VTJP Occupied Palestine and Israel: News and Articles 26 December 2013

26 December 2013 — VTJP

News

International Middle East Media Center

Abu Rodeina: “No Secrets Talks With Tel Aviv”
IMEMC – [Thursday December 26, 2013] Palestinian Presidency Spokesperson, Nabil Abu Rodeina, stated Thursday that the Palestinians are not having any kind of secret talks with Tel Aviv. …

Army Carries Out Air Strikes Targeting Gaza, Two Palestinians Injured
IMEMC – [Thursday December 26, 2013] Gaza – Palestinian medical sources have reported that two Palestinians have been injured after the Israeli Air Force carried out several air strikes targeting different parts of the coastal region. …

After Settlers Uproot Orchard, Court Holds Palestinians Responsible
IMEMC – The Arabs48 news website has reported that a family from al-Tiwani village, in Hebron, lodged a complaint with an Israeli court against Israeli settlers for uprooting their orchard, and that the court ruled that the Palestinians are responsible for “not fencing their orchard”. …

Hundreds Of New Settlements To Be Built
IMEMC – Israel will be announcing plans for new settlement construction next week, in conjunction with the release of a third group of Palestinian prisoners as part of peace negotiations, according to an official. …

Bedouin Village Demolished For 63rd Time
IMEMC – [Thursday December 26, 2013] For the 63rd time, Israeli forces have demolished the Bedouin village of al-Araqib, in the Negev, Thursday morning. …

Farmland Destroyed Near Qalqilya
IMEMC – [Thursday December 26, 2013] The Israeli army has destroyed dozens of dunams of agricultural land, south of the West Bank town of Qalqilya, according to witnesses. … 

Ma’an News

Israeli bulldozers level private Palestinian lands near Qalqiliya
12/26/2013 – QALQILIYA (Ma’an) – Israeli bulldozers started to level private Palestinian lands south of Qalqiliya in the northern West Bank slated for confiscation. Witnesses told Ma’an that large numbers of Israeli troops deployed in the area between Ras Atiya and al-Dabaa villages south of Qalqiliya. The soldiers prevented Palestinian citizens from approaching the area where bulldozers leveled their fields. Locals highlighted that Israeli….

Israel plans to build hundreds of new settlement homes
12/26/2013 – JERUSALEM (AFP) — Israel will announce plans for new settlement construction next week, coinciding with the release of a third batch of Palestinian prisoners as part of peace talks, an official said on Thursday. Palestinians have warned repeatedly that settlement building destroys the fragile US-brokered peace talks that resumed in July after a three-year hiatus.”The Israeli government will announce tenders for new construction in the….

Fire erupts in Hebron house after Israeli troops fire stun grenade
12/26/2013 – HEBRON (Ma’an) — A stun grenade fired by Israeli soldiers caused a fire in a house in Hebron in the southern West Bank on Thursday, residents said. Locals told Ma’an that a fire broke in house of Muhammad Jabir al-Karaki in Talat Abu Hadid neighborhood in southern Hebron. Fire fighters of the Hebron municipality who extinguished the fire told Ma’an….

Israeli forces storm heart of Bethlehem in rare daytime raid
12/26/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces raided the center of the southern West Bank cities of Bethlehem and Beit Jala on Thursday afternoon, detaining four Palestinians under heavy armed escort. In a rare daytime raid into the heart of Palestinian Authority-controlled areas, Israeli army forces accompanied by special plain-clothes soldiers raided several homes in the center of Bethlehem after passing through the center of nearby….

Israeli settler runs over Palestinian child near Salfit
12/26/2013 – SALFIT (Ma’an) — A Palestinian child was seriously injured after being run over by a car driven by an Israeli settler in the Northern West Bank town of Deir Istiya near Salfit. A Ma’an correspondent citing local and medical sources said that Yasser Ibrahim Abu Zeid, 7, was seriously wounded after being hit by an Israeli settler’s car. Yasser was….

Egyptian army says Palestinian planned car bomb attack in Sinai
12/26/2013 – CAIRO (Ma’an) – The Egyptian army in cooperation with Rafah city police on Wednesday morning detained a Palestinian man who allegedly confessed he was planning to place a car bomb at an Egyptian security site. Army spokesman Ahmad Muhammad Ali said Jumaa Khamis Breika was driving a white Mercedes with North Sinai plates and “confessed during interrogation that he intended to blow it up….

Israel shuts Gaza’s Kerem Shalom terminal for second day
12/26/2013 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — For a second day in row, Israel closed Gaza’s commercial terminal the Kerem Shalom crossing. Israeli defense minister Moshe Yalon gave orders to close the crossing Tuesday after an Israeli worker was shot dead by a Palestinian sniper while fixing the border fence in northern Gaza Strip. Kerem Shalom is the main terminal for shipping basic goods including….

Netanyahu says Hamas responsible for any Gaza fire
12/26/2013 – HATZERIM AIR FORCE BASE, Israel (AFP) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday that Gaza rulers Hamas were responsible for any attacks from the Palestinian enclave, after deaths on both sides.”We have recently been subject to attacks against us,” he said at a pilots’ graduation ceremony at the Hatzerim air force base in southern Israel.”Israel holds Hamas responsible for all the…. Related:Army: Rocket from Gaza lands in southern Israel

Property rights scarce for Palestinians in Lebanon
12/26/2013 – QASMIYEH, Lebanon (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 nowhere else to go but here,” she says, gesturing towards the small hand-built home with a corrugated iron roof. The Ghadbaan family is one of 75 in the Palestinian gathering, or informal settlement, of Qasmiyeh….

Sick Palestinian prisoner transferred to hospital
12/26/2013 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — The Israeli prison service has transferred sick Palestinian prisoner Thaer Halahla to Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba after a serious deterioration in his condition. The Palestinian prisoner’s society told Ma’an that Halahla’s father notified their office in Hebron that Thaer was taken from Rimon prison to Soroka Medical Center. Halahla, from the Hebron-district town of….

In video: Brother of Gaza man killed by Israeli sniper speaks out
12/26/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The brother of a Palestinian man shot dead by an Israeli sniper last Friday spoke out against the killing in a video released by the Institute for Middle East Understanding on Thursday. Raddad Hamad, 22, and his brother Odeh, 27, were collecting scrap metal and plastic on Friday, December 20 when Odeh was shot in the head by Israeli forces, killing….

Abbas office denies secret talks with Israel
12/26/2013 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — A spokesman of the bureau of President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday denied a report in Israeli media claiming that Abbas has maintained a secret channel with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu for several years. Nabil Abu Rdeina was quoted by the Palestinian Authority’s official news agency Wafa as saying there had not been any secret talks between Abbas and….

Russian experts rule out radiation poisoning in Arafat death
12/26/2013 – MOSCOW (AFP) — Russian forensic experts studying the remains of Yasser Arafat on Thursday said the Palestinian leader died a natural death, ruling out radiation poisoning.”We have completed all the studies,” Vladimir Uiba, head of Russia’s Federal Medical-Biological Agency (FMBA), told a news conference.”The person died a natural death and not from radiation.”I can only say that there is already a…. Related: Palestinian envoy: Probe into Arafat death not over

Full text: President Abbas Christmas address
12/26/2013 – The following is the full text of President Mahmoud Abbas’ Christmas message, delivered on Christmas Eve, according to Wafa, the Palestinian Authority’s official news agency. Palestine, the Holy Land, extends its warmest seasonal greetings to the peoples of the world on the holy occasion of the birth of Jesus Christ, peace be upon him. In Bethlehem, more than 2000 years ago, Jesus….

Palestinian envoy: Probe into Arafat death not over
12/26/2013 – MOSCOW (AFP) — The Palestinian authorities will press on with a probe into the death of Yasser Arafat after Russian experts ruled out the possibility he was poisoned, a Palestinian envoy said Thursday.”I can only say that there is already a decision to continue (the investigation),” Faed Mustafa, the Palestinian ambassador to Russia, told the state RIA Novosti news agency.”We respect their position, we…. Related: Russian experts rule out radiation poisoning in Arafat death

Khan Younis woman dies of carbon monoxide poisoning
12/26/2013 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — A Palestinian woman died Thursday morning of carbon monoxide poisoning in her house in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, medical officials said. Medics told Ma’an that 36-year-old Fayzah Muammar was pronounced dead at Nasser Hospital in Kahn Younis. She died of carbon monoxide poisoning caused by a wood-burning stove in her house. Separately, a fire….

Director of Hamas TV found in Malaysia hospital
12/26/2013 – NABLUS (Ma’an) — The director of the West Bank office of the Hamas-affiliated al-Aqsa TV station Muhammad Ishteiwi was found in a hospital in Malaysia hours after his family in Tulkarem in the northern West Bank lost contact with him. Ishteiwi’s brother in law Ghassan Mahdawi told Ma’an that “after hours of confusion, the family received a phone call confirming….

Ma’an Network wins Federation of Arab Producers award
12/26/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) – A documentary film produced by Ma’an Network has won the Federation of Arab Producers’ award fordistinguished TV production. Directed by Muhammad Fawzi Ghanayim, “Why Me? “was selected as a distinguished production during the second version of the Arab Radio and Television Mondial held in Cairo Dec. 22-25. The four-day-session showcased more than 300 TV and radio productions….

Report: 1 dead in Cairo bus bombing
12/26/2013 – CAIRO (Ma’an) — Egyptian media reported that one person was killed and four others were injured inside a public bus when an explosive device on the median was detonated remotely Thursday. Egypt’s Al-Masri Al-Youm newspaper reported that sappers found and neutralized another explosive device in the area. Earlier AFP quoted Egyptian security officials as saying they were investigating whether the bomb had….

Cairo bomb wounds 5 as Egypt widens crackdown on Islamists
12/26/2013 – CAIRO (AFP) — A bomb exploded near a bus in Cairo Thursday injuring five people, a day after the government widened a crackdown on Islamists by declaring the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group. The windows of the red and black public transport bus were shattered in the explosion at a busy intersection in the north Cairo neighborhood of Nasr City. Police defused a second bomb and….

Pope prays for South Sudan, Syria on first Christmas
12/26/2013 – VATICAN CITY (AFP) — Pope Francis on Wednesday called for humanitarian aid access in Syria and “social harmony” in South Sudan on his first Christmas in the Vatican after months of shaking up the papacy with his humble style and common touch. Francis also pleaded for divine aid to rescue child soldiers “robbed of their childhood” and for peace in the conflict-torn Central African Republic which….

Syrian artists turn to black humor to mark Christmas
12/26/2013 – BEIRUT (AFP) — Syrian artists have turned to black humor to depict the brutal war devastating their country as they marked on Wednesday the third Christmas since the deadly conflict erupted. Their works posted on the Internet reflect the tragedy that has struck Syria where violence has reportedly killed more than 126,000 people and forced millions to flee. One of the most poignant illustrations by graphic….

Truce near Damascus broken as warplanes bomb Aleppo
12/26/2013 – BEIRUT (AFP) — A day-old truce in a besieged rebel-held town near Damascus broke down Thursday as Syrian warplanes bombed the divided northern city of Aleppo for a 12th straight day, activists said. By Wednesday, the Aleppo air blitz that began on December 15 had killed at least 422 people, mostly civilians, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based group relying on activists….

Iran vows to restore glory of quake-hit Bam citadel
12/26/2013 – TEHRAN (AFP) — A senior Iranian official said Thursday that the ancient citadel of Bam, destroyed by an earthquake a decade ago, will again be a major tourist attraction by 2016, media reported.”Over the next two or three years, Arg’e Bam will be rebuilt so it again becomes a major tourist attractions” Fars news agency quoted Mohammad Ali Najafi, head of Iran’….

Analysts: Egypt Brotherhood may radicalize after terror listing
12/26/2013 – CAIRO (AFP) — The military-installed government’s listing of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group signals determination to uproot its vast grass-roots network, possibly radicalizing the Islamists as they go underground, analysts said. Security forces had already decimated the group following Islamist president Mohamed Morsi’s overthrow in July, with more than 1,000 people killed and thousands more imprisoned, including the….

AlJazeera

Israel blames Hamas for all attacks from Gaza
AlJazeera 26 Dec 2013 – In fresh round of violence, Palestinians launch two rockets, prompting Israeli military to strike Hamas training camps.

Russian probe rules out Arafat poisoning
AlJazeera 26 Dec 2013 – Russian scientists say “no impact of radiation” in Palestinian leader’s 2004 death, contradicting earlier Swiss report.

Palestinian Center for Human Rights

In an Act of Retaliation against Palestinian Civilians by Israeli Forces, a Child Killed and a Woman and Her Two Childre…
Palestinian Center for Human Rights

International Solidarity Movement

Israeli army confiscates land in Qusra
12/26/2013 – International Solidarity Movement – International Solidarity Movement, Nablus Team, Qusra, Occupied Palestine – Israeli soldiers have declared a road south of Qusra, in Nablus District, a security zone, thus denying villagers access to over 500 dunams of their farmland. At 10:00 this morning, Israeli soldiers positioned themselves at various strategic points around the village. The commander then held a meeting on the farmland with the mayor of Qusra. It was in this….

Relief Web

occupied Palestinian territory: WFP Reaches Out to Palestinians Affected By The Recent Winter Storm
Relief Web 26 Dec 2013 – Source: World Food Programme Country: occupied Palestinian territory WFP in cooperation with local authorities distributed emergency food assistance and vouchers to food insecure Palestinians who were affected by the December winter storm. The agricultural sector in Palestine is expecting heavy,…

occupied Palestinian territory: Israel says to free Palestinians and build more settlements
Relief Web 26 Dec 2013 – Source: Agence France-Presse Country: occupied Palestinian territory 12/26/2013 10:38 GMT JERUSALEM, December 26, 2013 (AFP) – Israel will announce plans for new settlement construction next week, coinciding with the release of a third batch of Palestinian prisoners as part of…

Lebanon: Lebanon Briefing Note: Inter-Agency Winterization Programme, 23 Dec 2013
Relief Web 26 Dec 2013 – Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees Country: Lebanon, occupied Palestinian territory, Syrian Arab Republic Background • Rain started falling in November, and snow and extremely cold weather arrived in December. These conditions will now continue through March and into April…

occupied Palestinian territory: Defense Minister Ya’alon orders closure of Kerem Shalom Crossing
Relief Web 25 Dec 2013 – Source: Gisha Country: occupied Palestinian territory December 25, 2013. Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon ordered (Hebrew) the closing of Kerem Shalom Crossing, the sole remaining entry and exit point for merchandise into and out of the Gaza Strip. A Southern Command…

The National

Turkish prosecutor taken off graft case that has shaken government
The National 26 Dec 2013 – Public prosecutor Muammer Akkas says he was removed from high-level corruption case and that police had obstructed proceedings by failing to carry out some arrests.

Surprise piranha attack injures 70 bathers in Argentina
The National 26 Dec 2013 – Attack by school of carnivorous fish injures 70 people, including seven children who lost parts of their fingers or toes. 

Russian experts rule out radiation poisoning in Arafat death
The National 26 Dec 2013 – Russian forensic experts studying the remains of Palestinian leader say he died a natural death, ruling out radiation poisoning.

South Sudan peace talks ‘won’t proceed until Machar renounces rebellion’
The National 26 Dec 2013 – Fighting persists in oil-producing region as African leaders attempt to advance peace talks between the country’s president and the political rival he accuses of attempting a coup.

Israel to reveal plans to build more settlements
The National 26 Dec 2013 – Israel’s intention to announce a new settlement construction push next week as it releases more Palestinian prisoners has spurred criticism from both Palestinians and a member of the prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu’s, cabinet.

Syrian deal to get food into blockaded town
The National 26 Dec 2013 – Government officials promise to allow food into a rebel-held town near Damascus that has been under military blockade for months, on condition that residents raise the Syrian national flag and rebels hand over heavy weapons.

Israeli actors boycott performance in West Bank settlement
The National 26 Dec 2013 – Actors refuse to perform in theatre in West Bank Jewish settlement, as domestic movement against Israel’s settlement policies strengthens.

Egypt’s Christmas bomb terror continues with Cairo bus attack
The National 26 Dec 2013 – A bomb explodes near a public transport bus in the Egyptian capital, injuring five people, as police defuse another device nearby.

Zoroastrians confront threat to their existence
The National 26 Dec 2013 – The population of followers of one of the world’s oldest religions is quickly diminishing, with members divided on how best to preserve their religion and culture.

Indian gangster escapes police custody after ‘drugging guards’
The National 26 Dec 2013 – Gangster linked to dozens of murders escapes from police custody after apparently serving food with sedatives to officers guarding him.

Turkish opposition warns of secretive ‘deep state’ in Erdogan’s new cabinet
The National 26 Dec 2013 – Turkey’s opposition has accused scandal-hit prime minister of trying to rule via a secretive ‘deep state’ after a cabinet reshuffle that tightens controls on police already beleaguered by government-ordered purges.

Video: Prominent Ukrainian activist attacked after publication of critical article 
The National 26 Dec 2013 – A prominent Ukrainian opposition activist known for investigating corruption was beaten by unknown assailants hours after the publication of an article she wrote about the assets of top government officials.

Video: ‘Civilians are the main victims’- Aleppo resident 
The National 26 Dec 2013 – Rebels in Aleppo reinforce anti-aircraft weapons to defend themselves from further air strikes after a monitoring group said a week of air raids killed hundreds.

Video: Snowden releases Christmas video to push for more debate 
The National 26 Dec 2013 – Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden warns viewers in the UK about the threat to privacy by mass government surveillance.

Video: Russia drops charges against Greenpeace activists 
The National 26 Dec 2013 – Under a Kremlin amnesty, Russia formally drops criminal charges against Greenpeace activists arrested in a protest over Arctic oil drilling.

Ha’aretz

Israel’s immigration authority sends hundreds to new detention site
Ha’aretz – 26 Dec 2013

After months of siege, rebel-seized Damascus suburb caves in
Ha’aretz – 26 Dec 2013

Bennett and gay TV presenter talk same-sex rights over Christmas dinner
Ha’aretz – 26 Dec 2013

Defense Minister Ya’alon: We don’t have a partner on the Palestinian side for a two-state solution
Ha’aretz – 26 Dec 2013

Defense Minister Ya’alon: We don’t have a partner on the Palestinian side for a two-state solution
Ha’aretz – 26 Dec 2013

The rise, fall and rise of Yotam Halperin
Ha’aretz – 26 Dec 2013

Israeli education ministry urges teachers to take New Age course
Ha’aretz – 26 Dec 2013

Not numbers but people
Ha’aretz – 26 Dec 2013

Power to the schools: Experts can’t tell them which shows pupils can see anymore
Ha’aretz – 26 Dec 2013

The conscience of the Cameri
Ha’aretz – 26 Dec 2013

Egypt arrests Muslim Brotherhood activists in escalated crack-down
Ha’aretz – 26 Dec 2013

Bill proposed to limit interviews with sexually abused minors
Ha’aretz – 26 Dec 2013

Israel is digging its own watery grave
Ha’aretz – 26 Dec 2013

When two salaries aren’t enough
Ha’aretz – 26 Dec 2013

High Court rejects petition against Palestinian prisoner release
Ha’aretz – 26 Dec 2013

Former UN ambassador Dore Gold to serve as Netanyahu’s foreign policy adviser
Ha’aretz – 26 Dec 2013

Christmas trees offensive to Jews, Knesset speaker says
Ha’aretz – 26 Dec 2013

Abbas denies held secret talks with Netanyahu
Ha’aretz – 26 Dec 2013

Court orders new mayoral elections in divided Israeli city of Beit Shemesh
Ha’aretz – 26 Dec 2013

Israel claims nuclear whistle-blower Vanunu still a security threat
Ha’aretz – 26 Dec 2013

Will graft scandal stick to Erdogan, the Teflon Turk?
Ha’aretz – 26 Dec 2013

Eight major victories for animal rights in 2013
Ha’aretz – 26 Dec 2013

Shin Bet arrests Gazan suspected of planning sniper attack on IDF
Ha’aretz – 26 Dec 2013

Who’s the meanest croc baby of them all? The saltie, scientists prove
Ha’aretz – 26 Dec 2013

How prepared is Israel to deal with oil and gas spills as offshore drilling takes off?
Ha’aretz – 26 Dec 2013

Palestinians fire rocket from Gaza at Israel; none wounded
Ha’aretz – 26 Dec 2013

Netanyahu, Lieberman agree to raise electoral threshold; opposition calls move anti-Arab
Ha’aretz – 25 Dec 2013

Former mayor of Tira gets five years in jail for bribery, molestation
Ha’aretz – 25 Dec 2013

Turkey’s Erdogan replaces half his cabinet over graft inquiry
Ha’aretz – 25 Dec 2013

The price of Israeli-Palestinian peace
Ha’aretz – 25 Dec 2013

In first Christmas message, pope calls for peace in Middle East
Ha’aretz – 25 Dec 2013

Jerusalem Post

Egypt arrests dozens of Brotherhood members under anti-terror law, bomb hits Cairo
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2013 – US believes Egypt going “way too far” in crackdown, says not considering labeling Muslim Brotherhood as terrorist organization. 

’Tis the season to bash Israel
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2013 – Abbas’s perverse and perfidious statement is in keeping with the Palestinian Authority’s ongoing denial of Jewish history and rights in the historic Land of Israel. It doesn’t augur well for the peace process. 

Peres to disabled youngsters: You must never give up
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2013 – Head of Israel Foundation for Handicapped Children says employers judge disabled people by their wheelchair, not qualifications. 

Finance Ministry hands out NIS 570m. to health system
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2013 – Money will be used to reduce deficits of 4 public health funds, improving medical infrastructure, especially in the periphery. 

Police tighten security measures in West Bank amid increased terror activity
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2013 – After rise in “grassroots terrorism,” police works with IDF and Border Police to increase presence in Judea and Samaria. 

Analysis: Court saw documented election fraud as ‘tip of the iceberg’
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2013 – The historic decision not only potentially changes the future of Beit Shemesh, it sets the courts on a more interventionist path to defending the legitimacy of future elections regardless of the math. 

Court decision over election in Beit Shemesh sparks contention among lawmakers
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2013 – Haredi politicians denounce decision, calling it undemocratic, and accusing the court of being influenced by a media campaign. 

Group of 38 Bnei Menashe arrives in Israel
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2013 – New olim to spend several months in an absorption, and will then move to homes in Upper Nazareth after learning Hebrew. 

Ministers to decide on prisoner release list
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2013 – Palestinians enraged at new Israeli settlement constructions plans to be announced alongside prisoner release. 

Eli Cohen: We won’t allow a religious war in Beit Shemesh
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2013 – “This is not the personal struggle of Eli Cohen; this is a communal struggle for democracy, justice and the rule of law.” 

Rabbanit Bracha Kapach: Grandmother of Israel
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2013 – Of course she wasn’t only my grandmother, she was a mother and grandmother figure to thousands of people. 

The Shin Bet: Our heroes
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2013 – The Shin Bet naturally looks out for suspicious or unusual behavior that might be indicative of malicious intent. 

Netanyahu and Pollard
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2013 – Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu upped the ante this week with regards to the “eavesdropping story.” 

IAF strikes Gaza following second rocket fired at Israel in 24 hours
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2013 – Air Force retaliates to Gaza rocket-fire with strikes; Code Red sirens sound in Asheklon region; no injuries, damage reported; Netanyahu blames Hamas for recent attacks on Israel emanating from Strip. 

Likud pushing bill to annex Jordan Valley
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2013 – If legislature becomes law, PM would be unable to accept US offer to place Jordan Valley, border crossing under Palestinian control. 

Security concerns
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2013 – Of all the issues standing in the way of peace between Israel and the Palestinians, security has always been considered the easiest. 

Israel Academy of Sciences seeks to bring back promising scientists who emigrated
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2013 – Scientists, researchers encouraged to come back to Israel and find suitable jobs. 

Israelis protest prisoner release in Tel Aviv
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2013 – Approximately 150 participants at protested on Kaplan Street; 25 representatives from families that lost loved ones to terror attacks. 

Hassidic leadership preparing for ‘historic’ US journey to protest haredi draft
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2013 – Leading rabbis from non-hassidic haredi community in US are expected to take part in the rally. 

Abbas denies back-channel diplomacy with Netanyahu
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2013 – PA rejects report of years of secret talks in London between Israeli negotiator, Palestinian president’s associate. 

The finance minister looks ahead with optimism
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2013 – In an interview with Finance Minister Yair Lapid, he speaks to the ‘Jerusalem Post’ about his optimistic hopes for the Israeli economy. 

Israeli actors excused from performing in West Bank theater
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2013 – Jewish actors asked not to perform in a play staged at a cultural center in Ariel; Cameri Theater respects employees’ political views. 

WATCH: American Jew kidnapped by al-Qaida appeals to Obama
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2013 – Al-Qaida releases video message from Warren Weinstein, in which he says he feels “totally abandoned and forgotten.” 

Herzog: Netanyahu’s demand for recognition of a Jewish State ‘makes sense’
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2013 – Newly-elected opposition leader insists Labor is healthy alternative to PM, but says he agrees with some main objectives. 

Netanyahu, Liberman compromise could keep Arabs out of Knesset
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2013 – PM, foreign minister decide to raise electoral threshold from 2% to 3.25%, which would make factions have minimum of 4 MKs. 

Elem celebrates 30 years with fundraising event for homeless youth projects
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2013 – The nonprofit organization helping youth in distress, will celebrate 30 years of charitable work next week at a fundraising event in Tel Aviv. 

Paratroopers hone camouflage skills as IDF prepares for unstable borders
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2013 – When employed correctly, the cover will allow paratroopers to travel far beyond Israel’s borders. 

‘Sex Tape bill’ to face final vote
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2013 – MK Kariv pushes expansion of sexual harassment bill, but blames victims from Hebrew University. 

Person of the Year in US Mideast Policy: Susan Rice
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2013 – Washington bureau chief Michael Wilner chooses US national security advisor for not being afraid to confront America’s greatest challenges in the region. 

Court orders new elections in Beit Shemesh
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2013 – Judges nullify October vote due to massive fraud; Sa’ar to set date for revote, but it could be delayed by appeal. 

The Guardian

Scientists say Yasser Arafat was not poisoned
The Guardian 26 Dec 2013 – Russian investigation into death of Palestinian leader finds no trace of radioactive poisoning A Russian investigation into the death of the Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat has found no trace of radioactive poisoning, the chief of the…

Uruknet

Mission Accomplished, Says Snowden
Uruknet 26 Dec 2013 – December 25, 2013 – “For me, in terms of personal satisfaction, the mission s already accomplished. I already won.” “As soon as the journalists were able to work, everything that I had been trying to do was validated. Because, remember,…

A criminal government at work! The NSA Paid to Steal Your Private Data
Uruknet 26 Dec 2013 – December 25, 2013- As the people of this country, and much of the world, observe the year-end holidays, we can look back on 2013 as the year when any illusion of genuine democracy was dashed by the remarkable revelations about…

US Court: Military s Prisoners in Afghanistan Have No Rights
Uruknet 26 Dec 2013 – December 25, 2013 – In a Christmas Eve ruling that passed with little fanfare, three U.S. Appeals Court Judges gave their legal stamp of approval to indefinite detentions without trial for prisoners of the U.S. military in occupied Afghanistan. In…

Jailed Palestinian officers to continue hunger strike
Uruknet 26 Dec 2013 – December 25, 2013 – Two Palestinian security officers sentenced by a special military court in Nablus to 10 years imprisonment each on charges of terrorism are continuing their hunger strike, maintaining that they will not break it until they are…

Extremist Israeli settlers of Yitzhar terrorize Palestinian villages (Video) 
Uruknet 26 Dec 2013 – December 25, 2013 -Defence for Children International Palestine produced a short film about Palestinian families living near the Jewish settlement of Yitzhar, which is described by The New York Times as “an extremist bastion on the hilltops commanding the Palestinian…

Community which confronted Israeli killer suffered years of harassment
Uruknet 26 Dec 2013 – December 25, 2013 – On Friday 13 December, three young men were greeted at a local municipality by a crowd of approximately 50 persons welcoming them home. They were returning to Shefa Amr, a Palestinian town in the Western Galilee…

Baghdad Christians Targeted: 75 Killed, 141 Wounded
Uruknet 26 Dec 2013 – December 25, 2013- With Arbaeen over, bombers turned much of their attention to Christian Iraqis celebrating the Christmas holiday in Baghdad. At least 75 people were killed and 141 more were wounded in those and other attacks. In Baghdad, a…

Time is running out : The peace process and the fierce urgency of never 
Uruknet 25 Dec 2013 – December 25, 2013 -Since the dawn of the peace process, serious men and women have warned that time was running out on a two state solution. If dramatic, urgent measures were not taken and painful compromises not made, the apocalypse…

Edward Snowden Christmas Message ( Video and Transcript) 
Uruknet 25 Dec 2013 – December 25, 2013- Hi, and Merry Christmas. I m honored to have the chance to speak with you and your family this year. Recently, we learned that our governments, working in concert, have created a system of worldwide mass surveillance,…

Four killed in fresh North Waziristan drone attack
Uruknet 25 Dec 2013 – December 25, 2013 – An unmanned aerial combat vehicle (UCAV) fired two missiles at a compound near Miranshah in North Waziristan early on Thursday, killing at least four suspected militants, Express News reported. The drones targeted a compound near Qutab…

Obama s New Normal: The Drone Strikes Continue
Uruknet 25 Dec 2013 – December 25, 2013 -There has been yet another violent attack with mass casualties. This was not the act of a lone gunman, or of an armed student rampaging through a school. It was a group of families en route to…

Egypt govt declares Muslim Brotherhood terrorist group 
Uruknet 25 Dec 2013 – December 25, 2013- Egypt s interim government officially declared the Muslim Brotherhood, from which ousted president Mohamed Morsi hails, a terrorist group. In a press statement released on Wednesday, Deputy Prime Minister Hossam Eissa said the cabinet decided the Brotherhood…

Israel doesn t do retaliation, just more of the same
Uruknet 25 Dec 2013 – December 25, 2013 -Ibrahim HewittOnce again we hear that Israel has bombed the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip “in retaliation” for something that they ve done against Israelis. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that his country will “respond”. Many people…

Dayan s attempt to justify settlement expansion delegitimise the Zionist state
Uruknet 25 Dec 2013 – December 25, 2013 – A recent blog in the Times of Israel by Dani Dayan, Chief Foreign Envoy of the YESHA council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria (known to the rest of the world as the occupied West…

Daily Star

Gunmen kill three Yemeni soldiers
Daily Star 26 Dec 2013 Gunmen killed three soldiers in an attack on an army checkpoint in Yemen’s restive southeast Thursday, a military official told AFP.

Egypt arrests dozens under new anti-terror law
Daily Star 26 Dec 2013 Egypt increased pressure on the Muslim Brotherhood on Thursday, detaining at least 38 of its supporters on suspicion of belonging to a terrorist organisation the day after it was declared one by the government, security officials…

Man shot, wounded in north Lebanon
Daily Star 26 Dec 2013 A man from Jabal Mohsen was shot and wounded in broad daylight in the northern city of Tripoli Thursday.

Netanyahu says Hamas responsible for any Gaza fire
Daily Star 26 Dec 2013 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says that Gaza rulers Hamas are responsible for any attacks from the Palestinian enclave, after deaths on both sides.

Funeral held for British doctor who died in Syria
Daily Star 26 Dec 2013 Mourners gather at a central London mosque for the funeral of a British doctor who died while in Syrian government custody.

U.S. sending missiles, drones to Iraq: NY Times
Daily Star 26 Dec 2013 The United States is sending Iraq dozens of missiles and surveillance drones to help it combat a recent surge in Al-Qaeda-backed violence, the New York Times reports.

YNet News

Obama calls on Congress to do more on Guantanamo Bay
YNet News, 26 Dec 2013 – ….

Iran producing new generation of centrifuges
YNet News, 26 Dec 2013 – ….

Iranian dissidents say rockets hit their Baghdad camp, kill 2
YNet News, 26 Dec 2013 – ….

Palestinian report: Man injured lightly-moderately in IAF strikes
YNet News, 26 Dec 2013 – ….

Palestinians: IAF attacked Hamas military wing outpost
YNet News, 26 Dec 2013 – ….

Women push for more shul participation
YNet News, 26 Dec 2013 – In Jerusalem synagogue, women already read from handwritten Torah scroll at separate service held about once a month. Now, some members also want them to be able to lead part of Shabbat service ….

Non-academic boycott
YNet News, 26 Dec 2013 – Op-ed: Boycott of Israel will harm Palestinian research and development, but main victim will remain Israel ….

Give Obama a chance 
YNet News, 26 Dec 2013 – Op-ed: It’s too early to give a president with diplomatic, economic achievements a failing grade ….

Report: Jews attack anti-Semites in Lyon
YNet News, 26 Dec 2013 – French police arrest activists of right-wing Jewish organization on suspicion of assaulting two men tracked down on social networks for performing anti-Semitic gesture ….

Palestinian Information Center

Christian Arabs must not embrace tyrannical anti-Islam regimes
PIC – The ugly head of sectarianism would always rise if we didn’t take the necessary precautions to keep it buried underground.

IOF teargas canister starts fire in Palestinian house
PIC – A Palestinian house was on fire early Thursday south of Al-Khalil city after Israeli occupation forces (IOF) fired teargas canisters to disperse Palestinian protestors.

Hamas criticizes UNRWA’s relief efforts in refugee camps
PIC – The Hamas Movement criticized the performance of UNRWA with regard to the services it provides in the sectors of health, education, employment and infrastructure.

Israeli Judge: Don’t free Palestinian prisoners, kill them
PIC – Retired Israeli judge in Ofer Military Court Adrian Agassi has called on Israeli government to kill Palestinian prisoners instead of releasing them, Tadamun Foundation for Human Rights said.

IOF demolishes Araqib village in Negev for the 63rd time
PIC – Israeli occupation forces (IOF) demolished on Thursday morning for the 63rd time the village of Araqib in the north of the city of Beersheba, southern the 1948-occupied territories.

IOA closes Karem Abu Salem crossing for the 2nd day
PIC – Israeli Occupation Authorities (IOA) closed on Thursday morning Karem Abu Salem crossing for the second day, preventing the entry of fuel, goods and aid supplies to the Gaza Strip.

B’Tselem: The killing of the baby girl in Gaza illegal
PIC – Human rights group B’Tselem considered that the attack on the home of Abu Sbeikhah family, which led to the killing of the child Hala, is illegal, and called for opening an investigation.

Political detainee Raed Abu Juhaishe transferred to hospital
PIC – PA security services have intensified arrest and summons campaigns against Hamas’s supporters and members in the West Bank, where they arrested three of them and summoned seven others.

Ibrahim Mustafa: Ashkelon jailers give me narcotic drugs and mistreat me
PIC – Palestinian prisoner Ibrahim Mustafa appealed to human rights groups to intervene to put an end to his exposure to maltreatment and poor medical care at the hands of Israeli jailers.

WAFA

Calls made to Resolve Strike of UNRWA Employees
WAFA – 26 Dec 2013

Army Destroys Agricultural Land near Qalqilya
WAFA – 26 Dec 2013

Rights Group says Killing of Gaza Toddler ‘unlawful’
WAFA – 26 Dec 2013

Names of Prisoners to be released not out yet, says Minister
WAFA – 26 Dec 2013

Presidency Denies Secret Talks with Israel
WAFA – 26 Dec 2013

Prisoners Says They Found Spying Devices in Cells
WAFA – 26 Dec 2013

Stun Grenade Sets Hebron Home on Fire
WAFA – 26 Dec 2013

Gaza Commercial Crossing Closed for Second Day
WAFA – 26 Dec 2013

Erekat says Israeli Official Inciting against Freed Prisoner
WAFA – 26 Dec 2013

Israeli Forces make Arrests in Area ‘A’ in West Bank
WAFA – 26 Dec 2013

Construction Costs up in November, says Statistics Bureau
WAFA – 26 Dec 2013

Misc

Russian forensic probe concludes Arafat died of natural causes
LA Times 26 Dec 2013 – Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat died of natural causes nine years ago, not from poisoning by a radioactive substance as alleged by his widow, a Russian forensic investigation has concluded.

Russian firm signs 25-year energy deal with Syria
LA Times 26 Dec 2013 – AMMAN, Jordan — The Syrian government has signed a joint development agreement with a Russian energy company to explore for oil in the Middle Eastern country’s territorial waters off the Mediterranean coast, according to SANA, the Syrian state news agency.

Egypt Broadens New Crackdown on Brotherhood
New York Times 26 Dec 2013 – With dozens of arrests and the seizure of land, stocks and vehicles, Egypt’s new rulers signaled that they had opened a wide-ranging war on every facet of the Muslim Brotherhood’s activities. 

Israeli Jets Strike Gaza Strip in Response to Rocket Attacks
New York Times 26 Dec 2013 – The actions, the second in three days, continue a new wave of violence that has complicated peace talks. 

One Killed in Cairo Clash: Interior Ministry
New York Times 26 Dec 2013 – One person was killed on Thursday when student supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood clashed with residents of a Cairo district where they were protesting, the Interior Ministry said in a statement. 

Gaza Rocket Fire Draws Israeli Air Strikes
New York Times 26 Dec 2013 – Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip fired two rockets into southern Israel on Thursday, and Israel’s military responded with a pair of air strikes, officials said. 

Israel Launches Airstrikes in Gaza
New York Times 26 Dec 2013 – The Israeli military says it has carried out airstrikes on two targets in the Gaza Strip in response to a pair of rocket attacks. 

U.S. Expedites Delivery of Missiles, Drones to Iraq Amid Violence
New York Times 26 Dec 2013 – The United States has delivered dozens of Hellfire air-to-ground missiles to Iraq in recent weeks and plans shipments of Scan Eagle drones next year amid a surge in violence, U.S. officials said on Thursday, a day after at least 34 people died in Christmas day bomb attacks in Baghdad. 

No Aid Seen in Syrian Town Despite a Deal to Lift Barriers
New York Times 26 Dec 2013 – Government officials and rebels blame one another as no aid is yet delivered to the civilians in Moadhamiya, just outside the city limits of Damascus. 

Iranian Dissidents Say Rockets Hit Their Baghdad Camp, Kill Two
New York Times 26 Dec 2013 – A camp of Iranian dissidents in the Iraqi capital was hit by rockets on Thursday in an attack the group said killed at least two people and seriously wounded several others. 

US Sends Hellfire Missiles to Iraq
New York Times 26 Dec 2013 – The U.S. has sent Hellfire air-to-ground missiles to the Iraq’s air forces, which is using them in an ongoing campaign against the country’s branch of al-Qaida, officials in Washington and Baghdad said Thursday. 

U.N. Experts Urge U.S., Yemen to Explain Erroneous Drone Strikes
New York Times 26 Dec 2013 – United Nations human rights experts told the United States and Yemen on Thursday to say whether they were complicit in drone attacks that mistakenly killed civilians in wedding processions this month. 

Libyan Army Officer Killed in Drive-By Shooting
New York Times 26 Dec 2013 – Libyan security officials say unidentified gunmen have killed a military officer in a drive-by shooting in the eastern city of Benghazi. 

Prominent Egyptian Activists Start Hunger Strike in Prison
New York Times 26 Dec 2013 – Three jailed Egyptian political activists have started a hunger strike against what they describe as mistreatment in prison, said a statement on the website of the April 6 protest movement that two of them belonged to. 

Israeli Court Cancels Mayoral Vote in Town Divided by Religion
New York Times 26 Dec 2013 – An Israeli court dealt a blow on Thursday to the ultra-Orthodox community’s political hold over a town that has been a focus of national divisions between the Jewish state’s secular majority and its religious minority. 

Morocco Dismantles Terror Cell in Several Cities
New York Times 26 Dec 2013 – Morocco’s government says a terror cell active in several cities has been dismantled, and a convict believed to have spearheaded nationwide fundraising and recruiting is among those arrested. 

Gov’t approved IMI privatization plan
Globes Main News – Israel Military Industries will be privatized as a single entity, apart from its classified activity, which will remain state owned.

Thu: Big banks lead TASE down
Globes Main News – The main indices were down today, with Bank Leumi and Bank Hapoalim the most heavily traded stocks; both fell. Teva and Perrigo, while the energy sector was weak.

Palestine’s chief peace negotiator characterizes Israeli attack on Gaza as ‘terror’
Mondoweiss – Photo of Hala Abu Sbeikha, killed by Israeli fire, Al-Aqsa hospital, Deir Al Balah, Gaza, Palestine Dec. 24, 2013 (photo: Adel Hana) Israel attacked Gaza Tuesday, launching a series of air strikes across the Strip killing 3 year old Hala Abu Sbeikha and wounding 10 others ( including…

75% dissatisfied with Lapid’s performance
Globes Main News – The latest “Globes”-Smith Institute poll finds Yair Lapid and his Yesh Atid party losing more ground, and Reuven Rivlin the most popular candidate for president.

Modern Language Association convention to feature academic boycott panel and resolution slamming Israeli denial of entries
Mondoweiss – Photo: MLA.org. The Modern Language Association’s (MLA) annual convention is not an event known to raise hackles or attract global media attention. This year, though, the 30,000-member academic group best known for producing the MLA handbook on citations is in the hot seat–and it’s all because…

Oil Refineries raises $150 million in rights issue
Globes Main News – Parent companies Israel Corp. and Israel Petrochemical Industries both realized their full rights in the offering.

This Christmas, consider a Christian peacemaker’s book about Iraqi reconciliation
Mondoweiss – One of the most compassionate people I have had the privilege to get to know is Peggy Faw Gish, a member of the Christian Peace Maker team, who went to Iraq in October of 2002 before the illegal and immoral U.S. invasion. While millions of us…

Israeli rap warns vulnerable Jewish women about seductive, dangerous Arab men
Mondoweiss – You don’t really need a translation, but David Sheen fills us in: What Israeli “hip hop” has come to: Warning against inter-racial dating, claiming Arabs kidnapped 50,000 Jewish women http://t.co/By4lGgrTdd — David Sheen (@davidsheen) December 25, 2013 Well at least this isn’t viral. Just 1800 hits…

Covidien bid to buy Given Imaging in 2012
Globes Main News – Documents show that Covidien offered $19-22 per share for the pill camera developer compared with the $30 it has now agreed to pay.

Kerry wants to imprison West Bank with massive security fence along Jordanian border
Mondoweiss – Kerry (left) and Netanyahu. Photo credit: Galei Zahal According to a widely quoted report from Israeli Army Radio (Galei Zahal) on Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will propose most of the security arrangements that Israel desires from any agreement with the Palestinians. It is…

Leora Ofer triumphs over brother Doron
Globes Main News – The Tel Aviv Family Affairs Court has ruled that Leora Ofer inherits all the Ofer Investments shares of her late father Yuli Ofer.

One London church goes on the record with ‘Bethlehem Unwrapped’
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. Still more Christmas messages. The Pope weighed in again, albeit mostly in broad generalities, but with a nod to atheists. The justice club…

High-tech chief: We must set shekel-dollar rate
Globes Main News – IATI co-chair Yoav Chelouche says the government must intervene to set a shekel-dollar rate that makes Israeli exports competitive.

Shabak: The Chinese are Coming!
Tikun Olam – Shabak job listing for Chinese-speaking agent Israel’s Shabak posted an odd help-wanted listing on its website. It was seeking to recruit a field agent fluent in Chinese. The recruit also needed excellent “interpersonal skills” and a willingness to work “irregular hours.” At first, I didn’t know…

Bank Hapoalim chairman: 2013 beat forecasts
Globes Main News – Yair Seroussi told “IDF Radio” that the world is finally seeing light at the end of the tunnel it entered in 2008.

Payroll tax hike halved
Globes Main News – The employers tax will rise by only 0.25% rather than 0.5%, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has decided.

Libel Suit Ends in Free Speech Victory
Tikun Olam – Some years ago, a Los Angeles pro-Israel activist, Rachel Neuwirth got into a scuffle with UCLA’s Hillel rabbi, Chaim Seidler-Feller. Originally, Seidler-Feller, who I’d known and worked closely with when I was a UCLA grad student, said that she’d called him a “capo,” which had angered…

Iran dissidents ‘killed in Iraq’ 
BBC 26 Dec 2013 – A rocket attack kills three members of an Iranian opposition group in Iraq, the group and its parent organisation say.

Growing concern over Syria heritage sites 
BBC 26 Dec 2013 – Efforts to highlight the cultural amid the conflict

Three Israeli Actors Refuse to Star in West Bank Performance 
The Foward Breaking News 26 Dec 2013 – Three Israeli stage actors asked to be excused from performing in a play staged at a cultural center in the West Bank settlement of Ariel. Click here for the rest of the article…

Funeral for Syria-death doctor 
BBC 26 Dec 2013 – The brother of a British doctor who died while being held in custody in Syria pays tribute to him at his funeral, describing him as “our star”.

Tom Werner Juggles Roles as Red Sox and Liverpool Boss 
The Forward New 26 Dec 2013 – Tom Werner is the only man who serves as chairman of two of the biggest sports clubs in the world. He talks about his relationship with Israel — and the Clintons. Click here for the rest of the article…

Russia says Arafat was not poisoned 
BBC 26 Dec 2013 – Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat died of natural causes, not radiation poisoning, Russian scientists who examined his remains have concluded.

Benjamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas Hold Secret Talks for Years 
The Foward Breaking News 26 Dec 2013 – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas have had secret back-channel talks for several years, an Israeli newspaper is reporting. Click here for the rest of the article…

Yasser Arafat Died of Natural Causes, Not Radiation Poisoning, Russia Says 
The Foward Breaking News 26 Dec 2013 – Russia said on Thursday that former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat died of natural causes, not radiation poisoning, but the Palestinian ambassador to Moscow said an investigation would continue, Russian news agencies reported. Click here for the rest of the article…

East Africa: Africans Stage Protest March in Tel Aviv 
allAfrica.com 26 Dec 2013 – [IRIN]Tel Aviv -Hundreds of African migrants and human rights activists marched through the streets of Tel Aviv on 21 December to protest the Israeli government’s policy of detaining irregular migrants, the majority of them asylum seekers from Eritrea and Sudan.

Prominent Palestinian psychiatrist Eyad Sarraj dies 
Al-Monitor 13 Feb 2014 – Prominent Palestinian psychiatrist and champion of the national cause, Eyad Sarraj, dies at 70.

Making Arab challenges opportunities 
Al-Monitor 13 Feb 2014 – While challenges and crises facing the Arab world are common media fodder, little attention is given to how these challenges might serve as opportunities for progress in the region.

Aleppo’s bloodiest week 
Al-Monitor 13 Feb 2014 – An exclusive report from Aleppo, which is facing the worst bombing of Syria’s war.

Erdogan criticizes, undermines huge corruption investigation 
Al-Monitor 13 Feb 2014 – The Turkish government has enacted a flurry of measures to thwart a massive corruption investigation, threatening fundamental norms of democracy.

Ex-soccer player’s resignation a turning point for the AKP 
Al-Monitor 13 Feb 2014 – The resignation of Istanbul Deputy Hakan Sukur, one of Turkey’s all-time best strikers and a Gulenist, from the AKP seems to have come right in time for the all-out war between the government and Gulen movement.

Defense minister of Syria’s interim government calls for more aid 
Al-Monitor 13 Feb 2014 – Asaad Mustafa, the defense minister in Syria’s interim government, said that the Syrian people reject al-Qaeda and called on Arab and Western countries to increase their military and non-military aid.

Egypt declares Muslim Brotherhood terrorist group 
Al-Monitor 13 Feb 2014 – Egypt’s designation of the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization could cause the Brotherhood problems in other Arab countries.

Facebook businesses boom in Gaza amid unemployment 
Al-Monitor 13 Feb 2014 – Given the growing unemployment rate and harsh blockade in Gaza, an increasing number of citizens are turning to Facebook to market products and launch small businesses.

Lebanese banks face prospects, challenges 
Al-Monitor 13 Feb 2014 – Political stability and another look at economic policies are needed to save Lebanese banks, which have acted as the national economy’s driving force.

Egypt braces for constitution referendum 
Al-Monitor 13 Feb 2014 – Amid growing concerns over violent activity across Egypt, the country’s interim administration is taking steps to ensure the success of the planned constitutional referendum.

Erdogan’s dream turns into a nightmare 
Al-Monitor 12 Feb 2014 – Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan blames an “international plot” for the corruption scandal that so far has seen three key AKP ministers resign.

Nedim Sener focuses on Cemaat role in Turkey scandal 
Al-Monitor 12 Feb 2014 – Nedim Sener, an investigative journalist who documented the police misconduct that potentially led to Hrant Dink’s murder, is speaking against the Cemaat.

One dies in Egypt Brotherhood clash 
BBC 26 Dec 2013 – One person is killed in clashes between student supporters of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and residents in the capital Cairo, officials say.

Iran dissidents ‘killed in Iraq’ 
BBC 26 Dec 2013 – A rocket attack kills three members of an Iranian opposition group in Iraq, the group and its parent organisation say.

Growing concern over Syria heritage sites 
BBC 26 Dec 2013 – Efforts to highlight the cultural amid the conflict

US sends missiles and drones to Iraq 
BBC 26 Dec 2013 – The US has delivered dozens of missiles to Iraq and is planning a shipment of drones to help combat al-Qaeda, US and Iraqi officials confirm.

Report: US to supply Iraq with spy drones 
Al-Akhbar News 26 Dec 2013 – A ScanEagle drone sits on the deck of the USS Ponce, on December 6, 2013 in Manama, Bahrain. (Photo: AFP / Getty Images – Mark Wilson) A ScanEagle drone sits on the deck of the USS Ponce, on December 6, 2013 in Manama, Bahrain. (Photo: AFP / Getty…

The Boycott of the Boycott of Israel 
Al-Akhbar Blogs 26 Dec 2013 – Propagandists for Israel are at loss: They don’t know what to do with the growing movement of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions campaign (BDS). Their biggest concern is that BDS has not only become mainstream in Europe, but has become “cool” on college campuses around the…

Egypt: Mubarak Holdovers Make Political Comeback 
Al-Akhbar News 26 Dec 2013 – An Egyptian supporter of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak ululates as she raises up his portrait outside the Tora prison where Mubarak is detained, on August 22, 2013 in Cairo.(Photo: AFP – Mohamed El-Shahed). An Egyptian supporter of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak ululates as she…

Funeral for Syria-death doctor 
BBC 26 Dec 2013 – The brother of a British doctor who died while being held in custody in Syria pays tribute to him at his funeral, describing him as “our star”.

Egypt arrests 38 members of “terrorist” Muslim Brotherhood 
Al-Akhbar News 26 Dec 2013 – Updated 7:00 pm: Egypt escalated its crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood on Thursday, detaining at least 38 of the group’s supporters on charges of belonging to a terrorist organization the day after it was declared one by the government. General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the army chief…

Russia says Arafat was not poisoned 
BBC 26 Dec 2013 – Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat died of natural causes, not radiation poisoning, Russian scientists who examined his remains have concluded.

Libyan gunmen briefly shut central bank 
Al-Akhbar News 26 Dec 2013 – Dozens of Libyan militiamen briefly blocked the entrance to the central bank on Thursday, demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Ali Zeidan, witnesses and a central bank official said. Libya is in turmoil, with Zeidan’s government struggling to assert control of a country awash with western-supplied…

Saudi judge wants activist tried for apostasy 
Al-Akhbar News 26 Dec 2013 – A Saudi judge has recommended that a liberal activist be tried in a higher court for apostasy, a charge that could carry the death penalty, rights campaigners said Thursday. A court in the medieval-styled kingdom sentenced Raef Badawi in July to seven years in jail and…

Russia: Arafat died of “natural causes” 
Al-Akhbar News 26 Dec 2013 – Former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat died of natural causes, not radiation poisoning, the head of a Russian state forensics agency that tested samples taken from his body said on Thursday, according to the Interfax news agency. The Russian finding was in line with an assessment by…

Israel to announce new West Bank settlements: official 
Al-Akhbar News 26 Dec 2013 – A Palestinian youth hurls a stone at Israeli occupation forces following a weekly demonstration against the expropriation of Palestinian land by Israel, on December 20, 2013 in the northern West Bank village of Kfar Qaddum. (Photo: AFP – Jaafar Ashtiyeh) A Palestinian youth hurls a stone…

Cairo bus blast injures four 
Al-Akhbar News 26 Dec 2013 – Egyptian security officials inspect the wreckage of a bus that was damaged by an explosion on December 26, 2013 in Cairo. (Photo: AFP – Gianluigi Guercia) Egyptian security officials inspect the wreckage of a bus that was damaged by an explosion on December 26, 2013 in…

Articles


Palestinian Christians in the Holy Land 
Jessica Purkiss, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 12/26/2013
In the Palestinian Christian village of Iqrit, only the church was left standing. On Christmas Eve 1951, Israeli troops destroyed the village. The houses were turned to rubble and the residents scattered.
“Choosing Christmas Eve to demolish our village holds religious connotations; they wanted to insinuate that this land is for the Jews only,” said Father Suhail Khoury, the priest of the church.
The village was just one of the 418 Palestinian villages that were demolished and whose residents were forced to move during and following the 1948 war, which resulted in the establishment of the Israeli State.
Today, from the rubble, signs of life can be seen. The village of Iqrit is being resurrected. The young descendants of the villagers returned to the lands of their fathers and grandfathers and are breathing life into the decay. In August last year, they began camping out in the church, making their right of return a reality.
Exactly sixty three years after the village was destroyed, Christmas Eve is upon us again. Like the scattered villagers of Iqrit, who, decades after are still attempting to return to their land, the plight of the Palestinian Christians is ongoing.
As the festive season arrives, the Holy Land is seeing its usual influx of tourists. After visiting the Christian sites of Jerusalem, it is almost certain they will make a passing visit to the town of Bethlehem and marvel at the Nativity Church, the birthplace of Jesus, according to the Bible.
From the windows of their tourist buses it is unlikely that they will notice the Wall which has sliced into Bethlehem. The wall separates it from Jerusalem, home to some of the most important religious sites for both Christians and Muslims, the two most prominent religions in Palestine.more.. e-mail

Will Palestine see real solidarity in 2014? 
Rami Almeghari, Electronic Intifada 12/23/2013
Last year I took part in a TV program on RT about the Palestinian Authority’s bid for statehood at the United Nations.
During this talk show, Raanan Gissin — an adviser to Ariel Sharon when he was prime minister — recommended that the Palestinians should build their own nation, instead of turning to other countries “including Iran” for help.
I recalled this debate when I heard that 2014 had been named as the UN’s “International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.”
Living in Gaza, I can’t be expected to know everything that happens in occupied East Jerusalem and the wider West Bank. I can’t, therefore, gauge what progress has been made there in building a Palestinian state. But I have heard that Israel is continuing to steal Palestinian land by expanding its settlements.
I was born and raised in Maghazi refugee camp here in Gaza. When I was growing up, houses in Gaza’s refugee camps were very modest, most of them having asbestos-tiled roofs. The roads were narrow and mostly unpaved.
My own house — located in the center of the camp — was the same until 1991, when part of the house was rebuilt with cement and steel. It was a happy moment for me and my family.
Maghazi’s population has increased steadily over the years and is now around 35,000, including both refugees and the area’s other inhabitants. Yet the power supply to the camp has been the same for three decades. The same can be said for many other places in Gaza.
It was only recently that the main street leading into the camp was rebuilt and had street lights placed along part of it. That was thanks to a donation from Qatar. more.. e-mail

’Wave of Palestinian terror’? Not exactly 
+972 Magazine 12/26/2013
It’s pretty difficult to pinpoint anything resembling a starting point for the latest violence; prior to last week, Israeli forces killed 19 Palestinians since July, compared to four Israelis who were killed. The violence is neither unilateral nor arbitrary.
Damage after a bomb exploded on an Israeli bus in the Tel Aviv suburb of Bat Yam, December 22, 2013. A policewoman’s eardrums were damaged in the attempted attack. (Photo: Israel Police)
The latest escalation between Israel and the Palestinians has taken lives on both sides over the last week. The Israeli media is now describing the violence as a new “wave of Palestinian terror.” Commentators have said that it’s not clear yet whether this is a third Intifada, indicating an organized uprising, since the attacks appear to have been perpetrated by individuals. But they are unquestionably acts of terror.
Israeli media tells a very simple story: the attacks are happening to us unilaterally and unpredictably, their arbitrary nature makes life in Israel terrif
ying and fragile. The only possible explanation for the uptick in Palestinian violence, observed Israeli officials such as Police Commissioner Yochanan Danino and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, is that Palestinian extremists hate the peace negotiations currently underway.

Consider the main violent events over the last week. The IDF ambushed and killed two Palestinians on Thursday, December 19, in separate incidents that took place in Jenin and Qalqilya. The army told news agencies that the men were wanted for shooting at soldiers, which Palestinians dispute in at least one case.
The next day, Friday, December 20, IDF shot and killed a Gazan civilian and wounded his brother, both in their 20s…. more.. e-mail

Israel and soft power 
Nabil Al-Sahli, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 12/16/2013
The term “soft power” is regarded as a modern concept; it means that a state has ideas, principles, and ethics through which it attracts others and garners their support. This can be manifested in its approach to human rights and culture, for example.
Used to describe media geared towards serving specific thought, soft power is considered to be a major political and military tool, as it enables its possessor to control others and have their solidarity without having to expend any of its own military capabilities.
Ancient philosophers and politicians, however, defined soft power in a number of ways, such as influence, persuasion, culture and model practices.
Israel is making security and military preparations against perceived threats posed by its neighbours as well as preparing its armed forces to attack any Arab county at any time. It is also trying to take the initiative to capture the minds of young Arabs and Muslims interested in the Palestinian issue in order to brainwash them by changing facts and disguising its ugly racism. To do this, Israel uses military and soft power concurrently.
This is done through the pro-Israel media at home and abroad as well as US and European allies who regard the states as an oasis of democracy in the Middle East, despite much evidence to the contrary.Access to the world
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 Foreign Ministry website confirms that it now has diplomatic relations with most fellow member states of the UN. more.. e-mail

Dec 2013 round 2 (and more) IOF attacks on Gaza
In Gaza: 26 Dec 2013 – Younes Arar: Now: Gaza under fire…Three Israeli occupation terrorist airstrike so far, 26 December, 2013. @Hanood12: #Israel has officially launched the commemoration of the fifth anniversary of Operation Cast Lead War 2008 – 2009! #GazaUnderAttack Álvaro Herraiz San Martín: Confirmed 2 injured in Shifa Hospital, #Gaza. #Gazaunderattack: Álvaro Herraiz San Martín: #israel is bombimg #Gaza before 15 minuts. Shiya’eya, Shekher ‘Adwan, Maghazi and Rafah Area. #Gazaunderattack Mohammed Omer: child: what was that bomb mummy? mom: nothing habibi, its far child: its shaking my bed mom: yes yes sleep Mohammed Omer: So far, 2 people injured as a result of the bombing. ambulance crews on their way to the locations #GazaUnderAttack tehdawghouz: Israel’s dropping bombs on crowded neighborhoods again. #GazaUnderAttack Duncan Casey @BigDunc123: Like clockwork,the annual Christmas attack on Gaza is underway. #Palestine #Zionism #Racism #GazaUnderAttack Hanine: #Israeli #Drones still hovering over #Gaza & flying low, causing an obnoxious sound, terrifying…more

Israel Marks 5th Anniversary of Operation Cast Lead with Air Strikes on Gaza
Palestine Chronicle: 26 Dec 2013 – By Julie Webb-Pullman On the fifth anniversary of its brutal Operation Cast Lead, Israel launched a series of attacks on the Gaza Strip on Thursday night, injuring at least two people. One of the injured has been identified as Salem al-Asi, aged 41 years. The targets included the Al Nafaq area in Gaza City, which has barely recovered from being submerged by flood-waters during recent storms, adding further suffering for the already-reeling residents. Thursday’s attacks follow hard on the heels of Israel’s killing of three year old Hala Abu Sabikha whilst playing in her yard. Hala’s aunt and other relatives were also injured when an Israeli tank fired three shells at the family home. Israeli Human Rights organization B’Tselem condemned that attack. “Deliberate firing at a home occupied by civilians, without its inhabitants having been given any prior warning and without the military ensuring that the civilians have vacated the…more


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