Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel –

Occupied Palestine and Israel: News and Articles

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IAF kills 7 Palestinians in northern Gaza air strike
Ha’aretz 10/28/2005
An Israel Air Force aircraft fired missiles at the Gaza Strip on Thursday night, killing seven Palestinians, including two Islamic Jihad militants and at least three civilians, among them a 15-year-old boy, Palestinian sources said. At least twelve Palestinians were wounded…among them a 10-year-old boy and three 17-year-olds who are in moderate to serious condition…IDF tanks are expected to enter Qassam launch zones near Beit Hanun in northern Gaza. Ground forces began Thursday to deploy along the border for a possible incursion into the Strip. Although the IDF will not, at this stage, send ground forces for a large-scale operation in the Gaza Strip, it recommends that Palestinian civilians vacate these areas.
Suicide bomber rocks Hadera market
Ha’aretz 10/27/2005
The suicide bomber struck in the open air market in the coastal city of Hadera a little before 4 P.M. Wednesday afternoon, killing five people and wounding some 55 others, five seriously. Mofaz spoke briefly to reporters upon his return from a meeting in Cairo with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. He said he briefed Mubarak on intelligence projections regarding possible terror attacks…Islamic Jihad said the bombing was retaliation for the death of its military leader, Luay Sa’adi, in an IDF raid in the West Bank several days ago.,7340,L-3159961,00.html
Mofaz: Back to targeted killings
YNetNews 10/27/2005
Defense minister decides on series of actions against Islamic Jihad; rejects security establishment’s recommendation to launch simultaneous wide-scale activity against terror group — Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz instructed the IDF on Wednesday to return to its targeted killings policy…However, Mofaz did not order the IDF to launch an operation in Gaza, as the security establishment has decided that a maneuver of this magnitude will take place only in response to Qassam and mortar fire.
Israel accepts Egyptian proposal to reopen Rafah border terminal
Ha’aretz 10/26/2005
In a meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Cairo, Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz on Wednesday accepted the Egyptian proposal to reopen the Gaza-Egypt border crossing at Rafah. People will be allowed to pass through the Rafah terminal and merchandise will be moved via the new terminal built in Kerem Shalom on the Israeli-Egyptian-Palestinian border, thereby preserving the customs agreement for Israel and Gaza. As part of the Egyptian proposal accepted by Israel, the Rafah terminal will be operated under joint Palestinian-Egyptian management, with European inspectors monitoring all entrants.
Quartet envoy James Wolfensohn: Israel asked World Bank to stop study of Gaza-West Bank link
By Amira Hass, Ha’aretz 10/28/2005
Israel has asked the World Bank and the U.S. government’s development agency, USAID, to stop a study aimed at determining the best method of creating a transportation link between Gaza and the West Bank, according to James Wolfensohn, the Quartet’s envoy for the disengagement. Wolfensohn made the charge in an October 16 letter to the foreign ministers of the Quartet, which is comprised of the United States, the European Union, the United Nations and Russia.
Analysis: PA says Israeli provocation is worsening security
By Danny Rubinstein, Ha’aretz 10/26/2005
Palestinian officials spoke Tuesday with bitterness about the deterioration of the security situation, which they view as the result of futile Israel provocations. Palestinian cabinet member Saeb Erekat said that “while we are focusing efforts on promoting the peace process, the Israelis are busy with assassinations and arrests.” Cabinet member Rasan al-Hatib said that since Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza, daily conditions in Gaza and the West Bank have worsened. The officials point to a series of steps they are taking on the security and political levels, for which no cooperation on Israel’s part has been forthcoming.,7340,L-3160358,00.html
Jenin: Islamic Jihad leader arrested
YNetNews 10/27/2005
Border Guard arrest Islamic Jihad leader Sheikh Abd al-Hilam Az a-Din. Palestinians claim man is religious, political leader not related to military activities — In the wake of the terror suicide attack in Hadera Wednesday, a special Border Police task force arrested Thursday a top Islamic Jihad leader in Jenin wanted by the security forces, along with four other suspected terrorists. One of the men was found to be carrying a pistol. The five men were detained and transferred for further questioning by the IDF.
U.S. pressures Israel on border crossing
Daily Star 10/26/2005
Jewish state launches missile strikes in Gaza, wounding five civilians — Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice stepped up the pressure on Israel to resolve the question of border crossings in Gaza which remains a thorny issue six weeks after the Israeli pullout. Rice’s statement comes a day after President George W. Bush insisted Washington was “fully committed” to the largely sunk “road map” peace plan. Israel, meanwhile, launched missile strikes in Gaza wounding five civilians, in response to renewed Palestinian rocket attacks on the Jewish state.
Mofaz orders eviction of 15 settler families in Hebron
Ha’aretz 10/28/2005
Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz has instructed the security forces to evict 15 families that have lived for the past few years in old buildings in Hebron’s wholesale market. He has also instructed troops to destroy 12 permanent buildings at the Amona outpost near Ofra in the West Bank. The Yesha settlers’ council fears that the decision, which was taken in principle a long time ago but only now is being made operative, is the beginning of the implementation of the promise given by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to the U.S. administration that Israel will evacuate some of the outposts.
Shin Bet warns Arab journalist against talking to his editor
Ha’aretz 10/28/2005
The Shin Bet warned the correspondent in Israel for Lebanon’s Al-Mustaqbal newspaper on Thursday that he should not be in contact with one of the editors at his newspaper, due to the latter’s ties to Hezbollah, saying contact would constitute a security offense. The correspondent, Hassan Muwasi, a resident of Baka al-Garbiyeh, was summoned to the Hadera police station Thursday morning, where he was interrogated by Shin Bet agents…Al-Mustaqbal belongs to the Hariri family, and is considered one of the three leading newspapers in Lebanon…”Where is my freedom of expression? This contradicts the law and will not prevent me from doing my job,” Muwasi said after the interrogation.

Israeli Military Flees from Non-Violent Protests Against Further Arrests; Bil‚in Protests to Continue Tomorrow
International Solidarity Movement 10/27/2005
Tomorrow, Friday at 1:00 PM the villagers of Bil‚in together with Israeli and International supporters will hold another creative non-violent march to the construction site of the Annexation Barrier in solidarity with the non violent protestors in Israeli detention. The villagers will carry a twenty meter long message in the spirit of the decisions of the International Court of Justice and march with their hands tied bearing the names of the non-violent protesters from Bil‚in who are in Israeli detention.
Five Prisoners Poisoned by Moldy Food in Etsyon Prison
International Press Center 10/26/2005
GAZA, Palestine, October 26, 2005 (IPC+Agencies)—Five prisoners were poisoned after they had been served spoiled food in Etsyon prison in Bethlehem city of the West Bank. Prisoners made clear to Ansar Al-Asra’s Lawyer, Tahani Amarna, that 5 prisoners were poisoned because they consumed the food and water which were served by the Prison’s administration, in turn they had sever colic in the stomach and vomit over the whole last week.
Faq on Israel‚s Roads and Tunnels Plan
By PLO – Negotiations Affairs Department, Palestine Monitor 10/24/2005
Frequently Asked Questions — 1. What is Israel‚s Roads and Tunnels Plan? Israel is currently building two separate transportation networks in the occupied West Bank: one for Palestinians, the other for Israeli settlers. “The Roads and Tunnels Plan‰ refers to the series of 24 tunnels and 56 roads for Palestinians. Meanwhile, Israel is constructing a separate highway network to link settlements (colonies) on both sides of the Wall with Israel and each other. Together, both transportation networks serve to facilitate settlement expansion throughout the Israeli-occupied West Bank while limiting any future Palestinian development…

Palestinians, ISMers Stand Down Israeli Military; Harvest Olives
International Solidarity Movement 10/25/2005
On Saturday the 22nd of October, an ISM affinity group went into the fields near Salim village to join locals in the olive harvest. A family had contacted us to help them to pick olives in a plot of 100 dunums of land that they had been unable to harvest for the past five years. A small settler outpost had been built very close to their land, which was already close to the larger Elon More settlement.
Settlers Set up Six New Illegal Outposts in the West Bank
International Press Center 10/28/2005
GAZA, Palestine, October27,2005 (IPC+Agencies)—Hundreds of settler set up six new settlement outposts on several West Bank hills, Israeli online daily Yeodit Ahranot reported on Wednesday. The settlers formed a new movement which is currently working in order to establish six new illegal settlement outposts, in a move which is intends to bar any evacuation of West Bank settlers, and strengthen the outposts there.
Sharon vows to avenge bombing attack
AlJazeera 10/27/2005
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has promised an open-ended offensive against Palestinian armed groups after a suicide bomber killed five Israelis in the coastal city of Hadera. Sharon said on Thursday that there could be no advance towards peace now because of the “absolute failure of the Palestinian Authority in the fight against terrorism”. “Our action will be broad and will not stop until it brings about a cessation of terrorism,” Sharon said ahead of a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Tel Aviv.
IDF slams settler ‘bullying’ as troops evacuate illegal outposts
Ha’aretz 10/27/2005
Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Dan Halutz on Thursday condemned the “violence and bullying” of settler youths resisting the evaucation of four illegal West Bank outposts. IDF troops evacuated the outposts Thursday, a day after they were established, but settlers returned to two of the outposts after troops left the area. IDF soldiers evacuated an outpost near the Kedumim settlement and another near Efrat, but settlers moved back to those near Elon Moreh and along Worshippers’ Way in Hebron.
4 settlers indicted over assault of Palestinian vegetable seller
Ha’aretz 10/27/2005
Four residents of the West Bank settlement of Kedumim were charged Thursday with assaulting a 13-year-old Palestinian boy and throwing rocks at Palestinian cars in the West Bank. The suspects were driving near Kedumim when they saw the boy selling vegetables at an intersection, according to the indictment, which was filed at the Tel Aviv District Court. They are accused of getting out of the car to push and hit the boy and throw his vegetables off the stand. They also allegedly removed two cellular phones he had in his possession, to prevent him from calling police.,2763,1602448,00.html
Barrier under fire for security failings
The Guardian 10/27/2005
Israeli commentators have united in criticising the government for the failure of the security barrier to protect Israel from suicide bombers after three years of construction and expenditure of almost 1bn. Three suicide attacks in Israel this year have happened in places that were supposed to be protected by the barrier: Hadera, Netanya and Tel Aviv. A fourth occurred in Beersheva, which is close to the southern West Bank and has not been fenced in. Jerusalem, which is closest to the Palestinian population centres and where the barrier is not complete, has not been attacked.,7340,L-3160095,00.html
IDF officials slam lax fence security
YNetNews 10/27/2005
Army officials say lax security at West Bank fence crossings could be easily utilized by terrorists — West Bank security fence crossings have become a regular infiltration route, largely due to lax security measures “similar to those employed at shopping malls,‰ army officials warn. While the defense establishment is still uncertain about the exact route used by the Hadera suicide bomber to reach his target, one possibility is that he entered Israel through a breach in the security fence near Jerusalem, Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper reported.

Israeli Provocations undermine Palestinian moderates, promote extremism
Palestine Monitor 10/27/2005
Since a ceasefire was declared on February 8 in Sharm el-Sheikh, around 100 Palestinians and 22 Israelis have been tragically killed. The Palestinians killed include at least 65 confirmed non-combatants. The Israelis killed include 20 non-combatants. 22 Palestinian and 3 Israeli children (17 and under) were killed. 21 of the Palestinians killed were victims of targeted assassinations, a tactic Israel routinely employs despite the fact that it is illegal under international law. 5 bystanders were also killed during these operations.
Occupation Troops Incur Into Qabatia, Arrest Six Residents
International Press Center 10/27/2005
JENIN, Palestine, October27, 2005 (IPC+WAFA)—Israeli occupation forces invaded toady dawn Qabatia town, of Jenin district from all directions, cordoned off the house of al khudair bombing doer and arrested six residents. A security source said that an IOF contingent backed by tens of the armored personnel carriers advanced deep into the town from all cardinals and cordoned off the house of the perpetrator of Al Khudeira’s bombing…In a precedent, the IOF jetfighter broke at dawn the sound barrier of Rammallah city of the west bank causing fake sonic booms, terrorizing the residents

Israel declares ‘war to the bitter end’ against Jihad
ReliefWeb 10/27/2005
JERUSALEM, Oct 27 (AFP) – Israel declared all-out war on Islamic Jihad on Thursday, launching air strikes on its Gaza Strip stronghold and putting its leaders in the crosshairs after a suicide bomber killed five in a marketplace. As the funerals took place for the victims of Wednesday’s attack in Hadera, officials said they were taking the gloves off against Jihad in the absence of any firm action from the Palestinian Authority. The five dead were the first Israelis to be killed by Palestinian militants since Israel pulled its troops and settlers out of the Gaza Strip.
Hamas’ Zahar: More kidnappings if Israel doesn’t release prisoners
Ha’aretz 10/26/2005
Hamas will increase the number of kidnappings of Israelis if Israel does not release Palestinian prisoners, Gaza Strip Hamas leader, Dr. Mahmoud Zahar, told Haaretz this week. He added that the group will not extend its participation in a cease-fire among Palestinian organizations beyond the end of 2005 if the Palestinian Authority reneges on its promise to hold elections in January. Speaking at his home in Gaza, rebuilt after an Israeli Air Force targeted assassination attempt in October 2003 – in which his son and bodyguard were killed – Zahar granted his first comprehensive interview with Israeli media since last year’s targeted killing of Hamas leaders Sheikh Ahmed Yassin and Abdel Aziz Rantisi.
Islamic Jihad vows to avenge killing of West Bank leader
Ha’aretz 10/26/2005
Islamic Jihad yesterday threatened to avenge Monday’s killing of senior West Bank leader Luay Sa’adi as tens of thousands of Palestinian mourners buried him yesterday morning in Tul Karm. Sa’adi was killed during a shootout with Israel Defense Forces troops, sparking a new round of violence.
Israeli Warplanes Continue Sonic Boom Raids as Three Civilians Arrested in Bethlehem
International Press Center 10/26/2005
GAZA, Palestine, October 26, 2005 (IPC + WAFA) – – Israeli warplanes continued launching fake sonic-boom raids over Gaza Strip for the third consecutive days, while arrest campaigns in the West Bank resulted in three civilians beingarrested by Israeli occupation forces. Eyewitnesses affirmed that Israeli fighter jets launched at least four fake air raids over Gaza Strip, creating deafening explosion sounds that were heard throughout the Strip. The early morning raids spread fear and panic among civilians, especially children, and shattered some windows of houses and buildings.
Israeli artillery, aircraft strike at Qassam crews
Ha’aretz 10/25/2005
The Israel Air Force launched a number of air strikes at Gaza Strip targets early Tuesday after Islamic Jihad men there fired a slew of rockets at Israel Monday in what the group said was an “initial response” to Israel’s killing of one of their top commanders in the West Bank. An IAF helicopter fired a missile at a building owned by the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades in the northern Gaza town of Beit Hanun, Palestinian sources said. The missile damaged the building but did not cause casualties.
Israel fires missiles into Gaza
AlJazeera 10/25/2005
Israeli army combat helicopters have fired two rocket into Gaza Strip in response to a series of attacks by Palestinian resistance fighters, witnesses and security sources say. One raid on Tuesday was against a building belonging to the Fatah movement of Palestinian Mahmuod Abbas in Bait Hanun in the north of the Gaza Strip. The building was damaged but no casualties were reported, witnesses said.
Fatah splinter group shoots, wounds accused collaborators
Ha’aretz 10/25/2005
An armed Palestinian splinter group on Tuesday released two Gaza men it had abducted after accusing them of collaborating with Israel, but not before shooting both in the legs as punishment. The Knights of the Tempest, a new group within the ruling Fatah party, grabbed the men last week in the latest sign of lawlessness in the territory that Israel quit last month following 38 years of occupation.
Police arrest second Israeli Arab for the murder of Hadera guard
Ha’aretz 10/25/2005
Police arrested on Tuesday afternoon a second Israeli Arab man in connection to the murder of Hadera security guard Kati David. The suspect is the brother of a man from Baka al-Garbiyeh who turned himself in to police earlier Tuesday admitting he was involved in the killing. The brother, in his twenties, is suspected of interfering in the investigation into the killing. Police interrogated the suspect for further information. Shin Bet domestic security service officials are also participating in the probe, believing the murder to have been nationalistically motivated.
16 Residents Arrested In Hebron and Tobass
International Press Center 10/25/2005
HEBRON, Palestine, October 25, 2005 (IPC+Agencies) ---Israeli Occupation Forces launched Monday a wide scale of arrest raid in the West Bank provinces in which 16 residents were arrested. 15 residents were arrested in Beit Ummar and Beit Khalil villages, north and North West of Hebron, in addition to seven residents who were arrested in Al Sheiokh village, north east of Hebron and one resident in Halhoul city north of Hebron. The number of arrested people by the late three days in Hebron went up to 40 residents.
Settlers attack Jett village east of Qalqilia
International Middle East Media Center 10/25/2005
Settlers of Qadumim attacked, on Tuesday morning, the village of Jett, east of the West Bank city of Qalqilia. Settlers lashed the civilian’s houses with stones and empty bottles and attacked Ali Hussein, 13, eyewitnesses reported. Damage was reported to the houses in the village. [end]
IDF arrests five near Nablus; infant used to conceal grenade
Ha’aretz 10/23/2005
The Israel Defense Forces arrested five wanted men near Nablus yesterday, one of whom had concealed a grenade in his infant son’s blanket. In another of a string of incidents across the West Bank that marked a significant rise in tensions, IDF troops shot and killed two Palestinians near Tul Karm Friday. At least one of the men was armed. Troops arrested the five men during a sweep in the village of Asira a-Shamaliya.
Two Arab dentists charged with working for Hamas
Ha’aretz 10/26/2005
Two Galilee dentists suspected of cooperation with Hamas were indicted Monday in the Haifa District Court. — The indictment states that the pair, Nazmi Hsayn of Nazareth and Abed al Salem Zaydan of Kafr Manda, made contact with Hamas activists while in Romania as students in the 1990s, and remained in touch with the organization until 2003. It further states that they were asked by Hamas to assist in drafting other Israeli Arabs to the organization, to help with purchasing fertilizer to be used in manufacturing explosives, to transfer money from abroad to Israel and to locate crowded places as targets for attacks.,7340,L-3160091,00.html
Analysis / Uprooting terror
YNetNews 10/27/2005
IDF to fight terror like it did during Arafat era; infantry units prepare for large-scale operation — Yesterday, after the terror attack in Hadera, we came back to where we were in 2004, before late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat‚s departure. The IDF received the green light for a large-scale military operation, as if Arafat was still in charge. The army will return to act in full force and without time limits in the northern West Bank – which it “evacuated” only two months ago.,7340,L-3160430,00.html
7 killed in Gaza strike
YNetNews 10/28/2005
Missile fired at vehicle carrying senior Islamic Jihad terrorist in Jabalya refugee camp; terrorist, Shadi Mohanna, killed in attack along with six others. Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades in response: Israel has opened the gates of hell. Incident marks IDF‚s return to targeted killing policy — Seven people, including senior Islamic Jihad terrorist Shadi Mohanna, were killed Thursday when an IAF aircraft fired a missile at a vehicle in the Jabalya refugee camp in north Gaza.,7340,L-3160439,00.html
New confidence crisis with U.S.
YNetNews 10/28/2005
U.S. halts supply of electro-optical equipment to IDF after Israel did not report loss of hundreds of night vision devices defined as ‘strategic weapons’ — Severe security crisis: The United States has recently halted for an unlimited period of time all the contracts to supply night vision equipment and electro-optic devices to the IDF, ynet has learned…The IDF introduced Thursday a new procedure regarding the treatment of night vision equipment in order to minimize the damage already cased and renew the relations with the U.S.,7340,L-3160540,00.html
Rice to Abbas: Control terrorist groups
YNetNews 10/28/2005
U.S. secretary of state appeals to PA chairman in telephone conversation to prevent terror attacks on Israel, dismantle terrorist groups; Rice also appeals to Israel to resume contacts with Palestinians — U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice lodged a new appeal Thursday with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to prevent terror attacks on Israel and dismantle the groups that carry them out. With little prospect that Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza in August will spur peacemaking, as she had hoped, Rice balanced her request to Abbas with appeals to Israel to resume contacts with the Palestinians.
Israel urges UN to exclude Iran
BBC 10/27/2005
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has called on the United Nations to expel Iran after its president called for the Jewish state to be “wiped off the map”. “A country calling for the destruction of another people cannot be a member of the UN,” Mr Sharon said. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s comment has been condemned by Western states and Russia, which suggested it would deepen the row over Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
Iran condemned over anti-Israel call
AlJazeera 10/27/2005
A call by the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for Israel to be wiped off the map has sparked widespread condemnation, with Israel urging Iran’s expulsion from the United Nations. France, Spain, Britain, Canada and Australia condemned the Iranian leader’s remarks and the European trio said their foreign ministries would summon Iranian envoys and demand an explanation. On Wednesday at a conference in Tehran entitled: The World without Zionism, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Israel’s establishment was “a move by the world oppressor against the Islamic world”.
Israeli ambassador to UN asks world body to expel Iran
Ha’aretz 10/27/2005
Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Gillerman, on Thursday asked the rotating president of the UN Security Council to expel Iran from the world body in response to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s call Wednesday for Israel to be “wiped off the map.” Gillerman wrote in a letter that Ahmadinejad’s comments require a strong and decisive response from the international community, Israel Radio reported. He said no country that calls for violence and destruction should be allowed membership in the UN.
PM nixes talks with Abbas until PA acts against terror
Ha’aretz 10/27/2005
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has ruled out talks with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) until he takes “serious action” against armed groups, the Prime Minister’s Office said Thursday, a day after five Israelis were killed by a Palestinian suicide bomber in Hadera. “If the Palestinian Authority does not take serious and tangible action against terrorism, there will be no diplomatic progress, and that would be a pity. In such a situation, I will not meet with Abu Mazen,” Sharon said in a statement after meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Jerusalem.
Iran’s anti-Israel remarks: Arabs mum
AlJazeera 10/27/2005
Arab governments have maintained silence over the call by Iran’s new president for Israel to be wiped off the map. Newspapers across the Middle East reported Wednesday’s speech by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad without comment, many of them on their front pages. Egyptian Foreign Ministry and cabinet officials said Cairo would have nothing to say on the address. Egyptian government officials played down the importance of the speech, saying it was intended for a conservative Iranian audience which remained faithful to the thinking behind the 1979 revolution.
Palestinian factions slam accusing a Palestinian group in Harriri’s assassination
International Middle East Media Center 10/27/2005
The Palestinian factions slammed the section in the report of the UN investigator Detlev Mehlis, which accuses a Palestinian group of being involved in the assassination of the former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Al-Hariri lastFebruary. The factions said, the report clearly accuses the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine ˆ General Command, of being directly involved in the assassination. Ahmed Jibril, leader of the front, whose headquarter is in Damascus rejected the accusations saying that Mehlis should be brought to justice over this accusation.
Peres said set to quiz Russian FM on new Iranian satellite
Ha’aretz 10/27/2005
Vice Premier Shimon Peres was to use a meeting with visiting Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Thursday to seek information on a new Iranian satellite, Israel Radio reported. According to the report, Iran plans to send up a Russian-manufactured satellite in the near future, which it says is for research purposes, but which Israel suspects will be used for espionage.
Russia-Syria arms deals worry Israel
Ha’aretz 10/26/2005
Israel has expressed concern over Russia’s intention to sign new arms deals with Syria, following the already completed deal to provide Syria with anti-aircraft SA-18 missiles. Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom, who is scheduled to meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov today, will tell him of Israel’s objection to the sale of more weapons to Syria, a political source in Jerusalem said yesterday. The source said Syria was undermining stability in the area.
Israel praises ‘strategic partner’ Jordan in marking peace deal signing
Ha’aretz 10/26/2005
On the 11th anniversary of Israel’s peace treaty with Jordan, Israel hailed its Arab neighbor Tuesday as its “strategic partner” in Mideast peacemaking. But Islamists in Jordan again condemned the kingdom, home to many Palestinians, for having made peace with Israel. “Israel considers Jordan a strategic partner and an important element in efforts to attain peace with neighboring states,” the Israeli Embassy said in a statement marking the accord that was signed on Oct. 26, 1994.
State offers JNF NIS 1.3b in biggest land deal ever
Ha’aretz 10/28/2005
The JNF protocol prohibits selling land ownership and selling any rights to non-Jews.— The government is offering the Jewish National Fund (Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael) NIS 1.3 billion for municipal lands it owns, in what is expected to be the largest real estate deal ever transacted in Israel. In addition, the state will give the JNF alternative lands in the Negev and the Galilee. The JNF’s rights to Israeli municipal lands are estimated at NIS 2.5 billion, according to an estimate the JNF commissioned and which is published here for the first time.
Abbas rejects cabinet reshuffle
BBC 10/26/2005
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has told parliament he is determined to hold elections in January, and will not form a new government before then. Palestinian MPs had requested earlier this month that the president confirm the poll’s date and reshuffle Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei’s cabinet. They were concerned by the continuing violence and disorder in the Palestinian Territories.
Abbas to militants: Don’t give Israel any excuses to attack
Ha’aretz 10/26/2005
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday lashed out at Palestinian militant factions, particularly the Islamic Jihad and Hamas, saying they had no right to selectively violate the ceasefire with Israel. In a speech to the PA cabinet, Abbas sharply criticized Palestinian militant factions for provoking Israeli attacks by violating the ceasefire. “No one has the right to respond here and there, unilaterally,” he told parliament.
IOF Prevents Patients to Have Treatement in Israel
WAFA 10/28/2005
GAZA, October 27, 2005, (WAFA)- Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) prevented Thursday patients from the Gaza Strip to have treatement in Israel after closing the crossings of Beit Hanoun north of Gaza and al-Mountar east of Gaza. General Director of Emergencies in al-Shefa hospital, Dr. Mo’aoia Hassanin revealed that the patients are in critical conditions.
Army bars Peace Now activists from entering Hebron
International Middle East Media Center 10/27/2005
Israeli soldiers barred, on Wednesday, dozens of activists of the Israeli Peace Now movement from entering the West Bank city of Hebron to protest against Jewish settlements there. Soldiers closed the main road which leads to Keryat Arba‚ settlement, in Hebron, and intensively the area. Soldiers obstructed three buses carrying 150 activists near Halhoul village, and barred the busses from driving to Hebron after claiming that the movement did not obtain a permit to protest in the city.

Israeli Police in Hebron Arrest Fifteen Year Old Palestinian Schoolgirl
International Solidarity Movement 10/27/2005
Today in Hebron, a group of human rights observers were posted near the Cordoba Palestinian school near the Beit Hadassah Israeli settlement. At about 1pm they noticed a 15 year old Palestinian girl (named Issra Mohammed Iseed) on her way home from school being roughly handled by an Israeli soldier…UPDATE: After calls to their respective consulates, all three human rights observers were released with out charge later in the evening. The charges against Issra (if any) are currently unclear. Issra is currently being held in the Kiryat Arba police station, without access to a lawyer.

Harrasment from police and military in Tel Rumeida
International Solidarity Movement 10/27/2005
On Monday, October 24th at approximately 9pm, six Israeli soldiers tried to enter the apartment shared by the Tel Rumeida Project and International Solidarity Movement without a permit. When internationals refused entrance, the soldiers called the police, saying the internationals would be arrested for interfering with the soldiers‚ work. Two Israeli police officers, Hussein Nabia and Rueben, arrived 20 minutes later and tried to convince the internationals to open the door.
Weekly Report: On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, 20- 26 Oct. 2005
Palestinian Centre for Human Rights 10/27/2005
Civilians Continue to be Attacked by Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) Continue in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) — 5 Palestinians, including a child, were killed by IOF. / Two of the victims were extra-judicially executed by IOF in Tulkarm. / IOF launched a series of attacks and air raids on civilian targets in the Gaza Strip. / IOF conducted 36 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. / Houses were raided and 84 Palestinian civilians, including 3 girls and two children, were arrested by IOF. / 3 houses were transformed by IOF into military sites. / A house was destroyed, another was bu[r]nt and two civilian facilities were demolished…
Olive Picking 2005 – Day 6
Joint Advocacy Initiative 10/26/2005
The Wall near Rachael’s Tomb: For the forth day, some participants started their day early in the morning by standing in vigil at the site of the construction of the Israeli Separation Wall near Rachael’s Tomb. The participants were shocked at the speed in which the Wall is being built at that area. The Wall left some Palestinian houses in the area shut in, with a narrow foot path between the Wall and the boarders of their houses. One of those houses is now bordered by the Wall from two sides and an Israeli military quarter from a third side.
Report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories (PDF)
ReliefWeb 10/26/2005
…5. The human rights of the Palestinian people and other Arabs in the occupied territories are referred to by the Security Council in its resolution 237 (1967) as “essential and inalienable human rights‰ and also find their legal basis in the protection afforded by international law, in particular in such circumstances as military occupation and, in the case of prisoners of war, capture. By resolution 3005 (XXVII), the General Assembly requested the Special Committee to investigate as well allegations concerning the exploitation and the looting of the resources of the occupied territories, the pillaging of its archaeological and cultural heritage and interferences in the freedom of worship in its holy places.

Urgent Call to Action: Release Birzeit University Student Walid Hanatche
International Solidarity Movement 10/26/2005
EMHRN press release – 18 October 2005 — Walid Hanatche, M.A. student in Economics at Birzeit University in the occupied West Bank, has been arbitrarily imprisoned without charge or trial for the last three-and-a-half years. The next few days are critical for Walid as his case comes before a military judicial review. We need your help to put an end to this gross violation of Walid‚s fundamental human rights and allow him to return to his family, his life and his studies, by writing to the Israeli military authorities to demand his immediate release.
MapQuest sidesteps requests to correct blatantly inaccurate map of Israel
Electronic Intifada 10/25/2005
Changing the map of the Middle East is difficult even in a literal sense. Last month the Electronic Intifada informed its readers of the blatantly inaccurate map of Israel which currently appears on (see Obscures Status Of Occupied Territories, 23 September 2005). Among other errors, this map omits the borders which distinguish the occupied territories from the State of Israel. By leaving out these borders, MapQuest has made a virtual Israeli annexation of the West Bank and Gaza, territories which hopefully will one day become an independent Palestinian state.
“Through Our Hands, the Apartheid Wall Will Fall!‰ 10/20/2005
List of Planned Activities for the 3rd National and International Week Against the Apartheid Wall, November 9-16 — Updated October 17 — The 9th ˆ 16th& of November 2005 marks the 3rd National and International Week against the Apartheid Wall called for by the Palestinian Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign and since then endorsed by various movements, groups, networks, and international civil society conferences.
Huwwara checkpoint, daily suffering for the Palestinian residents
International Middle East Media Center 10/20/2005
Crossing through Huwwara checkpoint, south of Nablus, is considered one of the difficult tasks, mixed with suffering and humiliation the Palestinian residents have to go through on daily basis. If you are in Nablus, and considering heading elsewhere, you will be stopped a military checkpoint, installed by the border guards unit, 150 meter away from Huwwara checkpoint. This checkpoint marks your first step of a journey of suffering. Soldiers on that checkpoint stop and search the residents depending on different criterions; sometimes they stop the residents according to sex, age, or even the way they look like.
AP Interview: Bethlehem Mayor Pleads for Financial Aid
Palestine Media Center 10/19/2005
MONTPELIER, Vt. —The mayor of Bethlehem, West Bank, said Tuesday his city is in such financial straits that it couldn’t make its payroll last month, and is getting “zero” help from Christian churches that regard the city as Jesus Christ’s birthplace. Victor Batarseh came to Vermont’s capital with a delegation that included Burlington Mayor Peter Clavelle for the opening of an exhibit of Palestinian art. Burlington, 40 miles northwest of Montpelier, is a sister city of both Bethlehem and Arad, Israel.
PCPO Poll: 61.5% of Palestinians Supports Formation of New Cabinet 64.8% Concerned about Their Personal Security
Palestine Media Center/Palestinian Center for Public Opinion (PCPO) 10/27/2005
The target of this poll is to probe the inclinations and notions of the Palestinians about the calls on putting an end to the chaos of arms, anarchy, the imposition of the law and the concerns of the Palestinians about the existing situation. In addition, this poll casts light on other issues such as the PLC-elections in January 2006, performance of the PA-president, Mr. Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazin) and the formation of a new cabinet.,2763,1599840,00.html
Israel still in control of Gaza, says envoy
The Guardian 10/25/2005
The international Middle East envoy, James Wolfensohn, has accused Israel of behaving as if it has not withdrawn from the Gaza Strip, by blocking its borders and failing to fulfil commitments to allow the movement of Palestinians and goods. Mr Wolfensohn, the special envoy of the “Quartet” of the US, UN, EU and Russia overseeing the “road map” peace plan, said Israel continued to block the free movement of Palestinians between the strip and Egypt, even though they do not enter Israel.
Japan to finance renovation of PA’s Muqata headquarters in Ramallah
Ha’aretz 10/25/2005
The Ramallah headquarters of Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, known as the Muqata, is to be renovated under the terms of an agreement signed Tuesday between the PA and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). Japan will finance the rebuilding of the headquarters for an undisclosed amount. Addressing the media following the signing ceremony, Rafik Husseini, Abbas’ office director, said: “We need a new headquarters for the president where he can meet world leaders and deal with the world in a civilized and modern manner.”
AIPAC lobbyists summon Israeli diplomats to give testimony
Ha’aretz 10/25/2005
Two lobbyists implicated in the AIPAC affair submitted a request Monday in which they asked Israeli diplomats in Washington to testify in their hearings. Attorneys Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman, who together with Pentagon analyist, Larry Franklin, are facing charges of disclosing confidential information to Israel, asked the court to summon the diplomats. Rosen and Weissman claim the diplomats’ testimony is needed to prove their claims that they are innocent of their charges, and were involved solely in routine lobbying work.
Abbas insists Bush committed to peace
AlJazeera 10/24/2005
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says US President George Bush did not mean to slip away from his commitment to Middle East peacemaking when he recently said that a Palestinian-Israeli settlement may not be possible before he leaves office in 2009. “President Bush’s statement that the establishment of a Palestinian state will not be in his era was spontaneous and it was not pre-planned,” Abbas told the official Petra news agency on Monday, on arrival from neighbouring Egypt.
Israel drops Hamas vote ban call
BBC 10/24/2005
Israel has pulled back from a policy opposing the participation of Hamas in January’s Palestinian elections. Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni said it was not in Israel’s interest to oppose Hamas’ participation. In September, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said that his government would hinder voting in the West Bank if Hamas candidates stood in the election. The largest and most popular militant group, Hamas has not previously contested parliamentary elections.,2763,1599227,00.html
Qur’an competition tests participants’ memories
The Guardian 10/24/2005
With senior militant leaders looking on, Palestinian officials opened an international competition yesterday testing participants’ knowledge of the Qur’an. Some 700 people, including diplomats and leaders of Islamic Jihad and Hamas crowded into a cultural centre for the first day of the al-Aqsa international competition for the holy Qur’an. For five days, a panel of clerics will question the 50 contestants and ask them to recite verses of the Qur’an from memory. The competitors were from 17 countries including Senegal, Nigeria and the Netherlands as well as the Palestinian territories.
An affordable translation service from the Arabic language press
Electronic Intifada 10/23/2005 was launched on June 15th, 2005. The service…provides a daily email newsletter with the days headlines (translated and summarized) from all the top Arabic and Persian newspapers. — Since the late 70s, many Arabs and Muslims in the United States have been frustrated and discouraged by the portrayal of their culture and society in the Western media.As the chasm between the United States and the Middle East has continued to grow, this frustration has only become worse.
Government urged to stop bringing in Chinese workers
Ha’aretz 10/26/2005
Kav LaOved, the Worker’s Hotline for the Protection of Worker’s Rights, is demanding that the government stop bringing new construction workers from China to replace those who have left. The request follows a recent agreement between the cabinet and the Contractors Association to resume bringing foreign workers to Israel after a three-year hiatus. Kav LaOved sources said each Chinese worker must pay a $12,000 commission to mediators to receive a permit to work here. In this way, Israel is aiding the trafficking of human beings, they said.,7340,L-3159738,00.html
First ever Druze research center set up
YNetNews 10/26/2005
Project comes as part of ministerial plan to boost research, development practices in north, south of country — Science and Technology Minister Matan Vilnai unveiled plans on Wednesday to set up a Research and Development Center for the Druze community in the Galilee. The center‚s location will be chosen in light of the concentration of the Druze community in the north. Being an extension for other major research centers in the Galilee, the center will provide services that will allow the Druze community to conduct basic research about its needs.
Interview: Gates `super happy’ with work of Haifa R&D center
Ha’aretz 10/27/2005
One thing the interview with Bill Gates inspires is a longing for his right-hand man and the chief executive of his company: Steve Ballmer. Stiff Gates would never allow himself antics as his extroverted No. 2 does with such glee, such as bear-dance on the dais, or speak his mind about the industry in general and the competition in particular…Microsoft is considered one of the most belligerent companies in the world, in its manner of crushing the “enemy” (read: the competition), and in its demands of its employees.,7340,L-3159576,00.html
Gates: Israel part of Silicon Valley
YNetNews 10/26/2005
“I am a software expert,‰ he uttered when pressed to make a plain political statement on the Israeli-Palestinian problem. — Microsoft chairman praises successful local high-tech industry during Israel visit — Claiming Israel “is part of the Silicon Valley,‰ Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates praised the successful high-tech industry of the Jewish State where he is currently on a 24-hour visit. “Israel is doing fantastic things in the area of technology and I‚m excited to be here,‰ he said, adding the country was home to numerous remarkable talents.
Gates to meet with Sharon, executives on maiden visit
Ha’aretz 10/26/2005
Seventeen years after Microsoft began operating in Israel, the company’s founder and chairman, Bill Gates, arrived yesterday for his first visit to the country. Gates will not be leaving his hotel, the David Intercontinental in Tel Aviv, during the 24-hour lightning visit, except for a short meeting with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon elsewhere in the city. In one respect, it is surprising that Gates has never visited Israel, which is considered second only to the United States as a source of new technologies for software, communications, semiconductors and life sciences.,7340,L-3159786,00.html
Video: Sharon, Gates combat poverty
YNetNews 10/26/2005
Gates, Sharon announce launch of national plan to provide computer skills for 250,000 poor Israeli youths in bid to ‘lessen digital gap — (Video) Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates met with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon Wednesday, and the two announced the launch of a national plan to provide computer skills for 250,000 poor Israeli youths in a bid to “lessen the digital gap.”
Catch-22 deepens IMI crisis
Ha’aretz 10/26/2005
Finance Ministry Budgets Director Kobi Haber and the chairman of the professional division at the Histadrut labor federation, Ofer Eini, held intensive negotiations on the eve of Simhat Torah to solve the salary crisis at Israel Military Industries. The 2,900 IMI employees, including those at its Asot Ashkelot subsidiary, have yet to receive their September salaries, which were due more than two weeks ago. IMI expects work disruptions to commence today until the issue is resolved.,7340,L-3160544,00.html
Iron dealers vandalize IDF monument
YNetNews 10/28/2005
IDF monument vandalized during holiday, plaques, letters removed, apparently by iron dealers who deal in the material. This is a painful, criminal act, IDF official say — An IDF monument to fallen soldiers was vandalized during the holidays by unidentified offenders who removed the iron plaques and letters that carried the dead soldier’s names off the memorial’s wall. Army sources were shocked to uncover the desecration of the monument, dedicated to the IDF’s Logistics Command. The theft has been attributed to ‘iron thieves’ who apparently trade in the material.
Lebanese Cabinet rejects UN call to disarm Hizbullah
Daily Star 10/29/2005
Beirut: The Lebanese government rejected on Thursday the latest UN call to disarm Hizbullah, in line with Security Council Resolution 1559, insisting the issue was “an internal matter” subject to national dialogue. After Cabinet’s weekly session, Information Minister Ghazi Aridi said: “They (the UN) have their own point of view and we have ours,” in response to UN special envoy Terje Roed-Larsen’s report latest on the status of 1559's implementation.
Former Florida professor presents no defense in terrorism-support trial
Ha’aretz 10/28/2005
TAMPA, Florida – After hearing from U.S. government witnesses for nearly five months, an attorney for a fired college professor charged with aiding Palestinian terrorists rested his case yesterday without calling a single witness. After summoning more than 70 witnesses, federal prosecutors rested their case earlier Thursday morning against Sami Al-Arian and three other defendants accused of raising money and supporting Palestinian Islamic Jihad or PIJ.
Guantanamo man ‘wants to starve’
BBC 10/26/2005
A Kuwaiti detainee on hunger strike at Guantanamo Bay wants a judge to order the removal of his feeding tube so he can be allowed to die, his lawyer says. Fawzi al-Odah is ready to die “out of desperation” at his detention without charge, said his lawyer Tom Wilner. Mr al-Odah is one of about 26 detainees being fed by tube, against their will. Force-feeding is highly controversial. Campaigners in London on Tuesday said it was unethical and painful, but US authorities say they are saving lives.
Baghdad ‘ambush’ leaves 20 dead
BBC 10/27/2005
At least 20 Shia militiamen and Iraqi policemen have died in clashes with Sunni insurgents, Iraqi officials say. Most of those killed were Mehdi Army militiamen loyal to radical Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr. Two Iraqi policemen were also killed and others wounded. A spokesman for the militiamen said they were ambushed as they went with police to aid a comrade kidnapped by Sunni militants near Baghdad.
Oil-for-food probe indicts global firms
AlJazeera 10/27/2005
About 2200 companies in the UN oil-for-food programme, including corporations in the United States, France, Germany and Russia, paid a total of $1.8 billion in kickbacks and illicit surcharges to Saddam Hussein’s government, a UN-backed investigation has said in its report. The report on Thursday from the committee probing the $64 billion programme said prominent politicians also made money from extensive manipulation of the UN oil-for-food programme in Iraq.
Saddam lawyers suspend trial work
BBC 10/26/2005
Lawyers representing Saddam Hussein have said they are suspending any contact with the tribunal trying the former Iraqi leader over safety fears. The group says contacts will be frozen until security arrangements improve. The move follows last week’s abduction and murder of Sadoun Nasouaf al-Janabi, a lawyer representing one of the ousted Iraq president’s co-defendants.
Report: Assad vows Syrians linked to Hariri murder will face trial
Ha’aretz 10/26/2005
Facing mounting pressure over alleged Syrian links to the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri, Syrian President Bashar Assad has promised that any Syrian found “by concrete evidence” to have been involved in the murder will stand trial, the Washington Post reported Wednesday. Assad’s comments, in a letter to the United States, Britain and France dated Sunday, is Syria’s first substantive answer to charges leveled in a preliminary United Nations report into the assassination, which concluded that senior Syrian officials were involved in the murder.
Syrians ponder price of sanctions
AlJazeera 10/27/2005
A French-US draft resolution threatening to step up measures against Damascus has raised Syrian concerns that the country’s already fragile state-controlled economy could be devastated if hit by international sanctions. “The Syrian people are plagued with enough troubles,” said Husain Uwdat, a senior member of al-Atassi political dissident forum, which was banned by the Syrian government last May. “We can’t put up with additional burdens like economic sanctions.”
Syria warns Security Council not to be misled by U.S. over Hariri probe
Ha’aretz 10/27/2005
Syria on Thursday criticized a draft UN resolution against Damascus over a former Lebanese leader’s killing, urging Security Council members not to be misled by the same U.S. policies that led to Iraq’s invasion. The United States, Britain and France, all permanent Security Council members, on Tuesday proposed a resolution threatening tough sanctions on Syria if it doesn’t cooperate with the UN probe into Rafik Hariri’s February 14 assassination raid, which also killed 19 other people.
Beirut tightens siege on armed groups
AlJazeera 10/27/2005
The Lebanese army has tightened the noose around seven Palestinian faction bases close to the Syrian border. The move comes amid claims by a Palestinian faction leader that his men are holding six Lebanese soldiers captive and a report by the UN envoy calling for action to disarm the fighters. Officers said about 500 soldiers backed by 50 armoured cars were now deployed around the camps in the foothills of the Anti-Lebanon range that marks the border, two operated by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC) and five by Fatah-Intifada.
Prosecutor in AIPAC affair is named new U.S. deputy AG
Ha’aretz 10/23/2005
WASHINGTON – President George W. Bush yesterday announced his intention to nominate Paul J. McNulty, of Virginia, to be deputy attorney general at the Department of Justice. McNulty is the Federal prosecutor in the cases of former defense analyst Larry Franklin, and the two former AIPAC lobbyists, Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman. All three were indicted for conspiring “to communicate national defense information … [to] persons not entitled to receive it.”
Fort Bend ISD gets $1.25 million gift
Houston Chronicle 10/18/2005
The anonymous donor, from Saudi Arabia, will buy buildings to help teach evacuees — SUGAR LAND – An anonymous donor from Saudi Arabia has given portable classroom buildings and educational items valued at $1.25 million to the Fort Bend Independent School District to help educators cope with the large number of students relocated by hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
Iraqi oil exports grind to a halt
BBC 10/24/2005
Oil exports from Iraq have been completely halted by a combination of attacks and bad weather, reports say. Four sabotage attacks brought exports from Northern Iraq to a halt on Sunday and officials warned the damage may take a month to repair. The problem worsened on Monday when a pipeline carrying crude to the Turkish port of Ceyhan was hit in an attack.,2763,1602663,00.html
Galloways face new claims over oil and cash
The Guardian 10/28/2005
George Galloway and his wife faced fresh allegations yesterday over the illicit receipt of money from Saddam Hussein’s oil-for-food programme. A UN inquiry, headed by Paul Volcker, the former head of the US Federal Reserve board, claimed that $120,000 had been paid into the bank account of Mr Galloway’s wife, Amineh Abu-Zayyad, in 2000.
World Service confirms Arabic TV
BBC 10/25/2005
The BBC World Service is to launch an Arabic television news channel in 2007, the corporation has confirmed. The channel will initially broadcast 12 hours a day and will be the BBC’s first publicly funded global TV service. It is part of a 30m restructuring of the World Service and is being funded by the closure of 10 foreign language services – with the loss of 218 jobs.

The Wall and the psychological impact on children
By Adri Nieuwhof, The Guardian 10/24/2005

   On 26 September 2005, the Palestinian Counseling Centre (the PCC) announced the results of a survey on the psychological implications of the construction of the wall on people from five villages in the Qalqilya district. In 2003, the PCC conducted a pilot study, which was followed by the survey from early 2004 to August 2005.

Given Israel’s control on movement, it is a major achievement that the PCC was able to carry out the research. The PCC fieldworkers and staff were faced with measures that presented tremendous challenges to the researchers. These included being prevented from entering Palestinian villages without Israeli permission, assault and humiliation at the gates to the wall, including body searches as well as document searches, and time limitations upon entering the villages due to the opening and closing of the gates at times scheduled by the Israeli army.

Fortunately, the commitment of the researchers made it possible for them to overcome these obstacles. For example, at times fieldworkers and the PCC staff slept in the villages in order to carry out the study and therefore not be dependant on the Israeli army for entrance.
Apartheid on the Roads: Enough Palestinian cars
By Gideon Levy, Palestine Monitor/Haaretz 10/23/2005

   We must stop this luxury immediately: The Palestinians should be prohibited from traveling in cars on all the roads of the West Bank and not only intercity roads, as was decided following the drive-by shooting attack at the Gush Etzion junction last week.

Any other solution, more “humane,” will not prevent terror attacks. In any case, most Palestinians have become used to living without cars, without movement, without freedom. Therefore, let us stop playing with highfalutin words and partial solutions: no more Palestinian cars on our country’s roads, including its occupied territories.

Toward the end of the week, people here were frightened a bit by the American criticism about the closing of main roads in the West Bank to private cars. A source in Jerusalem hurried to tell Haaretz, “There is no new plan to separate traffic on the roads of the West Bank.” And the defense minister promised from London that it was only a temporary measure. Thus, it was proved again that our last moral barrier is not to be found in Jerusalem, but rather in Washington. The thought that people like George W. Bush and Condoleezza Rice are the guardians of our morality should make us shudder, but that is the fact.
Construction Beginning on the Segregation Wall in Aboud
By Father Firas Aridah, Palestine Monitor 10/20/2005

   Message from Father Firas Aridah, Parish Priest of Aboud – includes map

Aboud and the Settlements: Aboud is a picturesque little village that lies to the northwest of Ramallah. Almost 2,500 people live in Aboud. Half of them are Christians and the other half are Muslims. They live peacefully and happily together. The land surface of Aboud is about 15,000 dunams (3,750 acres), but construction of houses is only allowed on 1,000 dunams.

There are already two settlements built on the land of Aboud. The first one is called Beit Arye, and it was founded in 1980 as a military area and base. Then it was converted into a big settlement occupying almost 800 dunams of Aboud‚s land.

The second settlement is called Ofarim. It was established in 1982 and occupies almost 700 dunams of Aboud‚s land. Like Beit Arye, it was first a military area, then turned into a big settlement.

The Segregation Wall and the two settlements will take about 3,500 dunams of the lands of Aboud.
The Quiet Occupation
By Ran HaCohen, Palestine Chronicle 10/27/2005

   ”If the only way to save your child’s life is by betraying your brother, what would you do? The permit system allows the Israeli occupation forces to spot the soft points of a Palestinian ˆ a family tragedy, a sick child, a dying parent, financial plight ˆ and take advantage of them. The weakest is always the easiest prey..”

(ANTIWAR.COM) – One of the difficulties in writing regularly about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is, in my eyes, that so little ever changes. The basic constants ˆ above all, Israel’s overwhelming military, economic, and political superiority, all serving its colonialist aims ˆ change slightly over years, if at all. The media concentrate on immediate episodes: a violent incident, a statement, a peace plan ˆ but in hindsight, they all make very little difference. In the longer term, the realities on the ground are ultimately derived from the aims and interests of the stronger side, with minor considerations, modifications, or delays due to Palestinian resistance or international reservations.,7340,L-3159611,00.html
Guide for the frustrated leftist
By Baruch Leshem, YNetNews 10/26/2005

   Time has come for left-wingers to stand up for themselves

…The Labor Party now sings back up vocals for the Likud, and Meretz changed its outlook from Peace Now to Peace Yesterday.

Sharon’s victory at the Likud Central Committee last month, following the infamous microphone scandal , will not just silence Benjamin Netanyahu for a few months, but could also bury the Left for a few more years.

“And what would be so bad about that?” ask the commentators. “After all, Sharon is really Meretz in disguise.” Sharon still a right-winger: But Sharon, especially after his victory at the Central Committee, was and remains the head of a right-wing party. To paraphrase the Torah, “The voice sounds like Jacob, but the hands feel like those of Esau.” The Likud remains a party that values most of the Whole Land of Israel over compromise. The very partial disengagement from the Palestinians does not stem from a humanistic world outlook, but was rather a mere tactic.,7340,L-3158821,00.html
And Peres will go home
By Dror Nissan, YNetNews 10/24/2005

   Peres, Labor appear determined to die in Sharon’s arms A year has gone by, a new year has come, and perhaps Shimon Peres will give up. Please. Maybe his honor, a person who has done so much and is filled with virtues, will be so kind as to release the Israeli politics from his presence, and live a long and prosperous life outside of it.

…National unity is a rare political recipe in the vast majority of civilized countries. Germany has been dragged into it for the first time nowadays, against its will and for lack of any other option. The defeated social-democrats are charging an enormous price for their partnership: an equal distribution of portfolios and receiving the important governmental offices.

Outgoing Chancellor Schroeder, who cooked up the deal, has enough sense to go. Worthy people with style and virtues, like Joschka Fischer, are taking advantage of this time of downfall in order to retire. While in Israel, unity has transformed from a formula which one should avoid altogether, into an ongoing chronic disease.
It’s no wonder envoy is frustrated
By Amira Hass, Ha’aretz 10/26/2005

   Will James Wolfensohn succeed where others have failed and cause Israel to release its grip on Palestinian freedom of movement?

The Quartet’s special envoy on disengagement affairs didn’t mince words last week when he expressed his frustration and disappointment with the stalling of the talks on the matter of the crossing points and Palestinian movement.

“While the Palestinians were eager to reach an agreement, the government of Israel preferred to leave difficult questions to committees that will not meet until after the Jewish holidays,” Wolfensohn wrote in a letter and periodic report submitted last week to the United Nations secretary-general and the foreign ministers of the Quartet countries.
Mapping Out Catastrophe
By Remi Kanazi, Palestine Chronicle 10/24/2005

   ”Abbas and the Palestinian Authority are waiting for engagement, bi-lateral talks and negotiations..”

Does anyone remember that quirky little document called “the roadmap,” the proposed path to peace initiated by the Quartet˜the United States, the European Union, the United Nations, and Russia˜involving the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians?

If you remember it and its contents, you can recall that Israelis and Palestinians should be in phase two (of three) of the plan by now: the creation of a quasi-Palestinian state with “provisional borders” and the markings of sovereignty. Sadly, the prospects for peace look as grim as the day the roadmap was first outlined in June 2002.

I still remember US President George W. Bush’s words, “Israeli settlement activity in the occupied territories must stop.” Furthermore, Bush proclaimed, “The Israeli occupation that began in 1967 will be ended through a settlement negotiated between the parties, based on U.N. Resolutions 242 and 338.” In the nearly three and a half years since those promising words were spoken in the Rose Garden, Israeli settlement activity has expanded at an inordinate rate, and the peace process has been curtailed to say the least˜nearly 2100 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces.

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