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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
26 July , 2009


International Middle East Media Center

Israel asks Holland to stop funding “Breaking the Silence”
27 Jul 2009 - Israeli group “Breaking The Silence” issued a report accusing Israel’s Foreign Ministry of endangering democracy after Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, published a report stating that the ministry had asked Holland to freeze funds to the group. 

The Israeli military kidnaps four civilians during invasions in the West Bank
26 Jul 2009 - The Israeli military kidnapped on Sunday morning four Palestinian civilians during invasions targeting West Bank communities.

Settlers take over a Palestinian owned house in East Jerusalem, police kidnaps 12 people
26 Jul 2009 - A group of Israeli settlers attacked and took over on Sunday afternoon a Palestinian owned house in East Jerusalem, while police provided them with protection and kidnapped 12 activists who tried to stop the attack.

PCHR Weekly Report: 1 civilian killed, 21 abducted by Israeli forces this week
25 Jul 2009 - According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, during the week of 16 - 22 July 2009, a mentally disabled Palestinian civilian was killed and another civilian was wounded by Israel forces in the Gaza Strip. Also this week, Israeli forces conducted 25 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, and two into the Gaza Strip. Israel has continued measures aimed at establishing a Jewish majority in occupied east Jerusalem, including shutting down a tourist show and a community development center in Jerusalem this week. 

Two Qassam fighters killed in central Gaza
25 Jul 2009 - The Al Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas movement, reported that two of its fighters were killed late Friday during what the brigades described as a “jihadist mission’ east of Al Boreij refugee camo, in central Gaza. 

Ha'aretz Defense page

WATCH: IDF successfully test fires Barak anti-missile system
26 Jul 2009 - Surface-to-air missile launched by Israel Navy intercepts target simulating incoming enemy missile. 

Group that exposed 'IDF crimes' in Gaza slams Israel bid to choke off its funds
25 Jul 2009 - Breaking the Silence says Foreign Ministry 'endangering democracy' over complaint to Dutch about funding. 

Egypt refers accused Hezbollah operatives to emergency court
26 Jul 2009 - 26 men to stand trial on terrorism, espionage-related charges; Hezbollah declines to comment. 

Accused Israel spy hints at FBI anti-Semitism in AIPAC probe
25 Jul 2009 - 'I was asked about every Jew I knew in the [defense] secretary's bureau,' says former top U.S. official. 

Iran: If Israel attacks us, we'll hit its nuclear sites
25 Jul 2009 - Leader of Revolutionary Guards threatens 'firm and precise' answer to a strike against Iran. 

Ma'an News

Israeli police detain former minister of Jerusalem affairs
7/26/2009 - Jerusalem - Ma'an - Residents on Sunday tried unsuccessfully to prevent Israeli settlers and police from reaching a home owned by Palestinians in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem. During the incident former Minister of Jerusalem Affairs Hatim Abdul Qader was detained, apparently while trying to block more attacks on a home that had earlier been ransacked by a group of rightist settlers. The former minister had not been released by early afternoon on Sunday. Abdul Qader resigned his post earlier this month, but remains in charge of Jerusalem affairs within the Fatah movement. Another Palestinian and eight foreign solidarity activists were also detained by Israeli forces operating in the area when, according to Ma'an's correspondent, they tried to prevent settlers and police from occupying the home of Darwish Hijazi. 

One dead, six missing in Gaza tunnel collapse
7/26/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - A 33-year-old Palestinian was burned to death in a tunnel collapse under the border between Gaza and Egypt on Sunday, a medical official told Ma'an. Two more Palestinians were injured in the collapse and six others were still missing by Sunday afternoon, according to Rafah Abdallah Shahada, director of Abu Yousif An-Najjar Hospital in Rafah. Shahada added that the hospital had received the body of Sami Qishta, 33, and two others who sustained burns and were listed in moderate condition. There was no word on the six missing Palestinians. The tunnel industry is notoriously dangerous, and dozens of workers are killed each year in workplace accidents. Above the regular collapse of the sandy tunnels, Israeli and Egyptian border police routinely throw explosives into their access points, or flood the passages with water or fuel. 

Settlers to build 11 new West Bank outposts
7/26/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Israeli settlers have announced their intention to build 11 new illegal outposts in the occupied West Bank on Sunday. In fliers distributed in existing West Bank settlements, an organization calling itself the Land of Israel Faithful urged settlers to establish the new colonies. The call coincides with the expected arrival of US Middle East Envoy George Mitchell, who is likely to urge Israeli authorities to declare a moratorium on all construction in the settlements. Mitchell will deliver this message in talks with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak later in the day. "Only the establishment of settlements will put the State of Israel back on the track of independence and growth, and will create national resilience in the face of international pressure," the settler leaflet reads. 

Israel: Dutch must stop funding group that exposed Gaza crimes
7/27/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Israel's ambassador to the Netherlands has called on the country to rethink funding for an Israeli organization that exposed various atrocities committed during Israel's latest assault on Gaza. The Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz uncovered the demands on Sunday, in which it says Israeli Ambassador to the Netherlands Harry Knei-Tal met with the director-general of the Dutch Foreign Ministry and complained about its support for Breaking the Silence, an Israeli organization. The group was founded by veterans of the Israeli military, which most citizens are required to join, and frequently critiques Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories and the army's behavior. According to Breaking the Silence, Israel's Foreign Ministry is on a "witch hunt. . . only a part of which was exposed in the Haaretz report," and represents "erosion of democratic culture in the State of Israel. 

Palestinian playwright trapped in Gaza
7/26/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - A playwright will likely miss the opening night of a production he wrote due to the siege on Gaza, the Scotsman newspaper reported Saturday. Ahmed Masoud, a Palestinian writer whose new play Fringe is ironically focused on Gaza's plight, has not yet been able to return home despite holding UK residence. He was in Gaza for what he thought would be a brief visit with his mother who was undergoing a cancer operation there, but has been unable to leave via Egypt's Rafah crossing, which is rarely opened. Masoud's wife is expecting a child in October. His latest play, Go to Gaza, Drink the Sea, opened in London this past February. Rehearsals for his next play will begin this week in Edinburgh, the Scotsman noted. It opens on 6 August. Israel and Egypt have maintained a near-total blockade of the Strip by land and sea since June 2007. 

Two Gaza crossing points open
7/26/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Israeli authorities will open the Kerem Shalom and Nahal Oz crossing points on Sunday to allow humanitarian aid, cooking gas and industrial diesel into the besieged Gaza Strip, according to Palestinian crossings official Raed Fattouh. Fattouh told Ma'an that the Kerem Shalom crossing would be open to allow in 44-54 trucks loaded with humanitarian aid. He said cooking gas and industrial diesel needed to run Gaza's only power plant will be transferred through the Nahal Oz crossing. He added the Karni terminal, now normally used to transfer grain and animal feed, will remain closed. [end] 

Israeli forces seize three Palestinians near Ramallah
7/26/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israeli forces detained three Palestinians from Al-Jalazoun refugee camp north of Ramallah in the central West Bank on Sunday morning. Israeli sources said the detainees were taken to interrogation centers. The detainees were not identified. [end] 

Qalandiya checkpoint shut down for several hours
7/26/2009 - Jerusalem - Ma'an - Israeli authorities reopened the Qalandiya military checkpoint between Ramallah and Jerusalem after it was closed for several hours on Sunday, causing heavy traffic. According to Israeli sources, the closure came as sappers were summoned to examine a suspicious object. Other sources said Qalandiya was closed because Israeli forces had decided to conduct a drill in the surrounding area. Located between Ramallah and Jerusalem, the Qalandiya checkpoint is one of the largest military stations in the occupied West Bank. It was set up in 2000 during the Second Intifadah as a temporary barrier. Today, however, the checkpoint is one of the most major border crossings between Israel and the West Bank, although it is not technically on the Green Line border. Also on Sunday, Palestinians and internationals were removed from buses and vans at the Bethlehem-area Container checkpoint. 

Rights groups blast new Gaza courtroom ’modesty’ rules
7/26/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - A decision by the Hamas-run judiciary in Gaza to force so-called modest dress on female lawyers is "illegal and unjustified," the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights said on Sunday. If carried out, the decree, which also forces male attorneys to wear a standard uniform, would require that female lawyers wear traditional robes and veils covering their hair while in Gaza's courtrooms. "[T]his decision constitutes a violation of the law and an unjustified intervention into lawyers' affairs," the rights group said in a statement to Ma'an. "It also undermines personal freedoms and women's rights. "The chief justice of the de facto High Court, Abdul Ra'ouf Al-Halabi, reportedly issued the decision earlier this month, first announcing it on Sunday. It is scheduled to go into effect on 1 September, after the court's recess. 

Former PA minister released from Israeli custody
7/26/2009 - Jerusalem - Ma'an - Israel's Interior Ministry on Sunday issued an order preventing former Minister of Jerusalem Affairs Hatim Abdul Qader from approaching an area in East Jerusalem for 15 days. The former official was detained earlier on Sunday, apparently while trying to block more attacks on a home that had earlier been ransacked by a group of rightist settlers. The order says that Abdul Qader must not approach property allegedly owned by Arieh King, the leader of a local settler group in the occupied city, who accused the official of attacking him and destroying property in the As-Salam neighborhood. Abdul Qader was interrogated for eight hours at an Israeli police station on Salah Ad-Din Street in East Jerusalem before he was transferred to the Russian compound detention center for questioning by Israel's Shabak intelligence service. 

Israel to open all Gaza crossings on Monday
7/26/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Israel will open its crossings into the Gaza Strip on Monday, according to Nasser As-Sarraj, a senior official within the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Economy. As-Sarraj noted that the Kerem Shalom crossing would be opened to allow 76 truckloads, one of which is aid, while 57 others will carry commercial products and 18 for the agricultural sector. He added that the Karni and Nahal Oz crossings would be opened, as well. Recent food and fuel shipments into the Strip have been edging close to Israel's pre-war blockade levels, which saw less than a bare of minimum supplies entering, following the launch of projectiles by Gaza factions. Aid convoys were similarly turned away. One projectile was reportedly launched two weeks ago, but calm has otherwise reigned in Israeli towns bordering the besieged coastal strip. 

Gunmen fire on Israeli car near Nablus
7/26/2009 - Nablus - Ma'an - An Israeli civilian car came under gunfire near the Huwwara military checkpoint, south of the West Bank city of Nablus on Saturday, Israeli sources said. The sources said the car was damaged but none of the occupants were hurt. Israeli soldiers then chased the alleged Palestinian gunmen. Meanwhile, according to local Palestinian sources, Israeli soldiers ransacked home of Anas Addeik, and Ibrahim Najim in the village of Huwwara after they ordered the their occupants into the street. Israeli sources said on Saturday that an Israeli car came under fire near the Huwwara checkpoint south of Nablus. Separately, Israeli forces apprehended a Palestinian near Sabastiya crossroads northwest of Nablus overnight. According to Palestinian sources, Israeli soldiers stopped a Palestinian car with four passengers and detained one of them. 

Israel: Palestinian man arrested with Molotov cocktail
7/26/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - The Israeli army said it detained Palestinian who was about to throw a Molotov cocktail near the West Bank city of Nablus on Sunday afternoon. The unidentified man was taken for "investigation," according to Israeli reports. [end] 

UK Foreign Affairs Committee urges talks with Hamas
7/26/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - The British parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee urged the UK to open dialogue with moderate Hamas officials, arguing that the embargo against the group had failed. Most Western states refuse to talk to Hamas, designating it as a "terrorist organization" in part for its refusal to recognize Israel. "We conclude that there continue to be few signs that the current policy of non-engagement is achieving the Quartet's stated objectives," the committee said, according to Reuters. "We further conclude that the credible peace process for which the Quartet hopes, as part of its strategy for undercutting Hamas, is likely to be difficult to achieve without greater cooperation from Hamas itself. " Russia is the only member of the international Quartet, a body tasked with pursuing peace in the Middle East. 

US says parade of officials visiting Israel purely coincidental
7/26/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - US President Barack Obama will dispatch four of his most senior foreign policy advisors to Israel this week. The visits seemed designed to pressure Israel on two issues, ending illegal settlement activities and holding off on attacking Iran. But that all four officials will arrive in Israel almost consecutively was purely a scheduling coincidence, American officials have insisted, according to the AP. US Mideast peace envoy George Mitchell was the first to announce his visit, expected to arrive in Israel on Tuesday for talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on restarting stalled peace talks. "He wants to be clear that, you know, all sides are creating the conditions, putting themselves in position so that when we begin a formal negotiating process, we've put ourselves in the best position to have a successful. . . 

Gazans with Saudi residency demand to be allowed through Rafah
7/26/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - A group of Palestinians from Gaza who hold residency in Saudi Arabia issued an appeal on Sunday for the opening of the Rafah Border Crossing with Egypt in order to allow them to leave. In a statement released on Sunday the group called on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and other members of the Palestinian leadership to bring an end to their ordeal and allow them to leave Gaz. The group said it had also approached the Palestinian ambassadors in Egypt and Saudi Arabia in hopes of arranging the permits required for them to travel. They also appealed to Ghazi Hammad, the head of the border crossings authority in the de facto government in Gaza. Israel closed its borders with Gaza in June 2007. Egypt followed suit, trapping 1. 5 million Palestinians in the tiny territory, including hundreds of students, business figures, and others who ordinarily live abroad. 

Gaza interior minister vows to hunt down collaborators
7/26/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - The Interior Minister of the de facto government in Gaza issued a warning on Saturday that his security forces will hunt down "collaborators and traitors" in an effort to achieve "total security." Interior Minister Fathi Hammad said in a statement on the ministry's website that "the day will come when we will bring to justice the killers who participated in killing Palestinians. "Hammad's predecessor, Hamas leader Sa'id Siyam, was killed in January in an Israeli airstrike on his brother's home. There is wide suspicion that a Palestinian spy informed Israel of his location. The Palestinian official also claimed that his ministry had released 20 prisoners on the occasion of Muhammad's night journey. He said that any prisoner "found not to be involved in security issues" was released. 

Abbas aide to step down from Fatah leadership
7/26/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - A top aide to President Mahmoud Abbas, At-Tayyib Abdul Rahim, has decided not to stand for election to Fatah's Central Committee, sources close to him say. Fatah will elect new leadership at a conference that begins on 4 August in the West Bank city of Bethlehem. It is the party's first general congress in more than a decade. The secretary-general of the Palestinian presidency Abdul Rahim is stepping aside to make room for younger leaders to step up. He described the younger generation of Fatah as the "spine of the Palestinian national project." Abdul-Rahim has been member of the Central Committee for twenty years, and member of the Revolutionary Council for ten years. According to the sources, Abdul-Rahim will become member of a new governing entity Fatah intends to form called the Higher Council, or Advisors' Council. 

PLC secretariat: Hamas barring Fatah lawmakers from leaving Gaza
7/26/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an -The general secretariat of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) accused Hamas on Sunday of preventing Fatah-affiliated lawmakers from leaving the Gaza Strip from leaving to the West Bank. A statement released by the PLC secretariat condemned the decision as a step that would further divide the Palestinian people. A long-awaited sixth Fatah conference is scheduled to begin in the West Bank city of Bethlehem on 4 August, but the movement's rival Hamas controls Gaza's interior. Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahhar said last Friday that Fatah leaders would only be allowed to leave Gaza if the Fatah-backed Palestinian Authority releases Hamas members in the West Bank. "If Fatah says they won't stop political arrests "¦ we say that when the division is over each side will move freely," Az-Zahhar said at Friday prayers in northern Gaza. 

PA: Palestinian teens disguised as Israelis staged ’army raid’
7/26/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - It appeared to be a routine army raid when Israeli soldiers invaded the West Bank village of Marah Rabah, ordering a curfew and bursting into private homes late on Friday night. Residents quickly discovered, however, that the "soldiers" were in fact five teenage Palestinian boys disguised in Israeli army uniforms. The Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces were then summoned to the village on the outskirts of Bethlehm to arrest the boys. The Bethlehem Police Department said in a statement that the boys are between 15 and 17 years old and are residents of various unspecified Bethlehem-area towns. Witnesses in the village said the boys tried to impose a curfew on the Thaher Ath-Thur neighborhood. The teens also broke into at least one house and "searched" it, they said. Local residents managed to surround the troublemakers and block their escape before the police arrived. 

PLC independent to Hamas: Let Fatah’s delegates leave Gaza
7/26/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - An independent member of the Palestinian Legislative Council urged Hamas and its de facto government to allow members of Fatah to attend the movement's upcoming conference in Bethlehem next month. Husam At-Taweel, an non-aligned member of the Palestinian parliament, said in a statement that "allowing Fatah's members to travel comes within basic freedom of travel and movement, which are human rights. ""The state of division is becoming ever deeper among Palestinians, the consequences of which are expanding to reach every aspect of life," he added, saying that "all efforts should be focused on ending the division and restoring Palestinian national unity. " "The Palestinians need both Fatah and Hamas to be strong and unified," as they are the basic components of Palestinian political society, he said. 

Palestine Securities Exchange finishes Sunday up nearly a point
7/26/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The Al-Quds Index of the Palestine Securities Exchange in Nablus closed at 496. 25 after Sunday's trading, an increase of 0. 95 points (0. 19%) over the last trading session. Trading volume for Sunday reached 220,292 shares traded for a total value of 311,138. 88 US dollars, in 207 trades. The shares of 16 companies were traded. The shares prices of six companies rose, and the shares prices of seven declined. The top five gainers were ARAB by 5. 00%, PRICO by 3. 08%, UCI by 1. 72%, QUDS by 1. 41%, and PADICO by 0. 81%. The top five losers were PID by 4. 08%, LADAEN by 3. 33%, ISBK by 2. 60%, WASSEL by 1. 79%, and AMB by 1. 67%. [end] 

The National

Mitchell appeals to Syria over West Bank
26 Jul 2009 - The US envoy to the Middle East lands in Israel after telling Syrians he wants their help in reaching a peace deal.

Egypt debates true meaning of faith
25 Jul 2009 - Some say the nation's religiosity is superficial and claim it is responsible for the decline of moral values in society.

US looks for compromise with Israel
25 Jul 2009 - Washington officials will focus their diplomatic efforts on Jewish settlement expansion in the West Bank and Iran's nuclear ambitions.


US pushes peace process in Israel
26 Jul 2009 - George Mitchell meets Israeli officials as flurry of Middle East diplomacy begins.

UK MPs urge talks with Hamas
25 Jul 2009 - Parliamentary committee says shunning Hamas is showing little sign of success.

Palestine News Network

Radio show to deliver direct testimony from Palestinians inside Israeli prisons
26 Jul 2009 - Bethlehem / PNN - A new program is coming to the airwaves to talk about the reality faced by Palestinian political prisoners within the Israeli prison system. Between 9,500 and 11,000 Palestinians are in Israeli prisons and detention centers where reports of torture, extended periods of solitary confinement, inadequate medical care and food, and a lack of family visits or seasonal clothing are...

Information backed-up by first hand view for Irish parliamentarians in East Jerusalem
26 Jul 2009 - Jerusalem / Maisa Abu Ghazaleh for PNN - An Irish parliamentary delegation visited Jerusalem and saw first-hand some of the affects of what is currently being debated between the Israelis and Americans: Palestinian home and neighborhood destruction and Israeli settlements. During the weekend trip the five-member delegation met with Ziad Hammouri, director of the Jerusalem Center for Social and Economic Rights. He delivered...

Palestinian official arrested in East Jerusalem for role in nonviolent resistance to save homes
26 Jul 2009 - Jerusalem / Maisa Abu Ghazaleh for PNN – The Minister of Jerusalem Affairs in the Palestinian Authority was arrested this morning. Hatem Abdel Kader was held for investigation at the Israeli police station next to the post office on East Jerusalem’s Salah Addin Street.For eight hours the Palestinian official was questioned in an ongoing campaign of harassment of Jerusalem citizens which includes closing...

Haniyeh government goes too far with morality campaign, may impose hijab on female lawyers
26 Jul 2009 - Gaza City / PNN - The Hamas government denied this week that it is imposing too many restrictions on the personal freedoms of residents of the Gaza Strip. Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh addressed critics in a statement issued from Gaza City but it has not silenced them.Today a Kuwaiti paper reported that a great deal of people in Gaza are convinced that the...

International music festival on the airwaves of Algiers as part of Jerusalem events
26 Jul 2009 - Algiers / PNN - Under the banner of “Jerusalem as Capital of Arab Culture 2009”, events are being held not only locally but also throughout the Arab world. In Algeria this week an International Festival is broadcasting through the radio waves. Arab, Algerian and foreign singers and song writers are featured. The program is concentrated in the capital city and is overseen by...

Day and night demonstrations against Wall, arrests and land confiscation in central West Bank
25 Jul 2009 - Bil’in / Iyad Burnat – On Friday some 200 Palestinian, Israeli and international activists participated in the weekly nonviolent demonstration against the Wall in western Ramallah’s Bil'in. Protesters gathered in the center of town before waling together toward the Wall. They chanted slogans and waved the Palestinian flag.After a few minutes, residents of the town and their supporters were met with noxious gas,...

New Israeli committee undermines achievements made by Palestinians through protest in Israeli jails
25 Jul 2009 - Gaza / PNN - The Ministry involved in the issues of political prisoners said this evening that the situation for Palestinians in all Israeli detention centers is worsening by the day. Although the number is reported between 9,500 and 11,000 Palestinians and Arabs in Israeli prisons the exact count is difficult as arrests occur on a daily basis. The Hamas government’s Ministry of...


IRAQ: Trenches to protect Christians 
BAGHDAD Thursday, July 23, 2009 (IRIN) - Security measures nationwide have been stepped up to protect the Christian community from militant attacks, security officials say, including digging trenches around Christian towns in remote areas.

AFRICA: Male circumcision slowly taking off 
CAPE TOWN Thursday, July 23, 2009 (IRIN) - The World Health Organization endorsed male circumcision (MC) as an HIV-prevention measure two years ago, but implementation of large-scale male circumcision programmes has been relatively slow.

SOMALIA-YEMEN: Registration programme "to weed out illegal migrants"
SANAA Wednesday, July 22, 2009 (IRIN) - A campaign to register Somali refugees with the aim of creating a government database and identifying illegal African migrants is under way in Yemen, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).

Inter Press Service

US-IRAQ: Al-Maliki Dons Mantle of Seasoned Statesman 
WASHINGTON, Jul 25 (IPS) - His visit to the U.S. this week was meant to be a show of statesmanship, much different than when he was in Washington last time.

MIDEAST: Two Police States, No Solution 
RAMALLAH, Jul 25 (IPS) - What remains of Palestinian civil rights is rapidly being eroded by the dictorial Palestinian governments that respectively control the divided Palestinian territories.

MIDEAST: Fatah's Leadership Crisis Deepens 
WASHINGTON, Jul 24 (IPS) - Fifty years ago, a small group of Palestinian teachers and engineers living in Kuwait founded a secretive movement aimed at liberating those portions of previously British-ruled Palestine that became the State of Israel in 1948.

U.S.: Pro-Israel Groups Push Back Against Settlements Policy 
WASHINGTON, Jul 24 (IPS) - As the clash between the U.S. and Israeli governments over settlements in the occupied territories intensifies, many of Israel's traditionally staunch defenders in Washington have been pushing back, tentatively but with increasing assertiveness, to urge the Barack Obama administration to alleviate its pressure on Israel.

Stop The Wall

Eye-Witness to Murder Targeted in Reprisal Arrest
22 Jul 2009 - A member of the Ni'lin popular committee was arrested the day before yesterday on his way back from testifying to Israeli war crimes at the United Nations. Attention will now turn to the UN's response to Mohammed's arrest. [

PCHR Latest

Decision to Impose Traditional Robes and Veils on Female Lawyers in Gaza Is Illegal

PCHR Weekly Report

(16 - 22 July  2008)
During the reporting period, Israeli forces killed a mentally disabled Palestinian civilian and wounded another one in the Gaza Strip.  In the West Bank, Israeli forces used force against peaceful demonstrations organized by Palestinian civilians to protest the construction of the Annexation Wall.

International Solidarity Movement

Settlers occupy and damage Sheikh Jarrah home
International Solidarity Movement - Ma'an News, 26 July 2009 - Residents on Sunday tried unsuccessfully to prevent Israeli settlers and police from reaching a home owned by Palestinians in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem. During the incident former Minister of Jerusalem Affairs Hatim Abdul Qader was detained, apparently while trying to block more attacks on a home that had earlier been ransacked by a group of rightist settlers. The former minister had not been released by early afternoon on Sunday. Abdul Qader resigned his post earlier this month, but remains in charge of Jerusalem affairs within the Fatah movement. Another Palestinian and eight foreign solidarity activists were also detained by Israeli forces operating in the area when, according to Ma'an's correspondent, they tried to prevent settlers and police from occupying the home of Darwish Hijazi. 

Two-day-old Silwan info center in jeopardy
International Solidarity Movement - The Jerusalem Post, 26 July 2009 - "We built this place last Sunday, and on Tuesday, the police arrived with orders to knock it down," said Ahmad Qara'een, as he sat inside the Wadi Hilwah Information Center, a 35-sq. m. covered wooden deck erected by residents of east Jerusalem's Silwan neighborhood. Qara'een does not dispute the lack of a building permit, although he does maintain that the center was built on privately-owned Palestinian land, with the consent of its owner. The issue for Qara'een and his colleagues, who built the center to disseminate information about Silwan they say is not made available to the tourists who throng the area, is what they see as a double standard. A number of structures belonging to Jews in Silwan – some only a few doors down from the center – also lack permits, but the city has not issued demolition orders for them. 

Israel pushes Dutch to freeze funds for group exposing ‘IDF crimes in Gaza’
International Solidarity Movement - Ha'aretz, 26 July 2009 - Following protests by Israel, the Netherlands will reevaluate its funding of an organization that alleged that Israeli troops used Palestinians as human shields in Gaza. Acting on instructions from the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem, the Israeli ambassador to the Netherlands, Harry Knei-Tal, met last week with the director-general of the Dutch Foreign Ministry and complained about the Dutch embassy's funding of Breaking the Silence. The Israeli ambassador suggested that the Netherland's funding of the organization should be terminated. "The Dutch taxpayer's money could be better used to promote peace and human rights," a source quoted Knei-Tal as saying. According to sources familiar with the situation, Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen – considered one of Israel's staunchest supporters in the European Union – did not know that the embassy in Tel Aviv was funding Breaking the Silence. 

A demonstration will be held outside the demolished Darwish Hijazi home in Sheikh Jarrah
International Solidarity Movement - 4pm, Monday 27 July 2009: A demonstration will be held outside the Darwish Hijazi home to protest the demolition of the home and the ethnic cleansing of occupied East Jerusalem. Palestinian residents of Sheikh Jarrah, along with international and Israeli solidarity activists, will hold a demonstration outside the Darwish Hijazi home in Sheikh Jarrah. On Sunday, 26 July 2009, 7 international activists, 1 Israeli activist and 2 Palestinians were arrested outside the Palestinian home. Settlers had broken into the home and began to destroy the house from the inside. According to local residents, the Palestinian home owner had died a month ago, leaving no one inside the home to protect it. Around 12:30 pm, Israeli forces arrested a German national, an Australian national, a Scottish national, an Israeli and 2 Palestinians including former Minister of Jerusalem Affairs Hatim Abdul Qader, when they tried to block settlers from entering the home. 

Ni’lin demonstrates against the Apartheid Wall
International Solidarity Movement - At 1 pm, after the Friday prayer, approximately 80 protesters gathered to demonstrate against the illegal Apartheid wall which Israel has built on Ni'lin land. Internationals and Israeli solidarity activists joined the residents of Ni'lin in their weekly demonstration against the Wall. The demonstration started in the outskirt of the village and walked through the olive fields towards the Wall. On the way people were singing and chanting carrying Palestinian flags. The demonstrators succeeded in reaching the Wall but were immediately forced back by multiple tear gas canisters shot from jeeps, some of them aimed very low risking serious injury. The Israeli armed forces continued to attack the protesters with an excessive amount of tear gas, sound bombs and also used chemical stinky water against the crowd Young men from the village responded by throwing stones. 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

U.S., Israel inch closer to deal on settlement freeze 
26 Jul 2009 - U.S. envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell arrived in Israel Sunday and met with Defense Minister Ehud Barak as part of an ongoing effort to reach an agreement on construction in the settlements. The two are reportedly close to a deal in which Washington would allow a limited number of projects in advanced stages of construction to be completed, but Israel would freeze all other building for an as-yet undetermined period of time. ... 

Sarkozy hospitalized after collapsing during jog
25 Jul 2009 - French President Nicolas Sarkozy collapsed suddenly while jogging Sunday on the lush grounds of the Chateau of Versailles, then was rushed by helicopter to a military hospital where he will remain overnight, his office said. ...

Iran ex-president Rafsanjani ignores hardliners' call on vote
25 Jul 2009 - Iran's influential former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani on Sunday defied a call by a group of hardline clerics to back the country's disputed presidential election result, a news agency reported. ...

U.S. Professor: I told FBI about kidney trafficking 7 years ago
25 Jul 2009 - The alleged crimes of the Brooklyn man arrested Thursday for dealing in black-market kidneys were first reported by an anthropologist from the University of California, Berkeley, who learned of the man's suspected involvement through her research. ... 

Clinton brands Iran's nuclear pursuit 'futile'
25 Jul 2009 - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Sunday that Iran would not be allowed to have a nuclear weapon and reiterated Washington's commitment to protect close ally Israel from any threat posed by Tehran. ...

The Guardian

Middle East: Obama seeks results
26 Jul 2009 - After one of the worst weeks of his presidency in which Barack Obama battled to save the healthcare reforms, the centrepiece of his domestic legislation, a bevy of government officials are in Israel today. George Mitchell,...

Barack Obama administration steps up diplomatic push to revive Middle East peace process
26 Jul 2009 - US special envoy George Mitchell tells Syrian president that US wants 'truly comprehensive' Arab-Israeli deal The White House will step up efforts to revive the near-moribund Middle East peace process this week, with senior Obama administration...

Barack Obama's Middle East envoy steps up diplomatic push in Syria
26 Jul 2009 - George Mitchell tells President Assad that White House is committed to 'truly comprehensive' Middle East peace deal The White House is determined to achieve a "truly comprehensive" Middle East peace settlement that includes normal relations between...

MPs urge ministers to open Middle East peace talks with Hamas moderates
26 Jul 2009 - Commons foreign affairs committee says policy of non-engagement is achieving little The government is facing fresh calls today from MPs to open contacts with the militant Palestinian Hamas movement in an attempt to inject new momentum...

Ha'aretz National page

IDF: More than 300,000 settlers in West Bank
26 Jul 2009 - There are now more than 300,000 residents living in Jewish West Bank settlements, according to a IDF Civil Administration report covering the first half of 2009. ... 

Israel fears first swine flu fatality
25 Jul 2009 - The Health Ministry is examining whether the death on Saturday of a 34-year-old man was the first fatality in Israel caused by swine flu. ...

Cockatoo stolen from kibbutz identifies owner, screeching 'Dad!'
25 Jul 2009 - When the Taibeh police raided on Sunday a property suspected of housing stolen goods, they were surprised to discover a white cockatoo among the plasma televisions and other equipment. ...

Relief Web

Letter sent by the Palestinian Council of Human Rights Organizations to Mr. Carl Bildt, Foreign Minister of Sweden
26 Jul 2009 - Source: Al Mezan Center for Human Rights

OPT: Week in review - Israel, the US at loggerheads over settlement expansion
25 Jul 2009 - Source: MIFTAH

Israelis, Palestinians negotiate unofficial security document
25 Jul 2009 - Source: Deutsche Presse Agentur

YNet News

Clinton says Israel should be patient on Iran
26 Jul 2009 - US secretary of state says she hopes Jewish state understands American attempts to talk to Islamic republic is a better approach than military strike, adds Tehran's nuclear pursuit is 'futile' 

Palestinian teens pose as IDF soldiers 
26 Jul 2009 - Five youths arrested by Palestinian police after putting on IDF uniform, declaring curfew in village near Bethlehem in attempt to rob houses 

Mitchell: Israel, US 'friends, not adversaries' 
26 Jul 2009 - US Mideast envoy meets with Defense Minister Barak in Jerusalem, does not announce in breakthrough in dispute over settlement construction. Mitchell to make quick trip to Egypt before returning to Israel for more talks 

Navy holds successful test of missile defense system
26 Jul 2009 - Updated Barak system capable of identifying and intercepting enemy missiles of improved quality 

Report: Arafat's widow forced to deny assassination plot
26 Jul 2009 - According to Saudi newspaper, Suha Arafat blackmailed into denying any knowledge of Abbas and Dahlan's involvement in alleged plot to poison deceased Palestinian leader. Reportedly, Abbas' office threatened not to pay her monthly salary if she declined 

Daily Star

US tries to spur Middle East peace talks
26 Jul 2009 - The United States launched a fresh drive on Sunday to restart Middle East peace talks, sending senior officials to the region to deal with issues ranging from Jewish settlements to Iran’s nuclear ambitions. The visits by Middle East envoy George Mitchell, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and National Security Adviser Jim Jones.

US administration waiting for dust to settle in Iran
26 Jul 2009 - The administration of US President Barack Obama is stuck between a rock and a hard place in its Iran policy. On the one hand, the recent unrest will take time to percolate into a reformed Islamic Republic. On the other, time is in short supply if the US hopes to stop Iran progress toward a nuclear weapons capability.

Netanyahu insists Israel’s ties with US ‘steadfast’
26 Jul 2009 - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu played down sharp differences with the United States over Jewish settlements on Sunday before the arrival of two senior US officials. “It is only natural, that within a fabric of friendly relations between allies, there isn’t full agreement on all points,” Netanyahu said.

Britain urged to engage with Hamas moderates
26 Jul 2009 - The British government was urged to start engaging with moderates in Hamas in a report by lawmakers scrutinizing London’s foreign policy published on Sunday. The House of Commons’ Foreign Affairs Committee said that not talking to Hamas – the Palestinian Islamist movement which controls the Gaza Strip – was achieving little.

Palestinian Information Center

Kamal Abu T’iema, the latest victim of PA barbarianism
26 Jul 2009 - An official source at the King Hussein’s Medical Center in Amman announced Sunday night that Kamal Abu Ti’ema of the Fawwar Refugee camp near al Khalil was in a state of clinical death.

Azzam Al-Ahmad: Fatah condition very serious and worse than splitting
26 Jul 2009 - Azzam Al-Ahmad, the prominent Fatah leader and the head of the Movement's bloc in the Palestinian legislature has acknowledged Sunday that his Movement's condition was very serious..

Abu Hilal: Qaddomi's bombshell would breed more bombs ahead of Fatah's congress
26 Jul 2009 - Khalid Abu Hilal, head of the Ahrar Movement has opined Saturday that the bombshell dropped by veteran Fatah leader Farouk Qaddomi would badly affect Fatah's upcoming sixth congress.

PNGO warns of deceptive slogans promoting normalization with Israel
26 Jul 2009 - The Palestinian Non-Governmental Organization Network (PNGO) has warned of a number of Palestinian societies that have suspicious missions and are promoting normalization

Hamas: we are open to talking with any country
26 Jul 2009 - Hamas welcomed opening channels of communications with any country in the world, except the Zionist entity, but rejected the notion of classifying its leaders as moderates and extremists.

One Palestinian was killed and four others missing after explosion of a tunnel
26 Jul 2009 - One person was killed and four others are missing after the explosion of a fuel line that runs inside a tunnel underneath the border in the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah.

Abu Al-Reesh Brigades says what Qaddumi revealed is a drop in the ocean
26 Jul 2009 - The Martyr Ahmad Abu al-Reesh Brigades (MARB) said that what Qaddumi revealed lately is a drop in the ocean of the "treason of Mahmoud Abbas and Dahlan," and called for putting them on trial.

Hamas denies release of any political prisoner from PA jails
26 Jul 2009 - Hamas denied the release of any of its prisoners from the Palestinian authority’s jails, asserting that Salam Fayyad’s statement about the release of some political prisoners are unfounded.

Zahhar: Abbas’s visit to Gaza is impossible for security reasons
26 Jul 2009 - Dr. Mahmoud Al-Zahhar, a member of Hamas political bureau, on Saturday rejected any visit by Mahmoud Abbas, the ex-chief of the Palestinian authority (PA), to the Gaza Strip for security reasons.

Dugard calls on criminal court to probe Israel’s war crimes in Gaza
26 Jul 2009 - John Dugard, the head of the independent fact-finding committee, called on the international criminal court to probe Israeli war crimes committed in Gaza so as not to be condemned for double standard.

Los Angeles Times

L.A. joins worldwide rallies in support of Iranian demonstrators 
26 Jul 2009 - Events at UCLA and in front of the Federal Building are just two of more than 100 that took place around the world to recognize human rights violations and Iran's disputed presidential election. Protesters in Los Angeles joined thousands across the world Saturday evening to rally in support of demonstrators who have taken to the streets in Iran to protest human rights violations and that country's disputed June presidential election. 

Iran's top cleric pushes Ahmadinejad on aide 
25 Jul 2009 - A split within the hard-line faction appears to widen as supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei releases a letter telling the president to fire his first vice president. A dispute among Iran's conservatives escalated Friday as the supreme leader made public a handwritten note ordering President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to remove a vice president. 

Iran plane crash kills at least 16 
25 Jul 2009 - The Russian-made airliner slides off a runway in Mashhad during an emergency landing. An Iranian air crash last week killed 168. Experts point to the poor state of the nation's airline industry. A Russian-made airliner skidded off the runway and caught fire Friday as it made a hard landing at an airport in eastern Iran, leaving at least 16 people dead and 21 injured, Iranian state television and official news agencies reported. 

New York Times

Iranian President Fires Cabinet Ministers
26 Jul 2009 - President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran dismissed two key cabinet ministers in the latest fallout of a bitter dispute among conservatives. 

Gates, in Visit to Israel, Will Find Iran Looming
25 Jul 2009 - Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates will be in talks over Israel’s growing anxiety over Iran’s nuclear program. 

In Iran, President’s Deputy Is Stepping Down
24 Jul 2009 - President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s controversial new deputy withdrew on Friday in response to a letter from Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, state television and news agencies reported. 


Israeli anthem kits in Arab schools 
The National - Jonathan Cook, July 26 - NAZARETH // A leading Arab educator in Israel has described the decision of Gideon Saar, the education minister, to require schools to study the Israeli national anthem as “a kind of attempted rape” of the country’s one-in-four Arab pupils. Officials announced last week that they were sending out special “national anthem kits” to 8,000 schools, including those in the separate Arab education system, in time for the start of the new academic year in September. The kits have been designed to be suitable for all age groups and for use across the curriculum, from civics and history classes to music and literature lessons. The anthem, known as Ha-Tikva, or The Hope, has long been unpopular with Israel’s Arab minority because its lyrics refer only to a Jewish historical connection to the land. Mr Saar’s initiative is widely seen among Israel’s....

Mitchell appeals to Syria over West Bank 
The National - July 27 - TEL AVIV // George Mitchell, the top US envoy to the Middle East, landed in Israel yesterday as part of a regional tour this week that includes meeting senior Israeli and Palestinian leaders to try to reach a compromise on the disputed issue of Jewish settlements in occupied Palestinian territory. Mr Mitchell’s trip to Israel and the occupied West Bank comes after his visit to Damascus, where he stated that the US wants Syria’s help in reaching a deal between Israel and the Palestinians. Following a meeting yesterday with Bashar Assad, the Syrian president, Mr Mitchell also said renewing talks between Israel and Syria was a “near-term” goal for Washington, and added: “I told President Assad that President [Barack] Obama is determined to facilitate a truly comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace. That peace means between Palestinians and Israelis, between Syria and Israel and between Lebanon and Israel. And of course, ultimately, the full normalisation of relations between Israel and all of the countries in the region. 

How much pressure can Washington exert on Tel Aviv? 
The National - July 26 - WASHINGTON // Israel’s recent decision to press ahead with a housing project in East Jerusalem, defying calls by the White House to halt settlement activity, raises an inevitable question for Barack Obama: how much pressure can he exert on a longtime US ally to bring it in line with his policies? The short answer, at least according to the conventional wisdom, is not much. Although Israel has a variety of trade and weapons agreements with the United States – it is also the largest recipient of American aid – tough measures such as economic sanctions have traditionally been perceived as so unpopular here that no US president would risk implementing them. “Anything that would be a real game changer, that could really grab Israel’s attention … is essentially off the table in the context of American domestic politics,” said Wayne White, a top Middle East analyst for the state department’s bureau of intelligence and research until 2005. 

Cityfront: The human factor 
Jerusalem Post - Jul 23 - It's 8 a. m. on a Sunday and Yehiya, four, and his father, Ahmad, are waiting in the shade outside the Bethlehem checkpoint for their ride to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem. They have been traveling for nearly two hours from their West Bank village of Beit Jala, a journey they make three times a week so that Yehiya, who has end-stage kidney disease, can receive life-saving pediatric dialysis treatment that is unavailable at the hospital in Bethlehem. Without the help of volunteer drivers from the Israeli non-governmental organization Humans Without Borders, who coordinate hospital transportation for more than 600 seriously ill Palestinian children and a parent or guardian, Yehiya and his father would be forced to take a taxi each time they made their trip. For Ahmad, who is unemployed and has another child at home, the fee would be nearly impossible to pay. 

’Laundered US cash may be from Israel’ 
Jerusalem Post - NEW YORK, Jul 26 - At least some of the millions of dollars allegedly laundered by five of the rabbis arrested last week in the US came from Israeli sources, The Jerusalem Post has learned. According to court documents obtained by the Post, one of the rabbis detained, Eliahu Ben-Haim, used a source in Israel to supply money through "cash houses" in exchange for a 1. 5 percent fee. Mickey Rosenfeld, a spokesman for the Israel Police, said Friday that Israeli police had not been involved in the investigation. He declined to comment further. Former Jerusalem Police chief Mickey Levy said Friday that Israeli authorities were not yet involved, but he didn't rule out such cooperation at a later stage in the probe. In an interview on Israel Radio, he stressed that there was "no investigation against the Jewish community, only against alleged criminals. " 

Prof. Wants Homes of Maj. Klein and ’Terrorist Settlers’ Razed 
Arutz Sheva - 7/24/09 - (IsraelNN. com) Professor Yuri Pines, Head of the Department of East Asia Studies at Hebrew University, caused a stir among his students Thursday when he wrote in an e-mail message that he hopes the home of fallen IDF hero Maj. Roi Klein is razed. Replying to an e-mail petition against the planned demolition of Klein’s home, Pines wrote: “I hope that not only the Major’s home will be destroyed, but the entire settlement, and that the mitnachablim will all be gone with the wind. ”Mitnachablim is a word invented by Israeli leftists as a slur against Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria. It is a combination of the words mitnachalim (settlers) and mechablim (terrorists). “This is a completely un-academic response,” said a student in the East Asia Department, who was one of those who spread the petition. “Pines has the right to think whatever he wants and to delete the mail he received, 

IDF Vets Train U.S. Jews to Protect Their Communities 
Arutz Sheva - 7/23/09 - (IsraelNN. com) Starting in late July, a group of Israeli combat veterans will be holding a training camp in New York to teach advanced self-defense techniques to Jews in U. S. communities. An increasing number of American Jews have expressed interest in the program following a wave of anti-Semitic incidents worldwide over the past year, organizers report. The group calls itself Kitat Konenut New York – a reference to the “rapid response teams” active throughout Judea and Samaria [the occupied Palestinian West Bank]. Rapid response teams in Israel, comprised of local civilians who are IDF veterans, have often been the first on the scene of terrorist attacks and other emergencies, and have prevented casualties. It was founded in 2006 in response to a shooting attack at a Jewish center in Seattle, Washington. One woman was murdered in the attack, and several others were wounded. 

Gates, in Visit to Israel, Will Find Iran Looming 
New York Times - July 25, 2009 - WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates is to be in Jerusalem on Monday for the first time in two and a half years to meet with Israel’s prime minister and defense minister in talks that a senior American military official said would be characterized by Israel’s growing anxiety over Iran’s nuclear work. The official, who asked not to be named under Defense Department ground rules, said that the trip was part of a regular consultation and that Mr. Gates was not traveling to Israel “to roll out a map and do contingency planning for some strike on Iran. ”Israel has made it clear that it could strike plants at the heart of Iran’s nuclear program, although it has agreed to the Obama administration’s policy of first trying to engage Iran in talks. But the official, who was briefing reporters in advance of Mr. 

US: Parade of officials to Israel coincidental - AP News, Jul 25 - The Obama administration is dispatching four of its most senior foreign policy and security figures to Israel this coming week with the same message on two open questions causing friction between the close allies: Don't do it. Taking a firmer line with Israel than the Bush administration, President Barack Obama is urging Israel to stop all settlement construction in the West Bank or risk closing off the most promising avenues for peace negotiations. Washington also wants Israel to shelve any plan for a military strike to sabotage Iran's nuclear facilities, arguing that Obama's offer of engagement and talks with Iran deserves time to bear fruit. Obama's senior military advisers say a strike could cause more problems than it solves in the short run, but Israeli leaders are firm that their small country in Iran's line of fire must make such calculations for itself. 


You Must *Not* See This Movie? Muzzling Jewish Dissent 
Tom J, Daily Kos 7/25/2009
      The San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, the largest Jewish Film festival in the world, will screen many films this year, many with discussion with filmmakers and others featured in the film. Some of these films will be controversial, there will be all sorts of issues explored.
     None has generated more controversy than the film "Rachel", a film by Jewish-Israeli filmmaker Simone Bitton about the death of Rachel Corrie, the young woman killed by an Israeli-military bulldozer as she was protecting homes in the Rafah, Gaza. At the request of the filmmaker, they have invited Cindy Corrie, Rachel’s mother to speak. Big time controversy and condemnation by a weekly Jewish magazine and even from the local Israel Consul General.
     Cindy Corrie has publicly advocated for ensuring "justice, freedom, security and economic viability for both Israelis and Palestinians."
     So what’s the problem?
     Peter Stein, the film festival’s executive director:
     I know there are many members of the community who would prefer if the festival stayed away from programming films on difficult topics or topics of passionate division of opinion. That being said, if we, as an arts organization, are going to remain relevant in our time, it really is part of our role to catalyze conversation, however uncomfortable it may be.
     Israel Consul General protests the presence of Cindy Corrie:
     "The San Francisco Jewish Film Festival made a serious error in judgment in inviting Mrs. Corrie to the festival," Israel Consul General Akiva Tor said via e-mail. "She is a propagandist who is immune from responsibility for the causes she supports because it was her daughter, Rachel, who was accidentally killed...."

Dangerous, Untreated Wastewater in the West Bank 
Stephen Lendman, Baltimore Chronicle 7/17/2009
      Israel’s neglect of Wastewater is in violation of international humanitarian law and its obligation as an occupier making "a grave environmental threat." A UN Environmental Program delegation said "urgent action" is needed to address the problem.
     B’Tselem is the Jerusalem-based independent Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories (OPT) with a well-deserved reputation for accuracy and integrity. It was founded in 1989 to "document and educate the Israeli public, policymakers (and concerned people everywhere) about human rights violations in the OPT, combat the phenomenon of denial prevalent among the Israeli public (and elsewhere, especially among Jews), and create a human rights culture in Israel" to convince government officials to respect human rights and comply with international law.
     It conducts wide-ranging, carefully researched, and thoroughly cross-checked reports, most recently its June one titled, "Foul Play: Neglect of wastewater treatment in the West Bank." This article discusses its findings as further evidence of how Israel violates international humanitarian law as an occupying power. Because no global authority holds it accountable, over 2.8 million West Bank Palestinians suffer along with another 1.5 million under siege in Gaza for over two years and counting. Introduction
     Human activity produces wastewater for which treatment is essential "to prevent and reduce sanitation and environmental hazards" that otherwise would result - from dangerous viruses, bacteria, parasites, heavy metals, and other toxic substances that pollute water, farm crops, flora, and fauna, and reduce land fertility.

In Gaza
23 Jul 2009 - * taking out the trash [photo: Emad Badwan ] how will your kids pass summer? lemonade stand? ymca courses? family vacation? hope so, and as a child i did these myself. here’s how a vast number of kids spend summer (and others fall, winter, spring) in Gaza: boy with birds dump sifter tea seller * beach sales [photo: Emad Badwan ] * Sharef Barbakh, one of Namaa Barbakh ’s surviving children; three were matryed by a drone attack in the Israeli winter 2008/2009 attacks on Gaza . * waiting , Deir el Balah camp * creating fun , Deir el Balah camp * Deir el Balah camp

Palestine Chronicle
Mr. Obama: Yes, You Can!
25 Jul 2009 - By Uri Avnery First, an honest disclosure: I loved the Shepherd hotel very much. In the first years after the Six-Day War, I was a frequent guest there. My work in the Knesset demanded that I stay in Jerusalem at least two nights every week, and after the war I switched from the hotels of West Jerusalem to those in the Eastern part of the city. My favorite was the Shepherd. I felt at home there. The charm of the place lay in its special atmosphere. It is located in the middle of that ancient Arab town which itself aroused my intense curiosity. Its rooms have high ceilings and old furniture, and it was run by remarkable people - two elderly Arab ladies who were educated in Beirut and steeped in Palestinian-Lebanese culture. The area surrounding the hotel is the neighborhood of the al-Husseini clan. The holdings of this vast extended family, with more than 5000 members, comprise the greater part of the Sheikh Jarrah quarter, which also includes the legendary Orient House. The al-Husseini family is one of the handful of aristocratic Jerusalemite families, and perhaps the most respected one (its members certainly think so). For centuries the family has filled at least one of the three most important positions in the town: those of Grand Mufti, mayor and the notable in charge of the Islamic shrines. Shepherd was built by Hajj Amin al-Husseini, the mufti who led the Arab Rebellion in the 1930s and became the Arab the...

Thomas Friedman Goes to Afghanistan
25 Jul 2009 - By Belen Fernandez After producing only one column during his recent visit to Iraq, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman has already churned out two in Afghanistan, the next stop on his tour of areas affected by US diplomacy. The tour is occurring in the company of chairman Admiral Mike Mullen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and there is a pedagogical theme running through all three columns, starting with Friedman’s assertion that “[w]e are going to find out just what Iraqis have learned soon.” What they should have internalized from the US occupation is, Friedman implies, the value of cooperation between US troops of different backgrounds—“men, women, blacks, whites, Asians, Hispanics.” Afghanistan meanwhile has not yet reached final exam time, as evidenced by the title of Friedman’s July 18 article: “Teacher, Can We Leave Now? No.” The article begins: “I confess, I find it hard to come to Afghanistan and not ask: Why are we here? Who cares about the Taliban? Al Qaeda is gone. And if its leaders come back, well, that’s why God created cruise missiles.” I in turn must confess that I sometimes find it hard to read the New York Times without asking questions of a similarly existential nature, such as whether God intended for his arsenal to be used on Afghan wedding parties. Friedman recognizes that secularism may in fact be preferable to certain types of gods when he poses a question to a group of young girls in the village of Pushghar, who...

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