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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
25 April, 2009


International Middle East Media Center

Abu Rodeina: “Lieberman’s statements, destructive”
26 Apr 2009 - Nabil Abu Rodeina, spokesperson for the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, slammed on Saturday the statements of the new Israeli Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, against Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territories. 

PCHR: “2008 the bloodiest year since 1948”
26 Apr 2009 - The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) bases in Gaza, issued a report on Saturday revealing that the year 2008 is the bloodiest year for the Palestinians since the Nakba of 1948. It included violations and attacks inflicted during internal clashes, and during Israeli offensives against the Palestinians. 

Istanbul Peace Platform kicks off
25 Apr 2009 - Hundreds of writers, historians, and intellectuals are gathering in Istanbul in Turkey to participate in the Istanbul Peace Platform, in cooperation with civil society institutions. The conference aims to “protect the Al Aqsa Mosque and draw attention to Israeli plans to demolish it”. 

Bil'in : 25 injured in weekly protest against the Wall
25 Apr 2009 - On Friday Israeli soldiers violently attacked the weekly non-violent protest against the Annexation Wall in Bil’in village, near the central West Bank city of Ramallah, injuring 25 protesters. 13 soldiers were reportedly injured in clashes that took place after the army attacked the protestors. 

Four injured, dozens suffer gas effects in Ni'lin weekly protest
25 Apr 2009 - Israeli soldiers on Friday attacked Palestinian and international peace activists holding the weekly non-violent protest against the Annexation Wall in Ni’lin village, west of the central West Bank city of Ramallah. Four protestors were injured and dozens were treated for the effects gas inhalation. 

King Abdullah : Israel should integrate or remain isolated
25 Apr 2009 - King Abdullah of Jordan stated Friday that Israel ha the choice to be integrated into the region or remain isolated “as a fortress”. 

Six Palestinian injured by settlers south of Nablus
25 Apr 2009 - Palestinian medical sources reported on Friday evening that at least six Palestinians were injured when settlement guards of the Yitzhar settlement opened fire at Palestinian who reportedly entered a vineyard belonging to the settlement. 

Bil'in concludes its fourth annual conference on popular resistance with an Anti-wall protest
24 Apr 2009 - Dozens were wounded as hundreds of Palestinians supported by International and Israeli supporters marched Friday afternoon in the West Bank village of Bil'in to the construction site of the wall Israel is building on the village's land. 

Report details injuries to journalists
24 Apr 2009 - The international press freedom watchdog Reporters without Borders (RWB) has revealed that seven journalists have been injured in recent weeks by Israeli soldiers. 

Netanyahu: We will not freeze settlement construction
24 Apr 2009 - Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, stated on Thursday that Israel does not intend to freeze the expansion and construction of Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank. 

Israeli Occupation hinders Pope's visit to Aida amp
24 Apr 2009 - Israeli occupation authorities prohibited residents of the Aida refugee camp, in the northern city of Bethlehem' from continuing work on arrangements for Pope Benedict XVI's visit to the camp on May 13th. 

PCHR Weekly Report: 3 Palestinians killed, including 2 children, 11 injured this week
24 Apr 2009 - According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, during the week of 16 - 22 April 2009, 3 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank, including 2 children. Eleven people were injured, three of them children. One Japanese humanitarian aid worker was wounded in the Gaza Strip. 15 Palestinians, including 3 children, were abducted by Israeli forces during 27 invasions in the West Bank. In Gaza, Israeli forces abducted 2 fishermen. 

Ha'aretz Defense page

3 arrested in Lebanon for allegedly spying for Israel
25 Apr 2009 - Suspects, 2 Lebanese, a Palestinian, arrested following interrogation of ex-Lebanese officer suspected of spying for Israel. 

Iran blames Israel, U.S. for deadly Iraq attacks
25 Apr 2009 - Series of bombings in Iraq kill dozens this week, most of whom were Iranian pilgrims. 

At least 11 protesters, 13 policemen hurt in West Bank anti-fence clashes
24 Apr 2009 - Security forces confront some 1,000 demonstrators in West Bank towns of Bil'in and Na'alin. 

Palestinians: 6 wounded in gunfire exchange with settlers
24 Apr 2009 - IDF: Palestinians tried to infiltrate Yitzhar, prompting clash with residents who tried to stop them. 

IAF: Human error likely cause of botched airlift rescue
24 Apr 2009 - As Ala Aghbariya was being extricated from minefield, he slipped through soldiers' grasp, fell to his death. 

Israelis in Europe warned of Hezbollah kidnap threat
23 Apr 2009 - Intelligence points to Hezbollah plan to avenge Mughniyeh assassination by kidnapping Israelis abroad. 

Lebanon charges ex-general with spying for Israel
23 Apr 2009 - Judge accuses four with supplying Israel with info on Lebanese military and civilian centers. 

Peres: China key to struggle against Iran nuclear ambitions
23 Apr 2009 - President discusses Mideast peace process, economic and technological cooperation with Chinese FM. 

Ma'an News

Hamas lawmaker sentenced to three and a half years in Israeli prison 
4/25/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – The Israeli military court at Ofer sentenced a Palestinian lawmaker to three and a half years in jail in addition to two years probation on Friday. Sources in Jerusalem said Muhammad Tutah, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) from Jerusalem representing Hamas’ change and reform bloc appeared in front of a military judge after more than two years of administrative detention where he was held without charge. Tuta was detained in June 2006 during a wide-scale Israeli apprehension campaign against Palestinian ministers and lawmakers affiliated to Hamas following the capture of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. [end] 

Checkpoint soldiers thieve 4,000 shekels from Palestinian man during Huwwara "inspection" 
4/25/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – Israeli soldiers manning the Huwwara checkpoint south of Nablus stole 4,000 shekels from a young Palestinian man on his way from Nablus to Ramallah on Friday. Twenty three- year-old Muhammad Rafiq Abd Ar-Rahaman from Ramallah went to Nablus Friday morning to sell his family’s olive oil, said his brother. He completed the sale with his prospective client and was on his way home when Israeli troops stopped him for inspection at Huwwara checkpoint. Soldiers checked his bags and personal effects, removed the 4,000 shekels of cash from his bags and sent him through the checkpoint. [end] 

Palestinian families prohibited from visiting Israeli-jailed relatives 
4/25/2009 - Tulkarem – Ma’an – Palestinian families with sons and daughters in Israeli prisons are prohibited from visits following an Israeli order intended to punish relatives after damage to one prison facility was discovered, sources in the Red Cross said Saturday. The International Red Cross Committee in Tulkarem said in a statement that they received the directive Friday afternoon and delivered the directive to prisoners’ families. The order applies to all families wishing to visit prisoners at the Negev Desert prison and Ofer detention center in Israel. The order was first handed down to Tulkarem-area families and then extended to all West Bank Palestinians. The statement explained that families were to be denied visits as a punishment for damage done to the facility following previous visits. ***Updated 10:34 Bethlehem time***Get breaking news from Palestine: Click to follow Ma'an on Twitter. 

Israeli army arrest shepherd, journalist near Hebron 
4/25/2009 - Hebron - Ma’an - Israeli soldiers took a young Palestinian shepherd from the village of At-Twani on Saturday and ransacked the home of a second Yatta man, ordering him to appear in front of the Israeli intelligence later in the week. The shepherd was identified as 23-year-old Kamel Salameh Makhamrah, who was herding his sheep near the Ma’un settlement when he was taken. Settlers from the area had let their sheep graze in the same area on Monday. In Yatta, Israeli armored vehicles invaded then troops searched, and ransacked the contents of the home of Hassan Abdallah Shawahin , member of Fatah regional office. His family was handed an order for him to present himself in front of Israeli intelligence in the coming days. Ash-Shawaheen was released from the Israeli prisons four months ago. The Christian Peacemaker Team in At-Tuwani reported one man from the nearby village of. . . 

PA: Pope will visit Aida Refugee Camp despite Israeli threats 
4/25/2009 - Ramallah – Ma’an – Preparations for Pope Benedict XVI to visit Aida Refugee Camp will move forward despite Israeli attempts to interfere in the planning, officials from the Palestinian Authority said Friday. The PA issued a statement late Friday night echoing concerns over an Israel attempting to shield the pope and the international community from seeing the oppressive and discriminatory practices meted out on the Palestinians. Israeli troops stormed Aida camp Wednesday and raided a meeting of the preparatory committee for the Papal visit. Committee members were harassed and questioned then informed that because the camp is in Area C - i. e. under Israeli civil and military control - that organizers must get a special permit to hold celebrations for the pope. The PA brushed aside the Israeli threat, saying preparations would continue unchanged. 

Israeli forces break into homes, take young men to unknown location 
4/25/2009 - Nablus- Ma’an – Israeli soldiers invaded Nablus’ Old City on Friday morning and raided several homes in half a dozen neighborhoods of the densely-populated ancient area. They harassed residents and arrested three youth identified as: Yaser At-Tashtush, 18, Asher Ibrahim Qarqash, 24, A’dnan A’nan Khashan 19. The three young men were taken from their homes and transferred to an unknown location. [end] 

Amnesty International releases report undermining findings of Israeli military probe on Gaza 
4/25/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma’an - Amnesty International is pressuring the Israeli military to make public the complete findings of a report on the 22-day war on the Gaza Strip, the summary of which says only that Israeli forces committed no human rights violations and made only rare mistakes, some of which may have resulted in the killing of Palestinian civilians. "There is a strikingly large gap between the 'very small number' of mistakes referred to in the IDF's [Israeli Military’s]briefing paper and the killing by Israeli forces of some 300 Palestinian children and hundreds of other unarmed civilians," said Donatella Rovera, Israel/Occupied Palestinian Territories researcher at Amnesty International. "The army briefing does not even attempt to explain the overwhelming majority of civilian deaths nor the massive destruction caused to civilian buildings in Gaza. 

One dead in Gaza smuggling tunnel collapse 
4/25/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – Twenty-year-old Mustafa Abu Jazar died Saturday when a smuggling tunnel beneath the Egypt-Gaza border collapsed with the young man inside. Palestinian medical sources confirmed the death, noting the tunnel was in the As-Salam neighborhood of Rafah city in the southern Strip. Head of Ambulance and Emergency Services in the Gaza Strip Muaweiyah Hasaneen said the youth’s body was received in the local Abu Yousef An-Najjar Hospital. [end] 

Molotov Cocktail thrown at Bethlehem Mayor’s car 
4/25/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – A Molotov Cocktail was thrown at the car of Bethlehem Mayor Victor Batarsa while it was parked in front of his home on Jamal Abed An-Naser Street in the central shopping area of Bethlehem. Batarsa noted that “no one was at home when the Molotov was thrown at the car,” he added that he was at work in Jericho when the incident occurred. No injuries were reported. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), of which Batarsa is a member, denounced the incident and urged security services to bring the perpetrators to justice. Police assured they were investigating the incident. [end] 

Ex-Aqsa fighters in Amnesty program seek end to 16-month imprisonment 
4/25/2009 - Nablus - Ma’an - A group of ex-fighters taking part in Israel’s amnesty deal demanded on Saturday that their files, now 16-months-old, be completed so they can finally leave the Palestinian Authority Prison they committed themselves to and return to normal life. The men, all former members of the Al-Aqsa Brigades, the armed wing of Fatah, signed a renunciation of violence agreement and turned in their weapons when they voluntarily entered the Juneid Prison west of Nablus 16 months ago. Since then they have waited for their official pardons to be granted from Israel, so they can stop living undercover and return to live with their families. The men sent a collective appeal to Ma’an News Agency and asked the Palestinian side to pressure Israel into putting a close to their cases. There has been no indication, however, as to whether or not the new Israeli government will honor the deal struck with the fighters and the Olmert administration. 

PA customs agents sieze rotten meet imported from Israel 
4/25/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – Palestinian customs agents seized one ton of expired chicken meat being imported from Israel into the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem on Friday evening. Director of customs agents in the West Bank Ghalib Diwan said staff clearing the delivery thought the meat smelled off and summoned experts from the ministry of health to evaluate it before it was shipped in to be sold in grocery shops. The food inspectors discovered that the chicken had been slaughtered weeks ago and not stored properly. Diwan said the meat would be discarded. [end] 

Hamas: Tomorrow’s Cairo talks last chance for conciliation 
4/25/2009 - Bethlehem/Gaza – Ma’an – The Cairo talks set to begin Sunday will be the last chance for conciliation through dialogue, Hamas member Mushir Al-Masri said Saturday. Fatah and Hamas delegations will head to Cairo after a three-week hiatus in talks during which allegations of Hamas attacks against Fatah-members in Gaza were coupled with the arrival of a two-man delegation of Fatah members sent to Gaza on orders from Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas to hold supplementary meetings with faction in Gaza ahead of resumption of Egyptian mediated efforts. The main issues for the fourth round continue to be the make-up of a transitional government, complicated by Egypt’s proposal that a Higher Committee be constructed instead that both the Ramallah and Gaza City governments would answer to but not be replaced by. 

Hamas hands Department of External Medical Treatment back to PA 
4/25/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – The Department of External Medical Treatment in Gaza, taken over by Hamas officials in March, has been handed back to the Palestinian Authority after a failed attempt to secure treatment for patients outside Gaza. Palestinian Minister of Health in the Hamas-run de facto government Basim Na’im announced the decision Saturday and called all the former, ejected employees to resume their positions starting Sunday. The decision comes one day before the final round of conciliation talks between Fatah and Hamas. A coalition of 22 NGOs in Gaza, who earlier called for serious steps to be taken as patients needing treatment abroad found it increasingly difficult to obtain permits and permissions to travel outside of Gaza, applauded the move. The coalition also noted, however, that they homed a new board of doctors would be assembled by the Palestinian Authority caretaker. . . 

Fatah accuses de facto Security Forces of kidnapping Gaza member 
4/25/2009 - Ramallah – Ma’an –De facto security forces kidnapped Secretary General of the Fatah youth organization Mahmoud Qanan and detained dozens of other party affiliates in Gaza on Saturday, local Fatah members said. Fatah spokesperson Fahmi Az-Za’arir released a statement saying Qanan was taken from his home to the An-Naser hospital in Gaza City, where he was interrogated for hours and then moved again to an unknown location in Gaza City. Az-Zarir called the attack a “willful escalation ahead of the Cairo talks. ” He noted that in the preceding days de facto policemen had broken into the campus of the Islamic University in Gaza and attacked students. Qanan’s family affirmed he was missing and they have been unable to reach him. 

Roman-era catacombs unearthed near Bethlehem University 
4/25/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – Roman-era catacombs were unearthed in Bethlehem Saturday during construction in an empty lot beside Bethlehem University. The small underground cave system opens facing north, and held four stone coffins with engravings on each, housed in two separate dug out burial areas. Head of Antiquates department in Jericho Wael Hamamrah estimated the artifacts, complete with skeletal remains and some pottery are between 1,800 and 1,900 years old. Construction workers preparing to lay pipe in the yard called Palestinian tourism and antiquates police when they went to investigate the sudden collapse of earth in an area they had been digging in that morning. The underground hall leads to two rooms, one 70x28 centimeters and the other 40x24 centimeters,Head engineer at the site Mohammad Al-Quraji said the crew was very surprised when the earth collapsed, and stunned when they peered into the underground tombs. 

Ithna residents warned to inspect cash after local money forgers arrested 
4/25/2009 - Hebron – Ma’an – Forged 100 shekel bills being produced in the town of Adh-Dhahriyanear Hebron were seized and the forgersarrested in a joint operation between local police and the drug squad on Friday. Head of the Hebron drug squad Yaser Al-Farajin said the team requested a search warrant for the home of two suspects. When police arrived and searched the home one suspect was found with several forged bills all with the same serial number on them. Police also found 2,900 shekels (684 US dollars) of forged currency in a warehouse next to the home. The men were charged with possession of forged currency, and police are warning locals to inspect their paper money for bills with the same serial numbers, particularly residents of Ithna, near Hebron. 

Palestine Telegraph

Young Palestinian dies in smuggling mission south Gaza!
Gaza Strip, April 25 (Pal Telegraph) - A Palestinian medical sources said that a Palestinian youngman has been killed in an accident while working in one of the smuggling tunnels under the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt. Emergency and Ambulances...

B’Tselem’s response to the Israeli Military’s investigations of operation “Cast Lead”
West Bank, April 25 (Pal Telegraph) - On the 22.4.08, the Israeli Military made public the conclusions of five internal investigations held by teams headed by officers, who "were not a direct part of the chain of command, and who were appointed...

Gaza artists deliver hope out of devastation
Gaza, April 25 (Pal Telegraph) - Israel should realize by now that the Palestinian nation is indestructible. A nation that was born from the womb of a great civilization is hard to defeat regardless of the methods or the variety of arms...

Apartheid regime and popular resistance in Bili'n 
Ramallah, April 24 (Pal Telegraph) - Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi is taking part in the three-day Bil'in conference on nonviolent resistance alongside activists like local organizer Iyad Burnat and the Vice President of the European Parliament.

Convoy Update: Ambulances and Medical aid to Gaza
London, April 23, 2009 - As part of its activities, The European Campaign to End the Siege in Gaza (ECESG), is restlessly preparing, in race against time, a convoy of medical aid to Gaza.


Israel defends army's Gaza conduct
22 Apr 2009 - Israel rejects claims it violated international law during three-week war.

UN seeks to salvage racism summit
21 Apr 2009 - Declaration calling for tolerance adopted after Iranian's leader speech attacking Israel.


OPT: Signs of worsening malnutrition among children 
GAZA CITY Tuesday, April 21, 2009 (IRIN) - Rising poverty, unemployment and food insecurity in Gaza, compounded by the recent 23-day Israeli offensive, have increased the threat of child malnutrition, say UN agencies, health ministry officials and healthcare NGOs in Gaza. 

In Brief: United States approves rapid avian flu test 
DAKAR Friday, April 10, 2009 (IRIN) - The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a test that can detect the deadly H5N1 virus in humans through throat or nose swabs in 40 minutes. Current laboratory analyses that detect the avian flu strain can take up to four hours for confirmation.

Inter Press Service

RIGHTS-US: Dozens of CIA "Ghost Prisoners" Missing 
NEW YORK, Apr 24 (IPS) - At least three dozen detainees who were held in the CIA's secret prisons overseas appear to be missing – and efforts by human rights organisations to track their whereabouts have been unsuccessful.

US-MIDEAST: Obama and Netanyahu - Storm Clouds Ahead? 
WASHINGTON, Apr 24 (IPS) - A big confrontation is brewing between the United States and Israel’s new government over the Palestine issue.

Q&A: Islamophobia Alive and Well in the U.S. 
BERKELEY, California, Apr 24 (IPS) - In an Apr. 6 address to the Turkish Parliament on the final day of his European trip, President Barack Obama praised Muslim Americans for "enriching the United States".

MIDEAST: Gaza Resistance Destroys Fatah Faction 
CAIRO, Apr 24 (IPS) - The recent onslaught against the Gaza Strip - and Israel's failure to achieve its military objectives there - left Palestinian resistance group Hamas politically stronger than ever. Concurrently, it dealt a possible death blow to the faction within Fatah led by strongman Mohamed Dahlan, long...

Stop The Wall

Friday protests and a Saturday funeral
21 Apr 2009 - This Friday, Basem Ibrahim Abu Rahma was martyred in Bil’in, where he was shot during a protest. Soldiers also attacked several other anti-Wall demonstrations in the West Bank, wounding scores of people. In these past months, the deaths of Abu Rahma, along with Arafat Khawaja, Mohammed Khawaja, Ahmed Mousa and Youssef Amirah are not isolated examples of “unauthorized fire” or protocol breach, but rather reflect a violent, institutionalized military policy. [

PCHR Latest

(21-04-2009) Israeli Refusal to Cooperate With United Nations Investigation Represents an Attempt to Shield Alleged War Criminals from Justice

PCHR Condemns Attack on PLC Member Sheikh al-Beetawi

PCHR Weekly Report

(02 -08 April  2008)
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, in the West Bank. Three of these civilians were wounded by Israeli settlers in a joint attack with IOF.

International Solidarity Movement

Israeli forces fire at Gazan farmers
International Solidarity Movement - Posted 4/25/09 - On Friday 17th of April a group of Palestinian activists of the Beit Hanoun Local Initiative, international activists of ISM Gaza Strip and FGM and journalists went to accompany Palestinian farmers to harvest their crops in Beit Hanoun, close to the Green Line. As soon as they begun to work, Israeli troops start to shoot from nearby military bases and vehicles. As the shooting was becoming more intense and close to the group of Palestinians and internationals, a Palestinian activist called the Palestinian office that coordinates with the Israeli occupation administration. He was told from the coordination, that the Israeli troops couldn't see the group and that the Palestinians and internationals should move to a place where they could be seen better by the Israeli soldiers. When some of the Palestinians and international activists (wearing fluorescent or Red Crescent 

Israeli soldiers arrest journalist, close village of Um al Kheir
International Solidarity Movement - 24 April 2009 - On 23 April Israeli soldiers arrested a Palestinian journalist in the village of Um al Kheir and declared the village a closed military zone after settlers from the nearby settlement of Karmel resumed construction of a road on Palestinian land. The proposed road passes within a few meters of Palestinian homes, animal enclosures and gardens. Due to a pending legal action in Israeli court filed by Um al Kheir villagers, settlers had previously suspended construction but resumed the work Thursday afternoon. When he observed internationals filming the road construction, the Karmel settlement security guard called the Israeli military. [Note: According to the Geneva Conventions, the International Court of Justice in the Hague, and numerous United Nations resolutions, all Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories are illegal. Most settlement outposts are considered illegal under Israeli law. ] 

Heed voices calling for justice for Palestinians
International Solidarity Movement - 24 April 2009 - We Palestinians are often asked where the Palestinian Gandhi is and urged to adopt nonviolent methods in our struggle for freedom from Israeli military rule. On April 18, an Israeli soldier killed my good friend Bassem Abu Rahme at a nonviolent demonstration against Israeli confiscation of Palestinian land. Bassem was one of many Palestinian Gandhis. One month prior, at another demonstration against land confiscation, Israeli soldiers fired a tear-gas canister at the head of nonviolent American peace activist Tristan Anderson from California. Tristan underwent surgery to remove part of his frontal lobe and is still lying unconscious in an Israeli hospital. In 2003, the Israeli military plowed down American peace activist Rachel Corrie with a Caterpillar bulldozer as she tried to protect a civilian home from demolition in Gaza. 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

Lieberman: Syria is no partner for peace
24 Apr 2009 - Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman declared that Syria could not be considered a real partner for peace with Israel because it supports Palestinian and Lebanese terror organizations, and the Iranian nuclear program. ...

Report: Lieberman, Egypt intel chief discussed 2-state solution
24 Apr 2009 - The Arabic-language daily Al-Hayat reported Saturday that Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Head of Egyptian Intelligence Omar Suleiman discussed the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict during their meeting earlier this week. ... 

Clinton makes first visit to Iraq as U.S. Secretary of State
24 Apr 2009 - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said on Saturday that this week's deadly suicide bombings in Iraq are a sign that extremists are afraid the Iraqi government is succeeding. ...

Belarus tearing down synagogue led by prominent Orthodox rabbi 
24 Apr 2009 - The roof has been removed and the windows stripped of their frames and glass. Piece by piece, workers are tearing down the former synagogue where a renowned rabbi served before fleeing the Soviet Union for New York in 1936. ...

UN human rights commissioner denies Durban II was `hate-fest` 
24 Apr 2009 - The UN's top human rights official hailed the global body's second conference on racism as a success Friday, despite what she called a disinformation campaign that almost derailed the meeting. ...

The Guardian

Video: Seven Jewish Children
24 Apr 2009 - Watch Caryl Churchill's play, Seven Jewish Children, which was written in response to the situation in Gaza in January this year

Guardian reading for Caryl Churchill's Seven Jewish Children
24 Apr 2009 - It is only eight minutes long but it has proved to be one of the most controversial plays in years. There have been howls of protest and declarations of support, and it has spawned alternative versions...

Roy Greenslade: Seven journalists wounded by Israeli forces
24 Apr 2009 - Seven journalists have been injured in recent weeks at the hands of Israeli soldiers, according to the international press freedom watchdog Reporters Without Borders . In a letter to Israel's defence minister Ehud Barak last week it...

Jerusalem's mayor defends demolition of houses in Arab area
23 Apr 2009 - Nir Barkat rejects international criticism and says east of city could never be capital of Palestinian state Israel's mayor of Jerusalem defended the demolition of houses in the Arab east of the city today and insisted...

Ha'aretz National page

Two people killed, three hurt in Galilee road accident 
24 Apr 2009 - Two people were killed and three moderately wounded in a road accident Saturday morning in the Galilee. ...

Health Ministry: No cases of swine flu in Israel
24 Apr 2009 - In the wake of a sudden outbreak of a new swine flu strain that has killed as many as 68 people and affected more than 1,000 across Mexico, the Health Ministry issued a statement on Saturday assuring the public that no cases of swine flu have been recorded in Israel. ...

U.S. flight to Israel diverted after passenger tries to storm cockpit
24 Apr 2009 - An aircraft flying from New York to Israel with 206 people on board was diverted to Boston on Friday after an unruly passenger tried to break into the cockpit, Boston media reported. ...

Police detain two suspects in grenade attack on Bat Yam police station
24 Apr 2009 - Police have detained two men suspected of carrying out a grenade attack on the Bat Yam police station Friday night. ...

One word can sum up Israel's new government: Lieberman
23 Apr 2009 - If asked to sum up the 23 days of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's second government, one word will do: Lieberman. Our new foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, has hijacked the national agenda. From the minute he entered the ministry, from his crude behavior toward U.S. envoy George Mitchell to his interview in the Russian papers and his comments on the Arab initiative, his unfortunate deputy at the Foreign Ministry, Daniel Ayalon, has had to trot after his boss to put out the fires Lieberman has ignited in the diplomatic fields. ... 

Relief Web

OPT : UNICEF and ECHO support counselling to help Gaza 's children face the future 
25 Apr 2009 - By Lóa Magnúsdóttir GAZA , Occupied Palestinian Territory, 21 April 2009...during the conflict in Gaza that ended earlier this...counselling from the Palestinian Centre for Democracy...desperately needs. In Gaza , where medical facilities... 

New risks from global crisis create development emergency, say World Bank, IMF
25 Apr 2009 - ...Montoliu- Munoz, Joyce Msuya, Richard Newfarmer, Israel Osorio-Rodarte, Harry Patrinos, Emilio Porta, in Egypt, Jordan, Rajasthan (India), and the West Bank and Gaza , with the objectives of supporting national education... 

Global crisis prompts big rise in World Bank health and education financing - AIDS drugs could be in short spply
25 Apr 2009 - outcomes. Women and children are especially vulnerable. During crises, households may demand fewer health services and opt for lower quality and quantity of nutrition. Government capacity is also impacted. This may result in deteriorating health... 

Malaria & children - Progress in intervention coverage summary update 2009
25 Apr 2009 - ...0 323 Israel 5 1 683...0 103 Lebanon 29 2 362...Occupied Palestinian Terr. 27 4 685 Oman 12 1 271... 

OPT : UNRWA wins prestigious "Kahlil Gibran Spirit of Humanity" award 
24 Apr 2009 - ...conflict in Gaza , UNRWA's...thousands of Palestinians affected by...thousand staff in Gaza who showed extraordinary...UNRWA staff. " Gaza has been in...working in the West Bank , Jordan, Lebanon and Syria...opportunities to Palestine refugees, some... 

OPT : UNRWA Commissioner-General visits Syria 
24 Apr 2009 - ...and the Syrian people solidarity for the Gaza Campaign launched by UNRWA early January...Government in support of the people in Gaza . Afterwards she will inaugurate the European...Theater in support of "For the Children of Gaza " Campaign. Before returning to Amman... 

Israeli army must make public findings of its probe into Gaza conflict 
24 Apr 2009 - ...forces of some 300 Palestinian children and hundreds...Donatella Rovera, Israel / Occupied Palestinian Territories researcher at Amnesty...civilian buildings in Gaza ." A briefing paper, distributed by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) to journalists... 

OPT : Al Mezan condemns the mass summoning of Fatah movement leaders in Gaza and calls for an investigation into violations of the law 
24 Apr 2009 - ...shooting incident in the West Bank which targeted PLC member...summoning of Fateh members in Gaza are believed to be a...arrests whether in the West Bank or the Gaza Strip and regardless of, and comply with Palestinian law governing detentions... 

YNet News

Iran's Khamenei accuses US, Israel over Iraq bombings 
25 Apr 2009 - Following suicide bombings that left dozens of Iranians dead, supreme leader says American, Israeli intelligence bodies 'spread of the poisonous seeds of terrorism in Iraq'; Clinton calls remarks 'disappointing', says al-Qaeda remnants, other violent groups behind attacks 

Egyptian Border Guard says curbed Gaza smuggling 
25 Apr 2009 - Following arrest of Hizbullah terror cell, Egyptian forces deploy along coastline, land border to prevent transfer of arms to Strip

Palestinian dies in Gaza smuggling tunnel accident 
25 Apr 2009 - 22-year-old man electrocuted by cables he rigged for light, power in tunnel under Gaza-Egypt border 

Lieberman: Syria no partner for peace
25 Apr 2009 - In interview with Austrian newspaper, FM says Damascus 'must stop supporting terror before negotiations launched'; adds US should be responsible for resolving face-off with Iran over nuclear program 

3 more detained in Lebanon on suspicion of spying for Israel
25 Apr 2009 - Lebanese police continue arrests in case of pro-Israel spy ring that has allegedly infiltrated Hizbullah

Minister Peled: Nuclear Iran will be able to hit US 
25 Apr 2009 - Likud member says American official told him term 'superpower' will be meaningless should Tehran obtain nuclear arms; adds peace deal cannot be based on 'two states for one nation' 


Testimony: Settlers assault young pregnant Palestinian
22 Apr 2009 - On 10 April, Roqaya al-Hazalin, together with a group of women and children, were grazing sheep near their village, in the Hebron District. According to her testimony, four armed settlers with sticks approached them. The other shepherds she was with ran a

Independent apparatus needed for investigation of Operation Cast Lead
21 Apr 2009 - On 22 April, the results of Israel's military investigation of Operation Cast Lead were published, indicating that dozens of innocent civilians were killed due to what the army referred to as "rare mishaps." In response, human rights organizations pointed

Daily Star

Lieberman hits out at Iran, rejects talks with Syria 
24 Apr 2009 - Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said in an interview published Friday Iran was a key obstacle to resolving the Mideast conflict and rejected resuming indirect talks with Syria. The biggest obstacle to any comprehensive solution "is not Israel, it is not the Palestinians. It's the Iranians."

Israeli settlers wound seven in West Bank 
24 Apr 2009 - Israeli settlers opened fire and wounded seven Palestinian villagers Friday after massive clashes outside the town of Nablus in the Occupied West Bank, security and army sources said.A number of settlers from Yitzhar, a bastion of radical Jews, entered the nearby village of Ourif.

EU ministers will urge Iran to take advantage of US overtures 
24 Apr 2009 - The European Union will urge Iran to take advantage of a change in US policy to seal a deal and end the standoff over Tehran's nuclear ambitions, according to a draft document Friday.European foreign ministers, at a gathering in Luxembourg Monday, will welcome Washington's new attitude, saying.

Egypt's Brotherhood refuses to risk open confrontation with state 
24 Apr 2009 - Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, increasingly excluded from mainstream politics, says it will not risk open confrontation with the state by taking to the streets in large-scale protests only to be crushed by security forces. Mohammad Habib, deputy leader of Egypt's most powerful opposition group, said the Brotherhood would not risk.

Abbas-backed mobile network gets US aid earmarked for Palestinian farmers 
24 Apr 2009 - US aid in the form of loan guarantees meant for Palestinian farmers and other small to mid-sized businesses has been given to a mobile-phone firm backed by President Mahmoud Abbas and Gulf investors. The shift in US taxpayer support to Wataniya Palestine, a joint venture between a Kuwaiti and Qatari telecoms group and a holding company for public assets.

Palestinian Information Center

Qassem: “They kept me in the company of criminals and murderers”
25 Apr 2009 - Just released from a PA lockup ostensibly in connection with his outspoken criticisms of the Palestinian Authority, Abdul Sattar Qassem has accused his incarcerators of mistreating him.

Prisoners' center appeals for enabling Palestinian mother to see her kids
25 Apr 2009 - The prisoners' center for studies appealed for enabling a Palestinian mother called Fatima Azzak imprisoned with her one-year child in Israeli jails to see her husband and eight children.

Radwan: Hamas is concerned with the success of the national dialog
25 Apr 2009 - Dr. Ismail Radwan, a senior Hamas official, stated that his Movement is concerned with the success of the national dialog in Cairo to achieve the Palestinian national unity.

Barhoum: Lieberman's statements failed attempt to restore prestige
25 Apr 2009 - The consecutive statements of the fanatic Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman and the Israeli war Generals are "failed" attempts to restore Israel's lost "prestige".

Istanbul peace platform calls for protecting the Aqsa Mosque
25 Apr 2009 - Hundreds of writers, historians, and intellectuals attended the inaugural session of the Istanbul Peace Platform, which is organized with the aim of “protecting Al-Aqsa Mosque".

About 50 Palestinians wounded in confrontations with IOF troops, settlers
25 Apr 2009 - Jewish armed settlers backed by Israeli occupation forces fired at Palestinian citizens in Ourif town, south of Nablus, wounding 13 civilians amidst widespread confrontations.

Legal center: Israeli internal security minister sanctions stricter measures
25 Apr 2009 - The IOA has escalated its oppressive measures against the Palestinian prisoners in its jails following the appointment of Yitzhak Aharonovich as the new internal security minister.

Abu Zuhri: American conditions for dialog with Hamas blackmail
25 Apr 2009 - Dr. Sami Abu Zuhri, the Hamas spokesman, has criticized American secretary of state Hillary Clinton for imposing conditions in order to open dialog with his Movement.

Norway's chief prosecutor considers Israeli war crimes case
25 Apr 2009 - After the filing on Wednesday of a war crimes case against Israeli leaders by a group of Norwegian lawyers the chief prosecutor said the complaint will be studied.

Radwan: External meddling only obstacle derailing national reconciliation
25 Apr 2009 - Dr. Ismael Radwan underlined Friday that foreign meddling in the dialogue was the only factor that derails national reconciliation.

New York Times

S.I. Man Gets Prison Term for Aid to Hezbollah TV
24 Apr 2009 - Javed Iqbal was sentenced to 69 months for assisting the station Al Manar, which the United States has called a global terrorist entity. 

Israel Says Actions in Gaza Not War Crimes
23 Apr 2009 - Israel’s conclusions of several internal investigations into its military’s conduct countered criticism of its actions and accusations of war crimes. 

World Briefing | Middle East: Iran: Hints About Commuting Sentence of Journalist
21 Apr 2009 - A statement from the judiciary spokesman said that the eight-year prison term for an American-Iranian journalist may be reconsidered during her appeal. 


Heed voices calling for justice for Palestinians 
Huwaida Arraf, The Seattle Times 4/24/2009
      The United States continues to supply Israel with approximately $3 billion in military aid annually, which allows Israel to continue abusing Palestinians and preventing any meaningful resolution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
     WE Palestinians are often asked where the Palestinian Gandhi is and urged to adopt nonviolent methods in our struggle for freedom from Israeli military rule. On April 17, an Israeli soldier killed my good friend Bassem Abu Rahme at a nonviolent demonstration against Israeli confiscation of Palestinian land. Bassem was one of many Palestinian Gandhis.
     One month prior, at another demonstration against land confiscation, Israeli soldiers fired a tear-gas canister at the head of nonviolent American peace activist Tristan Anderson from California. Tristan underwent surgery to remove part of his frontal lobe and is still lying unconscious in an Israeli hospital. In 2003, the Israeli military plowed down American peace activist Rachel Corrie with a Caterpillar bulldozer as she tried to protect a civilian home from demolition in Gaza. Shortly thereafter, an Israeli sniper shot British peace activist Tom Hurndall as he rescued Palestinian children from Israeli gunfire. He lay in a coma for nine months before he died.
     Despite the killing of these unarmed civilians and documented evidence of systematic human-rights abuses, the U.S. continues to supply Israel with approximately $3 billion in military aid annually, allowing Israel to continue abusing Palestinians and preventing any meaningful resolution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Why did the Harman case break now? 
Philip Weiss, Mondoweiss 4/23/2009
      The Jane Harman case is confusing to newcomers. The most important question that arises is why now? Why four years after the phone call? It is the most important question because it speaks to the fact that the central fight here, between the Israel lobby and the critics of the Israel lobby, is a fight that has been going on for more than 60 years in the underground of the Washington establishment. It never dies because it involves principled conflicts that are never resolved. They are never resolved because the press and our politicians can’t deal with these questions due to Harman-style orthodoxy/corruption, and the battle is suppressed. Though now and then it breaks the surface.
     The specific reason the story is coming out now is that my side, the critics of the Israel lobby, are about to lose a battle: it looks like the case against Steven Rosen and Ken Weissman, the Israel lobbyists charged with sharing secrets with the Israelis five years ago, a case postponed forever, is going to get dropped by the Justice Department. The lawyers who believe in that case are surely upset about this and have managed to leak one of the big truffles of their investigation to the press so as to goose the public outrage over the central issue at stake: corruption of policymaking due to the Israel interest. I don’t know that they’re the source. But that’s my supposition.
     We may lose this fight, but we are winning the larger battle. Remember that We lost the Chas Freeman fight, the nomination of an Arabist/realist to the National Intelligence Council, but we won that one too because he freely exposed the Israel-first gang that had gone after him. Suddenly the Israel lobby was on the front pages. It’s on them again, a month later, with the Times coverage of Harman. This is unprecedented. At last the Israel lobby, which people denied as a fact of our political life when Steve Walt and John Mearsheimer had the Emperor’s-new-clothes temerity to say it existed three years ago, is being openly mentioned. Andrea Mitchell said frankly on MSNBC the other day that it is a well-known and powerful lobby. -- See also: NYT: Gonzales Said to Have Intervened on Wiretap

Electronic Intifada
UK campaigners score victory towards arms embargo
24 Apr 2009 - As the global movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions grows, an arms embargo strategy is a key element of the wider sanctions call. Refusing to trade weapons with Israel sends a powerful message of disapproval for its actions, and the current review being undertaken by the British government demonstrates how grassroots campaigning can make a real difference in forcing governments to justify their actions. Yasmin Khan comments for The Electronic Intifada. 

Film review: Kindness as vengeance in "Heart of Jenin"
23 Apr 2009 - After his young son Ahmad was shot and killed by Israeli forces in the Jenin refugee camp in 2005, Ismail Khatib was propositioned by the Israeli doctor treating his son: would Ismail wish that his son Ahmad's organs be donated to children (in Israel) who needed them? The Electronic Intifada's Maureen Clare Murphy reviews Heart of Jenin , a documentary about the Khatib family's experience. 

Canadian musician Leonard Cohen urged to cancel Israel concert
22 Apr 2009 - The following is an open letter from the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine to Canadian musician Leonard Cohen: Your songs have been part of the soundtrack of our lives -- like breathing, some of them. But we can't make sense of why you've decided to perform in Israel in September this year. 

Signs of worsening malnutrition among children
22 Apr 2009 - GAZA CITY, occupied Gaza Strip (IRIN) - Rising poverty, unemployment and food insecurity in Gaza, compounded by the recent 23-day Israeli offensive, have increased the threat of child malnutrition, say UN agencies, health ministry officials and healthcare non-governmental organizations in Gaza. 

In Gaza
everyone knows a prisoner
24 Apr 2009 - I visited Anwar in his Rafah home last week, 2 days after April 17th Palestinian Political Prisoners’ Day. Prison is a theme for all Palestinians living in occupied Palestine, whether they themselves have been abducted and imprisoned by Israeli occupation forces, or whether someone in their family (a brother, father, son, daughter, mother) is being held in one of Israel’s prisons. So while the visit was to meet Anwar’s family, the prison theme was unavoidable. Anwar spent 3 years in an Israeli prison after taking his then 3 year old son, Yousef, to Egypt for treatment for his cerebral palsy. He, his wife and children ha’d spent 2 months outside...

Palestine Chronicle
Palestine and the Tactic of Non-Violence
24 Apr 2009 - By Ray Zwarich Response to Ramzy Baroud's article Non-Violence in Palestine: Timing and Intentions – The Palestine Chronicle and CounterPunch . The tactic of non-violence has certainly been highly propagandized, to the point that many of us have erroneously come to believe that it was non-violence, as practiced by Gandhi, that freed India from British colonial rule, and that it was the non violence of Dr. King that won the victories for minority rights in the US. The lessons suggested by the actual history of these struggles is obscured when we elevate this propaganda to accepted dogma, as so many of us seem to. In reality, the Indian struggle against British rule was characterized by the release of significant degrees of civil violence, which had a great effect upon the decisions made by the British. To suggest that Gandhi's non-violence was the only factor in winning Indian independence is simply false, and even arguing that it was the most important factor is highly problematic. Gandhi himself was a controversial figure among many factions that were a vital part of this struggle. He was often highly criticized, and sometimes even reviled, by others in this movement, for the decisions he made, and for the actions he took, which many considered to be highly counter productive to the movement. Often huge amounts of resources and energies that were invested into building actions of resistance were wasted when Gandhi pulled out at the last minute if the least degree of anger, suggesting possible violence,...

Middle East 'Spies': A New Front for Gaza's Conflict
23 Apr 2009 - By Ramzy Baroud The reverberations of the Israeli war on Gaza are still felt throughout the Middle East. One could in fact speak of a silent war being waged in the region. Now that Israel’s clear intentions in Gaza - discrediting Hamas and ultimately ousting them from their democratically elected position - resulted in utter failure, Israelis are hoping to exploit regional conflicts to rein in Hamas and other such organizations through alternative means. In the past several years, Israel has suffered what may seem like insurmountable losses in their barrage of military conquests. In July and August of 2006, Israel unleashed its military fury against Lebanon for several weeks, with one major objective: to permanently "extract" Hezbollah as a fighting force from South Lebanon and undermine it as a rising political movement capable of disrupting, if not overshadowing, the "friendly" and "moderate" political regime in Beirut. While the Lebanese suffered blows from which it may take years to recover, the Israeli war in South Lebanon was recognized largely as an astounding military failure, defeat even for Israel, as several thousand fairly ill-equipped Hezbollah fighters forced Israel’s multi-billion dollar military machine to retreat. While at the time, Hezbollah had strong backing by the poor and destitute population of Lebanon, including Palestinian refugees, support from official Lebanese institutions was, at best, lacking. But the war changed all of that. Today, Hezbollah is regarded by many as the guardians of Lebanon and enjoy an unprecedented level of moral and popular support. Israel...

How Much Israeli Arrogance Will the US Take?
23 Apr 2009 - By Joharah Baker The UN Conference on Racism which just closed in Geneva was one of the many instances that Israel was able to enforce its dictates on the United States (and others, obviously). After tremendous pressure from Israel, the US backed down from attending the conference even though the opening declaration might as well have been tailor-made for Israel. In any case, one would think Israel would be satisfied with the United States' obvious alliance with it, especially given the latter's superior position as the only "superpower" today. This is not the case, however, and even Palestinians – accustomed to Israel's arrogance, are slightly shocked at its effrontery. The instance in question revolves around US President Barack Obama's newest proposal to revive the bedridden peace process, not only between the Palestinians and Israel but with the Arabs as well. On April 21, Obama met with Jordanian King Abdullah II and outlined his "gesture plan" to jumpstart the process in the region, which includes a "series of confidence-building gestures" between Palestinians, Israel and the Arab world. One of these gestures is a freeze on settlement construction in the West Bank in exchange for normalization steps by the Arabs. In any case, the news of the plan had barely broken before new Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman put in his two-cents worth on the subject. "The Obama Administration will put forth new peace initiatives only if Israel wants it to," Lieberman told a Russian daily. "Believe me, America accepts all our...

Mubarak's Expanding Enemies List
23 Apr 2009 - By Rannie Amiri A telltale sign of a dictator’s waning influence is increasing paranoia. And this is exactly what Egypt's U.S.-backed dictator, President Hosni Mubarak, is suffering from. At a time when criticism over Egypt’s abetment of the Israeli siege and attack on Gaza is intensifying, and its traditional role as leader of the Arab world is being eclipsed, Mubarak’s standing and legitimacy in the eyes of his people has plummeted. His paranoia, conversely, has skyrocketed. This was on display when the state-controlled Egyptian daily Al-Ahram published an article last Saturday accusing the following nations, people and organizations of attempting to destabilize the country, or in the words of the paper, to “ … bring Egypt to the brink of chaos and facilitate a coup”: Iran, Syria, Qatar, Hezbollah, Hamas, Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah, Hamas chief Khaled Meshal, the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood Mahdi Akef, and the Qatar-based Al-Jazeera news network. Lebanon also joined the ever-expanding list a few days later. Relations had already deteriorated earlier in the month when Egyptian security officials made public that they had uncovered a Hezbollah-sponsored “espionage ring” and “terrorist cell” operating in the Sinai. Twenty-five “agents” were arrested, and the hunt continues for an equal number more. Nasrallah did admit that one of those captured was a Hezbollah member, tasked with helping to smuggle arms into Gaza. He denied however, the constantly shifting Egyptians claims that the group’s real objective was to instigate the Sinai...

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