VTJP Occupied Palestine and Israel: News and Articles 24 December 2013:

24 December 2013 — VTJP

News

International Middle East Media Center

Two Killed By Israeli Shells In Gaza, Including One Child
IMEMC – [Tuesday December 24, 2013] The Israeli army has bombarded several areas in the Gaza Strip, killing two Palestinians, including one child, and wounding at least four, one seriously. Two of the wounded are children. …

Israeli Military Engineer Killed Near Gaza Border
IMEMC – [Tuesday December 24, 2013] Israeli military sources said that an Israeli military engineer has died of serious injuries, after being shot near the border fence with Gaza. …

Soldiers Demolish Home, Four Sheds In The West Bank Plains
IMEMC – [Tuesday December 24, 2013] Dozens of Israeli soldiers have invaded the Fasayel Al-Wousta area, in the Jordan Valley, demolishing one home and four sheds. …

Ma’an News

Israel strikes Gaza after border shootings, 3 dead in violence
12/24/2013 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israeli air forces launched airstrikes across the Gaza Strip, killing a 3-year-old Palestinian child and injuring her mother and brother, after an Israeli and a Palestinian were shot dead at the border in the northern Gaza Strip on Tuesday afternoon. Spokesman for the Gaza ministry of health Ashraf al-Qidra said that Hala Abu Sbeikha, 3, was killed and her…. Related: Hamas, PA condemn Israeli airstrikes on Gaza

Israeli bulldozers destroy 15 Palestinian homes near Ramallah
12/24/2013 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Israeli bulldozers on Tuesday destroyed 15 houses in Palestinian villages west of Ramallah, a Ma’an reporter said. Early Tuesday, three Israeli bulldozers accompanied by 10 military jeeps raided the Bedouin villages of Ras Karkar and Deir Ammar and started demolishing buildings, reportedly without giving a warning. Locals said the demolitions were carried out under the pretext of security concerns….

Palestinians celebrate release of Issawi despite Israeli threats
12/24/2013 – JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Defying Israeli warnings banning celebrations, dozens of Palestinian Jerusalemites on Monday evening celebrated the release of prominent prisoner Samir Issawi in his hometown of Issawiya in East Jerusalem. Upon Issawi’s arrival to the neighborhood Monday night, young men carried him on their shoulders while dozens waved Palestinian flags chanting slogans in support of Palestinian prisoners still in Israeli custody….

Israeli forces raid Nablus, detain five young men
12/24/2013 – NABLUS (Ma’an) — Israeli forces raided the northern West Bank city of Nablus early on Tuesday morning and detained five young Palestinian men. Locals told a Ma’an reporter that several Israeli military vehicles stormed the Old city of Nablus and several other neighborhoods at 2 a. m. before they detained 20-year-old Imad Addin Ahmad Halawah, 20-year-old Raed Sami Hamdan, 21….

Hamas, PA condemn Israeli airstrikes on Gaza
12/24/2013 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Spokesmen for Hamas and the Palestinian Authority governments on Tuesday condemned Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip which killed a young girl. Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri called the airstrikes that killed 3-year-old Hala Abu Sbeikh in central Gaza a “cowardly crime.”Abu Zuhri said Israel was targeting Palestinian families, and that Israeli threats and raids would not deter…. Related: Israel strikes Gaza after border shootings, 3 dead in violence

UNRWA local employees to go on strike in Gaza in January
12/24/2013 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The union of Arab employees of the UN’s Palestine refugee Agency UNRWA in Gaza announced Tuesday that all local workers would go on a general strike beginning January 5, 2014. A spokesperson of the union said in a news conference in Gaza City on Tuesday that the agency’s administration, namely the bureau of the commissioner-general, is….

Israeli troops erect tents near Yabad
12/24/2013 – JENIN (Ma’an) — Israeli troops erected three military tents near the main road of the northern West Bank town of Yabad on Tuesday morning. Eyewitnesses told a Ma’an reporter that they saw three military tents on Palestinian olive trees near the main road between Jenin and Tulkarem. Large numbers of Israeli soldiers deployed in the area, they added. In response, Israeli forces….

Israeli forces hold up security bus at checkpoint
12/24/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces have detained a bus of female recruits in the National Security Forces at a checkpoint north of Jericho for two hours, an official said. Israeli forces held the bus while it was on its way back from Bethlehem after participating in Christmas celebrations. [END]

Netanyahu hits out at ‘unacceptable’ US wiretapping
12/24/2013 – JERUSALEM (AFP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday hit out at the United States for what he described as “unacceptable” wiretapping of his predecessor Ehud Olmert, as reported in the media.” Given the close relations between the United States and Israel, there are things we cannot do, and that is unacceptable for us,” Netanyahu said at a meeting of his Likud party. Netanyahu said….

Rafah crossing open, operating very slowly due to computer problem
12/24/2013 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Egyptian authorities opened the Rafah crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip in both directions on Tuesday morning and plan to keep it open until Thursday evening, Palestinian sources said. An official in the crossings department of the Gaza Ministry of Interior told Ma’an Tuesday that the crossing was open in the morning, but passengers were processed very….

Report: Israel to release more veteran Palestinian prisoners next week
12/24/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) – Israeli daily Maariv on Tuesday published names of some of the veteran Palestinian prisoners Israel intends to release next week as a third group of 104 Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails before the Oslo Accords of 1994. Maariv titled the piece “A new group of terrorists will be released next week.”The report published names and details of Israelis killed….

610 Gaza Christians travel to West Bank for Christmas celebrations
12/24/2013 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Christian residents of the Gaza Strip on Tuesday left to the West Bank where they will participate in Christmas celebrations in Bethlehem, Palestinian sources said. Officials in the Palestinian liaison department told Ma’an that Israel allowed 610 Gaza Christians to travel to the West Bank to join Christmas celebrations. Two-week permits were given to young people under 16…. Related: Patriarch arrives in Bethlehem marking start of Christmas celebrations and Watch: Ma’an Livestream from Manger Square

Watch: Ma’an Livestream from Manger Square
12/24/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Thousands have gathered in Bethlehem from around the world to mark Christmas Eve and to prepare for Christmas Day in Jesus’ birthplace. Ma’an News Agency is live streaming Christmas Eve celebrations from Bethlehem’s Manger Square all day. Tune in for the broadcast below. Link for mobile phones: 1 ) Mel / USA24/12/2013 17:16 Very nice…. Related: 610 Gaza Christians travel to West Bank for Christmas celebrations and Patriarch arrives in Bethlehem marking start of Christmas celebrations

FEMEN threatens to ‘cancel’ Christmas in Bethlehem
12/24/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — As Christmas Eve celebrations took over the streets of Bethlehem on Tuesday, rumors swirled of a plot to disturb the festivities in Jesus’ birthplace. The plot, however, was not connected to the Israeli occupation, nor to any Palestinian faction or popular resistance movement. The threat to Christmas this year emerged instead from the Ukrainian organization FEMEN, a women’s….

Powerful explosion rocks Egyptian city killing 14, injuring dozens
12/24/2013 – CAIRO (Ma’an) — A powerful explosion rocked the police headquarters in the northern Egyptian city of Mansoura after midnight on Monday, killing 14 and injuring more than a hundred people including security officers and civilians. Egyptian security sources said the explosion targeting the police station of Daqahliya district in the Nile Delta city of Mansoura was caused by a car bomb. The six-story building….

Aleppo bombing kills hundreds, threatening Syria talks
12/24/2013 – DAMASCUS (AFP) — Syrian warplanes have killed more than 330 people in a nine-day bombing campaign, with the US condemning the “indiscriminate” assault and the opposition National Coalition saying it will not attend planned peace talks if it continues. The vicious campaign has seen aircraft drop barrels of TNT on rebel-held neighborhoods in Aleppo — a tactic widely condemned as unlawful — flooding hospitals with victims, according to….

Hundreds of Brotherhood prisoners launch hunger strike in Egypt
12/24/2013 – CAIRO (AFP) — More than 450 Muslim Brotherhood members imprisoned in Egypt launched a hunger strike Monday over their “inhuman treatment” after being jailed following the military’s overthrow of president Mohamed Morsi, the group said. A Twitter account operated by the Brotherhood, which has largely been driven underground by a massive crackdown, said prisoners have been “banned from family visits, legal counselling, medical care….

Minister: South Sudan army retakes Bor town from rebels
12/24/2013 – JUBA (AFP) — South Sudan’s army stormed the rebel-held town of Bor Tuesday, sending insurgents fleeing nearly a week after they captured the state capital of Jonglei, Information Minister Michael Makwei told AFP.”The army captured Bor around sunset and the rebel forces are now on the run. . . We are back in control,” Makwei said. [END]

News agency: Britain extradites Algeria ex-tycoon Khalifa
12/24/2013 – ALGIERS (AFP) — Rafik Khalifa, a former Algerian tycoon who once owned an airline and a string of companies, was extradited to his homeland from Britain Tuesday, the APS news agency reported. He took refuge in Britain in 2003 when his business collapsed, costing the Algerian state and individuals between $1. 5 billion and $5 billion. In 2007, Algeria convicted him in absentia of criminal involvement….

AlJazeera

Israel launches fresh air strikes on Gaza
AlJazeera 24 Dec 2013 – Three-year-old Palestinian girl killed during series of Israeli air strikes after Palestinian sniper kills Israeli.

Palestine News Network

Palestinian Prisoner Continues his Hunger Strike for 19th Day
Palestine News Network

UFree Network Congratulates Issawi on his Historic Victory
Palestine News Network

Israel Releases Hunger- Striking Prisoner Samer Issawi
Palestine News Network

Relief Web

occupied Palestinian territory: Situation Update: Flooding, Dayr Al-Balah Area, Analysis with Pleiades Data Acquired 19 December 2013
Relief Web 24 Dec 2013 – Source: UNOSAT Country: occupied Palestinian territory This map illustrates satellite-detected areas of flooding near Dayr al-Balah in Gaza, resulting from heavy rains occurring around 15 December 2013, and as detected by the Pleiades satellite on 19 December 2013. Areas of…

occupied Palestinian territory: Ban calls for maximum restraint amid latest violence in Israel, Gaza and West Bank
Relief Web 24 Dec 2013 – Source: UN News Service Country: Israel, occupied Palestinian territory 24 December 2013 Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today voiced concern about the escalating violence in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank, and called for maximum restraint by all parties to prevent…

Lebanon: Property rights scarce for Palestinians in Lebanon
Relief Web 24 Dec 2013 – Source: IRIN Country: Lebanon, occupied Palestinian territory QASMIYEH, 24 December 2013 (IRIN) – “If they throw us out, we will end up in the sea,” Zahar Sayed Ghadbaan says, her anger not entirely disguised by the joking tone. “We have…

The National

Storms wreak havoc in UK and France
The National 24 Dec 2013 – Two people die and holiday plans for thousands of Britons are disrupted when hurricane-force winds and torrential rains sweep across Britain.

Mass grave found in South Sudan: UN
The National 24 Dec 2013 – UN warns political and military leaders could be held to account after grave containing 75 bodies is found in Unity State and two other mass graves have been reported in the capital, Juba.

Bomb scare delays Musharraf s treason hearing
The National 24 Dec 2013 – Authorities find explosive device and pistols about a kilometre from Mr Musharraf’s home in the Islamabad suburbs, delaying high treason case against former Pakistani leader.

Iran mulls dumping Tehran as nation s capital
The National 24 Dec 2013 – Iranian parliament considers proposal to select another city as the nation s capital, moving the seat of government from Tehran.

Israel reacts to Gaza sniper killing with airstrikes on Hamas, killing girl
The National 24 Dec 2013 – A Gaza sniper shot dead an Israeli civilian over the border on Tuesday and Israel hit back with air strikes on two Hamas training camps, killing a young Palestinian girl.

Pakistan, Indian army commanders meet on Kashmir
The National 24 Dec 2013 – Leading army commanders from Pakistan and India met yesterday for the first time in 14 years in a bid to reduce tensions in the disputed region of Kashmir after a year of intermittent clashes.

A decade on, Iran s quake-hit Bam eyes new era
The National 24 Dec 2013 – Bam is now regarded as the most quake-proof city in Iran, having been rebuilt at a cost of nearly Dh2.45 billion an astronomical amount in the sanctions-hit country.

Brotherhood blamed for deadly attack on Egypt police headquarters
The National 24 Dec 2013 – Angry Egyptians blame Muslim Brotherhood for car bomb that tears through Mansoura s police headquarters, killing 14 people and wounding more than 100.

Syrian government receiving Iraqi crude, despite sanctions
The National 24 Dec 2013 – Shipping and payment documents show that millions of barrels of crude oil delivered to Syria on Iranian ships have come from Iraq, through Lebanese and Egyptian trading companies.

Yemeni political parties pledge to grant some autonomy to the south
The National 24 Dec 2013 – Document pledging a ‘just solution’ in the face of secessionist demands hailed as breakthrough in long-stalled national dialogue between political parties and the government.

A grim Christmas for those driven from Syria s Maalula
The National 24 Dec 2013 – After fleeing a rebel assault on the historic Syrian town of Maalula, hundreds of Christian families sheltering in Damascus are preparing for a bleak Christmas away from home.

Inventor of AK-47 Mikhail Kalashnikov dies aged 94
The National 24 Dec 2013 – Mikhail Kalashnikov designed the AK-47 assault rifle, the world s most popular firearm favoured by guerrillas, terrorists and the soldiers of many armies.

Defiant Philippine typhoon survivors welcome Christmas
The National 24 Dec 2013 – Survivors of typhoon Haiyan prepared to celebrate Christmas in their communities where meat was being roasted, festive trees adorned streets and churches were overflowing.

WWII codebreaker Alan Turing gets royal pardon for gay conviction
The National 24 Dec 2013 – Mathematician Alan Turing, who helped Britain win World War Two by cracking Nazi Germany s unbreakable Enigma code, was granted a rare royal pardon yesterday for a criminal conviction for homosexuality that led to his suicide.

Nepal s Maoists agree to join assembly, ending impasse
The National 24 Dec 2013 – Nepal’s Maoists have agreed to join the country’s constituent assembly, ending a month-long political deadlock and raising hopes of political stability in the country.

Video: Musharraf treason trail delayed after bomb found
The National 24 Dec 2013 – The treason trial of former military leader Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf is delayed after a bomb is found enroute to the Islamabad court .

Video: Punk band reunion
The National 24 Dec 2013 – Two members of Russian punk protest band are reunited hours after they were freed from jail.

Video: Battle rages in South Sudan, UN wants more peacekeepers
The National 24 Dec 2013 – Hundreds of people have been killed in South Sudan, with reports of ethnically targeted killings. The UN’s Ban Ki-moon is recommending more peacekeepers.

Video: Deadly blast at Egypt security site
The National 24 Dec 2013 – ( A massive explosion at a security compound in Egypt’s Nile Delta kills at least 11 people and wounds more than 100 others.

Video: China prepares to celebrate Mao Zedong s 120th birthday
The National 24 Dec 2013 – Thirty-seven years after his death, the late Communist Party chairman Mao Zedong continues to hold great influence over the Chinese society.

Ha’aretz

Tel Aviv orders demolition of homeless shack camp
Ha’aretz – 24 Dec 2013

Israeli army said to hamper West Bank pollution cleanup
Ha’aretz – 24 Dec 2013

Education Ministry considered eliminating junior highs, Secondary School Teachers Association chairman says
Ha’aretz – 24 Dec 2013

The ecological crime of the Rosh Ha ayin park
Ha’aretz – 24 Dec 2013

Court rejects Israeli universities’ challenge to West Bank college upgrade
Ha’aretz – 24 Dec 2013

Foreign firm looking to buy cyber-tracking startup NSO for up to $130m
Ha’aretz – 24 Dec 2013

A victory of the old politics
Ha’aretz – 24 Dec 2013

Circumcision: A good trick for preserving Jewish identity
Ha’aretz – 24 Dec 2013

Erdogan, Mubarak: our role-models
Ha’aretz – 24 Dec 2013

In case of land swap, who will foot the settlers’ bill?
Ha’aretz – 24 Dec 2013

Gazan killed by IDF was collecting scrap, says brother
Ha’aretz – 24 Dec 2013

In Christmas message, Jerusalem’s patriarch calls for reconciliation and a just solution
Ha’aretz – 24 Dec 2013

Sderot s long-awaited train station: access to the center and shelter from rockets
Ha’aretz – 24 Dec 2013

Sderot s long-awaited train station: access to the center and shelter from rockets
Ha’aretz – 24 Dec 2013

Will Israel become the first nation to tax search engines?
Ha’aretz – 24 Dec 2013

How should schools discuss gang rape with students? Israel daunted by challenge
Ha’aretz – 24 Dec 2013

More U.S. universities withdraw from ASA over academic boycott of Israel
Ha’aretz – 24 Dec 2013

Israel vetoes Arab tourism ministers’ Christmas visit to Bethlehem
Ha’aretz – 24 Dec 2013

Israel vetoes Arab tourism ministers’ Christmas visit to Bethlehem
Ha’aretz – 24 Dec 2013

Family of slain Defense Ministry employee: Israel doesn’t care about a Bedouin boy
Ha’aretz – 24 Dec 2013

Israel strikes Gaza after Defense Ministry employee killed in border shooting
Ha’aretz – 24 Dec 2013

Lieberman calls South Sudan FM to lend Israel’s support, endorse aid
Ha’aretz – 24 Dec 2013

Israel hoping to settle current round of violence with one swift attack
Ha’aretz – 24 Dec 2013

The top stories from Israel that made you cringe in 2013
Ha’aretz – 24 Dec 2013

Israel tracking Westerners fighting in Syria, senior official says
Ha’aretz – 24 Dec 2013

Bitter cold outside for Israel’s at-risk youth
Ha’aretz – 24 Dec 2013

Gum may cause kids’ migraines, Israeli study reveals
Ha’aretz – 24 Dec 2013

American Jews’ old-new December Dilemma
Ha’aretz – 24 Dec 2013

Top Catholic cleric to use Christmas address to slam Israel
Ha’aretz – 24 Dec 2013

U.S. Embassy to staff: Don’t ride shared Israeli taxis
Ha’aretz – 24 Dec 2013

My ‘mission’s already accomplished,’ says Snowden
Ha’aretz – 24 Dec 2013

Yeshiva students get reprieve from IDF draft for third time this year
Ha’aretz – 24 Dec 2013

Attack on Tibi is not just tempest in a teapot
Ha’aretz – 24 Dec 2013

Keeping quiet will help Pollard
Ha’aretz – 24 Dec 2013

Up to 250,000 going to the polls today in regional council vote
Ha’aretz – 23 Dec 2013

Ultra-secure 100-year-old code cracked by Israeli cryptographer
Ha’aretz – 23 Dec 2013

Jerusalem Post

Analysis: A calculated boost to deterrence
Jerusalem Post 24 Dec 2013 – Amid recent uptick in violence along Gaza border, the IDF has to accept that its hard-earned deterrence against Gaza’s terrorist factions is beginning to crumble and may require a boost.

Analysis: Sinai jihadists likely behind Tuesday s attack in Egypt
Jerusalem Post 24 Dec 2013 – Groups trade blame over responsibility for suicide car bomb in Mansoura that kills 13; Muslim Brotherhood denies involvement.

Rehovot police: We ll have zero tolerance for gang war currently roiling city s streets
Jerusalem Post 24 Dec 2013 – By end of court hearing, it appeared unlikely the cops had their men in Monday s car bombing.

Knesset continues debate on Referendum Bill
Jerusalem Post 24 Dec 2013 – Bill won’t apply to conceding parts of the West Bank, only east Jerusalem, the Golan and anything within the 1949 armistice lines.

Knesset Interior Committee holds heated discussion over alleged destruction of ancient Jewish relics on Temple Mount
Jerusalem Post 24 Dec 2013 – MK Feiglin accuses Wakf Muslim religious trust of illegally removing antiquities from First and Second Temple eras.

Druse MK lambastes Arab lawmakers for demonizing Israel, visiting tyrants
Jerusalem Post 24 Dec 2013 – The Likud Beytenu MK blasts MK Tibi and other Arab lawmakers for showing support for Assad while he butchers his own people.

Gafni calls to establish official body to coordinate fight against academic snubbing of Israel
Jerusalem Post 24 Dec 2013 – MK Ohayon: We need to win battle at home against those who say government s policies are racist.

Stabbed police officer in West Bank attack listed in stable condition
Jerusalem Post 24 Dec 2013 – Father of two loses kidney but is expected to make full recovery; suspect remains at large, being sought after in villages around Ramallah.

PM: We will not tolerate a drizzle of attacks from Gaza
Jerusalem Post 24 Dec 2013 – Wave of terror meant to sabotage peace talks and possibility of two-state solution, says Labor party leader Isaac Herzog

Terra Incognita: Honor, humiliation and the third world mentality
Jerusalem Post 24 Dec 2013 – “Should foreign policy really be made in the modern era taking into account the violent honor culture some people love?”

Despite spike in terror, Israel expected to release 26 convicted terrorists next week
Jerusalem Post 24 Dec 2013 – Release part of agreement that led to restart of talks with Palestinians in July; expectation is that Kerry will present framework accord soon.

Honor killings in the West and the God of poetic justice
Jerusalem Post 24 Dec 2013 – “The West has been forced to take honor killings seriously.”

Center Field: The Troycott Jew-jitsu
Jerusalem Post 24 Dec 2013 – “This academic boycott should prompt mass study about Israel and Zionism. We could call that constructive response a ‘Troycott.'”

Netanyahu sends Christmas greeting from snowy Jerusalem
Jerusalem Post 24 Dec 2013 – “This is Jerusalem of gold, now it’s Jerusalem of snow,” the prime minister says.

A priest s battle: Christmas in the IDF
Jerusalem Post 24 Dec 2013 – “Jewish soldiers serve in the armies of Christian countries, and there is no reason why Christian soldiers should not serve in the army of a Jewish country.”

Christmas spirit
Jerusalem Post 24 Dec 2013 – “Consecutive governments have done too little to develop the great tourism potential presented by the Holy Land s attraction for Christians…”

Floridians battle over wreaths on graves of Jewish veterans
Jerusalem Post 24 Dec 2013 – Local Jewish community claims wreaths look like Christmas decorations, are disrespectful to the dead.

China-Israel innovation industrial park to be built in Nanxun, China
Jerusalem Post 24 Dec 2013 – The park will be a home to research and development in energy conservation and environmental protection, among other industries.

Jewish leaders call for Jonathan Pollard’s release
Jerusalem Post 24 Dec 2013 – American Jewish umbrella group ask US President Obama to release the Israeli agent during the holiday season.

Christian community in Israel continues to grow
Jerusalem Post 24 Dec 2013 – Central Bureau of Statistics reports an increase of 3,000 Christians in the last year.

Top US schools reject boycott of Israel
Jerusalem Post 24 Dec 2013 – Congressman Eliot Engel condemns boycott, charges ASA with bias in open letter.

Iran’s Khamenei nabs top spot on list of Top 10 Anti-Israel figures
Jerusalem Post 24 Dec 2013 – Supreme leader gets dubious honor from Simon Wiesenthal Center for repeatedly calling for Israel’s annihilation.

Massachusetts Transit Authority wins court battle over banned pro-Israel subway ads
Jerusalem Post 24 Dec 2013 – Federal judge decides ad calling Palestinians “savages” is “demeaning or disparaging to Muslims or Palestinians.”

JPostTV special report: Bethlehem gears up for Christmas
Jerusalem Post 24 Dec 2013 – Local business interests clash in Bethlehem as the town gears up for mass visitors.

High Court permits Ariel to remain a university
Jerusalem Post 24 Dec 2013 – Court rejects petition by group of university presidents to end Ariel University Center s new status.

Israel tracks Syria’s Western jihadis, worried about their return
Jerusalem Post 24 Dec 2013 – Israel worried foreign combatants from western countries could attack Israeli, Jewish targets upon their return home.

Sderot train station opens, residents ride free
Jerusalem Post 24 Dec 2013 – The new armored station will connect the southern town with Tel Aviv.

Warm winter soups for those cold winter days
Jerusalem Post 24 Dec 2013 – Unseasonably cold temperatures throughout the world lend to comfort foods and soup with every meal. Here are some great recipes to stay warm.

Pianist Schiff says life in danger if he returns to Hungary
Jerusalem Post 24 Dec 2013 – Award-winning musician tells BBC he has been threatened with having hands cut off if he returns to his country; says “things in Hungary aren’t very good.”

The Guardian

Israel launches Gaza Strip air strike after fatal border fence shooting
The Guardian 24 Dec 2013 – Attack comes after Israeli man was reportedly shot while he was doing maintenance work on the border fence The Israeli military says it has carried out an air strike in the Gaza Strip in response to…

Netanyahu ‘to demand release of spy in return for peace talks concessions’
The Guardian 24 Dec 2013 – Israeli PM will demand release of Jonathan Pollard, convicted of spying for Israel against US in 1987, reports say The Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu will link the release of former US naval intelligence analyst Jonathan…

Uruknet

Mandela Foundation pushes back against reports that Mossad trained anti-apartheid leader
Uruknet 24 Dec 2013 – December 24, 2013 – The Nelson Mandela Foundation has pushed back against a Haaretz article claiming that the Israeli Mossad trained Mandela while he was in Ethiopia drumming up support for the armed wing of the African National Congress. The…

JNF launches $1 billion program to settle Western Jewish immigrants fueled by Zionism in the Negev and Galilee
Uruknet 24 Dec 2013 – December 24, 2013- Over the next 10 years the Jewish National Fund aims to inject $1 billion into programs to increase North American immigration to Jewish-only communities in the Negev and Galilee, and renew Zionist education. The JNF will invest $…

South Sudan: the state that fell apart in a week
Uruknet 24 Dec 2013 – December 24, 2013 – Simon spoke from inside the UN compound that has become an emergency sanctuary to the remaining Nuer in the capital. Sitting on a filthy mattress by the side of a dirt road, with bandages covering bullet…

CIA Fuels Decades-Long Class Conflict by Helping Colombian Military Drop Smart Bombs on Rebel Leaders
Uruknet 24 Dec 2013 – December 24, 2013 – ….Since 2006, the CIA has contributed “real-time intelligence” to allow Colombian forces to “hunt down” leaders from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the National Liberation Army (ELN). They have transformed “less-than-accurate” 500-pound gravity…

Report: Netanyahu to Condition Peace Talks on Pollard Release
Uruknet 24 Dec 2013 – December 24, 2013- The latest reports from Israeli Channel 2 say that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is going to hold up the peace talks with the Palestinians, conditioning them on the US agreeing to free convicted spy Jonathan Pollard. The…

For the Palestinians, al-Nakba Did not End in 1948
Uruknet 24 Dec 2013 – December 24, 2013 – For the Palestinians, the 1948 al-Nakba did not end in the establishment of Israel. It has been a continuous ongoing process of dispossession, Judaization and cleansing. Peaceful Palestinians have presented an existential challenge to Israel s…

Israeli Weapons Maker Violates Sanctions, Exports Missile Technology that Ends Up in China, Possibly Iran
Uruknet 24 Dec 2013 – December 24, 2013 – I bet you thought sanctions against Iran were almost ironclad. I bet you thought it could never manage to procure advanced western arms, let alone secret missile technology from a western power. It would unthinkable all…

US Sends Marines to Djibouti, Preparing South Sudan Intervention
Uruknet 24 Dec 2013 – December 24, 2013 – The Obama Administration has deployed some 150 Marines to a military base in Djibouti, with an eye toward intervention in South Sudan s growing civil war. The Marines were a “crisis-response team,” according to officials, and…

New video highlights settler terror against Palestinian families
Uruknet 24 Dec 2013 – December 24, 2013 – Children too frightened to sleep or woken by the sounds of rampaging settlers. Molotov cocktails through living room windows. Settlers firing guns, protected by soldiers. Hateful slogans daubed on walls. Settler children throwing rocks. These are…

Egypt blast kills 14 in Mansoura; death toll expected to rise
Uruknet 24 Dec 2013 – December 24, 2013 — A powerful explosion tore through a security headquarters in a city about 75 miles northeast of the capital early Tuesday, killing at least 14 people and injuring more than 100 others, state media reports said. Egyptian…

Israelis kill 3-year-old girl in Gaza refugee camp attack
Uruknet 24 Dec 2013 – December 24, 2013 -Reports have been received that Israel has bombed Meghazi Refugee Camp in the central Gaza Strip. According to local medical sources, a three-year old Palestinian girl was killed in the attack; her mother and brothers were wounded….

Israel strikes Gaza after border shootings, 3 dead in violence
Uruknet 24 Dec 2013 – December 24, 2013 — Israeli air forces launched airstrikes across the Gaza Strip, killing a 3-year-old Palestinian child and injuring her mother and brother, after an Israeli and a Palestinian were shot dead at the border in the northern Gaza…

US peace proposal accepts full Israeli presence in Jordan Valley
Uruknet 24 Dec 2013 – December 24, 2013 – Israeli Radio has revealed that the US has accepted all of the Israeli government s demands regarding future security arrangements in the Jordan Valley as part of a potential framework for a peace agreement with the…

Rogue State Israel
Uruknet 24 Dec 2013 – December 23, 2013- …. Netanyahu demands unconditional surrender. He wants Palestinians denied all rights. He has full US support. Israeli author Eyal Megged calls Netanyahu s government “fascist.” He does so for good reason. “I would…dare to suggest that in Israel…

Syria News – December 23, 2013 (Warning: Graphic Videos)
Uruknet 24 Dec 2013 – December 23, 2013 – By the end of Monday the Coordination Committees were able to document 178 martyrs, including 28 children, 14 women and 10 martyrs under torture: 84 martyrs were reported in Aleppo; 68 in Damascus and its Suburbs…

2 NATO soldiers killed in attacks in Afghanistan
Uruknet 24 Dec 2013 – December 23, 2013 – NATO says two of its service members have been killed in separate attacks in Afghanistan. A statement from the U.S.-led coalition says one soldier died after coming under direct fire by enemy forces in the country…

Daily Star

Oil rises on South Sudan supply cut, traders cover shorts
Daily Star 24 Dec 2013 Brent oil rises, hovering at a two-week high, as conflict in South Sudan threatens the country’s oil output at a time when production cuts in Libya are already curbing global supply.

Two Pussy Riot members reunited after leaving jail
Daily Star 24 Dec 2013 Two members of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot are reunited after spending nearly two years in prison for their protest at Moscow’s main cathedral, and say they want to set up a human rights organization.

Yemen parties agree on ‘just solution’ for south
Daily Star 24 Dec 2013 Yemeni political parties have signed a document pledging a “just solution” that would grant some autonomy to the south in the face of secessionist demands, state news agency Saba reports.

Syria lashes out at U.S., calling it a ‘one-eyed pirate’
Daily Star 24 Dec 2013 Syria lashes out at the United States, describing it as a “one-eyed pirate,” a day after Washington condemned President Bashar Assad’s regime over its aerial assault on Aleppo.

Israeli civilian, Palestinian girl killed in Gaza flare-up
Daily Star 24 Dec 2013 A Gaza sniper shoots dead an Israeli civilian over the border and Israel hits back with air strikes on two Hamas training camps which hospital officials said killed a Palestinian girl near one of the targets.

Israel tracks Syria’s Western jihadis, worried about their return
Daily Star 24 Dec 2013 Israel is working with allies abroad to track Westerners fighting in Syria, concerned that such militants could attack Israeli or Jewish targets once back home, a senior Israeli official says.

Damascus says rebels attacked chemical weapons sites
Daily Star 24 Dec 2013 Syria accused rebels of recently attacking two sites where chemical arms were stored, state news agency SANA quoted a foreign ministry source as saying.

Future bloc rejects Hezbollah s threats
Daily Star 24 Dec 2013 The Future parliamentary bloc rejects the threats by Hezbollah over the formation of a new Cabinet and urges the president and prime minister-designate not to succumb to the party s blackmail and form a neutral Cabinet that…

Jerusalem patriarch urges ‘just’ Israel-Palestinian solution
Daily Star 24 Dec 2013 The Latin patriarch of Jerusalem calls for a “just and equitable solution” to the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict and for reconciliation in the Middle East.

Israeli warplanes strike Hamas base in Gaza: witnesses
Daily Star 24 Dec 2013 Israeli warplanes attacked a Hamas base in Gaza Strip, eyewitness say, shortly after an Israeli man was shot dead by a Gazan sniper while working on the border fence.

YNet News

Bethlehem holds Christmas mass
YNet News, 24 Dec 2013 – ….

WB: One injured, one suffers shock due to stone hurling
YNet News, 24 Dec 2013 – ….

Snowden ‘an indoor cat’ in Moscow, says he’s ‘won’
YNet News, 24 Dec 2013 – ….

Report: Egypt’s former prime minister arrested
YNet News, 24 Dec 2013 – ….

West Bank: Stones hurled at bus; one injured
YNet News, 24 Dec 2013 – ….

The ethical demand
YNet News, 24 Dec 2013 – Op-ed: In 21st-century West, human rights are civil religion. As an advanced country, Israel is expected to behave ‘properly’ ….

Religious women want to have fun too
YNet News, 24 Dec 2013 – High demand for help with sexual issues in religious society prompts Michal Prins to open institute offering counseling and guidance on marital relations. ‘The problem is that religious women feel detached from their bodies. During adolescence, sexuality is pushed aside and saved for the day after the wedding,’ she says ….

Raging anarchy
YNet News, 24 Dec 2013 – Analysis: Palestinians’ growing frustration with PA encouraging them to take law into their own hands ….

Michigan Jews, Muslims volunteering on Christmas
YNet News, 24 Dec 2013 – About 1,000 Jewish volunteers from several congregations in Detroit area expected to join local Muslims Wednesday for Mitzvah Day while their Christian neighbors celebrate holiday ….

Palestinian Information Center

Abu Zuhri: Israeli raids criminal, cowardly
PIC – Dr. Sami Abu Zuhri has described the Israeli aggression on Gaza Strip that led to the killing of a three-year-old baby girl and injuring her mother and two brothers as criminal and cowardly.

Gaza Gov’t: Israel’s aggression on Gaza proves its confusion
PIC – Palestinian government in Gaza Strip said that the Israeli occupation’s airstrikes on the enclave Tuesday evening prove its weakness and confusion.

Baby girl killed in series of Israeli airstrikes on Gaza
PIC – Israeli warplanes launched on Tuesday afternoon several air raids on different areas in the Gaza Strip killing a baby girl and wounding several others.

Seven Palestinians kidnapped in IOF campaign in Nablus
PIC – The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Monday evening kidnapped seven Palestinians in Nablus city.

Israeli police assault al-Aqsa Mosque guard
PIC – Israeli police forces assaulted Monday night one of Al-Aqsa Mosque guards in Jerusalem as part of their brutal assaults and attacks against Jerusalemites.

IOA holds captive Zainab Abu Mustafa with criminal prisoners
PIC – Palestinian Prisoners’ Center for Studies said that the Israeli occupation authorities are holding captive Zainab Abu Mustafa in the Ramle jail with the Israeli criminal prisoners.

Megiddo prison blocks family visits to 120 prisoners
PIC – The Israeli Megiddo prison administration has decided to deprive 120 prisoners of family visits for a month as part of its collective punishment policy.

Hebrew radio: Washington accepted Israel’s security demands in Jordan Valley
PIC – The Hebrew radio reported that the US administration accepted all Israeli demands regarding the security arrangements to be made in the Jordan Valley as part of any peace agreement with the PA.

IOA re-arrests 23 prisoners released in Wafa al-Ahrar deal
PIC – The IOA re-arrested 23 liberated prisoners released in Wafa al-Ahrar deal in 2011 and threatened to arrest more liberated prisoners, Palestinian Department of Statistics in the West Bank reported.

WAFA

Abbas: Christians are an Integral Part of the Palestinian People
WAFA – 24 Dec 2013

Israeli Army Arrests Nine in Nablus and Hebron
WAFA – 24 Dec 2013

Bank of Palestine Partners with UNICEF to Assist Children, Families Affected by Winter Storm in Gaza
WAFA – 24 Dec 2013

Misc

Bethlehem comes alive on Christmas Eve
LA Times 24 Dec 2013 – BETHLEHEM, West Bank Thousands of Palestinians as well as international pilgrims and tourists descended on Bethlehem on Tuesday to celebrate Christmas Eve.

Violence flares between Israeli military and Palestinians in Gaza
LA Times 24 Dec 2013 – JERUSALEM– Israeli military forces launched a series of attacks in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday in response to suspected Palestinian sniper fire that killed an Israeli civilian doing repair work on the border fence, military authorities said.

Egypt: Bomb at local security headquarters kills 15; terrorism blamed
LA Times 24 Dec 2013 – CAIRO — A powerful explosion tore through a security headquarters in a city northeast of the Egyptian capital early Tuesday, killing at least 13 people and injuring more than 100 others, state media reports said.

Corruption scandal, police firings spark renewed unrest in Turkey
LA Times 23 Dec 2013 – A new wave of street protests has flared in Istanbul following the arrest on graft charges of two dozen banking figures with close ties to the Turkish government.

Egyptian Officials Point at Islamist Group After Blast at Police Building
New York Times 24 Dec 2013 – At least 15 people were killed in the bombing in the city of Mansoura, the deadliest such attack since the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi in July.

Egypt Arrests Mursi’s Ex-Prime Minister on His Way to Sudan
New York Times 24 Dec 2013 – Egyptian security forces on Tuesday arrested the former prime minister of ousted Islamist President Mohamed Mursi who was sentenced to one year in jail for failing to implement a court ruling to renationalise a textile firm.

Killing and Retaliation at Gaza-Israel Border Continue Violent Cycle
New York Times 24 Dec 2013 – The deaths of an Israeli laborer and a Palestinian toddler were the latest in a growing wave of Israeli-Palestinian violence.

Yemen Agrees on New Political Map
New York Times 24 Dec 2013 – The United Nations envoy to Yemen said Tuesday that the country’s political representatives have signed an agreement that draws a new political map for Yemen, giving regions including its restive south self-rule.

Iran’s Rouhani Eyes Rebuilding Relations With United States
New York Times 24 Dec 2013 – Iran wants to improve bilateral relations with the United States and other Western powers, President Hassan Rouhani said in comments published in a German newspaper on Monday, broaching an issue he has so far avoided since he took office.

Shi’ites Finish Arbaeen Pilgrimage in Iraq Under Tight Security
New York Times 24 Dec 2013 – Hundreds of thousands of Shi’ite Muslims observed the holy day of Arbaeen in the Iraqi city of Kerbala on Tuesday under heavy security after a string of attacks killed scores of people over the past week.

Israeli Civilian, Palestinian Girl Killed in Gaza Flare-Up
New York Times 24 Dec 2013 – A Gaza sniper shot dead an Israeli civilian over the border on Tuesday and Israel hit back with air strikes on two Hamas training camps which hospital officials said killed a Palestinian girl near one of the targets.

Israel Tracks Syria’s Western Jihadis, Worried About Their Return
New York Times 24 Dec 2013 – Israel is working with allies abroad to track Westerners fighting in Syria, concerned that such militants could attack Israeli or Jewish targets once back home, a senior Israeli official said on Tuesday.

At War Blog: Deployed Before Christmas
New York Times 24 Dec 2013 – Simone Gorrindo recalls saying goodbye to her husband as he left for Afghanistan last December.

Israel Launches Gaza Air Strikes After Sniper Kills Israeli
New York Times 24 Dec 2013 – Israel launched air strikes in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, witnesses said, after a Palestinian sniper killed an Israeli civilian along the border.

Syria Opposition: No Geneva Talks Unless Aleppo Bombardment Ends
New York Times 24 Dec 2013 – Syria’s opposition coalition said on Tuesday it would not attend international peace talks in Geneva next month if President Bashar al-Assad’s forces continued a fierce air raid campaign on the northern city of Aleppo.

Russia to Host Talks on Eliminating Syria Chemical Arsenal
New York Times 24 Dec 2013 – Russia will host international talks on Friday on the elimination of Syria’s chemical weapons, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said.

Crowds Gather in Bethlehem for Christmas
New York Times 24 Dec 2013 – Large crowds have begun to gather in the biblical town of Bethlehem for Christmas Eve celebrations.

Palestine is no longer a word hesitantly murmured at George Mason U
Mondoweiss – As I was reseated after walking out on apartheid profiteer Shari Arison, I could not help but reflect on the accomplishments of George Mason s Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA) and the relationships I ve built along this journey. SAIA has dramatically changed our campus culture since its…

Israel in talks to export gas via Egypt
Globes Main News – British Gas, Eni and Union Fenosa want to build a pipeline from their Egyptian LNG installations to the Leviathan field.

Waze CEO: We’ll double workforce in 2014
Globes Main News – Since the acquisition by Google, Noam Bardin says Waze has hired 20 new employees in Israel and will recruit 80 more next year.

Intel Israel president: Start-up exits don’t build economy
Globes Main News – Mooly Eden tells “Globes” that there must be more Israeli multinationals like Check Point and Mellanox.

Tue: Delek and Opko lead market down
Globes Main News – Delek and its energy exploration units lost ground, Opko Health continued to fall but the banks bucked the market.

Erez Vigodman leading candidate for Teva CEO
Globes Main News – The announcement will be made next month and the appointment of the Makhteshim Agan CEO would strengthen Teva’s connection to Israel.

On Christmas let us begin begin to reverse the process of fragmentation
Mondoweiss – This is part of Marc H. Ellis s Exile and the Prophetic feature for Mondoweiss. To read the entire series visit the archive page. It s irresistible, the Christian claim of salvation, but Christians shouldn t be surprised when they re blindsided by the unredeemed world. After all, they keep…

Did NBC kibosh plan to use settlement as location because of pressure from human-rights advocates?
Mondoweiss – Ashrawi The other day I reported the news NBCUniversal had pledged to the PLO delegation in Washington that it would not use the City of David settlement in occupied Silwan/East Jerusalem to film a new Indiana-Jones style archaelogical thriller called Dig. While this is a step…

JNF Blue Box erases Green Line
Mondoweiss – (Image: Beyond Coffee and Camels ) One theme on the site is the erasure of the green line in Jewish life both in Israel and the U.S . The green line demarcates Israel s internationally recognized border at the 1949 armistice line, and its absence on Israeli and American…

Swarthmore Hillel attendance spikes because of decision to invite anti-Zionists
Mondoweiss – Hillel logo This is amazing. The Forward did what a newspaper is supposed to do and sent a reporter to Swarthmore to find out what s going on there, and surprise, the Swarthmore Hillel board s decision to adopt guidelines that would include anti-Zionist speakers has fostered a…

Huffpo shames pro-war Democrats, blames AIPAC (and gets lectured by Foxman)
Mondoweiss – Foxman and the vice president at ADL centennial gala last month Huffington Post has called out the 15 Democratic Senators who are pushing a bill to kneecap the Iran deal and enable Israel to tangle us up in another Middle Eastern war. Check out the roll…

JNF launches $1 billion program to settle Western Jewish immigrants fueled by Zionism in the Negev and Galilee
Mondoweiss – Children planting trees in Israel with the Jewish National Fund. (Photo: JNF/JSS News) Over the next 10 years the Jewish National Fund aims to inject $1 billion into programs to increase North American immigration to Jewish-only communities in the Negev and Galilee, and renew Zionist education….

Mandela Foundation pushes back against reports that Mossad trained anti-apartheid leader
Mondoweiss – A young Nelson Mandela with Ethiopian General Tadesse Birru. (Photo: BBC via Mayibuye Archives) The Nelson Mandela Foundation has pushed back against a Haaretz article claiming that the Israeli Mossad trained Mandela while he was in Ethiopia drumming up support for the armed wing of the…

Dronesplain
Mondoweiss –

Tissue repair co CollPlant raises NIS 21.2m
Globes Main News – The company also raised NIS 63 million in future options and hopes to bring two products to the European market by 2015.

Aharon Fogel meets IDB bondholder representatives
Globes Main News – Former Migdal chairman Fogel is tapped by Eduardo Elsztain and Moti Ben-Moshe to be the next chairman of IDB.

Shekel-dollar rate again dips below 3.5
Globes Main News – Prico CEO Yossi Fraiman: The rate is headed to NIS 3.2/$, and there is no-one to stop it.

Israeli Weapons Maker Violates Iran Sanctions, Exports Secret Missile Technology that Ends Up in China, Iran
Tikun Olam – Meir Shalit, soon-to-be ex-director of the ministry of defense s export control branch I bet you thought there sanctions against Iran were almost ironclad. I bet you thought it could never manage to procure advanced western arms, let alone secret missile technology from a western power. It…

Abu Qatada defiant in Jordan court
BBC 24 Dec 2013 – Palestinian-Jordanian radical cleric Abu Qatada takes a defiant stance as his trial on terrorism charges resumes in the Jordanian capital.

Christmas crowds gather in Bethlehem
BBC 24 Dec 2013 – Crowds gather in the West Bank town of Bethlehem for Christmas Eve celebrations, while in Rome, Pope Francis presides over his first Christmas Eve Mass as pontiff.

Egypt police arrest former PM Qandil
BBC 24 Dec 2013 – Egyptian police have arrested Hisham Qandil, the former prime minister who served under ousted President Mohammed Morsi, the interior ministry says.

Christmas Comes to Holy Land
The Foward Breaking News 24 Dec 2013 – Thousands of tourists and pilgrims gathered in Bethlehem on the West Bank as midnight approached on Christmas Eve. Click here for the rest of the article…

Two dead in Israel-Gaza violence
BBC 24 Dec 2013 – A Palestinian girl is killed in a series of retaliatory Israeli strikes on the Gaza Strip, after an Israeli civilian was shot dead by a sniper.

Gaza Toddler and Israeli Killed in Border Flareup
The Foward Breaking News 24 Dec 2013 – A Gaza sniper shot dead an Israeli civilian over the border on Tuesday and Israel hit back with air strikes on two Hamas training camps which hospital officials said killed a Palestinian girl near one of the targets. Click here for the rest of the article……

Gaza Sniper Kills Israel Border Worker
The Foward Breaking News 24 Dec 2013 – A Gaza sniper killed an Israeli civilian over the border on Tuesday, Israeli military and medical officials said, in a shooting that drew a threat of possible military action from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Click here for the rest of the article…

When Bashing Anti-Zionists Borders on the Anti-Semitic
The Magnes Zionist 24 Dec 2013 – An article that appeared in Tablet , defending International Hillel s decision to bar events and groups that do not toe the Zionist line, used arguments that reminded me of classic anti-Semitic tropes, like They sound high-minded in public, but among themselves they plot to get us, or…

American Missions in Israel Limit Workers’ Travel After Terror Attacks
The Foward Breaking News 24 Dec 2013 – The U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv and U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem have ordered their citizen employees to refrain from using sheruts, shared mini-bus taxis. Click here for the rest of the article…

Abu Qatada defiant in Jordan court
BBC 24 Dec 2013 – Palestinian-Jordanian radical cleric Abu Qatada takes a defiant stance as his trial on terrorism charges resumes in the Jordanian capital.

Christmas crowds gather in Bethlehem
BBC 24 Dec 2013 – Crowds gather in the West Bank town of Bethlehem for Christmas Eve celebrations, while in Rome, Pope Francis presides over his first Christmas Eve Mass as pontiff.

Egypt security HQ hit by deadly bomb
BBC 24 Dec 2013 – A huge car bomb outside an Egyptian security building kills at least 15 people and wounds more than 100 in the city of Mansoura, north of Cairo.

Egypt police arrest former PM Qandil
BBC 24 Dec 2013 – Egyptian police have arrested Hisham Qandil, the former prime minister who served under ousted President Mohammed Morsi, the interior ministry says.

Suicide Bombing Leaves Historic Aleppo Hospital in Ruins
Al-Akhbar News 24 Dec 2013 – A picture shows the destruction at Al-Kendi hospital in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on December 21, 2013. (Photo: AFP – Mohammed AlKhatieb) A picture shows the destruction at Al-Kendi hospital in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on December 21, 2013. (Photo: AFP -…

Syrian Patriarch: Takfiris Target All Syrians
Al-Akhbar News 24 Dec 2013 – An image released by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on December 4, 2013 shows the Armenian Catholic Church of the Martyrs in the Syrian city of Raqqa, with Islamist black and white flags replacing the cross on the dome. (Photo: AFP) An image released by…

Two dead in Israel-Gaza violence
BBC 24 Dec 2013 – A Palestinian girl is killed in a series of retaliatory Israeli strikes on the Gaza Strip, after an Israeli civilian was shot dead by a sniper.

Israeli airstrike kills three-year-old in Gaza
Al-Akhbar News 24 Dec 2013 – A relative of three-year-old Palestinian girl Hala Abu Sabikha kisses the forehead of the toddler as she lies in a morgue after an Israeli strike on Gaza killed her on December 24, 2013. (Photo: AFP – Mahmud Hams) A relative of three-year-old Palestinian girl Hala Abu…

Deadly Aleppo air strikes continue
BBC 24 Dec 2013 – At least 15 people have died in air strikes in the Syrian city of Aleppo, activists say, as the government’s assault on rebel-held areas continues.

ISIS claims suicide attack on Iraqi TV station
Al-Akhbar News 24 Dec 2013 – An al-Qaeda-linked militant group claimed an attack on an Iraqi television station headquarters that killed five journalists, while the UN envoy on Tuesday condemned the targeting of media in Iraq. At the direction of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria’s “war ministry,” suicide bombers attacked “…

Yemen promises “some” autonomy to southern secessionists
Al-Akhbar News 24 Dec 2013 – Yemeni political parties have signed a document pledging a “just solution” that would grant some autonomy to the south in the face of secessionist demands, state news agency Saba reported. The text, inked late Monday, was hailed as a major breakthrough in a long-stalled national dialogue…

VIDEO: ‘Party atmosphere’ in Bethlehem
BBC 24 Dec 2013 – The BBC’s Yolande Knell is in Manger Square in Bethlehem where celebrations marking Christmas are taking place.

Massive explosion kills 14 at Egypt police station
Al-Akhbar News 24 Dec 2013 – An Egyptian man inspects destruction in the Egyptian city of Mansoura, north of Cairo, following a powerful car bomb on December 24, 2013. (Photo: AFP – Mahmoud Khaled) A powerful car bomb tore through an Egyptian police headquarters Tuesday, killing at least 14 people, in an…

The Syrian rebel groups pulling in foreign fighters
BBC 24 Dec 2013 – Which rebel groups do jihadists from outside Syria flock to join?

Lebanon: School Dropouts Soar on Tripoli Demarcation Lines
Al-Akhbar Politics 23 Dec 2013 – Lebanese army soldiers evacuate civilians caught in sniper fire in the Lebanese northern coastal city of Tripoli on November 30, 2013. (Photo: AFP – Ghassan Sweidan). Lebanese army soldiers evacuate civilians caught in sniper fire in the Lebanese northern coastal city of Tripoli on November 30,…

Syria: ISIS Imposes Sharia on Idlib s Druze
Al-Akhbar Politics 23 Dec 2013 – Israeli Arab Druze and Druze from the Golan Heights attend a meeting with Lebanese Druze leaders Walid Jumblatt and Talal Arslan in Damascus September 17, 2010. (Photo: Reuters – Khaled al-Hariri). Israeli Arab Druze and Druze from the Golan Heights attend a meeting with Lebanese Druze…

Articles


Palestinian political blunder
Dr Fayez Abu Shamaleh, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 12/24/2013
Statements by chief negotiator Saeb Erekat have revealed the political blunder in Palestine. The man admitted that since the resumption of negotiations in July 2013, Israel has killed 31 Palestinians in cold blood and announced several tenders for the construction of 5,992 settlement housing units ( three times the natural growth of New York ); the Israelis have demolished 209 houses and other buildings; the terrorist acts committed by illegal Jewish settlers increased by 41 per cent; and the Knesset proposed laws to divide Al-Aqsa Mosque, which has made it impossible to continue the negotiations.
Erekat’s admission is serious and the members of Fatah should be the first to analyse it, in order to discover the extent and magnitude of the crisis facing the Palestinian cause. They may also realise that the resumption of negotiations are an easy way to kill the Palestinians, seize their land and destroy Al-Aqsa Mosque.
What makes matters worse for the Palestinians is the chief negotiator’s conviction, which he stated in an interview on 19 December, that there is a possibility of achieving an agreement with Israel by the end of the negotiations’ time frame in April 2014. He said it was possible on condition that Israel commits to stopping settlement activity and unilateral actions; otherwise, he holds Israel responsible for the failure of peace negotiations.
What harm will come to Israel from the failure of the negotiations? It is willing to take responsibility for the failure as long as the negotiations have enabled it to violate the people’s rights and control the land referred to as Area C. Anyone able to control the land after killing its residents must have foreign, political and media support. Just as the world recognised the state of Israel on the 1948 borders and later acknowledged the settlements as a reality on the ground in the West Bank and Jerusalem, the world will later recognise the absolute influence of the occupation over 60 per cent of the West Bank. more..e-mail

Mother Nature Intensifies the Gaza Siege
Franklin C. Spinney, CounterPunch 12/24/2013
Anti-Access, Area Denial Israeli Style
Gaza was recently hit by a severe winter storm, and it lacks the electricity, water, and sewage infrastructure to deal with the crisis. Here, FYI, is report in Ma an, a Palestinian news agency, describing the disastrous effects of this storm. Among other things, the report explains how electricity, fuel shortages, and a break down of the sewage system have limited the capacity to drain the flooded areas with cold sewage-laden water.
Even before the rains, sewage was flooding into the streets, because of infrastructure-based pumping problems (e.g., shortages of electricity and fuel). Also, salt water intrusion into the aquifer is steadily making drinking water unfit for human consumption, a factor compounded by the recent flooding. The report argues that these problems are combination of nature and nurture, in that the natural disaster is made far worse by nurturing effects of Israel s ongoing siege.
Obviously, the Ma an report is written from a Palestinian perspective. Some readers, especially those with a pro-Zionist bent, will inclined to dismiss this report as biased, because it focuses solely the effects of Israel s blockade, and does not mention how the policies of Hamas and Egypt have contributed to the Gaza crisis. To be sure, there is a very small kernel of truth in such a critique, particularly with respect to Egypt, which is a de factor partner in Israel s siege of Gaza. But it is absurd to blame the human tragedy in Gaza on the inmates of the ghetto.
The reality is that bulk of the crisis in Gaza is a direct result of Israel s oppressive policies over the long term, made more acute by the current Siege of Gaza i.e., blockade coupled to episodic bombing that is now well into its seventh year. In effect Israel s policy is to pacify Gaza by enervating Gaza s population via the simple expedient of making life miserable and hard for all Gazans so that all their human energy is sapped by the desperate activities needed to scratch out a meager life of bare-bones survival…. more..e-mail

Palestinians united?
Al Jazeera 12/24/2013
Palestinians say new strategies must emerge to strengthen the struggle for their rights.
Al Jazeera Debate
For many, the Palestinian national movement is in crisis.
Palestinian-Israeli “peace negotiations” are failing, while Israel’s construction of West Bank settlements continues to eat up Palestinian land. In Ramallah, the political legitimacy of Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority government is exhausted. Divisions between Palestinian political factions complicate efforts to find a unified, national strategy.
Major questions over the future of the Palestinian struggle persist.
The second annual conference of research centers in the Arab world was held from December 7-9 in Doha under the theme “The Palestinian Cause and the Future of the Palestinian National Movement”.
Al Jazeera asked conference participants to answer this question: In the face of many challenges, what strategy should the Palestinian national movement take in the futu
re?

Salma Karmi-Ayyoub: Criminal barrister in London, former head of international litigation project at Palestinian human rights organisation Al-Haq
From my legal-human rights perspective, whatever political solution we advocate, the concept of rights has to be incorporated into the language of our advocacy. more..e-mail

Time for coordinated youth activism
Rabie Eid, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 12/22/2013
In recent years, many young Palestinian activists living in the 1948-occupied Palestinian territories (Israel) have been questioning the absence of a unified national activist movement, in light of the growing role of the numerous activist groups that have formed since the start of the Aqsa Intifada 2000. This was a landmark event which redefined the Arab-Israelis’ relationship with the Israeli state. The confrontation has been transformed due to the changes in Arab demands, which went from demanding equality to emphasising that Arab identity contradicts the establishment of a Jewish state that was based on the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. Israel’s foundation and existence relies heavily on the denial of the Palestinian narrative since our lands were confiscated in 1948 and we have been denied our rights, as a people, in the settler-colonial entity.
Given that the Arab Spring revolutions were given kick-starts by initiatives by young people I think that it is now important to look at our youth movements and activists. We must try to develop a work ethic that goes beyond self-satisfaction or dissatisfaction, because this has immobilised the movement over the last few years. Instead, we should aim to improve the troubled political scene on both the regional and Palestinian levels.
At this stage, it is not beneficial to create a distinction between the Palestinians living in the 1948 territories and those in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Jerusalem, and the refugees living in camps and exile abroad. Such a division is not acceptable; it has plagued the Palestinian condition year after year since the start of the Israeli occupation backed by imperial states. The Palestinian national project was lost in the illusions of the Oslo and the idea that negotiations are the only solution. Whether we accept it or not, what we need is an active youth movement in every location where there are Palestinians, because while their overall conditions and struggles are unique they do vary in style from location to location. This is the bitter reality that we must overcome if we want to establish an effective, coordinated Palestinian youth movement that caters for the individual needs of Palestinians wherever they are while working within a unified institutional framework. more..e-mail

twas the night before Christmas and Israel began murdering Palestinians anew (except they never really stopped)
In Gaza: 24 Dec 2013 – Gaza has been locked down at least since 2007 (and incrementally for decades), bombed and starved, its infrastructure decimated time and again, not allowed to re-build, its power plant bombed, its sewage and sanitation and water lines destroyed time and again, denied replacement parts for said destruction& and now, just as the rest of the world is again occupied with holidays, the Zionists are bombing Gaza anew.Gaza has no tanks, no attack helicopters, no warplanes, no warships, no nuclear arms (nor electricity). Israel does. *photo by Younes Arar: One of the injuries (brother of Hala 4 years who was killed) following the Israeli occupation airstrikes in Gaza today, 24 December, 2013. Younes Arar: Palestinian residential sites targeted by the continued Israeli occupation warplanes so far today, 24 December, 2013. (photo Sky News) **************************************************************** note : Israeli Ceasefire Violations in Gaza and World Silence Here we list some of Israel s breaches of…more


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