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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
2 October, 2009



Video: Palestinians celebrate prisoners' release [03-oct-2009 04:03 ECT]
October 2, 2009 - Scenes of jubilation in the occupied West bank as the families of 18 released female Palestinian prisoners are reunited with their loved ones. But these moments of emotion for the families are also politically significant as calls for the release of captured Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, in return for hundreds more Palestinian prisoners being held in...

Al Mezan and Al-Haq Regret London Magistrates' Court Decision Not to Issue Arrest Warrant against Israeli Defence Minister for Alleged War Crimes in Gaza [03-oct-2009 03:47 ECT]
October 2, 2009 - Al Mezan and Al Haq regret the decision of the London judge not to issue an arrest warrant against Israel's Defence Minister Ehud Barak during his visit to the UK yesterday. Al Mezan and Al Haq had instructed British lawyers to act on behalf of dozens of families who were victims of the devastating military attacks...

Israel is after what is left of Gaza's green shoots [03-oct-2009 03:35 ECT]
October 2, 2009 - Israelis has no drop of shame. After strangling the Gaza people and confining them like a herd of animals, bombing their homes and children for 23 days burning everything to the ground, their eyes are now on the new shoots of their palm fronds to celebrate their religious festivities for one good reason...a cheaper price.... And...

Video: Territorial Domination in the West Bank [03-oct-2009 03:18 ECT]
October 2, 2009 - Settlement expansion in the Occupied Territories of Palestine is about more than constructing houses for Jewish settlers. Palestinian farmland is being turned into industrial space. Illegal outposts on Palestinian land are protected by Israeli military. Roads, if Palestinians are allowed to drive on them, are often blocked without warning...

With PA help, Obama moves Palestine one step closer to genocide [03-oct-2009 02:27 ECT]
The Goldstone report was a milestone in demanding accountability from Israel. Unfortunately, to tear one's hair out, it is being buried with the help of the Palestinian Judenrat in Ramallah. the Palestinian Authority, under heavy pressure from the United States, has withdrawn its support for a U.N. Human Rights Council resolution on alleged war crimes in Gaza, diplomats in Geneva...

Pipelineistan's Ultimate Opera [03-oct-2009 01:35 ECT]
October 2, 2009 - ...Needless to say, the Nabucco consortium itself would kill to have Iran as a gas supplier for the pipeline. They are also familiar with realpolitik: this could happen only with a Washington-blessed solution to the Iranian nuclear dossier. Iran, for its part, knows well how to seduce Europe. Mohammad-Reza Nematzadeh, managing director of the National Iranian...

Israel, Colonial States and Racism [03-oct-2009 01:21 ECT]
October 2, 2009 - One cannot speak about, or try to analyze, Zionism and its product, the State of Israel, while evading the core of their essence: colonialism. Independent of its motivations (resolving the Jewish question in Eastern Europe at the turn of the twentieth century), Zionism is a colonialist movement that has created a colonialist state. In fact, Israel...

Beit Hanoun olive harvest [02-oct-2009 21:06 ECT]
Ocotber 2, 2009 - ....A day of olive picking in Gaza's north. A day of traditional Palestinian songs, and teasing, olive stains, and stories of lost olive trees and bulldozed homes. We, a number of Palestinian and international volunteers, are participating is because of the danger of Israeli soldiers opening fire on the harvesters -the trees are roughly 1 km...

Zak: Our joy won't be complete before the release of Palestinian captives [02-oct-2009 20:53 ECT]
October 2, 2009 - Fatemah al-Zak expressed her delight at being released from Israeli occupation jails, but hastened to add that joy will not be complete before the release of all Palestinian captives from Israeli jails. Zak, who was speaking at a joint press conference with the Palestinian Prime Minster Ismail Haneyya held on Friday afternoon at the government headquarters...

Nouri's Coat of Many Colors [02-oct-2009 20:05 ECT]
October 2, 2009 - State of Law embraces 40 parties or organizations, and Mr. Maliki and his aides on Thursday invited still more to join. Those who appeared with Mr. Maliki included Shiites and Sunnis, Kurds and Christians. On the stage and in the hall, the headdresses of tribal leaders significantly outnumbered the turbans of clerics, a significant shift, given...

Goldstone Rejects Netanyahu Remarks [02-oct-2009 18:36 ECT]
October 2, 2009 - The head of the U.N. commission that investigated the December-January Gaza war Thursday rejected assertions by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that any action to pursue the recommendations of his commission's report could prove fatal to any renewed peace process with the Palestinians. "For the life of me, I don't understand the reason for that [Netanyahu's...

October 2, 2009 - Palestinian Authority says: Palestine to get the most expensive phone system in the world, off the back of murdered Palestinians. Abbas has just sold out Palestine for Israeli money and American pressure. Here's America and their BFF Israel arm twisting to help Israeli criminals off the hook. I think this is called "perverting the course of...

Ha'aretz Defense page

Families of Palestinian prisoners celebrate their return following Shalit video deal
2 Oct 2009 - Hamas, Fatah briefly set aside rivalry to throw welcome home parties for prisoners released Friday. 

ANALYSIS / Shalit video means a deal with Hamas is a question of when, not if
2 Oct 2009 - Video was a clear tie-breaker for Hamas, who are reaping the rewards on the Palestinian street. 

Qassam hits southern Israel in continuing Gaza border tension
2 Oct 2009 - IAF struck smuggling in southern Gaza earlier in the week, in response to yet another rocker launch. 

Source: Palestinians drop endorsement of Goldstone report
1 Oct 2009 - Move comes after apparent pressure from Obama; Goldstone: report won't affect Mideast peace process. 

Comment / Journalists play a role when it comes to reports such as Goldstone's
1 Oct 2009 - British press published first war crimes accusation during Gaza conflict within 48 hours - from Hezbollah. 

Ma'an News

West Bank, Gaza Strip locked down; crossings shut for goods
10/2/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - A total closure of the West Bankbegan at midnight Friday morning, and will last eight days until midnight Saturday morning; in Gaza, crossings will be closed Friday and re-open after sundown on 10 October at the close of Sukkot, Israeli officials announced. No supplies will enter the Gaza Strip for two days, and no Palestinian workers from the West Bank or Gaza will be permitted to enter Israel for eight. Similar restrictions were imposed for the Israeli holidays of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, with closures totaling nine days for Gaza crossings, and nearly two weeks for workers prohibited from entering Israel. During the closures only Palestinians with special permits are permitted to access Jerusalem, including those with medical emergencies. Those with permits for regular visits to hospitals in the city are denied access, including pregnant women and chronic care patients. 

Israeli troops surround, invade, Madama village; four detained
10/2/2009 - Nablus - Ma'an - Israeli forces detained four young Palestinians after raiding their houses in Madama village south of Nablus early Friday morning. Member at the Madama village council Hasan Zyadeh said Israeli troops surrounded the village late Thursday. Shortly before sunrise te trops invaded the village, he explained, saying there was moderate gunfire as they entered. Those detained were identified as: Thabet Nassar, 32, Asad Allah Al-Qut, 17, Ammar Al-Qut 19, and Omar Nassar, 45. Troops also overran the home of Mu'ammar Zyadeh. Israeli forces raided a village south of Jenin and searched several houses before detaining Ayman Faraj Sedki. In Jericho, soldiers raided Ein As-Soltan refugee camp and detained Ziyad Abdel Kader E'wedat, 18, and Majdy Abdel Kader E'wedat, 17. 

Eight protesters, two soldiers hurt at anti-wall protests
10/2/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Ten people were injured when hundreds of residents of the West Bank village of Ni'lin and Bil'in protested Israel's separation barrier on Friday, according to a local organizations. In Nil'in, six demonstrators were hurt by gas, rubber-coated bullets, and a putrid liquid sprayed on attendees, witnesses said. Two soldiers were also reportedly injured, but it was not immediately clear how seriously. Meanwhile, two international solidarity activists were injured by Israeli fire at a wall rally in the nearby village of Bil'in. Bil'in's chapter of the Popular Committee Against the Wall said in a statement that one of the injured internationals, Judy from the United Kingdom, already used a wheelchair due to an unrelated disability. The second foreign activist who the committee said suffered injuries was from Israel, and identified as Elinor. 

Hamas vows to maintain ceasefire - if Israel reciprocates
10/2/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Hamas prefers peace to war but will nonetheless resume armed resistance if Israel opts to continue regular attacks on Gaza, senior Hamas leader Ahmad Yousef explained. The official, who serves as an advisor to Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh on foreign affairs, said that the current ceasefire between the Islamic movement and Israel was for the benefit of Palestinians in the Strip, but that Hamas reserved the right to defend them. "We were firing rockets when the Israelis carried out aggression, or incursions against us," Yousef said. "Now, for the most part they have stopped the daily aggression. That's why we're not firing rockets. But if the Israelis start their aggression again and their incursions, yes, the Palestinians will defend themselves with whatever weapons they have in their hands. 

Israel declares victory as PA backs down at UNHRC
10/2/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - While Palestinians representing virtually every segment of society condemned the Palestinian Authority for reversing its support for justice Richard Goldstone's UN report on the Gaza assault, the Israelis were celebrating. Just before Sukkot began on Thursday night, Israel's ambassador to Geneva announced that the PA's inability to take a stand "is proof of the right strategy taken by the Israeli government and Foreign Ministry, by warning that adopting the repot could harm the peace process. "The ambassador, Leshno Yaar, told the the Hebrew-language daily newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's remarks the same day contributed to the PA's decision, and that even Israel's ultranationalist foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, helped to "undermine" the report. 

Hebron roundup: Army skips school escort, activists deliver water
10/2/2009 - Hebron - Ma'an - Israeli soldiers under orders to accompany Palestinian children to school failed to arrive at the appointed time despite repeated calls reminding them to show up on Monday, a local organization said. The Christian Peacemakers Team (CPT) said the children, aged from six to 14, require a military escort to and from school because of attacks by Israeli extremists from the illegal West Bank settlements of Ma'on and Havat Ma'on. CPT said that when the military does not arrive on time to accompany the kids, they must wait in an area controlled by Israeli settlers, "a location where settlers have attacked the young Palestinian children on a number of occasions in the past. "According to the organization, soldiers were ordered by the military to escort the children since 2004, after a series of attacks on kids walking from the village of Tuba Maghayir Al-Abeed to At-Tuwani, where they attend school. 

Wild pigs attack Jenin farmer; man blames separation wall
10/2/2009 - Jenin - Ma'an - Medical sources at the Jenin governmental Hospital reported that 75 year-old Khaled Mustapha Al-Kilany from Nazlah Zeid village near Ya'bod village southwest Jenin was taken to Hospital after being attacked by a wild pig Thursday. Zeid's relatives said he sustained bruises all over his body and may also suffer from internal bleeding after the pig attacked him in front of his home. The farmer in all his body parts after being attacked by the wild pig where he was standing in front of his house. The man blamed the construction of the Israeli separation wall for the increase in wild pig attacks, saying the pigs are confined to the residential areas after the separation wall cut off access to much of the area's farm land. 

Investigation: WFP program distributing sub-par bread to poor?
10/2/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The World Food Program grew concerned over a Ma'an report last week, highlighting the poor quality of bread, baked with WFP flour, distributed to needy Palestinians in the West Bank. The quality was so bad, those interviewed for the first report said, they had to soak it in water before the chickens would eat it. The Palestinian Authority Ministry of Social Affairs coordinates the distribution of the flour to bakers, and the bread to authorized vendors. Palestinian refugees and other needy families are given bread stamps, which they can redeem for the WFP funded pitas. The WFP requested Ma'an further investigate the issue, insisting that their flour was not of inferior quality. Ma'an reporters traced the processing process, from the delivery of the flour to the distribution of the bread, to uncover the reasons behind the poor quality of the food for Palestinian families in need. 

Heavy Israeli police presence in Jerusalem; clashes feared
10/2/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israeli police imposed strict restrictions over Muslim worshippers coming to pray Friday at the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Israeli sources said that men holding Jerusalemite or Israeli identity cards (blue cards) who are over fifty andwomen with the same ID cards who are over 45 will be permitted to enter the old city and holy sanctuary. Young men and women will be turned away, West Bank Palestinians are strictly prohibited from the area. The measures come as Palestinians continue to commemorate the start of the Second Intifada (Al-Aqsa Intifada), sparked by a provocative visit to the holy mosque by then Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, and kicked off by a series of uprisings against Israeli police mostly by Jerusalem residents in October 2000. Palestinians across the West Bank and East Jerusalem are commemorating the death of friends and family members, killed by Israeli police and soldiers this month. 

Young Gazan dead in tunnel collapse
10/2/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - A tunnel collapse in the southern Gaza Strip killed one young man Friday morning, medical sources confirmed. Dr Muaweyah Hassanein the head of emergency and ambulances said to Ma'an that Bassem Sa'd 25 years-old from Al-Shuja'eyah neighborhood east Gaza died in a tunnel collapse in Rafah, pointing out that the number of people killed in tunnels reached 127 and 595 injured. Locals say a series of Israeli airstrikes on the areas have weakened the tunnel systems and made dozens prone to gas-leaks, electrical shortages and collapse. [end] 

An open letter from Palestine’s human rights community
10/2/2009 - To: The Member States of the United Nations General Assembly: Upon the culmination of the 64th session of the United Nations General Assembly, the Palestinian human rights community would like to take the opportunity to raise its collective voice in reasserting the significance of the role of the UN in the occupied Palestinian territory (OPT) and to call upon the General Assembly in particular to take a more proactive role in ensuring a just resolution to the conflict. Despite few conflicts having received as much international attention as that between Israel and the Palestinians, hopes for peace have been repeatedly dashed in the light of Israel's refusal to end 42 years of military occupation. Israel's ongoing denial of Palestinian rights and political freedoms, including the basic right of Palestinians to self-determination continues unabated. 

Israeli army detains three from Hebron-area town
10/2/2009 - Hebron - Ma'an - Israeli forces on Friday evening detained three Palestinians from the town of Beit A'wa, south of the West Bank city of Hebron, according to Palestinian Authority police. The police department's media office identified the detained, who were taken to an undisclosed location, as Abed Al-Majid As-Suwieti, 27, Mujahed Abed Ar-Rasul As-Sweiti, and Mu'eiyad Kathem As-Suweiti. [end] 

Faulty Israeli warning system casts doubt on projectile claims
10/2/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - The projectile warning system Israel installed for residents of the southern Negev malfunctioned twice in two days, giving false alarms to communities built up next to the Gaza Strip. On Thursday kibbutz residents claimed to hear a loud explosion, but no warning system went off and recovery crews did not locate the alleged projectile from Gaza behind the blast. Nonetheless, Israeli warplanes took the opportunity to strike two smuggling tunnels. Friday morning Israeli sources reported a projectile landing in the same area, though this time residents said the "Color Red alert" system went off. It went off a second time later in the morning, but no second projectile launch was reported. No militant group from the Gaza Strip has claimed any of the launches since Sunday 27 September. Since then Israeli warships, warplanes and tanks have fired on Gazan tunnels, fishermen and alleged brigades men five separate times. 

Israel identifies two dead from Thursday road accident
10/2/2009 - Qalqiliya - Ma'an - Two of the five Palestinian workers killed Thursday night in a road accident in Israel were identified, the Israeli civil coordination office in Qalqiliya district reported Friday, as well as one of the injured. Area residents Rami Ali Ahmad and Rabi' Amin Taha from Masha south of Qalqiliya both died in the accident, while Ahmad Abdallah Ali Mousa, from town of Dir Balut near the West Bank city of Salfit is in critical condition in a Tel Aviv hospital. The coordination office said all five of the fatalities were from the West Bank, and all from the northern districts of Qalqiliya, Tulkarem and Nablus. The car of workers was allegedly fleeing Israeli police when it flipped. 

Islamist groups say they launched two projectiles
10/2/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Two Salafi movements in the Gaza Strip claimed responsibility for firing separate homemade projectiles toward the western Negev in southern Israel on Friday. In a telephone call, a spokesman purporting to represent Jund Ansar Allah and Al-Jaysh Al-Muqades said the attacks came "in response to the [Israeli] occupation's crimes. "Meanwhile, Israeli sources confirmed that two projectiles indeed landed in Sha'ar Hanegev without causing injury or damage. [end] 

Abbas flips, renews settlement freeze demand
10/2/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - Success of the peace process requires a halt to settlement construction including in East Jerusalem, Secretary General of the Palestinian President's Office At-Tayeb Abed Ar-Rahim said on behalf of President Mahmoud Abbas Thursday. While Abbas was earlier reported to have caved to American demands that he drop the "precondition" that Israeli settlement construction must be stopped as a gesture toward the seriousness of the new government before he would sit for talks, a demand by the Fatah party that negotiations not continue until settlements stop seems to have re-activated the demand. Abed Ar-Rahim delivered the message during a ceremonial speech commemorating member of the Palestine Liberation Organization and Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine Secretary General Samir Gusha in the West Bank city of Ramallah. 

American officer visits Rafah border, installs tunnel sensors
10/2/2009 - Al-Arish - Ma'an - An American officer installed sensory devices along the Egypt-Gaza border at Rafah, security sources said Thursday. The officer was identified as the American-Lebanese Walid Naser, who was reportedly involved in a follow-up mission to ensure the sensor system works. The American officer visits the area monthly. [end] 

19 women released in exchange for tape
10/2/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Nineteen Palestinian women were released by the Red Cross into the care of their friends and family Friday at 11:30. The women were released at the Erez crossing between the Gaza Strip and Israel and the Bitunia checkpoint near Ramallah. The release of the women follows Israel's confirmation that officials received a tape of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. According to Israeli news sources, the tape was being viewed to ensure that it had been filmed recently. The deal, 20 women for a one minute video, was brokered by Germany, sides said. On Thursday controversy erupted when it was discovered two of the women set for release in the deal, one detained when she was 13, were set for release only days following the deal. Israel reportedly replaced one of the women, while the 20th will be released Sunday, Israeli sources said. 

Palestinian alumni of US exchange programs network launched
10/2/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - US Consul General Daniel Rubinstein inaugurated the "Palestinian-U. S. Exchange Alumni Association" Friday at the Manna Center in Ramallah with 65 alumni in the office and another 30 from Gaza participating via videoconference. The goal of the association is to coordinate the thousands of Palestinians who have travelled to the United States on cultural, professional, and academic exchange programs. The association aims to provide expertise to Palestinian organizations, "This association will provide an excellent forum for you to join together to conceive and implement projects to help develop the great potential of the Palestinian people and strengthen the foundations of the future state of Palestine," Rubinstein said. The program targets alumni from official State Department programs. According to a statement from the US consulate, over 3,000 Palestinians have. . . 

Official, unofficial Greek support for Palestine picks up
10/2/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The announcement of a half-million Euro contribution by the Greek government coincided Thursday, with the call of the Greek Association for Solidarity with the Palestinian People to boycott the participation of an Israeli archaeologist from a UNESCO event next month. While the Greek government will help the Palestinian Authority pay private sector companies in the fields of security and the rule of law, Greek Consulate in Jerusalem announced, the popular group wants academics to boycott the UNESCO symposium on Intercultural Encounters in the Hellenized Orient. Among the speakers at the event, organized by the Greek delegation to UNESCO, is Israeli professor Ehud Netzer, scheduled to lecture on The Near East: Judea and Hellenism. Netzer, according to the group, has been the "leader of many illegal excavations in occupied Jerusalem and in the West Bank. 

PA’s UN envoy delays debate on Gaza report
10/2/2009 - Jerusalem/Ramallah - Ma'an - Palestine's envoy to Geneva, Ibrahim Khraisha, asked the Human Rights Council to delay debate over endorsing the UN-backed Goldstone report on Israel's Gaza assault, Ma'an can confirm. The PA ambassador justified his decision on Friday by saying the request was intended to "gather consensus - and not under pressure from the United States. " Less than 24 hours after the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz broke the story late Thursday night, the Palestinian leadership contradicted itself repeatedly, with chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat denying reports as recently as Friday - the day of the vote - that his government's envoy would drop support for the UN draft. Mustafa Al-Bargouthi, who heads the Palestinian National Initiative, told Ma'an that "there was a guaranteed majority in the Human Rights Council to condemn Israel. 

Hamas: Geneva move latest in PA-Israel ’conspiracy’
10/2/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Hamas denounced the Palestinian Authority for postponing debate on the Goldstone report at the UN Human Rights Councilon Friday, an official said in a statement. "This move is reflective of the conspiracy between the PA in Ramallah and the Israeli occupation," said Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri, alleging that the PA was involved in Israel's assault on Gaza last winter. The official said Hamas was astonished when it learned the PA's envoy had withdrawn the report "at New York's request," and urged international organizations to nevertheless "reveal the details of the Israeli massacre" and demand condemnation for "crimes that were committed in Gaza by Israeli soldiers. " Other Palestinian movements and officials were similarly incensed. The Popular Resistance Committees, another Gaza-based Palestinian faction, similarly denounced the decision. 

Shalit: Hamas treating me ’excellently’
10/2/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Sitting on a plastic chair in front of a white wall and beneath fluorescent lighting, captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit held a Palestinian newspaper dated 14 September and said he was being treated "excellently. ""I hope that the current administration, headed by [Israeli Prime Minister] Benjamin Netanyahu, won't waste this opportunity to achieve a deal, and as a result I will finally be able to realize my dream and be released," he said, reading from a script tucked behind the daily Gaza newspaper Filistine. Shalit spoke in Hebrew and seemed in fine spirits, standing up and walking toward the camera to show he was in good health. He sent his regards to his parents, and added that he loves and misses them. He said he reads newspapers "in search of information about me. " "I hope to find some kind of information indicating that my release and return home is imminent," he said. 

Haniyeh: Video deal a victory for Palestinian resistance
10/2/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - The release of nearly 20 Palestinian women for a videotape of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was a victory for the Palestinian resistance movement, de facto Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said on Friday. Speaking at a ceremony for recently released female prisoner Fatmah Az-Zeq and her infant child Yousef, he said the swap was "a victory for the resistance and the Palestinian will," adding that it "opened the door for a respectable deal. " In brief remarks, Az-Zeq said, "My happiness is not total, because I left other women behind in the Israeli jails that are waiting to be released - in addition to every other prisoner. "Haniyeh also praised Egypt and Germany for their collective role in wrapping up the deal, which saw Israel release nearly 20 female Palestinians in exchange for a video of Shalit that proved he was still alive. 

PA denies role in postponing UN report debate
10/2/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - President Mahmoud Abbas' spokesman denied reports on Friday that the Palestinian Authority had dropped its support for the UN-backed Goldstone report earlier the same day in Geneva. In a carefully worded statement, Nabil Abu Rudeinah said the postponement came after a request from Russia, the United States, and Europe, in a move that was welcomed by other parties at the UN Human Rights Council. The spokesman did not explain why the PLO's ambassador to the UN, Ibrahim Khraishi, was quoted on Thursday night as saying that "we decided to defer the matter" when asked by reporters investigating reports that he intended to delay the matter. Abu Rudeinah said the PA never requested that the issue be removed, withdrawn or delayed, and that South African justice Richard Goldstone's report still had the full support of the Fatah-led PA government in Ramallah. 

Abbas: Today’s prisoner release won’t be the last
10/2/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - President Mahmoud Abbas vowed on Friday "to continue efforts toward releasing every prisoner who has spent decades in Israeli jails," shortly after Hamas secured the release of 18 women the same day. Speaking at a reception in Ramallah in honor of the former detainees allowed to return to the West Bank, Abbas insisted that "the Palestinian leadership has not forgotten 11,000 prisoners who remain in Israeli prisons. " But Abbas said that the Palestinian Authority had "other concerns, in addition to the importance of this one, which is preventing the spread of settlements, mainly in Jerusalem, as well as many other issues. "The president reiterated his willingness to continue negotiations toward a final-status agreement with Israel. "Due to the determination of our people, we will succeed and we will establish an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital. 

Fatah ready to make some compromises on unity deal
10/2/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Member of Fatah central committee Jamal Muheisen revealed an agreement amidst his party Thursday to accept holding legislative elections based on 80% proportionate and 20% constituent, and noted Hamas had confirmed its acceptance a 70/30 split. "This means we are not only 10% off from each other now," he said. Muheisen added in an interview with Palestine Radio the decision was in the interests of reaching a unity agreement. He noted disagreement on the pass percentage remains, but that Egypt is currently working on a plan to resolve the difference. Fatah requested parties get at least 2% of the vote before they gain a seat in the Palestinian Legislative Council, while Hamas wants at least three. Concern over legality of agreements - Fatah leader Azzam Al-Ahmad has affirmed more than once that any agreement made between Fatah and Hamas must not be above the law. 

Hamas: PA detained 11 affiliates in West Bank cities
10/2/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Over the past two days Palestinian Authority force have detained eleven Hamas-affiliates, the party said. The members were taken from the cities of Nablus, Hebron, Jenin, Ramallah and Tulkarem. A statement from the party said several of the employees from the Ahrar Center for Detainees' Studies were among those detained. [end] 

Fatah’s Rajoub: Hamas has agreed to reconcile on elections
10/2/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Hamas has agreed to reconcile on issues over holding presidential, legislative and Palestinian National Council elections, Deputy Secretary of Fatah Central Committee Jibril Rajoub announced on Palestine TV Thursday. The information was communicated to Fatah by Egypt, Rajoub said, and added that the country will invite Fatah, Hamas, and the rest of the Palestinian factions to sign the reconciliation agreement in October. The final meeting comes after mediators met with representatives of all factions and listening to their feedback over the proposal for Palestinian unity handed out to factions on 25 August, Egyptian mediators have prepared a final draft of the proposal, ready to be signed during an all-factions meeting in Cairo. The final draft will be distributed to faction leaders next week. 

Sources: Hamas delegation returns to Gaza
10/2/2009 - Al-A'rish - Ma'an - Egyptian security sources said that a Hamas delegation headed by Khalil Al-Haya returned to Gaza through the Rafah crossing on Friday afternoon. They told Ma'an that "the delegation carried out a two-week tour of Egypt and Syria during which they held meetings with Egyptian officials to discuss the suspended points in the Palestinian internal dialogue and [Gilad] Shalit's issue. " The group travelled with Mahmoud Az-Zahhar several days earlier to hand over the Islamic movement's response to the Egyptian proposal and to urge its signing by the end of October, according to our sources. The sources added that the Hamas delegation was headed by Al-Haya, and included Salah Al-Bardawil, Kahled Abu Sedu, Mahdi Abed Ar-Razeq, Riyadh Al-Labban, and Ibrahim Abu Rezeq. Hamas has agreed to reconcile on issues over holding presidential, legislative and Palestinian. . . 

Hamas: Unity deal to be signed by 22 October
10/2/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said on Friday that a national meeting including all Palestinian factions would be held on 19 October in Cairo where he expects every unresolved disunity issue to be finalized. "The signing formula, which will be approved by all factions, is based on the Egyptian vision for all unresolved issue," he said. Barhoum said every outstanding issue in the two-year Palestinian divide would be wrapped up by 22 October, and that factional representatives would begin arriving in Cairo on 18 October. Meanwhile, Egyptian security sources said that a Hamas delegation headed by Khalil Al-Haya returned to Gaza through the Rafah crossing on Friday afternoon. They told Ma'an that "the delegation carried out a two-week tour of Egypt and Syria during which they held meetings with Egyptian officials to discuss the suspended points in the Palestinian internal dialogue and [Gilad] Shalit's issue. 

Palestine Telegraph

Palestinians Prisoners Waiting A complete Freedom
  Palestine October 2, 2009, (Pal Telegraph)-In an amazing celebration in both Gaza and West Bank, the 19 Palestinian prisoners have been greatly welcomed today 2 Oct 2009. 18 Palestinian women persons have been released to the West Bank and one to...

Vote on Gaza report deferred
Palestine, October 2, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) - The Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) has supported a decision to defer a vote on the UN-sanctioned report on the Gaza war until next March, Al Jazeera has learned.

Greek on-line protest against participation of Israeli archaeologist in UNESCO symposium
Greece. October 2, 2009, (Pal Telegraph)- The Greek Association for Solidarity with the Palestinian People, INTIFADA, has called for a cultural and academic boycott of the symposium entitled Intercultural Encounters in the Hellenized Orient organized by UNESCO in Paris.

Threat of demolition against 131 apartments in Jerusalem, homes for 1,000 citizens
Jerusalem, October 1, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - The Israeli policy of destroying Palestinian homes in occupied East Jerusalem is continuing at a rapid pace.

Agreement reached for release of 20 Palestinian female prisoners
Gaza, September 30, 2009 (Pal Telegraph)- Ezzedeen Al Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Islamic resistance movement Hamas, confirmed that an agreement was made to release 20 Palestinian female prisoners from the Zionist jails in the next few days in exchange to...

The National

Captured Israeli soldier looks well in brief video
2 Oct 2009 - Captured three years ago by Hamas, the Israeli soldier Cpl Gilad Shalit appears in a short video.

Hamas hands over video in exchange for prisoners
2 Oct 2009 - Hamas hands over a tape showing an Israeli soldier held captive since 2006.

Israel moves toward prisoner swap
2 Oct 2009 - Israel and the Palestinians are expected to take a first, tentative step toward swapping a captive Israeli soldier for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners.

Hepatitis C emerges as Egypt's top health crisis
1 Oct 2009 - When the government took measures against the waterborne parasite bilharzia, it infected millions with the potentially deadly virus hepatitis C.

Tehran agrees to further nuclear talks
1 Oct 2009 - Iran agrees to further discussions over measures aimed at persuading the world it is not building nuclear weapons.


Israel releases Palestinian women
2 Oct 2009 - Nineteen female detainees are freed in return for video of captured Israeli soldier.

Vote on UN report on Gaza deferred
1 Oct 2009 - Motion on endorsing UN report on Gaza war postponed in Geneva in bid for consensus.

Iran agrees to more nuclear checks
1 Oct 2009 - Tehran to allow inspections of Qom facility after talks with six world powers.

UN: Poverty tripled in Gaza
1 Oct 2009 - UNRWA says the number of Gazans considered "abject poor" has tripled to 300,000 this year.

Alternative Information Center

Through Women's Eyes: Report on the Gender-Specific Impact and Consequences of Operation Cast Lead
2 Oct 2009 - The recent Israeli offensive—codenamed Operation ‘Cast Lead’ by the Israeli authorities—claimed the lives of 118 women, and injured 825 more. In total 1,414 Palestinians lost their lives, 1,177 (83%) of whom were civilians. A further 5,303...

Palestine News Network

Prisoner exchange takes place: one Palestinian to Gaza and 18 to Ramallah for video tape of Shalit
2 Oct 2009 - Beit Hanoun / PNN – The Israelis released officially on Friday morning 19 Palestinian political prisoners in exchange for receipt of a recent video tape of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit captured in the Gaza Strip in 2006. This exchange constitutes the first stage in a long process that could lead to the release of hundreds out of thousands of Palestinian political prisoners from...

Demonstration at UNRWA demands real housing for families evicted from Sheikh Jarrah
1 Oct 2009 - Jerusalem / Maisa Abu Ghazaleh for PNN – Families of East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood protested this week out the UNRWA headquarters. The message was to pressure the occupying Israeli government to allow citizens to return to their homes.Sheikh Jarrah is just one of several East Jerusalem neighborhoods from which Palestinians are being forcibly evicted and replaced by Jewish settlers.The United Nations Relief...

Tony Blair's niece joins Peace Cycle to Palestine
1 Oct 2009 - The niece of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair is to brave checkpoints, soldiers and blistering sun to cycle across the Middle East from 9 October. Eight-year-old Alexandra Darby will be joined by her mother Lauren Booth and 15 other cyclists riding from Amman, Jordan, all the way to Jerusalem.Her uncle Tony Blair, now Middle East Envoy for the Quartet, has so...

Nightly invasions of nonviolent resistance community of Bil’in become routine: call for support
1 Oct 2009 - Bi’lin / Iyad Burnat – The night invasions continue in western Ramallah’s Bil’in Village with several members of the local nonviolent resistance imprisoned. Shortly before 2:00 am Wednesday, Israeli forces invaded Bil'in once again. They raided the house of 32 year old Basil Mansour Ali Mansour, a member of the Bil'in Popular Committee. The Israelis were attempting to arrest the nonviolent activist, but...

Human rights report on violations against Palestinians includes killing of 9 people, including child
1 Oct 2009 - PNN – This week the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights issued its report for the seventeenth through the thirtieth of September. Among the violations of human rights is the killing of nine Palestinians, among them a child who was run down by a military jeep.The PCHR report follows:PCHR - Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) Continue Systematic Attacks against Palestinian Civilians and Property in...

Hamas: if UN and Goldstone report not respected, future crimes against Palestinians will worsen
1 Oct 2009 - Gaza / PNN - Government spokesman Taher Al Nunu said from Gaza today that the Hamas government is following closely Israeli efforts to push the United Nations to ignore results of the recent fact-finding commission. When the commission, headed by Richard Goldstone, found that the Israelis had committed war crimes and possibly crimes against humanity, Israeli leaders began a campaign to discredit Goldstone...

Legislative Council member cautiously optimistic over yesterday’s news of female prisoner exchange
1 Oct 2009 - Nablus / PNN – Palestinian Legislative Council member Mona Mansour expressed her happiness over yesterday’s news that 20 Palestinian women are to be released from Israeli prisons. The exchange involves 20 women for a 20 second video of the captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Mansour described the release as a national achievement by the Palestinian resistance.She praised the move saying, “The suffering of...


LEBANON: Plight of the trafficked domestic worker
BEIRUT Wednesday, September 30, 2009 (IRIN) - Abbey was a nurse at a French hospital in Madagascar when a recruitment agency suggested to her boss that she travel to Lebanon for three years to work and learn Arabic so she could better care for the Arab sailors whose ships docked...

EGYPT-ISRAEL: How many migrants are dying at the border?
TEL AVIV Wednesday, September 30, 2009 (IRIN) - Rights groups such as Amnesty International have called on the Egyptian authorities to "urgently rein in their border security forces" after seven African asylum-seekers were killed in September trying to cross into Israel on foot, but some Israeli NGOs and soldiers say...

LEBANON: Move to take domestic violence cases out of religious courts
BEIRUT Wednesday, September 23, 2009 (IRIN) - As lawmakers struggle to form a government three months after Lebanon's parliamentary elections, women's rights activists await the opening of parliament to debate a new bill on domestic violence.

Inter Press Service

US-IRAN: Geneva Talks Seen as Potential Breakthrough 
WASHINGTON, Oct 2 (IPS) - While experts here are being deliberately tentative in their assessments of Thursday's meeting in Geneva between Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany (P5+1), there appears to be a growing sense that the results could lay the basis for...

EGYPT: Virtually, Some Real Freedom 
CAIRO, Oct 2 (IPS) - Egyptians critical of their government are using new media and the Internet to expose its improprieties and press for social change.

Stop The Wall

Protests continue in al-Ma’sara; three arrested in Bil’in last Friday
29 Sep 2009 - Weekly actions against the Wall were held in the villages of Bil'in and al-Ma'sara, with demonstrators calling for an end to settlement activity and Palestinian unity. Soldiers tear gassed marchers in Bil'in and arrested three people near the Wall. [

PCHR Latest

PCHR: Human Rights Council Must Endorse Findings and Recommendations of Goldstone Enquiry, PCHR Condemns Israel's Granting of Permission for Settlers to Enter al-Aqsa Mosque and Use of Excessive Force against Palestinian Civilians

PCHR Weekly Report

(17- 30 Sep. 2009), information on boycott, divestment and sanctions
This report on Israeli human rights violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) coincides with the 9th anniversary of the al-Aqsa Intifada, which erupted following the former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s provocative visit to the al-Aqsa Mosque (the Holy Sanctuary) in occupied Jerusalem.

International Solidarity Movement

Israeli forces raid Bil’in
10/1/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - 30 September 2009 - Shortly before 2am, the occupation forces invaded Bil'in once again. They raided the house of Basil Mansour Ali Mansour (age 32), a member of the Bil'in Popular Committee, in an attempt to arrest him, but he was not at home at the time. About a dozen soldiers had entered the house when Palestinian and international activists arrived at the site. Another 15 soldiers surrounded the house preventing anyone from approaching during their search operation. They aggressively pushed the activists away from the house, declaring it a closed military area, and prohibiting any filming. They grabbed the camera of the local cameraman, Haitham Al-Khatib, damaging it. At 3am, the occupation forces left the house without any victim and exited the village in five jeeps. Updated on October 1, 2009. 

Arabs mark October 2000 with general strike
10/1/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - YNet News - The Arab sector on Thursday marked the ninth anniversary of the October riots by calling a general strike across Israel. The strike is lead by the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee under the banner: "For the martyrs that were killed in October 2000″. During the riots that broke out with the start of the al-Aqsa intifada, 13 Arabs and one Jew were killed. There was high participation in Thursday's strike, being the third time the Arab public goes on such a general strike. The previous strikes in the sector took place on the first and third anniversaries of the riots. In recent years the committee has refrained from calling a general strike, since it believed the public would not be so responsive. Almost all Arab cities and towns, including Umm el-Fahm, Sakhnin, Arraba, Tayibe, as well as Arab neighborhoods in mixed cities such as Haifa and Jaffa, closed their businesses, local authorities, schools and kindergartens. 

Palestinians cry ’blackmail’ over Israel phone service threat
10/1/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - The Independent - Israel is threatening to kill off a crucial West Bank economic project unless the Palestinian Authority withdraws a request to the International Criminal Court to investigate alleged Israeli crimes during last winter's Gaza war. Shalom Kital, an aide to defence minister Ehud Barak, said today that Israel will not release a share of the radio spectrum that has long been sought by the Palestinian Authority to enable the launch of a second mobile telecommunications company unless the PA drops its efforts to put Israeli soldiers and officers in the dock over the Israeli operation. "It's a condition. We are saying to the Palestinians that "˜if you want a normal life and are trying to embark on a new way, you must stop your incitement," Mr. Kital said. "We are helping the Palestinian economy but one thing we ask them is to stop with these embarrassing charges. " 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

Gilad Shalit in video: I've been longing for my freedom for a long time
1 Oct 2009 - Family of abducted soldier okays broadcast of video of Gilad holding newspaper dated Sept. 14, 2009. 

Noam Shalit: Gilad is suffering and rotting in Hamas captivity
1 Oct 2009 - Noam Shalit, father of abducted Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit, told reporters Friday that Israel must continue efforts to free his son and must remember that he is suffering in the hands of his captors. ...

IN PICTURES / Israel trades prisoners for Gilad Shalit video
1 Oct 2009 - Israel released 20 female Palestinian prisoners from its prisons on Friday in exchange for a video showing captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit alive and reportedly healthy. ...

Hamas and Egypt: Shalit 'video deal' is not a breakthrough 
1 Oct 2009 - The video of Gilad Shalit will be handed to government officials Friday, through the German mediator in the negotiations for the captured soldier's release. In exchange, Israel is releasing 20 female Palestinian prisoners. Nineteen are to be released Friday, and the other woman on Sunday. ... 

U.S.: We won't let Iran stall long enough to develop nuclear program
1 Oct 2009 - Talks between Iran and six world powers in Geneva end with agreement to meet again this month. 

The Guardian

Video shows captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit looking well
2 Oct 2009 - Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier captured near Gaza more than three years ago, appeared unhurt and in good health in a video recording received by the Israeli government yesterday. Shalit spoke, walked briefly towards the camera...

Video: Footage shows Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit looking healthy
2 Oct 2009 - Israel received a two-minute video of captured soldier, Gilad Shalit, after it asked Hamas for 'proof of life'. The following video is in Hebrew and will be translated shortly

Fatah and Hamas set for surface unity | Ben White
2 Oct 2009 - The two Palestinian factions may agree to an Egypt-brokered unity deal – but only by glossing over their core differences After half a dozen unsuccessful attempts, there is now a strong sense that Egypt has managed...

Israel frees Palestinian women after Gilad Shalit video
2 Oct 2009 - Nineteen female prisoners freed after Hamas hands over minute-long video of captured Israeli soldier Israel released 19 female Palestinian prisoners today in return for a video of a soldier captured by Palestinian militants near Gaza more...

Small beer at Taybeh, Palestine's only brewery
2 Oct 2009 - Taybeh, the only brewery in Palestinian territories, is thriving despite an array of unusual challenges As beer-making businesses go, the Taybeh brewery faces an unusual raft of challenges. It is the only brewery in the Palestinian...

UN delays action on Gaza war report
2 Oct 2009 - Palestinian leaders drop backing for resolution on document critical of Israel and Hamas The UN today put off action on a report criticising Israel's actions during the war in Gaza after Palestinian leaders suddenly dropped their...

In pictures: The Taybeh brewery in West Bank
2 Oct 2009 - The only domestic lager in the Palestinian territories comes from the West Bank village of Taybeh

hiring high-powered attorneys, lobbying Western governments
1 Oct 2009 - The Palestinian Authority has withdrawn its support for a UN Human Rights Council resolution on alleged war crimes in Gaza, diplomats say. The resolution endorses a UN report that claims both Israel and Palestinian militant groups...

Russian born tycoon who fled Israel indicted on fraud charges
1 Oct 2009 - Israeli authorities have indicted a Russian-born tycoon who fled the country on charges of fraud and money laundering. The indictment filed in a Tel Aviv court today says Arkady Gaydamak conspired with Israeli banking officials to...

Ha'aretz National page

Gilad Shalit video / Footage with full English transcript 
1 Oct 2009 - Hamas handed over video from September 14 in return for release by Israel of 20 female Palestinian prisoners. 

Amos Oz named a favorite to win Nobel prize for literature
1 Oct 2009 - Israeli writer Amos Oz is favorite to be picked for the 2009 Nobel literature prize next Thursday, but with the judging notoriously hard to predict, he is far from a safe bet. ...

Jerusalem couple wounded in botched murder-suicide attempt 
1 Oct 2009 - A Jerusalem resident and his ex-wife were seriously wounded on Friday morning in what police believe may have been a botched murder-suicide attempt. ...

A Kafkaesque search for the keys to Kafka's Tel Aviv legacy
1 Oct 2009 - "It's terribly symbolic that Judge K. is the one hearing the case, don't you think?," asked Judge Talia Pardo Kupelman Thursday, alluding to the protagonist of Franz Kafka's "The Trial" during deliberations over the writer's estate. ... 

'Ajami' hoping to represent Israel at Oscars 
1 Oct 2009 - The preliminary list of candidates for the Best Foreign Language Film ...

Relief Web

UN Human Rights Council: Traditional values' vote and Gaza overshadow progress 
2 Oct 2009 - Source: Human Rights Watch

Press conference by Security Council President on October work programme
2 Oct 2009 - Source: UN Department of Public Information

In Syria, 'capoeira' helps Palestinian-Iraqi children heal psycho-social wounds
2 Oct 2009 - Source: UN Children's Fund

Israel/Occupied Palestinian Territories: UN must act now on Goldstone report
2 Oct 2009 - Source: Amnesty

Human Rights Council defers decision on UN probe into Gaza conflict
2 Oct 2009 - Source: UN News Service

Human Rights Council adopts six resolutions and one decision on discrimination against women and freedom of expression, among others
2 Oct 2009 - Source: UN Human Rights Council

YNet News

Hamas leader: We'll capture more soldiers
2 Oct 2009 - Khaled Mashaal vows to abduct more Israeli troops in order to free all Palestinian prisoners 

Head of Free Shalit campaign: I wept while watching video 
2 Oct 2009 - Shimshon Libman says government must seal prisoner swap with Hamas as soon as possible 

Noam Shalit: Concerned by images of Gilad
2 Oct 2009 - After more than three years in captivity, Shalit family receives sign of life from Gilad in form of Hamas videotape; soldier's father: We are concerned by images, must not forget that Gilad is suffering, rotting in Hamas prison 

UN rights body defers vote on Gaza war crime report 
2 Oct 2009 - United Nations Human Rights Council puts off taking action on Goldstone report accusing both Israel, Hamas of of war crimes during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, amid US pressure aimed at getting peace process back on track 

Haniyeh: Exchange victory for kidnappers
2 Oct 2009 - Hamas prime minister in Gaza holds press conference following released of 19 female Palestinian prisoners in exchange for video of captive soldier Gilad Shalit, expresses hope that 'release serves as prelude to honorable deal' 

Shalit family okays release of video to public
2 Oct 2009 - After 1,195 days of waiting, Noam and Aviva Shalit view video of son in Hamas captivity, agree to allow Prime Minister's Office to release it to public. Source says Shalit clean-shaven, looks well, and talks lucidly in video, holding Palestinian newspaper from September 14 that proves it was filmed recently 

Daily Star

ElBaradei bound for Iran to pin down Geneva accord
2 Oct 2009 - The head of the UN nuclear watchdog will head to Iran this weekend to pin down an Iranian pledge, made at talks with big powers on Thursday, to open a newly revealed atomic plant to inspections. The Geneva meeting, which also yielded agreement on follow-up talks later this month, lowered the tension a notch in a standoff over fears that Iran is secretly trying to develop nuclear weapons.

Israel, Palestine buoyed by prisoner swap
2 Oct 2009 - An Israeli soldier held captive for the past three years by the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas smiled briefly and looked healthy in a two-minute Hamas video handed over to Israel on Friday. Gilad Shalit, abducted in 2006, was shown holding up a copy of the Arabic-language newspaper "Palestine" dated September 14.

Israel trying to dodge overseas prosecution
2 Oct 2009 - Stung by a damning UN report alleging war crimes in Gaza, Israel is taking extraordinary steps to fend off potential international prosecution of its political and military leaders, hiring high-powered attorneys, lobbying Western governments and launching a public relations blitz. Israel has dismissed the UN investigation into its winter offensive in the Gaza Strip as biased.

France seeks arrests in Moroccan political kidnap
2 Oct 2009 - The United Nations put off taking action on Friday on a UN report that accuses both Israel and  Palestinian militants of war crimes in Gaza, after US pressure aimed at getting the peace process back on track. The move is an early concrete result of the Obama administration's engagement in the Human Rights Council, which Washington joined in June.

Protests in Paris greet Armenian president
2 Oct 2009 - Violent protests broke out Friday at the start of Armenian President Serge Sarkisian's tour of Armenian communities worldwide, with demonstrators in Paris shouting "traitor!" at him and decrying his plans to establish ties with Turkey. Sarkisian embarked on the tour - which will also take him to the United States, Russia and Lebanon - to seek support for his landmark.

In Egypt, swine flu fears are buried under chronic rubbish threat
2 Oct 2009 - "Look, that's where the swine flu is going to come from," said a weary Marzouka Beshir, pointing to a pile of rubbish rotting under the blazing sun in Imbaba, a working class neighborhood in Cairo. In their overcrowded areas, overflowing with litter, many like this 52-year-old Egyptian woman, have trouble coming to grips with the dramatic measures taken by authorities to combat the A(H1N1) flu.

Palestinian Information Center

Shalit calls on Israeli government to conclude prisoners exchange deal
2 Oct 2009 - Israeli occupation soldier, Gilad Shalit, who is being held by Palestinian resistance groups, called on the Israeli government not waste the opportunity of reaching a prisoner exchange deal.

Zak: Our joy won't be complete before the release of Palestinian captives
2 Oct 2009 - Fatemah al-Zak expressed her delight at being released from Israeli occupation jails, but hastened to add that joy will not be complete before the release of all Palestinian captives..

PA security forces in Gaza arrest spy ring working for the occupation
2 Oct 2009 - The PA security forces in the Gaza Strip have succeeded in detecting and arresting a spy ring in the Strip working for the Israeli Shabak, media sources in the Strip disclosed.

Abbas to withdraw support for the Goldstone report
2 Oct 2009 - The PA authority in Ramallah lead by Mahmoud Abbas, whose term in office has expired, is withdrawing its support for the Goldstone report which accuses Israel of war crimes in Gaza..

Ghoul: The IOA fears Goldstone report because it accuses it with war crimes
2 Oct 2009 - MP Dr. Mohammed Faraj Al-Ghoul said on Thursday that the IOA was greatly disturbed by the Goldstone report because it clearly accuses it of committing war crimes.

Zahhar: Big efforts are underway to achieve Palestinian reconciliation
2 Oct 2009 - Dr. Mahmoud Al-Zahhar, member of Hamas's political bureau, has asserted Wednesday that big efforts were underway to achieve the Palestinian national reconciliation..

Hamas’s resilience essential for national unity
2 Oct 2009 - The auspicious news from Cairo that Fatah and Hamas are close to agreeing to a national unity pact is a great-post present for the Palestinian people.

Barsh: IOA, Ramallah authority responsible for lives of Gaza patients
2 Oct 2009 - The Ramallah authority is procrastinating in sending medicines to Gaza this year after it reduced Gaza share last year by half, Munir Al-Barsh, the director of pharmacy in the health ministry, said.

Radwan: Israel has no choice but to deal with the captors of Shalit
2 Oct 2009 - Senior Hamas official Ismail Radwan said that the Israeli government has no choice but to deal with the captors of Shalit, and agree to their demands regarding the prisoner swap deal.

Israeli warplanes renew shelling of border area
2 Oct 2009 - Israeli warplanes fired a number of missiles on the Egyptian-Palestinian borders south of Rafah to the southernmost tip of the Gaza Strip at dawn Thursday but no casualties were reported so far.

Los Angeles Times

Song Kun at Walter Maciel Gallery 
2 Oct 2009 - Also reviewed: Constance Mallinson at Pomona College; Iranian artists at Morono Kiang Gallery and more. Paintings with a fuzzy, blissed-out, sun-bleached look have a venerable contemporary history, beginning with Vija Celmins and Gerhard Richter in the 1960s, continuing with Ellen Phelan in the 1980s and then on to Luc Tuymans more recently. Now, among others, add young Beijing painter Song Kun to the accomplished roster. 

Hopeful signs emerge from talks with Iran 
2 Oct 2009 - Tehran is said to agree to inspection of its new nuclear plant and to sending uranium to Russia for enrichment. The United States and other world powers said they made progress Thursday in high-level talks with Iran, taking fragile but potentially significant steps toward resolving the international showdown over Tehran's nuclear program. 

Iran, world powers plan second round of nuclear talks 
1 Oct 2009 - As world powers meet in Geneva, representatives of Iran and the U.S. hold a rare one-on-one meeting and discuss Iran's nuclear program and human rights. U.S. officials are cautiously upbeat. Iran and the major powers will hold another round of negotiations on the Islamic Republic's disputed nuclear program, officials said today after completing talks in Geneva, where representatives of Washington and Tehran held a rare one-on-one meeting. 

Israel and Hamas agree to a swap 
1 Oct 2009 - They are to exchange 20 female Palestinian prisoners for a recent videotape of Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier seized in 2006 near Gaza. Any accord on his release would involve a much larger swap. Shortly after he was seized by Palestinian militants, Gilad Shalit wrote of his ordeal as an "intolerable and inhumane nightmare." The letter, one of just three the captive Israeli soldier has been allowed to write, appealed to authorities to bring him home from his "closed and solitary prison" in the Gaza Strip. 

New York Times

Video Shows Captive Israeli Soldier in Good Health
2 Oct 2009 - Gilal Shalit, held by Hamas, appeared in good health in a video obtained in exchange for the liberation of 19 Palestinian female prisoners on Friday. 

Iranian Opposition Leader Warns Against Sanctions
1 Oct 2009 - TORONTO — The top Iranian opposition leader warned ahead of the talks between Iran and major powers in Geneva that tougher sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program could hurt the opposition movement more than the government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. 

Palestinians Halt Push on War Report
1 Oct 2009 - The Palestinian delegation to the U.N. Human Rights Council dropped its efforts to forward a report accusing Israel of possible war crimes. 

Iran Agrees to Send Enriched Uranium to Russia
1 Oct 2009 - Iran agreed to open its newly revealed nuclear plant to inspectors and to send most of its enriched uranium to Russia to be turned into fuel. 

Possibility of a Nuclear-Armed Iran Alarms Arabs
1 Oct 2009 - Though it is uncertain how the confrontation over Iranian nuclear facilities will play out, some in the Persian Gulf region are even envisioning a military strike by the West, or Israel. 


Letter to Gaza from a West Bank Palestinian
Mondoweiss - 2 Oct 2009 - Dear Gazans, I am very sorry. I am speechless. I keep thinking that my people in the West Bank will come to their senses and turn against the collaborators in the government that supported the indiscriminate slaughter of your children last December, I did not think...

Israeli refusers bring ‘a declaration of sanity’ to New York City
Mondoweiss - 2 Oct 2009 - Last night, I attended a presentation by two women named Maya Wind and Netta Mishly of the Shministim, a group of young Israelis who refuse mandatory military service, and are often sentenced to repeated prison terms until they either change their minds or obtain a recognized...

Obama has reaffirmed double standard for Israel/Iran on NPT
Mondoweiss - 2 Oct 2009 - The other day Mike Desch asked on this site why amid all the pressure on Iran not to get a nuke there’s no talk about Israel’s many nuclear warheads. Eli Lake answers that question in today’s Washington Times . President Obama has reaffirmed a 4-decade-old secret understanding...

sex, lies, and Vince Foster
Mondoweiss - 2 Oct 2009 - Last night Chris Matthews had the credulous Taylor Branch on to talk about his Clinton book, The Clinton Tapes. It sounds like there is a lot of self-pity as well as resentment at the press expressed by Clinton in the book, for distracting the Clinton presidency...

Maybe tail won’t wag dog this time
Mondoweiss - 1 Oct 2009 - I’m an optimist. Here’s an important sign that the American establishment may be coming around, realizing that an attack on Iran is nuts. At AEI/Brookings event, Ken Pollack came out against an attack on Iran , for containment. Matt Duss reports: In his opening remarks, Pollack said...

Through Women's Eyes: Report on the Gender-Specific Impact and Consequences of Operation Cast Lead
Alternative Information Center - 2 Oct 2009 - The recent Israeli offensive—codenamed Operation ‘Cast Lead’ by the Israeli authorities—claimed the lives of 118 women, and injured 825 more. In total 1,414 Palestinians lost their lives, 1,177 (83%) of whom were civilians. A further 5,303 were injured. The infrastructure of the Gaza Strip was decimated,...


Electronic Intifada
Review: Gannit Ankori's "Palestinian Art"
2 Oct 2009 - In 2006 Israeli art historian Gannit Ankori published Palestinian Art (Reaktion Books LTD, London), a 200-plus page text that attempts to "emphasize the broad range and richness that characterize Palestinian art, as well as its specific manifestations and individual narratives. Maymanah Farhat writes for The Electronic Intifada, the first in a series reviewing recent surveys of Palestinian art. 

Abbas helps Israel bury its crimes in Gaza
2 Oct 2009 - Just when it seemed that the Ramallah Palestinian Authority and its leader Mahmoud Abbas could not sink any lower in their complicity with Israel's occupation of the West Bank and the murderous blockade of Gaza, Ramallah has dealt a further stunning blow to the Palestinian people. The Abbas delegation to the United Nations in Geneva (officially representing the moribund Palestine Liberation Organization) abandoned a resolution requesting the Human Rights Council to forward Judge Richard Goldstone's report on war crimes in Gaza to the UN Security Council for further action. Ali Abunimah comments for The Electronic Intifada. 

Answering critics of the boycott movement
1 Oct 2009 - The list of successful boycott, divestment and sanctions actions has now become too long to list, yet, there are still many out there who do not believe in this movement and have reservations on a number of grounds, offering two main concerns that are rarely tackled, and when they are it is only cursory. The first is the criticism of why a boycott movement against Israel and not countries like China, Sudan or the US. The second concerns the argument that boycott is against dialogue. Sami Hermez comments for The Electronic Intifada. 

Obama must match rhetoric with principle
1 Oct 2009 - US President Barack Obama has placed restoration of the stature of the United States among his primary foreign policy goals. He has already achieved substantial progress in Europe, where polls indicate that he is widely admired. The president's June Cairo University speech also won praise in the Arab and Muslim worlds. Yet many across the globe still await the substantive policy changes implied by his inspiring words. George Bisharat comments. 

In Gaza
beit hanoun olive harvest
1 Oct 2009 - A day of olive picking in Gaza’s north. A day of traditional Palestinian songs, and teasing, olive stains, and stories of lost olive trees and bulldozed homes. We, a number of Palestinian and international volunteers, are participating is because of the danger of Israeli soldiers opening fire on the harvesters –the trees are roughly 1 km from the northern border wall, and while Israeli officials say their Israeli-imposed “buffer zone” extends only 300m, experience has shown that farmers and civilians near that arbitrary line are subject to lethal shooting. The Palestinian contingent is the lively “Local Initiative” group from Beit Hanoun. On most accompaniments, I’ve seen a couple of men...

Palestine Chronicle
The Comic Genius of Netanyahu
2 Oct 2009 - By Stuart Littlewood - London Knowing that Iran won't surrender its right to civil nuclear power, the schemers in Tel Aviv and Washington were bound to mount a hysterical campaign to scare the rest of the world into believing this would bring terror to our own streets. And at the United Nations we saw the process swing into action as Netanyahu tried to whip up support for another Middle East war for Israel's benefit. Yesterday, the man who calls the Holocaust a lie spoke from this podium… To those who gave this Holocaust-denier a hearing, I say on behalf of my people, the Jewish people, and decent people everywhere: Have you no shame? Have you no decency?" Who with a speck of decency would have given Netanyahu a hearing after the atrocities of the Gaza blitzkrieg and the Goldstone Report condemning Israel's war crimes? "This Iranian regime is fueled by an extreme fundamentalism... anyone not deemed to be a true believer is brutally subjugated." Netanyahu could be describing the Israeli regime. "…The greatest threat facing the world today is the marriage between religious fanaticism and the weapons of mass destruction." He should know. Israel is bristling with both. "The most urgent challenge facing this body is to prevent the tyrants of Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons." That would be nice for the warmongers in Tel Aviv, who already have them. "Will the international community thwart the world's most pernicious sponsors and practitioners of terrorism?" I do hope so. But are...

Mizrahi Jews Reach Out to the Arab World
2 Oct 2009 - By Sherri Muzher When the late Egyptian president and Pan-Arabist Gamal Abdel Nasser led the Egyptian Revolution of 1952, it may surprise people to know that it was the Egyptian singer and Mizrahi Jew Leila Murad who was chosen as the Revolution's official singer. Murad was chosen over the much loved Egyptian singer and darling of the Arab world, Umm Kalthoum. The reality is that Mizrahi Jews a.k.a. Arab Jews have played important roles throughout Arab history. Recently, I had the opportunity to interview Mizrahi Jewish journalist and activist Mati Shemoelof. He and other Mizrahi Jews issued a special letter to the Arab/Muslim world this past summer -- not only talking about their shared history but also to realize the positive message set forth by Presedent Obama earlier this year in Cairo, Egypt. Sherri Muzher (SM): Before getting into the letter, 'A New Spirit: A Letter from Jewish Descendents of the Countries of Islam,' I was hoping that you could describe what being a Mizrahi Jew has meant to you and how has it shaped your outlook throughout your life? Mati Shemoelof (MS): Being a Mizrahi Jew is a personal family matter, as well as a political issue. It is part of other identities I hold. Also to be Mizrahi Jew is part of my social struggle to change the values that stand in the covenant/treaty between the state and the society. Because Mizrahis are still oppressed, it is my task to fight against discrimination and look for a multi-cultural...

On Palestinian Civil Disobedience
1 Oct 2009 - By Neve Gordon Sometime in 1846, Henry David Thoreau spent a night in jail because he refused to pay his taxes. This was his way of opposing the Mexican-American War as well as the institution of slavery. A few years later he published the essay Civil Disobedience, which has since been read by millions of people, including many Israelis and Palestinians. Kobi Snitz read the book. He is an Israeli anarchist who is currently serving a 20 day sentence for refusing to pay a 2,000 shekel fine. Thirty-eight year-old Snitz was arrested with other activists in the small Palestinian village of Kharbatha back in 2004 while trying to prevent the demolition of the home of a prominent member of the local popular committee. The demolition, so it seems, was carried out both to intimidate and punish the local leader who had, just a couple of weeks earlier, began organizing weekly demonstrations against the annexation wall. Both the demonstrations and the attempt to stop the demolition were acts of civil disobedience. In a letter sent to friends the night before his incarceration, Snitz writes that "I and the others who were arrested with me are guilty of nothing except not doing more to oppose the state's truly criminal policies." Snitz also explains that paying the fine is an acknowledgment of guilt which he finds demeaning. Finally, he concludes his epistle by insisting that his punishment is trivial when compared to the punishment meted out to Palestinian teenagers who have resisted the...

Iran's Nuclear Theater Meant to Divert Attention
1 Oct 2009 - By Ramzy Baroud World events have taken an interesting turn recently, with the Goldstone report, which wreaked havoc in the beginning of the week being nearly completely overshadowed by Iran’s revelation of another nuclear facility, according to diplomats in Vienna on September 25. The Iran nuclear threat - although theater is a more suitable term - was highlighted repeatedly, first by US President Barack Obama during a UN speech on September 23, then again by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the next day. The latter came armed with maps and relentlessly provoked Holocaust memories, following the ever so predictable, albeit insensitive and deceptive pattern. This charade was meant to distract from the nearly 600 page UN report, prepared by South Africa judge Richard Goldstone and others, dedicated mostly to Israeli war crimes in Gaza. Confirming that Israel wantonly used weapons, including illegal weapons, against a defenseless civilian population in Gaza and going so far to say that Israel did not only commit war crimes, but indeed may have also committed crimes against humanity, the findings of the report were all set by the wayside. The report was utterly rebuked by Netanyahu and his ilk, arrogantly disregarded and shelved. Concurrently, Israel’s official statement regarding the IAEA’s pressure on Israel to sign on to the Non-Proliferation Treaty was that Israel “deplored” such a notion. The Israeli conceit may be redundant, but is as ever infuriating. Many of Israel’s devoted supporters accused the Goldstone mission of fabricating conclusions before the investigations even came...

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