VTJP Occupied Palestine and Israel: News and Articles 25 December 2012: Live ammunition and child arrests: Israel’s military response to protests

25 December 2012 — VTJP

News

International Middle East Media Center

Israel Claims Arresting A Cell That Planned To Abduct A Soldier
IMEMC – A gag order was lifted Tuesday on the arrest of what Israel claims to be a Palestinian cell that planned the abduction of an Israeli soldier to negotiate his release in exchange for the release of PFLP secretary-general, Ahmad Sa’adat. … 

In Another Direct Message Against Peace; Israel Approves 942 Settlement Units
IMEMC – The so-called Israeli Committee for Construction and Planning in occupied Jerusalem approved, Monday, a new project for the construction of 942 units for Jewish settlers in the illegal Gilo settlement, south of occupied Jerusalem. …

Ma’an News

Israel ‘approves 1,200 housing units’ in Gilo
12/25/2012 – TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma’an) — Israel’s interior ministry has decided to allow the construction of 1,200 settlement units in the Gilo area in the Bethlehem district, Israeli media reported Tuesday. Israel’s Ynet news agency reported that the interior and housing ministries decided Monday that once the final approval was given….

Israel establishes first university in occupied West Bank
12/25/2012 – JERUSALEM (Reuters) — Israel upgraded a college in a West Bank Jewish settlement to a university on Monday, reflecting a determination to keep control of the enclave in any peace deal with the Palestinians. The decision gives the Ariel campus, established in 1982 near the city of Nablus, the same status as universities inside Israel. It….

Palestinian boy hospitalized after Jerusalem attack
12/25/2012 – TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma’an) — Two Israelis attacked and injured a 15-year-old Palestinian boy in east Jerusalem late Monday, a police spokesman said Tuesday. Micky Rosenfeld told Ma’an that the attackers, believed to be two ultra-Orthodox Jewish residents, assaulted the boy from behind causing moderate head injuries. Rosenfeld said the boy….

Israel allows gravel into Gaza for commercial use
12/25/2012 – Gravel allowed for first time since siege on Gaza started – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) – Israeli authorities on Tuesday allowed the entry of gravel for commercial use in the Gaza Strip for the first time since imposing a crippling siege on the coastal enclave, a Gaza official says. Nathmi Muhanna, head of the Gaza Strip….

Israel detains 10 in West Bank raids
12/25/2012 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Israeli forces detained 10 Palestinians in raids across the West Bank overnight Monday, the army said. An Israeli military spokeswoman told Ma’an that 10 people were taken “for security questioning,” including three from Beit Ummar and one from Ramallah. Around 30 army vehicles raided the Baten al-Hawa suburb of….

Gaza government to release Fatah detainees
12/25/2012GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The government in Gaza will release detainees from Fatah who were convicted of security and criminal offenses, the deputy prime minister said Tuesday. Ziyad al-Thatha said the decision was aimed at promoting a good atmosphere for national reconciliation. Speaking at a press briefing in Gaza City, the official said the….

Fatah official expects low-profile anniversary in Gaza
12/25/2012 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Hamas has refused to allow Fatah to celebrate its anniversary both the al-Katiba and al-Saraya squares citing security pretexts, a senior Fatah official said Tuesday. Nabil Shaath told Ma’an that contacts between Hamas and Fatah over the location for Fatah’s anniversary celebration in Gaza have stopped completely….

In photos: Christmas Midnight Mass in Bethlehem
12/25/2012 – Reuters/ Abed Al Hashlamoun, Pool – President Mahmoud Abbas attended Christmas Midnight Mass, given by Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Fouad Twal, at the Church of St. Catherine, which is connected to the Church of Nativity, in the West Bank town of Bethlehem Dec. 25, 2012. [END]

Arab League chief to brief PA on financial ‘safety net’
12/25/2012 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The Palestinian Authority foreign minister Riyad al-Malki on Tuesday said Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi visit to Ramallah would be focused on a financial “safety net” to ease the economic crisis facing the government. Al-Malki described the trip as a solidarity visit, and no official meetings will be held. The foreign….

Ambassadors of UAE, Qatar to Jordan visit Jerusalem
12/25/2012 – JERUSALEM (Ma’an) – The ambassadors of the United Arab Emirates and Qatar to Jordan on Tuesday visited Jerusalem and were given a tour in the Old City escorted by the Palestinian Authority’s minister of Jerusalem affairs Adnan al-Husseini. Al-Husseini updated Abdullah Nasser al-Amiri and Zayid Ibn Said al-Khayran on the Jerusalem residents….

Qatari surgeons to carry out open-heart surgeries for Gaza children
12/25/2012EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma’an) – Qatari cardiac surgeons have been granted permission to enter the Gaza Strip where they are scheduled to carry out open-heart surgeries for children, an official at the crossing said Tuesday. The delegation of 10 cardiac surgeons arrived in Cairo Tuesday and was scheduled to cross Wednesday via Rafah crossing. Palestinian….

Israel says has no proof poison gas used in Syria
12/25/2012 – JERUSALEM (Reuters) — Israel voiced doubt on Tuesday about the accuracy of Syrian activists’ reports that chemical weapons had been used against rebels fighting to topple President Bashar Assad.” We have seen reports from the opposition. It is not the first time. The opposition has an interest in drawing in international military intervention,” Vice Prime….

Pope’s Christmas message says hope mustn’t die in Syria, Nigeria
12/25/2012 – VATICAN CITY (Reuters) — Pope Benedict used his Christmas message to the world on Tuesday to say people should never lose hope for peace, even in conflict-riven Syria and in Nigeria where he spoke of “terrorism” against Christians. Marking the eighth Christmas season of his pontificate, the 85-year-old read his “Urbi et Orbi” (to the…. Related: Find room for God in fast-paced world, pope says on Christmas eve and Full text: Latin Patriarch’s Midnight Mass Homily

Gaza man shoots himself
12/25/2012GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — A 24-year-old man shot himself dead on Monday in his family home in Gaza City’s Shujaiyeh neighborhood, local sources told Ma’an. The man died instantly and his body was taken to Shifa Hospital. Police have opened an investigation. [END]

Find room for God in fast-paced world, pope says on Christmas eve
12/25/2012 – VATICAN CITY (Reuters) — Pope Benedict, leading the world’s Roman Catholics into Christmas, on Monday urged people to find room for God in their fast-paced lives filled with the latest technological gadgets. The 85-year-old pope, marking the eighth Christmas season of his pontificate, celebrated a solemn Christmas Eve mass in St Peter’…. Related: Pope’s Christmas message says hope mustn’t die in Syria, Nigeria and Full text: Latin Patriarch’s Midnight Mass Homily

Full text: Latin Patriarch’s Midnight Mass Homily
12/25/2012 – Christmas 2012 Midnight Mass Homily Dec. 24, 2012Bethlehem President Mahmoud Abbas, The Honorable Jordanian Minister of Foreign Affairs representing His Majesty King Abdallah ll, My Brothers in the Episcopate, The Honorable Ambassadors and Consuls, Reverend Fathers, Brothers and Sisters Dear Pilgrims,I greet you all from the Basilica of the Nativity in Bethlehem, a few…. Related: Pope’s Christmas message says hope mustn’t die in Syria, Nigeria and Find room for God in fast-paced world, pope says on Christmas eve

Minor earthquake recorded in south Israel
12/25/2012 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A small earthquake was recorded in southern Israel on Monday, Israeli authorities said. Police said the quake measured 3. 9 on the Richter scale, and no injuries or damage was reported. Police said they received calls from concerned residents in Eilat and Wadi Araba. [END]

Police seize hashish from car in Sinai
12/25/2012EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma’an) — Egyptian authorities seized a ton and a half of hashish in a car heading to south Sinai after leaving Cairo, security sources said on Tuesday. Egyptian security forces said that the owners of a tunnel were informed that there was an attempt to distribute hashish in the Sinai. The tunnel….

Syria envoy seeks peace as clashes rage
12/25/2012 – BEIRUT (Reuters) — International envoy Lakhdar Brahimi pursued mediation efforts in Damascus on Tuesday, but there was no pause in the bloodletting as Syrian Christians marked a bleak Christmas Day with prayers for peace.” We are here in a cave that symbolizes Syria right now,” said a priest standing beside a nativity scene in a grotto….

Election committee: Egypt’s constitution approved with 63.8 percent
12/25/2012 – CAIRO (Reuters) — Egypt’s new constitution, drafted by Islamist supporters of President Mohamed Mursi, has been approved by 63. 8 percent of voters in a two-round referendum, the supreme election committee said Tuesday. The result, which followed votes held on Dec. 15 and on Dec. 22, matched an earlier unofficial tally given by Mursi….

US urges Egyptians to bridge divisions after constitutional vote
12/25/2012 – WASHINGTON (Reuters) — The United States on Tuesday urged all sides in Egypt to increase political engagement after Egyptian officials announced that voters had overwhelmingly approved a new constitution drafted by President Mohamed Mursi’s Islamist allies.” President Mursi, as the democratically elected leader of Egypt, has a special responsibility to move forward in a….

Palestine News Network

Israeli Occupation Distributes Demolition Orders in Silwan Neighborhood, Jerusalem
Palestine News Network

Israeli Forces Prevent Palestinian Farmers from Reaching Their Lands
Palestine News Network

Palestinian Political Prisoners Not Allowed to Pursue Their Education
Palestine News Network

Syrian Opposition Reports 18 Cases of Chemical Attacks
Palestine News Network

President Abbas Welcomes Jordanian Foreign Minister in Bethlehem
Palestine News Network

Hate Crimes Continue, a Palestinian Teen Assaulted in Jerusalem
Palestine News Network

IOF Troops Arrest Three Palestinians from Hebron
Palestine News Network

Jerusalem Committee Approves 1,200 Housing Units in Gilo, Ariel University to be Accredited
Palestine News Network

Relief Web

occupied Palestinian territory: Israel approves 1,200 Jerusalem settler homes: NGO
Relief Web 25 Dec 2012 – Source: Agence France-Presse Country: occupied Palestinian territory 12/25/2012 08:24 GMT JERUSALEM, Dec 25, 2012 (AFP) – Israel’s interior ministry has approved the building of 1,200 new homes in the east Jerusalem settlement neighbourhood of Gilo, the latest in a slew…

occupied Palestinian territory: Israel establishes first university in occupied West Bank
Relief Web 24 Dec 2012 – Source: Reuters – AlertNet Country: occupied Palestinian territory Mon, 24 Dec 2012 20:18 GMT JERUSALEM, Dec 24 (Reuters) – Israel upgraded a college in a West Bank Jewish settlement to a university on Monday, reflecting a determination to keep control…

The National

Heavy fog in Abu Dhabi leads to flight cancellations
The National 25 Dec 2012UAE weather: Heavy fog lead to flight delays, cancellations, and diversions over the past two days, Etihad Airways have said. 

Sports fans got to see more action on land, sea and air across the UAE
The National 25 Dec 2012 – Look Back 2012 The sporting year in review 

British sailor who disappeared while on shore leave in UAE
The National 25 Dec 2012 – Look Back 2012 A number of missing-person cases caught the public’s attention. 

The fight to reduce the amount of water used takes a new turn in the UAE
The National 25 Dec 2012 – Look Back 2012 The UAE was at the forefront of efforts to tackle the region’s pressing problem of water scarcity. 

UAE technology lovers no longer behind the rest of the world
The National 25 Dec 2012 – Look Back 2012 The huge demand for Apple products in the UAE saw no sign of diminishing in 2012 as new versions of the iPad, the new iPad mini and the iPhone 5 were made available to consumers faster than ever before. 

The death that shocked a nation and led to a new children’s law in UAE
The National 25 Dec 2012 – Look Back 2012 When news surfaced that an eight-year-old Emirati girl had been found dead in the desert, families were shocked. 

The UAE gets tough with the criminals bringing terror to the seas
The National 25 Dec 2012 – Look Back 2012 The year in review for maritime security in the Gulf. 

A busy year for Dubai Municipality
The National 25 Dec 2012 – Look Back 2012 One of the most important developments of 2012 for Dubai Municipality was the introduction of its recycling programme in March. 

Ha’aretz

EU likely to step up pressure on Israel in 2013, Foreign Ministry report says
Ha’aretz – 25 Dec 2012

Habayit Hayehudi leader comes out against same-sex marriage
Ha’aretz – 25 Dec 2012

Rent control? Not here
Ha’aretz – 25 Dec 2012

At Likud Beiteinu gala, no charges, budget cuts or two-state solutions
Ha’aretz – 25 Dec 2012

Newly approved subsidized health basket focuses on preventive medicine
Ha’aretz – 25 Dec 2012

Meretz presents four-year path to peace based on Arab League initiative
Ha’aretz – 25 Dec 2012

New Haredi initiative: Don’t discuss politics and win NIS 500
Ha’aretz – 25 Dec 2012

Former Foreign Minister Lieberman questioned by police over ambassador affair
Ha’aretz – 25 Dec 2012

Netanyahu asks Jewish Agency to address restrictions on women at Western Wall
Ha’aretz – 25 Dec 2012

Petition slams Tel Aviv University’s involvement in East Jerusalem dig
Ha’aretz – 25 Dec 2012

Shin Bet arrests Palestinian cell planning abduction of Israeli soldier
Ha’aretz – 25 Dec 2012

Despite international uproar, Israeli planning committee advances new construction plan beyond Green Line
Ha’aretz – 25 Dec 2012

Gaza Hamas chief Haniyeh removes candidacy from leadership race
Ha’aretz – 25 Dec 2012

At Midnight Mass, top cleric congratulates Abbas on UN bid
Ha’aretz – 25 Dec 2012

Israel’s annual State Comptroller report faults local councils with serious flaws
Ha’aretz – 25 Dec 2012

‘Lieberman aides still running Foreign Ministry with Netanyahu’s approval’
Ha’aretz – 25 Dec 2012

State planned to evict Palestinian farmers from Jericho lands – and changed its mind
Ha’aretz – 25 Dec 2012

Jerusalem Post

Bikur Cholim takeover mixes tears of pain and joy
Jerusalem Post 25 Dec 2012 – In Shaare Zedek’s takeover of hospital, 150 staffers have been dismissed, but the rest have become employees. 

‘Haifa Bay environment association negligent’
Jerusalem Post 25 Dec 2012 – State comptroller finds area of half-million people ‘has hazardous materials in air, water, land and sea.’ 

Livni reportedly in talks seeking Foreign Ministry
Jerusalem Post 25 Dec 2012 – Former Foreign Minister Liberman questioned for 40 minutes by police; reports surface surrogates for Tzipi Livni, Prime Minister Netanyahu in talks over her reclaiming Foreign Ministry. 

A divided message of peace
Jerusalem Post 25 Dec 2012 – Palestinian threats force Jews and Arabs to hold separate Christmas coexistence events. 

IDF contingency plans may have to be activated soon
Jerusalem Post 25 Dec 2012 – US, allies may have to activate military contingency plans to secure or destroy Syria’s arsenal of deadly chemical weapons. 

C’tee rejects Be’er Tuviya natural gas plant
Jerusalem Post 25 Dec 2012 – Residents applaud decision, saying the plant, in an industrial area, is filled with hazardous materials. 

Beware of excessive drinking as New Year’s nears
Jerusalem Post 25 Dec 2012 – Excessive alcohol consumption can cause coordination problems, fuzzy vision, nausea, as well as addiction, liver damage. 

Liberman probed again over Ambassador Affair
Jerusalem Post 25 Dec 2012 – At request of Prosecutor’s Office, former foreign minister investigated for around 40 minutes on suspicion of breach of trust. 

94% of high school kids use social networks in class
Jerusalem Post 25 Dec 2012 – University of Haifa study shows permissive teaching style decreased phone usage; students also listen to music, play games. 

Belarus Jewish leader on trial on suspected bribes
Jerusalem Post 25 Dec 2012 – President of the Union of Religious Jewish Congregations Yuri Dorn is on trial for bribe-taking, other offenses. 

The well-connected versus the rest of us
Jerusalem Post 25 Dec 2012 – As a new survey makes clear, this divide is becoming a threat that Israel can no longer afford to ignore. 

CBS report: Christians population in Israel growing
Jerusalem Post 25 Dec 2012 – CBS statistical breakdown: 158,000 live in country, 80% are Arab; sector boasts highest rate of high school graduates. 

Hamas outlaws contact with Israeli media outlets
Jerusalem Post 25 Dec 2012 – Gaza-based terror group calls “zionist” media outlets “hostile,” bans Palestinians from contact with Israel. 

Whither the Chief Rabbinate?
Jerusalem Post 25 Dec 2012 – The fundamental challenge therefore entails abolishing the coercive power of the Chief Rabbinate, most notably with respect to the crucial issues of personal status – marriage, divorce, conversion and burial. 

Haredi grinches should stop shouting at the world
Jerusalem Post 25 Dec 2012 – Center Field: Restauranteurs offering kosher New Year’s Eve celebrations inviting Haifa’s multicultural residents to eat together find their kashrut certificates threatened for countenancing “idol worship.” 

Can preparation make death less daunting?
Jerusalem Post 25 Dec 2012 – Perspectives: Death had been waging an unrelenting campaign against humankind. In this battle, there is no external system like Iron Dome which can shield us from the daunting nature of our own mortality. 

Government support for clean energy
Jerusalem Post 25 Dec 2012 – Israel, long a hub for the development of renewable energy solutions, has become notorious for the gap between the country’s immense innovation and its minuscule implementation. 

Our World: Hagel, Obama and the Israeli elections
Jerusalem Post 25 Dec 2012 – Israel needs a strong, coherent government to meet the challenges it will face in the next four years, including working with a hostile Obama administration. 

More than academic
Jerusalem Post 25 Dec 2012 – The upgrading of Ariel University’s status to full-fledged university should be a cause for celebration, not infighting and threats of academic boycott. 

Egypt approves new Islamist-drafted constitution
Jerusalem Post 25 Dec 2012 – Constitution approved by 63.8% of the vote; Morsi imposes currency restrictions to cope with economic crisis. 

‘Israel should offer Clinton, Olmert peace plans’
Jerusalem Post 25 Dec 2012 – Former MI head Amos Yadlin predicts PA would reject proposals, but says move would save Israel from “losing world.” 

Experts want 2% auto updating of health basket
Jerusalem Post 25 Dec 2012 – ‘Basket committee’ recommends 88 new technologies with a balance of disease prevention and saving lives. 

Universities appeal to High Court over Ariel status
Jerusalem Post 25 Dec 2012 – Presidents of Israeli universities file injunction to High Court against Ariel University Center’s upgrade to university status. 

Senior Hamas leader calls for third intifada
Jerusalem Post 25 Dec 2012 – Head of Hamas J’lem Dept calls for renewed confrontation with Israel over plans to build new housing units in e. J’lem. 

Lapid apes PM’s cartoon: Red line for middle class
Jerusalem Post 25 Dec 2012 – Center-Left parties attack Netanyahu over socio-economic issues at ‘Calcalist’ conference in Tel Aviv. 

Father indicted in fatal shaking of infant son
Jerusalem Post 25 Dec 2012 – A year after a twin baby died and his sister was injured after alleged shaking, state charges father with manslaughter. 

Ya’alon: We don’t have proof Assad has used WMD
Jerusalem Post 25 Dec 2012 – Vice Premier: Israel is following developments in Syria closely, but has seen no proof supporting opposition claims of WMD use. 

Security forces uncover PFLP kidnapping plot
Jerusalem Post 25 Dec 2012 – The terror cell planned to kidnap an Israeli to secure the release of the organization’s leader Ahmed Sa’adat. 

Police: Arab teen in Jerusalem attacked by haredim
Jerusalem Post 25 Dec 2012 – Two haredim attack 16-year-old Arab; incident is the third attack of its kind by Jewish teenagers in the past five months. 

Shapira singles out Lod in report on municipalities
Jerusalem Post 25 Dec 2012 – State Comptroller publishes report on socio-economic safety net, domestic violence, focuses on attention paid to Israeli-Arab sector. 

The Guardian

Israel approves another 1,200 settlement units around Jerusalem
The Guardian 25 Dec 2012 – Plan brings total approvals to 5,500 in just over a week as right urges Binyamin Netanyahu to drop two-state solution pledge Israel has given the green light for the fast-track development of a further 1,200 settlement…

Bethlehem celebrates first Christmas since UN recognition of Palestine
The Guardian 25 Dec 2012 – Festivities mark ‘birth of Christ and birth of state of Palestine’, patriarch tells crowds Deep in the Grotto of the Nativity, where a 14-point silver star set into a marble slab marks the spot where Jesus…

012
The Guardian 25 Dec 2012 – From the camaraderie of the Tour de France to snipers in Syria, Sarah Gilbert selects her favourite pictures of the year Sarah Gilbert Homa Khaleeli Emine Saner

Inter Press Service

The ‘Flattening’ of Gaza
IPS On Nov. 17, four days into Israel’s eight-day assault on the Gaza Strip, deputy Israeli Prime Minister Eli Yishai publicly called for the Israeli army to “blow Gaza back to the Middle Ages, destroying all the infrastructure including roads and water”. The following day, Gilad Sharon, son of former Israeli…

Uruknet

Maliki’s Iraq: 4 females raped in a Baghdad prison
Uruknet

Racist reporting gets free hand in Israeli press
Uruknet

Video : Gaza’s Children Haunted by Nightmare of War
Uruknet

This Christmas, and the Christian Exiled from Bethlehem
Uruknet

Zionism, anti-Semitism and colonialism
Uruknet

Terror lurking in a Christmas tree? Israel tries to ban non-Jewish celebrations
Uruknet

Extremists find new way to insult Muslims in Jerusalem
Uruknet

Afghan policewoman kills American adviser at Kabul police HQ in latest insider attack
Uruknet

012 (Warning: Graphic Videos)
Uruknet

Five Palestinians wounded by Israeli gunfire
Uruknet

Daily Star

Egypt approves new constitution drafted by Mursi allies
Daily Star 25 Dec 2012 Egypt announces voters approved overwhelmingly a constitution drafted by Mursi’s Islamist allies, and the cabinet imposes currency restrictions to cope with an economic crisis worsened by weeks of unrest.

Egypt court frees Mubarak-era senate chief on bail
Daily Star 25 Dec 2012 An Egyptian court frees the former senate leader under ousted president Hosni Mubarak on bail, after spending the maximum permitted 18 months in jail awaiting his corruption trial, MENA says.

Egypt says stability key to fixing economy: PM
Daily Star 25 Dec 2012 Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Kandil says that political stability is crucial to luring back foreign investors and tourists to help plug a yawning budget deficit and heal the country’s ailing economy.

Iran to conduct navy drill in Strait of Hormuz in Dec.
Daily Star 25 Dec 2012 Iran will begin six days of naval drills in the Strait of Hormuz at the end of this week, an Iranian naval commander says, an exercise meant to showcase its military capabilities in what is a…

Hostages’ relatives hold demo, urge Sleiman to do more
Daily Star 25 Dec 2012 Relatives of the Lebanese hostages held in Syria protest near the presidential palace in Baabada and call for the release of their loved ones.

Egyptians fret over economy after rancorous vote on constitution
Daily Star 25 Dec 2012 Egypt prepares to announce the result of a vote on a new constitution that Islamist President Mohammad Mursi hails as a step toward stability in a country beset by political and economic crisis.

Israel says has no proof poison gas used in Syria
Daily Star 25 Dec 2012 Israel voices doubt about the accuracy of Syrian activists’ reports that chemical weapons have been used against rebels fighting to topple President Bashar Assad.

YNet News

Why does PM fear disobedience?
YNet News, 25 Dec 2012 – Op-ed: Uprooting of Arabs viewed in Israel as abomination, while expelling Jews has become the norm ….

Storm brings white Christmas, tornado threat to central US 
YNet News, 25 Dec 2012 – ….

Lieberman questioned for suspicion of breach of trust
YNet News, 25 Dec 2012 – ….

Hamas forbids Palestinian journalists to liaise with Israeli reporters
YNet News, 25 Dec 2012 – ….

5 dead in helicopter crash in Ukraine
YNet News, 25 Dec 2012 – ….

Campaigns ignore migrant issue 
YNet News, 25 Dec 2012 – Op-ed: Politicians stopped talking about refugees as soon as election campaign got into full swing ….

Rabbis, leave politics
YNet News, 25 Dec 2012 – Op-ed: Most severe damage to Judaism caused by convicted rabbis who gave Torah a bad name ….

Palestinian Information Center

Issawi confirms he is continuing his hunger strike
PIC – Lawyer for the Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) confirmed that the captive Samer al-Issawi, who has been on hunger strike since 151 days, suffers from severe headaches, spine pain..

Canadian activist on hunger strike in support of Palestinian captives
PIC – Twenty one year old Sarah. McLaughlin from Canada went on a hunger strike for more than a week in support of Palestinian captives on hunger strike in Israeli occupation jails..

South Africa launches investigation into the attack on the Mavi Marmara
PIC – The Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation announced that the Republic of South Africa has launched an investigation into the case of the Mavi Marmara ship, attacked by Israeli forces in 2010.

Occupation prevents captive Rizk’s wife from visiting him
PIC – The Israeli occupation authorities have refused to allow the wife of a Palestinian prisoner from the Gaza Strip to visit her husband.

New demolition orders in Bustan suburb
PIC – The Israeli occupation authorities (IOA) served new demolition orders to Palestinian owners of houses in Bustan suburb in Silwan town to the east of occupied Jerusalem on Tuesday.

Abbas calls on Israel to the resumption of negotiations again
PIC – President of the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah, Mahmoud Abbas, stressed that the two-state solution requires resuming the negotiations with the Israeli side.

700 houses destroyed in al-Furqan war have not been reconstructed
PIC – Nearly 700 houses, destroyed during the 2008-2009 Israeli war on Gaza, have not been reconstructed till now, stated the Palestinian Center for Human Rights in a report..

Shin Bet alleges the arrest of Palestinian cell which planned to kidnap soldiers
PIC – The Israeli Shin Bet internal intelligence agency announced the arrest of ten Palestinians from the city of Ramallah in occupied West Bank, on charges of planning to carry out attacks. 

1st International Conference for Education in Gaza
PIC – The Ministry of Education and Higher Education in Gaza has opened its first International conference entitled “Excellence in Palestinian Education, creative visions” on Tuesday.

JLAC warns against the establishment of a waste dump in Issawiya
PIC – JLAC issued on Monday a statement in which it warned against the Israeli decision to establish a waste dump in Issawiya, where the center has published a Map scheme..

WAFA

Official Statement: Settlements will Kill Two States Idea
WAFA – 25 Dec 2012

Prisoner Temporarily Suspends Hunger Strike
WAFA – 25 Dec 2012

Latin Patriarch Twal says Israeli Occupation Causes Suffering
WAFA – 25 Dec 2012


Misc

U.S. drone strategy in Yemen is fraught with peril
LA Times 25 Dec 2012 – Sorting out the guises, tribal intrigue and cross-allegiances in the Arab nation is a huge challenge for Washington in its effort to assassinate terrorists. AL SARRAIN, Yemen — The U.S. drone flew over a cluster of mud houses on a ridge and, according to Yemeni…

Syria peace envoy’s visit yields no progress
LA Times 25 Dec 2012 – Lakhdar Brahimi has made little headway in talks with President Bashar Assad on ending Syria’s conflict. The government and rebels trade accusations over one attack. BEIRUT — Peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi ended a two-day visit to Syria on Monday after meeting with President Bashar Assad,…

Egypt’s Hamdeen Sabahi vs. Islamists and Free Markets
New York Times 25 Dec 2012 – Hamdeen Sabahy has emerged as a leading voice in Egypt’s opposition, but economists warn his populist agenda could wreck Egypt’s economy. 

Syrian Rebels Say Strategic Town in North, Harem, Is Theirs
New York Times 25 Dec 2012 – The fighters said they had taken control of Harem, a strategic town on the Turkish border, as the international envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, remained in Damascus. 

World Briefing | Asia: Gunmen on Motorcycles Kill 2 Yemeni Army Officers
New York Times 25 Dec 2012 – The two army officers were gunned down in separate parts of the capital, and the government has blamed Al Qaeda for similar attacks this year. 

Iran Suggests U.S. and Israel Are Behind Computer Attacks
New York Times 25 Dec 2012 – Foreign enemy hackers were blamed for attempts at disrupting systems in a strategically important southern coastal province. 

Israel to Review Curbs on Women’s Prayer at Western Wall
New York Times 25 Dec 2012 – The move comes after years of civil disobedience by a group called Women of the Wall against rules that support gender division at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, one of Judaism’s holiest sites. 

No Easy Route If Assad Opts to Go, or Stay
New York Times 25 Dec 2012 – President Bashar al-Assad’s meeting with a United Nations envoy on Monday raised questions about how the Syrian leader will choose to respond to mounting pressure to step down. 

Kuwait Urges Iran to Cooperate With U.N. Nuclear Watchdog
New York Times 25 Dec 2012 – Kuwait’s emir said a recent shutdown at an Iranian nuclear plant indicated that Tehran needed to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency to allay Gulf Arab concerns. 

Fischer: We wanted to give growth a push
Globes Main News – “If we go into recession, the deficit will rise to 6-7% of GDP, and then the government will have financing difficulties.”

Transport Ministry raises speed limits
Globes Main News – The speed limit on Road 6 will rise to 120 kilometers per hour and the speed limit on sections of Roads 1 and 2 will also rise.

Ambassador visits Better Place Guangzhou center
Globes Main News – Israel’s Ambassador to China Matan Vilnai voiced support for the electric car’s joint venture with China Southern Power Grid Co.

Tue: Banks fall hard for third-straight day
Globes Main News – Leumi, Hapoalim and Discount dragged the market down again as Mellanox and Teva continued to lose ground.

Foreign exchange market unmoved by surprise interest rate cut
Globes Main News – In part this is due to the fact that there is no trading in Europe and New York because of the Christmas holiday.

Kardan mulls selling AVIS Israel stake
Globes Main News – Vehicle importer UMI would pay Kardan in either cash or shares for the rental and leasing company.

Fischer warns Bibi to cooperate
Globes Macro Economics – The Bank of Israel’s target of “Strengthening of the role of the Governor as advisor to the government on economic issues,” is a veiled warning.

Fischer’s cliffhanger
Globes Macro Economics – The Governor of the Bank of Israel enjoys considerable freedom of action, but the outcome of his moves will be determined elsewhere.

Finance Committee approves NIS 740m budget cut
Globes Macro Economics – Finance Ministry: This is not so much an across-the-board cut as rearranging priorities at government ministries.

A People’s Christmas
Tikun Olam – This may be the only time in the history of this blog that you’ll see a post devoted to Christmas.  But you’ll soon see there is no religious content in this post, unless you find a commitment to peace and justice to be religious (many do)….

Ariel Becomes Israel’s New University of Occupation
Tikun Olam – protest sign–”Ariel College introduces: Occupation Sciences” (Jacob Katriel) The Israeli government, after debating for five years, has approved the application of Ariel College to be a full national university.  The College (which I will in future call the University of Occupation), is located in the settlement…

Ayalon Spills Guts to Police, Prosecutor Considers More Serious Charges Against Lieberman
Tikun Olam – Danny Ayalon and Avigdor Lieberman: Batman and Robin no more (Dudi Vaaknin) I’m not sure which saying is more appropriate for this post: there’s (no) honor among thieves; or hell hath no fury like a woman (or politician) scorned. The Dynamic Duo of Avigdor Lieberman and…

The death of Mohammad Salaymah on his 17th birthday
Palestine Monitor – The death of Mohammad Salaymah on Wednesday 12th December 2012 has become yet another eye-opener to the increasing use of live ammunition within the West Bank by the occupying forces. Due to a lack of…

Live ammunition and child arrests: Israel’s military response to protests
Palestine Monitor – In condemnation of the recent murder of 17 year old Mohammad Ziad Awad Salaymah, protests have broken out in Aida refugee camp broke out the following day. The teenager was shot dead on Wednesday, December…

Israel’s colonies push kills two-state solution
Palestine Monitor – As published on the Christian Science Monitor Israel’s settlement construction in the E1 corridor and East Jerusalem sends a clear message. Unless President Obama stands up to Israel, he and Benjamin Netanyahu should not be surprised…

Exile and the Prophetic: A Christmas tree at Auschwitz
Mondoweiss – Is Christmas day a time to reflect Jewishly on the meaning of Christmas?  Aside from endless shopping and fraught family gatherings, there isn’t much to say about Christmas as it has come to be in America. Years ago I gave up on correcting folks when they wished me a Merry Christmas.  It just isn’t worth the time.  Now I simply respond:  ‘Merry Christmas to you!’

Israel turns again to East Jerusalem neighborhood, ordering Palestinians out
Mondoweiss – Bad news from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, the section traditionally favored by the Brits, where you will find their consulate and the Quartet’s mega-headquarters, and the Shepherd’s Hotel, now converted into a settlement. Apparently the Judaization is beginning again in Sheikh Jarrah, after…

Bagel for Hagel?
Mondoweiss – A bagel for Hagel? A big zero, I mean. Well, some folks are saying as much. That this idea will float away without a word from the president. And it’s becoming a character issue for Barack Obama. Really: who can take his claims about the Middle…

Former Chief Rabbi of Israel Is Charged With Fraud 
The Foward Breaking News 25 Dec 2012 – Former Israeli Chief Rabbi Eliyahu Bakshi-Doron was charged with fraud for his alleged involvement in a scam that issued false rabbinic credentials to civil servants. Click here for the rest of the article…

Egypt Approves New Constitution Drafted by Morsi Allies 
The Foward Breaking News 25 Dec 2012 – Egyptian voters overwhelmingly approved a constitution drafted by President Mohamed Mursi’s allies, results announced on Tuesday showed, proving that liberals, leftists and Christians have been powerless to halt the march of Islamists in power. Click here for the rest of the article…

Jerusalem Building Committee Approves 1,200 Apartments 
The Foward Breaking News 25 Dec 2012 – A Jerusalem building committee has approved the construction of more than 1,200 apartments in the Gilo neighborhood of Jerusalem. Click here for the rest of the article…

‘Lieberman Aides Still Running Foreign Ministry with Netanyahu’s Approval’ 
The Foward Breaking News 25 Dec 2012 – A small group of associates of former Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who were appointed by him to sensitive positions in his office, has remained to work in the Foreign Ministry even after their boss resigned from his post last week. Click here for the rest of…

Pope in Christmas plea on Syria 
BBC 25 Dec 2012 – The Pope calls for a political solution to the conflict in Syria during his Christmas message, delivered to thousands of pilgrims at the Vatican.

Iran ‘fends off new cyber attack’ 
BBC 25 Dec 2012 – A power plant in southern Iran is targeted by the Stuxnet computer worm but the cyber attack is rebuffed, an Iranian official says.

‘Lost tribe’ settles in Israel 
BBC 25 Dec 2012 – About 50 members of the Indian Bnei Menashe tribe, said to be lost descendants of ancient Israelites, move to Israel as a visa ban is lifted.

Maidhc Ó Cathail: How a Group of Christians Smearing Muslims Benefits the Jewish State 
Sabbah report 25 Dec 2012 – They clearly state their position on Jewish State as following: “We recognize the sacred right of the state of Israel and the Israeli people to the land of historic Israel. The right of Return of the Jewish people to the land of their foremothers and forefathers…

Year in Review: The Highs and Lows of Lebanon’s March 14 
Al-Akhbar News 25 Dec 2012 – March 14 made many uncalculated moves without realizing that the hands that it played, whether in politics or with the public opinion (Photo: Marwan Bou Haidar) March 14 made many uncalculated moves without realizing that the hands that it played, whether in politics or with the…

Voters back Egyptian constitution 
BBC 25 Dec 2012 – Nearly two-thirds of voters in an Egyptian referendum held in two stages support a proposed new constitution, the election commission announces.

Pope in Christmas plea on Syria 
BBC 25 Dec 2012 – The Pope calls for a political solution to the conflict in Syria during his Christmas message, delivered to thousands of pilgrims at the Vatican.

Iran ‘fends off new cyber attack’ 
BBC 25 Dec 2012 – A power plant in southern Iran is targeted by the Stuxnet computer worm but the cyber attack is rebuffed, an Iranian official says.

Kabul police killer ‘is Iranian’ 
BBC 25 Dec 2012 – A female officer who killed a US civilian aide at the police headquarters in Kabul is an Iranian national, Afghan authorities say.

‘Lost tribe’ settles in Israel 
BBC 25 Dec 2012 – About 50 members of the Indian Bnei Menashe tribe, said to be lost descendants of ancient Israelites, move to Israel as a visa ban is lifted.

Articles


The rise of the extreme right is the story of the Israeli elections 
Noam Sheizaf, +972 Magazine 12/25/2012
      There are two new elections polls out, both following the trends of the last few weeks. First, Netanyahu’s right-Orthodox bloc is pulling ahead, now polling 67.5 seats in our average (out of the Knesset’s 120). As I argued when the elections were called, it’s clear that no candidate but Netanyahu will be able to form the next government.
     But another story is unfolding before our eyes, and that’s the rise of the extreme right. The National Religious Party – traditionally the political home of the settlers – is now polling at around 13 seats. The more extreme Otzma LeYisrael, led by former Kahane man Michael Ben Ari, passes the Knesset threshold in roughly half of all polls, generally getting between two and three seats. That’s 15-16 seats, compared to the seven both parties have in the current Knesset. The popular leader of NRP, Naftali Bennett, was attacked by almost all other parties this weekend for an interview he gave in which he said he would ask his army commanders to relieve him from evacuating settlements, were he ever to receive such an order. It seems that Bennet only benefited from the controversy.
     At the same time, the Likud-Beitenu party (the joint ticket of Prime Minister Netanyahu and resigning Foreign Minister Lieberman) is registering an all-time low since the unification was announced, with 35.5 seats, as opposed to the 42 they have now. Add to that the rise of the settlers and other hawks within the Likud itself, and you get the story of the elections: the rise to power of a new right-wing elite, which is firmly commited to the settlements. Recent developments, like the recognition of the college at Ariel as Israel’s first university in the occupied West Bank, or the refusal of Likud leaders to even pay lip service to a Palestinian state, should be seen in this context.
     ….There were some speculations that Netanyahu would try for a centrist and even a secular government after the elections, but if those trends continue, the Likud will simply be too small, and the prime minister will need to return to his “natural allies” at the right…. more.. e-mail

Israel denies Bedouins right to elect representatives 
Jillian Kestler-D’Amours, Negev, Electronic Intifada 12/24/2012
      BEERSHEVA (IPS) – As campaign posters pop up around Israel ahead of the country’s upcoming parliamentary elections, Palestinian 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 to its non-Jewish citizens.
     “Every citizen wants to have a say in the affairs of their lives. This is their legal right,” Jazi Abu Kaf, a local leader in Um Batin, a Bedouin village of some 4,000 residents in the southern Naqab (Negev) desert, said. “The authorities don’t want to allow elections or see leaders [emerge] from among the local people.”
     The current head of the council is not from the villages, making locals feel alienated from the local government.
     Um Batin is one of 11 Bedouin communities in the Naqab that make up the Abu Basma regional council. Formed in 2004, the council is the newest, and one of only three, non-Jewish local councils in Israel.
     As of 2011, 53 regional councils governed approximately 850 rural towns and villages in Israel. Made up of elected representatives from communities within each council’s jurisdiction, regional councils help distribute local budgets, provide services to residents and liaise with various government bodies.
     While it now represents approximately 30,000 Bedouin citizens of Israel, the Abu Basma regional council is still run by an Israeli government-appointed representative, and Israel has repeatedly delayed elections to appoint representatives from among the local people. more.. e-mail

Politics of Palestine’s everyday captured in stunning debut film 
Asa Winstanley, London, Electronic Intifada 12/24/2012
      Two Meters of This Land
     A man and a woman are in a production studio preparing a TV segment, sifting through old black-and-white photos of the Palestinian revolution. The woman, from France, displays a certain ignorance, but Raouf, whose face the viewer never quite sees, is polite. Later, she asks him to attend one of her meetings as a translator, but he declines, saying he is busy.
     Teenagers from the dance troupe El-Funoun (a real group) sit around gossiping and stretching, while technicians set up a sound stage for a music festival and musicians tune their instruments.
     A student journalist fumbles her ancient tape recorder during an interview.
     Giant keys, the symbol of the right of the Palestinian refugees to return to the homes from which they were expelled in 1948, sit around as neglected props.
     Some of these scenes from Two Meters of this Land threaten to develop into a plot but none do so. Mesmerized
     Palestinian-Spanish director Ahmad Natche’s stunning debut feature film is difficult to take your eyes off. Despite very little happening, there is so much that could be said. But it is left between the lines of the script.
     If there was a script. The actors were apparently non-professionals, and it looks to have been partly improvised. According to the filmmakers, the independent film is possibly the only 2012 feature to have been produced and shot in the West Bank or Gaza. Post-production was possible thanks to a “crowdfunding” campaign launched on the Internet. A real music festival was the film’s set, according to Natche (“Two Meters of this Land: an interview with a Palestinian director,” Mena Muse, 24 December 2011). more.. e-mail

Political Grinches Stealing Christmas From Palestinian and Syrian Refugees 
Franklin Lamb, Church of Notre Dame, Damascus, CounterPunch 12/25/2012
      Damascus Street Notes
     Church officials in Damascus advanced the hour of last night’s traditional Christmas Eve midnight service to 6 pm because few Damascenes’ venture out past sunset these days. The reasons include ubiquitous checkpoints, security fears and the fact that there are few taxis and no buses around. Plus most shops and cafes close early and the thuds and whining of artillery and bomb blasts from this ancient city’s suburbs tend to sound more menacing at night.
     But that does not mean that Notre Dame and other churches in Damascus were not over-flowing with Christians and Muslims for Christmas Eve service, which has become an ecumenical event in this secular country where Syrian and Palestinian refugees of both faiths attended from Yarmouk camp and elsewhere. One Palestinian friend, who had been turned away at the Lebanese border at Maznaa just three days earlier, explained that his family was celebrating ” both the birth of Jesus Christ and the birth of the state of Palestine” referencing last month’s 130 to 8 UN General Assembly vote.
     A bizarre Lebanese politically motivated assault on this well establshed Syrian-Palestinian-Muslim-Christian sisterhood caused unnecessary angst and in some cases unconscionable needless hardships during Christmas week. Some Lebanese politicians, apparently experiencing a memory lapse which made them forget how during the 2006 Israeli aggression, Syrians helped Lebanese refugees decided there were votes to be had in next year’s elections if they bashed the Syrian and Palestinians fleeing for their lives and seeking temporary refuge in brotherly Lebanon.
     This observer distinctly recalls in mid-July 2006, crossing paths in the Internet supplied Business Center, at the Sheraton Hotel in Damascus, with an international team from the World Food Program. Led by some New Zealanders, the WFP team invited me to join them as they made a survey of Damascus ‘refugee camps” for Lebanese who were arriving by the scores of thousand fleeing the Zionist aggression. There were long lines at the Mazaa and other border points. more.. e-mail

The Flattening of Gaza
In Gaza: 25 Dec 2012 – Dec 25 2012 (IPS) -By Eva Bartlett On Nov. 17, four days into Israel’s eight-day assault on the Gaza Strip, deputy Israeli Prime Minister Eli Yishai publicly called for the Israeli army to “blow Gaza back to the Middle Ages, destroying all the infrastructure including roads and water”. The following day, Gilad Sharon, son of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, called for Israel to “flatten entire neighbourhoods in Gaza. Flatten all of Gaza. There should be no electricity in Gaza, no gasoline or moving vehicles, nothing”, adding, “there is no middle path here – either the Gazans and their infrastructure are made to pay the price, or we reoccupy the entire Gaza Strip.” Now, nearly a month after the Israel-Hamas cease-fire, the government and international bodies in Gaza are still assessing the total damage caused by Israeli bombings on infrastructure throughout the Strip. Preliminary estimates put direct damage at…more

The death of Mohammad Salaymah on his 17th birthday
Palestine Monitor: 25 Dec 2012 – The death of Mohammad Salaymah on Wednesday 12th December 2012 has become yet another eye-opener to the increasing use of live ammunition within the West Bank by the occupying forces. Due to a lack of…more

Live ammunition and child arrests: Israel’s military response to protests
Palestine Monitor: 25 Dec 2012 – In condemnation of the recent murder of 17 year old Mohammad Ziad Awad Salaymah, protests have broken out in Aida refugee camp broke out the following day. The teenager was shot dead on Wednesday, December…more

Israel’s colonies push kills two-state solution
Palestine Monitor: 25 Dec 2012 – As published on the Christian Science Monitor Israel’s settlement construction in the E1 corridor and East Jerusalem sends a clear message. Unless President Obama stands up to Israel, he and Benjamin Netanyahu should not be surprised…more

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