VTJP Occupied Palestine and Israel News and Articles 8 May 2013: Israel rescues Mujahid Obama

8 May 2013 — VTJP

News

International Middle East Media Center

Settlers Attack Palestinian Cars Near Ramallah
IMEMC – Wednesday evening, May 8 2013, dozens of extremist Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian cars at the entrance of Nabi Saleh village, near the central West Bank city of Ramallah, and hurled stones at them. Settlers also attacked the village leading to clashes with the locals. …

Israel Approves Construction Of 296 Units In Bet El Settlement
IMEMC – The Israeli government, headed by Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and the “Civil Administration” in the occupied West Bank, approved the construction of additional 296 units in the Bet El settlement, north of the central West Bank city of Ramallah. …

Palestinians March In Jerusalem To Counter Provocative Settler Procession
IMEMC – Police Kidnaps 21 Palestinians, Attacks Residents And Reporters Hundreds of Palestinians marched Wednesday in occupied Jerusalem, carrying Palestinians flags and chanting slogans for the liberation of Palestine and Jerusalem, to counter a provocative procession by extremist settlers who marched in the city chanting “Death to Arabs”. The Police attacked protesters and reporters, and kidnapped 21 Palestinians. …

Israeli Police Releases Grand Mufti Of Jerusalem
IMEMC – Hours after kidnapping him on Wednesday, the Israeli police released the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and the Holy Land, Sheikh Mohammad Hussein, the Palestine News Network (PNN) has reported. …

Report: “Hamas Attacks Gunmen, Stops Them From Firing Shells”
IMEMC – The Field Follow-up Committee at the Ibin Tamima Media Center in Gaza, claimed that members of the Hamas security forces, opened fire at Salafi fighters, in northern Gaza, and wounded one of them, after preventing them from firing shells into adjacent Israeli targets, the Palestine News Network (PNN) has reported. …

Syria Allegedly Grants Palestinian Group Green Light To Attack Israel
IMEMC – A Political leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command, based in Syria, stated that Damascus allegedly granted the Front an unofficial green light to attack Israeli targets from Syrian territory. …

Army Kidnaps The Grand Mufti Of Jerusalem
IMEMC – Wednesday May 8 2013, Israeli soldiers kidnapped the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and the Holy Land, Sheikh Mohammad Hussein, after surrounding his home and breaking into it. …

Army Demolishes Two Homes In Jericho
IMEMC – Israeli soldiers invaded, on Wednesday morning, the Al-‘Oja village in Jericho, demolished two Palestinian homes, and handed orders for the demolition of five more homes in the village. …

Israel: “Reconciliation With Turkey Enabled Us To Strike Syria”
IMEMC – Senior Israeli military and security officials stated that the reconciliation with Turkey, and the progressing relations between Ankara and Tel Aviv, enabled Israel, over the last few days, to carry out several air strikes against Syrian targets. …

Ma’an News

Israeli forces demolish 3 houses near Jericho
5/8/2013 – JERICHO (Ma’an) — Israeli forces demolished threes homes in the Jericho village of al-Auja on Wednesday, locals said. Witnesses told Ma’an that Israeli bulldozers, escorted by military vehicles, arrived in the village and began demolishing three houses owned by Abed Raheil and Salman Njadi under the pretext that they were built illegally….

Stephen Hawking joins academic boycott of Israel
5/8/2013 – JERUSALEM (AFP) — Renowned British physicist Stephen Hawking has pulled out of a June conference hosted by Israel’s Shimon Peres, joining an academic boycott of Israel, event organizers charged on Wednesday. Hawking was set to participate in the Israeli Presidential Conference entitled ‘Facing Tomorrow’, due to be held later this month, but….

Israeli forces detain 16 in West Bank arrest raids
5/8/2013 – NABLUS (Ma’an) — Israeli forces detained 16 people in the West Bank overnight Tuesday, locals and Israel’s army said. Israeli forces arrested Izz Addin Salah Druzah, 22, and Raed Sayigh in central Nablus and Ahmad as-Sarf, 24, in Askar refugee camp, locals said. In Beit Furik, Saddam Salam Hanini, Faris Salim, Fuad….

Israel sets up gate on Bethlehem village road
5/8/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces on Wednesday morning set up an iron gate on the road between al-Walaja village and Beit Jala on lands in the Cremisan valley area. The al-Walaja village council said in a statement that the road was being used regularly by residents. The closure is causing serious problems for villagers….

Clashes at Aqsa mosque
5/8/2013 – JERUSALEM (Ma’an) – Young Palestinian men clashed Wednesday with Israeli officers and settlers around the al-Aqsa Mosque compound as Israeli forces and police officers denied worshipers entry to the holy site. A Ma’an reporter said hundreds of Israelis gathered at Damascus Gate singing nationalistic songs and filing through the area, most of….

Report: Israel approves new settler homes in West Bank
5/8/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israel’s civil administration has approved 296 new housing units in the Beit El settlement near Ramallah, Israeli media reported Wednesday. The civil administration’s approval is the last stage before construction begins in the central West Bank settlement, Walla! news site reported. Four 10-storey apartment blocks and….

Israeli settlers enter Al-Aqsa compound under guard
5/8/2013 – JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — A group of settlers accompanied by Israeli forces entered the Al-Aqsa mosque compound on Wednesday for the second consecutive day, with Muslim worshipers prevented from praying at the holy site, locals said. Israeli police officers erected several checkpoints at entrances to the Al-Aqsa compound and prevented all Palestinian women, and men….

Israeli vehicles enter border area in northern Gaza
5/8/2013 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israeli military vehicles entered a border area in the northern Gaza Strip on Wednesday, locals said. Witnesses told Ma’an that Israeli bulldozers and military vehicles penetrated over 400 meters into an area east of Beit Hanoun and dug up agricultural lands. An Israeli army spokeswoman told Ma’….

Israel minister to push for Jewish prayer at al-Aqsa
5/8/2013 – JERUSALEM (AFP) — Israel’s minister of religion will seek to amend the law in order to allow Jews to pray at the flashpoint al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City, a top ministry official said Wednesday. Speaking to a parliamentary committee, ministry director Elhanan Glat said Naftali Bennett, the minister responsible for….

Abbas condemns detention of grand mufti of Jerusalem
5/8/2013 – JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday slammed Israel’s arrest of the grand mufti of Jerusalem. Abbas “condemned the occupying Israeli authorities’ detention of Jerusalem mufti Mohammed Hussein,” his office said in a statement. The president “demanded the Israeli government release the mufti immediately,” and said “the arrest represents an…. Related: Israel releases grand mufti of Jerusalem

Jordan MPs ‘demand Israel envoy’s expulsion’
5/8/2013 – AMMAN (AFP) — Jordan’s MPs on Wednesday unanimously demanded the government expel Israeli Ambassador Daniel Nevo over “the occupation measures” at Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque compound, state media reported.” The (150-member) lower house of parliament unanimously demanded the government ask the Israeli ambassador to leave Jordan, and recall the Jordanian ambassador in…. Related: Jordan fury as Israel quizzes mufti on Jerusalem Day

Mother, daughter briefly detained in Jerusalem
5/8/2013 – JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israeli police on Tuesday briefly detained a mother and daughter after taking them for investigation at the Russian compound in Jerusalem, relatives said. Umayma Qarain, 44, and her daughter Wala, 20, were detained as Israeli forces raided their house, searching the roof and garage. No specific allegations were made against them….

Bethlehem detainee enters 11th year in Israeli prison
5/8/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A detainee from Bethlehem entered his 11th year in Israeli jail on Wednesday, a prisoners center said. Riyad al-Amour, from Tuqu south of Bethlehem, was detained in 2003 and sentenced to life. [END]

PPS: Suspect in settler stabbing in serious condition
5/8/2013 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — A Palestinian suspected of fatally stabbing a settler is in a serious condition in an Israeli prison clinic, the Palestinian Prisoners Society said Wednesday. Salam al-Zaghal was seriously injured on April 30 after he allegedly stabbed an Israeli settler to death at a checkpoint near Nablus. Israeli police said he was….

Undercover Israeli forces detain Palestinian in Jenin
5/8/2013 – JENIN (Ma’an) — Undercover Israeli forces on Wednesday detained a Palestinian in Jenin in the northern West Bank. Israeli forces in plainclothes surrounded a taxi at the entrance to Jenin and fired gunshots into the air before detaining Mohammad Zakarna, a Ma’an reporter said. Zakarna, from Qabatia south of Jenin, is affiliated….

Abu Marzouq: Hamas may stay out of any Israeli-Arab war
5/8/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Hamas will not necessarily get involved in any war between Israel and an Arab state, but Syria should respond to Israeli airstrikes on Damascus, a senior Hamas leader said Tuesday.”Hamas is not a state,” Moussa Abu Marzouq told Ma’an.”The occupation (Israel) repeatedly attacks Arab states so does….

PA says visit of Islamic cleric to Gaza ‘harmful’
5/8/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The Palestinian Authority said Tuesday that the upcoming visit of an Egyptian cleric to Gaza is “harmful” to the Palestinian people. Sheikh Yousuf al-Qaradawi, an influential Islamic theologian based in Qatar, is expected to visit the Gaza Strip on Wednesday.” The Palestinian Authority’s position has been clear; each visit….

Yaalon: Israel not getting involved in Syria civil war
5/8/2013 – JERUSALEM (AFP) — Israel is not getting involved in Syria’s civil war, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said on Tuesday, while insisting Israel would not permit the transfer of arms to Damascus ally Hezbollah in neighboring Lebanon. Yaalon was speaking just days after two Israeli air strikes near Damascus sent regional tensions soaring and….

Egypt seizes diving suits en route to Gaza
5/8/2013 – EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma’an) – Egyptian authorities on Wednesday arrested a Palestinian trying to smuggle 49 diving suits through tunnels to the Gaza Strip, security sources said. The officials told Ma’an that the suspect, aged 45, was from Gaza City. Security forces said he was under investigation. The diving suits were confiscated. On….

Netanyahu meets China premier in Beijing
5/8/2013 – BEIJING (AFP) — Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in Beijing on Wednesday, where the two witnessed the signing of a series of trade and cultural deals. Netanyahu’s arrival on a five-day trip to China overlapped with a journey by President Mahmoud Abbas, but the two visitors did….

Israel releases grand mufti of Jerusalem
5/8/2013 – JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israel forces on Wednesday released the grand mufti of Jerusalem but police said they intended to pursue an investigation into the Palestinian religious leader.”The investigations about mufti Mohammed Hussein will continue,” an Israeli police statement said. Hours earlier Israeli intelligence officers had broke into the mufti’s home in…. Related: Abbas condemns detention of grand mufti of Jerusalem

Kerry pursues Syria, Mideast plans in Rome talks
5/8/2013 – ROME (AFP) — US Secretary of State John Kerry Wednesday doggedly pursued his hopes of both ending the war in Syria and bringing Israel and the Palestinians back to negotiations on the third-day of a whirlwind tour. Fresh from a marathon day of diplomacy in Moscow at which he agreed with Russian leaders to organize a…. Related: Report: Israel approves new settler homes in West Bank

Jordan fury as Israel quizzes mufti on Jerusalem Day
5/8/2013 – JERUSALEM (AFP) — Israeli police briefly detained a top Muslim cleric on Wednesday as Israel marked Jerusalem Day, sparking a furious response from Jordan, whose MPs unanimously demanded the expulsion of the Israeli envoy. In Jerusalem’s Old City police arrested more than a dozen people for what they said was disruption of public order…. Related: Israel releases grand mufti of Jerusalem and Jordan MPs ‘demand Israel envoy’s expulsion’

Fatah leader calls for ‘retaliation’ against Israel
5/8/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Fatah central committee member Jamal Muhaisen on Wednesday condemned Israeli settlement policies in the West Bank and called for worldwide retaliation against any future Israeli attacks. In a TV interview scheduled to air Wednesday, Muhaisen called for retaliation against killings by the Israeli army and settlers in Areas B and C….

UN pulls back Golan peacekeepers after abductions
5/8/2013 – UNITED NATIONS (AFP) — The United Nations on Wednesday pulled peacekeepers back from an observation post in the Golan Heights ceasefire zone where four Philippine troops were abducted by Syrian rebels, a spokesman said. The move came as countries which contribute troops to the UN Disengagement Observer Force expressed renewed concern about security in the zone….

Influential Muslim cleric al-Qaradawi visits Gaza
5/8/2013 – GAZA CITY (AFP) — Influential Muslim cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi on Wednesday started a visit to the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, crossing via Rafah, on the border with Egypt. An AFP photographer said Egyptian-born al-Qaradawi, who is a citizen of Qatar and close to the Muslim Brotherhood, arrived in the territory shortly after 9:30 p. m. Sheikh….

5 injured as gun explodes during Nablus wedding
5/8/2013 – NABLUS (Ma’an) — Five people were wounded in Nablus on Wednesday when a handgun exploded during wedding celebrations, police said. One man sustained moderate wounds to his neck and four others were injured when a gun exploded as a man fired in the air during a wedding in Balata refugee camp, police officer Yasser….

Gaza man shot in chest during suspected family dispute
5/8/2013 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — A boy was shot in the chest in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday in what locals say was a family dispute. The unidentified boy was shot in ash-Shati refugee camp in Gaza City and taken to al-Shifa hospital for surgery, police said. An investigation has been opened into the circumstances….

Syria Internet blackout enters 2nd day
5/8/2013 – DAMASCUS (AFP) — Syria’s Internet blackout entered into its second consecutive day Wednesday, which the state news agency blamed on a fault in optical fiber cables. Land-line phone services between Syrian provinces have also been down since Tuesday, SANA said. US tech firms and the US State Department reported the blackout Tuesday but did….

Brahimi hails US-Russia accord on Syria
5/8/2013 – DAMASCUS (AFP) — UN-Arab League peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi on Wednesday hailed a US-Russia accord to push both sides fighting in the Syrian conflict to end the bloodshed, but cautioned that it was “only a first step”. The US-Russia agreement came after lengthy talks in Moscow between US Secretary of State John Kerry, Russian President Vladimir….

Syria opposition insists on Assad out before any deal
5/8/2013 – BEIRUT (AFP) — Syria’s main opposition National Coalition on Wednesday said any political settlement to the country’s conflict must start with the departure of President Bashar Assad, implicitly rejecting a US-Russian call for dialogue with the regime.” The National Coalition welcomes all international efforts which call for a political solution to achieve….

Aljazeera

UN decries rising poverty in east Jerusalem
AlJazeera 8 May 2013 – The world’s organisation blames Israeli “segregation policies” for the soaring poverty levels among Palestinians.

Palestine News Network

‘Study in Europe’ Launches Across Palestinian Universities
Palestine News Network

200 Settlers Raid Al-Makhrour Area in Beit Jala, Vandalize Lands
Palestine News Network

Israeli Vehicles Penetrate into Lands in Gaza, Warships Target Fishermen
Palestine News Network

Jewish Settlers Destroy 20 Olive Trees South of Nablus
Palestine News Network

Israeli Court Extends Isolation of Prisoner Abu Sisi
Palestine News Network

IOF Forces Kidnap Martyr Salah Darwazeh’s Son
Palestine News Network

Commemorating the 65th Anniversary of Al Nakba (‘the Catastrophe’)
Palestine News Network

Israel Demolishes Three Houses in Jericho
Palestine News Network

Stephen Hawking Joins Academic Boycott of Israel
Palestine News Network

Israel Arrests The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Sheikh Hussain
Palestine News Network

Screening of Palestinian Window: A Film on Palestinian Identity
Palestine News Network

Palestinian Center for Human Rights

“Life is a catastrophe now”
Palestinian Center for Human Rights

PCHR condemns violent dispersal of solidarity sit-in, detention of participants, and attacks against journalists
Palestinian Center for Human Rights

International Solidarity Movement

The Oslo Accords – still dead in Nablus
5/8/2013 – International Solidarity Movement – 8th May 2013, International Solidarity Movement, Nablus, Occupied Palestine, By Team Nablus – Nablus was disturbed by two army jeeps driving in a circuit round the city centre and shooting tear gas at young men, with no clear intent other than to harass them for around three hours. Shooting and sound bombs were heard beginning at….

Relief Web

Syrian Arab Republic: U.S. announces additional humanitarian assistance in response to the Syrian crisis
Relief Web 8 May 2013 – Source: US Department of State Country: Jordan, Lebanon, occupied Palestinian territory, Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey, United States of America Office of the Spokesperson, Washington, DC May 8, 2013 The United States is providing an additional $100 million in humanitarian assistance…

Lebanon: Protect our children’s future by protecting UNRWA schools
Relief Web 8 May 2013 – Source: UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East Country: Lebanon, occupied Palestinian territory, Syrian Arab Republic Op-Ed by Director of UNRWA Affairs in Lebanon, Ann Dismorr Education is the basis of human development and is…

occupied Palestinian territory: Spotlight on education efforts in restricted areas of the West Bank
Relief Web 8 May 2013 – Source: Global Communities Country: occupied Palestinian territory Dhaher Al Abed, Jenin Governorate “The [old] school was only two rooms. There weren’t any bathrooms. There was no playground for you to relax… I am proud of this new school. That it…

The National

Syria’s internet outage blamed on ‘cable problem’
The National 8 May 2013 – Fears internet outage would again coincide with military action.

1,500 villas for Emiratis to be built in Al Ain
The National 8 May 2013 – Roads, telecoms and power networks will be part of the Dh712m project that has been approved.

Abu Dhabi unveils Dh1.5bn infrastructure upgrade across the emirate
The National 8 May 2013 – The Executive Council announces an array of projects to help Abu Dhabi’s residents, including better roads and lighting and new housing for Emiratis.

Former SNC chief says Islamic hardliners should be included
The National 8 May 2013 – Moaz Al Khatib, the respected moderate Sunni cleric who stepped down as SNC president last month, says opposition should open channels of communication with Islamic hardliners and not declare war on them. Phil Sands reports 

America’s hidden agenda in Syria’s war
The National 8 May 2013 – Exclusive: Influential Syrian rebel commander claims US intelligence officers are trying to enlist rebels to fight their fellow insurgents, the Al Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat Al Nusra, instead of helping them overthrow Bashar Al Assad. Phil Sands reports 

Sharif calls for warmer ties with India
The National 8 May 2013 – Nawaz Sharif, seen as the front-runner in Pakistan’s election race, said he would not allow militant groups to attack India and would work to improve ties with New Delhi if elected.

80km motorway vital for linking Western Region
The National 8 May 2013 – The 80-km stretch opened on December 8, 2010 and seeks to link the towns in the Western region.

Commuters welcome Dh267.5m plan to improve Western region motorway
The National 8 May 2013 – The 80-kilometre road connecting Ghayathi and Madinat Zayed has few amenities for travellers.

Ha’aretz

Israel may not be a pariah, but it’s definitely a headache
Ha’aretz – 8 May 2013

Knesset okays preliminary reading of controversial bill that would make it harder to topple government
Ha’aretz – 8 May 2013

Netanyahu, Obama discuss Syria for first time since strikes
Ha’aretz – 8 May 2013

Jordan summons Israeli ambassador over Temple Mount riots
Ha’aretz – 8 May 2013

Lapid: Israel will not become Greece on my watch
Ha’aretz – 8 May 2013

Kerry to return to Mideast for a new effort on Israeli-Palestinian peace
Ha’aretz – 8 May 2013

Israel’s absorption of Ethiopian immigrants rife with failures, comptroller report shows
Ha’aretz – 8 May 2013

State comptroller: Israel Police don’t enforce law properly in Arab communities
Ha’aretz – 8 May 2013

Stephen Hawking confirms he is boycotting Israeli conference
Ha’aretz – 8 May 2013

Senior Shas figure urges Netanyahu to adopt Arab League peace initiative
Ha’aretz – 8 May 2013

Two Hamas activists arrested over plan to kidnap Israeli soldier
Ha’aretz – 8 May 2013

Israel doesn’t have an Ethiopian problem, it has a social integration problem
Ha’aretz – 8 May 2013

Israeli ministers blamed in Carmel fire report to get 2.5 times top refund for legal fees
Ha’aretz – 8 May 2013

Israel detains top Palestinian Muslim cleric on Jerusalem Day
Ha’aretz – 8 May 2013

Health services not equal across Israel, State Comptroller says
Ha’aretz – 8 May 2013

Medical tourism infringes on equality in Israel, State Comptroller says
Ha’aretz – 8 May 2013

Jewish marriage institution fraught with nepotism and cronyism, state comptroller says
Ha’aretz – 8 May 2013

University claims Hawking canceled Israeli conference due to health, not boycott
Ha’aretz – 8 May 2013

Jerusalem Post

State comptroller slams Conversion Authority
Jerusalem Post 8 May 2013 – The report slammed the Exceptions Committee of the Conversion Authority which deals with foreign citizens in Israel seeking to convert. 

Ethiopian Jews commemorate those killed in exodus
Jerusalem Post 8 May 2013 – Peres: Israel “bows her head in memory of the immigrants from Ethiopia who died on their journey for their love of this nation.” 

‘Police fail to improve relations with Arab sector’
Jerusalem Post 8 May 2013 – Police have failed to take steps to improve relations with Arab sector, report reveals. 

Bertie Lubner gets BGU Lifetime Achievement Award
Jerusalem Post 8 May 2013 – Cherie Blair, among six recipients of honorary doctorates, dedicates her award to Bangladeshi women seeking education. 

Lapid justifies taxes, budget cuts as ‘right thing to do’
Jerusalem Post 8 May 2013 – Fiannce Minister concedes new taxes, cuts are a blow to middle class, but says he is not willing to “get to the situation of Greece”; Finance Ministry, Histadrut averted strike in secret deal. 

Deri’s return
Jerusalem Post 8 May 2013 – According to the letter of the law, there is nothing wrong with reinstalling the charismatic ex-con, Arye Deri, at the helm of Shas. 

‘Price tags’: Morally bankrupt, politically foolish
Jerusalem Post 8 May 2013 – Center Field: Last month, when we celebrated Yom Ha’atzmaut, we talked mostly about Israel’s “atzmaut,” independence. 

Why do Jewish women still need to demand equality?
Jerusalem Post 8 May 2013 – We are well into the 21st century and Jewish women are not only the majority of the Jewish people, they are highly educated, articulate and well organized. 

What happened to affordable housing in Israel?
Jerusalem Post 8 May 2013 – Homes prices in Israel are unquestionably among of the highest worldwide when looking at price per square meter. 

Fatah: Resistance doesn’t take orders from Syria
Jerusalem Post 8 May 2013 – Fatah plays down report that Syria will allow Palestinians to attack Israel through Golan in response to alleged strike. 

View From The Hills: Is resilience the answer?
Jerusalem Post 8 May 2013 – The power or ability to return to the original form, position, etc., after being bent, compressed, or stretched; elasticity 

Encountering Peace: Truth, lies and legitimacy
Jerusalem Post 8 May 2013 – Jerusalem Day marks the reunification of Jerusalem as the eternal capital of the State of Israel and the Jewish people. 

Jerusalem the beautiful
Jerusalem Post 8 May 2013 – It was not just faced in stone, it was actually built of stone, unlike much of the other work at the time, which was concrete and only faced in stone. 

Israel’s energy market
Jerusalem Post 8 May 2013 – While politics do matter, foreign investments in energy projects are not merely influenced by the anti-Israel Arab countries’ boycott and their global energy partners. 

Rotem wins pyrrhic victory on electoral reform
Jerusalem Post 8 May 2013 – Despite Yisrael Beytenu passing bill in preliminary reading, Yesh Atid, Hatnua intend to change bill completely. 

Fatah condemns Egyptian Sheikh’s visit to Gaza
Jerusalem Post 8 May 2013 – Muslim Brotherhood’s “spiritual leader’s” visit to the Gaza Strip seen as a symbolic victory for Hamas. 

Stephen Hawking reaffirms support of Israel boycott
Jerusalem Post 8 May 2013 – Hawking sends letter to President’s Conference organizers saying he faced pressure to withdraw from Palestinian academics. 

Peres to Jordan: We’ll honor agreements on holy sites
Jerusalem Post 8 May 2013 – President calls for calm after Jordanian MPs call to expel envoy. 

Comptroller blasts failure to monitor jet fuel
Jerusalem Post 8 May 2013 – Report states Energy Ministry, IAA failure to properly monitor production of jet fuel caused major threat to aviation safety. 

Bennett: We cannot compromise on a united Jerusalem
Jerusalem Post 8 May 2013 – Edelstein: All should be able to pray wherever they want in J’lem. 

Fresh air and no parking hassle with TA’s Tel Ofan
Jerusalem Post 8 May 2013 – “Tel Avivans are young professionals and they think its cool to ride bicycles in the city, and Tel Aviv is cool for bicycles.” 

Ministry to arrange Jewish prayer on Temple Mount
Jerusalem Post 8 May 2013 – Sarsour: Jews need to accept J’lem will return to Muslims; Feiglin: Temple Mount prayer is an issue of Jewish sovereignty. 

‘Integration of special needs students lacking’
Jerusalem Post 8 May 2013 – State Comptroller doubts Education Ministry’s readiness to integrate special needs students into the regular school system. 

Voices of Jerusalem: The man behind the Old City
Jerusalem Post 8 May 2013 – Loren Minsky speaks to Mr Moshe Weingarten, whose family helped establish the Ashkenazic community in Jerusalem’s Old City during the 1800s. 

Livni bill to criminalize discrimination of women
Jerusalem Post 8 May 2013 – Attorney-General tells ministers buses, cemeteries, radio stations and health clinics should no longer enact gender separation. 

‘Finance Ministry overly reliant on loan scheme’
Jerusalem Post 8 May 2013 – The State Comptroller’s Report reveals a Finance Ministry lacking oversight for NIS 29b. in loans. 

Comptroller: Gaps remain in Ethiopian integration
Jerusalem Post 8 May 2013 – Ethiopian students dropout rates highlight one of the many challenges facing the Ethiopian community in Israel, Shapira says. 

‘State violating law of foreign-resident minors’
Jerusalem Post 8 May 2013 – State comptroller report says state’s agencies violating the domestic Law of the Child as well as the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. 

Comptroller slams state on Ethiopian rights
Jerusalem Post 8 May 2013 – State Comptroller report criticizes state on problems with health sector in periphery, violations of migrant rights. 

The Guardian

Furore deepens over Stephen Hawking’s Israel boycott
The Guardian 8 May 2013 – Political motive revealed after Cambridge University first claimed scientist’s non-attendance was on medical grounds The celebrated physicist Stephen Hawking became embroiled in a deepening furore today over his decision to boycott a prestigious conference in Israel…

Stephen Hawking accused of hypocrisy over Israel conference boycott
The Guardian 8 May 2013 – Scientist’s critics say he should stop using Israeli technology in computer equipment that allows him to communicate Stephen Hawking’s decision to boycott an Israeli conference in protest at the state’s 46-year occupation of Palestine was derided…

China welcomes Binyamin Netanyahu
The Guardian 8 May 2013 – Visits from Israeli prime minister and president prompt speculation about China’s possible role as a Middle East mediator Chinese leaders welcomed Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu to Beijing on Wednesday, hard on the heels of the…

Is Stephen Hawking right to join the academic boycott of Israel? | Poll
The Guardian 8 May 2013 – Stephen Hawking has pulled out of a conference hosted by the Israeli president, Shimon Peres, in Jerusalem as a protest at Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. Is he right to do so?

Syria crisis: internet cut – Wednesday 8 April
The Guardian 8 May 2013 – Follow how the day unfolded amid a continuing internet shutdown and after the US and Russia bid to revive peace talks Matthew Weaver

Inter Press Service

Despite Halt in Deportations, Refugees in Israel Live in Fear
IPS Since Israel secretly deported over 1,000 Sudanese refugees several months ago, sending them back to Sudan and threatening to deport hundreds more Sub-Saharan African refugees, Israeli authorities have suspended this practise in the face of international outrage and condemnation by the United Nations. Yet refugees, even legal ones, nevertheless continue…

Uruknet

BBC’s Longstanding Pro-Israeli Bias
Uruknet

Eight US-NATO troops killed in one day Crisis deepens for US occupation in Afghanistan
Uruknet

Israel approves plan to displace Negev Bedouins
Uruknet

Chaos in Libya Threatens Entire Sahel Region
Uruknet

Regarding The Israeli Raids on Syria
Uruknet

Palestinian Christians Struggle With Israeli Occupation
Uruknet

Despite Pledges, Obama Put U.S. Troops in Mali
Uruknet

The Political Uses of the Word “Terror” Terrorized by “Terror”
Uruknet

Guantánamo: The Hunger Strike and the Hellhole of Made-in-America Torture
Uruknet

Obama’s Pledge to Close Gitmo — More Smoke and Mirrors?
Uruknet

Daily Star

Obama, Netanyahu speak after Israel’s Syria raids
Daily Star 8 May 2013 US President Barack Obama spoke to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Wednesday, days after the latest Israeli air raids on Syrian targets and as Washington steps up its Middle East peace efforts.

Influential Muslim cleric Qaradawi visits Gaza
Daily Star 8 May 2013 Influential Muslim cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi on Wednesday started a visit to the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, crossing into the Palestinian territory at Rafah, on the border with Egypt.

Militants bombed Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline, halting oil flow -Iraq
Daily Star 8 May 2013 Militants blew up a pipeline carrying Iraqi crude from Iraq’s northern city of Kirkuk to Turkey’s Mediterranean port of Ceyhan on Monday night, stopping the flow of oil, an Iraqi oil ministry spokesman said.

Israel police hold Jerusalem Muslim cleric for 6 hours
Daily Star 8 May 2013 Israeli police arrested the top Palestinian Muslim religious leader in Jerusalem on Wednesday and questioned him for six hours about a fracas between Palestinians and Israelis at al-Aqsa mosque before releasing him without charge.

India’s Congress party wins key state election
Daily Star 8 May 2013 India’s ruling Congress party, which has been battered by corruption scandals, won a much-needed victory Wednesday in an election in a key southern state.

Libya to reshuffle govt within days: PM
Daily Star 8 May 2013 Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan announced on Wednesday a cabinet reshuffle “in the coming days,” against the backdrop of a political crisis sparked by gunmen besieging two ministries.

YNet News

Syrian Minister: We have right to retaliate
YNet News, 8 May 2013 – ….

Syria blames Internet outage on technical problem
YNet News, 8 May 2013 – ….

Egyptian president OKs law allowing Islamic bonds
YNet News, 8 May 2013 – ….

Obama, Netanyahu talk on phone, discuss security, Mideast peace 
YNet News, 8 May 2013 – ….

Masked men rob fish store, escape with hundreds of thousands 
YNet News, 8 May 2013 – ….

Tourists will choose PA
YNet News, 8 May 2013 – Op-ed: Treasury’s plan to make tourists pay VAT will have huge impact on Israel’s tourism industry ….

IDF plan threat to national security 
YNet News, 8 May 2013 – Op-ed: Proposal to shorten army service for non-combatants will make it even more tempting to serve in the Kirya ….

Knesset honors Red Army veterans
YNet News, 7 May 2013 – Israeli parliament honors unsung heroes of WWII Tuesday, but veterans say ‘the rest of the year, no one thinks of us’; veterans to march in Tel Aviv on Thursday in full military attire marking Victory Day ….

50-year-old woman found dead in Qalansawe
YNet News, 7 May 2013 – Hundreds protest in Haifa against violence in Arab sector Tuesday, as body of woman found in Qalanswa, exhibiting signs of abuse ….

Assad: Syrian people, army capable of dealing with Israel
YNet News, 7 May 2013 – Syrian president responds to alleged Israeli attacks in Syria for first time; Iranian FM, who met with Assad, promises: ‘We are with you, won’t let Syria fall into Israeli hands’ ….

World Jewish leaders urge crackdown on far-right
YNet News, 7 May 2013 – As anti-Semitic parties’ power increases, leaders of the WJC call on leader act; European Union austerity, local politics make denouncement difficult ….

Peace Now: PM halting new settlement construction
YNet News, 7 May 2013 – According to anti-settlement group, Netanyahu’s halting of West Bank construction could be attempt to clear way for renewed peace talks with Palestinians ….

Putin, Kerry review Syria, Israel situation 
YNet News, 7 May 2013 – US hoping to change Russian thinking on Syrian war; Russia concerned with alleged Israeli strike ….

Hezbollah: Israeli strikes sought to help Sunni radicals in Syria
YNet News, 7 May 2013 – Official with Shiite group says alleged Israeli strikes on Syria aimed to boost rebels fighting Assad, makes no comment on claims of weapons transfer to Hezbollah ….

Golan Druze divided, afraid over Syria
YNet News, 7 May 2013 – Majdal Shams residents differ in opinion over Assad regime, with some calling alleged Israeli strike ‘terrorism,’ others urging Syrian president’s elimination ….

‘Love to the end or hate from the heart’
YNet News, 7 May 2013 – Violence keeps escalating between Palestinians, settlers in West Bank, while both sides share common enemy: IDF ….

Palestine Information Center

OIC condemns fanatic settlers’ storming of the Aqsa
PIC – Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Ekmeleddin Ä°hsanoÄŸlu strongly condemned on Wednesday the Jewish settlers’ storming of the Aqsa mosque in occupied Jerusalem.

Palestinian gov’t: Israel’s transfer plan in the Negev unveils its ugly face
PIC – The Palestinian government said that Israel’s intent to transfer the Negev Palestinians from their homes reveals the ugly face of the occupation.

Israeli occupation authorities release the Mufti
PIC – The Israeli occupation authorities released the Mufti of Jerusalem and Palestine Sheikh Mohammed Hussein afternoon Wednesday.

Bakirat: Israeli government officially starts dividing Al-Aqsa Mosque
PIC – Najeh Bakirat, director of Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, said the Israeli government has officially adopted the project to divide Al-Aqsa Mosque..

Health status of prisoner of Khedr Bisharat deteriorates
PIC – Wa’ed Society for prisoners and ex-prisoners confirmed in a statement the deterioration in health status of Palestinian patient prisoner Khader Bisharat from the town Tammoun..

IOF storms house of martyr Salah Darwaza and arrests his son
PIC – Ahrar center for Prisoners’ studies and human rights condemned the arrest of the son of martyr Salah Darwaza, Ezzedine aged 19, from Nablus.

Resheq condemns the arrest of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem
PIC – Ezzat Resheq, member of Hamas’s political bureau, condemned the arrest of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Sheikh Muhammad Hussein by the Israeli occupation.

Occupation demolishes two houses in the Northern Jordan Valley
PIC – The occupation authorities’ bulldozers demolished two Palestinian houses on Wednesday morning in al-Ouja area near Jericho, in the Northern Jordan Valley.

Abu Sisi’s isolation extended for 6 additional months
PIC – The Israeli Central Court has decided to extend the prisoner Dirar Abu Sisi’s solitary confinement for six additional months, Tadamun Foundation for Human Rights revealed.

WAFA

Hundreds of Settlers Raid Area south of Jerusalem
WAFA – 8 May 2013

Israeli Soldiers Injure Farmer south of Gaza
WAFA – 8 May 2013

EU: “We should Support Kerry’s Initiative to Resume Negotiations”
WAFA – 8 May 2013

Israeli Military Vehicles Infiltrate Gaza Borders
WAFA – 8 May 2013

Protest at Jerusalem Prison Demands Release of Mufti
WAFA – 8 May 2013

Israeli Police Arrests Jerusalem’s Mufti
WAFA – 8 May 2013

Israeli Forces Demolish 3 Palestinian Houses
WAFA – 8 May 2013

Misc

Envoy describes night of Benghazi attack
LA Times 8 May 2013 – Greg Hicks, deputy chief of the diplomatic mission in Libya, tells Congress he was on the phone with J. Christopher Stevens just before the ambassador was killed. WASHINGTON — Minutes after Greg Hicks learned that the perimeter of the U.S. mission in Benghazi had been…

Israel Moves to End Gender Segregation in Public Spaces
New York Times 8 May 2013 – The attorney general called on public agencies “to act fast, efficiently and decisively” on sweeping new rules after years of legal battles over the treatment of women. 

Prospect of Iran’s Election Stirs Little Hope This Time Around
New York Times 8 May 2013 – In the run-up to the June 14 presidential election, the enthusiasm of 2009 has been replaced, for now at least, with an indifference bred of fear. 

News Analysis: China Dips a Toe Into Mideast Diplomacy
New York Times 8 May 2013 – Back-to-back visits from the Palestinian and Israeli leaders hinted that China had given some thought to playing a more energetic, if very limited, role as mediator in the conflict. 

Stephen Hawking Joins Boycott Against Israel
New York Times 8 May 2013 – Dr. Hawking, a renowned physicist and cosmologist, will not attend an annual conference on the future of Israel and the Jewish people. 

As Syria Diplomacy Gains, Kerry to Announce More Aid
New York Times 8 May 2013 – Secretary of State John Kerry was in Rome seeking to advance a Russian-American proposal for a Syrian peace conference to begin within a month. 

Kurdish Rebels Begin Withdrawal From Turkey
New York Times 8 May 2013 – The main rebel group had announced in April that it would withdraw all of its forces from the country as part of an agreement to end a 30-year conflict with the Turkish state. 

Kandel: Israel can lead in transport energy alternatives 
Globes Energy & Water – National Economic Council chairman Eugene Kandel tells “Globes”: There is no silver bullet here. This is an evolutionary, not revolutionary, process.

Ormat Technologies swings to loss 
Globes Energy & Water – The GAAP-based net loss was due to a $9 million termination fee for two power contracts in the US and losses on derivatives.

Ratio in NIS 50.5m equity offering 
Globes Energy & Water – Source: This offering will finance current operations, as approval of the procedures for exports are delayed.

“Gov’t wants to profit from rising home prices”
Globes Main News – Builders Association president Nissim Bublil and other leading figures slam the government plan to introduce a new purchase tax on homes.

Rami Levy selling Israel’s cheapest Galaxy S4
Globes Main News – The chain is selling the Samsung smartphone for NIS 3,240, while Home Cellular is asking NIS 3,250 and Best Mobile NIS 3,275.

Teva licenses schizophrenia drug
Globes Main News – Teva will pay up to $235 million before royalties to be the exclusive licensee of Alexza drug Adasuve in the US.

Wed: Market still treading water
Globes Main News – EZchip rose sharply after reporting its financials and Teva slipped on the day’s biggest turnover.

SodaStream raises guidance on strong Q1 results
Globes Main News – Non-GAAP net profit rose to $14.5 million ($0.68 per share) in the first quarter from $11.5 million in the corresponding quarter.

Stephen Hawking cancels Israel visit 
Globes Macro Economics – The physicist said he supports the academic boycott of Israel and will not attend the President’s Conference in Jerusalem.

Netanyahu backs Lapid 
Globes Macro Economics – The prime minister says he won’t change the Finance Ministry’s budget proposal, but no agreement has been reached on the defense cut.

Child allowance to be cut 
Globes Macro Economics – The Finance Ministry is proposing a uniform allowance of NIS 140 per month per child.

Elbit Systems reports lower revenue, rise in EPS and backlog
Globes Aerospace & Defense – Non-GAAP earnings per share in the first quarter of 2013 were $1.22, compared with $0.96 in the corresponding quarter.

Ben Zygier Compromised Major Mossad Operation to Retrieve Remains of IDF MIAs from Lebanon War
Tikun Olam – Trevor Borman produced a second installment of his TV documentary on Prisoner X aka Ben Zygier.  Borman was the first journalist to expose the real identity of Prisoner X three months ago.  Now, he has produced yet another astonishing segment in this scandalous story.  The Australian…

Hebrew University’s “Monstrous Carbuncle” on Jerusalem Skyline to Showcase Einstein Legacy
Tikun Olam – Einstein’s “golden helmet” crowning Mt. Scopus (Amir Schiby) Haaretz yesterday reported that the Hebrew University, the prime minister’s office, and the city of Jerusalem have announced a grandiose architectural plan to build a 25-story building in the shape of a golden helmet on the top of…

One-woman wrecking crew of Jewish community’s image, Geller brings her show to Toronto
Mondoweiss – Pamela Geller, who devotes her life to arguing that the religion of Islam is the greatest national security threat to the U.S. and the West, continues to cut a swath inside the Jewish community. Last month a Great Neck, Long Island, synagogue invited her to talk…

‘The policy of the present Israeli government is likely to lead to disaster’: Stephen Hawking pulls out of conference hosted by Shimon Peres, backs academic boycott of Israel (Updated)
Mondoweiss – Professor Stephen Hawking visiting staff and students at Birzeit University, Palestine in 2006. (Photo: Churchill College, Cambridge ) Update, May 8, 11:36 AM: The pro-Israel website CiF Watch has published this statement from Tim Holt, Acting Director of Communications at Cambridge, confirming Hawking’s decision was out of…

Colbert lumps opposition to Palestinian freedom with opposition to marriage equality
Mondoweiss – The Colbert Report Get More: Colbert Report Full Episodes , Indecision Political Humor , Video Archive Another sign of the changing mainstream discourse. Stephen Colbert hosted Congresswoman Donna Edwards and out of nowhere brought up the two-state solution. The resulting exchange shows how completely out-of-touch the US mainstream…

We cannot fix the national problems of Syria
Mondoweiss – Joshua Landis is a leading opponent of U.S. intervention in Syria. Last week we did a post faulting NPR’s Melissa Block for bringing up Landis’s marriage to an Alawite woman during an interview with him and Andrew Tabler of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy….

Exile and the Prophetic: Triaging Palestine
Mondoweiss – This post is part of Marc H. Ellis’s “Exile and the Prophetic” feature for Mondoweiss. To read the entire series visit the archive page . We all want regional cooperation. But when cooperation becomes collaboration we head straight to disaster. Who benefits from Syria’s disaster? Regional cooperation…

Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Detained by Israel 
The Foward Breaking News 8 May 2013 – Israeli police arrested the top Palestinian Muslim religious leader in Jerusalem on Wednesday and questioned him for six hours about a fracas between Palestinians and Israelis at al-Aqsa mosque before releasing him without charge. Click here for the rest of the article…

Hamas Seeks To Root Out Israeli Spies 
The Foward Breaking News 8 May 2013 – The alleged spy buried his face in his hands inside a Gaza jail as he admitted passing intelligence to Israel during its battles with armed Palestinian groups. Click here for the rest of the article…

Israel Orders Ultra-Orthodox To End Discrimination Against Women 
The Foward Breaking News 8 May 2013 – Israel’s Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein dropped a bomb in the realm of Haredi-secular relations on Wednesday, when he instructed government ministers in a sharply-worded statement to immediately stop the exclusion of women in the areas under their authority. Click here for the rest of the article……

Jerusalem Women Declare Victory in Billboard Battle — For Now 
The Foward Breaking News 8 May 2013 – Some 18 months after a group of activists began fighting the exclusion of women from billboards in Jerusalem, the fighters have declared victory. Click here for the rest of the article…

What Israel Air Strikes on Syria Reveal About Blueprint for Iran Attack 
The Forward New 8 May 2013 – Israel didn’t notify the U.S. before it launched punishing strikes on Syria. But history says it will have to sit down with Washington before any attack on Iran. Click here for the rest of the article…

Egypt: Nation Moves for UN Condemnation of Israeli Aggression On Syria 
allAfrica.com 8 May 2013 – [Aswat Masriya]The Arab group at the United Nations (UN) has sent letters to the Secretary-General of the UN and the Security Council’s President, urging their condemnation of the Israeli attacks on Syria and demanding that the Security Council acts to stop and prevent these attacks from…

Egypt: Prime Minister to Attend Business Forum in Turkey 
allAfrica.com 8 May 2013 – [Aswat Masriya]Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Kandil will participate on Friday in the two-day annual meeting and business forum of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in Turkey.

Envoy hails US-Russia deal on Syria 
BBC 8 May 2013 – UN-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi hails a US-Russia accord to work together to end the conflict in Syria but warns it is “only a first step”.

Hawking boycotts Israel conference 
BBC 8 May 2013 – Prof Stephen Hawking has pulled out of a high-profile Israeli conference, in support of an academic boycott of the country.

Jerusalem Islamic cleric questioned 
BBC 8 May 2013 – Israeli police question Jerusalem’s most senior Islamic cleric about clashes between Muslim and Jewish worshippers outside the al-Aqsa mosque.

From North to South: A Journey Through the Turbulent Future of Journalism 
Al-Akhbar Blogs 8 May 2013 – In Marsa Matrouh, on the northwestern coast of Egypt, signs of tribalism and adherence to an ultra conservative Islam can’t be missed. Bedouin garb worn by many residents remind visitors like me that this famous summer destination belongs to people Cairenes don’t easily identify. Related Articles:…

Tehran’s Doors are Open to All Interested in Ending the Syrian Conflict 
Al-Akhbar Opinion 8 May 2013 – An Iranian man sits under a portrait of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, as he registers his candidacy for the upcoming presidential election at the Interior Ministry in Tehran, on 8 May 2013. (Photo: AFP – Behrouz Mehri) An Iranian man sits under a portrait of…

Khamenei to Assad: Full and Unlimited Support 
Al-Akhbar News 8 May 2013 – Israeli infantry soldiers of the Golani brigade take part in exercises during their deployment in the Israeli annexed Golan Heights, near the border with Syria, on 6 May 2013. (Photo: AFP – Menahem Kahana) Israeli infantry soldiers of the Golani brigade take part in exercises during…

Soldiers kill seven Islamists in Algeria 
Al-Akhbar News 8 May 2013 – Algerian soldiers killed seven armed Islamists overnight in two separate operations in the restive Tizi Ouzou and Bouira provinces, east of Algiers, the defense ministry announced on Wednesday. Four Islamists were killed during an ambush carried out in Aghrib, in the Tizi Ouzou region, the ministry…

Tunisians Fear Jihadis En Route to Capital 
Al-Akhbar News 8 May 2013 – Besma Khalfaoui Belaid (C), holds up the images of her assassinated husband Chokri Belaid during a May Day rally in the capital Tunis, on 1 May 2013. (Photo: AFP – Fethi Belaid) Besma Khalfaoui Belaid (C), holds up the images of her assassinated husband Chokri Belaid…

Nahas challenges prosecution during Spinneys hearing 
Al-Akhbar News 8 May 2013 – Charbel Nahas leaves the court room on 8 May 2013 surrounded by his supporters. (Photo: Pat Sy) The trial of Charbel Nahas vs. Spinneys CEO Michael Wright opened Wednesday, as Nahas defended himself against charges brought against him by the Gulf capital-owned company. Lebanon’s former Telecommunications…

Egypt: Minister Shuffle Boosts Brotherhood Hegemony 
Al-Akhbar News 8 May 2013 – Egyptian Salafists shout religious and political slogans as they march towards the Egyptian National Security building on 2 May 2013 in Cairo. (Photo: AFP – Gianluigi Guercia) Egyptian Salafists shout religious and political slogans as they march towards the Egyptian National Security building on 2 May…

Egypt court upholds acquittal of Mubarak loyalists 
Al-Akhbar News 8 May 2013 – An Egyptian supporter of Egypt’s ousted president Hosni Mubarak kisses a figure depicting him as they gather outside the Police Academy during his retrial in Cairo on 13 April 2013. (Photo: AFP – Khaled Desouki) Egypt’s highest appeals court has upheld the acquittal of 24 loyalists…

Syria: Escalation in Khan al-Sheeh Palestinian Refugee Camp 
Al-Akhbar Politics 7 May 2013 – The three daughters of Omar Odeh, Palestinian refugees from the Yarmuk refugee camp in Damascus who fled Syria some two months ago, sit looking out of the window of their rented apartment in the Jabalia refugee camp in the Gaza Strip on 16 April 2013. (Photo:…

Envoy hails US-Russia deal on Syria 
BBC 8 May 2013 – UN-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi hails a US-Russia accord to work together to end the conflict in Syria but warns it is “only a first step”.

PKK rebels ‘begin leaving Turkey’ 
BBC 8 May 2013 – Fighters from the PKK Kurdish rebel group begin leaving Turkey for their safe havens in Iraq under a ceasefire, according to Kurdish sources.

Hawking boycotts Israel conference 
BBC 8 May 2013 – Prof Stephen Hawking has pulled out of a high-profile Israeli conference, in support of an academic boycott of the country.

Jerusalem Islamic cleric questioned 
BBC 8 May 2013 – Israeli police question Jerusalem’s most senior Islamic cleric about clashes between Muslim and Jewish worshippers outside the al-Aqsa mosque.

Articles


Palestinians struggle to remain in ’unified’ Jerusalem 
Mya Guarnieri, +972 Magazine 5/8/2013
      As Israelis march today to celebrate the ‘reunification’ of Jerusalem, Palestinian East Jerusalemites struggle against skyrocketing rents and building restrictions to remain in municipal borders. 
     Every day, investors knock on the door of a small home in Kufr Aqab, a village on the Palestinian side of the separation wall but inside Jerusalem’s municipal borders. The tidy, one-story, two-room house is surrounded by new apartment buildings, some reaching nine stories high. Contractors are currently finishing more than 1,000 units in the area; billboard advertisements suggest many more are to come.
     The same phenomenon is occurring in other Palestinian neighborhoods that are technically part of Jerusalem, but separated from the ancient city sites by the huge concrete wall.
     Apartment buildings are popping up like mushrooms in these areas. The sound of construction fills the air.
     Kufr Aqab – once full of open, green spaces – is now “crowded” and “dirty,” says Amira, an 18-year-old Palestinian woman who lives here. She asked not to be identified by her real name out of fear of endangering her Israeli-issued Jerusalem residency permit.
     Residents pay taxes to the Jerusalem Municipality but receive far fewer services than the neighboring Jewish districts of Jerusalem. While Palestinians constitute approximately 35 percent of the city’s population, only eight to ten percent of the municipal budget is allocated to their communities. “We have to hire someone to come and take [the garbage] because the city won’t come,” Amira says. “They will pick up everything on the main street but not behind it.” more.. e-mail

Stephen Hawking’s message to Israeli elites: The occupation has a price 
Noam Sheizaf, +972 Magazine 5/8/2013
      By choosing to avoid the Presidential Conference – an annual meeting of Israeli generals, politicians and business elites with their international fans, Prof. Hawking reminds that the occupation cannot be forgotten or avoided. A response to Haaretz’s Carlo Strenger.
     The British Guardian on Wednesday reported that Prof. Stephen Hawking has cancelled his appearance at the fifth Presidential Conference due to take place this June, in protest of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians. The report was later confirmed by Cambridge University. A spokeperson for the Jerusalem-based conference called Hawking’s decision “outrageous and improper.”
     One of Haaretz’s leading lefty columnists, Carlo Strenger, wrote an open letter to Hawking echoing these feelings. After expressing pride in his own opposition to the occupation, Strenger accuses Hawking of hypocrisy and applying a double standard; he claims that Israel’s human rights violations are “negligible” compared to those of other countries in the world, and notes that the Israeli academia is for the most part liberal and therefore can’t be blamed for the occupation.
     I would like to respond to some of the points he makes, since they represent a larger problem with the Israeli left.
     While Hawking responded to the call for academic boycott, it should be noted that the Presidential Conference is not an academic event: it’s an annual celebration of the Israeli business, political and military elites, whose purpose is unclear at best, and which has little importance in Israeli life (it didn’t exist until five years ago). The pro-occupation Right has a heavy presence at the conference – or at least it felt that way last year, when I attended. I will get back to the notion of “the liberal academia” and the Presidential Conference later. more.. e-mail

Let’s get married! But not in Israel 
Tania de Ildefonso Ocampos, Al Jazeera.com 5/6/2013
      Marriage law in Israel is as restrictive as its Islamic neighbours.
     On April 29, the non-profit organisation Hiddush – Freedom of Religion for Israel, which advocates religious freedom and equality in Israel, released a comparative online world map that examines the current status of freedom of marriage in 194 countries. The study, which is the first-of-its-kind, revealed that “although Israel is a democratic and liberal state, it ranks among some of the most fundamentalist countries in the Islamic world on this issue”. 
     The countries examined are graded on a scale of 0-2, based on the degree to which freedom of marriage is guaranteed to the given country’s citizens. The study shows that only in 93 (48 percent) of the countries in question there is complete or almost complete freedom of marriage (grade 2). There are partial restrictions on freedom of marriage (grade 1) in 56 (29 percent) of the countries and in 45 (23 percent) – including Israel – there are severe restrictions on freedom of marriage (grade 0). From those 45 countries where there are severe restrictions on freedom of marriage, 33 are Islamic countries. 
     According to the study, “Israel is the only Western democracy in the world that received the lowest grade. Its restrictions on marriage places Israel, in this regard, alongside its neighbouring Muslim countries: Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia (…).” North Korea, an officially atheist country in which inter-class marriage is forbidden, received the same grade as Israel: a zero. 
     Israeli matrimonial law
     Israeli matrimonial law is based on the Millet system employed in the Ottoman Empire…. more.. e-mail

Israel rescues Mujahid Obama 
Pepe Escobar, Asia Times 5/7/2013
      Just when the red line charade was reaching fever pitch – but still buried in the sand – and he had to choose between the US “exercising restraint” or “directly involving itself” in the Syrian war, (see The Syria-Iran red line show, Asia Times Online, May 2, 2013) President Obama was saved by Bibi Netanyahu’s Israeli government.
     The temptation was oh so great for Obama to replay Ronald Reagan and gloriously wear the mantle of Obama The Syrian Mujahid, just as Reagan did in the 1980s with his beloved freedom fighters of the Afghan jihad. That will have to wait – perhaps not too long.
     Israel’s motives
     Let’s cut to the chase. Israel’s bombing of Syrian army installations at Jamraya near Damascus is a provocation and an act of war. Israel acted as a Washington proxy – which may have even provided the list of targets. And Washington – not to mention those useless puppets in Brussels – won’t condemn the bombing, which for the umpteenth time makes a mockery of international law.
     Israel insists the targets were ground-to-ground Iranian Fateh-110 missiles bound for Hezbollah. Damascus says the targets were a military technology institute as well as troop training grounds; there are a lot of apartments nearby, whose tenants the CIA always wanted to recruit as assets. There are no chemical weapons at Jamraya. According to Syrian medical sources, 42 soldiers may have been killed.
     … Nasrallah, a fine geopolitical mind, stressed that what “they” really want is the destruction of the infrastructure, economy and social fabric of Syria – to “destroy Syria as a people, an army, a whole nation”. more.. e-mail

Weddady’s Free Arabs, American Islamic Congress and the pro-Israel funders who helped them rise
Electronic Intifada: 7 May 2013 – A group that rose with US government and Israel lobby funding during the early stages of the Iraq war incubated the controversial new website “Free Arabs.”more

Disappointing French ruling on Veolia still paves way for suing occupation profiteers
Electronic Intifada: 7 May 2013 – Versailles court dismisses appeal over French corporations’ involvement in Jerusalem light rail project.more

The Pain of Bangladesh: T-shirts Made with Blood and Tears
Palestine Chronicle: 8 May 2013 – By Ramzy Baroud As they spoke to a BBC correspondent in their run-down room which they call home in Dhaka, Bangladesh, a man sobbed as his 12-year-old daughter sat close to him. His face, wrinkled before its time, was a picture of utter anguish. It could only be understood by a parent whose child was dying under giant slabs of concrete where nothing could be done. “If she is dead,” he said, “I just want to bury her with my own hands, so at least in my mind I know that I have finally found my daughter.” Then the despairing man succumbed to his uncontrollable tears. His daughter Hamida had been working right along his other young daughter who had miraculously escaped the collapse of several factories in the Rana Plaza building in Dhaka on April 24. Hundreds of dead bodies were retrieved, most of whom were women and young…more


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