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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
17 October, 2009


International Middle East Media Center

Egypt: “Reconciliation Document For Signing, Not For Negotiations”
18 Oct 2009 - The Egyptian Foreign Ministry stated that the Palestinian reconciliation document is ready for signing by Palestinians factions, and that it is not meant for further negotiations and rounds of talks. 

Farawna: “8200 Detainees Still Imprisoned By Israel”
18 Oct 2009 - Palestinian researcher, specialized in detainees’ affairs, former detainee, Abdul-Nasser Farawna, stated Saturday that 8200 Palestinians are still imprisoned by Israel, among them 32 female detainees, 320 children, and 400 imprisoned under administrative detention. 

Israel Bars Entry Of Trailer Homes Into Gaza
18 Oct 2009 - The Israeli Authorities barred the entry of trailer homes donated by the Turkish Red Crescent to provide shelter for some of the residents of the Gaza Strip who lost their homes due to Israeli bombardment during the war on Gaza. 

Gaza Humanitarian Convoy Still Stuck In Egypt
18 Oct 2009 - A Humanitarian aid convoy sent by different groups in several parts of Europe is still stuck in Bour Sa’id Egyptian port as the Egyptian Authorities are not allowing the convoy to enter Egypt on its way to the Rafah terminal. 

DFLP: “Egyptian Document Needs Modifications”
17 Oct 2009 - The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) expressed reservations on the Egyptian document for internal Palestinian unity, and that the document includes sections that were not approved by all factions. 

Nobel prize winner calls for release of Palestinian prisoners
16 Oct 2009 - The Israeli scientist who recently had the honor of being the first woman to win a Nobel Prize for Chemistry said that she believes Israel should release the eleven thousand Palestinians it is currently holding in prison camps. 

Ma'an News

Qalandiya will remain clash-point until changes made
10/17/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - The Qalandiya checkpoint blocking the road from Ramallah to Jerusalem was the scene of several confrontations between Israeli forces and Palestinian demonstrators in recent weeks. The close proximity of the separation wall, the Qalandiya refugee camp and Israeli border guards in a non-designed urban setting created the latest flashpoint in the central West Bank. The recent confrontations, however, are only the surface of the problem at Qalandiya. Three traffic circles for two separate car entrances, a pedestrian entrance and make-shift stops for Palestinian buses to drop off passengers for ID and bag inspections vie with traffic on the busy Ramallah-Jericho road, which is also the main road for cars bound for any other southern West Bank city including Hebron and Bethlehem. The checkpoint is also an access point for Israeli settlers travelling to the illegal. . . 

Residents: Israeli army stormed northern village
10/17/2009 - Nablus - Ma'an - Two Palestinians from the Beit Areef village south of Nablus were injured after an incursion by Israeli ground forces and vehicles on Saturday afternoon, locals said. According to purported witnesses, soldiers "attacked" two residents, demanded that others provide IDs before being allowed to enter the village, and restricted some from exiting. Beforehand, as many as seven Israeli army jeeps were spotted entering the area, where soldiers were said to have erected a military checkpoint on the main road, residents insisted. Approached by Ma'an, a spokeswoman for Israel's military said the army was unaware of any such incursion on Saturday afternoon. [end] 

Gaza factions break calm, claim two attacks
10/17/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - The armed wings of the Popular Resistance Committee (PRC) and Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) separately claimed attacks on Israeli forces operating inside the Gaza Strip on Saturday. Israel's military denied both reports. Saturday marks the eight-year anniversary of the PFLP assassination of the ultra right-wing Israeli tourism minister, Rehavam Ze'evi, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in East Jerusalem. That attack was in response to Israel's assassination a month earlier of Abu Ali Mustapha, the leftist Palestinian movement's late leader and namesake of its recently renamed military wing, the Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades. The PFLP wing said its forces fired four mortars toward the Israeli military post of Netiv HaAsara, west of the Erez crossing near the northern Strip, but their statement made no mention of the assassination anniversary. 

PFLP fighters report mortar fire, gun battles
10/17/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine claimed its armed wing, the Abu Ali Mustapha Brigades, exchanged gunfire with Israeli forces operating in the Gaza Strip on Saturday. In a statement, the movement's military wing said its forces injured a soldier east of Al-Bureij refugee camp, and that Israeli forces responded with machine-gun fire. Separately, the group claimed to have launched two 120 millimeter mortar shells at the Zakim military base just outside of Gaza. Approached by Ma'an, a spokeswoman for Israel's military said the army looked into the claims and found both to be baseless. In any event, the Brigades said the purported operations "were in response to the [Israeli] occupation's crimes in the West Bank and Gaza," and added that "our response is still ongoing. " The claims of responsibility coincided with the eight-year anniversary. . . 

Hamas, Fatah applaud Human Rights Council
10/17/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Hamas leader in exile Khaled Mash'al insisted on Friday that the international community bring Israel to court "locally and internationally" for what he termed crimes against Palestinians. "We welcome the vote on Goldstone's report," he added in a televised interview. "We consider it a victory for the Palestinians. " Meanwhile, de facto government spokesman Taher An-Nunu expressed appreciation and gratitude to each country that supported the resolution, particularly Egypt, the envoy of which rejected a delay proposed by France. However, the spokesman said he was astonished that the PLO envoy focused on both parties in the conflict as if they were equal, rather than solely discussing the Israeli assault, which other nations considered more important. An-Nunu added that his government expected Israeli military leaders to be taken to court "as they are war criminals. " 

Abbas takes credit for UN success, slams Hamas
10/17/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas delivered the opening speech at the first session of the newly-elected Fatah Revolutionary Council in Ramallah on Friday. The session, under the title "Gaza Martyrs," is scheduled to run from 16-19 October. Delegates are expected to discuss rival party Hamas' Friday decision to sign the Egyptian reconciliation plan agreement, as well as plans around the transfer of the Goldstone report to the UN General Assembly. Also on the table are amendments to the internal system of the party and follow-up discussion of issues raised at the Bethlehem congress, where the council was elected in August. Speaking to the assembled delegates, Abbas called the endorsement of the Goldstone report by the UN Human Rights Council "a just judgment to the victims of Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip and the Palestinian people as a whole. " 

Hamas threatens to sue Abbas over Gaza remarks
10/17/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Hamas will file a lawsuit in Palestinian courts against recent allegations launched by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas that de facto government leaders fled the Gaza Strip in ambulances during Israel's war on the area over the winter. Abbas first presented the accusation on Tuesday in a Jenin speech, and again in Ramallah on Friday. Hamas leader Mahmoud Az-Zahar announced preparations for a suit in remarks made Saturday, one day after Abbas told the newly convened Fatah Revolutionary Councilthat Hamas leaders had ignored his advice on signing a new ceasefire deal after the six-month agreement between Israel and Hamas ran out in November. He told the more than 100 assembled members that "They [Hamas] kept accusing us of compliance, while their leaders fled the Gaza Strip to Egypt in ambulances. " 

Hamas leader: Unity response by Sunday
10/17/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Hamas examination and commentary on the Egyptian conciliation plan will be completed Saturday, and a high-profile delegation headed by deputy head of the movement's politburo Mousa Abu Marzouq will head to Cairo Sunday to deliver the official response, senior Hamas leader Ayman Taha said. "Hamas has no reservations [on the conciliation plan], but will highlight some issues that the Egyptians forgot to include in their plan. These are issues which have been agreed on before," Taha said in an interview. Earlier in the day delegation leader Mousa Abu Marzouq told the Jordanian newspaper Al-Ghad that the delay in signing the agreement was a necessary one, since Hamas could not have sat down with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas following his decision to drop the Goldstone report at the UN Human Rights Council. 

PLO official says unity talks over until elections
10/17/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Speaking from Ramallah apparently on behalf of the PLO and all those factions it represents, the organization's Secretary Yasser Abed Rabbo said "this is the last time we will accept a proposal"¦this is the last time and we will never repeat it again. " At a press conference in Ramallah Abed Rabbo responded to Hamas' announcement that it would send a delegation with several suggestions to Cairo on Sunday. Egyptian mediators told Fatah and Hamas leaders last week they were to respond to the latest proposal with a simple yes or no by 15 October. On 14 October Fatah signed the agreement. "We will not accept any comments, reservations, or amendments; we will not even accept the extension of time. The acceptance of the Egyptian paper should have been [done already], and now we have no other choice to get out of the cycle that has been tried four times this year," the official told journalists. 

HRW: Following UN vote, 'all eyes are on Israel and Hamas'
10/17/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The international NGO Human Rights Watch welcomed the endorsement of the Goldstone report at the UN Human Rights Council on Friday, "because the Goldstone report establishes the serious violations committed by both sides during Israel's Operation Cast Lead in Gaza and presents a road map for accountability. "In a statement released following the vote in Geneva, HRW said it was pleased that "Virtually all governments recognized the seriousness of the Goldstone report and the credible allegations it contains. Practically all delegations called for investigations and emphasized the need for accountability. The US said that calls for accountability 'cannot be ignored or deflected. '"Geneva director at HRW Julie de Rivero commented on the proceedings, saying,"Now all eyes are on Israel and Hamas to see whether they conduct credible domestic investigations within the next six months. 

Egyptian authorities seize African migrant
10/17/2009 - Al-Areesh - Ma'an - Egyptian forces arrested an African migrant who they said was attempting to cross into Israel on Friday. Egyptian police forces reported seeing the migrant 7 km from the Kerem Shalom crossing near Gaza, trying to cross the barbed wire border into Israeli territory. The man was later identified as an 18-year-old Ethiopian. Egypt said the migrant told authorities he paid 1,000 US dollars to foreign smugglers to help him enter Israel illegally, as had some of his friends and family. He added that there were some 300 migrants waiting to be similarly smuggled. [end] 

PFLP hails Goldstone report adoption at UNHRC
10/17/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine welcomes the adoption of South African jurist Richard Goldstone's report on last winter's Gaza war by the UN Human Rights Council, a party official said on Friday. The vote marked the beginning of "the battle for justice, accountability and punishment of the war criminals and leaders of the occupation government, army and settlers," said Khalida Jarrar, a member of the leftist Palestinian movement's political bureau. In an interview with Voice of the People radio on Friday, the PFLP leader said "such prosecutions are the very first steps in seeking justice for the people of Gaza and for the Palestinian people," and added, "The occupation will not be able to escape punishment for its massacres. " A resolution in favor of the Goldstone report, which found evidence both Israel and armed groups committed war crimes,. . . 

Hamas lawmaker urges int’l court to get moving
10/17/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - A Hamas-affiliated member of Palestine's parliament, the Palestinian Legislative Council, urged on Saturday that the International Criminal Court prepare charges against Israeli leaders involved in the Gaza assault last winter. The official, first deputy chairman Dr Ahmad Bahar, said trials should begin domestically and abroad now that South African jurist Richard Goldstone's report has been endorsed by the UN Human Rights Council. During a Hamas march from Gaza City's Palestine Square to the Legislative Council building, Bahar said the ICC's prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, ought to open investigations into the allegations brought forth by the UN-backed court. The Hamas official called the report's endorsement "a victory for the Palestinian people," and urged Arab, Islamic and African nations to ratify the report when it comes before the UN General Assembly. 

Justice minister: PA prepping for ICC membership
10/17/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Palestinian Minister of Justice Ali Al-Khashan presented documents to the attorney general of the International Criminal Court on Friday, which outlined allegations of Israeli war crimes committed prior to the war on Gaza. Al-Khashan said he also answered several inquiries from the court that would guarantee Palestine a place within the Rome Statute and thus full membership at the court. He said in a phone interview that he and a delegation were preparing papers requested by the court in preparation for full membership. In order to become a member a state must sign then ratify the Rome Statute. Once a state is a member of the ICC, the court can proceed with investigations into crimes which may have occurred on the territory of the member, or by a national of the member. The member is obligated to surrender suspects from their state once they have ratified the agreement. 

Hamas leader: We’ll sign Egyptian unity plan
10/17/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an -"PLO secretary Yasser Abed Rabbo is not a party in the Palestinian dialogue, and he does not represent any Palestinian side," Hamas leader Mushir Al-Masri said responding to the official's Friday statement later in the day. Abed Rabbo had declared the death of Palestinian conciliation dialogue while speaking to journalists earlier in the day, and intimated that he spoke on behalf of Palestinian factions who are members of the PLO. The official also said he expected President Mahmoud Abbas to call for elections on 25 October, saying elections are the only way out of the dialogue cycle. Hamas wants elections, Al-Masri said, noting the party's popularity in the West Bank has gone up over past weeks. "The Egyptian plan discusses elections, and those who want elections before reconciliation plan to thwart the Egyptian efforts," he added. 

Hamas detainees released in Qalqiliya
10/17/2009 - Qalqiliya - Ma'an - Military intelligence released 12 Hamas-affiliated detainees in the northern West Bank city of Qalqiliya on Saturday afternoon, according to security forces. Palestinian Authority security sources told Ma'an the release came as "a gesture of goodwill" toward a hypothetical reconciliation agreement with the Islamic movement. Fatah, which controls the West Bank's PA government, signed a unity deal on Thursday. Hamas was expected to sign, as well, but has stalled in recent days, asking Egypt for more time. President Mahmoud Abbas and PA intelligence chief Brigadier Nidal Abu Dukhan ordered the release, according to Ma'an's sources. The former detainees were identified as Mahdi Abu Labada, Mo'tamen Al-Jede, Fathi Suwan, Abdullah Mardawi, Rashed Suwan, Abdul-Rahman Kashou, Ahmad Odeh, Muhammad Shahwanm Lukman Al-Jede, Hasan Odeh, Muhammad Matani, and Shaher Nofel. 

People’s Party official says Hamas wasting time
10/17/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Palestinian People's Party (PPP) official Walid Al-Awad on Saturday the Hamas movement sought to set the pace for Egypt's reconciliation plan according to its own interests. "We've seen during the last week a series of conflicting statements from many Hamas leaders and spokespersons reflecting conflicting views with regard to the Egyptian reconciliation paper," Al-Awad told Ma'an in a phone interview. He said the Islamic movement's behavior of late "indicate it wants to waste time until 25 October, the deadline under Basic Law that President Abbas has to set a date for elections. " The official urged Hamas to not "lead, once again, toward creating a major crisis in the entire Palestinian political system. ""The Palestinian people don't have time to waste, not after undergoing long months of continuous bilateral dialogue rounds, which have resulted in the present draft agreement sitting in front of every faction. 

PFLP leader: Hamas wrong to postpone unity deal
10/17/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - "[Hamas is] wrong to link the postponement of the Goldstone report with postponement of Palestinian reconciliation," said Kayid Al-Ghoul, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine's Central Committee. Referencing the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority's prior inaction on approving Richard Goldstone's fact-finding mission on Gaza,Al-Ghoul said both sides needed to make reconciliation a priority. In an interview on Egyptian TV, the official urged Hamas to "stop making excuses to procrastinate, because procrastination means more time wasted and the continuation of division that could become even more complex and further postpone an agreement. " Al-Ghoul added that "despite everything that has happened, we [the PFLP] believe there's a chance to end the division, and there's no reason to stall reconciliation anymore. 

Ha'aretz Defense page

Comment / Why Israel failed in Gaza
17 Oct 2009 - Cast Lead shows that key recommendations by Committee that probed Second Lebanon War weren't implemented. 

Family who lost 29 members in Gaza war: We envy the dead
17 Oct 2009 - The Gazan Samounis family say Richard Goldstone has finally lent the victims a voice. 

Hezbollah vs. Israel: Who has 'real' video of Lebanon blast site?
17 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
17 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
17 Oct 2009 - State-run news agency reports 32 suspected militants detained in raids across eight provinces. 

Report: Syria supplying long-range missiles to Hezbollah
17 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
17 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
17 Oct 2009 - Plan is to hand out 4.5 million kits within three years; GOC Home Front Command: We don't have enough kits. 

One person killed in Israeli airstrike on Gaza tunnels
17 Oct 2009 - IDF: Attack came in response to a rocket fired by Gaza militants into southern Israel late on Tuesday. 

Israel: Lebanon turning blind eye to Hezbollah arms
17 Oct 2009 - Israel complains to UN about Lebanon blast; WATCH: Video 'proves Hezbollah stored arms at blast site.' 

After snubbing Israel, Turkey to hold defense drills with Syria
17 Oct 2009 - Syrian defense minister says two nations to hold drills days after Turkey nixed maneuvers with Israel. 

Lebanon: Shell caused blast at Hezbollah official's home
17 Oct 2009 - Israel to UN: Lebanon blast shows Hezbollah violating truce; Lebanon: None killed in blast at militant's home. 

Netanyahu vows never to let Israelis be tried for war crimes
17 Oct 2009 - PM blasts Goldstone conclusions as 'distorted report' that 'undermines Israel's right to defend itself.' 

Israel and U.S. prepare for largest-ever joint air force drill
17 Oct 2009 - 'Junior Cobra' to begin on October 20, week after scheduled start; IDF: Drill unrelated to particular world event. 

Egypt destroys four smuggling tunnels on Gaza border
17 Oct 2009 - Palestinians have dug thousands of tunnels to smuggle goods and fuel from Egypt to the Gaza Strip. 

ANALYSIS / Hamas incitement over Jerusalem fails to ignite West Bank
17 Oct 2009 - Hamas may declare a 'Day of Rage' over Jerusalem, but such days are rare nowadays in the West Bank. 

Islamic Jihad says Hamas stopping their rocket crews in Gaza
17 Oct 2009 - Group adds Hamas nixed a rally and arrested two of its members in dispute over Gaza mosque. 

Hamas says more babies born with birth defects since Cast Lead
17 Oct 2009 - Islamist group's health ministry says 'illegal IDF ordnance' caused higher numbers of birth defects. 


[] Farawna: "8200 Detainees Still Imprisoned By Israel"
October 18, 2009 - Palestinian researcher, specialized in detainees' affairs, former detainee, Abdul-Nasser Farawna, stated Saturday that 8200 Palestinians are still imprisoned by Israel, among them 32 female detainees, 320 children, and 400 imprisoned under administrative detention. The statements of Farawna came during an event organized on Saturday by the Popular Front For the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). He said...

[] Comrade Mizher: All-out campaign of solidarity for Comrade Sa'adat on October 22 court date
October 17, 2009 - Comrade Jamil Mezher, member of the Central Committee of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, called for the broadest possible campaign of solidarity with imprisoned PFLP General Secretary Ahmad Sa'adat, calling upon the Palestinian people, political parties, Palestinian, Arab and international human rights organizations and community institutions, the people of the Arab nation, and...

[] The Poverty Line in Iran. A "Hoax?"
October 17, 2009 - Mahmoud Ahmadinejad claimed that customary approaches used by economists to determine the poverty line are a "hoax" and cannot be used as a measure to prove that there is poverty in Iran. Existing facts, however, contradict Ahmadinejad's statement. According to a World Bank study done in 2005 and published in 2008, over 8% of Iran's population...

[] PFLP leader: Hamas wrong to postpone unity deal
October 17, 2009 - "[Hamas is] wrong to link the postponement of the Goldstone report with postponement of Palestinian reconciliation," said Kayid Al-Ghoul, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine's Central Committee. Referencing the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority's prior inaction on approving Richard Goldstone's fact-finding mission on Gaza, Al-Ghoul said both sides needed to make reconciliation a...

[] Family who lost 29 members in Gaza war: We envy the dead
October 17, 2009 - Richard Goldstone visited the Gaza City neighborhood of Zaytoun in late June to tour the compound of the extended Samouni family. Twenty-nine members of the family, all of them civilians, were killed in the Israel Defense Force's winter assault - 21 during the shelling of a house where IDF soldiers had gathered some 100 members of...

[] Michigan Public Radio Censoring Announcement on Palestine event
October 17, 2009 - Michigan Radio (WUOM 91.7), an affiliate of National Public Radio (NPR), is censoring a program announcement. The local chapter of the nonprofit organization If Americans Knew, whose mission is to inform Americans on topics of importance that are under reported or misreported in the American media, is attempting to place the following paid announcement on the...

[] Reaction out of Gaza to yet another resolution
October 17, 2009 - ...Many here want to see prominent international jurists, international organizations and human rights group pursue cases against Israeli political and military leaders on behalf of Palestinian victims. In recent years, European courts have allowed for Palestinian victims represented by European lawyers and organizations to introduce cases in individual countries against Israeli officials, so far without much...

[] International Conference to discuss Future of Palestinian Refugees
October 17, 2009 - 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. 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...

[] Masri: Hamas to inform Egypt about its reservations on the reconciliation paper
October 17, 2009 -- MP Mushir Al-Masri, the secretary-general of Hamas parliamentary bloc, stated Saturday that the delegation of Hamas to Cairo would convey the Movement's reservations on the Egyptian reconciliation paper. "It is not important to sign the Egyptian reconciliation paper, but what matters is the mechanism for implementing it on the ground because we do not want to...

[] Ayrilik: The Turkish TV Drama That Israel Don't Want You To See [Video]
October 17, 2009 - Israel's increasingly troubled relations with its main ally in the Muslim world took a turn two days ago when it formally protested to Turkey over the "incitement" generated by a television series featuring fictional scenes of barbaric acts by Israeli soldiers. The airing of the series, on Turkish state television, coincides with tensions triggered by a...

[] Palestinian prisoner Linan Yosif Abo Gholbi ISM visits Linan Yosif Abo Gholbi on her release from prison
Ocotber 17, 2009 - ...Linan's husband Amjad Mletod was killed in a battle with Israeli soldiers in 2004 and shortly after that Linan was arrested and their home demolished. Although they were married for 5 years, they were only able to live together for a year since Amjad was a wanted man. Linan was held in an interogation centre where...

[] HANIEH: Arab Jews
October 17, 2009 - The official ideology of Israel, Zionism, has always portrayed itself as a liberation movement for all Jews. But although Zionism claims to offer a home for all Jews, that home has never been offered equally. The question of Arab Jews strikes at the heart of the Zionist contradiction - an attempt to build an anti- Arab,...

Palestine Telegraph

IN GAZA: Farmers struggle with damaged agricultural land
Palestine, October 17, 2009 (Pal Telegraph)-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...

PRC: Endorsing Goldstone report is Victory for Justice and Victims
UK, October 17, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) -The Palestine Return Center (PRC) in London and The European Campaign to End the Siege (ECESG) on Gaza express great satisfaction towards approving the Gldstone Report by UNHRC. They both consider the step as turning point...

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

New life for Egypt's Palestinian unity bid
17 Oct 2009 - Egypt's reconciliation proposal, aimed at healing the rifts between Fatah and Hamas, is back on the agenda.

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.


Hamas demands 'threaten unity deal'
17 Oct 2009 - PLO official says Gaza's de facto rulers are endangering Palestinian unity plans.

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...

Palestine News Network

Bil'in demonstrators dress up as olive trees and address threat to farmers that accept foreign help
16 Oct 2009 - Bil’in / Iyad Burnat - After noon prayers on Friday the residents of western Ramallah’s Bil’in gathered in protest of the Wall and settlements. Joined by Israeli and international activists, Palestinians held banners condemning the confiscation of 60 percent of village lands.Bil’in has attempted lawsuits in the Canadian courts against two Canadian companies working on the settlements. However, cases against Green Park International...

Weekly Na'lin demonstration focuses on Jerusalem and political prisoners
16 Oct 2009 - Na'lin / PNN - Dozens of people from the Na'lin area held Friday prayers under the olive groves. These are the lands that are near those already confiscated for the Wall. Salah Khawaja said that the ensuing demonstration was held in solidarity with Jerusalem and political prisoners.Several groups of international activists joined Palestinians after prayers in protesting Israeli actions against the city and...

First step towards justice: Human Rights Council adopts resolution endorsing Goldstone report
16 Oct 2009 - On 16 October 2009, the twelfth Special Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council adopted a Resolution condemning Israel’s illegal actions as an Occupying Power – in particular its illegal annexation of East Jerusalem – and endorsing the findings and recommendations of the UN Fact Finding Mission lead by Justice Goldstone. The Resolution is a victory for human rights and the...

Amnesty International: after UNHRC vote on Goldstone, targeting of civilians must be investigated
16 Oct 2009 - The political divisions surrounding the adoption of today’s Human Rights Council resolution on the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories must not become an obstacle to investigations into serious violations of international law reported during the conflict in Gaza and southern Israel, Amnesty International said. The resolution addresses human rights violations by the Israelis but, while condemning “all targeting of...

United Nations Human Rights Council endorses Goldstone report on war crimes against Gaza
16 Oct 2009 - Al Jazeera - The UN human rights council has endorsed the Goldstone report on Israel's war on Gaza, which accuses the military of using disproportionate force as well as laying charges of war crimes on Israeli occupation forces and Hamas. The council's resolution adopting the report was passed in Geneva by 25 votes to six with 11 countries abstaining and five declining...


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...

EGYPT: Disaster looms for Delta region 
CAIRO Wednesday, October 07, 2009 (IRIN) - Egypt’s Delta region faces a natural disaster of massive proportions by 2020 unless urgent action is taken to better manage scarce fresh water resources and come up with solutions to mitigate the effects of rising sea levels, according to government officials.

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.

Inter Press Service

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.

MIDEAST: Another Nobel Message for Peace 
JERUSALEM, Oct 11 (IPS) - In the week of Nobel Prize announcements, the most intriguing comment from the Middle East came not, as one might have expected, as a straight reaction to the shock of U.S. President Barack Obama being awarded this year's Peace Prize.

Stop The Wall

Fact sheet: Companies building the Wall
17 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. [

Join the first global BDS Marathon! - October 16/17 2009
17 Oct 2009 - [ 

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

Tree-planting action to re-claim Iraq Burin’s land, Sunday 18 October
10/17/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Iraq Burin has achieved the first success of its kind, in which the District Co-ordination Office has entered in to 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-Barcha, 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 four 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 Forces on the night of Sunday, 11 October, following an attack on an unmanned military outpost in village farmland nearby the settlement. 

Settler attacks farmers during Qaryut olive harvest
10/17/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - 15 October 2009 - Three farmers were attacked by a settler outside the village of Qaryut Wednesday, October 15th as they collected their olives for the yearly harvest.   A struggle followed and the farmers managed to detain the settler until the military arrived. The settler was subsequently released without charge. At around midday, while the Palestinian farmers worked their lands close to the illegal settlement of Eli, a lone Israeli settler approached the three carrying a large stick and began threatening the farmers. Though the village of Qaryut has been coordinating with the District Coordination Office the military was nowhere to be seen. The settler began arguing with the farmers, ordering them to leave their own land. The argument escalated, the settler punched one of the farmers with one of his friends leaping to his defense and a struggle occurred, the third Palestinian man managing to call the DCO to alert the military, and take photos on his mobile phone. 

Ni’lin demonstrates in solidarity with Palestine’s political prisoners
10/17/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - 16 October 2009 - More than 150 Palestinian, Israeli and international peace activists gathered today in the village of Ni'lin to protest against the occupation and Apartheid Wall. The demonstration was dedicated to the 11,000 Palestinian prisoners  being held in Israeli jails. Demonstrators brought signs with the names of the Ni'lin anti-Wall protesters who are currently in jail and called for the release of all prisoners. A number of youth had their hands locked with tie wraps to mimick what the Israeli military does to captured and arrested Palestinians.  Demonstrators carried signs and slogans questioning  world concern for the lone Israeli soldier in Palestinian custody while 11,000 Palestinians remain in Israeli prisons. The demonstration started after the weekly Friday prayer with protesters marching towards the Wall. They were met with dozens of tear gas canisters, illegally aimed directly at the demonstrators. 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

J Street gets a hug from Obama administration, but not Jerusalem 
17 Oct 2009 - The Obama administration appears to be welcoming the efforts of the left-leaning Jewish lobby in Washington, J Street. ... 

Comment / Why Israel failed in Gaza
17 Oct 2009 - "Operation Cast Lead was the most planned operation in the annals of Israel's wars," Aluf Benn wrote in these pages over the weekend ("The noose tightens," October 16). Heaven help us for such planning, which was technically sophisticated yet one-dimensional. ... 

Family who lost 29 members in Gaza war: We envy the dead
17 Oct 2009 - Richard Goldstone visited the Gaza City neighborhood of Zaytoun in late June to tour the compound of the extended Samouni family, the subject of coverage here in recent weeks ("'I fed him like a baby bird,'" September 17; "Death in the Samouni compound," September 25). Twenty-nine members of the family, all of them civilians, were killed in the Israel Defense Force's winter assault - 21 during the shelling of a house where IDF soldiers had gathered some 100 members of the family a day earlier. ... 

Netanyahu: Turkey can't be 'honest broker' in Syria talks
17 Oct 2009 - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu does not want Ankara serving as mediator in any future diplomatic negotiations with Syria, in view of the crisis in relations between Israel and Turkey. ... 

IAEA Chief: Direct talks are only solution to Iran nuke crisis 
17 Oct 2009 - Direct talks without preconditions between the United States and Iran are the only solution to the conflict over Tehran's nuclear program, the U.N. nuclear agency's head was quoted as saying on Saturday. ...

The Guardian

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

Israel rejects UN council backing for Gaza war crimes report
17 Oct 2009 - Gordon Brown reportedly had a heated telephone call on Wednesday with Netanyahu Martin Rowson

Surveillance of Muslims: The lives of the other
17 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...

The dark side of Tel Aviv | Abe Hayeem 
16 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...

Why I celebrate the Tel Aviv centenary | Carlo Strenger
16 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
16 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...

Dachau link with Israeli town angers survivors
15 Oct 2009 - The German town of Dachau has become the first location of a former Nazi concentration camp to establish a partnership with an Israeli town in a controversial "peace and understanding" agreement. Twenty-two other German towns are...

US charm offensive aims to persuade Israel not to attack Iran over nuclear weapons development
15 Oct 2009 - US charm offensive aims to persuade Israel not to attack Iran over nuclear weapons development Amid increasing fears of an Israeli strike against Iran, America will this week press Russia to support a threat of tougher...

The 'no peace now' camp | Petra Marquardt-Bigman
15 Oct 2009 - Israel's foreign minister is not the only one who doubts that comprehensive peace can be achieved any time soon It was a good example for bad timing: just shortly before the news broke that President Obama...

Ha'aretz National page

Number of ultra-Orthodox university students on the rise
17 Oct 2009 - As colleges and universities open their doors today, around 2,000 ultra-Orthodox men and women will be among those beginning bachelor's degree programs, at the three institutions designated specifically for them. In addition, this year a program in Jerusalem will be opened to Haredi women for the very first time - psychology. ... 

Family of six stabbed to death in Rishon Letzion; home set ablaze
17 Oct 2009 - Rescue services on Saturday morning found the bodies of six members of a family who had all been stabbed to death at an apartment in Rishon Letzion, after a blaze had engulfed the home. ...

Alex Shatilov wins first medal for Israel in world gymnastics championship
17 Oct 2009 - Israeli gymnast Alex Shatilov won a bronze medal at the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in London on Saturday. ...

Peru to extradite fugitive judge to Israel
16 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

OPT: Week in review - UNHRC endorses Goldstone Report; Hamas accepts reconciliation
17 Oct 2009 - Source: MIFTAH

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

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

ElBaradei: Talks only solution to nuke conflict
17 Oct 2009 - Sanctions against Iran would only aggravate nuclear dispute, UN's Nuclear Chief Mohamed ElBaradei tells Austrian daily; President Obama realizes talks with Tehran are only possible solution, he says 

Hamas opens police college in Gaza
17 Oct 2009 - Hamas official: College opened in Strip because of Arab states' refusal to accept Gaza students 

Former Iran VP: Strike will boost regime
17 Oct 2009 - Exiled Iranian leader: Military strike, economic sanctions will prompt opposition to back Iran regime 

Germany: Iranian arrested for breaking Iran embargo
17 Oct 2009 - 

Khamenei photo disproves death rumors
17 Oct 2009 - Picture from meeting between Iran's supreme leader, Senegal president puts to rest rumors of Khamenei's death 

Lebanese official: IDF images unreliable
17 Oct 2009 - Senior security source in Beirut says probe continues into recent South Lebanon explosion, questions validity of IDF photos 

Olmert faces rude welcome in Chicago
17 Oct 2009 - Former PM dubbed 'fascist,' 'war criminal' by students during University of Chicago speech 

Family of 6 slain in central Israel
17 Oct 2009 - Emergency services called to scene of fire in Rishon Lezion shocked to find four adults, toddler, three-month old baby stabbed to death. Firefighter: It was a gruesome scene; incident believed homicide 

Abbas says will announce election date on October 25
17 Oct 2009 - Palestinian president tells Fatah Revolutionary Council he will set date for next Palestinian Authority presidential and legislative elections by month's end. Hamas official says group needs more time to consider Egyptian-brokered truce 

Daily Star

Gaza war crimes report endorsed by UN Human Rights Council
17 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
17 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
17 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
17 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
17 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'
17 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
17 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
17 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'
17 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.

Palestinian Information Center

Masri: Hamas to inform Egypt about its reservations on the reconciliation paper
17 Oct 2009 - MP Mushir Al-Masri, the secretary-general of Hamas parliamentary bloc, stated that the delegation of Hamas to Cairo would convey the Movement’s reservations on the Egyptian reconciliation paper.

Iran asks the world community to put Israeli leaders on trial
17 Oct 2009 - The Islamic Republic of Iran has asked the world community to put Israeli leaders on trial for war crimes against the unarmed Palestinian people.

Bahar hails endorsement of Goldstone’s report, calls for prosecuting culprits
17 Oct 2009 - Dr. Ahmed Bahar hailed the UN human rights council’s endorsement of Goldstone’s report and appealed to all Arab, Muslim and non-aligned countries to work on bringing Israeli war criminals to justice.

Resheq: Abbas, Al-Ahmed statements poisoning reconciliation atmosphere
17 Oct 2009 - Ezzet Al-Resheq, political bureau member of Hamas Movement, has underlined that his Movement was insistent on national reconciliation in its capacity as a strategic option for the Palestinian people.

Hamas to hand tomorrow its response to Egypt’s reconciliation paper
17 Oct 2009 - Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum stated that his Movement ended its internal consultations on the Egyptian reconciliation paper and will hand its reply tomorrow.

Mishaal: Endorsing Goldstone’s report victory for Palestinians and int’l justice
17 Oct 2009 - Khaled Mishaal hailed the UN human rights council’s endorsement of Goldstone’s report, saying it is a victory for the Palestinian people and the international justice.

Palestinians wounded in IOF quelling of peaceful anti wall marches
17 Oct 2009 - The IOF on Friday violently quelled Palestinian peaceful marches in Bethlehem and Ramallah districts protesting the confiscation of their lands for the sake of building the separation wall.

Turkey asks Israel to end the suffering of Gaza people
17 Oct 2009 - Turkey asked Israel on Friday to end the human tragedy in the Gaza Strip, ruling out any possible advance in bilateral relations as long as the Palestinians' suffering continued.

Zahhar: Hamas will sign the Egyptian paper after some points clarified
17 Oct 2009 - Dr. Mahmoud Al-Zahhar stated that Hamas is going to sign the Egyptian reconciliation paper after creating the atmosphere appropriate for that and receiving clarification on some points.

Aqsa preacher champions steadfastness in face of IOA schemes
17 Oct 2009 - The preacher of the Aqsa Mosque asked the Friday congregation in the holy Aqsa Mosque to remain steadfast and never abandon the holy site.

Los Angeles Times

U.N. body backs Gaza war report 
17 Oct 2009 - The action by the human rights panel is a setback for Israel and probably makes U.S. peace efforts tougher. In a vote likely to complicate U.S. efforts to revive Middle East peace talks, the United Nations Human Rights Council on Friday endorsed a report calling on Israel and Hamas to conduct credible investigations of alleged war crimes by their forces or face further international inquiries and possible prosecutions. 


Ehud Olmert struggles to give Univ. of Chicago lecture amid protests
Mondoweiss - 17 Oct 2009 - Nearly overwhelmed by protests, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert took an hour and a half to deliver a 20 minute speech at the University of Chicago on Thursday. Here’s a full report from Electronic Intifada : Approximately 30 activists — mainly students from area universities —...

At NYU, devilish Shlomo Sand predicts the Jewish past and pastes the Zionists
Mondoweiss - 17 Oct 2009 - Of all the events I’ve covered surrounding Jewish identity and Israel in the last year, none has given me so much pleasure as the lecture last night by Shlomo Sand at NYU on the Invention of the Jewish People . Most events I go to are grinding,...

I slob, you slob, we all slob for the Is-lob!
Mondoweiss - 17 Oct 2009 - Here’s another example of the sly deceptions that distinguish much of the Israeli and Jewish Press. UN Watch is a subsidiary of the American Jewish Committee and this is certainly not a secret to the Jerusalem Post . To describe it as "independent" is patently dishonest. From...

Joel Beinin, smeared by the right
Mondoweiss - 17 Oct 2009 - An attack on the great Joel Beinin at front page magazine . I heard from ‘reliable sources’ that when Beinin was teaching at American University of Cairo some Egyptian Islamists assumed because he’s Jewish that he was a Zionist in the heart of the Arab world and...

Treatment is sought in U.S. for 3-year-old victim of white phosphorus attack in Gaza
Mondoweiss - 16 Oct 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...

U.N. Human Rights Council Concludes Special Session after Adopting a Resolution Calling For the Implementation of the Recommendations in the Goldstone Report
Alternative Information Center - 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 the recommendations set out in the reports of the Fact-Finding...


One Secular Democratic State Solution 
Iqbal Tamimi, Middle East Online 10/14/2009
      The Palestinians lived peacefully and in total harmony with people of different faiths and political affiliations before the state of Israel was created. Freedom of choice and democracy is a good platform to build a society on. It is amazing how westerners pull the platform from beneath our legs as Palestinians, and talk on our behalf to tell the world what is best for us.
     Some want a one state solution for us, others scream that they have a better idea; a two state solution they say. While we, the Palestinians, are denied the right to be heard as if every westerner is a guardian over an underage nation of children.
     I did express my disappointment after attending many activists’ activities and meetings under the banner of supporting Palestinians here in the UK, because even the supporters of the Palestinian cause in the West have little knowledge when it comes to our sufferings. We are usually invited as guests by total strangers to hear other strangers talk about solving our problems.
     While they intend to help, they make decisions without doing research or even consulting Palestinians! That’s why they end up with total disappointment like the one which happened lately when the Ambassador of Palestine in London was invited to the opening of the Bristol-Gaza twinning event (or someone to represent him). When no one from the Palestinian delegation showed up, it was of course, expected. How would one expect any member of an illegitimate government to represent the people of Gaza who decided in an internationally inspected election that ..."NO, we do not want them to represent us"? more.. e-mail

BDS - Yes We Can 
Britain Eakin, MIFTAH 10/14/2009
      I have been struggling since I arrived in Palestine to find hope here, particularly in light of the recent Goldstone debacle. However, on October 9, 2009 something happened that set a process into motion whereby a spark of hope was reignited within me. As I made myself a cup of tea and opened up my laptop to read some news, I learned that U.S. President Barack Obama received a Nobel Peace Prize. Taken aback by this surprising development, I contemplated the meaning of the Nobel Committee awarding this prize to Obama.
     The Committee said the decision was intended to build momentum behind many of Obama’s initiatives, not the least of which is pushing harder in efforts to help reach a solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. As I thought about this from my veranda, I stared out at a Jewish settlement on the hilltop across the way from my apartment, feeling rather doubtful that the intention behind the prize would make any significant impact here.
     The awarding of the prize to Obama has drawn sharp criticism from some because he has yet to produce any tangible result from his rhetoric of change here. Yet, others have spoken out in support of Obama’s selection for the prize, the most captivating of which to me is Obama’s personal friend, South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Tutu described Obama’s selection for the prize as “wonderful recognition” of Obama’s efforts to reach out to the [Muslim] Arab world.
     I find Tutu’s support of Obama’s selection very generous, particularly because he was himself awarded the Nobel Prize in 1984, not for intentions but for a tangible contribution to the creation of a more peaceful and just world - the active and instrumental role he played in bringing Apartheid to an end in South Africa. This got me thinking about the movement in Palestine that is using similar tactics in trying to end Israeli abuses, which led me to some optimistic conclusions concerning the future for Palestine. 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
The Slippery Slope
17 Oct 2009 - By Uri Avnery It is, of course, all the fault of Judge Richard Goldstone. He is to blame for it, as he is to blame for all the other ills that are befalling us now. He is to blame for the trouble we are having at the UN, both in New York and in Geneva. For the conspiracy to bring our political and military leaders to trial in The Hague. For the ongoing crisis between us and Turkey. For the many initiatives throughout the world to organize a boycott of Israel. Now he is to blame also for the existential danger facing Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen).When the Goldstone report was submitted to the UN Human Rights Council, our government decided to do all it could to prevent even a debate about it. The debate was, of course, demanded by the Palestinians. When the report was published, the Palestinian representative in Geneva did the obvious: he demanded that the report be debated with a view to submitting it to the Security Council, which in turn would submit it to the international court in The Hague. What came next could have been foreseen. The Israeli government exerted heavy pressure on the US. The US exerted heavy pressure on Mahmoud Abbas. Abbas gave in and instructed his representative in Geneva to withdraw his request for a debate. In any other matter, this would have passed quietly. But since the subject was the Gaza War, Palestinian public opinion exploded. Throughout the war, every Palestinian...

Educating Children in Conflict Zones
17 Oct 2009 - By Catherine Rottenberg and Neve Gordon Educating children in a conflict zone is no simple matter. More often than not, those responsible for the curricula succumb to the masters of war and adopt a pedagogical approach that exacerbates rather than diffuses strife. Israel, unfortunately, is no exception. Consider the way Jewish and Palestinian children are educated. Segregation in the classroom is the rule so that Jewish and Palestinian children only rarely mix. This strict segregation exists despite the fact that the Palestinians are citizens of Israel, comprising 19.5 percent of Israel's population--around 1.37 million people--and 25 percent of all school children. Unlike the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories, these Palestinians vote and pay taxes like Jewish citizens. Notwithstanding their incorporation into the citizen body, Palestinian citizens do not enjoy full equality. In comparison to their Jewish counterparts, Arab schools receive half the per capita budget. It is therefore not very surprising that Palestinian students have the highest dropout rates and lowest achievement levels in the country. Equality in education is reserved to the uniformity of the school curriculum, particularly the texts dedicated to teaching the history of the Israeli state. The existing history textbooks adopt the Zionist historical narrative, erasing all trace of the Palestinian nakba (Arabic for "catastrophe", referring to the events of 1948, when approximately 750,000 Palestinians out of a population of 900,000 either fled or were expelled from their homes). Furthermore, these textbooks emphasise the significance of the Land of Israel for Jews and attempt to prove...

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...

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