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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
31 August , 2009


International Middle East Media Center

Peres says Netanyahu and Abbas would meet at UN
1 Sep 2009 - Israeli sources reported that the US President, Barack Obama, intends to hold a three-way meeting with Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, and Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, during a United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York in late September. 

Three Palestinians wounded near Ramallah, one seriously
1 Sep 2009 - Palestinian medical sources reported Monday at night that three Palestinians were wounded by Israeli military fire, one seriously, near the road that separates between Al Jalazoun refugee camp and Beit El settlement, east of the central West Bank city of Ramallah. 

Haniyya: "We will not recognize the Zionist entity"
1 Sep 2009 - Ismail Haniyya of Hamas, Prime Minister of the dissolved government in Gaza, stated that the vow of his government to the Palestinians people is “not to give up the Palestinian right to liberate Jerusalem, not to sellout the blood of the martyrs, and not to recognize the Zionist entity”. 

Israeli Army official: "Hebron man killed in cold blood, soldiers were never charged"
31 Aug 2009 - An Israeli military official confirmed the story of the family of Yasser Tmeizy, from the southern West Bank City of Hebron, who said that Israel soldiers killed their son in cold blood, but Israel never filed charges against them.  

Israeli army kidnaps 7 Palestinians from southern West Bank village
31 Aug 2009 - The Israeli army kidnapped 7 Palestinian men during an overnight invasion of the village of Beit Ummar, close to Hebron in the southern West Bank, on Monday. 

Gaza fishing boat bombed by Israeli navy
31 Aug 2009 - The Israeli navy attacked Palestinian fishing boats off the shores of northern Gaza on Monday morning. One boat caught fire after it was bombed by several Israeli shells. 

Former Israeli Prime Minister to face trial on corruption charges
31 Aug 2009 - Ehud Olmert, who served as Israeli Prime Minister until March of this year, was indicted Sunday on charges of corruption, breach of trust, fraud, income tax evasion, accepting bribes, and a number of other charges. 

Ha'aretz Defense page

Israeli Arab charged in Hezbollah plot to kill IDF chief
31 Aug 2009 - Rawi Sultani, 23, allegedly recruited by group because he belonged to same health club as Ashkenazi. 

Report: Hamas wants Jordanian prisoners freed in Shalit deal
30 Aug 2009 - Hamas refusing to budge on terms for Shalit deal, rejects every request to exile some Palestinian prisoners. 

IDF soldier suspected of killing Palestinian still hasn't been charged
30 Aug 2009 - Sector commander describes the incident as 'a serious failure in moral and professional terms.' 

Is Al-Qaida opening a Gaza front to counter Hamas?
30 Aug 2009 - Blasts at two sensitive Gaza sites spark speculation of conflict between Hamas and other radicals. 

Hamas leader vows to struggle for 'liberation of Palestine'
30 Aug 2009 - Group leader Meshal spoke to a crowd in Jordan, where he received condolences over father's death. 

Ma'an News

Medics: Three Palestinians wounded by Israeli fire near Ramallah
9/1/2009 - Ramallah/Nablus - Ma'an - Three Palestinians, including a medical worker driving an ambulance, were wounded by gunfire from the Israeli army near the West Bank settlement of Bet El, north of the city of Ramallah, Palestinian medics said. Medical sources said that Israeli forces prevented Palestine Red Crescent ambulances from reaching the scene in order to evacuate the wounded Palestinians. Israeli forces reportedly declared the area a closed military zone. The medics said that Riyad Nayef, 17, was seriously wounded and was taken to Hadassah Hospital in Ein Karem, West Jerusalem. The sources added that, according to a preliminary investigation, the wounded people were thought to be young men from Jalazun Refugee Camp, north of Ramallah. According to medics, ambulance driver Osama al-Najjarin the leg with live ammunition while trying to rescue the teenager. 

Mass demonstration planned outside Israel’s Ofer prison
8/31/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - A mass demonstration will be held outside Ofer prison in the West Bank on Monday, according to a statement. An organization of Palestinians, Israelis and international solidarity activists said it would gather in front of Ofer prison to protest against Israeli arrest and intimidation campaigns. Israeli forces have conducted arrest and intimidation campaigns on villages that resist Israeli "apartheid infrastructure," the campaign said. Israeli forces have arrested 176 Palestinians from five villages alone over their resistance to construction of the wall, human rights organization Addameer and Stop the Wall said. An estimated 11,000 Palestinian political prisoners are currently being held in Israeli jails. The northern West Bank jail houses only Palestinian detainees. 

Israeli warships bombard Gaza fishing boat
9/1/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Israeli warships bombarded Palestinian boats off the Sudaniyya shore north of Gaza City on Monday morning, according to Nizar Ayyash, head of the Fishermen's Union. The official said the boat, which belonged to Umar Ibrahim Al-Habeil, was set ablaze by several shells fired from an Israeli naval unit operating in the area. Al-Habeil was reportedly injured in the attack. In a statement, Gaza's Agriculture Ministry said fishermen were unable to put out a fire that burned large sections of the boat. It called on Israel to stop targeting fishers, as the industry is their only source of income. Approached by Ma'an, an Israeli military spokeswoman confirmed that the boat was damaged by naval fire. However she said the navy also helped put out the blaze. She said no one was injured or arrested. The spokeswoman added that a number of vessels, including the damaged ship, violated a northern boundary patrolled by Israel's navy. 

Israeli forces raid Beit Ummar, detain seven
8/31/2009 - Hebron - Ma'an - Israeli forces stormed Beit Ummar, a town north of Hebron, and seized seven young men on Monday. According to a spokesman for the Palestine Solidarity Project (PSP), the force entered Beit Ummar at dawn, ransacking several homes before seizing the seven residents. Local security sources identified the detainees as 21-year-old Imam Awad, his brother 18-year-old Muntasir, 18-year-old Firas Abu Mariyya, 18-year-old Ahmad Awad, 19-year-old Yousif Ahmad Yousif, 17-year-old Hammad Abu Mariyya, and 17-year-old Hasan Ikhlayyil. Dozens of soldiers raided the Ramallah-area village of Bil'in early Saturday and detained two Palestinians, according to a local official and an Israeli spokesman. "Two houses were raided simultaneously by at least 40 soldiers," said Iyad Burnet, head of the Popular Committee Against the Wall, who added that the operation occurred at about 3:30am. 

Group: Israeli forces detained Palestinian journalist
8/31/2009 - Nablus - Ma'an - The Palestinian Media Coalition denounced the seizure of Palestinian journalist Serri Sammour from his home in Jenin on Monday. Sammour was detained just two days after Israeli forces took female journalist Ghufran Zamil from Al-'Ein Refugee Camp, as well as Muhammad Muna from Nablus. The coalition named six other Palestinian journalists who were in Israeli custody: Walid Khalid, Nizar Ramadan, Muhammad Al-Qeiq, Amjad Shawamra, Husam Badran, and Sami 'Asi, all from the West Bank. [end] 

Palestinian prisoners’ families rally for visitation rights
8/31/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - Dozens of Palestinian families demanded to visit their relatives in Israeli jails during a demonstration outside Israel's Ofer prison compound near the West Bank city of Ramallah on Monday. Amin Shoman, Chairman of the High Committee on Palestinian prisoners' affairs said that that the group plans to hold a demonstration at the prison each Monday. Shoman said the protest was indented to "send a message" that Palestinians are suffering inside Israeli prisons. Demonstrators also demanded the release of all Palestinian prisoners from Israeli prisons. Recently, Israeli forces have conducted arrest and intimidation campaigns on villages that resist Israeli "apartheid infrastructure," the campaign said. Israeli forces have arrested 176 Palestinians from five villages alone over their resistance to construction of the wall, human rights organization Addameer and Stop the Wall said. 

Egypt Red Crescent preparing shipment of medical aid to Gaza
8/31/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - President of the Red Crescent of Egypt in North Sinai Ahmad Kamel said on Monday that they are preparing medical aid for 400 Palestinians suffering from kidney failure to be delivered through the Rafah crossing within the next 48 hours. In response to requests from the Palestine Red Crescent Society, the emergency and relief committee of the Federation of Arab Doctors have prepared some 1,500 samples of dialysis treatment solution, and 20,000 spare parts for Gazan medical equipment. Egyptian security services and the de facto government are working together to bring medical aid to the urgent situation. The representative of the Palestinian Authority at Al-Oja Commercial Crossing Ommar Hadhoud said that Egypt sent 27 trucks carrying 400 tons of flour to Gaza, but Israeli authorities only let 20 pass. 

All three Gaza Strip border crossings open Monday
8/31/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Israeli authorities decided to open all three border terminals with the Gaza Strip on Monday for commercial shipments and humanitarian aid, according to Palestinian crossings official Raed Fattouh. Fattouh said 87 to 97 trucks of merchandise would be delivered to the Strip through the Kerem Shalom crossing. Meanwhile, the Nahal Oz crossing will be open for fuel and cooking gas deliveries, he said. The crossings official added that the Karni terminal, which is usually closed, would operate for trucks loaded with wheat and animal feed on Monday. [end] 

Israeli man stabbed to death in Jerusalem
8/31/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - A 50-year-old Israeli man was stabbed to death at a hostel in the predominately ultra-Orthodox Geula neighborhood of Jerusalem on Sunday, according to Israeli news reports. The daily Hebrew-language newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported that Magen David Adom paramedics who were dispatched to the scene failed to resuscitate the man upon arrival. According to Israeli police, the main suspect in the alleged stabbing was a 23-year-old Palestinian from the West Bank. Police said they believe the stabbing was the culmination of an argument rather than a politically-motivated attack. The newspaper said a preliminary police investigation revealed that a daylong argument was behind the incident, and that the Israeli man was stabbed in the back, chest and abdomen by the Palestinian, who police detained north of the city. 

Israel: Palestinian planned to assassinate army chief
8/31/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israel's military censor on Monday lifted a ban on publishing the detention of a Palestinian who was arrested two months earlier on charges he planned to assassinate the chief of staff of Israel's military. Rawi Sultani, from Tirah inside Israel, was accused of collecting information about army head Gabi Askenazi under the employ of Hizbullah, according to a statement from the Israeli Prime Minister's Office. The statement said Sultani was arrested on 10 August 2009 and has been held ever since. Others were detained, questioned and eventually released after "denying current contacts with Hezbollah. "Israel alleged that the man met Lebanese Hizbullah affiliate Salam Herev during a summer camp in Morocco, and that in December 2008 during a trip to Poland Sultani met another Hizbollah member identified as "Sami. 

Report: Two projectiles fired from northern Gaza
8/31/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Two homemade rockets fired from the Gaza Strip landed near the Erez border crossing on Monday evening, Israeli officials told the newspaper Ma'ariv. There were no reports of casualties or damage. Palestinian armed groups in Gaza have not yet claimed responsibility for any attack. The reported attack follows a momentary flare-up in violence in Gaza and its vicinity. Earlier on Monday, Israeli naval forces fired on a Palestinian fishing boat, setting it on fire and injuring one fisherman, Palestinian and Israeli officials confirmed. [end] 

EU’s Solana: Syrian president wants renewed peace talks
9/1/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Syrian President Bashar Assad is ready to resume peace talks with Israel, European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana said in Jerusalem on Monday. Solana said that in a meeting in Damascus, Assad seemed interested in renewing indirect talks that broke down during the Gaza war. The EU official's remarks came during a working meeting with Israeli President Shimon Peres, according to a statement from Israel's Foreign Ministry that quoted the president laying out his and Israel's conditions for future talks with Syria. "If Assad is interested in peace with Israel, he must enter into direct negotiations without preconditions," Peres reportedly told Solana. "We must not be confused and forget that Israel is on the Golan Heights because we were attacked, and Israel has every right to ensure that we will not be attacked again. 

Lieberman vows to stop Fayyad’s de facto state plan
9/1/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Joining Hamas and Islamic Jihad, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Monday rejected caretaker Prime Minister Salam Fayyad's plan for a de facto Palestinian state by 2011. The remarks came during talks with Middle East envoy Tony Blair and European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana. "Palestinians' unilateral initiatives do not contribute to a positive dialogue between the parties," said Lieberman, who threatened that Israel could respond with some unilateral initiatives of its own. "If the Palestinians do indeed adopt the unilateral program proposed by Salam Fayyad, it will not go unanswered," he warned. Lieberman said he backs only bilateral initiatives and rejected Fayyad's plan to begin building major infrastructure, including an airport and rail lines, while waiting on Israel to end the occupation. 

PLO: Abbas-Netanyahu meeting not on the agenda
9/1/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Senior Palestinian official Yasser Abed Rabbo said that there is no discussion of any potential meeting between President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Abed Rabbo, who is the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee Secretary, told "Ma'an" that the US administration of President Barack Obama did not raise the possibility. He added that the Palestinian leadership has not received any official word on a reported "temporary freeze" on Israeli settlements in the West Bank. He said the Palestinian Authority is awaiting US Envoy George Mitchell's arrival in the region to hear the result of his recent meetings with Israeli officials on the subject. Abbed Rabbo was responding to unconfirmed media reports that Obama and his administration were attempting to arrange a meeting between the Israeli and the Palestinian. . . 

Fayyad defends plan: Establishing a state is our responsibility
9/1/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an/Agencies - Palestinian caretaker Prime Minister Salam Fayyad defended his plan for a de facto independent Palestinian state against Israeli criticism on Sunday night. "Establishing the state and its institutions is a Palestinian responsibility," Fayyad said in a joint press conference with European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana. "We are interested in this project and we are working towards implementing it," he added. Earlier Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman criticized the plan Fayyad plan. "Palestinians' unilateral initiatives do not contribute to a positive dialogue between the parties," said Lieberman, who threatened that Israel could respond with some unilateral initiatives of its own. "If the Palestinians do indeed adopt the unilateral program proposed by Salam Fayyad, it will not go unanswered," the Israeli official warned. 

De facto gov. investigates Gaza City explosions
8/31/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - The de facto Interior Ministry pledged security in Gaza on Monday as security services gathered information about explosions Sunday set off by unknown operatives in Gaza City. Ministry spokesman Eyhab Al-Ghussein said, "Investigations are still ongoing about the explosions in the Ansar neighborhood west of Gaza City," and reported that two devices were hurled at a security base there causing the loud blast. Al-Ghussein accused West Bank security services of releasing a false statement containing threats on behalf of the radical group Jund Ansar Allah, "This statement was released by Palestinian preventative security in Nablus. "He went on to say that Sunday's explosions had nothing to do with a recent clash between Hamas and Jund Ansar Allah in Rafah. "We will never allow security chaos to return to the Gaza Strip," Al-Ghussein insisted. 

Hamas mulls denying Fatah leaders entry to Gaza
8/31/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Hamas hinted on Monday that Fatah officials who have been in the West Bank for their party's recent convention might not be allowed to return to the Gaza Strip. "The Gaza Strip is accessible for all Palestinian people, but officially and in coordination with the government in Gaza. It is not accessible for those who violated the law and coordinated with occupation," Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum told Ma'an. Barhoum's comments came in response to an announcement by Azzam Al-Ahmad, the head of Fatah's parliamentary bloc that Gazan members of Fatah's Central Committee will head to Gaza soon. With regards to future unity negotiations with Fatah, Barhoum said, "The date of the next round was not confirmed. Egypt will release a draft about the unresolved topics for Hamas and Fatah to discuss. 

PA allocates 1 million NIS for prisoners during Ramadan
8/31/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - The Palestinian Authority will allocate 1 million shekels for prisoners in Israel during the Ramadan holiday, according to a decision taken at the caretaker government's weekly cabinet meeting on Monday. The cabinet announced in a statement that it was aware of cases of assaults by Israeli prison guards, in general, and insisted that attacks in the jails do not cease even during Ramadan. It condemned the humiliating treatment of detainees and allegations of medical neglect in Israel's prison administration, calling on human rights organizations to intervene and work toward better treatment of jailed Palestinians. The statement cited solitary confinement as a violation of "every human right," and said such cruel and unusual punishment ought to be banned. Meanwhile, ministers applauded the Palestinian National Council for holding an emergency session to add. . . 

PA releases 12 more Hamas members, bringing total to 40
9/1/2009 - Qalqiliya - Ma'an Exclusive - The Palestinian Authority (PA) released 12 more Hamas members on Monday, bringing the total released in the last two weeks to 40, security sources told Ma'an. The sources confirmed that this measure was in accordance with the order from President Mahmoud Abbas earlier in August to release 200 Hamas members. Hamas has so far reacted lukewarmly to this gesture. Spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri said last week that it was "too early" to judge the decision. Hamas has demanded the release of all its members from prisons in the West Bank as a step toward reconciliation with Fatah, the dominant faction in the PA. In Gaza where it dominates, Hamas is known to be holding members of Fatah and other factions in prison. Earlier in August de facto Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh ordered the release of 50 Fatah members in a goodwill gesture. 

Gaza pilgrims continue to return via Rafah crossing
8/31/2009 - Al-Arish - Ma'an - Egyptian security sources asserted on Sunday that a group of 95 Umra pilgrims returned to the Gaza Strip through Rafah crossing after completing religious rites in Saudi Arabia. The sources noted that four pilgrims were slightly injured after their bus hit a sidewalk near the Rafah crossing gate at the Egyptian side and landed in a nearby peach grove. [end] 

PSE falls: Al-Quds Index down 0.68%
9/1/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Stocks fell on the Palestine Securities Exchange in Nablus, with the Al-Quds Index closing at 498. 45 on Monday, marking a decrease of 3. 39 points (0. 68%). A total of 710,315 shares were traded for a total value of 2,027,624. 76 US dollars, over the course of 423 trades. The shares of 24 companies were traded. The shares prices of 10 companies rose, while those of seven declined. The top five gainers were AIG by (4. 82%), ISBK by (4. 11%), NSC by (3. 85%), PLAZA by (3. 64%), ARAB by (3. 45%) The top five losers AHC by (4. 76%), PCB by (3. 75%), NCI by (3. 33%), AIB by (2. 36%), UCI by (1. 64%) [end] 

The National

Jewish settlers plan massive construction
31 Aug 2009 - Anti-settlement group says plans for 150 housing units in East Jerusalem are backed by the national and municipal governments.

Not one penny has reached Gaza
31 Aug 2009 - Restrictions are blocking aid earmarked for reconstruction, delaying critical projects while leaving homes and institutions in rubble.

Olmert indicted on corruption charges
30 Aug 2009 - Ehud Olmert is indicted on three counts of corruption, becoming the first ex-premier to face criminal charges.

US denies making deal with Israel
29 Aug 2009 - The United States has denied reports that it is in the process of agreeing to compromise on its position that all Israeli settlement construction should be completely frozen.


Erekat: Settlements key to talks
31 Aug 2009 - Palestinian negotiator says halt to Israeli settlement building must precede talks.

Israeli navy hits Gaza fishing boat
31 Aug 2009 - Army strikes Palestinian fishing boat, setting it ablaze and leaving one person wounded.

Alternative Information Center

“This is Israel Here, not Palestine”
31 Aug 2009 - While the U.S. administration and the main EU Foreign Ministries seem to be in favor of slowing down the colonization process of occupied or annexed territories, the Israeli government is still responding to those efforts with...

Lower Education in Israel 
31 Aug 2009 - A direct line connects the plans of Israeli Minister of Education Gideon Sa’ar, as published in the weekend newspapers in run to for the opening of the school year, and the remarks of Rivka Carmi, President...

Palestine News Network

Council of Ministers in Ramallah welcomes new school year, winter time and provision for prisoners 
31 Aug 2009 - Ramallah / PNN – The Palestinian Council of Ministers met in Ramallah on Monday, chaired by Prime Minister Salam Fayyad. Broadening the base of popular support for the document, “Palestine: ending the occupation and establishing the state” was discussed after its release last week.Fayyad stressed that the major challenges facing the Palestinian people in achieving the mission of ending the occupation and nation-building...

International campaign demands assurances that medical and humanitarian goods be allowed into Gaza
31 Aug 2009 - Gaza / PNN – The blockade has not ended in the Gaza Strip and the years continue to pass. Medical supplies, food, construction and raw materials, basic goods and humanitarian supplies remain difficult to come by. Hundreds of activists and organizations have called for an end to what has been considered by the United Nations, the International Red Cross and others as a...

Signs will bring you closer to Jerusalem: distance to Capital of Arab Culture marked in ceramic
31 Aug 2009 - Jerusalem / PNN – All roads lead to Jerusalem, regardless of Israeli policy that blocks entry to the city for millions of Palestinians. Signs will be distributed in all villages, towns and camps to bring residents closer to Jerusalem. Signs will mark the distance in kilometers as part of a project of the International Academy of Art and Jerusalem as Capital of Arab...

Prison conditions plummet during month of Ramadan when family visits are banned and food is inedible
30 Aug 2009 - Nablus / PNN – Abu Amara was just released from Hasharon Prison. The Nablus resident told the Center for Prisoners Studies that conditions during the month of Ramadan are particularly harsh. Relations between political prisoners and Israeli management are especially tense after last week. Palestinians refused to comply with invasive inspections, which Abu Amara believes will result in the withdrawal of basic achievements.In...

On the slopes of Nablus Yitzhar Settlement has doubled five times in 10 years
30 Aug 2009 - Nablus / Amin Abu Wardeh for PNN – The southern Nablus town of Asira is the site of frequent attacks by Israeli settlers from Yitzhar, one of dozens of settlements in the West Bank. The nearby mountain has been overtaken as a haven for armed settlers who turned a picnic destination for Palestinians into a place of devastation and horror.The occupying Israeli administration,...

Second week of Ramadan begins with lower than average seasonal temperatures and expected cloud cover
30 Aug 2009 - Ramallah / PNN – As August comes to a close, temperatures are lower than the seasonal average. This is welcome news to thousands of Muslims who spend the daylight hours fasting for Ramadan. The Palestinian Meteorological Department expects that while current conditions are clear, a large quantity of low clouds will move in with moderate to brisk northwesterly winds.Jerusalem temperatures are lower than...

Campaign to impose tighter controls and more severe punishment on those who traffic in spoiled goods
30 Aug 2009 - Ramallah / PNN – The Palestinian government is taking deterrent measures against the promoters of spoiled food in the Palestinian marketplace. Those who engage in the practice will be prosecuted for a crime considered more severe than a misdemeanor, the Economic Monitor, a government agency, said yesterday.Corrupt practices are prevalent in the Palestinian marketplace, particularly during the season of Ramadan when commerce is...


OPT: Bleak Ramadan for Gaza residents
GAZA CITY Monday, August 31, 2009 (IRIN) - Ramadan, a festive time in many parts of the Muslim world, is bleak in Gaza because basic and traditional foodstuffs are unavailable due to the Israeli blockade, or out of reach due to soaring prices and poverty, according to officials.

MIDDLE EAST: Swine flu keeps Muslim pilgrims at home 
DUBAI Wednesday, August 26, 2009 (IRIN) - Far fewer Muslims than normal are undertaking the lesser pilgrimage known as ‘Umrah’ because of coordinated efforts by health ministers in the Gulf and beyond to counter the spread of H1N1 2009.

ISRAEL-OPT: Travel restrictions in West Bank eased for Ramadan 
TEL AVIV Monday, August 24, 2009 (IRIN) - Israel has eased some of its travel restrictions for Palestinians in the West Bank during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, according to the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) spokesperson’s unit.

Inter Press Service

MIDEAST: Olmert's Peace Plan May Go Down With Him 
JERUSALEM, Aug 31 (IPS) - The State of Israel against the former leader of the State of Israel - for the first time, a former prime minister will soon be in the defendant's chair in a criminal court.

MIDEAST: East Jerusalem Shuts Out Thousands of Prayers 
QALANDIA, West Bank, Aug 31 (IPS) - The future of East Jerusalem and of Palestinian access to it has again been brought under the spotlight.

Q&A: Economic Empowerment Gives Women Choices 
CAIRO, Aug 31 (IPS) - In Egypt, women have not achieved the same career levels as their male counterparts. Women are chiefly employed as civil servants, in small family businesses or as manual labour in the agricultural sector.

MIDEAST: In a Rotten State 
GAZA CITY, Aug 29 (IPS) - Abu Abed can't make a profit, and although 54 years old, he still has not married. "I can't pay my rent, I can't afford a wedding."

Stop The Wall

Join the annual Palestinian olive harvest!
26 Aug 2009 - The Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign and its popular committees are coordinating collective efforts to safeguard the annual olive harvest and are calling on volunteers to stand in solidarity with Palestinian communities and join in the harvest, which will begin 15 October 2009. [

Ni'lin pushes soldiers back on the first Friday of Ramadan
29 Aug 2009 - On the first Friday of Ramadan, more than 150 people attended the weekly march against the Wall, reaching the new concrete barrier that protects the fences and sensors. Protestors stressed that the Palestinians are one people, and what the Israeli government is doing here is not different from what is happening all across Palestine, from Jerusalem to Ni’lin. [

PCHR Latest

Israeli Escalates Violence: At Least 4 Palestinians Killed by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip

PCHR Weekly Report

(20 - 26 Aug.  2008), information on boycott, divestment and sanctions
During the reporting period, Israeli forces killed 3 Palestinian civilians, including a child, and wounded 9 others in the Gaza Strip.  Another Palestinian is also missing.  In the West Bank, one Palestinian civilian was wounded.

International Solidarity Movement

Night raids continue in Bil’in
9/1/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - "Just as a simple man named Ghandi led the successful non-violent struggle in India and simple people such as Rosa Parks and Nelson Mandela led the struggle for civil rights in the United States, simple people here in Bil'in are leading a non-violent struggle that will bring them their freedom. The South Africa experience proves that injustice can be dismantled. " - Archbishop Desmond Tutu, during a visit to Bil'in on 27 August 2009 - The Israeli military's most recent attempt to crush Bil'in village's ongoing popular non-violent resistance campaign against the Apartheid Wall is a wave of night raids and arrests targeting protesters and the leadership of Bil'in's Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements. The recent raids began concurrently with the opening of a legal trial in Montreal.   The village of Bil'in has taken two companies registered in Canada (Green Park. . . 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

Germany to host six-power talks on Iran nuclear program this week 
30 Aug 2009 - Germany will host high-level talks this week between the United States, China, France, Britain, Russia and Germany on Iran's disputed nuclear program, the Foreign Ministry said on Monday. ...

Following inflammatory article, Sweden to demand EU condemn anti-Semitism 
30 Aug 2009 - Is the crisis in relations between Israel and Sweden coming to an end? That is what Italy's foreign minister, Franco Frattini, would like to believe. ...

Abbas: No peace talks without full settlement freeze
30 Aug 2009 - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will reject any U.S. invitation to ...

Lieberman: Israel won`t let Palestinians declare state unilaterally
30 Aug 2009 - Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Monday declared that Israel would not stand by idly should Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad go ahead with his stated plan to declare a de-facto state within two years. ...

Will the Japanese Obama put pressure on Israel?
30 Aug 2009 - The immediate consequence of the opposition's sweeping victory in Japan's elections yesterday will be psychological - it will create an atmosphere of optimism that could strengthen the economy. Such optimism will be fleeting if it is not followed by concrete results. ... 

The Guardian

Germany in talks to help secure release of Israeli soldier Shalit
30 Aug 2009 - Intelligence officials negotiating swap-deal between Israel and Hamas, says German news magazine German intelligence officials are involved in a new effort to secure the release of an Israeli soldier captured near Gaza more than three years...

Damaging Israel's priceless assets | Antony Lerman
29 Aug 2009 - Netanyahu's demonising of human rights groups – and European funding of them – does disservice to a proud Jewish history With the left in Israel in disarray and unable to mount any effective opposition to the...

Fifteen minutes of hate in Silwan | Meron Rapoport
31 Aug 2009 - The vicious anti-Arab sentiments flowing through the streets of this Jerusalem neighbourhood are a shock to the senses It's searing hot, but there's some pleasantness about the stone-flagged path rising from the centre of Silwan, Jerusalem ....

Israel's former PM Olmert charged with corruption
30 Aug 2009 - Prosecutors have brought three separate cases including fraud and breach of trust against the former leader, after months of high-level inquiries that forced him from office Israeli prosecutors charged the former prime minister Ehud Olmert with...

Ha'aretz National page

Petah Tikva schools ordered to enroll Ethiopian students 
30 Aug 2009 - The Education Ministry announced Monday evening that an agreement to enroll Ethiopian students initially banned from some of the city's schools had been reached following a meeting between Petah Tikva Mayor Yitzhak Ohayon, Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar (Likud) and other Education Ministry officials. ...

Israel records 19th swine flu fatality - 87-year-old woman 
30 Aug 2009 - Israel recorded its 19th swine flu fatality Monday when an 87-year-old woman died of the H1N1 virus at Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv. ... 

Olmert lawyers: Corruption charges lack evidence
30 Aug 2009 - For the first time in the history of the State of Israel, a person who served as prime minister will sit on the defendant's bench. ...

Relief Web

Interventions in Gaza Strip: 2001 - 2009
31 Aug 2009 - Source: PNA

Agriculture Interventions in the Southern Districts of West Bank: 1 January 2008 - 9 August 2009
31 Aug 2009 - Source: PNA

Agriculture Interventions in the Central Districts of West Bank: 1 January 2008 - 9 August 2009
31 Aug 2009 - Source: PNA

YNet News

Peres: Netanyahu, Abbas to meet at UN
31 Aug 2009 - US President Obama to hold three-way meeting with Israeli, Palestinian leaders in New York during UN General Assembly in late September, Israeli president confirms in FOX News interview. 'There is a chance they will decide to reopen negotiations,' he adds 

Report: 35,000 east Jerusalem students don't attend public schools 
31 Aug 2009 - Ir Amim foundation, Civil Rights Association release report indicating some 30,000 students forced to attend private schools due to shortage of 1,000 classrooms; 5,000 teens, children not educated at all. Report also suggests classrooms not up to par. Jerusalem Municipality strongly rejects data, claiming report is falsified 

Rocket alert sounded in Gaza vicinity communities 
31 Aug 2009 - Two mortar shells or rockets fired from northern Strip at around 7 pm Monday; no injuries or damage reported 

Gaddafi blames Israel for Africa wars
31 Aug 2009 - Libyan leader says much of Africa's violence is due to foreign meddling, Jewish state in particular is to blame for stoking conflicts there 

Barak tells settlers outposts will be evacuated 
31 Aug 2009 - Defense minister meets with Yesha Council heads, tells them 'a law-abiding state cannot accept a situation in which each person does what he wants.' Settlers demand settlement construction be resumed 

Palestinian Information Center

Bahar calls on resistance not to change their demands regarding swap deal
31 Aug 2009 - Dr. Ahmed Bahar, the first deputy of the Palestinian speaker, appealed to the Palestinian resistance factions to uphold their demands for the release of prisoners.

Mishaal leaves Amman after attending funeral of his father
31 Aug 2009 - Khaled Mishaal, the political bureau chairman of Hamas Movement, left Jordan at a late hour on Sunday after attending the funeral of his father on Saturday.

IOF troops launch ferocious storming campaign in West Bank
31 Aug 2009 - IOF late Sunday and at dawn Monday rounded up ten Palestinians in various West Bank areas in a rabid storming campaign that was coupled with ransacking homes of the detainees.

Arab parliamentary union: The kidnapping of MPs is aimed to paralyze the PLC
31 Aug 2009 - The Arab parliamentary union said that the detention of Palestinian lawmakers in Israeli jails is an act of piracy aimed to paralyze the Palestinian legislative council (PLC).

Israeli navy shells Palestinian fishing boat, injures its owner
31 Aug 2009 - Israeli navy gunboats fired projectiles at a Palestinian fishing boat off the northern Gaza Strip coasts on Monday wounding its owner and starting fire in the small boat.

Muzaini: The news about a near prisoner swap deal is not true
31 Aug 2009 - Dr. Osama Al-Muzaini said that the news report spread by media outlets about the near achievement of a prisoner swap deal between Palestinian resistance factions and Israel was untrue.

King of Jordan extends condolences to Mishaal
31 Aug 2009 - The governor of Amman, Samir Al-Mubaidin, was delegated by King Abdullah II of Jordan to extend condolences to Khaled Mishaal, the political bureau chairman of Hamas, over the death of his father.

Qatari source belittles importance of Abbas's visit
31 Aug 2009 - A Qatari source has belittled the importance of Mahmoud Abbas's visit to Qatar, emphasizing that Doha would not change its views regarding all issues pertaining to the Palestinian question.

Mishaal reassures Jordan that Hamas rejects the "alternative homeland" scheme
31 Aug 2009 - Khaled Mishaal stated Saturday that his Movement is adherent to the Palestinian refugees’ right of return and rejects "the alternative homeland" scheme.

Abbas's militias kidnap father of wanted youth, son of MP
31 Aug 2009 - Security forces loyal to former PA chief Mahmoud Abbas kidnapped six Palestinians in 3 districts including the father of a wanted youth as a hostage until his son gives himself up.

Los Angeles Times

Former Israeli Prime Minister Olmert indicted on corruption charges 
31 Aug 2009 - Fraud and other allegations led Olmert to resign last year. Public disgust over official dishonesty has grown in Israel and brought investigations and harsh punishments. Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was indicted Sunday in corruption scandals that drove him to resign last year, a long-awaited legal step that made him the first current or former holder of Israel's most powerful office to be charged with a criminal offense. 

Hard-line Iranian prosecutor fired 
30 Aug 2009 - Iran's new judiciary chief ousts Tehran prosecutor-general Saeed Mortazavi, who organized the trials against postelection protesters and opposition figures. A moderate is named to the post. Iran's new judiciary chief ousted the hard-line prosecutor behind the ongoing trials against opposition figures in Tehran, replacing him with a relatively moderate newcomer from the provinces, an Iranian news agency reported Saturday. 

New York Times

Memo From Cairo: Hints of Pluralism in Egyptian Religious Debates
30 Aug 2009 - In Egypt, a man who has been preaching liberal Islamic views for decades says that only now, with the rise of independent media, has he had a chance to be heard. 

Former Israeli Prime Minister Is Indicted
30 Aug 2009 - The three counts of corruption against former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert conclude a lengthy criminal investigation that forced him to resign. 

Panel in Iran Will Oversee Investigations Into Unrest
30 Aug 2009 - The chief of the judiciary, who is also a rival of the president, is seeking to monitor the investigations done by presidential allies. 


VIDEO - Israelis restrict Palestinians’ water supply 
8/24/2009 - The Real News - World Bank report: Israelis have access to four times as much water as Palestinians due to restrictions - After World Bank issues report, commissioned by the Palestinian Authority on the condition of water accessibility in the West Bank, Israel claims the reports authors are biased. To understand the conditions on the ground, how they've been addressed, and whether the so-called peace process succeeded in addressing them, The Real News speaks to LifeSource Project, a non-profit organization focusing solely on the issue of water. Susan Koppelman and Taysir Arabasi tell The Real News' Lia Tarachansky the Mountain Aquifer, the biggest supply of fresh underground water is pumped by Israel even though it lies almost entirely in the West Bank. They also speak about restrictions on Palestinians to dig water wells, and their dependence on the Israeli national water corporation, Mekorot. 

Israel Accelerating Settlement Growth in East Jerusalem 
8/30/2009 - - Group Cautions Growth an 'Urgent Threat' to Peace Deal - In a report issued today, Israeli peace group Ir Amim cautioned that even as the US was negotiating with Israel on a possible settlement freeze, the nation was dramatically accelerating the growth of settlements in East Jerusalem, a move the group cautioned was an “urgent threat” to the prospect of a negotiated settlement with the Palestinian Authority, which has sought East Jerusalem as its capital. The report went on to note that though the expansion activity was largely being done by private groups, they were part of “a strategic move, coordinated and facilitated by national governmental units” to implant a Jewish population “precisely in the areas of the most intense dispute in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. ”One of the most controversial incidents in recent weeks involved the eviction of more than 50 Palestinians from homes 

IDF soldier suspected of killing Palestinian still hasn’t been charged
9/1/2009 - Ha'aretz - A Military Police investigation into a soldier's killing of a Palestinian near Hebron in January has been going on for seven and a half months, and there is still no end in sight. Yet the sector commander has been giving briefings for the past few months based on his own inquiry into the incident, which he describes as "a serious failure in moral and professional terms. "On January 13, 2009, at the height of Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip, Yassir Tamizi, a resident of the village of Idna, was stopped by a patrol of reservists in the Hebron area and brought to an Israel Defense Forces post near Tarkumiya. The soldier guarding the entrance to the post was frightened by Tamizi, who was fighting his arrest because he was worried about his son, who had been left behind when he was taken away. The frightened soldier then shot Tamizi, who died a few hours later from his wounds. 

Israeli gunboat sets fire to Palestinian fishing boat 
8/31/2009 - Press TV - An Israeli gunboat has opened fire on a Palestinian boat, injuring a fisherman on board the boat off the Gaza shore, Palestinian sources and witnesses say. The boat, which was badly burnt, has been pulled to a fishing port in Gaza city, Xinhua reported. According to Hamas ministry of agriculture, the fisherman was moderately burned as his partners succeeded in taking him to a hospital. In another incident last Thursday, a Palestinian fisherman was killed when the Israeli navy ships hit his boat in southern Gaza Strip. Patrols and attacks by the Israeli navy targeting Palestinians, regularly occur in as little a distance as three miles from the shore. Israel does not allow the Palestinian boats to sail farther than two nautical miles (3. 7 km) away from the shore though deals between Israel and the Palestinian National Authority have set the fishing zone of up to 20 nautical miles. 

PM presents plan to combat violence 
8/31/2009 - Jerusalem Post - Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu unveiled a five-point plan for tackling violence on the nation's streets, in a telephone interview that was jointly broadcast by Army Radio and Israel Radio on Sunday. The radio stations held a day of interviews with decision-makers on solutions for combating violence. " I think this is an intolerable situation," Netanyahu said during the interview. Referring to this month's wave of high-profile murders, the prime minister described violence "as a form of internal terrorism. " Advocating a policy of zero-tolerance, he proposed "making punishments more severe. " "Our judicial system is good, maybe the best in the world. But there is room for harsher punishments. We will submit new legislation during the upcoming Knesset winter session so that criminals and thugs pay for their crimes, and they are removed from society. " 

Hamas leader vows to continue 'liberation of Palestine' struggle 
8/30/2009 - Monsters & Critics - Amman - The Politburo chief of the radical Hamas group Khalid Mashaal on Sunday pledged that his faction would continue struggle for the 'liberation of Palestine. 'Mashaal was speaking to an audience in a tent set up in the neighbourhood of Sweileh, where he received condolences on the death of his father, Abdul Rahim Mashaal, who was buried on Saturday. He vowed to work to end the feuds with Hamas' rival, Fatah, and to cooperate with any effort that seeks to achieve Palestinian reconciliation, be it Arab or Islamic, because 'internal Palestinian divisions reflect an abnormal state of affairs. 'Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was represented at the funeral by the speaker of the Palestine National Council, Salim Zaanoun. Mashaal, who was deported from Jordan 10 years ago after the closure of Hamas offices in Amman in 1999, assured the Jordanian government that his group had no aim of interfering in Jordan's domestic affairs. 

VIDEO: Censoring ’If Americans Knew What Israel Is Doing!’ 
8/30/2009 - YouTube - Those who want to suppress the facts have dishonestly contacted YouTube and claimed that the video "If Americans Knew What Israel Is Doing!" was a Terms of Service Violation. The video is clearly NOT a TOS violation. You can see why they don't want you to see it. The user "rbdevon4" was a smartass contacting me with this message: "You have violated YouTube terms of use policy with your anti-Semitic hate videos. You must remove them IMMEDIATELY! Thank you for your cooperation. "Soon after that, he and his buddies succeeded in getting my video removed. [end] 


A disgrace against Americans merits more than regret 
James Zogby, The National 8/30/2009
      It is more than ironic that at the very moment the US is pressing Arab states to take steps toward normalising relations with Israel, the government of Israel has taken new measures to further restrict the rights of American citizens visiting Israel and occupied Palestinian lands.
     According to an August 14 Department of State Travel warning: “In June 2009, the Israeli government began selectively limiting certain travellers to either the occupied territories of the West Bank and Gaza, or to Israel and Jerusalem.”
     As described by an advocacy group working on these issues, here’s how the new policy works. “Israeli border officials have begun using a new entry permit stamped with the words ‘Palestinian Authority only’. In addition, some foreign nationals have been issued ‘Israel only’ permits or have been required to sign a statement which commits them not to enter the Palestinian Authority (PA) controlled areas of the West Bank under penalty of legal action.”
     In response to questions about these practices at State Department briefings, official spokespersons have responded that “we have let the government of Israel know that these restrictions unfairly impact Palestinian and Arab American travellers and are not acceptable”, and have added, on other occasions, that the US “regrets” and “disagrees” with these measures.
     Having worked on issues relating to Israel’s treatment of Arab Americans for over three decades, I must say that this is not good enough. I have received harrowing accounts of the impact of these Israeli policies. An American family with four children has been trapped in Gaza and unable to leave. Other Americans who are in the West Bank, having entered through the Allenby Bridge but hold non-refundable airline tickets departing from Ben Gurion Airport, are unable to make their flights home.... more.. e-mail

Tutu’s prayer 
Uri Avnery, Ma’an News Agency 9/1/2009
      How much did the boycott of South Africa actually contribute to the fall of the racist regime? This week I talked with Desmond Tutu about this question, which has been on my mind for a long time. 
     No one is better qualified to answer this question than he. Tutu, the South African Anglican archbishop and Nobel Prize laureate, was one of the leaders of the fight against apartheid and, later, the chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission which investigated the crimes of the regime. 
     This week he visited Israel with the Elders, an organization of elder statesmen from all over the world set up by Nelson Mandela. 
     The matter of the boycott came up again this week after an article by Dr Neve Gordon appeared in the Los Angeles Times, calling for a worldwide boycott of Israel. He cited the example of South Africa to show how a worldwide boycott could compel Israel to put an end to the occupation, which he compared to the apartheid regime.
     I have known and respected Neve Gordon for many years. Before becoming a lecturer at Ben-Gurion University in Beersheba, he organized many demonstrations against the separation wall in the Jerusalem area, in which I, too, took part.
     I am sorry that I cannot agree with him this time - neither about the similarity with South Africa nor about the efficacy of a boycott of Israel. more.. e-mail

Electronic Intifada
Gaza-bound goods stuck at the border
31 Aug 2009 - GAZA CITY, occupied Gaza Strip (IPS) - According to the Palestinian Chamber of Commerce in Gaza, there are currently over 1,700 containers of imported goods ordered by Gaza merchants being stored in Israel and the West Bank until they are allowed into Gaza. A breakdown of the items listed by the Chamber of Commerce includes clothing, shoes, electronics and toys. 

Review: Erasing the borders in "A Map of Home"
31 Aug 2009 - Randa Jarrar's A Map of Home is a beautifully achieved coming of age novel which follows a clever girl through a war, a domestic battlefield, and repeated forced migrations. For our heroine, these events are aspects of normal everyday life (because everything's normal when it happens to you), like school, friends, family and shopping. Robin Yassin-Kassab reviews for The Electronic Intifada. 

Lebanon's politics of real estate
31 Aug 2009 - Nostalgia, insists architect and academic Rami Daher, is a legitimate feeling. While most individuals' instinctive thoughts of the glories of Levantine architecture might run to ancient mosques, castles and palaces, Daher's yearning is towards an era in living memory, and on a more everyday scale. Sarah Irving reports for Electronic Lebanon. 

Toronto film festival protested for Tel Aviv spotlight
31 Aug 2009 - The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel is gravely concerned that the Toronto International Film Festival 2009 has decided to spotlight Tel Aviv for its inaugural City-to-City program. We encourage filmmakers and audiences to boycott the Spotlight as it extends a gesture of "goodwill" to a colonial and apartheid regime which is violating Palestinian human rights with utter impunity. 

In Gaza
attacked by the Israeli navy: a shelled Palestinian fishing trawler is “completely destroyed”
31 Aug 2009 - On August 31st, the Israeli navy attacked a Palestinian fishing trawler with what is reported to have been shelling, causing the boat to light afire. At the time of the attack, the fishermen were in waters near the north of Gaza. The Palestinian fishermen say that they were within the (arbitrarily-imposed by Israel, solely at Israeli authorities’ whim) new 3 mile fishing limit (although under Oslo, they have the right to venture 20 miles out). Israeli authorities said that the boat had entered Israeli waters. Israeli authorities also reportedly say that Palestinian fishermen ignored warning shots and orders to turn back. The same Ynet report quotes Israeli authorities as saying...

Palestine Chronicle
US Audacity of Hope Falters
31 Aug 2009 - By Ramzy Baroud The US has decided to be 'flexible' regarding its once touted call for a total Israeli freeze on the expansion of its occupied territories' settlements, all illegal under international law. A senior official spoke to reporters on condition of anonymity on August 27. “It was more important that the scope of a settlement freeze was acceptable to the Israelis and the Palestinians than to the United States,” Reuters reported, citing the senior official. This means that peace negotiations can resume while Israeli bulldozers are carving up Palestinian land, demolishing homes and cutting down trees. It also means that the Israeli rejection of the only US demand, which has thus far defined President Barack Obama’s relations to the Middle East conflict, has prevailed over the supposed American persistence. In other words, the US has officially succumbed to Israeli and pro-Israeli pressures, in Tel Aviv and Washington. Those not familiar with the connotation of certain terminology in this conflict may not appreciate what it truly means that the US will no longer demand an Israeli halt of the ‘natural growth’ of its settlements, especially in the occupied Jerusalem area where tens of thousands of Palestinians are vulnerable to Israeli ethnic cleansing. Families like the Hanoun and Ghawi family have been evicted from their homes and thrown out on the street before sunrise. “The police came for them at dawn on a Sunday, heavily armed, wearing helmets and riot shields as they broke down the metal doors of the houses...

Winners and Losers of Partition
31 Aug 2009 - By Aijaz Zaka Syed - Dubai What did Jaswant Singh expect? You can't be in a party that thrives on the demonization of Muslims and shower fulsome praise on the founding father of Pakistan as a 'great Indian' and 'freedom hero' and get away with it. No wonder the former soldier has been expelled from the party that he helped found a day after the release of his biography of Pakistan’s founder. But then the former foreign minister has reached a stage in his career where he doesn’t give two hoots what his party thinks of his extraordinary book on Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the man most Indians have grown up despising as the man responsible for the country’s Partition. The BJP has been out of power for more than five years. And after the rout in the recent elections, it looks like it is going to remain out there in the wilderness for a long time to come. Besides, going by the incredible attention and adulation Singh and his book have been receiving at home and abroad with television networks and newspapers queuing up to interview him, his future appears more promising and secure than his former party. One of the BJP’s founding members, Singh handled crucial responsibilities - defense, finance and external affairs - with aplomb in the government of Atal Behari Vajpayee. He deserved better than this from his party, which is going through a serious existential crisis right now. I haven’t had the opportunity to look at...

Message to President Obama and Americans with a Conscience
31 Aug 2009 - By Eileen Fleming ‘There comes a time comes when silence is betrayal...History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people. We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims...We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people. The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. Cowardice asks the question: is it safe? Expediency asks the question: is it politic? Vanity asks the question: is it popular? But conscience asks the question: is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular- but one must take it simply because it is right.’ -- Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. Since 1967, the Israeli authorities have demolished more than 24,000 Palestinian homes in the Occupied Territories. Some are considered "collateral damage" in military operations; such as the 4,000 homes that were demolished in Israel's December-January assault on Gaza. Some are as collective punishment; such as the obliteration of the Jenin refugee camp in 2002. Many are for lack of a building permit, which Israel denies to Palestinians; and due to the unjust justice system of Israel, the...

What We Palestinians Need
30 Aug 2009 - By Dr. Mustafa Barghouti Irrespective of what political settlement is ultimately embraced, Palestinians need a unified strategy for confronting and overcoming Israeli racism, apartheid and oppression. Palestinians have only two choices before them: 1) either to continue to evade the struggle, as some have been trying to do, or 2) to summon the collective national resolve to engage in it. The latter option does not necessarily entail a call to arms. Clearly Israel has the overwhelming advantage in this respect in both conventional and unconventional (nuclear) weapons. Just as obviously, neighboring Arab countries have neither the will nor ability to go the military route. However, the inability to wage war does not automatically mean surrender and eschewing other means to wage struggle. As powerful as it is militarily, Israel has two major weak points. Firstly, it cannot impose political solutions by force of arms on a people determined to sustain a campaign of resistance. This has been amply demonstrated in two full-scale wars against Lebanon and, most recently, in the assault against Gaza. Secondly, the longer the Palestinians have remained steadfast, and the greater the role the demographic factor has come to play in the conflict, the more clearly Israel has emerged as an apartheid system hostile to peace. If the ethnic cleansing of 1948 and the colonialist expansionism describe the circumstances surrounding the birth of the Israeli state, the recent bills regarding the declaration of allegiance to a Jewish state and prohibiting the Palestinian commemoration of the nakba more...

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