VTJP Occupied Palestine and Israel: News and Articles 29 December 2012: How The New York Times erases Israel’s crimes

29 December 2012 — VTJP


International Middle East Media Center

Three Children Sentenced To 4 Months Each
IMEMC – The Palestinian Detainees Studies Center reported that the Israeli Salem military court sentenced three Palestinian children from Azzoun town near the northern West Bank city of Qalqilia, to four months imprisonment each. …

Palestinian From Gaza Killed In Damascus
IMEMC – The Maan News Agency reported that a Palestinian man from the Gaza Strip, was killed Friday, during clashes that took place in Syria. … 

Israeli Soldiers Kidnap A Palestinian Police Officer In Hebron
IMEMC – Israeli soldiers kidnapped, Friday, a Palestinian police officer who allegedly punched an Israeli soldier, in the center of Hebron, as the army was chasing and firing at Palestinian youths who clashed with them in the occupied city. …

Army Fails To Evict Illegal Outpost Near Ramallah
IMEMC – Israeli soldiers tried to evict an illegal settlement outpost, erected by extremist Israeli settlers near the Bet EI illegal settlement, north of the central West Bank city of Ramallah; the settlers attacked the soldiers who left the scene without evicting the structures. …

Ma’an News

Israel to seize Jerusalem village land to construct wall
12/29/2012 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities issued notices on Friday to annex 456 dunams of land from a Jerusalem village in order to build part of its separation wall, local officials said. Head of Beit Iksa village council Kamal Hababa said villagers were shocked when they saw the notices detailing plans to seize agricultural land….

Group: Prisoner’s fingers severed in Israeli jail
12/29/2012 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — A Palestinian jailed by Israel has filed a complaint after his fingers were severed during a cell inspection, he told a prisoners group on Saturday. Khalid Muhammad Ahmad Khalawi, 30, told the prisoners association that he was trying to open a door in Rimon jail to allow a guard entry, when….

Peace group funds football club in Hebron’s old city
12/29/2012 – HEBRON (Ma’an) — The Temporary International Presence in the City of Hebron is establishing a football club for young men who live in an area of Hebron’s old city affected by Israel‘s military occupation. TIPH is renting training facilities for a whole year and providing equipment to young residents living….

Report: Israeli leaders reiterate Arafat AIDS claims
12/29/2012 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli officials on Friday reiterated claims that late President Yasser Arafat died from AIDS, as a probe into suspected poisoning of the Palestinian leader got underway. Arafat led the bid for a Palestinian state through years of war and peacemaking, then died in a French hospital aged 75 after a short….

Arab League delegation to arrive in Ramallah
12/29/2012 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The Secretary General of the Arab League will arrive in the West Bank on Saturday to discuss pledged financial aid to the Palestinian Authority. Nabil Al-Arabi will travel to Ramallah with Egyptian foreign minister Mohammad Kamel Amr by Jordanian helicopter, a Ma’an correspondent said. The Arab League chief will…. Related: Arab League chief says to work on PA ‘safety net’

Qatari-donated construction material to enter Gaza
12/29/2012GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Egypt authorized the first batch of Qatari-donated construction materials to enter the Gaza Strip via their shared border on Saturday, an official said. The official in the Qatari committee for reconstruction of Gaza said the delivery would take place later in the day. Qatar announced in September it was contributing…. Related: Egypt official: Qatar building materials enter Gaza

Arab League chief visits West Bank
12/29/2012 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — The Secretary General of the Arab League and the Egyptian foreign minister arrived in the West Bank on Saturday to discuss pledged financial aid to the Palestinian Authority. The Arab League’s Nabil Al-Arabi and Egypt’s Mohammad Kamel Amr are expected to meet with President Mahmoud Abbas in…. Related: Arab League delegation to arrive in Ramallah

Egypt official: Qatar building materials enter Gaza
12/29/2012 – ISMAILIA, Egypt (Reuters) — Egypt allowed building materials into Gaza via the Rafah crossing on Saturday for the first time since Hamas seized control of the Palestinian enclave in 2007, an Egyptian border official said. It was part of a shipment of building materials donated by the Gulf Arab state of Qatar, which has pledged $400…. Related: Qatari-donated construction material to enter Gaza

Arab League chief says to work on PA ‘safety net’
12/29/2012 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — The head of the Arab League said on a rare visit to the West Bank on Saturday that he was still working on securing pledged funds from Arab states to the beleaguered Palestinian Authority. Describing the PA‘s financial crisis as “crippling,” Nabil al-Arabi told reporters in Ramallah: “Palestine is…. Related: Arab League delegation to arrive in Ramallah

Fatah to celebrate 48th anniversary in Gaza on Jan. 4
12/29/2012 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Fatah will hold its 48th anniversary celebrations in Gaza on January 4, a PLO official said Saturday. Nabil Shaath told Ma’an that celebrations will take place in al-Saraya square in Gaza City after Friday prayers. Preparations are in full swing, with bulldozers leveling the ground and technical teams setting….

Man found dead in West Bank field
12/29/2012 – TULKAREM (Ma’an) — A 27-year-old man was found dead in a field in the northern West Bank on Saturday morning, security officials said. The body of Moath Shaker from the town of Dir Ghusun, north of Tulkarem, was discovered in agricultural lands in the area. Police opened an investigation but said first indications….

PA health ministry: Swine flu death toll reaches 9
12/29/2012 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Nine people have died in the West Bank after contracting swine flu with 187 cases of the H1N1 virus recorded, the Palestinian Authority Health Ministry said Saturday. The majority of the cases are in the northern West Bank, especially Jenin, with other cases in Ramallah, Bethlehem and southern Hebron, minister of….

Baby killed in Hebron road accident
12/29/2012 – HEBRON (Ma’an) — A baby girl was killed in a road accident in the southern West Bank city of Hebron on Saturday, police said. The accident killed 18-month-old Rahaf Abdul Rahman Al-Asoud in Tarqoumia square, western Hebron. [END]

Gaza man killed in Syria was ‘Qassam commander’
12/29/2012 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) –A Palestinian man who was killed in Syria on Friday was a senior figure in Hamas’ armed wing, rebels and Hamas officials said Saturday. Muhammad Qunneita, 31, from Shati refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, had been in Syria for four months, his brother told Ma’an. Rebels told….

Hopes for Syria breakthrough faint as UN envoy visits Russia
12/29/2012 – MOSCOW (Reuters) — The international mediator seeking to end the 21-month-old conflict in Syria met Russia’s foreign minister in Moscow on Saturday after talks in Damascus but expectations of progress toward a negotiated solution were low. UN-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi’s talks with Sergei Lavrov occurred a day after the main….

Envoy: Only political process can save Syria from ‘hell’
12/29/2012 – MOSCOW (Reuters) — The international mediator seeking peace in Syria warned of “hell” if no deal is struck to end 21 months of bloodshed, but his talks in Russia capping a week of intense diplomacy brought no sign of a breakthrough. UN-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov both said there was….

Activists: Assad’s forces seize Homs district from rebels
12/29/2012 – BEIRUT (Reuters) — Syrian government forces have pushed rebels from a district in Homs after several days of fierce fighting in the strategically important city, opposition activists said on Saturday. The army moved into Deir Baalba, a neighborhood on the northeastern edge of Homs, they said, leaving the rebels controlling just the central neighborhoods around the….

SyriaAir cancels flight from Cairo to Aleppo
12/29/2012 – CAIRO (Reuters) — Syria’s national airline cancelled a flight from Cairo to Aleppo on Saturday due to poor security conditions around the airport, Cairo airport officials said. Rebels fighting to overthrow Syrian President Bashar Assad said last week they would target Aleppo’s international airport and opposition activists said on Saturday there had….

Blood spattered on the bricks where Syria bomb falls
12/29/2012 – AZAZ, Syria (Reuters) — Standing in the wreckage of his home, destroyed in an air strike two hours before, Abu Badri surveyed the damage as relatives scoured the rubble for any valuables they could retrieve.” We’ll have to find a tent to stay in near the border with Turkey. What else can we do….

Palestine News Network

Updated: UK Condemns New Settlement Activities in Jerusalem
Palestine News Network

Relief Web

occupied Palestinian territory: Renovating an Embattled City
Relief Web 29 Dec 2012 – Source: Inter Press Service Country: occupied Palestinian territory HEBRON, Occupied West Bank, Dec 29 2012 (IPS) – Every day, Anas Maraka sees his family’s home, but can’t go inside. “It’s hardest for my grandfather,” said Maraka, referring to the house…

The National

Healthy outlook as UAE’s Daman insurance begins prescription service
The National 29 Dec 2012 – Daman starts programme to protect patients from harmful drug interactions, linking pharmacies with database.

Metro passengers can board without swiping cards on New Year’s eve
The National 29 Dec 2012 – To reduce queues at the Dubai Metro for commuters returning from the new year’s eve festivities, passengers will be able to board without using their Nol cards at four Metro stations.

Six crew members rescued after boat sinks off UAQ coast
The National 29 Dec 2012 – A boat sank off the coast of Umm Al Quwain on Friday evening and its six crew members were rescued by the coast guard and UAQ Police.

Garland welcome for Indian sailors freed from Dubai’s MV Iceberg
The National 29 Dec 2012 – More than three years after setting sail for Dubai, five of the 22 crew of the hijacked ship Iceberg 1 have finally returned home. Suryatapa Bhattacharya reports.

UAE fog gets a little blue-sky thinking
The National 29 Dec 2012 – Experts are working on a system that will predict fog incidents, giving advance warning to travellers on the road and in the air.

The in-house brains behind Abu Dhabi’s latest smart buildings
The National 29 Dec 2012 – The buildings of the future will not be simple shell structures. They will be integrated with the cutting edge of computing and operation-management technologies to help them use resources as efficiently as possible.

Abu Dhabi doctors in line for automated approval service
The National 29 Dec 2012 – The Health Authority – Abu Dhabi (Haad) hopes to extend its automated prescription approval to doctors next year.

Reasons for rejecting requests
The National 29 Dec 2012 – The reasons could vary from asking for a refill too soon to drugs not being indicated for the diagnosis mentioned in the issued prescription.


Court to indict former FM Lieberman Sunday over ambassador affair
Ha’aretz – 29 Dec 2012

Former aide to top Israeli cop promoted despite charges
Ha’aretz – 29 Dec 2012

Think tank: Israel’s poor international image not the fault of failed Hasbara
Ha’aretz – 29 Dec 2012

Everyone scored political points from failed evacuation of West Bank outpost – except the IDF and Bennett
Ha’aretz – 29 Dec 2012

Settlers leave illegal West Bank outpost ahead of eviction
Ha’aretz – 29 Dec 2012

Arab League chief calls last 20 years of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations ‘waste of time’
Ha’aretz – 29 Dec 2012

Arab League chief heads for Ramallah to discuss aid to Palestinians, peace talks
Ha’aretz – 29 Dec 2012

Jerusalem Post

UK-based Arab HR group accuses PA of abuse
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2012 – From 2007-2011, the PA detained 13,271 Palestinians, and tortured 96% of them resulting in six deaths, report says. 

Out There: Love the stranger
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2012 – Even those few who articulated an interest in meeting some of the other folks at the celebration admitted – upon further probing – to utilitarian, rather than pure, motives. 

Sharansky’s task
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2012 – Sharansky should have the power to recommend changes to the status quo that will insure the Kotel remains a site of transcendence and unity instead of controversy and division. 

Iran imprisons pastor on Christmas Day
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2012 – The pastor was previously jailed for 3 years for practicing Christianity, rejecting compulsory Islamic education for his kids. 

Settlers peacefully evacuate Oz Zion outpost
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2012 – After clashes with security forces, prevention of evacuation of W. Bank outpost, settlers voluntarily leave after Sabbath. 

Livni’s rivals say she’ll quit politics day after election
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2012 – As Tzipi Livni Party remains stuck on 10 seats in polls, opponents claim she won’t honor commitments to voters atop small party; Lapid: She’ll do what she did before – go home; sources close to Livni call charges political spin. 

Swine flu outbreak kills nine people in West Bank
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2012PA says 187 cases of H1N1 influenza strain recorded, but it has resources to deal with spread of virus; Israel monitoring situation. 

New Worlds: Human whisking
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2012 – Blindfolded volunteers with “whiskers” artificially attached to their fingers were able to adopt new sensory input. 

Trained women advise on medical/halachic matters
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2012 – Nishmat features a halachic consultant program, which provides free information on sensitive issues online, over the phone. 

Of life and death
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2012 – What’s the point of it all? What’s the purpose? Is there a point? Maybe it’s all just random and meaningless, and not the result of some great Divine plan. 

Fatah reinstates plans for Gaza anniversary event
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2012 – Anniversary plans back on after Hamas relents and gives approval for use of Gaza City square for Fatah celebration. 

Jordan gears up for parliamentary elections
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2012 – Absence of Islamists from ballot stirs conflict over vote; activists bemoan the fact candidates are not competent. 

Sa’ar rejects UK criticism of Ariel college upgrade
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2012 – Likud minister defends upgrading W. Bank school to university: Our connection to Ariel no less than England’s to Falkland Islands. 

Egypt lets building material shipment into Gaza
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2012 – Egyptian border official says shipment is not an indication on the start of the full opening of the Rafah crossing. 

PA official: US pressuring Arab FMs not to visit
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2012Arab League Secretary-General visits Ramallah for the first time while four foreign ministers cancel visit at last minute. 

Brahimi: Choice in Syria between diplomacy or ‘hell’
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2012 – UN-Arab League peace envoy meets Russian FM in Moscow; Lavrov: Negotiated solution to Syria conflict still possible. 

‘Egypt to pursue relationship with Hezbollah’
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2012 – In shift from Mubarak-era policy, Egyptian ambassador to Lebanon says Brotherhood-dominated Egypt will engage terror group. 

‘Suha Arafat admits husband premeditated Intifada’
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2012 – In interview, Palestinian leader’s widow says Arafat decided to launch Intifada after Camp David, according to research institute. 

India gang rape victim dies in Singapore hospital
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2012 – Attack triggers outrage in Dehli, protests; India PM says emotions should be channeled into action. 

UN confronts failure of diplomacy in Syria
Jerusalem Post 28 Dec 2012 – Security Council has all but given up on Syria; mediator Brahimi seeks to heal Russia-US divide. 

Inter Press Service

Renovating an Embattled City
IPS Every day, Anas Maraka sees his family’s home, but can’t go inside. “It’s hardest for my grandfather,” said Maraka, referring to the house overlooking Shuhada Street, once the central marketplace in Hebron’s old city. While he never lived there himself, Maraka explained that being so close – and yet, so…


Protests throughout Iraq

Palestinian Refugees in Iraq , and Whom under Threat of Deportation Back to Iraq

Senate Reauthorizes Surveillance Law for Five More Years Without Reform

GOP and Feinstein join to fulfill Obama’s demand for renewed warrantless eavesdropping

Attacks on Urif continue, soldiers invade the village

E1 doesn’t matter: One-state reality is here


Tel Aviv University’s role in settler-run archaeological dig ‘playing into hands of BDS’, Israeli academics complain

Avigdor Lieberman Faces New Charges

012 (Warning: Graphic Videos)

Daily Star

Egypt lets building material cross its border into Gaza
Daily Star 29 Dec 2012 Islamist-led Egypt allows building materials into Gaza via the Rafah crossing for the first time since Hamas seized control of the Palestinian enclave in 2007.

Arab officials visit cash-strapped Palestinian territory
Daily Star 29 Dec 2012 Top Arab officials pay rare visit to the Israeli-occupied West Bank on Saturday to discuss a Palestinian financial crisis that President Mahmoud Abbas hopes will be eased by Arab donations.

Turkish peacekeepers take precautions after threats
Daily Star 29 Dec 2012 Turkish peacekeepers remain inside their headquarters in south Lebanon after families of Lebanese hostages threatened to harm them unless their relatives are released.

Islamist inmates’ trials to start in February: Madi
Daily Star 29 Dec 2012 Lebanon’s prosecutor Hatem Madi says the long-awaited trials for dozens of alleged Fatah al-Islam suspects will begin in February 2013.

Saudi Arabia sets record budget for 2013
Daily Star 29 Dec 2012 Saudi Arabia has set a record state budget for next year as high oil prices allow it to spend heavily on welfare and infrastructure projects, helping it avoid the severe social unrest seen in other parts…

Egypt’s Morsi downplays economic crisis
Daily Star 29 Dec 2012 Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi downplays the country’s teetering economy before a newly empowered senate, and insists new constitution guarantees equality.

Egypt gets $500 mln from Qatar, says $500 mln from Turkey soon
Daily Star 29 Dec 2012 Egypt has received a final $500 million installment of funds promised by Qatar and will get another $500 million from Turkey at the end of January, its finance minister said, in the latest aid to help…

Potato chip company robbed in east Lebanon
Daily Star 29 Dec 2012 Three armed men storm a potato chip company in east Lebanon and steal more than $12,000.

Egypt’s Morsi to focus on economy in senate speech
Daily Star 29 Dec 2012 Egypt’s President Mohammad Morsi is expected to address the economy on Saturday in a speech before a newly empowered senate as concerns mount over a downturn and cracks in his government.

Obama signs law against Iran’s influence in Latin America
Daily Star 29 Dec 2012 President Barack Obama enacts a law to counter Iran‘s alleged influence in Latin America.

Only political process can save Syria from ‘hell’-envoy
Daily Star 29 Dec 2012 International mediator seeking peace in Syria warns of “hell” if no deal is struck to end 21 months of bloodshed, but his talks in Russia bring no sign of breakthrough.

Assad forces take district of Syria’s Homs: activists
Daily Star 29 Dec 2012 Forces loyal to Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad on Saturday seized a district of the central city of Homs after a fierce assault that sparked a humanitarian crisis, a monitoring group said.

Assassination fears still grip Lebanon: Charbel
Daily Star 29 Dec 2012 Fear of assassination will continue so long as political disputes remain, Interior Minister Marwan Charbel says.

YNet News

Oz Zion: Security forces evacuate remaining settlers
YNet News, 29 Dec 2012 – ….

21 missing Pakistani policemen found shot dead
YNet News, 29 Dec 2012 – ….

Former President George H.W. Bush moved out of intensive care 
YNet News, 29 Dec 2012 – ….

Obama: Troops aiding African diplomat evacuation
YNet News, 29 Dec 2012 – ….

IDF arrests two Palestinians with gun, knives near Nablus
YNet News, 29 Dec 2012 – ….

Hezbollah’s cocaine Jihad 
YNet News, 29 Dec 2012 – Faced with dwindling Iranian funding, Shiite terror group partners with Mexican drug cartels; uses millions of dollars in drug money to support weapon acquisition habit ….

4 dead in Moscow airliner crash
YNet News, 29 Dec 2012 – Russian jet breaks into pieces, catches fire on its way back from Czech Republic without passengers ….

After riot, settlers leave illegal outpost at will 
YNet News, 29 Dec 2012 – Day after clashing with security forces, dozens of rightist activists depart from West Bank outpost of Oz Zion ….

Elaraby: Peace talks are waste of time
YNet News, 29 Dec 2012Arab League chief says during rare visit to Ramallah that Palestine is need of material and political support, warns Palestinians are to take statehood bid to Security Council ….

UN envoy: Syria’s collapse threatens region
YNet News, 29 Dec 2012 – Lakhdar Brahimi says country’s civil war could plunge entire region into chaos; warns alternatives are ‘hell or a political process’ ….

Livni: Radical Right promotes violence against soldiers 
YNet News, 29 Dec 2012 – Hatnua, Kadima chairs slams clash between Border Guard officers, settlers during botched eviction of Oz Zion outpost. Mofaz: Assailants belong in jail ….

Yemen says stopped Iranian arms vessel
YNet News, 29 Dec 2012 – Sanna’s Navy intercepts weapons shipment meant for rebels in country’s north; Yemen says Iran recruiting hundreds of youths, sends them to Lebanon to be trained by Hezbollah ….

Obama signs law against Iran’s Latin America influence
YNet News, 29 Dec 2012 – Washington tries to stem Tehran’s growing impact in region; orders series of diplomatic and political measures to that effect via ‘Countering Iran in the Western Hemisphere Act’ ….

Intelligence firm seeks Yiddish linguist
YNet News, 28 Dec 2012 – CIA-linked contractor publishes ad for Yiddish linguist specialist. Job pays $30-35 per hour, but applicants must be available to work weekends ….

Obama, lawmakers meet over fiscal cliff 
YNet News, 28 Dec 2012US president presents proposal to avoid tax hikes for middle-class Americans to Congressional leaders in last-chance effort aimed to avoid drastic austerity measures threatening economy’s fragile recovery ….

CNN: Assad using Iran-made missiles
YNet News, 28 Dec 2012US military officials say Syrian army fired at least two Iranian-made, short-range ballistic missiles at rebel strongholds this week ….

Outpost eviction fails following clashes
YNet News, 28 Dec 2012 – Some 150 settlers confront security forces attempting to clear illegal outpost of Oz Zion, forcing fighters to leave area. Five Border Guard officers injured in violent clashes; two settlers arrested ….

Lod’s Arab residents protest against ‘settlements’ 
YNet News, 28 Dec 2012 – Hundreds protest against religious group’s efforts to strengthen local Jewish community. ‘They want to expel Arabs from Lod,’ protesters claim ….

142 killed in violence across Syria
YNet News, 28 Dec 2012 – Syrian warplanes launch air raid in Damascus after overnight bombardments and clashes across country ….

Palestinian Information Center

IOF soldiers quell anti-wall march in Al-Khalil village
PIC – Israeli occupation forces (IOF) fired teargas canisters at Palestinian citizens in Beit Ummar village, north of Al-Khalil, who were participating in a peaceful anti-wall march on Saturday.

Sit-in in front of Muqataa against Arab silence regarding prisoners’ issue
PIC – Dozens of citizens protested in front of the Muqataa in Ramallah, at the moment of the arrival of Secretary-General of the Arab League Nabil al-Araby and Egypt’s Foreign Minister Mahmoud Kamel.

843 Palestinians killed in the fighting in Syria
PIC – Twelve Palestinian refugees were killed in Syria during attacks by the regular army, raising the death toll among Palestinians, who have been killed since the start of fighting in Syria, to 843.

Salem military court sentences three children
PIC – The Israeli Salem military court, north of Jenin, has sentenced three Palestinian children to three months behind bars after charging them with throwing stones at Israeli occupation forces.

IOA orders residents in Jordan Valley to leave their lands
PIC – The Israeli occupation authorities notified tens of families living in areas in the Jordan Valley to evacuate their houses and lands under the pretext of carrying out military exercises in the region.

Hamas urges resistance factions to prepare united program for liberation
PIC – The Hamas Movement renewed its call for developing a united Palestinian program for the liberation of the homeland.

Israeli jailer causes amputation of Palestinian prisoner’s fingers
PIC – A Palestinian prisoner from Doheisheh refugee camp, held in Raymond prison, decided to file a complaint against an Israeli jailer who had deliberately caused the amputation of parts of his fingers.

Prisoner Assayed refuses to be interviewed by Israeli journalists
PIC – Detained Hamas leader Abbas Assayed has refused to give an interview to Israeli reporters, the Ahrar Center for Studies of Prisoners and Human Rights said.

IOA confiscates most of Beit Egza village land
PIC – The Israeli occupation authorities (IOA) served notices to inhabitants of Beit Egza village, to the north west of Jerusalem, that hundreds of dunums of their land would be appropriated.


Financial Support Necessary for PA’s Stability, says Arab League Chief
WAFA – 29 Dec 2012

Israel to Seize Hundreds of dunums of West Bank Land
WAFA – 29 Dec 2012

Arab League Chief Arrives in Ramallah
WAFA – 29 Dec 2012

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


Iran may be reconsidering position on Syria
LA Times 28 Dec 2012 – As President Bashar Assad’s regime becomes increasingly isolated, Iranian officials and clerics appear divided on how to respond to their longtime ally. TEHRAN — As rebel forces advance and longtime allies in Moscow distance themselves, Syria’s most faithful friend is recalculating as well: Iranian officials…

Russian Foreign Minister Says Assad Will Not Leave
New York Times 29 Dec 2012 – The Russian foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, said that there was “no possibility” that President Bashar al-Assad of Syria could be persuaded to leave, suggesting slender hope of a breakthrough in negotiations. 

Barvikha, Russia, Draws Embattled Leaders Like Assad
New York Times 29 Dec 2012 – Barvikha, a town of villas and luxury boutiques near Moscow, is a magnet for deposed leaders given asylum in Russia, and offers a possible future for Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad. 

Chuck Hagel, Knifed in the Back by the Lobby
Tikun Olam – Chuck Hagel: profile in courage and the Lobby’s worst nightmare As I wrote a few days ago when many were whispering that Chuck Hagel’s chances of becoming secretary of defense had died, what does it matter whether it’s the Israel lobby or the Jewish lobby?  When…

Eleven young men embark on solidarity hunger strike with the prisoners
Palestine Monitor – As the plights of long term hunger strikers Samer Issawi and Ayman Sharawneh became even more critical, on Thursday, December 20th a group of eleven young men began their own hunger strikes in a show…

The birth of Jesus– and the mythological birth of a Palestinian state
Mondoweiss – Entrance of the Church of Nativity from Manger Square, Bethlehem, 25 December 2012. On Christmas Eve the Latin Patriarch Fouad Twal declared that this year Bethlehem would celebrate both “the birth of Christ our Lord and the birth of the state of Palestine.” But as tourists…

With conventional wisdom solidifying behind Hagel, will Obama finally declare on ‘Meet the Press?’
Mondoweiss – It’s a good day to be Chuck Hagel. The conventional wisdom seems to be turning firmly in his favor. Of course I am biased, but here is a roundup, emphasizing the thermals that he is riding toward possible nomination as an antiwar Secretary of Defense. At…

Arab Leaders Discuss Aid on West Bank Visit 
The Foward Breaking News 29 Dec 2012 – Top Arab officials paid a rare visit to the Israeli-occupied West Bank on Saturday to discuss a Palestinian financial crisis that President Mahmoud Abbas hopes will be eased by Arab donations. Click here for the rest of the article…

Syria facing ‘hell’ if no deal 
BBC 29 Dec 2012 – Syria faces a choice between “hell or the political process”, UN peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi says as he warns the fighting is becoming more sectarian.

Egypt president appeals for unity 
BBC 29 Dec 2012 – The Egyptian President, Mohammed Morsi, has appealed to Egyptians to rise above their differences and work together to rebuild the country.

Is Western Iraq Moving Toward Secession? 
Al-Akhbar News 29 Dec 2012 – Iraqi protestors pray during a demonstration in Ramadi, Anbar’s provincial capital, on 28 December 2012. (Photo: Azher Shallal) Iraqi protestors pray during a demonstration in Ramadi, Anbar’s provincial capital, on 28 December 2012. (Photo: Azher Shallal) Massive protests in the Anbar governorate of Iraq have given…

Jarallah Omar’s Democratic Yemen Still Elusive 
Al-Akhbar News 29 Dec 2012 – A Yemeni woman shows her palm painted in colours of her national flag and reading in Arabic “Congratulations” during a demonstration in Sanaa on 20 December 2012 (Photo: AFP – Mohammed Huwais) A Yemeni woman shows her palm painted in colours of her national flag and…

Behind the Bekaa’s Public Monuments, Municipal Waste 
Al-Akhbar News 29 Dec 2012 – Many of these villages lack access to decent healthcare and domestic water supplies, while water for agricultural irrigation is polluted due to the absence of sewage systems. (Photo: Haitham alMoussawi) Many of these villages lack access to decent healthcare and domestic water supplies, while water for…

Egypt cancels flight to Aleppo as clashes intensify near airport 
Al-Akhbar News 29 Dec 2012 – Egyptian airport officials say Syria’s national airline has cancelled a flight to Aleppo because of fighting near the city’s airport, more than a week after rebel fighters declared a no-fly-zone over the city. Rebels seeking to topple President Bashar Assad have been clashing with government troops…

Mursi: no place for Assad in future Syria 
Al-Akhbar News 29 Dec 2012 – Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi said on Saturday his country supported the Syrian revolution and that President Bashar al-Asasd’s administration had no place in Syria’s future. Mursi said Egypt’s priority was to halt the bloodshed and to work, with “Arab, regional and international support and consensus”, for…

Russia: opposition stance on Assad a “dead-end” 
Al-Akhbar News 29 Dec 2012 – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Saturday that the Syrian opposition coalition’s refusal to talk to President Bashar al-Assad’s government amounts to a “dead end”. “We are sure this is a dead-end position which only will lead to degradation of the situation,” said Lavrov, who…

Syria facing ‘hell’ if no deal 
BBC 29 Dec 2012 – Syria faces a choice between “hell or the political process”, UN peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi says as he warns the fighting is becoming more sectarian.

Egypt president appeals for unity 
BBC 29 Dec 2012 – The Egyptian President, Mohammed Morsi, has appealed to Egyptians to rise above their differences and work together to rebuild the country.

VIDEO: Iranian refugees ‘trapped’ in Turkey 
BBC 28 Dec 2012 – Iranian refugees who fled to Turkey following political unrest in their home country feel the UNHCR is taking too long to process their asylum applications.


How The New York Times erases Israel’s crimes 
Robert Ross, Electronic Intifada 12/29/2012
      According to The New York Times, there is no siege of Gaza, no occupation of the West Bank, and never was there a Nakba (the 1948 ethnic cleansing of Palestine). Three recent articles erase these key Israeli crimes from the historical record.
     In a 13 December 2012 article entitled “Hamas Gains Allure in Gaza, but Money is a Problem,” Steven Erlanger explores the reasons for Gaza’s increasingly debilitating poverty. Never once in this 1,300-word piece does Erlanger even mention the Israeli siege on Gaza or the 2008 and 2012 Israeli bombardments as factors (much less the principal causes).
     Instead, Erlanger goes through a long list of regional developments (the weakening of the Assad regime in Syria, sanctions on Iran) and, most emphatically, decisions by Hamas (new taxes and fees), which have supposedly left Palestinians in Gaza not only increasingly impoverished but also more resentful than ever of Hamas. “Gazans recognize that there is more order here,” Erlanger explains, “more construction and less garbage. But many resent the economic burden of financing Hamas and, implicitly, its military.” No siege
     So to the extent that the most recent Israeli onslaught is considered at all, it is Hamas’ rockets, once again, that are blamed for Gaza’s misfortune. As if to prove his point, a 43-year-old butcher says to Erlanger, “things have steadily declined in Gaza.” Another Gaza resident adds, “it is a life of depression and deprivation.”
     Erlanger does include the word “siege” in his analysis, but only amidst a quoted laundry list of problems Palestinians in Gaza now endure: “poverty, mismanagement, siege, unemployment, little freedom of movement,” Mkhaimar Abusada is quoted as saying. more.. e-mail

Tragedy of Syria’s Palestinians and Centrality of Right of Return 
Ramzy Baroud, CounterPunch 12/28/2012
      Nakba Revisited
     It must have been 2007, although I cannot remember the exact date. I do recall getting lost in what seemed like a futile search for the headquarters of the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) in Rome. There was a meeting of NGOs and some General Assembly body, consisting of several UN ambassadors, dedicated to the ‘Question of Palestine’. I was asked to attend on behalf of one NGO. Timidly, I agreed.
     Knowing in advance how such meetings often conclude – reiterating old statements, rehashing old text, reaffirming this and reasserting that – I still attended. The subject of the discussion was the Palestinian refugees, who, for most Palestinians, aside from Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority, still represent the core of any just solution to a decades-long Palestinian struggle for freedom and rights. I was compelled by a greater sense of urgency than the need to restate and reconfirm official UN text. A few days earlier in London, I had received a worrying call.
     The caller was a young Palestinian man named Hossam who was stranded at the Jordan-Iraq border. Two of his brothers had been killed in Iraq in recent months. One was executed in the Baladiat neighborhood in Baghdad, which then hosted mostly Palestinian refugees. The other was killed by US forces.
     Before the US invasion of 2003, a small community of 35,000 Palestinians resided in Iraq. They were intentionally shielded from any political involvement in the country and unlike Palestinian refugees in Lebanon were treated well. But when the US invaded, they became an easy target for various militias, US forces and criminal gangs. Many were killed, especially those who couldn’t afford paying heavy ransoms haphazardly imposed by gunmen. Most of the refugees fled, seeking safe havens in Iraq and when that was no longer possible, they sought shelter in neighboring countries. more.. e-mail

The Larger Question of Chuck Hagel 
Ray McGovern, Antiwar.com 12/29/2012
      The Israel Lobby is hell bent on sabotaging President Barack Obama’s tentative plan to appoint former Sen. Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense. And – with Obama now dithering about this selection – the Lobby and its neocon allies sense another impending victory.
     Perhaps The New Yorker’s Connie Bruck described Hagel’s predicament best in assessing why the Israel Lobby is so determined to destroy the Nebraska Republican though he is “a committed supporter of Israel.”
     But, as Bruck explained, “Hagel did not make the obeisance to the lobby that the overwhelming majority of his Congressional colleagues do. And he further violated a taboo by talking about the lobby, and its power.” Hagel had the audacity, in an interview for a 2008 book, to say something that you are not supposed to say in Official Washington, that the Israel Lobby pulls the strings on many members of Congress.
     In Aaron Miller’s book, The Much Too Promised Land, Hagel is quoted as saying that Congress “is an institution that does not inherently bring out a great deal of courage.” He added that when the American Israel Public Affairs Committee comes knocking with a pro-Israel letter, “you’ll get eighty or ninety senators on it. I don’t think I’ve ever signed one of the letters” — because, he added, they were “stupid.”
     Finding Other Reasons
     Yes, it’s true that when the neocon editors of the Washington Post decried the prospect of Hagel’s appointment to run the Pentagon, they cited a bunch of other reasons without mentioning Hagel’s independent thinking regarding Israel…. more.. e-mail

012: Eventful for Palestine 
Khaled Amayreh in occupied Palestine, Al-Ahram Weekly 12/25/2012
      A year of Palestinian struggle and triumph ends with UN recognition and more illegal Israeli settlement building.
     2012 has been an eventful year for the Palestinians and their struggle. The fourth quarter of the year witnessed some landmark events, including the eight-day Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip that killed and injured as many as 1,000 Palestinians, mostly innocent civilians.
     It also witnessed the recognition by the United Nations General Assembly of Palestine as a non-member observer state of the world body. Upset by the overwhelming yes vote, the Israeli government took the rash decision to build a huge Jewish colony in East Jerusalem, which most experts and observers say would cut off the West Bank’s northern part from the occupied territory’s southern part.
     The colony, which is slated to include more than 3,000 settler units, along with infrastructure, roads and other facilities, would also separate Arab East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank.
     The year 2012 also witnessed the first visit of its kind by Hamas politburo chief Khaled Meshaal to the Gaza Strip. The high-profile visit coincided with the rising popularity of the Islamist group, partly due to the movement’s perceived steadfastness in the face of the latest Israeli aggression.
     Finally, the Palestinian Authority (PA) continued to undergo a severe economic crisis stemming from a phenomenally high cost of living as well as shrinking financial resources due to dwindling and irregular foreign aid and the intentional Israeli blackmailing policy of disrupting the payment of tax and customs revenue to the PA, estimated at a $100 million per month.more.. e-mail

West Bank reconstructed at London’s Nour Festival
Electronic Intifada: 29 Dec 2012 – Lauren Pyott 29 December 2012 A musical exploration of Israel’s 2002 Operation Defensive Shield was one of the highlights of a recent festival.more

How The New York Times erases Israel’s crimes
Electronic Intifada: 28 Dec 2012 – Robert Ross 29 December 2012 Given the omissions in three recent Times articles, it’s no wonder so many Americans are in the dark when it comes to Israel.more

Eleven young men embark on solidarity hunger strike with the prisoners
Palestine Monitor: 29 Dec 2012 – As the plights of long term hunger strikers Samer Issawi and Ayman Sharawneh became even more critical, on Thursday, December 20th a group of eleven young men began their own hunger strikes in a show…more

Humans of the Year
Dissident Voice: 29 Dec 2012 – The JTA staff has published “In the spirit of the holiday season, … its annual ode to the non-Jews who helped write the Jewish story this past year.” 1 I’m quite uncertain about the practice of 0.65 percent of the world’s population 2 determining who outside of them is to be singled out as a “Gentile” of the year. I never call myself a Gentile, and I’d prefer if other people not refer to me in a way I do not wish to be identified. Human is sufficient for me. I am a human just like every other member of Homo sapiens . I see no need to separate myself out. Admittedly, this poses a bit of a logical conundrum because my inclusive preference has already, in essence, separated me from those who wish to separate themselves from others. Other physical and behavioral traits will also allow others to categorize me…more

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