VTJP Occupied Palestine and Israel: News and Articles 26 December 2012: Jolly Christmas: BBC celebrates ‘return’ of a ‘lost tribe of Israel’ — and not a word about Palestinians’ right

26 December 2012VTJP


Ma’an News

Official: Israel demands 52,500 shekels to delay home demolitions
12/26/2012 – NABLUS (Ma’an) — Israel’s high court on Wednesday ordered 21 Palestinians to pay 52,500 shekels to delay the demolition of their homes in the northern West Bank, a Palestinian Authority official said. Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors settlement activity, told Ma’an the homeowners, from Yatma, were ordered to pay 2,500 shekels….

Israel orders demolitions near Hebron
12/26/2012 – HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli forces on Wednesday issued 10 demolitions orders to residents of Idhna village west of Hebron in the southern West Bank. The forces claimed the buildings were built without Israeli permission, a Ma’an reporter said. [END]

Group: 4 detainees injured in Israeli prison raid
12/26/2012 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Israeli forces on Wednesday injured four Palestinians in a raid on Megiddo prison in northern Israel, the Palestinian Prisoners Society said, Israeli special forces raided three wards of the prison and violently attacked prisoners, before shutting down one ward, the society said in a statement. [END]

Israeli forces ‘detain student, beat father’ in Qalqiliya
12/26/2012 – NABLUS (Ma’an) — Israeli soldiers assaulted a Palestinian official Wednesday during a raid at his home in Qalqiliya in the northern West Bank, says a human rights activist. Muyassar Atiyani said Israeli soldiers beat Sheikh Abdul-Hakim Issa al-Deik, director of the Qalqiliya office of the Palestinian ministry of endowments. She quoted al-Deik’s….

Israel ‘detains disabled man’ in Yatta
12/26/2012 – HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli forces on Wednesday detained a disabled man after raiding his grocery store in Yatta in the southern West Bank, locals said. Soldiers escorted Yousif Ibrahim Nawajaa to his home, which they inspected before detaining him. Local youth threw stones at soldiers, who responded by firing tear gas and rubber-coated bullets….

Locals: Israel detains 7 in Nablus, Tulkarem
12/26/2012 – TULKAREM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces on Wednesday detained seven Palestinians in Nablus and Tulkarem after military vehicles crossed into to area, locals reported. They said soldiers abducted five people from the Nablus area, and they were identified as Mahdi Salah Khouri, Adel Bashar al-Zarya, Ezz al-Din Mansour, Mohammad Khefo, and Mutaz Shbarou. All of….

UNRWA closes West Bank offices amid protests
12/26/2012 – HEBRON (Ma’an) — UNRWA is closing three of its West Bank offices because protests are threatening the safety of its staff, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees said Wednesday. The UN Relief and Works Agency said in a statement that it was forced to close the offices after protests shifted from peaceful demonstrations to….

Israeli forces seize vehicle south of Jenin
12/26/2012 – JENIN (Ma’an) — Israeli forces stopped a car for hours at a checkpoint near Yabad village south of Jenin late Tuesday, citing a suspicious object discovered inside the vehicle. The owner of the car, Ahmad Marii, told Ma’an that when he was coming back from Bartaa village, the Israeli forces stopped him….

Report: Israel expects more EU pressure in 2013
12/26/2012 – TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma’an) — Israel fears the European Union will step up efforts to pressure it and the Palestinians into an agreement in 2013, according to a government document quoted Wednesday in Israeli media. Israel’s Haaretz newspaper said the report states that the Europeans may try to promote the establishment of….

PA says secures release of Qalqiliya child
12/26/2012 – QALQILIYA (Ma’an) — The Palestinian military liaison in Qalqliya secured the release of a 14-year-old after Israeli forces detained him near the West Bank town, security officials said. The family of the boy, Anas Tabib, said he was taken to an investigation center in Ariel settlement after claiming he was carrying a sharp….

Fatah’s revolutionary council to meet
12/26/2012 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Fatah’s revolutionary council will meet in Ramallah on Wednesday to discuss party matters and national issues, the council’s deputy-secretary said. President Mahmoud Abbas and central committee members will join the meeting, Fahmi al-Zarir said, adding that 10 council members from Gaza were prevented from attending by Israel….

Secretary-general of PA cabinet resigns
12/26/2012 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — The secretary-general of the Palestinian Authority cabinet resigned on Wednesday, his office said. Prime Minister Salam Fayyad accepted Naim Abu al-Hummus’ resignation, which will be effective from Jan. 1. Abu al-Hummus will return to his previous work as a lecturer at Birzeit University, his office told Ma’an. [END]

Study: PA loses $500,000 a year in tax evasion
12/26/2012 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — The Palestinian Authority loses around $500,000 annually due to tax evasion, a research institute says. MAS, the Palestine Economic Policy Research Institute, says income tax only provides 7 percent of the PA‘s budget because tens of thousands of workers — including doctors, lawyers and engineers — are not monitored by tax….

Police arrest driver of crowded bus, impound vehicle
12/26/2012 – TULKAREM (Ma’an) — Police on Wednesday impounded a 7-seater minibus found carrying 25 children in Tulkarem. Police said the vehicle was transporting the children to a kindergarten. The driver was arrested, police said in a statement. [END]

Egyptians fret over economy after rancorous vote on constitution
12/26/2012 – CAIRO (Reuters) — Egypt prepared to announce on Tuesday the result of a vote on a new constitution that Islamist President Mohamed Mursi hails as a step toward stability in a country beset by political and economic crisis. But critics say that by ramming through the basic law, Mursi has angered his liberal, leftist and Christian….

Egypt poor hit hardest as political tensions persist
12/26/2012 – GIZA, Egypt (IRIN) — For the first time in months, Hussein Mohamed, a 50-year-old civil servant from the Giza Governorate neighborhood of Imbaba, northern Cairo, has had to tell his wife that he can no longer put food on the table. Mohamed used to find ways to get by on the small salary he receives….

Egypt leader signs contentious constitution into law
12/26/2012 – CAIRO (Reuters) — Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi has signed into law a new Islamist-drafted constitution he says will help end political turmoil and allow him to focus on fixing the fragile economy. Anxiety about the deepening economic crisis has gripped Egypt in past weeks, with many people rushing to take out their savings from banks and….

Blogger’s death stirs political hornet’s nest in Iran
12/26/2012 – BEIRUT (Reuters) — There was little about Sattar Beheshti that made him stand out in a working-class suburb south of Tehran called Robat Karim. Like many of his peers, the 35-year-old laborer was devout and lived at home with his mother. But his life changed when he started a blog called “My Life for Iran….

Head of Syrian military police defects
12/26/2012 – BEIRUT (Reuters) — The head of Syria’s military police has defected from the army and declared allegiance to the uprising against President Bashar Assad, according to a video and a Syrian security source. The high-level defection, while not a strategically significant development in the 21-month-old conflict, will be a blow to morale for….

In Turkey, Syrian refugees choosing to work risk exploitation
12/26/2012 – ISTANBUL (IRIN) — The ruinous state of the Syrian economy after 18 months of civil war has left few options for young men trying to support their families without taking up arms. Many see escaping to Turkey to find illegal work as their only choice. But it is a choice that comes with a price. In….

Syrian officials head to Moscow for talks on crisis proposals
12/26/2012 – BEIRUT (Reuters) — Syrian foreign ministry officials headed to Moscow on Wednesday to discuss proposals for ending Syria’s 21-month-old crisis apparently made by international envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, Syrian and Lebanese sources said. Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Makdad and another aide will sound out Russian officials on the details of meetings with Brahimi in….

Egypt’s Mursi calls for unity, vows to fix economy
12/26/2012 – CAIRO (Reuters) — Egypt’s President Mohamed Mursi urged all political powers on Wednesday to take part in a national dialogue to resolve lingering tensions and promised to take necessary steps to heal the economy. In his first address to the nation since the adoption of a new constitution, he said he was considering possible….

Islamist vigilantes step up threats in Egypt’s Sinai
12/26/2012 – CAIRO (Reuters) — An Islamist group in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula threatened to launch a crusade against drug use and cigarette smoking in the lawless desert region on Wednesday, prompting fears about the growing influence of radical groups in post-revolutionary Egypt. The country’s new constitution, adopted this week, states that the principles of….


Israel to build 942 more settler homes
AlJazeera 25 Dec 2012 – Settlement advances in East Jerusalem are part of a fast-track plan to tighten Israel’s grip on the territory.

Palestine News Network

Archeologists Dig Up 3,000-Year-Old Temple at Motza
Palestine News Network

Oxfam: Farming is a Risky Business
Palestine News Network

The Deficit in Current Account is USD 672.6 Million
Palestine News Network

IOF Troops Raid Hebron, Distribute Demolition Warnings
Palestine News Network

Four Prisoners Continue Their Open Hunger Strike
Palestine News Network

Japan Deplores Israel’s Plan to Construct New Settlements in Jerusalem
Palestine News Network

Netanyahu Vows to Continue Building in Jerusalem
Palestine News Network

IOF Soldiers Deliver 21 New Demolition Orders in Nablus
Palestine News Network

Hamas Forbids Palestinian Journalists to Liaise with Israeli Media
Palestine News Network

Israeli Forces Arrest 5 Palestinians from Nablus
Palestine News Network

International Solidarity Movement

Christmas day in the firing zone
12/26/2012 – International Solidarity Movement – By Team Khalil, 25 December 2012, International Solidarity Movement, West Bank – The residents of two villages in the Israeli firing zone 918 in the South Hebron Hills experienced a fearful Christmas day as the Israeli soldiers and a tank conducted firing exercises in close proximity to their homes. From late afternoon on 25 December the villagers….

Urif under attack
12/26/2012 – International Solidarity Movement – 26 December 2012, International Solidarity Movement, Urif, Occupied Palestine – Over the past three days, the village of Urif, south of Nablus, has been under constant attack from Israeli settlers and soldiers. Soldiers invaded the village twice and numerous people sustained injuries from rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas canisters. People in Urif said that settlers….

Relief Web

occupied Palestinian territory: IOF Kills 168, Including 34 Children and 13 Women, and Damages 2,111 Houses during “Pillars of Cloud”
Relief Web 26 Dec 2012 – Source: Al Mezan Center for Human Rights Country: occupied Palestinian territory The Al Mezan Center for Human Rights has finished the first step of collecting information in its documentation project. Al Mezan’s field workers have conducted 294 field visits to…

Lebanon: German Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development visits Palestine refugee camp and meets Palestinians coming from Syria
Relief Web 26 Dec 2012 – Source: UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East Country: Germany, Lebanon, occupied Palestinian territory, Syrian Arab Republic (the) 26 December 2012 Beirut, Lebanon German Federal Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development Dirk Niebel visited Burj…

occupied Palestinian territory: Legal Aid Clinics in Gaza help people get protection of the law
Relief Web 25 Dec 2012 – Source: UN Development Programme Country: occupied Palestinian territory Highlights Eighteen legal aid clinics have been established and supported across the Gaza Strip. Over 17,000 Palestinians received legal aid in 2011 through six legal aid clinics. Seventy-four percent of women represented…

occupied Palestinian territory: The ‘Flattening’ of Gaza
Relief Web 25 Dec 2012 – Source: Inter Press Service Country: occupied Palestinian territory By Eva Bartlett GAZA CITY, Dec 25 2012 (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 National

Focus on health research at Abu Dhabi Executive Council meeting
The National 26 Dec 2012 – The council’s executive committee reviewed the details of the strategy and implementation mechanisms at the meeting, which was chaired by Mohammed Ahmed Al Bowardi, a council member.

Morsi to consider cabinet changes as new constitution adopted
The National 26 Dec 2012 – Egypt’s president Mohammed Morsi yesterday urged all political powers to take part in a national dialogue to resolve lingering tensions and promised to take necessary steps to heal the economy.

UAE charity donates ambulances to Tunisia
The National 26 Dec 2012 – Twelve ambulances and advanced medical equipment will be donated to Tunisia by the Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation, it was announced yesterday.

Al Azhar rises in new Egypt
The National 26 Dec 2012 – Role of Sunni Islam’s highest authority spelled out for first time in Egypt’s new constitution.

Saaed accident response service to be expanded to Sharjah
The National 26 Dec 2012 – The service currently investigates minor accidents in Abu Dhabi, Ras Al Khaimah and Umm Al Quwain, instead of police patrol units.

Dubai Ruler visits world’s first facility dedicated to A380
The National 26 Dec 2012 – Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, toured the new Emirates Airbus A380 Concourse 3 yesterday.

Immigration anxiety writ large in London
The National 26 Dec 2012 – Immigrants of previous generations are complaining about the new waves of arrivals in the UK, with opposition to immigration in England among the strongest in Europe.

Iran rejects interference accusation by Gulf Arabs
The National 26 Dec 2012 – Iran rejects accusations that it is meddling in the affairs of Gulf states, saying they are ‘running away from reality’.


14% of Israelis with science Ph.Ds are abroad, gov’t says
Ha’aretz – 26 Dec 2012

Man arrested for smashing tiles at King David’s Tomb
Ha’aretz – 26 Dec 2012

PM: Livni won’t be involved in peace talks in my next government
Ha’aretz – 26 Dec 2012

Health Min. denies pharmacists’ request to perform HIV tests
Ha’aretz – 26 Dec 2012

Israel turning a blind eye to discrimination against blind
Ha’aretz – 26 Dec 2012

Desert storm brewing over railway line to Eilat
Ha’aretz – 26 Dec 2012

Why is Israel ignoring the next Palestinian president?
Ha’aretz – 26 Dec 2012

Israeli killed, two seriously wounded after fire erupts in Herzliya Marina
Ha’aretz – 26 Dec 2012

Decision whether to file more severe indictment against Lieberman expected in days
Ha’aretz – 26 Dec 2012

Hamas bars Palestinian journalists in Gaza from working with Israeli media
Ha’aretz – 26 Dec 2012

Livni refuses to rule out serving in government with Lieberman
Ha’aretz – 26 Dec 2012

State to pay NIS 1 million to two Israeli Arabs wrongly accused in murder of IDF soldier
Ha’aretz – 26 Dec 2012

Rent control? Not in Israel
Ha’aretz – 26 Dec 2012

Right-wingers charged with ‘spying’ on IDF let off with plea bargain
Ha’aretz – 26 Dec 2012

Shas attacks Netanyahu: A strong Likud is destructive
Ha’aretz – 26 Dec 2012

Habayit Hayehudi leader: Israel cannot recognize same-sex marriage
Ha’aretz – 26 Dec 2012

Jerusalem Post

Analysis: Brought down by an afterthought
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2012 – The Ministry of Justice initially did not pay enough attention to Belarus affair.

Israel Electric Company to fire 2,000 workers
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2012 – IEC chairman also promises to cut the benefit of free electricity for employees as a part of a future reform.

A minority constitution for a minority of extremists
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2012 – Egyptian president, Muslim Brotherhood conduct illegal campaign that sets the stage for new confrontations.

Turkey establishes cooperation council with Tunisia
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2012 – Ankara aims to increase regional influence with Tunis agreement, in light of turmoil and emergence of Islamist governments.

PMO mum on reports PM paid secret trip to Jordan
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2012 – Death toll in Syria rises above 45,000; pan-Arabic paper says Netanyahu discuss Syrian chemical weapons with Abdullah.

Barghouti: If occupation continues, there will be intifada
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2012 – In interview aired by Channel 10, convicted Fatah terrorist and revered Palestinian figure says Abbas is the most comfortable partner Israel could have, stresses that he would not give up claim to right of return.

Chuck Hagel’s Jewish problem
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2012US President Obama values Hagel’s advice and made him co-chairman of his Intelligence Advisory Board. He should remain there.

Bennett, the media and disobeying orders
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2012 – Bennett’s Bayit Yehudi party has only gained from this saga. The true loser is the public.

Eisenbud’s Odyssey: Machine guns and teddy bears
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2012 – Perhaps the most telling and disturbing example of the profound cultural and moral incongruity between Israelis and Hamas came after the rockets stopped being fired, and each respective society tended to its children.

A ‘Lost Tribe’ that is lost no more
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2012 – Fundamentally Freund: The return of the Bnei Menashe to our people is a tangible reminder of the power of Jewish memory to overcome all obstacles, and the inevitability of Jewish destiny to prevail.

Free speech in higher education
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2012 – When students or professors challenge campus orthodoxies, administrators find a way to silence them. But when speakers take positions that are comfortable to the campus Left, administrators turn on a dime, suddenly posing as First Amendment purists.

Preserving Israel’s coastline
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2012 – A dispute between developers and environmental-historical interests is symbolic of a larger struggle over the fate of the nation’s coastline and coastal dunes.

5 ‘spying settlers’ to be convicted of ‘war room’ op
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2012 – Settlers admit to running “war room” to track IDF movements in order to block any military actions to demolish illegal outposts.

Israel not renewing VIP cards of PA officials
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2012 – Palestinian official tells ‘Post’ move a response to Ramallah’s successful bid to upgrade UN status to non-member state.

Likudniks want Bennett, not Livni in coalition
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2012 – Warning comes after Livni sent messengers twice to speak to Netanyahu‘s confidants about joining forces in the coalition.

Court refuses to block Ariel’s university status
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2012 – Move comes in response to injunction filed by university heads against Ariel University Center’s upgrade to university status.

Medical Corps brings advanced care to front line
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2012 – As part of preparations for multi-arena conflict, IDF Medical Corps has drawn lessons from US techniques.

5,660,000 Israelis can vote in January election
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2012 – The size of the electorate has multiplied by eleven since elections for the first Knesset in 1949, and grew by 7% since 2009.

Finance Minister: New taxes unlikely in 2013
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2012 – Yuval Steinitz says a Likud-led government likely would hold tax rates steady, but refuses to reveal party’s budget program.

State refuses to defend disqualification of MK Zoabi
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2012 – A-G says he will not defend the Central Elections Committee decision to bar Zoabi from running in upcoming Knesset elections.

Archeologists dig up 3,000-year-old temple at Motza
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2012 – Ruins latest finding uncovered in area before expansion of Highway 1.

State ordered to respond to injunction over Ariel U
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2012 – Move comes in response to injunction filed by university heads against Ariel University Center’s upgrade to university status.

C’tee fines Likud-Beytenu for anonymous attack ads
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2012 – Likud-Beytenu, three newspapers required to pay the Bayit Yehudi NIS 1,000; Buses required to display Kadima advertisements.

Egypt’s Morsi signs Islamist constitution into law
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2012 – Civilians rush to withdraw savings from banks after Egyptian president signs bill into law; US: We urge Morsi to bridge division.

The Guardian

Ehud Barak formally approves West Bank university of Ariel
The Guardian 26 Dec 2012 – Military sign Israeli defence secretary’s order for college upgrade widely opposed by academics nationally and globally Israel’s first settlement university was created this week after the defence secretary, Ehud Barak, ordered the upgrade of a college…

Inter Press Service

Iraq Sunnis Block Trade Routes in New Protest
IPS Tens of thousands of Sunni Muslims blocked Iraq’s main trade route to neighbouring Syria and Jordan in a fourth day of demonstrations against Shia Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. The massive show of force on Wednesday marks an escalation in protests that erupted last week after troops detained the bodyguards of…


‘I don’t care what the UN says!’ Netanyahu vows to continue illegal settlement activity

Merry Christmas in spite of it all

The Final Battle

Brahimi to acquaint Assad with US-Russia peace plan

Passing Thoughts, Proudly Offered with No Supporting Argument

Politics of Palestine’s everyday captured in stunning debut film

PM Netanyahu’s Christmas message: We are better than the Arabs (WATCH)

What ceasefire? Israeli soldiers shoot five Palestinians in latest in series of violations

Newtown, Afghanistan

Taliban statement Text of speech enunciated by Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan at research conference in France

Daily Star

UN predicts 1.1 mln Syria refugees by mid-2013
Daily Star 26 Dec 2012 The United Nations on Wednesday predicted the number of Syrian refugees in neighboring countries will double to 1.1 million by June next year if the country’s war is not ended.

Islamist-led Tunisia to raise alcohol duty
Daily Star 26 Dec 2012 The Islamist-led ruling coalition in Tunisia raised alcohol duty on Wednesday in a bid to bolster state coffers despite criticism from rival Islamists that it was wrong to profit from an activity prohibited by the faith.

New turmoil hits Egypt’s tourism
Daily Star 26 Dec 2012 At Egypt’s Pyramids, the desperation of vendors to sell can be a little frightening for some tourists.

Bahrain commutes death terms of police assailants
Daily Star 26 Dec 2012 A Bahraini appeals court on Wednesday commuted to life imprisonment the death sentences of two Shiites convicted of killing two policemen during last year’s unrest, lawyers said.

Egypt’s contentious Islamist constitution becomes law
Daily Star 26 Dec 2012 Mursi admitted that Egypt’s economy faces serious problems after he enacted a new, bitterly contested constitution that is supposed to help end political unrest and allow him to focus on the financial crisis.

IMF says Jordan price hike ‘important step’
Daily Star 26 Dec 2012 The IMF said on Wednesday Jordan’s decision to raise fuel prices by up to 53 percent last month was “an important step,” despite violent protests in which three were killed and more than 70 injured.

Iran rejects interference accusation by Gulf Arabs
Daily Star 26 Dec 2012 Iran on Wednesday rejected as “baseless” allegations by Gulf Arab states that Tehran is interfering in their internal affairs, the official IRNA news agency reported.

YNet News

Nicaragua volcano spews ash cloud, residents evacuated
YNet News, 26 Dec 2012 – ….

US storm death toll up to 6 as system heads east
YNet News, 26 Dec 2012 – ….

Fire breaks in Kfar Kassem: Mother, 5 children lightly injured
YNet News, 26 Dec 2012 – ….

Bush Sr. spokesman: Ex-president’s fever rising
YNet News, 26 Dec 2012 – ….

France deploys soldiers to protect embassy in CAR
YNet News, 26 Dec 2012 – ….

Religious Zionism’s struggle
YNet News, 26 Dec 2012 – Op-ed: Moderate Judaism cannot exist alongside rabbis who forbid soldiers from listening to women sing ….

Biblical claim to the land?
YNet News, 26 Dec 2012 – Op-ed: Media telling people that only religious fanatics believe West Bank is part of Israel ….

Palestinian Information Center

Netanyahu renews his vow to continue settlement activities
PIC – Hardline Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu renewed on Tuesday his vow to continue supporting the expansion and building of settlements in the West Bank and Jerusalem.

Nations don’t live by F-16s alone
PIC – Binyamin Netanyahu and Avigdor leiberman are the perfect fascist couple that will shape Israeli policy and lead the Zionist entity for the next few years.

Sit-in outside UN headquarter protesting against administrative detention
PIC – The Tunisian Association to Support Palestine has organized on Wednesday a sit-in outside the UN headquarter in Tunis in solidarity with the Palestinian strikers in Israeli jails..

Confrontations between IOF and villagers north of Al-Khalil
PIC – Confrontations were reported on Wednesday morning between Israeli occupation forces (IOF) and villagers of Beit Ummar to the north of Al-Khalil.

IOA planning to raze 21 houses in Yatma village
PIC – Inhabitants of the Yatma village, Nablus province, have appealed to the Palestinian Authority to pressure the Israeli occupation authorities (IOA) not to raze 21 of their houses.

Special IOF units kidnap Palestinian man
PIC – Special units of the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) kidnapped a Palestinian man from Yatta, south of Al-Khalil, city on Wednesday.

Eichel prison witnesses tension after an attack on a prisoner
PIC – According to Ministry of Detainees and Ex-detainees in Gaza, a state of tension between the prisoners and the prison administration has prevailed Eichel prison, following the attack on prisoner.

Hamad criticizes Arab League delegation’s visit to West Bank
PIC – Dr. Jawad Al-Hamad, a strategic expert and director of the Center for Middle East Studies, described the Arab League delegation’s visit next Saturday to West Bank as a “normalization step.”

Trial of prisoner al-Issawi scheduled for tomorrow
PIC – The Israeli Magistrate’s is scheduled tomorrow morning to look into the case of prisoner Samer al-Issawi, 30, who has been on an open-ended hunger strike since 150 day.

41 Palestinian children killed during the aggression on Gaza
PIC – A European human rights organization issued a detailed report about the child victims from Gaza, killed by the Israeli forces during the recent aggression on the Gaza Strip.


Cabinet Calls for Steps to Stop Israel’s Settlement ‘Onslaught’
WAFA – 26 Dec 2012

Over $600 Million Deficit in Q3, says Statistics Bureau
WAFA – 26 Dec 2012

PEX Report: AL-Quds Index Up
WAFA – 26 Dec 2012

Newspapers Review: Settlements Continue to Dominate Dailies
WAFA – 26 Dec 2012

Israel to Demolish 10 Homes near Hebron
WAFA – 26 Dec 2012

Exports Up in October, says Statistics Bureau
WAFA – 26 Dec 2012

Weather Forecast: Light Drizzle and Low Visibility
WAFA – 26 Dec 2012


In Syria, 20 reported killed in fighting; commander defects
LA Times 26 Dec 2012 – The Syrian government and rebels trade blame for the deadly attack. The military police commander joins the opposition in a new blow to President Bashar Assad. BEIRUT — Twenty people were killed Wednesday in fighting in a small Syrian village, according to opposition activists, as…

Israel campaign season revives familiar debates
LA Times 25 Dec 2012 – There’s no shortage of hot-button issues, but Israeli politicians are falling back on old debates over settlement construction and peace talks. JERUSALEM — As Israel heads toward national elections next month, there’s no shortage of hot-button issues that might dominate the campaign, including Iran’s nuclear…

For Syria refugees, camp life gets even worse in winter
LA Times 25 Dec 2012 – Many already wore down by the conflict and their escape now have to deal with freezing weather. Host nations scramble to improve their camps. ZAATARI CAMP, Jordan — Rumors that four infants perished from the cold prompted an outcry last month at this sprawling site,…

Naftali Bennett Pushes Netanyahu Rightward
New York Times 26 Dec 2012 – Naftali Bennett is not a serious contender to be Israel’s next prime minister but his appealing biography and far-right platform could lure voters away from the Likud-Beiteinu ticket.

Syrian General Defects in a Public Broadcast
New York Times 26 Dec 2012 – Maj. Gen. Abdul Azia Jassem al-Shallal, the military police chief, is the highest-ranking officer to abandon President Bashar al-Assad.

United Arab Emirates Arrests Suspects in Terror Plots
New York Times 26 Dec 2012 – Security forces arrested a cell made up of Saudi Arabian and Emirate militants, who were planning to carry out attacks in both countries and other states, the official news agency reported.

Gov’t to offer NIS 400m in loans for alternative fuels
Globes Energy & Water – The Office of the Chief Scientist is planning a NIS 1.5 billion program to create a new alternative fuels industry.

Ishai gas reserves much smaller than estimated
Globes Energy & Water – There is a strong chance that the latest tests will find much less gas than previously estimated at the field whose owners include Teddy Sagi and Beny Steinmetz.

Supreme Court dismisses petitions against shale oil
Globes Energy & Water – Israel Energy Initiatives: The Supreme Court decision removes a major roadblock to the company’s shale oil project, enabling it to obtain permits.

Delek, Noble Energy win gas storage license
Globes Energy & Water – Energy Minister Uzi Landau gave the $1 billion project to the Yam Tethys partners without a tender.

IEC chairman promises to end free employee electricity
Globes Energy & Water – Yiftach Ron-Tal: Under the reform, the free electricity benefit for IEC employees will be abolished, and several projects and power stations will be privatized.

Steinitz: No need for substantial 2013 tax hikes
Globes Main News – Steinitz’s remarks contradict the opinion of most economists and tax experts.

Wed: Banks rebound as TASE ends losing streak
Globes Main News – Banks and mobile carriers rose today, while Teva dipped slightly on the day’s biggest turnover.

Shekel weakens after interest rate cut
Globes Main News – Prico Risk Management: Thin foreign currency trading in international markets could create volatility in the Israeli market.

Strauss to sell espresso capsules
Globes Main News – Strauss will sell its espresso capsules at NIS 1.70 per unit, 25% less than the NIS 2.30 per unit for Nespresso capsules.

Bezeq workers committee joins Pelephone strike
Globes Main News – Sources: The Histadrut has been pressing Bezeq workers committee chairman Shlomo Kfir to join the struggle, and was displeased by his reticence.

Nova Measuring wins $15m in new orders
Globes Main News – The share price jumped 5% on news of the order, which included Nova’s most advanced integrated and stand-alone metrology tools.

A bright economic future – if we don’t spoil it
Globes Macro Economics – Recent technological developments hold out the promise of a new industrial revolution, but we must learn to spread the wealth.

Israel’s Creeping Criminalization of Democratic Rights
Tikun Olam – Kobi Snitz remonstrating with IDF at West Bank anti-Wall protest A few days ago, Amira Hass wrote a story in Haaretz about a Shabak interrogation of Israeli peace activist, Kobi Snitz. Snitz is a mathematician at the Weizmann Institute and a member of a pro-BDS group…

Holiday greetings from the BDS movement
Mondoweiss – St. Louis: Philadelphia: New York: 1031 dsc 0024 More on the New York event, including a downloadable anti-apartheid songbook, here .

Israel bars prisoner studies on grounds that most popular course is ‘Genocide,’ featuring Americas, Germany, Rwanda
Mondoweiss – More than a year ago, Israel decided to end course instruction for prisoners at the Open University of Israel in an effort to pressure Hamas to release Gilad Shalit. Then Shalit was released in an exchange, but Israel has maintained the policy, no courses for prisoners….

‘Save Samer, he is dying’: Samer Issawi and the plight of Palestinian hunger strikers
Mondoweiss – Samer’s father Tariq, and sister Shireen, holding a photo of Samer in the family’s East Jerusalem home (Photo: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/ Alternative Information Center ) Today, Wednesday the 26th, I woke up thinking of the last episode in Samer’s story; of his heart; of his mother; and of…

Jolly Christmas: BBC celebrates ‘return’ of a ‘lost tribe of Israel’ — and not a word about Palestinians’ right
Mondoweiss – Members of the Bnei Menashe tribe (Getty Images) The BBC Newshour graced Christmas by honoring an American-Israeli, Michael Freund, who allegedly has made prejudice melt away. But the newfound tolerance is not toward Palestinians. No, it’s toward “lost tribes” of Israel. Freund, who is also a…

Tom Friedman’s endorsement of Hagel as the DefSec Israel needs is wakeup call to Bill Kristol on Boxing Day
Mondoweiss – Many times recently the Israel/Palestine issue has turned the New York Times into a small-town newspaper, whose function seems to be to chronicle the life of the Jewish community and Israel. That was the case when the newspaper made front-page news of a Manhattan synagogue’s decision…

Exile and the Prophetic: Redeeming the Christmas season?
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. So what if there was a Christmas tree at Auschwitz. That doesn’t invalidate Christmas and its symbolism, does it? Star of David…

‘PM: Livni Won’t Be Involved in Peace Talks in My Next Government’
The Foward Breaking News 26 Dec 2012 – Not only will Tzipi Livni not get the foreign affairs portfolio in the next Likud-led government, she won’t be allowed anywhere near the diplomatic realm or be involved in talks with the Palestinians, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Likud ministers on Wednesday. Click here for the…

Bibi and Jordan’s King Meet To Discuss Syria’s Chemical Arms
The Foward Breaking News 26 Dec 2012 – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has secretly met Jordan’s King Abdullah in Amman to discuss the risk of Syria’s chemical weapons falling into the hands of Islamist militants, Israeli media reports said on Wednesday. Click here for the rest of the article…

Israel Eases Gaza Blockade
The Foward Breaking News 26 Dec 2012 – Israel is easing its blockade on Gaza, the Defense Ministry confirmed to local media. Click here for the rest of the article…

Hamas Forbids Local Journalists From Working with Israeli Media
The Foward Breaking News 26 Dec 2012 – The Hamas government in Gaza has forbidden local journalists from working with Israeli media outlets. Click here for the rest of the article…

Sudan: Nation Absent From Communiqué Issued By Arab Gulf Leaders
allAfrica.com 26 Dec 2012 – [Sudan Tribune]Washington -The final communiqué issued today by the leaders of six Arab Gulf states omitted any mention of Sudan in what an analyst said could signal growing displeasure over Khartoum’s ties with Tehran.

Morsi hails Egypt constitution
BBC 26 Dec 2012 – President Mohammed Morsi congratulates Egyptians for endorsing a new constitution and calls on all parties to take part in a national dialogue.

Syria army police chief defects
BBC 26 Dec 2012 – Syria’s military police chief defects, saying the army had become “gangs of murder”, as reports emerge of deadly shelling in Raqqa province.

UAE arrests ‘terror cell’ members
BBC 26 Dec 2012 – The United Arab Emirates says it has arrested members of what it called a terror cell which was planning attacks, according to an official statement.

Abby Martin: Myths about the Jewish State by Miko Peled
Sabbah report 26 Dec 2012 – On this episode of Breaking the Set, Abby Martin talks to Peace Activist and Author of ‘The General’s Son’, Miko Peled, about the main misconceptions about the Israeli Palestinian conflict, and about the proposed idea of irradiating a ‘Jewish State’ all together. Abby Martin: Myths about…

Sacrificing Math and Facts at the Mursi Altar
Al-Akhbar Blogs 26 Dec 2012 – Cairo – Following the results of the first round of the constitutional referendum, activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah was busy dispelling false historical allegations aimed at selling Egypt’s low turnout and approval rates as internationally acceptable. read more

Femen’s Neocolonial Feminism: When Nudity Becomes a Uniform
Al-Akhbar Opinion 26 Dec 2012 – According to their website, “Femen is a hot boobs [sic], a cool head and clean hands.” In November 2011, Egyptian blogger Alia al-Mahdi sent shockwaves through the online Middle Eastern community after she uploaded a naked picture of herself. Al-Mahdi claimed that she was challenging Egyptian…

Saudi novelist arrested for tweets criticizing Islam
Al-Akhbar News 26 Dec 2012 – Saudi Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef ordered the arrest of controversial novelist and political analyst Turki al-Hamad Monday for apparently criticizing Islam and the royal family in a series of tweets. The tweet that reportedly caused the most upset said “just as the prophet had…

Iraqis block trade routes to protest ‘sectarian policies’
Al-Akhbar News 26 Dec 2012 – Tens of thousands of Sunni Muslims blocked Iraq’s main trade route to neighboring Syria and Jordan in a fourth day of demonstrations on Wednesday against the ‘sectarian policies’ of Shia Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki. The massive show of force marks an escalation in protests that erupted…

Oman: The Sultan’s Symbolic Reforms
Al-Akhbar News 26 Dec 2012 – An Omani man chooses his candidates at a polling station in Shinas district, on 22 December 2012. (Photo: AFP – Mohammed Mahjoub) An Omani man chooses his candidates at a polling station in Shinas district, on 22 December 2012. (Photo: AFP – Mohammed Mahjoub) The high…

Al-Akhbar News 26 Dec 2012 – Leading figures in March 8 also criticize the government’s economic performance. (Photo: Haytham al-Moussawi) Leading figures in March 8 also criticize the government’s economic performance. (Photo: Haytham al-Moussawi) In light of March 14’s bleak performance on the political scene in 2012, has March 8 fared much…

UAE arrests cell planning terrorist attacks: State news agency
Al-Akhbar News 26 Dec 2012 – Security forces in the United Arab Emirates have arrested a cell of UAE and Saudi Arabian citizens which was planning to carry out militant attacks in both countries and other states, the official news agency WAM said on Wednesday. The group had acquired materials and equipment…

Syrian military police chief reportedly defects
Al-Akhbar News 26 Dec 2012 – The general who heads Syria’s military police has defected and joined the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, one of the highest walkouts by a serving security chief during the country’s 21-month uprising, a pan Arab TV station has reported. Maj. Gen. Abdul-Aziz Jassem al-Shallal appeared…

Year in Review: The Highs and Lows of Lebanon’s March 14
Al-Akhbar Politics 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…

Morsi hails Egypt constitution
BBC 26 Dec 2012 – President Mohammed Morsi congratulates Egyptians for endorsing a new constitution and calls on all parties to take part in a national dialogue.

Syria army police chief defects
BBC 26 Dec 2012 – Syria’s military police chief defects, saying the army had become “gangs of murder”, as reports emerge of deadly shelling in Raqqa province.

UAE arrests ‘terror cell’ members
BBC 26 Dec 2012 – The United Arab Emirates says it has arrested members of what it called a terror cell which was planning attacks, according to an official statement.


Thousands remain without water, power one month after attack on Gaza
Eva Bartlett, Gaza City, Electronic Intifada 12/26/2012
GAZA CITY (IPS) – On 17 November, 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 premier Ariel Sharon, called for Israel to “flatten entire neighborhoods 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” (“A decisive conclusion is necessary,” The Jerusalem Post, 18 November 2012).
Now, nearly a month after the Israel-Hamas ceasefire, 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 $250 million, with another $700 million in indirect damages, according to Hamas government spokesperson Taher al-Nunu (“Leveling Gaza: Israeli airstrikes to cost Gaza over $1.2 billion,” Russia Today, 25 November 2012).
In more tangible terms, the vast destruction has affected bridges, thousands of homes, hundreds of UN shelters, tens of mosques, many government buildings, media offices, financial institutions, hospitals and health centers, two stadiums, a training center for disabled athletes, water and sewage and electricity networks, more than 100 schools, Gaza’s “life-line” tunnels, and innumerable roads.
During the Israeli bombings, Al Jazeera reported that 400,000 were without electricity after five different transformers were hit. more.. e-mail

Christmas under the guns of the occupation!
Salim Nazzal, Arabic Media Internet Network (AMIN) 12/26/2012
It sounds obscure that most of the world celebrating the birth of Jesus is in fact blind to the fact that Jesus birth place is occupied by Zionists.
And if it is not blind it seems that the world get used to the fact that Bethlehem is occupied and besieged by a Zionist wall. This wall has doors guarded by Israeli soldiers, and nobody can go into the town without the permission of the Zionist soldiers. And if Jesus the Christ is back to life he probably won’t know his city provided that he would not be stopped by Israeli checkpoints for interrogation.
So it is a sharp contrast to reality to chant about peace on earth while all know that occupation is the reason for the absence of peace in the holy land of Palestine.
Amid this sad and tragic picture and with an obvious aim to get the sympathy of Christians worldwide Netanyahu sent his good wishes to Christians! One naturally wonders what these good wishes are. If driving Palestinian Christians and Muslims from their homeland and stealing their land and even claiming Christian sites to be Jewish is the Zionist good wishes then Netanyahu is a fool to think that anybody else expect those already with him appreciate his wishes.? He can go tirelessly in his propaganda but this would not change the reality on the ground, that Netanyahu and his Zionist team is no more than organized mafia engaged in a systematic land grab to Palestinian land…
But why the world does not strongly react? Is it absence of courage or has Israel succeed in imposing this fact on the world to the extent that its occupation has become the normal and not the exception. Indeed the answer is not difficult to find because it seems that the world has got used to the fact that Israel is above all laws and so the occupation has become looked at as an incurable disease beyond the ability of the world medicine. more.. e-mail

Israel’s settlement offensive in greater Jerusalem
Sergio Yahni, Alternative Information Center 12/23/2012
Senior Likud officials admit that decisions regarding settlement construction have a direct link to the upcoming parliamentary elections. “Before the elections, there is a need to define positions, and this is part of it,” said a Likud minister to the Israeli website NRG. “We finally realized that Likud voters support construction in Jerusalem and settlements, and therefore they welcome these decisions. This contrast to how these same decisions are depicted in the media,” the minister added.
The Israeli Interior Ministry’s planning committee approved on Wednesday a project to build 2,610 new homes in Givat HaMatos, a settlement located north of Har Homa and west of Gilo settlements in the areas Israel annexed to Jerusalem following the 1967 Middle East war.
There are four separate sections of the Givat Hamatos settlement (A, B, C, and D), encompassing a total of some 4,000 apartments. The decision regarding Givat HaMatos A came during four days of marathon meetings in the Interior Ministry and Jerusalem municipality’s planning committees, which advanced approvals for 6,500 housing units in settlements last week alone.
On Tuesday the Housing Ministry announced plans to issue tenders this week for construction of 3,000 new homes in the greater Jerusalem-area settlements of Karnei Shomron, Efrat and Givat Ze’ev. The same day the second step in a housing project for the East Jerusalem settlement of Ramat Shlomo was approved. The Interior Ministry’s planning committee told developers they must reduce the original plan from 1,600 housing units to 1,500 and submit modifications for final approval of the project. The order to revise the plan came after a meeting at which the committee heard public objections. There still exist a number of stages through which the plan must pass before construction can actually begin. more.. e-mail

Stepping over the line by accident: Still possible, ever more disturbing
Yuval Ben-Ami, +972 Magazine 12/26/2012
A stroll west of West Jerusalem can lead to a surprising discovery, confronting the casual walker with various layers of the Palestinian tragedy.
I just finished an ordeal at the Knesset. The next thing on the agenda was a long phone call, one that would last for at least an hour. Instead of walking about West Jerusalem for an hour, I decided to begin heading west on foot.
The brisk winter day was gorgeous. Beneath me, past the last row of city blocks, lay the gulley separating West Jerusalem from a ridge of lofty hills to the west. The slopes were made green by the season’s blessed rains. If I climbed down, then up again, I would arrive at the suburb of Mevaseret Zion, where busses stop on their way to Tel Aviv.
I found a street that turns into a trail and headed down, soon arriving at the abandoned Palestinian village of Lifta. Unlike many other villages that were emptied in 1948 and later destroyed, this one remains nearly intact. Lately, it narrowly escaped being replaced with a posh residential complex for Jewish Israelis. Walking among the crumbling stone buildings is a sad experience, but I could at least comfort myself in that Lifta remains as a monument.
While speaking leisurely on the phone, I crossed to the other ridge and began climbing a slope that I thought would lead me to Mevaseret Zion and to the bus. It did not.
The houses atop the hill were not lined along neatly planned streets, as they would be in Mevaseret. Instead, homes were freely scattered along badly paved roads, some of them were new, others – as old as those of Lifta. This was a Palestinian village, and various signs told me that it was not Palestinian-Israeli, such as nearby Abu Ghosh. The roads really were in a very poor shape, and the roofs bore black water tanks, rather than the white ones typical in Israel. more.. e-mail

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