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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
5 July , 2009


International Middle East Media Center

First US Convoy of Gaza Aid lands in Egypt
5 Jul 2009 - The 'Viva Palestina' Movement reported Sunday that a plane carrying humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip from US grassroots support groups landed in Egypt after a flight from New York.  The convoy will be heading to the Gaza Strip in two days. 

Israel: 'Saudi Arabia did not authorize us to use its air space'
5 Jul 2009 - The office of Israel's Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, issued a statement on Sunday morning saying that the report regarding Saudi Arabia allowing Israel to use its air space in case of an attack against Iran, is baseless. 

Soldiers invade Bil'in, kidnap two residents
5 Jul 2009 - Israeli soldiers invaded on Sunday at dawn, Bil’in village, near the central West Bank city of Ramallah, broke into several homes and kidnapped two residents, the Friends of Freedom and Justice - Bil'in reported. 

Israeli sub crosses the Egyptian Suez Peninsula.
4 Jul 2009 - Reuters reported that a Dolphin Israeli submarine crossed the Egyptian Suez Peninsula last month during a Navy drill.  

Bahraini officials arrive in Israel to take five Bahraini nationals back home
4 Jul 2009 - Israeli sources reported that senior officials of Bahrain arrived in Israel to take five Bahraini nationals back to the country after they were detained by the Israeli Navy following its attack against the Free Gaza Movement ship. 

Israel cuts off water to Arab Druze towns on hottest day of year
4 Jul 2009 - The Israeli National Water Company has cut off the water supply to two Arab Druze towns inside Israel.  While water cut-offs by Israeli authorities are common within the Occupied Territories of Gaza and the West Bank, they are fairly unheard of within Israel itself. 

Israel pledges to compensate UN for shelling its facilities in Gaza
3 Jul 2009 - Israel sources reported Friday that Israel said it would pay compensation to the United Nations for shelling its property, including schools and warehouses, in the Gaza Strip during the war on Gaza six months ago.  

Three children diagnosed with swine-flu
3 Jul 2009 - The Palestinian Ministry of Health reported Friday that three children from the central West Bank city of Ramallah were diagnosed with the swine-flu. 

Soldiers attack the Nil'in weekly Protest
3 Jul 2009 - Israeli soldiers attacked Palestinian villagers along with their international and Israeli peace supporters during the weekly non-violent protest against the wall in Ni'lin village, west of the central West Bank city of Ramallah, on Friday. 

Three Injured during the weekly Bil'in protest
3 Jul 2009 - Three injured and dozens suffered from gas inhalation when Israeli troops attacked the weekly protest in Bil'in village near the central West Bank city of Ramallah on Friday. 

Israeli Housing Minister Concerned over increasing Arab population
3 Jul 2009 - Israeli Housing Minister of the extremist Shas movement stated Thursday that it is essential for the state of Israel to construct settlements in the Negev and the Galilee to 'counter the increasing number of Arabs who do not love Israel'. 

Soldiers wound a Palestinian woman at a roadblock in the Jordan valley
3 Jul 2009 - A Palestinian woman was shot and moderately wounded in her lower body after an Israeli soldier opened fire at her at the B’qaot military roadblock in the Jordan valley. 

Ha'aretz Defense page

U.S.: No change in policy on Iran or Israel
5 Jul 2009 - Vice President tells ABC: Israel free to attack Iran, regardless of what the U.S. chooses to do. 

Israel won't base submarines in Red Sea, says defense official
5 Jul 2009 - Speculations arose after Israeli Dolphin-class submarine took part in drill of Eilat last week. 

Israel charges Gaza man with plotting mass terror attack
5 Jul 2009 - Militant suspected of obtaining Shin Bet intelligence information, working to create network in Israel. 

Israel denies Saudis gave IDF airspace clearance for Iran strike
4 Jul 2009 - PMO: Report is fundamentally false; Sunday Times: Mossad chief held secret talks with Saudi officials. 

Egypt denies Israeli sub sailed Suez Canal
3 Jul 2009 - Defense sources reported Israeli submarine had sailed Suez in show of strategic reach in the face of Iran. 

Incoming IAEA chief: No evidence Iran seeking nuclear weapons
3 Jul 2009 - Japan's Yukiya Amano picked to succeed current UN nuclear watchdog director Mohammed ElBaradei. 

Israel's 'angel of destruction' is gambling on Iran
3 Jul 2009 - Meir Dagan has won an additional year as Mossad chief because of his anticipation of Gulf developments. 

For some Israeli Bedouin, border smuggling is a way of life
3 Jul 2009 - Poor communities in South see illegal trade across Sinai and Gaza borders as integral to struggling economy. 

Ma'an News

Israel indicts refugee for ’infiltrating’ Negev
7/5/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - A Palestinian from Gaza was indicted in an Israeli court on "terrorism" and "infiltration" charges Sunday, according to the country's Prime Minister's Office. In a statement to Ma'an, Israel claimed that the Palestinian refugee, Abd Al-Rahman Talalkeh, was arrested in the Negev desert on 1 June after having left Gaza and entered Israel via the Sinai Peninsula. He was indicted at a Beersheba court in the Negev, which was both the target of the alleged "infiltration" as well as the prior residence of 16,000 refugees who pre-Israel Zionist militants expelled to the An-Nuseirat camp in Gaza, where Talkalkeh was born in 1984. Israel alleged that the young Palestinian said he received military training by the Popular Resistance Committees in Gaza, intended to establish "a terrorism infrastructure inside Israel," and was well-versed on the use of a variety of weapons. 

US State Dept.: No comment on jailed former lawmaker
7/5/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - A spokesperson for the US State Department earlier this week dodged questions from a journalist on the fate of a former American lawmaker in Israeli captivity. On Tuesday former US Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney was among 21 arrested, including Nobel laureate Mairead Corrigan Maguire, by Israel's navy while in international waters aboard a vessel carrying humanitarian aid en route to the Gaza Strip. Asked by Erin Conners of Press TV what the US was doing to see the return of its former congresswoman, State Department spokesperson Ian Kelly said, "We can't comment on any of the individuals or the number of individual American citizens on board. " But the Washington, DC spokesperson added, according to the US department's online transcript record dated 1 July, that the US Embassy had been in touch with Israeli authorities and was seeking access to its citizens,. . . 

Bethlehem church to host march on ICJ wall decision anniversary
7/4/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – The Lutheran Church in Bethlehem will host a March of Peace on the anniversary of the International Criminal Court’s proclamation that the Israeli separation wall is illegal. From 6-9 July the church will host dignitaries from Europe including several mayors from German towns and cities for a week of events culminating in a march against the separation wall going from the Beit Jala Stadium to the Orthodox Club in Bethlehem. Events will be lead by Lutheran Church Reverend Jadallah Shahadeh, who called for enthusiastic public participation and international support for what he called “my people’s bid to regain their legitimate rights. "[end] 

One dead, five injured in East Jerusalem gunfight
7/5/2009 - Jerusalem - Ma'an - At least one Palestinian was killed and five others injured in a violent clash in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan on Saturday night. According to residents and confirmed by an Israeli police spokesperson, for "security reasons" police prevented the Magen David Adom ambulance service from entering the area, which is under Israeli jurisdiction. It was not immediately clear if the deceased Palestinian would have survived had he been evacuated to a hospital within a reasonable amount of time, although the injured were eventually removed from the scene by Red Crescent ambulances able to enter the area about two hours after the shooting. The Magen David Adom service responded in a statement, saying it did everything in its power to treat those hurt at the scene, but were prevented from doing so by Israeli police, according to the Hebrew-language daily newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth. 

1948 refugee dies as result of negligence at Iraqi camp
7/5/2009 - Gaza - Ma’an - An elderly Palestinian died of a heart attack at an Iraqi refugee camp on Sunday, according to the Palestinians of Iraq Association. The refugee, Shehad Mohamed Issa Abo-Hamd, was born in 1948 in the village of Ein Gazala near Haifa, but was expelled with his family the same year by pre-Israel Zionist forces shortly following the UN's partition of Palestine. Since then, Abo-Hamd had resided in the Al-Waleed Refugee Camp in the Al-Anbar Al-Iraqia Desert in Iraq's western Anbar province. In a statement, the Palestinians of Iraq Association warned of the deteriorating humanitarian conditions at the refugee camp, including lack of basic health services and other life necessities, in addition to the refugees' plight as displaced persons for decades. The association renewed its call for an end to the suffering of more than 1,400 Palestinian refugees at the. . . 

Israeli councilor: ’I wish all the Arabs would disappear’
7/5/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Israeli prosecutors on Sunday ordered police to investigate a Nazareth city councilor for incitement to racism, according to news reports. Upper Nazareth City Councilor Ze'ev Hartman had in April responded to a question about his personal greetings for Israel's Independence Day by wishing "all the Arabs to disappear," the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz reported. The outburst occurred when councilors were asked to record personal greetings on video to mark the ceremony, and Hartman chose the anti-Arab line as his, the paper said. According to Haaretz the Israeli cameraman, reportedly stunned by the racist statement, asked Hartman if he was being serious, to which he replied, "absolutely serious. " It was reportedly not the first time that Hartman had been accused of racism or incitement, but the potential indictment would be the first time he was ever charged. 

Israel: Palestinians opened fire on troops near Gaza crossing
7/4/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israeli sources said Palestinian gunmen opened fire on an Israeli military patrol near the Karni crossing east of Gaza City Saturday morning. The soldiers were allegedly in the area responding to reports of gunfire in the area. They then came under fire and retreated, the military said. No injuries were reported. [end] 

Barak to tell Mitchell: No change on settlement position
7/4/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma’an - Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak will travel to London Monday for a meeting with US Middle East Envoy George Mitchell over the prospective of talks with Palestinian sides in the coming months. Barak met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week to align positions on, according to the Israeli news agency Ynet, “the steps Israel is willing to take to advance the dialogue with the Palestinians,” which reportedly do not include a settlement construction freeze. The US again requested a halt to settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem following President Barack Obama’s innauguration. Similar requests were made under the George W. Bush administration. 

German foreign minister to visit West Bank next week
7/4/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Germany's foreign minister will visit the occupied West Bank next week to add his support to the Palestine-Israel peace process, AFP reported. According to his spokesperson on Friday, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier will visit Palestinian officials in the West Bank on Monday, when he will also hold talks in Israel, before heading to Lebanon and Syria later on Tuesday. "We have had new momentum in the Middle East peace process since the new government took office in Washington and support its fresh efforts to reach a two-state solution and a return to negotiations," said Andreas Peschke of German's Foreign Ministry. The official also insisted that neighboring countries play a role in the process, and added that Germany saw several positive signs in the Middle East, including Lebanon's 7 June election in which a Western-backed coalition narrowly defeated its Hizbullah-allied rivals. 

UK raises issue of Israel’s seizure of Free Gaza ship
7/4/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - A spokesperson for the United Kingom's foreign secretary has raised the issue of an aid ship seized by Israel's navy with the country's government, according to British news reports. "We would be concerned if the stories of the Israeli navy boarding the Spirit of Humanity in international waters were true," said a spokesperson for UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband on Saturday. Noting that the issue of Gaza's legal waters are murky, she still said the country's Foreign Ministry was looking into claims that the takeover by Israel's navy of the ship and her 21-member crew on Tuesday violated international law, according to Sky News. The spokesperson also addressed Israel's detainees, saying, "We can confirm that six British nationals were detained by the Israeli authorities. 

Deputy PM: Australia could send forces to oPt
7/5/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Australia's deputy prime minister on Saturday said that she would consider contributing forces to an international peacekeeping force in the Palestinian territories. "We are always prepared to consider requests case by case," said Australian Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard in an interview with the country's Radio National, which is operated by Australia's ABC news network. "We have continuously assisted in the Middle East. Obviously I can't answer a hypothetical question about what would happen if we had a request, but if we did get a request, obviously we would work our way through it and consider it on the merits," she added. ABC reported that the official suggested the possibility following a parliamentary visit with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Although Netanyahu has adamantly opposed allowing a future Palestine to. . . 

In letter, Obama urges Morocco to support PA
7/5/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - US President Barack Obama on Saturday called on the Arab world to back the Saudi peace initiative and normalize relations with Israel. In a letter to the King Muhammad VI of Morocco, Obama reiterated his commitment to the establishment of a Palestinian state, and asked the north African nation to help strengthen security and institutions within the Palestinian Authority. According to Morocco's official news agency, Obama also called on Arab nations to support the PA both politically and financially, and to push for implementing the Saudi initiative, which offers Israel full relations with the Arab and Muslim world if it withdraws from the occupied territories and permits a just solution to the refugee issue. Obama's letter also reportedly said that he was confident the US and Morocco could work together to lay the groundwork for a comprehensive. . . 

UNICEF funds water aquifer south of Gaza City
7/5/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - The coastal municipality department in Gaza celebrated the opening of a new water aquifer in the Al-Mughraqa area south of Gaza City on Saturday. The Al-Kawther aquifer will provide residents of Al-Mughraqa with clean water, according to a statement sent from the de facto water department to Ma'an. The new aquifer, which meets UNICEF standards of quality, produces 60 cubic meters of water per hour. It will improve the quality and quantity of water that is pumped into the neighborhood, the department added. The coastal authority undertook the Al-Kawther aquifer project with funding from UNICEF. The project was aimed at improving the quality of water and life for residents of Al-Mughraqa, who suffer from highly chlorinated water and frequent shortages. Douglas Higgins, acting representative of UNICEF in the occupied territories, and Ramadan Na'eem of the Gaza water authority, attended the opening ceremony. 

Abbas: Road Map, Saudi initiative to resolve refugee issue
7/5/2009 - Ramallah – Ma’an – The issue of Palestinian refugees displaced in 1948 will be resolved through the US-backed Road Map and Saudi Peace Initiative, said President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday in Ramallah. Speaking at the inauguration of a national park in Ramallah, Abbas added that the Saudi-backed Arab initiative "demands a just solution for the refugees in accordance with [UN] Resolution 194. " "When they say this solution is not on the agenda, they do not want to discuss any of the final status issues, nor refugees, nor anything else," the president said in an apparent reference to comments earlier Sunday by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who announced to his cabinet that the refugee issue would be solved "outside of Israel. " "Refugee concerns are one of the final-status issues and since the Oslo accord was signed we all agreed that this issue should be raised within. . . 

Fayyad: Jews in future Palestinian state to enjoy equal rights
7/5/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Jews remaining inside a future Palestinian state would be welcome and enjoy equal rights, Prime Minister Salam Fayyad insisted on Sunday during a speaking engagement in the United States. "Jews to the extent they choose to stay and live in the state of Palestine will enjoy those rights," at least to the extent that Palestinian citizens of Israel enjoy, Fayyad said to enthusiastic applause, according to a US newspaper. The Colorado-based Aspen Daily News quoted the prime minister as adding that "[i]n fact the kind of state that we want to have, that we aspire to have, is one that would definitely espouse high values of tolerance, co-existence, mutual respect and deference to all cultures, religions. No discrimination whatsoever, on any basis whatsoever. " Fayyad was responding to a question from the former head of the CIA, James Woolsey, at the. . . 

Former Malaysian PM condemns Free Gaza ship seizure
7/5/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Former Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad on Sunday condemned Israel's seizure of an aid vessel in international waters on Tuesday. "It was indeed shocking to hear about the detention of vessels carrying humanitarian aid and the abduction and arrest of the volunteers on board the Gaza-bound ships," said Mohamad, who is now the current chairman of the Perdana Global Peace Organisation"The fact that the Israeli Government committed these acts while the ships and volunteers were in international waters reflects the arrogance of the Zionist administration," he added. "That it was committed with such impunity, with total disregard of the international community further emphasizes how dangerous Israel is to the global peace equation. " "To add insult, President Barack Obama had very recently said that Israel must allow humanitarian aid be. . . 

Hamas: PA arresting, torturing women in West Bank
7/4/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – Hamas spokesperson Fawzi Barhoum on Saturday accused Palestinian Authority security forces in the West Bank of arresting and torturing women. The official warned of continuous arrest sweeps and called for ending such politically motivated actions "once and for all. " Barhoum called on human rights organizations and Egyptian officials to intervene to release the prisoners, who were likely arrested based on their affiliation with Hamas. He concluded by saying that the fate of the Palestinian national dialogue is linked with the conduct of the Fatah movement on the ground, calling for focusing on the dialogue above all financial and security needs. 

PA: Government employees to be paid salaries Monday
7/5/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - The Palestinian Authority will pay its employees' salaries on Monday, according to Bassam Zakarneh, the head of the PA's workers union. The payments will be made to banks both in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Zakarneh added, and will include both civil servants and security forces. "The government is committed to paying salaries, despite the severe [financial] crisis in the Palestinian National Authority, and have made it a priority," he said. "Employees are distressed by these circumstances, and are always worried about the payment," Zakarneh added, calling on the international community to fulfill its donor obligations. [end] 

PA: Arms, explosives and cash seized from Hamas
7/5/2009 - Nablus - Ma’an Exclusive - The Palestinian Authority has in recent months seized arms, explosives and millions of dollars in cash from Hamas, a PA official said on Sunday. The official, security forces spokesperson Adnan Ad-Damiry, told Ma'an that its West Bank officers have discovered "large amounts of explosives and bombs in the districts of Nablus, Hebron and Qalqiliya. " He also alleged that Hamas intended to use the weapons "heinously" against PA forces. "PA forces discovered apartments, which Hamas purchased to use as operating centers between the West Bank and Gaza Strip to implement orders to kidnap officials," he said, adding that the movement intended to "implement other plans that threaten Palestinian security and safety. " The official claimed the Fatah-allied PA had also "seized large amounts of money. . . 

Hamas: PA forces detained four affiliates Saturday
7/5/2009 - Salfit - Ma’an - Palestinian Authority security forces detained four Hamas affiliates in the northern West Bank on Saturday evening, according to the Islamic movement. In a statement to Ma’an, Hamas said that the detentions took place in Qalqiliya, Tulkarem and Nablus, pointing out that a woman was also among those arrested. The PA has repeatedly denied arresting Hamas affiliates for their political views. Hamas accused security forces of detaining and torturing women in the West Bank, and called on the PA to release the women at a minimum, as well as put an end to the issue of political arrests once and for all. In the same statement, a spokesperson called on human rights organizations, Egyptian officials and party leaders to halt this "manipulation of the Palestinians' fate," and urged relevant bodies to expose "the truth of the detaining of women and political arrests in the West Bank. 

Food poisoning at Hebron falafel shop sends 67 to hospital
7/4/2009 - Hebron – Ma’an – Sixty-seven cases of food poisoning inundated Hebron’s main hospital Friday night, after a dozen families who visited a traditional falafel and hummus restaurant in Surif, south of Hebron, fell ill. Director of the governmental Hebron Hospital Sa’id Farahna said most of the 67 were released the same evening following tests. He noted medical officials were at the restaurant investigating its health and safety procedures, while law enforcement officials said the owner was being charged with one count of neglect under the health code. On Friday evening ten Red Crescent ambulances were needed on the scene at the restaurant to transfer the ill. The effects of the food poisoning were rapid, and panic quickly broke out in the village eatery. Ahmad Al-Atawneh, head of Hebron police public relations, said the owner of the restaurant was detained and expects he will face criminal charges. 

Five new H1N1 infections in Ramallah, Bethlehem
7/4/2009 - Nablus – Ma’an – Five new H1N1 infections were diagnosed in the West Bank bringing the total to 59, the Palestinian Ministry of Health reported Saturday. Director General of Palestinian Healthcare in the ministry saidfour infections were diagnosed in Ramallah, three out of which are children, and a fifth infection was discovered in Bethlehem,a man who returned from a visit to the United States. [end] 

MoH: Two new H1N1 cases in Bethlehem and Ramallah
7/5/2009 - Nablus - Ma'an - Two new cases of the H1N1 virus were diagnosed Sunday morning in Bethlehem and Ramallah, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health. The victims are a child and an elderly man, said Dr Asad Ramlawi, the director-general of health care at the Palestinian Authority-run ministry. "After special medical exams, an old man was diagnosed in Ramallah and a child in Bethlehem," which is the West Bank city most affected by the virus popularly known as swine flu, he said. The minister added that the two new cases bring the total number of Palestinians affected by the potentially deadly virus up to 61. Meanwhile, 14 of Nablus' H1N1 cases have successfully recovered after treatment from Ministry of Health workers, the office reported Saturday. All those who have successfully recovered in the northern district are from Burqa village, and are part of one large family. 

The National

Minister calls for housing partition
5 Jul 2009 - Controversial plans to create an ultra-Orthodox Jewish town in the north of Israel are part of a plan to prevent an Arab takeover' of region. 

Saudi air space is not open' for attack on Iran 
5 Jul 2009 - Saudi analysts reject media reports the kingdom has given permission to Israel to use its air space for an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities.

Biden: US will not stand in Israel's way on Iran
5 Jul 2009 - The US vice president says America cannot dictate to another sovereign nation what they can and cannot do . 

Music event puts global spotlight on Palestinians
4 Jul 2009 - The Palestine International Festival, which is held in venues across the West Bank, has attracted major artists from around the world since it began in 1996.

Settlers slowly kill Bedouin way of life
4 Jul 2009 - Jewish expansion in the West Bank is making it increasingly difficult for shepherds to earn a basic living.

Israeli settlements: an end to nods and winks?
2 Jul 2009 - The Obama administration is not the first to demand Israel halt its expansion into the West Bank: presidents since Jimmy Carter have been objecting, to varying degrees.


Iran official urges media crackdown
5 Jul 2009 - Judiciary head wants "anti-regime satellite channels and websites" to be confronted.

Gaza activists still in Israel jail
4 Jul 2009 - Activists seized by Israeli navy refuse to leave until all members of group are freed.

Saddam 'feared Iran more than US'
3 Jul 2009 - FBI tapes reveal ex-Iraqi leader bluffed over "weapons of mass destruction".

'No proof' Iran seeks nuclear arms
3 Jul 2009 - IAEA's incoming head says he has not seen evidence that Tehran wants nuclear weapons.

EU angered over Iran trial threat
3 Jul 2009 - Iranian ambassadors summoned after suggestion British embassy staff may face trial.


OPT: Gaza-Egypt crossing to open three days a month 
GAZA CITY Thursday, July 02, 2009 (IRIN) - Rafah crossing on the Gaza-Egypt border opened briefly on 25, 26 and 27 June allowing Gaza patients in need of emergency care, students, and foreign visa holders to exit. 

ISRAEL-OPT: By the numbers 
TEL AVIV Tuesday, June 30, 2009 (IRIN) - A new report by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) paints a grim picture of life in the Gaza Strip: insufficient housing, damaged infrastructure, limited access to clean water and the discharge of raw sewage into the sea. 

MIDDLE EAST: Swine flu cases on the rise
DUBAI Thursday, June 25, 2009 (IRIN) - The number of cases of the A(H1N1) virus, otherwise known as swine flu, is growing in the Middle East, with many new suspected and confirmed cases in the past few days, but so far no one has died of the disease.

Inter Press Service

MIDEAST: Future of Fatah in Doubt 
RAMALLAH, Jul 2 (IPS) - The future of Palestinian unity talks is far more complex than the bitter rivalry, bloodshed and division which represent the yawning chasm separating Palestine's two main political factions, Hamas and Fatah.

Stop The Wall

Ni’lin sends eyewitnesses to UN to testify about Occupation assassination policy
2 Jul 2009 - The United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza assault that investigates violations of human rights and international law committed in the context of the Israeli assault on Gaza in December 08/January 2009 will hear as well accounts of the repression meted out in the West Bank during this period. Two people were killed in Ni'lin demonstrating in solidarity with Gaza, and two eyewitnesses are set to testify before representatives of the international community.

Arms trade and occupation economics fact sheets
2 Jul 2009 - Two new fact sheets have been released. The first, “The Palestinian economy – Occupation, de-development and normalisation,” gives a concise summary of Stop the Wall's economic analysis, within which we clarify how the dominant approach to investment and development in Palestine serves to strengthen the Wall, checkpoints and military closures, creating “sustainable” ghettos in the West Bank. The second, “Boycott Elbit Systems!” turns the spotlight to Elbit Systems, one of the largest Israeli security and defense firms. ll as security systems for the Wall and settlements. Elbit has major subsidiaries across the globe, and any BDS campaign against arms trade must take the company into account. [

PCHR Latest

(05 July)  PCHR condemns ban on Hizb-Ut-Tahreer peaceful conference in Ramallah

PCHR condemns ban on Hizb-Ut-Tahreer peaceful conference in Ramallah

PCHR Weekly Report

(25 June- 01 July  2008)
During the reporting period, 5 Palestinian civilians, including 4 children, were wounded by IOF gunfire in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

International Solidarity Movement

UN’s Richard Falk: IDF seizure of Gaza-bound ship is ‘criminal’
International Solidarity Movement - Ha'aretz, 3 July 2009 - A United Nations human rights investigator on Thursday called Israel's seizure of a ship carrying relief aid for the Gaza Strip "unlawful" and said its blockade of the territory constituted a "continuing crime against humanity". Israeli authorities on Tuesday intercepted the vessel, which was also carrying 21 pro-Palestinian activists, and said it would not be permitted to enter Gaza coastal waters because of security risks in the area and its existing naval blockade. Richard Falk, an American Jew and the United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories, said the move was part of Israel's "cruel blockade of the entire Palestinian population of Gaza" in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention prohibiting any form of collective punishment against "an occupied people". 

Ni’lin sends eyewitnesses to UN to testify
International Solidarity Movement - The United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza assault that investigates violations of Human Rights and International Law committed in the context of the Israeli assault on Gaza in December 08/January 2009 will hear as well accounts of the repression meted out in the West Bank during this period. As during any war and large scale assault Israel is conducting, during the attack on Gaza - which alone killed over 1400 people – the Occupation forces brutally repressed any protests and acts of solidarity by Palestinians anywhere within their reach. On the 28th of December, during a demonstration in Ni'lin in solidarity with Gaza, the Israeli army killed two young men in Ni'lin. Israeli forces shot Arafat Khawaje, 22, in the back and he was killed instantly. 20 year old Mohammed Khawaje was shot in the forehead. 

Egyptian authorities punish two activists for Palestinian solidarity work
International Solidarity Movement - Natalie Abou Shakra, Lebanon/UK, and Jenny Linnell, UK, two International Solidarity Movement activists who came to Gaza as part of the Free Gaza Movement voyages, both British nationals, were prevented from exiting the Gaza Strip via the Rafah Crossing on the 28th of June, 2009 by the Egyptian border authorities. In addition to having special coordination by the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) based on the request of the British Embassy in Cairo, Natalie and Jenny were given approval to pass through the Crossing on the 9th of June, prior to an official opening, by a call from the office of Mr. Yasser Othman from the MFA. Nevertheless, on the 10th of June, they were returned back by the mukhabarat (intelligence services) at the Crossing demanding they both return back when the Crossing officially opens. On the 27th of June, after more than 18 hours of waiting at the entry gate 

Ni’lin demonstrates against the Apartheid Wall
International Solidarity Movement - On Friday after the midday prayer, Palestinian residents, with the support of international and Israeli solidarity activists, gathered to demonstrate against construction of the Apartheid Wall in Ni'lin. Demonstrators gathered and marched to the Apartheid Wall, where several cut away razor wire that runs alongside the Wall. Six jeeps were already at the site alongside a large group of Israeli armed forces, who after a few minutes began firing tear gas and sound grenades at the group of protesters. In response to the violence of the Israeli military, young Palestinian men threw stones at the army's jeeps. Several people were hit by tear-gas canisters, including one of the medical personnel. The demonstration continued for two hours, as protesters cut the barbed wire around the illegal Wall and Israeli forces shot tear-gas canisters at the demonstrators. 

VIDEO - Al Jazeera interview with Mairead Maguire
International Solidarity Movement - Free Gaza Movement, 5 July 2009 - The Israeli prison guards are denying the right for Mairead to access her medicine. Continue to email and call Mark Regev and Shlomo Dror and express your outrage over the treatment of the FreeGaza21 while they are imprisoned. The women have no access to their luggage or their clothing. Mairead is fasting, not just for her friends incarcerated along with her, but for the 11,000 Palestinians also thrown into jail, many without benefit of trial. Hear her eloquent interview with Al Jazeera. Updated on July 5, 2009 [end] 

'Israeli doctors to train Bil’in protesters in first aid at site of disputed security fence’
International Solidarity Movement - The Jerusalem Post, 5 July 2009 - Physicians for Human Rights will be offering a first aid course on July 11 near the security barrier at the West Bank village of Bil'in for protesters to help them deal with injuries they incur in almost weekly confrontations with what the group's doctors call an aggressive Israeli occupation. "In a way, they are going to risk themselves," said Ron Yaron, director of the international group's occupied territories department, who explained the need for medical assistance in the West Bank. "There are medical fields that are not available in the West Bank both due to Israeli restrictions and the entry of goods and medical equipment," he told The Jerusalem Post. The Israeli government limits the number of medical personnel who can travel between Israel and the West Bank, he said. 

Letter from an Israeli jail, by Cynthia McKinney
International Solidarity Movement - Free Gaza Movement, 4 July 2009 - This is Cynthia McKinney and I'm speaking from an Israeli prison cellblock in Ramle. [I am one of] the Free Gaza 21, human rights activists currently imprisoned for trying to take medical supplies to Gaza, building supplies – and even crayons for children, I had a suitcase full of crayons for children. While we were on our way to Gaza the Israelis threatened to fire on our boat, but we did not turn around. The Israelis high-jacked and arrested us because we wanted to give crayons to the children in Gaza. We have been detained, and we want the people of the world to see how we have been treated just because we wanted to deliver humanitarian assistance to the people of Gaza. At the outbreak of Israel's Operation "˜Cast Lead' [in December 2008], I boarded a Free Gaza boat with one day's notice and tried, as the US representative in a multi-national. . . 

Interview from a kidnapped passenger, Adie Mormech
International Solidarity Movement - Free Gaza Movement, 4 July 2009 - Adie Mormech, one of over 21 human rights workers and crew taken prisoner on Tuesday 30th June when their boat was forcibly boarded by the Israeli navy, has spoken by mobile phone from his prison cell at Givon jail, Ramle, near Tel Aviv. Amongst the other prisoners from the Free Gaza Movement boat, Spirit of Humanity, are Nobel Peace prize winner, Mairead Maguire, and former US Congresswoman, Cythnia McKinney. A message from McKinney on 2nd July condemned Israel for its "illegal" action in "dismantl[ing] our navigation equipment" and confiscating both the ship and its cargo of medical aid, childrens' toys and olive trees. McKinney went on to say that "State Department and White House officials have not effected our release or taken a strong public stance to condemn the illegal actions of the Israeli Navy of enforcing a blockade of humanitarian. . . 

Israeli forces invades Bil’in Village and kidnap two youths
International Solidarity Movement - Bil'in Popular Committee, 5 July 2009 - At approximately 4:15 on the morning of 5. 7. 09 more than 100 Israeli Soldiers invaded Bilin Village. Many of them were masked and all carried automatic weapons. They attacked several houses and arrested Oda Rebhe Abu Rahma, 20, and Mahmoud Issa Yassein, 17. Upon request the soldiers would not tell their families where they were taking them or the name of an officer in command. Palestinian and international presence questioned the soldiers and dearrested several people who were documenting the kidnappings. This is the third week of night raids in Bilin village. Israeli soldier have conducted night raids almost every night and have arrested seven village youth during this period. 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

U.S.: No change in policy on Iran or Israel
5 Jul 2009 - U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said on Sunday that the Obama administration would not stand in Israel's way should the latter chooses to take military action to eliminate Iran's nuclear threat . ... 

Jewish swimmer to skip world championship for Maccabiah
4 Jul 2009 - Triple Olympic gold medalist Jason Lezak said Sunday that his Jewish heritage inspired him to compete in Israel's Maccabiah Games instead of the upcoming World Swimming Championships in Rome. ...

Fayyad: Jews can be equal citizens in Palestinian state 
4 Jul 2009 - Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad on Saturday said that Jews would enjoy freedom and full civil rights in a future Palestinian state, according to a report in the Aspen Daily News. ...

Israel envoy tells U.S. Jews: There is no Israel-U.S. crisis
4 Jul 2009 - Israel's ambassador to the United States told a group of American Jews on Saturday that the rift between the Obama and Netanyahu administrations over construction in West Bank settlements was not a crisis, but a difference of opinion. ...

Jordan breaks up 'illegal' sit-in against Israeli imports
4 Jul 2009 - The Jordanian government said Sunday that a sit-in against the import of Israeli agricultural products was forceably dispersed because had not obtained a proper protest license. ...

The Guardian

Raja Shehadeh | The blue velvet hills of my youth have been destroyed
5 Jul 2009 - Palestinians will never be able to undo the damage caused by these massive, illegal and politically motivated settlements I can remember the appearance of the hills around Ramallah in 1979, before any Jewish settlement came to...

Unreconstructed Gaza
4 Jul 2009 - Photographer Antonio Olmos catalogues war damage from Israel's new year attacks on Gaza

Life in Gaza after the Israeli invasion
4 Jul 2009 - Six months after Israel's bloody three-week war with Hamas in January, Peter Beaumont interviews three women he originally met immediately after the invasion

Six months after Israel's bloody war with Hamas, Peter Beaumont goes back to Gaza
4 Jul 2009 - In the immediate aftermath of Israel's bloody three-week war with Hamas in January, Peter Beaumont travelled to Gaza and met the Palestinians devasted by the death of their families and the destruction of their neighbourhoods. Six...

Ha'aretz National page

Israeli school system shafts children of olim, says ministry
5 Jul 2009 - The Education Ministry does not properly address the needs of children ...

Netanyahu: We have consensus on two-state solution 
4 Jul 2009 - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his cabinet Sunday that the government has won "broad national consensus" in Israel for the concept of a two-state solution, hailing it as a major achievement of his 100-day-old coalition. ...

Israeli councilor faces probe for saying all Arabs must 'disappear'
4 Jul 2009 - The State Prosecution on Sunday instructed the police to investigate Upper Nazareth City Councilor Ze'ev Hartman on suspicion of incitement to racism. ...

Relief Web

OPT: Minister for Foreign Affairs appeals for release of two Irish "Gaza boat" detainees
5 Jul 2009 - Source: Government of Ireland

OPT: Gisha report reveals - Israel uses diplomats as "security guards" in Gaza exit
5 Jul 2009 - Source: Gisha

OPT: Obstacle course - Students denied exit from Gaza
5 Jul 2009 - Source: Gisha

OPT: PCHR condemns ban on Hizb-Ut-Tahreer peaceful conference in Ramallah
5 Jul 2009 - Source: Palestinian Centre for Human Rights

OPT: MP Mustafa Barghouthi meets with the UN Commission investigating Israel's war crimes in Gaza - Says that Israel will not stop until sanctions are imposed
4 Jul 2009 - Source: Palestine Monitor

OPT: Week in review - Conciliation talks halted again
4 Jul 2009 - Source: MIFTAH

OPT: Gazans take the plunge at poisoned beaches 
4 Jul 2009 - Source: Agence France-Presse

OPT: Israel offering compensation for UN Gaza damage: official 
4 Jul 2009 - Source: Agence France-Presse

YNet News

Biden: Israel has 'sovereign right' to attack Iran
5 Jul 2009 - In interview with ABC, VP Biden suggests Washington won't stand in Israel's way should it choose to attack Iran's nuclear facilities, but White House says 'allies know Obama believes now is the time to explore diplomatic options' 

US activists aim for Gaza aid delivery
5 Jul 2009 - Group arrives in Egypt with intention to travel to Hamas-ruled territory with $1M in medical supplies as part of 'Viva Palestina' initiative 

Israel won't base submarines in Red Sea, official says
5 Jul 2009 - Despite last week's naval drill, defense official says there will be no permanent deployment in Eilat of German-made submarines that could be used in strike on Iran 

Jordan trade unionists arrested in anti-Israel rally
5 Jul 2009 - Protestors demand government ban import of fruits, vegetables from 'Zionist entity'; Agriculture Minister Masri: Jordan 'rejects all products from West Bank settlements

Peace Now objects to transfer of Migron settlers to Adam
5 Jul 2009 - Movement says transfer of outpost residents to new homes in West Bank settlement constitutes defeatism

Cleared for publication: Would-be terrorist nabbed 
5 Jul 2009 - Shin Bet, police operation ends with arrest of a 25-year-old Gazan who infiltrated Israel through Sinai desert with intent of establishing terror network, carrying out attacks inside country 


High Court orders harsher indictment in Ni'lin shooting
30 Jun 2009 - In July '08, a soldier shot a handcuffed detainee in the presence of his commander, yet the two were charged only with “unbecoming conduct”. Today, the Israeli High Court of Justice ruled in favor of changing the indictments to reflect the gravity of the 

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

Daily Star

Biden: US won't stand in Israel's way on Iran 
5 Jul 2009 - Vice President Joe Biden seemed to give Israel a green light for military action to eliminate Iran's nuclear program, saying the US "cannot dictate to another sovereign nation what they can and cannot do." Israel, the Middle East's sole though undeclared possessor of nuclear weapons, accuses Iran of trying to develop a nuclear arsenal.

Israel's Barak seeks peace 'understanding' with US 
5 Jul 2009 - Defense Minister Ehud Barak said he would discuss with a US envoy on Monday a compromise over a peace plan calling for an Israeli settlement freeze and seek ways to promote regional peace. Barak, who last met envoy George Mitchell on Tuesday in New York, travels to London later on Sunday.

Palestinian Information Center

PA uses foreign aid to scuttle human rights, civil liberties
5 Jul 2009 - It is obvious that the West is actually helping create a police state without a state in Palestine, a graveyard for human rights, civil liberties and simple human decency.

Masri: It is about time to pressure Fatah to abide by Palestinian constants
5 Jul 2009 - Palestinian legislator Mushir Al-Masri said on Sunday that the heinous practices of the militia of Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank were the main obstacles that hinder restoring Palestinian unity.

Hamas: Repeated Ramallah lies about coup in WB broken record
5 Jul 2009 - Hamas on Sunday denounced the PA in Ramallah for repeating statements about a Hamas coup in the West Bank to justify its confiscation of funds allocated for families of martyrs.

LPI warns of worsening humanitarian conditions in Al-Walid camp
5 Jul 2009 - LPI has warned of the deterioration of humanitarian conditions in Al-Walid refugee camp pitched in the Iraqi desert of Anbar after one of the refugees died of lack of medical treatment.

IOF troops advance into southern Gaza, bulldoze lands
5 Jul 2009 - Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Sunday advanced into east of Khuza'a town Khan Younis district, south of the Gaza Strip, amidst shooting at farmers and civilian homes, local sources reported.

Committee against siege urges world intervention to release spirit of humanity
5 Jul 2009 - The government committee against the siege urged the world community to immediately intervene to release the "spirit of humanity" boat activists that were kidnapped by the IOF.

PA police clamps down on Islamic Liberation Party
5 Jul 2009 - Palestinian Authority (PA) police on Saturday, 4 July, arrested dozens of Islamic activists affiliated with Hizbu-tahrir, as the pan-Islamic group was planning to hold a large rally in Ramallah..

Abu Zuhri: Barring visits to Hamas prisoners serious step
5 Jul 2009 - Dr. Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas spokesman, on Sunday said that the Israeli endorsement of a ban on visits to Hamas prisoners in Israeli occupation jails would constitute a serious step.

Sha'at: Lifeline for Gaza – 2 turning point in solidarity campaigns
5 Jul 2009 - Hamdi Sha’at, the head of the anti-siege government committee, expressed belief that the launch of "Lifeline for Gaza - 2" from the US would serve as a turning point in solidarity campaigns.

Abu Halabia: Jerusalem subjected to unprecedented judaization campaign
5 Jul 2009 - MP Dr. Ahmed Abu Halabia, rapporteur of the Quds (Jerusalem) committee in the PLC, has warned that the IOA had covered major strides in the judaization process of occupied Jerusalem.

Los Angeles Times

Iran newspaper calls for Mousavi to face trial 
5 Jul 2009 - The opposition figure is accused of acting on behalf of Iran's foreign enemies. In response, Mousavi releases a detailed account of alleged voting irregularities in last month's election. A right-wing newspaper close to Iran's supreme leader on Saturday accused the country's main opposition figure of being a dupe for Iran's foreign enemies and said he should face trial. 

Iran plans to put British Embassy staffers on trial 
4 Jul 2009 - Ahmad Jannati, head of the Guardian Council, says Iran's enemies 'made an effort to poison the people' during postelection unrest. European Union nations consider pulling ambassadors from Tehran. A senior Iranian cleric said Friday that the British Embassy employees arrested in Tehran in recent days would be put on trial on unspecified charges of acting against Iran's national security, a move immediately denounced by members of the European Union. 

Iran's Ahmadinejad faces diplomatic isolation 
3 Jul 2009 - After a disputed election and crackdown on protesters, the Iranian president maybe be feted in some anti-U.S. corners, but he faces slights and snubs from other nations. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad can in one instant appear the diplomatic equivalent of damaged goods and in the next a confident leader whose bellicose speeches leave the West wondering how to deal with him and his perplexing nation now that he's won a much-disputed reelection. 

New York Times

Biden Suggests U.S. Not Standing in Israel’s Way on Iran
5 Jul 2009 - Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. suggested Sunday that the U.S. would not stand in the way of Israeli military action aimed at Iran’s nuclear program. 

Clerical Leaders Defy Ayatollah on Iran Election
4 Jul 2009 - An important group of religious leaders in Iran called for the results to be thrown out, the most public sign of a major split in the clerical establishment. 

Top Reformers Admitted Plot, Iran Declares
3 Jul 2009 - The Iranian government has made it a practice to publicize confessions from political prisoners, often subject to sleep deprivation, solitary confinement and torture, rights groups say. 


Biden: US will not stand in Israel’s way on Iran 
The National - The National, July 05. 2009 - WASHINGTON // The US vice president Joe Biden seemed to give Israel a green light for military action to eliminate Iran’s nuclear threat, when he said the US “cannot dictate to another sovereign nation what they can and cannot do”. Israel considers Iran its most dangerous adversary and is wary of the hard-line Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who just won a disputed re-election. He repeatedly has called for Israel to be wiped off the map and contends the Holocaust is a “myth”. Israel and the US accuse Iran of seeking to develop weapons under the cover of a nuclear power programme. Iran denies that. “Israel can determine for itself – it’s a sovereign nation – what’s in their interest and what they decide to do relative to Iran and anyone else,” Mr Biden told ABC’s This Week in an interview broadcast today. 

Israeli submarine crosses Suez Canal 
The National - The National, July 04. 2009 - An Israeli submarine crossed through the Suez Canal last month as a part of a military training exercise, defence officials said today. The move is believed to have been made as a warning to Iran of the Jewish state's capabilities and to show that Israel and Egypt are co-operating against a shared threat. The two countries share a peace agreement but have had strained relations for years. By using the Suez, an Israeli submarine could reach the Persian Gulf off Iran in a matter of days, compared wiith weeks to sail around the southern tip of Africa. The submarine participated in naval manoeuvres in the Red Sea last month, said Israeli defence officials who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue. They did not give further details. Israel owns three dolphin-grade submarines, which can carry nuclear warheads. 

Saudi air space is ‘not open’ for attack on Iran 
The National - The National, July 06. 2009 - RIYADH // Saudi analysts have rejected media reports that the kingdom has given permission to Israel to use its air space for an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. The Sunday Times reported yesterday that the head of Mossad, Israel’s overseas intelligence service, has assured Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister, that Saudi Arabia would turn a blind eye to Israeli jets flying over the kingdom during any future raid on Iran’s nuclear sites. Jamal Khashoggi, an expert on Saudi foreign policy and editor-in-chief of Al Watan newspaper, said the report was false and was another attempt to provoke the country into revealing its plans towards Iran. Mr Khashoggi said Saudi Arabia was not involved in any bilateral discussion with any countries regarding Iran’s nuclear programme. “I don’t think that Saudi Arabia is interested in any discussion on a possible military 

Minister calls for housing partition 
The National - Jonathan Cook, July 06. 2009 - NAZARETH, ISRAEL // Israel’s housing minister called for strict segregation between the country’s Jewish and Arab populations last week as he unveiled plans to move large numbers of fundamentalist religious Jews to Israel’s north to prevent what he described as an “Arab takeover” of the region. Ariel Atias said he considered it a “national mission” to bring ultra-Orthodox Jews – or Haredim, distinctive for their formal black and white clothing – into Arab areas, and announced that he would also create the north’s first exclusively Haredi town. The new settlement drive, according to Mr Atias, is intended to revive previous failed efforts by the state to “Judaise”, or create a Jewish majority in, the country’s heavily Arab north. Analysts say the announcement is a disturbing indication that the Haredim, who have traditionally been hostile to Zionism because 

This Week’ Transcript: EXCLUSIVE: Vice President Joe Biden 
ABC News - ABC's George Stephanopoulos Goes Behind the Scenes with Vice President Joe Biden in Iraq - July 5, 2009 -. . . . STEPHANOPOULOS: But just to be clear here, if the Israelis decide Iran is an existential threat, they have to take out the nuclear program, militarily the United States will not stand in the way? BIDEN: Look, we cannot dictate to another sovereign nation what they can and cannot do when they make a determination, if they make a determination that they're existentially threatened and their survival is threatened by another country. STEPHANOPOULOS: You say we can't dictate, but we can, if we choose to, deny over-flight rights here in Iraq. We can stand in the way of a military strike. BIDEN: I'm not going to speculate, George, on those issues, other than to say Israel has a right to determine what's in its interests, and we have a right and we will determine what's in our interests. 

Iran nuke could wipe Israel off map in seconds’ 
Ha'aretz - Haaretz, 4/07/2009 - Michael Oren, Israel's ambassador to the United States, on Friday warned that an Iranian atomic bomb could "wipe Israel off the map in a matter of seconds," and that the Iranians could "accomplish in a matter of seconds what they denied Hitler did, and kill 6 million Jews, literally. "Oren made his comments in a conversation with journalist Jeffrey Goldberg at the Aspen Ideas Festival in Colorado. The newly appointed ambassador warned, "There are clocks ticking all around," with regard to the Iranian nuclear issue. "One of those clocks is the uranium enrichment clock, which will show that by a certain date the Iranians will have sufficient, highly enriched uranium materials to create a bomb that could literally wipe Israel off the map in a matter of seconds. "Oren said the world must remain vigilant about what happens in Iran during the country's tumultuous post-election period. 

Will Israel help NATO police the Mediterranean? 
Ha'aretz - Ha'aretz, July 06, 2009 - Israel is to issue a request shortly to allow it to join a NATO operation in the Mediterranean aimed to prevent the passage of terrorists and weapons of mass destruction as well as improve the security of the region's shipping industry. The cabinet approved the recommendation made by the Israel Defense Forces and the navy to join the operation - dubbed Active Endeavour - last Wednesday when it was presented. Israel is not a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization; however, other non-members are taking part in the operation, including ships from Russia and Ukraine. If the request is approved, Israel Navy gunships would join the operation within a few months. A solution would be found to avoid Israeli ships approaching the shores of Arab countries, particularly those with which Israel has no diplomatic relations - including Syria, Lebanon and certain North African countries. 

Audio Slideshow - Life in Gaza after the Israeli invasion 
The Guardian - Six months after Israel's bloody three-week war with Hamas in January, Peter Beaumont interviews three women he originally met immediately after the invasion. 5 Jul 2009 - Main photographs by Antonio Olmos and Peter Beaumont. [end] 


Netanyahu reaffirms commitment to racism and expansionism – thanks to US tax dollars 
Saree Makdisi, Redress 7/5/2009
      Saree Makdisi argues that if Israel is ever to agree to anything for the Palestinians other than “an amorphous entity lacking a definite territory, not allowed to control its own borders or airspace, shorn of any vestige of sovereignty ... and permanently disarmed”, then Americans must demand an end to their leaders’ indulgence of Israel.
     To judge by the next day’s headlines, Binyamin Netanyahu’s policy speech last month was a great success. “Israeli premier backs state for Palestinians,” declared the New York Times. “Israel endorses two-state goal,” said the Washington Post. “Netanyahu backs Palestinian state,” announced the Guardian. He did no such thing, of course, unless by “state” one understands an amorphous entity lacking a definite territory, not allowed to control its own borders or airspace, shorn of any vestige of sovereignty (other than a flag and perhaps a national anthem), not allowed to enter into treaties with other states – and permanently disarmed and hence at the mercy of Israel. It would make about as much sense to call an apple an orange or a piano a speedboat as to call such a construct a state, and yet those are the conditions that Netanyahu imposed on the creation of such an entity for the Palestinians (if they get that far in the first place). The strange thing is that Netanyahu’s speech marked both the definitive end and a symbolic return to the beginning of the two-state solution as that hapless notion has been peddled since the Oslo Accords of 1993-95. For what he said the Palestinians might – perhaps – be entitled to is pretty much what Oslo had said they might be entitled to 15 years ago: a “self-government authority” not allowed to control its own borders or airspace, shorn of any vestige of sovereignty, etc. And on top of that they can also forget about Jerusalem – that is and will forever remain the eternal and undivided capital of the Jewish people. If it sounds so drearily familiar, that’s because it is: we have come full circle. First time as tragedy, second time as farce.

A life in ruins 
Peter Beaumont, The Observer, The Guardian 7/5/2009
      In the immediate aftermath of Israel’s bloody three-week war with Hamas in January, Peter Beaumont travelled to Gaza and met the Palestinians devasted by the death of their families and the destruction of their neighbourhoods. Six months later he returns to find they are still waiting - to rebuild both their homes and their lives.
     The force of the explosion that destroyed Shifa Salman’s house in the northern Gaza district of Jabal al-Rayas folded floor into floor as easily as pastry. It pushed pillars through concrete, reconfiguring her home into a bristling dome. The tail-fin of one of the Israeli bombs responsible still sits on top of the rubble, innocuous as a child’s discarded toy. These days, pigeons and sparrows nest in the cave-like space carved out by the detonation inside the ruins where mattresses and bags of flour are stored, the latter stencilled with the initials of the World Food Programme. Sleek, aggressive cockerels patrol the floor, flying at intruders.
     Six months after Israel’s war against Gaza, Shifa, a 20-year-old student, sleeps with her family behind the fallen house. A trodden path leads through the rubble to a row of cramped, ramshackle shelters open to the elements and roofed with hessian sacks. They are identical to the cattle pens that stand beside them.
     On closer examination I can see that the frames have been constructed out of cast-off sections of wood and metal lashed together. What walls that exist are fashioned out of old pallets and branches woven into crude wicker. Or more sacking, staked into the soil to make rudimentary windbreaks.
     Shifa’s family are Bedouin. Until recently they farmed this land close to the barrier, in an area once used for missile launches against the Jewish communities on the far side. This was one of Gaza’s limited areas of agricultural production in a densely crowded urban area, home to 1.4 million people. Because of the missiles, this neighbourhood of farms and little factories was treated to a scorched earth policy.

Electronic Intifada
Hiyam, a Gaza teenager killed as she offered aid
5 Jul 2009 - "At 5:30 PM an Israeli shell landed on my brother's house," the father told visitors who had come to offer condolences for his daughter at the family's home on Friday. The shell injured a nephew and Salim Abu Ayish rushed to render aid. "I asked Hiyam to bring me the car key from my bedroom," Salim Abu Ayish said. As she went, he recalled, "suddenly another shell struck my room, killing Hiyam instantly, as shrapnel rippled through her body." The Electronic Intifada correspondent Rami Almeghari reports from the occupied Gaza Strip. 

Gaza's sea a "no-go zone" for fishermen
2 Jul 2009 - GAZA CITY, occupied Gaza Strip (IPS) - "They told us 'go west or we will shoot you,'" says Ashraf Sadallah. "Initially, we refused, so they began shooting very close all around our boat." At 6am on 16 June, Sadallah and his brother Abdel Hadi Sadallah, in their early twenties, went roughly 400 meters out to sea off the coast of Sudaniya in Gaza's northwest. "We wanted to bring in nets we had left out the night before," says Sadallah. 

Why Obama should fire General Dayton
2 Jul 2009 - The US-sponsored "security coordination" program headed by Lt. Gen. Keith Dayton, which was launched by the Bush Administration in 2005 to allegedly help the Palestinians reform their security services, has done more harm than good. US President Barack Obama would do well to fire Dayton and put an end to US intrusion into internal Palestinian affairs. Mohammed J. Herzallah comments for The Electronic Intifada. 

Gaza aid boat crew detained, threatened with deportation
2 Jul 2009 - RAMALLAH, occupied West Bank (IPS) - Twenty-one international peace activists were seized by Israeli naval frigates in international waters Tuesday as their boat The Spirit of Humanity tried to carry humanitarian aid to Gaza. The activists, including former US Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney and Irish Nobel Peace laureate Mairead Maguire, and nationals from 11 other countries were part of the Free Gaza Movement (FGM) efforts to break Israel's naval and border blockade of Gaza. 

In Gaza
Israeli naval abductions and shooting at Palestinian fishermen: it’s routine
1 Jul 2009 - *Palestinian fishing boats damaged by Israeli firing attacks. [photo: Emad Badwan ] GAZA CITY, Jul 1 (IPS) – “They told us ‘go west or we will shoot you’,” says Ashraf Sadallah. “Initially, we refused, so they began shooting very close all around our boat.” At 6am on Jun. 16, Sadallah and his brother Abdel Hadi Sadallah, in their early twenties, went roughly 400 metres out to sea off the coast of Sudaniya in Gaza’s northwest. “We wanted to bring in nets we had left out the night before,” says Sadallah. Their small fishing boat, known as a hassaka, was in Palestinian fishing waters when three Israeli navy boats approached the brothers....

Palestine Chronicle
The Israeli Idea of a 'Palestinian State'
5 Jul 2009 - By Saree Makdisi To judge by the next day’s headlines, Benjamin Netanyahu's policy speech last month was a great success. "Israeli Premier Backs State for Palestinians," declared the New York Times. "Israel Endorses Two-State Goal," said the Washington Post. "Netanyahu Backs Palestinian State," announced The Guardian. He did no such thing, of course, unless by “state” one understands an amorphous entity lacking a definite territory, not allowed to control its own borders or airspace, shorn of any vestige of sovereignty (other than a flag and perhaps a national anthem), not allowed to enter into treaties with other states—and permanently disarmed and hence at the mercy of Israel. It would make about as much sense to call an apple an orange or a piano a speedboat as to call such a construct a state, and yet those are the conditions that Netanyahu imposed on the creation of such an entity for the Palestinians (if they get that far in the first place). The strange thing is that Netanyahu’s speech marked both the definitive end and a symbolic return to the beginning of the two-state solution as that hapless notion has been peddled since the Oslo Accords of 1993-95. For what he said the Palestinians might—perhaps—be entitled to is pretty much what Oslo had said they might be entitled to fifteen years ago: a “self-government authority” not allowed to control its own borders or airspace, shorn of any vestige of sovereignty, etc. And on top of that they can also forget about...

Ethnic Cleansing as a State Policy
3 Jul 2009 - By Nicola Nasser - The West Bank In his speech at Bar Ilan University on June 14, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu proposed a new Israeli 'peace plan,' with preconditions that a Palestinian negotiator must first meet before he would “promptly” engage in “unconditional” bilateral talks to meet an international consensus demanding the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel. His preconditions added to the fourteen conditions the former Israeli government of comatose Ariel Sharon attached to Israel’s adoption in grudge of the 2003 Road Map blueprint for peace with the Palestinian side, on the basis of which the U.S. administration of President Barak Obama and his presidential envoy George Mitchell are now urging an early resumption of “immediate” Israeli – Palestinian peace talks, which Mitchell on June 26 hoped “very much to conclude this phase of the discussions and to be able to move into meaningful and productive negotiations in the near future." Sharon’s conditional approval of the Road Map has condemned the blueprint as a non-starter, led to the Israeli military reoccupation of the Palestinian autonomous areas, aborted former U.S. President George W. Bush’s promise to Palestinians to have their own state twice in 2005 and 2008, and doomed the twenty – year peace process since the Madrid conference in 1991 to its current impasse that Obama and Mitchell are trying to break through. It is a forgone conclusion that Netanyahu’s preconditions -- Palestinian recognition of Israel as a “Jewish state,” “demilitarization” of the prospective Palestinian less-than-a-sovereign state...

Israel Insults Britain (Again)
3 Jul 2009 - By Stuart Littlewood – London On Tuesday the Israeli navy, in a blatant act of piracy on the high seas, assaulted the vessel 'Spirit of Humanity' and abducted six British nationals who were taking part in a voyage of mercy. The tiny unarmed ship was bringing a humanitarian cargo of medicines, children's toys and reconstruction materials to the devastated people of Gaza. Israel's murderous 22-day offensive last December/January left more than 50,000 homes, 800 industrial properties, 200 schools, 39 mosques and two churches damaged or destroyed. The International Committee of the Red Cross says the 1.5 million Palestinians living in Gaza are "trapped in despair", unable to rebuild their lives because Israel, having wantonly wrecked their civil society and infrastructure, is blocking efforts to bring in the necessary repair materials. Those on board the 'Spirit of Humanity' were acting in accord with donors' pledges of $4.5 billion for reconstruction and rehabilitation and US President Obama's request to Israel to let those supplies pass. The mercy ship sailed from Larnaca, Cyprus, with a crew of 21 human rights activists, humanitarian workers and journalists from 11 different countries, including Nobel laureate Mairead Maguire and former US Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney. In the early hours of Tuesday morning Israeli warships surrounded it and threatened to open fire if the crew didn’t turn back. When they refused to be intimidated, the Israelis jammed their instrumentation and blocked their GPS, radar, and navigation systems, putting all lives at risk. The ship had been searched and given...

Remembering Fearless Israeli Journalist Kapeliouk
3 Jul 2009 - By Franklin Lamb - Beirut Amnon Kapeliouk, an Israeli Jew, was an extraordinary journalist. Sadly, he died on June 26 at the age of 78 and was buried near his birthplace in West Jerusalem. For more than 40 years Kapeliouk reported on Palestinian and Arab affairs for half a dozen newspapers and was a pro from the old school for whom reporting meant getting to the scene fast and carefully scribing with pencil and notepad. I knew Kapeliouk mainly through his writings and a dozen or so encounters over the years following our first improbable encounter during the infamous Beirut summer of 1982. Those months of US-armed Israeli carnage, which continue to shape the region, left him with an indelible scar. He once told me: “I can’t forget. It doesn’t fade. I don’t think it ever will.” I understood what he meant. In his last communication he said he would try to attend the 27th Anniversary Memorial to the victims of the Sabra-Shatila Massacre, set for this coming September 16-18 at Beirut’s Shatila Camp. I thought about Amnon Kapeliouk a couple of weeks ago while giving one of my twice weekly swimming lessons to a gaggle of ‘Hezkids’ (children from Dahiyeh) and ‘Palkids’ (Palestinian children from nearby Shatila, Mar Elias, and Burj Barajeneh Refugee Camps) because it was near the same spot on Beirut’s Ramlet al Baida beach where Kapeliouk and I first met. It was an unusual first encounter. I had left my room at the Beau Rivage Hotel...

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