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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
7 August , 2009


International Middle East Media Center

Israeli High Court rejects a request to arrest former Aqsa Brigades fighters
8 Aug 2009 - The Israeli High Court of Justice rejected an appeal filed by Israeli member of Knesset of the right-wing National Union Party, demanded the Court to order the arrest of former fighters of the Al Aqsa Brigades of Fateh movement. 

Palestinian killed in a tunnel accident in Rafah
8 Aug 2009 - Palestinian medical sources reported on Friday at night that a resident was killed in a tunnel collapse accident along the Gaza-Egypt border in Rafah district, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip. 

UNRWA concerned over eviction of Palestinian families in East Jerusalem
8 Aug 2009 - The Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) expressed concern over the eviction of Palestinian families from their homes in East Jerusalem, especially amidst the ongoing Israeli violations that is forcing more families out to replace them with settlers. 

First Palestinian swine-flu fatality reported in Ramallah
8 Aug 2009 - Palestinian medical sources reported on Friday evening that a Palestinian resident died of swine-flu virus at the Ramallah governmental hospital, marking the first case of death caused by the H1N1 virus. 

Scores injured at the weekly Bil'in nonviolent protest
7 Aug 2009 - As the villagers of the Bil'in village near Ramallah in central West Bank started their weekly nonviolent protest against the Israeli Annexation Wall, troops fired tear gas at them inflecting dozens of injuries. 

Dozens injured in nonviolent anti-wall protest in Ni'lin
7 Aug 2009 - At least three hundred Palestinians and international supporters marched in the West Bank village of N'ilin near Ramallah, against the annexation wall Israel is building on the lands of the village. 

Extremist Israeli right-wingers place temple replica facing Al Aqsa mosque
7 Aug 2009 - A group of Jewish extremist right-wingers, including students of a Yeshiva, placed a replica of the claimed temple, in front of the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, symbolizing the destruction of the mosque to rebuild the temple in its place. 

Ha'aretz Defense page

New IDF tanks to come equipped with missile defense system
6 Aug 2009 - 'Windbreaker' tracks incoming missiles and launches a rocket to destroy them meters from the tank. 

Arafat-Israel murder conspiracy is back from the dead
6 Aug 2009 - The thought that then-PM Ariel Sharon enlisted top Palestinian figures to help kill Arafat defies all reason. 

IDF soldier dies after hit by comrade's errant bullet
6 Aug 2009 - Accident occurred during training exercise on army base in the central Golan Heights. 

IDF reneged on promise not to arrest 'deserter,' couple claims
7 Aug 2009 - Army says man was not promised that he would not be jailed, and that as a prisoner he is not entitled to payment. 

IDF chief Ashkenazi announces new hires in General Staff
6 Aug 2009 - GOC Central Command Gadi Shamni will become the next military attache in Washington. 

Ma'an News

Hebron: Soldiers install earthmounds preventing civilian movement
8/7/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Three earth mounds effectively halting all vehicle access to a cluster of south Hebron hills villages were constructed by Israeli soldiers Wednesday, observers with the Christian Peacemaker Teams said. Wednesday afternoon five Israeli soldiers and a bulldozer created three earth mounds permanently damaging the road and totally blocking it from car or truck traffic. The road runs between the villages of Um Fagarah and the smaller Jinba. The work means the entire village of Kallet Adbea is now closed between two of the earth moundsThe closures effect at least 700 Palestinian residents in the area, and close off traffic to the nearby cities of Yatta and At-Tuwani where locals go to shop and access government health services as well as high schools and social services. Local farmers also sell goods in the town markets, and Palestinians who work in Israel travel the road, now blocked, to access the nearest checkpoint. 

Oxfam boots Sex and the City star over settlement links
8/7/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - HBO TV's Sex and the City star Kristin Davis was suspended from her duties as Oxfam's goodwill ambassador for her advertizing work with the illegal settlement-based company Ahava Dead Sea Laboratories. Oxfam International is a large confederation of 13 organizations that says it works with over 3,000 partners in more than 100 countries to find lasting solutions to poverty and injustice. A source told the New York Post that Davis "was completely unaware of this conflict of interest and is saddened to be on public pause from a group she has devoted so much time, money, and support to. "The paper quoted a spokesperson as saying the actress still intends to continue her work with Oxfam "for years to come. " The Israeli cosmetics company Ahava uses natural resources pilfered from the West Bank shore of the Dead Sea via the illegal Israeli settlement of Mizpe Shalem. 

Troops shut down village; escort mass of settlers to worship at shrine
8/7/2009 - Salfit - Ma'an - Dozens of Israeli military vehicles closed the village of Kfil Haris, north of th West Bank town of Salfit, Thursday as they escorted a group of settlers through the area, locals reported. Shop owners were ordered to close, families out for evening strolls were told to return to their homes and all car traffic in the village was ground to a halt and drivers stranded at the village entrance as troops spread across the area. Kfil Haris resident Karam Abu Hammad said troops ordered him to leave his car at the entrance of the city and proceed on backloads on foot. On his way home he was ordered off the streets by half a dozen other soldiers. Israeli troops erected checkpoints throughout the village to ensure locals stayed indoors as a herd of settlers entered the area on busses to visit an area that villagers recognize as a holy shrine to the Prophet Zel Kefl, an ancient local religious figure. 

Backed by their army, settlers bid for expansion in three locations
8/7/2009 - Hebron - Ma'an - Israeli settlers launched a series of actions on Friday in a bid to take over more West Bank land from Palestinians. In the city of Hebron settlers began planting Palestinian-owned land under military guard in an apparent takeover attempt. Settlers from the illegal Israeli colony of Kiryat Arba moved on to land belonging to Muhammad Mustafa Jaber, in the Al-Beqa'a area, outside of Hebron. Jaber told Ma'an Israeli soldiers blocked his family from reaching the land. A similar incident took place last week when soldiers cordoned off his land to make way for the settlers' activities. In a separate incident dozens of Israeli military vehicles closed the village of Kfil Haris, north of the West Bank town of Salfit, Thursday as they escorted a group of settlers through the area, locals reported. 

Four Palestinians faint after inhaling CS gas
8/7/2009 - Nablus - Ma'an - At least four Palestinians fainted after Israeli soldiers sprayed tear gas at a demonstration in the village of Burin, southwest of the West Bank city of Nablus on Friday. Under the protection of the Israeli military on Friday, armed settlers attacked demonstrators and clashes were reported on both sides, while soldiers fired tear-gas canisters that managed to injure only the Palestinians involved in the incident. Four Palestinians were said to have fainted from the CS chemical, and two were hospitalized in Ramallah, according to medics on the scene. Ma'an's photographers were on the scene, and documented the incident. Witnesses said the incident occurred during a demonstration against the confiscation of 300 dunums of the village's land for the use of illegal West Bank settlements. Some 500 protesters were estimated to have attended to the event, including. . . 

De facto Interior Ministry summons senior Fatah officials
8/7/2009 - Hebron - Ma'an - Sources within the Fatah movement in Gaza told Ma'an on Friday that Interior Ministry security forces summoned several senior Fatah officials to its headquarters for questioning. The sources said those summoned were identified as Zakarieyah Al-Agha, Ibrahim Abu An-Najja, Abdallah Abu Samahdanah and Mohammad Juda An-Nahhal. Meanwhile Nabil Amr, spokesman for Fatah's sixth conference, called the procedure immoral, and insisted it would illeminate any chance of reaching Palestinian reconciliation between the two sides. [end] 

Teenager taken from home during 3am Israeli raid
8/7/2009 - Nablus - Ma'an - Local sources reported Israeli troops entering Beit Furik at 3am Friday morning and detaining 16-year-old Tamer Kamal Hanini after raiding his home and harassing his family. At least a half dozen militarized vehicles overran the western end of the Nablus-area village, locals said. Israel Radio reported troops in the area detained three Nablus men and took them "for investigation. " Local sources could not confirm the identity of the other two men. 

Israeli military court sentences Palestinian to 40 years
8/7/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - An Israeli military court sentenced 33-year-old Nablus resident Khalid Hamad to 40 years in prison for alleged involvement in an attack on an Israeli settlement. Hamad has been on trial or in administrative detention since 2002, when he was accused of aiding a resistance fighter who entered the Ariel settlement in the central West Bank and blew himself up killing three settlers and injuring 15 others. [end] 

Israeli military court sentences Palestinian to three life sentences
8/7/2009 - Nablus - Ma'an - An Israeli military court sentenced 33-year-old Khaled Hamad, from the West Bank city of Nablus, to three life terms in prison on Friday. The court had charged Hamad with transferring a suicide bomber in 2002 to a junction near the illegal settlement of Ariel. Three settlers were killed and 15 others were injured in the attack. Hamad had been on trial or in administrative detention since 2002. [end] 

Second Israeli soldier killed during Golan training
8/7/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - An Israeli soldier was killed on Thursday by a stray bullet fired by another soldier during training on the Golan Heights. The soldier who was mortally wounded, died last night in Ziv Hospital. Israeli police are investigating the accident. Israeli sources added that this is the second fatal training accident this week. Two days ago another soldier was killed when his tank overturned. The preliminary investigation revealed that the accident was evidently a result of human error. [end] 

West Bank Israelis seek UN 'human settlement' award
8/8/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - A group of Israeli settlers has launched a campaign for the United Nations Habitat Prize in "human settlement," the West Bank-based Israeli Channel Seven reported on Wednesday. The annual prize, the Habitat Scroll of Honor, is handed out annually to acknowledge "outstanding contributions in developing and improving settlements and the quality of urban life," according to a fabricated quote on Channel Seven's English-language website. The awards are actually presented for "outstanding contributions in various fields such as shelter provision, highlighting the plight of the homeless, leadership in post conflict reconstruction," and finally improving human settlements, also known as cities or towns. Channel Seven quoted "Shomron Liaison Office" director David Ha'Ivri as saying that by voting, "Now you can show your appreciation for the dedicated pioneers. . . 

PA security forces dismantle explosive in Jenin
8/7/2009 - Jenin - Ma'an - A special force of the PA security forces dismantled an explosive device found near a home near Jenin on Friday. The Special Forces operations room was alerted to the explosive by a resident of the As-Suweitat neighborhood in the northern West Bank city. The device was dismantled at the headquarters of the police department. [end] 

Chavez: Avigdor Lieberman a 'mafia boss'
8/7/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - President Hugo Chavez called Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman a "mafia boss" in response to his accusations that the non-Muslim Venezuelan leader was involved in "radical branches of Islam. "Chavez' claims echoed similar charges from Israel's attorney general, who announced last week Lieberman would likely be indicted on a number of charges. "He's on trial there [in Israel] for money laundering," Chavez noted in a speech on Thursday, On Sunday, Israeli police said their investigation into Lieberman's dealings was "practically over," and that there exists a sufficient body of evidence to indict Lieberman on bribery, fraud, money laundering and obstruction of justice charges. But Chavez was responding to charges the ultranationalist foreign minister made while in South America last week, when he all but charged that the Venezuelan president was a. . . 

Zubeidi: Unity should be regained by power and force if necessary
8/7/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Palestinians should regain unity with Gaza even if strength and power is used former Al-Aqsa Brigades fighter Zakariya Zubeidi said during a speech to the Sixth Fatah Congress in Bethlehem Thursday. "If we fail to achieve this, leaders should give their places up so a new generation can lead the Palestinians to victory," he said in his speech, which was received with a standing ovation by conference delegates. He called on Fatah delegates to develop a "clear struggle program" and organize "popular, serious commitment" to a resistance movement during a speech he delivered Thursday night. The speech Zubeidi delivered was a critical assessment of the party, with frank statements that made clear where he hoped the movement would go in the coming years. "During 18 years of negotiations [under Fatah]" he said, "no hope has been created. 

Hamas: 16 members seized by PA forces
8/7/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Hamas said that Fatah-backed Palestinian Authority forces detained 16 members of the Islamist opposition in the West Bank on Thursday night. In a statement issued Friday morning, Hamas said the arrestees were from the cities of Hebron, Ramallah and Tubas. The announcement came after the PA allegedly detained five Hamas members on Wednesday night. Also on Thursday Hamas members in Gaza related to Egypt their wish for a 25 August unity agreement that includes the release of all Hamas prisoners detained for political reasons in the West Bank, without further rounds of conciliation talks in Cairo. The same night, PA forces seized two members in Qalqiliya, according to a prior statement from the movement. Hamas alleged that village council member Dr Hashem Al-Masry and local journalist Dr Issam Shawer were detained in that raid. 

Fatah: Gazan delegates to vote Saturday; Dahlan nominated for CC seat
8/7/2009 - Bethlehem- Ma'an - Moments after the Fatah Central Committee announced Gazan delegates could vote in the Saturday elections Mohammad Dahlan nominated himself for a spot on the Central Committee. His nomination came almost one day after most of the nominations were already in. The old-guard Fatah strongman originally from Gaza but living in the West Bank since 2007 is a current member of the Central Committee. He said he could only nominate himself for a role once the issue over Gazan delegates' votes was resolved. Mid-Friday the Central Council met and decided the Gazan delegates would in fact be able to vote in the leadership elections. The delegates will vote by mobile phone on Sunday, in the presence of all other attendees in the Gaza headquarters. Dahlan said he put forward his nomination to prevent any protests from other corners in Fatah, though no protests have yet been voiced. 

Israel High Court rejects request to arrest Fatah congress attendees
8/7/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The Israeli High Court on Friday fined and rejected the petition of two right-wing politicians requesting the arrest of five delegates to the Fatah conference. The High Court of Justice rejected the appeal of MK Michael Ben Ari (Ichud Leumi), a settler, and his Knesset aide, Itamar Ben-Gvir, requesting the arrest of five Fatah members who had been granted amnesty in exchange for swearing off armed resistance. The two right wing leaders said the men should be arrested regardless because they had "blood on their hands. " Israeli internet news network Ynet quoted the judges as saying "the verdict is of decidedly political nature relating to the government's political path on foreign and defense affairs," and found it was a decision for the government, not the court. The MK's aide, Ben-Gvir, has his own legal history. 

Jerusalem FC take Yasser Arafat Cup
8/7/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Jerusalem's football club took this year's Yasser Arafat Cup in the annual inter-Palestinian competition. The head of the Palestine Football Union, Jibril Rujoub, presented the award at a news conference in Ramallah in honor of the winning team. Rujoub said the cup had been held by President Mahmoud Abbas before it was handed over to the team. The cup, made from 54,000 dollars worth of 10 karat gold, was the most expensive in the competition's history. [end] 

Health Ministry announces first Palestinian swine flu death
8/7/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - The Ministry of Health announced the first Palestinian death from the H1N1 virus popularly known as swine flu on Friday. Health Minister Fathi Abu Mughli made the announcement in Ramallah, and identified the victim as a 30-year-old man. According to the minister, the Palestinian man had first shown symptoms of pneumonia after undergoing an exam in Saudi Arabia, where he was performing the Islamic Umra ritual in Mecca. His symptoms were downgraded to severe upon his arrival in Jordan, and was transferred to an intensive care unit at a Ramallah hospital on Wednesday, where he was was diagnosed with H1N1, Abu Mughli said. He did not respond to medication there and eventually died on Friday, according to the minister. Abu Mughli said the man was correctly diagnosed with pneumonia, as well, and that the combined symptoms made his case unusually difficult to treat. 

The National

Hizbollah determined to keep Amal in line
7 Aug 2009 - As a new era of reconciliation begins to take shape in Lebanon, the Shiite group is trying to clean up the streets and keep the peace.

Fatah's summit fails to heal ills
7 Aug 2009 - The Palestinian national movement's Sixth General Conference proves an ill-tempered and divisive affair, much, say some, in keeping with the party's record.

Russian Jews defy Israeli rabbis' ban on marriage
6 Aug 2009 - Up to 350,000 immigrants who say they are Jewish have been told they cannot marry in Israel.

Third swine flu death in Israel
6 Aug 2009 - Israel records its third death from swine flu – a 12-year-old girl at Petah Tikva near Tel Aviv.


Fatah to vote for new leadership
7 Aug 2009 - The vote will not affect the position of Mahmoud Abbas, "the consensus candidate".

Hamas rockets 'a war crime'
6 Aug 2009 - Human Rights Watch calls rocket attacks by Palestinian fighters "unjustifiable".

Palestine News Network

Bullets and fetid water rain over Na’alin as organizers call for adherence to popular resistance
7 Aug 2009 - Na’alin / PNN – Sheikh Khalil Murad led Friday prayers near land confiscated for the Wall in a village that is losing nearly everything. During the service in western Ramallah’s Na’alin Village, the Sheikh said that those struggling against apartheid would prevail.Speaking of the ongoing division between Fateh and Hamas, Sheikh Murad added that factional segregation serves only the occupation.After prayers, hundreds of...

Bil’in demonstrators ask Fateh Conference to include popular resistance as part of future program
7 Aug 2009 - Bil'in / PNN – The western Ramallah town of Bil’in is a hotspot for the nonviolent resistance with Israeli forces not only imposing a Wall and suppressing demonstrations, but also carrying out nightly arrest raids. Organizers Mohammad Al Khatib and Adeed Abu Rahma were the focus of Friday’s protest with calls ringing out to release them and other members of the Popular Committee...

Israeli controlled Jerusalem municipality issues demolition orders to five more homes in Silwan
6 Aug 2009 - East Jerusalem / PNN - Residents of the Bustan district of East Jerusalem’s Silwan were attacked this week while resisting orders to demolish their homes. On Wednesday morning the neighborhood just south of Al Aqsa Mosque was cordoned off by Israeli forces, including police and military.Five more homes are now slated for destruction, the notices for which were delivered by Israeli troops who...

Brothers abducted by Israeli troops while fishing offshore from Gaza 
6 Aug 2009 - Gaza / PNN - Two Palestinian fishermen were seized by Israeli forces off the coast of Rafah in the Gaza Strip yesterday for reasons unknown. According to the Palestinian Agriculture Ministry, the two brothers were surrounded by Israeli gunboats at six o’clock yesterday morning and taken away to an undisclosed location. They were named by witnesses as Mohammed Bakker, 24, and Mahmoud Bakker,...

Nonviolent resistance against Wall targeted as weekly report on human rights outlines 
6 Aug 2009 - PNN - For its report of Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights during the period of 30 July through 5 August, attacks on the nonviolent resistance, including foreign supporters, continued. The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights report follows:Gaza / PCHR - Israeli Forces Continue Systematic Attacks against Palestinian Civilians and Property in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) and Continue to Impose a Total...

Prominent leftist targeted in Israeli prison after engaging in acts of nonviolent resistance
6 Aug 2009 - Jenin / Ali Samoudi - The administration of the Israeli Askelan Prison has Ahmed Sa’adat in solitary confinement. The leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine is in a unilateral isolation cell.A statement issued by the occupying administration indicates that repressive measures against the prominent leftist are being stepped up.Punitive measures against Sa’adat began last week in Israeli prison. He...

Goalie Ramzi Saleh refuses to play football against Barcelona in boycott of Israelis 
6 Aug 2009 - Ramallah / PNN - Palestinian football player Ramzi Saleh boycotted a recent match due to the participation of an Israeli. The goalkeeper refused to participate in a game sponsored by the National Bank of Egypt against Barcelona last month. He cited the inclusion of an openly Zionist player within the ranks of the Spanish team.Sources said today that Saleh requested to be exempted...


GAZA: Swimming in sewage
GAZA CITY Sunday, August 02, 2009 (IRIN) - Less than 50m from a black, barrel-sized pipe pouring raw sewage directly into the sea, children are playing in the waves.

HOW TO: Do a food airdrop
NAIROBI Thursday, July 30, 2009 (IRIN) - The humanitarian cavalry is the food airdrop: when you need to shift serious tonnage in a hurry to somewhere inaccessible, nothing quite does it like a large cargo plane and skilled pilot and crew.

MIDDLE EAST: First swine flu death in Egypt 
DUBAI Monday, July 20, 2009 (IRIN) - The Middle East registered its first death due to H1N1 2009 after a 25-year-old Egyptian woman returning from Umrah, the lesser Muslim pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia, died in hospital on 18 July after testing positive for the virus, according to the Egyptian health...

Inter Press Service

IRAN: Nuclear Capability After 2013, Says U.S. Intelligence 
WASHINGTON, Aug 7 (IPS) - Iran is unlikely to be able to produce enough highly enriched uranium (HEU) for a nuclear weapon until at least 2013, according to a U.S. government intelligence estimate made public Thursday.

IRAQ: Shi’a Unity Deal Explodes U.S. Proxy War Myth 
WASHINGTON, Aug 7 (IPS) - The agreement announced Monday between Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and a Shi’a resistance group called the "League of the Righteous" (Asa'ib al-Haq) formally ended the group’s armed opposition to the regime in return for the release of its leader and eight other Shi’a detainees....

MIDEAST: Prison Toughens Palestinian Women 
BETHLEHEM, Aug 7 (IPS) - In her office at the Bethlehem women's counselling centre, Khawla Al-Azraq recounts her memories from Israeli prison as vividly as if they were yesterday: the routine physical and psychological abuse, the nightly room searches, the hunger strikes and other collective actions in protest against their...

MIDEAST: New Israeli Plan to Warn of Impending Attacks 
WASHINGTON, Aug 6 (IPS) - The Israeli Defence Force (IDF) is taking new measures to warn Palestinian civilians about impending aerial attacks. This comes in response to questions raised over whether Israel had complied with international laws during its 2006 war in Lebanon and the Gaza offensive earlier this year.

Stop The Wall

Night raids in Bil'in and Jayyus
6 Aug 2009 - Occupation forces struck Bil'in and Jayyus this week, arresting and abducting 13 more people in the latest series of arrests. In Bil'in, the arrest campaign that began late June continued, when early Monday morning Occupation forces invaded the village. The following night, residents of Jayyus stated that soldiers raided the village sometime around midnight, kidnapping three more local students. [

Ni’lin and Bil’in face chemicals and tear gas; demonstration in Barta’
3 Aug 2009 - This Friday, Occupation forces rained tear gas and foul-smelling chemicals on protestors in the villages of Bil’in and Ni’lin during the weekly march. In Barta’, a demonstration was organized at the terminal to protest the conditions imposed on the people there. [

PCHR Latest

A List of Victims of the Israeli Military Offensive on the Gaza Strip (27 December 2008 – 18 January 2009)

A PCHR New Report  investigation into Palestinian children killed by Israeli Forces in the Gaza

PCHR Weekly Report

(30 Jul.- 05 Aug.  2008)
During the reporting period, 7 Palestinians civilians, including one child and one woman, were wounded by Israeli gunfire in the West Bank.

International Solidarity Movement

Bil’in demonstrates against Apartheid Wall and Israeli arrest campaign
8/7/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Bil'in Popular Committee - Tens were suffocated with tear gas, fired by Israeli soldiers at Bili'n's weekly demonstration. Where Bil'in citizens, Israeli and International peace activists demonstratedafter the Friday prayers, waving Palestinian flags and banners with slogans calling for the release of the popular leaders, Muhammad al-Khatib and Adib Abu Rahma, and the rest of the other detainees, and calling for ending raids and prosecution of activists and members of the People's Committee against the wall. Demonstrators has walked in Bil'in streets chanting slogans calling for national unity, and continuation of the popular committee resistance, and events without the fear of the terrorist policy carried out by the Israeli army against Palestinians in general and the people of Bil'in in particular. 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

Barenboim dedicates concert to Jerusalem, 'Arab cultural capital' 
7 Aug 2009 - Israeli conductor Daniel Barenboim brought his troupe of young Arab and Israeli classical musicians to Geneva on Friday for a concert dedicated to the late Palestinian-American academic Edward Said and the contentious choice of Jerusalem as this year's Arab Cultural Capital. ...

U.S. to deport Yemeni cleric who aided Hamas
7 Aug 2009 - A Yemeni cleric and his associate will soon return to Yemen, U.S. prosecutors said on Friday, after their terrorism conviction was overturned and they were sentenced to time served for a lesser charge. ...

Report: U.S. estimates Iran unable to produce nuke before 2013
7 Aug 2009 - A newly disclosed congressional document shows that U.S. State Department intelligence analysts continue to believe Iran will be unable to produce weapons-grade uranium before 2013, the Washington Post reported Friday. ... 

PA officials: U.S. wants borders to top peace talks
6 Aug 2009 - BETHLEHEM - The U.S. administration will demand that Israel and the Palestinians address the issue of borders as the first step in the Middle East peace plan, senior Palestinian officials said Thursday. ... 

Chavez calls Lieberman 'mafia boss,' denies links to Hezbollah
6 Aug 2009 - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Thursday called Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman a "mafia boss," hitting back at Israel's top diplomat over accusations that Caracas has allowed Hezbollah to establish militant cells in its territory. ...

The Guardian

Mahmoud Darwish - a poet of peace in a time of conflict | Raja Shehadeh
7 Aug 2009 - Having Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish for a neighbour offered me a unique insight in the mind of a man fighting to find a common ground in the most divisive of circumstances For the last 12 years...

Shafiq al-Hout | PLO founder member | Obituary
6 Aug 2009 - PLO founder member and staunch defender of Palestinian rights Shafiq al-Hout, who has died aged 77 in Beirut, was a founding member of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), its representative in Lebanon and a larger-than-life figure...

Irving Moskowitz's bingo madness | Richard Silverstein
6 Aug 2009 - How an American gambling mogul is forcing a showdown between the Obama administration and Israel over settlements Irving Moskowitz has come a long way since he began his medical career as an young internist in California...

Erasing facts from Israel eviction story | Rafael Broch
6 Aug 2009 - The Palestinian families evicted in East Jerusalem had failed to pay their rent – a fact omitted from British media reports Mattresses strewn across the street, a child crying, a woman shouting in despair – it...

Ha'aretz National page

Israel signs NIS 7 million swine flu vaccine deal 
7 Aug 2009 - The Health Ministry on Friday signed a NIS 7 million deal with French manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur for future swine flu vaccines. ...

Settlers sue state over Hebron evacuation damages
6 Aug 2009 - Hebron's Jewish settlement filed a lawsuit against the State of Israel on Friday over damages caused during the evacuation of disputed structures in the city's wholesale market. ...

Happy hour culture is coming to Tel Aviv
6 Aug 2009 - Many Anglos living in Israel may have found that when they want to unwind and have a drink after work, they have to do it alone. Israelis like to go out late - at hours when their counterparts around the world are long in bed. ...

Relief Web

Efficient brutality' remains hallmark of widespread sexual violence in armed conflicts, UN SG tells SC 
7 Aug 2009 - Source: UN Security Council

Groundbreaking survey on housing and infrastructure in Palestinian gatherings in Lebanon released
7 Aug 2009 - Source: Première Urgence

Needs assessment in the Palestinian gatherings of Lebanon - housing, water and sanitation
7 Aug 2009 - Source: Norwegian Refugee Council, Première Urgence

YNet News

Swine flu outbreak suspected in military prison
7 Aug 2009 - Soldiers at IDF's Prison Four say 15 sick inmates held in isolation, army fails to provide proper treatment. IDF denied claims 

Palestinians confirm first death from swine flu 
7 Aug 2009 - Health Ministry says 34-year-old man who recently returned from pilgrimage to Mecca died in Ramallah hospital. Eighty confirmed cases of H1N1 virus reported in Palestinian territories 

Settlers say Palestinians torched hut at outpost
7 Aug 2009 - Several dozen Palestinians, left-wing activist reportedly throw stones, set wooden hut on fire at newly-built Reches Sela outpost. IDF disperses riot, no arrests made 

Health Ministry signs deal for swine flu vaccine
7 Aug 2009 - Preliminary agreement for purchase of H1N1 virus vaccine signed Friday by deputy health minister. Israel to pay some NIS 7 million to French vaccine manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur for deal 

Report: Israel planned to strike Iran during riots
7 Aug 2009 - Kuwaiti paper quotes 'US diplomat in Jerusalem' as saying Israel asked Obama administration for green light to attack Islamic Republic's nuclear facilities during country's post-election riots. US reportedly ignored request, causing Israel to back down 

Protestors to chief of staff: Shalit or resign
7 Aug 2009 - Dozens of protestors for the release of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit demonstrate in front of chief of staff's home as well as defense minister's home. Barak's wife, Nili Priel, says to protestors, 'I am on your side, but other than showing empathy, I have nothing to say.' Priel tells Ynet she speaks with her husband about Gilad before every cabinet meeting 

Court rules 'starving mother' to remain under house arrest
7 Aug 2009 - Jerusalem District Court rules that mother accused of starving her toddler son will remain under house arrest. Prosecution believes mother must be held in official detainment facility until end of legal proceedings, consider appealing to Supreme Court. Haredi community threatens to riot if mother returned to jail 

Palestinian Information Center

Aqsa foundation: Jewish extremists build a miniature temple opposite al-Aqsa
7 Aug 2009 - A group of extremist Jewish settlers have built a miniature representing the alleged temple on the roof top of a new synagogue that was built opposite the Aqsa Mosque.

Beitawi: A Zio-American veto prevents Palestinian reconciliation
7 Aug 2009 - Sheikh Hamed al-Beitawi, said that political arrests in the West Bank have been taking place for the past two years, pointing out that the matter was not limited to detention but also torture.

Jewish settlers raid Palestinian village, carry out religious rituals
7 Aug 2009 - IOF troops a companied a group of Jewish settlers as they raided Kafr Haris, a Palestinian village to the north-west of the northern West Bank city of Salfit, according to local sources.

Abbas's militia kidnap more Hamas supporters and leaders in the West Bank
7 Aug 2009 - Abbas's militia launched a fresh kidnapping campaign against Hamas supporters in the West Bank as 17 kidnappings were reported on Thursday and Friday.

Delegation of SPSD stranded at the Egyptian side of Rafah
7 Aug 2009 - Society of Palestinian Scholars in the Diaspora (SPSD) said that the Egyptian authorities barred a delegation representing the society from entering the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing.

PA Ministry of Information: HRW report equates the victim with the villain
7 Aug 2009 - The Ministry of Information (MI) of the PA government in Gaza expressed astonishment at the report of HRW in which it accused Hamas and Palestinian resistance factions of committing war crimes.

Ajlouni: support of the captives does not match their great sacrifice
7 Aug 2009 - Sultan al-Ajlouni, a Jordanian former captive in Israeli jails, on Thursday called for the activation of the issue of captives in Israeli occupation jails until the last captive is freed.

Gaza power company: One of the electric units will stop due to fuel shortage
7 Aug 2009 - The Gaza electricity company warned that one of its electric generating unit would stop on Friday or after tomorrow if Israel did no allow in additional quantities of fuel.

PA militias intensify political arrests, kidnap 10 Hamas leaders and supporters
7 Aug 2009 - The Palestinian Authority’s militias in Qalqiliya carried out last night an unprecedented arrest campaign in the ranks of Hamas leaders and supporters in the city and kidnapped about 10 of them.

Hamas: World community involved in judaization of Jerusalem
7 Aug 2009 - Hamas on Thursday issued a statement in the West Bank charging the world community with collusion in the Israeli occupation authority's (IOA) judaization of occupied Jerusalem.

Los Angeles Times

Jewish groups decry Obama's choice of Ireland's Mary Robinson for award 
7 Aug 2009 - Protests against the former Irish president, who critics say is anti-Israel, could become problematic for President Obama. Jewish congressional members and lobbying groups are protesting President Obama's decision to award the Presidential Medal of Freedom to former Irish leader Mary Robinson, who they say has a long record of harshly criticizing Israel. 

Ahmadinejad inauguration marked by discord 
6 Aug 2009 - Iranian hard-liner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad pledges 'greatness' after being sworn in to a second presidential term with reformist opponents protesting outside and moderates boycotting the ceremony. Dogged by allegations of election fraud and battered by some within his own conservative camp, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad limped defiantly into his second term as Iran's president Wednesday, vowing to strive for "national greatness." 

New York Times

Fatah Postpones Elections, and Extends Conference
7 Aug 2009 - Amid stormy meetings over voting procedures at the landmark conference, Fatah leaders postponed elections for its decision-making bodies. 

Amos Kenan, Israeli Writer and Iconoclast, Dies at 82
6 Aug 2009 - Mr. Kenan was an Israeli writer whose anti-religious and anti-Zionist views made him a longstanding irritant to the political establishment. 

Abbas Urges ‘New Start’ at Fatah Conference
4 Aug 2009 - The mainstream Palestinian movement Fatah came together for a landmark three-day gathering, its first ever on Palestinian soil. 


Israeli military blocks road and access to health, water services for approximately 700 Palestinians in the South Hebron Hills
8/6/2009 - Uruknet - Christian Peacemaker Teams and Operation Dove - For more information contact: 054 253 1323 and 054 731 5035 (respectively) - At noon on 5 August between the villages of Mfaggara and Jinba located in the South Hebron Hills an Israeli military bulldozer and a hummer with five soldiers created three earth mounds, blocking the road. In addition, the military damaged the road by digging it up to create the earth mounds. The entire village of Kallet Adbea is now closed between the two of the earth mounds. In addition, the mounds affect villages south of Kallet Adbea. It is estimated that approximately 700 Palestinians living in villages in the area are affected by the mounds as they do not have access to the nearby village of At-Tuwani or north to the city of Yatta. The earth mounds represent a serious problem to health needs of the local Palestinian population, because now the access to health 

Barak hints at another war with Lebanon 
8/7/2009 - Press TV - Israeli Defense Minister hints at Tel Aviv's intention to launch another offensive against Lebanon, saying the war would be more devastating than the 2006 war. " We cannot accept that a neighboring UN member state should have in its government representatives of a militia that has more than 40,000 rockets," Ehud Barak said Thursday referring to Lebanon's Hezbollah resistance movement. While claiming that Israel did not strike at Lebanon's infrastructure hard enough during the summer war of 2006, Barak said that Tel Aviv would use all its force in a possible conflict on Israel's northern border. " If there is a conflict on our northern border, we will use all necessary force," the Israeli minister said, adding that Lebanon's infrastructure was spared as a result of pressure from the United States. " What happened in the second Lebanon war will not happen again. 

Report: ’Sex and the City’ star embroiled in West Bank controversy 
8/6/2009 - Ha'aretz - Kristin Davis, who starred in the long-running HBO hit drama Sex and the City, is reportedly the subject of a controversy involving her association with an Israeli cosmetics company whose headquarters are situated in the West Bank. According to a report in Thursday's New York Post, Davis - who portrayed the character Charlotte on the successful cable comedy - will no longer serve as a spokeswoman for Oxfam International because the human rights group objects to her endorsement deal with Ahava, a popular cosmetics firm that operates out of the Israeli settlement of Mitzpe Shalem. Oxfam says Davis' arrangement with Ahava is problematic due to the fact that Mitzpe Shalem is "disputed" territory, according to the New York Post report. " This has been a huge thing," a source told the Post. "Ahava has factories on disputed land. 

Arafat-Israel murder conspiracy is back from the dead 
8/7/2009 - Ha'aretz - The mystery surrounding the 2004 death of Yasser Arafat, at the Percy military hospital near Paris, continues to hover over Fatah and the Palestinian Authority. The sixth Fatah convention on Thursday made no official decision about his death. But more than 2,000 delegates rose to applaud the late leader's nephew Nasser al-Kidwa, former PLO ambassador to the UN, when he demanded the congress officially denounce Israel for being behind the "assassination" of the late PA chairman. The affair resurfaced in the Palestinian discourse a few weeks ago in the wake of accusations by PLO enfant terrible Farouk Kaddoumi, head of the organization's state department. Kaddoumi accused Arafat's successor, PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas and PA senior official Mohamed Dahlan, of conspiring with Israel to murder Arafat. This accusation is groundless. 

Russian-language site accuses diplomats of ’orgies, bribery’ 
7/17/2009 - Ha'aretz - Senior ministry officials. . . . suspect Lieberman and his aides of standing behind the the venomous reports. - A serious dispute has broken out between Foreign Ministry staff and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman in the wake of a series of articles published on IzRus, an Israeli, Russian-language Internet site. A number of ministry deputy directors general asked Director General Yossi Gal to come out publicly in support of his staff. Several very negative reports about the ministry appeared on IzRus, considered one of Israel's five leading Russian-language Web sites, in the past few days. But the diplomats' anger reached its peak Wednesday morning, after the publication of an uncredited article, with the headline: "Orgies, bribery and fights in the Foreign Ministry: The Liebermans would not be accepted there. "The editor of the site is Michael Falkov, who was Lieberman's media advisor betwee 2003 and 2004. 

8/6/2009 - Desert Peace - I'm confused. No, wait. . . Maybe I'm not. Members of Peace Now paid a visit to the new Jewish settlers in East Jerusalem. They are not just ’settlers’, by the slogan you will see posted on the video below you will see that they are members of Kach. So try to figure this one out…. . a Palestinian family that lived peacefully in THEIR home for generations is evicted so members of an outlawed fascist organisation can move in. What is difficult to understand is that this eviction was sanctioned by the Supreme Court of Israel, in order to appease members of what is considered an outlawed terrorist organisation. Now I’m really confused. Watch the video, it speaks volumes without saying a word. 


This Is How The Palestinian Authority Treats Palestinian Journalists 
Khalid Amayreh in Bethlehem, Desert Peace 8/6/2009
      The Palestinian Authority (PA) doesn’t stop surprising us with its boundless stupidity and foolish behaviors.
     On 4 August, I, like many other journalists, decided to travel to Bethlehem to cover Fatah’s much-heralded and long-awaited Sixth conference. Security was tight and thousands of policemen had been deployed all over the traditional birthplace of Jesus. This generated a lot of consternation among the locals who had to walk long distances to reach their homes and businesses.
     Some of the policemen I encountered on the way to the conference venue were nice and kind, but others were exceptionally onerous.
     When I arrived at the conference hall at the Tera Santa (Holy Land) School in downtown Bethlehem , I was told that only people with a special press card issued by the President’s office in Ramallah were allowed to get in.
     A few days earlier, it seemed that the President’s office had contacted via email a “selected few” journalists and cameramen, asking them to go to Ramallah to obtain a special press card.
     I was not one of these for reasons I still don’t know, hence I didn’t possess the special card.
     And it was not for lack of trying. I had contacted the local offices of the PA information ministry in Hebron and Bethlehem who informed me that they didn’t know what was going on. Their only terse reply was always “you can phone us tomorrow and we hope will be able to help you.”
     As I stood outside the Tera Santa school, along with many “unprivileged journalists,” a security officer called my name. He took my laptop, camera and berated me for taking a picture of the entrance to the conference hall.

Crippled academia unable to recover in Gaza 
Rami Almeghari writing from the occupied Gaza Strip, Uruknet 8/6/2009
      More than six months after Israel’s winter invasion of Gaza, a number of partially or largely damaged universities await reconstruction. Raw materials essential for rebuilding are unavailable in Gaza primarily because of Israel’s 26-month blockade of the tiny territory. Coupled with the wide-scale destruction from Israel’s 22-day onslaught, the siege has crippled most aspects of public life for Gaza’s 1.5 million residents.
     In late December 2008, Israeli operated, American-made F-16 jets bombed Gaza’s Islamic University. The university’s laboratories and several buildings were destroyed.
     Dr. Kamalin Shaath, President of the Islamic University, explained that "The buildings are still demolished, all we did was remove the rubble. We are looking forward to beginning the reconstruction."
     Dr. Shaath added that "The students of the engineering faculty lost their graduation projects. Other sectors in Gaza were impacted due to the destruction of the laboratories. For example, the agriculture sector used to benefit from the university’s labs for testing soil."
     Ahmad al-Asmar, a student at the Islamic University of Gaza, explained that he has been "greatly impacted and saddened due to the destruction of our laboratories. However, we are determined to continue our academic life."
     To cope with the needs of students and faculty the university has created makeshift labs. The university also sent out messages of protest to relevant international organizations like the International Federation of Universities. However, Dr. Shaath stated that "All we received from various bodies were merely message of verbal solidarity. I can understand there must he some kind of political pressure. But I can assure you that we are determined to keep up our academic life, despite such a great loss."

Electronic Intifada
"Breaking the Silence" or silencing the critics?
7 Aug 2009 - "Breaking the Silence" is a member of the Israeli human rights, peace and social justice community. The group's only crime, so it seems, lies in its effort to offer an alternative ethical voice in a society that is arguably losing its way. Breaking the Silence provides a platform for soldiers to testify to acts of violence and other violations of Palestinian rights that they may have witnessed or taken part in during their service in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Louis Frankenthaler comments for The Electronic Intifada. 

Smoke, mirrors and acrimony: The 2009 Fatah congress
6 Aug 2009 - It has been an unnatural string of days here in Bethlehem. Gone is the usual quaintness. Palestinian police are working overtime and coffee shops are being lit up by men in suits with cigars in town for Fatah's sixth general assembly. The secular Fatah movement was founded in the 1950s and has since been at the forefront of the Palestinian national movement. Sousan Hammad writes for The Electronic Intifada. 

Letter campaign: Israeli apartheid deserves no amnesty
6 Aug 2009 - The following action alert was issued on 5 August 2009 by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel and groups around the world, urging Amnesty International to discontinue its involvement with a Leonard Cohen concert in Israel that effectively normalizes Israel's violations of international law and undermines the worldwide movement to boycott Israel. 

Crippled academia unable to recover in Gaza
6 Aug 2009 - More than six months after Israel's winter invasion of Gaza, a number of partially or largely damaged universities await reconstruction. Raw materials essential for rebuilding are unavailable in Gaza primarily because of Israel's 26-month blockade of the tiny territory. Coupled with the wide-scale destruction from Israel's 22-day onslaught, the siege has crippled most aspects of public life for Gaza's 1.5 million residents. Rami Almeghari reports from the Gaza Strip. 

In Gaza
sea scenes
5 Aug 2009 - On different occasions, the sea and friends afforded enthralling views, conversations, and lasting memories.  Below, scenes from Deir Al Balah coast, central Gaza, where I caught the sunset and moonrise in the company of a friend, his wife, and family. * Ibrahim and sister Najwa and her child. * Ibrahim, who adores his daughter Tala. * Ibrahim’s mother, sister, and nephews. * The sun in Gaza disappears so quickly… On another occasion, further along the coast, a late afternoon early evening visit to the beach provided glimpses of friends knocking around a football, horse and camel riders, couples strolling, and the sunset. * fishermen heading out in their hassaka to drops their nets a couple...

Palestine Chronicle
Gaza's Kite Runners
7 Aug 2009 - By Ramzy Baroud When seen from a distance, kites in Gaza may look quite ordinary. But while Gazan children, in many respects, are just children, their kites are hardly ordinary. Often adorned by the red, black, green and white of the Palestinian flag, Gazan children’s kites are expressions of defiance, hope and the longing for freedom. This is hardly a cliché. People living under oppressive rules take every opportunity to express defiance, even through such symbolic ways. Born and raised in Nuseirat Refugee Camp in the Gaza Strip, I remember my first kite. It, like most kites, carried the colors of the flag. The kite was the work of my older brother, now a successful medic in the West Bank. He obliged before my incessant cries for a kite despite my father’s objections. But why should a father object to something so seemingly harmless? Simple. A notorious Israeli military camp and detention center was stationed on the outskirts of our refugee camp, between Nuseirat and Buraij. The military camp served multiple purposes. It was to immediately dispatch troops into our refugee camp at the first sign of protest. Further, the men stationed there guarded a nearby Jewish settlement. Finally, it also served as a temporarily prison where Palestinian activists suffered torture before being hauled off to Gaza’s central prison, or worse, Al-Nakab. The military camp however, hardly enjoyed a moment of peace. Students and other refugees from adjacent refugee camps would descend into the Israeli military grounds, almost daily with...

American Intifada: Shaking Off Six Decades of Deceit
7 Aug 2009 - By Jeff Gates During the 1960 Christmas season, Americans flocked to the theaters to see Exodus, a 3-1/2 hour epic featuring romance, handsome freedom fighters and the triumph of Jewish destiny over Arab evil—all set against a Yuletide backdrop of Biblical prophecy as heroic Jews returned to their promised land. Many moviegoers failed to realize that Exodus was not fact but fiction adapted from a 1958 Leon Uris novel, the biggest bestseller since Gone with the Wind. Directed by Otto Preminger and starring a young Paul Newman and Eva Marie Saint, the film featured Lee J. Cobb, Rat Pack member Peter Lawford and Italian crooner Sal Mineo, a teen heartthrob who received an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of a Jewish émigré. Then as now, Americans are easily swayed by sympathetic portrayals of an extremist enclave granted nation-state recognition by Harry Truman. A Christian-Zionist who had famously read the Bible cover-to-cover five times by age 15, Truman was a True Believer in the prophecy that the Messiah could not return until the Israelites returned to their ancestral home. Truman White House counsel Clark Clifford routinely reminded the widely unpopular president that his 1948 campaign was woefully short of funding that the Jewish-American community—with that recognition—was eager to provide. In May 1948, General George C. Marshall, Truman’s Secretary of State, argued vigorously against recognition of this Zionist enclave as a legitimate sovereign nation. Truman heard similarly strong objections from the diplomatic corps, the fledgling Central Intelligence Agency and the Joint Chiefs...

One State, Two States – Book Review
7 Aug 2009 - By Jim Miles One State, Two States – Resolving the Israel/Palestine Conflict. Benny Morris. Yale University Press, New Haven, NJ. 2009 This is a rather oily work to deal with, operating under the pretence of academic objectivity that “does not flatter anyone’s prejudices.” And while Benny Morris obviously knows his historical facts, “One State, Two States” reveals more of a prejudice than the original reviewers seemed capable of understanding. The main theme – resolving the Israeli/Palestine conflict - is poorly introduced without a lot of contextual information that could change the reader’s perspective on the situation. What Morris arrives at through implication and cherry picking information is that the Israelis are the good guys (generally, with only one mention of the “grinding, stifling Israeli occupation of the territories” near the end of the book) and the Palestinians are the reluctant, recalcitrant, demagogic perpetrators of evil. Okay, that is overstated, but it is an overstatement as an example of the kind of language used occasionally by Morris that seriously erodes his academic pretensions of neutrality. There are several faults with the development of his arguments that should be noted, some being omissions of information, others being a working of the information to fit the author’s preconceptions. Unequal Partners One of the more subtle misinformation themes is that of the ongoing dialogue of whatever form, through negotiations, written tracts, informal talks or whatever, that leaves the implication that the two sides – Israelis and Palestinians – are equal partners in the negotiations,...

Cleaning Lebanon's 'Free Gaza Beach'
7 Aug 2009 - By Franklin Lamb - Ramlet el Baida, Beirut It is hard to believe that it has already been three years since July 13 and 15, 2006, when American MK 82 and MK 83,500 and 1,000 lb. bombs, and four US TOW missiles, gifted to Israel, destroyed Lebanon’s oil storage facility at Jiyeh, 30 kilometers south of Beirut. The attack at Jiyeh was one of more than 12,000 Israeli air force bombing missions during the 33 day attack on Lebanon, as its navy fired 2,500 missiles as its Army fired over 100,000 shells. Large parts of the Lebanese civilian infrastructure were destroyed, including 400 miles of roads, 73 bridges, and dozens of other civilian targets bombed such as Beirut's Rafic Hariri Airport, ports, water and sewage treatment plants, electrical facilities, 25 fuel stations, 900 commercial structures, up to 350 schools and two hospitals. More than 15,000 homes were destroyed and an additional 130,000 damaged. The intentional environmental disaster at Jiyeh was the worst of its kind in Lebanese history with more than 15,000 pounds of thick oil soaking Lebanon’s beaches turning some into tar pits. According to the World Bank the bombing of the oil storage tanks produced a 50,000 sq meter “carpet” of oil sunken below the sea just off the coast of Sidon which Greenpeace claims will require decades if not centuries to recover. Efforts by UN Sec.-General Key ban Moon to collect close to a billion dollars from Israel to reimburse Lebanon for clean up and restoration costs...

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