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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
12 August , 2009


International Middle East Media Center

Livni: “Hundreds of thousands of Israelis want to leave the country”
13 Aug 2009 - Israeli opposition leader of the Kadima Party, Tzipi Livni, stated Wednesday that hundreds of thousands of Israelis are trying to find ways to leave Israel due to what she described as bleak political situation and lack of vision of the current government. 

Two settlers wounded by Palestinian gunfire
13 Aug 2009 - Israeli military sources reported that two settlers were mildly wounded near Givat Horoeh illegal settlement, in the northern part of the West Bank, after two Palestinian fighters opened fire at their vehicle from a passing car. 

Israel asks Syria for information on missing soldier
12 Aug 2009 - Israel has asked Syria to provide it with the information on a soldier who went missing near the Syrian border 12 years ago, Israeli media sources reported. 

HRW: “Army killed 11 civilians carrying white flags”
12 Aug 2009 - Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported Thursday that Israeli soldiers shot and killed during the war against the Gaza Strip eleven Palestinian civilians, including five women and four children, and wounded eight others in seven separate attacks, although they were carrying white flags. 

The Israeli military kidnaps four civilians from northern West Bank villages
12 Aug 2009 - The Israeli military kidnapped on Wednesday four Palestinian civilians during pre dawn invasions targeting a number of villages near the northern West Bank city of Jenin. 

The Jerusalem Municipality hands-over a number of demolition orders to Palestinian Families
12 Aug 2009 - The Israeli municipality handed over on Wednesday a number of demolition orders to Palestinian families from East Jerusalem. 

Abu Mujahid: "No progress made on Shalit"
12 Aug 2009 - Mohammad Al Breem, Abu Mujahid, spokesperson of the Salah Ed Deen Brigades, stated Wednesday that the Israeli media is deluding the public by claiming that a progress was made in prisoner-swap talks. 

Ha'aretz Defense page

Two Israelis lightly hurt in West Bank shooting
12 Aug 2009 - Casualties taken to hospital after gunmen open fire on car north of Ramallah; IDF still combing the area. 

Shalit family: Optimism for Gilad's return is waning
12 Aug 2009 - Supporters gather at Western Wall to mark soldier's 23rd birthday; Hamas: Israel will cave to our demands. 

IDF chief suspends top officer for improper use of army gear
12 Aug 2009 - Col. Israel Danieli told to take leave just two days after another commander resigned for similar transgression. 

Disgraced IDF officer hires PR firm to handle media frenzy
11 Aug 2009 - Brig. Gen. Fares resigned from IDF after it came to light that he had lied to GOC Northern Command Eizenkot. 

Israel tells nationals: Leave Sinai immediately
11 Aug 2009 - Counterterrorism unit warning of planned attacks during the upcoming Jewish holiday period. 

Ma'an News

Israeli forces raid northern West Bank villages, seize man
8/12/2009 - Salfit - Ma'an - Israeli forces stormed the northern West Bank town of Beit Dajan, near Nablus, on Tuesday evening and ransacked home of Ma'rouf Hanani, using his roof as military tower, according to Palestinian police. Separately, Israeli force raided the village of Iraq Burin, south of Nablus, and confiscated a vehicle owned by resident Walid Mousa. Meanwhile, Israeli forces raided Barta'a near Jenin in the northern West Bank and detained 19-year-old Mu'tasim Abu Ubeid, who is from the nearby village of Arraba. [end] 

Israeli forces raid Al-Walaja, confiscating construction materials
8/12/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israeli forces raided the southern West Bank village of Al-Walaja near Bethlehem on Wednesday, confiscating construction material and equipment, according to witnesses. Israeli border police, regular army soldiers, and teams from the Jerusalem Municipality raided the village and surrounded an under-construction building owned by Khalid Halahla. The Israeli personnel confiscated bricks and iron rebar meant used for building the roof of the third floor of the planned 600-meter square building. Halahla's nephew Sulaiman claimed that Israeli authorities stopped the construction because a settler living in the nearby Har Gilo settlement petitioned against the building claiming it "ruins the view from his house. "He explained that his uncle filed a petition in an Israeli court to allow construction to continue. A hearing was supposed to take place on Thursday, but it was postponed until September, he said. 

This Week In Lieberman: 'Uncompromising, extremist positions'
8/12/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Exactly one week after announcing he'd resign if indicted on the cornucopia of charges Israel's attorney general is said to be preparing, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman resigned himself to more conflict with his close neighbors in the West Bank. "The uncompromising, extremist positions of the Palestinians. . . create an unbridgeable gap between us," the Israeli foreign minister declared while meeting with a group of lawmakers from US President Barack Obama's Democratic Party on Monday. In fact, improving Palestinian security forces and their economy is simply the most anyone can hope for at this point, Lieberman went on to tell the Democrats in Jerusalem. "This is the maximum we can reach in the coming years. ""Given this set of circumstances, Israeli policy needs to be based on reality rather than delusions," added the ultranationalist settler, surrounded. . . 

Fatah sources: Recount bumps Abbas aide into Central Committee
8/12/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - An unannounced recount of the Fatah Central Committee elections ballots saw officials announce a tie for the 18th and final place in the movement's highest governing body. The new but still unofficial results are as follows: 16 - At-Tayyib Abdul-Rahim, 17- Abbas Zaki, 18 - Nabil Sha'ath, 18 - Muhammad Shtayya. The main difference in the results leaked on Wednesday afternoon is that At-Tayyib Abdul Rahim, the director of President Mahmoud Abbas' bureau in Ramallah, has been lifted into the top eighteen. With the tie for eighteenth place, none of the other elected members have been displaced. Officials had confirmed the preliminary results published on Monday, but refused to confirm the rankings on Tuesday evening. One unnamed official hinted that there was one box being recounted. 

Fatah elections: Seven members miscounted; Abdul Rahim in
8/12/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Elections Committee Chair Ahmad Sayyad announced the final results of the Fatah Central Committee, confirming a 19-member leading body and announcing new numbers for the votes of seven elected members. The announcement followed two days of counting and re-counting, with Fatah officials releasing preliminary results Monday, confirming them Tuesday, then announcing a tie, with Abbas' aide and Secretary General of the Palestinian Presidency At-Tayyib Abdul Rahim as having gained 16th place, he was number 19 with 637 votes on first count. In the final re-count, requested by ousted former member of the committee Ahmad Qureia, Abdul Rahim remained in 16th place, with the would-be bumped Shtayeh ending in a tie with formerly 17th place Fatah member Abbas Zaki. The number of appointed members was reduced to three, following the announcement of the expanded number from elections. 

Gaza: UN rubble removal teams uncover health hazards
8/12/2009 - GAZA, 11 August 2009 (IRIN) - Nearly seven months after Israel's military offensive in the Gaza Strip, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) has begun removing some 600,000MT of rubble containing asbestos and other hazardous material. Israel's 23-day operation destroyed 4,000 housing units and damaged 40,000 homes. UNDP officer Amran el-Kharouby in Gaza said rubble was being removed from 2,533 private homes, in addition to 23 public buildings. "UNDP rubble removal teams were trained how to safely remove, store and crush hazardous material, primarily asbestos," said El-Kharouby, adding that UNDP had provided contractors with safety equipment. Teams also met residents, some living in tented communities near their destroyed homes, to explain the removal process and warning that hazardous material might be uncovered. 

Teen shot in head; police investigate
8/12/2009 - Nablus - Ma'an - A Palestinian boy died of seven gunshot wounds to the head in what sources say is either a tragic accident of a case of filicide. The incident occurred in Az-Zawiyah village south Nablus on Wednesday, when Palestinian security sources uncovered the death of 15 year-old Jihad Shukeir. Jihad was pronounced dead at the Rafidia Government Hospital; medical sources said he had sustained seven gunshot wounds to the head and died while he was being transferred to the hospital. Sources said police are investigating two tracks, the first a scenario where the boy was playing with this father (a Palestinian Authority police officer)'s weapon, and the second a case of gun cleaning gone awry, where the gun was in fact in the hands of the father. 

New Gaza military group claims shelling
8/12/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - A new Palestinian military organization in the Gaza Strip called "Sunna Group Supporters of Prophet Muhammad's Teachings" claimed responsibility on Tuesday evening for firing two mortar shells toward Israel. The self-proclaimed group said in a statement their fighters launched two mortar shells at Israeli army vehicles stationed near a military watchtower east of Al-Bureij Refugee Camp in the central Gaza Strip. According to Israeli media, mortar shell fired from Gaza landed across the border, in the desert in the Eshkol Regional council, causing no injuries. [end] 

Israel to open three Gaza crossings
8/12/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Israel decided to open the three commercial crossings into the besieged Gaza Strip on Wednesday, a Palestinian official said. Ra'ed Fattouh, a Palestinian crossing official charged with liaising with Israeli authorities, told Ma'an that Israel planned to allow 69 to 79 trucks to deliver goods and humanitarian aid through the Kerem Shalom crossing. Cooking gas and industrial grade diesel for Gaza's sole power plant will be allowed through the Nahal Oz terminal. Goods will also be shipped through the Karni crossing, which is often closed. On Tuesday, Kerem Shalom, Nahal Oz crossings were open, while Karni remained closed. [end] 

US military delegation visits Syria: Iraq and Israel on agenda
8/12/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - A US military delegation will visit Syria on Wednesday in what is being called a signal of warming relations between the two countries. The officials from the US Central Command will ask Syria to curb the infiltration of alleged insurgents across the border into US-occupied Iraq, according to diplomats in Damascus quoted by Reuters. "The Americans have presented the Syrians with names of main facilitators of insurgents they want captured," one of the diplomats told Reuters. Also on the agenda is the US push for the resumption of peace talks between Syria and Israel, which occupies the Golan Heights, in southern Syria. State Department official Frederick Hoff, who is responsible for negotiating a territorial compromise between Israel and Syria, is also included in the delegation. The visit comes soon after the US announced it plans to return an Ambassador to Damascus after a four-hear withdrawal. 

Shalit’s captors deny reports of progress toward deal
8/12/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - A spokesman for the group directly responsible for the capture of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit denied reports of progress in talks toward a prisoner exchange with Israel on Wednesday. The spokesman of the Popular Resistance Committees armed wing, Abu Mujahid, said "Israeli media are trying to publish misleading reports. "  In a telephone call Abu Mujahid said the Palestinian resistance's demands remained unchanged. In return for Shalit's freedom, the Palestinian side wants Israel to release 1,400 prisoners, he said, including 450 who are serving life sentences and long terms, the ill, women, and children. He added that his group had given Israel a list of names of prisoners they want released. Israeli news websites reprinted a report on Wednesday from the Arabic daily from London Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat, stating that progress had. . . 

Hamas denies report of ’foreign Jihadists’ in Gaza
8/12/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - The Hamas-controlled de facto government has denied an Israeli news report that foreign fighters have entered the Gaza Strip and set up organizations. A spokesperson for the de facto government's Interior Ministry Ehab Al-Ghussein said that all the armed groups in the Gaza Strip are Palestinian organizations whose goal is to resist Israeli occupation, and nothing beyond that. Al-Ghussein's comments were in response to a report published earlier this week on the website of the Israeli newspaper Haaretz. The report claimed that dozens of "Islamic terrorists" have entered the Gaza Strip over the past year and are operating there "in the framework of extremist organizations identified with the "˜worldwide Jihad. '" The Haaretz report quoted Israeli military officials who stated that men who had fought US troops in Iraq had managed to enter Gaza. 

France congratulates Abbas on uncontested win of Fatah leadership
8/12/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - France congratulated Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on his re-election as head of Fatah's Central Committee on 8 August, and later sent a statement "emphasiz[ing] its full confidence in President Abbas's ability to lead the Palestinian people in its search for peace. " French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner telephoned Mahmoud Abbas to congratulate him as early as Saturday 8 August, a statement from the ministry said, adding Abbas' leadership goals marked the "only possible way of achieving fair and lasting peace in the Middle East. "  The statement further urged "all the parties to honor the obligations they have undertaken vis-à-vis the international community without further delay, in order to facilitate the resumption of peace negotiations at the earliest opportunity. 

Fayyad hosts US Congress delegation
8/12/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - Prime Minister Dr Salam Fayyad hosted 29 members of the United States House of Representatives at his office in Ramallah on Wednesday. The visit followed a 29-member Republican delegation that toured the area last week, sponsored by an Israel lobby group. Fayyad briefed the delegation on what he said was recent progress by the Palestinian National Authority on security and the economy. The prime minister stressed that every effort was being made by his government to establish an independent Palestinian state. For their part, the lawmakers stressed US President Barack Obama's vision for a two-state solution and reiterated the American leader's determination to get back to direct negotiations between Israel and Palestine. Both parties reportedly agreed that the only way forward included a halt in settlement activities, while Fayyad insisted that frequent Israeli. . . 

Upsets in Fatah leadership election
8/12/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - With 90% of the votes counted, Fatah's old guard appears to have suffered major upsets in an election for the movement's highest decision-making body, the Central Committee. By far the most significant upset is the ousting of Ahmad Quriea, the head of the Palestinian negotiating team and Fatah's Organization and Mobilization department. A key member of the Fatah establishment in the West Bank, Quriea organized the Fatah conference himself, and according to many sources added extra delegates in an attempt to increase his chances of reelection. Among those likely to win seats for the first time on the committee is jailed resistance leader Marwan Al-Barghouthi, a favorite of the grassroots. Fatah's relatively militant leader in Lebanon, Sultan Abul Aynein, also appears to have picked up a seat. 

Counting begins for revolutionary council seats; results Friday
8/12/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The Fatah elections committee began counting votes for the movement's Revolutionary Council Wednesday, following a 30-hour delay caused by "technical considerations," the committee said. Eighty members of the approximately 130-seat council are elected, 23 come from the Central Committee and another 27 or so are appointed, at least seven of which are set to be Palestinians in Israeli prison. The appointments will be determined following the first meeting of the committee. The election was completed Tuesday, four days after its scheduled date, and voting closed Tuesday evening. Executive director of the congress Munir Salama had earlier announced results would be ready Wednesday morning, but later said a delay owing to the complicated process of counting would see results announced Friday. 

PPSF elects new Secretary General replacing deceased former leader
8/12/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - The Palestinian Popular Struggle Front (PPSF) elected Dr Ahmad Majdalani as the new Secretary General of the party on Wednesday; he replaces Samir Ghousha who passed away last week. In a press conference at the Palestine Media Center in Ramallah, Majdalani confirmed his position, but noted he had no intention of resigning from his government post as Minister of Labor in the current caretaker government. The PPSF will continue to adhere to what Majdalani described as the "unchangeable Palestinian principles and policies outlined by Ghousha. "  Majdalani said he would work to focus the party's efforts on enhancing democracy within Palestinian institutions, enhancing democratic coalitions within the Palestine Liberation Organization, and developing PLO institutions. The focus on democracy stems from the stance that elections will end the internal Palestinian rivalry and restore unity, he said. 

Fatah leadership in Gaza resign
8/12/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - The Fatah higher leadership committee in the Gaza Strip submitted its resignation on Wednesday, a day after the movement elected new leadership. The resignation was submitted to President Mahmoud Abbas, and the movement's Central Committee, the governing body the movement elected this week. Head of the Gaza Fatah committee Zakariya Al-Agha said the resignation was not, as rumored, a protest against the results of the Central Committee elections. "The resignation is a legal procedure following the elections, and the Central Committee will have to make a decision about it. What was published in the media about the resignation being in protest against results of elections is untrue," said Al-Agha, who stood for reelection to the Central Committee but lost in the election. 

PA cabinet allocates 8 million USD for H1N1 vaccines
8/12/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - Eight million dollars was set aside for H1N1 vaccinations at the Palestinian Ministers Council meeting Wednesday, following a presentation from Minister of Health Fathi Abu Moghli on the increasing numbers of patients in the West Bank. Over the past week three more Palestinians were diagnosed with the virus, two had just returned from a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia's city Mecca. Thousands are expected to travel to the holy city next month during the Muslim month of fasting, which begins on 21 August. Until now 95 Palestinians were diagnosed with H1N1, and one 30-year-old man with the virus died. Prime Minister Salam Fayyad praised the efforts of the ministry in preventing and containing occurrences of the virus, and established links between the Minister of Waqf and Abu Moghli so Hajj pilgrims to Mecca can be educated on the risks and precautions associated with H1N1. 

PA thanks Bethlehem for hospitality around Fatah conference
8/12/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - Palestinian ministers thanked residents of Bethlehem for their hospitality and patience for the duration of the Sixth Fatah Congress, which closed down businesses and stopped traffic for more than a week. The ministers' meeting in Ramallah said the calm with which Bethlehemites received the thousands of Fatah delegates, press and observers was exemplary, and their nationalistic behavior certainly played a part in the success of the conference. A statement following the ministers meeting on Wednesday called the conference will be a positive step toward the national improvement and a strengthening of the PLO. [end] 

Swimming success for Gazan women aged 12-40 at local sports club
8/12/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - The Al-Jazeera Sports Club in Gaza City finished its annual swimming course for Gazan women, aged 12 to 40. The course had two sessions and a total of 170 participants, who were coached by female lifeguards in basic and intermediate strokes. The club is a mainstay of women's activities in the city, and was the first club to have women on its board of directors. It has a mandate for equality in all the activities it runs, and reaches out to boys, girls, men, and women who are marginalized in their communities. During the fun-day at the end of the summer-long lessons, young women and grandmothers equally expressed their happiness for the ability to participate in the class, and joy at improving their confidence in the water. 

Police team issues challenge ahead of 2009 Body Building Championship
8/12/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an -Palestinian body building champion Mahmoud Adam will represent the Palestinian police in the National Body Building Championship set to take place Friday at the Cultural Palace Ramallah. Coordinator for the police sports union Ghassan Quteit reminded contestants that Mahmoud won the championship in 2008 and has since been training in Bethlehem where he has been "supervised by experts" in preparation for representing the police at the annual competition. Quteit invited all police officers to attend the event to support their colleague. For his part, Mahmoud said he is optimistic and he will get high, even though he expects this year's competition to be stiffer than last. 

PSE: Al-Quds Index closes up 0.29%
8/12/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Stocks on the Palestine Securities Exchange rose on Tuesday, with the Al-Quds Index climbing 1. 5 points on Tuesday, marking a 0. 29% increase over Monday. Trading Volume for Tuesday was 1,145,658 shares worth 3,955,279. 46 US dollars over the course of 474 trades. The shares of 20 companies were traded. The shares prices of four companies rose, while those of eight others declined. The top five gainers were ISBK by (2. 99%), BOP by (1. 92%), AMB by (1. 67%), and QUDS by (1. 35%). The top five losers JREI by (4. 63%), ARAB by (4. 35%), NCI by (3. 23%), LADAEN by (3. 13%), and PIIC by (2. 50%). [end] 

PSE stocks decline: Al-Quds Index down 1.25%
8/12/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Stocks on the Palestine Securities Exchange in Nablus declined on Wednesday, with the Al-Quds Index decreasing by 6. 52 points (1. 25%) over Tuesday's close. A total volume of 440,355 shares worth 1,011,256. 44 US dollars were traded over the course of 290 individual trades. The shares of 21 companies were traded. The shares prices of four companies rose while those of nine others declined. The top five gainers were AMB by (4. 92%), NSC by (4. 44%), ISBK by (2. 90%), and BPC by (0. 78%). The top five losers were PLAZA by (3. 77%), NCI by (3. 33%), BOP by (3. 23%), WASSEL by (1. 75%), and PADICO by (1. 55%). [end] 

Bethlehem car race to start Friday morning
8/12/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The fourth round of Palestine's 2009 Motorsport series will begin Friday in the West Bank city Bethlehem, following a week and a half of slowed road traffic during the high-security Sixth Fatah Congress. The event is sponsored by the fledgling telecommunications company Wataniyeh Communications and coordinated by the Palestinian Motor Sport and Motorcycle Federation with Bethlehem police station and municipality, said Chairman of the Board for the Palestinian Motor Sport and Motorcycle Federation Khalid Kaddura. The aggregate winner of Friday's events will have points added to a partial score, which will be completed following the final race in Jericho, where the Palestinian Race Car Hero 2009 will be announced. Four race classes will be held as drivers compete for points and speed through obstacle courses and doing stunts. 

The National

Gang linked to al Qa'eda held over terror plot
12 Aug 2009 - Six Kuwaiti members of an al Qa'eda-linked group who were arrested in Kuwait planned to attack Shuaiba oil refinery, a security official says.

Israel starved Gaza of power and water
12 Aug 2009 - A report by a rights group says Israel deliberately brought the Gaza Strip's infrastructure to the brink of collapse before its military offensive.

Mubarak's son reaches out to youths
12 Aug 2009 - The son of Egypt's president – and the man who is widely thought to be the heir apparent to the country's leadership – answered questions from Egyptian youths in an online video forum.

Vote count for Fatah poll to begin
12 Aug 2009 - The vote count for the parliament of the secular Fatah party of the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was set to begin after long delays, an election official said.


Fatah committee chiefs in Gaza quit
12 Aug 2009 - Eleven-member board in party's highest committee resign in protest over poll process.

Kuwait 'foils al-Qaeda terror plot'
11 Aug 2009 - Six Kuwaitis arrested over plan to use fertiliser to attack US base.

Palestine News Network

After 25 years the longest-serving Tulkarem resident is released from Israeli prison 
11 Aug 2009 - Tulkarem / PNN - At 25 years spent in Israeli prisons, Mohammad Mansour was the longest term detainee from Tulkarem. Political prisoners were all supposed to be released by the Israelis at Oslo, but that did not happen for many. Now 50 years old, the man from Balaa Village outside of Tulkarem City is home after having spent most of his adult life...

Under and unemployed get small boost in Nablus from mayoral work projects that include training
11 Aug 2009 - Nablus / PNN - With employment rates dropping in the West Bank due to both Israeli-imposed closures and the meltdown of the global economy, the Palestinian government is moving to create work projects. Along with the Office of the European Union Humanitarian Affairs (ECHO), the mayor of the northern West Bank’s Nablus has his own type of New Deal underway. Paving the Old...

This exhibition is dedicated to Palestinians of the West Bank who cannot enter Jerusalem 
11 Aug 2009 - Bethlehem / PNN - Osama Hamdan, an architect and the Mosaic Centre Jericho Director, reports this week on the opening of an exhibit of copies of Umayyad Mosaics at Bethlehem’s Peace Center. The exhibit has been in the works for some time, not only as part of the “Jerusalem as Capital of Arab Culture 2009” events, but also for the singular reason that...

Palestinians dying in custody of Ramallah security, human rights organization call for investigation
11 Aug 2009 - Ramallah / PNN - For the second time this month a call is being issued for investigation into the death of a detained Hamas member at the hands of Palestinian Authority security. Fadi Hamadna is the fourth to die in internal custody since the year began.The last time it was in Hebron. Today the reported incident is in the northern West Bank’s Nablus....

Man breaks legs when soldiers force him to jump, rampant beatings, and other checkpoint violations 
11 Aug 2009 - Hebron / PNN - Hundreds of checkpoints, some that seem to be permanent fixtures and others referred to as “flying”, break the contiguity of the West Bank. For a Palestinian to travel from one town to the next often requires a lengthy and humiliating procedure that includes asking the permission of Israeli forces to go to work and school, or to see family...

Fateh Central Committee election results are in and conference is closing, Gaza controversy remains
10 Aug 2009 - Bethlehem / PNN – The Fateh Sixth Conference is wrapping up today after being extended from Sunday due to the vast number of issues needing attention, and the situation for members in the Gaza Strip due to the ongoing crisis with the Hamas party. The elections for both the Central Committee and the Revolutionary Council are in. Fateh’s armed resistance wing, the Al...

Gaza appeals to international community to pressure Israelis to lift ban on paper, kid's clothes
10 Aug 2009 - Gaza / PNN – With all basic supplies banned by the Israeli government to the Gaza Strip, paper is on the list. And with the imminent onset of the new academic year, this remains a crucial issue. And the Islamic holy month of Ramadan is on the near horizon, coming earlier each year, the additional personal and financial obligations are in th the...


OPT: Rubble removal uncovers potential health hazards
GAZA Tuesday, August 11, 2009 (IRIN) - Nearly seven months after Israel’s military offensive in the Gaza Strip, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) has begun removing some 600,000MT of rubble containing asbestos and other hazardous material.

MIDDLE EAST: Saudi Arabia has highest incidence of flu 
DUBAI Monday, August 10, 2009 (IRIN) - Saudi Arabia has the highest number of laboratory confirmed pandemic H1N1 cases in the Eastern Mediterranean Region – 595 – with four out of the eight deaths so far, according to an 8 August World Health Organization (WHO) report.

OPT-EGYPT: Rafah sees record crossings
GAZA CITY Monday, August 10, 2009 (IRIN) - The Rafah crossing on the Gaza-Egypt border opened for five days this month, the longest continued period since Hamas seized power in the Palestinian-controlled Gaza Strip in June 2007.

Inter Press Service

EUROPE: The Czar Makes Up With the Sultan 
ISTANBUL, Aug 12 (IPS) - Once the worst of enemies, involved in 12 wars in three centuries, Turkey and Russia have suddenly become the best of friends, forging strong bonds that could be a counterpoint to the European Union if it freezes Turkey out of full membership.

EGYPT: Israel Gas Deal Inflames Opposition 
CAIRO, Aug 12 (IPS) - Opposition figures and political activists have slammed a new deal to sell Egyptian liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Israel at what they say are vastly reduced prices.

MIDEAST: New Blood Invigorates Fatah Leadership 
BETHLEHEM, Aug 12 (IPS) - Despite internal divisions, much criticism and against enormous odds, the Fatah movement has emerged from its Sixth Revolutionary Council here with new blood in its leadership and hopes for a fresh agenda.

POLITICS: Saudi Arabia May Not Follow Obama’s Plan 
WASHINGTON, Aug 11 (IPS) - Pro-Israeli lobbyists here won the support of 77 senators (out of 100) for a letter sent to President Barack Obama that urged him to "press Arab leaders" to consider making dramatic, upfront peace overtures to Israel.

Stop The Wall

Closure does not stop al Ma’sara protest
11 Aug 2009 - Last week, soldiers closed the village of al Ma’sara the night prior to the weekly demonstration. This move did little to deter protestors, who marched to through the village in protest of the Wall and settlements the next day. [

Special forces spotted at Ni’lin demonstration
10 Aug 2009 - The Friday demonstration in Ni’lin was held this week without injury to participants, although Occupation forces employ tear gas and chemical spray to keep people away from the Wall. Special forces were again spotted at the demonstration.

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 village will hold a mass demonstration against the ongoing Israeli arrest and intimidation campaign
8/12/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Bil'in village will hold a mass demonstration against the ongoing Israeli arrest and intimidation campaign on Friday, 14 August 2009, at one PM. Bil'in residents along with Israeli and international supporters will attempt to march to the village land beyond the Apartheid Wall. At 2 AM on the 10 August 2009, Israeli forces raided the home of a jailed member of the Bil'in popular committee, Mohammad Khatib. The heavily armed solders, their faces daubed with black paint, entered and "searched" the home now occupied by Mohammad's wife, Lamya, and their small children. The soldiers then ordered Lamya to take them to the house of Khatib's elderly father, Abdel Karim. Lamya repeatedly refused to cooperate. The soldiers proceeded to raid Mohammad's father's home and summoned him to appear for interrogation with the Israeli secret service (Shabak). 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

Iran calls for global ban on striking nuclear facilities 
12 Aug 2009 - Iran, whose nuclear facilities are under threat of possible Israeli military strikes, proposed Wednesday that a 150-nation conference convening in September ban such attacks. ...

Jordan: Factory behind Israel clothes labels is no sweatshop
11 Aug 2009 - Jordan's Ministry of Labor on Wednesday rejected accusations that a local factory supplying clothing to Israel was abusing its workers, saying there was no evidence of either human trafficking or forced work. ...

Poll: 70% of Americans see Israel as U.S. friend
11 Aug 2009 - More than two-third of Americans regard Israel as an ally despite recent diplomatic tensions, a nationwide survey conducted by the U.S. polling firm Rasmussen Reports has revealed. ...

UN denies Ban congratulated Ahmadinejad on his re-election
11 Aug 2009 - The United Nations said on Wednesday that Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon did not congratulate Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on his contested re-election, reversing a previous statement. ...

Deputy FM: Israel will hold only direct talks with Syria
11 Aug 2009 - Israel will not resume Turkish-mediated peace talks with Syria under Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, insisting that any new negotiations be direct, a senior Israeli government official said on Wednesday. ...

The Guardian

Israel split over calls to release jailed Palestinian leader
12 Aug 2009 - Row erupts over whether to release Marwan Barghouti in prisoner swap after his election to key Fatah committee A fierce debate has erupted among senior Israeli politicians over whether the jailed Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti –...

Abandoning reason to demonise Obama | Antony Lerman
12 Aug 2009 - It may seem a ridiculous notion to Palestinians, but some American Jews feel Obama is plotting the destruction of Israel Does Barack Obama represent the best hope for a just and final settlement of the Israel-Palestine...

The two-state diversion | Robert Malley and Hussein Agah
11 Aug 2009 - That leaders of Israel and Hamas have signed up to the approach is the surest sign it is void of meaning The two-state solution has welcomed two converts. In recent weeks, Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime...

Fatah elects younger leadership group
11 Aug 2009 - Fourteen of 18 seats on Palestinian group's central committee go to new members, including one jailed in Israel Fatah, the Palestinian group led by Mahmoud Abbas, today elected a group of younger leaders, as the movement...

Ha'aretz National page

Parents in Negev town sue for right to secular education
12 Aug 2009 - Every parent wants to give his or her child the best education possible, but in most cases it seems that is not available. In light of problems in the education system, sometimes getting the most important educational resource - teachers with vision and initiative - is a matter of chance. At Moshav Sde Tzvi in the Negev, on the other hand, the parents decided to take action and put the task of educating their children into the hands of people whom they could count on - themselves. ... 

Petah Tikva Orthodox schools refuse Ethiopian students
12 Aug 2009 - At least 100 students of Ethiopian origin in Petah Tikva do not know what school they will be attending in the fall, with the opening of the school year just two and a half weeks away. The uncertainty stems from the fact that the city's private schools with an ultra-Orthodox or national Orthodox bent have refused to accept children of Ethiopian origin. ... 

Swine flu spreading in Israel at alarming rate
12 Aug 2009 - Swine flu is spreading: According to a Health Ministry report released Wednesday, the number of people who have caught the disease rose 3.6 percent in the past two weeks. ... 

Relief Web

Sweden, represented by Sida, has entered into an agreement with the Palestinian Authority on direct support of SEK 50 million
12 Aug 2009 - Source: Government of Sweden

Red Lines crossed: Destruction of Gaza's infrastructure
12 Aug 2009 - Source: Gisha

Quarterly Regional Humanitarian Funding Update, 2nd Quarter 2009
12 Aug 2009 - Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

YNet News

Report: Shalit deal by end of August 
12 Aug 2009 - Palestinian paper says prisoner exchange deal meant to secure captive soldier's release imminent; adds efforts by Egypt, Hamas, Israel to see deal mature in full swing 

Iran calls for ban on striking nuke facilities 
12 Aug 2009 - Iran wants to put initiative to International Atomic Energy Agency's general conference next month. Iran's IAEA representative says his country is not afraid of Israel, but simply seeks ban on all armed attacks against reactors anywhere 

Livni: Israelis desperate to leave country 
12 Aug 2009 - Opposition chairman says hundreds of thousands of Israelis searching or ways to move abroad in light of grim political situation in country, government's lack of vision 

2 Israelis lightly injured in West bank shooting
12 Aug 2009 - Two men reported Palestinians opened fire at their car from passing vehicle. Injured evacuated to Jerusalem hospital, IDF searching area for shooters 

Ashkenazi: I have zero tolerance for abuse in IDF ranks 
12 Aug 2009 - IDF Chief of Staff speaks at Command and Staff College graduation ceremony, tells officers recent abuse cases do not reflect military norms, IDF will eradicate phenomenon 

Palestinian teen fulfills dream to see sea
12 Aug 2009 - Fifteen-year-old Ahmad Najjar finally makes it through military's red tape; joins Machsom Watch summer camp on visit to Bat Yam's Sela Beach 

Poll: 70% of Americans view Israel as ally
12 Aug 2009 - New survey by Rasmussen polling firm shows only 8% of Americans view Israel as enemy state, while 81% say Palestinian leaders must recognize Jewish state's right to exist as part of regional peace agreement 

Israel shuts door on Turkish-mediated Syria talks
12 Aug 2009 - Deputy Foreign Minister Ayalon tells Reuters proximity talks with Syria through Turkish mediation failed 'because of Syrian intransigence' 

Palestinian Information Center

Hamas MPs appeal to Mubarak to intervene to stop death cycle in PA jails
12 Aug 2009 - Hamas lawmakers in Israeli jails appealed to Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak to urgently intervene to stop the cycle of torture and death taking place in the prisons of the Palestinian Authority.

Interior ministry denies Israeli claims about entry of "extremists" into Gaza
12 Aug 2009 - Spokesman for the ministry of interior Ihab Al-Ghussein categorically denied the presence of any groups or organizations with foreign links operating in the Gaza Strip.

Qaddoumi: I am still the legitimate secretary of Fatah
12 Aug 2009 - Fatah strongman Farouq Qaddoumi has asserted Wednesday that regardless of the outcome of the elections in Fatah’s sixth congress he is still the legitimate secretary of the faction.

IOA asks Jerusalemites to knock down their own homes
12 Aug 2009 - The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) on Wednesday handed three Jerusalemite families orders to flatten their own homes or else face hefty fines, local sources reported.

Haneyya: Islamic Bank aims at breaking siege
12 Aug 2009 - Ismail Haneyya, the Palestinian premier, on Wednesday hailed the establishment of the National Islamic Bank in Gaza and said this aimed at breaking the three-year Israeli siege.

Muhjat Al-Quds: PA jails do not provide prisoners with medical treatment
12 Aug 2009 - The Muhjat Al-Quds foundation denounced the medical neglect in the Palestinian authority's jails, saying that Jericho prison refused to allow Samer Al-Ghoul to receive an urgent surgery.

Hamas vows to avenge victims of torture
12 Aug 2009 - The Hamas Movement has made it clear Wednesday that it won’t forgive those (be it IOF troops or PA security forces) who shed Palestinian blood in the West Bank.

IOF troops kidnap four Palestinians
12 Aug 2009 - Israeli occupation forces (IOF) rounded up four Palestinian citizens in the Jenin district during raids on Tuesday night and early Wednesday, local reports stated.

Interior ministry slams independent commission for human rights for its bias
12 Aug 2009 - The Palestinian ministry of interior condemned the reports and positions made by the independent commission for human rights as “biased against the government".

Awkaf minister: Travel of pilgrims next Saturday
12 Aug 2009 - Dr. Taleb Abu Shaar, the minister of Awkaf (endowment) and religious affairs, has revealed that citizens who registered to perform Omra (minor pilgrimage to Makkah) would travel next Saturday.

Los Angeles Times

Iran opposition leader decries 'show trials,' allegations of violence 
13 Aug 2009 - Iran's parliamentary speaker, however, dismisses allegations of sexual abuse of detainees as false even as a statement said to be from a group of Tehran judges condemns the treatment of prisoners. Iran's legal system came under fresh criticism Wednesday amid allegations of prisoner abuse and controversy over televised courtroom confessions, decried as "show trials" by domestic and international critics. 

Iran roiled by prison abuse claims 
12 Aug 2009 - A reformist politician's letter claiming jailed protesters have been abused brings details of such allegations to the fore. The parliamentary speaker has promised to investigate. Nearly a month later, she can't erase images of the dying young man from her mind. 

Abbas emerges stronger from Fatah gathering 
12 Aug 2009 - Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas engineers a refreshing of his Fatah movement's leadership at a convention in Bethlehem while curbing younger activists' criticism of his record. For nearly five years Mahmoud Abbas had moved timidly in the shadow of his charismatic predecessor, the late Yasser Arafat. His demeanor matched his somber dark suits, his rambling speeches lulled audiences to sleep, and his indecision led the Palestinians' preeminent political movement to defeat and disarray. 

New York Times

Israel Is Wary of Calm Days That May End in Turmoil
11 Aug 2009 - Israel is worried that deceptive quiet could explode at any moment with a spark from Hezbollah, Hamas or Iran. 

Fatah Party Election Brings in a New Generation
11 Aug 2009 - New leaders who are considered pragmatic are expected to strengthen Fatah in its talks with Israel and Hamas. 

Memo From Bethlehem: Fatah Turns to Nation Building, Though It Doesn’t Discard the Rifle
10 Aug 2009 - The mainstream Palestinian nationalist party’s balancing act at a weeklong gathering provided unity but drew harsh criticism from Israel. 


Israel starved Gaza of power and water 
8/12/2009 - The National - TEL AVIV // Israel deliberately brought the Gaza Strip’s infrastructure to the brink of collapse before its military offensive in the enclave in December and January and has since blocked any efforts of its rehabilitation as part of a strategy to defy Hamas, a report by an Israeli rights group claimed this week. The damage to the impoverished Strip’s electricity network has prompted the company that distributes Gaza’s electricity this week to warn the 1. 5 million residents that it will be forced to institute power cuts of up to 10 hours a day, five days a week, according to Tel Aviv-based Gisha, a group that advocates for Palestinian rights. The group said such cuts would be the worst in the territory in at least six months and would hit especially hard in Gaza City and its surroundings, where key institutions such as Shifa Hospital are located. 

Thousands welcome deported cleric home 
8/11/2009 - The National - Mohammed al Qadhi, Foreign Correspondent * Last Updated: August 11. 2009 11:55PM UAE / August 11. 2009 7:55PM GMTSheikh Mohammed al Moayad, who with an aide was expelled by the US after they had pleaded guilty to supporting Hamas, is greeted by a crowd at Sana’a international airport. Mohammed al Qadhi / The NationalSANA’A // Tens of thousands of Yemenis took to the streets yesterday to welcome the cleric Sheikh Mohammed al Moayad, 70, and his assistant, Mohammed Zayed, 35, who were deported from the United States after pleading guilty to supporting Hamas, which the US regards as a terrorist organisation. Sheikh al Moayad returned home after a federal judge in New York on Friday accepted a plea deal in which he and Mr Zayed were sentenced to time served – more than six years – in exchange for guilty pleas and their deportation. 

Hariri says progress made in Lebanon 
8/12/2009 - The National - BEIRUT // Saad Hariri, Lebanon’s prime minister designate, yesterday described efforts to resolve a week-old political crisis that has hampered efforts to form a national unity cabinet as “good”, leaving some hope that Lebanon could have a functioning government before the start of Ramadan at the end of the month. Mr Hariri had been close to forming a cabinet after brokering a compromise with the Hizbollah-led opposition on allowing a minority veto of controversial legislation last week when a key ally announced he was leaving the coalition to chart an independent course. The defection of Druze leader Walid Jumblatt last week from the so-called “March 14” coalition sparked a nasty series of fights over whether he was actually joining the opposition alliance, or if he should still be granted his share of three seats in the 30-member cabinet. 

71 Senators Tell Obama to Pressure the Arabs 
8/13/2009 - Arutz Sheva - (IsraelNN. com) No fewer than 71 US Senators – including only six of the 13 Jewish ones – sent a letter to US President Barack Obama on Monday, asking him to press Arab states to recognize and normalize relations with Israel. The effort, led by Senators Evan Bayh (D-Ind. ) and Jim Risch (R-Idaho), was promoted by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). The 71 signatories included the Senate leaders and whips of both parties, namely, Senators Harry Reid (D-Nev. ), Dick Durbin (D-Ill. ), Mitch McConnell (R-Ky. ) and Jon Kyl (R-Ariz. ). The letter states that Israel’s efforts toward peace are not being met with equal efforts by Arab states. A similar letter was sent by 226 House members of both parties last week to Saudi Arabia, calling on its leaders to deepen their commitment to peace with Israel. . . . Senators: Israel Did Much, What About the Arabs? The letter to Obama lists the 

Lebanese President: Threat of Israeli Invasion Requires Unity Govt 
8/11/2009 - - Israeli PM Downplays Possibility of War Following Exchange of Threats - Addressing the rising tensions with their neighbor to the south, Lebanese President Michel Suleiman says the repeated threats of Israeli attack necessitate the formation of a “national unity government. ” Lebanon put its army on high alert late last month in anticipation of a new attack. Lebanese President SuleimanIsraeli officials have been issuing threats in recent days amid the prospect of Hezbollah joining a broader coalition government in Lebanon, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowing to make Lebanon “pay” for any moves done by Hezbollah. President Suleiman’s Christian supporters were a key portion of Hezbollah’s bloc, which lost a close election earlier this year. Netanyahu dismissed the entire flap as a “media storm” and insisted that there was “nothing in particular” going on at the Lebanese border. It was reported yesterday that Israeli tanks were advancing on the border, prompting even higher readiness on the Lebanese side. 

Saudi Arabia May Not Follow Obama’s Israel Plan 
8/11/2009 - - Pro-Israel lobbyists won the support of 77 senators (out of 100) for a letter sent to President Barack Obama that urged him to "press Arab leaders" to consider making dramatic, upfront peace overtures to Israel. But one key Arab state, Saudi Arabia, has already clearly communicated its refusal to make any such gestures at this time. On July 31, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal told journalists in Washington that "Confidence-building measures will … not bring peace. What is required is a comprehensive approach that defines the final outcome at the outset and launches into negotiations over final-status issues. " Saudi Arabia is one of the most influential players in Arab-Israeli peacemaking. But given its pivotal position in international energy markets – and the fact that it has no need of U. S. financial aid – it is almost immune to American pressure. 

Israel Is Wary of Calm Days That May End in Turmoil 
8/11/2009 - New York Times - JERUSALEM — Rocket fire from Gaza has markedly declined. The Lebanese border is quiet. Terrorist attacks from the West Bank are rare. The national airport processed a record number of travelers in the first week of August. The currency is so strong that the central bank has bought billions of dollars to keep the exchange rate down. Israel is flourishing this summer, and one might imagine its people and leaders to be breathing a sigh of relief after nearly a decade of violence and unease. That, however, is far from the case. On every front, Israel is worried that it is living a false calm that could explode at any moment. Its airwaves and public discourse are filled with menace and concern. “This is a deceptive quiet,” said Daniel Ayalon, the deputy foreign minister. “When a sunny day turns cloudy, it can happen very quickly. 

Israel split over calls to release jailed Palestinian leader 
8/12/2009 - The Guardian - Row erupts over whether to release Marwan Barghouti in prisoner swap after his election to key Fatah committee -- A fierce debate has erupted among senior Israeli politicians over whether the jailed Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti – regarded by some Israelis as an "arch-terrorist" and by others as the only man who can deliver a lasting peace – should be released from prison after his election to Fatah's key central committee. Barghouti, one of the most high-profile leaders of the second intifada, was arrested in 2002 and sentenced two years later to five life terms in an Israeli prison for murders that he denies. As it became clear that Barghouti had been elected to the highest decision-making body of Fatah, the movement once associated with the late Palestinian president Yasser Arafat, a number of ministers and members of the Israeli Knesset called for Barghouti's release as part 

UNDP begins explosive clean-up operation in Gaza 
8/11/2009 - Daily Star - IRIN News. org - GAZA CITY: The UN Development Program (UNDP) has begun removing 600,000MT of rubble and debris left over from Israel’s “Operation Cast Lead” in the Gaza Strip. More than six months later, the most deadly threat to civilians emanates from unexploded ordnance (UXO) in rubble and underground. Falling rubble and hazardous material, including UXO, have killed 17 and injured at least 25 Palestinians, mostly children, since the operation ended on January 18, according to UNDP in Gaza. At least 31 munitions containing white phosphorus have been found. Israel’s use of white phosphorus in Gaza was initially denied but was recently acknowledged in an official report but with the claim that it was used only in a manner consistent with relevant international law. Kerei Ruru, head of the UN Mine Action Team Gaza Office (UNMAT), has been working in Gaza since the end of January to locate and neutralize the UXO. 

Canada church to rule on boycotting Israel proposal 
8/12/2009 - Jerusalem Post - The United Church of Canada will decide during its 40th General Council this week whether or not to pass resolutions calling for a boycott of Israeli academic and cultural institutions - a move that has led Jewish institutions to accuse the church of anti-Semitic conduct. The United Church's proposal calls for its members "to advocate a comprehensive boycott of Israeli academic and cultural institutions at the national and international level. "The boycott would comply with the Palestinian Civil Society's July 2005 call for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel. The background information included in the church's proposal draws similarities between Israel's actions and South African apartheid. Eric Vernon, director of government affairs for the Canadian Jewish Congress, told the National Post last month that "this puts the United Church in some very questionable company. 

Israeli seeks damages from EU over Hamas rocket attacks 
8/11/2009 - Telegraph - An Israeli man is mounting a landmark legal challenge to demand European Union compensation for damages caused by Hamas rocket attacks on his home. 10 Aug 2009Israeli and Belgian lawyers acting for Eyal Katorza, who is also a French citizen, are preparing a legal case demanding that the EU does more to protect the 300,000 Europeans living in Israel. Legal documents, seen by The Daily Telegraph, have accused the EU of indirectly funding Palestinian terrorism because of a failure to "prevent the misuse of European funds by non-profit organisations which use these funds to finance terrorism". Mr Katorza has demanded EU "reparations for lost job income, reparations for physical and psychological damages, reparations for property damages, monies for reinforced buildings against missiles or any other military projectiles". 

Egged bus driver to Ethiopian: No blacks allowed 
8/11/2009 - YNetNews - Woman recounts humiliating experience in which bus driver told her, 'Kushit, in Ethiopia you didn't even have shoes and here you do, so why don’t you walk? '; Egged to investigate incident - A 23-year-old woman of Ethiopian descent claimed that the driver of an Egged No. 5 bus in Rishon Lezion refused to allow her to board his bus because of the color of her skin. Speaking to Ynet, Yedno Verka recounted last Wednesday's incident: "As I prepared board the bus, the driver suddenly shut the door. I banged on the glass, but he ignored me. Then a young woman came running towards the bus, and he opened the door for her. I stayed close to her and boarded the bus. " When the driver saw me he said, 'what, don’t you understand that I don't allow Kushim (derogatory term for black people) on board? Are you trying to smash my door in? Were there buses in Ethiopia? Why don't you walk? In Ethiopia 

Sindyanna reports back from our visit to UK FT movement, 3 - 9 April 2009
8/11/2009 - Sindyanna - The Sindyanna delegation returned bearing much enthusiasm and hope from a most successful visit to the United Kingdom. The delegation comprised Hadas Lahav, Sindyanna’s director, and Samya Nasser, an executive member of Sindyanna and a women’s activities coordinator in WAC. This was Sindyanna’s first extensive visit to Britain. It aimed to strengthen links with our clients and friends in the FT community and with the British labour movement, to establish other contacts and to expand potential business opportunities in the British FT market. Our delegation was warmly received, with exceptional interest shown. During the eight days we visited eight cities in England and Scotland, meeting with private individuals as well as with high ranking representatives of dozens of organizations and trade unions. We were very moved by the hospitality received in every place. 

Bread and Roses Fair Trade Calendar 
8/11/2009 - Sindyanna - Fair Trade Calendar 2010 - Price per individual calendar including postal cost - Our Bread and Roses Calendar for 2010 consists of 12 paintings by Palestinian and Jewish women living in Israel. The works are among hundreds from an exhibit called Bread and Roses, which recently took place in Tel Aviv. The income from sales went to help the Workers Advice Center (WAC) in finding jobs for Arab women. WAC has close ties to Sindyanna of Galilee. Both groups seek to create a meeting of minds between workers and artists, Jews and Arabs. Both provide a forum for artists who raise social questions and work to resolve them. Also see: The ETGAR web site to see all the works of art in the Bread and Roses exhibition. 

Fatah’s old guard ousted by election of intifada chief 
8/12/2009 - The Independent - The once-dominant Fatah movement took a first step towards reversing its decline among Palestinians yesterday by electing new leaders – including a firebrand jailed for life by Israel. Marwan Barghouthi, the leader of the second intifada uprising who is serving five life sentences for attacks on Israeli targets, was one of a raft of new faces on Fatah's central committee. He is seen as a potential successor to Fatah's leader, Mahmoud Abbas, if he is freed by Israel in a future deal. " This is a great result, a great mix," said Ziyad Abu Ayn, a close associate of Mr Barghouthi. Initial results suggest that only four of the old guard, associated with corruption and failure to achieve peace with Israel, had regained their seats at the Fatah congress in Bethlehem – the movement's first large-scale leadership gathering in two decades. 


Gaza’s Lost Memories 
Najwa Sheikh, The Palestine Telegraph 8/11/2009
      Another hidden but very painful part of the Palestinian sufferings is the story of families scattered around the world, many of whom have settled in different countries, after they fled in 1948. They have different lives and lost many of their childhood memories.
     Childhood memories are the events and experiences lived with our sisters and brothers. They are the special moments in time that one cannot ignore or forget; they are experiences bound by the ties of brotherhood. The memories shared with my brothers and sisters are for us, which as a family we ordinarily would enjoy recalling and reliving. Recollection of the dear memories of our childhood would be possible if we were not separated by such a distance.
     My own relatives are scattered across Saudi Arabia, Libya and Lebanon. Neither my parents nor I know anything about their children or lives, how they look, or the type of life they live. There are, however, rare telephone calls from time to time.
     A week ago my mother-in-law received the news that one of her brothers died in Kuwait. I was surprised of course because it was the first time I had heard of him. It seems that he, like many other Palestinians who have left long ago, made his life outside of Gaza and lost connection with his roots. My mother-in-law, though not remembering his image, was very sad to receive this news, wishing she had the chance to share with him again the old childhood memories. She longed for not being able to know him better or to see face after 70 years. My mother-in-law wished for being to make fun and tease, as brothers and sisters do irrespective of age, once more.
     The same story can be told of my other family members. Separation of physical distance and the loss of contact has only brought more pain and suffering. The saddest part of this that our old memories have faded and our present life is filled with no memory or shared experiences that come with families who age together.

Lover of the country 
Uri Avnery, Ma’an News Agency 8/12/2009
      On the morrow of the Six-Day War, Amos Kenan came to my editorial office. He was in a state of shock. As a reserve soldier, he had just witnessed the emptying of three villages in the Latroun area of Jerusalem. Men and women, old people and children, had been driven out in the burning June sun on a foot march in the direction of Ramallah, dozens of kilometers away.
     It reminded him of sights from the Holocaust. I told him to sit down there and then and write an eyewitness account. I rushed to the Knesset (of which I was then a member) and delivered the report to the prime minister, Levy Eshkol, and to several ministers, including Menachem Begin and Victor Shem-Tov. But it was too late – the villages had already been razed to the ground. In their place, the Canada Park was created later on with the help of that country, to its lasting shame.
     On the other hand another eyewitness account, about the destruction of the town of Qalqiliya, did help. After I delivered the report to the ministers, the destruction was stopped and the destroyed neighborhoods were even rebuilt.
     But Kenan’s report is a human and literary document. It says much about its author, who died this week. Amos Kenan was a moral person.
     The country was the center of his mental universe. It was the focus of his worldview, his life’s work and his actions. I don’t hesitate to say: he was the lover of this country. In his youth, he belonged for a time to the "Canaanite" group and adopted some of their ideas. But he drew from them the opposite conclusions from those of their founder, the poet Yonatan Ratosh, who denied the very notion of Arab nationhood, as well as the existence of the Palestinian Arab people. Kenan, like me, was convinced that the future of Israel was bound up with the future of Palestine, because the common land commands a partnership of the two peoples.

In Gaza
much more than graves in the Gaza war cemetary
12 Aug 2009 - What struck me about the Gaza War cemetary what not the ‘unlikeliness’ of its tranquility, nor the variety of nationalities and faiths buried there (over 3,600 soldiers of different countries, including India, Egypt, Canada, France, Belgium, Russia, Scotland, England, Greece…), but the craftsmanship of Ibrahim Jeradeh, the 72 year old retired gardener and caretaker who tended and nurtured the cemetary for over 50 years before passing the task on to his sons. The cemetary lies just hundreds of metres from the Dawwar Zimmo Red Crescent centre that I and other international activist volunteers came to know so intimately during Israel’s 3 week massacre of Gaza. And like the Red Crescent...

Palestine Chronicle
Israel's Fifth Column: The People in Between
12 Aug 2009 - By Jeff Gates In October 2007, Defense Secretary Robert Gates coined a generic term to describe the most challenging combatants when waging unconventional warfare. He called them simply “the people in between.” Those people, a dominant force in mainstream American media, comprise a fifth column in support of those skilled at waging war by way of deception. The term ‘fifth column’ originated in the Spanish Civil War of the 1930s to depict forces that clandestinely undermine a populace—from within—to aid an external enemy. The term was later cited as a rationale for interning citizens during WWII, including Germans in the U.K and Japanese in the U.S. Israelis routinely refer to Arab-Israelis as a fifth column residing within what Tel Aviv describes as the Jewish state. Though misapplied in practice, the term remains an apt depiction of how internal influence can be wielded by a hostile force. In the Information Age, this fifth column focuses on those ‘in between’ domains where modest numbers can wield outsized influence. Television news is optimal as modern-day media operates “in between” a populace and the facts they require for a system of governance reliant on informed consent. The dominant influence of pro-Israelis in mainstream media is not the focus of this article. Here the focus is Wolf Blitzer at Cable News Network who typifies how “the people in between” manipulate public opinion in plain sight and, to date, with legal impunity. While working as a Washington correspondent for Jerusalem Post (1973-1990), Blitzer served as an...

Religious Fundamentalism in Israel
12 Aug 2009 - By Stephen Lendman – Chicago Israel Shahak's (1933-2001) 'Jewish History, Jewish Religion' argued that while Islamic fundamentalism is vilified in the West, comparable Jewish extremism is largely ignored. In the book's forward, Edward Said wrote: "....Shahak's mode of telling the truth has always been rigorous and uncompromising. There is nothing seductive about it, no attempt made to put it 'nicely,' no effort expended on making the truth palatable....For Shahak killing is murder is killing is murder: his manner is to repeat. (He) shows that the obscure, narrowly chauvinist prescriptions against various undesirable Others are to be found in Judaism (as in other monotheistic religions) but he always goes on to show the continuity between those and the way Israel treats Palestinians, Christians and other non-Jews. A devastating portrait of prejudice, hypocrisy and religious intolerance emerges." Shahak's "Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel" picked up on the theme in explaining its pervasive, destructive influence in Israeli politics, the military and society. He noted that substituting German or Aryan for Jewish and non-Jews for Jews makes it easy to see how a superiority doctrine made an earlier genocide possible and is letting another happen now. Shahak called all forms of bigotry morally reprehensible and said: "Any form of racism, discrimination and xenophobia becomes more potent and politically influential if it is taken for granted by the society which indulges in it." For Israeli Jews, he believed, "The support of democracy and human rights is....meaningless or even harmful and deceitful when it does not begin...

History Lessons
12 Aug 2009 - By Aijaz Zaka Syed - Hyderabad, India My new place in Hyderabad, India, is a little, two-storey affair that looks rather large to us after spending seven years in a two-bedroom apartment in Dubai. It's not great, but offers a rare view of the magnificent Golconda fort built by the Qutub Shahis. When threatened by the Mughals, the last Qutub Shahi King Abulhassan Tana Shah withdrew himself to the fort and fought a long and hard battle against a far more superior and larger army led by Emperor Aurangzeb himself. Not surprisingly, when the siege of Golconda began, the 100,000-strong Mughal army had not anticipated much resistance, let alone a long and debilitating engagement with the rag-tag Qutub Shahi army. The Mughals ran into a fierce wall of resistance led by the valiant Qutub Shahi commander, Abdul Razaq Larry, who kept the flag flying on the fort for more than eight months at a huge personal cost. Golconda finally fell to the Mughals in September, 1767 after they managed to buy the loyalties of a couple of Qutub Shahi generals despite tremendous sacrifices by Larry, who nearly died fighting the invading army with his entire family. The dynasty that Larry fought to protect lies buried next to the Golconda fort, what is known as Gumbadan-e-Shahi, or more popularly as Saat Gumbad (Seven Tombs). The last abode of Quli Qutub Shah, the founder and the architect of Hyderabad including its architectural marvels Charminar and Mecca Masjid, and six of his successors...

Anti-Zionists: The New Heretics
11 Aug 2009 - By Jeff Gates 'Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.'-- George Santayana How quickly we forget. With the Inquisition still fresh in memory, America's Founders embraced democracy as a means to protect liberty from the manipulations of faith. That’s why facts were enshrined at the core of self-governance grounded in the rule of law. The duplicity at the heart of the US-Israeli relationship puts that founding principle at risk. For seven terrifying centuries, heretics were punished under canon law. In 1633, Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei was condemned for “grave suspicion of heresy” when he showed that the Sun—not the crown—was the center of the universe despite what the King’s subjects—with help from the Church—had been induced to believe. With the merger of church and state in the 4th Century Roman Empire, anyone daring to dispute papal authority—by challenging with facts the One True Faith—was condemned as both a heretic and an enemy of the state. That practice continues in modern times. The New Heretics are those few who challenge America’s faith in its “special relationship” with an extremist enclave granted nation state recognition in 1948 by a Christian-Zionist president, Harry Truman. Critics of this enclave invite condemnation as “anti-Semites,” a modern form of social excommunication. Defenders of the Zionist Faithful were forced to become more vigilant in monitoring this heresy after Israeli troops used US-provided arms and munitions to kill more than 1,400 Palestinians in Gaza, one-third of them reportedly children. That well-timed attack, planned...

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