VTJP Occupied Palestine and Israel: News and Articles 18 December 2013: How Israeli diplomats tried to muzzle an Irish journalist

18 December 2013 — VTJP

News

International Middle East Media Center

Palestinian Child Wounded By Israeli Gunfire While Harvesting Potatoes In Gaza
IMEMC – Gaza, Occupied Palestine – On Sunday, the 15th of December, a young Palestinian was injured by Israeli gunfire in Beit Lahia, in the northern Gaza Strip. …

Land Confiscated Near Nablus, Multiple Arrests
IMEMC – Restrictions imposed on 500 dunams [Wednesday, December 18, 2013] Ten dunams of land were confiscated by Israeli forces, on Tuesday, in addition to the restrictions imposed upon 500 dunams of private Palestinian farm land in the village of Qusra, south of Nablus, the Ma’an News Agency has reported. …

Kerry No Longer Perceived To Be Neutral By Palestinians
IMEMC – [Wednesday, December 18, 2013] Senior Palestinian sources are accusing the Obama administration of taking up Israeli positions in the peace talks. …

Five Palestinians, Including Children, Kidnapped In Jerusalem
IMEMC – [Wednesday, December 18, 2013] Dozens of Israeli soldiers invaded Silwan town and the Old City, of occupied East Jerusalem, kidnapping five Palestinians, including three children. …

Soldiers Conduct Training In Rashayda Village
IMEMC – [Tuesday, December 17, 2013] Israeli soldiers invaded the Rashayda village, east of the West Bank city of Bethlehem, and conducted military training in the village after surrounding it, Radio Bethlehem 2000 has reported. …

Ma’an News

Palestinian killed as Israel raids Jenin camp
12/18/2013 – JENIN (Ma’an) — One Palestinian was killed and at least six others were injured after Israeli forces raided Jenin refugee camp and entered the house of a Hamas leader and prisoner. Locals said undercover Israeli forces arrived at Abu al-Hayja’s home in a car with Palestinian license plates before clashing with Palestinians who noticed them. Palestinians threw an improvised explosive device at….

Missing Gaza man detained by Israeli forces
12/18/2013 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — A man from Gaza who was reported missing by his family over a month ago is being held in an Israeli jail, relatives said Wednesday. The family of Omar Ismail Wadi, 22, say that he called them on Wednesday to inform them that he was detained by Israeli forces after crossing the security fence between Israel and the northern Gaza….

Jerusalem prisoner’s wife delivers baby from smuggled sperm
12/18/2013 – JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — For the first time in Jerusalem, the wife of a Palestinian prisoner gave birth to a baby girl after successful artificial insemination using sperm smuggled from her jailed husband, the woman’s family told Ma’an Wednesday.” My son and his wife were enthusiastic about this idea, and they managed to smuggle sperm which was used for artificial insemination….

Gaza refugees displaced by storm protest outside UNRWA
12/18/2013 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Dozens of Palestinians from Gaza’s Jabalia refugee camp on Wednesday demonstrated in front of UNRWA offices to demand that the UN agency repair their homes following a four-day storm which caused widespread damage in the coastal territory. Thirty-five families from the refugee camp in northern Gaza are living in a UNRWA-run school because their homes were completely destroyed….

Jordan wants Israel to remove Aqsa surveillance cameras
12/18/2013 – AMMAN (AFP) — Jordan, the custodian of Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem, demanded on Tuesday that Israel remove surveillance cameras at the city’s sensitive Al-Aqsa mosque compound.”Jordan rejects Israel’s installation of surveillance cameras on December 8 to monitor waqf officials and worshipers, particularly women,” Information Minister Mohammad Momani told state news agency Petra.”Jordan does not accept that Israel has set….

Egypt’s Morsi to be tried for ‘espionage,’ Hamas ties
12/18/2013 – Cairo (AFP) — Egypt’s deposed president Mohamed Morsi and ex-aides will stand trial for “espionage” that helped a “terrorist” campaign involving the Palestinian militant Hamas and Wahhabi groups, the prosecution said Wednesday. If found guilty, they could face the death penalty. Morsi, an Islamist toppled by the military in July after a single year of turbulent rule, is already on trial for his alleged….

Egyptian forces seize machine guns in smuggling tunnel
12/18/2013 – El-ARISH, Egypt (Ma’an) — Egyptian forces shot and killed two militants in the northern Sinai Peninsula Wednesday, army officials said. Officials said Egyptian forces exchanged fire with militants in the village of al-Tawil in El-Arish. A group of armed men reportedly fired at Egyptian soldiers, who fired back, killing two of the militants. The soldiers found four grenades in the militants’ possession, officials….

Jerusalem patriarch: Settlement construction ‘hampers’ peace
12/18/2013 – JERUSALEM (AFP) — Mideast peace efforts are being “hampered” by Israeli settlement construction, the Latin patriarch of Jerusalem said Wednesday in his traditional Christmas message.” The Israeli-Palestinian talks resumed in late July, after three years of interruption, but the efforts are hampered by the continuous building of Israeli settlements,” said Fuad Twal, the top Roman Catholic cleric in the Holy Land.” As long as this problem….

Fatah lawmaker attacks senior official Rajoub
12/18/2013 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Palestinian lawmaker representing Fatah Jamal Abu al-Rub attacked central committee member Jibril Rajoub at Grand Park Hotel in Ramallah on Wednesday, knowledgeable sources said. Witnesses intervened and prevented Rajoub from fighting back. The sources highlighted that Abu al-Rub attacked Rajoub in retaliation to an attack on him a month ago by one of al-Rajoub’s security guards. Rajoub was attacked….

Gunmen open fire at PA minister’s office
12/18/2013 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Unknown assailants opened fire at the office of the minister of Islamic endowments Mahmoud Habbash on Wednesday evening. Witnesses told Ma’an that masked and armed men fired heavily at the minister’s office in al-Jinan neighborhood in el-Bireh minutes after he arrived. Guards responded by shooting at the assailants, who fled the scene in a private car. [END]

2 Palestinian businessmen stranded after South Sudan clashes
12/18/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Two Palestinians from Jenin have been unable to return from a business trip in South Sudan following widespread clashes in Juba, the country’s capital. Muhammad Abu Ubeid and colleague Husam Abu Harthiyya arrived in Juba two weeks ago on behalf of the Canadian company Linktek Corporation, a mutual friend Nael Daqqa told Ma’an. They were due to….

Gaza psychiatrist, rights advocate dies at 70
12/18/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A prominent Palestinian psychiatrist and human rights advocate from the Gaza Strip died Tuesday after battling cancer, official Palestinian Authority news agency Wafa reported. Dr. Eyad El-Sarraj — the founder of a Gaza-based mental health organization — died at the age of 70 in an Israeli hospital. Al Jazeera reported that El-Sarraj’s body would be brought to Gaza on Wednesday, and….

Man stabbed, robbed in Hebron
12/18/2013 – HEBRON (Ma’an) — A man was stabbed and robbed on Wednesday in the al-Sheik neighborhood in Hebron, local security sources said. Murad Samir Neiroukh, 21, was stabbed in the foot as he tried to fight off robbers who stole money and a cell phone. Police said an investigation was opened. [END]

Gunmen kill 4 in north Sinai
12/18/2013 – EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma’an) — Gunmen shot dead four men in the city of Sheikh Zuweid in north Sinai on Tuesday, witnesses said. Masked gunmen opened fire at a group of men from a car, killing two brothers from the al-Sawarka family and two brothers from the al-Rishai family. The motive behind the shootings is unclear. [END]

Toll mounts as Syria’s Aleppo bombed for third day
12/18/2013 – DAMASCUS (AFP) — Syrian aircraft pounded rebel-held areas of Aleppo for a third day Tuesday, with hospitals reportedly overwhelmed as more than 100 people have been killed in the bombing. As the violence raged, Britain accused the Syrian regime of effectively murdering a British surgeon it had jailed after seizing him in Aleppo, where he had volunteered to work at a hospital. Two children were among….

3 years on, Tunisia uprising marked by muted demos
12/18/2013 – SIDI BOUZID, Tunisia (AFP) — Tunisians marked the third anniversary Tuesday of the self-immolation of a young street vendor that sparked the Arab Spring, but anti-government protests over lingering economic woes failed to draw large crowds. Around 1,000 unionists and left-wing opposition activists gathered in Sidi Bouzid, the impoverished town where Mohammed Bouazizi staged his iconic protest on Dec. 17, 2011, for a demonstration against the….

UK doctor who died in Syria held for ‘unauthorized activities’
12/18/2013 – DAMASCUS (AFP) — A British doctor who died in Syrian custody and whose family says he was murdered had been detained for “unauthorized activities,” a report said Wednesday, adding that he had hanged himself.” British citizen Abbas Khan entered Syrian territory illegally and undertook unauthorized activities. . . the cause of death being asphyxia caused by hanging,” said a medical report cited by the official SANA news agency. [END]

South Sudan president offers talks with rival
12/18/2013 – JUBA (AFP) — South Sudan President Salva Kiir said Wednesday he is willing to hold talks with his archrival former deputy he accuses of leading a coup bid against him.”I will sit down with him — Riek (Machar) — and talk. . . but I don’t know what the results of the talks will be,” Kiir told reporters. Security forces are hunting Machar to arrest him. [END]

Syria bomb raids on Aleppo ‘kill 135’
12/18/2013 – BEIRUT (AFP) — Regime warplanes pounded Syria’s second city Aleppo for a fourth straight day Wednesday in air raids that have killed at least 135 people, many of them children, a monitor said. The attacks focused on rebel-held areas of eastern and northern Aleppo, once the country’s commercial hub, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. Sunday’s first day of….

AlJazeera

Israel not to appeal Lieberman acquittal
AlJazeera 18 Dec 2013 – Attorney general will not appeal last month’s acquittal of Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on corruption charges.

Palestine News Network

Israeli Soldiers Arrest Five
Palestine News Network

International Solidarity Movement

Interview with Hashem Azzeh: ‘They want me to move but I will never give up, we are still fighting until we get our freedom’
12/18/2013 – International Solidarity Movement – International Solidarity Movement | Occupied Palestine – Hashem Younes Azzeh is a 50-year-old resident of Tel Rumeida, he is married with 4 children and is a graduate of Hebron and Jordan Universities. Can you tell us about the situation in Hebron in general and why it is unique in the West Bank? The city of Hebron is divided into two parts. One part is called H1, it….

Relief Web

occupied Palestinian territory: Support for flooded Gaza
Relief Web 18 Dec 2013 – Source: Islamic Relief Country: occupied Palestinian territory As the Middle East faces some of the worst winter storms in decades, the world’s attention has been on the plight of Syrian refugees – but they are not alone in their suffering….

occupied Palestinian territory: Nearly 1 million Gazans to need food aid in 2014 – U.N.
Relief Web 18 Dec 2013 – Source: Reuters – AlertNet Country: occupied Palestinian territory Source: Reuters – Wed, 18 Dec 2013 06:31 PM Author: Reuters GAZA, Dec 18 (Reuters) – Almost a million people are expected to need food aid in the Gaza Strip next year,…

Syrian Arab Republic: Syria Regional Crisis Response: January – December 2014
Relief Web 18 Dec 2013 – Source: UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East Country: Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, occupied Palestinian territory, Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey East Jerusalem The war in Syria is devastating the lives of over half a million…

occupied Palestinian territory: Historic snow storm challenges Middle East preparedness
Relief Web 18 Dec 2013 – Source: UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction Country: Jordan, Lebanon, occupied Palestinian territory, Syrian Arab Republic By Berta Acero CAIRO, 18 December 2013 – The worst snow storm in decades affected large parts of the Middle East and tested disaster…

The National

Fed to wind down US economic stimulus
The National 18 Dec 2013 – America’s central bank last night announced it will begin to wind down the economic stimulus it launched amid the 2008 financial crisis.

When silence is deadly
The National 18 Dec 2013 – Like many organised crime syndicates, The Network relied on ‘omerta’, the mafia-derived code of honour that enforces a strict rule of silence.

Saudi ready to act ‘with or without West’, ambassador says
The National 18 Dec 2013 – Top Saudi diplomat says the West’s policies on Iran and Syria are a ‘dangerous gamble’ and Saudi Arabia is prepared to act on its own to safeguard security in the region.

West signals to Syrian opposition that Assad may stay in power
The National 18 Dec 2013 – Western nations have indicated that peace talks next month may not lead to the removal of President Bashar Al Assad and that his Alawite minority will remain key in any transitional administration.

Draft law could be end of the line for Istanbul fishermen
The National 18 Dec 2013 – The hundreds of anglers who assemble along the Galata Bridge each day providing one of the picture postcard images that define Istanbul could soon disappear. Thomas Seibert reports

UAE keen to host Forum for the Future peace conference
The National 18 Dec 2013 – Forum for the Future was founded in 1996 and works with governments and businesses to promote sustainability.

Family of surgeon found dead in Damascus criticises British government
The National 18 Dec 2013 – Relatives of Abbas Khan, a surgeon from South London who had gone to treat victims of the conflict in Syria, say British government did not do enough to secure his release.

Hundreds reported killed in South Sudan violence
The National 18 Dec 2013 – South Sudanese president says he is willing to hold talks with former deputy, as clashes between military factions spread from the capital to the rural state of Jonglei.

Prominent Palestinian human rights campaigner and psychiatrist dies
The National 18 Dec 2013 – Dr Eyad Sarraj, the Gaza Strip’s first psychiatrist who dealt with mental health damage caused by political oppression and challenged both Israeli and Palestinian abuses, has died after battling leukaemia.

Turkish police chiefs sacked after detaining ministers’ family members in fraud probe
The National 18 Dec 2013 – Five police chiefs dismissed after dozens of people including sons of cabinet ministers are detained in a high-profile probe into bribery and fraud.

Tearful Indian diplomat tells of invasive US body probe
The National 18 Dec 2013 – A female Indian diplomat at the centre of a row with the US over her arrest in New York has revealed how she broke down after enduring ‘repeated handcuffing, stripping and cavity searches’.

Iraq police hero sacrifices himself to save pilgrims
The National 18 Dec 2013 – Policeman embraces suicide bomber moments before an attack to shield others from the blast.

Egypt’s Morsi to stand trial for ‘espionage’, ties to Hamas
The National 18 Dec 2013 – Deposed Egyptian president and former aides will stand trial for ‘espionage’ that aided a ‘terrorist’ campaign involving the Palestinian group Hamas and other militant organisations, state media reports.

Russia approves amnesty covering punk band members, Greenpeace
The National 18 Dec 2013 – Russian parliamentarians approve a Kremlin-backed amnesty bill that is set to free the two jailed members of the punk band Pussy Riot, while also ending the prosecution of 30 Greenpeace crew members.

Ronnie Biggs, the Great Train Robber, dies
The National 18 Dec 2013 – Ronnie Biggs, known for his role in the 1963 Great Train Robbery, has died in Britain aged 84.

Miss Philippines Bea Rose Santiago crowned Miss International 2013 in Tokyo
The National 18 Dec 2013 – A Philippine beauty queen has been crowned Miss International in a pageant marred by allegations of intimidation that kept her predecessor away — pledging to use her title to help victims of the country’s devastating typhoon.

Video: Thousands protest Ukraine’s deal with Russia 
The National 18 Dec 2013 – Tens of thousands of demonstrators rally in the streets of Kiev, after Russia agrees to a $15 billion dollar bailout and gas price cut for Ukraine.

Video: Streep, Roberts hit carpet, Brown’s probation revoked 
The National 18 Dec 2013 – The day’s top showbiz news and headlines including Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts promote “August: Osage County,” Chris Brown’s probation is revoked, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees are announced.

Video: Two UK women sentenced to 7 years for drug trafficking in Peru 
The National 18 Dec 2013 – Two women from the UK caught trying to smuggle more than two million dollars worth of cocaine out of Peru are sentenced to six years and eight months in prison.

Ha’aretz

Backlash against U.S. academic association for Israel boycott move
Ha’aretz – 18 Dec 2013

Erekat: Framework peace agreement possible by April if Israel willing
Ha’aretz – 18 Dec 2013

Knesset votes down bill meant to prevent talks on Jerusalem’s status
Ha’aretz – 18 Dec 2013

Likud, Yisrael Beiteinu partnership survives attempt to dissolve it
Ha’aretz – 18 Dec 2013

Israel government retaliating against violent Bedouin protests with harsh detention
Ha’aretz – 18 Dec 2013

Israeli Defense Ministry’s refusal to share power harmed storm preparedness
Ha’aretz – 18 Dec 2013

Israeli forces kill one Palestinian, wound several others in Jenin clashes
Ha’aretz – 18 Dec 2013

UN Security Council condemns Syria military activity on Golan Heights
Ha’aretz – 18 Dec 2013

More than 40,000 sign petition to help cancer-stricken American Jewish boy
Ha’aretz – 18 Dec 2013

Russian amnesty could free Pussy Riot members, benefit Greenpeace activists
Ha’aretz – 18 Dec 2013

UN: Nearly 1 million Gazans to need food aid in 2014
Ha’aretz – 18 Dec 2013

Surprise! Lesbian penguin couple shacking up at Israeli zoo
Ha’aretz – 18 Dec 2013

Poll: Nearly a third of Gazans have relatives in West Bank, East Jerusalem or Israel
Ha’aretz – 18 Dec 2013

U.S. pressuring Israel not to announce new settlement construction
Ha’aretz – 18 Dec 2013

Israeli swimsuit model Esti Ginzburg being sued by her father
Ha’aretz – 18 Dec 2013

Turkey jails more journalists than any other country, group says
Ha’aretz – 18 Dec 2013

Israel can detain African migrants, but it can’t imprison their souls
Ha’aretz – 18 Dec 2013

Israeli woman appeals rabbinical ruling she must circumcise son
Ha’aretz – 18 Dec 2013

One-sided, anti-Israel panel to ‘debate’ next U.S. academic boycott
Ha’aretz – 18 Dec 2013

One-sided, anti-Israel panel to ‘debate’ next U.S. academic boycott
Ha’aretz – 18 Dec 2013

European court: Denying Armenian ‘genocide’ is no crime
Ha’aretz – 18 Dec 2013

Israeli airlines to resume flights to Turkey after more than five-year freeze
Ha’aretz – 18 Dec 2013

Opposition urges Netanyahu: Recognize gay rights in Israel
Ha’aretz – 18 Dec 2013

How ‘Americans of means’ are grooming Israel’s young musicians
Ha’aretz – 18 Dec 2013

The wrong way to fight foreign meddling in Israel
Ha’aretz – 18 Dec 2013

Israel’s AG will not appeal Lieberman acquittal
Ha’aretz – 18 Dec 2013

No jail time for leading Israeli rabbi convicted of sex offenses
Ha’aretz – 18 Dec 2013

After battle with Judo association, Israeli champ throws in towel
Ha’aretz – 18 Dec 2013

Near-crash occurred at Ben-Gurion Int’l Airport, report reveals
Ha’aretz – 17 Dec 2013

Bills on gay rights, dividing Jerusalem threaten to split Israel’s coalition
Ha’aretz – 17 Dec 2013

Failed policies of repression
Ha’aretz – 17 Dec 2013

Defense minister: Lebanon vowed to punish killer of Israeli soldier
Ha’aretz – 17 Dec 2013

Netanyahu outs himself with sign language
Ha’are
tz – 17 Dec 2013

Israel’s left needs to drop self pity
Ha’aretz – 17 Dec 2013

Jerusalem Post

Sisi determined to stamp out all opposition
Jerusalem Post 18 Dec 2013 – After violent crackdown fails to completely neutralize the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the new regime turns to legal action to achieve complete victory, charging Morsi with conspiring with Hamas, Hezbollah. 

Nitzan’s challenges
Jerusalem Post 18 Dec 2013 – Nitzan faces significant challenges, from the rehabilitation of the state prosecution’s reputation to deciding whether or not to indict figures in several conspicuous cases. 

Media Comment: Mandela and snow
Jerusalem Post 18 Dec 2013 – The idea that journalism is a demanding profession whose call is to provide the public with the broad picture, irrespective of personal prejudices, has seemingly not yet become part and parcel of Israel’s journalistic practices. 

Shapira to probe government’s handling of the storm aftermath
Jerusalem Post 18 Dec 2013 – State Comptroller says he will also investigate general state preparedness for sudden large disasters. 

Capital nearly completely operational one week after storm
Jerusalem Post 18 Dec 2013 – While some residents are still without power, police say capital should return to normal operations within 24 hours. 

Top associates of mobster Amir Mulner indicted in weapons, conspiracy case
Jerusalem Post 18 Dec 2013 – Police believe indictment could help probe of November car bomb that targeted TA prosecutor. 

Analysis: Privatization of IMI keeps vital defense production in the country
Jerusalem Post 18 Dec 2013 – Underlining the agreement is the defense establishment’s understanding that it cannot rely on any outside party to deliver such weapons at a time of extreme crisis. 

‘Almost 2,000 Palestinians have died in Syrian war’
Jerusalem Post 18 Dec 2013 – Palestinians living in harsh conditions in refugee camps; Syrian army prevents food, medicine from reaching camps. 

Canada calls for dismissal of Richard Falk for accusing Israel of ‘genocidal’ intentions
Jerusalem Post 18 Dec 2013 – UN’s Falk wrote article that said Israel was “slouching toward nothing less than a Palestinian holocaust.” 

State, Abutbul, Cohen file final pleadings on Beit Shemesh election fraud
Jerusalem Post 18 Dec 2013 – AG Weinstein and mayoral challenge Cohen appeal election results in which Abutbul won by a mere 956 votes. 

One Palestinian killed, 8 injured in Jenin clashes with IDF
Jerusalem Post 18 Dec 2013 – IDF forces come under fire during operation at Palestinian refugee camp; No IDF soldiers hurt during operation. 

Netanyahu to Chinese FM: World must deprive Iran of nuclear capabilities
Jerusalem Post 18 Dec 2013 – Netanyahu comes under pressure not to announce more settlement plans in midst of upcoming Palestinian prisoner release. 

Fatah lawmaker assaults senior Palestinian official in Ramallah
Jerusalem Post 18 Dec 2013 – Fatah officials say dispute between the two ruling faction representatives in West Bank was “personally motivated.” 

Will Tehran step up its covert war?
Jerusalem Post 18 Dec 2013 – With the eyes of the world watching following the interim nuclear agreement with the P5+1, the restraint of the Quds Force is already being tested. 

Explaining Iran to a five-year old
Jerusalem Post 18 Dec 2013 – I’m biased, but trust me when I say that my grandson has an amazing memory for a five-year old. 

Washington watch: Did Boehner find his backbone?
Jerusalem Post 18 Dec 2013 – Tea Party Patriots called Boehner another “tax-and-spend liberal” who has “declared war on the Tea Party” with his “smug and pretentious rant.” 

Encountering peace: A close neighbor
Jerusalem Post 18 Dec 2013 – It is possible to resolve all disputes under the formula of two states for two peoples and not use violence against each other. 

US official: Syrian rebel claims West will accommodate Assad ‘patently false’
Jerusalem Post 18 Dec 2013 – State Department spokeswoman rejects Reuters report claiming Western officials told Syrian opposition “Assad may stay”. 

Delayed decision on Likud-Yisrael Beytenu split boosts Netanyahu
Jerusalem Post 18 Dec 2013 – PM’s representatives persuade Likud court to prevent central committee from voting to end partnership. 

Latin Patriarch calls for immediate ceasefire in Syria
Jerusalem Post 18 Dec 2013 – In Christmas message, Patriach also says the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is blocking regional stability. 

Knesset approves Edelstein as chairman of foreign affairs, defense panel
Jerusalem Post 18 Dec 2013 – Coalition crisis averted as Yesh Atid postpones gay parents tax break bill on condition of PM’s support. 

TAU Israeli-Palestinian film wins Amnesty International Award
Jerusalem Post 18 Dec 2013 – Project ‘Water’ includes several short fiction and documentary films revolving around the theme of water. 

Finance Ministry nixes rezoning of Atlit, Eilat salt ponds
Jerusa
lem Post 18 Dec 2013 – Decision comes decade after petitions submitted to High Court of Justice against idea of rezoning ponds to tourism, residential land. 

Report: Dozens of Gazans fighting with jihadi groups in Syria
Jerusalem Post 18 Dec 2013 – Tel Aviv-based Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center says number of Palestinians in Syria is growing; warns their return to Gaza is liable to create hotbed for terrorism, subversion against Israel. 

Syria’s Islamic Front rebuffs talks with US
Jerusalem Post 18 Dec 2013 – Syrian government says it is “reprehensible” that Washington is prepared to enter dialogue with umbrella organization of Islamist rebel. 

Bennett pledges to bring amendments to youth employment law
Jerusalem Post 18 Dec 2013 – Economy and trade minister: I prefer working youth who earn a living to youth who wander aimlessly around the streets. 

Ex-hi-tech man who sexually abused minors gets 14 years
Jerusalem Post 18 Dec 2013 – Defendant, former deputy head of a hi-tech company, sentenced to 14 years in prison and 10,000 shekel fine to be paid to each one of the victims. 

Israel’s national security interests under ObamaCare
Jerusalem Post 18 Dec 2013 – Israel is having its national security interests managed and adjusted by US President Barack Obama and US Secretary of State John Kerry in both the Iranian and Palestinian issues 

Likud Beytenu, Bayit Yehudi skip out on vote to keep Jerusalem whole
Jerusalem Post 18 Dec 2013 – The proposal would require 80 MKs to vote for negotiations to divide Jerusalem; most right-wing lawmakers were no shows. 

The Guardian

Guardian Weekly year in review 2013: Hope born in Iran but fades elsewhere in Middle East
The Guardian 18 Dec 2013 – Optimism over Hassan Rouhani’s landmark nuclear deal was tempered by continued bloodshed in Syria and the further unravelling of the Arab spring It is always hard to predict how historians will judge current events. But the…

Prince Charles ‘deeply troubled’ by plight of Christians in Middle East
The Guardian 18 Dec 2013 – Prince of Wales tells audience of religious leaders that divisions with Muslims have been achieved ‘through intimidation and persecution’ Relations between Christians and Muslims in the Middle East have reached crisis point, according to Prince Charles,…

Uruknet

The lie of MP Julian Smith
Uruknet 18 Dec 2013 – December 18, 2013- Earlier today, I testified before the EU Parliament s Committee Inquiry on Mass Surveillance of EU Citizens. After my opening remarks, I was asked numerous questions by Committee members. One of them, British Tory MP Timothy Kirkhope,…

Mahmoud Abbas: Hero of the anti-boycott forces
Uruknet 18 Dec 2013 – December 18, 2013- Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has become the savior of those trying to stave off the growing boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement. Much like how his comments rejecting the Palestinian right of return earned him praise…

Gaza s unnatural disaster
Uruknet 18 Dec 2013 – December 18, 2013- THE DIRE situation in Gaza has sunk to filthy new depths–literally. Floodwaters that followed a historic snowstorm that blanketed the Middle East last week have driven some 40,000 Gaza residents from their homes. But this is no…

The Real “Red Wedding” US Drone Strike Targets Yemeni Wedding
Uruknet 18 Dec 2013 – December 18, 2013- “Before any strike is taken,” President Obama assured us in his speech this May on U.S. Drone and Counter-terrorism policy, “there must be near-certainty that no civilians will be killed or injured.” Nice words, but as Jon…

Prawer protesters beaten, threatened with rape by Israeli police in Haifa
Uruknet 18 Dec 2013 – December 18, 2013 – The Israeli government s announcement last week that it has withdrawn proposed legislation to forcibly displace tens of thousands of Bedouins from the Naqab (Negev) desert represents a small victory for all who have opposed the…

Omar Khadr Condemns His Guantánamo Plea Deal, As Canada Concedes He Is Not A “Maximum-Security Threat”
Uruknet 18 Dec 2013 – December 18, 2013 -Good news from Canada, finally, as former Guantánamo prisoner Omar Khadr has been “reclassified as a medium-security risk,” and will be moved from Edmonton, where he is currently held as a maximum-security prisoner, to Bowden Correctional Institution,…

Palestinian killed as Israel raids Jenin camp
Uruknet 18 Dec 2013 – December 18, 2013 — One Palestinian was killed and at least six others were injured after Israeli forces raided Jenin refugee camp and entered the house of a Hamas leader and prisoner.Locals said undercover Israeli forces arrived at Abu al-Hayja…

Syria News – December 17, 2013 (Warning: Graphic Videos) 
Uruknet 18 Dec 2013 – December 17, 2013 – By the end of Tuesday the Coordination Committees were able to document 128 martyrs including 23 children, 13 women and 2 martyrs under torture: 73 martyrs were reported in Aleppo, 22 in Damascus and its Suburbs,…

We Need to Talk about Yarmouk
Uruknet 18 Dec 2013 – December 17, 2013 – There has been an unnerving silence about the ongoing siege of a Palestinian camp in Damascus. It has gotten swept under the rug, along with the destruction of Syria, as one of those tragedies that for…

Gaza s Humanitarian Crisis Deepens
Uruknet 18 Dec 2013 – December 17, 2013 – Israel s lawless siege caused Gazans unspeakable misery. It shows no signs of ending. It got worse. Around 1.8 million people are affected. Mother nature wasn t kind. Once in a century storm conditions exacerbated human…

“Mission accomplished” in Afghanistan says David Cameron: what planet is he on?
Uruknet 18 Dec 2013 – December 17, 2013 – It was ten years ago that George Bush stood on the deck of an aircraft carrier and proclaimed mission accomplished in Iraq. G
iven the subsequent record, you might have imagined David Cameron would have thought twice…

Commentary on a Patrick Cockburn commentary
Uruknet 18 Dec 2013 – December 17, 2013-…In some ways, the insistence that the U.S.A. is poised to invade Syria and replace Bashar al-Assad with some nobody from the Syrian National Coalition and then use Syria as a beachhead for an invasion of Iran reflects…

Hamas agrees to join unity government ahead of elections
Uruknet 18 Dec 2013 – December 17, 2013 — Hamas has officially notified Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas of the movement s decision to join a national unity government which will prepare for upcoming presidential and parliamentarian elections, sources told Ma an on Tuesday. The sources,…

Commentary on a Patrick Cockburn commentary
Uruknet 18 Dec 2013 – December 17, 2013-…In some ways, the insistence that the U.S.A. is poised to invade Syria and replace Bashar al-Assad with some nobody from the Syrian National Coalition and then use Syria as a beachhead for an invasion of Iran reflects…

Israel s flagrant disregard of decency, humanity and justice in Gaza
Uruknet 18 Dec 2013 – December 17, 2013 – At the beginning of this month a great spoof of the Van Damme Volvo advert was posted on Youtube by Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. In it a group of Palestinians are pushing two cars that…

Israel and soft power
Uruknet 18 Dec 2013 – December 17, 2013 – …While Western states, especially Britain and France, and eventually the United States, were helping to build a strong Israeli military from 1948, Israel used its soft power to establish and develop contacts around the world. The…

Federal judge holds NSA telephone surveillance unconstitutional
Uruknet 18 Dec 2013 – December 17, 2013 – A federal judge in Washington, DC on Monday declared that the National Security Agency s collection of telephone “metadata” from virtually every call made to, from or within the United States violates the Fourth Amendment, the…

Armoured vehicles return to Hebron streets for the first time since the intifada
Uruknet 18 Dec 2013 – December 17, 2013 -At dawn on Tuesday, Israeli occupation forces raided a number of neighbourhoods in the city of Hebron using armoured vehicles. The incident is the first of its kind to occur since the 2002 invasion of the city…

An Iranian-Israeli rapprochement seems likely
Uruknet 18 Dec 2013 – December 17, 2013 -An Iranian-Israeli rapprochement could be a likely scenario next year as an option to remake the Middle East, argued Egyptian writer Fahmi Huwaidi in the Doha-based Al Sharq.Certainly, hostility towards Israel and its major ally, the US,…

Fighting terror with terror
Uruknet 18 Dec 2013 – December 17, 2013- Apparently, the position of the US, as global superpower, confers upon the country and its executive the honour of determining which human lives are expendable and which are not. Even when civilian collateral damage is acknowledged by…

Orders Classifying Observations & Experiences of Guantanamo Prisoners Formerly Held by CIA Are Lifted 
Uruknet 17 Dec 2013 – December 17, 2013 – While the military commission s ruling has not been made public, defense attorney for Guantanamo prisoner Ammar al Baluchi announced that “several orders” had been issued in the 9/11 case which “lift the provision classifying the…

Lessons and legacies of the First Intifada
Uruknet 17 Dec 2013 – December 17, 2013 – This month marks the 26th anniversary of the spontaneous outbreak of the First Intifada-literally, “shaking off”-a revolutionary, mass, popular uprising that dramatically altered the way the world saw the Palestinian struggle and transformed the dynamics between…

Sources: Hamas agrees to join unity government ahead of elections
Uruknet 17 Dec 2013 – December 17, 2013– Hamas has officially notified Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas of the movement s decision to join a national unity government which will prepare for upcoming presidential and parliamentarian elections, sources told Ma an on Tuesday. The sources, allegedly…

Saudi Arabia Will Go It Alone
Uruknet 17 Dec 2013 – December 17, 2013- Saudi Arabia has been friends with our Western partners for decades; for some, like the United Kingdom where I serve as ambassador, for almost a century. These are strategic alliances that benefit us both. Recently, these relationships…

Beit Sahour: Boycott is Historically Palestinian
Uruknet 17 Dec 2013 – December 17, 2013- As the Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment (BDS) movement continues to grow, and thus Israel s international isolation, one must remember that the boycott is an authentically collective Palestinian strategy that is rooted in history. The BDS debate…

Systemic Integration of (Military) Power Obama s National Security State 
Uruknet 17 Dec 2013 – December 17, 2013-The militarization of intelligence is not a new development. That had always been its primary if not also integral function from the start. E.g., the CIA did not and does not, to my knowledge, focus its resources on,…

NSA Surveillance Is about Power, Not “Safety” An open letter to the people of Brazil
Uruknet 17 Dec 2013 – December 17, 2013- Six months ago, I stepped out from the shadows of the United States Government s National Security Agency to stand in front of a journalist s camera. I shared with the world evidence proving some governments are…

Daily Star

Netanyahu warns Chinese foreign minister against nuclear Iran
Daily Star 18 Dec 2013 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated on Wednesday that Iran must not have the “capability” to develop nuclear arms, during a meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

Abbas guards intervene in confrontation between senior Palestinians
Daily Star 18 Dec 2013 Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas’s elite guard unit surrounded parliament in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Wednesday to protect a legislator from being attacked by another senior official, witnesses said.

Russia delivers trucks to carry Syrian chemicals
Daily Star 18 Dec 2013 Russia’s ambassador to Syria says transport planes have delivered trucks provided by Moscow to help dismantle Syria’s chemical weapons.

Palestinians ready to extend talks with Israel
Daily Star 18 Dec 2013 The chief Palestinian peace negotiator says the Palestinians are ready to extend the current talks with Israel beyond an April deadline – if there is a framework agreement in place.

Syria to spend 45% of budget on subsidies
Daily Star 18 Dec 2013 Syria will spend nearly 45 percent of its 2014 budget on subsidies in a bid to alleviate the suffering caused by nearly three years of war, state news agency SANA reported Wednesday.

Egypt official resigns over error-strewn vote poster
Daily Star 18 Dec 2013 An Egyptian official has resigned amid controversy over a poster to promote a new draft constitution that featured images of non-Egyptians and misspelled “Egyptians” in Arabic, state media reported Wednesday.

Group: Turkey jails most journalists for 2nd year
Daily Star 18 Dec 2013 For the second consecutive year, Turkey jails more journalists than any other country, with Iran and China close behind in an annual report released by the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists.

YNet News

US to migrants: Crossers won’t qualify for reform
YNet News, 18 Dec 2013 – ….

Report: PA minister’s office attacked; none injured
YNet News, 18 Dec 2013 – ….

Million-dollar Picasso sold at charity raffle for 100 euros
YNet News, 18 Dec 2013 – ….

Panel recommends tests before US eavesdrops on foreign leaders
YNet News, 18 Dec 2013 – ….

Abbas guards intervene in senior Palestinians’ confrontation 
YNet News, 18 Dec 2013 – ….

How to avoid apartheid 
YNet News, 18 Dec 2013 – Op-ed: Instead of saying Israel isn’t apartheid state, let’s aim to ensure we don’t become one ….

US Shoah museum gets long-lost Nazi diary
YNet News, 18 Dec 2013 – Journal kept by top aide to Adolf Hitler as he oversaw genocide against Jews, used as key piece of evidence during Nuremberg trials, handed over US Holocaust Memorial Museum ….

On education and technology
YNet News, 18 Dec 2013 – Op-ed: Israel, the ‘startup nation,’ treats its teachers like those in developing countries ….

New calls for Jewish prayer at holy site
YNet News, 18 Dec 2013 – Despite rabbinic ban, Jewish visits to politically sensitive Temple Mount are on the rise while key Israeli lawmakers lobby to end ban on Jewish prayer there ….

Palestinian Information Center

Statistics: 1800 Palestinian refugees killed in Syria
PIC – Activists in Syria said that three Palestinian refugees were killed in that war-torn country over the past 24 hours.

Tafakji: IOA plans to confiscate large areas in OJ
PIC – Khalil Tafakji, an expert on Jerusalem affairs, said that the Israeli occupation authority (IOA) was planning to tighten its control of occupied Jerusalem.

IOF soldiers launch campaign of arrests
PIC – Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) arrested at dawn Wednesday a number of citizens in Nablus city after storming a number of its neighborhoods under the pretext of searching for weapons.

Jordan calls on Israel to remove surveillance cameras in al-Aqsa
PIC – Jordanian government spokesman Mohammad Momani denounced the installation of Israeli surveillance cameras in al-Aqsa Mosque in order to monitor Endowment department’s officials and employees.

Mother of patient captive Raddad worried about her son’s condition
PIC – The mother of the cancer patient Mutassim Raddad, detained in Israeli jails, said she did not receive any news from her patient son, and that recently she has not been allowed to visit him.

Eight archaeological sites in Gaza damaged by winter storm
PIC – The Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities in Gaza revealed that a number of archaeological sites had been significantly affected by the stormy weather that hit the Strip recently.

Israeli special units raid Gilboa jail, assault prisoners
PIC – Special units of the Israeli occupation forces raided the rooms of Gilboa prison on Tuesday night and forced all prisoners out of their cells in the cold weather.

Haneyya: We are fighting for our freedom, independence
PIC – Gaza Premier Ismail Haneyya said the government has assumed its responsibilities toward the results of the bad weather that hit Gaza, and stressed that the blockade will never weaken its ability.

IOA confiscates 10 dunums of Palestinian land in Nablus
PIC – The Israeli occupation authorities (IOA) decided to confiscate 10 dunums of agricultural lands in the town of Qusra, south of Nablus.

Khudari praises US and Dutch institutions’ decision to boycott Israel
PIC – MP Jamal Khudari, head of the Popular Committee Against the Siege, praised the decision of American Studies Association to boycott Israel academically due to its violations of international laws.

WAFA

Chinese Foreign Minister Visits Ramallah
WAFA – 18 Dec 2013

Presidency Welcomes EU’s Council Statement
WAFA – 18 Dec 2013

PEX Report: Index Slightly Down
WAFA – 18 Dec 2013

Eyad Sarraj, Prominent Human Rights Advocate, Dead at 70
WAFA – 18 Dec 2013

Palestinian-Chinese Relations at their Best, says Official
WAFA – 18 Dec 2013

Misc

Palestinian negotiator: peace ‘framework’ with Israel possible
LA Times 18 Dec 2013 – BEIT JALA, West Bank – Israel and the Palestinians should be able to reach a basic “framework agreement” for peace by the end of April and a full peace treaty within a year after that, the chief Palestinian negotiator said Wednesday.

Egypt announces new charges against Morsi, 35 others
LA Times 18 Dec 2013 – Deposed President Mohamed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood, meanwhile, declares a boycott of next month’s vote on a proposed constitution. CAIRO — Egypt’s interim government and the Muslim Brotherhood traded fresh blows Wednesday, with the prosecutor general announcing serious new charges against deposed Islamist President Mohamed Morsi…

New charges leveled against Egypt’s deposed president Mohamed Morsi
LA Times 18 Dec 2013 – CAIRO — Deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi will face serious new charges that include espionage and aiding in terrorist acts, state media reported Wednesday.

U.S. pessimism sets in over Iran nuclear talks
LA Times 18 Dec 2013 – Gloom over U.S.-Iran talks stems from a growing realization of what each side much give up. WASHINGTON — Three weeks after President Obama hailed a landmark deal to suspend most of Iran’s nuclear program for the next six months, the mood among U.S. officials about…

UN Criticizes Iran on Human Rights Violations
New York Times 18 Dec 2013 – The U.N. General Assembly has approved a resolution criticizing Iran for serious rights violations including torture and its “alarming” and frequent use of the death penalty. 

UN OKs Resolution Condemning Syria Rights Abuses
New York Times 18 Dec 2013 – The U.N. General Assembly approved a resolution on Wednesday expressing outrage at “widespread and systematic gross violations” by Syrian authorities. 

U.N. General Assembly Condemns Syria, Iran, North Korea for Rights Abuses
New York Times 18 Dec 2013 – The United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday condemned Syria for widespread human rights abuses and expressed concern about such violations in Iran and North Korea, but it welcomed pledges by Iran’s president to improve in some areas. 

UN Group Says Torture Less Prevalent in Morocco
New York Times 18 Dec 2013 – A U.N. delegation investigating detention conditions in Morocco says torture occurs there, but is no longer as systematic as it once was. 

Experts Intrigued by Tidbit in Syrian Chemical Arms Report
New York Times 18 Dec 2013 – A United Nations panel found the presence of a chemical that can be used in the production of weapons using sarin, in what some outside analysts said could implicate the Syrian government. 

US Urges UN to Express Outrage at Syria Airstrikes
New York Times 18 Dec 2013 – The United States is urging the U.N. Security Council to condemn violence by all parties in Syria and express outrage at Syrian government airstrikes, especially this week’s indiscriminate use of heavy weapons in Aleppo that killed more than 100 people. 

Terrorism Lawsuit Clouds Chinese Israel Visit
New York Times 18 Dec 2013 – China’s foreign minister paid a rare visit to Israel on Wednesday, reflecting the burgeoning trade ties between the two countries. But the trip was clouded by fresh accusations that Israel’s prime minister had compromised the global war on terrorism under heavy Chinese pressure. 

Israeli-Palestinian Talks Might Take a Year to Complete: Erekat
New York Times 18 Dec 2013 – Palestinians and Israelis will need up to one more year to complete a peace deal if they can reach a broad framework accord in the coming weeks, the chief Palestinian negotiator said on Wednesday. 

Family Begs Syrian Government to Return Body of British Surgeon
New York Times 18 Dec 2013 – The mother and brother of a British surgeon who died in a Syrian prison days before his planned release this week are pleading with authorities to return the man’s body and put an end to their family’s 13-month ordeal. 

Head of Qaeda’s Syria Branch Says Does Not Seek Rule in First TV Appearance
New York Times 18 Dec 2013 – The leader of Syria’s al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front said in his first televised interview that his group was not seeking to rule Syria, but future rule must be based on Islamic law. 

Abbas Guards Intervene in Confrontation Between S
enior Palestinians

New York Times 18 Dec 2013 – Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas’s elite guard unit surrounded parliament in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Wednesday to protect a legislator from being attacked by another senior official, witnesses said. 

Lost in Melilla: Syrian Refugees Despair as Europe Closes Door
New York Times 18 Dec 2013 – Yahya Khedr has travelled for more than two years, through five countries and with six forged passports to get his family from the war-ravaged Syrian city of Homs to Europe. 

UN Condemns Syria Fighters’ Activity on Golan
New York Times 18 Dec 2013 – The U.N. Security Council has strongly condemned all military activity on the Golan Heights by the Syrian army and opposition fighters warning that it could “jeopardize the ceasefire” between Syria and Israel. 

Palestinians Ready to Extend Talks With Israel
New York Times 18 Dec 2013 – The chief Palestinian peace negotiator on Wednesday said the Palestinians are ready to extend the current talks with Israel beyond an April deadline — if there is a framework agreement in place. 

Former Israeli ambassador calls for legislation to impose ‘penalties’ on promoters of academic boycott
Mondoweiss – Former Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren. The backlash against the American Studies Association (ASA) for endorsing an academic boycott of Israel has come in fast and hard, with opprobrium pouring in from high-level Israeli officials. Michael Oren, the Israeli ambassador…

Students at George Mason University organize graduation walkout on Apartheid profiteer Shari Arison
Mondoweiss – Students Against Israel Apartheid campaign, Virginia, December 2013. Tomorrow, December 19th, George Mason University is presenting renown billionaire Apartheid profiteer Shari Arison , member of the Arison settlement-building family and Israel’s richest woman , an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters at the university’s winter graduation ceremony. Arison will…

Remembering Dr. Eyad el Sarraj, 1944-2013
Mondoweiss – Dr. Eyad el Sarraj Dr. Eyad el Sarraj, who died on December 17 at the age of 69 and is being buried today in the Gaza Strip, was intimately acquainted with trauma and what cycles of violence do the human psyche and society. The founder of…

IMI privatization agrement signed
Globes Main News – The agreement provides for continued IDF procurement and the release of lareg areas of valuable land for residential contruction.

Hacker threatens banks to extort Bitcoins
Globes Main News – Three Israeli banks have received threats that unless they hand over a sum in Bitcoins, customers’ details will be exposed.

Wed: IDB soars
Globes Main News – The TASE rose today, with IDB Holding up a huge 25%, while leading stocks Teva, Perrigo and Israel Chemicals were also positive, but energy stocks were weak.

Wix breaks the billion dollar barrier
Globes Main News – Six weeks after the Nasdaq IPO of the DIY website developer, the share price has risen 67% and the market cap is above $1 billion.

Haunting throwaways
Mondoweiss – Edward Snowden This is part of Marc H. Ellis’s “Exile and the Prophetic” feature for Mondoweiss. To read the entire series visit the archive page. Throwaways, like Edward Snowden, so proclaimed some months ago by our progressive President, sometimes come back to haunt the powerful. Such…

Israel renews flights to Turkey
Globes Main News – Israeli airlines halted flights to Turkey more than 5 years ago, due to disputes over security arrangements.

EU official threatens funding to PA, saying Israel should pay for its occupation
Mondoweiss – Kerry and Abbas, in Ramallah Dec. 12, photo by State Department The European Union has been rattling Israel with threats against the occupation for months. Now it is going even further, with an unnamed official threatening to cut off funds to the Palestinian Authority in comments…

Mahmoud Abbas: Hero of the anti-boycott forces
Mondoweiss – Mahmoud Abbas at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland. (Photo: World Economic Forum/Wikimedia Commons) Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has become the savior of those trying to stave off the growing boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement. Much like how his comments rejecting the Palestinian right…

For ‘NYT’, boycott supporters might as well be aliens
Mondoweiss – The New York Times letters’ page today features four writers responding to the American Studies Association’s 66 percent vote for academic boycott of Israel. And, surprise– three of the letters are highly critical, including the first and longest two, from officials at the American Jewish Committee…

Palestinian groups call on NBC to cancel filming in occupied E. Jerusalem
Mondoweiss – Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Apartheid Palestinians urge NBC to cancel show that aids Israel’s Jerusalem land grab Electronic Intifada 16 Dec by Ali Abunimah — Palestinians are calling on the American media network NBCUniversal, owners of NBC television, to cancel the filming of…

Back from the dead: Israeli general says ‘Prawer Plan’ still on the table
Mondoweiss – Doron Almog, a retired Israeli general, at Ben Gurion Airport in 2006. Last week, activists opposed to the Israeli government’s initiative to demolish Bedouin villages celebrated when the proposal , known as the Prawer Plan, was scrapped. But they may have clapped their hands…

Israel Chemicals buys German food ingredient co
Globes Main News – Israel Chemicals has acquired Hagesud Group, a producer of spice blends and food ingredients for meat processing.

Wells Fargo increases Tower Semiconductor credit line
Globes Main News – Wells Fargo Capital Finance will provide Tower with a $70 million credit line through December 2018.

Shekel gains ground
Globes Main News – Prico CEO Yossi Fraiman: The deafening silence from the Bank of Israel despite the screams of exporters stands out.

Teva settles Viagra patent litigation with Pfizer
Globes Main News – Teva says it will be able to launch generic Viagra in the US in 2017.

Strauss, TPG rift widens over Strauss Coffee
Globes Main News – In a court case in the Netherlands, TPG is claiming conflict of interest over a report on Strauss Coffee prepared by McKinsey.

Fears over al-Qaeda ‘jails’ in Syria 
BBC 18 Dec 2013 – Torture and summary executions are rife in secret prisons in Syria run by fighters from Isis, an al-Qaeda affiliate, Amnesty International says.

Palestinian dies in Israeli raid 
BBC 18 Dec 2013 – A Palestinian man is killed and at least four wounded after Israeli troops launch a “counter terrorism” operation in the West Bank.

Native American Association Joins Academic Boycott of Israel 
The Foward Breaking News 18 Dec 2013 – A Native American studies association is the third U.S. academic body this year to recommend its members boycott Israeli universities. Click here for the rest of the article…

Palestinian Elite Guard Tries To Defuse Violent Feud 
The Foward Breaking News 18 Dec 2013 – Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas’s elite guard unit surrounded parliament in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Wednesday to protect a legislator from being attacked by another senior official, witnesses said. Click here for the rest of the article…

1 Million Gaza Palestinians Will Need Food Aid 
The Foward Breaking News 18 Dec 2013 – Almost a million people are expected to need food aid in the Gaza Strip next year, a U.N. agency said on Wednesday as it appealed for $95 million from donors. Click here for the rest of the article…

Morsi faces Egypt terrorism charges 
BBC 18 Dec 2013 – Egypt’s ousted President Mohammed Morsi is to stand trial on charges including conspiring with foreign organisations to commit terrorist acts.

Eight Years of the BDS Movement: Where have we come since 2005? 
Global BDS 18 Dec 2013 – As the Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement passes the eight year point since the 2005 Call, the 54 th issue of al-Majdal evaluates its progress and remarks on areas for development, and spotlights current initiatives attempting to build an effective practice of the BDS tactic. The principal challenge for those…

Israeli Woman Appeals Order to Circumcise Son 
The Foward Breaking News 18 Dec 2013 – An Israeli woman appealed to the Supreme Court on Wednesday against a rabbinical ruling that ordered her to circumcise her one-year-old son, the Justice Ministry said, in the first case of its kind. Click here for the rest of the article…

Egypt: Kuwait Guest of Honor in Cairo International Book Fair 
allAfrica.com 18 Dec 2013 – [Egypt Online]General Egyptian Book Organization (GEBO) Chairman Dr. Ahmed Megahed announced that Kuwait is the guest of honor in the 45th Cairo International Book Fair that would be held from January 22nd to February 4th, 2014 in the Fairs Grounds, Nasr City.

Iran roadside bombing ‘kills Guards’ 
BBC 18 Dec 2013 – Three members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have been killed by a bomb blast in the south-eastern province of Sistan Baluchistan, local media report.

East Africa: Israeli Officials Detain Sudanese, Eritreans in Defiance of High Court Order 
allAfrica.com 18 Dec 2013 – [HRW]Israeli authorities are effectively detaining hundreds of Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers despite an Israeli High Court order for their release, Human Rights Watch said.

Academic Backers of Boycott Israel Movement Take Aim at Bigger Targets 
The Forward New 18 Dec 2013 – Proponents of an academic boycott of Israel are turning attention to the 30,000-strong Modern Language Association. Will Israel supporters succeed in bucking the BDS push? Click here for the rest of the article…

Boycott by Academic Group Is a Symbolic Sting to Israel 
Global BDS 16 Dec 2013 – Members of the American Studies Association voted by a ratio of more than two to one to endorse the boycott in online balloting that concluded Sunday night, the group said. With fewer than 5,000 members, the group is not one of the larger scholarly associations. But…

Egyptians fear return to authoritarianism 
BBC 18 Dec 2013 – Egyptians fear return of authoritarian old order

Fears over al-Qaeda ‘jails’ in Syria 
BBC 18 Dec 2013 – Torture and summary executions are rife in secret prisons in Syria run by fighters from Isis, an al-Qaeda affiliate, Amnesty International says.

Palestinian dies in Israeli raid 
BBC 18 Dec 2013 – A Palestinian man is killed and at least four wounded after Israeli troops launch a “counter terrorism” operation in the West Bank.

Complications of the Saudi Alliance With Israel 
Al-Akhbar Blogs 18 Dec 2013 – Never before has the Saudi government felt comfortable flaunting its alliance with Israel. This alliance is not new and has long historical precedences. But the Saudi royal family, in the age of the second
generation of princes, has been changing tactics: Historically cautious and duplicitous, the…

Doctor’s family ‘can examine death’ 
BBC 18 Dec 2013 – The family of UK doctor Abbas Khan can send team to Damascus to investigate his death, the Syrian government tells the BBC.

Morsi faces Egypt terrorism charges 
BBC 18 Dec 2013 – Egypt’s ousted President Mohammed Morsi is to stand trial on charges including conspiring with foreign organisations to commit terrorist acts.

Western powers privately soften rhetoric on Assad’s removal: sources 
Al-Akhbar News 18 Dec 2013 – Western nations have indicated to the Syrian opposition that peace talks next month may not lead to the removal of President Bashar al-Assad, opposition sources said. The message, delivered to senior members of the Syrian National Coalition at a meeting of the anti-Assad Friends of Syria…

After The Storm in Ersal 
Al-Akhbar News 18 Dec 2013 – After the harsh winter storm “Alexa” ended, with its freezing temperatures and record-breaking snow fall, a fleeting moment of tranquility and peace arrives to the Syrian refugee camps in Ersal. Al-Akbar’s Marwan Tahtah was on scene to snap up shots of Syrian children, with wide smiles,…

Bahrain Activists Survive Off the Island 
Al-Akhbar Politics 18 Dec 2013 – A Bahraini anti-government woman with her face covered in her national flag, stands watching protestors clash with security forces following an anti-government demonstration in the village of Daih, west of Manama, on December 17, 2013. (Photo: AFP – Mohammed Al-Shaikh). A Bahraini anti-government woman with her…

Bahrain’s Activists Survive Off the Island 
Al-Akhbar News 18 Dec 2013 – A Bahraini anti-government woman with her face covered in her national flag, stands watching protestors clash with security forces following an anti-government demonstration in the village of Daih, west of Manama, on December 17, 2013. (Photo: AFP – Mohammed Al-Shaikh). A Bahraini anti-government woman with her…

Ersal’s Car-Bomb Express Steams Along 
Al-Akhbar News 18 Dec 2013 – The wreckage of a car is seen at the site of an explosion in the village of Sbouba east of Baalbek in Lebanon’s Bekaa valley, on December 17, 2013(Photo: AFP – STR). The wreckage of a car is seen at the site of an explosion in…

Lebanon’s Blue Gold Project: Vote to Privatize Your Water 
Al-Akhbar News 18 Dec 2013 – On Tuesday, December 17, Lebanese President Michel Suleiman and Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam attended a launch ceremony for what is actually yet another nail in the coffin of the Lebanese state: the Blue Gold project (Photo: Marwan Tahtah). On Tuesday, December 17, Lebanese President Michel Suleiman…

Iraqi policeman dies trying to shield pilgrims from suicide bomber 
Al-Akhbar News 18 Dec 2013 – An Iraqi policeman gave his own life Wednesday in an attempt to protect pilgrims, embracing a suicide bomber just moments before an attack to shield others from the blast. The bomber struck in Khales, northeast of Baghdad, killing five people and wounding 10, a police colonel…

Award-winning Palestinian human rights activist Iyad Sarraj, 70, dies 
Al-Akhbar News 18 Dec 2013 – A file photo taken on January 4, 2011, shows Palestinian psychiatrist Iyad Sarraj talking on the phone in his office in Gaza City. (Photo: AFP – Mahmud Hams) Award-winning Palestinian human rights campaigner Iyad Sarraj has died of cancer aged 70, colleagues and relatives said on…

Mursi to stand trial on terrorism charges 
Al-Akhbar News 18 Dec 2013 – Updated at 4:15pm: Egypt’s public prosecutor ordered deposed President Mohammed Mursi and 34 other Islamists to stand trial on charges including conspiring with foreign organizations to commit terrorist acts in Egypt and divulging military secrets to a foreign state. In a statement, the prosecutor said that…

More than 140,000 Ethiopians leave Saudi Arabia over immigrant crackdown 
Al-Akhbar News 18 Dec 2013 – Ethiopian immigrants returning from Saudi Arabia arrive at Addis Ababa’s Bole International Airport on December 10, 2013. (Photo: AFP – Jenny Vaughan) Ethiopia has brought home close to 140,000 citizens from Saudi Arabia, the International Organization for Migration said Wednesday, a month after the oil-rich kingdom…

Iran roadside bombing ‘kills Guards’ 
BBC 18 Dec 2013 – Three members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have been killed by a bomb blast in the south-eastern province of Sistan Baluchistan, local media report.

Saudi authorities ‘target activists’ 
BBC 18 Dec 2013 – The authorities in Saudi Arabia are trying to silence social and political rights activists and quash their calls for change, Human Rights Watch says.

‘Doctors killed’ in Somalia ambush 
BBC 18 Dec 2013 – Three Syrian doctors and their Somali colleague are shot dead in an ambush near Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, eyewitnesses tell the BBC.

Prince says Christians persecuted 
BBC 18 Dec 2013 – Christians in parts of the Middle East are being deliberately targeted by Islamist militants in a campaign of persecution, the Prince of Wales says.

VIDEO: Syria chemical weapon ‘removal delay’ 
BBC 18 Dec 2013 – All of the key elements are in place to remove Syria’s m
ost dangerous chemical stockpiles, but the process of getting them out of the country may be delayed beyond the original 31 December deadline.

Audio slideshow: Under siege in Syria 
BBC 17 Dec 2013 – The young photographers documenting life in the country

Yemen’s women struggle to reap benefits of Arab Spring 
BBC 17 Dec 2013 – Change comes slowly to women of Yemen’s uprising

Lebanon’s “Minister of Asphalt” Resigns: Public Works Overflow With Corruption 
Al-Akhbar Politics 17 Dec 2013 – These words may pass unnoticed by those who are not following the issue, but anyone who goes to Daliyeh today will see that the ministry’s works have stopped. (Photo: Marwan Tahtah). These words may pass unnoticed by those who are not following the issue, but anyone…

Jumblatt Falls Into Costly Chouf Property Trap 
Al-Akhbar Politics 17 Dec 2013 – Druse leader Walid Jumblatt, gestures as he speaks during a press conference at his house, in Beirut, Lebanon, on Friday July 1, 2011. (Photo: AP – Hussein Malla). Druse leader Walid Jumblatt, gestures as he speaks during a press conference at his house, in Beirut, Lebanon,…

Articles


Why Israel Fears Roger Waters 
Ramzy Baroud, CounterPunch 12/18/2013
The Movement Grows
The intellectual dishonesty of Israel’s supporters is appalling. But in some odd way, it is also understandable. How else could they respond to the massively growing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign?
When a non-violent campaign – empowered by thousands of committed civil society activists from South Africa to Sweden and most countries in between – leads a moral campaign to isolate and hold into account an Apartheid country like Israel, all that the supporters of the latter can do is spread lies and misinformation. There can be no other strategy, unless of course, Israel’s friends get their own moment of moral awakening, and join the BDS flood that has already broken many barriers and liberated many minds from the grip of Israeli hasbara.
According to their logic, and that of the likes of Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, writing in the New York Observer on Dec 12, legendary musician and human rights champion Roger Waters is an ‘anti-Semite’. In fact, according to the writer, he is an ‘anti-Semite’ of the worst type. “I’ve read some heavy-duty attacks on Israel and Jews in my time, but they pale beside the anti-Semitic diatribe recently offered by Roger Waters, co-founder and former front man of the legendary British rock band Pink Floyd.”
Of course, Waters is as far away from racism as Boteach is far away from truly representing the Jewish people or Judaism. But what has earned Waters such a title, which is often bestowed without much hesitation at anyone who dares to challenge Israel’s criminal policies, military occupation and insistence on violating over 70 United Nations resolutions, is that Waters is a strong critic of Israel. In a recent interview with CounterPunch.org, Waters stated the obvious, describing Israel as a ‘racist Apartheid regime’, decrying its ‘ethnic cleaning’ of Palestinians, and yes, refusing to perform in a country that he saw as an equivalent to the “Vichy government in occupied France.” more.. e-mail

From unilateral to bilateral warfare 
Amos Gvirtz, Alternative Information Center 12/11/2013
The violence that erupted at the protests in Hura on the ‘Day of Rage’, November 30, 2013, serves as a clear warning of the increasing tensions in the Negev. And while Israeli government spokespersons claim that the majority of Bedouins in fact support the Prawer Plan, they fail to mention why or what form this support takes. The reasons for this ‘support’ become starkly apparent when one looks at neighbourhoods like Atir, whose inhabitants agreed to relocate to Hura after government agents repeatedly demolished their homes.
In light of Israel’s claims, let us review the way successive Israeli governments have treated Bedouin citizens since the State’s inception. Let us first recall that the majority of Bedouins were expelled or escaped during the 1948 war. Their systematic expulsion persisted until 1959, ten years after fighting ceased. In those years, the state concentrated most of the remaining Bedouins in the Sayag region (the north-eastern corner of the Negev desert) and took over their lands through legislation.
Most of the Sayag territory was declared agricultural land, thereby prohibiting any construction. The government refused to recognize the Bedouin villages that had existed there prior to the founding of the Israeli state and, worse yet, it refused to even recognize the villages to where it relocated the Bedouins it had previously dispossessed, labelling them ‘invaders’. Thus the state manufactured conditions under which all construction in the villages could be deemed illegal. State authorities also refused to provide them with basic municipal services such as water, power, roads, clinicsor schools – the High Court of Justice had to intervene in order to enable the building of regional schools. The one thing these communities do not lack is demolition services.
The vast majority of Bedouins are denied the ability to continue making their living as desert farmers, through seasonal agriculture and grazing. Confiscation of livestock and the destruction of crops are the government’s common means of “showing the Bedouins their place”. more.. e-mail

Syria’s children are freezing to death and Gazans are drowning as Arab billionaires turn a blind eye 
Abdel Bari Atwan, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 12/14/2013
In refugee camps across Jordan and Turkey Syrian children are freezing to death and their peers in the Gaza Strip are drowning while the Arab countries, most notably the wealthy ones, insist on turning a blind eye to their plight.
The Gaza Strip has been suffering without electricity for several months now and life has completely paralyzed because of the Arab-Israeli suffocating siege that has been imposed on nearly two million innocents while this year’s winter storms and floods have worsened the situation. The Hamas led government which rule
s the Strip do not have either the expertise, the necessary funds or the capabilities to deal with this crisis; they had to resort to old fishing boats to rescue homeless Gazans who climbed the rooftops of their flooded homes to cry for help.

There are nearly 150 member States in the Friends of the Syrian People Group, mostly from wealthy European and Arab countries, yet more than four million Syrian refugees are suffering inside and outside of Syria from hunger, disease, fear and lack of any reassuring solution in the near future.
Billions of Arabs’ dollars are invested in the “death industry” in Syria to finance the fighting factions who will topple Syria’s dictatorial regime and billions are spent to purchase the latest military equipment to arm them. But when the screaming children in the refugee camps freeze to death, the wealthy and their governments are nowhere to be seen.
The funds are allocated only for murder, not for life. Logically those who manage to deliver weapons to the fighters should not fail to deliver medical aid, food and blankets to the children of Aleppo, Homs, Rastan, Ruqqa, Idlib and all the other Syrian cities. Assuming this humanitarian mission is impossible for them to complete they could at least be able to deliver the necessary relief materials and heating equipment to the Syrians in refugee camps in Jordan and Turkey, where there are no military confrontations or explosives. more.. e-mail

The US/EU Egyptian Roadmap to Hell 
Mohamed Malik and Omar Kassem, CounterPunch 12/18/2013
A number of human rights NGOs have condemned the string of recent massacres by the Egyptian Junta of their citizens, including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International. When you also read the accounts by these NGOs of the ongoing nature of this state terrorism, accounts of the associated political repression, but especially accounts of the forcible removal of an elected government, then a clear picture emerges from independent sources of a military coup by a repressive régime having occurred in Egypt. The evidence is in fact so overwhelming that legal cases are now being brought against the perpetrators of these atrocities in international courts, with the first batch of cases being announced this week by the London legal team handling them.
However, the US and the EU have refused to officially call these political events a ‘coup’, or to condemn the massacres at the protests camps at Raba’a al-‘Adawiyya and at al-Nahda on August 14th, or indeed the massacres before this at the Republican Guard Building, or the several and ongoing massacres since, culminating, during the recent storming of Cairo’s universities, in the killing of over a hundred students and wounding many others protesting the new anti-demonstration law. In fact, in the midst of all this, the UK is now rapidly re-introducing licenses for the export of arms to Egypt, having only briefly suspended them.
If the US and EU seem to be backing this ‘coup which isn’t a coup’, in fact things are much worse. We read in the State Department report presented at the proceedings of the House Foreign Affairs Committee hearings on Egypt on 29th October, the assessment that “President Morsy was voted into power in an election viewed as free and fair”, and then the judgement that “ Mr. Morsy, however, proved unwilling or unable to govern in a way that was inclusive”. This report is conclusive evidence that the US State Department colluded in if not planned the demonstrations on the 30th July, which were supposed to justify the 3rd July coup in the manner of the ‘colour revolutions’ we have now become accustomed to everywhere…. more.. e-mail

How Israeli diplomats tried to muzzle an Irish journalist
Electronic Intifada: 18 Dec 2013 – Ireland’s Near FM suspended me over a broadcast describing Gaza as an open prison. more..

Open Christmas Letter to Pope Francis on Gaza
Palestine Chronicle: 18 Dec 2013 – By Vacy Vlazna Your Holiness, In desperation, in December a campaign was launched appealing to you to help release the suffering people of Gaza from the genocidal strangulation of the Israeli seven year blockade. There is no world leader other than yourself who possesses the moral strength, the political freedom and the spiritual imperative to help Gaza. There is noone of global influence to whom the Gazans can turn except Your Holiness. Through your words and actions, we see the same star that heralded the advent of Gandhi, of Mandela, of Jesus. It’s light – the spiritual simplicity of love for the human family, for the oppressed, for the poor, is again penetrating human hearts and consciences. It shone bright when you went to Lampedusa, the refugee purgatory, drawing world attention to the “globalization of indifference” “We are a society that has forgotten the experience of weeping, of “suffering with”:…more

Dr. Eyad El-Sarraj, Palestinian Psychiatrist, Human Rights Campaigner Dies in Gaza
Palestine Chronicle: 18 Dec 2013 – By Julie Webb-Pullman Dr. Eyad El-Sarraj, internationally-esteemed Palestinian psychiatrist and Commissioner-General of the Palestinian Independent Commission for Citizens’ Rights, passed away in Gaza a short time ago. His human rights work was not without personal cost – in 1996 he was arrested and tortured for condemning torture and violation of human rights by the Palestinian Authorities. But it was also not without recognition – in 1997 he was winner of the Physicians for Human Rights Award, and in 1998 of the Martin Ennals Award for human rights defenders. In 2010 he was awarded the Swedish labour movement’s largest and most prestigious award, the Olof Palme Prize for his self-sacrificing and indefatigable struggle for the Palestinian people. “In his professional and political work, Eyad El-Sarraj has stood on the side of the individual human being, regardless of nationality, gender or social position. He has brought into the light the destructive influence…more

Open Christmas Letter to Pope Francis on Gaza
Dissident Voice: 18 Dec 2013 – Your Holiness, In desperation, in December a campaign was launched appealing to you to help release the suffering people of Gaza from the genocidal strangulation of the Israeli seven year blockade. There is no world leader other than yourself who possesses the moral strength, the political freedom and the spiritual imperative to help Gaza. There is no one of global influence to whom the Gazans can turn except Your Holiness. Through your words and actions, we see the same star that heralded the advent of Gandhi, of Mandela, of Jesus. It’s light — the spiritual simplicity of love for the human family, for the oppressed, for the poor, is again penetrating human hearts and consciences. It shone bright when you went to Lampedusa, the refugee purgatory, drawing world attention to the “globalization of indifference”: We are a society that has forgotten the experience of weeping, of “suffering with”: the globalization…more


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