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Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel
For those interested in keeping up with events in Palestine/Israel, there is no better digest than VTJP.

VTJP Archives | VTJP 2009
31 March, 2009


International Middle East Media Center

Extremist settlers attack Palestinian homes in Hebron
31 Mar 2009 - A group of extremist settlers attacked on Tuesday a number of Palestinian homes in the southern West Bank city of Hebron causing excessive damage and terrifying the residents, especially the children. ...

OPT: UN tracks rising violence against women in Gaza
31 Mar 2009 - The UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) in Gaza, local Palestinian NGOs and mental health professionals are reporting increased incidents of domestic violence and sexual assault against women in Gaza since the beginning of 2009. ...

Netanyahu to present the largest government in Israel's history
31 Mar 2009 - Likud leader, upcoming Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, intends to present his government to the Knesset on Tuesday; his special formula contains a mixture of 30 ministers, including six without portfolio. ...

Eight youths detained in Um Al Fahim
31 Mar 2009 - The Israeli police detained eight Arab youths in Um Al Fahim Arab town, north of the country, after claiming that the eight attacked settlers in the town last week. ... 

PFLP: "Israe's decision to impose more restrictions on the detainees, a terrorist decision"
31 Mar 2009 - The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) described the Israeli decision to impose for retractions against the detainees, as a terrorist decision that treats the detainees as hostages, and violates the basic international law. ...

Detainees in Ramon Prison demand Israel to stop nude searches
31 Mar 2009 - Palestinian detainees imprisoned at the Ramon Israeli Prison voice an appeal to human rights groups in order to oblige Israel to stop the naked and provocative body searches practiced by the soldiers against them. ... 

Two fighters killed, two injured, in the central Gaza Strip
31 Mar 2009 - Palestinian medical sources reported that two resistance fighters were killed in an Israeli shelling targeting an area east Al Maghazi refugee camp, in the central Gaza Strip. At least two more fighters were injured. ...

Eretz and Kerem Shaom crossings to be partially opened Tuesday
31 Mar 2009 - The Israeli Authorities have decided to partially open the Kerem Shalom (Karem Abu Salem) and the Eretz (Al Mintar) crossings in order to allow the entry of 115 trucks filled with aid, and 45 trucks filled with grain. ...

Hamas: "Arab Summit closing statement lacks practicality"
31 Mar 2009 - Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, slammed the closing statement of the Arab Summit which was held Monday in Qatar, and said that the summit failed to address the suffering of the Palestinian people and lacked practical measures. ... 

Peace Now:"Netanyahu has a right-wing government, not a coalition"
30 Mar 2009 - The Peace Now movement in Israel issued a press release on Monday stating that the upcoming Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, will have his government sworn-in on March 31 as a right-wing government, although he will attempt to market it as a coalition government. ...

Ha'aretz Defense page

Report: Israel carried out 3 attacks on Sudan arms smugglers
31 Mar 2009 - U.S. broadcaster ABC: U.S. official confirms attack on two truck convoys, sinking of ship in Red Sea.

Noam Shalit: Netanyahu must outdo Olmert's attempts to release Gilad
31 Mar 2009 - Gilad Shalit's mother, Aviva , will be present at inauguration ceremony for the incoming government.

'Dozens of Israeli jets and drones attacked in Sudan'
31 Mar 2009 - TIME Magazine cited Israeli sources as saying U.S. was notified of the attack but was not directly involved.

Gaza probe / Either troops are liars, or the IDF is pure as snow
31 Mar 2009 - Speed at which army closed investigation into accounts of misconduct raises questions.

At least 20 killed in attack on Pakistan police academy
31 Mar 2009 - Another 20 wounded, less than a month after the deadly ambush of Sri Lanka's cricket team in the same area.

Report: U.S. warned Sudan before attack on Gaza convoy
31 Mar 2009 - Al-Sharq al-Awsat: U.S. informed Sudan gov't that arms were being smuggled to Gaza through its territory.

Israel okayed Hamas prisoners' meet on Shalit deal
31 Mar 2009 - Defense establishment coordinated jailed Hamas militants' meet in hopes it would relax group's demands.

Shin Bet: Nearly 70 tons of explosives smuggled into Gaza since IDF op
31 Mar 2009 - Yuval Diskin: Groups other than Hamas still pursuing plans to kidnap Israeli soldiers, carry out terror attacks.

Media allege corruption in massive Israel-India arms deal
31 Mar 2009 - Indian press raise questions over $1.5 billion deal between IAI and the Indian defense ministry.

Report: Israel used unmanned drones to attack Sudan convoys
31 Mar 2009 - Defense officials quoted as saying trucks carried missiles to Gaza capable of hitting Tel Aviv.

Barak welcomes IDF decision to end Gaza misconduct probe
31 Mar 2009 - Military Advocate General says testimonies based on hearsay; Barak: Yet another proof IDF is moral.

Arab MK: IDF soldiers attacked me in Hebron
31 Mar 2009 - IDF says according to video of West Bank incident, it is clear MK Mohammad Barakeh was not attacked.

Hamas frees Fatah's Gaza officials hours after arrest
31 Mar 2009 - Fatah spokesman: Hamas launches new crackdown on Abbas loyalists in bid to prevent regrouping.

Israel denies compromise with Hamas in Shalit deal
31 Mar 2009 - PMO counters Hamas claim that Israel had rescinded from initial demands and made new offer for prisoner swap.

Ma'an News

Red Crescent marks land day in Salfit
30 Mar 2009 - 

Israeli MPs close investigation into soldier atrocities in Gaza
30 Mar 2009 - 

Health workers opt to suspend strike scheduled for Tuesday
30 Mar 2009 - 

Israeli troops detain PFLP fighter near Ramallah
30 Mar 2009 - 

Fatah congratulates Palestinians marking Land Day
30 Mar 2009 - 

Young man dead, six others injured in family clash
30 Mar 2009 - 

Palestinian deportee returns to Ramallah after five-year exile
30 Mar 2009 - 

MK Barakah calls Beit Hanoun on Land Day; urges continued struggle
30 Mar 2009 - 

Palestinian fighter wounded by Israeli fire in Gaza
30 Mar 2009 - 

Two Palestinians seized in Qalqiliya-area village
30 Mar 2009 - 

Netanyahu prepares coalition cabinet; Likud underrepresented
30 Mar 2009 - 

Sudan eclipses Palestine at Arab League Summit
30 Mar 2009 - 

Israeli blockade prevents EU cash from reaching Gazans
30 Mar 2009 - 

Israel to open Jewish-only Hebron road to Palestinians
30 Mar 2009 - 

Palestine Telegraph

Two Palestinian martyrs were targeted by Israeli occupation in Gaza
30 Mar 2009 - Gaza, 31 March (The Pal Telegraph)-Two Palestinians were targeted and others wounded after being exposed to a missile from an Israeli aircraft near the boarders in the east of Maghazi refugee camp in the midst of the Gaza Strip. The reporter of...

Jewish Settlers to Build Road on Palestinians’ Lands
30 Mar 2009 - West Bank, March 30, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) - Jewish settlers are preparing to build an unauthorized road between “Alia” settlement in the north of the West Bank City of Ramallah and “Hioval” settlement in the south on Palestinian land, according to the...

Occupation expels Palestinian families from Hebron
30 Mar 2009 - Hebron, 30 March (Pal Telegraph)- The Israeli army has expelled several Palestinian families living behind the apartheid wall in the south-eastern part of Hebron governorate in the occupied west bank. The Israeli Army claims they permission to reside there.

Gaza: a medical team performs 4 medical critical surgeries.
29 Mar 2009 - Gaza, 30 March (Pal Telegraph)- Palestinian medical team working in the Department of Medical Surgery, at Al-Shifa’ medical complex in Gaza, has succeeded in performing 4 critical surgeries to eradicate cancerous tumors in only one week. In a press release, the ministry...

Palestinian refugees in Lebanon Commemorate Land Day
29 Mar 2009 - Lebanon, 30 March (The Pal Telegraph) - Palestinian refugees of Sabra and Sahtila Refugee Camp commemorated Palestinian Land Day (Yawm Al-Ard) on Sunday. Every year on March 30 th , Palestinians around the world commemorate Land day as a protest against Israeli appropriation...

Hamas says restrictions on prisoners not to change demands 
28 Mar 2009 - GAZA, March 29 - The military wing of Hamas on Sunday said expected harassment against its prisoners in Israeli jails will not succeed changing Hamas' conditions for a prisoner exchange deal. An Israeli committee would present a list of new restrictions on...

Rain of Fire
28 Mar 2009 - Jerusalem - Human Rights Watch released a damning report this week that the Israeli military had “deliberately or recklessly used white phosphorus munitions in violation of the laws of war” during the 22-day Operation Cast Lead in Gaza.

Israeli blockade sinks fish industry
28 Mar 2009 - Gaza City: Marwan Abu Juma, a 43-year-old father of 10, hasn't made enough money from fishing since 2000, but his life has been particularly difficult for the past several months. "I can barely cover the expenses of fishing and save some money...

Report: IOF troops carried out 36 incursions in W. Bank during one week
28 Mar 2009 - NABLUS - The Palestinian center for human rights revealed in its weekly report that the IOF troops carried out during a one-week period at least 36 incursions in most of the West Bank cities, villages and refugee camps during which they kidnapped...

Did Israel use white phosphorous in Gaza?
28 Mar 2009 - Israel's recent use of white phosphorus bombs in densely populated areas of Gaza violated the rules of war, according to a leading human rights organization.


Former Chechen rebel 'assassinated'
31 Mar 2009 - Dubai police detain Russian suspected in killing of Chechen military leader.

Qatar hosts Latin American leaders
31 Mar 2009 - Second Latam-Arab summit follows on the heels of Arab League meeting in Doha.

Israel drops Gaza war crimes probe
30 Mar 2009 - Military judge dismisses soldiers' accounts of civilians being shot as "hearsay".

Netanyahu 'to present new cabinet'
30 Mar 2009 - Israeli PM-designate will reportedly present his cabinet to parliament on Tuesday.


OPT: Tough times for university students in Gaza 
26 Mar 2009 - GAZA CITY Thursday, March 26, 2009 (IRIN) - Many university students who lost relatives or whose homes were destroyed during the recent 23-day Israeli offensive are finding it difficult to cope, according to university officials and students. 

OPT: UN tracks rising violence against women in Gaza 
26 Mar 2009 - GAZA CITY Tuesday, March 24, 2009 (IRIN) - The UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) in Gaza, local Palestinian NGOs and mental health professionals are reporting increased incidents of domestic violence and sexual assault against women in Gaza since the beginning of 2009. 

MIDDLE EAST: Water treatment kit for household grey water 
26 Mar 2009 - ISTANBUL Monday, March 23, 2009 (IRIN) - A kit designed to treat household waste water for reuse could be one of the ways to tackle water scarcity in rural areas of the Middle East and North Africa, according to a Canadian organisation. 

Stop The Wall

List of Actions in Palestine for March 30 - Land Day and Global BDS Day
30 Mar 2009 - March 28th, 2009 --, The people in Palestine are mobilizing for the 32nd annual commemoration of Land Day, March 30. Land Day marks the date of the Palestinian demonstration in the Galilee against a wide-scale land confiscation, when Israeli forces killed 6 Palestinians, injured 96 and arrested 300. See the full list of actions here. [

Al-Ezariya house demolitions
30 Mar 2009 - March 27th, 2009 --, Earlier this month, Occupation machinery demolished a house in al-Ezariya as well as several Bedouin tents and animal pens. A total of 39 people lost their homes. These demolitions, however, only represent a small fraction of the targeted structures in Jerusalem. Collectively, hundreds of structures housing thousands of people face demolition threats in Palestinian communities across the city. [

PCHR Latest

PCHR Contests Distortion of Gaza Strip Death Toll
31 Mar 2009 - 

PCHR Appeals for Action to Save Lives of Gaza Strip Patients
31 Mar 2009 - 

PCHR Demands Investigation into Death of a Civilian Tortured by Members of the Intelligence Services in Gaza
31 Mar 2009 - 

PCHR Warns of Gaza Patients’ Being Denied Treatment Abroad
31 Mar 2009 - 

PCHR Weekly Report

(19- 25 March  2008)
31 Mar 2009 - During the reporting period, IOF wounded 10 Palestinian civilians, including one child and two journalists, in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

Canada judge upholds ban on British pro-Hamas MP 
30 Mar 2009 - A judge on Monday upheld a government order banning an outspoken anti-war British lawmaker from visiting Canada for a speaking tour. ...

Czech foreign minister 'not happy' with Israeli policies
30 Mar 2009 - The Czech EU presidency is not happy with some Israeli policies and an EU-Israel summit is unlikely to take place in the next three months, Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg said on Tuesday. ...

Clinton: Obama government to drop 'war on terror' from lexicon
30 Mar 2009 - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Monday the Obama administration had dropped "war on terror" from its lexicon, rhetoric former President George W. Bush used to justify many of his actions. ...

Olmert's departure / A prime minister without a legacy
30 Mar 2009 - The smell of stale cigar smoke surrounded the old office of Ehud Olmert in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor. It was from here that he managed affairs of state as acting prime minister after succeeding Ariel Sharon. ...

Arab League backs Sudan's Bashir on arrest warrant
30 Mar 2009 - An Arab summit voiced support for Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir on Monday, rejecting an international arrest warrant issued against him for alleged war crimes in Darfur. ...

The Guardian

Antony Lerman: Israel-Palestine media monitors are trapped in a sterile tit-for-tat that tells us little about the real suffering in Gaza
30 Mar 2009 - Israel-Palestine media monitors are trapped in a sterile tit-for-tat that yields little information about the real suffering in Gaza Should the exchange about media bias in the coverage of the Gaza war between Sharif Nashashibi of...

Rory McCarthy on a Human Rights Watch report accusing Israel of war crime
27 Mar 2009 - Rory McCarthy on a Human Rights Watch report accusing Israel of war crime

Palestinian youth orchestra disbanded after Israel concert
29 Mar 2009 - Palestinian authorities have disbanded a youth orchestra from a West Bank refugee camp and barred the conductor from the camp after she directed a concert for a group of Holocaust survivors in Israel, a local official...

Richard Silverstein: A new survey shows Jews support a strong Israel policy that encourages negotiation
29 Mar 2009 - A new survey shows that American Jews support a muscular US policy toward Israel and Palestine that encourages negotiation J Street has just released its latest poll ( full results , analysis ) about American Jewish attitudes toward the...

Gaza offensive: Israeli military says no war crimes committed
31 Mar 2009 - Investigation declares Israeli soldiers' confessions exaggerated stories of civilian casualties in Gaza The Israeli military has concluded that no war crimes were committed during its recent offensive in the Gaza Strip, dismissing as "hearsay" the testimonies...

Israel: horse trading in the Knesset
31 Mar 2009 - Who's who in the Israeli parliament

Binyamin Netanyahu ready to take charge of new Israeli government
30 Mar 2009 - After weeks of late-night negotiations, power-broking and patronage politics, the new Israeli government will be sworn in today, with Binyamin Netanyahu, leader of the rightwing Likud party, presiding over a motley coalition of the left, the...

Seth Freedman: The brutality of police in Jaffa helps to keep its residents divided
30 Mar 2009 - How can the residents of this Israeli town find harmony when those employed to keep the peace are comfortable with abuse? Jaffa , which borders the southern edge of Tel Aviv , is a mixed city in more...

The Office is to be remade for Israeli TV
30 Mar 2009 - Ricky Gervais's hit comedy The Office is to be remade for Israeli audiences Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant's critically lauded comedy The Office is to be remade for an Israeli audience - the sixth foreign version...

Roy Greenslade: Egypt releases blogger who was beaten
30 Mar 2009 - Egyptian authorities have released Diaa Eddin Gad , a 22-year-old Egyptian blogger, after nearly seven weeks in detention, during which he was beaten, kicked and threatened with torture, being forced to witness people being electrocuted. Gad's blog...

Steve Bell on Israel's war on Gaza
27 Mar 2009 - The landmark deal Egypt and Israel signed 30 years ago offers lessons for today's peacemakers

Shiraz Maher: Hazel Blears has taken an admirable stand against Daud Abdullah
28 Mar 2009 - Hazel Blears has taken an admirable stand against a man whose views overstep the mark It is not a popular thing to speak in support of politicians these days – particularly when many do themselves and...

Ha'aretz National page

Yossi Brent? 'The Office' to get Israeli version
30 Mar 2009 - An Israeli version of the smash British television show "The Office" will be broadcast on the Yes satellite carrier starting in April of next year. The 15 episodes, each 25 minutes long, will be written by Uzi Weill, who directed the hit program Betipul, and directed by Eitan Tzur, whose past credits include "Hahamishia Hakamerit." ... 

Shalit camp hopeful and apprehensive at government change
30 Mar 2009 - The Shalit family and activists working for the captive soldier Gilad Shalit's release expressed disappointment Monday at the Ehud Olmert administration ending its term in office with the Shalit case still pending and no end in sight. ... 

Netanyahu government to be sworn in today
30 Mar 2009 - Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu has officially asked the Knesset to hold a swearing-in ceremony for his new government - which, with some 30 ministers and at least another six deputy ministers, will be the largest in Israeli history. ... 

Ethiopian youths ousted from center in favor of newly religious
30 Mar 2009 - The Kiryat Gat municipality will close the only youth center in the city serving Ethiopian adolescents in the afternoons, and intends to convert its home into a center for Torah study for the newly religious. ... 

Leviev`s company loses NIS 4.8 billion in 2008
30 Mar 2009 - Lev Leviev's Africa Israel Investments lost more in the fourth quarter of 2008 than in the previous three quarters combined. ... 

Relief Web

OPT: Turkey contributes US$500,000 to the Quick Response Plan for Gaza
31 Mar 2009 - Source: UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East

OPT: Israel closes investigation into alleged war crimes committed in the Gaza Strip
31 Mar 2009 - Source: Palestinian Centre for Human Rights

OPT: Aid convoy blocked for two weeks at border
31 Mar 2009 - Source: Missionary International Service News Agency

Palestinian factions return to Cairo for talks
31 Mar 2009 - Source: Deutsche Presse Agentur

Trends in staple food prices in selected vulnerable countries- Issue No 3, Mar 2009
31 Mar 2009 - Source: World Food Programme

Tensions rise in Palestinian camps in southern Lebanon
31 Mar 2009 - Source: Deutsche Presse Agentur

OPT: MOFA Germany story - Perforated water tank and cracked walls
31 Mar 2009 - Source: CARE

OPT: A fresh start for Gaza's farmers
31 Mar 2009 - Source: CARE

YNet News

Hamas to try 11 Gaza police over death in custody 
31 Mar 2009 - Interior Ministry says officers to stand trial for offences relating to torture, subsequent death of suspected drug dealer day after his arrest in Rafah 

Uneasy rivals US, Iran meet at Afghan conference
31 Mar 2009 - Top American diplomat Holbrooke has brief, cordial meeting with Islamic Republic's deputy FM at international conference on Afghanistan reconstruction; Clinton says meeting 'did not focus on anything substantive' 

Livni: Government comprised of 'ministers of nothing'
31 Mar 2009 - New opposition leader slams Netanyahu's 'big and lavish cabinet at a time of economic constraints'; urges change in system of government 

Netanyahu during inauguration: Nukes greatest threat
31 Mar 2009 - 'Greatest threat to Israel, all of mankind will come from radical regime that will try to arm itself with nuclear weapons,' incoming PM says during new government's induction ceremony, adding 'we have no desire to rule over Palestinians' 

Olmert bids farewell to Knesset 
31 Mar 2009 - At beginning of Netanyahu government's induction ceremony, outgoing PM says he is stepping down with 'head held high,' adding 'gaps with Palestinians not unbridgeable' 

Hamas: No progress expected on Shalit during Netanyahu's term
31 Mar 2009 - Gaza leaders closely watching change of government in Israel, estimate that there will be no development on Shalit affair during Netanyahu's years in office

Yisrael Beiteinu: Not giving up Foreign Ministry
31 Mar 2009 - Following rumors that Netanyahu will try to grab back FM post in order to appease MK Shalom, Lieberman associates emphasize that if post is taken from their party, 'they will return to opposition'


Phosphorous victim from Gaza dies
30 Mar 2009 - Ghada Abu Halima, 21, a Gazan mother of two, died on 29 March from wounds sustained when her house was struck with white-phosphorus shells during “Operation Cast Lead”. In her testimony of 9 January, she described how her house went up in flames, burning 

Gaza and Sderot: Life in spite of everything
30 Mar 2009 - B'Tselem joins with ARTE to continue the award-winning internet documentary series on the lives of civilians in the Gaza Strip and southern Israel. B'Tselem injected into the project attention to International Humanitarian Law.

Daily Star

Kenyan police abused scores of Somali refugees - Human Rights Watch 
30 Mar 2009 - Kenyan officials have deported hundreds of thousands of Somalis fleeing violence, demanding bribes and inflicting sexual abuse on them, Human Rights Watch said Monday. The refugees' plight has been aggravated by the 2007 closure of the Kenya-Somalia border and authorities are turning a blind eye to police corruption and abuses.

Netanyahu vows to pursue peace, stays silent on Palestinian state 
30 Mar 2009 - Incoming Premier Benjamin Netanyahu pledged on Monday to make every effort to achieve peace with Israel's neighbors and the Arab world, but again made no mention of Palestinian aspirations to statehood. "The government I am forming will do its utmost to achieve a just and lasting peace with all our neighbors and the Arab world in general," Netanyahu said.

Arab summit rejects charges against Bashir 
30 Mar 2009 - Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir won strong support against his international arrest warrant over Darfur from an Arab summit on Monday that also warned Israel that an Arab peace offer was not open-ended. While Sudan emerged with the most gains, a surprise tirade by Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi against Saudi King Abdullah.

Egypt's opposition wants Camp David shelved 
30 Mar 2009 - Egyptian and Israeli officials celebrated the anniversary of the Camp David peace agreement last week. The agreement normalized relations between the two former adversaries 30 years earlier on March 26. Opposition leaders, however, are calling for a suspension of the treaty, which they say fails to serve Egyptian interests.

Arabs-Israelis protest against Jewish state's 'racism' 
30 Mar 2009 - Thousands of Arab-Israelis on Monday demonstrated against what they called Israel's "racism" at a rally commemorating the killing of six people in a 1976 protest against land grabs. Arab-Israeli MPs, mayors and other dignitaries were among the demonstrators in the annual Land Day protest at Deir Hanna village in Israel's Galilee region.

Talk of change - and nothing changes - in the Middle East 
30 Mar 2009 - In the Middle East this week it's all change. In fact, it's all diplomatic stasis. Neither Monday's Arab League summit in Doha nor Tuesday's induction of a new Israeli government in Jerusalem is likely to break or even ease the conflict deadlock that grips the region.

Think tank urges US to adopt more pragmatic approach toward Hamas 
30 Mar 2009 - A new report from a New York-based think tank and delivered to US President Barack Obama by a signatory who is also an adviser recommends that Washington forcefully reinsert itself into the Palestinian-Israeli peace process, calling for "a more pragmatic approach to Hamas."

Khmer Rouge torture chief faces trial for 'Killing Fields' atrocities 
30 Mar 2009 - The Khmer Rouge regime's prison chief Monday finally stood trial for Cambodia's "Killing Fields" atrocities, accused of overseeing the torture and execution of 15,000 people three decades ago. Former teacher Kaing Guek Eav - better known as Duch - appeared before a UN-backed war crimes court set up to deal with senior members of the 1975-1979.

Palestinian Information Center

Dr. Bahar: Arab summit's stated respect for the PLC positive sign
31 Mar 2009 - Dr. Ahmed Bahar, the acting speaker of the PLC, stated that the confirmation of respect for the elected PLC which was included in the Arab summit's final statement is a positive sign, albeit too late.

Hamas: Summit outcome lacked practical resolutions
31 Mar 2009 - Hamas on Monday regretted that the Arab summit resolutions did not live up to the expectations of the Palestinian people and lacked practical measures to ease their suffering.

Ghoul: Israeli measures against prisoners "cheap blackmail"
31 Mar 2009 - Mohammed Al-Ghoul, the minister of prisoners' affairs in the PA government in Gaza, has described the Israeli penal measures against Palestinian prisoners in occupation jails as "cheap blackmail".

Awad: The Palestinian rivals agreed on the next government's functions and name
31 Mar 2009 - Dr. Mohamed Awad, the secretary-general of the Palestinian cabinet, stated that the committee on government agreed to identify the functions and the name of the next Palestinian government.

Hamas: Arab leaders are tested again regarding the Arab issues
31 Mar 2009 - The Hamas Movement stated Monday that the Arab leaders face a new test regarding the Arab issues in general and the Palestinian cause in particular.

Islamic-Christian front calls on Doha summit to discuss Zionist schemes in J'lem
31 Mar 2009 - The Islamic-Christian front for the defense of Jerusalem called on the Arab summit held in Doha to take firm and urgent positions to confront the Zionist schemes in Jerusalem.

Palestinian farmer wounded in IOF shooting
31 Mar 2009 - Israeli occupation forces on Monday fired at a group of Palestinian farmers who were tending to their farms near the northern Gaza Strip city of Beit Hanun wounding one of them.

Masri: Israel's attempts to force Hamas to release its soldier would not succeed
31 Mar 2009 - MP Mushir Al-Masri, the secretary-general of Hamas parliamentary bloc, said that all Israeli attempts to intimidate Hamas would not force it to make concessions on the prisoners' swap deal.

Hamas: The Palestinians became closer than ever to restore their usurped rights
31 Mar 2009 - Hamas stated that the Palestinian people on the 33rd anniversary of Land Day have become closer than ever to restore their usurped rights especially the right of return.

Haneyya asks Arab leaders to implement previous summit resolutions on Gaza siege
31 Mar 2009 - Palestinian premier Ismail Haneyya has asked the Arab rulers to implement former summit resolutions concerning the siege on Gaza and to demand the trial of Israeli war criminals.

Los Angeles Times

Israel's Netanyahu says he can work with Obama 
31 Mar 2009 - Netanyahu, who is to be sworn in as prime minister today, says President Obama is 'open to new ideas,' including his ideas, on how to address conflicts in the Middle East. In the weeks since he was chosen to form Israel's next government, Benjamin Netanyahu has labored to dispel the perception that he's on a collision course with the country's most powerful ally. 

Arab summit in Qatar overshadowed by economic crisis 
31 Mar 2009 - Qatar's ruler warns that the Middle East, given its location and oil exports, is particularly vulnerable to the effects of the downturn. Leaders also call on Israel to accept a 2002 peace initiative. The global economic crisis is set to plunge a Middle East already reeling from war and extremism into further chaos, the ruler of Qatar cautioned other national leaders and diplomats Monday at the annual Arab League summit. 

Probe of alleged army killings in Gaza ends 
31 Mar 2009 - The chief military prosecutor says that soldiers who reported that army snipers killed Palestinian civilians in Gaza had no firsthand knowledge. Israeli rights groups call it a whitewash. Israel's military closed an investigation Monday into allegations that army snipers killed two women and two children during its incursion into the Gaza Strip, saying soldiers making the claims had witnessed no such shootings. 

Obama administration ditches 'war on terror' phrase 
31 Mar 2009 - Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says the phrase is not being used anymore, though no formal directive has been issued. The phrase "war on terror," for seven years a signature expression of the Bush administration, has been shelved, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton acknowledged Monday. 

New York Times

Often Split, Arab Leaders Unite for Sudan’s Chief
31 Mar 2009 - Sudan’s president, who has been indicted for war crimes, was embraced at the annual Arab League summit.

Israel Ends Inquiry Into Abuse in Gaza
30 Mar 2009 - The military police found that the accusations against soldiers were based on hearsay.

U.S. Soldier Guilty in Killing of 4 Iraqis in 2007
30 Mar 2009 - A U.S. Army court-martial has found a soldier guilty of murder in the execution-style slayings of four bound and blindfolded Iraqi detainees in the spring of 2007.

George Hedges, Lawyer Who Explored Middle East, Dies at 57
31 Mar 2009 - Mr. Hedges represented Hollywood celebrities as a senior partner at a Los Angeles law firm and was an organizer of expeditions to the Middle East in the 1990s.

Tiny Island Surrounded by Tension in the Gulf
29 Mar 2009 - Bahrain has become a flashpoint in a regional conflict after an Iranian official said the desert kingdom was historically a province of Iran.

Concert for Holocaust Survivors Is Condemned
29 Mar 2009 - Palestinian activists from the Jenin refugee camp condemned a camp youth orchestra’s performance for Holocaust survivors in Israel.

World Briefing | Middle East: Qatar: Qaddafi Runs Cold and Warm
31 Mar 2009 - What at first appeared to be a tirade by the Libyan leader, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi at the Arab summit meeting, turned out to be an effort to end a six-year feud.

World Briefing | Middle East: Egypt: Photoshop, Pharaoh Style
31 Mar 2009 - An analysis of the limestone core inside the iconic bust of Nefertiti suggests that the sculptor may have enhanced the queen’s image.


Electronic Intifada
BMW garage among the targets of Israel's attacks
30 Mar 2009 - Nasser al-Amoudi, with his biker's jacket and sunglasses, embodies the essence of a car enthusiast. For years he has been the proud owner of the only BMW spare parts shop in the Gaza Strip. People would travel from every corner to purchase second hand parts from his shop. Now Nasser's workshop and garage, which were worth $300,000 before the Israeli army destroyed them during its latest offensive, lie in tatters, and his financial security has gone. 

Palestinians remember Land Day
30 Mar 2009 - Palestinians across the Middle East were due to commemorate Land Day today, marking the anniversary of clashes in 1976 in which six unarmed Palestinians were shot dead by the Israeli army as it tried to break up a general strike. Although Land Day is one of the most important anniversaries in the Palestinian calendar, sometimes referred to as the Palestinians' national day, the historical event it marks is little spoken of and rarely studied. Jonathan Cook reports. 

Academics in Lebanon call for Israel boycott
30 Mar 2009 - We stand, as academics in Lebanon, in urging our colleagues, regionally and internationally, to oppose Israel's ongoing scholasticide and to support the just demand for academic boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel. 

Tough times for university students in Gaza
27 Mar 2009 - GAZA CITY (IRIN) - Many university students who lost relatives or whose homes were destroyed during the recent 22-day Israeli offensive are finding it difficult to cope, according to university officials and students. Some have been unable to register for the new semester due to lack of funds; others are still traumatized. 

Tales To Tell
March 29: Happy birthday K!
29 Mar 2009 - K shows birthday rabbit to baby brother, You might recall we visited K and her family once already, via the lovely Atfaluna School for the Deaf. J from 14 Friends of Palestine, who sponsor K, asked me to go back again for her birthday; I’d been meaning to go anyway as I had the rest of the money J had sent over to deliver to them. J suggested I buy some food and toys for the family with a little of the money. In the end, I decided that my blog readers might like to share in celebrating with K too, so I put in some of the money you’ve sent; this meant that K’s mum S received all the original cash from 14 Friends and the food and toys were an extra bonus. Read the rest of this post », You might recall we visited, K and her family , once already, via the lovely Atfaluna School for the Deaf. J from, 14 Friends of Palestine , , who sponsor K, asked me to go back again for her birthday; I’d been meaning to go anyway as I had the rest of the money J had sent over to deliver to them. J suggested I buy some food and toys for the family with a little of the money. In the end, I decided that my blog readers might like to share in celebrating with K too, so I put in some of the money you’ve sent; this meant that K’s mum S received all the original cash from 14 Friends and the food and toys were an extra bonus., Read the rest of this post » 

Palestine Chronicle
Remembering Land Day
30 Mar 2009 - By Jonathan Cook - Arrabeh Palestinians across the Middle East were due to commemorate Land Day today, marking the anniversary of clashes in 1976 in which six unarmed Palestinians were shot dead by the Israeli army as it tried to break up a general strike. Although Land Day is one of the most important anniversaries in the Palestinian calendar, sometimes referred to as the Palestinians’ national day, the historical event it marks is little spoken of and rarely studied. “Maybe its significance is surprising given the magnitude of other events in Palestinian history,” said Hatim Kanaaneh, 71, a doctor, who witnessed the military invasion of his village. “But what makes Land Day resonate with Palestinians everywhere is that it was the first time Palestinians inside Israel stood together and successfully resisted Israel’s goal of confiscating their land.” The confrontation took place between the army and a group usually referred to as “Israeli Arabs”, the small minority of Palestinians who managed to remain in their homes during the 1948 war that led to the founding of Israel. Today they number 1.2 million, or nearly one-fifth of Israel’s population. “We were given citizenship by Israel, but have always been treated as an enemy, perceived of as a threat to the state’s Jewishness,” said Dr Kanaaneh, who last year published his memoir, A Doctor in Galilee, which offers a rare account in English of Palestinian life inside Israel during the Land Day period. In 1976, Dr Kanaaneh, having completed his medical studies at...

Defending Zionism: Defending the Indefensible
30 Mar 2009 - By Stephen Lendman – Chicago This article responds to a March 15 Los Angeles Times Judea Pearl one headlined: "Is anti-Zionism hate?" Pearl teaches computer science at UCLA, is the father of slain journalist Daniel Pearl, and president of the Daniel Pearl Foundation. It was " continue Danny's mission and to address the root causes of this tragedy in the spirit" of the man it represents, including "uncompromised objectivity and integrity....and respect for people of all cultures...." Pearl calls anti-Zionism "hate more dangerous than anti-Semitism, threatening lives and peace in the Middle East." Zionism is precisely the opposite as numerous Jewish writers, including this one, have addressed. In his book "Overcoming Zionism," Joel Kovel explained how it fosters "imperialist expansion and militarism (with) signs of the fascist malignancy;" that it turned Israel "into a machine for the manufacture of human rights abuses" led by terrorists posing as democrats. Kovel's book and his work got him fired from the Bard College faculty effective July 1 when his current contract expires - for daring to criticize Israel, its Zionist ideology, state-sponsored terror, and decades of lawlessness and egregious behavior. Kovel expressed outrage that institutions like Bard aren't bothered; that they grant Israel impunity, suppress dissent, then marginalize, punish, and remove the "heretics," ones like Kovel who honorably and courageously write truths. Pearl railed about a UCLA Center for Near East Studies symposium invitation to "four longtime Israel bashers" so they could attack Zionism's legitimacy and "its vision of a two-state solution...." -...

Tristan Anderson Deserves Medal of Freedom
30 Mar 2009 - By Mahmoud El-Yousseph Tristan Anderson is a young American fighting for his life 5000 miles away in a hospital after being shot in the face. Upon learning of what happened, his parents rushed to Tel Aviv. The family is holding hope and a vigil at his bedside. Mom is holding one of his hand while his girl friend, Gaby Silverman holding the other hand. Tristan–38 years old and of Oakland, California–was shot by Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) on March 13th while peacefully protesting against the “separation wall” deemed illegal by the International Court of Justice in the Palestinian West Bank village of Bi’ilin. Israel was ordered to halt building the wall and compensate Palestinians for land illegally annexed. The wall–longer and taller than the infamous Berlin wall–zigzagged into Palestinian lands, thus preventing farmers and villagers from reaching their farms, hospitals, and schools. Tristan was among 400 Palestinian villagers and international peace activists. He was shot directly by tear gas canister fired by an Israeli soldier at the end of the protest. Contrary to Israel’s claim, Tristan was not shot “during clashes” with the soldiers and was not in a closed military zone either. The Israeli claim was refuted by an Israeli peace activist, Jonathan Pollock in an interview with Israeli press. IOF has a history of targeting medics, children, journalists, and peace activists. Only one day prior to this attempted murder, six unnamed Israeli soldiers admitted to Israeli Daily Haaretz that they were involved in indiscriminate killing of civilian during...

It Was Never about Democracy
30 Mar 2009 - By Mamoon Alabbasi – London "Those dirty A-rabs don't deserve democracy. We give them freedom and they kill our troops. We should nuke them all in their shit-hole." "Bring our troops home. What are they doing dying in some far away land trying to bring democracy to people who don't want it?" "We Arabs are not yet ready for democracy. We need strong authoritarian governments to keep the peace and ensure economic growth." "We should be grateful to the Americans. They got rid of our dictator and brought us democracy." "Is this democracy? Is this freedom? The Americans killed all my family and destroyed my house. If this democracy, I tell you my brother, we don't want it!" Such comments and their likes are unfortunately not uncommon among some Americans and Iraqis regarding the US-led invasion of Iraq. Whether American or Iraqi, pro-war or anti-war, one fallacy lies at the bottom of their reasoning: that somehow 'democracy' had anything to do with the Iraq war. Not that possessing WMDs was ever - objectively - enough reason to subject the whole of Iraq to so much senseless destruction; but since it became clear that the only real threat Iraq posed was to itself, the rhetoric had shifted into saving Iraqis from their themselves by bringing onto them good old democracy. But the fact is, that was never the case. Not in Iraq and certainly not in the region. Not in 2003 and most definitely not before that. After the fall of...