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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
29 June , 2009


International Middle East Media Center

Troops invade Bil’in, break into homes, kidnapped one child
30 Jun 2009 - The Friends of Freedom and Justice in Bil’in, reported that Israeli soldiers invaded the village of Bil’in, near the Central West Bank City of Ramallah, broke into several homes and kidnapped one child. 

Hamas government says it would release 30 Fateh prisoners
30 Jun 2009 - While several Hamas leaders repeatedly stated that there are no political prisoners in Gaza, the dissolved Hamas government in the Gaza Strip stated that it would release 20 Fateh prisoners ‘who are not involved in acts that violated the law’.  

Before heading to Washington to talk ‘peace’, Barak approves more units for settlers
30 Jun 2009 - Hours before he took off to Washington for talks with the US administration on peace and settlements, Israeli Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, approved the construction of a new settlement in the so-called Benyamin region. 

One dead and three injured as war-damaged house collapses in Gaza
29 Jun 2009 - A house in Eastern Gaza, that had been damaged by shelling during Israel's offensive in Gaza in the beginning of this year, collapsed on Monday killing one Palestinian and injuring three others. 

The military attacks fishermen boats and invades areas in Gaza
29 Jun 2009 - Israeli navel forces attacked on Monday Palestinian fishing boast of the shores of Beit Lahyia, northern Gaza Strip. 

The Israeli municipality says it will halt 70% of East Jerusalem demolitions orders
29 Jun 2009 - The Israeli Jerusalem municipality is set to announce a plane in which 70% of demolition orders against Palestinian owned homes located in east Jerusalem will be halted.

Red Cross: '1.5 Million Palestinians living in despair in Gaza'
29 Jun 2009 - The International Red Cross reported Monday that six months after Israel's offensive in Gaza, 1.5 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are still living in poverty, despair and are unable to rebuild their lives and structures. 

Former US Presidential candidate on Free Gaza boat detained in Cyprus
29 Jun 2009 - Cynthia McKinney, a former US Congressmember and 2004 Green Party Presidential candidate, is currently in Cyprus with a group of human rights activists determined to again break the Israeli siege on the Gaza Strip, as they have several times in the past, by bringing humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza by boat. 

Four more cases of swine-flu diagnosed in the West Bank
29 Jun 2009 - Palestinian medical sources reported on Monday morning that four more cases of swine-flu infection were diagnosed in the West Bank rising the number of officially diagnosed cases to 26. 

Settlers attack Palestinians near the northern W.B city of Nablus
29 Jun 2009 - A group of Israeli setters, under the protection of the Israeli military, attacked Palestinian cars at Balata town near the northern West Bank city of Nablus on Monday morning.

Woman killed as ordnance detonates near her
29 Jun 2009 - Palestinian medical sources reported on Sunday that a Palestinian woman died when an old ordinance detonated near her as she was cleaning around her home in Beit Amin village, near the norther West Bank city of Qalqilia, her mother was seriously wounded. 

The Israeli military kidnaps 14 Palestinian civilians during pre dawn invasions
29 Jun 2009 - At least 14 Palestinians civilians were kidnapped by the Israeli military during pre dawn invasions targeting a number of West Bank communities on Monday.

Ha'aretz Defense page

Activists say Israel Navy intercepted Gaza aid boat
29 Jun 2009 - Members of Free Gaza Movement say patrol boat threatened to open fire if they did not turn back. 

Kadima MK: Restrict Mossad chief's tenure to four years
29 Jun 2009 - Edery's bill comes in wake of controversial extension of Meir Dagan's tenure, resignation of deputy. 

Red Cross: Israel trapping 1.5m Gazans in despair
29 Jun 2009 - Organization says Israel-led blockade 'strangling' economy, preventing reconstruction efforts. 

Israel to build 50 West Bank homes for outpost evacuees
29 Jun 2009 - Move part of wider plan for construction of 1,450 homes in settlement of Adam to absorb evicted outpost residents. 

Netanyahu to Putin: Stop selling missiles to Iran
28 Jun 2009 - Tension escalating between Israel and Russia over possible sale of S-300 air defense missiles to Iran. 

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. 

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. 

Ma'an News

One dead, three injured in building collapse in east Gaza
6/29/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – One Palestinian was killed and three more were injured when a house collapsed in the Ash-Sha'ath neighborhood of eastern Gaza on Monday. The home had been damaged by Israeli shelling in the area during the country's offensive in the Gaza Strip in late December and January. Three Palestinians were taken to Ash-Shifa Hospital with moderate injuries, according to Dr Mu'awiyah Hassanein, the head of Emergency and Ambulance Services within the Gaza Health Ministry. The official added that there were reports of three more people missing in the house, which witnesses said collapsed while workers were doing repairs. ***Add Ma'an to your Facebook News Feed: Click here to become a fan. 

Two Palestinians detained in Nablus
6/29/2009 - Nablus – Ma’an – Israeli troops detained two locals from the Balata refugee camp east of Nablus on Monday at dawn, local Palestinian sources said. They added that Israeli troops arrested Muhammad Dahoud An-Namrouti and Muhammad Bassam Daoud, both aged 16, in the raid east of Nablus. The sources added that dozens of settlers accompanied by troops overran the holy shrine of Joseph's Tomb late at night to pray there, remaining until morning. Meanwhile the Israeli military reports that it detained 14 Palestinians in overnight raids in the West Bank. [end] 

New ship to break siege departs for Gaza Strip
6/29/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – The Free Gaza Movement's "Spirit of Humanity" vessel departed Cyprus at 7:30am on Monday, according to a statement from the movement to Ma'an. Twenty-one human rights and solidarity workers representing 11 different countries were aboard. The passengers include Nobel laureate Mairead Maguire and former US Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney. The ship was also carrying three tons of medical aid, children's toys, and rehabilitation and reconstruction kits for twenty family homes, the statement added. Each kit carries a small amount of supplies for a single family, representing sectors of civil society currently being blockaded by Israel: Agriculture, Building and Reconstruction, Education, Electricity, Health, and Water and Sanitation. Over 2,400 homes were destroyed in Gaza during the Israeli assault in December-January, 490 of them by F-16 airstrikes, as. . . 

Israel ends seven-year ban on its Palestinian citizens entering Bethlehem
6/29/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – Israel has lifted a ban on its own Palestinian citizens entering the West Bank city of Bethlehem that has been in effect since 2002, a Palestinian security official said. Brigadier Sulaiman Omran said that Israel informed the Palestinian Authority of this decision in a recent meeting. According to Omran, Palestinians living beyond the Green Line will be able to access Bethlehem from all entry points except the Bethlehem-Gilo checkpoint at Rachel’s Tomb, known as "Checkpoint 300. " [end] 

Ma’an holds safety training for Gaza journalists
6/29/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – Ma’an network began a training course on Sunday for Palestinian journalists entitled “Media Coverage in Times of Danger. ” Thirty six reporters and cameramen divided into two groups attended the course which is directed by Ma’an network and funded by UNESCO. The first group of eighteen trainees was taught on the first day how to administer first aid. The trainer was Dr Ghassan Zaqqut from the Palestinian Medical Relief Society. The participants also received first aid kits. The second day of training will focus on the stress journalists face in times of danger, and the trainer will be Jamil Al-Mu’ti along with a foreign nurse. The course aims at providing journalists with the needed strategies for how to protect themselves when they report from the field, and how to react when there are negative incidents. 

Israeli troops overrun Hebron-area village overnight
6/29/2009 - Hebron – Ma’an – Explosive devices were thrown at an Israeli car passing near the main road of Beit Ummar on Sunday night, but no one was injured. Local sources in Beit Ummar reported that Israeli soldiers rushed to the scene and closed the main road. Security sources added that the troops overran Beit Ummar and searched the streets, apparently for the presumably Palestinians responsible for tossing the objects, likely Molotov cocktails. [end] 

Israel reports mortar shell on Gaza border
6/29/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an/Agencies – The Israeli military said that a mortar shell landed on the Gaza-Israel border on Monday afternoon, causing no injuries. None of the Palestinian armed factions have claimed responsibility for the shelling, which could not be independently verified. [end] 

Israeli forces invade Bil’in, seize two teenagers
6/29/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – Seventy Israeli soldiers invaded the West Bank village of Bil’in at 2:30am on Monday morning, raiding houses and eventually abducting two teenage boys. According to Iyad Burnat of the village’s Popular Committee, local and international activists (with the International Solidarity Movement) confronted the soldiers, who then declared the entire village a “closed military zone,” threatening anyone who leaves their house with arrest. Burnat said that 16-year-olds Mohsen Khatib and Hamoda Yasin were seized from their homes in the village, which is known for its persistent weekly demonstrations against the construction of the Israeli separation wall. The wall isolates the villagers from more than half of their land. He also said that Palestinian activist Haitham Khatib was videotaping the raids when Israeli soldiers shoved him against a wall and threatened him with arrest. 

Israel opens Gaza’s commercial crossings
6/29/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – Israeli authorities opened the commercial crossings into the Gaza Strip Monday morning to allow in food supplies and aid. Chair of the Gazan Committee for Entry of Goods Raed Fattouh said that Israel opened the Kerem Shalom crossing in southeast Gaza to allow 55-64 truckloads to enter. Cooking oil and gas will be allowed through the Nahal Oz crossing, and wheat and animal feed will be allowed through Karni, he added. [end] 

Hamas to deliver letter to Shalit, ’if he survived the war’
6/29/2009 - Gaza - Ma’an - Hamas leader Osama Al-Mazini promised on Monday to deliver a letter from the family of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit if the prisoner survived Israel's assault on Gaza last winter. "Hamas received the letter and promised to send it to the relevant persons. If he is alive it will reach him, but if he is dead it won’t reach him because we actually don’t know if he is still alive after the Gaza war," he said. Former US President Jimmy Carter had delivered a letter from the family of the captured soldier to Hamas officials in Gaza earlier this month, in an attempt to restart failing negotiations over his fate and the fate of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel. "Carter asked for a confirmation from us and we replied that we don’t know the real fact about whether he is dead or alive after Gaza’s war," Al-Mazini added. 

Erekat: Israel must not squander international will for peace
6/29/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – Chief Palestinian Negotiator Saeb Erakat warned Israel on Monday not to squander what he said was unprecedented international willingness to achieve Mideast peace. “The international political will to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict has never been so strong or unified. This presents us with a unique opportunity to achieve a comprehensive peace,” Erakat said in a statement. “The Israeli government needs to take advantage of this opportunity, rather than squander it by trying to trade one Road Map obligation for another, without implementing any of its obligations in full,” the negotiator also said, referring to the US-backed peace plan introduced in 2003. “Under the Road Map, Israel agreed to implement a comprehensive freeze on all settlement activity, including in and around occupied East Jerusalem. 

Abbas restates rejection of Netanyahu’s conditions
6/29/2009 - Ramallah – Ma’an – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas reiterated on Monday his rejection of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s stipulations for a two-state solution. Speaking at an event inaugurating a housing project northwest of Ramallah, Abbas said, “If Israel agrees on freezing settlement construction, we can start negotiations, however, they have to accept the two-state solution rather than imposing pre-conditions that empty that solution of its content. ”Netanyahu said in a speech on 14 June that Palestinians must recognize Israel as a Jewish state, and that any future Palestinian state must be demilitarized and enjoy no control of its airspace or borders. “A Palestinian state [must] live side by side next to Israel in dignity and stability,” Abbas said, reiterating what his spokesperson said immediately after Netanyahu delivered his speech two weeks ago. 

Hamas: Seven members arrested by PA forces
6/29/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – The Hamas movement on Monday said that Palestinian Authorityforces detained seven members in the West Bank on Sunday night. The movement added in a statement sent to Ma’an that PA forces arrested in Qalqiliya Nour Ad-Din J’eidy, Jamal Al-Husny, Mursy Jaber Shreim, and Saed Samha. In Jericho the forces allegedly arrested Ibrahim Kassab and Iyad Hamdy Wahbeh. In Salfit, Omar Mer’y was arrested, the movement said. [end] 

Fatah accuses Hamas government of arresting dozens
6/29/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – The Fatah movement has accused the Hamas-led government in Gaza of detaining dozens of its members overnight on Sunday in what could be a blow to unity efforts ahead of a 7 July deadline set by Egypt. Gaza-based Fatah official Ibrahim Abu Naja said in an interview with Ma’an, “We don’t know what they want by these arrests. Do they help with the success of the dialogue especially when expecting that the Egyptians will announce a national reconciliation? ”The allegations come the same day that Hamas accused the Fatah-allied Palestinian Authority of detaining seven more Hamas members in the West Bank. “We understand that these arrests are as a response to our arrests here and we strongly reject this,” Abu Naja said, saying that the Hamas government released a certain number of Fatah men, and then arrested twice that number. 

Abbas orders release of 100 detainees
6/29/2009 - Ramallah – Ma'an – The Palestinian Authority’s Interior Ministry will release 100 security detainees on orders from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, PA security spokesman Adnan Dmeiri said on Monday. Dmeiri said in a statement that detainees would be released Monday and Tuesday, asserting that the release comes out of consideration for Palestinian national interests hoping to pave the way for a successful dialogue. The detainees slated for release, according to Dmeiri, do not represent a threat to public security and rule of law. "Detainees will be released despite the massive detention campaign Hamas is conducting in the Gaza Strip, especially against members of the PA’s security services," he said. The announcement followed the alleged detention of dozens of Fatah members by Hamas-allied forces in the Gaza Strip. 

Eight Palestinian factions reject bilateral Hamas-Fatah deal
6/29/2009 - Ramallah – Ma’an – A delegation representing eight Palestinian factions delivered a letter to the Egyptian embassy in Ramallah on Monday criticizing bilateral talks between Hamas and Fatah. The factions reiterated their argument that a plan for an Eyptian-backed agreement between Hamas and Fatah is flawed. The delegation met with Egyptian officials, including a representative of intelligence chief Omar Sulaiman, who is overseeing the negotiations. The signatories of the letter include the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), the Palestinian People’s Party (PPP), Fida, the Palestinian Popular Struggle Front (PPSF), Arab Liberation Front (ALF), Palestinian Liberation Front (PLF), and the Arab Palestinian Front (APF). “Bilateral dialogue between Hamas and Fatah represents a fallback in what has been. . . 

Caretaker cabinet promises PA salaries on time
6/29/2009 - Ramallah – Ma’an – The Palestinian caretaker government declared Monday that it will pay Palestinian Authority (PA) salaries in the first week of July in spite of a severe financial crisis. Prime Minister Salam Fayyad told cabinet ministers at their Ramallah meeting that for the past seven months, the PA has received 25-30 million US dollars less per month than its monthly expenses. He said the shortfall is the result of the failure of donor states to provide funds they promised at the 2007 Paris conference and the 2009 Sharm Ash-Sheikh conference. In a statement the cabinet thanked the French government for paying 10 million Euros to cover infrastructure for a planned industrial zone in Bethlehem, in the southern West Bank, including roads, water networks, electricity and sewage treatment. They also thanked the German government for paying 25 million Euros to cover power supplies and other utility services to the Gaza Strip. 

PA releases first 38 Hamas prisoners
6/29/2009 - Nablus – Ma’an Exclusive – The Palestinian Authority (PA) has released 38 Hamas-affiliated detainees in the West Bank on orders from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, security officials told Ma’an. The men are the first of 100 security detainees who are slated for release in what the PA officials say is as a goodwill gesture to Hamas. In the city of Nablus, the Palestinian Preventive Security released 13 Hamas men from Juneid Prison. The security sources identified the released detainees in Nablus as Nasr Al-Kharraz, Mu’ath Aashour, Ma’moon Aashour, Haroon Dababsa, Nabil Dababsa, Abdullah Abdullah, Ali Zubeidi, Ahmad Shashtari, Nasser Al-Hadidi, Saed Uweid, Islam Al-Khalili, and Firas Al-Hasan. Another man was also reported released, but was not identified by name. Another 25 Hamas detainees have been cleared for release in the West Bank city of Qalqiliya. 

PA: Hamas plotted attacks on West Bank officials
6/29/2009 - Ramallah – Ma’an – Hamas members planned attacks on Palestinian Authority (PA) officials in the West Bank on orders from Hamas leaders abroad and the group’s armed wing in Gaza, a senior official said on Monday. At-Tayib Abdul Rahim, secretary-general of the Palestinian Presidency reveled the alleged plot at a news conference in Ramallah. He said the PA learned of the plans from interrogations of Hamas prisoners. He said that a Hamas cell had planned the attack ahead of the 7 June deadline set by Egypt for an agreement between Hamas and Fatah. Hamas has not yet responded to these charges. “We learned that some Hamas affiliates were told to prepare to distribute sweets on 1 July at 2:00pm after attacks are completed,” Abdul Rahim asserted. He said however that the security situation was under control and that all those who prepared to undertake attacks against PA officials would be arrested. 

Ministry of Health: 26 diagnosed with H1N1 in West Bank
6/29/2009 - Nablus – Ma’an – The Palestinian Health Ministry announced Monday morning that the number in the West Bank affected by swine flu had risen to 26 after they discovered four new cases in Nablus and Ramallah. Dr As’ad Ar-Ramlawi, the head of the Health Care Department at the Health Ministry, told Ma’an that the ministry discovered three new cases of swine flu in Nablus and a new one in Ramallah. Thus the number of people infected by swine flu was raised in Nablus to 14, all from the same family, while one other new case discovered in Ramallah. [end] 

The National

Israel and US hold settlement discussions
29 Jun 2009 - The crucial meeting comes as the rift between the US and Israel grows over West Bank occupation.

New houses approved for West Bank
29 Jun 2009 - Israel approves construction of 50 new housing units as part of larger expansion in a settlement in the occupied West Bank.

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


Iran recount gives Ahmadinejad win
29 Jun 2009 - Guardian Council confirms Iranian president's re-election after partial recount of votes.

UN assesses trauma of Gaza conflict
29 Jun 2009 - Experts tell panel of psychological damage of residents trapped in Israel's war.

Egypt arrests Brotherhood leaders
29 Jun 2009 - Police arrest seven Muslim Brotherhood members as part of a security crackdown. 

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. 


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: Lest We Don't Forget 
GAZA CITY, Jun 29 (IPS) - They are little white, yellow or green pills and are available almost anywhere. At the pharmacies or in the market, they are accessible, addictive and cheap.

TURKEY: Military Ghost Rises Again 
ANKARA, Jun 29 (IPS) - Less than two years after its discreet sealing, the truce between ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party and the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) seems to have ended.

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.

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 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

Israel to build 50 West Bank homes for outpost evacuees
International Solidarity Movement - Ha'aretz, 29 June 2009 - Israel will build 50 new homes in an existing West Bank settlement as part of a wider plan to absorb residents slated to be evicted from the illegal outpost of Migron. The complete plan calls for the construction of 1,450 homes in the settlement of Adam. The State Prosecutor's Office informed the High Court on Friday that 190 housing units will be built in the settlement of Adam in the first stage, in accordance with the plan, which was approved by the Defense Ministry in May. However, only 50 of the units can be erected without further approval from the ministry. This number does not include public buildings and roads. "The understandings to advance the construction were examined by the political echelon, Yesha Council of settlements representatives and settler leaders in Judea and Sameria," the state wrote, referring to the West Bank. 

Israeli forces invade four Awarta homes in the night
International Solidarity Movement - In the early morning hours of Wednesday, June 24, 2009, the Israeli Army invaded four houses in Awarta, a village south of Nablus. The soldiers claimed to be looking for weapons and caused mayhem in every room of these houses. They left after six hours without arresting anyone. Between midnight and 6am on Wednesday morning, soldiers invaded four houses in Awarta village, one of which was not inhabited at the time. According to the villagers, some 50 soldiers entered the houses while another 50 encircled the houses. They had two dogs with them. House 1: Said Salim Hassan Awad The husband and father of this family was in Jericho at the time of the invasion. His wife and their children were sleeping when some 50 soldiers woke them up demanding that they open the door. They ordered everyone into one room and pointed their gun at the two-year old son, telling him that they would kill his brother if he did not tell them where the gun was. 

This is what occupation looks like: Bil’in invaded by Israeli soldiers
International Solidarity Movement - Mondoweiss, 29 June 2009 - We give a lot of attention to the weekly nonviolent protests in the village of Bil'in as they are an inspiring example of popular resistance in the face of Israeli repression. But the truth is that the village is under constant threat of attack from the Israeli military, not just during protests. The video below should be an international scandal, instead it's just another night in the occupied territories. From the Friends of Freedom and Justice – Bilin. At around 2:30am two groups of around 35 soldiers (70 total) descended on the village of Bi'lin. They raided several houses, detained their inhabitants, and searched the inside of the houses. When members of the ISM and the Popular Committee of Bi'lin confronted the soldiers, they called all of Bi'lin a closed military zone and threatened to arrest anyone out of their house or anyone on top of a house taking pictures. 

Israeli incursion in Faraheen
International Solidarity Movement - Farming Under Fire - 27 June 2009 - Israeli forces have entered the village of Faraheen this morning and are still currently there using bulldozers to destroy farmland. According to local villagers there are now 2 graders, 4 tanks, 2 tanks armored with canons, 2 tractors and 4 bulldozers on the farmland. The army has also ignited a fire. Updated on June 29, 2009 [end] 

Israeli forces invade Bil’in, seize two teenagers
International Solidarity Movement - Ma'an News, 29 June 2009 - Seventy Israeli soldiers invaded the West Bank village of Bil'in at 2:30am on Monday morning, raiding houses and eventually abducting two teenage boys. According to Iyad Burnat of the village's Popular Committee, local and international activists (with the International Solidarity Movement) confronted the soldiers, who then declared the entire village a "closed military zone," threatening anyone who leaves their house with arrest. Burnat said that 16-year-olds Mohsen Khatib and Hamoda Yasin were seized from their homes in the village, which is known for its persistent weekly demonstrations against the construction of the Israeli separation wall. The wall isolates the villagers from more than half of their land. He also said that Palestinian activist Haitham Khatib was videotaping the raids when Israeli soldiers shoved him against a wall and threatened him with arrest. 

Free Gaza Boat 'Spirit of Humanity' departs Cyprus
International Solidarity Movement - Free Gaza Movement, 29 June 2009 - The Free Gaza boat the "Spirit of Humanity" departed Cyprus at 7:30am on Monday, 29 July. Twenty-one human rights and solidarity workers representing eleven different countries were aboard. The passengers include Nobel laureate Mairead Maguire and former U. S. congresswoman Cynthia McKinney. The ship also carries three tons of medical aid, children's toys, and rehabilitation and reconstruction kits for twenty family homes. Over 2,400 homes were destroyed in Gaza during the Israeli massacre in December/January, 490 of them by F-16 airstrikes, as well as 30 mosques, 29 educational institutions, 29 medical centers, 10 charitable organizations, and 5 cement factories. Each kit carries a small amount of supplies for a single family, representing sectors of civil society currently being blockaded by Israel: Agriculture, Building & Reconstruction, Education, Electricity, Health, and Water & Sanitation. 

Nablus area family served demolition order
International Solidarity Movement - Luban al-Sharqiya, Palestine – Khawla Abdel-Qader Ewes, her husband, sister, and 6 children are facing a daunting situation. They have been living in the village of Luban for their entire lives, and for the past 20 years, this life has consisted of a 7 square meter single room. Luban al-Sharqiya is a village of approximately 3,500 people, 5 kilometers southeast of Nablus City. The village is completely surrounded by Area B and C land, while the village itself is Area A as defined by the Oslo Interim Agreement (Figure 1). There are several illegal settlements in close proximity to the village. The only means Ewes had to improve her quality of life was to build upon the land bequeathed to her by her father, outside of the village. In order to finance building a new home she was forced to sell her jewelry as well as her current home. 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

Why is Israel blatantly breaking U.S. rule on settlements?
29 Jun 2009 - Defense Minister Ehud Barak most certainly knows better than anyone else that there is no chance of the U.S. accepting the Migron-Adam deal, put forth by the Defense Ministry on Monday before the Supreme Court. Even those who claim that the Bush administration allowed them to continue building to meet the needs of "natural growth" in settlement blocs know fully well that the exchange deal, offering Adam for Migron, would be inacceptable to even the most ardent Netanyahu supporters in Washington. ... 

Palm Beach hails 150-year sentence for Madoff
29 Jun 2009 - From bars haunted by private wealth managers to luxury shops damaged by the fallout of the scandal, residents of the rich Florida seaside town ...

Israeli ministers fear temporary settlement freeze will set precedent
29 Jun 2009 - Defense Minister Ehud Barak will meet in New York today with U.S. Special Envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell in an effort to agree on a compromise formula on settlement construction. The meeting takes place in light of a recent disagreement among the "forum of six" ministers over this issue. ... 

U.S. won't rule out compromise on settlement growth
28 Jun 2009 - The State Department hinted Monday that while the United States is committed to its demand that Israel freeze all construction in West Bank settlements , it will not rule out a future compromise on the matter as peace talks progress. ... 

Slapping Obama, or Please God, keep Israel from making peace
28 Jun 2009 - Click here for more articles by Bradley Burston ... 

The Guardian

Israel expected to propose a temporary and partial freeze on the construction of new homes in the West Bank
29 Jun 2009 - • Plan falls short of Obama's demands • Ehud Barak admits to authorising new construction • Israeli defence minister to meet Obama's special envoy Israel has despatched its defence minister, Ehud Barak, to the US as...

The settlers defying Obama | Seth Freedman
29 Jun 2009 - Despite Obama's anti-settlement stance, the West Bank settlers' determination to go on with their land-grabs is palpable At first glance, the dusty dunes of the South Hebron hills appear splendidly frozen in time. Small encampments of...

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...

Ha'aretz National page

Morris Talansky contradicts testimony on final day in court 
29 Jun 2009 - American Jewish businessman Morris Talansky contradicted his earlier testimony during his final day in court Monday, but State Prosecutor Moshe Lador refused to ask the Jerusalem District Court to declare him a hostile witness. ... 

Right-wing justice farther from Supreme Court than ever
29 Jun 2009 - "I'm not getting down on my hands and knees in order to reach the Supreme Court," Jerusalem District Court Judge Moshe Drori told his close associates on Sunday. ... 

Court rules rabbinate can't deny kashrut certificate to Messianic Jew's bakery
29 Jun 2009 - Following a lengthy legal battle, the High Court of Justice on Monday ordered the Ashdod Rabbinate to grant kashrut certification to a local bakery owned by a Messianic Jew. ... 

Top gynecologist charged with fabricating medical data
29 Jun 2009 - A senior gynecologist was charged Monday with attempting to publish an article in three medical journals describing research he never carried out. ... 

Outgoing MK Ramon: Kadima will soon return to government
28 Jun 2009 - Outgoing Member of Knesset Haim Ramon said Monday that his Kadima party would return to government sooner rather than later. ...

Relief Web

OPT: Album of IFAD success stories - Rehabilitation and development project, Phase two (RDP II)
29 Jun 2009 - Source: International Fund for Agricultural Development, American Near East Refugee Aid

Palestinian families coping well with resettlement in Iceland
29 Jun 2009 - Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees

OPT: UN Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict completes two days of public hearings in Gaza
29 Jun 2009 - Source: UN Human Rights Council

OPT: Arrests, recriminations threaten Hamas, Fatah talks
29 Jun 2009 - Source: Reuters - AlertNet

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

OPT: Activists sail to Gaza with aid, defying Israel
29 Jun 2009 - Source: Reuters - AlertNet

OPT: Logistics Cluster Gaza crisis consolidated situation report, 12 - 25 Jun 2009
29 Jun 2009 - Source: Logistics Cluster

OPT: Israel approves 50 new settler homes in West Bank - report
29 Jun 2009 - Source: Agence France-Presse

YNet News

PA official: Hamas planned to assassinate senior officials 
29 Jun 2009 - Head of Palestinian Presidency says Islamist group cell admitted to receiving orders to kill Fatah officials in West Bank, attack its institutions; Hamas: Detainees political figures 

West Bank: Palestinian shot, settler teen hurt
29 Jun 2009 - Yitzhar settlers claim Palestinians torched their agricultural fields, storm nearby village in response; Palestinians say villager injured form settler gunfire 

Jordan: Settlement freeze condition for Arab initiative
29 Jun 2009 - FM Nasser Judeh tells Yossi Beilin partial implementation of Arab peace plan hinges on total freeze of West Bank construction; says Fatah-Hamas deal imminent 

Sarkozy tells PM to 'get rid' of Lieberman
29 Jun 2009 - Channel 2 reports that during French president's meeting with Netanyahu last week he compared controversial foreign minister to extreme rightist Le Pen, urged PM to appoint Livni in his place

Iran recalls envoy to Azerbaijan over Peres visit
29 Jun 2009 - Ambassador recalled to Tehran following Israeli president's recent visit to Baku and 'threats' voiced by Israeli envoy. Expert: Azerbaijan suffers from clash between liberals, fundamentalists 

Barak wants to delay decision on settlements
29 Jun 2009 - Defense minister to ask US to discuss settlement freeze only when talks with Palestinians begin; Washington Post columnists call on Obama to relinquish tough stance on settlements

'Free Gaza' activists plan to defy Israeli naval blockade
29 Jun 2009 - 21 peace activists, including former US congresswoman and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, set sail for Strip with three tons of supplies; 'we want to show the Palestinian people in Gaza that they are not alone,' activist says 

Red Cross says Gazans blocked from recovering
29 Jun 2009 - Organization issues report saying Israel restricting import of reconstruction, medical supplies to Strip, adding that children suffer deep psychological problems


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

Iran upholds Ahmadinejad victory after partial recount 
29 Jun 2009 - Iran's election oversight body on Monday declared the hotly disputed presidential vote to be valid after a partial recount, rejecting opposition allegations of fraud and calls for a new vote. State television reported that the Guardian Council presented the conclusion in a letter to the Interior Minister following a recount of what was described.

Israel approves more settlement expansion as Barak heads to US 
29 Jun 2009 - Israel's Defense Ministry said Monday it had approved construction of 50 new homes in an Occupied West Bank settlement as part of a plan for 1,450 housing units, an expansion that defies a US call for a settlement freeze. News of the planned building work emerged hours before Defense Minister Ehud Barak left.

PA says it foiled Hamas cell's plot to scupper talks 
29 Jun 2009 - The Palestinian Authority (PA) said on Monday that it dismantled a Hamas cell that was planning attacks against Palestinian leaders and public buildings in the Occupied West Bank. PA secretary general Tayeb Abdel-Rahim claimed that the plotters had hoped to torpedo reconciliation talks between Fatah, the party of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Activists sail from Cyprus toward besieged Gaza 
29 Jun 2009 - Twenty-one activists from 11 countries set sail from Cyprus Monday to the Gaza Strip in defiance of an Israeli blockade on the impoverished Hamas-ruled territory. The US-based Free Gaza movement said it is carrying a "symbolic" cargo of humanitarian aid to pressure governments and international relief groups to do more to rebuild Gaza.

Gaza children suffering from post-traumatic stress after war 
29 Jun 2009 - A UN human rights mission on Monday listened to testimony about the suffering of children in the Gaza Strip as it continued its probe into alleged Israeli war crimes in the enclave. Around 20 percent of children in Gaza suffer from post-traumatic stress syndrome brought on by witnessing violent acts, child psychologist Dr. Iyad Sarraj told the panel.

Foreign media outlets walk a fine line in Iran 
29 Jun 2009 - Inside the studios of BBC Persian television, dozens of journalists have been working around the clock at their computers and telephones, trying to report the news to Iran - or, according to the government in Tehran, stirring up trouble. Since Iran's disputed election on June 12, the BBC.

Palestinian Information Center

Hamas: PA practices in West Bank encouraged Israel to expand settlements
30 Jun 2009 - Hamas said that the Israeli intent to build 1,450 new housing units in the West Bank is the outcome of the efforts made by Mahmoud Abbas and his militia to eliminate the Palestinian resistance.

Third round of Fatah-Hamas talks in presence of Suleiman
30 Jun 2009 - Hamas and Fatah delegations to the national reconciliation talks in Cairo held on Monday afternoon their third meeting in the presence of Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman.

European campaign: Israel threats were the reason for delaying Free Gaza boats
30 Jun 2009 - The European campaign for ending the siege stated that the Free Gaza boats left this morning the Cypriot port of Larnaca, adding that the delay was caused by the Israeli threats to intercept them.

Bombed, partially destroyed building in Gaza collapses killing a man
30 Jun 2009 - A Palestinian man was killed and five others were wounded in the collapse of a building in Gaza city that was bombed by Israeli occupation forces during their 22-day war on Gaza.

IOF troops violently quell Palestinian villagers
30 Jun 2009 - IOF soldiers firing gas canisters, sonic bombs and rubber-coated bullets at inhabitants of the Beit Ummar village, Al-Khalil district, were confronted with youths throwing stones and empty bottles.

Resheq: Hamas will not resume the dialog before ending the political arrest file
30 Jun 2009 - Ezzat Al-Resheq said that the political arrest file deepens the rift in the national dialog with Fatah, stressing that Hamas would not resume the dialog without reaching a solution to this file.

UN fact finding mission initiates hearing sessions with war victims in Gaza
30 Jun 2009 - The UN fact finding mission sent to Gaza held Sunday its first hearing session with victims of Israeli war and listened to testimonies of two of them.

Dwaik: Imprisoning MPs unjustified
30 Jun 2009 - Dr. Aziz Dwaik, the speaker of the Palestinian legislative council, has described Israel's detention of PLC members as unjustified and a blow to democracy.

OCHA: Israeli military activities and restrictions against Gaza still ongoing
30 Jun 2009 - The UN office for the coordination of humanitarian affairs said that Israeli military activities in Gaza as well as excessive restrictions imposed on vital humanitarian needs are still persistent.

Turkish demo in front of Azerbaijan consulate protesting Peres visit
30 Jun 2009 - A group of Turkish activists on Sunday demonstrated in front of the Azerbaijan consulate in Istanbul to protest the visit by Israeli president Shimon Peres to Baku.

Los Angeles Times

U.N. fact-finding commission faces skepticism in Gaza 
29 Jun 2009 - The panel opens a hearing on allegations of war crimes during Israel's winter assault on the Gaza Strip. Israel refuses to participate, and many Palestinians have doubts. A novel approach toward injecting international justice into the Israeli-Palestinian conflict got underway Sunday in this embattled enclave, but it left neither side particularly satisfied. 

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. 

New York Times

Iran Council Certifies Disputed Election Results
29 Jun 2009 - The unexpectedly rapid decision by the Guardian Council set off angry screaming in the streets of Tehran. 

Israel Said to Be Open to Settlement Freeze
29 Jun 2009 - While such an offer would fall short of the American demand that all building be halted, it shows that pressure from Washington may be having an effect. 

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. 


Electronic Intifada
Egypt close to brokering Hamas-Fatah agreement
29 Jun 2009 - JERUSALEM (IPS) - Under a complex twin-pronged initiative from the US and Egypt, Israel's hard-line government is moving towards backtracking on two major planks of its policy in the Occupied Palestinian Territories -- resisting demands for a blanket freeze on all settlement building in the West Bank, and acquiescing in the end of its tight siege of the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. 

The elephant in the room: Israel's nuclear weapons
29 Jun 2009 - At a White House press conference on 18 May 2009, US President Barack Obama expressed "deepening concern" about "the potential pursuit of a nuclear weapon by Iran." He continued: "Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon would not only be a threat to Israel and a threat to the United States, but would be profoundly destabilizing in the international community as a whole and could set off a nuclear arms race in the Middle East." By his side was Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In the room with them, there was an elephant, a large and formidably destructive elephant, which they and the assembled press pretended not to see. David Morrison comments for The 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. 

In Gaza
colours, beauty and art in Gaza
29 Jun 2009 - * tables, crafted and designed by a friend the visits: I asked if I could wash off, if my friend had a pair of track pants I could wear. His sister came down with a track-suit and towel, and led me to the bathroom. “Shampoo?” she’d asked. “No, thanks, I just want to rinse off,” I explained. Coming out of the shower, I thought I could sneak by the sisters and mother, hide the fact I’d not brought flip-flops to lounge in. Within seconds one sister’s sandals were off. She, barefoot, handed them to me to wear. “No,” said another, clucking disapproval, “those are like boats. Bring the black sandals.”...

Palestine Chronicle
The Devil is in the Details
29 Jun 2009 - By Joharah Baker – Jerusalem Israeli political tactics are based on a fundamental premise. Disregard the core and delve into the minutest of details. This way, the basis of any given argument is easily lost in details, a pinch here, a dash there. By the end of the hypothetical argument, you are nowhere near your original goal and now, ironically, have ten items more to negotiate than when you first started. This is nothing new. In order to stall a final agreement and permanent solution, Israel creates facts on the ground, which then must be negotiated. While this has probably been Israel's tactic from as early on as the occupation of 1967 (or even earlier), it has become the most apparent since the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993. By then, of course, the bulk of Israeli settlements had been built on confiscated Palestinian land, thus solidifying the occupation in more ways than one. Since then, any bilateral or multilateral talks between Israel, the Palestinians and the world, have been a flurry of details about issues secondary to the root cause of the problem, which most would agree was the Israeli occupation. Instead, Palestinians (who are partially at fault) found themselves engaged in numbers, kilometers and patches of land for an ostensible "land swap." There has been negotiation upon negotiation over the number of prisoners to be released and the long list of criteria they must meet. We have all heard the numerous and partial proposals for Jerusalem, about...

Between Tel Aviv and Tehran
29 Jun 2009 - By Uri Avnery Hundreds of thousands of Iranian citizens pour into the streets in order to protest against their government! What a wonderful sight! Gideon Levy wrote in Haaretz that he envies the Iranians. And indeed, anyone who tries these days to get Israelis in any numbers into the streets could die of envy. It is very difficult to get even hundreds of people to protest against the evil deeds or policies of our government – and not because everybody supports it. At the height of the war against Gaza, half a year ago, it was not easy to mobilize ten thousand protesters. Only once a year does the peace camp succeed in bringing a hundred thousand people to the square – and then only to commemorate the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin. The atmosphere in Israel is a mixture of indifference, fatigue and a “loss of the belief in the ability to change reality”, as a Supreme Court justice put it this week. A very dramatic change is needed in order to get masses of people to demonstrate for peace. For Mir-Hossein Mousavi hundreds of thousands have demonstrated, and hundreds of thousands have demonstrated for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. That says something about the people and about the regime. Can anyone imagine a hundred thousand people gathering in Cairo’s Tahrir Square to protest against the official election results? The police would open fire before a thousand had assembled there. Would even a thousand people be allowed to demonstrate in Amman against His...

Obstacles to Arab Hearts and Minds
29 Jun 2009 - By Belen Fernandez A June 25 editorial in the Jerusalem Post online entitled 'Arab hearts and minds' begins: 'Another day, another massacre in Iraq.' The remainder of the first paragraph covers the details of the day in question and the attendant massacre (result of fanatical Sunni behavior in Baghdad street market). The author makes it clear that the current pattern of Iraqi days and massacres is unlikely to subside given impending US troop departures. The second paragraph of the editorial delineates one of the consequences of recent global distraction by Persian hearts and minds, which is that “Iraqis have continued to kill each other and Americans,” with one of the non-American victims identified as the national karate coach. The fourth paragraph describes US Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ invitation to friendly Arab militaries “to help stabilize Iraq and Afghanistan”; analysis of the invitation is invited by the following question in paragraph five: “Still, isn’t the administration curious about why it must work so hard to convince [the Arabs] to do what is in their own interest?” Arab confusion may stem from the fact that the destabilization of Iraq and Afghanistan was initially declared to be in their own interest. Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy Karen Hughes was deployed to the Middle East in 2005 in an attempt to clear up some of the confusion, but in the end merely confirmed the difficulty of winning Arab hearts and minds when Arabs didn’t know what they wanted. After failing to convince Saudi...

Free Gaza Boat 'Spirit of Humanity' Departs Cyprus
29 Jun 2009 - By Free Gaza Team – Larnaca The Free Gaza boat the 'Spirit of Humanity' departed Cyprus at 7:30am on Monday, 29 July. Twenty-one human rights and solidarity workers representing eleven different countries were aboard. The passengers include Nobel laureate Mairead Maguire and former U.S. congresswoman Cynthia McKinney. The ship also carries three tons of medical aid, children's toys, and rehabilitation and reconstruction kits for twenty family homes. Over 2,400 homes were destroyed in Gaza during the Israeli massacre in December/January, 490 of them by F-16 airstrikes, as well as 30 mosques, 29 educational institutions, 29 medical centers, 10 charitable organizations, and 5 cement factories. Each kit carries a small amount of supplies for a single family, representing sectors of civil society currently being blockaded by Israel: Agriculture, Building & Reconstruction, Education, Electricity, Health, and Water & Sanitation. Although over 4 billion dollars in aid was promised to Gaza in the aftermath of the Israeli onslaught, little humanitarian aid and no reconstruction supplies have been allowed in. Quotes Mairead Maguire, co-winner of the 1977 Nobel Peace prize for her work in Northern Ireland: "[The Palestinians of Gaza] must know that we have not and will not forget them.” Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney: "[T]he U.S. should send a message to Israel reiterating the reported White House position that the blockade of Gaza should be eased, and that medical supplies and building materials, including cement, should be allowed in ... Will [President Obama] stand by his own words and allow us to provide relief for...

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