VTJP Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel News & Articles 13 July 2013

13 July 2013 — VTJP


International Middle East Media Center

Syria: “Lathiqiyya Port Explosion, Not Israeli Air Strike”
IMEMC – The Al-Alam Iranian news agency have reported that Syria denied that the explosions in Lathiqiyya (Latakia)Port were a result of an Israeli Air Strike, and that the explosions most likely took place during clashes between the Syrian Army and the “Free Syrian Army”. …

Qaraqe’: “Hunger Striking Detainee Barghouthi Faces Serious Health Conditions”
IMEMC – Palestinian Minister of Detainees, Issa Qaraqe’, stated Saturday [July 13, 2013] that detainee Abdullah Barghouthi, who entered his 75th day of hunger strike is facing very serious health complications. …

Ma’an News

Israel ‘launched strikes near key Syria port’
7/13/2013 – WASHINGTON (AFP) — A series of explosions on July 5 near the key Syrian port city of Latakia were the result of Israeli air strikes, CNN reported, citing three US officials. In the report late Friday, the network said the strikes were aimed at Russian-made Yakhont missiles that Israel viewed as a threat to its naval forces in the eastern Mediterranean. The Israeli military declined to….

5-year-old boy killed by stray bullet in Gaza camp
7/13/2013 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — A five-year-old boy was killed in the Gaza Strip on Saturday after being struck by a stray bullet inside his home, police said. Yousef Darwish sustained fatal injuries after a stray bullet hit him in Nuseirat refugee camp, Gaza police spokesman Ayoub Abu Shaar told Ma’an. The boy was taken to a hospital in Deir al-Balah but pronounced dead on arrival. [END]

Palestinian arrested in connection with Sinai blast
7/13/2013 – CAIRO (Ma’an) — Egyptian security officials arrested a Palestinian man late Friday in relation to a bomb blast which targeted a gas pipeline in Sinai last week, security officials said. Mohamed Abu Hashem, 30, was detained in the Sinai peninsula while trying to return to the Gaza Strip, Egyptian officials said, and faces charges of blowing up a gas pipeline in north Sinai last….

Poster of ousted Egypt leader sparks Aqsa controversy
7/13/2013 – JERUSALEM (Ma’an) – Thousands of worshipers who flooded Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa Mosque Friday encountered a huge poster of ousted Egyptian president Muhammad Mursi. Worshipers were asking who raised the photo, why Palestinians were intervening in Egyptian affairs, and what Mursi has done for al-Aqsa that motivated them to raise his photo in the holy mosque. Witnesses told Ma’an that dozens of….

Abbas phones interim Egypt president Mansour
7/13/2013 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) – President Mahmoud Abbas telephoned his Egyptian counterpart Adli Mansour on Friday to congratulate him on the occasion of Ramadan. Abbas reiterated that the Palestinian leadership would continue to respect the Egyptian people’s will and abstain from intervention in Egypt’s internal affairs. Abbas highlighted that Egypt had always played a leading role in the Arab world and would….

Minister: Stranded Gaza pilgrims to return home
7/13/2013 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Over 1,000 Palestinian pilgrims stranded in Saudi Arabia will start returning home on Monday, a Gaza official said Saturday. Ismail Radwan, the minister of endowment in the Hamas-run Gaza government, told Ma’an that the pilgrims will return in three groups on Monday via Cairo airport, and will then travel to the Rafah crossing into Gaza on Tuesday. It….

PA minister: Majority do not support Hamas in Gaza
7/13/2013 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — The Palestinian Authority minister of endowment and religious affairs said Saturday that Hamas does not enjoy popular support in the Gaza Strip.”Hamas realizes that the majority in the Gaza Strip rejects them, and rejects their policies of controlling Gaza through force,” Mahmoud al-Habash wrote on his Facebook page.”Hamas insists on continuing its control through force, not love, thinking that….

Relatives attack hospital after woman’s death
7/13/2013 – HEBRON (Ma’an) – A crowd of angry people on Saturday attacked the building of Hebron’s public hospital after a woman was pronounced dead shortly after she arrived at the emergency room. Hospital director Walid Zalloum told Ma’an that a pregnant woman, Fidaa Hasasnah, 28, arrived at the emergency room with severe bleeding. Doctors were unable to stop the bleeding and….

Egyptian helicopters attack Jihadists in Sinai
7/13/2013 – EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma’an) — Two Egyptian Apache helicopters hovered Friday over olive groves south of el-Arish before they fired shells at bunkers of Jihadist gunmen who were preparing to attack army checkpoints, says military sources said. According to the sources, army intelligence detected information about Jihadists hiding in olive groves and preparing to launch attacks against checkpoints. As a result, commanders sent two Apaches….

Tunisia TV boss on trial for corruption
7/13/2013 – TUNIS (AFP) — The trial of Tunisian television chief Sami Fehri, accused of corruption during the rule of now-toppled strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, opened Friday with the defense requesting bail and the court denying it. Fehri, who runs the private Ettounsiya TV and was a business partner of Ben Ali’s fugitive brother-in-law Belhassen Trabelsi, was arrested last August accused of having illegally….

Saudi court jails 11 for Qaeda offenses
7/13/2013 – JEDDAH (AFP) — A Saudi court has sentenced 11 people including foreigners to jail on charges including weapons training, bomb-making and ties to Al-Qaeda, the SPA state news agency reported Friday. The prison terms handed down by the special court ranged from 18 months to 15 years, it said, without specifying the number or nationalities of foreigners convicted. Some were convicted of “declaring that it was….

Syria’s famed Crusader fort hit in air raid
7/13/2013 – BEIRUT (AFP) — An air raid on Syria’s famed Krak des Chevaliers castle, a UNESCO World Heritage site, has damaged one of the fortress’s towers, footage shot by activists showed Saturday. Several videos posted online showed at least one air strike on Friday against the castle in central Homs province, where fighting is raging between government troops and rebel forces. The footage….

Egypt PM edges closer to forming cabinet
7/13/2013 – CAIRO (AFP) — Egypt’s new prime minister edged closer to forming a cabinet on Saturday as supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi vowed to keep fighting for his reinstatement with further protests. Hazem al-Beblawi, who was appointed on Tuesday, said he would hold talks with the candidates for ministerial posts on Saturday and Sunday, in comments carried by the state-owned Akhbar al-Youm newspaper….

Egypt upheaval mars hopes of end to economic woes
7/13/2013 – CAIRO (AFP) — Egypt’s shattered economy was boosted this week by Gulf allies pledging billions of dollars in aid, but analysts say this simply buys time as political turmoil deepens its economic malaise. The millions of ordinary Egyptians angered by record high unemployment, soaring inflation and chronic fuel shortages who took to the streets two weeks ago demanding Mohamed Morsi’s resign
ation blamed….

Palestinian Center for Human Rights

Khan Yunis Court of First Instance Sentences Man to Death
Palestinian Center for Human Rights

The National

Calls grow for Egytian military to free Islamists
The National 13 Jul 2013 – Egyptian public prosecutor says complaints against detained Brotherhood members include spying, inciting violence and damaging the economy.

UK police plead for calm after Tipton mosque bombing
The National 13 Jul 2013 – The blast highlights concerns about anti-Muslim sentiment in the UK that spiked after the brutal murder of a British soldier on a London street in May by two suspects who shouted Islamic slogans after killing him.

Surge in number of children in UAE with type 1 diabetes
The National 13 Jul 2013 – Number of children with type 1 diabetes has doubled since 2000, and doctors say increase has been particularly noticeable in past five to eight years.

Emirati sisters step back in time for clothing line
The National 13 Jul 2013 – Designers inspired by Bedouin fabrics and traditional styles used by their grandmother to create women’s clothes.

Emirates ID system aids growth in digital economy
The National 13 Jul 2013 – ID management programmes, such as Emirates ID, are important to the eonomic development of nations in the GCC, research shows

How Israel’s war on Gaza breeds anger, grief and courage
The National 13 Jul 2013 – Children suffer, mothers hold their shattered families together and fathers urge enraged young men to resist the siren call of vengeanc

Fishing ban ends but crews in Umm Al Quwain face tough season
The National 13 Jul 2013 – Low pay, heat and smaller catches make job extremely difficult.

Early Eidiya gifts bring smiles to Dubai orphans
The National 13 Jul 2013 – Almost 300 orphaned children received Eidiya gifts and a surprise visit from Modesh suring the eights annual celebration hosted by the Dar Al Ber Society


Plan to safeguard Israel’s crumbling cliffs still over a year away
Ha’aretz – 13 Jul 2013

Justices to hear petition on whether indicted Ramat Gan mayor can be removed from office
Ha’aretz – 13 Jul 2013

Washington promises Israel: More pressure on Iran, not less
Ha’aretz – 13 Jul 2013

Thousands protest on two-year anniversary of Israel’s social protests
Ha’aretz – 13 Jul 2013

Activists hoping to rekindle 2011 social protests in Tel Aviv
Ha’aretz – 13 Jul 2013

Former military intelligence chief: Israel held a ‘Prisoner X’ in 1970s
Ha’aretz – 13 Jul 2013

New reports on Latakia attack make turning a blind eye difficult for Assad
Ha’aretz – 13 Jul 2013

Jerusalem Post

Middle East: Back to the old regional equilibrium?
Jerusalem Post 13 Jul 2013 – Analysis: It looks like Egypt will rejoin the Gulf front against Iran; though the Muslim Brotherhood has not given up, and the crisis is far from over, Egyptian-Saudi Arabian relations are starting to heat up. 

Thousands mark 2-year anniversary of social protests in Tel Aviv, with new villain at center
Jerusalem Post 13 Jul 2013 – Israelis try to recapture magic of 2011 protests; Lapid blasted. 

Thousands hit Tel Aviv streets to mark anniversary of 2011 social justice protests
Jerusalem Post 13 Jul 2013 – Danino: It was a mistake to arrest protest leader Leef last year. 

Egypt announces criminal investigation of Morsi
Jerusalem Post 13 Jul 2013 – WSJ: Egyptian army, opposition figures met before Morsi ouster. 

Egypt plans operation against terror in Sinai
Jerusalem Post 12 Jul 2013 – Report says Cairo is planning to “cleanse” area of northern Sinai of militants but would first give them chance to surrender. 


Qatar losing Mideast ground to Saudi diplomacy: experts

The New York Times has sunk to an unprecedented level of stupidity

Foreign Activists to Launch Flotilla from Gaza to Europe

Palestinian Groups Condemn Meeting Between PLO, Israel as ‘Normalization’

Iran reaction to Morsi’s removal ‘unacceptable interference’: Egypt FM

Advancing a Language of Unity and Return within a Fragmented Palestinian Geography

Everyday Brutality: The Israeli Army Beats and Arrests an Injured Journalist in Bethlehem

Help Syria now. Tomorrow it may be too late

Down the tubes: The 2013 Hunger Strike at Guantanamo Bay (Full Report )

Obama nominee to head FBI defends NSA spying in Senate testimony

Daily Star

EDL to replace faulty Beirut transformer
Daily Star 13 Jul 2013 Electricite Du Liban says it will replace a faulty transformer in the Horsh neighborhood of the capital that led to power cuts earlier this week.

Egyptian parliamentarians demand Mursi’s return
Daily Star 13 Jul 2013 Islamist lawmakers in Egypt’s disbanded upper house of parliament are demanding the return of the country’s ousted president, and calling on other parliaments not to recognize the country’s new army-appointed leadership.

Egyptian prosecutor has received complaints against Mursi
Daily Star 13 Jul 2013 Egypt’s public prosecutor’s office says it has received complaints accusing deposed President Mohammad Mursi and other senior leaders of his Muslim Brotherhood of spying, inciting killings of protesters and damaging the economy.

Saudi Arabia urges elderly to avoid hajj over virus fears
Daily Star 13 Jul 2013 Saudi Arabia Saturday urges elderly and chronically ill Muslims not to perform the hajj pilgrimage, to curb the spread of the MERS coronavirus which has killed 38 in the kingdom.

Rival rebel factions fight in Syria’s largest city
Daily Star 13 Jul 2013 Western-backed opposition fighters and a faction of Al-Qaeda-linked rebels turn their guns on each other in Syria’s largest city, battling for control of a key checkpoint in the latest eruption of infighting among the forces trying…

Aoun says would welcome rapprochement with Hariri
Daily Star 13 Jul 2013 MP Michel Aoun says he would welcome a rapprochement with his rival former Prime Minister Saad Hariri, amid reports of a resumption of contacts between the two sides, but says he will refuse to be part…

Obama urges Republican-led House to pass immigration overhaul
Daily Star 13 Jul 2013 President Barack Obama steps into the fray in the U.S. Congress over immigration, urging Americans to press the Republican-led House of Representatives to approve a plan that is at risk of stalling.

Egypt announces criminal investigation of Mursi
Daily Star 13 Jul 2013 Egypt announces a criminal investigation against deposed Islamist President Mohamed Mursi, with prosecutors saying they were examining complaints of spying, inciting violence and ruining the economy.

YNet News

Most of Tel Aviv protesters dispersed; no arrests reported
YNet News, 13 Jul 2013 – ….

Egypt’s interim PM names 2 more key ministerial candidates
YNet News, 13 Jul 2013 – ….

Some 200 activisits are blocking Ayalon Highway to traffic
YNet News, 13 Jul 2013 – ….

Iraq: Blast at Sunni mosque in Baghdad kills 11
YNet News, 13 Jul 2013 – ….

Eritrean Olympian says relative kidnapped in Egypt’s Sinai 
YNet News, 13 Jul 2013 – ….

Two can play precondition game
YNet News, 13 Jul 2013 – Op-ed: If Palestinians are going to insist on preconditions, why can’t Israel set some of its own? ….

Palestinian Information Center

OCHA: 62 percent of segregation wall completed
PIC – Israel has completed approximately 62 percent of the segregation wall’s route, a further 10 percent is under construction and 28 percent is intended for construction, according to OCHA.

Egypt partially reopens Rafah crossing
PIC – Egyptian authorities partially opened the Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip on Saturday, after closing it on Friday.

IOF continues to close Azzun entrance for the 5th day
PIC – Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) stormed Saturday Azzun village in Qalqilya northern West Bank where they arrested a Palestinian, while continued to close its entrance for the fifth consecutive day.

Israeli doctors prescribe inappropriate medication for captives
PIC – Prisoners’ Center for Studies said on Saturday that patient prisoners in Israeli jails complain about the medical neglect and lack of medicines even for patients with chronic diseases.

Prisoner society: Barghouthi’s health worsened further
PIC – The Palestinian prisoner society said that the health condition of Jordanian hunger striker Abdullah Barghouthi has deteriorated further and his arms suffered severe inflammations.

Abu Zuhri slams PA forces’ brutality against women
PIC – Hamas movement strongly condemned the PA forces’ violations against Palestinian women and civilian houses in West Bank.

PA apparatuses arrest 3 Hamas affiliates and summons four others
PIC – Palestinian Authority security apparatuses arrested three Hamas affiliates in the occupied West Bank, and summoned four others.

Haneyya: Implicating Hamas in Egypt’s internal affairs serves the occupation
PIC – Palestinian premier Ismail Haneyya strongly denounced some Palestinian and Egyptian parties for fabricating lies to implicate his government and the Hamas Movement in the current events in Egypt.

Jordanian Commission calls for effective moves to protect Al-Aqsa
PIC – Jordanian popular commission to defend Al-Aqsa Mosque and holy sites urged Arab and Islamic nations to take effective moves that go beyond mere condemnation to protect Al-Aqsa.

IPS deliberately moves captives from one jail to another in Ramadan
PIC – Palestinian Prisoners’ Center for Studies said that the IPS transferred a number of prisoners from and to Raymond prison just to harass them during the holy fasting month of Ramadan.


Yahoo Sports Prints Slanderous Anti-Arab Article, says Group
WAFA – 13 Jul 2013

Palestinians Criticize Raising Morsi’s Picture at Al-Aqsa
WAFA – 13 Jul 2013

Israeli Soldiers Arrest Youth East of Qalqilya
WAFA – 13 Jul 2013

Newspapers Review: Prayers at al-Aqsa Focus of Dailies
WAFA – 13 Jul 2013


Syrian business owners who fled to Egypt give up on going back
LA Times 13 Jul 2013 – Many Syrian industrialists and factory owners have relocated their businesses to Egypt, part of the economic and brain drain Syria’s civil war is causing. REHAB, Egypt — As fighting in the Syrian city of Aleppo intensified last fall, Khalid Sabbagh decided it was time to…

Syria rebel group demands Islamists turn over suspected killer
LA Times 13 Jul 2013 – The Free Syrian Army demands that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria hand over ‘perpetrators’ in the slaying last week of commander Kamal Hamami. BEIRUT — The principal U.S.-backed Syrian rebel group is demanding that an Islamist insurgent faction turn over the suspected killer…

Israel Airstrike Targeted Advanced Missiles That Russia Sold to Syria, U.S. Says
New York Times 13 Jul 2013 – American officials said Israel carried out an air attack in Syria this month that targeted advanced antiship cruise missiles sold to the Syria government by Russia. 

16 More Killed in Wave of Bombings in Iraq
New York Times 13 Jul 2013 – The late-night blast in Kirkuk ripped through the Classico Cafe as patrons were enjoying tea and water pipes hours after the sunset meal that breaks the daylong Ramadan fast. 

A Two-Doctor Family’s Prosperity and Routine Are Shaken by War
New York Times 13 Jul 2013 – One family’s story illustrates how war, displacement and currency collapse have upended a professional class that was proportionally one of the Arab world’s largest. 

Syria Weighs Its Tactics as Pillars of Its Economy Continue to Crumble
New York Times 13 Jul 2013 – Syria is increasingly isolated in the face of a growing economic crisis, more reliant than ever on credit from its main remaining allies. 

Iraq Says It Can’t Halt Arms to Syria
New York Times 13 Jul 2013 – Iraq’s foreign minister said his nation condemned the transfer of weapons from Iran to Syria through its airspace, but could not stop it from happening. 

‘Poor journalism’: NBC’s Mohyeldin calls out ‘NYT’ for refusing to name 3 writers who smeared Oday Aboushi
Mondoweiss – The New York Times’s long story about the smearing of Palestinian football player Oday Aboushi amazingly does not name the three writers who smeared Aboushi. They are: Joe Kaufman of FrontPage, Adam Waksman the Columbia Computer Science Department PhD who moonlights for Yahoo Sports, and Jonathan…

Startup ‘Jewish News Service’ peddles neocon propaganda as news
Mondoweiss – Jewish News Service officers, Amelia (left) and Joshua (center) Katzen, vacationing in the West Bank, near Ma’ale Adumim, 2013. (Photo: Amelia Katzen/Google Plus) There is a new neighbor in the niche world of Jewish news organizations. Its name is innocuous, the Jewish News Service (JNS). Its…

Boycott network is like Al Qaeda, and Israel is gonna fight it like Stanley McChrystal. Got that?
Mondoweiss – Gen. Stanley McChrystal (photo:USArmy via Times of Israel ) Last month we reported that the campaign against the BDS movement was about to ramp up. The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations is targeting college campuses, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is directly involved (…

Open Letter to Filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf: Please be a messenger of freedom for Iranian and Palestinian people
Mondoweiss – Editor’s Note: The following is an open letter from Iranian scholars, activists, and artists asking filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf to boycott the Jerusalem International Film Festival and reject an award from the festival. According to organizers, the letter is the first ever grassroots Iranian BDS statement. The…

Progressives and the military — bound together, in the US and Egypt
Mondoweiss – This post is part of Marc H. Ellis’s “Exile and the Prophetic” feature for Mondoweiss. To read the entire series visit the archive page . Is Egypt quieting down or is a permanent opposition to the governing authorities consolidating? Yesterday’s demonstrations lacked the fireworks of previous days. …

Thousands Hit Streets in New Israel Social Protests 
The Foward Breaking News 13 Jul 2013 – Thousands of demonstrators marched from Tel Aviv’s Habima Square to Kaplan Street to protest against the economic policies of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yair Lapid, marking the two-year anniversary of the protests railing against the high cost of living. Click here for the…

Ron Dermer, New Israel Envoy, Not Shy To Boast of Ties With Netanyahu 
The Forward New 13 Jul 2013 – Ron Dermer, Israel’s soon-to-be ambassador to the U.S., has a reputation as a pugnacious and hard-charging defender of Benjamin Netanyahu. That’s fine with him. Click here for the rest of the article…

Bedouins Fight Israel’s Resettlement Plan — and Bid for American Jews’ Support 
The Forward New 13 Jul 2013 – Israel says the Bedouins of the Negev desert would be better off living in towns. But the ancient tribespeople are fighting back — and enlisting American Jews in their fight. Click here for the rest of the article…

Egypt: UN Agency Concerned Over New Restrictions for Syrian Refugees Fleeing to Egypt 
allAfrica.com 1
3 Jul 2013 – [UN News]The United Nations refugee agency said today it is concerned about reports of a number of flights carrying Syrians being turned back from airports in Egypt, and reiterated its call on all Governments to admit and protect Syrians who have fled the conflict in their…

Egypt: Nation Will Solve Political Crisis Independently – Iranian Fm 
allAfrica.com 13 Jul 2013 – [Aswat Masriya]The Iranian Foreign Minister, Ali Akbar Salehi, and Egypt’s interim Vice-President Mohamed ElBaradei discussed the latest developments in Egypt in a telephone call on Saturday.

Egypt probes anti-Morsi complaints 
BBC 13 Jul 2013 – Egypt’s public prosecutor’s office says it is investigating complaints of spying and incitement to kill against ousted President Mohammed Morsi.

Lebanon’s Teacher Layoffs: The Summer Holiday Syndrome 
Al-Akhbar News 13 Jul 2013 – The teachers also suffer from the misapplication of Article 29, which gives the head teacher the right to fire any teacher (Photo: Haitham Moussawi) The teachers also suffer from the misapplication of Article 29, which gives the head teacher the right to fire any teacher (Photo:…

Uneasy Peace in Syria’s Tal Kalakh 
Al-Akhbar News 13 Jul 2013 – Female Muslim relatives of 22 men from the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli who were killed on November 30 in the Syrian border town of Tal Kalakh, hold up rifles as they line the street during the funeral of three of the men, on 22 December…

March 14 Loses the Battle, Continues War on the Army 
Al-Akhbar News 13 Jul 2013 – Army chief Jean Kahwaji issued four different statements in which he said that the army had carried out its duties without giving more details about the clashes. (Photo: Marwan Tahtah) Army chief Jean Kahwaji issued four different statements in which he said that the army had…

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood calls for more rallies in support of Mursi 
Al-Akhbar News 13 Jul 2013 – A supporter of ousted Egyptian president Mohammed Mursi, chants slogans against Defense Minister Abdelfatah el-Sisi as he carries a poster depicting his Sisi’s portrait, close to the Republican Guards headquarters on 12 July 2013. (Photo: AFP – Marwan Naamani) Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood called on Saturday for…

Syrian UNESCO heritage site hit by air raid 
Al-Akhbar News 13 Jul 2013 – A file image grab taken from AFP TV on on 28 June 2012 shows a Syrian rebel taking position at the Krak des Chevaliers near the village of Azzara on the outskirts of the flashpoint city of Homs. (Photo: AFP – Djilali Belaid) An air raid…

Israel “must” build 10,000 settler homes in West Bank: housing minister 
Al-Akhbar News 13 Jul 2013 – Israel is ready to “immediately” build 10,000 homes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem to lower housing costs, Housing Minister Uri Ariel was quoted as saying on Thursday. “To immediately alleviate the housing crisis we must massively build in (East) Jerusalem and the settlement blocs…

Egypt probes anti-Morsi complaints 
BBC 13 Jul 2013 – Egypt’s public prosecutor’s office says it is investigating complaints of spying and incitement to kill against ousted President Mohammed Morsi.

Dozens dead in Iraq bombs 
BBC 13 Jul 2013 – Two bomb explosions near Sunni mosques in the Iraqi capital Baghdad kill at least 21 people while three die in a funeral attack, officials say.

Virus warning for Saudi pilgrims 
BBC 13 Jul 2013 – Health officials in Saudi Arabia are asking pilgrims visiting the country’s holy sites to wear masks to stop the MERS coronavirus spreading.


Occupied Bodies 
Sam Gilbert, CounterPunch 7/12/2013
Israel is Withholding the Bodies of Arab and Palestinian War Victims
Since 1967 Israel has maintained an unofficial policy of detaining Palestinian and Arab war victims in mass graves and cemeteries. Today at last 348 bodies are held prisoner by the Israeli government their families unable to retrieve their remains.
In a traditional conflict, the bodies of the deceased would be returned to their country of origin following peace and removal of the occupying power. Israel refuses to return the bodies to their families, some of whom have been waiting for decades, on the basis that the conflict is temporary and withholding the remains is necessary to maintain internal security.
Yet as the occupation enters its 46th year and with no end in sight, the Israeli government still retains nearly 350 bodies despite numerous appeals to the Israeli court and international condemnation of the practice. JLAC, The Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center, heads up the campaign to release Arab war victims and disclose the fate of those missing. In an interview on Thursday July 11th, at the JLAC office in Ramallah Palestine, lawyer Haytham Khatib explained the motives behind Israel withholding these bodies.
“The rational behind this policy is a security condition, or a security pretext. Israeli considers all of them [deceased combatants] as terrorists, not fighter and soldiers and therefore the Geneva Conventions regarding the treatment of enemy dead do not apply.”
Khatib went on to say “Israel recognizes the importance of funeral and religious practices for Arab peoples, as well as the importance of Martyrs in Palestinian society.” Withholding the remains enacts a “collective punishment” against the families of fighters as well as providing a potential deterrent against future resistance.” more.. e-mail

Ilan Halevi (1943-2013) 
Michel Warschawski, Alternative Information Center 7/11/2013
Our comrade Ilan Halevi has left us, and an important chapter in the Palestinian struggle for national liberation thus closes.
Exactly a year ago, Ilan and I shared a platform at the University of France with the Palestine Solidarity Association (AFPS). If Ilan’s body betrayed his fatigue and its many failures, his mind displayed the same clarity that I had known for more than four decades. A few months later it was in a hospital that I met him, further weakened and now with great difficulty in expressing himself clearly.
We do not inherit our identity but create it, on the basis of genetic and sociological data, and this identity is always multiple. Yet I have not known anyone with such a multiple identity as Ilan. Let Ilan speak for one last time: “I am 100% Jew, I am 100% Arab.”
In deciding after the 1967 war to move to Israel, Ilan chose to be 100% Israeli. In 1968 he joined the anti-Zionist left group Matzpen, helping to strengthen the anti-colonial coherence of it programme and fighting for unconditional support to the Palestinian struggle for national liberation. After leaving Israel in 1974, he joined the ranks of the PLO and quickly became 100% Palestinian.
It is in the ranks of the PLO and Fatah in which Ilan became a leader. Here he could utilise his immense talents in writing but also in speaking and polemics in both the political sphere and diplomacy. Ilan’s footprint in the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations, as well as in his role as a Fatah representative in the Fourth Socialist International is indelible. His unmatched ability of persuasion could break many locks intended to isolate Palestine in the international arena. It is no exaggeration to say that Ilan Halevi has played a key role in the long process of recognition of Palestine by the international community.more.. e-mail

The painted frog of Palestine 
Jeremy Salt, Al-Ahram Weekly 6/18/2013
The Huleh wetlands, an outstanding haven of biodiversity in historic Palestine, has been another casualty of Zionism.
The good news from Palestine is that the “painted frog” of the Huleh Valley is not extinct after all. Recently it turned up again after not having been seen for the past half century. Behind the disappearance of the painted frog stands a much bigger story: the fate of the Huleh Valley after the conquest of Palestine by the Zionists and behind that story is the reality behind one of the foundation myths of the Zionists — that of a barren, stagnant and empty land awaiting redemption at the hands of the Jewish people.
In the 19th century, the Huleh wetlands were one of Palestine’s prize natural assets. They were formed over millennia by three rivers flowing south into the Huleh Valley from their headwaters in Syria, the Hasbani, the Banias and the Liddan. The valley stretched for a distance of about 25 km in length and six in width. Its centrepiece was Lake Huleh and its adjoining wetlands, covering an area of about 60 square kilometres, expanding and contracting in tune with the seasons.
The lake itself was more than 5km long and more than four wide at its broadest point. The river flow continued southwards into Lake Tiberias and then the Jordan River. The f
ertile land around the lake provided the surrounding villages and Bedouin cultivators with a good living from cereal crops, maize, rice and honey. The lake and wetlands were a nesting and feeding spot for masses of migratory birds. The life beneath the water was just as rich as that above.

Given below are descriptions of the Huleh wetlands by the Reverend W. M. Thomson, an American missionary who visited Palestine in the 1850s and took detailed notes of everything he saw: the food people ate, the clothes they wore, the crops they cultivated, and the glassware and soap they produced in their worships, as well as the flora, the fauna, the valleys, hills, plains and rivers. more.. e-mail

AIPAC & OFAC Ratchet-Up US Sanctions Targeting Syria and Iran’s Populations 
Franklin Lamb, Damascus, CounterPunch 7/12/2013
Let’s Cut ‘Em Off at the Knees and Let Allah Sort It Out!”
The US Treasury Department’s Office of Financial Assets Control, since March of 2012, is directed by Mr. Adam J. Szubin who more than once has boasted on the sidelines of a Congressional Hearing on Iran and Syria and at last March’s AIPAC’s national conference, that he fancies himself a modern day Inspector Javert. Choosing the Dickens character, according to one Congressional source, as a kind of role model because of Javert’s focused and relentless obsession. Szubin has pledged the same with pursuing the financial interests of anyone on the planet that in any way violates the massive and still growing US-led economic sanctions that are targeting the civilian populations of Syria and Iran. For last fall’s Halloween party on the Hill, Mr. Szubin came dressed up as, yep, Jean Valjean’s nemesis.
Reportedly a pleasant fellow, Mr. Szubin works closely with his mentor, David S. Cohen, a bit less so, some say of the Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. The two gentlemen often work together, and sometimes with friends located less than a 20 minute walk across the Mall below the US Capitol buildings at the AIPAC HQ. It is with selected AIPAC staff, sometimes over a catered lunch, that they dream up and craft ways to cut off the financial legs and the lines of banking support for all “terrorists”. They also enforce US-led politically motivated civilian targeting economic sanctions against rogue nations (read: the civilian populations of Syria and Iran), and even sometimes combat the financial support of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction—the latter only with respect to ‘bad’ countries like Iran, as opposed to ‘good’ countries like Israel.
OFAC has been accused of taking orders from AIPAC, who takes orders from the Israeli Embassy, wlhile for some reson is not required to register and foreign agents, and whose offices reportedly flood Szubin and Cohen with memoranda on how to, as a sign two weeks ago above the printer in AIPAC’s library read, “cut em off at the knees and let Allah sort it out!”more.. e-mail

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