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Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel
For those interested in keeping up with events in Palestine/Israel, there is no better digest than VTJP.

VTJP Archives | VTJP 2009
16 October, 2009


Ma'an News

Six Gazans injured in tunnel collapse
10/16/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Six men were injured in a tunnel collapse south of the Gazan city of Rafah, Palestinian medical sources announced Friday morning. Head of Emergency and Ambulance Services Dr Muawiyah Hassanein said all six were evacuated from the tunnel and taken to the Abu Yousef An-Najjar Hospital, suffering from obstructed breathing, internal bleeding and severe bruising. The conditions of all men were described as moderate. The tunnel collapsed late Thursday night, and crews worked until morning to rescue the men. [end] 

Witnesses: Gaza fishermen come under Israeli fire
10/16/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Gazan fishing boats came under fire Friday morning as Israeli warships patrolling the waters launched an attack, locals reported the same day. The incursion reportedly occurred along the As-Sudaniyah and Al-Wusta areas of the Gaza coast, where witnesses reported sporadic attacks on boats in the area since sunrise. While no injuries were immediately reported, shells were heard exploding along the coast and streets emptied as residents took shelter in their homes. [end] 

Qalqiliya farmers get barbed wire to help stave off boar attacks
10/16/2009 - Qalqiliya - Ma'an - The Qalqiliya Farmers Association distributed barbed wire to local agricultural workers for protection against wild boars, which have increasingly ravaged farmland in the municipality. The general director of the association in Qalqiliya, Amjad Omar, said the step came following a series of wild boar attacks in the area, which many locals blame on the route of the Israeli separation wall, which encircles the area. Locals say boars' natural migration and scavenging patterns are disrupted by the wall, which circles the Qalqiliya municipality on three sides, and two thirds of the fourth. To stave off attacks, the association handed out 5,000 meters of barbed wire to 30 different farmers. According to Omar, more wire will be distributed in the coming days. 

Report: Israel to increase settlement construction
10/17/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Several organizations based in the West Bank have recorded widespread building activity in 12 settlements within the past three weeks, according to a report published Friday in the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz. The work consists of ground preparation, pouring concrete and drilling construction foundations, the paper quoted knowledgeable sources as saying, noting that the projects were not part of any deal between Israel and the United States. Both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense MInister Ehud Barak had agreed to complete around 2,500 housing units that were already under construction, although building would continue to violate international law as it is broadly understood. In any case, the 12 sites were not included on the list of 492 units approved by Barak in recent weeks. 

Factions declare victory after UNHRC resolution passes
10/16/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Leaders of Palestinian political factions were resoundingly pleased with Friday's vote in Geneva that saw the UN Human Rights Council adopt the Goldstone report on Gaza. Secretary General of the Palestinian People's Party (PPP) Bassam As-Salhi called for unity among Palestinians so they could best follow up on the report. He congratulated all Palestinians on the endorsement of the report, and all the member states who voted for its adoption. From the Palestinian National Initiative (PNI) Secretary General Mustafa Barghouthi described the majority vote on Goldstone's report as "a victory to the Palestinians and to the families of the victims of Israeli war crimes in Gaza. " ¯ Like As-Salhi , Barghouthi urged swift follow-up and continued diplomatic pressure as the report is transferred from the UN HRC to the General Assembly with the aim of having the document forwarded to the International Criminal Courtfor investigations. 

Two soldiers arrested for torching Palestinian cars
10/16/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - A string of vandalism targeting Palestinian cars by Israeli soldiers was reportedly documented by the Israeli human rights group B'Tselem. One set of testimony recorded by the group said Israeli forces stopped a car of Palestinian workers near Hebron, evicted the men from the vehicle, told them to walk home and proceeded to break the windshield of the car and set fire to it. In total, B'Tselem said, eight Palestinian-owned vehicles were likely torched by Israeli military personnel. A report from the group outlined details on the allegedly targeted vandalism and how they came across it. Field workers from B'Tselem said they saw a vehicle on fire Monday, and when they stopped to investigate, met the owner of the van and his passengers, who said they had been hiding from soldiers in the fields. 

Israel shuts down Gaza crossings without warning
10/16/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Israeli authorities announced Friday that they will close all Gaza borders, Palestinian liaison officer for Israeli crossings authorities Raed Fattouh said. The official said Israel gave no reason for the crossings to be closed, noting the crossings are scheduled to work at least half days of Fridays, and that this was the second Friday in a row that the transfer points were shut without warning. Crossings are not scheduled to open Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath, and the next scheduled opening is Sunday. [end] 

Rights group backs Hamas stance on UN report
10/17/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) on Friday welcomed Hamas' decision to endorse the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on Gaza and the movement's purported commitment to conduct effective investigations. "Hamas' decision to conduct investigations is welcome," the PCHR said in a statement. "It is a first step towards upholding victims' rights and enforcing the rule of the law. " After a two-day debate, the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva adopted the Gaza report resolution on Friday. On Thursday, the de facto Foreign Ministry in Gaza announced, "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. " The UN mission conducted extensive investigations into the situation surrounding. . . 

UN rights body endorses Goldstone report
10/17/2009 - Geneva - Ma'an - After listening to about 20 states and 30 nongovernmental organizations, the UN Human Rights Council on Friday adopted the resolution submitted by Palestine by a vote of25 to six, with 11 abstentions. The council is made up of 47 members and requires a majority of votes to pass a resolution. The Palestinian envoy to Geneva, Ibrahim Kraishi, had demanded the UN body pursue criminals "wherever they are and whoever they are. " "The occupying power wants to make it look like it's doing the right thing," he said. "It wants the international community to look as if it's mistaken. But it's not logical. It's not possible for everybody to be wrong at the expense of one power. ""My people will not forgive the international community," Kraishi concluded, if it cannot see fit to pursue investigations against the crimes in Gaza. The Israeli representative called the report's adoption "a setback for the efforts to revive peace," and said the move to pass the resolution would be "rewarded by terrorism. "

Four injured at rally; soldier reported hurt nearby
10/16/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israeli forces opened fire on protesters at two anti-wall demonstrations in the occupied West Bank on Friday, according to Palestinian and Israeli sources. The Bil'in chapter of the Popular Committee Against the Wall said in a statement that when Palestinians attempted to cross over a fence cutting the town in two, soldiers "showered them with tear gas. " A number of international activists, including a group from France, accompanied local farmers seeking to harvest olives on the other side of half of the Ramallah-area town, which has been declared off-limits because of its proximity to an illegal Israeli settlement, the statement said. Demonstrators were seen carrying ladders and other tools used to harvest olives, but once they arrived at the gate of the wall, which is still under construction, Israeli soldiers fired tear-gas grenades, injuring four. 

Israel: Palestinian attacked school guard
10/17/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israeli sources reported that two Palestinians attacked a school guard stationed in the illegal Gilo settlement in Bethlehem on Friday. The man was reported lightly injured. According to the sources, Israeli police were searching the area for the alleged attacker. They also the suspect's motive remained unclear. The guard was purportedly the second settler to be attacked on Friday. Israeli news reports said a settler was lightly hurt by stones near Ramallah, as well. [end] 

EU: Both parties must respect obligations
10/16/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The European Union reiterated its call for the Palestinian Authority and Israel to enter into serious peace negotiations as soon as possible. In a Thursday statement, the body urged a swift return to negotiations, "respecting international law and previous agreements, including implementing their Roadmap obligations. " In a statement read aloud by the Swedish ambassador at the UN Security Council, the EU reiterated "the need for a political solution, with an independent, democratic, contiguous and viable Palestinian state, living side by side in peace and security with the State of Israel. "The EU welcomed "the declared readiness of the government of Israel to promote Palestinian economic development," but remained "deeply concerned at the continued settlement activities, house demolitions and evictions" in the occupied territories, including in East Jerusalem. 

Israel fails to garner support for Goldstone quash
10/16/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to convince Europe to quash the resolution on the UN-mandated Goldstone report, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported Friday. The vote on the resolution at the UN Human Rights Council is expected to go ahead Friday afternoon in Geneva, with Palestinian Human Rights organizations and diplomats working around the clock to garner support in order to adopt South African Justice Richard Goldstone's report on war crimes allegations. The report, which examined the events leading up to and during Israel's Operation Cast Lead, found evidence of possible war crimes and crimes against humanity, and suggested either independent or International Criminal Court investigations take place. According to the Haaretz report, Netanyahu held meetings and telephone conversations with British, French, Dutch and Spanish. . . 

West Bank, Gaza governments applaud UN vote
10/16/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The Palestinian Authority and the de facto Gaza governments both welcomed the passing of the UN Resolution to adopt the findings of the Goldstone report, passed in the UN Human Rights Council on Friday. Passing the resolution to adopt the Goldstone report is "confirmation of the supportive stance of the international community to Palestinian rights,"¯ Palestinian presidential spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudeina said following the vote in Geneva. Abu Rudeina called for immediate follow up and implementation of the recommendations made in the Goldstone report, which included independent investigations by Israel and Palestine into allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Both Hamas and the Palestinian Authority governments have expressed willingness to conduct internal investigations into the allegations. 

Olmert invite sparks outrage at Chicago university
10/17/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - As many as 150 people demonstrated at an American university in Chicago on Thursday for inviting former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to the campus, according to US news reports. The Chicago Tribune reported that 12 police officers observed protesters nearby waving Palestinian flags and holding signs condemning Olmert for his role in two infamous military assaults on Lebanon in 2006 and Gaza in 2008-9, which left thousands dead. "This is a one-sided conversation," Aya Odeh, 19, told the newspaper. "I don't mind listening to what he has to say, but if all he has to say is that we're wicked people, I refuse to listen to that. "The visit came a day before the UN Human Rights Council voted to endorse a damning investigation that found evidence Israel's military committed war crimes during the winter assault on Gaza. 

Israel rejects ’one-sided’ Gaza resolution
10/17/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The Israeli government officially condemned the UN Human Rights Council on Friday, several hours after it overwhelmingly passed a resolution backing South African justice Richard Goldstone's investigation into alleged war crimes in Gaza. "Israel rejects the one-sided resolution adopted today in Geneva by the UN Human Rights Council, and calls upon all responsible states to reject it as well," the country's Foreign Ministry said in a statement to Ma'an. Indeed, the resolution that was passed on Friday included components left out of the original draft that Israel and the US thwarted late last month. The successful resolution contained an updated section on East Jerusalem, condemning Israeli policy in the occupied city, as well. The country's Foreign Ministry insisted the new resolution, which was opposed by six members of the 47-nation council, "provides encouragement. . . 

In Washington, Mitchell preps for progress report
10/16/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - US envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell held an extensive meeting at the US Department of State on Thursday with two delegates of the Israeli government in an attempt to resume negotiations immediately. The Washington Post, an American newspaper, reported that Mitchell and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton planned to tell US President Barack Obama in an upcoming report that efforts to resume negotiations were experiencing setbacks. Since a meeting in New York between Obama, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Mahmoud Abbas. Meanwhile, an American official told the London-based newspaper Al-Hayat that Mitchell had met Yetzhac Malchu and Michael Hertzog, advisors to Netanyahu and Ehud Barak, and will hold a meeting with a Palestinian delegation on Tuesday. The source also noted that American efforts were focused on immediately reviving negotiations. 

US envoy, French FM to visit Palestine next week
10/16/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The American ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, will visit Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories next week, according to news reports. The envoy was expected to attend a conference hosted by Israeli President Shimon Peres, although US President Barack Obama was reportedly the preferred invitee. Meanwhile, the French Foreign Ministry announced on Friday its minister, Bernard Kouchner, would carry out a three-day tour from 23-25 October. The official was last in the region in July, when he visited Lebanon on Syria and increased ties with the two neighbors. He was expected to visit both countries on his upcoming trip, as well. The Foreign Ministry said Kouchner was expected to reiterate France's interest in seeing the establishment of a Palestinian state, and would visit both the Palestinian territories and Israel. 

PA minister vows to free Samaritans jailed in Israel
10/17/2009 - Nablus - Ma'an - The Palestinian minister of prisoners affairs, Issa Qaraqe, met a Samaritan family in Nablus and its grand priest, Abed Al-Mu'een Sadaqa, on an official visit on Friday. The minister was in the area visiting the family of another Samaritan, Nader Sadaqa As-Samiri, who was sentenced to three life terms at the Israeli Remon prison. He was arrested on 2004. "We demand the release of everyone, and reject discriminatory and harsh conditions" inside Israeli jails, adding, "All prisoners are freedom fighters who struggled for the sake of a just cause and deserve all political and humanitarian effort [on their behalf]. "As-Samiri's father complained of racist and insulting treatment exhibited by Israeli prison guards during attempts to visit his son, and said he had been inexplicably prevented from entering the facility more than once, including multiple times at random outside the jail's gates. 

Egypt agrees to postpone conciliation
10/16/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Cairo will postpone the signing of the Palestinian reconciliation paper, an Egyptian official confirmed Friday. Thursday afternoon Hamas officials notified Egyptian mediators they were not ready to sign the conciliation deal, insisting it include the Palestinian right to resistance. Friday comments from Hamas said their issues were with some small "Palestinian Authority policies. " ¯Fatah signed the agreement on 14 October, one day ahead of a 15 October deadline set by Cairo. Hamas officials asked for more time to consider the plan, given recent events at the UN Human Rights Council. After consultations with Hamas, the Egyptian source confirmed, the signing of the conciliation agreement will be postponed until a "better atmosphere"¯ prevails in the Palestinian street. Under Secretary at the de facto government in Gaza Ahmad Yousef later clarified that. . . 

Hamas: PA arrested four West Bank members
10/16/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Hamas said on Friday morning that Palestinian Authority security forces had recently arrested four Hamas affiliates in the West Bank. In a statement, the Islamic movement said the party's members were seized by the Fatah-dominated security forces in Ramallah and Nablus. The issue of politically motivated arrest campaigns is a major sticking point in proposals for reconciliation between the arch-rival Palestinian factions, embattled since 2007 when the West Bank and Gaza were split into separately controlled territories. On Thursday, Hamas asked Egypt to allow three more days for it to discuss a proposal for reconciliation with Fatah, a senior official in Gaza said. Fatah signed the agreement on Wednesday, a day before a deadline set by Egypt for the two factions to respond to the proposal. 

Fayyad accepts resignation of economy minister over Goldstone affair
10/16/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - Prime Minister Salam Fayyad officially accepted the resignation of former Minister of Economy Bassem Khoury on Thursday, sources in the Palestinian ministerial council revealed. Khoury submitted his resignation on 3 October following the decision of PLO leadership in Geneva to postpone the vote on the UN-mandated Goldstone report at the Human Rights Council. Following initial reports that he had resigned, Khoury refused to confirm the reports on several occasions. On Thursday Fayyad decided to approve the resignation. Khoury is the second minister to resign since caretaker Prime Minister Salam Fayyad's government was formed earlier this year. Hatem Abdul Qader, the former PA minister of Jerusalem affairs, stepped down in July over what he called the PA's failure to help East Jerusalem residents facing Israeli home demolitions and efforts to strip them of. . . 

Hamas approves Egyptian reconciliation proposal
10/17/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The Hamas movement announced on Friday it was ready to accept the national reconciliation agreement, which it said was scheduled to be signed on 26 October. Ahmad Yousef, a senior official at the de facto Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told Ma'an in a telephone interview that "after holding intensive consultations, the movement will deliver its positive stance toward the Egyptian proposal on Saturday, with a few minor notes. ""From the beginning, Hamas never objected to the Egyptian proposal, but needed time to clarify a few points, particularly the conditions placed by the [International] Quartet," he added, referring to demands that Hamas recognize Israel, renounce violence and accept previously signed agreements before being allowed to participate in negotiations. Equally important, Yousef said, was "the requirement that Arab [nations agree to] support any. . . " 

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. 

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. 


[] Video: UN backs Gaza war crimes report
The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has backed an inquiry's report into the Israeli war on Gaza that accuses both Israel and Hamas of war crimes...The report concluded that Israel used disproportionate force during the war on Gaza, and that its soldiers deliberately targeted civilians. It also accused Israel of using Palestinians as human shields...

[] Treatment is sought in U.S. for 3-year-old victim of white phosphorus attack in Gaza
October 16, 2009 - The Goldstone report is not an abstraction for me. My delegation was in Gaza at the same time as Judge Richard Goldstone was last June. We saw things that he also saw. I used the word "persecution" at the time; so has he now. One day human-rights-worker Fares Akram brought my group to a house in...

[] EI exclusive video: Protesters shout down Ehud Olmert in Chicago
October 16, 2009 - Approximately 30 activists -- mainly students from area universities -- disrupted a lecture given in Chicago by former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert yesterday which was hosted by the University of Chicago's Harris School of Public Policy. While Olmert's speech was disrupted inside the lecture hall, approximately 150 activists protested outside the hall in the freezing...

[] PFLP hails UNHRC adoption of Goldstone report and demands prosecution of occupation war criminals
October 16, 2009 - The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine welcomed the adoption of the Goldstone report on Gaza war crimes by the UN Human Rights Council on October 16, 2009, saying that this marks the beginning of the battle for justice, accountability and punishment of the war criminals and leaders of the occupation government, army and settlers....

[] Report: Israeli intelligence illegally profiling travelers in South Africa
October 16, 2009 - Despite our relatively recent struggle against apartheid, I highlighted in a previous article the disturbing level of bilateral trade and cooperation between the South African government and Israel. Bearing our own history in mind, one would expect South Africa to be at the forefront of political efforts to bring Israel in line with international law --...

[] Free Mohammad Othman
October 16, 2009 - An international campaign to secure the immediate and unconditional release of Mohammad Othman, a human rights activist from Occupied West Bank, who has been detained without charge by Israel since September 22, is moving into high-gear. Othman, 33, is from Jayyous, a village robbed of most of its agricultural land--including that of Othman's family--by Israel's separation...

[] Report: Israel to increase settlement construction
October 16, 2009 - Several organizations based in the West Bank have recorded widespread building activity in 12 settlements within the past three weeks, according to a report published Friday in the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz. The work consists of ground preparation, pouring concrete and drilling construction foundations, the paper quoted knowledgeable sources as saying, noting that the projects were...

[] Hardly any respite While some calm has returned to the compound of Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Muslim holy site is still under grave threat
October 16, 2009 - An uneasy calm is descending over East Jerusalem after thousands of Israeli troops lifted a tight siege lasting two weeks on Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, one of Islam's holiest sanctuaries. The site witnessed violent disturbances two weeks ago when Israeli paramilitary police stormed the Haram Al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary) in an effort to arrest Palestinians who had repulsed...

[] Israel's Right or Not to Exist The Facts and Truth
October 16, 2009 - ...In the name of pragmatism, willingness to "merely to recognise" Israel - meaning to accept and live in peace with an Israel inside its pre-June '67 borders - has long been the formal Palestinian and all-Arab position. Why does it stop short of recognising Israel's "right to exist", and why, really, does it matter so much...

[] Obama's Peace
October 16, 2009 - ... Obama's continuation of America's imperial wars and aggressions is proof that if you put an African American in office who is raised "the right way," he will perform his imperial duties as well as any white president. Obama's winning the Nobel Peace Prize was therefore a major gain for white liberal Americans who can bask in...

[] PCHR Welcomes Hamas Decision to Investigate Allegations of War Crimes, Comply With Goldstone Report
October 16, 2009 - The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) welcomes Hamas' decision to endorse the Report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission (the Goldstone Report), and their commitment to conduct effective investigations into all alleged violations of international law committed in the context of the Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip (Operation Cast Lead, 27 December 2008...

[] UN Human Rights Council endorses Goldstone report
October 16, 2009 - After listening to about 20 states and 30 nongovernmental organizations, the UN Human Rights Council on Friday adopted the resolution submitted by Palestine by a vote of 25 to six, with 11 abstentions. The council is made up of 47 members and requires a majority of votes to pass a resolution...The three-part resolution calls for Israel...

Palestine Telegraph

Mia Farrow: Palestinian children live in deprivation and fear 
Palestine, October 16, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors Mia Farrow and Mahmoud Kabil spent two days in the Gaza Strip meeting with children.

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.

The National

UN backs Gaza war crimes report 
16 Oct 2009 - The UN endorses a report accusing both the Israeli military and Hamas of war crimes during the Gaza conflict, a move Israel warns could derail Middle East peace efforts.

Iran steps in as demining work slows in Lebanon
16 Oct 2009 - Despite the potential for controversy, a new group funded by an Iranian company starts to remove munitions left behind after 2006 war.

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.


UN backs Gaza war crimes report
16 Oct 2009 - Rights council in Geneva endorses resolution critical of Israel's conduct in Gaza.

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

Video: Egyptians struggle for bread
16 Oct 2009 - On World Food Day, we report on how rising food prices is affecting Egypt.

Syria to hold exercises with Turkey
16 Oct 2009 - Two sides to stage army manoeuvres days after Ankara cancelled air drill with Israel.

Alternative Information Center

U.N. Human Rights Council Concludes Special Session after Adopting a Resolution Calling For the Implementation of the Recommendations in the Goldstone Report
16 Oct 2009 - The Human Rights Council concluded its twelfth Special Session today after adopting a resolution that focused on continuing violations of human rights by Israel in the Occupied Palestinian territories, in particular in East Jerusalem, and endorsed...

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...

Palestine News Network

PCHR welcomes Hamas decision to investigate allegations of war crimes, comply with Goldstone report
15 Oct 2009 - The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) welcomes Hamas’ decision to endorse the Report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission (the Goldstone Report), and their commitment to conduct effective investigations into all alleged violations of international law committed in the context of the Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip (Operation Cast Lead, 27 December 2008 – 18 January 2009). The UN...

Israeli undercover police unit is illegal, discriminatory and constitutes racial profiling
15 Oct 2009 - Adalah / Gabrielle Rubin – This week Adalah, an independent human rights organization and legal center, sent an urgent letter to the Israeli Minister of Internal Security, and the Chief Commander of the Israeli police demanding that they refrain from activating a new undercover police unit against the Palestinian minority within Israeli boundaries. Its officers, referred to as mista’aravim, infiltrate the Arab community.The...

Weekly human rights report includes death of a child from wounds sustained in southern West Bank
15 Oct 2009 - PNN - The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights has issued its documentation of Israeli violations of human rights for the reporting period of 8 through 14 October. Among the week’s incidents is the death of child from wounds sustained in an Israeli attack on a southern West Bank village, and the denial of access of Palestinian farmers to their lands for olive...

UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow says Palestinian children live in deprivation and fear
15 Oct 2009 - Gaza / PNN – UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors Mia Farrow and Mahmoud Kabil spent two days in the Gaza Strip meeting with children. The American and Egyptian actors respectively were on a mission to witness directly the difficulties experienced by Palestinian children who live under Israeli siege that continues after the major attacks.Farrow commented, “The children seem traumatized. Teachers say that when they hear...

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...

Inter Press Service

US-IRAN: Congress Begins Pressing Sanctions Legislation 
WASHINGTON, Oct 16 (IPS) - As the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama prepares for a critical series of talks about the fate of Iran's nuclear programme, Congress has begun moving long-pending legislation to impose new unilateral sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

POLITICS: U.N. Body Backs War Crimes Charges on Israel, Hamas 
UNITED NATIONS, Oct 16 (IPS) - The 47-member Human Rights Council (HRC) approved a resolution Friday endorsing war crimes charges against Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas, as spelled out in a report by a four-member international fact-finding mission headed by Justice Richard Goldstone.

Stop The Wall

BDS Marathon Action Calendar
16 Oct 2009 - From Japan to Toronto, in Palestine and South Africa, activists are mobilizing to demand Freedom for Mohammad Othman and the jailed anti-wall activists. Click [MORE]to see the Action Calendar for the first BDS Marathon "If you want to arrest the BDS movement, you have to catch us all!". [

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 Welcomes Hamas Decision to Investigate Allegations of War Crimes, Comply With Goldstone Report

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
First Step Towards Justice: Human Rights Council Adopts Resolution Endorsing Goldstone Report’s Findings and Recommendations

International Solidarity Movement

Olive harvest in Burin continues with more harassment from army and settlers
10/17/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - International activists accompanied farmers today to their lands on the edge of the village of Burin, close to an outpost of the illegal settlement of Mar-Bracha, south of Nablus. Farmers enjoyed a quiet two hours of harvesting before eight settlers, one of them armed, appeared on the hill above and began approaching the farmers. The farmers alerted the Palestinian DCO who in turn called the Israeli military. Army jeeps began to arrive and three soldiers came down to meet with the farmers, paying little attention to the four settlers still moving further down the hillside. The soldiers ordered all internationals to leave the area, declaring it a closed military zone, despite having no official proof of the claim. This has become almost a daily problem for farmers and activists working in the Burin area, as the Israeli military tightens its grip on the role international groups play in 

Settlers and army disrupted olive harvest in Jamma’in village
10/16/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - 15 October 2009 - For a week between 9 and 15 October, ISM activists have accompanied a group of families from the village of Jamma'in, picking in olive fields located just south of highway 505 and close to a large outpost of the Kfar Tappuah illegal settlement. The Palestinian farmers here have had problems with settlers annually for the last seven years and this one was no exception. This year the harvest began on Friday, 9 October, and already on the first day the local settlers showed up on the farmers' land. At about 1pm a settler came very close to the trees where the farmers were picking. The man was carrying an iron chain and had two unleashed dogs with him, a German shepherd and a border collie. He didn't react to the ISM activists and the Palestinians telling him to leave, and instead he continued walking through the olive grove, trying to confront some of the Palestinian men, at one point attempting to punch one of them. 

Four injured and dozens suffered teargas inhalation during the Bil’in weekly protest
10/16/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - After the Friday prayer, the residents of Bil'in gathered in a protest along with Israeli and international solidarity activists. A group from France came to support the Palestinian people and another group from Norway joined the demonstration in solidarity with the village in their struggle against the Wall and settlement building. The protesters raised Palestinian flags and banners to allow Palestinian farmers to pick olives from their land. The protest called for Israel to remove the illegal Wall and settlements, dismantle checkpoints and road blocks, to stop land confiscations and attacks on Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem, and to release all Palestinian political prisoners and detainees. In a symbolic action, the protesters carried a big model of scales. Scales are used in courts around the whole world as a symbol of justice, however in today's protest they were slightly 

Without Trial: Administrative detention of Palestinians by Israel and the Incarceration of Unlawful Combatants Law
10/16/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Report published by B'Tselem and HaMoked: Center for the Defence of the Individual - Under international law, a state may detain a resident of occupied territory without trial to prevent danger only in extremely exceptional cases. Israel, however, holds hundreds of Palestinians for months and years under administrative orders, without prosecuting them. By doing so, it denies them rights to which ordinary detainees in criminal proceedings are entitled: they do not know why they are detained, when they will go free and what evidence exists against them, and are not given an opportunity to refute this evidence. As with many patterns of its activity in the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip, Israel cites what it defines as "security needs" to explain its policy of detention without trial. Yet these needs, assuming they indeed exist in every case of administrative detention, cannot justify such grave infringement of human rights, in breach of international humanitarian law. -- Links: B'Tselem and HaMoked

London: EasyJet event to encourage Israeli tourism picketed by Pro-Palestine demonstrators
10/16/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - ISM London, 11 October 2009 - Pro-Palestine Supporters picketed the start of a 5 day Israeli Tourism event held in Spitalfields market, East London. Despite efforts by Israeli security to get demonstrators to move, police made no efforts to move them to the frustration of the Pro-Israel organisers. To celebrate the new low cost EasyJet route to Tel Aviv, EasyJet are holding a five day event with a big orange bus touring the city to promote "˜Tel Avivian goodness'. It is being undertaken to further celebrate the city's centenary. In response, Palestine activists from International Solidarity Movement, Palestine Solidarity Campaign and other groups protested in front of the Big Orange bus. In solidarity with the unified Palestinian call out for an economic and cultural boycott of Israel, protestors sought to show that tourism feeds the Israeli economy which in turn supports the illegal occupation of Palestinian lands. 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

Iranian bloggers win major press award
16 Oct 2009 - Iranian bloggers won a major press award on Friday for their efforts to cover the Islamic Republic's disputed presidential election. ...

Report: U.S. working to mend ties between Israel and Turkey
16 Oct 2009 - Senior American diplomats have urged Turkey to work to restore relations with Israel in the wake of deteriorating ties between the two countries, Army Radio reported on Friday. ...

Bernard Madoff's former beach home sells for $9.41 million
16 Oct 2009 - Epic swindler Bernard Madoff's former beach home off the eastern-most point of New York's Long Island sold for $9.41 million. ...

Israel rejects 'unjust' UN council Goldstone endorsement
16 Oct 2009 - Click here for more on the Goldstone commission report on the Gaza conflict ... 

UN body okays Goldstone Gaza report accusing Israel of war crimes 
16 Oct 2009 - Click here for more on the Goldstone commission report on the Gaza conflict ... 

The Guardian

Surveillance of Muslims: The lives of the other
16 Oct 2009 - The implementation of the Prevent strategy might make perfect sense from the perspective of a Whitehall desk. Properly mindful of the small but real band of would-be Islamist terrorists, bureaucrats feel obliged to do whatever it...

Israel rejects UN council backing for Gaza war crimes report
16 Oct 2009 - UN human rights council passes resolution endorsing Goldstone report, which accused Israel and Hamas of war crimes Israel has angrily rejected what it called a "one-sided" resolution by the UN human rights council today that backed...

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...

Ha'aretz National page

Peru to extradite fugitive judge to Israel
15 Oct 2009 - Fugitive judge Dan Cohen will be extradited to Israel to face a string of corruption charges, a Peruvian court ruled Friday. ...

Relief Web

Hamas accepts Egypt's proposed inter-Palestinian reconciliation 
16 Oct 2009 - Source: Deutsche Presse Agentur

OPT: Human Rights Council endorses recommendations in report of Fact-Finding Mission led by Justice Goldstone and calls for their implementation
16 Oct 2009 - Source: UN Human Rights Council

OPT: Council concludes special session after adopting a resolution calling for the implementation of the recommendations in the Goldstone report
16 Oct 2009 - Source: UN Human Rights Council

Territorios Palestinos: Visita del Presidente Zapatero
16 Oct 2009 - Source: Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional

OPT: U.N. rights body endorses Gaza war crimes report
16 Oct 2009 - Source: Reuters - AlertNet

The first seeds bank in Palestine
16 Oct 2009 - Source: European Commission, Government of Belgium, Oxfam

YNet News

US: Security Council might not debate Goldstone Report
16 Oct 2009 - American officials say Washington will likely exercise its veto power if report accusing Israel of war crimes in Gaza is brought to a Security Council vote. Goldstone criticizes UN Council resolution for targeting only Israel and failing to include Hamas 

Jordan's king warns Israel on Jerusalem 'red line' 
16 Oct 2009 - In talks with Spanish PM, King Abdullah urges international community 'to act firmly against any Israeli measures aimed at changing identity of Holy City' 

Strained Israel-Turkey ties concern US
16 Oct 2009 - American diplomats tell officials in Ankara tensions with Jerusalem may hinder fight against extremists, thwart efforts to curb Iran's nuclear ambitions 

Arab-Israeli attorney backs Goldstone Report in Geneva 
16 Oct 2009 - Fatma Alajou, who represents Israeli human rights group, tells Human Rights Council, 'Israel has not been investigating its own conduct since second intifada.' Speaking to Ynet, she says, 'Israeli legal system cannot be trusted' 

Israel: Endorsement of Goldstone Report promotes terror
16 Oct 2009 - State officials respond to UN Human Rights Council's decision to adopt report saying IDF committed war crimes in Gaza. 'This is diplomatic anarchy,' says Minister Yishai. Palestinians: This is a first step ahead of prosecution of Israeli war criminals 

'Starving mother' to judge: My angels shouldn't suffer
16 Oct 2009 - Jerusalem woman accused of starving son addresses Supreme Court Justice Danziger after hearing. 'All said about me an utter lie. The damage the State wants to inflict on my kids is irreversible,' she says 

UN rights body endorses Goldstone Report 
16 Oct 2009 - Human Rights Council adopts UN committee's report accusing Israel of committing war crimes in Gaza during last winter's conflict. Twenty-five of body's members vote in favor of referring report to Security Council for action, six vote against resolution and 11 abstain 

Suspected rocket material found near Jerusalem 
16 Oct 2009 - Explosives lab uncovered by security forces one month ago in grocery store's warehouse in village of Abu Dis. Material found includes explosive devices, hollows pipes slated to be used for producing rockets. Three suspects arrested 


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

Gaza war crimes report endorsed by UN Human Rights Council
16 Oct 2009 - The UN Human Rights Council voted Friday to endorse a report on last winter's Gaza conflict that calls on Israel and authorities in Gaza to carry out credible investigations into alleged abuses - or face possible referral to international war crimes prosecutors. The decision means that Israel could find itself facing a request at the UN Security Counci.

Egypt delays deadline for Palestinian unity agreement
16 Oct 2009 - Egyptian mediators have delayed their deadline for Hamas to sign a Palestinian unity deal with Fatah after the Islamist group asked for a delay, an Egyptian official said on Friday. "Egypt [will] postpone the signing of this deal at the current time," the official MENA news agency quoted the official as saying.

Why Fayyad's plan for Palestine has Israelis worried
16 Oct 2009 - The future Palestinian state some Israeli strategists have in mind would be bordered entirely by Israel, with large areas in its middle under Israeli control. Israel would own the Jordan Valley, part of the central West Bank highlands above it, plus uplands to the west overlooking Jerusalem and Israeli cities on the coastal plain.

Iran cleric warns against planned opposition rally
16 Oct 2009 - A hardline cleric sought Friday to head off an attempt to reinvigorate Iran's anti-government movement, warning against a planned opposition rally next month that would coincide with state-sponsored annual demonstrations against the US. Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, delivering the weekly Muslim prayer sermon in Tehran, also had an unusual warning for the security forces.

US Congress sends Obama Iran sanctions bill
16 Oct 2009 - The US Congress sent President Barack Obama legislation Thursday that bars firms selling fuel to Iran from winning US government deals, piling pressure on Tehran over its nuclear program. The measure was included in the Energy Department's 2010 spending bill, which cleared the Senate by an 80-17 vote, two weeks after the House of Representatives approved the law.

Turkey tells Israel to end Gaza 'humanitarian tragedy'
16 Oct 2009 - Turkey urged Israel Friday to end the "humanitarian tragedy" in Gaza, saying ties between the two allies cannot recover if Palestinian suffering continues and peace talks remain dead in the Middle East. "Ending the humanitarian tragedy in Gaza; reviving peace efforts both on the Palestinian and Syrian track; and most importantly reinstating a prevailing spirit of peace in the region -

Egypt: Islamists' election success won't be repeated
16 Oct 2009 - Egypt's security chief predicted this week that the country's largest opposition group, the banned Muslim Brotherhood, would not see gains in next year's parliamentary elections. The Brotherhood unexpectedly won 88 seats, or 20 percent of the 454-seat Parliament in the 2005 elections. The group was officially banned in 1954 but its candidates are allowed to run as independents.

Zimbabwe premier boycotts unity government
16 Oct 2009 - Zimbabwe's prime minister announced he was boycotting the country's troubled unity government Friday, citing the "persecution" of a top aide being tried on what are widely seen as trumped up coup allegations. At a news conference Friday, longtime opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai said: "We are not really pulling out officially," but that his party would not attend Cabinet meetings.

UK spy boss defends foreign intelligence link 'dilemma'
16 Oct 2009 - Britain's MI5 security service, under fire for alleged complicity in abuse of suspects overseas, has defended its foreign intelligence links, saying they stopped "many attacks" in the years following the September 11, 2001 strike. Speaking for the first time about charges of MI5 complicity, agency Director General Jonathan Evans said.

Sison denies US interference in Lebanon's cabinet formation
16 Oct 2009 - United States Ambassador Michel Sison denied on Friday that her country was interfering in the cabinet formation in Lebanon or encouraging the March 14 coalition to form a majority government. Sison's remarks came as the deadlock among rival Lebanese politicians over the distribution of ministerial portfolios showed no signs of a breaktrough.

Judicial reform key to better Lebanon
16 Oct 2009 - The usual suspects turned up this week to inaugurate the new judicial calendar in Lebanon, a ritual that resembles Independence Day, when judges and lawyers, and not soldiers and military equipment, are on parade. It's an occasion on which politicians and officials make the kind of speeches that we've heard many times before. President Michel Sleiman called on judges.

Misinformation rife as motorcycle ban goes into effect
16 Oct 2009 - The traffic that cloys endlessly at Beirut's streets is as dense as ever. Rows of cars, minibuses and taxis choke the capital's main roads, horns flaring along with tempers as millions of commuters make their way home from work. But even as countless drivers sit behind their wheels, faces set in grim determination, something is noticeable about Thursday night rush hour.

Lebanon needs both security and freedom
16 Oct 2009 - In Lebanon, the rulers are proud of existing freedoms and the reformers are obsessed with national security. All summer the Lebanese have been waiting for a new cabinet of ministers to emerge, with no results yet. For the people it feels like going through a ten-month pregnancy. Lebanon's sectarian formula of power sharing offers a demographically shrinking Christian community the prestige of the country's presidency.

Critics question usefullness of dams in Lebanon
16 Oct 2009 - The image of Lebanon as a green country with abundant water resources is an illusion that today could not be further from the truth. In reality, this pre-Civil War image has become nothing more than a faded myth that serves only to blind public concern about the state of the country's fresh water resources. As tap water becomes increasingly salty to the taste in Beirut.

Palestinian Information Center

Hamas welcomes the endorsement of the Goldstone report
16 Oct 2009 - Dr. Sami Abu Zuhri, Hamas spokesman in Gaza, said that the endorsement of the Goldstone report at the UNHRC was a step in the right direction.

UNHRC passes the Goldstone report by 25 votes for to 6
16 Oct 2009 - The UN Human Rights Commission, passed on Friday the Goldstone report, which accuses Israeli of war crimes, by 25 votes for, 6 against and 11 abstentions.

Protests in Chicago against a visit by war-criminal Ehud Olmert
16 Oct 2009 - Palestinian and Muslim groups in Chicago organised on Thursday a demonstration to protest a visit made to the University of Chicago by certified war criminal Ehud Olmert.

Masri: Hamas supports reconciliation, has no fear of elections
16 Oct 2009 - Palestinian legislator Mushir Al-Masri has confirmed Thursday that his Movement was and still is keen to achieve national reconciliation and Egypt could testify to Hamas's flexibility..

Haikal: Withdrawal of Goldstone report is connivance with the occupation
16 Oct 2009 - Mohammed Hassanien Haikal, the veteran and prominent Egyptian political analyst, has rejected the allegations that the Palestinian factions used the issue of Goldstone report to score political points

Farwanah urges media to highlight ordeal of veteran Palestinian prisoners
16 Oct 2009 - Abdul Nasser Farwanah, a Palestinian human rights activist, has urged media outlets and international human rights institutions to highlight the ordeal of hundreds of Palestinian captives..

AbuZayd urges Egypt to allow "Miles of Smiles" aid convoy to enter Gaza
16 Oct 2009 - UNRWA Commissioner General Karen AbuZayd has urged the Egyptian authorities to facilitate the task of "Miles of Smiles" aid convoy organised by the International Committee to Break the Gaza Siege.

A salute to Turkey, a salute to Erdogan
16 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
16 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
16 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.

Los Angeles Times

China's links to Iran a snag for sanctions 
16 Oct 2009 - Beijing's premier says his country wants to deepen ties to Tehran, with which it has signed hefty oil deals. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said Thursday that his nation was committed to deepening its ties with Iran, a declaration that underscores the difficulty the United States will face in seeking broad economic sanctions against Tehran in an effort to rein in its nuclear program. 

Lebanon, Bosnia to join U.N. Security Council 
16 Oct 2009 - Diplomats hope the inclusion of the politically divided nations will help shore up their government institutions. Politically divided Lebanon and Bosnia-Herzegovina were among five countries elected to the U.N. Security Council on Thursday, in a move diplomats hoped would help strengthen the two countries' fragile institutions. 

5 guilty in Australia terror plot 
16 Oct 2009 - Five men were convicted today of plotting a terrorist attack by collecting bomb-making instructions and purchasing explosive chemicals in Australia's largest terrorist conspiracy. 

New York Times

World Briefing | Europe: Turkey: Show Stays on TV After Protest
16 Oct 2009 - A television show on a state-run channel in Turkey that appears to portray Israeli Army hostility against Palestinians will continue with new episodes. 

U.N. Council Endorses Gaza Report
16 Oct 2009 - The endorsement may lead to criminal investigations of Israelis and Palestinians accused of war crimes. 

World Briefing | Middle East: Syria: Dissident Lawyer Is Arrested
15 Oct 2009 - The Syrian authorities have arrested Haitham Maleh, a 78-year-old dissident and prominent lawyer who is among the last vocal critics of the government inside the country. 

In Face of Sanctions, China Premier Warms to Iran
15 Oct 2009 - The remarks appeared to undercut U.S. efforts at a unified approach to Iran’s nuclear program. 

Israel Protests Turkish TV Series About Palestine
15 Oct 2009 - Clips of the television program show soldiers in what appear to be Israeli combat fatigues committing acts of murder and violent repression against Palestinians. 


VIDEO - UNHRC backs Gaza report 
10/16/2009 - AlJazeera - The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has backed an inquiry's report into the Israeli war on Gaza that accuses both Israel and Hamas of war crimes. The inquiry, lead by Justice Richard Goldstone, calls for credible investigations by Israel and Hamas, and suggests international war crimes prosecutions if they do not. Twenty-five countries voted for the resolution, including several Arab and African states, while six were against. The Palestinian Authority initially backed deferring a vote, but changed its position after domestic criticism. The report concluded that Israel used disproportionate force during the war on Gaza, and that its soldiers deliberately targeted civilians. It also accused Israel of using Palestinians as human shields. The report also accused Palestinian armed groups, including Hamas, of deliberately targeting civilians in southern Israel. Mike Hanna reports from Geneva. 

Jerusalem – Evicted Palestinian family keeps watch near home taken by settlers 
10/15/2009 - Uruknet - Rev Pat McCaughan, Episcopal Life Online - Most days, Sharihan Hannoun and her family sit along the sidewalk on dusty white plastic chairs watching the East Jerusalem home from which they were forcibly evicted, watching as the strangers who took it over come and go. " Today we stay in the street 65 days," said Hannoun, on October 8. "The first few nights, we slept here," recalled the 20-year-old who was a psychology student at Birzeit University in Jerusalem. That was before August 2 early morning police raids left 37 members of her extended family homeless. Hannoun, wearing black slacks, a long-sleeved white turtleneck sweater and matching white head covering worn by Muslim women, recalled being awakened at 5 a. m. when Israeli police broke down the front door of the home owned by her parents since 1956. " I told them we have ownership papers. 

PFLP hails UNHRC adoption of Goldstone report and demands prosecution of occupation war criminals 
10/16/2009 - Uruknet - Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine - PFLP - The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine welcomed the adoption of the Goldstone report on Gaza war crimes by the UN Human Rights Council on October 16, 2009, saying that this marks the beginning of the battle for justice, accountability and punishment of the war criminals and leaders of the occupation government, army and settlers. A spokesperson for the PFLP said that such prosecutions are the very first steps in seeking justice for the people of Gaza and for the Palestinian people. Comrade Khalida Jarrar, member of the Political Bureau of the PFLP, said that the adoption at the UN HRC was a victory for the masses of the Palestinian people and their institutions and associations that responded clearly, strongly and vigorously to the US/Israeli/Palestinian Authority attempts to block or delay a vote on the report. 

Military Police investigating suspicion that soldiers severely abused Palestinian workers, following B’Tselem’s report 
10/15/2009 - B'tselem - In late September, soldiers assaulted Palestinian laborers in the southern Hebron hills in three separate incidents, according to testimonies given to B'Tselem. All the incidents occurred in the area of a-Ramadin, where laborers enter Israel through a gap in the Separation Barrier. Some two weeks later, B'Tselem documented extensive damage to vehicles in the southern Hebron hills, also apparently done by soldiers. The vehicles were used to transport Palestinian laborers wanting to enter Israel without work permits, and were abandoned when soldiers chased the passengers. The witnesses described severe beatings, humiliation and abuse, with two of the victims requiring hospitalization, and claimed that soldiers had stole money, cell phones, packs of cigarettes, and other items from their bags. On 23 September, soldiers detained Salman Zagharneh near a planned section of the Separation Barrier, about two kilometers from a-Ramadin, where he lives. 

Following B’Tselem’s intervention, army opens investigation into vandalism in southern Hebron hills and suspends suspected officers 
10/15/2009 - B'tselem - On 12 and 13 October, B'Tselem documented eight vehicles owned by Palestinians that had been vandalized, apparently by soldiers, near Jenbah in the southern Hebron hills. The vehicles, which were used to transport Palestinian laborers wanting to enter Israel without permits, were abandoned when military vehicles chased them. Following urgent demands made by B'Tselem to the Judge Advocate General's Office and to the Military Police Investigation Unit, the MPIU opened an investigation into the matter and the IDF Spokesperson's Office announced that two officers commanding soldiers in the area had been suspended pending investigation. On Monday, 12 October, field researchers from B'Tselem's camera distribution project who were on their way to Khirbet Jenbah, a village in the southern Hebron hills, filmed a Ford commercial van going up in flames on the road. 

Israel rejects UN council backing for Gaza war crimes report 
10/16/2009 - The Guardian - UN human rights council passes resolution endorsing Goldstone report, which accused Israel and Hamas of war crimes - Israel has angrily rejected what it called a "one-sided" resolution by the UN human rights council today that backed a highly critical report on the Gaza war and opened the way to possible international war crimes investigations. The council voted to endorse the report by a South African judge, Richard Goldstone, which accused both Israel and Hamas of committing war crimes and possible crimes against humanity during the three-week war in Gaza in January. Goldstone, whose work was hailed by leading international human rights groups, found there may be individual criminal responsibility over the killing of civilians. The report will go to the UN general assembly and could lead to a rare international criminal court investigation if Israel and Hamas fail to mount their own 

Cartoon: Israel rejects UN council backing for Gaza war crimes report 
10/17/2009 - The Guardian - By Martin Rowson - Gordon Brown reportedly had a heated telephone call on Wednesday with Netanyahu. [end] 

Treatment is sought in U.S. for 3-year-old victim of white phosphorus attack in Gaza 
10/16/2009 - Mondoweiss - Philip Weiss - The Goldstone report is not an abstraction for me. My delegation was in Gaza at the same time as Judge Richard Goldstone was last June. We saw things that he also saw. I used the word "persecution" at the time; so has he now. One day human-rights-worker Fares Akram brought my group to a house in Beit Lahiya in the north of Gaza. He wanted to show us the hole in the roof made by a white phosphorus shell. It was smaller than a manhole, and throughout the apartment building the walls were still blackened and the studs charred. The matriarch in that house was Sabah Abu Halima, 45. Today she is a psychological wreck. In the few instants in which the long tentacles of white phosphorus were trapped in her house, she lost her husband, three sons, and her only daughter. Relief workers from the Palestinian Children’s Relief Fund say that Sabah is plagued by "nightmares and deep feelings of sadness. " 

U.N. Human Rights Council Concludes Special Session after Adopting a Resolution Calling For the Implementation of the Recommendations in the Goldstone Report
10/16/2009 - Alternative Information Center - The Human Rights Council concluded its twelfth Special Session today after adopting a resolution that focused on continuing violations of human rights by Israel in the Occupied Palestinian territories, in particular in East Jerusalem, and endorsed the recommendations set out in the reports of the Fact-Finding Mission to Gaza led by Justice Goldstone and by the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and called for their implementation. In its resolution, which was adopted by a vote of 25 in favour, six against, and 11 abstentions, the Council strongly condemned all policies and measures taken by Israel, the occupying Power, including those limiting access of Palestinians to their properties and holy sites particularly in Occupied East Jerusalem, on the basis of national origin, religion, sex, age or any other discriminatory ground, which were in grave violation of the Palestinian People's civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights. 

US Gave Israeli Green Light To Continue Its Violations In Jerusalem; Group Says 
10/15/2009 - International Middle East Media Center - Saed Bannoura - The Islamic-Christian Committee in Support of Jerusalem and the Holy Sites accused the United States administration of granting the government of Benjamin Netanyahu a green light to continue its violations in against the Arab homes and holy sites in Jerusalem. Dr. Hasan Khater, secretary-general of the committee, stated that the US stances against Israel’s illegal settlement activities managed to disturb Israel’s leaders, but they soon evaporated into thin air. “Once the American pressure was off, Israel resumed its violations against Jerusalem and its residents”, Khater stated, “The US is proving day by day that it cannot, or even not willing, to stop the Israeli violations and crimes against the people, their lands and their holy places”. He also said that the United States totally ignored what happened recently in Jerusalem, and disregarded the constant attacks and threats against the Palestinians. 

AUDIO - A Museum of Intolerance in Jerusalem 
10/15/2009 - P U L S E - Saree Makdisi - An excellent address by Saree Makdisi who was in Australia recently as the 2009 recipient of the Adelaide-based Edward Said Memorial Lecture (there is also a US-based Edward Said Memorial lecture series). The second half of this 60 minute address is particularly worthwhile. The introduction by journalist Antony Loewenstein is brief but if you’d like to skip ahead, move the cursor on the audio bar to about the six minute mark. Makdisi’s presentation is on the construction of architect’s Frank Gehry’s Museum of ‘Tolerance’ in Jerusalem and he notably talks about the kind of politics of double erasure its construction entails. On another level, it is also symptomatic and representative of the whole programme of Israeli apartheid. From Sydney Ideas: In 2004, construction began in Jerusalem on the local branch of the Los Angeles-based Museum of Tolerance, designed by the leading American architect, Frank Gehry. 

VIDEO - Is a Binational State Possible? 
10/15/2009 - P U L S E - Ali Abunimah - Palestinian-American journalist and Electronic Intifada co-founder Ali Abunimah discusses the notion of a binational state in Palestine/Israel with Palestinian politician Ghassan Khatib on the Riz Khan Show. Abunimah reiterates an important point early on which advocates of the two-state solution continue to ignore: if the two-state solution has failed to cement the so-called “peace process” after nearly two decades of failed “negotiations,” then isn’t it time to consider a more realistic, practical possibility? Or is the “peace process” just a show, rather than an actual quest for a viable solution to this conflict? [end] 

Report: Israeli intelligence illegally profiling travelers in South Africa 
10/15/2009 - Electronic Intifada - Despite our relatively recent struggle against apartheid, I highlighted in a previous article the disturbing level of bilateral trade and cooperation between the South African government and Israel. Bearing our own history in mind, one would expect South Africa to be at the forefront of political efforts to bring Israel in line with international law -- and perhaps even be championing economic isolation of Israel -- as this was a major factor in ending white minority rule in our country. Unfortunately, however, this appears to not be the case. In the latest example of Israeli entrenchment in South Africa, it has been discovered that Israeli intelligence, or Shin Bet, agents are illegally profiling and detaining South African citizens in Johannesburg's O. R. Tambo International Airport. This was brought to light last month by South Africa's premier investigative journalism TV show, Carte 


Israel’s Right or Not to Exist 
Alan Hart, Dissident Voice 10/15/2009
      The Facts and Truth
     On Monday 12 October, Prime Minister Netanyahu opened the Knesset’s winter session by blasting the Goldstone Report that accuses Israel of committing war crimes and vowing that he would never allow Israelis be tried for them. But that was not his main message. It was an appeal, delivered I thought with a measure of desperation, to the “Palestinian leadership”, presumably the leadership of “President” Abbas and his Fatah cronies, leaders who are regarded by very many if not most Palestinians as American-and-Israeli stooges at best and traitors at worst.
     Netanyahu again called on this leadership to agree to recognise Israel as a Jewish state, saying this was, and remains, the key to peace. And he went on and on and on about it.
     “For 62 years the Palestinians have been saying ‘No’ to the Jewish state. I am once again calling upon our Palestinian neighbours – say ‘Yes’ to the Jewish state. Without recognition of the Israel as the state of the Jews we shall not be able to attain peace… Such recognition is a step which requires courage and the Palestinian leadership should tell its people the truth – that without this recognition there can be no peace… There is no alternative to Palestinian leaders showing courage by recognising the Jewish state. This has been and remains the true key to peace.”
     As Ha’aretz noted in its report, Netanyahu’s demand for Palestinian acceptance of Israel as a Jewish state is for him “a way on ensuring recognition of Israel’s right to exist as opposed to merely recognising Israel” (my emphasis). This, as Ha’aretz added, is the recognition which Netanyahu and many other Israelis see as the real core of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. more.. e-mail

Abbas and the Goldstone Report: Our Shame is Complete 
Ramzy Baroud, Uruknet 10/14/2009
      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 surely disappointed when the PA withdrew its draft resolution supporting recommendations made by South African Judge Richard Goldstone. The Goldstone report is the most comprehensive, and transparent investigation as of yet into what happened in Gaza during the 23-day war. It decried Israeli terror, and chastised Palestinians as well. But the focus on Israel undoubtedly and deservingly occupied much of the nearly 600-page report.... more.. e-mail

Electronic Intifada
EI exclusive video: Protesters shout down Ehud Olmert in Chicago
16 Oct 2009 - Approximately 30 activists -- mainly students from area universities -- disrupted a lecture given in Chicago by former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert yesterday which was hosted by the University of Chicago's Harris School of Public Policy. While Olmert's speech was disrupted inside the lecture hall, approximately 150 activists protested outside the hall in the freezing rain. 

Gaza farmers struggle with damaged agricultural land
16 Oct 2009 - GAZA CITY, occupied Gaza Strip (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 seeds and fertilizers, according to officials. 

Report: Israeli intelligence illegally profiling travelers in South Africa
16 Oct 2009 - Last month South Africa's premier investigative journalism TV show, Carte Blanche , aired an investigation of allegations that security personnel from Israel's national carrier, El Al Airlines, were acting dubiously at Johannesburg's airport. Carte Blanche conducted an experiment, sending an undercover reporter into the airport, expecting him to be targeted simply because he was Muslim. Sayed Dhansay comments for The Electronic Intifada. 

Second chance at life
16 Oct 2009 - Touching the old scar on her forehead, 14-year-old Samah Owda fought back tears while telling her story. For the past four years she has carried on, proving that internal wounds are sometimes more difficult to heal than external ones. As a 10-year-old girl she was given a "new life" and a chance that at the time no one thought would be possible. Eman Mohammed reports from the occupied Gaza Strip. 

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
Obama: Time to Step Into the Ring
16 Oct 2009 - By George Hismeh So Barack Obama has unexpectedly won the Nobel Peace Prize this year and he was gracious enough to admit publicly that he did not think he deserved it. The American president has actually been remarkable for his good intentions, but, so far, not his achievements and, I note this, despite the well-known American saying: "The road to hell is paved with good intentions." The surprise announcement covered only the first nine days of his assumption of power at the White House since the nominations to the highly coveted prize — 205 persons were recommended — were closed on February 1. In other words, this first African-American president has been seemingly judged for the atmosphere of political reconciliation and engagement that he had championed during the long presidential election campaign. Actually, the Nobel Peace Committee justified its choice of Obama "for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples." Alfred Nobel, the Swedish industrialist and inventor who bequeathed the prizes, said in his will that the Peace Prize should be awarded to the person who "during the preceding year ... shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses." And in his acceptance speech, Obama generously considered the award as "a means to give momentum to a set of causes," some of which he has propagated, and "a call for all nations to confront the...

The Things That Make for Peace
15 Oct 2009 - By Timothy Seidel As he came near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, 'If you, even you, had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.' Luke 19:41-42 Dominus Flevit on the Mount of Olives in East Jerusalem is the name of a church and a site of pilgrimage for many Christian travelers to the “Holy Land.” Literally, Dominus Flevit means “the Lord wept” in Latin and is remembered as the site where Jesus stopped to look out over Jerusalem to weep and ask this striking question to all who would follow him. An unavoidable question: Do we recognize the things that make for peace? Are they right in front of us, hidden from our eyes? The language of peace often surrounds us. In a place like Palestine, the language of peace gets thrown around on a regular basis. One can see it when surveying the expanding colonization of the Occupied West Bank in recent decades, in particular during those times of “peace” process. Or when one passes through an Israeli military checkpoint and is greeted with “shalom”—the Hebrew word for peace. And one also encounters it on the International Day of Prayer for Peace, where Palestinian Christian and Muslim alike gather to resist the daily violence they experience through prayer and protest. When I read a text such as this one from Luke’s gospel, I cannot help but feel like Jesus is speaking directly to...

Constitutional Hypocrisy
15 Oct 2009 - By Joel S. Hirschhorn Millions of Americans are politically informed, smart, active and angry. They see many wrongs in our political and government system. They are fed up with politics as usual, meaning corrosive corruption of politicians by corporate and other special interests. They see little good in either the Democrat or Republican parties. And they almost always share a common bond: They love and honor the US Constitution, even though they may see some flaws in it. Yet they are also constitutional hypocrites. Why do I say this? Because Americans are overwhelmingly ignorant or misinformed about the constitutional paths for amending the Constitution. Too many, in fact, seem to miss the profoundly important point that the Founders and Framers knew that they had not created a perfect document and blueprint for the US. That is why they placed two specific paths for amending the Constitution. But very few Americans know that only one of these amendment mechanisms has been used in the entire history of the country. All the current amendments were proposed by Congress. This should raise this serious question today: Considering the very low regard for Congress by the overwhelming majority of Americans, which is richly deserved, why should we have any confidence that Congress would ever propose amendments that could kill so much of the corruption that plagues our system, especially corruption of members of Congress? This situation was somehow anticipated by the Framers. They could see that there was a strong possibility that Americans would...

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...

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