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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
8 October, 2009


Ma'an News

PA: Tear gas fired at in-session middle school
10/8/2009 - Hebron - Ma'an - Israeli soldiers blockaded a school near Hebron and fired tear gas at the building on Thursday, according to local teachers and Palestinian Authority security services. In a statement, police said several students suffered gas inhalation during the incident, throughout which teachers reportedly shuttled students out of the back of the school in Tarrama, near Hebron. Approached by Ma'an, an Israeli military spokeswoman said the army looked into the matter, but found no reports of riot-dispersal means, which would include tear gas, in the area within the past 24 hours. In any case, it was not immediately clear what had sparked the purported incident, and there were no immediate reports of damage or injury other than tear-gas inhalation. Located southwest of Hebron, the village of Tarrama is near an Israeli military base. 

Foundation laid for expanded East Jerusalem settlement
10/9/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Flanked by a heavy police presence, Israeli right-wing leaders laid the foundation for an expansion of a settlement in East Jerusalem's Jabal Mukaber neighborhood. Fearing renewed protests following a week of unrest in reaction to perceived Israeli infringement on the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Israeli police blocked streets to allow a procession of settler leaders and activists to the settlement of Nof Zion. "We weren't going to cancel a serious ceremony regarding the construction of another Jewish residency in East Jerusalem just because a few Hooligans make some noise," organizer Avichai Buaran told Israel's Army Radio, according to the newspaper Haaretz. "Nof Zion is in the Arab town of Jabel Mukaber, but it remains a Jewish neighborhood of Jerusalem," he was also quoted as saying. The ceremony marked the beginning of construction of 105 housing units, an addition to an existing 95 units. 

Report: Israel allowed 800 settlers into Nablus
10/8/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The Israeli military allowed 800 settlers to enter the site believed to be the tomb of the biblical figure Joseph in the West Bank city of Nablus. According to the Israeli news site Ynet the Israelis held a prayer service that took place without incident. The tomb is located in the Balata neighborhood on the outskirts of Nablus in an area purportedly under Palestinian Authority control. [end] 

Official: US won’t support action at UNSC
10/8/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Washington will not support any potential action by the UN Security Council on the Goldstone report on war crimes in Gaza, Former US Permanent Representative to the United Nations Alejandro Wolff has declared. Wolff said the US believes that the appropriate platform to discuss the report is the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. The announcement came after a closed-door meeting Wednesday, where the UN Security Council decided to push up their next meeting from 20 to 14 October so a discussion on the Goldstone report can be held, UN officials said. The Wednesday session was called to order by Libya, which holds the rotating presidency of the UN General Assembly this year. The country called the meeting in response to growing concern over a US-backed move by the Palestinian Authority to postpone a resolution that could have seen the UN Human Rights. . . 

Warsaw hero backed Palestinian resistance
10/9/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Marek Edelman, the last surviving leader of World War II's Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, died on Friday. He was 86. Obituaries in the Hebrew press have celebrated Edelman's role in anti-SS resistance organizations, as well as his leadership during the 1944 uprising in Poland's Warsaw Ghetto. In 1943, when Polish Jews were becoming aware that past deportations led to extermination camps, Edelman and a number of other Polish insurgents engaged the Nazis in direct combat. Armed with simple handguns and Molotovs, their actions saved the lives of several thousand civilians slated for deportation on 18 January. Edelman's forces took control of the Warsaw Ghetto for 63 days, during which time militants built dozens of military barriers, as well as executed Jewish collaborators and German intelligence officers alike.

US: Prospect of peace talks trumps Goldstone report
10/8/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - US State Department spokesperson on the Middle East Ian Kelly refused to comment Wednesday on whether or not the US would use their veto in the Security Council over the issue of the Goldstone report. "We recognize that the allegations in the [Goldstone] report need to be investigated thoroughly, and we, of course, were very concerned about the number of civilians who were killed in this operation. But again, we need to stay focused on this long-term goal of addressing the underlying causes for the whole conflict," Kelly told reporters at the State Department following the UN Security Council decision to bump up a meeting on the Middle East to 14 October. An emergency session of the UNSC was held Wednesday to discuss the issue of addressing the Goldstone report, but delegates decided a second emergency session dedicated to the report was unnecessary, but compromised. . . 

Israel’s US envoy compares Goldstone to Nazis
10/8/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israel's ambassador to the United States argues that a United Nations war crimes investigation poses a genocidal threat to Jews comparable to the Nazi Holocaust. "Recognizing the murder of six million Jews more than six decades ago is, in fact, vital for understanding the supreme dangers posed to six million Jews in Israel today by a nuclear Iran and by the Goldstone Report," Ambassador Michael Oren wrote in the US political magazine The New Republic on Tuesday. "The Goldstone Report goes further than [Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Holocaust deniers by stripping the Jews not only of the ability and the need but of the right to defend themselves," he also wrote. Oren, a US-born former Yale University visiting professor, also refers to "the supreme dangers posed to six million Jews in Israel today by a nuclear Iran and by the Goldstone Report. 

Egypt to open Rafah crossing after reconciliation agreement signed
10/8/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Egyptian officials promised to open the Rafah crossing on its border with Gaza the moment the conciliation agreement between Palestinian factions is signed, head of the independent delegation to Cairo Yasser Al-Wadieh said Thursday. According to Al-Wadiyeh, the Egyptian pledge to open the crossing came after a series of meetings he held with Egyptian authorities as the head of a delegation of independents who participated in the spring round of conciliation talks in Cairo. "We now are seeking to provide real guarantees so that the internal [conciliation] agreement can be maintained, and a new phase can be started at the internal level," Al-Wadiyeh said of his work as independent mission head. 

Fatah calls general strike in support of Jerusalem
10/8/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - Fatah's top leadership called for a general strike throughout the nation on Friday in protest against "fierce and planned Israeli attacks" on Jerusalem holy sites. The decision follows a week of high tension in Jerusalem after Israeli settlers backed by police were seen entering the Al-Aqsa Mosque, setting off demonstrations. A statement from the Fatah Central Committee, the movement's highest governing body said the strike was called in order to demonstrate Palestinians "steadfastness and determination to keep hold of our Christian and Islamic holy sites. " The committee also called for peaceful demonstrations that would show that Jerusalem is Palestinians' "eternal capital" and the future seat of government in an independent state. The statement further denounced Israel's expansion of settlements in the city as "an attempt by the Israeli right-wing. . . 

Israeli forces detain two in Hebron
10/8/2009 - Hebron - Ma'an - A minor and an unidentified man were detained Thursday by Israeli forces invading Hebron city and surrounding villages, sources said. In Beit Ummar, north of Hebron, Israeli forces invaded a plastics factory and detained 17-year-old worker Nadim Rasem Ikleyeil, according to Palestinian police. A second unidentified man was detained at a military checkpoint in the Old City of Hebron, Israeli sources said. The man was alleged to have been carrying a knife. Israeli media sources said a total of five Palestinians from the Hebron area were "rounded up" and taken to an unknown detention center for questioning on Thursday. [end] 

Israelis impose Friday age restrictions for Al-Aqsa
10/8/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israeli Interior Minister Yetzhak Aharonivetch ordered new age restrictions for worshipers seeking to visit the Al-Aqsa Mosque for Friday prayers, Israel Radio reported on Thursday. Men over the age of 50 will be permitted to access their place of worship, according to the minister, while women of all ages will be permitted to visit the site, considered the third holiest in Islam. Meanwhile, Israeli forces deployed in several areas of Jerusalem, as well as in northern Israeli cities and mixed Palestinian-Jewish population centers, the minister said, adding that the country's ambulance services would be on high alert. [end] 

Clashes reported near Ramallah checkpoint
10/8/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - Israeli forces fired bullets and tear gas at Palestinians near Ramallah on Thursday evening, according to witnesses. Residents reported clashes near the Qalandiya military checkpoint between Ramallah and Jerusalem. There were reports that Palestinian youths threw stones at soldiers. No injuries or arrests were immediately reported. Several roads were closed near the checkpoint, locals said. [end] 

Jordan tells Israel its actions dragging region 'back into darkness'
10/8/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Israelis must know that the status quo will lead to a "sliding back into the darkness" Jordan's King Abdullah II asked the Israeli newspaper Haaretz to tell its readers. "Is Israel going to be fortress Israel or is it going to be part of the neighborhood? Because if there is no two-state solution, what future do we all have together? "the king told a reporter from the newspaper in Amman. "Show me the future of Israel 10 years from now. Where do you want Israel to be vis-a-vis its relationship with Jordan and other Arab countries? I understand that you tend to live in the here and now. You are worried about the next threat. It is difficult for an Israeli to look into the future because of the security aspect. But if there is peace and stability, then people can look into the future," he said. 

Mitchell begins talks with Israeli officials
10/8/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - US President Barack Obama's envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell, is to begin meetings with Israeli officials in Jerusalem on Thursday in his current push to revive moribund peace talks. The former senator who helped broker a peace deal in Northern Ireland is scheduled to meet Israeli President Shimon Peres, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Thursday. On Friday he will hold talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. On Saturday and Sunday he is reportedly heading to Ramallah for talks with President Mahmoud Abbas. Abbas, who was in Italy on Wednesday meeting with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, was previously reported to be returning to the West Bank on Thursday. Upon arriving in the region, Mitchell's aides told reporters that despite recent setbacks, he still believes a peace deal is possible. 

Israeli letter to UN underscores state’s right to self-defense
10/8/2009 - Israel claims the war was in "self defense" [MaanImages]Bethlehem - Ma'an - In letters sent to the UN Security Council and Secretary General Ban Ki Moon earlier in October, Israel vowed to "continue to act in self-defense in accordance with its inherent right under Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations," inwhat it said was a response to projectile fire from the Gaza Strip. The letter complained about a "substantial increase in attacks emanating from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. "It alleged that "in the month of September alone, 13 rockets and mortars were fired at Israel. " During the last two weeks in September, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Gaza militants "continued to fire sporadic rockets and mortar shells towards southern Israel, including military bases. " 

Lieberman: US doesn’t get it - peace efforts have no chance
10/8/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman told AP there is no chance of ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for many years, in an interview published Thursday. The comments to the international news agency came as Israeli and Palestinian negotiators sit down in Washington, Tel Aviv and Ramallah under American patronage and try to hammer out a deal that apparently includes Palestinians dropping the pursuit of war crimes investigations into Israel's Operation Cast Lead in December and January. Those who think a long-term agreement can be reached, Lieberman said, 'just doesn't understand the situation,' AP paraphrased. He also suggested negotiators aim at establishing interim agreements rather than final status talks. Lieberman spoke to the AP ahead of a meeting withspecial US envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell, who arrived int he region Wednesday to push froward the peace process. 

At Vatican, Abbas thanks pope for supporting Palestine
10/8/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - President Mahmoud Abbas met Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday at his Vatican City office, where the two exchanged greetings and gifts, according to Wafa, the Palestinian Authority's state news agency. The president opened the newest Palestinian embassy in Rome on Tuesday, during an official visit to Italy that began early the same day. Abbas reportedly expressed deep appreciation for the pope's positions on implementing a two-state solution to the Palestinian struggle for self-determination, and for Benedict's work toward peace "and helping the Palestinian people to enjoy their legitimate rights. " For his part, Benedict welcomed the president, where he was updated on the latest developments in the occupied Palestinian territories and the peace process, according to the report, which said Abbas briefed the pope on "the tragic situation" and "daily suffering of the. . . 

In Jerusalem, Mitchell urges renewed talks
10/8/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - US President Barack Obama's Mideast envoy, George Mitchell, met with Israeli President Shimon Peres on Thursday, reiterating his and Obama's commitment to the peace process. "We're going to continue with our efforts to achieve an early relaunch of negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians," he told reporters before heading for a private meeting with the Israeli president, according to news reports. Mitchell will meet with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Thursday, in addition to the country's president, as well as its prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, on Friday. The envoy was scheduled to meet with President Mahmoud Abbas within the next few days. Meanwhile, Lieberman told the AP there was no chance of ending the conflict for many years. 

Palestinian FM preps for Goldstone debate at UNSC
10/8/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki continued consultations with senior United Nations officials on Thursday in New York, where he was scheduled to meet with the chairman of the Security Council. The Foreign Ministry said Al-Maliki would meet with the ambassador of Vietnam, which currently chairs the council, in advance of its next meeting on 14 October. During the meeting, the foreign minister plans to discuss the Goldstone report and the "continuous Israeli assaults against Al-Aqsa Mosque and East Jerusalem," according to the statement. Before departing for Paris, Al-Maliki was scheduled to meet the ambassador of Libya, as well as several General Assembly chairpersons including the Swiss ambassador and Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary-general. Al-Maliki and his government have come under heavy public criticism since they withdrew a resolution from. . . 

Fayyad, US consul unveil Samaritan water project
10/8/2009 - Nablus - Ma'an - The Palestinian Authority and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) inaugurated a new project on Mount Jerzim in Nablus on Thursday, according to a statement from ANERA, an aid organization. Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, US Consul General Daniel Rubinstein and USAID Mission Director Howard Sumka attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony, along with Palestinian dignitaries and representatives of the Samaritan community. The project was implemented under USAID's Emergency Water and Sanitation and Other Infrastructure Program, the statement said. USAID reportedly contributed more than 120,000 US dollars for the replacement of the Mount Jerzim Water Network, which will provide 735 members of the Samaritan community, living in 145 houses on Mount Jerzim, access to clean and potable water. The project, which was implemented by ANERA, created 820 person-days of employment for the local workers, the organization said. 

UN envoy visits Al-Aqsa compound, urges calm
10/8/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The UN's special Mideast coordinator, Robert Serry, went to the Al-Aqsa compound on Thursday as a guest of the Waqf, in a visit facilitated by the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, his office said. "[UN] Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon has been very concerned at the recent clashes in Jerusalem, and I have been in contact with all sides in an effort to defuse tensions," he said in a statement that followed his visit. Serry added, "This holy city is important to both Israelis and Palestinians, and to people of three great faiths. Incitement from any quarter regarding holy sites, as well as provocative actions in East Jerusalem, do not serve the sanctity of the city or the cause of peace, and must stop. " "From my visit to the Al-Aqsa Mosque and my contacts, it is clear that the situation is not yet resolved, but tensions have eased somewhat," the UN envoy noted. 

Haniyeh meets Swiss special envoy to Mideast
10/9/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - De facto Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh on Thursday met at his office in Gaza John Daniel Roch, Swiss special envoy to the Middle East. The two figures discussed Palestinian conciliation, the Hamas government's relationship with Europe, and justice Richard Goldstone's report that was delayed at the UN Human Rights Council last Friday. Haniyeh expressed appreciation to the Swiss government for respecting the results of Palestine's 2006 elections and its vocal rejection of the Gaza siege and Israel's winter assault. Regarding the UN fact-finding investigation, Haniyeh said, "We cooperated with Goldstone and his commission, which demonstrates that we are not against the Jews [of Israel] because they are Jewish. . . We are ready to cooperate with anyone who rejects occupation. " "I heard that Goldstone himself cried when he found out the report had been withdrawn for a vote at the UN Human Rights Council," he added. 

West Bank municipal workers on strike against pay cut
10/8/2009 - Hebron - Ma'an - Municipal workers went on strike against an expected pay cut on Thursday, stopping work in local governments across the West Bank. The union of municipal workers said it went forward with the strike after talks with the Ministry of the Interior collapsed. The date for the strike was set on Monday. In a statement the union blamed the ministry for the crisis. The union said it "responded to the call of the mediators who asked to hold a meeting with the ministry, but to no avail. " The union says that the ministry has instituted a set of regulatory changes that would, in effect, reduce workers' salaries. The new regulations, the union claimed, "would not provide security, safety, or privacy for the employees of the local bodies, which would lead to a reduction in salaries not appropriate in a time of rising prices. The union said the strike will continue until the ministry withdraws the new regulations and agrees to work with the union to formulate a better administrative and financial structure. 

Fatah official urges Hamas to end ’incitement’
10/8/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - Jibril Rajoub, a member of Fatah's Central Committee, on Thursday called on Hamas to stop "this continued farce" and what he termed incitement against President Mahmoud Abbas. "Insulting Fatah or its leadership serves neither Fatah or Hamas," he told reporters at the Ministry of Information in Ramallah. Rajoub was referencing outrage from within Hamas, other factions, and even his own Fatah party over a decision reportedly made by President Abbas himself to end debate at the UN Human Rights Council over justice Richard Goldstone's investigation into the Gaza war. "The Fatah movement is awaiting the results of the investigation committee formed by President Abbas on the issue of Goldstone's report," Rajoub added. "If we find it was an intentional mistake to thwart this report," he said, "we will deal with that in a harsh way. 

Fatah official: Unity deal to be signed 25 October
10/8/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - The head of Fatah's parliamentary bloc, Palestinian Legislative Council member Azzam Al-Ahmad, said on Thursday he expected his party would finally sign a unity agreement with Hamas on 25 October in Cairo. "Egypt informed President [Mahmoud] Abbas that he would invite each Palestinian faction to Cairo on 24 October," he said, adding, "The agreement will be signed on 25 October. " Al-Ahmad, who is also a member of Fatah's Central Committee, made the announcement in Ramallah following a meeting with Norman Bech, a representative from Germany's parliament. The meeting was attended by other Fatah PLC members. "A celebration will be organized the next day, which will be attended by Arab League officials and various ministers of foreign affairs, in addition to other international parties," he added. 

PSE drops slightly after strong week
10/8/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - After a strong week the Palestine Securities Exchange dropped slightly on Thursday, as the Al-Quds Index decreased 2. 01 points (0. 39%) to close at 516. 36. Trading volume for Thursday was 992,585 shares, a total value of 1,594,402. 5 US dollars, over the course of 502 trades. The shares of 25 companies were traded. The shares prices of twelve companies rose, while those of nine other declined. The top five gainers were APC by (4. 85%), VOIC by (4. 83%), JCC by (4. 71%), AZIZA by (4. 50%), and TRUST by (4. 28%). The top five losers were PLAZA by (3. 13%), NCI by (2. 94%), PIIC by (1. 54%), PALTEL by (1. 28%), and PRICO by (1. 22%). [end] 

Ha'aretz Defense page

IDF soldier arrested after caught on tape beating Palestinian
8 Oct 2009 - Soldier allegedly threatened Bil'in man that he would end up like the protestor shot and killed by IDF. 

Lebanon suspects mass infiltration of Islamist terrorists
7 Oct 2009 - Security officials probing whether Sunni Islamists entered Lebanon as tourists with plans to carry out attacks. 


[] Lieberman: US doesn't get it - peace efforts have no chance
October 8, 2009 - Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman told AP there is no chance of ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for many years, in an interview published Thursday. The comments to the international news agency came as Israeli and Palestinian negotiators sit down in Washington, Tel Aviv and Ramallah under American patronage and try to hammer out a deal that...

[] Iran welcomes foreign investment in energy industry
October 8, 2009 - Iran, holder of the world's second- largest gas reserves, is open to foreign companies investing in its energy sector, the country's deputy oil minister said. "Many companies that belong to the government now will become private very soon," Azizollah Ramezani, deputy Iranian oil minister, said on Tuesday in an interview in Buenos Aires. "I think the...

[] A historian's account of Democrats and Bush-era war crimes
October 8, 2009 - ...What made those detainee photographs so important from the start is that they depict brutal abuse well outside of the Abu Ghraib facility and thus reveal to Americans -- and the world -- that America's torture was not, as they've been constantly told, limited to rogue sadists at Abu Ghraib and the waterboarding of three bad...

[] Video: Obama to Maintain Silence About Israeli Nukes
October 8, 2009 - According to a report in the Washington Times, President Obama has agreed to abide by a 40-year policy of allowing Israel to keep nuclear weapons without opening them to international inspection....

[] PFLP: Postponement of Goldstone report is a crime against our people's martyrs and wounded
October 8, 2009 - The decision to postpone the discussion of the report of the Goldstone commission at the UN Human Rights Council is an obvious crime against our martyrs, wounded and victims of our people, said the Political Bureau of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in a statement issued on October 8, 2009. The PFLP reiterated...

[] No colour
I'm not a faction supporter, carry no particular party flag, carry but the green, black, white and red Palestinian flag... But this goes beyond factions. This is undeniable collaboration, at the hands of the million and a half shackled to hell: ...Quoting what it called reliable sources, Shahab news agency said on Tuesday that PA representatives at a meeting in...

[] Dye-job donkeys wow Gaza children
October 8, 2009 - A zoo in Gaza has found a novel way to get around Israeli restrictions on the importation of animals by partly dying two donkeys so they resemble zebras. The owner of the Marah Land zoo in Gaza City said he had used masking tape and black hair dye, applied with a paint-brush, to disguise the white...

[] A convicted torturer appointed as commander of Basij (Iran's paramilitary force)
October 8, 2009 - ...In 2000 Naghdi and a group of his "plain clothes" associates formed a group (Band-e Kabir, Great Gang) to "prevent social corruption" (read civic liberties). Breaking the law and accused of torture and condemned by court to 3 months of jail--a term he never served. Naghdi is alleged to have participated (together with Mohseni Ejei--Ahmadinejad's minister...

[] Tuesday, October 6, 2009 A convicted torturer appointed as commander of Basij (Iran's paramilitary force)
October 8, 2009 - ...In 2000 Naghdi and a group of his "plain clothes" associates formed a group (Band-e Kabir, Great Gang) to "prevent social corruption" (read civic liberties). Breaking the law and accused of torture and condemned by court to 3 months of jail--a term he never served. Naghdi is alleged to have participated (together with Mohseni Ejei--Ahmadinejad's minister...

[] President Abbas to the Junkyard of the History
October 8, 2009 - The usurper "President" Mahmoud Abbas, whose presidential term is over since January 2009, is actively involved in urging the UN to postpone their vote on the report of Richard Goldstone, which President Abbasaccuses Israel of committing war crimes against Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip. Yesterday, Yasser Abed Rabbo, secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization...

[] After Goldstone, Hamas faces fateful choice
October 8, 2009 - The uproar over the Palestinian Authority's (PA) collaboration with Israel to bury the Goldstone report, calling for trials of Israeli leaders for war crimes in Gaza, is a political earthquake. The whole political order in place since the 1993 Oslo accords were signed is crumbling. As the initial tremors begin to fade, the same old political...

[] Gaza Love Story The Bride Who Crawled Through a Tunnel
October 8, 2009 - He lived in the Gaza Strip, she in the West Bank. It seemed as though the Israeli blockade would prevent their marriage. Then May risked her life to crawl through a smugglers' tunnel into Gaza and join Mohammed. Now they face an uncertain future together. When Mohammed Warda first took his bride in his arms she...

Palestine Telegraph

Mitchell in Pilgrimage mission of ''so called peace''
Palestine, October 9, 2009, (Pal Telegraph)-George Mitchell, the US Middle East envoy, has held talks with Israeli leaders as part of an effort to restart peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. Mitchell met Avigdor Lieberman, Israel's foreign minister, Ehud Barak, the...

Parliamentarian calls for collective pause to restore unity and repel pressure to resume negotiation
Palestine, October 8, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) -Member of the Legislative Council and Secretary General of the National Initiative, Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi said today that resuming negotiations with the Israelis is at this point impossible.

Palestinians in London call for Accountability over Goldstone Report dilemma
Gaza, October 8, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) - Palestinian Return Center (PRC) held an urgent meeting in London, yesterday evening, to discuss the consequences of the withdrawal of the Goldstone report before submitting it to UN Human Rights Council of the United Nations....

Irish activist seeks Latin American support to break Gaza blockade
Mexico city, October 8th, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) — A Free Gaza Movement activist on Wednesday appealed for Latin American support to break the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip. Caoimhe Butterly, an Irish human rights activist, said her organization was seeking support...

Israeli "Maniacs" settlers cut olive trees, beat Palestinian child
Palestine, October 7, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - Jewish settlers on Tuesday cut off 250 Palestinian fruitful olive trees in Deir Ammar village, west of Ramallah city, local sources reported. One of the owners of those trees Abdullah Odeh, 27, said that the...

The National

Political interference leads to Egyptian judge's resignation
8 Oct 2009 - As one of Egypt's longest-serving judges, Mahmoud el Khodeiri's decision to resign last month was not taken lightly.

Hamas bans women on motorcycles
8 Oct 2009 - The group say safety concerns and social traditions, not Islamic religious values, are behind a ban on women riding motorbikes in the Gaza Strip.

King's visit signals Saudi-Syria thaw
7 Oct 2009 - The reconciliation between Syria and Saudi Arabia takes a step forward with the arrival of King Abdullah in Damascus.

Israel may ban Islamic Movement
7 Oct 2009 - Israel is considering a bill to ban Islamic Movement as tensions rise over al Aqsa.

US envoy hopes to jump-start peace talks
7 Oct 2009 - George Mitchell will arrive in the region today to hold talks with Palestinian and Israeli leaders to try to breathe new life into the long-stalled peace process.

Card game dispute turns into sectarian clash in Lebanon
7 Oct 2009 - Card game turns into a fight between Christians and Muslims in Lebanon, leaving one dead and six wounded.

Banned from Al Aqsa
7 Oct 2009 - The closure of the Haram al Sharif compound has strained relations in Jerusalem to a point unseen in almost a decade.

Egypt suspends ties with Louvre
7 Oct 2009 - Cairo suspends all co-operation with France's Louvre Museum until it returns 'stolen' slabs dating back to the time of the Pharaohs.

UN council to discuss possible Gaza session
7 Oct 2009 - Members of the UN Security Council will discuss a request for a session on claims that war crimes were committed during last winter's Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza.


Palestinians U-turn on Gaza report
8 Oct 2009 - Attempt to re-convene talks on Goldstone report follows outrage against Abbas.

Mitchell meets Israeli leaders
8 Oct 2009 - US envoy visits Jerusalem but neither Israelis nor Palestinians expect much progress.

Mystery over missing Iran scientist
8 Oct 2009 - US denies involvement in disappearance of man "linked" to Tehran's atomic programme.

Saudi king in Syria to boost ties
7 Oct 2009 - King Abdullah arrives in Damascus for talks aimed at healing long-standing wounds.

Alternative Information Center

Discussion of the Importance of the BDS Movement With Ahmad Jaradat of the AIC
7 Oct 2009 - 

How Israel Bought Off UN’s War Crimes Probe Goldstone Report’s Fate Sealed by Threats to Palestinian Economy
7 Oct 2009 - Israel celebrated at the weekend its success at the United Nations in forcing the Palestinians to defer demands that the International Criminal Court investigate allegations of war crimes committed by Israel during its winter assault on...

Palestine News Network

Military court in Gaza issues death sentence; PCHR urges President to not ratify
8 Oct 2009 - Gaza City / PCHR - On Wednesday the Permanent Military Court in Gaza, headed by Judge Ayman 'Imad al-Din, sentenced Saleem Mohammed Saleem al-Nabahin, 27, from al-Boreij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip, to death by hanging after convicting him of collaboration with hostile parties. The court convicted the defendant of collaboration with hostile parties in violation of Article 131/a/b of the...

Chilean representative discusses current trends with PNN and Holy Land Trust
8 Oct 2009 - Bethlehem / PNN - The Palestine News Network on Thursday hosted the Chilean Representative to Palestine, Jose M. de la Cruz. Representative de la Cruz was met by PNN Director Fadi Abu Sada and Holy Land Trust Executive Director Sami Awad during the informational visit, which included a tour of the PNN office in Bethlehem and a discussion on current events relating to...

Parliamentarian calls for collective pause to restore unity and repel pressure to resume negotiation
7 Oct 2009 - Ramallah / PNN – Member of the Legislative Council and Secretary General of the National Initiative, Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi said today that resuming negotiations with the Israelis is at this point impossible. Speaking in the central West Bank city of Ramallah, Dr. Barghouthi called for a collective pause to restore national unity in order to repel external pressure to resume negotiations.“After what happened...

Invitation to World March for Peace and Nonviolence in Bethlehem
7 Oct 2009 - Holy Land Trust, along with World Without Wars, cordially invites you to join the World March for Peace and Nonviolence which will take place in Bethlehem on the 14th of October. The gathering will begin at Nativity Square, 4:30 pm, before making its way to Aida Refugee Camp on the north side of the West Bank city.The World March began in South...

House ransacked in Nablus’ Huwara Village in attempt to humiliate residents says homeowner
7 Oct 2009 - Nablus / PNN – Early morning Thursday Israeli forces stormed the Huwara home of Asad Masoud Khamus. The Nablus town was the site of an invasion that witnesses said “wreaked deliberate havoc.”Khamus told the press today that some 60 heavily armed soldiers broke into his home at 2:00 am and demanded he turn over his weapons. He repeatedly told soldiers that he did...

Report on violations of media freedoms in West Bank and Gaza Strip during September
7 Oct 2009 - Ramallah / Mousa Rimawi - Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) reports on violations of media freedoms in the West Bank and Gaza Strip during the month of September. Last month witnessed renewed violations of media freedoms in the occupied Palestinian territory, where Israeli occupation forces continued to target journalists who cover demonstrations against the construction of the separation wall and...

PCHR and OHCHR organize conference in Gaza on death penalty
7 Oct 2009 - Gaza City - The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) – oPt are organizing a conference titled Death Penalty in the Occupied Palestinian Territory on Thursday, 8 October, in the Commodore Hotel in Gaza City. The conference intends to highlight the issues surrounding the death penalty in the oPt, seeking to...

Inter Press Service

MIDEAST: Finally Taking Off Their Gloves 
JERUSALEM, Oct 7 (IPS) - Amazingly, just when all four parties - the U.S., its allies in the Arab world, the Palestinian Authority, and Israel - seemed to have hit rock bottom in terms of the prospects of moving the region away from conflict and towards peace, all of a...

U.S.: Public Sceptical and Hawkish on Iran 
WASHINGTON, Oct 6 (IPS) - Despite strong support for diplomatic engagement with Iran, most U.S. citizens believe such efforts will ultimately fail and that Washington should be prepared to use military force to prevent Tehran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, according to a new poll released here Tuesday by the...

Stop The Wall
5 Oct 2009 - Nearly a thousand people took to the streets today in Ramallah to protest the position of the PNA on the Goldstone Report. Carrying flags and banners and blocking traffic, people marched and vented their rage against the Palestinian Authority (PA) for failing to take the opportunity to see Israeli war criminals tried in international courts. [

More injuries and arrests as the villages of Bil’in and Ma’sara protest the Wall
4 Oct 2009 - Protestors marched against the Wall in Bil’in and al-Ma’sara on Friday. A solidarity delegation from France joined the people of Bil’in, and two people were injured during the course of the day. Occupation forces have also arrested another member of the Bil’in popular committee. [

PCHR Latest

Justice Delayed is Justice Denied: Decision of Palestinian Leadership and International Pressure an Insult to the Victims

PCHR Weekly Report

(01- 07 Oct. 2009), information on boycott, divestment and sanctions
During the reporting period, a Palestinian child and an Israeli human rights defender were wounded by IOF gunfire in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank respectively.

International Solidarity Movement

Israel Arrests Soldier Over Beaten Protester
10/8/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Sky News - The move comes as concern mounts about Israeli methods in handling protests in the West Bank village of Bil'in. Village councillor Mohammed Khatib was treated in hospital after he allegedly was beaten to the head on September 15, during an attempt to arrest one of his friends. Human rights organisation Yesh-Din has released a photograph showing the injuries he sustained. Bil'in has been the scene of a persistent campaign of protests against Israel's security barrier. Israeli authorities failed to implement an Israeli court order to re-route the barrier in the area. Recently Israeli security forces have conducted a series of early morning raids targeting protest leaders. Israeli human rights lawyer Michael Sfard claims the Israeli military is attempting to “squash the legitimate unarmed popular struggle in Bil’in through a variety of illegal means: violence, wrongful arrests and night searches carried out just to instill fear”. 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

ANALYSIS / Third intifada unlikely, despite Jerusalem tensions 
8 Oct 2009 - Nine years and 10 days after the outbreak of the Al-Aqsa intifada, tensions gripping the Temple Mount could once again lead to the eruption of violent clashes between Palestinians and Israelis. ... 

Iranian nuke defections offer peek at shadow war 
8 Oct 2009 - The latest reports of senior nuclear scientists defecting from Iran to the West have caused considerable embarrassment and concern to the regime in Tehran. ... 

'U.S. furious over Israeli incitement against Obama' 
8 Oct 2009 - The U.S. administration is furious over Israeli incitement against President Barack Obama, Democratic congressmen close to Obama told an Israeli source who returned from a visit to Washington this week. ... 

Netanyahu mulling gestures to bolster Abbas 
8 Oct 2009 - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is considering goodwill gestures that would bolster the Palestinian Authority. The efforts represent an effort to help PA President Mahmoud Abbas, who suffered harsh criticism following a Palestinian decision not to press for the UN Human Rights Council's adoption of the Goldstone report on last winter's Gaza offensive. ... 

Noam Shalit hails Sarkozy efforts for Gilad's release
7 Oct 2009 - The father of abducted Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit on Thursday lauded the efforts of Nicolas Sarkozy to secure his son's release, after a meeting with the French President at the Elysee Palace in Paris. ...

The Guardian

Letters: In the dark
7 Oct 2009 - Holmfirth, and all towns and villages across England, should be watching out for Tesco sneaking in the back way ( In praise of... Holmfirth, 6 October ) my village has just woken up to the fact that Tesco...

It's not just about Iran | Hans Blix
7 Oct 2009 - A WMD-free zone in the Middle East could be the answer to rising nuclear tensions in the region The possibility that Iran is seeking to develop a nuclear weapon and the reality that it is building...

Dropping UN resolution on Gaza war a mistake, says Palestinian official
7 Oct 2009 - Abbas aide is first senior West Bank figure to publicly denounce decision to delay vote on endorsing war crimes investigations A senior Palestinian official admitted today it was a "mistake" to drop support for a UN...

Hamas bans women from riding motorbikes
7 Oct 2009 - Move 'to preserve citizen safety' is latest sign of Islamisation campaign in Gaza The Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas has banned women in Gaza from riding on motorbikes. The ban, posted on the movement's interior ministry website,...

Syria rolls out red carpet as Saudis fly in to kiss and make up
7 Oct 2009 - Sudden rapprochement between King Abdullah and President Assad ends bitter feud over Lebanon and US invasion of Iraq Syria is rolling out the red carpet today for an unusually important visitor, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia,...

Jerusalem's troublesome sheikh | Mick Dumper
7 Oct 2009 - Ra'ed Salah is mobilising opposition to the undermining of the Islamic presence in the city. His actions play to a wider audience A subtle shift in power has recently taken place on the street in Jerusalem....

Interactive: Jerusalem's holiest site
6 Oct 2009 - Sacred to both Jews and Muslims, the Temple Mount (Al-Haram al-Sharif) is still a hugely significant site 3,000 years after it was first built Paddy Allen

Israel deploys police as Jerusalem tensions rise
6 Oct 2009 - Clashes with Palestinians mar Jewish holiday week of Sukkot • Interactive: Jerusalem's holiest site Israel deployed thousands of police on the streets of Jerusalem today to protect a Jewish holiday parade after days of rock throwing...

Peace must be made on Temple Mount | Seth Freedman
6 Oct 2009 - Palestinians are right to air their grievances, but violence against Israeli worshippers at this holy site damages the wider cause With home demolitions and evictions occurring on a near daily basis, the theft of villagers' land...

Ha'aretz National page

Ex-Likud figure suspected of laundering money for global drug ring 
8 Oct 2009 - The Ramle Magistrate Court released Benny Tabin to seven days house ...

Hamas declares 'day of rage' for Al-Aqsa Mosque
8 Oct 2009 - The Islamist Palestinian organization Hamas declared Friday a "day of rage" and called on its supporters to come out and demonstrate at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, on Temple Mount. ...

Five arrested over fatal school bus shooting near Taibeh
7 Oct 2009 - Police on Thursday arrested five teens, residents of the Arab village of Jaljulia, suspected of involvement in a fatal shooting on a shcool bus earlier in the day. ...

Israeli author Amoz Oz loses out on Nobel literature prize
7 Oct 2009 - Prize goes to German author Herta Muller; Oz win would have made him second Israeli to receive Nobel this year. 

Baby almost buried alive after being pronounced dead
7 Oct 2009 - A baby was almost buried alive on Thursday after a hospital near Tel Aviv mistakenly pronounced it dead. ...

Relief Web

OPT: UN official seeks to defuse tension at holy site in Jerusalem
8 Oct 2009 - Source: UN News Service

OPT: USAID and the Palestinian Authority celebrate new infrastructure projects in the Northern West Bank
8 Oct 2009 - Source: US Agency for International Development

OPT: Protection of civilians weekly report, 30 Sep - 06 Oct 2009
8 Oct 2009 - Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

Private sector aids humanitarian work with donations to Central Emergency Response Fund
8 Oct 2009 - Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

OPT: PCHR Director speaks at regional Human Rights, Democracy and Good Governance conference; attends meeting of experts on accountability for international crimes
8 Oct 2009 - Source: Palestinian Centre for Human Rights

Al Mezan calls for Palestinian reconciliation to proceed in spite of deferral of Goldstone report vote; Commends Egyptian efforts to end Palestinian internal division
8 Oct 2009 - Source: Al Mezan Center for Human Rights

YNet News

Palestinians change course on UN report
8 Oct 2009 - After receiving harsh criticism, Palestinian Authority endorses next week's Security Council debate on Gaza war report 

Hundreds protest possible Shalit prisoner swap
8 Oct 2009 - Bereaved family members of terror victims, IDF officers say deal an 'ethical, political failure' 

Palestinian FM urges UN to ease Jerusalem tension
8 Oct 2009 - Ahead of Friday prayers at Temple Mount, Malki calls for Ban's 'immediate intervention to prevent Israel from escalating situation in Jerusalem.' Jerusalem Police on high alert. High Court rejects petition demanding Jews be granted access to holy site over the weekend 

Diplomat: EU to sign partnership with Syria this month
8 Oct 2009 - Source says new treaty will help union 'develop substantial dialogue on human rights situation in Syria' 

Israel considers recalling its ambassador to Sweden 
8 Oct 2009 - Following Swedish counterpart's remarks in support of UN report claiming Israeli forces committed war crimes in Gaza, Deputy Foreign Minister Ayalon says Jerusalem must reexamine relations with Stockholm 

Barak to Mitchell: No obstacle impassable 
8 Oct 2009 - Defense minister meets US Mideast envoy to discuss peace process, says Israel backs Obama's two-state initiative 

Saudi Arabia, Syria urge unity government in Lebanon 
8 Oct 2009 - News agency says summit between Assad, King Abdullah 'affirmed importance of reaching consensus in Lebanon' 

Noam Shalit: Sarkozy said won't stop working until Gilad is freed
8 Oct 2009 - After Paris meeting, father of captive Israeli soldier says French president 'working in all available channels' to advance prisoner exchange deal with Hamas 

Daily Star

Grim omens as US envoy pursues Mideast peace
8 Oct 2009 - US President Barack Obama's peace envoy sought on Thursday an "early relaunch" of Israeli-Palestinian talks but Israel's foreign minister said Washington's goal of comprehensive peace was an illusion. With wider Muslim-Jewish tension brewing over access to holy sites in Jerusalem, Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Tough struggle looms to build on Iranian nuclear agreements
8 Oct 2009 - UN inspectors about to descend on a hitherto secret Iranian nuclear site may score a small victory for non-proliferation, but face a long, hard struggle to achieve full transparency in Tehran's atomic ambitions.  After a seven-year standoff, Iran agreed at talks with six big powers last week to unveil a nuclear site detected by Western spies and to cut stocks of enriched uranium which are potentially useful for making nuclear weapons.

UN Security Council to discuss Gaza war crimes on October 14
8 Oct 2009 - Prodded by Libya, the UN Security Council agreed after a two-hour emergency session Wednesday to hold its monthly meeting on the Middle East a week earlier than planned to discuss alleged war crimes in Gaza last winter. Palestinians, Arab nations and the 118-nation Nonaligned Movement of mainly developing countries strongly backed the Libyan initiative for the 15-nation Security Council.

Palestinian leaders warn of 'third intifada' over Jerusalem
8 Oct 2009 - Palestinian leaders on Thursday called for a one-day general strike and warned of more street protests over Jerusalem, but Israel played down the risk of an uprising despite two weeks of tension in the occupied city. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah faction made the call for the strike on Friday in Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank.

Missing Iranian scientist may have defected, snitched
8 Oct 2009 - The disappearance of an Iranian nuclear scientist on a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia in June is raising questions about whether he defected and gave the West information on Iran's nuclear program. Iran's foreign minister on Wednesday accused the United States of involvement in the disappearance of Shahram Amiri, who reportedly worked at a university linked to the elite Revolutionary Guards military corps.

Peace fragile as Palestinians tend new crops
8 Oct 2009 - The olive branch is a symbol of peace in the Middle East, but for Yusuf Sabaani the thousands of tiny olive seedlings he has just planted are a more tangible image of his dream for the future of his children. Yet, like Palestinian farmers across the occupied West Bank, he knows his tree nursery depends not only on his own skill and the vagaries of weather.

Palestinian Information Center

Turkey cancels military air drills because of Israeli participation
8 Oct 2009 - Turkey has canceled military air maneuvers that were supposed to be held in participation of Israel, the US, Italy and the NATO.

Mosques of Jerusalem urge Palestinians to join mass vigil at Aqsa Mosque
8 Oct 2009 - Mosques of Jerusalem invited all Palestinians in the 1948 occupied lands to participate in the vigil at the Aqsa Mosque in order to repel any attempt by Zionist settlers to storm it.

PFLP: There is a consensus on condemning Abbas for delaying Goldstone’s report
8 Oct 2009 - Maher Al-Taher, a senior official of the popular front for the liberation of Palestine (PFLP), stated that there is a Palestinian consensus on condemning Abbas’s withdrawal of Goldstone’s report.

Shallah: Abbas’s withdrawal of Goldstone’s report wrecked reconciliation efforts
8 Oct 2009 - Islamic Jihad sectary-general Ramadan Shallah stated that Mahmoud Abbas’s withdrawal of support for Goldstone’s report torpedoed the national reconciliation efforts made by Egypt.

OIC Secretary General condemns the gravest spate of attacks against Al-Aqsa
8 Oct 2009 - The Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, vigorously condemned the escalation of Israeli aggressions against Al-Aqsa Mosque.

IOA retains siege on Jerusalem, ban entry of worshipers into Aqsa
8 Oct 2009 - The IOA continued its siege of occupied Jerusalem and its various suburbs and banned entry of worshipers heading to the Aqsa Mosque except those over 50 years old for the sixth day running Thursday.

Masri: Hamas studies deferring the signing of an agreement with Fatah in October
8 Oct 2009 - Mushir Al-Masri, the secretary-general of Hamas parliamentary bloc, stated that his Movement mulls over delaying the signing of a reconciliation agreement with Fatah faction on 26 of October in Cairo.

Haneyya gov't: Refer Goldstone report to Third Committee
8 Oct 2009 - The Palestinian government of Ismail Haneyya in Gaza has asked Libya to refer the Goldstone report on Israeli war atrocities in Gaza to the UN General Assembly's Third Committee.

Falk: The PA betrayed its own people
8 Oct 2009 - Richard Falk, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said PA in Ramallah betrayed its own people at a moment when the international community was so close to endorse Goldstone’s report.

Informed sources: Abbas advised not to return to Ramallah
8 Oct 2009 - Informed Palestinian sources revealed that Mahmoud Abbas was advised by some of his aides to delay his return to Ramallah until the popular anger against him subsides.

Los Angeles Times

Striped on the Gaza Strip: Donkeys turned into 'zebras' at zoo 
8 Oct 2009 - Bringing real zebras into the embargoed territory would be too costly, a zoo official says, so workers painted two white donkeys with women's hair dye. Two white donkeys dyed with black stripes are delighting Palestinian kids at a small Gaza zoo who had never seen a zebra in the flesh. 

L.A. plays host to Iranian film festival 
8 Oct 2009 - The 10-day program, at the UCLA Film & Television Archive and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, features art from a country with a long history of storytelling. Perhaps no country in the world has garnered more attention this year than Iran, from the street protests over the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to revelations about its nuclear program. Yet somehow in the midst of turmoil and upheaval, the country's cinema is thriving. 

Tehran says U.S. had role in nuclear scientist's disappearance 
8 Oct 2009 - Shahram Amiri, who might have worked at a recently disclosed nuclear plant, went missing during a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia. Iran's foreign minister says Tehran has proof of U.S. interference. Intrigue over Iran's nuclear program deepened Wednesday when Tehran accused the U.S. of involvement in the disappearance of a nuclear scientist it claims vanished after leaving for a pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia in late May. 

Dozens arrested in US, Egypt in ID theft scheme 
7 Oct 2009 - U.S. and Egyptian authorities are arresting dozens of people to crack an identity theft ring that victimized thousands. 

New York Times

Egypt, Demanding Artifacts’ Return, Cuts Ties With the Louvre
7 Oct 2009 - The nation’s antiquities department says reliefs in the possession of the French museum were stolen in the 1980s from an ancient Egyptian tomb. 

Furor Sends Palestinians Into Shift on U.N. Report
7 Oct 2009 - Leaders are pursuing accusations against Israel over the Gaza conflict after acquiescence to the United States on the issue set off angry protests. 

World Briefing | Middle East: Syria: Saudi King Arrives for Talks
7 Oct 2009 - King Abdullah flew to Syria on Wednesday for a meeting with President Bashar al-Assad aimed at healing a rift that has aggravated Arab discord. 


Security Council rejects special Goldstone report session 
10/8/2009 - Ha'aretz - The United Nations Security Council said Wednesday it would not hold an emergency session on report that accused Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas of committing war crimes during Israel's offensive in Gaza. The decision came as a rejection to a request submitted by Libya, the only Arab member on the 15-nation council, to hold a meeting dedicated to discussing the report compiled by Richard Goldstone. Prior to Wednesday's Security Council meet, the Palestinian UN Mission issued a press release saying it affirmed full support for the Libyan request. The UNSC, however, did decide to bump up a scheduled monthly meeting on the Middle East from October 20th to the 14th, at which time members could discuss the Goldstone report if they chose to do so. Before the meeting, a top U. S. official had said that while the Goldstone report raised important questions, a Human Rights Council discussion on those issues would better serve its conclusions. 

Palestinians accuse Israel of fanning tensions in Jerusalem 
10/7/2009 - Daily Star - OCCUPIED JERUSALEM: A senior Palestinian official on Tuesday accused Israel of deliberately creating a dangerous situation in East Jerusalem, to trigger violence, justify a crackdown and tighten its grip on the disputed city. Palestinian leaders have issued dire warnings in the past week after clashes at Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusa lem’s Old City between Israeli police and Palestinian protesters, over alleged attempts by Jewish religious activists to enter the site. The compound housing the mosque is a holy place for both Muslims and Jews, and has often been a flashpoint of tension. Israeli security forces control access to the area and regularly prohibit young Muslim men from entering. “Israel is lighting matches in the hope of sparking a fire, deliberately escalating tensions in occupied East Jerusalem rather than taking steps to placate the situation,” chief peace negotiator 

Israel may ban Islamic Movement 
10/8/2009 - The National - Jonathan Cook - NAZARETH, ISRAEL // The Israeli government announced yesterday it would consider banning Israel’s Islamic Movement at the next cabinet meeting, in a significant escalation of tensions that have fuelled a fortnight of bloody clashes in Jerusalem over access to the Haram al Sharif compound of mosques. The move followed the arrest of the movement’s leader, Sheikh Raed Salah, on Tuesday on suspicion of incitement and sedition. Police accused Sheikh Salah of calling for a “religious war” in recent statements in which he warned that Israel was seeking a takeover of the Haram, which includes the al Aqsa mosque. Sheikh Salah was released a few hours later on condition that he stay away from Jerusalem for 30 days. The decision was widely interpreted as a move to damp down a possible backlash from Israel’s 1. 3 million Palestinian citizens, many of whom regard the sheikh as a spiritual leader. 

Calls for Abbas to resign over Goldstone report 
10/7/2009 - The National - From the streets of Ramallah to Gaza City, and even from the Balad party representing Arabs and Palestinians in Israel, come increasingly loud calls for the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas to submit his resignation. A senior PLO official and outgoing Palestinian ambassador to Egypt Nabil Amr announced his own resignation from all his positions in the Palestinian Authority and said: "How, in the shadow of such an affair, can Abu Mazen (Abbas) chose to travel around the world and not be with the people and explain to them what happened? "Haaretz reported: "For the first time in history, an Israeli Arab political party challenged the Palestinian leadership on Tuesday, calling for the immediate dismissal of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. " The Balad party, headed by Jamal Zahalka, was planning to officially call for Abbas' resignation at a conference convened especially for that purpose, scheduled for Saturday. 

Banned from Al Aqsa 
10/7/2009 - The National - Jonathan Cook - NAZARETH // Tensions over control of the Haram al Sharif compound of mosques in Jerusalem’s Old City has reached a pitch unseen since clashes at the site sparked the second intifada nine years ago. Ten days of intermittently bloody clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces in Jerusalem culminated yesterday in warnings by Palestinian officials that Israel was “sparking a fire” in the city. Israel’s Jerusalem Post newspaper similarly wondered whether a third intifada was imminent. Israel deployed 20,000 police to safeguard the annual Jerusalem march, which was reported to have attracted a crowd of 70,000 passing through sensitive Palestinian neighbourhoods close to the Old City. The ostensible cause of friction is Israel’s religious holidays that have brought Jewish worshippers to the Western Wall, located next to the Haram al Sharif and traditionally considered 

Tapping music’s healing powers 
10/6/2009 - The National - It has been said that when man uttered his first word, or perhaps, sang it, he was inspired by the captivating backdrop of nature’s songs. Certainly the propensity to make music, described by the neurologist and writer Oliver Sacks as “musicophilia”, is deeply woven not just into human culture but also into human nature, as scientists have discovered. As human society evolved, it seems that music developed alongside language as a tool that could transcend divisions of clan and tribe. According to Dr Sacks, research shows that music can occupy more of the brain than language. And because of music’s significant psychological role, researchers are increasingly looking into its therapeutic capabilities. The Middle East has played a crucial role in this. Just as it was a cradle of civilisation, so it has also led the way in understanding the civilising and healing role of music. 

King’s visit signals Saudi-Syria thaw 
10/8/2009 - The National - The process of reconciliation between Syria and Saudi Arabia took another step forward yesterday with the arrival in Damascus of King Abdullah for talks with Bashar Assad, the Syrian president. For years, Riyadh’s relationship with Damascus has been poisoned by a falling-out between the countries’ rulers. But King Abdullah’s visit is a sign that the storm cloud of Saudi-Syria antagonism appears to have cleared. Lebanon will probably top the agenda of the talks. Syria’s and Saudi Arabia’s competing ambitions there led the two into a proxy struggle for influence over Beirut, with Saudi Arabia backing the March 14 alliance of Saad al Hariri against the Hizbollah-led opposition bloc, supported by Syria. By 2008 that struggle had erupted into violent street battles in the Lebanese capital. But tensions then subsided and the Syrians helped broker a political deal that saw peaceful, successful Lebanese elections held this summer. 

Why We Refuse-World Tour 
10/7/2009 - ibn Ezra - Some of the bravest Israelis that I know are on tour right now in the United States and South Africa. The “Shministim” (12th grade high school students) are on speaking tours talking about the reality of Israeli conscientious objectors and the peace movement in Israel in general. For more information and tour dates, please visit the website. Phil Weiss has an excellent comment on a recent Shministim event at NYU on his website: Among the Shministim– excommunication and self-hatred - The two visiting Israeli women who refused to serve in the army spoke at NYU last night. I ran into a woman whom I’d gone to Gaza with on the elevator. We sat together, and I told her about my plan to visit Israel. I feel a need to go see my family friend who moved there a long time ago and talk the situation over. “I’m in the Jewish community the way you’re in the Episcopalian community,” I said, “and she’s a better Jew than I am. 

Is the U.S. Preparing to Bomb Iran? 
10/6/2009 - ABC News - Is the U. S. Stepping Up Preparations for a Possible Attack on Iran's Nuclear Facilities? - The Pentagon is always making plans, but based on a little-noticed funding request recently sent to Congress, the answer to that question appears to be yes. First, some background: Back in October 2007, ABC News reported that the Pentagon had asked Congress for $88 million in the emergency Iraq/Afghanistan war funding request to develop a gargantuan bunker-busting bomb called the Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP). It's a 30,000-pound bomb designed to hit targets buried 200 feet below ground. Back then, the Pentagon cited an "urgent operational need" for the new weapon. Now the Pentagon is shifting spending from other programs to fast forward the development and procurement of the Massive Ordnance Penetrator. The Pentagon comptroller sent a request to shift the funds to the House and Senate Appropriations and Armed Services Committees over the summer. 

Jerusalem’s ’troublesome sheikh’ 
10/7/2009 - The Guardian - Ra'ed Salah is mobilising opposition to the undermining of the Islamic presence in the city. His actions play to a wider audience - A subtle shift in power has recently taken place on the street in Jerusalem. The confrontations during the past week between Palestinians and the Israeli police over perceived Israeli threats to the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa mosque bring home the growing role of the Israeli Islamic movement in the politics of the city. As a result of the ineffectiveness of the secular and traditional Palestinian leadership, below the radar, Palestinians in the city are being mobilised by the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, led by the charismatic Sheikh Ra'ed Salah. The emergence of this Islamic renaissance cuts across an opposite and equally problematic current in Israeli circles, creating an even more volatile situation in the city. 

Dropping UN resolution on Gaza war a mistake, says Palestinian official
10/7/2009 - The Guardian - Abbas aide is first senior West Bank figure to publicly denounce decision to delay vote on endorsing war crimes investigations - A senior Palestinian official admitted today it was a "mistake" to drop support for a UN human rights council resolution that called for investigations into Israel's conduct in the Gaza war. Frustration and anger has been mounting against Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, for his surprise decision not to endorse a highly critical UN inquiry into the January war. The inquiry, by the South African judge Richard Goldstone, accused Israel and Hamas of war crimes and possible crimes against humanity. Today's admission came as Libya called for an emergency session of the UN security council to discuss the Goldstone report. Talks were to be held in private on the Libyan request, to which the Palestinians this time said they gave their "full support". 

Iran casts doubt on uranium export deal 
10/7/2009 - The Guardian - The apparent breakthrough in Geneva over the shipping out of most of Iran's enriched uranium has been called into question - In Geneva, the world seemed to take a step forward on Iran's uranium. The question now is whether it is about to take one step back or two. Iran's Press TV is quoting Iran's Supreme National Security Council as saying there was no deal done in Geneva to ship out Iran's low enriched uranium (LEU) to Russia and France for further enrichment (to 20% purity), processing and eventual return to the Tehran Research Reactor. That comes as a surprise to the EU foreign policy, Javier Solana, who announced at the beginning of the month that the deal had been "agreed in principle" and that there would be a follow-on meeting in Vienna in mid-October to hammer out the details. It will also no doubt annoy the Americans and Russians, who thought up the wheeze between themselves ahead 

Hamas bans women from riding motorbikes 
10/7/2009 - The Guardian - Move 'to preserve citizen safety' is latest sign of Islamisation campaign in Gaza - The Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas has banned women in Gaza from riding on motorbikes. The ban, posted on the movement's interior ministry website, said it sought "to preserve citizen safety and the stability of Palestinian society's customs and traditions". Given that few women ride on motorbikes in Gaza the proclamation seems unlikely to have much effect, but it raises concerns that a new Islamisation campaign is under way. Hamas won the Palestinian elections in early 2006 and in mid-2007 took full security control over Gaza after a near-civil war with its rival faction, Fatah. For the first three years that Hamas was in power in Gaza there was little sign of any effort to Islamise society. Instead the group focused on exerting its military control, confronting armed criminal clans and preventing Fatah from rebuilding itself. 

Israeli ministers call for outlawing Arab-Israeli Islamic Movement 
10/6/2009 - Monsters and Critics - Jerusalem - Israeli ministers Tuesday called for a hardline Arab-Israeli Islamist movement to be outlawed, accusing it of incitement after days of unrest in Jerusalem. The leaders of the Islamic Movement, an organization which is strong in Arab towns and villages in northern Israel, 'must be behind bars,' Israeli Vice Prime Minister Silvan Shalom said. 'They are operating a system of incitement of the masses, raising funds and dragging everyone behind them, including also Arab lawmakers, with whose automatic support for Arab rioters we are fed up,' charged Shalom, of the ruling Likud party and a relative hawk. The Old City of Jerusalem remained highly tense Tuesday, after days of street clashes, and verbal warfare between Jewish and Muslim leaders, centring around a flashpoint holy site - the Temple Mount/Holy Sanctuary. 

Qaddafi vexes US in forcing UN to take up Gaza report 
10/7/2009 - Yahoo! News - Washington – Libya called a special closed-door session of the United Nations Security Council Wednesday afternoon to demand action on a UN report that criticizes Israel for committing "war crimes" during its December-January offensive into Gaza. By bringing the report to the Security Council – a body Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi just last month said was more accurately called the "terror council" – Libya sets up a clash with the United States. He also creates a golden opportunity for Libya to raise its diplomatic star in the developing world, and for Colonel Qaddafi to refurbish his image with the Arab world. " Libya will only be on the Security Council through December, so this was an opportunity [Libya and Qaddafi] would be loath to miss," says Melissa Labonte, an expert on Libya at Fordham University in New York. "If the P-5 [the council's five permanent members] say, 'We aren't talking 

Analyst finds Israeli fingermarks in Telegraph report 
10/7/2009 - Press TV - A leading media analyst says British dailies such as the Daily Telegraph are taking their cue from Israeli leaders. A leading media analyst explains 'the real motive' behind a controversial British report regarding the family background of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The Daily Telegraph recently claimed that a photograph of President Ahmadinejad, holding up his identity card ahead of the 2009 presidential election, clearly shows his family have had Jewish roots. The report has received a great deal of media publicity over the past few days. A senior political analyst specializing in media affairs responded to the report on Wednesday, saying that it shows that British dailies, such as the Daily Telegraph, are taking their cue from Israeli leaders. "These reports are undoubtedly published in line with Israeli interests," said the media analyst, who was speaking on conditions of anonymity. 

US Senators Threaten New Sanctions Against Iran 
10/7/2009 - Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran - Antiwar. com - Though there appeared to be little call for their skepticism, the Obama Administration’s top officials continued to reject the idea that last week’s Geneva talks had been anything but a very limited success. The Senate Banking Committee acted as though the meeting hadn’t even occurred at all, saying that the Congress wanted to move against Iran with crippling sanctions and that they could not be persuaded to wait long on the matter. Yet the Iranian government managed to obtain what appeared to be a broad-based agreement on its nuclear program, that it would send its uranium to Russia for further enrichment, even President Obama approved, though he didn’t appear too happy with having to concede again that Iran has every right to a civilian nuclear program. Today officials were still demanding that Iran abandon the program, however. 

Israeli Ambassador Explodes: Gaza War Critics Are Calling Us Nazis 
10/7/2009 - Huffington Post - Israel's Ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, writing in The New Republic, says that the Goldstone Report "portrays the Jews as the deliberate murderers of innocents--as Nazis. And a Nazi state not only lacks the need and right to defend itself; it must rather be destroyed. " This is crazy stuff, especially because it comes not from some rightwing crank but from Israel's highest ranking diplomat who serves in its most significant diplomatic post. Oren is also an intellectual, an author who is American born and educated. Oren's take on the Goldstone report is ridiculous. In fact, nowhere in his piece does he dispute the report's finding that Israel (and Hamas) committed war crimes during the Gaza war. Reading Oren, one would never know that 1,387 Palestinians (including 320 children) were killed compared to nine Israeli soldiers. 

Israel scrambles warplanes over nuclear facility 
10/6/2009 - - AP News - Israel's air force scrambled fighter jets Tuesday after a small civilian aircraft flew into restricted airspace near the country's heavily guarded and secretive Dimona nuclear reactor, security officials said Tuesday. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity surrounding the Dimona nuclear reactor. The Israeli military said two fighter planes that were already airborne responded and directed the pilot to a nearby airport. Israeli media said the man had flown into the area accidentally and was released after being questioned. Foreign experts have concluded that Israel possesses a formidable nuclear arsenal based on pictures taken at the site two decades ago by a technician. Israel maintains a policy it calls nuclear ambiguity, refusing to acknowledge whether it has atomic weapons. 

Hamas asks Cairo to postpone signing reconciliation deal: Official 
10/7/2009 - Earth Times - DPA, Gaza City - Hamas asked Egypt Wednesday to postpone a ceremony to sign a reconciliation pact with President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party, saying no deal would be cemented until he apologizes for agreeing to delay a debate on a UN report on Israel's Gaza offensive at the turn of the year. Hamas and other factions accuse Abbas of giving instructions Friday to withdraw Palestinian support to have the report compiled by a fact-finding team headed by Judge Richard Goldstone sent to the UN General Assembly. The report alleges that Israel and Hamas committed war crimes during the December-January offensive against Gaza-based militant groups. Salah al-Bardawil, a senior Gaza-based Hamas leader said in a statement that "the crime of postponing the vote on Goldstone's report left a severe psychological crack, and Abbas should immediately apologize to the Palestinian people. " 

Dye-job donkeys wow Gaza children 
10/8/2009 - BBC Online - A zoo in Gaza has found a novel way to get around Israeli restrictions on the importation of animals by partly dyeing two donkeys so they resemble zebras. The owner of the Marah Land zoo in Gaza City said he had used masking tape and black hair dye, applied with a paint-brush, to disguise the white females. Mohammed Bargouthi said it would have cost him more than $40,000 to bring in a real zebra via smuggling tunnels. Children seemed delighted by the new additions and happily played with them. " The first time we used paint but it didn't look good," Mr Bargouthi told the Reuters news agency. "The children don't know, so they call them zebras and they are happy to see something new. " All the real animals at the zoo, including monkeys and a tigress, had been smuggled under the border at great expense, he said. Two genuine zebras died of starvation earlier this year during the Israeli military offensive, he added. 

How Israel Killed UN’s War Crimes Probe 
Jonathan Cook in Nazareth, 10/7/2009
      Israel celebrated at the weekend its success at the United Nations in forcing the Palestinians to defer demands that the International Criminal Court investigate allegations of war crimes committed by Israel during its winter assault on the Gaza Strip. The about-turn, following vigorous lobbying from Israel and the United States, appears to have buried the damning report of Judge Richard Goldstone into the fighting, which killed some 1,400 Palestinians, most of them civilians. Israeli diplomats suggested on Sunday [4 October] that Washington had promised the Palestinian Authority, in return for delaying an inquiry, that the United States would apply “significant pressure” on Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, to move ahead on a diplomatic process when the US envoy, George Mitchell, arrives in the region tomorrow. But, according to Israeli and Palestinian analysts, diplomatic arm-twisting was not the only factor in the PA’s change of heart. Haaretz newspaper reported last week that, behind the scenes, Palestinian officials had faced threats that Israel would retaliate by inflicting enormous damage on the beleaguered Palestinian economy. In particular, Israel warned it would renege on a commitment to allot radio frequencies to allow Wataniya, a mobile phone provider, to begin operations this month in the West Bank. The telecommunications industry is the bedrock of the Palestinian economy, with the current monopoly company, PalTel, accounting for half the worth of the Palestinian stock exchange. more.. e-mail

Israeli Exceptionalism 
Justin Raimondo, 10/5/2009
      A major cause of Middle East turmoil
     In the Washington Times, some astonishing news:
     "President Obama has reaffirmed a 4-decade-old secret understanding that has allowed Israel to keep a nuclear arsenal without opening it to international inspections, three officials familiar with the understanding said. The officials, who spoke on the condition that they not be named because they were discussing private conversations, said Mr. Obama pledged to maintain the agreement when he first hosted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House in May."
     This news story is an enigma wrapped up in what may be a misunderstanding, or even pure myth. To begin with, this alleged 40-year "secret understanding" is not very well understood. As Avner Cohen puts it in Ha’aretz:
     "What exactly was agreed on by Nixon and Meir is in itself ambiguous. Although both leaders dictated the minutes of what had been said and agreed on, each had his or her own version of what had been said. American documents recently declassified indicate that about a month after that conversation, even Henry Kissinger, at the time Nixon’s national security adviser, was not fully aware of the exact details of what the two agreed on."
     There’s no verification of this agreement in the Nixon Library, nor is there anything in the Israeli archives. We’re just supposed to accept it on faith that the U.S. government agreed to shield the Israelis from nuclear scrutiny unto eternity, without asking for anything in return. So unlike Nixon. more.. e-mail

Electronic Intifada
Following al-Aqsa clashes, Israel mulls banning Islamic movement
8 Oct 2009 - The Israeli government announced yesterday it would consider banning Israel's Islamic Movement at the next cabinet meeting, in a significant escalation of tensions that have fueled a fortnight of bloody clashes in Jerusalem over access to the Haram al-Sharif compound of mosques. The move followed the arrest of the movement's leader, Sheikh Raed Salah, on Tuesday on suspicion of incitement and sedition. Jonathan Cook reports from Nazareth. 

After Goldstone, Hamas faces fateful choice
8 Oct 2009 - The uproar over the Palestinian Authority's (PA) collaboration with Israel to bury the Goldstone report, calling for trials of Israeli leaders for war crimes in Gaza, is a political earthquake. The whole political order in place since the 1993 Oslo accords were signed is crumbling. As the initial tremors begin to fade, the same old political structures may appear still to be in place, but they are hollowed out. This unprecedented crisis threatens to topple the US-backed PA leader Mahmoud Abbas, but it also leaves Hamas, the main Palestinian resistance faction, struggling with fateful choices. Ali Abunimah comments for The Electronic Intifada. 

A poverty of leadership
7 Oct 2009 - Whether or not the clumsy attempt to shelve the Goldstone report on last winter's Gaza attacks is the tipping point for Mahmoud Abbas's rule, the succession process has been underway for several years. However, it is being coordinated by the US and Israel and is no reflection of the wishes and desires of the Palestinian people. Abbas's likely successor is Salam Fayyad, who somehow manages to be an even more uninspiring and unpopular character. Osamah Khalil comments for The Electronic Intifada. 

Volvo providing armored buses for Israeli settlements
7 Oct 2009 - Following reports published by The Electronic Intifada on the use of Volvo equipment in the demolition of Palestinian houses in 2007, the Volvo Group stated that it did not condone the use of its equipment for such purposes. Claiming to have no control over the use of its products, Volvo affirmed that its Code of Conduct decries unethical behavior. In spite of these claims, The Electronic Intifada has found that through its Volvo Buses branch, the Volvo Group is providing armored buses to transport Israeli settlers in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. 

In Gaza
no colour
6 Oct 2009 - i’m not a faction supporter, carry no particular party flag, carry but the green, black, white and red Palestinian flag… but this goes beyond factions. This is undeniable collaboration, at the hands of the million and a half shackled to hell: PA’s Goldstone block linked to tape …Quoting what it called reliable sources, Shahab news agency said on Tuesday that PA representatives at a meeting in Washington had initially rejected Israel’s request not to endorse the report and were determined to stick to this position. But, the agency added, Brigadier Eli Avraham played a videotape showing a meeting between Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, and Ehud Barak, the Israeli defence...

Palestine Chronicle
The Gaza War's Effect on Women 
7 Oct 2009 - By Stephen Lendman - Chicago The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights' (PCHR) new report, titled "Through Women's Eyes," highlights "the Gender-Specific Impact and Consequences of Operation Cast Lead" and the ongoing siege, including 12 case study examples "through the victims' words." Several are discussed below. In patriarchal Palestinian society, women traditionally are caregivers while men typically head households and are the main breadwinners. As a result, when widows are thrust into this role, they're often victimized by cultural, social and economic discrimination and marginalization. In Gaza today, it's hard for women to get by alone, so widows must either live with family members or remarry. The alternative is a hard struggle alone, something most Palestinian women try to avoid, but post-conflict many have no choice. Besides the vast destruction from Operation Cast Lead claiming over 1,400 lives and thousands more wounded, 118 women were killed and 825 injured, in many cases severely enough to make it hard for them to get by. The majority of victims were in Northern Gaza and Gaza City where the heaviest fighting and bombardment occurred. PCHR listed the names of the dead by age, their address, date and place of attack, and date of death. Israel said the death toll was an unavoidable part of its military operations during which efforts were made to minimize civilian casualties. PCHR debunked this as baseless by documenting numerous indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks against civilians and their property. Individual testimonies bear witness that 83% of all fatalities were civilian,...

Justice for Polanski, Not for Gaza
7 Oct 2009 - By Aijaz Zaka Syed - Dubai Who doesn’t know Roman Polanski? Even those not familiar with the internationally acclaimed filmmaker’s work would recognize the fact he’s a star director who has acquired a kind of cult status and has inspired and influenced filmmakers around the world. The Polish-French director is in trouble these days. He was arrested last week at the Zurich airport on a warrant issued by the US authorities. It seems the award-winning filmmaker, now 76, is wanted in the United States for ‘unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor’ 32 years ago. After being indicted in 1977, Polanski - 44 at the time - confessed to having sex with the 13-year old after plying her with an endless supply of Quaaludes and Champagne . Polanski fled America after his plea bargain fell apart, raising prospects of the filmmaker ending up behind the bars for a long, long time. He hasn’t returned to the land of Hollywood since, even when he earned himself numerous laurels and Oscars for such landmark offerings as Rosemary’s Baby, Chinatown , and, most recently, The Pianist . Predictably, Polanski’s arrest and the distinct possibility of ending up behind the bars at the ripe age of 76 have sparked a fiery debate on both sides of the Atlantic . European officials, filmmakers, artistes and media have slammed the US warrant against Polanski and Swiss action of arresting him when he arrived for the Zurich Film Festival, where he was to be feted with the Golden Icon Award for “lifetime...

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