VTJP Occupied Palestine and Israel News and Articles 20 May 2013: Dutch probe sends warning to firms abetting Israel’s crimes

20 May 2013 — VTJP


International Middle East Media Center

P.A Security Arrests A PFLP Leader In Nablus
IMEMC – Palestinian sources reported that Palestinian security officers kidnapped, on Monday evening, one of the political leaders of the leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), from his home, in the northern West Bank city of Nablus. …

Dozens Injured As Army Invades Bodrus Village
IMEMC – Monday evening, May 20 2013, Palestinian medical sources reported that several Palestinians have been treated for the effects of teargas inhalation, after Israeli soldiers invaded Bodrus village, west of the central West Bank city of Ramallah. Property damage and fires have also been reported. …

Army Kidnaps Two Palestinian Fishermen In Northern Gaza
IMEMC – The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), based in Gaza, has reported that the Israeli Navy kidnapped, on Sunday at night, two Palestinian fishermen near the coast of Beit Lahia city, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip. …

Israel Issues Arrest Warrant For Palestinian Minister Of Detainees
IMEMC – Monday May 20 2013, according to Israel’s daily, Haaretz, the Salem Israeli Military Court issued a warrant ordering the Israeli army to arrest Palestinian Minister of Detainees, Issa Qaraqe’. Qaraqe’ said that he was never informed of such a warrant. …

Army Uproots Farmlands In Hebron, Destroys Irrigation Systems
IMEMC – Israeli soldiers uprooted, on Monday, more than four Dunams (0.98 Acres) of agricultural lands in Al-Baq’a village, east of Hebron, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank. …

Dr. Ashrawi Slams Israeli Plans to Legalize Illegal Settler ‘Outposts’
IMEMC – In response to Israel’s most recent unilateral violation of international law, including plans to legalize settler ‘outposts,’ and the escalation of settler violence against the Palestinian people and their resources, PLO Executive Committee member, Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, stated that the attacks are part of a systematic Israel policy that aims at “creating facts on the ground.” …

Army Demolishes Five Commercial Structures Near Jenin
IMEMC – Monday Morning, May 19 2013, Israeli soldiers invaded Barta’a Ash-Sharqiyya village, near the northern West Bank city of Jenin, demolished five commercial buildings, and handed demolition notices to a number of residents. A car dealership was also demolished in Jerusalem. …

Ma’an News

Israel to demolish car dealership in Jerusalem
5/20/2013 – JERUSALEM (Ma’an) – Israeli bulldozers demolished a car dealership in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of Jerusalem and an apartment in Shufat refugee camp allegedly built without a permit, residents said. The owner of the car dealership, Muhamad al-Julani, said he was shocked when he received a call from the Israeli side informing him that….

Reporter: Israeli forces arrest fishermen
5/20/2013 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) – Israeli forces detained two Palestinian fishermen off the coast of Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip, a Ma’an correspondent said. Mahmoud and Khaled Zayed were taken to an unknown location and their boat was confiscated. An Israeli military spokeswoman did not immediately return calls. [END]

Israeli court postpones East Jerusalem eviction decision
5/20/2013 – JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — An Israeli court on Monday postponed a decision regarding the eviction of 10 people from their home in Sheikh Jarrah, East Jerusalem. Muhammad Ayoub Shamasnah, the son of the home-owner, told Ma’an that the court did not make a final decision about the eviction and has postponed the case….

Israel calls off UNESCO mission to Jerusalem
5/20/2013 – JERUSALEM (AFP) — Israel said it called off a United Nations investigative mission to Jerusalem’s Old City due to start Monday because of Palestinian efforts to politicize the visit, as the UN said it was postponed.” Israel has cancelled the delegation,” a foreign ministry official told AFP.” The Palestinians were not respecting the understandings….

PA minister denies phone smuggling claims in Israeli jails
5/20/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The Palestinian Authority minister for prisoners on Monday denied Israeli media reports alleging that the ministry is involved in illegally providing detainees with mobile phones. A report published Monday by Israeli daily Haaretz said that it was discovered recently, during a trial in an Israeli military court, that Palestinian prisoners had….

Israel allows Gaza families to visit relatives in jail
5/20/2013 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Eighty-seven family members were allowed to visit their loved ones inNafha prison after receiving permission from Israel to cross via Beit Hanoun, the Red Cross said Monday. Nasser al-Najjar, a spokesman for the Red Cross, told Ma’an that 87 Palestinians headed to Nafha prison early in the morning….

Palestinian arrested in south Nablus village
5/20/2013 – NABLUS (Ma’an) – Israeli forces detained a Palestinian man from Kafr Qalil village south Nablus early Monday, locals said. Soldiers raided the village at 2 a. m. , breaking into houses and handing out notifications to see Israeli intelligence. Residents said soldiers arrested Saleh Amer, 18, and took him to the Huwwara military camp. [END]

Jamal al-Dura: Israel killed my son in cold blood
5/20/2013 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The father of Muhammad al-Dura, who was shot dead by Israeli forces in 2000, said Monday that he was not surprised by Israel’s refusal to take responsibility for his son’s death.” Every year the Israelis come up with a new narrative,” Jamal al-Dura told Ma’…. Related: Israel rejects France 2 findings on Dura affair

Gaza passengers sleep on cardboard for fourth day
5/20/2013 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) – Palestinian passengers stranded at the Egyptian side of the Rafah crossing for a fourth day say they are suffering day and night. Passengers told Ma’an on Monday that they were making do with cardboard and newspapers to sleep at night, and to avoid the heat of the sun….

Hebron NGO receives award for outstanding work
5/20/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A Palestinian NGO in Hebron has received an award for outstanding work in its field, a statement said Monday. The Hebron Youth Development Resource Center received a 2013 Clubhouse Kudos Award for its outstanding results in the area of mentor recruitment and retention. The award was presented by US-based NGO The….

Report: 4 killed in Beersheba bank robbery
5/20/2013 – TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma’an) — Four people were killed and several others injured during a suspected bank robbery in the southern Israeli city of Beersheba on Monday, Israeli media reported. Israeli police were called to the scene of a Hapolim bank after shots were reported, and the area was sealed off, Israeli news site….

Army: Syria gunfire hits Israel-occupied Golan
5/20/2013 – JERUSALEM (AFP) — Shots fired from Syria hit the central Israeli-occupied Golan Heights overnight, a military spokeswoman said Monday morning, causing no harm or damage. According to the spokeswoman, the shots were from small arms, and “most likely were stray bullets, we don’t know if it was intentional.” The spokeswoman would not confirm local….

Israel rejects France 2 findings on Dura affair
5/20/2013 – JERUSALEM (AFP) — Israel said on Sunday a France 2 television report seen worldwide on the death of a Palestinian child in 2000 was “baseless”, following an analysis of the raw footage. The report, bolstering the Israeli political and military stance on the Mohammed al-Dura affair, comes ahead of a ruling in Paris on a defamation…. Related: Jamal al-Dura: Israel killed my son in cold blood

PA secures release of 2 men from Nablus
5/20/2013 – NABLUS (Ma’an) — The Palestinian Liaison Office said Saturday it had arranged the release of two Palestinians from a village near Nablus who were arrested by Israel for walking close to a settlement. Muhammad Aytani, 47, and Mahmoud Eweis, 21, from al-Sawiya village, were detained after walking too close to the Eli settlement, the….

Egypt arrests 16 African migrants en route to Israel
5/20/2013 – El-ARISH, Egypt (Ma’an) — Egyptian authorities seized 16 African migrants trying to cross into Israel near the Karem Abu Salam crossing on Monday, security sources said. They detained 16 migrants including an Egyptian citizen, the sources said. Egypt detained eight migrants from Eritrea, five Sudanese, two Ethiopians, and an Egyptian. They were all referred….

EU official: No delay in labeling settlement goods
5/20/2013 – JENIN (Ma’an) — The European Union is still studying the possibility of labeling products made in illegal Israeli settlements, an EU official said Monday, dismissing media reports that a decision was taken to delay the move. Israeli daily Haaretz reported Sunday that US Secretary of State John Kerry and other senior officials had asked….

Palestinian killed in south Israel car accident
5/20/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A car crash in southern Israel killed a Palestinian from Rahat and injured three others, Israeli police said Monday. The collision between two trucks occurred at 1:20 a. m. , killing Muhammad Abu Mdaygham. One of the drivers ran a red light, according to Luba al-Sumari, a spokeswoman for Israeli police….

Gaza man arrested for killing elderly relative
5/20/2013 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Security forces in the Gaza Strip on Monday arrested a man suspected of killing an elderly relative, police said. The unnamed suspect reportedly asked an elderly relative to borrow 200 shekels ($54), explaining that he needed money to pay off his debts. When the woman refused, a heated argument broke-out….

Egyptian authorities seize explosives ‘en route to Sinai’
5/20/2013 – CAIRO (Ma’an) – Egyptian authorities seized a truck loaded with explosives heading from Cairo to Sinai on Sunday night, security officials said. Authorities received information about 25 containers loaded with explosives weighing half a ton, officials said. The seized explosives weighed about half a ton, a Ma’an correspondent said. According to police…. Related: Egypt army prepares for Sinai assault

Egypt army prepares for Sinai assault
5/20/2013 – EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma’an) — Egyptian security forces were preparing Monday to launch a rescue operation to free seven kidnapped soldiers and police officers in the Sinai peninsula, security sources said. A large plane carrying soldiers and heavy military equipment landed at el-Arish airport Sunday night in preparation for the attack on “terrorist groups,” the…. Related: Egyptian authorities seize explosives ‘en route to Sinai’

Relatives: Gaza man killed in Libya robbery
5/20/2013 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — A Palestinian from the Gaza Strip was killed and two of his sons were injured Monday in an armed robbery on their farm in Libya, relatives said. Juma Abu Jazar, 67, died and his two sons suffered injuries during the incident, relatives said. The father had been living in Libya….

Oxfam warns of health risks to Syria refugees
5/20/2013 – AMMAN, Jordan (AFP) — Aid organisation Oxfam warned on Monday that the warmer weather will increase health-related risks for hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon, and appealed for urgent funds. With temperatures set to soar up to 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit), and as refugees continue to flee to Jordan and Lebanon….

Palestine News Network

Israel Postpones Visit of UNESCO Delegation to Jerusalem
Palestine News Network

Israel To Arrest Minister of Prisoners’ Affairs Qaraqe, His Office Denies
Palestine News Network

Israel Summons Palestinians from Jenin
Palestine News Network

Clarification by Dr. Ashrawi Regarding Labeling of Illegal Settlement Products
Palestine News Network

Increase in PMA Business Cycle Indicator in West Bank, Gaza
Palestine News Network

Ahrar: The Eldest Administrative Detainee Suffers Health Deterioration
Palestine News Network

Hawking Stuns Israel With Conference Boycott
Palestine News Network

To Advance the Cause of Media
Palestine News Network

Relief Web

Lebanon: TOMS shoes for kids in Lebanon refugee camps
Relief Web 20 May 2013 – Source: American Near East Refugee Aid Country: Lebanon, occupied Palestinian territory, Syrian Arab Republic At one elementary school in a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon, teacher Fakhrieh Al Zaabouti was saddened when a 7-year-old child arrived to school in tears….

occupied Palestinian territory: Gaza gov’t confirms Egyptian assurances ending Rafah crossing closure
Relief Web 19 May 2013 – Source: Kuwait News Agency Country: occupied Palestinian territory GAZA, May 19 (KUNA) — The Palestinian government in Gaza, headed by Hamas leader Ismail Haniya, confirmed Sunday that it has received assurances from Egypt regarding efforts to find a solution on…

occupied Palestinian territory: Israel: Strengthen White Phosphorus Phase-Out
Relief Web 19 May 2013 – Source: Human Rights Watch Country: occupied Palestinian territory Planned Change is Useful Step but Inadequate (Jerusalem, May 19, 2013) – Israel should strengthen an announced reduction of its military use of white phosphorus munitions by banning all use of “air-burst”…

occupied Palestinian territory: Former settlement to return to Palestinian hands: NGO
Relief Web 19 May 2013 – Source: Agence France-Presse Country: occupied Palestinian territory 05/19/2013 12:52 GMT JERUSALEM, May 19, 2013 (AFP) – The land where a West Bank settlement once stood before its evacuation during Israel’s 2005 disengagement, is finally to be returned to its Palestinian…

The National

Saudi princes may face UK court over claim they laundered money for Hizbollah
The National 20 May 2013 – The Saudis, who argue the allegations made against them could endanger their lives and damage UK-Saudi relations, last week failed in their attempt to have the evidence heard in secret. Omar Karmi reports 

Bombs tear through Baghdad in Iraq’s bloodiest day for months
The National 20 May 2013 – Day of bloodshed in Shiite neighbourhoods kills 86, with Prime Minister Maliki moving to allay fears of resurgence of sectarian conflict that killed tens of thousands.

Dozens of Hizbollah members killed in Syria, activists say
The National 20 May 2013 – More than 70 Hizbollah fighters have been wounded in fighting around the strategic, opposition-held town of Qusayr, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says.

Tunisia’s moderates lose patience with Ansar Al Sharia
The National 20 May 2013 – Clashes erupt as police block attempts to hold annual conference of militant Islamists in mosque. Alice Fordham reports from Kairouan 

Egypt lifts security after border kidnappings
The National 20 May 2013 – Officials say dozens of military and police armoured vehicles have crossed into Sinai, five days after suspected militants kidnapped six policemen and a border guard.

Iran electoral watchdog hints at Rafsanjani rejection
The National 20 May 2013 – Iran will bar physically feeble candidates from running for president, in an apparent hint that it could disqualify 78-year-old former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani from the race.

‘80% of UAE couples divorce within a year’
The National 20 May 2013 – Eight out of 10 newlywed couples have filed for divorce before their first anniversary, according to the chief executive of the Dubai Foundation for Women and Children.

Algeria censors newspapers for ‘president in a coma’ reports
The National 20 May 2013 – Bouteflika was last seen entering a Paris hospital three weeks ago.


From terrorism to crime: A case study of the limits restricting Israel Police operations
Ha’aretz – 20 May 2013

Israel Police looking into allegations Yacimovich appointed donors to top Labor posts
Ha’aretz – 20 May 2013

Kerry calls Israeli envoy to protest legalization of West Bank outposts
Ha’aretz – 20 May 2013

Big Brother is watching: Israel introduces code of medical ethics code to reality TV
Ha’aretz – 20 May 2013

Livni: Lapid’s remarks on peace talks don’t reflect Israeli policies
Ha’aretz – 20 May 2013

Chief Palestinian negotiator: Two-state solution has a chance under Kerry’s efforts
Ha’aretz – 20 May 2013

Senior Israeli banker: Be’er Sheva rampage result of incitement by politicians like Yacimovich
Ha’aretz – 20 May 2013

Four dead in Be’er Sheva bank shooting; assailant releases hostage and kills himself
Ha’aretz – 20 May 2013

Syrian army displays captured Israeli-made Jeep as proof of aid to rebels
Ha’aretz – 20 May 2013

Kerry returns to Middle East, as U.S. and Russia wrangle over Syria crisis
Ha’aretz – 20 May 2013

Israeli food giant admits to abusive slaughterhouse conditions that ‘would horrify’ meat eaters
Ha’aretz – 20 May 2013

Israel nixes UNESCO Jerusalem visit, alleging Palestinians tried to make it political
Ha’aretz – 20 May 2013

Mohammed al-Dura’s father calls for international probe into whether IDF killed his son
Ha’aretz – 20 May 2013

Israeli settlers reject Supreme Court offer to compromise over eviction of Palestinian family
Ha’aretz – 20 May 2013

Holy wars in store for Bennett over reform of Israel’s rabbinate
Ha’aretz – 20 May 2013

Vandals spray-paint inciting graffiti outside Jerusalem home of Women of the Wall activist
Ha’aretz – 20 May 2013

Lapid to NYT: I oppose freeze on Israeli settlement construction
Ha’aretz – 20 May 2013

Jerusalem Post

C’tee: IDF must strike balance for haredim, women
Jerusalem Post 20 May 2013 – Livnat says draft solution must allow haredim to maintain there lifestyle in IDF without harming the rights of women. 

2 ultra-Orthodox soldiers attacked in Mea She’arim
Jerusalem Post 20 May 2013 – Police: Beating was response to haredi protest against military service. 

Israel Land Fund rejects compromise over land dispute
Jerusalem Post 20 May 2013 – Ownership lawsuit is “battle royale” for future of east Jerusalem Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. 

Rahat mayor seeks media apology for false report
Jerusalem Post 20 May 2013 – False report in Israeli media attributed mass murder at Beersheba bank to 2 residents of Beduin city in the Negev. 

Erekat throws his weight behind Kerry’s bid to revive talks
Jerusalem Post 20 May 2013 – Chief negotiator tells UN in New York settlement freeze, release of prisoners not conditions to resume talks, but obligations Israel must fulfill; says Palestinians exerting “every possible effort” to ensure success. 

PA official pours cold water on Kerry’s visit
Jerusalem Post 20 May 2013 – Following Abbas’s meeting with US consul-general, Palestinian Authority official says Israeli government not interested in peace. 

Min. to add 1,000 kindergarten assistant jobs
Jerusalem Post 20 May 2013 – Education Minister also reiterated commitment to advancing integration of children with special needs into regular schools. 

Obama ‘concerned’ over Hezbollah militants in Syria
Jerusalem Post 20 May 2013 – US president pledges continued support to Lebanese counterpart President Suleiman over keeping borders open, hosting refugees. 

Entrepreneurial Judaism
Jerusalem Post 20 May 2013 – Imagine how dynamic Jewish life could be in Israel if the Chief Rabbinate were reduced to a bare minimum and the vast majority of religious services. 

An aliya reunion: 40 years and going strong
Jerusalem Post 20 May 2013 – Borderline views: All of us would recommend, without any hesitation, to those acquaintances, friends and relatives in the UK to repeat our experience and to come live in Israel. 

Kerry announces new anti-Semitism envoy
Jerusalem Post 20 May 2013 – Secretary of State names Ira Forman as envoy to combat anti-Semitism after 2012 International Religious Freedom Report. 

Storming the Bastille of Israel’s religious bureaucracy
Jerusalem Post 20 May 2013 – Fundamentally Freund: One Israeli I know who defines himself as secular told me that he had to work long and hard to convince his fiancé to get married by a rabbi here in Israel. 

No holds barred: Was the Holocaust punishment for sin?
Jerusalem Post 20 May 2013 – Do those who argue that European Jewry were nearly wiped out by God as a consequence of sin really believe they are doing God a favor with this heresy? 

Social protests: A redux
Jerusalem Post 20 May 2013 – There is thus much reason for average Israelis to be upset. In fact, Lapid conceded as much, saying his budget negatively impacts the middle class. 

Activists: Hezbollah suffers big losses in Syria
Jerusalem Post 20 May 2013 – High death-toll highlights increasing Hezbollah intervention. 

Jordan’s king trying to play on Israel’s fears
Jerusalem Post 20 May 2013 – Abdullah should wake up and realize that beating the Israeli piñata will not save his ailing throne 

The Majlis Shura al-Mujahidin: Between Israel and Hamas
Jerusalem Post 20 May 2013 – A wave of Salafi protest against the ruling Hamas government has swept the Gaza Strip over issues including the treatment of prisoners, corruption, and religion. 

The American frienemy
Jerusalem Post 20 May 2013 – America should work hard to reach in and change the thinking of people all over the Middle East. 

Unifying Jews at the Western Wall
Jerusalem Post 20 May 2013 – The Women of The Wall are not imposing on anyone’s right to worship. They are expressing their religion in a public forum. 

Dershowitz to PM: Watch ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’
Jerusalem Post 20 May 2013 – Law professor sends episode of Larry David’s show to Netanyahu, hoping he will invite Abbas over to watch it together. 

Al-Thani: Arab Spring makes peace more pressing
Jerusalem Post 20 May 2013 – Qatar’s emir says ‘people power’ has put Israel in confrontation with people, must see resolution to Palestinian issue. 

Palestinian tragic film takes Cannes by storm
Jerusalem Post 20 May 2013 – The film “Omar” about a tragic love story of two Palestinians living under occupation received a standing ovation. 

Mass murder shocks Beersheba neighborhood
Jerusalem Post 20 May 2013 – Shock grips residents whose quiet area is a stranger to shoot-outs, car bombs, stabbings that can be common in rougher neighborhoods. 

Comment: A society fraying at the edges
Jerusalem Post 20 May 2013 – Anyone who’s had to deal with the Israeli banking system has probably felt like exploding in anger at some point. 

‘Majority of Israeli students work while studying’
Jerusalem Post 20 May 2013 – About 73% of students work during academic year, according to a survey released by the National Union of Israel Students. 

UK set to deport radical Muslim cleric to Jordan
Jerusalem Post 20 May 2013 – Abu Qatada to remain in British jail on terrorism charges; deportation to take place within weeks after eight-year delay. 

Streisand to receive honorary Hebrew U doctorate
Jerusalem Post 20 May 2013 – The iconic Jewish-American singer, actress, to receive degree for “dedication to Israel and the Jewish people.” 

Young Israelis struggle to make ends meet
Jerusalem Post 20 May 2013 – New economic report finds male employment declining and there is a growing gap between different parts of society. 

Iran’s electoral watchdog may ban Rafsanjani
Jerusalem Post 20 May 2013 – Guardian Council, composed of clerics, may disqualify former president in effort to bar candidates from running for presidency. 

Egypt boosts Sinai forces amid hostage crisis
Jerusalem Post 20 May 2013 – Army sends reinforcements as Morsi says no talks with Islamists who abducted 7 security forces men last week. 

The Guardian

Syria: no place for back-seat drivers | Editorial
The Guardian 20 May 2013 – Having rejected the diplomatic option of talking to Assad, neither the US nor Britain can lead from behind It was only a matter of time before a proxy war between regional powers turned into a battlefield…

John Kerry to visit Middle East this week to revive peace talks
The Guardian 20 May 2013 – British foreign secretary William Hague to join the US secretary of state’s fourth visit to region in two months US secretary of state John Kerry arrives in the Holy Land this week on his fourth visit…

Shooting of 12-year-old Muhammad al-Dura ‘staged’, claims Israeli report – video
The Guardian 20 May 2013 – Middle east editor Ian Black discusses the Israeli report into the death of Muhammad al-Dura, a 12-year-old Palestinian boy who was shot in Gaza in 2000 Ian Black Phil Maynard

Israel is world’s largest drone exporter
The Guardian 20 May 2013 – Half of Israel’s drone exports are to Europe, including a substantial number to the UK, according to a recent study Israel is the world’s largest exporter of drones, mainly to Europe, Asia and Latin America, in…

Israeli inquiry says film of Muhammad al-Dura’s death in Gaza was staged
The Guardian 20 May 2013 – Report says video of 12-year-old cowering with his father amid a gun battle shows no evidence he was killed by Israeli fire A film of a 12-year-old boy crying and cowering beside his father as a…

Syria crisis: battle for Qusair – Monday 20 May 2013
The Guardian 20 May 2013 – The Syrian army claims to have seized large parts of the strategic town of Qusair after reports that Hezbollah fighters helped it attack rebel positions Matthew Weaver Guardian readers

Inter Press Service

When It Comes to Syria, Israel Frequently Redrawing Red Lines
IPS The ceasefire line in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. Credit: Pierre Klochendler/IPS Israel is being drawn into Syria’s quagmire as it threatens to act further on transfers of “game-changing” weapons to hostile protagonists involved in Syria’s civil war, be they Lebanese Shiite militia Hezbollah, Jihadist Sunni rebels, or loyalist forces of…

Living in Hell, Iraqi Christians Dream of Paradise
IPS Soldiers in Bashiqa, Iraq, an area where Iraqi Christians are seeking autonomy. Credit: Karlos Zurutuza/IPS Luis Shabi nostalgically recalls his nine years of novitiate in Rome and a “fantastic road trip through Europe” before returning to Iraq in 1969. “Those were the good times,” sighs the Chaldean Archbishop of Baghdad…


Afghanistan’s sovereignty, a bad joke

Iraq: Now the Bombs Are Every Day

The caring facade of French imperialism

Syria : Without Water, Revolution

Seven killed in Yemen drone strike

Israel’s Gaza policy: “The Essential Terrorist”

Deeds not words Israeli attacks on Al-Aqsa Mosque provoke condemnation from Egyptian officials but little else

Turkey and Egypt agree to an Iran’s OPEC alternative

UPDATE: Cousins of Palestinian teenager murdered at checkpoint arrested

Libyans in North Africa scared to return home

Daily Star

IMF: inflation a potential risk for strong Saudi economy
Daily Star 20 May 2013 Saudi Arabia faces a possible inflation risk due to buoyant growth that may warrant policy action to prevent the economy from over-heating, the International Monetary Fund said on Monday.

Chief Palestinian peace negotiator backs Kerry’s efforts
Daily Star 20 May 2013 The top Palestinian negotiator with Israel on Monday threw his weight behind U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s bid to revive stalled peace talks.

Wave of attacks kills at least 95 in Iraq
Daily Star 20 May 2013 A wave of attacks killed at least 95 people in Shiite and Sunni areas of Iraq on Monday, officials said, pushing the death toll over the past week to more than 240 and extending one of…

Tunisia PM vows firm action after unrest
Daily Star 20 May 2013 Tunisia’s Islamist premier Ali Larayedh vowed tough action against Ansar al-Shariah Monday after bloody clashes between police and members of the radical Salafi group, hinting at a shift in government policy.

US condemns mosque bombings in Iraq: White House
Daily Star 20 May 2013 The United States condemned the bombing of two Shiite mosques in Iraq on Monday, appealing for calm amid a mounting wave of sectarian attacks.

Pakistan’s presumptive PM calls for Taliban talks
Daily Star 20 May 2013 Pakistan’s presumptive prime minister called for peace talks with Taliban militants at war with the government Monday, potentially charting a course that could put him at odds with the country’s powerful army.

Tunisia dismantles ‘terrorist cell’: ministry
Daily Star 20 May 2013 A “terrorist cell” preparing to launch attacks against Tunisian police and army has been dismantled in the central region of Kairouan, the interior ministry said on Monday.

Israel gunman shoots 4 dead at bank, kills self
Daily Star 20 May 2013 A gunman stormed into a bank in the southern Israeli city of Beersheba Monday, killing four people in a gunfight and taking a hostage before killing himself, police said.

Saudi Arabia reports latest death from new virus
Daily Star 20 May 2013 Saudi Arabia says it has recorded another death from a new respiratory virus related to SARS, bringing the total number of deaths in the kingdom to 16.

Father of shot Gaza boy disputes Israel report
Daily Star 20 May 2013 The father of a Palestinian boy shot dead in Gaza in 2000 said Monday he was willing to have his son exhumed to disprove an Israeli report denying he was killed by Israeli gunfire.

Obama calls Sleiman, stresses need for Cabinet, polls
Daily Star 20 May 2013 U.S. President Barack Obama calls President Michel Sleiman and stresses the need for the formation of a new government in Lebanon and that elections in the small Mediterranean country be held on time.

Stop The Wall

Settlers burn agricultural land and attack Palestinian property
Stop The Wall – Palestinian Grassroots Anti-apartheid Wall Campaign المستوطنون يحرقون 25 دونم في قرية قريوت 14/05/13 A group of settlers set fire to agricultural land in the village of Beit Furik, east of Nablus, on Tuesday. There is a checkpoint at the entrance to the town and this, along with the efforts of…

Demolition notices in al-Auja and continuous attacks by settlers 
Stop The Wall – Palestinian Grassroots Anti-apartheid Wall Campaign Settlers Violations in The West Bank 13/05/2013 On Tuesday Israeli occupation forces handed over notices to demolish 14 houses in al-Auja, in the Jericho and the Jordan Valley area. This follows the demolition of three houses last weekend In Hebron (where violations by the occupation…

YNet News

US says concerned with charges against Egyptian journalists
YNet News, 20 May 2013 – ….

Hundreds attend Beersheba shooting victim’s funeral
YNet News, 20 May 2013 – ….

Knesset approves bi-annual budget for 2013-2014
YNet News, 20 May 2013 – ….

Peres to participate in WEF conference in Jordan
YNet News, 20 May 2013 – ….

Wave of attacks kills at least 95 in Iraq
YNet News, 20 May 2013 – ….

Putin taught Bibi a lesson 
YNet News, 20 May 2013 – Op-ed: PM should have saved his demand from Russian leader for private rather than public dialogue ….

Palestine Information Center

Villagers threatened with ethnic cleansing hold a sit in outside Beit Eil court
PIC – Dozens of Palestinian families from eight villages south of al-Khalil, held a sit-in outside the headquarters of the Israeli Civil Administration, in Beit Eil, on Sunday afternoon..

MP Khreisheh: IOA aims to deport all Palestinians from the Jordan Valley
PIC – Hassan Khreisheh, Second Deputy Chairman of the Legislative Council, said that the Israeli authorities seek to deport all Palestinian farmers and residents in the Jordan Valley..

Sheikh Sabri issues fatwa prohibiting “land swap” 
PIC – Sheikh Dr. Ikrima Sabri, head of the Supreme Islamic Council and the Al Aqsa Mosque preacher, issued a Fatwa prohibiting Land Swaps with the occupation which was recently accepted by the PA.

Palestinian historian: occupation seeks to blur the Palestinian identity
PIC – Prof. Mustafa Kabaha, Department of History and Philosophy at the Quds Open University, said that the Israeli occupation seeks to blur and thieve the Palestinian identity and history.

IOF goes back to using banned weapons against demonstrators
PIC – Hebrew media sources revealed that Israeli army has renewed using banned weapons during the suppression of peaceful Palestinian demonstrations in the occupied West Bank.

Gaza government warns of Israeli attempts to impose fait accompli in Jerusalem
PIC – The Gaza government strongly condemned the Israeli practices of storming al-Aqsa mosque, demolishing Jerusalemites’ houses and displacing families aiming to impose fait accompli in the holy city.

Jerusalem committee warns of Israeli Judaization schemes
PIC – The Global March to Jerusalem (GMJ) National Committee warned of the Israeli endeavors to Judaize both, the Islamic and the Christian holy places.

Palestinian young men reopen Israeli-blocked road near Ramallah
PIC – Palestinian young men from the eastern villages of Ramallah city were able on Sunday evening to reopen the road between Silwad and Deir Jarir after it had been closed by the IOF for two days.

Palestinian gov’t in constant contact with Egypt to reopen Rafah crossing
PIC – The Palestinian government in Gaza said contacts are underway between its premier Ismail Haneyya and the Egyptian leadership to resolve the crisis of the Rafah border crossing.


Labeling Israeli Settlements’ Products Still Considered, says EU
WAFA – 20 May 2013

Israel Demolishes Section of Home in Jerusalem
WAFA – 20 May 2013

Israeli Forces Demolish 5 Commercial Facilities near Jenin
WAFA – 20 May 2013

Israeli Forces Raze Agricultural Land near Hebron
WAFA – 20 May 2013

Israeli Bulldozers Demolish Car Dealership Shop in East Jerusalem
WAFA – 20 May 2013

Weather Forecast: Hot with Slight Drop in Temperature
WAFA – 20 May 2013


Iraq car bombings leave dozens dead
LA Times 20 May 2013 – The continuing violence fuels fears that Iraq is sliding back into chaos and on the verge of splintering. BAGHDAD — Car bombs around Iraq killed at least 65 people Monday amid the worst wave of violence in the country since U.S. troops withdrew a year…

Syria launches major assault on strategic rebel stronghold
LA Times 20 May 2013 – Opposition fighters say the bombardment of the city of Qusair, near the Lebanese border, is one of the most intense of the Syrian conflict. BEIRUT — Syrian forces launched a large-scale assault Sunday on the city of Qusair, a rebel stronghold near the Lebanese border,…

Egypt’s border with Gaza stays closed as protest continues
LA Times 19 May 2013 – Nearly 170 demonstrators participate in a sit-in after the kidnapping of seven Egyptian soldiers last week in the Sinai Peninsula. CAIRO — Egypt’s border with the Gaza Strip remained closed Sunday as the families and colleagues of seven Egyptian soldiers who were kidnapped in the…

The Lede: Complete Text of Israel’s Report on the Muhammad al-Dura Video
New York Times 20 May 2013 – An Israeli government review panel asserted that a French television report broadcast that appeared to show the death of a 12-year-old Palestinian boy named Muhammad al-Dura during clashes in Gaza was deeply flawed. 

Egypt Sends Show of Force to Sinai After Kidnappings
New York Times 20 May 2013 – Dozens of tanks and hundreds of soldiers entered the largely lawless area that borders Israel and the Gaza Strip after gunmen kidnapped seven security officers. 

Man Linked by U.S. to Hezbollah Is Arrested in Brazil
New York Times 20 May 2013 – Hamzi Ahmad Barakat, a Lebanese citizen, was accused in a plot to defraud Lebanese immigrants in Brazil, though American officials have suspected him of trafficking in.arms, drugs and counterfeit bills in the past. 

At War Blog: ROTC Returns to CUNY More Than Four Decades After Removal
New York Times 20 May 2013 – Former Secretary of State Colin Powell is expected to attend a ceremony welcoming the Reserve Officer Training Corps back to the City University of New York. 

World Brief | Middle East : Gunman Kills Four in Bank in Southern Israel
New York Times 20 May 2013 – An unemployed former security guard shot and killed four people in a bank in the southern Israeli city of Beersheba on Monday. 

Battle in Syria Pulls Hezbollah Further Into Assad’s War
New York Times 20 May 2013 – Fighting in the strategic city of Qusayr brought rising casualties for the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah as it joined its biggest battle yet in support of Syria’s president. 

Wave of Attacks Kills Scores in Iraq
New York Times 20 May 2013 – A series of explosions and gunfire assaults that left scores of people dead deepened concerns that sectarian tensions could lead to widespread fighting. 

Fresh Israeli Face Plays Down Political Decline
New York Times 20 May 2013 – Yair Lapid, the popular television host whose political rise has been undercut by the austerity budget he presented as finance minister, is trying to take the long view. 

IEC seeks to empty workers’ trustee account 
Globes Energy & Water – NIS 1.5 billion remains in the account, after IEC withdrew NIS 600 million with the employees’ consent a year ago.

“We need money from purchase tax on homes”
Globes Main News – Finance Minister Yair Lapid told the Globes-BDO Ziv Haft Capital Market Conference, “It will remain in place, even if it costs Yesh Atid votes.”

“We’re concerned mortgage risk assessment is wrong”
Globes Main News – Supervisor of Banks David Zaken told the Globes-BDO Ziv Haft Capital Markets Conference that risks must be reduced.

Haredim raising $100m fund to blunt budget measures
Globes Main News – “Mishpacha”: Haredi tycoons want to minimize the damage planned by the government.

Mon: Oil Refineries boosts market
Globes Main News – Oil Refineries rose strongly on strong financials, while Teva continued its rally.

Camtek soars 40% on strong guidance
Globes Main News – Camtek CEO Roy Porat: We expect strong sequential improvement in the coming quarter with revenue reaching $21-23 million, representing 20% growth.

No-one is looking after our assets
Globes Macro Economics – The Government Companies Authority has failed in its task and should be abolished.

Haifa Port workers earn average NIS 38,000 monthly 
Globes Macro Economics – This is more than the salary of the director general of a government ministry.

Edward Prescott slams Israeli fiscal policy 
Globes Macro Economics – “Tax hikes in Israel will lead to economic depression.”

IAI presents latest cyber intelligence and communications solutions
Globes Aerospace & Defense – Israel Aerospace Industries has been intensively operating in the cyber arena on defense and intelligence gathering.

Israeli report on al-Dura case is vengeful and ‘surreal,’ says Haaretz — but ‘NYT’ treats it as gospel
Mondoweiss – From a Paldf.net : al-Dura family, including Jamal (l), at Mohammed al-Dura’s grave Famously, 12-year-old Muhammad al-Dura was killed in the second intifada, during a shootout in Gaza in September 2000; haunting footage of the boy’s cowering with his father, first broadcast on French public television, became…

Mohammed Assaf, singing sensation out of Gaza refugee camp, torches Arab Idol competition
Mondoweiss – Lebanon’s Arab Idol 2013 competition isn’t over, but it’s already made a star of 22-year-old finalist  Mohammed Assaf , a Palestinian student from Khan Younis refugee camp in Gaza, a sensation causing swooning hearts all across the Arab world with his renditions of love songs and patriotic…

Activists call for a SodaStream boycott at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival
Mondoweiss – Learn more about the Interfaith Boycott Coalition here and sign the petition here . It reads: We are thirsty for justice. We are Christians, Muslims, Jews, and other people of conscience calling on all consumers and stores to stop buying and selling SodaStream carbonation devices or other…

Video: Palestinian demonstrators break a hole in the wall during protest commemorating the Nakba
Mondoweiss – Palestinian youths make their way into Jerusalem through Israel’s apartheid wall OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 18 May — A group of Palestinian young men was able on Friday evening to knock down part of Israel’s segregation wall near Abu Dis town to the east of occupied Jerusalem,…

Kennedy’s insistence on right of return prompted Ben-Gurion to rewrite history: They fled ‘of their own free will’
Mondoweiss – Incredible piece of reporting on the Nakba at ‘Haaretz’ from Shay Hazkani, and meaningful at many levels. It shows what the scholar Victor Kattan has documented , that several US presidents were for the right of return. Kennedy wanted several hundred thousand to be allowed to return,…

ZOA Regains Tax-Exempt Status 
The Foward Breaking News 20 May 2013 – The Internal Revenue Service reinstated the tax-exempt status of the Zionist Organization of America. Click here for the rest of the article…

Top Palestinian Negotiator Lauds Kerry Peace Push and Blast’s Israel ‘Apartheid’ 
The Foward Breaking News 20 May 2013 – The top Palestinian negotiator with Israel on Monday threw his weight behind U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s bid to revive stalled peace talks, while describing the situation in the West Bank as apartheid worse than that suffered in South Africa. Click here for the rest…

Israeli Man Kills 4 in ‘No Cash for You’ Bank Shooting Rampage 
The Foward Breaking News 20 May 2013 – A gunman shot dead four people execution-style in a bank in Israel on Monday after being refused an overdraft and cash from its automatic teller machine. Click here for the rest of the article…

U.N. Trip to Jerusalem Scrapped by Israel 
The Foward Breaking News 20 May 2013 – Israel on Monday cancelled a visit by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to Jerusalem’s Old City, saying the Palestinians had sought to politicise a conservation mission. Click here for the rest of the article…

ZOA Regains Tax-Exempt Status After Yearlong Hiatus 
The Forward New 20 May 2013 – The Zionist Organization of America has regained its tax exemption more than a year after its failure to file financial disclosures led the Internal Revenue Service to revoke its nonprofit status. Click here for the rest of the article…

Gambia: Israel Embassy 65th Independence Anniversary in Banjul 
allAfrica.com 20 May 2013 – [The Point]The Israel Embassy in Dakar, Senegal, on 16 May 2013 commemorated the 65th Anniversary of the state of Israel at the Cocoa Ocean Hotel in The Gambia.

Joint statement by Beit Ommar Popular Committee and Palestine Solidarity Project 
Palestine Solidarity Project 20 May 2013 – This morning of May 20th, 2013, at approximately 11 a.m. our time, we were made aware of the presence of a Nazi flag hanging from electrical lines in our village of Beit Ommar. We immediately attempted to have the flag removed but had to wait for…

Man kills four in Israeli bank 
BBC 20 May 2013 – A man shoots four people dead in a bank in southern Israel before turning the gun on himself, reportedly after a dispute over an overdraft.

‘No proof’ Israel shot Gaza child 
BBC 20 May 2013 – An Israeli government investigation concludes a French news report in 2000, which blamed Israeli troops for shooting dead a Palestinian child, was baseless.

Fierce battle for key Syrian town 
BBC 20 May 2013 – Fierce fighting is reported in the strategic Syrian town of Qusair, as rebels and government forces backed by Hezbollah militants fight for control.

Egypt sends extra troops to Sinai 
BBC 20 May 2013 – Egypt deploys extra troops to the Sinai peninsula after seven members of the security forces were abducted there.

Qusayr Battles Echo in Tripoli 
Al-Akhbar News 20 May 2013 – A woman walks past Lebanese soldiers standing guard with an armoured personnel carrier in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli on 20 May 2013. (Photo: AFP – Ibrahim Chalhoub) A woman walks past Lebanese soldiers standing guard with an armoured personnel carrier in the northern Lebanese…

Israel’s Miscalculation Syndrome 
Al-Akhbar News 20 May 2013 – An Israeli Merkava tank is positioned for deployment during a drill in the Israeli annexed Golan Heights near the border with Syria on 5 May 2013. (Photo: AFP – Menahem Kahana) An Israeli Merkava tank is positioned for deployment during a drill in the Israeli annexed…

Syria: The Man Behind Qusayr’s Mediation Efforts 
Al-Akhbar News 20 May 2013 – A Lebanese man stands on a dirt barrier which separates Lebanon from Syria in the Bekaa Valley region of al-Qaa in eastern Lebanon on 21 October 2011. (Photo: AFP – Joseph Eid) A Lebanese man stands on a dirt barrier which separates Lebanon from Syria in…

Syria: Turning Point in the Battle of Qusayr 
Al-Akhbar News 20 May 2013 – Syrian troops take control of the village of Western Dumayna, some seven kilometers north of the rebel-held city of Qusayr, on 13 May 2013. (Photo: AFP – Joseph Eid) Syrian troops take control of the village of Western Dumayna, some seven kilometers north of the rebel-held…

Saudi Arabia beheads man over drug trafficking 
Al-Akhbar News 20 May 2013 – Saudi authorities beheaded on Monday a Syrian man after convicting him of drug trafficking, the interior ministry said. Mohammed Yousuf Ezzeddine was executed in the northern city of Qurayat, near the borders with Jordan, the ministry said in a statement carried by SPA state news agency….

Israel bars UN investigators from visiting Jerusalem 
Al-Akhbar News 20 May 2013 – Palestinians chant slogans during a demonstration to mark the Nakba at al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem on 17 May 2013. (Photo: AFP – Ahmad Gharabli) Israel on Monday barred a UN commission from visiting Jerusalem to investigate ongoing violations of religious freedom against Muslims and Christians in…

Dozens die in Iraqi bomb attacks 
BBC 20 May 2013 – More than 70 people are killed and many more wounded by car bombs and suicide attacks in one of the worst days of violence in Iraq in recent months.

Man kills four in Israeli bank 
BBC 20 May 2013 – A man shoots four people dead in a bank in southern Israel before turning the gun on himself, reportedly after a dispute over an overdraft.

‘No proof’ Israel shot Gaza child 
BBC 20 May 2013 – An Israeli government investigation concludes a French news report in 2000, which blamed Israeli troops for shooting dead a Palestinian child, was baseless.

Fierce battle for key Syrian town 
BBC 20 May 2013 – Fierce fighting is reported in the strategic Syrian town of Qusair, as rebels and government forces backed by Hezbollah militants fight for control.

Egypt sends extra troops to Sinai 
BBC 20 May 2013 – Egypt deploys extra troops to the Sinai peninsula after seven members of the security forces were abducted there.

Police killed in fresh Iraq attacks 
BBC 19 May 2013 – At least three police officers have been killed after gunmen attack their station in northern Iraq, local officials say.


Lapid and Netanyahu aren’t the problem, their voters are 
Noam Sheizaf, +972 Magazine 5/20/2013
      In an interview with the ‘New York Times,’ Yesh Atid party leader Yair Lapid rejects the idea of a settlement freeze or compromise on Jerusalem, instead offering an updated version of the Oslo Accord as an interim solution.
     Yair Lapid, the surprising star of the last elections and Israel’s current finance minister, gave an interview to the The New York Times in which he left only “a little daylight” between himself to Prime Minister Netanyahu on the Palestinian issue, as the Times’s Jodi Rudoren put it.
     That was clearly an understatement. Except for paying lip service to the need to create a Palestinian state – now a precondition for every policy speech by a mainstream Israeli leader, intended to prevent accusations of Apartheid – Lapid didn’t even try to hide his rejectionism. He told Rudoren that a final status agreement with Mahmoud Abbas is probably impossible; he said that Israel “should not change its policy on Israeli settlements in the West Bank,” and he objected to territorial compromises on Jerusalem, as he has done in the past.
     When it came to talking about what should be done, rather than what shouldn’t, Lapid had the following idea:
     “Mr. Lapid acknowledged that tens of thousands of Jews would someday be uprooted from what he described as ‘remote settlements’ in the West Bank, something he called ‘heartbreaking.’ But he said that problem should be set aside for now, advocating the immediate creation of an interim Palestinian state in parts of the West Bank where no Jews live, with final borders drawn in perhaps three, four or five years.” more.. e-mail

Success requires consequences for failure 
John V. Whitbeck, Al Jazeera.com 5/20/2013
      Time constraints that lapse resulting in consequences for Israel could help push along a decadent peace process.
     For almost two decades, the seemingly perpetual Middle East “peace process” has been like a hamster-wheel for Palestinians and a merry-go-round for Israelis. All the movement has been a form of running or turning in place. Nothing ever really changes.
     As Secretary of State John Kerry prepares to resume on May 21 his Middle East shuttle, seeking to “kick-start” a resumption of direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations – with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu insisting that any new negotiations must be “without preconditions” and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas insisting, among other things, that any new negotiations must be time-limited – it is worth recalling a prior negotiations resumption ceremony held at the White House on September 2, 2010.
     In announcing that resumption, Kerry’s predecessor, Hillary Rodham Clinton, stated that that new round of negotiations should be “without preconditions”, as Netanyahu had insisted, and that both Netanyahu and Abbas had agreed that the negotiations should be subject to a one-year time limit or deadline, as Abbas had insisted.
     That round of negotiations went nowhere, and the formally announced “deadline” proved meaningless, for one clear and critical reason.
     Throughout this “peace process”, all deadlines, starting with the five-year deadline for achieving a permanent peace agreement set in the “Oslo” Declaration of Principles signed almost 20 years ago, have been consistently and predictably missed…. more.. e-mail

A smug, bourgeois Israeli ’social protest’ 
Larry Derfner, +972 Magazine 5/19/2013
      Despite the wishes of many — if not most — of the people in the streets, the masses who identify with the ‘social protest’ are callous to those whose complaints are so much more urgent than theirs.
     Even though I’ve always agreed with the stated goal of the “social protest” – to redistribute Israel’s wealth more equitably – I can no longer sympathize with it. While many if not most of the people in the streets would like to turn the movement against the occupation and not only against “swinish capitalism,” this hasn’t happened after two years of protest. It’s not going to happen, either, because the moment it does, the social protest loses its legitimacy to speak in the name of “the people,” because “the people” of Israel couldn’t care less about the Palestinians. This was clear to everyone from the beginning; left-wingers hoped that what began as a demand for economic justice would extend to a demand for justice for the Palestinians, but that hope remains as hollow today as it did in the summer of 2011.
     Regardless of the politics of the street protesters and the organizers, the masses at home who identified with the cost-of-living protests two years ago, and who identify today with the protests against the new budget, are dominated politically by the Jewish middle-class and their concerns. Those concerns not only exclude the Palestinians, they exclude the Arab citizens of Israel – and they largely exclude the genuinely poor Jews of this country, too. While many middle-class demands happen to coincide with those of the poor – for instance, opposition to higher consumption taxes and to cuts in education – the poor are hangers-on in this movement. (Again, I’m not talking about the protests in the street, but the wave of popular discontent over the economic policies of Finance Minister Yair Lapid and the government.)
     The days when poor Jews from the urban slums and peripheral “development towns’ could mount an attention-getting protest in this country are over. (For Palestinians and Israeli Arabs, of course, they never began.)…. more.. e-mail

Dutch probe sends warning to firms abetting Israel’s crimes 
Salma Karmi-Ayyoub, Electronic Intifada 5/16/2013
      Corporate complicity in Israel’s occupation potentially carries the risk of criminal prosecution.
     This week sees the conclusion of a three-year criminal investigation into the Dutch crane company, Riwal, accused of complicity in war crimes and crimes against humanity in the occupied West Bank. The case is unprecedented as it is the first time a company has been criminally investigated for involvement in the Israeli occupation.
     Although the case has not resulted in a prosecution, it is nonetheless an important step for those seeking justice for human rights abuses committed against Palestinians. The case sends a clear message to the corporate sector: complicity in Israel’s occupation potentially carries the risk of criminal prosecution.
     The case started with a complaint submitted to the Dutch prosecutor by the Palestinian human rights organization Al-Haq in March 2010. The complaint documented the involvement of Riwal’s cranes and aerial platforms in constructing Israel’s wall and illegal settlements in the West Bank. It prompted the prosecutor to launch a large-scale investigation into the company’s activities, including a raid on company headquarters in September 2010.
     The investigation established that the company contributed to constructing the wall and settlements in at least six incidents mentioned in the complaint. However, the prosecutor cited various considerations, including the complexity of the case, limited resources and the likely lack of cooperation by Israel in obtaining further evidence, as reasons not to pursue a prosecution. There is a right of appeal against the prosecutor’s decision, which can also be reconsidered if circumstances change or in light of new evidence. more.. e-mail

“I’m afraid of dying” without returning home, says Nakba survivor
Electronic Intifada: 20 May 2013 – Abu Khaled’s village is just 15 kilometers from Gaza, yet he may never see it again.more

Walking tours highlight West Bank’s shrinking landscape
Electronic Intifada: 20 May 2013 – Hikers risk being attacked if they come close to Israeli settlements.more

Deep in Enemy Territory – Fast Times in Palestine
Palestine Chronicle: 19 May 2013 – By Pamela Olson (The following is part of an outtake from Pamela Olson’s book Fast Times in Palestine , published by Seal Press in March 2013.  The full story, with photos is posted on her blog .) A friend from college named Cameron was in Israel visiting family for Passover. He was an adventurous soul, a world traveler and entrepreneur, with curly brown hair, blue eyes, and a slim athletic build. When his family learned I was in the Holy Land, they invited me to their Passover seder — until they realized I lived in Ramallah, at which point they promptly rescinded the invitation. Cameron was a strong supporter of Israel and hawkish on security issues, but he was embarrassed by his family’s behavior. I told him he could make it up to me by visiting the West Bank for a week and seeing the occupation for himself. To my pleasant surprise…more

Shut In, Shut Down, Shut Up: Three Years after Mavi Marmara
Palestine Chronicle: 19 May 2013 – By Greta Berlin Three years ago, the Free Gaza movement was wrapping up final preparations for a flotilla of eight ships to head out to Gaza, determined to break Israel’s illegal siege on 1.5 million Palestinians shut into an open-air prison. Most of us were already in Cyprus or Turkey or Greece, as we were the primary organizers, having already sent eight voyages, five of them successful in 2008. Why a flotilla of boats? During Israel’s horrific massacres against the people of Gaza (called Operation Cast Lead) in December 2008/January, 2009, our boat, the DIGNITY, had been rammed off the coast of Lebanon as we were taking medical personnel into Gaza. The boat later sank in a storm off the coast of Cyprus. Then, in July 2009, Israel brutally attacked the “Spirit of Humanity,” even though Nobel Peace Laureate, Mairead Maguire, and former Congresswoman, Cynthia McKinney were on board. The…more

Students Stage Checkpoint
Dissident Voice: 20 May 2013 – On May 15, students at Middlebury College in Vermont staged a checkpoint outside their dining hall during the busiest meal of the year to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the ethnic cleansing of Palestine , which led to the establishment of the state of Israel. As the Middlebury divestment campaign from arms and fossil fuels gains national attention , a coalition that included Palestinian, Israeli, and American Jewish students staged the act of political theater in solidarity with Nakba Day demonstrations around the globe as a call to add apartheid to the students’ divestment demands. At a midnight breakfast event during finals week, students were greeted in the dark with barricades blocking the entrance to the dining hall and flashlights from full uniformed soldiers asking for identification cards. Alex Jackman, a junior from New York City, described the checkpoint as “one of the coolest pieces of theater I have seen on Middlebury…more

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