VTJP Occupied Palestine and Israel: News and Articles 12 December 2013: What’s next for Bedouin in a post-Prawer Israel?

12 December 2013 — VTJP

News

International Middle East Media Center

Israel Drops Prawer Plan, Bedouins Still Face Displacement
IMEMC – Bedouin Communities Still Unrecognized [Thursday, December 12, 2013] The Israeli government has decided to discard a controversial draft law to relocate thousands of Bedouin residents from the Negev desert, the Ma’an News Agency has reported. The decision does not imply official recognition of the dozens of villages in the Negev. …

For First Time Since 1948, Christmas Tree Lit In Displaced Village
IMEMC – For the first time since Israel was established in the historic land of Palestine, in 1948, and the resulting destruction and displacement of hundreds of villages and towns, there, a group of Palestinians managed to set up a Christmas tree in the displaced village of Kufur Birim, in the Galilee. …

Ma’an News

Israel drops controversial Bedouin relocation plan
12/12/2013 – JERUSALEM (AFP) — Israel is scrapping a controversial draft law to relocate thousands of Bedouin residents of the Negev desert, an official said Thursday. Benny Begin, tasked with implementing the so-called Prawer Plan, said he had recommended to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to “end the debate on the law” in parliament.”The prime minister accepted this proposal,” he said at a Tel Aviv press conference, days….

Despite snow, hundreds gather for funeral of man shot by Israel
12/12/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Hundreds of mourners from the Bethlehem district on Thursday gathered for the funeral of a man who succumbed to wounds inflicted by Israeli forces nine years ago. Despite heavy rain and snow, dozens of vehicles led a funeral march for Muin al-Atrash, from Duheisha refugee camp, who was shot by Israeli soldiers on Mar. 22, 2004. His body was buried in….

Israeli forces exchange gunfire on Lebanese border
12/12/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces exchanged gunfire on the Lebanese-Israeli border on Thursday after shots were fired from the Lebanese side, Israel’s army said.”Fire was opened near the Lebanese-Israeli border in the northern Galilee. Israeli soldiers responded with fire to the source of the shooting,” an Israeli army spokeswoman said. No injuries or damage was reported. On Saturday, a bomb was….

Israel refuses blood donation from Ethiopian-born lawmaker
12/12/2013 – JERUSALEM (AFP) — The refusal of Israel’s equivalent of the Red Cross to accept blood from an Ethiopian Jewish lawmaker sparked demands on Wednesday for a review of guidelines seen as deeply discriminatory. The rejection of the blood from Pnina Tamano-Shata by an official of Magen David Adom came at a donor drive outside parliament and was caught on video footage which was widely….

PA will not commit to prisoner deal if next release delayed
12/12/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The undersecretary of the ministry of prisoners said Wednesday that the Palestinian leadership would not commit to an agreement to free Palestinian prisoners if the US postpones the release of a third batch which is scheduled for Dec. 29. Ziad Abu Ein told Ma’an that the deal included the release of 104 veteran prisoners and in exchange the PA….

Kerry to meet Netanyahu, Abbas for talks
12/12/2013 – WASHINGTON (AFP) — US Secretary of State John Kerry was marking his 70th birthday leaving again for Israel, in his dogged quest for an elusive Middle East peace deal. But there will not be a gift-wrapped agreement awaiting him when he is due to land back in Israel on Thursday, less than a week after his last trip to Israel. The top US diplomat, who joked….

Muslim bloc calls for recognition of Palestinian state
12/12/2013 – CONAKRY (AFP) — The Organization of Islamic Cooperation called on the international community to recognize the Palestinian Territories as a sovereign state “in the shortest possible time” as it closed its annual conference of foreign ministers on Wednesday. The ministers welcomed a United Nations decision in November 2012 to elevate the territories to the status of non-member observer state in a declaration adopted at the end….

Israel negotiator warns right-wingers seeking to derail peace
12/12/2013 – JERUSALEM (AFP) — Israel’s chief peace negotiator on Thursday accused a key coalition partner of deliberately seeking to sabotage talks with the Palestinians by ramping up settlement construction. Speaking just hours before the arrival of US Secretary of State John Kerry on his second visit within a week, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni accused the far-right national religious Jewish Home of deliberately promoting settlement projects….

In photos: Snow falls across the West Bank
12/12/2013 – Snow and heavy rain began falling across the West Bank early Thursday covering mountaintop areas in Hebron, Bethlehem, and Jerusalem. Schools in the West Bank closed for the day in what is reportedly the heaviest snowfall in December since 1953. Palestinian civil defense services helped rescue several families after their homes flooded with rain water. [END]

Storm tears through roofs, injures dozens across Gaza
12/12/2013 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Over 30 people have been injured in Gaza in the last 24 hours as a region-wide storm tears though the roofs of meager housing in refugee camps. A spokesman for Gaza’s Ministry of Health told Ma’an that at least 18 of those injured suffered serious to moderate wounds, and were taken to Nasser Hospital in Khan…. Related: In photos: Snow falls across the West Bank and Besieged Gaza Strip’s dire conditions aggravated by cold weather

Storm causes serious damages in Jenin district
12/12/2013 – JENIN (Ma’an) — The storm sweeping Palestine has caused serious damages in the Jenin district of the northern West Bank, local officials told Ma’an. Rescue teams evacuated an old house in the village of Kafr Rai after it was cracked open as a result of heavy rains, village mayor Majid al-Sheikh Ibrahim said. After the family was out of the building, Palestinian…. Related: In photos: Snow falls across the West Bank

US and UK suspend Syria non-lethal aid as winter bites
12/12/2013 – DAMASCUS (AFP) — The United States and Britain suspended non-lethal aid to rebels in northern Syria on Wednesday, a day after Islamists overran a border crossing in the snow-swept region near Turkey. Gulf Arab states meeting in Kuwait demanded foreign militias withdraw from Syria and said President Bashar Assad must have no future role, in a declaration his regime denounced as meddling. Thousands of Syrian refugees….

Iran frees Slovak paragliders accused of spying
12/12/2013 – TEHRAN (AFP) — Two Slovak paragliders arrested in Iran for allegedly spying were in their country’s embassy in Tehran after their premier flew in to secure their release, the Bratislava government said Thursday.”Prime Minister Robert Fico and Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcak have concluded negotiations with Iranian Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri in Tehran,” said the Slovak premier’s spokeswoman Beatrice Hudakova.”Both Slovak….

Iraq signs $1.1 bn deal to buy S. Korean fighte
r aircraft

12/12/2013 – SEOUL (AFP) — Iraq signed a $1. 1 billion deal Thursday to buy 24 multi-role light fighters from South Korea, officials said, in what will be the Asian nation’s biggest arms export. Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) said it would deliver the T-50IQ, a variant of its T-50 supersonic aircraft, to Baghdad between 2015 and 2016, under the terms of the deal signed….

Yemen warning closes UN offices in Sanaa Thursday
12/12/2013 – SANAA (AFP) — A warning of a possible attack in the part of Yemen’s capital where UN offices are located has prompted an order for staff to stay home on Thursday, a UN source said.”Staff of the UN mission and UN agencies have received instructions not to turn up for work on Thursday,” the source said. The source said it was a “precautionary….

Snowstorm brings new misery for Syria refugees
12/12/2013 – SAADNAYEL, Lebanon (AFP) — Syrian refugee Faisal looks down at the muddy floor of his tent in a field in eastern Lebanon as it is battered by a snowstorm.”I’d rather die a million times than live through this humiliation,” the 48-year-old says bitterly.”Nobody else has had to go through what’s happening to us. Every country is plotting against us….

US cites companies, individuals for Iran sanctions-busting
12/12/2013 – WASHINGTON (AFP) — The United States on Thursday cited over a dozen companies and individuals for evading international sanctions on Iran or for links to Tehran’s nuclear program.”Today’s actions should be a stark reminder to businesses, banks, and brokers everywhere that we will continue relentlessly to enforce our sanctions, even as we explore the possibility of a long-term, comprehensive resolution of….

Somali president names new prime minister
12/12/2013 – MOGADISHU (AFP) — Somalia’s president named a political newcomer prime minster Thursday, days after his predecessor was ousted amid bitter infighting that sparked fears it could hamper progress in the war-torn nation. President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said he had appointed Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed to the post, an economist who has worked with several international organisations and banks. [END]

Winter storm pummels Mideast, adding to refugee misery
12/12/2013 – BEIRUT (AFP) — A bruising winter storm brought severe weather to the Middle East Thursday, forcing the closure of roads and schools and blanketing already miserable Syrian refugee camps with snow. The nearly three-year-old conflict in Syria has killed an estimated 126,000 people and displaced millions, including more than two million who have fled across the borders and thousands who are living in makeshift camps. Footage….

Western-backed Syria rebels in disarray as aid halted
12/12/2013 – BEIRUT (AFP) — Syria’s Western-backed rebels were in disarray Thursday after Washington and London suspended non-lethal aid following the loss of a key border crossing and arms depots to a powerful Islamist alliance. The decline of the rebel Free Syrian Army comes ahead of January peace talks that the ascendant Islamist rebel groups have rejected, raising concerns that even if the opposition reached a….

Car bomb wounds 25 police in Egypt canal city
12/12/2013 – Cairo (AFP) — A car bomb exploded near an Egyptian police building on Thursday in the Suez Canal city of Ismailiya, wounding at least 25 policemen, security officials said. The bombing was followed by gunshots, the officials said, as witnesses said the noise of the explosion was huge and that several ambulances rushed to the scene. Ismailiya and surrounding areas in the Sinai have seen regular….

AlJazeera

Israel scraps plan to uproot Bedouin
AlJazeera 12 Dec 2013 – Plan to move 40,000 Bedouin citizens into government townships was not expected to pass a parliamentary vote.

International Solidarity Movement

Besieged Gaza Strip’s dire conditions aggravated by cold weather
12/12/2013 – International Solidarity Movement – International Solidarity Movement, Rosa Schiano, Gaza, Occupied Palestine – Since Tuesday, the Gaza Strip has been hit by bad weather and temperatures have fallen rapidly. Most people remain in their homes. Many stores are closed. It is hard to go out because in many areas, the heavy rains have caused flooding and the streets have turned into rivers. In other cases, there is a danger of slipping due…. Related: Storm tears through roofs, injures dozens across Gaza and In photos: Snow falls across the West Bank

Under Israeli fire, Gaza fishermen plan protest tent to ‘free the Holy Land sea’
12/12/2013 – International Solidarity Movement – Free the Holy Land Sea | Gaza, Occupied Palestine – For Immediate Release – Contacts: Zakaria Baker (Arabic)[email protected], Khalil Shaheen (Arabic, English) [email protected] – On Tuesday, 17 December, Palestinian fishermen will pitch a protest tent in the Gaza seaport. The structure, which will stand for three days and be decorated with pictures of fishermen attacked or captured by the Israeli navy, is a demonstration against Israel….

Relief Web

occupied Palestinian territory: UNICEF Deputy Executive Director visits programmes supporting Palestinian children
Relief Web 12 Dec 2013 – Source: UN Children’s Fund Country: occupied Palestinian territory UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Yoka Brandt recently concluded a four-day visit to the State of Palestine, where she viewed and discussed the situation of children with partners and observed UNICEF’s work. By…

Syrian Arab Republic: A further CHF 5 million of winter aid for victims of the Syrian crisis
Relief Web 12 Dec 2013 – Source: Government of Switzerland Country: Jordan, occupied Palestinian territory, Switzerland, Syrian Arab Republic Since the conflict in Syria began, the third winter has now set in. The cold, the rain and the snow are making conditions radically worse for people…

Syrian Arab Republic: The “Arab Spring” and Refugees in the Middle East
Relief Web 12 Dec 2013 – Source: Institute for National Security Studies Country: Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, occupied Palestinian territory, Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey, Yemen INSS Insight No. 496, December 12, 2013 Yoel Guzansky , Erez Striem The potential impact of refugees on economic, security, and…

Niger: OFID Governing Board approves new loans and grants to boost socio-economic development
Relief Web 12 Dec 2013 – Source: OPEC Fund for International Development Country: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Gambia, Honduras, India, Kenya, Lebanon, Niger, occupied Palestinian territory, Panama, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, United Republic of Tanzania, Yemen Vienna, Austria, December 11, 2013. Meeting in its 145th…

occupied Palestinian territory: Building the Foundation for a Two-State Solution
Relief Web 12 Dec 2013 – Source: US Agency for International Development Country: occupied Palestinian territory Posted by Alina Romanowski, Deputy Assistant Administrator USAID Bureau for the Middle East Last month I visited USAID’s West Bank and Gaza Mission and witnessed how our diverse programs bring…

The National

Israel’s Livni accuses Jewish Home party of sabotaging talks with Palestinians
The National 12 Dec 2013 – Chief peace negotiator accuses key coalition partner of deliberately seeking to sabotage talks with the Palestinians by ramping up settlement construction.

UK urged to tighten controls on wealthy foreigners
The National 12 Dec 2013 – The head of Transparency International’s Russian chapter says the UK has become a safe haven for money laundering and suggests it tighten controls on foreigners with ‘suspiciously large fortunes’ investing in the country. Omar Karmi reports

Bangladesh hangs Islamist leader for war crimes
The National 12 Dec 2013 – Bangladesh has hanged a senior Islamist leader known as the ‘ Butcher of Mirpur’, making him the first person to be put to death for massacres committed during the country’s bloody 1971 war of independence.

Snowstorm Alexa sweeps across the Middle East, adding to refugees’ misery
The National 12 Dec 2013 – Refugees already facing lack of shelter and fuel shortages struggle to cope with freezing temperatures, snow drifts, flooding and high winds, as powerful storm sweeps across Syria, Lebanon and Jordan. Suha Maayeh and Phil Sands report

No pot of gold for Palestinians
The National 12 Dec 2013 – Chronic power shortages plaguing the besieged Palestinian territory of Gaza have worsened, sometimes leaving its 1.7 million residents with less than six hours of electricity a day. Hugh Naylor reports

Ukraine protesters dig in behind barbed-wire barricades
The National 12 Dec 2013 – Russian president in new attempt to woo Ukraine after the European Union and United States step up efforts to pull Kiev out of its former Soviet master’s orbit. 

Bangladesh hangs Islamist opposition leader
The National 12 Dec 2013 – TV stations say Bangladesh has executed opposition leader for 1971 war crimes.

Grenade attack on van carrying Britons as Kenya celebrates independence from UK
The National 12 Dec 2013 – Hand grenade hurled at a van carrying British tourists in Kenya’s coastal region as the nation celebrates 50 years of independence.

Kenyans mark half a century of independence from Britain
The National 12 Dec 2013 – Kenyans celebrate progress of the regional economic powerhouse but also struggle to shake off a legacy of corruption, inequality and ethnic violence.

Saudi’s grand mufti calls suicide bombers ‘criminals’
The National 12 Dec 2013 – Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah Al Sheikh says suicide bombers are ‘criminals who will go to hell’.

Boko Haram leader says group behind Maiduguri raid
The National 12 Dec 2013 – Boko Haram’s leader says the group was behind raid on military installations in the north Nigerian city of Maiduguri earlier this month.

Ban on homosexual acts ‘drags India into 19th century’
The National 12 Dec 2013 – Finance minister P Chidambaram says judgement returns the country to 1860, and calls for swift reversal of the ruling.

Defence coordination will safeguard GCC interests 
The National 12 Dec 2013 – Coordinating the GCC nations’ defensive capacity will make the region safer from potential attack.

Afghanistan presses India for artillery before Nato withdrawal
The National 12 Dec 2013 – Afghan president to push for progress on ‘wish list’ of military equipment he gave to New Delhi in May.

Efforts to curb malaria save 3.3 million people
The National 12 Dec 2013 – Global efforts to prevent and control malaria have saved the lives of 3.3 million people since 2000, cutting global death rates from the mosquito-borne disease by 45 per cent, World Health Organization says.

Pilots required to master low-visibility landings in Beijing
The National 12 Dec 2013 – Chinese aviation authorities will require captains of domestic flights into Beijing to master low-visibility landings to combat chronic delays worsened by heavy smog.

Mandela memorial interpreter: ‘I was hallucinating’
The National 12 Dec 2013 – The man accused of faking sign interpretation next to world leaders at Nelson Mandela’s memorial tells a local newspaper that he was hallucinating and hearing voices.

Life inside the Zaatari refugee camp
The National 12 Dec 2013 – As the Syrian refugee crisis threatens to become one of the worst humanitarian disasters of this century, a rare behind the scenes documentary has been released online to highlight the everyday struggles faced by refugees and those trying to help.

Bangladesh approves execution of opposition leader
The National 12 Dec 2013 – Bangladesh’s highest court has upheld the death penalty for an opposition leader convicted of war crimes, just two days after he was given a dramatic last-minute reprieve from execution.

Ha’aretz

Buying a penthouse? Living it up is cheaper away from Tel Aviv
Ha’aretz – 12 Dec 2013

First African migrants brought to controversial Negev detention center
Ha’aretz – 12 Dec 2013

Jerusalem requests IDF assistance in rescuing trapped motorists
Ha’aretz – 12 Dec 2013

An Israeli home away from taxes for many Diaspora Jews
Ha’aretz – 12 Dec 2013

Mandela’s legacy: Like America’s Lincoln, India’s Ghandi, Israel’s Ben Gurion
Ha’aretz – 12 Dec 2013

EU set to offer massive aid to Israel, Palestinians for peace deal
Ha’aretz – 12 Dec 2013

Obama and Castro’s queasy handshake
Ha’aretz – 12 Dec 2013

IDF increases probes into female draft dodgers claiming to be religious
Ha’aretz – 12 Dec 2013

Swell of boycotts driving Israel into international isolation
Ha’aretz – 12 Dec 2013

Israeli LGBT activists mobilize online after gay rights bill fails
Ha’aretz – 12 Dec 2013

Kerry back in region to hash out details of Israeli-Palestinian ‘framework agreement’
Ha’aretz – 12 Dec 2013

Kerry back in region to hash out details of Israeli-Palestinian ‘framework agreement’
Ha’aretz – 12 Dec 2013

Syrian rebels deny reports top commander forced to flee
Ha’aretz – 12 Dec 2013

CERN atomic research center accepts Israel as its 21st member
Ha’aretz – 12 Dec 2013

Israeli ministers mull bill restricting foreign funding for left-wing groups
Ha’aretz – 12 Dec 2013

Israeli study sparks new research into fighting infectious diseases in babies
Ha’aretz – 12 Dec 2013

Israeli government halts controversial plan to resettle 30,000 Bedouin
Ha’aretz – 12 Dec 2013

Netanyahu knows where the Mandela road leads
Ha’aretz – 12 Dec 2013

Gaza cattle torture ‘worst case of animal cruelty’ in history, Australian group says
Ha’aretz – 12 Dec 2013

‘Fake’ Mandela ceremony interpreter: I have schizophrenia
Ha’aretz – 12 Dec 2013

The clear and present danger facing Sweden’s Jews
Ha’aretz – 12 Dec 2013

Australia ‘un-marries’ gay couples
Ha’aretz – 12 Dec 2013

Minister Peretz calls for unity of Labor, Hatnua parties
Ha’aretz – 12 Dec 2013

Lapid presses gay rights bills – to ‘brother’ Bennett’s dismay
Ha’aretz – 12 Dec 2013

Knesset tosses out blood drive paramedics for barring Ethiopian MK from donating
Ha’aretz – 12 Dec 2013

Israel’s new holding center for African migrants opens Thursday
Ha’aretz – 12 Dec 2013

Israel loyalists: Netanyahu needs our support
Ha’aretz – 11 Dec 2013

Lapid, for Israel’s sake, break with Bennett
Ha’aretz – 11 Dec 2013

Israel Electric Corp won’t cut power to debtors during storm
Ha’aretz – 11 Dec 2013

Ignoring risks, meat industry resists change
Ha’aretz – 11 Dec 2013

Is the Health Ministry downgrading psychology?
Ha’aretz – 11 Dec 2013

What was it about Mandela that made him such an international figure?
Ha’aretz – 11 Dec 2013

Jerusalem Post

Police, IDF help rescue motorists stranded by snow in Jerusalem
Jerusalem Post 12 Dec 2013 – Jerusalem Mayor Barkat turns to IDF’s Gantz, J’lem district police chief for help in freeing trapped drivers after capital sees 10-15 cm. of snow. 

Snowfall unites Jerusalemites of diverse faiths
Jerusalem Post 12 Dec 2013 – Jerusalem became a city united by a winter wonderland, even by its most ideologically and politically divided holy site. 

Final UN report confirms chemical weapons used multiple times in Syria
Jerusalem Post 12 Dec 2013 – UN investigators say deadly nerve agent sarin likely used in 4 incidents; victims included gov’t soldiers, civilians. 

Mobsters ‘fleeing’ Israel, top cop says
Jerusalem Post 12 Dec 2013 – “It doesn’t matter where a criminal goes – we will find them,” Lahav 433 commander Menashe Arbib says. 

Blood scandal
Jerusalem Post 12 Dec 2013 – The country must learn how to view issues not only through the lens of how they might harm the country’s image. 

Finance committee to revisit issue of settlement funding
Jerusalem Post 12 Dec 2013 – Political fight between Bayit Yehudi, Yesh Atid delayed transfer of NIS 80.5 million to West Bank settlements. 

Intel analyst offers expert testimony to Obama on Pollard
Jerusalem Post 12 Dec 2013 – Prof. says Pollard was only one sentenced to life for passing information to ally state without intending to harm US. 

Kerry back again, continues pushing Abbas, Netanyahu
Jerusalem Post 12 Dec 2013 – Kerry to meet Abbas first, Netanyahu on Friday; John Allen, working on security ideas for accord, to join Kerry for Abbas meeting; PA president reiterates objection to interim deal, opposition to armed intifada. 

Jerusalem covered in snow, rest of the country flooded with rains
Jerusalem Post 12 Dec 2013 – Storm leads to flooded and blocked roads across the country, with damage likely to reach NIS 50 million. 

South Africa’s father and my father
Jerusalem Post 12 Dec 2013 – Jewish lawyer Lazer Sidelsky gave Nelson Mandela his first job as an articled clerk in Johannesburg in the early 1940s. 

Open letter to Secretary of State John Kerry
Jerusalem Post 12 Dec 2013 – I ask that you please take these words into consideration and remember that true peace can only come from a position of strength. 

The blessing of unity and concession
Jerusalem Post 12 Dec 2013 – Since the dawn of humanity – the days of Cain and Abel – brothers were high on the list of disputes and arguments. 

Mandela’s legacy of hope
Jerusalem Post 12 Dec 2013 – Twenty-seven years in jail enduring this kind of suffering, and to come out of that and be prepared to forgive. 

Israel voted full member of CERN, first non-European country to be admitted
Jerusalem Post 12 Dec 2013 – 20-state council of the Center of European Nuclear Research unanimously voted to accept Israel. 

Man hurt in car bomb in Lachish region
Jerusalem Post 12 Dec 2013 – Victim managed to flee his car on his own and was taken to Soroka Hospital in Beersheba. 

Israel suspends controversial Beduin resettlement plan
Jerusalem Post 12 Dec 2013 – Opposition to bill, seeking to regulate Beduin settlement in the south, grew among MKs who had previously supported it. 

Ariel University cafeterias agree to lower prices following two week student boycott
Jerusalem Post 12 Dec 2013 – According to accord, the cafeterias and coffee shops will sell coffee and a pastry for 10 NIS. 

Senate bill ‘in the oven’ as US tightens existing sanctions on Iran
Jerusalem Post 12 Dec 2013 – US insists move closes loopholes in current sanctions regime, doesn’t impose new penalties that would violate Geneva deal. 

State indicts 7 minors for throwing stones, Molotov cocktails, injuring 2-yr-old
Jerusalem Post 12 Dec 2013 – Suspects indicated for illfully endangering lives on a through-way, causing severe bodily harm among other charges. 

Enjoying the Jerusalem snowstorm, your best photos
Jerusalem Post 12 Dec 2013 – Here are some of the photos from the snow in Jerusalem that you sent us on Facebook. Thanks for sharing! 

Icy storm batters struggling Gaza Strip
Jerusalem Post 12 Dec 2013 – More than 30 Palestinians injured in car accidents in the Strip, poorly-built homes collapse due to rain. 

After US, UK aid is lost, Syrian opposition seeks protection from Islamist fighters
Jerusalem Post 12 Dec 2013 – The Syrian National Coalition asks Islamic Front to defend its depots against al-Qaida. 

Gunshots fired in the direction of IDF troops on Lebanon border
Jerusalem Post 12 Dec 2013 – A subsequent IDF assessment concluded that the shots were most likely fired by Lebanese hunters near the frontier. 

Knesset panel: Lone IDF soldiers need more money
Jerusalem Post 12 Dec 2013 – There are currently 3,200 lone soldiers
– 1,500 from the Former Soviet Union, 1,300 from the US, and the rest from other countries. 

Knesset speaker to appoint chair of Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee
Jerusalem Post 12 Dec 2013 – Edelstein is thought to prefer MK Meir Sheetrit (Hatnua) for the job, as he is the Knesset’s veteran member. 

Alleged mob boss accused of influencing Netivot elections denied bail
Jerusalem Post 12 Dec 2013 – While Domrani himself remained calm and unemotional during the hearing, his lawyer Moshe Sherman was livid. 

Weekly Schmooze: Adam Pally’s rap for Jews
Jerusalem Post 12 Dec 2013 – Jewish culture news worldwide: Lea Michele’s first single; Mila Kunis stars in new Wachowski film; Jennifer’s Bat Mitzva tee ends up in Kenya. 

Israel to begin using ‘open’ detention facility for migrants
Jerusalem Post 12 Dec 2013 – Israel Prison Service began moving 480 migrants currently held in nearby Saharonim prison to the facility. 

Palestinians draw parallels with Mandela’s anti-apartheid struggle
The Guardian 12 Dec 2013 – Mahmoud Abbas says Mandela was ‘symbol of liberation from colonialism and occupation for all peoples’ The death of Nelson Mandela has given fresh impetus to Palestinian efforts to portray the Israeli occupation as a form of…

Inter Press Service

In Home Gardens, Income and Food for Urban Poor
IPS Urban agriculture is catching on in Jordan. Credit: Qtea/CC BY 2.0 AMMAN, Dec 12 2013 (IPS) Flowers burst out of old tires and rows of pepper plants fill recycled plastic tubs as herbs pop out of old pipes. As utilitarian as it is cheery, this rooftop array is one of…

Uruknet

Protecting Killer Cops Where s the Body Count from Shootings by the Police?
Uruknet 12 Dec 2013 – December 12, 2013 – …The greater the automatic presumption that government shootings are justified, the more arbitrary power police will have over Americans. And this growing sense of legal inferiority to officialdom will naturally make gun owners ever more attached…

Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (05- 11 December 2013)
Uruknet 12 Dec 2013 – December 12, 2013- Summary: Israeli violations of international law and international humanitarian law in the oPt continued during the reporting period (05 – 11 December 2013). Shooting: During the reporting period, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian child in al-Jalazoun refugee…

Identifying human rights violations while maintaining Israel s settler-colonial project
Uruknet 12 Dec 2013 – December 12, 2013 – United Nations LogoA published United Nations press release incorporated another bout of concern following Israel s destruction of 30 dwellings in the Jordan Valley which displaced 41 Palestinian civilians, including 24 children. Despite a reminder regarding…

Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (05- 11 December 2013)
Uruknet 12 Dec 2013 – December 12, 2013- Summary: Israeli violations of international law and international humanitarian law in the oPt continued during the reporting period (05 – 11 December 2013). Shooting: During the reporting period, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian child in al-Jalazoun refugee…

Protecting Killer Cops Where s the Body Count from Shootings by the Police?
Uruknet 12 Dec 2013 – December 12, 2013 – …The greater the automatic presumption that government shootings are justified, the more arbitrary power police will have over Americans. And this growing sense of legal inferiority to officialdom will naturally make gun owners ever more attached…

From the Middle East to Lausanne: Arabic Thoughts amidst the Alps
Uruknet 12 Dec 2013 – December 12, 2013 – …My Arab homeland unfortunately seemed to have sunk even deeper into political despair, unprecedented disunity, and an unmatched sense of cultural loss after a few years of revolutions and civil wars. What worries me about Syria,…

The Real Cycle of Violence
Uruknet 12 Dec 2013 – December 12, 2013- On December 7, 2013, two seemingly dissimilar events occurred, an ocean apart. The first was that a Palestinian teenager, Wajih Wajdi al-Ramahi, was murdered by the Israeli “defense” forces at al-Jalazun refugee camp near Ramallah, occupied Palestine….

What Do You Miss Most? Syrian Refugees Respond
Uruknet 12 Dec 2013 – December 12, 2013 – Almost 40 percent of people in Syria have now been displaced from their homes. In the last 15 months, more than two million Syrians have crossed the borders of their country to take refuge in Turkey,…

Report: VA lobotomized 2,000 disturbed veterans
Uruknet 12 Dec 2013 – December 12, 2013 – The U.S. government lobotomized roughly 2,000 mentally ill veterans – and likely hundreds more – during and after World War II, according to a cache of forgotten memos, letters and government reports unearthed by The Wall…

In South Africa, Abbas opposes boycott of Israel
Uruknet 12 Dec 2013 – December 12, 2013 – Mahmoud Abbas, de facto leader of the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority, has made his clearest statement in opposition to the global campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) on Israel in solidarity with the Palestinian people. His…

Israeli government kills plan to uproot Bedouin
Uruknet 12 Dec 2013 – December 12, 2013- The “Day of Rage” protests held last month by Bedouin Arabs and their allies to protest the Prawer Plan were met with defiant rhetoric from Israeli officials. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to move forward with the…

Yemen: The CIA Has No Idea Who The 13 People They Just Killed With a Drone Are
Uruknet 12 Dec 2013 – December 12, 2013 – Missiles fired by a US drone struck a convoy of vehicles on their merry way to a wedding in Yemen on Thursday, killing AT LEAST 13 people, and leaving charred bodies an vehicles littering a road….

Hunger Strike Resumes at Guantánamo, as Shaker Aamer Loses 30 Pounds in Weight
Uruknet 12 Dec 2013 – December 12, 2013 -In alarming news from Guantánamo, Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in the prison, has stated that the prisoners have renewed the hunger strike that, earlier this year, involved at least two-thirds of the remaining prisoners, and…

In US Drone Attack, Wedding Convoy Is Mistaken for an al Qaeda Convoy; At Least 15 Killed
Uruknet 12 Dec 2013 – December 12, 2013 – It is now being reported by Reuters that a wedding convoy was mistaken for an al Qaeda convoy in a drone attack that killed fifteen people. Ten were killed in the initial attack, according to Yemen…

Bill to displace Israel s Bedouin to be scrapped, Prawer architect says
Uruknet 12 Dec 2013 – December 12, 2013- The Bill for Arranging Bedouin Settlement in the Negev, more commonly known as the Prawer Plan, has been scrapped, former minister and drafter of the plan Benny Begin announced at a press conference in Tel Aviv on…

Syria News – December 11, 2013 (Warning: Graphic Videos) 
Uruknet 12 Dec 2013 – December 11, 2013- By the end of Wednesday the coordination committees were able to document 58 martyrs including 15 children , 8 women and 2 under torture: 23 martyrs were reported in Damascus and its suburbs; 16 in Aleppo; 8 in…

Human Rights Day 2013
Uruknet 12 Dec 2013 – December 11, 2013 – … On December 6, 2011, Haaretz editors headlined “Human rights in Israel are in jeopardy,” saying: “Israel ratified the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” It spurns them consistently. It pays lip service to what it abhors. It…

Israeli Settler Stabs Young Palestinian Man In Jerusalem
Uruknet 12 Dec 2013 – December 11, 2013 – Eyewitnesses state that a young Palestinian man was moderately hurt after being stabbed by an Israeli settler in Jaffa Road, in West Jerusalem, the Milad News Agency has reported. The sources stated that Mohammad Marwan, 20…

To end the occupation, dissolve the Palestinian Authority
Uruknet 12 Dec 2013 – December 11, 2013 – My head feels like it will explode. There are many urgent questions but, like most Palestinians, I feel a sense of incomprehension as I listen to the news about John Kerry s recurring visits, and the…

Killer Drones report
Uruknet 12 Dec 2013 – December 11, 2013 – Our report Killer Drones exposes UK complicity in Israel s crimes against the Palestinian people. In 2005, the UK Ministry of Defence awarded the contract for the development of a new surveillance drone – the Watchkeeper…

Shared values: Likud member says Prawer Plan akin to what Americans did to the Indians 
Uruknet 12 Dec 2013 – December 11, 2013- The U.S. and Israeli governments love to hype how both countries share the same “values.” AIPAC has a whole webpage dedicated to the “progressive values [Israel] shares with America.” I guess they won t be mentioning these…

Prawer Plan buries the two state solution
Uruknet 12 Dec 2013 – December 11, 2013 – That Bedouin communities, in both Israel and the Occupied Territories, face strikingly similar challenges, underscores the inadequacy of the two state “solution”. The Israeli Knesset is set to pass legislation this week to displace 40,000 Negev…

Where is Palestine s Mandela?
Uruknet 12 Dec 2013 – December 11, 2013 – The answer to my headline question is that he, Marwan Barghouti, is in an Israeli jail where he has been since his arrest in Ramallah by an IDF unit in 2002, after which, in 2004, he…

“People-centered” human rights as a framework for social transformation
Uruknet 12 Dec 2013 – December 11, 2013 -…As a result of the cynical use of human rights by Western states, particularly the last two administrations in the U.S., there is deep dissatisfaction with the human rights idea. This is occurring right at the historical…

Gitmo media blackout hopes to undermine hunger strikers
Uruknet 12 Dec 2013 – December 11, 2013 – A media blackout on detailing the exact number of prisoners on hunger strike at Guantanamo Bay has been put in place because the protest was too successful at generating media attention, a public affairs official has…

Mandela : A Hero for Capitalism
Uruknet 12 Dec 2013 – December 11, 2013- Today in Johannesburg the biggest ever gathering of leaders of global capitalism is taking place to honour Nelson Mandela. They have already flooded the media with a chorus of adulation for the man and his achievements. Current…

Israel steps up provocation policy 
Uruknet 12 Dec 2013 – December 11, 2013- Feeling cornered by peace efforts led by US Secretary of State John Kerry, Israel has been stepping up a “policy of provocation” against the Palestinians. Israel hopes, pundits believe, that “rash acts or actions” by the Palestinians…

German court rejects compensation claim over Afghan air strike deaths
Uruknet 12 Dec 2013 – December 11, 2013 – A German court on Wednesday threw out a compensation claim by relatives of the scores of civilians killed in a 2009 German-ordered NATO attack in Afghanistan, ruling that the commander who ordered the strike did not…

Daily Star

Tunisia’s Islamists and opposition reach deal on premier
Daily Star 12 Dec 2013 Tunisia’s ruling Islamists and opposition parties reached a deal on Thursday to name a new prime minister to lead a caretaker administration until elections aimed at ending months of crisis.

Officials: US drone strike kills 13 in Yemen
Daily Star 12 Dec 2013 Missiles fired by a U.S. drone slammed into a convoy of vehicles traveling to a wedding party in central Yemen on Thursday, killing at least 13 people, Yemeni security officials said.

Kerry meets Abbas on new Mideast peace mission
Daily Star 12 Dec 2013 US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived on Thursday in Ramallah for a meeting with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, in yet another attempt at promoting elusive Israeli-Palestinians peace talks.

Israel drops controversial Bedouin relocation plan after fierce debate
Daily Star 12 Dec 2013 Israel is scrapping a controversial draft law to relocate tens of thousands of longtime Bedouin residents of the Negev desert, an official said Thursday.

U.S. hits firms over Tehran, sanctions debate goes on
Daily Star 12 Dec 2013 The United States targeted more than a dozen companies and people Thursday for evading sanctions against Iran.

Tunisian union seeks to salvage crisis talks
Daily Star 12 Dec 2013 Tunisia’s powerful labour union on Thursday tried to broker a last-minute agreement between the country’s ruling Islamists and secular opposition, struggling to reach consensus over forming a new government.

Member of Beirut Municipality resigns
Daily Star 12 Dec 2013 A member of the Beirut Municipality has resigned for health reasons, the National News Agency said Thursday.

1 dead in explosion outside security camp in Egypt
Daily Star 12 Dec 2013 A bomb exploded outside a camp for Egyptian security forces in Suez Canal city killed at least one person and wounded more than a dozen others Thursday, Egypt’s official news agency said.

Mikati: Lebanon disappointed with Syrian refugee aid
Daily Star 12 Dec 2013 The international community has failed Lebanon in meeting the overwhelming needs of Syrian refugees, caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati said Thursday, as many refugees continued to cope with the onslaught of a brutal winter storm

Brahimi sets deadline for naming Syrian delegations to peace talks
Daily Star 12 Dec 2013 International mediator Lakhdar Brahimi has given Syria’s warring sides until Dec. 27 to name their delegations to planned peace negotiations next month, officials said on Thursday.

Morocco opposition file bill to abolish death penalty
Daily Star 12 Dec 2013 A parliamentary opposition group has filed a bill to abolish the death penalty in Morocco, where a moratorium has been in place for 20 years, a member said Thursday.

Kerry returns to pursue Mideast peace talks
Daily Star 12 Dec 2013 U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived back in the Middle East on Thursday, a week after his previous visit ended in Palestinian unhappiness over U.S. security ideas for an elusive land-for-peace deal with Israel.

Denmark, Norway prepare ships for Syria mission
Daily Star 12 Dec 2013 Norway and Denmark are providing one cargo ship and one warship each to pick up Syria’s most dangerous chemical weapons, officials said Thursday.

YNet News

UN confirms chemical arms were used repeatedly in Syria 
YNet News, 12 Dec 2013 – ….

Geophysical Institute detects low-magnitude quake near Dead Sea
YNet News, 12 Dec 2013 – ….

Islamic extremist leader boasts of Nigerian attack
YNet News, 12 Dec 2013 – ….

Mexican Congress approves historic energy bill
YNet News, 12 Dec 2013 – ….

Their gain, our loss
YNet News, 12 Dec 2013 – Op-ed: Proposal to appoint Stanley Fischer as Fed vice chair should make us both proud, sad ….

Neo-Nazi symbol spreads in Europe
YNet News, 12 Dec 2013 – Modern ‘Hitler salute’ gaining momentum among anti-Semites, who pose for pictures in sensitive sites worldwide and in Israel, including alongside IDF soldiers who are unaware of gesture’s meaning ….

Untrustworthy American president 
YNet News, 12 Dec 2013 – Op-ed: In his secret talks with Iran, Obama treated Israel like Chamberlain treated Czechoslovakia ….

Legal battle over Nazi-seized art revived
YNet News, 12 Dec 2013 – US federal appeals court resurrects Jewish family’s long struggle to regain ownership of $20 million masterpiece painting looted in Germany during WWII ….

Palestinian Information Center

Abu Zuhri: Gaza suffers cold spell amid tightened siege
PIC – Spokesman for Hamas movement, Sami Abu Zuhri, said that Gaza Strip was experiencing the worst siege conditions due to fuel and electricity crisis.

Group report death of 8 Palestinian refugees including mother and her child
PIC – The Action Group for Palestinians in Syria announced that six Palestinians were killed in Syria on Wednesday while a mother and her child drowned while trying to reach Greece in a boat.

Megiddo jailers attack visiting families inside prison
PIC – Several families of Palestinian prisoners suffered tear gas suffocation when Israeli soldiers in Megiddo jail attacked them suddenly as they were gathered in its courtyard.

IOA transfers representative of prisoners to Megiddo prison
PIC – Israeli Ofer prison’s administration has transferred the prisoner Mutassim Samara, a leader in Captive Movement, to Megiddo prison after being moved from Negev to Ofer prison only one month ago.

Wounded Palestinian dies in hospital
PIC – Mu’in al-Atrash, injured ten years ago in Israeli army shooting incident, died on Thursday morning in a hospital in Jerusalem of his wounds.

Susia inhabitants make urgent appeal for relief
PIC – Inhabitants of Susia village, east of Yatta, appealed for bringing them relief after their tents flew away due to the high winds and heavy rain that hit the region on Wednesday night.

Prisoners’ suffering exacerbates due to weather conditions
PIC – A human rights organization called for saving the Palestinian captives from the harsh imprisonment conditions in the Israeli jails, in light of the severe cold wave.

Hamas postpones its anniversary rally in al-Khalil
PIC – Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, has postponed its 26th anniversary rally in al-Khalil due to the fierce stormy weather condition in Palestine.

Dutch company cuts ties with Israeli water firm due to settlement activities
PIC – Vitens, the Netherlands’ largest supplier of drinking water, said it decided to sever ties with the Israeli water company Mekorot because of its operations in the illegal settlements of the West Bank.

Misc

White House adds to Iran sanctions blacklist
LA Times 12 Dec 2013 – The addition of 17 foreign companies and individuals accused of violating the sanctions on Iran appears to have a twofold purpose. WASHINGTON — The Obama administration added 17 foreign companies and individuals to a federal blacklist Thursday for allegedly helping Iran evade economic sanctions, a…

Kerry back in Middle East for talks with Israeli, Palestinian leaders
LA Times 12 Dec 2013 – JERUSALEM – U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry returned to the Middle East on Thursday for a round of meetings with Israeli and Palestinian leaders in a continuing effort to help reach a peace deal by spring.

U.S. targets more companies, individuals for evading Iran sanctions
LA Times 12 Dec 2013 – WASHINGTON — The Obama administration on Thursday blacklisted more than a dozen companies and individuals for allegedly helping Iran evade international sanctions, in a move aimed at showing it would maintain pressure on Tehran even after an interim nuclear deal reached last month in Geneva….

Israel Shelves Plan to Move Bedouins Amid Outcry
New York Times 12 Dec 2013 – The $2 billion resettlement plan, which would have resolved long-contested landownership claims, had been called ethnic cleansing by critics. 

Drone Strike in Yemen Hits Wedding Convoy, Killing 11
New York Times 12 Dec 2013 – Most of the dead appeared to be suspected militants linked to Al Qaeda, tribal leaders said, but there were also reports that several civilians had been killed. 

U.N. Reports Attacks Using Chemicals In Syria
New York Times 12 Dec 2013 – A United Nations panel said chemical arms were used in five of seven attacks investigated, including two after the well- documented Aug. 21 assault. 

UN Inspectors Confirm Syria Chemical Attack
New York Times 12 Dec 2013 – Chemical weapons were probably used in four locations in Syria this year, in addition to the confirmed attack near Damascus in August that forced the government to abandon its secret chemical stockpile, U.N. inspectors said in a report released Thursday. 

Film Taking Aim at Saudi Monarchy Opens in Syria
New York Times 12 Dec 2013 – Syria is hitting back at Saudi Arabia for supporting rebels who want to topple President Bashar Assad by promoting an English-language movie that depicts the founder of the monarchy as a bloodthirsty womanizer. 

U.S. Vows Support for Syrian Opposition Despite Troubles
New York Times 12 Dec 2013 – The United States is concerned about troubles facing Syria’s Western-backed opposition but it will keep supporting Free Syrian Army leader General Salim Idris and the moderate opposition, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on Thursday. 

Three Accused in 1998 U.S. Embassy Bombings to Face Joint Trial
New York Times 12 Dec 2013 – A federal judge on Thursday set a trial date for three militants, including an alleged senior al Qaeda figure, charged in the deadly 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. 

Explosion Wounds More Than a Dozen in Egypt
New York Times 12 Dec 2013 – An explosion outside a camp for Egyptian security forces in a city on the Suez Canal wounded more than a dozen people Thursday, officials said. 

Car Bomb Kills One Police Officer in Ismailia
New York Times 12 Dec 2013 – An Egyptian police officer was killed and 35 others were injured when a car blew up near their base in the Suez Canal city of Ismailia on Thursday, security sources said. 

Air Strike Kills 15 Civilians in Yemen by Mistake: Officials
New York Times 12 Dec 2013 – Fifteen people on their way to a wedding in Yemen were killed in an air strike after their party was mistaken for an al Qaeda convoy, local security officials said on Thursday. 

White House Punishes More Firms Over Iran Sanctions
New York Times 12 Dec 2013 – The Obama administration on Thursday announced an expanded list of Iranian companies and individuals that it said it would target to block their trading activities around the world. 

Brahimi Sets Deadline for Naming Syrian Delegations to Peace Talks
New York Times 12 Dec 2013 – International mediator Lakhdar Brahimi has given Syria’s warring sides until December 27 to name their delegations to planned peace negotiations next month, officials said on Thursday. 

Sectarian Clashes Kill at Least 40 in Yemen
New York Times 12 Dec 2013 – Ultraconservative Sunni Muslim militants and rebels belonging to a branch of Shiite Islam battled each other in northern Yemen with artillery and machine guns Thursday in clashes that killed more than 40 people, security officials said. 

Consumption nosedives
Globes Main News – Retail sales fell sharply in Israel in November in almost all segments, with industry managers struggling to explain what happened.

BREAKING: The Prawer Plan has been cancelled by the Israeli Knesset! 12/12/13
Jewish Voice for Peace – We’ve just received the welcome news from our allies on the ground that the Prawer Plan to forcibly relocate over 40,000 Israeli Bedouin from their ancestral lands is no longer under consideration by the Israeli Knesset. The recent demonstrations on both sides of the Green Line,…

Students post eviction notices at U of Michigan dorms, draw attention to Palestinian plight
Mondoweiss – Mock eviction notice posted on student dorm rooms at the University of Michigan. On Tuesday morning , December 10, approximately 1,500 students woke up to mock eviction notices in six University of Michigan residential dormitories. Inspired by the Rutgers-New Brunswick chapter of Students for Justice…

Mockupation Israel: IDF trains in Ashkelon playground because it ‘looks like Gaza’
Mondoweiss – IDF soldiers mock raid an Ashkelon playground in a Gaza invasion overnight training exercise. (Photo: Ilan Assayag) In late November the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) ran a Gaza ground invasion training exercise by occupying an Ashkelon playground —explosions by the swing set and all. The mock…

VMware wins NIS 100m IDF contract
Globes Aerospace & Defense – The Ministry of Defense has chosen VMware solutions for virtualization of the army’s servers and data centers.

Marketo buys Israeli personalization co Insightera
Globes Main News – Marketo is paying $20 million for Insightera, which provides a personalized marketing solution for e-commerce sites.

Hadera Paper cancels layoffs, ends lockout
Globes Main News – The company and the union have signed a new labor contract.

Israeli government kills plan to uproot Bedouin
Mondoweiss – Protesters call for the release of people who were arrested in actions against the Prawer Plan on November 30th. (Photo: REUTERS/Amir Cohen) The “Day of Rage” protests held last month by Bedouin Arabs and their allies to protest the Prawer Plan were met with defiant rhetoric…

Water rates to fall 5% in January
Globes Energy & Water – The Water Authority Council decided today to increase next month’s price reduction from 3% to 5%.

Brandeis profs take side of ‘courageous’ Al Quds president, against their own president
Mondoweiss – Sari Nusseibeh Three Brandeis professors have challenged the university’s president over his decision to suspend a partnership with Al Quds University following a disturbing demonstration at the Jerusalem school in early November led by a student group associated with Islamic Jiha
d. In a report released two…

Given Imaging’s disgruntled shareholder sells stake
Globes Main News – Discovery Equity Partners sent a sharply worded letter recently accusing Given Imaging of bad management and failure to create shareholder value.

Swarthmore Hillel should invite Blumenthal and Abulhawa into the schoolhouse door
Mondoweiss – Why doesn’t this man have a speaking gig at Swarthmore Hillel? Swarthmore Hillel and Hillel International are firing verbal shots across one another’s bows over the resolution by the Swarthmore chapter that it will hear anti-Zionists under its roof. Now Jewish Voice for Peace has come…

Fitch downgrades Teva debt
Globes Main News – Fitch Ratings has broken ranks with Moody’s and S&P and downgraded its debt rating for Teva from “A-” to “BBB+.”

Bill Keller says neocons are warmongers who trust Netanyahu more than Obama
Mondoweiss – Flag Day for the Secretary Some developments re the Iran war-drums. On Tuesday, John Kerry told a dubious Senate committee that Congress should hold off on more sanctions on Iran, even as a warmongering Republican questioner said that we were appeasing the Nazis all over again….

Electronics Assn. chief sees wave of high-tech layoffs 
Globes Macro Economics – Elisha Yanai: “If Netanyahu, Lapid, Bennett, and Flug don’t act, we expect to see thousands of layoffs in high tech because of the strength of the shekel.

Storms intensify as snow falls in Jerusalem
Globes Energy & Water – In the 24 hours before 7 am Thursday morning, a massive 103 mm of rain fell in Jerusalem. Road 1 to Jerusalem reopened.

Analysts clash on Opko Health
Globes Main News – In response to an opinion piece by Lakewood Capital on “Seeking Alpha” that sent Opko’s share price tumbling, Joshua Greenberg published a rebuttal.

Frutarom buys US flavors co Hagelin for $52m
Globes Main News – This is Frutarom’s third acquisition in a month following the acquisitions of Russia’s Protein Technologies Ingredients and Guatemala’s Aroma.

Shekel weakens as short traders get cold feet
Globes Main News – FXCM: The possibility of an intervention by the Bank of Israel at these levels deterred short traders.

Catastrophic Dutch State Visit to Israel
Tikun Olam – Smiles were pasted on faces as Israel and Holland faced off in a tense drama that torpedoed a state trade delegation. Bibi Netanyahu’s tenure as prime minister has displayed a remarkable number of diplomatic gaffes including forcing a Turkish ambassador to sit on a kindergarten chair…

EU failing Syria refugees – Amnesty 
BBC 12 Dec 2013 – European leaders should be ashamed by the paltry numbers of refugees from Syria they are prepared to resettle, human rights group Amnesty says.

Syria chemical arms ‘probably used’ 
BBC 12 Dec 2013 – Chemical weapons were “probably used” at five out of seven sites in Syria investigated by UN experts, their report says.

US captive in Iran said to be CIA 
BBC 12 Dec 2013 – An ex-FBI agent believed held in Iran for the last seven years was working for the CIA on an unapproved mission, the Associated Press reports.

Israel Admitted As Full Member of Nuclear Physics Lab CERN 
The Foward Breaking News 12 Dec 2013 – Israel was admitted as a full member of the prestigious European nuclear physics lab CERN. Click here for the rest of the article…

Bomb rocks Egypt police base 
BBC 12 Dec 2013 – A car bomb outside a police base in the Egyptian city of Ismailiya has killed a police officer and wounded at least 35 people, officials say.

Israel Will Put Controversial Bedouin Resettlement Plan on Hold 
The Foward Breaking News 12 Dec 2013 – The Israeli government is shelving a proposal to resettle tens of thousands of Bedouin residents of the Negev that had drawn fierce criticism. Click here for the rest of the article…

U.S. Prepared to Move Against Iran Sanction Violators, Jack Lew Says 
The Foward Breaking News 12 Dec 2013 – The United States is prepared to move against violators of its sanctions against Iran, U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew told the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. Click here for the rest of the article…

Jerusalem Snowstorm Forces Postponement of Netanyahu-Kerry Meeting 
The Foward Breaking News 12 Dec 2013 – Jerusalem and its environs were blanketed with snow, causing the postponement of a scheduled meeting between Benjamin Netanyahu and John Kerry. Click here for the rest of the article…

Kenya: Israeli, Kenya Mark Jubilee of Alliance 
allAfrica.com 12 Dec 2013 – [The Star]SHALOM KENYA! And Happy Jubilee. It is interesting to state that formal diplomatic relations between Israel and Kenya were established in December 1963 when Israel’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Golda Meir, met Kenya’s Prime Minister at the time, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, and both not only…

Sex-Therapist Advocates Masturbation For Orthodox Women Despite Taboo 
The Forward New 12 Dec 2013 – Reflecting a growing openness in Orthodox circles to sexual coaching, a sex-therapist has obtained the endorsement of prominent rabbis for his guidebook advocating female masturbation. Click here for the rest of the article…

Is Imprisoned Fatah Leader Marwan Barghouti the Mandela of the Palestinians? 
The Forward New 12 Dec 2013 – In October, supporters of Marwan Barghouti staged a large protest calling for his release. The venue was Robben’s Island — where Nelson Mandela spent 18 years in prison. Click
here for the rest of the article…

EU failing Syria refugees – Amnesty 
BBC 12 Dec 2013 – European leaders should be ashamed by the paltry numbers of refugees from Syria they are prepared to resettle, human rights group Amnesty says.

Kidnap ransoms ‘fuelling terrorism’ 
BBC 12 Dec 2013 – UK fears hostage ransoms are ‘fuelling terrorism’

Arab Spring: 10 unpredicted outcomes 
BBC 12 Dec 2013 – How the Arab Spring turned out in 10 unexpected ways

Syria chemical arms ‘probably used’ 
BBC 12 Dec 2013 – Chemical weapons were “probably used” at five out of seven sites in Syria investigated by UN experts, their report says.

US captive in Iran said to be CIA 
BBC 12 Dec 2013 – An ex-FBI agent believed held in Iran for the last seven years was working for the CIA on an unapproved mission, the Associated Press reports.

Bomb rocks Egypt police base 
BBC 12 Dec 2013 – A car bomb outside a police base in the Egyptian city of Ismailiya has killed a police officer and wounded at least 35 people, officials say.

Yemen wedding hit by air strike 
BBC 12 Dec 2013 – At least 13 people are killed as an air strike hits a wedding convoy in the al-Bayda province of southern Yemen, an al-Qaeda stronghold.

Thank You, Michael Wright! 
Al-Akhbar Opinion 12 Dec 2013 – Thank you Michael for proving, clearly and remarkably, that you have been using your company’s financial assets to buy and rent loyalties.(Photo: Marwan Tahtah). Thank you Michael for proving, clearly and remarkably, that you have been using your company’s financial assets to buy and rent loyalties.(Photo:…

VIDEO: Snow sweeps across war-torn Syria 
BBC 12 Dec 2013 – Wintery storms have swept across Syria forcing roads and schools to close and blanketing refugee camps with snow.

Syrian War Profiteers Gun for Frozen Funds 
Al-Akhbar News 12 Dec 2013 – A man walks with a hammer after fixing plastic covers on tents in the snow-covered makeshift refugee camp of Terbol near the Bekaa Valley town of Zahleh in eastern Lebanon on December 11, 2013. (Photo: AFP / STR). A man walks with a hammer after fixing plastic…

Free Syrian Army and al-Nusra Front Eye Ersal 
Al-Akhbar News 12 Dec 2013 – A rebel fighter points his weapon through a hole in the wall towards forces loyal to the regime on November 24, 2013 (Photo: AFP – Medo Hala). A rebel fighter points his weapon through a hole in the wall towards forces loyal to the regime on…

US drone attack kills several civilians in Yemeni wedding 
Al-Akhbar News 12 Dec 2013 – Several civilians were killed and others wounded in a drone attack in southern Yemen in which a wedding party was struck on Thursday, witnesses said. The witnesses and a tribal source said the attack was carried out by a US drone and targeted Qaifa, near the…

Cairo police disperse protesters with tear gas, water cannons 
Al-Akhbar News 12 Dec 2013 – Egyptian riot police fired tear gas and water cannon to disperse hundreds of pro-Islamist protesters demonstrating near the headquarters of the ministry of defense in Cairo on Thursday, security sources said. Egypt has been witnessing almost daily protests by supporters of elected Islamist president Mohammed Mursi…

Winter storm “Alexa” sweeps across Middle East, affecting refugees 
Al-Akhbar News 12 Dec 2013 – Syrian refugees Zeynab, right, and her brother Ali beg for money on December 12, 2013 in Istanbul. (Photo: AFP – Bulent Kilic) A strong winter storm brought severe weather to the Middle East Thursday, forcing the closure of roads and schools and blanketing already miserable Syrian…

Return of Cyprus talks seems “imminent,” Turkish official says 
Al-Akhbar News 12 Dec 2013 – A handout picture released by the Cypriot Press and Information Office (PIO) shows Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, left, shaking hands with Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu during a meeting in the United Nations Buffer Zone that separates the internationally recognized southern part of the island from…

Iran, Saudi Arabia among 30 countries to attend Syrian peace conference 
Al-Akhbar News 12 Dec 2013 – Iran and Saudi Arabia, which back opposite sides in Syria’s war, are among more than 30 countries slated to attend a peace conference next month, diplomats said. The so-called Geneva II conference, a follow-up to a 2012 meeting, is aimed at mapping out a political transition…

Winter storm hits Syrian refugees 
BBC 12 Dec 2013 – Winter storm worsens plight of Syrian refugees

Livni slams Israeli right-wing party for sabotaging peace talks 
Al-Akhbar News 12 Dec 2013 – Israel’s chief peace negotiator on Thursday accused a key coalition partner of deliberately seeking to sabotage talks with the Palestinians by ramping up illegal settlement construction. Speaking just hours before the arrival of US Secretary of State John Kerry on his second visit within a week,…

Media urge end to Syria kidnappings&
nbsp;

BBC 12 Dec 2013 – International news organisations urge Syrian rebel groups to stop kidnapping journalists, and to free those who are being held.

Gaddafi son appears in court hearing on charges of threatening Libyan security 
Al-Akhbar News 12 Dec 2013 – Seif al-Islam, the son of slain Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, appeared Thursday in a court in the western city of Zintan on charges of threatening national security, his lawyer said. The trial hearing lasted only five minutes and was adjourned to February 27 “due to the…

VIDEO: Horror of Syria conflict revealed 
BBC 12 Dec 2013 – British film-maker Olly Lambert wins won a prestigious Rory Peck Award award based on filming of the Syria conflict.

Syria: Saudi Loses Battle for Damascus 
Al-Akhbar Politics 11 Dec 2013 – Syrian government forces flashing the sign for victory and waving their national flag bearing the portrait of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.(Photo: AFP / SANA). Syrian government forces flashing the sign for victory and waving their national flag bearing the portrait of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.(Photo: AFP / SANA)….

Syrian Salafi Militants: More United, than Divided on Future 
Al-Akhbar Politics 11 Dec 2013 – A rebel fighter aims his weapon as he stands amidst snow during clashes with Syrian pro-government forces in the Salaheddin neighbourhood of Syria’s northern city of Aleppo on December 11, 2013. (Photo: AFP – Medo Halab). A rebel fighter aims his weapon as he stands amidst…

Articles


Bill to displace Israel’s Bedouin to be scrapped, Prawer architect says 
Mairav Zonszein, +972 Magazine 12/12/2013
The Bill for Arranging Bedouin Settlement in the Negev, more commonly known as the Prawer Plan, has been scrapped, former minister and drafter of the plan Benny Begin announced at a press conference in Tel Aviv on Thursday (Haaretz report).
The bill, first introduced in 2011, is a government plan to forcibly relocate some 40,000 Bedouin citizens living in dozens of “unrecognized” villages in Israel’s Negev desert, which the government has never agreed to recognize or provide services to. The plan has drawn heavy criticism from both Bedouin citizens and human rights groups. In recent months it has also been the source of wide-scale protests across Israel and Palestine. The police suppression and violence that took place at those protests grabbed the attention of mainstream Israeli media.
Read +972’s full coverage of the Prawer Plan
At a press conference held at the Defense Ministry headquarters in Tel Aviv, Begin said: “Right and Left, Jews and Arabs, joined together – at the expense of many Bedouin who are in crisis – to rile things up to a boiling point for their own political gain.”
Begin condemned all those who opposed the bill, adding, “we did the best we could, but sometimes you must face reality.”
Begin said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accepted his recommendation to permanently terminate the current version of the bill, after citing the undeniable opposition from across the political spectrum.
While today’s news will at the very least delay the State’s plan to implement the largest displacement a Palestinian population since 1967, there is little reason for celebration…. — See also: What’s next for Bedouin in a post-Prawer Israel? more.. e-mail

What’s next for Bedouin in a post-Prawer Israel? 
Haggai Matar, +972 Magazine 12/12/2013
The cancellation of the Prawer Plan is a victory for committed protestors. But how did this happen, and what does it mean for the Bedouin living in unrecognized villages who will wake up to a new reality?
The “Stop Prawer Plan” campaigners can take this evening off and celebrate their enormous success in halting the Prawer Plan. Up until two weeks ago, all bets were on a lengthy struggle: a bill that would pass in the Knesset, followed by a long and complicated appeals process to the High Court of Justice, with a simultaneous escalation in violent confrontations between new police forces (mandated by the plan) and the Bedouin residents in the Negev’s unrecognized villages.
But the tide turned two weeks ago as clashes between demonstrators and police in Hura and Haifa rattled the country. The blind eye turned by the Israeli media to Prawer and the resistance to it on the ground (as long as that resistance was peaceful) was torn asunder after stones and rubber bullets began flying. Suddenly, everybody was talking about the Bedouin and house demolitions.
Reactions to the “day of rage” took place on several levels: on the ground, police used excessive violence, while the courts have repeatedly prolonged the detention of anti-Prawer demonstrators in ways that can only be described as a state of emergency (13 of them are still behind bars). Activism on the ground encouraged the opposition in Knesset to be more assertive, to demand answers about the proposed bill and warn of the dangers that may await the country if it was to go forward as planned. While government officials were trying to portray the protests as marginal, claiming that the vast majority of the Bedouin support the plan, one of its primary promoters—Minister Benny Begin—was forced earlier in the week to admit that he had never really shown the plan in detail to Bedouin, and thus could not have obtained their support. This enlarged the already existing rift within the right wing, as Liberman, Bennett and parts of the Likud rushed to attack the plan for allocating too much land to the Bedouin. Attacked on all sides, the government was eventually forced to scrap the plan altogether. — See also: Bill to displace Israel’s Bedouin to be scrapped, Prawer architect says more.. e-mail

From the Middle East to Lausanne 
Ramzy Baroud, CounterPunch 12/12/2013
Arabic Thoughts Amidst the Alps
Here in Switzerland, the train chugs along nicely between Geneva and Lausanne. The Alpine mountain range desperately fights to make its presence known despite the irritating persistence of low- hanging clouds. A friend had just introduced me to the music of J.J. Cale, but my thoughts were moving faster than the speed of the train. Time is too short to sleep, but never long enough to think.
It has been nearly a week since I embarked on a speaking tour in French-speaking countries of Europe. The trip was more difficult than I thought it would be, but also successful. I am here to talk about Gaza, to explain Arab revolutions and to remind many of their moral responsibility towards Palestine and Arab nations. For six months prior to that date, I lived and worked in the Middle East. Soon after I had arrived, Egypt entered into a most disheartening new phase of violence and chaos. Despite the suffering and bloodletting, the fresh turmoil seemed to correspond more accurately to the greatness of the fight at hand. The Jan 25 revolution was declared victorious too soon.
For me, the turmoil in Egypt was more than a political topic to be analyzed or a human rights issue to be considered. It was very personal. Now, my access to Gaza is no longer guaranteed. Gaza, despite its impossible reality and overwhelming hardship, was the last space in Palestine in which I was allowed to visit after 18 years of being denied such access. It was the closest place to what I would call home.
My travel companion informs me that we have ten minutes to Lausanne. I wish it was much longer. There is so much to consider. My sorrow for Gaza and its suffocating siege, for Palestine and its denied freedom is now part of a much larger blend of heartbreaks over Arab peoples…. more.. e-mail

Kerry’s Coup 
Nicola Nasser, CounterPunch 12/12/2013
From Mediator to Antagonist
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was scheduled to start his ninth trip of shuttle diplomacy between Palestinian and Israeli leaders on this December 11. However, the bridging “security arrangements,” which he proposed less than a week earlier on his last trip, have backfired and are now snowballing into a major crisis with Palestinian negotiators who view Kerry’s “ideas” as a coup turning the US top diplomat from a mediator into an antagonist.
Kerry’s “ideas” had provoked a “real crisis” and “will drive Kerry’s efforts to an impasse and to total failure,” the secretary general of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Yasser Abed Rabbo, said on this December 9.
Resumption of the peace talks and U.S. involvement in the negotiations with Israel were both on record Palestinian demands. Disappointed by the deadlocked negotiations and more by the way Kerry decided finally to get his country involved, the Palestinian presidency expectedly stands now to regret both demands.
Kerry’s shuttle diplomacy during his current trip seems more aimed at controlling the damage his “ideas – proposal” caused than at facilitating the deadlocked Palestinian – Israeli bilateral talks.
On this December 6, Kerry said that (160) American security specialists and diplomats, headed by General John Allen, the former commander of the U.S. forces in Afghanistan, had drafted the “proposal,” believing “that we can contribute ideas that could help both Israelis and Palestinians get to an agreement.”more.. e-mail

The Real Cycle of Violence
Palestine Chronicle: 12 Dec 2013 – By Roger Sheety On December 7, 2013, two seemingly dissimilar events occurred, an ocean apart. The first was that a Palestinian teenager, Wajih Wajdi al-Ramahi, was murdered by the Israeli “defense” forces at al-Jalazun refugee camp near Ramallah, occupied Palestine. As reported by Ma’an News Agency , “Wajih Wajdi al-Ramahi, 14, was shot with live bullets in the back by an Israeli sniper in front of his school.” Speaking to the dead child’s family, something so-called “objective” western journalists rarely do in such cases, Ma’an also reported that, “The teenager father’s said Israeli soldiers target youths and kill them, in order to amuse themselves. He added that his son was shot by an Israeli soldier from a watchtower in Bet El with one bullet while he was walking near a school in the camp. He was hit directly in the back, and there were no clashes in the area, he added.”…more

As Bedouin Villages Are Destroyed, So too Are Hopes for Palestinian Peace Deal
Palestine Chronicle: 12 Dec 2013 – By Jonathan Cook As United States envoys shuttle back and forth in search of a peace formula to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a matter supposedly settled decades ago is smouldering back into life. In what was billed as a “day of rage” last month, thousands of Palestinians took to the streets to protest against a plan to uproot tens of thousands of Bedouin from their ancestral lands inside Israel, in the Negev. The clashes were the worst between Israeli police and the country’s large Palestinian minority since the outbreak of the second intifada 13 years ago, with police using batons, stun grenades, water cannon and arrests to deter future protests. Things are only likely to get more heated. The so-called Prawer Plan, being hurried through parliament, will authorize the destruction of more than 30 Bedouin villages, forcibly relocating the inhabitants to deprived, overcrowded townships. Built decades ago, these urban reservations…more

From Mediator to Antagonist: Kerry’s Coup
Palestine Chronicle: 12 Dec 2013 – By Nicola Nasser U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was scheduled to start his ninth trip of shuttle diplomacy between Palestinian and Israeli leaders on this December 11. However, the bridging “security arrangements,” which he proposed less than a week earlier on his last trip, have backfired and are now snowballing into a major crisis with Palestinian negotiators who view Kerry’s “ideas” as a coup turning the US top diplomat from a mediator into an antagonist. Kerry’s “ideas” had provoked a “real crisis” and “will drive Kerry’s efforts to an impasse and to total failure,” the secretary general of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Yasser Abed Rabbo, said on this December 9. Resumption of the peace talks and U.S. involvement in the negotiations with Israel were both on record Palestinian demands. Disappointed by the deadlocked negotiations and more by the way Kerry decided finally to get…more

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