VTJP Occupied Palestine and Israel News and Articles 14 January 2013: How 20 tents rocked Israel

14 January 2012 VTJP

News

International Middle East Media Center

Farmer Killed By Israeli Fire In Beit Lahia
IMEMC – Palestinian medical sources reported that a Palestinian farmer died, on Monday evening, of serious injuries he suffered at noon after Israeli soldiers opened fire at him as he worked on his land in Beit Lahia, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip. …

Fateh-Hamas Meeting To Be Held Wednesday
IMEMC – Representatives of the Fateh and Hamas movements will be holding a meeting this coming Wednesday in Cairo, Azzam Al-Ahmad, member of the Fateh Central Committee reported. …

Soldiers Kidnap Nine Palestinians In The West Bank
IMEMC – Israeli soldiers kidnapped, on Monday at dawn, nine Palestinians in the West Bank districts of Bethlehem, Jenin, Nablus, Hebron and Jerusalem. …

Israel Publishes Plans For New Settlement Units in West Bank
IMEMC – The Israeli government published plans for the construction of additional 170 units, and 84 “guestroom”, for Jewish settlers in Rote m illegal settlement, in the Jordan valley, Hagit Ofran of Israel’s Peace Now movement said. … 

Ma’an News

Israeli forces detain suspect in settlement shooting
1/14/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The Israeli army said a Palestinian man opened fire on a Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank on Sunday night, without causing damage or injuries. The man was detained after he shot at the entrance of Migdal Oz, a settlement south of Bethlehem, an army spokesman said. An improvised weapon….

Egypt resumes Qatar fuel shipments to Gaza
1/14/2013EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma’an) — Egyptian authorities have resumed shipping Qatari fuel into the Gaza Strip via an Israeli-controlled crossing after unrest blocked the delivery route for over two months, a Palestinian official said Monday. Amr Hadhoud, the Palestinian representative at the Al-Auja crossing, said all obstacles to the shipments have been overcome. Violent clashes….

Egypt detains 4 migrants trying to enter Israel
1/14/2013EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma’an) — Egyptian security forces on Monday arrested four African migrants trying to enter Israel from the Sinai peninsula. Security patrols along the Egypt-Israel border spotted four migrants trying to cross into Israel and fired warning shots into the air, security sources said. The migrants, who showed signs of physical torture, surrendered….

Gaza shuts down border tunnels citing safety
1/14/2013GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Gaza’s border authorities decided on Monday to shut down all smuggling tunnels between the coastal enclave and Egypt until further notice. A spokesperson of the border authorities told a Ma’an reporter the decision was precautionary after several tunnels have collapsed in the past week as a….

West Bank teachers, civil servants on strike this week
1/14/2013 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Civil servants and public school teachers will go on strike this Wednesday and Thursday, union representatives said Monday. Public sector staff will also hold a sit-in at 11 a. m. on Tuesday, in front of the office of the Palestinian Legislative Council in Ramallah, civil servants’ union chief Bassam Zakarneh….

Settlers confident Israel will lurch rightwards in election
1/14/2013 – HEBRON (Reuters) — Entrenched in what they view as their biblical heartland, the hardline Jewish settlers of Hebron look forward with delight to next week’s Israeli election. Opinion polls forecast Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, already at odds with the world over Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank, will easily win a third….

Israel budget deficit dents Netanyahu’s ‘Mr Economy’ image
1/14/2013 – JERUSALEM (Reuters) — Figures showing Israel’s budget ran a much higher deficit than expected last year have dented Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu‘s claim to skilful economic management just over a week before a general election. Netanyahu often points to years of strong growth at a time of global slowdown in a campaign….

Jenin governor: PA investigating camp protest over weapons
1/14/2013 – JENIN (Ma’an) — The Palestinian Authority is investigating a protest in Jenin refugee camp demanding the return of weapons to the resistance, Jenin governor Talal Dweikat said Monday. Dweikat played down the protest as the work of a few individuals seeking to “create chaos” for their personal interests. The governor told Ma’an….

012
1/14/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Prices rose nearly 3 percent in Palestine over the past year, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics said Monday. The consumer price index increased 2. 78 percent overall — 4. 08 percent in the West Bank, 3. 23 percent in East Jerusalem, and 0. 48 percent in the Gaza Strip. The biggest….

Hebron man dies in tire explosion
1/14/2013 – HEBRON (Ma’an) — A 41-year-old man died in Hebron on Monday in an accident as he changed the tire on his truck, medics said. Jameel Jaradan sustained serious head injuries when the tire on his truck exploded as he tried to change it, medics at Al-Ahli Hospital in Hebron told Ma’an….

Palestinian group: Refugees returning to Damascus camp
1/14/2013 – JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Palestinian refugees are beginning to return to a Damascus camp they fled late last year, a Palestinian group in Syria says. Two Palestinians were shot dead by snipers in Yarmouk on Sunday, and three others in Deraa in southern Syria, the Palestinian workforce in Syria said. Despite this, a large number….

Opposition activists: Airstrike near Damascus kills 20
1/14/2013 – BEIRUT (Reuters) — An airstrike on a rebel-held town southwest of the Syrian capital Damascus killed 20 people on Monday, resident opposition activists said. An activist living in Moadamiyeh, who asked not to be named, said the dead were members of two families and included women and children. Activist video footage showed images of the limp….

Syrian war refugees flee sexual violence, aid agency says
1/14/2013 – BEIRUT (Reuters) — Syria’s civil war is unleashing a “staggering humanitarian disaster”, sending hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing to neighboring countries, many of them citing fear of rape, an aid agency said on Monday. The New York-based International Rescue Committee said Syrian refugees interviewed in Lebanon and Jordan gave sexual violence as a….

Tunisians take to streets two years after Ben Ali’s fall
1/14/2013 – TUNIS (Reuters) — Thousands of Tunisians protested against their Islamist-led government on Monday, exactly two years after President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali’s overthrow in a popular revolt that inspired others across the Arab world. More than 8,000 secular demonstrators gathered outside the Interior Ministry in Tunis’s Bourguiba Avenue, the same spot….

NATO: Syria fired short-range missile at weekend
1/14/2013 – BRUSSELS (Reuters) — Syrian armed forces fired a short-range ballistic missile on Sunday, bringing to more than 20 the number launched in the past month, NATO said on Monday. NATO did not identify the missiles but their description fits that of the Scuds that are in the Syrian government’s armoury.” We’ve detected….

Swiss hold Mubarak millions as Egypt remains volatile
1/14/2013 – ZURICH (Reuters) — Switzerland has said it will delay the return of millions of dollars of assets linked to deposed Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak while it evaluates the institutions requesting the money. Swiss authorities have frozen about $700 million in assets connected to Mubarak and his entourage. Since Mubarak was toppled in February 2011, Egypt’….


Palestine News Network

Kairos Palestine Condemns the Destruction of Bab Al-Shams
Palestine News Network

MADA Condemns Israeli Forces Assault on Journalists in the “Gate of the Sun”
Palestine News Network

012
Palestine News Network

AICafe: Challenges, Obstacles for Palestinian Civil Defense Force
Palestine News Network

Palestinian Documentary Nominated for Oscar
Palestine News Network

PEX Report: Al-Quds Index Up
Palestine News Network

Saudi Arabia to Aid Jordan with Syrian Refugees
Palestine News Network

Report: Iran Gathering Info on Israel from Syria
Palestine News Network

Jordan Forming International Bloc to Spur Peace Talks
Palestine News Network

‘Palestine1948′ Prisoners’ Rights Delegation Visits Derry in Ireland
Palestine News Network

Hussam Association: Large Number of Palestinian Prisoners Suffer from Flu,Cold
Palestine News Network

Dr. Fayyad Urges Arab Countries to Provide Aid to PA
Palestine News Network

Palestinian Village of Bab Al-Shams Violently Evicted
Palestine News Network

NGO Delegation Visits Ireland, UK to Lobby for Palestinian Political Prisoners
Palestine News Network

International Solidarity Movement

Mustafa Abu Jarad, murdered in Gaza by the Israeli Army
1/14/2013 – International Solidarity Movement – January 15th 2013, Gaza Strip – On January 14th 2013, Mustafa Abu Jarad (20) was working with a group of farmers on a plot of land around one kilometer away from the border fence at the north of Beit Lahiya, Gaza Strip; when the Israeli army started shooting at them from a watch tower. Due to…. Related: Medics: Israeli forces shoot, injure man in north Gaza

Alternative Information Center

Israel’s settlement offensive in greater Jerusalem
Alternative Information Center – 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…

Relief Web

012 as Continuing Change around Arab World Sparks Second Year of Tumultuous Transitions
Relief Web 14 Jan 2013 – Source: UN Security Council Country: Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burundi, Central African Republic (the), Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo (the), Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Mali, occupied Palestinian territory, Rwanda, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan (the), Syrian Arab

occupied Palestinian territory: Ban renews call to rescind plans for new Israeli settlements after on-site protests
Relief Web 14 Jan 2013 – Source: UN News Service Country: occupied Palestinian territory United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon again called on Israel today to withdraw new settlement plans for East Jerusalem while stressing that protests over the plans, as well as reactions to them, must…

012
Relief Web 14 Jan 2013 – Source: US Department of State Country: Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, occupied Palestinian territory, Syrian Arab Republic (the), Turkey, United States of America (the) Fact Sheet Office of the Spokesperson Washington, DC January 10, 2013 U.S. Response to the Syria Humanitarian…

013) 264 truckloads containing a variety of goods and 174 tons of gas were delivered into the Gaza Strip
Relief Web 14 Jan 2013 – Source: Government of Israel Country: occupied Palestinian territory The trucks were delivered through Kerem Shalom Crossing under the coordination of the Coordination and Liaison Administration in Gaza.

The National

Abu Dhabi grocery shops get temporary reprieve
The National 14 Jan 2013 – Shop owners say the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority has given them permission to trade temporarily while they await approval to renovate their shops.

Philippines seeks UAE investors in renewable energy
The National 14 Jan 2013 – Jejomar Binay, the vice president of the Philippines, says he hopes to woo investors for his country’s considerable interest in developing clean and renewable energy.

Terror warning as Mali’s extremists threaten France
The National 14 Jan 2013 – Islamist insurgents in Mali threaten to launch terrorist attacks in France and warn that French military intervention has ‘opened the gates of hell’. Alice Fordham reports from Bamako 

France says Mali victory ‘will be swift’
The National 14 Jan 2013 – France says military intervention in Mali is likely to last only weeks, as Mali rebel leaders threaten to ‘strike at the heart’ of France by attacking its territories and interests. Colin Randall reports 

Germany’s construction record teeters over airport ‘farce’
The National 14 Jan 2013 – Germans may be quick to accuse other nations of incompetence when it comes to major projects but attempts to complete their own airport have been farcical. David Crossland reports from Berlin 

Yemenis find attempts to ban qat tough to swallow
The National 14 Jan 2013 – A plant leaf may not seem the sturdiest of materials, yet in Yemen it makes up one of the few bridges that straddle the country’s yawning political, geographical and economic divides. Hakim Almasmari reports from Sanaa

UAE anti-corruption efforts ‘good, but not good enough’, says professor
The National 14 Jan 2013 – The UAE ranked 27th worldwide in the 2012 Corruption Perceptions Index, but an Emirati professor says the country must continually strive for first position.

Mubarak retrial prompts fears he won’t be held to account
The National 14 Jan 2013 – Decision to retry former Egyptian president prompts fears that he may never be held legally accountable for his alleged role in the deaths of more than 800 Egyptian protesters. Bradley Hope reports from Cairo 

Ha’aretz

Netanyahu: I won’t raise taxes; it’s not my natural inclination
Ha’aretz – 14 Jan 2013

Netanyahu owes bright poll ratings to apathetic and demoralized average Israeli
Ha’aretz – 14 Jan 2013

Judge recognizes biological mother in surrogacy dispute
Ha’aretz – 14 Jan 2013

Israel’s Independence Hall to be restored under national heritage program
Ha’aretz – 14 Jan 2013

Bennett will be key partner in government, say top Likud officials
Ha’aretz – 14 Jan 2013

Yisrael Beiteinu tries to woo kibbutz voters with visit by Uzi Landau
Ha’aretz – 14 Jan 2013

Hebrew U. discovery could lead to new cancer treatments
Ha’aretz – 14 Jan 2013

State approves drilling for oil in area earmarked as marine nature reserve
Ha’aretz – 14 Jan 2013

Israeli troops kill Palestinian near Gaza border, medical officials say
Ha’aretz – 14 Jan 2013

Israeli population approaching 8 million; 4% live beyond Green Line
Ha’aretz – 14 Jan 2013

Israeli religious counselor sentenced to 8 years for sexual assault of student
Ha’aretz – 14 Jan 2013

Israel investing in West Bank ‘national heritage sites’, says cabinet secretary
Ha’aretz – 14 Jan 2013

E-1 protest marks change of tactics by Palestinian activists
Ha’aretz – 14 Jan 2013

Israeli teachers working for at-risk youth program win equal employment rights
Ha’aretz – 14 Jan 2013

If Olmert didn’t exist, Netanyahu would have had to invent him
Ha’aretz – 14 Jan 2013

Jordan king: Arab Spring should drive Israeli government to ’embrace peace’
Ha’aretz – 14 Jan 2013

Lieberman hints he’ll quit politics if convicted
Ha’aretz – 14 Jan 2013

Jerusalem Post

Train carrying army recruits crashes in Egypt, 17 killed
Jerusalem Post 14 Jan 2013 – Military train was traveling from Upper Egypt to Cairo when it derailed in the Giza neighborhood of Badrashin. 

Plans for Jordan Valley settlement homes advance
Jerusalem Post 14 Jan 2013 – Jordan Valley Regional Council given permission to deposit plans for 170 new homes in Rotem settlement after 12 year wait. 

Justice Ministry accelerates appointments of judges
Jerusalem Post 14 Jan 2013 – Grunis: Backlog in Israelis courts continues to remain one of the heaviest in the world. 

Harsh sentence for gambling site manager sets precedent
Jerusalem Post 14 Jan 2013 – Manager of website that hosted the gambling of tens of millions of shekels, sentenced to a 27-month imprisonment and NIS 300,000 fine. 

Police nab 15 Beduin suspects in attack on officer
Jerusalem Post 14 Jan 2013 – Officer suffered a broken eye socket and was knocked unconscious by a brick in attack in Beduin village of Rahat. 

Elections c’tee: Parties can’t use IDF soldiers in ads
Jerusalem Post 14 Jan 2013 – Na’ama Margolis removed from Meretz ads; Am Shalem to stop using Ovadia Yosef’s image. 

If reelected, Netanyahu likely to meet Obama in early March
Jerusalem Post 14 Jan 2013 – Messages have been passing between Jerusalem and Washington in recent weeks regarding the likely meeting and ways to set a more positive tone in the relationship at the outset of both leaders’ new terms. 

Is Israel’s two-year budget to blame for deficit?
Jerusalem Post 14 Jan 2013 – Expert derides Israel’s unique budgeting process as recipe for disaster; PM dismisses deficit’s importance, vows to prevent tax increase. 

Analysis: For Liberman, no longer ‘Garden of Eden’
Jerusalem Post 14 Jan 2013 – Yisrael Beytenu party leader’s gambles on legal outcomes are not always as brilliant as his gambles on politics. 

‘Iran may reach key point for nuclear bomb by 2014’
Jerusalem Post 14 Jan 2013US nonproliferation experts say Obama should clearly threaten military action; Tehran said to have Golan intelligence base. 

Gov’t upgrading, preserving some 300 historic sites
Jerusalem Post 14 Jan 2013 – Cabinet secretary Hauser announces plan to invest NIS 700 million into developing Jewish, Zionist historical sites. 

Youngest Schindler’s list survivor dies
Jerusalem Post 14 Jan 2013 – Leon Leyson, the youngest Holocaust survivor on Schindler’s list, dies at his home in Los Angeles at the age of 83. 

Jaffa Institute hosts annual fundraising gala
Jerusalem Post 14 Jan 2013 – The Jaffa Institute, which assists Jaffa’s disadvantaged children and their families, raises NIS 1.5 million. 

‘CNG offers cleaner, cheaper choice for vehicles’
Jerusalem Post 14 Jan 2013 – Experts say CNG (compressed natural gas) provides an environmentally and economically friendly alternative to gas. 

Gaza man shot near border; IDF denies involvement
Jerusalem Post 14 Jan 2013 – Palestinian officials accuse soldiers of shooting man near border; man dies of injury to head in hospital. 

‘Integrate alternatives to gas in public transport’
Jerusalem Post 14 Jan 2013 – Experts say that Israeli target is to reduce oil in transportation sector by 30% in 2020 and 60% by 2025. 

Oil drilling in Gabriela approved
Jerusalem Post 14 Jan 2013 – Committee approves exploratory oil drilling application for Gabriela reservoir, about 19 km west of Herzliya Marina. 

Cholesterol-lowering drug taken off market
Jerusalem Post 14 Jan 2013 – A halt in the marketing of Tredaptive, a cholesterol-lowering drug made by MSD, is announced by the Health Ministry. 

Why there is no Anglo vote
Jerusalem Post 14 Jan 2013 – Polls show that if only those under the age of 45 would be able to vote, The Bayit Yehudi would be the largest party in the country and Naftali Bennett would be prime minister. 

Likud or Jewish home?
Jerusalem Post 14 Jan 2013 – One of the hottest topics currently being discussed in the broadly defined national camp is whether to vote for a seemingly more right-wing Likud or for a revitalized Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) in the upcoming elections. 

UN chief renews call to halt E1 building plans
Jerusalem Post 14 Jan 2013 – Ban Ki-moon says he is “following with concern” developments surrounding Israeli building plans in sensitive West Bank corridor. 

No Hold Barred: Religion’s most repellent idea
Jerusalem Post 14 Jan 2013 – The most dangerous and offensive of all religious ideas is that innocent people suffer because of their sins. 

Open letter to PM Netanyahu from US immigrant
Jerusalem Post 14 Jan 2013 – Yes, Mr. Netanyahu, I am a self-employed dentist. I have been financially hurt by this situation your government has created, to the point I will soon lose my clinic. 

In Obama’s second term, foreign policy looms large
Jerusalem Post 14 Jan 2013 – A stress on foreign policy will be reinforced by a desire to establish a legacy. Previous presidents have often seen foreign policy initiatives as a key part of the legacy they wish to build. 

Budget talk
Jerusalem Post 14 Jan 2013 – We should demand candidness from our candidates regarding how they propose to tackle the budget deficit. 

CBS: Israel’s population up by 1.8% in 2011
Jerusalem Post 14 Jan 2013Arab population’s growth rate continues to slide; total population by end of 2011 reached 7,836,600. 

PM: No peace process due to Abbas’s preconditions
Jerusalem Post 14 Jan 2013 – In interview with Channel 2, Netanyahu hits back at Olmert’s criticism, touts security accomplishments including Iron Dome and security fence, says in order to make peace with Palestinian, Israel must be strong. 

Arab League calls for ‘new approach’ to ME conflict
Jerusalem Post 14 Jan 2013 – Nabil Elaraby says focus should be on ending the “occupation,” rather than “wasting time” with temporary agreements. 

PA unaware of new EU plan to revive peace talks
Jerusalem Post 14 Jan 2013PA statement follows report that EU is preparing a “detailed political plan” to jump-start Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. 

Florida to serve kosher food to Jewish inmates
Jerusalem Post 14 Jan 2013 – Decision by Florida Dep’t of Corrections ends 5-year struggle that saw US Justice Department file a lawsuit against state. 

The Guardian

Israeli settlement products need EU ban, says human rights report
The Guardian 14 Jan 2013 – Palestinian organisation Al Haq says Europe is obliged under international law to ban the trade that underpins occupation The European Union must ban produce from Israeli settlements in the West Bank from entering its markets in…


Uruknet

Good Taliban, Bad Taliban: Pakistan’s Double Game and the US War on Terror
Uruknet

The Myth of Human Progress
Uruknet

The caravan of Martyrs continues in “democratic” Iraq
Uruknet

US, Britain Helping in French Attack on Mali US Offers to Send Drones to Mali
Uruknet

Palestinians vow return to Bab al-Shams following raid
Uruknet

Shiites suffer record sectarian violence in Pakistan
Uruknet

The Vigilantism of ‘Zero Dark Thirty’
Uruknet

Afghan Peace Activist: Drones Bury Beautiful Lives (Video)
Uruknet

Qatar’s cash deposits raise questions of political leverage over Egypt
Uruknet

Eight Civilians Killed in Botched French Raid on Somalia
Uruknet

Daily Star

Palestinian shot by Israeli troops on Gaza border
Daily Star 14 Jan 2013 A Palestinian man was in serious condition on Monday after being shot by Israeli troops in northern Gaza near Beit Lahiya, Palestinian medical sources said.

012 US military suicides hit a record high of 349
Daily Star 14 Jan 2013 Suicides in the U.S. military surged to a record 349 last year, far exceeding American combat deaths in Afghanistan, and some private experts are predicting the dark trend will worsen this year.

9 on trial over suicide killing of 86 Yemen troops
Daily Star 14 Jan 2013 Yemen on Monday put on trial nine Al-Qaeda suspects accused of involvement in a suicide attack in Sanaa that killed 86 soldiers last May.

Obama: Gun control specifics to come within days
Daily Star 14 Jan 2013 President Barack Obama said Monday he’s reviewing a list of proposals on how to reduce gun violence and expects to present specifics later this week.

Over 50 countries ask Security Council to refer Syria to court
Daily Star 14 Jan 2013 More than 50 countries asked the U.N. Security Council on Monday to refer the Syria crisis to the International Criminal Court, which prosecutes people for genocide and war crimes.

Israel investing in disputed West Bank sites
Daily Star 14 Jan 2013 Israel is advancing a plan to invest in places it considers part of its national heritage, including nine West Bank sites.

Obama refuses to negotiate debt ceiling raise
Daily Star 14 Jan 2013 Obama on Monday rejected any negotiation with Republicans over the most pressing U.S. fiscal issue, refusing to trade cuts in government spending in exchange for raising the borrowing limit.

Syria war envelops region in ‘staggering’ crisis
Daily Star 14 Jan 2013 Syria’s civil war is unleashing a “staggering humanitarian crisis” on the Middle East as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee violence including gang rape, an international aid agency said on Monday.

Syrian war refugees flee sexual violence
Daily Star 14 Jan 2013 Syria’s civil war is unleashing a “staggering humanitarian disaster”, sending hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing to neighbouring countries, many of them citing fear of rape, an aid agency said on Monday.

Violence plagues Tunisia’s politics 2 years later
Daily Star 14 Jan 2013 Two years after the revolution that overthrew an authoritarian president and started the Arab Spring, Tunisia is struggling with high unemployment and rising violence in its politics.

Ban urges Israel to rescind E1 settlement
Daily Star 14 Jan 2013 U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon is reiterating his call for Israel to rescind its settlement plans in the strategic E1 area of the West Bank.

YNet News

UN says 30,000 displaced in Mali fighting
YNet News, 14 Jan 2013 – ….

Outcome the ultimate test
YNet News, 14 Jan 2013 – Op-ed: In second term, Netanyahu failed to achieve most important goal of stopping Iran’s nuclear program ….

Beit Shemesh: Assailants spray tear gas ahead of rabbi’s speech
YNet News, 14 Jan 2013 – ….

PA: Lieberman’s visit to Hebron holy site a ‘provocation’ 
YNet News, 14 Jan 2013 – ….

California boy, 12, convicted of neo-Nazi dad’s murder
YNet News, 14 Jan 2013 – ….

Ex US President George H.W. Bush leaves the hospital
YNet News, 14 Jan 2013 – ….

Syria: Worst is yet to come
YNet News, 14 Jan 2013 – Analysis: Increased involvement of armed jihadi groups in civil war may lead to ethnic cleansing in post-Assad Syria ….

Anti-Israel festival 
YNet News, 14 Jan 2013 – Op-ed: Israeli films’ Oscar nomination related to international obsession with vilifying Jewish state ….

Palestinian prime minister urges Arabs to pay pledged aid
YNet News, 13 Jan 2013 – Fayyad tells Arab League members financial crisis could lead to the disintegration of Palestinian Authority; says tax rebates frozen by Israel amount to 1/3 monthly operating costs ….

Powell says Hagel ‘doesn’t have to agree with Israel on everything’
YNet News, 13 Jan 2013 – Former US Secretary of state defends Obama‘s choice for defense secretary; says he is a ‘very strong supporter of Israel,’ but should have said ‘Israeli lobby,’ not ‘Jewish lobby.’ McCain: Why would he oppose calling Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization? ….

IDF chief dismisses Colonel Weiner over Harpaz Affair
YNet News, 13 Jan 2013 – State Comptroller report findings lead to dismissal of former IDF chief Ashkenazi’s assistant. ‘In light of the report I see no reason to promote you or keep you in the army,’ Gantz tells him ….

Iran’s election tip to critics: Keep quiet
YNet News, 13 Jan 2013 – With presidential elections five months away, regime in Tehran launches campaign aimed at muzzling any open dissent over process to select Ahmadinejad’s successor. ‘Those who may make general recommendations about election must be cautious not to help enemy’s purpose,’ Khamenei warns ….

Iran holds exercises in Strait of Hormuz 
YNet News, 13 Jan 2013 – Drill at Gulf port on Iran’s southern coast tests combat-readiness of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ naval force ….

Beersheba country club forbids Bedouin from praying
YNet News, 13 Jan 2013 – Heated argument erupts when Rahat resident told by gym manager he can’t pray on grounds, should ‘go to Ahmad Tibi’ ….

Watch: IDF jeep overturns 6 times 
YNet News, 13 Jan 2013 – Security camera footage shows IDF jeep overturning on south’s Route 12 as driver loses control of vehicle. Driver sustained moderate wounds ….

E1 outpost evicted, but tents left standing
YNet News, 13 Jan 2013 – Residents of Palestinian Ban al-Shams outpost evicted Sunday, but legal standing of tents still pending court ruling ….

EU working on new Mideast peace plan
YNet News, 13 Jan 2013 – British, French FMs preparing plan to restart talks between Israel, Palestinians to be presented in March. ‘It will drive us into a corner,’ say Israeli officials ….

Egyptian court accepts Mubarak appeal, orders retrial
YNet News, 13 Jan 2013 – Ousted president, former interior minister to be retried over killings of protesters in 2011 uprising ….

Palestinian Information Center

The Palestinian Begging Authority 
PIC – The literally bankrupt Palestinian Authority (PA) has dispatched envoys to a number of Arab capitals to beg for urgent financial assistance to keep itself afloat. 

IOF incursion in southern Gaza
PIC – Israeli occupation forces (IOF) raided southern Gaza Strip on Monday morning in a number of armored vehicles amidst random firing.

Resheq condemns continued targeting of Palestinians in Syria
PIC – Political bureau member of Hamas Ezzet Al-Resheq strongly condemned the continued targeting of unarmed Palestinians and Syrians in the ongoing armed conflict in Syria.

Palestinian farmer seriously wounded in IOF shooting
PIC – A Palestinian farmer was seriously wounded in northern Gaza Strip on Monday after Israeli occupation forces (IOF) fired at him.

Families of 36 prisoners visit their detained sons in Israeli jails
PIC – Waed Association for prisoners and liberated prisoners, confirmed that the occupation has been adopting a series of systematic procedures to humiliate the prisoners and their families.

Barhoum: reconciliation deal ensures security services not linked to occupation
PIC – Fawzi Barhoum, the spokesman for Hamas movement, said that any obstacles that would disrupt the reconciliation process have been raised and discussed at the dialogue table.

Reconstruction materials will be allowed into Gaza soon
PIC – Minister of Works, Yousef al-Gariz, announced that the signing of the final protocol, with Cairo, to allow the entry of all the building materials needed for Gaza reconstruction..

Egyptian delegation concludes its visit to Gaza after a series of meetings
PIC – The Egyptian sports delegation ended its visit to Gaza after a two-day visit with a friendly football match in Gaza between former ational team players and a team formed from the visiting delegation.

WAFA

Israeli Forces Demolish Several Properties in Hebron
WAFA – 14 Jan 2013

PEX Report: Al-Quds Index Up
WAFA – 14 Jan 2013

Misc

Hosni Mubarak granted new trial in Egypt
LA Times 13 Jan 2013 – An appeals court overturns the life sentence of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, a ruling that threatens more political turmoil. CAIRO — Former President Hosni Mubarak was granted a new murder trial by an Egyptian appeals court Sunday, a ruling that threatens fresh political turmoil…

Egypt’s Leader, Morsi, Made Anti-Jewish Slurs
New York Times 14 Jan 2013 – Anti-Semitic remarks that President Mohamed Morsi of Egypt made in 2010 have come back to haunt him, raising doubts about his efforts to present himself as a moderate. 

Tehran Journal: Soap Opera’s Disappearance Adds to TV Drama in Iran
New York Times 14 Jan 2013 – The blackout of a Turkish soap opera broadcast illegally in Iran through a popular satellite channel based in Dubai has sparked rumors over the cause — and the government’s involvement. 

Syria Launches Deadly Airstrikes in Damascus Suburbs
New York Times 14 Jan 2013 – Syrian warplanes have killed dozens of civilians, including more than 20 children, over the past few days, raising calls for expanded efforts to address the growing humanitarian crisis. 

Documents Illuminate Jewish Life in Ancient Muslim Empire
New York Times 14 Jan 2013 – Manuscripts from a Persian part of the empire in the 11th century, newly unveiled at the National Library of Israel, shed new details about the life of a little understood Jewish society. 

At War Blog: The Hard Road Back: A Family Mourns While Moving Forward
New York Times 14 Jan 2013 – The latest installment of The Times’s series “The Hard Road Back,” by the At War editor James Dao, profiles the family of Lt. Col. Paul J. Finken, who was killed in Iraq six years ago by a roadside bomb on the final patrol of his yearlong deployment. 

Modiin Energy’s Gabriella drilling approved 
Globes Energy & Water – Drilling of the well offshore from Herzliya is due to begin in the first half of this year.

Delek to sell diesel to Israel Corp’s OPC 
Globes Energy & Water – Delek Israel will sell NIS 200-300 million of diesel until the start of natural gas deliveries to OPC’s power station.

Elbit Systems to fire dozens
Globes Main News – The layoffs will be at the defense company’s land vehicle systems plant in Netanya.

Treasury officials contradict Steinitz on tax hikes
Globes Main News – One senior Ministry of Finance official told “Globes”: The pledge of no new taxes is simply irresponsible.

ADHD treatment co Alcobra files for Nasdaq IPO
Globes Main News – The life sciences company reportedly plans to raise $15-20 million at a company value of $100 million.

Mon: NICE soars on merger talks
Globes Main News – NICE Systems rose strongly on reports of a merger with Verint Systems and Mellanox gained ground.

NICE in talks to buy Verint at $1.5b value
Globes Main News – Since the companies dominate the market for data collation and analysis, US regulators will likely have to approve the merger.

AudioCodes widens Microsoft collaboration
Globes Main News – The unified communications market for VoIP and instant messaging is estimated at $10 billion, and Microsoft is growing rapidly in it.

Former accountant general slams Steinitz, Treasury over deficit 
Globes Macro Economics – Shuki Oren: We now see the economic damage caused by a weak Ministry of Finance.

Netanyahu is crushing the middle class 
Globes Macro Economics – Former Accountant General Prof. Yaron Zelekha says the government not the global crisis is to blame for Israel’s economic woes.

JVP Statement on Seattle Event
Jewish Voice for Peace – On Sunday January 13, Jewish Voice for Peace Seattle co-hosted a talk by Iyad Burnat. Burnat is the head of the Bil’in Popular Committee and a leader in the village’s non-violent popular resistance movement. Since 2005, citizens of the Palestinian village of Bil’in have held weekly…

In photos: Bab al-Shams violently evicted
Palestine Monitor – Photos by Lazar Simeonov. At around 2:30 am early on Sunday morning, 500 Israeli security forces converged on the newly erected tent village of Bab al Shams and forcibly evicted the over 100 Palestinian activists…

Israel advocates with past ties to AIPAC are all over the smear Hagel campaign
Mondoweiss – Journalists who are favorable to Israel have reported that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is sitting the Chuck Hagel fight out . But there are some ties between the nation’s premier Israel lobby group and those who are openly joining in on the smear campaign…

Dershowitz’s back pages: Smearing Abourezk, justifying ‘intelligently employed’ Jewish political violence
Mondoweiss – I’m catching up on my Alan Dershowitz reading today. First an email from former Senator James Abourezk: In reference to your blog  [on the casual slander of Israel critics as anti-Semitic], Alan Dershowitz was one who freely threw out the “anti-semite” term, finding that especially American…

‘Fantastic’– MSNBC’s Hayes airs segment critical of Superbowl advertiser SodaStream for working in illegal West Bank settlement
Mondoweiss – Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news , world news , and news about the economy Is boycott finally reaching the American mainstream? Well it’s on MSNBC, and in a favorable light. An ad for SodaStream , the Israeli company that produces seltzer makers , is scheduled to air at the Superbowl…

Israel lobbyists say U.S. support transcends faith (even as Hagel courts most powerful Jewish senator)
Mondoweiss – The Hagel nomination means that people are at last arguing about the power of the Israel lobby in the mainstream press. Hagel’s confirmation hearing offers the likelihood that senators will be arguing about the definition of the term “Jewish lobby”–and it seems inevitable that the New…

Hold Israel accountable for aggression and war crimes in Gaza
Mondoweiss – “If we can cultivate in the world the idea that aggressive war-making is the way to the prisoner’s dock rather than the way to honors, we will have accomplished something toward making the peace more secure.” So said US Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson in…

‘Beyond Tribal Loyalties’ — new volume spotlights awakenings of 25 Jewish activists
Mondoweiss – Beyond Tribal Loyalties Whenever I visited my father, a self-described “alte Yid”, a refugee from Eastern Europe, in Jerusalem, we would spend hours disagreeing, sometimes disagreeably, about Israel, Judaism, Zionism and Palestinians.  Unfortunately, I only got to know Avigail Abarbanel after he died and before she…

E1 Protest Marks New Tactic by Palestinians 
The Foward Breaking News 14 Jan 2013 – The idea of setting up a protest tent village in E-1 gained momentum over the past few weeks among members of the Palestinian Popular Committees – the same committees that for 10 years have been organizing weekly demonstrations in the West Bank against the Israeli occupation…

Netanyahu Runs as Israel’s Strong Man 
The Foward Breaking News 14 Jan 2013 – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has a simple message as he seeks a third term in office – he is a strong man and a vote for him at parliamentary elections on Jan. 22 means Israel will be a powerful nation. Click here for the rest of…

Jewish Settlers Confident of Israel Election Boost 
The Forward New 14 Jan 2013 – Entrenched in what they view as their Biblical heartland, hardline Jewish settlers are looking forward with delight to next week’s Israeli election. Click here for the rest of the article…

Naftali Bennett Is Face of Israel’s New Right Wing 
The Forward New 14 Jan 2013 – Naftali Bennett has captured the imagination of the Israeli right wing by weaving religion and hardline politics into his own story of entrepreneurial success. Click here for the rest of the article…

Egypt: Egypt-Iran Talks Focus On Syria 
allAfrica.com 14 Jan 2013 – [Egypt Online]Talks held earlier Thursday between the Egyptian and Iranian foreign ministers Mohamed Kamel Amr and Ali Akbar Salehi, respectively, focused on the situation in Syria and means to resolve the Syrian crisis.

Egypt: Azhar Welcomes Egypt-Iran Support of Palestinian Cause 
allAfrica.com 14 Jan 2013 – [Egypt Online]Al-Azhar Grand Imam Ahmed el-Tayyeb welcomed Egypt’s and Iran’s unity in supporting the fair cause of the Palestinian people.

Tunisia: Nation and Palestine Sign Memorandum of Understanding 
allAfrica.com 14 Jan 2013 – [Tunis Afrique Presse]Tunis -Tunisia and Palestine are planning to exchange land plots to build diplomatic headquarters in Tunis and Ramallah.

Africa: The Distribution of Iranian Ammunition in Africa 
allAfrica.com 14 Jan 2013 – [Sudan Tribune]This report is the result of six years of collaborative investigations and documents the distribution of Iranian ammunition in Africa. It is the first comprehensive study of Iran’s weapons ‘footprint’ in Africa and its findings are significant, not least because until very recently most international…

PSP Activists Join New Village Bab Al Shams 
Palestine Solidarity Project 13 Jan 2013 – In the early morning hours of Friday, January 11, a group of Palestinians, coordinated by the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee, gathered in an area east of Jerusalem referred to as the E-1 corridor, and quickly erected a tent village. E-1 is one of the most strategic…

Syrians face ‘staggering’ crisis 
BBC 14 Jan 2013 – Syria is suffering a “staggering humanitarian crisis”, an aid agency warns, amid reports of fresh deaths in an air strike on a Damascus suburb.

Cairo train derailment ‘kills 17’ 
BBC 14 Jan 2013 – At least 17 people are killed and another 103 wounded after a train carrying army recruits derailed near Egypt’s capital Cairo, officials say.

Funeral held for shot Palestinian 
BBC 14 Jan 2013 – Thousands of people attend the funeral of a Palestinian man shot at the barrier between Israel and the West Bank.

Jonathan Cook: How 20 tents rocked Israel 
Sabbah report 14 Jan 2013 – The comparison between the Bab al-Shams activists and the settlers should not be extended too far. One obvious difference is that the Palestinians were building on their own land, whereas Israel is breaking international law in allowing hundreds of thousands of settlers to move into the…

Clive Hambidge: The Twinning – Palestinian Children in Israeli Military Detention 
Sabbah report 14 Jan 2013 – Children are the future of all their respective nations. And Palestinian children are equally so. The children of Palestine have every right to become “arbiters of change” rather than be subjected to Israel’s military courts a situation which is permitted to go on and further exacerbated…

Apply for $1000 Scholarship to Palestine/Israel 
US Campaign to End the Occupation 14 Jan 2013 – Our member group Interfaith Peace-Builders is offering two $1,000 Scholarships for students and young adults who travel on a Summer 2013 Delegation. Deadline to apply is January 18! WHY SHOULD YOU PARTICIPATE? Be an Eye Witness: Move beyond research and gain first-hand experience on the ground….

Israel’s settlement offensive in greater Jerusalem 
AIC: Jerusalem 14 Jan 2013 – 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…

Modes of Palestinian Resistance and Gimmickry 
Al-Akhbar Blogs 14 Jan 2013 – For too long, Palestinian resistance leaders allowed enemies of the Palestinian revolution to dictate the terms, slogans, and modes of resistance. Hajj Amin Husayni first trusted the British (until they kicked him out of Palestine) and then trusted Arab regime who foiled the 1936-1939 rebellion and…

The Tunisian State is Crumbling 
Al-Akhbar Opinion 14 Jan 2013 – A girl lights candles following Saturday’s fire at a mausoleum in Sidi Bou Said, in the northern suburbs of Tunis 13 January 2013. (Photo: Reuters – Zoubeir Souissi) A girl lights candles following Saturday’s fire at a mausoleum in Sidi Bou Said, in the northern suburbs…

Mursi accused of publicly “touching sensitive parts of his body” 
Al-Akhbar News 14 Jan 2013 – Two political activists, Louay Omran and Mahmud Salem, and two lawyers, Islam Khalifa and Yasmine Mahfouz, issued an open letter to the attorney-general Sunday accusing Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi of indecent actions and words. The text implicates Mursi in ‘criminal actions’ that go against the controversial…

Bab al-Shams: Palestinians create “facts on the ground” 
Al-Akhbar News 14 Jan 2013 – Photo blog by Eloise Bollack – Wafa Images At dawn on Friday, January 11, around 250 Palestinians erected 25 tents and a medical center on rocky desert terrain near the village of Zaim, establishing the first Palestinian outpost in the E1 area of the Jerusalem district. (…

Faced with protests, Iraq frees 335 detainees, officially apologizes 
Al-Akhbar News 14 Jan 2013 – Detainees wait for their release from al-Rusafa prison in Baghdad, 14 January 2013. (Photo: Reuters/Saad Shalash) Detainees wait for their release from al-Rusafa prison in Baghdad, 14 January 2013. (Photo: Reuters/Saad Shalash) Iraq has freed 335 inmates in the past week, a top minister said Monday…

After Two Years, the Tunisian Revolution Betrayed? 
Al-Akhbar News 14 Jan 2013 – Tunisian people wave national flags in front of the big clock as part of the festivities that mark the second anniversary of the uprising that ousted long-time dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali on 14 January 2013 in Tunis. (AFP – Fethi Belaid) Tunisian people wave…

A Salafi Emirate in Amioun Prison 
Al-Akhbar News 14 Jan 2013 – The proclamation of an Islamic emirate within a Lebanese prison is no longer a novel development. (Photo: Ramzi Haidar) The proclamation of an Islamic emirate within a Lebanese prison is no longer a novel development. (Photo: Ramzi Haidar) At the Amioun Prison in North Lebanon, one…

1.3 million Yemeni children ‘deprived of their childhood’: Report 
Al-Akhbar News 14 Jan 2013 – Over 20 percent of children in Yemen, approximately 1.6 million, are currently employed in the southernmost country of the Arabian peninsula, the International Labor Organization (ILO) revealed on Monday. The figures were published less than a month after the UN Committee on the Rights of the…

Navigating a New Damascus: Cement Barriers and Checkpoints 
Al-Akhbar Politics 13 Jan 2013 – A car driving on a snow-covered road past the Hijaz train station, built in Ottoman times, in the Syrian capital of Damascus on 10 January 2013. (Photo: AFP – SANA) A car driving on a snow-covered road past the Hijaz train station, built in Ottoman times,…

Syrians face ‘staggering’ crisis 
BBC 14 Jan 2013 – Syria is suffering a “staggering humanitarian crisis”, an aid agency warns, amid reports of fresh deaths in an air strike on a Damascus suburb.

Hundreds of Iraqi prisoners freed 
BBC 14 Jan 2013 – Iraqi authorities release 175 prisoners, in an apparent concession to Sunni protesters demonstrating against the Shia-led government.

Cairo train derailment ‘kills 17’ 
BBC 14 Jan 2013 – At least 17 people are killed and another 103 wounded after a train carrying army recruits derailed near Egypt’s capital Cairo, officials say.

Funeral held for shot Palestinian 
BBC 14 Jan 2013 – Thousands of people attend the funeral of a Palestinian man shot at the barrier between Israel and the West Bank.

Articles


How 20 tents rocked Israel 
Jonathan Cook, Israeli Occupation Archive 1/14/2013
      Palestinians take the fight to their occupiers in Bab al Shams
     When the Palestinian leadership won their upgrade to non-member observer status at the United Nations in November, plenty of sceptics on both sides of the divide questioned what practical benefits would accrue to the Palestinians. The doubters have not been silenced yet.
     Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has done little to capitalise on his diplomatic success. There have been vague threats to “isolate” Israel, hesitant talk of “not ruling out” a referral to the International Criminal Court, and a low-key declaration by the Palestinian Authority of the new “state of Palestine”.
     At a time when Palestinians hoped for a watershed moment in their struggle for national liberation, the Fatah and Hamas leaderships look as mutually self-absorbed as ever. Last week they were again directing their energies into a new round of reconciliation talks, this time in Cairo, rather than keeping the spotlight on Israeli intransigence.
     So instead, it was left to a group of 250 ordinary Palestinians to show how the idea of a “state of Palestine” might be given practical meaning. On Friday, they set up a tent encampment that they intended to convert into a new Palestinian village called Bab al-Shams, or Gate of the Sun.
     On Sunday, in a sign of how disturbed Israel is by such acts of popular Palestinian resistance, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu had the the occupants removed in a dawn raid — despite the fact that his own courts had issued a six-day injunction against the government’s “evacuation” order. — See also: Source: jonathan-cook.net and Eviction of Bab Al Shams exposes Israel as a lawless state more.. e-mail

Eviction of Bab Al Shams exposes Israel as a lawless state 
Max Blumenthal, Ramallah, Electronic Intifada 1/14/2013
      Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was clearly troubled by the establishment of Bab Al Shams, a Palestinian protest village erected on privately-owned Palestinian land, the planned route of what Israel calls the “E-1” corridor in the occupied West Bank.
     The E-1 area was to be capstone of Israel’s settler-colonial enterprise, a long segment of housing units expanding east from the Jews-only mega-settlement of Maale Adumim, permanently severing East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank and virtually slicing the West Bank in half. And now, 400 Palestinians and their supporters stood directly in the way of the plan.
     “We will not allow anyone to touch the corridor between Jerusalem and Maaleh Adumim,” Netanyahu declared (“Israeli security forces evacuate activists from Palestinian tent outpost in E-1 area,” Haaretz, 13 January).
     On 12 January, Netanyahu dispatched a lawyer from the justice ministry to the high court to argue for the immediate eviction of Bab Al Shams. Despite the government’s vehement objections to the presence of the Palestinian village, the high court issued a temporary injunction preventing its eviction for six days pending further deliberations.
     As the clock struck midnight on Saturday night, Netanyahu summoned his lawyers to author a statement overriding the high court. Treating the court’s ruling as a mere suggestion, the Israeli justice ministry concocted a justification that was as ludicrous as it was predictable: “There is an urgent security need to evacuate the area of the people and tents,” it claimed, suggesting without evidence that a few hundred unarmed activists presented a grave threat to public safety. — See also:Police brings down Palestinian outpost, activists resist peacefully and Eviction of Palestinian outpost exposes double standard on settlements more.. e-mail

Police brings down Palestinian outpost, activists resist peacefully 
Haggai Matar, +972 Magazine 1/13/2013
      UPDATE, 8:30 a.m.: Mass police and army forces evacuated Bab Al-Shams overnight, following a statement made by the prosecuter general stating that the outpost is an immediate threat to the security of the region. Hundreds of soldiers and police detained the dozens of activists present, who resisted the eviction non-violently, and put them on busses to Qalandiya checkpoint. The tents have remained in Bab Al-Shams, and authorities are waiting on the High Court to rule on whether or not they too can be brought down. The heart of the legal controversy is whether or not Bab Al-Shams was built on private lands (which would make the immediate eviction illegal), or on state lands. According to Haaretz, most of the lands where Bab Al-Shams was built are owned by Palestinians.
     Original report from last night:
     Less than two days after the new Palestinian outpost-village, Bab Al-Shams, was set up in the E1 area outside Jerusalem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered authorities to evict the activists and dismantle the tents.
     Following Netanyahu’s order, police forces arrived on the scene and told activists that the High Court injunction actually only protects the tents from dismantling, but does not forbid eviction of their residents. The activists, who were warned to leave before force would be used against them, vowed to stay put, stating that they would resist eviction non-violently. The state is also expected to ask the High Court to reconsider its temporary injunction, on the premise that the land where Bab Al-Shams was erected is privately owned by Palestinians, and that the village is meant to serve as a tourist attraction which teaches visitors about Bedouin culture. The court is likely to look into the case tomorrow. — See also: Eviction of Palestinian outpost exposes double standard on settlements and Eviction of Bab Al Shams exposes Israel as a lawless state more.. e-mail

‘Mr. Obama, Tear Down These sanctions!’ 
Franklin Lamb, Damascus, CounterPunch 1/11/2013
      A cri de coeur from a student at Damascus University
     This observer has learned from time in this region that if one wants to learn what is happening on the ground politically and socially it is fine to speak with government officials, journalists, long tenured academicians, NGO’s, and people on the street. But I have learned that one of the best sources of objective information comes from university students. As explained to one official the other day, if ones sit with half a dozen graduate students one is sure to witness and benefit from a spirited, challenging exchange with varying points of view and few expressed without having to justify to the others one’s positions or interpretation of events.
     It is for this reason that when this observer gets the chance he heads for a college in Damascus.
     Today in Syria, from the streets and cafes to the Universities, a main subject of discussion and one that is nearly universally judged immoral and illegal are the US-led sanctions, that in effect, are targeting the civilian population.
     Partly as result of these brutal sanctions, today four million people in this country need of some type of humanitarian aid and as of today, there are 637,958 registered refugees inside Syria who are in need of emergency help, a 57,000 person increase from last year at this time.
     The fighting here has obviously contributed to the continuing crisis faced by the civilian population. For example, the increasingly dangerous situation means that the World Food Program has evacuated its staff from Homs, Aleppo, Tartus Qamisly and other areas…. more.. e-mail

conversations on Palestine re-awaken me to the absurdities of daily life in occupied Palestine
In Gaza: 13 Jan 2013 – Disturbingly, I’ve become accustomed to and not surprised by, the daily injustices inflicted upon Palestinians throughout occupied Palestine: aadi (“normal”) as many Palestinians say.  In my time in the occupied West Bank in 2007, Israeli army raids and lock-downs (“curfews”), as horrific as they are, became normal, since they happen all of the time.  As do the abductions of Palestinians from their homes, including elderly, youths, children, women, and the everyday people striving to provide for their families, having done nothing wrong or meriting being abducted, arrested, imprisoned (usually without charge, “administrative detention”). The more I’ve become immersed in the realities of Palestinians, the more unbelievably ‘normal’ and expected they’ve become. It’s when I discuss this abysmal daily injustices with others who’ve just read or heard of them that they again become as outrageous as they are. “ Is Gaza being bombed right now or are things okay? “ Friends…more

In photos: Bab al-Shams violently evicted
Palestine Monitor: 14 Jan 2013 – Photos by Lazar Simeonov. At around 2:30 am early on Sunday morning, 500 Israeli security forces converged on the newly erected tent village of Bab al Shams and forcibly evicted the over 100 Palestinian activists…more

Syria: the Cold War Continues
Palestine Chronicle: 14 Jan 2013 – By Shafiq Morton With the Syrian death toll (consisting mainly of civilians) rising to 60,000 according to the UN, the 21 month-old uprising – which started off as a peaceful protest against President Bashar al-Assad – has become a complex case of Cold War meddling with little relief in sight. President Bashar al-Assad’s recent address to the troubled Middle East nation – his first in six months – gave nothing to his opposition or to international negotiators keen to stop the bloodshed. UN envoy Lakhdar Ibrahimi, who visited Damascus in December, has described Assad’s speech as a “lost opportunity”. Or as Syrian media activist, Ahmad Rahban, commented: the only new thing in Assad’s address was his reference to the opposition as “soap bubbles”. The problem, as many frustrated Syrians have observed, is that the dramatis personae in the conflict – Iran, Russia, China, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Israel – all…more

Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe – Book Review
Palestine Chronicle: 14 Jan 2013 – Reviewed by Eric Walberg (Anne Applebaum, Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe 1944-1956, USA: Doubleday, 2012.) The period following WWII in eastern Europe is considered to be a black one, best forgotten. All the pre-war governments had been quasi-fascist dictatorships which either succumbed to the Nazi onslaught (Poland) or actively cooperated with the Germans (Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria). The Soviet liberation was greeted with trepidation by many – with good reason for the many collaborators. Within a few years of liberation, eastern Europe was ruled by austere regimes headed by little Stalins. As in France and Italy, women who consorted with the Germans were treated with contempt. There was a rash of rape as millions of Soviet soldiers filled the vacuum left before the post-war occupation structures were established. The Soviet soldiers had been motivated by an intense hatred of the Nazis, and their revenge was worse than that of…more

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