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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
15 October, 2009


Ma'an News

Gaza farmers struggle with damaged agricultural land
10/15/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/IRIN - Thousands of Gazan farmers may be unable to replant their crops during the region's main planting season in October because their agricultural land remains damaged following the Israeli offensive at the start of the year, and a lack of agricultural materials like seeds and fertilizers, according to officials. Half of Hatem Khubair's four hectares of farmland in Beit Lahiya, a city in the northern Gaza Strip, were destroyed during the Israeli offensive earlier this year. "I can't afford to rehabilitate my land. The Israeli army bulldozed my crops - onions and carrots - and parked tanks on it, destroying the irrigation system," said Hatem. "I lack money and materials," he added, estimating the damage at 27,000 US dollars, not including the production losses he and his family of eight face this season. 

Group: 34 Hebron residents detained in two weeks
10/15/2009 - Hebron - Ma'an - At least 34 Palestinians have been detained over the past two weeks in Hebron, according to a local organization that monitors detentions throughout the occupied territories. Amjad An-Najjar, who heads the Prisoners' Society, said in a statement that since the beginning of October, 14 children under 16 years of age were among the 34 detained. Israel's military considers Palestinians to be minors if they are younger than 16, but Israeli citizens if they are under 18. The international legal definition of a minor is anyone under 18 years of age. According to An-Najjar, six residents of Su'eer, northeast of Hebron, were seized by forces operating in the area, while others were detained in Hebron city, Ath-Thahrieyah and Dura during a raid on Thursday at dawn. Meanwhile, security sources told Ma'an that soldiers detained in Su'eer Iyad Musa Khalil Jaradat, 16,. . . 

France, UK, US, urge Israel to investigate war crimes findings
10/15/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Britain, France and the United States each separately advised Israel to conduct independent and credible investigations into allegations of war crimes committed by its forces in Gaza last winter, media sources reported. The nations voiced their concerns on the issue of the Goldstone report during a UN Security Council session Thursday, in which Israeli representative to the body Gabriela Shalev called the document a "report which has fallen straight into the strategic trap guided by terror organizations across the world. "  Despite US reservations on the "unbalanced" nature of the report, Deputy US Ambassador to the United Nations Alejandro Wolff said, "We take the allegations in the report seriously," and urged Israel to "carry out serious investigations of these allegations. " Wolff said the US would not pressure Hamas into similar action because. . . 

Actress Mia Farrow voices outrage at Gaza blockade
10/15/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - American actress Mia Farrow said she was outraged at the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip because of the deplorable conditions it has created for children. "All people of conscious are offended and outraged by this situation," Farrow told reporters in Gaza, as quoted by AP. "And we sincerely hope that measures will be taken to alleviate this situation as soon as possible. "Farrow visited Gaza in her role as goodwill ambassador for the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF). In the territory she visited a school where said children appeared badly affected by Israel's recent war on the Gaza Strip. "The children appear traumatized," she said at a news conference, according to AFP. "The teachers say that when they hear a loud noise they (the children) look to the sky and cry out and weep. They don't know what the future holds," she said, speaking alongside Egyptian actor Mahmoud Kabil, also a UNICEF ambassador. 

Goldstone report revisited
10/15/2009 - Curtis Doebbler - Speaking to a fully packed Chamber of the Human Rights Council, diplomats at the United Nations in Geneva began discussing the Goldstone report for the second time in three weeks on Thursday. The formal reason for the Special Session is a resolution submitted by the Palestinian delegation supported by the 54 countries of the African Group, the 57 countries of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, and the 22 Arab countries. The resolution calls for condemnation of the recent Israeli action in East Jerusalem and in and around the Al-Asqa Mosque. It also calls for adoption of the Goldstone report, implementation of its recommendations, and the referring of the report to the General Assembly. What wasn't on the table or up for discussion was the domestic dynamic that caused the Palestinian diplomats in Geneva and their government in Ramallah to reverse their effort to delay consideration of the Goldstone report. 

Report: US to push for final-status talks
10/15/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The Hebrew-language newspaper Yedoth Ahronoth on Thursday quoted Israeli and European political sources saying the US administration was planning to demand final-status talks in the very near future. After failing to move forward with stalled Palestinian-Israeli negotiations or achieve anything on freezing Israeli settlements, according to the report, the sources said American officials were left with no other choice. One of the sources, who was described as well-informed of the supposed plans, added that "the US administration intends to invite both the Israelis and the Palestinians to visit Washington to hold a round of talks that will include all of the main disputed issues. "The sources reportedly identified those issues as borders, Jerusalem, refugees and security arrangements. According to the report, political sources told the newspaper that "senior officials in the US administration. . . " 

One Gaza crossing open; supplies at minimum
10/15/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Israeli authorities will open one Gaza border crossing for food, humanitarian and and some commercial goods, Palestinian liaison officer for Israeli crossings authorities Raed Fattouh said Thursday. The Kerem Shalom crossing will allow 94-104 truckloads of goods into the Strip, while the bulk goods and fuel transfer points will remain sealed, he said. Over the past week including Thursday, crossings have allowed in approximately 393 truckloads of goods, and the bulk goods conveyor belt operated three days. No fuel was transferred into Gaza. [end] 

Israeli forces raid West Bank towns, seizing six
10/15/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israeli forces seized six Palestinians during overnight raids in the West Bank, the Palestinian Authority (PA) police reported on Thursday. A police report said that soldiers raided the village of Termesaya, near the city of Ramallah, and seized Muhammad Tawfiq Al-Hindi, 22, Ahmad Rebhi Shalabi, 22, and Raed Farid Shalabi, 23, from their homes. In the Salfit area, Israeli soldiers raided the village of Qarawat Bani Hassan and seized three residents, whose names were not included in the report. The PA report also states that soldiers fired their weapons at the entrance of the village. No one was reported injured. According to the report, Israeli soldiers also raided the village of Dura, south of the city of Hebron, and invaded a house belonging to Ayman Saleh Suleiman, but reportedly arrested no one. 

Egypt seizes 12 African migrants on Israeli border
10/15/2009 - Al-Arish - Ma'an - Egyptian forces arrested 12 African migrants who they said they were attempting to cross Israel's Sinai Desert border, security sources said on Thursday. According to the sources, the 11 Eritrean and one Ethiopian told Egyptian authorities that they paid 1,000 US dollars each to foreign smugglers to help them enter Israel. They also told officials that they were smuggled to Egypt through Sudan, and that there were another 200 migrants hiding in the Sinai waiting to be taken to the Israeli border by their smuggler guides. In a separate incident, Egyptian security sources said a police officer named Ahmad Abdul-Munsef, 21, shot himself in the right arm with his own weapon. He was taken to Al-Arish Hospital, the sources added. 

Israeli army releases Fatah affiliate from prison
10/15/2009 - Qalqiliya - Ma'an - Israeli prison authorities released Fatah affiliate Raed Ijbarah after four months in detention after forces invaded his home and confiscated an unknown number of weapons. Ijbarah is from the West Bank city of Qalqiliya, and was never charged with a crime during his time in detention. [end] 

Rafah crossing to open next week; 110 patients return Thurs.
10/15/2009 - Al-Arish - Ma'an -Egyptian authorities allowed 110 Palestinian patients and their companions enter Gaza on Wednesday night following treatment inEgyptian hospitals, security sources said. Egypt also allowed the return of displaced Palestinians, who do not have residency in Egypt, into the Gaza Strip on Thursday morning, according to the country's security officials. Wednesdays and Thursdays were designated for passage of patients and displaced Palestinians by Egyptian security in September. Sources also noted Rafah crossing will be open for travel in and out of the Strip for those with permits next week. [end] 

Huwwara mayor: Settlers torch car
10/15/2009 - Nablus - Ma'an - Settlers from the Israeli settlement Yizhar south of Nablus torched the parked car of a Palestinain man in the town of Huwwara on Thursday, an official said. Huwara Mayor Samer Odeh identified the owner of the car as 30-year-old Issam Edis Shehadeh. He said the settlers entered the area, set fire to the vehicle then fled. He condemned what he called the continuous settler attacks against Palestinians in the West Bank, for both the material losses and psychological abuse they cause. [end] 

Reports: Palestinian detained over alleged attack plot
10/15/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israeli forces seized a Palestinian on Thursday, news reports said. The Hebrew-language news agency Walla reported a man was arrested at Bethlehem's "container" military checkpoint on suspicions he planned to carry out a shooting attack. According to the news site, Israeli forces searched the young man's car but found no weapons. Nevertheless, he was handed over to internal security services for interrogation, the agency said. The Jerusalem Post, an English-language newspaper, reported that a resident of Abu Dis was seized, in cooperation with the Israeli intelligence service Shin Bet, before being transferred elsewhere for interrogation. If confirmed, the young man would be at least the 16th Palestinian detained on Thursday, according to Israeli reports. Palestinian sources said six of those were seized in overnight raids. 

Arab League: Settlement must stop before talks begin
10/15/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - A peace process for Palestine needs "coordination of the Americans, Europeans as well as the PAM [Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean] Member States to support every single contribution to solve the Israeli-Palestinian issue," Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa said Wednesday. During the signing of a memorandum of understanding with PAM in Malta, Moussa clarified the Arab League's stance on talks, as needing a "clear timeframe for the negotiations, that a monitoring structure be established, that Jerusalem is part of the discussions, and that settlements must stop, if talks are to continue," a statement said. In addition to the memorandum of understanding, the LAS promised it would "support and promote the joint UN-PAM Conference on the Middle East Peace Process," set to be held in Malta in February 2010. 

Al-Aqsa Foundation warns of extremist plot to invade site
10/15/2009 - Jerusalem - Ma'an - Jewish extremists intend to break into the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Thursday and conduct a mass-prayer, the Al-Aqsa Foundation for Waqf and Heritage warned. The foundation said Hebrew-language websites affiliated with extremist Jewish groups announced the action on Wednesday, saying it came after being prevented from entering the Haram Ash-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary) the week earlier at the close of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. Leaders of the foundation announced that they would be ready to oppose any attacks on the holy site. Last week a group of extremist Jews attempted to gain access to the compound housing the Al-Aqsa Mosque, but were prevented from doing so by Israeli police. The group performed religious rituals in the streets adjacent to the site, using dance ceremonies to antagonize local shop owners, and demanded Palestinain residents of the area vacate while they worhsipped. 

Fayyad: PA rejects Mickey Mouse state
10/15/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Palestinians will not be forced to accept the "Mickey Mouse state" Israel is offering them as a part of a peace deal, caretaker Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said on Wednesday. "By all indications they have a Mickey Mouse state in mind"¦ It looks like it would not come close to what we have in mind," Fayyad told members of the Foreign Press Association in Ramallah. The Palestinian Authority (PA) official was referring to what many believe is an Israeli plan to offer Palestinians a territorially fragmented state after annexing large portions of the West Bank currently taken up by Israeli settlements and their infrastructure. Fayyad said the Palestinians aspired to an "independent, sovereign, viable Palestinian state" in the West Bank and Gaza, with East Jerusalem as its capital. 

PA to UN: We will investigate Goldstone allegations
10/15/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Palestinians welcome investigations of war crimes and crimes against humanity outlined in the UN-mandated Goldstone report, but "reject any equating of the occupying power's aggression and crimes with actions committed in response by the Palestinian side," Palestinian Foreign Minister for the caretaker government Riyad Al-Malki said Wednesday in New York. During the session of the UN Security Council devoted to discuss the situation in the Middle East, Al-Malki said the Palestinian Authority was ready to look into violations of human rights and possible war crimes committed by the Palestinians side. "We take the charges seriously," he said, "We stress our willingness to abide by the rule of law and affirm our commitment to conduct investigations through local legal mechanisms to handle this important issue. 

Gaza government vows to probe war crimes charges
10/15/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - "Although we do not agree with certain aspects of his report we intend to act on his recommendation and to carry out our own investigation into any alleged crimes committed by members of the resistant movements in Gaza," a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Gaza Strip said Thursday. The de facto government in Gaza said it welcomed the news that the "UN Human Rights Council will reopen the debate on the Goldstone report in a special session to be held this week," and reiterated respect for the "fact that Judge Goldstone undertook his mission without bias and in a genuine attempt to establish the facts of what happened in Gaza during the recent war. " While major media outlets around the globe reported Hamas was against the report and refused to comply with its call for investigations into war crimes committed by both Hamas and Israel, the party has in fact maintained a moderate stance on the report. 

UN rights chief backs Goldstone report on Gaza
10/15/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay endorsed the Goldstone report on alleged war crimes in Gaza during a meeting of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Thursday. Pillay told the body that steps to hold war criminals accountable "are not obstacles to peace, but rather the preconditions on which trust and, ultimately, a durable peace can be built. " The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) envoy Ibrahim Khreisheh spoke in support of the report prepared by former war crimes prosecutor Richard Goldstone on Israel's three-week assault on the Gaza Strip last winter. Goldstone was asked by the UN to lead an independent, international investigation into the war, which left more than 1,400 Palestinians dead, along with 13 Israelis. His 575-page report alleges that both Israel and Palestinian armed groups committed war crimes. 

Spanish PM says EU wants swift state recognition
10/15/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - The European Union wants to "speed up" both the creation and international recognition of a Palestinian state, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero told reporters in Ramallah on Thursday. "The EU will try to minimize the period of time, and will speed up, the steps toward achieving recognition of a Palestinian state," he said. "We have Americans and others playing a constructive role in supporting us," Zapatero added. "We're in agreement on establishing a state in a reasonable amount of time. "His remarks came following a meeting with President Mahmoud Abbas at the central West Bank city's presidential headquarters, where the Spanish and Palestinian national anthems were played as Zapatero laid a wreath on the temporary tomb of Yasser Arafat, the late president, which is inside the compound. 

In Bethlehem, Jerusalem archbishop says wall will fall
10/15/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Archbishop Atallah Hanna, one of the highest-ranking Christian clergymen in Jerusalem, declared on Thursday in Bethlehem the West Bank wall would come down. "This wall is racist," he said. "It will come down just like Berlin's. "Speaking at Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem, Hanna threw his support behind the Palestinian right of return, saying it was "no less important and sacred for us than our rights in Jerusalem. "Just as Jerusalem will return to its owners, so too will Palestinian refugees return to their homeland," he added. "We will cling to our homeland. . . and not give up one drop of soil of our beloved city Jerusalem despite all pressure and plots. "The archbishop was speaking to participants at a peace rally organized by the Holy Land Trust, which was attended by a number of Palestinian officials and several international Christian solidarity organizations. 

De facto Culture Ministry praises Farrow visit
10/15/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - The de facto Ministry of Culture in Gaza welcomed the visits of UNICEF goodwill envoy American actress Mia Farrow, who arrived on Wednesday in a solidarity visit to Gaza's children. In a statement, the ministry praised the visit, calling it as a positive move aimed at "taking in firsthand the tragic situation the Palestinians are living under, in general, and the suffering of children, in particular. "The ministry said that "the war on Gaza and was destructive psychologically, in addition to disabilities that were caused by Israeli attacks that claimed the lives a large number of children and injured several others. "The visit was important, the ministry added, because it amounted to an international front of intellectuals and artists "revealing ongoing Israeli crimes," and in small part breaking the siege imposed on Gaza in 2007. 

PFLP: Hamas-Fatah unity excludes other factions
10/15/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) never received an official copy of the Egyptian reconciliation plan, member of the party's central committee Kayid Al-Ghoul said Thursday. While the party was able to review the proposal, Al-Ghoul said Egypt has been waiting until Fatah and Hamas sign the proposal before it hands out the plan to other factions ahead of 20 October. The proposal would bring an end to the inter-Palestinian division that began in 2006. Al-Ghoul's announcement came despite earlier confirmation from the Palestine People's Party, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) and the Popular Struggle Front (PPSF) that they received the Egyptian plan for conciliation on 11 September. The faction leader also condemned the latest Egyptian decision, which in lieu of an all-factions dialogue session and a final signing. . . 

Health Ministry delivers 140 tons of meds to Gaza
10/15/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - The Palestinian minister of health in the caretaker government, Fathi Abu Mughli, said he supervised the delivery of medication and other necessities to the Gaza Strip on Thursday. In a statement, Abu Mughli said the aid includes 140 tons vaccines, fluids and other medications used in dialysis. The minister said the convoy amounted to 2. 5 million US dollars, 240,000 of which was donated by the Red Crescent Society of the United Arab Emirates, and the rest from the Palestinian Ministry of Health. Abu Mughli noted that the ministry prioritized medication for patients suffering from cancer and kidney problems, and sent vaccines to cover shortages. He said the aid was delayed for several months because Israel refused to issue permits. Abu Mughli expressed hope that the ministry would be able to send more medication to Gaza, adding that international efforts have not been sufficient to cover to the populace's needs. 

Hamas in Damascus: No Egyptian deal without right to resist
10/15/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - A report from The Associated Press said Hamas leadership in Syria, and several other factions with leaders in exile there, rejected the Egyptian proposal for unity with the rival Fatah party on Thursday. Members of Fatah signed the agreement Wednesday, putting the onus on Hamas to sign and finalize the unity deal. Eight factions, unnamed but for Hamas in the AP report, issued a joint statement calling for the revision of the Egyptian plan to include the right of Palestinians to resist the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza. [end] 

PLO factions in Syria condemn unity ’obstructions’
10/15/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - PLO factions called for ending "obstruction of the untiy process" following a move from non-affiliated factions including Hamas and Islamic Jihad, which asked that the Egyptian proposal be revised to include a right to resistance. The back and forth between PLO member factions and other non-PLO parties comes on the day Egypt set as a deadline for Hamas and Fatah to sign the conciliation plan, ahead of an all factions meeting later in the month. "No one has the right to obstruct the efforts of national conciliation," a statement from the PLO factions in Damascus said. "No justification is bigger than the national interest. " PLO factions include Fatah, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Palestinian People's Party, the Palestinian Arab Front, the Arab Liberation Front, the Palestinian Popular. . . 

Mother, five children killed by fire in Bethlehem
10/15/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - A mother and her five children were killed by a fire in their house in Bethlehem early on Thursday morning, officials said. Security sources said the fire occurred in the Da'na family house on As-Saf Street, in the city center. The father of the family was suffered severe burns, the sources said. The sources identified the dead as Fatima Abd Ar-Rahim Da'na, 33, Idrees Da'na, 12, Manar Da'na, eight, Ahmad Da'na, six, Muhammad Da'na, three, and Nour Da'na, six months. Ayman Idrees Da'na, 35, the father, was severely injured. Civil Defense officials said that firefighters arrived at the house while the fire was raging throughout the house. Officials said the firefighters broke down the kitchen door to find the family apparently on the verge of death and evacuated them to Beit Jala Government Hospital. 

PSE rises slightly: Al-Quds Index up 0.08%
10/15/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Stocks rose slightly on the Palestine Securities exchange in Nablus on Thursday, with the Al-Quds Index closing at 508. 52, an increase of 0. 42 points (0. 08%). Trading volume for Thursday reached 532,618 shares, a total value of 974,005. 94 US dollars, over the course of 238 individual trades. The shares of 23 companies were traded. The shares prices of six companies rose while those of nine others declined. The top five gainers were AHC (4. 55%), ARE (4. 08%), LADAEN (2. 94%), PRICO (1. 27%), and BOP (1. 09%). The top five losers were TRUST (5. 00%), VOIC (4. 83%), PEC (2. 02%), ARAB (1. 69%), and UCI (1. 61%). [end] 

Ha'aretz Defense page

Hezbollah vs. Israel: Who has 'real' video of Lebanon blast site?
15 Oct 2009 - Group denounces IDF video of militants removing arms from site as lie, airs clip detailing 'true events.' 

Israel warns of possible terror attacks in India
15 Oct 2009 - Counter-Terrorism Bureau: Terror group behind 2008 Mumbai attack planning further attacks on Israelis. 

Turkey: We foiled al-Qaida plot against Israeli, U.S. targets
15 Oct 2009 - State-run news agency reports 32 suspected militants detained in raids across eight provinces. 

Report: Syria supplying long-range missiles to Hezbollah
15 Oct 2009 - Kuwaiti paper: Israel sources say Syria has given quarter of its middle-, long-range missle arsenal to Lebanon group. 

Comptroller: Barak spent NIS 527,000 on Paris accomodation
14 Oct 2009 - Report slams Defense Ministry for spending exorbitant amount at Paris air show last June. 

IDF to start handing out new gas masks to civilians in January
15 Oct 2009 - Plan is to hand out 4.5 million kits within three years; GOC Home Front Command: We don't have enough kits. 


[] Children of the Occupation
October 15, 2009 - ...Like the vast majority of Palestinian child prisoners, Bara'a and Samah were detained in Israel, a practice in breach of the Geneva Convention that requires occupying powers to detain residents within occupied territories. As a consequence, many Palestinian children are unable to be visited by family while in prison, because their relatives are denied permits to...

[] BDS - Yes We Can
October 15, 2009 - ... In 2005 a unified call to establish a Palestinian boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign, also known as BDS officially emerged from Palestine, and has been steadily gaining momentum. I have not previously given much attention to BDS, but in light of the stalling of peace talks and deferral of the Goldstone Report, I suddenly realized that...

[] Israeli-Turkish Relations: A New Epoch Breaking the Old Pattern
October 15, 2009 - The political-military establishment in Israel has been extraordinarily furious following Turkey's decision this week to exclude Israel from a multi-national aerial military exercise over Turkish territory. The drill, dubbed the Anatolian Eagle Air-Defense Exercise, was to take place over the Turkish city of Konya on October 12 with the participation of warplanes from several NATO countries...

[] Interview with Doctor Thabet El Masri Gaza: A Death Camp?
October 15, 2009 - Thabet El Masri is the Director of the Intensive Care Unit at the Shifa Hospital, a public institution in the Gaza Strip. He replies here to the questions of Silvia Cattori about the recent increase in the number of babies being born with birth defects [...] Yes I have been following the continuing phenomenon of babies born...

[] Weekly Report: On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory No. 40/2009 (08 - 14 Oct. 2009) 
October 15, 2009 - Israeli violations of international law and humanitarian law in the OPT continued during the reporting period (08 - 14 October 2009): Shooting: During the reporting period, a Palestinian child of wounds inflicted by IOF earlier this year, and 5 Palestinian civilians, including a child, were wounded by IOF gunfire in the Gaza Strip and the West...

[] Turkey-Israel Rift Good for Palestine
October 15, 2009 - Turkey's cooling relationship with Israel comes in tandem with its improving relations with the Arab and Muslim world, and this development is expected to impact positively on Palestinian politics. "The Turks appear to be implementing a major policy shift in the region as they look towards the East as a possible alternative to relations with the...

[] Sawasya: The Israeli war caused environmental damages in Gaza
October 15, 2009 -- Sawasya center for human rights said Wednesday that Gaza Strip is suffering from difficult environmental conditions especially the contamination of dinking water as a result of the ferocity of the last Israeli war and the ongoing blockade. The center stated that the Israeli war on Gaza had significant environmental impacts on the life in Gaza, where...

[] Video: China forges links with Iran
October 15, 2009 - Wen Jiabao, the Chinese premier, has made it clear he does not agree with Western demands for sanctions over Tehran's disputed nuclear programme, insisting he will maintain "close co-operation" with Iran. Oil exports account for nearly half of Iran's revenues - being cut off from the West means most is exported to Asian countries and a...

[] Rights council debates Gaza report
October 15, 2009 - The UN Human Rights Council in Geneva is again debating the Goldstone report on the conduct of the Gaza war late last year. Thursday's session comes at the request of the Palestinian Authority, which two weeks ago initially agreed to defer a vote on the UN-sanctioned report, but later backtracked after coming under heavy criticism. The...

[] GAZA: Farmers struggle with damaged agricultural land
October 15, 2009 - Thousands of Gazan farmers may be unable to replant their crops during the region's main planting season in October due to agricultural land still damaged by the Israeli offensive at the start of the year, and a lack of agricultural materials like seeds and fertilizers, according to officials. Half of Hatem Khubair's four hectares of farmland...

[] Nouri Al-Maliki's Curriculum Vitae.
October 15, 2009 - ...Diplomas : Personally involved in blowing up the Iraqi Embassy in Beirut and in assassinating senior Palestinian leaders in Ze Lebanon. This is Al-Maliki : 1- Was in the armed command of the Dawa party, and was personally involved in the criminal murdering of several people. 2- was personally involved in the blowing up of the Iraqi Embassy...

[] Fateh Accepts The Egyptian Document, Hamas To Respond
October 14, 2009 - Fateh movement accepted the Egyptian document for internal Palestinians unity and signed it, while Hamas movement is yet to respond. Egypt, the mediator between the two rival parties, handed a new proposal that be separately signed by Fateh and Hamas, before the two movements can sign the deal together after the upcoming Adha Muslim feast. Fateh...

Palestine Telegraph

International Conference to discuss Future of Palestinian Refugees
US, October 14, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - The Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) will host a conference on the 16th of December 2009 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency UNRWA.

Shatila kids in the limelight
Lebanon, October 13, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - Peter Mortimer is one of life's great utopians. His most popular book Broke Through Britain described how he walked from one end of the country to the other without any money, entirely dependent on the...

The National

Egypt opposition fights 'dynastic rule'
15 Oct 2009 - The opposition leader Ayman Nour announces the formation of the Egyptian Campaign Against Tawreeth, or inheritance of power.

Lebanon takes a seat at UN Security Council
15 Oct 2009 - US expert says the unusual collection' of countries elected to two-year terms may hamper the body's ability to act. 

Hamas spurns plan to reconcile with Fatah
15 Oct 2009 - The Syrian-based leadership of the militant Palestinian Hamas rejects an Egyptian-mediated proposal to reconcile with the rival group.

Call for UN chief to monitor Gaza war investigation
15 Oct 2009 - The Palestinians and their allies call for the United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-moon to get involved in a row over Gaza war crimes investigations.

Hizbollah accused of stockpiling weapons
14 Oct 2009 - After a mysterious explosion levels a Hizbollah member's home, Israel complains to the UN that the group is stockpiling weapons. 

Israel under pressure as UN reviews war in Gaza
14 Oct 2009 - President and prime minister lobby to prevent vote of censure that could lead to charges in the International Criminal Court.


UN rights chief backs Gaza report
15 Oct 2009 - Navi Pillay endorses Goldstone report and urges "prompt" Israeli and Palestinian probes.

Hamas calls for unity deal changes 
15 Oct 2009 - Group says it will not sign deal unless "right to resisting occupation" is included.

Video: China forges links with Iran
15 Oct 2009 - Trade links stop China from supporting Western backed sanctions over nuclear programme.

Israel 'holding hundreds illegally'
14 Oct 2009 - Rights groups say 335 Palestinians are being detained without legal basis.

Alternative Information Center

World Education Forum in Palestine: October 2010
15 Oct 2009 - The International Council of the World Social Forum, in its meeting held on October 8, 2009 in Montreal, extended its support for the World Education Forum in Palestine to be held in October 2010. Immediately following...

Palestinian Authored Draft Resolution to be Presented to the U.N., titled "The Human Rights Situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Including East Jerusalem" 
14 Oct 2009 - Draft Resolution The human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem To read the original draft resolution, click here . The Human Rights Council, Recalling the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant...

Palestine News Network

450 Italians visit Shu’afat Refugee Camp in solidarity with Palestinians facing Wall and ...
15 Oct 2009 - Jerusalem / Maisa Abu Ghazaleh for PNN – Four hundred and fifty Italians visited East Jerusalem’s Shu’afat Refugee Camp Thursday. The trip was in solidarity with Palestinians who face daily harassment, home demolitions, and land confiscation for the Wall.Hosted by the Department of Refugee Affairs in the PLO and the People's Committee for Services in Shu'afat, in coordination with UNRWA, the Italian solidarity...

Israeli teenagers face prison sentences for refusing military service: demonstration in Bil’in
14 Oct 2009 - Bil’in - At next Friday’s demonstration against the Wall in Bil’in, 23 October, a delegation from Shministim (meaning 12th graders in Hebrew) will be joining the Palestinian nonviolent resistance. The Shministim is an Israeli organization of teenagers who refuse to join the occupying army, and who accept prison sentences for their refusal. Organizers in the western Ramallah town of Bil’in met with...

International Conference to discuss future of Palestinian refugees
14 Oct 2009 - Pal Telegraph - The Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) will host a conference on 16 December to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency UNRWA. UNRWAs work over the years is unparalleled in many ways. No other institution has been asked to tackle humanitarian crises that affect an entire nation for so long and no other agency has...

UN Session on Goldstone: Adalah to give statement on lack of accountability for Palestinian victims
14 Oct 2009 - Bethlehem / PNN - Today and tomorrow the United Nations Human Rights Council is holding a special session in Geneva as per the request of the Palestinian Authority. The report submitted by Justice Richard Goldstone, in which it was illuminated that Israeli forces committed war crimes in the Gaza Strip, will be discussed.The UN fact-finding mission conducted hours of interviews before issuing the...

World March for Peace and Nonviolence: To reach Bethlehem is like entering a makeshift prison
14 Oct 2009 - Bethlehem / Roberta Ravani- Members of the Middle East team of the World March have now left Bethlehem following a visit yesterday to the occupied Palestinian territory. Along with them were representatives of the Holy Land Trust association of Bethlehem, a non-profit organization that has worked for years to develop nonviolent resistance in Palestinian communities.On 13 October the Middle East team of the...

Palestinian Ministry of Health: one killed and 6 wounded as Israeli forces air bomb Rafah tunnel
13 Oct 2009 - Rafah / PNN - Dr. Muawiya Hassanein, the head of Ambulance and Emergency in the Ministry of Health, reported that one Palestinian was killed and six where wounded in an Israeli air attack on Rafah. Wednesday’s target was one of the tunnels used to bring goods into the Gaza Strip; a system that has become a lifeline for the one a half million...


GAZA: Farmers struggle with damaged agricultural land
GAZA CITY Thursday, October 15, 2009 (IRIN) - Thousands of Gazan farmers may be unable to replant their crops during the region’s main planting season in October due to agricultural land still damaged by the Israeli offensive at the start of the year, and a lack of agricultural materials like...

In Brief: Humanitarian magazine shines a light on OPT 
DUBAI Tuesday, October 06, 2009 (IRIN) - The latest issue of Humanitarian Exchange, a monthly magazine for humanitarian practitioners, highlights “the crisis of dignity” in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). A number of articles focus on the impact of the Israeli barrier and closure system.

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

Inter Press Service

POLITICS: U.S. Berated for Shielding Israel on Gaza Killings 
UNITED NATIONS, Oct 14 (IPS) - A U.S. decision to stall Security Council action against Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas for war crimes during the 22-day conflict in Gaza last December has come under heavy fire both from inside and outside the United Nations.

MIDEAST: Turkey-Israel Rift Good for Palestine 
RAMALLAH, Oct 14 (IPS) - Turkey's cooling relationship with Israel comes in tandem with its improving relations with the Arab and Muslim world, and this development is expected to impact positively on Palestinian politics.

Stop The Wall

Farmers struggle in Bethlehem and Salfit to pick olives
13 Oct 2009 - With the olive harvest beginning this month, farmers and their families across the West Bank will spend their days picking, cleaning and sorting olives. They will also face settler attacks and restricted access to their groves, which are often isolated behind the Wall, in settlements or adjacent to military bases and closed zones. [

Fact sheet: Companies building the Wall
13 Oct 2009 - This new fact sheet provides information on the companies involved in the Wall, with the aim of assisting activists in launching BDS campaigns. We have focused 8 companies – either larger Israeli companies in which there may be considerable international investment as well as international firms that play a significant role in building, equipping and/or maintaining the Wall. The fact sheet also details the successful Norwegian divestment for Elbit and provides information on how to launch your own divestment campaign. [

PCHR Latest

PCHR: Universities Must Be Kept Out of Political Conflict

PCHR Weekly Report

(08- 14 Oct. 2009)
During the reporting period, a Palestinian child of wounds inflicted by IOF earlier this year, and 5 Palestinian civilians, including a child, were wounded by IOF gunfire in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank

information on boycott, divestment and sanctions
On the Occasion of the World Day Against the Death Penalty, PCHR and OHCHR Organize a Conference Titled “Death Penalty in OPT”

International Solidarity Movement

Bedouin community declared ’closed military area’ while residents attempted to build new poultry-house
10/15/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - 13 October 2009 - On Tuesday, 13 October 2009, Israeli soldiers and police prevented the residents of Umm al-Kheir, located in the South Hebron Hills, from finishing the construction of a new chicken house. The families are not allowed by the army to build houses and are therefore living in tents that are located just outside the gate to the illegal settlement of Carmel. During the day one of the families started to build a small house, approximately 2,5 x 3m, using stones and cement, to house their chickens. When international and Israeli activists arrived at the scene, at around 5pm, one military jeep and one settlement security car was stationed in the middle of the Bedouin community, on the road outside the settlement gate. 

Israeli army set cars on fire close to the southern Green Line
10/15/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - 13 October 2009 - During the last week, the Israeli army patrolling the area close to the Green Line in the South Hebron Hills, started to destroy and burn cars they suspected belonged to Palestinians trying to travel inside Israel for work without permit. On the 12 and 13 October, activists from different groups documented seven destroyed cars in the area. When the Israeli soldiers approach a car they want to target, they make the driver and other passengers abandon it and then proceed to destroying the car. They use a combination of various methods from smashing the windows, puncturing the tires, cutting wires, steeling the battery to setting the whole car on fire. One of the cars that were destroyed on the 13 October belonged to a Palestinian family that was on their way to visit another family living in the area, with no intention to try to cross the border. 

Settlers attack Palestinians in Hebron following Friday prayers
10/15/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - 9 October 2009 - Palestinian sources reported that about 40 settlers armed with M16 rifles made an unprovoked attack on a crowd outside the mosque in Shalalah Street following Friday prayers. Many people, including women and children were in the street. Israeli soldiers were also present at the time of the attack but made no attempt to stop the violence.  The settlers tried to catch Palestinians and beat them. One boy injured his wrist after falling while trying to climb out of the way. The attack was aborted because of the intervention of a group of about 15 Norwegian tourists, who happened to be in the area.  The settlers withdrew as a consequence. In response to the attack a group of four boys, aged between 10 and 21, were later detained for stone throwing. Also detained were two boys who went to the Ibrahimi Mosque allegedly carrying knives. 

Struggle for the return of land in Iraq Burin continues
10/15/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - 12 October 2009 - Iraq Burin has achieved the first success of its kind, in which the District Co-ordination Office has entered into an agreement with the village to return 30 dunums of contested farmland to its rightful owners. It comes on the heels of four fiery weekly demonstrations, where local protesters and international activists came together to protest illegal land annexation and settlement expansion in the West Bank. The land in question lies in Area C on the edge of Iraq Burin next to the illegal settlement of Mar-Bracha, just south of Nablus. Mayor Abu Haitham has stated the DCO expressed a desire to lease the land from the village but rejected the offer, in favour of the 4 families owning segments of the 30 dunums and wish only to recommence its cultivation. The village was subject to a visit from the Israeli Occupation Force on the night of Sunday the 11 October, following 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

Egypt FM: I refuse to be in the same room as Lieberman
15 Oct 2009 - Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit on Thursday warned he would not attend a meeting of foreign ministers representing Mediterranean Union if Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman attends. ...

UN likely to endorse Goldstone Gaza report, despite Israeli efforts
15 Oct 2009 - The United Nations Human Rights Council is expected to endorse on Friday the Goldstone Report on Operation Lead Cast and its recommendations, despite the diplomatic efforts undertaken by Israel and the United States in recent days. ... 

'Why should U.S. taxpayers subsidize anti-Israel activities?'
15 Oct 2009 - A U.S. congressman on Thursday accused the UN Human Rights Council of choosing to "castigate" Israel rather than ending genocides around the world, a day before the council was to vote on a resolution endorsing a damning on Israel's conduct during its offensive on the Gaza Strip. ...

Brazil to extradite to Israel 'rabbi' suspected of child abuse
15 Oct 2009 - A self-appointed rabbi accused by Israeli officials of burning and cutting toddlers as part of a purification ritual will be extradited from Brazil, an official said Thursday. ...

U.S. envoy to take Obama's place at Peres-led summit
15 Oct 2009 - U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice will visit the Middle East next week to address a conference in Israel and meet Israeli and ...

The Guardian

Why I celebrate the Tel Aviv centenary | Carlo Strenger
15 Oct 2009 - Recognising Israel's achievements does not negate Palestinian suffering, but it is time to move on The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is more than 100 years old. Israel is, no doubt, not doing what it should to end the...

A strike against silence | Antony Lerman
15 Oct 2009 - Israelis and Palestinians are meeting in London this week to explore the psychological aspects of their conflict Across the spectrum of activists working for Israel-Palestine peace and reconciliation a mood of deep pessimism seems to have...

Palestinian faith in Obama 'evaporates'
13 Oct 2009 - Leaked memo from President Mahmoud Abbas accuses White House of buckling under pressure from Israel Palestinian political leaders have expressed acute disappointment in the Obama administration, saying their hopes that it could bring peace to the...

The dark side of Tel Aviv | Abe Hayeem 
13 Oct 2009 - The glitzy celebrations for the White City's 'centenary' airbrush over a complex history of colonialism The centenary of Tel Aviv , a city said to date from 1909, has provided a useful opportunity to present the face...

Ha'aretz National page

Mossad exposes founding charter for first time 
14 Oct 2009 - For the first time in its history, the Mossad has released a document from its archive. ... 

Mother of murdered girl Rose Pizem: Ronny Ron nearly beat me to death
14 Oct 2009 - Marie-Charlotte Renault, who is on trial for allegedly murdering her 4-year-old daughter, Rose Pizem, last year, testified on Thursday for the first time in Petah Tikva. ...

Comptroller slams Barak's NIS 1m Paris hotel expenses 
14 Oct 2009 - The State Comptroller's Office Wednesday sharply rebuked what it called wasteful expenditures incurred by Defense Minister Ehud Barak, his entourage and other leading military figures during a visit to the Paris Air Show this summer. ... 

Suit: Jerusalem hospital's refusal to admit Palestinian may have caused death 
14 Oct 2009 - A Palestinian taken by ambulance to a Jerusalem hospital was denied entry by hospital security, which may have been a factor in his death, according to a suit filed last week in the Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court. ... 

Haredi group that cares for human remains gets first Muslim recruits
14 Oct 2009 - The reflective vest is folded in the car, where they hope it will stay. ... 

Relief Web

OPT: Protection of civilians weekly report, 7 - 13 Oct 2009
15 Oct 2009 - Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

OPT: Human Rights Council holds special session on Gaza report
15 Oct 2009 - Source: UN Radio

UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors Mia Farrow and Mahmoud Kabil meet in Gaza to put focus on the plight of children
15 Oct 2009 - Source: UN Children's Fund

Weekly report on Israeli human rights violations in the occupied Palestinian territory 08 - 14 Oct 2009
15 Oct 2009 - Source: Palestinian Centre for Human Rights

OPT: Statement by Ms. Navanethem Pillay UN High Commissioner for Human Rights at the 12th Human Rights Council Special Session
15 Oct 2009 - Source: UN Human Rights Council

OPT: Schoolchildren to stand up against poverty
15 Oct 2009 - Source: UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East

YNet News

Gaza replenishes fuel supply, residents pleased
15 Oct 2009 - Smuggling tunnels begin to pay off as fuel prices in Strip drop from highs of NIS 7 to NIS 1.5 

Netanyahu disappointed in 'inciting' Turkish TV
15 Oct 2009 - During joint press conference with visiting Spanish counterpart, PM addresses Turkish TV series depicting IDF soldiers as child-killers, says, 'We hope Turkey will bolster peace and not extremist elements.' Zapatero: Holocaust will never be forgotten 

Elior Chen to be extradited to Israel
15 Oct 2009 - Brazil approves extradition of sadistic cult leader suspected of numerous counts of child abuse 

Spanish PM calls for Israeli settlement freeze 
15 Oct 2009 - In Ramallah, Zapatero says end to Jewish construction in West Bank needed 'so we can continue the political negotiations.' Abbas: I hope Spain will back peace process when it holds EU's rotating presidency 

Bethlehem: Mother, five children killed in fire 
15 Oct 2009 - Short circuit apparently cause of fire which cost lives of six family members, leaving only father alive, in critical condition. PA launches inquiry 

Actress Mia Farrow criticizes Gaza blockade
15 Oct 2009 - American actress holds six-day visit to Israel, Palestinian territories on behalf of UNICEF, says outraged by children's conditions in Gaza due to Israeli blockade. On Goldstone Report: Both sides committed war crimes 

UN human rights chief backs Goldstone report
15 Oct 2009 - 'Culture of impunity prevails in occupied territories and Israel,' says UN rights council chief 


Policy of detention without trial is illegal
13 Oct 2009 - A new report by B'Tselem and HaMoked states that Israel is holding 335 Palestinians in lengthy administrative detention. Nine Gazans are being held pursuant to the Internment of Unlawful Combatants Law. The organizations call on Israel to release the admi

Daily Star

UN human rights chief backs Gaza war crimes report
15 Oct 2009 - The UN's top human rights official backed a report Thursday accusing Israeli forces and Palestinian militants of war crimes during their conflict in Gaza last winter. Navi Pillay's endorsement of the report by an expert group led by Judge Richard Goldstone came as Israel warned the UN Human Rights Council that approving the document risked undermining Middle East peace.

Hamas wants changes to Egypt's reconciliation plan
15 Oct 2009 - Syrian-based leaders of Hamas said Thursday the group will not sign an Egyptian-mediated proposal to reconcile with rival Fatah unless it is amended to say Palestinians have the right to keep fighting Israel. The joint statement by Hamas and seven other Damascus-based Palestinian factions came in response to a pressing deadline by Egypt to respond to their proposal within days.

The lonely, dangerous life of wine-lovers in Islamist Gaza
15 Oct 2009 - Abu Mohammad goes to great lengths to enjoy his wine in Gaza. Risking the wrath of the enclave's Islamist Hamas rulers, he sneaks to the rooftop of an abandoned house to make his own nectar of the gods. Here in his secret hideaway, Abu Mohammad turns grapes into homemade vintages he savors only in the privacy of his home, far away from the disapproving eyes of Hamas police and Gaza's conservative society.

TV series fuels Turkish-Israeli tensions
15 Oct 2009 - A new series on Turkish state television about the plight of the Palestinians fueled tensions Thursday with Israel, a long-time regional ally with whom ties have steadily been worsening. The series, called "Separation: Palestine in Love and in War," began airing Tuesday. The first episode portrayed Israeli forces shooting Palestinian civilians, insulting and ridiculing them.

Mia Farrow says children of Gaza Strip deserve better
15 Oct 2009 - American actress and outspoken human-rights activist Mia Farrow said on Thursday that children living in blockaded, impoverished and war-wracked Gaza Strip deserve a better life. "The children appear traumatized," Farrow told a media conference in the Palestinian enclave on the second and final day of a visit as goodwill ambassador for the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF).

Chinese aim to boost ties with Iran dashes hopes for sanctions
15 Oct 2009 - Premier Wen Jiabao said Thursday that China intends to strengthen its cooperation with Iran, an indication Beijing would oppose growing calls in the West for additional sanctions against the Islamic Republic over its nuclear program. Earlier this month, Tehran revealed it was operating a previously undisclosed uranium-enrichment facility near the holy city of Qom.

Human-rights lawyer arrested in Damascus
15 Oct 2009 - Security services have arrested 78-year-old law yer and rights activist Hayssam Maleh in Syria's capital, non-governmental organizations announced on Thursday, calling for his immediate release. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which is based in London, said in a statement that the arrest was carried out on Wednesday.

Jordanian court jails 12 men for attack on Lebanese choir
15 Oct 2009 - Jordan sentenced 12 men to between 15 and 20 years in jail on Thursday for shooting at a group of Lebanese musicians and desecrating a church, judicial sources said. The men - all Jordanians of Palestinian origin - opened fire on a Lebanese choir after an outdoor performance in the downtown area of the capital in July 2008.

Palestinian Information Center

A salute to Turkey, a salute to Erdogan
15 Oct 2009 - Countries with diplomatic ties with the Israeli regime ought to learn a moral lesson from Turkey and stop having “business as usual” with the Nazis of our time.

Sawasya: The Israeli war caused environmental damages in Gaza
15 Oct 2009 - Sawasya center for human rights said that Gaza is suffering from difficult environmental conditions especially the contamination of dinking water as a result of the ferocity of the last Israeli war.

B’Tselem: Israel administratively detained 1,000 Palestinians during intifada
15 Oct 2009 - B’Tselem said that the Israeli occupation authority (IOA) administratively detained more than 1,000 Palestinians during the second intifada without conducting trials.

Khudari calls for largest aid convoy for Gaza before winter
15 Oct 2009 - Jamal Al-Khudari has urged the world community to launch the largest ever solidarity and aid campaign for the besieged people in Gaza to help them cope with the expected severe cold winter conditions.

Haneyya: The PA tries to distort our real position towards Goldstone’s report
15 Oct 2009 - Premier Ismail Haneyya stated that those who caused the scandal of delaying Goldstone’s report are trying to distort the real position of the government and Hamas in Gaza toward the report.

Masri: Hamas wants to ensure success of Egyptian efforts
15 Oct 2009 - Hamas MP Mushir Al-Masri has said that if his Movement accepted the Egyptian proposal for reconciling Palestinian factions it would be out of keenness on ensuring success of the Egyptian efforts.

Bahar calls on Mubarak and Sorour to probe Abu Zhuri’s death
15 Oct 2009 - Dr. Ahmed Bahar called on Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and speaker Fathi Sorour on Wednesday to open an urgent investigation into the murder of Yousuf Abu Zuhri in Egyptian jails.

Zahhar: Abbas serving Zionist media propaganda
15 Oct 2009 - MP Mahmoud Al-Zahhar, member of Hamas's political bureau, has accused Mahmoud Abbas, whose term in office as PA chief had expired last January, of marketing Zionist media lies.

Jurists call for forming committee handling reports instead of PA
15 Oct 2009 - Law experts and human rights activists called for forming an independent Palestinian committee responsible for referring reports on Israeli violations to international bodies instead of the PA.

Hamas: No final position regarding Egyptian proposal adopted
15 Oct 2009 - Hamas on Wednesday denied press reports that it had approved the new Egyptian proposal regarding Palestinian national reconciliation.

Los Angeles Times

Russia balks on tougher Iran sanctions 
14 Oct 2009 - Defying U.S. pressure as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton begins a visit to Moscow, Russia's top diplomat promotes negotiation over punishment to persuade Iran to halt its nuclear program. Further sanctions on Iran would be "counterproductive," Russia's top diplomat said Tuesday, pushing back pointedly against U.S. pressure for a tougher stance on Tehran's nuclear ambitions. 

New York Times

U.N. Rights Official Backs Gaza Report
15 Oct 2009 - Navi Pillay, the top United Nations human rights official, told the 47-member organization that she concurred with the report’s recommendations and call for “urgent action to counter impunity.” 

Some See Iran as Ready for Nuclear Deal
14 Oct 2009 - Analysts say Iran’s leaders may have what they want: the apparent ability to make a weapon, and attention. 

Interview With an Iranian Blogger
14 Oct 2009 - The Lede conducts a second interview with Mojtaba Saminejad, a human rights activist and journalist who is one of Iran's leading bloggers. 

Turkey and Syria Signal Improved Relations
13 Oct 2009 - The two countries signed agreements to remove visa restrictions on their shared border and pledged to build “a common future.” 


Neocon shitstirrers work J St conference
Mondoweiss - 15 Oct 2009 - Michael Goldfarb of the neoconservative Weekly Standard (which is run by William Kristol, who fears a loss of power) is leading the campaign to undermine J Street’s conference in two weeks. Here he picks up reports that another congressman , Arkansas’s Mike Ross, is not going to...

Is Goldstone the tipping point?
Mondoweiss - 15 Oct 2009 - Ari Shavit has an interesting article in Haaretz that echoes a theme that is amazingly gaining currency – the legitimacy of the Jewish state is in danger. Shavit echoes the sentiments that Phil posted on yesterday from Ron Ben-Yishai, and succinctly presents the challenge facing Israel...

Mondoweiss - 15 Oct 2009 - Newly-minted NY Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and her "mentor," senior senator Chuck Schumer, have both backed out of the J Street conference that takes place later this month after their names were listed as likely attendees. Ben Smith at Politico . Why did they do it? What is...

Tensions with Turkey hit Israel’s bottom line
Mondoweiss - 15 Oct 2009 - Lately we’ve been posting a bunch on the growing boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, as well as on Israel’s tensions with Turkey. Well, here’s a story where they meet up. The Jerusalem Post reports , "exports between the two countries dropped 40 percent in the first nine...

Nobel prize was an effort to box Obama in on Iran
Mondoweiss - 15 Oct 2009 - Bruce Wolman reads the Norwegian press, in Norwegian : VG had an article today which states that the two right-wing members of the Nobel committee and the socialist member were all initially opposed to giving the award to Obama, but that chairman Thorbjorn Jageland was adamant. The...

World Education Forum in Palestine: October 2010
Alternative Information Center - 15 Oct 2009 - The International Council of the World Social Forum, in its meeting held on October 8, 2009 in Montreal, extended its support for the World Education Forum in Palestine to be held in October 2010. Immediately following the decision to hold this forum, formation of an international...

Palestinian Authored Draft Resolution to be Presented to the U.N., titled "The Human Rights Situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Including East Jerusalem" 
Alternative Information Center - 14 Oct 2009 - Draft Resolution The human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem To read the original draft resolution, click here . The Human Rights Council, Recalling the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the International Covenant on...


Democrats Ignore Shocking Findings of Atrocities in Gaza War 
Stephen Zunes, Foreign Policy in Focus, AlterNet 10/13/2009
      Recently, the White House called an extensive, 575-page report documenting Israeli and Palestinian crimes "deeply flawed." Has American denial reached a critical mass?
     On October 1, the Obama administration successfully pressured the Palestinian delegation to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva to drop its proposal to recommend that the UN Security Council endorse the findings of the Goldstone Commission report. The report, authored by renowned South African jurist Richard Goldstone, detailed the results of the UNHRC’s fact-finding mission on the Gaza conflict. These findings included the recommendation that both Hamas and the Israeli government bring to justice those responsible for war crimes during the three weeks of fighting in late December and early January. If they don’t, the report urges that the case be referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for possible prosecution.
     The Obama administration has declared — in the words of U.S. ambassador to the UN Susan Rice — that such a recommendation is "basically unacceptable." It has insisted that any legal remedies be handled by the respected parties internally. Since neither Hamas nor the Israeli government will likely prosecute those responsible for war crimes, the administration’s action will essentially prevent these Palestinian and Israeli war criminals from ever being brought to justice.
     Indeed, the Obama administration and the Democratic leadership in Congress appear to be continuing the Bush administration’s policy of ignoring and denouncing those who have the temerity to report violations of international humanitarian law by the United States or its allies.more.. e-mail

The coming intifada 
Yousef Munayyer, Ma’an News Agency 10/15/2009
      Anyone watching the Middle East and the Occupied Palestinian Territories recently can tell you that anger and rage is bubbling just below the surface. What may not seem apparent is that a new intifada, or uprising, may be right around the corner. 
     When this happens, western media outlets will scramble to explain how and why we have come to this state. They will likely place the blame on the Palestinians, the victims of Israeli oppression, once again ignoring any and all history or context of the illegal Israeli occupation and its daily horrors. 
     If some might find this far fetched, we have only to look back at the recent war on Gaza when the western media blamed the victims and realized much later that they had ignored the ongoing siege of the Gaza Strip and Israel’s violation of the ceasefire. 
     It is important, then, to note now the reasons why a critical mass of discontent is building.
     Palestinians have endured dispossession and occupation for over 60 years. Despite this, some segments of Palestinian society have been willing to enter into a peace process with the Israelis on the basis of ending the illegal occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, and establishing a Palestinian state.
     Of course, these efforts have been in vain. During the post-Oslo peace process period, settlements grew at an astonishing rate, indicating that Israel was interested not in relinquishing the territory that it illegally occupied, but rather cementing its hold and effectively annexing it.more.. e-mail

Electronic Intifada
Book review: Orientalism and Islamophobia in the American left
15 Oct 2009 - Steven Salaita's new collection of political essays, The Uncultured Wars, Arabs, Muslims and the Poverty of Liberal Thought exposes orientalism and Islamophobia on the American left. Joseph Shahadi reviews for The Electronic Intifada. 

Tony Blair and the business of covering up war crimes
14 Oct 2009 - On 7 October 2009, Tony Blair gave a lecture at a New York university. In responding to an unexpectedly direct student question, he publicly joined, for the first time, the US and Israeli Zionist consensus rejecting the Goldstone report. Jim Holstun comments for The Electronic Intifada. 

"They killed him because he was Palestinian"
14 Oct 2009 - On 30 September 2009 at 11am, 17-year-old Fuad Mahmoud Nayif Turkman was standing outside his school in the West Bank village of Yabad, when he was run over by an Israeli military jeep. An Israeli military spokesperson later claimed that "hundreds" of Palestinians were "rioting" in the area, and that the jeep had experienced "mechanical difficulties." However, eyewitnesses from the scene say that the students were doing nothing of the sort. Jody McIntyre spoke with Fuad's father, Mahmoud Turkman, and his 12-year-old brother Fadi for The Electronic Intifada 

Rebuilding Gaza's infrastructure with mud
14 Oct 2009 - SHEIKH ZAYED, occupied Gaza Strip (IPS) - On a searing summer morning, workers are adding layers to the mud-brick police station being constructed in Sheikh Zayed, northern Gaza. "We started building on 20 June," says Mohammed al-Sheikh Eid, a consultant engineer with Gaza's Ministry of Interior. "Since this is the first time we've built something on this scale with mud bricks, we can't estimate exactly how much longer it will take to complete. Maybe another two months or so." 

In Gaza
seeking tranquility
14 Oct 2009 - A lust for birdsongs drew me to the park. Walking down a small street parallel to the Shifa taxi street, I’d heard that rare sound: birds chirping. Usually the sounds are muffled by the noise of daily life: horns honking, generators making up for power outages, vendors’ calls, music from passing weddings… But on that relatively lush back street –with towering trees (they seem towering when compared with the dwarf trees in the Israeli-razed border areas, or the decorative but short trees amidst the concrete of the city) –the birdsongs rang out loudly. I realized I was hungry, thirsty, desperate to hear and be surrounded by nature. There are few...

Palestine Chronicle
Go Earn it Now, Mr. President
15 Oct 2009 - By Aijaz Zaka Syed - Dubai 'Listen to this,' my boss said compulsively scanning his inseparable BlackBerry for a zillionth time. 'Barack Obama gets the Nobel Peace Prize!' I laughed out loud. He was obviously kidding me, once again mocking my exaltation of Obama. We were standing at a traffic signal in front of the magnificent Town Hall building in Copenhagen. Along with us patiently waited dozens of Danes with their bicycles, an overwhelming majority of them being women. There was a pleasant, coquettish nip in the air. The breathtaking square in the Danish capital is not far from the hotel where Michelle and Barack Obama had flown in last week for a couple of hours to plead Chicago’s case for the 2016 Olympics. Chicago of course lost the race to Rio. “No, seriously! Obama is this year’s winner of the Peace Nobel,” he insisted shaking his head with his characteristic, bemused smirk in place. I was stunned – too stunned for words. Despite being one of the early faithful of the Obama phenomenon, the news came as a huge surprise to me. So has it, it seems, to the world at large. Reactions from both those attacking him and hundreds of millions of ordinary folks like me, touched by Obama’s message of hope, have been both swift and vociferous. The issue has come as a Godsend to the self-righteous pundits weary of the Middle East, Iran’s nuclear hide-and-seek and the economy. Just about every wonk on both left and...

Abbas and the Goldstone Report: Our Shame is Complete
14 Oct 2009 - By Ramzy Baroud As Israeli bombs fell on the Gaza Strip during its one-sided war between December 27, 2008 and January 18, 2009, millions around the world took to the streets in complete and uncompromising outrage. The level of barbarity in that war, especially as it was conducted against a poor, defenseless and physically trapped nation, united people of every color, race and religion. But among those who seemed utterly unmoved, unreservedly cold were some Palestinian officials in the West Bank. Mahmoud Habbash, the PA Minister of Social Affairs is but one of those individuals. His appearances on Aljazeera, during those fateful days were many. On one half of the screen would be screaming, disfigured children, mutilated women, and search parties digging in the dark for dead bodies, at times entire families. On the other, was Habbash, spewing political insults at his Hamas rivals in Gaza, repeating the same message so tirelessly parroted by his Israeli colleagues. Every time his face appeared on the screen, I cringed. Every unruly shriek of his, reinforced my sense of shame. Shame, perhaps, but never confusion. Those who understand how the Oslo agreement of September 1993 morphed into a culture that destroyed the very fabric of Palestinian society can fully appreciate the behavior of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank during the Gaza war, before it and today. But especially today. Those who hoped that the Israeli atrocities in Gaza would rekindled a sense of remorse among the egotistical elites in Ramallah, were...

At What Cost the Israel Lobby?
14 Oct 2009 - By Jeff Gates More than 46 years ago, President John F. Kennedy sought to preclude a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. In June 1963, he wrote the last in a series of insistent letters to Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion. Those letters sought what Israel now demands of Iran: international inspections of its nuclear facilities. The key difference: Kennedy knew for certain that Israel, while portraying itself a friend and ally, repeatedly lied to Kennedy about its nuclear weapons development at the Dimona reactor in the Negev Desert. Best estimates point to sometime between 1962 and 1964 when Israel produced its first weapon in what is now a vast nuclear arsenal estimated at 200-400 warheads. Kennedy’s letter to Ben-Gurion was anything but friendly. The words he chose were drawn not from diplomacy but from the instructions that a judge gives a jury on criminal culpability. In that brusque letter, the U.S. commander-in-chief insisted that this purported ally prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that the Zionist enclave was not developing nuclear weapons. One day after that June 15th letter was cabled to Tel Aviv for delivery by the U.S. ambassador, Ben-Gurion abruptly resigned citing undisclosed personal reasons. As his resignation was announced before the letter could be physically delivered, Jewish authors routinely claim that Kennedy’s message failed to reach Ben-Gurion. Nonsense. That interpretative gloss ignores what we now know about Israeli operations inside serial U.S. presidencies—and about Tel Aviv’s routine intercept of White House communications. Deprived of an Israeli...

Jeopardizing the Palestinian Cause
14 Oct 2009 - By James Gundun Several droplets had barely dripped down the sides of a frozen Israeli-Palestinian conflict when a new blizzard iced them up again. The Goldstone report, nearing infamy, has transformed into a political groundhog. Both Israelis and Palestinians saw their shadows and ran back inside, ensuring six more weeks of winter. That could be six months, a year, or longer in Middle East time. The Goldstone affair is playing out in predictably ugly fashion. Palestinians were bound to exploit it and Israel certain to torpedo it, with America awaiting the coordinates. Forget the politics gyrating around Richard Goldstone’s report for a moment, if possible, and remember why the report exists in the first place - to bring justice, order, and restitution to Gaza. Forget the politics because the leaders - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu - cannot. Each undoubtedly believes they’re pursuing the best for their people, yet each is in a deeper hole than when the Goldstone report was first submitted to the UN Human Rights Council last week. Why? They saw power in their shadows, not fear, and wanted more. Abbas is looking less guilty each day compared to his counterparts, but he committed the original sin. Withdrawing the report wasn’t a problem if his plan was to gather more support or wait until reconciliation with Hamas, but bowing to American pressure, little choice did he have, after an equally embarrassing UN summit exposed too much weakness from...

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