VTJP Occupied Palestine and Israel: News and Articles 29 December 2013

29 December 2013 — VTJP

News

International Middle East Media Center

Jordan Valley Annexation Sees First Approvals
IMEMC – Erekat calls for international solidarity Israel’s Ministerial Committee for Legislative Affairs, on Sunday, approved the draft for the annexation of the Jordan Valley. The bill will go before the Knesset and, if voted in favor of, Israeli settlements in the Jordan Valley, with all of the roads leading to them, will be under full Israeli control, and included as part of the territory of the State of Israel. …

Jenin Man Dies At Israeli Checkpoint
IMEMC – Area besieged by Israeli forces for 6th day [Sunday December 29, 2013] A Palestinian man has died, on Sunday, at a flying checkpoint erected by Israeli forces in the northern West Bank. …

3 Arrested In Bethlehem And Hebron
IMEMC – Israeli forces arrested three youth from Bethlehem and Hebron, early Sunday, according to security sources. …

Shells Fired Across Lebanon-Israel Border
IMEMC – No casualties or damage reported [Sunday December 29, 2013] The Israeli military has fired a number of shells into southern Lebanon, after five Katyusha-style rockets were launched against Israel on Sunday, according to officials. …

Ma’an News

Israeli forces besiege Jenin-area town for 6th day
12/29/2013 – JENIN (Ma’an) – Israeli forces continued to besiege the northern West Bank town of Yaabad near Jenin for the sixth day in a row closing all the town’s entrances with military checkpoints and preventing residents from moving in and out. A Ma’an reporter says Israeli military checkpoints have been erected at the main entrance in the east and all side….

Jenin man dies at Israeli checkpoint
12/29/2013 – JENIN (Ma’an) — A Palestinian man died on Sunday at a flying checkpoint Israeli forces erected in the northern West Bank, the man’s family said. Adel Muhammad Amarnah, 65, was being rushed to a Jenin hospital when his car was stopped at a checkpoint near the village of Yaabad, his family told Ma’an. An Israeli soldier told the driver of….

Official: 2 Palestinians injured by Israeli artillery in Gaza
12/29/2013 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Two Palestinians were injured after Israeli artillery hit the central Gaza Strip on Sunday, a Palestinian official said. Israeli forces hit an area east of al-Maghazi refugee camp with an artillery shelling, Gaza’s Ministry of Health spokesman said. Ashraf al-Qidra said two Palestinians suffered from burns as a result of the shelling, and were taken to Shuhada al-Aqsa….

Security: Israel fires 20 shells on south Lebanon
12/29/2013 – MARJEYOUN, Lebanon (AFP) — The Israeli military fired about 20 shells into southern Lebanon on Sunday without causing any damage after rockets were launched in the opposite direction, a Lebanese security official said. The barrage came after the Israeli military said it had responded to rockets that reportedly struck an open field west of the town of Kyriat Shmona without causing any casualties or damage…. Related: Israel hits back after rockets fired from Lebanon

Israel hits back after rockets fired from Lebanon
12/29/2013 – MARJEYOUN (Lebanon) (AFP) — The Israeli military fired a barrage of shells into southern Lebanon in retaliation after five Katyusha-style rockets were launched against Israel on Sunday, officials said. The attacks struck uninhabited areas of both Israel and Lebanon without causing any casualties or damage, officials on both sides said.”About 20 shells from Israeli territory have struck the border region of Arqub after the launch…. Related: Security: Israel fires 20 shells on south Lebanon

Israel names pre-Oslo prisoners set for release
12/29/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) – The Israeli prison service published Saturday night on its website a list of 26 veteran Palestinian prisoners slated to be released Monday as a third group of prisoners who have been detained before the Oslo Accords of 1994. 1. Adnan Yusuf Muhammad al-Afandi2. Ahmad Shehadah Farid Shehadah 3. Ramadan Udah Muhammad Yaqub4. Muhammad Ahmad Mustafa Afanah 6. Ahmad Ali Awad Kamil7…. Related: 26 prisoners moved to Ofer prison ahead of release and 32 veteran prisoners to remain in Israeli jails after upcoming release

Official: Israeli commanders not welcome to visit Bethlehem
12/29/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The governor of the Bethlehem district said Sunday that Israeli military commanders were not welcome to visit the area, after he received a request for military officials to visit Bethlehem while off duty. Abd al-Fattah Hamayil said in a statement that “the chief of the occupation army’s central command” along with other military officials requested to visit Bethlehem in….

Erekat condemns Israel’s bill to annex Jordan Valley
12/29/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A chief Palestinian official on Sunday condemned an Israeli committee vote in favor of a Knesset bill that would annex the Jordan Valley, placing it under full Israeli sovereignty. Chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat said the decision destroys all efforts for peace with Israel, showing the Israeli government’s “indifference” toward international law. In an interview with Ma’an….

Ambassador: 3 agreements with Russia to be signed next year
12/29/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The Palestinian ambassador to Russia said Sunday that Palestinian-Russian relations would show great improvement in 2014. Relations between Palestine and Russia are already greatly improving, Fayed Mustafa told Ma’an. But he said they would improve even more as a result of President Mahmoud Abbas’ scheduled visit to Russia in January. He said three agreements would be signed during….

Israel set for new prisoner release as Kerry heads back to region
12/29/2013 – JERUSALEM (AFP) — Israel prepared Sunday to free 26 Palestinian prisoners as part of peace talks brokered by US Secretary of State John Kerry, who is due back in the region to boost the faltering negotiations. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had agreed to the phased release of 104 Palestinian prisoners in line with commitments to the US-backed talks, which resumed in July, and previous batches….

Gaza power plant functioning as normal after Israel reopens border
12/29/2013 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Gaza’s sole power plant began to function as normal after Israel reopened the Kerem Shalom crossing on Sunday, allowing shipments of diesel fuel to enter the Strip, a Palestinian source said. Raed Fattough, who coordinates the entry of goods into the Gaza Strip, told Ma’an that shipments of diesel and gasoline entered Gaza early Sunday, after….

32 veteran prisoners to remain in Israeli jails after upcoming release
12/29/2013 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society said on Sunday that 32 veteran Palestinian prisoners will remain in Israeli jails after 26 are released early Tuesday. Twenty-six more pre-Oslo prisoners are scheduled to be released in early 2014, which would leave just six of such prisoners left in Israeli jails. The remaining Prisoners who fit the agreed-upon criteria for the release are as…. Related:26 prisoners moved to Ofer prison ahead of release

26 prisoners moved to Ofer prison ahead of release
12/29/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israel’s prison administration transferred 26 veteran Palestinian prisoners to a jail near Ramallah ahead of their imminent release, a Palestinian official said. Minister of Prisoners’ Affairs Issa Qaraqe said that the Israeli prison administration brought the prisoners — who are scheduled to be released at 1 a. m. Tuesday — to Ofer prison, west of Ramallah. The prisoners will have…. Related: Israel names pre-Oslo prisoners set for release and 32 veteran prisoners to remain in Israeli jails after upcoming release

Hebron-area man killed as tractor flips while plowing
12/29/2013 – HEBRON (Ma’an) – A Palestinian man from the Hebron area on Sunday succumbed to wounds shortly after his tractor flipped over while he plowed his land, medical sources said. A spokesman of a joint operation room in Yatta south of Hebron said 37-year-old Amjad Khalil Abu Qbeita was evacuated to Abu al-Hasan al-Qasim Hospital in Yatta after his tractor flipped over. Shortly after….

Syria’s Assad sends message to pope
12/29/2013 – VATICAN CITY (AFP) — Syrian President Bashar Assad sent a message to Pope Francis Saturday, that state media said expressed his determination to defend Syrians of all religions against hardline Islamists among the rebels. The message was passed on through a Syrian government delegation that held talks at the Vatican with the pontiff’s Secretary of State Pietro Parolin and foreign affairs official Dominique Mamberti….

Hollande urges Lebanon to stick to election calendar
12/29/2013 – PARIS (AFP) — French President Francois Hollande called on Lebanese authorities Saturday to hold presidential elections in May as planned, regardless of the latest violence in Beirut that killed an influential critic of the Syrian regime. President Michel Sleiman’s mandate runs out on May 25 and there are fears that a successor will be hard to find because of huge disagreements between Lebanon’….

4 officers injured in attack on Egyptian military intelligence offices
12/29/2013 – CAIRO (Ma’an) – Four Egyptian officers were injured Sunday in a blast at a building housing offices of Egyptian military intelligence in al-Sharqiyya district in northern Egypt, a military source said. The source told Ma’an that the explosion was caused by an explosive device hurled by unidentified gunmen at the offices of the military intelligence in Anshas city east of Cairo. Locals….

Lebanon mourns ex-minister killed in bombing
12/29/2013 – BEIRUT (AFP) — Lebanese mourners gathered in Beirut on Sunday to bury Mohamed Chatah, a prominent critic of the Syrian regime, killed in a car bombing that revived painful memories of political assassinations. Chatah, 62, a Sunni Muslim former finance minister and close aide to ex-prime minister Saad Hariri, was killed on Friday along with six other people. Dozens of others were wounded in the blast….

Bomb near Egypt intel building wounds four soldiers
12/29/2013 – CAIRO (AFP) — A bomb near an army intelligence building wounded four soldiers Sunday, the third such blast within a week after the Muslim Brotherhood’s designation as a terrorist organisation further polarized Egypt. The explosion, which the army called a “cowardly terrorist” act, comes as the military-installed authorities plan to hold a referendum on a new constitution next month, the first step towards democracy….

AlJazeera

Israeli MPs push partial West Bank annexation
AlJazeera 29 Dec 2013 – Proposal from right-wing lawmakers would annex the Jordan Valley, which Palestinians say is crucial to any future state.

Palestine News Network

Report on Palestinian Political Prisoners and Detainees from the Gaza Strip
Palestine News Network

International Solidarity Movement

Five demonstrators injured in violent Nabi Saleh protest
12/29/2013 – International Solidarity Movement – International Solidarity Movement, Ramallah Team, Nabi Saleh, Occupied Palestine – On Friday 27th December, during the weekly demonstration in Nabi Saleh, Israeli forces raided the town with a “skunk” (chemical) truck, fired large amounts of tear gas canisters and shot rubbed-coated steel bullets at unarmed protesters. Five people were injured by rubber-coated steel bullets and one woman was shot at extremely close range. Shortly after the demonstration….

Relief Web

occupied Palestinian territory: Israeli tanks wound 2 Palestinians in Gaza: medics
Relief Web 29 Dec 2013 – Source: Agence France-Presse Country: occupied Palestinian territory 12/29/2013 16:47 GMT GAZA CITY, December 29, 2013 (AFP) – Two Palestinians in the Gaza Strip were wounded Sunday by Israeli tank fire, medical sources said, less than a week after cross-border violence…

The National

$3bn Saudi boost for Lebanese military
The National 29 Dec 2013 – Saudi Arabia pledges $3 billion for the Lebanese army to buy military equipment in the largest aid package in Lebanon’s history.

‘Promising new year for Filipino maids in UAE’
The National 29 Dec 2013 – The UAE and Philippines are close to inking a bilateral agreement on domestic workers that will help protect the rights of thousands of Filipina maids in the Gulf country. 

2013 in review: Events since the Arab Spring shift regional order
The National 29 Dec 2013 – Former power brokers Cairo, Damascus and Baghdad have been sidelined as they focus on their internal affairs. Amid the chaos, Saudi Arabia has stepped forward and exercised its strength, even if it meant contradicting its strongest Western ally, the United States. Elizabeth Dickinson reports

Suicide bomber targets Russian railway station, killing at least 16
The National 29 Dec 2013 – Female suicide bomber targets railway station in southern Russia’s Volgograd.

Palestinian prisoners await release as Israel’s settlement plan strains relations
The National 29 Dec 2013 – Israeli cabinet ministers authorise a third round of Palestinian prisoner releases as part of deal brokered by US secretary of state to free 104 prisoners in four rounds.

Aleppo airstrikes ‘kill 517 in two weeks’
The National 29 Dec 2013 – Death toll from regime air strikes on the northern province of Aleppo includes 151 children since December 15, monitor says.

Musharraf denounces treason charges as ‘vendetta’
The National 29 Dec 2013 – Pakistan’s former military ruler denounces treason charges against him as a ‘vendetta’ and says he has the backing of the country’s powerful army in the case.

Israel shells Lebanon border after rocket fire
The National 29 Dec 2013 – Israel’s military fires a barrage of shells into southern Lebanon in retaliation after five Katyusha-style rockets were launched into Israel.

Lebanon mourns ex-minister killed in bombing
The National 29 Dec 2013 – Mourners in Beirut bury Mohammed Chatah, a prominent critic of the Syrian regime who was killed in Friday’s car bombing.

2013 in review: Indian government stumbles in pre-election year
The National 29 Dec 2013 – Coalition led by the Indian National Congress spends the year fighting fires as popularity of its rivals soars. Samanth Subramanian reports

2013 in review: Obama’s new course on US policy infuriates some allies
The National 29 Dec 2013 – Barack Obama opted to pursue diplomacy and negotiated solutions to the intractable conflicts that have kept the United States as the regional keystone as a provider of security and counterweight to Iran. Taimur Khan reports

2013 in review: Dire prophecies come true in Syria
The National 29 Dec 2013 – There were ample warnings a doomsday scenario was unfolding in Syria and 2013 was the year in which the dire prophecies came true. Phil Sands reports

2013 in review: Crisis-weary Egyptians hold out for new year referendum, elections
The National 29 Dec 2013 – With violence and turmoil reaching highs not seen since 2011, many Egyptians can hardly wait for 2013 to end. Youssef Hamza reports

Family marks India gang rape victim’s first anniversary with prayer ceremony
The National 29 Dec 2013 – Victim’s family hold religious ceremony in their ancestral village in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, away from the constant media attention they have faced since the attack.

Peace efforts flounder in South Sudan, further attacks feared
The National 29 Dec 2013 – International efforts to bring peace to strife-torn South Sudan appear at an impasse as the government accuses former vice president Riek Machar of recruiting tens of thousands of young fighters.

Bahrain Shiite cleric to face incitement charges
The National 29 Dec 2013 – Ali Salman has been charged with ‘incitement to religious hatred and spreading false news likely to harm national security’, attorney general was quoted as saying.

Saudi religious police warn against New Year’s celebrations
The National 29 Dec 2013 – Religious police warn against celebrating New Year’s Eve in the kingdom.

Kerry back to ease Mideast peace talks tension
The National 29 Dec 2013 – US secretary of state to return to the Middle East this week for talks with Palestinian and Israeli officials on the peace process.

Video: Three Britons, one Belgian injured in hotel pool bar explosion in Spain 
The National 29 Dec 2013 – Five tourists, including three British nationals, injured in Tenerife after a machine at the poolside bar at Bahia Principe resort explodes.

Video: Highway collapses in Mexico 
The National 29 Dec 2013 – A 300-metre section of a highway in Mexico near the US border has collapsed, sinking about 30 metres after a series of small earthquakes.

Ha’aretz

Netanyahu warned against Jordan Valley annexation bill prior to vote
Ha’aretz – 29 Dec 2013

Guy Rolnik, founder of TheMarker, receives prestigious lifetime achievement award
Ha’aretz – 29 Dec 2013

Formula One legend Michael Schumacher in critical condition
Ha’aretz – 29 Dec 2013

Want to buy an iPhone in Israel? Be ready to cough up the cash
Ha’aretz – 29 Dec 2013

EU protests to Netanyahu over planned wave of settlement construction
Ha’aretz – 29 Dec 2013

Bankrupt biblical ‘zoo’ moving stuffed animals to Catskills
Ha’aretz – 29 Dec 2013

Ministers support bill annexing Jordan Valley settlements to Israel
Ha’aretz – 29 Dec 2013

Ban French soccer star over ‘Nazi’ salute, urge European Jews
Ha’aretz – 29 Dec 2013

Gay Jews have ‘higher souls’ than gentiles, says deputy minister
Ha’aretz – 29 Dec 2013

Israeli court restricts nuclear spy Mordechai Vanunu’s movement for another year
Ha’aretz – 29 Dec 2013

Watchdog cancels rebuke of Haaretz, Gideon Levy over article attacking Border Police
Ha’aretz – 29 Dec 2013

Bibi’s Pollard paradox: He’ll wind up bringing Olmert back
Ha’aretz – 29 Dec 2013

Spectacular aurora borealis on Christmas Day
Ha’aretz – 29 Dec 2013

Iran could seize on new sanctions bill to drive wedge between Israel lobby, U.S. public
Ha’aretz – 29 Dec 2013

Israeli forces wound demonstrator at West Bank village Nabi Saleh
Ha’aretz – 29 Dec 2013

Palestinian villagers’ complaints of settler violence are going unheard
Ha’aretz – 29 Dec 2013

Are Socialist Zionists taking over the U.S. Federal Reserve?
Ha’aretz – 29 Dec 2013

Female suicide bomber strikes Russian train station, kills at least 13
Ha’aretz – 29 Dec 2013

Rockets fired at northern Israel, IDF strikes Lebanon targets in response
Ha’aretz – 29 Dec 2013

Israel’s Haredim must give and not just take
Ha’aretz – 29 Dec 2013

Netanyahu named 25th most influential person in U.S. defense
Ha’aretz – 29 Dec 2013

Arab parties plan to fight right-wing bid to squeeze them out of Knesset
Ha’aretz – 29 Dec 2013

Exclusive Davos confab offers Netanyahu a fresh chance for farce
Ha’aretz – 29 Dec 2013

Peres leaving office means Presidential Conference won’t be held next year
Ha’aretz – 28 Dec 2013

Israel Police chief warns job losses could trigger new social protests
Ha’aretz – 28 Dec 2013

HMOs get windfall but complain: Not enough
Ha’aretz – 28 Dec 2013

Israeli government approves release of 26 Palestinian prisoners
Ha’aretz – 28 Dec 2013

Thousands of Africans, Israelis march to demand freedom for asylum seekers
Ha’aretz – 28 Dec 2013

Jerusalem Post

What proof should be needed to show collecting intelligence that violates freedoms is worth it?
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2013 – Should individual’s freedoms be infringed on for reasons of ‘national security’? 

IDF denounces posters vilifying ultra-orthodox soldiers
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2013 – “Hardakim are missionaries with a double identity,” new posters proclaim, “the hardakim viruses are spreading.” 

At Jerusalem College of Technology, President Shimon Peres seeks out haredi students
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2013 – Modern Orthodox men get degree before joining IDF, national religious and haredi student nursing in separate campus. 

The Region: Time to wake up
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2013 – Are Jews going to realize that the two-state solution is only desirable if it really brings full peace? 

2013 Aliyah numbers
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2013 – The largest group of immigrants, the official figures indicate, from the countries of the Former Soviet Union with 7,520 immigrants. 

Israel’s population reaches more than 8 million at year’s end
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2013 – 6.1 million are Jewish, 1.6 are Muslims, Arab-Christian and Druse; population is on track to reach 11.4 million by 2035. 

Think About It: Unresolved issues of 2013
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2013 – One of the fascinating features of Israeli reality is the fact that there isn’t an economic, social or political problem which doesn’t get aired out openly. 

‘More than 4,000 European jihadists fighting against Assad’
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2013 – Belgian daily reports of spike in number of radical foreign fighters partaking in efforts to oust Syrian President Bashar Assad. 

Blast at Egyptian army building wounds 4 soldiers
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2013 – Three senior Muslim Brotherhood figures flee Egypt; police and Cairo students clash for third day running. 

Israel warns against new Iranian centrifuges ahead of new Geneva talks
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2013 – Interim agreement allows Iran to continue developing and upgrading centrifuges, which will allow Tehran to quickly enrich uranium for a nuclear bomb should it decide to break its agreement with the West, Israeli official says. 

A sad Jewish story
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2013 – A sequel to the picture of DHolland and accompanying story by Hanna Brown published in ‘The Jerusalem Post’.

Buried by the ‘Times’
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2013 – I read ‘The New York Times’ from back to front, with the understanding that the news I am interested in is often found “buried” at the back. 

The alliance that shouldn’t be
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2013 – There has been a host of commentaries suggesting that a rapprochement between Israel and Saudi Arabia should be underway. 

Hadash posted video calling for kidnapping soldiers
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2013 – Hadash spokesman says the clip featuring Samer Issawi was posted as a news item and the party does not support kidnapping. 

Katyushas and Lebanon
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2013 – In light of the Katyusha attack from Lebanon Sunday, Israel’s best strategy is to maintain a high level of deterrence. 

State of child report: Nearly half of children not eligible for bagrut
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2013 – President receives annual statistical report on children, says neglect of children is intolerable, worst possible sin. 

PA security commander sentenced to 15 years for embezzlement
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2013 – Col. Rashid Abu Shbak embezzled nearly $1 million from the PA’s Protective Security Force in Gaza. 

Protests against 3rd Palestinian prisoner release continue in Jerusalem
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2013 – Dozens of demonstrators gather at Jerusalem Chords Bridge; police arrest 2 trying to block roads, torch tires. 

Palestinians attack symbolic ministerial vote to annex Jordan Valley
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2013 – Erekat: Bill shows Israel’s “indifference” to international law; Yesh Atid, Hatnua are likely to appeal vote on bill that would apply Israeli law to the area. 

Palestinians: Postponing prisoner release is Israeli blackmail
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2013 – Fatah member: PA paid a heavy price for the release of the Palestinian prisoners; prisoners already moved to Ofer Prison. 

Person of the year in the IDF: The C4i Corps
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2013 – The corps is behind the army’s network-centric revolution, which has seen key developments this year. 

Mourners chant anti-Hezbollah slogans at funeral of assassinated Lebanese ex-minister
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2013 – “There is no God but God and Hezbollah is the enemy of God,” mourners chant as Mohamad Chatah is laid to rest. 

Woman suicide bomber kills at least 14 at Russian station
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2013 – Putin orders tighter security after 2nd bombing in 3 days; counter-terrorism expert says more attacks likely ahead of Winter Olympics. 

UNIFIL vows to find perpetrators of rocket attack on Israel
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2013 – Five Katusha rockets fired at Israel early Sunday morning; IDF responds with artillery fire; UN urges calm. 

Women to be focus of Israel’s Independence Day celebrations
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2013 – Celebrations to highlight women’s contribution to science, culture, economics, security, education, public service and more. 

Turkey simmers
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2013 – Twice during the course of the year, violence directed largely against Erdogan and the party he leads, the AKP, has broken out on the streets of Turkey’s major cities. 

New Year’s Eve celebrations in Israel – parties, booze, and drunk drivers
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2013 – The number of people hurt is significantly higher on New Year’s Eve than on a regular night, according to Magen David Adom. 

Health Ministry ad campaign leaves elderly confused over flu shots
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2013 – NIS 2 million campaign misled the public into thinking that people over 64 no longer need to get vaccinated against the flu. 

Peres aghast at extent of child abuse in Israel
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2013 – President receives annual statistical report on children from Yitzhak Kadman, the director of The National Council for the Child. 

Uruknet

Palestinian Writer Ahmad Qatamesh freed after 2.5 years in administrative detention
Uruknet 29 Dec 2013 – December 27, 2013 – The Palestinian prisoner support network Samidoun announced that Palestinian writer and academic Ahmad Qatamesh was released on 26 December after two and a half years in Israeli jails. Qatamesh was held under administrative detention, a legal…

Dispelling the lie that Assad is winning 
Uruknet 29 Dec 2013 – December 27, 2013 – Much western media coverage of late is dominated by the idea that Assad is winning , the rebellion is on the back-foot, etc. However, to quote this narrative is to quote the regime s malicious, biased, one-sided…

Guantanamo: Twelve Years of US War Crimes (Video) 
Uruknet 29 Dec 2013 – December 27, 2013 – … I just want to make a prediction. There will still be people there when President Obama leaves office, despite his promise to close Guantanamo in a year from when he went into office. So, unfortunately, he…

Advisor to Iran supreme leader urges direct nuclear talks with U.S.
Uruknet 29 Dec 2013 – December 27, 2013 – The chief foreign policy advisor to Iran s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has called for direct talks with the United States on nuclear issues, a possible sign from the supreme leader that he is amenable to ending…

Obama s NSA Phone Spying Reforms Might Make Things Worse
Uruknet 29 Dec 2013 – December 27, 2013 – President Barack Obama turned heads just days before Christmas when he announced that he is “seriously” considering following the recommendations set forth by an advisory panel, which he appointed, that suggested a major overhaul to the…

New York Senate leader wants to cut off cash to colleges involved in American Studies Association
Uruknet 29 Dec 2013 – December 27, 2013 – The backlash against the American Studies Association s (ASA) decision to boycott Israel continues to intensify. Two New York Democrats say they are planning to introduce legislation early next year that would cut off state aid…

Mythmaking in the Washington Post Washington s Real Aims in Colombia
Uruknet 29 Dec 2013 – December 27, 2013 – Last Sunday s Washington Post carried a front-page article by Dana Priest, in which she revealed “a CIA covert action program that has helped Colombian forces kill at least two dozen rebel leaders.” Thanks to “a…

Nuremberg Set a Valid Precedent for Iraq War Trials
Uruknet 29 Dec 2013 – December 27, 2013 -As the number of deaths continues unabated in Iraq -the worst since 2008- so do calls for the prosecution of those that led both the United States and Great Britain into war, George W. Bush and Tony…

Israeli forces convert private home in Yabad into military base
Uruknet 29 Dec 2013 – December 27, 2013 — Israeli forces raided a private home in the northern West Bank town of Yabad and converted it into a military watch station on Friday morning.Sobhi Ali Abu Bakr told a Ma an correspondent in Jenin that…

Pakistan to raise drone issue at UN Human Rights Council
Uruknet 29 Dec 2013 – December 27, 2013 – Pakistan on Thursday said it would raise the issue of US drone strikes inside its territory at the United Nations Human Rights Council. “We will go to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva…

There s an alarming number of deaths in US jails
Uruknet 29 Dec 2013 – December 27, 2013 – Kyam Livingston begged for help. After seven hours of lying on the floor of a jail cell, the 38-year-old mother of two died, her calls unheeded by the correction officers providing security for the approximately 15…

Syria Protests December 27, 2013 ( Friday of the Barrels of Death Licensed by the World ) A Video Roundup 
Uruknet 29 Dec 2013 – 

Daily Star

19 Syria rebels killed in fight for air base: monitor
Daily Star 29 Dec 2013 At least 19 rebels were killed in eastern Syria on Sunday in clashes for control of Deir Ezzor military air base, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Syria evacuates 5,000 from town near Damascus
Daily Star 29 Dec 2013 The Syrian government evacuated some 5,000 people Sunday from an embattled industrial town near Damascus where al-Qaida-linked rebels have been battling government troops for more than two weeks, the state news agency said.

Syria committed to Iran attending peace talks: minister
Daily Star 29 Dec 2013 Syria is committed to its key regional ally Iran attending a planned peace conference next month to which it has yet to be invited, Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said Sunday.

Yemen jails nine al Qaeda members for plot to kill president
Daily Star 29 Dec 2013 A Yemeni court jailed nine al Qaeda members for between two and 10 years on Sunday for plotting to assassinate President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, the country’s news agency Saba reported.

Militants hit security forces as Iraq unrest kills 11, MP arrested
Daily Star 29 Dec 2013 Militants targeted Iraqi soldiers and anti-Al-Qaeda militiamen Sunday, as attacks killed at least 11 people including one child, security and medical officials said.

Libya, Algeria to boost border security
Daily Star 29 Dec 2013 Libya and Algeria agreed Sunday to boost cooperation on border security, illegal immigration, weapons trafficking and “terrorism”, during a visit by Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal.

Sleiman: Saudi Arabia grants Lebanese Army $3 billion
Daily Star 29 Dec 2013 Saudi Arabia has granted the Lebanese Army $3 billion in military equipment to be bought from France, President Michel Sleiman said Sunday.

UN completes first Iraq-Syria aid airlift
Daily Star 29 Dec 2013 The United Nations says it has completed the first aid airlift from Iraq to Syria, providing much-needed supplies to a difficult-to-access region of the war-torn country.

YNet News

2-year-old, 7-year-old critically injured in fire in east Jerusalem
YNet News, 29 Dec 2013 – ….

Man critically injured by gunfire in Bnei Brak 
YNet News, 29 Dec 2013 – ….

Peres sends condolence letter to Putin after suicide attack
YNet News, 29 Dec 2013 – ….

Syria evacuates 5,000 from town near Damascus
YNet News, 29 Dec 2013 – ….

Quake in southern Italy rattles Naples area
YNet News, 29 Dec 2013 – ….

Hear our outcry 
YNet News, 29 Dec 2013 – Op-ed: Asylum seeker from Eritrea asks Israel to show some sympathy, let him live in dignity ….

Who is the most popular Biblical figure?
YNet News, 29 Dec 2013 – Holy Moses! Survey conducted to mark ‘Book of Books’ exhibition reveals 93% of households in Israel own Bible, but 28% of Israelis can’t remember the last time they opened it ….

Israel’s message to Hezbollah, Lebanon and Syria
YNet News, 29 Dec 2013 – The rocket fire from Lebanon was likely the work of some small group aiming to divert Hezbollah forces to southern Lebanon, but Israel will not tolerate ongoing rocket fire on its civilian population ….

We’re fooling ourselves
YNet News, 29 Dec 2013 – Op-ed: Israel should build in settlement blocs because that’s its policy – not as compensation for release of terrorists ….

France may ban anti-Semitic comedian 
YNet News, 29 Dec 2013 – French interior minister says Dieudonne’s shows have repeatedly insulted memory of Holocaust victims, could threaten public order ….

Palestinian Information Center

Hamas: We will remain on the path of martyrs until Palestine is liberated
PIC – The Hamas Movement said it would remain adherent to its resistance approach and following the path of martyrs whatever the sacrifices until all national goals have been achieved.

Palestinian old man dies at IOF roadblock
PIC – A Palestinian old man died at the Israeli military roadblock set up at the entrance to Yabad village, south of Jenin, after the Israeli soldiers delayed his passage for more than an hour.

Four Palestinians kidnapped in IOF campaign in W. Bank
PIC – The Israeli occupation forces kidnapped at dawn Sunday four Palestinian citizens during raids on homes in different West Bank area, and another one during violent clashes yesterday in Jerusalem.

Jewish settlers continue to storm al-Aqsa Mosque
PIC – Groups of Jewish settlers stormed al-Aqsa Mosque on Sunday from the Mughrabi Gate under the protection of the Israeli occupation police.

Two Palestinian refugees killed in Syria camps
PIC – The working group for the Palestinians in Syria reported that two Palestinian refugees died on Saturday due to the continued shelling and siege on Syria refugee camps.

IOA opens Karam Abu Salem crossing and allows fuel into Gaza
PIC – Israeli occupation authorities (IOA) on Sunday reopened the Karam Abu Salem commercial crossing in the Gaza Strip after closing it for four consecutive days.

Egyptian authorities bar solidarity delegations from visiting Gaza
PIC – The Egyptian authorities refused to allow on Saturday three solidarity delegations to enter the besieged Gaza Strip through the Rafah border crossing.

IOF soldiers shell south Lebanon
PIC – Israeli occupation forces (IOF) fired more than 20 shells at south Lebanon on Sunday morning, the Lebanese national news agency reported.

Patient prisoners in Eshel jail threaten to start an open hunger strike
PIC – Palestinian patient prisoners in the Israeli Eshel jail threatened to start an open-ended hunger strike, in protest against the policy of medical neglect they are exposed to.

WAFA

Public Transportation Strike Halts Life in Jenin
WAFA – 29 Dec 2013

Israeli Forces Arrests 3 from Bethlehem, Hebron
WAFA – 29 Dec 2013

Prices Down in November, says Statistics Bureau
WAFA – 29 Dec 2013

Gaza’s Commercial Crossing Re-Opens, Fuel allowed in
WAFA – 29 Dec 2013

New Group of 26 Prisoners to be Released Monday Midnight
WAFA – 29 Dec 2013

Weather: Cloudy and Rainy through Wednesday
WAFA – 29 Dec 2013

Misc

Israel publishes new list of Palestinian prisoners to be released
LA Times 29 Dec 2013 – JERUSALEM — Amid political and public debate, Israel approved the latest list of Palestinian prisoners it plans to release from jail this week, the government said Saturday night. It would be the third such group released in recent months.

Second bombing in a week targets security forces in Egypt
LA Times 29 Dec 2013 – CAIRO — An explosion hit a military intelligence building northeast of Cairo on Sunday, the second blast in less than a week to strike an Egyptian security installation. Four people were injured, the military’s chief spokesman said.

Most Iranian lawmakers back nuclear speedup if U.S. adds sanctions
LA Times 29 Dec 2013 – TEHRAN — More than two-thirds of the Iranian parliament has signed on to a bill that would accelerate Iran’s nuclear program if Congress adopts new sanctions legislation, official news agencies said.

Egypt May Elect President Before Voting for Parliament
New York Times 29 Dec 2013 – Analysts said the move being considered by the interim president to switch the order of elections could allow Egypt’s leaders to maintain tighter control over the outcomes. 

UN: 2 Peacekeepers Killed in Sudan’s South Darfur
New York Times 29 Dec 2013 – The United Nations says two peacekeepers have been killed while in Sudan’s South Darfur region. 

Yemen Resumes Oil Flow Through Pipeline Attacked by Tribesmen
New York Times 29 Dec 2013 – Yemen has resumed crude oil flows through a pipeline in its eastern Hadramout province one day after tribesmen blew it up, a local official said on Sunday. 

French President Says Will Supply Arms to Lebanon Army if Asked
New York Times 29 Dec 2013 – France will supply weapons to the Lebanese army if it is asked to do so, French President Francois Hollande said on Sunday during a visit to Saudi Arabia where he met King Abdullah. 

Yemeni Court Sentences Al-Qaida Militant to Death
New York Times 29 Dec 2013 – Judicial officials in Yemen say a state security court has sentenced an al-Qaida militant to death over the bombing of an intelligence headquarters in the country’s south that killed a dozen soldiers in 2010. 

Egypt’s President Says Elections Within Six Months of Constitution Approval
New York Times 29 Dec 2013 – Egypt’s interim president said on Sunday that the government is committed to holding parliamentary and presidential elections within six months of approval of the new constitution, to be voted on next month. 

Israeli Ministers Endorse Legislation to Annex Part of West Bank
New York Times 29 Dec 2013 – A panel of Israeli cabinet ministers endorsed proposed legislation on Sunday to annex an area of the occupied West Bank likely to be the eastern border of a future Palestinian state. 

Yemen Jails Nine Al Qaeda Members for Plot to Kill President
New York Times 29 Dec 2013 – A Yemeni court jailed nine al Qaeda members for between two and 10 years on Sunday for plotting to assassinate President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, the country’s news agency Saba reported. 

Saudi Arabia to Give Lebanese Army $3 Billion
New York Times 29 Dec 2013 – Saudi Arabia is giving the Lebanese army $3 billion in aid, Lebanon’s President Michel Suleiman said on Sunday, calling it the largest grant ever given to the country’s armed forces. 

Activists: 2-Week Death Toll in Syrian City Soars
New York Times 29 Dec 2013 – A Syrian activist group says more than 500 people have been killed in the government’s two-week aerial assault on opposition-held areas of the northern city of Aleppo and its suburbs. 

Israel Cabinet Okays Plan to Curb Government Spending Growth
New York Times 29 Dec 2013 – Israel’s cabinet on Sunday approved a Finance Ministry proposal to tighten spending limits on the government’s budget starting in 2015. 

Angry Libyan Protesters Block Government Offices
New York Times 29 Dec 2013 – Dozens of angry protesters in Libya’s capital, Tripoli, blocked off the prime minister’s office and the Foreign Ministry building Sunday over poor government performance and widespread corruption, a security official said. 

Syria to Miss Deadline for Moving Chemical Weapons
New York Times 29 Dec 2013 – Volatile security and bad weather are among the factors contributing to the delay, says a report by the United Nations and a watchdog group. 

Rocket Fired From Lebanon Lands in Israel
New York Times 29 Dec 2013 – There were no injuries in the attack, but there were fears it could disturb a fragile cease-fire. 

Cyndi Lauper, the country you are planning to entertain imposes violent segregation, not equality
Mondoweiss – Dear Cyndi, I’m glad that you believe in equality , so do I. Unfortunately, my country doesn’t. In the state of Israel, equality is a word frequently used, but rarely practiced. In the occupied territories, under Israel’s control, in East Jerusalem, and the West Bank, Palestinians and…

Senior analysts slam BoI Governor’s policies
Globes Main News – “If Flug thinks she can spend five years copying Fischer’s policies, she’s mistaken. She’s not Fischer,” said one senior analyst.

Babylon to launch search engine
Globes Main News – Babylon is set to launch its search engine in Eastern Europe and South America in the first quarter of 2014.

Former IDF General sues Teva for NIS 19m
Globes Main News – Brig-Gen (res.) Gil Hirsch claims he is owed the money for mediating Teva’s acquisition of Cephalon.

Israeli ministers committee votes to annex Jordan Valley
Mondoweiss – MK Miri Regev (Photo:IsraelNationalNew/Flash 90) In a move that would thwart the reported “security arrangements” in John Kerry’s draft peace proposal, a committee of Israeli government ministers today approved new legislation to annex the occupied Jordan Valley . Kerry’s proposal is said to include plans to imprison…

Sun: Banks lead losses
Globes Main News – Bank Hapoalim and Bank Leumi were each down more than 2%, while Opko Health again slumped.

What Would Jesus Do (on his birthday in Jerusalem)?
Mondoweiss – Dormition Abbey This is part of Marc H. Ellis’s “Exile and the Prophetic” feature for Mondoweiss. To read the entire series visit the archive page. If Mahmoud Abbas should simply give up his diminished – or non-existent – ship of state and go AWOL, since there’s…

Three Israeli cos tipped for major 2014 IPOs
Globes Main News – Borderfree and Outbrain are expected to hold IPOs on Wall Street, while Matomy is heading for London.

African refugees hold up i.d. numbers, recalling Holocaust tattoos
Mondoweiss – African asylum-seekers march in Tel Aviv on Saturday night, December 28. The numbers are the IDs issued by the Israeli immigration authorities. A biblical quote from Exodus is above (behind) the 144519 sign. Thousands of African asylum-seekers, joined by Israeli supporters, held a silent march through…

Cabinet approves curbing budget growth
Globes Macro Economics – The Cabinet today approved Minister of Finance Yair Lapid’s proposal to dramatically reduce growth in the state budget.

Huge Elbit Imaging “haircut” to hit pensions
Globes Main News – The court is set to approve the Elbit Imaging debt settlement that will involve the largest-ever debt write-off in the Tel Aviv market.

50% of Israeli children on threshold of poverty
Globes Macro Economics – “We must not neglect children. This is a mistake that we will pay for in the future,” said President Shimon Peres after receiving the National Council for the Child annual report.

Guilty on Christmas
Mondoweiss – All through Christmas I thought a lot about Ari Shavit’s declaration to progressive American secular Jews that we need Israel “like oxygen” in order to stay Jewish– and therefore we must support the Zionist project. Shavit is warning that without a strong pole for Jewish identity,…

Zisser out as Elbit Imaging debt settlement signed
Globes Main News – The Tel Aviv District Court heard that Motti Zisser has lost control of Elbit Imaging after the debt settlement with Bank Hapoalim has been signed.

Leader Capital: BoI could adopt Swiss policy
Globes Main News – The firm’s analysts believe the Bank of Israel might set a target rate that it would support through massive currency purchases.

ILD debt issue over subscribed
Globes Main News – Israel Land Development intends to increase the total amount to be raised to up to NIS 130 million.

Gazit-Globe raises NIS 375m
Globes Main News – The series 11 debentures were offered at NIS 1.217 for NIS 1.00 par value, representing an effective yield to maturity of 3.25%.

Lapid: We’ll bring food prices down
Globes Macro Economics – Minister of Finance Yair Lapid defended his and the government’s record on Channel 10 this morning.

Saudi ‘$3bn grant’ for Lebanon army 
BBC 29 Dec 2013 – Lebanon’s president announces a $3bn grant from Saudi Arabia, shortly after the funeral of a senior politician killed in a car bomb on Friday.

Israel Right Wing Pushes West Bank Annexation Plan 
The Foward Breaking News 29 Dec 2013 – A panel of Israeli cabinet ministers endorsed proposed legislation on Sunday to annex an area of the occupied West Bank likely to be the eastern border of a future Palestinian state. Click here for the rest of the article…

Immigration to Israel Rises by 7% — Led by French 
The Foward Breaking News 29 Dec 2013 – Israel welcomed some 19,200 new immigrants in 2013, with French Jews leading the way. Click here for the rest of the article…

26 Palestinian Prisoners Approved for Freedom 
The Foward Breaking News 29 Dec 2013 – A committee of government ministers approved a list of 26 Palestinian prisoners to be released as part of the revived Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. Click here for the rest of the article…

5 Rockets From Lebanon Shot at Northern Israel 
The Foward Breaking News 29 Dec 2013 – At least five Katyusha rockets were fired from Lebanon at northern Israel. Click here for the rest of the article…

Israel-Lebanon border fire exchanged 
BBC 29 Dec 2013 – Israel says it fired artillery shells into southern Lebanon after two rockets landed in Israel, amid heightened cross-border tensions.

Morocco’s royal budget remains a taboo 
Al-Monitor 13 May 2014 – Despite transparency in other aspects of Morocco’s economy, the royal budget remains basically off limits, with parliamentarians hesitant to even bring up the issue.

Sudan’s Bashir replaces top officials amid ongoing protests 
Al-Monitor 13 May 2014 – Amid rising anti-government popular sentiment, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has replaced a number of top leaders in order to strengthen his grip on power, but this may not be enough to save him.

Gulf countries take steps to achieve monetary unity 
Al-Monitor 13 May 2014 – Following a decision by a number of GCC states to form a unified central bank, the idea of a monetary union between the Gulf states seems closer than ever to being realized.

Saudi Arabia’s Gulf Union project includes military dimension 
Al-Monitor 12 Apr 2014 – Saudi Arabia begins 2014 with an assertive plan for regional leadership.

Saudi ‘$3bn grant’ for Lebanon army 
BBC 29 Dec 2013 – Lebanon’s president announces a $3bn grant from Saudi Arabia, shortly after the funeral of a senior politician killed in a car bomb on Friday.

Syrian rockets strike Lebanese border village 
Al-Akhbar News 29 Dec 2013 – A number of rockets fired from Syria hit a border town in East Lebanon on Sunday, causing no casualties, state news reported. The rockets struck the town of Khirbet Daoud on the outskirts of Ersal, which security sources say is used as a transit point to…

Death toll from Beirut blast rises to eight 
Al-Akhbar News 29 Dec 2013 – A man injured in the blast that killed former Lebanese finance minister Mohammed Shatah in Lebanon’s capital two days ago succumbed to his wounds Sunday, the National News Agency reported. Anwar al-Baddawi’s passing brings the death toll to eight from the massive blast in downtown Beirut…

Bahrain opposition leader charged 
BBC 29 Dec 2013 – The leader of Bahrain’s main opposition movement, al-Wefaq, is freed on charges of inciting hatred and banned from travel, officials say.

Protesters barricade Libyan ministries, demand PM quits 
Al-Akhbar News 29 Dec 2013 – Protesters gathered outside ministries and major institutions across Libya’s capital on Sunday, state news agency Lana reported, and those at the foreign ministry said they wanted Prime Minister Ali Zeidan to quit. Zeidan’s government is struggling to assert control over the North African country, which is…

Jordan to execute brothers for strangling sister in “honor” killing 
Al-Akhbar News 29 Dec 2013 – The criminal court in Amman on Sunday sentenced two Jordanian men to death for killing their sister in June “to cleanse the family’s honor,” a court official said. “The two men, aged 23 and 20, took their divorced sister, also in her twenties, to the garden…

Lebanon buries slain minister 
Al-Akhbar News 29 Dec 2013 – The coffin of former Lebanese finance minister Mohammad Shatah, is carried into the Mohammed al-Amin mosque in downtown Beirut, on December 29, 2013, two days after he was killed in a car bomb that detonated as he drove past. (Photo: AFP – Anwar Amro) Updated 4:30…

Israel to release 26 Palestinian prisoners Monday: official 
Al-Akhbar News 29 Dec 2013 – A Palestinian hurls a rock at Israeli occupation forces in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh during a protest against the expansion of Jewish settlements in Palestinian land on December 27, 2013. (Photo: AFP – Abbas Momani) The 26 Palestinian prisoners Israel has agreed to…

Barrel bombs ‘kill 517 in Aleppo’ 
BBC 29 Dec 2013 – Barrel bombs dropped on the Syrian province of Aleppo have killed 517 since 15 December, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says.

Benghazi attack: ‘No al-Qaeda role’ 
BBC 29 Dec 2013 – Al-Qaeda had no direct involvement in the September 2012 attack on the US mission in Benghazi that killed the US ambassador, the New York Times reports.

Omanis kidnapped in Lebanon released 
Al-Akhbar News 29 Dec 2013 – Two Omanis kidnapped this week in eastern Lebanon have been freed, their country’s foreign ministry said on Sunday. The pair were “safe and well at the Omani embassy in Beirut,” the ministry said in a statement, without disclosing any details about their release. The ministry thanked…

Bahrain bans opposition leader from travel 
Al-Akhbar News 29 Dec 2013 – A man holds up a portrait of Ali Salman late on December 28, 2013 at Bilad al-Qadeem, a suburb of Manama, as police use tear gas during a protest after police arrested Salman, head of the main opposition bloc Al-Wefaq. (Photo: AFP – Mohammed al-Shaikh) A…

Four wounded in Egypt car bomb 
Al-Akhbar News 29 Dec 2013 – A bomb targeted an Egyptian military intelligence building north of Cairo on Sunday, wounding four soldiers, security officials said, in the second bomb attack on the security services in the Nile Delta in less than a week. The bomb went off near an entrance to the…

Israel fires about 20 shells into Lebanon 
Al-Akhbar News 29 Dec 2013 – A Lebanese soldier examines one of about 20 shells that were fired by Israeli occupation forces into southern Lebanon on December 29, 2013. (Photo: AFP – Ali Dia) A Lebanese soldier examines one of about 20 shells that were fired by Israeli occupation forces into southern…

Israel-Lebanon border fire exchanged 
BBC 29 Dec 2013 – Israel says it fired artillery shells into southern Lebanon after two rockets landed in Israel, amid heightened cross-border tensions.

Turkey: Gulen-Erdogan Conflict Deepens With Corruption Probe 
Al-Akhbar Politics 28 Dec 2013 – People hold hoses to symbolize the siphoning of public funds by people close to the government as civil servants gather in central Ankara on December 28, 2013 to protest corruption and the government of the Turkish prime minister. (Photo: AFP – Adem Altan) People hold hoses…

Lines of the Game: Price to Pay for the Shatah Assassination 
Al-Akhbar Opinion 28 Dec 2013 – The assassination ought to increase pressure on the formation of a Lebanese government and a formula for a presidential agreement. (Photo: Haitham Moussawi) The assassination ought to increase pressure on the formation of a Lebanese government and a formula for a presidential agreement. (Photo: Haitham Moussawi)…

Lebanon: Surviving the Starco Blast 
Al-Akhbar Politics 28 Dec 2013 – The blast inflicted great damages on the region surrounding Starco Building in downtown Beirut. (Photo: Haitham Moussawi) The blast inflicted great damages on the region surrounding Starco Building in downtown Beirut. (Photo: Haitham Moussawi) Everyday, the Lebanese seem deprived of further space in their own country….

Future Movement and March 14: Hezbollah Killed Shatah 
Al-Akhbar Politics 28 Dec 2013 – Lebanese policemen stand at the site of a powerful car bomb explosion on December 28, 2013 that rocked central Beirut the previous day. (Photo: AFP – Anwar Amro) Lebanese policemen stand at the site of a powerful car bomb explosion on December 28, 2013 that rocked…

Shatah Assassination: Who Will Benefit From the Accusations? 
Al-Akhbar Opinion 28 Dec 2013 – People attend a candle-light vigil at the site of a car bomb that targeted former finance minister, Mohamed Chatah, in Beirut on December 28, 2013. (Photo: AFP – Anwar Amro) People attend a candle-light vigil at the site of a car bomb that targeted former finance…

Articles


Fun with chronology: misreporting the Israeli assault on Gaza 
Belen Fernandez, Al Jazeera 12/29/2013
The media has a habit of using truncated timelines to excuse Israel’s assaults on Gaza.
The New York Times’ rendering of recent violence on the border between Gaza and Israel is a shining example of the chronological sleights of hand that have come to characterise mainstream reporting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Isabel Kershner’s December 24 dispatch, “Killing and Retaliation at Gaza-Israel Border Continue Violent Cycle”, sets up the timeline as follows:
“An Israeli labourer who was repairing the security fence along the border with Gaza was fatally shot on Tuesday by a Palestinian sniper, according to the Israeli military, and Israel immediately responded with airstrikes and tank and infantry fire against targets it associated with militant groups in the Palestinian coastal territory.”
The seeming cause-and-effect relationship is emphasised by two photographs appearing side by side at the top of the article. On the left: the body of the sniper victim. On the right: the body of the three-year-old Palestinian girl cast as unintended collateral damage in the photograph’s caption: “A shell killed her as Israel, responding to the sniper attack, struck targets it associated with militant groups.”
Buried in a paragraph in the second half of the article, however, is the following detail: “On Friday, Israeli forces fatally shot a Palestinian man who approached the border fence separating Gaza from Israel.”
As it turns out, the Friday in question occurred four days prior to the Tuesday sniper fire and military assault…. more.. e-mail

Walled in by Zionist ugliness 
Stuart Littlewood, Redress 12/28/2013
The grim horror now surrounding our “Little Town of Bethlehem”
London’s Christmas was made gloomier this year – and rightly so – by the appearance in the courtyard of St James’s Church, Piccadilly, of a replica of the hated Israeli annexation wall that threads its thieving way around the Palestinian West Bank.
It’s a life-size representation of the actual 8-metre high wall surrounding Bethlehem and imprisoning its inhabitants. The project, called Bethlehem Unwrapped, is a response to a call from the united churches of the Holy Land pleading with churches and communities around the world to “help us get our freedom back”.
The Israelis claim that the monstrous wall, also known as the Apartheid Wall, is to protect it’s citizens from terrorist attack. But in reality it is carefully routed to bite deep into Palestinian territory in order to steal choice agricultural land and water resources, as well as to seize strategic landscape and communication features and disconnect Palestinian communities from their livelihoods and from each other.
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This is not the first time the evil barrier has been replicated by a British church. Over Christmas 2006 at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in my home town of St Ives in Cambridgeshire, instead of enjoying the usual live sheep, cow, donkey and newborn babies at a Nativity scene, visitors were greeted by a grim grey replica of the wall and photos of the real thing. more.. e-mail

Whitewashing the settlers’ police force 
Yesh Din, Written By Yossi Gurvitz, +972 Magazine 12/29/2013
Israeli police in the West Bank manage to avoid carrying out the most basic of investigative actions – even while holding in custody two suspects caught red-handed.
On July 26, 2010, Israeli civilians – some of whom were seen coming from the direction of the settlements of Yizhar and Har Bracha – went on two rampages in the Palestinian village of Burin. In the first and more severe case, they attacked and destroyed property; when the owner, Ibrahim ‘Id, could no longer stand watching his property go up in flames and approached the scene, they hit him over the head with an iron bar. ‘Id lost consciousness and had to be treated in a hospital.
During the second rampage
, Israeli civilians stoned the nearby home of Bashir Hamza Zaban. Unfortunately for the hoodlums, border policemen were on the scene and spotted them. The cops chased the attackers, detaining two of them. One of the detainees hid a knife in his shoe. The two refused to identify themselves, but later were identified in the police station. The two reserved their right to remain silent during their interrogation. Zaban also managed to identify a third attacker, who – unlike the detainees – was not hooded.

On its face, this is an open and shut case. Yet lo and behold: even though two suspects were arrested, having been caught red-handed; even though one of them was carrying a concealed knife; and even though they refused to identify themselves – the police wouldn’t do even the bare minimum, i.e. ask the victim to identify his attackers. Instead, they closed the case, citing lack of evidence.
Hold on, the epic screw-up of this case is just beginning. Despite the fact that Zaban noted in his statement to the police that he was aware of the attack on ‘Id, and although he gave the police a disc containing photos of the attack on ‘Id, the police took its sweet time….more.. e-mail

AIPAC’s Fed Candidate Stanley Fischer on a Warpath Against Iran 
Grant Smith, Antiwar.com 12/28/2013
Dual-citizen nominee’s lifetime benefit to Israel comes at a heavy cost to America
The rushed campaign to insert Stanley Fischer straight from his position leading Israel’s central bank into the number two spot at the Federal Reserve has allowed little time for research into the appointee’s career or for informed public debate about his record. Like the failed recent Obama administration-Israel lobby pincer move to ram approval for U.S. military strikes on Syria through Congress, avoiding such due diligence through velocity may actually be the only means for successful Senate confirmation.
Some of Fischer’s accomplishments – from co-authoring a seminal textbook on macroeconomics to handling economic crisis at the IMF have – not surprisingly – been recalled by his many supporters. Other doings that shed light on Fischer’s controversial attributes – such as overhauling how U.S. aid and trade packages are delivered to Israel – have been mostly ignored. Appointing an openly dual Israeli-American citizen into the most important central bank in the world could be a watershed moment. While the doors of federal government have long swung open for Israel-lobby appointees focusing most – if not all – their energies on advancing the interests of a foreign state, any who were actually Israeli dual citizens have traditionally kept that a closely-guarded secret. Fischer’s long-term boosters, including the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), likely want to accustom Americans to openly dual citizens circulating between top roles in the U.S. and Israeli governments. A closer examination of Fischer reveals that average Americans have good reason to oppose his appointment, because his lifelong achievements for Israel have imposed high costs and few benefits to the United States while making peace more difficult to achieve….
Fischer has not only been an ardent supporter of Israel, his professional efforts began when he took sabbatical leave to Israel in 1972 and 1976-1977. He was a visiting scholar at the Bank of Israel in 1980. More importantly for Israel…. more.. e-mail

Gaza fishermen suffer 85 percent income loss as Israeli siege, attacks continue
Electronic Intifada: 29 Dec 2013 – Israel navy has killed 2 Gaza fishermen, wounded 24, captured 147 and taken or damaged more than 150 boats since 2009. more..


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