VTJP Palestine-Israel Newslinks 11 August 2013:

11 August 2013 — VTJP

News

International Middle East Media Center

Young Palestinian musicians perform in prestigious world festival
IMEMC – On August 8, seventeen young Palestinian musicians put Palestine on the ‘map’ of one of the world’s most prestigious international music festivals, the BBC Proms. Aged twelve to twenty-three years, they are members of the Palestinian Strings, a brainchild of the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music, Palestine’s preeminent music institution. …

Netanyahu Claims P.A. Is Inciting Against Tel Aviv
IMEMC – Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, claiming that the Palestinian Authority (P.A.) and its President, Mahmoud Abbas, are inciting against Israel, even after the resumption of direct peace talks. …

Injuries Reported As Army Invades Village Near Jenin
IMEMC – Palestinian medical sources reported on Saturday evening [August 10, 2013] that a number of residents was been injured after dozens of soldiers invaded Kufur Ra’ey village, south of the northern West Bank city of Jenin. …

Ma’an News

Army: Palestinian killed on Gaza border
8/11/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces on Saturday shot dead a Palestinian they described as acting suspiciously along the border between southern Israel and the northern Gaza Strip.”IDF soldiers observed the suspect meddling with land in the northern area where explosive devices have been used in the past,” an army spokeswoman told Ma’an. She said the soldiers fired at the unnamed Palestinian….

Israeli soldiers deny medical help to boy bitten by snake
8/11/2013 – NABLUS (Ma’an) — A young boy bitten by a snake in Nablus on Sunday was refused medical attention by Israeli soldiers manning a checkpoint, the boy’s father said. Tareq Abu Aoun told Ma’an that his son Muhammad was bitten by the snake near the Hamra checkpoint in Nablus and lost consciousness. He asked Israeli soldiers to allow him to pass….

Israel invites bids to build 1,000 settler homes
8/11/2013 – JERUSALEM (AFP) — Israel is inviting bids to build over 1,000 settler homes in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, the housing ministry said on Sunday, ahead of peace talks with the Palestinians.”Tenders will be published” later in the day for 793 units in annexed east Jerusalem and 394 elsewhere in the West Bank, the ministry said in a statement, three days before the next…. Related: PA official: Settlement plans show Israel not serious

PA official: Settlement plans show Israel not serious
8/11/2013 – JERUSALEM (AFP) — Israel’s new plans for settlement construction announced Sunday showed it was “not serious” in efforts to negotiate peace, a Palestinian Authority official said. The tenders for over 1,000 homes in the occupied West Bank and annexed East Jerusalem were proof that Israel “was not serious in the negotiations,” PA negotiator Mohammad Shtayyeh said in a statement. He charged that Israel “aims…. Related: Israel invites bids to build 1,000 settler homes

Egypt group claims militants killed by Israel, Egypt denies
8/11/2013 – CAIRO (AFP) — An Egyptian militant group said on Saturday that a strike that killed four of its members in the Sinai peninsula was Israeli, but officials said Egyptian planes carried out the airstrike. Ansar Beit al-Maqdis said four of its members belonging to Sinai Bedouin tribes had been killed by Israeli drones on Friday. Egypt’s military denied on Friday that there had been….

Egypt: 5 killed in Sinai shelling
8/11/2013 – EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma’an) — The Egyptian army on Sunday shelled a site suspected of sheltering Jihadist groups in the Sinai peninsula, killing five people and injuring seven, security sources said. Egyptian forces targeted the site in Sheikh Zwaid after gunmen from an unnamed Jihadist group attacked a police station in el-Arish and an army site in Sheikh Zwaid. Those attacks injured one civilian, the….

Egypt’s Sinai air raids ‘killed 8 militants’
8/11/2013 – CAIRO (AFP) — Egyptian air strikes in the Sinai Peninsula killed at least eight militants and destroyed a weapons depot, the military and local residents said on Sunday. The overnight strikes against “a terrorist group” responsible for killing police and army troops in north Sinai left “25 people dead and injured”, army spokesman Colonel Ahmed Aly said. He said a weapons and ammunition depot “which was….

Netanyahu recovering after hernia operation
8/11/2013 – JERUSALEM (AFP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was recovering on Sunday after a hernia operation overnight in a Jerusalem hospital, his office said in a statement. Surgery, at the prestigious Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital, was successful and lasted about an hour, it added. Netanyahu, 63, was expected to be discharged on Sunday afternoon. [END]

Israel to take polio vaccination campaign nationwide
8/11/2013 – JERUSALEM (AFP) — Israel is to vaccinate all children against polio, after “thousands” of people in the south of the country were found to be carriers, Health Minister Yael German said on Saturday. German said 98 percent of Israelis were already vaccinated but could pass the virus onto the remainder.”We discovered that we had several thousand temporary carriers of the virus,” she told privately-owned Channel….

Hamas security forces crack down on Fatah in Gaza
8/11/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Hamas security forces have launched an arrest campaign against Fatah leaders and affiliates in the Gaza Strip, Fatah said in a statement on Sunday. Hamas security forces raided the home of Fatah official Abed al-Aziz al- Maqadma on Thursday, confiscating his computer and mobile phone. He was taken to internal security headquarters in northern Gaza, where he is still being detained….

NGO: More than 30 dead in Syria regime air raids
8/11/2013 – BEIRUT (AFP) — Syrian regime airstrikes killed more than 30 people Saturday in the Latakia province, bastion of the ruling Assad clan, and the northern city of Raqa, a monitory group said. Seven children were among at least 13 civilians killed in an air raid on Raqa, the only provincial capital in rebel hands, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. It said the raid….

More than 60 dead as Iraqis mark end to lethal Ramadan
8/11/2013 – BAGHDAD (AFP) — Car bombs ripped through Baghdad cafes and markets while blasts and shootings struck elsewhere, killing 61 people as Iraq marked the end of its deadliest Ramadan holy month in years. The attacks were the latest in spiraling violence which authorities have failed to stem, with the worst bloodshed in five years raising worries of a return to the all-out Sunni-Shiite sectarian conflict that….

Morsi loyalists call fresh protests as crackdown looms
8/11/2013 – CAIRO (AFP) — Supporters of ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi called more rallies for Sunday to demand his reinstatement, amid last ditch efforts for reconciliation ahead of a threatened crackdown on protests. Morsi loyalists, led by the Muslim Brotherhood, have kept up two huge protest camps in Cairo to protest against the Islamist president’s ouster by the military on July 3. They say nothing….

6 migrants drowned off Sicily ‘were Egyptian’
8/11/2013 – ROME (AFP) — The six migrants who drowned off a tourist beach in Sicily were Egyptians after their boat was abandoned at sea by a larger vessel, Italian media reported Sunday, citing investigators. The six victims who jumped from a fishing boat on Saturday thinking they had arrived onshore were identified as between 17 and 27 years of age. A boat illegally transporting nearly 100 migrants….

Syria rebels pass ‘Kurd hostages to jihadists’
8/11/2013 – BEIRUT (AFP) — Syrian rebel fighters kidnapped 13 Kurds in the northern province of Aleppo on Sunday, turning them over to jihadist fighters already holding 250 abducted Kurds, an NGO said. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the 13 were snatched at a roadblock in the Sfeira region of Aleppo and passed them on to Al-Nusra Front, a jihadist group affiliated with Al-Qaeda. Al-Nusra and….

AlJazeera

Israel invites bids for settlement homes
AlJazeera 11 Aug 2013 – Move to build 1,200 homes for Jewish settlers draws Palestinian ire, who say Israel is “not serious” about peace talks.

Relief Web

occupied Palestinian territory: UAE’s Khalifa Foundation concludes Ramadan project in Palestine
Relief Web 10 Aug 2013 – Source: Emirates News Agency Country: occupied Palestinian territory WAM JERUSALEM, 10th August 2013 (WAM)– The Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Humanitarian Foundation concluded its Ramadan humanitarian activities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip on the last day of the…

The National

Rebels launch new offensive near Syria’s border with Iraq
The National 11 Aug 2013 – Syrian army jets conducted several air raids against rebel positions in Deir El Zour, where rebels killed seven soldiers and captured several others in a city that has been contested since last year.

Israel ‘destroying Palestinian peace talks’ with plans to build 1,200 more settler homes
The National 11 Aug 2013 – Announcement of building on occupied land overshadows the expected release of 26 Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails and snubs US secretary of state John Kerry, who brokered talks. Hugh Naylor reports from Ramallah 

The once and future kings of retail
The National 11 Aug 2013 – Abu Dhabi’s Hamdan Centre was seen as the epitome of modernity when it opened in the early 1980s – but such has been the speed of change in the country that just 30 years on, it and others face an uncertain future as bigger, brighter malls open, as Nick Leech reports

Egyptian protesters set to defy ultimatum to clear camps
The National 11 Aug 2013 – Security forces ready to move in to evict tens of thousands of demonstrators as government loses patience with pro-Morsi protests. Alice Fordham reports from Cairo 

Pope Francis calls for mutual respect between Christians and Muslims
The National 11 Aug 2013 – Pope Francis reaches out to Muslims to mark the end of Ramadan and calls on them and Christians to promote mutual respect.

Al Qaeda kills 5 Yemeni soldiers who were guarding an oil export terminal
The National 11 Aug 2013 – The terminal, through which the bulk of Yemen’s gas exports pass, was not among the reported targets of a large-scale Al Qaeda plot that Yemeni authorities say they foiled in recent days.

Zimbabwe police seek journalists over Iran uranium story: report
The National 11 Aug 2013 – Zimbabwean police yesterday were looking for two journalists from the British newspaper The Times over a story about a secret uranium export deal between Zimbabwe and Iran.

Al Ain Police launch home visits service
The National 11 Aug 2013 – The new service, launched yesterday, means Emiratis and expatriates with mobility problems can call any Al Ain Police department or operations room to request help or report a crime.

Ha’aretz

A reality show by our leaders
Ha’aretz – 10 Aug 2013

Settlements will continue to determine Israel’s future
Ha’aretz – 10 Aug 2013

Israeli universities to offer star academics higher salaries
Ha’aretz – 10 Aug 2013

After wildcat strikes, trains expected to run on schedule
Ha’aretz – 10 Aug 2013

Five Israelis drown on beaches across Israel
Ha’aretz – 10 Aug 2013

Fear and loathing in Upper Nazareth
Ha’aretz – 10 Aug 2013

Jerusalem Post

Almagor holds protests against release of Palestinian prisoners with ‘blood on their hands’
Jerusalem Post 11 Aug 2013 – Noon showdown to occur before the High Court of Justice as the Almagor Terror Victims Association attempt a last ditch effort to stop Palestinian prisoner release that includes known murderers. 

Human rights group urges Hamas to halt planned executions
Jerusalem Post 11 Aug 2013 – Amnesty International calls public executions “disturbing.” 

Netanyahu recovering after emergency hernia surgery
Jerusalem Post 11 Aug 2013 – Doctor says he will require several days of bed rest to recover. 

Will Hezbollah wage terror against UNIFIL?
Jerusalem Post 11 Aug 2013 – EU’s Hezbollah decision casts light on UNIFIL, Shi’ites. 

A growing frustration in Egypt at the West’s cold shoulder
Jerusalem Post 10 Aug 2013 – When young Egyptians took to the streets in 2011, what they wanted was a better life: an end to dictatorship, more freedom and decent economic conditions. 

Netanyahu recovering after successful hernia surgery
Jerusalem Post 10 Aug 2013 – Doctors say the prime minister should have a full recovery and can be expected to return to full duties by end of the week. 

Fatah official: Hamas to conduct security crackdown in Gaza
Jerusalem Post 10 Aug 2013 – Majed Abu Shamalah warns of expected security campaign in the enclave after raids on homes of various Fatah leaders. 

Scores killed as Iraq marks end to bloody Ramadan
Jerusalem Post 10 Aug 2013 – More than 1,000 Iraqis have been killed in July, the highest monthly death toll since 2008, according to the United Nations. 

Report: Egyptian prosecutors have evidence Morsi incited murder of protesters
Jerusalem Post 10 Aug 2013 – Egyptian paper: Morsi incited attempted murder of protestors among other charges. 

Turkey to remove troops from UNIFIL peacekeeping force in Lebanon
Jerusalem Post 10 Aug 2013 – UNIFIL says decision came before abduction of Turkish Airlines workers; Turkey to leave contingent of naval forces. 

US, Russia agree to prepare for elusive Syria peace talks
Jerusalem Post 10 Aug 2013 – Moscow and Washington have been trying since May to organize an int’l peace conference to bring an end to the violence in Syria. 

US to reopen 18 of 19 foreign posts closed amid security concerns
Jerusalem Post 10 Aug 2013 – The Yemen embassy will remain closed due “ongoing concerns about a threat stream indicating the potential for terrorist attacks.” 

Thousands rally for Morsi in Cairo, clashes in rural Egypt
Jerusalem Post 9 Aug 2013 – Protesters defy warnings from government to desist with demonstrations; 11 protesters, 5 policemen hurt in clashes in Fayoum, Gharbiya. 

Two suspected of sex-trafficking of minors aged 12-15
Jerusalem Post 9 Aug 2013 – 21-year-old man suspected of befriending teenage boys and convincing them to take part in sexual acts with multiple partners. 

In Turkey, Erdogan’s ‘mega-projects’ push forward
Jerusalem Post 9 Aug 2013 – Turkish prime minister’s massive projects raise green concerns but proceed unabated. 

Turkish president calls for Morsi’s release, slams Egyptian ‘coup’
Jerusalem Post 9 Aug 2013 – Gul: Morsi ouster “a clear derailment of country’s progress”; says the current situation is worrying and unsustainable. 

Turkish Airlines pilot, colleague abducted by gunmen in Lebanon
Jerusalem Post 9 Aug 2013 – Group claims responsibility for abduction in name of 9 Lebanese Shi’ite Muslims kidnapped near Turkish-Syrian border. 

Iran’s Khamenei: Peace talks will force Palestinians to relinquish their rights
Jerusalem Post 9 Aug 2013 – Supreme leader speaks to mark end of Ramadan holy month; slams “Zionist wolves and their int’l supporters.” 

Daily Star

Israel to free first group of Palestinian prisoners for peace talks
Daily Star 11 Aug 2013 An Israeli cabinet panel decided on Sunday to free 26 Palestinian prisoners over the next few days under a deal that led to a resumption of U.S.-brokered peace talks last month after a three-year hiatus, an…

Iraq bombings draw U.S. condemnation
Daily Star 11 Aug 2013 Gun attacks and a bombing killed at least seven more people in Iraq Sunday, police said, after a day of carnage aimed mainly at Shiite Muslims celebrating the end of Ramadan.

Shiite Council official denies hostages’ families planning to disrupt airport flights
Daily Star 11 Aug 2013 Sheikh Abbas Zogheib, tasked by the Higher Shiite Council to follow up on the case of nine Lebanese hostages held in Syria, Sunday denied reports that the hostages’ families planned to escalate their protests by crippling…

Egypt army says 12 militants killed in north Sinai
Daily Star 11 Aug 2013 Egyptian helicopters fired on a meeting of suspected militants in the country’s Sinai Peninsula, officials said Sunday, killing at least 12 people as authorities stepped up their attacks following an Israeli drone strike in the region.

Israel expands West Bank settlements despite peace talks
Daily Star 11 Aug 2013 Israel moved forward on Sunday with plans to build nearly 1,200 new homes for Jewish settlers.

Egypt expected to act against pro-Mursi protesters Monday
Daily Star 11 Aug 2013 Egyptian police are expected to start taking action early on Monday against supporters of ousted President Mohamed Mursi who are gathered in crowded protest camps in Cairo, security and government sources said, a move which could…

Syria rebels pass on 13 kidnapped Kurds to jihadists: NGO
Daily Star 11 Aug 2013 Syrian rebel fighters kidnapped 13 Kurds in the northern province of Aleppo on Sunday, turning them over to jihadist fighters already holding 250 abducted Kurds, an NGO said.

Deceased man found in car in north Lebanon
Daily Star 11 Aug 2013 Police discover the body of a dead man in the northern city of Tripoli, security sources say.

New Israeli settlements undermine talks: Erekat
Daily Star 11 Aug 2013 Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat says Israel’s plans for new homes in Jewish settlements on occupied land were aimed to scupper peace talks that resume on Wednesday.

Toxic liquor kills eight in southern Pakistan
Daily Star 11 Aug 2013 Pakistani police say at least eight people in the port city of Karachi have died after consuming homemade liquor.

YNet News

List of Palestinian prisoners to be released published
YNet News, 11 Aug 2013 – ….

Bedouin child dies after entangled in rope
YNet News, 11 Aug 2013 – ….

Mandela making ‘slow but steady’ improvement, government says
YNet News, 11 Aug 2013 – ….

Several injured in shooting near Kuseife Junction
YNet News, 11 Aug 2013 – ….

Ministers okay list of 26 Palestinian prisoners to be released this week
YNet News, 11 Aug 2013 – ….

Religious camp’s finest hour
YNet News, 11 Aug 2013 – Op-ed: Elon’s conviction proves Religious Zionism knows how to deal with rabbis who have sinned ….

Palestinian Information Center

West Bank cities witness considerable economic movement
PIC – West Bank cities, especially Ramallah, have witnessed considerable economic movement as tens of thousands of Palestinians from the 1948-occupied territories arrived for shopping.

PA summons 6 Hamas affiliates
PIC – Palestinian Authority’s security apparatuses summoned six citizens from Qalqilya on the pretext of their affiliation with Hamas, while they continued to detain ten other Hamas members from Tulkarm.

45 Jews storm Al-Aqsa courtyards
PIC – 45 Jewish extremists, protected by the Israeli police, stormed on Sunday morning Al-Aqsa mosque.

IOF storms a Church in al-Khalil
PIC – Israeli military forces on Sunday stormed a church in the city of al-Khalil in the south of the occupied West Bank.

IOF kills Palestinian young man east of Bureij refugee camp in Gaza
PIC – A Palestinian citizen was killed on Saturday evening by the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) stationed to the east of Bureij refugee camp in the Gaza Strip.

Many Palestinian young men wounded in clashes with IOF south of Jenin
PIC – Several Palestinian young men suffered injuries during violent clashes with Israeli soldiers on Saturday in Kafr Ra’ei town to the south of Jenin.

Hamas appeals to Lebanese authorities to deal humanly with Palestinian refugees
PIC – The refugee affairs department of the Hamas Movement appealed to the Lebanese authorities to deal with the Palestinian refugee fleeing the Syrian war on humanitarian grounds.

Knesset to discuss possibility of opening Aqsa Mosque permanently before Jews
PIC – The interior and environment committee of the Knesset intends to table a proposal calling for allowing the Jews to desecrate the Aqsa Mosque, especially during the Jewish holidays.

Misc

Egypt’s affluent uneasy with mix of politics, Islam
LA Times 11 Aug 2013 – CAIRO – The dangerous political divisions that have widened since last month’s overthrow of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi are now echoing through mosques in rich neighborhoods that have long been uneasy about mixing prayers and politics.

A Lebanon crooner’s journey from heartthrob to militant fugitive
LA Times 11 Aug 2013 – Fadel Shaker, who once rode atop the Arab world’s music charts, is shown in a video holed up inside a bunker with a militant sheik during a deadly shootout with soldiers. BEIRUT — With his pouty lips and soulful eyes, he was a stylish figure…

U.S. condemns car bombings in Iraq that killed at least 69 people
LA Times 11 Aug 2013 – The U.S. State Department condemned the car bombings in Iraq that killed at least 69 people Saturday, calling them cowardly attacks by enemies of Islam, Iraq, the U.S. and the international community.

Israeli Housing Plan Adds to Tensions Ahead of Talks
New York Times 11 Aug 2013 – A plan to build houses in the settlements intensifies the already charged atmosphere three days before the resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. 

Opinion: Marx’s Lesson for the Muslim Brothers
New York Times 10 Aug 2013 – Lessons for Egypt from the French Revolution of 1848. 

Elbit Systems wins $32m Australian Police contract
Globes Main News – The company will supply an investigation, intelligence and incident management solution to the Australian Federal Police.

No train disruptions seen as drivers return to work
Globes Main News – Israel Railways management withdrew its motion to the labor court to declare the train drivers in contempt of court.

Koor-Discount Investment merger approved
Globes Main News – The merger will be made at a company value of NIS 3.03 billion for Koor, compared with today’s market cap of NIS 2.92 billion.

Al-Azhar seeks Egypt reconciliation 
BBC 11 Aug 2013 – The Grand Imam of al-Azhar, Egypt’s top Islamic institution, is inviting different political forces to talks on ending the country’s political crisis.

Iraqi Kurd leader in Syria warning 
BBC 10 Aug 2013 – The president of Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region threatens to intervene to defend the Kurdish population caught up in Syria’s unrest.

Palestinian killed on Gaza border 
BBC 10 Aug 2013 – Israeli soldiers have shot dead a Palestinian man who climbed over the border fence separating Israel and the Gaza Strip, the Israeli military says.

Netanyahu undergoes hernia operation 
BBC 11 Aug 2013 – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu undergoes surgery to treat a hernia, his office announces.

Al-Azhar seeks Egypt reconciliation 
BBC 11 Aug 2013 – The Grand Imam of al-Azhar, Egypt’s top Islamic institution, is inviting different political forces to talks on ending the country’s political crisis.

Deadly Eid bomb attacks strike Iraq 
BBC 11 Aug 2013 – Bombers strike in Baghdad and elsewhere in Iraq during celebrations for the Eid al-Fitr festival marking the end of Ramadan, killing dozens.

Two killed in Yemen ‘drone strike’ 
BBC 10 Aug 2013 – Two militants have been killed in a suspected US drone strike in southern Yemen, officials say, the ninth since the end of July.

Iraqi Kurd leader in Syria warning 
BBC 10 Aug 2013 – The president of Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region threatens to intervene to defend the Kurdish population caught up in Syria’s unrest.

Palestinian killed on Gaza border 
BBC 10 Aug 2013 – Israeli soldiers have shot dead a Palestinian man who climbed over the border fence separating Israel and the Gaza Strip, the Israeli military says.

Netanyahu undergoes hernia operation 
BBC 11 Aug 2013 – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu undergoes surgery to treat a hernia, his office announces.

Articles


Peace talks: The perfect alibi for settlement expansion 
Mairav Zonszein, +972 Magazine 8/11/2013
Building thousands more settlement units all over the West Bank and East Jerusalem is in no way comparable or proportionate to the release of Palestinian prisoners. The construction of more settlements is equivalent to the annihilation of a two-state solution and the preemption of any kind of faith-building measures.
The announcement Sunday that Israel’s housing minister has approved construction of 1,200 new settlement units in the West Bank and East Jerusalem should be no surprise. It comes just a few days after the Civil Administration announced 878 new housing units in the West Bank. In fact, Israel’s approval of new settlement construction is the one new concrete development on the ground since Kerry announced the resumption of negotiations on July 19.
Something like 2,000 new units in the West Bank and East Jerusalem – some in final approval stages before building begins and others at the start of the tender process – have been announced in the last few weeks. The construction published today enumerates 400 new units in Gilo, 210 in Har Homa and 183 Pisgat Ze’ev — all settlements beyond the Green Line in East Jerusalem. In the West Bank,it was made up of 117 units in Ariel, 149 in Efrat, 92 in Ma’aleh Adumim and 36 in Beitar Ilit.
While the new units are mostly part of “consensus settlements” – meaning areas that are presumed to remain part of Israel in any two-state solution – it is important to remember that the only reason they have become so is because of U.S. and international complacency in Israeli settlement building over the years. There is no logical or legitimate reason for places like Ariel, deep in the West Bank, and Har Homa, a relatively new but highly controversial settlement that cuts Bethlehem off from Jerusalem, to remain part of Israel in a future agreement.
The tandem news headlines of “peace talks to resume” coupled with “new Israeli settlements announced” are ridiculously insulting…. more.. e-mail

A critique of eternal negotiations at any cost 
Hani Al Masri, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 8/9/2013
The Palestinian leadership has been pushed to recognise the state of Israel while it has never been pushed likewise to give formal recognition to a state of Palestine.
Discussing the points of view that support the resumption of “eternal and at any cost” negotiations we can see that some have called publically on the top decision-maker to override the national consensus because it is, they claim, stuck in the past and a slave to rigidity and slogans.
If we examine carefully the main reasoning of such people, we find that it depends on the US administration, especially under Barack Obama. They are also counting on John Kerry’s efforts, determination and seriousness; he has been very persistent over the past few months to bring about the resumption of negotiations. He will need to display similar determination for a successful outcome because he has a dream and believes that he is capable of achieving what his predecessors were unable to do. The compelling argument to those supporting this option is that the US has expressed its intention to establish a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders, with some modifications, and that Europe has gone further than the US in this regard when it decided to boycott Israeli settlements.
Those in favour of negotiations continue to justify their position by claiming that the US, Europe and the rest of the world are tired of the Palestine-Israel conflict and want to find a solution that is in the best interests of the region and the world. They also want to preserve their waning influence in the region in the face of the hurricane of changes, revolutions and chaos, the end results of which are still unknown.
Those counting on the Americans have not explained why they believe that the US will succeed this time when it has failed for over 20 years…. more.. e-mail

The return to negotiations fractures Palestine even further 
Jessica Purkiss, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 8/8/2013
The fragile 2011 Egypt-brokered reconciliation deal between Hamas and Fatah, who have been at odds since their 2007 split, may be the first causality of the resumed talks.
Palestinian negotiator Saeb Eraket and his Israeli counterpart Tzipi Livni have sat down for “talks to begin talks”, a process which US State of Secretary John Kerry has spent four months incubating. In Washington the keen Kerry is watching over the embryonic process in the hope that Israel and Palestine are taking the first baby-like steps towards a “peace deal”.
Whilst Kerry has been commended for bringing the two sides closest to reconciliation since talks broke down three years ago, the developments seem to be splintering further Palestine’s already fractured political terrain.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will resume the talks without agreement from the Israeli side on pre-conditions that he h
as always maintained they would need to meet before any resumption; the basis for negotiations has always been the June 1967 borders or the freezing of settlement building according to Abbas. As a result, Palestine’s political factions including Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) have been united in a mutual condemnation of what is seen as a unilateral decision by Abbas to return to the negotiating table.

Ghazi Hamad of the Hamas-led Palestinian Foreign Affairs Ministry in Gaza said, “The [PA] is not consulting with the other factions to get their opinions with regard to the political file. It thinks that it has a monopoly on that and that no one else is entitled to get involved.” more.. e-mail

Why the EU shouldn’t amend its new settlement guidelines 
Noam Sheizaf, +972 Magazine 8/11/2013
This might be remembered as a key moment in determining the future of the occupation. In an effort to preserve the alliance with settlers and maintain its current settlement policies, the government will demand key provisions of the EU guidelines be changed or postponed.
One of the most important rounds of talks on the future of the territories Israel occupied in 1967 is about to take place – and it’s not the meeting between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators this week.
The Israeli government is seeking to modify the new guidelines set by the European Union, which will forbid cooperation with Israeli institutions that operate beyond the Green Line. A special ministerial panel, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, decided on Thursday to approach the EU and demand several key amendments in the guidelines before entering any new projects with the Europeans.
The EU’s Commission Notice is due to come into effect on January 1, 2014. One of its first articles states that, “the EU does not recognize Israel’s sovereignty” in any of the territories captured in 1967, including the Golan and East Jerusalem, “irrespective of their legal status under domestic Israeli law.” The EU, therefore, will not enter projects with organizations that are based or operate in the occupied territories. The Israeli party to such projects will need to guarantee that it is not involved in such activities.
The guidelines do not apply to individual states or to government institutions and Israeli individuals, meaning that a person can still reside beyond the Green Line and take part in a joint project. But a University, for example, cannot. You can read the full four-page Commission Notice here.
The guidelines came at an important moment, just as Israel was about to enter the Horizon 2020 scientific program with the EU…. more.. e-mail


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