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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
26 April, 2009


International Middle East Media Center

Iran says it arrested “a terrorist team linked to Israel”
27 Apr 2009 - Official sources in Iran reported Sunday that the Iranian Intelligence forces managed to apprehend what was described as “a terrorist cell linked to Israel”. The sources said that cell members were planning bombings in Tehran ahead of the Iranian presidential elections. 

Egyptian media: Israel bombed Iranian arms ship allegedly headed for Gaza
26 Apr 2009 - According to a report in the Egyptian newspaper El-Aosboa on Sunday, a recent attack on an Iranian ship off the coast of Sudan was carried out by the Israeli navy, with possible U.S. involvement. 

Palestinian man confesses to attacking two Israeli children with an axe
26 Apr 2009 - The Israeli secret service, Shin Bet, announced Sunday that they have obtained a confession from one of the four Palestinians they captured from Safa village on April 14th. 

Attempted assault on Nablus Governor by Israeli border guards
26 Apr 2009 - Local sources reported that Israeli border patrol soldiers detained the vehicle of the region's Governor, Jamal Muheisin, and attempted to assault him, in Huwwara village near Nablus on Sunday. 

Israeli tourism minister says Israel still not prepared for papal visit
26 Apr 2009 - Israeli Tourism Minister, Stas Misezhnikov, stated Saturday that Israel is still not done with construction and security arrangements needed for a successful papal visit. 

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. 

Ha'aretz Defense page

Shin Bet: We've caught Bat Ayin axe terrorist
26 Apr 2009 - Security service says two weeks ago it apprehended man who killed Israeli boy, 13, at settlement. 

'Iran arms ship bound for Gaza downed near Sudan'
26 Apr 2009 - Sudanese sources tell Egyptian paper vessel allegedly bombed by U.S. or Israeli sources operating in area. 

WATCH: IDF videos expose drug smuggling at Lebanon border
26 Apr 2009 - IDF troops and Israel Police have confiscated more than 200 kg of drugs and arrested 29 over last year. 

Israeli who tried to spy for Iran given four years in prison
26 Apr 2009 - Man told investigators he repeatedly visited Iranian consulate in Istanbul in attempt to sell intelligence. 

Israeli guards repel Somali pirate attack on cruise ship
26 Apr 2009 - Captain: 6 men opened fire on ship and tried to board, before guards firing pistols fought them off. 

Yossi Melman / Israeli spies don't work just for Mossad
25 Apr 2009 - Many other espionage organizations operate with similar methods to Israel's agency. 

Lieberman: Israel will not attack Iran - even if sanctions fail
26 Apr 2009 - Lieberman tells Austrian daily that Israel cannot resolve militarily the entire world's problem. 

Was the Gaza school bombed by IAF a 'legitimate target'?
25 Apr 2009 - IDF says American college was used as rocket-launching site, a claim the school's director denies. 

Ma'an News

Israeli forces seize six Palestinians from Qalqiliya 
4/26/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – The Israeli military said it detained six Palestinians during an overnight raid in a village southeast of Qalqiliya on Sunday. The detainees are being held and interrogated in an undisclosed location. The military said the six were “wanted. ”[end] 

Report: 2008 deadliest year for Palestinians since 1948 
4/26/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an/Agencies – 2008 was the deadliest year for Palestinians since the violent creation of Israel in 1948, the Gaza-based Palestinian Center for Human Rights reported (PCHR) on Saturday. More than 1,000 were killed last year, including 820 killed by Israeli forces in Gaza and 40 in the west Bank. Another 143 Palestinians were killed in inter-Palestinian violence. Presenting PCHR’s annual report to media in Gaza, the center’s director, director Raji Sourani, said, "2008 was the worst year and the deadliest for the Palestinians. . . since 1948," according to AFP. According to PCHR 1,417 Palestinians, including 926 civilians, were killed in the Israeli military offensive on Gaza in December and January. Palestinians remember 1948 as the year of The Nakba (The Catastophe), marking the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of people and the massacre of many others from the historic land of Palestine. 

Israel to expand largest West Bank settlement 
4/26/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – A special committee in the Israeli Housing Ministry approved a plan on Sunday to expand the illegal West Bank settlement of Ma’ale Adumim by 12,000 dunums (12,000 square meters) in spite of objections from the United States. According to Israeli Army Radio, the plan has yet to be given the green light by Housing Minister Eli Yishai. The plan would link Ma’ale Adumim, the largest settlement in the West Bank, with the nearby settlement of Qedar, seizing the land in between. This expansion, in addition to another planned expansion to the north of the settlement will further isolate the north of the occupied West Bank from the south. The proposed expansion would include 6,000 new housing units in between Ma’ale Adumim and Qedar, which is now home to 800 settlers. Some 30,000 people live in Ma’ale Adumim, according to the Israeli government. 

Peaceful sit-in against settlements in Hebron 
4/26/2009 - Hebron – Ma’an – Palestinian activists staged a sit-in against the construction of a new Israeli settlement outpost near the West Bank city of Hebron on Saturday. The organization Youth Against Settlements demonstrated in the in Al-Buweirah area, north of Hebron, where settlers from the Kiryat Arba settlement had recently built a new wooden structure with the intention of seizing the land for a new outpost. Upon arriving on the land, which is owned by the Palestinian family of Issa Jaber Abu Karsh, settlers attempted to intimidate the protesters into leaving. Israeli soldiers and police officers then arrived, declaring the area a “closed military zone. ”The demonstrators refused to leave unless the settlers were also removed. The Israeli forces removed the settlers, but, it was later learned, they were allowed to return to the site accompanied by soldiers. 

Israeli court delays trial of Fatah lawmaker for 38th time 
4/26/2009 - Nablus – Ma’an – The Israeli military court at Salem delayed the trial of jailed Palestinian lawmaker Jamal At-Tirawi for the thirty-eighth time on Sunday. The trial is now scheduled for 3 May. A Fatah-affiliated member of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) At-Tirawi has been held in prison since May 2007, when Israeli forces seized him from his home in Balata Refugee Camp in Nablus. At-Tirawi is accused of working with Fatah’s now-demobilized armed wing, the Al-Aqsa Brigades. In a statement issued on Sunday, At-Tirawi dismissed the charges as an attempt to delegitimize him. “The witnesses confirmed in court that they do not have any relations with me but the court aimed to enlarge the case,” he said. Meanwhile, the head of the solidarity committee with At-Tirawi, Ghassan Hamdan, also called the proceedings a “political trial. 

Israel to lock down West Bank, Gaza on Tuesday and Wednesday 
4/26/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – The Israeli army will impose a comprehensive closure on the West Bank and Gaza from midnight on Monday to midnight on Wednesday for Israel’s Independence Day. The closure means that Palestinians from these territories will be barred from entering East Jerusalem and Israel, except for in emergency cases which must be coordinated with Israeli authorities. Israel declared independence on 14 May 1948. Israelis mark the anniversary according to the Hebrew calendar. [end] 

Israeli woman arrested for trying to visit Palestinian husband's family in Nablus 
4/26/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – An Israeli woman was arrested when she attempted to visit her Palestinian husband’s family in the West Bank city of Nablus on Sunday. Neta Golan was arrested by Israeli forces at the Huwwara military checkpoint on her way into Nablus, according to a spokesperson for the pro-Palestinian International Solidarity Movement, of which Golan is a member. Golan, who is five months pregnant, was held until 1pm and then released. The Israeli military also released a statement that it handed over an Israeli woman to police after detaining her on her way into Nablus. Under Israeli law, Israeli citizens are prohibited from entering Area A of the West Bank, which includes most of the Palestinian population centers. 

Bat Ayin 'axe attacker' arrested 
4/26/2009 - Hebron – Ma’an – The Israeli intelligence service Shin Bet said on Sunday that it has been holding a man it alleges killed a teenage Israeli settler with an axe in the West Bank in early April. A 16-year-old settler was killed and a seven-year-old injured in the attack in the settlement of Bat Ayin on 2 April. Ibrahim Moussa At-Teet and three of his brothers seized by Israeli forces in the West Bank town of Safa on 14 April. The same day undercover Israeli operatives seized and then released two other men from a neighboring village. According to Shin Bet, At-Teet confessed during interrogation to having purchased a knife and an axe two weeks before the planned attack, and hid the weapons in a valley near the settlement. At-Teet said he acted alone and planned to be killed as a "martyr" in the operation. 

Report: 'Iranian ship sunk while bringing weapons to Gaza' 
4/26/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – An Iranian ship transporting arms to the Gaza Strip was destroyed off the Sundanese coast in the Red Sea last week, the Egyptian newspaper Al-Usbu (The Week) reported on Sunday. The newspaper reported that an unidentified warship launched missiles at the ship, sinking it with its crew and cargo. Quoting anonymous sources, the newspaper suspected Israeli or American forces were responsible for the attack. The same sources said the ship was on course to dock in Sudan, where the weapons would be unloaded and eventually shipped to Gaza through Egypt. Neither Iran, Israel, nor the United States have made any official comment on the report. In March it was revealed in American media that warplanes, likely Israeli, bombed a convoy of trucks suspected of transporting weapons to Gaza in January. 

Israeli forces hold up Nablus PA governor's car 
4/26/2009 - Nablus – Ma’an – Israeli border guards held up the car of the Palestinian governor of Nablus in the village of Huwwara on SundayGovernor Jamal Muheisin told Ma’an, “Israeli border guard soldiers attempted in a provocative way to assault me and they surrounded my car in Huwwara village asking me to step out and show my ID. ”Muheisin said that his office had informed Israel through the Palestinian Liaison Office that he would be visiting the village with the Palestinian Authority Minister of Health Fathi Abu Moghli. “I refused to obey him [the Israeli officer]. When one of my men told him that the governor is in this car, they ignored him and surrounded the car with weapons for fifteen minutes. ”The mayor of Huwwara, Samer Mir’eb, told Ma’an that the border guards’ actions were “provocative and humiliating” to the governor. 

Islamic bloc wins uncontested election at Gaza’s Islamic University 
4/26/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – The Hamas-aligned Islamic Bloc won student elections at the Islamic University in Gaza by default after all other groups withdrew from the election on Sunday. The University’s 20,000 students did not get the chance to vote in a contested election. The Islamic Bloc has controlled the university’s student council since the institution was established 30 years ago. [end] 

Gaza: External medical treatment resumes on Monday 
4/26/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – A Palestinian Authority (PA) department responsible for transferring patients outside of Gaza for medical treatment will resume work on Monday after Hamas authorities relinquished control of it. The health minister in the Gaza-based de facto government, Bassem Na’im, confirmed this news on Sunday. The minister of health in the Fatah-aligned Ramallah government, Fathi Abu Moghli also “declared his positive response and readiness to cooperate. ”A committee of independent figures tasked with mediating in the dispute between the two governments also welcomed this announcement. One member of the committee, Director of Gaza Mental Health Program Iyad As-Sarraj, said that the committee would continue work and follow up on unresolved issues. “The committee expects and hopes that such positive spirit will prevail and will contribute to help in resolving other. . . 

PA: Disgruntled former employee who attacked Bethlehem mayor's car arrested 
4/26/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces arrested a man on Sunday it said threw a Molotov cocktail at a car belonging to Bethlehem Mayor Victor Batarsa. Adnan Ad-Dimeiri, the spokesperson of Palestinian security forces, said the man confessed to the attack during interrogation. The man is a former employee of the Bethlehem municipality who was fired. The attacker threw his homemade weapon at Mayor Victor Batarseh's car, which was parked at his residence in central Bethlehem, on Saturday. No one was injured in the incident, which took place while Batarseh was visiting the city of Jericho. [end] 

Israeli forces shoot Palestinian during raid on Ramallah-area village 
4/26/2009 - Ramallah – Ma’an – Israeli soldiers shot a Palestinian man in the shoulder during a raid on the West Bank village of Rantis, northwest of Ramallah, on Sunday afternoon. Twenty-six-year-old Jamal Mustapha Hosheh was shot twice while he was on his land near the Israeli separation wall. He was taken to the Public Hospital in Ramallah, where medics labeled his condition serious. [end] 


Clinton urges 'free' Lebanon vote
26 Apr 2009 - Lebanese must choose leaders without outside interference, US secretary of state says.

Reporter on 'hunger strike' in Iran
25 Apr 2009 - Journalist jailed in Iran for espionage is reportedly refusing food, her father says.

Policemen killed in Iran clashes
25 Apr 2009 - Armed men attack police in western provinces, killing at least 11 officers.


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...

PCHR Latest

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

(09 -22 April  2008)
During the reporting period, IOF killed three Palestinian civilians, including two children, in the West Bank. Two of the dead were killed by IOF in Ramallah, while Israeli settlement guards in Hebron killed the third.

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

Jordan urges Obama: Act now to prevent new Mideast war
26 Apr 2009 - Jordanian King Abdullah II on Sunday urged President Barack Obama to take ...

Iran arrests 'Zionist-linked' cell plotting pre-election attacks
25 Apr 2009 - Iran has arrested a group of people linked to Israel who were planning bombings ahead of the Islamic Republic's June presidential election, the intelligence minister was quoted as saying on Sunday. ...

Swine flu scare in Israel: Netanya man feared ill
25 Apr 2009 - Authorities fear a case of swine flu may have made it to Israel after a 26-year-old Israeli who just returned from a trip to Mexico on Sunday checked himself into the hospital reporting flu-like symptoms. ...

Yemen's ancient Jewish community fights for survival
25 Apr 2009 - In the village of Kharif in northern Yemen, where a kosher butcher slaughters chickens and the school bus carries young boys in side curls along a dirt track to their Hebrew studies, one of the oldest Jewish communities in the Arab world is fighting for its survival. ...

'Obama's rabbi': Support for Israel doesn't mean blanket approval
25 Apr 2009 - After Rabbi David Saperstein was appointed by U.S. President Barack Obama to a White House volunteer advisory council of religious and secular leaders and scholars, some called him "Obama's rabbi." ...

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

Fugee Fridays / Giving refugees more than just a basket of food
25 Apr 2009 - Over the past several months, I have become a regular at Fugee Fridays, a grassroots organization that brings donated food from the vegetable market in Tel Aviv to three different shelters for African refugees every Friday afternoon. ...

IN PICTURES / Street art, the backdrop to Tel Aviv life
25 Apr 2009 - A trek through southern Tel Aviv reveals unique characteristics of the city that set it apart from other areas of Israel. There is incredible diversity in the people who swarm the streets and roads: Ashkenazis, Sephardis, Ethiopians, Asians, young, old, Hasidim, secular, shaved heads and dreads all mingle to create a buzz quite unlike anywhere else. ...

Mazuz: Deferring Olmert hearing would harm public interest
25 Apr 2009 - Attorney General Menachem Mazuz on Sunday told the High Court of Justice Sunday that former prime minister Ehud Olmert's request to postpone the hearing for a corruption probe against him would could delay a final decision on the allegations by months. ...

Israel's remembrance day is not disabled-friendly
25 Apr 2009 - The vast majority of memorial ceremonies for fallen soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces are not fully accessible to people with disabilities, according to a recent survey by an organization devoted to ensuring the rights of disabled people. ... 

Yehuda Ben-Meir / Lieberman is no racist
25 Apr 2009 - I did not vote for Avigdor Lieberman and never will. I do not agree with some of his political positions and do not accept his framing of certain issues. But I am appalled by the left's delegitimizing of Lieberman and anyone connected with him. I do not believe that Israel's Arab citizens must be required to declare their loyalty to the Jewish state. What must be demanded of them and of all Israeli citizens, whether Jewish, Druze or other, is unflinching loyalty to the State of Israel and its laws. But even if one can, and sometimes should, disagree with Lieberman on his approach and statements on this sensitive issue, he's still not a racist. Lieberman is neither a racist nor a fascist, and depicting him as such does an injustice to his voters and harm to Israel. ... 

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

Police on high alert ahead of holidays
26 Apr 2009 - Officers to deploy en mass to prevent violence, terror; closure imposed on Palestinian territories

State to pay NIS 1.5M to family of Palestinian killed by troops
26 Apr 2009 - Mahmoud Shusha was shot in 2002 by Border Guard officer who demanded he close his store during curfew hour in West Bank village; state accepts responsibility in damages claim 


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

Israel rejects Golan pullout before talks 
26 Apr 2009 - Israel's foreign minister said Sunday that he was willing to sit down immediately with Syria to talk peace if there would be no preconditions, just days after saying that Damascus was not a partner for peace. Syria recently said it would be willing to resume indirect peace talks with the new Israeli government as long as they focused on a complete withdrawal from the Golan Heights.

Israel looks to enlarge settlement in Occupied West Bank 
26 Apr 2009 - An Israeli Interior Ministry committee has recommended enlarging one of the largest settlements in the Occupied West Bank, army radio reported on Sunday. Israeli settlements are viewed as one of the main stumbling blocks in the Middle East peace process and if the committee's recommendations are approved.

Palestinian rivals return to Cairo for 'difficult' unity talks 
26 Apr 2009 - Rival delegations from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party and the Islamist Hamas movement were in Cairo on Sunday for a new round of reconciliation talks already deemed "difficult." The two delegations were expected to meet separately with Egyptian security officials ahead of three-way talks on Monday with intelligence chief Omar Suleiman.

Iranian Nobel Peace laureate to defend jailed US journalist 
26 Apr 2009 - Iran's Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi has agreed to help defend a US-born journalist jailed for spying but prison officials refused to let a member of her team see Roxana Saberi on Sunday, an Ebadi aide said. Lawyer Abdolfattah Soltani, a member of Ebadi's defense group, could not visit Saberi for a first meeting in Tehran's Evin jail.

'Fine' with Ahmadinejad if Palestinians reach two-state peace deal with Israel 
26 Apr 2009 - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said it would be "fine with us" if the Palestinians reach a "two-state" peace deal with Israel, despite his opposition to the "racist" Israeli government. The firebrand leader, in an interview broadcast Sunday with US network ABC, appeared unhappy with President Barack Obama's failure.

US-Israeli confrontation brewing over Palestinian issue 
26 Apr 2009 - A big confrontation is brewing between the US and Israel's new government over the Palestine issue. Since his first days in office, President Barack Obama has expressed clear support for speedy action toward the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel. Since then, he and his key advisers have all quietly.

Amnesty International wants Israel to make public findings in Gaza probe 
26 Apr 2009 - Amnesty International on Thursday called on the Israeli military to make public the full details of the findings of its probe into some of its attacks during its 22-day military offensive on the Gaza Strip. Amnesty made the remarks in a statement that came in response to the army's conclusion that its forces had committed no violations.

Palestinian Information Center

Awad: The Palestinian people will not allow anyone to waive their rights
26 Apr 2009 - Dr. Mohamed Awad, the secretary-general of the Palestinian cabinet, stated that the Palestinian people and government would not allow anyone to give up their rights and constants

PFLP asks Abbas to freeze negotiations with IOA
26 Apr 2009 - Abdul Rahim Mallouh, the deputy secretary general of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, has asked Mahmoud Abbas, the ex-PA chief, to freeze negotiations with the IOA.

Haneyya gov't lashes at IOA decision to confiscate more Palestinian lands
26 Apr 2009 - The PA government in Gaza Strip on Sunday denounced the IOA for deciding to expand the Maaleh Adumim settlement and confiscating 12,000 dunums of Palestinian lands in the process.

Radwan: The dialog sessions were rescheduled to Monday
26 Apr 2009 - Dr. Ismail Radwan, a senior Hamas official, said that the national dialog sessions which were supposed to resume Sunday were postponed until tomorrow.

IOF command imposes hermetic closure on West Bank, Gaza Strip
26 Apr 2009 - The Israeli occupation forces' command on Sunday imposed a hermetic closure on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip as of Sunday evening until Wednesday evening.

Khudari discusses Gaza siege with Morgantini
26 Apr 2009 - MP Jamal Al-Khudari, the head of the popular committee against the siege, has discussed developments in the Gaza Strip with Luisa Morgantini, the deputy president of the European parliament.

PA rejoices prisoner day, its security forces arrest ex-detainees
26 Apr 2009 - In stark contrast to the events held by the PA in Ramallah to mark the Palestinian prisoner day, the PA security apparatuses escalated political arrests against Hamas cadres in Tulkarem.

A message to the world: The apartheid wall will collapse one day
26 Apr 2009 - Palestinian youths, and foreign activists have decided to send a unique message to the entire people of the world, objecting the racist, separation wall..

IOA plans to confiscate 12,000 dunums of Palestinian land to expand settlement
26 Apr 2009 - The Israeli occupation authority is planning to expand the settlement of Maaleh Adumim, east of occupied Jerusalem, after annexing 12,000 dunums of Palestinian land.

Israeli gunboats fire at Gaza beach
26 Apr 2009 - Israeli gunboats on Sunday fired a number of shells at the beaches of Gaza city but no casualties or damages were suffered, local sources said.

Los Angeles Times

26 Apr 2009 - Thailand: Anti-government protesters return / Iran: 10 policemen killed / Ethiopia: U.S. professor linked to coup bid / Hong Kong: Falun Gong protests ban / West Bank: Palestinians, settlers clash THAILAND 

U.S. journalist goes on hunger strike in Iran prison 
26 Apr 2009 - Roxana Saberi, who has been sentenced to eight years in prison on spying charges, tells her father that she won't eat until she is freed. An American journalist convicted by Iran of spying for the U.S. has gone on a hunger strike to protest her eight-year prison sentence, her father said Saturday. 

New York Times

Lebanon Arrests 3 on Charges of Spying for Israel
25 Apr 2009 - The arrests are the latest chapter in a long-running intelligence war between the countries that has led to the arrests of at least nine people here over the past year. 

Jailed U.S. Reporter Refuses Food in Iran
25 Apr 2009 - An Iranian-American reporter jailed by Iran for espionage has gone on hunger strike and says she will not stop until she is released, her father said Saturday. 

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. 


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
widowed and orphaned by Israeli drone strike
26 Apr 2009 - Naama Barbakh stands in the yard beside her farmhouse in southern Gaza’s As Shoka district, east of Rafah. She gestures to the ground and the surrounding area, pointing out where the dead and dying bodies of her husband and three of her sons lay after an unmanned drone missile strike on the morning of January 4th. On January 3rd, the Israeli land invasion had begun, with tanks and troops invading Gaza and occupying areas to the east of Rafah. Barbakh, a mother of eight children, three martyred in the attack, explains what happened that morning. “It was around 9 am. My daughter and I were preparing bread dough inside the...

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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