VTJP Occupied Palestine and Israel News and Articles 1 June 2013

1 June 2013 — VTJP


International Middle East Media Center

370 Palestinians Kidnapped In May
IMEMC – The Palestinian Prisoners Center for Studies issued its monthly report on the Palestinian political prisoners, held by Israel, and stated that Israeli soldiers carried out more than 280 invasions, in May, and kidnapped 370 Palestinians. …

Soldiers Open Fire At Palestinian Fishermen In Gaza
IMEMC – Saturday June 1 2013, A number of Israeli Navy boats fired rounds of live ammunition at Palestinian fishing boats in Palestinian territorial waters in the northern part of the Gaza Strip. …

Ma’an News

Dozens hurt in clashes across West Bank
6/1/2013 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Dozens of Palestinian, international activists and journalists sustained light injuries from rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas in clashes that broke out across the West Bank on Friday. Protesters demonstrating against land confiscation suffered tear-gas inhalation in clashes in Nabi Saleh near Ramallah. Several trees burned as Israeli forces randomly fired tear-gas canisters, activists said. The Israeli army declared the village….

Israeli forces shoot, injure Bethlehem teenager
6/1/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces shot and injured a Palestinian teenager in Bethlehem late Friday, medics said. Rashid Darwish, 17, from Aida refugee camp, sustained a gunshot wound to the abdomen after Israeli soldiers stationed at a military watchtower near the separation wall opened fire. Medics transferred the teenager to Beit Jala hospital where he was undergoing surgery late Friday. Hospital officials described the….

Vandals spray anti-Christian graffiti on Jerusalem church
6/1/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Suspected Jewish extremists sprayed anti-Christian graffiti in Hebrew on a church in Jerusalem in the early hours of Friday morning, police said. The vandals sprayed “Christians are monkeys” and “price tag” on the walls of the Church of the Dormition, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told Ma’an. They also slashed the tires of cars around the church, the Israeli daily….

Settlers ‘close entrance’ to Beit Ummar
6/1/2013 – HEBRON (Ma’an) — Dozens of Israeli settlers, accompanied by Israeli soldiers, on Friday closed an entrance to the southern West Bank town of Beit Ummar, a local official said. Popular committee spokesman Mohammad Ayyad said settlers gathered at the entrance to the town, near the al-Qarn area, preventing Palestinians from passing. Ayyad said soldiers informed residents that the settlers were protesting because Palestinians from….

Palestinian victims of 1948 war found in mass grave
6/1/2013 – TEL AVIV, Israel (AFP) — The remains of dozens of Palestinians killed by Israelis in fighting following the 1948 foundation of the Israeli state have been found in a mass grave in Tel Aviv’s Jaffa district. An official at the Muslim cemetery there told AFP that the grisly find occurred on Wednesday when ground subsided as workers carried out renovations, revealing six chambers full….

Israel issues poster threatening to arrest children
6/1/2013 – QALQILIYA (Ma’an) — Israeli forces posted flyers in a Qalqiliya village overnight Friday threatening children with arrest, a local committee said. Murad Shtawey, spokesman for the local popular resistance committee, told Ma’an that Israeli soldiers raided the village of Kafr Qaddum at 1. 30 a. m. , firing stun grenades and tear gas canisters. After Israeli troops left, locals found the flyers with….

11 injured in clashes near Hebron
5/31/2013 – HEBRON (Ma’an) — Eleven people on Friday were injured with rubber-coated steel bullets in clashes between protestors and Israeli forces in Beit Ummar north of Hebron. A spokesman of the popular struggle committee, Mohammed Awwad, told Ma’an that the clashes broke out in the Beit Zeta area in the village. Israeli soldiers fired rubber-coated steel bullets and tear-gas canisters. A 5-month-old….

‘Very confident’ Assad talks of new front with Israel
6/1/2013 – BEIRUT (AFP) — Syrian President Bashar Assad threatened Israel with renewed fighting in the Golan Heights and said Russia was committed to supplying him with advanced missiles, in an interview broadcast Thursday. Washington warned that any such weapon deliveries from Moscow would only prolong the conflict between government forces and Assad’s foes in Syria, where activists say more than 94,000 people have been killed….

Egypt police seize fuel en route to Gaza tunnels
6/1/2013 – EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma’an) — Egyptian police on Friday seized half a ton of diesel headed to the Gaza Strip. Police stopped a truck carrying 20 containers of subsidized fuel at the al-Salam bridge in al-Qantara city. They detained the driver, who admitted he planned to smuggle the fuel to the Gaza Strip via tunnels at Rafah. [END]

Haniyeh rejects ‘politically tainted’ US cash
6/1/2013 – GAZACITY (Ma’an) — Gaza premier Ismail Haniyeh on Friday slammed a US plan to boost the Palestinian economy as an attempt to sideline unresolved political issues. US Secretary of State John Kerry, who is leading a push to restart the peace process, on Sunday unveiled a plan to boost the economy by attracting $4 billion in private investment.” The billions that flow from the….

Fatah Youth condemns arrests of Jerusalem activists
6/1/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The Fatah Youth Movement on Friday condemned the arrests of its activists by Israeli police in East Jerusalem. Some 20 members of Fatah’s youth movement were arrested in East Jerusalem overnight Thursday, including its general secretary Mohammad Matar and youth leaders Sami Ghalie and Thaer Anees, the group said. Fatah Youth said the arrest sweep on Thursday was part….

Israeli forces arrest 65-year-old man
6/1/2013 – HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli forces on Friday arrested a 65-year-old man from the Beit Ummar village north of Hebron, a local official said Friday. Yousef Abu Maria, spokesman for the local popular committee, said Ali Al-Duuda, 65, was taken from his home. Abu Maria added that the arrest is an attempt to force Al-Duuda off of his land to make way for a….

Nablus demonstrators protest high cost of living
6/1/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Dozens of Palestinians took to the streets in Nablus on Saturday to protest the high cost of living and demand the cancellation of the Paris Protocol signed in 1994. Protesters called on the Palestinian Authority to reduce the cost of essential commodities, urging PA officials to raise salaries and not the price of basic goods. Earlier this week, protesters marched against…. Related:Demonstrators protest high cost of living in Bethlehem

Mother appeals for surgery for imprisoned son
5/31/2013 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The mother of a prisoner from the Gaza Strip detained in Israel has appealed for emergency surgery for her son. Murad Abu Moleq’s mother and father were able to visit their son in April.” When I saw him he was terribly ill and needed an urgent surgery but Israeli prison administration refuses and postpones his surgery,” his mother….

Demonstrators protest high cost of living in Bethlehem
5/31/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Dozens of protesters from Duheisha refugee camp demonstrated against the high cost of living in Bethlehem on Thursday. Protesters marched against high prices and unemployment, calling on the Palestinian Authority to lower prices so people can meet their everyday needs. [END]

Israeli police detain 6 in Jerusalem raid
5/31/2013 – JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israeli police detained six Palestinians in an early morning raid on Friday in the Bab Hattah neighborhood of Jerusalem’s Old City. Police detained Mohammad Bayoumi, Alaa Shahin, Mohammad al-Joulani, Fouad al-Shawish, Ahmad al-Mhalwes and Ahmad al-Shawish, a Ma’an reporter said. A spokesman for Fatah youth, which has been targeted by Israeli police in recent days, said the….

Shop owner found dead in Khan Younis
6/1/2013 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The body of a man with multiple stab wounds was found on Thursday in the center of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip. Ameen Ali Sharab, 60, was found dead near his currency exchange shop, close to the mosque in Khan Younis. His body was taken to the Nasser Medical Complex. He appeared to have been stabbed to death….

Egypt detains 2 Palestinians who entered from Libya
6/1/2013 – EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma’an) — Egyptian authorities on Saturday detained two Palestinians who entered the country illegally from Libya. Two men named only as Rajab, 37, and Ismail, 37, were arrested by Egyptian forces and interrogated by police. Both men hold Palestinian Authority citizenship and crossed the border illegally. [END]

Erekat: Israel wants to ‘get rid’ of Abbas
6/1/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Senior PLO official Saeb Erekat said Saturday that Israel wants to “get rid” of President Abbas.” Israel says that Abbas is not a partner for peace, because he holds onto the rights of Palestinians,” Erekat told Dubai TV. US Secretary of State John Kerry must pressure Israel to accept the two-state solution, stop settlement building, and release Palestinian prisoners, he added….

Kerry phones Abbas for talks on peace process
6/1/2013 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — President Mahmoud Abbas has spoken with US Secretary of State John Kerry twice in the past 24 hours as part of efforts to revive the peace process, official news agency Wafa reported Saturday. Abbas reportedly told the US official that it is crucial that Israel releases prisoners and stops settlement activities, Wafa said. Last week, Kerry unveiled a $4 billion US….

‘Symphony for Palestine’ gets first West Bank airing
6/1/2013 – RAMALLAH (AFP) — A symphony dedicated to two Palestinians killed in the West Bank has received its first performance in the Israeli-occupied territory after producers overcame obstacles that had impeded one for the past three years.” Symphony for Palestine” by Iranian composer Kayhan Kalhor is dedicated to an Israeli-Palestinian theater director gunned down by a Palestinian militant in 2011 and a Palestinian 12-year-old shot dead…. Related: INVITATION: Symphony for Palestine

Fires break out across West Bank
6/1/2013 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Some 90 fires broke out on farmland across the West Bank on Friday, a civil defense report said. The report said that dozens of kilometers of land and trees caught fire. Firefighters were attempting to control the fires to prevent them from spreading to unaffected land. The civil defense unit advised residents to avoid using flammable materials or throwing cigarette butts….

Russia ‘has not delivered S-300 missiles to Syria’
6/1/2013 – MOSCOW (AFP) — Russia has not yet delivered any S-300 air defense missile systems to the Syrian regime and may hold back from shipping the weapons this year or even indefinitely, Russian media reports said Friday. Syrian President Bashar Assad appeared to imply on Thursday that Russia could have already shipped part of the highly controversial consignment, without naming the missiles directly. Meanwhile, Interfax also….

Tunisia topless protesters ‘could face jail terms’
6/1/2013 – TUNIS (AFP) — Three European women with radical activist group Femen, who were arrested after baring their breasts in Tunis, will be tried next week for public indecency, which carries a possible prison sentence, their lawyer said on Friday.” They will appear in court in Tunis on June 5. . . The trial will be an open hearing,” Souheib Bahri told AFP, information confirmed by French consular officials….

5 Mexican tourists killed in Sinai bus crash
6/1/2013 – EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma’an) — Five Mexican tourists died and 14 others sustained injuries in a bus crash Friday in the southern Sinai peninsula, a medical official said. Khalid Abu Hashim told Ma’an that a tourist bus overturned 30 kilometers from St Catherine, a popular destination for pilgrims, on a road leading to Dahab on the Sinai coast. Abu Hashim said the death….

Doctors record ‘dozens of chemical attacks’ in Syria
6/1/2013 – GENEVA (AFP) — A group of doctors working in war-torn Syria said Friday its members had seen dozens of patients suffering from what they believe are chemical weapons attacks, saying the number seemed to be rising.” We have dozens of cases of people hurt in what seems to be chemical attacks, especially civilians,” Tawfik Chamaa, a founding member of the Union of Syrian Medical Relief Organisations…. Related: Iraq smashes Qaeda poison gas cell in Baghdad

Lebanon MPs put off election as Syria war rages
6/1/2013 – BEIRUT (AFP) — Lebanon’s parliament on Friday voted to extend its mandate and delay elections after failing to adopt a new electoral law at a time of deep divisions over the war in neighboring Syria. The motion for a 17-month extension, submitted by independent Christian MP Nicolas Fattouche, was passed unanimously by 98 members of the 128-seat house who attended, with rival….

Saudi king in ‘private visit’ to Morocco
6/1/2013 – JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia (AFP) — Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah traveled to Morocco on Friday for an “official visit”, state news agency SPA reported, refuting rumors that the octogenarian monarch’s health was deteriorating. The king, who was born in 1924, has spent time in Morocco recovering after operations in recent years. But SPA published pictures showing princes and officials greeting the king at….

US slams Russia over Syria arms deal
6/1/2013 – DAMASCUS (AFP) — US Secretary of State John Kerry has strongly condemned Russia’s pledge to sell an advanced missile system to Damascus, questioning Moscow’s commitment to end the Syrian conflict, as concern grew for civilians trapped in the battle for a key Syrian town. Speaking from Washington, Kerry warned that the planned delivery of S-300 air defence missiles to Damascus was….

Rockets fired from Syria hit Lebanon
6/1/2013 – BEIRUT (AFP) — Four rockets fired from Syria hit Lebanon’s eastern Bekaa region, causing no casualties, in the latest spillover from the more than two-year conflict in Lebanon’s larger neighbor, a security source said.” Four rockets struck in the area between Saraain al-Fawqa and Saraain al-Tahta near the Rayaq airport,” the source told AFP.” The rockets were fired from Syrian territory. There….

Top Muslim cleric urges Sunnis to join Syria war
6/1/2013 – DOHA (AFP) — Influential Muslim cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi has called on Sunni Muslims to join the rebels fighting the Syrian regime, as he lashed out at Shiite group Hezbollah for sending its men to fight the mostly-Sunni insurgents in Syria. Qaradawi, a controversial figure in the West but who has millions of supporters, mostly from the Muslim Brotherhood, also hit out at Iran for backing the….

Turkey police pull out of Istanbul square occupied by protesters
6/1/2013 – ISTANBUL (AFP) — Turkey police on Saturday began pulling out of Istanbul’s iconic Taksim Square, the scene of a second day of violent clashes between protesters and police over a controversial development project. Thousands of demonstrators flooded the site as police lifted the barricades around Taksim Excursion Park and began withdrawing from the square, an AFP reporter saw. [END]

Iraq smashes Qaeda poison gas cell in Baghdad
6/1/2013 – BAGHDAD (AFP) — Iraq’s defense ministry said on Saturday that it has broken up an Al-Qaeda cell that was working to produce poison gas at two locations in the capital for future attacks at home and abroad. The group of five people built two facilities to produce sarin and mustard gas, using instructions from another Al-Qaeda group, spokesman Mohammed al-Askari told a news conference…. Related: Doctors record ‘dozens of chemical attacks’ in Syria

Iraq hit by worst violence since 2008
6/1/2013 – BAGHDAD (AFP) — The worst violence since 2008 hit Iraq in May, raising fears of all-out sectarian strife, as top political leaders met on Saturday for long-delayed talks on persistent disputes that have paralyzed the government. Authorities have failed to bring the wave of unrest under control, and have so far not addressed the underlying political issues that analysts say are driving the attacks, while the….

Egypt court frees police accused in protest icon death
6/1/2013 – CAIRO (AFP) — An Egyptian court on Saturday ordered the release of two policemen accused in the 2010 death of Khaled Said, who became a symbol of the fight against police torture, judicial sources said. In the opening hearing of the retrial of Mahmud Salah Mahmud and Awad Ismail Suleiman, the Alexandria Criminal Court ordered both men freed because their preventative detention had expired. The two….

Palestinian Center for Human Rights

Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (23 – 29 May 2013)
Palestinian Center for Human Rights

International Solidarity Movement

This time we were not forced to swim naked in the sea’: Gaza fishermen left jobless after illegal arrest in Palestinian waters
6/1/2013 – International Solidarity Movement – 1st June 2013, Mondoweiss, Petra Stastna, Gaza, Occupied Palestine – A young Palestinian fisherman was arrested together with his brother within Palestinian waters on 19 May 2013 by the Israeli navy and released the following day. Their boat and all equipment were confiscated by the Israelis, leaving them with no means to make a living. This is another serious blow to the livelihoods of individual Palestinians….

The National

Tens of thousands occupy Turkey’s Taksim Square in defiance of Erdogan
The National 1 Jun 2013 – Police pull back to let protesters demonstrate in some of the fiercest public dissent of Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s 10 years as prime minister. Thomas Seibert reports from Istanbul 

Poor turnout for UK right wing rallies over British soldier murder
The National 1 Jun 2013 – Low attendance underscores the position of the English Defence League and British National Party as fringe elements. Omar Karmi reports from London 

‘Things look good’ for India’s farmers as monsoon arrives on time
The National 1 Jun 2013 – The rains will bring relief to many parts of the country that have suffered from heatwaves in recent weeks. Samanth Subramanian and Suryatapa Bhattacharya report 

Strict rules for cosmetic clinics
The National 1 Jun 2013 – Only licensed plastic surgeons or dermatologists can inject Botox or dermal fillers.

UAE scientists develop ‘more natural’ collagen for ridding you of wrinkles
The National 1 Jun 2013 – UAE University researchers find natural collagen to be used in cosmetic treatments.

The Dubai village that came back from the dead
The National 1 Jun 2013 – Nakheel is breathing new life into Jebel Ali Village near Ibn Battuta Mall, once a much-loved community built in 1977 to house some of the few expats in Dubai.

Word is, Mohammed’s a Scrabble champion
The National 1 Jun 2013 – 70-year-old Mohammed Sulaiman claims his third Gulf Scrabble Championship title.

US cuts visa processing time for Emiratis to woo GCC tourists
The National 1 Jun 2013 – The US State Department sees the need to improve the drawn-out process for GCC citizens getting a US visa, according to Jay Gray, vice president of Brand USA.


Peres finds NIS 3,000 tickets for Clinton gala dinner hard to stomach
Ha’aretz – 1 Jun 2013

State report: One-third of Israeli settlements’ sewage not properly treated
Ha’aretz – 1 Jun 2013

Arson suspected as fire rages in Golan Heights, nature reserves damaged
Ha’aretz – 1 Jun 2013

VAT hits 18% high for third time in Israel’s history
Ha’aretz – 1 Jun 2013

Joining Israel’s exclusive club of diplomatic passport holders
Ha’aretz – 1 Jun 2013

Israel’s High Court to hear petition on law allowing illegal migrants to be held for 3 years
Ha’aretz – 1 Jun 2013

For second time in two weeks, Kerry raps Netanyahu over new settlements plans
Ha’aretz – 1 Jun 2013

Plan to legalize West Bank settlement of Eli paves way for its expansion
Ha’aretz – 1 Jun 2013

Jerusalem Post

Turkish protesters defiant as unrest continues
Jerusalem Post 2 Jun 2013 – Prime minister calls for immediate end to unrest; more than 900 people arrested in protests across nation, hundreds injured. 

Russia stonewalls UN statement on Syrian fighting in Qusair
Jerusalem Post 2 Jun 2013 – Draft statement in UN Security Council expresses “grave concern” over fighting in Qusair and its impact on civilians; according to UN diplomats, Russia blocks statement, claims council was silent when rebels took town. 

Claim Conference chief comes out swinging
Jerusalem Post 2 Jun 2013 – Berman issues harsh rejoinder to critics over fraud scandal; says it’s time to reveal facts of his relationship to organization. 

Beersheba ‘Ecotopia’ fetes Ethiopian urban farming
Jerusalem Post 2 Jun 2013 – The Kalisher Absorption Center showcased the colorful fruits and vegetables of its Ethiopian immigrant gardeners. 

Medications: Sometimes less may be more
Jerusalem Post 1 Jun 2013 – Polypharmacy, the practice of taking piles of pills daily, often wastes money and endangers health. 

Health Scan: Natural flu killers
Jerusalem Post 1 Jun 2013 – A known difficulty in fighting influenza is the ability of flu viruses to mutate and thus evade medications. 

Budapest mayor rethinks anti-Semitic street name
Jerusalem Post 1 Jun 2013 – Mayor orders city to council to review its decision to name street after anti-Semitic author Cecile Tormay. 

UN warns Syria combatants: World is watching Qusair
Jerusalem Post 1 Jun 2013 – Battle for town near Lebanese border aimed at securing supply routes, rages for two weeks; UN says army, rebels accountable for suffering of civilians trapped in the crossfire. 

Women’s NGOs demand say in makeup of religious court
Jerusalem Post 1 Jun 2013 – Notice to High Court filed by Emunah, demands that vote for new judges be delayed until women are on appointment panel. 

Canadian gov’t features Iran human rights violations
Jerusalem Post 1 Jun 2013 – House of Commons hosts Iran Accountability Week. 

Existential travails
Jerusalem Post 1 Jun 2013 – A blind eye is willfully turned to the lethal stockpiles amassed against Israel while simultaneously unconscionable efforts are intensified to tarnish Israel, ostracize it and turn it into a global pariah. 

Out There: Car memories
Jerusalem Post 1 Jun 2013 – My parents didn’t buy Fords, because Henry Ford was an anti-Semite; didn’t buy German cars, because of the Holocaust; didn’t buy Japanese cars, because they wanted to buy American; and didn’t buy Buicks, because they were too expensive. So it was Chevy, they always bought Chevy. Good old American Chevrolet. 

Talking Turkey about Obama
Jerusalem Post 1 Jun 2013 – Experience in Egypt and Gaza shows that Brotherhood rule is destructive to democracy and indigenous Christians. 

The pain in Spain
Jerusalem Post 1 Jun 2013 – For Anglo couple Andrea Simantov and Ronney Zaltzman, Episode 5 of TV’s ‘Hamerotz Lamillion’ took a surprising twist. 

Livni expected to meet Kerry during upcoming trip to US
Jerusalem Post 1 Jun 2013 – Kerry speaks with PA President Abbas twice over the weekend. 

‘Iran strike won’t lead to civilian disaster’
Jerusalem Post 1 Jun 2013 – Israeli expert challenges claim radioactive fallout from strike on nuclear sites will lead to humanitarian catastrophe. 

Legislation seeks to increase lobbyists’ regulation
Jerusalem Post 1 Jun 2013 – Yesh Atid MK Kol calls for anyone trying to convince MKs of something to be considered lobbyists, increase transparency. 

Suspect under investigation for Toulouse killings
Jerusalem Post 1 Jun 2013 – 31-year-old man suspected of providing weapons to Mohamed Merah, who killed 3 Jewish children, rabbi, 3 French soldiers. 

Syria rebukes Turkey over protest violence
Jerusalem Post 1 Jun 2013 – “If Erdogan is unable to pursue non-violent means, he should resign,” says Syrian Information Minister Omran Zoabi. 

Peri: Adopt Arab peace initiative with corrections
Jerusalem Post 1 Jun 2013 – Former Shin Bet head says he sees Abbas as a partner for peace, denies reports Lapid does not view Abbas as partner. 

Erekat accuses Israel of trying to get rid of Abbas
Jerusalem Post 1 Jun 2013 – Abbas, PA officials criticize US Secretary of State Kerry for his inability to convince Israel to accept Palestinian pre-conditions to return to negotiation table; complain Israel is unwilling to talk to PA about Jerusalem. 

Turkish PM Erdogan calls for end to protests
Jerusalem Post 1 Jun 2013 – Police attempt to relieve tensions after two days of clashes Erdogan acknowledges mistakes in tear gas use against protesters. 

‘Lebanon struck by 16 rockets fired from Syria’
Jerusalem Post 1 Jun 2013 – None hurt in attacks which come amid Hezbollah backing of Assad; four Syrians arrested in connection with attack.

Turkish police clash with protesters for 2nd day
Jerusalem Post 1 Jun 2013 – Anti-government protesters chant “unite against fascism” and “government resign,” in Istanbul a day after hundreds hurt in violent protests; activists call for similar demonstrations in more than a dozen cities. 

‘Dozens of bodies found at mass grave in Jaffa’
Jerusalem Post 1 Jun 2013 – AFP reports bodies found during renovations at Muslim cemetery; local man says bodies were hastily buried together in 1948 war. 

‘UK ready to arm Syria rebels if peace talks fail’
Jerusalem Post 1 Jun 2013 – Official tells ‘Financial Times’ Britain likely to arm rebels in August should Geneva peace conference between Assad, rebels fail. 

Syrian rebel head: Immediate Western backing needed
Jerusalem Post 1 Jun 2013 – Salim Idris: Outcome of revolution could depend on West. 

‘UK envoy to Beirut: Stay neutral toward Syria’
Jerusalem Post 31 May 2013 – Report: Tom Fletcher expresses concern over Lebanese policy amid growing involvement of Hezbollah fighters in Syrian crisis. 


Burhan Ghalioun shames Syria Coalition

American Drone War: Murder and Democracy

Perpetual War – and Obama’s Perpetual Con Game

Why I have two brothers called Omar

Violence and rumors plague Iraq

Mass graves of Palestinians killed in 1948 Nakba discovered in Jaffa

Yes, Gaza is still under siege

Ignore what the White House is ‘considering’ in Syria

Israeli aggression escalates

Daily Star

Top Muslim cleric urges Sunnis to join Syria war
Daily Star 1 Jun 2013 Influential Muslim cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi calls on Sunni Muslims to join the rebels fighting the Syrian regime.

Regime, rebels bolster forces for Qusayr battle
Daily Star 1 Jun 2013 The Syrian army backed by Hezbollah fighters is bolstering its positions in the embattled opposition stronghold of Qusayr, as rebels prepare for a renewed assault, raising fears for trapped civilians.

Two drone strikes kill seven in southern Yemen: local official
Daily Star 1 Jun 2013 Two drone strikes killed seven suspected al Qaeda militants in southern Yemen, a local official says.

AFP photographer attacked in Beddawi
Daily Star 1 Jun 2013 An Agence France-Presse photographer is attacked in Beddawi, north Lebanon.

Yemen gunmen kill air force officer
Daily Star 1 Jun 2013 Unidentified assailants shot dead a senior Yemeni air force officer in the eastern province of Hadramawt, where Al-Qaeda remains active despite a government crackdown, a security official said.

US will not determine Hezbollah’s role in Cabinet: Qaouk
Daily Star 1 Jun 2013 Hezbollah reiterates its call for a national unity Cabinet and says it will not allow the United States to determine the party’s role in the future government.

Iraq hit by worst violence since 2008
Daily Star 1 Jun 2013 The worst violence since 2008 hit Iraq in May, raising fears of all-out sectarian strife, as political leaders were to meet for talks on persistent disputes that have paralysed the government.

Charbel discusses rebel demands for Lebanese hostages
Daily Star 1 Jun 2013 Caretaker Interior Minister Marwan Charbel discusses rebel demands for the release of Lebanese hostages held in Syria during his recent talks with Qatari and Turkish officials.

Pakistan’s new lawmakers sworn in, face many tests
Daily Star 1 Jun 2013 Newly elected members of Pakistan’s National Assembly were sworn in, officially marking the first transition of power between democratically elected civilian governments in the history of the country.

Over 16 rockets from Syria hit Lebanon
Daily Star 1 Jun 2013 A barrage of over 16 rockets fired from Syria hit Lebanon overnight landing in north Bekaa towns, a security source told The Daily Star.

Brash Iran campaign stirs echoes of Ahmadinejad
Daily Star 1 Jun 2013 Iranians have seen it before: A youngish presidential candidate firing up crowds with fist-waving rants against the West, then displaying his Islamist bona fides with courtesy calls to hard-line clerics.

Pakistan’s Sharif denounces recent US drone strike
Daily Star 1 Jun 2013 Pakistan’s incoming prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, expresses “deep disappointment” over a recent U.S. drone strike that the Pakistani Taliban said killed their No. 2 leader.

YNet News

Russia blocks UNSC declaration on Syria’s Qusair
YNet News, 2 Jun 2013 – ….

VAT increased to 18%
YNet News, 1 Jun 2013 – ….

Gasoline price up to NIS 7.53
YNet News, 1 Jun 2013 – ….

Report: Suspect under investigation in Toulouse killings probe
YNet News, 1 Jun 2013 – ….

3 NATO service members killed in Afghanistan
YNet News, 1 Jun 2013 – ….

Rebels against Hezbollah: Rockets hit Baalbek region
YNet News, 1 Jun 2013 – Projectiles fired by rebels trying to overthrow Assad target Lebanon area controlled by Shiite group. Sunni Muslim cleric al-Qaradawi says Alawite sect ‘more infidel than Christians and Jews,’ Hezbollah ‘party of the devil’ ….

Protests against VAT increase: Bibi good for rich
YNet News, 1 Jun 2013 – Hundreds demonstrate in three major cities against 1% VAT increase, chant ‘there is no future with Lapid and Bibi.’ Protester: Finance minister has to wake up, or people will wake up in next elections ….

Police charge 2nd suspect in UK soldier death
YNet News, 1 Jun 2013 – Indictment includes attempted murder of 2 police officers; family of soldier victim plead for peace, say son would have wanted it that way ….

Syria criticizes Erdogan: Detached, wild
YNet News, 1 Jun 2013 – Deep rift between Turkey, Assad regime, reaches streets of Istanbul. Syrian Information minister attacks Turkish response to mass protests, various media criticize US ….

Turkish PM Erdogan calls for end to protests as clashes flare 
YNet News, 1 Jun 2013 – Protesters against government redevelopment plan hurl objects at officers withdrawing from Taksim Square. PM Erdogan: Where they gather 20, I will gather 200,000 ….

Suspicion: Lone arsonist behind several Jerusalem fires
YNet News, 1 Jun 2013 – Nine separate blazes reported in Armon Hanatziv neighborhood; another in HaShalom Forest; no injuries reported ….

Report: Afghan Taliban delegation visits Iran
YNet News, 1 Jun 2013 – Fars news agency says visitors came from radical Sunni group’s Qatar office for talks with intelligence officials ….

Family: US mother killed in Syria kept many secrets
YNet News, 1 Jun 2013 – Nicole Mansfield first became interested in Middle East after boyfriend introduced her to Islam several years ago; relatives say FBI contacted them about her trip to Dubai ….

4.9-mag earthquake felt in Eilat region
YNet News, 1 Jun 2013 – At 2:52 pm Eilat residents reported feeling an earthquake, number of minutes afterwards US information center confirmed: 4.9 earthquake originating in Sinai registered in Eilat ….

Report: Forces loyal to Assad execute 50 prisoners in Aleppo
YNet News, 1 Jun 2013 – Al Jazeera reports Assad loyalists, among them Hezbollah fighters, executed 50 prisoners in Aleppo prison. In meantime, 16 rockets hit Lebanon from Syria, Shiite shrine attacked ….

Police shoot dog after it kills 3 canines 
YNet News, 1 Jun 2013 – Dog apparently trained for fighting attacks 4 other smaller dogs, leaving 3 dead. Police officer alerted to scene forced to shoot him, puts end to killing spree ….

Racist land
YNet News, 1 Jun 2013 – Op-ed: Segregation between Arab, Jewish kids not surprising in country which has racism flowing through its veins ….

Turkey: Thousands of protestors, police clash in fierce demos
YNet News, 31 May 2013 – Anti-Erdogan rallies sweep country in fiercest demos in years as protestors bash leader’s Islamic policies; ‘This will be a summer of discontent,’ says protestor ….

Germany’s population drops 1.5 million to 80.2 M
YNet News, 31 May 2013 – New census reveals population was overestimated for years, as officials failed to account for foreigners leaving the country, neglecting to declare departure ….

Palestine Information Center

Palestinian female prisoners return meals
PIC – Palestinian female prisoners in the Israeli Hasharon jail returned their meals on Saturday in protest at the prison administration’s deliberate medical neglect.

Health condition of prisoner Murad Abu Milaq deteriorates
PIC – Family of prisoner Murad Abu Milaq expressed deep concern about their patient son’s life as his health condition has been deteriorating due to the policy of medical neglect in the Israeli jails.

IOA prevents 105 citizens from travel
PIC – The Israeli occupation authorities have prevented 105 Palestinian citizens from traveling through the Karama crossing under security pretexts during the month of May.

Jordanian prisoners enter their 31st day of hunger strike
PIC – 32 Jordanian prisoners in Israeli jails, led by Qassam commander Abdullah Barghouti, entered their 31st day of hunger strike in protest at the continuation of their detention.

IOA approves plans to build 4,195 settlement units in J’lem
PIC – The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) approved the building of 4,195 new housing units in settlements in occupied Jerusalem, according to the Hebrew newspaper Yerushalayim.

PA forces arrest prisoners’ rights activist
PIC – Hamas movement has accused PA security forces of arresting the university student and prisoners’ rights activist Anas Radad, from Tulkarem in northern West Bank.

Palestine Scholars: Normalizing relations with Israel is treason
PIC – Palestine Scholars Association condemned the normalization with Israel and called for boycotting the Israeli occupation and its rabbis.

Israeli price tag gang vandalizes Mount Zion church in J’lem
PIC – Members of the price tag gang, a Jewish terrorist group, spray-painted last night racist slurs and obscene graffiti on the walls of a Christian church in occupied Jerusalem.

263 arrests during last month
PIC – The Israeli occupation forces arrested 263 Palestinians in West Bank and Gaza Strip during May, Ahrar center for prisoners studies revealed.


France to Upgrade West Bank Water Supply Network
WAFA – 1 Jun 2013

Israeli Pressure Forces US Pension Giant to Bar Divestment Vote
WAFA – 1 Jun 2013

EU Demands Immediate Halt to Israeli Settlement Activities
WAFA – 1 Jun 2013


Sunni-Shiite Violence Flares in Mideast in Wake of Syria War
New York Times 1 Jun 2013 – The war is setting off a contagious sectarian conflict in Iraq and Lebanon, rekindling long-simmering tensions. 

Police Retreat in Istanbul as Protests Expand Through Turkey
New York Times 1 Jun 2013 – Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for a halt to the protests and said redevelopment of a park in Istanbul’s Taksim Square would move ahead. 

Sunni Cleric Urges Muslims to Help Syria Rebels
New York Times 1 Jun 2013 – It was not the first strike on a hub of Hezbollah, whose fighters are allied with the Syrian president, but it could be the most provocative yet. 

The Lede: Daughter of Michigan Woman Killed in Syria Wants Her Body Returned to U.S.
New York Times 1 Jun 2013 – Friends and family of Nicole Lynn Mansfield struggle to understand how she became caught in a gun battle with Syrian government forces. 

In Secret Testimony, Mossad Chief Pardo Threatens Resignation Over Zygier Affair
Tikun Olam – Embattled Mossad chief, Tamir Pardo The suicide of Mossad agent Ben Zygier continues to cast a pall over Israeli intelligence activity. Ben Caspit reports in the Jerusalem Post Hebrew edition that a “secret committee” found Mossad chief Tamir Pardo’s account of Zygier’s treatment at the hands…

Pavlov had nothing on the Israel lobby — consider Senator Elizabeth Warren
Mondoweiss – Last week the Senate passed Resolution 65 , mandating a new round of sanctions against Iran and promising to support Israel if it should choose to launch a unilateral war.  The bill contradicted explicit US policy in a number of areas:  it imposed secondary penalties on US…

What if Bull Connor had had skunk water?
Mondoweiss – Haim Schwarczenberg copyrighted photo From Haim Schwarczenberg’s Facebook page , reporting from Nabi Saleh, yesterday (thanks to Ofer Neiman): IOF [Israeli occupying forces] spraying skunk water all over a journalist documenting the demonstration. The IOF specifically targeted photographers and journalists. A local journalist was driven out of…

As US struggles to revive moribund peace talks, Israel will sell 800 plots of land to Jews settling outside Bethlehem
Mondoweiss – Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Apartheid / Restrictions on movement Israel to build 1,100 new settler homes in East Jerusalem JERUSALEM (AFP) 30 May — Israel is preparing to build 1,100 new settler homes in occupied East Jerusalem as the United States strives to revive…

A debate over Zionism in the bowels of the Rayburn House Office Building
Mondoweiss – Back in April, I participated in a discussion about the future of the conflict organized by the Middle East Policy Council in Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill. Here is the video . Here’s the transcript . One of the personal highlights of the session was getting…

Exile and the prophetic: Hannah Arendt’s Jewish politics
Mondoweiss – Marc H. Ellis – The new film “Hannah Arendt” is interesting for a variety of reasons but mostly for what the film apparently doesn’t address. That’s a shame.  It’s also quite predictable. I refer to the Jewish politics Hannah Arendt argued for.  The Jewish politics we turned our backs on.  The Jewish politics we desperately need….

The Road to the Saudi Throne: King Abdullah Pushes His Son 
Al-Akhbar News 1 Jun 2013 – Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud addresses the Shura (consultative) Council on September 25, 2011 in Riyadh, announcing that he was giving women the right to vote and run in municipal elections, the only public polls in the ultra-conservative Gulf kingdom. (Photo: AFP – Ahmed…

Syria calls on Turkish PM to resign over crackdown 
Al-Akhbar News 1 Jun 2013 – A bleeding protester is assisted after being attacked by riot police on 1 June 2013, during an anti-government protest in Taksim Square in Istanbul. (Photo: AFP – Bulent Kilic) Syria gleefully turned the tables on Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday over his response to…

Sixteen rockets fired from Syria hit Lebanon 
Al-Akhbar News 1 Jun 2013 – Sixteen rockets fired from Syria struck Lebanese border villages overnight causing only material damage, state news reported Saturday. Firefighters extinguished some fields that had caught fire in the attacks, the report added, without specifying which towns were struck. The attacks come one day after 12 rocket-propelled…

Turkey PM defiant as massive protests mount 
Al-Akhbar News 1 Jun 2013 – Riot police fire tear gas at Turkish protesters on 1 June 2013, during a demonstration against the demolition of Taksim Gezi Park, in Taksim Square in Istanbul. (Photo: AFP – Bulent Kilic) Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday said his government would go ahead…

Over 1,000 killed across Iraq in May: UN 
Al-Akhbar News 1 Jun 2013 – A damaged vehicle is removed from the scene of a car bomb attack in the commercial area of Karradah in the Iraqi capital Baghdad on 30 May 2013. (Photo: AFP – Ahmad al-Rubaye) More than 1,000 people were killed in violence in Iraq in May, making…

Kerry’s Palestine Economic Plan: Bait For Negotiations 
Al-Akhbar Politics 31 May 2013 – Tourists pose for pictures with T-shirts reading “I love Palestine” that they were offered by Palestinian youths as part of a campaign to raise awareness among foreign visitors about Palestinian indentity on 24 May 2013 in front of the Church of the Nativity in the West…

Lebanon’s Aounists: Hollow Election Victory 
Al-Akhbar Politics 31 May 2013 – Nevertheless, some Aounists are less than optimistic about the challenging period ahead. For one, given the postponement of the elections for over a year, the party may not be able to benefit from the lead that it enjoys today. (Photo: Haitham Moussawi) Nevertheless, some Aounists are…

Life Under the Gun in Damascus 
Al-Akhbar Politics 31 May 2013 – A passenger stands under portraits of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad at the entrance of the departure lounge of Damascus International Airport on 15 May 2013. (Photo: AFP – Joseph Eid) A passenger stands under portraits of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad at the entrance of the departure…

Red Cross ‘alarmed’ over Qusair 
BBC 1 Jun 2013 – The Red Cross calls for immediate access to the besieged Syrian town of Qusair, as Russia blocks the latest UN effort to tackle the situation.

Iraq uncovers ‘chemical weapon plot’ 
BBC 1 Jun 2013 – The authorities in Iraq say they have uncovered an al-Qaeda plot to use chemical weapons, as well as to smuggle them to Europe and North America.

Drone strikes kill seven in Yemen 
BBC 1 Jun 2013 – At least seven suspected al-Qaeda militants have been killed by twin drone strikes in southern Yemen, officials say.

VIDEO: Iraqi Kurdistan women self-immolate 
BBC 1 Jun 2013 – Doctors in the Kurdistan region of Iraq say they are seeing hundreds of cases of women self-immolating each month which are often the result of domestic violence, social injustice and discrimination.


IDF releases video clip from violent arrest of Budrus teen 
Noam Sheizaf, +972 Magazine 5/30/2013
      Earlier this week I reported here on the violent arrest of 19-year-old of Abed al-Rahem Awad from the Palestinian village of Budrus. Soldiers broke open the Awad family’s house doors before dawn on Sunday and dragged Abed al-Rahem down the stairs as his family members tried to release him from their hands. Several family members were beaten, including two females who ended up hospitalized; grenades were thrown into the house and considerable damage was done to their property. Several months ago, soldiers shot to death at close range Abed’s younger brother, Samir, as he was trying to cross the separation barrier near his village – an incident which is formally still under the investigation by the army.
     A friend of the Awad family told me on Tuesday that “the entire family is in a state of shock, I haven’t seen them like this, even after the killing of Samir.”
     This morning, I received the IDF’s response, along with a short clip from the arrest:
     “An initial examination reveals that during the arrest of a wanted man Saturday night, in his home in Budrus, south of Qalqiliya, family members violently resisted the arrest, which included the use of knives and shards of glass. In order to carry out the arrest, the [army] force responded as [the situation] required, in self-defense, while minimizing the danger to the soldiers and family members. It was noted that two soldiers were lightly injured. The circumstances of the incident continue to be investigated.”
     Here is the clip the army released. It was shot through the helmet camera of one or two soldiers [link follows]
     Like all IDF clips in recent years, the full video was never released and all we see are three segments, several seconds each, in slow motion. The clip backs the version reported by the Palestinians…. — See also: Video clip released by IDF more.. e-mail

The False Torch 
Uri Avnery, Arabic Media Internet Network (AMIN) 5/31/2013
      YA’IR LAPID, the freshman parliamentarian and Treasury Minister, has declared that from now on he will deliver all his important speeches outside the Knesset, confining his Knesset appearances to the legal minimum.
     The reason: members from the opposition interrupt him. He cannot marshal his thoughts when interrupted. Since he is used to making his speeches with the help of a teleprompter, without interruptions of any kind, this bothers him.
     What does that tell us about him?
     During my 10 years in the Knesset, I made about a thousand speeches from the rostrum, some sort of record. It was always my fervent hope to be interrupted. The interjections enlivened the speeches, allowed me to retort, clarified points, attracted press coverage.
     I was also a very frequent interrupter myself. I thoroughly enjoyed making “Zwischenrufe”, as the Germans call parliamentary interjections, saying in half a dozen words what I would otherwise have needed a whole speech to express.
     This give-and-take is the essence of parliamentary debate. It tests your quickness of mind, mastery of the subject and general alertness. Without it, Knesset debates would be just a dull exercise in wordiness.
     I remember one minister who would be totally derailed by interruption. It was Ariel Sharon. Interrupted in the middle of a sentence, he became flustered and had to start anew. But he was a veteran general, and generals are not accustomed to being interrupted by lesser mortals.more.. e-mail

’Psychobibi’: A look deep inside the mind of the prime minister 
Dahlia Scheindlin, +972 Magazine 5/31/2013
      In the beginning of his 2004 book on the psychology of world leaders, political psychologist Jerrold M. Post explains his guiding question: When does the personality of the leader affect political behavior? According to Matthew Kalman and Matt Rees, the self-anointed (and self-published) maverick authors of the e-book Psychobibi (DeltaFourth, 2013) the answer is simple: always.
     Ever wonder why Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seems to contradict himself, take steps that sabotage his own success, or behaves in a way guaranteed to earn the wrath of critical allies, mirth of the press, contempt of the public? For those unsolved enigmas that keep the people of Israel up at night – why is he married to a woman everyone loves to hate, what kind of cigars does he smoke and why was he happy to lose the Premiership in 1999 – Psychobibi has an answer. It’s Freud, stupid. Those cigars are not just cigars.
     Enough about you, let’s talk about me(dia).
     Before looking at what’s in the cigars, it’s worth considering the book itself as a sort of commentary-in-motion on the state of print media today. The authors attempt to strike out a new form of long form journalism – a bold endeavor in an age of the 140-character blippersphere. The e-book is essentially an extended lengthy magazine profile, sold on Amazon for $5.00. For those who don’t have time to read a biography, it’s an abridged answer. For those who want more than a magazine story, it’s richer. The same concept informed their previous endeavor, The Murder of Yasser Arafat.
     The writing crosses a harlequin-novella with a stylized spy-novel idiom. The tale is narrated by the bizarre “DeltaFourth” personality, a seamless blend of both authors’ voices after covering Netanyahu over a span of roughly 15 years as journalists in the region…. more.. e-mail

Weekly Comment, 24 – 31 May 
Conflicts Forum 5/31/2013
      Syria – This week has witnessed a powerful consolidation of critical support around the Syrian state – firstly, as a direct counter to any continuing western notion to militarily intervention in Syria; and secondly, in response to attempts by France, the UK and the US to ramp up pressure on Russia ahead of a possible Geneva II international conference (i.e. Senator McCain’s covert infiltration into northern Syria, and the EU decision, under pressure from France and the UK, to lift the embargo on sending arms to the Syrian insurgents). So too, Russia, Hizbullah and Iraq have conducted their own escalations – and in so doing, effectively have ‘outbid’ the western attempt to lever their pressures. Most significantly, Russia indicated that S300 missiles would be delivered to Syria – to provide, in the words of deputy FM, Sergei Ryabkov, a “stabilizing” factor designed to stop “some hotheads” from entering the conflict. There has been studied ambiguity constructed, both by Russia and Syria, about whether these missiles are now in place, and whether they are operational, or not. Russia additionally reacted by mounting a major exercise intended to highlight to the West – and to Israel in particular – that the new generation of S300s possess highly sophisticated new electronic warfare capabilities, and that Russia’s military is poised to enter the Syrian conflict too – if required. Seyed Hassan Nasrallah’sspeech, in which he explicitly avowed Hizbullah’s involvement in the fighting around Qusayr (which has a component of Lebanese Shi’i living in and around the village), was clearly intended as a part of this wider deterrence and defiance of western aims. Iraq, which is increasingly under its own pressures from radical Sunni elements – attacks and bombs have claimed more than 500 lives in just this last week – more discretely contributed its part by deploying a large military force to Iraq’s border with Syria – in order to destroy the al-Qae’da support bases just across the border in Iraq.
     Geneva II – This deterrent response by Russia seems to have had its effect: The indications are that the White House is today less ready to intervene, especially in light of US polls showing little domestic support for intervention, and in light of the violence spilling across into Lebanon and Iraq. France and Britain continue to take a more hardline stance, though, even for them, arming the (already well-armed) opposition is more a case of posturing ahead of any negotiations…. more.. e-mail

Ya’ir Lapid: The False Torch
Palestine Chronicle: 1 Jun 2013 – By Uri Avnery Ya’ir Lapid, the freshman parliamentarian and Treasury Minister, has declared that from now on he will deliver all his important speeches outside the Knesset, confining his Knesset appearances to the legal minimum. The reason: members from the opposition interrupt him. He cannot marshal his thoughts when interrupted. Since he is used to making his speeches with the help of a teleprompter, without interruptions of any kind, this bothers him. What does that tell us about him? During my 10 years in the Knesset, I made about a thousand speeches from the rostrum, some sort of record. It was always my fervent hope to be interrupted. The interjections enlivened the speeches, allowed me to retort, clarified points, attracted press coverage. I was also a very frequent interrupter myself. I thoroughly enjoyed making “Zwischenrufe”, as the Germans call parliamentary interjections, saying in half a dozen words what I would…more

Erdogan’s Turn to Walk the Talk?
Palestine Chronicle: 1 Jun 2013 – By Julie Webb-Pullman Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan might now be pondering on his own advice to Syrian President Bashar Assad, to listen to his people, before he finds himself and his government similarly beset. There are three main issues here – the short-sighted sacrifice of one of the few green public spaces in Istanbul to private enterprise, the use of the state apparatus to repress legitimate protest by the use of excessively disproportionate force, and the certain loss of government legitimacy through the loss of popular support, and confidence. Gezi Park In a world facing ecological disaster caused by the irresponsible abuse and degradation of the environment by corporate interests, in communities facing social disaster caused by the irresponsible destruction of the social fabric by ill-conceived town-planning that places profits before the needs of current and future generations, there is little the ordinary citizen can do to defend what…more

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