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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
13 June , 2009


International Middle East Media Center

Palestinian internal Reconciliation committees to convene Sunday in Gaza, West Bank
14 Jun 2009 - Palestinian sources reported Saturday that a committee representing the two major Palestinian political parties, Hamas and Fateh, would be holding talks on Sunday in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. 

Palestinian Prime Minister meets former US President Carter in Ramallah
14 Jun 2009 - Palestinian Prime Minister, Salam Fayyad, met in his Ramallah office with the former US President Jimmy Carter and the delegates who are accompanying him. 

Shalit’s family hands Carter a letter to their son
13 Jun 2009 - The parents of Gilad Shalit, Israeli corporal captured by the Palestinian resistance since 2006, held a meeting with the former US president, Jimmy Carter, and handed him a letter to their son before he headed to Syria for a meeting with Hamas political leaders. 

Hamdan: “Hamas-Carter meeting shows that the West realizes Hamas cannot be ignored"
13 Jun 2009 - Hamas representative in Syria, Osama Hamdan, stated that Hamas will not recognize the Israeli occupation in exchange for talks with the West. He said that the meeting between former US president, Jimmy Carter and Hamas leadership in Syria shows a new recognition by the West that Hamas cannot be ignored. 

Patient dies due to the ongoing siege on Gaza
12 Jun 2009 - Medical sources in the Gaza reported that a patient from Beit Lahia, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip, died on Thursday after Israel obstructed his transfer to an Egyptian hospital. 

Crowds join Al-Ma'sara village peaceful protest against the Wall
12 Jun 2009 - Israeli and international supporters joined the villagers of Al-Ma'sara, near Bethlehem, on Friday; protested the illegal wall being built by Israel and the continued expansion of settlements on villagers lands. 

Israeli troops attack Nil'in's weekly protest, dozens injured
12 Jun 2009 - Israeli soldiers attacked Palestinian and international peace activists during the weekly non-violent protest against the wall in Ni'lin village, west of the central West Bank city of Ramallah, on Friday. 

Two injured at the Bil'in weekly protest
12 Jun 2009 - Two protesters were injured and dozens suffered from gas inhalation when Israeli troops attacked the weekly protest in Bil'in village near the central West Bank city of Ramallah on Friday afternoon.

Israel to impose curfew in Salfit area in expectation of the arrival of thousands of settlers
12 Jun 2009 - Thousands of settlers are expected to come to Salfit area, to pray at ancient shrines in the surroundings of the Ariel settlement. In anticipation to their arrival Israeli army troops have set up military posts at the southern entrance of the settlement. 

Free Gaza launches the Right to Read Campaign
12 Jun 2009 - The Free Gaza Movement (FGM), in partnership with the Al Aqsa University in Gaza, declared it is launching “The Right to Read Campaign” as it intends to sail to Gaza to deliver textbooks and educational supplies to universities in the Gaza Strip. 

UN Sec. General considering fining Israel for Gaza damage
12 Jun 2009 - United Nations Secretary-General, Ban ki-moon, stated that he was considering imposing an $11 million fine on Israel for shelling United Nations facilities during the war against the Gaza Strip. 

PCHR Weekly Report: 1 Palestinian killed, 13 injured by Israeli forces, child dies of earlier wounds
12 Jun 2009 - According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, during the week of 04 - 10 June 2009, a Palestinian civilian was killed by Israeli troops during a non-violent protest against the Israeli Annexation wall. 13 Palestinian civilians, including four children and a paramedic, were wounded by Israeli gunfire. Israeli forces conducted 24 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, and abducted 24 Palestinian civilians, including six children, in the West Bank.

Ha'aretz Defense page

Arab media: U.S. assistance helped uncover Israeli spy ring
13 Jun 2009 - Millions-worth of American technology was also reflected in recent break in Hariri assassination probe. 

Qassam strikes western Negev after four-week lull
13 Jun 2009 - Rocket lands in open field in Sdot Negev area; No injuries or damages reported in incident. 

IAF pilot says 2nd in command stole glory in 1981 Iraq strike
11 Jun 2009 - 28 years after reactor bombing, Col. Ze'ev Raz accuses Amos Yadlin, today MI chief, of cutting in front of him. 

Two Israeli Arab sisters released from Lebanon arrest
10 Jun 2009 - Pair, both in their sixties, were arrested in Beirut airport en route to U.S., one voted in Lebanon election. 

Report: UN peacekeepers in Lebanon helped catch Israel spies
11 Jun 2009 - Commander of Spanish UNIFIL force tells minister his troops made a number of arrests recently. 

Palestinian police arrest 36 Hamas supporters in West Bank
11 Jun 2009 - PA police spokesman says all 36 were tied to crimes involving handling weapons or money for Hamas. 

IDF troops exchange fire with gunmen near Gaza border
11 Jun 2009 - No soldiers hurt in incident, which comes three days after militants tried to launch terror attack from Gaza. 

Netanyahu's speech: Yes to road map, no to settlement freeze
11 Jun 2009 - PM to demand future Palestinian state be demilitarized, recognize Israel as the Jewish homeland. 

Ma'an News

Jerusalem: Israeli authorities force two Old City residents to demolish own homes
6/13/2009 - Jerusalem – Ma’an – Israeli authorities forced two Palestinian families living in the Old City of Jerusalem to demolish parts of their own homes on Friday afternoon. Each family was threatened with tens of thousands in fines if they failed to take down the structures. Osama Hashima was obliged to demolish a 30-meter-square room he had added to his home in the Al-Khalidiyya neighborhood in the Old City of Jerusalem. The room was an addition to the home to support his growing family. A few weeks earlier Hashima received a warrant from the Israeli municipal council of Jerusalem threatening to fine him 70,000 shekels (17,700 USD) if he failed to take down the addition. Hashima’s son Mu’taz explained, as his father destroyed the structure, that the room was a vital addition to the crowded ten-person home. He accused Israeli settlers living next door of taking photos of the house. . . 

Police Family Protection Unit attempts to reunite area’s only homeless woman with family
6/13/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – After three months Bethlehem Police’s Family Protection Unit were able to track down relatives for what is likely the city’s only homeless person. A middle-aged woman was found sleeping on the road near Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity and taken into protective custody until she could be reunited with her family. Bethlehem, and Palestine in general, has a next to zero homeless population, mostly on account of the tight family networks that ensure those in need are supported. The case of the woman sleeping on the street, then, was particularly alarming for police and local residents. The woman, it turned out, had been married to a Jerusalemite who divorced her 20 years ago. She had two children with the man, who were contacted once identified. They had not seen her in years. Following the divorce the unidentified woman went to live in the Negev but returned to the West Bank recently for unclear reasons. 

Report: Gaza siege by the numbers; two years and counting
6/13/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma’an - Only 25% of requested goods have entered Gaza since Israel began imposing its siege on the area in 2007, a report revealed last week. The Israeli organization Gisha, with the mandate of protecting the freedom of movement in Palestine, released a report detailing ‘Siege by numbers’ and cataloguing dozens of examples of the wide gap between Israeli policy regarding the Gaza siege, and the actual trickle of bare-minimum humanitarian goods that actually get into the Strip. Some of the statistics include:63% of the Gaza Power Plant’s fuel needs have been met, on average, for the past two years*Average length of power outages in Gaza: five hours per day. *Current number of people without access to running water in Gaza: 28,000. Number of food items Israel's Cabinet Resolution promised to permit to enter Gaza: Unlimited. 

HRW: Israel must stop demolishing Palestinian homes
6/13/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The Israeli government should immediately stop demolishing Palestinian homes and property in the West Bank and compensate the people it has displaced, Human Rights Watch said on Friday. Israeli authorities destroyed the homes and property of 18 shepherd families in the northern Jordan Valley on 4 June 2009, displacing approximately 130 people, after ordering them on 31 May to evacuate because they were living in a "closed military zone. " Some of the families whose homes and property were destroyed had been living in their village since at least the 1950s. "Giving families less than a week to evacuate their homes, without any opportunity for review or appeal, is as heartless as it is unfair," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. "Israel should have given these people due process to contest their displacement. 

Israeli settlers, soldiers beat and detain elderly men, American activist
6/13/2009 - Hebron – Ma’an – Israeli settlers and military forces assaulted Palestinian farmers and foreign solidarity activists as the latter attempted to enter confiscated Palestinian lands near the Israeli settlement of Beit ‘Ein on Saturday,The settlement, in the Wadi Abu Ar-Reish area near northwest of Beit Ummar in the southern West Bank, has annexed agricultural lands next to the fence surrounding the complex and prevented farmers from harvesting crops in the area. Israeli forces declared the area a “closed military zone” and permanently prevented farmers from entering. The Palestinian solidarity team has been organizing weekly activities every Saturday aiming to enable Palestinian farmers to access their land. During the incident settlers pelted farmers, solidarity activists, and their cars with stones, and Israeli soldiers attacked 55-year-old Fahd Sleibi, beating him brutally before they detained him. 

18-year-old man electrocuted in Gaza tunnel near Rafah
6/13/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – Eighteen-year-old Ibrahim Zu’rub died after being electrocuted on Saturday inside a tunnel under the borders between Egypt and the southern Gaza Strip in Rafah. Director of Ambulance and Emergency Services at the Palestinian Ministry of Health Muawiya Hassanein said the victim was transferred to the forensic medicine department at Abu Yousif An-Najjar Hospital in Rafah. 

Shalit family asks Carter to deliver letter to son when he visits Gaza
6/13/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma’an/Agencies - Former US President Jimmy Carter committed himself to securing the release of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit during a meeting with the young man’s father in Jerusalem on Friday, Israeli media reported. During the meeting Noam Shalit gave Carter a letter for his son, almost a year after a letter, seemingly from the captured soldier, was faxed to the Carter Center in Ramallah. Both sides were closed-lipped around the details of the meeting, Shalit saying he still hoped the Israeli government could secure the release of his son, but noting Carter was one of the only Americans “in touch with Hamas. ”Carter is scheduled to visit the Gaza Strip Saturday where he will meet de facto Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and other Hamas officials. Carter’s visit to the Strip is the fourth leg of his Middle East visit following stops in Damascus, Israel, and the West Bank. 

UN requests 11.2 million in damages from Israel over Gaza war destruction
6/13/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma’an - The UN requested 11. 2 million US dollars from the Israeli government for compensation to the world body for damages incurred during the December and January war on Gaza. In a Thursday news conference UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon addressed the issue of compensation during the questions period, as he responded to a query on whether or not the UN will demand Israel, as a UN member state, pay its one million dollar dues. “You may know,” Ban added after noting legal experts were addressing the issue of membership dues, “that for the damage and losses of UN facilities and premises [in the Gaza war], I have requested 11. 2 million. ” The request, he added will be “assessed by both the United Nations and the Israeli Government. But there are other issues; [the] loss of lives, and many other related issues, which will be the subject of continuing consultations and discussions. " 

Solidarity Forum to host Gaza reconstruction conference in Turkey
6/13/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – Istanbul will host a Solidarity Forum conference for international businesses to discuss tactics and progress in rebuilding the Gaza Strip after the destructive Israeli war on the area. The conference will be held on 17 and 18 June and see some 2,000 businesspeople join in talks, organizers said. Most discussions will center around creating means to implement reconstruction plans. Head of the reconstruction committee in Gaza, Wael As-Saqa, said 460 projects totaling 300 million US dollars are in the planning stages. These plans, he said, would be pitched at the Istanbul conference for feasibility assessment. 

Palestinian officials: Expect nothing new in Netanyahu speech
6/13/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech on Sunday at Bar Ilan University will add nothing new to the public discourse, leaders of various Palestinian factions said on Saturday. Nafeth Azzam, a senior leader within the Islamic Jihad movement, said that its affiliates "do not expect anything new that would affect the core of Israel's stance and policies. "The speech will be "misleading to the public opinion without adding anything new," he said. Azzam told Ma'an that "it is possible that Netanyahu will respond to recent demands by US President Barack Obama on a two-state solution, but "we do not expect that Netanyahu will approve a halt to settlements and will try to go around the American stance, in addition to presenting some new ones. " Hamas spokesperson Fawzi Barhum said that "Netanyahu’s speech is expected to be misleading to the world public. . . 

Hamas: West Bank leader did not 'hand himself over' to PA security
6/13/2009 - Nablus – Ma’an – Detained Al-Qassam fighter Faze’a Sawafta did not hand himself over to Palestinian Authority police as government officials reported, Hamas leadersattested Saturday. PA police said the fighter and his brother handed themselves in after top-level Egyptian mediator Omar Sulaiman, chief Egyptian intelligence officer, set up a deal where Faze’a would be arrested, questioned, then released on the promise he would abstain from all future political activity. “What really happened,” said a statement from Hamas leaders, “was that over the past two weeks Egyptian Ambassador to the PA in Ramallah Hisham Sharbatli requested to meet with Sawafta and discuss the recent clashes in the West Bank between PA security and Hamas activists. ”The statement said Sawafta agreed to meet with the ambassador after PA security Sharbatli they would not harm him or abduct him. 

Invitations for final unity talks leave Cairo en route to Palestinian factions
6/13/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – Invitations will be sent from Cairo to the secretaries general of all Palestinian factions as well as members of the five committees that participated in earlier talks, sources said. The invitations will be expressly issued for the purpose of “crystallizing the final status of a Fatah-Hamas agreement. ”Sources close to Egyptian mediators said the latest plan from Cairo is to appoint a new committee charged with discussing and proposing a solution to the latest violence in Qalqiliya, as well as any other “urgent issues” that may arise. Rumors have also circulated around the cancellation of the national consensus government committee, after several rounds of talks resulted in no compromise or new ideas from either side. The sources explained that Egypt was adamant that an agreement should be signed on 7 July at the latest. 

De facto government police attack PFLP rally in Gaza; 2 injured, 6 detained
6/13/2009 - Gaza - Ma’an - Two were injured and six detained at a Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) rally calling for an end to bipartisanism in the Palestinian arena in Gaza City on Saturday, party leaders said. PFLP leader Kayid Al-Ghoul said efforts were made to contain the incident and secure the release of the detainees but they remain in custody. “Assaulting the rally was a big mistake which reflects the anti-democratic concepts and attempts to prevent freedom of expression,” Al-Ghoul said. He wondered why de facto government security did not contact PFLP leadership and request changes in the rally rather than opening fire on demonstrators. Participants at the rally were expressing their condemnation for Hamas and Fatah plans to “divide sovereignty between them ignoring other factions. ”The Saturday rally saw member of the PFLP’s Executive Committee Jamil. . . 

Qalqiliya man thought to have H1N1 tests negative
6/13/2009 - Qaliqliya – Ma'an – A Palestinian man displaying symptoms of the H1N1 virus has tested negative, Palestinian medical sources in the northern West Bank city of Qalqiliya said on Saturday. The man was quarantined on Friday night in the city after medical staff at the Darwish Nazal Hospital were alerted to his suspicious condition. However, on Saturday it was confirmed via a blood sample that the man suffers from a normal flu. Meanwhile, a case of the virus popularly referred to as swine flu surfaced in the central West Bank city of Bethlehem on Friday, according to Palestine's High National Committee. The committee said in a statement that the second case of the flu was confirmed in the mother of a four-year-old child who was previously found to be carrying the virus in Bethlehem. The two had reportedly just returned from Texas in the United States, which has seen thousands of confirmed cases of the deadly virus. 

The National

Thousands protest at Iran vote result
13 Jun 2009 - Dozens arrested as opposition supporters take to Tehran's street following Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's landslide victory.

Uncertainty follows too convincing a victory
13 Jun 2009 - Iran is seething with political turmoil and the West is aghast. Hopes of a Tehran spring under a moderate new president seemingly have been dashed.

This time, Syria sees a chance for peace 
13 Jun 2009 - When Syrians talk of the Middle East peace process, they typically do so in tired, jaded tones of a people who have heard many empty words.

Mitchell presses for Palestinian state
12 Jun 2009 - The US Middle East envoy George Mitchell says Washington supports the creation of a Palestinian state 'as soon as possible'.

Mitchell to promote Arab-Israeli peace
12 Jun 2009 - The US Middle East envoy George Mitchell arrives in Syria on today amid renewed efforts to revive stalled Middle East peace talks.

Egypt's Al Azhar to launch moderate' TV channel 
11 Jun 2009 - A new television channel named after the Sunni Muslim world's most respected institute of learning is to be launched this summer.

Tension in Lebanon as factions vie for power
11 Jun 2009 - The governing allies are reaching out to Hizbollah to reduce tensions but will want to strip the group of its parliamentary veto.

Mitchell calls for peace' with Israel 
11 Jun 2009 - The US envoy George Mitchell calls for Arab states to take meaningful steps and important actions to make peace with Israel. 


Poll results prompt Iran protests
13 Jun 2009 - President praises "great victory" amid demonstrations over his election win.

Syria welcomes US envoy Mitchell
13 Jun 2009 - Mitchell says Syria has "integral role to play" in achieving Middle East peace.

Gazans hurt at reconciliation rally
13 Jun 2009 - Pair said to be injured by police amid protest against Palestinian factional divisions.

Peres offers interim borders plan
11 Jun 2009 - Israeli president says a Palestinian state should exist with provisional borders.

Inter Press Service

MIDEAST: Israel Tightens Stranglehold in East Jerusalem 
WADI QADOUM, East Jerusalem, Jun 13 (IPS) - "What are you doing here?" The motorist in the battered white Volvo stops to ask us alongside an overflowing rubbish cart. Residents of this poor Palestinian neighbourhood in occupied East Jerusalem have been burning garbage in a bid to clear the uncollected...

MIDEAST: Palestinians Begin to See Real Hope 
RAMALLAH, Jun 12 (IPS) - Chief Palestinian Authority negotiator Saeb Erekat believes Palestinians are politically in their strongest position ever in their decades-long conflict with the Israelis.

U.S.: Congress Reviews Military Contracts, Kabul Embassy Scandal 
WASHINGTON, Jun 11 (IPS) - Private security guards abandoning their posts at the U.S. embassy in Kabul for up to three and a half hours.

POLITICS: Lebanon’s Election: An International Affair 
WASHINGTON, Jun 11 (IPS) - It was touted as an historic election, a vote to determine the future direction of Lebanon. But even with the winners declared, analysts say the Jun. 7 ballot was far from decisive, and did little to alter the fundamental balance of power in the country.

Stop The Wall

New report: Democratic South Africa’s complicity in Israel’s occupation, colonialism and apartheid
11 Jun 2009 - This report discusses South African economic relations with Israel as well as the related political and institutional framework. Analyzing dozens of cases of commercial ties and political initiatives, it proves once again that trade relations with Israel necessarily require involvement in or complicity with Israeli violations of human rights and international law, including assistance to Israeli occupation, colonialism and apartheid. [
10 Jun 2009 - Last Friday, the weekly popular protest at al-Ma'sara launched a call for support and solidarity with four of its members and one Palestinian from Hebron, whose trials are scheduled to start on June 9. [

PCHR Latest

PCHR Organizes a Workshop on “Road Accidents Caused by Motorcycles”

PCHR Weekly Report

(04- 10 June  2008)
During the reporting period, one Palestinian was killed by IOF in the West Bank. Additionally, IOF wounded 13 Palestinian civilians, including four children and a paramedic, in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

International Solidarity Movement

International solidarity activists protest at Rafah border
International Solidarity Movement - 11 June 2009 - The International Movement to Open the Rafah Border continues the campaign at the Rafah gate. The group consists of David Mattacchioni, Italy; Christian Chantegrel, Micheline Garreau, Jacque Denko, France; Paki Wieland, Ellen Graves, and Don Bryant, USA. These international activists have attempted to enter Gaza since the morning of June 9, but have been denied. The goal of the International Movement to Open the Rafah Border (IMORB) is not only to enter Gaza, but to demand to lift the extended siege. "A humanitarian crisis has been created in Gaza by the siege and the Israeli massacre in December and January. "explained Don Bryant of Cleveland, Ohio. "We were in Gaza three months ago and saw the extreme destruction in every village, refugee camp, and business district. Over 1400 people were killed, 85% were civilians. 

Dexia Israel stops financing Israeli settlements
International Solidarity Movement - 12 June 2009 - The Belgian-French financial group Dexia has announced it will no longer finance Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories through its Israeli branch Dexia Israel. This is the result of a months-long campaign in Belgium, supported by NGO"™s, political parties, local authorities, trade unions and other organisations. Dexia"™s management states that financing Israeli settlements is indeed against the bank"™s code of ethics and it will stop giving loans due to this. A Belgian bank financing Israeli settlements - In 2001 Dexia Group buys the Israeli bank Otzar Hashilton Hamekomi and renames the bank Dexia Public Finance Israel. Just like other Dexia subsidiaries, Dexia Israel is specialised in financing municipalities and other local authorities. It takes until October 2008 for a few Belgian solidarity groups to discover that Dexia Israel. . . 

Israeli forces arrest three solidarity activists in Safa
International Solidarity Movement - 13 June 2009: Israeli forces have arrested 1 Israeli and 2 international solidarity activists in the West Bank village of Safa. Around 7am, Palestinian farmers, accompanied by 15 international and 10 Israeli solidarity activists, attempted to access their land in the village of Safa to pick grape leaves. Located in the north Hebron hills, near the illegal Beit Ayn settlement, Safa is Palestinian owned land. Settlers arrived at the scene and began to throw stones at the Palestinians. Border police were present and witnessed the stone-throwing but did not intervene. After 15 minutes at the site in Safa, the border police declared the area a Closed Military Zone. When the Palestinian, Israeli and international activists began to walk away, the settlers verbally assualted them. Two border police cars arrived and attempted to arrest an Israeli activist. 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

Israel to replace representative at Holocaust claims summit 
13 Jun 2009 - Following complaints about conflicts of interest, the Foreign Ministry is considering sending a minister to represent Israel at the Prague conference on Holocaust assets, instead of a Claims Conference representative. ... 

Shalit family hopes Carter will bring sign of life from Gilad
13 Jun 2009 - Noam Shalit, the father of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit, said yesterday that he hoped former U.S. president Jimmy Carter would be able to get a letter to his son and confirm delivery as early as this week. ... 

Filmmaker behind 'drunk Jews' video denies fueling anti-Semitism
13 Jun 2009 - The controversy surrounding journalist Max Blumenthal continues in the wake of the release of his video of intoxicated American Jews in Jerusalem insulting President Barack Obama, but he rejects the claims that the footage fuels anti-Semitism. ... 

ANALYSIS / Ahmadinejad win was actually preferable for Israel
13 Jun 2009 - Any early bets about the results of Iran's presidential elections bordered on stupidity. Israeli intelligence can predict with certainty only the results of election campaigns in the pseudo-democracies of the Arab world, such as Egypt and Syria, in which the ruler will never drop below a threshold of 99 percent of the voters. ... 

Iranians take to streets in wake of disputed Ahmadinejad victory
13 Jun 2009 - Thousands of people clashed with police on Saturday after the disputed election victory of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sparked the biggest protests in Tehran since the 1979 Islamic revolution. ...

The Guardian

Video: Mahmoud Abu Rideh talks about his time at Belmarsh high-security prison
12 Jun 2009 - Palestinian refugee Mahmoud Abu Rideh talks about his control order, his time at Belmarsh prison and why he feels fully prepared to take his own life

Female suicide bombers: Tamil Tiger teenage girl led the way
11 Jun 2009 - The sudden emergence of female suicide bombers in Iraq in 2007 shocked a country already inured to violence. From late 2007 to late 2008 there were 33 female suicide bombings. In the four preceding years there...

Hamas supporters held in crackdown by Mahmoud Abbas
11 Jun 2009 - Palestinian security forces arrested 36 Hamas supporters, many of them professors and students, the Islamist group said today. The sweep is part of an apparent effort by the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, to show he is...

Israel pushes out its own people | Dimi Reider
10 Jun 2009 - Netanyahu's insistence on the term 'Jewish state' signals a rejection of Israeli Palestinians as rightful citizens Whenever Barack Obama speaks of the Middle East these days, there's one thing that worries "senior Israeli officials" most. "He...

Ha'aretz National page

Rightist MKs seek compulsory Zionism lessons in Israeli schools
13 Jun 2009 - The Ministerial Committee on Legislation is to discuss on Sunday a bill proposed by a group of Yisrael Beiteinu MKs to require Land of Israel studies and Zionism in Israel's official schools. ...

Yossi Verter / Netanyahu speech is Israeli spin at its worst
13 Jun 2009 - Before the speech was delivered, before the earth shook, before history changed its course, everything already looked like a farce. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's much-awaited speech is already looking like Israeli partisan spin at its worst. ... 

Five gay couples wed in ceremony on Tel Aviv beach
13 Jun 2009 - Five gay couples wed Friday in a ceremonial marriage on Tel Aviv beach, at the culmination of the city's 11th annual Gay Pride Parade, which saw more than 20,000 people take to the streets to promote gay rights. ...

Secular Jerusalemites: We will not cave in to Haredi pressure
13 Jun 2009 - Around 300 secular Jerusalemites rallied in Israel's capital Saturday to protest the recent decision by Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat to close a parking lot on Shabbat in the wake of violent protests recently by Haredi demonstrators in the city. ...

J Street blasts 'distorted' poll that says Israelis against settlement freeze
11 Jun 2009 - The pro-Israel group J Street on Friday blasted a poll released earlier this week that said a majority of Israelis are against a settlement freeze, calling the poll 'politically motivated and distorted'. ...

Relief Web

Press conference by President of sixty-fourth General Assembly session
12 Jun 2009 - Source: UN Department of Public Information

OPT: New gas and fuel pipeline between Israel and Gaza Strip
12 Jun 2009 - Source: Government of Israel

Israel: Stop demolishing Palestinian homes
12 Jun 2009 - Source: Human Rights Watch

OPT: UN concern grows over Israeli blockade of Gaza crossings
12 Jun 2009 - Source: UN News Service

The Government of Sweden and UNDP sign a 6.24 million dollar agreement targeting rule of law in the oPt
12 Jun 2009 - Source: UN Development Programme

OPT: Commissioner-General's opening remarks at the 10th Conference of International Investigators
12 Jun 2009 - Source: UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East

Civil society makes voices heard during UN Public Forum in Support of Palestinian People
12 Jun 2009 - Source: UN General Assembly

OPT: Mediators await Netanyahu speech, hoping for change
12 Jun 2009 - Source: Reuters - AlertNet

YNet News

FM: No compromises with Iran
13 Jun 2009 - Avigdor Lieberman and other ministers stress Iran is still world's largest threat following elections

Clashes erupt in Iran over disputed election
13 Jun 2009 - After Mousavi rejects election results as rigged, urges supporters to resist Ahmadinejad's regime of 'lies and dictatorship', demonstrators stage sit-in at Tehran square; police beat protestors with clubs, Al-Arabiya says at least three dead 

Jerusalem: Seculars protest decision to close parking lot on Shabbat
13 Jun 2009 - Protest follows mayor's decision to keep parking lot closed on Saturdays while he holds talks with haredim over alternative lots

Syria, Hamas welcome Ahmadinejad victory 
13 Jun 2009 - Assad expresses 'confidence in continued strengthening of Damascus-Tehran relations', while spokesman for Palestinian terror group says 'West must respect choice of Iranian people'; Jimmy Carter says expects no change in US policy towards Iran 

US says Syria has key Mideast peace role 
13 Jun 2009 - After meeting Assad, special Mideast envoy Mitchell tells reporters countries share obligation 'to create conditions for negotiations to begin promptly and end successfully'


Bring the shooter in Hebron to justice
7 Jun 2009 - In December '08, settler Ze'ev Braude was filmed shooting and wounding three Palestinians in Hebron. On 8 June '09, it was reported that, following a Supreme Court order that the state reveal privileged evidence in the case, the indictment against Braude 

Investigation closed in case of Susiya settler attack
6 Jun 2009 - On 8 June '08, four settlers clubbed Palestinian shepherds near Susiya. A relative of the victims documented the attack with a B'Tselem camera. Recently, the Hebron police closed the investigation on grounds of "offender unknown".

Daily Star

Mousavi claims victory in Iranian polls 
12 Jun 2009 - Former prime minister Mirhossein Mousavi said he was the "definite winner" in Iran's presidential election on Friday against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. "I am the definite winner of this presidential election," he told a news conference in Tehran.He noted that many voters had not been able to cast their ballots even. 

'Israelis routinely abuse, torture Palestinian minors' 
12 Jun 2009 - Palestinian minors arrested by Israeli forces are routinely mistreated and at times tortured, and are denied a fair trial, an international children's-rights group said on Thursday. "From the moment of arrest, Palestinian children encounter ill-treatment and in some cases torture at the hands of Israeli soldiers, policemen and interrogators," Defense for Children International said.

Netanyahu under pressure to resist US call for two states 
12 Jun 2009 - The heat is on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from within his own right-wing party to resist US pressure and not utter the words "Palestinian state" in a keenly awaited policy speech. "The expression Palestinian state should not be used," Likud MP Miri Regev said Thursday, echoing the sentiment of several.

Palestinian Information Center

Sabri: Israel's settlement drive in Jerusalem would only stop under big pressure
13 Jun 2009 - Sheikh Ekrema Sabri, the head of the higher Islamic authority in Palestine, has said that Jerusalem is an Arab, Islamic city and none is authorized to give up one inch of it.

OCHA: Israel still imposes restrictions on the entry of vital goods to Gaza
13 Jun 2009 - The UN office for the coordination of humanitarian affairs (OCHA) on Friday said that Israel still imposes restrictions on the flow of vital goods and needs from and into the besieged Gaza Strip

Nazzal: The national dialog reached a deadlock
13 Jun 2009 - Mohamed Nazzal, a senior official of the Hamas political bureau, said Saturday that the national dialog reached an impasse as a result of the violations committed by the PA security..

Hamas: Iranian election results reflect people's aspirations
13 Jun 2009 - Hamas on Saturday said that the Iranian presidential election results reflected the people's support for the Iranian policy of challenge and a true reflection of democracy.

Legal center holds Israel responsible for life of Saadat
13 Jun 2009 - The prisoners' center for studies on Saturday asked all Palestinian forces and factions to declare solidarity with Ahmed Saadat, the secretary general of the PFLP.

PA security carries out intensive raids on Tulkarem homes in search of fighters
13 Jun 2009 - A large number of PA security elements waged on Friday intensive raids on dozens of homes in Tulkarem and its refugee camp in search of Palestinian resistance fighters..

Two wounded, many others suffer suffocation in peaceful anti wall march
13 Jun 2009 - Two demonstrators were wounded, one of them a foreign peace activist, when IOF troops fired rubber-coated bullets and gas canisters at the weekly peaceful anti-wall march in Bil'in village.

Death of sick Palestinian brings to 392 the number of siege victims
13 Jun 2009 - A 45-year-old Palestinian was pronounced dead in northern Gaza after failure to travel outside the Gaza Strip to seek treatment for his chronic disease.

IOA municipality forces two Jerusalemites to flatten parts of their homes
13 Jun 2009 - The Israeli occupation authority controlled municipality of Jerusalem has forced two Palestinian families in occupied Jerusalem to flatten parts of their homes with their own hands.

Jibril: No progress in Cairo dialog
13 Jun 2009 - Ahmed Jibril, the secretary general of the popular front for the liberation of Palestine – general command, has said that there was no real progress in the inter-Palestinian national dialog in Cairo.

Los Angeles Times

Ahmadinejad poised to win reelection in Iran 
13 Jun 2009 - The Iranian president has two-thirds of the votes with 75% of ballots counted. His rival Mir-Hossein Mousavi alleges irregularities, saying he has won the election. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad holds a decisive lead in his reelection bid, Iran's Interior Ministry said this morning, while his main rival claimed victory and alleged election irregularities. 

Amid protest, L.A. voters take part in Iran election 
13 Jun 2009 - A small group of demonstrators outside a Westside hotel condemns expatriates casting ballots within. As scores of expatriates showed up at a designated West Los Angeles polling station Friday to cast ballots in Iran's presidential election, a small group of demonstrators protested outside and denounced them for helping to legitimize "a fascist regime." 

Obama's resolve on Mideast facing a history of blunt reality 
12 Jun 2009 - As President Obama launches a bold new peace effort, like his predecessors he will be limited by regional leaders -- and especially now, with conditions unfavorable for a sweeping initiative. Infuriated by pressure from Washington, Israel's prime minister summoned the American ambassador. 

New York Times

Protests Roil Tehran After Disputed Vote
13 Jun 2009 - The streets of Iran’s capital erupted in the most intense protests in a decade after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s re-election, as the police clashed with supporters of Mir Hussein Moussavi, the top opposition candidate. 

Memo From Tehran: Reverberations as Door Slams on Hope of Change
13 Jun 2009 - From the streets of Tehran to Western capitals, Iran’s election ended with smoldering anger, crushed hopes and punctured illusions. 

Obama Administration Officials Say Efforts to Engage Iran Will Move Forward
13 Jun 2009 - The White House’s cautious reaction reflected the likelihood that it would be forced to pursue its diplomatic initiative with a familiar and implacable foe. 


Israel pushes out its own people 
Dimi Reider, The Guardian, International Solidarity Movement 6/13/2009
      Whenever Barack Obama speaks of the Middle East these days, there’s one thing that worries "senior Israeli officials" most. "He didn’t say ‘Jewish state’," they mutter to reporters. "He had all the time to say these two words, and didn’t. Why didn’t he?" 
     Binyamin Netanyahu himself utters this phrase at every opportunity. He even went as far as turning this coveted idea into a precondition for negotiating with the Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas, before being shushed by Washington. 
     But why this sudden insistence on what is supposed to be an internal Israeli matter, the self-definition of the state? As Abbas rightly commented, Israel can call itself the Hebrew Socialist Republic for all he cares. Why bring up this internal matter with Obama and Abbas, Israel’s primary foreign policy objectives? 
     The truth is that Netanyahu is speaking neither to Abbas nor to Obama. He is speaking to world public opinion, as he prepares for confrontation with a fourth party to the conflict, one that is as crucial as it is overlooked: the Israeli-Palestinian minority.
     Israeli Palestinians, most of them native Palestinians who remained in what became Israel after 1948, constitute 21% of the population. Their very existence poses a critical reality check on Israel’s self-perception as Jewish and democratic, and if one throws in the population of the West Bank and Gaza, the proportion of Jews in Israeli-controlled areas shrinks to a mere 51%.

Israel obstructs UN Gaza probe 
Amira Howeidy, Al-Ahram Weekly 6/11/2009
     Adding insult to injury, Israel blocks the work of UN investigators charged with ascertaining if it committed war crimes in its New Year Gaza offensive, Amira Howeidy reports 
     June 12, 2009
     Israel is defying the United Nations again. A UN fact-finding mission on the war on Gaza was denied access to Israel and the occupied West Bank leaving investigators with no option but to limit their work to within the coastal Strip.
     The mission was formed in April by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) with a mandate to investigate "all violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law" that might have been committed "during, before or after" Israel’s war on Gaza from 27 December 2008 to 18 January 2009. The 22-day war on besieged Gaza killed more than 1,400 Palestinians, destroyed much of the Strip’s infrastructure, and was marked by the use of white phosphorous in densely populated areas.
     On 12 January -- 16 days into the war -- the UNHRC issued a non-binding resolution that accused Israel of "massive violations of the human rights of the Palestinian people". It also decided to dispatch an "urgent" independent international fact-finding mission to investigate alleged violations. The mission’s findings were due to be presented to the council’s session in March.
     Far from the required urgency stated in the January resolution, the mission was formed as late as 3 April and started its work 4 May. Headed by veteran judge Richard Goldstone, former member of the South African Constitutional Court and former chief prosecutor of the international criminal tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, the mission decided to visit "affected areas", including Gaza, the West Bank and Southern Israel. After Israel denied it entry, the mission visited Gaza -- via Egypt -- from 1-5 June.

Electronic Intifada
Some unclean drops to drink
12 Jun 2009 - FAQUA, occupied West Bank (IPS) - Faqua village has found itself unfortunately named. Faqua in Arabic means spring water bubbles; the village was named after the abundant natural underground springs that were once found all around it. Faqua's problems started in 1948 with the establishment of Israel, when 24,000 of Faqua's 36,000 dunams of land (a dunam is the equivalent of 1,000 square meters) and most of the underground springs were appropriated by the new Jewish state. 

"Security threat": An attempt to visit family in Ramallah
12 Jun 2009 - Taking the first bus of the day, my wife and I arrived on the Israeli side of the King Hussein bridge crossing into the West Bank from Jordan. We explained that we were heading to Ramallah to visit my wife's mother and brothers for three weeks. We performed the exact same procedure last year without incident. However, this year I was told to wait. Asa Winstanley writes from the UK. 

No work in Nahr al-Bared camp
12 Jun 2009 - Mohammad and Mahmoud sat on an idle field on the edge of the Palestinian refugee camp of Nahr al-Bared in northern Lebanon. While Mahmoud sang to the songs being played on his mobile phone, Mohammad used his for gaming. Mohammad looked up and explained, "We spend our days doing nothing. We get up and sit at the cafe for a few hours. Then we go home and pray. We gather again and return to the cafe. There we sit until the evening. Every day passes like this." Ray Smith reports on the dire economic conditions in Nahr al-Bared. 

Village sues Canada companies cashing in on occupation
11 Jun 2009 - The small Palestinian village of Bilin will face-off this month against two Canadian corporations accused of aiding and abetting the colonization of the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Bilin has charged Green Park International and Green Mount International with illegally constructing residential buildings and other settlement infrastructure on village territory, and marketing such structures to the civilian population of the State of Israel. Deborah Guterman reports. 

In Gaza
Gaza’s hospitals short of surgeons and supplies
11 Jun 2009 - The Electronic Intifada , 11 June 2009 Dr. Nasser Tatter in his office at Gaza’s Shifa hospital. (Eva Bartlett) One of the most densely populated places on earth only has two cardiac surgeons to serve its entire population. According to Dr. Nasser Tatter, head of Shifa hospital’s cardiology unit, that only explains part of the medical crisis that exists in the Gaza Strip today. “We are in bad need for cardiac surgeons,” said Dr. Tatter, further explaining that one of the two surgeons is ill and unable to perform surgeries. The second, Tatter added, isn’t able to work independently, rendering Gaza devoid of specialists able to perform open heart surgery. Dr....

Palestine Chronicle
Netanyahu Beginning to Sweat
12 Jun 2009 - By Neve Gordon Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is beginning to sweat. Notwithstanding the agreement between President Barack Obama and Netanyahu on issues such as the recognition of Israel as a Jewish state and the insistence that the Palestinians renounce violence, there are currently points of serious contention between the two leaders. These include Obama’s position that the two-state solution is the only way to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, his demand that Israel stop building settlements and his intimation that all the settlements are illegal. Other points of strife include Obama’s call for regional nuclear non-proliferation (which, in effect, assumes that Israel’s nuclear capacity will be part of the negotiations with Iran), his recognition of the plight of Palestinians, including the refugees, and his claim that Hamas is a legitimate rather than a terrorist organization. So far Obama’s challenges to Israel have been theoretical, and the only substantive demand that Washington has made involves the 100 or so Jewish outposts in the West Bank. Reiterating President Bush’s directive, Obama recently asked Netanyahu to begin dismantling the outposts. Legally the outposts are just like the 121 settlements (namely, they are all illegal), only the outposts were built following the 1993 Oslo accords, and, as opposed to the settlements, which are now home to close to half a million Jews or about 7 percent of Israel’s citizenry, almost all the outposts are extremely sparsely populated with less than a dozen people in each one. Netanyahu did not refuse, but instead of carrying...

Carter Meets the Ayatollah the CIA Once Tried to Kill
12 Jun 2009 - By Franklin Lamb – Dahiyeh, Beirut "I will try to get you off the US Terrorism list if you can arrange a meeting for me with Hassan Nasrallah." - Jimmy Carter reportedly joking to Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah at their 6/9/09 meeting. Some readers may recall a December 15, 2008 Report in Counterpunch entitled "Why Hezbollah Stiffed Carter." The former American President was in Beirut at the time to announce the Center’s Election Monitoring project and was disappointed when Hezbollah’s Mohammad Raad told the media that the National Lebanese Resistance would not be meeting with him. Carter wrote in his December 19, 2008 Report to the Carter Center: "This (recent trip to Lebanon-ed.) was something like a presidential visit in that we had long conversations with top officials, cabinet members and delegations of the many political parties. Hezbollah refrained from meeting with us but expressed approval of our election monitoring". This observer was advised as Carter departed Lebanon last time, that “the Carter-Hezbollah problem” was not really serious, but rather that the very short notice did not allow for the necessary logistics and details to be worked out to Hezbollah’s standards. Dahiyeh was not off limits to the former US President and indeed Carter has plenty of Hezbollah admirers, despite the 1979 Camp David Accords, based partly on his human rights work his candid admissions of earlier US errors in Lebanon, the region, and even Iran. It was also learned that Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah would have welcomed a December...

Operation Cast Lead: War Crimes against Children
12 Jun 2009 - By Stephen Lendman – Chicago Following Israel's Operation Cast Lead, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) documented the toll on Gaza's children and published it in May. It did so "in response to the unprecedented number of children who were killed (and injured) by (the Israeli Defense Forces) during the offensive on Gaza." According to international standards, the Convention on the Rights of the Child's (CRC) definition was used to apply to anyone under age 18. PCHR reviewed IDF killing of Gaza's children since the beginning of the Second Intifada in September 2000, then focused on the 313 youth deaths during the recent conflict. Its evidence comes from eye-witness accounts of the willful targeting of civilians, including women and children. Also covered are the psychological scars and "alarming scale of physical injuries" leaving some children blind and many others (as well as adults) permanently disabled by the loss of limbs and psychological trauma. PCHR's report bears testimony to Israel's contempt for international laws, its imperial agenda, culture of violence, disdain for peace, genocidal intentions, disparagement of Arabs and Islam, and its scorn for Palestinian lives and welfare. PCHR presented 13 case studies in its report. Briefly discussed below, they represent a small fraction of the many hundreds killed and thousands more grievously harmed. Introduction Since the September 2000 Second Intifada, Israeli forces killed 1179 children, including 865 in Gaza as part of a decades-long policy of collectively punishing millions of Palestinians in the Occupied Territories, mostly civilian men, women,...

Why March 14 Won Lebanon's Elections
12 Jun 2009 - By Rannie Amiri The results of Lebanon's June 7 parliamentary elections are in. And defying expectations, the U.S., Israel, and Saudi-backed "March 14" Alliance managed to maintain its majority in the Chamber of Deputies and claim victory. This came as a relative surprise since many had predicted the "March 8" Alliance of Hezbollah, Amal, and the Free Patriotic Movement of Michel Aoun would ultimately triumph. Of parliament’s 128 seats, split evenly among Muslims and Christians, March 14 won 68 and March 8, 57. Three independent candidates will apparently be siding with the former giving them a total of 71; a net gain of one over the previous 70-58 distribution. Twenty-seven seats in parliament are allocated to Shia Muslims and as expected, all went to the March 8 Alliance. Similarly, of the 27 allotted to Sunni Muslims, all went to March 14. It was the Christian vote therefore – particularly the Maronite one – which ultimately tipped the balance in favor of the pro-Western coalition to the delight of the U.S. and their Arab allies. Lost in the jubilation among the supporters of Saad Hariri, head of the largest party in the March 14 Alliance and its de facto head, was that the Hezbollah-led opposition handily won the popular vote. It can be factually stated that the majority of Lebanese did not vote for the March 14 group. Although certainly not insignificant, due to the distribution of seats based on electoral district, this does not change the outcome of the contest....

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