VTJP Occupied Palestine and Israel: News and Articles 30 June 2013

30 June 2013 — VTJP


International Middle East Media Center

Report: “1790 Palestinians Kidnapped, 16 Killed, In First Half of 2013”
IMEMC – The Ahrar Center for Detainees Studies and Human Rights have reported that Israeli soldiers kidnapped 1790 Palestinians in the first six months of this year, including 300 who were kidnapped in June, and added that 16 Palestinians have also been shot and killed by Israeli military fire in six months. …

Injuries Reported In Traffic Accident Between Palestinian PM Convoy, Settlers
IMEMC – Several injuries have been reported on Saturday [June 29 2013] in a traffic accident between an Israeli settler’s vehicle and a Palestinian car, part of a convoy transporting Palestinian Prime Minister, Rami Hamdallah, near the Tekoa junction in the occupied West Bank. …

Ma’an News

Clashes in Qabatiya
6/30/2013 – JENIN (Ma’an) — Clashes were reported on Thursday in the Qabatiya village in the northern West Bank district of Jenin, locals said. Locals said the clashes broke out in the center of the village, with several Palestinians suffering from tear gas inhalation fired by Israeli forces. Several homes were raided during the clashes, they said, with no detentions reported. [END]

Israel to expand settlement as Kerry pushes for talks
6/30/2013 – Correction appendedBETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israel’s Housing Ministry is set to bring forward plans for further settlement construction between East Jerusalem and Bethlehem, as US Secretary of State John Kerry extended his Mideast peace mission, Israeli media reported Sunday. The construction will isolate East Jerusalem village Sur Baher from the city. The project, which was approved in 2011 by the ministry of interior…. Related: Kerry in last-minute push on Mideast peace andErekat: No breakthrough in Kerry talks

Man sets himself on fire outside PA ministry
6/30/2013 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — A former prisoner sustained serious injuries Sunday after setting himself on fire in front of the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Finance to protest a delay in the receipt of benefits conferred to former prisoners, witnesses told Ma’an. Wissam Bilal Khalil Marouf, 21, from the northern district of Tulkarem, suffered serious burns across his body, a medical report from the….

Israel ‘sweetens deal for 930 East Jerusalem homes’
6/30/2013 – JERUSALEM (AFP) — Israel is poised to approve incentives for buyers of nearly 1,000 new homes in annexed East Jerusalem despite a major US push to revive peace talks, reports said on Sunday. The plan, which will offer prospective buyers a huge discount on 930 new homes to be built in Har Homa, will be discussed by Jerusalem municipality’s finance committee on Monday, army…. Related: Israel to expand settlement as Kerry pushes for talks

3 minors among detained by Israel in Hebron village
6/30/2013 – HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli forces detained four Palestinians near the Tarqumiya crossing in the southern West Bank district of Hebron, a Beit Ummar committee against the Wall spokesman said. Mohammad Awwad said Bilal Mahmoud Awwad, 17, Mohammad Sidqi Ikhlayel, 17, Issa Ibrahim Ikhlayel, 15, and Mohammad Adi, 18, were taken for questioning at an Israeli police station. All four are from the Beit Ummar….

Kerry in last-minute push on Mideast peace
6/30/2013 – JERUSALEM (AFP) — US Secretary of State John Kerry made a last-minute push on Sunday to revive Middle East peace talks as Israeli media said that days of exhaustive shuttle diplomacy had failed to break the deadlock. Kerry has spent 13 hours with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu since Thursday, with the latest session between the two men and their aides lasting until nearly 4 am…. Related: Israel to expand settlement as Kerry pushes for talks and Erekat: No breakthrough in Kerry talks

EU slams Gaza over executions
6/30/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The EU mission in Jerusalem and Ramallah on Sunday condemned the recent execution of two Palestinians in Gaza by Hamas authorities, a statement read.”The de facto authorities in Gaza should refrain from carrying out any executions of prisoners and comply with the de facto moratorium on executions put in place by the Palestinian Authority, pending abolition of the death penalty….

Erekat: No breakthrough in Kerry talks
6/30/2013 – RAMALLAH (AFP) — US Secretary of State John Kerry’s marathon efforts to draw Israel and the Palestinians back to direct negotiations has failed to achieve any breakthrough despite four days of talks, a top Palestinian official said on Sunday.”It was a positive and profound meeting with president (Mahmud) Abbas but there has been no breakthrough so far and there is still a gap…. Related: Kerry in last-minute push on Mideast peace and Israel to expand settlement as Kerry pushes for talks

Kerry: ‘Real progress’ in talks, more work needed
6/30/2013 – RAMALLAH (AFP) — US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Sunday that there had been “real progress” in his talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders over a resumption of direct peace talks after a gap of nearly three years.”We agreed we have made real progress, but we have a few things we need to work on,” Kerry said, standing next to Abbas at his…. Related:Erekat: No breakthrough in Kerry talks and Israel to expand settlement as Kerry pushes for talks

Egypt official: Rafah crossing to stay open as thousands rally
6/30/2013 – EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma’an) — The Rafah crossing with Gaza will operate normally on Sunday, as Egyptians stage huge rallies across the country to mark the first anniversary of Morsi’s inauguration. Sami Mitwali, director of the Egyptian side of the crossing, told Ma’an that the crossing will remain open and will only close if the security situation becomes extremely unstable. [END]

Egypt rallies see slowdown in Gaza tunnel trade
6/30/2013 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Increasing numbers of smuggling tunnels connecting Egypt and Gaza have become inactive as mass political rallies take place to mark the first anniversary of Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi’s inauguration, traders told Ma’an. Abu Mohamed, who operates a smuggling tunnel from Gaza to Egypt, says that Egyptian security forces have intensified their presence along the Egyptian border….

Israel PM’s Likud party hardens against him
6/30/2013 – JERUSALEM (AFP) — Hardliners within Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud are poised to seize key positions in the party’s governing institutions on Sunday in a move likely to curb any concessions vis-a-vis the Palestinians. The 3,600 members of the Likud Central Committee were voting for the leadership of the party’s governing institutions which were likely to fall into the….

Assaf to hold 3 free concerts in West Bank

6/30/2013 – HEBRON (Ma’an) — Palestinian Arab Idol winner Mohammad Assaf will hold three free concerts across the West Bank in July, the Palestinian Authority minister of culture said Saturday. Anwar Abu Aisheh said the first concert will be held on 1 July in Ramallah at the al-Umam square at 8:30 p. m. , followed by Nablus on 2 July and Hebron on 4 July. The….

Erekat says no breakthrough as Kerry hails ‘real progress’
6/30/2013 – TEL AVIV (AFP) — PLO official Saeb Erekat said on Sunday that there had been no breakthrough in marathon US-led efforts to revive direct peace talks but Washington’s top diplomat said there had been “real progress”.”There has been no breakthrough so far and there is still a gap between the Palestinian and Israeli positions,” chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erakat told reporters after US…. Related: Israel to expand settlement as Kerry pushes for talks and Erekat: No breakthrough in Kerry talks

Family makes public appeal after man goes missing
6/30/2013 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The family of a 23-year-old man who went missing three days ago from his home in the central Gaza Strip appealed to the public for information on Sunday. Mahmoud Khalil Mahmoud al-Aloul al-Hifawi was last seen leaving the family home in the Bureij refugee camp on Thursday evening, wearing jeans and a green shirt, relatives said. The family said….

Security: Gunmen kill Egypt policeman in Sinai ambush
6/30/2013 – CAIRO (AFP) — Gunmen shot and killed an Egyptian police officer during an ambush Saturday in the Sinai peninsula, a security source said, the second attack on police in the restive region this month.”Colonel Mohammed Hani, a high-ranking officer, was killed by six bullets to the head when unknown gunmen opened fire on him with machine guns,” the source said. The gunmen were in a….

Assault on Syria’s Homs prompts opposition plea for help
6/30/2013 – DAMASCUS (AFP) — Syria’s armed forces battered rebel-held parts of Homs city on Saturday with air raids, shelling and a ground offensive that prompted the opposition to issue a desperate plea for foreign military intervention.”Warplanes carried out two consecutive raids against areas under siege in Homs city, as well as carrying out heavy shelling against the same districts,” said the Syrian Observatory for….

Turkish activists protest police tactics, govt rhetoric
6/30/2013 – ISTANBUL (AFP) — Thousands protested in Istanbul’s Taksim Square at what they say is harsh police treatment of anti-government demonstrators, as activists placed press adverts calling on the regime to tone down its rhetoric. Riot police blocked off the center of the square, the symbolic heart of the nationwide protest movement, for some two hours as the demonstrators chanted “Government, resign!” The crowd also….

Syria air strikes on Homs ‘kill woman, 2 children’
6/30/2013 – BEIRUT (AFP) — Syrian army air strikes in the central city of Homs on Sunday killed three civilians, as regime forces pressed forward with a new bid to to retake several rebel-controlled districts, a watchdog said.”Syrian warplanes carried out air strikes on the Old City of Homs a little while ago, destroying a house and causing three deaths,” the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said….

Crowds gather in Cairo for anti-Morsi rallies
6/30/2013 – CAIRO (AFP) — Egypt braced for mass rallies on Sunday with President Mohamed Morsi’s opponents determined to oust him and his Islamist supporters vowing to defend his legitimacy to the end, stoking fears of a violent first anniversary of his taking office. Opponents of the president joined hundreds already camped out in Cairo’s Tahrir Square where tents have been pitched and anti-Morsi….

Obama arrives at Robben Island
6/30/2013 – ROBBEN ISLAND , South Africa (AFP) — US President Barack Obama on Sunday arrived at Robben Island where he will visit the cell where Nelson Mandela spent years as a political prisoner to pay homage to the critically ill anti-apartheid hero, according to an AFP reporter. The 94-year-old former South African leader, in intensive care in a hospital in Pretoria, spent two thirds of his 27….

Morsi: Egypt’s divisive president
6/30/2013 – CAIRO (AFP) — Mohamed Morsi, an Islamist who pledged to be a “president for all Egyptians” at his inauguration, faces mass rallies demanding his departure on Sunday’s first anniversary of his taking office. Twelve months after he was feted by cheering crowds in Cairo’s iconic Tahrir Square, Morsi’s Egypt is deeply divided and rocked by deadly violence that has killed….

Ferocious assault on Syria’s Homs kills civilians
6/30/2013 – DAMASCUS (AFP) — Air raids on Homs killed a woman and two children on Sunday, monitors said, as Syrian government forces pressed a ferocious assault on rebel-held parts of the city dubbed the “capital of the revolution”. As the violence raged, the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council and the European Union meeting in Bahrain called for a political solution to Syria’s conflict, while regional powerhouse….

Egyptians flood streets to demand Morsi’s ouster
6/30/2013 – CAIRO (AFP) — Egyptians flooded the streets on Sunday determined to oust Islamist President Mohamed Morsi on the anniversary of his turbulent first year in power, in the biggest protests Egypt has seen since the 2011 revolt. A sea of jubilant protesters converged on Cairo’s Tahrir Square and the large avenue outside the presidential palace, as well as in several others squares of the….

1 dead in clashes between supporters, opponents of Egypt’s Morsi
6/30/2013 – CAIRO (AFP) — One person was killed and about 40 injured Sunday when clashes broke out between supporters and opponents of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi in Beni Sueif province, south of Cairo, a security official said. The clashes erupted outside the offices of the Freedom and Justice Party, the political arm of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood, the source said, adding the casualties had been taken to hospital. [END]

Gulf-EU meeting calls for Syria political settlement
6/30/2013 – DUBAI (AFP) — The Gulf Arab nations and the European Union pledged Sunday to pool their efforts to help convene a peace conference on Syria, as they wrapped up a one-day ministerial meeting in Bahrain. The gathering attended by EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and the foreign ministers of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council also called on Shiite Iran to play “a constructive role”

The National

Israel confirms detention of Palestinian who vanished during Egypt visit
The National 1 Jul 2013 – Abu Rida, who lives in the southern Gaza Strip, went to a town near the Egyptian capital two weeks ago to seek medical treatment for his son, according to his wife, Amani, who accompanied him there.

Egyptians tell Morsi: quit now
The National 30 Jun 2013 – Hundreds of thousands of protesters take to Egypt’s streets in the biggest showdown in the country’s troubled experience of democracy since Hosni Mubarak’s resignation in February 2011. Bradley Hope reports from Cairo

Seven Saudis jailed for up to a decade for protest call on Facebook
The National 30 Jun 2013 – Facebook messages calling for anti-government protests lead to sentences of five to 10 years.

Abbas less upbeat than Kerry over Mideast peace deal
The National 30 Jun 2013 – Palestinians distance themselves from the claims of progress expressed by US secretary of state over his dogged attempts to revive the Middle East peace process. Hugh Naylor reports from Ramallah 

More people opting to leave UAE on summer breaks
The National 30 Jun 2013 – Travel agents say Mediterranean and the Far East are top spots for holiday travellers.

Fishing ban lifted in UAQ creek from today
The National 30 Jun 2013 – Fishing in the creek will resume today as the annual four-month ban to help preserve stocks comes to an end.

Croatia celebrates becoming latest member of the EU
The National 30 Jun 2013 – Croatia became the 28th member of the European Union at midnight last night, a milestone capping the Adriatic republic’s recovery from war but tinged with anxiety over its economy and the state of the bloc it has joined.

‘We have a different kind of Islam,’ say Bosnia’s Muslims
The National 30 Jun 2013 – Bosnia, a country of less than four million, is a cauldron of religious and sectarian feelings on a par with Syria and Lebanon. Ferry Biedermann reports from Sarajevo 


IDF officer sentenced over shooting of Palestinian gets state immunity for civil damages
Ha’aretz – 30 Jun 2013

Bloodshed in Arab world means reduced threats to Israel, as least for now
Ha’aretz – 30 Jun 2013

Detained Israeli social protesters say sexually harassed by police officers
Ha’aretz – 30 Jun 2013

Voter turnout high for Likud governing bodies; Netanyahu’s grip on party expected to loosen
Ha’aretz – 30 Jun 2013

Haaretz reaches 100,000 Twitter followers
Ha’aretz – 30 Jun 2013

Israeli taxman robbed suspected dodgers, police say
Ha’aretz – 30 Jun 2013

Making birth easier with Israeli technology and a smartphone
Ha’aretz – 30 Jun 2013

Israel Prison Service tries to break Eritreans’ hunger strike
Ha’aretz – 30 Jun 2013

Netanyahu: Israel not holding up renewed peace talks
Ha’aretz – 30 Jun 2013

Jaffa flea market vendors charged with sexually assaulting U.S. tourist
Ha’aretz – 30 Jun 2013

How many Palestinians actually live in the West Bank?
Ha’aretz – 30 Jun 2013

MK moves to block ‘racist’ Safed rabbi from chief rabbi race
Ha’aretz – 30 Jun 2013

Jerusalem Post

Homs reduced to rubble as Assad’s forces battle for control
Jerusalem Post 30 Jun 2013 – Activists say rebels repelled attack, but city still sees clashes. 

Analysis: Morsi isn’t going anywhere without a fight
Jerusalem Post 30 Jun 2013 – As Cairo overwhelmingly expresses its dissatisfaction with the Muslim Brotherhood and its leader Mohamed Morsi, experts predict that demonstrations will continue to grow if the state refuses to reform. 

Danon, Katz, Elkin win Likud races
Jerusalem Post 30 Jun 2013 – Victors deny claims election shows weakness inside leading party. 

Ministerial committee approves proposal to ban sport hunting
Jerusalem Post 30 Jun 2013 – Bill would prohibit sport hunting in Israel and increase the protection of animals in their ecosystems. 

Rejecting appeal, cabinet approves Be’er Tuviya power plant
Jerusalem Post 30 Jun 2013 – Home Front Defense Minister Erdan’s appeal not to erect controversial plant near potential Gaza rocket fire is rejected. 

J’lem court extends detention of ‘Kotel gunman’
Jerusalem Post 30 Jun 2013 – Suspect may be charged with murder when an indictment is filed after security guard shoots man to death at Western Wall. 

Protests continue at African migrants detention center
Jerusalem Post 30 Jun 2013 – IPS decides to clear out tent city section of facility after some 170 prisoners elect to send back their meals. 

Metzger’s former aide released to house arrest in bribery case also involving chief rabbi
Jerusalem Post 30 Jun 2013 – Suspect a former driver and top aid to the Ashkenazi chief rabbi is placed under house arrest pending indictment. 

Massive turnout in Likud race, victors ready to work with PM
Jerusalem Post 30 Jun 2013 – 80% of party’s central c’tee members vote; Netanyahu rules our merger with Yisrael Beytenu to quell Likud activists’ fears. 

Knesset agricultural caucus wants young Israelis to return to the farm
Jerusalem Post 30 Jun 2013 – Caucus will encourage young people to enter field with incentives; will stress preservation of farming knowledge. 

Saudi King issues decree changing days of weekend in kingdom
Jerusalem Post 30 Jun 2013 – Senior cleric says change would “invoke Allah’s wrath” because it is an imitation from Christians and Jews. 

School’s out! Ministry promotes summer programs
Jerusalem Post 30 Jun 2013 – With their final report cards, students across the country received museum passes, show tickets and more. 

CBS: Israel lags behind other OECD countries in number of awarded PhDs
Jerusalem Post 30 Jun 2013 – Number of higher education graduates in Israel tripled since 1995; in 2012, 68.2% received BA’s degree, 28% awarded MA, 2.3% PhD. 

Group tries to keep young and secular in Jerusalem
Jerusalem Post 30 Jun 2013 – The “New Spirit” NGO is trying to stem the tide of students who leave the capital after graduation often for Tel Aviv. 

Five dead in Egypt clashes, scores wounded as over a million stream onto the streets
Jerusalem Post 30 Jun 2013 – Health Ministry says across the country, 174 people given medical treatment as a result of factional fighting; hundreds throw rocks at Muslim Brotherhood headquarters. 

Bar Noar suspect’s brother released to house arrest in alleged rape of lawyer
Jerusalem Post 30 Jun 2013 – Yaakov Felician denies raping woman, passes lie detector; brother Hagai has remand extended in LGBT center shooting. 

Israel holds Gazan man who vanished in Egypt
Jerusalem Post 30 Jun 2013 – State confirms man’s detention; details cloaked in secrecy. 

MKs spar over child allowances, housewife tax
Jerusalem Post 30 Jun 2013 – Gal-On says the move will push 35,000 children over the poverty line; budget supporters say budget fights the root of the problem. 

Jaffa shop owners indicted for shocking alleged rape of US tourist
Jerusalem Post 30 Jun 2013 – 25 year old American girl allegedly raped in store in market in the middle of the day. 

Analysis: Egypt heads for a ‘dark tunnel’ – again
Jerusalem Post 30 Jun 2013 – Egypt braces for violence on anniversary of Morsi inauguration. 

Israeli hospital treats 2 injured Syrian nationals
Jerusalem Post 29 Jun 2013 – Ziv Medical Center hospitalizes two hurt in Syrian conflict; one for a gun shot wound, the second suffered shrapnel injuries. 

3 drown over weekend, many receive treatment
Jerusalem Post 29 Jun 2013 – 16 people require treatment for drowning-related incidents during a weekend which saw rough seas along the shore line. 

The Guardian

John Kerry reports progress on Middle East talks after fifth visit since March
The Guardian 30 Jun 2013 – US secretary of state yet to secure face-to-face meeting between Israeli and Palestinian leaders The US secretary of state, John Kerry, left Israel on Sunday at the end of his fifth visit since March without securing…


The Military Prosecution Continues to Deny Investigations of Israeli Army and Police Torture

America: Police State Ruthlessness Writ Large

Egypt’s Violent Sectarianism on Rise

Liberal icon Frank Church on the NSA

Activists the US Military Targeted & Spied Upon Were Designated ‘Domestic Terrorists’

Collision course: Plan to displace tens of thousands of Bedouin passes first Knesset vote

People Who Urge Calm Over NSA Spying Make Me Nervous

Twice Exiled – Palestinian-Syrian Refugees Find Little Support in Egypt

Israel’s High Court delays justice for deaths in the Abu Rahmeh family

Time to ditch Israel’s hegemonic rhetoric

Daily Star

Opposition urges Egyptians to stay on streets until Morsi goes
Daily Star 30 Jun 2013 Egypt’s main opposition coalition on Sunday urged hundreds of thousands of protesters demanding the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi to stay on the streets until their goals are achieved.

15 dead in Iraq attacks, bomb at football pitch
Daily Star 30 Jun 2013 A string of attacks across Iraq killed 15 people Sunday, including nine in a bombing at a football pitch, the latest in a spate of blasts targeting Iraqis playing and watching the sport.

British PM visit coincides with Pakistan blasts
Daily Star 30 Jun 2013 Two bombings killed 21 people in northwestern Pakistan Sunday, just as Britain’s prime minister was in the capital pledging to help fight extremism.

Syrian official: War causes $15 billion in losses
Daily Star 30 Jun 2013 More than two years of fighting in Syria’s civil war has damaged some 9,000 state buildings and run up $15 billion in losses to the public sector, a government minister says, shining a light on the…

Obama: US makes no apology for Africa efforts
Daily Star 30 Jun 2013 President Barack Obama says the United States makes no apology for supporting efforts to stand up for human dignity in Africa.

Iraq Kurds delay presidential polls over row
Daily Star 30 Jun 2013 Iraqi Kurdish lawmakers agreed on Sunday to delay controversial presidential polls for two years as they sparred over whether to allow regional leader Massud Barzani to stand for another term in power.

Ethiopia insists on talks with Egypt to solve Nile row
Daily Star 30 Jun 2013 Ethiopia is hoping that talks with Egypt will ease a row over sharing the waters of the Nile, Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom says during a trip to Algeria.

Hundreds of refugees refuse to leave Tunisia camp
Daily Star 30 Jun 2013 Several hundred people who had fled the 2011 Libya conflict refuse to leave the Choucha refugee camp in southern Tunisia, which is due to be shut.

YNet News

Spokesman: Egypt’s Morsi working to fix errors
YNet News, 30 Jun 2013 – ….

Regev congratulates rival Katz with victory 
YNet News, 30 Jun 2013 – ….

Tax hike on alcoholic beverages to enter effect Monday 
YNet News, 30 Jun 2013 – ….

Unofficial results from Likud vote: Katz to stay on as Secretariat chair
YNet News, 30 Jun 2013 – ….

Petrol costs drop by 1.2% 
YNet News, 30 Jun 2013 – ….

Leave Morsi alone
YNet News, 30 Jun 2013 – Op-ed: Egyptian researcher says opposition presenting distorted picture of reality under Islamist regime ….

Why PA sets preconditions
YNet News, 30 Jun 2013 – Op-ed: If Palestinians had their way, Israel would be eliminated in favor of Arab state on all the land ….

Palestinian Information Center

Higher committee takes Prawer Plan to the UN
PIC – The Arab higher follow up committee has decided to complain to the UN over the Israeli Prawer Plan that will eventually displace tens of thousands of Arab Bedouins from their ancestral land.

Liberated prisoner sets himself alight in Ramallah
PIC – Liberated prisoner Wisam Marof set himself alight in front of the finance ministry in Ramallah on Sunday protesting the PA’s neglect of his condition.

450 haemophilia patients in Palestine face problems in treatment
PIC – Jad Taweel, chairman of the board of directors for Palestinian Society for Bleeding Disorders (PSBD) said there are 450 haemophilia patients in Palestine facing severe problems in treatment.

Islamic-Christian committee condemns Israeli decision to build 930 housing units
PIC – Secretary General of Islamic-Christian Committee for Support of Jerusalem and holy sites Hanna Issa denounced the decision of Israeli Ministry of Housing to build 930 settlement units in Abu Ghneim.

Israel collects $11 million a year from Palestinians in identity card fees 
PIC – A Palestinian study revealed that Israel collects 40 million shekels ($11 million) per year from Palestinians, in return for issuing Permits and Magnetic cards.

Human Rights Center: Female captives held under catastrophic conditions
PIC – A human rights organization warned of the “catastrophic and unbearable” situation of Palestinian female prisoners in the Israeli Hasharon detention center.

Jordanians rally to pressure their gov’t to ban Israeli imports
PIC – Jordanian trade-unionists and political activists rallied on Saturday outside the central vegetable market in Amman in protest at the import of vegetables and fruits from Israeli settlements.

Netanyahu vows to put any settlement agreement to referendum
PIC – Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu has pledged to put any proposed settlement agreement with the Palestinians to a public referendum.

Maariv: Israel to approve 930 units in Abu Ghuneim Mount settlement
PIC – Maariv newspaper said that the Israeli ministry of housing and the municipal council in Jerusalem intend to approve on Monday a plan to build 930 housing units in Abu Ghuneim Mount settlement.


Abbas Meets with Kerry in Ramallah
WAFA – 30 Jun 2013

Israeli Soldiers Arrest Six, Summon One in West Bank
WAFA – 30 Jun 2013

GDP Up in Q1 2013, Says Statistics Bureau
WAFA – 30 Jun 2013

Weather Forecast: Around Seasonal Average
WAFA – 30 Jun 2013


War on MERS: Deadly virus prompts global battle plans
LA Times 30 Jun 2013 – The deadly MERS virus from the Middle East hasn’t reached the U.S., but health officials take it seriously and are making plans. ATLANTA — In a war room of sorts in a neatly appointed government building, U.S. officers dressed in crisp uniforms arranged themselves around…

Morsi Confident Ahead of Planned Protests in Egypt
New York Times 30 Jun 2013 – As his opponents and supporters began massing in the streets of Cairo, President Mohamed Morsi said he was sure he would serve out his term as Egypt’s head of state. 

Kerry Sees Progress in Effort to Revive Mideast Talks
New York Times 30 Jun 2013 – Secretary of State John Kerry met with Palestinian and Israeli leaders and called efforts to restart peace talks “very positive discussions.” 

Taking Outsize Role in Syria, Qatar Funnels Arms to Rebels
New York Times 29 Jun 2013 – Qatar is using a shadowy arms network to move shoulder-fired missiles to Syria, ignoring American warnings that they could fall into terrorist hands. 

Cabinet approves Beer Tuvia independent power plant 
Globes Energy & Water – The cabinet rejected a motion by former Minister of Environmental Protection Gilad Erdan against the power station.

Fuel price falls Sunday midnight 
Globes Energy & Water – The price of self-service 95 octane gasoline was set to fall by NIS 0.09 per liter from July 1.

Woodside reviewing Israel plan – report 
Globes Energy & Water – The Australian energy company is reportedly considering joining the consortium for building an LNG plant in Cyprus instead of in Israel.

Tel Aviv light rail delayed until 2023
Globes Main News – The project is six years behind the finishing date set when it was nationalized in 2010, and NIS 3 billion over budget.

Waze sale boosts demand for app developers
Globes Main News – Demand is up for mobile app developers, following Google’s acquisition of Waze says Etosia Human Resources.

Alstom sells Jerusalem light rail stake for NIS 30m
Globes Main News – Alstom sold its 20% stake in CityPass to partners Harel Insurance and Israel Infrastructure Fund.

Sun: Tel Aviv 25 down 3.4% in June, up 0.4% in first half of 2013
Globes Main News – Israel Corp recorded the biggest gain on the Tel Aviv 25 Index and Teva rose on the day’s biggest turnover.

Teddy Sagi buys 12% of Bezeq parent
Globes Main News – Sagi bought shares in B Communications from Internet Gold, through which Shaul Elovitch controls Bezeq.

When the Treasury runs healthcare 
Globes Macro Economics – The Finance Ministry’s micro-management of health services makes private healthcare in public hospitals inevitable, even though it’s second-best.

Rouhani’s Promising First Speech as President-Elect
Tikun Olam – Will Rouhani justify the hopes for change of this young Iranian woman? (Behrouz Mehri/AFP/Getty Images) Pres.-elect Hassan Rouhani gave his first speech in that capacity and it was, like his own election, a stunner.  Stunningly moderate.  Compared to the past eight years it was like standing…

‘This is worth it, folks,’ Kerry says of talks– and warns of ‘avoiding war’
Mondoweiss – We’ve had so many posts mocking John Kerry’s shuttle diplomacy that it is only fair to post some of his press conference today from Tel Aviv in which he repeatedly stated that he is positive about a possible resumption of negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. Let’s…

Obama had a liberal Jewish base, and didn’t work it
Mondoweiss – George W. Bush relied on a splinter group in the Jewish community for his worst ideas about the Middle East: the neoconservatives. Why didn’t Obama show have that degree of conviction on the basis of the support he had from liberal Jews who opposed settlements?

Kerry and Abbas discuss– Mohammed Assaf
Mondoweiss – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas discuss Arab Idol June 30, 2013 (photo: Jacquelyn Martin/AP) U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was shuttling between Israel/Palestine on his fourth diplomacy junket to region to “jump-start negotiations”.  Sunday morning he met with Palestinian…

Meet Mr. Palestine
Mondoweiss – Why is this man smiling? ‘Imad AbdulAziz of Nablus has been arrested 17 times for his political activities on behalf of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and spent six years in Israeli jails. Once he was shot in both legs. But AbdulAziz is…

Attack in Tel Aviv: ‘Jewish girls do not go out with Blacks!’
Mondoweiss – Tel Aviv continues to witness low-level anti-African attacks on a regular basis. David Sheen shares an account from Friday where two Jewish men attacked a group of friends out for the night because one person in the group was African. Incidents like this are so commonplace…

As Thousands in Egypt Protest, Israel Stays Mum 
The Foward Breaking News 30 Jun 2013 – Hundreds of thousands of Egyptians in protests across the country called on President Mohamed Morsi to step down. Click here for the rest of the article…

170 Eritrean Migrants in Israeli Detention Center Protest With Hunger Strike 
The Foward Breaking News 30 Jun 2013 – Some 170
African migrants being held in an Israeli detention center are continuing a hunger strike. Click here for the rest of the article…

Gazan Who Disappeared To Egypt Held by Police in Israel 
The Foward Breaking News 30 Jun 2013 – A Palestinian from the Gaza Strip who vanished while visiting Egypt this month is under arrest in Israel for alleged security offences, his family and his Israeli lawyer said on Sunday. Click here for the rest of the article…

Egyptian Protesters Want Morsi Out but Haven’t Thought of Replacement 
The Foward Breaking News 30 Jun 2013 – One public square against another, a million against a million, an “uprising against the robbers” against the “red line of legitimacy” as protesters say – that’s how Egypt began its war of titans three days ago, set to reignite today. The fear is great and real….

Mass political protests grip Egypt 
BBC 30 Jun 2013 – Cairo and other Egyptian cities see huge rallies for and against President Morsi a year after he took power, with four people killed in violence.

VIDEO: Air strikes shake Syria’s Homs 
BBC 29 Jun 2013 – Syrian government war planes and ground forces have struck at rebel-held districts in the city of Homs, activists say.

VIDEO: Egypt protesters send message to Morsi 
BBC 30 Jun 2013 – Crowds are gathering in Cairo’s Tahrir Square ahead of a mass rally to demand the resignation of Egypt’s Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.

Kurds demonstrate in Turkey, asking Ankara to “do its part” 
Al-Akhbar News 30 Jun 2013 – Turkish security forces clashed with Kurdish protesters in the country’s southeast on Sunday, when protests were planned in at least four other cities to pressure the government to carry out reforms. The clashes came after security forces killed a Kurdish demonstrator on Friday, the most violent…

Palestinians dubious of Kerry’s “real progress” in peace plan 
Al-Akhbar News 30 Jun 2013 – US Secretary of State John Kerry speaks during a news conference about his trip to the Middle East, in Tel Aviv, on 30 June 2013. (Photo: AFP – Jacquelyn Martin) A top Palestinian official said on Sunday that there had been no breakthrough in marathon American-led…

Palestinian man sets himself on fire in front of PA finance ministry 
Al-Akhbar News 30 Jun 2013 – A Palestinian man sustained serious injuries Sunday after setting himself on fire in front of the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Finance in the West Bank to protest a delay in receiving benefits conferred to former prisoners, witnesses told Ma’an News Agency. Wissam Bilal Khalil Marouf, 21,…

Thousands gather in Cairo ahead of anti-Mursi protests 
Al-Akhbar News 30 Jun 2013 – Egyptian opponents to Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi hold a sign reading “Leave” in Arabic during a sit-in in front of the presidential palace in Cairo on 29 June 2013.(Photo: AFP – Khaled Desouki) Egypt braced for mass rallies on Sunday with President Mohammed Mursi’s opponents determined…

Mass political protests grip Egypt 
BBC 30 Jun 2013 – Cairo and other Egyptian cities see huge rallies for and against President Morsi a year after he took power, with four people killed in violence.

Mid-East talks ‘within reach’ – US 
BBC 30 Jun 2013 – Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations could be “within reach with a little more work”, says the US secretary of state after three days of talks.

Saudis jail Facebook cyber activists 
BBC 30 Jun 2013 – A court in Saudi Arabia sentences seven cyber activists to between five to 10 years in prison for inciting protests, mainly by using Facebook.

VIDEO: Air strikes shake Syria’s Homs 
BBC 29 Jun 2013 – Syrian government war planes and ground forces have struck at rebel-held districts in the city of Homs, activists say.

VIDEO: Selling skateboarding to the masses 
BBC 29 Jun 2013 – Long the sport of choice for rebellious teenager, skateboarding is growing in popularity in Dubai and has gained the unlikely support of the ruling family.


The crime of indifference – in Israel and the US 
Lawrence Davidson, Redress 6/29/2013
      Elie Wiesel is a worldwide personality. Through his powerful descriptive writing about the Nazi concentration camps, he has come to personify the suffering of the holocaust. Among his many insights is this famous observation: “The opposite of love is not hate, it is indifference.”
     Wiesel has repeatedly put forth this idea. In a 2011 commencement address at Washington University in St Louis he told his listeners: “The greatest commandment – to me – in the Bible… is ‘Thou shalt not stand idly by’. Which means when you witness an injustice, don’t stand idly by.”
     After a Boston lecture in 2012 Wiesel told Boston University students: “I think that is the greatest danger, ignorance, which leads to indifference and therefore to detachment… If somebody suffers and I don’t do anything to diminish his or her suffering, something is wrong with me.”
     Unfortunately, Wiesel has identified himself with Zionism and by doing so has inevitably been caught up in contradictions and dilemmas that challenge his reputation as a moral icon.
     For instance, in May 2010 he made a public appeal to President Obama not to put any pressure on the Israeli government over the issue of Jerusalem even as the Israelis evicted Palestinian residents. In doing so he revealed his own indifference to the real nature of Israeli objectives and behaviour. As a result a hundred Israeli intellectuals and activists wrote him a public reply expressing “frustration” and “outrage” at his attitude and actions.
     Nonetheless, his comments about indifference and insensitivity are important and insightful and can be used as a standard to judge some of his fellow Zionists, many of whom have been “standing idly by” for decades and thus are examples of Wiesel’s dictum, “if somebody suffers and I don’t do anything to diminish his or her suffering, something is wrong with me.” more.. e-mail

Israeli Propaganda, With Warts 
Louis J. Proyect, CounterPunch 6/28/2013
      Hasbara-Lite Films
     Out of a sense of duty to CounterPunch readers, I went to a press screening for “Israel: a Home Movie” that opens at the Film Forum in New York on July 10th. It might be more accurate to say that I went to monitor it since it had all the earmarks of a typical Israeli film geared to the liberal to left audiences at the Film Forum, a premier art house. Unlike “World War Z”, the new zombie movie that apparently includes 10 minutes of full-blast Zionist propaganda (Israel becomes a Zombie-free zone largely on the efforts of a muscular and merciless IDF standing guard at the borders), “Israel: a Home Movie” is anxious to show Israel with warts and all, as the announcement from the Film Forum publicity department made clear:
     “Israel goes from a young, optimistic, albeit naive nation, to one in which the realities of middle-age (and worse) settle in. There is a description of “shell-shock”; a young soldier who declares “God bless morphine”; images of a relative “killed in a terrorist attack at about age 30?; the demolition of a minaret and discussion of whether it was a holy site; David Ben-Gurion visiting transit camps in 1956, and glimpses throughout of Ariel Sharon, Moshe Dayan, and Anwar Sadat. Perhaps nowhere in the world could home movies so intimately reflect the changing political face of a nation. As early as the late 1970s, one feels that tragedy has become the norm, that life inevitably leads to death and that – in Israel as we have known it – peace inevitably leads to war.”
     As the title implies, the film is entirely made up of home movies shot mostly on 8mm film cameras like the kind people used to take on vacation. As such, most of the footage is fairly banal stuff that ostensibly would only be of interest to people who get a kick out of watching strangers frolicking in the ocean or—worse—babies waddling into their parents’ arms. The men or women who made the films or their children provide narration. The perspective is mostly that of old-style kibbutz “socialism” or Peace Now liberalism, just the sort of thing that would resonate with the film’s target audience.
     These benign moments are punctuated by scenes of warfare, starting with the 1948 creation of the modern state of Israel. The film also includes plenty of footage from the 1967 and 1973 wars, all calculated to convince the viewer that they were forced on Israel…. more.. e-mail

Archbishop of Canterbury’s false start in Holy Land 
Stuart Littlewood, Redress 6/29/2013
      Long-suffering Gaza and Bethlehem communities ignored – “no effort to go to the heart of the issue

     Before he left for the Holy Land I telephoned Justin Welby’s office for details of his first visit as the new Archbishop of Canterbury, only to be told none were available in advance. So I emailed a list of questions….
     Will the archbishop visit Gaza and if so whom will he meet (e.g. Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh)?
     When Archbishop Rowan Williams was eventually allowed [by the Israelis] into Gaza in 2010 (after initially being refused) he was limited to a measly hour or so for a hurried visit to Ahli hospital. How much time will Archbishop Welby be allowed?
     Whom will he meet in the West Bank?
     Will he be spending as much time with members of the Islamic faith as Jewish leaders?
     Will he inspect the apartheid wall that imprisons Bethlehem and wait for hours at the checkpoint with the Palestinian workers?
     Will he talk with survivors of the 40-day siege of the Church of the Nativity?
     Will he be thoroughly briefed on the situation by the Latin Patriarch, Kairos and other Christian churches?
     Will he talk with Palestinian students whose education is disrupted or destroyed by the Israelis?
     When there was no reply and it became obvious he wasn’t going to Gaza I sent a second email:
     It seems that the archbishop will not be visiting Gaza in spite of the desperate plight of the Christian community and their Muslim brothers and sisters. Was he prevented by the Israelis from including Gaza on his itinerary? more.. e-mail

Brzezinski: Saudi Arabia, Qatar, their western allies orchestrated Syria crisis 
Press TV 6/29/2013
      The former US national security adviser says the ongoing crisis in Syria has been orchestrated by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and their western allies.
     “In late 2011 there are outbreaks in Syria produced by a drought and abetted by two well-known autocracies in the Middle East: Qatar and Saudi Arabia,” Zbigniew Brzezinski said in an interview with The National Interest on June 24.
     He added that US President Barack Obama also supported the unrest in Syria and suddenly announced that President Bashar al-Assad “has to go — without, apparently, any real preparation for making that happen.”
     “Then in the spring of 2012, the election year here, the CIA under General Petraeus, according to The New York Times of March 24th of this year, a very revealing article, mounts a large-scale effort to assist the Qataris and the Saudis and link them somehow with the Turks in that effort,” said Brzezinski, who was former White House national security adviser under Jimmy Carter and now a counselor and trustee at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and a senior research professor at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.
     Criticizing the Obama administration’s policies regarding Syria, he questioned, “Was this a strategic position? Why did we all of a sudden decide that Syria had to be destabilized and its government overthrown? Had it ever been explained to the American people? Then in the latter part of 2012, especially after the elections, the tide of conflict turns somewhat against the rebels. And it becomes clear that not all of those rebels are all that ‘democratic.’ And so the whole policy begins to be reconsidered.”
     “I think these things need to be clarified so that one can have a more insightful understanding of what exactly US policy was aiming at,” Brzezinski added. more.. e-mail

Massive Protests across Egypt Demand President Morsi’s Resignation
Dissident Voice: 30 Jun 2013 – Lina Attalah, the Managing Editor at Egypt Independent : Millions expected to protest across Egypt demanding new elections as pro-Morsi forces stage counter demonstrations — fear that army may intervene and re-establish direct control.more

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