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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
15 June , 2009


International Middle East Media Center

Blair welcomes the speech of Netanyahu, demands Hamas to change its policies
16 Jun 2009 - Quartet’s special envoy for the Middle East, Tony Blair, welcomed the speech of Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu and considered it a step forward. He also called on Hamas to change its policies but did not mention the ongoing Israel siege on Gaza. 

Qorea': "No peace talks without halting settlements, accepting two-state solution"
16 Jun 2009 - Senior Fateh leader, Ahmad Qorea', Abu Ala', stated Monday that the Palestinian leadership rejects the speech of Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and added that the Palestinians are determined to establish their state with East Jerusalem as its capital. 

PPP calls for ending political arrests
16 Jun 2009 - The Palestinian People Party (PPP) expressed sorrow for the death of Haitham Amro, a Hamas prisoner who died at a Palestinian prison in Hebron, and called for ending all political arrests in Gaza and the West Bank. 

Carter to meet Haniyya Tuesday
16 Jun 2009 - The Media Office of the dissolved Ministry of Interior in Gaza reported Monday that the former US president, Jimmy Carter, will be holding a meeting with Hamas leader, Ismail Haniyya, in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday. 

The Israeli military kidnaps nine Palestinians during invasions in the West Bank
15 Jun 2009 - Nine Palestinian civilians were kidnapped on Monday by the Israeli military during pre dawn invasions targeting a number of West Bank communities.

Health Ministry: 3 patients die in Gaza due to the siege, death toll 343
15 Jun 2009 - Three Palestinian patients died on Monday due to the ongoing Israeli siege imposed on the Gaza Strip, the Health Ministry reported.

Israeli Court acquits a soldier who killed an Arab man in 2006
15 Jun 2009 - An Israeli court acquitted on Monday morning an Israeli soldier who shot and killed an Arab man in Ar’ara area, near Um Al Fahim Arab town, in 2006. 

Carter tells West Bank settlers that he envisions their settlement to be in Israeli hands for ever
15 Jun 2009 - Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter met with settler leaders from the Gush Etzion settlement bloc on Sunday and told them that he believed that their settlement is among the ones which should be able to remain under a final peace deal with the Palestinians. 

Political prisoner dies in P.A prison
15 Jun 2009 - Palestinian security sources in the West Bank reported that a political prisoner from Hebron, in the southern part of the West Bank, died on Monday at dawn at a Palestinian prison in the city. 

Hamas, Fateh agree to end political arrests
15 Jun 2009 - Delegates of both Fateh and Hamas movements holding parallel talks in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank agreed Sunday to end all political arrests and to act on resolving the remaining issues that are obstructing a unity deal. 

Abu Rodeina: "Netanyahu's speech, a deadly blow to peace"
15 Jun 2009 - Nabil Abu Rodeina, spokesperson of the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, stated Sunday that the speech of Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, regarding peace in the Middle East, is disappointing and a deadly blow to the peace process. 

Israel fires missiles at Palestinian neighborhood in Rafah, injuring 4; Palestinians fire projectile
15 Jun 2009 - At midnight Saturday, the Israeli airforce launched a number of air-to-surface missiles at a Palestinian neighborhood located near the Gaza-Egypt border. Local residents reported that four Palestinians were wounded in the attack. 

Ha'aretz Defense page

Palestinian court convicts West Bank woman as Israel collaborator
15 Jun 2009 - Woman received life sentence with hard labor, claimed was forced into prostitution by her husband. 

Carter: Israel won't need to give up Gush Etzion settlements
14 Jun 2009 - After meeting settler leaders, ex-U.S. president says visit to bloc gave him fresh perspective on the issue. 

Israel suffered massive cyber attack during Gaza offensive
14 Jun 2009 - Attack, which focused on government Web sites, was executed by at least half a million computers. 

Two East Jerusalem journalists jailed for reporting for Iran
14 Jun 2009 - Reporters gave real-time updates on the start of the IDF's ground offensive in the Gaza Strip. 

Poll: Most Israelis could live with a nuclear Iran
14 Jun 2009 - 80% of Israeli Jews say nuclear Iran wouldn't affect their lives, but 59% back IDF strike if diplomacy fails. 

Israel launches naval center to combat pirate attacks
14 Jun 2009 - Search and rescue center to be manned by ex-Israel Navy officers, will also deal with marine pollution. 

IAF bombs Gaza smuggling tunnels after Qassam hits Negev
14 Jun 2009 - Two weapons-smuggling tunnels hit after first Qassam in four weeks exploded in Negev on Saturday. 

Report: U.S. technology helped uncover Israel spy ring in Lebanon
13 Jun 2009 - Arab media reports come after over 20 said to have been been charged with spying for Israel in Lebanon. 

Ma'an News

Hamas detainee dies in PA custody
6/15/2009 - Hebron – Ma’an – A Hamas-affiliated detainee died on Monday morning in the custody of Palestinian General Intelligence Service (GIS) in Hebron in the southern West Bank, PA security sources said. Hamas immediately accused PA security services of torturing and killing the detainee. An informed security source told Ma’an that the 33-year-old detainee, Haytham Amr, was taken into custody on Thursday 11 June, but attempted to escape by jumping from a second floor. He was taken to a hospital where he died of wounds sustained from the fall. Spokesperson of the Palestinian security services, Adnan Dmeiri, said an investigation committee was formed to examine the incident. He said he would prefer that no one makes claims about the cause of death until forensic medicine examines the corpse and finalizes its report. 

Fighters detonate device near Israeli patrol in north Gaza
6/15/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – A joint group of Palestinian fighters affiliated to three militant wingsclaimed responsibility on Monday morning for detonating an explosive device near an Israeli military jeep in northern Gaza. The groups, Fatah's Al-Aqsa Brigades, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine's Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, and Islamic Jihad's Al-Quds Brigades said they worked together on the operation east of Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza. In a joint statement, the military groups said the operation came "in retaliation for Israeli atrocities against the Palestinian people everywhere. "[end] 

Gaza man gunned down in Khan Younis
6/15/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – Gunmen riding in a black Mercedes shot a 27-year-old Palestinian dead in the street in Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip on Monday. According to Muawiya Hassanein, the director of Ambulance and Emergency services in the Palestinian Health Ministry, Luay Nijmah, from Abraj Al-Karameh in northern Gaza, was killed instantly in the shooting. A female pedestrian was also seriously injured by the gunfire, he said. Witnesses said police chased the car through the streets of Khan Younis and later arrested the assailants in the valley area in the central Gaza Strip. The attackers were taken from interrogation. [end] 

Settlers burn Palestinian farmland near Nablus
6/15/2009 - Nablus – Ma’an – Dozens of Israeli settlers set fire to more than 25 dunums (25,000 square meters) of wheat fields owned by Palestinians from the village of Al-Lubban Ash-Sharqiya. Ghassan Dughlus a Palestinian official dealing with settlements in the northern West Bank said that the settlers came from the settlement of Eli, and torched farmland owned by Issa Hassan Ewis, Muhammad Hussein Ewis, Ref’at Esmael Daraghmeh and Muhammad Abdel Rahman Ewis. Dughlus also said that Israeli soldiers delivered a demolition order to a Palestinian man, Azimi Salim Ahmad Bani Jaber, in the At-Tawilah area nea rthe village of Aqraba. The house is to be destroyed within 48 hours. Settlers in the Nablus area have increased attacks on Palestinians in recent weeks, angered over the Israeli government’s decision to crack down on unauthorized settler outposts. 

Hamas fighter dies in Egypt
6/15/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – The Hamas fighter who died in an Egyptian hospital on Monday was brought back to Gaza via the Rafah border crossing. Yasser Aarafat Shbeir, 27, a member of Hamas’ Al-Qassam Brigades from Jabaliya Refugee Camp, was wounded during Israel’s three-week long assault on Gaza in December and January and sent to Egypt for treatment. Hundreds of people attended Shbeir’s funeral in Jabaliya. The mourners carried his body from the Rashedin Mosque through the streets of Jabaliya and neighboring Beit Lahiya, before the burial. Hamas member Basel Abu Al-Qumsan said during the funeral, “this day we say goodbye to a Qassam knight and great fighter who lost his soul for the sake of the land. ”

Hamas: Netanyahu’s speech reflected his racism
6/15/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – The Hamas movement described Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech on Sunday evening as reflective of his inherent racism. The movement dismissed Netanyahu's demand that Palestinians "recognize Palestine as pure Jewish land, denying the Palestinian people any rights on their land. " Palestinians generally dismiss recognizing Israel as a "Jewish state," due to the fact that about one quarter of the country's population is either Muslim or Christian. In a statement commenting on Netanyahu's speech, Hamas said all the Israeli leader offered was a Palestinian state without identity and sovereignty, without Jerusalem, and without the right of return for Palestinian refugees. Instead, according to the Hamas statement, Netanyahu insisted on keeping settlements and offering the Arab world only economic peace in return for normalization and recognition of Israel. 

Top PLO negotiator: Netanyahu wants to dictate his own solution
6/15/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Chief Palestinian Negotiator Dr Saeb Erakat on Sunday said that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech at Bar-Ilan University set further preconditions for negotiations and, in effect, announced Israel’s intention to unilaterally dictate a solution, rather than negotiate a peace. "Benjamin Netanyahu spoke about negotiations, but left us with nothing to negotiate as he systematically took nearly every permanent status issue off the table. Nor did he accept a Palestinian state; instead, he announced a series of conditions and qualifications that render a viable, independent and sovereign Palestinian state impossible," Dr Erakat said. "He blamed Palestinians for their own occupation, and then imposed a set of preconditions for negotiations that demand Palestinians give up their inalienable rights and surrender their national aspirations for a sovereign and independent Palestinian state," Erekat added. 

Twenty Gaza children travel to Latvia for treatment
6/15/2009 - Ramallah – Ma’an – Twenty Palestinian children who were injured during last winter’s Israeli offensive against Gaza will head to Latvia on Monday for medical treatment. The Palestinian president’s office coordinated with the Palestinian embassy in Cairo to meet the children at the Rafah crossing en route to Egypt in order to arrange their departure to Latvia. The Gaza-based charity ATA shortlisted the 20 children based on their urgent medical needs. Some of the children had limbs amputated, while others suffer from deep depression resulting from the trauma of the war. [end] 

PA police discover explosive device at home near Hebron
6/15/2009 - Hebron – Ma’an – Palestinian police in the southern West Bank city of Hebron announced on Sunday that they seized explosives at a home owned by a Hamas member in the town of Ash-Shuyukh. Director of Hebron police Ramadan Awad said police intelligence received information and immediately headed to the area to find a 35-kilogram explosive device ready to be detonated. Other explosive material was found in the house, which is located in a very densely populated neighborhood. Awad explained that police sappers dismantled the explosive device and detained suspects. The initial interrogation demonstrated that that the suspects were Hamas affiliates, he added. [end] 

Nablus woman convicted of collaborating with Israeli intelligence
6/15/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an - A Palestinian court in the northern West Bank city of Jenin sentenced a woman on Monday to 20 years hard labor after she was found guilty of collaboration with Israel. The woman, who was referred to as T. M. T. , aged 22 from Nablus, admitted before the court that she worked as a spy for Israeli intelligence, monitoring and passing information about resistance fighters. The issue of collaborators is sensitive in Palestinian society because fighters have been jailed and killed by Israeli forces based on information supplied by spies, who have in the past been blackmailed by the country's intelligence services. The woman claimed her divorcee played a role in forcing her into prostitution, although she began collaborating with Israeli intelligence after she was divorced. According to Abd An-Nasser Abu ‘Oun, from Jenin's prosecution office, the woman. . . 

Israeli soldiers seize two Jihad men in Jenin area
6/15/2009 - Jenin – Ma’an – Islamic Jihad said that Israeli soldiers seized two of its members from their homes in the northern West Bank early on Monday morning. The movement said in a statement received by Ma’an that Israeli troops overran the eastern neighborhood of the city of Jenin and arrested Muhammad Al-Kutt, who was released recently by Israel, and Amid Ammour from the village of Rumanah, south of Jenin. [end] 

Blair in Gaza, Carter to follow
6/15/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – Quartet Envoy Tony Blair arrived on a surprise visit to the Gaza Strip on Monday, his second since Hamas took control of the territory and he assumed his current role. Blair’s office said that he planned to hold talks with local NGOs, business and the UN’s relief agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA. "I have returned to Gaza today to hear directly from local Palestinians about the tough situation they continue to face here. It is vitally important to maintain our focus on the genuine humanitarian concerns that still exist here in Gaza,” the former British prime minister said in a statement. It is likely that Blair will not meet with the Hamas-led de facto government in Gaza, which is boycotted by the Quartet, a diplomatic grouping of the US, UN, EU, and Russia. On his last visit to Gaza, Blair visited a sewage treatment project he is supporting in the town of Beit Hanoun without meeting Hamas. 

Three Gaza crossings open
6/15/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – Israel opened three crossing points with the besieged Gaza Strip on Monday for limited shipments of goods and fuel, according to Palestinian border coordination official Raed FattouhBetween 120 to 132 truckloads of supplies would be allowed through the Kerem Shalom crossing, Fattouh said, in addition to unspecified amounts of cooking gas and industrial fuel, which were transferred through the Nahal Oz crossing. Truckloads of wheat and animal feed were also allowed through the Karni crossing, he said. [end] 

Obama: Still ’long way to go’ toward Palestine-Israel peace
6/15/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - US President Barack Obama called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech on Sunday "an important step forward," but also acknowledged that there is “a long way to go. ”White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs on Sunday said that Obama "welcomes the important step forward in Prime Minister Netanyahu's speech. The President is committed to two states, a Jewish state of Israel and an independent Palestine, in the historic homeland of both peoples. " Gibbs then told reporters aboard the Air Force One presidential jet on Monday that "The president believes that there's a long way to go and many twists and turns in the road to get there, but is pleased thus far with the progress that's being made, and I think yesterday's speech certainly is a big part of that," according to Reuters. "The President will continue working with all parties - Israel,. . . 

PRC: Netanyahu speech showed racist views toward Palestinians
6/15/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – The militant Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) in Gaza said on Monday that Benjamin Netanyahu’s foreign policy speech reflected his racism and opposition to Palestinians’ rights. The spokesperson of the PRC, Abu Mujahid, called on the Palestinian Authority to cut all ties with Israel and to give more attention to the Palestinian cause and restoring national unity. Abu Mujahid said that Netanyahu’s speech “brought nothing positive to Palestinians,” recognizing none of their rights, especially the right to resistance. Earlier Hamas criticized the speech in similar terms, decrying its racism. Top Palestinian Authority officials also dismissed the address as a rejection of the peace process. 

Hamas police seize thousands of pills in Rafah
6/15/2009 - Gaza - Ma’an – Palestinian police in Gaza said that they seized 82,000 illegal pills and arrested those in possession, in the city of Rafah on Monday. The director of the anti-drug unit in the Gaza police, Jamil Ad-Dahshan, said in a statement that the two suspects, identified by the initials A. Sh and M. Sh, were arrested after an investigation. He also said the seizure was a joint operation between the coastal patrol unit and the anti-drug unit. [end] 

The National

Shots fired at Iran protest
15 Jun 2009 - A demonstrator has been shot dead and several others seriously wounded at mass anti-Ahmadinejad protest in central Tehran, says press photographer.

Netanyahu endorses Palestinian independence
14 Jun 2009 - The Israeli prime minister endorses the idea of an independent Palestinian state for the first time.

Egypt moves to increase female MPs
14 Jun 2009 - Many welcome the 'positive discrimination' but some doubt whether it can have an impact given the country's strong conservative streak.


'One shot dead' at Iran protest
15 Jun 2009 - One person reported killed in shooting at banned pro-opposition rally.

Obama 'troubled' by Iran violence
15 Jun 2009 - US president urges against violence but says world is inspired by Iranian demonstrators.

US Iran adviser to move from post
15 Jun 2009 - Dennis Ross to leave state department amid Iran's reported objections over ties to Israel.

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.


YEMEN: Impediments to speedier development 
SANAA Thursday, June 11, 2009 (IRIN) - Yemen, the poorest country in the Middle East, has made some progress in terms of development but its pace has been slow, Pratibha Mehta, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) resident representative in the country, has told IRIN. 

IRAQ: Appeal for help to clear landmines 
BAGHDAD Monday, June 08, 2009 (IRIN) - Iraqi Environment Minister Narmin Othman has appealed for more international support to clear the country of landmines and unexploded ordnance (UXO). 

LEBANON: Elections entrench sectarian divisions, analysts say 
BEIRUT Sunday, June 07, 2009 (IRIN) - Sectarianism is playing a more central role in Lebanon’s highly contested parliamentary elections on 7 June, which analysts say could see the country facing increased political instability.

Inter Press Service

MIDEAST: Netanyahu Offer a 'Big Zero' 
RAMALLAH, Jun 15 (IPS) - Yasser Abed Rabbo, secretary of the Palestine Liberation Organisation's executive committee, and a close confidant of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, has dismissed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's foreign policy speech Sunday night as a big zero.

MIDEAST: Peace Talk Without Peace Vision 
TEL AVIV, Jun 15 (IPS) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's much anticipated policy speech about his peace intentions was suffused with peace rhetoric, but it was starkly short on a peace vision.

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.

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

(15 June) Detainee Dies in the GIS Prison in Hebron

(15 June) Policemen Fire on Peaceful Demonstration Injuring Three Civilians"

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

Bedouin family to search for the body of their missing son
International Solidarity Movement - A Bedouin teenager – Ahmed Salama Eid Abu Hashish, 18 – from the border area east of Beit Hanoun has been missing since 21st April, 2009. His family believe that he may have been killed in the "buffer zone" – an area of Gaza next to the border that Israeli soldiers attempt to prohibit access to by shooting at people. On Sunday, , his family, along with members of the Local Initiative from Beit Hanoun, and volunteers from the International Solidarity Movement – Gaza Strip will attempt to search for his body in this area. The ISM is aware of 18 people who have been injured by Israeli gunfire or shelling. 5 June 2009, Shoka, Rafah: Khaled Ismail Mohammed Jahjuh was shot in his lower spine by the Israeli army. 3 June 2009, Beit Hanoun: Ali Mohammed al-Zummara, 65, injured by shrapnel in the back. . . . 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

Obama: Netanyahu's speech could jumpstart peace talks
15 Jun 2009 - President Barack Obama on Monday welcomed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's endorsement of Palestinian independence as a way to restart peace talks and called on Arab neighbors to join the discussion. ...

Hoenlein: U.S. Jewish leaders deeply troubled by Obama
14 Jun 2009 - There is growing concern among the American Jewish community over Obama's Mideast initiatives, this according to the executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, Malcolm Hoenlein. ...

Why is Dennis Ross being ousted as Obama envoy to Iran?
14 Jun 2009 - Dennis Ross, who most recently served as a special State Department envoy to Iran, will abruptly be relieved of his duties, sources in Washington told Haaretz . An official announcement is expected in the coming days. ... 

Demilitarized Palestine? Just sign this non-aggression pact first
14 Jun 2009 - It will go down in history, along with the Oslo Accord and the Camp David treaty, another historic speech of vague validations and vows to break. Cowering to U.S. pressure, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said just about nothing in his much awaited foreign policy speech at Bar Ilan University on Sunday evening, when he called for immediate peace talks without preconditions and a Palestinian state stripped of military capabilities. ...

Syria: Netanyahu's policy has everything but peace
14 Jun 2009 - The foreign policy speech given by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu elicited negative response across the Arab world, with Syria saying Monday that the Israeli premier's plan "contains everything but peace." ... 

The Guardian

Ex-US president Jimmy Carter to meet Hamas leadership during Gaza visit
15 Jun 2009 - • Former US president to travel to Gaza • Netanyahu raised new obstacles to peace, Carter says The former US president Jimmy Carter will visit Gaza for a rare meeting with senior Hamas officials following his...

Killing Israel's peace process | Ben White
15 Jun 2009 - There was nothing surprising about Binyamin Netanyahu's speech, offering Palestinians a 'flag and currency' but little else Following on from Barack Obama's speech in Cairo , this weekend it was the turn of Israeli prime minister Binyamin...

Video: Binyamin Netanyahu backs independent Palestinian state
15 Jun 2009 - Israeli prime minister insists on recognition of Israel in speech following growing US pressure for peace

Report highlights increasing Israeli demolitions of Palestinian homes
15 Jun 2009 - Aid agencies report charts devastating effect on families made homeless and warns 300,000 Palestinians at risk of losing home Israeli bulldozers arrived at the rust-coloured fields of Ras al-Ahmar early in the morning on the day...

Ha'aretz National page

Auschwitz survivor donates gems retrieved from death camp victims
14 Jun 2009 - A 95-year-old Auschwitz survivor donated jewelry he took from the clothing of Jews who were gassed to death at the Nazi camp to Israel's Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum on Monday. ...

Ya'alon: Netanyahu speech laid bare Palestinian rejectionism
14 Jun 2009 - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's declaration of support for limited Palestinian statehood in a key speech Sunday laid bare Palestinian rejectionism, Vice Premier Moshe Ya'alon said Monday. ... 

World's most invasive jellyfish spreading along Israel coast
14 Jun 2009 - An invasive jellyfish that devastated fish populations in the Black Sea and the Baltic has reached Israel, the Israel Oceanographic and Limnological Research institute said yesterday. ...

Two planes nearly crash at Ben-Gurion Airport due to glitch
14 Jun 2009 - A malfunction in the ground instruments at Ben-Gurion Airport nearly caused two passenger planes to crash, Haaretz has learned. ...

Court orders deceased teen's sperm saved for posthumous conception 
14 Jun 2009 - A hospital must retain the sperm of a deceased 15-year-old cancer patient for five years, so that his family can use it in the future to produce posthumous descendants, the Ramat Gan Family Court decided yesterday. ...

Relief Web

OPT: Factbox - Factors to watch in Mideast peace process 
15 Jun 2009 - Source: Reuters - AlertNet

OPT: Address by Ms. Navanethem Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to the introduction of the first periodic report pursuant to HRC Resolution S/9-1 (A/HRC/11/34) under Agenda Item 7 of the HRC 11th session
15 Jun 2009 - Source: UN Human Rights Council, UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

OPT: Human Rights Council hears address by President of Brazil and discusses follow-up to Special Session on situation in Gaza
15 Jun 2009 - Source: UN Human Rights Council

OPT: Council conclusions on Middle East Peace Process
15 Jun 2009 - Source: European Union

Broken homes: Addressing the impact of house demolitions on Palestinian children & families
15 Jun 2009 - Source: Save the Children

OPT: Framework for the provision of minimum humanitarian assistance in Gaza
15 Jun 2009 - Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

OPT: Blair in Gaza calls for change from Israel, Hamas
15 Jun 2009 - Source: Agence France-Presse

OPT: UN rights chief urges Israel works with Gaza probe
15 Jun 2009 - Source: Reuters - AlertNet

YNet News

Male Palestinian singles? Not at this beach 
15 Jun 2009 - Dead Sea resort beach says will not allow entry to groups of single Palestinian men without families due to frequent complaints of harassment by women. Beach director defends decision: Last weekend several Palestinian youths snuck in and started masturbating in front of tourists

Bill Clinton: Netanyahu speech is opening act
15 Jun 2009 - Former US president says tough terms laid out by prime minister in Bar Ilan speech 'just the opening play in a drama that will have a few more acts.' Netanyahu 'did what he thought he had to do to keep the ball rolling,' says Clinton

At least 1 protestor shot in Tehran 
15 Jun 2009 - Pro-government militia tied to Revolutionary Guard open fire at massive rally in support of reformist candidate Mousavi in central Tehran, journalists at the scene reporting at least one killed 

Talansky case: State seeks US authorities' cooperation 
15 Jun 2009 - Jerusalem District Prosecution sends one of its top attorneys to see if federal investigators can provide more information on key witness in fraud case pending against former Premier Olmert 

Eda Haredit molestor sentenced to 5 years
15 Jun 2009 - Jerusalem District Court finds Avraham Katz, turned over to authorities in rare move by separatist Eda Haredit sect, guilty of three counts of sodomy and indecent assault against minors

Mousavi leads mass protest in Tehran
15 Jun 2009 - Defeated reformist candidate announces he is prepared to face President Ahmadinejad once again, leads hundreds of thousands in protest through central Tehran alongside ally Mehdi Karroubi 

Netanyahu hopes for 'understanding' on settlements
15 Jun 2009 - In interview with NBC, PM repeats statement saying he would accept demilitarized Palestinian state, adding 'I think I made it also clear that I would not build new settlements' 

Barak: Bibi's speech to lead to progress within 2 years
15 Jun 2009 - Defense minister praises PM's policy speech calling it 'a very important step'. Meanwhile, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, former US President Jimmy Carter express similar sentiments that demand to recognize Israel as Jewish state may torpedo chance for peace. Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin tells Carter, 'We can't allow establishment of threatening state under any circumstances'


The EU must pressure Israel stop settlements and open Gaza
14 Jun 2009 - On the occasion of the 9th EU-Israel Association Council on June 15 2009, three prominent Israeli human rights organizations call upon the EU to link the upgrade of EU-Israel relations to respect for human rights and the rule of law.

Testimonies: severe violence at the 'Ein Gedi checkpoint
8 Jun 2009 - On the late evening of 28.5.09, a group of Palestinian youths traveled to the Dead Sea on a night out. According to testimonies given by three of them, when they parked their car at the 'Ein Gedi checkpoint, soldiers at the checkpoint beat two of them s 

Daily Star

World leaders rap Netanyahu speech as not enough 
15 Jun 2009 - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Sunday speech in which he conditionally accepted the concept of an independent Palestinian state continued to receive mixed reactions on Monday. The White House welcomed Netanyahu's conditional endorsement of the principle of Palestinian statehood, but warned of a "long way to go" in peace talks.

Hundreds of thousands defy Iran ban on pro-Mousavi rally 
15 Jun 2009 - Gunfire from a compound used by Iran's Basij forces killed one demonstrator Monday after hundreds of thousands of opponents of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad massed in central Tehran to cheer their pro-reform leader in his first public appearance since elections that he alleges were marred by fraud.

World leaders voice concern over Iran polls 
15 Jun 2009 - Government officials and leaders from around the world commented on Monday on the conduct of Iran's contested presidential election, with many criticizing incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's victory and events surrounding the vote. EU foreign ministers on Monday expressed "serious concern" at Tehran's crackdown on opposition protesters.

Fatah movement to hold long overdue conference to choose new leadership 
15 Jun 2009 - The Palestinians' Fatah movement, which exercises influence in the Occupied West Bank, says the movement will hold its two-decade overdue conference to choose new leadership on August 4, said a top official Sunday. Abbas Zaki, Fatah representative in Lebanon, said.

UN rights chief urges Israel to work with Gaza probe 
15 Jun 2009 - United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay urged Israel on Monday to cooperate with a UN team looking into whether war crimes were committed during its assault on Gaza at the turn of the year. Pillay was speaking to the UN's 47-nation Human Rights Council, which in March decided to send a fact-finding.

'Palestinians must truly recognize Israel' 
15 Jun 2009 - Peace was always the desire of our people. Our prophets had a vision of peace, we greet each other with peace, our prayers end with the word peace. This evening we are in the center named for two leaders who were groundbreakers for peace - Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat - and we share their vision.

Hamas accuses Fatah of torturing member to death 
15 Jun 2009 - A member of the Islamist group Hamas died in the custody of Palestinian security forces in the Israeli-occupied West Bank on Monday and Hamas accused its Western-backed rival Fatah of having him tortured to death. The 34-year-old man, who was detained "for security reasons," according to a statement, was found dead at the jail in Hebron. He was identified as Haitham Abdallah Amr.

Palestinian Information Center

Barghouthi: Netanyahu’s speech proved the absence of a peace partner in Israel
15 Jun 2009 - MP Mustafa Al-Barghouthi said that Benjamin Netanyahu proved in his speech that there is no peace partner in Israel and his willingness to entrench the apartheid system against the Palestinians.

Hamas: Agreement difficult to reach amidst continued assassinations
15 Jun 2009 - Hamas on Monday asserted that reaching an inter-Palestinian national conciliation agreement was getting farther to reach in light of the continued PA security forces' assassinations in the West Bank.

PCHR: Nurse Amr died due to severe torture by the PA intelligence
15 Jun 2009 - The Palestinian center for human rights revealed that paramedic Haitham Amr died as a result of his exposure to excruciating torture in the PA intelligence headquarters in Al-Khalil.

Wa'ed denounces Israeli higher court ruling refusing release of Fidda
15 Jun 2009 - The Wa'ed society catering for the affairs of detainees and ex-detainees on Monday denounced the Israeli higher court's ruling turning down a request to release Dr. Majeda Fidda.

Hamas holds Abbas and Fatah responsible for torturing paramedic to death
15 Jun 2009 - Hamas held Mahmoud Abbas and Fatah faction responsible for the killing of a 28-year-old male nurse called Haitham Omar after being tortured to death at the hands of Fatah-affiliated officers.

Wa’ed: Hamas and Islamic Jihad female inmates will be sent to notorious Damon
15 Jun 2009 - The Wa’ed society said that the IOA decided to transfer early next month 34 female prisoners affiliated with Hamas and Islamic Jihad from Hasharon to notorious Damon prison.

Bahar: PA arrest of MPs foolish
15 Jun 2009 - Acting speaker of the Palestinian legislative council Dr. Ahmed Bahar has described as a "foolish" step the Ramallah PA's detention of Hamas MPs.

Hamas: Netanyahu’s speech is racist
15 Jun 2009 - Hamas said that Netanyahu’s speech was racist when demanding the Palestinian people to proclaim their land of Palestine a pure Jewish state and renounce their right to this land.

Carter meets West Bank Hamas MPs
15 Jun 2009 - Former US president Jimmy Carter on Sunday met with a number of Hamas lawmakers in the West Bank to discuss their views regarding the Palestine cause and tabled solutions to solve it.

Hamas supporter dies of torture in Abbas's jails
15 Jun 2009 - Hamas Movement asserted that the death of Haithem Omar, 28, in the prisons of former PA chief Mahmoud Abbas's security apparatuses in the West Bank was due to severe torture.

Los Angeles Times

Netanyahu relents on goal of 2 states 
15 Jun 2009 - But the Israeli premier would want Palestinian sovereignty limited. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu bowed to U.S. pressure Sunday and accepted the goal of a Palestinian state. But it was unclear whether the breakthrough, welcomed by President Obama, would lead to a revival of peace talks with the Palestinians, who immediately rejected the sharp limits Netanyahu would place on their nation's sovereignty. 

Riots erupt in Iran after Ahmadinejad declares victory 
14 Jun 2009 - Official results show the leader with more than 63% of the vote, a figure an opponent calls 'ridiculous.' Rival Mir-Hossein Mousavi is reportedly put under house arrest. Huge swaths of the Iranian capital erupted in fiery riots that stretched into the early hours today as hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared victory in his quest for a second term amid allegations of widespread fraud and reports that his main challenger had been placed under house arrest. 

Riots erupt in Tehran as Iranian President Ahmadinejad declares victory 
13 Jun 2009 - Ahmadinejad's main challenger, Mir-Hossein Mousavi, disputes the election results and reportedly under house arrest. Huge swaths of the capital erupted in fiery riots that stretched into the early morning Sunday as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared victory in his quest for a second four-year term amid allegations of widespread fraud and a strident challenge of the vote results by his main challenger, who was reportedly placed under house arrest. 

New York Times

Top Cleric Calls for Inquiry as Protesters Defy Ban in Iran
15 Jun 2009 - Hundreds of thousands of people marched in silence through Tehran to protest Iran’s disputed presidential election in a show of defiance that appeared to be the largest anti-government demonstration in Iran since the 1979 revolution. 

Biden Questions Vote but Sticks to Policy on Iran
14 Jun 2009 - The U.S. will continue to pursue talks with Tehran despite misgivings about the election, the vice president said. 

Netanyahu Backs Palestinian State, With Caveats
14 Jun 2009 - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu endorsed the idea of a Palestinian state for the first time, but Palestinians immediately rejected his conditions. 


Electronic Intifada
I'll fly away
15 Jun 2009 - A friend recently told me that the late Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish once said that every night before he fell asleep he would walk the streets of his stolen city of al-Birwa in his mind. More than one Palestinian here has told me that they have a similar nighttime routine, except when they close their eyes they float up from their beds, through their windows, beyond the lights of the patrolling Israeli ships and armored trucks, and out into the night sky, free to roam the world. Emily Ratner writes from the Gaza Strip. 

Belgian campaign forces financial group to cancel settlement loans
15 Jun 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 non-governmental organizations, political parties, local authorities, trade unions and other organizations. 

Humane modernist: Ibrahim Nasrallah's "Rain Inside"
15 Jun 2009 - There is a haunting, nightmarish strand running through the selection of poems by Palestinian author Ibrahim Nasrallah featured in the new volume Rain Inside . This is particularly evident in poems evoking an enigmatic "he," oscillating undecidably between alter ego and a threatening Other, who may even be the poet's "killer." Raymond Deane reviews for The Electronic Intifada. 

Veolia reportedly drops light rail project, but campaign goes on
14 Jun 2009 - On 8 June the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz announced that French transport giant Veolia might abandon the light rail project that will connect Jerusalem with several illegal Israeli settlements built on Palestinian land. Reports also indicate that Veolia wants to pull out of the 30-year contract to operate the train. Adri Nieuwhof reports for The Electronic Intifada. 

In Gaza
54 days
14 Jun 2009 - Today, on my birthday, we (ISM) went with Beit Hanoun ‘Local Initiative’ volunteers to retrieve the long-decomposed body of a man who didn’t live to see his 19th birthday. Ahmed Abu Hashih disappeared on April 21st.  His family believed that he had been killed somewhere in the north-eastern border region, the Israeli-imposed ‘buffer zone’ where Israeli soldiers routinely shoot at Palestinian farmers and residents. Since then, his parents and others have searched, unsuccessfully, for his body, fearing the worst. Sixteen of us (family, international accompaniment from the ISM, and local rights activists and volunteers from Beit Hanoun) set out this morning to comb the land for the missing youth.  The...

Palestine Chronicle
Obama Needs to Do More for a Palestinian State
15 Jun 2009 - By Ira Glunts President Barack Obama's lofty rhetoric persuades and inspires, but are his actions delivering the kind of change that his words have promised? Certainly his rhetoric has not matched his actions in Afghanistan or Iraq, nor have the President's campaign promises been fulfilled concerning the rights of imprisoned enemy combatants. All of that said, Mr. Obama has managed to convince many that his administration is willing and able to broker peace between Palestinians and Israelis, despite a very long history of US failure to do so. The small Jewish-American peace lobby, which consists of organizations like Americans for Peace Now and, is on board with Obama. Some groups have generated a huge number of emails of encouragement for the President and for those whom they view as supportive of the President’s approach to Israeli/Palestinian peacemaking. In fact JStreet’s efforts seem to be almost completely focused on supporting Mr. Obama’s peace plans to the exclusion of all other possible approaches, despite the fact that details of what the President actually intends are still unknown. The Israeli press and politicians take Mr. Obama’s words very seriously. They are not accustomed to any strong public challenges from a US administration. After 16 years of Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush, Israelis are not used to receiving criticism from the US other than obviously toothless reprimands which are not really directed at the Israelis, but rather aimed at soothing the opponents of the Jewish State. Thus the current administration’s vocal and...

Does Israel Really Have the Right to Exist?
15 Jun 2009 - By Susan Abulhawa Following Netanyahu's much anticipated policy speech, politicians and journalists, like mindless automatons, have set about repeating Israel's tired mantra that Palestinians should recognize Israel's right to exist. Never mind the fact that the PLO and Palestine Authority have obliged this ludicrous call, not once, but four times. And never mind that Israel has always denied Palestine’s right to exist, not only as a nation, but as individuals seeking a dignified life in our own homeland. Does anyone find it interesting that Israel is the only country on the planet going around with this incessant insistence that everyone recognize her right to exist? Given that we Palestinians are the ones who have been dispossessed, occupied, and oppressed, one might expect that we should be the ones making such a demand. But t hat isn’t the case. Why? Because our right to exist as a nation is self-evident. We are the natives of that land! We know we have that right. The world knows it. That’s why Palestine doesn’t need Israel or any other country to recognize her right to exist. We are the rightful heirs to that land and this can be verified legally, historically, culturally, and even genetically. And as such, the only true legitimacy Israel will ever have must come from us abdicating our inheritance, our history, and our culture to Israel. That’s why Israel insists we declare she had a right to take everything we ever had – from home and property, cemeteries, churches and...

The Other Apartheid State
14 Jun 2009 - By Ronnie Kasrils – Cape Town, South Africa (Address by Ronnie Kasrils – Cape Town International Conference: Re-envisioning Israel/Palestine. June 12, 2009) May I start by quoting a South African who emphatically stated as far back as 1961 that “The Jews took Israel from the Arabs after the Arabs had lived there for a thousand years. Israel like South Africa, is an apartheid state” (Rand Daily Mail, 23 November 1961). Those were not the words of Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Tutu or Ruth First, but were uttered by none other than the architect of apartheid itself, racist Prime Minister, Dr. Hendrik Verwoerd. He was irked by the criticism of apartheid policy and Harold Macmillan’s “Winds of Change” speech and the growing international outcry following the Sharpeville massacre, in contrast to the West’s unconditional support for Zionist Israel. To be sure Verwoerd was correct. Both apartheid South Africa and Zionist Israel were colonial, settler states created on the basis of the harsh dispossession of the land and birthright of the indigenous people. This is unblushingly documented in Israel's case from the time of Herzl through Jabotinsky, Ben Gurion, Menachem Begin, Moshe Dayan to Sharon et al. Both states preached and implemented a policy based on racial ethnicity; the sole claim of Jews in Israel and whites in South Africa to exclusive citizenship; monopolized rights in law regarding the ownership of land, property, business; superior access to education, health, social, sporting and cultural amenities, pensions and municipal services at the expense of the...

Obama Won't Wink Back
14 Jun 2009 - By Uri Avnery – Israel Remember Dov Weisglass? The one who said that peace must wait until the Palestinians become Finns? Who talked about preserving the peace process in formaldehyde? However, Weisglass will mainly be remembered less for his mouth than his eyes. Weisglass is the King of the Wink. This week, Binyamin Netanyahu called him in for urgent consultations. He needed a lesson in “working with the eyes” (as cheating is called in modern Hebrew slang). Winking is the main instrument of the settlement enterprise. The wink is the real father of the settlements. The settlers wink. The government winks. Officials don’t issue a permit, but wink. They say no, and wink. Wink and build. Wink and connect to electricity and water. Wink and send soldiers to protect the outposts, and also remove the Palestinians from adjoining fields and olive groves. The wink is also the main instrument of Israeli diplomacy. Everything is done by winking. The Americans demand a freeze of the settlements – and wink. The Israelis agree to the freeze – and wink back. Trouble is that there is no printed sign for a wink. The computer has no standard symbol for it. So Hillary Clinton could honestly assert this week that no wink is documented in any agreement signed by the US and Israel. Not in any memorandum of oral exchanges. So there are no understandings. No mention at all of a wink in any file or document. Worse: it seems that in Afro-American culture...

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