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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
13 September, 2009


International Middle East Media Center

Palestinian died of wounds sustained in August
13 Sep 2009 - Palestinian sources reported Sunday that resident Obaida Al Qudsy Al Dweik, 25, died on Sunday of wounds suffered on August 26, 2009, after being shot and critically injured by Israeli military gunfire. 

Israeli policeman hurt in clashes with fundamental settlers
13 Sep 2009 - Israeli sources reported Sunday that Israeli policemen and fundamental Jewish settlers clashed as the army attempted to evacuate the Havat Gilad illegal settlement outpost in the occupied West Bank. One policeman was wounded and at least three settlers were taken for questioning. 

Netanyahu heads to Egypt
13 Sep 2009 - Israeli sources reported Sunday that Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, left Israel on Sunday for an unplanned visit to Egypt to hold talks with its president Hosni Mubarak. 

Israeli forces continue escalation of night raids of non-violent anti-Wall organizers
13 Sep 2009 - Just after 2 am on Saturday morning, Israeli forces invaded the village of Bil'in, west of Ramallah in the central West Bank. The late-night raid is one of a series of similar raids carried out over the last month by Israeli troops against the village of Bil'in, which is a center of non-violent organizing against the Israeli Annexation Wall and Occupation of the West Bank. 

Israeli settlers in Hebron construct new outpost
12 Sep 2009 - International observers in the Hebron area have reported that Israeli settlers living in violation of international law in the South Hebron Hills, in the southern West Bank, have constructed five new caravan trailers in an attempt to further expand the Ma'on settlement. 

Palestinian security forces arrest 11 Hamas supporters in the West Bank
12 Sep 2009 - The Hamas movement accused the Palestinian security forces in the West Bank of arresting eleven members and supporters of the movement in Nablus, Qalqilia, and Hebron. Two of the arrestees are members of a village council, and five others are former detainees who were imprisoned by Israel. 

Report: "23 legislators, three ministers, still imprisoned by Israel"
12 Sep 2009 - The Palestinian Ministry of Detainees reported Friday that after Israel previously released 10 legislators, including PLC head Dr. Aziz Dweik, the Israeli occupation is still holding captive 26 Palestinians legislators and three former ministers. 

Ha'aretz Defense page

Netanyahu: Death of Ilan Ramon's son is 'terrible tragedy'
13 Sep 2009 - 'This is a painful and sad day,' says Defense Min.; Peres: What happened today was more than a tragedy. 

Settlers and troops clash as IDF chief eyes better ties
13 Sep 2009 - Four arrested, one hurt as troops enter illegal West Bank site to confiscate caravan-carrying truck. 

Analysis / Iran is wasting time in nuclear talks with West
12 Sep 2009 - Iran continues its game of deception and new sanctions almost certainly will be insufficiently potent. 

Netanyahu: Lebanon accountable for rocket on Israel
13 Sep 2009 - Lebanese daily reports that UNIFIL forces in southern Lebanon were warned of a possible attack. 

Two killed, three missing in Gaza smuggling tunnel collapse
12 Sep 2009 - A Gaza human rights group says more than 100 people have died in tunnel collapses since 2007. 

Ma'an News

Hebron man dies of wounds from Israeli fire sustained in Aug.
9/13/2009 - Hebron - Ma'an -Hebron resident Ubayda Dweik died Sunday morning in an Israeli hospital almost one month after being hit by Israeli fire in Hebron's city center, his family said. The 25-year-old Dweik was shot several times by Israeli soldiers on 26 August 2009 while he was on Ash-Shuhada street in the center of Hebron. He was transferred to hospital inside Israel in critical condition. At the time, Israeli authorities claimed that Dweik attempted to stab Israeli soldier in the street. The Palestinian Prisoners Society released a statement following Dweik's death, saying the held Israeli authorities accountable. The young man's family and his lawyer were not allowed to visit Dweik in the Israeli hospital. 

VIDEO - Bil’in activists capture night raid on tape 
9/13/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma’an - Bil’in residents caught on tape an Israeli home invasion and the arrest of 21-year-olds Mohammed Ahmed Yasseen and Yasseen Mohammed Yasseen, both regular participants in the village’s anti-wall rallies. Israeli forces invaded Bil’in shortly after 2am, the popular committee said, and attempted to block international activists from filming the invasion and prevented press from accessing the area. Activists, who first joined villagers in their anti-wall protests are now staying in the village overnight, following a string of raids targeting organizers of the anti-wall rallies. When Israeli and international activists left the village, Israeli forces would storm in and detain locals. The video shows an attempt by activists and journalists to capture the not almost nightly events. " 

Police: Israeli forces and settlers attack Palestinians
9/13/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - A group of Israeli settlers entered the central West Bank village of Ras Karkar and assaulted residents, Palestinian police said in their daily report Sunday. The reports catalog Israeli violations in the West Bank on a daily basis and are a recent initiative of the forces. According to the document, Israeli forces arrived in Ras Karkar shortly after the settlers attacked and started hurling tear gas canisters at residents, then physically assaulted two young menidentified as Ibrahim Dawood and Mahmoud Salhiyya. Israeli troops withdrew without making any arrests. By region, the following Israeli violence was recorded: Tulkarem - Israeli forces raided the city and its refugee camp, handing out summonses to a dozen residents ordering them to appear before an Israeli intelligence unit. Invading soldiers also broke into the home of Aamir Abu Lifa from Tulkarem refugee camp for an alleged inspection. 

Nablus area villagers prepare to fight home demolition notices
9/13/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israeli forces handed out 32 demolition warrants to home owners in As-Sawiya and Yutma on Thursday, a report from the Palestinian police in the West Bank said. The Nablus-area villages notified the police department about the notices, and police issued a formal report on the matter Sunday. With the help of police, owners of the houses coordinated with the local government and are putting together an appeal for the Israeli high court. [end] 

Armed settlers enter West Bank village, spark clashes
9/13/2009 - Nablus - Ma'an - Violent clashes between Israeli settlers and Palestinians erupted in the village of Burin south of the West Bank city of Nablus erupted Sunday evening. Ghassan Daghlas, Palestinian official following Israeli settlement activities in the northern West Bank, told Ma'an that "dozens of heavily armed settlers from the nearby illegal Israeli settlement of Yitzhar attacked Palestinians in Burin after failing to steal dozens of sheep from a Palestinian shepherd who was in the area," he explained. When the settlers entered the village Palestinian youth began throwing stones, precipitating clashes. According to Daghlas, no injuries have been reported. The official was outraged by the proximity of Israeli forces who refused to stop the marauding settlers. 

Israeli press announces return to peace talks based on Fayyad plan
9/13/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Peace talks will go forward next month based not on the US-backed Roadmap but rather on Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad's plan to build a Palestinian state in two years, and despite continued Israeli settlement construction, the Israeli paper Haaretz reported Sunday. The paper cited EU sources as confirming that a Palestinian state will be announced in two years, as per Fayyad's plan, and that talks lead by the PLO Chief Negotiator Saeb Erekat will focus on determining the borders of a Palestinian state. The paper said sources expected the border will be based on the 1967 boundaries, which include East Jerusalem in the West Bank. However, it added, "Both sides may agree to alter the border based on territorial exchanges. " The sources did not explain how Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's declarations over never giving up Jerusalem. . . 

Hamas slams deposition of Qalqiliya municipal council by PA
9/13/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - The de facto government in Gaza slammed the Palestinian Authority decision to depose the elected municipal council of Qalqiliya in the northern West Bank on Sunday. Minister of Local Government in the Ramallah-based caretaker government Khaled Al-Qawasm signed the order to dissolve the municipal council Saturday, noting the move had "nothing to do" with the fact that the council was Hamas-affiliated, but was rather based on debts of the council. The move came as all factions review a plan for conciliation between Fatah and Hamas, submitted by Egypt ahead of planned unity talks in October. Responding to the decision, spokesperson of the de facto government's interior ministry Tahir An-Nunu said it was "based on partial considerations," noting the Hamas members of the council were replaced with Fatah supporters. 

PFLP takes issue over Egyptian proposal to postpone elections
9/13/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) rejected Egypt's suggestion that elections be pushed back and held on a 25/75 proportional/constituent split. It was the first Palestinian faction to officially respond to the document. The party, which delivered its response to the Egyptian conciliation proposal Sunday, less than one week after the plan was unveiled, said it preferred to hold elections according to the laws of the constitution, and using a full proportional representation system. While the PFLP affirmed that its highest priority, and the highest national interest, was to restore unity, but it called for a commitment to Palestinian constitutional requirements to ensure the restoration of legitimacy to both the Palestine Liberation organization and the Palestinian Authority. 

Popular Struggle Front on Egyptian plan: Elections not to be delayed
9/13/2009 - Tulkarem - Ma'an - Echoing sentiments from several parties, an official statement from the Palestinian Popular Struggle Front (PPSF) said the party was for holding elections on 25 January 2010, and opposed the part of the Egyptian conciliation plan which suggested delaying them to the "first half of 2010. "Aw'niAbu Ghush, a member of the PPSF politburo said elections should be held in accordance with Palestinian law. He also noted the party's support for the formation of a transitional unity government with a clear and specific mission to oversee the elections process. The group also reaffirmed the status of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. 

PNI: Egyptian proposal constructive and positive
9/13/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - The Palestinian National Initiative (PNI) described the Egyptian proposal for Palestinian unity as positive and constructive according to a statement delivered Saturday. PNI welcomed the articles of the proposal saying they will help end the internal division among Palestinians. The party indicated it was in favor of holding Presidential and legislative elections simultaneously in all of the Palestinian territories, and did not specifically reject the idea of holding the elections after 25 January 2010, which all other responding parties have so far done. The PNI also supported the Egyptian proposal for restructuring the Palestinian security departments using Egyptian and Arab forces to oversee the process. PNI also called for an end to the mutual media campaigns being waged by the de facto Hamas government in Gaza, and the Fatah dominated West Bank regime,. . . 

DFLP official: Egyptian proposal needs 'upgrading'
9/13/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) would like to see the Egyptian proposal for Palestinian unity developed further, member of the party's politburo Saleh Zeidan said Sunday. In an unofficial response to the plan, released early last week, the DFLP leader said the Egyptian document should be drawn out in more detail. The leader expressed concerns over the suggestion of the Egyptians that a transition committee oversee the preparation of elections, saying that such a committee would have to legitimize both Hamas and Fatah. He noted the difficulties around such a feat, and said the party hoped the plan would become more detailed. Like the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), which delivered their response earlier in the day, Zeidan said he was very much in favor of holding elections for the presidency and the. . . 

Gaza siege continues as Israel opens only one crossing point
9/13/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Israel will continue its siege in the Gaza Strip this week, opening one crossing into the blockaded area to allow 85-95 truckloads of commercial goods and humanitarian aid into the area, Palestinian crossings official Raed Fattouh said Sunday. The first day of the week sees the fuel and fodder crossing points sealed, following Saturday's total closures of all crossing points and a half day of goods transfer on Friday. On Thursday the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the UN body in charge of refugee services, called on Israel to lift the blockade on school supplies, which have been denied entry into Gaza and are currently being held in warehouses in Israel. There has so far been no indication as to whether Israeli authorities will heed the call for notebooks, pencils and crayons. 

Eritrean refugee injured, 18 detained in Egypt en route to Israel
9/13/2009 - Al-Arish - Ma'an - Egyptian sources confirmed an Eritrean woman was being shot while attempting to enter Israel on Sunday. Egyptian police spotted five suspected migrants 30 km south of the Kerem Shalom crossing. Four surrendered when police fired shots into the air. However, one woman was shot when she ignored police, and continued to walk to the fence. Earlier in the day Egyptian border police detained 12 men and two women five kilometers south of Gaza, saying the group was intending to enter Israel illegally. Seven, including the women, were from Ethiopia, and the other seven men were from Eritrea. All allegedly paid smugglers who said they would take the migrants into Israel for 1,000 US dollars a person. Last week Egyptian security shot and killed two Ethiopians trying to enter Israel, security sources said. 

Accident between Israeli armored vehicle, Palestinian car
9/13/2009 - Hebron - Ma'an - Palestinian resident was injured in a traffic accident between a Palestinian car and an Israeli armored vehicle near the town of Dura south of the West Bank city of Hebron on Sunday evening. Paramedics reported evacuating 25-year-old Salem Abu A'wad to Al-Ahli hospital in Hebron where his condition was described as light. The extent to which the Israeli soldiers were injured is not yet known. [end] 

Netanyahu in Cairo to pressure Mubarak into urging Palestinian action
9/13/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was in Cairo Sunday meeting with Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak. The two discussed a prisoner swap deal between Israel and captures of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Israel's interior minister Eli Yishai was accompanying Netanyahu on his visit. Israeli media outlets said Netanyahu would ask Mubarak to exert pressure on the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas in order to resume peace negotiations with Israel, and agree to participate in a tripartite meeting with US president and Israeli Prime Minister on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting. Netanyahu and Mubarak meet alone after Ramadan dinner. This is Netanyahu's second visit to Egypt since he came into office. What is unusual about this visit is that the meeting will be held in Cairo instead of Sharm Ash-Sheikh. 

Top Islamic official, Moroccan king, hold talks on Israeli dig
9/13/2009 - Jerusalem - Ma'an - Supreme Palestinian Judge Sheikh Tayseer At-Tamimi met with King Muhammad the sixth of Morocco Sunday to update him on the latest news about an Israeli archeological dig underneath the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. At-Tamimi praised the King for playing a crucial role as head of the Al-Quds Committee, organized by the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Waqf which was created to introduce the Muslim world to the history of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the holy city of Jerusalem. The committee is made up of several influential Muslim figures, including the King of Morocco. At-Tamimi praised the king for his continued support for the Palestinian cause, and his giving aid money to Palestinians living in Jerusalem. The Moroccan King was also updated on the latest attacks carried out against Palestinians in East Jerusalem including home demolitions and the. . . 

Hamas denies Mashaal arrival to Cairo
9/13/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Hamas spokesman Ayman Taha denied reports that Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal arrived in Cairo for talks on the Egyptian proposal. In a phone interview with Ma'an, Taha said that "the reports on Mashaal's visit to Cairo are baseless," and maintained that Hamas is still considering the proposal. He reported that Hamas will present a formal response to the Egyptian government after Ramadan when discussion within the Hamas movement is finished. Many media outlets had affirmed the arrival of Mashaal which would have been his third visit to Cairo in one month's time. Previously the Hamas leader had been in Cairo for talks about release terms of the captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. 

Israelis lost in West Bank stopped at PA checkpoint, returned home
9/13/2009 - Nablus - Ma'an - Palestinian security sources in the West Bank city of Nablus handed three Israeli civilians over to Israeli security forces after they entered the city by mistake on Sunday. The official police statement said that the three armed men "were arrested at a checkpoint manned by PA security forces near the compound building in Nablus before they were handed over to the Israeli side via the military coordination office. "[end] 

Homeland on a Thread: PLO official appears on new Pal TV soap
9/13/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - Secretary of the PLO Executive Committee Yasser Abed Rabbo made a guest appearance on the satirical Ramadan soap opera Homeland on a Thread (Watah ala Watar) Saturday night. The show, which receives increasing local and international acclaim, is critical of both Palestinian society and its governments, tacking myriad issues in each 15-minute episode. Despite its regular criticism of the government, source say the show is supported by Abed Rabbo. The official played himself the episode "Obama in Ramallan," which saw him excuse US President Barack Obama who apologized for being 60 minutes late for a meeting "because of the checkpoints," an often heard excuse from the tardy. Replying to Obama, Abed Rabbo says, "Sir, you are 60 years late in understanding our suffering under these checkpoints. 

Sha’ath: Fatah delegation to Gaza postponed, not canceled
9/13/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - A Fatah delegation will visit the Gaza Strip after Ramadan, Fatah Central Committee member Nabil Sha'ath clarified Sunday refuting rumors the trip had been cancelled. Last week Fatah sources said the departure of a delegation was "imminent," but mixed reactions from Gaza parties seemed to slow progress on what was being called a unity move. Sha'ath denied rumors that the delegation had been cancelled, saying it was only postponed whileSalim Za'noon, chair of the Palestinian National Council, was in Jordan for an Arab parliament meeting. On Saturday Fatah members in Gaza officially denied stories that they would boycott the visiting Fatah group from the West Bank, saying they hoped coordination between the sides would result in better representation of Gazan Fatah supporters in the party's leading bodies. 

Employees of governmental universities to start protests
9/13/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The union for employees of governmental universities in Palestine announced on Sunday that efforts to reach an agreement with the Ministry of Education about salaries and administrative crises have failed. According to the head of the employees union Dr Abdul-Jawwad Al-Atrash, at a meeting in Ramallah last Thursday with union leaders from local universities around Palestine it was decided that a formal protest would be declared on Sunday, and that further measures would be taken after Ramadan. [end] 

Independent members of PLO Reconciliation Committee announce meetings
9/13/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Yaser Al-Wadeiyah, a representative of the independent members on the Egyptian-sponsored Committee for Reconciliation, said in a statement on Sunday that they will be holding "intensive meetings" aimed at engendering support for reconciliation efforts. The meetings, which will take place in the West Bank, are being held with the hope of "strengthening the chance of success" of ongoing negotiations between the de facto Hamas government in Gaza, and the Fatah dominated West Bank. Al-Wadeiyah said that independent figures include Palestinian academics, businessmen, Muslim scholars, Christian clergyman, and representatives of the civil society who are attempting to create a strong lobby for achieving a reconciliation agreement. In the statement Al-Wadeiyah noted that members will be searching for mechanisms and practical ways of reaching internal agreement between. . . 

PSE drops again: Al-Quds index at 489.12
9/13/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Stocks fell Sunday on the Palestine Securities Exchange in Nablus. At the close of trading the Al-Quds Index stood at 489. 12, marking a decrease of 4. 84 points (0. 98%) over the last trading session Trading volume for Sunday was 222,715 shares for a total value of 531,581. 68 US dollars, over the course of 254 trades. The shares of 18 companies were traded. The shares prices of seven companies rose while those of five others declined. The top five gainers were AHC by (5. 00%), PIIC by (3. 77%), QUDS by (2. 47%), AMB by (1. 49%), PRICO by (1. 35%). The top five losers TRUST by (4. 85%), NSC by (3. 45%), PEC by (2. 11%), PALTEL by (1. 92%), PADICO by (0. 80%). 

The National

American planes for Iranian peace?
13 Sep 2009 - Claims the US offered 20 Boeing aircraft to soothe Tehran amid an impasse on its nuclear programme has inflamed the republic's hardliners.

US envoy has hopes for settlement deal
13 Sep 2009 - George Mitchell says he is making progress in talks with Israel but stresses that reaching agreement on a range of issues may take time.

Parliament refuses to lift immunity in fraud case
13 Sep 2009 - A property fraud scandal involving a prominent member of Egypt's ruling party has attracted new attention to corruption within the country's leadership.

Billionaire's death sentence belies Egypt's turmoil
13 Sep 2009 - In Egypt, the perception that thieves and fraudsters dominate the government is as pervasive as it is abiding.


Israel sees 'gaps' with US on peace
13 Sep 2009 - US envoy Mitchell in Israel for talks with Prime Minister Netanyahu.

Tehran says nuclear talks possible
12 Sep 2009 - Statement marks apparent reversal of Iran's refusal to discuss nuclear programme.

Palestine News Network

Palestinian campaign for continued nonviolent resistance against demolition as olive harvest nears
13 Sep 2009 - Nablus / PNN – The Palestinian People's Party held a meeting at the leftist movement’s headquarters in the city of Nablus yesterday evening. The Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements in the Nablus district was part of the northern West Bank meeting, including representatives of NGOs.All are involved in the combined popular campaign of resistance to the Wall, and a number of...

Netanyahu refuses settlement freeze, is waiting for response from Mitchell regarding normalization
13 Sep 2009 - Cairo / PNN - Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak held late last week a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Cairo. The talks focused on the “peace process.” Today Netanyahu said that the Israelis refuse “Palestinian conditions” for a return to negotiations. President Abbas had said that no negotiations could take place without an Israeli settlement freeze. The US said the same...

Stalls and pushcarts reinvade Nablus City streets after agreement is reached for Eid al-Fitr
13 Sep 2009 - Nablus / Amin Abu Wardeh for PNN – Merchant stalls have returned to the sidewalks and streets of Nablus City after an absence of over two months. Considered a blight on other traffic, the stalls were driven away by business owners and police. However, under the auspices of a campaign “the Eid”, for the holiday of charity, new clothes and gift-giving that follows...

Hebron Hills in occupied southern West Bank scene of Israeli warplane crash
13 Sep 2009 - Hebron / PNN – The South Hebron Hills were today again the scene of an Israeli assault on the Palestinian population. This time it was not Jewish settlers killing livestock or stoning farmers, nor was it Israeli soldiers standing guard while bulldozers uproot olive trees. On Sunday an Israeli F16 warplane, the kind used to fire into the Gaza Strip and West Bank,...

Egyptian paper issued: both Fateh and Hamas are studying the details but already have problems
12 Sep 2009 - Ramallah / PNN – Officials from the rival Fateh and Hamas parties welcomed the Egyptian paper which includes proposals to end the division. However, both are showing deep skepticism regarding real opportunities and potential application.In Ramallah, the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization announced after a meeting which was devoted to discussion of the Egyptian paper that it would deal positively with...

"Our Production" campaign to promote local companies in Gaza Strip begins with advent ...
12 Sep 2009 - Gaza / PNN – The campaign to promote local goods is ongoing in the Gaza Strip. Entitled “Our Production”, the project began with the month of Ramadan this year. Food produced by local companies in the Strip is being marketed as part of this general strike. The necessity driven by the siege is the new mother of invention with there being little choice...

Brazilian Parliament recommends freezing out Israelis from third largest export market
12 Sep 2009 - “This decision is an enormous blow for Israel’s economy and foreign relations”, says Jamal Juma’ of the Stop the Wall Campaign. The Brazilian Parliamentary Commission on Foreign Relations and National Defense has recommended that the parliament should not ratify the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Mercosur and the State of Israel until “Israel accepts the creation of the Palestinian state on the...


OPT: Gaza schoolchildren lack basic equipment
GAZA CITY Wednesday, September 09, 2009 (IRIN) - Some 1,200 students at al-Karmel High School for boys in Gaza City returned to class on 25 August without history and English textbooks, or notebooks and pens - all unavailable on the local market.

ISRAEL-OPT: New report highlights educational poverty in East Jerusalem
TEL AVIV Thursday, September 03, 2009 (IRIN) - Palestinian East Jerusalem lacks public educational facilities and many classrooms are cramped, according to a new report by Ir Amim, an NGO working in East Jerusalem, and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI).

In Brief: East Africa teams up over disaster management
NAIROBI Thursday, September 03, 2009 (IRIN) - At least 1,556 East African Community (EAC) military personnel are participating in a three-week joint field training exercise codenamed Ex–Mlima Kilimanjaro (Mount Kilimanjaro) 2009 in Arusha and Tanga, Tanzania, to share knowledge on the regional challenges in peace support, counter-terrorism and disaster management.

Inter Press Service

MIDEAST: To Rap Is to Resist 
GAZA CITY, Sep 12 (IPS) - In a backstreet open-air café in Gaza late at night, Khaled Harara from the Black Unit Band starts to talk about rap.

MIDEAST: NGO Reports on Gaza War Belie Israeli Claims 
WASHINGTON, Sep 11 (IPS) - This week, two respected human rights organisations - one Palestinian, one Israeli - each came out with very full reports into the extent of the damage caused by the assault Israel waged against Gaza last winter.

MIDEAST: Israel Taking Sharp Measures Over Iran 
JERUSALEM, Sep 11 (IPS) - Questions about Iran's nuclear thrust are tumbling out, echoing around the world in several directions.

Stop The Wall

Ni’lin protestors destroy sensors, cut through fence
13 Sep 2009 - The struggle of the village of Ni’lin is still continuing, despite the hot weather, the month of the fasting and new concrete wall. During the demonstration, protestors confronted soldiers and destroyed segments of the Wall, cutting fences and wrecking electronic sensors. [

PCHR Latest

IOF Willfully Kill a Child in Beit Hanoun Town, Northern Gaza

PCHR Weekly Report

(03- 09 Sep. 2009)
During the reporting period, IOF killed a Palestinian child and wounded 6 Palestinian civilian, a resistance activist and an Israeli journalist.

information on boycott, divestment and sanctions
IOF Willfully Kill a Child in Beit Hanoun Town, Northern Gaza 06 September

International Solidarity Movement

Farmers in Palestine create amazing produce in adverse conditions - and are fighting to export them
9/13/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - The Guardian - I'm standing in what remains of Taysir Sadia Yaseen's olive grove, looking up at a 12ft-high wire fence. It arrived in 2000 when the Israeli army, without any notice, bulldozed a trench on this rocky, precipitous hillside and erected it on his land, declaring it part of a "security buffer zone". He points to the Israeli settlement that the fence protects. It resembles a suburban dormitory town, like something out of The Truman Show, only fortified and on a hilltop. It is encircled by twice the area of land and served by a new road, exclusively for the use of Israeli settlers and prohibited to Palestinians. This road in turn is guarded by another, military, road with routine patrols - we can hear army trucks whizzing by - and, finally, the fence. Before the fence was built, Taysir was the proud owner of 1,000 olive trees, which had been in his family for as long as anyone can remember. 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

Peru freezes fugitive Israeli lawyer Dan Cohen's assets 
13 Sep 2009 - The attorney general of Peru has frozen fugitive attorney Dan Cohen's bank account, reports the newspaper El Comercio Peru. ... 

Akiva Eldar / U.S. is blind to limits of Palestinian politics 
13 Sep 2009 - After a drawn-out and frustrated negotiation over several hundred housing units in the settlements, the Obama administration realized that instead of tasting the grapes, it is wasting its time fighting with the vineyard's gatekeeper. They also revealed that the greatest superpower came to the fight unarmed. They discovered that to threaten Benjamin Netanyahu and Moshe Ya'alon with ceasing construction in the West Bank by pain of not resuming the Oslo process, was akin to threatening them that if Israel does not remove the outposts, the United States would bomb Iran. This made reverting to the old and tried concept of "grab all you can" a near sure thing, that same concept that managed to bring the Oslo Accords, 16 years after the ceremonious signing at the White House, back to square one - at best. ...

West Bank economy heading toward growth for first time in years
12 Sep 2009 - The economy in Palestinian West Bank remains on course to grow about 7 percent this year, for the first growth since 2005, according to the International Monetary Fund. ...

Israeli director: I may not have won at Venice if Jane Fonda was on jury
12 Sep 2009 - The director of the Israeli war film "Lebanon" has said he may not have won the top prize at the Venice Film Festival on Saturday if the actress Jane Fonda, who has protested against Israeli cinema being spotlighted, had been on the jury. ...

'Israel not hindering peace talks with the Palestinians'
12 Sep 2009 - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday said that differences remain with the U.S. over the conditions necessary to resume peacemaking with the Palestinians. ...

The Guardian

Letters: Planet Phoenix Four
13 Sep 2009 - Benny Morris ( Impossible ambition , 11 September) is right to judge the gulf between Israelis and Palestinians unbridgeable, when Israelis like him continue to promote such apparent disregard for truth. The most pernicious of his numerous historical...

Video: Far-right group confronts pro-Palestinian march
13 Sep 2009 - Police say no arrests made as members of English Defence League demonstrate at London march in support of Gaza Laurence Topham

Far-right supporters confront pro-Palestinian protesters
13 Sep 2009 - Police say no arrests made as English Defence League supporters involved in standoff at central London demonstration Far-right supporters of the English Defence League were today involved in a standoff with pro-Palestinian demonstrators in central London....

Palestinian farmers producing exceptional food and wine
12 Sep 2009 - Palestine produces some of the finest olive oils in the world, not to mention dates, nuts, tomatoes – even wine. Now, despite the conflict, farmers are finding ways to export their produce – and show the...

Ha'aretz National page

Bedouin village gets water hook-up, 5 years after recognition 
13 Sep 2009 - Most of us do not rejoice at finding bills in our mailbox. But for the 900residents of the Bedouin village of Darijat in the Negev, the arrival of their first-ever water bills were indeed grounds for rejoicing: After 60 years without running water, the village was finally connected to the national water system two months ago. ... 

'Asaf Ramon always knew he'd be a pilot, just like his father' 
13 Sep 2009 - Friends of Asaf Ramon had trouble talking about him in the past tense. ... 

Will YouTube laws stop Israeli music from going global? 
13 Sep 2009 - A new front has opened in the digital age's war on copyright infringement. Israeli Internet surfers - used to uploading video clips of local musicians onto YouTube - discovered a few weeks ago that Unicell, a company which represents the digital rights of, among others, Sarit Hadad, Regev Hod, Koby Peretz and Lior Narkis, had closed their user accounts on the site, claiming copyright abuse. ... 

Relief Web

OPT: Protection of Civilians
13 Sep 2009 - Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

Egypt opens Rafah Crossing for 360 Palestinian pilgrims
13 Sep 2009 - Source: Government of Egypt

RCA's 'Table-spread of the Merciful' covers most of the Palestinian townships
13 Sep 2009 - Source: Emirates News Agency

YNet News

Foreign worker forced to sleep in bathroom for 2 years
13 Sep 2009 - Jerusalem couple arrested for allegedly locking Jordanian foreign worker in their home for two years without proper living conditions. During their investigation, couple claims she stole jewelry and money from them 

Mubarak: Stop attempts to judaize Jerusalem
13 Sep 2009 - Egypt's president urges Prime Minister Netanyahu to halt 'all settlement activity,' warns of dangers it poses in capital 

Policeman injured in outpost clashes 
13 Sep 2009 - Security forces arrive at Havat Gilad to confiscate truck moving a caravan. Policeman lightly hurt in clashes with settlers; three people detained for questioning 

Prosecution: Haredim influenced 'starving mother' investigation 
13 Sep 2009 - Investigators say were unable to derive relevant information during interrogation of mother's other children due to influence of elements within Jerusalem's haredi community 

Daily Star

Zahle in the hearts of Lebanon's tourists 
13 Sep 2009

Photo exhibition highlights Lebanon's environmental woes 
13 Sep 2009

Calm on Israel border seen as fragile 
13 Sep 2009

Israel says Lebanese government to blame for rockets 
13 Sep 2009

US Senator McCain says Hizbullah 'inviting' conflict with Israel 
13 Sep 2009

Fadlallah fatwa bans normalizing Israel ties 
13 Sep 2009

Lebanon receives $298 million in reserves from IMF program 
13 Sep 2009

Lebanon's defense budget to rise 22 percent in 2009 
13 Sep 2009

Palestinian Information Center

Detained Palestinian young women subjected to torture rounds in IOA jail
13 Sep 2009 - Ghufran Zamel has been subjected to 12 days of continued violent interrogation in an Israeli occupation authority (IOA) jail, the international Tadamun society for human rights said on Sunday.

Ramallah authority: All Hamas councils, employees to be sacked
13 Sep 2009 - All municipal councils and employees affiliated with Hamas in the West Bank would be sacked, a well informed source in the ministry of local government of Salam Fayyad's illegitimate cabinet said.

Israeli court releases soldier after shooting Palestinian boy
13 Sep 2009 - An Israeli court on Saturday ordered the release of an Israeli soldier who was detained for shooting at a group of Palestinians and wounding two of them including a child in occupied Jerusalem.

Barhoum: Mitchell beautifies IOA image
13 Sep 2009 - Hamas spokesman, Fawzi Barhoum, has charged that the US envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell was seeking to beautify the image of the Israeli occupation authority (IOA) before the world.

Palestinian wounded in IOF shooting dies in Israeli hospital
13 Sep 2009 - Obaida Al-Qadasi was pronounced dead at dawn Sunday in the Israeli Shaari Tzedek hospital after suffering serious wounds 17 days ago at the hands of the IOF in Al-Khalil city.

Haneyya gov't: Kidnappings, dismissals foil reconciliation efforts
13 Sep 2009 - The Palestinian government has warned that the continued discriminatory policies by the Ramallah authority constituted a deliberate attempt to sabotage efforts to end the internal division.

IPA holds Hamas leader in isolation, 47 sick detainees in Ohalei Kedar
13 Sep 2009 - The IPA is holding Hamas leader Sheikh Jamal Abul Haija in an isolation cell in Rimon prison in a new penal measure against him following months of isolation in Galbo'a prison.

Abu Mujahid: No imminent agreement on Shalit
13 Sep 2009 - Abu Mujahid, the popular resistance committee's spokesman, has denied press reports about an imminent agreement on a prisoner swap deal between Palestinian resistance and Israel.

Report: One child killed and eight Palestinians wounded in one week
13 Sep 2009 - A weekly report issued by the Palestinian center for human rights revealed that the IOF troops killed one child, wounded seven civilians and one resistance fighter during one-week period.

Jewish settlers rebuild outpost hours after IOF soldiers dismantle it
13 Sep 2009 - Jewish settlers rebuilt an outpost in Susiya near the village of Yatta, Al-Khalil district, only hours after the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) dismantled it, eyewitnesses reported on Saturday.

Los Angeles Times

EU calls for nuclear talks with Iran 
12 Sep 2009 - The U.S. says it would join in 'to see if Iran is willing to engage seriously on these issues.' Earlier, in Tehran, supreme leader Ali Khamenei says Iran will not halt its nuclear program. The European Union's foreign policy chief on Friday called for a meeting of world powers with Iran "at the earliest possible opportunity" to discuss Tehran's nuclear intentions, even as the country's supreme leader insisted Iran would not halt its nuclear development program. 

Israel, militants in Lebanon trade rocket fire 
12 Sep 2009 - No injuries are reported on either side of the border. It is the first exchange of fire between Israel and militants in Lebanon since February. Two rockets were fired into northern Israel from southern Lebanon on Friday, and Israel responded minutes later by launching a barrage of 14 rockets and scrambling fighter jets across the volatile border, Lebanese and Israeli media reported. 

Protest over Israel roils Toronto Film Festival 
12 Sep 2009 - Whether you're a film festival director, a college president or a secretary of State, you know that you've landed in Media Hell when Noam Chomsky, Jane Fonda and Harry Belafonte start signing open letters complaining about your policies. 

New York Times

Unsettled: West Bank Settlers Dig in, but Resolve May Have a Limit
13 Sep 2009 - Armed, ideological settlers are unlikely to engage in organized armed conflict with the Israeli military, as some fear, because their beliefs make them hesitant to turn against their own. 

Iran Opposition Leader’s Aide Is Freed
13 Sep 2009 - The release of the aide, Alireza Hosseini-Beheshti, appears to be a sign of retreat by the hard-core conservative authorities running Iran. 

Son of Israel’s First Astronaut Dies During Air Force Course
13 Sep 2009 - Lt. Assaf Ramon, whose father died in the space shuttle Columbia disaster in 2003, was killed Sunday when an F16-A plane he was piloting crashed in the West Bank. 


MIDEAST: To Rap Is to Resist
9/13/2009 - Inter Press Service - Eva Bartlett, Gaza City, Sep 12 (IPS) - In a backstreet open-air café in Gaza late at night, Khaled Harara from the Black Unit Band starts to talk about rap. A phone call interrupts him. "Oh my god, it's my dad, he will kill me because I'm not home yet. "Not quite the tough image one conjures of rappers. After assuring his father he's giving an interview, he's ok to stay. But that interruption brings up something he wants people to understand better: rap doesn't have to be what the corporate market makes it to be. "We are trying to show people that hip-hop can be good; it doesn't have to be about sex and drugs. We are returning rap to its old roots, talking about real issues. " His friend Ayman Mughames from Palestinian Rapperz joins him. "When we started in 2002, our message was to show the real life in Palestine and especially in Gaza," Mughames says. "We talk about cases, things that must be talked about: the Israeli occupation, the siege on Gaza, the Israeli wars on Gaza, Palestinian unity. " 

VIDEO - Farmers in Palestine create amazing produce in adverse conditions - and are fighting to export them
9/13/2009 - The Guardian - I'm standing in what remains of Taysir Sadia Yaseen's olive grove, looking up at a 12ft-high wire fence. It arrived in 2000 when the Israeli army, without any notice, bulldozed a trench on this rocky, precipitous hillside and erected it on his land, declaring it part of a "security buffer zone". He points to the Israeli settlement that the fence protects. It resembles a suburban dormitory town, like something out of The Truman Show, only fortified and on a hilltop. It is encircled by twice the area of land and served by a new road, exclusively for the use of Israeli settlers and prohibited to Palestinians. This road in turn is guarded by another, military, road with routine patrols - we can hear army trucks whizzing by - and, finally, the fence. Before the fence was built, Taysir was the proud owner of 1,000 olive trees, which had been in his family for as long as anyone can remember. 

U.S. pension fund giant confirms divestment from Israel firm
9/13/2009 - Ha'aretz - The U. S. pension fund giant, TIAA-CREF, confirmed in statements to the media on Friday that it divested from Africa Israel Investments, owned by Israeli billionaire Lev Leviev, earlier this year. The statements came in response to a letter initiated by a pro-Palestinian group, Adalah-NY, and signed by TIAA-CREF clients. The fund's investment in Africa Israel amounted to only $257,000, so the financial effect of the divestment is minimal. The news of the divestment came as the Israeli firm was suffering a deep financial crisis, having recently announced that is unable to meet its liabilities to its bondholders. Adalah NY noted in its press release that "Despite the recent divestment from Africa-Israel, the new June 30th TIAA-CREF report indicates that the fund continues to invest clients' money in a number of companies supporting Israeli settlement activity including Israel Discount Bank, Cellcom Israel, Bezeq Israeli Telecommunications Corp, Bank Leumi, and Motorola, among others. 

Palestinians line up for prayers ‘to protect Jerusalem’s identity’ 
9/12/2009 - Jordan Times - OCCUPIED JERUSALEM - Even in the worst moments in the decades-long conflict and despite the multiple Israeli checkpoints on the road from her house to Al Aqsa Mosque, 78-year-old Jerusalemite Um Basel has hardly ever missed prayers at the shrine. For the mother of 12 and grandmother of dozens, life is getting more and more difficult under Israeli occupation, but she, like many residents of the city’s outskirts, says praying at the third holiest shrine in Islam is worth the trouble. Every day since the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan, she made the journey all the way from Al Mokabber Mountain neighbourhood in the southern part of Jerusalem to pray at the mosque. For the past 35 years, Um Basel says, she has been struggling with Israeli restrictions on the movements of Arabs. " They are making our lives more difficult by imposing new regulations on the people who want to pray at 

Free Our Children Protest At Ofer Military Prison 
9/12/2009 - Palestine Monitor - PHOTOS - Last Monday, residents of Bil’in, a centre of non-violent resistance in the West Bank, gathered outside Ofer Military Prison to protest the detention of villagers for participating in peaceful protestsFor almost five years, the residents of Bil’in have been organizing weekly non-violent protests against the wall Israel is building which cuts them off from 60% of their land. In these creative and peaceful demonstrations, villagers and international supporters walk together to the wall, where they are routinely met with tear gas, sound bombs, rubber-coated steel bullets and live ammunition from the Israeli army. The Israeli government has been taking steps to crush the growing Palestinian nonviolent movement. Nineteen peaceful protesters have been killed in demonstrations against the wall. In the last three months, the Israeli army has arrested 29 residents of Bil’in for participating in demonstrations, 12 of whom are children. 

Israeli forces continue escalation of night raids of non-violent anti-Wall organizers 
9/12/2009 - International Middle East Media Center - Just after 2 am on Saturday morning, Israeli forces invaded the village of Bil'in, west of Ramallah in the central West Bank. The late-night raid is one of a series of similar raids carried out over the last month by Israeli troops against the village of Bil'in, which is a center of non-violent organizing against the Israeli Annexation Wall and Occupation of the West Bank. Organizers with the Popular committee Against the Wall in Bil'in say that they believe the escalation over the last month is an attempt by the Israeli military to crush the non-violent resistance in Palestine, as Israeli forces have abducted more than twenty young people who are known as organizers and participants in the weekly non-violent demonstrations in Bil'in. In Saturday morning's raid, Israeli troops raided two houses in an attempt to arrest Mohammed Ahmed Yasseen (age 21), and Yasseen Mohammed Yasseen (age 21). 


Palestine’s peaceful struggle 
Mohammed Khatib, The Nation 9/11/2009
      A few weeks ago, in the dead of night, dozens of Israeli soldiers with painted faces burst violently into my home. If only they had knocked, I would have opened the door. They arrested me. My wife, Lamia, was left alone with our four children. My youngest, 3-year-old Khaled, woke up to the image of Israeli soldiers with painted faces who were taking his father away. He has not stopped crying since. A few nights ago he woke up in terror, sobbing: "Daddy, why did you let the soldiers take me?" That’s the way our children sleep–in a constant state of fear. 
     Many Americans know that the Obama administration has been pushing the Israeli government to accept a freeze on settlement construction. What is not commonly known is that even as Israel negotiates with the United States, it has been taking steps, including my arrest, to crush the growing Palestinian nonviolent movement opposing Israel’s construction of settlements and the wall on Palestinian land in the West Bank.
     For over five years the residents of Bil’in and other villages have been protesting against Israel’s separation wall, which cuts off our village’s land for the sake of Israeli settlement expansion. We have even taken the struggle to the courts. The International Court of Justice at The Hague ruled in July 2004 that the wall, where it has been built inside the West Bank, is illegal under international law, as are all Israeli settlements. In September 2007, Israel’s Supreme Court ruled that the wall in Bil’in, which separates us from 50 percent of our land, is illegal according to Israeli law. The wall has yet to have moved.
     The Israeli army is using more-lethal weapons and greater violence against protesters, and arresting many people, including many protest organizers. In Bil’in alone, twenty-nine residents have been arrested in the past three months. Twelve of them are children. Almost all were arrested during military raids in the middle of the night. Their detention has been extended repeatedly. more.. e-mail

The Tel Aviv party stops here 
Naomi Klein, The Nation 9/9/2009
      When I heard the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) was holding a celebratory "spotlight" on Tel Aviv, I felt ashamed of Toronto, the city where I live. I thought immediately of Mona Al Shawa, a Palestinian women’s rights activist I met on a recent trip to Gaza. "We had more hope during the attacks," she told me. "At least then we believed things would change." 
     Al Shawa explained that while Israeli bombs rained down last December and January, Gazans were glued to their TVs. What they saw, in addition to the carnage, was a world rising up in outrage: global protests, as many as 100,000 on the streets of London, a group of Jewish women in Toronto occupying the Israeli Consulate. "People called it war crimes," Al Shawa recalled. "We felt we were not alone in the world." If Gazans could just survive, it seemed that their suffering could be the catalyst for change.
     But today, Al Shawa said, that hope is a bitter memory. The international outrage has evaporated. Gaza has vanished from the news. And it seems that all those deaths--as many as 1,400--were not enough to bring justice. Indeed, Israel is refusing to cooperate even with a UN fact-finding mission headed by respected South African judge Richard Goldstone.
     Last spring, while Goldstone’s mission was in Gaza gathering devastating testimony, the Toronto International Film Festival was making the final selections for its Tel Aviv spotlight, timed for the Israeli city’s hundredth birthday. There are many who would have us believe that there is no connection between Israel’s desire to avoid scrutiny for its actions in the occupied territories and the glittering Toronto premieres. I am sure that Cameron Bailey, TIFF’s co-director, believes that himself. He is wrong. more.. e-mail

Electronic Intifada
The Elders' visit to Bilin
11 Sep 2009 - Thursday, 27 August was a special day in Bilin. Dozens of blacked-out SUVs approached the village, disturbing the quiet of a usually peaceful morning. However, unlike the Israeli occupation forces who come at night to arrest boys from the village, this arrival was extremely welcome. The SUV passengers were a truly respected group of international diplomats, known as the Elders. Jody McIntyre writes from Bilin, occupied West Bank. 

Gaza's disabled cut off from payments
11 Sep 2009 - Yunis al-Masri was severely injured in a car wreck as he and his brothers traveled to work in Israel 24 years ago. He is entitled to a monthly allowance of $800 from Israel's National Insurance Institute, out of which he has supported his wife and 10 children in their home in Gaza. In early January, however, the transfers of disability benefits stopped arriving in his bank account in Gaza. About 700 other injured workers are in the same situation. Jonathan Cook reports. 

Israel targeting fishermen, farmers in Gaza
11 Sep 2009 - On 31 August, Israeli gunboats shot at and shelled the fishing trawler of Khaled al-Habil, destroying it completely and leaving the boat's 18 fishermen and their families without a source of income. One week earlier, on 24 August, Israeli soldiers along Gaza's northern border shot dead a young farm worker, Said al-Hussumi. Sixteen-year-old al-Hussumi was killed while working on land a few hundred meters from the border with his cousin Masoud Tanboura, who was seriously wounded. Eva Bartlett reports for The Electronic Intifada. 

Shebaa Farms "real issue" is water
11 Sep 2009 - BEIRUT (IRIN) - The politics of the Israeli-occupied Shebaa Farms, a rugged sliver of mountainside wedged between Lebanon, Israel and Syria, have long overshadowed what some Lebanese environmentalists call "the real issue" of the disputed area: its water resources. Now activists are calling for hydro-diplomacy to take precedence over political maneuvering as the most effective solution to one of the key stumbling blocks to Middle East peace. 

In Gaza
desperate, desperate: Gaza Ramadan day 23
13 Sep 2009 - * Hamsa al Bateran, outside his one-room home , April 2009 Yesterday Hamsa called me. It’s been a while since I’ve seen him, though I did visit his family two weeks ago –he was out, looking for work. Hamsa has never directly asked for any help. It has been due to my suggestions and the financing of outside supporters, that Hamsa accepted the small donations offered. His initial reaction was evident disgust at the notion of being helped by someone. I made clear that the donations being offered were in solidarity, were not intended to be a permanent reality rendering Hamsa aid-dependent. Rather, we acknowledged that his donkey had been killed...

Palestine Chronicle
Dividing War Spoils: Israel's Robbery of Palestinian Property
13 Sep 2009 - By Dr. Salman Abu Sitta While the news headlines were occupied with the freeze or suspension of Jewish settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories or with the competition for positions in the sixth Fateh conference in Bethlehem, Israel is putting into effect the most devastating operation since the ethnic cleansing of Palestine in al Nakba of 1948. This new operation aims to eliminate irrevocably Palestinian rights and historical roots in Palestine. Ironically, Arab and Palestinian leaderships remain oblivious to these cataclysmic developments. In particular, the Palestinian leadership, whose main duty is to defend Palestinian rights, is bogged down with the assignment of internal political posts and fighting what it sees as its primary enemy, Hamas. The Zionist leadership in Israel felt bold enough to transform the ideological slogan of ‘Jewish Israel’ into a reality on the ground. The Knesset, the Israel Parliament, passed a law on August 3rd, 2009, after its second and third readings, which allowed the sale of “Absentees” Palestinian refugees’ land to Jewish individuals and Jewish institutions exclusively anywhere in the world. Thus, the legal right of the original Palestinian owner to his land would be severed through creating a barrier between the owner and his property. The passing of the new law represents an audacious initiative by the current Israeli government that no previous Israeli government dared contemplate or venture into. It will be recalled that the State of Israel was founded on the land it occupied in Palestine in 1948/49. The conquered area is 20,255...

'Give Me a Rocket Launcher ..'
13 Sep 2009 - By Jim Miles A Canadian polling company, the Angus Reid Global Monitor, [1] indicates that the majority of the world's citizens express concerns about their countries' role in the war, and the majority wishes the troops to be removed. This includes the majority of the big hitters in NATO, and many other countries around the world. There are exceptions, with mixed results from U.S. polls indicating support for Obama but not necessarily for the war, and with India, a country with different political aspirations vis a vis Pakistan, still strongly supporting the Afghanistan occupation. Whither Democracy? The contrast is obvious, wherein the elites and corporate and political powers of the (mainly) western world wish to remain in Afghanistan for the putative democratic values that they call for, yet ignore that very same democracy in their own homelands. The typical argument would be that this is a 'difficult situation' with 'complex issues', the standard line that serves as the apologetics for continuing their war making. The simplistic argument is for 'democracy,' without understanding that democracy required hundreds of years of peasant and labour revolts and protests before it even came close to its current status in the western countries. If we are a democracy, if the other countries are democratic, the people are calling for the troops to be removed from Afghanistan. Democracy cannot be imposed at the barrel of a gun, especially in the situation of an occupying army with completely different cultural beliefs and systems trying to impose its...

Problems Defending Palestinians in Israeli Courts
13 Sep 2009 - By Stephen Lendman Established in 1992, the Addameer (Arabic for conscience) Prisoners Support and Human Rights Association provides support for Palestinian prisoners and works to end torture, arbitrary arrests and detentions, other forms of abuse, and unjust and unequal treatment in Israel's criminal justice system that handles Jews one way and Palestinians another. In January 2007, it published a report titled "Defending Palestinian Prisoners: A Report on the Status of Defense Lawyers in Israeli Courts" in which it explained obstacles lawyers face in representing Palestinians in military and civil courts. They're hampered by military orders, Israeli laws, and prison procedures that prevent them from adequately helping clients - from their time of arrest through detention, trial, imprisonment, appeal, and other constraints against justice. Yet international law is clear and unequivocal. Article 2, section 3(b)(c) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) states: ....persons "shall have (the) right (to effective remedy through a) competent judicial, administrative or legislative (authority), or by any other competent authority provided for the legal system of the State (to) ensure that the competent authorities shall enforce (judicial) remed(ies)." Article 14, section 1 states: "All persons shall be equal before the courts and tribunals (and) shall be entitled to a fair and public hearing by a competent, independent and impartial tribunal established by law." They shall "be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law." They're also entitled to competent counsel, may meet with them in confidence, and censorship of their written and oral...

Israel Blocks Money to Gaza's Disabled
11 Sep 2009 - By Jonathan Cook - Nazareth Yunis al Masri was luckier than his two brothers from Gaza. Although the truck that ploughed into their car as they travelled to work in Israel 24 years ago killed Jaber and Kamal instantly, Mr al Masri survived with shattered bones, internal bleeding and brain damage. Today, aged 49 and after many operations, he has difficulty walking and problems remembering to do things. Any hope of working again was crushed in 1985 amid the car wreckage. Like tens of thousands of other Palestinian manual labourers who worked inside Israel before Gaza was progressively sealed off to the outside world from the early 1990s, Mr. Al Masri had paid regularly into Israel's social security fund from his salary. Certified as disabled by an Israeli medical committee, he is entitled to a monthly allowance of $800 from Israel's National Insurance Institute, out of which he has supported his wife and 10 children in their home in Beit Hanoun, in northern Gaza. In early January, however, the transfers of disability benefits stopped arriving in his bank account in Gaza. About 700 other injured workers are in the same situation. The reason, they have learnt, is that while the Israeli army was rampaging through the Gaza Strip during its winter assault, the Bank of Israel severed ties with Gaza's banks. The ending of financial relations between Israel and Gaza, in a deepening of the three-year blockade of the Hamas-ruled enclave, means Mr. al Masri and other disabled workers have...

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