VTJP Occupied Palestine and Israel: News and Articles 18 March 2014: Why won’t the army stop the theft of Palestinian trees?

18 March 2014 — VTJP


International Middle East Media Center

Warships Fire at Fishermen near Gaza Coast
IMEMC – Israeli warships, late Monday, fired on Palestinian fishermen off the coast of the southern Gaza Strip, fishermen said. …

Panel Discussion to Be Held on One State Solution
IMEMC – On Tuesday, March 18, 2014, at 7:00 PM, AICafe is holding a public panel discussion on the One State Solution with Mohannad Abu Gosh, Mikado Warschawski and the Haifa group for One Democratic State. All are invited. …

Settlers Continue to Attack Palestinian Shepherds
IMEMC – On Sunday, March 16, during the Jewish holiday of Purim, Israeli settlers attacked Palestinians and Internationals on Palestinian fields near Mitzpe Yair illegal outpost. …

Israel to Reopen Kerem Shalom Crossing
IMEMC – Israel will reopen the Kerem Shalom crossing with the Gaza Strip, on Wednesday, after keeping it closed for six consecutive days, according to a Palestinian official. …

13 Days Without Water in East Jerusalem
IMEMC – The East Jerusalem neighborhoods of Ras Shehada, Ras Khamis, Dahyat A salam and the Shuafat refugee camp, which are cut off from the rest of the city by the separation wall, have gone without running water since March 4. …

182 New Settlement Units to be Built in Jerusalem
IMEMC – 30% of settlers willing to abandon settlements for compensation The Municipality of Jerusalem ratified, on Sunday, the construction of 182 new housing units in the settlement of Ramot, northwest of the city. …

Eight, Including Minors, Kidnapped Across West Bank
IMEMC – Israeli occupation forces, on Tuesday, abducted five Palestinians, including three teenagers, from Bethlehem province. …

Ashton Says EU Is Against Boycotting Israel
IMEMC – Catherine Ashton, Foreign Policy Chief of the European Union, stated Monday that she opposes boycotting Israel, yet, affirmed the EU opposes Israel construction and expansion of Jewish settlements in the occupied territories. …

Two Detainees Suffer Serious Setbacks, Require Urgent Medical Attention
IMEMC – Fadi Obeidat, a lawyer of the Palestinian Ministry of Detainees, has reported that two detainees, including a 70-year old, are facing serious health deterioration while Israel is denying them the right to proper and specialized medical treatment. …

Four Injured By Army Fire In Hebron
IMEMC – [Monday Evening, March 17, 2014] Palestinian medical sources have reported that four Palestinians were wounded, with several others suffering the effects of teargas inhalation, during clashes with Israeli soldiers invading Hebron city, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank. …

Ma’an News

Israeli warships fire at fishermen off Gaza coast
3/18/2014 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israeli warships late Monday fired at Palestinian fishermen off the coast of the southern Gaza Strip, fishermen said. Fishermen told Ma’an Israeli forces fired at them off the coast of Khan Younis. No injuries were reported, but the fishermen said they were forced to sail back to shore. An Israeli military spokeswoman said the boat had “deviated from….

Israeli forces close Tulkarem checkpoint for military drill
3/18/2014 – TULKAREM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces briefly closed a military checkpoint east of Tulkarem on Tuesday due to a military training exercise in the area, Palestinian security officials said. Palestinians were forbidden from crossing the Enav checkpoint in both directions while dozens of Israeli soldiers and vehicles carried out a short military drill. Palestinian security officials added that the Israeli military liaison department notified its….

Man injured, another arrested in clashes in Tuqu
3/18/2014 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A Palestinian was injured, and another was arrested in clashes with Israeli forces in Tuqu southeast of Bethlehem on Tuesday, witnesses said. An ambulance took Mohammad Saleem Sabbah, 22, who was shot with a live bullet in the right abdomen, they said. Noureddin Mahmoud Sabbah, 26, was arrested during the clashes and taken to an unknown destination, witnesses said. An Israeli….

Israeli settlers uproot 50 trees
3/18/2014 – NABLUS (Ma’an) — Israeli settlers on Tuesday uprooted 50 big olive trees in Ein Yabus village south of Nablus. A Palestinian official who monitors settler activity in the northern West Bank told Ma’an that settlers from the nearby Yitzhar settlement uprooted 50 fruit trees in al-Sauma’a area north of the village. The trees belong to Fawzi Hassan Mohammad Hassan, he added. [END]

Clashes in al-Jalazun refugee camp
3/18/2014 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Several Palestinians were injured with rubber bullets and dozens more suffered from excessive tear-gas inhalation in clashes with Israeli forces near al-Jalazun refugee camp north of Ramallah on Tuesday. Israeli forces fired rubber bullets and tear gas at Palestinians who threw rocks at them preventing them from entering the camp. The clashes started after Israeli forces closed the road to Ramallah….

Security sources: Gunmen open fire at PA official’s home
3/18/2014 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Unidentified gunmen opened fire on the Ramallah home of a Fatah Central Committee member early Tuesday, security sources said. The assailants opened fire at the home of Jibril Rajoub in the Umm al-Sharayit neighborhood from a speeding car, the sources told Ma’an. No injuries or damage were reported as the gunshots missed the building, the sources said. Palestinian intelligence….

Egypt forces ‘arrest militants, destroy tunnels’ in north Sinai
3/18/2014 – CAIRO (Ma’an) — The Egyptian army on Tuesday launched a crackdown against smugglers and militants in the Sinai Peninsula, Egyptian security forces said. The army demolished seven smuggling tunnels in Rafah on the border with the Gaza Strip, officials said. They said four of the tunnels originated inside houses, and in two of those houses the army found drugs and other goods for smuggling…. Related: Hamas says Egypt closing Gaza border ‘crime against humanity’

Israel vows response as 4 troops wounded by Golan bomb
3/18/2014 – JERUSALEM (AFP) — A roadside bomb wounded four Israeli soldiers on the occupied Golan Heights Tuesday, prompting artillery fire into Syria and a sharp warning that Israel would act forcefully to defend itself. The army said one of the soldiers was severely wounded in what was the third such incident in two weeks along Israel’s northern frontier, prompting a blunt warning from Prime Minister….

Hamas says Egypt closing Gaza border ‘crime against humanity’
3/18/2014 – GAZA CITY (AFP) — Hamas on Tuesday sharply criticized Egypt’s closure of the Rafah border crossing, saying Cairo’s tightening of restrictions on the Palestinian territory was a “crime against humanity.” “The Egyptian authorities’ insistence on closing the Rafah crossing and tightening the Gaza blockade. . . is a crime against humanity by all standards and a crime against the Palestinian people,” Hamas spokesman…. Related: Egypt forces ‘arrest militants, destroy tunnels’ in north Sinai

Obama meets Abbas in bid to save US peace drive
3/18/2014 – WASHINGTON (AFP) — President Barack Obama will meet President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday, seeking to keep a US peace drive alive two weeks after also piling pressure on Israel to agree to extend talks. Obama will meet Abbas after telling Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that tough decisions are looming ahead of an end of April deadline to agree on a framework for future negotiations. But….

Powers seek to forget Crimea for Iran nuclear talks
3/18/2014 – VIENNA (AFP) — Russia, the US and other world powers will try to put their sharp differences over Ukraine to one side on Tuesday for their latest round of nuclear talks with Iran in Vienna. It is the second in a planned series of meetings this year that aims to transform a November interim deal between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security….

PA Official: Israel to reopen Kerem Shalom crossing Wednesday
3/18/2014 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israel will reopen the Kerem Shalom crossing with the Gaza Strip on Wednesday after keeping it closed for six consecutive days, a Palestinian official said. Nazmi Muhanna, the Palestinian Authority director of border crossings, told Ma’an Tuesday that Israeli officials had informed the Palestinian side that the Kerem Shalom crossing would resume operations Wednesday. The crossing was open….

Shaath denies making ‘Jewish state’ offer
3/18/2014 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) – A top member of Fatah on Tuesday denied reports by Israeli media that he said the Palestinian Authority would consider recognition of Israel as a Jewish state. Central Committee member Nabil Shaath was quoted by official radio as saying that “the Palestinian leadership would consider recognizing Israel as a Jewish state after negotiations come to an end and after all controversial….

Livni: Abbas decisions on talks key to prisoner release
3/18/2014 – JERUSALEM (AFP) — President Mahmoud Abbas’ decisions on peace talks will play a key role in Israel deciding whether to release a new batch of prisoners, the chief Israeli negotiator said Tuesday. Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, speaking at a conference, linked the scheduled March 29 release of 26 veteran prisoners to Palestinian willingness to push forward with peace talks.”In order to advance serious negotiations….

Lebanon needs more help with massive Syrian refugee influx
3/19/2014 – GENEVA (AFP) — A top UN aid official pleaded Tuesday for more international support for Lebanon, which is staggering under the burden of sheltering nearly a million refugees from Syria.”It is imperative that the international community helps bear the brunt of the pressure on Lebanon,” said Ross Mountain, the UN aid coordinator in the country.”Lebanon is the largest per capita recipient of refugees anywhere….

Egypt policeman jailed 10 years for Islamist prisoner deaths
3/18/2014 – CAIRO (AFP) — An Egyptian court sentenced a policeman to 10 years Tuesday for the deaths of 37 prisoners who suffocated on tear gas, one of the most brutal incidents in an extensive crackdown against the Muslim Brotherhood. Three other offices were given suspended one-year sentences. The sentences were the first against policemen for violations during a crackdown on supporters of Mohamed Morsi that has killed….

ISIL jihadists conduct ‘mass executions’ in Syria
3/18/2014 – GENEVA (AFP) — The jihadist Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant carried out “mass executions” in Syria in January, the United Nations said Tuesday, adding that it was investigating allegations of mass graves. The group “conducted mass executions of detainees, thereby perpetrating war crimes,” the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria said in an update on the human rights situation in the country. ISIL is….

Syria troops advance after seizing rebel stronghold
3/18/2014 – DAMASCUS (AFP) — Syrian troops have advanced west of the fallen rebel stronghold of Yabrud, entering a new village in the Qalamoun region near the Lebanese border, state news agency SANA said Tuesday.”The Syrian army is progressing in the village of Ras al-Ain, southwest of Yabrud, killing a large number of terrorists,” said SANA, using the regime’s term for rebels. Earlier, a security….

Syria creates ‘space agency’ despite war
3/18/2014 – DAMASCUS (AFP) — Syria’s government on Tuesday decided to establish a “space agency” to conduct scientific research despite the civil war that has torn the country apart and devastated its economy. State news agency SANA said the cabinet had approved a project to create the so-called Syrian Space Agency, “with the goal of using space technology for exploration and observing the earth.” SANA said….


Israel fires artillery into Syria after blast
AlJazeera 18 Mar 2014 – Army launches missiles into Syria after roadside bomb wounds four of its soldiers patrolling the occupied Golan Heights.

International Solidarity Movement

Prisoner released leads to celebrations in Awarta
3/19/2014 – International Solidarity Movement – 18th March 2014, International Solidarity Movement, Nablus Team, Awarta, Occupied Palestine – Yesterday in the village of Awarta, 26-year-old Rais Abdat was released from an Israeli prison. Three years ago, two youths from Awarta killed a settler from the nearby illegal settlement of Itemar, and for this act they both received five life sentences. In response, Israeli forces arrested approximately 18 young men and women….

One year on: the Hares Boys
3/18/2014 – International Solidarity Movement – The Hares Boys, Occupied Palestine – Yesterday the Hares Boys, who are being charged with 20 counts of attempted murder with no evidence whatsoever, have been in an Israeli prison for one year. Now is more important than ever to fully understand the circumstances surrounding the unlawful arrest and imprisonment of Mohammad Suleiman, Ammar Souf, Mohammed Kleib, Tamer Souf, and Ali Shamlawi. At around 18:30 on….

Relief Web

Syrian Arab Republic: Oral Update of the independent international commission of inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic
Relief Web 18 Mar 2014 – Source: UN Human Rights Council Country: occupied Palestinian territory, Syrian Arab Republic The harrowing violence in the Syrian Arab Republic has entered its fourth year, with no signs of abating. The lives of over one hundred thousand people have been…

World: Global Emergency Overview Snapshot 11 – 18 March
Relief Web 18 Mar 2014 – Source: Assessment Capacities Project Country: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guinea, Haiti, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Lesotho,…

Syrian Arab Republic: Palestinians from Syria – Syria Needs Analysis Project March 2014
Relief Web 18 Mar 2014 – Source: MapAction, Assessment Capacities Project Country: Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, occupied Palestinian territory, Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey This thematic report outlines the situation of the Palestinian Refugee within official and unofficial camps and settlements in Syria. The Syria Needs Analysis…

The National

List of suspected Syrian war criminals grows with atrocities: UN
The National 18 Mar 2014 – Four confidential lists drawn up by UN of suspects in war crimes ranging from mass executions to bombing of civilians.

Thailand gives radar data 10 days after plane lost
The National 18 Mar 2014 – Thai radar picked up a twisting flight path that took the plane to the Strait of Malacca but Thailand’s military said it only looked into the data after it was requested by Malaysia.

Iranian leaders defy Twitter, Facebook ban #contradiction
The National 18 Mar 2014 – Iran’s leaders use Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to spread their message, despite a nationwide ban on such websites. Many young people are also avid users, outsmarting the heavy filtering of Iran’s internet.

Putin signs Crimea back into Russia despite global anger
The National 18 Mar 2014 – Russian president Vladimir Putin defies western sanctions and warnings as Black Sea territory sees first soldier death in secession crisis.

The who, what, when, where and why of the mystery of Flight MH370
The National 18 Mar 2014 – For the past 12 days the world has been transfixed by one of the great mysteries of the 21st century – how can a commercial airliner with 239 people on board evade sophisticated tracking technology and just vanish?

Sino-US ties could affect Arabian Gulf countries, says Singapore diplomat
The National 18 Mar 2014 – Singapore s ambassador-at-large and policy adviser at its ministry of foreign affairs spoke at a Majlis Singapura event which aimed to strengthen economic ties between the region and Singapore.

The case for more US delegations to the GCC
The National 18 Mar 2014 – If more members of US Congress visited the UAE and other GCC nations, would the standing of the southern Gulf improve in the US Government’s legislative branch?

The bomber used a three-wheeler packed with explosives
The National 18 Mar 2014 – Violence in Afghanistan is on the rise ahead of presidential elections schedule for April 5.

Turkey condemned by European court over jailed Kurd leader
The National 18 Mar 2014 – The European Court of Human Rights ruled that holding Abdullah Ocalan in isolation for more than a decade constitutes mistreatment by Turkish authorities.

The 11 Russians and Ukrainians facing US sanctions
The National 18 Mar 2014 – US President Barack Obama on Monday imposed sanctions on 11 Russian and Ukrainian officials blamed for Russian forces seizure of Ukraine s Crimea region, which has voted to join Russia. Obama s order freezes any assets the 11 hold in the United States and bans them from entering the country.

In pictures: Grand Egyptian Museum in Giza construction
The National 18 Mar 2014 – Egypt s antiquities minister says construction is under way on the main hall of a massive new museum by the Pyramids, the final phase of a complex that s intended to house 100,000 ancient artefacts including King Tutankhamun s mummy.

China finds no terror link to its nationals on board missing MH370
The National 18 Mar 2014 – Checks into the background of all the Chinese nationals on board the missing Malaysian jetliner have uncovered no links to terrorism, the Chinese ambassador in Kuala Lumpur said Tuesday.

UAE Armed Forces join search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370
The National 17 Mar 2014 – The UAE Armed Forces sends two search and rescue aircraft to cover a search zone stretching over the Indian Ocean and south and central Asia.


Trustbuster s scope may be extended
Ha’aretz – 18 Mar 2014

Don t cancel sale of Apaches to Egypt, Israel urges U.S.
Ha’aretz – 18 Mar 2014

Lapid proposes exempting first-time home buyers from VAT
Ha’aretz – 18 Mar 2014

Palestinian officials: Two-state solution is losing air
Ha’aretz – 18 Mar 2014

When the Ukraine was run by Jews
Ha’aretz – 18 Mar 2014

Ask the Israeli people if they want peace
Ha’aretz – 18 Mar 2014

Lev Tahor members may remain in Guatemala, judge rules
Ha’aretz – 18 Mar 2014

Another Knesset season, another humbling
Ha’aretz – 18 Mar 2014

Rolling Stones defer Australia, NZ tour after L’Wren Scott death
Ha’aretz – 18 Mar 2014

Netanyahu to Likud: Don’t distract world from Palestinian reluctance
Ha’aretz – 18 Mar 2014

Netanyahu to Likud: Don’t distract world from Palestinian reluctance
Ha’aretz – 18 Mar 2014

Three Jews among those killed in Ukraine uprising
Ha’aretz – 18 Mar 2014

Who s leading the U.S. rabbinical school scene?
Ha’aretz – 18 Mar 2014

Olmert s lawyers accuse longtime aide Zaken of lying in order to avoid jail
Ha’aretz – 18 Mar 2014

Hamas calls Egypt blockade a ‘crime against humanity’
Ha’aretz – 18 Mar 2014

Ukrainian soldier killed in Crimea base; PM says conflict is now military
Ha’aretz – 18 Mar 2014

Putin signs treaty making Crimea, Sevastopol part of Russia
Ha’aretz – 18 Mar 2014

With ‘The Story of the Jews,’ Simon Schama returns to his roots
Ha’aretz – 18 Mar 2014

Suspected former Auschwitz guard, 93, arrested in Germany
Ha’aretz – 18 Mar 2014

Texas man falls to his death at Grand Canyon
Ha’aretz – 18 Mar 2014

Ovadia Yosef’s daughter wins Israel Prize for lifetime achievement
Ha’aretz – 18 Mar 2014

Thailand releases radar data 10 days after Malaysia plane lost
Ha’aretz – 18 Mar 2014

Israeli army rescinds limits on lawyers meeting with clients in military jail
Ha’aretz – 18 Mar 2014

AIPAC s Israel is not my Israel
Ha’aretz – 18 Mar 2014

Jordanian lawmakers reject no confidence vote over Israel ties
Ha’aretz – 18 Mar 2014

Livni: Palestinian prisoners will not be released unless a framework deal is reached
Ha’aretz – 18 Mar 2014

I, journalist: Robot writes L.A. earthquake article in 3 minutes
Ha’aretz – 18 Mar 2014

Crimea and punishment: Is Obama serious about making Putin pay?
Ha’aretz – 18 Mar 2014

Explosion near Syria border wounds four Israeli soldiers
Ha’aretz – 18 Mar 2014

Livni: Without framework deal, Palestinian prisoners will not be released
Ha’aretz – 18 Mar 2014

Israel unveils new incentives to lure French Jews
Ha’aretz – 18 Mar 2014

Knesset set to extend law prohibiting reunification of Palestinian families in Israel
Ha’aretz – 18 Mar 2014

Ashton: EU opposes Israel boycotts
Ha’aretz – 18 Mar 2014

China launches 21 satellites in search of Malaysia Airlines jet
Ha’aretz – 18 Mar 2014

What are they hiding in the report on asylum seekers?
Ha’aretz – 18 Mar 2014

Probe into Haifa Oil Refineries fire finds hazardous materials responders came late
Ha’aretz – 18 Mar 2014

Putin approves draft bill to annex Crimea
Ha’aretz – 18 Mar 2014

Defense minister leans toward Israeli operation in Iran, as Obama portrays ‘weakness’
Ha’aretz – 17 Mar 2014

Hadassah, an endangered treasure
Ha’aretz – 17 Mar 2014

Poll: 30 percent of settlers outside blocs would evacuate without peace deal
Ha’aretz – 17 Mar 2014

Court slams Knesset for failing to regulate circumcision
Ha’aretz – 17 Mar 2014

Senators and House members write to Obama: Be tough on Iran
Ha’aretz – 17 Mar 2014

Jerusalem Post

Israeli defense exporters can now sell unclassified products to 100 states without license
Jerusalem Post 18 Mar 2014 – Unclassified defense products include assault rifles, ammunition, helmets, ceramic vests, and camouflage gear.

Antiquities Authority to build in Jerusalem largest archeology library in Mideast
Jerusalem Post 18 Mar 2014 – Library, to be called The Mandel National Library for the Archeology of Israel, is to house nearly 150,000 volumes.

Area of Malaysia plane search now size of Australia
Jerusalem Post 18 Mar 2014 – Total search area totals 7.68 million sq km; Thailand says it detected plane re-crossing peninsula.

Post-army travelers or Dead Sea scammers?
Jerusalem Post 18 Mar 2014 – Congress and State Department at odds over visas for young Israelis following a recent spike in number of Israelis being denied visas.

Watching TV makes live romance more disappointing
Jerusalem Post 18 Mar 2014 – Results show that unrealistic beliefs and standards based on distorted assumptions impair subjective assessment of relationship quality.

Technion inks cooperation deal with Canada s University of Waterloo
Jerusalem Post 18 Mar 2014 – The new partnership agreement aims to facilitate technology transfer and to provide commercialization opportunities to students, faculty.

Jordanian government survives no-confidence vote; PM against expelling Israeli ambassador
Jerusalem Post 18 Mar 2014 – Jordanian premier says any action premature as joint-investigation is still underway.

Report: Israel has highest poverty rate among OECD countries
Jerusalem Post 18 Mar 2014 – Israelis do not have much confidence in their financial institutions with a rate of 38 percent compared to the average OECD rate of 46 percent.

Terra Incognita: Lessons from a 1940s anti-Semitic film
Jerusalem Post 18 Mar 2014 – The film provides a lens through which we can analyze current debates, to better understand that anti-Semitism remains a potent force.

Baltic marches to a dangerous drum
Jerusalem Post 18 Mar 2014 – Ultra-nationalists pitch a dangerous revision of the accepted narrative of World War II and the Holocaust.

Center Field: Hobbes vs. Jefferson in debate on Cinema City Shabbat closure
Jerusalem Post 18 Mar 2014 – Modern rabbis should learn that less can be more; enabling freedom can strengthen Judaism and the state s Jewish character, not weaken it.

Crime pays for Palestinian terrorists
Jerusalem Post 18 Mar 2014 – When a Palestinian murders an Israeli or an American in Israel, they can wind up receiving a salary in excess of $40,000 a year, for their crime.

The World From Here: Has Obama unmasked Abbas?
Jerusalem Post 18 Mar 2014 – Palestinian rejection of the current US framework paper may signal the end of the Palestinian statehood project for the foreseeable future.

Furloughs, for what?
Jerusalem Post 18 Mar 2014 – Sheinbein, despite having repeatedly proven that he was dangerous and repeatedly violating prison rules, was granted numerous furloughs.

Analysis: Hezbollah is prime but not sole suspect
Jerusalem Post 18 Mar 2014 – 3 attacks in 3 weeks come after Hezbollah threatens revenge for reported IAF strike; IDF will seek to tighten border surveillance even further.

Edelstein to push for security aid to Ukrainian Jews
Jerusalem Post 18 Mar 2014 – Ukrainian Rabbi: “There is anti-Semitism, but not systematic anti-Semitism. We do not feel more threatened after the revolution.”

Israeli companies ‘exit’ prematurely, study finds
Jerusalem Post 18 Mar 2014 – Israel’s start-ups sell too soon at too low a value, withholding opportunities to set up secondary markets.

8,000 foreign Shi’ite fighters in Syria fighting for Assad, new study says
Jerusalem Post 18 Mar 2014 – Shi’ite fighters could easily become “Iranian agents” that could spread out across the region, intelligence expert says.

Zaken ready to testify without deal against Olmert and state
Jerusalem Post 18 Mar 2014 – Shula Zaken says she would forgo deal in order to arrive at the truth in Holyland scandal.

Experts: Natural gas sovereign wealth fund merits further discussion
Jerusalem Post 18 Mar 2014 – Natural gas revenues should be invested in domestic causes rather than foreign markets, experts argue.

In ‘time out’ from civil war, Syria creates space agency
Jerusalem Post 18 Mar 2014 – Regime does not specify what the agency will do, claims it is for “scientific research.”

Former ‘NY Israeli godfather’, soccer club manager arraigned on extortion charges
Jerusalem Post 18 Mar 2014 – Eitan Hiya, 8 other co-conspirators allegedly extorted large amounts of money from wedding hall owner.

Hamas calls Egypt blockade a ‘crime against humanity’
Jerusalem Post 18 Mar 2014 – Relations between Cairo and Gaza have steadily declined since Egypt’s army ousted Mohamed Morsi.

Report: Ukrainian soldier killed by Russian forces
Jerusalem Post 18 Mar 2014 – The attack on a Ukrainian military base comes after President Vladimir Putin signed a treaty making Crimea part of Russia.

And the Lord said ‘let there be a Big Bang’
Jerusalem Post 18 Mar 2014 – Should religious Jews feel threatened by new evidence supporting the Big Bang Theory? Some religious scientists, rabbis believe the very opposite.

Male hairdresser arrested in Saudi Arabia for cutting woman’s hair
Jerusalem Post 18 Mar 2014 – Religious police arrest the hairdresser, return girl to her family.

Another strike in the Foreign Ministry?
Jerusalem Post 18 Mar 2014 – The long drawn mediation efforts carried out since the last labor dispute in June have gone precisely nowhere.

Cabinet voices increase against fourth prisoner release
Jerusalem Post 18 Mar 2014 – Netanyahu so far non-committal on issue; Chief negotiator Tzipi Livni says there was “never any automatic commitment to release prisoners” without peace deal.

Syria chemical weapons store attacked by rockets
Jerusalem Post 18 Mar 2014 – Four of the rockets hit land and one fell in the sea; the chemical transports were not hit.


The Guardian

Obama and Abbas meeting ‘difficult’, says chief Palestinian negotiator
The Guardian 18 Mar 2014 – Saeb Erekat said delegation showed US president very ugly map of recent Israeli settlements at candid meeting Paul Lewis

Daily Star

Syria’s besieged Yarmuk gets UN aid after two-week halt
Daily Star 18 Mar 2014 The UN Palestinian refugee agency on Tuesday resumed food distribution in the besieged Yarmuk camp in Damascus after a two-week halt.

Syria creates ‘space agency’ despite war
Daily Star 18 Mar 2014 Syria’s government on Tuesday decided to establish a “space agency” to conduct scientific research despite the civil war that has torn the country apart and devastated its economy.

US shutters Syrian embassy, missions
Daily Star 18 Mar 2014 The United States on Tuesday closed down Syria’s embassy to Washington and ordered its remaining diplomatic staff to leave the country if they were not US citizens.

Egypt president pledges help for Australian journalist on trial
Daily Star 18 Mar 2014 Egypt’s interim president has pledged to help resolve the controversial trial of jailed Australian journalist Peter Greste, in a letter that the reporter’s Al-Jazeera channel called an “encouraging sign.”

Iran says woman sentenced to stoning given “leave” from prison
Daily Star 18 Mar 2014 An Iranian woman sentenced to die by stoning for adultery and later given a 10-year jail term instead has been allowed to leave prison, the judiciary said, in a new twist to a case that has…

ISIL jihadists conduct ‘mass executions’ in Syria: UN probe
Daily Star 18 Mar 2014 The jihadist Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) carried out “mass executions” in Syria in January, the United Nations said Tuesday, adding that it was investigating allegations of mass graves.

Abbas’s decisions on talks key to prisoner release: Livni
Daily Star 18 Mar 2014 Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas’s decisions on peace talks will play a key role in Israel deciding whether to release a new batch of prisoners, the chief Israeli negotiator said Tuesday.

Protests in Lebanon over Arsal “seige”
Daily Star 18 Mar 2014 Angry demonstrators block several roads throughout Lebanon in protest of what they call the siege imposed on Arsal by residents of neighboring Labweh.

EU defends Ashton’s meeting with Iranian human rights activists
Daily Star 18 Mar 2014 European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton on Tuesday defended her talks with human rights activists during a recent visit to Iran, saying meeting dissidents is a central part of her official travels.

Iraq bombings kill 10: officials
Daily Star 18 Mar 2014 Attacks in Baghdad and across central Iraq, including seven car bombs, killed at least 10 people on Tuesday amid a surge in violence ahead of a general election next month.

Hamas says Egypt closing Gaza border ‘crime against humanity’
Daily Star 18 Mar 2014 Gaza’s Hamas rulers on Tuesday sharply criticised Egypt’s closure of the Rafah border crossing, saying Cairo’s tightening of restrictions on the Palestinian territory was a “crime against humanity.”

Mekdad visits Moallem at Beirut hospital
Daily Star 18 Mar 2014 Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad visits Walid Moallem at the Beirut hospital where the Syrian foreign minister is recuperating following heart surgery.

YNet News

Don’t buy Russian stocks, White House says in Crimea dispute
YNet News, 18 Mar 2014 – ….

Rabbi Stav’s feminine costume irks haredim
YNet News, 18 Mar 2014 – Chairman of Tzohar rabbinical organization angers ultra-Orthodox public by appearing in humorous Purim video wearing blonde wig. ….

Time to recognize Hamas government
YNet News, 18 Mar 2014 – Op-ed: We should take advantage of Hamas’ growing dependence on Israel through a proper carrot and stick policy. ….

Thai radar might have tracked missing plane
YNet News, 18 Mar 2014 – ….

Heavy aircraft traffic in northern Gaza Strip during IDF exercise
YNet News, 18 Mar 2014 – ….

Ukraine bolsters frontier as Russia takes Crimea
YNet News, 18 Mar 2014 – ….

IDF to hold exercise near northern Gaza on Wednesday
YNet News, 18 Mar 2014 – ….

Ukraine Jews mark Purim amid tensions
YNet News, 18 Mar 2014 – A lot has been said in international media about supposed threat to Ukrainian Jewish community since country s revolution, but local Jews say they have little to fear and much to celebrate. ….

Tel Aviv’s rabbi slams mayor: City is annulling Shabbat
YNet News, 18 Mar 2014 – Following proposal to allow service-providing businesses to operate in Tel Aviv on Saturday, Rabbi Lau hits at Mayor Huldai: ‘Cry of Shabbat breaks through walls of my heart’. ….

Nasrallah seeks revenge without fingerprints
YNet News, 18 Mar 2014 – Analysis: If Hezbollah is indeed behind explosive that injured four IDF soldiers, it would be considered a success that seals the current round of vengeful attacks without taking responsibility. ….

Putin the neighborhood thug: Don’t try this at home
YNet News, 18 Mar 2014 – Analysis: Quite a few Israeli politicians are envious of Russian president, asking: ‘Why don’t we conquer Gaza tomorrow morning?’ But Putin should not serve as an example to us. ….

Germany sees first Jewish Bible for children in 50 years
YNet News, 18 Mar 2014 – Authors produced the Bible after discovering that there was no suitable Torah texts for them to read to their children. ….

Calling Mahmoud Abbas’ bluff
YNet News, 18 Mar 2014 – Op-ed: A smart Netanyahu should change tack, demand Palestinians recognize Israel as a state with a Jewish majority. ….

Holocaust survivors hand gift baskets to asylum seekers
YNet News, 17 Mar 2014 – ‘We were also refugees’: 20 elderly Holocaust survivors distribute water and Purim gift bags to hundreds of asylum seekers in Tel Aviv. ….

Palestinian Information Center

Abbas versus Dahlan
PIC – It is a little appealing to let PA leader Mahmoud Abbas and former Fatah strong man in Gaza Muhammed Dahlan batter each other in public as they have been doing recently.

100 Israeli female conscripts storm al-Aqsa Mosque
PIC – One hundred Israeli female conscripts in military uniforms stormed on Tuesday morning al-Aqsa Mosque from the Mughrabi Gate, under the protection of the Israeli police.

Health conditions of two Palestinian captives deteriorate
PIC – Lawyer at the Ministry of Prisoners’ Affairs Fadi Obeidat stated that the health situations of the captives Fuad Shobaki and Laith Abayat, held in Israeli Ofer prison, deteriorated.

Barhoum: Closure of Rafah crossing crime against humanity
PIC – Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum described Egyptian authorities’ decision to close Rafah crossing and to tighten Gaza siege as a crime against humanity.

Waad calls on European committee to visit Ramle prison hospital
PIC – Waad Association for prisoners called on the European fact-finding committee to check on detainees’ detention conditions in Israeli jails including those held in Ramle prison hospital.

Abu Marzouk: The meeting between Abbas and Obama will not be fruitful
PIC – Hamas’s political bureau member Mousa Abu Marzouk said that the meeting that took place on Monday between Mahmoud Abbas and US president Barack Obama would not engender positive results.

Violent clashes in Jenin, al-Khalil
PIC – Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) stormed Tuesday morning Jenin and declared its southern entrance a closed military area.

Palestinian detainees to declare mass hunger strike Tuesday
PIC – Palestinian official sources said that Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons declared their intention to go on one-day hunger strike on Tuesday protesting Israeli authorities’ violations.


Settlers Cut Down 50 Olive Trees near Nablus
WAFA – 18 Mar 2014

EU Praises Performance of EUPOL COPPS
WAFA – 18 Mar 2014

Jerusalemites Rally against Israel s Negligence to Education
WAFA – 18 Mar 2014

Palestinian Government Launches International Tender for Oil Exploration in the West Bank
WAFA – 18 Mar 2014

Arab League Secretary-General: Palestinian Issue is Focal Point in Next Arab Summit
WAFA – 18 Mar 2014

Israeli Forces Arrest Eight in West Bank, including Four Minors
WAFA – 18 Mar 2014

Human Rights Group: Israeli Army Increases Detentions of Palestinian Children by 80%
WAFA – 18 Mar 2014

Confrontations Erupt near Hebron
WAFA – 18 Mar 2014


U.S. orders Syria to close embassy in Washington
LA Times 18 Mar 2014 – The Obama administration, however, does not break diplomatic relations with the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad. WASHINGTON The Obama administration marked the third anniversary of the start of Syria’s civil war Tuesday by ordering Damascus to close its embassy in Washington and expelling…

Egyptian court sentences police commander to 10 years for deaths
LA Times 18 Mar 2014 – CAIRO A police commander was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years in prison in connection with the deaths of 37 protesters who suffocated in a police van in the chaotic weeks after Egypt s military-backed interim government took power.

U.S. orders Syria to close its embassy in Washington
LA Times 18 Mar 2014 – WASHINGTON – The Obama administration marked the third anniversary of the start of Syria’s civil war Tuesday by ordering Damascus to close its embassy in Washington and expelling its diplomats, though it did not break diplomatic relations with President Bashar Assad s government.

A Divide Among Palestinians on a Two-State Solution
New York Times 18 Mar 2014 – A son of President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority is among those younger people expressing support for the creation of a single state.

U.S. Orders Syrian Embassy and Consulates to Suspend Operations
New York Times 18 Mar 2014 – The move stops short of a formal break of relations, but it bars Syria s envoys here from carrying out diplomatic and consular duties.

World Briefing: Egyptian Police Officer Gets 10 Years for Detainees Deaths
New York Times 18 Mar 2014 – A Cairo court sentenced Lt. Col. Amr Farouk in the deaths of 37 people who were arrested for protesting against the military takeover.

Both Sides in Syria Are Targeting Civilians, U.N. Report Says
New York Times 18 Mar 2014 – Investigators told the Human Rights Council that atrocities toward civilians were increasing as the conflict entered its fourth year.

Blast in Golan Heights Wounds 4 Israeli Soldiers
New York Times 18 Mar 2014 – An explosive device struck near an Israeli Army patrol, in an attack seen as the most serious in recent weeks on Israel s northern borders.

Letter From the Middle East: A Language of Conflict, and Peace
New York Times 18 Mar 2014 – Words plain English meanings are politicized, distorted or undermined in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian struggle.

SEAL Team Raids a Tanker and Thwarts a Militia s Bid to Sell Libyan Oil
New York Times 18 Mar 2014 – The American operation saved the fragile transitional government in Tripoli from a potentially catastrophic loss of control over its main source of revenue and last source of power: Libya s vast oil reserves.

National Briefing | Northwest: Washington: Arrested Man Is Accused of Seeking to Join Militants in Syria
New York Times 18 Mar 2014 – A California man who prosecutors said was on his way to Syria to join a Qaeda group was arrested on Monday near the Canadian border in Blaine, Wash., on a terrorism charge, federal officials said.

Three Years of Strife and Cruelty Puts Syria in Free Fall
New York Times 18 Mar 2014 – At the start of the fourth year since Syrians rose up in a peaceful movement that turned to arms, a snapshot of the country presents the harsh truth that Syria s descent is only accelerating.

World Briefing: Morsi s Son Faces Drug Charges in Egypt
New York Times 17 Mar 2014 – Egyptian prosecutors said Monday that Abdullah Morsi, the youngest son of former President Mohamed Morsi would be tried on charges of drug use and possession, an accusation his family dismisses as an attempt to tarnish their image.

Deterioration in U.S.-Russian Relations May Disrupt Coming Talks With Iran
New York Times 17 Mar 2014 – The second round of negotiations on a nuclear agreement with Iran is set to begin Tuesday and success hinges on solidarity among the members of the United Nations Security Council.

Jewish State Declaration Is Unyielding Block to a Deal
New York Times 17 Mar 2014 – President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority refused to utter the language Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has insisted be applied in recognition of Israel.

Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan up Teva recommendations
Globes Main News – Only Goldman Sachs is keeping its “Sell” recommendation for Teva.

Defense Ministry fines 2 exporters NIS 3m
Globes Main News – The fines were due to marketing activities that violated export licenses.

New injunction again stays Histadrut election
Globes Macro Economics – Supreme Court President Asher Grunis issued an injunction at MK Eitan Cabel’s request.

Netanyahu: Go to the Negev
Globes Main News – “We’ve turned the Negev and Beersheva into the Eastern Hemisphere’s cyber capital.”

Yandex buys mobile geolocation co KitLocate
Globes Main News – KitLocate’s Herzliya office will become the Russian search engine’s Israel R&D center.

Tue: Tel Aviv 25 hits all-time high
Globes Main News – Despite a sharp fall by Partner, the Tel Aviv 25 Index edged above its record from last December.

Johansson got career boost from comic farrago over SodaStream New Yorker
Mondoweiss – Johansson The New Yorker has published an arts piece called Her Again, The Unstoppable Scarlett Johansson that praises the actress s recent filmwork and dismisses the SodaStream incident in which she had to resign from Oxfam because she had supported a company that builds seltzer-makers…

Leumi sells remaining Partner stake for NIS 140m
Globes Main News – Bank Leumi lost 15% on its investment in the mobile carrier.

Northeastern University Israel advocates applaud suspension of SJP chapter
Mondoweiss – Israel advocates at Northeastern University are showing full-throated support for the school s suspension of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) over mock eviction notices. A letter published by Huskies for Israel , a campus pro-Israel group, applauded the university for taking a stand in holding students accountable…

What s being done to Palestinians is wrong, evangelical Christian says on NPR religion show
Mondoweiss – Brian McLaren I have frequently criticized On Being, Krista Tippett s popular religion show on National Public Radio for avoiding the Zionism question and settling down in the featherbed of Israel support. ( Here , here .) Well, on Sunday Tippett interview ed Brian McLaren, a progressive evangelical Christian involved in…

Drahi’s Israel news channel to air in US
Globes Main News – Jewish Life TV will air i24news on cable and satellite networks nationwide.

Forward lives up to its name, bashing denial of Palestinian narrative and donors control of Hillel
Mondoweiss – Jewish Forward collage Roll over Ben-Gurion and tell Jabotinsky the news: The Forward, which has been fiercely pro-Israel, ran two pieces yesterday that are sharply critical of the Zionist establishment. First, here is a piece defending Students for Justice in Palestine chapters from the ongoing university punishments …

XLMedia raises £42m in London AIM IPO
Globes Main News – The gaming sites traffic generator held the offering at a company value of £93 million.

Scarlett Johansson parrots SodaStream CEO in attack on Oxfam
Mondoweiss – Scarlett Johansson. (Photo: Getty Images) Actress and SodaStream spokesperson Scarlett Johansson accused the international charity Oxfam of funding the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement in an interview with the Guardian . Journalist Carole Cadwalladr contacted Oxfam for fair comment in her report where Johansson reaffirmed support…

Novartis in advanced talks to buy Gamida-Cell
Globes Main News – The stem cell developer could be acquired for up to $600 million.

BDS supporting rock star Roger Waters hits back against vicious smears
Mondoweiss – Roger Waters spray paints Israel s separation barrier. (Image via WagingNonViolence.org) Since becoming one of the most prominent faces in favor of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, rock star Roger Waters has come under vicious attack. Now, he s fighting back. In an Op-Ed piece published…

Treasury proposes no VAT for young homebuyers
Globes Main News – A couple with at least one child buying their first new apartment will not pay VAT.

Boycott Israel mobile app in final stages
Sabbah report 18 Mar 2014 – The Boycott Israel movement is developing a smart-phone application that will allow followers to avoid Israeli products. The campaign for Palestinian rights continues to gather momentum, despite Israeli accusations of anti-Semitism. Continue reading í! Read More: Boycott Israel mobile app in final stages . Sign up for…

Israel s War on American Universities
Sabbah report 18 Mar 2014 – Israel has for decades been able to frame the discussion about the Palestinians. But its control of the narrative is coming to an end. As Israel loses ground it will viciously and irrationally attack all truth tellers, even if they are American students, and especially if…

Reality TV Star’s Conversion Plight Reveals Orthodox Rabbinate’s Kafkaesque Grip
The Forward New 18 Mar 2014 – Israel s Orthodox rabbis told Alin Levy, an Israeli reality TV star, she cannot complete the process of converting to Judaism because she is an actress. Click here for the rest of the article…

Why I (Still) Love Living in Israel
The Magnes Zionist 18 Mar 2014 – Yesterday I wrote that living in Israel for Jews (especially Jews who have a steady income) is like flying business class, or like being in an airport club, that membership has its privileges . That may have left the reader with the impression that this is the…

ISIS ‘executed detainees’ in Syria
BBC 18 Mar 2014 – Jihadist rebels have carried out mass executions in Syria and the government has increased its use of indiscriminate weapons, UN human rights investigators say.

Golan blast wounds Israeli soldiers
BBC 18 Mar 2014 – Four Israeli soldiers have been wounded by a bomb explosion on the frontier between the occupied Golan Heights and Syria, Israel’s military says.

Egypt police convicted over deaths
BBC 18 Mar 2014 – A court in Egypt convicts four policemen of the manslaughter of 37 Islamist detainees who died when tear gas was fired into a transport vehicle.

Israel Balks at Releasing Palestinian Prisoners
The Foward Breaking News 18 Mar 2014 – Israel told Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday it might not carry out a final stage of a Palestinian prisoner release unless he commits to prolonging peace talks beyond a U.S.-set April deadline for a deal. Click here for the rest of the article…

Israel Boosts Security After Malaysia Flight 370 Drama
The Foward Breaking News 18 Mar 2014 – Israel has increased airline safety procedures in the wake of the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines flight 370. Click here for the rest of the article…

Roads blocked across Lebanon to protest “siege” on Ersal
Al-Akhbar News 18 Mar 2014 – Lebanese demonstrators blocked several roads throughout the country on Tuesday evening in protest at what they called a “siege” on the eastern town of Ersal near the border with Syria. The road to Ersal was blocked by residents of the town of Labwe who erected sand…

Qatar defends bid after payment claims
BBC 18 Mar 2014 – Qatar’s 2022 World Cup organisers defend their bid for the tournament in the wake of fresh corruption claims.

Beirut: personal interests, political pressure plague surveillance camera plan
Al-Akhbar News 18 Mar 2014 – Beirut municipality plans to install two thousand security cameras around Beirut. (Photo: Kamel Jaber) Beirut municipality plans to install two thousand security cameras around Beirut. (Photo: Kamel Jaber) The Lebanese Audit Bureau seems hesitant about approving a deal to buy and install surveillance cameras in the…

Can SuShi births challenge Lebanon s confessional system?
Al-Akhbar News 18 Mar 2014 – A girl at the secularize Lebanon march in 2010 has “I am secular” written on her face. (Photo: Haitham Moussawi) A girl at the secularize Lebanon march in 2010 has “I am secular” written on her face. (Photo: Haitham Moussawi) For over a century, Lebanon’s political…

Syrian forces capture towns west of Yabrud
Al-Akhbar News 18 Mar 2014 – A handout picture released by the official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) on March 17, 2014, shows Syrian pro-government forces and supporters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad hoisting their national flag in the western town of Yabrud. (Photo: AFP / SANA) A handout picture released by the…

Rockets targeted Syria chemical weapons store: source
Al-Akhbar News 18 Mar 2014 – Five rockets were fired at the main transit point for Syria’s chemical weapons this month, with one landing near to where experts overseeing the destruction of the toxic stockpile were staying, sources said on Tuesday. One rocket in the March 9 strike on the Mediterranean port…

Four Israeli soldiers injured in Golan Heights blast
Al-Akhbar News 18 Mar 2014 – Israeli occupation forces assist a soldier in a blast on the occupied Golan Heights on March 18, 2014 near the village of Majdal Shams. (Photo: AFP – Jalaa Marey) Israeli occupation forces assist a soldier in a blast on the occupied Golan Heights on March 18,…

Ramblings on a government and a chocolate factory
Al-Akhbar Blogs 18 Mar 2014 – My government officially drafted that I am its priority. In a statement issued last week, the Lebanese government stated that it would be wise to distance itself from regional crises to protect me from any threats to the country s civil peace, and safety and to my…

Dubai Metro to become an art gallery
BBC 18 Mar 2014 – Dubai’s metro to be transformed into a museum

Renewed clashes shatters six-hour truce in Lebanon’s Tripoli
Al-Akhbar News 18 Mar 2014 – Three people, including two army soldiers, were injured when fighting resumed in Lebanon’s northern city of Tripoli Tuesday morning, about six hours after a truce was brokered following five days of deadly clashes, state media said. A ceasefire negotiated by MP Mohammed Kabbara after midnight Tuesday…

The American dream: A rundown
Al-Akhbar Opinion 18 Mar 2014 – US President Barack Obama boards Marine One prior to departing Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, March 17, 2014. (Photo: Saul Loeb) US President Barack Obama boards Marine One prior to departing Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, March 17,…

Egyptian policeman jailed over deaths of 36 Brotherhood members
Al-Akhbar News 18 Mar 2014 – A Cairo court sentenced a police officer to 10 years in prison with labor on Tuesday in connection with the deaths of 36 Muslim Brotherhood members and supporters last year, judicial sources said. Three other policemen were given one-year suspended sentences. The Interior Ministry said at…

The end of the Qalamoun mini-state
Al-Akhbar Politics 17 Mar 2014 – A handout picture released by the official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) on March 17, 2014, shows Syrian pro-government forces and supporters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad hoisting their national flag in the western town of Yabrud.(Photo: AFP-SANA/ HO) A handout picture released by the official…

Lebanon: Geagea ready for serious dialogue with Hezbollah
Al-Akhbar Politics 17 Mar 2014 – Head of the Lebanese Forces, Samir Geagea. (Photo: Marwan Tahtah) Head of the Lebanese Forces, Samir Geagea. (Photo: Marwan Tahtah) Head of the Lebanese Forces, Samir Geagea, expressed in an interview with Al-Akhbar his willingness to engage in a serious dialogue with Hezbollah as long as…


Why won t the army stop the theft of Palestinian trees?
Yesh Din, written by Yossi Gurvitz, +972 Magazine 3/18/2014
Time and time again, the saplings in the West Bank village Sinjil are stolen by Israeli settlers. Meanwhile, the army turns the other cheek, neglecting its obligation to protect the occupied population under its rule.
In early January 2014, after wandering the bureaucratic desert for over a year, the International Red Cross and the residents of Sinjil in the West Bank managed to get permission to plant 7,500 trees in the northern side of the village. Their joy didn t last long: settlers began targeting the new saplings almost immediately.
The first attack occurred on January 22nd. The deputy chairman of the local council, Rabkhi Hassin Abd Al- Aziz Gafri, received a message from one of the farmers working on the project that a massive theft had taken place. An Israeli District Coordination Office (DCO) officer rushed to the scene, followed by the police. A thousand saplings were stolen that night. Gafri, who estimated the damage at several thousand shekels, noted the following: the theft took place between a military post and the illegal outpost of Givat Harel; the military base is 200 meters from the scene; and that it is equipped with security cameras. Therefore, he was hopeful that the crime would be solved.
Ten days later, on February 2nd, Gafri received another urgent call. Once again, saplings were stolen this time, about 1,200 of them. Once again, the DCO was called and once again the police arrived on the scene. Gafri repeated what he previously noted: the presence of the military post, just over 200 meters away, with security cameras. In his frustration, he told the investigator the following:
I told the investigator he should check my computer for the number of complaints I made against the settlers, in my own name alone, and that nothing came of them. Where is law enforcement?…. more..e-mail

Abbas must seek recognition from UN, not U.S.
Uri Weltmann, +972 Magazine 3/18/2014
Since entering negotiations with Palestinians last July, Israeli policies have only led to a deeper entrenchment of the occupation. Now, Abbas must listen to left-wing Palestinian parties and put an end to peace talks.
Dancing the tango with a cactus is a bad idea. Not only are you dancing by yourself, you re also going to be pricked by the thorns.
But this is exactly what Mahmoud Abbas has been doing since last July, when he agreed that peace negotiations between the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Israeli government would be mediated by the U.S. government, knowing full well that the U.S. is not a neutral broker, but rather the main backer of the occupation.
And so, the negotiations continue yet the Israeli government announces the building of 1,400 new housing units in the settlements. Meanwhile, the United States is satisfied with nothing more than a weak condemnation.
The negotiations continue yet the Israeli government continues to Judaize East Jerusalem. Meanwhile, the United States expresses disdain, yet continues to turn a blind eye.
The negotiations continue yet the goal of an independent Palestinian state drifts further away. Meanwhile, the United States is busy demanding Abbas become a Zionist and recognize Israel as a Jewish state.
In light of all this, it is no wonder that four Palestinian left-wing parties in the occupied territories rightfully called on Abbas to put an end to the negotiations….. more..e-mail

The way ahead: taking Israel to the ICC
Ruth Tenne, Redress 3/18/2014
The stalled peace negotiation with Israel seems to suggest that the only viable option left for the Palestinian nation is to take Israel to the International Criminal Court (ICC). Indeed, the chief Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erekat, said recently that the Palestinians would take Israel to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for war crimes and violations of international law. The Palestinians will also seek membership in 63 international organizations, including the ICC .
In November 2012, the United Nations General Assembly recognized Palestine as a non-member state, which meant that the Palestinians are free to sign up to the ICC s Rome Statute and take Israel to the criminal court in Hague. However, with the resumption of peace talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians in July 2013, the US put pressure on the Palestinian leadership not to go to the ICC while the negotiations are taking place. It appears that the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, submitted to the US pressure and is, so far, refusing t
o sign the Rome Statue, which would legally offer him a legal access to the ICC. This was fully recognized in a recent statement and petition by Amnesty International, which claimed that Palestine should accede to the |ICC now. It said:

One year ago, the UN General Assembly voted to recognize Palestinian statehood. In the year since then, the Palestinian leadership has taken no statesmanlike steps. It has not signed any UN treaties that would protect human rights, or the Geneva Conventions, or the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC). It should do so without further delay. More than 16,500 Amnesty International activists around the world have signed petitions and written letters to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to persuade him that acceding to the ICC will show that no party will again be able to commit international crimes against civilians with impunity on Palestinian territory. This promise has been deferred, Amnesty International was told in meetings with the Palestinian Authority earlier this year, while efforts are put into diplomatic negotiations with Israel….more..e-mail

Can the Left and the Orthodox Unite?
Uri Avnery, CounterPunch 3/15/2014
Something very important happened this week in the most unlikely of places: the Knesset.
On the agenda were three laws, one worse than the other.
One was about governance . Its main provision raises the electoral threshold i.e. the minimum an election list needs to enter the Knesset from 2% to 3.25%. The obvious intention is to expel the three lists which derive their votes from the Arab sector, and which hover around this level.
The second was about sharing the load equally . Its declared aim is to compel thousands of orthodox youth to serve in the army, from which they are now exempted. In practice, the new law exempts them for another four years. Israelis call this Israbluff .
The third is about peace, or the lack of. It says that any agreement that would give up territory which is at present controlled by Israel would need affirmation by a referendum. Until now, referendums have been unknown in Israel. This law would apply to all territorial changes, no matter how minor.
What is the connection between these three bills? None whatsoever, except that they are printed on paper. However, each of them is disliked by at least one of the six factions that support the government, which could make its adoption impossible.
In order to have them all passed, the government coalition has imposed on its members a draconian measure: they have to vote for all three of them together, one after the other. more..e-mail

Israel serves eviction orders to Palestinians in world heritage city
Electronic Intifada: 18 Mar 2014 – State-owned companies are trying to Judaize the old city of Akka. more..

A Kuffiya for Tony Benn The British Warrior Who Matured with Age
Palestine Chronicle: 18 Mar 2014 – By Ramzy Baroud Long before the Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment campaign inched slowly from the fringes of global solidarity with Palestinians to take center stage, Tony Benn had been advocating a boycott of Israel with unrestricted conviction, for years. Britain should offer its support for this strategy by stopping all arms sales to Israel, introducing trade sanctions and a ban on all investment there together with a boycott of Israeli goods here and make it a condition for the lifting of these measures that Israel complies with these demands at once, Benn wrote in his blog on April 19, 2002, under the title A STATE OF PALESTINE NOW . The strategy of which Ben spoke was for Arafat to declare a state, and for friendly nations to recognize it. Yes, the title was all in caps. It was as if Benn, a principled British left wing politician, had wanted to loudly…more

From the Policy of Wink and Nod to Active Collusion: The West Role in the Burial of Arab Democracies!
Palestine Chronicle: 18 Mar 2014 – By Ahmed Meiloud More than eight months have passed since the eventful coup in Egypt, which toppled the elected president Mohammad Morsi after a one year in office. The coup shattered the enthusiasm (which had accompanied the Arab Spring two years earlier) for a future democratic Arab world. This enthusiasm was particularly at its high mark when Mubarak (a dictator who had been in power for over 30 years in the most populous Arab country) was toppled. By the time of Morsi s removal from power, the Arab Sprin
g had started to look like a fall, at least in the eyes of those expecting a smooth transformation to democracy in a region plagued by dictatorial regimes, acting more like managers of imperial posts than national bureaucrats. Hopes had never been this high in the Arab world for decades, and the subsequent disappointment could have never been any bitter. The democratic Arab…

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