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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
1 April, 2009

International Middle East Media Center

Report: Israeli takeover of East Jerusalem "illegal"
1 Apr 2009 - According to a confidential report from the European Union, dated March 7th and recently leaked to the media. The report accuses Israel of “using settlement expansion, house demolitions, discriminatory housing policies and the West Bank (Separation) barrier as a way of 'actively pursuing the illegal annexation' of East Jerusalem.” ... 

Israeli judge rules to continue home demolitions in East Jerusalem
1 Apr 2009 - A petition presented by a Palestinian homeowner from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem was rejected by an Israeli court on Wednesday, a decision which will allow home demolitions to move forward. ...

Netanyahu tells Knesset: We must drop the idea of Jewish state for the sake of peace
1 Apr 2009 - New Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the members of Israeli Parliament (The Knesset) during his inaugural speech that in order to reach genuin and comprehensive peace with the Palestinians, the idea of Jewish state must be dropped and instead establish one democratic state for all the residents, Muslims, Jews, Christians and others to live in equally. ...

A civilian injured due to an explosion caused by an Israeli military bomb
1 Apr 2009 - A Palestinian civilian was reported injured on Wednesday when a bomb left by the Israeli military exploded near him east of Jabalya town in northern Gaza Strip. ... 

Anderson still critical after 19 days in intensive care
1 Apr 2009 - The first statement for ten days was released yesterday on the condition of Tristan Anderson. The Californian was shot in the head at close range by a tear gas cannister at a demonstration in Ni'lin against the Annexation Wall on Friday, 13 March. ... 

Leftist Palestinian legislator meets with Italian consul
1 Apr 2009 - Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi, a Palestinian legislator and Secretary General of the Palestinian National Initiative, discussed the latest developments in the Palestinian territories in a meeting Wednesday with the Italian Consul General Luchino Bisutti. ...

Hamas: Netanyahu's government reflects real image of Israel
1 Apr 2009 - The ruling Hamas party in Gaza has issued its response on Wednesday to the installment of the new Israeli government led by the Likud Party of Benjamin Netanyahu. ... 

Israel reopens three Gaza crossings
1 Apr 2009 - Israel reopened Wednesday three Gaza crossings, allowing some shipments of goods and humanitarian assistance into the besieged territory, Palestinian officials declared. ... 

Report: "17 Palestinians, including three children, killed in March"
1 Apr 2009 - The International Solidarity For Human Rights reported that Israeli soldiers killed 17 Palestinians, including three children and one woman, in March, and kidnapped more than 280 residents. ...

UN Study: "70% of the Palestinians reject violenc"
1 Apr 2009 - A study conducted by the United Nations revealed that 70% of the Palestinians believe that there is another way than violence to end the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Only 8% of the surveyed Palestinians said that they believe violence is an important aspect of the struggle. ... 

Ha'aretz Defense page

Israel seizes load of handguns and rifles en route to West Bank
1 Apr 2009 - Suspicious cargo of cloths held up at Eilat border for three weeks, until sawed open by customs agents.

IDF raps soldiers for images of dead Palestinian babies on t-shirts
1 Apr 2009 - In wake of Haaretz expose, Brig. Gen. Shermeister says soldiers' civilian clothes should match IDF values.

Sharp rise in number of reports of soldiers harming Palestinian civilians
1 Apr 2009 - IDF's Criminal Investigation Division investigated 47 cases in 2008 in which soldiers allegedly harmed West Bank civilians.

In Sderot, nighttime is wartime
1 Apr 2009 - Two months have passed since the Gaza op, but one family still struggles to return to a normal routine.

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

Noam Shalit: Netanyahu must outdo Olmert's attempts to release Gilad
1 Apr 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'
1 Apr 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
1 Apr 2009 - Speed at which army closed investigation into accounts of misconduct raises questions.

At least 20 killed in attack on Pakistan police academy
1 Apr 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
1 Apr 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
1 Apr 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
1 Apr 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
1 Apr 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
1 Apr 2009 - Defense officials quoted as saying trucks carried missiles to Gaza capable of hitting Tel Aviv.

Ma'an News

Israeli prison dentist blinds Palestinian; family calls for his release
1 Apr 2009 - 

Beit Furiq police sweep village; arrest 42 misdemeanor criminals
1 Apr 2009 - 

Hebron police thwart robbery during sweep of arrests targeting troublemakers
1 Apr 2009 - 

Poll: Palestinians lack confidence in leadership, yearn for unity
1 Apr 2009 - 

Fatah leader in Beita village sentenced to 19 years in Israeli prison
1 Apr 2009 - 

Palestinian MK applauded for attending Arab Summit
1 Apr 2009 - 

Allenby Bridge to close early on Thursday
1 Apr 2009 - 

Hamas: Netanyahu government an example of Israeli racism
1 Apr 2009 - 

Abbas: Netanyahu "does not believe in peace"
1 Apr 2009 - 

Israeli court rejects Palestinian petition to save Jerusalem land from settlers
1 Apr 2009 - 

Israeli forces seize university student near Tulkarem
1 Apr 2009 - 

Fatah, Hamas meet ahead of committees in Cairo
1 Apr 2009 - 

US civil rights group challenges tax-exempt status of pro-settler organizations
1 Apr 2009 - 

Gaza crossings open for minimum aid deliveries
1 Apr 2009 - 

Palestine Telegraph

Human Rights Institution: Occupation killed 17 Palestinians in the last month
1 Apr 2009 - 12.00 Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE AR-SA MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable { font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; } Gaza, April...

Siege gets harsher as crossings closed
1 Apr 2009 - Gaza, April 1, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) – Israeli authorities reopened on Wednesday Kerem Shalom and Nahel Oz commercial crossing points  and Al Muntar. The crossings expected to operate on low capacity that will never bridge the gap of the needs of 1.5...

IOA kidnaps jurist in charge of female prisoners 
31 Mar 2009 - Ramallah - Al-Ahrar center for prisoners' studies strongly denounced the IOA for arresting Raja'a Al-Ghoul, who works for the center as a jurist in charge of female prisoners files.  The center holds Israel fully responsible for her life since she is in...

Israel drops Gaza war crimes probe
31 Mar 2009 - The Israeli military has closed an investigation into claims that Israeli troops shot unarmed Palestinian women and children during its 22-day war on Gaza.

A Rafah Border Crossing Story
31 Mar 2009 - Gaza, March 31, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) - Recently at the Rafah Border Crossing, out of the 600 patients that reached the border, only 50 were allowed to pass through.

Shalit’s father criticized Olmert’s performance concerning releasing his son
31 Mar 2009 - Gaza, 31 March (The Pal Telegraph)- Noam shalit, the father of the Israeli soldier captured by the Palestinian resistance during a military action in Gaza Strip nearly three years ago, criticized the efforts of resigning Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to secure his...

Two Palestinians killed by Israeli rockets in Gaza
30 Mar 2009 - Gaza, 31 March (Pal Telegraph) - Two Palestinians were targeted and others wounded after Israeli aircraft fired a missle near the borders east of Maghazi refugee camp, Gaza Strip. The reporter from The Palestine Telegraph said Israeli occupation forces fired several shots...

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...


Israeli FM dismisses Annapolis deal
1 Apr 2009 - Avigdor Lieberman says making concessions to the Palestinians will only invite war.

Bashir in S Arabia despite warrant
1 Apr 2009 - Sudanese president makes fifth visit to a foreign country since war crimes charges.

UN agency warns Palestinian staff
1 Apr 2009 - Relief agency warns employees in the Gaza Strip to avoid politics, reports say.

Suicide bomber targets Mosul police
31 Mar 2009 - Bomber hits security checkpoint with explosives-laden lorry.

Arab-Latin American ties hailed
31 Mar 2009 - Second summit of the two blocs in Qatari capital discusses trade and investment flows.

Dutch couple kidnapped in Yemen
31 Mar 2009 - Couple seized by armed men but claim being treated well.

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

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


OPT: Gaza orphans in the spotlight 
1 Apr 2009 - GAZA CITY Wednesday, April 01, 2009 (IRIN) - An estimated 1,346 children were left without one or more of their parents as a result of the recent 23-day Israeli assault on Gaza, according to Islamic Relief in Gaza.

OPT: Tough times for university students in Gaza 
1 Apr 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 
1 Apr 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. 

Stop The Wall

Commemorating Land Day and calling for boycott
1 Apr 2009 - March 31st, 2009 --, Demonstrations, protests and tree planting occurred across historic Palestine on March 30, as Palestinians commemorated Land Day. The Popular Committees, in cooperation with municipalities and other organizations, planned activities in a number of villages and cities. The growing momentum and support of the boycott movement among Palestinians is becoming more tangible, a result of the grassroots organizing that has been undertaken throughout the West Bank. [

Friday anti-Wall protests commemorate Land Day
1 Apr 2009 - March 29th, 2009 --, Large numbers of participants was a feature of this Friday’s actions, which were held in commemoration of Land Day. Protests against the Wall were held in the usual locations of Jayyous, Ni’lin, al-Ma’sra and Bi’lin. After a brief hiatus last week, violence is escalating again in Ni’lin, where a local youth was shot with live ammunition. [

PCHR Latest

Israel Closes Investigation into Alleged War Crimes Committed in the Gaza Strip
1 Apr 2009 - 

PCHR Contests Distortion of Gaza Strip Death Toll
1 Apr 2009 - 

PCHR Appeals for Action to Save Lives of Gaza Strip Patients
1 Apr 2009 - 

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

PCHR Weekly Report

(19- 25 March  2008)
1 Apr 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

N.Y. to battle sexual abuse among ultra-Orthodox Jews
31 Mar 2009 - A team of New York prosecutors, counselors and religious leaders will work to combat sexual abuse in Brooklyn's ultra-Orthodox Jewish community. ...

Obama tells Netanyahu: U.S. committed to Israel's security
31 Mar 2009 - U.S. President Barack Obama called newly sworn in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday to congratulate him on his new position, and to reaffirm steadfast U.S. commitment to Israel and its security. ...

Lieberman: Israel is changing its policies on peace
31 Mar 2009 - New foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Wednesday that Israel was changing its policies on the peace process and was not bound by commitments it made at a U.S.-sponsored conference to pursue creation of a Palestinian state. ...

Hamas: Netanyahu government reflects racism of Israeli society
31 Mar 2009 - The Islamist Hamas movement on Wednesday said that Israel's new government under Benjamin Netanyahu "reflects the racism of Israeli society," and called on the rival Palestinian Authority to cut of all peace negotiations. ...

N.Y. Hasids take Pennsylvania Amish on a neighborhood tour 
31 Mar 2009 - The city's ultra-Orthodox Jews took the Pennsylvania Amish on a walking tour of their world Tuesday, saying their communities are naturally drawn to each other with a commitment to simpler lifestyles. ...

The Guardian

Avigdor Lieberman rules out 'concessions' to Palestinians
1 Apr 2009 - Israel never ratified 2007 Annapolis Middle East peace talks, new foreign minister says in debut speech Israel's new foreign minister dismayed the international community today with a rancorous analysis of the peace process and an announcement...

Rachel Shabi: Israel prefers to regard army malpractice as deviation, not the norm
1 Apr 2009 - Some may be shocked as the Gaza war crimes inquiry is closed, but Israel prefers to regard malpractice as deviation, not the norm You could all but hear the leftwing jaws thudding to the ground. Shortly...

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...

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...

Ha'aretz National page

Greece beats Israel 2-1 in World Cup soccer qualifier
1 Apr 2009 - IRAKLIO, Crete - Dimitris Salpigidis and substitute Georgios Samaras ... 

Israeli Arab and rightist MKs wrangle at inaugural Knesset session
31 Mar 2009 - A heated exchange broke out between Israeli Arab and rightist Jewish lawmakers during the Knesset's inaugural session on Wednesday, as members of the two groups wrangled over Israel Defense Forces soldiers' controversial testimonies from the war in Gaza and t-shirts printed by troops following the operation with pictures and captions seen as encouraging violence. ...

All private flights to Israel to now require anti-hijacking system 
31 Mar 2009 - All private domestic and international flights landing in Israel will be obligated from Wednesday to activate an anti-hijacking security system. ...

Netanyahu government / Who's who in the new cabinet
31 Mar 2009 - An introduction to the faces - some old and some new - who make up Israel's new coalition government. ...

IN PICTURES / Netanyahu government is sworn in
31 Mar 2009 - ... 

Relief Web

Activities of Secretary-General in Netherlands, 30 March - 1 April
1 Apr 2009 - Source: UN Secretary-General

Secretary-General welcomes formation of new Government in Israel
1 Apr 2009 - Source: UN Secretary-General

OPT: Clarification by the Toronto Globe and Mail correcting false information about UNRWA
1 Apr 2009 - Source: UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East

OPT: Estimate made for Swedish-funded projects damaged in Gaza
1 Apr 2009 - Source: Deutsche Presse Agentur

OPT: Gaza orphans in the spotlight
1 Apr 2009 - Source: Integrated Regional Information Networks

OPT: Field update on Gaza from the Humanitarian Coordinator, 24 - 30 Mar 2009
1 Apr 2009 - Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

OPT: UN voices concern over rift preventing patients leaving Gaza for treatment
1 Apr 2009 - Source: UN News Service

Activities of Secretary-General in Qatar, 28-30 March
31 Mar 2009 - Source: UN Secretary-General

YNet News

Doctors to probe Arafat poisoning allegations 
1 Apr 2009 - Arab doctors to meet in Jordan in bid to determine whether Palestinian leader was poisoned

Abbas aide: Lieberman an obstacle to peace
1 Apr 2009 - Palestinian official slams 'racist' Lieberman, says PA not obligated to hold peace talks with Israel's new foreign minister; meanwhile, Foreign Ministry official slams Lieberman's induction speech, says it undermined efforts to present him as pragmatist 

UNRWA's Gaza head tells employees to avoid politics 
1 Apr 2009 - UN agency's director threatens to fire employees involved with Palestinian factions

'Lieberman damaged our image' 
1 Apr 2009 - Opposition members outraged by new FM's statement saying Israel is no longer committed to Annapolis process. 'He caused our international image irrevocable damage,' MK Plesner says

Lieberman: Concessions won't bring peace
1 Apr 2009 - New Foreign Minister Lieberman delivers aggressive speech Wednesday, hinting of policy to be adopted by ministry; Israel made more concessions than any other country, constantly uttering word 'peace' won't bring peace, he says


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.

Phosphorous victim from Gaza dies
30 Mar 2009 - Ghada Abu Halima, 21, a Gazan mother of two, died on 29 March. Abu Halima was wounded and 5 of her relatives, among them 4 children, were killed, when the military shelled their house with white phosphorus during "Operation Cast Lead". In her testimony of

Daily Star

Lieberman discards Annapolis declaration 
1 Apr 2009 - Israel's new foreign minister angered Palestinians and raised the prospect of tensions with Washington by saying Wednesday that Israel was not bound by a deal to start negotiations on establishing a Palestinian state.On his first day at the Foreign Ministry.

Obama, Medvedev to slash nuclear weapons 
1 Apr 2009 - US President Barack Obama and Russia's Dmitry Medvedev launched a milestone quest Wednesday to slash their nuclear arsenals, hoping to reverse the worst slump in the former foes' ties since the Cold War. In their first face-to-face talks, Obama and Medvedev also upped pressure on Iran over its nuclear program.

Fayyad to remain premier until unity talks conclude 
1 Apr 2009 - Palestinian Premier Salam Fayyad, who stepped down in March, said on Wednesday he would remain in office until the end of unity talks between Hamas and Fatah in Egypt."My staying in office comes from a desire not to create a constitutional void," Fayyad told AFP.

Libya calls off body search as death toll tops 200 for drowned migrants 
1 Apr 2009 - Libya has called off efforts to retrieve bodies of over 200 illegal migrants who drowned when their overcrowded boat capsized last week in stormy waters of the Mediterranean as they set off for a better life in Europe. Laurence Hart, an official with the International Organization for Migration in Libya.

France and Germany demand regulation while US and UK prioritize stimulus spending 
1 Apr 2009 - President Nicolas Sarkozy insisted Wednesday that G20 leaders must use their London summit to crack down on tax havens, warning Paris and Berlin are not happy with current drafts for an accord. France has thrown down the gauntlet ahead of Thursday's summit of leading world economies.

When it comes economic solutions, one size does not fit all 
1 Apr 2009 - There is on the face of it a fairness in the language hanging over the G20 summit that is quite seductive. "A global crisis requires a global solution," everyone who matters seems to be saying, at least towards the richer end of the G20 spectrum. Such talk is getting louder by the day as heads of state.

Scores of demonstrators break into Bank of England on eve of summit 
1 Apr 2009 - Angry protesters smashed through police lines and broke into a bank in London's financial district Wednesday, amid ugly scenes on the eve of a major economic summit. Riot police on horseback were deployed to push back demonstrators who attacked a branch of the state-controlled lender Royal Bank of Scotland in central London.

Conflicting reports emerge on death of Russian in Dubai 
1 Apr 2009 - A former Russian Army commander from Chechnya shot in Dubai is "dead and buried," a Russian senator said Wednesday, after uncertainty over whether he had been killed."Unfortunately, he is dead and has been buried in Dubai," said Ziad Spassibi who represents Chechnya in Russia's upper house of Parliament.

Palestinian Information Center

Let the world see Israel’s true, ugly face
1 Apr 2009 - There is no doubt that the new Israeli government, led by Benyamin Netanyahu, honestly reflects the collective mindset of the Israeli Jewish Zionist society.

Tadamun: IOF troops killed 17 Palestinians last month
1 Apr 2009 - The international Tadamun society for human rights reported that the IOF troops killed last March 17 Palestinians including three children and one woman and kidnapped more than 280 others.

Israeli gunboats fire at Palestinian fishing boats
1 Apr 2009 - Israeli gunboats on Wednesday opened machinegun fire at Palestinian fishing boats off the coasts of Gaza city causing material damage but no casualties were reported.

Hamas: Netanyahu gov't is the most transparent in denying the Palestinian rights
1 Apr 2009 - Hamas said that there is no difference between the Israeli governments except that the new government of Netanyahu is the most transparent in its racist agenda which denies the Palestinian rights.

Farwana: 95 Palestinian prisoners served more than 20 years in captivity
1 Apr 2009 - Four new Palestinian prisoners have joined the list of those who completed more than 20 years in Israeli occupation jails, Abdul Nasser Farwana, a researcher in prisoners' affairs said on Tuesday.

Palestinian prisoners to take escalatory moves in protest at Israeli measures
1 Apr 2009 - MP Khaleda Jarrar said that the Palestinian prisoners intend to take escalatory moves inside Israeli jails including a general hunger strike in protest at the restrictive measures taken against them.

Radwan: Outstanding issues to be discussed in the 2nd round of dialog
1 Apr 2009 - Hamas leader Ismail Radwan stated that Hamas and Fatah delegations will discuss outstanding issues during the second round of the national dialog including the political agenda of the government.

Masri: Netanyahu's government should learn lessons from its predecessors
1 Apr 2009 - MP Mushir Al-Masri stated that the far-right new Israeli government should learn the lessons from its predecessors and not be engaged in ventures that already proved their failure.

EU: We are not happy with Israeli practices in Jerusalem, Gaza
1 Apr 2009 - The Czech foreign minister, Karel Schwarzenberg, whose country is currently heading the European Union said that the EU was not happy with certain Israeli practices.

Ramahi: Prisoners support resistance's demands for release of Shalit
1 Apr 2009 - MP Dr. Mahmoud Al-Ramahi has stressed that all Palestinian prisoners were in support of the Palestinian resistance's "just demands" for the release of the Israeli captured soldier Gilad Shalit.

Los Angeles Times

Foreign minister says Israel not bound to follow two-state path 
1 Apr 2009 - Avigdor Lieberman's remarks draw criticism from Palestinians and show sharp disagreement between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government and the Obama administration. Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman declared Wednesday that his nation's new government would not be bound by a U.S.-backed understanding to work toward establishing a Palestinian state. 

In Israel, Netanyahu and super-sized Cabinet sworn in 
1 Apr 2009 - The new Israeli government of Benjamin Netanyahu wins confirmation in parliament, but the new prime minister is heckled and there are signs the political road may be rocky. Benjamin Netanyahu, taking office as Israeli prime minister amid heckling by leftist and Arab lawmakers, offered Tuesday to seek a "permanent arrangement" for limited Palestinian self-rule. 

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. 

New York Times

Iraqi Militants Show a New Boldness in Cities
31 Mar 2009 - Security officials say that jihadi and Baath militants are regrouping as a smaller but still lethal insurgency. 

Israeli Minister Dismisses Peace Effort
1 Apr 2009 - In a belligerent speech on his first day as Israel’s foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman declared that “those who want peace should prepare for war.” 

In a Desolate Iraqi Village, War Is Far From Over
31 Mar 2009 - American forces are withdrawing from cities, but in a corner of Diyala Province where the insurgency persists, war rages on much as it did two years ago. 

Obama Administration Has First Face-to-Face Contact With Iran
31 Mar 2009 - A brief meeting with an Iranian official and an unsigned letter marked another step in the Obama administration’s policy of engagement. 

Netanyahu Offers Conciliation, but Not Concessions
31 Mar 2009 - Israel’s incoming prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, reached out to Palestinians in an address to Parliament, promising negotiations but stopping short of endorsing a two-state solution. 

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. 

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

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. 


Electronic Intifada
UNESCO should join cultural boycott
1 Apr 2009 - When schools under the United Nations flag are targeted, when children are targeted, when a whole population is systematically deprived of food and water, sanitation and electricity, the various UN agencies affected should not be content with protest alone -- they should live up to their responsibility by taking action. Rahela Mizrani comments. 

Olmert will be remembered for little but scandal
1 Apr 2009 - Ehud Olmert, who has handed over the Israeli premiership to Benjamin Netanyahu after three years heading the government, suffered a slow and public political demise. The eight lame-duck months since his resignation have been spent energetically refashioning his image as a successful leader -- the "Olmert myth," as one commentator recently called it. Jonathan Cook analyzes. 

Month in pictures: March 2009
1 Apr 2009 - The following photographs are a selection of images from the month of March 2009. "The month in pictures" is an ongoing feature by The Electronic Intifada. If you have images documenting Palestine, Palestinian life, politics and culture, or of solidarity with Palestine, please email images and captions to photos A T electronicintifada D O T net. 

Belgian campaign targets bank financing Israeli settlements
1 Apr 2009 - In a remarkably short period of time, activists in Belgium have built a strong basis for the campaign "Israel colonizes -- Dexia funds," asking the bank to divest from its subsidiary Dexia Israel because of its financing of the expansion of illegal settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Adri Nieuwhof reports for The Electronic Intifada. 

In Gaza
poverty in the shadows
1 Apr 2009 - Amar Battran, wife Nadah, and 2 of their 9 children. I met Amar Battran (39) selling green, plastic I.D. card covers, the kind every Palestinian outside of occupied Jerusalem and Israel carries (where they carry blue I.D. covers). I had no need of one but listened as Amar spoke of his poverty. I’d been at the bank, withdrawing donation money, and at the Western Union collecting other donated funds, all for cases I’d written about. Amar waited outside as I went between bank, w. union and the money changers (no shekels in the bank ATM). A woman, Alia, also loitered, hoping for some help. I asked the teller in the...

Palestine Chronicle
Olmert Will Be Remembered for Little but Scandal
1 Apr 2009 - By Jonathan Cook - Nazareth Ehud Olmert, who handed over the Israeli premiership to Benjamin Netanyahu after three years heading the government, suffered a slow and public political demise. The eight lame-duck months since his resignation have been spent energetically refashioning his image as a successful leader – the “Olmert myth”, as one commentator recently called it. Humiliated in a war in Lebanon and buffeted by corruption scandals at home, Mr Olmert is reported to believe he will one day make a political comeback like Mr Netanyahu, who led the government in the late 1990s. Certainly, Mr Olmert was once known as the great survivor. Of the three figures who pushed the country into the disastrous Lebanon war in the summer of 2006, only he walked out of the wreckage still standing. But this time even his talents may be overwhelmed by the task of salvaging his reputation. Mr Olmert’s rapid rise in Israeli national politics -- after a decade spent making his name as the hardline mayor of Jerusalem -- took rivals in the Likud Party by surprise. Joining the Knesset in 2003, he quickly gained the ear of Ariel Sharon, who was then prime minister. Once a vocal opponent of concessions to the Palestinians, Mr Olmert underwent a political transformation that closely mirrored Mr Sharon’s. Some analysts suggest that, in fact, it was Mr Olmert who guided and shaped the prime minister’s thinking, reflected in his designation as Mr Sharon’s heir in the new centrist party Kadima they...

Israel's Illegal Annexation of East Jerusalem
1 Apr 2009 - By Stephen Lendman – Chicago So says a confidential EU report revealed on March 7 by The London Guardian's Rory McCarthy. It accuses Israel "of using settlement expansion, house demolitions, discriminatory housing policies and the West Bank (Separation) barrier as a way of 'actively pursuing the illegal annexation' of East Jerusalem." More still, including restrictive permits, "closure of Palestinian institutions," and various other ways to "increase Jewish presence in" the city, "impede Palestinian urban development, and separate East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank" incrementally to annex it. It says plans are now accelerated and have undermined the Palestinian Authority's (PA) credibility as well as weakened support for peace. It calls "Israel's actions in and around of the most acute challenges to Israeli-Palestinian peace-making (yet) have limited security justifications." In addition, they're illegal. Israel dismissed the criticisms as "a disinformation campaign" and claimed that "mayor Nir Barkat continues to promote investments in infrastructure, construction and education in East Jerusalem, while at the same time upholding the law throughout West and East Jerusalem equally without bias." Those comments, of course, have no basis in fact nor do any from Israeli officials with regard to Palestinians. The EU report cites Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention that prohibits "Individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory...." Neither shall "The Occupying Power....deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies." In addition, numerous UN resolutions established "no...

Procuring Academics for Empire
1 Apr 2009 - By James Petras The Pentagon’s military strategists have recognized that they have suffered political losses, with strategic consequences in their recent military invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. US military support for the Israeli invasions of Lebanon and Gaza, the US-sponsored Ethiopian occupation of Somali, the coup attempts in Venezuela (2002) and Bolivia (2008), have also failed to defeat popular incumbent regimes. Worse still, civilian, family, community and national networks have reinforced the anti-colonial movements providing essential logistical support, intelligence, recruits and legitimacy. Pentagon strategists, recognizing the socio-political bases of their failures, have turned to willing accomplices in the academic world to provide intelligence, in the form of ethnographic accounts of targeted peoples, tactics and strategies in order to divide and destroy local and national loyalties. The Pentagon is contracting social scientists to develop ‘social maps’ to identify leaders and groups, susceptible to recruitment in the service of the empire. For example, Pentagon-contracted academic ‘field research’ is designed to demonstrate ways in which traditional religious practices and rituals can be harnessed to facilitate imperial conquest through cultural warfare discouraging subjugated peoples from giving their support to national liberation movements. Rather than confront the imperial occupier with a goal of re-establishing national sovereignty, ‘cultural warfare’ strategies direct people to focus on ‘local concerns’. These are a few of the Pentagon funded “research projects” taken up by the ‘academics in uniform.’ The Pentagon is seriously engaged in this military-academic empire building strategy, allocating almost 100 million dollars to contracting academic collaborators and funding...

Israel and the US - Does the Tail Wag the Dog?
1 Apr 2009 - By Adrienne Weller Israel’s winter blitzkrieg into Gaza, like all its other forays against Palestinians, was made in the U.S.A. This is thanks to enormous U.S. financial support for Israel - roughly $3 billion a year - combined with unwavering political backing, even in the face of genocidal policies. A stream of books and articles in recent years attributes this deadly relationship to the influence of the well-financed, highly organized Israel lobby in the U.S. “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy”, by professors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, represents a pro-U.S. government perspective. Other writings take an anti-imperialist point of view, like those of retired sociology professor James Petras (The Power of Israel in the United States) and leftist author Alexander Cockburn (in The Nation and CounterPunch). These writers claim that when Israel says “Jump,” the United States answers “How high?” This is a dangerous error. Small, isolated, dependent Israel no more dictates to the imperialist U.S. giant than a tail wags a dog. To assert otherwise covers up U.S. culpability for the crimes against Palestine and impedes the fight for justice in the Middle East. Serving US Interests After World War II, the U.S. became the top world power and moved to wrest control of the Mideast from Britain. Support for Israel kicked into high gear in the 1960s when President Kennedy authorized the first major sale of weaponry to Israel. This was part of a Cold War plan to counteract Soviet arms sales and influence in the...