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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
10 April, 2009


International Middle East Media Center

Seven injured, one seriously, in Nil'in weekly protest
10 Apr 2009 - Scores of villagers from Nil'in located near the central West Bank city of Ramallah, along with their international supporters held their weekly protest on Friday midday against the illegal Israeli wall being built on village land.

Two injured at the weekly Bil'in demonstration
10 Apr 2009 - The residents of Bil'in village, located near the central west Bank city of Ramallah, marched towards the wall today after Friday prayers. The protest was joined by Israeli and international activists.

Female detainee sentenced to six months
10 Apr 2009 - The Salim Israeli Military Court sentenced on Thursday detainee Nawal Al Sa’ady, from the Jenin refugee camp, to six months imprisonment and two thousands Israeli shekel fine. 

American and European aid convoys Gaza bound next month
10 Apr 2009 - British Legislator, George Galloway, is preparing along with American peace activist Ron Jovic to launch a new aid convoy to break the Israeli siege on the Gaza Strip. 

Arab leaders to meet Saturday, take a stance on Netanyahu, Arab Peace Initiative
10 Apr 2009 - Arabic sources reported on Thursday that Arab leaders are planning to convene in the Jordanian capital in order to consider the Arab position regarding the rightist government of Netanyahu, and the future of the Arab peace initiative. 

PCHR Weekly Report: 3 Palestinians killed, 8 injured, 27 abducted this week; 1 Israeli killed
10 Apr 2009 - According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, during the week of 02 - 08 April 2009, two members of the Palestinian resistance were killed by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip. In addition, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian civilian in the West Bank this week. 16 Palestinian civilians, including two children and two journalists, were wounded by Israeli gunfire in the West Bank. 

UN to release Gaza report within two weeks
10 Apr 2009 - The United Nations stated that it is finalizing its special report based on its investigation of the Israeli offensive against the Gaza Strip. 

Irish leader Gerry Adams meets Hamas-led government in Gaza
10 Apr 2009 - Leader of the Irish left-wing Sinn Féin party, Gerry Adams, met with the Hamas leader, Prime Minister of the dissolved government in Gaza, Ismail Haniyya, Palestinian sources reported Thursday. 

King Abdullah of Jordan calls on UK to pressure Israel on two-state solution
10 Apr 2009 - Holding a press conference after meeting the British Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, King Abdullah of Jordan called on the U.K to put real pressure on Israel in order to accept a two-state solution with the Palestinians. 

Archbishop Hanna: “Palestinians in Jerusalem are natives, not strangers”
10 Apr 2009 - Archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Church in Palestine and Jerusalem, Atallah Hanna, stated on Thursday that the Palestinian people in Jerusalem are the natives of the land and not strangers or intruders. 

Unity talks to resume on April 26
9 Apr 2009 - Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, stated on Thursday that the internal Palestinian talks would be resumed in Cairo on April 26. The statements of Abbas came in a press conference after a meeting with the Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak in Cairo. 

PFLP proposes a government with no political agenda
9 Apr 2009 - The leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) presented its own version of the transitional government during a meeting with a Fateh leader. The PFLP said that the factions should form a transitional government that has no political agenda and is in charge of preparing for new legislative and presidential elections. 

Ha'aretz Defense page

Report: Egypt arrests 15 for building rockets
10 Apr 2009 - Security sources says parts of dozens of rockets meant to be smuggled to Hamas in Gaza uncovered. 

Report: Russia to buy Israeli-made surveillance drones
10 Apr 2009 - Deal is the first time Moscow has publicly announced the purchase of arms from Israel. 

'Iron Dome rocket defense system will be operational by 2010'
9 Apr 2009 - Rafael plans to begin industrial production of system once first battery proves it has met requirements. 

Shalit friends hold protest seder outside Netanyahu home
8 Apr 2009 - None of 120 Knesset MKs invited came to Seder; IDF Chief: Israel doing all it can to return Shalit. 

'Iran behind Hezbollah bid to strike Egypt targets'
8 Apr 2009 - Egyptian paper: Nasrallah relayed code for attacks in speech; Egypt holds 49 suspected Hezbollah men. 

Report: IDF brigade won't recognize Conservative soldiers as religious
8 Apr 2009 - Nahal rabbi forbids troops from exercising right to grow beards for religious reasons, Army Radio reports. 

Palestinian lightly wounded after trying to snatch IDF soldier's gun
8 Apr 2009 - 16 Palestinians, one settler wounded in clashes near settlement where terrorist killed Israeli teen Thurs. 

Biden: Israel would be 'ill-advised' to attack Iran
8 Apr 2009 - 'I don't believe that Prime Minister Netanyahu would do that,' U.S. Vice President tells CNN. 

Ma'an News

Journalist and Israeli among four injured by soldiers in Bil'in 
4/10/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma’an - Four were injured including one Israeli peace activist and an AP journalist as Israeli soldiers fired on protesters, including children, demonstrating in Bil’in on Friday. The demonstration commemorated Children’s Day, and was headed by more than a dozen Palestinian children holding signs and banners saying: “It’s our right to live safely,” “The wall kills our hopes and dreams,” and “Settlements and the wall leave us with no future. ”Those injured were identified as AP journalist Mohammed Muhesen, an Israeli peace activist identified only as Kobi, and two Palestinians identified as Abdullah Aburahma, and Adeeb Aburahma. Two children from Bilin were arrested prior to the protest, 16-year-olds Wajdy Ali Shehada Abu Rahma and Hamouda Emad Hahmouda Yassin. They were taken Thursday and found after midnight Friday morning, beaten, near the village of Qatana. 

Israeli soldiers shut off Qalqiliya area, invade homes and search buildings 
4/10/2009 - Qalqiliya - Ma’an - A half-dozen armed vehicles invaded southeastern areas of Qalqiliya known as the “At-Tabal” and “Khalet Noufal”neighborhoods overnight Thursday. The troops invaded homes and combed the area making no arrests. Locals said several homes were broken into and areas of land searched, one noted that “we were not told the reason behind the search. ”Soldiers installed a military checkpoint on Azun- I’zbat At-Tabeeb Street east of Qalqiliya while the troops were in the area. Cars were prevented from entering the area and the identity cards of each driver and passenger were checked. 

Settler rally in north sees Israeli troops close Qalqiliya-Nablus road 
4/10/2009 - Qalqiliya – Ma’an – Responding to rallying settlers Israeli forces closed the main road linking the northern West Bank cities of Qalqiliya and Nablus Friday afternoon, preventing residents from traveling as settlers gathered nearby. The road also links the illegal Israeli settlements of Qarne Shomoron and Qedumim. Human rights coordinator in the West Bank Zakarieyah As-Seda said the settlers had been gathering since the “the early hours of the morning” and noted that they had already tried to assault villagers in Kafr Qaddum while they were working on their lands. Several settlers also arrived at Far’ata village near Qalqiliya and attempted to attacks the villagers there. 

Two more US congressmen visit Gaza; decry humanitarian situation 
4/10/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma’an - US Congressmen Stephen Lynch (D-Mass. ) and Bob Inglis (R-SC) were the latest American representatives to enter Gaza Wednesday; there have been five visits by US officials since newly elected President Barack Obama took office. Head of the Foreign Relations Committee and US Senator John Kerry travelled to Gaza with two Democratic congressmen, Keith Ellison of Minnesota and Brian Baird of Washington. The three were, like Lynch and Inglis, given tours of the devastation caused by Israel’s war on the coastal area in December and January. The visits are sparking rumors of tension between the liberal Obama administration and the new right-wing Israeli government. Inglis and Lynch visited as guests of the Catholic Relief group and said they had no intention of visiting any Hamas affiliates. 

Gerry Adams visits Nativity Church, Ramallah following Gaza tour 
4/10/2009 - Ramallah – Ma’an – Ireland's Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams visited Bethlehem’s Nativity Church Friday where he was received by West Bank leaders and dignitaries. Adams, who entered the Gaza Strip earlier this week, is touring the Palestinian areas in order to promote peace through negotiations among all the parties to the conflict. He has met with Hamas and left-wing factional leaders during his visit. Adams was received by Secretary of the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ahmad Subuh in Ramallah, before his arrival in Bethlehem where the two discussed the effect of the Israeli policy has on the lives and livelihoods. A central topic was the ongoing home demolition policies in East Jerusalem, constant arrests and invasions. He then traveled to Bethlehem where he met members of the Palestinian Legislative Council before he visited the Nativity Church. 

Israeli Passover restrictions prevent hundreds from reaching Jerusalem for prayer 
4/10/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Hundreds of Palestinian Muslims and Christians were prevented from reaching Jerusalem Friday as Israeli border guards continue to impose a strict "security closure" of the West Bank during Passover. Muslims heading to the Al-Aqsa Mosque for Friday prayers and Christians wishing to worship at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where Jesus is said to have been buried following his crucifiction, in Jerusalem were turned away from Israeli checkpoints. Christians with valid permits to enter Israel for the Easter holidays are, for the most part, still being permitted to cross into Jerusalem. The strict border policies are expected to relax following the Passover holidays in Israel on Sunday. 

Gaza crossings remain closed for Passover; no food, no fuel 
4/10/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - As announced earlier this week Gaza crossings remain closed Friday as Israel celebrates Passover. No food, fuel or humanitarian supplies will enter the Strip until Sunday, when officials announced the holiday closure would end. There is no word on whether an increased amount of goods will be allowed through the crossings to compensate for the closure. 

22 injured in Israeli assault return to Gaza Strip 
4/10/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – Twenty-two Palestinian patients hospitalized in Egypt for injuries sustained in the Israeli assault on Gaza returned to the coastal strip on Friday. They reportedly passed through the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt, according to spokesperson Adel Zu’rub. 

Israeli gunships fire on Gazan fishermen; no injuries 
4/10/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – Israeli gunships opened fire at fishing boats near the Gaza City and Rafah beaches on Friday morning. Head of Ambulance and Emergency Services Muawiyya Hassanein confirmed that no injuries were caused by the attack. Israeli gunships attack boats on daily basis all along the Gaza coast. 

'Axe attack' group vows more attacks against Israel 
4/10/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – A Palestinian organization calling itself the Army of Palestine Fighters threatened on Friday to strike Israeli interests “anywhere in the world. ”The group said its future attacks would be “in response to the attacks carried out on Palestinians in the West Bank, particularly the Hebron village of Safa, Jerusalem, Gaza, and those inside Israel. ”The group added in a statement that [Israeli Chief of the General Staff Gabi] Ashkinazi’s threat to carry out a new strike on Gaza is evidence of their failure in the face of the steadfastness of the Palestinians. ”The group had previously claimed responsibility for the axe attack on the illegal Israeli settlement of Bat Ayin, which left an Israeli teenager dead and a seven-year-old boy seriously injured. 

British FM condemns Israeli home demolitions, says Jerusalem capital for two peoples 
4/10/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma’an - British Foreign Secretary David Miliband condemned Israeli home demolition policies in Jerusalem Thursday, and said the city should be a capital for both Israel and the Palestinians. Miliband’s comments came at a news conference during his visit to Amman where he spoke alongside Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh, who expressed similar sentiments. "We view with real concern the proposed demolitions in East Jerusalem," Miliband said, and noted that Israeli policies ran counter to his opinion that "Jerusalem should be the capital of the Palestinians and Israel. ”Israel’s courts decided to demolish 88 homes in the Silwan area of East Jerusalem last month; when the decision is put into action 1,500 Jerusalemite Palestinians will be homeless. The European Union has also condemned the decision, saying the “demolition of houses in this sensitive. . . 

Jordan's King Abdullah: US must move quickly and push two-state solution 
4/10/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma’an - King Abdullah II of Jordan told a US delegation he hopes for a swift “re-launch” of peace talks between Israel and Palestine. A palace press statement said the King, addressing a US congressional delegation headed by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in Amman on Thursday, suggested the US should push forward talks so the decades-long conflict can be solved. King Abdullah II further stated that he believes a two-state solution is still the most viable, and that a Palestinian and Israeli state should be established side by side. 

Arab foreign ministers to meet in Amman; form stance on Netanyahu and peace plan 
4/10/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – An Arab Leaders meeting will be held in Jordan’s capital Saturday to formulate a unified stance on the new Israeli Netanyahu government and the future of the Arab Peace Initiative. According to the source dozens of influential figures are set to attend. Confirmed among those to gather are Secretary General of the Arab League Amr Moussa along with the foreign ministers of Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the Palestinian Authority. 

Ireland's Sinn Féin leader tells Gaza's left-wing parties they have 'large role to play' 
4/10/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – Palestinian unity and internal dialogue are essential, Northern Ireland’s Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams said during a meeting with left-wing factional leaders in Gaza on Thursday. Adams, who entered the Gaza Strip earlier this week, is touring the Palestinian areas in order to promote peace through negotiations among all the parties to the conflict. He has stressed the role of the left in solving internal national conflicts and suggested that the left wing in Palestine has a large role to play in both peace and reconciliation. He met with left-wing factions including the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), and the Palestine People’s Party (PPP) on Thursday to discuss what is being done in the aftermath of the Israeli war on the Strip over the winter. 

Erekat: Israel must accept Road Map terms 
4/10/2009 - Jericho - Ma’an - The head of the Palestine Liberation Organization's negotiations department, Saeb Erekat, called for the International Quartet to force the Israeli government to halt settlement expansion, including so-called natural growth, and particularly in Jerusalem. Erekat's remarks came following a meeting with David Maliband, the British foreign secretary, in Amman on Thursday. The PLO negotiator announced, “It was conveyed to the Quartet that Israel must accept the two-state solution and agreements signed, including Annapolis, and freeze settlement activities, in order to have political negotiations. You cannot have political negotiations without that. " But he insisted that "the Israeli government comply with the same commitments that were required from the Israeli government in the first stage of the Road Map. 

Hamas denies involvement in alleged Hizbullah plot 
4/10/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – Hamas spokesperson Fawzi Barhoum on Friday denied that his movement had anything to do with alleged planned attacks on Egyptian targets. “Egyptian security is part of Palestine’s security,” Barhoum said, adding that Hamas “does not have any information about the group that was seized by Egyptian security but through media outlets. ”Egypt is holding some 49 people in detention on suspicion of working for the Lebanese resistance movement Hizbullah, the country’s attorney general has confirmed. According to a statement from the attorney general, the men had been assigned by the group to gather intelligence in villages along the Gaza-Egypt border, tourist destinations in the Sinai, and the Suez Canal. They had also been provided explosives and training on how to use them. The Hamas spokesperson told Ma’anthat “Hamas’ strategy is clear in this respect, which. . . 

Egypt proposes West Bank-Gaza Strip unity committee 
4/10/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – Egypt has proposed forming a national committee to oversee coordination between the West Bank and Gaza Strip, according to a Hamas official on Friday. Salah Al-Bardaweel told Ma’an that Egypt proposed the idea during the last round of talks in Cairo earlier this month, and that Hamas will not object to “a government in Ramallah with a clear political agenda. ”“This was a last-minute proposal, the details of which are unclear, waiting to be clarified during the coming round of talks that will be held at the end of April,” he added. Al-Bardaweel expressed hope of reaching an agreement during the coming round of talks, and affirmed that “it will not be the last, in the event that there are unresolved issues, because Hamas as well as Fatah is determined to keep the doors open for Palestinian unity. 


Hezbollah denies Egypt accusations
10 Apr 2009 - Nasrallah says arrests in Egypt are aimed at turning people against the movement.

Iran 'open to nuclear talks'
9 Apr 2009 - President welcomes talks with West based on "justice and respect" as he opens new plant.

Iran charges US 'spy' journalist
8 Apr 2009 - Washington "concerned" as Tehran puts US citizen on trial for espionage.

Settlers attack West Bank village
8 Apr 2009 - At least eight people hurt as Bat Ayin settlers rampage through Arab village.


OPT: Hamas-Fatah rift leaves Gaza patients stranded 
GAZA CITY Thursday, April 09, 2009 (IRIN) - The rift between the two main Palestinian movements - Fatah which controls the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank and Hamas which controls Gaza - has impeded the availability of health care in Gaza, say officials. 

ISRAEL-OPT: Over 150,000 Gazans still without tap water 
GAZA CITY Tuesday, April 07, 2009 (IRIN) - Over 150,000 Palestinians in Gaza (around 10 percent of the population) are struggling without tap water as a result of the damage caused to wells, pipes and waste water facilities during the recent 23-day Israeli offensive which ended on 18 January. 

Inter Press Service

IRAQ: Virtual Therapy Treats Real Agony 
BERLIN, Apr 10 (IPS) - "Oh, dear Lord, what I am going through," 'N', a 25-year-old Iraqi from Baghdad wrote several months ago. "Am I going to see my family again? Sometimes, I even see my own dead body, lying somewhere. And I imagine the pain my death would cause...

ISRAEL-PALESTINE: One-State Supporters Make a Comeback 
WASHINGTON, Apr 10 (IPS) - President Barack Obama has spoken out forcefully - including this week, in Ankara, Turkey - in favour of building an independent Palestinian state alongside a still robust Israel. However, many Palestinians have noted that President George W. Bush also, in recent years, expressed a commitment...

MIDEAST: Gaza Needs More Aid 
RAMALLAH, Apr 10 (IPS) - John Ging, head of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in Gaza, has urged Israel to ease aid flow restrictions that are having a devastating effect on the 1.5 million inhabitants.

MIDEAST: Arabs Strap Up for Netanyahu Era 
CAIRO, Apr 10 (IPS) - Many Arabs are seeing the emergence of Binyamin Netanyahu as prime minister of Israel as the death knell for the already moribund peace process.

Stop The Wall

Commemorating Land Day and calling for boycott
10 Apr 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
10 Apr 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

Military Court in Gaza Sentences 4 Palestinians to death

In Spite of Persistent Efforts to the Solve the Problem of Access to Medical Treatment Outside the Gaza Strip

PCHR Weekly Report

(02 -08 April  2008)
10 Apr 2009 - During the reporting period, IOF killed two activists of the Palestinian resistance in the Gaza Strip and one civilian in the West Bank. They also wounded 16 Palestinian civilians, including two children and two journalists,

International Solidarity Movement

Farmers fired upon by Israeli forces in Al Faraheen, Gaza
ISM - 4/10/2009 - ISM Gaza - updated 10 April 2009 - This morning, the farmers from Al-Faraheen in the Gaza Strip persisted with their efforts to harvest the year"™s crop of lentils. Volunteers with the International Solidarity Movement, and a camera crew from Press TV accompanied the farmers as they set out to work in a field about 300m from the border. Before the farmers reached the field, an Israeli jeep stopped next to the border fence several hundred metres away. A number of shots were fired in the direction of the farmers before the jeep drove away. After an hour as the farmers were about to finish their work, another jeep stopped at the border. Soldiers got out and took up firing positions. An ISM volunteer then spoke to them with a megaphone - informing the soldiers that they were all civilians, and requesting that the soldiers did not open fire. 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

Abbas to Quartet: Israel must commit to previous deals
10 Apr 2009 - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has made peace talks with Israel's new government conditional on it committing to previous agreements and freezing Jewish settlement growth, aides said on Friday. ...

Nasrallah: Hezbollah running guns to Gaza through Egypt
10 Apr 2009 - Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah on Friday said Egypt was holding a member of the Lebanese Shi'ite militia who was in Egypt "working to help the resistance of Palestine." ...

American victims of Hezbollah rockets sue North Korea
10 Apr 2009 - Thirty American victims of Hezbollah terror attacks have filed civil action in the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., against the government of North Korea. ...

Obama hosts first-ever Passover seder dinner at White House
9 Apr 2009 - U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday had close friends and staff to a private White House meal to mark Passover, in what was seen as a gesture to his Jewish supporters. ...

Clinton: We don't know what to believe about Iran nukes
9 Apr 2009 - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday said she did not view the latest Iranian claims about its nuclear program as a rebuff to U.S. ...

The Guardian

Mohanad Hage Ali: Hezbollah's political evolution
10 Apr 2009 - The democratisation of the party and its engagement in public life should be an example to other militant Islamic groups Hezbollah – the party of God, in Arabic – was notorious throughout the 1980s for being...

Tesco criticised for Israeli goods boycott hotline
9 Apr 2009 - Tesco has come under fire from the pro-Israel lobby after setting up a customer helpline option for people to complain about it stocking Israeli products. A recorded message told callers ringing its general customer services number: "...

Manuel Hassassian on Avigdor Lieberman, Israel, Palestine and the Middle East peace process
9 Apr 2009 - Unless Israel's new leaders change tack, they offer Palestinians no partner for peace Warning against the dangers of totalitarianism in his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell famously summed up its perverse logic in three words: "War...

Tony Bayfield: Passover: Palestinians also have the right to make the journey from slavery
8 Apr 2009 - At Passover we should reread the story of the exodus from slavery, a journey Palestinians also have the right to make This evening is the start of the Jewish festival of Passover . Just to confuse people,...

Ha'aretz National page

'Hallelujah': Singer Leonard Cohen to perform in Israel
9 Apr 2009 - After countless rumors and anxious anticipation it's finally happening: Leonard Cohen will arrive in Israel this coming September, as part of his European tour. ...

High Court postpones Olmert hearing to allow him medical treatment
9 Apr 2009 - The High Court postponed a hearing scheduled for former prime minister Ehud Olmert Friday in order to allow him medical treatment in the United States. ...

Eyewitness: Cops kicked, punched, and battered cuffed suspect
9 Apr 2009 - Police officers violently attacked a hand-cuffed suspect, so says a Tel-Aviv resident who witnessed the reported arrest in the city's center on Thursday. ...

Settlers, Palestinians clash after memorial for boy killed by terrorist 
9 Apr 2009 - At least 17 people were wounded Wednesday during clashes between dozens of settlers from Bat Ayin and Palestinians in a nearby West Bank village. ... 

Israeli killed in Italy earthquake flown home for Friday funeral 
9 Apr 2009 - The Israeli medical student killed in the earthquake in L'Aquila, Italy will be buried Friday in his Western Galilee village. ... 

Relief Web

New Al Mezan report on the use of Palestinian civilians as human shields by the Israeli occupation forces
10 Apr 2009 - Source: Al Mezan Center for Human Rights

Group says lawmakers' rights violated in at least 16 countries
10 Apr 2009 - Source: Voice of America

The Palestinian refugee issue: A Palestinian perspective
9 Apr 2009 - Source: Chatham House

OPT: WHO takes lead on health as UN tackles crises
9 Apr 2009 - Source: World Health Organization

OPT: Agricultural Projects in the West Bank and Gaza Strip - APIS report, Jan-Dec 2008
9 Apr 2009 - Source: Food and Agriculture Organization, Palestinian National Authority

OPT: Hamas-Fatah rift leaves Gaza patients stranded
9 Apr 2009 - Source: Integrated Regional Information Networks

OPT: PCHR condemns attack by Israeli settlers and soldiers on Kherbat Safa and warns of potential increase in attacks under new Israeli government
9 Apr 2009 - Source: Palestinian Centre for Human Rights

OPT: Protection of civilians weekly report, 01 - 07 Apr 2009
9 Apr 2009 - Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

YNet News

Nasrallah confirms reports of arms smuggling through Egypt
10 Apr 2009 - Responding to Egyptian arrests of alleged Hizbullah operatives Nasrallah says smuggling of arms into Gaza 'is not a sin we need to apologize for'; also criticizes Cairo for siding with right-wing Israeli gov't

Egypt arrests 15 over rockets bound for Gaza
10 Apr 2009 - Security forces confiscate 60 shells from Sinai factory on suspicion they were meant for Hamas

Abbas to Quartet: Israel must commit for talks to resume 
10 Apr 2009 - Palestinian president says Jerusalem must accept agreement signed at Annapolis, freeze settlement activities 'in order to have political negotiations.' Western diplomats: Unlikely scenario 

High Court delays Olmert hearing on account of his health
10 Apr 2009 - Judge says hearing on 'Rishon Tours' double-billing affair to be held no earlier than May 10 so former PM can seek immediate cancer treatment abroad 

Katyusha victims sue North Korea
10 Apr 2009 - US nationals who were injured during Second Lebanon War $100 million in compensatory damages from Pyongyang for helping Shiite group build network of bunkers in which rockets were stored 


Israel and the Palestinians must assist the UN mission
5 Apr 2009 - B'Tselem welcomes the appointment of the jurist Richard Goldstone to head the fact-finding mission, called for by the UN Human Rights Council, to investigate the recent fighting in Gaza. Particularly welcome is the delegation’s mandate, which covers viola

Palestinian kills a 16 year-old boy and injures a 7 year-old boy
1 Apr 2009 - B'Tselem strongly condemnss the killing of a 16 year-old boy and the injuring of a 7 year-old boy by a Palestinian in the settlement of Bat Ayin in the Bethlehem district. Deliberate attacks against civilians are immoral and illegal. Wilful killing of civ


OPT: Hamas-Fatah rift leaves Gaza patients stranded 
GAZA CITY Thursday, April 09, 2009 (IRIN) - The rift between the two main Palestinian movements - Fatah which controls the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank and Hamas which controls Gaza - has impeded the availability of health care in Gaza, say officials. 

ISRAEL-OPT: Over 150,000 Gazans still without tap water 
GAZA CITY Tuesday, April 07, 2009 (IRIN) - Over 150,000 Palestinians in Gaza (around 10 percent of the population) are struggling without tap water as a result of the damage caused to wells, pipes and waste water facilities during the recent 23-day Israeli offensive which ended on 18 January. 

Daily Star

US skeptical about Ahmadinejad's nuclear-advances claim 
10 Apr 2009 - Washington on Thursday met with "skepticism" an announcement by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that major advances have been achieved in Iran's nuclear program. "I think we certainly could view it with skepticism," said State Department spokesman Robert Wood, commenting on reports that there are some 7,000 centrifuges installed in Iran to enrich uranium.

Egyptian mediators offer Palestinian rivals new ideas on forming unity government 
10 Apr 2009 - Egyptian mediators trying to break the deadlock in talks on a Palestinian government of national unity have told rival groups Fatah and Hamas to cooperate on reconstructing Gaza as a first step, officials said. Palestinian groups have been talking in Cairo for months but have so far failed to agree on a unity government which would prepare for elections.

Russia in unprecedented Israeli drones purchase - reports 
10 Apr 2009 - Russia is buying pilotless spy aircraft from Israel in hopes of improving its own unmanned drones after a poor performance in the war against Georgia last August, Russian news agencies quoted a top military official as saying Friday. Deputy Defense Minister Vladimir Popovkin said.

Thousands pour into Jerusalem for Good Friday 
10 Apr 2009 - Thousands of Christian pilgrims from around the world poured into the holy city of Jerusalem under sunny skies on Friday to pray along the traditional route Jesus took to his crucifixion. As part of the Good Friday ceremonies, the Christian faithful descend onto the twisted cobblestoned streets of Jerusalem's Old City to walk along the Via Dolorosa, or Way of Suffering.

Israel hopes pope will bring in more tourism, boost image 
10 Apr 2009 - The din of earthmovers and a cloud of dust rise over Mount Precipice as workers scramble to get ready for a papal visit that Israel hopes will bring in tourist dollars and rave reviews. The Jewish state is pumping some $10 million into preparations for Pope Benedict XVI's May 11-15 visit to the Holy Land that will bring tens of thousands of pilgrims to Israel.

Palestinian Information Center

Muzaini: Hamas won't ease conditions for swapping Shalit
10 Apr 2009 - The prominent political leader in Hamas Movement Dr. Osama Al-Muzaini has underlined Friday that his Movement won't ease the conditions it tabled.

Palestinians in 1948-occupied lands prepare to defend the Aqsa Mosque
10 Apr 2009 - The Islamic Movement in the 1948-occupied Palestinian lands has called Thursday on Palestinian citizens to continuously heading to the Aqsa Mosque.

Zahalka: Ramallah authority should stop futile negotiations with Israel
10 Apr 2009 - The Arab member in the Israeli Knesset (parliament) MP Jamal Zahalka has called on the Ramallah authority to close the file of the "futile" negotiations.

Hamas: Abbas's statements on prisoners' deal misleading the world
10 Apr 2009 - The Hamas Movement has strongly condemned Thursday the statements uttered by Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas in which he blamed the Movement for sticking to its conditions in the prisoners' swapping deal.

IOA puts Naseef under six-month administrative detention
10 Apr 2009 - The PA ministry of prisoners and ex-prisoners' affairs asserted on Thursday that the Israeli occupation authorities put Rafat Naseef under six-month administrative detention.

European campaign makes urgent appeal for saving impoverished Gaza people
10 Apr 2009 - The European campaign to lift the siege made an urgent appeal to all humanitarian organizations to save one and a half million Palestinians living in very difficult conditions in the besieged Gaza.

Ghusain: Dayton's training of PA forces proves their unpatriotic agenda
10 Apr 2009 - Ehab Al-Ghusain has asserted that the personal supervision of Keith Dayton over the training of the PA security forces in the West Bank proves the unpatriotic agenda of those forces.

Adams: Hamas should be part of any peace settlement
10 Apr 2009 - Gerry Adams, the leader of the Irish Sinn Fein party, has affirmed that the Palestinian people had a right to live in an independent and viable state.

Khatib: Thousands of Jews plan to attack the Aqsa Mosque Thursday
10 Apr 2009 - Sheikh Kamal Khatib warned that about 50,000 Jews gathered at dawn Wednesday at the Buraq courtyard and decided to organize a massive march towards the Aqsa Mosque and storm it on Thursday.

Arab League charges Israel with trying to conceal its crimes in Gaza
10 Apr 2009 - The Arab League on Thursday issued a statement on the 61st anniversary of the Deir Yassin massacre charging that Israel was trying to conceal its crimes in the Gaza Strip.

Los Angeles Times

Iran touts nuclear technology gains 
10 Apr 2009 - On a day marking its first enrichment of uranium, Iran announces two new types of centrifuges and a nuclear fuel production plant. Iran announced fresh advances Thursday in its steady drive to master nuclear technology, trumpeting two new devices to enrich uranium and inaugurating a plant to produce fuel pellets for a heavy-water reactor. 

Review: 'The Song of Sparrows' 
10 Apr 2009 - Majid Majidi tells the tale of an ordinary Iranian family whose lives change when the extraordinary happens. "The Song of Sparrows" is a fitting name for the new film from Iranian writer-director Majid Majidi. Sparrows are, after all, the most ordinary of birds: small, brown, common. The overlooked and the ordinary is exactly the terrain Majidi loves to walk, and we see again in this film his deep affection for his country's common folk -- with their meager resources, menial jobs and yet surprisingly fulfilled lives. 

New York Times

Iran Claims Gains in Nuclear Program
10 Apr 2009 - Iran inaugurated its first nuclear fuel manufacturing plant and said it had increased its ability to enrich uranium. 

U.S. to Join Iran Talks Over Nuclear Program
8 Apr 2009 - The announcement marked a significant step toward the direct engagement with Iran that President Obama has promised. 

The Lede: Clinton Calls for Iran to Release American Reporter Charged With Spying
8 Apr 2009 - Iranian news sources and Reuters report on Wednesday that an American woman, Roxana Saberi, who was detained in Tehran in January, has been charged with espionage. 


Israel’s Master Plan for Transfer 
Ellen Cantarow, CounterPunch 4/9/2009
      The Problem Isn’t Avigdor Lieberman
     No one doubts that Avigdor Lieberman is a thug. His ultimata (“Those who think that through concessions they will gain respect and peace are wrong,” etc, New York Times Thursday, April 2, 2009) were designed to shock. On this site Neve Gordon’s revelations of Lieberman’s many corruptions, his beating of a 12-year-old child, his exhortation to bomb Gaza as the US bombed Hiroshima, supply further ugly evidence against the man, and fuel the flash-fires burning through the Internet in the wake of his appointment as Israel’s foreign minister.
     So he should be denounced by all means, but it is certain that the problems attaching to his name are not going away. On the contrary -- particularly given President Obama’s repudiation of Lieberman during the President’s speech in Ankara, Turkey, and his avowed loyalty to a ‘two-state solution’ – these problems will appear in a different form, specifically in regard to the nature of the “two states” under the guidance of Obama, Netanyahu & Co. 
     If the Lieberman appointment wasn’t specifically designed to have him play bad cop to everyone else’s good cop, it’s certainly turning out that way. A recent J Street petition urges me and thousands of on-line others to denounce Lieberman as a threat to “our community’s values,” and also to endorse J Street’s offer of “our best wishes and congratulations . . . pledging to help Benjamin Netanyahu’s government where possible, and push when necessary, to achieve the goal of real peace and security for Israel, the Palestinians, and the whole Middle East.”

Olmert’s Nightmare 
Nadia Hijab, CounterPunch 4/9/2009
      The Growing Belief in a One-State Solution
     Ehud Olmert’s nightmare is at hand. Not only does the former Israeli prime minister now really have to fight those corruption charges. He also faces the realization of his fears that the Palestinians might give up on a two-state solution in favor of a struggle for equal rights that would mean, as he put it, the "end of the Jewish state."
     Yo, Ehud, that struggle is a growing movement, and it isn’t a threat to Jews -- on the contrary, Jews are very much a part of it.
     Just last weekend in Boston, American and/or Israeli Jews accounted for nearly a third of the 29 speakers at a conference organized by TARI (Trans Arab Research Institute) with the William Joiner Center at the University of Massachusetts.
     This is the second major public conference on how to achieve a single democratic state for Palestinians and Israelis. The first was held in London in November, and a third is slated for Toronto in June.
     In a sign of the one-state movement’s persistence, the conference was over-subscribed weeks before it was held; dozens were turned away because the hall only seated 500 people. Those who got in remained glued to their seats as one intense presenter followed another, in spite of limited time for questions and, on day two, no lunch.
     For my part, I remain agnostic. As I said in my remarks at the conference, both states must provide equality for all their citizens -- Muslim, Jewish, or Christian, women or men, whatever their ethnicity. And, by the way, this isn’t currently the case in either the established Israeli state or the putative Palestinian state.

Electronic Intifada

Israel's Arab students cross to Jordan
9 Apr 2009 - Obstacles to Israel's Arab minority (Palestinian citizens of Israel) participating in higher education have resulted in a record number of Arab students taking up places at universities in neighboring Jordan, a new report reveals. Jonathan Cook reports. 

More than 150,000 Gazans still without tap water
8 Apr 2009 - GAZA CITY, occupied Gaza Strip (IRIN) - Over 150,000 Palestinians in Gaza (around 10 percent of the population) are struggling without tap water as a result of the damage caused to wells, pipes and waste water facilities during the recent 22-day Israeli offensive that ended on 18 January. 

Palestinian governments responsible for lives of Gaza patients 
8 Apr 2009 - The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights calls upon the ministries of health in Ramallah and Gaza to take immediate steps, including the cancellation of all decisions that have led to halting the transfer of Gazan patients to hospitals outside the Gaza Strip, to ensure access of those patients to medical treatment. 

In Gaza, farming under fire
7 Apr 2009 - KHAN YOUNIS, occupied Gaza Strip (IPS) - "They're always shooting at us. Every day they shoot at us," says Alaa Samour, 19, pulling aside his shirt to show a scar on his shoulder. Samour said he was shot on 28 December last year by Israeli soldiers positioned along the border fence near New Abassan village, east of Khan Younis in the south of the Gaza Strip. 

In Gaza
some days you get shot at
10 Apr 2009 - In the “buffer zone”, created and expanded by Israel  [the now 1 or 2 km band of land running along on Gaza's side of the border, from south to north and northeast to northwest],  it is literally hit and miss whether farmers and civilians will be maimed or killed by the Israeli army on any given day. On April 5th, farmers harvesting lentils in Khoza’a were, surprisingly, not shot at.  Two Israeli jeeps lingered an uncomfortably long time, honking and flashing their headlights at the farmers.  We were able to stand with the farmers as they swiftly swept the land clean of lentil stocks. Although relieved no shots had been...

Palestine Chronicle
The Mubarak Factor
10 Apr 2009 - By Ali Jawad Arab League summits have become renowned in the Gulf region as venues for the annual 'diplomatic circus'. Circus performers, in the shape of diplomats, who display immense dexterity at word-juggling, and in turn stretch the limits of the Arabic language in their attempts to disingenuously convey their collective and foremost concern for the Arab homeland, in over twenty different combinations, to the Arab people. Added to that, there is a regular dose of Gaddafian comedy which, to the Libyan leader’s credit, rests in memories up until the next showing. The above characterization may be rather harsh, but striking elements of truth in it are undeniable to the impartial observer. At a time in which the Middle East is facing critical challenges, there surely should be no room for public charades, yet, the recently concluded summit in Doha proved to be little different from the usual – albeit with a few exceptions. The text of the final communiqué, just as those of years past, did little except pay the usual lip-service and plastered even more sugar-coating over the deep rifts between Arab leaders. By all accounts, the Middle East is currently undergoing dramatic change. Pre-existing contours in its geostrategic and socio-political environment are also experiencing rapid alteration. Whether these changes will amplify as to require the reshaping of political structures in this largely autocratic neighbourhood remains to be seen. Nevertheless, the Arab people have begun to realize an important tool in their sluggish and hurdle-ridden course for rights:...

An Open Letter to Tony Kushner - Playwright, Angels in America 
10 Apr 2009 - [After attending a reading of Seven Jewish Children, A Play for Gaza, by Caryl Churchill, New York Theatre Workshop, March 26, 2009.] By Rafiq Kathwari Dear Tony, I am a hyphenated –American born and raised in the Kashmir Valley, where for the last 20 years a core group of 3000 Islamic militants are fighting a 750,000 strong Indian armed presence, the largest concentration of military power anywhere, anytime in history. Consequently, I know a bit about living under army occupation. Yet, regardless of my birthplace or my adopted country, America, my moral life is in Palestine. Tony, are you out of your senses? Do you really think the American Israel Political Action Committee (AIPAC) will let you stage Caryl Churchill’s 10 minute play in New York or across the Hudson in the waste land? I want to prick the bubble in which you live as an angel in America. Don’t you realize that AIPAC using only 1/100th of their political clout can prevent this play being dramatized? You are one of their own. They cannot call you an anti-Semite, Palestinian sympathizer perhaps, not an anti Semite. The Wall Street Journal reporter who was present at the reading asked, Where would you, a gay Jewish man, feel safer, Haifa or Hebron? The attacks have begun. They’re stripping you naked. Watch out. And Caryl Churchill? O, they’ll brand her as yet another Brit anti-Semite just as they did Vanessa Redgrave, and they’ll prohibit Caryl Churchill entering America. Even if they don’t, the...

Israel Investigated, But Will It Repent?
9 Apr 2009 - By Ramzy Baroud Any variation of the words 'Palestine' and 'massacre' are sure to yield millions of results on major search engines on the World Wide Web. These results are largely in reference to hundreds of different dates and events in which numerous Palestinians were killed by the Israeli army or settlers. But references to massacres of similar nature precede the state of Israel itself, whose establishment was secured through the ever-expanding agenda of ethnically cleansing Palestinians. Throughout its history, this bloodletting project has been carried out for once specific purpose, that being the illegal acquirement of land and the suppression or extermination of those who dare to resist. Israel has denied almost every massacre it has committed. Those too obvious to deny, were “investigated” by Israel itself, which predictably, mostly found its soldiers “not guilty” or culpable of minor misconduct. Israeli “investigations” served the dual purpose of helping Israelis retain their sense of moral superiority, and sending a highly touted message to international media of Israeli democracy at work and the independence of the country’s judiciary. With the Gaza tragedy of December 2008-January 2009 being the latest in the ever growing list of Palestinian massacres, little seems to have changed the way Israel views its action, with the full approval of the US and the half hearted position of much of the international community. Nonetheless, on April 3, the United Nations Human Rights Council appointed Richard Goldstone, a South-African Jewish judge to further investigate what the council had already...

Israel's Arab Students Are Crossing to Jordan
9 Apr 2009 - By Jonathan Cook - Nazareth Obstacles to Israel's Arab minority participating in higher education have resulted in a record number of Arab students taking up places at universities in neighboring Jordan, a new report reveals. Figures compiled by Dirasat, a Nazareth-based organization monitoring education issues, show 5,400 Arab students from Israel are at Jordanian universities -- half the number of Arabs studying in Israel itself. Despite the fact that most Israeli Arab students in Jordan interviewed by the researchers expressed a preference to attend university in Israel, the numbers heading to Jordan have grown four-fold since 2004. College-age Arabs, representing nearly one-quarter of their age group in Israel, are heavily under-represented in Israeli higher education, at about eight per cent of the student intake, according to official statistics. Of those Israelis who pass their matriculation exams, three times as many Jews as Arabs are accepted into Israeli universities. “Our findings should raise serious questions about the hurdles that have been put in the way of Arab students that make them feel they have no choice but to study abroad,” said Yousef Jabareen, a law professor at Haifa University and head of Dirasat. Typical of the new exodus is Haneen Bader, 23, from the village of Turan in the Lower Galilee, who is in her third year studying Islamic jurisprudence at Jordan University in the capital, Amman. Dirasat’s researchers were surprised to find that nearly one-third of all Israeli Arab students in Jordan are women. “We live in a patriarchal society...