VTJP Occupied Palestine and Israel: News and Articles 15 March 2014

15 March 2014 — VTJP


International Middle East Media Center

A National Summit that prompts National Governments to Act
IMEMC – Public discussion on the Palestinian/Israeli crisis, which has diminished in recent years, received a powerful impetus with The National Summit to Reassess the U.S.-Israel Special Relationship, March 7 at the National Press Club, Washington, DC. …

Israel to Confiscate Lands in Salfit
IMEMC – The Israeli civil administration delivered a notice to a Palestinian village in the central West Bank, declaring plans to confiscate parts of the village’s land, a local council said in a statement, on Saturday. …

Four Kidnapped from Hebron and Jenin, One Summoned
IMEMC – Israeli forces kidnapped, on Saturday, four people from the districts of Hebron and Jenin, as well as summoning one for interrogation, according to statements by security sources. …

18 Gaza Palestinians Killed, 110 Injured Since 2014
IMEMC – A Gaza official said that the number of the Gaza Palestinians killed by Israel since early 2014, as a result of military escalation, has increased to 18. …

Gaza’s Only Power Plant Shut Down for Lack of Fuel
IMEMC – [Saturday, March 15, 2014] The Gaza Strip’s only power plant shut down today, due to a lack of fuel from Israel, which closed a goods crossing after militant rocket attacks, the energy authority said. …

Clashes in Beit Furik Following Attempt at Settlement Infiltration
IMEMC – Clashes broke out between a number of youth and Israeli forces, Saturday afternoon, in the town of Beit Furik, east of occupied Nablus, after attempts to infiltrate the Itamar settlement, adjacent to the town. … 

Seven Kidnapped in West Bank and Jerusalem
IMEMC – Israeli forces, this past week, kidnapped five Palestinians from the districts of Jenin and Bethlehem, in the West Bank, in addition to two others from Jerusalem, according to reports by local and security sources. … 

61-year-old Detainee Put on Remand for 4th Time
IMEMC – Israeli authorities have renewed the administrative detention of an aging Hebron citizen to three months, for the fourth time. …

Israel Fires Into Southern Lebanon
IMEMC – Israeli forces bombed a target in southern Lebanon, on Friday, hours after an explosive device was detonated on the border, the Israeli military said. …

Ma’an News

Council: Israel to confiscate land in Salfit village
3/15/2014 – SALFIT (Ma’an) — The Israeli civil administration delivered a notice to a Palestinian village in the central West Bank declaring plans to confiscate parts of the village’s land, a local council said Saturday. The village council of the town of Haris in the Salfit district said in a statement that Israel had sent a notice saying it would confiscate 100 dunams (25….

Gaza’s only power plant ‘shuts down for lack of fuel’
3/15/2014 – GAZA CITY (AFP) — The Gaza Strip’s only power plant shut down Saturday due to a lack of fuel from Israel, which closed a goods crossing after militant rocket attacks, the energy authority said.” The plant has completely ceased to function due to a lack of fuel caused by (Israel’s) closure of the Kerem Shalom crossing,” said Fathi al-Sheikh Khalil, deputy director….

12 Palestinians on hunger strike in Israeli prisons
3/15/2014 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — The Palestinian Prisoner’s Society said on Saturday that 12 Palestinians being held in Israeli prisons are currently on hunger strike in protest against “arbitrary and repressive” measures taken by Israeli forces against them. A report issued by the society said that Akras al-Fseisi, Moammar Banat, and Waheed Abu Maraya, all from Hebron governorate, have been on hunger strike for….

Israeli soldiers open fire on driver near Beit Ummar
3/15/2014 – HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli soldiers opened fire on a Palestinian driver after he “tried to hit” soldiers with his car near a military checkpoint at the entrance to Beit Ummar in the southern West Bank on Wednesday, the Israeli military said. Israeli military sources said that soldiers opened fire on the Palestinian man’s vehicle and detained him following the incident, which they….

Israeli soldier struck by rock during clashes in Beit Furik
3/15/2014 – NABLUS (Ma’an) — An Israeli soldier was struck by a rock on Saturday while he was detaining a boy during clashes in Beit Furik east of Nablus. Local sources told Ma’an that clashes broke out between Jewish settlers from the nearby settlement of Elon Moreh and dozens of Palestinians in the eastern neighborhood of the village of Beit Furik. Israeli settlers approached….

Jordanian jailed for killing Israelis on hunger strike
3/15/2014 – AMMAN (AFP) — A Jordanian soldier serving a life sentence for murdering Israeli schoolgirls in 1997 is on a hunger strike to demand his release following the killing of a Jordanian judge by Israeli soldiers, his son said Saturday.”My father started a hunger strike on Friday. He said he demands the government release him from jail after the Israelis killed Jordanian judge Raed Zeiter,” Ahmad….

12-year-old crushed to death by iron door in Hebron village
3/15/2014 – HEBRON (Ma’an) — A boy was crushed to death under an iron door on Friday in a village south of Hebron, an official told Ma’an. Twelve-year-old Mahdi Raed Deis died after an iron door fell from its fastenings on top of him in the village of Beit Amrah, Hebron District Attorney Alaa Tamimi said. Tamimi said police had arrived at the Abu….

Syria war enters 4th year with no end in sight
3/15/2014 – DAMASCUS (AFP) — Syria’s civil war enters a fourth year Saturday, with at least 146,000 people dead, millions more homeless, cities and historical treasures in ruins, the economy devastated, and no end in sight. On March 15, 2011, just weeks after popular uprisings toppled dictators in Tunisia and Egypt, protests erupted in Syria’s southern city of Daraa after teenagers were arrested over….

Assad reelection campaign begins in battered Syria city
3/15/2014 – HOMS, Syria (AFP) — In the heart of Syria’s devastated city of Homs, once hailed as the “capital of the revolution,” President Bashar Assad looks down from a banner calling for his reelection.”Because you are a symbol of our victory and our resistance, we implore you to be a candidate for the presidency,” reads the caption beneath the smiling Assad, whose family has….

6 Egyptian soldiers shot dead in Cairo attack blamed on Islamists
3/15/2014 – CAIRO (AFP) — Gunmen killed six soldiers at a Cairo checkpoint Saturday in a brazen morning attack the military blamed on the Muslim Brotherhood movement of deposed president Mohamed Morsi. The attack came two days after gunmen killed a soldier in Cairo, as militants once based in the Sinai Peninsula increasingly target the capital in a campaign that has killed more than 200 security men since….

Morocco threatens to expel Syrians for mosque ‘disruption’
3/15/2014 – RABAT (AFP) — Morocco on Friday threatened to expel some Syrian refugees it accused of “causing disruption to mosques and the faithful” in several towns, after a first warning earlier this month. Authorities will resort to the “immediate expulsion of any offender in accordance with the law. . . relating to the entry and residency of foreigners in the kingdom of Morocco,” the interior ministry said in a….

Nine dead in Syria-linked clashes in Lebanon’s Tripoli
3/15/2014 – TRIPOLI, Lebanon (AFP) — Nine people have been killed in 48 hours of clashes in the northern Lebanese town of Tripoli linked to the conflict in neighboring Syria, a security source told AFP on Saturday. The violence between two districts of the city caused local schools to close and cut traffic flow in the city to a trickle, an AFP correspondent said. The clashes, which have….


Gaza power dwindles after crossing closes
AlJazeera 15 Mar 2014 – Major power station forced to shut as Israel closes crossing and restricts deliveries after days of clashes.

The National

Rare anti-government protest in Algeria
The National 15 Mar 2014 – While there was a heavy police presence, officers didn’t violently disperse the young protesters from the “Barakat!” group like they did in similar demonstrations earlier this month.

Gaza’s only power plant ‘shuts down for lack of fuel’
The National 15 Mar 2014 – The facility, which supplies some 30 per cent of Gaza’s electricity needs, has been forced to shut down several times, most recently in December.

Lawrence of Arabia offered ‘quiet’ job at UK Bank
The National 15 Mar 2014 – The legendary World War I veteran was offered the role of night watchman in 1928, according to documents released by England’s Central Bank.

Beijing hotel a temporary home for relatives of missing passengers
The National 15 Mar 2014 – Grief, sadness and anger have ebbed and flowed at the north Beijing hotel where many of the relatives of the missing passengers aboard Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 are staying.

Voices on Afghanistan: Building schools for a better future
The National 15 Mar 2014 – “Education was forgotten to begin with because people were distracted by the war. Now, there are huge numbers of children going back to school, including girls. But there’s still a massive amount to do,” says Lady Richards co-founder & chief executive of the Afghan Appeal Fund.

In final address to parliament, Afghanistan’s Karzai slams US
The National 15 Mar 2014 – Hamid Karzai does not appear to want his legacy to include a commitment to a longer foreign troop presence in the country.

It’s time for India to tackle poverty and child slavery
The National 15 Mar 2014 – Poverty alleviation and implementation of laws are key to tackling child slavery in India

6 soldiers killed by gunmen in Cairo
The National 15 Mar 2014 – An armed group which belongs to the Muslim Brotherhood “terrorist group” attacked the soldiers after they finished their dawn prayers, according to a military statement.

Lebanon’s government declares citizens have right to ‘resist Israeli occupation’
The National 15 Mar 2014 – The deal was reached a few hours after Israel’s army shelled southern Lebanon in retaliation for a bomb that targeted its soldiers patrolling the border.

Partisan politics and poor planning add to Pakistan drought woes
The National 15 Mar 2014 – Observers say relief work is only a temporary fix and Islamabad needs to address the root causes of such disasters and warn they are likely to be repeated.

Mystery of missing Malaysian airliner focuses on pilots and crew
The National 15 Mar 2014 – The prime minister Najib Razak ’s announcement confirms days of mounting speculation that the disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 with 239 people on board was not accidental.


The Crimea referendum, four possible scenarios
Ha’aretz – 15 Mar 2014

Newly published ‘diary’ shows blatant anti-Semitism in ideas of philosopher Martin Heidegger
Ha’aretz – 15 Mar 2014

Kerry is right about Netanyahu’s unnecessary demand
Ha’aretz – 15 Mar 2014

A company commander who outshone Israel’s generals
Ha’aretz – 15 Mar 2014

Israel’s nation-state talk means the return of the yellow star
Ha’aretz – 15 Mar 2014

Kerry tries to defuse ‘recognition as Jewish state’ time bomb that threatens talks
Ha’aretz – 15 Mar 2014

Jordanian PM visits family of judge shot to death by Israeli soldiers
Ha’aretz – 15 Mar 2014

Malaysian PM: Investigators conclude flight likely hijacked
Ha’aretz – 15 Mar 2014

Russia vetoes UN resolution against Crimea referendum
Ha’aretz – 15 Mar 2014

Developer nearing deal with owners over collapsed balcony at Hadera project
Ha’aretz – 15 Mar 2014

White House posts Purim message – complete with hamantaschen recipes
Ha’aretz – 15 Mar 2014

Fischer: Policy decisions are best made early
Ha’aretz – 15 Mar 2014

Ya’alon: No Palestinian peace deal without Jewish state recognition
Ha’aretz – 15 Mar 2014

Ya’alon: No Palestinian peace deal without Jewish state recognition
Ha’aretz – 15 Mar 2014

Stars call on UN to help Palestinian refugees in Syria
Ha’aretz – 15 Mar 2014

Jordanian who killed 7 Israeli girls goes on hunger strike, demands release
Ha’aretz – 15 Mar 2014

West Brom fires Anelka for ‘gross misconduct’
Ha’aretz – 15 Mar 2014

Blurred lines: Palestinians to ask UN to swap Green Line for red one
Ha’aretz – 15 Mar 2014

Yiddish poetry wins first prize at international children’s book fair
Ha’aretz – 15 Mar 2014

Iran defense minister: Palestinian missile power ‘1,000 times’ stronger
Ha’aretz – 15 Mar 2014

Sinai militant said to be behind 2011 attack in Israel killed by own bomb
Ha’aretz – 15 Mar 2014

Gaza’s only power station shuts down due to lack of fuel
Ha’aretz – 15 Mar 2014

Tel Aviv is sixth ‘selfiest’ city in the world
Ha’aretz – 15 Mar 2014

Russian propaganda war in full swing over Ukraine
Ha’aretz – 15 Mar 2014

Jerusalem Post

‘Space has not been allocated for gov’t relocation to Jerusalem’
Jerusalem Post 15 Mar 2014 – Despite a government mandate that all agencies will relocate to capital by 2015, two ministries say insufficient space has been provided. 

Palestinian driver runs into soldiers, injuring 4
Jerusalem Post 15 Mar 2014 – Driver says he accidentally hit Border Policemen near West Bank village when he stepped on acceleration instead of brakes. 

British celebrities demand UN intervene on behalf of Palestinian refugees in Syria
Jerusalem Post 15 Mar 2014 – AFP reports a group of 30 high-profile figures wrote a letter to UN bodies in protest of humanitarian situation. 

Can NATO Guarantee Peace in the Middle East?
Jerusalem Post 15 Mar 2014 – The unfortunate truth of the matter is that the odds are extremely slim that any other international force can allay Israel’s security concerns. 

Iranian intelligence thwarts sabotage attempt at nuclear site, official says
Jerusalem Post 15 Mar 2014 – Fars news agency reports that Iranian intelligence thwarted sabotage attempt at Arak facility. 

Blazing his way through
Jerusalem Post 15 Mar 2014 – A year into Netanyahu’s government, it’s Lapid whose agenda is being implemented. After conscription for the ultra-Orthodox and electoral reform, civil marriage is next up. 

Malaysia PM: Lost plane’s movements indicate a deliberate act, communications turned off
Jerusalem Post 15 Mar 2014 – Najib Razak says satellite data suggests jet flew north towards Kazakhstan or south over Indian Ocean; police search home of pilot of missing flight. 

Report: Sinai jihadist responsible for 2011 terror attack in Israel dies in explosion
Jerusalem Post 15 Mar 2014 – Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis announces that Tawfiq Mohamed Fareej died when bomb he was carrying exploded when he was involved in a car accident. 

Grumpy old man: One out of three ain’t bad
Jerusalem Post 15 Mar 2014 – The ultra-Orthodox should not expect the rest of us to do their military duty, pay their taxes. 

Gunmen kill six army police officers in attack near Cairo
Jerusalem Post 15 Mar 2014 – Army blames the attack on Muslim Bortherhood; senior security source says two bombs deactivated at checkpoint. 

US Senate passes bill awarding President Shimon Peres Congressional Gold Medal
Jerusalem Post 15 Mar 2014 – Bipartisan legislation passes unanimously; one of bill’s sponsors: Peres has “strengthened unbreakable bond between the US, Israel.” 

US warns American travelers in Russia and border region
Jerusalem Post 14 Mar 2014 – State Department releases “travel alert,” tells US citizens to avoid Russia-Ukraine border due to escalation in conflict. 

Lebanese gov’t agrees to new policy allowing citizens to ‘resist’ Israel
Jerusalem Post 14 Mar 2014 – Move reflects compromise between Sunni gov’t, Shi’te Hezbollah fighters showing gov’t support for Hezbollah to step up warfare, use weapons arsenal against Israel. 


Daily Star

Army confiscates bombs, ammunition in n. Lebanon: report
Daily Star 15 Mar 2014 The Lebanese Army confiscates large quantities of bombs and ammunition found in a vehicle in the northern town of Shadra, the National News Agency said.

Rockets from Syria kill one in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley
Daily Star 15 Mar 2014 Eight rockets from Syria hit two villages in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley, killing one person and wounding two others.

Celebrities press UN on Palestinian refugees in Syria
Daily Star 15 Mar 2014 Some 30 celebrities have petitioned the UN demanding they take action to protect civilians, notably Palestinian refugees, caught up in the Syria conflict.

Hariri: Hezbollah’s tripartite formula ‘gone forever’
Daily Star 15 Mar 2014 Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri commends the agreement reached between rival groups over the new Cabinet’s policy statement, adding that Hezbollah’s controversial tripartite formula is gone forever.

Generation risks being ‘lost forever’ in Syria: agencies
Daily Star 15 Mar 2014 A generation risks being “lost forever” as the Syrian conflict enters its fourth year, displacing millions of children and depriving them of health care, education and security, aid agencies warned Saturday.

Gaza’s only power plant ‘shuts down for lack of fuel’
Daily Star 15 Mar 2014 The Gaza Strip’s only power plant shut down Saturday due to a lack of fuel from Israel, which closed a goods crossing after militant rocket attacks, the energy authority said.

Syria troops advance in Yabroud as war enters fourth year
Daily Star 15 Mar 2014 Syrian troops advance on the key rebel bastion of Yabroud as the country’s civil war entered its fourth year, with more than 146,000 dead.

South Lebanon family narrowly escapes Israeli attack
Daily Star 15 Mar 2014 A family of five narrowly escaped the Israeli attack on south Lebanon Friday when two of the nine mortar shells hit their house just seconds after they left.

YNet News

‘The number is with me everywhere I go’
YNet News, 15 Mar 2014 – Auschwitz survivor responds to news of discovery of death camp tattoo equipment with mixed emotions: “The number was a constant reminder that the Germans wanted to destroy me, but the family that I created is my revenge.” ….

Kerem Shalom border crossing to open Sunday to transfer fuel to Gaza 
YNet News, 15 Mar 2014 – ….

Hundreds protest in Paris against the war in Syria
YNet News, 15 Mar 2014 – ….

Armed police burst into Crimean hotel on eve of referendum
YNet News, 15 Mar 2014 – ….

India rules out Malaysian airplane entering its airspace 
YNet News, 15 Mar 2014 – ….

4 Border Policemen lightly injured, hit by Palestinian driver
YNet News, 15 Mar 2014 – ….

Hungary: Jewish graves spray-painted with swastikas
YNet News, 15 Mar 2014 – The tombstones in the Jewish cemetery in the city of Tatab?nya were desecrated with writings such as ‘rotten Jews’, ‘Holocaust never happened’. ….

Rabbi Shteinman: Don’t dress up baby boy as girl 
YNet News, 15 Mar 2014 – Ahead of Purim, one of leading Orthodox Lithuanian rabbis rules it is inappropriate to change child’s gender as part of costume as it should remain the way God created it. ….

The making of an Israeli soundtrack
YNet News, 15 Mar 2014 – Op-ed: Artistic detachment from Judaic roots diminishes authenticity of Israel’s arts and inhibits country’s cultural development. ….

Hezbollah’s thirst for revenge will not end
YNet News, 15 Mar 2014 – Analysis: Recent explosive targeted at IDF soldiers is part of ongoing revenge for attacking of Hezbollah-bound weapons convoy. The system: An eye for an eye against military targets only. ….

Palestinian Information Center

Arabs must protest Israeli crimes even against the wishes of their regimes
PIC – Thousands of Jordanians and Palestinians continued to protest last week’s murderous killing by Israel of a Jordanian judge while traveling to the West Bank through the Allenby Bridge crossing.

Confrontations in Nablus village
PIC – Israeli occupation forces (IOF) stormed Beit Furik village, east of Nablus, afternoon Saturday triggering clashes with young men.

Energy authority: As of today afternoon, power outages for long hours in Gaza
PIC – Deputy head of the energy authority in Gaza Fathi Khalil said that the power station would stop providing Gaza areas with electricity on a steady basis as of 12 o’clock Saturday afternoon.

Hamad: Egypt is not responding to demands to open Rafah crossing
PIC – Deputy Foreign Minister in Gaza Dr. Ghazi Hamad said the Egyptian authorities have not responded to the Palestinian calls for opening the Rafah border crossing since its last closure.

Clashes break out in Jenin and IOF arrests citizen
PIC – A number of Palestinian citizens suffered on Saturday suffocation during confrontations that erupted with the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at the western entrance to the city of Jenin.

Israeli excavations in Silwan cause landslides
PIC – The main street in the neighborhood of Wadi Hilweh in Silwan, in occupied Jerusalem, witnessed on Friday landslides and cracks, after heavy rainfall that has continued for several days.

Mishaal stresses Gaza’s adherence to resistance
PIC – Head of the political bureau of Hamas movement Khaled Mishaal said that the Gaza Strip was always targeted but will always adhere to the option of resistance.

Israeli police bar scores of Palestinians from entering Aqsa for Friday prayers
PIC – Thousands of Palestinian worshipers performed their Friday prayers near the gates of the Aqsa Mosque and in the Old city of Jerusalem after the Israeli police prevented them from entering the Mosque.

Israel to seize vast tract of Palestinian-owned land to expand Revava settlement
PIC – The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) intends to annex more than 100 dunums of Palestinian-owned land in Hares village, north of Salfit city, in order to expand Revava settlement.


Abbas Heads to U.S. to Discuss Peace Process with Obama
WAFA – 15 Mar 2014

Blair: “Economics Goes Side by Side with Politics”
WAFA – 15 Mar 2014

March Organized near Jericho In support of Palestinian Water Rights
WAFA – 15 Mar 2014

Israeli Forces Arrest Four from Hebron and Jenin, Summon One
WAFA – 15 Mar 2014

PEX Report: Index Down again
WAFA – 12 Mar 2014


Iran businesses await a post-sanctions bonanza
LA Times 15 Mar 2014 – Iranian entrepreneurs have seen bottom lines plummet amid nuclear sanctions, but a possible nuclear accord has them hopeful. TEHRAN — The room at the Iranian Chamber of Commerce offices was packed and noisy. At the lectern, Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi encouraged dozens of merchants…

Syrian Forces Close to Taking Over Long-Held Rebel Town
New York Times 15 Mar 2014 – Government forces, backed by the Lebanese militia Hezbollah, have spent weeks edging toward Yabrud, a critical transit point for militants, refugees and arms heading in and out of Lebanon. 

News Analysis: Israel Reaches Out to the Diaspora
New York Times 15 Mar 2014 – It feels more comfortable asking for help and more supportive of Jews abroad. 

World Briefing: Israel: Military Fires Into Lebanon After Border Blast
New York Times 14 Mar 2014 – A large explosive device was detonated against an Israeli Army vehicle patrolling the Israel-Lebanon border on Friday, and the Israeli military responded with tank and artillery fire. 

As Syria Prepares for Election, U.N. Envoy Plans Trip to Its Ally Iran
New York Times 14 Mar 2014 – Lakhdar Brahimi, the Syria mediator for the United Nations, is scheduled to arrive in Tehran on Sunday to urge Iran to help in peace talks on Syria. 

Lebanon ‘affirms right’ of citizens to resist Israel
Mondoweiss – Mleeta ,Lebanese resistance Museum and tourist attraction marking the location of the decisive battle in 2000 when Hezbollah forces defeated Israel, ending the decades long Israeli occupation of Southern Lebanon. Under the supervision of the Lebanese Association for Tourism and Heritage. (photo: Annie Robbins) In a…

Palestinian teen in critical condition after being shot by Israeli soldiers during West Bank protest
Mondoweiss – Violence / Raids / Clashes / Suppression of protests / Illegal arrests Israeli soldiers ‘shoot, critically injure’ Palestinian teen HEBRON (Ma‘an) 14 Mar — Israeli soldiers shot and critically injured a Palestinian teenager during a protest in Beit Ummar north of Hebron on Friday, medics said. Medical sources in al-Ahli…

The State of Palestine Quiz 
Sabbah report 15 Mar 2014 – THE GREAT ZIONIST MYTH: The Palestinians never existed before modern Israel was established. They came from other Arab lands to try to take what the Israelis had rightful claims to. “Palestinians” pretend to the world and to themselves that they have always been there, but they…

VIDEO: Wave of strikes sweep across Egypt 
BBC 15 Mar 2014 – A wave of strikes has been sweeping Egypt for over a month, bringing some sectors to a standstill.

Jim Calhoun Talks March Madness Basketball in the Holy Land 
The Forward New 15 Mar 2014 – Retired UConn basketball coach Jim Calhoun is legendary for winning — and his ties to Israel. He talks about what makes Israeli hoops great — and who he likes in March Madness. Click here for the rest of the article…

Syria’s Kurds fight to keep out jihadists 
BBC 15 Mar 2014 – Syria’s Kurds fight to keep out encroaching jihadists

The cultural heart of Syria: deeply fractured but resilient 
Al-Akhbar News 15 Mar 2014 – A painting by Syrian artist Mohannad Orabi. Profile Portrait, 2012, Mixed Media on Canvas, 150 x 150 cm. A painting by Syrian artist Mohannad Orabi. Profile Portrait, 2012, Mixed Media on Canvas, 150 x 150 cm. It has been three years since March 15, 2011. The…

Gaza violence: Questions to the Resistance and the enemy 
Al-Akhbar Opinion 15 Mar 2014 – Palestinians inspect the damage following an Israeli air strikes on smuggling tunnels in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on March 14, 2014. (Photo: AFP-Said Khatib) Palestinians inspect the damage following an Israeli air strikes on smuggling tunnels in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on…

Rifi: Tripoli’s new strong man 
Al-Akhbar News 15 Mar 2014 – Minister of Justice, Ashraf Rifi (R), while he was head of the Internal Security Forces. (Photo: Marwan Tahtah) Minister of Justice, Ashraf Rifi (R), while he was head of the Internal Security Forces. (Photo: Marwan Tahtah) The Ministry of Justice, like the Internal Security Forces (ISF),…

Gaza’s only power station shut down due to fuel shortage 
Al-Akhbar News 15 Mar 2014 – A Palestinian boy rides a donkey cart in Beit Hanoun, northern Gaza Strip, on March 13, 2014. (Photo: AFP – Mahmoud Hams) The Gaza Strip’s sole power station stopped generating electricity on Saturday, causing blackouts throughout the territory after it ran out of fuel, officials said. “…

Erdogan calls dead teen protester “terrorist” 
Al-Akhbar News 15 Mar 2014 – Protestors flee tear gas during clashes with riot police after the funeral of Berkin Elvan on March 12, 2014 in Istanbul. (Photo: AFP / MIRA) Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said a teenager who died this week after sustaining a head injury in anti-government protests last summer…

Six soldiers shot dead in Cairo 
BBC 15 Mar 2014 – Six Egyptian soldiers are shot dead at a checkpoint in the Cairo suburb of Shubra al-Khaymah, state media report.

Lebanon in urgent need of new press law 
Al-Akhbar News 15 Mar 2014 – A protester displays a placard during a rally to support press freedom in Hong Kong on March 2, 2014.(Photo: AFP-Philippe Lopez) A protester displays a placard during a rally to support press freedom in Hong Kong on March 2, 2014.(Photo: AFP-Philippe Lopez) Clinging to obsolete laws…

Egyptian gunmen kill six soldiers at Cairo checkpoint 
Al-Akhbar News 15 Mar 2014 – Egyptian soldiers and officials inspect the sight where gunmen killed six soldiers at a Cairo checkpoint on March 15, 2014. (Photo: AFP – Ahmed Gamel) Updated at 1:30 pm: Gunmen killed six soldiers at a Cairo checkpoint Saturday in a morning attack the military blamed on…

Syrian army enters rebel-held Yabrud 
Al-Akhbar News 15 Mar 2014 – Syrian soldiers entered eastern districts of the town of Yabrud, the last rebel bastion near the Lebanese border north of Damascus, on Saturday and advanced towards the main street, al-Mayadeen television said. The Beirut-based station broadcast footage showing soldiers charging through a field towards an arched…

Lebanese government allows citizens to resist Israel 
Al-Akhbar News 15 Mar 2014 – Lebanon’s new government agreed to a compromise policy statement on Friday that fell short of explicitly enshrining the militant group Hezbollah’s role in confronting Israel but which would give all citizens the right to resist Israeli occupation or attacks. The agreement on the compromise language came…

Has the US made up its mind on Aoun? 
Al-Akhbar Politics 14 Mar 2014 – Will Aoun make it to Baabda? (Photo: Haitham Moussawi) Will Aoun make it to Baabda? (Photo: Haitham Moussawi) Extending President Michel Suleiman’s term is no longer on the table. No one can say why, but even Suleiman and his inner circle are no longer eager to…


In escalations of violence, Gazans pay the price 
Abeer Ayyoub, +972 Magazine 3/15/2014
As Gaza teeters on the brink, a new Israeli offensive could spell catastrophe for the blockaded strip. One Gazan reminds us who foots the bill, each and every time.
“You don’t have to worry – it’s only thunder, not an explosion,” my sister assured me. We are trying to sleep for the fifth time tonight, after our slumber was repeatedly interrupted by the sound of Israeli rockets and thunder. After failing to distinguish between the two, we turn to local radio stations to find out what was actually happening.
Winter is special everywhere, and Gaza is no exception, of course. For the past week, as the violence escalated between Israel and Gaza, I could do nothing but recall the days of Cast Lead and Pillar of Defense. They are almost the same: extreme cold, no electricity, non-stop news broadcasts and crying children.
And while Israeli airstrikes are not targeting my neighborhood, I cannot remove myself from the violent atmosphere. I wake up every time there is an explosion, I hear the drones circling the sky above my head, as well as the ambulance sirens which mean I have to make sure that none of my relatives, friend or colleagues have been hurt. Most importantly, I have to calm down my nephews and nieces, who think that “death is coming to kidnap” them.
I have never been wounded in any of these Israeli attacks, yet I have to admit that I have been mentally traumatized for the last decade. My head is always about to explode from thinking about how this insane situation might end. I think of the young generation who were born, live and grow up under fire. I never stop wondering whether getting married and bringing children into this miserable situation is the right decision. more.. e-mail

Israel Is No Ally 
Philip Giraldi, The Unz Review 3/13/2014
But is it even a friend?
[This is an edited version of a speech given by me at the National Summit to Reassess the Israel-US Special Relationship, which took place at the National Press Center in Washington on March 7th. The all day event included speakers Stephen Walt, Justin Raimondo, Paul Pillar, Jeff Blankfort, Alan Brownfeld, Philip Weiss, Ray McGovern and Scott McConnell. It was broadcast live by C-Span and is still available on their site.]
Inside the beltway types and the media constantly refer to Israel as an ally, which it is not. Israeli soldiers have never fought beside American troops and to be an ally you need an actual alliance on paper. No such legally binding document exists between Washington and Tel Aviv. Sycophants in congress are also fond of calling Israel Washington’s best or closest friend in spite of the fact that it does actual damage to the United States through using its considerable access to the government and media to promote policies that are good neither for the US nor for Israel itself. Recalling the expression that a friend does not let a friend drive drunk, one might observe that the United States has been driving drunk for quite some time, dangerous behavior that has to some extent been encouraged by Israel and its many supporters in Washington.
Israel might or might not have been an actual enabler of the disastrous American invasion of Iraq but it is undeniably true that the Pentagon officials who contributed to the “Clean Break” recommendations prepared for Benjamin Netanyahu in 1996 were subsequently behind the rush to war and the forgery of phony intelligence that fed the process. And Iran is Iraq redux. If the Washington goes to war with Tehran in the near future it will not be because Iranians actually threaten America, it will be because Israel and its powerful lobby in the US have succeeded in creating an essentially false casus belli to bring about such action. more.. e-mail

HP: Complicit in Jerusalem’s Ethnic Cleansing 
European Coordination of Committees and Associations for Palestine (ECCP, Alternative Information Center 3/14/2014
Israel maintains a stratified ID system – designating Palestinians holding West Bank residence with green ID cards, those in Gaza with red ID cards, and permanent residents of occupied Jerusalem with blue IDs (distinguished from the IDs of Israeli citizens). This structure works to further divide the Palestinian population from both the occupiers and each other, limit freedom of movement, and institutionalize inequality and discrimination. Additionally, Israeli ID cards serve to differentiate Palestinian citizens of Israel from Jewish citizens, and are commonly used for segregation purposes and other discriminatory practices. Palestinians with permanent residency status in Jerusalem face unique hardships as a result of such division.
Though subject to Israeli law, permane
nt residents are not afforded comprehensive rights. Instead, despite having been born in the city, their status equates them to immigrants with limited entitlements. Blue Jerusalem IDs also serve as the sole means for proving their right to remain in the city, as Israel imposes numerous tactics to forcibly expel the Arab population and Judaize Jerusalem. Among these is the Center of Life policy, which compels Palestinian residents of Jerusalem to prove to the Ministry of Interior that the city remains his or her main place of living through an exhaustive (at times, impossible to attain) list of documents. Since its illegal and de-facto annexation by Israel in 1967, over 14,000 IDs have been revoked, forcing Palestinians to either leave the city or reside within it illegally.

The “Aviv” population registration system, operated by Israel’s Ministry of the Interior, is a comprehensive population registry, managing information on age, race, address, country of origin, and religion for Israeli citizens and residents. According to the Israeli Interior Ministry, « To be a resident of Jerusalem, a person must prove that Israel is their main place of residence. Otherwise the population register must be altered. » Maintenance of this population registry system is hence integral to Israel’s continued repression of the Palestinian people. Hewlett-Packard manages the “Aviv” registry, following its acquisition of Compaq Computers in 2002. more.. e-mail

A Palestinian journey back in time to a place called home 
Assia Ladizhinskaya, +972 Magazine 3/15/2014
Sixty-five years after his family fled their beloved village, a Palestinian refugee gets to realize his dream and see what is left of his fantasy. 
“It’s good to see you’ve come back home,” sings the radio ever since Arik Einstein passed away, “Home – it says it all.” “What does it mean?” asked Waffa, as we sat on the balcony of his sister’s house, standing white and stony on the highest hill of Beit ‘Anan in the West Bank. 
“Everything,” I replied.
Waffa and I have known each other for a decade. A tragedy brought us together, and we get together once a year and talk about everything – everything apart from the tragedy. This time we talked about this home, to which it is so good to come back to. We compared our clumsy return experiences, and our personal attempts at feeling the taste of a mythological ‘home’ which says it all. This is how it happened:
Waffa’s family reached the small village near Ramallah in 1948, leaving the hilly village of Bayt Shanna in a hurry in order to safely settle beyond what became known as the Green Line. Although Waffa was born in Beit ‘Anan, he heard about Bayt Shanna from his parents and grandparents, who compared each winter to the winter there, every tree to the trees of the village, and each dinner to the ones they would have before the expulsion. And so it happened that Waffa kept looking back into the past; his longing for the perfection of Bayt Shanna refused to dissipate. Waffa worked as a water engineer in the West Bank, and after receiving a permit to enter Israel in order to travel on the main roads and tend to the waterworks, he offered me to visit his family’s village together. I happily accepted. more.. e-mail

More material available from Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel – www.vtjp.org
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