “I had the honor to meet the president and as usual we exchanged views on the…

Outrage grows over Indian gang-rape 
Al-Akhbar News 24 Dec 2012 – Indian police charge demonstrators during a protest calling for better safety for women following the gang-rape of a student last week, in front the India Gate monument in New Delhi on 23 December 2012. (Photo: AFP – Sajjad Hussain) Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday…

Israeli gunfire wounds two in Gaza 
Al-Akhbar News 24 Dec 2012 – Palestinian men and children warm themselves by a fire next to houses which were destroyed by Israel during its eight-day assault on Gaza in November, on 21 December 2012 in Beit Lahia. (Photo: AFP – Mohammed Abed) Israeli gunfire critically wounded two men in Gaza Sunday…

Homs After the Battle: Quiet, But No Peace 
Al-Akhbar Politics 23 Dec 2012 – A Syrian boy stands in front of a damaged armoured vehicle belonging to the Syrian army in a street in Homs 23 January 2012. (Reuters – Ahmed Jadallah) A Syrian boy stands in front of a damaged armoured vehicle belonging to the Syrian army in a…

Bethlehem holds Christmas Mass 
BBC 24 Dec 2012 – Thousands gather in Bethlehem for Christmas Eve celebrations, culminating in Midnight Mass at the site where it is believed Jesus Christ was born.

UN envoy in fresh Syria peace bid 
BBC 24 Dec 2012 – UN peace envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi has talks with President Assad in Damascus, a day after dozens were killed in a government air strike on what activists said was a bakery.

Egypt referendum result delayed 
BBC 24 Dec 2012 – The result of a controversial referendum on Egypt’s constitution is delayed till Tuesday as officials check allegations of fraud.

Attacks on Israel ‘breach of law’ 
BBC 24 Dec 2012 – Palestinian militants in Gaza violated the laws of war by firing rockets into Israel during last month’s conflict, Human Rights Watch (HRW) says.

VIDEO: Subdued Christmas for Syria’s Christians 
BBC 24 Dec 2012 – In the Syrian capital Damascus, the Christian community is planning a low-key Christmas, as conflict in the country continues.

Articles


Terror in a Christmas Tree 
Jonathan Cook, Nazareth, CounterPunch 12/24/2012
      Israel Tries to Ban Non-Jewish Celebrations
     Israel’s large Palestinian minority is often spoken of in terms of the threat it poses to the Jewish majority. Palestinian citizens’ reproductive rate constitutes a “demographic timebomb”, while their main political programme – Israel’s reform into “a state of all its citizens” – is proof for most Israeli Jews that their compatriots are really a “fifth column”.
     But who would imagine that Israeli Jews could be so intimidated by the innocuous Christmas tree?
     This issue first came to public attention two years ago when it was revealed that Shimon Gapso, the mayor of Upper Nazareth, had banned Christmas trees from all public buildings in his northern Israeli city.
     “Upper Nazareth is a Jewish town and all its symbols are Jewish,” Gapso said. “As long as I hold office, no non-Jewish symbol will be presented in the city.”
     The decision reflected in part his concern that Upper Nazareth, built in the 1950s as the centrepiece of the Israeli government’s “Judaisation of the Galilee” programme, was failing dismally in its mission.
     Far from “swallowing up” the historic Palestinian city of Nazareth next door, as officials had intended, Upper Nazareth became over time a magnet for wealthier Nazarenes who could no longer find a place to build a home in their own city. That was because almost all Nazareth’s available green space had been confiscated for the benefit of Upper Nazareth. more.. e-mail

Christmas message from President Abbas 
Ma’an News Agency 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 in 2000 years of Christianity in our homeland, the holy cities of Bethlehem and Jerusalem have been completely separated by Israeli settlements and racist walls and checkpoints.
     Bethlehem’s landscape, heritage and social fabric are besiege and under threat. Yet, Bethlehem shall remain, as it has been for over 2000 years, a city that emanates hope and peace to humanity. Because Bethlehem’s identity as the birthplace of Christ is not just a matter of history and faith; it is an identity and heritage Palestine is proud to have.
     We celebrate Bethlehem, a city where world heritage sites abound and where the will to live in pride and dignity has overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles.
     Our daily reality under a brutal occupation tests our faith in humanity every day. But we overcome, always. That is why Bethlehem is a success story that Palestine is deeply proud of. For despite the apartheid regime of the colonial wall, illegal settlements, and oppression, the citizens of Bethlehem continue to persevere.
     In Bethlehem, we resist oppression with love, we defy oppression with pride; we build the institutions of our state and develop our infrastructure despite the occupation’s machinery of destruction.
     With hope and unshakable faith in our rights to national freedom and prosperity, we unmask the ugliness of racism and humiliation through life, prayers, and art. more.. e-mail

Knesset Elections Committee disqualifies MK Haneen Zoabi from running in the Israeli elections 
Balad /The National Democratic Assembly, Israeli Occupation Archive 12/22/2012
      On December 19, the Central Elections Committee voted to disqualify MK Haneen Zoabi, of the National Democratic Assembly party (NDA – also known as Balad), from running for the Knesset in next month’s Israeli elections. The committee voted narrowly against disqualifying the whole NDA list, but approved by a majority of 19-9 the motion to bar MK Zoabi from standing for the Knesset.
     The motion had been submitted by MK Offir Akunis, of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party. NDA representatives refused to attend the Elections Committee hearing on the grounds that the committee’s decision was politically driven. The committee is dominated by representatives of the Zionist parties, whose aim is to silence the voice of Israel’s Arab-Palestinian minority as represented by MK Zoabi.
     The disqualification comes in the context of an increasingly hostile climate towards the Arab minority among the Jewish Israeli public. The move can also be seen as a continuation of measures over the past four years that include 20 discriminatory and/or racist laws enacted by the Netanyahu-Lieberman government against Israel’s Arab citizens and their elected representatives.
     Following the vote, MK Haneen Zoabi called the decision “anti-democratic and illegitimate”, a form of political revenge that reflected the tyranny of the majority. “No one will determine for the Arab minority who represents it other than Arab citizens themselves,” she said. “I was elected to represent my people and, through their support, I have a legitimacy that the committee cannot take from me.” — See also: Adalah: The 2013 Israeli Elections and Arab-Parliamentarians more.. e-mail

The poisonous fruits of change 
Khaled Amayreh in occupied Palestine, Al-Ahram Weekly 12/19/2012
      Revolutions in the region have profoundly changed the balance of internal Palestinian politics, and the conflict with Israel.
     Most Palestinians reacted fairly enthusiastically to the “Arab Spring”, hoping that the removal from power of dictators in a number of Arab capitals would eventually auger well for the Palestinian cause.
     Others were quite ambivalent. They supported the Arab revolutions in principle, but voiced certain consternation that Arab capitals would be preoccupied with their internal affairs for a prolonged period, perhaps until stability was restored. This, they argue, will reflect negatively on the overall Palestinian cause.
     Still some groups, including some segments within Fatah, the Palestinian left and certain secularist-minded intellectuals, didn’t feel well with the fact that Islamists were at the fore and more or less reaped the fruits of the revolutions, albeit by democratic mechanisms.
     Palestinian officials, whether in the Gaza Strip or West Bank, were quick to develop close relations with the new leaders in Cairo and Tunis. (Libya remains an exception probably due to instability in the internal situation in the northern African country.)
     Tunisia voiced near unlimited support for the Palestinian cause. That was a clear departure from the policies of the previous regime of Zein Al-Abidine bin Ali, who sought to court Israel, mainly in order to obtain a certificate of good conduct from the United States. more.. e-mail

Israel denies Bedouins right to elect representatives
Electronic Intifada: 24 Dec 2012 – Jillian Kestler-D’Amours Negev 24 December 2012 As campaign fever grips Israel, many of its Palestinian citizens are angry at being disenfranchised.more

Politics of Palestine’s everyday captured in stunning debut film
Electronic Intifada: 24 Dec 2012 – Asa Winstanley 24 December 2012 Two Meters of This Land is inspired by a Mahmoud Darwish poem.more

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