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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
28 June , 2009


Ha'aretz Defense page

Privately run checkpoint stops Palestinians with too much food
28 Jun 2009 - IDF says workers may take through food necessary for personal consumption during a day's work. 

Israel pressing Russia to cancel arms deal with Iran
28 Jun 2009 - Tension escalating between Israel and Russia over possible sale of S-300 air defense missiles to Iran. 

Decorated IDF commandos batter fellow soldier
28 Jun 2009 - Commandos allegedly set upon soldier who they thought stole one of their mobile phones. 

Second IDF soldier refuses to serve over violence towards Palestinians
27 Jun 2009 - Infantry soldier refuses orders until army probes his claims of unjustified violence during W. Bank op. 

Syria threatens to take back Golan by force
27 Jun 2009 - Officials: Israel has not shown willingness to achieve peace or return Syrian land. 

IDF troops, left-wing activists clash in West Bank
27 Jun 2009 - Several people wounded as soldiers prevent activists from entering fields in Safa, north of Hebron. 

Shalit's father: My son has only one wish - his freedom
25 Jun 2009 - Noam Shalit gives keynote address at Tel Aviv rally to mark three years since Gilad Shalit fell into captivity. 

Israeli sources: IDF to limit West Bank raids
25 Jun 2009 - Israeli and Western sources say IDF to refain from entering Bethlehem, Ramallah, Jericho and Qalqilya. 

Ma'an News

Israeli soldiers poisoned well in West Bank village, say local officials
6/28/2009 - Jenin – Ma’an – Israeli soldiers poured dirt, stones and toxic chemicals in the only well in the hamlet of Khirbat Makehl near the village of Ya’bad in the northern West Bank overnight on Saturday, according to Palestinians in the community. The village’s official representative, Walid Hamdan, said soldiers riding in three military jeeps entered the community overnight and sabotaged the well. The chemicals caused the water to change color and taste, he said. The 80 cubic-meter well is the only source of water for the village of 70 to 80 families, Hamdan said. He also said that, since the village lies near the Israeli settlement of Hermesh, the armed guards of the settlement often harass and assault Palestinians, particularly herders who venture near the edges of the settlement. Israeli forces also sometimes close the road leading to the community, preventing deliveries of food. 

Israeli extremists storm Silwan, injure three
6/28/2009 - Jerusalem – Ma’an – Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian homes in the Silwan neighborhood of East Jerusalem on Saturday night, injuring three people with gunshots. According to our reporter in Jerusalem, extremist Jewish settlers stormed Silwan and as local residents tried to stop them, the settlers opened fire, injuring 35-year-old Jawad Siyam, a member of the local committee for defending Silwan neighborhood, 31-year-old Fadi Qara’in, and a third citizen who remained unidentified. Israeli police hurried to the scene, preventing ambulances from accessing the injured people to evacuate them to hospitals, witnesses told Ma'an. [end] 

Syria threatens to retake Golan
6/28/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an/Agencies – Syrian officials suggested that they could retake the Golan Heights back from Israel unless the two countries reach an agreement soon. During a ceremony on Saturday inaugurating a new communications center in Kuneitra, the Syrian town closest to the ceasefire line with the Israeli-occupied Golan, the Syrian Committee for the Liberation of the Golan said that Israel has not shown any willingness to negotiate a return of the territory, according to the Jerusalem Post. Syrian President Bashar Assad was also present at the ceremony, the newspaper said. Syrian Information Minister Mohsen Bilal said that the new center would "report the despair of Syrian residents living in the occupied Golan, under the rule of the barbaric and racist state of Israel," according to the same report. 

Israeli forces detain student from Nablus
6/28/2009 - Nablus – Ma’an – Israeli forces detained a Palestinian young man after an Israeli patrol stopped his car for inspection in the northern West Bank on Sunday morning. Witnesses told Ma’an that 22-year-old Usayd Shafiq Kharraz, a student at An-Najah University in Nablus was travelling in a Mercedes on Al-Badan road along with friends before an Israeli patrol stopped the car for inspection and detained Kharraz. The young man was taken to an unknown destination, and it was not immediately clear if he was suspected by Israel of having committed a crime. [end] 

Egyptians kill one, injure two in Israel ’infiltration’ attempt
6/28/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma’an - Egyptian security sources said that Egyptian border guards killed an African migrant and injured two others attempting to sneak into Israel on Sunday in Rafah. The sources added that two others were detained by Egyptian border officials. The African migrant who was killed was not identified, but the injured were reportedly en route from Eritrea. [end] 

UN hears Gaza ’war crimes’ testimonies
6/28/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – The UN fact-finding mission in Gaza City on Sunday started its first public hearing sessions to collect testimonials from victims of the Israeli war on the coastal region in December and January. Sessions were supposed to continue for two days, after which the collected testimonials will be sent to Geneva next week. The committee consists of four experts headed by South African Judge Richard Goldstone. They will meet war victims, eyewitnesses, and Gazan experts at the UN headquarters there. Other sessions will be held in Geneva on 6 and 7 July so specialists can study the consequences and impact of the Israeli military offensive, which left thousands of Palestinians dead and injured. The first testimony the committee heard was from the director of the World Health Organization in Gaza, who explained that the Strip's hospitals had suffered from severe. . . 

Israel holding citizen for transferring weapon, ammunition
6/28/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma’an - Israeli forces arrested a man at a checkpoint near Jenin two weeks ago on weapons charges, according to Israel's police website on Sunday. Soldiers apparently detained the man, identified as a 64-year-old Palestinian citizen of Israel from Sakhnin, after finding 3,000 bullets and a hunting gun in his car. The weapons were reportedly trashed inside a television box, according to Israeli intelligence sources, who said he intended to transfer the weapons to the West Bank. It is expected that Israeli authorities will issue an indictment against him on Monday. [end] 

Israeli forces surround house where gas canister exploded
6/28/2009 - Hebron – Ma’an – Israeli soldiers surrounded a house where the sound of an explosion was heard in the Ar-Ras area of the West Bank city of Hebron on Sunday. Israeli soldiers declared the area a closed military zone, preventing Palestinians from leaving or entering the area, and interrogating the occupants of the house. Witnesses told Ma’an that the sound was a cooking gas canister exploding, causing part of the house to collapse. No one was reported injured. The two-story house is owned by Azzam Robeen Aj-Jafari and Awad Nimr Aj-Jabari. Palestinian witnesses in the area also said that Israeli forces blocked Palestine Red Crescent Society ambulances and Hebron Municipality firefighters from reaching the house. The house is located in the H2 zone of Hebron, which is under full Israeli military control. 

Qalqiliya woman killed by century-old bomb
6/28/2009 - Qalqiliya – Ma’an – A Palestinian woman was killed and her 60-year-old mother injured whencentury-old ordnance exploded near the West Bank city of Qalqiliya. Thirty-five-year-old Anam Ismail Omar was killed, and her mother Fatimah Ahmad Yusuf was seriously injured in the explosion in the village of Beit Amin. According to local sources, the two were cleaning the house when the blast took place. The explosion was heard throughout the village and fragments flew as far as a kilometer from the house. After examining what remained of the bomb, it appeared to be a remnant from the year 1907, and had been buried in the area. [end] 

Two Gaza crossing points partially open; Karni closed
6/28/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an - Israeli authorities decided on Sunday to partially open the Kerem Shalom and Nahal Oz crossing points into the Gaza Strip, while the Karni crossing will remain closed, according to Raed Fattouh, a Palestinian border crossings official. Fattouh said that 86 trucks loaded with humanitarian aid would pass through Kerem Shalom including five trucks loaded with equipment for water services in the Gaza Strip. Furthermore, limited quantities of cooking gas and industrial diesel for Gaza’s only power plant be shipped through Nahal Oz, he said. [end] 

Barak: Reports of imminent Shalit release unfounded
6/28/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Sunday criticized reports that a prisoner swap between Hamas and Israel was imminent. "The reports on the release of [captured Israeli soldier Gilad] Shalit are incorrect and even damaging," Barak said at his government's weekly cabinet meeting. His remarks came a day after the London-based Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper reported that Shalit would be soon moved to Egypt to begin the exchange, citing Arab sources. Earlier on Thursday, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz quoted confidential European diplomatic sources who insisted that the exchange of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners for the captured soldier would happen "within days. " Two days earlier, Ma'an broke the story that such a deal was imminent, according to Egyptian intelligence sources, who said that Cairo would hold the soldier until Israel released a certain number of its Palestinian captives. 

China’s ambassador to PA visits Tulkarem
6/28/2009 - Tulkarem – Ma’an – Chinese Ambassador to the Palestinian Authority Yang Weiguo visited the northern West Bank district of Tulkarem on Sunday and bore witness to Israeli restrictions on Palestinian movement. The ambassador was first welcomed at office of the governor of Tulkarem, Talal Dweikat, who thanked China for its continuous support to the Palestinian people and the Palestinian Authority. He also told the Chinese ambassador that the Palestinian people were looking forward to just peace agreement which guarantees establishment of an independent Palestinian state. “Israeli occupation is doing the opposite, and that was clear in [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu’s last speech,” Dweikat said. Dweikat also updated the ambassador on the various aspects of suffering in Tulkarem such as the Israeli separation wall which devoured vast areas of Palestinian. . . 

Italy expels Achille Lauro hijacker
6/28/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an/Agencies – Italy has decided to deport to Syria a Palestinian man who hijacked the Achille Lauro cruise liner and killed an American passenger in 1985, AP reported on Sunday. According to an attorney, Youssef Magied Al-Molqui was to be flown from Palermo, Sicily, to Rome and then on to Damascus on Saturday, AP said. In April, Italy transferred Al-Molqui to a holding center for migrants in Sicily after spending 23 years in prison. Al-Molqui was a member of the four-man team that seized control of the Achille Lauro off the Egyptian coast. He was convicted of shooting Leon Klinghoffer, an elderly Jewish man from New York, and ordering him to be dumped in the sea while in his wheelchair. The four were members of the Palestine Liberation Front faction, had demanded that Israel release 50 Palestinian prisoners. 

Israel, Egypt engaged in Gaza ceasefire talks
6/28/2009 - Refugee Camp in GazaBethlehem – Ma’an – Israel and Egypt are holding talks on a new ceasefire arrangement in Gaza, part of a package of measures proposed by Egypt to break months of diplomatic impasse, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported on Sunday. Also under discussion is the reopening of the Gaza Strip’s border crossings, the newspaper said. Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak is leading the talks for the Israeli side, in coordination with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to the report. The newspaper also stated that Israel opposes Egypt’s intention to broker a power-sharing deal between Palestinian rival factions Hamas and Fatah. Quoting an Israeli political source, the newspaper also said there "no substantive progress” in talks toward a Hamas-Israel prisoner exchange. 

Al-Maliki: PA seeks US funds to end financial crisis
6/28/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – The Palestinian Authority (PA) is facing a financial crisis due to international donors’ failure to fulfill funding promises, Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki said on Sunday. However, he said in an interview with Ma’an that the crisis should not disrupt the payment of the PA’s more than 170,000 employees, despite debts that have topped more than 1. 5 billion dollars. “I do not think there will be a crisis with regard to salaries since the US government committed to pay money for the PA ministries; and we will benefit from loans to cover the shortfall,” he said, adding that Prime Minister Salam Fayyad will travel to Washington soon to press the American government to make its donation. At a conference in the Red Sea resort town of Sharm Ash-Sheikh in March, donor states pledge more than 7. 7 billion dollars to support the PA’s 2008-2010 development plan. 

Hamas and Fatah delegations arrive in Cairo
6/28/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – Hamas and Fatah announced on Saturday that their delegations to the sixth round of Palestinian national dialogue sponsored by Egypt arrived in Cairo. Both delegations are scheduled to meet director of Egyptian intelligence Omar Sulaiman hoping to overcome obstacles and reach agreement on 7 July. Hamas' delegation, according to Hamas sources, is headed by deputy head of the movement’s politburo Mousa Abu Marzouq, in addition to Mahmoud Zahhar, Izzat Ar-Rishiq, Khalil Al-Hayya, Muhammad Nasr, Imad Al-Alami, and Nizar Awadallah. [end] 

Hamas: PA forces detained 22 members overnight
6/28/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma’an - Hamas officials released a list of the names of 22 of its members allegedly detained by Palestinian Authority forces overnight Saturday. The following are the names, by district: Qalqiliya: Murad Az-Za’amta, teacher, 26, Basem Abdel-Qader Swan, 37, Sedky Younis Akh-Khafsha, engineer, 38, Fares An-Naser, Khaled Ah-Hasan, Salfit: Omar Abdel Aziz Asi, 25, Mohaned Awad Mera’y, 29, Omran Aziz Mohamed Mera’y, 27, Deeb Aziz Mohamed Mera’y, 30, Hebron: Sofyan Jamjom, 38, Akram Afif Halyka, 34, Khaled Ali Al-Atrash, 32, Jenin: Mohameed Sobhi Fshafsha, student at Ar-Rawda College, 20, Rami Jaradat, 24, Nablus: Kamal Shahin, managing director at Nablus municipality, 28, Fatehallah Khrem, engineer, Shawki Abo Amsha, headmaster, 57, Tulkarem: Hamza Abo-Ali,. . . 

Tulkarem commander releases Al-Aqsa Brigades member
6/28/2009 - Tulkarem – Ma’an Exclusive – Commander of Palestinian security services in Tulkarem Misbah Al-Baba on Sunday released an Al-Aqsa Brigades member after 16 months of detention on Sunday. The man was identified as Issa Al-Ashqar from the northern West Bank village of Sayda north of Tulkarem. Al-Baba told Ma’an the release came after he received directives from the Palestinian interior minister, who explained that Al-Ashqar had received partial amnesty from Israel that enables him to stay in areas A, which are under control of the PA. However, Al-Baba said he personally preferred that Al-Ashqar remain inside the Palestinian security compound because it is safer for him, yet Al-Ashqar's family exerted pressure on the Palestinian political echelon to release him. For his part, Al-Ashqar explained that he will stay within the borders of Tulkarem, asserting that he is not. . . 

PLC speaker: I stand between Hamas and Fatah
6/28/2009 - Ramallah – Ma'an – The recently released speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) Aziz Dweik said on Sunday that he is close to both of the rival factions Hamas and Fatah, and hopes that they reach reconciliation. I stand in the middle of all Palestinian rivals, and will try to achieve conciliation as soon as possible,” said the lawmaker who was released from an Israeli prison on Thursday. Dweik was speaking at a news conference with other Hamas lawmakers in Ramallah on the third anniversary of Israel’s apprehension of PLC members in response to the capture of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. With regard to an expected meeting between him and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Dweik said, “It is natural that I will meet with the beloved Abu Mazen since the relationship between the PLC and the Palestinian president should be complementary rather than competitive,. . . 

Gaza government to release 20 detainees
6/28/2009 - Gaza – Ma'an – The Hamas-led de facto government in Gaza plans to release 20 detainees from its prisons in hopes of boosting reconciliation talks with the rival Fatah movement. According to a Ministry of the Interior statement received by Ma’an, the decision to release the prisoners came after investigations found that they had not been involved in any lawbreaking. The statement said the decision was made in order to “further Palestinian interests. ”This announcement comes after Fatah officials said that the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank would start to release Hamas-affiliated detainees. The decisiveness of these steps has however been undercut by more reports of politically-motivated arrests in the West Bank and Gaza. 

Hebron police destroy 55 kilos of hashish, marijuana, cocaine, heroin
6/28/2009 - Hebron – Ma’an – Palestinian police said that they set fire to 55 kilograms of confiscated drugs on Sunday, including hashish, marijuana, cocaine, heroin, pills, an unidentified powder, drug paraphernalia, and counterfeit money. Ahmad Atwana, director of Public Relations and Media in the Hebron Police Department, said the destruction of the drugs and other matter took place at the police headquarters in the presence of director of Hebron police Ramdan Awad, Hebron’s chief prosecutors, Ashraf Meshal and Rasem Al-Badawi, the director of the local anti-drug unit, health and environment officials, and local and international press. Hebron police also said they arrested a number of drug dealers in connection with the seizure. They said the drugs were trafficked from inside Israel. The counterfeit money included 11,000 Israeli shekels, 4,000 US dollars, and 50 Jordanian dinars. 

Health Ministry: H1N1 now passing person to person in Nablus
6/28/2009 - Nablus – Ma’an – The overall number of swine flu cases diagnosed in the northern West Bank city of Nablus rose to 11 after the virus was communicated by others, according to the director of the Nablus department in the Health Ministry, Dr Khalid Al-Qadiri on Sunday. The official asserted that the Palestinian Ministry of Health has quarantined affected patients in western Nablus, and that a delegation comprising himself, the governor of Nablus, Jamal Muheisin, and other officials visited on Sunday morning the area where H1N1 had begun to spread. Al-QadiriAl-Qadiri insisted that the situation is under control. Sources told Ma’an that some visitors who came from the US were carrying the virus, and they communicated it to other members of their families in western Nablus. Palestinian Minister of Health Fathi Abu Mughli is scheduled to hold a news conference on Sunday to address the phenomenon. 

Health Minister: 21 H1N1 cases diagnosed in Palestinian territories
6/28/2009 - Ramallah – Ma’an – Palestinian Minister of Health Fathi Abu Moghli said that there are now 21 confirmed cases of H1N1 flu in the Palestinian territories. Seven of these cases were diagnosed in the village of Burqa, south of Nablus, in the northern West Bank overnight. The seven received the virus from relatives who travelled from the US. Speaking at a news conference in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Abu Moghli urged Palestinians to exercise caution and heed instructions from health officials. He said people should avoid visiting H1N1 patients who have been quarantined in their homes. “We followed home treatment method and it worked better than at hospitals since it prevents the infection of other people,” he said, noting that the practice is in line with top international standards. The minister said that the infections in Nablus are mild, but, if needed, however, emergency sections have been prepared at hospitals. 

Rival gunmen battle in Beirut
6/29/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – One woman has been reported killed in clashes between gunmen affiliated to rival factions on the streets of Beirut on Sunday evening. Security officials confirmed to AP that one civilian was killed and two others wounded in the first instance of internecine violence since Lebanon’s elections earlier this month. Masked gunmen used machine guns and other weapons in the clashes, which took place in the Aiyshe Bakar and Mar Elias neighborhoods of the Lebanese capital. According to reports, the fight was between those loyal to the Future Movement of prime minister-designate Saad Hariri and the Shia Muslim Amal Movement. The Lebanese military was quick to intervene, deploying soldiers to restore calm. Hours before, Western-backed Sunni billionaire Hariri held talks with his predecessors as a step toward becoming prime minister. 

The National

British embassy staff held in Iran
28 Jun 2009 - The British foreign secretary has demanded the release of eight Iranian employees of the British embassy in Tehran who have been detained.

Lebanon searches for unity as Hariri's son becomes PM
27 Jun 2009 - Forming an effective government will likely prove to be difficult in the country's factious parliament.

Egypt opens Gaza border crossing
27 Jun 2009 - The reopening is seen as a step forward in negotiations between Palestinian factions and Israel over the fate of an Israeli soldier.

Iran bans Mousavi ally from leaving country
27 Jun 2009 - Abolfazl Fateh, the head of the political leader's media office, said he has been banned from leaving Iran

Crowd caught student's killer' 
26 Jun 2009 - The doctor who tried to save Neda Agha Soltan seconds after she was hit by a bullet during a post-election protest in Tehran said she was shot in the chest from close range.


Iranian police 'beat protesters'
28 Jun 2009 - New demonstration held in Tehran as Britain demands its embassy staff be released.

UN panel hears Gaza war testimony
28 Jun 2009 - Experts and victims describe effect of Israel's military offensive on Palestinian territory.

Hariri designated as Lebanon PM
27 Jun 2009 - President invites Saad Hariri to form government after winning backing of MPs.

Quartet urges settlement freeze
26 Jun 2009 - Russia, EU, UN and US call on Israel to halt settlements and open border crossings. 

Egypt re-opens Rafah crossing
27 Jun 2009 - Gesture will allow patients, students and visa-holders to leave besieged Gaza Strip.


YEMEN: Major new water source discovered in parched Hadhramaut 
MUKALLA Thursday, June 25, 2009 (IRIN) - A water company in Hadhramaut Governorate, southern Yemen, has discovered an important new source of water near the provincial capital, Mukalla, after four months of exploration.

IRAQ: Timeline of violence in 2009 
DUBAI Tuesday, June 23, 2009 (IRIN) - With just a week left until all US forces must leave Iraq’s major cities, violence in the war-battered country appears to be on the rise once again. More than 100 people have been killed in bombings and shootings in Iraq in the past three days. 

EGYPT: Needle sharing rife among drug users
DUBAI Sunday, June 21, 2009 (IRIN) - The prevalence of HIV among intravenous drug users (IDUs) in Egypt is relatively low, but needle sharing is rife among this group, putting them at risk of contracting the virus, experts say. 

Inter Press Service

MIDEAST: Deal on Gaza Makes Headway 
JERUSALEM, Jun 28 (IPS) - Under a complex twin-pronged initiative from the U.S. and Egypt, Israel's hard- line government is moving towards backtracking on two major planks of its policy in the occupied territories - resisting demands for a blanket freeze on all settlement building in the West Bank, and...

POLITICS-EGYPT: Women Get Help on Road to Parliament 
CAIRO, Jun 27 (IPS) - Egypt elected the first Arab woman to parliament in 1957, but in the half century since, the most populous country in the Arab world has gone from being a leader in women's political participation to a lagger.

MIDEAST: Arabs Court U.S. via Baghdad 
CAIRO, Jun 26 (IPS) - Egypt finally appointed an ambassador to Iraq earlier this month after four years without diplomatic representation in Baghdad. While the last year has seen other Arab capitals do likewise, some critics question the wisdom of the move in light of Iraq's still volatile security situation.

IRAQ: Lame-Duck Lawmakers Push Through Kurdistan's New Charter 
WASHINGTON, Jun 26 (IPS) - A draft constitution passed by the parliament of Iraqi Kurdistan has drawn divided reactions, with some questioning the very legitimacy of a lame-duck parliament to pass the single most important legal document of the Kurdish region and others touting it as a positive step forward.

Stop The Wall

More demolition orders issued, settlements expanded around Jerusalem
28 Jun 2009 - Over the past month, the Israeli administration has continued to simultaneously expand the settlement ring around Jerusalem while targeting Palestinian homes for demolition. The construction of sewage, electrical and communications infrastructure is ongoing while new settler roads and housing units are planned. At the same time, Occupation forces have delivered more demolition orders to a number of Palestinian neighbourhoods. [

Protestors destroy Wall in Ni'lin
27 Jun 2009 - Youth cut razor wire and smashed motion sensors during the weekly protest against the Wall in Ni'lin. In Bil'in, protestors were accompanied by author and activist Namoi Klein, who held a news conference calling for boycott following the demonstration. [

PCHR Latest

PCHR Concludes Third Training Course Targeting Activists in CBOs in Khan Yunis

PCHR Weekly Report

(18- 24 June  2008)
PCHR Position Paper:PCHR has Reservations about Regulations Adopted in the Context of Ongoing Political Fragmentation

International Solidarity Movement

The willful killing of Aqel Srour following a Ni’lin demonstration against the Annexation Wall
International Solidarity Movement - Al Haq, 30 June 2009 - The Willful Killing of Aqel Srour Following a Ni'lin Demonstration against the Annexation Wall: a deplorable illustration of Impunity's Slippery Slope - As a Palestinian human rights organisation dedicated to the promotion and protection of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), Al-Haq regrets once again having to draw attention to the deadly consequences of the pervasive culture of impunity among the ranks of the Israeli military establishment. The lack of accountability for Border Police who have employed excessive force to suppress civilian demonstrations against Israel's illegal construction of the Annexation Wall in the OPT, is a scenario which has sadly become an archetypal example of this culture of impunity. The willful killing by an Israeli Border Police officer of an unarmed civilian in Ni'lin village after the conclusion of a. . . 

UN public hearing in Gaza broadcasts accounts of war victims
International Solidarity Movement - The Guardian, 30 June 2009 - The UN has held an unprecedented public hearing in Gaza to broadcast live witness accounts from Palestinians who described seeing their relatives killed and injured during Israel's January war. One after another, they detailed Israeli rocket strikes and artillery shelling near a mosque, a UN school and on several homes across Gaza during the three-week war. The two-day hearing is part of an inquiry by the UN human rights council into the war led by the respected South African judge, Richard Goldstone. Israel has refused entry for the inquiry team, accusing the UN council of an anti-Israel bias even though Goldstone himself is Jewish. But another round of hearings will be held in Geneva next week, for which some Israeli witnesses are expected to be flown in. They may include residents of Sderot, near Gaza, which has suffered repeated Palestinian rocket attacks. 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

Israelis in Honduras warned to exercise caution amid unrest
28 Jun 2009 - The Foreign Ministry on Sunday warned Israelis traveling in Honduras to exercise caution and avoid areas where crowds gather, in the wake of unrest gripping the Central American country. ...

Akiva Eldar / Don't tempt us with peace, scare us with its absence
28 Jun 2009 - It is both interesting and strange that the very same people who complain about what they believe to be U.S. President Barack Obama's excessive support for the Palestinian struggle for liberation from the yoke of Israeli rule also attack him for what they perceive as his soft stance on the internal Iranian struggle against the incumbent regime. What was Benjamin Netanyahu trying to gain in leaking to Maariv that Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi told him that even Hillary Clinton is opposed to the president's weak stance on the Iranian regime? Was he trying to make Obama understand, once and for all, that the only language understood in the Middle East is one of force and fear? ... 

Wimbledon / Israeli tennis player Sela out to make history despite odds 
28 Jun 2009 - Toward the end of last season, when Dudi Sela slipped down the world tennis rankings to 117th place, he faced two options. He was advised to forgo his year-end vacation and play a series of three challenger tournaments, so he could return to the top 100 and qualify for the Australian Open. But Sela chose door number two - to return to Israel for a month of training and work on his weaknesses; it was during this time that he changed his stance and serve while working closely with his coach, Yoram Menahem. ... 

Sarkozy offered to recruit Syria, Qatar to Shalit efforts
28 Jun 2009 - During their meeting in Paris last week, French President Nicolas Sarkozy asked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu if he should seek the assistance of Syria and Qatar to speed up the talks for releasing abducted soldier Gilad Shalit. ... 

Livni: Deals with Hamas will gravely harm Israel
27 Jun 2009 - Opposition leader and former foreign minister Tzipi Livni announced on Sunday that "agreements with Hamas clearly, and gravely, harm the interests of the state of Israel," in response to reports in Haaretz Sunday morning that Israel and Egypt were negotiating terms of a new Gaza cease-fire . ... 

The Guardian

UN public hearing in Gaza broadcasts accounts of war victims
28 Jun 2009 - • Inquiry held by Jewish South African judge • Israeli witnesses to attend next round in Geneva The UN has held an unprecedented public hearing in Gaza to broadcast live witness accounts from Palestinians who described...

Abuse videos damage Israel | Seth Freedman
27 Jun 2009 - That Israeli border police abuse Palestinians is bad enough, but to post videos of these crimes on YouTube is extraordinary That the Israeli border police has its fair share of racist thugs in its ranks is...

Israel eases up on West Bank checkpoints
26 Jun 2009 - Move reflects growing confidence in Palestinian security forces but UN says Israeli restrictions as a whole more entrenched Israel's military has eased some of its checkpoints in the occupied West Bank in recent weeks and agreed...

BBC anti-Israel bias is a myth | Sharif Nashashibi
26 Jun 2009 - The broadcaster favours Israeli over Palestinian sources in its news reports – as does al-Jazeera, a new study shows I am always baffled at the ferocity and frequency of accusations that the BBC's Middle East coverage...

Ha'aretz National page

Barkat to halt 70% of East Jerusalem demolitions
28 Jun 2009 - Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat is set to announce a plan to freeze demolition orders on around 70 percent of unauthorized construction in the east of the city, Haaretz has learned. The municipality would also negotiate compensation terms with families evicted from the remaining 30 percent. ... 

Labor MK founds Knesset lobby to evacuate West Bank outposts
28 Jun 2009 - MK Ophir Pines-Paz (Labor) is forming a Knesset lobby for evacuating illegal West Bank outposts, in the wake of the U.S. administration's demand that Israel stop settlement construction and evacuate outposts. ... 

Deputy Mossad chief resigns, fourth to quit under director Meir Dagan 
28 Jun 2009 - Another one bites the dust - that is all that can be said about Sunday's announcement on Channel 2 that yet another Mossad deputy chief has resigned. During the unprecedented eight years of Meir Dagan at the helm of Mossad, this is the fourth time that his deputy is deposed or resigns. The latest victim, T., has been on the receiving end twice - once when he was asked to step down, and yet again after he was asked to come back. ... 

Death threats sent to Jerusalem mayor following parking lot riots
27 Jun 2009 - Two e-mail death threats were sent to Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat on Sunday, a day after police clashed with ultra-Orthodox demonstrators protesting the opening of a parking lot in the capital on Shabbat. ...

12-year-old boy drowns in Galilee stream
27 Jun 2009 - A twelve-year-old boy drowned in the Snir river Sunday, while on a trip to the upper Galilee. ...

Relief Web

OPT/Gaza: 1.5 million people trapped in despair
28 Jun 2009 - Source: ICRC

OPT/Gaza: 1.5 million trapped in despair - Report
28 Jun 2009 - Source: ICRC

OPT: Foul play - Neglect of wastewater treatment in the West Bank
28 Jun 2009 - Source: Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories

OPT: Israel to offer three-month settlement freeze - report
28 Jun 2009 - Source: Agence France-Presse

OPT: Israel to register 34,348 acres near West Bank settlement
28 Jun 2009 - Source: Agence France-Presse

OPT: Gaza-Egypt crossing opens for patients, students
27 Jun 2009 - Source: Agence France-Presse

OPT: Week in review - World insists on settlement freeze, Israel does not
27 Jun 2009 - Source: MIFTAH

OPT: End all settlement-building, G8 ministers urge Israel 
27 Jun 2009 - Source: Deutsche Presse Agentur

YNet News

Final preparations head of Barak-Mitchell meeting
28 Jun 2009 - Senior minister to meet scant hours before defense minister heads to US for brief visit Israel hopes will ease existing tensions with President Obama's special envoy. Barak expected to say freeze on settlements can only be part of genuine renewal of talks between Jerusalem, Ramallah 

Palestinian shot by IDF officer to be compensated
28 Jun 2009 - Defense Ministry awards $250,000 to Palestinian who sustained head injury after being fired towards, officer who discharged weapon to be demoted 

Lebanon: Woman killed in factional clashes between
28 Jun 2009 - Exchanges of fire between Amal loyalists, Al-Hariri activists in west Beirut end in woman's death on eve of significant step forward for Lebanese unity government

Police investigating threats against Barkat
28 Jun 2009 - Jerusalem municipality confirms mayor subject of threatening emails as haredim resume riots, court releases all but six of the 57 rioters previously detained by security forces 

Yesha says willing to transfer outposts built on private property
28 Jun 2009 - Yesha Council director says transfer will occur only if 'decree on freezing of settlements is lifted'


New report: Foul Play
27 Jun 2009 - In its new report B'Tselem warns about the danger inherent in neglecting wastewater treatment in the West Bank. The report criticizes both Israel and the Palestinian Authority for their failures, which have harmed the health and future water supply of all

Hamas must release Gilad Shalit immediately and unconditionally
24 Jun 2009 - B’Tselem repeats its demand that Hamas release Gilad Shalit immediately. The circumstances of Shalit's capture three years ago and the behavior of his captors clearly indicate that he is legally a hostage. Hostage taking is absolutely prohibited under int

Daily Star

Netanyahu allies attack Barak plan to freeze settlement growth 
28 Jun 2009 - Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak is to propose a limited three-month freeze on Occupied West Bank settlement growth in response to increased pressure from Washington, Israeli media reported on Sunday. Barak, who plans to meet US Middle East envoy George Mitchell in New York on Monday.

Saudi king meets with Mubarak as rival Palestinian factions resume Cairo talks 
28 Jun 2009 - Saudi King Abdullah held talks Sunday with Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak, who was in the kingdom for a short visit, the official news agency SPA said. The two leaders discussed "mainly the Palestinian issue," in addition to "ways to enhance cooperation," it said.

Iran detains staff from British Embassy, blames mission for crisis 
28 Jun 2009 - Iran has detained several local British Embassy staff, sparking a new row with Britain Sunday that underscored the hardline leadership's efforts to blame post-election unrest on foreign powers. British Foreign Secretary David Miliband demanded the release of all the staff still held and said his European Union colleagues had agreed to a "strong.

'Hacktivists' take up Iran cause after authorities stifle street protests 
28 Jun 2009 - A sharp clampdown by Iranian authorities may have quelled street protests, but the fight goes on in cyberspace. Groups of "hacktivists" - Web hackers demanding Internet freedom - say they are targeting Web pages of Iran's leadership in response to the regime's muzzling of blogs, news outlets and other sites.

Egypt detains 3 leading Brotherhood members 
28 Jun 2009 - Egyptian police detained three leading members of the opposition Muslim Brotherhood on Sunday, including a member of the group's executive Guidance Council, the Brotherhood said. The Brotherhood is Egypt's most powerful opposition group, and seeks an Islamic state through democratic means.

UN mission hears details of Gaza war crimes committed by Israel 
28 Jun 2009 - A UN human rights mission listened Sunday as witnesses described in gruesome detail the Israeli shelling of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip during a three-week offensive at the turn of the year. The delegation planned to hold two days of public hearings as part of its investigation into alleged war crimes during the 22-day offensive launched.

Palestinian Information Center

Awad: Turkey pledged big development projects in Gaza
28 Jun 2009 - Dr. Mohammed Awad has disclosed Sunday that Turkish government and private foundations have pledged to carry out big development projects in the besieged Gaza Strip.

Ministry of prisoners: Press reports on Shalit deal unfounded
28 Jun 2009 - The Palestinian ministry of prisoners' affairs urged the media not to publish unfounded press speculations on the fate of the prisoners' exchange deal between the Palestinian resistance and Israel.

Hamas to decide on dialog today, affirms no political detainees held in Gaza
28 Jun 2009 - Hamas on Sunday affirmed that there are no political detainees in the Gaza Strip and added that it would announce its final position regarding national dialog later today.

Dwaik charges PA with neglecting the issue of kidnapped MPs
28 Jun 2009 - Recently freed speaker of the PLC Dr. Aziz Dwaik on Sunday charged the PA leadership with neglecting the issue of the PLC members kidnapped and detained illegally by the IOA.

Jewish armed settlers shoot, wound 3 Jerusalemites
28 Jun 2009 - A group of Jewish settlers attacked Palestinian Jerusalemite homes in Silwan suburb on Saturday night, clashed with the inhabitants and fired at them wounding three men.

Bardawil: Success of dialog hinges on end of political detention
28 Jun 2009 - Hamas MP Dr. Salah Al-Bardawil has said that success of the fresh round of national dialog talks in Cairo was dependent on ending the political detention file in the West Bank.

Palestinian council for right of return established
28 Jun 2009 - Nine committees concerned with the Palestinian refugees' right of return on Saturday announced the establishment of the Palestinian council for the right of return with the aim of endorsing RoR.

Hamas delegation to the national dialog arrives in Cairo
28 Jun 2009 - The Hamas delegation led by Dr. Mousa Abu Marzouk, the deputy political bureau chairman, arrived in Cairo on Saturday night to attend a fresh round of national dialog talks.

Khafsh: The world's stand on kidnapped Palestinian MPs big shame
28 Jun 2009 - Fuad Al-Khafsh, the director of the Ahrar center for prisoner's studies, has underscored the importance of launching a solidarity campaign with the kidnapped Palestinian lawmakers.

Haneyya: West Bank events main obstacle before Palestinian reconciliation
28 Jun 2009 - Ismail Haneyya, the PA premier, on Saturday said that the political detention of resistance cadres in the West Bank constituted a stumbling bloc before any inter-Palestinian agreement.

Los Angeles Times

Thousands of Iranians ignore threats, march in rally 
29 Jun 2009 - As supporters of Mir-Hossein Mousavi shout out their support in Tehran, European leaders voice anger at the Saturday arrests of eight British Embassy staffers. Thousands of Iranians disputing the reelection of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad marched at an unauthorized rally Sunday, defying truncheon-wielding security forces and dire threats by Iranian leaders. 

In Iran, the protests have quieted, but the protesters are simmering 
28 Jun 2009 - Iranians who demonstrated against the election results are not moving on. They are biding their time, weighing their options -- and seeing their government in a dramatically different light. The young men and women enter Haft Tir Square tentatively. Their pace slows as they discreetly glance around. They spot the club-wielding uniformed security officials and plainclothes Basiji militiamen, scan the square for other would-be demonstrators. 

Ahmadinejad answers Obama's criticism with his own 
28 Jun 2009 - The Iranian president says President Obama's 'meddlesome' stance on protesters makes direct talks between their governments unlikely. Iran's president rebuked his American counterpart Saturday as the two countries fell back into a familiar pattern of back-and-forth barbs that may imperil the Obama administration's plans to open a direct dialogue with Tehran over its nuclear program. 

New York Times

Iran Arrests Iranian Employees of British Embassy as Protests Return
28 Jun 2009 - The government arrested nine Iranian employees of the British Embassy, while the police in Tehran beat and fired tear gas at several thousand protesters. 

Unlikely Ally for Residents of West Bank
27 Jun 2009 - A Jewish Israeli plumber has been criticized, and prosecuted, for his work helping Palestinians in the South Hebron hills. 

The Saturday Profile: Israel’s Elder Statesman, Now With Renewed Clout
26 Jun 2009 - After 60 years in Israeli politics, Shimon Peres is basking in more power and public acceptance than ever before. 


Electronic Intifada
Melbourne dumps Connex following boycott campaign
28 Jun 2009 - Connex has been dumped by the Victorian State Government as Melbourne's train system operator. Moammar Mashni of Australians for Palestine said that after four months of campaigning and some 100,000 pamphlets distributed, Palestine advocacy groups can take heart. "This is the first step in what we hope will become a strong boycotts, divestments and sanctions movement in Australia against Israel's apartheid policies," Mashni said. 

Israeli banks accused of Holocaust profiteering
27 Jun 2009 - Israel's second-largest bank will be forced to defend itself in court in the coming weeks over claims it is withholding tens of millions of dollars in "lost" accounts belonging to Jews who died in the Nazi death camps. Bank Leumi has denied it holds any such funds despite a parliamentary committee revealing in 2004 that the bank owes at least $75 million to the families of several thousand Holocaust victims. Jonathan Cook reports. 

Australia's pro-Israel policies, pro-Palestine public
26 Jun 2009 - The little Sydney-based pro-Palestine lobby group which I chair called Coalition for Justice and Peace in Palestine decided we would commission a high class, well-known, opinion poll company to test whether Australia's Labor machine or politicians knew something we didn't -- for example, that their one-sidedness reflected "the will of the people." Peter Manning comments for The Electronic Intifada. 

Report finds Israel still torturing Palestinians
26 Jun 2009 - RAMALLAH, occupied West Bank (IPS) - The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel has accused the Israeli security forces of deliberately shackling Palestinian prisoners in a painful and dangerous manner, amounting to a form of torture. The report, "Shackling as a Form of Torture and Abuse," based on the evidence of over 500 prisoners, was released in advance of the UN International Day in Support of Torture Victims Friday, 26 June. 

Palestine Chronicle
Palestine: Harnessing the Drum Major Instinct
27 Jun 2009 - By Anna Brown On February 4th, 1968, just about a month before he was assassinated, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his “Drum Major Instinct” sermon from the pulpit of Ebeneezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia. The “drum major instinct,” according to King, is the desire for “recognition, importance, and attention.” It’s a shorthand way of speaking about the relentless, though perhaps unconscious, desire to “be number one.” While those in the social justice, peacemaking and civil rights movements might assume that King was only addressing the wealthy and the powerful, it would be a mistaken assumption. King, relying upon the psychological studies of Alfred Adler, contends that the desire to “lead the parade,” is a pervasive human tendency. For King, the “great issue in life is to harness the drum major instinct.” Failure to do so lends itself to a range of debilitating practices, particularly for the nonviolent activist. The unharnessed drum major instinct, for example, fosters a snobbish exclusivity not a welcoming inclusiveness; destructive competition not affirming cooperation; gossip and not meaningful conversation, etc. When properly harnessed, however, the drum major instinct fuels true human greatness: “to be first in love, to be first in moral excellence and to be first in generosity.” Further, there is no “Ph.D.” required for this kind of creative genius; it is a field of study and application open to all. Meditating upon his death, though not knowing how soon that would come to pass, King asked that all of his achievements be...

US Likely Source of Interference in Iran's Election
27 Jun 2009 - By John Chuckman A recent article called "Ahmadinejad Won, Get Over It" by Flynt and Hillary Leverett is not the only source with serious credentials offering reasonable, non-sensational explanations for events around Iran's presidential election. Kaveh Afrasiabi, a scholar who once taught at Tehran University and is the author of several books, says many of the same things. Close analysis of the election results gives absolutely no objective basis for making charges of a rigged election. Mousavi’s expected win – expected, that is, by the Western press and by Mousavi himself - never had any basis in fact. Afrasiabi also tells us that Ahmadinejad is extremely popular with the poor in Iran, a very large constituency, and he tells us further that Ahmadinejad spent a great deal of time traveling through the country during his first term listening to them. Ahmadinejad is himself a man of fairly humble origins with a good deal of genuine sympathy for the poor. Of course, the public in the West has been treated to a barrage of propaganda about Ahmadinejad, conditioned by countless disingenuous stories and editorials to regard him as the essence of evil, ready to stir up trouble at a moment’s notice. These perceptions, too, have no basis in fact. Ahmadinejad is a highly educated man, ready and willing to communicate with leaders in the West, although given to poking fun at some of the shibboleths we hold to. His office as president is not a powerful one in an Iran where...

'Armchair' Killing: A US-Israeli Trade-mark
27 Jun 2009 - By Stuart Littlewood – London Reports of prisoner abuse at the US prison at Bagram air force base in Afghanistan come as no surprise. They are just the latest example of the world’s biggest bully behaving badly as usual. As if that weren't enough, I'm reading how some 83 people, mostly civilians, were killed and over 50 injured in three drone attacks within 12 hours in Lataka, South Waziristan. The first strike killed several suspected Taliban. Later, a second drone fired three missiles into a crowd of funeral mourners. One of the wounded commented: "If the Taliban are bombing the mosques and America is bombing the funerals, what is the difference between them? We are stuck between Taliban and US attacks and when we are killed, not only no one cries for us, but also we are dubbed militants." Since August 2008, over 40 US drone strikes have killed at least 410 people. US troops in neighboring Afghanistan are the only forces that deploy unmanned drones in the region. The use of armed drones is a particularly cowardly form of warfare. These lethal "assets" are computer-controlled from the comfort and safety of an armchair a hundred miles away and guided by dodgy “intelligence”. Or, if the truth be known, no intelligence at all. The Israelis use them extensively in Gaza to unleash death and destruction on civilian targets by remote control. Engines for Israeli drones are believed to be supplied by a British manufacturer, although the government here pretends not...

Will Iran Election Turmoil Affect Hezbollah?
27 Jun 2009 - By Franklin Lamb – Dahiyeh, Lebanon Some Legmen for the US Israeli lobby, and even some here in Lebanon appear barely able to contain themselves, such is their felt glee over the Lebanese and Iranian election results. Some supporters of Israel see these results as two recent victories while others calculate that Israel is scratching for some good news given that polling data from Israeli surveys show that more than 50% of its population favors bombing Iran to prevent it from acquiring a nuclear weapon. Another survey, late last month, found that nearly one third of Israelis polled said they would leave Israel if Iran gets a nuclear weapon which it likely will have-if it decides to-within the next 18 months according to estimates by the Israeli Defense Ministry. Meanwhile US visa applications have broken records, according to the US Embassy in Tel Aviv for three out of the past five months. One, election Israel hoped would help it maintain its occupation of Palestine was the June 7th Lebanese election (which the Hezbollah led opposition actually won by nearly ten percent of the popular vote.) But it may have to look elsewhere for solace because rather than being defeated and weakened, Hezbollah is currently stronger in Lebanon than it has ever been. The Party is dominating the construction of the next Lebanese government, as it negotiates the terms of its support for Saad Hariri as Prime Minister. Hezbollah’s popular support has increased due it its post election sportsmanlike acceptance of...

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