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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
16 September, 2009


International Middle East Media Center

Hamas: “P.A forces arrest three Hamas supporters”
17 Sep 2009 - The Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, stated that Palestinian security forces, loyal to president Mahmoud Abbas, arrested Tuesday three Hamas supporters in the West Bank. Hamas also accused the Palestinian Authoirty of firing five teachers due to their political affiliation. 

Abbas: “settlements are the biggest obstacle to peace”
17 Sep 2009 - Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, stated Wednesday that settlements are the main obstacle to peace, especially in Jerusalem, and added that the Israeli policies of demolishing Palestinian homes, and expelling families from their homes in Jerusalem hinder any chances for peace. 

Mitchell- Netanyahu meeting ends with no progress
16 Sep 2009 - The second meeting between U.S. Middle East Envoy, George Mitchell, and Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, ended on Wednesday meeting without any progress on the issue of settlement freeze. 

Israeli troops attack the village of Bil'in
16 Sep 2009 - Shortly after 1:30am on Wednesday, Israeli forces invaded Bil'in village, Central West Bank. Soldiers inured a number of people and ransacked houses. 

Israeli sources: home-made shells hit northern Israeli areas, no injuries reported
16 Sep 2009 - Israeli media sources reported that a number of Palestinian home-made shells hit the northern Israeli areas on Wednesday.

Nablus: eight new cases of H1N1, total since yesterday reach 15 cases
16 Sep 2009 - Eight new cases of H1N1 cases or better known as swine flu were discovered on Wednesday in the northern West Bank city of Nablus.

Netanyahu holds a meeting with the ministerial cabinet
16 Sep 2009 - Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, held a meeting on Tuesday at night with his ministerial council to discuss the outcome of his Tuesday morning talks with U.S. envoy George Mitchell. 

Ha'aretz Defense page

Goldstone to Israel: Probe war crimes detailed in UN Gaza report
16 Sep 2009 - UN investigator: Israel can avoid charges being filed at Int'l Criminal Court by launching 'open' probes. 

IDF to raze 100 roadblocks across West Bank
16 Sep 2009 - Move part of effort to improve life for Palestinians; roadblocks were erected at start of second intifada. 

Aluf Benn / In wake of UN Gaza probe, how can Israel go to war again?
15 Sep 2009 - The UN report on Cast Lead saps international legitimacy for a similar IDF operation in the future. 

Ex-IDF commandos rescue U.S. citizen, son from abusive Palestinian husband
16 Sep 2009 - After learning of her predicament, woman's parents contacted Israeli who served in an elite IDF unit. 

Settler rabbi faces trial for not naming suspected attackers
15 Sep 2009 - Rabbi Geniram refused to give police names of students suspected of beating Palestinian shepherds. 

Ma'an News

Israeli forces take at least seven civilians from across the WB
9/16/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - Israeli forces invaded five of the 11 West Bank districts overnight and into early Wednesday morning, detaining seven Palestinians including one woman. The Public Relations office of the Palestinian police said most of the seizures were from the northern West Bank, In Nablus, Israeli patrols marauded the streets of the city center from midnight until sunrise. Forces stormed several houses in Askar Refugee Camp and took a woman from the Az-Zamel family. She was transported to an unknown location. In Qalqilyia district, Israeli soldiers detained 25-year-old Husam Ghalib Hussein Masalha from Hajja village. Moving south to the Ramallah municipality, forces targeted the village of Kobur and seized 25-year-old Inad Mahmoud Asfour Al-Barghouthi and 29-year-old Mazen Saker Al-Barghouthi. From the nearby Al-Mazra Al-Gharbieh (the Western Farm), troops detainedMaher Muhammad Yousef. 

Israeli forces target family of anti-wall protest organizer in Bil’in
9/16/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - Israeli soldiers backed by six armored vehicles broke into the home of Abdallh Abu Rahmah, coordinator of the Bil'in Popular Committee's Anti Wall protests staged each Friday. The troops ransacked the home, questioned the family and delivered an arrest warrant. Speaking following the home invasion Abu Rahmah said that Israeli forces surrounded his house as well as his brother Rateb's home and his brother Khalid's home. In each location soldiers searched the building, destroyed furniture, intimidated residents and frightened young children. Troops also delivered an order that Abu Rahmeh deliver himself to the Israeli military court at Ofer. Abu Rahmah's wife and children were herded into one room of the home and questioned by Israeli soldiers as others went through the rooms. Soldiers also attacked international peace activists as they tried to intervene in the home invasion. 

Following 36-hour delay, Rachel Corrie delegation arrives in Gaza
9/16/2009 - Rafah - Ma'an - "The crossing only took about 36 hours," Craig Corrie, father of slain American activist Rachel Corrie said on entering the Gazan city of Rafah Wednesday afternoon, "that's only one hour per mile. "The delegation's efforts to reach the Strip where they planned to attend the Rachel Corrie Memorial Ramadan Soccer Tournament were stymied Tuesday as Mr and Mrs Corrie, who had contacted both Egyptian and American officials in the Middle East and Washington, attempted to negotiate the inscrutable Egyptian security apparatus. On Tuesday the group were told they would not be allowed into the area where the Corrie's daughter was run down by an armored Israeli bulldozer in 2003. Craig Corrie's reaction, after "going through the layers of Egyptian bureaucracy" and gaining access to the Strip, was to note that what the delegation "managed to do with a bit of hassle should be a right for all those stranded in Gaza. 

After the massacre: Sabra and Shatila, 27 years later
9/17/2009 - Beirut - Ma'an - "That is the old Israeli watchtower and entrance to Sabra," a man on the street pointed, standing in front of the Sabra and Shatila Palestinian Refugee Camps. Below the tower, quarantined like a civil war time capsule, were the camps left to fend for themselves on the outskirts of Beirut. No more than 20 meters past the former Israeli watchtower, in an empty lot, is the memorial for the victims of the 1982 Lebanon Civil War massacre. Camp residents say the site was once a mass grave for the slain. The memorial was a single-track dirt path linking a series of billboards with images of the dead. The massacre's perpetrators were of the predominantly Christian Phalange party: supplied, supported and supervised by onlooking Israeli soldiers. The Phalangist pogrom was clear. What was not, however, was the extent of the crime. 

UN’s Goldstone tells Ma’an: Israel has yet to deny our findings
9/16/2009 - Washington - Ma'an - Despite its outrage, Israel has not disputed any single allegation contained in a bombshell United Nations report released on Tuesday, according to its author, Richard Goldstone, in an interview the same day. "There hasn't been any attempt thus far to deal with the contents of the report at all," insisted the former South African justice, who was appointed to head the UN Human Rights Council's investigation of the assault last winter that left some 1,400 Palestinians dead by mid-January. Goldstone, an expert on international law and the laws of war, was chief UN prosecutor for the Yugoslavia and Rwanda post-conflict international criminal tribunals in the early 1990s, and later chaired the international independent panel on Kosovo. After a six-month inquiry, his UN Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict released a stream of allegations on Tuesday against. . . 

No fuel or fodder for Gaza as one crossing remains open
9/16/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Israeli authorities will open one crossing into the Gaza Strip Wednesday, keeping the fuel and fodder transport points closed, Palestinians were informed early in the day. Palestinian crossings official Raed Fattouh said it was expected Israel would allow 111- 121 truckloads of aid into Gaza through the Kerem Shalom crossing. On Monday and Tuesday all three crossing points were open, though Sunday saw Karni and Nahal Oz shut as well. [end] 

Former Deputy PM Ash-Sha’er to be released from Israeli prison
9/16/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - The Israeli army is expected to release Former Deputy Prime Minister andMinister of Education Naser Ash-Sha'er, an Israeli High Court decided Wednesday. Ash-Sha'er has been in administrative detention for two consecutive three month periods and was held without charge in the Magido and Negev prison facilities. A court decision said the period of detention would not be renewed, and the lawmaker, popular with both Fatah and Hamas, is expected to be released in the coming days. On 19 March Israeli forces conducted sweeping raids across the West Bank targeting Hamas leaders and members of the Palestinian Legislative Council in a seeming attempt to push forward negotiations over the release of captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Ash-Sha'er was detained along with nine others. Ash-Sha'er is well known for his continued efforts to achieve Palestinian internal conciliation,. . . 

Egyptian police kill two African migrants; injure three
9/16/2009 - Al-Arish - Ma'an - Egyptian border patrols killed two, and injured three African migrants as they attempted to sneak into Israel via Egypt on Wednesday. According to Egyptian security sources a routine border patrol found five Africans attempting to cross the barbed wire fence from the Sinai desert into Egypt. Police warned the group to stop with gunshots in the air, but when they continued trying to enter Israeli the border patrol opened fire killing two, and wounding three. The injured were taken to a hospital in Rafah along with the two dead who were identified as 25-year-olds Seri Sivai, and Tsvi Malam. [end] 

Israel tightens security in Jerusalem on Laylat Al-Qader
9/16/2009 - Jerusalem - Ma'an - Security forces in Jerusalem intend to tighten security in the Old City for the celebration of the 27th day of Ramadan,Laylat Al-Qadr, according to sources on Wednesday. Large numbers of Israeli soldiers will be posted in the Old City, and cars will not be permitted to enter the its walls during the celebration which marks the day Muslims believe the first verses of the holy Qur'an were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. According to Israeli sources the security measures are being taken to facilitate what is expected to be an especially large number of worshipers to the Al-Aqsa Mosque for prayers on Wednesday night. [end] 

Wild boars attack Palestinian lands in Salfit
9/16/2009 - Salfit - Ma'an - Wild boars entered the residential areas of Salfit, destroying Palestinian farmland and causing the loss of crops, locals reported Wednesday. Head of agricultural workers in the Salfit district Khalil E'mran, said "herds of big boars attacked the farmland near the village of Al-Matwi destroying fig trees and vine groves. "He urged a swift removal of the boars for fear they might be carrying the swine flu virus. E'mran noted that herds of boars like these have been causing massive losses to Palestinian farmers year after year destroying walls, gardens, trees and even injuring three residents over the past few years. Many locals believe the boars are let loose by Israeli settlers from nearby settlements. 

Gaza: Khan Younis building comes under Israeli fire
9/16/2009 - Bethlehem/Gaza - Ma'an - Israeli forces targeted a building in eastern Khan Younis, launching at least one shell, but caused no damage or injuries. The attack came after Israeli media sources reported Gazan fighters launched a projectile toward Israeli targets. The report said the projectile landed on the Gazan side of the border fence. [end] 

Israel releases 60-year-old Palestinian after 13 months in prison
9/16/2009 - Hebron - Ma'an - Israeli forces released 60-year-old Ahmad Al-Keek after the ailing Palestinian spent 13 months in administrative detention. He was held without charge and released on Wednesday. When faced with a fourth extension of his illegal detention, Al-Keek sought an appeal and won in the Israeli courts. The man suffers from a heart condition and spent several months in the Ar-Ramla prison hospital, but has received no surgeries or effective treatments. Israeli forces seized Al-Keek from his home in the village of Dura south of the West Bank city of Hebron on 17 August 2008. [end] 

Israel to remove 16% of West Bank road blocks before Eid
9/16/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israel will remove 100 of its 613 roadblocks that riddle the West Bank, a military statement announced Wednesday. The roadblocks, earth mounds, access gates, guard towers, trenches and road barriers that Israeli military forces installed in the West Bank beginning in 2000 block the access of Palestinians to swaths of land, other villagesand cities within the Israeli occupied area. Militarized checkpoints between the occupied West Bank and Israel and Israeli annexed areas bar Palestinians from leaving the West Bank. These checkpoints will not be removed under the current Israeli announcement. On order of the Israeli military chief Gabi Ashkenazi and Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, a statement said, "the decision to carry out these improvements was made. " The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) marked a trend in Israeli checkpoint. . . 

Deadlock prevails over settlements between Mitchell and Netanyahu
9/16/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an -Two rounds of failed talks between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US Special Envoy George Mitchell see deadlock remain over issue of settlement construction. The two will meet again Friday following Mitchell's meetings with Palestinian, Lebanese, Jordanian and Qatari leaders. "It's time for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, to be courageous and tell his people in a direct way that the Israeli Palestinian conflict is over,"Netanyahu told Israeli press following a cabinet meeting to review the first failed talks over settlement construction. Mitchell and Netanyahu first met Tuesday morning and failed to reach an agreement on the issue of a settlement freeze, the major stumbling block to a tripartite sit down between Abbas, Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the upcoming UN General Assembly meeting in New York. 

Hamas slams Mitchell failure to get Israeli concessions on settlements
9/16/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - The United States "can't stop the Israeli attacks and can't bring backPalestinian rights" Hamas spokesperson Fawzi Barhoum said Wednesday following the failed efforts of US Envoy George Mitchell to persuade Israeli leadership to halt settlement activity. "Palestinians are the ones to suffer from the weak position of the international community with respect to Israel, especially regarding the siege of Gaza, confiscated land, and the building and expansion of Israeli settlements," Barhoum added after news of Mitchell's second meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to see the two reach an agreement on the issue of a settlement freeze, which Palestinians have set as a precondition for a tripartite meetingat the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting later this month preempting peace talks between the sides. 

EU-sponsored radio quiz show gives awards to local winners
9/16/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Ma'an network distributed awards for the winners of the radio program From Here and There's quiz show, funded by the European Union. The program's questions aim to raise public awareness of the role and history of the EU. A student at An-Najah University Mustafa Jawhary from the northern West Bank city of Jenin won a mobile phone and praised the educational role the program takes on through its questions. For instance ,one of the questions asked, "What'ts the EU's largest city? " The questions span the breadth of European trivia from geography, history, art and music. "From Here and There" is a Ma'an production and is broadcast on all the associated radio stations in the Palestinian governorates at the same time. Awards for winners in Jenin, Tulkarem, and Qalqiliya were distributed today, and winners from other districts will receive their awards during the next few days. 

PM Fayyad meets with UNICEF’s Goodwill Ambassador Mahmoud Kabil
9/16/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad met with Egyptian actor and UN Children's Fund Goodwill Ambassador for the Middle East and North Africa (UNICEF) Mahmoud Kabil on Wednesday morning. The two discussed the Palestinian Authority's (PA) recent passing of the Palestinian Child Law, and UNICEF's solidarity with the Palestinian people to achieve their human rights including the right of all Palestinian children to an education without obstacles or impediments. Kabil noted that UNICEF provides school supplies, medicine, and vaccinations to Palestinian students. The prime minister praised UNICEF's role in alleviating the suffering of the Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and Kabil's decision to see the work UNICEF is doing in the territories firsthand. 

Netanyahu: Meeting with Abbas, Obama not arranged
9/16/2009 - Jerusalem - Ma'an - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that a tripartite meeting between him, US President Barack Obama, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has not been arranged, Israeli radio reported on Wednesday. The statement comes in the wake of US Envoy George Mitchell's three day visit to the region during which he hoped to prepare for the proposed October talks at the United Nations in New York. According to the radio broadcast Netanyahu plans to go to New York to speak at the United Nations on Thursday to represent Israel and deliver a speech to the General Assembly. He also said that he would shorten his stay in New York due to his having to share Manhattan Island with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who will also be attending the UN meeting. President Obama has been pressuring Israel and the Palestinian Authority to resume peace talks since Netanyahu came to power in March. 

Abbas appoints Majid Faraj head of Palestinian general intelligence
9/16/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas issued a presidential decree appointing Major General Majid Faraj as head of the Palestinian General Intelligence Service on Tuesday. The Major General replaces Muhammad Mansour as the forth man to head to largest Palestinian intelligence service first run by Amin Al-Hindi, then Twafiq Tirawi, before Mansour took over. Faraj was born in 1962 in the village of Ras Abu Ammar in what was formerly Jerusalem district. He now lives south of Bethlehem in the Duheisha refugee camp. The new intelligence director studied in UNRWA schools, and faced a year and a half in Israeli prison after being detained by Israeli security forces while still in high school. Faraj was to be detained on a further 15 occasions after that serving time in Al-Fari'a detention center, Dhahiriyya Jail, the Russian Compound, Hebron, Nablus, Atlit, and the Negev prisons for a total of 6 years. 

Haniyeh to release Jund Ansar Allah fighters following mosque takeover
9/16/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - De facto Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh announced that his government will releases dozens of detainees in the taken prisoner when the ultra-Islamic group Jund Ansr Allah (soldiers for god) took over a Rafah mosque and declared the city an Islamic emirate. At least 24 were killed in the clashes, including two young girls who were bystanders, and an unknown number of the group's supporters were arrested in the days following the clash. During an Iftar dinner speech Tuesday, Haniyeh said the government had "decided to release dozens of detainees from the Rafah event on the occasion of Eid Al-Fiter holiday. "Haniyeh was breaking the Ramadan fast alongside a group ofMuslim scholars, Imams, members of the Palestinian Legislative Council, district mayors and ministers in Haniyeh'sgovernment when he made the announcement. 

Fayyad visits Jlem area villages, praises residents’ steadfastness
9/16/2009 - Jerusalem - Ma'an - Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad visited the house of Sabri Gharib in the village of Beit Ijza on Wednesday praising his resistance to settlement expansion and continued participation in sharing his story speaking at ceremonies. Gharib's home is located in the center of an Israeli settlement known as Gev'un Hadasha and is surrounded by barbed wires and an electronic gate which separates the house from the rest of Beit Ijza. Fayyad praised the steadfastness of the Gharib family against acts perpetrated by settlers since the settlement was built in that area. Hetoured the villages of Northwest Jerusalem on Tuesday, including Beit Ijza, Al-Qubeiba, Biddu, Beit Surik, Beit Anan, Kharayib Umm Al-Lahim, and Qatanna. He was joined by local village heads, heads of security departments, and a number of other senior figures during a ceremony opening a new. . . 

Haniyeh: Egyptian proposal a 'beginning,' prefer conciliation first
9/16/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - "The Egyptian proposal on Palestinian conciliation has the beginnings of a plan that could be built on, but needs more study," de facto Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said Wednesday. Haniyeh spoke at a sit-in protesting West Bank leaders' decision to prevent Speaker of the Palestinian LegislativeCouncil Aziz Dweik from resuming his duties after being released from Israeli prison on 23 June following more than three years in detention. Dweik, affiliated with Hamas, called for steps toward unity as soon as he was released. He was received in the West Bank by a milt-party delegation, and Fatah's leader and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas telephoned Dweik to congratulate him on his release. Addressing the other sit-in participants, Haniyeh elaborated on his position vis-à-vis the Egyptian plan, saying "any presidential and Legislative elections should be. . . 

Islamic School children 13 of 15 H1N1 cases diagnosed in Nablus
9/16/2009 - Nablus - Ma'an - The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Ramallah diagnosed eight new cases of the H1N1 virus in Nablus Wednesday, following the announcement that a Nabus school would be closed after at least seven students there were diagnosed with H1N1 on Tuesday. Of the latest 15 cases, diagnosed in the last 24 hours, 14 of the patients are school age. Six of the latest cases are from the Islamic School in Nablus, which was closed Tuesday, one of the student's mothers also caught the virus, and a seemingly unrelated high-school student was the final case. As'ad Ar-Ramlawi, head of the health care department in the ministry, said the increase in cases from the Islamic School should be stemmed following its closure, noting it was "no more than a preventative procedure. " The ministry also said it was carrying out comprehensive medical exams in the Girl's School in Nablus in case a second outbreak is detected there. 

Palestinian youth football team heads to Italy for training camp
9/16/2009 - Jericho - Ma'an - A youth football team from Jericho prepared to fly to Italy Wednesday, where they will represent Palestine in an international youth football tournament sponsored by FC Internazionale Milano. The team's coach Ahmad Eid will accompany the kids on their journey to Italy and take part in the training. The team will play rivals from Mexico, Lebanon, Bolivia, Romania, China, Bosnia, and several other countries. The seven team members are: Oday Ghrouf, Firas Awajneh, Musa Al-Maghreby, Layth Barahmeh, Muhammad Jalayta, Oreib Shaker and Muhammad Gharouf. [end] 

Cars now smuggled into Gaza Strip through tunnels as siege continues
9/16/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Gazan tunnel smugglers marked a first on Wednesday when workers managed to bring the first car into the besieged area through the underground passage, a tunnel employee bragged. Tunnel worker Abu Abdullah said the cars are disassembled before transport through the more than kilometer long tunnels that snake beneath the Egypt-Gaza border between 250 to 500 meters below ground. Smuggling a car into the Strip, Abu Abdallah said, costs anywhere from 1,800 to 2,000 US dollars. Once through, the car is reassembled and sold. The most common orders are reportedly for Mitsubishi Lancers and Suzukis, which are bought in Egypt with the purpose of smuggling them into Gaza. Israel has banned the importation of cars, and car parts into Gaza as part of their three-year-long siege of the territory prompting locals to smuggle their needs through an extensive network of tunnels along the Gaza Strip's southern border. 

The National

Israel on defensive after Gaza report
16 Sep 2009 - Officials denounce the UN investigation that alleges war crimes and crimes against humanity were committed on both sides of offensive.

Time running out on US deal to suspend Jewish settlements
16 Sep 2009 - George Mitchell again failed to reach agreement with the Israeli prime minister, on a suspension of Jewish settlement construction in occupied territory.

No sign of settlement deal after US-Israel talks
16 Sep 2009 - The US and Israel end another round of talks with no sign yet of a deal on a West Bank settlement freeze.

US presses Israel for settlement deal
16 Sep 2009 - With the first of a series of meetings ending without agreement, George Mitchell and Benjamin Netanyahu will meet again today to finalise pact on a construction freeze. 


UN: Israel terrorised Gazans in war
16 Sep 2009 - Palestinian groups also accused of war crimes, though Israel given harsher criticism.

Israeli guards 'humiliated inmates'
16 Sep 2009 - Palestinian women accuse Israeli guards of conducting degrading internal body searches.

Alternative Information Center

Neve Gordon's Academic Freedom 
16 Sep 2009 - It’s not easy to find a country in the Middle East whose universities honor academic freedom as we know it in most Western countries. Syria is a police state, comparable in some ways to North Korea...

The Goldstone Report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict
15 Sep 2009 - Executive Summary To examine the whole report, click here . A. Introduction 1. On 3 April 2009, the President of the Human Rights Council established the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict with the...

The Participation of Ariel University’s Center Of Samaria in The Solar Decathlon, Madrid 2010
14 Sep 2009 - To: Beatriz Corredor Sierra, Minister of Housing, Government of Spain. Javier Uceda Antolín, Rector, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Illegal Israeli settlements should not be promoted as a form of sustainable architecture. The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and...

Jerusalem Court Halts Jewish Construction in Silwan
14 Sep 2009 - The Jerusalem District Court has ruled in favor of the residents of the Wadi Hilwa-Silwan Neighborhood of East Jerusalem - who petitioned against massive Jewish construction works there; Construction halted was initiated by the Elad Association,...

Palestine News Network

Arab Doctors Union brings 11 trucks of medical and educational supplies to Gaza
16 Sep 2009 - Gaza / PNN – With Egypt opening its shared border with the Gaza Strip for the second day, the Arab doctors union was able to introduce 11 trucks loaded with medical and educational supplies. The Union of Arab Doctors Committee for Relief and Emergency responded to calls from the Ministries of Health and Education, Mohammad Majdalawi told the press Wednesday.With most medicines and...

Israeli forces storm East Jerusalem neighborhood, arrest Palestinians for protesting shooting
16 Sep 2009 - Jerusalem / Maisa Abu Ghazaleh for PNN – A large contingent of Israeli police, border guards and special forces raided the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Wadi Helwa this morning. The neighborhood, part of Silwan, is under continued threat of Israeli settlement as plans move forward to evict more families and build a “city of david”.This was also the site of a shooting on...

Palestinians demonstrate for opening of Gaza and release of prisoners, Israelis want tightened siege
16 Sep 2009 - Gaza Strip / PNN - Hundreds of Palestinians held a nonviolent protest at the Shejaiyeh / Nahal Oz crossing in eastern Gaza City this afternoon. Wednesday’s sit-in, organized by the Popular Committee against the Siege, demanded the release of Palestinians from Israeli prisons and the opening of the crossings.The siege on the Gaza Strip has been in place for three years, and with closed...

PPS interviews: In Jilboa prison there is no Ramadan, no education
16 Sep 2009 - Jenin / PNN – Political prisoners in the Israeli Jilboa Prison were unable to obtain provisions for Ramadan when daily fasting changes dietary needs, the Palestinian Prisoner Society reported today. In separate interviews conducted by PPS, it was revealed that living conditions imposed during the month were particularly difficult in the northern prison.Mohamed Ahmed is sentenced to life in prison. He told a...

Armed resistance accepts UN report on war crimes while Israelis claim bias
16 Sep 2009 - Gaza City / PNN – In a statement issued by Hamas after the latest United Nations report on the Israeli attacks in Gaza, the party said, “The UN report constitutes irrefutable proof that the Zionist occupier committed crimes against humanity”. The United Nations fact-finding report was published late Tuesday and wrote that the Israeli military and Palestinian armed resistance fighters committed war crimes...

Ramadan cultural evening in Tubas focuses on literary achievement and love of the written word
15 Sep 2009 - Jenin / Ali Samoudi for PNN - The Assembly Hall in Tubas hosted an evening for Ramadan marked by the love of the written word and cultural knowledge. Citizens of all ages, united by their love of literature, came together for a Ramadan evening this week.The evening featured literary readings and cultural competition. Valuable books were used as prizes for the contests that...

Hamas to issue reservations to Egyptian paper upon return of political bureau chief from pilgrimage
15 Sep 2009 - Damascus / PNN – Hamas has a number of reservations to the Egyptian paper of proposals to end the conflict between the movement and the Fateh party. Sources in Hamas told Al Hayat that the party would finalize its position in writing within days upon the return of the political bureau chief Khaled Meshal from performing Umrah in Saudi Arabia.Cairo has been involved...


Analysis: Looming water crisis in Gaza
GAZA CITY Tuesday, September 15, 2009 (IRIN) - Unless urgent action is taken, the supply of water fit for human use in the Gaza Strip will be depleted in 5-10 years, according to the Gaza Coastal Municipal Water Utility (CMWU) and UN agencies working there.

In Brief: DRC’s North Kivu Province becoming riskier for aid workers
NAIROBI Monday, September 14, 2009 (IRIN) - Security incidents against humanitarian workers in North Kivu Province of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have increased by 26 percent since January compared to the same period last year, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Analysis: Shebaa Farms key to Levant hydro-diplomacy
BEIRUT Thursday, September 10, 2009 (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.

Inter Press Service

MIDEAST: Gaza's Water Supply Near Collapse 
RAMALLAH, Sep 16 (IPS) - The International Committee of the Red Cross has warned that Gaza's access to safe supply of drinking water could cease at any time. The World Health Organisation (WHO) says outbreaks of disease could be triggered as a consequence.

MIDEAST: Israel Struggles to Wriggle Out of the Dock 
JERUSALEM, Sep 16 (IPS) - The Goldstone Commission has delivered an unremittingly scathing report on Israel's 22-day war against Hamas in Gaza last December and January.

POLITICS: U.N. Team on War Crimes Condemns Israel, Hamas 
UNITED NATIONS, Sep 15 (IPS) - A four-member United Nations fact-finding mission, which has just concluded an investigation into last year's brutal conflict in Gaza, makes a strong case for war crimes charges against Israel for its unrelenting 22-day military attacks on Palestinians, largely civilians, including women and children.

RIGHTS: Govt Enforcing Ramadan Fast 
CAIRO, Sep 15 (IPS) - Hundreds of Egyptians are reported to have been arrested for eating, drinking or smoking in public during daylight hours as part of a police campaign against people caught breaking the Ramadan fast.

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. [

Two injured in Bi’lin weekly protest
15 Sep 2009 - The weekly demonstration went as normal this week in Bil’in, with Occupation forces firing on unarmed demonstrators as they approached their isolated lands. Two were injured and dozens more affected by tear gas during the action. [

PCHR Latest

Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Support Work and Recommendations of UN Fact Finding Mission: Demand Effective Judicial Redress and the Protection of Victims’ Rights

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
PCHR Strongly Condemns New Israeli Settlement Plans in the West Bank 08 September

International Solidarity Movement

Israeli forces raid Bil’in, beat Popular Committee member
9/16/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Around 1:30am, the Israeli army invaded Bil'in. Soldiers came to the home of Abdullah Mahmoud Abu Rahme , coordinator of the Bil'in Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements, to arrest him. Abu Rahme was not at home at the time and soldiers proceeded to destroy belongings in his house. When another member of the Popular Committee, Mohammad Khatib, arrived to check on Abu Rahme's wife and 3 small children, Israeli forces severely beat him. Khatib was taken to Ramallah hospital for medical treatment. International solidarity activists were prevented from entering the home and a Palestinian cameraman trying to film the invasion was pushed around and had his camera broken. Israeli forces destroy the home of Abdullah Abu Rahme Afterward, soldiers raided the home of Abdullah's brother, Khaled Abu Rahme, threatening to continue harassment until Abduallah is arrested. The army also trashed a room in Khaled's home, stealing banners and flags used during weekly demonstrations. 

Settlers attack Nablus-area village of Burin
9/16/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Settlers set fire to Burin property - On the evening of Sunday 13 September at approximately 21:00 masked settlers from the illegal settlement of Bracha, armed with guns, set alight tyres and sprayed gasoline on the roof of a house under construction in the village of Burin just south of Nablus. Palestinians in neighbouring homes saw the blaze and retreating settlers and called the local fire brigade who came to extinguish the flames. International activists then joined local Palestinians in a 24 hour vigil of the house which has come under constant attack since the beginning of its construction a year go. At 2am in the morning international activists and Palestinians witnessed two settlers on the upper Burin road near to the home. The group managed to chase the settlers away before any damage was done. At 4. 30am 2 settlers again approached the home and were seen throwing stones before being chased from the scene. 

Settler shoots Nablus-area shepherd
9/16/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - 15 September 2009 - Nader was shot in the chest while trying to protect his brother - On the morning of Tuesday 15 September, at approximately 8:30am, a Palestinian shepherd from the Palestinian village of Einabus, to the south of Nablus, was shot and two others beaten by Israeli settlers. 11 settlers from the illegal Yitzhar settlement, 3 of them masked and all armed with M-16s attacked Hazzaì Allan and his sheep as he grazed his flock on a hill close to the village, killing 15 sheep and stealing 10 more. The settlers ordered Hazzai down on to the ground, beating him and spraying him and his dog with pepper spray. Hazzai's brother Nader responded to a distress call Hazzai had managed to make and was shot in the chest while attempting to protect his brother from further beating. Villagers attempted to chase the settlers away and a third man, Abdil Rhamn, the nephew of Nader, was beaten with heavy grazing to the head. 

Goldstone testimonies revealed
9/16/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - YNet News - An in-depth look into the Goldstone Report probing the events of Operation Cast Lead in Gaza reveals the official first-hand testimonies from the days of the war. The testimonies were given by family members who lost their loved ones and eyewitnesses to the fighting, and they shed some personal light on what happened in Gaza. All testimonies where deemed credible by the United Nations-appointed inquiry team, and were compatible with other reports received. Here are just some of the testimonies:The shooting of Iyad al-Samoni - On the night of January 4, 2008, Iyad al-Samoni stayed with his wife, five children and 40 other members of his extended family in one a relative's house. Around 1am, sounds were heard coming from the roof, and some four hours later, Israeli soldiers came down the steps, knocked on the door and entered the house. 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

Ari Shavit / UN must hold Obama to same standard as Israel 
16 Sep 2009 - Some two weeks ago American airplanes fired on two oil tankers in northern Afghanistan. It was a German officer who'd asked the U.S. air force to attack the tankers in the middle of the night, in a populated area. The attack was successful - the two tankers were hit, went up in flames and were destroyed. But the overwhelming American-German air attack killed some 70 people. Some of those brought to hospitals were severely injured - with mutilated faces, burned hands and charred bodies. ... 

Amira Hass / The one thing worse than denying the Gaza report 
16 Sep 2009 - On Friday an Israel Defense Forces soldier called to protest the publication of another story in Haaretz which in his words, tainted not only the troops' image but also his Sabbath day. ... 

IDF: UN Gaza report biased, radical and groundless 
16 Sep 2009 - Military Advocate General Brig. Gen. Avichai Mendelblit Wednesday denounced the United Nations report accusing Israel of war crimes in Gaza as "biased" and said it blatantly overstepped the commission's mandate. ... 

Israel seeks Obama backing over Gaza war probe 
16 Sep 2009 - Israel Wednesday asked a number of senior members of the Obama administration to assist in curbing the international fallout from the Goldstone Commission report released this week, which accuses Israel of committing war crimes in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead. ... 

Netanyahu calls UN Gaza probe a 'kangaroo court' against Israel
15 Sep 2009 - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday blasted a United Nations probe into Israel's winter offensive against Hamas as nothing but a "kangaroo court," after the investigators accused Israel of committing war crimes in a report. ...

The Guardian

Israel and the Arabs: Dangerous real estate
16 Sep 2009 - In most countries, housing starts are a statistic for the back of the business pages. In the West Bank they are the stuff of war and peace. Never more so than at this moment, when President...

Crusading Spanish judge could join a war crimes case against Israel or Hamas
16 Sep 2009 - Baltasar Garzón, the crusading magistrate who had General Augusto Pinochet of Chile arrested in London, is one of a number of Spanish judges who could take on a war crimes case against Israel or Hamas, according...

UN report that will be difficult for Israeli government to ignore
16 Sep 2009 - International criminal justice would be "immensely damaged" by a failure to implement any of the recommendations of the UN report, experts said, as Israel and armed groups in Gaza announced their refusal to implement independent investigations....

US actor Jane Fonda backs away from Israel row at Toronto film festival
16 Sep 2009 - Dispute over festival's City to City spotlight on Tel Aviv causes rift among major Hollywood names Jane Fonda has stood with North Vietnam and against the war in Iraq. But Israel has proven to be a...

Ha'aretz National page

Israel Bar to discipline lawyer over courtroom remarks 
16 Sep 2009 - In an unusual step, the executive committee of the Israel Bar Association's Jerusalem district decided to begin disciplinary proceedings against Kobi Kamer, a well-known Jerusalem defense lawyer, on Tuesday, due to several harsh remarks that he made about the judges over the course of a trial. ... 

Shofar blowers raise the roof at first-of-a-kind conference 
16 Sep 2009 - Over 100 shofar blowers gathered Wednesday at a first-of-its-kind and somewhat ear-splitting conference for men who desperately needed to practice and receive their colleagues' encouragement before the moment of truth - Sunday, when they will put the traditional ram's horn to their lips and coax from it the plaintive calls that form one of the most moving moments of the Rosh Hashanah holiday. ... 

Israelis go wild for Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds
15 Sep 2009 - Tarantino introduces World War II epic to Israelis by asking: Are you ready to kill some Nazis? 

Relief Web

Israel starts removing 100 West Bank roadblocks: army
16 Sep 2009 - Source: Trend

United Nations convening power unites people, its impartiality bridges deep divides, says UN SG on International Day of Democracy
16 Sep 2009 - Source: UN Secretary-General

Council concludes debate on update of High Commissioner, holds dialogue with Representative for Children and Armed Conflict
16 Sep 2009 - Source: UN Human Rights Council

YNet News

Palestinian from Bilin claims beaten by soldiers
16 Sep 2009 - Anti-fence activist says he was attacked at friend's home while foreigners confronted troops outside 

Checkpoints packed ahead of Ramadan prayer 
16 Sep 2009 - Tens of thousands of Palestinians attempt to reach festive Temple Mount prayer ahead of conclusion of holy Muslim month. Arabs hurls stones at Border Guard forces near Jerusalem 

New cars being smuggled into Gaza
16 Sep 2009 - For rich Gazans only: 2009-model vehicles brought from Egypt in pieces and assembled in Strip 

Syrian president says Israel not a partner 
16 Sep 2009 - Assad sits down with Turkish prime minister in Istanbul to consider how to restart peace talks, but Syrian leader says Jewish state's presence at negotiation table is only 'virtual' 

Netanyahu: Goldstone Report 'a prize for terror' 
16 Sep 2009 - Prime minister joins President Peres in harshly criticizing UN committee's conclusions on IDF operation in Gaza. 'The report's findings were prewritten. This field court-martial makes it difficult for democracies to fight terror,' he says. Deputy FM: Report mustn't reach UN discussion 

Southern residents: Our testimonies were ignored by Goldstone
16 Sep 2009 - Israeli witnesses say UN committee conducting Gaza war probe arrived with preformed opinions 

Warden suspected of molesting Palestinian prisoner 
16 Sep 2009 - Hasharon Prison inmate files indecent assault complaint against jailer, who denies allegations but is sent on forced leave. Prisoner moved to different jail 

Barak: Labor responsible for 2-state attempt 
16 Sep 2009 - Defense minister uses Jewish New Year toast to defend decision to join government, call for unity within his party 

Goldstone Report slams IDF warfare in Gaza
16 Sep 2009 - UN committee says Israel made use of dense inert metal explosives (DIME bombs), as well as white phosphorus, during Gaza operation, and that soldiers used Palestinians as human shields 


Israel Must Investigate 'Operation Cast Lead'
15 Sep 2009 - With the publication of the Goldstone Committee report today, human rights organizations in Israel are studying the report and its conclusions, and they call upon the Israeli Government to take the report seriously and to refrain from automatically reject

Daily Star

Top American judge assesses Lebanon's legal aid system 
16 Sep 2009

South Beirut municipalities sign Kuwaiti funding deal 
16 Sep 2009

Aref warns of Palestinian camp troubles 
16 Sep 2009

Sfeir questions inclusion of defeated candidates in cabinet 
16 Sep 2009

Mitchell: Mideast peace will not come at expense of Lebanon 
16 Sep 2009

Fatah al-Islam prisoners on hunger strike over security 
16 Sep 2009

Lebanon growth forecast raised to 6 percent 
16 Sep 2009

Excerpts from the report of the UN fact-finding mission on the Gaza conflict 
16 Sep 2009

Palestinian Information Center

Ramadan asserts Muslim attachment to Jerusalem
16 Sep 2009 - As the month of Ramadan draws to a close, many Palestinians are devoting the last ten days of the holy month to gaining more spiritual enrichment through I’tikaf

Scottish MP slams Israel for kidnapping Palestinian lawmakers
16 Sep 2009 - Scottish lawmaker Hugh O'Donnell strongly denounced the arbitrary policy of kidnapping Palestinian lawmakers and their detention in Israeli jails for more than three years.

PCHR: 1,019 IOF assaults on Palestinian media
16 Sep 2009 - The Palestinian center for human rights (PCHR) has said that the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) had launched hundreds of attacks on Palestinian media and journalists in a bid to "silence the press".

Sheikh Salah calls for forming a religious authority in Jerusalem
16 Sep 2009 - Sheikh Ra’ed Salah called for forming a religious, social and political authority referred to by all Palestinian citizens in occupied Jerusalem.

Jewish fanatic settlers storm the Aqsa Mosque
16 Sep 2009 - Palestinian worshippers in the holy Aqsa Mosque on Wednesday confronted a group of 20 Jewish fanatic settlers who stormed the holy site escorted by Israeli security men.

Haneyya: UN report clearly condemned Israel for its war crimes in Gaza
16 Sep 2009 - Premier Ismail Haneyya stated that the report issued by the fact-finding committee formed by the UN showed clear condemnation of Israel for committing war crimes in the besieged Gaza Strip.

Hamas: IOF detention of Hamas affiliates result of security coordination
16 Sep 2009 - Hamas Movement on Wednesday charged that the IOF arrest of two Palestinians suspected of affiliation with the Qassam Brigades was the fruit of security coordination with the PA in Ramallah.

IOF troops wound two brothers in Gaza, detain West Bankers including young woman
16 Sep 2009 - Two Palestinian brothers were wounded east of Khan Younis to the south of the Gaza Strip on Tuesday in the explosion of an Israeli tank shell, Palestinian health ministry said.

Haneyya: Recognizing Israel is a national crime
16 Sep 2009 - premier Ismail Haneyya stressed that recognizing Israel is a national crime and normalizing relations with it is a betrayal of God, his Prophet, and the legacy of the Muslim Nation.

Barak: Israel's security improving thanks to Abbas's forces
16 Sep 2009 - Israeli war minister Ehud Barak has said that Israel's security had greatly improved over the past year thanks to the efforts of Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas's security forces in the West Bank.

Los Angeles Times

Israel rebuffs inquiry into Gaza war crime allegations 
17 Sep 2009 - Government leaders attempt to discredit a report by a U.N. panel that accuses both Israelis and Palestinians of committing atrocities during last winter's bloody conflict. Israel on Wednesday rejected a United Nations panel's call to open an independent inquiry into its wartime conduct in the Gaza Strip and launched a diplomatic campaign to thwart any prosecution of its soldiers in an international criminal tribunal. 

Powerful Iranian cleric barred from delivering Quds Day prayers 
16 Sep 2009 - Ayatollah Rafsanjani, who supports the opposition movement, will be replaced by Ahmadinejad and an ally on the day of solidarity with Palestinians, reports say. Anti-government rallies are planned. A powerful cleric who supports Iran's opposition movement has been barred from delivering Friday prayers during Quds Day in Tehran, an annual day of solidarity with the Palestinian cause that is being turned into a protest against authorities in a move that suggests the declining influence of Iranian moderates within the political elite. 

Israel and Palestinians committed war crimes in Gaza, U.N. inquiry says 
16 Sep 2009 - Report from a probe led by former South African Judge Richard Goldstone calls on both sides to prosecute wrongdoers in the winter offensive against Hamas-led rocket squads. A United Nations inquiry concluded Tuesday that Israel and Palestinian armed groups committed war crimes during their conflict in the Gaza Strip, and it called on both sides to prosecute wrongdoers or face possible intervention by an international court. 

New York Times

Israel Rejects Call for Gaza Inquiry
16 Sep 2009 - Israeli officials bluntly dismissed a U.N. mission’s recommendation that an investigation be launched into violations of human rights law during the war. 

Iran Opposition Leader Sidelined From Rally
16 Sep 2009 - Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani is being replaced in his traditional Quds Day prayer service by a hard-line cleric, Ahmad Khatami. 

No Deal, but Middle East Envoy Sets Further Talks
16 Sep 2009 - The White House’s Middle East envoy, George J. Mitchell, was set to leave Israel on Wednesday without agreement on a settlement freeze. 


UN: Israel terrorised Gazans in war 
9/16/2009 - Al Jazeera - Israel "punished and terrorised" civilians in Gaza in a disproportionate attack in its three-week offensive on the territory earlier this year, a United Nations report has found. Judge Richard Goldstone, who led the inquiry, said on Wednesday that he found evidence Israel targeted civilians and used excessive force in the assault, which was launched on December 27, 2008. " The mission concluded that actions amounting to war crimes, and possibly in some respects crimes against humanity, were committed by the Israel Defence Force," Goldstone, a former South African justice, said. While the report was more sharply critical of Israel, it also said that there was evidence "that Palestinian armed groups committed war crimes, as well as possibly crimes against humanity", by firing rockets into southern Israel. More than 1,400 Palestinians - about a third of them women and children - were killed in the offensive. 

Israel rejects war crimes findings of UN Gaza inquiry 
9/16/2009 - The Guardian - Rory McCarthy in Jerusalem - Israel refused to accept the findings of a highly critical UN inquiry into the Gaza war and said today it would launch a diplomatic offensive to prevent any risk of prosecutions. No independent inquiry into the military's conduct during the war last January would be held, a clear rejection of one primary recommendation from the UN report. The inquiry, headed by a former South African judge, Richard Goldstone, delivered a detailed and damning criticism of the war, accusing both Israel and armed Palestinian groups, notably Hamas, of war crimes and possible crimes against humanity. It was by far the most serious international inquiry into the three-week war, which left 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis dead and which triggered a wave of criticism across the world. " This report was conceived in sin and is the product of a union between propaganda and bias," said 

UN report that will be difficult for Israeli government to ignore 
9/16/2009 - The Guardian - International criminal justice would be "immensely damaged" by a failure to implement any of the recommendations of the UN report, experts said, as Israel and armed groups in Gaza announced their refusal to implement independent investigations. The report, which was described yesterday as a milestone by lawyers, states that a failure to conduct investigations should result in a referral to the international criminal court after six months. " This is an authoritative UN mission of inquiry that says there should be accountability for the actions of both sides for what occurred," said Daniel Machover, a partner at Hickman and Rose solicitors in London. " It's very difficult to ignore an authoritative report like this. It's realistic to think that the security council will act, and I would like to see the Obama administration passing a resolution that requires Israel to bring prosecutions where there is sufficient evidence," Machover added. 

Crusading Spanish judge could join a war crimes case against Israel or Hamas 
9/16/2009 - The Guardian - Baltasar Garzón, the crusading magistrate who had General Augusto Pinochet of Chile arrested in London, is one of a number of Spanish judges who could take on a war crimes case against Israel or Hamas, according to human rights lawyers in Madrid. Garzón's prosecution of human rights crimes by military regimes in several Latin American countries has turned Madrid's national court into a mecca for those seeking justice under universal jurisdiction rules. These rules state that crimes against the Geneva conventions and other international agreements can be tried elsewhere if the courts in the country where they were committed are unwilling or unable to try them. A fellow magistrate at the national court, Fernando Andreu, has investigated alleged Israeli war crimes in a separate case involving a 2002 bomb strike on Gaza that killed 15 people. " Countries like Spain are obliged by treaty and by their internal laws to open cases where universal jurisdiction applies," said Joan Garces, a lawyer who helped pursue Pinochet. " 

Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Support Work and Recommendations of UN Fact Finding Mission
9/16/2009 - Adalah - Demand Effective Judicial Redress and the Protection of Victims’ Rights -- As Palestinian human rights organizations, we welcome the report by the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict (the Fact Finding Mission) , released on 15 September 2009 and emphasize the importance of the recommendations of the report for the restoration of justice to the victims of Israel’s offensive attack, Operation Cast Lead. The Fact Finding Mission was established by the President of the Human Rights Council, following Human Rights Council Resolution S-9/1. Headed by Justice Richard Goldstone, the Fact Finding Mission embarked on a thorough investigation which addressed the violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law committed both by Israel, Palestinian armed groups and the Palestinian National Authority in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. 

Video: Israel’s war leaves thousands displaced in Gaza 
9/16/2009 - Uruknet - AlJazeeraEnglish - The United Nations investigation into the war on Gaza has accused Israel of committing war crimes and called on both Israel and the Palestinian factions to conduct their own inquiries or face the International Criminal Court. Israel has been quick to reject the UN request. Now it remains to be seen if the report will bring justice to the thousands affected by the war, including those who remain displaced. Sherine Tadros reports from Gaza. [end] 

VIDEO - Israeli soldiers fire on Al Jazeera correspondent
9/14/2009 - YouTube - Near miss -- IDF soldiers shoot high velocity teargas canister at Al Jazeera correspondent Jackie Rowland in occupied Bil'in village. [end] 

Goldstone testimonies revealed 
9/16/2009 - YNetNews - Eight months after Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, controversial UN report accuses Israel of committing war crimes, enraging many officials in Jerusalem. Now, Ynet reveals number of Palestinian testimonies detailed in report - An in-depth look into the Goldstone Report probing the events of Operation Cast Lead in Gaza reveals the official first-hand testimonies from the days of the war. The testimonies were given by family members who lost their loved ones and eyewitnesses to the fighting, and they shed some personal light on what happened in Gaza. All testimonies where deemed credible by the United Nations-appointed inquiry team, and were compatible with other reports received. Here are just some of the testimonies: The shooting of Iyad al-Samoni - On the night of January 4, 2008, Iyad al-Samoni stayed with his wife, five children and 40 other members of his extended family in one a relative's house. 

Following Publication of Report of the UN Fact Finding Mission on Gaza: Israeli War Criminals to Trial/Court!
9/16/2009 - Alternative Information Center - Publication of Report of the UN Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict is an important step, on condition that it is followed up. This is important, first and foremost, for international public hygiene: during two decades of neo-conservative rule in the United States, we were witness to a joint effort of the White House and Israel to annul the norms of international law. Here we can recall the stupid comment of George W. Bush. Bush, in the framework of the global war on terror, argued it is essential to annul the limitations placed by the Geneva Conventions on combatants. And Israel, already in the early 1970s, decided that the Fourth Geneva Conventions are not applicable to the occupied Palestinian territories. The report, and before it the advisory opinion of the International Criminal Court on the Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, 

Border Control / Better late than never?
9/16/2009 - Ha'aretz - Akiva Eldar - A little over four years ago, when Kadima's Ze'ev Boim was deputy defense minister in the Likud government, he launched a huge attack on Col. (res. ) Shaul Arieli and his colleagues from the council for peace and security. These people, he said, make the saying "Those who destroy you will come from within," come true, he said. Boim's ire stemmed from the fact that the members of the council had dared to propose to the High Court of Justice an alternative route for one of the sections of the separation fence. Their proposal was more economical and less invasive; it could be completed faster and was less harmful from a political point of view. However, contrary to the route that had been planned in Boim's bureau, this one was not drawn up with the settlers' wishes in mind. Last week, the justices of the high court, headed by the court president Dorit Beinisch, adopted. . . 

VIDEO - My Way to Free My Country: the Palestinian Circus School 
8/22/2009 - Vimeo - Alternative Information Centre - This week the Palestinian Circus School was perfoming in Bethlehem as part of a West Bank tour where children of all ages had the rare opportunity to "clown around". Beside entertaining children, the Circus School, since 2006, has developed the creative potential of youth in Palestine. Simply by expressing themselves children are being empowered while living the realities of the israeli occupation. [end] 


Reviving the peace process? 
Ghassan Khatib, Ma’an News Agency 9/15/2009
      In the run-up to the meetings of the United Nations General Assembly and the Quartet later this month in New York, the region is witnessing feverish diplomatic activity.
     George Mitchell, the US Middle East envoy, is holding meetings with Palestinian and Israeli leaders. Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, popped down to Cairo for talks with Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president. Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, has just concluded a tour of several Arab countries.
     In parallel, Israeli officials have been eager to convince the Israeli media that a breakthrough is at hand, that a deal between Israel and the US on a settlement construction freeze is imminent, and that talks between Palestinians and Israelis can therefore begin.
     That is the opposite of the impression one gets on the Palestinian side. There, it seems, there are still wide gaps between the positions of the various players, especially on the issue of a settlement construction freeze, and little progress is being made.
     The US does appear to be using the media, especially as a means to affect public opinion in Israel and in that way influence government thinking. Certainly, Mitchell has been consistent in rejecting, clearly and publicly, any suggestion that Israel and the US have reached agreement over a settlement construction freeze. Washington will be aware that the Israeli public is pragmatic and very sensitive to US-Israel relations.
     The Israeli government, however, is also using the media to influence public opinion. That would certainly explain the repeated reports of impending US-Israel agreement over settlement construction. Such reports had been heard again and again over the past three months. Yet no agreement has emerged. more.. e-mail

Land First, Then Peace 
Turki Al-faisal, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, New York Times 9/12/2009
      THE United States and other Western powers have for some time been pushing Saudi Arabia to make more gestures toward Israel. More recently, the crown prince of Bahrain urged greater communication with Israel and joint steps from Arab states to revive the peace process.
     Saudi Arabia is the birthplace of Islam, the custodian of its two holy mosques, the world’s energy superpower and the de facto leader of the Arab and Muslim worlds — that is why our recognition is greatly prized by Israel. However, for all those same reasons, the kingdom holds itself to higher standards of justice and law. It must therefore refuse to engage Israel until it ends its illegal occupation of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights as well as Shabaa Farms in Lebanon. For Saudis to take steps toward diplomatic normalization before this land is returned to its rightful owners would undermine international law and turn a blind eye to immorality.
     Shortly after the Six-Day War in 1967, during which Israel occupied those territories as well as East Jerusalem and the Sinai Peninsula, the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution stating that, in order to form “a just and lasting peace in the Middle East,” Israel must withdraw from these newly occupied lands. The Fourth Geneva Convention similarly notes “the occupying power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.”
     Now, Israeli leaders hint that they are willing to return portions of these occupied territories to Arab control, but only if they are granted military and economic concessions first. For the Arabs to accept such a proposal would only encourage similar outrages in the future by rewarding military conquest. more.. e-mail

Electronic Intifada
UN investigators make strong case for Gaza war crimes
16 Sep 2009 - UNITED NATIONS (IPS) - A four-member United Nations fact-finding mission, which has just concluded an investigation into last year's brutal conflict in Gaza, makes a strong case for war crimes charges against Israel for its unrelenting 22-day military attacks on Palestinians, largely civilians, including women and children. The charges stem mostly from serious violations of international human rights and humanitarian law. 

A turning point for the US solidarity movement
16 Sep 2009 - This weekend at the eighth annual US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation national organizers' conference held in Chicago, delegates from the approximately 300 member groups that make up the US Campaign voted in favor of an academic and cultural boycott of Israel. The vote, and the deep collective breath of relief that followed, will go down in history as the moment US-based Palestine solidarity activists overcame tactical differences that had long hindered us, to finally come together to confront Israeli apartheid. Nada Elia comments for The Electronic Intifada. 

Veolia still intertwined with Israel's occupation
16 Sep 2009 - After years of campaigning by Palestine solidarity activists to end the French transportation giant Veolia's complicity with Israeli violations of Palestinian rights, it was reported in early June that the company planned to end its involvement in an Israeli light rail project being built on occupied Palestinian land. However, contrary to Veolia's reported intention to abandon the light rail project, the company seems to be conducting business as usual with Israel. Adri Nieuwhof reports for The Electronic Intifada. 

Settlements benefitting from US tax exempt fundraising
15 Sep 2009 - Israeli peace activists are planning to ratchet up their campaign against groups in the United States that raise money for settlers by highlighting how tax exemptions are helping to fund the expansion of illegal settlements in the West Bank. Gush Shalom, a small peace group that advocates Israel's withdrawal from the occupied territories, is preparing to send details to the US tax authorities questioning the charitable status of several organizations. 

In Gaza
Guava leaves, merrimea, F-16s: Gaza Ramadan day 25
15 Sep 2009 - * Merrimea, the wild herb that makes tea so delicious. The better merrimea is grown in the more hilly occupied West Bank. But some sprigs can be found in Gaza. Everything is juxtaposed in Gaza. There’s no following a single train of thought, there’s no normality except in expecting anything to happen ['anything' along the lines of Israeli attacks, power outages, further deterioration of life thanks to the Israeli-waged massacre and the Israeli-led siege on Gaza. Not 'anything' along the lines of open borders or hopeful news.] at any moment. Was it a drone or a generator last night? Sure it was a drone, no surprise there. They continue to...

Palestine Chronicle
How Low Will Israel Stoop in Its Propaganda War?
16 Sep 2009 - By Stuart Littlewood - London 'The Israel Project', a US media advocacy group, has produced a revised training manual to help the worldwide Zionist movement win the propaganda war, keep their ill-gotten territorial gains and persuade international audiences to accept that their crimes are necessary and conform to 'shared values' between Israel and the civilized West. It’s a Clever Document The manual teaches how to justify the slaughter, the ethnic cleansing, the land-grabbing, the cruelty and the blatant disregard for international law and UN resolutions, and make it all smell sweeter with a liberal squirt of the aerosol of persuasive language. It is designed to hoodwink us ignorant and gullible Americans and Europeans into believing that we actually share values with the racist regime in Israel and that its abominable behaviour is therefore deserving of our support. Israel is hoping for a PR massacre. The other side - the Palestinian Authority and the PLO - don’t take communications seriously and have neglected to correct Israeli distortion. They are happy, it seems, for Israel’s one-sided definitions to prevail, which of course makes the task for Israel so much easier. This latest propaganda offensive is potentially the 'coup de grace' to finish off the tormented Palestinians. See it here . And the manual will no doubt serve as a communications primer for the army of cyber-scribblers that Israel’s Ministry of Dirty Tricks is recruiting to spread Zionism’s poison across the internet. This quote at the beginning sets the tone: "Remember, it’s not what...

Perpetual Grief over September 11th
16 Sep 2009 - By Ramzy Baroud The anniversary of the infamous tragedy of 9/11, 2001, and the subsequent ramifications indeed induce, throughout the world, a plethora of feelings of sorrow. The 9/11 event should have never taken place. Regardless of the situation, targeting civilians is unconditionally reviled. No matter where we stand on war, and how do we wish to rationalize and define extremism, and even terror, we must pause to remember those who died on that day, and the many, many more who died in the months and years that followed. Sadly, we must even pause today for those who will die tomorrow, to avenge the victims of the twin towers. 9/11 was a tragedy that should have been studied within the parameters of US foreign policies vis-à-vis Muslim countries, in the Middle East region in particular. If we wish not to venture that far, then an honest look at the period that followed the first Gulf War of 1990-91, and the tragic sanctions that took the lives of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, is certainly warranted. Anger, when becomes protracted and multifaceted, is at risk of inspiring extremism and rationalizing terror. But there are other facets to be examined when political violence is to be scrutinized. 9/11 cannot be divorced from surrounding events, preceding tragedies or subsequent ones. By not doing so, one undermines the seriousness of the tragedy. And while one simply cannot pardon blind hate or terror, how can one honestly argue that the millions who perished in Iraq,...

How Israel's Nuclear Arsenal Endangers Us All
15 Sep 2009 - By Jeff Gates On September 24th, U.S. President Barack Obama will preside over a U.N. Security Council session on nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament. In March 2010, Moscow will host a Global Nuclear Summit that the U.S. has agreed to attend. The next six months could prove hopeful or harmful—depending on the impact on Israel’s nuclear arsenal. With U.S. backing, Tel Aviv has thus far avoided compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty—joining North Korea, India and Pakistan. President John F. Kennedy tried to stop Israel from starting a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. In a June 1963 letter to Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, he insisted on proof “beyond a reasonable doubt” that Israel was not developing nuclear weapons at its Dimona reactor facility. Though his letter was cabled to the U.S. embassy, Ben-Gurion resigned (citing undisclosed personal reasons) before the message could be physically delivered. With Israel’s nuclear ambitions under attack by its key ally, that strategically well-timed resignation duped an inexperienced young president and denied him a diplomatic victory that might well have precluded the wars now being waged in the Middle East. With Ben-Gurion’s resignation, JFK was left without an Israeli government with which he could negotiate. By the time a new government was formed, the Kennedy threat had been eliminated and Tel Aviv could start haggling from scratch with successor Lyndon Johnson who was far more sympathetic to the goals of the Zionist state. That strategy resurfaced in the recent resignation of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert...

How US Tax Breaks Fund Israeli Settlers
15 Sep 2009 - By Jonathan Cook - Nazareth Israeli peace activists are planning to ratchet up their campaign against groups in the United States that raise money for settlers by highlighting how tax exemptions are helping to fund the expansion of illegal settlements in the West Bank. Gush Shalom, a small peace group that advocates Israel's withdrawal from the occupied territories, is preparing to send details to the US tax authorities questioning the charitable status of several organisations. Adam Keller, a spokesman, said these operations' tax-exempt status meant that "settlement expansion is effectively being subsidised out of the pockets of the US taxpayer and government". The campaign is designed to increase pressure on Barack Obama, the US president, to demand action from Israel on his repeated calls -- so far largely ignored -- to end settlement building. Last week, Israel announced plans to build 455 new homes in West Bank settlements and 500 apartments in East Jerusalem. Mr Obama is expected to unveil a Middle East peace plan this month. In a related move, Gush Shalom is encouraging Palestinians who have suffered from settler violence to file lawsuits in the United States that would redefine the settlers' fund-raising work as support for "terrorist activity". The peace group has accelerated the pace of its campaign, according to a "confidential memo" it issued on July 29 that was leaked to the Israeli media, after the Israeli government heavily criticised human rights groups over the summer for receiving funds from foreign donors, particularly European governments. In...

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